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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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September 6, 2006 Campus Newsletter

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Convocation Video

convocationYou can view a streaming video of the 2006 Convocation, featuring President Richard Davenport outlining the University's strategic priorities for 2006-2007.

Outstanding Service Awards

Outstanding Service Award winners
Outstanding Service Award winners who were honored at the 2006 Convocation (from left): Dan Elliot, Student Affairs; Joan Roca, Academic Affairs; Don Larsson, Academic Affairs; Ted Johnson, Information Technology; David Cowan, Finance & Administration; Diane Kalis, University Advancement; and Gwyn Outka, President's Division.
Richard Davenport, Claire E. Faust, Dean Bowyer
President Richard Davenport (left) and former Vice President of Administrative Affairs Claire E. Faust (center) pose with Dean Bowyer, winner of the 2006 Claire E. Faust Public Service Award.

Nine employees received Outstanding Service Awards from the Employee Recognition Committee during the 2006 Convocation.

The awards are made each year to recognize exceptional service "above and beyond the call of duty," exceptional performance, contributions to morale, and contributions in community leadership. Awardees received plaques from

Dean Bowyer (Intercollegiate Athletics) received the Claire E. Faust Public Service Award for outstanding service to the university, community, state and nation. The award was named after Claire E. Faust, former vice president of administrative affairs.

Helen Walters
Helen Walters, winner of the Campus Drive Award

Helen Walters (Facilities Services) received the Campus Drive Award, for leading the 2005-2006 Campus Drive.

Outstanding Service Award winners and their divisions are: David Cowan, Finance & Administration; Dan Elliot, Student Affairs; Ted Johnson, Information Technology; Diane Kalis, University Advancement; Don Larsson and Joan Roca, Academic Affairs; and Gwyn Outka, President's Division.

Talent Search Gets $304,849 Grant

The TRIO Educational Talent Search program has received a $304,849 grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The federal grant comprises 96 percent of Educational Talent Search's $317,787, four-year budget.

The four-year grant will provide funds for information and activities — individual advising, workshops, field trips, career and college materials and academic support — that are intended to encourage students to complete high school and pursue postsecondary education.

Minnesota State Mankato is one of seven Minnesota colleges and universities to receive the Talent Search grants.

Educational Talent Search is a federally funded program designed to encourage low-income, potential first-generation college students to complete high school and pursue college or university degrees. The program creates awareness among students of career and educational opportunities; enhances students' personal, cultural, social and academic awareness; helps students with career and educational planning; and informs students about educational requirements.

Minnesota State Mankato's program serves 800 students in grades 6-12 from South Central Minnesota.

U.S. News Ranking: Significant improvement

U.S News logoMinnesota State Mankato ranks 78th numerically among Midwest master's-degree institutions in the 2007 U.S. News & World Report "America's Best Colleges" guide — only four places removed from the top tier. This year's ranking is significantly higher than last year's 87, and is the University's highest ranking since 2003.

The University's overall score is the same as last year (33). But the numeric ranking improved significantly in two categories: academic reputation (formerly called "peer assessment," from 56 last year to 50 this year) and student selectivity (from 110 last year to 95 this year). The financial resources ranking also improved (from 111 to 109), as did the graduation and retention ranking (from 69 to 67). The faculty resources ranking was stable (98), and the alumni giving ranking dipped slightly (from 84 to 85).

U.S. News doesn't publish numeric rankings for third-tier institutions, but Minnesota State Mankato's No. 78 ranking was provided on request by the magazine's research department.

The 2007 U.S. News "Best Colleges" edition was published Aug. 21.

North Star to Provide Flight Training

airplane North Star Aviation, Inc., of Mankato has been selected to provide private and professional flight training for the Aviation program. The contract, signed recently by the University and North Star President Mark Smith, is for two years, with options for additional years based on positive performance.

The contract represents a renewed partnership between Minnesota State Mankato and North Star Aviation. North Star was the exclusive provider of flight training for the University's Aviation program from 1991 to 2001.

North Star was selected after it submitted a proposal for professional flight training services. The University's current flight training contract ends Oct. 31. North Star, based at Mankato Regional Airport, is Mankato's only full-service, fixed-base operator. It has provided pilots, fuel, maintenance and aircraft support at the airport since 1991.

