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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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March 20, 2013 Campus Newsletter

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Scholarship Search

The Department of Residential Life held its second “Scholarship Search” program on Wednesday, Feb. 27 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Preska Residence Community. Tables were set up that represented each college at Minnesota State University, Mankato, with representatives from each on hand to pass out information and answer questions from students. Matt Goff from the Residential Life staff was the contact for the program.

LibQual+ Survey

Planning is underway for the future of Minnesota State Mankato’s Memorial Library, and the library is seeking input through LibQual+, a national survey of library service quality designed by the Association of Research Libraries.

Invitations to participate in the survey will be randomly distributed via email to students and faculty. The online survey will be available March 18-29 and should take 10-15 minutes to complete. Those selected are encouraged to complete the survey, as it will help library faculty to:

  • Understand how the Minnesota State Mankato community rates the quality of library services
  • Benchmark our campus results against other libraries
  • Concentrate and maximize our service improvements, especially in this challenging budgetary environment.

Questions about the survey should be sent to Jessica Schomberg, catalog librarian, at

Mavericks T-Shirt in Space

U.S. Air Force Col. (Ret.) Kevin Ford, a NASA astronaut currently on board the International Space Station is pictured in the accompanying photo wearing a Minnesota State Mankato Athletic Training t-shirt. The photo, submitted by faculty member Pat Sexton, shows Ford next to the resistance training device used by astronauts while on the space station to maintain muscle mass, bone density, etc., in order to counter the long-term effects of weightlessness.

According to Sexton, Ford offered to “fly” this shirt for Bruce Neischwitz, a graduate student at Minnesota State Mankato in the mid-1990s. Neischwitz is one of several athletic trainers who help to condition, treat, and provide preventative conditioning for astronauts.

Chemists in the Library

Join the "Chemists in the Library" on Saturday, March 23 from 11 a.m. to noon in the Educational Resource Center located in the lower level of Memorial Library. The Minnesota Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the campus ACS Chemistry Club students and the Chemistry Faculty will once again host a combined event demonstrating that science can be fun. This free program is intended for elementary school students.

Dance Marathon Raises $10,000 for Children’s Healthcare

The Community Engagement Office announced several upcoming events. If interested, please stop in the Community Engagement Office- located in the student activities section of the Centennial Student Union, or via email:

Friday, March 1
It’s the celebration of Dr. Seuss birthday! Children from pre-K elementary schools will be attending this event and will be participating in games and activities held in Myers Fieldhouse from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteers are needed to help assist in preparing for the children's arrival and help escort groups of children to designated spots in Myers. There are two volunteer shifts: shift one is from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and shift two is from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you are interested in volunteering for this event please email or or stop in at our office in CSU 171.

Nearly 200 people came out to go “Cruisin’ for the Kids” at the 2013 MSU Dance Marathon in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom at Minnesota State Mankato on Saturday, Feb. 23. The 50’s-themed event raised $10,018 for Children’s Miracle Network and its local affiliate, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.

Dance Marathon had been a staple on the Minnesota State Mankato campus until about 10 years ago, when it stopped. Three years ago, the MSU Greek Community brought the event back as a whole-community effort, and the Dance Marathon is now one of the largest student-run philanthropic events on the Minnesota State Mankato campus. Both participation numbers and the amount raised have increased each year. This year’s event was the first to raise $10,000.

The event featured live music, a DJ, food, games, face-painting, and dancing. Three local families with children benefitting from services provided at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare participated in the event.

Planning for the 2014 Dance Marathon is already under way. Those interested in helping are encouraged to stop by the Student Activities Office, CSU 173, for more information.

Regional Recreation Champions

Two Minnesota State Mankato students won region titles at the annual Association of College Unions International Region 10 Recreation Tournament during March 2 competition in Fargo, N.D., at North Dakota State University. Taylor Axley earned first place in the men’s 9-Ball billiard tournament, while Chun-Yin “Alex” Yau placed first in men’s table tennis.

