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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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February 14, 2007 Campus Newsletter

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Valentine's Day: Be a Better Listener

Valentine's day logo As a thoughtful gift for your loved for Valentine's Day, Nanette Johnson-Curiskis (Speech Communication) offers this idea: Be a better listener.

This gift can come from either partner, she says. Although men are typically more often accused of being the worse of the two sexes when it comes to listening, women can be just as guilty.

Nan, the International Listening Association's 2005 Outstanding Listening Educator of the Year, offers these tips for those who want to become better listeners:

  • Stop everything and listen. Stop everything and give the speaker your undivided attention.
  • Men should use some verbal and non-verbal communication, like nodding their head and uttering an occasional "uh-huh." Women should cut down on their communication.
  • Be a responsible listener. Don't think about your response when you should be listening.
  • Be a responsible speaker. Speakers have a responsibility to communicate clearly and watch their listeners' non-verbal communication.
  • Be ready to listen. There's a good time to listen and a bad time.

The consequences of poor listening habits can be significant, especially for couples. It can lead to misunderstandings, mistrust, stress and tension in a relationship.

Study Abroad Partnership in Norway

Norway logo

Minnesota State Mankato has added a new Scandinavian option to its study abroad offerings by signing an exchange agreement with Telemark University College of Norway last week.

The agreement means that Minnesota State Mankato students can travel to Norway to take Telemark University College courses that complement several Mankato programs — especially Environmental Sciences, Ecology, Marketing, Scandinavian Studies and Recreation, Parks & Leisure Services. The courses are taught in English.

Students will pay Minnesota State Mankato tuition and will receive credit for the courses. Housing and visa support will be provided for all exchange students and faculty. The agreement also will allow students from Telemark University College to enroll at Minnesota State Mankato.

The agreement also will allow students from Telemark University College to enroll at Minnesota State Mankato. "We anticipate an equal number of incoming and outgoing exchange students," said Caryn Lindsay (International Programs Office).

A delegation from Telemark University College visited Mankato Feb. 8 and 9, finalizing legal arrangements and discussing exchange details. Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Scott Olson signed the agreement.

The University has exchange programs with two Finnish and two Swedish universities, but this is the first with a Norwegian institution.

Telemark University College is the fifth largest state university college in Norway. It has four campuses in the county of Telemark, in the picturesque mountains west of Oslo. Its main campus, in Bø, is 90 minutes from Oslo. It offers undergraduate and post-graduate studies in a wide range of academic fields. You can visit Telemark University College's English website.

Those who want more information may contact Caryn at or Maria-Claudia Tomany (Scandinavian Studies) at

Supercomputer speeds research

A new Supercomputer (high-performance computer), funded by the National Science Foundation, was installed late last month and is available for use in research projects by College of Science, Engineering & Technology faculty.

The new Supercomputer has the power of 30 high-end desktop computers. You can view photos of the computer on the Supercomputer page.

Some details about the new machine:

  • It has one master node and 29 worker nodes.
  • Each node has 8GB of RAM, for a total of 240 GB.
  • Each node has two dual-core AMD Opteron chips, for a total of 4 logical processors. The worker nodes contain a total of 116 processors.

David Haglin (Computer & Information Sciences) says the new Supercomputer dramatically speeds computations for one of his research projects.

"To run one of my computations involving data privacy of census data on a high-end desktop machine would take between 80 and 90 days," David says. "This Supercomputer performed that same computation in slightly less than 18 hours."

College of Science, Engineering & Technology faculty members interested in using the Supercomputer for research should contact Patrick Tebbe, Rebecca Bates or David.

Students selected for national research event

NCUR logo

Two undergraduates have been selected to present their research at the nation's top undergraduate research conference in April in California.

Lisa Mayer, a junior Art History major from Belle Plaine, and Gregory Boubel, a senior History major from Mankato, were selected to present at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research at Dominican University of California, San Rafael, April 12-14.

Lisa will present "Imminent Assimilation: A New Interpretation of Etruscan Cultural Material." Gregory will present "Dignified Aloofness: Canada's Failed Bid to Join the Pan American Union." They also will see and hear presentations by other national winners.

