September 30, 2015 Campus Newsletter

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Reeher Conference Awards

Minnesota State University, Mankato's Division of University Advancement received the 2015 “Peak Performance Award” in the category of "increasing annual giving donors and dollars in the same year" at the Reeher Vista Executive Conference, held Sept. 23-25 in Minneapolis. The conference is the keystone event for advancement vice presidents and executives.

Lucette Hurley, director of annual giving programs at Minnesota State Mankato, is pictured (above left) with the Peak Performance Award, which was presented to the University as a result of the hard work of multiple individuals.

Also at the conference, Nicholas Linde (pictured on right in photo), director of development for the College of Business, was the recipient of the 2015 “Discovery Award” given for outstanding prospect discovery work.

PCSW New Employee Reception

The President’s Commission on the Status of Women is holding a picnic and reception for news employees and their families and supervisors on Thursday, Oct. 1 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Highland Park (950 Warren Street). The event will include brief presentations on resources available through the PCSW.

URC Research Center Grants

The Undergraduate Research Center has posted the application and additional resources for its 2015 fall grant cycle at Grant applications are due Friday, Oct. 9 at noon.

2015 Homecoming and Founders Day

Minnesota State Mankato's annual Homecoming week is Oct. 5-10, and this year the University will also celebrate Founders Day, which recognizes the 147th anniversary of Minnesota State Mankato as an institution, on Monday, Oct. 5 in conjunction with Homecoming activities.

The Homecoming week kick-off event and Founders Day celebration will be on Monday, Oct. 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the campus mall. A noon program will feature remarks from various city and Minnesota State Mankato representatives as well as music from the Maverick Machine athletic band. Cupcakes will be served to attendees.

This year's Homecoming theme is "Maverick Takeover: Forever Purple and Gold." Minnesota State Mankato's Homecoming has been in existence since 1928. Homecoming week offers students and alumni a way to showcase their pride and school spirit. Homecoming also allows the greater Mankato community a chance to learn about the University and take part in the celebrations.

Among the Saturday, Oct. 10 events are:

  • 9 a.m. 5K race ($5 registration fee)
  • 9-11 a.m. President's Free Community Pancake Breakfast behind Blakeslee Field
  • 12 p.m. Homecoming Parade
  • 1-3 p.m. Alumni & Friends Tent open behind Blakeslee Field
  • 2 p.m. Football game kickoff

The kick-off, Alumni & Friends 5K run, Presidents Free Community Pancake Breakfast, parade, and athletic events are all open to the public. A complete list of Homecoming events is available online.

Minnesota State Mankato was founded in 1868 as Mankato Normal School, serving 27 students, with a purpose of instructing students in the science and art of teaching. The first class graduated in June 1870 with 10 students. More information on the history of the institution is available here.

Proyecta 100,000 Scholarship Recipients

Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport and Alberto Fierro, head counsel for the Mexican Consulate in St. Paul, honored 29 Mexican students at a Monday, Sept. 28 reception on campus. The 29 Mexican students spent four weeks participating in an English language-training program conducted by the University’s Intensive English Language Institute and South Central College.

The program is jointly sponsored by the Mexican Ministry of Public Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The students returned to their home institutions on Sept. 30. Minnesota State Mankato was previously host to a similar cohort of Mexican students in November 2014.

Film Showings as part of Common Read

Four upcoming films will be shown in Centennial Student Union as part of Minnesota State Mankato's Common Read program. All are free and open to the public and will be in Ostrander Auditorium except where noted. The schedule is as follows:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 30, 6:30-8:30 p.m., "Just Eat It -- A Food Waste Story"
  • Thursday, Oct. 1, 4-6 p.m., "Fresh"
  • Wednesday, Oct. 14, 6:30-8:30 p.m., "Place at the Table" (shown in CSU 245)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 21, 7-8:30 p.m., "Fresh Meat"

Minnesota State Mankato is in its sixth year of a common read program, and Will Allen’s “The Good Food Revolution,” has been chosen as the Common Read for the 2015-16 academic year.

