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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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February 13, 2008 Campus Newsletter

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Anne Blackhurst: New Dean

Anne BlackhurstAnne Blackhurst has been named permanent dean of the College of Graduate Studies & Research.

Before being named interim dean in July 2006, Anne was a graduate faculty member for 12 years, and chaired the Department of Counseling and Student Personnel. She came to Minnesota State Mankato in 1994 as an assistant professor of Counseling & Student Personnel. She was promoted to associate professor in 1998 and to full professor in 2004. She served as department chair in 2000-2001 and from 2005-2006.

Before coming to Mankato, Anne was assistant dean of student life and director of residence life at Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio; associate director of residence life at Ohio University (Athens); and director of residence life at the College of Idaho. She has taught as an adjunct at Marietta College, Ohio University and the College of Idaho.

"Anne is the ideal choice for the position," said Scott Olson, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. "Her considerable leadership skills and her vision will continue Minnesota State Mankato's strong position in graduate education and our growing position in research and sponsored programs."

Scott thanked the College of Graduate Studies search committee, chaired by Interim Vice President for University Advancement Michael Miller.

Tentative IFO Agreement

Shaking HandsThe Inter Faculty Organization, the union representing about 3,300 faculty members at Minnesota State University and the other six state universities, has reached a tentative labor agreement with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

The tentative agreement covers a two-year period ending June 30, 2009. Details will not be released until the parties have an opportunity to review the tentative agreement.

In a joint statement issued Feb. 4, IFO President Nancy Black and Minnesota State Universities Chancellor James McCormick said "We are pleased to have reached a tentative settlement that makes significant progress in improving the competitiveness of our salaries relative to peer institutions nationally, and assures that our state universities will be able to continue to provide high-quality education to their students."

The Inter Faculty Organization board of directors met recently and recommended ratification of the contract. Faculty members will vote on the agreement Thursday, Feb. 21. Results of the voting will be forwarded to the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities Board of Trustees and ultimately to the Legislature for approval.

Feb. 27: High-Risk Drinking Summit

A community summit on high-risk drinking will be held Wednesday, Feb. 27, in Alltel Civic Center as an open discussion of ways to reduce high-risk drinking in Mankato.

The summit, from 8-11:30 a.m. in the Alltel Center Banquet Room, will include panels of high school and college students, other community youth, alcohol abuse experts, law enforcement officials and professionals from the medical, counseling and business communities. The event is free and open to students, faculty, staff and members of the public, and no reservations are necessary.

Keynote speaker for the event will be Susanne Williams, nationally recognized expert on solutions to high-risk drinking. The event also will include a special presentation by state Sen. Kathy Sheran.

Williams, assistant to the president of Minnesota State University Moorhead, leads a collaborative group that works to minimize the culture of heavy drinking in the Moorhead area. The collaboration includes Minnesota State University Moorhead, Concordia University and the area community and technical college.

Participants in the Feb. 27 summit are invited to share ideas and experiences in an effort to reduce high-risk drinking in the Mankato area.

A Web page with links to additional information is at

Wrestlers: Still No. 1

Stomper LogoThe wrestling team again this month is ranked No. 1 in the national NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches Association poll.

The Mavericks, who achieved top billing in Jan. 23 poll, received five of the eight first-place votes cast and totaled 157 points. The Mavericks are 16-0-1 on the season.

Seven Maverick individuals also received attention. Senior Jason Rhoten is rated No. 1 at 157. Sophomore heavyweight Brady Wilson is No. 2. Senior Nick Smith ranks third at 125. Senior Andy Pickar is fourth at 165, and sophomore Travis Elg is fourth at 141. Freshman Tommy Abbott is fifth at 149. Junior Tim Matheson is rated eighth at 174.

Rhoten, who is 125-23 for his four-year career, is on the verge of tying the school record for career victories. Hall of Famer Jack Eustice, a four-time All-American and national champion in 1976, had 126 wins during his Maverick grappling career.