Several weeks ago a national panel selected their projects from proposals submitted by hundreds of undergraduates across the nation. Their projects were eligible for national competition because they were among the top proposals in the Minnesota State Mankato Undergraduate Research Center, which will be held April 23-24.

Both students conducted their research under the direction of faculty members. Lisa worked with Alisa Eimen; Gregory was advised by Humberto Loayza.

The College of Graduate Studies & Research will fund the students' trip to the San Francisco area. Undergraduate Research Center Co-Chairs Gina Wenger and Trent Vorlicek also will attend.

At the Undergraduate Research Center, students will present their research through poster sessions, oral presentations, exhibits and other forms. After the conference the projects will be published in a 2007 Journal of Undergraduate Research.

The annual local conference is organized through the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs, part of the College of Graduate Studies & Research.

Over the last 20 years colleges and universities have put greater emphasis on undergraduate research as an important element for teaching and engaging students, and as a way of better preparing students for careers in science, humanities and creative arts.

More information can be found on the National Conferences of Undergraduate Research website and the Minnesota State Mankato's Undergraduate Research Center website.

Student design for ACC, Wiecking

When the Academic Computer Center began planning for some new technology spaces for students, it looked for design ideas from a student employee already working in the ACC.

Melissa Stinson, a Green Bay Wis., senior Interior Design major and pole vaulter on the women's track team, was already helping students with their technology related questions. She jumped at the chance of helping to design student study areas in the ACC and Wiecking lobby.

Melissa used her knowledge of AutoCAD to make several iterations of layouts for walls, furniture, & computers. After the designs were approved, she used her eye for color, fashion and form to design the furniture, identify material, and make fabric, laminate, paint and color decisions.

In the Academic Computer Center, Melissa designed two glass-walled group study areas that can be converted to one large conference room by folding a divider wall. Large cherry wood tables include grommet holes that hide electrical outlets for laptops. The rooms will have technology for student groups to practice presentations, or for groups of students to collaboratively work on projects.

A new space for multimedia equipment also was also created. This space allows a small class to learn together how to use the technology, including scanners and digital editing.

In the Wiecking lobby, eyes are really popping. "Bringing together the existing colors from the three mismatched hallways was a real challenge," Melissa said. "People didn't realize there are different colors throughout the building, because it's been that way for 30-40 years. My goal was to bring these three spaces together to create a comfortable, different place for students to study."

"I've used a color called Chilled Wine to bring in some bold contrast, and a sea teal green found in other hallways, to brighten up the area. These same colors are then matched, complemented and contrasted throughout the rest of the furniture.

"A wave counter top that wraps around the corner also picks up the sea teal color. High stools let students sit and study at the wave counter. Plus they look retro, bringing us back to when Weicking was built."

Computer kiosks and a laser printer have been added to allow students to quickly check e-mail and print reports. Colorful booths and various-sized tables allow students to mingle or collaborate on projects together. A soft seating area with sofas and chairs on a half-moon carpet forms a living room-like space.

One-on-one TIAA-CREF counseling

TIAA CREF logoA consultant from TIAA-CREF will be on campus for one-on-one counseling in February and March.

TIAA-CREF administers the IRAP and SRP retirement plans for faculty and administrators and the TSA/403(b) plan for all employees. The consultant can help employees review their retirement savings and understand their investment options, discuss rollovers and provide information about distribution options (ways to withdraw money or receive payment from the plans after retirement).

Employees may schedule appointments through the TIAA-CREF website, or by calling Sue Muellner at 1-800-877-6602.

Pre-tax benefit deadline: Feb. 28

EideBailly Employees enrolled in any of the pre-tax benefit plans in 2006 have a Feb. 28 deadline for submitting reimbursement claims. Pre-tax benefits include the DCEA, MDEA, HRA and TEA. Any unused balance remaining in the DCEA, MDEA or TEA after Feb. 28 will be forfeited, but unused HRA balances will carry forward to 2007.

