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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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January 18, 2012 Campus Newsletter

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Student-athletes: A record 3.23 GPA

Minnesota State Mankato's 627 student-athletes combined for an all-time best 3.23 grade point average during the 2011 fall semester. Fifteen athletic teams -- led by the women’s tennis team's grade point average of 3.56 -- had GPAs of at least 3.00 during the semester.

The total GPA for the 11 women’s teams (314 student-athletes) was 3.43, and the nine men’s teams (313 student-athletes) had a 2.98 GPA.

A total of 244 student-athletes (38.9 percent) were named to the Dean’s List (at least 3.50 GPA), and 79 athletes maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average for the semester.

The 170 women athletes named to the Dean’s List is believed to be a record (54.1 percent of female student-athletes earned Dean’s List honors), and the 3.47 GPA this semester is also an all-time best. On the men’s side, 22 students earned a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Tobacco-free campus

The campus-wide no-tobacco policy -- announced last fall by President Richard Davenport -- became effective Jan. 1. Tobacco use (smoking and smokeless tobacco) is no longer allowed on University property or in University owned or leased vehicles.

An exception is being made for students currently living in residence halls: Those students are allowed to use tobacco outside of their residence halls for the remainder of the 2011-2012 academic year. The residence hall exception will end May 15.

The new policy is in response to a March, 2010, resolution by the Minnesota State College and Universities’ Board of Trustees, encouraging each Minnesota State institution to reduce tobacco use.

Health and cessation education and awareness services are being offered to students, faculty and staff, and signage has been placed to inform the campus community and visitors of the new policy. Those who want information about smoking cessation resources may go to The new policy can be viewed at (broken link).

$932,327 in grants, contracts

Minnesota State Mankato faculty and staff members received grants and contracts totaling $932,327 in November and December, 2011.

November's $452,617 in external grants includes:

  • Michael Nolan and Julie Nelson (Small Business Development Center), $179,550 for "Entrepreneur Assistance."
  • James Gullickson (KMSU Radio), $104,694 for "FY 2012 Arts & Culture Heritage Grant"; $48,000 for "FY 2012-2013 Community Service Grant"; and $16,727 for "FY 2012-2013 Equipment Grant."
  • Bruce Jones (Auto & Manufacturing Engineering Technology), $25,000 for "Chopper College-Development."
  • Aaron Deris (Educational Studies: Elementary & Early Childhood), $20,000 for "Early Childhood Special Education Program."
  • In-Jae Kim (Mathematics & Statistics), $2,000 for "Math Circle Continuing Program" and $500 for "Math Circle Exchange Program."
  • Daniel Sachau (Psychology), $2,000 for "DQC Data Management.

Faculty research grants include:

  • Nancy Drescher (English), $5,000 for "Professional Development for Teachers in Tonga."
  • Brian Frink (Art), $5,000 for "The Black Madonna Paintings."
  • Craig Matarrese (Philosophy) and Amadeo Meiten (Music), $5,000 for "Travels in Musical Meanings."
  • Farhad Reza (Mechanical & Civil Engineering), $5,000 for "Setting Time Characteristics for Colored Concrete."
  • Hongxia Yin (Mathematics & Statistics), $5,000 for "New Optimization Methods for Data Classification."
  • Shannon Miller (Gender & Women's Studies), $4,992 for "'My Family Loves Me Unconditionally?' A Queer Woman's Reflections."
  • Karen Lybeck (English), $4,844 for "International Student Acquisition of Academic English Writing."
  • Kevin Filter (Psychology), $4,607 for "Factors Related to K-12 School Staff Buy-In to PBIS."
  • Justine Martin (Library Services), $3,732 for "Revising Information Literacy Standards: What the British Can Tell Us."
  • Karla Lassonde (Psychology), $3,361 for "Evaluating Student Misconceptions."
  • Dorothy Wrigley (Biological Sciences), $2,939 for "Aging Effects on Chromosomes of Adult Earthworms and Their Offspring."
  • Matthew Willemsen (Art), $2,500 for "Exploring the Use of Stencils to Build Elaborate Visual Narratives."
  • Patricia Young (Nursing), $1,050 for "Communication Practices in Distance Mentoring."
  • Heather Camp (English), $859 for "Goal Setting Theory and College Writing."

