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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

June 4, 2008 Campus Newsletter

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$7 Million from Glen, Becky Taylor

Glen and Becky Taylor

Glen and Becky Taylor explain why they gave $7 million to the School of Nursing: To elevate the impact of the new Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and to encourage development of more doctoral programs.

Glen and Becky Taylor's pledge of $7 million to the School of Nursing will fund a new endowed faculty chair, a nursing institute and doctoral fellowships in nursing. The gift, announced May 8, creates one of the best-endowed academic chairs in Minnesota.

The Taylors' gift will fund:

  • The Glen Taylor Family and Society Endowed Nursing Faculty Chair;
  • The Glen Taylor Nursing Institute for Family and Society;
  • The Becky Taylor Doctoral Fellowships in Nursing.

The endowed nursing chair will be held by a nationally prominent nurse-scholar who will lead the work and promote the mission of the Nursing Institute and its projects. The fully endowed fellowships will generate grants for Doctor of Nursing Practice students and their capstone clinical projects.

"Glen and Becky Taylor's continued generosity will provide a sound foundation for our Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and will help to revolutionize the study of family health care," said President Richard Davenport. "I fully expect that Glen and Becky's gift will lead the doctoral program to national academic prominence. The Nursing Institute for Family and Society promises to make health care more meaningful, attentive and responsive to families. I am deeply grateful to the Taylors for their generous gift."

The gift emphasizes the continued significance of nurses in health care.

"Nurses have always played a critical role in the health-care system, and in the future they will be more important than ever to the well-being of families," said Glen and Becky Taylor. "We know that the new endowed chair, the Nursing Institute and the doctoral fellowships at Minnesota State Mankato will create models that will help nurses better serve all families."

The gift is the latest of several major Glen Taylor donations to Minnesota State Mankato, including funding for the Taylor Center and the food science laboratories, and scholarships for students who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Taylor is chairman of Mankato-based Taylor Corporation and is a Minnesota State Mankato alumnus.

"The Nursing Institute will encourage inquiry, discovery and innovation by establishing new state, national and international partnerships that will span the traditional health-care disciplines," said Kaye Herth (Allied Health & Nursing). "These collaborations will create better health care models, and will recognize nursing as a critical element in the health-care dialogue."

A national search for an endowed chair for the institute will begin immediately, and the new programs are expected to begin in the 2008-'09 academic year.

Math, Science Teacher Academy

Cartoon of Teacher at ChalkboardThe Minnesota Department of Education has named Minnesota State Mankato as the lead institution for one of nine new Mathematics and Science Teacher Academies intended to improve mathematics and science teaching and learning.

The College of Education will lead the Region 9 academy's programs for K-12 teachers in south central Minnesota. Other Region 9 partners include the South Central Cooperative Agency, Normandale Community College, Gustavus Adolphus College and the Science Museum of Minnesota.

The academies will use ongoing, high-quality professional development to improve math and science instruction. School districts will send teams of teachers to one of the centers for summer training. These certified trainers will then train other teachers in their respective districts and surrounding regions.

In Region 9, initial training sessions will be on the Minnesota State Mankato campus, with some follow-up sessions at the South Central Cooperative Agency in North Mankato. In addition to on-campus training, teachers will participate in online discussions.

Academy faculty will begin their work Wednesday, June 4. The first training session with administrators and leaders is June 26, and teacher training will take place July 7 and 8 for half of the participants, and July 22 and 23 for the other half.

Funding for the program was approved in 2007 by the Minnesota Legislature. Additional money is from a National Governors Association grant.

The eight other academies are at Thief River Falls, Mountain Iron, Fergus Falls, Staples, Marshall, St. Cloud, Rochester and Plymouth. Each center includes one higher education partner, but Minnesota State Mankato is the only university to lead an academy.

Doug Mayo: Advancement VP

Doug MayoDouglas (Doug) Mayo has been appointed vice president for University Advancement by President Richard Davenport.

Doug will assume his new duties in mid-August. As vice president for University Advancement, he will be responsible for overall fund-raising efforts and will oversee development, alumni relations and external relations, including integrated marketing, KMSU-FM radio and printing services.

Michael Miller (Education), who has served as interim vice president of University Advancement since November 2007, will return to his position as dean of the College of Education.

