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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

2004-05 News Highlights

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Alum Accepts Position at Winona State University

Amy Wolff (MA, 2005) has accepted a full-time one-year appointment to teach public speaking at Winona State University.

Relay for Life a Success!

MSU hosted the first Relay for Life cancer research fundraiser on Saturday, May 21, raising more than $17,000 for research and for Mankato area patient services. More than 119 people participated on 12 teams representing area businesses, clubs, organizations and student groups. The event was organized by Speech Communication majors Heidi Branstad and Heather Purcell, with the help of other members of the Lambda Pi Eta, the communication studies honor society. Teams of walkers hiked all night on a Myers Field House route lit with luminaries that were purchased in memory of someone who died of cancer. The event included food, games, live music and a silent auction. Participants included students and faculty from Colleges Against Cancer, an organization sponsored by MSU's Speech Communication Department. Top individual fundraiser was Travis Van der Steen, who brought in $743. His team, TGIFriday's, raised more than any other team—$3,469.81.

Alum Accepts Position at MCTC

Kathryn Diedrichs (MA, 2003) has accepted a full-time limited instructor position at Minneapolis Community & Technical College (MCTC). MCTC's Speech Communication Department has two full-time unlimited instructors, one full-time limited, and two part-time instructors. MCTC offers Fundamentals, Public Speaking, Interpersonal, Intercultural and Group Process and Discussion, along with the occasional special topics. Kathryn will also be the "star" of a lecture video for the entire school on how to give a speech, for those teachers who do not teach speech, but want to have their students present. The video will cover the fundamentals of creating a speech.

Dr. Dowlin & Dr. Bunkers Complete MTR Project

Dr. Sheryl Dowlin, professor emeritus, and Dr. Suzanne Bunkers, professor of English, have completed work on the "Moving Towards Respect" ("MTR") project and its follow-up assessment component. This research and curriculum project was funded by a $15,000 "Learning that Lasts" Grant from MnSCU's Center for Teaching and Learning as well as by funding from other educational organizations. Dr. Dowlin's and Dr. Bunkers' scholarly paper, based on their collaborative work directing the "Moving Towards Respect" project, was presented at the Conference of the International Association for Intercultural Education (IAIE), in Verona, Italy, in April 2005. Their scholarly paper, translated by Dr. Hamid Bashiriyeh, is being published in "Report on Dialogue," the journal of the International Centre for Dialogue among Civilizations in Tehran, Iran. The International Centre For Dialogue Among Civilizations Organization promotes global interaction. It was founded in Feb. 1999, after the UN declaration of "2001: Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations" as proposed by President Khatami."

Professor Interviewed

Dr. Nan Johnson-Curiskis, associate professor, was recently interviewed by the St. Paul Pioneer-Press on Wed. June 8, 2005.

Alum Earns Ph.D.

John Katsion (MA, 1997) graduated this past May from Regent University with a Ph.D. in Communication Studies. His dissertation was "Images as Discourse: The Visual Rhetoric of United States Silver Dollar Coins from 1794 to 2000." John is currently the chair of the Communication Arts Department at Hannibal-LaGrange College, Hannibal, MO. A modified form of one of his dissertation chapters won one of the top paper awards in visual rhetoric at this past fall's NCA convention in Chicago. John wrote, "I found that the program set me up well for my doctoral studies, especially Patti Palm's classes in Rhetorical criticism and her work as my advisor. She was great."

Dr. Nan Johnson-Curiskis appointed CETL Faculty Fellow

Dr. Nan Johnson-Curiskis, associate professor, has been appointed a CETL Faculty Fellow by the administration. Nan will be receiving 50-percent release time in order to work 1/2-time with Stewart Ross in the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL). Nan will be working with faculty to support changes and improvement in pedagogy. The CETL at MSU, Mankato promotes excellence in teaching and learning by providing resources, Faculty Learning Communities, communication, and strategies to support, strengthen and recognize high quality and innovative teaching. The Center offers a place for all instructors to meet formally and informally to support each other in the scholarship of teaching.

Article by Jason Edwards Published

Jason Edward (MA) has an article accepted for publication in The Howard Journal of Communication. The article should come out in December 2005. The article is titled: Community-Focused Apologia in International Affairs: Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayma's Apology. Jason was also selected to participate in this year's National Doctoral Honors Seminar at the University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Engen's Articles Published

Dr. David Engen, assistant professor, has two articles accepted for publication:

  • "The Civic Imagination and Awareness Assignment" will be published in upcoming issue of Communication Teacher.
  • "Everyday Interaction Between Social Classes: Toward an Understanding of the Misunderstanding" will be published in the 2005 issue the Communication and Theatre Association of Minnesota Journal.

Alum Receives Teaching Award

Nicole Schultz (MA, 2004), a doctoral student at Bowling Green State University, was honored this spring by BGSU's School of Communication Studies with the 2004-2005 Doctoral Student Graduate Teaching Excellence Award. Nicole was also elected by her peers to serve as president of the School of Communication Studies Graduate Communication Association during the 2005-2006 school year.

Dr. Palm Still Very Active

Dr. Patty Palm, faculty emeriti, has been making the most of her retirement. In June of 2005 she started her term as the President of the MRCI Auxilary. The Mankato Rehabilitation Center Incorporated [MRCI] is a work source which creates opportunities for people with disabilities or disadvantages. Patty has been a volunteer for the past three years as a board member and as the "book lady" at the MRCI Thrift Shop in Mankato. Patty has also been appointed Parliamentarian for Zonta International for the 2004-2006 biennium. As such she travel a few times a year to International Headquarters in Chicago for board meetings and training seminars. Patty will be the Parliamentarian for the 2006 International Convention in Melbourne Australia. She will be in Denver, Colorado for an inter-district meeting of North American Zonta clubs the last week-end in June.Patty is also very active in District 7 Zonta activities which includes the states of Minnesota, Iowa, North and South Dakota, Missouri, and Kansas; and the District 7 Parliamentarian and attend all board meetings, area meetings, and conferences throughout the year. The fall conference is scheduled for October at Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Alum Accepts Instructor Position

Heidi Schara (MA, 2001) has accepted a position as an instructor of speech communication at Riverland Community College starting in Fall 2005.

