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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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April 29, 2009 Campus Newsletter

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Guarding Against Swine Flu

Woman blowing her noseThe federal government has declared a public health emergency because of several confirmed cases of swine flu in the United States. This is not a "pandemic," but it is expected that more cases will be confirmed in the coming days. No cases have been reported among members of the campus community.

Minnesota State Mankato is working with the Minnesota Department of Health and regional and national health organizations to guard against any flu outbreak on campus; Student Health Services is screening students who show symptoms of the virus; and the International Center is working with several students who are studying in Mexico and several others who are scheduled to study there this summer. If cases occur among students, the university is prepared to respond immediately.

Members of the campus community can find accurate, current information about how to reduce exposure to this public health threat at the websites below.

Student Health Services includes a links to information about swine flu and steps that people can take to protect themselves;

  • The Minnesota Department of Health points out that there are no confirmed cases of this new swine flu threat in Minnesota;
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information about confirmed cases across the United States, as well as prevention advice.
  • If a health emergency occurs on campus, information and instructions will be posted on the university Web site. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system has an all-hazards plan in place, which includes pandemic planning. More information about the system's pandemic planning can be found at Minnesota State's website.

To minimize contact with and potential spread of the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wash their hands frequently, be cautious about close contact with others who are not well, and cover their mouths and noses when sneezing or coughing. Those who feel ill should stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

New MavCARD Provider

Wells Fargo logoWells Fargo has been selected as the new financial services provider for the student, faculty and staff MavCARD.

The multifunctional campus identification MavCARD can be used for ATM access, debit card purchases, University Dining Services, library services, athletic game admission and photocopying. Beginning this fall, members of the campus community may link their MavCARD to Wells Fargo checking and savings accounts for ATM and PIN debit card access. Centennial Student Union will become the home to a new Wells Fargo banking location and ATM.

Wells Fargo was selected because of its "demonstrated commitment to helping their customers succeed financially," said Karen Bunde (Campus Hub).

"Wells Fargo is pleased to become part of Minnesota State Mankato's campus card program," said Nate Jensen, Wells Fargo district manager for Mankato. "We are committed to building lasting relationships with our customers and helping them to reach their financial goals. My team is incredibly excited about this opportunity to work more closely with our friends in the Minnesota State Mankato community."

The TCF campus branch location on the main level of Centennial Student Union will close at the end of business Wednesday, May 27. TCF will continue to provide an ATM in the union across from Ostrander Auditorium. Those who have a TCF checking account will continue to have that account but it will not be accessible through a MavCARD after May 31.

Those with questions about current TCF accounts may visit the branch on campus or call (507) 389-2918.

Wells Fargo offers a wide range of products, services and programs for students, including college checking, insurance, financial education workshops and an online financial education program. More information is available online.

More information is available from Karen or Jan Mable (Student Financial Services), or by visiting the MavCARD Office Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Leadership Institute Applications

Leadership Institute logoHuman Resources is accepting applications for the fourth cohort of the Minnesota State Mankato Leadership Institute for next academic year. Employees who are interested must submit applications by July 1.

The institute is a unique opportunity for employees to learn valuable leadership skills that can assist them in their current roles and prepare them for future roles.

More information about the leadership institute is available online, including information about past participants and program newsletters.

A Great Place to Work website subheader

Core Values Initiative

A survey and open forums—the first steps in developing core values for the university—recently were completed by the Great Place to Work task force.

The task force will present summaries of the information to participants in the president's fall retreat, and will discuss a set of core values with meet and confer groups. The resulting set of core values then will go to the President's Cabinet for approval.

The core values process is intended to guide university planning, decision-making and budgeting.

Students, faculty and staff can learn more about Great Place to Work initiatives at the task force website.

Conversations about Trust

Numerous "continued campus conversations" are ongoing regarding results of the Great Place to Work survey, conducted last year. Because the survey identified trust as an area that needs improvement, the conversations will allow groups and individuals to provide more information about trust issues.

The conversations are intended to help the Great Place to Work task force identify action plans to address this issue.

Students, faculty and staff can learn more about Great Place to Work initiatives at the task force website.

Bullying Follow-up Action

2 shark fins in the waterA Great Place to Work subgroup is taking action on consultant recommendations that resulted from the bullying survey.

The group has developed a code of conduct and is developing a set of core values. The group also is clarifying the scope of responsibilities for each unit regarding bullying; revising the workplace environment policy; examining conflicting university and Minnesota State policies; developing a coordinated mechanism for complaints; developing a network of trained peer advisors; and developing an anonymous harassment and bullying reporting system.

