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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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November 7, 2007 Campus Newsletter

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Condolences: Amanda Jax

President Richard Davenport extended the campus community's deepest condolences to the family and friends of Amanda Lea Jax, a Nursing student who died Oct. 30.

Amanda, a pre-nursing student, attended Minnesota State Mankato from fall 2005 through summer 2007, and had been accepted into the spring semester nursing program. She was visiting friends in an off-campus apartment when she died.

Mass of Christian Burial was Nov. 2 in St. Boniface Catholic Church, St. Bonifacius, Minn.

Friends and acquaintances may post messages of condolence for the family on a "Remembering Amanda" page.

Two-year college tour

Riverland Community CollegeThis week President Richard Davenport started a first-of-its-kind tour to two-year colleges, assuring students that they'll be able to transfer seamlessly to Mankato after they earn their associate's degrees.

The tour — the first of its kind for a Minnesota university president — started Nov. 6 at Riverland Community College, Austin.

President Davenport, Walt Wolff, Andrew Hlubek (Admissions) and other administrators met with Riverland President Terrence Leas and Riverland students to learn how Minnesota State Mankato can assist two-year students in achieving their educational goals.

"For many years we have enjoyed partnerships with excellent institutions such as Riverland Community College," President Davenport said. "It is my hope that through my visits we can partner even more closely, ensuring smooth transitions by degree-holders from Riverland and other colleges to Minnesota State Mankato. We need to do everything possible to simplify the transfer process for these students."

Minnesota State Mankato enrolled approximately 1,000 new transfer students for the fall 2007 semester - 70 of them from Riverland.

Second Chance Coronation

second chance coronation group photoOne of the highlights of Homecoming 2007 was the Second Chance Coronation, sponsored by the Alumni Association, in which on-campus alumni selected their own king, queen and court.

Brian Jones '01 (Admissions, not pictured) was elected king and Diane Berge '78 (Admissions, seated) was named queen.

Joining them as members of the court, representing decades during which each graduated, are (left to right): Dave Cowan '70 (Facilities Services), Cheryl Kalakian '69 (Education), Shirley Skorr Piepho '76 (Scheduling), Diane Kalis '91 (Advancement), Walt Wolff '84 (Admissions), Julie Bruggeman '86 (Information Technology), Ryan Schuh '00 (Printing Services) and Kate Hansen '00 (First Year Experience). Court members not pictured are Mark Schuck '69 (Intercollegiate Athletics) and Shane Bowyer '91 (Business).

Ballots were cast by more than 500 alumni who are employed as faculty or staff.

International Center

The new International Center will be dedicated Thursday, Nov. 15, in a grand opening ceremony that will highlight International Education and Diversity Week.

Other International Education and Diversity Week activities include a keynote lecture Wednesday, Nov. 14, by Margaret Carpenter, an expert on U.S. foreign policy and foreign aid, and a panel discussion about international careers on Thursday, Nov. 15. The keynote lecture will be from noon to 1 p.m., and the panel presentation will be from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday. Both events will be in Ostrander Auditorium.

The International Center, open since the start of the academic year, brings the International Student and International Programs offices together in a strikingly renovated space on the second floor of Centennial Student Union.

The grand opening reception will be from 5-6:30 p.m. in the new center space, and will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The event is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

The new center is intended to help prepare students for success in a global economy and multicultural world. Caryn Lindsay (International Programs) and Tom Gjersvig (International Student Services) hope that students, faculty, alumni and members of the Mankato community will use the center as a one-stop information and service hub for all international inquiries.

The center will help academic departments bring more international speakers to campus, will organize activities that let students learn about other cultures, and will keep the campus informed of international activities on and off campus.

Nearly 500 students from more than 65 nations study, contribute to the success of athletic teams and campus organizations, and bring the flavors of their cultures to campus.

The University is making it easier for students to integrate a foreign study experience into their academic programs. Until 10 years ago, students who wanted to study in another country for a semester or more had to independently seek out opportunities with help from professors. The International Programs Office was created to promote and facilitate the life-changing experience that comes from studying in a foreign environment.

MSW accreditation

The Master in Social Work program was granted accreditation candidacy at the October Commission on Accreditation meeting.

The Commission on Accreditation determined that the program has fulfilled all of the accreditation standards necessary to achieve candidacy. It is eligible to remain in candidacy until final accreditation is awarded in October 2010.

