February 27, 2008 Campus NewsletterPage address: http://www.mnsu.edu/media/newsletter/2008-02-27/
The recent tragedy at Northern Illinois University - and threats to some students last week by another student at our own campus - highlight the importance of faculty, staff and students understanding action that they should take in case of violence.
More information about campus emergency preparedness, as well as links with information about personal safety, crime alerts and reporting crimes, can be reviewed on the University Security website.
A summary of some of the advice:
- If you see someone with a weapon on campus, immediately call 911 and/or Security (389-2111). Do not confront the person with the weapon; wait for police or Security to arrive.
- If you see someone shooting a weapon in a building - or believe that someone is shooting a weapon - and you cannot exit the building, go to the nearest room or office, close the door and lock it if possible. If you can't lock the door, barricade it with a desk, furniture or any other heavy item. Turn off the lights and, if possible, cover the door windows. Keep quiet and do not answer the door, but notify the police by calling 911 and wait for their arrival.
Faculty and staff also should be aware of subtle signs of distress that may precede a person's violent action. Sometimes situations can trigger an emotional spiral that results in violence; those situations include:
- Stressful events (failed examination; failed job interview)
- Social or family relationship crises
- Interpersonal losses
- High levels of anger or anxiety
Any of these warning signs is reason for friends or acquaintances to be concerned about the threats, violent actions or suicide. Help is available from the Counseling Center (389-1455), Residential Life (389-1011), the Yellow Ribbon Campaign, or staff members in the Office of Student Affairs (389-2121).
On Tuesday, Feb. 19, the University administration was informed that a student was making physical threats to others. The individual is in police custody. The University is cooperating with Mankato police as they continue to investigate the incident.
As the incident unfolded the University took extraordinary precautions to ensure the safety of the campus community. Students were provided with more information about the incident, and counseling was made available to any student who requested it.
On Feb. 20 the Mankato Department of Public Safety, whose officers investigated, provided more information in a press release.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty has initiated a hiring restriction on state employment. The Office of the Chancellor has obtained clarification that the MnSCU system is exempt from that directive.
However, presidents within the system have been cautioned that while the system is exempt from the restriction itself, the Office of the Chancellor remains concerned about the state economy. The Chancellor has advised that colleges and universities should exercise caution and good judgment in making decisions to fill positions.
Vacant positions that can remain unfilled for a few months without compromising service to students should not be filled. Presidents are to review existing internal processes for approving the filling of positions and establish or confirm priorities within each college/university.
The Office of the Chancellor will continue to provide updates on hiring restrictions as necessary.
Each week during the legislative session Twin Cities Public Television's "Almanac" (Ch. 2) presents a lighthearted video about a legislative request. Last week's "Minuteman" video featured President Richard Davenport promoting MnSCU bonding.
The video appeared on the Feb. 20 "Almanac." It was taped outdoors next to Trafton Science Center - on a day with a minus-15 wind-chill reading - and depicts President Davenport talking with a "green giant" (second-year MFA Acting candidate Andrew Umphrey).
The video is intended to persuade legislators and constituents to pass the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities bonding request. The video can be viewed on the TPT website (click on "Minuteman").
Advance tickets are available for the 2008 NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships to be held at Minnesota State Mankato March 14-15.
Tickets can be purchased through the Athletic Department. Adult tickets are $12 and youth tickets are $7. Tickets can be purchased at the main athletic office at 135 Myers Field House. For additional ticket information call the athletic office at (507) 389-6111.
Minnesota State Mankato recently was commended by the Office of the Chancellor for implementing and successfully testing its new the new audible alert emergency warning system.
The system broadcasts information to classrooms and offices across campus in the event of an emergency.
Don Beckering, state fire/EMS/safety center director, told campus representatives of the chancellor's commendations at the January systemwide AFSCME Meet and Confer.
The Inter Faculty Organization, which represents the faculty at Minnesota's seven state universities, has voted to ratify a proposed two-year labor agreement. Faculty at all seven campuses voted to ratify the agreement, with a total of 1,121 voting in favor of ratification, and 137 voting against the agreement.
The contract now goes to the MnSCU Board of Trustees for their approval, and then it must be ratified by the Legislature and signed by the governor before the changes go into effect.
The contract provides a one-step increase in the first year of the contract and two-step increases in the second year. In addition, it provides for two 2 percent, across-the-board increases in the coming fiscal year - one at the beginning of the year and another midway through the year.
