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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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July 2, 2008 Campus Newsletter

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7700 France

Full Programs in the Twin Cities

Starting Aug. 25, Twin Cities residents need travel no farther than Edina to complete Minnesota State Mankato bachelor's and master's degrees. That's when Minnesota State Mankato opens its new 7700 France site, becoming the only state university to offer full programs in multiple disciplines in the suburban Twin Cities.

Students at 7700 France initially will be able to get undergraduate degrees in speech communication, creative writing, elementary education, special education and secondary education (mathematics), and graduate degrees in public administration, corrections, human services administration, special education and community health.

In addition, Minnesota State Mankato at 7700 France will offer American Sign Language as an undergraduate course, and nursing and teaching and learning as graduate courses. In future years, officials plan to add an MBA program, adult degree-completion programs and other courses.

The classes, intended to fit the busy schedules of working professionals, will be offered primarily in the afternoon and evening. Though the classes are for nontraditional students, full university support and services will be available.

The 7700 France site will provide 10-12 classrooms, meeting rooms, office spaces, common spaces for breakout sessions and study groups, an arboretum-style cafeteria, wireless Internet access and plentiful free parking. The site also is on a Metro Transit bus route, is five minutes from Normandale Community College, and offers quick access to and from I-494.

"This new site makes it much more convenient for Twin Cities residents to get degrees from one of Minnesota's finest state universities," said President Richard Davenport. "This will be just the beginning of a bright future as we expand our baccalaureate and graduate degree offerings at 7700 France."

"We know that many of our students will be working professionals, so we'll offer classes at convenient times - in the evening and on Saturdays," said Patricia Lipetzky (University Extended Education). "7700 France, just two blocks north of 494, is one of the most easily accessed sites in the southwest Twin Cities. It has ample free parking; it's close to restaurants, office buildings and malls; and it's on a major bus route."

Classes will be taught by Minnesota State Mankato faculty from the colleges of Education, Social & Behavioral Sciences and Arts & Humanities, and the School of Nursing. Henry Morris will be site director.

Those who want more information may call 1-800-722-0544, Ext. 9, or go to Registration information also is available at the Web site.


Discovering a New Mineral

Russell PalmaRussell Palma (Physics & Astronomy) had a crucial role in the discovery of a new mineral that was found in the upper reaches of the atmosphere and apparently came from a comet.

Russ is a member of a team of NASA researchers from the United States, Germany and Japan who found the new mineral, a manganese silicide named Brownleeite. NASA announced the discovery in mid-June.

"This is the kind of information that will show up in textbooks in the coming years," Russ said. It is the first new mineral that is traceable to a comet, he added.

Brownleeite was found in an interplanetary dust particle that appears to have originated from comet 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup. The comet was discovered in 1902 and reappears every five years.

For many years Russ has collaborated with Johnson Space Center scientists in Houston, Texas, studying interplanetary dust particles. Russ also is a member of NASA's Stardust Mission Team, investigating the interplanetary dust particles collected from comet Wild 2 in 2004.

More information about the new discovery can be found on the NASA Web site.


Mavericks: Third in Directors' Cup

United States Sports AcademySeventeen Minnesota State Mankato teams scored points in NCAA postseason competition, pushing the university to its highest-ever ranking in the final US Sports Academy Directors' Cup.

The Mavericks finished third with 813.75 points - the top 1 percent of the 290 schools that compete in NCAA Division II. The previous best finish was last season, when the Mavericks ranked fourth.

This year's finish marks the seventh consecutive year that the Mavericks have improved on their previous year's finish.

Minnesota State Mankato has finished in the top 25 seven times in the 13 years since the Directors' Cup program was inaugurated.

"This has been another outstanding year and I am extremely proud of everything we have accomplished," said Kevin Buisman (Athletics). "It is a credit to a fine group of coaches, tremendous student-athletes, and wonderful support from our university administration, fans, donors and boosters. We have continued to raise the bar in recent years and we look forward to the challenge of sustaining that success as we transition the program into the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference next year."

Posting top-25 finishes for Minnesota State Mankato in 2007-08 NCAA postseason events were wrestling (second), women's bowling (fifth), men's cross country (fifth), men's indoor track & field (seventh), women's basketball (ninth), women's soccer (ninth), women's indoor track & field (ninth), women's golf (ninth), men's swimming (14th), women's outdoor track and field (14th), softball (17th), women's swimming (22nd) and baseball (25th).

Other teams tallying points in NCAA postseason competition were volleyball (33rd), men's basketball (33rd), men's golf (34th) and men's outdoor track and field (54th).


