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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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February 25, 2009 Campus Newsletter

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Groping Suspect Identified

Mankato police investigators have identified the suspect in the groping/sexual assault incident that occurred Feb. 7 in the Performing Arts Center.

Investigators have received information that the suspect is no longer in the Mankato area, and they are working with investigators from agencies where the suspect is believed to be. The case remains ongoing, and police will release more information when the suspect is formally charged.

The female victim reported to police that she was grabbed in a sexually aggressive manner by a male suspect.

Information about crime alerts and personal safety suggestions are available on the Security website.

12 Named 2009 Distinguished Alumni

Alumni Association logoTwelve Minnesota State Mankato graduates have been named 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award winners for exceptional achievement and contributions to their professions and communities. They will be honored Friday, April 24.

A reception will begin at 6 p.m., followed by a dinner and ceremony at 7 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. Cost to attend is $35.

Four will receive Distinguished Achievement Awards: Alan Gerhardt, 1980 business administration and construction management graduate, is chief operating officer at Kraus-Andersen Construction. Kelby Krabbenhoft, 1982 MBA recipient, is chief executive officer and president of Sanford Health. Bradley Nessler, 1977 mass communications graduate, is a play-by-play sportscaster for ABC Sports and ESPN. Ruth Annette Gabriel Reck, 1954 mathematics and chemistry graduate, is a professor the University of California, Davis.

Three will receive Harold J. Fitterer Service Awards: Garrison Hale, 1971 business administration graduate, is city administrator for Little Falls, Minn. Daniel Mundahl, 1986 political science graduate and 1988 master's in public administration recipient, is chief administrative officer at Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato. H. Dean Trauger, 1969 accounting graduate, is former vice president for Finance & Administration at Minnesota State Mankato.

Three will receive Distinguished Young Alumni Awards: Daren Cotter, 2004 computer information science graduate, is founder and owner of CotterWeb. Thomas Fallenstein, 2004 computer information science graduate, is CEO and president of Costumes Galore. Matthew Wolff, 1999 speech communication graduate, is regional vice president of Ameriprise Financial.

Two will receive Humanitarian Awards: Rodney Brown, 1980 business administration graduate, is vice president of family services for Lutheran Social Services. Mark Vanderbosch, 1979 philosophy graduate, is former president and chief financial officer of Kids in Distress.

Those interested in more information may contact Jennifer Guyer-Wood (Alumni Relations) at (507) 389-1515.

Lillian Duran: Moore Lectureship

Former President Douglas R. Moore

Former President Douglas R. Moore

Lillian Duran (Educational Studies) has been selected to present the 2009 Douglas R. Moore President's Faculty Research Lecture in April.

Her lecture, "Transitional Bilingual Education vs. English-only Instruction in a Head Start Preschool Program: An Experimental Longitudinal Comparison," will be Tuesday, April 14, at 7 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

The event, which celebrates excellence in research at Minnesota State Mankato, is the 34th president's faculty research lectureship, and the 21st named in honor of former President Douglas R. Moore, who established the lectureship to illuminate faculty research. Moore was president of then-Mankato State University from 1974-1978.

His presidential tenure saw the transformation of Mankato State College into a university, as well as the consolidation of the lower and upper campuses and construction of a new administration building.

194 Employees; 3,000 Years of Service

President Richard Davenport Giving Verone Nelson a Recognition of Service Certificate

Verone Nelson: Recognized by President Richard Davenport for 45 years of service

One hundred ninety-four employees were honored for 3,000 years of service at the annual service recognition event sponsored by the Employee Recognition Committee.

Verone Nelson (College of Business) topped this year's honorees with 45 years of service to the university. Five others were honored for 40 years of service: Harlan Bloomer (Art), Carol Rasmussen (Student Financial Services), Melva Wojahn (Finance) and Marlene Roede and Bonnie Sellner (Business Services).

A complete list of honorees can be found on the Employee Recognition Web site. Photos of awardees are also available.

