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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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November 21, 2012 Campus Newsletter

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Advisor Recognition

The College of Social & Behavioral Sciences honored four advisors for their extraordinary, distinguished and special services at an award ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 13 in Armstrong Hall. Thirty outstanding advisors were nominated for the recognition.

Plaques were presented to the honorees, who included (left to right in picture): Ginger Schmid (Geography); Tony Filipovitch (Urban and Regional Studies Institute); Paul Mackie (Social Work); and Pedro Thomas (Corrections).

In addition, Clark Johnson was recognized with an “Advisor Extraordinaire” plaque.

Faculty Research Grant & Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award

Minnesota State Mankato has been supporting and recognizing faculty research/creative activities by providing faculty with internal funding opportunities and excellence awards. In particular, Distinguished Faculty Scholar (DFS) Awards have been given to exemplary scholars for their outstanding scholarly achievements at Minnesota State Mankato, and Faculty Research Grants (FRG) have been supporting faculty research/creative activities.

In a Monday, Dec. 10 session held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Memorial Library Area 88, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (RASP) and Center for Excellence in Scholarship and Research (CESR) will go over the procedures and tips for FRGs and DFS Awards. In-Jae Kim and Kristel Lynch will be the instructors.

Law Enforcement Students Excel

The Law Enforcement Program in the Department of Government at Minnesota State University, Mankato, is celebrating the passing rate for its students who have written the Police Officers Standards and Training (POST) exam.

“Over the past five years the Minnesota State Mankato students have had a 100% pass rate, underscoring the exemplary program at this university and the dedication by the faculty and staff,” said Colleen Clarke, director of law enforcement in the Law Enforcement Program at Minnesota State Mankato.

Law Enforcement faculty and students were honored for their accomplishment on Wednesday, Nov. 7. Following the celebration, retired Roseville, Minn., Police Chief Carol Sletner gave a presentation on “Strategies for Police Employment.”

The Peace Officer Licensing Exam is administered when an individual has completed a Minnesota Professional Peace Officer Education (PPOE) program and has been awarded a post-secondary degree. Passing the exam makes a student eligible for a peace officer license for three 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.

Social Work Department Held Annual Honors

On Nov. 2, the Department of Social Work recognized several students who previously were selected for scholarships and child welfare stipend program. The department provided undergraduate and graduate students eight different scholarships this year that each year total nearly $5,000.

These awards are made possible through generous support of alumni, faculty, and friends of the program. Students who received scholarships were also recognized at a College of Social and Behavioral Sciences dinner in early October.

In addition, 18 students were recognized as 2012 Child Welfare Scholars. These students will receive support from the Department of Human Services Title IV-E Child Welfare Stipend program over the course of the year and are also committing to careers in the public and tribal child welfare programs.

Three students in the department were recognized as Social Welfare Scholars. Each was awarded a prize for papers submitted and reviewed for this annual honor. First place went to Tiffany Breckenridge (Owatonna, Minn.); her paper was titled "Children in Danger: A Look at Child Maltreatment in the United States."  The second-place prize want to Sarah Sater (Alexandria, Minn.) whose paper was titled: "Services for Battered Women: Combating the Psychological Control." And, finally, third place went to Leah Elbert (Fairmont, Minn.), who wrote a paper titled "Services for At-Risk Adolescents: Preventive Counseling and Mentoring." All three students spoke briefly about their papers.

Finally, three Social Work alumni were honored. Carol Goodemann and Jen Withrow were honored as Outstanding New Social Work Alumni, while Sarah Beckius was honored as the Social Work Alumna of the Year.

For further information, please contact Annelies Hagemeister, chairperson, Department of Social Work (; phone: 507-389-5078).

Social Work Students Earn Places in Purdue University Military Extension Program

Ravy Elizabeth Lieng (Minneapolis, Minn.) and David Wentzel (Mankato, Minn.) will both be completing their bachelor's degrees in social work by leaving Minnesota State Mankato and completing their social work practicum by working with children and families in military families. Each of the students comes from a different place, but both are looking for similar experiences. They learned of this program through Christine Black-Hughes, completed the competitive application process and recently learned that they were accepted into the program.

According to the the program’s website: “With the help of the Department of Defense and USDA, the Military Extension Internship Program helps university students and recent graduates gain professional skills through unique internships that provide real-world work experience with military child and youth programs. These professional skills will help past interns competitively enter the workforce and have already done so for several past interns.”

More information about the Military Extension Internship Program can be found here.

Community Engagement Office Holiday Announcement

The Community Engagement Office in the Centennial Student Union is organizing confidential holiday giving opportunities. Call (507) 389-5789 or send an email to community.engagement@mnsu for more information. Students needing assistance with providing gifts for their children may also contact the Community Engagement Office.

Barnes & Noble Thank You

Barnes & Noble would like to express their sincere thanks to faculty, staff and students for their hard work and support this year. Please join them in the store on Monday, Dec. 17 for Customer Appreciation Day. Stop in for coffee, cider and treats from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Clothing, gifts and general reading books will be 20% off.