May 1: Transportation Survey

8 people riding bikesStudents, faculty and staff members have until Friday, May 1, to complete an on-line survey that will help the Minnesota Department of Transportation and local agencies better understand commuting patterns and travel characteristics.

Members of the campus community may complete the survey online.

Results of the survey will help to update the Mankato Area Regional Transportation Plan with transportation improvements for area roadways, regional bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and local and regional transit and rail operations.

The information will be used to develop appropriate solutions to meet the mobility needs of all area wide users. The new plan, when completed in 2010, will add bicycle and pedestrian needs, airports and transit corridors. The new plan is expected to have a significant impact on the travel and commuting activities of Minnesota State Mankato students, faculty and staff.

The higher education survey will be followed by two others that will survey the needs of area residents and the business community. Those surveys will be conducted in June and July 2010.

Partners involved in the study include the Minnesota Department of Transportation; Minnesota State Mankato; the cities of Mankato, North Mankato, Eagle Lake and St. Peter; the counties of Blue Earth, Nicollet and Le Sueur; and Region 9. Perry Wood (URSI) is coordinating the campus survey.

Dancers practicing on stage

April 30, May 1: Dance Concert

Theatre & Dance will present its Spring Dance Collection Concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, April 30 and May 1, and at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 2, in Ted Paul Theatre of the Performing Arts Center.

This concert will feature the choreography of three students, three faculty members and two Nadine B. Andreas Guest Artists in nine pieces and will include nearly 50 dancers. It is the culmination of a year's worth of work by the dancers and choreographers.

Student choreographers, all of whom are seniors in the program, and their works are: Staci Lipps, "Painting a Memory"; Stephanie Narlock, "Plastic People"; and Aly Townsend, "Sanctified Memory." Fall semester Andreas Guest Artist Alan Sener appears with Daniel Stark (Theatre & Dance) in his remounted "White Trash" (this piece includes subject matter that may be offensive to some people). Spring guest Gabe Masson's piece, "Common Language," was created during his residency in February. Pieces also have been choreographed by Julie Kerr-Berry, Daniel Stark and Paul Finocchiaro (Theatre & Dance).

Individual tickets are $9 regular, $8 for senior citizens over 65, youth under 16 and groups of 15 or more, and $7 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. They are available online by visiting the departments' web sites at Dance or, or by calling the box office at (507) 389-6661 between 4 and 6 p.m., Monday-Friday.

May 1, 3: 'Marriage of Figaro'

Theatre masksW. A. Mozart's romantic comedy The Marriage of Figaro will be performed by Department of Music students Friday and Sunday, May 1 and 3.

The entertaining, world-renowned opera, sung in English, is directed by Kimm Julian (Music), with accompaniment by the University Chamber Orchestra and harpsichord.

The May 1 performance will be at 7:30 p.m., and the May 3 performance will be at 3 p.m. Both will be in Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center.

Considered by many to be "the perfect opera," Mozart's Figaro includes memorable tunes, a classic score and timeless a plot of betrayal, infidelity and love.

The performance recounts a day in the palace of Count Almaviva of Spain. The count, married to Rosina, seeks the favors of Susanna, who is to be wed to her love, Figaro, the count's valet. When the count notes that a young page, Cherubino, is interested in the countess, he gives him an officer's commission in his regiment to get rid of him. Meanwhile Figaro, Susanna and the countess conspire to expose the count's infidelity.

Kimm has appeared in more than 85 roles in opera, oratorio and musical theater throughout the United States as well as Japan, Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Austria and Italy.

Ticket prices for the performance are $12 for general admission, $7 for Minnesota State Mankato students and $9 for other students. Group rates for 10 or more individuals are available by calling 507-389-5549. Those who want more information may contact Dale Haefner (Music Events) at (507) 389-5549.

May 5: Student Affairs Reception

Student Affairs will host a year-end reception to celebrate the past, present and future of service to students on Tuesday, May 5, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Rooms 253-4-5.

All current and former Student Affairs employees are invited. There will be a short program at 3:30 p.m., with refreshments provided.

Those interested in more information may contact Laurie Woodward (Centennial Student Union) at (507) 389-6761.

May 6: Campus Cleanup

Watering flowersFacilities Management invites students, faculty and staff to participate in the annual Campus Cleanup Day Wednesday, May 6.

Volunteers will plant flowers, rake and pick up litter to celebrate Earth Day and keep the campus clean. The event will begin on the mall at noon with hotdogs and chips (donated by University Dining Services). Volunteers will be assigned an area of campus to clean up and beautify.

