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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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January 12, 2011 Campus Newsletter

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Mankato seeks grant proposals

City of Mankato

The Mankato City Council is seeking proposals from non-profit groups and individuals who serve the greater Mankato area. A total of $22,500 in grant money is available in four categories:

  • Community performing arts and music, to enhance public performances in various genres of music and performing arts;
  • Beautification projects and public art, to improve the community and public spaces;
  • Community social service, to provide services that enhance quality of life and independence of recipients;
  • Community events, to provide gathering opportunities that result in a positive economic impact.

A question-and-answer session is scheduled for 4-5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13, in the Blue Earth River Room of the Intergovernmental Center.

Application deadline for the grants is 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25.

Those who want more information may click on for program guidelines, funding levels, eligibility and other details. Applications are available online or at the Intergovernmental Center, 10 Civic Center Plaza, (507) 387-8690.

New 'Big Ideas' web page

Brad Nessler

A new web page has been created to highlight the Minnesota State Mankato “Big ideas. Real-world thinking” concept, and to showcase the Brad Nessler video shown at Convocation and featuring recent TV spots.

The message embedded in that video and others on the new web page are spreading across the university, and are appearing on web pages and in publications, indicating that “Big ideas. Real-world solutions.” is not simply a creative tagline, but is who we are and what we do at Minnesota State Mankato. For nearly 150 years, the people of Minnesota State Mankato have been making a real difference in the lives of real people around the world.

Those who want to see how the people of Minnesota State Mankato are changing the world and inspiring others may visit the “Big Ideas” web page at

Business partnership success

Maverick Software Consulting logo

A university-business partnership that started at Minnesota State Mankato is being expanded statewide. Maverick Software Consulting, a Minneapolis-based company that in 2006 began employing Minnesota State Mankato students to test and develop software for what is now Thomson Reuters, is partnering with the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system so the model can be used with more companies.

Minnesota State and Maverick Software are actively seeking corporations to participate in the expanded program, and will host an open house for interested companies Feb. 10 on campus. In addition to Minnesota State Mankato, Maverick Software Consulting will partner with Metropolitan State University in the Twin Cities, St. Cloud State University and Winona State University.

The Project Maverick model, coordinated by Michael Wells (Information Systems & Technology) has worked well at Minnesota State Mankato: Companies get high-quality, reasonably priced software testing and development services, and students – recruited by the Information Systems & Technology Department – get real-world jobs while they pursue their degrees. Typically, the students also get job offers when they graduate.

Those who want more information about the new partnerships may read a Maverick Software Consulting news release at

Wrestlers ranked 7th nationally


Minnesota State Mankato's wrestling team is rated seventh in the NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches Association poll released early this month by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.

The Mavericks, rated sixth in the December poll, totaled 105 points in the latest ranking. Last year’s national champions Nebraska-Omaha top the rankings.

Senior Andy Forstner, a two-time All-American who finished fourth at last year’s national championships, is ranked No. 1 at 125 pounds; senior Ben Becker, a two-time nationals qualifier, is ranked seventh at 174 pounds; and junior Aaron Norgren is ranked third at 184.

Athletics wins innovation prize

Don't Cross the Line' floor decal that runs the length of a basketball court baseline

An innovative idea produced and implemented by the Department of Athletics that was adopted by the NCAA last summer has earned a 2010 NCAA Division II Game Environment Award of Excellence. The innovation: A floor decal the length of a basketball court baseline with the message “Help us Promote a Positive Game Environment" and "Don’t Cross the Line.”

The NCAA provided every Division II NCAA member and conference with two of the 50-foot-long, 4-inch-wide strips.

The NCAA selected a project from each Division II conference for a $500 award. "Don't Cross the Line" and the other projects will be considered for a national award to be announced at the 2011 NCAA convention.

“It’s communicating the literally intended message of 'don’t cross this line,' as it serves as the boundary between players and fans,” said Kevin Buisman (Athletics). “It also communicates an important and hopefully equally well understood, but more colloquial, message of 'don’t cross the line' in terms of what constitutes good fan behavior.”

Athletics has received numerous requests from high schools, athletic conferences and state high school leagues to borrow or build on the concept. Quality 1-Hr Photo owner Brian Fowler, who produced the floor decals on behalf of the NCAA, is working on other possible applications for other sports and displays.

Tuition waiver requests

Pig money box

Faculty and staff who plan to request a tuition waiver benefit for themselves or their dependents for Spring Semester 2011 must submit timely tuition waiver requests to prevent cancellation for nonpayment.

Requests may be submitted online at /hr/tuitionwaiver.html.

