Faculty AchievementsPage address: http://www.mnsu.edu/andreas/faculty.html
John Paul earned his MFA from the University of Minnesota and served most recently on the faculty of Northwestern College in Orange City, IA. He was technical director at the Cricket Theatre in Minneapolis and spent five years working at Scenery West, a popular scenic design company in Hollywood. His resume includes award-winning theatrical design credits, collaboration with Oscar award-winning artists, and work on seven feature films—including assistant art director for "Fargo" and "Grumpier Old Men," and set designer for "Jingle All the Way," "The Cure" and "Feeling Minnesota." He completed some of his education at Minnesota State Mankato and returned for the scenic design for Show Boat in Highland Summer Theatre 2004.
Ellen M. Mrja
Having joined the Department of Mass Media in 1978, she is the senior member of the faculty.
Personal quote: "But I am an eager and progressive learner when it comes to the internet and its applications to news and the practice of ethical corporate public relations. I have been teaching a course I created called Writing for Digital Multimedia since 2007. And through it, I have successfully helped hundreds of our majors make an early digital transfer in their studies and careers. But I wanted to convert this course into an online offering, so that other students studying off-campus or out-of-town could benefit from its content."
"Thanks to the Andreas Grant, I was able to spend the summer doing just that. In fact, I learned so much about online methods of pedagog and assessment that I have also begun to create an online version of our Public Relations Principles course, which will be taught in the fall. I am extremely grateful to have been given this chance to produce my two academic projects. All of us in the College of Arts and Humanities are indebted to the Andreas family for its support."
As an educator, I conduct my instruction through rigorous readings, focused discussion, and interactive lecture. I focus on the importance of praxis (both theory and practice) in teaching intercultural communication. My goal is not to teach a set of predetermined skills for effective communication, but to provide my students with opportunities to explore, reflect, and experiment with the challenges and rewards of intercultural communication. I emphasize critical and reflexive thinking as well as student leadership in shaping the classroom learning.
In my research, I theorize the experiences of human communication through cultural and phenomenological perspectives. My primary focus is to expand the critical inquiry on the "politics of difference" to the "genesis of differences." I am interested not only in the structure of power relations that shape human communication, but also where and how differences come to matter in lived social realities and identities. My theorizing is largely informed by phenomenology, poststructuralism, critical theories, feminist theories, critical race theory, and globalization studies.
Julie Kerr-Berry is a Professor and Dance Program Director at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her writing focuses on critical pedagogy in dance education and its relationship to race, class, and gender. She has presented her research at many conferences across the United. States. In the early 1990s, she devised a self-study, which led her to Nigeria. Later she was a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to study dance in Indonesia. In the fall of 2010, she was awarded an Outstanding Leadership Award in dance education from National Dance Education Organization. Read More . . .
Todd Shanafelt received his BA in Visual Arts and French from the University of Colorado in 1997. He received his MFA in Art - Ceramics at Kansas State University in 2002 and has since been teaching courses in ceramics and mixed media at MSU-Mankato. Todd exhibits his work locally, nationally and internationally.
Another part of the Andreas Endowment was a trip that I took to El Vendrell, Spain for a 3 person exhibition (Simcha Even-Chen, Israel; Monique Wuarin, Switzerland; and myself) I was invited to participate in. I have attached a few images of the exhibition reception. Read More . . .
Marshel Rossow has taught at MSU since 1984 and has earned tenure and the rank of professor. He received an undergraduate degree in technical journalism, a master's in journalism and mass communication from Iowa State University, and a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Before joining the MSU faculty, he spent three years as a reporter, photographer and editor at the Fort Dodge (Iowa) Messenger and 12 years as an editor at the Waterloo (Iowa) Courier. At MSU, he teaches introductory mass comm courses as well as basic and advanced reporting, editing, and layout and design. He served as department chair for more than 10 years.
Personal quote:“Using the War Theme to Target Young Consumers: Advertising to Children in World War II, involved an examination of techniques used by advertisers in the World War II era (1939-1945) to incorporate a war theme or angle into advertising aimed at children or in ads for children's products. I collected more than 130 ads and broke them down into six predominant themes, ranging from purely patriotic to purely odd."
Dr. Melissa Purdue is teaching Introduction to Prose Literature (ENG 113), Introduction to Literary Studies (ENG 275), and British Literature (ENG 609) this fall and next spring she will be teaching British Literature (ENG 321), Introduction to Literary Studies (ENG 275), and a Seminar on World Literature (ENG 635). Melissa has taught courses in composition, business writing, women’s studies, the British literature survey, and post-colonial British literature.
