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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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December 13, 2006 Campus Newsletter

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End-of-year holiday schedule

Minnesota State Mankato's end-of-year holiday schedule is:

  • Monday, Dec. 25, and Monday, Jan. 1 are paid holidays for all eligible employees.
  • On Friday, Dec. 22, the University will be open as usual. That day is a paid holiday for all eligible MSUAASF members. Appropriate arrangements for staffing and supervision should be made in advance at the divisional level.
  • From Tuesday, Dec. 26, through Friday, Dec. 29, the University will remain open for approved, limited services. Only those departments that have a legitimate business need to continue operations will be open.
  • The University will be closed on Monday, Jan. 1, 2007, for the scheduled holiday. Normal operations will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 2.

For information about individual options, employees should consult their respective collective bargaining agreement or personnel plan, or contact Human Resources at 507-389-2015.

Holiday CSU hours

present During the end-of-year holiday break Centennial Student Union will observe special holiday hours. The CSU will be open non-holiday weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with food services open 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Friday, Dec. 22, from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. The CSU will be closed weekends.

From Tuesday, Dec. 26, through Friday, Dec. 29, services available in the CSU will be Affinity, TCF, Barnes & Noble, Scheduling and the HUB.

Dec. 16: Summer-Fall commencement

commencementMinnesota State Mankato will graduate 1,531 students during summer-fall commencement exercises Saturday, Dec. 16, in Bresnan Arena.

Two commencement ceremonies will be held: One at 9 a.m. for the colleges of Allied Health & Nursing, Arts & Humanities, and Science, Engineering & Technology; one at noon for the colleges of Business, Education and Social & Behavioral Sciences. Master's-degree candidates will graduate with the college of their affiliation.

Music for both commencement ceremonies will be provided by the Minnesota Valley Brass Quintet (faculty members Gerard Aloisio, Tom Giles, Stewart Ross, Dave Schultz and Doug Snapp). Laura King, vice chancellor of finance for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, and Trustee and Minnesota State Mankato graduate student Michael Boulton will greet the candidates.

Speakers for the 9 a.m. ceremony will be graduates Angela Marie Elena Doering (Allied Health & Nursing), Bryan Adrian Gerber (Arts & Humanities) and Benjamin J. Sandmann (Science, Engineering & Technology). Speakers for the noon ceremony will be Kevin James Bender (Business), Patricia Lee Kittock (Education) and Nathan James Bruss (Social & Behavioral Sciences)

A Commencement Brunch for graduates and their families will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lower level of Centennial Student Union. Cost is $12.99 for adults, $6.99 for children ages 4-12 and free for children 3 and under.

Communicating with Pride

torchThe University's new graphic standards site is now live and available for use.

The standards are designed to help produce consistent and engaging communications tools. There will not be a printed copy of the standards, so bookmark the site so it's readily available to help when you create communication materials.

Help with Event Scheduling

CSUUniversity Scheduling and Conference Services manages event reservations for all locations on campus, collaborating with event coordinators to ensure successful events in University facilities.

If you're coordinating an event, Scheduling and Conference Services can arrange for event parking, security, room set-up and audio/visual support.

What's needed by Scheduling and Conference Services when assisting with an event:

  • Date, name and start and end times of event, and whether you will need access to the place before or after the event;
  • Name and contact information for event planner;
  • Projected attendance;
  • Sponsoring organization;
  • Account number or method of payment for services;
  • Room set-up (theater, classroom, square or conference);
  • Additional furnishings needed (flip chart, podium, flags);
  • Technical needs (microphone, audio/visual support, etc.);
  • Parking and traffic control (off-campus guests?);
  • Food and beverage service;
  • Security concerns;
  • Performer support/hospitality;
  • Promotion and invitations

For more information or to plan a simple event call 507-389-2223. Complex event plans should be submitted through email to, or Requests for the Centennial Student Union can be submitted by filling out the Express Request form , and requests for all other areas of campus can be submitted by filling out the University Room form.

Once you have completed a request, the staff will either confirm your request or contact you regarding issues surrounding your event. Do not advertise your event until you receive confirmation from the office; some events require special approvals, technical support or other logistical support.

New partnership with Ghana university

group in GhanaIn late October, Vice President Scott Olson signed a new agreement with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology in Ghana, West Africa. Scott and seven others from the Minnesota State Mankato went to Ghana to visit Kwame Nkrumah University, and to explore opportunities for further collaboration.

The agreement creates Minnesota State Mankato's first university-wide partner in Africa, allowing for a direct exchange of students between the two universities. The agreement is part of the university's goal of increasing study abroad experiences for students, and to encourage more international students to attend Minnesota State Mankato.

Members of the Ghana delegation also included Caryn Lindsay (International Programs), Michael Fagin (Institutional Diversity), Jackie Vieceli (Political Science/Law Enforcement), Karen Chou (Civil Engineering), Raymond Asomani-Boateng and Tony Filipovitch (Urban & Regional Studies), and Norma Krumwiede (Nursing).