North Star has placed orders for six new aircraft, with options for additional deliveries as the demand for such aircraft and training increases. All aircraft used in the training program will be painted at the factory using the purple-and-gold colors of Minnesota State Mankato.

Athletics Hall of Fame, Hall of Distinction

maverick logo Four individuals will be inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame, and two into the Hall of Distinction, on Saturday, Sept. 9, at noon in the CSU Ballroom.

The new Hall of Fame members include Tom Anderson (hockey, '77), Larry McKeever (football & baseball, '61), Jamie Pass (football, '94) and John Passolt (hockey, '83).

The new Hall of Distinction members (those who have made significant contributions and/or brought honor to Minnesota State Mankato Athletics) include Richard Rush (president from 1992-2001) and Don Brose (men's hockey coach from 1969-2000).

The names were announced recently by the Athletics Hall of Fame & Distinction Selection Committee.

The committee also announced its "team" category recipient and this year's philanthropic award recipient.

Selected for induction in the "team" category is the baseball team from 1971 that captured a North Central Conference title and the NCAA Midwest Region championship prior to earning fourth place at the NCAA Division II national tournament.

This year's Athletics Philanthropic Award recipient is Charter Communications.

Those interested in attending the brunch may reserve tickets by calling the Department of Athletics at 507-389-6111.

Wear Your Purple and Gold

purple and gold sweatshirtThis month the Office of Integrated Marketing and Barnes & Noble at Minnesota State Mankato will award $400 in raffle prizes to encourage faculty and staff to wear school-spirit apparel on Purple and Gold Friday. Earlier this year President Richard Davenport designated every Friday as "Purple and Gold Friday."

To enter the raffle, just complete a form at the bookstore on any or all of the next four Fridays: Sept. 8, 15, 22 and 29. To be eligible, you must be an employee of the University, and you must be wearing purple and/or gold when you complete the form. You may submit one entry on each of the Fridays.

The winner of each drawing will receive a gift certificate for up to $100 worth of school-spirit apparel at Barnes and Noble. Bookstore hours on Fridays are 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the drawing will be conducted at close of business each Friday.

Need photos?

picture of art located on the campus
Hundreds of high-quality campus photos such as this one are available for faculty and staff use from the Image Bank. (Photo by Kenn Busch)

Nearly 350 campus images are available online by logging into Image Bank. Check out the hundreds of new shots added this summer by photographers Gregg Andersen, Kenn Bush and John Cross.

The images are free to faculty, staff and students for University-related use, and may be downloaded in three different formats for use in print, web and PowerPoint. (Use your Outlook username and password to enter).

Don't find what you need? Let the Publications Office know so it can include those shots in the next round of new photos. Contact Ann Rosenquist Fee at x6981,

Enter KMSU's 'Sound of Music' Contest

KMSU logo

KMSU 89.7 FM is seeking musicians to enter its "Sound of Music" contest. The public radio station of Minnesota State Mankato intends to use the last two measures of the Minnesota State Mankato hymn as an audio brand. Musicians are challenged to use the melody from the last two measures of the hymn to create their own "Sound of KMSU."

The new audio brand is expected to improve listener recognition of KMSU, and to strengthen the station's connection to the university.

Entries are due by Sept. 29. Submissions may be mailed to the station or sent via e-mail. Entries may be played on the air by KMSU. The first 20 entrants will receive a contest T-shirt, and one person will receive a gift basket with prizes from Jake's Stadium Pizza, Schietel's Music and the Wine Cafe.

Participants may use any tempo, arrangement or interpretation of the melody that they choose. Entries may be played on any instrument or combination of instruments.

For contest rules and entry forms go to the KMSU website or call 507-380-5678.

Rehabilitation Counseling: Reaccredited

The Rehabilitation Counseling program has been reaccredited for eight years by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). Rehabilitation Counseling has been continually accredited since 1978.

The program prepares students for employment as counselors who provide services to individuals with disabilities. Counselors provide case management and case coordination services while working with clients.

Some 1,200 graduates have completed professional studies through the program during its 40-plus-year history. Ninety percent of program graduates work in rehabilitation counseling or a similar, closely-related field. The program has offered a master's degree since 1959.

