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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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April 28, 2010 Campus Newsletter

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Graduation hat and diploma

May 8: Commencement

Spring 2010 Commencement will be Saturday, May 8, in Bresnan Arena.

The day will begin at 9 a.m. with graduates from the colleges of Arts & Humanities and Science, Engineering & Technology. At noon graduates from the colleges of Allied Heath & Nursing and Education will commence. And at 3 p.m. students from the colleges of Business and Social & Behavioral Sciences will commence.

More information about commencement is at the graduation page.

Distinguished Alumni Awards

Alumni Association logoTwelve graduates were named 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award winners for exceptional achievement and contributions to their professions and communities last week. The awards were presented by the Minnesota State Mankato Alumni Association at a banquet and ceremony April 23.

The event honored Diana Marie Clawson, Woodbridge, Va.; Stephen M. DiMeglio, McLean, Va.; Gregg R. Gropel, Luverne, Minn.; John R. Hoffman, St. Louis Park, Minn.; Michelle Murzyn Leba, Mounds View, Minn.; Major General Richard C. Nash, New Prague, Minn.; Shirley Skorr Piepho, Mankato; Jennifer Pritchett, Minneapolis; Mark Schuck, Lake Crystal, Minn.; Ronald TePoel, San Antonio, Texas; Renee L. Worke, Owatonna, Minn.; and Jackson Wu, Taipei, China.

Awards were presented in four categories:

  • The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, for graduates who have achieved high rank or honor in their professions, a widespread effect on their communities, and accomplishments over the course of their careers;
  • The Harold J. Fitterer Service Award, for graduates whose efforts have preserved, promoted and supported Minnesota State Mankato;
  • The Distinguished Alumni Humanitarian Award, for graduates whose lives exemplify service to humankind and who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to humanitarian causes;
  • The Distinguished Young Alumni Award, to graduates 35 years old or younger who have reached professional achievements early in their careers, and have positively impacted their communities

Those who want more information may visit the award site.

CAP reorganized

The University has reorganized the College Access Program to better serve underrepresented, at-risk students. The new structure “will enhance the recruitment, retention and graduation of at-risk students,” President Richard Davenport said.

“Minnesota State Mankato has a long history of commitment to diversity. This new model will strengthen our commitment to underrepresented students.”

CAP recruits and advises underrepresented students who ordinarily would not meet admission standards. The reorganization aims to connect CAP students directly to their majors and to campus resources.

The plan was developed over the last two months after lengthy consultation with faculty, staff and students. The transition is being implemented by Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Scott Olson and Interim Dean of Institutional Diversity Henry Morris.

Under the new structure, three CAP advisors will serve in the six colleges, supervised by the respective deans, and a fourth will advise undecided CAP students through the Institutional Diversity office. A fifth CAP staff member will be assigned to study best practices in urban recruitment and retention.

The summer preparatory “bridge” program for first-year students will continue. Faculty mentors from each college will work with the summer students, and the program will be overseen by the dean of Institutional Diversity.

Don Larsson: IFO president

Don LarssonDon Larsson (English) has been elected president of the Inter Faculty Organization. Don will begin a two-year term July 1. He will replace Rod Henry, who did not seek re-election.

Don currently is vice president of the Inter Faculty Organization and president of the Minnesota State University, Mankato Faculty Association. As faculty association president, he served on the IFO board of directors and executive committee for the last three years.

Campus voting results are posted on the IFO website.

Following the election, President-Elect Larsson released the following statement:

Dear IFO Colleagues,

I am grateful to those of you of who voted to elect me as IFO President. I also want to extend my thanks to those who voted for Roland Specht-Jarvis or write-in candidates because you too care about our profession, our universities and the IFO. I want to thank Roland himself for running and bringing greater attention and focus to the issues that we face, as well as for the civility of his own campaign.

This election impresses on me the profound responsibility of serving as the representative and voice of the state university faculty, and I will do my best to justify myself in this new role once I assume office in July.

