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Victoria Marie Mikelonis

Victoria Marie Mikelonis, St. Paul, Minnesota, died Tuesday, August 14th, 2007, at 60 years of age. Born in Dubois, Pennsylvania, she was the daughter of the late Anthony J. and Victoria Baranowski Mikelonis.

Professor Mikelonis received her Ph.D. in Language and Literature from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1975. After teaching at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Michigan, she joined the University of Minnesota’s Department of Rhetoric as a faculty member in 1980. Most recently Professor Mikelonis was the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Bachelor of Science in Scientific and Technical Communication degree. She taught courses in international and intercultural communication, grant proposal writing, technical writing, and metaphor and schema theory. A popular and respected scholar and teacher, both in the department and across the University, Professor Mikelonis’s classes were always filled to capacity. Her research focused on the challenges of intercultural communication in a digital age; she spearheaded national institutes on technical communication. Professor Mikelonis is the author of numerous publications, including the book Grant Seeking in an Electronic Age.

Involved in funded research, she wrote grant proposals funded by the United States Agency for International Development for the Environmental Training Program and for the Center for Nations in Transition at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs. These proposals led to her many trips to Central and Eastern Europe, where she developed training materials and taught in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Ukraine. Above all, Professor Mikelonis mentored countless numbers of colleagues and students across the profession, always working to meet and exceed the need at hand. Her “can do? spirit was contagious, and her friendship will be greatly missed.

She is survived by two sons, Anthony Jamil Mikelonis and Theodore Samar Mikelonis, both of St. Paul, Minnesota; two brothers, Eugene C. Mikelonis of Liberty Township, Ohio, and Robert J. Mikelonis of Erie, Pennsylvania; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by a brother, Albert Mikelonis. A Mass of Christian Burial was held Saturday, August 18th at Saint Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church in Dubois, Pennsylvania. A Memorial Mass will be held at 5 p.m. Friday, August 24th, at the Church of St. Andrew, 1051 Como Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota. The Rev. Fr. Patrick Ryan officiating. A reception in the church hall will follow immediately after the mass.

Memorial donations may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice or to the Victoria Mikelonis Undergraduate Memorial Fund in Scientific and Technical Communication. Checks should be made out to the University of MN Foundation (V. Mikelonis Undergraduate Memorial Fund in the memo line) and mailed to the University of Minnesota, Dept. of Writing Studies, 180 Wesbrook Hall, 77 Pleasant St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455.