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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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April 4, 2007 Campus Newsletter

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Apply for Gold permits by April 17

gold permit Applications are being accepted for the annual Gold parking permit drawing through Tuesday, April 17, but eligible faculty or staff may want to enroll in the Transit Expense Account (TEA) before applying (see article below).

Students, faculty and staff may complete the application online or apply in person at the Campus Hub and the Cashiers Office.

Those who apply and pay the $230 Gold fee by April 17 are eligible to win one of the following prizes:

  • $20 in MavCash (10 winners)
  • $50 in cash (two winners), sponsored by Mike LaVigne's MM Vending (Pepsi products)
  • $50 Barnes & Noble gift card (2 winners)

For more information and to view the online application go to the Parking website.

Transit Expense Account: How to enroll

Buying a parking permit for next year? Eligible faculty or staff members may want to enroll in the Transit Expense Account (TEA) before applying for a permit.

Applications for the Gold parking permit drawing began Monday, April 2, and continue through April 17.

The Transit Expense Account allows you to set aside pre-tax dollars for a parking permit and for certain other transportation and/or commuter expenses. By enrolling in the TEA, you can reduce your taxable income and use untaxed income for your parking permit. You must pay the University for your parking permit, but you will be able to submit a claim to be reimbursed from the TEA.

Keep in mind a couple of key points. First, enroll in the TEA before you apply for a parking permit. Second, submit your reimbursement claim to Eide Bailly, the TEA plan administrator, within 180 days of the date you apply for your parking permit.

For additional information about these and other regulations, go to the State of Minnesota Employees page and select "Pre-Tax Benefits 2007 Plan Year Summary." The "Transit Benefits Enrollment Form" for Minnesota is located at the Eide Bailly website above, or you may get a form from the Human Resources Office.

Tips for filling out the form:

  • The Plan Year is 2007 (not 2007-2008).
  • The State Employee ID Number is your payroll User ID (the one you use to log into the Employee Self-Service website and view your paycheck stubs).
  • If you choose the Annual Election, write the total dollar amount that you want (for example, $230). This amount will be split into equal deductions through the last check in December.
  • If you choose the Monthly Election, write the amount you wish to have deducted each month, and the number of months you want the deduction to be taken (for example, if you want a total of $230, you could put $115 for 2 months, or $57.50 for 4 months, etc.). As you will see on the form, the maximum monthly election cannot exceed $215 per month for the Transit Expense Account-Parking, so you must split the deduction over at least two months if you want to put more than $215 into the TEA.

Send your completed enrollment form to DOER at fax 651-296-5445 or mail it to Department of Employee Relations, State Employees Group Insurance Program, 658 Cedar Street, St. Paul, MN 55155.

If you prefer, drop off your enrollment form in Human Resources, WA 336, and it will be faxed to DOER.

After submitting your TEA enrollment form, you will still need to apply for your parking permit at the Parking website by April 17.

Enrolling in the TEA is optional. However, if you want to enroll in the TEA, you should do so before you apply for a parking permit. If you have already applied for a permit, call Therese Mullins at 389-6942 or Wendy Schuller at 389-2015 to find out if you are still eligible to enroll in the TEA. And remember to submit your TEA reimbursement claim within 180 days!

Here comes the Northern Sun

NSISFollowing a vote of its member's presidents, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference accepted the application for membership of Minnesota State Mankato and three other institutions. Formal membership starts with the 2008-2009 intercollegiate athletic season.

"Minnesota State Mankato is honored that the board of directors of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference has voted to accept our university as a member of the conference beginning with the 2008-2009 intercollegiate athletic season," said President Richard Davenport. "This is an exciting day for our entire university community, and especially our athletic department, coaches, student-athletes and all Maverick fans."

"Today marks a new beginning for MSU Athletics," added Kevin Buisman, director of athletics. "We look forward to this new partnership and to building positive relationships with the existing membership base. We have already enjoyed some good competition with a number of programs within the NSIC and look forward to establishing new rivalries and traditions with the others. I am confident that as we work together, the conference can grow and prosper and further enhance its reputation as one of the premier leagues in NCAA Division II."

The three other institutions accepted are Augustana, Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State. The expansion brings the total number schools in the NSIC to 14. Previous members are Bemidji State, Concordia-St. Paul, the University of Mary, Minnesota State-Moorhead, Minnesota-Crookston, Northern State, Southwest Minnesota State, Upper Iowa, Wayne State and Winona State.

