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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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August 20, 2009 Campus Newsletter

Page address:

President Richard Davenport giving his address

Welcome: New Academic Year

President Richard Davenport discussed the university's future in his 2009 convocation address Aug. 17, and, in a video message, Chancellor James McCormick welcomed students, faculty and staff back for the new year.

President Davenport's message can be viewed and heard online.

Chancellor McCormick's welcome-back message can be viewed on the Minnesota State website or on YouTube

The 2002-2008 Strategic Plan Report Card, mentioned by President Davenport in his convocation address, is also available online.

"Welcome Week" for new students is Thursday, Aug. 20, through Sunday, Aug. 23. Residence hall move-in day—when more than 4,000 vehicles are expected on campus—is Thursday, Aug. 20. Returning students will move into residence halls on Friday, Aug. 21.

Classes start Monday, Aug. 24.

Faculty, staff and administrative leaders
Faculty, staff and administrative leaders gathered recently at Gustavus Adolphus College for the president's 2009-'10 shared governance planning retreat.

President Davenport and Larry Kohanek
President Davenport and Larry Kohanek (Planning, Construction), who received the 2009 Claire E. Faust Public Service Award.

President Davenport and David Cowan
President Davenport and David Cowan (Facilities Services), who received the 2009 Campus Drive Award.

President Davenport and Vicki Langevin
President Davenport and Karen Bunde, who received the 2009 Finance & Administration Outstanding Service Award.

President Davenport and Cynthia Hanson
President Davenport and Cynthia Hanson, who received the 2009 Strategic Partnerships Outstanding Service Award.

President Davenport and Vicki Langevin
President Davenport and Vicki Langevin, who received the 2009 University Advancement Outstanding Service Award.

President Davenport and Carol Wheeler
President Davenport and Carol Wheeler, who received the 2009 Student Affairs Outstanding Service Award.

President Davenport and the electronic curriculum design team
President Davenport and the electronic curriculum design team, whose members received 2009 Academic Affairs and Information Technology Services Outstanding Service Awards. (For details about the team's project, see story below.)

Outstanding Service Awards

Thirteen faculty and staff members received 2009 Outstanding Service Awards at Convocation on Aug. 17.

President Richard Davenport presented awards to:

  • Larry Kohanek (Planning, Construction), Claire E. Faust Public Service Award.
  • David Cowan (Facilities Services), Campus Drive Award for chairing the 2009 Campus Drive.
  • The electronic curriculum design team of Christopher Corley, Brenda Flannery, Julie Kerr-Berry, Kim Pederson and Jessica Schomberg (Academic Affairs) and Michael Budach and Brenda Hanel (Information Technology).
  • Karen Bunde (Finance & Administration)
  • Cynthia Hanson (Strategic Partnerships)
  • Vicki Langevin (Advancement)
  • Carol Wheeler (Student Affairs).

Aug. 20: Move-In Day

Man with cart full of various objects
Photo by John Cross, The Free Press

Residence Hall Move-In Day will be Thursday, Aug. 20, with more than 4,000 vehicles expected on campus. University employees are asked to walk or bicycle to work that day, or to temporarily park in other lots to reduce congestion.

Dave Cowan (Facilities Services) asks employees to avoid slow-moving main access roads such as Stadium and Val Imm Drive. Certain Gold permit holders and summer free parkers are asked to relocate for the day:

  • McElroy curbside gold permit holders should relocate to Trafton curbside gold (Maywood East).
  • Maywood curbside gold permit holders should relocate to Trafton curbside gold (Maywood East).
  • Rugby curbside gold permit holders should relocate to the paylot free of charge.
  • Lot 11/11a gold permit holders should relocate to the paylot free of charge.
  • Summer free parkers should relocate to Lot 22 (orange permit area) across from AmerIcInn. Parkers are asked to stay away from Lots 20 and 21, as they are being used as staging and parking areas for parents and residence hall students. Those who normally park free in Lot 13 by Crawford should vacate that lot by 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19, so the lot can be sealed off.

If all of the relocation sites are clogged, Lot 22 will be the default lot of necessity. Employees are free to use the three large buses which will ferry residence hall students back and forth at no charge.

New 2009-'10 parking permits aren't effective until Monday, Aug. 24, the first day of classes.

'Finance and Commerce Top Projects' poster
Web-based curriculum design project team members (from left): Mike Budach, Dan Cronn-Mills, Ron Nickerson, Julie Kerr-Berry, Brenda Hanel, Karen Fluegge, Kim Pederson, Dave Gjerde, Chris Mickle, Jessica Schomberg, Brenda Flannery, Claudia Tomany and Cathy Haroldson.

Curriculum Design System Wins Top Award

A new paperless, electronic curriculum design tool created by the divisions of Academic Affairs and Information & Technology Services recently won one of 11 worldwide "technology innovators" awards from Campus Technology magazine.