Master in Social Work program faculty will host a second commissioner visit in spring 2008.

Nov. 8: Registration

Registration for spring 2008 starts Thursday, Nov. 8. The new class schedule is available at the Class Schedule page.

New features of the registration system include a "course cart" which provides a more user-friendly registration experience. Other features are enhanced search capabilities which include searching by general education and transfer curriculum goals, additional course information and deadline dates.

The spring 2008 calendar is at Spring 2008 Calendar page.

Nov. 8: Blood Drive

american red cross - together we save a lifeUpward Bound will sponsor a Red Cross Bloodmobile blood drive Thursday, Nov. 8, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

Appointments can be made by calling 507-389-1211 or by going to the Give Life website and entering sponsor code 5952. Double blood cell donations will be taken, and walk-ins are welcome.

Nov. 8-11, 15-17: 'Bus Stop'

Bus Stop castThe Department of Theatre & Dance continues its Mainstage Season with William Inge's "Bus Stop," with performances at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8-11 and 15-17, and 2 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 11 and 18, in Ted Paul Theatre.

Blethen, Gage & Krause, LLP, is the corporate sponsor.

Four passengers and the bus driver are stranded by a snow storm at Grace's Diner between Kansas City and Topeka. Among the characters is a young rancher, Bo Decker, returning from a rodeo with his older sidekick; a dancer, Cheri, who is in a precarious position with the rancher who wants to marry her; and an old professor, Dr. Lyman, who has an eye for young girls.

"Bus Stop" is directed by Paul J. Hustoles (Theatre & Dance), who also directed "Enchanted April." Lead roles include Claire Lloyd as Grace, owner of the diner; Claire Wellin as Elma (her young waitress co-worker); Mollie Fischer as Cheri, the dancer; Mathias Becker as cowboy Beau Decker; and first-year MFA Directing candidate John W. Olive, making his Mankato debut, as Dr. Lyman.

Individual tickets for "Bus Stop" are $14.50 regular, $13 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more, $10 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. For tickets call (507) 389-6661 between 4 and 6 p.m., Monday-Friday, or submit a request at the MSU Theatre website.

Nov. 9: Harris Award nominations

Nominations for the Clarence E. Harris Humanitarian Award are due by Friday, Nov. 9. Information and nomination forms may be obtained from the Office of Institutional Diversity, 507-389-6125.

The award is for those who have made specific contributions to students of color, or who have contributed to the growth and development of cultural diversity for all students. It recognizes an individual or organization that has demonstrated continuous support or service in promoting cultural diversity locally.

The award will be presented Friday, Nov. 16, at the 37th annual Office of Institutional Diversity dinner. Cathy Clardy Patterson, an alumna who was the first graduate of the Honors Program, will be keynote speaker.

The dinner — capping a week of diversity and international education activities — will start at 6 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom, featuring ethnic foods and entertainment.

The event is an opportunity for the Institutional Diversity staff and students to acknowledge leaders and supporters of cultural diversity on campus and throughout the community, and to recognize accomplishments, scholarship and leadership by students of color. It also raises money to replenish Institutional Diversity emergency loan and program activity funds.

Those who want banquet ticket information may call the Office of Institutional Diversity at 507-389-6125.

Nov. 10: Veteran's Day 5K

man runningThe second annual Army ROTC Veterans Day 5K run/walk to benefit the Michael Fasnacht Memorial Scholarship Fund will start at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at Myers Field House.

Lt. Michael Fasnacht was an alum who was killed while on patrol in Iraq. His scholarship fund will help future U.S. Army leaders.

Before the race there will be a short color guard presentation, and Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Tom Cooper will speak briefly about Veterans Day.

Nov. 10: Will Steger

Will Steger
Will Steger

Minnesota polar explorer Will Steger will lead a public forum examining "Global Warming Solutions" on Saturday, Nov. 10, in Bresnan Arena.

The event, from 7-8:30 p.m., is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

Steger will discuss his firsthand account of the effects of global warming on the polar regions, and Fresh Energy's J. Drake Hamilton will describe effective global warming solutions for individuals, congregations, businesses and governments.

The event is sponsored by the Will Steger Foundation, Fresh Energy, Students for Sustainability and the Lutheran Coalition for Public Policy in Minnesota.

