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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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October 2005 Campus Newsletter

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Nov. 1: Higher Learning Commission visit

On Nov. 1, President Richard Davenport, Vice President for Academic Affairs Scott Olson, Graduate Studies Dean Fernando Delgado and Don Larsson and Joan Roca, co-chairs of the Self-Study Steering Committee, will travel to Chicago to visit Dr. Robert Appleson of the North Central Association's Higher Learning Commission.

The visit will help prepare the campus for the commission's full re-accreditation visit in February 2006. The Minnesota State Mankato team will discuss applied doctorate degrees and Minnesota State Mankato's latest Self-Study efforts for re-accreditation, and Appleson will provide feedback about how the process is working.

Appleson, the HLC's staff liaison for Minnesota State Mankato, visited the campus a year ago.

To learn more about the Higher Learning Commission re-accreditation visit, go to the MSU Accreditation 2006 website.

Donate for earthquake relief

Funds for victims of the Pakistan earthquake are being collected by the International Student Office. Money donated to the Southeast Asia Earthquake Fund will be directed to the Mankato Red Cross and earmarked for Pakistani earthquake relief.

International students are collecting donations this week and next in Centennial Student Union. Students, faculty, staff and members of the public may bring checks to the International Student Office, 219 Centennial Student Union.

combined charities campaign logo

Still time to contribute to Combined Charities

There's still time to contribute to the Combined Charities Campaign. Employees can earmark charitable deductions for participating organizations by going to the State of Minnesota Employee Self-Service website until Friday, Oct. 21.

The annual campaign helps community-based service organizations such as United Way of Greater Mankato, the Minnesota Environmental Fund, Community Solutions Fund, Community Health Charities, Open Your Heart and a variety of other good causes.

Last year Minnesota State employees contributed nearly a million dollars to Minnesota charities. The number of employees pledging to the campaign has increased 200 percent since 2002, ranking the University second in giving among the seven Minnesota State universities.

Available Nov. 1 on DVD: 'The Promise'

The new video "The Minnesota State Mankato Promise," which premiered at the opening convocation on Aug. 22, received rave reviews from faculty and staff. Many who saw the video said it captures the heart and soul of what we do through powerful images, the three sentences of our new University vision, and a moving score. Watch "The Minnesota State Mankato Promise" video (WMV).

"The Promise" was produced for widespread use internally and externally with such audiences as prospective students and their parents, alumni, donors and community groups.

To speed distribution of this and other DVDs, ITS Video Production Services has purchased a new DVD duplicator. Beginning Tuesday, Nov. 1, DVD copies of "The Promise" will be available through the Campus Computer Store in CSU 20 at $2.50 apiece.

Those who can use "The Promise" to enhance the profile of Minnesota State Mankato, as well as their own programs, are urged to order copies.

Get in shape with fitness assessment, training

Wayne Sharp tries out the new tech-rec exercise equipment in Otto recreation Center.
Wayne Sharp tries out the new "tech-rec" exercise equipment in Otto recreation Center.

You no longer have an excuse for not exercising! In conjunction with the opening of the new Otto Recreation Center, Campus Recreation is launching a fitness assessment and personal training program especially for faculty and staff members.

The program is available to any faculty or staff who is a member of Otto Recreation Center. A faculty or staff member who gets a fitness assessment can elect to have a custom exercise plan constructed for him or her, or can have a personal trainer lead workouts.

The fitness assessment will measure cardiorespiratory fitness, flexibility, muscular strength/endurance and body composition before and after a planned exercise program. Participants will hear assessment results in a confidential meeting that includes general conclusions and recommendations.

The 12-week Customized Exercise Plan includes aerobic exercise, strength training, flexibility and stress management.

Membership in Otto Recreation Center is $50 per semester for faculty, staff and spouses. Cost of a fitness assessment is $30; a customized exercise plan is $25; and personal training is available for $25 for one session; $60 for three sessions; $90 for five sessions; and $150 for ten sessions.

Those who are interested may set up an appointment by e-mailing, or by calling Jennifer Bruns at x3269.

Community health worker training gets $373,000 grant

Minnesota's first accredited community health worker training program, developed by the Healthcare Education Industry Partnership through the College of Allied Health and Nursing, has been funded for the next three years with a $373,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation matching grant.

The new program is aimed at reducing cultural and linguistic barriers to health care, improving the quality and cost effectiveness of care and increasing the number of health care workers who come from diverse backgrounds.

In addition to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, local funding partners include the Otto Bremer Foundation, the Minnesota Department of Health, Health Partners, UCare, Fairview Health Services and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation.