Commerce Department Grants

Wind TurbinesFive faculty members have been awarded Minnesota Department of Commerce grants for researching renewable energy sources.

Vince Winstead (Electronic & Computer Engineering Technology) and Bruce Jones (Automotive & Manufacturing Engineering Technology) received a $145,800 grant to study residential wind power.

Patrick Tebbe and Saeed Moaveni (Mechanical & Civil Engineering), and Lou Schwartzkopf (Physics & Astronomy) have received a $59,164 grant for the performance analysis of solar thermal walls in the Twin Cities area.

The Winstead-Jones project will help provide the public with impartial information about residential wind systems, and will ensure that installers and service providers get consistent training. The researchers will purchase, install, test and operate four commercially available, residential wind-powered electric generation systems. They will integrate the information from their tests into training documents.

The Tebbe-Moaveni-Schwartzkopf project will evaluate the thermal performance of existing solar walls on four buildings in Minneapolis and St. Paul area. Thermal performance of the solar walls will be measured, analyzed and modeled for use in alterative building designs. The difference in consumption of fossil fuel energy of the buildings will be determined and compared to similar buildings without solar walls.


$10,000 from Xcel

Five People Holding a Large Check

University officials accept a $10,000 gift from Xcel Energy Corp. for scholarships and an endowment fund in the College of Science, Engineering & Technology. The gift was presented by David Pearson (second from left), Xcel's community and local government relations manager. Accepting on behalf of the university are (from left) Patti Kramlinger, CSET development officer; Pearson; Margaret Preska, former president of the university; David Haglin, interim associate dean of the College of Science, Engineering & Technology; and Margot Zelenz, director of development.

Xcel Energy Corp. has donated $10,000 for scholarships and an endowment fund in the College of Science, Engineering & Technology.

The gift was presented to the University recently by David Pearson, Xcel's community and local government relations manager. Half ($5,000) is for science and engineering scholarships, and the other $5,000 is for the Xcel scholarship endowment fund.

Pearson presented the check to President Emeritus Margaret R. Preska, who accepted on behalf of President Richard Davenport.

Margaret, president of the university from 1979 to 1992 and a 28-year member of the Xcel board of directors, thanked Xcel for its continued support, pointing out that the company has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars for scholarships and research.

This year a record number of students from the College of Science, Engineering & Technology applied for Xcel Scholarships. Recipients for 2008-2009 will be announced at the annual scholarship banquet Aug. 28.


Accountability Dashboard

Minnesota State LogoThe Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system has launched the Board of Trustees Accountability Dashboard to track performance of the system and its 32 colleges and universities on 10 key measures.

The dashboard, available online at, displays such indicators as:

  • Net tuition and fees as percent of median income;
  • Student persistence and completion;
  • Related employment of graduates;
  • Licensure exam pass rates;
  • Percent change in enrollment; and
  • Condition of facilities.

Data are available for six of the 10 performance indicators. The other four indicators are under development.

The dashboard will help the Board of Trustees determine how to better use the system's resources and ensure that our colleges and universities meet the educational needs of the growing numbers of Minnesotans pursuing higher education.

To access the dashboard, go to The dashboard works best with Internet Explorer, and all pop-ups must be disabled.


July 4: Fireworks over Blakeslee

FireworksThe traditional Fourth of July fireworks display will sparkle again this year over Blakeslee Stadium.

The free display will be at 10 p.m., preceded by a Mankato Municipal Band patriotic music concert and Color Guard performance at 8 p.m. on Blakeslee Field. Everyone from the greater Mankato community is invited to all of the evening's events.

Blakeslee Stadium gates will open to the public at 7 p.m., and guests may park in lots 20 through 23 south of Stadium road and east of Warren Street. Special needs parking will be in lots 5, 8 and 9 near Taylor Center.

Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on campus, including the stadium, and personal coolers are not allowed at Friday's event.

This year's greater Mankato fireworks extravaganza is presented by the City of Mankato, Pepsi, Schwickert's, The Free Press, Unicel, Ridley, Jake's Stadium Pizza and Hy-Vee.

Food vendors include Culver's and Angie's Kettle Corn.


July 7: Thank-a-Thon

People Holding up Letters that Read '$THANK YOU!$'Faculty and staff are invited to be guest volunteers during of the six days of the annual Thank-a-Thon July 7-16, when volunteers will phone 12,000 Alumni Foundation donors to thank them for their fiscal year 2008 contributions.

