shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Campus Community: click here for COVID-19 news and updates.


September 16, 2009 Campus Newsletter

Page address:
Woman blowing her nose

Have the flu? Stay home!

Because of the potential H1N1 flu epidemic, employees and students who become ill should stay home and get well, says Scott Olson (Academic & Student Affairs).

"H1N1 could profoundly affect our campus this fall," Scott said in a recent email. "The disease is particularly contagious to the age group represented by the majority of our students." He pointed out that other area universities have sent home hundreds of students, and "we have had H1N1 cases on our campus, too."

Scott asked employees to encourage students who become ill to stay home, and to "please be as accommodating as possible" to student health needs. The highly infectious H1N1 lasts 5 to 7 days, and those infected should stay home for 24 hours after their symptoms subside and fever has broken without the aid of fever reducers.

Symptoms of H1N1 are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu: Fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people infected with H1N1 also have reported diarrhea and vomiting.

Self-care supplies that might be helpful include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, thermometer, tissues, cough drops, alcohol-based hand sanitizer and beverages such as Gatorade.

The Student Health Services website has links to updated information about H1N1, including links to the Center for Disease Control and Minnesota Department of Health.

Common-sense actions that prevent the spread of influenza include:

  • Cover nose and mouth with sleeve or tissue when coughing or sneezing;
  • Wash hands often with soap and water;
  • Stay home if ill.

The H1N1 influenza vaccine is expected to be available sometime in October, and Student Health Services will tell the campus community when inoculations are available. In addition to an H1N1 inoculation, students and employees are encouraged to get a seasonal influenza vaccination.

Davenport, Collins, and the first cohort

Presidents Sue Collins and Richard Davenport pose at Mesabi Range Community & Technical College with the first cohort of students in the new Iron Range Engineering program.

Davenport and Collins

Presidents Richard Davenport and Sue Collins sign a memorandum of agreement creating the Iron Range Engineering program.

Iron Range Engineering

President Richard Davenport and Sue Collins, president of the Northeast Higher Education District, recently signed a memorandum of agreement that lets two-year students from the five NMHE community colleges obtain mechanical engineering degrees from Minnesota State Mankato.

More than 60 people attended a ceremony celebrating the new Iron Range Engineering partnership at Mesabi Range Community & Technical College in Virginia, Minn., last week. Fourteen third-year engineering students from the Iron Range comprise the first cohort, and officials hope that 25 more students will join the program next year.

After two years of traditional engineering studies at the NMHE community colleges, students in the program will earn upper-level credits by studying and working with engineers at industries throughout northeast Minnesota.

The unique, project-based program "will become a national model," said President Davenport. "Students can complete their degrees in or near their hometowns, learning by experience with technical instruction from some of the state's best mechanical engineering faculty members."

"This is education-based economic development," Collins added. "It is a step and a commitment to retain our youth in our region, discourage outmigration, attract other students to the Iron Range and increase our talent pool."

Also attending the ceremony were Scott Olson (Academic Affairs) and John Knox (College of Science, Engineering & Technology).

Sept. 24: Deadline for new MavCARDs

Sample cardReplacement MavCARDs are needed this academic year for door access, library checkouts, photocopying and MavCASH purchases, and students, faculty and staff can replace their cards in Centennial Student Union through Thursday, Sept. 24.

Students, faculty and staff must bring a form of photo identification and their tech ID numbers to the main level of the CSU, across from Jazzman's Café.

Wells Fargo bankers will help re-carders fill out application forms and set up checking accounts that will allow MavCARDs to be used as ATM/PIN-Debit cards.

Replacement of MavCARDs is free, and those who have old MavCARDs should bring them to turn in. Re-carding times are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, Sept. 15-17 and Sept. 22-24.

More information about MavCARD features has been made available online.

New TV spots

MNSU flameYou'll soon see three new TV spots about Minnesota State Mankato on all four TV stations in the Twin Cities. In fact, on Monday, Sept. 28, the launch day for the six-week run of our ads, Minnesota State Mankato will be very hard to miss.

The three spots will run on the late-evening newscasts of WCCO, KARE, KSTP and KMSP from Sept. 28 through mid-November. The spots feature one faculty member, Bruce Jones (Auto & Manufacturing Engineering); one alumnus, Lou Bellamy; and one student, Teresa Parker.