The Mavericks are also closing in on the school season record for dual wins as a team. This year's 16 wins ties the mark set by MSU teams in 1975, 1998, 2005 and 2007.

Black History Month

Celebrate Black History MonthBlack History Month is being celebrated with a series of speakers and special events this month. The observance started Feb. 1 and continues through Tuesday, Feb. 26.

KMSU 89.7 is airing "jewels" of black history during the entire month. Black history literature is displayed in Memorial Library and Barnes & Noble Bookstore, and the Market, on the first floor of Centennial Student Union, is offering special food items.

Jumpstart and the African American Affairs program will co-sponsor a children's literacy project and a pre-school book drive, collecting books for children in Jumpstart. Those who wish to donate books may leave them throughout the month at designated drop-off points in Centennial Student Union; books should be new or slightly used and pre-school/elementary appropriate.

The month also includes the 32nd annual Pan African Student Leadership Conference Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 21-23, with a pre-conference event Wednesday, Feb. 20. The conference builds student leadership, and allows scholars, students, professionals and community members to discuss issues that affect African people.

Other Black History Month events:

  • Thursday, Feb. 14: Elementary-age youth are invited to participate in "Experience the Magic of Story Time" in CSU 281 A, B and C, 10 a.m. to noon, co-sponsored by African American Affairs and Jumpstart.
  • Thursday, Feb. 14: Bishop Wayne R. Felton will present "Spiritual Unity from a Global Perspective," 10 a.m. to noon, CSU 201.
  • Tuesday Feb. 19: "Romantic Cross-Culture Interaction: African American and New Immigrant," facilitated by Maria Baxter-Nuamah (Multicultural Affairs), with a panel discussion to follow, 1-3 p.m., CSU 201.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 26: "Effectively Leading Diverse Schools and Communities," co-sponsored by the College of Education and Gustavus Adolphus College, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., CSU.

Events are cosponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Jumpstart, Institutional Diversity, KMSU, the Black Student Union, University Dining, Barnes & Noble, Children's House, and Student Leadership Development & Service Learning.

Those who want more information should call Maria Baxter-Nuamah at (507) 389-6300.

Feb. 14, 15: Vagina Monologues

V-DayThe seventh annual benefit production of Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues" will be presented Thursday and Friday, Feb. 14 and 15, at 8 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium, Centennial Student Union.

The play, sponsored by the Women's Center and part of the V-Day College Campaign, is a collection of monologues taken from the real-life experiences of women throughout the world.

Playwright and activist Ensler interviewed women of all races, religions and locations, and in her script recounts their relationships, their lives and their experiences as women. The monologues are different each year, because Ensler regularly interviews more women and adds new material.

The production is intended to bring attention to the ways by which individuals and groups maneuver women's lives and experiences; to bring awareness to issues surrounding women's fight for social justice; and to encourage volunteers to think and feel deeply about the role of women's activism in social change.

Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for all others, and are on sale in the CSU lobby and in CSU 218, the Women's Center. Those who want more information may contact Lauren Pilnick in the Women's Center at (507) 389-5127 or stop at CSU 218.

Feb. 15: Photo Contest

Cuencan Dancer
A study abroad photo taken Nov. 3, 2007, during the Ecuadorian city of Cuencas independence celebration.

More than 100 photographs captured by students and faculty members studying in countries around the world are on display in the Centennial Student Union art gallery (lower level). Members of the campus community are invited to vote on their favorites during the International Centers annual Study Abroad Photo Contest through Friday, Feb. 15.

The photographs vividly depict moments of serenity in breathtaking surroundings; young and old faces of joy, poverty and wisdom; and the new friends and adventures that await other students in foreign study programs.

Students, faculty and staff are invited to view the photographs and vote on their favorites through Feb. 15. Winners in each of three categories will receive Barnes & Noble gift certificates.

The annual Study Abroad Photo Contest, organized by the International Center, is held in conjunction with the Spring Study Abroad Fair. A new photo contest tradition, "Through Others Eyes," also was started this year.

