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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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May 16, 2007 Campus Newsletter

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Spring commencement: 1,711 graduates

graduatesMinnesota State Mankato graduated 1,711 students during three separate spring commencement exercises May 12. The 2007 spring commencement total of 1,711 is up from 1,665 who were graduated in spring 2006.

An additional 1,531 students were graduated during summer-fall commencement exercises in December 2006, bringing the total of 2006-2007 graduates to 3,242.

Graduate-level degrees conferred on May 12 included 81 master of arts degrees, 19 master of fine arts degrees, nine master of arts in teaching degrees, nine master of business administration degrees, seven master of public administration degrees, one master of music degree, six master of science in nursing degrees, 158 master of science degrees, 21 specialist degrees and one sixth year certificate.

Awarded at the undergraduate level were 111 bachelor of arts degrees, 33 bachelor of fine arts degrees, six bachelor of athletic training degrees, 1,276 bachelor of science degrees, 10 bachelor of science in civil engineering degrees, four bachelor of science in computer engineering degrees, nine bachelor of science in electrical engineering degrees, 19 bachelor of science in mechanical engineering degrees, one bachelor of science in social work degree and 29 associate of arts degrees.

Undergraduate students receiving special recognition included 125 graduating summa cum laude, 241 graduating magna cum laude and 223 graduating cum laude.

Robert Hoffman: Strategic partners VP

Robert HoffmanPresident Richard Davenport has named Minnesota State Mankato alumnus Robert Hoffman as the University's first vice president for Strategic Business, Education and Regional Partnerships. He will assume his duties on Wednesday, May 23.

Hoffman will be responsible for leading the University in initiating, developing and coordinating strategic institutional partnerships with various sector areas including business and corporate groups, public and private entities and educational groups throughout the state, region and nation to enhance economic development, research and cooperative ventures.

"Dr. Hoffman's experience has prepared him well for this position," President Davenport said. "I welcome him to our campus."

He was with Taylor Corporation for more than 18 years in a variety of executive roles, serving most recently as vice president, assisting companies with direct sales strategy and initiatives. In this role he developed key relationships with executives of major Fortune 100 companies. Before joining Taylor Corporation he was senior vice president for sales and marketing for Brown Printing Company, Waseca.

"I join President Davenport and the University community in congratulating Bob Hoffman on his new appointment," said Glen Taylor, chair of the board of Taylor Corporation. "I have the highest regard for the many talents, skills and experience that he brings to this new and innovative vice presidential position at Minnesota State University, Mankato, an institution that is helping to define the future role of the University in the region and nation."

Hoffman also has extensive experience in education, including serving as superintendent of schools in Waseca and assistant superintendent of schools in Worthington. For many years he served as a member of the Board of Trustees, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, including two years as chair.

He earned a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in secondary school administration from Minnesota State Mankato, and a doctor of education from Utah State University.

"The search committee chaired by Provost Scott Olson identified strong candidates for this position," President Davenport said. "The committee diligently reviewed application materials and selected outstanding finalists for campus interviews. My sincere appreciation to everyone on the committee for completing a successful search."

Highland Theatre tickets available

Highland Summer TheatreSeason tickets are available for the 41st annual Highland Summer Theatre season, which starts Tuesday, May 29. Cost for a season ticket is $52. Individual tickets for all shows will be available beginning Monday, May 21.

The season begins with Neil Simon's "Last of the Red Hot Lovers" May 29-June 3 in Andreas Theatre, sponsored by Hale Associates. It will be followed by "The Robber Bridegroom" June 14-17 in Ted Paul Theatre. The third show will be "The Runner Stumbles" June 26-July 1 in Andreas Theatre, sponsored by the TRIO Programs. The musical finale of the summer will be "Bye Bye Birdie" July 13-15 and July 19-22 in Ted Paul Theatre. "Birdie" will be sponsored by Eide Bailly, the Orthopaedic &Fracture Clinic, PA, and the Pamela and R. Wynn Kearney Foundation.

Those who want more information or a season brochure may call the Department of Theatre &Dance at (507) 389-2118, or visit Starting May 21 individual tickets are available by calling (507) 389-6661 or visiting the Web site.

Emergency message system

Information &Technology Services is testing and configuring software for the Voice over Internet Protocol telephone system that will allow emergency messages to be broadcast over the speakers of Cisco phones in campus offices and classrooms.