The unifying theme will be "Big ideas. Real-world thinking," which President Davenport discussed in his convocation address last month.

A parallel ad campaign will run in the Star Tribune beginning Sept. 28, and will repeat on Sept. 30, Oct. 8, Oct. 19 and Nov. 10. The banner pop-out ads on the site will feature all three TV videos, which also will be added to our university home Web page.

Thursdays at Standeford

Standeford ObservatoryStudents, faculty, staff and community members are invited to visit Standeford Observatory on clear Thursday evenings from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Those who attend during the fall observing season, which runs until Thanksgiving, will be able to see a wide variety of celestial objects, including the Ring Nebula, the Wild Duck Cluster, the Swan Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy, a few planets and a host of colorful binary stars.

Visitors should park at the southern end of Gage parking lot 1, walk through the pedestrian gate and follow the road south to the observatory.

If weather makes viewing uncertain, call Standeford Observatory at 389-6208. The pedestrian gate will also display a sign indicating whether the observatory is open.

More information about university observing facilities can be found at Those in need of disability accommodations should contact the Accessibility Resources at 389-2825.

Sept. 17: Constitution Day

US flag, bald eagle, and the Statue of LibertyPeriod actors will distribute constitutional scrolls and students will debate citizen rights, the presidency and campaign finance as part of the annual Constitution Day observation on Thursday, Sept. 17.

The university will recognize Constitution Day with a video display in Centennial Student Union, where student actors will hand out the scrolls. The debates, free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public, will be in Room 201 of Centennial Student Union.

At 9 a.m. students will debate "Rights of the Accused"; at 10 a.m. they will debate "The Power of the Presidency"; and at 11 a.m. the debate topic will be "Campaign Finance Reform."

Sept. 17: Dinty Moore

Dinty MooreOhio prose writer Dinty W. Moore will kick off the 2009 Good Thunder Reading Series on Thursday Sept. 17.

Moore will read from his published work at 7:30 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Room 253. He will meet with area writers and be interviewed on KMSU-FM in the morning, and will conduct a discussion on the craft of writing at 3 p.m. in CSU 284. All events are free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

Moore is author of the memoir Between Panic & Desire and four other books. He has published essays and stories in The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Harpers, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Gettysburg Review, Utne Reader and Crazy Horse, and teaches in the nonfiction doctorate program at Ohio University.

Those who want more information may contact Richard Robbins at the Department of English (507-389-1354).

Sept. 17, 18: Alex Rosenberg

Alex RosenbergRenowned philosopher of biology Alex Rosenberg will discuss Charles Darwin and Darwinian evolution in two Nadine B. Andreas Philosophy Department lectures Thursday and Friday, Sept. 17 and 18.

Rosenberg, observing the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth, will present "Is Darwinism the only game in town?" on Thursday at 7 p.m. in 121C Trafton Science Center. His Friday talk, "Must Naturalism be Nihilistic?" will be at 11 a.m. in Morris Hall 102. Both lectures are free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

Rosenberg, Duke University's R. Taylor Cole professor of philosophy and chair of Duke's Philosophy Department, is one of the world's leading experts in the philosophy of biology, science and the social sciences. He is the author of 20 books and more than 180 articles.

The Nadine B. Andreas lecture series is co-sponsored by the departments of Anthropology, Biology, Philosophy, Sociology and Corrections, the Cognitive Science Program and Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program.

Those who want more information may contact Sun Yu or Dick Liebendorfer (Philosophy) at (507) 389-2317.

Oct. 3: Homecoming

Stomper logoStomper is looking for faculty and staff help during Homecoming Week, Sept. 28 through Oct. 4. Here are Stomper's top 10 ways that faculty and staff can get involved in Homecoming 2009:

  • Gather colleagues and participate in the parade Saturday, Oct. 3.
  • Sign up to collect items for the Canned Food Drive throughout the week.
  • Show Maverick spirit: View entries in the annual office decorating contest.
  • Remind students about the events during Homecoming 2009.
  • Volunteer to assist at a Homecoming activity.
  • Relive old memories and create new ones by attending the Maverick Pep Rally with Johnny Holm, the bonfire, and fireworks Friday night.
  • Check out sports: In addition to the football game, support the Mavs at soccer, volleyball and men's and women's hockey.
  • Wear purple and gold on Friday, Oct. 2.
  • Enjoy the Family Fun Shows Carnival Thursday through Saturday, Lot 7.
  • Bring family and friends to campus Saturday, Oct. 3, for the president's free pancake breakfast, the parade, Maverick Midway, the football game against Augustana, and More.