Campus Technology selected the Web-based curriculum design project from 349 nominations around the globe. Other award-winners include Purdue University, Carnegie Mellon, Hofstra, Kent State, George Mason University, the University of Missouri and Rochester Institute of Technology.

The university's new system won the magazine's "curriculum design" award. The system replaces an antiquated, paper-based curriculum approval process with a transparent, Web-based, user-centered system.

The Web-based system, implemented in 2008, lets all faculty and staff members electronically view and comment on proposed new or altered programs. The collaborative initiative to develop the online tool was led by Brenda Flannery (Academic Affairs) and Brenda Hanel (IT Services).

Campus Technology magazine's annual Innovators Awards "recognize higher education institutions that take true initiative…to better serve the campus community via technology," according to the monthly publication.

The magazine adds that the innovations by Minnesota State Mankato and the 10 other institutions "have taken technology investment to new heights, to the unique benefit of teaching, learning, administration and operations on campus."

Ford Hall Award

'Finance and Commerce Top Projects' posterThe new Leonard A. Ford Hall wing of Trafton Science Center recently was named one of 25 top Minnesota construction projects of 2008 by the Minneapolis business publication Finance and Commerce.

Ford Hall was honored for its innovative construction, creativity in design and overall complexity. Officials received the publication's "Top Projects" award at a July ceremony hosted by Finance and Commerce.

The 67,000-square-foot, $32.5-million building was started in 2006 and was completed in fall 2008. It's the largest building project in the history of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, and is home to the Chemistry & Geology Department in the College of Science, Engineering & Technology.

"What makes this structure different is a host of sustainability features that added $1 million to the project but which should pay off in lower heating and cooling costs in the future," said "Top Project" judges. The building includes a giant, circular heat recovery radiator that extracts cold or heat from exhaust air. The building also uses energy efficient fluorescent bulbs and large windows to reduce the need for artificial lighting.

Shaw-Lundquist Associates of St. Paul was Ford Hall's general contractor. Hammel Green and Abrahamson, Minneapolis, designed the addition.

Finance and Commerce is an independent daily newspaper that provides news, analysis and commentary on Minnesota business.

26 Complete New MSW Program

MNSU Department of Social Work logoTwenty-six students comprised the first cohort to complete the university's new Master of Social Work program. The new graduates were honored last month at a celebration in Centennial Student Union, where they were congratulated by Provost Scott Olson and Anne Blackhurst (Graduate Studies & Research).

The Master of Social Work program, started in 2007, prepares students for advanced social work clinical practice and administration in rural and small communities.

Minnesota State Mankato was the first Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system institution to offer a Master of Social Work degree. The program, for working professionals, operates year-around, with courses one evening per week, Friday afternoons and evenings, and Saturday mornings.

'Fast Facts' Online

'Fast Facts' brochure coverMinnesota State Mankato employees won't receive a paper copy of the annual "Fast Facts" brochure this year, but they'll find newly updated facts and figures about Minnesota State Mankato at

Those who have additions or corrections should notify Ann Fee (Publications).

University Flag in Iraq

University flagThe Maverick Battalion Army ROTC unit has arranged to send a university flag to be displayed in Basra, Iraq, at the 34th Infantry Division ("Red Bull") contingency operating base dining facility. The flag will be the first banner from Minnesota to be displayed in the Red Bull dining facility.

The flag will join 18 other banners from other universities. The request was initiated by a Minnesota State Mankato ROTC graduate and senior Red Bull advisor, Lt. Col. David W. Ronan. It is being sent to Iraq by members of the Army ROTC cadre, led by Lt. Col. Joel Stephenson.

The Red Bull Division includes hundreds of soldiers from Minnesota. The division is commanded by Major Gen. Richard Nash, a 1972 Minnesota State Mankato alum.

2009-'10 Mainstage Season

Cartoon theatre masksThe Department of Theatre & Dance will travel from "Into the Woods" to "42nd Street" in its 2009-'10 Mainstage season, with many stops along the way. Season subscriptions are $85 and are on sale by mail order, with online purchases available starting Tuesday, Sept. 8. Individual tickets for all shows are available starting Wednesday, Sept. 23; they may be purchased online.

This season the department is altering its performance schedule to reflect recent audience trends, eliminating Sunday evening performances. For Mainstage shows, Sunday evening performances will be replaced by Saturday matinees. For the more avant garde Studio shows, which run for four performances, Sunday night performances will be replaced by Wednesday evening shows.

