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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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April 2005 Campus Newsletter

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CommencementMay 14: Commencement

As of last week, 1,649 undergraduate and graduate students were on track to graduate on May 14 in three Spring Commencement ceremonies. A record 1,617 MSU students graduated in Spring 2004, and next month's commencement probably will set a new record.

This year's three separate ceremonies are new, intended to give graduates and their families a better experience by allowing all family members to attend, by keeping the ceremonies on campus, and by reducing the length of the ceremony for students. Families no longer will need tickets, because there'll be plenty of seating for all who want to attend.

Each ceremony will include students from two colleges, and each will be in Bresnan Arena. The ceremony for the Colleges of Arts & Humanities and Science, Engineering & Technology will be at 9 a.m. The ceremony for the Colleges of Business and Education will be at noon. The ceremony for Allied Health & Nursing and Social & Behavioral Science will be at 3 p.m.

May 16: Annual Employee Breakfast

The Employee Recognition Committee will host the annual Employee Breakfast on Monday, May 16. The event recognizes the contributions and dedication of MSU employees, and celebrates the end to a successful academic year.

All employees are invited to the free breakfast at Carkoski Commons from 8 to 10 a.m. President Richard Davenport will welcome and thank MSU employees at about 8:45 a.m.

May 5: Retirement Luncheon

Faculty, staff and students will regale and recognize the contributions of retiring faculty and staff at the Retirement Luncheon on Thursday, May 5, hosted by the Employee Recognition Committee.

Retirees who will be honored include (as of late last week): David Abel, Cecilia Berg, William Bernhagen, Hope Cook, Sheryl Dowlin, Patricia Hale, Daniel Hanel, Birgitta Hendrickson, Carol Larson, Kil Lee, Gary Lundin, Ruth Lysne, Linda Marshall, Judith Metzler, George O'Clock, Robert Redhead, Gerald Stiles, Hal Walberg and Ray Williams.

The luncheon will start at 11:30 a.m. in the CSU Ballroom. Retirees will be honored individually, and the MSU Concert Choir will perform. All MSU faculty and staff are welcome to attend. Cost for the luncheon is $10 per person, and reservations should be made through the Human Resources Office, x2015.

Spring Recruiting: On the Upswing

Spring on-campus recruiting is up 110 percent from the highly successful spring 2004 level, according to the Career Development Center.

Fifty-nine employers have been to campus or plan to come in the next few weeks to interview MSU students for internships and entry-level employment. Of those, 33 are either new to campus or returning after being gone for a number of years.

Last fall's on-campus employer recruitment also was very productive, up 92 percent from fall 2003. For more information, go to the CDC's "Who's Recruiting on Campus" web page.

CSU DedicationCSU Dedicated

Hundreds of students, faculty, staff and guests toured the "New CSU" during grand opening festivities last week.

President Richard Davenport, Student Senate President Shahzad Anwer and Minnesota State Board of Trustees Chair Robert Hoffman cut the ribbon to dedicate the newly-remodeled Centennial Student Union on April 13.

Improvements to the CSU aim to create a more hospitable environment for students. The renovation project includes:

  • A three-story atrium and Hearth Room, with a gigantic Kasota-stone fireplace;
  • A new Grand Stairwell leading from the front of the building to the second floor;
  • New elevator;
  • A relocated Hub information center;
  • Food courts on two levels with several new restaurants, including Chick-Fil-A, Taco Bell Express, Sub Generations, Players Grill, Bamboo, Mesquite Ranch Barbeque, Freshens and the Tuscan Oven;
  • Specialty dining area with new tables and chairs;
  • New and bigger lounge spaces with couches and easy chairs that include laptop trays, electrical outlets and wireless and wired internet connections;
  • A glass-enclosed art gallery for student sculpture, paintings and drawings;
  • A new Heritage meeting/dining room with fireplace;
  • Renovated loading dock and service corridor;
  • Renovated rest rooms;
  • Renovated computer lab;
  • Multi-purpose programming space.

Another Oxford Round Table Presenter

Bikash Nandy (Health Science) is the third MSU professor invited to attend a special summer session of the prestigious Oxford Round Table in August.

