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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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August 23, 2006 Campus Newsletter

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Applied Doctoral Degree Programs

graduate gownMinnesota State Mankato soon will take the initial steps toward offering doctoral degree programs, according to Anne Blackhurst, interim dean of Graduate Studies and Research.

On Sept. 30 the University will submit applications for its first doctoral programs for review by the Minnesota State Chancellor's Office. As specified by the Minnesota Legislature, both the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), which will be offered as part of a consortium with three other Minnesota State institutions, and the Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Counselor Education and Supervision, are applied doctoral degrees.

Before being submitted to the Chancellor's Office for review, the applications will undergo a rigorous review process on campus. Each application will be reviewed and approved at the department, college and University levels, including the Graduate Committee, the Academic Affairs Council, and the President's Cabinet. External reviewers will also evaluate the program proposals and make recommendations for strengthening the programs.

The Minnesota State review process will extend through December 2006. Both the program proposals and Minnesota State Mankato's capacity for supporting doctoral education will be evaluated by the Higher Learning Commission, which will make a site visit in spring 2007.

If all goes well, Minnesota State Mankato will enroll its first doctoral students in fall 2007.

Master of Social Work Degree

social work banner

Minnesota State Mankato is the first Minnesota State institution approved to offer a Master of Social Work degree. The new degree program, to start in fall 2007, will prepare students for advanced generalist social work practice, providing specialized skills in clinical practice and administration. The program will emphasize practice in rural and small communities.

The Master of Social Work degree will be offered by the Department of Social Work in the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences. Under the leadership of department chair William Anderson, the program was approved by the University in May and by Minnesota State in July. In late July it was granted pre-accreditation status by the Council on Social Work Education, the accrediting body for all undergraduate and graduate social work programs.

"This month we submitted our first report to the Council," said Nancy Fitzsimons, director of the new MSW program. "We have received notification that our materials are complete, and we are preparing for our first CSWE Commissioner visit. We anticipate that the program will be fully accredited in 2010."

The new program will provide two ways to complete the MSW degree:

  • A 60-credit-hour, Traditional 2-Year program will include 40 credit hours of coursework and 20 credit hours of field experience.
  • A 32-credit-hour, Advanced Standing program will start in summer 2008 and will require 22 hours of coursework and 10 hours of field education. The Advanced Standing Program will be available only to students with a bachelor's degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited program.

The full-time MSW program will operate year-round. To accommodate working students, courses will be offered one evening during the week, late Friday afternoons and evenings, and Saturday mornings.

In addition to Nancy, other MSW program faculty members are Annelies Hagemeister, who serves as MSW admissions coordinator, and Robin Wingo, who serves as field director and will develop practicum placements for MSW candidates. The department plans to hire two more faculty members by fall 2007, and two more faculty will be added in fall 2008, bringing the Department of Social Work faculty total to 12.

Those who want more information may contact or 507-389-1287, or or 389-5078. Additional information is available on the program website.

One of Best LGBT Campuses

LGBT banner

Minnesota State Mankato has been named one of the nation's "100 Best Campuses for LGBT Students" by a new college guide. The University is included in The Advocate College Guide, the first comprehensive guide highlighting LGBT-friendly campuses in the United States.

The book profiles 100 colleges and universities that offer resources and create a positive living and learning environment for LGBT students.

"We are extremely honored that we were selected and recognized as a LGBT-friendly campus," said Jessica Flatequal, program coordinator for the LGBT Campus Center. "Our campus leaders have worked tirelessly to create a positive environment for all of our students, and this distinction emphasizes the importance of providing necessary support to meet all students' needs — including LGBT students."

Promoting diversity across campus is a strategic priority for President Richard Davenport, who appointed the University's first full-time LGBT coordinator.

The publication cited the University's environment, supportive programs and services, and LGBT student coalitions as the reason for the honor.

The book is published by Campus PrideNet, the leading national organization for LGBT and allied student leaders. The organization gathered information by questioning LGBT students, faculty and staff regarding their personal experiences and opinions about campuses across the country. A team of expert LGBT professionals from the National Consortium of Directors of LGBT Resources in Higher Education assisted with the questionnaires.

Those who want more information about Campus PrideNet, or who wish to order a copy of the book, may go to the Campus Pride website.

Building a Better Herbarium

Alison Mahoney and Brad Radichel
Biological Sciences faculty member and herbarium director Alison Mahoney (right) shows some of the hundreds of dried, pressed plant specimens in Minnesota State Mankato's herbarium collection to Brad Radichel (left). The William D. Radichel Foundation has donated $100,000 to an endowment fund to improve and maintain the herbarium.

Thanks to a gift from the William D. Radichel Foundation of Mankato, Minnesota State Mankato's herbarium — a resource for managing the state's natural environment — has been significantly strengthened.

This summer the foundation donated $100,000 to expand and care for the collection of Minnesota plant specimens. The Darlene and William Radichel Herbarium Endowment provides funds in perpetuity to hire a student assistant to mount, maintain and catalogue plant specimens; to develop a herbarium website; to increase the size of the collection; and to pay for a summer student internship.