"In the last several years Minnesota State Mankato has achieved significant name recognition within the system and has substantially increased its private fundraising," President Davenport said. "Doug Mayo will take those efforts to even greater heights. He is a strong leader and an influential fundraiser, and his experience in the private and public sectors will produce outstanding results for our university."

Doug is director of development for the College of Agricultural Sciences at Colorado State University. He held a similar position at Purdue University, where he also served as staff counsel and worked in corporate and foundation relations before joining the development team.

His experience also includes service as vice president at Commercial Plating, Inc., Indianapolis, Ind., and he practiced law in North Carolina. He served as president of the metal finishing trade organization in Indianapolis, is a former president of the Yadkin County (N.C.) Bar Association, and has led several local civic organizations. He also helped develop fundraising operations for local, state and national organizations.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Purdue University with a double major in political science and history and a minor in education. He earned a law degree from the Wake Forest University School of Law.

President Davenport extended special thanks to Michael Miller for his service as interim vice president. "I very much appreciate the leadership he provided to the University Advancement Division and as a member of my Cabinet," Davenport said. He also thanked the search committee, led by Foundation Board member David Andreas and Robert Hoffman (Strategic Partnerships) for identifying strong candidates and bringing them to campus.

Faculty Research Grants

Lab BeakersEight faculty members have been awarded 2007-2008 Faculty Research Grants.

The grants provide seed funding for research and creative projects by faculty members. The eight recent awardees comprise the second group of faculty researchers to receive 2007-08 grants; the first round of 15 recipients was announced in October 2007.

The latest Faculty Research Grant recipients and their projects:

  • Steven Mercurio (Biological Sciences), "Determination of Yield and Risk of Algal Toxin in Blue-Green Algae in Lake Crystal, Minn."
  • Nadja Kramer (Modern Languages), "Fascism as Domestic Colonialization: Overlooked Parallels between German Colonial and Nazi Ideology and Political Practice."
  • Paul Mackie (Social Work): "Is There Really a Problem with Hiring Rural Social Workers?"
  • Erik Waterkotte (Art), "Creating Tangible Impressions from Virtual Possibilities, Integrating Digital and Traditional Printmaking in Studio Art."
  • Barbara Carson (Sociology & Corrections), "Effectiveness of International Sentencing Practices on Reducing Prison Overcrowding."
  • Chad Wittkop (Chemistry & Geology), "Surficial Geologic Mapping and Terrain Analysis in Southwest Montana."
  • Michael Bentley (Biological Sciences), "Microvasculature of Hearts from Transgenic Mice Deficient in Actin Capping Protein."
  • Vincent Zhang (Electrical & Computer Engineering), "Novel Fiber Amplifier Simulation Models with Simulation Accuracy Control."

First-round Faculty Research Grant Recipients, announced in late 2007, are:

  • Saeed Moaveni and Karen Chou (Mechanical & Civil Engineering), "Detecting Structural Deficiencies in Steel Bridges."
  • Kevin Filter (Psychology), "School Psychology Practices, Barriers to Preferred Practices, and Job Satisfaction."
  • Suzannah Armentrout (Human Performance), "Youth Hockey Attrition: Parents' Perceptions of Organizational Barriers in Minnesota Hockey."
  • Julie Kerr-Berry (Theatre & Dance), "Urban Tumba: A Dance & Afro-Cuban Jazz Collaboration."
  • Steven Losh (Chemistry & Geology), "Fluid Sources and the Search for High-Grade Iron Ore on the Mesabi Iron Range, Minnesota."
  • Youwen Xu (Physics & Astronomy), "Investigation of the Crystallization Process of Nd-Fe-B Melt-Spun Ribbons."
  • Anthony Filipovitch (Urban & Regional Studies), "Mapping the Nonprofit Sector in Ghana."
  • Christopher Conlin (Biological Sciences), "Function and Localization of a Bacteria Esterase."
  • Daria Paul Dona (Educational Studies), "Preparing Minnesota Teachers for Diverse Contexts."
  • Alisa Eimen (Art), "Iran at the Venice Biennale: Tracing Iran's International Exhibition."
  • Dorothy Wrigley (Biological Sciences), "Apoptosis in Earthworm Coelomic Cells."
  • John Janc (Modern Languages), "A Critical Edition of Victor Hugo's Play 'Marion de Lorme.'"
  • Matthew Willemsen (Art), "Conceptualizing Brand Identity."
  • David Bissonnette (Family Consumer Science), "A case report examining, in two overweight adult females, the impact of a exercise in combination with either a non-calorie restricted diet or a calorie-restricted diet on body composition, fat deposition and total weight loss."

