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Viterbo University Announces New Master of Science in Nutrition Sciences Degree Program

June 18, 2019

Oct. 25, 2018

Contact Karen Gibson at 608-796-3662 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Viterbo University has started the new Master of Science in Nutrition Sciences degree program, which will prepare dietetics professionals to be innovative leaders in fields such as disease prevention, health promotion, and nutritional interventions.

“The Viterbo M.S. in Nutrition Sciences degree curriculum allows students to tailor the program to best fit the needs of their specific area of practice by allowing the student to choose up to 12 credits of electives,” said Karen Gibson, Viterbo professor of nutrition and dietetics.

For example, a nutrition professional who works with athletes might choose courses such as advanced sports nutrition or nutrigenomics while someone working in community health could choose courses in grant writing or a systems approach to combatting obesity. A clinical dietitian would have the option to take classes in medical nutrition therapy and nutrition and cancer.

Classes will begin in summer 2019. Program curriculum integrates critical thinking, scientific writing, and evidence-based practice in nutrition and dietetics, which provides a foundation for students to complete a research project in the student’s specific area of interest or practice. Requirements for graduation include successful completion of 30 credits, including a research defense and presentation of a research project.

“There is a need for advanced level practitioners in the field of nutrition, especially in the use of evidence-based practice and the new information being discovered about nutrition and health, and this program will help meet that demand,” Gibson said.

For more information on Viterbo’s M.S. in Nutrition Sciences program, visit or contact Karen Gibson at 608-796-3662 or



Viterbo Leadership at Noon Series to Feature Altra Federal Credit Union President and CEO Jack Peplinski Jan. 22

June 18, 2019

Jan. 8, 2019

Contact Rick Kyte at 608-796-3704 or rlkyte@viterbo.eduor Nicole Van Ert at 608-796-3616 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Jack Peplinski, president and CEO of Altra Federal Credit Union, will speak as part of the Viterbo University Leadership at Noon series Tuesday, Jan. 22 in Reinhart Center 107.

Altra Federal Credit Union is a financial cooperative that serves more than 103,000 members in all 50 states and more than 40 foreign countries. They have local branches in La Crosse, Onalaska, Holmen, and West Salem. Their operations center is located in Onalaska.

Peplinski served on the Altra Federal Credit Union Board of Directors for five years before joining the institution in 1990 as vice president of market development and planning. He managed all areas, including branch operations, credit services, and consumer, business, and mortgage lending before becoming president and CEO in 2011.

Active in community service, Peplinski is a board member of the Wisconsin Credit Union League, the Western Technical College Finance Department Advisory Board, and recently served as Chairman of the Board for the La Crosse Chamber of Commerce. Under his leadership, the chamber went through a revitalization by expanding its product offerings and moving into a new facility.

All Leadership at Noon series events are held from noon–1 p.m. in the Reinhart Center and are free and open to the public. Audience members are welcome to bring their own lunch or purchase a boxed lunch for $5. The Leadership at Noon series is sponsored by the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership and the Dahl School of Business at Viterbo University. For a complete schedule of Ethics Institute events, visit



Auditions for the Missoula Children’s Theatre's Production of Robin Hood at Viterbo University Oct. 29

June 18, 2019

Oct. 15, 2018

Contact Beth Franklin at 608-796-3735 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Auditions for the Missoula Children’s Theatre (MCT) production of Robin Hood will be held from 3:45–6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29 at the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center.

Auditioning students should arrive by 3:45 p.m. and plan to stay until 6 p.m. Some of the cast members will be asked to stay for a rehearsal immediately following the auditions.

Students in grades K–12 during the 2018-2019 school year are invited to audition. Children must be 5 years or older to audition. No advanced preparation is necessary. Assistant directors will also be cast to aid in rehearsals throughout the week and take on essential backstage responsibilities.

Missoula Children’s Theatre touring productions are complete with costumes, scenery, props, and makeup. The MCT tour actors/directors will conduct rehearsals throughout the week from 4–8:30 p.m. each day, with the exception of Oct. 31.

Robin Hood will be presented Saturday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the Viterbo Fine Arts Center Main Theatre.

The Missoula Children’s Theatre residency in La Crosse is presented by the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center with support from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Wisconsin and Southeastern Minnesota. It is sponsored in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. News 8 and La Crosse Media Group are the media sponsors.