Nov. 12-16: Teaching Scholars

Summer 2007 Teaching Scholar Fellows will explain their teaching-and-learning initiatives in a series of half-hour sessions Monday through Friday, Nov. 12-16.

The 11th annual Teaching Scholar Series will begin on Monday, Nov. 12, with a recognition ceremony hosted by President Richard Davenport at 9 a.m. in the Heritage Room of Centennial Student Union. All of the noontime presentations are free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public. Audience members are invited to bring their lunches.

The presentations include:

Monday, Nov. 12, CSU 201: Noon, Gretchen Haas (English), "Project Management Education and Course Development." 12:30 p.m., Lori Ann Lahlum (History), "The Vanishing Milkmaid? Norwegian Women, American Agriculture, and Norwegian-American Agricultural Gender Roles on the Northern Prairies and Plains, 1850-1920."

Tuesday, Nov. 13, CSU 203: Noon, James Dimock (Speech Communication), "Creating a MSU Student Run Summer Workshop for Regional Forensics Students." 12:30 p.m., Warren Sandmann (Speech Communication), "Instructional Communication: Developing the Textbook and Creating the Class."

Wednesday, Nov. 14, CSU 201: Noon, Abdalla Battah (Political Science & Law Enforcement), "Teaching About the Middle East in Minnesota Secondary Schools." 12:30 p.m., Christopher Corley (History), "The Daily Life of Children and Youth in History," a non-fiction book manuscript.

Thursday, Nov. 15, CSU 201: Noon, Qun Zhang (Electrical & Computer Engineering & Technology), "Development of Graphic User Interface (GUI) Based Computer Modeling and Design Platform to Promote Interactive Learning in Fiber Optic Communications." 12:30p.m., Brandon Cooke (Philosophy), "Exploitative Art."

Friday, Nov. 16, AH 225: Noon, Elizabeth Miller (Art), "Drawing on the Wall: Sol Lewitt's Legacy." 12:30 p.m., Marshel Rossow (Mass Communications), "The Job World: It's Waiting Out There, But Are My Students Ready? (A look at pre-hiring examinations and other hiring practices and expectations in the print media industry.)

Nov. 12: Memphis, Meantimes

Memphis and the Meantimes will perform Monday, Nov. 12, as part of the Department of Music's Fall Performance Series.

The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center. General admission is $15; tickets for K-12 students are $12; and tickets for students with a valid MavCard are $9.

The band is comprised of an all-star, nine-piece Twin Cities band. Memphis and the Meantimes perform songs from Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, the Everly Brothers, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Ricky Nelson and many others.

Those who want more information may visit their myspace page. Those who want tickets or other information may contact Dale Haefner (Music) at 507-389-5549. Those with special needs should contact the university's Disability Services office at 507-389-2825.

Nov. 12-14: 'Monologues' auditions

v-day logoAuditions for performances of "The Vagina Monologues," in support of the V-Day Campaign to end violence against women, will be Nov. 12-14.

Auditions will be Monday Nov 12, from 5-7 p.m. in CSU 204; Tuesday, Nov 13, from 2-4 p.m. in CSU 204; and Wednesday, Nov 14, from 5-7 p.m. in CSU 218 (Women's Center).

All interested men and women who would like to support the V-Day Campaign and assist behind the scenes are encouraged to attend the V-Crew organizational meeting, Monday, Nov 19, at 5 p.m. in CSU 218.

V-Day is a global movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Eve Ensler's award-winning play. The V-Day movement has raised more than $40 million.

Those who want more information may contact Erica Carnes at 507-389-2486 or, or go to the V-Day website.

Nov. 13: Unclassified search training

The Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office and Human Resources will offer a training session on the unclassified search process Tuesday, Nov. 13, from 10 a.m. to noon in CSU 253-4-5.

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

Those interested may register at the STARS page. Those with special needs should contact the university's Disability Services office at 507-389-2825.

Nov. 14: Using employee surveys

Jeff McHenry
Jeff McHenry

Jeff McHenry, senior director of people and organization capability for Microsoft, will discuss "Using the Employee Survey to Improve Employee Retention" on Wednesday, Nov. 14, in a talk hosted by the Industrial-Organizational Psychology master's program.

