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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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September 22, 2010 Campus Newsletter

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Canter of Renewable EnergyComputer-generated picture of the future residence hall

Groundbreaking, dedication

Groundbreaking for a $23.8-million, 118,000-square-foot residence hall and dedication of a one-of-a-kind renewable energy research center will be Thursday, Sept. 23.

The groundbreaking will be at 10 a.m. in the parking lot next to Carkoski Commons. The renewable energy center dedication and ribbon-cutting will be at 11 a.m. at the parking lot near the new building (421 Malin St.). Legislators, President Richard Davenport and other administrators will attend both events, and students, faculty, staff and the public are invited.

The new residence hall will be a four-story, semi-suite-style facility that will accommodate 300 students when completed in 2012. In keeping with the University’s strategic priority for a sustainable, pedestrian-friendly campus, it will be built next to the McElroy Residence Community, connected by classrooms, the First Year Experience office and gathering spaces.

It will be the second new residence hall on the Minnesota State Mankato campus in the last two years.

The $1.8-million, 6,300-square-foot Center of Renewable Energy has been under construction since November 2009 on the northwest corner of the campus, near Wiecking Center.

Approximately 4,800 square feet of the center will be used by the Minnesota Center for Automotive Research, as an emissions laboratory for testing on- and off-road vehicles powered by a variety of fuels and hybrid systems. Another 1,500 square feet is for International Renewable Energy Technology Institute (IRETI) testing of combustible solid fuel and biogas building heating units.

Al Franken and workers

Al Franken visited with Minnesota State Mankato workers at the Minnesota State Fair Aug. 26 for STEM Day to help children get excited about careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

20-foot bridge display

Mechanical Engineering students built this 20-foot bridge to be the main display for Minnesota State at the Minnesota State Fair.

Meredith Scholarship recipient

Alicia FennelAlicia Fennel has been named the Dr. Donald and Marjorie Meredith Nursing Scholarship recipient for 2010-’11.

Fennel, a junior nursing student from Sauk Rapids, Minn., will be eligible to receive $3,125 each semester for the last three semesters of the program. The scholarship will allow her to participate in School of Nursing and Student Nurses Association leadership activities, and qualifies her to serve on the College of Allied Health & Nursing advisory board.

The announcement was made recently by Minnesota State Mankato’s School of Nursing.

In 2007 Dr. Donald and Mrs. Marjorie Meredith of Mankato gave the University $375,000 to endow nursing scholarships. The resulting $3,125 renewable scholarships are awarded to nursing students in the fall and spring semester each year.

Meredith Nursing Scholarships are intended to allow recipients to focus on their studies without working at part- or full-time jobs.

Recipients must have a 3.5 grade-point average and must demonstrate a well-balanced lifestyle, leadership abilities and commitment to the nursing profession. Recipients have opportunities to participate in undergraduate research, peer mentoring, tutoring and other School of Nursing activities.

In addition to the Meredith Nursing Scholarship Endowment, in 2005 the Merediths gave the University more than $700,000 to fully endow the Meredith Scholars program for promising science and mathematics students.

Dr. Meredith co-founded Mankato’s Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic, PA, with Dr. Paul Gislason in 1957. He and Dr. Gislason served as Minnesota State Mankato’s first athletic team physicians and helped the university create what is now the nation’s oldest, continually accredited athletic training education program.

More than $1 million in grants, contracts

The Research and Sponsored Programs Office recently announced more than $1 million in new grants and contracts that are being administered by faculty and staff members. Projects include:

  • George Corey (Upward Bound), $440,907 from the U.S. Department of Education for the project “Upward Bound 11;”
  • Margaret Hesser (Student Support Services), $332,328 from the U.S. Department of Education for the project “Student Support Services 10-11;”
  • Shannon Fisher (Water Resources Center), $236,532 from the Minnesota River Board for the project “Minnesota River Board 11;”
  • Kim Musser (Water Resources Center), $124,000 from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources for the project “MN River Experts: Online Educational Field Trip;”
  • Aaron Budge (Mechanical & Civil Engineering), $120,000 from MnDOT for the project “MnDOT – Pile Driving Project Phase II;”
  • Tom Gjersvig (Scandinavian Studies), $3,250 from the U.S. Department of State for the project “Global UGRAD Pakistan Program”

New track, trail


Campus Recreation welcomed a new nine-lane, 400-meter outdoor track earlier this month when it opened Sept. 13 as part of the Outdoor Recreation Facilities project. Also, a paved 1.5-mile fitness trail was completed in August.

