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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

December 14, 2005 Campus Newsletter

Page address: http://www.mnsu.edu/media/newsletter/2005-12-14/

Dec. 17: Commencement

Summer-fall commencement will be Saturday, Dec. 17, in two ceremonies.

The ceremonies will be at 9 a.m. and noon in Bresnan Arena. Each will include graduates from three colleges.

Last spring commencement was split into three ceremonies for the first time in history. The split schedule earned highly favorable comments from students, parents and families, so we're using the plan again this fall. Those who attended last spring's commencement felt the smaller ceremonies provided a more enjoyable, more memorable experience.

Undergraduate and graduate students will march in the ceremony for the college with which they are affiliated:

  • 9 a.m.: College of Allied Health & Nursing, College of Arts & Humanities; College of Science, Engineering & Technology;
  • Noon: College of Business; College of Education; College of Social & Behavioral Science.

Watch for Purple-and-Gold Ads

Glen Taylor advertismentCheck out the inside front cover of the January issue of Minnesota Monthly, the magazine of Minnesota Public Radio, later this month.

You'll see a very purple-and-gold, full-page ad featuring Glen Taylor as one of our successful alumni. The issue should hit the newsstands around Tuesday, Dec. 20.

Minnesota State Mankato also will have an inside front cover featuring one of our alumnae in the March Minnesota Monthly.

Students Miss A Meal, Aid Hurricane Relief

Students who helped coordinate the Miss A Meal hurricane relief fundraiser
Students who helped coordinate the Miss A Meal hurricane relief fundraiser are (from left): Daryl Lawrence, Jared Swarts, Katie Deinken, Kristen Barry, Ryan Boon, Melissa Theisen, Katie Halloran, Sam Holm (Chartwells) and David Williams (University Advancement).

Minnesota State Mankato students raised $1,092 for hurricane relief by donating their campus dining meals during three days in September.

Through a program called Miss A Meal, residence hall students donated 507 meals from their meal plans to the University Hurricane Relief Fund, administered by University Advancement.

The Miss A Meal program is a joint effort between Chartwell's Campus Dining and the Minnesota State Mankato Residence Hall Association. All residence hall students with meal plans could opt to donate a meal Sept. 14-16. Students who donated meals didn't eat during a specified meal time, and the cost of the food for that meal was turned over to the campus hurricane relief effort.

Students donated 405 breakfasts, 48 lunches and 54 dinners to the cause. On Dec. 1 the Residence Hall Association presented a check to David Williams, vice president for University Advancement.

10 Faculty Named Teaching Scholar Fellows

President Richard Davenport has awarded Teaching Scholar Fellowships for summer 2006 to 10 faculty members.

The Fellowships provide support for faculty in their commitments to learning at Minnesota State Mankato. Each Fellow will be engaged in an eight-week project involving both teaching and scholarship. The projects allow Fellows to enhance their learning as teaching scholars, and enhance student learning in partnership with the faculty.

Each Fellow receives a $6,000 stipend, plus $300 for related expenses. The Fellowships are awarded on a University-wide, competitive basis. Summer 2006 Teaching Scholar Fellows are:

  • Candace Black (English): "Writing Time and Research in Support of Absent Without Leave, a Creative Nonfiction Project."
  • Alisa Eimen (Art): "Straddling East and West: The Contemporary Packaging of Turkey's Past."
  • Nancy Fitzsimons (Social Work): "Revision of the Taking Charge Curriculum."
  • Diana Joseph (English): "Developing Love in the Land," a novel.
  • Mika Laidlaw (Art): "Unknown Mediterranean Craftsmen from Past to Present: Documenting and Learning from Their Art."
  • Randall McClure (English): "Electronic Portfolios for All: Providing Students with a Lifelong Resource."
  • Jeffrey Pribyl (Chemistry and Geology): "The Redesign of Chemistry 104 to Incorporate Guided Inquiry Learning."
  • Susan Schalge (Anthropology): "They Eat the Money: Analyzing the Impact of Aid in Tanzania."
  • Gina Wenger (Art): "Teaching the Documentary Photography of the Japanese-American Internment Camps."
  • James Wise (Recreation, Parks & Leisure Services): "Creating a Student-Run Summer Camp for Area Residents with Disabilities."

