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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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March 21, 2012 Campus Newsletter

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Pictured above are representatives from Minnesota State University, Mankato and partner schools at the national conference where Minnesota State Mankato's College of Education received the 2012 Exemplary Professional Development School Achievement Award on March 9.

College of Education Selected for Major National Award

Minnesota State University, Mankato’s College of Education initiative to improve public school teaching has been selected for one of the nation’s major awards – the 2012 Exemplary Professional Development School Achievement Award.

Sponsored by the National Association of Professional Development Schools (NAPDS), the award was presented March 9 at the NAPDS national conference in Las Vegas, Nev. It is given annually to a select few universities with true partnerships demonstrating excellent achievement for P-12 students, future teachers and practicing teachers and faculty members.

“This is incredible news,” said Ginger Zierdt, director of Minnesota State Mankato’s Center for School-University Partnerships. “It places MSU Mankato on a stage of national prominence.”

The Exemplary Achievement Award recognizes a collaboration between Minnesota State Mankato and eight public school districts – Bloomington, Faribault, LeSueur-Henderson, Mankato Area, Owatonna, St. Peter, Sibley East, and Waseca.

Director of Minnesota Office of Higher Education Visits Minnesota State, Mankato

Larry Pogemiller, appointed in October 2011 by Minn. Gov. Mark Dayton to be director of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, visited the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus  Wednesday, March 14, along with Sandy Connolly, Communications Director for the Office of Higher Education.

Pogemiller and Connolly took a campus tour and spent more than two hours visiting with President Richard Davenport; Provost and Vice President Scott Olson; Vice President Doug Mayo (University Advancement); Vice President Rick Straka (Finance & Administration); Vice President Bob Hoffman (Strategic Business, Education and Regional Partnerships); Henry Morris, Interim Dean of Diversity; Brenda Flannery, Dean, College of Business; Jean Harr, Interim Dean, College of Education; Warren Sandmann, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs; and Carol Stallkamp, Assistant to the President.

The group discussed Minnesota State Mankato as well as statewide higher education issues.

March 21: Deepa Oomen to Discuss the Influence of Identification with Religion at Minnesota State Mankato

Communication Studies faculty member Deepa Oommen will host a presentation “The Influence of Identification Religion on Leader-Member Exchange Relationships” March 21, 2012, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Room 253, 254 and 255.

The presentation is free and open to students, faculty and staff. It is sponsored by the Department of Communication Studies.

Oommen is an assistant professor at Minnesota State Mankato. She researches organizational and intercultural communication with a special focus on the influence of social identities on communication behaviors. Oomen is the 2011 Nadine B. Andreas Grant recipient. She has a published article, “Organizational identification strategies of a low face-to-face member-contact organization.”

March 21-24: Neil Simon Play to make Minnesota State, Mankato debut

The Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance will present Neil Simon’s “The Gingerbread Lady” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, March 21-24, in the Andreas Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

“The Gingerbread Lady” is a dark drama with comic overtones. Maureen Stapleton won Broadway's Tony Award as Best Actress for the role of Evy Meara, a popular singer who has hit the skids. After a short stay in rehab, her best friend Toby, her daughter Polly and Jimmy Perry, a gay actor, try to help her adjust to sobriety with a jolly birthday party. Enter Lou Tanner, a former lover, who ends up giving her a black eye. The party is a wash out, the "gingerbread lady" falls off the wagon and hits the ropes once again.

Individual tickets for “The Gingerbread Lady” are $10 regular, $9 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more, and $8 for current Minnesota State students. They may be purchased online at, or by calling or visiting the Theatre & Dance Box Office between 4 and 6 p.m. beginning Monday, March 19.

March 22: Fiction Writer, Poets To Be Featured at Good Thunder Reading Series

Fiction writer Caitlin O' Sullivan and poets William Trowbridge and Sharon Olds will be featured at the upcoming Good Thunder Series event at Minnesota State University, Mankato Thursday, March 22.

O'Sullivan, Trowbridge and Olds will discuss their work in a free, public event at 3 p.m. (Talk on craft) and 7 p.m. (Reading) in the Centennial Student Union Ostrander Auditorium.The discussion and reading are open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

O'Sullivan, 2011-2012 Andreas Graduate Assistant is in her third year of the MFA program at Minnesota State University, Mankato and received her BA in English at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, her hometown. She is the founder and managing editor of The Postcard Press, a literary journal and is currently working on a historical novel set in the 1930s and 1940s in rural Minnesota.

