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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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November 29, 2006 Campus Newsletter

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Nov. 30: Fiction Writer Thon on Campus

Melanie Rae ThonUtah fiction writer Melanie Rae Thon will visit campus Thursday, Nov. 30, as the Good Thunder Reading Series' final fall term 2006 resident.

In the morning Thon will meet with community writers and will be interviewed on KMSU-FM. In the afternoon she will discuss the craft of writing at 3 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium. At 7:30 p.m. she will read from her published work in CSU Room 253.

An interview with Thon, part of the "Authors in Transit" series on KMSU 89.7 FM, will air Thursday, Nov. 30, at 1 p.m., and Friday, Dec. 1, at 11 a.m. All events are free and open to the public.

Thon's most recent book is the novel Sweet Hearts. She is also the author of Meteors in August and Iona Moon, and the short story collections First, Body and Girls in the Grass. She has just completed Heavenly Creatures, a collection of stories.

For more information about the series, call Richard Robbins at the Department of English, 507-389-1354.

New Online Nurse Educator Program

Medical symbolThe School of Nursing is accepting applications for a new, online Master of Science program to prepare nurse educators.

The 52-credit program, administered by the College of Allied Health & Nursing and the School of Nursing, addresses a region-wide nursing faculty shortage by educating baccalaureate-prepared nurses for teaching roles in technical colleges, community colleges, clinical facilities and clinical education at universities.

The program was approved recently by the University and by the Office of the Chancellor for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. The application deadline for students who will begin the program in summer 2007 is Jan. 15, 2007.

Sonja Meiers, Graduate Programs director for the School of Nursing, said students in the new nurse educator graduate program will take courses offered online by expert faculty from the College of Education and the College of Allied Health & Nursing. The students will come to campus four times each semester for person-to-person contact with other students and faculty members. Students will receive their practicum experiences in educational and health-care institutions.

In addition to the nurse educator program, a new, 20-credit post-nursing master's certificate program also is available. The School of Nursing also provides online graduate programs for Clinical Nursing Specialists and Family Nurse Practitioners.

Those who want more information about the new program may go to the Graduate Programs page or may contact Beth Teigen at or 507-389-6826.

'Steel Sculpture' Dedicated

Steel SculptureA new campus sculpture that serves as an educational tool for civil engineering students was dedicated on Tuesday, Nov. 28.

The 8-foot-tall "Steel Sculpture" is situated just outside the southeast wing of Trafton Science Center East and was dedicated Nov. 28. It was installed this summer and illustrates typical steel connections used in bridges and buildings designed by civil engineers.

The Steel Sculpture is intended to help civil engineering students learn about typical connections as part of their steel design course, and to help other students and the public better understand the role of the civil engineer in society.

The Steel Sculpture was designed by a University of Florida professor for use as a teaching tool. The American Institute of Steel Construction adopted the model, making blueprints available nationwide and encouraging members to support engineering programs by donating sculpture materials and fabrication services. The Steel Sculpture now stands on more than 120 campuses across the nation. Minnesota State Mankato's Steel Sculpture is the first in Minnesota. Materials for and fabrication of the sculpture were donated by Central Minnesota Fabrication Inc. of Willmar. Painting of the sculpture was donated by Central Sandblasting Inc. of Willmar.

The sculpture's foundation and landscaping was provided by the University's building and facilities management offices. The sculpture is dedicated to the University's Department of Mechanical & Civil Engineering.

Carter, Haglin Named Directors

New directors have been appointed for the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and the Center for Excellence in Scholarship and Research.

Michelle CarterMichelle Carter has been appointed interim director of Research and Sponsored Programs. Michelle was most recently director of the Ronald E. McNair post-baccalaureate Achievement Program at Minnesota State Mankato.

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs encourages and assists faculty and staff to apply for external funding for their research, scholarship and creative activities.David J. Haglin

David J. Haglin has been appointed director of the Center for Excellence in Scholarship and Research. David has been a faculty member of Computer and Information Sciences at Minnesota State Mankato for more than 15 years, after having worked as a Software Engineer in the computer industry for eight years. His research interests are in several areas within computer science, including algorithm design and data mining.

The Center for Excellence in Scholarship and Research, a new initiative supported by Strategic Priority Funding, is designed to provide support and recognition for faculty research and creativity.