December's $479,710 in grants and contracts include:

  • Shannon Fisher (Water Resource Center), $204,455 from Minnesota River Board for "MRB FY2012."
  • Daria Paul Dona (Educational Studies: K-12), $200,000 from Archibald Bush Foundation for "Enhancing Minnesota State Teacher Preparation Research Project."
  • Amy Mukamuri (Institutional Diversity), $34,000 from Minnesota Office of Higher Education for "Enter University."
  • Anthony Filipovich (Urban & Regional Studies), $19,653 from Rural Policy and Development for "Business Impact of State & Local Government Regulations."
  • Andrea Lassiter (Psychology), $11,842 from American Foods Group, LLC for "Examination of Criterion-Related Validity for American Foods Group."
  • Bruce Jones and Gary Mead (Automotive & Manufacturing), $2,970 from Parker Hannifin Corp. for "Parker Hannifin Electromechanical Testing."
  • Richard Robbins and Candace Black (English), $2,500 from Mankato Area Foundation for "2010-2011 Good Thunder Reading Series."
  • Cindra Kamphoff (Human Performance), $1,940 from Association for Applied Sport Psychology for "Development and Maintenance of Mental Toughness in Elite Marathoners"; and $550 from Association for Applied Sport Psychology for "Implementing Brief Interventions with Runners: The Mankato Marathon Sport Psych Team."
  • Ann Goebel (Small Business Development Center), $1,500 from Viracon Inc. for "Viracon IGU Packaging Student Project."

Marketing Club wins contest, $5,000

The Marketing Club recently received $5,000 from AgStar Home Mortgage Services after winning the company's “You Make the Difference” contest.

Volunteers submitted a video or essay with a photo explaining how they’ve made a difference in their local communities, and why they deserved to win the $5,000 grand prize.

The submission with the most Facebook “likes” won. The Marketing Club tallied 359 “likes,” and second-place Rice Lake (Wis.) Youth Baseball had 298 “likes,” winning $2,000.

The contest ran from Sept. 1 to Nov. 30, 2011. There were 43 entries from non-profit organization volunteers throughout AgStar’s 69-county service area in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The Marketing Club will use the funds to send members on an educational trip to St. Louis in spring; to fund club events; and promote fundraisers for other organizations such as the Mankato Marathon and the Humane Society.

Contest winners can be seen at

Walter Roberts honored

Walter B. Roberts, Jr. (Counseling & Student Personnel) will be recognized as a Twin Cities' nonprofit's outstanding educator during a first-of-its-kind forum Friday, Jan. 20, at Hamline University.

The forum, "Cultivating Respect: Safe Schools for All Students,” is hosted by PFLAG Twin Cities, is intended to help teachers, social workers, administrators and parents create a safe school environment for GLBT students. Walter will be recognized for making schools safer for GLBT students.

He currently is enlisting the support of Gov. Mark Dayton and Attorney General Lori Swanson to provide leadership and create a task force to reduce bullying in Minnesota schools.

He has more than 30 years of experience as a public school teacher, school counselor, licensed professional counselor in private practice and higher education faculty member. His primary research has been in school violence reduction, and he has consulted across the United States with teachers, administrators, mental health professionals, parents and community leaders on strategies for dealing with bullying.

Mindy Meyer: Meredith Scholar

Mindy Meyer (Nursing) has been awarded a $9,000 Donald and Marjorie Meredith Nursing Scholarship for 2012-2013.

Mindy, a junior from Fenton, Iowa, will receive $3,000 each semester for the last three semesters of her nursing program, allowing her to pursue her studies full-time, participate in the School of Nursing and Student Nurses Association, and serve on the College of Allied Health & Nursing Advisory Board.