Each October during the Autumn Study Abroad Fair, the International Center will exhibit photos depicting our international student's impressions of the U.S.

Feb. 15: Deaf Eyes

History Through Deaf EyesThe second part of the four-part film series "Through Deaf Eyes" will be shown on Friday, Feb. 15, and on the following two Fridays, sponsored by the Office of Disability Services and the Disability Awareness and Advocacy Group.

The remaining parts of the brown-bag lunch film series will be screened on Feb. 22 and 29. All showings will be from noon to 12:50 p.m. in Morris Hall 102.

The two-hour film, divided into four 30-minute segments, will be followed by a discussion. Participants are invited to bring their lunches for an insightful film and discussion.

"Through Deaf Eyes" explores 200 years of deaf life in America. The film focuses on stories of eminent and ordinary people, and discusses events that have shaped deaf lives.

The film is closed captioned and ASL Interpreters will be available for each session.

Feb. 15, 16: Used Book Sale

Woman Behind Stack of BooksMemorial Library will hold a used book sale Friday, Feb. 15, and Saturday, Feb. 16, with special pricing on encyclopedias and other items.

On Friday the sale will be from noon to 5 p.m., and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Used books will be $1. The event is open to students, faculty, staff and the public. Free parking will be available during sale hours in Green Lot 13.

Those who are purchasing for a non-profit organization should bring a purchase order including the tax-exempt number.

Those who have questions may Call Leslie Peterson at (507) 389-2290.

Feb. 15: Trustee Applications

The Trustee Candidate Advisory Council is accepting applications for four positions on the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees. Appointments will be made by Gov. Tim Pawlenty in April. Candidates for the positions should apply to the council before Feb. 15.

The council seeks candidates to fill four open seats: one 4th Congressional District position, one 7th Congressional District position, and two at-large positions. The terms are six years in length.

Application materials are available on the council's website.

Feb. 16: Science Fair

Cartoon of a GirlMore than 280 junior and senior high students from 28 area schools will take part in the 57th annual South Central/Southwest Minnesota Regional Science and Engineering Fair Saturday, Feb. 16, in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

Exhibits will be open for public viewing from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday. In addition to the 280 student contestants, the event will require more than 250 judges, including students, faculty and staff, and area business, industry and medical professionals.

Student projects will reflect the 2008 theme, "Leonardo Da Vinci: Scientist, Inventor, Engineer, Painter." The projects - with titles such as "Monarch Mayhem," "Tingling Taste Buds," "Wingy Winglets" and "Electric Lemon" - will depict many disciplines.

Competitors will vie for the opportunity to represent the regions at the 40th annual Tri-State Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in St. Paul, the 71st annual Minnesota Academy of Science State Science and Engineering Fair in St. Paul, and/or the 59th Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Atlanta, Ga. Special awards will be presented by local business, industry and academic professionals and corporate sponsors.

The science and engineering fair enriches school programs by encouraging students to do independent work, develop displays, receive judgment by professional scientists and engineers, share interests, compete for awards, and earn recognition. The fair offers opportunities for both personal and academic success.

Major sponsors of the event are the College of Science, Engineering & Technology, 3M, Mankato Area Foundation, Thin Film Technology Corp., MICO, Inc., Minnesota Center for Engineering & Manufacturing Excellence, Norsoft, Winland Electronics, Inc., and many individual contributors.

Those who want more information may call (507) 389-2849 or visit

Feb. 18: Campus Drive Kickoff

Faculty, staff and emeriti are invited to a kickoff celebration for the 2008 Campus Drive on Monday, Feb. 18, with refreshments and live music.

The event will be from 9-10 a.m. in CSU 253/54/55. Music will be provided by student Katie Jacobson (Music). Jeff Pribyl (Chemistry & Geology) is chairperson.

This year's record setting goal is $200,000, based on participation from 50 percent of the faculty, staff and emeriti. Donors can designate gifts to one or more areas; check the Campus Drive website for more information.

