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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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July 17, 2013 Campus Newsletter

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New VP for University Advancement

Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport announced on June 18 that R. Kent Clark has been named the vice president for university advancement at Minnesota State Mankato, effective Aug. 1. Clark (pictured at right) is currently the associate vice president for development at California State University, Fresno, a position he has held since 2011.

“Mr. Clark brings a record of notable achievement, knowledge and experience in the areas of development, gift planning and fundraising,” said Davenport. “His excellent background in managing comprehensive campaigns fits our advancement goals and our ‘Big Ideas, Real-World Thinking’ approach to global education. Kent has been a key leader in the planning, launching, and execution of higher education campaigns, some as large as $500 million. I am thrilled to have Kent join our campus community.”

For the complete release, click here.

New Library-CSU Walkway Set for September Opening

The campus community will soon have a new climate-controlled option for pedestrian traffic. The highly anticipated walkway between the Memorial Library and the Centennial Student Union is slated to open in September 2013.

The pedestrian connection, which will connect the lower level of the library to the Bullpen of the student union, will provide inclement weather protection, improve accessibility for those with mobility issues, and create an outdoor amphitheater for events. An outdoor feature connected to the new sublevel walkway will be an outdoor amphitheater visible to passing walkway pedestrians.

Bullpen Offers Food Option, Party Reservations

The Centennial Student Union reminds visitors of another food option – the Maverick Bullpen Snack Bar. Bullpen Manager Scott Anderson said completion of the new pedestrian connection between the lower level of the library and the Bullpen will offer a convenient food stop for persons using the walkway.

“Whether you're looking for something small or just something different, we've got you covered,” Anderson said. Menu items include pizza, hot dogs, nachos, pretzels, popcorn, chips, candy, and soda. That's not to mention the specials and new items being added all the time.”

Anderson said the snack bar also enhances the bowling and billiard experience at one of the Midwest’s largest university game rooms. The Bullpen can also be reserved for group events.

“We cater all manner of parties including but not limited to birthday, employee appreciation, class field trips, floor gatherings, and big game parties,” Anderson said.

University Scheduling Rolls out Virtual EMS

Final modifications are being “tweaked” this summer as University Scheduling and Meeting Services converts to the improved Virtual EMS (Event Management Systems) online scheduling system.

Shirley Piepho, assistant director of University Scheduling and Meeting Services, said her office has spent most of the past year implementing EMS, merging it with university facilities and training staff in order to provide a more user-friendly, seamless means of scheduling space and tracking events.

The university’s new Event Management Systems scheduling software released by Dean Evans & Associates of Centennial, Colo., matches EMS programs being used and promoted system-wide by its parent Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.

Accepted by more than 1,000 higher education organizations, EMS offers “complete campus scheduling,” allowing meeting and event staff simpler means for booking single- or multi-day events with a powerful array of tools for integrating services and resources required for each event.

“This is a vast improvement and upgrade to our previous system offering greater ease and integration,” Piepho said. “Campus users of the new system have found it easy to navigate as they make their space reservation requests. We anticipate a user-friendly conversion to this powerful software.”

Virtual EMS allows web requests offering users fully interactive, real-time, online access to scheduling information. The feature also enables a seamless campus-wide master calendar where website visitors can browse a specific building’s schedule or search for a specific event.

With the implementation of the new reservation software, University Scheduling and Meeting Services has updated its website. The website contains updated information about reservation policy and fee changes, catering, signage, decorations, safety, parking, and amenities. To view the website, go online here.

Counseling Center to have New Home

The Centennial Student Union has partnered with the Counseling Center to relocate and renovate the Counseling Center.  Work will begin in August on a newly renovated space in what is currently used for CSU Meeting Room 285.

The renovation will improve space design functions of the center, improve climate control, and improve energy efficiency and conservation. Meeting Room 285 will be reduced in size, and a new meeting space will be created in the Counseling Center’s current location. The Counseling Center will remain open during the renovation and will relocate in January. Meeting rooms are scheduled for completion in March 2014.