A dedication of the endowment and the herbarium will be held Sept. 29.

The specimens provide an important record showing the historic and current distributions of Minnesota plants. The information helps scientists, naturalists and land managers to assess the health of the state's ecosystem, encourage growth of native flora, and control growth of invasive weeds.

Alison Mahoney, botanist and associate professor in the University's Department of Biological Sciences, began overseeing the herbarium in 1999.

"Our herbarium has been underutilized and undervalued," Alison said. "During the last seven years, student projects have increased our holdings by about 1,000 specimens. Many remain uncataloged, unmounted and unfilled, and therefore unusable. The Darlene and William Radichel Herbarium Endowment will allow us to attack this backlog of curatorial work, and to increase our holdings even more through the summer internship."

In the 1980s Darlene Radichel took a home horticulture class from Don Gordon, former head of the herbarium. "Don helped Mom develop a landscaping plan for our Madison Lake home, of which we continue to reap the benefits today," said Brad Radichel, Darlene's son and a director of the foundation. "It was fitting to give back to a program from which Mom benefited — an endowment which she would bless wholeheartedly were she here today."

William Radichel and his brother Paul were owners and chief executives of Condux Corporation, a diversified Mankato concrete pipe and building materials company founded in 1888 by their grandfather, D.W. Radichel.

A New 'Purple Bus'

Purple BusA new version of the Metro Transit "purple bus," with an updated Minnesota State University, Mankato graphic identity, can be seen in the Twin Cities these days. You might even see the purple bus shuttling passengers to and from the State Fair Aug. 24 through Sept. 4.

The new bus wrap is being used through October. It is similar to a purple-and-gold wrap used on a Metro Transit bus in April and May, but includes additional graphic elements that emphasize the University flame logo.

Depending on the day, the bus runs through the two downtowns, past the University of Minnesota campus and through the southwest suburbs.

Mika Negishi Laidlaw: McKnight Fellowship

Perch by Mika Negishi Laidlaw
"Perch," by Mika Negishi Laidlaw, 2005

Art faculty member Mika Negishi Laidlaw has been awarded one of two 2006 McKnight Artist Fellowships for Ceramic Artists, with a $25,000 award.

The award supports Minnesota ceramic artists and can be used for a variety of purposes, from buying time for work or travel, to buying equipment. The program, sponsored by The McKnight Foundation, Minneapolis, reflects the foundation's interest in supporting outstanding ceramic artists who have proven their abilities.

A ceremony Wednesday, Aug. 23, in the Twin Cities will honor McKnight Fellowship recipients from across Minnesota in a dozen categories including choreography, screenwriting, photography and visual arts.

Before learning of the award Mika planned to take a year off to spend time with her soon-to-be-born child, to travel and to discover new concepts for her ceramic work. The award "couldn't have come at a better time," she told The Free Press of Mankato.

She plans to use the stipend to travel in Asia and gain inspiration for her work, studying the history of the ceramics in each country. She grew up in Kobe, Japan, and Asian culture is a major influence on her art.

She began teaching at Minnesota State Mankato in fall 2003. She earned an MFA from Kansas State University, Manhattan, a BA from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and an AA from Casper College, Wyoming.

Her work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and competitions internationally, and examples can be seen at the Art Spirit website.

The Northern Clay Center, 2424 Franklin Ave. E., Minneapolis, will present a group exhibition of Mika's work and that of other McKnight Fellowship Ceramic Artists in fall 2007.

Condolences: Joanne Brandt

President Richard Davenport extends the entire University community's deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Joanne Brandt.

Joanne, a Counseling and Student Personnel faculty member and former interim dean of the College of Education, died unexpectedly Thursday, Aug. 17.

"Our hearts go out to Joanne's husband and Management faculty member, Jon Kalinowski, her two sons, Paul and Michael, and the many friends and faculty and staff members who loved and respected her," said President Davenport. "The entire University shares your grief."

Convocation: Nine Faculty, Staff Recognized

Nine staff and faculty members were recognized by the Employee Recognition Committee and President Richard Davenport at Monday's annual Convocation.

Dean Bowyer (Athletics) received the Claire Faust Public Service Award.

Helen Walters (Facilities Services) received the Campus Drive Award.

Divisional Outstanding Service Awards went to: Don Larsson and Joan Roca (Academic Affairs); Diane Kalis (Advancement); David Cowan (Finance & Administration); Ted Johnson (Information Technology); Gwyn Outka (President's Division); and Dan Elliot (Student Affairs).

Congratulations to each of these Minnesota State Mankato employees for their inspiring leadership!

Reminder: New Smoking Policy

University employees, students and visitors are reminded that the University's new campus smoking policy is in effect. The policy, drafted after a campus-wide survey in spring 2005 and signed by President Richard Davenport this spring, became effective Aug. 15.

