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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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May 1, 2013 Campus Newsletter

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Honors from China

Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport (on left in photo) was named the honorary chairman of the China Institute of Oriental Studies and also was named honorary curator of the Oriental Culture and Arts Museum in Tianjin, China, on April 18 by Mr. Changdong Xu (on right in photo), who is vice president of the China Oriental Studies Institute and the president of the Western Returned Scholars Association Entrepreneur Alliance. Davenport’s honorary appointments were announced at a press conference at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato. The China Institute of Oriental Studies has also designated Minnesota State Mankato as its chief research center in the United States. For more information, click here.

Dental Hygiene in Belize

Six dental hygiene students traveled to San Pedro, Belize from March 2-9, 2013 for a Service Abroad experience with dental hygiene faculty Brigette Cooper and Terri Brown. While there, they performed dental hygiene services for 122 people at the Holy Cross School and the Poly Clinic. Additionally, two dentists and one oral surgeon from the Mankato area traveled with them to provide dental services, including fillings and extractions. It was a rewarding, educational experience for all people involved.

Minnesota Book Awards

Two faculty members in the English Department were honored on April 13 when they each received Minnesota Book Awards. Gwen Westerman (with Bruce White) received the award in the Minnesota Category for her book “Mni Sota Makoce: The land of the Dakota” (Minnesota Historical Society Press). Geoff Herbach received the award for Young People’s literature for “Nothing Special” (Sourcebooks Fire/Sourcebooks, Inc.).

Severe Weather Awareness

Minnesota State University, Mankato recently collaborated with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety – Homeland Security Emergency Management; Blue Earth County; and Mankato Emergency Management in a weeklong Severe Weather Awareness Week. For more information on severe weather, click here.

For more than 25 years, the state of Minnesota has conducted its Severe Weather Awareness Week in partnership with the National Weather Service and local governments. The Severe Weather Awareness Week campaign helps teach Minnesotans about weather hazards and provides resources to minimize the risks associated with severe weather. Using this and upcoming information as a guide, everyone is encouraged to make a plan, build an emergency kit and practice drills.

Steam Shutdown

A planned outage to allow for annual preventive maintenance of the steam heating systems is scheduled to begin on Sunday, May 12 at midnight and be complete by 4 p.m. on Monday, May 20.

This outage will allow repair of all heating system components to ensure system reliability for the upcoming year. During the outage, you may experience cooler temperatures and slightly higher humidity than normal.

Most academic buildings have electric backup domestic water (sinks and showers) with the exception of Taylor Center and Trafton Science Center and Ford Hall. Some residence hall facilities have electric backup water heaters for hot water in sinks and showers, but many do not. Please contact the Residential Life office at x1011 if there are questions about a particular area.

For any other questions or concerns, or if you have operations with special needs, please call the Physical Plant at x2071.

Buildings that will be affected include all residence halls, Armstrong Hall, Ford Hall, Highland North, Morris Hall, Nelson Hall, Performing Arts Center, Trafton Science Center (North, South, Center, East), Wiecking Center, Wissink Hall, Andreas Theatre, Centennial Student Union, Highland Center, Memorial Library, Myers Field House, Pennington Hall, Taylor Center, Wigley Administration Building, Wiecking Shop Building.

Specific areas/functions that will be affected:

  • HC Swimming Pool – no heat for pool water (showers in HC will have hot water)
  • Kitchens in CC, Gage, CSU and Children’s House – steam cooking systems down
  • Trafton and Ford – autoclaves, lab steam, no hot water throughout, no heat in green house, no re- heats in animal labs (electric backup heat will be provided on for animal labs)
  • Taylor Center – no hot water (includes dishwasher at snack bar)
  • Crawford – no hot water
  • Highland Center Laundry – no heat for dryers

Community Engagement

Thirty students from Minnesota State Mankato, spent their Saturday morning on April 20 volunteering for various tasks throughout the Mankato area during the university’s first BIG Event.

