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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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October 1, 2008 Campus Newsletter

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Representatives and Bus

7700 France

Representatives of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and Minnesota State Mankato pose next to the Metropolitan Transit Commission "purple bus" in Edina during grand opening festivities at the new 7700 France satellite site. The site's state-of-the-art classrooms, computer lab, group study spaces and faculty offices were dedicated with a program, public tours and university flag-raising, while the bus displayed the university's colors and Web address in the 7700 France parking lot. Chancellor James McCormick told guests that 7700 France is one of multiple delivery options that provide affordable, high-quality education to a growing Twin Cities population. The site opened for classes Aug. 25 and serves 300 students, with more than 2,000 students expected in the next three years. Students with associate degrees from partner institution Normandale Community College and other two-year schools can earn bachelor's degrees at the site, and those with bachelor's degrees can obtain master's degrees there.

Learning Community Proposals

The New Student and Family Programs is accepting proposals for learning community programs for 2009-'10.

Proposals for learning community programs will be accepted through Friday, Oct. 24. Those who may have questions or would like to obtain proposal documents may contact Kate Hansen (First Year Experience) at (507) 389-5498.

Learning community and non-learning-community students have about the same ACT composite score and high school class rank. But learning community participation makes a difference. Learning community students have a retention rate of 82.7 percent and an average cumulative GPA of 3.11, compared with a retention rate of 76.9 percent and an average cumulative GPA of 2.98 for students who don't participate in the programs.

A survey last year showed that learning community students have several advantages over students who don't participate in learning communities. They more frequently discuss academic- and career-related issues outside of class; they attend class more frequently; and they spend more time studying.

Learning community students also adjust to college life more quickly and exhibit greater academic confidence than students who are not part of these programs.

For information regarding current learning communities, visit the Learning Communities website.

Bioenergy Days

Bioenergy Days

The campus is hosting meetings of the International Bioenergy Days traveling congress through Friday, Oct. 3. It is the organization's first meeting in the United States.

International Bioenergy Days is an innovative conference designed to jumpstart bioenergy commercialization and technology transfer initiatives between the United States and Sweden. The six-day event begins with presentations from Will Steger and international experts in bioenergy programs. The congress uses demonstrations of European bioheat technology and study tours to examine biomass energy technology and renewable alternatives.

The exhibit hall features more than 60 organizations and companies from Sweden, Norway, Ireland and the United States.

International Bioenergy Days was established through a larger Sweden-U.S. technology transfer system that includes the International Renewable Energy Technology Institute, a new institute created in Minnesota in April. The goal of the institute is to encourage the exchange of ideas and technologies in renewable energy and energy efficiency between Sweden and the United States.

Those who want more information may go to the Bioenergy Days website or email

Oct. 4: Timberwolves Scrimmage

Timberwolves LogoThe Minnesota Timberwolves will conduct a scrimmage Saturday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. in Bresnan Arena, capping the team's five-day training camp. The scrimmage, followed by an autograph session, will be free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

Tickets are required and are available in limited quantity for faculty and staff in Centennial Student Union 219. There is a limit of four tickets per person. Tickets are available to the public at U.S. Bank locations (204 S. Second St. and 312 Raintree Road in Mankato, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday).

Timberwolves executives and players took part in several other community events during the training camp. Owner Glen Taylor thanked students, faculty, staff and the public for their support during a campus talk Oct. 1. President Chris Wright spoke on Sept. 30, and coaches and players made a number of appearances, including a clinic for area high school coaches, another clinic for players, a reading and autograph session at a local elementary school, and a visit to patients at Immanuel St. Joseph's Hospital.

Oct. 1-5, 8-12: 'Miss Saigon'

'Miss Saigon' posterThe Department of Theatre and Dance opens its Mainstage season with the Tony Award-winning musical "Miss Saigon" Wednesday through Sunday, Oct. 1-5 and 8-12, in Ted Paul Theatre.

"Miss Saigon" is an epic, daring pop opera. Its sung-through pop-inflected score gives the cast an opportunity to shine in show-stopping numbers like "I Still Believe," "Why God Why?" and "The American Dream."

