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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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September 12 Campus Newsletter

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Open enrollment

The great seal of the state of minnesotaOpen enrollment for employee insurance and pre-tax benefits will be Oct. 25 through Nov. 7. This year health, dental, long term disability insurance and pre-tax benefits will be open.

In preparation for open enrollment, employees should check and, if necessary, correct their home address in the Employee Self-Service website. See the message "Update Your Home Address," posted in the "Announcements" section of the Employee Self-Service website. The Department of Employee Relations (DOER) asks all employees to verify that their home addresses are correct.

DOER will begin preparing open enrollment mailings in the next couple of weeks, so address changes or corrections should be completed as soon as possible to ensure that information is mailed to the right address.

An open enrollment presentation by DOER and insurance representatives will be offered at Minnesota State Mankato. The presentation is tentatively scheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 24. At least one additional presentation, as well as help sessions, will be offered by Therese Mullins (Human Resources).

Watch for announcements on the Outlook Faculty-Staff Announcements site and the Human Resources website as schedules and locations are finalized. More detailed information about open enrollment will be posted as it becomes available.

Power brownout

lightning boltIT Services has implemented procedures to prevent another main computer power outage such as the one that slowed campus email and Internet connections last week.

On Sept. 5, a campus power brownout slowed services such as MavMAIL, MavDISK, MavPRINT, streaming videos and some web sites for three hours, and it may have interrupted phone calls.

That day was an Xcel Energy high-energy alert day, when the campus must drop off the power grid and run on generator power. The campus power load apparently was too high for the generators, which produced electricity that was too unstable for the computer center but was adequate for lights and air conditioning.

Power for servers that provide Internet and email service was fully restored as of 5:15 p.m. Sept. 5.

Wellness Committee activities

eat 5 to 9 a dayThe Minnesota State Mankato Wellness Committee is sponsoring several campus activities intended to enhance the health of students, faculty and staff.

This month's activities include:

  • Employee yoga every Monday and Wednesday at noon in PH 102. The class, which runs until Thanksgiving, costs $2 per session.
  • A WeightWatchers group informational meeting on Thursday Sept. 13, at noon in AH322. The meeting also is open to interested students.
  • A Poker Walk (free with prizes) on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at noon. Participants needn't have knowledge of poker. Participants will meet at the World's Fair fountain.

Sept. 13: Virginia Tech on KMSU

Virginia TechKMSU "Minnesota Morning" host Karen Wright will interview Virginia Tech Journalism Professor Roland Lazenby and one of his students who lived through the April 16 massacre on Thursday, Sept 13, at 9:15 a.m.

Lazenby and his students were in lockdown and still managed to keep the public informed during the massacre. He and the students published "April 16th: Virginia Tech Remembers," the first book released on the Virginia Tech Massacre. The book is a powerful insider's account of the shootings, and the "citizen journalism" that it employs is made possible by digital newsgathering and dissemination techniques.

Royalties from the book will go for scholarships, victims' funds and charitable purposes.

KMSU 89.7 FM, a member of Independent Public Radio, can be heard online at the KMSU website.

Sept. 13: Beth Ann Fennelly

Good Thunder Reading Series

Mississippi poet Beth Ann Fennelly will kick off Minnesota State Mankato's 2007-2008 Good Thunder Reading Series program on Thursday, Sept. 13.

Fennelly will visit with individual writers and be interviewed on public-radio station KMSU 89.7 FM. At 3 p.m. she will lead a discussion on the craft of writing in Ostrander Auditorium, Centennial Student Union, and at 7:30 p.m. she will read from her published work in CSU 253. The events are free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

The KMSU interview with Fennelly, part of the "Authors in Transit" series, will air on Thursday, Sept. 13, at 1 p.m., and on Friday, Sept. 14, at 11 a.m.

Fennelly, an associate professor at the University of Mississippi, received a 2003 National Endowment for the Arts award and a 2006 United States Artist grant. She has been included in The Best American Poetry series three times, and is a Pushcart Prize winner.