He'll discuss "Successful Aging" during a Round Table at St. Anne's College in the University of Oxford, England, Aug. 7-12. Bikash will participate with 35 others who are interested in this topic.

Last year Mass Communications faculty members Ellen Mrja and Jane McConnell were invited to the Round Table to present papers about free speech, censorship and The Patriot Act.

Participants who can make significant contributions are invited to the annual discussions of critical social issues.

KMSU-FM Pledge Drive

KMSU-FM 89.7 raised more than $11,000 (as of April 15) since it started its annual spring pledge drive. Station Manager Jim Gullickson expected KMSU to achieve its goal of $15,000 when the drive ended April 18.

"The funds we raise will support programming that we have to buy like World Cafe, BBC News, Mountain Stage, Echoes and more," Gullickson said. He pointed out that KMSU relies on pledges to provide opportunities for students and volunteers, as well as to repair and replace equipment.

Even though the official drive is over, KMSU welcomes pledges at any time. Pledges can be made by calling (507) 289-5678 or clicking on Excellent thank-you gifts remain for pledgors, including CDs, stainless steel travel mugs and t-shirts.

Shuffle Function DayShuffle Function Day

Mankato Mayor Jeff Kagermeier proclaimed April 8 "Shuffle Function Day" in honor of the KMSU-FM 89.7 morning show's 24-hour Pledge Drive A Go-Go. "Shuffle Function" hosts Shelley Pierce and Tim "Shyboy" Lind volunteered for the 24-hour stint as part of KMSU's annual pledge drive.

Photo: Mankato Mayor Jeff Kagermeier (center) proclaimed April 8 "Shuffle Function Day" in honor of the KMSU-FM 89.7 morning show's 24-hour Pledge Drive A Go-Go. "Shuffle Function" hosts Shelley Pierce (right) and Tim "Shyboy" Lind volunteered for the 24-hour stint as part of KMSU's annual pledge drive.

Campus Drive

This year's Campus Drive goal is $175,000, after a successful 2004 drive which raised $173,620. Chair Cheri Bowyer urges faculty and staff to pledge generously when contacted by student callers.

The Senior Class Drive started this month, with the Class of 2005 goal of $5,000. Class co-chairs are Jeet Sausen and Christian Schemmel. The Parents Campaign, seeking gifts of $35,000, was launched early this month.

URSI Partnership Promotes Janesville

Janet Cherrington (Urban & Regional Studies Institute) and URSI students recently helped Janesville's city administrator produce a marketing brochure to promote Janesville tourism and growth.

The brochure is the first component of a citywide branding and marketing campaign,. The URSI-Janesville partnership has been recognized by the Department of Tourism's advertising manager as "a great project for the students and a valuable tool for the community." SCTC's Graphics Production Department provided design assistance.

MSU students donated research time as part of Cherrington's Management Seminar class, and SCTC graphics students donated time as part of their Applied Production class.

The 12-page, full-color brochure will include the "Explore Minnesota" logo and will be available in area businesses, government buildings and the local Chamber of Commerce. On May 9 URSI students will present an overview of their project to the Janesville City Council, and will present the brochures. The presentation will be aired on Janesville's local access channel in May.

Students who participated in the project include Roshan Bhandari, Suzanne Couillard, Kelly Deter, Jacob Helton, Lisa Hughes, Jamie Lind, Steven Scheurer, Kimberly Thompson, Patrick Waletzko and Jeanne Zwart.

1,300 Visitors on Campus April 23

More than 1,300 students in grades 3-6 - as well as their parents, teachers and friends - will congregate at Taylor Center and Meyers Field House Saturday, April 23, for the 54th annual Regional Science Fair.

Approximately 109 schools will participate in the Elementary Division of the South Central/Southwest Minnesota Region for Science Fairs. It's one of the largest such fairs in the United States. More than 1,250 projects are expected.

Exhibits will be set up from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m., and judging will be from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The fair will be open to the public from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Approximately 400 judges from Southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities will attend the event. Exhibits are entered in categories: botany, consumer product testing, earth and space science, engineering, computers, math, environmental sciences, medicine and health, physical science, zoology and humans.

Good Deeds

Faculty, staff and students are contributing their time, skills and talents to improve the Southern Minnesota community.