Melissa is also the co-founder and editor of the journal Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies. Her teaching and research specialties include British literature, post-colonial literature and theory, and women's studies.
"I used the grant money to work on a book that is still in progress: Motherhood in Fin de Siècle Colonial Contexts. I travelled to London to conduct research at the British Library and the Fawcett Women’s Library. Although the book is not yet finished, the research trip did result in an article publication: “‘That’s what children are—naught but leg-ropes’: Motherhood in Rosa Praed’s Mrs. Tregaskiss.” Imagining Victorian Settler Homes: Antipodal Domestic Fiction. Ed. Tamara Wagner. Pickering & Chatto. Forthcoming 2014.
PhD World Cultures & Languages
Greg Taylor, assistant professor of Spanish, joined the Modern Language faculty in the fall of 2006. He had previously taught at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. Dr. Taylor received his Ph.D. in second language acquisitionand instructional technology from the University of South Florida in Tampa.His research interests include foreign language teaching and learning, and sociolinguistics, in particular, speech act theory. He recently published an article on the effects of elementary school foreign language instruction on overall scholastic achievement, which will appear in the spring volume of the journal Learning Languages.
MFA Theatre and Dance
Prepared for his work on the musical Rent by taking two classes (in Texas). One class on WYSWYG computer applications and one class on moving lights.
Personal Quote: "It is very difficult to keep up with the ever changing technology used in the field of lighting design. The Andreas Endowment allowed me to get factory certified in repairing moving lights as well as training in software used for creating three dimensional virtual lighting." Read more . . .
Geoff Herbach is the author of the award winning Stupid Fast Young Adult series. His books have been given the 2011 Cybils Award for best YA novel, selected for the Junior Library Guild, listed in the year’s best by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Association and many state library associations. In the past, he wrote the literary novel, The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg, produced radio comedy shows and toured rock clubs telling weird stories.
"I received an Andreas in 2011. I finished Nothing Special (that's the book that won the Minnesota Book Award) and began I'm With Stupid that summer. I thanked Andreas in the acknowledgements in the latter book" . Geoff teaches creative writing at Minnesota State, Mankato. Read more . . .
A former print journalist and freelance web designer, Dr. Lauters is the editor and author of two books and numerous articles,
She received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, a master's degree in mass communications from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a doctorate in mass communication with an emphasis in history and American Studies at the University of Minnesota.She taught at Wichita State University for two years before joining the MSU faculty in 2008. She was also the program director for WSU’s TRIO Communication Upward Bound. Read More . . .
Nadja Krämer studied at Goethe University/Frankfurt, received her M.A. in German and American Studies at SUNY Buffalo and her Ph.D. from Indiana University, Bloomington focusing on the German colonial imagination and national identity through the construction of colonial space. Her research centers on issues of race and identity as well as minority and popular culture. She is interested in film studies, urban studies and the practice of place. Before arriving at MSU, she taught German and German Studies at Carleton College.
Andreas Project: The Andreas Award supported research regarding a book-length project regarding fascism and "völkisch" concepts of urban planning of the early 20th century.
Personal quote: “In general, I do appreciate the support that the Andreas family and their Andreas Grants have lent to the Arts and Humanities. For me, the Andreas Grant has helped to lay the foundation for my book-length project on urban planning and fascism – without it, I could not have pursued this project in its current length and depth.”
Deepa Oommen received her MA in Communication from Morehead State University, Kentucky and her PhD from Bowling Green State University, Ohio. Her research focuses on intercultural and organizational communication. In the area of intercultural communication, she looks at the influence of factors associated with cultural adaptation (e.g. mental well-being, identities, etc) on predispositions towards performing certain communicative behaviors (e.g. conflict management behaviors and general intercultural interactions). In the area of organizational communication, she applies intercultural communication theories and concepts in understanding intercultural interactions in the organizational context.
Andreas Project: Her Andreas grant project explored the influence of social identification with religion on the perception of the quality of superior-subordinate relationships. Read more . . .
Dr. Germundson studied the relationship between 'Dada' and its 'Neo-Dada' offshoots in the early 1960's." He compared "relevant" works and statements by collage artist Kurt Schwitters with works and texts coming from the Fluxus group, formed in 1962 by George Maciunas." He conducted research at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles and visited the Kurt Schwitters exhibition in Berkeley.