This year's Good Thunder Reading Series is funded by the Department of English, the College of Arts & Humanities, the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Eddice B. Barber Visiting Writer Endowment, the Robert C. Wright Endowment, and individual donors. It is made possible by a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, with funds from the Minnesota Legislature and the McKnight Foundation, and a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, with legislative funds and a National Endowment for the Arts grant. Library Services and Barnes & Noble Bookstore also provide assistance.

Those who want more information about the series may call Richard Robbins at the Department of English, 507-389-1354. Those with special needs who need accommodation should contact the Accessibility Resources at 389-2825.

Sept. 13: Standeford Observatory

Standeford ObservatoryStudents, faculty, staff and the public are invited to visit Standeford Observatory on clear Thursday evenings during the fall observing season in September, October and November.

On clear evenings the observatory will be open from 8:30-11 p.m. in September and from 8-11 p.m. in October and November. If the sky is not sufficiently clear at observing time, the public viewing session will be not be held.

Those visiting the observatory will be able to see a variety of celestial objects from the fall observing list, including the Ring Nebula, the Wild Duck Cluster, the Swan Nebula, the Double Cluster in Perseus, the Dumbbell Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy, numerous globular clusters, and a host of colorful binary stars.

Visitors should park at the southern end of Gage parking lot No. 1. They should walk through the pedestrian gate and follow the road south to the observatory. Visitors with special needs should contact the Accessibility Resources at 389-2825.

If weather makes viewing uncertain, phone Standeford Observatory (389-6208) during the evening to inquire about sky conditions. A sign on the gate at the end of Lot 1 will indicate whether the observatory is open.

Those who want more information about Minnesota State Mankato observing facilities should see the Physics & Astronomy website.

Sept. 13: New telescope

The Department of Physics & Astronomy will conduct a private First Light Dedication of the new Baker Ritchey-Chretien telescope Thursday, Sept. 13.

The dedication will include a presentation and tour by alumnus Adam Mans and Paul Eskridge, Steve Kipp and Jim Pierce (Physics & Astronomy).

The telescope was purchased with funds raised in a campaign spearheaded by Mans. The telescope has the ability to take spectacular wide-field photos of the sky.

Sept. 14: Nursing forum

The School of Nursing and the Mu Lambda Chapter Sigma Theta Tau International, Nurse's Honor Society, will host the annual Nursing Research Forum Friday, Sept. 14, at South Central College in North Mankato.

The forum, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., will focus on research, clinical practice and leadership topics, and will offer 5.7 continuing education hours for RNs, LPNs and other interested health care professionals.

Alumnus and former School of Nursing educator Becky Jo Lekander will be the keynote speaker, discussing "Leading Change in Interdisciplinary Care." Now director of nursing practice, research, innovation and care management at the University of Minnesota, Fairview Medical Center, she developed and launched a care management program that improved the consistency of nursing care.

More information can be found at the Mu Lambda website.

Sept. 14, 21: Purple and gold raffles

sweatshirtsTwo more raffles will be held at the campus Barnes & Noble store to encourage faculty and staff to wear school-spirit apparel on Purple and Gold Friday - which is every Friday. The raffles are sponsored by the Office of Integrated Marketing, and will provide each winner with a gift certificate for $100 worth of school-spirit apparel at Barnes and Noble.

To enter, faculty and staff members merely need to complete a form at the bookstore on either or both of these Fridays: Sept. 14 and 21. To be eligible, participants must be employees of the University and must be wearing purple and/or gold when they complete the form. Each employee may submit one entry on each of the Fridays.

Bookstore hours on Fridays are 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the drawing will be conducted at close of business on Sept. 14 and 21.

Sept. 16: Catfish Keith

Catfish KeithBlues singer Catfish Keith will perform Sunday, Sept.16, as part of the Department of Music's 2007 Fall Performance Series.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center. General admission is $12; children's tickets are $9; and tickets for Minnesota State Mankato students with a valid MavCard are $7.

Keith is a blues singer, songwriter and bottleneck slide guitarist. His style of foot-stomping, deep Delta blues and American roots music has gained him audiences around the world.