For more information contact the International Programs Office at 507-389-6669 or

Grant for underrepresented students

The College Access Program for underrepresented students has been awarded $100,000 by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.

The program, praised by Minnesota State for its outreach efforts, prepares high school students of color to move from secondary to post-secondary education. The funds will be used to improve the program's peer tutoring initiative, its pre-college summer institutes and its after-school high school outreach programs.

The program, operated by the Office of Institutional Diversity, aims to increase the number of students of color by 25 percent each year for the next three years. It also focuses on improving retention and graduation rates.

Crossroads Gets New Pastor

Elaine G. Siemsen
The Rev. Elaine G. Siemsen

The Rev. Elaine G. Siemsen has joined The Crossroads, an office of Lutheran Campus Ministry.

Rev. Siemsen has extensive experience in congregational and college ministry. She has taught in the Department of Theology at Valparaiso University, the Humanities Department at Rochester Community and Technical College, and most recently in the Department of Religion at St. Olaf College. Her book, Constructing a North American Theology through the Work of Joseph Sittler, was published in 2003.

Lutheran Campus Ministry began at Minnesota State Mankato in 1922 as a club for Lutheran women who were students at the teacher's college. Since then it has expanded to include men and women throughout the University.

Lutheran Campus Ministry has participated with the campus in addressing social and economic justice issues and encouraging spiritual growth among the participants. More information about The Crossroads can be found at the Lutheran Campus Ministry website.

Students, faculty attend Usability Day

Andrew Robertson, Mike Nelson, Sasha Komarenko, Zach Pitts and Lee Tesdell
From left: Society of Technical Communication participants Andrew Robertson, Mike Nelson, Sasha Komarenko, Zach Pitts and Lee Tesdell

Four technical communication students and two faculty members attended World Usability Day at the University of Minnesota's Walter Library Nov. 14. The group also visited the community evening meeting of the Society of Technical Communicators-Twin Cities.

Students Andrew Robertson, Mike Nelson, Sasha Komarenko and Zach Pitts and faculty member Lee Tesdell attended.

At Usability Day the group heard Neil Perlin of Hyper/Word Services discuss the future of the technical writing profession. They also saw a demonstration of calibration and a eye-tracking on a computer screen, and then discussed various aspects of website usability. Data resulting from eye-tracking sessions can be analyzed by technicians to determine where people are looking at particular documents.

At the Society of Technical Communication meeting the group networked with professionals and learned about the future of technical communications.

Chase team helps with storm video

Storm of 2006 coverThe storm chase team from the Weather Analysis Laboratory for Teaching and Educational Resources (WALTER) continues to focus on the weather this winter with a national video project known as "Storms of 2006."

The WALTER storm chase team became well known this summer for their dramatic videos of the August and September tornados that hit southern Minnesota. Now Minnesota State Mankato Storm Chaser Joshua Jans is working closely with "Storms of 2006" Project Director Verne Carlson of Colorado and more than 50 other storm chasers, piecing together the nation's best storm clips into an educational DVD.

The DVD devotes a "chapter" to each of the most noteworthy storms of the 2006 storm season. One of those chapters features the tornado outbreak that hit south central Minnesota on the evening of Aug. 24. Viewers will see an orchestration with semi-chronological replay of video and photography of the event, interlaced with meteorological analyses. All proceeds from the DVD go to help storm victims.

You can view a preview of the "Storms of 2006" DVD project online.

Book Drive for Africa

booksThe Golden Key Honour Society is conducting a drive through Friday, Dec. 15, to collect books for Africa in conjunction with the Pre-Med Club and Alpha Phi Omega. Books can be dropped at one of ten white-and-green drop boxes situated across campus. The groups seek new, used and out-of-print college textbooks or other books.

Books for Africa, a non-profit organization based in St. Paul, is the largest shipper of donated textbooks to Africa. Its mission is to end "the book famine in Africa." Any books that Books for Africa can't use will be sent to Better World Books, which will find the best use for each book.

Those who wish to donate children's books to the Mankato Public Library Children's Book Drive may leave them in one of the white-and-green drop boxes. The books will be sorted later.

For more information about the book drive or the organizations may contact Annelies Hagemeister at

Jan. 15, 2007: Annual Diversity Event

Zora Neale Hurston
Zora Neale Hurston

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Board will host the theatrical performance "Jump at the Sun: The Life and Times of Zora Neale Hurston" on Monday, Jan. 15, 2007. The event will be at the Kato Ballroom, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.; dinner and the awards presentation will be at 6 p.m, and the performance will begin at 6:45 p.m.

"Jump at the Sun" is a one-woman show which takes a look at the life and writings of Zora Neale Hurston, an influential African-American anthropologist, writer and folklorist. The presentation includes works from "Their Eyes Were Watching God." It was created by Buffy Sedlachek and will be performed by Regina Williams.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance at the Office of Institutional Diversity. Only a limited number of tickets will be available at the door. For more information, contact the Office of Institutional Diversity at 507-389-6125.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

An abstract by Gale Allen (ECET), "New Industrial Automation Laboratory & Courses, ECET Technology Program Improvement," was accepted by 2007 Annual ASEE Illinois/Indiana Section Conference. The conference will be at Indiana University and Purdue University in March 2007.

