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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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April 5, 2006 Campus Newsletter

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April 10: Moore Faculty Lecture

StardustDon't forget to attend the 2006 Douglas R. Moore Faculty Research Lecture Monday, April 10, featuring Russell Palma, professor of physics and astronomy.

Russ will talk about "NASA's Genesis and Stardust Missions: Exploring the Early Solar System" at 7 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium. He will illustrate discoveries about the sun and early solar system, using photos from the Genesis and Stardust space missions as well as short film pieces. The event is free and open to the public, and children are encouraged to attend with their parents. Refreshments will be served after the presentation.

The Moore Lectureship celebrates excellence in research at Minnesota State Mankato. The lecture is the 32nd President's Faculty Research Lectureship, and the 19th named in honor of former Minnesota State Mankato President Douglas R. Moore, who established the lectureship to illuminate faculty research. Moore was president of then-Mankato State University from 1974-1978.

Russ worked both on-site and in collaboration with scientists at NASA-Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, for a number of years and served as a NASA/ASEE Summer Faculty Fellow there in 1983 and '84. He came to Minnesota State Mankato in 2004 after 24 years as a physics faculty member at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.

Tuition Policy: Help with the Awareness Campaign

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities logoAs the university implements the new Minnesota State tuition payment policy (effective fall semester), full participation by faculty, staff and administrators is essential to minimize adverse effects to students.

The key points of the change are outlined on the Drop Payments page.

Please consider the following ways that you can contribute to a successful implementation effort:

  • Take advantage of opportunities to raise awareness among students of the new financial requirements – advising sessions, classroom announcements, student organization meetings, etc.
  • Encourage students to apply for 2006-2007 financial aid.
  • Remind students how important it is for them to monitor their financial status with the university and resolve any questionable issues in a timely manner. Help them find the appropriate campus contact point if necessary.
  • Recognize the impact of current departmental funding assistance processes on students' abilities to meet the new financial requirements (i.e., scholarships, granting in-state status, graduate assistantships, tuition waivers, etc.). Review the timelines for decision-making to ensure that these awards are communicated and updated to the students' records prior to published due dates.
  • Share any concerns you have about specific implementation issues with the local planning group (Student Financial Services: Jan Marble, Garnet Cafourek, Dave Neve, Diane Hamilton, Sandra Loerts; Registrar's Office: Dave Gjerde, Karen Kuchenbecker, Debra Schulz, Rose White; Academic Affairs: Warren Sandmann, Bonnie Windschitl).

Approaching anticipated issues proactively should put the university in a better position to assist students impacted by the new requirements.

John Alessio named CSBS Dean

John Alessio
John Alessio

Vice President for Academic Affairs Scott Olson has announced that Dr. John Alessio will be the next dean of the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences.

"John has a tremendous breadth and depth of experience that makes him the ideal person for Minnesota State Mankato and the College," Scott said. "He not only has extensive experience as dean of a large college at Marywood University, but he also has extensive experience with our own IFO collective bargaining agreement and style of shared governance."

He currently is professor of Sociology and Anthropology at St. Cloud State University, where he served from 2003 until present, and from 1984-2000. He has held several faculty leadership positions at St. Cloud State, including director of Sociology and director of the Social Responsibility MS program. At St. Cloud he also served as president of the University Faculty Association and state treasurer of the IFO.

From 2000 until 2003 he was dean of the Undergraduate School at Marywood University in Scranton, Pa., responsible for budgets and curricula for 60 programs, 19 departments, 100 full-time faculty and 1,600 students. At Marywood he led and completed a successful core curriculum transformation project.

From 1980-1984 he was a Sociology faculty member at Penn State University-Behrend, and from 1978-1980 was a faculty member and director the Sociology program at Gannon University, Erie, Pa. He also has been an instructor at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, an instructor and interim vice president at Viterbo College, LaCrosse, Wis., and a data analyst for the City of Carbondale, Ill.

He earned a Ph.D. in Sociology from Southern Illinois University, an M.A. in Sociology from Eastern Illinois University, and a B.A. in Sociology from Loyola University of Chicago.

He has published papers in a number of professional journals including Social Psychology Quarterly, Journal of Marriage & Family, Social Forces, Journal of Psychology, and the American Sociological Review. He wrote and directed a funded grant for a curriculum transformation project to increase diversity and inclusiveness at St. Cloud State, and is co-developer of an interdisciplinary graduate program, MS in Social Responsibility.

Apply for Gold Permits by April 14

Gold Permit SampleApplications for 2006-2007 Gold parking permits are being accepted through Friday, April 14, at 4 p.m. Drawings for the permits will be conducted at the Campus Hub on Tuesday, April 18, and results will be published in the Reporter on Thursday, April 20.

The faculty/staff Gold drawing will be held first, and the remaining unused Gold permits will be set aside for the student Gold permit drawing. All applicants are asked to apply electronically at the Parking Permits page. Cost of the 12-month Gold permit is $230 for 2006-2007.

