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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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December 10, 2008 Campus Newsletter

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Golden Graduation Hat and Diploma

Dec. 13: Commencement

Minnesota State Mankato will graduate 1,482 students in summer/fall commencement exercises Saturday, Dec. 13, in Bresnan Arena. Two ceremonies are scheduled: One at 9 a.m. for the colleges of Arts & Humanities, Business, and Science, Engineering & Technology; and one at noon for the colleges of Allied Health & Nursing, Education, and Social & Behavioral Sciences. Master's-degree candidates will graduate with the colleges of their affiliation.

Music for both ceremonies will be provided by the Minnesota Valley Brass Quintet, consisting of Gerard Aloisio (Music), Stewart Ross (Excellence in Teaching & Learning), Doug Snapp (Music), Tom Giles (emeritus) and alumnus Dave Schultz. Faculty member Kimm Julian (Music) will perform the National Anthem.

James Van Houten of the Board of Trustees will greet the candidates.

Student speakers for the 9 a.m. ceremony will be Robert A. Brown (Arts & Humanities), Alecia J. Prins, (Business) and Michael W. Witthaus (Science, Engineering & Technology). Speakers for the noon ceremony will be Amber L. Stoltenburg (Allied Health & Nursing), Joseph J. Peters (Education) and Meghan B. Turok (Social & Behavioral Sciences).

Those who are unable to attend the ceremony may view it on the Web via streaming video.

Dec. 15: Holiday Luncheon

Christmas Tree Ball OrnamentAll employees are invited to join President Richard Davenport on Monday, Dec. 15, for the annual Faculty/Staff Holiday Luncheon, featuring the president's own chili recipe as prepared by University Dining Services.

The annual event will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the main level of the Centennial Student Union Mav Ave food court. The luncheon is free and open to all faculty, staff and administrators.

Professional Development Day

Cartoon Businesswoman Walking up StepsHuman Resources reminds employees to sign up for Professional Development Day sessions before they leave for the holidays. Professional Development Day is the first duty day of the spring semester.

Information on the sessions (broken link) can be found on the Human Resources website. Employees can also register online

Human Resources points out that workshops are filling up and space for some sessions is limited due to room size.

Maverick Wrestlers: Second

Wrestling Coach Jim Makovsky

Wrestling Coach Jim Makovsky

The Maverick wrestling team is ranked second in the most recent poll released by the NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches' Association.

The Mavericks received one first-place vote and 147 points overall. The University of Nebraska-Omaha holds the No. 1 ranking with 158 points, and the University of Nebraska-Kearney is third with 145 points.

The Mavericks were ranked second in 2008-09 preseason rankings.

Five Maverick wrestlers are ranked individually: Junior Brady Wilson is third at heavyweight; sophomore Tommy Abbott is third at 149; senior John Putman is fourth at 133; junior Travis Elg is fourth at 141; and senior Tim Matheson is seventh at 174.

Online Tuition Waivers

Faculty and staff now are able to make tuition waiver requests online. The online system should be used for spring 2009 requests, as paper forms no longer will be used.

The new online version is available.

User names and passwords/PINs are the same as for STARS, E-Services or ISRS. Those who have not used these services before should use their Tech ID as their Login ID.

PINs are preset to a birth date (YYMMDD format) or the last six digits of a social security number. The "forgot your PIN/Password" on the login page, can be accessed if a PIN is forgotten. Those interested in resetting a PIN may call (507) 389-2252.

Fall semester waivers have already been loaded in the system. Those who submit a request should be sure to check billing information to ensure the tuition waiver is processed in a timely manner.

Those who have already submitted a paper tuition waiver for spring 2009 but would rather enter it in the new online system may contact JoAnn Scholtz (Human Resources) at (507) 389-2464 by Friday, Dec. 12. Other paper requests will be entered on the employee's behalf Monday, Dec. 15.

Those with questions may contact JoAnn by telephone or at

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Gold, Silver, and Bronze MedalsJeffrey Bumgarner (Political Science) recently published "Community-Related Correlates to Prosecutorial Decisions Regarding Accidental Killers: An Examination of Child Hyperthermia Automobile Deaths 2003-2006" in Criminal Law Bulletin. He also recently edited Icons of Crime Fighting (Vol. I and II) by Greenwood Press.

Rhonda Dass (Ethnic Studies) presented "Making it Mine: How local folk connect to a traveling exhibit" at the American Folklore Society meeting in October.

Kevin Filter (Psychology) co-presented "Minnesota School-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports" at the International Child and Adolescent Conference in November.