And the Timberwolves' Crunch will be on campus throughout the week, and tickets are available for a preseason game against the Bucks at Bresnan Arena (see next item).

Sign-up information for the parade and food drive, as well as the complete homecoming schedule, is now available. Those who want to volunteer may email

Oct. 4: Timberwolves

Timberwolves' logoBresnan Arena will host a Minnesota Timberwolves' preseason game against the Milwaukee Bucks Sunday, Oct. 4, at 5 p.m.

The game will mark the third time that the Timberwolves have played a preseason game in Mankato.

Tickets are on sale at the Taylor Center box office, and can be purchased through Ticketmaster. Tickets are available at discounted prices for Minnesota State Mankato students. Discounted tickets are available from Erica Noah by email or by calling (612) 673-8341.

Faculty/staff yoga

Lotus positionFaculty and staff members may participate in Noon Wellness and Yoga after Hours through December.

Noon Wellness, which began Aug. 24, is led by Sarah Duda (Water Resources Center), who completed her teacher training at Sun Moon Yoga Studios in Mankato this summer. Noon Wellness includes 34 classes, Monday and Wednesday, from 12:05-12:50 p.m. in PH 104. Sessions focus on increasing balance and flexibility while building strength through a mixture of hatha and flow yoga styles.

Honey Stempka leads Yoga after Hours, which started Aug. 18 and meets Tuesday and Thursday from 4:45-5:30 p.m. in PH 102. She has been teaching yoga for three years, is a registered teacher with Yoga Alliance and teaches at Sun Moon Yoga Studios.

Beginners are welcome. Mats are provided, but participants may bring their own.

There are no Noon Wellness classes on Oct. 7, Nov. 25 and Dec. 23, and no Yoga after Hours classes on Sept. 17, Oct. 13, Oct. 15 and Nov. 26.

Because these yoga sessions have already begun, fees for drop-ins and pre-payments will be adjusted.

Those who have questions may contact Sarah Duda.

Construction Management

Construction ManagementThe Construction Management Department achieved candidate status with the American Council for Construction Education in its effort toward accreditation. The department's goal is to have a formal accreditation team visit in spring 2011.

The preliminary self-study was submitted last spring and approved in May.

Those who want regular updates may visit

7700 France mail drop

'7700 France in Edina'Because 7700 France is growing, a mail drop for the Edina satellite site has been set up at the campus Post Office.

The mail code is "7700 France." Campus mail users may address mail to "7700 France" and the University Post Office will bundle items and send them overnight. The University Post Office also will be used as a drop location for larger items to be sent to 7700 France; those items periodically will be picked up and brought to the Edina site.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

The National Science Foundation awarded $199,475 to Minnesota State Mankato for a Major Research Instrumentation Grant, "Acquisition of a Scanning Electron Microscope for a Multi-User Core Facility in Science, Engineering and Technology," under the direction of Michael Bentley, Marilyn Hart, Timothy Secott and Robert Sorensen (Biological Sciences). The microscope will have an energy dispersive spectroscopy system for elemental analysis and will be stored in the Biological Imaging Facility in South Trafton.

Craig Evers (Auto & Manufacturing Engineering) presented "Using an Enhanced Grading Spreadsheet for Class, Student and Self-Assessment" and "Teaching an Introductory Course of Industry-Based Six Sigma Methods" at the Institute of Industrial Engineers annual conference in Miami in May. Craig also attended a three-day SAE Vehicle Dynamics course taught at the BMW High-Performance Driving School in Greer, S.C. In addition, he took one of the automotive and manufacturing engineering technology senior design teams to the SAE Mini-Baja competition in Burlington, Wis.

Anne-Marie Hoskinson (Biological Sciences) won Best of Session for her talk "Improving research and speaking skills one minute at a time: Bio-minute" in Fort Collins, Colo., in May.

William Hudson (Electrical & Computer Engineering) and William Lewinski (Political Science & Law Enforcement) learned that they will receive a patent for "System and Method for Monitoring Handling of a Firearm or Other Trigger-Based Device."

