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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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November 17, 2010 Campus Newsletter

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Patrick Nelson being interviewed
Former Army paratrooper and student Patrick Nelson (history, sport management) is interviewed before being honored at the Nov. 7 Minnesota Vikings game in the Metrodome. Patrick is the recipient of the 2010 NFL-Tillman Scholarship, created in memory of former Arizona Cardinal Pat Tillman, who gave up his NFL career to enlist in the Army in 2002. Patrick served for 39 months in Iraq and Afghanistan; he left to continue his education and because of combat injuries. He maintains a 4.0 GPA, volunteers as a mentor in the YMCA Big Brother program, and intends to pursue a master’s degree in sport management upon graduation.

Top Fulbright producer

Fulbright logoMinnesota State Mankato has been named one of the nation’s top-producers of Fulbright Scholars among master’s-degree institutions, according to the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.

Three Minnesota State Mankato faculty members received Fulbright Scholarships in 2010-2011. Joe Kunkel (Political Science) will teach in Germany next year. Tom Gjersvig (International Student and Scholar Services) visited Korea last summer, and Judith Kuster (Speech, Hearing & Rehabilitation) taught in China last spring – her second Fulbright in three years.

The university's achievement will be celebrated on Friday, Nov. 19, when the most recent Fulbright Scholars are honored at the annual Global Citizen Award ceremony from 9-10.30 a.m.

Joe will teach at Minnesota State University partner institution Friedrich-Alexander-Universität in Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, from May through July, 2011. His visit will further strengthen the existing exchange relationship between Friedrich-Alexander-Universität and Minnesota State Mankato. In 2008 he spent election week in Erlangen-Nurnberg, after being invited there to analyze the U.S. presidential election for German student, faculty and business audiences.

Tom completed a Fulbright International Education Administrators Seminar in South Korea last summer. He traveled for three weeks with a group of eight U.S. higher education officials to learn more about South Korea’s educational system.

Engineering for a cause

MNSU's Engineers without Borders logoThe new student chapter of Engineers Without Borders will travel to Central America during winter break to improve the water supply for Piedras Azules, a small village in El Salvador.

Piedras Azules, a village of 400 families with a public school of 300 students, currently gets water from a surface source that does not provide pure water, or enough water in the dry season. The school has no water connection.

The students’ project will improve the quality, quantity and consistency of water by tapping a groundwater source, providing a water storage facility and distributing water to residents and the school via pipes in public rights-of-way.

Nine civil and mechanical engineering students and industry mentor Chris Cavett, a professional engineer with Short Elliot Hendrickson, Inc. will travel to the rural Central American town.

The engineering students will work with Piedras Azules residents and Peace Corps volunteers, putting chalkboard lessons into practice to determine both the complexity and severity of the village’s water problem. After evaluating the problem in mid-December the group will return to campus and design a new water system that will be installed next summer. The campus chapter plans to return in the summer to install the system they designed.

The organization helps create a more stable, prosperous world by addressing basic human needs with necessities such as clean water, power, sanitation and education. Minnesota chapters focus on water and sanitation crises.

Master of social work accredited

The Department of Social Work's master of social work program became the first accredited social work program of its kind in the Minnesota State system when it was fully accredited recently by the Council on Social Work Education in Arlington, Va.

In October the council's Commission on Accreditation voted to grant initial accreditation effective through October 2014 after reviewing the program self-study and other documentation. The accreditation will allow future graduates as well as students who previously graduated from the program to obtain professional licensure from the Minnesota Board of Social Work.

The four-year accreditation process required the department to submit curriculum and policy documents and program assessment data, as well as four site visits by social work educators.

The MSW program combines classroom and online education with field education where students engage in extensive internships (practicum) in private social service organizations and public social welfare agencies, as well as in schools and hospital settings. The program emphasizes practice in small and rural communities by enhancing human well-being, promoting social justice, and alleviating poverty and oppression for all members of society.