Meredith Scholarships are intended to let recipients focus on their studies without having to work at part- or full-time jobs. Recipients must have a minimum of a 3.5 grade-point average and demonstrate a well-balanced lifestyle, leadership abilities and commitment to the nursing profession.

Meredith Scholarship recipients have opportunities to participate in undergraduate research and peer mentoring, and to assist in the university’s high-tech nursing simulation learning lab.

Dr. Donald Meredith co-founded Mankato’s Orthopedic & Fracture Clinic, PA with Dr. Paul Gislason in 1957. They served as Minnesota State Mankato’s first athletic team physicians and helped create what is now the nation’s oldest continually accredited athletic training education program.

TODAY magazine is online

Alumni, friends and others are receiving the university’s alumni magazine electronically after an online version was launched earlier this month. The winter issue of TODAY will be online-only. Print issues will be mailed to university alumni and friends in fall and spring.

The online edition -- with timely, interesting online-only articles about big ideas and fascinating people -- can be read at, as can stories from the latest print magazine and an archive of past editions.

Readers may post news about careers, families and life -- and read what other alumni are up to -- in the online "Class Notes."

TODAY editors welcome comments and suggestions sent to

More MavDISK space

Information Technology Services has upgraded MavDISK hardware, increasing storage quotas for faculty, staff and students.

Faculty and staff quotas on the MavDISK are now 16 gigabytes, and student quotas are 2 gigabytes.

Those who have questions may contact the ITS Help Desk at (507) 389-6654 or

Avoid the tow truck

Students, faculty and staff who park their cars on city streets can avoid snow emergency towing fees and tickets by signing up for emailed City of Mankato news and then heeding the snow emergency advice.

Students, faculty and staff may sign up for Mankato news at

Integrated Business Experience

The College of Business and United Prairie Bank of Mankato are working together on a new Integrated Business Experience program this semester that gives students real-world experiences in running a business.

The experience includes developing an organization, securing financing and delivering a product or service. All profits, combined with volunteer work, will be donated to a local charity.

The student-run company will include managerial, operational and financial roles, among others. Students will present a business plan to obtain a loan from United Prairie Bank in Mankato and then will manage the business and pay back the loan.

If the business is a success, net profits will be donated to a local charity

The Integrated Business Experience program is available to students enrolled in the College of Business. Students must meet certain criteria to be in the program. Those who want more information may visit

Cross-institution learning teams

The College of Education, along with teacher preparation content faculty and the college's eight public partner districts, has created learning teams across institutions and content to improve student learning.

Learning teams design their own paths and experiences to gain knowledge about a topic, then use the information to inform their teaching.

Spring learning teams were launched Jan. 11, exploring co-teaching, differentiation, mental health, classroom technology and Teacher Performance Assessment. On April 26, the teams will celebrate their learning with poster presentations.

Everyone is welcome to join a team, and information will be available soon about fall 2012 teams. .

Jan. 19: Charlie Parr

Minnesota-based folk and blues artist Charlie Parr will perform Thursday, Jan. 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

Parr, a critically acclaimed songwriter and guitarist from Duluth, has toured throughout the United States, Ireland, Scotland and Australia. He has released 12 albums of folk, blues and Americana music influenced by traditional American folk music and country blues.

Concert admission is $12, and $11 for students with a valid MavCard. Discount tickets are available online for university students. Those who wish to purchase tickets online may go to Those who want more information may call the Performance Series office, (507) 389-5549.

Jan. 25: Service-learning fair

The annual Service-Learning and Registered Student Organization Resource Fair, designed to introduce university students to Mankato-area community service opportunities, will be Wednesday, Jan. 25.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Centennial Student Union. Local service organizations are invited to participate, and organization representatives may register online until Friday, Jan. 20, at

Those who want more information may call Denise Billington-Just of the Office of Community Engagement at (507) 389-5783.

Jan. 24: Scottie Miller Band

Blues piano player and songwriter Scottie Miller will perform Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 7:30 p.m. at the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

Miller has been playing piano since age 6, and took an interest in jazz music in high school. He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, studying jazz.

