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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

November 25, 2015 Campus Newsletter

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Unions United Food Drive

The 2015 Unions United Food Drive will be held at Minnesota State University, Mankato from Nov. 23 to Dec. 11, with proceeds and monetary donations collected to be given to ECHO Food Shelf. Please make checks payable to ECHO Food Shelf. Collection sites will be located on campus at the following locations:

  • Career Development Center, Wigley Administration Building 209
  • Faculty Association Office, Morris Hall 240B
  • ITS Break Room, Memorial Library 3010
  • Library Administration, Memorial Library 3104
  • Wiecking Center Lobby
  • MSSA Office, Centennial Student Union 280

Donations will also be collected at the president's chili feed on Dec. 14.

Sponsoring unions and organizations include: AFSCME Local 638; Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE); Middle Management Association (MMA); Minnesota State University Asssociation of Administrative & Service Faculty (MSUAASF); The Inter Faculty Organization (IFO); Minnesota State Student Association (MSSA); Minnesota Government Engineering Council (MGEC); and Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA).

Dance Marathon Fundraiser 

Minnesota State Mankato’s Dance Marathon organization will host a fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings on Nov. 30 from 5 p.m. to midnight. By showing this coupon from its Facebook page, Dance Marathon will receive 15% of that bill.

Dance Marathon raises money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, specifically Gillette’s Specialty Healthcare, to help children in need.

ABE Students Visit Campus

Minnesota State Mankato welcomed 15 recent immigrants to campus on Nov. 19. Each immigrant is learning English in an Adult Basic Education (ABE) class taught by Bette Blaisdell at the Lincoln Community Center. The students dream about attending college, so they were given a true college experience.

The day started out by joining students in Professor Elizabeth Sandell’s Human Relations in a Multicultural Society class. Afterwards, each ABE student presented his or her story to a panel of students and then joined a group of Minnesota State Mankato students to take tours of campus. The tours included visits to the Multicultural Center, the OASIS office, the International Student Association office, the Student Activities office and departments of interest to each student.

After eating lunch with resident Minnesota State Mankato students at Carkoski Commons, the ABE students presented in one more panel and enjoyed informal discussion before returning to the Lincoln Community Center.

The story is explained in more detail in a Mankato Free Press article.

Mark M. Welter World Citizen Award 

Paul Iheme N’Gumah received the fall 2015 Mark M. Welter World Citizen Award. Twenty $500 scholarships are given to students attending MnSCU universities, with only one award being given per university.

N’Gumah, who is from Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), will be receiving his bachelor's degree in biochemistry in May 2017. He has been a very active student as part of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Honors Program. He has also played a more internal role as a board member of the International Student Association and treasurer of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Undergraduate Affiliate Network. He has participated and volunteered in numerous other activities and on and off-campus organizations.

His numerous contributions and passion embody him as a world citizen and are the reasons he earned this award.

Greek Members Chosen For National Leadership Roles

Several of Minnesota State Mankato’s current students and recent graduates have been selected to serve or currently serve in important leadership roles for their national fraternity or sorority.

David Schieler (spring '15) currently serves as an educational leadership consultant for Lambda Chi Alpha, visiting and providing guidance to chapters in the Northeast region of the country. Mitch Condon ('17) is in the middle of a two-year term on Lambda Chi Alpha’s Student Advisory Committee. He is one of 15 students on the committee and represents his region, the Great Plains Conclave. Courtney Igbo-Ogbonna has accepted a position as a chapter consultant with Alpha Chi Omega. Upon graduation in December, she will be relocating to Stoors, Conn., where she will be tasked with helping to develop a newly established chapter at the University of Connecticut.

Sororities Celebrate Milestones 

Two Minnesota State Mankato sororities celebrated impressive milestones this fall. Established in 1965, Alpha Chi Omega celebrated 50 years on campus and hosted more than 130 women at the festivities. Another sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha, celebrated 20 years with an on-campus celebration.

Gilman Scholarship 

Minnesota State Mankato senior Fartun Abukar Musse, who expects to earn a bachelor's degree in 2016 with a major in ethnic studies, was recently awarded a Gilman Scholarship. Musse will study abroad in Seoul, South Korea, through the Minnesota State Mankato Exchange from February 2016 to June 2016.

