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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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September 26, 2012 Campus Newsletter

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Preska Hall Ribbon-Cutting

More than 100 guests were in attendance for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Margaret R. Preska Residence Community building Thursday, Sept. 20. Former Minnesota State Mankato President Margaret Preska (left in photo) spoke at the ceremony. Other speakers included current Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport (center in photo), Cindy Janney (right in photo), director of residential life and Jen Myers, interim director of alumni relations and special events.

Preska Residence Community opened in August to students. It is the second residence hall to open on campus in the last four years. Julia Sears Residence Community opened in 2008.

Community Engagement Office Events

The Community Engagement Office is looking for volunteers for History Fest, held from Oct. 10-13. Volunteers will have a fun time working alongside each other and re-enactors from the 17th century! History Fest will display events such as the catapult launch, branding, archery, tomahawk throwing, cider press, and more! Volunteers will be assigned as needed. Details on volunteering are available at History Fest’s official website here. Those who have questions concerning the event or volunteering may send emails to

Oct. 27 is the official date for “Rake the Town”! Volunteers are needed to help rake lawns and do general neighborhood cleanup work in the community! Start time is at 9 a.m. and will be followed by a Chili Feed at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in West Mankato!

For more information, or if you are interested in volunteering, come down to the Community Engagement Office located in the Student Activities Office of the Centennial Student Union from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Otherwise, contact us via email at

Final Gage Tower Tours

The final Gage Tower tours during Homecoming this weekend are full. Tour groups will go up to the 5th and 12th floor of “A Tower” for a nice view of Mankato. Video and photos will be posted online after the event. For more information on the de-commissioning of Gage Towers, please click here.

Campus Kiwanis Host 5k for Charity

The Minnesota State Mankato Circle K club and the Minnesota-Dakota District of Circle K are joining forces with Kiwanis members across the globe in an effort to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT), a painful disease that kills one baby every nine minutes.

On Saturday, Oct. 13 the Minnesota State Mankato Circle K club with other Circle K clubs throughout the Minnesota Dakota District will host a 5k run/walk to raise money for The Eliminate Project. More information is available here. The 5k will be held on the Minnesota State Mankato fitness trail behind the Gage towers. The registration fee is $20 before Oct. 5 and $25 for late registration. The first 50 registrants will receive a t-shirt.

To register or for more information please visit our race website here or contact the Minnesota State Mankato Circle K club at

Common Read Discussions

You are invited to discuss the book, The Unforgiving Minute by Craig Mullaney, a West Point graduate, Rhodes Scholar, and Army Ranger. In his best-selling book, he writes about his experiences preparing for and fighting in the Afghanistan War.

Discussions will be guided, are scheduled for about an hour and are free and open to the public. In order to allow us to monitor group size, we ask participants to sign up online at or by calling 507-389-5498. We’re offering a variety of days, times and locations:

• Tuesday, Oct. 2; 7 p.m. at the North Mankato Taylor Library (library meeting room)
• Wednesday, Oct. 3; 7 p.m. at both the Memorial Library (room 2042) on campus and the North Mankato Taylor Library (library meeting room)
• Sunday, Oct. 7; 3 p.m. at the Memorial Library (room 2042) on campus

The Unforgiving Minute is available for purchase at most local book retailers, as well as to borrow from the Minnesota State Mankato Memorial Library, the North Mankato Taylor Library, and the Blue Earth County Library.

For Common Read Program and other related event information, please visit this link.

Sept. 19-Oct. 9: Artist Heather Nameth Bren

An art exhibit titled “Dissolving the Shark and Other Acts of Self-Preservation” by artist Heather Nameth Bren will be on display at the Conkling Gallery in 139 Nelson Hall at Minnesota State Mankato from Sept. 19 through Oct. 9. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and some evenings as coverage permits.

For more information about the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art’s 2012-13 exhibition schedule, please click here.

Sept. 26: Big Ideas Speaker Series

The College of Business is presenting Matt Ames, founder and owner of MN Pro Paintball, for the next installment of the Big Ideas Speaker Series on Wednesday, Sept. 26. The presentation will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium in the Centennial Student Union.

The Big Ideas Speaker Series brings business people with transformative and alternative ideas to campus to inspire the Big Ideas of people within our own community.

Ames will share how he took a passion for paintball and turned it into a thriving business. He currently owns one of the largest paintball parks in the state in Lakeville Minn., as well as two retail stores in Burnsville and Minnetonka. In April, the U.S. Small Business Administration named Ames the Minnesota Young Entrepreneur of the Year for 2012.