The Department began gathering data to support the development of the program in 2001, and the University approved the program plan in 2006. The program enrolled its first students in 2007, and since has graduated more than 50 graduate-level social workers (a graduate rate of 97 percent). The next program application deadline is Jan. 31, 2011.

The department will hold a reception in January to celebrate the accomplishment.

$155,000 in grants, contracts

More than $155,000 in new grants and contracts are being administered by faculty and staff, according to the November report from the Research & Sponsored Programs Office. Projects include:

  • Kim Musser (Water Resources Center), $60,000 from the McKnight Foundation and $10,000 from the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Trust, Inc., for "Working Together for the Minnesota River Web Project."
  • Bryce Hoppie (Chemistry & Geology), $50,524 from the Consortium for Ocean Leadership for "Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition."
  • Don Ebel (Sociology & Corrections), $14,022 from the federal BHP grant for the University of Minnesota subcontract.
  • Janet Cherrington-Cucore (Urban & Regional Studies), $13,271 from Waseca County for the county internship program.
  • Denise Billington-Just (Student Activities), $10,000 from Land O' Lakes for the Campus Kitchen project.
  • Stephen Stoynoff (English), $7,614 from Gustavus Adolphus College Writing Center for "GAC GA English Account 11."

Staying safe

A warning sign with 'Safety matters'Faculty, staff and students can learn to prepare for potentially dangerous situations on campus during a series of two videos available on D2L.

The first, “Stay Safe at College,” helps individuals take responsibility for their safety and security by offering techniques for avoiding and handling potentially unsafe situations. The video addresses theft, identity theft, stalking, assaults, emotional abuse, emerging online threats, travel risks and other common hazards.

The second, “Shots Fired on Campus,” developed by the National Center for Person Protection and Safety, provides similar information about preparing personal safety plans.

To access the curriculum and videos, faculty and staff may log on to their campus D2L accounts. The Safety Curriculum will be located in users’ class lists. Click on the link for the curriculum and the “content” tab in the upper left hand of the tool bar. These two classes can be accessed at “Security Videos.” Those who are unable to view the videos should contact the Help Desk at (507) 389-6654.

Personal safety presentations also can be scheduled by calling University Security at 2111 or by e-mailing Carol Jensen.

Diversity Week

Many hands holding up a globePulitzer Prize-winning poetry, guitar and vocal music, dialogue about an award-winning book and other discussions are part of the campus observance of Diversity & International Education Week, which concludes Saturday, Nov. 20.

Remaining lectures this week will examine international teaching and feminist mothering. A concert, campus Global Citizens’ Awards and the annual Diversity Dinner will highlight the observance Thursday and Friday, Nov. 18 and 19.

The week’s events – most of which are free and open to the public – include:

  • Panel discussion of feminist mothering (Wednesday, Nov. 17, 6-8 p.m., Centennial Student Union 254).
  • “Teaching in the International Classroom (Thursday, Nov. 18, noon-1:30 p.m., Centennial Student Union 284A).
  • International Poetry Recital (Thursday, Nov. 18, 2-4 p.m., Library 45, 47).
  • “Three Cups of Tea” book discussion (Thursday, Nov. 18, 5-6 p.m., Ostrander Auditorium).
  • The film “Babies” (Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 17-18, 7 and 9:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, Nov. 19-20, 8 p.m., Ostrander Auditorium).
  • Guitarist-singer Tab Benoit (Thursday, Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m., Performing Arts Center, $15 general admission).
  • Global Citizens Awards Ceremony (Friday, Nov. 19, 9-10:30 a.m., Heritage Room, Centennial Student Union).
  • Annual Diversity Dinner (6 p.m., Centennial Student Union Ballroom, students $10, non-students $30).
  • Hmong Student Association Culture Day (Saturday, Nov. 20, 1 p.m.-midnight, Centennial Student Union Ballroom).

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:

  • 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.