Best wishes to us all,
Don Larsson, President-Elect
Inter Faculty Organization

Four summer shows

'44th Annual Highland Summer Theatre 2010' posterThe Department of Theatre & Dance will present four debuts during its 44th annual Highland Summer Theatre, opening May 25. Orders are being taken for season subscriptions; individual tickets for all shows go on sale May 17.

  • The line-up features “On Golden Pond” by Ernest Thompson May 25-29 in the Andreas Theatre, made possible by the General Mills Foundation Gift Matching Program, with Hale Associates.
  • The first musical is “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” with music and lyrics by William Finn and book by Jimmy Roberts, June 9-12 in the Ted Paul Theatre. The musical includes mature themes.
  • Next up will be Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys,” June 22-26 in the Andreas Theatre, sponsored by the TRIO Programs.
  • Closing the season will be Disney’s “High School Musical,” with performances July 8-10 and 14-17 in the Ted Paul Theatre. It is sponsored by Eide Bailly LLP, the Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic, PA, and Farrish Johnson Law Office, Chtd.

All performances are at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center.

Season subscription orders are being taken by mail order only. Cost for the four shows is $60, plus $5 processing. Friends of the Theatre orders will receive priority until May 1, with all other orders processed in the order they were received, beginning May 3. May 3 orders may also be made on the Theatre website.

Individual tickets for all shows go on sale May 17, online and at the box office. Box office hours are 4-6 p.m., Monday-Friday; phone (507) 389-6661.

Crowd-control solution

Yellow 'CAUTION' tapeThe NCAA is telling athletic directors across the nation about a unique and effective crowd-control solution devised by Kevin Buisman and Mike Powicki (Intercollegiate Athletics).

After some crowd-control issues at basketball games, Kevin and Mike created a plan to keep students off the court. They decided to surround the student section with bright yellow tape which mimics crime-scene tape and symbolizes “Don’t cross the line.”

“We just felt it was a bit more positive approach,” Kevin said, referring to an earlier attempt using TensaBarriers, devices that create rows in ticket lines, to keep students in their section. Fans did not like the TensaBarriers, opining that they were too restrictive.

“[The yellow tape] didn’t put a physical barrier between our fans and the basketball floor, but it had a unique way of communicating expectations and the message,” Kevin told an NCAA writer.

For a detailed description of the plan, visit the Division II website.

Gift acceptance rules

Minnesota Management & Budget commissioner Tom Hanson has announced general rules for state employees to follow when accepting door prizes and gifts.

State law requires that employees of the state may not receive or agree to receive any gifts, rewards, favors or compensation from any source besides the state for any task performed that is work-related.

Employees who attend conferences and events may only accept door prizes if the events are free to attend or if the drawings are free and open to all members of the public. Door prizes are generally given randomly and gifts are not given based on employees’ work for the state.

Those who have questions may contact Becky Barkmeier (Human Resources) at

President Davenport and the others

President Richard Davenport (second from right) poses with Doctor of Education in Counselor Education and Supervision students Kerry Diekmann, Leah Shanks, Oleksandr Komarenko, Barbara Skodje-Mack and Masa Sato.

Counseling doctoral accreditation

The Doctor of Education program in Counselor Education and Supervision in the Department of Counseling & Student Personnel has been accredited. In January the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Education Programs granted the accreditation.

The accreditation is expected to generate national and international recognition of the program, its students and its faculty.

The program strives to advance professionals’ careers in counseling and student affairs, help them obtain teaching positions in education and prepare them to become eligible for licenses. The program is currently in its third year.

The program, in its third year, is accepting applications for its fourth cohort. Those who want more information may contact Jacqueline Lewis (Counseling & Student Personnel) at

Move-in day volunteers

People carrying tubsThe Department of Residential Life is encouraging faculty and staff to participate in move-in day Thursday, Aug. 19, greeting students and parents as they arrive on campus.

