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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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November 3, 2010 Campus Newsletter

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Gubernatorial Debate

Debate Minnesota and the Minnesota State Student Association hosted the final Greater Minnesota gubernatorial debate Oct. 26 in Bresnan Arena. Mankato Free Press Editor Joe Spear and St. Paul Pioneer Press political reporter Bill Salisbury moderated the debate, which included DFL-endorsed Mark Dayton, Republican-endorsed Tom Emmer, and Independence Party-endorsed Tom Horner.

High-tech study space

Study Space

A collaborative study space that lets students quickly and electronically share concepts with other student team members was unveiled recently in Wigley Administration Center lobby.

The Media-scape study area features a 40-inch, high-resolution LCD monitor, two virtual offices for six each and a conference table with an integrated Puck™ controller that lets students share their laptop screen ideas with all participants. The virtual study area – a 21st-century merger of technology and workspace – lets student team members simultaneously view one another’s laptop notes, research findings and designs.

The area replicates state-of-the-art tools being used by business and industry to improve team collaboration, communication and effectiveness. Businesses find that electronic collaboration spaces lead to better products and services, and the new study area is expected to improve the accuracy and relevance of students’ class projects.

The study area includes casual, flexible seating for informal learning, as well as laptop power ports and wireless networking availability.

Through Nov. 30: Open enrollment

Employees may make changes to their health coverage, long-term disability insurance and managers’ IPP during the annual open enrollment through Tuesday, Nov. 30. Open enrollment is conducted online through the Employee Self Service website.

Open enrollment information and resources are posted on the Minnesota Management & Budget website. Once on the site, employees should click “Employee Enrollment Information” and enter their employee IDs and passwords.

Those who want more information also may go to on-campus help sessions scheduled throughout November. All help sessions will be in Memorial Library Room 94 A. No reservations are required:

  • Friday, Nov. 5, from 9-10:30 a.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 8, from 12:30-2 p.m.
  • Friday, Nov. 12, from 8-9:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 16, from 2:30-4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Nov. 18, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 22, from 1:30-3 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 29, from 9-10:30 a.m.

Professional science degrees

Minnesota State Mankato and eight other universities have been awarded a Sloan Foundation grant to determine the market need for Professional Science Master’s degrees in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.

Professional Science Master’s degrees allow students to pursue advanced training and excel in science while developing highly-valued business skills. PSM programs prepare students for science careers in business, government or nonprofit organizations. Programs include rigorous study in sciences and mathematics, enhanced with skills-based coursework in management, policy, law and communications. PSM programs typically require a final project or team experience, as well as a "real-world" internship in a business or public sector enterprise.

The project is being managed by the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system Chancellor’s Office. Shannon Fisher, director of Minnesota State Mankato’s Water Resources Center, is project coordinator. Shannon will work in St. Paul two days per week and will return to full-time duties on campus in May.

Those who have questions may contact Shannon at (507) 389-5690, or

$1.66-million grant

Student Support Services

Student Support Services – the program that helps at-risk students improve their academic standing – has received a $1.66-million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant, providing $332,000 per year, will fund the office through 2015.

Each year, Student Support Services assists 175 students with individual academic and career advising, financial aid assistance, cultural experiences and tutoring. It was founded in 1990. Program participants are highly motivated to study and succeed but have academic or personal obstacles that could prevent them from graduating. Participants are from low-income families, have disabilities or are the first in their families to attend college.

All students entering our program demonstrate some level of academic need, and 95 percent end the year in good academic standing, according to program director Margaret Hesser.

The office employs as many as 30 student tutors each year, and provides peer mentors to help new students adjust to the college environment.

Jen Blue wins Mankato Marathon

Jen Blue

Women’s track and cross-country coach Jen Blue practices what she preaches. She was feeling a queasy stomach at the 24-mile mark of the Mankato Marathon, but -- following her own advice to team members -- she pressed on and won the first-ever event, with her personal best marathon time.

Jen was the women’s winner of the 26.2-mile race with a 3 hour, 3-minute, 6-second time that ranked her 21st overall.