Jeff urges faculty, staff and emeriti to pledge generously when they receive their new intra-campus envelope or phone call from the Annual Fund student callers.

To track the drives progress, watch the Campus Drive sign in front of the Presidents office.

Feb. 18: Tom Leyden

Tom 'TJ' LeydenFormer neo-Nazi and white supremacist Tom "TJ" Leyden will discuss "Turning Away from Hate" on Monday, Feb. 18, as part of part of Eliminate Hate Day.

Leyden's talk, free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public, is sponsored by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Center, Student Events Team and the Institutional Diversity Office. The talk will be at 7 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

At age 15 Leyden started a white supremacist "skinhead" group in Redlands, Calif. After 15 years as a white supremacy activist, he decided to trade his lifestyle for a life of tolerance, love and diversity. Today he dedicates his life to confronting racism, anti-Semitism and hate crimes through education, community involvement and social action.

He is the only skinhead to ever leave the organization and retain his own name, and he still receives occasional death threats.


Feb. 21-24, Feb. 28-March 1: Hamlet

The Department of Theatre & Dance will present William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 21-24, and Feb. 28 through March 1. The performances will celebrate the life of Donabel C. Linney, professor of English from 1965-84.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. all days, with 2 p.m. matinees Feb. 24 and March 2, in the Ted Paul Theatre of the Performing Arts Center.

"Hamlet" is a tragedy filled with death and suicide, madness, incest and the supernatural. Hamlets father has been murdered, inspiring a whole series of revengeful events destined to bring destruction to all.

To enhance the production, director Paul Hustoles will have the assistance of Richard Raether, one of only 10 fight masters certified by the Society of American Fight Directors. Raether was in residence Feb. 4-8, made possible through the generosity of Lowell and David Andreas who established the Nadine B. Andreas Guest Artist program through their endowment to the College of Arts & Humanities.

In addition, the poster designs created by Brad Widnesss (Art) graphic arts students will be on display in the Performing Arts Center lobby during the run of the show. The students worked with Hustoles as a class project.

Individual tickets for "Hamlet" are $14.50 regular; $13 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more; and $10 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. They can be reserved by calling the Theatre & Dance Box Office (507-389-6661) between 4 and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by submitting a ticket request at

Feb. 25: Diversity Training

Paper PeopleThe next diversity training session will be Monday, Feb. 25, with Michelle Carter (Research & Sponsored Programs) discussing "Culturally Sensitive and Intentionally Inclusive."

The session will be from 2-3 p.m. in CSU 285.

The interactive session will explore what it means to be "culturally sensitive and intentionally inclusive" in a university environment. Participants will learn strategies to engage and include multicultural staff and students without pressuring them to speak for their race, ethnicity or culture. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on their pre-existing biases and discuss the fundamental concept of respect for differences.

Faculty, staff and students can register for the program online.

Feb. 26: Truth about Beauty

Camille CooperActress and model Camille Cooper will discuss "The Truth about Beauty" Tuesday, Feb. 26, as the anchor event for Eating Disorders Awareness Week and Women's History Month.

The event, free to Minnesota State Mankato students and employees, will be at 7 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Ostrander Auditorium. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Cooper has worked professionally in film and television for 10 years, starring in five motion pictures and more than 10 television series, including "General Hospital" and "Knots Landing." She has been featured in numerous commercials and print ads (Coke, Milky Way, Campbell's Soup and others).

She has lectured across the country, encouraging young women to question what they see, to define themselves by their abilities and their dreams, and to promote positive change.

Her presentation is a look at the media's obsession with thiness and beauty, and how that promotes low self-esteem, depression and eating disorders among women.

This event is sponsored by Campus Recreation, the Counseling Center, Student Health Services and the Women's Center, with support from student activity fees. Those who want more information or need a special accommodation should contact Merlita Tiew at (507) 389-6146 (V), 800-627-3529, 711 (MRS/TTY).

