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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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August 24, 2012 Campus Newsletter

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Convocation Signals Start of New Year

President Richard Davenport (pictured) introduced new administrators, welcomed new and returning faculty and staff and congratulated Minnesota State University, Mankato’s colleges and departments on numerous outstanding 2011-12 accomplishments during his speech Aug. 20 at the University’s annual Convocation.

Davenport also announced five University goals for the 2012-13 academic year that include:

1) Completion of the University’s comprehensive $75 million Big Ideas Campaign by June 30, 2013.
2) Enrollment management – building on the University’s success in a number of different areas.
3) Improving student academic success on statewide and national measures.
4) Designing an academic and financial infrastructure for the College of University Extended Education.
5) Designing a futuristic campus master plan for the “campus of the future.”

More information from Davenport’s speech will be posted at

Disney Institute Coming to Campus

Disney Institute is bringing its renowned professional development program, Disney’s Approach to Quality Service, to Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union Monday, Sept. 24.
Sponsored by Continuing & Professional Education, the full-day event will demonstrate how anticipating and reacting to customers’ needs, wants and emotions is an integral aspect of delivering quality service and achieving business results.

The full-day Disney’s Approach to Quality Service program will give participants an insider’s look at the business practices that have helped Disney become respected for product and service quality. In 2010, Fortune magazine recognized Disney as the world’s most admired company for quality. Participants will learn how to exceed customer expectations using a well-defined service infrastructure, ongoing research and service standards.

Minnesota State Mankato employees can attend the full-day training on Sept. 24 for $225. Interested employees should contact Jean Clarke directly at or (507) 389-3283. Rates for community members for the full-day event are $349 per person (early bird rate) through Sept. 5; $449 per person (regular advance registration price) from Sept. 6-20; and $499 per person from Sept. 21-24. The rate includes all course materials, morning and afternoon refreshments, lunch and parking.

A much-condensed, 90-minute session will also be available on Tuesday, Sept. 25, exclusively for University employees. More details about that presentation will be coming from Human Resources, which is sponsoring the employee-only event. There is no charge for the session, but pre-registration is required via STARS.

To register for the full-day event, go to or call Minnesota State Mankato’s Continuing & Professional Education office at 507-389-2572.

National Publication features MFA Creative Writing Program

Last year The Huffington Post included Minnesota State University, Mankato’s MFA creative writing program among the “25 Top Underrated MFA Programs in the Country.”

This year the program is acknowledged in the August issue of The Writer, a national magazine.

The article highlights the strong aptitude of the faculty’s help and the growth of a writer’s development in a three-year program instead of the typical two year program.

New Business Card Design

University business cards now have a new design, which includes our “Big ideas. Real-world thinking.” tagline. The price for the redesigned business cards is the same: $41.50 for a box of 380 single-sided cards. In addition to the new tagline, the card now has more saturated color and is printed on a thicker card stock. To order new cards, please call Printing Services at (507) 389-1181.

Integrated Business Experience Honored

The Integrated Business Experience program, which was introduced by the College of Business during the 2011-12 academic year, received a 2011-12 Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Academic and Student Affairs award for Excellence in Curriculum Programming. Awards were selected by peer Academic and Student Affairs campus administrators based on such criteria as effective use of technology and student achievement.

In announcing the award, Minnesota State Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Douglas Knowlton said, “The Integrated Business Experience program exemplifies those characteristics that result in excellent programs that produce graduates ready to take on the challenges of life after their college or university experience.”

Good Thunder Reading Series

The Good Thunder Reading Series launches its 31st season by hosting a total of 18 writers throughout the year.

The series invites emerging and established writers to Mankato to meet with community writers and readers, be interviewed on public radio, lead discussions on the craft of writing, and read from their published works.