I-J Kim (Mathematics & Statistics) attended the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute workshop on "Critical issues on education: Teaching Undergraduates Mathematics" in Berkeley, Calif., in May. He also attended the American Institute of Mathematics workshop on "Research Experiences for Undergraduate Faculty" in Palo Alto, Calif., in July, and presented "Compressed Sensing and Matrix Problems" at the Conference on Linear and Numerical Linear Algebra: Theory, Methods and Applications at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, in August.

The National Science Foundation's Major Research Instrumentation program awarded $226,290 to Steven Losh (Chemistry & Geology), and co-investigators Jim Wilde (Civil & Mechanical Engineering), Bryce Hoppie, Lyudmyla Ardanova, Chad Wittkop (Chemistry & Geology) and Youwen Xu (Physics & Astronomy) for the purchase and maintenance of an X-ray diffractometer. The state-of-the-art instrument will enhance research and teaching in many fields, including geology, chemistry, physics and civil engineering.

An article by Jin Park (Mechanical & Civil Engineering) and graduate student Timothy Fay, "The effect of clay/epoxy debonding to the mechanical properties of nanocomposites," was accepted by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International Congress and Exposition 2009 for publication and presentation.

A manuscript by Steven Losh and Dan Swart (Chemistry & Geology), "Gas washing patterns and economics in an area of continental shelf offshore Louisiana," was accepted for the 59th annual Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies conference in September in Shreveport, La. Steven will present the paper.

Deepak Sanjel (Mathematics & Statistics) presented a paper, "On the Distribution of Statistics Useful in Testing Outliers," at the 57th session of the International Statistical Institute, in Durban, South Africa, this summer.

A paper by Chia-chi Tung (Mathematics & Statistics), "On Semisubmedian Functions and Weak Plurisubharmonicity," was accepted in May by Cubo: A Mathematical Journal. The paper will appear in 2010. Chia-chi also presented a paper, "On Generalized Gauss and Martinelli-Bochner Means," at the International Conference on Complex Analysis and Related Topics in Turku, Finland, in August.

Michael Wells (Information Systems & Technology) and five Project Maverick student interns presented their projects to Thomson Reuter's executives in Eagan in August. Project Maverick also acquired an additional 1,000 square feet of office space in University Square and can increase its technology-major interns from 20 to 30.

An article by Michael Wells and Lee Cornell (Information Systems & Technology), "An Onshore Alternative to Offshore Outsourcing of Software Development and Testing," was accepted by the 2009 National Decision Science Institute.

This summer Vincent Winstead (Electrical & Computer Engineering) coordinated the installation of two wind turbines on campus. The installation is part of a Residential Wind Study grant to install and test the performance of different wind turbine designs.

The Mankato Area Foundation approved Qun Zhang's (Electrical & Computer Engineering) and Patti Kramlinger's (Development) proposal, "Using Commercial Photonic Design Automation Software to Promote Interactive Learning in Science, Engineering and Technology." Optoelectronics system and component design software will be purchased with the $7,000 award and used by students and faculty for research.

Student Achievements

Kyle Makovsky (Earth Science) won a Best Student Paper award at the 55th Institute on Lake Superior Geology conference in Ely, Minn., in May, for his presentation "Fluid movement through the Mesabi Iron Range, Minnesota."

Mohammad Lutfur Rahman (Mathematics & Statistics) presented a poster session, "The Application of Periodic Autoregressive Moving Average Models in Water-quality Trend Analysis of Minnesota River" at the Joint Statistical Meeting in Washington, D.C., in August. He worked with Deepak Sanjel and the Water Resource Center.

Three abstracts for posters have been accepted for the 29th Annual International North American Lake Management Society Conference in Hartford, Conn., in October. The abstracts were created with help from Beth Proctor (Biological Sciences). Jordy Veit's (Environmental Sciences) poster is "Determination of the Allelopathic Ability of Reed Canary Grass Grown With and Without Tussock Sedge in Three Different Soils." A poster by Alison Vikla (Law Enforcement), Michael DeMars, Cory Denzer (Environmental Sciences) and Roland Pavek (Computer & Information Sciences) is "Potential of Lead Leaching Out of Sporting Clay Ranges". Selina Pradham (Environmental Sciences) and Joe Hoffman (Pre-Mechanical Engineering) created "The Effect of Nutrient Levels on the Allelopathic Ability of Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea) on the Germination and Growth of Lettuce."


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. 30; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Sept. 25).

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.