Castañeda visit rescheduled

Jorge Castaņeda
Jorge Castañeda

The visit and lecture by former United Mexican States foreign minister Jorge Castañeda has been rescheduled for Thursday, April 26.

Castañeda, foreign minister under former President Vincente Fox, will discuss Mexican-American relations and U.S. immigration policy during a 9 a.m. public lecture in Ostrander Auditorium. He also will meet with students, faculty and staff during his visit to the University.

Castañeda was scheduled to visit Minnesota State Mankato on Monday, April 2, but his trip was canceled due to mechanical problems with his aircraft.

Castañeda has been a professor of international affairs at the National Autonomous University of Mexico since 1978. During that time he became a renowned expert on Latin American affairs, and in 2000-2003 served as foreign minister in the Fox administration. He also was a senior associate at the Carnegie Institute for International Peace in Washington, D.C., and a visiting professor at Princeton, the University of California-Berkley, and New York University.

Sponsors of the visit are the Department of Political Science & Law Enforcement, the International Relations Program, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, College of Business, Institutional Diversity Office, International Programs, the Student Events Team and student organizations. The visit was co-sponsored by a number of other programs, including the College of Graduate Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, History, Economics, Geography, Social Studies and Modern Languages.

Campus to host 700 at forensic tournament

women speakingMore than 700 college forensics competitors and coaches will be on campus Friday through Monday, April 6-9, for the 30th American Forensic Association-National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET). The event will be hosted by Minnesota State Mankato.

"The fact that the tournament is here is very exciting for us," said Leah White, director of Forensics. "Our university and city will receive a lot of positive recognition through this event and all of its attendees." The visitors also are expected to increase business at Mankato hotels, restaurants, rental services and other local businesses.

Competitors from colleges and universities across the country qualify for the tournament by achieving prescribed minimum scores in previous tournaments. Qualifying students can participate in up to six of the 11 events offered at the tournament.

Seven members of the Maverick Speech Team will compete in the tournament: Seniors Emily Kofoed and Elizabeth Drommerhausen, juniors Zeke Sorenson and Nicole Goebel, sophomore Grant Anderson, and freshmen Alex Garlock and Jason Reisch.

Tournament rounds are open to students, faculty, staff and the public. Additional information about the tournament may be found at American Forensic Association - National Individual Events Tournament page.

Those who want more information may contact David Brennan at 507-382-5400 or, or Leah at 507-389-5534 or

Athletics: Fourth in national Directors' Cup

cheerleaders with flagsThe Minnesota State Mankato athletics program ranks fourth in most recent U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup national rankings. The rankings include results from men's & women's track, wrestling, men's basketball, and men's and women's swimming.

The U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup honors institutions maintaining a broad-based program in both men's and women's sports. Each institution is awarded points in a predetermined number of sports for men and women. The overall champion is the institution that records the highest number of points in their division's Directors' Cup standings.

Final standings will be released at the end of the spring sports season, in early June. Athletics finished an all-time best eighth in last year's final Directors' Cup final standings.

Bowling Team to compete in nationals

bowling ball and pinsThe Maverick women's bowling team has received its first-ever invitation to participate in the National Collegiate Women's Bowling Championship. The team began varsity competition in 2004-05. The Mavericks have a 46-34 record for the year.

The Central Florida Sports Commission and Sunshine State Conference will co-host the championship, which will be held April 12-14 at Brunswick Wekiva Lanes in Apopka, Fla. Fairleigh Dickenson is the defending national champion.

The Maverick team is coached by Chad Oachs.

The eight-team field also includes the University of Central Missouri, Fairleigh Dickinson, University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, the University of Nebraska, New Jersey City University, Sacred Heart University and Vanderbilt University.

Spring media campaign update

busAs part of the University's branding campaign, our strong media push in the Twin Cities continues this spring with these efforts:

  • Four billboards: I-35W at Franklin, I-35E at Lillydale, I-494 at Post Road (airport) and I-394 at Highway 100.
  • .
  • Bus wraps on two routes - one used last fall running through the two downtowns, the U of M campus and the southwestern suburbs, and another (new this spring) running through western and northern suburbs, downtown Minneapolis, U of M campus and Mall of America.
  • Sixty-second radio spots on WCCO Radio that will run once during the 6-7 a.m. drive time slot and once during the 7-8 a.m. slot on April 9-12 and 16-20. The spots will feature Sharon Olson, a 1982 alumna of Minnesota State Mankato who is a partner in Olson Weiss, a wealth advising firm; Kerry Ace, a 1986 alumna who is an ER pediatrician at Children's Hospitals and Clinics St. Paul; Gregg Marg's research in Biological Sciences on cellulosic ethanol; Bill Lewinski's research in our Force Science Center; and Lou Bellamy, a 1967 alumnus of Minnesota State Mankato who founded Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul.
  • Inside front cover of the May issue of Minnesota Monthly Magazine, featuring Sharon Olson.
  • Continuation of our diversity ads in several Cities-based media.

