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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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January 28, 2009 Campus Newsletter

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People in the ballroom watching the inauguration

Scores of students, faculty, staff and members of the public watched the historic inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th U.S. president on three big screens in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom Jan. 20. The event also included live reports from Nadeem Mohammed (CSU) and John Bulcock (Student Affairs). It was sponsored by the CSU and Student Events Team, was hosted by Joe Kunkel (Political Science), and was emceed by Greg Husak (CSU). Additional people watched the inaugural in Ostrander Auditorium, where the Black Student Union hosted and the College Access Program sponsored a panel discussion.

Water Resources Center Grants

Drip of water falling into a poolThe Water Resources Center recently helped the 35-county Minnesota River Board obtain a $1 million grant to guide Minnesota and surrounding states as they establish water quality credit-trading protocol.

The Center and Board will partner with local watershed organizations, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, sustainable agriculture groups from Wisconsin and Ohio, and water quality credit trading consultants from Michigan.

Center employees who collaborated on the grant include Susie Carlin, Karnell Johnson and Shannon Fisher.

The Minnesota River Board is comprised of counties within the Minnesota River Basin. It provides leadership, builds partnerships and supports efforts to improve and protect Minnesota River Basin water quality.

The Water Resources Center also learned that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommended its project, "Evaluation of Artificial Drainage Roles in Altering Hydrology," for $300,000 in funding. The project was one of seven that were funded.

The Science Museum of Minnesota recently was notified that the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources selected its project, "Does Intensified Tile Drainage Create More Erosive Rivers?"—a partnership with the Water Resources Center—for $300,000 in funding from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.

The project will evaluate how artificial drainage alters the hydrology of Minnesota rivers.

Teaching Scholar Fellowships

Someone writing algebra on a chalkboardPresident Richard Davenport has awarded 10 Teaching Scholar Fellowships for summer 2009 to support faculty in their commitments to learning.

Each Fellow engages in a project and outcomes that involve teaching and scholarship, enhancing their own learning while helping students to enhance theirs. Teaching Scholar Fellowships are awarded on a competitive, university-wide basis.

Summer 2009 Teaching Scholar Fellows are:

  • Cyrus Azarbod (Information Systems & Technology): "Virtual Project Management and Team Collaboration for Online Database Programming Course IT 4/540: Database Management Systems II."
  • Kristen Cvancara (Speech Communication): "Implementing POGIL in a 'Softer' Science: Developing POGIL Applications in the Social Sciences."
  • M. Anaam Hashmi (Marketing & International Business): "Wind Energy Development and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Goals in Minnesota."
  • Anne-Marie Hoskinson (Biological Sciences): "Designing Inquiry-based Laboratory Experiences for Nonmajors Biology."
  • In-Jae Kim (Mathematics & Statistics): "Can SAGE Replace Maple and Mathematica?"
  • Namyong Lee (Mathematics & Statistics): "Design a New Interdisciplinary Course in Mathematical Biology."
  • Brian Martensen (Mathematics & Statistics): "A Differential Equations Workbook and Lecture Companion."
  • Marlene Tappe (Health Science): "Using Formative Assessment to Enhance Pedagogy in Health Education Teacher Education."
  • Vincent Winstead (Electrical & Computer Engineering): "Interactive Simulation Development for Electrical Power Systems."
  • Sun Kyeong Yu (Philosophy): "When Science Meets Philosophy."

Special Initiative Funding

TrainUp to $20,000 remains in the MSUAASF Special Initiative Awards fund and can be awarded this fiscal year, according to the awards committee. New proposals must be sent to committee chair Lori Lamb (Human Resources) by 4:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2.

The funds remain because some original proposals were not completed.

The Special Initiative Awards Committee will review the proposals and provide a response by Monday, Feb. 16.

Proposals must be completed by June 1, 2009, because the funds are available for this fiscal year only; thus the committee encourages smaller projects. Final reports are due by 4:30 p.m. June 1.

MSUAASF contract language provides that the funds can be used only for salary purposes and not for expenses such as travel, training, etc., that might be needed to complete the project.

Those interested in more information or in obtaining a proposal submission form may contact any of the following committee members: Mike Lagerquist (Theatre & Dance), Mary Dowd (Student Affairs), Carol Stallkamp (President's Office), Margot Zelenz (University Advancement), or Lori Lamb (Human Resources).