David Cowan recently received the Minnesota Moose of the Year Award by the Minnesota Moose Association and Moose International. Dave was recognized for his demonstrated work with Mankato Lodge #1414, the Mankato Moose Family Center, and extensive community volunteer work.

Chemistry Professor Emeritus Robert L. Graham has given $100,000 to MSU for a scholarship endowment and an unrestricted chemistry student development fund. The Marie Payne Graham Chemistry Endowment will provide an annual $2,500 scholarship for a chemistry student, as well as money for student stipends, specialized student research equipment, or student travel costs and fees. The endowment is named after Dr. Graham's wife of 46 years, the former Marie Payne, who died in 2003.

Thanks to the work of the Department of Speech Communication and the highly successful MSU Speech Team, MSU has been selected as the site for the 2007 American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament. The event brings more than 700 people from colleges and universities around the nation to the host campus and community.

Members of the Industrial/Organizational Psychology program volunteered with Kids Against Hunger, an organization that provides meals to starving children around the world, in March 24.

Ten social studies students traveled to Mexico over spring break with professors Ernie Grieshaber (History) and Clark Johnson (Social Studies), visiting key historical sites in Mexico City and Guanajuato and teaching high school classes in Irapuato.

Clark Johnson (Social Studies) received a 2005 Volunteer of the Year Award from the Mankato Area Family YMCA for his work with the Youth in Government Program.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

A dozen and a half faculty and staff members were honored recently for professional achievements.

John A. Romas (Health Science) is hosting a 10-week KMSU 89.7FM program about health entitled "Good Health: It's Your Choice." The weekly half hour show, which runs through April 26 at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays, features guests from the College of Allied Health & Nursing as well as community health professionals discussing physical, mental and social health issues.

W. James Wilde (Mechanical & Civil Engineering) received a research contract for $60,000 from the Minnesota Local Road Research Board. His project will develop a guideline for the design of bituminous-stabilized gravel roads.

Namyong Lee (Mathematics & Statistics) has been selected for a Mathematical Association of America sectional New Experiences in Teaching Fellowship for 2005-2006.

Francis T. Hannick (Mathematics & Statistics) presented a workshop, "Hands-On Experience with Numerous Activities for the Elementary School Mathematics Curriculum," at the annual National Council of Teachers of Mathematics meeting in Anaheim, Calif., earlier this month.

Dean Moosavi (Chemistry & Geology) was an invited panelist at the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science-Council of Graduate Students academic forum at the University of Minnesota March 29. The forum focused on graduate students who are contemplating careers in academia.

Brian Groh (Chemistry & Geology) attended the 229th American Chemical Society national meeting in San Diego, Calif., in March. He presented a paper, "Web-Based Supplements to Encourage Organic Pre-Lab Preparation: A Complete Package," which resulted in part from a Teaching Scholar Fellowship last summer.

Russell Palma (Physics & Astronomy) has been invited to the College Physics Forum in San Francisco on April 30, hosted by Pearson Education Publishing. The Forum will pay his expenses, and he will be part of a national group of university physics professors discussing introductory trigonometry based physics courses for non-physical science majors.

Paul Eskridge (Physics & Astronomy) presented the Astronomy Colloquium at the University of Minnesota early this month.

Glen Peterson (Speech, Hearing & Rehabilitation Services) received the 2004 President's Award for Outstanding Service to the National Association for Rehabilitation Leadership.

JoAnna Stephens Mink (English) presented a paper, "Daughters and the Home in Victorian Novels: A Middle-Class Fantasy?" at the British Women Writers Conference in Lafayette, LA, earlier this month.

Stewart Ross (Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning) recently presented two about active learning workshops at the "Realizing Student Potential" Conference in the Twin Cities. More than 150 faculty attended his two workshops. In January and February he also presented active learning workshops for faculty at Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D., Dakota County Technical College, SCTC and Metro State University. He was selected as a District 77 diversity instructor for fall 2005.

Suzanne Bunkers (English) and Sheryl Dowlin (Speech Communication) have been invited to co-present a paper at the International Association for Intercultural Education's International Conference. They will discuss "Cultivating Respect for Diversity: a Case Study."

