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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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August 24, 2011 Campus Newsletter

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President Richard Davenport honored College of Arts & Humanities Dean Emerita Jane F. Earley (left) and President Emerita Margaret R. Preska (right) at the annual Convocation Aug. 8, announcing that the new residence hall will be named the Margaret R. Preska Residence Community, and the Performing Arts Center will be renamed the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

Forbes ranking: Again at the top in Minnesota State

Forbes magazine’s latest “America’s Best Colleges” list ranks Minnesota State Mankato among the top quartile of the nation’s four-year public and private colleges and universities. One of four Minnesota public universities on the list, Minnesota State Mankato is the highest-ranking Minnesota State Colleges & Universities institution.

The list, compiled annually by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, ranks 650 undergraduate institutions that offer high-quality education, significant student experiences opportunities for student achievement. There are 2,363 four-year higher education institutions in the United States.

The rankings are led by Williams College, Princeton, the U.S. Military Academy, Amherst, Stanford and Harvard. Minnesota State Mankato, with an average annual cost of $23,047, is one of the best values on the list.

To view the complete list, visit

2011 Campus Drive smashes goal

The Minnesota State Mankato Campus Drive ended the year at $940,674, significantly surpassing its goal of $700,000.

All proceeds were outright gifts and pledges from faculty, staff, retirees and emeriti, 36 percent of whom participated.

Ken and Linda Anglin and Walt and Sherryl Wolff chaired the 2011 Campus Drive.

$1,597,063 in grants, contracts

Faculty and staff members received grants and contracts totaling $1,597,063 in June. Grants and contracts include:

  • Rebecca Bates (Computer Science), Marilyn Hart (Biological Sciences), Brian Martensen (Mathematics & Statistics) and Deborah Nykanen (Mechanical & Civil Engineering), $600,000 from the National Science Foundation for “MAX Scholarships: Interdisciplinary Mentored Academic Experience for STEM Success, 2011-2015.”
  • Nancy Sprengeler (Educational Talent Search), $313,994 from U.S. Department of Education for “Educational Talent Search.”
  • Shannon Fisher (Water Resources Center), $137,787 from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for “LeSueur River Watershed Civic Engagement.”
  • Bruce Jones and Gary Mead (Auto & Manufacturing Engineering Tech), $90,875 from Minnesota Corn Growers Association for “Small Engine Intermediate Ethanol Blends 2011-2012.”
  • Daria Paul Dona (Education), $75,000 from the Bush Foundation for “Enhancing Capabilities to Support Value-Added Assessment and Research.”
  • Patrick Tebbe and Sungwon Kim (Mechanical & Civil Engineering), $72,800 from Minnesota Office of Energy Security for “Training to Promote Certification and Competitiveness in Building Energy Field.”
  • Shannon Fisher and Joseph Pallardy (Water Resource Center), $63,710 from the City of Waseca for “Waseca Lakes Project.”
  • James Wilde (Mechanical & Civil Engineering), $63,000 from the Minnesota Department of Transportation for “Cost Effective Base Type and Thickness for Long Life Concrete Pavements.”
  • Ginger Zierdt (Center for School-University Partnerships), $10,060 each ($50,300 total) from ISD 656 Faribault, ISD 829 Waseca, ISD 508 St. Peter, ISD 2130 Sibley East and ISD 761 Owatonna for “Teaching Fellows.”
  • James Wilde (Mechanical & Civil Engineering), $35,000 from the Minnesota Department of Transportation for “Implementation of TONN 2010.”
  • Sue Ellen Bell (Nursing), $26,956 from the Health Resources and Services Administration for “AENT Advanced Nursing Traineeship 2011.”
  • Wendy Schuh (Student Health Services), $21,676 from the United Health Care Student Resources for “Student Health Insurance FY12.”
  • Patrick Tebbe and Sungwon Kim (Mechanical & Civil Engineering), $21,310 from the Minnesota Office of Energy Security for “Piloting an Energy Specialist Training Program for Southern Minnesota.”
  • Bruce Jones and Gary Mead (Auto & Manufacturing Engineering Tech), $10,000 from Northern Wholesale Supply for “Northern Wholesale Supply,” and $5,616 from Chopper College for “Chopper College E85 Conversion.”
  • Andrea Lassiter (Psychology), $4,590 from Faribault School District for “2010-2011, 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant Evaluation.”
  • Dan Sachau (Psychology), $2,500 from Minnesota Nano for “NanoVox Research.”
  • Tom Gjersvig and Ishrat Kamal-Ahmed (International Student Office), $1,950 from U.S. Department of State for “Global UGRAD Pakistan Program.”

