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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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June 2005 Campus Newsletter

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MSU is top Minnesota State Excellence Awards winner

Excellence Award Recipient Pam Weller-Dengel
Excellence Award Recipient Leah Rogne
Chancellor James McCormick and President Richard Davenport are pictured with MSU excellence awards recipients for the On-Campus Recruiting Program (top), and for the Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program (bottom).

MSU again has won Minnesota State Board of Trustees honors for outstanding academic and student affairs achievement, becoming the state's top Excellence Awards winner.

MSU is the only Minnesota college or university to receive a program Excellence Award each year since the competition started in 2003, and the only institution to capture two or more awards for two years in a row (last year MSU won all three program awards). It is one of only five colleges and universities to win in 2005.

The annual awards for excellence in curriculum programming, student affairs programming and initiatives that reflect the changing nature of education were presented at the Minnesota State Trustees' meeting in May.

The awards recognize excellence in planning, program innovation and collaboration at colleges and universities across the system. Forty programs and administrators from 32 colleges and universities vied for the awards.

MSU's Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program earned the Trustees' award of excellence in curriculum programming. MSU's On-Campus Recruiting Program was recognized for innovation in student affairs programming.

The Nonprofit Leadership Certificate is a multidisciplinary, 18-credit program that can be completed online or in a classroom setting. Directed by Leah Rogne, it helps students develop skills and understanding necessary for effective nonprofit management., created by MSU's Career Development Center, is an online recruiting system that allows students and alumni to search and apply for jobs and internships online, to make documents and resumes available online, and to investigate employers who are interviewing on campus. Pam Weller-Dengel is director of the Career Development Center.

Last year MSU received awards for the College of Business' Wireless Laptop Initiative, the Student Affairs Division's Learning Communities/First-Year Experience program, and the collaborative program, Taking Steps to Better Health/Tomando Pasos Para Mejor Salud. In 2003 MSU received the award for the Student Affairs Division's innovative Health PRO (Peers Reaching Out) program.

This is the second time in 2005 that Minnesota State has honored MSU for outstanding leadership and team effort. In January MSU received Minnesota State finance officer awards for Excellence in Financial Management and Excellence in Facilities Management.

June 20: Ceremony will mark memorial site closure

After the May 17 tragedy involving MSU's SAE formula team, a memorial site honoring Chad Wilson, Jamie Schlachter and Wesley Loutsch was established at the entry doors of Nelson Hall near the lab in which they labored for many hours, building their Formula SAE car. Many messages of sympathy and grief have been recorded, as well as expressions of encouragement to those who were injured. Countless flowers and plants were delivered to the memorial site as well.

On Monday, June 20, at noon, there will be a brief gathering to formally close the memorial site, and a solemn moment of remembrance will be held to bring the memorial to an appropriate close. At that time all of the mementos that have been left at the memorial site will be removed and archived. A permanent memorial to honor Wes, Chad, Jamie and the rest of the 2005 SAE Team is being created and will be located in Nelson Hall to commemorate the lives of these fine young men.

John E. Frey, dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, welcomes all who wish to attend the closing of the memorial.

MSU achieves athletic proportionality in 2004-05

MSU AthleticsMSU successfully implemented its athletics roster management program in 2004-2005, achieving substantial proportionality among men's and women's sport programs.

Final men's participation totals for 2004-05 were 298 student-athletes, down from 333 in 2003-2004, while women's participation climbed from 223 in 2003-2004 to 300 in 2004-2005. The ratio of women's participation to men's participation improved 10.1 percentage points from the previous year, with 50.2 percent of the 598 total student-athletes involved in the 12 women's sports programs, while 49.9 percent competed for the 11 men's teams.

New strategies and dedicated cooperation from coaches were responsible for the plan's success, according to Athletic Director Kevin Buisman. For men's sports programs, scholarship resources were increased while participation was limited in an effort to focus on quality rather than on quantity. Additional scholarships also were added in women's sports, and other strategies were implemented to bolster participation rates.

The roster management strategy didn't hinder the Maverick competitive spirit in 2004-'05. As of May 26, MSU ranked fifth nationally in the Director's Cup, measuring Division 2 athletic success. MSU captured the 2005 North Central Conference Cup (the top athletic department in the seven-team NCAA Division II league) and the 2005 NCC Men's All-Sports title.

The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics looks for more improvements in the coming year, especially in long-term student-athlete retention.

Henry Morris is first MSU Presidential Fellow

Henry Morris has been named MSU's first Presidential Fellow. The pilot program was created by President Richard Davenport to develop new senior leaders from within.