“I told my girls that they can’t ever stop, so I had to follow my own advice,” Jen said. “I didn’t feel good at all. (I) just got through it with grit and determination.”

Jen, a year-round runner, trained for about 12 weeks, was a member of the marathon’s planning committee and helped design the course.

Nov. 7: Wind ensemble

Wind Ensemble

The Minnesota Valley Wind Ensemble will perform its second concert of the season Sunday, Nov. 7. The concert will feature nationalistic works of Nelson, Bach and Holsinger – pieces that show the distinct musical styles of Spain, Ireland, Europe and the United States.

The 50-member, semi-professional ensemble, which performs the highest level of classic and new wind band repertoire, is made up of students, teachers, university faculty and community members.

The concert will be at 3 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center.

Director of bands Amy Roisum Foley (Music) and Mankato East Junior High band director Jay Eichhorst founded the volunteer ensemble. Eichhorst also is a member and adviser of the Mankato Symphony Orchestra.

Concert admission is $9 general, $7 for university students with a valid MavCard and $6 for children and K-12 students. Discount tickets for university students are available on the Music page. Those who want more information may call the Performance Series office at (507) 389-5549.

Nov. 8: Diversity Award deadline

The President's Commission on Diversity is accepting applications for diversity related development and research grants, as well as nominations for the President's Diversity Award.

Nominations for the Diversity Award are due Monday, Nov. 8, and recipients will be recognized at the annual Institutional Diversity Dinner Friday, Nov. 19. The award acknowledges contributions of the university's faculty, staff and administrators whose services and efforts support the school's goal of diversity and inclusiveness.

Applications for the grant are due Monday, Nov. 15, and Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011. Only Minnesota State Mankato students, faculty and staff are eligible, and recipients may receive stipends of up to $500 to attend professional conferences related to diversity in higher education, or to conduct research.

The President's Commission on Diversity will review all nominations, with the final decision made by the president.

Those who are interested may submit nomination letters and applications to the Office of Disability Services, Room 132, Memorial Library. Electronic copies may be e-mailed to Julie Snow (Disability Services).

Nov. 9-17: Research workshops

The Center for Excellence in Scholarship & Research will offer two more SPSS workshops in November for faculty and staff. Graduate students are also invited to attend. SPSS is a statistical software program frequently used in research.

The workshops will be held in a computer lab so that faculty, staff and students can practice the techniques. All classes are free. The classes are:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 9, "Manipulating Data in SPSS," noon, Wissink Hall, ACC 116. Participants will learn to manipulate data for analysis on a spreadsheet. The session will be repeated at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10, in Wissink ACC 119.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 16, "Analyzing Data in SPSS," noon, Wissink Hall, ACC 116. Participants will learn to perform basic analyses on a spreadsheet. The session will be repeated at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17, in Wissink ACC 119.

Space is limited, and the first 20 registrants for each class will be accepted. Those who want more information or to register should contact Stephen Bohnenblust (CESR).

Nov. 11-21: 'The Odyssey'

The Odyssey

Homer’s classic journey tale, “The Odyssey,” will be presented Theatre & Dance at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11-13 and 18-20, with 2 p.m. matinees Nov. 14, 20 and 21, in the Ted Paul Theatre of the Performing Arts Center.

The performance is sponsored by Blethen, Gage and Krause, PLLP, of Mankato.

The epic story mainly centers on the Greek hero Odysseus (or Ulysses, as he was known in Roman myths) and his 10-year journey home following the 10-year Trojan War. In his absence, it is assumed he has died, and his wife Penelope and son Telemachus must deal with unruly suitors competing for Penelope’s hand in marriage.

The classic tale is vibrantly brought to life in this retelling from the author of “Metamorphoses,” Mary Zimmerman. It is adapted from the translation by Robert Fitzgerald.

“The Odyssey” is directed by Paul J. Hustoles (Theatre & Dance). Faculty emeritus Tom Bliese is scenic designer, and Masters in Music graduate Michael Croswell is music composer and performer. Both are Nadine B. Andreas Guest Artists.