Nov. 17: Free guitar concert

Band photo of Summer Says HelloSummer Says Hello and Lee David come together for a free concert Wednesday, Nov. 17, produced by the Music Management and Concert Production class. The concert will be at 7 p.m. at Jonny B’s Sports Bar and Beef. It is open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

The Music Management and Concert Production class, taught by Dale Haefner (Music), focuses on real-world concert production. Students book acts and handle all forms of promotion, including posters, newspaper ads and social media, and provide sound production and stage crew services.

“It’s important for the class to get hands-on experience in this area of the industry,” Dale said. “Students can learn concert production by reading a textbook, or they can experience it live, like this, and learn all the facets of producing a show.”

Those who want more information about the event may contact Dustin Hackworth. More information about the bands is available on Summer Says Hello's Myspace page and Lee David's Facebook page.

Nov. 18: Schmitz lecture

Richard Gamble, director of produce for Supervalu’s northern and western region, will discuss the future of produce as a U.S. industry during the College of Business Richard Schmitz Executive Lecture Thursday, Nov. 18.

Gamble’s talk, “Keeping it Fresh – Present and Future of Produce in the U.S.,” is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public. It will be at 11 a.m. in Ostrander Auditorium of the Centennial Student Union.

Gamble is responsible for sourcing, merchandising and distributing fresh produce for Supervalu’s wholesale and retail operations in the western half of the nation. Supervalu’s retail store groups, including CUB Foods, Hornbachers and Albertsons, are served by distribution centers from Minneapolis to Tacoma, Wash., to Los Angeles.

Retired food retailer Richard R. Schmitz, namesake of the Richard Schmitz Executive Lecture, grew up in Brewster, Minn., and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Minnesota State Mankato. He established the annual College of Business lecture several years ago.

Nov. 18: Friendship families

A globe made out of flagsFaculty and staff may attend an informational session discussing the opportunity to befriend international students Thursday, Nov. 18, in Centennial Student Union.

The event, hosted by Cita Maignes (Kearney International Center) and Claudia Tomany (Academic Affairs), will be from 11 a.m. to noon in CSU 250.

A Friendship Family agrees to meet with an international student at least twice a semester. The family may share meals, customs or activities with their guest as an introduction to the American way of life and a way to help the student feel more comfortable while in Mankato.

Friendship Families do not provide home stays for their guests and there are no monetary obligations for families who participate.

During the meeting, several Friendship Family participants will be available to answer questions. Coffee, tea and cookies will be served. Those who have questions may contact Cita at (507) 389-6592 or may visit the International Center 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 United States.

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

Hands holding letters spelling 'POETRY'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. 18: Tab Benoit

Guitarist, singer and songwriter Tab Benoit will perform Thursday, Nov. 18, in Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center. Benoit’s concert will be at 7:30 p.m.

Benoit’s down-to-earth personality off-stage is the exact opposite of his live shows. His down-home blend of swamp and east Texas blues is characterized by screaming guitar licks and powerful songwriting and singing.

Benoit has performed his Cajun-influenced blues throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. He has recorded with Junior Wells, Willie Nelson, Billy Joe Shaver, James Cotton, Cyril Neville, Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Henry Gray, and Jimmy Hall of Wet Willie. He has 15 solo recordings and has been nominated for three Grammys.

An enthusiastic wetland activist, he is part of the documentary “Hurricane on the Bayou,” narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep, about rapidly disappearing wetlands.

Concert admission is $15; $13 for students with a valid MavCard. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to Those who want more information may call the Performance Series office at (507)-389-5549.

Nov. 20: Senior recital

A joint senior recital by two music students will be presented by the Department of Music in Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center Saturday, Nov. 20.

Jesse Sternke, percussion, and Luke Beck, trombone, will perform at 3 p.m. The recital is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public. Accompanists will be Bonnie Jorgenson and Katherine Sternke.

The program will include works by Gustav Mahler, Georg Phillip Telemann, Gordon Jacob and Andrew Lloyd Webber, among others.

Jesse and Luke are presenting their recitals in partial fulfillment of the requirements for bachelor of music education degree. Jesse is a student of Rick Orpen and Luke is a student of Gerard Aloisio.

