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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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November 2, 2005 Campus Newsletter

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Nov. 7-11: Teaching-Learning Tips from Scholar Fellows

Student StudyingThe 10 Summer Teaching Scholar Fellows will discuss their teaching-and-learning initiatives in a series of half-hour sessions Monday through Friday, Nov. 7-11.

During an eight-week period in the summer, Fellows research and develop tools to improve teaching and learning. Teaching Scholar Fellowships provide support for the faculty commitment to learning.

All 10 noontime presentations are free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public. Beverages will be served, and audience members are invited to bring their lunches.

The ninth annual Teaching Scholar Series will begin on Monday, Nov. 7, with a reception hosted by President Richard Davenport at 9 a.m. in CSU 253. The presentations include:

Monday, Nov. 7, CSU 204: Noon, Mary Hadley (Chemistry & Geology), "Development and Implementation of Chemistry 106 as an Online Course." 12:30 p.m., Craig Matarrese (Philosophy), "Teaching Environmental Philosophy in the Wilderness."

Tuesday, Nov. 8, Armstrong Hall 234: Noon, Queen Ester Booker (Management), "Enhancing Information Systems Knowledge." 12:30 p.m., Steven Buechler (Sociology & Corrections), "Critical Sociology."

Wednesday, Nov. 9, CSU 204: Noon, Susan Fredstrom (Family Consumer Science), "Advancing Nutrition Teaching and Learning Across a Curriculum, Across Campus." 12:30 p.m., Michael Wells (Computer and Information Sciences), "Completing an Application Programming Textbook Manuscript for Submission for Textbook Publication."

Thursday, Nov. 10, CSU 204: Noon, Karen Boubel (Music), "Words from the Past: Composing Choral Music with Stories from 19th Century Midwesterners." 12:30 p.m., Kathy Piehl (Library Services), "Awards for Children's and Young Adult Books: How Many is Enough?"

Friday, Nov. 11, CSU 204: Noon, Ann Quade (Computer & Information Sciences), "Identifying Best Practices and Assessment Strategies for Online Courses." 12:30 p.m., Patrick Tebbe (Mechanical & Civil Engineering), "Use of Computer Simulation to Promote Active Learning in Thermodynamics."

Campus Newsletter: Now it's Twice as Frequent

Starting this week, the Minnesota State Mankato Campus Newsletter will be published bi-weekly (every other week) during the academic year.

The newsletter is being published more often to make it a more effective means of communicating information about upcoming campus events and important policies and procedures. "We've heard good comments about the monthly electronic newsletter, and we hope that more frequent publication will reduce the volume of unsolicited e-mail," said Mike Cooper, the newsletter's editor.

The current Campus Newsletter can always be viewed by going to the Campus Newsletter page. Past newsletters can be viewed by going to the Campus Newsletter Archive.

Items for upcoming newsletters may be submitted to The deadline for each newsletter is one week before publication. (Wednesday, Nov. 9, is the deadline for the upcoming Wednesday, Nov. 16, edition.)

college drinkin logoNIAAA logo

Three-Year Project Studies How to Reduce Alcohol Use

An $848,383 research grant has been awarded to Student Health Services by the National Institutes of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to study whether "social norming" intervention, coupled with alcohol-free events, can reduce student alcohol use.

The funds will be used for a three-year project, with collaborative research partners from San Diego State University and the National Institutes of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Comparative data will be provided by St. Cloud State University.

"Social norming" uses actual campus data to identify student misperceptions about drinking. After Student Health Services collects baseline data and identifies misperceptions, it will seek to decrease drinking behavior by making students aware of accurate information, and through new programming events.

To measure the effectiveness of the Minnesota State Mankato project, student perceptions will be surveyed regularly and compared with data from a control campus. The National College Health Assessment, a survey tool used to assess student health behaviors, will be used over the three-year period to determine the campaign's effectiveness.

A nationwide study recently published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol confirms that college students nationwide overestimate peer drinking, and the misperceptions have a strong impact on student alcohol use. The study found less high-risk drinking and fewer negative consequences at schools where students have accurate perceptions of campus drinking.

