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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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October 26, 2011 Campus Newsletter

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'The Big Day' ad

The Big Day is here: Oct. 27

Please Join President Richard Davenport Thursday, Oct. 27, in the newly renovated Centennial Student Union Ballroom for the public announcement of the campaign that will transform Minnesota State Mankato -- and our world.

The Big Ideas Campaign Kickoff will be from 10-11 a.m. in the ballroom. Refreshments will be served.

Individuals with a disability who need a reasonable accommodation to participate should contact the Office of Special Events at (507) 389-1515 (V), (800) 627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTY).

Ballroom celebration

Renovated ballroomThe newly renovated, high-tech Centennial Student Union Ballroom will be unveiled during a six-day celebration featuring a ribbon-cutting, Big Top Chautauqua entertainment, a National Geographic multimedia show and more.

Celebration of the $4.5-million ballroom project begins Friday, Oct. 28, and concludes Wednesday, Nov. 2, with a public ribbon cutting.

The renovation includes a new lobby featuring an engraved Kasota stone wall, an interactive photo wall with high-definition monitors, and a new ticket/cloak room. Inside, visitors will see 360-degree video on the ballroom’s walls, which double as projection screens for 17 digital projectors.

Visitors also will experience an array of colored LED lights keyed to projected audio and video. High-efficiency, high-intensity metal halide lights make the ballroom brighter than before, and dimmable halogen lamps provide low-light ambiance.

Workers completely restored the ballroom’s wood parquet floor and installed a new wood ceiling as well as high-efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. They also built a new roof.

Several celebration events will highlight the improvements:

  • The Big Ideas Campaign Kickoff Thursday, Oct. 27, from 10-11 a.m. (see article above).
  • Warren Nelson’s Big Top Chautauqua  song-and-photo stroll through Minnesota history Friday, Oct. 28, at 7:30 p.m.
  • The public ribbon cutting Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 11:30 a.m.
  • Mankato native and National Geographic photographer Jimmy Chin's multimedia show Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 7:30 p.m.

On Wednesday, Oct. 26, students will attend a “Monster Mash” DJ dance.

More information about the ballroom renovation is at, and information about the celebration events is at

MBA: One of nation's best

The Princeton Review logoFor the sixth consecutive year, the MBA program is listed as one of the nation’s best in The Princeton Review’s 2012 business school guidebook.

The New York education services company – known for its rankings based on student surveys – includes Minnesota State Mankato in its “Best 294 Business Schools,” released last week. The book is compiled from school-reported data and surveys of 19,000 students attending the schools.

The book does not rank schools from 1 to 294, but includes 11 ranking lists of the top 10 business schools in various categories.

The book includes a profile of each school, with information about academics, student life and admissions, plus ratings for academics, selectivity and career placement. The company – known for its guides to colleges and standardized tests – is not affiliated with Princeton University and is not a magazine.

More Princeton Review information about Minnesota State Mankato is at


Minnesota State Mankato will begin using an electronic timesheet system for all classified, MSUAASF and administrator employees starting with the pay period 10/12/11-10/25/11.

Leave requests and timesheets will be submitted, reviewed and approved/denied electronically. Employees are being trained and their timesheet accounts activated in phases during the next few pay periods, concluding in December. Employees will not be able to access the system until they have attended a training session and Human Resources has activated it and provided appropriate access.

Employees will receive communication about training and access. Training is being provided first to supervisors and then to employees by division/department.

Those who have questions should contact JoAnn Scholtz (Human Resources).

Limited holiday operations

beachUpon recommendation of the Cabinet, President Richard Davenport has approved limited operations between Dec. 27 and Dec. 30. The limited operations are intended to:

  • Allow as many employees as possible to be gone during the holidays;
  • Maintain necessary university operations;
  • Allow employees who wish to work during this period to do so; and
  • Allow offices to be closed during this time subject to approval at the divisional level

The university will be closed on Friday, Dec. 23, and Monday, Dec. 26, On Tuesday, Dec. 27, through Friday, Dec. 30, the University will be open for limited operations. On Monday, Jan. 2, 2012, the university will be closed.

Oct. 28: Big Top Chautauqua

'Old Minnesota' concert ad"Old Minnesota: Songs of the North Star," an historic musical hike through the Gopher State, will be presented by Big Top Chautauqua Friday, Oct. 28, as the opening event for the celebration of the refurbished Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

The 7:30 p.m. event is open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

Created by Big Top Chautauqua founder and Fairmont, Minn., native Warren Nelson for Minnesota’s 2008 sesquicentennial, the stage production will feature the 10-member Big Top Chautauqua folk orchestra from Bayfield, Wis.