Faculty and staff will interact with families, direct students to the correct buildings and watch students’ belongings as they unload their cars. Various students from organizations also will help with move-in day. Together students, faculty and staff form the “Stomper Move Crew,” and Move Crew volunteers receive T-shirts to wear during their shifts.

Move-in day lasts from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Volunteers may sign up for the whole time or may sign up for single shifts from 7:45 to 11:45 or 11:30 to 3:30.

Those interested in volunteering or those with questions may contact Torin Akey (Residential Life) at or 507-389-1011 by May 28.

Professional development

Professional Development logoFaculty and staff are encouraged to apply for two professional development scholarships being offered by the President’s Office. One is for female applicants and the other is open to all faculty and staff.

The first scholarship, available for a female faculty or staff member, allows the recipient to attend the Midwest Women’s Leadership Institute from June 20-26 on campus. The winner of the second scholarship will participate in the Greater Mankato Leadership Institute.

The Midwest Women’s Leadership Institute is a week-long program benefiting women who have just begun working in higher education or those who are seeking greater responsibilities in the workplace. During the 2010-2011 school year, an adviser will work with the scholarship recipient.

Those interested in applying for Women’s Leadership must submit resumes and brief written statements describing professional goals to Carol Stallkamp (President's Office) in Wigley Administration Room 309 or at Applications are due Monday, May 17.

The Greater Mankato Leadership Institute is a nine-month program with meetings once a month. For more information about this scholarship, visit the Greater Mankato website. Applications and letters of support are due to Carol by Friday, May 28.

Those who want more information may call Carol at 507-389-1112.

2011 Ballroom renovations

Faculty and staff who are involved in planning events should be aware that the Centennial Student Union Ballroom will be unavailable for use from March 6 through September 30, 2011, for renovations.

Local hotels and banquet hall managers have been informed of the seven-month shutdown and have pledged to help university coordinators secure venues for events. Other campus spaces such as Schellberg Gym and Myers Fieldhouse could be used when there are no conflicts with athletic or campus recreation events.

Those who need assistance finding off-campus venues may contact Shirley Piepho (University Sceduling) at 389-6785 or

Four retirement receptions

'Happy Retirement' balloonFour retirement receptions are scheduled between Thursday, April 29, and Friday, May 7. Faculty, staff, students and the public are invited to attend:

  • Bonnie Huebsch (Registrar’s Office): A reception for Bonnie will be Thursday, April 29, in Centennial Student Union room 284 from 2-3:30 p.m. Bonnie is one of the longest-serving employees, having worked at the University for 45 years.
  • William Steil (Student Union): A reception for William will be Tuesday, May 6, from 2-3:30 p.m. in CSU rooms 253-255.
  • Cheryl Kalakian (College of Education): A reception for Cheryl will be Thursday, May 6, in Centennial Student Union rooms 284 A, B and C from 2-4 p.m. Refreshments will be provided.
  • Gene Sellner (Information & Technology Services): A reception for Gene will be from 2-4 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Hearth Lounge.

April 29-May 1: Dance concert

Spring Collection/Dance Concert posterThe Department of Theatre & Dance will present its Spring Dance Collection 2010 Concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, April 29 and 30, and at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 1, in Ted Paul Theatre of the Performing Arts Center.

This concert will feature the choreography of four students, three faculty members and one Nadine B. Andreas guest artist in eight pieces and will include more than 40 dancers. It is the culmination of a year’s worth of work by the dancers and choreographers.

Student choreographers and their works are:

  • Katie Drietz, Jennifer James and Jessica Bowers, “PYOP”;
  • Drietz, “Stay”;
  • Travis Cahill, “Black Violin.”

Fall semester Andreas guest artist Beth Corning will present “Hush.”  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 at Theatre and Dance, or by calling the Box Office at (507) 389-6661 from 4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday.

In addition, an informal Student Dance Showcase will be presented at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 2, in Ted Paul Theatre, and will include several student pieces that are not part the concert. Tickets are $5, paid with cash or check only, and will be available in the lobby that day only.

