Email information is followed by @css.edu unless otherwise noted.
Dr. Bret Amundson is the Director of Choral Activities and 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, and Women's Choir, teaches courses in music education and conducting, and is the Director of the College'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,the Dignitas program for First-Year students, and is the chair of the SOE Undergraduate Admissions Committee. His passions include his family, Faith, reading, and numerous outdoor activities.
Gary Boelhower is professor of theology and religious studies. He teaches courses in healthcare ethics, contemporary moral issues, death and dying, leadership and ethics, servant leadership, ministry and religions of the world. He has been involved in education for over 40 years as a high school teacher, college professor, chair of humanities, dean of lifelong learning, dean of graduate studies and vice president for academic affairs. He was co-founder and first executive director of the Center for Spirituality and Leadership at
Elizabeth Domholdt is Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Physical Therapy at The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. Previously she served as Professor and Dean of the Krannert School of Physical Therapy at the University of Indianapolis. She holds a bachelor's degree in physical therapy from the University of Michigan, a master's degree in Health Occupations Education from Indiana University, and a doctoral degree in Higher Education, also from Indiana University.
Significant contributions at The College of St. Scholastica include restructuring academics into a school structure to support and expand the College's diverse mix of undergraduate, graduate, and nontraditional programs; implementing mission-driven development opportunities to prepare faculty to serve as lay representatives of the College's Benedictine foundation; and building the capacity of online programs.
Dr. Domholdt came to The College of St. Scholastica in 2005 as a visible scholar and leader within the profession of physical therapy. She has made more than 40 research presentations at health professions conferences within the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia; her professional writings include more than 20 journal articles and a 500-page textbook, now in its fourth edition, Rehabilitation Research: Principles and Applications (Carter RE, Lubinsky J, Domholdt E; Elsevier Saunders, Philadelphia, PA; 2005). In 2002 she was made a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association. She has served as an editorial board member for Physical Therapy, considered the most influential worldwide journal of the profession, and continues to serve as a manuscript review for that journal and for Physiotherapy Canada.
Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies
Department of Communication, Theatre, and Art
The College of St. Scholastica
Phone: 218 723 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 Gradiate 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.
Joelle McGovern, MEd, has been teaching for the Dignitas program since 2013. She earned her bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and her master’s degree in education from The College of St. Scholastica. In Joelle’s 16 plus years of working with college students at CSS, she has gained experience in online instruction, strategic planning, project management, residential life and academic advising. Currently she serves as an adjunct instructor for the Computer Information Systems Department at The College of St. Scholastica.
Joelle's inspiration for designing Star Wars and Servant Leadership comes from various professional development training opportunities received while working as a student affairs professional along with Matt Stover's book adaptation for Episode III Revenge of the Sith. Joelle’s teaching style is influenced by the work of Geneva Gay's research on Culturally Relevant Pedagogy. Joelle agrees with Gay's theory that students need to experience a safe and inclusive learning community that offers students opportunities to connect new information to their own lived experiences. This includes providing students access to course materials through multiple forms of presentation and designing learning activities that allow students the freedom to demonstrate their knowledge and critical thinking through various mediums. Students can expect to feel comfortable, challenged, and receive prompt, yet formative feedback.
Joelle's goals for the students enrolled in her class are that they will apply key principles of servant leadership into their daily lives and begin to recognize moments of authentic joy.
Office Hours: by appointment
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 marked its 26th year in 2015 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 is currently president 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.
Peter Spooner teaches studio art and education courses for The College of St. Scholastica, Lake Superior College and University of Minnesota Duluth, in addition to working as a freelance curator, writer, and appraiser. He earned a BS in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin Stout, and MS and MFA degrees in painting and drawing from Illinois State University. He has held positions as an educator, museum educator, museum curator, non-profit gallery director, and self-employed art appraiser. Spooner has served as an exhibition juror and grant review panelist for numerous institutions, including the Illinois Arts Council, the Jerome Foundation, the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, and the Minnesota State Arts Board. Current and recent community involvement includes board service for the Duluth Arts Commission, Duluth Public Library, Chester Bowl Improvement Club and The Artists Fund, a non-profit serving regional artists with emergency funding. In curatorial positions at Illinois State University (1988-92) and the Tweed Museum of Art (1994-2012), he organized scores of exhibitions on contemporary art, including solo exhibitions on Frank Big Bear, Wanda Gag, Frances Myers, Dennis Oppenheim, Philip Pearlstein, Rudy Autio and Truman Lowe. He has developed exhibitions and publications rediscovering 19th century American artists, among them Gilbert Munger, David Ericson, and Knute Heldner, and has organized the travel of the Tweed Museum’s French Barbizon and American collections to Japan and Italy. In 2014, Spooner guest curated the exhibition Sister Mary Charles: Engagement and Transcendence for the Tweed Museum of Art, and a co-authored the book Saved By Beauty: Sister Mary Charles McGough for St. Scholastica Monastery.