Clayton Oliver Rutschow is Odysseus, with a supporting cast is 29-strong, including Laura Otremba, who earned a Kennedy Center American College Theater Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship nomination as Roxie Hart in the season opener, “Chicago.”

Tickets are $14.50 regular; $13 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more; and $10 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. They are available on the Theatre page or by calling or visiting the box office at (507) 389-6661 from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Alumni and Friends

Nov. 12: Alumni & Friends

Minnesota State Mankato alumni are invited to an Alumni & Friends Reception Friday, Nov. 12. The event will be from 5 to 7 p.m. at Black Dog Cafe, 308 Prince St., St. Paul. Social hour attendees will receive free appetizers and free alumni souvenirs.

Cost is free to attend but registration is requested. Register by Nov. 8 online, by calling (507) 389-3235, or by e-mailing

Nov. 16: Blood drive

Red Cross

Faculty and staff are invited to donate at a Red Cross blood drive Tuesday, Nov. 16. The drive, sponsored by Upward Bound, will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

Those interested can make appointments by calling (507) 389-1211 or by visiting the Red Cross website and entering sponsor code 5952. Walk-ins are also welcome.

Nov. 18-20: Murder mystery

Murder Mystery

Guests can practice their detective skills at “Stay As Dead As You Are,” a murder-mystery dinner theatre event Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 18-20, to raise money for Mankato’s BackPack Food Program. The second annual event will be hosted by the Public Relations Student Society of America.

The public event will be at AmericInn Hotel & Conference Center on Stadium Road. The dinner and a new silent auction start at 6 p.m. It is sponsored by AmericInn Hotel & Conference Center, Hy-Vee, B. Stark & Co. and Minuteman Press.

Stay As Dead As You Are,” a family-friendly show, is written by Lee Mueller and directed by Shelley Whitehead, a theatre master's-degree student who lives in Waseca with her husband and two children. When the graduates of Haldeman Senior High get together for their reunion, the whole evening is more than they bargained for, with many suspects -- the Jock, the Nerd, the Cheerleader, the Quiet Girl -- out for revenge.

Guests will receive a three-course dinner including salad, choice of seasoned boneless chicken or honey-glazed ham and sherbet. Tickets are $20 and are available through Monday, Nov. 15, at the AmericInn front desk or the customer service desk at either Mankato Hy-Vee.

The BackPack Food Program seeks to eliminate weekend hunger by discreetly placing meals in the backpacks of students who fall below the poverty line. The program offers the service at Franklin Elementary and will expand to Washington and Kennedy elementary schools Jan. 20. Eventually the program will be in schools throughout Blue Earth County.

Those who wish to make a donation may send cash or check to PRSSA at Nelson Hall 136. Those who want more information may e-mail the Public Relations Student Society of America at, call Emily Richardson at (651) 261-1752 or go to the "Stay as dead as you are" Facebook page.

Nov. 18: International classroom

Teaching techniques and awareness in the international classroom will be discussed in a series of classes in November, January and February hosted by the Kearney International Center.

The series will teach about the educational culture of Minnesota State Mankato’s largest international student groups. Students will give presentations about their home countries and will discuss their learning experiences at home and in the U.S.

The series, from noon to 2 p.m., includes:

  • Thursday, Nov. 18, "South Korea," Centennial Student Union 284 A
  • Thursday, Jan. 27, "Nigeria," Centennial Student Union 284 A
  • Thursday, Feb. 17, "Saudi Arabia," Morris Hall 215

Refreshments and desserts will be provided. Suggestions and questions may be submitted to Caryn Lindsay or Thomas Gjersvig.

Nov. 18: Poetry recital


Faculty, staff and students are welcome to participate to the International Poetry Recital Thursday, Nov. 18, presented by the Department of Modern Languages as part of International Education and Cultural Diversity weeks.