Trowbridge's poetry collection includes: Ship of Fool, Enter Dark Stranger, O Paradise, Flickers, and The Complete Book of Kong. His poems have appeared in more than 30 anthologies and textbooks. Trowbridge resides in the Kansas City area and teaches in the University of Nebraska low-residency MFA in writing program.

Olds is the author of eight volumes of poetry. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and the San Francisco Poetry Center Award for her first collection, Satan Says. Olds teaches graduate poetry workshops at New York University and at the writing workshop she helped found, a 900 bed state hospital for the severely disordered. She is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science. Olds resides in New York City.

March 22: President's Commission on Status of Women

The President's Commission on the Status of Women will have a discussion on the campus climate for women Thursday, March 22, 2012, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Room 201.

The event is free and open to students, faculty and staff.

If individuals would like to share thoughts or feedback in a less public way, they may submit anonymous feedback to the Commission at

March 22-April 20: 'Uptimistic Art Exhibit' to Showcase at Minnesota State, Mankato

Art Department students of Minnesota State University, Mankato will exhibit their art at Conkling Gallery March 22- April 20 at the “Uptimistic Senior Exhibits.” Conkling Gallery is located at 139 Nelson Hall and all artwork will be on display here at the designated times.

  • Group I gallery (March 22-29) will feature the following students:Tyler Abrahamson, Anna Beehler, Emily Brown, Benjamin Khatt, Bryan Levin, Molly McCarthy, Arianna Nienow, Jennifer Reeb, and Hope Thier
  • Group II (April 3-10) will feature Kathryn Archer, Danny Bounkeovisane, Molly Coughlan, Huyen Hoang, Brittany Kubista, Dan Mosher, Bryce Padgett, Nathan Rodeback, and Melanie Upchurch
  • Group 3 (April 13-20) will have Joanna Bartell, Wright Braudt, Amanda Crary, Stephanie Gamboni, Sammie Hunt, Yeng Moua, Sarah Peterson, Broc Toft, and Christine White

The public is welcome to meet all students of each art gallery on the first night of every exhibit. A reception will be at 7 p.m. in the gallery on March 22, April 3, and April 13. For more information, please call 507-389-6412. 

March 23-24: Candlelight Vigil to Remember Domestic Abuse Victims

The second annual Domestic Violence Awareness candlelight vigil and ceremony to honor victims of domestic abuse is scheduled March 23-24 in Rasmussen Woods at Elk’s Nature Center, sponsored by Minnesota State Mankato’s Office of Community Engagement. The vigil will honor those living with and dying because of domestic violence. 

The vigil – open to students, faculty, staff and the public – will begin at midnight Friday, March 23, at Elk’s Nature Center, located at 555 Stoltzman Road, and conclude with an 11 a.m. ceremony Saturday, March 24.

The first local candlelight vigil was held in March 2011 to commemorate the March 28, 2010, murder of Svetlana Munt of Mankato. Munt’s ex-husband was convicted in September 2011 of first-degree murder in her death.

To volunteer or assist with the event, please call Billington-Just at (507) 389-6076 or e-mail

March 26: 41st Annual Institutional Diversity Dinner at Minnesota State Mankato

Institutional Diversity at Minnesota State University, Mankato will present the 41st Annual Diversity Dinner Monday, March 26, between 6 and 8 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. The guest speakers will be Calvin Moret the famed World War II Tuskegee Airman, a group of the first African-American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces. A book signing will follow the dinner. 

The cost of the event:

  •  Individual Student Seat: $12.00
  •  Individual Non-Student: $35.00
  •  Student Table(8 seats): $80.00
  •  Non-Student Table(8 seats): $215.00

To reserve your table, visit:

For more information about the event, please contact Shayla Braunshausen at or (507) 389-6126.

March 27: Kessel Memorial Lecture to take place at Minnesota State Mankato

The Department of Government at Minnesota State University, Mankato, invites all members of the public to the 2011-2012 Kessel Memorial Lecture Tuesday, March 27, 2012 between 8 and 10 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

The lecture will be delivered by Paul Renshaw, the chairperson of the Mankato Area Fair Trade Town Initiative (MAFTTI). The address is entitled, “Fair Trade: Past And Futures”, and is free and open to the public. No prior registartion is necessary. 