With lyrics by Alain Boublil and Richard Maltby Jr. and music by Claude-Michel Schonberg, "Miss Saigon" tells of a love story during the turmoil of the Vietnam War. An American soldier (Chris) and a Vietnamese girl (Kim) fall in love, only to be separated during the fall of Saigon. Their struggles to find each other over the ensuing years end in tragedy for Kim and in a fighting chance for the child Chris never knew he had.

"Miss Saigon" is directed by Paul J. Hustoles, with choreography by Paul Finocchiaro and musical direction by Nick Wayne. HickoryTech Corporation and Foundation is the corporate sponsor.

Individual tickets are available by calling 389-6661 between 4 and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online. Regular tickets are $20; and tickets are $18 for seniors, youth and groups of 15 or more and $14 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. Season subscriptions may be purchased for $85 throughout the show's run.

Oct. 2: Aurora Brass

Aurora Brass QuintetThe Aurora Brass Quintet will perform Thursday, Oct. 2, as part of the Nadine B. Andreas Artists in Residence program.

The performance is at 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center. General admission is $12; tickets for K-12 students are $9; and tickets for students with a valid MavCard are $7. In addition to their evening performance, Aurora Brass will lead master class sessions for Department of Music students from 3-5 p.m.

Members of the Aurora Brass are John B. Weaver, bass trombone; Larry Zimmerman, trombone; Eric Kodner, horn; Scott Hagarty, trumpet; and Mark Adler, trumpet.

The Minnesota-based ensemble was formed in 1993, and its members were named artists-in-residence at Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, Minneapolis, in 1999. They have performed recently in Orchestra Hall, at the sixth World Choral Symposium and the 74th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, and with the Mankato Symphony Orchestra.

Those who wish to purchase tickets may do so online. Those who want master class details or concert information should call the Performance Series office at (507) 389-5549. Those with a disability who need reasonable accommodation may call (507) 389-2077 or 711 (MRS/TTY).

Oct. 9: Bob Hicok

Bob HicokVirginia Tech professor and poet Bob Hicok will be featured in the second 2008 Good Thunder Reading Series residency Thursday, Oct. 9.

Thursday morning Hicok will visit with writers and will be interviewed on KMSU-FM. At 3 p.m. he will lead a discussion on the craft of writing in Ostrander Auditorium, Centennial Student Union. At 7:30 p.m. he will read from his published work in CSU 253.

All events are free and open to the public.

Hicok's fifth book, This Clumsy Living, was published in 2007. He also is author of Insomnia Diary, Animal Soul (a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award), Plus Shipping and The Legend of Light (which won the 1995 Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry and was named a 1997 ALA Booklist Notable Book of the Year).

A recipient of two Pushcart Prizes and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Hicok's work has been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including three volumes of Best American Poetry.

An interview with Hicok, part of the "Authors in Transit" series on public radio station KMSU 89.7 FM, will air on Thursday, Oct. 9, at 1 p.m., and on Friday, Oct. 10, at 11 a.m.

Those who want more information may contact call Richard Robbins (English) at 507-389-1354.

Oct. 11-12: Women & Spirituality

The 27th annual Women & Spirituality Conference will be on campus Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 11 and 12. Keynote speaker will be philosopher, activist and best-selling author Riane Eisler.

The conference offers a variety of workshops based on experience, discussion, interactivity and ritual. A one-credit course also is available.

General registration is $50; and registration for students is $25. Those interested in volunteering at the conference will be granted free registration.

Those who want more information about the Women & Spirituality Conference may go online, or may contact Cindy Veldhuisen (Women's Studies) at (507) 389-2077.

Oct. 15: 'Unlearning Racism'

"Unlearning Racism," one of several diversity education sessions available this fall, will be presented by David Larsen (American Indian Affairs) and Kelly S. Meier (Diversity Institute) Wednesday, Oct. 15, from 3-4:30 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Room 253.

Those who want to register for the session may go online. Those who want more information should contact Kelly.

Oct. 16-18: Asian Pacific Conference

Asian Pacific Conference PosterMinnesota Public Radio reporter Laura Yuen will help moderate the featured session at the annual Asian Pacific American Conference Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 16-18. Yuen will moderate "Nine months in America: An ethnocentric tour."

The session will highlight the work of photographer Wing Young Huie and his wife, Tara, and their journey through the United States documenting the funny, touching and sometimes strange intersection of Asian-American and American cultures.