My research is a mix of intercollegiate forensics, rhetoric, and, well … whatever questions I find compelling and need exploring. I have worked in recent years to involve graduate students and faculty colleagues in my research efforts. My latest accomplishment is a co-authored book, Religious misperception: The case of Muslims and Christians in France and Britain, with Dr. Stephen Croucher, a former graduate student in our department and now a professor at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. I have produced, to date, two books, two book chapters, more than 30 journal articles, and dozens of conference presentations.
Andreas Project: Completion of the book Religious Misperception: The Case of Muslims and Christians in France and Britain with Dr. Stephen Croucher
The situation facing Muslims currently living as a minority faith in Christian dominant populations is an increasingly important political issue. Various scholars have addressed the political issue involving the numerous idiosyncrasies of cultural, religious and political accommodation of Muslims in the United States and Western Europe. The book provides an extensive review of relevant scholarly works. The book specifically addresses two Western European nations and how each is attempting to deal with an ever-growing Muslim population, and how their Muslim populations are perceived. Croucher and Cronn-Mills explore issues pertaining to the integration of Muslims into British and French society including how self-identified Muslims integrate on social, cultural and political levels with their nation of residence, their level of religious identification with Islam, how Muslims perceive their integration into Europe in general, and the differences and similarities between Muslim and non-Muslim communication traits. Croucher and Cronn-Mills have five arguments supporting the book. (1) Islam is the fastest growing religion in Europe and many of its adherents are the largest immigrant group in Europe; (2) Islam has, is and continues to have a significant influence on European politics, economics, and European culture; (3) Islamophobia has increased and gone through a metamorphosis and the analysis provides insight to better counter its detrimental effects; (4) examining Islam in Europe, how Christian-oriented states are responding, and presenting the voices of Muslims and Christians provides an opportunity to build mutual understanding between individuals of different faiths; (5) intercultural communication identifies links between an individual’s religious beliefs/practices and their communicative acts/traits.
Paul Finocchiaro is a graduate of the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where he recieved a Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre Performance/Acting. Paul received his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the Boston Conservatory in his home town. Paul had a seventeen-year career in musical theatre before joining the faculty of MSU. His professional credits include National tours of West Side Story, Gypsy, the original cast of Ziegfeld, A Night at the Follies, and the European tour of The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Regional credits include Jesus Christ Superstar, Nine, Guys and Dolls, EFX, Sweeney Todd, Annie Get Your Gun,and a three-year run of Starlight Express in Las Vegas playing ten roles. He has had the great fortune to work with Michael Crawford, David and Patrick Cassidy, Sheena Easton and many other stars.
Personal quote: This grant allowed me to grow in so many ways. It sparked my interest in research exponentially.
Professor Gina Mumma Wenger comes from the Department of Art. She began her career 23 years ago as a K-12 art teacher in Southern Indiana. During her tenure she worked as a North Central Accreditation team member, a curriculum revision specialist, and a technology integration trainer for the state. She was also selected by the National Endowment for the Arts as an arts-based assessment trainer for the Council of Chief State School Officers. Completing her MA at Miami University, she decided to continue her interests in research and student assessment at Penn State University where she completed a Ph.D. in Art Education and Women’s Studies, focusing in Feminist Pedagogy.
Andreas Project: Through the Andreas Endowment I was able to take two months and focus my attentions on the photo-documentation of the Japanese American Internment Camps as they stand today.
Personal quote: "The experience has led to a body of work I am very proud of and I am able to share with the community. It has been a tremendously rewarding opportunity." Read more . . .
Evan Bibbee is committed to maintaining the quality and longevity of Minnesota State Mankato’s Summer Study in France Program. He is a tireless advocate for the French program abroad and continues to work closely with students to ensure their success abroad. Bibbee has also contributed to the work of the International Programs Advisory Council.
Pianist David Viscoli has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician in the United States, Canada, Europe, Central America, and Asia. Performances of note include guest artist recitals at the National Theatre in Panama City, Panama, the National University of Arts and the Japanese Embassy in Taiwan, Chung-Ang University in Korea, and the Palais Corbelli in Vienna, Austria. He is currently a member of the Chiarina Piano Quartet and the Kasota Piano Trio. In addition, he has performed with principal members of the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He recently received the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Personal Quote: I was very grateful to receive the Andreas Summer Creative Grant in the summer of 2012. My proposal was to prepare a chamber music quartet program for an upcoming season with the Chiarina Piano Quartet. The Chiarina Piano Quartet is a group of musicians from Minnesota and Ohio. After preparing the program, we performed at The Ohio State University, Columbus and Mansfield, Augsburg College in Minneapolis, at Minnesota State University, Mankato, the Owatonna Arts Center, and at the Upper Midwest String and Chamber Music Conference in Saint Joseph, Minnesota. On the program, we performed master works by Beethoven, Brahms, and Hoiby.