The Scottie Miller Band has been playing together and touring the Midwest for about 10 years. The group came together initially when Miller asked the musicians to record an album with him, and they started touring together.

Concert admission is $12 and $11 for students with a valid MavCard. Discount tickets are available online for university students. Those who wish to purchase tickets online may go to Those who want more information may call the Performance Series office at (507) 389-5549.

Jan. 25: Nontraditional students

A panel of nontraditional students will share their educational challenges and experiences in a public event Wednesday, Jan. 25.

The discussion, from 4-6 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium of the Centennial Student Union, is intended to enlighten students, employees and the public about the challenges and joys of "nontrad" life. Sponsored by the Nontraditional Students Office, it is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

Nontraditional student panel members will explain what makes them nontraditional students and will answer questions. A short presentation about nontraditional students will follow.

Jan. 26-Feb. 5: ‘I Hate Hamlet’

The Department of Theatre & Dance will begin the second half of its 2011-'12 Mainstage Season with Paul Rudnick's comedy "I Hate Hamlet," opening Jan. 26 in Andreas Theatre. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Jan. 26-28 and Feb. 1-4, with 2 p.m. matinees Jan. 29, Feb. 4 and 5.

Andrew Rally seems to have it all: celebrity and acclaim from his starring role in a hit television series; a rich, beautiful girlfriend; a glamorous, devoted agent; the perfect New York apartment; and the chance to play "Hamlet" in Central Park. But Andrew's series has been canceled; his girlfriend is clinging to her virginity with unyielding conviction; and he has no desire to play Hamlet.

“I Hate Hamlet” is directed by Paul Finocchiaro (Theatre & Dance), who also directed and choreographed “Rent.” Scenic and costume design is by David McCarl (Theatre & Dance). The role of Andrew Rally is being played by John Jacobs (Theatre Arts), and John Barrymore is played by Robb Krueger (Theatre Arts).

Minnesota State Mankato presented “I Hate Hamlet” in summer 1995.

Individual tickets are on sale online at Tickets also are available from the Theatre & Dance Box office from 4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and one hour before performances. Those interested also may also call (507) 389-6661. Some performances are sold out.

Jan. 27: Dance Zorongo

The Department of Theatre and Dance will host a special performance by Andreas Guest Artists Dance Zorongo at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, in Ostrander Auditorium. The performance will be free of charge, and no advance tickets are required.

Zorongo Flamenco's work combines the passionate soul of Spain with the innovative spirit of America, showing the essence of Spain.

Susana di Palma founded Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre in Minneapolis in 1982. One of the few American Spanish dance companies that presents both traditional flamenco programs and original theater flamenco works, Zorongo works with renowned international artists, dancers and musicians.

Andreas Guest Artists appear through the generous donation from the late Lowell and Nadine B. Andreas and their family to the College of Arts and Humanities.

Jan. 30: Employee recognition day

Faculty and staff are invited to Employee Recognition Day Monday, Jan. 30, to recognize significant years of service from faculty and staff at Minnesota State Mankato. The event is from 9-10:30 a.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

President Richard Davenport will present awards at 9:45 a.m., and refreshments will be served. The event is presented by the Employee Recognition Committee.

Feb. 2-3: Give Kids a Smile

The Dental Education Department and area dental professionals will join a statewide effort to provide free dental care to area children who otherwise can't get needed dental careThursday and Friday, Feb. 2 and 3.

The free dental care on Feb. 2 will be from 2-9 p.m., and on Feb. 3 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the dental clinic in the lower level of Morris Hall. Those interested in scheduling an appointment may call the clinic at (507) 389-2147.

Patients seeking appointments for cleanings, x-rays, exams, and sealants should be under the age of 18 and accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Minnesota State Mankato also will offer free dental exams and x-rays for adults on Friday, Feb. 3 from 8 a.m. to noon. Those interested may call (507) 389-2147 to schedule an appointment.

Feb. 11: Alumni night with the Wild

A Minnesota State Mankato-Minnesota State alumni night with the Minnesota Wild is scheduled for faculty and staff on Saturday, Feb. 11.