Keith has 10 number-one independent radio chart-topping albums to his credit. He also is an educator, conducting guitar workshops, master classes and blues performances in schools throughout the world.

Those who want advance tickets or more concert information may contact Dale Haefner, director of the Performance Series, at (507) 389-5549. Individuals with a disability who need reasonable accommodation should call (507) 389-2825 (V/TTD), 800-627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTD).

Sept. 24-Oct. 10: Swim lessons

girl swimmingThis fall the Minnesota State Mankato swimming team will offer swim lessons to children of all ages and ability levels from Sept. 24 to Oct. 10 as part of its Learn-to-Swim program.

Swimming team instructors have experience teaching children who are non-swimmers, and they can help average swimmers become expert.

One three-week session will be offered Monday and Wednesday evenings Sept. 24 and 26 and Oct. 1, 3, 8 and 10. Available lesson times are 4:30-5:10 p.m. and 5:20-6 p.m. The lessons will be taught in the Minnesota State Mankato pool.

Cost is $40 per child for the three-week, six-session program. All proceeds will be used for the team's winter training trip.

Those who want to register their children or who want more information may contact Andy Driska at 507-389-2538 or

Sept. 27-30, Oct. 4-7: 'Cats'

cats advertisementThe Department of Theatre & Dance will kick off its 2007-08 Mainstage season with Andrew Lloyd Webber's long-running Broadway musical, "Cats," beginning Thursday, Sept. 27.

"Cats," with lyrics by T. S. Eliot and sponsored by HickoryTech Corporation, will run three weekends: Sept. 27-30 and Oct. 4-7 and 11-14.

Season subscriptions are $85 and available now by mail order. Individual tickets go on sale nine days before the show opens. Individuals with a disability who need reasonable accommodation should call (507) 389-2825 (V/TTD), 800-627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTD).

Sept. 27-30: 'Hurlyburly'

The Department of Theatre & Dance will kick off its four-show 2007-08 Studio Season Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 27-30, with David Rabe's "Hurlyburly."

The play will be presented at 7:30 p.m. in the Andreas Theatre. Individual tickets are $9 regular, $8 discounted, and go on sale Monday, Sept. 17.

"Hurlyburly" is the story of characters nose deep in the decadent, perverted, cocaine-laden culture of Hollywood, pursuing their sex-crazed, dope-riddled vision of the American Dream. The play contains mature language and situations, and depictions of drug use.

"Hurlyburly" is directed by third-year MFA Directing candidate Stuart Fail. It features senior BFA Musical Theatre candidate Joey Ford as the main character, Eddie.

Those who wish to purchase tickets beginning Monday, Sept. 17, should call the Theatre Box Office at (507) 389-6661 between 4 and 6 p.m., Monday-Friday, or submit a ticket request at Tickets may be purchased earlier only if they are part of a season subscription.

Individuals with a disability who need reasonable accommodation should call (507) 389-2825 (V/TTD), 800-627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTD).

Oct. 13-14: Women and Spirituality

Marge Piercy
Marge Piercy

New York Times bestselling author Marge Piercy will be the keynote speaker at the annual Women and Spirituality Conference Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13-14.

The conference is intended to encourage dialogue among women and interested men from different spiritual and religious traditions. The two-day event features dozens of workshops, discussions, exhibits, dialogue, discovery and celebration.

Keynote speaker Piercy will discuss her own religion, Judaism, and how it has affected her and other women. Piercy has been a key player in numerous issue campaigns, including the anti-Vietnam War movement, the women's movement and resistance to the war in Iraq.

The conference's opening celebration is 10 a.m. Saturday on the second floor of Centennial Student Union, with Piercy's keynote speech following at 11 a.m. in the CSU ballroom. Registration is from 8:30-10 a.m. Saturday.

The conference is open to students, faculty, staff and the public. The fee for those who register before Sept. 24 is $50; after that date the fee is $55. Reduced rates are available for students or minimum-income attendees.

Those who want to register or obtain other information may call 507-389-2077 or go to the Women Studies Department website, and then to Women & Spirituality Program.