Those to be called include alumni, friends, parents, faculty, staff, emeriti and students. The dates are Monday through Wednesday, July 7-9 or July 14-16. The Thank-a-Thon will take place at the Annual Fund Call Center from 6 to 8:30 p.m. each day.

Volunteers will need five minutes of software training, and may work from 15 minutes to two and a half hours. Guest volunteers generally give 30 minutes of their time.

Those interested in more information or in signing up as a guest volunteer may contact Laurel Schemmel (University Development) at 389-5951 or at


July 11-13, 17-20: 'Music Man'

Harold Hill and Marian ParooThe Department of Theatre & Dance will conclude its 42nd annual Highland Summer Theatre with Meredith Willson's classic American musical, "The Music Man." Performances are 7:30 p.m. July 11-13 and 17-20 in the Ted Paul Theatre of the Performing Arts Center.

The musical is sponsored by Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic, PA, Eide Bailly LLP and the Pamela & Wynn Kearney Foundation.

"The Music Man" tells the story of a traveling salesman, Harold Hill, and his visit to a small Iowa town in 1912 where he meets and falls in love with the willful spinster librarian, Marian Paroo. With his fast-talking style, the "professor" convinces the town to adopt his revolutionary music program.

Songs include "Wells Fargo Wagon," "Iowa Stubborn" and "Till There Was You." Minnesota State Mankato last presented "The Music Man" in 1996.

It is directed by Paul J. Hustoles, with scenic design by Randy York. Musical direction is by Nick Wayne, with choreography by Nikki Swoboda (MFA candidate).

Andrew D. Umphrey (MFA candidate) stars as Harold Hill, with 2008 graduate Mallory Martin as Marian Paroo. The roles of the River City School Board will be played by members of the quartet "Magic," featuring Bruce Gray, Doug Peterson, Ellis Jones and Frank Selvey. In addition, 10 community children comprise the chorus and the lead roles of Winthrop (Cedar Mowrey) and Amaryllis (Bridget Foy).

Tickets are $20 for regular admission, $18 for those over 65, under 16 or in groups of 15 or more, and $14 for Minnesota State Mankato students. They are available 4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday by calling 507-389-6661. A ticket request form may be submitted online.

The Saturday, July 12, performance will be ASL interpreted. For tickets to utilize the interpreter, call the Box Office before Thursday, July 10, and mention that you will utilize the interpreter's services.


July 14: Employee Expense Deadline

Completed employee expense reports for business expenses incurred in FY 2008 (7/1/07 - 6/30/08) must be submitted to Business Services no later than Monday, July 14.

Reports for expenses incurred in FY08 received after this date will require a written explanation which must be approved and signed by the division head before the expenses can be reimbursed.

This applies not only to travel, but any reimbursement that would be listed under "Other Expenses" on an employee expense report (supplies, copies, software, tuition, etc.).

A trip which begins in June and extends into July is charged to the fiscal year which has the most days of travel. For example, travel which begins June 28, 2008, and ends July 9, 2008, should be charged to FY09.

Those who have questions or would like additional information should contact Cindy Rossow at 389-5006 or


July 15: Upward Bound Blood Drive

American Red Cross: Together We Can Save a LifeThe Upward Bound program will sponsor a Red Cross Bloodmobile Tuesday, July 15.

The blood drive will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union ballroom. Double blood cell donations also will be taken.

Appointments can be made by:

  • Calling 389-1211;
  • Going online and entering sponsor code 5952 at
  • Walk-ins are also welcome, and all persons donating will receive a Noodles coupon.

Those interested in more information may contact Gladys Barbeau.


July 15: Students with Children

Student-parents and their families are invited to discuss concerns about and changes in services and resources for students with children on Tuesday, July 15, at 5 p.m. in Centennial Student Union 238.

The event, sponsored by Student Activities, is an open session for students who are parents.


Mileage Reimbursement Rate

The Internal Revenue Service has announced an increase in the standard mileage reimbursement rate for business miles used by state employees effective July 1 through Dec. 31.

Mileage rates are used to calculate reimbursements to employees who use their personal vehicle for business trips. The university utilizes two reimbursement rates: The IRS standard mileage reimbursement rate (58.5 cents) is used when a state-owned vehicle is not available. A lesser rate (51.5 cents) is used when an employee declines to use a state vehicle, or does not request one.

The new IRS rates are an increase from the previous 50.5-cents-per-mile standard rate.

Those who want more information about travel or expense reimbursements should contact Cindy Rossow (Business Services) at 389-5006 or Additional information about Minnesota State Mankato business travel can also be found online.