PhD World Languages and Culture
Brian Frink Since arriving at MSU in 1989, Brian Frink has received numerous regional and national awards for his paintings and drawings, which have been exhibited throughout the country. He is a hugely prolific artist with a seemingly inexhaustible amount of energy. His extensive exhibition record includes over sixty exhibitions at prominent institutions such as the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Rochester Art Center; University of Kentucky, Bowling Green; University of Texas, Dallas; and the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, to name only a few. Read More . .
Mission Statements: Comparing Official and Personal Stories of a World War II Flyboy’s Combat Experiences,” was an analysis of writings related to the air missions and death of a U.S. Army Air Force sergeant who was a gunner in a B-17 bomber during the height of the Allied bombing campaign against Germany in World War II. The main purpose of the research was to better understand the interrelations of personal writing and news reports related to the Allied bombing campaign in Europe during World War II.
Personal quote: "Because of the Andreas grant, I finally had the time and resources to pursue an important research topic that had been on my mind for years. I'm deeply grateful."
David McCarl has been a member of the Department of Theatre and Dance at MSU since the fall of 1985, teaching classes in costume design and history, makeup and stage combat. He has currently researched and designed costumes for over 200 productions to date, more than 130 of them at MSU.
Gretchen (Haas) Perbix
Dr Perbix has been teaching in the English department since 2010. One of the projects she proposed involved interviewing end users to understand their experiences throughout the implementation of a $50 million financial system. By understanding their experiences, she hoped to understand what organizations could do to make system implementations easier for their end users. She also wanted to explore the influence that technological systems have on identity and anticipated that self-identity shifts would occur as system experts were forced to become new system novices.
Personal quote: “Analyzing and Documenting the Results of the Project ‘Implications of a New Financial Systems Implementation: Self Identity and User Experience. Toward the end of 2008, I applied for and was awarded the Nadine B. Andreas Research Faculty Grant, which would support my work on the project over the summer. During the spring semester, I began transcribing the 54 hours of interviews I had recorded."
Though the award period covered eight weeks, she spent the entire summer working on this project, as the award freed her from teaching or consultation work. Over the summer, she finished transcribing the recordings and began analyzing them using NVivo, a qualitative analysis software program. During the summer, she also began developing a draft of a manuscript and a report to the project’s sponsor.
"I received the Andreas during the summer of 2009 and presented the research at the Rhetoric Society of America conference in May 2010. (“Understanding End Users’ Experiences in System Implementations through the Concept of Identification.” Rhetoric Society of America Conference. Minneapolis, MN: May 2010.) I am immensely grateful to the Andreas family for its support that enabled me to spend an extended period of time immersed in this project. "
PhD Communication Studies
Kristen Eis Cvancara (Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 2004) researches the use of verbal aggression in interpersonal relationships. Her Andreas project was titled “Speed and Intensity: Antisocial Levers Used to Gain Compliance in Romantic Relationships.” She has published work in the Journal of Family Communication and Personal Relationships. Her areas of expertise include interpersonal communication and social influence. As a Fulbright Scholar in Finland (2012), she extended her work in these areas by studied sibling communication patterns and bullying behavior in schools. She is currently pursuing research that investigates the use of verbal aggression in sibling relationships across the lifespan.
Nadine B Andreas Research Faculty Grant – Summer 2008
Recipient: Kristen Cvancara
Project title: “Speed and Intensity: Antisocial Levers used to Gain Compliance in Romantic Relationships”
This project investigates how the intensity and speed at which an individual uses antisocial messages to gain compliance from a resistant romantic partner differs when pursuing emotional versus physical intimacy goals. Results from the project suggest intimacy goals that involve more implicit norms may be associated with more intense antisocial messages that accelerate more quickly in interactions involving partner resistance to a request.
Evolution of project(s):
Summer 2008 – completed grant work
Oct 2009 – Public presentation to MSU community, CMST Department Colloquium Series
Nov 2010 – Paper was accepted for presentation at the National Communication Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA
2011-12 – submitted for publication review (in a nationally ranked journal), rejected with comments to simplify the study and clarify methodology
Current status of project:
2012-13 – paper has been divided into two different manuscripts, both are currently in-progress, to be submitted for review again by May 2013.
