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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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July 13, 2011 Campus Newsletter

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President Richard Davenport extends the university's deepest sympathies to the family and many friends of sophomore Josselyn Bishop, who died July 8 in Mankato.

Services were July 14 at 11 a.m. in Zion United Church of Christ, 240 S. Elmwood Avenue, LeSueur.

"The university community is shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic death of one of our students, Josselyn Bishop," the president said. "Josselyn was a sophomore from Henderson, Minn., and during the summer was working at a local McDonald’s restaurant. Her friends recall a 'fun-loving person who went out of her way to reach out to strangers or people in need.' She enjoyed sports, particularly softball, reading and music."

"Please join me in extending sympathy to Josselyn’s family and many friends. We will miss her presence in our community."

Josseyln’s obituary.

Vikings Training Camp

Vikings Training Camp logoIf the National Football League lockout is settled by Monday, July 18, the Minnesota Vikings plan to conduct their annual two-week training camp again this year at Minnesota State Mankato. If the lockout is not settled by then, the team plans a camp at its facilities in Edina.

The Vikings have announced no dates for a Minnesota State Mankato camp, but Vikings-watchers predict it would begin Friday, July 29.

Last month the Vikings said they “continue preparations for hosting the team's 2011 training camp at Minnesota State University, Mankato. In respect to the University and the Mankato community, we have informed school officials that July 18 is the latest date to officially determine whether having training camp at Minnesota State University this year is feasible. The Vikings will maintain contact with University officials moving forward, and we remain hopeful we will practice in front of thousands of Vikings fans in Mankato later this summer.”

The Vikings have held training camp in Mankato since 1966.

Information about the camp will be available at

Mavericks 13th in Directors’ Cup

Mavericks 13th in Directors’ Cup logoMinnesota State Mankato finished 13th in the 2010-'11 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings. Maverick teams accumulated 529.25 points in the standings, putting them in the top four percent of the 290 schools in NCAA Division II.

This is the seventh straight year that the Mavericks have finished among the national Directors' Cup top 15. The Mavericks finished in the top five six consecutive times from 2006-2010, and finished in the top 25 11 times in the 16 years since the Directors’ Cup was inaugurated. Minnesota State Mankato was second in 2008-09, third in 2007-08 and fourth in 2006-07.

The Directors’ Cup cites success in many sports by institutions that maintain a broad-based athletics program.

Posting top-25 team finishes in 2010-11 postseason events were men’s basketball (third), softball (fifth), wrestling (tenth), women’s volleyball (16th), women’s golf (17th), women’s indoor track & field (19th) and women’s outdoor track & field (25th).

Concrete canoe nationals

Minnesota State Mankato tied for 17th in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ National Concrete Canoe Competition June 16-18 at the University of Evansville, Ind.

The team, which won the Midwest region contest in Fargo, N.D., faced off against winners from other U.S. regions at Evansville. It was the first time that Minnesota State Mankato took part in the national contest since it started competing in 2004.

Minnesota State Mankato was the only school from Minnesota, the Dakotas and Iowa in the national contest.

The American Society of Civil Engineers contest lets college students apply engineering principles that they learn in the classroom by displaying, discussing and racing concrete canoes that they’ve designed and built. The contest includes design and oral competitions and on-water races that challenge students’ knowledge, creativity and stamina.

Minnesota State Mankato’s team was led by student co-captains Thomas Klevan and Shelby Sovell. Other members include American Society of Civil Engineers student chapter president Spencer Cossalter and Aleigha Ahlstrom, Mike Arseneau, Dana Draper, Sarah Green, Andrew Gunnink, Jon Rahkola, Tim Setala and Maria Tiegs.

Civil engineering faculty members Farhad Reza and James Wilde are advisers to the team and the ASCE Maverick student chapter.

CSBS service-learning

Dozens of children in the impoverished community of Mzamomhle, South Africa, are wearing new soccer shoes and T-shirts, thanks to a student service-learning project and generous donations from Scheels of Mankato and private citizens.

Sixteen students and two faculty members from the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences traveled to South Africa in early May and distributed the shoes and shirts through CATCH (Caring Affirming Training Children), a non-government agency that helps meet the needs of South African children.

The students went to South Africa as part of a two-week service-learning project suggested by Christine Black-Hughes (Social Work), who has volunteered at CATCH in Mzamomhle, and recently returned from teaching at the University of Fort Hare in East London, South Africa. Christine and Sherrise Truesdale (Corrections & Sociology) led the trip.