Henry will be mentored by President Davenport and other senior leaders to help him expand his organizational leadership knowledge and skills. Henry will begin his fellowship in mid-September, after a well-deserved summer sabbatical during which he will begin work on his doctoral degree and finalize his Fellow program.

For the next year, Henry will work directly with Davenport, MSU vice presidents and other senior leaders, assisting with critical decisions and formulating and implementing strategic plans and policies. He will be involved with the MSU decision-making process: facilities development, resource allocation, institutional policies, legislative and public relations, and fundraising. He will participate in key University meetings and events, seminars, workshops, training opportunities and policy discussions.

The Presidential Fellow Program is a pilot project that may be used throughout the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system after it's tested at MSU. President Davenport expects it to "create a culture of leadership mentoring and nurturing" that will enlarge the pool of highly qualified candidates for leadership positions within the state's colleges and universities.

Library research short course

Faculty, staff and students who want tips about using Memorial Library for research are invited to enroll in a free, three-session class June 16, 23 and 30.

The no-cost, no-credit class is designed for people who are beyond the traditional college age of 22 who are returning to or just starting college. It's intended to show participants how to use home computers to get information for papers and projects, how to avoid wasting time during the research effort, and how to make the library research experience easier.

The three-session class will be offered from 9-1 a.m. on Thursday mornings, June 16, 23, and 30. For more information or to register contact Librarian Polly Frank at or 507-389-5961.

Individuals with a disability who need reasonable accommodation to participate in this event are asked to contact the Office of Disability Services at 507-389-2825 (V/TTD), 800-627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTD) five days prior to the event.

Summer orientation parking

Again this summer parking spaces in front of Crawford Hall (Lot 13 Green Permit) are being reserved for summer orientation parents and prospective students.

On summer orientation days employees and students may park in a small, designated area of Lot 13, but those spaces usually are full by 7:15 a.m. on orientation days. MSU workers who want to park for free should park in the Performing Arts Lot (Green Permit area only), or on the campus' east side in Lot 20, 21, 22 or 23. Orientation will have use of Lot 13 on the following days:

  • Session 4, June 16-17 (Thursday-Friday)
  • Session 5, June 20-21 (Monday-Tuesday)
  • Session 6, June 22-23 (Wednesday-Thursday)
  • Session 7, July 5-6 (Tuesday-Wednesday)
  • Session 8, July 7-8 (Thursday-Friday)
  • Session 9, July 11-12 (Monday-Tuesday)
  • Session 10, July 13-14 (Wednesday-Thursday)
  • Session 11, July 18-19 (Monday-Tuesday)
  • Session 12, July 20-2 (Wednesday-Thursday)

This summer's one-day sessions for transfer students:

  • June 15 (Wednesday)
  • July 15 (Friday)

Blood drive is Wednesday, June 22

Upward Bound will sponsor a blood drive Wednesday, June 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

Prospective donors may call 507-389-1211 in advance to arrange an appointment.

Blood donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health. A person may donate blood every 56 days. A valid photo ID is required of all donors.

Individuals with a disability who need reasonable accommodation to participate in this event are asked to contact the Office of Disability Services at 507-389-2825 (V/TTD), 800-627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTD) five days prior to the event.

Vikings Training Camp kicks off July 30

Vikings Training CampNext month the Minnesota Vikings will return to MSU's campus for the 40th consecutive year of training camp. From July 29 through August 18, camp will be a flurry of activity and fans of the Purple Pride.

MSU will help to kick off the event on Saturday, July 30, when faculty, staff, students and alumni enjoy a VIP skybox while watching the Vikings take the field for their first afternoon practice. Following practice, the camp will celebrate its 40th anniversary with live music, fireworks and more.

Details, costs and registration options for the event will be available soon at

COB to Host Business After Hours

The College of Business will host the Greater Mankato Area Chamber of Commerce "Business After Hours" event in August. The Tuesday, Aug. 9, event will be from 5-7 p.m. at Vikings Village next to Blakeslee Field.

Individuals with a disability who need reasonable accommodation to participate in this event are asked to contact the Office of Disability Services at 507-389-2825 (V/TTD), 800-627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTD) five days prior to the event.

Student Leadership sponsors Habitat house

Habitat for HumanityMSU's Student Leadership Development & Service-Learning Office will sponsor and build a Habitat for Humanity house later this summer.

Student Leadership Development will provide the volunteers, supplies and refreshments necessary to build the house, which will be a joint MSU-Habitat for Humanity project. There will be numerous opportunities for faculty and staff to help with the house.

