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 29, 2012 Campus Newsletter

Page address:

Benson to head Media Relations

Dan Benson has been named Media Relations Director in the Office of Integrated Marketing at Minnesota State University, Mankato, beginning his duties on Feb. 28.

Benson, who has served in a variety of college, university and military media relations and public affairs positions for the past 22 years, was chosen from a large field of candidates after the University conducted a national search for the position, according to Douglas Mayo, Vice President for University Advancement, who announced the hiring. Benson comes from Grand Forks, N.D., and replaces Michael Cooper, who retired at the beginning of February.

A 1990 graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Journalism School, Benson has most recently served as Executive Officer for the 364th Public Affairs Operations Center at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, following a year’s deployment to Iraq, where he also worked in public affairs for the U.S. Division-Center in Baghdad.

A 26-year member of the U.S. Army Reserve, he has worked extensively in public affairs and also is a graduate of three separate programs from the U.S. Department of Defense Information School, a comprehensive media, public affairs and public relations training program.

Prior to being deployed to Iraq, he served as Athletic Media Relations Director at the University of North Dakota from 2000-2008; in Sports Information and News Service positions and as Media Relations Director at Augsburg College in Minneapolis from 1994-2000; and as Assistant Sports Information Director at the University of Minnesota from 1990-1994.

Among his many awards and honors are the Meritorious Service Medal and three Army Commendation Medals, the North Central Athletic Conference Legacy Award, and 36 media relations awards, including eight “Best in the Nation” publications and two “Best in the District” writing awards for his work at the University of North Dakota.

Polar Plunge participants raise $1,770

Polar Plunge for Special Olympics, Athletic training students

Athletic training students from MSU, Mankato and Gustavus Adolphus College, along with Clinical Education Coordinator Mary Joos from Gustavus participated in the "Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Minnesota," Saturday, Feb.11, raising $1,770.

The participants were: Mary Joos, Matt Salmen, Betty Roche, Alexa Foster, Christine Roering, Megan Hoeft, Sara Cammack, Kelsey Picha, Danielle Zwieg, Keith Diers, Kelli Buerman, Ashley Krug and Nick Bertness.

Diabetic Workshop to be held at MSU

Minnesota State University, Mankato and South Central College will join forces with the International Diabetes Center (IDC) in Minneapolis to provide a special workshop Friday, March 9, to teach the basics of diabetes care for adults.

The 9 a.m.-4 p.m. workshop, set for the South Central College campus in North Mankato, will combine lectures, hands-on learning activities, and practical tips for attendees. It is geared toward registered and licensed practical nurses, certified medical assistants, nursing assistants, public health nurses, dietitians and medical interpreters from all practice settings, including hospitals, clinics, group homes, offices and long-term care facilities or other interested health care professionals.

Cost of the workshop, which includes morning beverages, lunch and all materials, is $99. Continuing Education credits are 6 contact hours for RNs and LPNs; 5.5 clock hours for nursing home administration; and certificates of attendance for all other professionals.

For information or to register for the workshop contact University Extended Education at 507-389-2572 or 800-311-3142, or go to the website at

"Homeless in Minnesota" to be discussed at MSU Panel

The plight of Minnesota’s homeless population will be the focal point for a noted group of panelists Thursday, March 1, at the Truman Wood Memorial Alumni Lecture at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

The 11 a.m. panel discussion, “Homeless in Minnesota,” will be held in the Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium and is open to students, faculty, staff and general public at no charge. The presentation is being sponsored by The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Advisory Board.

For more information about the event, please contact Denise Thompson at 1-507-389-5679 or email

Two Continuing Education programs offered

Faculty and staff are invited to register for two continuing education programs which will be held at MSU, Mankato and Edina campuses. Both will focus on dispute resolution and mediation.

  • Dispute Resolution/Civil Mediation

(March 22, 23, 29 and 30 in Edina)

  • Family Mediation

(April 26, 27; May 3, 4 and 5 in Edina)

(June 13, 14 15, 18 and 19 in Mankato)

Anyone interested in more information can contact the continuing education website at

Campus Kitchen seeks volunteers

Volunteers are still needed to help fill the needs of Campus Kitchen during Spring Break week, March 5-9. Two or three cars and drivers are needed for delivery purposes, and packaging shifts are in need of help from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday and 1-2 p.m. on the other days.

Those interested in volunteering should contact Denise at or call 507-389-5783.

History Lecture Series Underway

The MSU Mankato History Spring Lecture Series, which had a presentation by Erick Hughes on Feb. 23, has announced upcoming Series' talks by Marshall Eakin and Melodie Andrews. The departmental series provides the opportunity for faculty and graduate students to present about their areas of research and expertise in a public forum. The talks are open to all at no charge.

Eakin's talk "Independence, Mythmaking and National Identity in Brazil" will be at 2 p.m., March 15, in MH 103. Andrews will speak on "'The Derogatory Rock': The Mankato Hanging Monument and Contested History and Memory of the US.-Dakota War" at 3 p.m. April 4, in the Heritage Room, CSU.