Feb. 27, 28: MSRS Sessions

MSRS LogoA retirement counselor from the Minnesota State Retirement System will offer one-on-one counseling sessions Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 27 and 28. MSRS administers the General Plan, the Health Care Savings Plan (HCSP) and the Minnesota Deferred Compensation Plan (MNDCP).

Additional information about the counseling sessions is posted on the Human Resources website. Those who want to sign-up for an individual appointment should contact Wendy Schuller at 389-2015.

A retirement counselor from MSRS also will be on campus March 12 and 13. Look for additional information on the Human Resources website in the next couple of weeks.

To request a disability accommodation, contact Therese Mullins at (V) 389-6942 or (TTY) 1-800-627-3529 at least three working days before the event.

Improving Teacher Quality

A $46,000 Improving Teacher Quality Grant has been funded for a second year through the Minnesota Department of Higher Education.

The grant was submitted in partnership with schools in the St. Paul School District, the Mathematics & Statistics Department and the College of Education. Mark A. Zuiker is principle investigator for the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, with involvement by Ernest Boyd and Mary Guy. Kathleen Foord is principle investigator for the College of Education, with involvement by Daria Donna.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Gale Allen (Electrical & Computer Engineering) gave a 4-day, 32-hour course in component-level industrial automation to employees of local companies on weekends in January. Jim Dickey, MNCEME technologist, helped to support the class.

February's featured Human Resources employee is Deborah Anderson, who joined HR full-time basis in 1998 as HRIS manager after working as a student employee. Her duties include managing the HR web page and forms, assisting employees with accessing systems, compiling data for surveys and reports and assembling the HR newsletter.

Sue Ellen Bell (Nursing) recently consulted with faculty members from the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Nursing and the University of Southern Mississippi School of Nursing about developing a consortium Doctor of Nursing Practice program. She also presented the keynote address at the Mississippi nurse practitioner annual conference earlier this month.

Christopher Danielson (Mathematics & Statistics) received $40,700 from Minnesota State for a project to recruit elementary education majors to middle school mathematics. In late February or early March, Christopher will convene a statewide meeting of mathematics and education faculty to consider current research, to form partnerships and to set a research agenda.

Paul Eskridge (Physics & Astronomy) presented a paper, "Star Formation History of NGC 1311 from Multiwavelength Stellar Photometry," at the 211th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Austin, Texas, in January.

Andrea Lassiter (Psychology) co-edited a book, "Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning: Best Practices and Principles for Instructors", published in December 2007.

Brock McMillan (Biological Sciences) recently presented a seminar, "Ecology of river otters in southern Minnesota," to the Department of Biological Sciences at Southern Utah University.

Mezbahur Rahman and Larry M. Pearson (Mathematics & Statistics) authored a paper, "A Note on the Maximum Likelihood Box-Cox Transformation Parameter," that was accepted for publication in the Journal of Probability and Statistical Science.

Gary Rockswold (Mathematics & Statistics) contributed to the textbook Beginning and Intermediate Algebra with Applications and Visualization, Second Edition. Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Boston, publishes the text.

Louis Schwartzkopf (Physics & Astronomy) gave a talk, "Is Energy Independence for Minnesota Possible?" at the St. Cloud State University physics seminar in January. He also gave a public talk, "Renewable Energy, Energy Independence and Climate Change," at St. Cloud State that evening.

Richard Terrill's (English) essay "Yet Again to the Lake," originally published in Colorado Review, was listed as a Notable Essay of the Year in The Best American Essays 2007.

Kevin Thompson (Information Systems & Technology) recently received the Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification. The CISSP is a highly respected, vendor-neutral certification showing proficiency in ten domains of information security.

Yea-Ling Tsao (Mathematics & Statistics) helped to integrate the mathematical trail into mathematics curriculum for sixth grade students in proceedings of the 2008 Hawaii International Conference on Education, Honolulu, and contributed to an article about students' problem-solving abilities in The Elementary Education Journal.