The Kessel Memorial Lecture commemorates the life and work of the late Professor Abbas Kessel, who taught Political Science for many years at Minnesota State Mankato. Kessel was a tireless advocate of world peace, human rights, and responsible energy and environmental policies. The Kessel Lecture annually brings to the Minnesota State Mankato campus scholars and activists who share these passions and have dedicated themselves to the promotion of peace and human justice.

March 28: 'When It's Not Alzheimer's: Exploring Non-Alzheimer's Dementias'

An informational dementia clinic will take place from 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, March 28 in the CSU Ballroom to inform participants about non-Alzheimer's dementias and present professional advice and research.

Less common non-Alzheimer's dementias will be presented with diagnosis and management plans. Cognitive rehabilitation procedures and examples will be shown, demonstrating their efficacy. Also, measures to prevent compassion fatigue will be offered.

Check-in begins at 8 a.m. and runs until 8:45 a.m. Registration is $80; $85 after March 21 and $35 for students/seniors (age 60+). The fee includes all materials, a certificate and lunch. The pre-registration deadline is March 21.

For more information on the clinic or to register online, go to or call 507-389-2572. 

March 30: Robyn Goldy's Celebration

Robyn Goldy’s 10+ years of service to Minnesota State University, Mankato and Alumni Relations will be celebrated Friday, March 30, 2012 between 1 and 3 p.m. in Johnson Alumni Room in the Taylor Center.

She will be leaving the institution to serve as the Director of Marketing and Recruitment for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Minnesota.

Those who wish to attend may RSVP to or call (507) 389-3235. Those who cannot attend may send regards and well wishes to Robyn at

April 10: Honoring 2010-2012 Minnesota State Mankato Authors

On April 10, 2012, from 2-3 p.m., in the Marilyn J. Lass Center for Minnesota Studies, 2nd floor of the Memorial Library, 28 authors will be recognized at the fourth MSU Authors Reception. This event honors faculty authors who have written and/or edited books with publication dates between March 2010 and March 2012. The MSU Authors Collection is an important part of the Memorial Library’s holdings because the works in this collection document the intellectual heritage of the university and the contributions of Minnesota State Mankato faculty, staff, students, and alumni to contemporary scholarship.

The list of 2010-2012 honorees includes: 

Wayne E. Allen, Ethnic Studies; Michelle E. Alvarez, Social Work; Rick Auger, Counseling and Student Personnel; Gwen Berry, Special Education; Steven M. Buechler, Sociology and Corrections; Carrie Chapman, Educational Studies, K-12 and Secondary Programs; Daniel Cronn-Mills, Communication Studies; Kebba Darboe, Ethnic Studies; Kevin Filter, Psychology; Catarina Fritz, Sociology and Corrections; Don Glines, Emeritus, Education; Linda Good, Emeritus, Educational Studies, Elementary and Early Childhood; Ronald Gower, Emeritus, English; Annelies Hagemeister, Social Work; Geoff Herbach, English; Andrew P. Johnson, Special Education; Scott Kudelka, Water Resources Center; Lori Lahlum, History; William E. Lass, Emeritus, History; Jose Javier Lopez, Geography; Karl Matz, Educational Studies, Elementary and Early Childhood; Cynthia A. Miller, Geography; Melissa Purdue, English; Teri Wallace, Special Education; Dennis Waskul, Sociology and Corrections; Chad Wittkop, Chemistry and Geology; Scott Wurdinger, Educational Leadership; Vang Tou Xiong, Ethnic Studies

All-Greek auction raises $1,730 for Gillette Children's Miracle Network 

The All-Greek basket auctions event raised a total of $1,730 for the Gillette Children's Miracle Network.
All-Greek meetings take place monthly to gather together all of the fraternities and sororities on campus, discuss news in Greek Life, conduct chapter reports and announce achievements such as the basket auction.

All baskets were beach themed, including men's and women's swimming suits and accessories necessary for the beach.

The Minnesota State University, Mankato Greek Community has been present on campus for 50 years and is comprised of approximately 400 students from eleven fraternities and sororities. The community’s core values are leadership, scholarship, philanthropy and friendship. 