Preventing Flu Infections

soap As we move into a new academic year, Student Health Services seeks faculty and staff assistance to help maintain a healthy learning environment at the University. There is much discussion in the media about the potential risk of an avian flu pandemic (bird flu).

While this is a new disease, flu-type infections are not new, and there is much we can do to prevent them.

One of Student Health Services' goals is to provide accurate information to decrease the spread of colds and flu on campus. It asks for your assistance in achieving this goal.

Recommendations to prevent the spread of colds and flu:

  • If students are sick, encourage them to not come to class. Attending class while infected exposes others and may prolong recovery time. Help keep classrooms a healthy place to learn.
  • If you are sick, stay home, rest, drink plenty of fluids and return when you are feeling well. We all can spread disease, and all can play an important role in prevention.
  • Always cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper sleeve (not your hands) to minimize spreading germs to others.
  • Frequent hand-washing is one of the best prevention measures available.
  • Get a flu shot (if you can) as soon as they are available. (The University will hold its annual flu clinic Monday, Oct. 16).

Visit the Student Health Services website for self-care information.

Starting This Week: Computer Training

Information & Technology Services started its fall semester computer training sessions this week. Sessions will continue throughout the semester.

Computer training is available to all staff, faculty and student workers. Visit the schedule page and the registration page for more information.

Sept. 7: Pieta Brown

Pieta BrownFolk and blues singer Pieta Brown will perform in concert Thursday, Sept. 7, in the first Performance Series event of 2006-2007. Brown's concert will be at 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall.

General admission is $18; tickets for non-Minnesota State Mankato students are $12; and tickets for students with a valid ID are $9.

Brown's talents have been described as "deceptively simple and seductively pure, creating songs that meet between the Carter family and Tom Waits." Her 2005 album, "In the Cool," was named one of the year's top 10, and was chosen as one of the best CDs by

The daughter of legendary folk writer Greg Brown, Pieta Brown has developed her own blend of folk, rock, country and blues. She recently started work on her next album, due to be distributed in 2007.

Those who want tickets or more information may call the Performance Series office at 507-389-5549.

Sept. 7: Insurance Consultations

OCHS logo

An Ochs Inc. licensed insurance representative will be on campus Thursday, Sept. 7, for individual consultations. Faculty and staff may stop to see the representative between 9 a.m. and noon, and 1-4 p.m. in CSU 256. No appointment is necessary.

The Ochs representative will explain more about the life, disability and accidental death & dismemberment insurance offered through the State Employee Group Insurance Program. The representative can help employees determine the amount of their current coverage, do an insurance needs analysis, and explain the post-retirement life insurance benefits.

Sept. 7: Part-Time Job Fair

cdc logoThe Career Development Center will offer its annual Part-Time Job Fair Thursday, Sept. 7, with more than 40 local and on-campus employers represented. The fair provides opportunities for students to talk to prospective employers and submit applications for part-time jobs.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to noon in the CSU Ballroom.

For information about other Career Development Center programs visit the Career Development Center website.

Sept. 12: Trampled by Turtles

The non-traditional bluegrass band Trampled by Turtles will perform in concert Tuesday, Sept. 12, as part of the Performance Series. The concert will be at 8 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall.

General admission is $18; tickets for non- students are $12; and tickets for students with a valid ID are $9.

Trampled by Turtles performs a specialized mix of punk, alt-country, rock and pop. The band also performs rock 'n' roll, and they've joined in performances with Low, Camper Van Beethoven, Pedro the Lion, Nickel Creek, Cowboy Junkies and Ike Reilly.

For ticket information call 507-389-5549.

Sept. 12: Primary Elections

Primary elections will be held Tuesday, Sept. 12, and the general election will be Tuesday Nov. 7. On primary and general election days, colleges and universities are prohibited from scheduling events, other than regularly scheduled classes, between 6 and 8 p.m.

Sept. 14: Alison McGhee, Dodie Miller

The Good Thunder Reading Series will open its 2006-2007 year Thursday, Sept. 14, with Minnesota fiction writer Alison McGhee speaking on campus and meeting with students as part of the Robert Wright Minnesota Writers Residency. McGhee will conduct the residency with creative writing student Dodie Miller, the 2006 Robert Wright Award winner.