This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served at a reception following the lecture. Parking is available in the visitor pay lot outside of the Centennial Student Union. To RSVP or for more information, please contact Elizabeth Johnson at (507) 389-5424 or

Sodexo, Greater Mankato Growth and the Minnesota State Mankato Small Business Development Center helped sponsor this event, along with College of Business partners, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation and the College of University Extended Education.

Sept. 26: Christopher "Play" Martin

Christopher Martin Nationally known to many Hip Hop movie and music fans as “Play” from the rap and acting duo Kid ‘n Play (House Party), Christopher Martin now serves as the executive producer of Brand Newz, and oversees mass communications major students from different colleges and universities. The goal of his organization is to consistently provide an insight on things that inspire, encourage, educate and motivate viewers while providing good news and a good feeling at the same time.

The opening act will be the Richkids, a group of Elementary students from Minneapolis who write their own music and are a part of the North Community YMCA’s Beats and Rhymes Program.

This event will be held in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. Doors open for seating at 6:30 p.m. and close at 7 p.m. The event is sponsored by Black Intelligent Gentlemen (B.I.G.).

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

Sept. 30: The Minnesota River Valley Wind Ensemble

The Minnesota River Valley Wind Ensemble (MNRVWE) will perform on Sunday, September 30 at 3 p.m. at the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The Minnesota River Valley Wind Ensemble is a diverse group comprised of faculty, community members, music, teachers, music students and professional musicians. The artists blend core wind band works with new works from vocal and orchestral repertoire.

Oct. 1: Flu Vaccinations for Employees

flu vaccinationsMinnesota State Mankato faculty and staff are invited to get their flu vaccinations on Monday, Oct. 1 at the Flu Vaccination Clinic for state employees. The clinic will be held in the Centennial Student Union, Room 284 ABC, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. No appointments are needed; the clinic will be conducted on a walk-in basis.

Employees of Minnesota State Mankato may receive either the flu shot or the nasal spray flu vaccine free upon presentation of their Minnesota Advantage Health Plan member ID card. Please note that the nasal spray vaccine is approved only for those under age 50. Without a Minnesota Advantage Health Plan member ID card, employees can pay cash or check for either the flu shot at $25.00 or the nasal spray flu vaccine at $32.00.

Those who are unable to attend the Clinic on Monday, Oct. 1 may get vaccinations through their primary care clinics, in-network convenience clinics, or at Flu Vaccination Clinics being conducted at other state agencies this fall. To find more information about this year’s flu vaccine and to view the statewide schedule of Flu Vaccination Clinics, visit

The worksite clinic on Oct. 1 is being offered to faculty, staff, and other state employees only. Family members and retired employees are encouraged to visit their primary care clinics or in-network convenience clinics for flu vaccinations.

Oct. 1: Murder Mystery Dinner

Murder MysteryAttention faculty! Looking for a fun way to spend your Oct. 1 evening? The Nontraditional Student Center is hosting a “Murder Mystery” in the South Ballroom on from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and we are looking for cast members! Tofu Panda (a student group on campus) has written a script and all you will need to do is review your part and be bold enough to improvise when/if you can’t remember your lines. Last spring we had a mixture of staff and faculty in the roles.

This fall we are hoping faculty will dominate as cast members!! Your time commitment is small—it consists of two 1-hour practice meetings and the night of the program. This program is geared at building community on campus through the interaction of students, staff, and faculty. Please send email interest to at your earliest convenience if you are interested to learn more about this amazingly fun opportunity!

Oct. 2: Alison Scott Concert

Alison Scott, with Kevin Bowe and the Okemah Prophets, will perform on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Avenue. The performance at Minnesota State Mankato is part of a series partially funded through an Arts Tour Minnesota Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Kevin Bowe and the Okemah Prophets will perform with Alison Scott. Bowe is a multi-platinum guitarist/producer based in the Twin Cities with three platinum records and a Grammy nomination to his credit.

Concert admission is $15; $13 for students with a valid MavCARD. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Advance purchase is strongly encouraged. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to

Oct. 2-3: Center for Excellence and Innovation Open House

The Center for Excellence and Innovation at Minnesota State Mankato cordially invites the campus community to an Open House from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on both Tuesday, Oct. 2 and Wednesday, Oct. 3. We are located in ML 88 (lower level of the library), and invite you to come at any time you are able on either of those two days. Feel free to stay as long as you like.

During the Open House, you will have an opportunity to get a tour of the office area, register for door prizes and find out about the services available through the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning (CETL), Center for Excellence in Scholarship & Research (CESR) and Academic Technology.

Those with questions may contact Patricia Hoffman, director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at 507-389-3233 or by email at

Oct. 4: ‘A Chorus Line’ Opens

The Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance will open its Mainstage season Oct. 4 with one of the longest running musicals in Broadway history, “A Chorus Line.” It is sponsored by HickoryTech Corporation and has performances in the Ted Paul Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4-6 and 11-13, with 2 p.m. matinees Oct. 13 and 14.

