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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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November 7, 2012 Campus Newsletter

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Diversity & International Education Week

Minnesota State University, Mankato’s annual Diversity & International Education Week will begin Monday, Nov. 12 when free Latin American coffee and cookies are served to the general public, students, faculty and staff from 10 a.m. to noon in Centennial Student Union (Room 269).

The free coffee will be followed by a presentation on “Retaining and Graduating Men of Color in Higher Education: Implications for Faculty and Administrators” from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 12 in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium.

Those two events are just two in a weeklong series of events that are a part of Minnesota State Mankato’s annual observance of Diversity & International Education Week, which begins Monday, Nov. 12 and continues through Monday, Nov. 19.

Other highlights during the week include the university’s first Multicultural Affairs Conference on Nov. 15-16, and 42nd Annual Diversity Dinner on Friday, Nov. 16. The week’s events are free and open to the public (unless noted). A complete schedule is available here.

Veterans Appreciation Lunch

As part of the activities on campus to honor our veterans, the Office of the President is hosting a Veterans Appreciation Lunch starting at 12 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 12. Students who are current military members or veterans may wish to attend this event, and some of these students may have classes during this time period. Class attendance requirements are the purview of faculty. We would ask faculty to consider the importance of this event in instances where students who are veterans or current military wish to attend this event at a time that conflicts with their class schedule.

Don’t Text and Drive

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) has asked our colleges and universities to help promote a traffic safety outreach program focusing on texting and driving in 2012 — which is illegal in Minnesota. Many of you may recall working on similar, successful programs in recent years.

Communicating this message to our students is of tremendous value since teens and young adults are most at-risk on our roads due distracted driving behavior, as well as low seat belt use, and higher rates of impaired driving. Traffic crashes are the leading killer of Minnesotans ages 1-34.

Texting while Driving TV PS The video available at the following YouTube link is a reminder of the dangers of texting and driving: YouTube

Thank you very much for your help to educate our students and keep them safe on the road.

Maverick Flight Team Places Second

Minnesota State University, Mankato hosted the Regional Flight Team Competition for the north central region. The competition was held at the Mankato Airport from Oct. 10-13. The University of North Dakota is the perennial powerhouse both regionally and nationally, but the Maverick Flight Team is closing the gap.

The Mavericks placed second overall and team member Austin Jacobsen was the top pilot in the competition. The Maverick flight team scored over 100 points more than it had in previous competitions. Other teams competing at the regional competition included the University of North Dakota, St. Cloud State, and University of Dubuque.

The second-place finish gives the Minnesota State Mankato flight team a spot at the national flight team competition, which will be held at Ohio State University in the spring. About 40 teams and 1,000 individuals from around the nation will compete at the national competition.

Master of Accounting Program Starting in 2013

Minnesota State University, Mankato recently was notified that it has been approved to offer a new master of accounting degree program beginning in fall 2013. The addition of the new program will allow students to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting in five years from Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Business while also meeting the 150-credit requirement to sit for the certified public accountant (CPA) exam.

The master of accounting program will be the only program of its type available through the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system in southern Minnesota. It is being added in response to a workforce demand for more accounting professionals, higher educational demands from the profession and the fact that relatively few programs currently are available in the state, said William Brown, chair of accounting and business law at Minnesota State Mankato.

Contact William Brown, chair of the accounting and business law program, at (507) 389-5427 or with questions about the new master of accounting program. More information is also available about the Minnesota State Mankato master of accounting program online here. Information on Minnesota State Mankato’s overall accounting program is available online here.

Nov. 8: Choral Invitational Concert

The Minnesota State Mankato Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, conducted by Dr. David Dickau, will host concert choirs from a number of area high schools as part of the annual Choral Invitational Concert Thursday, Nov. 8. The Department of Music-sponsored event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Saint Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 105 North Fifth St., Mankato.

Concert admission is $9; $7 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 For more information, call the PerformanceSeries office, (507) 389-5549.

Nov. 8-18: ‘Cactus Flower’

The Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance will conclude the first half of its 2012-13 Mainstage season with Abe Burrows’ comedy “Cactus Flower” Nov 8-18 in the Ted Paul Theatre. It is sponsored by Blethen, Gage & Krause.

A philandering dentist (played by Walter Matthau in the 1969 movie) keeps his many affairs at bay by claiming to be married with children. When the ruse threatens to catch up with him, he drafts his prickly nurse (played by Ingrid Bergman) to pose as his wife. She blossoms and he finds himself falling in love with the lovely “cactus flower” right under his nose.