Get in the Spirit of 'do.'

To increase awareness of the importance of daily physical activity, the "do." campaign and the Wellness Committee have partnered in a community and campus-wide promotion blitz.

You can already see local billboards promoting the campaign, and next semester you'll see signs across campus with tips on how to "groove" your body for 10 minutes, three times each day.

The "do." campaign's mission is to encourage students and employees to find opportunities to be healthy everywhere–and have fun while doing it.

Physical activity is a crucial part of health: Extensive research shows that inactive lifestyles contribute to many types of heart disease, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, colon cancer, stroke, osteoporosis, depression and anxiety, and breast cancer.

Watch for the "do." messages on campus in January. The campaign also will be part of the Wellness Committee's spring events.

The campaign is sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, as well as the American Heart Association. For more information go to the Do Groove website.

In the spirit of "do.," make a snowman and have a happy holiday season!

University will close Dec. 23, 26, 27

Minnesota State Mankato will close for the Christmas-Hanukkah-Kwanzaa holidays on Friday, Dec. 23, Monday, Dec. 26, and Tuesday, Dec. 27.

Dec. 23 and 26 are contractual holidays. A majority of employees are expected to be gone Dec. 27, and the closure that day was approved by the President's Cabinet as an exchange for other holidays when the University is open. Administrators will use their floating holiday or annual leave to cover the absence.

The University also will close Monday, Jan. 2, 2006, for the New Year's holiday.

Fall semester graduation will be Saturday, Dec. 17. Students will return for the start of Spring Semester classes on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2006.

Plan Ahead for Publications, Graphics Work

new vehicle logo
You'll soon see more purple and gold on University fleet vehicles. As part of the university-wide branding effort, replacement vehicles will have the Minnesota State University, Mankato logotype affixed to the front doors (above).

The Graphics Team in Printing and Photocopying Services faces a larger workload because of the University's efforts to enhance its communications. Our brand strategy calls for new designs of everything from fleet car decals (left) to name badges to trash cans, and those designs are coming from Graphics. In addition, our Integrated Marketing Team is working with nearly 20 campus clients on marketing plans that almost always involve publications reviews, which in turn generate new work for Graphics.

So please plan ahead for your publications work and give Graphics as much lead time as possible. They're working as fast as they possibly can, but giving them some extra advance notice will help them serve you better.

Register Now for Professional Development Day

professional development logoRemember to register for Professional Development Day before you leave campus for the holidays. Professional Development Day will be here in the blink of an eye (Wednesday, Jan. 11).

Many exciting new opportunities will be offered that day. Take advantage and learn from your colleagues and professionals in the community.

To register, go to the Professional Development page and enter your e-mail password. Information on the programs also is available on the web page.

CDC, mavjobs.com interviews up 92%

mavjobs logoFall recruiting interviews have increased 92 percent since fall 2003, according to the Career Development Center. This fall 48 employers and 108 total recruiters interviewed 450 students utilizing CDC's mavjobs.com system and interview suites.

Major corporations including Target, Hormel Foods, American Family Insurance and the Peace Corps use the career Development Center and mavjobs.com regularly, and have high praise for the system.

In addition, mavjobs.com job and internship listings have increased significantly–an 86.78 percent overall increase in jobs/internships listed since fall 2004:

Fall 2005 Job/Internship ListingsComparison to Fall 2004
524 entry-level jobsUp 40%
333 experienced jobsUp 270%
215 internshipsUp 64%
251 PT jobs: off-campusUp 118%
48 PT jobs: on-campusUp 92%
Total:1177 jobs & internships

More People Looking at University News Web Page

The news stories page Minnesota State Mankato's website (links on www.mnsu.edu) is attracting an increasing number of viewers each month.