April 9-13: Severe Weather Awareness

TornadoThe arrival of spring brings an increased chance for severe weather. The Department of Public Safety's Division of Emergency Management will sponsor Severe Weather Awareness Week April 9-13, with a statewide tornado drill on Thursday, April 19.

Environmental Health and Safety Officer Rob McGinn suggests that each employee take time to review his or her building's emergency severe weather action plan. Participating in the statewide drill is a good way to test the emergency action plan, Rob adds.

Information can be found on the Severe Weather Awareness Week website.

April 10: Moore Research Lecture

Gina Wenger
Gina Wenger

Gina Wenger's (Art Education) photographic documentary of Japanese-American internment camp Manzanar will be the focus of her presentation as 2007 Douglas R. Moore Faculty Research Lecturer Tuesday, April 10.

Gina's slide-show presentation will explore "Images of Manzanar: Investigating the Documentary Photography of the Japanese American Internment Camps." The 7 p.m. event, in Ostrander Auditorium of the Centennial Student Union, is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

Her photographs of Manzanar will be displayed in the Centennial Student Union gallery Friday, April 6, through Saturday, April 14, with an opening reception for the exhibit at 4 p.m. April 6. The photography exhibit — infrared and digital images of present-day Manzanar — is free and open to everyone, and Wenger urges those who plan to attend the lecture to visit the exhibit.

The Moore Lectureship celebrates excellence in faculty research. Gina's lecture will be the 33rd President's Faculty Research Lectureship, and the 20th named in honor of former Minnesota State Mankato President Douglas R. Moore, who established the lectureship to illuminate faculty research.

April 11: The Seven Revolutions

Erik Peterson
Erik Peterson

The director of the Seven Revolutions Initiative, Erik Peterson, will provide a glimpse of the future when he discusses "Unlocking the Seven Revolutions" Wednesday, April 11. It is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public, but participants must register online or by telephone (507-455-3215) by Friday, April 6.

Peterson's multi-media presentation will be from 9:30-11 a.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

Peterson, one of the nation's most sought-after presenters, also is senior vice president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., a bipartisan, nonprofit think tank that advances global security and prosperity by providing strategic insights and policy solutions to decision-makers.

Peterson will focus on the seven revolutions topics of population, strategic resource management, technological innovation and diffusion, flow of information and knowledge, global economic integration, the nature and mode of conflict, and the challenge of governance.

The Center's Seven Revolutions project — founded and directed by Peterson — seeks to identify, through population and demographic trends, the driving forces that will transform the planet and govern peoples' interaction between now and 2025.

The event is sponsored by the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Davisco Foods International, Inc., and Minnesota State Mankato.

For more information go to the Seven Revolutions website.

April 12: Robert Audi

Robert Audi
Robert Audi

Robert Audi will discuss "Religion in the Workplace: Sacred Right or Unwarranted Intrusion?" during the Philosophy Department's annual Business Ethics Lecture on Thursday, April 12.

The lecture, at 7:30 p.m., will be in Wiecking Auditorium. It is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

Audi is professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and David E. Gallo Professor of Business Ethics in the Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame. He previously taught at the University of Michigan and has published widely in ethics, political philosophy and the philosophy of religion. He is also past president of the American Philosophical Association.

April 13: Politics-Religion Conference

Robert Audi will deliver the keynote lecture at a Minnesota State Mankato's "Politics, Pluralism and Religion" conference Friday, April 13. A classical Indian music and dance program also will be part of the conference Friday evening.

Audi's lecture, "Religious Commitment and the Scientific Habit of Mind," will be at 1 p.m. in CSU 284. Students, faculty, staff and the public are invited to attend this lecture as well as the rest of the conference.

Audi is professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame (see additional biographical information, above).