“The Good Food Revolution” discusses the life of Allen, a businessman turned farmer who began his journey with a roadside food stand in urban Milwaukee. He has since founded Growing Power Inc., an organization devoted to “developing living systems that are economically feasible for all people to have sustainable protein and vegetables all year round.”

A detailed list of Common Read [PDF] fall semester events are published online here (91 KiB).

Seasonal Flu and Tdap Vaccinations

The Office of Human Resources reports that seasonal flu and Tdap vaccinations will be available on Monday, Oct. 12 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Centennial Student Union 253-4-5.

The workplace clinic makes getting vaccinated convenient. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that can keep a person in bed for several days. Getting vaccinated helps protect individuals, familes and co-workers from flu-related illness.

(NOTE: Worksite clinics are for state employees only. Family members may obtain vaccinations at their primary care clinics.)

  • Mark your calendar.
  • No appointment will be necessary, just walk in.
  • Bring your Advantage health insurance card with you.
    • There is no cost with your Minnesota Advantage Health Plan member ID card. Employees without a valid card or who don’t have health insurance through the State of Minnesota can receive the flu shot for $32.00, the nasal spray flu vaccine for $35.00 and a Tdap vaccine for $57.00.
  • For more information and clinic locations visit the Vaccination Program page.
  • Flu and Tdap vaccinations are also available at your primary care clinic and in-network convenient clinics.

Career and Internship Expo

The Minnesota State Mankato Fall Career and Internship Expo is Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 20-21 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. The event is free for students and alumni and open to all majors. Faculty and staff are encouraged to stop by.

The Expo features a variety of employers with an emphasis in science, engineering, technology, construction and healthcare on Tuesday, Oct. 20. Employers with an emphasis in business, communications and human services will be featured on Wednesday, Oct. 21. Students and alumni are encouraged to attend both events.

Higher Learning Commission Seeks Third Party Comments

Minnesota State University, Mankato is seeking comments from the public about the University in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency. The University will host a visit March 28-29, 2016, with a team representing the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. Minnesota State Mankato has been accredited by the Commission since Jan. 1, 1916. The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet the Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation.

The public is invited to submit comments regarding the University to:

Third Party Comments on Minnesota State University, Mankato
The Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1411

The public may also submit comments on the Commission’s website at

Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Comments must be in writing. All comments must be received by Feb. 29, 2016.

Oct. 1-3, 8-11: 'Titanic'

The 2015-16 Mainstage season for Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Theatre and Dance will open with “Titanic,” a moving musical about an “unsinkable” ship on its ill-fated maiden voyage.

Featuring a cast of more than 40, the production is living up to its name. The sinking of the Titanic in the early hours of April 15, 1912, remains the quintessential disaster of the 20th century. The musical examines the causes, the conditions and the characters involved in this ever-fascinating drama. This is its Minnesota State Mankato debut.

Sponsored by Consolidated Communications Community Fund through the Mankato Area Foundation, “Titanic” will run 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1-3 and 8-10; and 2 p.m. Oct. 10 and 11 in the Ted Paul Theatre, Earley Center for Performing Arts, Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Tickets are $22 regular; $19 for seniors ages 65 and older, children under 16 and groups of 15 or more; and $15 for Minnesota State Mankato students. Season tickets for all six Mainstage productions of the 2015-16 season are $100 and are on sale through Oct. 11. They are on sale at or by calling or stopping by the Theatre & Dance Box Office from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday, in the lobby of the Earley Center for Performing Arts. Call 507-389-6661. Discounted tickets can be purchased only by calling or stopping by the box office.

Oct. 4: Master Drummer Sowah Mensah

Sowah Mensah and Sankofa will perform on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m. on the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall stage of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave. The concert features music and dance from Ghana and Nigeria.

Sowah Mensah is an ethnomusicologist, composer and a master drummer from Ghana, West Africa. Sowah has taught music in both Ghana and Nigeria and is currently a music professor at both Macalester College, and the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., where he also directs each school’s African Music Ensemble.

Concert admission is $15, $13 for students with a valid MavCARD. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Advance purchase is strongly encouraged. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to For more information, call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

Oct. 5: Lewinski Lecture

Anthony Pinizotto, a consultant to the Force Science Research Institute, will speak to students at 11 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 5 at Minnesota State Mankato in Centennial Student Union's Ostrander Auditorium. The event is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the community.