Ground-breaking at the Stoltzman Road site is scheduled for late July, with completion expected by graduation. Watch the Campus Newsletter for dates and times of Habitat house work sessions.

Relay for Life raises $17,000

Relay for LifeMSU 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.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Numerous faculty and staff members were honored recently for professional achievements.

Richard W. Auger (Counseling & Student Personnel) has accepted a request to serve as associate editor of Professional School Counseling, the national journal of the American School Counselors Association. Auger has the option of moving into the journal's editor position in January.

Suzanne Bunkers (English), visiting professor at the University of East London's Centre for Narrative Research, presented the April university lecture, "Living To Tell The Tale: Women's Narratives Of Survival." She also presented "Diaries and Memoirs of Trauma," her latest research on ethical and practical issues from the diaries, memories and testimony of women Holocaust survivors, at the German-Jewish Studies Centre and the Centre for Life History Research at the University of Sussex, England.

Jane E. Baird and Robert C. Zelin II (Business) received the "Best Manuscript Award" from the American Accounting Association in April for their paper, "Can Cooperative Testing Improve Learning in the Introductory Accounting Course?"

Dave Gjerde (Registrar) co-presented at the national convention of the American Association of Collegiate Registrar and Admission Officers in New York City in March, discussing "Academic Fraud and Misrepresentation."

Student Achievements

Nathan Wardinski, a student worker and volunteer at KMSU 89.7 FM, has been awarded the 2005 Bryan Peterson Memorial Scholarship from Independent Public Radio (IPR). IPR is the second-largest public radio network in Minnesota and one of the largest networks of its kind in the United States. Wardinski is a graduate student working toward his MFA in creative writing. This is the second consecutive year that a KMSU student has won the honor. Melissa Specken '05, former news director of the Southern Minnesota News Project, received the award in 2004.

Mark JohnsonVP's Corner

By Mark Johnson, Vice President for Technology and Chief Information Officer

A new MSU/South Central College phone system will be put in place next month, meaning that when you make calls from your office, the electronic signal will travel over the campus computer network and the Internet, not over traditional telephone wires.

MSU and SCC are upgrading administrative and academic phone systems to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), considered the "technology of the future" for wired, wireless and cellular communication. VoIP converges voice, video and data technology, and will provide many new features, including significantly reduced costs.

MSU, with 3,900 phones, will be the first large school in Minnesota to fully deploy the VoIP system. Our current telephone vendor, HickoryTech, will install and service the system based on Cisco's AAVID architecture. Phone service in residence halls will use the VoIP system with regular analog phones rather than the new digital phones.

Voice over Internet Protocol uses a broadband internet connection instead of an analog phone line to transmit calls. VoIP converts voice conversations into a digital signal that travels through the campus network to its destination, where it is converted back to audio. Off-campus calls within the Mankato area will be passed to the phone company's regular telephone network. Calls between MSU and SCC campuses and some long distance calls will be routed through the Internet rather than through the long-distance telephone network. As more consumers and business adopt VoIP, more long-distance and international calls will be toll-free in the future.

You'll hear a dial tone and will dial the telephone just as you do now. Phone numbers will remain the same. But the VoIP phones will have many new features, including computer-assisted dialing, text and audio messaging and other extras, such as:

  • A screen displaying information such as missed calls, caller ID, placed calls, received calls and more.
  • An electronic campus directory, searchable on your phone's display screen.
  • The capability to use your laptop computer as a "soft" phone, providing office mobility.
  • E-mail messages that can be read to you over your phone.
  • Voice mail messages that can be displayed and controlled through Outlook e-mail.
  • Secure web conferencing, presentations and synchronous distance learning available to computers rather than just ITV-equipped classrooms.
  • During emergencies such as weather warnings, your phone's speaker will broadcast an audible alert.
  • 911 calls will simultaneously alert campus security to the caller's location to direct emergency responders to the correct building and room.

VoIP also will cut costs by reducing monthly fees for each phone, by allowing classroom emergency phones to be added without monthly fees, and by reducing long-distance charges. Other cost-saving features of the VoIP system:

  • Faculty, staff and departments will have voicemail boxes, call waiting, caller ID, and conferencing capabilities at no additional charge.
  • It will cost less to add new phones, move phones or change phone assignments.
  • Long-distance calls to other Minnesota State institutions with VoIP soon may be toll-free, and calls to VoIP phones elsewhere in the world may be free or low-cost.
  • Distance-learning classes will have conference bridge capabilities at no additional charge.
  • Emergency VoIP phones can be installed at no monthly fee in labs and classrooms, where they now are cost-prohibitive.

The MSU Telecommunications web page provides additional information and answers questions about the new system.