ACUI Region 10 represents nearly 50 member institutions from Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota as well as Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Western Ontario. ACUI is a nonprofit educational organization founded in 1914 that consists of nearly 1,000 member institutions worldwide. ACUI and its member institutions’ common goal is to help college unions improve their programs and services and to be effective contributors to individual growth and development and student interests.

Strategic Priority Funding for FY14

The Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment received a total of 27 proposals requesting over $1.4 million in Strategic Priority Funding for expenditure in fiscal year 2014. During the fall 2012 term, the Planning Sub-Meet and Confer reviewed 27 idea proposals and recommended that 18 proposals advance to full proposals. Earlier this spring, the Planning Sub-Meet and Confer held proposal presentations and reviewed 18 full proposals that requested over $800,000 in Strategic Priority Funding. After a careful read and review of the proposals, as well as the recommendations of the Planning Sub-Meet and Cabinet, President Richard Davenport approved the funding of seven proposals supported by an allocation of $246,155 in funding. Information regarding each of the projects awarded funding can be found on the University’s web site for Strategic Priority Initiative Funding here.

Community Service Honor Roll

Minnesota State Mankato was one of 18 Minnesota colleges or universities and one of 690 higher education institutions nationwide to be named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The 2013 Honor Roll recipients were announced at the American Council on Education’s 95th Annual Meeting on March 4 in Washington, D.C. The program began in 2006 and is managed by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education and Campus Compact.

Faculty Research Grants

The purpose of a Faculty Research Grant (FRG) at Minnesota State Mankato is to encourage excellence in research, scholarship, and creative activities among Minnesota State Mankato faculty by providing seed funding for faculty projects. These grants support faculty initiatives in all disciplines including basic, applied, and pedagogical research and creative projects. Please go here to access more information on committee members, funding statistics, and current guidelines.

Faculty are encouraged to contact the appropriate College representative for guidance on proposal development. Application packets must be submitted to Research and Sponsored Programs (RASP, WA 325) by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 22. For clarification or additional information, please contact the Research and Sponsored Programs office.

March 20: Annual Nadine Andreas Lecture

Guest lecturer Maili Pörhölä (pictured at right), a professor at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, will discuss the impact of bullying on health in the 2012-13 Nadine B. Andreas Lecture at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20 in Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Centennial Student Union, Room 253.

Pörhölä’s presentation, which is free and open to the public, is titled “From the PLAYGROUND to the WORKPLACE: Bullying’s Impact on Individual and Community Health.”

The lecture will be followed by a community conversation about bullying. Among the participants will be Walter Roberts, professor in Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Counseling and Student Personnel; Anne Dahlman, associate professor and chair in Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Educational Studies: K-12 & Secondary Programs; Catherine Davis, physician in the Mankato Clinic; and Maureen Tanis, a social work professional from the Mayo Health System.

Maili Pörhölä (Ph.D., University of Jyväskylä, Finland) is a professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, where she is the director of the “Mental Violence in Communication Relationships” research project. Her research focuses on bullying at school, in higher education, and in the workplace, including examining aspects of peer relationships, peer community integration, and psychosocial well-being.

The event is sponsored by Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Communication Studies in the College of Arts and Humanities. Those who want more information may contact faculty member Dave Engen, associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies by phone at 507-389-5537 or by email at

March 21: Dr. Truman Wood Memorial Lecture

Please join Dean Kimberly Greer and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Advisory Board for the Dr. Truman Wood Memorial Lecture. The topic of this year's lecture is “Welcome Home Veterans…Now What?”

The annual event is organized by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Advisory Board and features alumni speakers. The lecture series is named for the late Dr. Truman Wood, a former Advisory Board member and emeritus professor of political science.