The MLK Sports Camp

MLK Sports Camp attracts 75

Nearly 75 children and 25 volunteers attended the third annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Sports Camp and Clinic last week. The free camp, sponsored by Intercollegiate Athletics and the Office of Institutional Diversity, helps Mankato area youth build athletic skills and relationships.

Camp participants received T-shirts and took part in indoor running, soccer, football, dodge ball, track and field and basketball events. Younger participants also colored pictures of King and of the bus where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat.

Keynote speaker Calvin Moultrie (Institutional Diversity) read the history of King's life. Jimmie Gunn (College Access Program) led a question-and-answer session about Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Michelle Oman (Intercollegiate Athletics) gave each attendee a pledge of nonviolence written in honor of King, and participants signed the documents. Brittany Henderson (Mass Communications) read some of King's famous quotes and asked participants to heed his words.

Participants also watched clips from a movie about King's life, including his "I Have a Dream Speech" speech.

Jan. 29: Charlie Parr

Charlie ParrA night of Piedmont country-blues music featuring guitarist Charlie Parr will be presented by the Department of Music Thursday, Jan. 29, as part of the 2009 Performance Series.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall. General admission is $12; tickets for K-12 students are $9; and tickets for students with a valid MavCard are $7.

Parr captures the intense sound of the folk music of America's frozen north. His raw voice, lightening finger-picking and plaintive but wry songs have made him one of the most important contemporary protagonists of the American folk tradition.

Those who wish may purchase concert tickets online. Those who want concert information may call the Performance Series office at (507) 389-5549. Those with a disability who need a reasonable accommodation may call (507) 389-2077 or 711 (MRS/TTY) at least two days before the event.

Jan. 30: Authors' Workshop

Stack of booksAn all-day book authors' workshop is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 30, for those who want to write their first textbook, or who want to learn how to be more efficient and effective writing their next textbook. The six-hour event will be in CSU 284.

The workshop, presented by Michael Spiegler of Providence College, is intended to provide nuts-and-bolts information about how to write a prospectus and sample chapters, how to contact publishers, and how to negotiate a favorable contract. Participants will learn the basics of the writing, revising and production phases and get advice about dealing with publishers, alternatives to traditional publishing and survival skills for authors.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Those who plan to attend should respond to Stephen Bohnenblust.

February: Black History Month

Obama with Michelle being sworn in

The televised inauguration of President Barack Obama and discussions of the historic event started a month-long celebration of Black History Month.

The inauguration of President Barack Obama started a month-long celebration of Black History Month.

Events during the month will include a series of panel discussions and special events throughout February. Most events are free and are open to students, faculty, staff and the public. The public is invited to tune in to KMSU 89.7 FM for information about African-American people and events.

A highlight will be a Black History Month gala and fundraiser Saturday, Feb. 21, from 8 p.m. to midnight at Old Main Village. Student tickets for the event are $10 individual and $15 couple; non-student tickets are $20 and $25.

The month will end with the annual four-day Pan African Student Leadership Conference, starting Wednesday, Feb. 25.

Other Black History Month events include:

  • Friday, Jan. 30: Discussion about the lives of minority students attending predominantly white schools, followed by a reception, 1-3 p.m., International Student Center (CSU 269).
  • Monday, Feb. 2: Spike Lee film Do the Right Thing, with panel discussion to follow, 2-5 p.m., Ostrander Auditorium. Traditional Dress Day and "Spoken Word Extravaganza," 6-8 p.m., CSU South Ballroom.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 3: Undercover Brother, 9-11 a.m., discussion led by Maria Baxter-Nuamah, noon to 2 p.m., CSU 201.
  • Thursday, Feb. 5: Black History Month potluck lunch, noon to 2 p.m., International Student Center (CSU 269).
  • Saturday, Feb. 7: Jump Start story time for children, 10 a.m. to noon, lower level, Memorial Library.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 10: Ghana travel log, LaToya Carter, 10 a.m. to noon, CSU 201. Video and panel discussion about civil rights leaders, 6-8 p.m., CSU South Ballroom.
  • Thursday, Feb. 12: Nigeria travel log, members of the African Student Association, 6-9 p.m., CSU 201.
  • Friday, Feb. 13: "Dishes from around the World" potluck, noon to 2 p.m. CSU 269.
  • Saturday, Feb. 14: Jump Start story time for children, 10 a.m. to noon, lower level, Memorial Library.
  • Sunday, Feb. 15: Sudanese Cultural Day, members of the Sudanese Student Association, 3-8 p.m., Center Ballroom.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 17: Minority faculty/staff appreciation celebration, 6-8 p.m., North Ballroom. Faculty/Staff Extravaganza, 7 p.m., Ostrander Auditorium.
  • Thursday, Feb. 19: Minority staff appreciation potluck, noon to 2 p.m., Intercultural Student Center (CSU 269). Discussion of "What it Means to be an African-American Male in the 21st Century," led by C. Maxille Moultrie (Institutional Diversity), 1-4 p.m., CSU 201.
  • Saturday, Feb. 21: Jump Start story time for children, 10 a.m. to noon, lower level, Memorial Library.