ITS and other campus offices are developing procedures for using the emergency notification system. It also is continuing to install emergency phones in classrooms, and is integrating the emergency system with public address and fire systems in various buildings.

Emergency precautions

Emergency PrecautionsOver the past year state agencies and other public and private employers throughout Minnesota have been planning for the possibility of a flu pandemic.

While a pandemic does not currently exist, experts suggest that it could occur. The Minnesota Department of Employee Relations urges state employees to be individually prepared and able to report to work during an emergency – including a possible pandemic.

The Minnesota Departments of Health and Public Safety have launched a statewide public awareness campaign regarding personal emergency preparedness. The "Code Ready" campaign encourages individuals and families to develop emergency action plans.

Employees are urged to visit the Code Ready website at

In addition, DOER is developing a computer-based employee awareness training program titled "Pandemic – Ready, Set, Respond." The training s intended to provide employees with information and motivation to prepare for a possible pandemic and other emergencies. The training is expected to be available soon.

And each of the Minnesota State colleges and universities is developing pandemic plans with provisions for protecting employees who must work during a pandemic. Minnesota State Mankato's plan is expected to be available later this year.

Volunteer Flower-Planting

Employees inspect the results of their flower-planting during the annual Campus Cleanup volunteer event on May 9. Dozens of faculty, staff and students participated, planting hundreds of flowers in planters across campus, and raking the grounds around classroom and office buildings and residence halls.

Relocating: Finance, HR, Business Services

RelocatingIn conjunction with a Wigley Administration Center renovation project, the Office of Finance &Administration will temporarily relocate to Morris Hall, and the Business Services and Human Resources offices will temporarily relocate to Armstrong Hall.

Finance &Administration will temporarily relocate to Morris Hall second floor starting Friday, May 18, with moving taking place on Thursday, May 17.

Temporary new Finance &Administration locations will include: MH 213: Vice President Rick Straka, Vickie Hanson; MH206: Rosemary Kinne, Rachel Douglas, Geri McCarthy.

The Business Services Office will temporarily relocate to the Armstrong third floor starting Friday, May 18, with the office closed for moving on Thursday, May 17. The office will return to WA236 on June 28. Intercampus mail to Business Services may be addressed to WA236, but departments that drop off items should do so at AH306 from May 18 to June 28.

The Human Resources Office will relocate to four classrooms on the Armstrong second floor starting Monday, May 21, with the office closed for moving on Friday, May 18.

Temporary new Human Resources Office locations will include: AH 213: Susan Ehlers, Deanna Geiseke, Colleen Isaacs, DeeAnn Snaza; AH 214: Therese Mullins, Gwyn Outka, Diane Roggow, Johanna Simpson; AH 222: Deb Anderson, Jill Frederickson-Kratzke, Wendy Schuller (main reception; mail drop-off, etc.); AH 231: Lorraine Knutson, Lori Lamb, Lu Ann Struck.

All campus mail sent to people in the temporary offices should be addressed to the person's Wigley Administration address.

Scheduling, international offices moving

The University Scheduling and Conference Services Office is closed through Monday, May 18, while it relocates to a temporary summer office. Until Tuesday the office will not schedule spaces for events and conferences.

The office's temporary space for the summer will be Centennial Student Union Room 204. The office will move to the newly remodeled CSU 219 sometime before Aug. 27. The new space will allow the office to better serve the campus community's scheduling and conference needs.

The International Student Office also will move to temporary space over the summer, before joining the International Programs Office in the new International Center in CSU 250 next fall.

MSUAASF Special Initiative Awards

Special Initiative AwardMSUAASF Special Initiative Award Applications are due Wednesday, May 30. Initial awards are expected to be made by June 30, and projects must be completed by May 2008.

The awards are intended to promote excellence on the Minnesota State Mankato campus, with a focus on benefits to the University and its mission, or the Minnesota State system. Information on the awards, process, timelines and forms can be found at

The awards, for up to $5,000, are for work performed outside of normal work hours or duty days, involves activities not normally required, or achieves a level of excellence not attainable under normal time and resources constraints.

The MSUAASF Special Initiative Award Committee will meet in early June to make final recommendations to President Richard Davenport.