Mzamonmhle’s residents live in shanties or cement block government housing, and only a few buildings have electricity, running water, doors or windows.

The students found that many of Mzamonmhle’s children do not have shoes, or wear shoes that are too small. Members of the town’s winning soccer teams frequently share shoes, shirts and shorts.

Two of the students – social work majors Jordan Anderson and Mara Mosenden – work part-time at Scheels in Mankato. They talked with Brandon Scheel, explaining the South Africa project and the need for clothing, and Scheels donated more than 20 pairs of boys’ soccer shoes, 45 pairs of socks, 15 pairs of girls’ tennis shoes and 20 T-shirts.

Students distributed the clothing to Mzamomhle girls’ and boys’ soccer clubs, and handed out other donations including black dolls, additional T-shirts, crayons, coloring books and pencils.

Now the students are considering a fundraiser for Mzamomhle, which recently was devastated when a flood destroyed 25 percent of the village’s homes.

Kaye Herth: Hall of Fame

Kaye HerthCollege of Allied Health & Nursing Dean Emerita Kaye A. Herth is one of 15 nurse researchers worldwide to be inducted into the Honor Society of Nursing Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame.

The award honors nurse researchers from around the world who have achieved long-term, broad recognition for their work, and whose research has had global or national impact. A ceremony takes place at Sigma Theta Tau International’s Nursing Research Congress in Cancun, Mexico, this week.

Kaye, who retired last year as dean, is an international expert on hope, humor and grief among people with chronic or terminal illnesses.

Her innovative instruments to measure hope are used by medical professionals worldwide, and her book and articles have been translated into 19 foreign languages. Co-author of “Hope and Hopelessness,” she has published chapters about hope, humor and grief in eight major nursing texts, and she has authored more than 60 articles in professional journals.

The 15 inductees include nurse researchers from Johns Hopkins University, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of North Carolina, Case Western Reserve University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Pennsylvania, Chiang Mai University of Thailand, National Cheng Kung University of Taiwan and more.

Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing, is a nonprofit organization that supports learning, knowledge and professional development for nurses.

Groundbreaking solar research

Solar research graphSolar thermal walls that heat ventilation air can reduce energy consumption in large Minnesota buildings by up to 20 percent, according to a new study by three faculty members.

The heat-collecting walls can save thousands of dollars per year in natural gas and electric heating costs for Minnesota commercial businesses, manufacturers, nonprofits and government agencies, according to the researchers – Patrick Tebbe (Mechanical Engineering), Louis Schwartzkopf (Physics emeritus) and Saeed Moaveni (formerly mechanical engineering; now dean of engineering,  Norwich University, Northfield, Vt.).

Engineering and physics students assisted with the data-gathering and analysis.

The solar thermal wall study is intended to help building operators accurately estimate potential savings from the installation of solar walls. The work was supported by the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s Office of Energy Security.

The three-year research project collected detailed data on solar walls in three Twin Cities buildings with large ventilation requirements (a school, a police station and a manufacturing facility/corporate headquarters).

The solar walls – called “unglazed transpired solar collectors” – are dark-colored aluminum or steel collector plates perforated with tiny holes and mounted to south-facing walls. The sun heats the metal surface, and the metal’s heat energy transfers to thin layers of air on both sides of the panel. Fans pull the warmed air through the panel’s tiny perforations, and the heated air is channeled through ductwork and into the building.

The walls reduced energy consumption in the test buildings by 9 percent to 20 percent a year. One facility saved $2,400 in natural gas costs in one year, and larger facilities could save even more, the researchers concluded.

Monthly efficiencies of the solar thermal walls were typically 40-50 percent during winter months when they were most needed, with maximum efficiencies of 75 percent.

The researchers’ final report is at

$519,000 in grants, contracts

Minnesota State Mankato faculty and staff members received grants and contracts totaling $519,059 in June. They include:

Lori Bird (Center for Mentoring & Induction), $190,000 from the Minnesota Department of Education for "Mentoring and Coaching Community of Practice."

Farhad Reza (Mechanical & Civil Engineering), $77,811 from the Minnesota Department of Transportation for the “MnDOT Recycled Brick Aggregate Project.”

Shannon Fisher (Water Resource Center), $34,346 from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for “7 Mile Creek Condition Monitoring”; $25,000 from the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resources Coalition for “Minnesota River Watershed Documentary Support”; and $22,460 from the Greater Blue Earth River Basin Alliance for shoreland mapping.