Nancy Black, president of the faculty union, said the contract will begin to address a two-decade-long slide in faculty salary competitiveness relative to peer institutions nationally.
The contract also includes several provisions sought by management dealing with more flexibility in faculty assignments, merit awards and endowed chairs.
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act has been amended to permit employees to take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a family member in the armed forces or up to 12 weeks of leave when a family member has been called to active duty.
An employee may take up to 26 weeks of FMLA leave in a 12-month period to care for a "spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin" of a "member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness."
The new provision took effect Jan. 28, with the National Defense Authorization Act. The Department of Labor is preparing guidelines for employees and employers regarding this addition to the FMLA.
The National Defense Authorization Act also allows an employee to use up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave "for any qualifying exigency" when a spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty. While this provision will not officially take effect until the secretary of labor has defined "any qualifying exigency," the Department of Labor is encouraging employers to provide FMLA leave to employees if needed because of a family member's call to active duty.
Information about the new FMLA amendments can be found on the U.S. Department of Labor website, www.dol.gov. Employees who have questions or want to know if they may qualify should contact Diane Roggow (Human Resources) at 389-2016.
The Women's Center, the President's Commission on the Status of Women and Pan-Hellenic Council invite faculty, staff and students to honor a woman of courage and vision.
Anyone can nominate any woman at Minnesota State Mankato for this recognition, by submitting a paper nomination to the Women's Center, CSU 218, or online by Monday, March 17.
The recipient will be honored at a Women of Courage and Vision recognition reception Wednesday, March 26.
The Department of Theatre & Dance will present William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" Thursday through Sunday, 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 a 2 p.m. matinee 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.
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.
A 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.
Student Health Services, the Women's Center and the Counseling Center will sponsor a nutrition fair Thursday, Feb. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside Meyers Field House.
Those who attend can learn information and have the opportunity to win prizes. The event is a part of Eating Disorders Awareness Week.
Student Financial Services will hold a session Thursday, Feb. 28, to assist students in completing financial aid applications.
The session will be from 4:30-6 p.m. in Wissink ACC 125. Students should bring their federal PIN and all completed 2007 federal income tax returns and W-2 forms.
Other sessions (same time and place) will be on Monday, March 3; Thursday, March 6; Thursday, March 20; Thursday March 27; and Thursday, April 3.
For students who don't have this information, Student Financial Services can help get a PIN during the session, and can provide information about applying for financial aid online.
Students who are unable to attend the sessions may contact Student Financial Services at other times for individualized assistance.
In dual Good Thunder Reading Series residencies, faculty writers will lead a program on Thursday, Feb. 28, and internationally acclaimed poet Li-Young Lee will visit campus on Tuesday, March 4.
Candace Black, Richard Robbins and Roger Sheffer (English) will be interviewed on KMSU-FM Feb. 28, and then will lead a discussion on the craft of writing at 3 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium of Centennial Student union. They will read from their published work at 7:30 p.m. in CSU Room 253.
Nadine B. Andreas Visiting Writer Li-Young Li will meet with students and be interviewed on KMSU-FM during the second residency March 4, and will lead a discussion on the craft of writing at 3 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium. At 7:30 p.m. he will be joined by Nadine B. Andreas graduate student Bronson Lemer to read their published work.
An interview with the faculty writers, part of the "Authors in Transit" series on public-radio station KMSU 89.7 FM, will air on Thursday, Feb. 28, at 1 p.m., and on Friday, Feb. 29, at 11 a.m. The Li residency interview will be aired on Thursday, March 6, at 1 p.m., and on Friday, March 7, at 11 a.m.
All events are free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public.
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, the Nadine B. Andreas Endowment, and individual donors. It is made possible by a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, from funds appropriated by the Legislature and the McKnight Foundation. It also is made possible by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Legislature and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Library Services and the Barnes & Noble Bookstore at Minnesota State offer additional assistance.
The Family Consumer Science Department will sponsor a Caribbean getaway dinner Thursday, Feb. 28th
The event will be at 6 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Heritage Room. Tickets are $14.
Those who want tickets should email Katie Jenney.
A taste of Japan can be experienced at Japan Night Saturday, March 1.