An “Intent to File” online submission form is available at for those who intend to file the tuition waiver request form but are unable to do so within the timelines. “Intent to File” is a communication tool between the employee and the Student Financial Services staff.

Leaders of Tomorrow award

Greater Mankato Growth logo

Leaders of Tomorrow, a partnership between the Student Activities Office, the Honors Program and Greater Mankato Growth, has been selected as a silver medal honoree in the annual Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education awards competition.

Leaders of Tomorrow won in the Student Union, Student Activities, Greek Life, Leadership, and Related category of the competition, and will receive an excellence awards silver certificate. The program also will be recognized through the Student Affairs Administrators Forum and showcased on the Student Affairs Administrators Excellence Awards web resource center.

Mileage rate increases

The Internal Revenue Service has announced an increase in the standard mileage reimbursement rate for business miles. The rate has been adopted for use by state employees and is effective Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2011.

Mileage rates are used to calculate reimbursements to employees who use their personal vehicles for business trips. The university utilizes two reimbursement rates. The IRS standard mileage reimbursement rate (51 cents) is used when a state-owned vehicle is not available. A lesser rate (44 cents) is used when a state vehicle is declined or not requested by the employee.

Employees are asked use these new mileage reimbursement rates when completing employee expense forms for trips taken between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2011:

  • State-owned vehicle not available (IRS Standard): Old rate, 50 cents per mile; new rate (effective Jan. 1, 2011), 51 cents per mile.
  • State-owned vehicle declined or not requested: Old rate, 43 cents per mile; new rate (effective Jan. 1, 2011), 44 cents per mile.

Those who have questions regarding travel or expense reimbursements may contact Tami Galema-Liebl at 389-5006 or at Those who want more information about traveling for Minnesota State Mankato may go to

Jan. 15: 'Odyssey,' restaged

The Odyssey: Remounted

The Department of Theatre & Dance will restage its November production, Homer’s classic journey tale “The Odyssey,” on Saturday, Jan. 15. The special performance will be in advance of taking it to Iowa State University for the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival for a Wednesday, Jan. 19, performance.

The Jan. 15 performance will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Ted Paul Theatre of the Performing Arts Center.

Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door beginning at 6:30 p.m.; there will be a 2-for-1 price available for current faculty/staff and students who show a current ID.

“The Odyssey” was chosen from close to 200 productions to be presented at the Kennedy Center festival. In addition, 13 Theatre & Dance students will compete as KCACTF Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship nominees after being selected from shows presented in 2010.

The last time Minnesota State Mankato was invited to present a production was in 2007, when Paul J. Hustoles (Theatre & Dance) directed “Mint." Paul also directed “The Odyssey.”

The creative team includes emeritus Tom Bliese as scenic designer, Masters in Music graduate Michael Croswell as composer and performer, and Steven Smith (Theatre & Dance), lighting, and David McCarl (Theatre & Dance), costumes.

Jan. 20: Register, Service Learning Fair

Campus organizations are invited to exhibit their missions through service learning opportunities during the Spring Service Learning Fair Tuesday, Jan. 25, sponsored by the Office of Community Engagement. Registrations are being accepted through Thursday, Jan. 20.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 25 in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

Organization coordinators who wish to register may do so online at or by calling Denise Billington-Just at (507) 389-6076.

Jan. 22: Next Admissions open house

Dates for the spring Admission Open Houses have been set. The spring events are:

  • Jan 22: Saturday Preview Day, Ostrander Auditorium.
  • Feb. 4, 7, 18, 21: Admitted Open Houses, Centennial Student Union Ballroom.
  • Feb. 19: Saturday Preview Day, Ostrander Auditorium.
  • March 19: Saturday Preview Day, Ostrander Auditorium.
  • April 22: Spring Open House, Ostrander Auditorium.

Jan. 27: Two authors

Ru FreemanReif Larsen

First-time novelists Ru Freeman and Reif Larsen will be featured Thursday, Jan. 27, when the Good Thunder Reading Series continues its 2010-2011 programming.

Freeman and Larsen will meet with community writers in a morning question-answer session, and will be interviewed on KMSU 89.7 FM. At 3 p.m. they will lead a discussion about writing in Ostrander Auditorium of the Centennial Student Union. And at 7:30 p.m. they will read from their published work in Centennial Student Union Room 253. All events are free and open to the public.

Freeman’s creative work, nominated for the “Best New American Voices” anthologies in 2006 and 2008, has appeared or is forthcoming in Guernica, Story Quarterly, Crab Orchard Review, WriteCorner Press, Kaduwa and other publications. Her debut novel, A Disobedient Girl, will be published in English, Dutch, Italian, Chinese, Portuguese and Hebrew.