The fitness trail features rolling hills and flat terrain. There are three entrances for the fitness trail, including a paved path at the southwest corner of the Gage Residence Community.

Campus Recreation is also enjoying new lighted outdoor fields including the rugby, soccer and Ultimate Frisbee pitch; two new flag football and softball fields; and the infield of the new outdoor track for lacrosse and soccer. Four more fields are still under construction and will be ready for use next fall.

The $7 million student-fee-funded project is providing more opportunities for outdoor recreation on campus. The project addresses safety issues, the need for restrooms and drinking water and field lighting.

The fitness trail is available to students, faculty and staff during daylight hours. The track is available for walking and running daily, with some exceptions for Human Performance classes weekday mornings and athletic practices weekday afternoons. To check for availability, visit the facilities schedule online. Those with questions may e-mail Todd Pfingsten at

Help for Homecoming

Stomper mascotFaculty and staff are invited to spread Maverick pride during Homecoming Week.

Here are five ways faculty and staff can get involved with Homecoming 2010:

  • Gather some colleagues and participate in the parade Saturday, Oct. 9.
  • Sign up to collect items for the canned-food drive throughout the week.
  • Show Maverick spirit by competing in the annual office-decorating contest.
  • Volunteer at one of the Homecoming events.
  • Wear purple and gold Friday, Oct. 8.

To view the complete homecoming schedule and event sign-up information, visit our Homecoming page.

Sept. 23: Energy Mini-Conference

Speakers will discuss renewable energy sources including biomass, biogas, building, engine efficiencies and emissions at an Energy Mini-Conference Thursday, Sept. 23.

The 12:30-4:30 p.m. event will be in the new Center of Renewable Energy on the northwest corner of campus, near Wiecking Center. The Center is being formally dedicated in a public ceremony beginning at 11 a.m.

The mini-conference is sponsored by the International Renewable Energy Technology Institute (IRETI) and the BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota (BBAM). CEO of BBAM, Dale A. Wahlstrom, will speak at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Other highlights include a tour of the new Center’s laboratory, tips on developing a green business, and how the University can provide talent and resources through public-private partnerships.

Wahlstrom became CEO of BBAM after recently retiring from a leadership role at Medtronic. BBAM is an industry-led nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of bioscience-based businesses in the state of Minnesota.

IRETI is an institute that develops public-private partnerships to bring products to the marketplace. Funding was approved by the 2009 legislature, and since then the institute has brought international attention to Minnesota State Mankato’s renewable energy efforts.

The conference cost is $25 and registration is either online or at the door. To register, visit the Upcoming Events registration page online.

Sept. 24-26: Family Weekend

Family Weekend crestEmployees and their families are encouraged to attend the seventh annual Family Weekend Friday, Sept. 24, through Sunday, Sept. 26.

Family Weekend is an opportunity for students' families to reacquaint themselves with campus, and a chance for families of faculty and staff to participate in a variety of activities for all ages.

Activities will include a family fun carnival, Stomper Cinema featuring "Toy Story 3," magician, open climbing, a 5-K fun run and more. Most events are free or discounted for students, families, faculty and staff with MavCards or Family Weekend buttons (available at the Family Weekend information table).

More information, registration table hours and a complete schedule of events is available at the Family Weekend website.

Sept. 25, Oct. 9: Saturday previews

Saturday, Sept. 25, (Family Weekend) and Saturday, Oct. 9, (Homecoming) are Saturday Preview Days for prospective students.

On those dates and on several others this fall and next spring prospective and admitted students are invited to come to campus to experience what Minnesota State Mankato is really like, meet others who are making the same decisions and get the inside scoop on preparing for the college admission process.

The Office of Admissions has scheduled fall open houses in Centennial Student Union Oct. 21, 22 and 29. Another fall Saturday preview is scheduled Nov. 20.

Sept. 27-Oct. 15: Euclide exhibit

A work by EuclidePaintings by Gregory Euclide will be featured in a Conkling Gallery exhibit Monday, Sept. 27, through Oct.15.

A reception honoring the artist will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 27 in the gallery. He will discuss "Making Paintings about Nature's Making" in a 7:30 p.m. gallery talk.

Conkling Gallery is at 139 Nelson Hall.