Reimbursement forms for Minnesota State employees, access to the on-line account system, and additional information about the pre-tax benefit plans are available at the State of Minnesota Employees page. Those who need assistance should contact the plan administrator, Eide Bailly, at 1-800-300-1672.

Feb. 14: Summer Job Fair

More than 60 agencies looking for summer employees or interns will take applications and conduct interviews at the 27th annual Summer Job Fair Wednesday, Feb. 14, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

Agencies scheduled to be at the job fair include summer camps and resorts, city recreation and parks departments, YMCAs, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, group homes and Boys and Girls Clubs of America. The Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota Conservation Corps, the Mall of America, Valleyfair, the National Sports Center, Canterbury Park, Three Rivers Public Safety Department, Life Time Fitness, Army ROTC and the Minnesota National Guard also will be on hand, as well as insurance, business management, construction and retail employers.

Organizations are scheduled to come from as far away as New Hampshire and California as well as from the Midwest and Mankato, St. Peter, Lake Crystal and New Ulm. Students who are looking to invest in their futures by gaining experience are urged to attend the event.

The Summer Job Fair will include free popcorn and a Pepsi products tasting table.

The event, open to students, staff, faculty and the public, is sponsored by the RPLS Club and the Department of Recreation, Parks & Leisure Services, with support from the Career Development Center. Those who want more information may call (507) 389-2127.

Feb. 14-16: 'Monologues'

VDAY logo A benefit production of Eve Ensler's award-winning play "The Vagina Monologues" will be hosted by the Women's Center Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 14 and 15, at 8 p.m. and Friday, Feb. 16, at 9 p.m.

The event, part of V-Day 2007, is being staged to raise funds for the Blue Earth County Sexual Violence Resource Center and the Women's Center. The play will be in Ostrander Auditorium.

V-Day (Feb. 14) is a global movement to end violence against women and girls. The non-profit V-Day organization distributes funds to grassroots, national and international organizations and programs to stop violence against women and girls.

"Monologues" tickets are $10 for students and $15 for non-students, and are on sale in the Centennial Student Union lobby daily or can be purchased in the Women's Center, CSU 218. Those who want more information may call Katie Bowman or Lindsay Gullingsrud at 507-389-6146, or e-mail

Feb. 14: Expert to Discuss Career Skills

Jose Cortina
Jose Cortina

Jose Cortina, George Mason University Industrial/Organizational Psychology faculty member, will talk about "Knowledge and Skills That Predict Organizational Citizenship" Wednesday, Feb.14, in a Speaker's Series lecture sponsored by the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Master's Program.

Cortina is an expert in personality traits that predict job success, and is the associate editor of the Journal of Applied Psychology. His presentation, free and open to faculty, staff, students and other area residents, will be at 6 p.m. in Rooms 253-255 of Centennial Student Union.

Feb. 15: Annual parking hearing

parking lotThe annual public hearing on parking policies, budget and capital improvements will be Thursday, Feb. 15, from 3-4:30 p.m. in CSU 201. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend and voice their concerns.

Among the topics to be discussed:

  • Proposed income and spending plans;
  • $374,898 capital improvement plan for summer 2007;
  • Free lot (Lot 23) upgrades, including $213,860 in safety lighting and hard surface paving. The proposal calls for converting the free lot to a permit lot with a $40 permit per academic year (free bus pass tag included).
  • Pay lot hourly rate increase proposal (from $2 first hour and $1 thereafter to $3 first hour and $2 thereafter).
  • An increase to the Gold stall violation fine ($15 to $25). The "early bird" payment would lower the new fine to $20 if paid within four working days.
  • Scooters & mini-bikes would be treated as motorcycles, requiring permits ($60/permit or $30 with another permit). Currently machines under 125cc are allowed to park adjacent to bicycle racks.

Those who have concerns, recommendations or observations should e-mail them to David Cowan (Facilities Services) at, before noon Feb. 15. For more information go to the annual hearing page.