Mankato Area Lifelong Learners

MSU for SeniorsThe organization formerly known as "MSU for Seniors" has changed its name to "Mankato Area Lifelong Learners."

The organization, open to the public, provides cultural and intellectual stimulation and growth, and welcomes anyone 55 years of age or older who wishes to share the joys of learning and friendship.

Taking Mankato Area Lifelong Learners classes requires no prerequisites, examinations or grades. Special events and social activities provide opportunities to make new friends. Annual membership is $10 (July 1 to June 30); tuition fees are $25 for each term.

The office is located at 115 Wiecking Center. Those who want more information may call 389-2011.


Force Science Research Center News in French

Force Science Research Center

Research gathered and developed by the Force Science Research Center is being translated into French for distribution to Canadian police.

The center's monthly e-newsletter, Force Science News, will be translated to French for delivery to 14,000 members of police forces in the province of Quebec. Force Science News already is delivered in English to thousands of police officers and administrators in the United States, Great Britain and elsewhere.

The newsletter outlines new research about the use of deadly force - findings intended to prevent accidental shootings and reduce injuries to police officers and crime suspects.

The Canadian Police Research Council and the Quebec National Police School asked the Force Science Research Center to translate the research for French-speaking officers.

"This relationship is a clear indication of the global need for and interest in the work we are doing at the center," said Bill Lewinski (Political Science & Law Enforcement), co-director of the center. "We hope to have the opportunity to offer translations in other languages in the future. The more officers we can help, the better."

Those who want to can sign up to receive free e-mail newsletters.


Henry Morris: Service to Mankind

Henry Morris

Henry Morris (Free Press photo)

Henry Morris (University Extended Education) recently was selected as the 2008 Key City Sertoma's Service to Mankind recipient.

Each year local Sertoma Clubs honor a person for his or her outstanding service to the community. Henry has been deeply involved in community service since moving to Mankato 18 years ago, volunteering for the United Way of Mankato and North Mankato, the YMCA, Girl Scouts and Boys Scouts and other agencies.

Henry has served on the local United Way agency allocation panel, chaired the agency review panel, chaired the allocation division, and was vice president and chair of the board of directors. He served on the YMCA public policy committee, chaired the building and grounds committee, was secretary-treasurer, and was a member of the YMCA's executive committee and board.

He has been a board member for Girl Scouts and Boys Scouts of America and was Boy Scout vice president of membership. He was named to the Blue Earth County Citizen's Community Corrections Advisory committee and the Judicial System Review Task Force.

Born and raised in New York City, Henry was the youngest of seven children. He credits his mother, Rita, for instilling in him a sense of responsibility to give back to the community.

After obtaining degrees in history, government and education, he worked at colleges and universities in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania before joining Minnesota State Mankato. He has been director of student activities, coordinator of student affairs, director of student development and executive director of student involvement. He recently was named site director of the new 7700 France satellite site.

Sertoma provides help to individuals who have speech, language or hearing impairments. The Key City club has a long history of supporting speech language pathology and audiology clinics at Minnesota State Mankato, donating more than $100,000 over the last 20 years.


'Community of Practice'

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and Center for Excellence in Scholarship and Research invite all fixed-term, probationary and tenured faculty to apply to participate in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning "Community of Practice" program for 2008-09.

The project is jointly sponsored by CETL and CESR and is funded as a strategic priority grant. Up to 12 faculty members from diverse disciplines will be selected to participate.

The program will meet monthly during the 2008-09 academic year to discuss a variety of topics related to teaching-learning research, and to discuss participants' research.

Regular attendance will be required, and participants must attend the Collaboration for the Advancement of College Teaching conference Nov. 21-22 and Feb. 13-14 in the Twin Cities. Registration and one-night's lodging will be provided. Participants also are encouraged to attend the Realizing Student Potential Minnesota State conference in early March in the Twin Cities. Registration, meals and transportation will be provided.

The program's goal is to provide support and aid for participants to engage in the research of teaching and learning, and to help them publish articles. Each participant who submits his/her work in a national refereed journal will receive a stipend of $1,000 if submitted before June 1, 2009.

To apply, a faculty member must write a one-page essay describing why he or she is interested in participating, and how SoTL applies to his/her area of discipline. The essay must be submitted with the application and a recent CV to CETL, Morris Hall 267, or e-mailed to Stewart Ross (Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning). Deadline for applying is Sept. 1.

Those interested in more information or in obtaining an application may contact Stewart or Steve Bohnenblust (Graduate Studies & Research).