Sept. 27: Ford Lecture

Michael LaCroix-Fralish, director of in-vivo pharmacology and behavioral phenotyping at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, will discuss chronic pain therapy during the 21st annual Leonard A. Ford Lectureship Monday, Sept. 27.

LaCroix-Fralish’s lecture, hosted by the Department of Chemistry & Geology, will address “The Challenge of Chronic Pain in the Biotechnology Age” at 7:30 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium of Centennial Student Union. A reception will follow his talk.

At noon Sept. 27 LaCroix-Fralish will present a technical talk, “Making Molecules Work: The History and Future of Pharmacology,” in Trafton Science Center C311.

Students, faculty, staff and the public are welcome to attend both free events.

Sept. 30: ‘Chicago’

'Chicago' posterThe Department of Theatre & Dance will open its Mainstage season with “Chicago,” the most-requested musical on recent departmental audience surveys. It will be presented Sept. 30-Oct. 3 and 7-10 in Ted Paul Theatre, sponsored by HickoryTech Corporation.

In Roaring ’20s Chicago, chorus girl Roxie Hart murders a faithless lover but is convicted and sent to death row. There she and another “Merry Murderess,” Velma Kelly, vie for the spotlight and the headlines, joining forces in search of the “American Dream” of fame, fortune and acquittal.

The story sparked a 2002 Academy Award-winning blockbuster film. Music is by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb and a book by Ebb and Bob Fosse.

“Chicago” is directed and choreographed by Paul Finocchiaro (Theatre & Dance). It features senior BFA Musical Theatre candidate Megan Volkman-Wilson as Velma Kelly; junior BFA Musical Theatre candidate Laura Otremba as Roxie Hart; and senior BFA Musical Theatre candidate Aaron Alan as attorney Billy Flynn.

Individual tickets are $20 regular; $18 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more; and $14 for current Minnesota State students. In addition, season subscriptions are available throughout the run of “Chicago.” Those who want more information or to buy tickets online may go to the MSU Theatre website.

Sept. 30: Good Thunder

Dan ChaonThe Good Thunder Reading Series continues its fall programming with Ohio short-story writer and novelist Dan Chaon Thursday, Sept. 30.

In the morning, Chaon will meet with community writers in an informal Question and Answer session and be interviewed on KMSU 89.7 FM. At 3 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium of the Centennial Student Union he will lead a discussion on the craft of writing. At 7:30 p.m. in CSU Room 253, he will read from his published work. All events are free and open to the public.

Chaon's most recent novel, “Await Your Reply,” came out last fall. He is also the author of “Among the Missing,” which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and “You Remind Me of Me,” which was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, The Christian Science Monitor, and Entertainment Weekly. Chaon's fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Best American Short Stories. He was the recipient of the 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and teaches at Oberlin College, where he is the Pauline M. Delaney Professor of Creative Writing.

An interview with the writer, part of the “Authors in Transit” series on public-radio station KMSU 89.7 FM, will air Sept. 30 at 1 p.m., and Oct. 1 at 11 a.m.

For more information about the series, call Richard Robbins at (507) 389-1354, or visit the Good Thunder website.

Sept. 30: Latinum Duet to perform

The Latinum Classical Duet will perform Sept. 30, at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center.

Pianist Victor Soto and cellist Isaac Casal will present the works of Latin American composers as well as standard repertoire for cello and piano. The duo strives to promote classical music through education and entertainment by providing the public with music from classic to present day composers.

Soto is a former student of Dr. David Viscoli, earning his masters in music from Minnesota State Mankato in 2005.

"He was a talented student," Viscoli said of Soto. "Victor was full of enthusiasm, had great energy, and worked hard. I could tell he possessed a real passion for piano music."

Soto now is a professor at Mountain View College in Dallas. Viscoli has visited Dallas to perform a recital at Mountain View. Viscoli met Casal in Dallas and has performed with him on different occasions in Panama.

The duo¹s visit includes a master class on Oct. 1 with University students. The master class is open to the public.

The Latinum Classical Duet debuted in June 2005. The duo places a primary focus on classical works that contain innovative writing, but also pursues works from different composers, especially Latin American with diverse styles.  Future projects for the duet include an upcoming CD of compositions by Latin- American composers.

Concert admission is $12; $11 for Minnesota State Mankato students with a valid MavCard. Discount tickets are available online for University students.  Those who wish to purchase tickets online should visit the Music site. For more information, call the Performance Series office, (507)-389-5549.