Feb. 15: Good Thunder Reading Series

Katrina Vandenberg
Katrina Vandenberg
Mary Helen Stefaniak
Mary Helen Stefaniak

St. Paul poet Katrina Vandenberg and Iowa fiction writer Mary Helen Stefaniak will visit campus on Thursday, Feb. 15, in the second Good Thunder Reading Series spring term residency.

On Thursday morning they will meet community writers and will be interviewed on KMSU-FM. In the afternoon they will conduct a discussion on the craft of writing at 3 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium, Centennial Student Union. At 7:30 p.m. they will read from their published work in CSU Room 253. All events are free and open to the public.

An interview with the writers, part of the "Authors in Transit" series on KMSU 89.7 FM, will air Thursday, Feb. 15, at 1 p.m., and again on Friday, Feb. 16, at 11 a.m.

Katrina Vandenberg has been visiting writer in residence at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the University of Arkansas. She was a Fulbright fellow in 1999-2000, and has held an artist residency at Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Red Wing.

Mary Helen Stefaniak is a fiction writer, essayist and English faculty member and director of creative writing at Creighton University, Omaha. She has served as a commentator on Iowa Public Radio and a contributing editor of The Iowa Review. Her collection of short fiction, Self Storage and Other Stories, was selected by the Wisconsin Library Association for the 1998 Banta Award for Literary Excellence.

Those who want more information about the series may call Richard Robbins at the Department of English, 507-389-1354.

For a detailed schedule and archived recordings of previous Good Thunder events, go to the Good Thunder Reading Series page.

Feb. 19: Blood Drive

American Red CrossThe Red Cross Bloodmobile will be on campus Monday, Feb 19, in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom from 10 3 p.m. Each person who donates will receive a certificate for a free burrito from Chipotle.

The drive is sponsored by the Upward Bound Program and the Women's Volleyball Team. Appointments may be made by calling 507-389-1211, or by going to the Give Life website and entering sponsor code "mnstuniversity." Walk-ins will also be welcome.

Feb. 20: Legislative briefing

The Office of the Chancellor, government relations, invites faculty and staff members to attend a legislative briefing on campus Tuesday, Feb. 20, to learn more about the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities legislative efforts at the State Capitol.

Tuesday's briefing will be at 1:30 p.m. in Room 201 of Centennial Student Union. Those who plan to attend are asked to RSVP.

Strong state support for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system's biennial request is critical to keep tuition affordable, retain quality faculty and staff, and educate Minnesota's future workforce.

At the legislative briefing, Office of the Chancellor representatives will discuss the request, as well as how faculty and staff members can be effective advocates for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities throughout the legislative session.

Feb. 20: Study Abroad Fair

mountain pictureThe annual Spring Study Abroad fair will be Tuesday, Feb. 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union lobby, with representatives from more than 25 different organizations, including University departments, showcasing their programs.

The fair will highlight a wide variety of international study opportunities for students. University departments will promote short-term and semester-long programs. Currently the University offers several short-term opportunities which are being expanded to include Russia, France, Thailand, Scotland and Germany in 2007-2008. In addition, new exchange agreements for a semester abroad recently were made with universities in Norway, Scotland and Ghana.

The Modern Language and Business Departments make several study abroad opportunities available to students. Spanish language students can study in Spain, Mexico and Costa Rica. French students can study in France, and Business exchanges are available in Austria, France, Finland and the Netherlands, among others.

Several regional universities including the U of M, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, St. Cloud State University, and Central College Abroad will be represented at the fair. These universities send students all over the world, including to China, Australia, Italy, Japan, Fiji and Kenya. They also offer summer study options and internships abroad.

The fair is an excellent opportunity for students to talk with experts who know about various study abroad programs. The fair includes something for everyone — students who want to spend a few weeks or a few months abroad, studying on land or at sea, in English or in a foreign language.

For more information go to the Students Studying Abroad page.

Feb. 20: Center on Aging Forum

The Center on Aging will seek input from community members about its future programs and activities at an open forum on Tuesday, Feb. 20, from 3-5 p.m. in the Summit Center Library, 518 S. Fifth St., Mankato.

