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.


February 17, 2010 Campus Newsletter

Page address:

Finance, facilities awards

Minnesota State logoMinnesota State Mankato recently received the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system awards for financial and facilities management excellence. The University has received the Excellence in Facilities Management Award for nine consecutive years (2001-2009), and the Excellence in Financial Management Award for eight of the last nine years (except 2003).

The awards recognize excellence in financial and facilities management leadership and teamwork. They were presented at the system’s Chief Financial and Facilities Officers meeting in Bloomington.

“We are proud that we have so many outstanding employees who day in and day out contribute their best for students and the people of Minnesota,” said Laura King, the system’s vice chancellor and chief financial officer. “Their focus on making the best use of campus resources is more important than ever with declining state revenues."

The award winners were selected from nominations made by presidents and college and university leadership.

Maverick Olympians

David Backes in the rink

Maverick hockey alum David Backes after scoring the game-winning goal for the U.S. Olympic team against Switzerland.

The 2010 Winter Olympic Games started last weekend, with three current and former Maverick student-athletes competing for their respective countries. This is the first time that Minnesota State Mankato athletes have participated in the Olympic Games.

Faculty, staff and students can follow Maverick Olympic athletes Nina Tikkinen, Emilia Andersson and David Backes on MavBlog.

You can find an article and a video about Backes' game-winning goal against Switzerland online.

Top acting award

Cartoon theatre masksDepartment of Theatre & Dance student Lolly Foy received the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship nomination and will compete at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in April.

More than 400 students from 78 colleges and universities were eligible to compete in the seven-state regional contest.

Lolly, third-year Master of Fine Arts Acting candidate from Charlotte, N.C., captured the prize at the 42nd annual gathering in Overland Park, Kan., in January. Junior Joe Crook partnered with her.

This is the second time in three years that a Minnesota State Mankato student has received the award.

Lolly also won the first place Classical Acting Award, won last year by Andrew Umphrey. Three other students also advanced to the semifinal round: Senior David Wasylik, junior Megan Volkman-Wilson and junior Aaron Alan.

Fourteen Minnesota State Mankato students participated in the Ryan competition. Various students won other awards:

  • Megan Gredesky, MFA Directing, first in Theatre Dramaturgy for “Twelfth Night”;
  • Jim Gangl, MFA Lighting Design, first in Lighting Design for his work on “The Rocky Horror Show”;
  • Allen Shannon, MFA Scene Design, Scenic Design for “Noises Off”;
  • Benjamin Inniger, MFA Sound Design, Sound Design for “Into the Woods”;
  • Matt Gilbertson, BFA Design/Technology, Stage Management for “A Christmas Carol”

Mentor Match

5 happy business peopleThe President’s Commission on the Status of Women encourages women to participate in Mentor Match. Mentor Match, created in 2008, provides opportunities for women on campus to connect with others. Participants may either serve as mentors or seek mentors as mentees.

Those who want more information may visit the PCSW website.

10 win grants

Ten faculty and staff members recently received awards and grants from various funding agencies. They include:

  • Shannon Fisher (Water Resources Center), “Minnesota River Monitoring 10-11 Contract,” Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, $260,000;
  • Dale Haefner (Music), “Arts & Cultural Heritage Series FY10,” Prairie Lakes Regional Art Council, $6,000;
  • Patricia Hoffman (K-12 & Secondary Programs), “Preferral Assessment,” Minnesota Department of Education, $150,000;
  • Bruce Jones (Auto & Manufacturing Engineering Technology), “Advanced Automotive Technologies,” Minnesota Department of Commerce, $400,000;
  • John Knox (Science, Engineering & Technology), “DEED – Renewable Energy Research Lab,” DEED, $743,250;
  • Lisa Perez (Psychology), “Mankato Free Press Readership Survey,” Mankato Free Press, $5,000;
  • Dan Sachau (Psychology), “Riverland Community College Climate Survey 2010,” Riverland Community College, $3,500;
  • Pam Weller-Dengel (Career Development Center), “Target Grant Internship Scholarship,” Target, $10,000;
  • Jim Wilde (Mechanical & Civil Engineering), “MnDOT – Traffic Generators,” MnDOT, $37,038;
  • Anne Willaert (Healthcare Education Industry Partnership), “BCBS CHW Alliance” and “BCBS Resilient Funds;” Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation; $20,000 each.