Successful Thesis Defense

Kate Winkels successfully defended her master's thesis. The title of the thesis is "A Qualitative Research Study Examining Identity, Perception and Gender in Stay-at-Home Dads."

Dr. Johnson-Curiskis Promoted

Dr. Nan Johnson-Curiskis has earned tenured and been promoted to the rank of associate professor effective the first duty day of the 2005-2006 academic year.

Dr. Harvey Promoted

Dr. Martine Harvey has earned tenured and been promoted to the rank of associate professors effective the first duty day of the 2005-2006 academic year.

Honor society students organize first cancer Relay for Life


Alum recognized for service

Donovan Leigh (BS 1991, MA 1993), instructor at Anoka Technical College, was recognized for 10 years of teaching and service at Anoka Technical College on May 4th, 2005.

Professor Receives Honor

Dr. Scott Olson, professor in Speech Communication and vice president of Academic Affairs, has been named a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary International Foundation.

Faculty Members Receive RIP Grants

Dr. Kate Cady, assistant professor, and Dr. Dan Cronn-Mills, professor, were both awarded grants as part of the university-sponsored Research Incentive Program (RIP) for the 2005-06 academic year. The grants provide release time from one class during the year to work on a research project.

Students Finish Papers and Earn Degrees

Karla Sand has completed her internship analysis paper titled "Fabricating Organizational Communication at Quality Metalcrafts" and earned her Master of Science degree in Speech Communication.

Alisa Jamshidi has completed her internship analysis paper titled "Becoming part of the radical culture: A unique view of the American Civil Liberties Union" and earned her Master of Science degree in Speech Communication.

2005 MSU Undergraduate Research Center

Department-Sponsored Student Research

(faculty sponsor is in parentheses)

  • David Brennan (B. Klosa)—Star Wars: A Critical Analysis Of The Social And Cultural Influence Of The Films
  • Elizabeth Drommerhausen (B. Klosa)—Past, Present, And Future Technologies In The Field Of Weather Modification
  • Elizabeth Drommerhausen (L. White)—Privatization And Commercialization Of Our National Parks
  • Elizabeth Drommerhausen (L. White)—The 1000 Journals Project-A Communication Analysis Using Karen Mitchell's Theory Of Seamless Intertexts
  • Emily Kofoed (B. Klosa)—The Sexualization Of Female Athletes And The Female Sports Double Standard
  • Emily Kofoed (J. Dimock)—Evaluation Of Pharmacogenomics And Its Applications To Biological Race
  • Emily Kofoed, Karie Menser, Cynthia Saba, and Jamie Kunkel (B. Klosa)—Academia Is Really Difficult: A Reader's Theatre Examining The Hardships Of University Professors
  • Joshua Randall (B. Klosa)—Campus Paper Waste
  • Joshua Randall (B. Klosa)—ESPN: 25th Anniversary
  • Joshua Randall (B. Klosa)—Spider-Man: Sacred Vs. Profane
  • Julie Lemley (J. Dimock)—Gendered Construction Of The Female Identity
  • Lianna Erickson (D. Cronn-Mills)—An Ethnographic Study Of The Communication Practices Of A Recovering Alcoholic During The First Month Of Sobriety
  • Lindsey Thompson (B. Klosa)—Soft Drinks: A Legal Drink Of Poison
  • Lindsey Thompson (J. Dimock)—Amplichip: Diagnostic Tool Of The Future
  • Lindsey Thompson (L. White)—Islamica: Creating A Muslim-American Identity
  • Matthew Collie (B. Klosa)—The Corneal Imaging System
  • Matthew Collie (L. White)—Privatized Military Firms: A Detriment To The United States

MSU Speech Communication Alum Earns Ph.D.

Karen Daas (MA, 2001) is now Dr. Karen Daas (Ph.D., University of Nebraska). Dr. Daas successfully defended her dissertation, "Women, weddings, and popular culture: An intertextual analysis of college women's negotiation of the wedding-industrial complex." Congratulations to Dr. Dass may be sent to

MSU Speech Team places 16th nationally; Matthew Collie finishes fifth

MSU's Speech Team placed 16th overall and 2nd in the President's II Division in the National Forensic Association's national championships earlier this month. Junior Matthew Collie ranked fifth overall in Individual Sweepstakes—best individual finish ever for an MSU student.

More than 500 student speakers from across the country competed in the tournament, held April 14-18 at the University of Akron (Ohio).

In addition to ranking fifth overall in Individual Sweepstakes, Collie placed third nationally in Rhetorical Criticism, fourth in Informative Speaking, among the top 12 (semifinalist) in Impromptu Speaking & Extemporaneous Speaking, and among the top 24 (quarterfinalist) in After-Dinner Speaking.

Other MSU students who took part in the National Championship Tournament are Mike Witthaus, Nicole Goebel and Michelle Nyman.

The National Forensic Association includes more than 100 university and college intercollegiate forensic programs. The President's II Division, in which MSU finished second, comprises schools entered in 7-14 national events.

Early this month the MSU team placed 22nd overall at the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament in Manhattan, Kansas. MSU students competing in that tournament included Collie, Cynthia Saba, Emily Kofoed, Karie Menser, Tom Bergstrom, Kim Cossairt, Joshua Randall, Lindsey Thompson, Jamie Kunkel, Elizabeth Drommerhausen, Mitch Batty and David Brennan.

And earlier this year the MSU team captured first in the Minnesota Collegiate Forensic Association State Tournament—the fourth consecutive state victory for the Mavericks.

The MSU team is coached by Director of Forensics Leah White, Assistant Director Brian Klosa, and graduate student coaches Desiree Rowe, Jessica Samens, James Kozinski, David Nadolski, Merci Decker, Suzanne Loen and Sarah Wolter.