Teri Wallace (Special Education) received a $60,000 grant from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education for her project, “improving Student Outcomes through Differentiating Instruction in Algebra and Statistics (Grade 5-8)."

Mike Nolan (Business Development Center), $50,000 from the Department of Employment and Economic Development for “Turn-Around Program (TAP),” and $11,200 from the Department of Employment and Economic Development for “Faribault County Entrepreneur Workshop Series.”

Alison Mahoney (Biological Sciences), $20,700 from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for “Farmland Wildlife Populations & Research Vegetation Survey.”

Bruce Jones (Auto & Manufacturing Engineering Technology), $10,000 from E-ride Industries for  “E-ride Industries.”

Cindra Kamphoff (Human Performance), $7,500 from the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance for “Females in Positions of Power within Interscholastic U.S. Sports.”

Rick Robbins (English), $7,000 from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council for the 2011-2012 Good Thunder Reading Series project.

Aaron Budge (Mechanical & Civil Engineering), $1,792 from the Minnesota Department of Transportation for the “MnDOT Unified Soil Classification System (USCS) Training Workshop."

Scott Kudelka (Water Resource Center), $1,250 from Sibley County for “Update Rush River Website.”

Changes to President's Cabinet

President Richard Davenport recently announced new members of his cabinet.

The Cabinet includes Anne Blackhurst (until Monday, Aug. 1, when Scott Olson will return and Anne will leave for her new position at Moorhead); Ed Clark (Information Technology); Robert Hoffman; David Jones (Student Affairs & Enrollment Management); Doug Mayo (University Advancement); Henry Morris (Institutional Diversity); Carol Stallkamp (President's Office); and Rick Straka (Finance & Administration).

Jean Haar (College of Education) will sit on the Cabinet as deans’ council representative. On Monday, July 18, John Knox (CSET) will be replaced by Vijendra (VJ) Agarwal.

Vijendra Agarwal: CSET dean

Vijendra AgarwalVijendra (VJ) Agarwal has been named the new College of Science, Engineering, & Technology dean beginning Monday, July 18. The announcement was made by Anne Blackhurst (Academic & Student Affairs).

VJ has served as associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse since 2005. Before that he was assistant vice president at City University of New York, and before that  for 10 years was professor of physics at Minnesota State Moorhead.

He has conducted research and taught worldwide, including  post-doctoral appointments in the United States, France, Japan, Italy and India.

He recently was named to India’s National Board of Accreditation to develop policies and implementation standards for technical education accreditation in India. He was an American Council on Education Fellow in 1997-1998 and an executive fellow and policy analyst at the White House Office of Science and Technology in 1999-2000.

At UW-La Crosse, he was instrumental in developing undergraduate research as a signature practice of the university, and served on the national Council on Undergraduate Research.

Barry Ries: GSR interim dean

Barry J. Ries (Psychology) has agreed to serve as interim dean of the College of Graduate Studies & Research. Anne Blackhurst (Academic & Student Affairs).made the announcement recently.

Barry joined the Department of Psychology in 1996 after completing his clinical psychology residency at the University of Mississippi and Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in Jackson, Miss. He served as chair from 2008-2011 and for six years as director of clinical training for the Clinical Psychology MA program. He also has served on the University Institutional Review Board since 1997.

He has received several private and university funded research grants, and has been a clinical research consultant for Mayo Health Systems and Immanuel St. Joseph’s Hospital. He maintains an active research agenda and uses his anxiety and phobia research laboratory for graduate and undergraduate student research and training. He also has developed several international partnerships.

President Richard Davenport and David Pearson

President Richard Davenport thanks David Pearson (right) of Xcel Energy for Xcel's $10,000 gift last month. The gift -- one of many from Xcel over the last several years -- goes for engineering student scholarships.

President appointed

President Richard Davenport has been appointed to the Commission on Judicial Selection by Gov. Mark Dayton. President Davenport was appointed as a 5th District non-attorney member.

The district includes the counties of Blue Earth, Brown, Cottonwood, Faribault, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Rock and Watonwan.

The commission recruits and reviews judicial candidates for judgeship vacancies that occur within district courts and for openings during the term of a judge on the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals.

Mileage reimbursement rates

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced an increase in the standard mileage reimbursement rate for business miles effective July 1 through Dec. 31, 2011. The rates determine reimbursements to employees who use their personal vehicles for business trips.

The standard mileage reimbursement used when a state-owned vehicle is not available has been increased to 55.5 cents per mile. A lesser rate – used when a state vehicle is declined or not requested – is 48.5 cents per mile.