Sheryl Dowlin (Speech Communication) received a $1,000 MHC primary scholar grant to document the "Hochunk Journey into the Past" event taking place Saturday, May 7, in Mankato. A first-time reconciliation effort will welcome 60 Hochunk (Winnebago) elders and children back to the city. The group will visit to the Hochunk Indian Agency site and several village sites where their ancestors lived before their removal from Minnesota in 1863. Sheryl will interview and record Hochunk elders' reflections and responses to the activities. She plans to create a video documentary for historical societies, libraries, schools and Hochunk communities in Nebraska and Wisconsin.

Three Speech Communication faculty, one emeritus and two graduate students have published articles in the latest National Forensic Journal. Larry Schnoor (emeritus) and James Kozinski (graduate student) published the lead article, "Building a Team." Brian Klosa published "Finding Coaching Help." Leah White published "The Coach as Mentor." And Desiree Rowe (graduate student) and Daniel Cronn-Mills published "When 'Van Talk' Steers Out of Control: A Theoretical Exploration of Team Traditions."

An article by Anne (Gerbensky) Kerber (03 Speech Communication MA) and Daniel Cronn-Mills has been accepted for publication in the fall National Forensic Journal. The piece is titled "The State of Forensic Scholarship: Analyzing Individual Events Research in the National Forensics Journal from 1990-2003."

Martine Harvey (Speech Communication) has been invited to teach a seminar on Intercultural Conflict and Mediation in June at the University of Verona, Italy.

Kebba Darboe (Ethnic Studies) presented a paper, "New Immigrants in Minnesota: Somali Immigration and Assimilation," at the National Association for Ethnic Studies Conference in Chicago last month. At the same conference Yueh-Ting Lee and Luis Posas (Ethnic Studies) presented a paper, "Psychological Inquiry into Stereotypes and Racial Profiling: Theoretical Perspective on Using Racial and Non-racial Cues in Law Enforcement."

Yueh-Ting Lee (Ethnic Studies) presented a paper, "Taoist Altruism and Wateristic Personality: East and West" at the Society for Cross-Cultural Research Conference in Santa Fe, NM, in February.

Andi Lassiter (Psychology) was the invited speaker at the Minnesota Professional Psychologists Applied to Work meeting in St. Paul last month. She discussed "Training for Team Effectiveness: Theories, Models, and Recent Findings."

Clark Johnson (Social Studies) presented "Reading and Analyzing Data: Active Application of the Minnesota Social Studies Standards" at the Minnesota Council for the Social Studies Conference in Bloomington last month.

Paul Mackie (Social Work) has been selected to present a paper, "Qualitative Differences Between Rural and Urban Social Workers," at the Agriwellness Rural Behavioral Health Conference in July.

Leah Rogne (Socialogy & Corrections) will be profiled by The Pioneer Feminists Project, which collects biographies of feminists who participated in the women's movement from 1963 to 1975. Rogne was an early member of the National Organization for Women and state coordinator for the North Dakota Abortion Rights Action League.

Tony Filipovitch (Urban & Regional Studies) published an article, "Assessing the Fiscal Impact of Local Development: A Survey," in ICSC Research Quarterly late last year. Filipovitch also reviewed Suzanne Morse ("Smart Communities"), Louise Chawla ("Growing Up in an Urbanising World") and David Driskell ("Creating Better Cities with Children and Youth") in the Journal of Urban Affairs.

Tony Filipovitch and Dianne Miller (Urban & Regional Studies) presented a paper, "Social Studies and the Local Community: Teaching Where You Live," at the Minnesota Council for Social Studies Spring Conference in March.

David Laverny-Rafter (Urban & Regional Studies) serves on a Hennepin County Hiawatha LRT Impacts Study Group which will document the environmental, social and economic impacts of the new Hiawatha Light Rail Transit System. Laverny-Rafter also presented a paper, "Sustainable Transportation Planning in Dublin, Ireland," at the MSU Sustainability Conference in March.

Susan Freeman (Women's Studies) has been accepted for a Fulbright-Hays Seminar Abroad this summer. The five-week seminar will focus on women in contemporary India.

Student Achievements

Twenty College of Allied Health & Nursing students got scholarships recently, a Counseling and Student Personnel-School Counseling graduate student won the top state award for the second year in a row, and the MSU Speech team placed 22nd nationally.