Oct. 4-8: Summer Fellows luncheon series

Recipients of this year's Presidential Teaching Scholar Fellowships will present work from their summer projects at a special "Brown Bag" luncheon series during the week of Oct. 4 through 8.

Two Fellows will present each day and those attending are invited to bring their lunches to the events. Beverages will be provided by the Office of Academic Affairs, who is sponsoring the program.

The presentations will be made in Centennial Student Union from noon to 1 p.m. on each day of that week:

  • Monday, Oct. 4, Maria-Claudia Tomany (Modern Languages) and Michael Wells (Information Systems & Technology) will present in CSU Room 201.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 5, Jocelyn Fenton Stitt (Gender and Women’s Studies) and Yea-Ling Tsao (Mathematics & Statistics) will present in CSU Room 201.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 6, Jeffrey Pribyl (Chemistry & Geology) and Emily Stark (Psychology) will present in CSU Room 285.
  • Thursday, Oct. 7, Andrea Lassiter (Psychology) and Karen Lybeck (English) will present in CSU Room 285.
  • Friday, Oct. 8, Cyrus Azarbod (Information Systems & Technology) and Robert Pettitt (Human Performance) will present in CSU Room 201.

The Presidential Teaching Scholar Fellowships provide support for faculty in their commitments to teaching and learning at Minnesota State Mankato. For six weeks during the summer, each Fellow is engaged in a project involving both teaching and scholarship.

Ten Teaching Scholar Fellowships are awarded annually on a University-wide, competitive basis. Each Fellow receives a $7,000 stipend and $300 for expenses.

Oct. 4-9: Homecoming

MavericksFaculty and staff are invited to enjoy Homecoming Week starting Monday, Oct. 4, and ending Saturday, Oct. 9.

Homecoming includes the President’s Free Pancake Breakfast, the parade, Homecoming football and more. More information is at the Homecoming website.

Those who have events to add to the homecoming schedule can propose an event online.

Oct. 5, 6: Nobel Conference tickets

Nobel coinAcademic Affairs has a limited number of Nobel Conference tickets for Oct. 5 and 6 at Gustavus Adolphus College. The tickets are free and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

The tickets are for specific dates, so those interested must specify if they would like to attend Tuesday, Oct. 5, or Wednesday, Oct. 6, when they send their requests to Kim Krueger.

Those who wish to view the two-day conference schedule may visit Gustavus’ website.

Oct. 7: National Depression Screening Day

The Minnesota State Mankato Counseling Center is hosting National Depression Screening Day on Thursday, October 7, in Centennial Student Union 245 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. During this event, currently enrolled students can obtain a free depression screening. In addition to obtaining a free depression screening, students can find out where and how to access help, counseling and treatment.

Screenings are free and completely confidential. The screening is an opportunity to learn more about anxiety and mood disorders, complete a brief screening questionnaire, and speak one-on-one with a mental health professional. If appropriate, you may be referred for a complete evaluation.

As part of the screening, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Complete a written screening questionnaire,
  • Discuss your results with a mental health professional,
  • Receive a referral list of clinicians and treatment facilities in your area,
  • Pick up some pamphlets and brochures.

National Depression Screening Day is an annual event held each October on the Thursday of Mental Illness Awareness Week. For further information contact the Counseling Center or phone 389-1455.

Oct. 8: Vital Aging Network

ALVA Leadership Development bannerAn eight-session Vital Aging Network ALVA Leadership Development program will be held at Minnesota State Mankato starting Friday, Oct. 8.

The eight-month program helps experienced leaders discover how to use their skills in new ways, and how to acquire new skills to continue to be effective change makers. The class meets one day a month.

Cost of the course is $750 before Sept. 25 and $800 after that date. Scholarships are available to those who contact the Vital Aging Network. Those interested may register online or call (507) 389-2572 to register and receive course materials.

More information is available from Tom Hyder at (651) 917-4635 or on the Vital Aging Network website.

Oct. 8: Hall of Fame

Stomper headSix alumni and former faculty members have been selected for the Athletics Hall of Fame. This year’s induction ceremony will be Friday, Oct. 8, in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. Inductees will be introduced at halftime of the annual homecoming game Saturday, Oct. 9, at 1 p.m. against St. Cloud State.

New Hall of Fame members in the student-athlete category are track & field standout Gene Bygd (’72), multi-sport star Pat Dunn (’52), football receiver Josh Nelsen (’04) and volleyball setter Heidi (Schnagl) Ulwelling (’95).

