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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

September 11, 2013 Campus Newsletter

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International Student Friendship Family Program

With the number of international students at Minnesota State University, Mankato on the rise, the Wynn & Elizabeth Kearney Center is looking for volunteers from either on campus or in the Mankato community to be a part of the Friendship Family Program. The Friendship Family Program provides support and opportunity designed to assist international students during their adjustment period by connecting them with Friendship Family volunteers in the community.

What are important points to know about the Friendship Family Program?

  • This is not a host program—students do NOT live with their match/volunteer.
  • A match could spend as little as 2-3 times per semester with each other. Besides enjoying the programs and events put on by the Friendship Family Program to get to know the student(s), volunteers may attend an event together (e.g., sports, movies, plays), go shopping, provide a holiday experience, share a hobby, etc.
  • All students are responsible for their own expenses.

More information about the Friendship Family Program is available here or by contacting Cita Maignes in the Kearney International Center. Maignes, the international recruitment & retention specialist and Friendship Family Program coordinator, can be reached by phone at 507-389-1282 or 507-389-6592 and by email at

Employee Resource Fair

The Minnesota State Mankato Professional Development Committee is holding the 10th Annual University Employee Resource Fair on Thursday, Sept. 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

The goal of the resource fair is to provide information for new and current faculty and staff on the services and opportunities available on campus. All faculty and staff are welcome.

Blood Drive

Upward Bound is sponsoring a Red Cross Blood Drive. It will be held Monday, Sept. 16, 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. All donors will receive a coupon from Sport Clips for a free haircut.

Constitution Day

Minnesota State Mankato will celebrate its annual Constitution Day on Tuesday, Sept. 17 with six 50-minute presentations in Centennial Student Union’s Searing Room (201) from 10 a.m. to 3:50 p.m.

Presentations include: 10 a.m. “Public Debate: Constitutionality of Voter ID Laws”; 11 a.m. “A Story of Becoming a US Citizen”; 12 p.m. “The 1st Amendment: The Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses”; 1 p.m. “Freedom of Speech and Dissent under the Constitution”; 2 p.m. “International Trade Agreements and the Constitution”; 3 p.m. “Equal Opportunity & Title IX: Fisher and Schuette.”

The day’s activities will also include a noon appearance in Centennial Student Union by two actors, Jordan Wolf and TS McCormick, from the Department of Theatre and Dance. Wolf and McCormick will dress as Benjamin Franklin and John Adams and distribute scrolls that represent the Preamble to the Constitution.

Homecoming 2013

Minnesota State Mankato’s annual Homecoming week is set for Sept. 23-28. The week will begin Monday, Sept. 23, with a kick-off event featuring comments from various city and university officials.
The kick-off, scheduled on the campus mall from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., will feature the city’s declaration of “Minnesota State University, Mankato Homecoming Week” as well as remarks from President Richard Davenport, Student Senate President Chris Collins, and Homecoming student chair Leanne Walterson. Attendees will be served cake, be able to tie-dye t-shirts, and meet the Homecoming Royalty candidates.

Many additional events will be scheduled throughout the week. A complete list is available here.

Minnesota State Mankato’s Homecoming has been in existence since 1928. Homecoming week offers students and alumni a way to showcase their pride and school spirit. Homecoming also allows the greater Mankato community a chance to learn about the university and take part in the celebrations. The kick-off, 5K run, pancake breakfast, parade, athletic events and carnival are all open to the public.

Scholarship and Fellowship Information Session

The Honors Program is holding a scholarship and fellowship information session from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24 in Morris Hall 210. The session is set up for freshmen, sophomores or juniors who are interested in a career in scientific research and are interested in learning about fellowship and scholarship opportunities. Refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Ginny Walters, university fellowship coordinator, by email at

Annual Nursing Forum

Minnesota State Mankato’s School of Nursing along with the Glen Taylor Institute for Family & Society will be holding the annual Nursing Forum on Wednesday, Sept. 25 from 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at South Central College in Mankato.

The annual Nursing Forum helps nurses improve their practice. It offers nurses an opportunity to present research, learn from prominent healthcare leaders about timely topics and gain continuing education credits. This year’s keynote speaker is alumnus Peter Buerhaus (’76), pictured at left, who is director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Health Workforce Studies, Institute for Medicine and Public Health at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. For more information on the forum, please click here.

Career & Internship Expo Volunteers Needed

The Career Development Center (CDC) is looking for volunteers to help between 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on either Oct. 23 or Oct. 24 at the Career & Internship Expo. Volunteers will be asked to work in the “Green Room,” where they will assist in preparing students to speak with employers at the Expo. Students will be able to practice shaking hands, do a last-minute wardrobe check, have a professional picture taken and more. A continental breakfast and buffet lunch will be available to volunteers during the Expo.