The event, sponsored by the Kearney International Center, will be from 2-3:30 p.m. in Memorial Library Room 45. Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

Those who are interested must fill out a form online. Those who want more information should contact Enrique Torner (Modern Languages) at (507) 389-5519.

Nov. 19: Larry Kohanek

Faculty and staff are invited to attend a retirement luncheon for Larry Kohanek Friday, Nov. 19, at the Loose Moose Conference Room in downtown Mankato. Larry is retiring after 24 years at Minnesota State Mankato.

The catered buffet luncheon begins at 11:45 a.m., with a short program at 12:15 p.m. Cost is $10 and can be paid at the Loose Moose. Those interested in attending must RSVP to Donna Hensel (Facilities Management) at or (507) 389-2267 by Wednesday, Nov. 10.

'Academic Minute' seeks experts

Academic Minute

Faculty members are invited to contribute to Albany, N.Y., radio station WAMC/Northeast Public Radio’s new segment, “The Academic Minute.” The program, airing on 260 stations, features academics from all over the country who speak about topics related to their fields.

Interested faculty may write brief essays on topics of their choice within their areas of expertise and submit them to WAMC producer Brad Cornelius. Final recorded essays will run a minute and a half.

Cornelius recommends that faculty members who contribute write simply. “Too many overly-technical details will bog [the essays] down, so our suggestion for the experts is to write it as if they were trying to convey what is interesting about their subjects to middle school students."

WAMC serves parts of seven northeastern states, including New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.

Those who want an example of a completed “Academic Minute" may visit the WAMC website at Those who want more information may contact Cornelius at (518) 465-5233 (Ext. 170 or 111) or click on the website.

Praise for Latino engineering day

Latino Engineering Day

Jon Rippke (left), president of Bolton & Menk Inc., Mankato, praised the Office of Latino Affairs when he moderated a recent panel about engineering outreach to high school students.

Jon Rippke, president of Bolton & Menk Inc., Mankato, praised Minnesota State Mankato and its Office of Latino Affairs for developing a highly successful science and engineering career fair for southern Minnesota Latino high school students.

Rippke, moderating a recent panel about engineering outreach programs for K-12 students, said the fair was developed after he discovered there were no southern Minnesota Latino students pursuing civil engineering at Minnesota State Mankato. Rippke contacted Guadalupe Quintero (Latino Affairs), who suggested the career fair for Latino high school students.

“We found a great deal of interest” in the resulting Latino Engineering and Academic Day, Rippke said. More than 200 high school students attended, even though registrations were stopped at 160 students. “We expect to see measureable results from these efforts in three or four years,” Rippke added.

Ripple made his comments during the two-day, 2010 North Midwest Conference of the American Society for Engineering Educators last month, hosted by Mechanical & Civil and Electrical & Computer Engineering. Faculty from colleges and universities throughout the upper Midwest attended.

Faculty/Staff achievements

An American Chemical Society committee has granted approval for the American Chemical Society program to continue, because the Department of Chemistry & Geology meets all of the necessray guidelines.

About 75 middle- and high-school family and consumer science teachers attended a day-long classroom skills workshop sponsored by the Family Consumer Science Department last month. The workshop provided teachers with new information about food sensory evaluation, fats in food, consumer trends, recycling projects and obesity.

Dana Deetz and Norma Krumwiede (Nursing) presented a podium presentation, “Knowledge Transformation: Optimism Model of Health Outcomes Designed to Enhance Nursing Practice,” at the 31st International Association for Human Caring Conference at Mayo Clinic in June.

Tom Inglot (Government) was invited to participate in a special symposium, “The Solidarities of Communism: Trade Unions and Social Policy in Eastern Europe,” at Indiana University-Bloomington for the 30th anniversary of the Solidarity movement in Poland. He also presented a paper, “Trade Unions and the Polish “Emergency Welfare State” – A Critical Reassessment,” last month.

Kelly Krumwiede (Nursing) presented a poster, “An Examination of Accelerated and Basic Baccalaureate Nursing Students’ Perceptions of Clinical Decision Making,” at the Sigma Theta Tau International Leadership Summit in Indianapolis, Ind., in September.