“A Chorus Line” is a musical- about a chorus audition for a musical production. It tells of the poignant ambitions of professional Broadway gypsies to land a job, and is a powerful metaphor for human aspiration. It earned 12 Tony Award nominations and won nine of them, in addition to the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Memorable songs include “I Can Do That,” “What I did for Love,” “One (Singular Sensation)” and “I Hope I Get It.” It is the only show this season that Minnesota State Mankato has presented, doing it in 1995.

Individual tickets for “A Chorus Line,” directed by faculty member Paul Finocchiaro with musical direction by Nick Wayne, are $22 regular, $19 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more, $15 for current Minnesota State students.

Individual tickets for “A Chorus Line” are on sale now by calling or stopping by the Theatre Box Office in the lobby of the Earley Center for Performing Arts from 4-6 p.m., Monday-Friday. Call 507-389-6661; visit for more information or tickets. Season subscriptions are on sale through Oct. 14.

Oct. 4: Climatologist Lecture

The Environmental Committee at Minnesota State MankatoThe Environmental Committee at Minnesota State Mankato announced that Dr. Mark Seeley, University of Minnesota climatologist and weekly commentator on Minnesota Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” will speak on Thursday, October 4, in Ostrander Auditorium from 5 p.m. to 6:30 pm. His topic is “Climate Change Implications for Minnesota.”

Seeley is the author of Minnesota Weather Almanac and co-author of Voyageur Skies: Weather and the Wilderness in Minnesota’s National Park, winner of the Northeast Minnesota Book Awards for photography. He has been involved in numerous projects to explain Minnesota weather to the public and to students. In 2012 he received the University of Minnesota President’s Award for Outstanding Service.

Seeley’s talk is free and open to the University community and to the public. Free public parking is available in the visitor pay lot located on Ellis Avenue in front of the Centennial Student Union (get pay lot pass at the event).

Oct. 7: Acoustic guitarist Tim Sparks

Acoustic Guitarist Tim Sparks (pictured left) will perform Sunday, Oct. 7 at Minnesota State Mankato. The Performance Series concert will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

Tim Sparks is an award-winning guitarist whose blending of musical styles has won him extensive praise from all corners of the music world.

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.

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.

July/August Funding Reports

Externally Funded Projects:
Stephen Druschel (Civil Engineering) “Minnesota Department of Transportation – Flocculant BMPs” funded by Minnesota Department of Transportation in the amount of $79,464
Nancy Sprengeler (Educational Talent Search) “Educational Talent Search 12-13” funded by U.S. Department of Education, in the amount of $313,994
Wendy Schuh (Student Health Services) “Student Health Services” funded by United Health Care Student Resources in the amount of $21,703.25
Shannon Fisher (Water Resources Center) “Watershed Specialist Training Programs” funded by the University of Minnesota in the amount of $5,976.80
Guadalupe Quintero (Multicultural Affairs) “Best Practices in Diversity” funded by Minnesota State in the amount of $1,000
Guadalupe Quintero (Institutional Diversity) “Migrant College Experience Weekend” funded by Minnesota Secondary Migrant Program in the amount of $6,000
Guadalupe Quintero (Latino Affairs Program) “Latino Engineering and Academic Day (LEAD)” funded by Hormel Foods Corporation in the amount of $1,500
George Corey (Upward Bound) “Upward Bound 13” funded by U.S. Department of Education in the amount of $387,000
Farhad Reza and Jim Wilde (Center for Transportation and Implementation) “Ultra-Thin Polymer Concrete Overlays for Bridges” funded by Minnesota Department of Transportation in the amount of $100,029
Jim Gullickson (KMSU-FM) “MN State Arts & Cultural Heritage Grant (FY13)” funded by the Department of Administration in the amount of $131,600
Julie Nelson and Mike Nolan (Small Business Development Center) “Profit Mastery Grant” funded by US Bank in the amount of $2,500
Garold Rushing (Human Performance) “GAC SID Athletic Account 12-13” funded by Gustavus Adolphus College in the amount of $15,856.02
Brian Wasserman (Construction Management) “Schedule Review Duluth Blatnik Bridge” funded by Minnesota Department of Transportation in the amount of $32,000
Kristie Campana (Psychology) “Public Option Survey for Waterville School District” funded by Waterville School District in the amount of $4,536
Jacqueline Lewis (Counseling and Student Personnel) “Gustavus Assistantship” funded by Gustavus Adolphus College in the amount of $15,856.02
Bob Pettitt (Human Performance) “Force Science Institute Graduate Assistant” funded by Force Science Institute in the amount of $12,832.50 and “Loyola Catholic School Graduate Assistant” funded by Loyola Catholic School in the amount of $8,308.90
Mike Nolan and Julie Nelson (Small Business Development Center) “2012 Carryover Grant” funded by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development in the amount of $10,100
Robin Wingo and Debra Gohagan (Department of Social Work) “MSW Title IV-E Child Welfare Stipend Program” funded by Minnesota Department of Human Services in the amount of $125,680
Ann Goebel (Strategic Business, Education and Regional Partnerships) “Manus Products Inc. MJSP - DEED Grant” funded by Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development in the amount of $48,624
Ginger Zierdt and Jill Ryan (Elementary and Early Childhood) “Faribault Teaching Fellow 13” funded by ISD #656; “Le Sueur Teaching Fellow 13” funded by ISD #2397; and “St. Peter Teaching Fellow 13” funded by ISD #508. Each funded in the amount of $10,069.79
Ginger Zierdt and Jill Ryan (Elementary and Early Childhood) “ISD 829 Waseca Teaching Fellow” funded by ISD 829 Waseca; “ISD 761 Owatonna Teaching Fellow” funded by ISD 761 Owatonna; and “ISD 2310 Sibley East Teaching Fellow” funded by ISD 2310 Sibley East. Each funded in the amount of $10,069.79
Ginger Zierdt and Jill Ryan (Elementary and Early Childhood) “ISD Mankato Teaching Fellow” funded by ISD 77 Mankato in the amount of $115,083.25

