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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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April 23, 2008 Campus Newsletter

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Minnesota State Awards Sweep!

Baer, Bird, and Amaroso

Linda Baer, Lori Bird, Cindy Amaroso: Partnership Award

Baer, Olson, Davenport, Hadley, McElroy, Pribyl, and McCormick

Linda Baer, Scott Olson, Richard Davenport, Mary Hadley, Dan McElroy, Jeff Pribyl, James H. McCormick: Curriculum Award

Baer and Miller

Linda Baer, Michael Miller: Outstanding Administrator Award

Baer, Dowd, and Boyce

Linda Baer, Mary Dowd and Chris Boyce: Innovative Student Programming Award

Minnesota State Mankato swept this year's awards for academic and student affairs program excellence from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities - the first time that any university has won all four awards in one year. It is the sixth consecutive year in which the University won one or more of the awards.

The university was honored for curriculum, student programming and partnership excellence. In addition, Michael Miller (University Advancement) received the outstanding administrator award.

The awards were presented at the Minnesota State trustees' "Celebrating Excellence" banquet April 16. Winners were selected by a panel of administrators from various campuses. The 2008 awards:

  • The College of Science, Engineering & Technology received the Curriculum Award for its "Intro to Chemistry Course Redesign" initiative.
  • The Division of Student Affairs earned the Innovative Student Programming Award for its "Rights and Responsibilities Partnership."
  • The College of Education received the Partnership Award for its "Mankato Mentoring Program."
  • Miller was honored as Outstanding Academic or Student Affairs Administrator, for demonstrating outstanding leadership and significant contributions to academic and student affairs programming in Minnesota.

"These awards recognize the outstanding work by many individuals and various colleges and universities to deliver high-quality programs to our students," said Chancellor James H. McCormick. "They also demonstrate the many creative ways that our faculty and staff employ to continuously improve our programs and services."

The "Intro to Chemistry Course Redesign" initiative, supported by a National Science Foundation grant, has transformed the way introductory chemistry is taught. Using laptop computers and "guided inquiry" instruction, students learn by using higher levels of critical thinking skills than are needed for rote memorization.

The "Mankato Mentoring Program" partnership with Mankato area public schools - in place for more than 10 years - helps to reduce the shortage of qualified teachers. The program has reduced teacher turnover through classroom observations, informal group dialogues, structured in-service experiences and one-on-one interaction between veteran and novice educators.

The "Rights and Responsibilities" partnership with the City of Mankato gives students information and skills to understand leases and public nuisance ordinances, and helps students select responsible roommates and get along with neighbors. The program explains the disciplinary and legal consequences of violating the law, including hosting loud parties, serving alcohol to minors, driving under the influence and using false identification. The program has improved cooperation and communication among the university, city and neighborhood associations.

Michael Miller, winner of the Outstanding Administrator award, served as dean of the College of Education from 2003 until late last year, when he was appointed interim vice president of University Advancement by President Richard Davenport.

In addition to being the only university to win all four awards in one year, Minnesota State Mankato is the only Minnesota college or university to receive an excellence award each year since the competition started in 2003, and the only institution to capture two or more awards for five years in a row.

Minnesota State Mankato has won more of the awards (14) than any other institution (the next-closest institutions have won five awards each). This year only one other university - Southwest Minnesota State at Marshall - won an award.

Reflecting on Campus Safety

Candlelight VigilOn April 16 the nation engaged in a day of remembrance reflecting on the 32 who were killed at Virginia Tech a year before. Remembering Virginia Tech also provides an opportunity to reflect on the precautionary personal safety advances made by Minnesota State Mankato over the last year.

A few of the advancements:

  • Installed a campus-wide emergency announcement system that allows broadcast warnings and information over Cisco telephone speakers to classrooms, laboratories and offices. The system is tested monthly.
  • Expanded emergency text-message service. Students, faculty and staff can sign-up to receive emergency text messages online.
  • Launched an expanded Emergency Preparedness website with information for employees and students.
  • Campus Security Officers and Student Health Services completed National Incident Management System training. All members of the Campus Emergency Response Team are scheduled to complete training in May.
  • Distributed materials regarding consultation services and resources for early behavioral intervention, highlighting the Counseling Center, Disability Services, Student Conduct and Security.
  • Involved in all-hazards planning with the Office of the Chancellor including Continuity of Operations, Crisis Intervention and Emergency Preparedness.
  • Continued participation in Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Student Mental Health Advisory Task Force.
  • Attended seminars including Gordon Davies Presentation on Virginia Tech hosted by the Office of the Chancellor and "What We've Learned: Higher Education after Virginia Tech by Magna Online Seminars."

The university continues to take steps on many levels. Our hearts go out the families and friends of victims as we focus on prevention and preparation for the future.