Also, Barnes and Noble reminds faculty that textbook requests can be made by phone, fax, email, in person or by accessing the faculty link on our website. Early submissions allow us time to source used copies, and can help students receive more money when they sell books back!

Nov. 21-30: Senior Art Exhibits, Show II

Senior Art Department Students of Minnesota State University, Mankato will exhibit their art at Conkling Gallery on campus from Friday, Nov. 9 through Friday, Nov. 30.

Conkling Gallery is at 139 Nelson Hall. All artwork will be on display during gallery hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday and other times as noted.). The exhibits are free and open to the public.

Show II exhibits will be on display from Nov. 21 through Nov. 30, with an opening reception on Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. Students who will have art on display for this show include Thuy Bac, Elizabeth Burnett, Theresa Crozier, Natasha Haugen, Brittney Hedges, Kelsey Hildebrandt, Claire Pawelec, Dany Stoufer and Rachel Van Luyk.

For more information call (507) 389-6412.

Nov. 27 - Dec. 2: Jazz Big Bands, Orchestra, Concert Bands to Perform

The University Jazz Big Bands, University Orchestra, and University Concert Bands of Minnesota State Mankato will host three performances next week.

The University Jazz Big Bands will perform on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 7:30 p.m. The focus of the Jazz Mavericks is to provide students with experience in a jazz ensemble along with several performance opportunities. The jazz literature performed in the ensemble ranges from classic jazz charts to contemporary jazz. Dr. Douglas Snapp directs this auditioned group. The University Jazz Lab Band will also perform on the concert. Graduate student Matt Windett directs this group.

The University Orchestra will perform on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m. The University Orchestra is an ensemble made up of both music and non-music majors alike. The ensemble is under the direction of Dr. Joseph Rodgers and performs music bymany composers written for orchestra and chamber ensembles.

Finally, the University Concert Bands will perform on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. The University Concert Bands consists of the Symphonic Band and the Concert Wind Ensemble, which are composed of university students, staff, and community members. Dr. Amy Roisum Foley directs both ensembles. In addition, graduate student Mrs. Dawn Punke will share in the conducting duties.

The Symphonic Band will be performing works by Teilmann Susato, Ottorino Respighi, a beautiful wind band version of Brahms’ Lullaby, and a lively Fantasy on John Phillip Sousa’s Fairest of the Fair by Andrew Boysen.

The Concert Wind Ensemble will perform two works from the Lord of the Rings Symphony by Johan de Meij. Other works include the Funeral March by Edvard Grieg and Barnum and Bailey’s Favorite March. Dr. Preston Duncan, Professor of Saxophone, will be featured as a soloist on Concertango, written in the style of Astor Piazzolla.

All three concerts take place in Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

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 here. For more information, call the Performance Series office at (507) 389-5549.

Nov. 28-Dec. 1: ‘I Love You Because’

The Minnesota State Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance will present the last play of the fall semester Nov. 28-Dec. 1 in the Andreas Theatre. “I Love You Because” is a musical with music by Joshua Salzman, book and lyrics by Ryan Cunningham and orchestrations by Larry Hochman.

A modern musical twist on Jane Austin’s “Pride and Prejudice” and set in New York City, “I Love You Because” is directed by third-year master of fine arts directing candidate Adam Sahli who last year directed “Endgame.” Musical direction is by Robb Krueger, a third-year master of fine arts acting candidate who appeared last as “Lord Nicia” in the Mainstage production of “The Mandrake” and has written music for this upcoming winter’s children’s theatre touring production, “Shine.”

In this production, a young, uptight greeting card writer’s life is changed when he meets a flighty photographer. Along with their eccentric friends and siblings, they learn to love each other not in spite of their faults but because of them.

This is the first time Minnesota State Mankato has presented “I Love You Because.” Individual tickets are $10 regular, $9 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more, and $8 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. They are available online at, or at the Theatre & Dance Box Office in the lobby of the Earley Center for Performing Arts between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., Monday-Friday. Phone number is (507) 389-6661.

Dec. 1: Nepal Night

The Nepalese Student Committee at Minnesota State Mankato invites the campus community to purchase tickets to an authentic Nepalese dinner with various Nepali dishes to be held at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1 in the Centennial Student Union main floor.

Following dinner, guests are invited into the Centennial Student Union Ballroom at 7 p.m. to view different performances by students involved in Nepalese Student Committee.

Ticket prices for general entry are $9, and for Minnesota State Mankato student ticket prices are $7; free entry for children under the age of 6. Tickets can be purchased at the Kearney International Center and the Centennial Student Union MAV Ave Ticket Booth.

The Nepalese Student Committee is the community of Nepalese students, who thrive in fraternity and common goodwill at Minnesota State Mankato. With a history of excellent performance on campus, off campus, and in cultural events, the community has always maintained its pride.

For more information on Nepal Night, please contact Sunny Shrestha by email at or

Dec. 4 & 6: Songs of Season Concerts

The University Jazz Combos and Singers and the University Choral Groups of Minnesota State Mankato will host performances the final week of fall semester.