"Old Minnesota" blends original music, stories and large-screen vintage photos to spotlight the lives, ambitions and accomplishments that shaped the state.

The show captured the hearts of visitors to the 2008 Minnesota State Fair. It will use the ballroom's new 360-degree video capability, made possible by 17 digital projectors.

Advance tickets are $6.50 for Minnesota State Mankato students, $12 for adults and $4.50 for children under 10. Prices at the door will be $8 for Minnesota State Mankato students, $16 for adults and $5 for children under 10. Online advance tickets are available at

More about Big Top Chautauqua is at

Nov. 2: Jimmy Chin

Jimmy ChinAward-winning adventure photographer, professional rock climber and Mankato native Jimmy Chin will help inaugurate the new Centennial Student Union Ballroom Wednesday, Nov. 2, with a multimedia presentation, “Both Sides of the Lens."

Chin’s presentation, open to students, faculty, staff and the public, will be at 7:30 p.m. in the ballroom.

Recognized for his keen eye for composition, Chin is considered among the top adventure photographers in the world. He has received numerous awards, including the first Rowell Art of Adventure award and two National Geographic Society Emerging Explorer expedition grants.

His photos about the Yosemite climbing culture were the cover story for the May 2011 National Geographic.

A native of Mankato, Chin is the son of Frank and the late Yen-Yen Chin, both former employees at Minnesota State Mankato. A professional mountaineer and skier, Chin took up photography in 1999. His notable assignments include an Outside magazine cover story of Stephen Koch’s attempt to snowboard the Direct North Face of Mount Everest, a 275-mile trek across the largely uncharted Chang Tang Plateau of northwestern Tibet for National Geographic, and his first ascent of Mount Everest in spring 2004.

He also has been named one of the world’s most eligible bachelors by People magazine.

Adult general admission is $5. Admission is free to children under 10 accompanied by an adult and for Minnesota State Mankato students, faculty and staff displaying a MavCARD. Advance tickets are available at

Faculty and students at Minnesota State University, Mankato are known for their BIG IDEAS, and for coming up with the REAL WORLD solutions that make a difference in all of our lives. When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb; when Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone; and when Sam Jobs created Apple, they each had big ideas that fulfilled a need which would benefit the world.

Nov. 2: 'Big Ideas' on KMSU

KMSU-FM adKMSU-FM’s Karen Wright will start a weekly "Big Ideas" series Wednesday, Nov. 2, to introduce listeners to intriguing faculty members and students.

The series is intended to highlight students and faculty who have gone farther than they thought possible. Among those to be featured in coming weeks are Cindra Kamphoff (Human Performance), Steve Mercurio (Biological Sciences), Nicole Alfafara, Russ Palma (Physics & Astronomy), Walter Roberts (Counseling & Student Personnel), William Lewinski (emeriti), Vince Winstead (Electrical & Computer Engineering), John Frey (IRETI) and Steven Losh (Chemistry & Geology).

"Big Ideas" will air Wednesdays at 11 a.m. in KMSU 89.7 FM or online at

Nov. 9-11: Online learning

Faculty and staff are invited to participate in the 17th annual Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning Wednesday through Friday, Nov. 9-11. The College of University Extended Education has secured an institutional virtual conference pass for the event.

More information about the conference is at

Those who have questions may contact the College of University Extended Education at (507) 389-2572. Those who want to participate may email Joshua Kohman at

Nov. 10-19: ‘Altar Boyz’

'Altar Boyz' musical comedy adThe Department of Theatre & Dance turns its eyes toward heaven for the foot-stomping, rafter-raising musical comedy “Altar Boyz” at 7:30 p.m. in Ted Paul Theatre Nov. 10-12 and 17-19, with 2 p.m. matinees Nov. 19 and 20.

"Altar Boyz" is a fictional Christian boy-band on the last night of its national “Raise the Praise” tour. Its five members are singing, dancing heartthrobs from Ohio: Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham. With tight harmonies and spectacular choreography, the Altar Boyz delight with such signature hits as “Girl You Make Me Wanna Wait” and “Jesus Called Me on My Cell Phone.”