Deborah Jesseman: HERS/Bryn Mawr

Deborah JessemanDeborah Jesseman (Educational Studies: K-12 & Secondary Programs) has been accepted as a participant in the 33rd Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration June 21 through July 16.

The prestigious institute, at Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Penn., provides women administrators and faculty members with intensive training in education administration, examining current issues, globalization and diversity in higher education.

"I am very much looking forward to attending the Summer Institute," Deborah said. "The concentrated study, leadership training and networking with other women leaders in higher education is invaluable. I appreciate the support from the President's Office and the Commission on the Status of Women for providing this unique opportunity."

The institute is co-sponsored by Higher Education Resource Services and Bryn Mawr College. Local applications for the institute were reviewed by the President's Commission on the Status of Women.

Deborah has been a Minnesota State Mankato faculty member for four years. A former public school math teacher and library media specialist, she earned her master's degree from Indiana University and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to teaching graduate, undergraduate and online courses, she coordinates educational technology and library media programs, and directs the Center for Classroom Technology Integration.

Kearney International Center

Kearney International CenterThe new Elizabeth and Wynn Kearney International Center was officially named during an April 23 ceremony honoring Elizabeth M. and the late Dr. R. Wynn Kearney Sr.

The new name acclaims the many Kearney family contributions of time, money and commitment to international students and the University. A number of family members, including Elizabeth Kearney and three of her children, Dr. R Wynn Kearney Jr., Anne Kearney Smith and Dr. Michael Kearney, attended the ceremony to hear messages of appreciation from President Richard Davenport, and to talk with international students who have benefited from Kearney International Scholarships.

The International Center, open since September 2007, brings International Student and International Programs offices together in a strikingly renovated space on the second floor of Centennial Student Union. The center is a one-stop information and service hub for international inquiries by students, faculty, alumni and the public.

Wynn Kearney Sr., a Mankato surgeon, and his wife Elizabeth became supporters of the university's International Student Endowment Scholarship many years ago. Dr. Kearney chaired the International Student Endowment Committee, and influenced others to support the fund.

After her husband's death in 1999, Mrs. Kearney joined the committee. In 2002 she established the annually funded R. Wynn Kearney Sr. International Student Scholarship. She continues to be involved with the committee and the students, and she has established a permanently endowed scholarship for international students in both their names.

The Kearneys and their children have supported the university in many other ways, including contributing to other scholarships and endowment funds and to programs such as Intercollegiate Athletics, Theatre & Dance, arts, cultural diversity, Urban & Regional Studies and Music.

The new Elizabeth and Wynn Kearney International Center helps academic departments bring international speakers to campus, organizes activities that let students learn about other cultures, coordinates international events on and off campus, and assists students and faculty with foreign study and research exchanges.

Students can stop at the center for advice and information about opportunities for study, internships and volunteer experiences around the world.

D2L Upgrade, Lawsuit

Minnesota State Mankato will upgrade from D2L v. 8.1 to v. 8.3 starting the evening of June 5 and continuing through the weekend. During this time the D2L system will be unavailable, although the downtime will be kept at a minimum.

The schedule was endorsed by the IMS Advisory Council and is subject to its ongoing oversight. If there is a change, campuses will be notified.

In February a U.S. District Court in Texas ruled against Desire2Learn in a patent infringement lawsuit. The judge awarded Blackboard $3.1 million and imposed an injunction against D2L from "using in the United States, offering to sell for use in the United States, or selling for use in the United States, either alone or in combination with any products, services or systems." The injunction is scheduled to take effect May 11.

The upgrade to v. 8.3 contains new functionality and a "design-around" that makes the software non-infringing. D2L has provided assurances that v. 8.3 does not infringe on Blackboard's patents; that issue has not been addressed by the court. But the IMS Advisory Council and D2L customers advocate an expeditious move to v. 8.3.

The Office of the Chancellor, including the Office of General Counsel, is actively monitoring the operational and legal issues. Minnesota State Mankato also is discussing these developments with other large institutional D2L users.

The university is making every reasonable effort to ensure that Minnesota State's e-learning environment remains available to faculty, staff and students.

Those who have questions may contact Associate Vice Chancellor Alfred Essa regarding the upgrade or general D2L issues, and General Counsel Gail Olson regarding legal issues.

The Office of the Chancellor and the IMS Advisory Council will provide weekly updates on pertinent lawsuit developments and the upgrade. The university has established a "one-stop" shop for IMS-related information.

$70,000 in Technology Grants

Man and Computer CartoonSix Technology Grants totaling more than $70,000 have been announced by the Learning Technology Roundtable and Information Technology Services.

The grants are for technology innovation and enhancement. Cross-discipline projects and projects affecting a large number of students were encouraged.