Feb. 26: Nutrition Fair

FoodA Nutrition Fair will be held in Myers Field House lobby Thursday, Feb. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as part of Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

The event will feature several campus organizations that strive to promote healthy eating, body image and exercise. Free health information, giveaways and a door prize will be available.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week Events are sponsored by the Eating Disorders Awareness Week Committee, Women's Center, Student Health Services, Counseling Center and Campus Recreation. Those who want more information may contact Chera Sevcik (Women's Center) at (507) 389-1771.

Feb. 26-28: Pan African Conference

Economic, political, educational, social and cultural concerns of the pan-African community will be discussed at the 33rd annual Pan African Student Leadership Conference Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 26-28, in Centennial Student Union.

The conference is intended to build student leadership, and to allow scholars, students, professionals and community members to discuss issues that affect African people locally, nationally and internationally.

The conference will begin with a Thursday opening session at 9 a.m. A pre-conference featuring the eighth annual Somali Cultural Day is Wednesday, Feb. 26. "Understanding and Respecting Diversity: Working Towards Unity and Global Peace" is the theme.

Scholarly presentations are intended to provide guidance and provoke thought about roles and responsibilities of effective pan-African community leaders. Additional workshops by faculty members and student panels will discuss contemporary issues facing pan-African youth and other young adults.

General information and registration information is available on the Institutional Diversity site.

Feb. 27: Safe Zone

Jessica Flatequal (LGBT Center) will present Safe Zone, a workshop about the LGBT community and how to effectively work with students, on Friday, Feb. 27.

The event will be from 2-4 p.m. in Armstrong 225, and all students, faculty and staff are welcome. Those who attend will have the opportunity to become a Safe Zone certified ally to the LGBT community.

Safe Zone is part of the spring semester series of diversity education sessions. Those interested in more information may contact Kelly Meier (Diversity Institute) at (507) 389-5268.

Feb. 28: 'Abiyoyo'

Abiyoyo CoverThe Department of Theatre & Dance will present its only public performance of its children's theatre touring production, "Abiyoyo," Saturday, Feb. 28, at 1 p.m. in Andreas Theatre.

All tickets are $5 and available by calling the Theatre & Dance Box Office at (507) 389-6661 from 4 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Some tickets will be available at the door.

"Abiyoyo" features a ukulele-playing boy and his magician father who get into mischief and are banished to the edge of town. There they have an opportunity to redeem themselves when Abiyoyo, a horrible, people-eating giant, approaches the village.

In an ironic ending, they use the boy's clanking ukulele and his father's magic wand to save the village. Based on a South African lullaby and folksong, it has been adapted into a musical with original music.

Each spring semester the department sends a children's theatre touring production to Southern Minnesota elementary schools, where it is seen by about 8,000 students.

Feb. 28: Hornheads

Man Playing a SaxAn evening of jazz music featuring the internationally acclaimed band and a cappella group Hornheads will be presented Saturday, Feb. 28. The Jazz Mavericks big band and the Maverick vocal jazz group also will perform.

The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall. General admission is $15; tickets for K-12 students are $12; and tickets for students with a valid MavCard are $9.

As members of Prince, The Hornheads recorded more than 20 CDs and performed for more than 2 million concertgoers in 20 countries. The band, made up of tenor and baritone saxophonists, two trumpeters and a trombonist, brings a distinctive flair to jazz and funk music, combining virtuosic improvisation with sizzling ensemble work. The Hornheads delight audiences with artistry, versatility and precision, covering American masters from Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk to Leonard Bernstein, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Stevie Wonder.

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

March 2: Grad Research Deadline

Scientist Drawing an Aromatic Carbon with MarkerDeadline for the first Graduate Research Conference, intended to let graduate students showcase their work, is Monday, March 2. The conference is scheduled for Tuesday, April 7.

The conference will be similar in format and structure to the highly successful Undergraduate Research Center (this year scheduled for April 27 and 28). In addition to showcasing new research, the Graduate Research Conference is intended to let students enhance their presentation skills as they prepare for careers or admission to higher-level graduate programs.

Participants will be able to make oral presentations or poster presentations, or perform or demonstrate their creative work.