The University Jazz Combos and Singers will perform on Tuesday, Dec. 4 in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The Jazz Singers, formed in Fall 2001, is a select vocal jazz ensemble. This ensemble performs repertoire from groups such as Take 6, The New York Voices, The Real Group, and Manhattan Transfer. The Jazz Choir is a full vocal jazz chorus open to all students with basic vocal skills. This ensemble provides students who may be new to vocal jazz with an opportunity to learn to sing jazz and commercial musical styles. Dr. Douglas Snapp, Director of Jazz Studies at the University, coaches all jazz groups.

The Holiday Choral Concert will take place on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church, 632 South Broad Street, Mankato.

The University Choral Groups consists of three ensembles: the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers conducted by Dr. David Dickau, and the University Chorale conducted by Mr. Rodney Urtel. The Concert Choir is an auditioned group that includes students from all areas of the University.

The Chamber Singers will be performing one of the great motets, O Heiland Reiss by Johannes Brahms, which requires great vocal skill by the ensemble. They will also be performing some familiar holiday music including very interesting contemporary arrangements of There Is No Rose and In Dulci Jubilo as well as a popular arrangement of Have Yourself a Very Merry Christmas.

The Concert Choir is performing Morton Lauridsen's beautiful O Magnum Mysterium. They will also perform several familiar carol settings along with a very stimulating Irish carol, Dublin Bell Carol.

The University Chorale will combine forces with the University Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Joseph Rodgers, and soloists from Dr. Kimm Julian’s voice studio, to perform excerpts from Handel’s Messiah. This music is some of the most beloved in the choral music repertoire and the Hallelujah Chorus will certainly be triumphant.

Allie Kastner, Graphic Design major, and alto in the Concert Choir says, “I love the atmosphere in the choir, it’s professional yet fun. We are all like a big family and I have learned many great life-long characteristics, such as respect, responsibility, and trust. Choir is somewhere that I’m always excited to go to.”

Concertadmission is $9; $7 for students with a valid MavCARD. Discount tickets areavailable 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.

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.

Kunkel Shares Expertise in Germany

Professor Joseph Kunkel (Department of Government) spoke on the U.S. political process at a number of locations in Germany recently. Here is a brief summary:

Nov. 5 -- Kunkel was one of three experts giving evening pre-election commentary and Q & A as part of an Election Night Party at the Deutsch Amerikanisches Instute (German American Institute) in Nuremberg, Germany. The audience was composed of Germans of various ages, students and Americans abroad. The same day, Kunkel delivered a lecture entitled "Election 2012 and the Direction of U.S. Politics" at Haus Rissen in Hamburg Germany. Haus Rissen is a non-partisan and private institute for civic education founded in 1954. The lecture was cosponsored by the U.S. Consulate in Hamburg. The audience was primarily composed of Bundeswehr (German) and U.S. Army officers training together in the Joint Command. Additionally, Kunkel was interviewed by Annette Helfman of the Lohrer Echo, Lohr Germany, about his visit with relatives in the Kunkel's ancestral village of Wiesthal and his week-long tour of Germany lecturing on the U.S. elections. 

Nov. 6 -- Kunkel was one of three experts giving morning post-election commentary at a breakfast gathering of business people and others at Rödl & Partner in Nuremberg, Germany. The audience was composed primarily of employees and owners of businesses.

Nov. 7 -- Kunkel spoke on "Understanding the U.S. Election and What It Means" at Martin- Behaim Gymnasium (high school) and at Hans Sachs Gymnasium (high school) in Nuremberg, Germany. The audiences in both venues were composed of about 100 students in their last year of gymnasium.

Nov. 10 -- Kunkel delivered the keynote address for the Fulbright Alumni Association Welcome Meeting at the International School, Frankfurt, Germany. He spoke on the topic of: "The 2012 U.S. Election: How We Got Here, What Happened and What Comes Next?"The audience was composed approximately 60 Fulbright alumni; Germans who had studied or researched in the U.S. and a few Americans currently on Fulbright appointments in Germany.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Torin Akey, Associate Director of Residential Life, was recently elected to a three-year appointment as Treasurer for The Upper Midwest Region - Association of College and University Housing Officers. 

Tom Inglot, Government Department, participated in a special international and interdisciplinary seminar on the "Cold War and the Welfare State" at the Nobel Peace Institute in Oslo, Norway, Nov. 11-14, 2012. He presented a paper entitled "Western Welfare States Watched from the East During the Cold War: Condemnation, Competition and Creative Learning."

Joseph Kunkel spoke to Mankato Area Lifelong Learners giving "Post-election Analysis" at Bethel Baptist Church on Nov. 15. 

Student Achievements

Lucas Martin, Brittany Vee, Shane Bjork, and Lauren Erkes competed and won first place in the “Advanced Crime Scene” category and Taylor Ondracek, Nicholas Schmitt, and Angela Benge competed and won first place in the “Basic Crime Scene” category at the Criminal Justice Conference and Crime Scene Competition, Colorado Technical University, Sioux Falls, S.D., Oct. 18-20, 2012. This competition was sponsored by the Delta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma (the National Criminal Justice Honor Society).

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

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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 Dec. 5; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Nov. 30).

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