The MSU Speech Team placed 22nd in the recent American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament at Kansas State University early this month. Junior Matthew Collie advanced to the quarter-final round (top 24 students) in Extemporaneous Speaking and the semi-final round (top 12) students in Impromptu Speaking. More than 130 students were entered in each of these events. Collie was elected by his peers as the 2005-'06 District IV Student Representative to the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament.

Twenty College of Allied Health & Nursing students received 2005-2006 Mankato Clinic Scholarships. Tuition awards went to Ashley Baldridge, Angela Boeck, Tristina Brown, Angela Davis, Emily Engel, Brooke Halla, Rebecca Moore, Julie Nelson, Ngum Ngwa, Kari Sandstrom, Laraine Smit, Colette Swenson, Sarah VanRoekel and Sara Weigel. Conference awards went to Tracie Derbick, Emily Engel, Julie Langenfeld, Afton Wacholz, Qurrat-ul-Ain Zafar Ahmed and Duree-Shah-War Zafar Ahmed.

Graduate student Amanda Bomstad (Counseling and Student Personnel-School Counseling) has been named by the Minnesota School Counselors Association as the recipient of the 2005 Potential School Counselor Scholarship. This is the second year in a row that an MSU Professional School Counseling graduate student has won the award. The scholarship goes to an outstanding individual pursuing a master's degree in guidance and counseling with an emphasis on school counseling.

Grace Mlady (English) won the 2005 Society for Technical Communication Twin Cities chapter undergraduate student scholarship of $1,000.

Second-year student Brenda Hagen (Rehabilitation Counseling) has received a scholarship from the Minnesota Rehabilitation Counseling Association.

Graduate student Hanna Terletska (Physics & Astronomy) presented at the American Physical Society meeting in Los Angeles in March. Co-authors of the presentation were her advisor Igor Kogoutiouk and undergraduate student Eric Raymer.

Graduate teaching assistant Sarah Wolter (Speech Communication) has received the 2005 International Communication Association's "Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Student" award.

Graduate student Michelle (Mickey) Fitch (Counseling & Student Personnel) has been awarded a $300 travel grant by the Minority and Friends Network of the Oshkosh Placement Exchange. The grant is for "new professionals who have displayed a commitment to diversity or multiculturalism as they seek employment." Mickey is an assistant complex director with MSU's Department of Residential Life.

First-year student Angela Davis (Rehabilitation Counseling) was selected by her peers as the MSU student representative to the Minnesota Rehabilitation Association Board.

Graduate student Emily Engel (Rehabilitation Counseling) represented MSU and the Minnesota Rehabilitation Association at the national association's Governmental Affairs Summit in Washington in March.

James Van Amber and Susan Schalge (Anthropology) presented "Engaging Students in Anthropology" at a Minnesota State conference in Minneapolis in March.

Celme Divino and Teresa Menne (Urban & Regional Studies) will present research on "ACT 2000 and Citizen Participation" at the Undergraduate Research Center April 26. Their mentor is Bill Bernhagen. Afton Enger (Urban & Regional Studies) will present her research on "Comparative Analysis of Urban Design and Criminal Behavior: A Study of New Urbanism and Defensible Space as They Pertain to Crime" at the conference, Her mentor is Tony Filipovitch.

Heather Gay (Urban & Regional Studies) received the "Undergraduate Project Award" from the President's Commission on the Status of Women for her research on the effects of automobile culture on children. Her mentor is Tony Filipovitch.


Personnel comings and goings at MSU.

Dennis Amundson, Brook Kirwin, Brian Mohnsen and Luke Schleusner are new to Intercollegiate Athletics; Marla Bock joins the McNair Scholars Program; Rebecca Gullickson and Catherine Warden are new to the School of Nursing; Jodi Hager joins the Dental Hygiene program; Mary Jenatscheck is new to Educational Studies: Elementary & Early Childhood; Michael Vawracz joins Human Performance; and David Zaudtke is new to University Extended Education.

We bid farewell to Urban Benson (Institutional Diversity) and Nicholas Iverson (KMSU-FM).

To keep track of MSU personnel changes, click on the Human Resources "Comings and Goings" web page.