Grants were awarded based upon the opportunity to create innovative technology for students in new instructional technology for classrooms, new technology support mechanisms for computer classrooms and labs and new uses of technology to enhance the student's experiences.

The following are faculty and staff received grants:

  • Peg Lawrence (Library), "Group Study Room Technology."
  • Jonathan Harper (Mathematics), "Computer Algebra System Integration."
  • Diane Coursol (Counseling & Student Personnel), "AH003 Technology Enhancement."
  • Karen Hurlbutt (Special Education), "Assistive Technology for Pre-service Special Educators."
  • Scott Hagebak (Centennial Student Union) and Wayne Sharp (ITS), "Emergency Notification Displays."
  • Pat McKinzie (Aviation), "Airport Lab Kiosk."

Recipients will work this summer for fall semester implementation of their programs. The grants are expected to become an annual opportunity to bring innovative technology to students.

'Stomper Move Crew'

The Department of Residential Life is seeking faculty and staff "Stomper Move Crew" volunteers to help greet students and parents as they move in to residence halls on Wednesday, Aug. 20.

Move Crew volunteers receive a T-shirt to wear during their shifts, as well as grateful thanks from students, parents and families.

Faculty and staff greet students and parents, directing them to the correct buildings to get keys and information and watching belongings that are piled in front of residence halls. Religious organizations, Greeks, student organizations and athletic teams assist in unloading vehicles and help to direct traffic.

Those who would like to volunteer or have questions should contact Torin Akey (389-1011) by May 30.

Campus Drive: 34 Percent

The Campus Drive is at 34 percent participation through $157,443.07 (goals are 50% participation through $200,000). There's still time for faculty and staff to make a difference for students.

Those who haven't had a chance to give may want to look into payroll deduction (broken link), one of the easiest ways to give to Minnesota State Mankato. Campus Drive testimonials from colleagues are also available online.

Chair Jeff Pribyl (Chemistry & Geology), Marie Worrell and Lucette Wildt (Advancement) are personally visiting with faculty, staff and emeriti over coffee. Those who are interested in a visit should contact Marie at x1905 or by email.

Wanted: Family Weekend Events

Family Weekend MSU CrestFaculty, staff and students are encouraged to propose an event for Family Weekend 2008 Oct. 17-19 to showcase a campus organization, office, department or college.

Family Weekend 2008 will continue the tradition of welcoming students' families to campus and the Mankato area. Objectives of the weekend include:

  • Promote the excellence of academic and extracurricular programs;
  • Demonstrate to parents that Minnesota State Mankato provides a safe, healthy environment;
  • Encourage student retention;
  • Build tradition;
  • Promote the Mankato community.

The 2008 Family Weekend Committee includes Nicole Dose and Robyn Goldy (co-chairs), Rochelle Ament, Monika Antonelli, Tim Berg, Dalton Crayton, Sara Granberg-Rademacker, Tracey Hammell, Ryan Ihrke, Mike Lagerquist, Connie Miller, Jennifer Myers, Leslie McPhail Peterson, Todd Pfingsten, Shirley Piepho, Nancy Sprengeler, Ryan Stevens and Larissa Mrozek and Bryan Stempka (Greater Mankato Growth).

Those who would like to propose an event should complete the online form. Those who want guidance in developing an event should email Nicole Dose or Robyn Goldy.

Severe Weather Week

LightningDuring Severe Weather Awareness Week April 21-25, members of the campus community are urged to review emergency action plans in the event of severe weather. Emergency plans have been developed for each building on campus and can be obtained from the building's emergency coordinator.

A magenta severe weather information sheet (including tornado shelter locations and emergency building coordinators) recently was sent to all faculty and staff, who are asked to review the sheet, keep it available, and refer to it as necessary. This severe weather information is also available online.

On Thursday, April 24, at 1:45 and 6:55 p.m., city tornado sirens will sound. Though the University is not officially participating, the drill is a good time to think about what to do if this were not a drill. It also is an opportunity for faculty to discuss with their classes the shelter location in their building, and how the class would proceed in the event of severe weather.

Information is also available from the Department of Public Safety, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management website.

More information is at the Security website.

Take Back the Night

April 23: Take Back the Night

The Women's Center's Sexual Violence Education Program will sponsor a Take Back the Night rally and march Wednesday, April 23, starting at 7 p.m.

The event will be near the fountain on the campus mall (rain location is Wissink Hall 289).

Take Back the Night's roots go back to 1877 in London, when women protested against nighttime violence on the city's streets. In 1976, women attending the International Tribunal on Crimes against Women lit candles in Belgium to denounce violence against women.

Those who want more information about the event may contact Lauren Pilnick (Sexual Violence Education), (507) 389-5127, or stop in the Women's Center, CSU 218.