Center officials want information and opinions from faculty, staff, students and Mankato area residents about priority activities that it should pursue during the next year. Center officials recently revised the Center's mission, and they intend to identify priorities for the coming year.

Refreshments will be available.

Minnesota State Mankato's Center on Aging provides continuing education, applied research and resource development for the aging network in southern Minnesota. Its services include consultation, applied research, program evaluation, short-term focused educational programming and training and skill-building.

Those who wish to attend should e-mail Kristeen Giese at Those who want more information should contact Kristeen or Jim Tift (Gerontology), 507-389-5188.

Feb. 22-25, March 1-4: 'Angels in America'

Promotional poster
Promotional poster from HBO miniseries "Angels in America."

The Department of Theatre & Dance will present Tony Kushner's highly acclaimed play, "Angels in America: Millennium Approaches," Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 22-25 and March 1-4, in Ted Paul Theatre of the Performing Arts Center.

Kushner was awarded the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for his play — the first of two full-length productions (the other is "Perestroika"). The play also swept the Tony Awards that year, with the 2004 HBO mini-series nominated for a record-breaking 21 Emmy Awards (it won 11).

Paul J. Hustoles (Theatre & Dance) directs the play, with two Minnesota State Mankato alumni designers, Curt Enderle and Mike Croswell. The cast includes Shane Solomon as Roy Cohn, Joey Ford as Louis Ironson and Mallory Martin as Harper Pitt.

Prior is a man living with AIDS whose lover Louis has left him and become involved with Joe, an ex-Mormon and political conservative whose wife, Harper, is having a nervous breakdown. These stories are contrasted with that of Roy Cohn and his attempts to remain in the closet while trying to find personal salvation in his beliefs. The play contains mature language and themes, partial nudity and disturbing scenes.

Following the performance on the evening of Feb. 24, there will be a public talk-back session in the theatre with Andy Ansell, Health Education Coordinator for the Minnesota AIDS Project.

Individual tickets are $13, $12 for senior citizens, youth and groups of 15 or more, and $9 for current students with a valid MavCard. They can be purchased by calling the Theatre Box Office at 507-389-6661 or by visiting the MSU Theatre website.

Feb. 22: Evening with Debra Davis

Debra DavisAward-winning educator and activist Debra Davis will speak at United Church of Christ Thursday, Feb. 22. The event will begin at 7 p.m. The event is sponsored by LGBT Center and The Women's Center and CADA, Inc.

Davis serves as the executive director of the Gender Education Center, a Minnesota not-for-profit organization of differently gendered people dedicated to support, advocacy and education. She is one of the first secondary educators to successfully come out and transition in her high school, over a weekend, anywhere in the country. She retired 4 years ago after 32 years of teaching.

For more information on this event, contact Jessica Flatequal (LGBT Center) at or 507- 389-6076.

Feb. 28: Critical thinking for students

Stephen Brookfield
Stephen Brookfield

Stephen Brookfield, one of the most distinguished educators for critical thinking in higher education, will be the featured keynote speaker at the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning's "Talking About Teaching and Learning: Developing Critical Thinking Skills for our Students" conference Wednesday, Feb. 28.

Brookfield, an internationally recognized scholar in adult and higher education and the author of 10 books, will speak in CSU 253-255 from 9-10:30 a.m.

Brookfield's book Understanding and Facilitating Adult Learning won the Cyril O. Houle World Award for Adult Education Literature and the Imogene Okes Award for Outstanding Research in Adult Education. His books Developing Critical Thinkers, Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher, and The Power of Critical Theory: Liberating Adult Learning and Teaching also won the Cyril O. Houle World Award. Another book, Discussion as a Way of Teaching, won the 1999 Educational Studies Association Critics' Choice Award.

He serves on the editorial boards of educational journals in Britain, Canada and Australia, as well as the United States.

The conference is free and open to all faculty and staff. No reservations are necessary, though people may call the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (389-1098) for more information. A schedule of conference discussions is on the CETL Conferences page.