Alum Awarded Carolyn Coakley Hickerson Teacher Award

Jessica Buckingham, a recent graduate of the Speech Communication Department, was awarded the Carolyn Coakley Hickerson Teacher Award sponsored by International Listening Association (ILA). The award was presented at the 26th annual ILA conference in Minneapolis on Saturday, April 16, 2005. Ms. Buckingham received the award by demonstrating excellence of teaching in a public school setting in the local area of the annual conference and for her desire to contribute to the field of listening. Jessica is a 3rd year Communication arts and literature teacher at Owatonna Public Schools. Jessica was nominated by Dr. Nan Johnson-Curiskis, Assistant Professor in the MSUM Speech Communication Department, who is a founding member of the ILA.

Dr. Johnson-Curiskis Awarded the 2005 Outstanding Listening Educator of the Year Award

Dr. Nanette Johnson-Curiskis, assistant professor, was presented with the 2005 Outstanding Listening Educator of the Year award by the International Listening Association (ILA). The award was presented at the 26th annual ILA conference in Minneapolis on Saturday, April 16, 2005. The recipient of the ILA Outstanding Educator Award must be an individual who is a member of ILA, is a teacher at any level; is knowledgeable about listening and how to teach listening; teaches listening and shares his or her knowledge and techniques for teaching listening with others through presentations, publishing, teacher in-service, etc.. Dr. Johnson-Curiskis has been active in the organization for 26 years. She is a founding member of the ILA, is the current secretary of the Executive Board, and was the local arrangements chair of this year's conference.

Maverick Forensics Team Hosts Demonstration Debate

Maverick Forensics team hosted a demonstration debate on Thursday, April 21 in AH 101 from 7-8 p.m.. The demonstration was designed to show the campus something of what the debate team does and to give us a chance to show off our students and the activity.

Dr. Treinen Invited to Join Journal

Dr. Kristen Treinen has been invited to join the Journal of Applied Communication Research Board of Reviewers.

Amy Wolff Earns Masters

Amy Wolff, graduate teaching assistant, has successfully completed her project for the completion of her Master of Science degree. The title of her project is "Humor Me: An Investigation of Humor in the College Classroom"

Stephen Croucher Selected as Top Graduate Student

Stephen Croucher (MA, 2003), doctoral student at the University of Oklahoma, has been selected as the top graduate student for the year in his department. The award is based on publications, teaching evaluations, grades, and recommendations.

Stephen Croucher's Article to Be Published

Stephen Croucher (MA, 2003), doctoral student at the University of Oklahoma, has an article accepted by the International Journal of Communication. The article is titled: "A comparative analysis between France and the United States: Why does the US have an easier time assimilating its immigrants?" The article will come out in the winter of 2005.

Koeppe Completes Masters

Amy J. Koeppe, graduate teaching assistant, has successfully completed her project for the completion of her Master of Science degree. The title of her project is "Communication at Midwest Wireless: A Public Relations Perspective."

Sand Completes Masters

Kara Sand, graduate teaching assistant, has successfully completed her project for the completion of her Master of Science degree. The title of her project is "The Master of Spin: Communication Theory and Application in a Public Relations/Marketing Department".

Dr. Johnson-Curiskis Elected Representative

Dr. Nan Johnson-Curiskis, assistant professor, has been elected to a two-year appointment as the A&H representative to the university-wide Faculty Development Committee.

Wolter Defends Thesis

Sara Wolter, graduate teaching assistant, has successfully defended her master's thesis titled, "Where do we stand?: Identifying the influence of relational communities on the professional identities of women assistant professors at Minnesota State University, Mankato."

Dr. Dowlin Awarded Grant

Dr. Sheryl Dowlin, professor emeriti in Speech Communication, is the recipient of a $1,000 MHC primary scholar grant to document the "Hochunk Journey into the Past" event, May 7, 2005. The Blue Earth County Historical Society will serve as the fiscal agent. Approximately 60 Hochunk (Winnebago) elders and children will come to Mankato, St. Clair and Rapidan to visit the Hochunk agency and village sites of their ancestors. These individuals lived in this area until 1863 when they were forced to leave their homes and were shipped out with the Dakota. This will be a first time reconciliation effort by Mankato and the surrounding area with this tribe. Dr. Dowlin will be recording the day's event as well as doing some interviews with elders about their reflections and responses to the things they have heard and seen during their visit. Dr. Dowlin plans to make a video documentary and distribute it to various related Historical Societies, libraries, K-16 schools and the Hochunk communities in Nebraska and Wisconsin.

GTA honored with teaching award

Sarah Wolter, 2nd-yr graduate teaching assistant, has received word she is the recipient of the 2005 ICA-IDD Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Student award. The announcement from the division states, in part:

Congratulations on the Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Student award. This award is sponsored by the Instructional and Developmental Division of the International Communication Association (ICA). Our division is designed to meet the needs of individuals like you who are interested in research on communication instruction and the development of communication processes across the life cycle. For instance, in the last several years, members of our division have presented research on the design of safety messages for children, communication with the elderly, health communication training, effective pedagogy for large communication courses, children's and adolescent's communication skills, and the impact of mass media on children.

Once again, on behalf of Lynda McCroskey, our division chair, and all members of our division, I congratulate you on your outstanding teaching and thank you for your conscientious efforts as a teacher. Individuals like you are fundamental to the continued vitality of communication scholarship.

Moniek Buijzen, Ph.D.
Instructional and Developmental Division Secretary (ICA)

AFA-NIET Results

The MSU-Mankato speech team traveled to the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament at Kansas State University this past weekend. The team placed 22nd overall. Junior Matthew Collie advanced to the quater-final round (top 24 students) in Extemporaneous Speaking and the semi-final round (top 12) students in Impromptu Speaking. There were over 130 students entered in each of these events.

MSU, Mankato Selected as Site for 2007 AFA-NIET

This event will bring more than 700 people from colleges and universities around the nation to our campus and community.