April 24-27: 'Wit'

'Wit' PosterThe Department of Theatre & Dance will present Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Wit" as its Studio season closer with performances at 7:30 p.m. April 24-27 in the Andreas Theatre.

In "Wit," Vivian Bearing, Ph.D., a renowned professor of English who has spent years studying and teaching the brilliant and difficult metaphysical sonnets of John Donne, has been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. Her approach to the study of Donne is aggressively probing and intensely rational, but during her illness she comes to reassess her life and her work with a transforming profundity and humor. Her stint as a prize patient in an experimental chemotherapy program brings her new insight.

The play is directed by Megan Gredesky, a first-year MFA Directing candidate, who directed this year's children's theatre touring production, "The Rainbow Fish." In addition, she appeared as Chris in the Mainstage production "Dancing at Lughnasa." Christine Marmor Thompson, a Master of Arts student from Milwaukee, plays Vivian. She received her undergraduate degree from Wisconsin Lutheran College in 2003 and is making her Minnesota State Mankato stage debut.

Individual tickets for "Wit" are $9 regular, $8 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more, and $7 for current Minnesota State students. Those who want tickets may call the Theatre & Dance Box Office at (507) 389-6661 from 4-6 p.m., Monday through Friday, or visit the MSU Theatre website.

April 24: Rick Rickman

Cowboy Twirling Rope in PasturePulitzer Prize-winning photographer Rick Rickman will discuss "Chronicling a World on the Run" as the keynote Mass Communications Media Day speaker Thursday, April 24.

Rickman, whose work has been featured in major newspapers, magazines, books and exhibitions around the world, will show and discuss his work in 2 p.m. presentation in Ostrander Auditorium, Centennial Student Union. The event is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

His Media Day presentation is part of the Nadine B. Andreas Endowment in Arts and Humanities Visiting Artist series.

During his 30-year career as a photojournalist, Rickman has worked for National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, Audubon, Life, ESPN The Magazine, The Des Moines Register and other major daily newspapers. His work has received numerous awards, including the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for News Photography for team coverage of the 1984 Summer Olympics for The Orange County (Calif.) Register.

Rickman earned his B.A. in 1975 at New Mexico State University and lives in California. Some of Rickman's work can be viewed on his Web site.

April 24: Scholarship Barbeque

Grilling BratsThe second annual scholarship barbeque will be Thursday, April 24, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the mall between Centennial Student Union and Memorial Library.

Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for faculty and staff members, with all proceeds going to scholarships for Minnesota State Mankato students. In case of rain the event will be in Myers Field House.

The menu will include a variety of traditional barbecue food, and the event will feature music by Minneapolis' DJ Emagen, a hot wing-eating contest, a dunk tank, a bean bag toss, ladder golf and door prizes from local sponsors. Campus Kitchens will collect non-perishable food items for distribution to needy families in Mankato, and the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs will feature a ceremony to honor local war veterans.

The first 100 people to purchase a ticket online will receive an event T-shirt and a complimentary dunk tank ticket, and will be entered to win one of two hotel suites at AmericInn ($160 value). Tickets are available online.

The event is sponsored by University Dining Services, the Student Association, the College of Allied Health & Nursing, the International Center, the Sport Management Department and Campus Recreation. It was organized by Jon Lim's (Sports Management) event management undergraduate class and graduate students Bryan Romsa, Katie Bye and Jamie Marlborough.

"The students learned how to organize a successful event starting from a great idea," said Jon. "They have built relationships and, most importantly, a strong foundation for the future of this event."

April 25: Ink Cartridge Drive

The Campus Kitchens textbook and ink cartridge drive ends Friday, April 25.

Students will collect new-condition textbooks and used printer ink cartridges from anyone willing to donate. Textbooks must be the most current edition, and any ink cartridges are accepted.

Donations may be taken to the Student Leadership Development and Service Learning office (CSU 173), or donors may contact Jamie Plant.

April 28: Chrissy Gephardt

Chrissy GephardtChrissy Gephardt, daughter of former U.S. Rep. Richard Gephardt, will discuss "On God, Gays and Politics" as keynote speaker for the GaYpril event Monday, April 28, at 7 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union, Ballroom.

The event, free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public, is sponsored by the LGBT Center, Women's Center and SLD&SL.

Gephardt came out as openly lesbian in the 2004 presidential democratic primary, during her father's nomination campaign. On the forefront of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender politics, she directed the Grassroots Campaign Corps for the National Stonewall Democrats. She also was on the board of directors of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, and recently she appeared in the critically acclaimed documentary, "For the Bible Tells Me So."

Those who want more information may contact the LGBT Center by email or by calling (507) 389-5131.

April 28: Georges Liberman

Georges Liberman, CEO of Xiring, a Paris-based firm and a key European provider of security solutions for remote transactions, will present a talk entitled "Global Negotiating Business Strategies: Chinese, Japanese and European," on Monday, April 28.