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Stewart Ross, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, was selected recently as chair of the Kiwanis International Strategic Planning Committee. Ross will work with a committee to put in place an overarching plan for Kiwanis International for the next five years. Ross attended Kiwanis Day at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 21.

Joe Kunkel, a political science professor in the Department of Government was interviewed on Sept. 11 by Bryna Godar of the Minnesota Daily about political climate and election outlook in the 1st Congressional District.

Gwen Westerman (English and Humanities) has published a new book on Dakota history with co-author Bruce White. “Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota” is now available from the Minnesota Historical Society Press. The book draws on oral history interviews, archival work and comparisons of Dakota, French and English sources to tell the detailed history of the Dakota people in their traditional homelands. Her artwork is also featured as the cover.

Leonard Che Fru has been hired as assistant director for mathematics/sciences in the Center for Academic Success. Che Fru has a master’s degree in physics and bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. He has served as a teaching assistant and tutor, and was president of the International Student Association and African Student Association.

Elizabeth Sandell, associate professor, elementary & early childhood, and Gregory Wilkins, associate director, Centennial Student Union and Student Activities, traveled to Russia in May and June to present papers at conferences in Magadan (at Northeastern State University) and in Moscow (at the 2012 Global Studies Conference). Sandell presented “The Impact of a Cultural Partnership on the Intercultural Competence of Undergraduates.” Wilkins presented “Celebrating Inclusive Communities: What’s Your Role?” Minnesota State Mankato students accompanied Sandell and Wilkins. The travel was supported by Minnesota State Mankato’s Office of Academic Affairs, Division of Student Affairs, and College of Education, along with Northeastern State University and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program.

Jen Myers has been named interim director of alumni relations and special events. Since 2005, Myers has served in the Office of Campus Recreation as a program coordinator for fitness, wellness and special events. Prior to that she was a graduate assistant in the Office of Campus Recreation. Myers received her master’s degree from Minnesota State Mankato in 2005.

Student Achievements

On Tuesday, Sept. 18, Habitat for Humanity at MSU members Bethany Hohenstein and Alexandria Hale attended Habitat for Humanity of South Central Minnesota's 100th Home Celebration, along with their RSO advisor Reverend Tim Berg. The celebration honored volunteers, donors and recipient families for completing the 100th home built by the chapter. HFH at MSU members can be proud of the important role they played in reaching this milestone!

Students volunteer their time and efforts in many ways throughout the year, including home building, awareness projects, Rake the Town, fundraising and volunteering at the ReStore. Habitat for Humanity at MSU is currently competing for $1,000 in a Barnes & Noble College Facebook competition against 130 other campus chapters across the country. To learn more about the competition or to win them points, visit View the KEYC Television broadcast of the 100th Home Celebration here. To learn more about Habitat for Humanity or to volunteer, visit


John Roberts, a former faculty member and chair of the aviation department, passed away Sept. 12. He was a member of the Minnesota State Mankato faculty from September 1981 until January 2003. His complete obituary can be viewed here.

Online TODAY Magazine

today magazineVisit 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) 389-6981 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 Oct. 10; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Oct. 5).

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.