Participants may meet other Minnesota State Mankato and Minnesota State alumni at Patrick McGovern's Pub in St. Paul for an informal pre-game gathering starting at 5 p.m. McGovern's is at 225 Seventh St. W. Food and drink will be available for purchase, and no registration is necessary for the pre-game gathering.

The Wild game begins at 7 p.m., and discounted tickets are available through the Minnesota Wild. Lower Level Corners are $45 (normally $90) and Club Level Ends are $60 (normally $100). Tickets are available online at with the special offer code: Wild.

Feb. 17: Night at Mount Kato

Staff, faculty, students, alumni, family members and friends are invited to a night of skiing, snowboarding and tubing at Mount Kato Friday, Feb. 17. The event is co-sponsored by the Wellness Committee and the Alumni Association.

Skiing and Snowboarding will be from 4-10 p.m., and tubing from 5-9 p.m. Registrants should check in at the Minnesota State Mankato table between 4 and 6 p.m.

Lift tickets are $17; ski/snowboard rentals are $16; helmet rentals are $4; and tubing is $14 for two hours or $16 for three hours. Ski/snowboard lessons are also available at 4:30 and 6 p.m. for $3.

Participants may register online at or call (507) 389-3235.

Patricia Hoffman: Faculty development

Patricia Hoffman (Educational Studies: K-12 & Secondary Programs) has been named director of the Center for Faculty Development.

She has extensive experience in professional development and adult learning, having served as a faculty liaison to several area school districts, as well as developing and providing numerous professional development programs. Her research interests include work with professional learning communities, helping faculty develop differentiated instruction for diverse learners and culturally responsive teaching.

The center will move to the new Center for Faculty Development in the lower level of Memorial Library in fall 2012. The location of the new Center will allow for increased opportunities in instructional technology, adaptive technology, assessment and evaluation, and advising, and will expand to provide additional learning and professional growth opportunities.

Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Scott Olson acknowledged the outstanding work of Stewart Ross, the long-time center director who is stepping down.

Ronald Fields: Facilities AVP

Ronald J. Fields has been named assistant vice president for facilities management effective Monday, Feb. 6.

Ronald has served as superintendent of facilities services at Century College since 2006. His previous experience includes construction and project management services, director of construction and business support services at Minnesota State, interim assistant executive director for financial affairs and capital development at the Arizona Board of Regents, and associate director for planning and construction of facilities services at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff.

Condolences: James Slack

James Slack (Computer Information Science) passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, Dec. 14.

Services were Sunday, Dec. 18, in Mankato. Arrangements were by Woodland Hills Funeral Home.

James began his employment with Minnesota State Mankato in September 1992. An obituary is at

Condolences: DeAnna Hoechst

DeAnna M. Hoechst (Postal Services) died Jan. 1, at Mayo Clinic Health System-Mankato following a battle with lung cancer. Funeral services were Jan. 6, at Hosanna Lutheran Church, Mankato. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery.

DeAnna was married to Duane Hoechst (Delivery Services).

DeAnna headed the Postal Service Department at Minnesota State Mankato from 1980 until her death. An online obituary is at

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Rachael Ball (History) presented “Courtly Costume: Sumptuary Laws and Public Performance in Golden Age Madrid” at the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, in October.

President Richard Davenport recently was elected chair of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association president’s group.

Jesse Hicks has been named the new director of development for the College of Arts & Humanities. A Mankato native, Jesse is the former development director at Loyola Catholic School. He will begin Tuesday, Jan. 31.

Clark Johnson (Social Studies) presented "Building Student Capacity to Reason Historically" to participants in Minnesota River Valley: Rich in American History, a teaching American history program funded by the U.S. Department of Education in October.

Joseph Kunkel (Government) was one of seven recipients of the annual Elizabeth and Wynn Kearney International Center Global Citizen Awards in November. He was recognized for his Fulbright Senior Lectureship in Nuremberg, Germany, for leading many study tours in Italy and Germany, and for bringing international perspectives into his classes.

