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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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January 13, 2010 Campus Newsletter

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Institutional diversity reorganization

The Institutional Diversity Division is being reorganized to more effectively serve underrepresented students and to streamline administrative oversight.

President Richard Davenport announced that the position of vice president for institutional diversity will be eliminated. The Institutional Diversity Office will be led by a dean of diversity who will report to the provost and vice president for academic & student affairs.

The reorganization is another step in the administrative restructuring process that started in March of 2009. President Davenport said the new structure will not change the University’s strong commitment to diversity, and will provide more effective academic support at the college level for all underrepresented students.

Due to the central importance of diversity, the new dean of institutional diversity will have a seat on the President’s Cabinet. The dean also will serve as a member of the Academic Affairs Council.

The university has started an internal search for an interim dean, and soon will initiate a national search for a permanent dean of diversity. While the internal search is being conducted, Linda Duckett (President’s Commission on Diversity) is serving as acting dean of diversity.

Current Vice President for Institutional Diversity Michael Fagin will remain with the university. As a tenured full professor, he has the option of returning to the classroom. In recognition of his years of service and accomplishments, he will be designated as the first University Scholar.

President Davenport praised Dr. Fagin his tireless work to help make the campus and the Mankato community a more welcoming place for people of diverse cultures, and for his long and dedicated service to the university and to the cause of diversity.


Planning for budget reductions

Faculty members have received the program metrics guidelines that are being used for academic program review and budget planning that must be completed by March 1.

The metrics will guide the Office of Academic Affairs as it reviews academic programs for possible budget reductions. They were developed last semester following a series of meetings and discussions, a joint meeting of the Budget, Program Review and Assessment Planning sub-meet and confers, and several discussions at the Minnesota State Student Association and all the meet and confers.

In the next few weeks, additional reports will be issued implementing the metrics as the Division of Academic & Student Affairs and the entire university, plan for probable significant budget cuts beginning with FY12. Academic Affairs intends to conduct the process openly and transparently so that all members of the university community can see the decisions that need to be made in planning for the budget reductions.


Grant enhances KMSU programming

KMSU logoKMSU 89.7 “The Maverick” has received a $238,500 legislative grant to produce new programming and events that enrich and promote Minnesota art and cultural heritage.

The funds will be used to purchase equipment and to hire students and independent producers to create, acquire and distribute programming related to art and cultural heritage.

“It will bring a higher profile to the university, as well as to the Association of Minnesota Public Educational Radio Stations, in a positive way,” said Jim Gullickson (KMSU) of the new programming.

Last spring Jim, as volunteer president of the Association of Minnesota Public Educational Radio Stations, testified at the Minnesota Legislature on the organization’s behalf about the merits of funding to enrich Minnesotans’ lives. He eventually secured a $2.5-million grant for AMPERS stations. The 11 qualifying stations, which include KMSU, share the grant equally.

KMSU began receiving funds in October. The funds, distributed by the Minnesota Department of Administration, were available through the “Legacy Amendment” – approved by voters last year – which increases the sales tax to provide for wildlife habitat, conservation and arts and cultural heritage projects.


MavMAIL upgrade

MavMAIL logoMavMAIL was upgraded over winter break to include various new features.
The upgrade provided new voicemail capabilities. Information about other features is available on MavMAIL.

Safari and Firefox users will notice the biggest improvements. For those who use Entourage for Macintosh, a new Entourage 2008 Web Services connector must be installed. The Entourage 2008 setup guide online explains the installation procedure.


Mileage reimbursement

A decrease in the standard mileage reimbursement rate for business miles began in January. The new rate, for use by state employees, is effective Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2010.

Minnesota State Mankato will utilize two rates:

  • $.50: the IRS standard mileage reimbursement rate, used when a state-owned vehicle is not available.
  • $.43: a lesser rate, used when a state-owned vehicle is declined or not requested by the employee.
    Those who have questions regarding travel or expense reimbursements may contact Tami Galema-Liebl (Business Services) at 389-5006.

Maverick mentoring

A pilot Maverick mentoring program is being planned to help support and guide new and existing employees. The program, generated by the Great Place to Work Task Force, is intended to create strong relationships and promote employee growth and continued success.

The task force is seeking individuals who are interested in becoming mentors. Maverick mentors will partner with other employees to share university work experiences, provide guidance and encourage personal and professional growth.

Those who wish to submit letters of interest may send them to Jane Lebert (Human Resources) by Friday, Jan. 15. Letters should include name, position title and reason for interest in becoming a Maverick mentor.