Concurrent conference sessions include:

  • 10:45-11:45 a.m.: Russell Palma (Physics & Astronomy), "Developing Discussion Question Sets for Use with Personal Response Systems in the Classroom," CSU 201;
    Pat McKenzie (Aviation), "Acquiring the Flight Management System Avionics Program," CSU 201;
    Steven Losh (Chemistry & Geology), "Active Learning of Geology in the Field: The Duluth Trip," CSU 202;
    Maria-Claudia Tomany, (Scandinavian Studies), "Creating a Course on the Vikings in Scandinavia and the British Isles," SU 202;
    Janet Cherrington-Cucore (URSI), "Active Learning through a Scavenger Hunt of Mankato, MN," CSU 203;
    Bikash Nandy (Health Science), "Developing a Hybrid Study Abroad in India Course," CSU 203;
    Brandon Cooke (Philosophy), "Redesigning the Philosophy of Art Course," CSU 204.
  • Noon-1:30 p.m. Lunch (not provided).
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m. Penny Herickhoff (Accounting & Business Law), "Development, Use and Assessment of Team-Based, Active Learning Assignments in Employment Law — Before and After," CSU 201;
    Dawn Albertson (Psychology), "Designing A New Physiological Psychology Laboratory Course," CSU 201;
    Julie Kerr-Berry (Theatre & Dance), "Development of A Movement Analysis Course" CSU 202;
    Christine Black-Hughes (Social Work), "Modification of a Social Work Course," CSU 202;
    Autumn Benner (Health Science),"Redesigning the Biostatistics Course," CSU 203;
    Michael Wells (Computer & Information Sciences), "Modification of the Computer & Information Science Department's Database Management Course," CSU 203;
    Barb Bergman and Justine Martin (Library Services), "Exploring the Potential of Student Response Systems for Use in Library Instruction Classrooms," CSU 204;
    Bethann Lavoie (Biological Sciences),"Active Learning Strategies for a Student Lecture Hall," CSU 204.

Feb. 28: 'A Mirthful Spirit'

Mary Huntley
Mary Huntley
Edna Thayer
Edna Thayer

How do you define "joy"? According to many people interviewed by retired Nursing professors Mary Huntley and Edna Thayer, it's "time filled with laughter and mirth."

Mary and Edna will discuss their research and their book, A Mirthful Spirit: Embracing Laughter for Wellness, as well as how people use and react to laughter in a professional development event for faculty and staff on Wednesday, Feb. 28.

The program, sponsored by the Professional Development Committee, will be presented twice on Feb. 28: from 10-11 a.m. and from 2-3 p.m., both times in Ostrander Auditorium of Centennial Student Union.

Copies of the book will be given as door prizes, and the book will be available for purchase as well.

To register, go to the Professional Development page.

Feb. 28: Jean Kilbourne

Jean Kilbourne
Jean Kilbourne

The Women's Center, in collaboration with Campus Recreation, the Counseling Center, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Student Health Services, will present superstar lecturer Jean Kilbourne discussing "Slim Hopes: Advertising and the Obsession with Thinness" Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. Kilbourne's presentation will anchor Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and will launch the University's observation of Women's History Month.

Seating is general admission, but is limited and tickets are required. Tickets are complimentary for Minnesota State Mankato students and employees, and are $10 for all others. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available in the Women's Center (218 Centennial Student Union), Campus Recreation (118 Myers Field House) and Student Health Services (100 Carkoski Commons).

No audio or videotaping or flash photography will be allowed during the presentation. Flash photography will be allowed during the question-and-answer period.

Kilbourne's book, Can't Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel (Simon & Schuster, 2000) can be purchased at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore in the Centennial Student Union as well as at the event.

The Boston Globe describes Kilbourne as "a superstar lecturer." She has twice received the Lecturer of the Year award from the National Association for Campus Activities. She has lectured at about one-half of U.S. colleges and universities, as well as all major universities in Canada. She is sought as a keynote speaker at a wide range of conferences, including those focusing on addictions and public health, violence, women and the media.

Her lecture is supported by student activity fees.