The fall Good Thunder Reading Series will feature:

Thursday, September 13: Poets Carl Adamshick and Dorianne Laux
Thursday, October 4: Graphic writer and artist Alison Bechdel
Thursday, October 25: The Minnesota State Mankato Alumni Residency hosts fiction writer Nicky Healy, fiction/creative nonfiction writer Nicole Helget and fiction writer Nate LeBoutillier
Thursday, November 15: The Nadine B. Andreas Visiting Writer Residency features poet Angela Mullen, the 2012-13 Andreas Graduate Assistant, and fiction/creative nonfiction writer Edwidge Danticat

The spring Good Thunder Reading Series includes:

Thursday, January 31: fiction writer Tayari Jones
Tuesday–Friday, February 19–22: The Eddice B. Barber Visiting Writer Residency hosts fiction writer Marlon James and poet Bao Phi
Thursday, March 28: The Robert C. Wright Minnesota Writer Residency features fiction writer Brett Biebel, the 2012 Robert Wright Award winner, and poet Robert Hedin
Thursday, April 11: The Minnesota State Mankato Alumni Residency features poet Kris Bigalk, fiction writer Thomas Maltman and fiction writer Scott Wrobel
Thursday, April 25: The Minnesota State Mankato Faculty Residency hosts fiction writer Geoff Herbach and fiction/creative nonfiction writer Diana Joseph

All events are open to the public and will be held in Centennial Student Union. Most series guests will be interviewed on KMSU-FM 89.7 and have their discussions broadcast as part of the “Authors in Transit” series at 1 p.m. on the day of the event and 11 p.m. the following Friday.

Those who want more information about the series or a particular author may call director Richard Robbins at (507) 389-2117, or go to

2012-13 Theatre & Dance Season

The Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance will present nine first-time shows among the 10 featured in its 2012-13 Mainstage and Studio sessions. Only the season opening musical, “A Chorus Line,” has been presented at Minnesota State Mankato before (1995).

In addition to “A Chorus Line” in October, the Mainstage season will include musicals “Spring Awakening” in January-February and “Legally Blonde” in April. Plays are “The Mandrake” by Niccolo Machiavelli in October, “Cactus Flower,” which became a movie starring Walter Matthau and Goldie Hawn, in November, and Agatha Christie's “And Then There Were None” in February-March.

Plays in the four-show studio season are David Mamet's “November,” about an incumbent president struggling for votes in the last weeks of his re-election campaign, in September; “I Love You Because,” a modern-day musical, in November-December; “The Goat or Who is Sylvia” by Edward Albee in March; and “Plague of Angels,” which tells the story of the woman dubbed “Typhoid Mary,” in April. Dance concerts will be presented Dec. 7-8 and May 3-4, 2013.

Season tickets are $100 and are available by mail-order only. Individual tickets for all shows go on sale when the box office opens on Sept. 17. For more information or to download a brochure, visit or call the main Theatre & Dance office at 507-389-2118 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Fall 2012 Leadership Series

This fall semester, students will have the opportunity to discover, learn and practice leadership skills. Free dinner to attendees. RSVP to Ashley Strom, assistant director of Recognized Student Organizations and Nontraditional students by phone at (507) 389-5205 or by email at The Fall Leadership Series includes the following four events.

Sept. 18, 5-8 p.m., CSU 253 4/5: Kicking off the series of events, students will undergo, “Personal Vocation.” Participants will identify their greatest talents, abilities, qualities and strengths and how they can be applicable through college and into their careers.

Oct. 9, 5-8 p.m., CSU 253 4/5: Participants will trace back through encounters in their life that have molded the very person they are today in the session, “Exploring Self and Others.” Understanding their own background and identity will help students to work around differences in an intercultural world.

Oct. 30, 5-8 p.m., CSU Heritage 1001: Communication styles differentiate and the Leadership Series will help students to pinpoint what is appropriate and effective in, “Communication Styles.” Participants will be able to verify their own effective style of communication and the effects of each different style.

Nov. 27, 5-8 p.m., CSU 253 4/5: Students will attain the skills to deal with difficult conversations and conflicts within the workforce in, “Crucial Conversations.” Facilitating these “crucial conversations” in a non-threatening way will eventually lead to improved solutions and strength in one’s dialogue.
Sessions are open to all students interested in the personal growth and development as a leader.

Sunglasses Yield Surprise Win

Residence Hall Program Advisor and Summer Operations Coordinator Matt Goff thought nothing of his order for 200 sunglasses from University Printing Services. But his order was the 1,500th order of promotional products sold to campus customers from Printing Services, which has been providing properly branding products to the University community for more than five years. Goff won a Minnesota State Mankato branded wind jacket and stocking cap for placing the lucky order.