Software Training

Summer computer training sessions are being offered online for faculty and staff members. Sessions will focus on D2L, Office 2007 and Adobe Acrobat as well as other software programs.

You may use your Tech ID and PIN number to register online.

Those interested in more information may contact Shannon Jeffries (Information & Technology Services) at 389-3205 or


Ghana Newspaper Lauds University

Boxes of Equipment

Minnesota State Mankato donated medical equipment and books to Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (photo courtesy KNUST News)

Two professors, a College of Education employee and five students recently were featured in a Ghana newspaper for donating medical equipment and books to the nursing department at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana.

The delegation was led by Raymond Asomani-Boateng and Miriam Porter (Urban & Regional Studies), and included Judith Ziemke (College of Education) and students Latolya Carter (Social Work), Monica Orth (Chemistry), Jonathan Hammel (Urban Planning), Justine Stein (Social Studies) and Karmon Janssen (Biology).

Kwame Nkrumah University's vice chancellor, K. K. Adarkwa, noted that the collaboration with Minnesota State Mankato began through Raymond's effort as an alumnus of KNUST. Both institutions signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate in planning, nursing and civil and chemical engineering.

Minnesota State Mankato also donated $100,000 in books, and faculty exchange programs have taken place between the two institutions.

Peter Donkor, provost of KNUST's college of health sciences, commended Minnesota State Mankato's donation, saying it would benefit the quality of education in KNUST's nursing department. Second-year nursing student Collins Atta-Poku echoed the gratitude.


Diversity Grants

Two faculty members and two students have been awarded 2007-08 President's Commission on Diversity grants. The four grants allow students, faculty or staff to attend professional conferences related to diversity in higher education, or to conduct research.

Recipients are:

  • Susan Freeman (Women's Studies), who received a grant for research titled "Education for Gay Liberation: The Emergence of Gay and Lesbian Studies in the 1970s and 1980s."
  • Leah White (Speech Communication), to attend the Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed 2008 International conference and a post-conference workshop.
  • LaTolya Carter (Social Work), who received a grant to tour and study abroad in Ghana and West Africa.
  • Deborah White (KSP Licensure graduate student), who received a grant to attend the TESOL Academy 2008 conference and continuing education workshops.


Faculty/Staff Achievements

Ann Beacom (Organizational Effectiveness Research Group) was featured in an online article on the National Pork Board's Web site discussing a new database promoting a safer workplace for pork producers. Ann and the OERG are assisting in the development of the database. The site allows producers, safety professionals, human resources personnel and researchers to learn about potential hazards and improve the pork industry's safety record. Ann and the OERG are assisting in the development of the database.

Matt Magers (Intercollegiate Athletics) recently was named head coach of the Maverick baseball program. Matt recently completed his eighth season as a member of the coaching staff, and succeeds Dean Bowyer, who retired after 32 seasons as head coach.

Stewart Ross (Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning) was one of four presenters at the "Integrated Course Design" workshop in Chicago in May. Six other Minnesota State Mankato faculty members also attended the workshop.

Patrick Sexton (Athletic Training Education) presented "Athletic Training Education in the 21st Century" at the Minnesota Athletic Trainers' Association annual meeting and clinical symposium at the National Sports Center in Blaine in May.

Beth Heidelberg-Wielde (Urban Studies) was a judge for the League of Minnesota Cities' 2008 "City of Excellence" award winners. Breezy Point, Sartell, Luverne and Woodbury were 2008 winners.


Broadcasting Scholarship

Zachary ThiemanZachary Thieman (Mass Communications) recently received the 2008 Bryan Peterson Memorial Scholarship from the Association of Minnesota Public Educational Radio Stations (AMPERS). He was honored at the AMPERS annual meeting in Grand Marais, Minn.

Zach, a junior, has worked at KMSU for two years in various capacities including news, production, Web maintenance, on-air hosting, underwriting, customer service and special events.

"Zach is very deserving of this honor as he is an outstanding worker at KMSU and possesses the skills and personality needed to become successful in the broadcasting field," said Karen Wright (KMSU).

AMPERS, also known as Independent Public Radio, is a statewide organization that offers an annual $1,000 scholarship to an individual at an AMPERS station who is or will be pursuing a career in broadcast communications in Minnesota.

IPR consists of 12 independently licensed and managed, locally responsive, community-based public radio stations in Minnesota. It is the second-largest public radio network in Minnesota and one of the largest in the United States. (IPR stations have no affiliation with Minnesota Public Radio, and receive no financial support from MPR).



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 Aug. 6; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Aug. 1).

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.