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and the Center for Excellence in Scholarship and Research are located in Wigley Administration Center 325. An open house will be held in January 2007 to welcome Michelle and David to their new roles and introduce them to the campus community.

2007-2008 Learning Communities

FYE banner

Learning Communities for 2007-2008 have been determined. Learning Community participants are first-year students who take classes together, and many live on the same residence hall floor. Learning Community students have higher GPAs and have a higher retention rate than non-Learning Community students.

The Learning Communities are Anatomy of Nursing, Aviation, Dental Hygiene, Elementary Education, Elements of Nursing, Exploring Liberal Arts Majors, Global Exploration, Intro to Business and Econ I, Intro to Business and Econ II, Pre-Engineering I (Civil and Mechanical Engineering), Pre-Engineering II (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Strategies for Success (Undecided majors), and Women in Science and Engineering.

For more information and the online enrollment forms, visit the Learning Communities page. Contact Kate Hansen at 507-389-5498 or with any questions.

You Can Help Students Meet Tuition Rules

Minnesota State Mankato faculty, staff and administrators contributed to a successful implementation of the new Minnesota State tuition payment policy this past fall semester. Continued involvement is needed to ensure a repeat success for spring semester.

Specific actions to help students meet minimum payment requirements to protect their registrations from cancellation for non-payment may include:

  • Opportunities to raise student awareness about the financial requirements — advising sessions, classroom announcements, etc.;
  • Reminding students of the importance of monitoring their financial status with the university, and resolving questionable issues in a timely manner, as well as helping students find appropriate campus contact points;
  • Recognizing the impact that current departmental processes that provide funding assistance to students have on their ability 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 these awards are communicated and updated to the students' records prior to published due dates;
  • Sharing concerns about specific implementation issues with the local planning group (Student Financial Services: Jan Marble, Twyla Tinney, Garnet Cafourek, Dave Neve, Diane Hamilton, Sandra Loerts; Registrar's Office: Dave Gjerde, Karen Kuchenbecker, Debra Schulz, Rose White; Academic Affairs: Brenda Flannery, Bonnie Windschitl).

The current tuition payment policy requirements are posted on the Campus Hub website

Spring Tuition Waiver Deadline

Minnesota State Mankato faculty and staff who plan to request a tuition waiver benefit for themselves or their dependents for Spring Semester 2007 are reminded to submit timely tuition waiver request paperwork. This will help prevent registration cancellation for nonpayment under the current tuition payment policy.

To safeguard against cancelled registrations for those intending to use the tuition waiver benefit, employees are strongly encouraged to submit the request form for spring semester credits as soon as possible. You can download the [PDF] form (170 KiB) from the Human Resources website.

Submitting the form after the earliest tuition due date of Jan. 2, 2007, will not prevent the automatic registration cancellation.

To assist those who intend to file the tuition waiver request form but are unable to do so within the timelines of the new tuition payment policy, an "Intent to File" online submission form has been made available at the Tuition Waivers page.

Submitting an "Intent to File" does not replace the official tuition waiver request process, nor will it result in a tuition waiver transaction on a student's record. The "Intent to File" is simply a communication tool between the employee and the Student Financial Services staff reviewing student accounts prior to the registration cancellation process.

Otto Recreation Trial Membership

Campus Rec banner

Campus Recreation is offering a free winter break trial membership at Otto Recreation Center to all faculty and staff members.

The trial starts Dec. 18, 2006, and continues through Jan. 15, 2007. To sign up, go to the campus recreation office (MF 118) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to have your Mavcard activated. (Faculty and staff must have a newer MavCard — within the last three years — that is readable by the Otto Recreation Center electronic system. Those who need replacement cards should see the MavCard office.)

For Otto Recreation Center hours of operation or more information about the trial membership, call 389-2500.

The trial is the result of recommendations that grew from the president's Health & Wellness strategic priority.

URSI Students Assist New Prague

New Prague logoMinnesota State Mankato Urban and Regional Studies and South Central College Applied Graphics Production students, under the direction of Janet Cherrington and Neil Nurre, partnered with New Prague's Park Board to produce an informational brochure promoting city parks and recreational opportunities.

The applied-learning experience includes research, design and production of an eight-page, full-color brochure highlighting New Prague's park system. The brochure will be available at New Prague City Hall in December. URSI students will present the project overview to the Park Board at New Prague City Hall Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m.