Pinizotto's presentation is the fourth in the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences Lewinski Law Enforcement Lecture Series, which was named in honor of the professional accomplishments in law enforcement research by William Lewinski and his research partners.

For more information, please contact Colleen Clarke by phone at 507-389-1377 or by email at Clarke is the director of law enforcement in Minnesota State Mankato’s Law Enforcement Program, which is part of the Department of Government in the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences.

Oct. 6: Dumpy Jug Bumpers String Band

The Dumpy Jug Bumpers perform on Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. on the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall stage of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The Dumpy Jug Bumpers are a string band that brings back the old-time sounds of country blues, ragtime, and jug band music from the era of 78-RPM records. Playing a menagerie of acoustic string and mouth instruments, they transform any stage into a barrelhouse romp.

Concert admission is $12, $11 for students with a valid MavCARD. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Advance purchase is strongly encouraged. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to For more information, call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

Oct. 8: Good Thunder Reading Series

Minnesota State Mankato will host Lynda Barry and Michael Torres on Thursday, Oct. 8 for the Nadine B. Andreas Visiting Writer Residency as part of the Good Thunder Reading Series.

On Oct. 8, Barry will lead a writing workshop from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Centennial Student Union, Room 245. She’ll present a “Talk on Craft” at 3 p.m. in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium. She and Torres will read from their work at 7:30 p.m. in Centennial Student Union, Room 245. All Good Thunder Reading Series events are free and open to the public.

Barry is a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator and teacher. She is the author of an acclaimed creative writing-how-to-graphic novel, “What It Is,” which won the Eisner Award for Best Reality Based Graphic Novel, and “The Good Times are Killing Me,” which was adapted as an off-Broadway play and won the Washington State Governor's Award.

Minnesota State Mankato faculty member and master of fine arts candidate Michael Torres is a poet, fiction writer, and creative nonfiction writer whose work has appeared in Okey-Panky, Solo Press, Miramar and other journals. His first chapbook, “The Beautiful Distraction,” was published by Finishing Line Press.

For photos or more information, contact Diana Joseph at or 507-389-5144 or visit the Good Thunder Reading Series website.

Oct. 8: University Jazz Big Bands and Contemporary Ensembles

The University Jazz Big Bands and Contemporary Ensembles, directed by Director of Jazz Studies Dr. Douglas Snapp, will perform Thursday, Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The focus of the Jazz Mavericks Big Bands is to provide students with experience in a
jazz ensemble along with several performance opportunities. The Contemporary Ensembles features both vocal groups and instrumental combos. Formerly called Jazz Combos and Vocal Jazz Groups, the new ensembles feature a cappella styles of vocal groups such as Pentatonix, Rockapella, and Backtrack.

Concert admission is $9; $7 for students with a valid MavCard. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Advance purchase is strongly encouraged. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to For more information, call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

Oct. 9: 'Blue Bandana' Singer/Songwriter Jerrod Niemann

Chart-topping country star Jerrod Niemann will perform in concert during Minnesota State Mankato’s Homecoming week celebration at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9. Opening for Niemann will be country artist Morgan Evans. Visit or the Student Activities front desk, CSU 173 for ticket information.

Niemann, whose most recent single is the hit “Blue Bandana,” released in July, hit Number One in 2011 with the RIAA-certified Platinum digital single, “Lover, Lover,” and a follow-up Top 5 single, “What Do You Want.”

A songwriter who has provided songs for Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, and Lee Brice, Niemann in 2014 released the hit album “High Noon.” It was lauded for an innovative approach that defined his identity in country music, and it included the hit single, “Drink to That All Night.” In interviews, Niemann has stated he strives for a unique sound. “I wanted to make sure my music sounded different from everything else out there right now,” he said.