The health worker training program began at South Central College in Mankato and Minneapolis Community and Technical College. To date, 35 students have completed the program. The curriculum is available to all Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system schools.

Anne Willaert, project director for the Community Health Worker Program, says community health workers are especially important to immigrant and refugee minority populations. Research shows that patients who speak a primary language other than English and don't have access to an interpreter are less likely to seek preventive care, keep appointments or comply with treatment instructions.

Minnesota State Mankato Website: It's the Best!

Best of the Web logoThe Minnesota State Mankato website was named one of the top in the country by the Center for Digital Education in its 2005 Best of the Web Contest and Digital Education Achievement Awards program.

More than 100 websites and applications competed for the prestigious awards. Minnesota State Mankato tied for third.

The Center for Digital Education evaluates higher education, K-12, state and local websites for innovation, delivery of public services, efficiency, economy and functionality.

Oct. 20-22: Asian Pacific American Conference

Sian Pacific Merican Conference logoThis year's Asian Pacific American Conference is Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 20-22, with the dispersion of Asians from their homelands and the status of Southeast Asian-Americans 30 years after the Vietnam War as themes.

The conference includes workshops and training sessions for teachers, community service providers and others who work with the Asian Pacific American community, as well as keynote speakers, games, a comedy and performance show and a talent competition. All workshop sessions are in Centennial Student Union.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. Thursday, followed by a reception at 8:45 a.m. For Minnesota State Mankato and Gustavus Adolphus students, cost is $40.

The conference is co-sponsored by Minnesota State Mankato's Department of Ethnic Studies and Office of Institutional Diversity, as well as Gustavus Adolphus, Good Thunder reading Series, First-Year Experience, Career development Center, Center for Academic Success, Kessel Institute, Women's Studies, LGBT Center, Colleges of Business and Education, fraternities and sororities, the Women's Center and Student Events Team.

Conference delegates may earn one academic credit; those interested should contact Michael Fagin or Jayne Larsen at 507-389-6125. Those who want more information or wish to register should go to the Asain Pacific American Conference website or contact Penh Lo, Minnesota State Mankato assistant director for Asian American Affairs, at

'Five Women Wearing the Same Dress'

Cast members of Five Women Wearing the Same Dress are (back row, left to right): Georgeanne (Jackie Olson) and Trisha (Krystyn Spratt); (front row, left to right): Meredith (Carrie Soler), Frances (Claire Wellin) and Mindy (Katie Moeller).
Cast members of "Five Women Wearing the Same Dress" are (back row, left to right): Georgeanne (Jackie Olson) and Trisha (Krystyn Spratt); (front row, left to right): Meredith (Carrie Soler), Frances (Claire Wellin) and Mindy (Katie Moeller).

Tickets for the Department of Theatre & Dance's second Mainstage show of the season, "Five Women Wearing the Same Dress," are available.

The play, Oct. 19-23 and Oct. 26-30 in the Andreas Theatre, is sponsored by Blethen, Gage & Krause of Mankato.

During an ostentatious wedding reception at a Knoxville, Tenn., estate, five reluctant, identically clad bridesmaids hide out in an upstairs bedroom, each with her own reason to avoid the proceedings below. As the afternoon wears on, these five very different women joyously discover a common bond in this wickedly funny, irreverent and touching celebration of the women's spirit.

"Five Women..." is directed by Minnesota State Mankato Theatre & Dance faculty member Paul Finocchiaro ("Steel Magnolias," "Beehive").

Individual tickets are $13 regular, and $12 for senior citizens, youth under 16 and groups of 15 or more. They are available by calling the Theatre Box Office at 507-389-6661 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., Monday-Friday. The 7:30 p.m. performance on Sunday, Oct. 30, will be ASL interpreted. Tickets also may be reserved by visiting the MSU Theatre website.

Oct. 21: Safe Zone Training

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Center will present Safe Zone Training Friday, Oct. 21, in Gage Cafeteria B.

Faculty and staff are invited to learn more about the LGBT community, what it means to be a part of the campus, and acquire skills and knowledge to more effectively work with students. The training session will be from 1-4 p.m.

Oct. 22, 23: Women and Spirituality

Goddess religion expert Starhawk is the keynote speaker for the annual Women and Spirituality Conference Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 22-23.

The 24th annual conference features dozens of exhibits and workshops about self-image, spiritual autobiography, Zen, forgiveness, meditation, therapeutic wellness, psychic development, Celtic music, Feng Shui, emotional physiology, interactive imagery and other talks and musical performances focusing on mind, body and spirit. Co-sponsored by the Women's Studies Department, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Office of Institutional Diversity and Women's Center, it is intended to provide an opportunity for dialogue about the spiritual.