Voice Mail Upgrade

This summer IT Services will upgrade the voice mail system with services that will add new functionality and convenience, including voice access to email and email calendars.

The upgrade began June 2 and is expected to be complete by the end of summer or earlier.

IT will notify each department of the day of the departmental conversion.

The new MavMAIL Voice Access will offer rich voice mail service to faculty and staff as before, and will:

  • Allow e-mail access with voice commands;
  • Read an e-mail message;
  • Reply to an e-mail or forward it based on voice commands;
  • Access calendars and reschedule meetings with voice commands;
  • Access the campus phone directory;
  • Reduce the inbox size of voice mail messages.

The new voice mail system will change perform somewhat differently during and after conversion of all phones on campus. More information about the new system is available at, or to have information mailed to you contact Julie Bruggeman at 389-2226.

Today: LabMan Conference

"LabMan," a national conference for experts who maintain and oversee computing labs in colleges, universities, school districts and libraries, is being hosted on campus through today (June 4).

The ninth annual conference, sponsored by the Academic Computer Center, lets participants discuss issues with colleagues from other institutions. The conference, covering technical and administrative functions, is in Centennial Student Union.

The LabMan conference also provides participants with up-to-date information, education and resources on the latest developments in technology, application implementation, products and services from information technology experts.

Keynote speaker for one session as Mark Johnson, president of Fujairah Colleges in the United Arab Emirates and former chief information officer for Minnesota State Mankato. A representative from the FBI Cyber Squad will keynote the June 4 session, and Mike Bombich, a top Apple engineer, will speak at the lunch seminar.

June 6: McDonald's Scholarships

McDonald's LogoApplications for four $750 scholarships from McDonald's Restaurants of Mankato must be completed by Friday, June 6.

The scholarships are for undergraduate students with disabilities. Returning and prospective students must be enrolled at Minnesota State Mankato for the 2008-2009 academic term at a minimum of nine credits per semester.

Applications are available in the Office of Disability Services, 132 Memorial Library, or by calling (507) 389-2825 (V/TTY) or 711 (MRS/TTY). Those who want more information should contact Julie Snow (Disability Services).

June 12-15: 'Smokey Joe's Café'

Highland Summer Theatre 2008 LogoDirector Paul Finocchiaro and musical director Nick Wayne take charge in "Smokey Joe's Café" Thursday through Sunday, June 12-15, the second production of the 42nd annual Highland Summer Theatre. The pair combined their efforts last season with "Cats" and "Thoroughly Modern Millie."

They'll lead a cast of nine through nearly 40 songs written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller that include "Dance with Me," "Kansas City," "Fools Fall in Love," "Hound Dog," "Love Potion No. 9," "Spanish Harlem" and many more. The cast is a mix of current students - Mathias Becker, Jacleen Olson, Clayton Rutschow, Travis Shafer and Andrew D. Umphrey - alumni such as Akia Shenise Fleming, Mallory Martin and Toby Miller - and returning performers such as Christina Dyrland Smith, who appeared previously in the revue "Jerry's Girls" as well as last summer's "Bye Bye Birdie."

Unlike many of the current crop of musical revues, "Smokey Joe's Café" doesn't try to create a storyline to tie the songs together. Instead, each song is a vignette that tells its own story before moving on. It's brought to life on a set designed by third-year MFA scenic designer Allen Wright Shannon that represents a performance hall with a variety of separate spaces.

Performances for "Smokey Joe's Café" are 7:30 p.m. June 12-15 in the Ted Paul Theatre. Individual tickets are $20 regular, $18 discounted and $14 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. They're available by calling the Theatre & Dance Box Office at (507) 389-6661 between 4 and 6 p.m., Monday-Friday, or by visiting the theatre department web site.

Campus Cleanup

Two Women GardeningThe annual all-campus flower planting and cleanup was Wednesday, May 7.

Facilities Management coordinated the event, and volunteers planted flowers, raked and collected trash across campus.

Wanted: Family Weekend Events

MSU Family Weekend 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.

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.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Steve Buechler's (Sociology & Corrections) new book, Critical Sociology, will be published by Paradigm Publishers in June. An article by Steve, "Social Strain, Structural Breakdown, Political Opportunity, and Collective Action," was published in the British on-line journal Sociology Compass. Another article, "What's Critical about Sociology?" will appear in the fall issue of Teaching Sociology.