Those with other questions may contact Scott Olson (Academic Affairs) at 389-1333.


Spring diversity sessions

Faculty, staff and students are invited to attend five diversity education sessions during the spring semester, sponsored by the Office of Institutional Diversity.

All five sessions will take place in the Centennial Student Union. They include:

  • “Language of Respect” Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2-3 p.m., CSU 201, presented by Wanda Viento (Women’s Center);
  • “Universal Design for Learning” Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2-3 p.m., CSU 201, presented by Julie Snow (Disability Services);
  • “Safe Zone” Friday, March 19, 2-4 p.m., CSU 204, presented by Jessica Flatequal (LGBT Center);
  • “African American Women in the Leadership Race and the Hurdles That Have to be Jumped” Thursday, March 25, 10-11 a.m., CSU 204, presented by Maria Baxter-Nuamah (Multicultural Affairs);
  • “Violence-Free Zone” Tuesday, April 27, noon-2 p.m., CSU 201, presented by Lauren Pilnick (Women’s Center).


Jan. 19: H1N1 vaccinations

Student Health Services will offer a free H1N1 clinic Tuesday, Jan. 19, from 1-4 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union ballroom. The clinic will provide H1N1 vaccine free to all students, faculty and staff.

For those unable to be vaccinated Jan. 19, other vaccination dates will be announced in the future. Students also may make an appointment in the clinic to be vaccinated.

To speed the process, students, faculty and staff may complete the H1N1 consent form (broken link) and bring it on the 19th, along with their tech IDs.

Those with questions may contact Christine Connolly (Student Health Services).


Jan. 29: READY! for Kindergarten

crayonsFaculty and staff members are invited to attend the READY! for Kindergarten winter class Friday, Jan. 29.

READY! for Kindergarten, a program designed to help children from birth to 5 years old, helps parents and caregivers learn how to “play with purpose” with their children. The class is free and solely for Minnesota State Mankato employees.

Interested employees should register on STARS, and then contact Lu Ann Struck (Human Resources) at 389-6946 for a confidential form to complete and return to Human Resources. Those who have registered on STARS must also submit a registration form.

Deadline for registration is Friday, Jan. 15. The class will be two hours and is limited to 10 participants per age group.


Feb. 2: Precinct caucuses

Faculty and staff members are reminded that no class or activity may take place after 6 p.m. on Minnesota precinct caucus day Tuesday, Feb. 2, without permission from the Board of Trustees, according to Minnesota statutes.

Minnesota Statutes Section 202A.19, Subd.3 states: “No Minnesota state college or university may schedule an event which will take place after 6 p.m. on the day of a major political party precinct caucus unless permission to do has been received from the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.”


Feb. 4, 5: Youth dental care

Cartoon toothbrush and toothThe Dental Education Department will pair with area dentists Thursday and Friday, Feb. 4 and 5, to provide dental care for children who normally would be unable to access it. Services will include cleanings, X-rays, exams and sealants.

The event will be in the dental clinic, in the lower level of Morris Hall, Feb. 4 from 2-9 p.m. and Feb. 5 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Patients must be under 18 and accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Those wishing to schedule an appointment may call the dental clinic at 389-2147.

The university also will offer free dental exams and X-rays for adults on Friday, Feb. 5, from 8 a.m. to noon.


Feb. 6: Ice fishing

Big Bobber Ice Fishing Contest logoMaverick coaches and student athletes will host the Big Bobber Ice Fishing Contest Saturday, Feb. 6, sponsored by the Intercollegiate Athletics Department. Proceeds will benefit the Athletic Scholarship Fund.

To participate, interested anglers should visit Lake Washington at Squirrel’s Nest Landing/Westwood Marina Feb. 6. Registration begins at 10 a.m., along with hole selection, setup, visiting exhibitors and refreshments.

The contest starts at noon and ends at 3 p.m.

The contest, which will include 100 prizes, is limited to the first 3,000 entrants. Each entrant is allowed a maximum of two holes from which to fish. Tickets are $35, with no refunds.

Those who want more information should contact Cheryl Regan at 389-6010.


Feb. 17: Writing brownbags

A faculty “Writing@Minnesota State Mankato” brownbag lunch and a graduate student professional and writing development workshop are scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 17. Both sessions are facilitated by Kirsti Cole (English).

“Managing Time and Teaching Writing” will be discussed at noon Feb. 17 in CSU 204. The discussion is intended to provide faculty with strategies and in-class exercises to incorporate meaningful writing into the classroom in time conscious ways.