The conference's opening celebration is 10 a.m. Saturday in Taylor Center, and the keynote speech is 11 a.m. in the Center. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday on the second floor of Morris Hall. General registration fee is $55; student and minimum income fee is $30; and the fee for ages 9-17 is $20. Those who want more information may call 507-389-2077 or view the Women & Spirituality Conference 2005 Brochure (354KB PDF).

Those with a disability who need a reasonable accommodation should call 507-389-2077 or 711 (MRS/TTY) at least five days before the conference.

Oct. 27: Quarter-Century Club

Employees honored at the 2004 Quarter-Century Club luncheon.
Employees honored at the 2004 Quarter-Century Club luncheon.

The Employee Recognition Committee's second annual Quarter-Century Club luncheon, for employees who have served the institution for 25 years or more, will be at noon Thursday, Oct. 27.

Invitations have been sent to those who have served more than 25 years. President Richard Davenport will speak, and there will be a short, entertaining program. Almost 150 people attended last year's luncheon.

Oct. 28: Commencement Regalia Deadline

The deadline to reserve or purchase "custom rental" gowns, hoods, tams or tassels from Barnes and Noble Bookstore for December's commencement is Friday, Oct. 28.

Academic apparel is on sale at Barnes and Noble. A "Doctoral Package" includes a Gabardine robe, doctoral hood, four- or eight-sided tam and a gold silk tassel, and a "Masters Package" includes a black gabardine robe, master hood, mortarboard cap and a black ray or tassel.

Those who wish to purchase or rent regalia from Barnes and Noble should contact Sheila Mason at 507-389-1649 or at Those who wish to reserve a gown from the Commencement Office should contact Diane Kalis at or 507-389-1798.

Oct. 31: Safe Trick-or-Treat

trick or treat imageResidential Life's "Safe Trick-or-Treat" event for children will be Monday, Oct. 31, in the Gage, Crawford and McElroy residence hall complexes.

Parents may bring their children to the residence halls from 6-7:30 p.m. Trick-or-treaters can participate in Halloween games in the residence hall lobbies, and can trick-or-treat at participating students' rooms.

Parking will be available without a permit in the yellow and green lots (lots 1 and 3 at Gage, and lots 13, 15 and 16 at Crawford and McElroy).

Nov. 8: Wireless and Teaching Technology

The annual Wireless and Teaching Technology Conference, "Creating Optimal Learning Environments," will be Tuesday, Nov. 8, in Centennial Student Union. Faculty and staff members, as well as experts from other Minnesota schools and vendors from business and industry, will make presentations and display products and services of interest to technology and teaching professionals.

This year the conference is being expanded to address the challenges of incorporating technology into higher education coursework.

The event will combine elements from previous conferences, "Talking About Teaching and Technology" and "Wireless and Mobile Learning Technologies." The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and Information & Technology Services are sponsoring this year's conference,

Conference tracks are wireless technology, teaching technology, best practices, learning environments and vendor presentations and demonstrations. Subjects that will be addressed include classroom technology, distance education, online education, computer labs, audience response systems, laptop and PDA use, integrating video into the learning process, the Minnesota State wireless audit, and related topics.

There is no registration fee, but pre-registration necessary. For more information go to the Wireless Conference 2005 page.

Professional Development Day: Call for Proposals

Presentation proposals for Professional Development Day (Jan. 11, 2006) are being sought by the Professional Development Day Committee. Presentation topics should be related to the professional development of Minnesota State Mankato employees.

Last year's sessions included how to avoid burnout, diversity issues, interactive teaching; working with the media, and technology training.

Call for proposal forms are available at the Professional Development website.

Maverick OneStop: Answers 24-7

Maverick OneStop logoFaculty, staff and students who have questions about academic requirements, career development, financial aid, registration and other needs can use the new Maverick OneStop, a searchable, web database on the Minnesota State Mankato website.

The database provides answers to many common student questions and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Students may post questions, most of which will be answered within one business day.

To access the site, go to the Maverick OneStop page

People and their bikesRegister Your Bike Online

The City of Mankato has a no-cost online tool that allows Mankato residents to register their bikes with the Department of Public Safety.

The information can be used to connect a recovered a bike with its owner. For more information, go to the Bicycle Registration page.

New Appointment Procedure

The Cabinet has adopted a new procedure, effective immediately, for unclassified interim and acting appointments.

A new form insures fairness, equity and consideration of affirmative action issues when interim and acting appointments are made. The form can be found on the Human Resources forms web page. Those who have questions should contact Lori Lamb(, Director of Human Resources.