The production is directed by Paul J. Hustoles, with musical direction by senior BFA Musical Theatre candidate Kim Steffen and choreography by senior Dance minor Lauren Looby. The “Boyz” are Adam Moen as “Mark,” Sam Stoll as “Luke,” Jake McInerney as “Matthew,” Jason Garton as “Juan” and Carter Allen as “Abraham.”

The performance is sponsored by Blethen, Gage & Krause, LLP.

Individual tickets are $22 for regular; $19 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more; and $15 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. They may be purchased online at, by calling (507) 389-6661 or stopping by the Theatre & Dance Box office between 4 and 6 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Nov. 14-20: Remember November

On behalf National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week Nov. 14-20, the Community Engagement Office is organizing a Remember November campaign designed to highlight awareness of how individuals are affected by poverty, and how each of us can make a difference.

Efforts will begin November 1 and will culminate with a week-long exhibit celebrating how the campus collaborates with community partners in support of those managing economic strain.

The week's highlights include (Nov. 16) a TurkeyPalooza Fundraiser, Rocking Away Hunger and a student sponsored Red Sky benefit; week-long community building activities; and a resource exhibit in the lower level of Centennial Student Union. In addition, activities supporting Campus Kitchen meal recipients will continue through Thanksgiving.

More information is at

No events Election Day eve

The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8, and Minnesota Statutes state that, except for regularly scheduled classes, no Minnesota state college or university may schedule an event between 6 and 8 p.m. on an election day.

Those who want more information may contact the Office of Academic Affairs.

Save the date: Jan. 4

The Department of Human Resources will hold its 8th annual Professional Development Day Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012.

Approximately 40 programs will be offered on various topics for faculty and staff. Employees are urged to present a topic or participate in the event.

Those interested in presenting should complete and submit a proposal form by Tuesday, Oct. 31. The form is at:

Additional information and an agenda will be sent later in November.

Grant applications

The President’s Commission on the Status of Women seeks applications for Research and Professional Development Grants -- stipends of up to $500 to students and employees to conduct research or to attend professional conferences about the status of women or gender-related issues.

Deadline for fall 2011 proposals is Monday, Nov. 7.

Those who wish to apply may go to

Cindra Kamphoff: AASP award

Cindra KamphoffCindra Kamphoff (Human Performance) recently received the Dorothy V. Harris Memorial Award from the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, the international professional organization for sport and exercise psychology.

The award recognizes the outstanding work of a young professional in sport and exercise psychology. Kamphoff is a certified consultant with the association and is the newly elected research and practice division head of the executive board. She has published 18 research manuscripts, seven book chapters, and has delivered over 40 national and international presentations.

Along with her teaching, she operates The Runner’s Edge sport psychology consulting practice.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Julie Carlson (Education Leadership) and Deborah Jesseman (K-12 & Secondary Programs) recently published “Have We Asked Them Yet? Graduate Student Preferences for Web-Enhanced Learning” in the Quarterly Review of Distance Education.

Nanette Johnson-Curiskis (Communication Studies) recently attended the fall executive board meeting of the International Listening Association and the Iowa Communication Association’s annual convention in Iowa. Johnson-Curiskis also was part of the Iowa Communication Association convention program, serving as chair to two student panels and as a panel participant discussing civility in the workplace.

Stewart Ross (Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning) presented an all-day workshop at Northern Kentucky University for more than 50 faculty earlier this month. The workshop was about  integrated course design.

Wendy Schuh (Student Health Services) completed her term as president of the North Central College Health Association in October. The organization, an affiliate of the American College Health Association, covers a five-state region of Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota and Iowa.

Greg Wilkins (Centennial Student Union & Student Activities) was selected to serve a three-year term with the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council.

Alcohol Awareness Week

Students Zach Miller and Emma Deppa, vice presidents of risk management for the Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Council, were coordinators of this year's observance of National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week.

Activities included:

  • Alpha Chi Omega’s presentation of “hands-on awareness,” where students talked about alcohol awareness and vowed to responsibly consume alcohol.
  • A mock house party at Phi Delta Theta Fraternity house showing the sober perspective of a house party. The party included police and root beer kegs supplied by Tow Distributing.
  • “Mocktails” were served in Centennial Student Union along with prizes and more information about the dangers of excessive drinking.

More information is available from Zach at or Emma Deppa at


Do you have faculty, staff, student or departmental news for the campus newsletter? Send news items to newsletter editor Michael Cooper. The newsletter usually is published every other Wednesday during the academic year and monthly during the summer. The next newsletter will be published Nov. 9; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Nov. 4).

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.