The entire six-show Mainstage season is:

  • "Into the Woods," with music by Stephen Sondheim, Oct. 1-4 and 8-11 (sponsored by HickoryTech);
  • "Twelve Angry Men," a Minnesota State Mankato premiere, Oct. 15-18 and 21-25 in Andreas Theatre;
  • "A Christmas Carol," the Charles Dickens classic adapted by Paul J. Hustoles, Nov. 12-15, 19-22, 28 & 29 (sponsored by Blethen, Gage & Krause);
  • William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" in Andreas Theatre Jan. 28-31 and Feb. 3-7;
  • "On the Razzle," by Tom Stoppard and another Minnesota State Mankato premiere, Feb. 18-21 and 25-28;
  • "42nd Street," last presented in 1993, April 8-11 and 15-18 (sponsored by Immanuel St. Joseph's-Mayo Health System).

Those buying season subscriptions will get priority seating and may purchase tickets for the two dance concerts and the four-show Studio Season. This year's Studio offerings, all in Andreas Theatre, are: "One Flea Spare," Sept. 16-19; "Rocky Horror Show," Dec. 2-5, including two midnight matinees on Friday and Saturday nights; "Beauty Queen of Lenane," March 24-27; and "Virgin Territory," an original play by MFA candidate Nikki Swoboda, April 21-24.

Dance Concerts will be Dec. 4-5 and April 29-30, May 1 in Ted Paul Theatre, each including a Saturday matinee.

Those who want more information about Theatre & Dance productions may find it their website. To receive a season brochure in the mail, call 389-2118.

Swim Team Offers Lessons

Children swimmingThe men's and women's swimming and diving teams will offer fall swim lessons for children of all ages and ability levels Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings beginning Wednesday, Sept. 9.

The six-lesson programs will be at four levels, depending on experience, ability and age. Instructors have experience teaching children the skills necessary to learn how to swim, and will help refine skills needed to become an expert swimmer.

Three sessions of Wednesday evening lessons will be offered on six Wednesdays from Sept. 9 through Oct. 14: From 5:15-5:45 p.m., from 5:50-6:20 p.m., and from 6:25-6:55 p.m.

Four sessions of Saturday morning lessons will be held on six Saturdays from Sept. 12 to Oct. 17. Saturday sessions will begin at 9:15, 9:50, 10:25 and 11 a.m.

Each lessons will last 30 minutes and will take place at Highland Center pool, adjacent to the Otto Recreation Center. Cost for one session is $65 per child, with a $160 family maximum.

Those who want more information or wish to register may contact Andy Driska, assistant swimming coach, at (507) 389-2538.

Sept. 1: Community Fair

Booths supporting community non-profit agencies and organizations, businesses and Recognized Student Organizations will be featured at the first-ever Greater Mankato Campus and Community Fair Tuesday, Sept. 1, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Myers Field House.

The event is sponsored by the Community Engagement Office, Recognized Student Organizations and Greater Mankato Growth. Prizes will be given away during the entire three hours of the fair.

The event is open to the campus community and the public. Businesses will provide samples of their wares, and representatives will discuss services and products that they offer.

Students enrolled in courses with a service-learning component or who wish to volunteer can meet with representatives from agencies in need of volunteers, and can learn about campus organizations. Community members can learn more about campus organizations that can partner with community non-profits.

Sept. 2: Employee Resource Fair

'Professional Development' and logoMinnesota State Mankato's annual Employee Resource Fair, sponsored by the Professional Development Committee, will be Wednesday, Sept. 2.

The fair, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., will be in the Centennial Student Union ballroom. It features booths and table displays showing services offered by offices across the university. Food, beverages and door prizes will be available at the event.

Sept. 14: Ford Lecture

Kathleen Cox, director of exploratory drug metabolism of the Schering-Plough Research Institute, will discuss the drug discovery process during the 20th annual Leonard A. Ford Lectureship Monday, Sept. 14, at Minnesota State Mankato.

Cox's lecture, hosted by the Department of Chemistry & Geology and titled "The Small Molecule Drug Discovery Process: From Molecules to Medicine," will be at 7:30 p.m. in Room C121 of Trafton Science Center, followed by a reception.

Cox also will give a technical talk, "The Use of LC-MS/MS for Metabolite Characterization in Drug Discovery," at noon in Ford Hall 216. The public is welcome to attend both events.

Her lecture will discuss the discovery process for obesity/metabolic syndrome therapy, with the indication of type 2 diabetes.

Cox points out that the drug discovery process depends on a unique series of successful collaborations among different disciplines. The integrated efforts of biologists, chemists, clinicians, market experts and regulatory experts identify emerging fields with tangible molecular targets for drug discovery, assess unmet medical needs and feasibility of success, and analyze the regulatory climate.

Sept. 16: Blood Drive

'I give blood. Will You?' pinUpward Bound again will sponsor a Red Cross Bloodmobile blood drive Wednesday, Sept. 16, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. Students, faculty, staff and the public are invited to participate.

Appointments may be made by calling (507) 389-1211 or by going to and entering sponsor code 5952. Walk-ins also are welcome.

