shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Campus Community: click here for COVID-19 news and updates.


February 1, 2012 Campus Newsletter

Page address:


A group of Minnesota State Mankato engineering students are getting Energy Star training through American Recovery & Reinvestment Act grant scholarships. Group members recently toured the Butler Square building in Minneapolis -- first building in the nation to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The unique program allowed students to meet with the building's Director of Sustainability Ken Potts and Michael Temme of the engineering firm in charge of LEED documentation. Students also toured building facilities (heating and cooling), learned about energy management, and took part in a lengthy question-and-answer session.

Cooperative experience courses

This semester Minnesota State Mankato will pilot a new "cooperative experience" category of courses that will let students work in a field related to their university education for up to two semesters.

"Curricular Practical Training: Cooperative Experience" was approved by the Undergraduate Curriculum and Policy committee last year. The courses will let students retain full-time status and register for zero credits while working in a field related to their university education (one summer and one contiguous spring or fall semester).

Students will maintain their health-insurance eligibility, but will not be eligible for financial aid or other funds.

Faculty members who want more information about cooperative experience courses should contact Claudia Tomany (Undergraduate Studies & International Education).

The committee has given blanket approval for this course type, so those who want to book such a course for next semester should email to Claudia at by Friday, Feb. 10.

Ballroom kudos

Last year's renovation of the Centennial Student Union Ballroom was among nine national projects recognized by the Association of College Unions International.

A two-page photo feature on the Ballroom project was included in the special edition, "2012 Renovation & Construction Showcase," of the association's bimonthly magazine, The Bulletin. The article highlighted the technological and sustainable features of the new ballroom space.




Media blitz

The Minnesota State Mankato brand will pop up in many places in the Twin Cities in February and early March.

Purple-and-gold messages will be seen on 12 billboards across the Cities, as well as in TV spots on all four major stations and a Facebook ad on pages owned by 16-18-year-olds within a 50-mile radius of the Cities.

Minnesota Public Radio listeners also will hear the Minnesota State Mankato name during weekday drivetime programming.

Concert Choir invitation

The Concert Choir, directed by David Dickau (Music), will join the Wartburg College Choir and the Nebraska Weslyan College Choir in a performance of Stephen Paulus' oratorio "To Be Certain of the Dawn" in Madison, Wis., Friday, Feb. 10.

The performance will be part of the American Choral Director's Association's North Central Division conference.

The powerful oratorio recounts the holocaust and was premiered by the Minnesota Orchestra in 2006.

The choirs rehearsed for the performance at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, Jan 28 and 29, during a retreat featuring holocaust scholars.

Theatre students place high

A number of students placed high when the Department of Theatre & Dance participated with nearly 1,400 other registrants in the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival at Iowa State University in January.

Eighty colleges and universities took part in the festival competition.

Anthony DePoto, partnered by Larissa Schmitz, advanced to the final round of the festival’s Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship competition. Minnesota State Mankato has placed at least one student in the finals since the competition started. Anthony also was named Best Classical Actor.

Four other students advanced to the semifinal round: Ceara Dowell, partnered by Amanda Forman; Morgan Mallory, partnered by Carter Allen; Lindsay Overgaard, partnered by Emily Jansen; and Laura Otremba, partnered by Tim Gagne.

Thomas Fagerholm won the regional technical project award for technical direction of “Rent.” Sam Juhnke won second in regional lighting design for “The Shape of Things.”

Costumes from “The Producers,” designed by David McCarl (Theatre & Dance), were invited to the juried costume parade. “Altar Boyz,” directed by Paul J. Hustoles (Theatre & Dance), performed in the invited scene showcase. Paul and faculty members Paul Finocchiaro and Heather Hamilton served as Region V respondents, and John Paul served on the selection committee and completed his three-year term as Region V chair of design, technologies and management.

Paul Finocchiaro was an Irene Ryan preliminary round judge and presented workshops with George Grubb. Paul Hustoles served on the regional advisory board and was festival registrar for the 13th time. He will serve as a national Irene Ryan judge at the Kennedy Center in April.