'Psychological Frontiers' debuts

KMSU logoThe Psychology Department’s new radio show “Psychological Frontiers: Exploring Human Behavior” debuted on KMSU 89.7 Feb. 3. The show, which airs Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. and Thursdays at 1:30 p.m., features two-minute reports of psychological research, written by various faculty members in the department.

Dan Sachau (Psychology), who created the idea for the show, hopes the program will educate the public about different aspects of psychology. “So many people only think of psychologists as therapists or counselors, and we wanted to talk about all the other areas that psychologists study,” he said.

Future shows will discuss learning through video games, eyewitness testimony and anxiety in children.

Those who wish to listen to previous shows or want to suggest topics for future shows may visit the “Psychological Frontiers” Web page at Those who want more information about the show may contact Dan at or Emily Stark (Psychology) at

Feb. 18-28: ‘On the Razzle’

'On the Razzle' posterThe Department of Theatre & Dance will present nine performances of Tom Stoppard’s “On the Razzle” in February. Shows will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18-20 and 25-27, with 2 p.m. matinees Feb. 20, 21 and 28, in the Ted Paul Theatre of the Performing Arts Center.

The London hit is a loving adaptation of the 19th-Century farce by Johann Nestroy that provided the inspiration for Thornton Wilder’s “The Merchant of Yonkers,” which led to “The Matchmaker,” which led to the Jerry Herman musical “Hello, Dolly!” Writer Stoppard won an Academy Award for the movie “Shakespeare in Love.”

“On the Razzle,” a premiere production at Minnesota State Mankato, follows the exploits of two unexpectedly promoted grocery clerks in Vienna, Austria, as they decide to go “on the razzle” with comedic results.

“On the Razzle” is directed by Andreas guest artist in residence Tom Woldt, who earned his MFA in Directing from Minnesota State Mankato in 1984. He also directed “Seven Year Itch” in the summer of 2006.

Tickets are $14.50 regular; $13 for senior citizens, youth 16 and younger and groups of 15 or more; and $10 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. They are available at the Theatre Department Web site or by calling the Theatre & Dance Box Office at (507) 389-6661 between 4 and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

SPSS workshops

SPSS logoFaculty and staff are invited to attend three workshops discussing SPSS, a statistical program often used in research. The workshops, hosted by The Center for Excellence in Scholarship and Research, include:

  • "An Introduction to SPSS,” 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, in ACC Room 125. It will introduce participants to SPSS, teaching them how to navigate the program, create spreadsheets, enter variables and code data.
  • “Manipulating Data in SPSS,” 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, in ACC Room 125. It will teach participants how to get data ready for analysis on an already-prepared spreadsheet, recode scales, split files, select cases and merge files.
  • “Analyzing Data in SPSS,” 2 p.m. Thursday, March 4, in ACC Room 125. It will teach participants how to perform basic analyses, covering independent samples t tests, paired samples t tests, one-way ANOVA, correlation and linear regression.

Faculty and staff do not need to attend the first workshop to attend the others. Because space is limited, only the first 15 people to register will be accepted. Those who wish to register should visit the Professional Development website.

Feb. 19, 20: ‘V-Day Monologues’

'The Vagina Monologues' posterThe Women’s Center and the Sexual Violence Education Program invite the campus community to attend “V-Day Monologues” Friday and Saturday, Feb. 19 and 20. Performances will be at 8 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium of the Centennial Student Union.

“The V-Day Monologues” is based on author Eve Ensler’s interviews with more than 200 women, celebrating women’s sexuality and strength. It has been translated into 45 languages and performed in more than 130 countries.

Ensler created V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women, and in 10 years, the movement has raised more than $70 million.

Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for general admission. Those who wish to purchase tickets may do so in the Women’s Center in Centennial Student Union Room 218 or by visiting the Women’s Center Web page.

Those who want more information about V-Day can find it on the V-Day website.

Feb. 19: Study abroad

Two Asian femalesFaculty 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.