Initiative Foundation grants

Southern Minnesota Initiative FoundationThe Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation is accepting grant proposals focusing on future trends that will affect southern Minnesota. The grant initiative is in conjunction with the highly successful Seven Revolutions lecture by Erik Peterson on campus in April.

Those who have questions may contact Suzy Meneguzzo (grant applications) or Sue Draayer (Seven Revolutions questions).

Summer business reimbursements

Faculty and staff who will travel and incur business expenses during the summer are reminded that the IRS requires employee expense reports to be submitted in a timely manner.

Employee business expenses must be submitted for reimbursement within 60 days after the expense is incurred or the trip ends, according to new IRS rules implemented two years ago. Requests for reimbursement that are not submitted within 60 days become taxable income to the employee, and withholding taxes must be taken from the reimbursement and submitted to the IRS.

In past years some employees have incurred travel and business expenses during the summer and have waited until fall to submit their employee expense reports. Employees who continue this practice will be taxed on reimbursements that are not submitted within 60 days.

Employees who not plan to return to Mankato after the trip is complete should submit expense reports by mail.

Those who have questions should contact travel claims clerk Margaret Novak (389-5006) or see the travel site.

May 31: John Murphy retirement

Join Printing Services employees on Thursday, May 31, for refreshments on the occasion of John Murphy's retirement.

The event will be from 1-3 p.m. in Wiecking Lounge, across from Printing Services (WC 309).

Faculty/staff achievements

Aaron Budge (Mechanical &Civil Engineering) presented "Large-span Culvert Failures on the North Slope of Alaska" at the University of Minnesota's 55th Annual Geotechnical Engineering Conference.

John E. Frey (CSET) received the annual Minnesota State award for Outstanding Academic and Student Affairs Administrator for 2007. John was recognized for his leadership, innovation and integrity, and for his dedication to Minnesota State Mankato and the Minnesota State System.

Ann Goebel (AMET) received the Minnesota State Excellence in Curriculum Programming Award for her "Online Asynchronous Manufacturing Engineering Technology" program. She received the award at a Minnesota State awards ceremony in April.

An article co-authored by In-Jae Kim (Mathematics &Statistics), "Sign patterns that allow a positive or nonnegative left inverse," was recently published in the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Journal on Matrix Analysis and Applications. Another article, "Critical Sets of Inertias for Matrix Patterns," has been submitted to the journal of Linear and Multilinear Algebra.

John D. Krenz (Biology) presented a seminar, "Conservation Genetics of River Otters in Minnesota," at St. Cloud State University's Biology Department.

Namyong Lee (Mathematics &Statistics) presented "Innovative Ideas in Teaching Mathematics" at the Mathematical Association of America's NCS NExT meeting in April. His research paper, "A Micromechanical Modeling Technique Applied to Pultruded Composites Containing Clay Particles," was accepted for publication at the Proceedings of CANCAM, 2007.

A research paper by Jin Park (Mechanical &Civil Engineering) and Namyong Lee (Mathematics &Statistics), "A Micromechanical Modeling Technique Applied to Pultruded Composites Containing Clay Particles," was accepted for publication at the Proceedings of CANCAM, 2007.

Richard J. Roiger and David J. Haglin (CIS) will present at the 2007 International Conference on Data Mining in Las Vegas June 25-28. Richard and several others will present "Predicting Treatment Outcome for Patients with Low Back Injuries." David will present "On Minimal Infrequent Itemset Mining."

Ellen Mrja (Mass Communications) has been invited to attend the national Ted Scripps Leadership Institute June 1–3 at the Society of Professional Journalists headquarters in Indianapolis. She will conduct a seminar for SPJ advisors and chapter presidents on starting new chapters and finding new members. Mass communications major Kiki Polzin – recently elected president of the Minnesota State Mankato SPJ student chapter – also will attend. In 2004 Ellen was instrumental in starting the Minnesota State Mankato SPJ student chapter. She currently is working to revive the Southern Minnesota SPJ Pro Chapter.

A paper co-authored by Deepak Sanjel (Mathematics &Statistics), "A Laguerre Polynomial Approximation for a Goodness-of-fit Test for Exponential Distribution based on Progressively Censored Data," has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Statistical Computation and Simulation.

Louis Schwartzkopf's (Physics &Astronomy) book review, "Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future," was published in Physics &Society.