According to statistics kept by Ted Johnson, director of web and video services, in summer 2003 the average number of visits to the news page was 4,000 per month. In November 2005 the number was well above 50,000—eclipsed only by 59,000 visits in May of 2005 (date of the tragic Michigan auto accident).

View a chart comparing news page visits (31KB SWF).

The news page is updated daily with news about the University as well as announcements and upcoming events, making it one of the best media for promoting University events. If your department or organization is coordinating a campus guest lecture or other event, e-mail the information to Michael Cooper, media relations director, at michael.cooper@mnsu.edu.

Find Meet & Confer Info Quickly

Faculty and staff members can get quick, thorough information about Meet & Confer Committees and Subcommittees at a new website that provides minutes, agendas and committee members' names.

Fall 2005 minutes, agendas and names of committee and subcommittee members for the ASF, Budget, Classified, Faculty Association and MSSA Meet & Confer groups are available on the website. To view the information go to the Meet & Confer website.

Earlier Deadline for Reimbursed Expenses

In July, the Internal Revenue Service clarified its requirements regarding prompt reimbursement of employee business expenses. The IRS now requires that employees submit expenses for reimbursement within 60 days after the expense is incurred, or 60 days after the trip ends.

Some Minnesota State Mankato employees continue to submit their business expenses after the 60-day deadline. Employees who miss the deadline will incur added costs to themselves and to the University, because they must claim the reimbursement as taxable income (federal, state, FICA and Medicare), and the University must deduct withholding taxes from the late reimbursement.

Because of this new IRS policy, all employees should promptly submit requests for expense reimbursement. Employees should not wait until the end of a semester to submit reimbursement requests.

MnSCU and the Minnesota Department of Finance have distributed answers to frequently asked questions regarding the 60-day reimbursement policy. These answers resolve many recurring technical questions:

Q: Why has the Office of the Chancellor adopted (and recommended that campuses adopt) a monthly employee expense reimbursement policy when the Department of Finance guidance is 60 days?

A: Monthly reporting is deemed to be a reasonable amount of time to submit expense reports, and because it helps alleviate issues such as potential FICA tax liability.

Q: What date will be used as the "end date" if I submit multiple expenses or trips on one expense report?

A: The "end date" is the date you incurred the expense or completed the trip. The business office will review each separate trip and/or expenditure to determine if you submitted the expense reimbursement form in a timely manner.

If you submit several months' worth of expenses, the business office cannot simply use your last expenditure, or the date when you submit the report, as the trip end date. The system is designed to handle each expense separately. If you do not turn in a separate expense report for each expenditure, the business office will review the expense report for expenditures/trips beyond the 60-day window. The business office will separate expenditures beyond the 60-day window from the timely reported expenses. Post-60-day expenses are taxable.

An example: Separate expenses (typical nontaxable expenses) dated as follows were submitted by an employee on (9/07/05: $40 incurred on 7/05/05; $5 incurred on 8/07/05; $10 incurred on 8/15/05. Despite the fact that all expenses were submitted on one expense report, signed and dated by the employee and the supervisor on 9/07/05, the institution must separate the $40 because it was not submitted within 60 days. The $40 is taxable. The $5 and $15 expenses are within the 60-day window and are not taxable.

Q: What if I submit/date the expense report within the 60-day window, but it requires extra time for my supervisor to review it, and for the business office to enter it?

A: If you actually submit the expense report on time, the business office will request documentation and validate the correct date. It then will charge the amount to zero and enter the correct date in the "Submitted on" field, then will validate and retain documentation supporting the changes.

Q: What is "reasonable cause" for late submission?

A: Reasonable cause depends upon facts and circumstances. Extended personal serious illness or a death in the family are examples that might be considered. If you believe you have reasonable cause for a late submission, complete the form noted above and submit it to the business office with your expense report.

Q: What if it is determined after the fact that I should not have been taxed on an expense reimbursement?

A: While this is rare, the Department of Finance has a process for correcting errors. Alert the business office, and the business office will submit the necessary information to correct the error.