Advice on "staying healthy" from a MSU nurse practitioner

Even though the temperatures have not felt like a typical winter in Minnesota, influenza, colds, upper respiratory viruses and strep infections are going strong. And that’s why it’s more important than ever to work at staying healthy says Nurse Practitioner Jodi Egeland in the Student Health Services at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Hand Washing Tips

Tips for staying healthy:

  • Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer.
  • Get plenty of sleep (young adults should aim for 8 hours).
  • Participate in healthy stress management techniques such as exercise, relaxation breathing, yoga, listening to music, or spending time with friends.
  • If you get sick, get extra rest, fluids and participate in activities as tolerated.
  • Have a basic self-care kit on hand to manage your illness. This kit should include a thermometer, ibuprofen or acetaminophen for fever-reducing, tissues, cough drops, and a non-caffeinated beverage to help stay hydrated.

Do not hesitate to schedule an appointment at Student Health Services or your family clinic if you run a fever for more than a few days, have a severe headache or throat pain, or become extremely fatigued.

The University's "nurse-line" is 507-389-6710. The student health services website is

Spring Undergraduate Research Center Seeks Grant Applications

Applications are now being accepted for undergraduate creative and research grants, with a deadline of noon on Monday, March 19, 2012.

Information about the grant guidelines, application, and the evaluation rubric is available at: Grant Applications – Research and Creative Project Grants. The awards provide funding to promote undergraduate scholarly activity during late spring/summer 2012.

There are three types of grants available:

  1. MSU Foundation Student Research Award ($1000 student stipend, up to $1000 supplies)
  2. URC Large Grant ($500 student stipend, up to $500 supplies)
  3. URC Small Grant (up to $500 supplies)

For more information, please contact the URC Graduate Assistant at

ROWE founder to lead workshop at MSU study center in Edina

Jody Thompson, co-author of the book “Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It” and co-founder of the Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) program, will lead a special one-day workshop on the award-winning program at the Minnesota State University, Mankato’s College of University Extended Education’s site at 7700 France in Edina.

The workshop will take place Wednesday, March 28, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will be worth 5.25 continuing education (CEU) credits. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and will be limited to 30 people. The on-line registration site is:

Cost for the workshop is $459, which includes all course material and a copy of Thompson’s best-selling book, named by Business Week magazine as “The Year’s Best Book on Work-Life Balance.” Parking, available at the location, is free.

For more information, contact the College of University Extended Education at 507-389-2572 or 800-311-3142. You can also go to for more information.

APAC 2012 seeks proposals/registrations

Conference presentation proposals are being sought and will be accepted through March 9 for MSU, Mankato's 7th annual Asian Pacific American Conference (APAC12), set for April 5-6. The event will be open free to the public, but registration is required.

This year’s APAC12 conference is entitled “Open Gateways. Discover Your Voice. Become a Leader.” The APAC12 promotes culture and issues pertaining to the country and the community. It seeks to reach out and create a forum for professionals and practitioners to discuss various ideas to serve students. It also gives students the opportunity to lead, create a network, and express ideas.

For registration and proposal topic information go to the APAC12 website at

MSU Athletic Training Program hosts MATA Event

The MSU Athletic Training Program hosted the Minnesota Athletic Trainers’ Association (MATA) Athletic Training Student Symposium -- the largest in MATA history. Around 150 athletic training students from seven Minnesota universities attended the event.

MATA contained presentations by Denise Fandel, executive director of the National Board of Certification, Brent Milikin, director of sports medicine at Sport and Orthopaedics and President of the MATA, Troy Banse, Gustavus Adolphus, and three alumni: Lori Glover from The Institute for Athletic Medicine; Mariell Gatenby from Ridgeview Clinics Sports Medicine; and Paul Bruning from Summit Orthopaedics. Students also competed in a college quiz bowl type competition. Information and photos may be found at

Women of Courage and Vision Recognition Reception

Each year the MSU Women's Center and the Commission on the Status of Women celebrate women of courage and vision with a reception in their honor. The reception recognizes hundreds of women who make a difference on our campus.

This year's reception will be held on March 27 from 3-4:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

Anyone can nominate any woman at MSU for this recognition, including students, faculty and staff, and all MSU, Mankato women are eligible for the award.

Please submit your nomination online by March 9 at:

Listening Panel - Let Your Voice be Heard!

Join the President’s Commission on the Status of Women for a discussion on the campus climate for women, Thursday, March 22, 2012 between 11 a.m. and noon in CSU 201. Students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be served.

You can also submit anonymous feedback to the Commission at

Find out more about the President’s Commission on the Status of Women Listening Panels at

'Beauty of Cultures' to be celebrated March 14

“The Beauty of Cultures” will be celebrated at a special event Wednesday, March 14, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union’s Hearth Lounge.

The event will cover cultures through ethnic performances by a variety of MSU, Mankato student organizations. It is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the general public.

