Winter 2015


During the past semester, international students had several opportunities allowing them to share their knowledge and experiences with both undergraduate and graduate education classes.  Eman Almubarak (Saudi Arabia), Wanyu Wang (China), Anudeep Belkeri (India) and Michael Nome (Nigeria) met with students in Elizabeth Donahue’s ED 250 K-12 Diversity course.  Through a question and answer session regarding culture and foreign educational practices, SMU’s future teachers were presented with firsthand knowledge related to the development of culturally responsive teaching practices.  In addition, Jan Dimmitt-Olson’s EDUC 585 Advanced Literacy students spent time in several of the De La Salle Language Institute’s ESL courses. According to Dimmitt-Olson, “We have many ELL standards in the course and the Language Institute allows us to see the stages of language acquisition and the effective instructional methods used to support the varied stages.”


Take a glance at where international students have been this semester!

The International Center kicked of the fall semester of 2015 by inviting its students to the Fall Picnic where international students munched on hamburgers, hotdogs, and, of course, desserts. In August, in order to enjoy a uniquely American tradition, international students zoomed over to the Minnesota State Fair.  When the leaves began to fall, international students shopped until they dropped at the Mall of America and later screamed with fright as they took a walk through Saint Mary’s Walk of Horror. As the cold began to set in for winter, international students listened, sang and danced to music performed at Blue Angel and also found time to cheer SMU's Men’s Hockey team to victory. To celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, international students attended the International Center’s annual Thanksgiving lunch where they toasted to new and old friendships. In anticipation of winter break, international students took a trolley ride through Winona to see its neighborhoods decorated with millions of twinkling Christmas lights.


Did you know? Quick facts about international students.

• English as A Second Language (ESL) students must take a minimum of 20 credits per semester to maintain lawful F-1 student visa status.

• Undergraduate (including English Language Bridge ELB) students must take a minimum of 12 credits per semester to maintain lawful F-1 student visa status except in the last semester prior to commencement.

• SGPP students attending TC or Winona campus must take a minimum of 6 credits per semester to maintain lawful F-1 student visa status except in the last semester prior to commencement.


• Abdulelah Saleh M. Alsanouna from Saudi Arabia is doing a clinical year internship at Evanston Hospital in Evanston, Illinois after finishing a BA in Biology Pre-Nuclear Med Tech at SMU last May.  At the conclusion of the internship, Abdulelah will receive a BA in Biology Nuclear Medicine Technology.

• Marta Aleszewicz from Poland is working on her post year Optional Practical Training (OPT) at Barclays in New York after finishing a double major in Math and Computer Science at SMU last May.

Customs and Culture Class Potluck

As part of the food unit in the ESL Customs and Culture class this semester, the students prepared a few ethnic dishes from their countries to share.  The “potluck” was on Monday, October 26 at 4:00 PM. Fortunately, the students who love to cook remembered to pack special culinary spices in their suitcases when preparing to come to the United States to study.   Here are just some of the foods students enjoyed: Butter Chicken, Chili Chicken, Nan, Double-Ka-Meetha, and lentil soup.  Thanks to all who participated!


Eman Alumubarak

About thirty years ago, a young man from Saudi Arabia by the name of Hashem came to the United States to study and play soccer.  While in the United States, he had many wonderful experiences.  Now, fast forward to 2015, and Hashem, his wife and his children are living in Winona, Minnesota.  One of his daughters, Eman Almubarak, is finishing her first semester as an ESL student at SMU.  She also has a brother attending WSU, another brother at Cotter High School and a younger sister at a local pre-school.

Eman’s undergraduate degree is in marketing, and her goal is to obtain a master’s degree in a business-related field.  With a degree from the U.S., she will have more job opportunities in her home country of Saudi Arabia.  Eman has enjoyed all of the activities in which she has participated this semester such as face painting for Halloween, shopping at the MOA on Black Friday and volunteering with other SMU students.  In her free time, Eman enjoys using her graphic design talents.

When asked what has been difficult about the semester, Eman replied that she is not always sure how to respond to an English request. However, that is getting much easier for her.  In addition, she misses her grandma very much and would love to have her here in Winona with the family.

Thanks, Eman, for joining our St. Mary’s DeLaSalle “family."  We are so fortunate to have you here this year.



As we all prepare for the holiday season in the next several weeks, let’s not forget that the Chinese New Year will be here on February 2, 2016, shortly after we begin our second semester.  It will be the year of the monkey, so those of you born in 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, or 2004 can expect to have a very good year!  However, not all hope is lost for those of us who are not lucky enough to be monkeys:  we can make our own lucky Chinese dumplings.


Chinese Dumplings 饺子 Jiǎozi /jyaoww-dzrr/


Dumplings have been a big part of Chinese culture for over 1,800 years, and they are especially important during the Chinese New Year celebration because a legend states that the more you eat, the more money you can make in the New Year.  They are shaped like boats and may contain many different fillings (minced pork, diced shrimp, ground chicken, beef, and vegetables), but to make them lucky do the following:

• Make a lot of pleats because a flat seam predicts poverty.

• Put a white thread in a dumpling for longevity or a copper coin in for wealth—but be careful that the person who gets them doesn’t choke on them.

• Arrange them in a line on the plate because a circle indicates one’s life will go around in circles.

And now for the recipe:


Rickshaw Dumplings
Adapted from Kenny Lao
makes about 80 dumplings, depending on wrappers used

1/2 head of Napa cabbage
1 tablespoon salt
1 pound fresh ground turkey or other ground meat
1 bunch scallion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons minced ginger
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
2 eggs, beaten

2 packets round dumpling wrappers (most brands have 30-45 wrappers per package)

vegetable oil for frying


For the dipping sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sriracha or other hot chili sauce


Cut the cabbage crosswise into thin strips. Toss in a large bowl with salt in a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. Take handfuls and wring out the moisture. Dump out any remaining water in the bowl. Combine the cabbage with the turkey, scallion, cilantro, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, pepper and eggs. Mix well with a large spoon or, preferably, your clean hands.

Set yourself up in a spacious work area with the dumpling wrappers, a little bowl of water and a large cutting board or cookie sheet. Grab a helper or two. Lay out a dozen or so dumpling wrappers. Place about 1 tablespoon filling in the center of each wrapper. Dip your fingertip in the water and trace the outside edge of the wrapper with water. Fold the wrapper over to make a half circle and make a pleat at the top of the curve. Pinch in the sides then lift up the edges to meet the center, creating a pouch. Pinch the top together and bend out the sides slightly to curve.

Heat a skillet over high until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon oil (a little less if using a non-stick pan) and coat the sides. Place enough dumplings in a single layer to line the pan, then stand back and carefully pour in a 1/2 cup of water (enough to immerse the dumplings by 1/2-inch.) Cover and cook until the water is absorbed.

Holding the pan with a hot pad, place a large plate or platter as a cover on the pan and invert. Scrape the dumpling out with a spatula (careful of non-stick surfaces.)

Repeat with the remaining dumplings.

To make the dipping sauce, combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

Serve dumplings hot with the dipping sauce.

Sources:  The and China