Black History Month events are sponsored by the College Access Program, the Black Student Union and the offices of African-American Affairs and Institutional Diversity. Those who want more information may contact Patty Luna at (507) 389-5295.

Feb. 5, 6: Dental Clinic

2 Girls Brushing Their TeethThe Dental Education Department and area dental professionals will join a statewide effort to provide free dental care to area children Thursday and Friday, Feb. 5 and 6.

The free "Give Kids a Smile" clinic for children will be Feb. 5 from 2-9 p.m. and Feb. 6 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The clinic will be in the lower level of Morris Hall.

Patients seeking appointments for cleanings, X-rays, exams and sealants should be under the age of 18 and accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The department will offer free dental exams and X-rays for adults on Friday, Feb. 6, from 8 a.m. to noon.

Those interested in scheduling an appointment may call the campus dental clinic at 389-2147.

The project is inspired by concern over a growing number of children who are unable to access needed dental care.

Feb. 12, 13: 'Monologues' Benefit

'Vagina Monologues' posterA benefit production of "The Vagina Monologues" is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, Feb. 12 and 13, as part of the 2009 V-Day campaign.

The performances will take place at 8 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium. Proceeds will benefit victims of sexual assault.

Student tickets are $10 and non-student tickets are $15. Tickets are on sale in the Centennial Student Union lobby and in the Women's Center, or they can be reserved by calling Shayna Collins at 389-2486.

Feb. 10: Latinos in Higher Ed

Three StudentsLupe Quintero (Multicultural Affairs) will lead a session focusing on the challenges faced by Latino students when they consider post-secondary education on Tuesday, Feb. 10.

The discussion, open to faculty, staff, students and the public, will be from 2-3 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Room 201. It is intended to explain the needs of Latino students, and how faculty and staff can increase access to higher education for Latino students.

The session is part of semester-long series of discussions focusing on diversity education. Those interested in more information may contact Kelly Meier (Diversity Institute) at (507) 389-5268.

Gina Wenger: Honors Director

Gina WengerGina Wenger (Art) has been named honors development director for spring 2009 in the Academic Affairs Office. Gina will develop a pilot group of honors students for fall 2009.

Gina has been a K-12 art teacher, and came to Minnesota State Mankato in 2000, focusing her research on images and artwork surrounding the Japanese American internment camps. She presented the 2007 Douglas R. Moore Lecture, and co-chaired the Undergraduate Research Center Steering Committee since 2006. She earned an MA from Miami University and a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University.

Those who have questions or suggestions about the honors program may contact Gina at 389-5191 or by email.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Marilyn Hart (Biological Sciences) presented "How Biology Students Benefit from an Interdisciplinary Peer-Mentoring Cohort" at the American Society of Cell Biology's annual meeting in San Francisco. Rebecca Bates (Computer Science), Deborah Nykanen (Mechanical & Civil Engineering) and Mezbahur Rahman (Mathematics) were co-authors.

A textbook by Han-Way Huang (Electrical & Computer Engineering), Embedded System Design with C8051, was published by Cengage Learning. Han-Way also received a donation of 20 microcontroller demo kits from Silicon Laboratory to be used in microcontroller courses—a donation valued at $1,200.

I.- J. Kim (Mathematics & Statistics) attended the American Institute of Mathematics Workshop on Nonnegative Matrix Theory: Generalizations and Applications in Palo Alto, Calif., in December.