For other information about employee business expense reimbursement, you can review the announcements section of the State of Minnesota Employee Self Service website (the site where you view your pay stub details).

Forensics Wins UW-Stout Tournament

The Minnesota State Mankato forensics team won the UW-Stout forensics tournament Dec. 2-3, placing in team sweepstakes among the 16 competing schools and qualifying for the National Forensics Association National Tournament in seven events.

Matthew Collie took second in Impromptu Speaking and Kari Menser took a third in Poetry, qualifying both for the American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament. Emily Kofoed was fourth and Kari fifth in Individual Sweepstakes. Individual results:

  • Grant Anderson was sixth in Poetry Interpretation.
  • Dave Brennan was first in After-Dinner Speaking and third in Duo Interpretation (with Emily Kofoed).
  • Matthew Collie was first in Impromptu Speaking, second in Individual Sweepstakes, second in Duo Interpretation (with Karie Menser), third in Musical Interpretation, and third in Persuasion Speaking.
  • Kim Cossairt was second in After-Dinner Speaking.
  • Nicole Goebel was sixth in Informative Speaking.
  • Emily Kofoed was second in Prose Interpretation, third in Duo Interpretation (with Dave Brennan), fourth in Individual Sweepstakes, fourth in Persuasion Speaking, fifth in Informative Speaking, and fifth in Dramatic Interpretation.
  • Karie Menser placed second in Duo Interpretation (with Matthew Collie), third in Poetry Interpretation, third in After-Dinner Speaking, fifth in Individual Sweepstakes, and sixth in Prose Interpretation.
  • Tony Middendorf was first in Program Oral Interpretation.
  • Melanie Nelmark was sixth in Impromptu Speaking.

Dean Bowyer: Hall of Fame-Bound

Dean BowyerMavericks baseball coach Dean Bowyer will be inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame Friday, Jan. 6, 2006, in conjunction with the organization's annual convention in Chicago.

Bowyer, a 1966 Mayville State grad, is entering his 29th season at Minnesota State and his 33rd season as a collegiate head coach. He has led the Mavericks to 19 conference titles and is a nine-time NCC Coach of the Year. One of the most respected baseball men in the Midwest, Bowyer stands sixth on the NCAA Division II active coaches wins lists and he ranks eighth on the all-time list.

The Ada, Minn., native has led the Mavericks to 18 NCAA post-season appearances in three NCAA Division II World Series. In addition to two All-America elections, many all-region and all-conference picks, 39 Bowyer-produced players have signed professional contracts.

The 2002 team had an unprecedented four players (Adam Steen, Aaron Heitzman, Eric Lonnquist and Jason Cierlik) who were drafted by major league teams and another (Chris Rupert) who signed a free agent deal. Two former players have advanced all the way to the major leagues. Todd Revenig, who was drafted and signed with Oakland in 1990, debuted with the parent A's in 1992, and reliever Gary Mielke made 79 appearances with the Texas Rangers from 1987-1990.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Sue Ellen Bell (Nursing) published two articles in November: "Current issues and challenges in bariatric patient management," Journal of Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing, and "Heart failure and weight gain monitoring," Lippincott's Case Management: The Journal for Professional Practice.

Daria Paul Dona (Education) presented at the Minnesota Association of Colleges of Teacher Education Fall Congress in October.

Julia Hebenstreit (Nursing) passed the first Nurse Educator Certification Exam at the National League for Nursing 2005 Education Summit in September and is designated as a Certified Nurse Educator.

Soonhwan Lee (Human Performance) published "A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Factors Explaining Action Sports Fandom of Y Generation College Students in the USA and Korea" in the Sport Marketing Association Book II. Soonhwan also presented "Examining Factorial Invariance of Motivational Factors of Action Sports Participation across Gender" at the 2005 Sport Marketing Association conference in Tempe, Ariz., in November.

Brock McMillan (Biological Sciences) and graduate student Tom Gorman and Danny Martin had a paper about characteristics of natal den sites of river otters accepted for publication in American Midland Naturalist.