Faculty Research Grants: $59,227

Recipients of Minnesota State Mankato 2011 spring Faculty Research Grants received a total of $59,227. Recipients and their projects include:

  • Donald Ebel (Sociology & Corrections), $5,000 for “Separating Gerotranscendence from Depression among Elders in Long-Term Care.”
  • Craig Evers (Auto & Manufacturing Engineering Technology), $5,000 for “Construction of a Braking Performance Dynamometer.”
  • Agnes Odinga (History), $5,000 for “Childbirth and Midwifery in Kenya, 1895-1990.”
  • Elizabeth Sandell (Education), $5,000 for “Changes in Cultural Competency Among Students in Human Relations Courses.”
  • Trent Vorlicek (Chemistry & Geology), $5,000 for “Defining the Isotopic Ratios of Anoxic Proxies: Chromatographic Separation and Quantification of Thiomolybdates and Thioperhenates.”
  • Forrest Wilkerson (Geography), $5,000 for “Mapping Glacier Distribution and Ice Movement; White Mountains, California.”
  • Fei Yuan (Geography), $5,000 for “Improved Land Use and Impervious Surface Mapping Using High Resolution Date and Advanced Image Classification Techniques.”
  • Daniel Toma (Biological Sciences), $4,998.34 for “Finding Genes Involved in Hygienic Behavior in the Honey Bee, Apis Mellifera.”
  • Emily Stark (Psychology), $4,886 for “Attitudes, Expectations, and Abilities: Assessing Predictors of Student Learning in College.”
  • Bradley Cook (Biological Sciences), $4,850 for “The Use of a Novel Biochemical Weapon for the Invasion of Narrow-Leaf Cattail.”
  • Liz Miller (Art), $4,480 for “Militant Sources: Using Weapons and Military Uniforms as References for New Work.”
  • Carlos Panahon (Psychology), $2,387 for “Using Performance Feedback to Increase Productivity in Writing for Students with EBD.”
  • David Beimers (Social Work), $1,694 for “Study Abroad: An Opportunity for the Development of Research Skills and Understanding.”
  • Robert Bothmann (Library Services), $932 for “A Literature Review of Cataloging and Classification Dissertations.”

Fall media promotion

Minnesota State Mankato will be in several media outlets in September:

  • Eight billboards on routes with heavy traffic, including four in a row on I-94 between downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul that have a four-message series of "Big ideas"…"Real-world thinking"…"Minnesota State Mankato"…"Go further at MNSU.EDU."
  • Two new TV spots on the late-evening newscasts of WCCO, KARE-11 and KSTP featuring Brad Cook (Biology) and graduate student Ross Brandt (Urban & Regional Studies), which premiered at the University's opening convocation Aug. 15. The two spots can be viewed in September on the University's home web page.
  • A full-page inside front cover ad in Minnesota Monthly Magazine featuring alumnus and former Saint Paul College President Donovan Schwichtenberg.
  • An ad encouraging visits to our campus that will appear for several weeks on about 100,000 Facebook pages of 16-18-year-olds within a 50-mile radius of the Twin Cities.
  • Several mentions on the morning news drive time of Minnesota Public Radio (6-9 a.m.) each weekday of September.

Town-gown safety collaboration

Several Mankato Department of Public Safety staff members have been designated as liaisons to the Minnesota State Mankato campus as part of the city's community oriented governance philosophy.