For more information or to request special accommodation, please contact Merlita Tiew at 507-389-6146 (V), 800-627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTY) or Another accommodation option is to contact the Office of Disability Services at 507-389-2825 (V/TTY).

Vacation donations needed

Richard Bock (General Maintenance) and Roberta Spangenberg (Library Services) are in need of vacation or personal leave donations to continue their salaries while they are ill. Both are battling life-threatening illnesses and have used all of their sick leave and vacation time.

Employees may donate up to 12 hours of vacation time per fiscal year and faculty may donate personal leave. Donation forms and additional information are located on the Vacation Donation page. Employees may submit donation forms to Human Resources, WA336. All donations are confidential.

Faculty/staff achievements

Photos of the Centennial Student Union game room renovation are featured in the January edition of The Bulletin, magazine of the Association of College Unions International. The $1 million project, which renovated 18,667 square feet of space to provide new bowling lanes, billiard space and a television lounge, has proven highly popular with students, said Scott Hagebak (Centennial Student Union Operations).

Dawn Albertson (Psychology) recently presented a poster, "Physiological Psychology Laboratory Curriculum: Experiential Learning for Translation into either Graduate School or Employment," at the National Institute for the Teaching of Psychology conference, St. Petersburg, Fla.

A College of Social and Behavioral Sciences workshop, "Guiding Change Journeys: A Diversity Approach," was held in January, planned by the SBS Diversity Teaching and Learning group and facilitated by Rebecca Chan Allen.

Lisa Baures, Barb Bergman, Bobby Bothmann, Justine Martin, Victoria Peters, Joan Roca, Evan Rusch, and Jessica Schomberg (Library Services) attended the American Librarian Association Midwinter Conference in January.

Paul Finocchiaro (Theatre & Dance) led two workshops in "Auditioning for the Professional Music Theatre" at the 29th annual Region V gathering of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Paul J. Hustoles (Theatre & Dance), a member of the Regional Advisory Board, served as festival registrar.

Joseph Kunkel (Political Science) recently was interviewed by Marie Horrigan, from the Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report, about the 2008 Senate contest in Minnesota.

Judy Kuster (Speech, Hearing & Rehabilitation Services) will receive the Outstanding Contribution Award from the International Stuttering Association in recognition of her annual Online Stuttering Conference and her Stuttering Home Page. Judy will receive the award at the association's triennial World Congress in Dubrovnik, Croatia, in May. She recently was awarded a Fulbright Senior Specialists Program scholarship to teach in Bulgaria.

Andrea Lassiter (Psychology) recently presented a poster, "The Intersection of Experiential Learning and Service Learning in Psychology," at the National Institute for the Teaching of Psychology conference in St. Petersburg, Fla.

An article by Paul Mackie (Social Work), "Your philosophy of social work: Developing a personal and professional definition to guide practice," recently was accepted for publication in The Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics.

Justine Martin (Library Services) attended the "Creating the One-Shot Library Workshop" at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in January. She also participated in a group discussion on digital gaming in library instruction at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle.

Victoria Peters (Library Services) represented the Minnesota Chapter of the Association for College and Research Libraries at the Midwinter meeting of the American Library Association in Seattle.

Atrayee Ghosh Roy (Economics) presented "Twin Deficits and Hard Landings: Estimating the Effect of Budget Deficits on Long-Run U.S. Economic Growth," at the January meeting of the American Economic Association.

An article by Jessica Schomberg and Lynne Weber (Library Services), "Access plus security: Compact disc classification and packaging at Minnesota State University," recently was accepted for publication in Music Reference Services Quarterly.

Fred Slocum (Political Science/Law Enforcement) served on a panel which discussed, "Race and Democratic Politics," and presented a paper, "Militarism, Southern Culture, the 9/11 Attacks and the Bush Administration's Responses: The Implications for Contemporary Southern Politics," at the Southern Political Science Association conference in January. Fred also had four articles accepted for publication in the International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences, 2nd edition.

A summary of "One School District, One Suzuki Program: An Oral History," presented by Lynne Weber at the Eighth International Research Symposium on Talent Education, was included in an article featured in American Suzuki Journal.