Employees should use the new mileage reimbursement rates when completing expense forms.
Those who have questions may contact Tami Galema-Liebl (Business Services) at 389-5006 or More information is at

Construction webcam

A live webcam of the 2012 construction site of the new residential hall is available for viewing.

The $23.8-million, 118,000-square-foot structure 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 is being 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 webcam is at

“Annie” musical performance

Through July 16: “Annie”

The Department of Theatre & Dance will conclude the 45th annual Highland Summer Theatre season with the ever-popular musical “Annie”, with performances at 7:30 p.m. July 13-16 in Ted Paul Theatre of the Performing Arts Center.

The performance is sponsored by Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic, Eide Bailly and Farrish Johnson Law Office.

Annie is a spunky Depression-era orphan determined to find her parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City orphanage run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. Annie foils Miss Hannigan’s evil machinations, befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and finds a new family and home in billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary Grace Farrell and a lovable mutt named Sandy.

Minnesota State Mankato presented “Annie” in 1984 and in the summer of 1993.

“Annie” is directed by Paul J. Hustoles, with musical direction by Nick Wayne. Scene design is by Allen Wright Shannon, a 2009 MFA Scene Design graduate. The title role is played by Riley Means, who is joined on stage by 10 other community girls, two community boys and one community dog. Miss Hannigan is played by 2011 BFA Musical Theatre graduate Megan Volkman-Wilson, Daddy Warbucks is played by Mathias Becker, 2010 BFA Musical Theatre graduate, and Miss Hannigan’s brother, Rooster, is played by spring BFA Musical Theatre graduate J. Alexander Coe.

Choreography is by Kim Steffen, senior BFA Musical Theatre candidate.

Tickets are $20 regular, $18 discounted (senior citizens, youth and groups of 15 of more) and $14 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. They may be purchased online at, by calling (507) 389-6661 or by stopping at the Theatre & Dance Box Office from 4-6 p.m., Monday-Friday.

July 20, 27: Summer PARC

ArtworkThe Office of Community Engagement will host the Summer Picnics and Art Reinforcing Community Project Wednesday, July 20 and 27.

The event is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the mall green space, near the fountain. Participants are encouraged to being food, games, art, a favorite book or a creative spirit for a mid-week lift.

Those who want more information may call  (507) 389-6076. The event will be postponed to the following week in case of rain.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

“An Integrative Approach to Human Geography,” edited by Wayne Allen (Ethnic Studies) and Jose Javier Lopez (Geography), was recently published by Cognella.

David Beimers (Social Work) presented “Evaluating your program: Developing the tools to document what you do” at the Minnesota Social Service Association's annual training conference in Minneapolis.

Emily Boyd (Sociology & Corrections) presented “Altering Bodies, Transforming Selves: Masculinity and Femininity Construction on Extreme Makeover” at the Midwestern Sociological Society annual meetings in St. Louis in March.

Eiji Kawabata (Government) presented “The Politics of Privacy in Japan: Global Policy Convergence and the Personal Information Protection Act” at the annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies in Honolulu, Hawaii, recently.

Lori Ann Lahlum (History) presented “Many ‘grødkjærringer’ visited’: Pregnancy and Childbirth in Norwegian America, 1850-1920” at the 2011 Dakota Conference in Sioux Falls, S.D. In addition, Lori's chapter, “Women, Work, and Community in Rural Norwegian America,” was published in Norwegian American Women.

Andrea Lassiter (Psychology) presented a co-authored paper, “Applicant Motivation and Withdrawal Intentions During Online Selection Testing,” at the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology conference in Chicago in April. Andrea also presented a poster, “Connecting Students to the History of Psychology” at the Midwest Psychological Association Meeting in Chicago in May.

A review by  Matt Loayza (History) of "Rebecca M. Schreiber, Cold War Exiles in Mexico: U.S. Dissidents and the Culture of Resistance" was published recently in The Journal of American Ethnic History.

Martin Mitchell (Geography) co-authored “Reintroduction and Range Expansion of Easter Wild Turkeys in Minnesota,” which was recently published in one of the country’s leading geography journals, Geographical Review.

Mike Nolan (Small Business Development Center) is featured on the cover of the latest issue of Connect Business magazine for business people in southern Minnesota. Editor Dan Vance's full story is at

Agnes Odinga's (History) paper, “He is Not a Man like Other Men,” Discourse on Masculinity and review for publication in African Sexualities: A Reader. Agnes also received a Faculty Research Grant for “Childbirth and Midwifery in Kenya, 1895-1990.”