McGhee will meet with community writers in the morning and be interviewed on KMSU-FM. She will lead a discussion on the craft of writing at 3 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium. At 7:30 p.m. she and Miller will read from their work in the CSU North Ballroom. All events are free and open to the public.

Miller is a native of Fort Wayne, Ind., and holds BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. She is the author of African Americans in Fort Wayne: The First 200 Years, and her short fiction and poetry have appeared in Scavenger's Newsletter and Flying Island. She is currently at work on a dark novel of manners set in the late 1980s. She is the 2006 recipient of the Robert C. Wright Award.

McGhee's novels Rainlight and Shadow Baby were both Minnesota Book Award winners, were listed by Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews among the Best Novels of 1998 and 2000, and were Borders Original Voices picks. She is a creative writing faculty member at Metropolitan State University, and is on the faculty of Hamline University's MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults.

Sept. 15: Groundbreaking

Faculty, staff students and the public are invited to groundbreaking ceremonies for the Trafton Science Center addition and the Julia A. Sears Residence Hall on Friday, Sept. 15.

Groundbreaking for the new residence hall will be at 1:30 p.m. to the west of Centennial Student Union. Groundbreaking for the Trafton Science Center addition will follow, at approximately 2:15 p.m. southeast of Trafton.

Visitors to campus who are attending the ceremonies may park in Lot 4.

Theatre & Dance Tickets on Sale

The Department of Theatre & Dance will bring a variety of award-winning productions to the stage during 2006-07, including "Peter Pan," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Chicago." Season subscriptions are available now.

Accolades for these productions have gone to their source novels and plays, as well as Broadway productions, Hollywood movies and a mini-series that followed. And their source material ranges from being centuries old to as fresh as the morning's newspaper headlines. The Mainstage Season lineup is:

  • "Peter Pan," Sept. 28-Oct. 1, Oct. 5-8 and 12-15, sponsored by HickoryTech Corporation;
  • "Arsenic and Old Lace," Oct. 18-22 and 25-29, sponsored by Express Personnel Services;
  • "The Lark," Nov. 9-12 and 16-19;
  • "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," Jan. 31-Feb. 4 and Feb. 7-11, sponsored by Blethen, Gage and Krause, PLLP;
  • "Angels in America: Millennium Approaches," Feb. 22-25 and March 1-4;
  • "Chicago," April 12-15 and 19-22, sponsored by Immanuel St. Joseph's-Mayo Health System.

The Studio Season lineup, most of which are student designed and directed, consists of:

  • "The Artificial Jungle" by Charles Ludlam, Sept. 21-24;
  • "Mint" by Randy Wyatt, Nov. 30-Dec. 3;
  • "The Birthday Party" by Harold Pinter, March 29-April 1;
  • "Independence" by Lee Blessing, April 26-29.

All are presented in the Andreas Theatre.

The department will present two Dance Concerts as well. The fall concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8, and the spring concert at 7:30 p.m. May 3 and 4, both in the Ted Paul Theatre.

Season subscriptions are $75 and are available now. To receive a season brochure, call 507-389-2118 or visit the department online at the MSU Theatre website. More information about individual shows is also available online at the MSU Theatre website. Individual tickets for shows go on sale nine days before each opens.

Sept. 27, 28: Fire Extinguisher Training

Mankato Fire Department firefighters will be on campus Sept. 27-28, providing fire extinguisher training for University employees. The training will be held on the north side of the library at 10 a.m. on both days.

Each class is limited to 25 people. Those who want more information may contact Rob McGinn at 507-389-5568 or

'House Calls' Volunteers Sought

The Department of Residential Life and the New Student and Family Programs are seeking faculty and staff volunteers for the annual "House Calls" program Sunday, Oct. 8.

House Calls involves faculty and Student Affairs staff members going door-to-door on campus to learn about students' campus experiences. The program helps create connections between student and faculty-staff members, and allows students to ask questions about the college experience.

Volunteers will be prepped with information and given materials to help answer questions. Dinner and orientation for volunteers will be at 6 p.m. Oct. 8, with the program from 7-9 p.m. Program coordinators are seeking 60 faculty/staff volunteers to contact students in the three residence hall complexes.

Last year 41 faculty and staff members participated in the program, contacting more than 565 residence hall students in the McElroy and Crawford Complexes.

