Email information is followed by @css.edu unless otherwise noted.
Dr. Bret Amundson is the Director of Choral Activities and Associate Director of General Education at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education and Vocal Performance from Saint John's University, MN, a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting from Saint Cloud State University, MN, and a Doctorate of Music in Choral Conducting at the University of Washington.
At The College of St. Scholastica, Bret directs the Concert Choir, Bella Voce, Women's Choir, and Vocal Jazz Choir, teaches courses in music education and conducting, and teaches in the school's Dignitas program. Bret is the Artistic Director of the Lake Superior Youth Chorus, the Artistic Director of the Twin Ports Choral Project, and the Choir Director at Pilgrim Congregational Church.
Previously, Bret served three years as Vocal Music Director at Cathedral High School/John XXIII Middle School in St. Cloud, MN where he conducted five curricular choirs, two co-curricular choirs, and taught individual voice lessons. In 2007, the Cathedral High School Concert Choir was invited to perform at the Minnesota Music Educator Association's Mid-Winter Clinic. That same year, Bret was awarded the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota's Outstanding Young Conductor Award. From 2005-2008, Bret was the Associate Artistic Director of The St. John's Boys Choir, where he conducted the Junior Varsity Choir and led the recorder and theory programs.
Bret currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Choral Director's Association of Minnesota where he is the editor of its Star of the North publication. He also sits on the Board of Directors for The St. John's Boys Choir and is a member-at-large for the NAfME Choral Education Council. Bret currently sings with the Twin Ports Choral Project, and has previously sung with the UW Chamber Singers, and the Twin-Cities based choral ensemble, Kantorei. He is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, the National Association for Music Education, The College Music Society, Chorus America, and the VoiceCare Network.
John earned his B.S. in Elementary Education from Moorhead State University. His M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction was earned at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul. John taught elementary students in the towns of Wabasso, MN and Northfield, MN. He is currently working to complete his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership through the University of St. Thomas. John teaches in the School of Education, works as the institutional licensure officer, and is the chair of the SOE undergraduate admissions committee. His passions include his family, Faith, reading, numerous outdoor activities.
Jill Gaeta received her Ph.D. in French and Francophone Studies from Michigan State Universitywith a specialization in Francophone cultures of the Caribbean and Africa. In addition to teaching all levels of French language and literature as well as various culture courses related to the Francophone world, she teaches in Dignitas, the first year program for CSS. She has presented and published on a variety of topics including French Caribbean children’s literature, narratives of childhood, and the relationship between cultural production and crisis. When not pursuing academic endeavors, Jill enjoys activities such as skiing, playing soccer, travelling, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends.
Instructor of Journalism and Media
The College of St. Scholastica
Phone: 218 723 6000 x 6719
Office: Tower Hall, Room 4407
Mary Bridget Lawson, M.A., has been teaching in the St. Scholastica Master's in Management Program since the early 1990's. She received her undergraduate degree in Education from the University of WIsconsin LaCrosse and her graduate degree in Human Resource Development from the University of St. Thomas. Mary Bridget designed a current elective course entitled, Managing Diversity, When needed, she also teaches Management Communication and Cultural Competency and Team Development. In addition, she teaches a year long course on "Diversity and Dignity" within the St. Scholastica Dignitas Program. Apart from her Adjunct teaching, she has been working in St. Louis County since 1989 in the field of human resource development. In her spare time she enjoys playing traditional Irish music and plays a competitive game of tennis.
Dr. Morgan has taught Russian language and culture for many years. He's particularly interested in cross-cultural issues and has explored in a variety of ways the experience of American and Canadian Finns in Soviet Russia. He also co-authored an advanced grammar of English (in Russian) that was published in Russia in a second edition in 2001. (The first edition was published in 1997.)
Dr. Morgan founded and directed (with Russian colleagues) a series of summer language camps for college students. The camps are held in Russia for American students and at St. Scholastica for Russians in alternating years. The program marks its 25th year in 2014 and is now directed by Dr. Karen Rosenflanz.
Dr. Morgan has a strong interest in the international aspects of peace and justice issues. He was involved in the development of the Duluth International Peace Center, a citizens' group that functioned for many years in the 1990s to foster international cooperation and peacemaking at the grass roots level. And he was a charter member of the Duluth City Cities Commission. He currently is involved in helping to develop a relationship with citizens in a city in northern Iraq and has recently returned to the board of Duluth Sister Cities International.