Deputy Director of Fire Jeff Bengtson, Police Commander Matt DuRose and police officers Doug Frericks and Sean McClinton are liasons this academic year.

The four have more than 63 years of public safety experience. They will work with specific neighborhoods and groups to build partnerships, identify and solve problems and promote livability within the city.

Faculty, staff and students will see an increased presence on campus this year by Department of Public Safety officers, DuRose said. The increase will not be due to crime or fire; it will be a result of the outreach to students, faculty and staff in an effort to get to know the campus community.

"There are plans in the works for DPS staff to collaborate with the MSSA, Security, Residential Life and many more organizations on campus," DuRose said. "In the coming months you will see us on campus introducing ourselves and getting to know the campus community. We do hope to meet as many of you as we can.

"If you are a member of an organization that we have not reached out to yet, or you would just like to speak with us, please contact us and we would be happy to meet with you or your group."

Those who want more information may visit the City of Mankato website at Bengtson can be reached at or (507) 387-8703; DuRose can be reached at or (507) 387-8770.

"We encourage everyone to enjoy their campus and community life safely and responsibly," Du Rose said. "We are here to work with you, not against you. The partnerships that are created today will have lasting benefits tomorrow and beyond."

Tuition waiver reminder

Faculty and staff who plan to request a tuition waiver benefit for themselves or their dependents for fall semester are reminded to submit a timely tuition waiver request through the on-line system in order to prevent registration cancellation for nonpayment.

Although the provisions of this benefit require the tuition waiver request be submitted “no later than 10 days following the start of the course for which the user is applying,” submitting the request after the earliest tuition due date of Aug. 1 will not prevent the automatic registration cancellation.

To access the tuition waiver system, academic year assignments must be in the human resources system, and as of today, not all assignments have been loaded. Those who intend to file the tuition waiver request but are unable to do so within the timelines can complete an “Intent to File” submission form at

Submitting “Intent to File” does not replace the tuition waiver request process. Those who wish to submit an online tuition waiver should go to

A quick reference guide is at /hr/tuitionwaiver.html. Those who have questions should contact JoAnn Scholtz (Human Resources) at (507) 389-2464.

2011-2012 Theatre & Dance season

The Department of Theatre & Dance will present three musicals during its 2011-2012 season, opening with “Rent” and closing with the Andrew Lloyd Webber favorite, “The Phantom of the Opera.”

The two shows have been among the most requested musicals for several years. A third musical — “Altar Boyz” — will be presented in November.

Each musical has corporate sponsorship: HickoryTech Corporation for “Rent”; Blethen, Gage & Krause for “Altar Boyz”; and Community Bank Mankato, Radio Mankato and Mankato Ford for “The Phantom of the Opera.” The other three Mainstage season productions are a thriller, “Wait Until Dark,” a comedy, “I Hate Hamlet,” and a farce, Moliere’s “The Imaginary Invalid.”

The Studio season includes five productions: “The Shape of Things,” “Why We Have A Body” and “Endgame” presented in repertory, “The Gingerbread Lady” by Neil Simon and Sam Shepard’s “True West.” Dance Concerts will be presented in December and April, with at least two guest dance artists being hosted in 2012, including public performances.

Season tickets are $100 and are on sale by mail order only. Individual tickets for all shows go on sale Sept. 20 online at, by calling (507) 389-6611, or stopping by the Theatre & Dance Box Office in the Performing Arts Center from 4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday starting Sept. 20.

Those who want more information or to get on the mailing list may visit

Good Thunder Reading Series

The Good Thunder Reading Series will celebrate its 30th anniversary this season by hosting 18 writers for eight residencies.

The series invites emerging and established writers to Mankato to meet with community writers and readers, be interviewed on public radio, lead discussions on the craft of writing, and read from their published works.