The BIG Event originated at Texas A&M in 1982 and has extended to about 75 other universities across the nation. The BIG Event has become the largest one-day, student-run service project in the nation, and the message still remains the same: simply saying “thank you.”

The students who participated in the Minnesota State Mankato BIG Event completed tasks such as general indoor cleaning, construction of bookcases and shelves, and helping disabled homeowners with various tasks throughout their homes along with many other tasks.

The Minnesota State University BIG Event was hosted by the Community Engagement Office, which partnered with Recognized Student Organizations, both part of the Student Activities Office in the Centennial Student Union.

Check the Community Engagement Office's website all summer long for scheduling updates. That website is the go-to location for all the latest information on community volunteer opportunities. Visit the Community Engagement office website to learn how to volunteer at Campus Kitchen. Also listed there is information on "Nature's Nook," a nature-based reading opportunity for children that will be held at Elk's Nature Center at Rasmussen Woods on the second weekend of May, June and July.

Non-Profit Events

Event management students in the Recreation Parks and Leisure Services department put on several non-profit events in April that resulted in the community receiving a number of benefits. The Saturday before Easter one group put on an Easter Egg Scramble for the North Mankato/Mankato communities (free of charge) while another group hosted a 5K Bunny Run at the same site. Monies raised from the race ($2,000) were given to LEEP.

Another group in the class hosted the 30th annual Camp Patterson Clean Up and the last group held a "glow in the dark" disc golf tournament held at Land of Memories on Saturday, April 27. In the fall, the class raised over $1,000 for a local veterans group as well as $300 for Relay for Life and $300 for Habitat for Humanity.

Student Health Services Lab Accreditation

Minnesota State Mankato's Student Health Services Laboratory has met all criteria for Laboratory Accreditation by COLA, a national healthcare accreditation organization (the organization was established in 1988 as the "Commission on Office Laboratory Accreditation," but has since changed its named to the acronym COLA).

Accreditation is given only to laboratories that apply rigid standards of quality in day-to-day operations, demonstrate continued accuracy in the performance of proficiency testing, and pass a rigorous on-site laboratory survey. Minnesota State Mankato's Student Health Services Laboratory has earned COLA accreditation as a result of a long-term commitment to provide quality service to its patients.

COLA is a nonprofit, physician-directed organization promoting quality and excellence in medicine and patient care through programs of voluntary education, achievement and accreditation. COLA is approved by the federal government and sponsored by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Medical Association, and the American College of Physicians.

May 3-4: Spring Dance Concert

The Minnesota State Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance will present its Spring Dance Concert, featuring new pieces by Zenon Dance Company of Minneapolis as well as dance faculty Julie Kerr-Berry and Dan Stark, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 3, and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 4, in the Ted Paul Theatre. Tickets are on sale now.

In addition, three bachelor of fine arts dance candidates had pieces selected for the concert. Michelle Collins and Emily Magnuson will present solo pieces, "Self-portrait" and "We Insist," respectively, and Sydney Burch will present her piece, tentatively called "Under."

Zenon Dance Company, which was in residency for a week at the beginning of March, was the opening performer for the American College Dance Festival hosted by Minnesota State Mankato March 9-12. They appear as Andreas Guest Artists.

Kerr-Berry, director of dance, will present two new pieces: "Thaw and Three Episodes," while Stark’s new piece is called "Here After." Each includes dancers from the department.

Tickets for the Spring Dance Concert are on sale now at or by calling or stopping by the Theatre & Dance Box Office from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday. They are $10 regular, $9 discounted (senior citizens, youth or groups), and $8 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. Please note: Discounts for groups must be taken through the box office, either by phone at 507-389-6661 or stopping by during box office hours.