The Indian music and dance program will be at 8 p.m. Friday in the Hearth Lounge of Centennial Student Union. Music and dance will be performed by members of Sangeet Mela from Calcutta, India. The group consists of three musicians, on sitar and other classical Indian instruments, and one dancer. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

The April 13-14 conference is co-sponsored by the Philosophy Department and the Society for Indian Philosophy and Religion, an international society of scholars. The schedule is at the Philosophy Department website.

April 14: Maverick Walk

womens walk logo Walkers are gathering pledges for the 30-minute Maverick Walk for Women's Scholarships Saturday, April 14, in Myers Field House, presented by Charter Communications.

Each walker raises $50 or more for women's scholarships. Walkers receive a bag with more than $50 in gifts from Green Mill, HickoryTech, Famous Dave's, Drummer's Garden Center, McDonald's, Pepsi Cola, Noodles & Co., Erbert & Gerbert's, Pub 500, Electric Beach, Papa John's, Terrace View Golf Course, Charter Communications and Minnesota State Mankato Athletics.

Registration begins 9 a.m. Saturday, April 14, with the 30-minute walk at 10, breakfast from Hy-Vee at 10:30, and awards and thanks at 10:45.

Walkers become eligible for special gift drawings for raising $100, $200, $300 or more if money is turned in by Wednesday, April 4.

For more information go to MSU Mavericks and click on the Women's Walk icon, or call the Athletics Office at 507-389-6111.

April 14-15: Relay for Life

The student organization Colleges Against Cancer is planning the third annual Relay For Life event, to be held overnight April 14-15 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. in Myers Field House.

Relay For Life is the largest national fundraiser for research, advocacy and education on cancer by the American Cancer Society; it also promotes the celebration of cancer survivors. The night is filled with entertainment, games, a silent auction and food.

The event is open to anyone in the community. For information on how to get involved or questions about the event, email Relay Co-Chair and Colleges Against Cancer President Jon Sands at or Relay Co-Chair and Faculty Advisor Christa Brown at

The official local sponsor of the Relay for Life is TGIFriday's.

April 21: 'Dress for Success'

women with briefcaseThe first campus "Dress for Success" event Saturday, April 21, is being hosted by the Graduate Student Association, the Career Development Center, Student Leadership Development & Service Learning and the Women's Center.

The free event, featuring give-aways of professional clothing, is open to Minnesota State Mankato students. The event will be from 1-4 p.m. in CSU rooms 253, 254 and 255.

Event organizers are seeking donations of professional clothing items. Donors may leave items from Monday through Thursday, April 16-19, at the Women's Center (CSU218), Career Development Center (WA 209) or the Student Leadership Development and Service Learning area (CSU173). Organizers also are accepting freewill donations for the Non-Traditional Student Scholarship Fund.

Items to be donated must be career-orientated, professional clothing. Items that will not be accepted include jeans, shoes, undergarments, T-shirts or jewelry. Students also will receive job search facts and information.

Those who have questions may contact Liz Tauer at or Kristeen Giese at

April 23: Chesley Lecture

A professor and a renowned columnist-author will present the second annual Chesley Lecture, "Listening to the Lessons of Aging," Monday, April 23, at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Speakers are Helen Kivnick, professor of Social Work at the University of Minnesota, and Jim Klobuchar, long-time award-winning columnist for the Minneapolis Star and author of 20 books. Their lecture, co-sponsored by the University's Center on Aging, will be from 5-8 p.m. at the Country Inn and Suites Conference Room, 1900 Premier Drive, Mankato.

The event is open to students, staff, faculty, community leaders and the public, but seating is limited, and participants are urged to register by calling 507-389-5188, or online at the Chesley Lecture page. General admission $5 if pre-registered or $8 at the door. Students are free, but need to register.

The Chesley Lecture honors Betty Chesley, a benefactor of the Minnesota State Mankato Center on Aging. The Center on Aging provides education, applied research and resource development services for southern Minnesota's aging network. The center assists organization and community leaders who need consultation, applied research, program evaluation, short-term educational programming and resources for training and skill-building.

April 24-26, May 23-24: TIAA-CREF

A TIAA-CREF consultant will be on campus to provide one-on-one consultations to employees on April 24-26 and May 23-24. TIAA-CREF administers the IRAP, SRP and TSA/403(b) retirement plans for the Minnesota State system.

The consultant will provide information and assistance to faculty and staff regarding retirement savings and investment options, applying for retirement income, consolidating retirement savings plans, and more. To schedule an appointment, go to the Meetings and One on One Counseling page, or call 1-800-877-6602.