The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go by offering awards to U.S. undergraduate students who might otherwise not participate due to financial constraints.

Musse was born in Somalia and grew up in refugee camps before moving to the United States in 2000. While studying in Seoul, she hopes to gain experience and a new understanding of different cultures.

After returning to Minnesota, Musse hopes to spread awareness of the Gilman Scholarship and other opportunities for students hoping to study abroad.

For more information, contact the Office of University Fellowships.

Live Chat With Norwegian Ambassador 

Minnesota State Mankato was selected to participate in a new initiative from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington, D.C., called the Virtual Ambassador Program. The International Programs Office and Scandinavian Studies program coordinated the live skype chat that occurred on Monday, Nov. 16.

Norwegian Ambassador to the U.S. Kåre R. Aas gave a brief presentation about Norway’s perspective on issues related to the Arctic, including the impact of global warming, joint administration of the region through the eight-member Arctic Council and recent economic development in Norway’s far north. Students and faculty members lined up to ask more questions about the Arctic, as well as Norway’s response to the refugee crisis in Europe. The entire program lasted 45 minutes.

More than 100 students from a variety of majors participated in the program, including Rennesa Jessup’s ‘Introduction to the Nordic Culture’ class and Bryce Hoppie’s geology class. The program was just one of many occurring during the week of Nov. 16-23, designated by the U.S. Department of State as ‘International Education Week.’

Nov. 23-Dec. 4: Senior Art Exhibits 

Senior Department of Art students at Minnesota State Mankato will display their art on campus at Conkling Gallery from Monday, Nov. 23 through Friday, Dec. 4.

All artwork will be on display at 139 Nelson Hall, the Conkling Gallery, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and some evenings as coverage permits.

Students whose art will be displayed in Show 2 include: Heather Castner, Ann Eiden, Jeffrey Henning, Danielle Johnson, Trevor Perreault, Chelsey Pittman, Alicia Ragan, Kate Russell, Jessica Stelzner and Jeffrey Thorstad.

For more information, call the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art at 507-389-6412.

Nov. 16-Dec. 6: Exhibit Exploring Indian/Governmental Relationships 

A traveling exhibit titled “Why Treaties Matter: Self-Government in the Dakota and Ojibwe Nation” opened Nov. 16 at Minnesota State Mankato’s Memorial Library and will be on display through Sunday, Dec. 6.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Minnesota State Mankato’s Memorial Library is located at 601 Maywood Avenue. Library hours are posted online on its website. A parking map is posted online.

According to the Minnesota Humanities Center website, the exhibit is a nationally recognized, award-winning traveling exhibit made in partnership with the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

A summary on the Minnesota Humanities Center website says the traveling exhibit “explores relationships between Dakota and Ojibwe Indian Nations and the U.S. government in this place we now call Minnesota.” It states that visitors to the exhibit are able to learn, through a video presentation and 20 banners featuring text and images, “how treaties affected the lands and lifeways of the indigenous peoples of this place, and why these binding agreements between nations still matter today.”

The tour is made possible by a partnership between the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities and the Minnesota Humanities Center. The exhibit is traveling to Minnesota State Colleges & Universities institutions from August 2015 to July 2016.

Dec. 1, 3, 6: Final Fall Semester Concerts 

The Minnesota State Mankato Department of Music will present multiple student ensemble concerts the last week of the fall semester. The concerts feature seasonal favorites along with traditional music.

The Minnesota State Mankato Community Orchestra will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, in Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts. The orchestra is comprised of invited area community members along with university student musicians. The ensemble is under the direction of Joseph Rodgers (pictured).

The University Contemporary Vocal And Instrumental Ensembles will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, in Halling Recital Hall. The vocal ensembles will be performing the holiday music of contemporary a capella groups. The contemporary instrumental ensemble will perform a mix of jazz and pop music.

The Holiday Choral Concert will be at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, located at 623 South Broad St, Mankato. The program will include carols and seasonal music from other countries. Chamber Singers and Concert Choir Director David Dickau says, “This concert gives the choral groups an opportunity to do music of the season along with a mix from Renaissance to contemporary.”  