Kerber and Cronn-Mills to Be Published

Anne (Gerbensky) Kerber (MA, 2003) and Daniel Cronn-Mills, professor, have received word a manuscript has been accepted for publication in the National Forensic Journal. The article is titled, "The State of Forensic Scholarship: Analyzing Individual Events Research in the National Forensics Journal from 1990-2003." The article is scheduled for publication in the Fall 2005 issue.

Matthew Collie Elected as District IV Student Representative to the AFA-NIET

Matthew Collie, a junior on the Maverick Forensics team, has been elected by his peers as the 2005-06 District IV Student Representative to the AFA-NIET.
*District IV is composed of all the colleges and universities in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Rowe Defends Thesis

Desiree Rowe, graduate teaching assistant, successfully defended her master's thesis on March 28, 2005. The thesis is titled "Boxes: Exploring Gender Identity through Performance."

Dr. Olson's Chapters Translated

Dr. Scott Olson, professor in Speech Communication and academic vice president has had two previously published book chapters translated into Russian and published in Russia.

  • Olson, S. (2005). Применение стратегий <<синержи>> для продвижения торговых марок: тематический контекст и сублимация реальности в практике product placement. In M. Galician, Ed. Product placement в средствах массовой информации. Moscow: ETC Publishing. ISBN 5-94983-025-3 (Translation -- Product placement through environmental simulacra. In M. Galician, Ed. Handbook of product placement in the mass media: New strategies in marketing theory, practice, trends, and tactics.)
  • Galician, M., Bourdeau, P., Friedman, T., Kruckeberg, D., Lubbers, C., Natharius, D., Nelson, R., Olson, S., Siegel, P., Turner, C., and Turner, K. (2005). Перспективы развития product placement в XXI веке. In M. Galician, Ed. Product placement в средствах массовой информации. Moscow: ETC Publishing. ISBN 5-94983-025-3 (Translation -- Galician, M., Bourdeau, P., Friedman, T., Kruckeberg, D., Lubbers, C., Natharius, D., Nelson, R., Olson, S., Siegel, P., Turner, C., and Turner, K. (2005). Product placement in the 21st century. In M. Galician, Ed. Handbook of product placement in the mass media: New strategies in marketing theory, practice, trends, and tactics.)

Jason Edwards Receives Top Student Paper Award

Jason Edwards (MA, 2002) received the Top Student Paper in the Rhetoric and Public Address Division at the 2005 Southern States Communication Association conference. The paper is titled "Meeting the Challenge of Globalization: Bill Clinton's Rhetorical Response." Jason is also up for the Bostrom Award given to the best graduate student paper of the conference.

Edwards and Daas on Top Four Paper Panel

Jason Edwards and Karen Daas (MA, 2001) are part of a Top Four Paper Panel in the Political Communication Interest Group at Central States Communication Association conference. The paper is "Bill Clinton and the Rhetoric of Partnership in His African Tour, 1998: Toward a Post-Cold War Foreign Policy Rhetoric?"

MSU Faculty, Staff, Alumni, and Students Have Articles Published

Larry Schnoor, faculty emeriti, and James Kozinski, graduate student, have an article in the latest issue of the National Forensic Journal (vol. 23, issue 1, spring 2005). The article is titled "Building a Team" (lead article in the issue).

Brian Klosa, instructor, has an article in the latest issue of the National Forensic Journal (vol. 23, issue 1, spring 2005). The article is titled "Finding Coaching Help."

Dr. Leah White, assistant professor, has an article in the latest issue of the National Forensic Journal (vol. 23, issue 1, spring 2005). The article is titled "The Coach as Mentor."

Desiree Rowe, graduate student, and Dr. Daniel Cronn-Mills, professor, have an article in the latest issue of the National Forensic Journal (vol. 23, issue 1, spring 2005). The article is titled "When 'Van Talk' Steers Out of Control: A Theoretical Exploration of Team Traditions."

Dr. Harvey Invited to Teach Seminar

Dr. Martine Harvey, assistant professor, has been invited to teach a seminar on Intercultural Conflict and Mediation in June 2005 at the University of Verona, Italy.

Department in the March 8, 2005 edition of the MSU Reporter!

Relay For Life Coming to MSU Campus

by Michelle Campbell
March 08, 2005

In the time it takes to read this article, at least one person in the United States will die from cancer.

The American Cancer Society and Colleges Against Cancer are trying to change that statistic. The groups' flagship event, the Relay for Life, will come to Minnesota State for the first time ever May 21-22 in Myers Fieldhouse.

"I have seen too many of my friends watch their mothers fight breast cancer, and I have seen too many others fight for their own lives," said Heidi Brandstad, president of MSU's Colleges Against Cancer said. "I have hope that one day we will no longer have to worry about cancer. That's why I believe joining this fight against cancer is so important."

According to the American Cancer Society's Web site, 557,271 U.S. citizens die from cancer every year. That means that the country loses more than one person per minute on average.

Christa Brown, an MSU speech communication instructor and the Colleges Against Cancer advisor, has experienced the effects of cancer first-hand. She said she tries to attend Relay for Life in New Ulm, Minn., every year with her grandmother -- a cancer survivor.

"My family has been hit hard with cancer, and this has been a driving force for me," Brown said.

Brandstad said she, too, got involved in Relay for Life because her family and friends have been affected by cancer.

Relay for Life is an overnight team event established to raise funds for cancer research. The event will consist of entertainment, food, games, team competitions, the Cancer Survivors' Walk and the Candlelight Ceremony. Since the event will take place indoors, candles will be replaced with balloons, Brown said.

Relay for Life is the world's largest fund-raising event and is held in more than 3,000 locations in the United States. Last year, $7.5million was raised on college campuses throughout the United States.

"We are also collecting quarters to raise money. If we can collect enough quarters to line the edge of the track, we will raise $1,750," Brown said. "Hopefully, we can make it around at least once."