Seeking URC judges

test tubesJudges are being sought for the Undergraduate Research Center, to be held Monday and Tuesday, April 23-24.

The Undergraduate Research Center promotes high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research, scholarship and creative work. At the conference students present their research utilizing a variety of forms, including poster sessions, oral presentations and other creative forms.

If you are interested in serving as a judge for student presentations, contact Rachel Collins at the URC office (389-1706 or Those who have questions may contact Rachel or URC co-chairs Gina Wenger (Art, 389-5484 or or Trent Vorlicek (Chemistry & Geology, 389-1598 or

Faculty-staff achievements

John J. Janc (Modern Languages) presented a talk, "Aidons nos étudiants, à s'exprimer, aidons-les à apprendre," in March at the annual meeting of the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in Kansas City, Mo.

A new book about former Nursing faculty member Diane Manahan has been published. The book, Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully: A Journey with Cancer and Beyond, is the story of a nurse who lived her values when faced with inoperable cancer. Diane taught in the Department of Nursing from 1991 to 2001, when she died from metastatic breast cancer. The book was written by Diane's sister-in-law Nancy Manahan and Nancy's life partner Becky Bohan. It includes a supplemental guidebook with practical suggestions for dealing with a serious illness or death. The authors will do a reading/signing at the River Hills Mall Barnes & Noble May 2 at 7 p.m. There will also be a publication party at Diane's bench in Sibley Park Sunday, May 13, from 3 to 5 p.m.

Farid Jean Sabongi (Construction Management) was honored by the St. Croix Falls, Wis., Chamber of Commerce in February for the renovation of the Eagle Valley Bank. The bank project was recognized as the building renovation which contributed most significantly to the revitalization of downtown St. Croix Falls. The awards committee said Farid's renovation complements the early 20th Century look of the streetscape, using skillful choices of design elements for the exterior and interior.

April 29: 'OK Go' concert

ok go logoThe Student Events Team recently announced that the Spring Concert Sunday, April 29, will feature "OK Go!" with special guests The Hush Sound and The Drive Back.

Doors for the concert, at Midwest Wireless Civic Center, will open at 7 p.m., and music will begin at 7:30. Student tickets are $10 (one per valid Mavcard); advance general admission is $15; and tickets at the door are $20. Tickets can be purchased in CSU 173 (Student Leadership Development) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., or with a credit card by calling 507-389-6076.

The concert is sponsored by Student Events Team with help from Z99 and is funded through student activity fees.

Clean Snowmobile team finishes eighth

clean snowmobile logoMinnesota State Mankato's team captured eighth place among 15 teams at the SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge in March at Michigan Tech University.

The Minnesota State Mankato snowmobile was one of six to complete the 100-mile endurance run. Teams took part in 16 categories of competition, including oral presentation, acceleration, emission and design. Bruce Jones is advisor for the team.

The University of Idaho won the overall competition. The Clean Snowmobile Challenge, sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers, requires engineering students to take a stock snowmobile and reengineer it to reduce emissions and noise while maintaining or improving performance.

Sodexho scholarships

Sodexho will recognize and provide scholarships for students who have made a significant impact in the fight against hunger and its root causes. The STOP Hunger Award will provide each student winner with a $3,000 scholarship and a $3,000 grant for the hunger-related charity of his or her choice.

Winners will also receive an all-expense paid trip to the Sodexho Foundation Dinner in Washington, D.C., June 11.

Nominations for the Sodexho STOP Hunger Award will be accepted through April 30. They must be submitted online at the Help Stop Hunger website.

Student Achievements

Senior Finance majors Jeff Delbow and Robert Smith won an invitation to the 2007 Ameriprise Financial Planning Invitational in Minneapolis April 18-21. Jeff and Robert have prepared a comprehensive financial plan according to a fact-set supplied by Ameriprise. Only 8 of 20 schools from around the country were invited to the competition; awards will be given to the top three schools.

Longtime area broadcaster and Mass Communication major Greg Husak has temporarily joined KMSU Radio, 89.7 FM "The Maverick." Greg is serving as acting operations director for a fixed term of approximately 11 weeks during Karen Wright's maternity leave.

Lynn Kuechle has been awarded the 2007 President's Commission on the Status of Women Project of the Year Award. Lynn will read her project report Monday, April 30, from 7-9 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium. The event is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public.


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 April 18. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Wednesday (April 12).