Those interested in volunteering should notify Bill Watts at or 507-389-5498, or Torin Akey at or 507-389-1011 by Friday, Sept. 29.

Condolences: Marsha Berg

President Richard Davenport and the entire campus community extend their deepest condolences to the Rev. Tim Berg, campus chaplain with United Campus Ministry, whose wife, Marsha, passed away unexpectedly Aug. 23.

A memorial service was held Aug. 28 at 1:30 p.m. at First Congregational UCC, Mankato. The obituary for Marsha Berg is at the Mankato Mortuary website.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Donald Friend (Geography) was elected as the Association of American Geographers Councilor from the West Lakes Region. The AAG Council is the policymaking body of the AAG. Don will serve a three-year term.

Bonnie Huebsch (Registrar's Office) attended the CollegeNet conference in Portland, Ore., in July. She was a presenter in a workshop titled "Case study: R25 and Final examinations."

An article by John Janc (Modern Languages), "Les Faux Amis qui nous induisent en erreur," was published in the summer issue of the Minnesota Language Review. John also edited a book, Victor Hugo, that was recently published.

An article by Fred Slocum (Political Science/ Law Enforcement), "Political Participation," was published in Immigration in America Today: An Encyclopedia.

Fred has been invited to submit an article, "Militarism, Southern Culture and the 9/11 Attacks: The Implications for Contemporary Southern Politics," for a forthcoming essay collection. He will present the article at an October workshop, "The Military and the American South, 1898 to Present," in Georgia.

Fred attended the Midwest Political Science Association conference in April, serving as chair on the panel "Racial Stereotypes and Feelings Toward Outgroups." And he completed the 2005-2006 Leadership Institute of Greater Mankato.

Good Deeds

Linda Good (Elementary & Early Childhood Education) recently received the Good People Jefferson Award, given annually to recognize her contributions in diversity and service to the profession of early childhood education. Linda is one of the founders of the Women's Center, has taught the culture of poverty, taught English Language Learners at Lincoln Community Center, and has served on the Diversity Committee of the Association for Childhood Education International. She currently is president of the Minnesota Valley Association for Early Childhood Educators, and is member of the Midwest Council of the Midwest Association for the Education of Young Children.

SPJ Wins Chapter Award

The Society of Professional Journalists campus chapter recently received the society's highest ranking for campus chapters — a Four-Star ranking. The ranking makes the Minnesota State Mankato chapter eligible to be considered for National Chapter of the Year.

To become a Four-Star Chapter, a Society of Professional Journalists chapter must fulfill five goals set forth by the national organization:

  • Representation at the regional and national conferences;
  • At least 10 paid members;
  • Achieving the chapter membership goal;
  • Conduct at least four meetings that focus on specified journalism topics;
  • Timely submission of the annual report.

Last year the chapter held meetings on topics including diversity, freedom of information, ethics and journalism career- and skill-building. It also hosted guest speakers and visiting members of the Minnesota State Mankato community.

Chapter President Emmeline Elliott has been elected to serve a second year as the group's leader.

The chapter, advised by Mass Communication faculty members Ellen Mrja and John Gaterud, is starting its third year and has 30 student members.

Students Capture Tornado on Video

Students Joshua Jans, Scott Winter and Allan Detrich obtained dramatic photos and video of the Aug. 24 tornados that swept across 18 miles of South Central Minnesota, and documented the storm damage the next day with dozens of aerial photos.

Joshua and Scott tracked the storm using state-of-the-science weather equipment from the University's WALTER lab (Weather Analysis Laboratory for Teaching and Educational Resources).

Their photos and video were used by numerous media nationwide, and on Aug. 25 Joshua and Scott explained to TPT Channel 2 Almanac hosts Eric Escola and Cathy Wurzer how they captured the remarkable footage.

To view the Almanac interview, go to the TPT's Almanac website.

Jans and the team plan have created a Tornado Coverage website with their storm photos and videos.

Student Achievements

Nash Pherson, a student and 1st lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol, helped to search for a Minnesota pilot missing in North Dakota. Nash is one of only six people in a five-state area who are trained to use a specialized computer system to spot aircraft wreckage.


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. 20, 2006. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Wednesday (Sept. 13).