Patrick Akuffo (Human Performance) will present "Planning a Sport Education Experience using Multicultural Activities" at the Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Convention in March 2007.

An article by Bobby Bothmann (Library Service), "Assessing Undergraduate Interlibrary Loan Use," was accepted for publication in The Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserve.

An article by Christopher Danielson (Mathematics & Statistics), "If I only had one question: Partner quizzes in the middle school classroom," was published in Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School.

An article by Kellian Clink (Library Services) and Randall McClure (English), "How Do You Know That? An Investigation of English Composition Student Research Essays as They Relate to Association of College and Research Libraries' Literacy Standards, Typical Course Goals, and Today's Libraries," was accepted for publication in Digital Contexts: Studies of Online Research and Citation.

Daria Paul Dona (Educational Studies: K-12 & Secondary) was a panel member at the "Center for Rural Policy and Development Forum on the Education of Rural Minnesota's Children" in Saint Paul in November.

An article by Casey Duevel (Library Services), "Thoughts on the differences between a corporate and an academic library," was published in the November issue of Live Wire.

Steven Losh (Chemistry and Geology) was appointed an associate editor for the Bulletin of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists for 2007-2008.

Shannon Fisher (Water Resources Center) helped two local groups secure financial support for water quality projects. A Crystal Lake water quality group received $49,300 to improve tile intakes and ditch buffer strips. A Middle Minnesota River Watershed group received $25,000 in technical assistance and $340,000 for low-interest septic system loans.

Sherry Folsom-Meek (Human Performance) has been elected to "Who's Who 2006-2007." She also was selected to present at the National Convention of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Convention in March 2007.

Norma Krumwiede, Candy Mortenson-Klimpel, and Sandie Schuette (Nursing) attended the Chapter Leadership Academy of Sigma Theta Tau International in Indianapolis in September. They accepted awards for the Campaign 15 fundraiser and Scholarship of Reading.

Library Services hosted the sixth annual South Central Minnesota Genealogy Expo in November. More than 100 people attended the event, co-organized by the Blue Earth County Historical Society, to learn about family history research. The event featured Gail Mikkalson, a local author, as the keynote speaker. The Expo included 17 genealogy and historical organizations from throughout Minnesota.

Steve Mercurio (Biology) was invited to participate in "Global Warming and Sustainable Development: Governing a Crisis," at the Oxford Round Table. The discussion will take place at Harris Manchester College in Oxford, England, next August.

Russell Palma (Physics and Astronomy) co-author a paper, "Isotopic compositions of cometary matter returned by STARDUST," published in the December issue of Science.

Gary Rockswold (Mathematics and Statistics) presented "Mathematics, Science, and Reality" at the University of Houston-Downtown. He also presented "Just How Much Power Does Mathematics Have?" at the national AMATYC meeting.

Donna Sluiter (Nursing) completed a Nurse Educator Tour at Fort Lewis, Wash., in July. The event, sponsored by ROTC, allows faculty to visit and participate in the Army's Leadership Development and Assessment Course. She also visited Madigan Army Medical Center. In September she participated in a tour at Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis, where educators from across the country learned about Army nursing and visited Brook Army Medical Center and Burn Unit.

Jocelyn Fenton Stitt (Women's Studies) presented "Mothering and Editing a New Anthology: Technologies of Mothering: New Conceptions, New Deliveries," at the 10th anniversary conference of the Association for Research on Mothering.

An article by Richard Terrill (English), "Yet Again to the Lake," was published in the fall issue of Colorado Review.

Lynne Weber (Library Services) was elected chair-elect of the publications committee for the Midwest Chapter of the Music Library Association in October in Milwaukee. She also served as the co-chair for a joint meeting of the Interlibrary Loan and Circulation Groups, a part of the MnPALS Consortium User Group.

Vincent Winstead (ECET) and Bruce Jones (AMET) gave a technical presentation on AMET's "Plug-In Hybrid Prius Project" to the members and visitors of Minnesota's Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Task Force at the United Auto Workers Union Hall in St. Paul in November.

Hai-Sheng Wu (Physics & Astronomy) presented a talk, "Recent Development in Producing High-Efficiency Flexible Silicon-Based Thin-Film Solar Cells," at the Physics Colloquium of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in November.

Patricia Young (Nursing) has been selected to serve as National League of Nurses Ambassador for the School of Nursing. She will be responsible for interacting and communicating with the NLN.

Student Achievements

The Math Club team, comprised of Harrison Quick, Chad Vidden and Eric Raymer, placed 17th out of about 60 teams in the 2006 Mathematical Association of America NCS Math Contest. The team coaches are Dan Singer and Namyong Lee.


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 Jan. 17, 2007. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Wednesday (Jan. 10).

Holiday Berries