Planter Donated

In July, former employee Vickie Larson (pictured second from left) donated a large outdoor flower pot to the University on behalf of her friends in the Registrar's Office, where she ended her long service to the Minnesota State Mankato in May. The planter was placed on the north side of the Wigley Administration Building, right outside of the Registrar’s office windows so that her friends and former co-workers can keep an eye on the plants. The Registrar’s workers have agreed to ensure that the planter and its contents are well cared for and maintained.

Larson worked for Minnesota State Mankato from 1990 until this year. She had served as the manager of the Campus Computer Store before moving to the Registrar’s Office.

Summer Science Camps

The College of Science, Technology and Engineering hosted three camps for middle and high school students this summer: a Math Camp in June, a Civil Engineering Camp in July and August and a Physics camp in August.

Highlights of the math camp including playing Math BINGO, where students had to solve equations to figure out which number was being called; building structures to scale with cookies and frosting; making a hardboiled egg go through a glass bottle with a small opening in a lesson about how hot air expands and cold air contracts, allowing the atmosphere to push the egg into the bottle.

At the civil engineering camp, students developed Balloon Howitzers and launched water balloons at targets to see who was most accurate and could attain the greatest distance; they also developed spaghetti bridges to see whose bridge could hold the most weight (all the bridges ended up snapping in half).

The physics camp taught students the importance of design and buoyancy when they developed tin-foil boats and then battled to see whose boat could hold the most weight before sinking. The students also developed trebuchets to understand the mechanics behind physics. Students had to adjust their trebuchets to see who could launch an object the farthest.

Project Lead the Way

Minnesota State Mankato is Minnesota’s co-affiliate engineering university, along with St. Cloud State, for the national Project Lead the Way. The University trains middle and high school Project Lead the Way teachers, who then work with students in their schools.

“Project Lead the Way gives students a feel for what engineering really involves,” says Aaron Budge (pictured at right), the coaffiliate director for Project Lead the Way for Minnesota. “By having a better understanding of engineering applications and projects, more students may develop an interest in pursuing careers in science, engineering and technology (STEM) than students without such background. They make a decision to pursue (or not pursue) STEM career paths at an early age, and we need to expose them as early as we can to engineering.”

Jennifer Guyer-Wood Leaving for Kentucky

Jennifer Guyer-Wood (pictured at left), the director of alumni relations and special events, has resigned from her position, effective Sept. 11. She will be relocating to Louisville, Ky., where her husband, Mike Guyer-Wood, now serves as Chief Mission Officer for the Muhammad Ali Center.

Guyer-Wood is a third generation Maverick who earned both her bachelor’s (in 1995) and her master’s (1998) degrees from Minnesota State Mankato. She has been the Director of Alumni Relations and Special Events office in the division of University Advancement since 2008. She has served as co-chair of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women and is currently co-chair of the University Homecoming Committee.

The University has benefitted from Guyer-Wood’s efforts to bring alumni closer to the University, including increasing attendance at events, communicating with alumni in new and meaningful ways, and building a strong Alumni Association Board and an excellent staff team.

A campus-wide reception for Guyer-Wood will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 5 from 2-4 p.m. in the CSU Ballroom.

Aug. 29: Campus and Community Fair

Welcome back to campus! We are pleased to announce our 2012 Fall Campus-Community Service-Learning and Part-time Job Fair, which will take place Wednesday, August 29, from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the Myers Field House on the campus of Minnesota State University, Mankato. Students will have the opportunity to meet more than 150 businesses, student organizations, campus departments and service organizations doing fantastic things in our community. Some businesses will be hiring; other organizations will be looking for student Interns and volunteers. Stop by and become familiar with our community while enjoying free food, prizes, games and a tremendous networking opportunity.

Campus departments, registered student organizations, and private-non-profit organizations can register at no cost by visiting If you have any questions, please contact Denise Billington-Just in the Community Engagement Office at (507) 389-6076.

Sept. 4: Author Craig Mullaney to Speak on Campus

Author Craig Mullaney will discuss his book, “The Unforgiving Minute,” to kick off Minnesota State Mankato’s “common read” on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Mullaney’s presentation at 7:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union ballroom is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public. A book signing will follow. Attendees need not have read the book to enjoy this presentation.