Freeman, who calls both Sri Lanka and the United States home, was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She studied for a year at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia, and attended Bates College in Maine. She earned a master’s degree in labor relations from the University of Colombo.

Larsen’s first novel, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet, is being published in 29 countries. It was a New York Times bestseller, a 2010 Montana Honor book, a Border’s Original Voices Finalist and an IndieBound Award Finalist, and was short-listed for the Guardian First Book award and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.

Larsen studied at Brown University and has taught at Columbia University, where he received an MFA in fiction. A filmmaker, he has made documentaries in the United States, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. He lives in Saugerties, N.Y.

An interview with the writers, part of the “Authors in Transit” series on KMSU, will air Thursday, Jan. 27, at 1 p.m. and Friday, Jan. 28, at 11 a.m.


Jan. 28: Women, Girls in Sports

National Girls and Women in Sports Day logo

National Girls and Women in Sports Day will be celebrated with a reception honoring women athletes before the women’s basketball game on Friday, Jan. 28. The event will be hosted by the Alumni Association and the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.

The pre-game reception will be at 5 p.m. in Johnson Alumni Room of Taylor Center, and will include light refreshments and appearances by special guests. Tickets for the game (against Winona State University) and reception are $10 for adults and $5 for youth 17 and under. Tickets for the reception only are $5.

Those who wish to register may visit the Alumni Association web page at

Feb. 3, 4: Children's dental clinic

A child at a dentist

The Dental Education Department and area dental professionals will join a statewide effort to provide free dental care to area children on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 3 and 4.

The Dental Education Department will provide free dental care to children on Feb. 3 from 2-9 p.m. and Feb. 4 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The dental clinic is in the lower level of Morris Hall. Those interested in scheduling an appointment may call the dental clinic at 389-2147.

The effort stems from concern about a growing number of children who don't get needed dental care.

Patients seeking appointments for cleanings, X-rays, exams and sealants should be under age 18 and accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Minnesota State Mankato also will offer free dental exams and X-rays for adults on Feb. 4 from 8 a.m. to noon. Patients may call (507) 389-2147 to schedule an appointment.

Feb. 11: Pacific American Conference proposals

Proposals are being accepted for possible presentations at the 2011 Asian Pacific American Conference on campus March 25 and 26. Deadline for proposal submission is Friday, Feb. 11.

The conference, "Breaking Barriers, Creating Pathways for Future Generations," will explore the educational experiences of Asian-American and Pacific Islander students, and will identify ideas and practices about access, barriers, opportunities and educational successes.

The annual conference is a partnership between the Asian American Pacific Islander affairs program and recognized student organizations. It is intended to be a forum for practitioner and professional discussion of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage and current issues, and as means of stimulating student leadership, networking and community service.

Possible presentation topics include college attrition and persistence for Asian American Pacific Islanders, youth development and summer bridge programs, educational initiatives and programs, K-12 and postsecondary education, community advocacy and civic participation, Asian Pacific arts and culture, health and wellness and leadership and networking.

Those who wish to submit a proposal should contact Christopher Tran (Multicultural Affairs) at

Mount Kato logo

Feb. 18: Family night at Mount Kato

Faculty and staff and their families are invited to participate in a night of family skiing, snowboarding, snowblading and tubing at Mount Kato Friday, Feb. 18. The event, sponsored by the Wellness Committee and the Alumni Association, will begin at 4 p.m.

Costs are $16 for lift pass; $16 for ski or snowboard rental; $3 for beginning ski lessons; and $32 for snowblade rental. Tubing will also be available for $13 for two hours or $15 for three hours.

Those who wish to register for the event may visit the Alumni Association web page at

Student affairs AVP finalists

Four finalists for associate vice president for student affairs and enrollment management will be on campus starting Wednesday, Jan. 19. The candidates:

A position description is at

Faculty/Staff achievements

Karl A. Matz (Elementary and Early Childhood) presented a paper, "How Not to Teach Students About Native Americans," at the National Council for the Social Studies annual conference recently.

Mike Powicki (Intercollegiate Athletics) has been named assistant athletic director for development and strategic partnerships. Mike, who joined the staff in 2008 as assistant athletic director/marketing and corporate partnerships, will be responsible for overall leadership and management of revenue generation and marketing operations for Athletics.

Feb. 1: Rosemary Kinne retirement

A retirement celebration honoring Rosemary Kinne (Finance & Administration) will be Tuesday, Feb. 1, from 1-3 p.m. in Rooms 253/4/5 of Centennial Student Union.

Faculty, staff, students and the public are invited to attend and wish Rosemary the best in the next phase of her life.


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 Jan. 26; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Jan. 21).

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.