The new policy is intended to promote the campus Health and Wellness initiative, and to address concerns and rights of students, faculty, staff and visitors. The new policy carries forward some previous smoking rules, and adds some new restrictions:

  • Smoking continues to be prohibited in all University facilities except for Room 42 of Centennial Student Union. The prohibition applies to outdoor seating areas such as Blakeslee Stadium.
  • Smoking is prohibited in all University owned or leased vehicles.
  • Smokers may not block the route of entrance or exit on sidewalks where smoking is allowed.
  • Smoking is prohibited next to 25 building entrances where it previously has been allowed. (For specific locations, see map by downloading the Smoking Policy (broken link) document.) The new policy designates those areas as Smoke-Free Entrances, where smoking is prohibited.
  • Smoking is permitted at designated outdoor areas that are at least 15 feet from other building entrances. Cigarette receptacles are installed at these areas.

The new policy promotes health benefits for the entire campus community, by moving smoke farther from building entrances, thus reducing risk to non-smokers from second-hand smoke. It also provides economic benefits: Health insurers, including Blue Cross/Blue Shield, say they will increase their fees if clients do not reduce smoking and second-hand smoke exposure among employees.

Students and employees who smoke are encouraged to enroll in a smoking cessation class. For more information contact Student Health Services at 389-5689 or e-mail

No individual or department will be assigned to enforce the policy. But all employees are empowered and encouraged to advise violators of the policy in a non-confrontational manner. If smokers don't comply with the new policy, a campus-wide smoking ban may be considered.

You can download the new Smoking Policy (broken link).

Personal Vehicle, Personal Insurance

The Office of Risk Management, Minnesota Department of Administration, reminds state employees that their personal auto insurance coverage becomes their primary insurance when they drive personal vehicles on state business.

Insurance "follows the vehicle," so drivers of personal vehicles must file accident claims with their personal insurers. The insurer that covers the automobile will be the first to respond, not the Risk Management coverage. The Office of Risk Management emphasizes that state employees subject their vehicle, assets and insurance to exposure when they use their own vehicles to conduct state business.

Examples of various accident situations can be downloaded from the [PDF] Office of Risk Management (338 KiB) website.

Aug. 25: Library Orientation Session

LibraryLibrary Services will offer an orientation session for new graduate, research or teaching assistants on Friday, Aug. 25.

The session, from 10 to 11 a.m. in ML110, will include an overview of library services and a tour of Memorial Library.

Faculty and staff who have new graduate, research or teaching assistants this academic year are urged to encourage the new student assistants to attend.

Sept. 7: Part-Time Job Fair

Faculty and staff who need regular student help (non-work-study) for the 2006-2007 school year are urged to attend the Career Development Center Part-Time Job Fair Thursday, Sept. 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the CSU Ballroom.

The fair is an effective way to discover and screen potential student employees, and to collect applications. Registration is free; prospective employers are asked to complete the registration form at the Part-Time Job Fair Information page.

Those who can't attend the fair can promote their student positions by completing the job posting form at the Post an On-Campus Part-Time Job page. The position will be posted on

Those who have questions about the event or about may contact Jennifer Guyer-Wood at the Career Development Center, or 389-6061.

Faculty-Staff Achievements

The work of Professor Emerita Sheryl Dowlin (Speech Communication) and Suzanne Bunkers (English) is featured on the Minnesota State Center for Teaching and Learning's Online Tutorials website. "My Story, Your Story, Our Story: Building Respect for Diversity in the Classroom" comes from a weekend seminar by Suzanne and Sheryl, focusing on measures to enhance diversity awareness in the classroom.

Fred Slocum (Political Science/Law Enforcement) accepted an invitation to write, and has submitted, a chapter, "With God On Our Side: Moral and Religious Issues, Southern Culture, and Republican Realignment in the South," in Glen Feldman (ed.), How the South Became Republican, Louisiana State University Press. Publication is expected later this year or in 2007. Fred also has accepted an invitation to write an article tentatively titled "Militarism, Southern Culture and the 9/11 Attacks: The Implications for Contemporary Southern Politics" for possible inclusion in an edited volume to be published in 2007. He and other contributors will discuss their articles at a workshop Oct. 6-8, at Hickory Hill, Thomson, GA.

Fred Slocum's book review of William Chafe's Private Lives/Public Consequences: Personality and Politics in Modern America will be published in an upcoming 2006 issue of the journal White House Studies.

Fred's article on the "Southern strategy" (used by Republicans to win presidential elections since 1968) has been accepted for publication in the forthcoming eight-volume International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, 2nd edition, to be published in 2007. Fred also has accepted an invitation to contribute a series of articles (on Public Opinion, Polling, Richard Nixon's 1968 'Law and Order' campaign, and Southern Politics) in the forthcoming Encyclopedia.


Do you have faculty, staff, student or departmental news for the biweekly campus newsletter? Send news items to newsletter editor Mike Cooper at The newsletter is published every other Wednesday during the academic year and monthly during the summer. The next newsletter will be published Sept. 6, 2006. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Wednesday (Aug. 30).