A textbook by Gary Rockswold (Mathematics & Statistics), College Algebra with Modeling and Visualization, Fourth Edition, recently was published by Addison-Wesley Publishing Co. The book is dedicated to the memory of friend and colleague Larry Pearson, who died unexpectedly in August.

Stewart Ross (CETL) presented an integrated course design workshop at Drake University and at Greensboro College in January. He also presented information about the IPESL Project at the American Association of Colleges & Universities annual meeting in Seattle with Tracy Pellet, former Minnesota State Mankato assessment coordinator now at Central Washington State. Steward is a visiting professor at Central Washington State University this week, presenting a number of workshops on teaching and learning and giving advice about the teaching/learning center.

Elizabeth Sandell (Elementary & Early Childhood Education) has been named half-time acting director for the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning while Stewart Ross is on sabbatical for spring 2009. This semester she continues as half-time Early Childhood faculty member; her CETL office hours will be all day Mondays and Fridays and half day on Tuesdays. Stewart will return to CETL in late May.

Mahbubur Syed (Information Systems & Technology) recently edited two books: Multimedia Technologies—Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications and Handbook of Research on Modern Systems Analysis and Design Technologies and Applications. Mahbubur also served on the program committee of the International Conference on Computer and Information Technology in Khulna, Bangladesh, in December.

Wanda Viento is the new Women's Center director. She has been women's center coordinator at Boise State University, Idaho, and has worked at Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University. She was a social worker for 20 years and holds a Ph.D. in student affairs. She will begin her duties March 2.

A paper by Jie Wang (Computer Science), "Privacy Preservation in Social Networks with Sensitive Edge Weights," was published and accepted for the 2009 SIAM International Conference on Data Mining April 30 through May 2 in Sparks, Nev. Another Wang paper, "Wavelet-based Data Perturbation for Simultaneous Privacy-preserving and Statistics-preserving," was published and accepted for the IEEE International Conference on Data Mining and the Workshop on Reliability Issues in Knowledge Discovery in December in Pisa, Italy.

Vincent Winstead (Electrical & Computer Engineering) received a faculty research grant totaling $4,963 from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs to develop a Robotic Tour Guide for on-campus tours. He also received a Teaching Scholar Fellowship for summer 2009 to develop simulation-based tools for the Power Systems curriculum.

Crawford Penny Wars

A portable drinking and hash-washing station in CameroonFunds raised by Crawford Residence Community through Penny Wars, a long-standing campus tradition, were used to purchase portable drinking and hand-washing stations for the children of Cameroon.

Crawford students raised $670 in 12 days. The event was organized by Crawford's graduate hall directors as a way of sparking philanthropic spirit. One container per floor was placed at the Crawford front desk, and students were encouraged to donate spare change.

Each penny donated to a floor's jar equaled one point, while for each silver coin points were deducted. Floors could add to their own total points by donating pennies, and take points away from other floors by placing silver coins in their jars.

The students worked in collaboration with African Action on AIDS. The portable stations provide clean, safe drinking water, providing Cameroon citizens with new tools with which to fight diseases caused by polluted water and unclean hands.

Maverick Forensics

The speech team took part in the "Hell Froze Over" Invitational Tournament hosted by Bradley University and the University of Texas-Austin in Peoria, Ill., in January. The tournament—one of the most difficult of the season—is a "warm-up" for the national tournaments in April.

Senior Ian Hopkins advanced to the semi-final round of competition in impromptu speaking. Juniors Megan Peterson and Jason Reisch advanced to the semi-final round of competition in prose interpretation. Jason also advanced to semi-finals in informative speaking. Junior Justin Hathaway placed fifth in after dinner speaking.

The team also hosted a high school workshop to help local high school students prepare for their competitive season for three days earlier this month.

Student Achievements

Junior Sally Stenzel (Political Science), daughter of Anne Stenzel (Memorial Library), recently was awarded the AFSCME Jerry Clark Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship includes a renewable $5,000 award as well as a summer 2009 internship in the Political Action department of international union headquarters.


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 Feb.11; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Feb. 6). If you're the coordinator for an event, you should also submit it to the university's official Campus Events Calendar. Go to the events calendar website and click on the self-service "Submit Event" link.