Bikash Nandy (Health Science) has agreed to serve on the Editorial Advisory Board of a new academic journal, Forum on Public Policy, to be published soon by Oxford Round Table at Harris Manchester College in the University of Oxford, United Kingdom.

Glen Peterson (Speech, Hearing & Rehabilitation Services) presented "The United Nations Treaty on the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities" at the Minnesota Rehabilitation Association Fall Training Conference in St. Cloud in November.

Mezbahur Rahman (Mathematics and Statistics) co-authored a paper with William C. Brown and Travis Hacker to appear in Information Management and Computer Security.

John A. Romas (Health Science) and former grad student Manoj Sharma, University of Cincinnati, have recently completed their fourth edition of a highly successful stress and health workbook with Benjamin Cummings for publication Spring 2006.

Mike Wells (Computer and Information Science) presented "Does the Addition of a Procedural Oriented Programming Language Increase Students' Confidence When Using Programming Concepts?" at the 2005 National Decision Sciences Institute Conference in San Francisco. He was also selected for the Review Board for Special Issue by the International Journal of Information Technology and Management.

An article by H.H. Whiteman, J.D. Krenz and R.D. Semlitsch (Biological Sciences) was published in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

W. James Wilde (Mechanical & Civil Engineering) received a research contract from the Minnesota Department of Transportation to develop a new specification for paying bonuses or assessing penalties to contractors for smoothness in pavement construction. He also was invited to speak at a joint technical meeting of the Colorado Asphalt Paving Association and the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Philip Kroll: No. 6 Nationally in ROTC

Philip Kroll
Philip Kroll (right) receives the Reserve Officer Association Medal at Fort Lewis, Wash., last summer.

Graduate student Philip Kroll has been named the No. 6 ROTC cadet in the nation, according to the U.S. Army's Cadet Command Order of Merit List.

The list includes all 3,838 cadet seniors who will graduate during 2005-2006 school year.

Kroll, from Marshfield, Wis., graduated from Columbus High School. He earned a political science degree from the University of Minnesota, and will graduate from Minnesota State Mankato in May as a distinguished military graduate with a master's degree in Public Administration.

Kroll will be commissioned in the U.S. Army and will serve for at least three years. He's no stranger to the military; he served on active duty as an Army intelligence specialist in Korea before coming to Minnesota State Mankato. His high ROTC ranking allows him to choose the Army branch in which he'll serve; he'll return to the Military Intelligence branch–but this time as an officer.

Many factors determine the Cadet Command Order of Merit ranking, according to ROTC Chair Lt. Col. Tom Cooper–grade-point average, physical fitness testing, Leadership Development Assessment Camp, extracurricular activities, opinions of officers. He has a has a 4.0 GPA, scored 356 out of 350 on a twice-yearly physical fitness test, and ranked first in his leadership development regiment.

Kroll is cadet battalion commander in the Minnesota State Mankato ROTC brigade and president of the campus Recondo Club–a social bridge between ROTC and the campus. He's also a graduate assistant.

Student Achievements

Joshua Randall and Bill Hill
Joshua Randall and Bill Hill

Joshua Randall (Speech Communication) was awarded the 2005 Pi Kappa Delta Top Student Paper Award recently. The paper was presented and the award received during the annual NCA conference in Boston.

Rachel Burkard (Chemistry) will present a poster at the 231st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society to be held in Atlanta in March 2006.

Graduate Family Nurse Practitioner student Dawn Kaderabek represented Minnesota at the National Emergency Nurses Convention in Nashville, Tenn.

An article by Chad J. Kuyper (MA in English) was published in the Fall 2005 Minnesota English Journal.

Members of the Math Club recently participated in the North Central Section of the Mathematical Association of America Team Math Contest. The teams consist of no more than three participants, and three teams were from Minnesota State Mankato. Sixty-five teams from 27 individual institutions in Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Canada participated.

Kimberly O'Farrell's (Psychology) Experimental Psychology class participated in a nation-wide school spirit study. More information on the study can be found at the Fall 2005 Teaching/Research Project page.