Chip Panahon (Psychology) received a Faculty Research Grant for his project, “Using Performance Feedback to Increase Productivity in Writing for Students w/EBD,” in April.

Stewart Ross (Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning) gave a keynote address, "The Joy and Responsibility of Teaching Well," for 70 faculty at Rowan-Carrabus Community College, North Carolina, in June. The previous week he was an invited presenter at the Lilly East Teaching and Learning Conference in Washington, D.C.

Atrayee Ghosh Roy (Economics) presented, “Revisiting the relationship between economic growth and government size,” at the Clark/England Celebration and Economics Research Conference in Lincoln, Neb., April 8.

Richard Schiming (Economics) participated at a macroeconomics summit at Harvard University in April about the impact of the Great Recession on the teaching of macroeconomics. Richard also gave a speech, "Goldilocks and the 3 Trillion Bears," to the annual meeting of the Minnesota Valley Federal Credit Union in April.

Diane “Dee” Schmidt (Registrar’s Office) was honored as the Outstanding Certifying Official in Minnesota at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, St. Paul Education Service Unit workshop in June. It was the second time Diane has received the honor.

Emily Stark (Psychology) presented a poster, “Enhancing Critical Thinking in a Research Methods Class,” and gave the talk “Influences of Rational and Experiential Processing on the Framing Effect” at the Midwestern Psychological Association Conference in Chicago. Emily also presented a poster, “Examining the Influence of Affective Response and Personality on Risk-Taking in Different Domains,” at the annual conference for the Society of Personality and Social Psychology in San Antonio, Texas.

Jocelyn Stitt’s (Gender & Women’s Studies) “Gold Star Families Speak Out Coalitions and Anti-War Maternal Activism” was published in The 21st Century Motherhood Movement: Mothers Speak Out on Why We Need to Change the World and How to Do It.

David Viscoli (Music) performed a concert at the National Theatre in Panama City, Panama. He also taught a master class at The University of Panama. Both events were part of the fifth annual Festival Alfredo De Saint Malo.

Robin Wingo (Social Work) presented “Summative Project Model Utilized in the Minnesota State Mankato Master of Social Work Program" and "U.S. Child Welfare/Child Protection Continuum of Care,” during International Week at Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in March.

SBS awards

The College of Social & Behavioral Sciences Advisory Board presented its 2011 awards to two faculty members and an alum at a luncheon in April. The college also recognized two students and three student organizations as Community Service Award recipients at a breakfast in April.

Advisory Board awards were presented to:

Dan Houlihan (Psychology) and Natasha Kaiser (Social Work), SBS Distinguished Professors;

Katie Boone, SBS Distinguished Alumna.

Community Service Awards went to Ariel Klugman, Perry Wood Community Service Award; Daniel Kromer, Social Studies award; Psi Chi/Psychology Club, Psychology award; School Psychology Society, School Psychology award; and Social Work Student Organization, Social Work award.

Student Achievements

Tim Gundmeier (History) presented "Acculturation in the First Generation of Norwegian-American Pastor’s Wives: The Divergent Experiences of Elisabeth Koren and Caja Munch" at the 2011 Dakota Conference in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Alex Hevern (Economics) received the 2011 Paul Thompson Senior Scholar Prize in Economics in April.

Guncha Jumakuliyeva, 2011 graduate and economics major, accepted a summer internship with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and was a finalist in the student essay contest sponsored by the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Dallas, Minneapolis and St. Louis. She received a scholarship to attend the Exploring Innovation Conference in St. Louis, Mo., where she presented her essay in May.

Willy Mekeel (Geography) received a 2011 Summer Conference Scholarship from ESRI, the world's leading geographic information system.

Sayed Rashid Munir (Government) was selected for a two-year program in European integration and Euroculture by the Erasmus Mundus program at the University of Deusto in the Bilbao region of Spain.

Recent Sports Management graduate Matt Nyvold completed an internship with Frementle Dockers Football Club in Australia. He helped write and submit an entry for the 2011 Frementale Business Awards presented by the Frementale Commerce Council, and as a result the football club received the Corporate Social Responsibility Award.

Matt Vitale (Government) was named the nation's "Outstanding Member of the Year" of Alpha Phi Sigma, the National Criminal Justice Honor Society. Matt is the local chapter president.


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 Aug. 24; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Aug. 19).

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.