Individual tickets for “Cactus Flower,” which is being presented for the first time at Minnesota State Mankato, are $16 regular, $14 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more, and $11 for current Minnesota State students. They are available online here,, or by calling or stopping by the Theatre & Dance Box Office in the lobby of the Earley Center for Performing Arts from 4-6 p.m., Monday-Friday. Call 507-389-6661.

Nov. 11: Pianist David Viscoli

An afternoon of classical music will be presented by Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Music Sunday, Nov. 11. Pianist David Viscoli (pictured at left) will present a program featuring two sonatas by Beethoven and nine etudes-tableaux by Rachmaninoff. The performance will be at 3 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

David Viscoli has performed extensively both nationally and internationally. Performances of note include concerts in Korea, Taiwan, Panama, Europe, and Canada, and at The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Washington, The University of Iowa, The Ohio State University, and The University of Oregon. He is currently Professor of Piano at Minnesota State Mankato.

Concert admission is $9; $7 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 For more information, call the Performance Series office, (507) 389-5549. Those with a disability who need a reasonable accommodation may call (507) 389-2077 or 711 (MRS/TTY).

Nov. 13: History Forum

Minnesota State University, Mankato’s fall History Forum lecture will be presented by visiting assistant professor Jonathan Trutor on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. in Centennial Student Union 201.

Trutor will speak on “Informational Deterrence: French and British Government Filemaking for the Nuclear Apocalypse” in a lecture that is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public. Refreshmens will be served following the presentation.

Trutor will discuss how the burgeoning nuclear arsenals of France and Britain during the height of the Cold War made both nations’ citizens prospective targets in the event of Soviet-Western conflict. Trutor will explain that in order to cope with this grim reality, the French and British information ministries prepared films that introduced the realities of nuclear war to their public. At the same time, they promoted their nuclear weapons and energy programs as a necessary part of public and energy security. Trutor’s lecture will show how these government films expressed the paradoxical desires and insecurities of the French and British governments towards their nuclear deterrents in an age of international anxiety.

Those who want more information about the lecture may contact Tao Peng, Minnesota State Mankato associate professor, by phone at 507-389-1611 or by email at

Nov. 14: Student Concert Production

Music Industry students at Minnesota State University, Mankato will produce a concert on Wednesday, Nov. 14 at 9:30 p.m. at The What's Up Lounge, 701 North Riverfront Drive, Mankato. Performing groups include Good Night, Gold Dust, The Bitterroot Band, and Boardwalk Arcade.

Admission is $5 at the door, and the show is for those 21 years and older.

Members of Dale Haefner's Wednesday evening Concert Production and Music Management class are learning what it takes to produce an event. Over a six-week period in their course, Minnesota State Mankato students majoring in Music Industry are working under Haefner's guidance to gain some hands-on experience in the music industry field. In the process, the small group of seven will divide all of the tasks associated with planning and promoting a quality concert.

Contact the Department of Music's Performance Series office, 507-389-5549, for additional information about this event.

Nov. 14: Blood Drive

Upward Bound is sponsoring a Red Cross Blood Drive. It will be held Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Minnesota State Mankato's Centennial Student Union Ballroom. Appointments can be made by calling 507-389-1211 or you can make an appointment by going online at and enter sponsor code 0175952. Walk-ins will also be welcomed. Please consider donating, as blood supplies are low at this time.

Nov. 15: International Poetry Recital

The Department of World Languages and Cultures invites faculty, staff, students and the general public to the International Poetry Recital, which will take place on Thursday, Nov. 15 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. during the International Education and Cultural Diversity Weeks, in the Casual Lab of Memorial Library (ML 45). Anybody interested in participating is asked to fill out the form enclosed at this link.

There will be snacks and refreshments sponsored by the Kearney International Center. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call (5519 or 2116) or e-mail

Nov. 15-16: Multicultural Affairs Conference

Minnesota State University, Mankato will host a Multicultural Affairs Conference on Nov. 15-16 with a theme of “Changing Faces in Higher Education” in an effort to celebrate multicultural diversity in Minnesota education.

The conference is one of the highlights of Diversity & International Week, which runs from Nov. 12 through Nov. 19. The Multicultural Affairs Conference will provide forums for students, practitioners, professionals and communities to come together to discuss educational and diversity issues while identifying and sharing best practices to serve students of color. The conference will also address the anticipated shift in demographics of college students in the next four decades, particularly as the changes relate to American Indians, African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders.