David J. Vosen MA, Lecturer in the Computer Information Systems Department. He has an undergraduate degree in Chemistry with certificate in German Language and Culture from Carleton College as well as a Masters specializing in Learning Technologies from the University of St. Thomas. His varied academic interests include emerging & adaptive technologies, online education, mobile innovation & integration, web design, multimedia, cognitive science, and environmental science. D.Vo teaches courses on Computer Hardware and Design, Computer Software & Applications, Operating Systems, Technology Ethics, and Ecology. He is an author of over 100 YouTube videos, loves to integrate themed music into his courses with over 75 unique playlists, is a web master & desktop publisher for several nonprofits, and is an active member of the NE MN STEM leadership team. His personal interests include drumming on Xbox live, swimming, esoteric philosophy, bagpipes, wilderness survival, reading with his daughters, visual arts, off-grid construction, and traveling far & wide.
Melissa serves as the Director of the Center for Equal Access and Dignitas instructor. Melissa has over 27 years of experience in working in higher education, over eleven years at St. Scholastica. Melissa started out working in Academic Support Services coordinating the First Year Development Program (FYDP) and serving as an academic advisor. Melissa currently works with students with disabilities and chronic medical conditions to ensure they have opportunities of equal access in their learning and living environments. She assists in the education and promotion of the social model of disability throughout the institution. Melissa collaborates with disability service providers at the local colleges and universities as well as the local school districts to ensure a seamless transition to college for high school graduates. She has served on the Minnesota Department of Education Community of Practice for Special Education, Interagency Coordinating Council of Duluth, and the Northern Lights Interagency Council. She has presented at a number of conferences including The Collaboration for Teaching and Learning, the Northeast Cooperative on Autism Spectrum Disorders, Association for Higher Education and Disability national conference, and the University of Minnesota Diversity Summit.
Melissa's goal for first year students in her Dignitas class is for them to become critical thinkers and successful and willing participants in lifelong learning.
Dr. Weaver spent ten years in education and mental health before teaching in the psychology department at CSS. She practiced mental health in residential treatment settings including facilities for chemical dependency, eating disorders, and trauma recovery. As a school counselor, she worked with middle and high school students and coached tennis and basketball. (She has researched alternative treatments for addiction disorders, and completed her dissertation on the potential for nature-based therapy. (Dr. Weaver currently directs a nonprofit mental health counseling center called DeepRock Ecotherapy and Wellness.(She has published in the Journal of Sustainability Education, and co-authored a book chapter in an upcoming Oxford University textbook. Presentations and publications can be accessed on the DeepRock website.
Julie Zaruba Fountaine is the Wellness Coordinator and Dignitas Faculty member at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN. Julie’s leadership philosophy is to be known for being data driven, deliberately collaborative, and strategically results oriented so that she can deliver superior health and wellness initiatives that result in improved morale, well being, and a positive financial outcome.
As the Wellness Coordinator for the College of St. Scholastica Julie manages the operations of a multiple wellness initiatives serving approximately 500 employees and 4,000 students. She works collaboratively with others on campus and in the community to provide health outreach to students, faculty and staff. She strives to utilize data to inform and educate others from all cultural and international backgrounds with regard to personal health development and its relationship to the functioning of the larger community.
As a Dignitas faculty member at the College of St. Scholastica Julie is able to develop health and wellness curriculum supported by theory, research, and real life experience.
Julie is also active in the Duluth community and nationally. Locally, she is a member of multiple community organizations such as Leadership Duluth, Tri Campus and Community Coalition and the Community Coordinated Response Team. Nationally, Julie is a member of the American College Health Association, WELCOA, Health Promotion Advocates, and the American Council on Exercise. Through her activity in the local and national organizations Julie has been able to present at national and local conferences on the topics of health, wellness and health promotion.
She received her Master’s Degree in Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Science from North Dakota State in Fargo, North Dakota. Julie has furthered her professional development by attaining WELCOA faculty status, being named one of WELCOA's Top 100 health promotion professionals, receiving her personal training certification through the American Council on Exercise , attending Tobacco Cessation Specialist Training at the Mayo Clinic and attending the Professional Development Institute in Boston, MA. This enables her to promote well being, prevent disease, and provide education as a faculty member and Wellness Coordinator through strategically implementing data driven wellness initiatives.