Nominated for induction in the Builders category are former athletics administrator Jim Schaffer and former long-time swim coach Phil Rhoade.

Selected for induction in the Team category are the Minnesota State Mankato baseball teams from 1979 and 1980.

The Jim Schaffer Service Award will be presented to JoAnn Curtis and Laura Stevens, and the Athletics Philanthropic Award will go to Paul and Jennipher Mattson.

Those interested in attending the dinner may reserve tickets by calling the Alumni Office at (888) 234-3796 or by registering online.

Oct. 23, 24: Women, Spirituality

Akasha HullScholar, poet and black women’s studies expert Akasha Hull will discuss “Marrying Sex and Spirituality” as keynote speaker at the Women and Spirituality Conference Saturday, Oct. 23.

The 29th annual conference, which continues Sunday, Oct. 24, will include 90 vendors and more than 100 workshops and discussions exploring a variety of topics through discovery, interaction, ritual and celebration.

Hull’s keynote talk will be from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. The conference also will feature a free Saturday night drum circle at 7:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union lower level.

The conference is intended to encourage dialogue among women and men from different spiritual and religious traditions. It is co-sponsored by the Women’s Studies Department, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences and Office of Institutional Diversity.

Hull has taught women’s studies and literature at the University of California-Santa Cruz, the University of Delaware and the University of the West Indies-Mona in Kingston, Jamaica. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Southern University at Baton Rouge, La. She earned master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University.

The Women and Spirituality Conference is open to students, faculty, staff and the public. General registration costs $60, but reduced rates are available for students or low-income attendees. Those who would like more information may visit our page on the Women's Conference or may e-mail

Oct. 30: Genealogy Expo

Cartoon family treeFaculty and staff are invited to attend the 10th annual South Central Minnesota Genealogy Expo Saturday, Oct. 30, to learn more about family history.

The expo, co-organized by Minnesota State Mankato Library Services and the Blue Earth County Historical Society, will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Centennial Student Union.

History-related organizations will be available to share information about their resources and services. There will also be sessions on a variety of genealogy-related topics.

Pre-registration is $20 by Oct. 22, and registration after Oct. 22 is $25. The full program and registration information are available online.

For more information contact Jessica Potter from the Blue Earth County Historical Society at (507) 345-5566 or e-mail

Nov. 2: No special events

No special events will be scheduled on campus Tuesday, Nov. 2, due to the general election.

On general election and primary days, the Office of the Chancellor, Board of Trustees, colleges and universities are prohibited from scheduling events, other than regularly-scheduled classes, between 6 and 8 p.m. Classes regularly scheduled during those hours will be held as usual.

Matt Krna wins Antarctic Service Medal

MedalMatthew Krna (Biological Science) recently received the Antarctic Service Medal of the United States of America for his service in Antarctica.

It was awarded to recognize his valuable contributions to exploration and scientific achievement under the U.S. Antarctic Research Program.

Matt is currently working on his Ph.D. at Massey University in New Zealand since being awarded the Hellaby Fellowship to conduct work on carbon sequestration in tussock grasslands.

Faculty/Staff achievements

David Georgina (Educational Studies) will attend the 2011 Hawaii International Conference on Education and present a paper titled “Technology Enhanced Andragogy Through a Digital Course Conversion Workshop: From Traditional to Online.” David also had his piece, “Exploring the Affects Upon Ethos Through a COTS Game: Diablo II,” accepted for publication in Interface: The Journal of Education, Community and Values.

Anne Dahlman’s (Educational Studies) position as the 2010-2011 president of MinneTESOL, a statewide professional organization for English as a Second Language teachers in Minnesota, starts in November. Patricia Hoffman’s (Educational Studies) position as 2010-2011 vice president of MinneTESOL also starts in November. Anne and Patricia will present “Developing a Culture of Caring and Collaboration in Response to Large Scale Change,” at the 24th annual Women in Educational Leadership Conference in Lincoln, Neb., in October.

Tom Inglot, (Government) along with several co-authors, presented a paper titled “The Anti-poverty Dimension of Family Policies in the Three New EU Member States: Hungary, Poland and Romania” at the European Social Policy Network Association Conference in Budapest, Hungary, earlier this month.

Student achievements

Amy Chin (Music) won third place in the Lee Biennial Piano Competition in Sioux Falls, S.D., in June.


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 Oct. 6; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Oct. 1).

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.