Hall of Champions

Changes are coming inside and around the Hall of Champions display cases in Taylor Center.

The Taylor Center atrium and nearby Bresnan Arena is an important destination for thousands of visitors and prospective students. The new Hall of Champions displays are intended to define Minnesota State Mankato's journey, break down the barriers, create solutions and achieve new levels of greatness.

Representatives of departments with items or artifacts to donate to the Hall of Champions display should contact Archives at (507) 389-1029 or

Vet Center grant

The Veterans Resource Center has received a $3,000 grant to improve the center and increase its outreach efforts.

The grant is from Tee it up for the Troops, a national grassroots organization that supports all branches of the military and veterans of U.S. conflicts, past and current.

David Schrader (Veterans Resource Center) said the grant will be used to build the center’s resource library, replace worn-out furniture, pay for center marketing materials and food for speakers at special events, and provide gas and food vouchers for struggling veterans.

The center, in Centennial Student Union, serves as a gathering and peer support space for students who are veterans. Since the new space was created a year ago, it has served more than 1,300 veterans, current military members and family members.

Diversity grants

The President’s Commission on the Status of Women and The President’s Commission on Diversity have announced grant opportunities for students, faculty and staff.

President’s Commission on Diversity grants of up to $500 are available for attending professional conferences or educational programs or conducting research related to diversity in higher education. Applicants must articulate how proposals will benefit the Minnesota State Mankato community.

Grant information and the application form are available at Those who want more information may contact Julie Snow (Disability Services) at (507) 389-2825 or

President’s Commission on the Status of Women grants of up to $500 are available for campus community members who plan to conduct research or attend professional conferences concerned with the status of women or gender-related issues.

Grant information and the application form are available at Deadline for spring proposals is Monday, Feb. 27. Those who want more information may contact commission graduate assistant Sophie Slater at 389-2486 or email

Feb. 1-5: 'I Hate Hamlet'

Paul Rudnick's comedy "I Hate Hamlet," presented by the Department of Theatre & Dance, continues Wednesday through Sunday, Feb. 1-5, in Andreas Theatre. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1-4, with 2 p.m. matinees Feb. 4 and 5.

“I Hate Hamlet” is directed by Paul Finocchiaro (Theatre & Dance). 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).

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.

Feb. 2: Linguistics Olympiad

The North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad for high school and middle school students will be Thursday, Feb. 2, in Wissink Hall 218.

The open competition challenges students to solve linguistic puzzles, think logically and decipher texts and rare languages in a three-hour examination. The exam will be from 9 a.m. to noon. No registration or participation fee is required for area students, and no prior computational linguistics knowledge or experience is necessary.

The competition lets students explore puzzles connected to language, logic and computation, according to Rebecca Bates (Computer Science). Two past participants have scored in the top 100 nationwide.

Students may visit to register or learn more. Walk-in registrations are accepted if students arrive by 8:40 a.m., although they are encouraged to register in advance at the website. Those who have questions may contact Rebecca at (507) 389-5587 or

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 care Thursday 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. 6: Minnesota bluegrass

Minnesota-based folk and bluegrass quartet the Barley Jacks will perform Monday, Feb. 6, in Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Barley Jacks include front-man and fiddle player Brian Wicklund; Joe Cruz on guitar; Kevin Rowe, upright bass; and Joel Arpin, percussion.

The group plays original music mostly written by St. Peter native Wicklund and Cruz. The songs reflect group members' musical backgrounds of blues, bluegrass, classical, Celtic, R&B and bebop, and musical influences Stuart Duncan, Natalie MacMaster, Tim O¹Brien and Ben Winship.

Admission is $15; $13 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.

Feb. 6: Empowerment event

The Women’s Center, Health Education and Student Events Team will host a sex education and women's empowerment event Monday, Feb. 6.