Feb. 20: TRIO Day

Minnesota State Mankato will host Minnesota TRiO Day Saturday, Feb. 20. The annual student conference that will bring about 600 underrepresented students, grades 7 through the college level, to campus to learn that college is possible for them.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to consider sharing their expertise and ideas at the conference. Those with questions may contact Margaret Hesser (Student Support Services) at (507) 389-2797 or Nancy Sprengeler (Talent Search) at (507) 389-5175.

Feb. 24-27: Pan African Conference

The 34th Annual Pan African Student Leadership Conference will begin on Somali Day, Wednesday, Feb. 24, with a pre-conference covering topics from immigration law, Somali history and father-son relationships. “Pan African Challenges and Solutions to World-Wide Problems” is the theme of the Feb. 24-27 conference.

The conference is intended to build student leadership, and to allow scholars, students, professionals and community members to discuss issues that affect African people locally, nationally and internationally.

More than 1,000 attended last year’s conference, which featured speakers including Mahmoud El Kati, Rev. Chike Akua and “Spike” Moss.

The conference was founded in 1977 by Michael Fagin (Ethnic Studies), with support from Macalester College faculty member Mahmoud El-Kati and community leaders throughout Southern Minnesota. The event is sponsored by the Office of Institutional Diversity and numerous other University and community groups.

March 2: 'Herstory Project'

Women's Center logoThe Women’s Center invites faculty and staff to attend the "Herstory Project" Tuesday, March 2, in honor of Women’s History Month.

The “Herstory Project,” celebrating the contributions of women throughout history, will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

March 16: Taj Weekes

Album cover: 'Taj Weekes & Adowa: deidem'St. Lucian musician Taj Weekes and his band Adowa will perform in concert Tuesday, March 16. The performance will be at 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center.

Weekes, singer/songwriter and humanitarian, tours the country performing classic roots reggae for hundreds of thousands of fans.

He and his band have released a variety of albums. The most recent, “Deidem,” was released in 2008 to international critical acclaim. The group is currently recording its third album, “A Waterlogged Soul Kitchen,” to be released later this year.

During his visit to Mankato, Weekes also will participate in community outreach at the YMCA Wednesday, March 17, as part of the organization’s Discovery program and Movement in Music class.

March 19: Women of Courage

Faculty and staff may submit Women of Courage and Vision nominations no later than Friday, March 19. The Women's Center, the President's Commission on the Status of Women and the Panhellenic Council are accepting nominations for any female at Minnesota State Mankato.

The Women of Courage and Vision recognition reception will be Tuesday, March 30, from 3-4:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. Provost Scott Olson will speak and the Women’s Center student group will give a short presentation.

Nominations may be submitted to the Women's Center in Centennial Student Union Room 218 or via the online form. Those who want more reception information may visit the CSW website or contact Jenelle Haddad at 389-6146 or Kerry Diekmann at 389-2486.

March 20-May 1: Swim lessons

Children SwimmingChildren are invited to participate in the Learn to Swim program beginning Saturday, March 20.

Swim lessons will be offered at the Highland Center pool. Dates and times include:

  • Saturday mornings, March 20-May 1: 9:15, 9:50, 10:25 and 11
  • Monday evenings, March 22-April 26: 5:15, 5:50 and 6:25
  • Tuesday evenings, March 23-April 27: 5:15, 5:50 and 6:25
  • Wednesday evenings, March 24-April 28: 4:40 and 5:15
  • Thursday evenings, March 25-April 29: 5:15, 5:50 and 6:25

Swim instructors will be Minnesota State Mankato students from the Swimming and Diving Program.

Cost is $65 for one child; $110 for two children; and $50 per child for three or more children. Only the first 20 children to register for each session will be accepted. Those interested may register online.

April 19: 'Extravaganza' rescheduled

The Faculty and Staff Extravaganza talent show has been rescheduled for Monday, April 19. The show was originally scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 9.

Those who have questions may contact the Center for African American Affairs in Centennial Student Union Room 243 at 389-6300.

Dan Sachau wins teaching award

Dan SachauDan Sachau (Psychology) received the 2010 Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology Distinguished Teaching Contribution Award for excellence in teaching, student development and community service.

Dan, who is also director of the Industrial/Organizational Psychology graduate program, has created a variety of teaching programs including the Consulting Challenge and the Organizational Effectiveness Research Group, a consulting practice that serves local and national clients including the U.S. Air Force, UnitedHealth Group, The Free Press and Sage Electrochromics.