May 4-5: ‘Gianni Schicchi’ Opera

The Minnesota State Mankato Department of Music concludes its spring performance season with two productions of "Gianni Schicchi" on Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 5 at 3 p.m. Giacomo Puccini’s opera will be performed in Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

Written by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini later in his career, "Gianni Schicchi" is one of three one-act operas featured in Puccini's Il Trittico and was the only comedy he ever wrote.

The broad comedy is based on a greedy family trying to gain the assets of their dead relative, Buoso Donati, in mid-13th century Florence. A local con artist, Gianni Schicchi, is solicited by the family to help secure their inheritance by making a new will. Schicchi’s daughter, Lauretta, wishes to marry Buoso’s nephew Rinuccio, but without a dowry the family will not allow such union. Through his own cunning, Gianni Schicchi turns the con into an advantage securing the majority of wealth for himself and a dowry for his daughter.

The one-act format is a delightful character study of Buoso Donati's family in their desperate and comical dealings with his death. Also featuring the familiar aria “O mio babbino caro" ("Oh my dear daddy"), sung by Schicchi's daughter Lauretta. This performance will be performed in English to best captivate the situational humor.

Admission to the production is $12, $11 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.

May 9: Project Management Speaker

This event was originally scheduled for April 18, but because of a snowstorm was rescheduled for Thursday, May 9. The second in a series of four 2013 project management outreach sessions at Minnesota State Mankato will feature Joseph Kestel, a senior project manager professional currently working on contract at Best Buy Corporation headquarters in Richfield, Minn.

Kestel will discuss the latest edition of the “Project Management Body of Knowledge” book in a presentation from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 9 in Room 201, Centennial Student Union at Minnesota State Mankato.

Kestel’s presentation is free and open to the public. At 5:30 p.m., prior to the presentation, there will be a free light dinner and an opportunity to network. Please RSVP for the dinner by sending an email in advance to

In his presentation, Kestel will discuss changes and evolutions to the “Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK©) Guide – Fifth Edition” with personal and first-hand insights based on his role as vice chair of the team that developed this edition for the Project Management Institute.

Student Achievements

Sarah Schellinger, senior dietetics major in the Department of Family Consumer Science, is the 2013 recipient of the Minnesota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Outstanding Student Award. She received her award at the 2013 MAND Annual Meeting on Thursday, April 24 in Bloomington, Minn.

Tatiana Soboleva won a Foundation Grant from the Undergraduate Research Center. She has won $1,000 for a summer stipend and $496 for project supplies, “Peer Groups and Sexual Relations among Young People in Eighteenth-Century France.”

Natsua Asai, Jose Barriga, Cameron Hovey and Kurtis Malecha successfully defended their E-folios and will be graduating with honors.

Grace Webb studied abroad in Cuenca, Ecuador. There she conducted an internship with a local city newspaper, El Tiempo. She was able to attend planning meetings and join the reporters while they worked on their stories. Webb also published several stories about her experiences in the Mankato Free Press and her hometown media outlets.

The Spring 2013 edition of the Honors Beacon is available by clicking on this [PDF] link (3 MiB).

Student Scholarships

The Department of World Languages and Cultures announced the following students scholarships for the 2013-2014 academic year:

Dieynaba Niabaly (Mankato, Minn.) received the $500 Florence and Raymond H. Sponsor Scholarship in Foreign Languages. Laura Anderson (Plymouth, Minn.) received a $500 Waldorf Scholarship. Nathan Ebel (Mankato, Minn.) received a $500 Kaufmanis Scholarship. Marin Beck (Chaska, Minn.) received a $500 World Languages and Cultures Foundation: Scandinavian Studies Scholarship. Ceciley Johnson (River Falls, Wis.) received a $500 World Languages and Cultures Foundation: French Scholarship. Leyvi Hinojosa (Worthington, Minn.) received the Dr. Karl H. Heise Scholarship for Study in Spain.

The scholarships were awarded to these students in recognition of their achievements in languages.