The talk, sponsored by the Department of Modern Languages and the Nadine B. Andreas Endowment in Arts and Humanities, is open to students, faculty, staff and the public. It will be at 4 p.m. in Morris Hall 212.

April 29: Karen Mitchell

Karen Mitchell will present the Department of Speech Communication's Nadine B. Andreas Lecture, "Challenging College Culture through Interactive Performance," on Tuesday, April 29.

The talk, free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public, begins at 7 p.m. in CSU 284 ABC. At 11 a.m. that day Mitchell will be a featured guest on KMSU-FM (89.7).

Mitchell is founder and director of Students Against a Violent Environment, a student theatre troupe at the University of Northern Iowa. SAVE uses interactive forum theatre to address campus issues such stalking, sexual assault, and alcohol abuse. Mitchell is a professor of Communication Studies at the University of Northern Iowa.

April 29, 30; May 1: TIAA-CREF

TIAA CREFRepresentatives of TIAA-CREF will be on campus Tuesday through Thursday, April 29-May 1, for personal financial counseling sessions with faculty and staff members.

The representatives will be available to discuss how employees can use TIAA-CREF's financial products, including mutual funds and annuities.

Representatives are available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Apr 29 and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 30 and May 1. All sessions will be in CSU 285. Those who wish to schedule a session should go online or call Sue Muellner at (800) 877-6602.

April 30: Robyn Waters

Robyn Waters"Trendmaster" Robyn Waters will explain why marketers should embrace paradoxes rather than seek "right" answers during the Morgan Thomas Executive Lecture Wednesday, April 30.

Waters, a Minnesota State Mankato graduate and keynote speaker, author and hired visionary for corporate America, will share her thought-provoking ideas from 7 to 8 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Rooms 253-254-255. The College of Business lecture is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public, but seating is limited.

In a talk titled "The Trendmaster's Guide to Trend/Countertrend," Waters will urge attendees to stop looking for one right marketing answer and instead embrace paradoxes. The talk will include anecdotes about the most influential trends and countertrends, as well as suggestions about how to live with contradictions, how to make the most of inconsistencies, and how to embrace business paradoxes as a source of fresh ideas.

For more than 30 years Waters has tracked and translated trends. As Target's former vice president of trend, design and product development, she helped the regional discount chain become a national fashion destination. Marketing expert Seth Godin calls her "the woman who revolutionized what Target sells, and helped the company trounce Kmart."

She is author of The Trendmaster's Guide: Get a Jump on What Your Customer Wants Next, and The Hummer and the Mini: Navigating the Contradictions of the New Trend Landscape.

The Morgan Thomas Executive Lecture, established in 1982, is presented each year in honor of the dean of the College of Business from 1960 to 1982.

April 30: Honoring Faculty Authors

PlatoMemorial Library will host its first campus-wide reception honoring faculty authors on Wednesday, April 30. The event, free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public, will be from 1-3 p.m. in the Lass Center for Minnesota Studies, library second floor.

The library will celebrate publication of books written and/or edited by faculty and emeriti from January 2006 through March 2008. Books by the honorees are included in the Authors Collection housed in University Archives.

The Authors' Collection is a key part of Memorial Library's holdings. Its works document the intellectual heritage of the university, and the contributions of the campus community to contemporary scholarship.

Those who want more information and a list of this year's honorees may visit the Authors' Collection Web page, or contact Daardi Sizemore (Archives) at (507) 389-1029.

Those who want more information about the reception should contact Library Services at (507) 389-5952.

April 30, May 1: Dance Concert

THERMOfusionThe Department of Theatre & Dance will present its third annual Spring Dance Collection concert, "THERMOfusion," at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, April 30 and May 1 and 2, in Ted Paul Theatre.

Individual tickets are on sale now.

"THERMOfusion" mixes a diverse pool of artistic expression in dance, ranging from love and war to frivolity and fun. The result is a "storm" of 20080423, ideas and emotions.

"THERMOfusion" includes works by two student choreographers, Staci Lipps (Dance and Art) and Nicole Curry (Dance), two guest artists and faculty members Julie Kerr-Berry and Brad Garner.

Lipps' "Paper to Floor" is the result of an Undergraduate Research Grant she received to interconnect her research in printmaking and dance. The result is a colorful wash blutting the points of distinction between two-dimensional bodies.

Curry's "Historically Speaking" is a tightly woven visual representation of Franklin D. Roosevelt's "a date which will live in infamy" speech of Dec. 7, 1941. Curry's choreography and the spoken text draw strong connections to current American politics, seeking to evoke introspection rather than provoke controversy.