Nov. 3-16: Open Enrollment for Insurance, Benefits

Insurance and pre-tax benefits open enrollment for 2006 will start Thursday, Nov. 3, and end Wednesday, Nov. 16. Open enrollment gives faculty and staff members the opportunity to make changes to their insurance, and to enroll in pre-tax benefits for 2006.

Employees may change health or dental carriers, add or drop family coverage, enroll in or increase long-term disability insurance, increase existing employee and spouse life insurance, and enroll in the medical/dental expense account, dependent care expense account, and transit expense account. Administrators also may increase or decrease the disability elimination period on their income protection plans.

Employees also may take a health assessment by completing a questionnaire. Completing the assessment will lower the co-pays that employees and their families pay for certain health services in the coming year. The assessment can only be taken during open enrollment.

The self-service open enrollment form is available on the Minnesota Employee Self Service site, where employees can enroll electronically during the period. For more information go to the Open Enrollment page.

Nov. 4: Sign up to Help with December Commencement

commencement picture

Individuals are needed to assist with the fall semester commencement ceremonies, to be held Saturday, Dec. 17, in Bresnan Arena. Ceremonies will be from 9 a.m. to noon.

Those who are interested should complete the Commencement Participation Form (34KB PDF) on the Human Resources Forms web page, ask their supervisors for permission and, if approved, return the form by Friday, Nov. 4. Various work shifts have been identified on the form.

Marching faculty or college honor marshals do not need to complete the form; they will be registered for the event through the deans' offices. Diane Kalis, special events coordinator, will arrange the duty time and location for all participants.

Nov. 4: Harris Humanitarian Award Nominations Due

Nominations for the Clarence E. Harris Humanitarian Award, to be presented at the annual Institutional Diversity dinner, are due Friday, Nov. 4.

The Harris Humanitarian Award, presented annually at the diversity dinner, goes to an individual or organization that has demonstrated continuous support or service in promoting cultural diversity within Minnesota State Mankato or the surrounding community. The award is for those who have made specific contributions to students of color, or who have contributed to the growth and development of cultural diversity for all students.

This year's 35th annual dinner and silent auction will be Friday, Nov. 18, at 5 p.m. in Centennial Student Union. Participants will have choices of many ethnic foods, and entertainment will be provided. The silent auction will be conducted at 5 p.m., before the banquet. Proceeds will be used to replenish the institutional diversity emergency loan and program activity funds.

The dinner is an opportunity for the University to acknowledge supporters of cultural diversity, and to recognize student accomplishments, scholarship and leadership.

Nomination forms or tickets for the Nov. 18 diversity dinner are available from the Office of Institutional Diversity, 265 Morris Hall, 507-389-6125.

Nov. 8: Wireless and Teaching Technology Conference

Student at computer"Creating Optimal Learning Environments" is the theme of this year's annual Wireless and Teaching Technology Conference Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Conference sessions will address the challenge of incorporating technology into higher education coursework. Tracks include wireless and teaching technology, best practices, learning environments, chief information officers and vendor presentations and demonstrations. Related subjects within the tracks include classroom technology, distance education, online education, computer labs, audience response systems, laptops and PDAs, and video and the learning process.

The conference is primarily for educators, but anyone interested may attend. Faculty and staff, as well as experts from other Minnesota schools and vendors from business and industry, will discuss new innovations in teaching and learning technology, and will display products and services. All events will take place in Centennial Student Union.

The conference is sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and Minnesota State Mankato's Information and Technology Services. For more information or to register, go to the Wireless Conference 2005 page.

Nov. 5: One Voice Mixed Chorus Concert

The One Voice Mixed Chorus will perform in concert on Saturday, Nov. 5. The concert, at 7:30 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium, is open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

One Voice Mixed Chorus, the Twin Cities' 80-voice gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community chorus, is known for musical excellence, diverse repertoire, humor and community outreach. In addition, its Fifth Section includes more than 30 non-singing volunteers. It is the largest GLBT mixed chorus in the United States.

The 17-year-old group has performed for thousands of people in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota. The chorus' mission is to build community and create social change through song. For more information go to the One Voice Mixed Chorus website.