Short volunteer training sessions will be held at 12 p.m. Oct. 16 and 2 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Career Development Center, located in room 209, Wigley Administration Building.

Those interested in volunteering should contact Kris Norland ( by Friday, Oct. 4 with your name, department, day(s)/hour(s) you would like to participate, whether or not you need a lunch ticket and which training session you plan to attend. More information on the Career & Internship Expo is available here.

Sept. 11-12: Author Tracy Kidder

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder (pictured) will discuss his book, “Strength in What Remains,” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11 in Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union ballroom in the opening event of the university’s annual “common read” program.

Kidder’s presentation is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public. A book signing will follow. Attendees need not have read the book to enjoy this presentation. The event will also stream live online here. More information about the common read is available here.

On Thursday, Sept. 12, Minnesota State Mankato’s Good Thunder Reading Series will kick off its 32nd season when Kidder conducts a residency on Thursday, Sept. 12. Kidder will meet with community writers in the morning and be interviewed on KMSU 89.7 FM. At 3 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Ostrander Auditorium, he will lead a discussion on the craft of writing and his recent book Good Prose. At 7:30 p.m. in CSU Room 253, he will deliver a talk, "Another Set of Eyes," about the writer/editor relationship. All events are free and open to the public. For more information about the series, contact Richard Robbins from the Minnesota State Mankato Department of English, 507-389-1354, or see the website at

Sept. 15: One-Man Musical Showcase

Nationally recognized multi-instrumentalist Noah Hoehn (pictured) will perform Sunday, Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

Noah Hoehn is a two-time recipient of the prestigious McKnight Artist Fellowship for Performing Musicians. In 2007, Hoehn played harmonica in the Minnesota Opera’s world premiere production of “The Grapes of Wrath” at the Ordway Theatre in St. Paul, Minn. Recently, he appeared with the regional super-group, the “Radio Specialists,” at the Orpheum Theatre in Sioux Falls, S.D. Noah’s solo performances include appearances on Minnesota Public Radio and National Public Radio.

Concert admission 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.

Sept. 17: Steve Kaul and Brass Kings

Steve Kaul and The Brass Kings will perform Tuesday, September 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

Steve Kaul is a songwriter steeped in the traditional story-songs of American Folk music and is a finger-style guitarist with an ear for World music influences. The Brass Kings play their old-time instruments in unconventional ways.

Concert admission 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.

Sept. 18-21: ‘Sky Girls’ Opens Studio Season

The Department of Theatre & Dance will open its 2013-14 Studio season with “Sky Girls” by Jenny Laird. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, Sept. 18-21, in the Andreas Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

“Sky Girls” is the story of five women in training to become Women Air force Service Pilots (WASP) at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas, in 1944. Together, they battle stereotypes and sabotage for the love of their country—and love of flying. The story is paralleled on the national front where Jackie Cochran, the Director of the WASPs, battles in Congress to get full military recognition for the organization.

Tickets for “Sky Girls” are $10 regular, $9 discounted (seniors over 65, youth under 16 and groups of 15 or more) and $8 for current Minnesota State Mankato students and go on sale Monday, Sept. 9. The Theatre & Dance Box Office is located in the lobby of the Earley Center for Performing Arts and will be open 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday; call 507-389-6661. In addition, regular tickets will be available online at and season tickets for the Mainstage season are on sale through Oct. 13.

Sept. 19: Project Management Speaker

Ulka Shrikhande, a certified project management consultant and a biotechnology research and development scientist, will discuss the six steps that enable high success in project outcomes from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19 in Room 101, Centennial Student Union at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Shrikhande’s presentation, “Influencing without Authority,” is free and open to the public. At 5:30 p.m., prior to her presentation, there will be a light dinner and an opportunity to network. Please RSVP for the dinner by sending an email in advance to

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

Sept. 21: Truman and Reta Wood Scholarship Dinner

Stephanie Schriock (pictured), president of the political action committee (PAC) EMILY’s List, a national organization dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women to political office, is the keynote speaker for the 19th Annual Truman and Reta Wood Scholarship Dinner on Saturday, Sept. 21 in Centennial Student Union, Room 253.

The 5 p.m. reception and 5:45 p.m. dinner are open to the public. A silent auction will be conducted during the reception, with proceeds going to the Wood Scholarship Fund. The dinner will honor Minnesota State Mankato’s 2013-14 Wood Scholarship winners, Maria Carrillo-Perez and Kyle Hoffman.

Cost of the event is $60 per person ($40 of which is a tax-deductible gift) or $20 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. Online registration for this event is available here.

For more information about the Truman and Reta Wood Scholarship dinner, please contact Susan Taylor, director of development for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, by phone at 507-389-1006 or by email at

Sept. 22: Singer/Songwriter Alison Scott

Alison Scott (pictured), with Kevin Bowe and the Okemah Prophets, will perform on Sunday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Avenue.