“University Scheduling and Conference Services is working with groups to provide alternative options during the renovation process,” said Dan Elliott, CSU associate director. “We understand this will be a loss to those who have used meeting space 284 for larger events. That is one of the reasons significant improvements were made to the Ballroom last year – to provide alternative options during the renovation of additional meeting spaces.”

Elliott said the renovated meeting rooms will improve the visual presentation experience, enhance acoustic performance, and improve energy efficiency and conservation. The renovated meeting rooms will accommodate 80 in a theater setting, 64 in a round setting, and 45 in a classroom setting.

July 17-20: 'Spamalot'

The Minnesota State Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance will close its 47th annual Highland Summer Theatre season with the university premiere of a Tony Award-winning show, “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” at 7:30 p.m. July 11-13 and July 17-20 in the Ted Paul Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

The musical is lovingly ripped from the motion picture “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” from the original screenplay by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. It tells the legendary tale of King Arthur’s quest to find the Holy Grail. However, diverting a bit from the true story, this hilarious musical features such oddities as a line of beautiful dancing girls, a flatulent Frenchmen and killer rabbits. Outside there is plague with a 50 percent chance of pestilence and famine.

Directed by department chair Paul J. Hustoles and choreographed by senior BFA musical theatre candidate Jaclyn Juola, “Monty Python’s Spamalot” contains some content that is not appropriate for younger children.

Individual tickets for “Monty Python’s Spamalot” are available at or by calling or stopping by the Theatre & Dance Box Office 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday. Call 507-389-6661. Cost is $22 for regular, $19 for discounted (available through the box office only) and $15 for current Minnesota State Mankato students.

July 23: Rapidan Dam Bike Ride

The annual “Dam Bike Ride!” that is sponsored by Minnesota State Mankato’s Student Activities Crew has been set for Tuesday, July 23. Riders will travel from Centennial Student Union on the Minnesota State Mankato campus to Rapidan Dam and back.

The 12-mile ride, which is open to the public free of charge, departs from the Centennial Student Union main entrance at 3 p.m.

Participants will have the delicious option of breaking up the ride with a slice of homemade pie at the Rapidan Dam Café (note: the pie does cost whatever the going rate for a slice of pie is at the Café).

If it’s raining on July 23, the ride will be moved to July 24. No registration is needed. Contact Ashley Strom ( or 507-389-6076) with questions.

July 25: Master of Social Work Student Research Showcase

The fifth annual showcase of graduating master of social work students’ research – Real World Challenges, Social Work Solutions: MSW Research Showcase – will be held Thursday, July 25 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Centennial Student Union’s North Ballroom.

Approximately 30 second-year MSW students will be presenting their research. For more information, contact David Beimers, program director for the Master of Social Work Program in the Department of Social Work at 507-389-6504 or by email at

A recognition ceremony for the graduating students will be held Friday, July 26 at 4 p.m. in Centennial Student Union's Ostrander Auditorium.

July 25: Vikings Open Training Camp

The Minnesota Vikings will report to Minnesota State Mankato on Thursday, July 25, and practice will begin the next day (July 26) for their 48th straight training camp season on the campus. Camp closes Wednesday, Aug. 14.

Planned events include a Family Football Day on Saturday, Aug. 3, Fan Appreciation Days on Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 13-14, and autograph sessions with players on specified days throughout the camp. Information on training camp is posted here.

Sept. 4: Part-Time Job & Service Learning Fair

The annual Part-Time Job & Service Learning Fair is scheduled to take place Wednesday, Sept. 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Myers Field House. Hundreds of exhibitors will be on hand to look for student employees, interns and volunteers, offering students the opportunity to build skills through real-world experience. There will be free food and giveaways. Private non-profit, student or community service organization interested in participating may visit this website for more information. Businesses can register with Greater Mankato Growth here.