Those who want more information may go online or contact the College of Graduate Studies & Research at (507) 389-2321.

March 4: Banning Cluster Bombs

Virgil Wiebe

Virgil Wiebe

University of St. Thomas School of Law professor Virgil Wiebe will discuss "Banning Cluster Bombs: Pipe Dream or Realistic Vision?" Wednesday, March 4, at 1 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium.

The lecture is part of the sixth annual College of Social & Behavioral Sciences advisory board lecture series.

Wiebe will speak about his participation in curbing the use of land mines and cluster munitions in armed conflicts. As a consultant to the Mennonite Central Committee and most recently as a visiting fellow at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, he has attended United Nations conferences on landmines and conventional weapons, and has addressed diplomats on international humanitarian law matters.

He also serves on the board of directors of Mines Advisory Group America.

Those who want more information may contact Susan Taylor (University Development) at (507) 389-1006.

March 5-9: Database Conversion

'Download' graphicThe Integrated Student Record System (ISRS) database will be shut down Thursday evening through Monday, March 5-9, for a major conversion. During the conversion a number of system functions used by students, faculty and staff will not be available.

The shutdown will begin at 6 p.m. March 5 and will continue until the conversion is completed. During the system downtime, users will not be able to:

  • Reset passwords
  • Check grades
  • Drop/add courses
  • Check course schedules
  • Check financial aid status
  • View/print unofficial transcripts
  • Pay bills/tuition online
  • View student pay stubs

Systems that will not be affected include:

  • MavMAIL
  • MavDISK
  • MavCARD
  • Most other on-campus applications and services.

Those who want more information may contact Ted Johnson (Web Services) at (507) 389-2014.

March 6: Grant Proposals

Proposals for spring President's Commission on the Status of Women grants are due March 6. Grants of up to $500 are available for students, faculty and staff members who plan to attend professional conferences concerned with the status of women or gender-related issues, or who plan to conduct research in these areas.

The Commission on the Status of Women encourages all interested faculty, staff, and students to apply. The application form is available online. Hard copy applications can be submitted to graduate assistant Elizabeth Lindstrom in Centennial Student Union 218 (Women's Center).

For more information contact Elizabeth at 389-2486 or

March 10: AFSCME Opportunities

AFSCME logoAFSCME Council 5 will sponsor two professional development opportunities for members Tuesday, March 10.

The first program will focus on self-worth and motivation and take place from 10-10:45 a.m. in the Ostrander Auditorium.

The second, "Managing by Intimidation," from noon to 12:45 p.m. in Ostrander, will focus on how to be flexible, lead by example and adapt to change. Renowned motivational speaker and comedian C. Willi Myles will present the workshop.

Those interested in more information about Myles may visit his website. Registration for both workshops may be completed online.

Those who want more information may contact Lori Lamb (Human Resources) at (507) 389-2015.

March 15: Classified Funds

People Working at ComputersThe university is approaching the final FY2009 award period for Classified Professional Development Funds. Awards are available for classified employees who do not otherwise have access to such funds through collective bargaining agreements or personnel plans. All permanent classified employees are eligible to apply; the application deadline is March 15.

Classified employees who plan to participate in a conference, workshop or other qualifying event/activity between March 1 and June 30 may apply by the deadline to Human Resources, WA336.

A request form and more information are available on the Human Resources site.

Wellness Committee Events

Woman Doing Yoga in the DesertThe Wellness Committee will offer events intended to relax and rejuvenate students, faculty and staff throughout the spring semester.

The following events will be offered:

  • March 17: "Money 101: Recession Proof Budgeting" brown-bag presentation by Julie Zachariason, noon to 1 p.m. Those interested should contact Graham Prather no later than Thursday, March 12.
  • March 6: March Madness at Mt. Kato. Registration and release forms and payment must be submitted to Graham (Wigley 336) by Monday, March 2. Late registration will not be available. Forms are available for download.
  • Mondays and Wednesdays: Midday Yoga from 12:05-12:50 p.m., Pennington 102. Mixed-level, beginner-friendly yoga class with Graham costs $2 per class, and mats are provided.
  • March 23: Maverick Boot Camp returns, with six weeks of competition starting March 23. Teams must register by March 18. Cost is $200 per team ($50 per member), and includes twice-weekly meetings with a personal trainer and individualized assessments. Registration forms are at the Campus Recreation website or Highland Center 1410. Those who have questions may contact Jen Myers (Campus Recreation).