For more information about auditions, contact Beth Franklin at 608-796-3735 or More information about the performance can be found at



Viterbo Announces 2019 Recipients of the Saint John XXIII Award for Distinguished Service

June 18, 2019

Longtime community volunteers and supporters of higher education Annette Friedewald, Mary Ann Gschwind, FSPA, and Kent and Karen Handel are the recipients of the 2019 Viterbo University Saint John XXIII Award for Distinguished Service.

Annette Friedewald notices when there is a need in the community and does her best to meet it. Whether is it volunteering at the La Crosse Catholic Charities Warming Center, Franciscan Hospitality House, or as a driver with Mobile Meals, she demonstrates her immense compassion by listening and showing that she cares in an effort to help each individual feel better. She believes people who volunteer and serve the community receive more than they give. Annette also serves as a prayer partner with the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Annette and her late husband Marv have also been generous supporters of Viterbo University students. Marv was a longtime faculty member who created the business program. Big fans of Viterbo athletics and understanding the demands faced by student-athletes, the Friedewalds created scholarships for men’s and women’s basketball. Upon Marv’s retirement from the university, a business scholarship was created in recognition of their support and service to Viterbo. A fourth scholarship was also created in Marv’s honor. The scholarships are a fitting tribute to Marv’s legacy as a Viterbo educator and community member. Annette currently serves on the Viterbo Alumni board.

Sr. Mary Ann Gschwind has always sought to put her gifts and talents to good use. During her distinguished career in education and through almost 40 years of community service, Sr. Mary Ann has made an impact in La Crosse. She is an alumna of Viterbo and served as chair of the education department in the 1970s. She currently serves on seven community boards and seven committees, including the City Vision Foundation board, the Community Theatre board, Chamber Chorale board, the Mayo Diabetes Advisory Committee and the Viterbo Ethics Advisory Committee. Her past service includes 18 years on the board of directors for Catholic Charities of the La Crosse Diocese, 20 years as a member and eight years as chair of the Viterbo University board of trustees and time with many other local organizations. Key projects completed during her service on the Viterbo board include the construction of the School of Nursing Building and collaboration with the La Crosse Community Theatre which resulted in the Weber Center for the Performing Arts. Sr. Mary Ann will celebrate her 60th jubilee as a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in 2020. She was the vice president of her religious order from 1990–98 and has been serving as its archivist for 16 years.

Kent and Karen Handel believe it is very important for everyone to use their time, talents, and financial resources to better their communities. They have lived this mantra through extensive volunteer service with numerous community organizations including Aptiv (formerly Riverfront), Riverland Girl Scouts, the La Crosse County Historical Society, the La Crosse Club, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater La Crosse, and Chileda. As President and CEO of Trust Point, Inc. Kent has implemented a culture of community service throughout the company. Trust Point employees have registered 4,000 volunteer hours with 90 organizations in La Crosse, Eau Claire, and the Twin Cities area. He believes this helps participants become better people and employees. The Handels are also supporters of higher education. Kent served as chair of the board of trustees at Viterbo University and Briar Cliff University. He remains an active member of the Viterbo board of trustees. He says higher education is about much more than academics. It is crucial to the development of the whole person.

The awards will be presented at a banquet and ceremony held on campus Wednesday, June 19.

The Saint John XXIII Award is the highest non-academic award bestowed by Viterbo University. Recipients are chosen on the basis of contributions in one or several of the following categories: education, business, philanthropy, peace and justice, and religious life.

External Link: 

Leadership at Noon Series to Feature LeaderEthics-Wisconsin Founder and Director Lee Rasch Tomorrow

June 18, 2019

Lee Rasch, founder and executive director of LeaderEthics-Wisconsin, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization committed to promoting ethical leadership among elected officials, will conclude the Viterbo University Leadership at Noon Series for the academic year Tuesday, April 16 in the Reinhart Center Board Room.

LeaderEthics-Wisconsin promotes following the Four Key Principles of Ethical Leadership. Ethical leaders are honest and truthful, transparent with public information, unifiers rather than dividers, and willing to represent the collective interests of their constituency.