The 6:30 p.m. event in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom will feature a variety of traditional and contemporary Japanese foods and cultural performances. The emphasis is on opportunities for interaction between students from Japan and people of all ages at this family-friendly event. Performances will include traditional and modern music, dance, and martial arts. A special attraction is a professional group of Taiko drummers. Five booths will feature Japanese games and fun activities.
"We want this to be a time for people on campus and in the community to enjoy cultural exchange with the more than 40 students from Japan at the university," said Ai Araya, president of the school's Japan Intercultural Association.
Tickets (including food and all performances and activities) are $6 for the public and $5 for students with Mav Cards and are available at the door, with free admission for children six and younger.
The Department of Theatre & Dance will present a public performance of its annual children's theatre touring production, "The Rainbow Fish," at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 1, in Andreas Theatre of the Performing Arts Center.
Tickets are $5 and will be available at the Theatre and Dance Box Office beginning about 30 minutes before the performance. This is the only public performance; it runs about 45 minutes.
The original production is based on characters created by Marcus Pfister in his collection of "Rainbow Fish" books. It features music created by Megan Gredesky, first-year MFA Directing candidate, and the cast of first-year Theatre & Dance students. Cast member Eric Mayson, first-year BFA Acting candidate, composed the music. Students designed the sets and costumes.
Each January through March the Department of Theatre & Dance performs for about 8,000 students at more than 30 elementary schools throughout southern Minnesota. Past productions have included "Rumpelstiltskin," "Brave Little Tailor," "Rising Sun, Rising Moon" and "Nightingale."
The President's Commission on the Status of Women will host two listening panel sessions Tuesday, March 4, and Wednesday, March 5.
The Tuesday session will be at 10 a.m. and Wednesday's meeting will be at 3 p.m. Both will be in Room 201 of Centennial Student Union, and refreshments will be provided.
The commission is exploring the campus climate as it relates to the status of women. To understand the climate, the commission needs to hear directly from faculty, students and staff.
The two listening panels will provide an opportunity for the commission to hear concerns, ideas and affirmations. This feedback will be incorporated into the commission's annual report, and will shape the commission's work as it makes recommendations to strengthen our university climate.
The commission's goal is to provide a safe and confidential opportunity for people to share their experiences, thoughts and ideas. The commission's website includes an option to submit feedback electronically and anonymously. Faculty, staff and students are urged to participate in one of these sessions, or to submit feedback online (click on "anonymous feedback").
Those who want more information or who need an accommodation should contact Sara Granberg-Rademacker or Deirdre Rosenfeld.
Applications for the Jimmy Carter CASE Grants, the Frank Newman Leadership Award and The Howard R. Swearer Humanitarian Award are now being accepted. Online applications will be accepted by Campus Compact until March 21.
Students at Campus Compact community colleges and non-seniors at four-year colleges are eligible. The purpose of the awards is to encourage civic engagement that creates positive change in the community.
Six $1,000 Jimmy Carter CASE Grants will be awarded to students whose project proposals show innovative ways to use funds to further partnerships between the community and the student's school. To be eligible, students must be full-time and in good academic standing, and must have worked with a community partner for at least one semester. Winners will receive a certificate signed by former President Jimmy Carter, and projects will be published online by the Carter Partnership Foundation.
The $5,000 Frank Newman Leadership Award is designed for students with financial need who have excellent leadership ability and have been involved in public service and scholastic achievement. Students at two-year schools and sophomores and juniors at four-year schools are eligible. Winners also will receive an ongoing leadership development opportunity.
The Howard R. Swearer Humanitarian Award provides $1,250 for professional development opportunities and a $250 donation to the recipient's community program. Winners gain recognition for innovative strategies that address community needs, along with efforts to build and sustain those strategies. Students must show an innovative approach to address community issues, demonstrate ability to lead, and inspire and engage other students.
Those who want more information may contact Dan Simonet from AmeriCorps VISTA at (651) 603-5084. Mail inquiries may be sent to 2356 University Ave W., Suite 280, Saint Paul, MN, 55114.
State Demographer Tom Gillaspy and University of Minnesota Professor Emeritus Pauline Boss will discuss "Living Well in the Midst of Change and Loss" during the third annual Chesley Lecture Monday, April 7.
The lecture, sponsored by the Center for Aging and MAGEC South, will be at Country Inn & Suites, Mankato, at 5:30 p.m.