Throughout the night, prizes will be awarded to the team that raises the most money and the team that has the most creatively decorated campsite. Each team member will receive a Relay for Life T-shirt.

"Students don't have to be part of a team to participate in the event," Brown said.

For more information on how to get involved in Relay for Life, contact or

Jim Dimock, instructor, leads discussion on "Interrogation or Torture"

"A Fine Line: Interrogation or Torture?" is the topic for the Community Forum on Thursday, March 10, at 6:30 p.m. in the North Mankato Police Annex Meeting Room. This free public discussion will feature James Fleming, chief public defender for Minnesota's Fifth Judicial District and Jim Dimock, instructor in the Speech Communications Department at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Dimock specializes in the impact on perception and behavior that language makes on war and violence. One of Dimock's current projects is the study of words used in memos from government entities such as the State Department in making policy cases. As an attorney, Fleming will discuss the definition of such words as "interrogation" and "torture" and how they fall on a continuum of public understanding to arrive at what is permissible and what is not in the questioning of prisoners of war. Sponsored by the North Mankato Public Library and Citizens' Voices, this series of forums is free and open to the public. The audience will participate with plenty of time for questions and comments.

Dr. Treinen and Dr. Cady Recognized by Sorority

Dr. Kristen Treinen and Dr. Kathryn Cady have been recognized by the Sisters of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority for making a positive impact on a sister's college career. They have received certificates thanking them for their "outstanding professional service to the women of this sorority."

Dr. Dowlin Receives Grant

Dr. Sheryl Dowlin (professor emeritus) has received word she is the recipient of a "We the People" Minnesota Humanities Grant in the amount of $1,000. Dr. Dowlin will serve as the Primary Project Scholar to document an historic collaborative reconciliation project between the Winnebago (Hocak) and southern Minnesota communities (e.g., Mankato, North Mankato, St. Clair, Rapidan, and Good Thunder). Hocak elders are scheduled to come to Mankato on May 7 to see and visit many of the historic village and reservations sites where their ancestors lived prior to being forced out of Minnesota in 1863 with the Dakota. Most of the elder guests have never visited this area. All are invited to a Free Public Program the evening of the May 7 from 7-9 pm at the Lutheran Church, Rapidan, MN to participate in "A Conversation with the Hocak elders."

Schara Thankful for Program

This is a quick note the department received from Heidi Schara. She and her husband, Dewey Schara, both graduated from our master's program. "We are both incredibly thankful to have graduated from the excellent program at MSU. If you ever need a spokesperson for your program, let us know. The experience had and knowledge gained definitely moved us into excellent work and life roles."
-- Heidi Schara

Rowe Accepts Graduate Assistantship

Desiree Rowe, a graduate teaching assistant and forensics coach, has officially accepted a graduate assistantship in the communication studies doctoral program at Arizona State University.

Maverick Forensics Dominates State Tournament: Wins Fourth Straight State Title

On Feb 19th and 20th, the Minnesota State University, Mankato speech and debate team travelled to Bethel University in Arden Hills, MN to compete in the 2st Minnesota Collegiate Forensic Association State Tournament against 12 other teams in the state. The team finished with 233 total sweepstakes points earning Mankato its fourth consecutive state title. The Mavericks finished with a total of 21 state finalists including bringing home state championships in seven of the 13 events. The Mavericks also had the three out of the top five overall speakers at the tournament, including the overall individual state champion.


  • Informative Speaking- Matthew Collie-1st place, Emily Kofoed-2nd place, Elizabeth Drommerhausen-5th place
  • Prose Interpretation- Karie Menser-3rd place
  • Impromptu Speaking- Matthew Collie-1st place, Dave Brennan-5th place
  • Extemporaneous Speaking-Matthew Collie-1st place
  • Oratory-Matthew Collie-5th place, Elizabeth Drommerhausen-6th place
  • Program Oral Interpretation-Mitch Batty-1st place, Jamie Kunkel-2nd place
  • Duo Interpretation- Mitch Batty and Karie Menser-1st place, Tom Bergstrom and Karie Menser-3rd place
  • Dramatic Interpretation-Jamie Kunkel-2nd place, Tom Bergstrom-5th place
  • After Dinner Speaking-Emily Kofoed-4th place
  • Poetry Interpretation-Tom Bergstrom- 1st place, Kim Cossairt-4th place, Mitch Batty-5th place
  • Readers Theatre-Karie Menser, Jamie Kunkel, Emily Kofoed, Cynthia Saba-1st place
  • Parliamentary Debate-Matthew Collie and Randy Domstrand-quarterfinalists
  • Matthew Collie-2nd place debate speaker awards
  • Matthew Collie-1st place individual sweepstakes award
  • Karie Menser-3rd place individual sweepstakes award
  • Jamie Kunkel-5th place individual sweepstakes award
  • Team sweepstakes-1st place

We are very proud of the student's hard work and performances. Winning four state titles has established Mankato as the premiere forensics program in the state.

Rowe to Perform Thesis

Desiree Rowe, master's candidate, has her thesis performance on March 9th, 2005. The doors of Performing Arts (PA) 113 open at 6:30pm, and the show starts at 7pm. Boxes runs about 45 minutes to an hour. The major themes of the performance are identity construction, confession, and intertextuality.

Dr. Cady to Be on Panel

Dr. Kate Cady, assistant professor, will be a part of the panel "Bitches in the Sacred Grove: Negotiating Third Spaces in Academia" at the upcoming Western States Communication Association annual convention in San Francisco. Dr. Cady's presentation will focus on peer writing groups and the rhetorical process of invention.

Dr. Harvey to Present Paper

Dr. Martine Harvey, assistant professor, and her colleague from Norway, Dr. Oyvind Okland, will be presenting a paper titled: "Lutaburger": Digitally connected with students from Norway and Minnesota" at the Realizing Student Potential Conference on March 4, 2005. [LUTA = Lutafisk (Norway); BURGER = Hamburger (USA)]

Dr. Johnson-Curiskis' Presentation Accepted

Dr. Nan Johnson-Curiskis, assistant professor, has a presentation accepted for the Realizing Student Potential Conference, March 4, 2005 at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. The session is on "Planning an Online Course."

