shortcut to content

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Student Recipients

Page address: http://www.mnsu.edu/andreas/students.html

Andreas Endowment Selected Student Recipients 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

2013
linr

Matthew Caron
Theatre and Dance

CaronMatthew Caron is a second-year MFA Directing candidate in the Department of Theatre and Dance from Mankato who earned his BS in Theatre Arts from Minnesota State Mankato in 1998, and his MA in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin- Superior in 2001. He recently directed the plays Sky Girls and A Plague of Angels in the Andreas Theatre. In January of 2013 he won 1st place in the Regional Dramaturgy Competition at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival with his Sky Girls project, and 2nd place in the Regional Costume Design competition. He was awarded the Andreas Teaching Assistant Scholarship for the 2013-14 academic year. Prior to coming back for his graduate studies, he worked in the theatre department at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, where he directed Blood Wedding, And Then They Came for Me… and Romeo and Juliet, among others. He currently lives near St. Clair with his wife and three children.

Personal quote: " The Andreas Teaching Scholarship has enabled me to gain more experience in my field by providing the opportunity to teach both Fundamentals of Directing and Play Analysis courses."

linr

Wilson Bohada Pacheco
World Languages & Cultures

Teaching Assistant in Spanish

linr

Chris Outzen
Communication Studies

outzenChris graduated in Spring 2011 from the University of Northern Iowa with his BA degree in Communication Studies. His undergraduate honors thesis focused on apologia trends among political figures. During his time at UNI, he competed on the Individual Events speech team, specializing in platform address. He was twice a participant in the Interstate Oratory Association national competition and was a quarterfinalist in After Dinner Speaking at the 2011 American Forensics Association national tournament. Although pursuing his MFA-Forensics, Chris' other interests include critical/rhetorical studies and gender in communication.

 

 

linr

Angela Duryee
MFA English

ADuryeeAngela Duryee is a native of southern Minnesota and is in her third year of the Creative Writing MFA program at MSU, Mankato. She is the author of a filing cabinet-full of unpublished works, mostly in creative nonfiction, but hopes to need a storage area for the published ones in the near future. Thanks to the Andreas Graduate Assistantship, she teaches English composition and creative writing at MSU, Mankato.

 

 

 

2012
linr

Robert Krueger
MFA Theatre and Dance

kruegerReceived my BS in Theatre from MSU Mankato as well, graduating in 2010. My expected graduation date is Summer 2013. Undergraduate Degree from MnSU (BS Generalist in Theatre Arts) 2010, expected graduation 2013 with a concentration in Acting.

 

 

 

linr

Justin Helmley
Communication Studies

helmsleyJustin received his BA in English with a minor Diplomacy and International Relations from Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ. He competed for three years for Seton Hall’s forensics team, where he qualified for AFA each year in all five interpretation events. He was a quarterfinalist in Prose and Poetry at the 2009 NFA National Tournament, and placed 2nd in Dramatic Interpretation at the 2010 AFA-NIET.

 

 

linr

Megan Vasatka
World Languages & Cultures

MVasatkaMegan is the new Spanish teacher at Bancroft Elementary School. Before coming to Bancroft, she taught K-2 Spanish at Osceola Elementary School in Osceola, WI and Spanish 101 and 102 at Minnesota State University, Mankato where she recently completed my Master's degree in Spanish. Her Bachelor's degree is from St. Catherine University where she majored in Spanish, Critical Studies of Race and Ethnicity, and Education.

 

 

linr

Angela Mullen (Mason)
MFA English

AMUllenA native of Iowa, Angela Mason received her BA in English from the University of Iowa in 2005. She was a co-organizer of the More Than Writing Conference and Book Fair at MSU, and was a poetry reader for Blue Earth Review. Her poetry has been published in Northwind Magazine, Welter, and The Fiddleback.

 

 

2011
linr

Caitlin O'Sullivan
MFA English

osullivanCaitlin O'Sullivan received BAs in English and Economics at Ohio State University in 2007. Her short fiction has been published in print and online, and her thesis, The Kiss-Off, was recognized with the Luminis Book Prize in 2012. She was chosen for a three-month residency in Jack Kerouac's Florida home in Fall 2012.

Following her spring 2012 graduation and fall 2012 residency at the Jack Kerouac house in Orlando, FL, Caitlin O'Sullivan returned to central Ohio. Currently, she divides her time between revisions to her graduate thesis novel, The Kiss-Off, writing a to-be-titled follow-up novel, and working at the Upper Arlington Public Library. 

Andreas Endowment Project: As a result of the Andreas award, she had the opportunity to read with Sharon Olds and William Trowbridge when they visited MSU in Spring 2012

 

linr

.