Those interested in participating may contact Donna Hensel (Facilities Management) at (507) 389-2267.

May 6: Dave Gjerde Reception

Faculty and staff are invited to a retirement reception honoring Dave Gjerde (Registrar) Wednesday, May 6.

The reception will take be in Centennial Student Union Rooms 253-4-5 from 1-3 p.m., with a program at l:30 p.m.

May 7: Australia Reception

Kangaroo hopping along a beachAn informational reception to welcome home College of Education students who are student teaching in Australia will be Thursday, May 7, from 4-6 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Rooms 253-4-5. Students, faculty and staff are invited to attend.

Each of the students will give a multi-media presentation about their experience with the cultural exchange program. Refreshments will be served.

Those interested in more information may contact Jeff Halbur (University Development) at (507) 389-5327.

Swimming Lessons, Camp

Maverick swimming coaches will host swimming lessons and a "Learn to Swim with the Mavericks" swim camp this summer.

The summer Learn to Swim program will begin Monday, June 8, and run in two-week blocks through Friday, July, 17. Lessons will be conducted Mondays through Thursdays between 9 a.m. and noon at the Highland Center pool. Lessons will include 30 minutes of instruction in a small-group (2-3 children) with an experienced swimming instructor.

The camp, from Monday, June 15, through Friday, June 19, will teach competitive age-group swimmers essential techniques and racing strategy, taught by the Maverick coaching staff. Overnight campers will stay in Julia A. Sears Hall.

Brochures and registration forms are available online.

Each family will receive one parking permit for parking in a designated lot near the pool.

Those who want more information may contact Andy Driska (Swimming) at (507) 389-2538 and request a registration form.

Listening Hall of Fame

Nanette Johnson-CuriskisNanette Johnson-Curiskis (Speech Communication) was inducted into the Listening Hall of Fame during the 30th annual convention of the International Listening Association. Listeners from four countries and 31 U.S. states attended the annual convention in Milwaukee, Wis., in March.

As International Listening Association executive director, Nanette was responsible for many aspects of the convention, which also celebrates International Listening Awareness Month.

The Listening Hall of Fame is the highest honor awarded by the organization. Previously Nanette was recognized as an Outstanding Listening Educator.

Nanette also was one a key presenter at a listening education conference co-hosted by the ILA and Alverno College. More than 60 preschool through college teachers convened to learn about the link between listening and literacy.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Danae R. Quirk Dorr (Chemistry & Geology) presented "Development and Implementation of POGIL Activities Supporting an Introduction to Research Course" at the American Chemical Society national meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Water Resources Center co-hosted Shallow Lakes Forum 6: Development and Implementation of Shallow Lake Management Plans, in March in Chaska. More than 170 attended the conference. Shannon Fisher (Water Resources Center) is coordinator of the forum series, which has served more than 1,500 shallow lake stakeholders in the last six years. Water Resources Center staff and graduate students also attended.

I.-J. Kim (Mathematics & Statistics) was invited to Iowa State University, Ames, in March for research collaboration with the Department of Mathematics. During the trip he presented a mathematics colloquium, "On Potentially Nilpotent Sign Patterns."

Brian Martensen (Mathematics & Statistics) presented "Relations between proximality, mixing and Pisot expansion factors for tiling spaces" at the annual spring Topology and Dynamics Conference at the University of Florida, Gainesville, in March.

Gary Mead, Bruce Jones and Paul Steevens (Automotive & Manufacturing Engineering Technology) recently released a paper on a compatibility study of automotive electric fuel pumps and sending units with 20 percent ethanol (E20). The paper was the result of a 4,000-hour dynamic endurance test of 24 pumps and nine sending units. The study was performed for the State of Minnesota, to determine whether E20 would be viable for sale at service stations. The paper may be found on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture website.

Steve Mercurio (Biological Sciences) recently presented "Doing Toxicology Research in the Classroom" at the Society of Toxicology conference in Baltimore, Md., as part of the education-career development session.

Jeffrey R. Pribyl, Mary Hadley and Patricia L. Rambo (Chemistry & Geology) and John A. Kaliski (Management) presented a paper, "Saving time with POGIL grading," at the 237th American Chemical Society National meeting in March in Salt Lake City, Utah. They also presented a poster of the same name at the Sci-Mix Interdivisional Poster Session, and presented a paper, "In-depth look at the concepts of nomenclature and chemical bonding in a POGIL classroom vs. a traditional lecture classroom," at the 237th American Chemical Society National meeting in March in Salt Lake City.