The effort is the third collaborative applied learning community project by the Urban and Regional Studies Institute and South Central Community College.

Dec. 1, 2: 'Raising Spirit'

"Raising Spirit" is a two-day fundraising event for Special Olympics, sponsored by the Sport Management Club Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1 and 2.

On Friday at 7 p.m., Maverick athletes will hold a sport camp for children of the community, teaching them basic skills in the sport of their choice. The children will then be treated to a pizza party and will receive a free T-shirt for their participation.

On Saturday at the Maverick home hockey game, Sport Management Club members will hold a silent auction that includes items including autographs, gift certificates and sporting apparel. All bidding will be done prior to the game.

All proceeds from the auction will be directly donated to the Minnesota chapter of Special Olympics.

For more information or to register for the sport camp, contact Gus Groslie at

Faculty/Staff Achievements

A book review by Wayne Allen (Ethnic Studies) was published in Sibericia. The review was of Piers Vitebsky's The Reindeer People: Living with animals and spirits in Siberia.

Jim Bailey (Political Science/Law Enforcement) attended the Minnesota Division of International Association for Identification meeting in Fergus Falls in September. He also attended the Indiana Division of International Association for Identification in Indianapolis, and the Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientist meeting in Indianapolis last month.

Steve Buechler (Sociology & Corrections) presented a paper, "What's Critical about Sociology?" at the joint meeting of the Sociologists of Minnesota and the Wisconsin Sociological Association in River Falls, Wis., last month.

Colleen Clarke (Political Science/Law Enforcement) chaired a panel on Gender and Culture at the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association Meeting in Chicago in September.

Alisa Eimen (Art) received a Getty Foundation Summer Institute Fellowship to participate in month-long July seminar, "Constructing the Past in the Middle East," in Istanbul, Turkey and Thessaloniki, Greece.

An article by Anthony Filipovitch (Urban Studies), "Organizational Transformation of a Community-based Clinic," recently was published in Nonprofit Management and Leadership.

Sherry Folsom-Meek (Human Performance) received the 2006 Lou Keller Award at the Minnesota Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance fall conference in October. The award honors and recognizes outstanding services and contributions by a college or university professor or other professional worker in the fields of health, physical education, recreation and dance.

An article by Susan Freeman (Women's Studies), "Facts of Life and More: Adolescent Sex and Sexuality Education," recently was published in C. Cocca (Ed.), Adolescent Sexuality: A Historical Handbook and Guide.

Curt Germundson (Art) recently published an article, "Kurt Schwitters' relationship to 'tradition' and 'avant-garde,'" in Dada Culture: Critical Texts on the Avant-Garde.

Karl H. Heise (Modern Languages) was honored with the North Central Council Latin Americanists Award of Merit "for outstanding achievement in bringing to the general public a greater awareness of the nations, peoples, and cultures of Latin America." The Award of Merit is presented only rarely, and has not been presented to any institution, organization or individual for several years. Karl and Enrique Torner (Modern Languages) participated in the North Central Council of Latin Americanists conference earlier this month as part of a round table discussion, "Major Trends in Latin American Narrative, Poetry, and Theater During the Past Four Decades."

A book by Eiji Kawabata (Political Science & Law Enforcement), Contemporary Government Reform in Japan: the Dual State in Flux, was recently published by Palgrave/Macmillan.

Changjoo Kim (Geography) presented "Studying the Urban Transportation Structure in GIS-T Framework: A Case Study of the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area" at the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium in October.

Joseph Kunkel (Political Science/Law Enforcement) was interviewed last month for news reports on several Twin Cities and national media: The Star Tribune (potential impact of the DM & E Railroad, occupational backgrounds of Legislative candidates, the U.S. Senate campaign, ); Congressional Quarterly (congressional races in the 6th and 1st districts); Minnesota Public Radio (the 1st District race); AP-Minneapolis (Independence Party candidate for governor).

Don Larsson (English) presented "Comic? Book? Or, Of Maus and Manga: Visualizing Reading, Reading the Visual in Graphic Novels" at the International Conference on the Book. The paper version has been accepted for publication in the International Journal of the Book.