This year's event will take place on March 21 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m., in Ostrander Auditorium. It features a panel discussion and is open to students, faculty, staff and the public. Panelists include:

  • Dan Benson, Moderator, U.S. Army Veteran, Current member of U.S. Army Reserve
  • Dr. Norman Baer, CareerOneStop, U.S. Army Veteran
  • Kelli Damlo, Anthropology Student, U.S. Army Veteran, Current member of U.S. Army Reserve
  • Patrick McCormick, Law Enforcement Student, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran
  • Luke Weinandt, MN Assistance Council for Veterans, U.S. Army Veteran
  • Reggie Worlds, MN Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Army Veteran
  • Col. (Ret.) Tom Hallett, U.S. Army Veteran

March 21: Project Management Speaker

Joe Perzel, a project management expert who is currently a senior project manager at Surescripts, a clinical health information network, will discuss the “soft side of project management” in a presentation from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 21 in Room 201, Centennial Student Union.

Perzel’s presentation, free and open to the public, is titled “The Dark Arts of Project Management.” At 5:30 p.m., prior to Perzel’s presentation, there will be free pizza and an opportunity to network. Please RSVP for the dinner by sending an email in advance to To read the complete release, click here.

The event is sponsored by the Southwest Outreach Program, which is part of the Minnesota Chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI-MN). The Southwest Outreach Program began in 2012 with four outreach sessions at Minnesota State Mankato. In 2013, there are also four outreach sessions scheduled (all at Minnesota State Mankato). Dates include March 21 (featuring Perzel’s presentation); April 21; Sept. 19; and Nov. 14.

For more information on the Southwest Outreach Program, please contact program manager Mohamed Diab, an assistant professor in the Construction Management Department in Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Science, Engineering & Technology. Diab can be reached by phone at 507-389-2114 or by email at

March 22-23: Candlelight Vigil

Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Community Engagement Office is sponsoring a 12-hour candlelight vigil to raise awareness of domestic abuse that will be held from 11 p.m. on Friday, March 22 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 23 at Elks Nature Center in Mankato’s Rasmussen Woods.

Volunteers will light and place candles throughout the night, participate in a closing ceremony at noon on Saturday, March 23 and then lead a Rasmussen Woods spring clean-up following the event.

The general public is invited to volunteer by participating in four-hour shifts at the candlelight vigil. Volunteers wishing to participate should send an email to or

Minnesota State Mankato’s Community Engagement Office held its first candlelight vigil in March 2010 following the death of a Mankato mother due to domestic abuse.

For more information, please contact Denise Billington-Just, assistant director in the Community Engagement Office at Minnesota State Mankato, by phone at 507-389-6076 or by email at

March 26: Fair Pay Trailblazer Lilly Ledbetter

Lilly Ledbetter (pictured at right), namesake of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act that was signed into legislation Jan. 29, 2009, is the featured speaker for the 9th annual Carol Ortman Perkins Lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 26 in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

The event is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

Ledbetter worked as a supervisor from 1979 to 1998 at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Gadsden, Ala. She one of the first women hired at the management level at Goodyear and faced gender discrimination and sexual harassment on a regular basis.

After 19 years of service at the company, she received an anonymous note revealing she made of thousands of dollars less per year than men in her position. Ledbetter filed a sex discrimination case against Goodyear, which she won, but then lost on appeal. Eventually her case made its way to the Supreme Court, which denied her relief because she did not file suit 180 days from her first unequal paycheck.

“President Obama has long championed this bill and Lilly Ledbetter’s cause, and by signing it into law, he will ensure that women like Ms. Ledbetter and other victims of pay discrimination can effectively challenge unequal pay,” said the official White House Blog.

Read more about the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 or watch President Obama sign the Lilly Ledbetter Act.

Ledbetter’s Minnesota State Mankato visit is sponsored by the following organizations: Women’s Center; the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies; Institutional Diversity; the College of Arts and Humanities; the College of Social and Behavioral Science; the Inter-Faculty Organization Issues Committee; Residential Life; the College of Graduate Studies and Research; Inter-Faculty Organization; Student Affairs and Enrollment Management; the College of Education; the College of Business; and Panhellenic Council.