Those who want more information may call the Performance Series office at (507)-389-5549.

Nov. 22: Building community

John BiewenAward-winning radio documentarian and Mankato native John Biewen will discuss “Building Community Through Documentary Radio” and “Radio’s New Golden Age” in talks Monday, Nov. 22, at on campus and in the Blue Earth County Library.

Biewen, director of the audio program at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, will talk about “Stories Told in the Dark: Building Community Through Documentary Radio” at 7 p.m. Nov. 22 in Ostrander Auditorium.

At 2:30 p.m. that day he will discuss “Radio’s New Golden Age” in the Blue Earth County Library.
The events, sponsored by KMSU 89.7 FM and funded by the Minnesota State Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund through a legislative appropriation, are free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

Biewen teaches at Duke University and produces documentaries for National Public Radio and other audiences. His work has earned many honors, including two Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Awards for Outstanding Coverage of the Disadvantaged and the Scripps Howard National Journalism Award.

His book, “Reality Radio,” is available at Minnesota State Mankato’s Barnes & Noble campus bookstore.

He earned a degree in philosophy from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.

Faculty/Staff achievements

Rebbeca Bates (Computer Science) presented a paper, “Contextualizing Professional Development in the Engineering Classroom,” at the Frontiers in Education conference in October. She also presented “Sugarcane and Corn: Biofuel-Based Study Abroad Program in Brazil” at the conference, and presented “Implementing Social Learning Strategies: Team Testing” at the American Society for Engineering Education North Midwest Section Conference last month.

Colleen Clarke (Government) attended the International Association of Women Police conference in Minneapolis in September.

Rhonda Dass (Anthropology) attended the American Folklore Society annual conference in Nashville, Tenn., last month.

Danae Quirk Dorr (Chemistry & Geology) authored a piece, “DNA Oligomers Containing Site-Specific and Stereospecific Exocyclic Deoxyadenosine Adducts of 1, 2, 3, 4-Diepoxybutane: Synthesis, Characterization and Effects on DNA Structure,” published recently in Chemical Research in Toxicology.

An article by Anthony Filipovitch (Urban & Regional Studies), “Immigrants in Bloomers: Forging a New Social Contract for the Future of America,” was published recently in Journal of Urban Affairs.

Francis Hannick (Mathematics & Statistics) presented a workshop, “Hands-On Experience with Numerous Activities for the Elementary Math Curriculum” at the fall 2010 Conference of the South Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Durwin Hermanson (Education) received the National Association of Federal Education Program Administrators' State Leadership Award in March in Washington, D.C. The organization presents the award to current members who have assumed significant roles in the support and promotion of activities and goals of the state affiliate organization. Durwin is one of 33 recipients across the U.S. to receive the 2010 award.

Tom Inglot’s (Government) book, “Welfare States in East-Central Europe, 1919-2004” was reviewed in a British journal Political Studies Review recently. He also published an article, “Family Allowances as ‘Rejected’ Heritage of the Communist Welfare State, 1947-2003” in Polityka Spoleczna. Tom also presented “Trade Unions and the Polish ‘Emergency Welfare State’—A Critical Reassessment” for the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Solidarity Movement in Bloomington, Ind., last month.

I.-J. Kim (Mathematics & Statistics) submitted a paper, “Minimum Rank of Powers of Trees,” to the Electronic Journal of Linear Algebra.

Joseph Kunkel (Government) provided expert analysis about the 2010 election and other political developments 30 times this year to media including the Minnesota/St. Paul Capitol Report, Minnesota Public Radio and numerous other state newspapers and radio stations.

Lori Lahlum (History) presented “Hurrah for Bryan: Gender and Agrarian Politics in Eastern South Dakota Norwegian American Communities, 1880-1910” at the Western History Association Conference last month.

Karla Lassonde (Psychology) participated as an invited guest in the summer school of the network on Language, Cognition & Gender in Bertino, Italy, last month.