All learning community students were asked to read “The Unforgiving Minute” before the start of 2012-13 classes. First Year Seminar instructors also were invited to use the book in their classes, and Minnesota State Mankato staff members are working with the Blue Earth County and North Mankato Taylor libraries and several other organizations to invite community participation.

Paperback copies of Mullaney’s book are available at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union for $12, a 25 percent discount from the cover price of $16.

Information about additional common read events is available at or from Kate Hansen, Office of New Students and Family Programs, (507) 389-5498.

Sept. 28: Athletics Hall of Fame

The Minnesota State Mankato Hall of Fame Selection Committee has announced the new Hall of Fame members who will be inducted in a ceremony taking place at the Hall of Fame Induction Dinner held in the Centennial Student Union ballroom on Friday, Sept. 28.

Class of 2012 inductees in the student-athlete include men’s cross country/track & field national champion Dale Bahr (1991-95), men’s basketball All-American Pat Coleman (1992-96), men’s hockey goaltending great Ken Hilgert (1984-88) and former softball stand-out Theresa Mackey (1991-94). Slated for induction in the builders category are local businessmen Fred Roufs and Lon Coulter. Coulter passed away in 2010 and will be inducted posthumously. Selected for induction in the “team” category is the North Central Conference champion MSU football team from 1987. The Jim Schaffer Service Award will be presented to Al Dorn, and the Athletics Philanthropic Award recipient is Bremer Bank.

Anyone interested in attending the Dinner may register for the celebration by calling 507.389.3235 or 888.234.3796 or online at

Faculty/Staff Notes

Marilyn Hart (Biology, Undergraduate Research Center) graduated this summer from the Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Bryn Mawr Summer Institute, held from June 17 to July 1 at Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pa.

Kristel Lynch (Research and Sponsored Programs) has been named the Director of Research and Sponsored Programs. Lynch, who previously served as a Grants Coordinator and Interim Director within Minnesota State Mankato’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, is a Certified Research Administrator who was most recently employed with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Shirley Piepho (Events and Meeting Services) was honored with the Mankato Area Council of Quality “Above and Beyond Award” on July 17. During a surprise presentation, MACQ president Matt Chmielewski cited Piepho’s quality customer service in planning and logistics for campus events.

Dean Vijendra (VJ) Agarwal (Science, Engineering & Technology) is pleased to announce that Ken Adams (Science, Engineering & Technology) is the new Student Relations Coordinator for the College of Science, Engineering & Technology. Adams served for the past two years as the College’s Academic Advisor; prior to that he spent two and a half years as an advisor at Anoka-Ramsey Community College. He holds a master’s degree in Counseling and Student Personnel from Minnesota State, Mankato.

Sun Kyeong Yu (Philosophy) recently gave two invited talks: “Philosophical Analysis of the Genes” at the Philosophy Institute, Korea on May 30, 2012; and “Major Issues in the Philosophy of Biology” at the Program of History and Philosophy of Science, Seoul National University, Korea on May 31, 2012.

Student Notes

Sarah Schellinger (Family Consumer Sciences), a senior Dietetics major, has been awarded a NCAA Degree Completion Award for 2012-2013. Schellinger was a member of the Maverick's soccer team between 2008 and 2011 and a captain during the 2011 season.


The Minnesota State Mankato community was saddened to learn of the death of Professor Emeritus Paul L. Sullivan who passed away Monday, August 13, 2012. Dr. Sullivan was an associate professor in the College of Science, Engineering & Technology teaching in the field of automotive engineering technology. He joined the faculty in September 1997 and retired in March 2010 for health reasons. Professor Sullivan’s complete obituary can be viewed at

Online TODAY Magazine

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Visit the online TODAY magazine at to keep up-to-date with news, alumni and stories about the people who help make this University great.

The mission of TODAY is to entertain, to inform and to connect the reader to the campus. The print TODAY is mailed twice per year to 95,000 alumni and friends.

TODAY welcomes story ideas supporting this mission.

TODAY welcomes story ideas supporting this mission. Contact Sara Frederick at (507) 389-5981 or to share ideas.

Content is updated regularly, so check back often!


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 Sept. 12; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Sept. 7).

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.