Mass Media Day Scholarship & Award Winners

Mass Media Department held a media day reception on Tuesday, April 16. The following awards and scholarships were presented:

Who’s Who Among American Universities and Colleges Award

  • Eric Perrine, Welcome, Minn.
  • Cristina Hracovschi, Mankato, Minn.
  • Megan Kadlec, Dayton, Minn.
  • Grace Webb, Wilson, Wis.

Certificate of Excellence Award

  • Della Gramer, Brainerd, Minn.
  • Alexandra Kuntz, Inver Grove Heights, Minn.
  • Samuel Thompson, Clive, Iowa
  • Gina Wellan, Lakeville, Minn.

Outstanding Sophomore Award

  • Lisa Stevens, Rochester, Minn.

Outstanding Senior Award

  • Stacy Cray, North Mankato, Minn.

Public Relations Student Society of America Scholarship ($200)

  • Leanne Walterson, Burnsville, Minn.

Suzanne Pothast AP Style Scholarships ($250 each)

  • Camey Stadler, Faribault, Minn.
  • Lucas Ryan, South St. Paul, Minn.

Department of Mass Communications Scholarships

  • Sada Maxwell, Columbia Heights, Minn. ($400)
  • Paul Obeng-Amoako, Coon Rapids, Minn. ($400)
  • Lisa Stevens, Rochester, Minn. ($400)
  • Samuel Thompson, Clive, Iowa ($400)
  • Leanne Walterson, Burnsville, Minn. ($200)
  • Gina Wellan, Lakeville, Minn. ($50)

Sue Menton Memorial Scholarship ($700)

  • Jordan Erickson, Rochester, Minn.

McConnell Writing Excellence Scholarship ($350)

  • Gina Wellan, Lakeville, Minn.

The Sky and Mark Kunerth Scholarship ($750)

  • Alyssa Filip, St. James, Minn.

Robert O. and Jeanille Shipman Scholarship ($1,000)

  • Ashley Gerken, Fairmont, Minn.

International Student Endowment Scholars 2013-2014

Waldo and Jean Jaax Memorial Scholar

  • Ozlem Barin

Mary Taggart International Scholar

  • Dulanjani Rajaguru

Carole and Dwain Petersen International Scholar

  • Dieynaba Niabaly

Florence Sponberg International Scholar

  • Abolaji Akinyemi

International Scholar

  • Kuhn H. Lee

Beatrice and Joseph Moosally International Scholar

  • Sushma Shrestha

Elizabeth Kearney International Scholar

  • Jaekook Sim

Louise Steele Syverson & Linda Steele Memorial Scholar

  • Derick Mbacham

Gladys Olson/Bill Olszewski International Scholar

  • Tatiana Soboleva

Faculty/Staff Achievements

John D. Krenz (Biological Sciences) was recently published. The citation read:
Perlik, Matthew K., Brock R. McMillan, & John D. Krenz. 2012. Food habits of the hoary bat in an agricultural landscape. Minnesota Academy of Science Journal. 75: 1-6.

Perlik was a graduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences. McMillan is a former professor who is now at Brigham Young University. Krenz is a professor of ecology, evolution and behavior in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Stewart Ross (CETL) presented a keynote, "The Joy and Responsibility of Teaching Well" at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, Conn., on April 12. He also delivered a keynote at West Point Academy in New York, along with a workshop on integrated course design for 80 instructors on April 23.

Nancyruth Leibold (Nursing) and Laura M. Schwarz (Nursing) received the Cindy Scherb Research Dissemination Award, from Sigma Theta Tau International, Mu Lambda Chapter, for their research on the "Use of Family Nursing WebQuests in Nursing Education."

Janet Cherrington-Cucore in the Urban & Regional Studies Institute has been granted a faculty research grant for 2013-14 to research her project entitled "A New Model of Economic Development."

Warren Sandmann (Academic Affairs), currently the associate provost & associate vice president for academic affairs, has accepted an offer to serve as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at William Paterson University of New Jersey. Sandmann will begin his new position effective July 1. Sandmann came to Minnesota State Mankato in September 1996 as a faculty member and assistant director of rorensics in the Speech Communication Department.