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 at 507-389-5549.

Dec. 9: Dream Closet Shopping Event

The Minnesota State Mankato Dream Closet team will host their free shopping event at the Centennial Student Union Ballroom on Wednesday, Dec. 9, from 4:30-6:30 p.m.

The Dream Closet team will collect clothing at various places in the community and will accept men, women and children’s clothing, shoes and accessories. All clothing at the event is free.

Other attractions at the event include professional face painting, a photo booth with professional photography and snacks and refreshments.

To learn more about this upcoming event, visit the Dream Closet website.

Student News 

Master of fine arts alums Christopher Outzen and Adam Key were recently honored with awards from the American Forensic Association at the National Communication Association's 101st Annual ConventionOutzen received the 2015 Outstanding Thesis/Dissertation Award for his thesis paper titled “It’s Not About You: Exploring the Liminal Experiences of Graduate Forensic Coaches.” Outzen's thesis advisor was Professor Leah White, director of forensics at Minnesota State Mankato. Key received the 2015 Larry Schnoor Forensics Pedagogy Research Award. Key's research is based on his master of fine arts thesis, titled "Going Public: An Organizational Autoethnographic Exploration of the International Public Debate Association," advised by Professor James Dimock.

The Undergraduate Research Center announced its recipients of the fall 2015 undergraduate research grants: Mehedi Hasan; Kourtney McNallan; Jonathan Cody; Katherine Sherrard; Krystal Klement; Nicole Soley; Iheme Paul N'Gumah; Shyler Egan; Jessica Ranke; Tara Reynolds; Estelle Tachago-Kamdom; Tatiana Soboleva; Natalie Young; Nicholas Booker; Megan Vergin; Jacob Bukkila; Allison Maleska; Jacob Conway; Jote Limeneh; Luke Zabel; Ali Oku; Chelsea Zblewski; Joshua Schutz; Ryan Colakovic; Brooke Jones; Azhar Abdukadir; Kasey Jacques; Juan Jose Quesada; Drew Kampmeyer; Karl Stenerson; Ryan Leba; Ka Xiong; Katie Rubitschung; Amanda Roche; Stephanie Peterson; Uyi Jefferson Imasuen; Sam Spencer; Amanda Bernarde; Erin Kahnke; Sanjina Maharjan; Jessica Hadler; Nhi Nguyen; Scott Arneson; Steven Thuening; Anh Pham; Reed Woyda; Andrew Tully; Nicholas Buchanan; Lauren Thompson; Rhianna Gwilt; Nicole ThompsonZachary McCarver; Katelyn Dick; Clenten Ndonwie; Rachel Kramer; James Joseph Adams; Rosa Hayes; Anna Leloux; Haley Rohloff; Lucy Saidu; Rebecca Osborn; Kaddijatou Jallow; Hanna Newman; Denise Adjidjonu; Kayla Kermode; Casey Hovey; Katherine Gibson; Natalie Moses; Carrington Riss; Donald Rudquist; Joseph Jaspers; Hee Son; Daniel John Fleming; Joseph Putz; Trelijah Miller; Natalie Klein; Evan Koehler; Aldo Adrian Kusnardi; John Seipel; and Morgan O'Brien.

Faculty/Staff News 

A paper by Catarina Fritz (associate professor in the Department of Sociology & Corrections) titled, “Redefining Racial Categories: The Dynamics of Identity Among Brazilian-Americans,” that was published in the international journal, Immigrants and Minorities, was selected as one of eight research publications on the topic of race, ethnicity and identity in the United States as a resource for journalists at the Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. Read more here.

In The Rankings 

Minnesota State Mankato was recently ranked on a series of different criteria. Here is a sample of its recent rankings:

Department News 

The [PDF] Research and Sponsored Programs’ Fall 2015 newsletter (803 KiB) is available.

The Financial Planning Certificate Program at Minnesota State Mankato was among 60 programs nationally to be recognized in Financial Planning Magazine’s November 2015 issue. The program is among those offered in the Department of Finance, which is part of the College of Business.

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, Dec. 9. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday, Dec. 4.

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