“Choosing a Mentor and Putting together a Committee,” open to all graduate students, will be in CSU 204 from 4-5 p.m. The workshop will focus on the business side of graduate school by looking at mentorship and committees.

No reservation is required for either event. Faculty members are invited to bring their lunches to the noon discussion.

Other faculty “Writing@Minnesota State Mankato” brownbag lunches are scheduled for March 31 (“Writing Assessment”) and April 21 (“Writing Pedagogies”).


Feb. 19: Enhancing study abroad

globeFaculty and staff are invited to attend “Maximizing Study Abroad” Friday, Feb. 19, for tips about working with students studying off-campus. The workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Johnson Alumni Room of Taylor Center.

The workshop is intended to teach faculty and staff how they can enhance students’ pre-departure and re-entry preparation when they study away from campus, and how they can help students maximize their engagement with other cultures. The conference will include a variety of experiential activities, group discussions and presentations.

Participants will receive a copy of “Maximizing Study Abroad: A Students’ Guide to Strategies for Language and Culture Learning and Use,” and its companion, “Instructional Guide.”
The registration fee, which includes lunch, is $15 and can be paid online. Registrations must be submitted by Friday, Jan. 29.

Those who want more information may contact Caryn Lindsay (International Programs) at 389-1281.


Walk for Women’s Scholarships

Maverick's Walk for Women's ScholarshipsFaculty and staff members and students can organize or join teams to raise funds for women’s athletic programs during the annual Maverick Walk for Women’s Scholarships April 18.

The Women's Walk is the primary fundraiser for female student-athlete scholarships and provides women an opportunity to meet, mix and mingle with community supporters. Participants can lead a group as a team captain, join a team as a walker or join “Team Stomper.”

The goal for walkers is to raise at least $50 each. Each walker who reaches or exceeds the $50 mark will get a goody bag valued at more than $50, including prizes from Buffalo Wild Wings, Electric Beach and Pub 500. There will also be various prize drawings for walkers who reach the $100, $200 and $300 donation levels.

The 30-minute walk will be in Myers Field House starting at 10 a.m. Breakfast will be served at 10:30. Registration begins at 9 a.m.


Becky Barkmeier: HR director

Becky Barkmeier has accepted the position of director of human resources and will begin duties Monday, Jan. 25, according to President Richard Davenport.

As director, Becky will oversee all functional areas within the Human Resources Office, including classification, compensation, recruitment/selection, performance management, benefits administration, worker’s compensation and professional development.

She currently is assistant director of human resources/EEOO-AA officer/Title IX at South Dakota State University. She was director of human resources at Dakota Wesleyan University and has held other human resource leadership positions in business and industry.

She earned bachelor and Master of Science degrees from the University of South Dakota, is a certified professional in human resources, and is certified in mediation.

President Davenport expressed his appreciation to DeeAnn Snaza for providing leadership and service to the university as interim director, and to the search committee chaired by Joan Roca (Library Services).


19 receive grants, contracts

Five faculty members recently received grants from external agencies, and 14 received internal awards. The five external grants went to:

  • Geoffrey Goellner (Biological Sciences), Goellner Tri-Beta Biology, Tri-Beta National Biological Honors Society, $500;
  • Rebecca Bates (Computer Science), Connection, Community & Engagement, National Science Foundation; $55,000;
  • Sue Bell (Nursing), Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship, Health Resources & Services Administration, $41,768;
  • Daniel Sachau (Psychology), Atrain Selection Projects contract, Atrain Consulting-Germany, $4,473;
  • Valerie DeFor (Healthcare Education Industry Partnership), CLS for Winona State University contract, $40,311.

Nine internal Faculty Research Grant awards went to:

  • Gwen Westerman (English), “The Letters of the Dakota Sioux Prisoners 1862-1866,” $4,640;
  • Penny Knoblich (Biological Sciences), “The Effect of Renal Perfusion Pressure on Baroreflex Sensitivity,” $5,000;
  • Farhad Reza (Mechanical & Civil Engineering), “Impedance Spectroscopy of Concrete, Reinforce Concrete and Fiber Reinforced Concrete,” $5,000;
  • Holly Breitkreutz (Counseling & Student Personnel), “Self-Individuation and Autonomy Among College-Going Millennials: Are They Different From Prior Generations?” $4,246;
  • Kristie Campana (Psychology), “Daily Experience of Emotional Labor Among Hospice Nurses,” $5,000;
  • Mika Laidlaw (Art), “Jomon Potter and Dogu from 14,000 BC-300 BC: Learning From The Origins of Japanese Pottery,” $5,000;
  • Steven Mercurio (Biological Sciences), “The Effectiveness of Preventing Blood Vessel Formation in Expression of Cancer Genes in Normal, High-Fat Diet and Genetically Obsese Female Mice,” $4,808;
  • Liz Miller (Art), “Baroave and Gothic: Incorporating Elements of Architectural Pattern, Decoration and Ornament in a Large-Scale Installation,” $4,965;
  • Raymond Asomani-Boateng (Urban & Regional Studies Institute), “Assessing the Market Potential for Compost Use in Ghana’s Urban Areas,” $5,000;