People with a disability who need a reasonable accommodation may call (507) 389-2077 or 711 (MRS/TTY) at least two days before the conference.

New Geography certificate

globeThe Department of Geography has initiated a new certificate program in Geographic Information Sciences at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

A recent study by the U.S. Department of Labor identified geo-spatial technologies as one of the greatest job growth fields for the foreseeable future, and the Geography Department will use the certificate program to help meet that need.

MNCEME: Expanding the 'pipeline'

MNCEME logoThe Minnesota Center for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence, led by the College of Science, Technology & Engineering, co-sponsored several camps this summer introducing middle school students to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Some 213 youth across the state learned about STEM-related careers through programs at Minnesota State Mankato and MNCEME partners Anoka Technical College, Hennepin Technical College, Itasca Community College, Mesabi Range Community and Technical College and South Central College.

An informal survey of faculty members last year indicated that engineering and science professionals developed an interest in science at an age much younger than high school.

"It seems clear that we should start (teaching STEM) earlier than high school," says MNCEME Executive Director Kuma Takamura. "Evaluations show that our initial K-12 STEM summer camps got off to a very good start."

The MNCEME summer camps were either offered free of charge or provided scholarships so that no one was denied a camp experience because of inability to pay.

Kuma says the summer camp program will continue, and the next step will be to reach out to girls, underrepresented populations and students whose parents do not consider STEM as part of their children's future.

Unclassified search training

man looking through binocularsThe Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office and Human Resources are offering three training sessions on the unclassified search process in September, October and November.

The offices recommend that faculty and staff who expect to serve on a search committee, serve as a support person for a search committee, chair a search committee, or otherwise will be involved in the unclassified hiring process (IFO, MSUAASF, administrators) should attend one of the sessions. Sessions are scheduled:

  • Sept. 27, 9-11 a.m., CSU 253-4-5;
  • Oct. 12, 10 a.m. to noon, AH 305;
  • Nov. 13, 10 a.m. to noon, CSU 253-4-5.

Human Resources has updated and shortened the process in important ways, so the sessions will offer new information. A section on affirmative action will help unclassified search participants satisfy institutional responsibilities.

Those interested may register for the sessions at Systemwide Training and Registration Site

Alcohol, drug information

Minnesota State Mankato distributes information annually to all students and employees stating the University's commitment to preventing the illicit use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol by students and employees.

This year, instead of printing and mailing a brochure to employees, the University is conveying this important information via e-mail and the Web. Students and employees are asked to go to Alcohol & Other Drug Information to read this important information. It explains standards of conduct, health risks, city, state and federal laws, and community resources.

No events on caucus evening

Faculty, staff and students are reminded not to schedule events after 6 p.m. on precinct caucus day (Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2008). Both parties agreed recently to hold their caucuses on the same day.

No public meeting may be conducted by state boards or agencies after 6 p.m. on the day of a major political party precinct caucus. This limitation includes Minnesota State Colleges and Universities entities. In addition, state colleges and universities are prohibited from scheduling any event, including classes, after 6 p.m. on the day of a major political party precinct caucus unless approved by the Board of Trustees.

More information about the restrictions can be found at the Minnesota State Office of General Counsel Web site.

Faculty/staff achievements

Monika Antonelli, Bobby Bothmann, Lisa Baures, Peg Lawrence, Kathy Piehl, Joan Roca, Evan Rusch and Lynne Weber (Library) attended the annual conference of the American Library Association in Washington, D.C., in June. Bobby received the Ester J. Piercy Award ().

James Bailey (Political Science and Law Enforcement) and Daniel Swart (Chemistry & Geology) presented "Blood Stained Footwear Impressions: Leuco Crystal Violet Development Compared to Digital Infrared Photography" at the Indo-Pacific Congress on Legal Medicine & Forensic Science in Columbo, Sri Lanka, in July. With alumna Heather Finch, they also published "Limit of Detection with Sodium Rhodizonate: Bullet Wipe Patterns with Selected Ammunition Examined for Lead" in the AFTE Journal.