Gold permit applicants can pay $130 now, with the remaining $100 paid by Aug. 1, 2006. Using the parking website or applying now in person at the Campus Hub ensures that applicants will get their permits in the mail, and won't have to stand in line next fall to pick up the permit.

Those who pay the $230 upfront will be eligible for one of several prizes: $20 on your MavCard cash stripe (10 winners); $50 cash (2 winners) compliments of Mike LaVigne of MM Vending (Pepsi products), and two $50 gift certificates from Barnes & Noble.

Those who intend to enroll in the pre-tax Transit Expense Account must do so before purchasing the permit. You can [PDF] download the forms (95 KiB), and completed forms must be dropped off at Human Resources (WA 336). (If the form does not say "State of Minnesota" on it, you have the wrong form.)

The nine-month Purple permit price is $130 for 2006-07. The nine-month Orange permit price is $94. The "Free Lot" remains free.

Caryn Lindsay in China with Lt. Gov.

Caryn Lindsay (International Programs Office) is representing Minnesota State Mankato on Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau's Mission to China April 1-9. The 10-person delegation is visiting China's Shaanxi Province, exploring new ways of building Minnesota's relationship with its sister state.

The trip is intended to pave the way for new business, academic, cultural and humanitarian partnerships in Shaanxi. Lt. Gov. Molnau and Chinese officials also will discuss how best to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Minnesota-Shaanxi Sister-State Agreement next year.

Caryn was named to the delegation at the request of President Richard Davenport.

After the official trip she will visit Shanghai University, East China Normal University and Tongji University to explore new partnerships with those institutions.

Molnau is the most senior Minnesota official to visit the Chinese province since shortly after Minnesota and Shaanxi formalized their relationship nearly a quarter century ago. In 1982 Gov. Al Quie and Shaanxi Gov. Yu Mingtao formalized the sister state agreement in St. Paul, and Gov. Rudy Perpich visited the province in 1983.

For more information about the delegation's visit please visit the Office of Governor Tim Pawlenty and Lt. Governor Carol Molnau website.

Campus Kitchens Leads the Way

Campus Kitchens group pictureCampus Kitchens soon will be featured in a national publication for its ground-breaking work to institutionalize service-learning, and as the first affiliate service-learning model.

Campus Kitchens volunteers gathered recently for a photo with President Richard Davenport and Vice President of Academic Affairs Scott Olson. The group in the picture includes the executive director of Jumpstart's central region, Presidential Fellow Henry Morris (who helped bring Campus Kitchens to Mankato), Brenda Flannery of the College of Business, Student Leadership Service-Learning Director Kelly Meier, Campus Compact Fellows, Campus Dining staff, Jumpstart members, fraternity and sorority members, Student Events Team Programming Board volunteers and other volunteers.

Campus Kitchens is a national collegiate program that distributes unused food to the hungry. Minnesota State Mankato's Campus Kitchens project, coordinated by the Student Leadership Development & Service-Learning Office, started last year, and at its inception was named one of the region's top five collaborative initiatives by the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation.

April 13: Computer Store Grand Re-Opening

Campus Computer Store logoThe Campus Computer Store will celebrate its grand re-opening on Thursday, April 13.

Situated on the lower level of Centennial Student Union, the newly remodeled, user-friendly store boasts 376 square feet of storefront (70 square feet more than the old store). In addition, Hardware Repair also has moved to the new location.

Refreshments will be served, and drawings for a 30-gig iPod donated by Apple, a 512-mb iPod Shuffle, gift certificates and more will be going on all day.

Web Template Transition

Every University division and college has made progress toward the August 2006 target date of transitioning all websites to the official web template.

Nearly 75 percent of the University's approximately 20,000 web pages have been transitioned, or are in process. If your work unit has not begun the transition to the new template, please contact Ted Johnson, director of web services.

Women's Center Advisory Board

Women's Center logoThe Women's Center is seeking student applicants for its Student Advisory Board – a group of volunteers who help to guide Women's Center programming by suggesting ideas, providing feedback and informing the Center about campus issues that relate to women.

The advisory board is comprised of student leaders from across the campus who are dedicated to women's issues. Members are expected to attend meetings, help create new program ideas, help promote events and programs, and serve on a planning committee for a major Women's Center event. Members serve for a full academic year.

The Center is accepting 2006-2007 board applications through Friday, April 21. Applications are available from Program Advisor Jen Macken ( or the Center office at CSU 218. Those who have questions may call 507-389-2486.

MSUAASF Special Initiative Awards

Applications and proposals for MSUAASF special initiative funding are being solicited by the Special Initiative Awards Committee, and are due April 30.

The new MSUAASF contract provides for Special Initiative Awards of up to $5,000 to ASF members for proposed work initiatives above and beyond the normal requirements of the individual's position. The initiative must promote excellence and benefit the University or the Minnesota State system.

