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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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April 1, 2009 Campus Newsletter

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Women's Team Holding Up Trophy

Women's Team

National Champions!

The women's basketball team won the national NCAA Division II basketball championship March 27 in San Antonio, Texas. It was the first national championship for the Maverick women, and the first appearance in the national tournament.

The team - all of whom are from the Midwest, and most of whom are from Minnesota - led the way to the highest-scoring NCAA women's finals game in history. Thirteen of the 18 team members are from Minnesota. Two are from Wisconsin, two from South Dakota and one from Iowa.

Hundreds welcomed the Mavericks back home and celebrated the victory at a Homecoming Reception March 30 in Taylor Center.

"It has been a historic season for the team, with a first-time ever No. 1 national ranking, a regular season conference championship, a central regional crown won here in Taylor Center and a record-setting overall finish of 32-2," said President Richard Davenport. "Along the way these young women conducted themselves with class and dignity, became great ambassadors for their program, and helped to create a positive public identity for the entire university."

(Photo by Raymond Starin, Minnesota State Mankato Reporter)

Mavs: Second in Directors' Cup

Learfield Sports Director's Cup logoMinnesota State Mankato is second in the latest Learfield Sports Directors' Cup - its highest-ever standing this year among the nation's most successful collegiate athletic programs.

Minnesota State Mankato earned top-25 finishes in all five winter-sports championships, placing third in wrestling, 10th in women's track and field, 12th in men's swimming, 13th in men's track and field and 15th in women's swimming. The Mavericks tallied a winter season-high 329.5 points, moving to second with 470.5 points as of March 19.

The annual standings, maintained by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, are sponsored by Learfield Sports. The standings honor institutions that maintain a broad-based program and achieve success in many men's and women's sports. The overall champion is the institution that records the highest number of points in its division's Directors' Cup standings.

The final winter Division II standings will be released Thursday, April 2, and will include men's and women's basketball. Complete standings and the scoring structure can be found on NACDA's Web site.

Rebecca Bates: Fulbright

Rebecca BatesRebecca Bates (Computer Science) has been awarded a 2009-2010 Fulbright Scholarship to work and study at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Rebecca will research her project, "Exploring Voices: Speech Recognition Applications and Narratives of Brazilian Women in Engineering & Computer Science," during the 2009 fall semester, and will remain in Brazil for the rest of the academic year.

Her Fulbright project has two interdisciplinary aspects, both connected to improving engineering and computer science education and increasing the number of women in technical fields:

  • Mentoring graduate students and collaborative research on handheld devices that use speech recognition technology to support medical and educational applications;
  • Collecting narratives of women who have succeeded in engineering or computer science programs to encourage women and girls in Brazil and the United States to attend college.

The University of Sao Paulo, established in 1934, is the largest higher education and research institution in Brazil, with 86,187 students.

Rebecca has taught computer science at Minnesota State Mankato for 7 years. She is the principal director of the National Science Foundation MAX Scholarship Program, which benefits College of Science, Engineering & Technology students.

The Fulbright Scholars Program, America's flagship international educational exchange activity, is administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of State. The program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. Its purpose is to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.

New MSU Billboard

New Billboards

A dozen billboards will appear around the Twin Cities in April and May as part of the university's continuing campaign to raise awareness of Minnesota State Mankato among prospective students and other important audiences.

The campaign has had a big impact on Twin Cities residents, as shown through 500-household phone surveys conducted in the metro area two years apart. Awareness of Minnesota State Mankato has increased by 30 percent.

This spring's billboard design includes a new element: An email address. The address can be used by prospective students and others to send queries to Undergraduate Admissions. The university will monitor use of that address as a way to test the direct impact of the spring billboards.

10 Faculty Research Grants

Stack of BooksTen faculty members have been awarded 2009 Summer Research Grants for projects this summer. Summer Research Grants support the dissemination of faculty research, scholarship, and creative accomplishments by faculty whose completed research studies or projects demonstrate a high probability of publication, exhibition or performance.