Leadership development for future generations of Asian Pacific Americans is the conference theme. The event is for practitioners and professionals in the field of cultural diversity, specifically in higher education, as well as for college and high school students and people who want to build or extend networks to connect with the Asian Pacific American community.

Workshops will offer tips on team-building activities, networking, student organizations and effective leadership, and will provide round-table discussions on social issues and policies affecting Asian Pacific Americans.

Those interested in more information about may contact Chris Tran (Multicultural Affairs) at 507-389-6300

Oct. 17-19: Family Weekend

Family Weekend CrestEmployees and their families are encouraged to attend the fifth annual Family Weekend Friday through Sunday, Oct. 17-19. Family Weekend is an opportunity for students' families to become re-acquainted with campus, and a chance for faculty and staff to bring their families to campus to participate in a variety of activities.

Children's events include Family Olympics, Family Fun Carnival, Stomper Cinema featuring WALL-E, and free cosmic bowling.

Adult events include comedian Kelly Taylor, open climbing, theatre performances, a 5-K Fun Run and more. Most events are free or discounted for students, families, faculty and staff with MavCard or Family Weekend button (available at the Family Weekend Information table, main entrance to Centennial Student Union Oct. 17 and 18).

A schedule of events is at the Family Weekend website.

Faculty/staff achievements

An article by Alisa Eimen (Art), "Negotiating Cultural Identity at Tehran's al-Ghadir Mosque," recently was published in Architecture + Identity: The Construction of Cultural Identity in Contemporary Architecture.

Prudence Gushwa (Education) was featured in a September Minneapolis Star Tribune article as the only Minnesota researcher about schools that have experimented with a four-day week.

Images of work by Les Laidlaw, Mika Negishi Laidlaw and Todd Shanafelt (Art) were published recently in 500 Ceramic Sculptures (Lark Books).

Liz Miller (Art) displayed a solo exhibition, "Self-Sustaining Debacle," at the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia this summer, and images of her work were published in Nature: Inspiration for Art & Design (Barcelona: Monsa).

Stewart Ross (CETL) presented a pre-conference workshop, "Integrated Course Design," and another, "Active Learning," at the Lilly North Teaching Learning Conference in Traverse City, Mich., in September.

Todd Shanafelt (Art) participated in several exhibitions this summer, including solo shows at the BEET Gallery, Portland, Ore.; Gallery One Visual Arts Center, Ellensburg, Wash.; the University of Northern Colorado Ceramics Alumni Show, Guggenheim Hall, Greeley, Colo.; and the St. Peter Art Center, St. Peter, Minn.

Amanda Smith (Art) displayed a solo exhibition of paintings, "Threshold," at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center in Kansas City, Mo., in September.

Poems by Richard Terrill (English) recently were published in Iowa Review and New Letters, and on the websites Poetry Daily and Epicenters. He is serving this year as a mentor for the Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis.

Christophe Veltsos (Information Systems & Technology) is co-editor of the SANS NewsBites Newsletter, a semi-weekly newsletter about security news with more than 180,000 subscribers.

Work by Erik Waterkotte (Art) was displayed at several exhibitions this summer: "Maps and Remaining Geographies" at SNAP Gallery in Edmonton, Alberta; "Superimpositions" at Augsburg College, Minneapolis; and "Ghost City" at the School of Art and Architecture, University of Tennessee Knoxville. He also has work in the Edmonton Print International, Capital Arts Building, Edmonton.

Brad Widness (Art) is participating in IDENTITY Construct/Deconstruct, a national juried exhibition and exchange for emerging artists at Purdue University's Rueff Galleries through Oct. 10. He also is taking part in the fourth National Print Biennial at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff. This summer he exhibited work in Printed Image 2 at the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery, Topeka, Kan.

Student Achievements

Sarah Grundhauser (Art) participated in a summer internship at the Form + Content Gallery in Minneapolis.

Junior Kaytlin LeMier (Communication) interned this summer as head coach for the First Tee Chippewa Valley kids' golf program at Hickory Hills Golf Course, Eau Claire, Wis. First Tee is a worldwide organization that aims to improve the lives of children through golf.


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 Oct. 15; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Oct. 10).

Don't forget to 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.