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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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May 16, 2012 Campus Newsletter

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Honorary Doctorate Degrees

Cathy and Al Annexstad (pictured above) were awarded honorary doctorate degrees during the University's 3 p.m. spring commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 5 in Bresnan Arena of Taylor Center.

Al Annexstad was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree, while Cathy Annexstad was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

As leader of Federated Insurance, Al Annexstad, a 1967 graduate of Minnesota State Mankato, has developed a long-standing and far-reaching relationship with Minnesota State Mankato that has benefited students, alumni, and the citizens of Minnesota. The organization’s extensive scholarship program makes significant awards annually to multiple students in the University’s College of Business and College of Science, Engineering and Technology, as well as student athletes.

Cathy Annexstad was the inspiration behind the 2000 establishment of the Annexstad Family Foundation, which offers scholarships at several colleges and universities for students who have been served by the mentoring organization Big Brothers Big Sisters.

More than 1,500 Minnesota State Mankato students participated in the three spring commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 5.

Senator Klobuchar Visit

A group of about 20 Minnesota State Mankato students had an opportunity to meet with U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar on Tuesday, May 1 in Centennial Student Union.

Klobuchar requested the visit to meet with students to get their input on the issue of increased interest rates on student loans.

Klobuchar met with the Minnesota State Mankato students for approximately an hour.

Minnesota State Mankato Provost Scott Olson also attended the meeting, as did Director of Financial Aid Sandra Loerts.


May 22-23: Professional Development

On May 22-23, the South Central Region Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is hosting a professional development event on campus for the entire Minnesota Small Business Development Center Network. The annual Knowledge Exchange Program will bring approximately 50 staff, professional business consultants and guest presenters to Minnesota State Mankato for two days of training on SBDC core competencies and best practices.

There will be keynote presentations by Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Angie Bastian, founder and president of Angie's Kettle Corn.

In addition to SBDC experts, presenters include: Minnesota Small Business Administration (SBA) staff; Brian Lassiter, president, Minnesota Council for Quality; Michael Vitt, executive director, LegalCORPS; Scott Bergs, principal, Key City Ventures, a lawyer and Minnesota State Mankato alumnus; and Jill Baker, lawyer, Blethen, Gage & Kruse.

For more information, contact Julie Nelson, program coordinator, Small Business Development Center, at 507-389-8875, or by email at, or go to

May 23: Retirement Reception

A retirement reception honoring Margaret Fraze and her 27 years of dedicated service to the University and Building Services will be held Wednesday, May 23 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Johnson Alumni Room at the Taylor Center. All are invited.



June 15: 'Night at the Twins'

Minnesota State Mankato "Night at the Twins"

Friday, June 15, 2012

4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Reception at the Crowne Plaza Minneapolis
618 Second Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55402
7:10 p.m. Game time: Twins vs. Milwaukee Brewers at Target Field

Skyline Deck Ticket and Reception: $42
Grandstand Ticket and Reception: $32
Right Field Bleacher Ticket and Reception: $32
Reception Only: $5 per person.
Register online or by calling 507-389-3235. Space is limited so register early.

Parking Lot Construction

Construction has begun on campus parking lots 5 and 11A. Lot 5 is scheduled to be completed July 13 (depending on weather). The sidewalks on both sides of the streets will be accessible to pedestrian traffic. The intersection of Lot 5 and Warren Street will be passable but extremely limited due to truck traffic. Construction on Lot 11A was scheduled to begin May 14 and projected to be completed June 6.

Users of both Lot 5 and Lot 11A parking stalls should contact Facilities Management/Parking staff with questions about temporary parking arrangements for the construction periods or call Marty Rost, the Planning and Construction project manager, at 507-389-1027.

Upward Bound Receives Funding

The Upward Bound Program at Minnesota State Mankato recently was notified by U.S. Rep. Tim Walz that it will receive federal funding of $387,000 for the next five years from the U.S. Department of Education.

The Upward Bound Program at Minnesota State Mankato serves students from the following schools: Blue Earth area, Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial, Madelia, Mankato East, Mankato West and Maple River.

The Upward Bound program is designed to stimulate and motivate low-income, potential first-generation college students to complete high school and pursue and succeed in a program of post-secondary education. Upward Bound is one of four Federal TRIO Programs offered at Minnesota State Mankato. Federal TRIO Programs are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“We’re pleased to receive another five years of funding, and we feel fortunate that we’ll be able to continue our work with students from our partner schools,” said George Corey, director of Minnesota State Mankato’s Upward Bound program.