Detailed criteria for the awards and a call for proposals were sent recently to all MSUAASF employees by the Human Resources Office. Proposals must be submitted on a Special Initiative Award form. The Special Initiative Awards Committee will meet after April 30 to make recommendations to the president regarding the awards.

April 11: One Better World

Organizational change expert Vernon Wall will explain how personal identities influence what we do, and how we can use that knowledge to be agents of change, in a talk Tuesday, April 11. His hour-long "One Better World" presentation will start at 2 p.m. in the CSU Ballroom.

The talk is co-sponsored by the Student Affairs Employee Diversity Committee, Institutional Diversity and the Student Affairs Professional Development Committee.

Wall splits his time as an independent consultant and a senior consultant for the Washington Consulting Group, an agency specializing in multicultural organizational change. He has 20 years of professional student affairs experience at Iowa State University, the University of Georgia, UNC-Charlotte and UNC-Chapel Hill.

A nationally known speaker about diversity, oppression and leadership styles, he is a founder and facilitator of the Social Justice Training Institute. He has served as a student life staff member of the Semester at Sea program and a trainer for the Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violent Social Change, and has received several awards for his contributions to student life.

He has written several articles and has co-edited two books. Beyond Tolerance: Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals on Campus sold more copies than any other American College Personnel Association publication, and the recently released Toward Acceptance: Sexual Orientation Issues on Campus is quickly becoming a best-seller.

Wall earned a bachelor's degree in political science from North Carolina State University and master's degree in college student personnel administration from Indiana University. For more information about Wall, visit Vernon Wall's website.

Individuals with a disability who need reasonable accommodation to participate in this event should 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.

May 4: Retiree Recognition Luncheon

The annual luncheon honoring Minnesota State Mankato retirees will be held on Thursday, May 4, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the CSU Ballroom.

This is an important recognition event and a great opportunity to express our appreciation to those who have served Minnesota State Mankato with distinction.

A formal announcement and more information will be provided in the near future.

May 15: Employee Appreciation Breakfast

Mark your calendar: The annual Employee Appreciation Breakfast will be held Monday, May 15, from 8-10 a.m. in Carkoski Commons.

It's an opportunity to enjoy a delicious hot breakfast and celebrate the University's accomplishments for the past academic year – accomplishments made possible by every Minnesota State Mankato employee.

Formal announcements will be sent soon, and the announcement will request RSVPs. Employees are asked to please RSVP so the Employee Appreciation Breakfast Committee can have an accurate count of how many people to expect.

Construction Management Team Takes Top Honors

Construction Management Team photoNine Minnesota State Mankato students competed at the ABC Student Construction Management Competition and Career Conference in Las Vegas, Nev., in March, finishing among the top 9 of 23 teams.

Student teams competed to test their management knowledge, organizational skills, estimating ability and innovation. Teams were required to develop a plan for a 40-bed, 42,000-square-foot rehabilitation facility. Team members had to respond to changes in owner requirements, prepare budgets for a complete cost estimate, prepare a construction schedule, and develop a site utilization plan and safety schedule.

Students also participated in networking opportunities and educational seminars, and perused conference exhibits.

Team members are Jeremiah Westrum, Matthew Dankers, Daniel Soost, David Freitag, Derek Price, Christiaan Durand, Elizabeth McKiernan, Eric Baarts and Jared Mueller. The team is coached and advised by Farid J. Sabongi.

Farid also participated in the university faculty paper presentations with a paper entitled "Design Build Project Delivery."

Faculty Achievements

Myrna Hernandez (Residential Life) received the 2006 Elizabeth A. Greenleaf Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University in March. The award is presented annually to one or more masters in student affairs administration graduates who exhibit sincere commitment and leadership. Myrna received the award at the American College Personnel Association meeting in Indianapolis.

An article by JoAnna Mink (English) recently was published in the Hardy Society Journal. JoAnna co-authored the article, "Some Connections Between Hardy's Blinded Bird and Dunbar's Caged Bird," with graduate student Patrice Kahler Luker.

Martin Mitchell and Changjoo Kim (Geography) as well as Geography BS and MA graduate Tonya Rogers are co-authors of an article in a recent Geospatial Solutions, the leading trade publication in the field. The article, "Determining Orthographic Accuracy," discusses data from Farm Service Agency and U.S. Geological Survey digital orthophotos by Minnesota researchers – data yielding new information about planimetric accuracy, and the impact of topography on accuracy.

Heidi Henschel Pellett (Human Performance) and Tracy Pellett (University Assessment) co-presented at the Professional Development Schools National Conference in Orlando, Fla., in March. Their topic was "Helping Struggling Teacher Candidates: A Model of PDS Intervention and Assistance."

David Viscoli (Music) performed a recital at the Concerts Grand Series in Santa Rosa, Calif., in March. Concerts Grand is Northern California's only concert series devoted solely to classical piano music.

Student Achievements

Jillian Bird (Music) recently won second place in the College Young Artist Competition for the Minnesota Music Teachers Association. Jillian is a piano student of David Viscoli.