McHenry's presentation, free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public, will be at 6 p.m. in AH 102. McHenry is past president of the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology. At Microsoft he is responsible for talent management, leadership and high potential development, and organizational development.

Nov. 15: Health, Wellness Fair

person meditating"Love Your Body" is the theme for the second annual Health & Wellness Fair Thursday, Nov. 15, sponsored by Campus Recreation, the Counseling Center, the Health and Wellness Strategic Initiative, Student Health Services and the Women's Center.

The theme is intended to promote positive, healthy 20071107 of women and girls, and to raise awareness about women's health issues. More than 26 exhibitors are expected at the event.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. Those who want more information may contact Merlita Tiew at or 507-389-1771.

Nov. 16: Grant deadline

Fall semester proposals for grants from the President's Commission on the Status of Women must be submitted by Friday, Nov. 16.

Grants are available for students, faculty and staff. Grants of up to $500 are available throughout this year to students and employees who plan to attend professional conferences concerned with the status of women and/or gender related issues, or to conduct research in these areas.

The Commission on the Status of Women, a university-wide group of students, faculty and staff, encourages all interested students, faculty and staff to apply. Grant funds must be spent by June 30, 2008.

Application forms are available online at the CSW website. Additional forms are available in the Women's Center, CSU 218. Hard copy applications can be submitted to the Commission on the Status of Women Funding Subcommittee, CSU 218 by Nov. 16. For further information or accommodation please contact Elizabeth Lindstrom at 507-389-6146 or email

SBS awards

The College of Social & Behavioral Sciences Advisory Board, chaired by alumnus Tom Doering, presented 2007 SBS Student Leader, Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Professor Awards to Takehito Kamata, State Rep. Laura Brod and William Anderson.

Takehito, a Political Science/International Relations student, received the Student Leader Award. He was nominated by Tomasz Inglot. Takehito's parents, Shinichi Kamata and Ruriko Kamata, and their host, Richiko Oshu, came from Japan for the ceremony.

Rep. Brod received the Distinguished Alumni Award. She was nominated by Anthony Filipovitch.

William Anderson (Social Work) received the Distinguished Professor Award. He was nominated by Nancy Fitzsimons and presented by Chris Black-Hughes.

Faculty/staff achievements

George Corey (Upward Bound) has received the 2007 Spirit of Youth Award from the Mankato Area Healthy Youth organization. The award recognizes outstanding individuals or groups that have helped area youth develop positive behavior and attitudes. George and the Upward Bound program have supported underserved youth for nearly 30 years by obtaining millions of dollars in federal grants, providing summer theatre opportunities for youth and families, and taking underserved youth to museums and other cultural attractions in Chicago and the Twin Cities.

John J. Janc (Modern Languages) recently was elected vice-president of the North Central Region of Pi Delta Phi, the nation French Honor Society. John also attended the annual conference of the Minnesota Council on the Teaching of Languages and Cultures in October, serving as exhibits chair and making two presentations.

Lori Lamb (Human Resources) recently received the vice chancellor's Nancy Brataas Award, presented by Bill Tschida during the fall Minnesota State Human Resources Conference. Brataas was the first woman elected to the Minnesota Senate, and served on the Community College Board and the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities Board of Trustees for nine years.

Social Work honors

Social work banner

The Department of Social Work honored students and an alumna at the annual Social Work Honors Day Nov. 2.

The department honored three beginning social work majors for excellence in research and writing. Winners of the Social Welfare Scholars Awards this year were Jennifer Kolstad (first), Holly Hagen (second), and Renee Lips (third). The students' topics included "After-School Programs and Youth Groups," "Child Abuse" and "Chemically Dependent Adolescents."

The department also honored Audrey Splinter '73, as its Social Work Alumna of the Year. Splinter has worked in social work in Montana, at Blue Earth County Human Services, and (currently) as adult mental health case manager in Blue Earth County, coordinating services for 30 adults with serious mental illness. For more than a decade she and her family provided emergency foster care for children.

At the Honors Day Social Work faculty also provided information about the department's newest program, the Master of Social Work.


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 Nov. 21. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Nov. 16).

Submitting an event for the Campus Newsletter doesn't mean that it will be posted on the Campus Events Calendar. To list events on the events calendar, coordinators should go to the website, click on the self-service "Submit Event" link, and provide the information requested.