A paper co-authored by Rebecca Bates (Computer Science), "Diversity in Engineering Education Research: Insights from Three Study Designs," was published in the ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition. Rebecca taught the Project Lead the Way Gateway to Technology curriculum to Minnesota middle school teachers at St. Cloud State University in June. A special session co-planned by Rebecca, "Communities of Practice: How Do We Investigate Diversity and Global Engineering?" was accepted for the Frontiers in Education conference in Milwaukee, Wis., in October.

A paper by Rebecca Bates (Computer Science) and Nancy Drescher (English), "Linguistic Construction of Identity," was accepted for the Conference on Culture, Language, and Social Practice in Boulder, Colo., in October.

Bobby Bothmann, Peg Lawrence, Rosie Mock, Joni D. Myers and Lynne Weber (Library) attended the ELUNA conference in Spearfish, S.D. in June.

Tom Brown (Physics & Astronomy) designed and implemented a week-long workshop for in-service middle and high school physics teachers through the Minnesota Science Teachers Education Project.

Aaron Budge (Mechanical & Civil Engineering) directed part of the field testing for the Pile Driving Contractors Association Professors' Driven Pile Institute in June in Logan, Utah. He served as assistant mentor in the Excellence in Civil Engineering Education Teaching Workshop, sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers, at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff in July. He was elected secretary of the education committee for the Technical Council on Computing and Information Technology (TCCIT) of the American Society of Civil Engineers in a meeting at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, in July. And he was awarded two research contracts with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, each relating to driven pile foundation design and construction.

A paper by Christopher Danielson (Mathematics & Statistics), "Probability in practice: The case of turkey Bingo," was accepted by Mathematics Teacher.

Jeanne Domas, Kris Hobday, Peg Lawrence, Lola Lemcke, Deb Meissner and Mary Nere (Library) attended the "Get Motivated" conference in Minneapolis in June.

Danae R. Quirk Dorr (Chemistry & Geology) coauthored a poster presentation, "Nitrogen mustard-induced cross-linking of the human DNA repair protein alkylguanine DNA alkyltransferase to its DNA substrate," at the American Chemical Society national meeting in Boston, Mass. She also wrote the Student Study Guide and Solutions Manual and the Instructor's Manual for the 6th Edition of General, Organic and Biochemistry (McGraw Hill) in collaboration with the text's authors.

Scott Fee (Construction Management) spent seven weeks in South Africa helping to establish the Eden Rural Enterprise Campus, Africa's first green business school. The goal for the next decade is to replicate the campus model throughout rural southern Africa and create a middle class.

A book review by John Janc (Modern languages) of "Contrastes: Grammaire du français courant" and of the accompanying workbook was published this summer in "The Modern Language Journal." Two of John's articles also were published in the summer issue of the "Minnesota Language Review."

A joint paper by I.J. Kim (Mathematics & Statistics), "Critical Sets of Inertias for Matrix Patterns," has been accepted by the journal of Linear and Multilinear Algebra. He made two research trips to the University of Wyoming this summer, co-authoring a paper that was submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. And he attended the New Directions Short Course on Compressive Sampling and Frontiers in Signal Processing in June.

Igor Kogoutiouk (Physics & Astronomy) presented a paper coauthored by former undergraduate student Eric Raymer at the Latin American Workshop on Magnetism at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He also published a paper, "Polaron Density of States of AlAs/GaAs/AlAs and PbS/PbTe/PbS type quantum well," in collaboration with Ukrainian scientists in the journal "Condensed Matter Physics."

Lee Ann Larson (Library) participated in the Blue Earth County Mass Dispensing Exercise at Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial High School in July. The event was to prepare for the possibility of a pandemic outbreak.

Justine Martin (Library) attended the Games, Learning and Society Conference in Madison, Wis., in July.

Jin Park and Namyong Lee (Mathematics & Statistics) presented and published "A Micromechanical Modeling Technique Applied to Pultruded Composites Containing Clay Particles" at the Canadian Congress of Applied Mechanics in Toronto. A paper submitted by Jin and graduate students Timothy Fay and Tye Davis, "A Study on Clay Particle Effect to the Mechanical Properties of Polymer Composites under Shear Loading," was accepted by ASME International Congress in Seattle, Wash.