The "I Heart Female Orgasm" event, presented by sex educators Marshall Miller and Dorian Solot, will be in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom at 7 p.m. The event combines sex education and women's empowerment with a dose of laughter. Those who want more information may go to

Feb. 7: Student success forum

David Jones (Student Affairs) will continue his monthly informal open forum on student success Tuesday, Feb. 7, at noon in the Centennial Student Union lower level.

Participants may bring their lunches and join a casual conversation about student comments and concerns, and ideas about the student experience. Other "Chatting With David" open forums will be Tuesday, March 13, and Tuesday, April 3.

Feb. 9: Bullpen celebration

The new “industrial chic” look of the Maverick Bullpen game room will be celebrated from noon to midnight Thursday, Feb. 9.

The Feb.9 event will feature day-long activities, with Stomper charging into the Bullpen at 8 p.m. It also will celebrate a “bigger, badder, better basement bash” that includes open houses for Affinity Plus, with a new store front, and for the expanded Computer Store. Both were part of the latest remodeling effort.

The new Bullpen look uses earth tones to create a warmer, more inviting space. Features include a snack bar that will remain open into the late evening, and a new front entrance and a ramp into the space.

Cosmetic improvements include extensive use of repurposed products, including reclaimed corrugated metal and barn wood and recycled steel. Existing furniture was reupholstered by inmates at the Minnesota State Prison in Stillwater. Flat-screen TVs provide new gaming stations for Xbox, Wii and Playstation 3.

Remodeling was done during winter break. The remodel did not involve the Bullpen’s 12-lane bowling alley or its 18-table billiard room.

Feb. 9: Tim Penny

Tim Penny, former congressman who is president and CEO of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, will lead a discussion, “Investing in Early Learning,” sponsored by the College of Education and the Honors Program Thursday, Feb. 9, in Morris Hall 206.

The event, in coordination with Emily Stark's (Psychology) honors seminar, "Research Methods," will be from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Penny will discuss the role that social and emotional abilities play in children’s success in school, and explain how the foundation invests in programs that measure and develop those abilities in pre-kindergarten children.

Penny represented Minnesota’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1982-1994. He was named president/CEO of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation in 2007.

Before serving as a congressman, Penny was a member of the Minnesota State Senate from 1976-'82, and after that served as a senior counselor at Himle Horner, a Twin Cities-based public affairs firm, and as a senior fellow at the Humphrey Institute. He has co-authored three books: "Common Cents," "The 15 Biggest Lies in Politics" and "Payment Due."

Those who want more information may call the Honors Program Office at 389-5191.

Feb. 9: Chiarina Piano Quartet

The Chiarina Piano Quartet will perform Thursday, Feb. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The quartet consists of violinist Mary Budd Horozanieki, violist Nancy Nehring, cellist Mark Rudoff and Minnesota State Mankato piano professor David Viscoli.

The Chiarina Piano Quartet dates back to 2005, when three members began playing together in a piano quintet. The quartet has been playing together since 2010.

The quartet will perform "Dark Rosaleen" by Lee Hoiby, Beethoven's "Piano Quartet in C major," and Brahms' "Piano Quartet in c minor." Viscoli said the group chose the Beethoven piece because its major key balances out the other darker pieces.

The Chiarina Piano Quartet appeared at Minnesota State Mankato in 2011. They have also performed at a number of other colleges in the Midwest, as well as the 2011 Upper Midwest String Conference.

Concert admission is $12; $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.

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. 15-26: 'Imaginary Invalid'

Moliere’s “The Imaginary Invalid” will be presented by the Department of Theatre & Dance Wednesday, Feb. 15, through Sunday, Feb. 26, as the next the Mainstage performance in Ted Paul Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

“The Imaginary Invalid” targets the medical quacks of 17th-century France. The eccentric and wealthy hypochondriac Argan arranges for his strong-willed daughter Angelique to marry a doctor, so that he'll always have a physician around. But Angelique loves another man, and her attempts to persuade her father to let her marry him lead to outrageous tricks and disguises.