The $5,000 grants are funded by the College of Graduate Studies & Research. Faculty members receiving Summer Research Grants for 2009 include:

  • Karin Bremer (Counseling & Student Personnel), "Understanding Families in Youth Sport: Parental Involvement, Pressure and Support."
  • Kirsti Cole (English), "The Rhetoric of Effect in the Works of Edgar Allan Poe."
  • Saleheen Khan (Economics), "Contagious Currency Crisis: Is Trade a Channel?"
  • Rakesh Kawatra (Management), "A Multi-Period Minimum Cost Network Problem."
  • Charles Lewis (Mass Communications), "Fears and Depredations on the Frontier: The Clash of Dakotas and Whites in the Newspapers of Mankato, Minn., 1863-1865."
  • Jon Lim (Human Performance), "Factors Influencing the College Choice Decisions of NCAA Division II Track and Field Athletes."
  • Liz Miller (Art), "Sculptural Strategies: Finalizing, Documenting and Disseminating New Mixed Media Sculptures."
  • Richard Terrill (English), "Final Revision of a Book-Length Collection of Poems and Preparation for Publication."
  • Daniel Toma (Biological Sciences), "Individual Fly Behavior in Drosophila Lines Selected for Extreme Geotaxis Response."
  • David Viscoli (Music), "Final Preparation for an All-Beethoven Sonata Solo Piano Program."

KMSU: Record Pledge Drive

KMSU logoKMSU's fundraising drive ended in less than three days last week: A record, thanks to an outpouring of support from devoted listeners - particularly listeners to "Shy Boy" Tim Lind and Shelley Pierce's "Shuffle Function 24-Hour Pledge Drive A-Go-Go."

"Shuffle Function" accounted for nearly the entire $25,000 goal, according to KMSU General Manager Jim Gullickson.

Jim thanked listeners "for making this truly one of the most affirming and inspiring fundraising efforts we've ever had. We have never been able to end a pledge drive early."

The public educational radio station is listener-supported and relies on pledged funds for operations and programming.

KMSU recently invested heavily in the station's infrastructure, replacing an aging transmitter, tower and antenna system and creating a mobile, fully functional broadcast studio for Centennial Student Union, where students produce a live program.

Those who want more information about the pledge drive may contact KMSU at (507) 389-5678 or (800) 456-7810, or email Jim Gullickson.

April 2: 'African Soul'

'African Soul, American Heart' posterJoseph Akol Makeer will present "African Soul, American Heart" Thursday, April 2, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in Armstrong Hall Room 102. The lecture, hosted by the Kessel Peace Institute, is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

Makeer lived in Sudan during the civil war between the North and the South. He was one of the "lost boys," young men and boys who trekked for hundreds of miles through the bush in order to escape from the ravages of the war and live in exile as refugees.

Makeer will present a short documentary and speak about his experiences and his work. He also will sell copies of his DVD on sale, proceeds of which will help purchase food and schooling for Sudanese children.

Today Makeer lives in Fargo, N.D., where he raises his three children and continues to work to help the people of Sudan, especially orphans.

Those interested in more information may contact Jackie Vieceli (Political Science & Law Enforcement) at (507) 389-6938.

April 2: Chesley Lecture

Gayle Kvenvold, Aging Services of Minnesota President and CEO, will keynote the fourth annual Chesley Lecture on Aging Thursday, April 2.

Her lecture, about new services for seniors, will be from 4-6:15 p.m. in the AmericInn Hotel & Conference Center, 240 Stadium Road. A reception will start at 4 p.m., followed by Kvenvold's presentation and a reactor panel.

Panel members will include Susan Kratzke, executive administrator and chief operating officer of The Thro Company; Sandy Newbauer, long-term care ombudsman; and Jennifer Pfeffer, director of campus operations, Pathstone Living-Ecumen.

The lecture is open to students, faculty and the public. Tickets are $15 at the door.

The Chesley Lecture honors Betty Chesley, a benefactor of the Center on Aging. The center provides education, applied research and resource development services for southern Minnesota's aging network, and assists community leaders with consultation, applied research, program evaluation and resources for training and skill-building.

April 5: Easter-Egg Hunt

Easter EggsAn Easter-egg hunt and bowling for children will be sponsored by the Campus Kitchen student chapter on Sunday, April 5. Parents are invited to bring their children for an afternoon egg hunt near the Bell Tower, followed by bowling, pizza and refreshments in the Maverick Game Room of Centennial Student Union. Admission for both events is two cans of food or $2 per child.

Three Easter-egg hunts are scheduled at the Bell Tower: At 2, 2:30 and 3 p.m., until the last eggs are found. Bowling will begin at 2 p.m. in the lower level of Centennial Student Union. Pizza and refreshments will be provided by University Dining and Sodexo.

All event proceeds go to Campus Kitchen to provide food for the less fortunate in Mankato.

Minnesota State Mankato's Campus Kitchen is led by student volunteers and serves more than 300 meals per week to families and adults in need. Mankato community partners include the ECHO Food Shelf, Salvation Army, Partners for Affordable Housing, Theresa House, Maxfield Place and Welcome Inn. More than 4,000 students have volunteered and over 50 academic service-learning classes have partnered with Campus Kitchen.