'Welcome to the Minnesota State Retirement System' banner

April 29: Retirement counseling

A retirement counselor from the Minnesota State Retirement System will offer one-on-one counseling sessions Thursday, April 29. The sessions will be in Centennial Student Unions Room 123.

MSRS administers the General Plan, the Health Care Savings Plan and the Minnesota Deferred Compensation Plan.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, visit the MSRS website. To request accommodation for a disability, contact Wendy Schuller (Human Resources) at (507) 389-2015 (V) or (800) 627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTY).

April 29: Media Day

Logos of various popular websites“The Changing Face of Journalism” will be discussed by three Minneapolis Star Tribune writers as the featured Department of Mass Communications Media Day presentation Thursday, April 29.

In a Nadine B. Andreas Endowment panel discussion, Robert Franklin, Nick Coleman and Myron Medcalf will talk about the online sea change that’s forcing newspapers and other traditional media to alter the way they gather and present the news. The event, free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public, will begin at 4 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium of Centennial Student Union.

Each year the Department of Mass Communications sponsors the Andreas Endowment presentation in conjunction with the annual Media Day.

Franklin is a retired Star Tribune reporter and city and state editor who now is senior journalism adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas. Coleman is a retired Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press reporter and columnist who has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize four times. Medcalf is a 2005 Minnesota State Mankato mass communications graduate who is a sports reporter and blogger for the Star Tribune.

All three have experienced “The Changing Face of Journalism” and have reinvented their craft.

May 1: Science Fair

More than 1,200 students and their parents, teachers and siblings will attend the 59th annual South Central/Southwest Minnesota Regional Science & Engineering Fair on campus Saturday, May 1,

Many of those attending will be crossing Stadium Road from 7:30-9 a.m. and then from 2-5 p.m. that day to observe and participate in science fair activities. Public-safety officials are asking automobile drivers to be especially alert for pedestrians crossing the road, and suggest that drivers may want to take alternate routes to avoid congestion and delays.

May 5: Campus Earth Day

Hands of different races holding up the worldThe Facilities Management Department invites students, faculty, staff and the public to participate in planting flowers, raking and picking up litter Wednesday, May 5, as part of the Earth Day observation.

The event will start at noon on the mall near Memorial Library. Participants will receive hot dogs and chips and will be assigned areas for planting, raking and picking up garbage.

Those interested in participating and who would like more information may contact Donna Hensel (Facilities Management) at

May 9: Study abroad proposals

Postcards and the words 'Study Abroad'Proposals for 2010-2011 study abroad and study away must be submitted to the department chair for departmental review and then must be submitted to the college dean by May 9.

Approvals now come from Academic Affairs. Proposals may be found on the Kearney International Center website.

Those who have questions may contact Kimberly Contag (Academic Affairs) at 389-1333.

May 21: Sustainability expert

Renowned sustainability author and expert Malcolm McIntosh, founding director of the Asia Pacific Centre for Sustainable Enterprise at Griffith Business School (Australia), will speak Friday, May 21.

McIntosh is a frequent international speaker who aims to have his audience think futuristically, in the belief that “creating a sustainable future is humanity’s next great project." He says that "business, in partnership with government and civil society, must be part of building this future world.”

His talk, free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public, will be from 3-4 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. Participants must preregister by emailing or phoning 389-2966. A hors d’oeuvre reception will follow the lecture, and free on-campus parking will be available.

McIntosh joined the Griffith Business School (Australia) in 2009. Previously he was professor of Human Security and Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Coventry (UK).

The event is sponsored by Greater Mankato Area Growth, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, the College of Business, Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace (MnREM), International Renewable Energy Technology Institute, and the MN BioBusiness Alliance.

June 7-July 15: Learn to Swim

Children swimmingThe Swimming and Diving Team will offer its “Learn to Swim with the Mavericks” program from June 7 to July 15 for students, faculty, staff and the public.