The Upward Bound program at Minnesota State Mankato began in 1978 and has received federal funding ever since. Corey said the current funding cycle for the program was highly competitive and that Minnesota State Mankato’s selection for an additional five years of funding is a reflection of the positive impact it has had on the students it serves.

KMSU hits $30,000 goal

Jim Gullickson, director of KMSU radio, reported that KMSU reached its spring fundraising goal of $30,000, which is the highest amount the station has ever raised. "Thank you from the staff, students and volunteers at KMSU," said Gullickson. "We are all thrilled you came through with your financial support! The funds you so generously gave during the pledge drive will be used to cover ever-increasing expenses related to syndicated programming. These high-quality programs, like World Cafe, Mountain Stage, Echoes, Jazz with Bob Parlocha, Swingin' Down the Lane and others add great diversity to our broad palette of programming on KMSU."

Big Breakfast Turnout

The annual Employee Appreciation Breakfast drew a big gathering on Monday, May 7.

The Carkoski Commons dining facility was full as campus employees enjoyed a buffet breakfast of pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, fresh fruit, coffee & orange juice.

President Richard Davenport thanked everyone for their work during the 2011-12 years, and vice presidents recognized employees of the year in their respective divisions.

Offices were closed while staff members were at the event.


April Funding Report

Externally Funded Projects:

  • Thomas Gjersvig and Ishrat Kamal-Ahmed (Kearney International Center) "Global UGRAD Pakistan Program Spring 2012" funded by U.S. Department of State in the amount of $1,300
  • John Frey (CSET) " Green Pride for Green Products" funded by DEED in the amount of $183,917
  • Paul Preimesberger (Center for School-University Partnerships) "2011-12 AVID District Director Recompense" funded by ISD 829 Waseca Public Schools, ISD 508 St. Peter Public Schools and ISD 2310 Sibley East Public Schools, with each of the public school districts funding in the amount of $2,826.24 for a total of $8,478.72
  • Dale Haefner (Music) "Performance Series Support/ACH Grant" funded by Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council in the amount of $13,000
  • Brian Groh (CSET) "CHS Contract Research" funded by CHS, Inc. Mankato, Minn., in the amount of $2,773
  • Patricia Hoffman and Carrie Chapman (K-12 and Secondary Programs) "Toolkit for Reducing Disproportionality in Special Education" funded by Minnesota Department of Education in the amount of $75,000

Faculty Research Grants Spring 2012:

  • Ruijun Zhao (CSET) "Evaluation of Control Strategies of Malaria Using Mathematical Modeling and Simulations" in the amount of $5,000
  • Steven Mercurio (CSET) "Changing the Cellular Architecture of Gastrointestinal Tract in Male Mice by a High Fat Diet" in the amount of $1,620.85
  • Byron Pike (COB) "Taxable Income in Financial Reporting: Is Transparency Needed?" in the amount of $3,872
  • John Krenz (CSET) "Variance in Reproductive Success in Galapagos Lizards" in the amount of $5,000
  • Anthony Filipovitch (SBS) "Modeling Parking Service Provision on a College Campus" in the amount of $4,500
  • Tomasz Inglot (SBS) "European Integration, Welfare State, and the Family Since 2004" in the amount of $5,000
  • Oksana Kim (COB) "Annual Subscription to Global Electronic Database Datastream" in the amount of $5,000
  • Jeffrey Doom (CSET) "Flamelet Radiation Modeling" in the amount of $5,000
  • Richard Robbins (AH) "The Invention of Water, A New Book of Poems" in the amount of $4,448
  • Farhad Reza (CSET) "Use of Recycled Brick Aggregate for Internal Moist Curing in Concrete" in the amount of $5,000
  • Nadia Kramer (AH) "From Idea to Reality-Facism and Domestic Colonialization: The Path to German Colonies and Political Practice in the Third Reich" in the amount of $5,000
  • Qun Zhang and Ramakrishna Nair (CSET) "Fiber Transmission Effects in Optical Communication Systems with Coherent Detection" in the amount of $4,990.40

Women of Courage and Vision Reception

On March 27, the President’s Commission on the Status of Women and the Women’s Center presented the 12th annual Women of Courage and Vision Reception in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. The reception honored more than 360 women (students, faculty and staff) who were nominated as having demonstrated courage and vision. The entire list of award winners can be found here. The following awards were presented to students and employees:

Research and Professional Grant Award Winners

  • Fall Grant Recipient winners: Brittany Trimble-Clarke; Juhee Woo; Julie Walker; Kari Davis; Katie Stack; Kristen Walters; Lynn Kuechle; Samantha Oakley.
  • Spring Grant Recipient winners: Kirsti Cole; Melissa Purdue; Julie Carlson; Kristen Treinen; Nicholas Priebe; Anne Estling; Renee Bowman.