For more information, or if your group or department is interested in co-sponsoring this lecture, contact Jessica Flatequal by phone at 507-389-5792 or by email at Information is also available at

March 26: Documentary ‘Head Games’

A free public showing of the documentary film ‘Head Games,’ which addresses the “silent concussion crisis in American Sports,” will be shown at 7 p.m. on March 26 in Ostrander Auditorium, located in Minnesota State University’s Centennial Student Union.

Seating is first-come, first-serve. A one-time rights fee has been paid to show a blu-ray disc version of the 95-minute film, rated PG-13 for thematic elements involving sports violence and injuries.

The film will be presented by the Minnesota State Athletic Training Student Association and the Minnesota State Mankato Athletic Training Education Program in conjunction with the Department of Human Performance and the College of Allied Health and Nursing.

A synopsis of the film from Variance Films and Prodigy Public Relations is as follows:
From acclaimed director Steve James (Academy Award-nominated Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters), HEAD GAMES is a revealing documentary about the silent concussion crisis in American sports. Athletes from the professional to the youth levels share their personal struggles in dealing with the devastating and long-term effects of concussions, an epidemic fueled by the “leave everything on the field” culture so prominent in American sport.

Inspired by events from the book 'Head Games' written by former Ivy League Football Player and WWE Wrestler Christopher Nowinski, the film contrasts eye-opening evidence and cutting-edge science on head trauma from the nation’s leading medical experts with first-hand accounts from the athletes, coaches, and parents who must tread the difficult balance between sports excellence and basic self-preservation.

HEAD GAMES will expose viewers to one of the leading public health issues of our time, raising the question: “How much of you are you willing to lose for a game?”

More information on the film is available at the following websites:

Those who want more information may contact faculty member Patrick Sexton, professor director of athletic training education at Minnesota State Mankato, by phone at 507-389-2092 or by email at

March 26: University Orchestra

The University Orchestra will perform on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 7:30 pm in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The University Orchestra provides a laboratory for the study of orchestral playing and a practical introduction to orchestral literature. The group consists of both music and non-music majors alike. The ensemble is under the direction of Dr. Joseph Rodgers and performs music by many composers written for orchestra and chamber ensembles.

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.

March 27-30: Studio Play

The Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance will present Edward Albee’s “The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?” in its Studio season, 7:30 p.m. March 27-30 in the Andreas Theatre.

Winner of the 2002 Tony Award for Best Play, “The Goat” is about a profoundly unsettling subject, the irrational, confounding and convention-thwarting nature of love. Albee still asks questions that no other major American dramatist dares to ask. The result is powerful and extraordinary; this production contains mature language and themes. This is its Minnesota State Mankato debut.

“The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?” is directed by Shelley Whitehead, a third-year MFA Directing candidate who last year directed “The Gingerbread Lady” in the Studio, and this year wrote and directed the children’s theatre touring production “Shine.”

Individual tickets for “The Goat or Who is Sylvia?” are $10 regular, $9 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more, $8 for current Minnesota State students. They are available online at or by calling or stopping by the Theatre & Dance Box Office from 4-6 p.m., Monday-Friday. Call 507-389-6661. Discount rate tickets must be purchased through the box office.

Student Achievements

Terri Hanson, current cultural Anthropology student, has been awarded the 2013 Young Woman of Distinction award from the YWCA in Mankato for her work with immigrant communities, February 2013.

Kaylee Wiens (Family and Consumer Science Education) was awarded the Minnesota Association of Family Consumer Science (MAFCS) Education Community Scholarship at the MAFCS Annual State Conference in February.