Works by the first two Nadine B. Andreas guest artists in dance - Mary Fitzgerald and Alan Sener - also will be featured. Fitzgerald is a former member of Kai Takei Dancers, with whom she performed internationally for more than a decade. Her piece, "Dream Work," has dancers thrashing through the space violently with jagged and often broken lines in front of a kaleidoscopic video backdrop.

Sener spent nearly 15 years dancing with Louis Falco (choreographer of the film adaptation of "Fame"). His creation, "Wind in Palm," has dancers floating over the floor in grand, sweeping circles interconnected to suggest that gravity and time have been suspended.

Tickets for "THERMOfusion" are $9 regular, $8 discount (senior citizens, youth under 16 and groups of 15 or more) and $7 for current Minnesota State students. They may be purchased at the Theatre & Dance Box Office from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday (507-389-6661). In addition, tickets may be requested online.

May 1: John Frey Reception

John FreyA retirement reception will be held Thursday, May 1, to honor John Frey, dean of the College of Science, Engineering & Technology.

The event, from 3-6 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Room 253, is open to students, faculty, staff and the public. A program will be at 5 p.m.

John will be honored for 37 years of service to Minnesota State Mankato. He was the first faculty member to teach in Trafton Science Center, which opened in 1972. Since then he has served as biology professor, assistant dean and dean of the college; has obtained tens of millions in grants; and has led dozens of legislative initiatives for new science, technology and engineering programs.

May 1, 2: Workplace Bullying Survey

Sessions on the results of the workplace bullying and psychological aggression survey are scheduled for Thursday and Friday, May 1 and 2.

The May 1 session will be from 6-7 p.m. in the North Ballroom. The May 2 open session will be from 11 a.m. to noon in Ostrander Auditorium, and private sessions will be from 1:15-2:45 p.m. in CSU 2378.

The sessions were originally scheduled for April 3 and 4.

During the rescheduled sessions, survey consultants Drs. Loraleigh Keashly and Joel Neuman will discuss the data analyses, facilitate open discussion, and provide opportunity for anonymous written feedback. Keashly and Neuman will hold a series of meetings with individuals and groups on campus, and will lead several open meetings.

"We understand that this is near the end of the term, and appreciate your continued interest and involvement in this important project," Keashly and Neuman said.

The sessions will include a summary report covering all of the data captured by the survey. The report also will be made available on the University Web site, and printed copies will be made available to those who prefer a hard copy.

May 7, 8: Savings Plan Sessions

MRS LogoA retirement counselor from the Minnesota State Retirement System will be available to meet with employees Wednesday and Thursday, May 7-8. MSRS administers the General Plan, the Health Care Savings Plan (HCSP) and the Minnesota Deferred Compensation Plan (MNDCP).

Sessions will be in CSU 123 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those who want to make an appointment should contact Wendy Schuller at 389-2015.

Employees may use the opportunity to review their plans and investments, enroll in MNDCP and ask questions of a representative.


Midwest Book Award Finalist

"Stardust and Fate: The Blueroad Reader," a collection of new writing from the road that includes works of more than a dozen Minnesota State Mankato writers and artists, has been named a finalist for a pair of 2008 Midwest Books Awards, sponsored by the Midwest Independent Publishers Association, which covers 12 states.

Published last summer by Blueroad Press and edited by mass communications professor John Gaterud, the volume features short fiction, literary journalism, essays, memoir, poetry and art.

The book is competing in the Travel and Cover Design (3-color or more) categories. Winners will be announced May 14 at a ceremony at the Minnesota Humanities Commission in St. Paul.

Minnesota State Mankato contributors include English faculty Ron Gower (emeritus), Suzanne Bunkers, Richard Robbins, Candace Black, Roger Sheffer, Terry Davis and Donna Casella; English adjunct faculty Ed Micus, Nick Healy, Nate LeBoutillier and Michael O'Hearn; Brad Widness (Art); mass comm adjunct faculty Joe Tougas and Rachael Hanel; Ann Rosenquist Fee (Publications); and Kris Higginbotham (Printing Services), who designed the cover.

Copies of "Stardust and Fate: The Blueroad Reader" are available at local bookstores and online.

Lois Hughes Dies

Professor Emerita Lois Hughes, retired Family Consumer Science faculty member, died April 9. Lois taught at Minnesota State Mankato from 1985 to 2001. She is survived by her husband, Harlan Hughes, and two daughters.

Memorials are being directed toward a scholarship in Family Consumer Science. Condolences may be sent to Harlan Hughes, 30 Ramble A Road, Laramie, WY, 82070.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Bill Bessler (Biological Sciences) recently received a Lifetime Award at the Minnesota State Science & Engineering Fair for his 24-year involvement with the statewide event. Marilyn Bessler also was honored with a Lifetime Award.