Those interested in more information may call (507) 389-2068.

March 17: White-collar Crime

Money Fastened to a String with ClothespinsProsecutor Hank Shea will present lecture about white-collar crime with Nick and Carolyn Ryberg, white-collar crime convicts, on Tuesday, March 17, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Ballroom. Delta Sigma Pi and the College of Business will host the free, public event.

Shea, one of the nation's most effective white-collar crime prosecutors, served as assistant U.S. attorney for Minnesota for almost 18 years, and has served as special assistant U.S. attorney for two years. From crimes that he prosecuted, the U.S. Attorney's Office collected more than $50 million in restitution, fines and forfeitures.

Shea has received a Department of Justice Commendation, a Department of Justice Director's Award, a Chief Postal Inspector's Special Award and a Department of Justice Special Achievement Award. He also has received the State Bar Association Professional Excellence Award for advancing the legal profession and the administration of justice.

Ryberg was human resource director for a large, privately held company in the Twin Cities. In a scheme to defraud his employer, he submitted fraudulent invoices from three companies registered under Carolyn's maiden name. From 1999 to 2003, the Rybergs received approximately $1 million as a result of the fraud.

The Rybergs pleaded guilty to three counts of mail fraud. Ryberg served a 24-month prison sentence, and the two were ordered to pay restitution.

Those who want more information about the talk may contact Igor Schmidt.

March 19: Professional Development

Some educational sessions offered during Professional Development Day are being offered throughout the spring semester.

The following programs are free and open to all faculty and staff:

  • March 19: "Dealing with Mental Health Issues in the Workplace," Dr. Michael Farnsworth, psychiatrist, 9-10:30 a.m., Ostrander Auditorium.
  • March 31: "Managing Your Money in Tough Economic Times," Ken Park (Economics), 2-3:30 p.m., CSU 253.

Those interested in attending may register online. Those interested in more information may contact Lori Lamb (Human Resources) at (507) 389-2015.

March 20: Women of Courage

The Women's Center, the President's Commission on the Status of Women and the Panhellenic Council are accepting nominations through Friday, March 20, to honor women of courage and vision.

All students, faculty and staff can nominate any woman at Minnesota State Mankato for the recognition.

Nominations may be submitted to the Women's Center in the Centennial Student Union Room 218 or via the online form.

The Women of Courage and Vision recognition reception will be Tuesday, March 31. Those interested in more reception information may visit Those who want more program information may contact Elizabeth Lindstrom or Vena Namukasa at (507) 389-6146.

March 23: Learn to Swim

Life PreserverThe swimming program will offer weekday afternoon and Saturday morning swim lessons for children of all ages and ability levels beginning Monday, March 23.

Four levels will be offered: beginner, advanced beginner, intermediate and advanced. Instructors have experience teaching children the skills necessary to learn how to swim. In addition, instructors will help refine skills needed to become an expert swimmer.

Three Monday through Thursday sessions will be offered for a total of eight days: Monday, March 23, through Thursday, April 2; Monday, April 6, through Thursday, April 16; and Monday, April 20, through Thursday, April 30. Weekday lessons will begin at 4, 4:40 and 5:20 p.m.

Saturday lessons will be held for six Saturdays between March 28 and May 2, with lessons starting at 9, 9:40 and 10:20 a.m.

All lessons will last 30 minutes and will take place at Highland Center pool. Cost for weekday lessons is $85 per child with a $210 family maximum. Saturday lessons cost $65 per child with a $160 family maximum.

Those who want more information may contact Andy Driska (Swimming) at (507) 389-2538.

March 27: Budget Town Hall

The next budget town hall meeting will be Friday, March 27 in the Centennial Student Union Room 284. The Thursday, March 26, meeting has been cancelled.