Gillaspy, with the Minnesota Department of Administration, lectures widely on the profound impact that the demographics of aging will have on society. Boss, in the U of M Family Social Sciences Department and past president of the National Council on Family Relations, has written several books about the topic.
Certificates of continuing education will be available for attending the lecture, including two contact hours for nurses, two CEHs for social workers, and two clock hours (pending approval) for nursing home administrators.
Those interested may register online or by phone at (507) 389-1796. Cost is $10 ($5 for students) at the door (cash or checks).
President Richard Davenport has announced that Linda Hanson has accepted the position of director of Affirmative Action.
She started her duties Feb. 25. As director of Affirmative Action, Linda will provide leadership and assistance to University faculty, staff and students with affirmative action policies and procedures, search training, education and complaint investigation.
She most recently was director of Policy and Legal Affairs in the Minnesota Human Rights Department. Prior to this position she was system director for equal opportunity with the Office of the Chancellor, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. She has also served as system director of senior administrative searches at the Office of the Chancellor and was executive assistant to the chancellor, Minnesota Higher Education Board.
She has also taught various courses as adjunct faculty at Hamline University. Her education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hamline University and a Juris Doctor from Hamline University School of Law. In addition, she is a trained mediator.
"I want to express my appreciation again to Dr. Linda Duckett (Music) for providing leadership and service to the University as the interim director during the fall semester," President Davenport said. "I also want to thank the search committee chaired by Vice President Michael Fagin (Institutional Diversity) for their work that culminated in completion of a successful search."
The Master in Social Work program has been granted accreditation candidacy by the Commission on Accreditation.
The commission determined that the program has fulfilled all accreditation standards necessary to achieve candidacy. The program will remain in candidacy until final accreditation is awarded in 2010.
Minnesota State Mankato was the first MnSCU institution approved to offer a Master of Social Work degree. The new degree program started in the fall of 2007, and prepares students for advanced generalist social work practice in rural and small communities.
Program faculty will host a second commissioner visit in spring 2008.
The Employee Wellness program is looking for new Weight Watchers members.
For $12 per week, faculty and staff members can be part of a new Weight Watchers group being organized by Employee Wellness graduate assistant Graham Prather. Meetings will be in Carkoski Commons 100 for 17 weeks. New group leader and nurse practitioner Toya Schmidtke facilitates the meetings Tuesdays from 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Free e-tools for the Weight Watchers online program are available. Those who want more information may contact Graham.
Local authors Mary Huntley (Professor Emeritus, Nursing) and Edna Thayer received the 2008 Best Humor Book Award for their book, A Mirthful Spirit: Embracing Laughter for Wellness, from the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor earlier this month.
The award was presented at the annual AATH business meeting near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and attended by more than 200 members from the United States, Canada and China attended the event.
AATH is an international community of professionals who incorporate humor into their daily lives. The mission of the organization, established in 1987, is "to advance the understanding and application of humor and laughter for their positive benefits."
Huntley and Thayer's book was released January 2007 and is in its second printing. The authors' website (www.mirthfulspirit.com) lists locations where the book is available, as well as presentations and book signings scheduled in the upcoming months.
Michelle Alvarez (Social Work) delivered the keynote address, "The Role of School Social Workers in Response to Intervention," at the Indiana School Social Work Association's annual conference. She also received an award for her contributions to school social work in Indiana.
An article by Raymond Asomani-Boateng (Urban & Regional Studies), "Closing the Loop: Community Based Solid Waste Recycling, Urban, Gardening and Land Use Planning in Ghana, West Africa," was published recently in the Journal of Planning.
An article by Jim Bailey (Political Science & Law Enforcement), ".177 Caliber Pellet Classification System and Identification Key," was published in Journal of Forensic Sciences in November 2007.
Janet Cherrington (Urban & Regional Studies) was selected to arbitrate papers for the Journal of the World Universities Forum in Switzerland. She will be credited as an associate editor for the volumes to which she contributes.
Alisa Eimen (Art) presented her paper, "Landscape of Imagination: Migration and Place in Contemporary Iranian Art," at the 32nd Congress of the International Committee of History of Art, Melbourne, Australia, in January.
Tony Filipovitch (Urban & Regional Studies) participated in the Bush Fellowship Summit in St. Paul in October 2007. Tony also published "Institutional Change in Local Governance," in Rural Minnesota Journal.