Alison Scott is the strongest voice to come out of Minneapolis in many years and her soulful, organic sound has quietly built a very large and loyal following through word of mouth and with very little radio or media hype. Alison is making the kind of soul music that music fans love while staying indier than indie and completely ignoring the hipster rulebook.

Concert admission is $15; $13 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 on the Alison Scott performance or The Art of Songwriting workshop, call the Performance Series office at 507-389-5549.

Sept. 23: Speaker Martha C. Nussbaum

The Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning (CETL) is co-sponsoring a presentation by scholar and author Martha C. Nussbaum (pictured) titled “Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities” at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 23 in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. Another presentation directed towards faculty and classes will be presented on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 10 a.m. in Ostrander Auditorium. Live feed links are available on and

In her presentation, Nussbaum, a professor of law and philosophy at the University of Chicago, will address the following questions:

  • How do we prepare students for the increasingly diverse and ever-changing needs of society?
  • How do we better prepare students to become critical thinkers who can innovate, create and solve complex problems?

Other event sponsors include Academic Affairs, the Department of Philosophy, the College of Arts and Humanities and the Honors Program. For more information, contact Mary Van Duynhoven at 507-389-5899 or send an email to

Sept. 24: Songwriter Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson, the Grammy-nominated songwriter behind such musical chestnuts as “Bluer Than Blue” and “Give Me Wings.” will perform on Tuesday, September 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Avenue.

Born in Colorado, Johnson picked up the guitar when he was 13, winning an international talent contest in the mid-1960s that led to Epic Records releasing his single, “Hills.” He began a tour of the college and coffeehouse circuit, finding receptive audiences hungry for music that touched on deeper subjects. A young man himself, he came of age during that turbulent decade, when folk music was as powerful a medium as anything else when it came to galvanizing, inspiring and moving the masses.

In 1966, he moved to Spain, studying at the Liceu Conservatory; after moving back to the United States, he was a member of several bands, including a trio that included folk legend John Denver. After the group splintered, he dabbled in an off-Broadway production before releasing his first album, “This Is a Breeze,” in 1973 on Atco Records. Several more albums followed before he broke through nationally with “Bluer Than Blue,” recorded as a demo and released on “The Michael Johnson Album” in 1978. It peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart that summer, reaching No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Concert admission 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.

Athletics Academic Achievement Awards

Minnesota State Mankato had 95 student-athletes recently named to the fifth annual Division II Athletic Directors Association (DII ADA) Academic Achievement Awards for the 2012-13 school year. The 95 student-athletes were more than any other school in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

Student News

On Sept. 17, the Kearney International Center will announce its nominee for the “Mark M. Welter World Citizen Award” scholarship, which promotes recognition of students in the Minnesota State College and Universities system who exemplify the thoughts, words and actions demanded by a 21st century world citizen. Applications were due Sept. 10. To be considered for nomination, students had to meet the following criteria: 3.0 grade point average or higher; part-time or full-time degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate student enrolled at Minnesota State Mankato; high school graduate; in good academic standing; and evidence of financial need.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

During the summer of 2013, Mike Lagerquist, director of public relations in the Department of Theatre & Dance, spent his sabbatical collecting updates of alumni who are successfully working in the field. A link to Lagerquist’s continuing project is available here. One alumna featured in the project is Lauren Mikeal Weber (pictured at left in photo performing at the 2013 Medora, N.D., musical), a 2012 master of fine arts graduate in musical theatre and music, who taught voice at Minnesota State Mankato in 2012-13.

Stewart Ross, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, gave a workshop on Integrated Course Design at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minn., for 70 faculty on Aug. 12 and a keynote and workshops for 140 faculty at Andrews University in Michigan on Aug. 15-16.

Gwen Westerman (English and Humanities) has a new book of poetry in English and Dakota, “Follow the Blackbirds,” published by the American Indian Series at Michigan State University Press.

Michelle Alvarez (Social Work) is spending the 2013-2014 academic year at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, N.H., as part of the American Council on Education Fellowship she received in March.

A retirement gathering honoring Mary Jane Fitcher (Computer Store) was held Monday, Sept. 9. The event celebrated Fitcher’s 33 years of service to Minnesota State Mankato.

August Externally Funded Projects

Jude Higdon-Topaz (Division of Information Technology Services) and Lynn Akey “Building & Scaling Analytics Capacity” funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Garold Rushing (College of Allied Health and Nursing) “GAC SID Athletic Account 2013-14” funded by Gustavus Adolphus College.

Wendy Schuh (Division of Student Affairs) “Student Health Insurance FY14” funded by United Health Care Student Resources.