David Viscoli (Music) performed solo and two-piano music by Rachmaninoff at the Russian Festival being held at Southwest Minnesota State University on April 24.

Pamela Weller from the Career Development Center helped with the Junes issue of Mankato Magazine on a short feature titled “Ask the Expert.” Weller was asked on her expertise on job hunting and networking. She said that it is a good idea to start looking for jobs before graduation and generate an idea of where your interests lie to get a sense of what job is right for you. Her full article will be seen in the June issue of Mankato Magazine.

After 20 years as the president’s chaplain at Minnesota State Mankato, Reverend Timothy J. Berg will retire on May 31. There will be a celebration Thursday, May 2 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., with a brief program at 2:30 p.m.

There will be a retirement party for Harry Krampf (College of Allied Health and Nursing) on Thursday, May 2 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., with a brief progam at 2 p.m.

Spring Faculty Research Grants

Alisa Eiman (College of Arts & Humanities) "Form and Symbol: Mosque Architecture and Muslim Identity in Germany Since 2000."

Liz Miller (College of Arts & Humanities) "The Beauty, Danger, and Deception of the Circus: Researching Circus Imagery as a Point-of-Departure for New Works on Paper and Large-Scale Installations."

Melissa Purdue (College of Arts & Humanities) "Archival Research on Arthur Machen."

David Rogers (College of Arts & Humanities) "Deciphering Imperfections: Reading the Commonalities Between Handmade and Glitch Design."

Nannan He (College of Science & Engineering Technology) "Model-Based Verification and Validation of Real-Time Embedded Softward."

Steven Losh (College of Science & Engineering Technology) "High-Temperature Faulting, Heart Mountain Detachment, Wyoming."

Mohammad Habibi (College of Science & Engineering Technology) "Sun-tracking Vs. Stationary Solar Panels: A Cost and Reliability Study."

Kate Blue (College of Social & Behavioral Sciences) "They Proceeded to Plough and Support Themselves": Dental Non-Metric Evidence for Danish Settlement in East Anglia 800-1100 AD.

Emily Boyd (College of Social & Behavioral Sciences) "Biological Clicking Tocks: Child Bearing Aspirations of Unpartnered Women."

Janet Cherrington-Cucore (College of Social & Behavioral Sciences) "A New Model of Economic Development."

Emily Stark and Dan Sachau (College of Social & Behavioral Sciences) "Lake Wobegon's Guns: Assessing the Impact of Self-Enhancing Biases on Citizens' Beliefs about Their Ability to Carry Guns."


Professor Emeritus Robert S. Brooks passed away on April 10, 2013, at the Ecumen Prairie Hill Home in St. Peter, Minn. Brooks worked in Speech, Hearing and Rehabilitation Services from June 1969 until his retirement in June 1994. His obituary is here.

Professor Emeritus Gayle Stelter passed away on April 20, 2013, at Laurel’s Edge in Mankato. For 28 years, Stelter was a professor in the Business Education Department until his retirement in 1996. He also served as chair of the department and was director of the MBA program. Stelter was active in numerous professional organizations and touched the lives of many students. His obituary is here.

Professor Emeritus Winston Grundmeier passed away Sunday, April 21, 2013. Grundmeier was a member of the faculty in the Chemistry Department for 34 years from 1959 until his retirement. Funeral services for Grundmeier were held on Thursday, April 25, at Centenary United Methodist Church in Mankato. Grundmeier’s complete obituary can be viewed here.

Diane Kalis passed away on Monday, April 22, 2013. In 1990, Kalis began working in University Advancement until her retirement in 2008. She served as Special Events Coordinator where one of her major responsibilities was coordinating commencement activities. Services were held on Saturday, April 27, 2013, at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Mankato. Kalis' 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. 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 May 17; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (May 10).

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.