Aaron Budge and Jim Wilde (Mechanical/Civil Engineering) were invited to present at the Minnesota Department of Transportation Inspector's Conference in Baxter, Minn., in February. The presentation outlined a two-year implementation project to develop a test roller system for subgrade compaction. Aaron coauthored a paper, "Establishing and Conducting a University Geosynthetics Course," at the first Pan American Geosynthetics Conference and Exhibition in Cancun, Mexico, in March. Aaron also presented a coauthored paper, "A Modified Method for MR Testing to Evaluate Temperature Effects in Emulsion-stabilized Gravel," at GeoCongress 2008 in New Orleans, La., in March.

James Burnett and Bill Wagner (Sociology) presented "The Critical Thinking Tool Box: A Method for Thinking the Unthinkable" at the professional development conference sponsored by the Collaboration for the Advancement of College Teaching and Learning in Bloomington, Minn., in February.

Janet Cherrington (Urban & Regional Studies) was elected chair of the Janesville Planning Commission. She served as vice-chair in 2006 and 2007.

Branko Colakovic (Geography) was honored with a profile in the American Srbobran, the flagship publication of the Serb National Federation, as an outstanding "Serb American Writer."

Christopher Danielson (Mathematics/Statistics) and the Department of Mathematics hosted 30 higher education faculty from 19 institutions and organizations statewide at the Transforming Teacher Preparation Conference at Minneapolis Community and Technical College in March. The conference was the first stage of a Minnesota State-funded initiative to recruit elementary education majors to the middle school mathematics specialty license.

Kevin J. Filter (Psychology) received a Certificate of Commendation from the governor, presented by Commissioner of Education Alice Seagren, in March. The commendation recognizes his contribution as one of three trainers and state leadership team members for the Minnesota School-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Initiative.

Susan Freeman's (Women's Studies) upcoming book, "Sex Goes to School," is scheduled to be published by the University of Illinois Press.

Han-Way Huang (Electrical & Computer Engineering) will attend the American Society for Engineering Educators annual conference in June in Pittsburgh, Penn., presenting a paper, "Experience of Teaching Embedded System Design."

Bruce Jones, Gary Mead and Paul Steevens (Automotive & Manufacturing Engineering Technology) recently released four papers from a two-year study on the compatibility of E20 with automotive, marine and small engine fuel systems, performed for Minnesota to see if E20 is viable for sale in all gasoline. The papers focused on metals, plastics, elastomers and fuel pumps. The papers, released to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, can be found on the Agriculture Web site.

Bruce Jones (Automotive & Manufacturing Engineering Technology) and Vincent Winstead (Electrical & Computer Engineering) recently received $143,800 from the Minnesota Department of Transportation to convert two Ford Escape hybrid vehicles to plug-in hybrids in partnership with Hybrids Plus, Inc. of Colorado.

I.J. Kim (Mathematics/Statistics) was invited to the University of Victoria in March for research projects on matrix theory. The trip was supported in part by a NSERC Discovery Grant. He and B.L. Shader had an article, "Classification of trees each of whose associated acyclic matrices with distinct diagonal entries has distinct eigenvalues," published in the Bulletin of the Korean Mathematical Society.

Joseph Kunkel (Political Science) and Suzanne Bunkers (English) and 33 graduate and undergraduate students recently completed their sixth Study and Travel in Italy Program. Following the completion of course work, the group traveled to Rome, Naples, Sorrento and Pompeii from March 7-16, exploring Italian history, literature, politics, architecture and culture through the centuries.

Joseph Kunkel (Political Science/Law Enforcement) was interviewed in March by Pat Congdon, Associated Press, about the U.S. Senate race.

An article by Saleheen Khan (Economics), "Was China the First Domino? Revisiting the Asian Currency Crisis," was published in Economics Letters in March. Saleheen presented "Immigration, Wages, and Economic Growth: Evidence from US Data" and "Contagious Currency Crisis: How Important Is Trade Channel?" at the Midwest Economics Association meeting in Chicago in March. Saleheen also discussed a paper, "Assessing the Impact of Development Cooperation: The Case of African Growth and Opportunity Act and U.S. Imports from Sub-Shaharan Africa," at the meeting.

Theresa Mackey (Athletic Training Education) made a poster presentation, "Perceptions of participants involved in peer assisted learning in an entry-level athletic training education program," at the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers' Association's recent symposium, and was selected to the association's Research Committee.

Brian Martensen (Mathematics/Statistics) presented "Classification of expansive attractors on surfaces" at the 42nd annual Spring Topology and Dynamical Systems Conference in Milwaukee in March.

Russ Palma (Physics/Astronomy) co-authored several abstracts given as invited presentations at the international 39th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston, Texas, in March. He also presented at the international NASA Genesis Mission team meeting in Houston in March.

Jeff Pribyl (Chemistry/Geology) has been named a member of the Science Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Working Group, sponsored by the Minnesota P-16 Education Partnership.