Norma Krumwiede (Nursing) presented a poster, “Integrative Research Reviews: How Students Learn to Incorporate the Evidence Into Nursing Practice,” at the Sigma Theta Tau International Leadership Summit in Indianapolis, Ind., in September.

Sonja Meiers, Sandra Eggenberger, Norma Krumwiede, Mary Bliesmer and Patricia Earle (Nursing) presented “An Emerging Model for Family Caring: Testing of the Family Re-Integration in Chronic Illness (FRCI) Model,” at the 31st International Association for Human Caring Conference at Mayo Clinic in June. They discussed “An Aesthetic Interpretation of Family Caring Throughout the Experience of Chemotherapy-Induced Neutropenia.”

Stewart Ross (CETL) presented two days of workshops on integrated course design and active learning strategies at the University of Texas Pan American last month. He also worked with faculty at Morehead State University in Kentucky in a workshop on general education course redesign.

Kelli Smith and Norma Krumwiede (Nursing) presented a poster, “Innovative Development of an Evidence-Based Baccalaureate Nursing Program,” at the NLN Education Summit in Las Vegas this fall.

Kim Stiles, Karen Pardue, Patricia Young and Mary Lou Morales (Nursing) presented “Nurse Faculty Leadership Practices in Advancing Reform” at the NLN Education Summit, Las Vegas.

Patricia Young, Sandra Blackstock, Linda Comer, Bobbi Martin, Jacquelyn McMillian-Bohler and Nicole Zeller (Nursing) presented a symposium, “Portrait of a Nursing Education Leader: Roadmap to Creating Excellence,” at the NLN Education Summit in Las Vegas this fall.

Student achievements

Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadet Heather Bissonette was one of several future Army
officers honored at an Association of the United States Army event in Washington, D.C., for receiving a $1,500 scholarship from Geico insurance.

Kerry Diekmann (Counselor Education and Supervision doctoral student) is one of 10 students across the country selected to serve as a National Student Advisory Council member by the American Association of University Women. She will provide AAUW staff with information about student needs and ideas for combating sex discrimination in higher education and the workplace. She also will be a student leader at the national conference for College Women Student Leaders in Washington, D.C.

Forensic Team

The Forensic Team placed second and third in tournaments at Gustavus Adolphus College and South Dakota State University last month.

On Oct. 17 the team placed third among 13 schools in the Bob Robertz Invitational at Gustavus Adolphus, St. Peter. On Oct. 1 and 2 the Mavericks placed second among 14 teams in SDSU’s Jackrabbit Joust.

Mavericks earning individual awards at the Gustavus competition:

  • Sophomore Skylar Carlson, first, Duo Interpretation; first, After-Dinner Speaking; second, Prose Interpretation; second, Individual Sweepstakes.
  • Senior Ariel Klugman, first, Duo Interpretation; second, Extemporaneous Speaking; fourth, Communication Analysis; third, Individual Sweepstakes.
  • Senior Suzanne Lumberg, first, Communication Analysis.
  • Sophomore Ryan Zahn, fourth, After-Dinner Speaking.
  • Junior Brad Wakefield, sixth, After-Dinner Speaking.

Individuals earning awards at the Jackrabbit Joust included;

  • Suzanne, first, Communication Analysis.
  • Sophomore Tara Mitchell, first, After-Dinner Speaking.
  • Junior Jordan Christiansen, second, Communication Analysis, fourth, Program Oral Interpretation.
  • Skylar, second, After-Dinner Speaking.
  • Ryan, third, Poetry Interpretation; fourth, After-Dinner Speaking; sixth, Prose Interpretation; sixth, Extemporaneous Speaking.
  • Senior Sarah Walker, third, Informative Speaking.
  • Ariel, fifth, Extemporaneous Speaking; sixth, Impromptu Speaking.
  • Freshman Bethany Gulotta, fifth, Poetry Interpretation.


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 Nov. 17; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Nov. 12).

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.