Nine different groups are involved in presenting at the event:

  1. Ethnic Studies Student Organization
  2. Elizabeth & Wynn Kearney International Center
  3. Chicano Latin-American Student Association
  4. Vietnamese American Student Association
  5. International Student association
  6. Sudanese Student Association
  7. Somali Student Association
  8. Mulan Dance Group
  9. BioFreaks Dance Group

For more information about the event, please contact Vang Xiong at 507-389-5874 or email

Career Development Center Announces Events

The Career Development Center has announced a series of events for March and April in the Centennial Student Union. First in the series is an Information Session from Ameriprise from 5-6 p.m. On March 22 titled "Discover the Answers: Ask an Employer Anything,"  is from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

On March 27 and 29 an "Etiquette Dinner" training will be held from 4-5:30 p.m., and on April 5th is the event "Navigating the Job Search" from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

  • Information Session: Ameriprise - March 15, 5-6 p.m. (CSU 202)

Join Ameriprise for pizza and learn more about their company as well as current opportunities.
For more information visit the Career Development Center’s website at

  • Discover the Answers: Ask an Employer Anything - March 22, 11:30 a.m.-1:30pm (CSU 284 A, B, C)

Job Search Prep Series Part 1 - Discover the Answers: Ask an Employer Anything.
The deadline to register for this event is March 16.

  • Etiquette Dinner - March 27 and 29, 4-5:50 p.m. (CSU 253, 254, and 255)

Registration is in the College of Business Dean’s Office – MH120.Cost is $10 per student.
There will be a choice of three meals, including a vegetarian option.

  • Navigating the Job Search - April 5, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (CSU 284, A, B, C)

Job Search Prep Series Part 2 - Navigating the Job Search
This event is open to all students who want to learn from local employers about the job and internship process.
Registration deadline for the event is March 30.

More information about all the events is available on the Career Development Center’s website at

Seeking Alumni Board Members

The MSU, Mankato Alumni Association Board of Directors is looking for new members for the 2012-2013 year. Board members attend three meetings per year and are involved in other Alumni Association activities and events.

The Alumni Association is particularly looking for members who graduated in 1989 or earlier and those who have degrees in the College of Allied Health and Nursing, the College of Business, and the College of Science Engineering and Technology.

Nominations can be submitted to

Maverick Pride Event

Maverick Pride Event

Alumni and friends are invited to connect with fellow Mavericks and show their purple and gold spirit at a Social at Maverick's Wood Grill, 11328 West River Road, Champlin, Friday, March 16, between 5 and 7 p.m.

Cost is $5 per person and includes light appetizers with a cash bar. All interested are encouraged to register online at or by calling 507-389-3235. Space is limited.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

S.E. Bell (Nursing) was a panelist for the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Doctoral Conference in Naples, Florida, in January, and also will serve on a panel at the AACN Master’s Conference in San Antonio, Texas, in March.

Joe Kunkel was interviewed by Jack Kolars, KOTE Radio Mankato on his show Kolars' Conversation, about Kunkel's experience teaching in Germany last summer under a Fulbright grant. Kunkel also was interviewed by the Rochester Post-Bulletin's Heather Carlson about the significance of the new legislative redistricting in Minnesota.

David Viscoli (Music) and the Chiarina Piano Quartet performed concerts at the Owatonna Arts Center (February 8), Carleton College (February 10), and Augsburg College (February 11).

Jill Conlon (Family Consumer Science) was awarded the Outstanding Service Award at the Minnesota Association of Family and Consumer Science State Conference held in St. Cloud.

Student Achievements

Liz Schieler (President of National Residence Hall Honorary Maverick Chapter) won a Regional Board of Directors Choice Award for the MACURH Region.

MSU, Mankato's Interfraternity Council was recognized for excellence in the area of Risk Reduction and Management, and its Panhellenic Council was recognized for excellence in the area of Public Relations at the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values Conference held in mid-February at St. Louis, Missouri. David Schieler (Vice President of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity) and John Bulcock (Assistant Director of Student Activities) also were selected to participate in the Order of Omega Case Study Competition at the national event, where they placed third in the competition.

The MSU, Mankato Mavericks Speech and Debate Team finished third overall in team competition at the Minnesota Collegiate Forensics Association State Tournament on Feb. 18-19 in St. Paul.

Jordan Christiansen and Ryan Zahn were the top individual performers with Christiansen earning state titles in both Informative and After Dinner Speaking categories and teaming with Zahn for second place in Duo Interpretation. Zahn also took second in Communication Analysis, third in After Dinner, fourth in Impromptu, and sixth in Prose Interpretation.

In the Sweepstakes Division, Zahn was second in Individual Speaking and Christiansen fifth.
Other top place finishers for the Mavs were Nathan Pasmore, third in Prose Interpretation; Brad Wakefield, fifth in Informative and sixth in After Dinner; Lillian Lamoreaux, sixth in Program Oral Interpretation; and Caitlin Frymet and Nathan Pasmore, seventh in Duo Interpretation.

Shelby Sackett and Holly Sandhurst (Dietetic majors) received Minnesota Association of Family and Consumer Science (MAFCS) scholarships. Jonathon Heischberg (FCS Education major) was awarded the MAFCS Education Community Scholarship.


Do you have faculty, staff, student or departmental news for the campus newsletter? Send news items to the Media Relations Office at The newsletter is published every other Wednesday during the academic year (except during scheduled break weeks) and monthly during the summer. The next newsletter will be published March 21; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (March 16).

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.