Oct. 10: Truman and Reta Wood Scholarship Dinner

Emily Hutchinson and Nancy Pearson from the Center for Victims of Torture, headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., with offices in Washington, D.C., and other worldwide locations, will deliver the keynote address, "New Tactics in Human Rights," at the 21st Annual Truman and Reta Wood Scholarship Dinner on Saturday, Oct. 10 in Minnesota State Mankato's Centennial Student Union, Room 253.

The dinner will honor Minnesota State Mankato's 2015-16 Wood Scholarship winners, Gulmira Fazilova and Jerica Thompson.

The 5 p.m. reception and 5:45 p.m. dinner are open to the public. Cost of the event is $60 per person ($40 of which is tax deductible) or $20 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. To RSVP, contact Susan Taylor, director of development for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, by phone at 507-389-1006 or by email at More information is available at

Oct. 13: Maverick Machine Marching Band Indoor Concert

The Maverick Machine Marching Band will present its inaugural indoor concert on Tuesday, Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. The concert takes place in the Ted Paul Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave. Michael Thursby, director of athletic bands, directs the marching band.

The Indoor Marching Band concert will feature up-tempo and exciting marching band music. The Maverick Machine will begin the concert with its traditional pre-game sequence that features "Fanfare for the Common Man" and the Minnesota State Mankato Rouser. Next, the band will perform traditional patriotic music that will be followed by the Maverick Machine’s halftime production "Lift-off" and other crowd favorites.

Concert admission is $9 for community members, $7 for students with a valid MavCARD. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Advance purchase is strongly encouraged. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to For more information, call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

Faculty/Staff News

Russell Fricano, assistant professor, Urban and Regional Studies Institute, and Miriam Porter, chair and professor, Urban and Regional Studies Institute, are facilitating four student projects this fall in four Minnesota communities (Bellchester; Fairmont; Janesville; Tonka Bay).

Porter, Raymond Asomani-Boateng (associate professor, Urban and Regional Studies Institute) and Kwaku David Kessey of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and URSI graduate students Gabriel Appiah and Melissa Sonnek have collaboratively researched and published an article, "Disaster Preparedness in a Developing Economy: Case Study of Accra and Kumasi Metropolitan areas in  Ghana" in the International Journal of Civic, Political and Community Studies (Sept. 2015). Porter presented this research in behalf of the team at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada in June 2015 at the International Conference on the New Directions in the Humanities.

Walter Roberts, professor in the Department of Counseling & Student Personnel, was one of three panelists to discuss the subject of bullying at a free community event on Thursday, Sept. 24 at the Great River Regional Library in St. Cloud, Minn. Times Media sponsored the event, which was intended to present ways the community can impact bullying in schools, according to a Sept. 19 St. Cloud Times opinion piece by John Bodette.

David Viscoli, professor of piano, recently performed concerts with the Chiarina Piano Quartet at Minnesota State Mankato, Augsburg College in Minneapolis, and at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.


Professor Emeritus Joe Wayne Davis died Friday, Sept. 25 at Keystone Community of Mankato. Davis was employed with Minnesota State Mankato for 25 years until his retirement in May 2009.  During his tenure, Davis worked as a professor in the Department of Sociology & Corrections. His obituary was published in the Mankato Free Press.

Monroe David “Monty” Purrier died Saturday, Sept. 26. He was employed with Minnesota State Mankato from December 1983 to June 2007. During his tenure he held the position of General Maintenance Worker. Monty’s complete obituary can be viewed here.

Online TODAY Magazine

Visit the online TODAY magazine at to keep up-to-date with news, alumni and stories about the people who help make this University great.

The mission of TODAY is to entertain, to inform and to connect the reader to the campus. The print TODAY is mailed twice per year to 95,000 alumni and friends.

TODAY welcomes story ideas supporting this mission. Contact Sara Frederick at 507-389-6981 or to share ideas.

Content is updated regularly, so check back often!


Do you have faculty, staff, student or departmental news for the campus newsletter? Send news items to the Media Relations Office at The newsletter is published every other Wednesday during the academic year (except during scheduled break weeks) and monthly during the summer. The next newsletter will be published Wednesday, Oct. 14. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday, Oct. 9.

You should also submit your event to the university's official Campus Events Calendar by sending an email to Shirley Piepho at