An article by Fei Yuan (Geography), "Comparison of Impervious Surface Area and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index as Indicators of Surface Urban Heat Island Effects in Landsat Imagery," recently was published in Remote Sensing of Environment.

Fei Yuan (Geography) had her article, "Patterns and Variability of Summer NDVI in Response to Climate Variables at the Local Level in Minnesota," published in GIScience and Remote Sensing.

First Year Experience instructors

The New Student and Family Programs thanks the following faculty and staff who served as FYE Seminar 100 instructors. First-year students completing the course in fall 2004 and fall 2005 achieved an 80 percent retention rate into their second year on our campus.

Fall 2006 FYE Seminar 100 instructors: Calvin Moultre (SLD&SL), Bikash Nandy (Health Science), James Burnett (Corrections), Nancy Sprengeler (ETS), Norma Krumwiede (Nursing), Sara Granberg-Rademacher (Arts & Humanities), Tim Berg (FYE), Angie Bomier (CSET), Brigette Cooper (Dental Hygiene), Cheryl Kalakian (Education), Jerry Bohl (Military Science), Rachel Hanel (Mass Communications), Lynette Engleswick (Dental Hygiene), Kebba Darboe (Ethnic Studies), Wayne Sharp (ACC), Kate Hansen (FYE), Linda Pettman (English), Marcius Brock (Registrar's Office), Amy Vizenor (FYE), Candence Mortenson-Klimpel (Nursing), Jennifer Guyer-Wood (CDC), Bill Watts (FYE), Patricia McAuley (Financial Services), Maurella Cunningham (FYE), Kellian Clink (Library Services), Bobbi Urban (Student Support Services) and Susan Taylor (SBS Development).

Team is fourth in WorldQuest contest

Minnesota State Mankato students, faculty and staff competed for the first time in the Minnesota International Center's WorldQuest Trivia Contest Feb. 2 at the University of Minnesota. The Maverick team placed fourth in the 48-team competition.

The eight-member team, organized by the International Programs Office, consisted of four graduate students — Take Kamata, James Livermont, Bryan Stempka and Honey Stempka — as well as Don Friend and Cindy Miller (Geography), Jackie Vieceli (Political Science), and Caryn Lindsay (International Programs).

Student achievements

The forensics team finished third overall at a recent meet at St. Cloud State. April Larson placed 6th in Informative. Megan Peterson was sixth in Prose and fourth in Poetry Interpretation. Joshua Randall was second in Impromptu and fifth in Extemporaneous. Grant Anderson was the tournament champion in POI and was second in Duo Interpretation with Zeke Sorenson. Zeke also was second in Poetry. Nicole Goebel was fourth in Communication Analysis. Alex Garlock was second in Children's Literature and third in Discussion. Emily Kofoed was second in Discussion. Alexandra Franzen also contributed to the team's success.

Three Minnesota State Mankato students are among 180 nationwide selected as Young People for Fellows. Brian Wollum, Kelly Biers and Noel Costumbro were selected from more than 1,000 nominations. Fellows were chosen to advance progressive values and issues in their communities and prepare for future leadership roles in the movement.

The Theatre and Dance Department had a good showing at the 29th annual Region V gathering of the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival at Iowa State University. Randy Wyatt's production of "Mint" will be showcased in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. The production was student-designed and produced and directed by Paul J. Hustoles (Theater.) Tharen Callanan and Shane Solomon placed second in the Classical Acting Award competition. Danielle Mann was recognized for her one act play, "Stained Glass," nominated for the national John Cable Short Play Award. Allen Shannon Wright captured the First Alternate Award in the National Barbizon Scene Design competition and took first in Regional Graduate Scene Design. Dana Kleiman earned second in Lighting Design. Esther Iverson and Amanda Ytzen had their costumes showcased in the Annual Costume Parade. Mick Coughlin, Brianna Richmond and Angie Hesterman helped with the festival.


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 Feb. 28. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Wednesday (Feb. 21).