Christophe Veltsos (Information Systems & Technology) attended the Department of Defense Cyber Crime Conference in St. Louis in January. The conference is the prime training event for Department of Defense and law enforcement employees.

Theatre Students, Faculty Get Awards

One Theatre student is among the top eight student directors in the nation and another is among the nation's top 16 actors after the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Jan. 21-27 in Omaha, Nebr.

Minnesota State Mankato students brought home top awards in acting, directing and design, and students and faculty received 10 certificates of commendation. More than 1,500 students from more than 80 colleges participated in the event.

Senior Heather Folsom became one of the top eight student directors in the country after placing first in the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers 10-minute scene directing competition.

Junior Micah Kronlokken is one of the top 16 student actors in the country after being named Region V "Irene Ryan Winner." The last time a Minnesota State Mankato student received this award was in 1997.

Other awards:

  • First-year Master of Fine Arts student Lolly Foy became one of the top 36 out of 400 student actors by reaching the acting semi-finals.
  • Senior Katie Moeller was named "best partner" in the final acting round.
  • Kronlokken, Moeller and Folsom have all been invited to participated in the National Festival in April at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
  • Senior Brit Katuin won second in the Barbizon Costume Design competition for "Bus Stop."
  • Senior Deb Lindell won second in the regional scene design competition for "Dog Sees God."
  • Junior Jeff Smith won second in poster design for "Bus Stop."
  • Master of Fine Arts student Ben Inniger won second for sound design for "Hurlyburly."

Certificates of Commendation were awarded to Angie Hesterman, the "Angels in America" shift crew, Mick Coughlan, David McCarl, Allen Wright Shannon, Steve Smith, John Paul, Doug Bennett and Brit Katuin.

Forensics: Second

The Forensics team took second place in the Icebox Classic in St. Cloud in early February.

Freshman winners included: Sean Paskach (second, Prose; third, Program Oral Interpretation); Sarah Walker (fourth, Communication Analysis; fifth, Speaker Debate); Suzanne Lumberg (fourth, Duo); and Molly Carmody (Top Novice, Drama).

Sophomore winners: Megan Petersen (second and fourth, Duo; first, Poetry).

Junior winners: Grant Anderson (sixth, Extemporaneous Speaking and Drama; second, Duo; semi-finalist, Debate).

Senior Zeke Sorenson was first in Drama and second in Communication Analysis.

Who's Who Nominees

The College of Social & Behavioral Sciences has nominated 35 students to Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

Who's Who honors college students who excel academically and in their communities to enhance the positive image of American youth. The program is one of the most highly regarded honors programs in the nation.

CSB has nominated the following students:

  • Laura Lundquist-Peskorz
  • Andrew Sturm
  • Shannon Finnegan
  • Jacqueline Karsten
  • Nicole Stuhrk
  • Jennifer Hartman
  • Melanie Garcia
  • Brett Fleck
  • Alicia Brush
  • Amanda Penning
  • Matthew Johnson
  • Jennifer Othoudt
  • Elisha Peterson
  • Kimberly Berg-Asche
  • Vanessa Nagel
  • Jason Nelson
  • Timothy Taggart
  • Brian Combs
  • Katie Leonard
  • Meghan Turok
  • Jonathan DeGreeff
  • Robbe Nessler
  • Paul Bobich
  • Casey Carmody
  • Karen Rubbert
  • Megan Moran
  • Rachel Cox
  • Jese Stam
  • Janice Kuehl
  • Jenna Covey
  • Laura Tenney
  • Linda Brown
  • Kathryn Kamerud
  • Angela Losasso
  • Derek Kumm

Student Achievements

Senior physics major Jacob Simones co-presented a poster session, "The Absolute Magnitude Distribution of F-Turnoff Stars," at the 211th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Austin, Texas, in January.


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 Feb. 27. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Feb. 22).

Submitting an event to the Campus Newsletter won't get the event posted on the university's Campus Events Calendar. Go to the events calendar website, click on the self-service "Submit Event" link, and provide the information requested.