Heather Biedermann and Bobby Bothmann (Library) completed the Fundamentals of Acquisitions online course by the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services division of the American Library Association. Heather also completed Frontline Leadership: The Science and Art of Supervision training delivered by the Office of the Chancellor, and was elected to a two-year term as state university representative of the Acquisitions/Serials User Group, a consortium of MnPALS Libraries.

Heather Biedermann, Dawn Clyne, Julie Dornack and Peg Lawrence (Library) completed "23 Things on a Stick: A Library Learning 2.0 Program," an online course delivered by Minnesota's seven multi-county, multi-type library systems. The program encouraged learning about new and emerging technologies.

Bobby Bothmann (Library) taught the "Introduction to Description" Minnesota Opportunities for Technical Services Excellence workshop at Hennepin County Public Library in April. Bobby also was inducted into the Gamma Theta Upsilon international honor society in geography, and was re-elected for another two-year term as the state university representative and co-convener of the Cataloging User Group, Consortium of MnPALS Libraries.

Suzanne Bunkers (English) and Ann Rosenquist Fee (Integrated Marketing) edited the James Nickerson book Out of Chaos: Reflections of a college president and his contemporaries on Vietnam-era unrest in Mankato and its relevance today, by Dr. Nickerson, who was president of Minnesota State College during the Vietnam era.

Barbara Carson (Sociology & Corrections) presented "Chilean Reform of the Criminal Court Process after Pinochet" at the Midwest Sociological Society meeting in St. Louis in March.

Casey Duevel (Library) attended ARLD Day Professional Development workshop at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in April.

Nancy Fitzsimons, Victoria Hanson and Missy Manderfeld (Social Work) accompanied 17 students to Social Work Day at the Capitol. The Department of Social Work received the National Association of Social Workers Minnesota Chapter Advocacy Award for the second year in a row.

Tomasz Inglot's (Political Science & Law Enforcement) book, Welfare States in East Central Europe, 1919-2004, has been published by Cambridge University Press. The book was released in the United States in May, and will be released in Europe in June.

Joe Kunkel (Political Science & Law Enforcement) recently was interviewed by Mark Zdechlik, Minnesota Public Radio, about DFL candidates for U.S. Senate. Joe also was interviewed by MPR's Tom Scheck about Congressman Betty McCollum and other's criticism of DFL Senate Candidate Al Franken., and by Kevin Duchschere of the Star Tribune about Sen. Norm Coleman's campaign.

Stephen J. Larson's (Finance) article about the legal and financial disadvantages of not being married is featured in the current edition of the Journal of Financial Service Professionals. Stephen and Hamline law student Robert B. Larson wrote "The Disadvantages of Not Being Married" to inform financial planners who work with gay and lesbian as well as nonmarried heterosexual couples.

Paul F.E. Mackie (Social Work) presented "Professional Burnout: Are social workers really as crispy as we think?" at the Minnesota Social Service Association Conference in Bloomington in March.

Pete McDonnell, Rosemary Mock, Joni Myers, Peg Lawrence and Lynne Weber (Library) attended the Consortium of MnPALS User Groups meeting in April at St. Cloud State University. Pete also attended ARLD Day Professional Development workshop at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Vinai Norasakkunkit (Psychology) received a $12,000 grant from Kyoto University to conduct research in Japan this summer on the mental health impact of globalization. He also was awarded the prestigious JSPS (the Japanese equivalent of the National Science Foundation) Fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Luis Posas (Sociology & Corrections) presented a paper, "Negotiating Alliances, Compromising Goals and Making Laws: The Case of the Environmental Movement of the Oriental Region of Honduras," at the Midwest Sociological Society in March.

Leah Rogne (Sociology & Corrections) organized and chaired a session on "Careers in Sociology" at the Midwest Sociological Society meeting, St. Louis, Mo., in March.

Stewart Ross (Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning) presented an all-day workshop on course design for 90 faculty at Central State University in Dayton, Ohio, in May. He also presented workshops at Ashford College in Clinton, Iowa, and in Louisville, Ken.

Daardi Sizemore (Archives) attended the Midwest Archives Conference annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.

Fred Slocum (Political Science & Law Enforcement) attended the Midwest Political Science Association conference in April, and served on the "Race and Identity" panel.