A paper, "Anderson-Darling Statistic in Estimating the Box-Cox Transformation Parameter," by Mezbahur Rahman and Larry M. Pearson (Mathematics/Statistics) was accepted for publication in the Journal of Applied Probability and Statistics.

Gary Rockswold (Mathematics/Statistics) gave a presentation, "The Amazing Impact of Mathematics on Modern Society," at the International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics in San Antonio, Texas, in March. At this conference a University of Houston professor explained improved success rates resulting from Gary's "Essentials of College Algebra with Modeling and Visualization" in conjunction with the online system MyMathLab. Gary also participated in an open forum for faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, in March 19, discussing their experiences using two of his textbooks.

Christopher Ruhland (Biological Sciences) gave an invited departmental seminar, "Climate Change in Antarctica: Implications for vascular plant communities," to the Department of Horticultural Science at the University of Minnesota in March.

Deepak Sanjel (Mathematics/Statistics) jointly with Hyung-Tae Ha and S.B. Provost had a paper, "On the distribution of a statistic for detecting first order serial correlation," accepted for publication in the Journal of the Korean Data Analysis Society.

Patrick Sexton (Athletic Training Education) was honored as 2008 Outstanding Educator by the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers' Association at the association's recent symposium.

Fred Slocum (Political Science/Law Enforcement) presented "Authoritarian Predispositions, Militarism, Race and Religion: Explaining Republican Realignment in the South," at the Southern Political Science Association conference, New Orleans, in January. Eight of Fred's articles were published in the International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences, 2nd edition. His article, [PDF] Authoritarianism and Resistance to Diversity in the American South (109 KiB), was published in the Forum on Public Policy online edition.

Christophe Veltsos (Information Systems/Technology) in March was awarded the Certified Information Systems Auditor designation by the CISA Certification Board.

Robin R. Wingo's (Social Work) presentation, "Developing a Continuum of Social Work Field Education Opportunities, Undergraduate - Graduate," was juried and presented at the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors Conference in Destin, Fla.

Vincent Winstead (Electrical & Computer Engineering) will present a paper, "Applied Engineering with LabVIEW: Experiences from a Plug-In Hybrid Project," at the annual American Society for Engineering Educators conference in Pittsburgh, Penn., in June. Vincent also will present a paper, "Teaching Optimal Energy Expenditure Using Robotic Platforms and Microcontrollers."

Vincent Winstead (Electrical & Computer Engineering) presented a seminar, "Fuel Cells: Theory, Application and Experimentation," at the Science Museum of Minnesota in February.

Hai-Sheng Wu (Physics/Astronomy) attended the first International Photovoltaic Power Generation Expo in Tokyo Big Sight, Japan, in February.

Fei Yuan (Geography) is serving as proofreader for Mandarin translations of all abstracts of articles published in the Professional Geographer and the Annals of the Association of American Geographers.

McDonald's Restaurants Scholarships

McDonald's -- i'm lovin' itUndergraduate students with disabilities may apply for four $750 scholarships to Minnesota State Mankato, awarded by McDonald's Restaurants of Mankato.

Returning and prospective students must be enrolled for the 2008-2009 academic term at a minimum of nine credits per semester.

Those who wish to apply should complete an application and provide all requested documents by June 6. Applications are available from the Office of Disability Services, 132 Memorial Library, or by calling (507) 389-2825 (V/TTY) or 711 (MRS/TTY).

Student Achievements

Sara Buechmann, Mitch Hofer and Morgan Winkworth (Social Studies) co-presented "Developing Good Judgment: An Examination of the Immigration Raids at the Swift Plant in Worthington, Minn., December 2006" at the Minnesota Council for the Social Studies Conference in Shakopee in March.

Research by Tracey Hammell (History), "Amelia Bowing and the One Thousand-Acre Forest," was honored as a Graduate Student Project of the Year by the President's Commission on the Status of Women.

Justin Newman and Ryan Wiesen (Political Science/Law Enforcement) and Fred Slocum, attended the Midwest Political Science Undergraduate Research Center at Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa, in March. Ryan presented his paper, "A Comparison of Pension Reform: Hungary and Russia."

Senior athletic training student Tia Nowacki's multimedia presentation "The Abdominal and Thoracic Evaluation" was named first place in its category in the National Athletic Trainers' Association's recent multimedia competition.

Ray Sin, Jessica Friton, Thad Shunkwiler and Matt Lust (Sociology) won first place in the Sociologists of Minnesota Problem Solving Contest and received certificates and prizes of $50 each.


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 May 7; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (May 2).

You should also submit your event to the university's official Campus Events Calendar. Go to the events calendar website, click on the self-service "Submit Event" link, and provide the information requested.