Courses that he regularly teaches include Rusian literature classes, honors courses with a peace and justice theme, philosophy and a course on peaceful resolution of international conflict.
Dr. Morgan is the director of the Alworth Center for the Study of Peace & Justice, which regularly brings nationally known speakers to campus. Topics that the Center has addressed in the past few years include issues connected with food, energy, the environment, wealth & poverty, war & peace, democracy and the media. Dr. Morgan also coordinates a new major in Peace & Justice Studies.
Favorite free-time activities include biking, tennis and dog walking.
Jennifer Pilon is an Assistant Professor of Management at the School of Business & Technology. Her area of specialty is healthcare finance and accounting. Mrs. Pilon teaches courses include Financial Management, Income Tax Accounting, Investments, Commercial/Residential Real Estate, Financial Markets and Institutions. In her spare time, Ms. Pilon enjoys spending time at Island Lake, biking, skiing and being a mom!
Ph.D. University of Notre Dame
M.A. University of Notre Dame
A.B. Cornell University
Randall A. Poole is Professor of History at the College of St. Scholastica. Before coming to St. Scholastica in 2004, he taught at the University of Notre Dame (1997-1999) and at Boston University (1999-2004). He has held research fellowships at New York University, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Stanford University, Columbia University, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, and the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow (where he was a Fulbright scholar). He has also been a research associate of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at Notre Dame, a faculty fellow of the International History Institute at Boston University, and an associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. Since 2008 he has been an affiliate member of the Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Spring 2012 he was Visiting Professor of Russian Intellectual History at the University of Toronto.
Professor Poole's research and writing focus on Russian and European intellectual history, the history of ideas, and the history of philosophical and religious thought. Since 1990, he has delivered more than fifty scholarly papers and lectures at academic conferences and universities in the United States and abroad. He teaches courses in world, European, and Russian history.
A History of Russian Philosophy, 1830-1930: Faith, Reason, and the Defense of Human Dignity, co-edited with G. M. Hamburg. Cambridge University Press, 2010, 424 pp. Paperback edition, 2013.
Problems of Idealism: Essays in Russian Social Philosophy. Translated, edited, and introduced. Foreword by Caryl Emerson. Yale University Press, 2003. xxiv, 468 pp. Monographic introduction (pp. 1-78), extensive annotations, and contributor biographies.
"Kant and the Kingdom of Ends in Russian Religious Thought (Vladimir Solov'ëv)," book chapter, Thinking Orthodox in Modern Russia: Culture, History, Context, ed. Patrick Lally Michelson and Judith Deutsch Kornblatt. University of Wisconsin Press, 2014, pp. 215-234.
"Russian Political Theology in an Age of Revolution," book chapter, Landmarks Revisited: The Vekhi Symposium 100 Years On, ed. Robin Aizlewood and Ruth Coates. Academic Studies Press, 2013, pp. 146-169.
"Gustav Shpet: Russian Philosopher of the Human Level of Being (A Review Essay)," Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, vol. 14, no. 2 (Spring 2013), pp. 395-410.
"Religious Toleration, Freedom of Conscience, and Russian Liberalism," Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, vol. 13, no. 3 (Summer 2012), pp. 611-634.
"‘Russia’s First Modern Man’: Tolstoy, Kant, and Russian Religious Thought (A Review Essay)," Tolstoy Studies Journal, vol. 22 (2010), pp. 99-117.
"Vladimir Solov'ëv’s Philosophical Anthropology: Autonomy, Dignity, Perfectibility," book chapter, A History of Russian Philosophy, 1830-1930: Faith, Reason, and the Defense of Human Dignity, ed. G. M. Hamburg and Randall A. Poole. Cambridge University Press, 2010, pp. 131-149.
"The Humanist Tradition in Russian Philosophy," with G. M. Hamburg, introduction to A History of Russian Philosophy, 1830-1930: Faith, Reason, and the Defense of Human Dignity, pp. 1-23.
"Kantian Foundations of Russian Liberal Theory: Human Dignity, Justice, and the Rule of Law," The Weimar Moment: Liberalism, Political Theology, and Law, Institute for Legal Studies, University of Wisconsin Law School, 2008, 16,500 words. (Web-posted and printed conference materials.)
"The Greatness of Vladimir Solov'ëv: A Review Essay," Canadian Slavonic Papers/Revue canadienne des slavistes, vol. 50, nos. 1-2 (March-June 2008), pp. 201-223.