The fall Good Thunder Reading Series will feature:

  • Thursday, Sept. 15: Iowa fiction writer Benjamin Percy.
  • Thursday, Oct. 13: Connecticut poet Elizabeth Alexander, who read her poem on the U.S. Capitol steps for President Barak Obama’s inauguration.
  • Monday, Oct. 17 (Robert C. Wright Minnesota Writers Residency): Prose writer and 2011 Wright Award winner Rhea Davison-Edwards and Minnesota fiction writer John Reimringer.
  • Thursday, Nov. 10: Texas fiction and nonfiction writer Debra Monroe.
  • Thursday, Nov. 17 (Minnesota State Mankato faculty residency): Poet and prose writer Candace Black, poet Richard Robbins and fiction writer Roger Sheffer (English).

All events are open to the public and will be held in Centennial Student Union. Most series guests will be interviewed on KMSU-FM 89.7 and have their discussions broadcast as part of the “Authors in Transit” series at 1 p.m. on the day of the event and 11 p.m. the following Friday.

The spring 2011-’12 academic year series will feature the Minnesota State Mankato Alumni Residency Jan. 26, 2012, with creative nonfiction writer Bronson Lemer, poet Matt Mauch and fiction writer Christine Stark. That will be followed by the Eddice B. Barber Visiting Writer Residency – a four-day visit Feb. 14-17 by Washington fiction writer Samuel Ligon and Minnesota poet Kristin Naca.

On March 22 the Nadine B. Andreas Visiting Writer Residency will host fiction writer and 2011-2012 Andreas Graduate Assistant Caitlin O’Sullivan, Missouri poet William Trowbridge and New York poet and Andreas Visiting Writer Sharon Olds. The series will conclude April 12 with Washington, D.C., writer Danielle Evans and long-established and award-winning Connecticut fiction writer Amy Bloom.

Those who want more information may call Candace Black at (507) 389-2680, or go to


Construction Management accreditation

The Construction Management program has been fully accredited for the next five years by the American Council for Construction Education.

The council is recognized across North America as the accrediting agency for baccalaureate and associate degree programs in construction management and other construction fields.

The 27-year-old Construction Management program has more than 350 students, making it one of the 20 largest programs in the United States. The program integrates construction fundamentals with applied business skills. Students learn to lead projects and enterprises, influencing and overseeing each step of the building process.

The program started in 1974. Today more than 1,100 program graduates are employed throughout the United States and several foreign countries. Seventy-five percent are employed by Minnesota companies.

Aug. 25, 26; Sept. 15: Common Read

Members of the campus and Mankato communities are invited to join in the Learning Communities Program's "common read" for 2011–2012. The book is “This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women”, edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman.

All faculty, staff, students and community residents are encouraged to pick up a copy of the book and are welcome to attend the events:

— Thursday, Aug. 25, at 7 p.m., Ostrander Auditorium: Gediman will discuss the project. This event is free and open to the public.

— Friday, Aug. 2,6 at 9 a.m., CSU 238: Gediman will lead a 90-minute writing workshop for faculty and staff interested in supporting students who are writing "This I Believe" essays. Those who want more information or to register may contact Kate Hansen (First Year Experience).

—Thursday, Sept. 15, from 7-8 p.m., Ostrander Auditorium: A panel of faculty members from various disciplines will discuss the book and answer questions.

Additional events will be posted on the events calendar. Those who want more information may contact Kate or visit

Aug. 31: Campus, community fair

Representatives of more than 200 Mankato businesses, nonprofit organizations and campus offices and organizations will answer questions from students at the Greater Mankato Campus & Community Fair Wednesday, Aug. 31.

The fair, open to the public and free to students, will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Myers Field House of Taylor Center.

The event is designed to introduce students to local businesses and organizations on and off-campus. It provides opportunities for managers of area businesses to identify and recruit potential employees and student interns, and for students to learn about potential service learning opportunities.

Businesses and organizations that wish to participate should contact Denise Billington-Just (Community Engagement) at (507) 389-5783.

Sept. 30: Athletics Hall of Fame

Six people have been selected for the Athletics Hall of Fame, according to the Minnesota State Hall of Fame Selection Committee. The committee also announced its team inductee and this year’s service and philanthropic award recipients.