Revised Mileage Reimbursement Rates

The Internal Revenue Service has announced a temporary increase in the standard mileage reimbursement rate for all business miles driven between Sept. 1, 2005 and Dec. 31, 2005. These mileage rates are used to calculate reimbursements to employees who use their personal vehicles for business trips.

Use these new mileage reimbursement rates when completing employee expense forms:

  • When a state-owned vehicle is not available: 48.5 cents per mile (old rate: 40.5 cents per mile)
  • When you decline use of a state-owned vehicle: 41.5 cents per mile (old rate: 33.5 cents per mile)

The IRS will announce new mileage reimbursement rates for calendar year 2006 later this year. The 2006 mileage reimbursement rate may be lower than the temporary rate if the price of gas declines in the next few months.

Those who have questions regarding travel or expense reimbursements should contact Margaret Novak, the university's travel claims clerk, at 389-5006 or For additional information, check the travel page.

Eight Inducted into Athletics Hall of Fame

Minnesota State Mankato inducted eight individuals into its Athletics Hall of Fame & Distinction Sept. 24. The 1987 softball team and this year's service and philanthropic award were recognized as well.

New Hall of Fame members include Tom Anderson (golf, '72), Lori Doffing (softball, '88), Margaret McCue (volleyball, '90), Carlos Proano (tennis, '71) and Cheryl Swanum (swimming/track, '78).

New Hall of Distinction members (people who have made significant contributions and/or brought honor to Maverick Athletics) include Dan Runkle (football coach from 1981-2001), Dennis Miller (former football player, Midwest Wireless CEO), Claudia (Swanson) Pilot (former golfer, amateur golfer) and Larry Buendorf (former basketball and track student-athlete, U.S. Olympic Committee Director of Security).

The 1987 Maverick softball team that captured third place at the NCAA Division II national tournament was inducted in the team category.

The Jim Schaffer Service Award was presented to Daniel Mundahl, and the Athletics Philanthropic Award went to the Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic PA.

Good Deeds

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

Stewart Ross (Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning) recently was elected governor of the 6,500-member Minnesota-Dakotas Kiwanis District. As governor Stewart oversees Kiwanis operations in Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota. Kiwanis is an international service organization with more than 300,000 members throughout the world.

Mary Visser (Human Performance) is working at U Care Minnesota this semester. She worked as a consultant last spring, devising a program that provides better U Care Minnesota physical activity options to older members. Mary plans to have the program running by Jan. 1, 2006.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

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

An article about Maria Pearson by Wayne Allen (Ethnic Studies) was published in the Journal of the Iowa Archaeological Society. Wayne also chaired a session at the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences meeting, and presented a paper, "Disturbances in the Dreamtime . . .," at the Napoleon A. Chagnon Festschrift, Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference in Austin, Texas.

Rayla J. Allison (Human Performance) the University of Texas Arlington Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award earlier this month. The award recognizes outstanding alumni for their individual achievements, contributions to their industries or professions, and service to the university. It is the highest honor given by the university to a graduate.

Mary Bliesmer (Nursing) and Bikash Nandy (Health Science) were invited to take part the Oxford Round Table international forum on successful aging at the University of Oxford in England.

Articles by Suzanne Bunkers (English) were published recently: "The Epistolary Novel" in New Standpoints, and "Dorothy Parker: Feminist and Social Critic" in The Critical Waltz: Essays on the Work of Dorothy Parker.

An article by Janet Cherrington-Cucore (Urban & Regional Studies) was published in the Minnesota Women in City Government 2005 newsletter.

Polly Frank (Library Services) presented a poster session, "Teach Them What They Want to Learn," at the Minnesota Library Association annual conference.

Articles by Donald Friend (Geography) were published in the Journal of Mountain Science and The Funnel: News Magazine of the German-American Fulbright Commission. Don also presented papers at the Fulbright Berlin Seminar and the Italian Glaciological Committee's Alpine Glaciological Meeting, and he lectured at the Deutsch-Amerikanisches Zentrum/James F. Byrnes Institut at Friedrich-Alexander Universität, and at the Geographisches Institut, Universität zu Köln, Germany.

Doran Hunter (Political Science/Law Enforcement) was appointed senior fellow of the International Caux Round Table, a network of business and government leaders working to promote moral capitalism. He will present lectures and training sessions to business and government leaders around the world.

Changjoo Kim and Fei Yuan (Geography) presented papers about travel demand forecasting and mapping surface area at the GIS/LIS Conference in St. Cloud in October.

Deenna Latus-Jacobson (Career Development Center) is 2005-2006 president of the Minnesota Association of College Employers.

Peg Lawrence (Library Services) received the LITA/Christian Larew Memorial Scholarship at the Library and Information Technology Association President's Program during the American Library Association annual conference. The scholarship is for professionals who plan a career in library and information technology.