"Human Dignity and the Kingdom of God: A Russian Theological Perspective (Vladimir Solov'ëv)," Listening/Journal of Religion and Culture, vol. 42, no. 3 (Fall 2007), pp. 33-54; reprinted in Here Comes Everybody: Catholic Studies in American Higher Education, ed. William C. Graham. University Press of America, 2008, pp. 99-119.
"Religion, War, and Revolution: E. N. Trubetskoi’s Liberal Construction of Russian National Identity, 1912-1920," Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, vol. 7, no. 2 (Spring 2006), pp. 195-240.
"Sergei Kotliarevskii and the Rule of Law in Russian Liberal Theory," Dialogue and Universalism (Institute of Philosophy, Warsaw University), vol. 16, no. 1-2 (2006), pp. 81-104. Festschrift issue for Professor Andrzej Walicki.
"William James in the Moscow Psychological Society: Pragmatism, Pluralism, Personalism," book chapter, William James in Russian Culture, ed. Joan Delaney Grossman and Ruth S. Rischin. Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield, 2003, pp. 131-158.
Six entries on Russian philosophy for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2002 online edition): Sergei Askol'dov, Aleksei Kozlov, Lev Lopatin, Moscow Psychological Society, Sergei Trubetskoi, and Vladimir Vernadskii. 2000 words each, with bibliographies.
"The Apophatic Bakhtin," book chapter, Bakhtin and Religion: A Feeling for Faith, ed. Susan M. Felch and Paul J. Contino. Northwestern University Press, 2001, pp. 151-175.
"Utopianism, Idealism, Liberalism: Russian Confrontations with Vladimir Solov'ëv," Modern Greek Studies Yearbook: Mediterranean, Slavic, and Eastern Orthodox Studies (University of Minnesota), vols. 16/17 (2000/2001), pp. 43-87.
"The Neo-Idealist Reception of Kant in the Moscow Psychological Society," Journal of the History of Ideas, vol. 60, no. 2 (April 1999), pp. 319-343.
"The Russian Dialectic between Neo-Idealism and Utopianism," published in Russian translation in Voprosy filosofii (Questions of Philosophy), no. 1, 1995, pp. 70-94.
Cheryl earned an MA in Advocacy and Political Leadership from the University of Minnesota - Duluth. She has spent the last decade serving in the non-profit field, focused on youth development, mentoring and out-of-school time programming. She has previously served as a program coordinator with the Duluth Children's Museum, the Duluth Y and the United Way of Greater Duluth. She currently is the Volunteer Coordinator for the City of Duluth, working to build upon the rich tradition of service and civic engagement celebrated throughout the community.
In addition to teaching Dignitas at St. Scholastica, Cheryl is active in the community, volunteering as a performer at various local theaters, writing for the Woman Today Magazine, and reading at the annual Polar Express event at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum. While Cheryl is a new to the CSS faculty, she is not new to the college. She has been involved with a Dignitas common experience event over the last two years and has previously volunteered with the CSS Theater Department. She has also worked with numerous CSS students over the years as volunteers in the community.
DENISE STARKEY is Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies and Chair of the department. She was the 2013 Benedictine Professor of General Education. Her academic interests include Feminist, Liberation and Political Theologies; Spirituality and Mystical Theology; Christian Ethics and Social Justice; Feminist Theory/Philosophy/Ethics; and Theology and Psychology. Denise received her Ph.D. in Constructive Theology (with highest honors) from Loyola University-Chicago. She received her master’s degree in Religious Studies (summa cum laude) and bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Edgewood College, Madison, Wisconsin. Her current scholarly research is focused on the practice and meaning of pilgrimage as a form of nomadic spirituality for survivors of violence.
Adjunct Professor- Dignitas, Communication
Native Teacher Program Coordinator
Indigenous Student Alliance Advisor
Field Producer-Native Report
Education Director-Native Report
Elementary Education Teacher-Stillwater, Pequot Lakes
Diversity Trainer-Stillwater Schools
Consultant Charter Schools- Tribal
President, Construction Company-Trades Training and Education
Boards Past and Present:
Pequot Lakes PTA
Parents United, MN
YMCA, Duluth Currently Serving
PAVSA, Duluth Currently Serving
Bois Forte Band Member
Mother to Freshman in College and Sophomore in High School
Live in Duluth
Member of Anishinaabe Women's Drum group, Hand Games