The swim lessons will include small-group instruction during which one instructor will work with only three swimmers at a time. Beginning Monday, June 7, these four time slots will be available Monday through Thursday:

  • 9:15-9:45 a.m.
  • 9:55-10:25 a.m.
  • 10:35-11:05 a.m.
  • 11:15-11:45 a.m.

Participants will attend one of the 30-minute sessions per week for six weeks, ending Thursday, July 15. Those who are interested may register online. Mail-in registrations are also available.

Private swim lessons will also be offered beginning Saturday, May 22, and ending Wednesday, July 14. This program is especially for young children to get familiar with the water or for older swimmers to refine their swimming techniques.

Lessons will be available Monday and Wednesday from 4-6 p.m. beginning May 24 and select Saturday mornings (May 22, May 29 and June 5) between 9 a.m. and noon. Interested participants must schedule 30-minute lessons by appointment.

For more information about both programs, visit the swimming camp website or contact Andy Driska (Intercollegiate Athletics) at or (507) 389-2538.

Swim technique camp

The Swim Team will offer two sessions of its Stroke, Technique and Race Camp for competitive group swimmers this summer. The program is open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

Coach Nathan Owens, his assistant coaches and current Maverick swimmers will lead the sessions, which will include video analysis, racing strategy and stroke technique instruction.

Session I will be from June 13 to June 18. Session II will be from June 27 to July 2.  Participants who will be in Mankato all week may stay in Julia Sears Residence Hall.

Those who want more information may visit the swimming camp website or contact Andy Driska (Intercollegiate Athletics) at or (507) 389-2538.

Campus Kitchen: Volunteers?

Campus Kitchen logoCampus Kitchen needs volunteers for the summer.

Those who are interested may visit the Campus Kitchen site to view the summer schedule or may contact Denise Billington-Just at 389-5783.

Faculty/Staff achievements

Karen Bunde (Campus Hub) was a presenter at the 17th annual National Association of Campus Card Users Conference recently in Phoenix, Ariz. Her presentation was “Re-Carding: Challenges and Opportunities.”

Karen Wright (KMSU-FM) placed first in the recent Minnesota AP Broadcasters Awards contest. Karen won the Series Special category for her series “Autism Awareness” on KMSU.

David Viscoli (Music) will perform and teach at the Festival de Musica Alfredo De Saint-Malo in Panama City, Republic of Panama, in June. He also recently performed a two-piano recital with Dr. Daniel Rieppel in Marshall, Minn.

National poster victory

A Minnesota State Mankato student team recently won the Council on Undergraduate Research’s 2010 "Posters on the Hill" competition recently in Washington, D.C. The team's project was one of 75 recognized this year in the national competition.

The team was represented in Washington by Senior Indumini Weeramantri, who received congratulations for the victory from Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Other team members are Trista Ayers (Chemistry) and Robert Smith (Chemistry). The research was initiated by 2008 graduate Aaron Danberry, a Ph.D. candidate in the Georgia Tech chemistry department.

Posters on the Hill is a national, merit-based competition that recognizes outstanding undergraduate research projects from across the country. Winners are invited to Washington, D.C., to present their research project to a national audience and members of Congress.

The Minnesota State Mankato team examined the interaction of various man-made chemicals in ground and wastewater systems.

“Minnesota has a long tradition of innovative scholarship," Klobuchar said, "and Indumini and her fellow teammates exemplify the values needed to continue this tradition.”

Student achievements

Lance Renberg (German) received a scholarship from the state of Baden-Wurttemberg for his spring studies at the Hochschule Karlsruhe/University of Applied Sciences where he is the first Minnesota State Mankato student to study technical communication.

Rachel Stori (English) received an English language teaching assistantship for the 2010-2011 academic year by the Austrian Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture. Rachel will teach in a college preparatory school and a technical college of business in the Salzburg province.

New Triathlon Club

USA Triathlon Official Club logoEight students from the new Triathlon Club participated in the Collegiate National Championships recently in Lubbock, Texas.

More information about the event is available online.


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 May 19; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (May 14).

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.