Mark A. Pickar (Physics & Astronomy) co-authored a paper, "Deuteron-deuteron elastic scattering at 231.8 MeV," that was published in Physical Review.

Kathy Piehl (Library) received a Lucile Cornetet Professional Development Award from the Delta Kappa Gamma Educational Foundation. She will take part in a three-week study program at the Alliance Française in Rouen, France. Kathy also attended the annual conference of the Children's Literature Association in Newport News, Va., in June.

An article by Mezbahur Rahman, Larry M. Pearson (Mathematics & Statistics) and a third author will be published in the Journal of Statistical Research ("Method of Product Spacings in the Two-Parameter Gamma Distribution"). Mezbahur and Larry presented "A Note on the Modified Box-Cox Transformation" at Ball State University, Indiana, in May. An article co-authored by Mezbahur, "Testing the Center Using Median" will be published in the International Journal of Statistical Sciences.

Andy Roberts (Physics & Astronomy) gave a talk, "New PET Radiotracers from Improved Accelerator Targetry," at the International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Applications and Utilization of Accelerators, in Pocatello, Idaho, in August.

Joan Roca (Library) attended the annual conference of the Academic Library Advancement and Development Network in Banff, Alberta, Canada, in May. Joan also participated as a doctoral defense committee member at the final dissertation defense of a doctoral candidate in the Escola de Biblioteconomia i Documentació at the Universitat de Barcelona, Spain, in July.

Stewart Ross (Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning) presented a day-long workshop for the nursing faculty at the University of South Dakota in August, helping them develop a course in Nursing Professionalism.

Deepak Sanjel (Mathematics & Statistics) presented a poster session, "Using Web Technology Desire2Learn (D2L) in Teaching Statistics," at the U.S. Conference on Teaching Statistics at Ohio State University in May.

Larry Schnoor (Speech Communication emeritus) has won the National Communication Association's 2007 Wallace A. Bacon Lifetime Teaching Excellence Award. The award recognizes the teaching excellence of retired NCA members.

Becky Schwartzkopf (Library) attended the North American Serials Interest Group Annual Conference in Louisville in May.

Christophe Veltsos (Information Systems & Technology) in July qualified as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional. The CISSP is the most highly regarded information security certification and was the first approved by the International Standards Organization. In February Christophe joined the Minnesota chapter of the FBI Infragard®, a public/private cooperative effort dedicated to improve national security. This summer he was a field assessor for the Minnesota State Information Security Assessment Project.

Dorothy Wrigley (Biological Sciences) presented a research poster at the annual Society for Industrial Microbiology meeting in Denver in July. Coauthors for "Evidence that Bacillus cereus resistance to nisin involves interactions between cells" were alumnae Mansoora Khaliq and Robert Tymchuk.

Hai-Sheng Wu (Physics & Astronomy) attended the Intersolar 2007 Conference at Messe Freiburg, Germany, in June.

Qun Zhang (Electrical & Computer Engineering) presented and published two research papers at the Laser and Electro Optics Society summer topical meetings in Portland, Ore.

Student achievements

Seniors Tysen Dauer (Humanities and German) and Nathaniel Wyrick (Engineering and German) recently returned from Germany, where they spent part of their summer. Tyson won a German Academic Exchange Service scholarship for a four-week philosophy seminar in Tuebingen. Nathaniel was awarded a 12-week stay and internship in Ulm by sister city New Ulm, Minn.

Nathan Klump, a Construction Management major, has received a $1,000 scholarship from the Minneapolis-St. Paul chapter of the International Facilities Management Association.


Do you have faculty, staff, student or departmental news for the biweekly campus newsletter? Send news items to newsletter editor Mike Cooper at Mike Cooper. The newsletter is published every other Wednesday during the academic year and monthly during the summer. The next newsletter will be published Sept. 26. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Sept. 21).