He also helped create Minnesota State Mankato’s I/O Psychology graduate program.

Dan has interests in study abroad and service learning, and has taken students to Belgium, Spain, Czech Republic, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and South Africa.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Janet Cherrington-Cucore (Urban & Regional Studies) was reappointed to serve on the Economic Development Authority and Planning Commission for the city of Janesville.

Colleen Clarke (Political Science & Law Enforcement) reviewed the book “Combating International Crime: The Longer Arm of the Law” for Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management.

Chris Corley (History) published “On the Threshold: Youth as Arbiters of Urban Space in Early Modern France” in the Journal of Social History. He also published his chapter, “Gender, Kin and Guardianship in Early Modern Burgundy,” in Family, Gender and Law in Early Modern France. Chris presented “The Parameters of Risk: Young People Defying Parental Authority in Eighteenth-Century France” at the Biannual Conference of the Society for the History of Childhood and Youth in Berkeley, Calif. He also published “Teaching Case Study: Orphanage Records, Early Modern France” in “Children and Youth in History.” The case study is available online.

Donald Ebel (Sociology & Corrections) presented “Religion and Attitudes Toward Work Among 51- to 61-Year-Old Men: Re-Testing Lenski at the Close of the Twentieth Century” at the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion Meeting in Denver in October.

Anthony Filipovitch (Urban & Regional Studies) published three entries titled “Cleveland Foundation,” “Corporate Social Responsibility” and “W.K. Kellogg Foundation” in the International Encyclopedia of Civil Society.

Kevin Filter (Psychology) was appointed to the editorial board for the journal Education and Treatment of Children.

Marilyn Frank (Social Work) presented “Tibetan Beliefs and Practices Around Dying” at the Gerontological Society of America meeting in Atlanta in November. The Southern Minnesota Poet Society accepted a photo of Marilyn’s for its “Image and the Word” contest. Poets wrote poems to accompany the photos at the Amy Frentz Art Gallery in Mankato this month.

Brooke Hacker (Water Resources Center) presented a poster on the Conservation Marketplace of Minnesota at the Science to Solutions Conference in Des Moines, Iowa, in December.

Tom Inglot (Political Science & Law Enforcement) published the book chapter “Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia: Adaptation and Reform of the Post-Communist ‘Emergency Welfare States’” in Alfio Cerami and Pieter Vanhuysse’s “Post-Communist Pathways: Welfare Adaptations and Transformations in Central and Eastern Europe.” The book was released in December.

In-Jae Kim and Eryn Stehr (Mathematics & Statistics) co-authored “On the Largest Eigenvalues of Bipartite Graphs Which Are Nearly Complete,” published in Linear Algebra and Its Applications. In-Jae’s piece, “On Nilpotence Indices of Sign Patterns,” appeared in Communications of the Korean Mathematical Society 25.

Lynn Kuechle’s (Communication Studies) performance piece, “Motherhood Monologues,” aired on KSMQ Public Television earlier this month. It will air again in March.

Minnesota Public Radio interviewed Joseph Kunkel (Political Science & Law Enforcement) about Minnesota gubernatorial candidates stressing their rural roots. He also appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “All Things Political” talk show in December, taking listener calls and commenting on health-care reform.

Paul Mackie’s (Social Work) presentation, “A Study of Hiring and Retaining Social Services Staff Across Rural Minnesota: Supervisors Speak Out,” was accepted for publication at the National Association for Rural Mental Health Conference in Denver.

Scott Matteson, Jason Rhoten, Brooke Hacker, Shannon Fisher, Matthew Ribikawskis, Lucas Bistodeau and Rick Moore (Water Resources Center) are leading the Major Watershed Load Monitoring Program, which monitors water quality at 10 river sites in the Mankato area.

Rick Moore (Water Resources Center) presented his LCCMR Project, “Intensified Tile Drainage Evaluation,” at the Minnesota Association of Watershed Districts in Alexandria, Minn., in December.

Amy Pason (Communication Studies) published the book chapter “Reclaiming Activism for Students” in S. Kahn and J.H. Lee’s “Activism and Rhetoric: Theories and Contexts for Political Engagement.”