Colin Klimesh
BFA Art

klimeshGraduate Student/ Instructor Art 100
I am an M.A. Candidate, looking to make a career for myself in the Visual Arts world.
(Printmaking and ceramics are my specialty)

Website: http://www.colinklimesh.net/

Repetitive Play Installation
Time Elapse Video.on YouTube

linr

Hope Thier
Art Department

theirHope reeived her Masterof Arts in Painting, Minnesota State University-Mankato.
She was the 2011 recipient of the Mary Willard Sugden Memorial Endowment Scholarship.

Personal Quote: "I graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato in May 2012 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting. Currently, I am a Master of Arts candidate in Painting there. I grew up for the most part in Moorhead, MN and then attended Northern Michigan University for two years.


fabricArtDrawings on fabric.

For a while I have been thinking about where I want my art to lead. Painting, photography, and ceramics have always played some strong role in my decisions and actions. I realized I enjoy spending my time around other students and the learning atmosphere that comes with it. My professional goals include becoming an art professor and a painter. I love the arts too much to not try and make my own impact within its world. 
Website: http://www.hopethier.net/

 

 

 

linr

Pete Mielke
World Languages & Cultures

PMielkePete Mielke teaches French 102 (Elementary French 2) at Minnesota State University Mankato.
Undergraduate degree from MNSU.

 

 

 

linr

Benjamin Walker
MFA Communication Studies

walkerThird year MFA student from Wisconsin, completed his degree in May and will be Assistand Director of Forensics at Berry College in Georgia.

"Ben was appreciative of the Andreas Grant because it allowed him to pursue and complete his thesis research regarding how experience on a competitive speech team can compare to learning opportunities in introductory speech courses. Upon finishing his MFA degree, Ben moved to Rome, Georgia to become the Assistant Director of Forensics at Berry College. He and his wife Julie happily live there with their son, James."

linr

Sarah Pillatzki-Warzeha
MFA Theatre and Dance

SarahP-WSarah graduated from MSU grad school in May, 2013 and at that time said ". . . my husband and I agreed that I wasn’t going to settle for just any job. I wanted a place that I really felt at home and where I was excited about the kind of work that was being done. I felt that when I first visited the Arts Guild and, on top of that, I really, really liked the town of Northfield."

 

 

 

2010
linr

Robert Michael James
Theatre and Dance (also awarded in 2009)

jamesEmmy Award-Winning Robert Michael James (RMJ) has directed, produced, choreographed or performed in more than 1,100 television and theatrical productions. He received his M.F.A. in Theatre Arts at Minnesota State University, Mankato with an emphasis in Directing. Michael is now teaching musical theatre at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas.
Website: www.robertmichaeljames.com/

 

linr


Gina Hunt
BFA Art

huntGina Hunt received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Minnesota State University in 2009 concentrated in Painting, Printmaking, and Art History. She was awarded a Foundation grant from Minnesota State University in 2009 to research the history, techniques, and applications of encaustic painting. This project was presented at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research in 2009. In 2010, Gina held the position of Installation Lead Intern at The Soap Factory in Minneapolis, a contemporary art gallery focusing on artistic experimentation and community engagement. In the spring of 2012, Gina was awarded the Blethen Fine Arts Award at MNSU. Within the duration of the Master of Arts degree program,

 

artHuntGina completed work involving painting, drawing, installation, printmaking, and sculpture, often creating pieces that involved several of these media. Her thesis exhibition, “Vestige”, included a large-scale painting purchased by the Centennial Student Union. Gina is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree at Illinois State University with a teaching assistantship and tuition waiver.
Website: www.gina-hunt.com

 

 

 

 

linr

Laura Pelletier
Graduate Assistant, Communication Studies

pelletierLaura Pelletier began the MFA program in spring 2009, immediately following the completion of her BS in Communication Studies. While an undergraduate, Laura enrolled in CMST 310: Performance of Literature. She believed she had finally found her academic focus. Her passion for performance led her to apply for the MFA program where she enrolled in CMST 509: Performance Studies her first semester. Her performances in both classes were outstanding, as she demonstrated a natural intuition for aesthetic elements. Her exposure to performance is what also led her to an interest in forensics. She received a competition waiver from the American Forensic Association to compete on the team for one year despite the fact she has had already earned a bachelor’s degree. She realized this first-hand experience was vital to her development as a performer and potential forensic coach. Today she is an assistant professor in Communication Studies.

linr

Mauricio Garcia Vargas
World Languages & Cultures

MVargasMauricio taught English in Colombia since 1999 and worked with children from different parts in Colombia and special programs too; such as a new Project in Los llanos Orientales with Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He also worked in a private university Politecnico Grancolombiano teaching English to college students at different levels. Mauricio taught Spanish in a Spanish Immersion School in Robbinsdale, Minnesota to 4th graders .
Personal Quote: "The experience teaching at Mankato has been meaningful to my purposes and I have learned so many things, and by the time I get back to my country I can use that knowledge and then transmit it to others."

linr

Amanda Schumacher
MFA English

SchumacherAmanda Schumacher came from Ames, Iowa, where she received her Masters Degree in English from Iowa State University. Her fiction ranges from YA novels to short stories. She was the 2009 Robert Wright Award winner. She completed her MFA program at Minnesota State University, Mankato in fiction writing and has since taught writing at Georgia Southern University.