Abstract: Good course planning is essential in online courses as well as on campus classes. During this session, participants will receive a model which has been successfully used for 2 years in 7 online courses/sections and used with D2L. Participants will learn how to begin online course planning including determining online readiness, aligning course outcomes with course goals; preparing content and activities and discussion. Whether you are required to teach an online course or are just interested in teaching one, this session will be helpful.

Maverick Forensics Dominates SCSCU Tournament

On February 4 and 5, the MSU, Mankato Speech Team traveled to the St. Cloud State University Invitational Speech Tournament. The team placed first. Individual awards are listed below:

  • Prose - Amanda Gorke 6th place
  • Informative - Emily Kofoed 5th place
  • POI - Kim Cossairt 6th place
  • POI - Emily Kofoed 4th place
  • Duo- Tom Bergstrom and Karie Menser- 1st place
  • Duo - Dave Brennan and Matt Collie-3rd place
  • ADS - Emily Kofoed 6th place
  • ADS - Lindsey Thompson 5th place
  • ADS - Karie Menser 4th place
  • ADS - Dave Brennan 1st place (AFA-NIET qualification)
  • Poetry- Tom Bergstrom 1st place
  • Drama- Tom Bergstrom 2nd place
  • Drama - Dave Brennan 5th place
  • Kiddie Lit - Kim Cossairt 6th place
  • Dave Brennan and Lindsey Thompson-semi finalists Parli debate
  • Dave Brennan 2nd place individual sweepstakes
  • Tom Bergstrom 1st place individual sweepstakes
  • All 16 Mavericks who competed earned points for sweepstakes

Maverick Forensics travels to Kansas for a national tournament preview

On January 29th and 30th, the MSU-Mankato forensics team traveled to the "Little Apple" (Manhattan, Kansas) for two speech tournaments that showcased some of the best of what the forensics nation might have to offer. On Saturday at the Power Cat Preview, MSU's Matthew Collie placed 5th in informative speaking, and on Sunday at the Nebraska in Kansas tournament Mr. Collie earned 5th place in impromptu speaking and 4th place in informative speaking.

Mavericks Forensics in 13th Annual Bunny Bop Tournament

Maverick Forensics traveled to South Dakota State University for the 13th Annual Bunny Bop tournament. The following students received awards:

  • Josh Randall - 6th place Persuasion, 4th place Communication Analysis, 2nd place After Dinner Speaking
  • Lindsey Thompson - 2nd place Communication Analysis (Thompson qualified Communication Analysis for the American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament this April at Kansas State University)
  • Michelle Nyman/Nicole Gobel - 6th place Dramatic Duo

First Annual "Relay for Life"

Christa Brown, instructor, has organized the first annual "Relay for Life" event will be held on MSU's campus in the field house on May 21, 2005 from 5pm - 9am on May 22, 2005! This event is being planned and implemented by the Communication Club. We will be hitting everyone up in the next few months in hopes you will be participants in the Relay. Of course, even if you don't participate in the event, we hope everyone will at least stop by sometime during the night to visit the event and see what we have worked so hard for and accomplished with the American Cancer Society.

Croucher Article Published

Stephen Croucher (MA, 2003) has an article in the latest issue of the National Forensic Journal titled "Like, You Know, What I'm Saying: A Study of Discourse Marker Frequency in Extemporaneous and Impromptu Speaking." Stephen is a doctoral student, teaching assistant, and director of forensics at the University of Oklahoma.

Maverick Speech Team Dominates the Twin City Forensic League's 3rd Tournament of the Season

On Tuesday December 7th, 2004 the MSU-Mankato Forensics team traveled to Normandale Community College for the third Twin City Forensic League tournament of the season. The team showed great spirit, and ended up coming home with a dominant first place victory - doubling the score of second place University of Northern Iowa.

  • Emily Kofoed - 1st in Informative Speaking and 2nd in Prose Interpretation
  • Tom Bergstrom - 1st in Prose Interpretation and 5th in Dramatic Interpretation
  • Mitch Batty - 1st in Dramatic Interpretation and 1st in Dramatic Duo
  • Karie Menser - 1st in Dramatic Duo
  • Josh Randall - 4th in Communication Analysis and 5th in After Dinner Speaking
  • Jamie Kunkel - 3rd in Program Oral Interpretation
  • Kim Cossairt - 2nd in Poetry Interpretation
  • Nemo Afyare - 2nd in Persuasive Speaking
  • Lindsey Thompson - 3rd in Persuasive Speaking and 3rd in Communication Analysis
  • Mike Witthaus - 3rd place in After Dinner Speaking in his collegiate forensics debut

Speech Team Takes First at Stout tournament

On Friday December 3 and Saturday December 4 the Minnesota State University, Mankato Speech Team traveled to University of Wisconsin-Stout Speech Tournament held in Menomonee WI. The team won the tournament with 338 points defeating second place University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with 145 points and the University of Northern Iowa with 121 points.

  • Matthew Collie - 1st place Informative Speaking, 1st place Impromptu Speaking, 2nd place Extemporaneous Speaking, 1st place After Dinner Speaking, and 1st place Music Interpretation and won 1st place in Quadrathon with 83 points, (overall award for students entered in 4 or more events).
  • Ali Khokhar - 6th place Program Oral Interperation, 4th place Music Interperation, and 4th place Impromptu Speaking, qualifying him for the National Tournament
  • Mitchell Batty - 1st place Program Oral Interpretation, 1st place Poetry Interpretation, and 3rd place Dramatic Interpretation.
  • Jon Surdo - 6th place Prose interpretation, 3rd place Duo Interpretation (with Tom Bergstrom), 2nd place Music Interpretation.
  • David Brennan - 5th place Impromptu Speaking and 6th place After Dinner Speaking.
  • Lindsey Thompson - 5th place Communication Analysis
  • Josh Randall - 6th place Communication Analysis
  • Jamie Kunkel - 4th place Program Oral Interpretation
  • Tom Bergstrom - 3rd place Duo interpretation

Eckert and Rowe Recognized

Lou Eckert, instructor, and Desiree Rowe, graduate teaching and forensic assistant, were recognized by The Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Student Affairs with a Certificate of Recognition for "recognition of valuable contributions and dedication to the Learning Communities at Minnesota State University, Mankato." They also received a Certificate of Appreciation signed by the learning community.