Goeffrey Goellner (Biological Sciences) and student Daniel Haus (Biochemistry) recently were awarded a research grant from the Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society Research Foundation.

Marilyn Hart (Biological Sciences) and student Jenna Kastenschmidt (Human Biology) recently were awarded a research grant from the Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society Research Foundation. Marilyn also presented two research seminars (one with Shannon Fisher, Water Resources Center) at the University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

Philip Miller (Economics) presented a paper, "Facility Age and Ownership in Major American Team Sports Leagues: The Effect on Team Franchise Values," at the Wisconsin Economic Association meeting in October. He also was interviewed by the Toronto Star about how a slumping economy might affect the four major North American sports leagues.

Martin Mitchell (Geography) published "Deadwood, South Dakota: Place and Setting Combine with Gambling and Historic Preservation" in the fall issue of the American Geographical Society's Focus on Geography.

Mezbahur Rahman (Mathematics & Statistics) co-authored "Quantile Estimation in the Two Parameter Gamma Distribution" for a forthcoming Journal of Statistical Research.

Gary Rockswold (Mathematics & Statistics) presented "The Amazing Impact of Mathematics on Modern Society" in Austin, Texas, in October. He also presented "Why Mathematics is Much More than Computation" at the national AMATYC meeting in Washington, D.C., in November.

Deepak Sanjel (Mathematics & Statistics) presented "Use of Statistical Software Packages in Teaching" at teaching with technology conference at Minnesota State Mankato Nov. 7.

Ginger L. Schmid and Forrest D. Wilkerson (Geography) presented "Periglacial Activity Along an Elevational Gradient of GLORIA Sites, White Mountains California" at Climate, Ecosystems and Resources in Eastern California in November. They also published "Spatial and Temporal Hazards of Debris Flows in Glacier National Park, Montana, USA" in the Journal of Mountain Science.

Louis Schwartzkopf (Physics & Astronomy) gave a seminar, "Is Energy Independence for Minnesota Possible?" to the Department of Physics at Gustavus Adolphus College in November.

An article by Michael Spencer (Economics), "Loyalty, Protocol, Bargainer Characteristics and Rationality in an Experimental Investigation of Bilateral Bargaining in Dyads," was accepted for publication in Applied Economics Letters. Michael also presented the article and was a paper discussant in a session on non-profits at the 45th annual meeting of the Missouri Valley Economic Association in St. Louis in October.

Leon Tietz (Information Systems & Technology) received a $2,000 faculty research grant for his project, "Optimizing Aggregate Fuel Economy at Traffic Semaphores."

Michael Wells (Information Systems & Technology) co-presented "Project Maverick Internships: A University's Onshore Alternative to Offshore Outsourcing" and presented "A Decision Framework for Outsourcing Tasks to Offshore Vendors" at the National Decision Sciences Institute Conference in Baltimore, Md.

Qun (Vincent) Zhang (Electrical & Computer Engineering & Technology) co-authored "Modeling and confinement analysis of an asymmetric slab slot waveguide," to be published in Elsevier Optics Communications in January 2009. Vincent also co-authored "Computation step-size study in digital post-compensation of fiber optic communication systems" and "High efficiency right-angle slot waveguide bends with smooth and continuous slot at bending area," submitted to the Optical Fiber Communications Conference.

Forensics: First among 17

Microphones and SmokeThe Forensics Team placed first among 17 teams at the third Twin Cities Forensic League tournament Dec. 2 at Normandale Community College, Edina.

Meg Martinson (English/Speech Education) placed first in extemporaneous speaking; Grant Anderson (Speech Communication) took first in persuasion, and Brad Wakefield placed first in communication analysis and second in prose.

Dylan Smith (Speech Communication) was second in program oral interpretation, and April Larson (Political Science) placed second in impromptu, second in after-dinner speaking and was an AFA qualifier.

Nate Wingo (Speech Communication) took third in persuasion and Molly Carmody (Speech Communication) was sixth in drama.

Student Achievements

Forty-three students and one faculty member were inducted into the Pi Psi chapter of the Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society. Jenna Kastenschmidt (Human Biology) was elected chapter president, Marie Balano (Zoology) was elected vice president and Travis Mrkvicka (Human Biology) was elected secretary. Eric Miller will be chapter treasurer and Susan Gerbensky will be chapter historian.

The Minnesota State Mankato Society of Women Engineers received the 2008 Outstanding New Collegiate Section award at the 2008 SWE National Conference in Baltimore Nov. 6 through 8.


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 Jan. 14, 2009; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Jan. 9).

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. To promote your event to Mankato visitors, post it on the Greater Mankato Growth, Inc., calendar.

Happy Holidays