2009
linr

Mackenzy Albright
BFA Art

M_AlbrightMackenzy Albright was born in Tyler Minnesota. He grew up on a farm building stuff from garbage as a kid. Now he is currently an Intermedia MFA candidate at the University of Alberta.

His research explores themes of semiotics of the automotive, landscape and pop-imagery which manifest into two and three-dimensional artworks.
Website: mackenzyalbright.com

 

linr

Megan Orcholski
Graduate Assistant, Communication Studies

orcholskiCentral College in Naperville, IL and then as a valued Graduate Coaching Assistant at Minnesota State for the past year. As a competitor she advanced to elimination rounds at the National Forensic Association National Championship Tournament. As a coach she is energetic, has a strong eye for quality literature and an ability to assist students with in-depth analysis of their performances. Student evaluation comments refer to her as “a very passionate and vocal individual” who “is encouraging and has lots of helpful insights.”

Megan was an undergraduate theatre major, and as a MA student in Communication has continued to tie her studies to her interests in theatre. She is currently attending an Audition Methods class in the Theatre Department, and is also enrolled in Performance Studies. Her work in the performance studies class has been outstanding. Her creativity and eye for detail in assignments are unmatched and she serves as an inspiration for the other students.She is currently an Instructor / Assisstant Director of Forensics at Concordia College.

linr

Jorge Evans
MFA English

JEvansAfter the MFA, Jorge Evans spent two years adjuncting at various colleges before returning to Minnesota State University, Mankato to pursue an MA in Technical Communication. Currently, he is a part of an experimental online TA program teaching a section of English Composition using D2L and Adobe Connect. After a stint in Washington state, he’s currently living in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

 

 

2008
linr

 

Nicole Swoboda
Theatre and Dance

swobodaImmediately after graduating from Minnesota State Mankato, Ms. Swoboda worked at the nationally renowned theatre, Kansas City Starlight Theatre, as Assistant Director for The Producers and starring Tony Award-winner Roger Bart as Leo Bloom. She directed and choreographed a sold-out and extended run of White Christmas at the Duluth Playhouse in Duluth, MN, and then moved to New York City and attended professional networking workshops at Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Performance Space 122 and the New Dramatists before going to Nazareth College in Rochester, NY, as a guest artist to choreograph Babes in Arms under the direction of Melissa Rainn Anderson, who appeared in the Babes in Arms remount on Broadway in 1999.

While at Nazareth the she was asked to take over the course load for the injured head of dance became injured. After finishing the semester, she directed Reasons to be Pretty by Neil LaBute at the Renegade Theatre Company, then choreographed Falsettos at the Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis. This summer, she took over as Summer Theatre Director at Breck School and Director/Choreographer for Yellow Tree Theatre’s Treehouse Production, a program that, through the help of the Legacy Fund, enables 40 metro high schoolers to write, tech, design and perform an original musical in four weeks.Most recently, she has accepted a wonderful (and challenging) task at St. Catherine’s University as Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre for a brand new program. She will design and implement curriculum as well as do everything she can to grow the program.
Website: www.nikkiswoboda.com/

linr

Matthew Olson
BFA Art

olsonMatthew Joseph Olson received his BFA and MA in Sculpture at Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minnesota. After obtaining his Master of Arts degree in Sculpture at MSU-Mankato in 2009, Matthew attended The Pennsylvania State University and recently completed his MFA also in Sculpture. While pursuing his graduate degree, he exhibited at several galleries throughout Pennsylvania including a group show in Maryland. Currently Matthew is working as a Shop Technician in the School of Visual Arts Wood and Metal Shop and will be taking over as the shop's Supervisor effective January 2013.
Website: www.mjodesign.com

linr

Chad Kuyper
Graduate Assistant, Communication Studies

kuyperChad Kuyper has been involved with forensics at Minnesota State University, Mankato as both a successful undergraduate competitor as well as a valued Graduate coaching Assistant. As a competitor he advanced several events to elimination rounds at the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament. As a coach he is insightful, motivating and has an infectious charisma that draws students to him. Student evaluation comments refer to him as “a brilliant and poignant coach” who “makes you feel wonderful about yourself.” In addition to his work with the team, Chad is also actively involved in improvisational comedy troupe based in Owatonna.