Six internal awards from external funding grants went to:

  • Farhad Reza (Mechanical & Civil Engineering), “Portable Structural Health Monitoring System,” $29,899;
  • James Wilde (Mechanical & Civil Engineering): Center for TransportationResearch and Implementation, $60,000;
  • Michael Wells (Information Systems & Technology): “MSU and Industry Partnerships Utilizing Technology Student Interns,” $25,378;
  • Michael Bentley (Biological Sciences), “Active Compensation System for Electromagnetic Interference,” $16,545;
  • Steven Losh (Chemistry & Geology), “Acquisition of Fluid Inclusion Stage for Research and Training in Geological Sciences,” $20,500;
  • Donald Friend (Geography), Minnesota State Modeling and Simulation Center, $39,677.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

The Prairie Lakes Regional Art Council awarded Dale Haefner (Music) $6,000 for his project “Arts & Culture Heritage Series FY10.”

Riverland Community College awarded Daniel Sachau (Psychology) $3,500 for his project “Riverland Community College Climate Survey 2010.”

Gov. Tim Pawlenty reappointed John Seymour (Counseling & Student Personnel) to a four-year term on the Minnesota Board of Marriage and Family Therapy. The board licenses and disciplines marriage and family therapists.

Carol Werhan (Field Experience) recently received the Outstanding Contribution Award from the Association of Career and Technical Education, Family and Consumer Sciences Division. The award recognizes individuals who have shown outstanding contributions to family and consumer sciences education through professional practice, scholarship and service.


Student interns with NASA

NASASenior John Scheierl spent 15 weeks last fall interning with NASA Undergraduate Student Research Program, working with a mentor to help design a small solar sail satellite.

“The satellite is used to identify the possibility of utilizing solar rays to ‘push’ vessels through space, saving valuable weight during initial takeoff,” John said. “Roughly 95 percent of the current rocket’s weight is in rocket fuel, so any possibility of decreasing this weight saves the use of more fuel.”

John also worked on the final testing of a satellite and tested the first-generation solar sail satellite during the program at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

“Through this internship, I have had the opportunity to tour many different facilities at Marshall,” he said. These include the former Saturn 5 test stand, the dynamic analysis test stand, and many other interesting locations. Also I have aided in performing tests with equipment that most facilities do not contain.”

He is on track to graduate with a mechanical engineering degree in May 2010. He was one of 23 mechanical engineering majors who earned fall 2009 internships at NASA centers across the United States.


Students create St. Clair brochure

Urban & Regional Studies students recently presented the St. Clair City Council with a brochure design to promote city tourism. Students paired with South Central College’s Graphic Production Department to complete the project.

“The brochure is used for city officials and people who are interested in the community and gives resident information and some of the events that occur in the city,” said Mark Andrews, president of the student URSI organization.

Both the city and URSI students benefit from the project. St. Clair saves money that would have been spent hiring a private company to create the brochure, and students gain hands-on experience. A 40-second clip about the project aired on KEYC-TV on Dec. 2.


McDonald’s scholarships

mcdonaldsFour students recently received McDonald’s 2009-2010 scholarships from McDonald’s of Mankato.

Melanie Davis (Political Science), Dan Massaglia (Alcohol & Drug Studies), Jenna Robinson (Pre-Social Work) and Ashley Schultz (Accounting) were each awarded $750 from McDonald’s in recognition of their achievements and abilities.

McDonald’s of Mankato provides the resources for these awards to honor undergraduate students with disabilities who exhibit great determination toward accomplishing their goals.


Do you have faculty, staff, student or departmental news for the campus newsletter? Send news items to newsletter editor Michael Cooper. The newsletter usually is published every other Wednesday during the academic year and monthly during the summer; however, only one newsletter will be published in February (Feb. 17). The next newsletter will be published Jan. 27; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Jan. 22).

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.