Jocelyn Stitt (Women's Studies) presented papers on "Jamaican Mary Seacole's 1857 memoir of her work as a nurse during the Crimean War" at the British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference, in February, and on Caribbean and British women writers in the 1790s at the British Women Writers Conference in March at Indiana University. Jocelyn was invited to be part of a roundtable discussion of race, colonialism and landscape at the American Literature Association Conference in San Francisco in May. And Jocelyn's book, Before Windrush: Recovering an Asian and Black Literary History within Britain, co-edited with Pallavi Rastogi (Cambridge Scholars Press), is available this summer.

Employee Appreciation Breakfast

The Employee Appreciation Breakfast

President Davenport spoke in May at the annual
Employee Appreciation Breakfast, celebrating the end
to a successful academic year and hosted by the
Employee Recognition Committee.

Navigating the Missouri

William E. Lass (History, professor emeritus) has written a new book, Navigating the Missouri, a history of steamboating on the Missouri River from 1819-1935.

Bill's latest book explores migration and commerce on the Santa Fe Trail, the Platte River Road and routes to the Montana gold mines. It also looks at the economic and political milieu of steamboating, and the rich social history of life on the Missouri. The book explains how the steamboat companies evolved to exploit new opportunities.

Bill also is author of From the Missouri to the Great Salt Lake: An Account of Overland Freighting and Minnesota: A History.

The book was released this month by its publisher, Arthur H. Clark Company of the University of Oklahoma Press.

Tinfoil Terrorists

Tinfoiled OfficeTinfoiled Office

The "Tinfoil Terrorists" - graduate students in Industrial Psychology - struck the
IP office in 332 Wiecking two days before commencement. The students spent
the night wrapping every piece of furniture and office supply in aluminum foil.
The foil was recycled after it was removed.

Students Collect for Food Shelf

The National Residence Hall Honorary collected 381 pounds of non-perishable food items for the ECHO Food Shelf during a residence hall drive April 28 and 29.

The students collected food items that otherwise would have been thrown out at the end of the year.

NRHH is a student-run organization whose membership is limited to the top 1 percent of student leaders living on campus. The organization strives to provide resources and motivation to residents, promote involvement in the resident halls, and facilitate leadership development by recognizing students who make a difference.

Student Achievements

Four students and two student clubs were recognized during the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences' annual Community Service Award breakfast in April 29. The award honors exemplary voluntary community service by students. Student award winners are Gary Kiekenapp-Higgins, Amanda Goers, Jennifer Lattin and Vang Tou Xiong. The College also recognized the Psi Chi National Honor Society (Psychology) and the Social Work club.

MacKenzie Collin (Social Work) and advisor Paul F.E. Mackie presented "Teaching ICWA Online: Undergraduate child welfare student learning" at the National Indian Child Welfare Association Conference in Minneapolis in April.

Jessica Friton and Ashley Gutknecht (Sociology & Corrections) were panelists for "Surviving Graduate School" during the Midwest Sociological Society meeting in St. Louis, Mo., in March. The panel was co-sponsored by the Student Issues Committee and co-organized by Megan Sieberg.

Alyssa George, Justin Ludwigson, Justin Newman and Ryan Wiesen (Political Science & Law Enforcement), and Fred Slocum, attended the Midwest Political Science Association conference in Chicago in April.

Laura Grubbs (Psychology), accompanied by faculty mentor Dawn Albertson, presented a talk on their work, "Individual Experiences and Subjective Effects of Salvia Divinorum among Recreational Users," at the National Undergraduate Research Center in Salisbury, Md.

Gary Kiekenapp-Higgins received the first Perry Wood Community Service Award of $500. The award is named after long-time faculty member Perry Wood and goes to the most outstanding student receiving a Social & Behavioral Sciences Community Service Award.

Erin Salonek and Laura Grubbs (Psychology) presented their research as part of the Psi Chi program at the annual conference of the Midwestern Psychological Association in Chicago in May. Erin, advised by Dawn Albertson and Emily Stark (Psychology), presented "Understanding Attitudes Toward Drug Use." Laura, advised by Dawn, presented "Individual Experiences and Subjective Effects of Salvia Dinorum among Recreational Users."

Megan Sieberg (Sociology & Corrections) presented "Students' Grade Point Averages and Their Relationship to Extracurricular Participation" at the Midwest Sociological Society meeting in St. Louis, Mo., in March.


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 July 2; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (June 27).

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.