This is its Minnesota State Mankato debut of “The Imaginary Invalid.” It is directed by Heather E. Hamilton (Theatre & Dance). Argan is played by first-year MFA Acting candidate Reginald D. Haney. Scene design is by first-year MFA candidate Naoko Ishizuka.

Tickets are $16 regular, $14 discounted (seniors, youth and groups of 15 or more) and $11 for Minnesota State Mankato students with a current ID. Regular tickets may be purchased online at; all others may be purchased at the Theatre & Dance Box Office in the Earley Center lobby from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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.

Feb. 24: Project of the year

Submission deadline for President’s Commission on the Status of Women projects of the year awards is Friday, Feb. 24.

Each year the commission presents three awards: To an undergraduate student, a graduate student and a faculty/staff member. The awards recognize excellence in creative and/or research-based work pertaining to women or gender-related issues.

Award recipients are honored at the Women of Courage and Vision Awards Reception and receive $350.

Those who want more information may go to

Feb. 25: Regional event

The newly remodeled Maverick Bullpen in the lower level of Centennial Student Union will host the Association of College Unions International Region 10 Recreation and Leisure Activities weekend event Saturday, Feb. 25.

The tourney includes men's and women's nine-ball billiards and men's and women's table tennis singles. The region includes schools from Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Western Ontario and Manitoba.

Feb. 29: Faculty workshop

A two-session faculty workshop about learner-centered teaching, led by author Terry Doyle, will be sponsored by the Center of Excellence in Teaching & Learning Wednesday, Feb. 29.

Session one, "Applying Neuroscience to Teaching and Learning," will be from 9 a.m. to noon in CSU 253. Session two, "Becoming a Learner-Centered Teacher," will be from 1-4 p.m. in the same room.

No pre-registration is required, but the first 20 faculty members to register and attend the workshop will receive a free book, Doyle's “Learner-Centered Teaching.” The first 20 faculty to register for a pre-workshop discussion group also will receive the book.

Those who want to register for either event should contact Patricia Hoffman (CETL) at

New in the CSU

Noodles & Greens, a restaurant featuring made-to-order salads, pasta and wraps, debuted recently on the Centennial Student Union.

Noodles & Greens is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.



Faculty/staff achievements

Candace Black's (English) poem, "Mr. D Shops at Fausto's Food Palace," will be reprinted in former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser's column, "American Life in Poetry." The column is carried by newspapers across the country and has a readership of about 4 million people per week. It also is available online at

Amber Power has been named assistant director of annual giving. Amber has been interim assistant director for the last year. She graduated from Minnesota State Mankato in 2003 with a degree in marketing and a minor in business administration.

Seeking mentors

Faculty and staff are urged to consider using the Presidents Commission on the Status of Women Mentor Match as a mentee or as a volunteer mentor.

Mentor Match is a voluntary project intended to help female employees receive guidance and support in their roles from other women colleagues. Those who want more information may go to

Forensic competition

Fourteen members of the Forensic Team took part in the Iowa Swing with 10 other teams in January, competing in the Henderson Invitational hosted by the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, and the Bob Smith Invitational hosted by Wartburg College in Waverly.

At the University of Northern Iowa, where the team was fifth overall: Ryan Zahn was fifth in Communication Analysis and second in poetry; Jordan Christiansen was third in poetry and sixth in DUO with Caitlin Frymet; Cade Shelton was sixth in poetry and fourth in DUO with Megan Nutting; Megan was fifth in poetry and fourth in DUO with Cade Shelton; Maggie Pence was sixth in extemporaneous speaking; Zack Aufenthie was sixth in prose.

At Wartburg Ryan Zahn was fifth in prose; Megan Nutting was fourth in prose; and Cade Shelton was seventh in drama.


Do you have faculty, staff, student or departmental news for the campus newsletter? Send news items to the Media Relations Office in care of The newsletter usually is published every other Wednesday during the academic year and monthly during the summer. The next newsletter will be published Feb. 15; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Feb. 10).

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.