SPEE 201: Small on Reporter Front Page

Jim Dimock, instructor, has his students in SPEE 201: Small Group working on a variety of real-world issues. One of the groups has their project on the front page of the 11/23 edition of the MSU Reporter! You can read the article online

Club Joins "Colleges Against Cancer"

The Speech Communication Club has become a chapter member of the American Cancer Society's program called Colleges Against Cancer. The Club is working to join the fight against cancer right here on campus. The club is currently trying to schedule a Relay for Life event on campus in spring. We are trying to schedule use of the fieldhouse for the event and could be the first indoor Relay for Life event to be held in Minnesota! If we are successful in having the event here on campus, it would mean great publicity for MSU, the students, and bring the community on campus for the event-which really ties into the whole service-learning goal we have lately! We are patiently waiting to hear back from the scheduler of the fieldhouse, so wish us luck in our quest to have the first-ever indoor Relay for Life event in Minnesota. Christa Brown, instructor, is the faculty advisor to the Speech Communication Club.

Good News from the NCA conference

  • Suzanne Loen, 2nd-yr graduate student, is a student rep for the Feminist and Women's Studies Division
  • Merci M. Decker, 1st-yr graduate student, was selected as a paper reader for the Ethnography Division
  • Dan Cronn-Mills, professor, is the the chair of the Council of Forensic Organizations (COFO) and was elected nominations officer of the Argumentation and Forensics Division

Rowe's Paper Named "Top Debut Paper"

Desiree Rowe, graduate teaching and forensics assistant, has been notified her paper: "Grabbing, Groping, and Gazing: Using Sex to Sell in Homosexual and Heterosexual Periodicals" has been named top debut paper in the Media Studies Division for the 2005 Western States Communication Association Conference.

Dr. Treinen "Rocks!"

Dr. Kristen Treinen, assistant professor, was recognized by the MSU Women's Center as a "Woman Who Rocks!" The citation reads: "She is the Teaching Assistant coordinator and lectures to over 300 freshman twice a week in the department of Speech Communication. Dr. Treinen is not only understanding, but she is a woman that practices what she preaches. She teaches students (graduate and undergraduate) to be civically engaged in their community, while being an effective teacher. I respect Dr. Treinen's attitude and determination in creating a cohesive and supportive learning environment, and think that she totally rocks!"

Dr. Olson Published

Dr. Scott Olson, professor and VPAA, published "The Muse Pixeliope: Digitalization and Media Literacy Education" (co-authored with Timothy Pollard, Ball State U) in the American Behavioral Scientist (vol. 48, no. 2, 248-255). The journal is ranked 13 of 56 journals in social science. This issue of the journal was favorably reviewed in Connect magazine.

Dr. Olson also published "Quest for Firewire: Securing Funding for Digital Projects" (co-authored with Mat Rappaport, UW-Milwaukee) in The International Digital Media & Arts Association Journal, Fall 2004, vol. 1, no. 2.

Speech Team Places 2nd at Gustavus

On Sunday October 17th the Minnesota State University-Mankato Team traveled to the Gustuavus half of the Minnesota River Swing Tournament held in St. Peter, MN. The team placed 2nd Overall (The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire won the tournament).

The following individuals received awards:

  • Tom Bergstrom - 2nd place duo interpretation, 1st place duo interpretation, 6th Dramatic Interpretation.
  • Karie Menser - 2nd place duo interpretation, 6th place Poetry interpretation
  • Jon Surdo - 1st place duo interpretation
  • Jamie Konkel - Semi finals in prose interpretation
  • Mitch Batty - 3rd place Program Oral Interpretation
  • Ali Khokher - 1st place Impromptu speaking
  • Emily Kofoed - 1st place Program Oral Interpretation, 2nd After Dinner Speaking

TCFL #1 Results

  • Mitch Batty POI - 1st place
  • Jon Surdo DI - 3rd place
  • Jamie Kunkel DI - 5th place (first novice break for our team this year---YEAH!!!)
  • Lindsey Thompson CA - 3rd place
  • Ali Khohkar Impromptu - 2nd place
  • Emily Kofoed ADS - 1st place
  • Emily Kofoed POI - 2nd place (First AFA qualification of the year)
  • Jon Surdo/Tom Bergstrom duo - 2nd place
  • Team sweepstakes - 1st place

Speech Team has Success at Carol Gaede "Talk of the Tundra" Tournament

The following individuals receive awards:

  • Emily Kofoed - 2nd place in Program Oral Interpretation and 7th in After Dinner Speaking
  • Karie Menser - 3rd place in Duo Interpretation.
  • Tom Bergstrom - 3rd place in Duo Interpretation.


Dr. Martine Harvey, assistant professor, received a Faculty Improvement Grant for $1,275 to enroll in an international class in Tuscany next summer.


Maverick Forensics competed at South Dakota State University's Jackrabbit Joust with the following results:

  • Emily Kofoed - 2nd place program oral interpretation, and 2nd place after dinner speaking
  • Karie Menser - 1st place duo interpretation, and 3rd place poetry interpretation
  • Tom Bergstrom - 1st place duo interpretation, and 5th place duo interpretation
  • Jon Surdo - 2nd place dramatic interpretation, and 5th place duo interpretation
  • Team - fifth place


Dr. Daniel Cronn-Mills, professor, was honored by the Minnesota Speech Coaches Association with the 2004 Distinguished Service Award "for outstanding contributions to Minnesota High School Speech Activities."