Dr. Paul J. Hustoles is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at Minnesota State University, Mankato where he has also been Artistic Director of Highland Summer Theatre since 1985. He earned his BFA from Wayne State University, his MA from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. from Texas Tech University.
Personal quote : "The Andreas Endowment has made, and continues to make, an astonishing impact on the creation of our productions. The grant was used for my work on Miss Saigon as it allowed me to research the entire production and to specifically construct the 'Bui Doi' visual segment used in the production. This past spring, I was able to bring back a wonderful professional actor, Jared Oxborough, who happened to also be a graduate of our program, to play the leading role in The Phantom of the Opera. Not only did he inspire our students, but he inspired me to see how our training had allowed him to grow and flourish over the years. It was a thrill to work with him again and to share his artistry with both our students and our audience."
Read more . . .
Constructing a Reality: Newspaper Coverage of Native American Events,” explored how various mainstream and Native American tribal newspapers reported two protest events involving Native American challenges to the mainstream culture—the takeover of the Bureau of Indian Affairs office in Washington, D.C., in November 1972 and the 71-day occupation of the village of Wounded Knee, S.D., in early 1973. For example, the “Navajo Times” and “Cherokee One Feather” provided extensive coverage of the occupation of the BIA building in Washington, D.C., (considered a national event by Native Americans) but provided a few random news articles covering the takeover of Wounded Knee (considered a reservation/local event). Several paper and panel presentations based on these findings have been presented at both national and regional conferences. Read more . . .
David received his MFA in Photography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He teaches all levels of photography at Minnesota State University-Mankato. His interests in Southern Minnesota include small town celebrations, parades, threshing shows, county fairs, and the physical and cultural changes occurring on rural main streets. In 1995, David worked with the Minnesota Lake Area Historical Society on a project, Paper Stories, that was given a national award in conjunction with the Minnesota State Historical Society. The project documented the lives of people living in Minnesota Lake, MN. David has also worked with Minnesota's Machinery Museum in Hanley Falls, the Watonwan County Historical Society, the Waseca County Historical Society, and Waseca Arts Center to document the lives of people living in Yellow Medicine County, Watonwan County, and Waseca County. Raised in California, David continues to work on a long term photography project about the Southern California lifestyle and stereotypes on display at California malls, swap meets, and beach cities.
Personal quote: (to enter) "The Andreas Endowment has made it possible for me to develop new ways of making large scale photographic images. What I have learned has made me a more effective teacher, and the images created will contribute to the permanent record of Minnesota during the Sesquicentennial year."
Maria Claudia Tomany
PhD World Languages and Culture
Maria-Claudia was an associate professor in Scandinavian Studies when she was awarded the Andreas. Her main interests are in medieval studies and the study of medievalisms (post-medieval interpretations and representations of cultural practices and artifacts from the Middle Ages). Maria-Claudia received her department's first Nadine B. Andreas Creative or Research Faculty Grant to work on a research project about Orkneyinga saga, a Norse saga about the Vikings in the British Isles, especially in Orkney and Shetland. She is currently working on her second book about this topic.
Dr. Aloisio is a musical "jack of all trades". From orchestral, jazz, and studio trombonist and salsa band leader, to creator and presenter of programs for senior citizens, he has long specialized in making music come alive for people of all types, backgrounds, and age groups. General Education music classes remain his first love and primary area of expertise. Dr. Aloisio teaches all of the Music Department offerings for non-majors, including Introduction to Music, Pop Music U.S.A., and Music of the World. Nearly 60% of M.S.U. students take at least one class with Dr. Aloisio before they graduate. Dr. Aloisio is a well respected and "in demand" professional trombonist having performed with numerous professional orchestras and artists ranging from Sarah Vaughan, Marvin Hamlisch and Johnny Mathis to The Four Tops and Frankie Valli. Professor Aloisio received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Trombone performance from The College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. All trombone, tuba, and euphonium students, at the undergraduate and graduate levels, study privately with Dr. Aloisio.
Archival research for my project, called “‘It’s the original that counts’: Political and Gender Instability in An American in Paris,” was supported by the Nadine B. Andreas Research Grant. The grant allowed me to travel to Los Angeles, where I worked in the MGM archives at the University of Southern California and at the Margaret Herrick Library at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. My essay demonstrates how the film’s representation of gender roles reflects its engagement with the politics of the early Cold War period. Portions of the research that I conducted with the support of this grant also appeared in an encyclopedia entry I wrote on this film for Movies in American History: An Encyclopedia (2011).