Gary Rockswold (Mathematics & Statistics) was invited to give the keynote address at the joint meetings of the Minnesota Council of Mathematics Teachers and the Minnesota Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges May 1 in Duluth.

A research paper by Deepak Sanjel (Mathematics & Statistics), "On approximating the distribution of indefinite quadratic forms," recently was accepted by the Journal of Theoretical and Applied Statistics.

A paper by Dan Singer (Mathematics & Statistics), "A Graph-Theoretic Method for Choosing a Spanning Set for a Finite-Dimensional Vector Space, with Applications to the Grossman-Larson-Wright Module and the Jacobian Conjecture," recently was published in the Electronic Journal of Combinatorics.

Mahbubur R. Syed (Information Systems & Technology) was invited to be a member of the program committee for the International Conference on Internet and Multimedia Systems and Applications in Cambridge, United Kingdom, July 13-15.

Marlene Tappe (Health Science) recently received the Presidential Award from the Society of State Directors of Health, PE and Recreation for her leadership and contributions to the health education profession. She represented the Department of Health Science at the 124th American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance national convention and exposition in Tampa, Fla., recently.

Chia-chi Tung (Mathematics & Statistics) presented "A note on the weak holomorphicity and analyticity of distributions" at the Special Session on Holomorphic and CR Mappings II during the American Mathematical Society spring central sectional meeting at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in March.

Jim Wilde (Mechanical & Civil Engineering) recently presented results of a research project, "Pavement Smoothness Construction Specifications," to the Concrete Pavement Association of Minnesota, the Minnesota Asphalt Pavement Association, and the Traverse des Sioux Chapter of the Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers. He also received a research contract from MN/DOT to conduct a study relating concrete temperature history to pavement strength.

Youwen Xu (Physics & Astronomy) attended the 2009 American Physical Society meeting in Pittsburgh, Penn., in March. Xu presented a talk, "In situ X-ray Synchrotron Diffraction Study of the Synthesis of LaFeAsO and LaFeAsO1-xFx."

Forensics Team

Second in National Forensics

Senior Grant Anderson (Communication Studies) placed second in the National Forensic Association National Championship Tournament held recently in Missouri. Members of the Maverick Forensics Team finished 12th overall and fourth in the President's I sweepstakes division (schools with 26 to 50 entries).

Grant was second in persuasive speaking, which included 141 competitors. The tournament was at Drury University and Missouri State University, Springfield, April 15-20.

More than 70 schools took part in the tournament, where all schools, regardless of program resources, compete in the overall category. Minnesota State Mankato's fourth-place President's I division sweepstakes award is comparable to NCAA Division II.

Junior marketing major Jason Reisch was a semi-finalist in prose interpretation, placing in the top 12 among 220 entries. Other students contributing points to the sweepstakes placing include senior Ian Hopkins; juniors Justin Hathaway, April Larson and Megan Peterson; sophomores Suzanne Lumberg, Sarah Walker, Ari Klugman, Molly Carmody and Katie Gottwalt; and freshmen Brad Wakefield and Jordan Christiansen.

The Maverick Forensics Team is coached by Leah White and James Dimock (Speech Communication), and graduate students Chad Kuyper, Michael Chouinard, Sara Jones, David Brennan and Megan Orcholski.

Top English Students

Sigma Tau Delta sealTop English students were honored recently for high academic achievement in ceremonies conducted by the Chi Iota Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society.

Sixteen students majoring or minoring in English were recognized for personal accomplishment and awarded lifetime membership certificates and membership pins in March.

New members include Emily Bartz, Sam Campbell, Briana Chermak, Allison Crowley, Hannah Ekren, Nancy Goettl, Heidi Hemmer, Adria Johnson, Traci Kiehn, Fredericke Loll, Darrell McGuire, Megan Platt, Kathleen Rosso, Leah Schmidt, Elena Shufelt and Anne Sweeney.

Officers for 2009-'10 also were installed: Laura Januschka is the new president and Mary Milbert is vice president.

Sigma Tau Delta promotes interest in literacy and literature on local campuses and in the surrounding community, and fosters the discipline of English in all its aspects, including creative and critical writing.

Student Achievements

Brian Durgin (German) was chosen by the City of New Ulm for the Hans Joohs Cultural Exchange program. He will teach English as a second language in Ulm, Germany, for two months this summer. He also received a grant from the American Association of Teachers of German for a one-time summer workshop at the University of Leipzig.


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 May 13; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (May 8).

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.