Rachelle Balfe (Family and Consumer Science Education) was awarded a MAFCS Scholarship at the 2013 Annual MAFCS Annual State Conference in February. Scholarships were awarded to Family Consumer Science Education students who show exceptional scholastic ability, leadership and professional promise and experience.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Vijendra Agarwal, Dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, has been invited to be trained as an ABET program evaluator on the recommendation of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). ABET is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that accredits over 3,100 programs in the disciplines of applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology at more than 670 colleges and universities in 24 countries. Minnesota State Mankato is one of these 670 institutions with all of its engineering and engineering technology programs accredited or recently reviewed for accreditation by ABET. Agarwal will undergo ABET training in May 2013 in Baltimore, Md. and possibly be assigned to a site visit for ABET accreditation review in the fall 2013.

Lori Bird, Director of the Center for Mentoring & Induction in the College of Education was invited to present with a national panel of pre-service teacher educators at the 15th National Symposium on Teacher Induction. This Symposium was held Feb. 3-5 in San Jose, Calif. The presentation was titled "University and New Teacher Center Partnerships: Enhancing the Way We Prepare Pre-Service Candidates."

Stewart Ross (Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning) and Linda Jacoby, coordinator of Online Learning, presented a two-day (12 hour) workshop for faculty at Tennessee Technological University on Feb. 22-23. The workshop was on Integrated Course Design for faulty creating online courses.

Dennis Waskul (Sociology) has been identified for the University’s 2013 Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award.

Clark Johnson (College of Social & Behavioral Sciences) was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in the Feb. 12. special election for State House District 19A. He was sworn in on Feb. 19.

David Bissonnette (Family Consumer Science) recently published his research in the international peer reviewed journal: Journal of BioSciences, collaborating with three others. The title of the research was: “The Effect of Intra-Muscular Injections of Alpha-tocopherol on the Activity of Phospho-Fructokinase in the Slow- and Fast-Twitch Skeletal Muscles of Metabolic Stress-Induced and Malnourished Rats.” This research was a collaboration between the Department of Family Consumer Science and Mary Hadley (Geology & Chemistry), at Minnesota State Mankato, and involved McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

David Bissonnette (Family Consumer Science) has a documentary on obesity titled "OBESITY IN AMERICA: A National Crisis" that is now distributed by Films for the Humanities & Sciences.

Heather Von Bank (Family Consumer Science) presented “Play Days as Service-Learning Opportunities” at the Conference on the Value of Play in Clemson, S.C., on Feb. 18. Von Bank was awarded the Action Grant from the U.S. Play Coalition to fund the 5th Annual Mankato Play Day as part of the “Role of Play in Child Development” summer course. The grant was awarded to individuals who value the importance of play in the lives of children and put "play into action" to make a difference in their community.

Dan Moen (Family Consumer Science) presented at the Minnesota Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (MAFCS) Annual State Conference in Bloomington on Feb. 8. His presentation was titled "Healthy and Happy Relationships: A How-To Training."

Adjunct faculty member Rachael Hanel (Mass Media) has several upcoming events
for her new memoir, “We'll Be the Last Ones to Let You Down: Memoir of a Gravedigger's Daughter,” (April, University of Minnesota Press). Included is a book launch at 6:30 p.m. April 4 at Barnes & Noble Bookstore on Adams St. in Mankato. For more information, including the table of contents, visit the book's webpage.


Professor Emeritus Donald Matting passed away on Feb. 13, 2013, at the Hawaii Kai Retirement Center. There will be a memorial service for him at 11 a.m. on June 22 at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 222 Pfau Street, Mankato. Matting worked in the Art Department for 37 years, specializing in painting, especially water colors. He is survived by his wife Dotti, son Kyle and daughter Allison, along with several grandchildren. Condolences may be sent to Dottie Matting, 428 Kawaihae Street, Apartment #316, Honolulu, Hawaii 96825.

College & Department News

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences published its edition of "Good News" for March. The newsletter can be viewed online here (broken link). The Office of Human Resources published its most recent newsletter [PDF] here (400 KiB). Library Services published its March 2013 newsletter 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. 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 April 3; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (March 29).

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.