Rasch served as president of Western Technical College from 1989–2017. Throughout his career, he has actively promoted leadership development, continuous improvement, economic development and sustainability at the national, statewide, and local levels. Rasch was also chair of the Legislative Committee for the Wisconsin Technical College System for more than 15 years. He has a doctorate in higher education administration from Illinois State University.

All Leadership at Noon series events are held from noon–1 p.m. in the Reinhart Center and are free and open to the public. Audience members are welcome to bring their own lunch or purchase a boxed lunch for $5. The Leadership at Noon series is sponsored by the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership and the Dahl School of Business at Viterbo University. For a complete schedule of Ethics Institute events, visit

External Link: 

VU Today Dec. 3

June 18, 2019

Monday, Dec. 3


9–11 a.m. Enactus Cookie Jars Sale – Brophy Center Commons. $8 each. While supplies last.


9:30 a.m. Timecards are due in the Payroll Office – Murphy Center 201


12:15 p.m. Mass – San Damiano Chapel


4:15 p.m. Christmas Crèche Blessing - Fine Arts Center Atrium


5 p.m. Supper and Scripture – Brophy Center 123. Join Campus Ministry for a time of fellowship, prayer, and reflection of the Gospel reading for the following Sunday. A meal is provided.


5:30–6:30 p.m. Mindfulness Mondays – School of Nursing Building 104. Learn about mindfulness and how to incorporate the skills into your life. Come at any time. Snacks are provided.


The Viterbo community is invited to an open house of the new engineering lab in Reinhart Center 233 Wednesday, Dec. 5 from 12:30–1:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to come and walk through the lab. Engineering students will be there to provide information. Holiday cookies and punch will be available.


Need to stay in your campus housing over winter break? Fill out this form to request approval. Contact Student Life with any questions at 608-769-3116.


RA/PA Applications are now available for the 2019–20 academic year. Interested in building community and making a difference? Apply to be a Resident Assistant or Peer Advisor. Benefits include a single room and a 15 meals-per-week meal plan. For more information or to apply, pick up an application in the Office of Student Life or click here.


Viterbo community members are invited to go Christmas Caroling at local long-term care facilities at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4. RSVP via the Viterbo app and meet in the School of Nursing Building Lobby that evening. RSVPs are needed by at least 10 people.


Do you eat cereal? Save your empty cereal boxes and drop off flattened boxes at Murphy Center 377. Check out this quick video to see how your cereal boxes help to employee Haitian artisans and provide for their families. For more information, contact Taylor Corbett at

Viterbo University Launches New Center for Professional Learning and Development

June 18, 2019

Sept. 18, 2018

Nicole Van Ert at 608-796-3616 or


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Viterbo University announces the creation of the Center for Professional Learning and Development, which will partner with regional businesses to create leadership development programs designed specifically to meet the business’ unique needs. These programs will be facilitated by university faculty and area business executives.

Center for Professional Learning and Development programming will focus on energizing employees and building effective leaders to create strong organizations through engaging, hands-on courses, mentoring and coaching, and facilitated training. 

“We are excited to partner with regional organizations to provide customized programming for businesses,” said Viterbo University President Glena Temple. “The mission of the Center aligns perfectly with our goal of creating more strong community partnerships, which in turn generates more opportunities in the greater La Crosse area.”

During the past five years, Viterbo University’s College of Business and Leadership has provided leadership development programming to more than 30 organizations in the region.

“Like many companies, we value our unique culture and it is important for us to find the right fit when it comes to leadership development programs,” said Katie Rezin, Mathy Construction Company vice president of public affairs. “The faculty at Viterbo took the time and interest to understand our company and worked with us to design a customized leadership development program. The final product is a program that includes all of the successful elements of the Viterbo Servant Leadership curriculum, and one that complements our company’s core values at the same time.”

The Center for Professional Learning and Development will now build upon and formalize these offerings. The Center is designed to serve the external community (executive education), students (undergraduate student leadership development program), and the internal university community (faculty and staff). The program priorities as it relates to executive education includes leadership development, stress, wellness and resiliency, and strategic planning.

“Employees and organizations want to prosper and thrive,” said Nicole Van Ert, director of the Viterbo Center for Professional Learning and Development. “As Viterbo looks to the future and for additional ways to serve the community, the intention is to transform and enhance leaders to deliver results.”

For more information, contact Nicole Van Ert, at 608-796-3616 or or visit