A paper by Dan Singer (Mathematics &Statistics) and David Haglin (CIS) has been accepted for oral presentation at the 2007 International Conference on Data Mining. The paper, "Towards Average Case Analysis of Frequent Itemset Mining," also has been accepted for publication in the conference proceedings.

Gerald Schneck (Speech, Hearing &Rehabilitation Services) presented a model for a graduate specialization certificate in forensic rehabilitation consultation at the 27th Annual Conference of the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals. His presentation was part of a session on "Formal Training for the Vocational Expert: An Academic Perspective." The organization represents more than 3,000 rehabilitation professionals from the United States, Canada, Ireland, England and Australia.

The MSSA recently presented its Vic Swenson Student-Friendly Award to Laurie Woodward (Centennial Student Union), and its Dr. Duane Orr Teacher of the Year Award to Cecil Keen (Geography).

New MSSA officers

Student Government
Chris Frederick was elected as president of the Minnesota State Student Association in April elections, and Casey Carmody was elected vice president. An MSSA record number of 3,117 students voted in the annual election.

On May 2 Ryan Anderson was elected senate speaker for 2007-2008. For all the election results, go to the MSSA website.

Financial aid applications

Financial AidStudent financial aid applicants for 2007-2008 will receive official award notifications from Student Financial Services in the coming weeks.

Returning students will receive an email and postcard advising them to view and accept their awards online at the student e-services Web site, where students will find links to information that will help them complete the acceptance process.

New students will receive materials and forms in the mail, but can elect to complete the process online.

Faculty and staff members should advise students to contact the Campus Hub if the students need assistance with the online process.

Sports Management scholarships

Sports ManagementThe Managing Sporting Events class taught by Jon Lim raised $1,775 for scholarships during the inaugural Sport Management Scholarship Scramble in April at Terrace View Golf Course.

More than 30 alumni, students, faculty, staff and community members participated in the scramble, raising money for the Sport Management Scholarship Foundation. The class will provide two $250 scholarships to one female and one male student who exemplify excellence in the classroom. The rest of the funds were placed in a savings account to build the Sport Management Scholarship Foundation.

Members of the class agreed to host an 18-hole scramble as their semester-long project. Students created an event logo, Web site and brochure. They also developed five sponsorship levels and marketed their product to individuals and businesses. Class members made formal presentations to local businesses.

Shane Bowyer (Management), owner of the new Sports Institute – a training and research facility designed to enhance athlete performance – donated funds for the title sponsorship. Additional event sponsorship was provided by Katolight, which served as a hole sponsor, and Campus Recreation, which contributed as a purple and cart sponsor.

Student achievements

MSSA 2006-2007 Student Leadership Scholarship recipients were announced recently. They are Ryan Anderson, Jennifer Bottelberge, Brett Fleck, Nikki Hanna and Lisa Wulff. They were selected based on leadership qualities and contributions to the Minnesota State Mankato community.

Joseph Bequette, with faculty mentors Brian Groh and Danae Quirk Dorr, presented "Synthesis of 5-[5-(5-formyl-2-thienyl)-2-furyl]-2-thiophenecarbaldehyde" at the 233rd American Chemical Society national meeting recently.

The following students presented research at the Minnesota Academy of Science annual meeting and Winchell Undergraduate Symposium at Hamline University recently: Meghan Bohland, Gabriel Johnson, Ryan Raver, Joshua Kamrud, Nathan Martinez, Kevin Y.E. Strehler, Michael W. Witthaus and Adam W. Sudbeck.

Sara Feldbrugge is one of 60 Golden Key International Honour Society delegates who will travel to China next week through the International Scholar Laureate Program. The group will learn about medicine and health care in China, including traditional Chinese medicine. She will be traveling across the country from May 23 to June 5.

Five Civil Engineering students recently were honored at the Minnesota Surveyors and Engineers Society scholarship banquet in Minneapolis. Students receiving honors include Brad Fleming, Troy Downs, Andrew Bruels, Chris Bowers and Mike Petersen.

Harrison Quick has been selected for the National Science Foundation-funded Summer Undergraduate Research Program in biostatistics at the University of Washington, Seattle.


Do you have faculty, staff, student or departmental news for the biweekly campus newsletter? Send news items to newsletter editor Mike Cooper. The newsletter is published every other Wednesday during the academic year and monthly during the summer. The next newsletter will be published June 20. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (June 15).