On Thursday, Nov. 15, the conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., with a social event beginning at 8 p.m. On Friday, Nov. 16, the conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Conference fees for faculty, staff and the general public are $125. Fees for current Minnesota State Mankato students are $25. Minnesota State Mankato students may be able to earn academic credit by attending this conference.

The first-time conference is a collaboration of the four centers in Minnesota State Mankato’s Multicultural Affairs and Intercultural Student Center, to include African American Affairs, Asian American Pacific Islander Affairs, American Indians Affairs and Latino Affairs. Those who want more information may call (507) 389-6300, or click here.

Fall Observations at Standeford Observatory

The public is invited to come visit Standeford Observatory at Minnesota State University, Mankato on clear Thursday evenings during the fall observing season, which runs from Labor Day to Thanksgiving.

The observatory will be free and open to the public on these Thursday evenings (Sept. 6 through Nov. 15) from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. (If the sky is not sufficiently clear at observing time, the public viewing session will be not be held.)

Those making a Thursday trek to the observatory will be able to see a variety of celestial objects from the fall observing list, including the Ring Nebula, the Wild Duck Cluster, the Swan Nebula, the Double Cluster in Perseus, the Dumbbell Nebula, the Andromeda Galaxy, numerous globular clusters, a planet or two, and a host of colorful binary stars.

Visitors should park at the southern end of Gage parking lot #1, walk through the pedestrian gate, and follow the road south to the observatory. (Visitors with special needs should contact the Accessibility Resources at 389-2825.)

If weather makes viewing uncertain, phone Standeford Observatory (389-6208) during the evening to inquire about sky conditions. A sign on the gate at the end of lot #1 will indicate whether the observatory is open.

For more information about the Minnesota State Mankato observing facilities, see the Physics & Astronomy website here.

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 events:

Nov. 27, 5 p.m. - 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.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Joe Kunkel, a political science professor in the Department of Government, spoke to Mankato Area Lifelong Learners giving an "Election Preview" at Bethel Baptist Church on Oct. 22. Kunkel also spoke to the Mankato Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on the topic "Show Me the Money: Regulation and Deregulation of Campaign Finance" on Oct. 25.

John Seymour, a professor in the Department of Counseling and Student Personnel, has been appointed by the Association for Play Therapy to chair its credentialing program. He and his 34-member committee will conduct a comprehensive review of the APT play therapy credentialing and continuing education policies by which licensed mental health professionals earn and maintain the "Registered Play Therapist" and "Supervisor" credentials.

Tom Gjersvig, International Student and Scholar Services Director within the Elizabeth and Wynn Kearney International Center, won the NAFSA Region IV Distinguished Service Award NAFSA Region IV Distinguished Service Award. This award recognizes Region IV NAFSA members currently involved in association activities who have donated at least 10 years of service to NAFSA and who have acted as mentors to colleagues in all aspects of the field.

Julie Rabaey, International Student and Scholar Services Assistant Director, presented the session “Ethical Decision-Making as an International Educator”

Dave Engen, a communication studies professor, released his book “The Wagon Wheel Project”. Engen’s book documents the stories of regulars at The Wagon Wheel Cafe on Front Street.

Jasper Hunt, a professor in the College of Education, delivered the Kurt Hahn Address on Nov. 1 at the 40th annual International Association for Experiential Education Conference.

Stewart Ross, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, presented an all-day workshop on Integrated Course Design for faculty in the Business College at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, B.C. at the end of October.

Student Achievements

Justin Bedore, a May 2012 graduate of Minnesota State Mankato, was recently honored as one of three international recipients of Omicron Delta Epsilon’s 2012 Outstanding Student Leadership award, which recognizes students who assume active leadership roles in their ODE chapters. Nominations are made by faculty advisors each spring, and recipients receive 10K ODE Keys. Omicron Delta Epsilon was established in 1963 and currently has 672 chapters located in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Egypt, France, Kazakhstan, and United Arab Emirates. More information on Omicron Delta Epsilon is available at the organization’s website at: Ihsuan Li, assistant professor of economics, is the faculty advisor for the Minnesota State Mankato ODE Kappa Chapter.

Department Newsletters

For more detailed information from particular departments and offices around campus, check out the following departmental newsletters.

[PDF] Human Resources (388 KiB)
[PDF] Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (2 MiB)

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. 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 Nov. 21; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Nov. 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.