Meetings also will be held Wednesday, April 22, in the CSU North Ballroom and Monday, May 4, in CSU 253-55. (The Thursday, May 14, meeting also has been cancelled.)

All meetings will begin at 11:30 a.m. and conclude by 1 p.m.

Those interested in more information may contact Ginny Fitzloff (President's Office) at (507) 389-1111.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Lori Bird (Field Experience) presented "Taking Action Toward Quality Mentoring Using Circles of Influence" at the New Teacher Center National Symposium on Teacher Induction in San Jose, Calif., in February. April Rosendale from Le Sueur-Henderson public schools co-presented as a professional development school partner.

Janet Cherrington (Urban & Regional Studies) was appointed to the Janesville Planning Commission for 2009-2012. She also is a member of the city's Economic Development Authority.

Marilyn Hart (Biological Sciences) and graduate student Ryan Peck presented "Identification of Proteins Interacting with the Beta1 and Beta2 Subunits of Actin Capping Protein" at the Life Science Alley conference and exposition in Minneapolis.

I.-J. Kim (Mathematics & Statistics) co-organized a special session, "Spectra of Matrix Patterns and Applications to Dynamical Systems," at the 2009 American Mathematical Society joint meetings in Washington, D.C., in January.

Paul F.E. Mackie (Social Work) was recently accepted as a consulting editor by the Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work.

Phillip Miller (Economics) was interviewed by San Diego's KUSI along with former Vikings coach Dennis Green for a one-hour special on the San Diego Chargers which aired in San Diego in January.

An article by Luis Posas (Sociology & Corrections), "Revisiting the Overurbanization Theses: A Test of a Theoretically Inclusive Model Using Path Modeling with LISREL," recently was published in the Great Plains Sociologist.

An article by Mezbahur Rahman and Larry Pearson (Mathematics & Statistics), "Estimation of the Multivariate Box-Cox Transformation Parameters," was accepted for publication in World Scientific Review.

Two textbooks by Gary Rockswold (Mathematics & Statistics) recently were published by Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Boston.

Stewart Ross (CETL) presented two workshops on course design for faculty at the University of North Dakota in February. He also was a presenter at the Lilly South Conference on Teaching and Learning in Greensboro, NC, and presented a series of workshops on course design, rubric creation, active learning and diversity in the classroom at the University of Texas at San Antonio in February.

An article coauthored by Michael Spencer (Economics), "Rebate Rules in Threshold Public Good Provision," recently was included in the National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper Series.

Emily Stark (Psychology) attended the Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference in Tampa Bay, Fla., in February to present a poster, "Examining Attitudes Toward Alcohol, Tobacco and Marijuana: How Experience with a Drug Influences Attitude Base and Attitude Content." The research was conducted in collaboration with Dawn Albertson (Psychology).

Mahbubur Syed (Information Systems) was invited to serve on the technical program committee for Sarnoff 2009 sponsored by Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He also was invited to be a member of the International Program Committee for the International Conference on Wireless and Optical Communications in Banff, Alberta, Canada, in July.

Qun (Vincent) Zhang (Electrical & Computer Engineering) recently presented "Optical Communication Market and R&D Trends" at Thin Film Technologies. He and Thin Film engineers submitted a co-authored paper in performance estimation of optical systems to the 43rd annual Conference on Information Sciences and Systems. He also served as a panelist on a two-day NSF research proposal panel review in Washington, D.C.

Hockey Scholar-Athletes

Mavericks 'M'Minnesota State Mankato has more student-athletes on the Western Collegiate Hockey Association's Scholar-Athlete Award list than any other school: 10 women and six men.

To earn recognition as a WCHA Scholar-Athlete, a student must have a grade-point average of at least 3.50 on a 4.0 scale for the previous two semesters or three quarters, or an overall GPA of at least 3.50 for all terms.

Women scholar-athletes are Jenna Hewitt (three-time honoree); Ashley Young and Kathleen Rosso (each two-time honorees); and Kala Buganski, Ida Clark, Holly Snyder, Ashley Bliskowski, Kristi Ellis, Nina Tikkinen and Amy Udvig.