 

kuyper

Video Link

Chad is currently Professor of Speech and Director of Forensics at Florida State College at Jacksonville.
Website: www.fscj.edu/news/experts/view/chad-kuyper

linr

David Clisbee
MFA English

ClisbeeDavid Clisbee is pursuing a Master of Art in Teaching English as Second Language at Minnesota State University, Mankato where he is currently the Maverick Media Fellow and Managing Producer of Maverick Visual Productions. His chapbook Botched Heroics was published by RockSaw Press in 2009 and a second edition was published in 2010. His poems have appeared in International Poetry Review, Ninth Letter, Permafrost, and others. His documentary Cultural Misunderstanding won Best Film Audience Award at the 3rd Annual Film Studies Showcase at Minnesota State University, Mankato. He is the producer of Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Theatre and Dance’s web-based TV talk show On Stage, which has featured actor Neil Dale and director Lou Bellamy. He has produced multiple live-streamed lectures including Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Tracy Kidder, and the philosopher Martha C. Nussbaum.

 

2007
linr

Sara Gronstal
Graduate Assistant, MFA in Communication Studies

gronstalSara Gronstal has been involved in forensic performance for all of her post-secondary education. She was a successful undergraduate competitor for the University of Northern Iowa, placing 5th in the nation in After-Dinner Speaking her Junior year. She chose to come to MSU, Mankato to complete the MFA in Forensics. While at MSU she has been an active coach of the forensic program all six semesters. Student evaluations comment that she is “motivating and has constructive criticism,” “very knowledgeable of all aspects of speech” as well as “hilarious.” While working on her MFA degree, Sara has embraced her comic skills and is also pursuing a stand-up comedy career. She was the winner of the locally hosted Mankato stand-up comedy contest which allowed her to open for Robbie May his past December when he performed at the Alltel Center. She has also performed in Chicago and Minneapolis.

Personal quote: "As the Director of Forensics, I coach and travel with the Eastern Illinois University Speech Team."
See our facebook page at: www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=119802458842&ref=ts

linr

Andrew D. Umphrey,
MFA Theatre and Dance

umphreyAndrew has starred in various theatre productions since being awarded the honor of the first ever Andreas Theatre Scholarship. He played roles in shows with Table Salt Productions, 20% Theatre Company and played the lead in a 2009 Minneapolis Fringe Festival musical debut. Andrew played the Man with the Yellow Hat in the National Theatre Tour of Curious George Live by Universal Studios and toured Internationally through China and Singapore playing Big Bird in Sesame Street Live. He is currently living Pennsylvania and teaching acting workshops and private acting lessons.

 

linr

Benjamin Druffel
Master of Music

druffelThe Symphonic Band, directed by graduate assistant Ben Druffel, performed two movements from the “Second Suite in F for Military Band” by Gustav Holst. This was the 100-year anniversary of this band composition in 2011.Undergraduate Degree from St. Olaf, spent three years teaching Music at the American School in Dubai. His thesis was finished in 2012 titled: In-depth analysis and program notes on a selection of wind band music. An in-depth analysis of five pieces composed for wind band.

"For a couple weeks this summer I am teaching violin to ELL students as an enrichment activitiy to improve reading skills.  Most of these students are Somalian. 

Today a few boys were speaking to each other in the Somalian language.  I ignored this at first, at least they were still being cooperative.  About halfway through the lesson the focus was dwindiling as it does with 5th grade boys.  They are plucking strings while I was trying to give directions when I said, "Hallas" (sorry about the spelling).  To which the room became dead silent.  Aparently the Arbic word for stop/enough is the same as the Somalian word for stop. "

linr

Bronson Lemer
MFA English

LemerBronson Lemer has taught composition, creative writing, and humanities courses for Turtle Mountain Community College in Belcourt, North Dakota; Minnesota State University, Mankato; and onboard a U.S. Navy ship through the Navy College Program for Afloat College Education at Central Texas College. He also taught English as a Second Language (ESL) courses in Gyeongju, South Korea and in China for Fort Hays State University (Kansas). He is the author of The Last Deployment: How a Gay, Hammer-Swinging Twentysomething Survived a Year in Iraq (http://uwpress.wisc.edu/books/4814.htm). He currently works as a writing specialist for the University of Minnesota Rochester, where he teaches writing classes, advises capstone projects, and works with faculty to integrate writing into the curriculum.

 

linr

L. Kimberly Gillespie
MFA Art

gillespieL. Kimberly Gillespie, graduated with an MA from Minnesota State University Mankato in 2008. She attended American University in Washington, DC and graduated with an MFA in 2011. She has taught part time at Arlington Arts Center in Virginia, Minnesota State University Mankato, and Minneapolis Community and Technical College. She is also working as a mixed media artist in Minneapolis. Website: http://lkimberlygillespie.com/home.html