This year’s Hall of Fame induction dinner will be Friday, Sept. 30, at the Country Inn and Suites. Inductees will be introduced at halftime of the Homecoming football game Saturday, Oct. 1, at 2 p.m. against Winona State.

New Hall of Fame members in the student-athlete category are:

— Women’s diving standout Annie (Eggert) Whitson (‘86);

— Men’s track star Joe Keillor (‘98);

— All-American football defensive lineman Chuck Gilbert (‘89);

— Former pro football tight end Tywan Mitchell (‘98).

Nationally-renown broadcast journalist Brad Nessler (‘77) and KEYC sports director Perry Dyke will be inducted into the builders Hall of Fame category. The men’s hockey team from 1990-'91 will be inducted into the team Hall of Fame.

The Jim Schaffer Service Award will be presented to Dan Rotchadl (‘80), and the Athletics Philanthropic Award will go to Thomas Huffman (‘64).

Those interested in attending the dinner may reserve tickets from the Alumni Office at (507) 389-3235 or (888) 234-3796, or by registering at



Twenty-one Mankato and St. Peter K-12 math teachers recently tethered eight Barbie dolls to rubber bands in Centennial Student Union, staging a Barbie bungee-jump for better education as part of a week-long workshop. The workshop, sponsored by the College of Education’s ITQ Math Academy, is intended to help teachers improve their algebra and statistics-teaching skills. The teachers collected data and created models predicting how far each Barbie would fall when attached to various lengths of rubber bands. The workshop was led by Teri Wallace and Mark Zuiker, who borrowed the eight dolls from his apprehensive daughter.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Carrie Chapman (Education) co-authored “Critical Conversations in Co-Teaching,” exploring co-teaching models and leading readers to focus on building adult relationships and targeting students in more meaningful ways.

Nathan Christensen recently was named director of athletics marketing and promotions. A Ringsted, Iowa, native who earned undergraduate (2008) and graduate (2010) degrees from Minnesota State Mankato, Nathan is responsible for soliciting and managing corporate partnerships and contracts and developing and implementing sales, marketing and promotional plans. He served for the last year as interim director of athletics marketing and was a graduate assistant with Athletics from 2008-10.

David Cowan (Facilities Management) is serving as interim assistant vice president of Facilities Management. A search committee is being formed to oversee a national search for a permanent AVP, with an anticipated hire date of January 2012.

Sandra Eggenberger, Patricia Young, Norma Krumwiede (Nursing) and Sharon Denham are collaborating to author a book, Family-Focused Nursing Care, to be published by F. A. Davis Company.

David Jones (Student Affairs) provided expert commentary for an in-depth article about “Creating a Housing Master Plan” in this month’s Academic Impressions.

Cindra Kamphoff (Human Performance) recently was elected to the executive board for the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.

John Krenz (Biological Sciences) recently co-published “Correlating small mammal abundance to climatic variation over twenty years” in the Journal of Mammology.

Michael Nolan (SBDC) has received certification as an Economic Development Finance Professional from the National Development Council.

Stewart Ross (Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning) has been invited to be a contributing editor for College Teaching, published by the Taylor & Francis Group.

Kristin Underwood (CDC) received the "Rookie Award" from the Minnesota College & University Career Services Association in June.

Christophe Veltsos (Computer Information Science) received an award for excellence in student advising and leadership from the College of Science, Engineering & Technology. Over the summer he  became certified as an ISO 27001 Auditor; ISO 27001 is a global standard for the management of information security.

David Viscoli (Music) performed a concert in July with the Chiarina Piano Quartet at the 33rd Annual Upper Midwest String and Chamber Music Conference in St. Joseph, Minn. In addition, he co-presented a session titled "Using the Piano in the Strings Studio-Developing Polyphonic Listening" and gave a chamber music master class.

Student achievements

Zonta Club of Mankato recently presented Kathleen Ritter (Accounting & Finance) with the 2010 Jane M. Klausman Business Scholarship Award of $5,000. She was one of 12 International recipients. The scholarship is awarded annually to women pursuing undergraduate or master's degrees in business management.


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 Sept. 14; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Sept. 9).

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.