Oct. 2: Athletics Hall of Fame

'Mavericks' and Stomper logoFour alumni have been selected for the Athletics Hall of Fame and two for the Hall of Distinction, according to the Hall of Fame & Distinction Selection Committee.

The committee also announced a "team" inductee and this year's service and philanthropic award recipients.

This year's induction will be Friday, Oct. 2, at the Hall of Fame induction dinner in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

New Hall of Fame members include wrestling national champion Tony Kenning ('96), softball All-American Heather Hillstrom ('97), track star Michelle (Clarke) Oman, and basketball stand-out Lynell (Anderson) Senden ('94).

New Hall of Distinction members (those who have made significant contributions and/or brought honor to MSU Athletics) include Dean Bowyer (baseball coach 1977-2008) and Dan McCarrell (men's basketball coach 1984-2001).

Selected for induction in the "team" category is the women's volleyball team from 1970-'71.

The Jim Schaffer Service Award will be presented to Mark and Kristy Sybilrud, and this year's Athletics Philanthropic Award recipients are Jim and Sue Clark.

Those interested in attending the dinner may reserve tickets by calling the Department of Athletics at (507) 389.6111.

Tuition Waiver

Faculty and staff who plan to request a tuition waiver benefit for themselves and/or their dependents for fall semester are reminded to submit a timely tuition waiver request.

All requests must be submitted through the online system to prevent registration cancellation for nonpayment. A guide for using the system is also available.

Those who have questions may call JoAnn Scholtz (Human Resources) at 389-2464.

Doug Fenske: Hole in One!

Doug Fenske standing by hole 4Doug Fenske (Printing Services) hit a 144-yard hole in one on green number 4 at Madelia Golf Course in Madelia Aug. 6.

"It was my starting hole for the evening—my first swing of the club for the night," Doug said. "We couldn't tell if the ball went in or rolled off the back of the green. When we went to the green, there was no sight of the ball on the back side. I went up on the green to find my ball in the cup!"

Doug used a 7-iron and hit underneath the cottonwood tree. The pin was on the back side of the green; his ball landed about halfway up the green and rolled about 20 feet into the cup.

Service-Learning Blog

Community Engagement OfficeA new blog designed to facilitate academic service-learning partnerships has been created by the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning and the Office of Community Engagement.

The blog includes:

  • Interactive features that allow faculty members and community agencies to announce potential service-learning partnerships;
  • Guidelines for effective academic service-learning;
  • Assessment forms for agencies and faculty members;
  • An academic service-learning manual for community agencies;
  • Links to a wide range of service-learning resources;
  • A discussion forum for faculty members and community agencies.

ASF Improvement Funds

Applications for ASF professional improvement funds for the period Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2009, are being accepted. ASF members can apply for up to $650 in professional improvement grants.

[PDF] Application guidelines and forms (376 KiB) are available on the Human Resources website.

The application deadline is Tuesday, Sept. 1. Completed application forms (with all required signatures) need be filed in Human Resources, WA336, no later than that day.

Those who have any questions about the grants or the process should contact Diane Roggow (Human Resources) at 389-2016.

Becky Copper: New Director

Becky Copper has been named director of Distributed Learning. She has been actively involved in graduate and professional education, distance learning and on-line programs. She will oversee responsibilities of University Extended Education, and will report to Bob Hoffman (Strategic Partnerships).

The search team was led by John Alessio (College of Social & Behavioral Science).

Jason Westman: Named Director

Jason Westman has been named director of the Center for Academic Success, directing the center's commitment to academic support for students.

Jason has served as interim director for the last two years. He was assistant director for two years, spent three years as learning associate for mathematics and was a graduate assistant for two years. He earned Master of Science (Curriculum and Instruction) and Bachelor of Science (Mathematics Education) degrees from Minnesota State Mankato.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Sandra Loerts (Financial Aid Programs) was a member of the Minnesota Association of Financial Aid Administrators Task Force that reviewed the financial aid profession in 2008-2009 and published a report in April. The task force received the MAFAA Executive Council Award in recognition of its exemplary performance to the association, the financial aid community and financial aid constituents.

Top ROTC Cadet

Army ROTC cadet Bruce Voelker won the Warrior Ethos Award at the U.S. Army's recent Leader Development and Assessment Course.

Voelker, a junior from Faribault, Minn., was selected from among 371 Army Cadets for his innovation, resiliency, courage, integrity and honor while training and being tested to become an Army lieutenant. He received the award at regimental graduation in July.

Earning the Warrior Ethos Award is a significant achievement and places Voelker among the top Army ROTC Cadets in the nation. The 29-day Leader Development and Assessment Course, also known as Operation Warrior Forge, is Army ROTC's capstone training and assessment exercise. Cadets are tested on their physical stamina, endurance, ability to navigate over difficult terrain, and their team-building and leadership skills.


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 Sept. 2; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Aug. 28).

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.