Brian Wasserman (College of Science, Engineering, and Technology) “MnDOT Enterprise Project Management” funded by Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT).

Debra Gohagan and Robin Wingo (College of Social and Behavioral Sciences) “Minnesota State Mankato Department of Social Work Child Welfare Stipend Program” funded by Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Ginger Zierdt and Jill Ryan (College of Education) “ISD 2397 – LeSueur” funded by ISD 2397; “ISD 829 – Waseca Teaching Fellow” funded by ISD 829; “ISD 761 – Owatonna Teaching Fellow” funded by ISD 761; “ISD 508 – St. Peter Teaching Fellow” funded by ISD 508.

Cherie Pettit (College of Allied Health and Nursing) “South Central College GA Assistant” funded by South Central College, and “St. Clair GA” funded by St. Clair School.

Jacqueline Lewis (College of Education) “CSP Graduate Assistant with Gustavus Adolphus College” funded by Gustavus Adolphus College.

Qun Zhang (College of Science, Engineering, and Technology) “Design & Implement DSP Software for Micropoint Point-of-Care Testing Devices” funded by Micropoint Bioscience Inc. (MBI).

Margaret Hesser (Division of Academic Affairs) “Student Support Services (continuation)” funded by U.S. Department of Education.

Robert Pettitt (College of Allied Health and Nursing) “Loyola Catholic GA” funded by Loyola Catholic School.

George Corey (Division of Academic Affairs) “Upward Bound” funded by U.S. Department of Education.

Amy Mukamuri (Institutional Diversity) “Enter University (EU)” funded by Minnesota Office of Higher Education.

Professional Development

The President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) announced that Minnesota State Mankato classified staff members may apply for funding up to $750 throughout fiscal year 2014 for professional development. The President’s Commission on the Status of Women promotes employee training and development by providing funding to classified employees to facilitate their learning and professional growth. The application form is available online here.

The deadline for fall 2013 applications is Friday, Oct. 4. Completed applications should be sent by email to For further information please contact Keane Richards at

Faculty Research Grant Workshop

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will present a Fall 2013 Faculty Research Grant Workshop from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 25 in Room 238, Centennial Student Union. Workshop presenters will review the faculty research grant process, discuss guidelines and the application and answer questions.

Online registration is available here.

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. The Faculty Research Committee expects that grantees will explore external funding opportunities to continue their work. These grants support faculty initiatives in all disciplines including basic, applied, and pedagogical research and creative projects. More information can be found here.

Family Emergency Alerts

The campus Security Office recently announced that the Star Alert program is being expanded so that family members can now subscribe to Family Star Alert to receive notifications of campus emergencies relevant to them and find out where they can go for more information.

Family members can subscribe to Family Star Alert by texting the word FAMILY to phone number 69310. [NOTE: send this text message from the phone you wish to receive Family Star Alert text messages.] A confirmation message will be sent to the phone. To unsubscribe to Family Star Alert, text STOP to phone number 69310.

While family members will not receive the same message as students, faculty and staff that are on campus, they will be alerted to the emergency and urged to have contact with their student to verify their safety. Family members will not be notified of weather-related class cancellations.

IRS Travel Regulations

Business Services reminds all faculty and staff who may be traveling and incurring business expenses that employee expense reports must be submitted in a timely manner, according to Internal Revenue Service regulations.

Employee business expenses must be submitted for reimbursement within 60 days after the expense is incurred or the trip ends. If a request for reimbursement is not submitted within 60 days, the reimbursement becomes taxable income to the employee.

In past years, some employees have incurred travel and business expenses during the summer and have waited to submit their employee expense report until the start of the next fall semester, and in a number of instances, not within the required 60 days. In adhering to the IRS rules, employees that continue this practice will be taxed on their reimbursement, so please keep this in mind when traveling or incurring business expenses.

It is always best to submit your employee expense reports as soon as your business trip is completed. Additionally, if an employee does not plan to return to Mankato after their trip is completed, they should submit their expense reports in the mail to maintain compliance with the 60-day submission requirement.

Questions regarding travel or business expense reimbursements may be directed to the university’s travel claims clerk, Tamara Galema-Liebl at 507-389-5006 or by viewing the travel website here.

ChimeIn Cloud

Jude Higdon, assistant chief information officer in Information & Technology Services, reported that
Minnesota State Mankato recently launched ChimeIn Cloud, a free, web-based tool that allows instructors to poll their students to gauge their beliefs, test their understanding and let them articulate their preferences during class.

ChimeIn was developed collaboratively in an open-source model between the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Mankato as a tool that could be installed and integrated with any school’s login and campus infrastructure. For more information, contact Higdon at 507-389-1477 or at

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 Sept. 25; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Sept. 20).

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.