Project of the Year Awards

  • Undergraduate student recipient: Stephanie Gamboni
  • Graduate student recipient: Sophie Reynolds
  • Faculty recipient: Rebecca Bates

HERS Institute for Women (The purpose of the Institute is to advance women leaders in the middle and executive levels of higher education administration.)

  • Recipient for HERS: Marilyn Hart

Faculty & Staff Notes

Pat Sexton, professor and director of Athletic Training Education, was honored April 28 with a Minnesota Athletic Trainers Association (MATA) Athletic Trainer Recognition Award. Sexton has demonstrated dedicated service to MATA legislation efforts for many years as well as the 2012 Student Symposium. Sexton received his award in Alexandria, Minn., at the MATA annual meeting and clinical symposium.

Librarian Bobby Bothmann, Library Services, was recently named the 2012 recipient of the Nancy B. Olson Award, which recognizes and honors a librarian who has made significant contributions to the advancement and understanding of audiovisual cataloging. The award is presented by OLAC - Online Audiovisual Catalogers. Bothmann was selected for the award in honor of his valuable contribution to the cataloging of audiovisual and electronic resources, his leadership role with OLAC, his teaching and promoting of RDA and his contributions to the scholarly literature. The founding award recipient, Nancy B. Olson, is an emerita faculty member at Minnesota State Mankato.

Judy Beetch has accepted the temporary position as University Advancement assistant. She most recently served as advertising sales manager for the MSU Reporter. An alumna of the Minnesota State Mankato Mass Communications program, Beetch has a great deal of experience in customer service and external relations, including several years as an advertising sales representative at the Mankato Free Press and the Home Magazine.

Mike Lagerquist, the director of public relations in the Department of Theater & Dance, was featured in the May 2012 edition of the City News, the city of Mankato's newsletter. Lagerquist was the subject of the "Spotlight on Volunteers" for his service to various civic organizations. The newsletter can be accessed here.

Student Achievements

The Department of World Languages and Cultures has awarded $500 scholarships for 2012-13 to students Lauren Mendez McConkey of Mankato and Megan Vasatka of Minneapolis for their excellent achievements in the study of Spanish.

The University Advancement Scholarship Selection Committee announced the following $200 scholarships for Fall 2012: Nicole Beck (Printing & Photocopying Services); Cristina Hracovschi (Media Relations); Anthony Magestro (Advancement Operations) and Kaitlin Speedling (Annual Fund).

Geography graduate student and storm chaser Paul Zunkel recently had two of his images posted in Paul Douglas’ “On Weather” blog in the Star Tribune.

Department Honors

The Career Development Center has received a level Gold LGBTQ Career Center Certification from the Out for Work organization. This is a level up from the Silver Certification the Career Development Center received in 2010. Out for Work functions as a complimentary component in the total educational experience of LGBT students, primarily in the development, evaluation, initiation and implementation of career plans and opportunities. Out for Work's programs, resources and services provide assistance to students in the cultivation and enhancement of skills to explore career options, master search techniques and strategies and research employment opportunities. More information on the Out for Work career center certification program can be found here.

Move-in Volunteers Needed

The Department of Residential Life is seeking faculty and staff volunteers to help greet students and parents as they arrive to move in to the residence halls on Thursday, August 23, 2012.
If you are interested in volunteering, or have any questions, please contact Torin Akey, Associate Director of Residential Life at or 389-1011 by May 31, 2012.

Faculty and staff play the important role of greeting students and parents, directing them to the correct buildings to get keys and information, and watching the heaps of belongings that are piled in front of our halls. (Religious organizations, Greeks, student organizations, and Learning Community staff have a strong tradition of volunteering time and energy to assist in the unloading of vehicles and helping direct traffic.) Together students, faculty and staff form the “Stomper Move Crew” that annually welcomes new students to our campus.

Stomper Move Crew volunteers receive a t-shirt to wear during their shift. Most importantly, volunteers receive the undying gratitude of students, parents, and families on this important and meaningful day.

Information needed from volunteers includes:
• T-shirt sizes (s, m, l, xl, xxl, xxxl)
• Shift preference: Volunteers are needed from 7:45 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
     o Entire shifts are from 7:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. and from 11:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
     o If you can’t make an entire shift, but could help for a couple hours, that will work!

Campus Drive Participation Needed!

Brad and Christine Cords and Todd and Kara Pfingsten, the 2012 Campus Drive chairs, would like you to know we’re currently at 30 percent faculty and staff participation with a goal of 40 percent by the end of June.

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


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 June 13; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (June 8).

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.