Dr. Daniel Cronn-Mills, professor, was elected President-Elect of the Communication and Theater Association of Minnesota for 2004-2005.


James Dimock, instructor, presented two panels at the South Dakota speech convention: (1) "Voices of Dissent: The Rhetorical and Oratorical Style of the Counter-Culture"and (2) "The Rise and Fall of Academic Freedom". Jim also chaired a third panel: "American Eye Con: Defusing the Rhetoric of Sartdom."


James Dimock, instructor, spoke on campus, Wednesday, 9/14, at noon by the fountain on Abu Ghraib. The speech is sponsored by Kessel Peace Institute. This is part of a series of speeches being promoted by the Institute. Jim is on the organizing committee for the Institute.


James Dimock, instructor, has been asked to be the advisor for another student club… the fencing (swords not landscaping) club.


Dr. Scott Olson, professor in our dept and vp of academic affairs, has a co-authored article in a recent issue of American Behavioral Scientist. The article is titled "The Muse Pixeliope: Digitalization and Media Literacy Education."


Dr. Martine Harvey will present on Sept. 29-Oct. 2, 2004 National Society for experiential Education NSEE/ICEL Joint Conference 2004, Miami, Florida. Proposal titled "Play Up Diversity Learning Through Playwright Exploration".


Dr. Martine Harvey will present on November 19-20, 2004 The Collaboration Conference "Learning Through Discovery. The Power of Inquiry in the Construction of Knowledge." Proposal titled: "Play Up Diversity Learning Through Playwright Exploration", Radisson Hotel, Bloomington.


Dr. Martine Harvey will present at the IAIE International Conference (International Association for Intercultural Education) titled "Diversity in Education in an International Context" Educazione Interculturale nel contesto internationale" - Workshop proposal: "Play Up Diversity Learning Through Playwright Exploration", Verona, Italy, April 20-23, 2005.


Dr. Sheryl Dowlin, professor completes Moving Toward Respect project (press release).


Dr. Daniel Cronn-Mills, professor, has been selected as an "Outstanding Professor of the Year" by the National Speakers Association. The award is named for Robert H. Henry, past president of the NSA. The award letter states, in part, the organization was impressed with the commitment to research, issues of ethics in communication, and involvement in university-wide activities.


Dr. Dan Cronn-Mills (professor) was a panelist on the panel The "Unwritten Rules" in High School Speech Competition at the 2004 CTAM Conference.


Dr. Dan Cronn-Mills (professor) was a panelist on the panel The State of the State of Minnesota Speech and Communication Curriculum at the 2004 CTAM Conference.


Desiree Rowe, Sarah Wolter, and Suzanne Loen, graduate students were panelists on the panel "Can I Put This on my Vita?" at the 2004 CTAM Conference.


Dr. Leah White, assistant professor, David Brennan, undergraduate speech communication major, and Desiree Rowe, graduate student, were panelists on the panel "What's a POI: Preparing high school students for Collegiate Forensics at the 2004 CTAM conference."


Dr. Martine Harvey, assistant professor, is presenting a workshop titled "Play Up Diversity Learning Through Playwright Exploration" at The Collaboration Conference (Bloomington, MN) in November 2004.

2004 National Communication Association Conference

  • Kathryn Cady, assistant professor
    • Armchair, Ivory, Labor: Forms of Feminist Activism
    • Media Regulation, Literacy, and Trends: Student Section Competitive Papers in Mass Media Analyses
  • Dr. Daniel Cronn-Mills, professor
  • Dr. Fernando Delgado, professor and dean of the College of Graduate Studies
    • Critical and Cultural Studies Division Business Meeting
    • Critical Sports Communication
    • Engaging with Co-Learners: Moving Pedagogically Forward in a Post-Colonial World
    • Moving Forward/Looking Back with Latino/a Rhetorical Scholarship: Tradition, Alterity, and Critique
    • NCA Legislative Assembly Business Meeting
    • NCA Legislative Assembly Business Meeting
    • NCA Legislative Assembly Business Meeting
    • NCA Legislative Assembly Business Meeting
    • Recognizing Other Masculinities: Representational & Performative Sites of Latino and African American Masculinities
    • Rhetorical Leadership and Symbolism in Latin American Public Address: Cuba and Venezuela
    • With Eyes Wide Open: Moving and Looking, Evaluating Critical Cultural Studies
  • James Dimock, instructor
    • Aristotle, Fear, and Public Dis-locations
    • Thursday, 11/11/2004 at 3:30 p.m.
  • Dr. Nanette Johnson-Curiskis,assistant professor
  • Brian Klosa,instructor
    • Issues in Forensics
  • David Nadolski, graduate student
    • G.I.F.T.S. Great Ideas for Teaching Speech
  • Desiree Rowe, graduate student
    • Argumentation Theory: Exploring the Public Sphere
    • G.I.F.T.S. Great Ideas for Teaching Speech
    • What's the Difference Between Competitive Rhetorical Criticism and Academic Rhetorical Criticism?
  • Dr. Warren Sandmann, professor and assistant vice-president for undergraduate studies
    • Freedom of Expression Business Meeting
    • Whither the First Amendment? The 2003-2004 Supreme Court Year in Review
  • Dr. Kristen Treinen, assistant professor
    • Basic Course Division Business Meeting
    • Contributed Papers on the Basic Course I: Focus on Public Speaking Pedagogy
    • Moving Forward/Looking Back: Exploring Educational Resources Available to Academically At-Risk Students
  • Dr. Leah White, assistant professor
    • Is our Discipline Family Friendly?
    • Issues of Ownership: Intellectual Property, Performance and Libel
    • NFA General Business Meeting
  • Sarah Wolter, graduate student
    • Moving Forward/Looking Back: Exploring Educational Resources Available to Academically At-Risk Students
    • Representations of Female Athletes in the Media