Student Achievements

Students who are a part of the Greek community on campus are excelling in academics. According to the spring 2013 Greek Community Academic and Membership Stats Reports, for the first time in at least 12 years, both the all-fraternity grade-point average and the all-sorority GPA exceeded the University’s all-men’s and all-women’s GPA, respectively. The Greek community set an ambitious goal of hitting the 3.05 mark by the end of 2013, but accomplished that in just one semester. The spring semester’s 3.05 GPA marks a .10 improvement over fall 2012 and a .24 improvement over the spring 2012 semester. The all-Greek GPA of 3.05 exceeds the all-university GPA of 3.02. The Greek GPA has not been this high in at least 12 years, nor has the all-Greek GPA exceeded the all-university GPA in that time period.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Scott Fee, associate professor in the Department of Construction Management, has accepted an offer to serve as interim associate dean for the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. Fee began his duties as interim associate dean in July and will continue through at least June 20, 2014.

Stefanie Kelly has been named to the permanent position as director of development for the College of Education. Kelly has served in this role on an interim basis since September 2012. From 2009-2012, she served as a development officer for Carleton College. Prior to that, Kelly was a director of development here at Minnesota State University, Mankato in Athletics.

Sara Gilbert Frederick has been named to the permanent director of content marketing position in University Advancement, effective July 1. She has served in that role on an interim basis for the past year.

Jan Bauer has been named director of continuing education, effective July 1, 2013. Bauer comes to Minnesota State Mankato from the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Ill., where she served as director of the Small Business Development and International Trade Center. Previously, she had served as a director of training, an executive director of a Chamber of Commerce and was an owner/executive of a family business.

Deborah Jesseman (Education) has been named chair of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Task Force on the Status of Staffing of School Libraries. AASL is the national organization for School/Teacher Librarians and is an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA).

June Externally Funded Projects

Rebecca Bates (Computer Science) “CI-ADDO-NEW: Collaborative Research: The Speech Recognition Virtual Kitchen” funded by National Science Foundation (NSF).

Scott Bohling (Water Resources Center) “Water Resources Center Watershed Monitoring Network” funded by Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Bruce Jones and Gary Mead (Automotive and Manufacturing Engineering Technology) “Bogue Inc. Mini Truck” funded by Bogue Inc.

Lisa Fleck (Dental Hygiene) “AgStar Dental Hygiene Clinic Scholarships” funded by AgStar Fund.

Allan Hart and Aaron Budge (Mechanical and Civil Engineering) “GEMINI Geotechnical Mobile/Web Gateway” funded by Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT).

Heather Von Bank (Family and Consumer Science) “Play and Child Development Grant” funded by Clemson University Foundation.

Stephen Druschel and James Wilde (Mechanical and Civil Engineering) “Salt Brine Blending to Optimize Deicing and Anti-Icing Performance and Cost Effectiveness: Phase II” funded by Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT).

Handball Camp

A highly successful three-day Mankato junior handball camp was held in June at Minnesota State Mankato. Handball professional Emmett Peixoto wrote an article describing the camp at this link.

Music Department Highlighted

The June 2013 issue of Mankato Magazine featured several individuals with connections to the Minnesota State Mankato Music Department. Music industry alumnus Lee Henke and alumnus Ryan Acker are featured in an article on the Bitterroot Band (the music industry program is mentioned in the body of the article). Alumnus Ryan Lano is mentioned in a description of his guitar studio (Park Street Guitars). Faculty member Dale Haefner and the Minnesota State Mankato performance series are described in an article about Dale Jones and Eric Jones of the Verizon Wireless Center (Eric was formerly an adjunct faculty member in Music Industry). Bryce Stenzel, a long-time supporter of the department and participant in the Minnesota State Mankato symphonic band, wrote an article on 140 years of music in Mankato. Here is a link to the June 13 edition of Mankato Magazine.


Assistant Professor Emeritus Loretta Mae Wolthuis passed away on July 3, 2013. She was employed with Minnesota State Mankato for 26 years, beginning in 1972 until her retirement in June 1998. During her tenure, she was a faculty member in our Family Consumer Science Department, where she also spent many years as department chair. A funeral service was held July 8 at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Mankato. Burial was at Woodland Hills Memorial Park in Mankato. A 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 Aug. 21; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Aug. 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.