Men scholar-athletes are Nick Canzanello (two-time honoree), Dan Tormey, Trevor Breuss, Rylan Galiardi, Andrew Sackrison and Austin Lee.

Golden Key Collects Food

Two Golden Key Members at Table

Golden Key members collected 73 food items for the ECHO Food Shelf.

Minnesota State Mankato's Golden Key National Honour Society chapter sponsored a bowling "food-raiser" in February to collect non-perishable food items for the ECHO Food Shelf.

Forty people attended the Can'N'Bowl event and a total of 53 food items were donated. The organization collected 20 more donations after the kick-off event.

Golden Key is a non-profit collegiate honor society that recognizes outstanding academic achievement and connects students locally, regionally and globally. Golden Key was founded in 1977 to encourage scholastic achievement and excellence among college and university students from all academic disciplines.

Cartoon of Man Climbing a LadderGraduate Career Survey

The most recent Minnesota State graduate follow-up survey summary is now available online, prepared by the Career Development Center.

Students, faculty and staff may view the career paths of recent graduates and check out the information about employers who have hired them at

The data represents a snapshot capturing the status of graduates within one year of graduation. The CDC supported an 85 percent response rate.

Those who want more information may contact Kris Norland (CDC).

Maverick Forensics Team

Maverick Forensics

The Maverick Forensic team competed in several tournaments in February.

The team traveled to St. Cloud Feb. 6 and 7, placing second against 18 schools including Gustavus Adolphus College, Southwest Minnesota State University and South Dakota State University.

Freshman Jordan Christiansen placed first in informative speaking and sophomore Ariel Klugman and freshman Brad Wakefield placed second in duo interpretation. Junior Jason Reisch placed first in dramatic interpretation and fourth in oral interpretation. Junior Justin Hathaway took first in poetry interpretation and fifth in after-dinner speaking, and junior Megan Petersen took fifth in informative speaking.

Senior Grant Anderson placed second in dramatic interpretation and third in poetry interpretation and senior Ian Hopkins placed second in communication analysis and fifth in extemporaneous speaking.

The team placed fifth in the Love Fest Forensic Tournament in Eau Claire, Wis., Feb. 14 and 15.

Reisch was first-day tournament champion in program oral interpretation. Sophomore Suzanne Lumberg was second in poetry interpretation and third in program oral interpretation, and was fifth-best overall speaker. Wakefield was fourth in communication analysis.

Anderson placed third in poetry interpretation and Reisch was second-day tournament champion in after-dinner speaking. Hathaway placed second in poetry interpretation and second in prose interpretation and Petersen took fifth in program oral interpretation and fifth in poetry interpretation. Lumberg placed fifth in informative speaking and sixth in dramatic interpretation.

Leah White (Speech Communication) received the Grace Walsh award for outstanding service to the forensic community.

The Mavericks placed second in the Twin Cities Forensic League tournament at Normandale Community College Feb. 17.

Lumberg was first in program oral interpretation and third in informative speaking. Reisch was first in informative speaking and second in after-dinner speaking, and Wakefield was first in after-dinner speaking and sixth in prose reading. Klugman was fifth in informative speaking and sixth in persuasive speaking. Molly Carmody was first in communication analysis, and Christensen was sixth in after-dinner speaking.

Student Achievements

The Maverick ROTC Battalion recently was named one of three battalions in the region and one of nine nationwide to receive a "Most Improved Battalion" award. The battalion was just one selection point away from being awarded the MacArthur Award as "best battalion." The Maverick Battalion is comprised of Military Science students from Minnesota State Mankato, Gustavus Adolphus College and Bethany Lutheran College.

Christopher West (French) received a $2,500 scholarship from the American Society of the French Academic Palms. He will participate in the 2009 summer study in France program.


Do you have faculty, staff, student or departmental news for the biweekly campus newsletter? Send news items to newsletter editor Michael Cooper. The newsletter is published every other Wednesday during the academic year and monthly during the summer. The next newsletter will be published March 18; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (March 13).

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.