Externally Funded Projects

  1. Sachau Dan (Psychology) "Riverland Community College 2012 Climate Survey" funded by Riverland Community College in the amount of $3,500
  2. Sizemore Daardi (Library) "Reporter Digitalization Project funded by Minnesota Historical Society in the amount of $7,000
  3. Knoblich Penny (Biological Sciences) "PSM (Professional Science Masters) in Biomedical Sciences" funded by Minnesota State in the amount of $11,000
  4. Sachau Dan (Psychology) "Atrain Selection Projects 2012" funded by atrain GMBH in the amount of $11,000
  5. Sachau Dan (Psychology) "Riverland Community College Nursing Follow-up" funded by Riverland Community College in the amount of $3,000
  6. Veltsos Christophe (Information Systems) "Information Security & Risk Management PSM" funded by Minnesota State in the amount of $50,000

Distinguished Faculty Scholars Named

The College of Graduate Studies and Research and the Center of Excellence in Scholarship and Research announce the 2012 Distinguished Faculty Scholars.

The 2012 recipients were:

  • Daniel Houlihan
  • Paul Hustoles
  • Christopher Ruhland

Campus Drive Goals

Brad and Christine Cords and Todd and Kara Pfingsten, 2012 Campus Drive chairs, would like to inform the public that  the organization is at 29 percent faculty and staff participation with a goal of 40 percent by the end of June. Many gifts combined together have a powerful impact!Your generous gift by June 30 will play a critical role in the lives of our students.

Our students need your support now more than ever. Review this month’s newsletter, testimonials and find Campus Drive forms at You can make an immediate impact with a gift online now at our secure website: or by calling the Development office at 507-389-6829. Learn more about the Big Ideas Campaign at

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Heather Camp (English) published the article "The psychology of writing development--And its implications for assessment" in the February issue of Assessing Writing.

Georgina, D., Keengwe, J., (2012) Faculty training strategies to enhance pedagogy-technology integration. In Tomei, L. Advancing education with information communication technologies. Ch. 16, 192-202. Robert Morris University Press, USA. They also published (2011) Digital course training workshop for online learning and teaching. Education and Information Technologies. Vol 17.

Kathryn Inskeep (Center for Academic Success) participated in a round table discussion on "New Directions in the Field of Religion and Literature" at the annual meeting of the Southwest Commission on Religious Studies in Dallas, Texas with other contributors to the upcoming anthology Controversial Theology in Literature (Working Title). She discussed her chapter "Queering the Eucharist: Sacramental Desire in Gerard Manley Hopkins's "The Blessed Virgin."

Robert Pettitt (Human Performance) consulted on a study featured in this month's issue of Runner's World. The article is entitled "Beer Run!" and examined the affect of beer consumption on exercising performance. He was consulted to interpret the metabolic data and run the statistics.

Student Achievements

The MSU, Mankato Maverick Forensics Team finished fourth at the Bunny Pop in Brookings, S.D., on Feb. 25. 

The results are:

Zach Aufenthie: 6th in After Dinner Speaking
Cade Shelton: 2nd in Poetry, 4th in Dramatic Interpretation
Megan Nutting: 4th in Prose, 3rd in Poetry
Alex Cutschall and Erika Gustafson: 5th place in Duo
Erika Gustafson: 5th in Dramatic Interpretation

Barnes & Nobles Deadline

Barnes & Nobles urges academic departments that missed the March 14 deadline for ordering books to submit textbook orders as soon as possible.

Submissions may be made:

  • Online
  • By phone (507) 389 - 1649
  • By Fax (507) 389 - 5589
  • By Email:
  • In-person: ask for Leanne or Carrie


Joanne Ardolf-Decker passed away on Tuesday, February 14, 2012.  Professor Emerita Ardolf-Decker taught in the Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services Department from 1977 until her retirement in June 1997. Her primary field was Therapeutic Recreation. Her book, Making the Moments Count: Leisure Activities for Caregiving Relationships, was published in 1997. A copy of her obituary is at 

Forrest Glick passed away Friday, February 17, 2012. Professor Emeritus Glick was a member of the faculty in the Physics Department from 1964 until his retirement in December 1993. He also served as Associate Dean of the School of Physics Engineering & Technology for several years. Dr. Glick’s complete obituary can be viewed at


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 April 4; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (March 30).

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.