Jennifer Guyer-Wood has agreed to assume the role of interim director of Alumni Relations & Special Events. Current Director Cynthia Bemis Abrams has tendered her resignation to pursue a master's degree in organizational leadership from the College of St. Catherine.
An article by John J. Janc (Modern Languages), "Teaching French Using Mnemonic Devices," recently was published in Teaching and Learning Languages.
Joseph Kunkel (Political Science & Law Enforcement) was interviewed recently by many reporters for stories about the political campaigns, including by Paul Farhi of the Washington Post; Mark Zdechlik, Minnesota Public Radio; Kevin Diaz, Minneapolis Star-Tribune; and Ed Felker, Washington Bureau of the Rochester Post-Bulletin.
Andrea Lassiter (Psychology) presented "Recommendations for Employee Training" at the Minnesota Technology Inc. business event in January. A book by Andrea and Kara Orvis, "Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning: Best Practices and Principles for Instructors," was published by IGI Global. Andrea also was interviewed for a recent article, "Weathering the Storm," in Minnesota Technology Magazine.
Bill Lewinski (Political Science & Law Enforcement) was invited to present to the Home Affairs Committee on Human Rights at the Parliament Building in London, England, in December.
Liz Miller (Art) recently installed a solo exhibition in the three-story atrium of the Sioux City Art Center, Sioux City, Iowa. The exhibition, "Resplendent Reconnaissance," will be on display through January 2010. Undergraduate students Sarah Grundhauser and Ian Laird assisted with the installation.
Stewart Ross (Excellence in Teaching & Learning) presented an invited plenary workshop on Integrated Course Design for 300 faculty at the Lilly South Conference on Teaching and Learning in Greensboro, N.C., in February.
A book review by Sherrise Truesdale (Sociology & Corrections), "Criminal Justice: A Collection of True Crime Cases," was published in the December 2007 issue of Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Today.
Christophe Veltsos (Information Systems & Technology) successfully passed the exam to become a Certified Information Systems Auditor. The CISA is a globally accepted standard of achievement in information systems audit, control and security.
Erik Waterkotte (Art) had a solo exhibit, "Disaster Tableau; Recent Prints by Erik Waterkotte," at the Hemingway Gallery, Boise State University, in February. He also was including a visiting artist lecturer.
Brad Widness (Art) recently had work accepted into the International Print Center, New York, winter new prints show, as well as the Elmhurst National Art Premiere Competitive Exhibition, Elmhurst College, Ill.
A publication by Forrest Wilkerson and Ginger Schmid (Geography), "The Creation of Baranca de Caliza: Excavation of the Canyon Lake Spillway Gorge, Comal County Texas, July 2002," is online at the James and Marilyn Lovell Center for Environmental Geography and Hazards Research, Texas State University.
An article by Fui Yuan (Geography) and C.S. Wu, "Seasonal Sensitivity Analysis of Impervious Surface Estimation with Satellite Imagery," was published in Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing in December 2007.
Phi Alpha, social work honor society, recently collected 126 gift items, $82 and a $50 gift certificate from a local retailer for children in local homeless shelters. The honor society will use the money to purchase and donate additional gifts.
Social Work Club members volunteered at the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Retreat at Camp Omega in Waterville; participated in VINE's annual Rake the Town event; and volunteered at the CADA House benefit concert and dinner.
Vegard Aaland's thesis, "Exeptionalism in United States Foreign Policy Behavior," was selected as the nominee for the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools. Jackie Vieceli was thesis advisor and Abdalla Battah and Wayne Allen were committee members. Results of the MAGS competition will be announced in the spring.
Political Science & Law Enforcement students recently returned from a two-week study abroad trip to Munich, Vienna and Amsterdam. The tour is part of a Colleen Clarke-Tami Wilkins course on comparative policing and international terrorism.
Senior Lisa Mayer (Art History) was awarded an Art Department scholarship to support her presentation at the Medieval and Renaissance Forum at Plymouth State University in April.
Janet Turner (Art) was seventh in national competition at Chico, Calif., recently; was 21st at the Parkside National Small Print Competition; and was awarded a Robert M. MacNamara Foundation artist residency in Westport Island, Maine.
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 March 12; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (March 7).
Submitting an event to the Campus Newsletter won't get the event posted on the university's Campus Events Calendar. Go to the events calendarwebsite, click on the self-service "Submit Event" link, and provide the information requested.