Students are admitted free to the concert; tickets for faculty, staff and members of the public are $5 (donation). The concert is co-sponsored by the LGBT Center, RAAN and the Rural AIDS Action Network. Those who want more information may contact Jessica Flatequal at 507-389-6076 or

Nov. 6: Folk Artist Ellis Paul Concert

Award-winning folk artist Ellis Paul will perform in concert Sunday, Nov. 6. The 7:30 p.m. concert, in Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center, is part of the Performance Series.

Paul's credentials and 13 Boston Music Awards put him on track to becoming one of America's best-known contemporary folk artists. A former social worker, he has a knack for capturing unforgettable characters in his songs, stories and poems. The result is an emotionally warm exploration by a talented modern troubadour.

General admission is $15, $9 for other students (K-12)/children, and $7 for Minnesota State Mankato students with a valid ID. Advance purchase is recommended. Those who want ticket information may call 507-389-5549.

Nov. 11: Salute to Student, Faculty, Staff Veterans

Veterans day flyerMinnesota State Mankato will recognize students, faculty and staff members who are veterans in a Veterans Day event on Friday, Nov. 11.

The event will start with a "Salute to Veterans" at noon near the Vietnam Memorial on the campus plaza. The salute, sponsored by the Minnesota State Mankato Military Veterans Group, will honor fallen veterans.

A ceremony recognizing student, faculty and staff veterans will be at 1 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union South Ballroom. Students, faculty, staff and the public are invited; veterans are urged to attend and wear a piece of clothing or a symbol that identifies them as veterans. Refreshments will be served after the ceremony.

This is the first year for the event, but event organizer, physical plant employee and Navy veteran Terry Homer, wants to make it an annual Veterans Day tradition.

The ceremony will include a welcome by Vice President for Academic Affairs Scott Olson, comments about the meaning of Veterans Day by retired Army Col. Tom Hallett, remarks by Homer, and the introduction of Minnesota State Mankato's ROTC program by Army LTC Tom Cooper.

Leaders of local American Legion and VFW posts and their auxiliaries also will attend.

Nov. 28: Get Your Flu Shot at Campus Clinic

Nurse and patient clipartA flu shot clinic for employees will be held Monday, Nov. 28, in CSU 253-5 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Employees can stop in any time during the scheduled hours and receive a free flu shot by presenting a current Minnesota Advantage health plan card.

Certified Financial Planner Students Top National Pass Rate

Students in the Minnesota State Mankato University Extended Education and College of Business Financial Planning Certificate Program achieved a 72 percent pass rate during the recent Certified Financial Planner® (CFP) Certification Examination considerably higher than the national average of 58 percent.

Certified Financial Planner® certification is the most recognized and respected professional certification among financial service professions, because of its rigorous requirements. The Financial Planning Certificate Program is part of Minnesota State Mankato's Extended Campus offerings.

Jumpstart LogoKids Against Hunger Logo

Jumpstart, Kids Against Hunger Help Hurricane Survivors

Minnesota State Mankato student members of Jumpstart and Kids Against Hunger collaborated in an October service project, packaging more than 7,000 meals for hurricane survivors in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Kids Against Hunger is a Minnesota-based, volunteer-run organization that distributes food to communities in crisis. Jumpstart is a nonprofit student organization that allows college students to work in early-childhood programs. Jumpstart recruits, trains and supervises students to provide one-on-one interaction with preschool children.

For more information about Kids Against Hunger go to the Kids Against Hunger website. For more information about Jumpstart go to the Jumpstart website.

Ranger Challenge Team Places Fifth at Camp Ripley

ROTC Ranger Challenge TeamThe Minnesota State Mankato/Gustavus ROTC Ranger Challenge Team competed recently at Camp Ripley, MN, placing fifth out of ten teams.

The eight Ranger Challenge events included the Army Physical Fitness Test (push-ups, sit-ups, and two-mile run), orienteering, hand grenade throw, weapons assembly/disassembly, rifle marksmanship, one-rope bridge, patrolling and the 10-kilometer ruck (full pack) march/run.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Norleen Turensky, Wayne Sharp, and Bryan Hoffman (Academic Computer Center/ITS) presented a poster session at the Educause 2005 Conference in Orlando, Florida.