Namyong Lee (Mathematics & Statistics) presented “Coexistence of Multipatch Population Model with Migration and Selection” at the Mathematical Modeling in Population Biology and Epidemiology meeting in Lubbock, Texas, last month.

Bill Lewinski (Political Science & Law Enforcement) co-wrote “Leave No One Behind: Downed-Officer Rescue and Risk Perception,” published in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin in May.

Ardanova Lyudmyla (Chemistry & Geology) wrote an article, “Isomorphous Substitutions of Rare Earth Elements for Calcium in Synthetic Hydroxyapatites,” which was accepted for publication in the ACS Journal of Inorganic Chemistry.

Cita Maignes (Kearney International Center) presented information about international programming at the Minnesota International Educators meeting at McNalley Smith College of Music.

Martin Mitchell and Fei Yuan (Geography) presented “Fire Assessment and Vegetation Recovery in the Black Hills” at the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium Conference in Duluth last month.

Deborah Nykanen (Mechanical & Civil Engineering) presented “Bringing Engineering Concepts into the Kindergarten Classroom” at the American Society for Engineering Education North Midwest Section Conference in October.

Julie Rabaey (Kearney International Center) made a presentation about immigration at the Minnesota International Educators meeting at McNalley Smith College of Music.

Mezbahur Rahman (Mathematics & Statistics) presented “Mentoring Undergraduates in Mathematical and Biological Sciences to Succeed” at the Minnesota Council of Teachers of Mathematics Fall Conference last month.

Leah Rogne (Sociology & Corrections) reviewed a curriculum developed by the Economics Policy Institute and the National Academy of Social Insurance, aimed at educating young adults about social security and social insurance.

Dan Sachau and Andrea Larson’s (Psychology) paper, “The Effects of Incentives and the Big Five Personality Dimensions on Internet Panelists’ Ratings,” was selected as a finalist for the International Journal of Market Research Collaborative Research Award.

Emily Stark (Psychology) presented “Critical Thinking After College: Applying Research Design Knowledge to Everyday Decisions” last month.

Chia-Chi Tung (Mathematics & Statistics) attended the AMS meeting in Syracuse, N.Y., in October and gave a talk, “On Hilbert Number and Hilbert Exponent for Holomorphic Mappings.”

Jennifer Veltsos (English) presented “You May Be At Risk: Data Breach Notifications as Bad News Messages” at the 75th annual Association for Business Communication conference in Chicago.

ROTC cadet scholarship

ROTC cadet Heather Bissonette (Nursing) is one of several future Army officers honored recently in Washington, D.C., by the Association of the United States Army for a $1,500 Geico insurance scholarship that she received.

Heather was honored at an annual ROTC luncheon that is part of the association's annual meeting. Keynote speaker was the Army’s first female four-star general, Gen. Ann Dunwoody, commanding general of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

CDC, Target offer student grants

Target logoMinnesota State Mankato students who are engaged in, will have completed or will have secured unpaid internship positions with Mankato-area nonprofit agencies between Aug. 1, 2010, and Aug. 1, 2011, are eligible to apply for new Target Corp. grants through the Career Development Center.

Grants will vary from $500 to $1,000 and are not need-based. Deadline for applications is Feb. 4, 2011.

Those who want more information may go to the CDC page. Those who have questions may contact Deena Latus (Career Development Center) at (507) 389-6061.

United Way service learning

United Way logoFor the last year United Way has worked closely with Brenda Flannery's (Management) students, letting them apply things learned in class to the real world through various service learning projects.

The collaboration with United Way was intended to teach students the importance of getting involved in the community and the vital connection between businesses, the community and nonprofits. It also gave them real-life experiences and taught them how to work in a group.

As part of the service-learning projects, students took on roles as United Way Campaigners, got involved in the community with United Way partners to promote volunteerism, and helped build awareness about United Way on campus.

Students organized Day of Action volunteer projects, filmed an eStory, coordinated a Flash Mob and developed campus awareness of the United Way and its partner programs.


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 Dec. 1; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Nov. 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.