For more information go to or, or contact Samantha Eckerson (Student Leadership) at (507) 389-6076.

April 6: Depression Lessons

Depression-Era Photo of People Standing in Line for FoodRichard C. Schiming (Economics) will present "Lessons from the Great Depression: The Fed and Financial Crisis" Monday, April 6, at 7 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium.

The presentation will be the 30th annual College of Social & Behavioral Sciences Frontier Forum Lecture. All students, faculty, staff and the public are welcome.

Schiming will discuss what lessons the Fed can learn from the past to prevent a deeper and longer economic downturn today.

Twice in its history the Federal Reserve System has confronted the painful combination of a stock market collapse, a tidal wave of mortgage foreclosures and a long and deep recession. Schiming says that while the Fed made a number of mistakes that prolonged and deepened problems during the Great Depression, the system restructured itself and acquired new regulatory powers.

Those interested in more information may contact Denise Thompson (Social & Behavioral Sciences) at (507) 389-5699.

April 6-24: 'Groove Your Health'

Smiley Face Lifting WeightsThe Employee Wellness Committee will host the annual "Groove Your Health Team Challenge" Monday, April 6, through Friday, April 24.

A finale field day of games and activities will be in Otto Recreation Center Wednesday, April 29, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The competition is free and open to all Minnesota State Mankato employees.

Team registration information, events and contest rules are available online. Those who want more information about the competition may contact Graham Prather.

April 8: Diversity Research

Susan Freeman (Women's Studies) and Leah White (Speech Communication) will present "The Celebration of Diversity Research" Wednesday, April 8, from 2-3 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Room 201. Students, faculty and staff are invited.

The session will honor and celebrate Minnesota State Mankato diversity research scholars. The President's Commission on Diversity awarded four research grants, and the event is an opportunity to learn about research projects such as "Education for Liberation: Gay and Lesbian Studies in the 1970s and 1980s," and "Incorporating Augusto Boal's 'Theatre of the Oppressed' Techniques into Performance Studies Courses."

The presentation is part of the spring 2009 diversity education discussion series. Those interested in more information may contact Kelly Meier (Institutional Diversity) at (507) 389-5268.

April 9-18: 'Mame'

Mame posterTheatre & Dance will present the musical "Mame" at 7:30 p.m. April 9-12 and 16-18, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, April 19, in the Ted Paul Theatre. The performance is sponsored by Immanuel St. Joseph's-Mayo Health System.

The musical, directed and choreographed by Paul Finocchiaro (Theatre & Dance), is set in the 1920s, when Mame Dennis becomes the guardian for her 10-year-old nephew, Patrick. The musical includes the title song, "It's Today," "We Need a Little Christmas" and "Bosom Buddies."

Musical direction is by Nick Wayne, scenic design by Randy York and costume design by David McCarl. The show features North Mankato native and senior BFA candidate Mollie Fischer as the title character, and sophomore Megan Volkman-Wilson as her friend Vera Charles.

Individual tickets for "Mame" are $20 regular, $18 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more, and $14 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. Tickets are available online or by calling the Theatre & Dance Box Office at (507) 389-6661 between 4 and 6 p.m. Monday-Friday.

April 14: Moore Lectureship

Lillian Duran (Elementary & Early Childhood) will discuss longitudinal comparison of bilingual education at the preschool level during the Douglas R. Moore Faculty Research Lecture Tuesday, April 14. The annual lecture honors excellence in research.

Lillian's lecture, at 7 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium, is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public. The presentation will be the 35th in the series of prestigious President's Faculty Research Lectures, and the 22nd named in honor of former Minnesota State Mankato President Douglas R. Moore.

Moore was president of then-Mankato State University from 1974-1978.

April 15: Take Back the Night

Take Back the Night logo"Denim Day" and Take Back the Night will be held Wednesday, April 15, as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Students, faculty, staff and the public are encouraged to wear denim that day, and to stop at the Women's Center (CSU 218) for a button to show support.

The international Take Back the Night speak-out and vigil will be at 5 p.m. at the Centennial Student Union Mall Fountain. The rain location is Ostrander Auditorium. The events provide a safe time and place for sexual assault survivors and supporters to speak out.

In 1998, an Italian Supreme Court decision overturned a rape conviction because the victim wore jeans, reasoning she must have helped her attacker remove them. The decision prompted supporters of women's rights to wear jeans as an international symbol against erroneous sexual assault attitudes.

Those who want more information may contact Lauren Pilnick (Women's Center) at (507) 389-5127.

April 18: Relay for Life

Relay for Life logoThe student organization Colleges Against Cancer will host the fifth annual Relay for Life Saturday, April 18. The event will begin at 6 p.m. in Myers Field House and will continue until 6 a.m. April 19.

Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society's signature event, offering community members the opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer.

Teams of people will camp out in the Myers Field House, and at least one representative from each team will be walking the track at all times. Free food and entertainment will be provided throughout the night.

Each team member is asked to raise at least $110. Funds will benefit the fight against cancer and will raise awareness of cancer prevention and treatment.

Those interested in more information or in participating may contact Zach Thieman at (612) 251-5168. More information about Relay for Life is available online.

April 24: Distinguished Alumni

Alumni Association logoTwelve alumni will receive 2009 Distinguished Alumni Awards for exceptional achievement at a Friday, April 24, dinner and ceremony hosted by the Alumni Association.

The event, at 6 p.m. in Centennial Student Union, will honor: Rodney Brown, Hudson, Wis.; Daren Cotter, Saint Paul; Thomas Fallenstein, Mankato; Alan Gerhardt, Minnetonka, Minn.; Garrison Hale, Little Falls, Minn.; Kelby Krabbenhoft, Sioux Falls, S.D.; Daniel Mundahl, Mankato; Bradley Nessler, Duluth, Ga.; Ruth Annette Gabriel Reck, Davis, Calif.; H. Dean Trauger, Mankato; Mark Vanderbosch, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and Matthew Wolff, Victoria, Minn.

Awards will be presented in four categories:

The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, for graduates who have achieved high rank or honor in their professions, a widespread effect on their communities, and accomplishments over the course of their careers;

The Harold J. Fitterer Service Award, for graduates whose efforts have preserved, promoted and supported Minnesota State Mankato;

The Distinguished Alumni Humanitarian Award, for graduates whose lives exemplify service to humankind and who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to humanitarian causes;

The Distinguished Young Alumni Award, to graduates 35 years old or younger who have reached professional achievements early in their careers, and have positively impacted their communities.

Gerhardt, Krabbenhoft, Nessler and Reck will receive the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. Hale, Mundahl and Trauger will receive the Fitterer Service Award. Brown and Vanderbosch will receive the Humanitarian Award; and Cotter, Fallenstein and Wolff will receive the Distinguished Young Alumni Award.

Those who want more information or to register for the event may go to

Faculty/Staff Achievements

William Anderson (Social Work) recently received the Minnesota State Student Association Award for Individual Distinguished Service. He has been a member of MSSA and the Region 9 Board of Directors since 1980, and brings 50 students annually to the Training Conference & Expo.

Suzanne Bunkers (English) and Joseph Kunkel (Political Science) led their seventh annual Study and Travel in Italy Program in March. This year's itinerary included Rome, Naples and Pompeii, along with the Sicilian sites of Palermo, Taormina, Siracusa and Catania. Thirty-four students participated.

Essays by Suzanne Bunkers (English) recently were published in the Rural Women's Studies Newsletter, The Luxembourg News of America and the Modern Language Association's Options for Teaching Series: Teaching Life Writing Texts.

Tony Filipovitch (Urban & Regional Studies) was a discussion facilitator for the Region 9 workshop, "The Impact of Fiscal Hardship on Local Government," in January. He also was appointed to Mankato's Heritage Preservation Commission for a three-year term.

Kevin Filter (Psychology) co-authored "Function-based academic interventions for problem behavior" in Education and Treatment of Children in February. He also presented "Yellow zone PBIS tools that work" for South Central MN PreK-12 school staff in February, and "PBIS: An overview" for Region 9 school psychologists.

Joe Kunkel (Political Science) presented "Liberty in America" at Lake Crystal High School in February as part of a Lions Club program celebrating Liberty Day.

A paper by Paul F.E. Mackie (Social Work), "Is There Really a Problem with Hiring Rural Social Workers?" was accepted for presentation at the National Institute on Social Work and Human Services in Rural Areas conference July 26-28.

Phillip Miller (Economics) discussed a proposal to build a new Florida Marlins baseball in the Miami Herald in January. He also was named Outstanding Alumnus for 2009 by the Department of Economics at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Gretchen Perbix (English) presented "Wikis in the Workplace: An Exploratory Study" at the 2009 Conference on College Composition and Communication in San Francisco, Calif., in March.

Stewart Ross (Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning) presented a workshop on course design to 80 faculty members at Northwood University, Midland, Mich., in March. He also was a consultant at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, in March, presenting workshops on course design, rubric creation, active learning and classroom diversity. In April he will co-present a preconference workshop at the American Association of Colleges & Universities Conference in San Diego, Calif.