A paper by Soonhwan Lee (Human Performance) was published in the Sport Journal.

JoAnna S. Mink (English) and graduate student Patrice K. Luker (Community Counseling) co-authored a paper, "Some Connections Between Hardy's Blinded Bird and Dunbar's Caged Bird," that has been accepted for publication in the Thomas Hardy Society Journal.

A paper about tobacco cessation and dental hygiene, by A. L. Monson and L. Engeswick (Dental Hygiene), was published in the Journal of Dental Education. Another paper about approaches to smoking cessation, by A.L. Monson and J. R. Romas (Dental Hygiene), was published in the Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practices.

A paper by Marge Murray-Davis and Dawn Larsen (Health Science) was published in The Health Educator, journal of Eta Sigma Gamma.

Joan Roca (Library Services) represented the American Library Association at the World Library and Information Congress' 71st General Conference and Council in Oslo, Norway, in August. He also was recognized for six years of service on the OCLC Members Council at its meeting in Dublin, Ohio.

Stewart Ross (Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning) was keynote speaker/presenter for the Anoka-Ramsey Community College faculty retreat in August.

Evan Rusch (Library Services) was appointed to a two-year term on the Review and Planning Committee of the Law and Political Science Section of the Association for College and Research Libraries.

Ron Schirmer (Anthropology) was an invited exhibitor at the Minnesota Children's Book Festival at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in September. He showcased a conference he is co-organizing and exhibited a publication about Red Wing (Minn.) archeology. Ron was also an invited participant at a Science Museum of Minnesota exhibit, "Gathering at the Waters."

Jessica Schomberg (Library Services) and student Lul Ahmed (Ethnic Studies) presented a paper, "Somali Students in the Library," at the Minnesota Library Association conference.

Daardi Sizemore (Library Services) helped organize the 3rd Annual Minnesota Digital Library annual meeting at the Minnesota History Center. The meeting focused on how educators can use the digital library in the classroom.

Fred Slocum (Political Science/Law Enforcement) completed a five-week summer seminar, "Faulkner and Southern History," at the University of South Carolina. He also was invited to submit an article on Southern political strategy for the 2007 International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, and was invited to submit a chapter about politics and evangelical Christianity for a new book, How the South Became Republican.

Ginny Smith (Nursing) was appointed to the Clinical Specialist in Gerontological Nursing Content Expert Panel for the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Pam Weller-Dengel (Career Development Center) is the 2005-2006 president of the Minnesota College-University Career Services Association.

A course taught by Tami Wilkins (Law Enforcement) and Nancy Fitzsimons (Social Work), "Crime Against People with Disabilities," has been approved for 10 continuing education credits by the Peace Officer Standards and Training Board.

Karen Willette-Murphy (Nursing) received a postdoctoral fellowship certificate in Symptom Management from the University of California, San Francisco during her 2004-2005 sabbatical.

Student Achievements

Several students received scholarships and awards and presented papers recently.

Sandra Goblirsch (Nursing) was awarded an American Association of Critical Care Nurses Scholarships to support her graduate nursing education. The award is based on a competitive essay, advisor reference and application process.

Spring 2005 graduate Dave Nadolski, recipient of Minnesota State Mankato's first MFA in Forensics, was unanimously elected 2005/2006 executive director of the Michigan Intercollegiate Speech League, an association of all Michigan directors of forensics. He is the speech instructor at Jackson (Mich.) Community College.

Yong-Seuk Park, Lyle Petrick and Sonja A. Christensen (Geography) presented papers at the GIS/LIS Conference in St. Cloud in October. Piush Dahal, Michelle Imes and Woo Jang co-authored and presented papers at the conference.

Career Development Center student employee Becca Raisenen received the Outstanding Student Employee award for the Division of Student Affairs.


Personnel comings and goings at MSU:

New hires: Staci Bergemann (Health Services), Jessica Davis (Intercultural Student Center), Randy Davis (Physical Plant), Chris Hoffmann (Facilities Management), Don Lifto (Educational Leadership), Delane Renfroe (Admissions), Sharon Sandland (Business Services), Nancy Thul (Educational Studies), and Ann Walsh (Family Consumer Science).

We bid farewell to: Mavis Anderson (Registrar), Gregory Bednar (Advancement) and Susan Reinders (Intercollegiate Athletics).

Reasonable Accommodations

An individual with a disability who needs a reasonable accommodation to participate in a Minnesota State Mankato event should contact the Office of Disability Services, 507-389-2825 (V/TTD), 800-627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTD) at least five days prior to the event.