Sun Kyeong Yu (Philosophy) published the paper "Major Issues in the Philosophy of Biology" in the 2011 Winter Issue of Philosophy and Reality.

Matt Loayza (History) published a review of Susan Brewer's "Why America Fights: Patriotism and War Propaganda from the Philippines to Iraq" for H-Net Book Reviews.

Julie Nelson (Small Business Development Center) presented “Woman as Entrepreneurs” for the YWCA Elizabeth Kearney Women’s Leadership Program in December.

Maria Baxter-Nuamah (University Advancement) was named director of advancement relations beginning this month.

Ronald Schirmer (Anthropology) helped launch “The Minnesota Collections Inventory Project,” a statewide effort which he is co-directing with the Office of the State Archaeologist, to document the archeological holding that all repositories have from Minnesota sites. He also presented “Precontact History of Prairie Island” at the Minnesota Department of Transportation Tribes and Transportation conference in Welch, Minn., in October.

Watch for ice!

To reduce potential slip and fall losses this winter. Minnesota State Mankato and the Minnesota Risk Management Division is working to create a campus-wide “Fall Free Zone.”

Students, employees and visitors are urged to wear slip-resistant footwear, adjust their walking pace to surface conditions and watch where they step.

Faculty, staff and students also are asked to contact the Physical Plant Office at (507) 389-2071 to report potentially bad slip and fall spots.

Student Energy Star training

Two American Recovery & Reinvestment Act grants given to Minnesota State Mankato by the State of Minnesota have allowed students to receive Energy Star training for buildings and during the last few months.

Patrick Tebbe and Sungwon Kim (Mechanical Engineering) headed the training program.

The students toured the Butler Square building in Minneapolis, the first building in the nation to receive LEED EB O&M certification. They also met with the director of sustainability for the firm that manages the building, and with a representative of the engineering firm that handled the LEED documentation. Students toured the heating and cooling facilities, learned about energy management in the building and had a long question-and-answer session about the industry and energy use.

Forensics competition

The Minnesota State Mankato Forensics team took part in the Michael Nicolai Invitational Tournament hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Stout last month, placing fourth in overall Team Sweepstakes.

12 other schools. Results from the tournament include:

  • Jordan Christiansen: 6th place in Prose Interpretation, 3rd place in Informative Speaking, and 1st place in Duo Interpretation.
  • Ryan Zahn: 5th place in Communication Analysis, and 1st place in Duo Interpretation.
  • Zach Aufenthie: 5th place in Program of Oral Interpretation
  • Caitlin Frymet: 6th place in Poetry Interpretation
  • Megan Nutting: 6th place in Dramatic Interpretation
  • Nathan Pasmore: 6th place in Informative Speaking
  • Cade Shelton: 4th place in Dramatic Interpretation

Kangwon joint workshop

In November, faculty and graduate students from Kangwon National University in Korea visited campus to discuss possible future collaborations and to hold a joint research workshop.

The event was organized by Jin Park (Mechanical Engineering) and Yoonsu Nam of Kangwon National University.

Students prevent child hunger

Five Sport Management graduate students in Jon Lim’s (Sport Management) Sport Ethics and Professional Development class organized the “Mavs Against Hunger” event in November.

Bryan Schmid, Jeremy Clark, Chad Johnson, David Hedges and Dale Martin led a student organized packing event where enough food was packed to feed 12,744 children around the world. The “pack-a-thon” took place at the Mankato location of Kids Against Hunger. The students raised over $3,250.

Volunteers included athletes from four sports teams (golf, football, track and swimming) and one student organization (the Black Student Union).

Student Achievements

Samuel Turner (International Relations & Political Science) was granted a special internship with the U.S. State Department. He will work as an intern at the U.S. Consulate in Leipzig Germany during the 2012 spring semester.


Do you have faculty, staff, student or departmental news for the campus newsletter? Send news items to the Media Relations Office. The newsletter usually is published every other Wednesday during the academic year and monthly during the summer. The next newsletter will be published Feb. 1, 2012; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Jan. 27, 2012).

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.