Liz Miller (Art) recently took part in several exhibitions: "8 x 8 x 8: LON/MSP/NYC," The Soap Factory, Minneapolis; "Perform/Install," South Bend Regional Museum of Art, South Bend, Ind.; "Impudent Instant Message," Carleton College, Northfield; Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art, Fort Collins, Colo.

Lisa Perez and Andi Lassiter (Psychology) were invited to the National Pork Board's 2006 Pork Production Worker Safety Roundtable in Memphis, Tenn. Lisa also was named to the executive board of the Minnesota Professionals for Psychology Applied.

Julie Rabaey (International Student Office) completed the year-long National Association of International Educators Academy program as a mentor.

Stewart Ross (Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning) presented "Creating Significant Learning Experiences through Integrated Course Design" at the Collaboration for the Advancement of College Teaching and Learning.

Ronald Schirmer (Anthropology) has been named research archeologist for the City of Red Wing, and gave a lecture on the history of archeological research and preservation at the Preserve Minnesota Conference in Red Wing in September. He co-presented on partnerships between archeologists and planners using GIS technology at the GIS/LIS Consortium meetings in St. Cloud in October, and gave a lecture at the Midwest Archaeology Conference in Urbana, Ill.

Todd Shanafelt (Art) recently presented at several group juried shows: "International Cup," The Clay Studio of Missoula, Mont. (honorable mention); "Clay?," Kirkland Arts Center, Kirkland, Wash.; "6th Premio Internacional de Ceramica Contemporanea," Centro de Artesania De Aragon, Zaragoza, Spain; "The 2006 International Orton Cone Box Show," Baker University, Baldwin City, Kans. (Purchase Award). Todd's image also was printed on the cover of a book, Keramik und Mixed Media (Neue Keramik Publishers, 2006), by Joy Bosworth.

Fred Slocum (Political Science/Law Enforcement) presented "Militarism, Southern Culture, the 9/11 Attacks and the Bush Administration's Responses: The Implications for Contemporary Southern Politics," at an October workshop in Georgia. He also wrote a winning proposal to have a series of questions measuring authoritarianism included in the American National Election Study's 2006 Pilot Study.

Michael Spencer (Economics) presented a coauthored paper, "On Relaxing the Endowment Constraint in Contributing to a Threshold Public Good," at the Missouri Valley Economic Association meeting in Minneapolis last month. He also was a paper discussant in a meeting session on international economics.

Erik Waterkotte (Art) recently participated in several exhibitions: "The Printed Image," Alice C. Sabatini Gallery, Topeka, Kans.; "The Postmodern Landscape," Brad Cooper Gallery, Tampa Fla.; and "Group Printmaking Show," Beverly Arts Center, Chicago.

Student Achievements

Alpha Lambda Delta inducted 45 new members into the National Honor Society Nov. 5. Alpha Lambda Delta is a national honor society that recognizes and encourages academic excellence among first-year students. Membership is open to full-time freshmen students who earn a GPA of 3.5 or better in their first year.

Melissa Andersen, Andrew Ansel, Takehito Kamata, Mary O'Connor and Dave Sanchez traveled to Washington, D.C., last month for a Pi Sigma Alpha political science honor society trip. Pi Sigma Alpha Chapter Advisor Fred Slocum (Political Science/Law Enforcement) accompanied the students.

Robert Bothmann, a graduate of the cross-disciplinary master's degree program in Geography and Technical Communication, won the annual campus thesis competition for his thesis "The Historical Geography of Good Thunder, Minn.: 1870-2005." His thesis advisor was Cynthia Miller (Geography.) Robert's thesis has been forwarded to the annual Distinguished Thesis Award competition sponsored by the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools. Four other finalists were recognized: James Dimock, (Speech Communication); Roman Filipovych (Physics/Astronomy); Teresa Brown (Psychology); and Kate Peterson (Human Performance).

Takehito Kamata and Justin Newman and faculty member Fred Slocum (Political Science/Law Enforcement) attended the Minnesota Political Science Association conference at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul earlier this month.

Colleen Mays received two awards for her health services programming efforts at the Midwest Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls conference.

Brian Wollum, Kelly Biers and Noel Costumbrado were named to the Young People For Class of 2007 Fellowship Program. They will attend the Young People for National Summit for Progressive Leaders and Activists in Washington, D.C.


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 Dec. 13, 2006. The deadline for that newsletter (the last newsletter of 2006) will be the previous Wednesday (Dec. 6).