Atrayee Ghosh Roy (Economics) presented "How important is domestic saving for U.S. economic growth?: A time-series analysis" at the American Economic Association ASSA meetings in January. She also served as a session discussant.

Emily Stark (Psychology) presented a poster, "Examining Attitudes toward Alcohol, Tobacco, and Marijuana: How Experience with a Drug Influences Attitude Base and Attitude Content" at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference in Tampa, Fla., in February. The poster described research conducted with Dawn Albertson (Psychology).

Student Achievements

Joseph Kapla (Music) won second place in the Minnesota Music Teachers Association College Young Artist Piano Competition.

12 Qualify in Forensics

Twelve students qualified to attend the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament at the University of Akron, Ohio, April 4-6.

AFA-NIET is the most prestigious national speech tournament (Minnesota State Mankato hosted the event in 2007). To qualify for the tournament, students must place first, second or third in events at three different regional tournaments during the season.

The 12 Minnesota State Mankato students qualified in 27 events. Five will attend the tournament in 18 events:

  • Senior Grant Anderson in Persuasive Speaking, Poetry Interpretation and Dramatic Interpretation;
  • Senior Ian Hopkins in Impromptu Speaking, Extemporaneous Speaking and Communication Analysis;
  • Junior Jason Reisch in Prose Interpretation, Informative Speaking, Program Oral Interpretation, After Dinner Speaking and Dramatic Interpretation;
  • Sophomore Suzanne Lumberg in Informative Speaking, Impromptu Speaking, Program Oral Interpretation and Poetry Interpretation;
  • Freshman Brad Wakefield in Program Oral Interpretation, After Dinner Speaking and Communication Analysis.

Seven students qualified for the event but will not attend:

  • Junior Justin Hathaway in Prose Interpretation, Poetry Interpretation and After Dinner Speaking;
  • Junior April Larson in After Dinner Speaking;
  • Junior Megan Petersen in Informative Speaking;
  • Sophomore Ariel Klugman and Wakefield in Duo Interpretation;
  • Sophomore Katie Gottwalt in Impromptu Speaking;
  • Sophomore Sarah Walker in Communication Analysis; and
  • Freshman Jordan Christiansen in Informative Speaking.

"It is unfortunate that due to funding constraints we need to leave one-third of our qualifications home," said Leah White (Speech Communication). "Even though we can only bring a small number of students to this event, the contribution of all team members is valued. A larger group of students will travel to the National Forensic Association National Tournament held in Springfield, Mo., later in April."

Dance Festival

Thirteen students and three Theatre & Dance faculty members attended the North Central region conference of the American College Dance Festival, hosted by the University of Minnesota, in the Twin Cities in March.

Dan Stark taught an Afro-Cuban class, reflecting his research from a recent trip to Cuba, and Paul Finocchiaro taught an advanced tap class. Julie Kerr-Berry taught an intermediate modern class. Julie, the festival's north-central regional director, also facilitated several meetings.

Minnesota State Mankato students and faculty brought two works to be adjudicated by three nationally known dance artists. "Historically Speaking" was choreographed by dance major Nicole Curry, and "Porcelain Portraits" was choreographed by Kerr-Berry. "Historically Speaking" was selected to be performed for the Gala Concert.

Student Stephanie Narlock choreographed and, with three fellow students, performed "Common Martyrs" for the event's informal concert, and Sara Jump performed a solo, "Unshowing."

The festival allows students to network with other students and with Twin Cities artistic directors.

April 4 Recital: Zimmerman-Elke

TromboneBass trombonist Eric Zimmerman and hornist Melissa Elke will present a joint senior recital Saturday, April 4.

The performance will be at 3 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center. Bonnie Jorgensen, piano, and the Real Easy Jazz Quartet will assist on the program.

The recital is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the Performing Arts Center lobby. The event is in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education. Eric is a student of Gerard Aloisio, and Melissa is a student of Matt Wilson.

April 4 Recital: Amanda Timmer

FluteFlutist Amanda Timmer will present a graduate recital Saturday, April 4, featuring compositions by Poulenc, Mercadante, Piazzolla and Bach.

The performance will be at 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center. The recital is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the Performing Arts Center lobby.

Jonathan Moeller, guitar, and Nathan Knutson, piano, will assist. The recital is in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Music degree. Amanda is a student of Emily Sapa.

April 5 Recital: Tricia Nichols

Mezzo-soprano Tricia Nichols will perform compositions by Rossini, Strauss, Respighi, Poulenc, Bernstein and Copland in a Sunday, April 5, recital. Pianist Nathan Knutson will accompany.

The performance will be at 3 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center, and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center. The recital is in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance degree. Tricia is a student of Kimm Julian.


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

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.