Miriam Porter (Urban & Regional Studies) published the report “Urban Management Programme: Curriculum for Developing Countries” for Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana.

Gary Rockswold (Mathematics & Statistics) co-authored the textbook “A Graphical Approach to College Algebra.” Gary also was invited to give the keynote address at a regional mathematics meeting in Seattle in April.

Leah Rogne (Sociology & Corrections) edited the book “Social Insurance and Social Justice: Social Security, Medicare and the Attack Against Entitlements.” Leah also wrote three chapters: “Teaching Social Insurance: Critical Pedagogy and Social Justice,” “We’re All in This Together” and “One Nation, Interdependent: Exploring the Boundaries of Citizenship in the History of Social Security and Medicare.”

Stewart Ross (Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning) was a guest presenter at the Lilly South Conference on Teaching and Learning in Greensboro, N.C., in February.

Atrayee Ghosh Roy (Economics) published “How Important is Domestic Saving for U.S. Economic Growth? A Time Series Analysis” in the International Journal of Economics, and “Budget Deficits and U.S. Economic Growth” in Economics Bulletin. Atrayee also presented a paper, “Evidence on Economic Growth and Government Size Revisited,” at the American Economic Association Conference in January in Atlanta.

Dan Sachau (Psychology) published “Effects of Incentives and the Big Five Personality Dimensions on Internet Panelists’ Ratings” in the International Journal of Market Research. He also published “Perceptions of Work-Life Balance Among Military Law Enforcement Personnel and Their Spouses” in the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology. Dan also published “Three Models for Short-Term Study Abroad” in the Journal of Management Education and “Tournament Validity: Testing Player Competence” in Physical Education and Exercise Science.

Susan Schalge (Anthropology) published the paper “Maternal Practice: Mothering and Cultural Variation in Anthropology” in Maternal Thinking: Philosophy, Politics, Practice. She also presented “Maternal Practices, Maternal Thinking and Anthropology: A Tanzanian Case Study” at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference in Atlanta last November.

Richard Schiming (Economics) served as the economic consultant to Addison-Wesley for its series of five economics videos, appearing in three. Wisconsin Public Radio interviewed Richard about recent new federal banking legislation.

Yea-Ling Tsao’s (Mathematics and Statistics) piece, “Integrating the Design Mathematical Trial in Mathematics Curriculum for Sixth-Grade Student,” appeared in the Journal of Instructional Psychology.

Fei Yuan (Geography) published “Analysis of Population Dynamics Using Satellite Remote Sensing and U.S. Census Data” in Geocarto International. He also published “Trends in Extreme Temperatures in Relation to Urbanization in Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, Minnesota” in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology.

David Viscoli (Music) performed a solo piano recital at the Annual Concordia College Midwinter Piano Festival earlier this month. He will present a program, “The Neglected Chopin Songs—Love and Nationalism,” at the Northeast Regional Conference of The College Music Society in Burlington, Vt., in March.

Yanwei Wu (Computer Science) will attend the CRA Career-Mentoring Workshop in Washington, D.C., this month.

Brian Wasserman (Construction Management) went to Las Vegas with eight students in January to compete in the National Association of Home Builders estimating competition. Steve Meister of Meister Construction coached the group.

The IEEE Journal of Lightwave Technology accepted an article by Qun Zhang, Han-Way Huang, Andrew Miner, C. R. Menyuk, R. Bajracharya and M. I. Hayee (Electrical & Computer Engineering & Technology), “On the Gaussian Approximation and Margin Measurement for Optical DPSK Systems with Balanced Detection,” for publication. Qun also submitted his piece, “Direct Integration of Nanoscale Conventional and Slot Waveguides,” to the Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.

Student achievements

Toya Lindberg and Amanda Kriesel (Mathematics & Statistics) made research presentations at the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics in January.

Jason Rhoten (Water Resources Center) accepted a biologist position with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services in Anderson, Calif. He also presented “Northern Pike OTC Marking Research” at the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference in Springfield, Ill., in December.

Matthew Ribikawskis (Water Resources Center) presented “Isotope Analysis of a Designated Trout Stream in South-Central Minnesota” at the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference in Springfield, Ill., in December.


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. The next newsletter will be published March 3; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Feb. 26).

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.