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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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September 25, 2013 Campus Newsletter

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‘Big Ideas’ Campaign Tops Goal

Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport announced on Friday, Sept. 20 that Minnesota State Mankato had successfully completed the largest comprehensive campaign in the history of the University as well as the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system.

The comprehensive Big Ideas Campaign closed Aug. 31 after raising $77.8 million – exceeding the campaign’s $75 million goal – for student scholarship programs, student-faculty research opportunities and future capital projects.

Davenport said the primary message he wanted to convey as the University surpassed its campaign goal was to “tell our donors and friends of the institution who contributed to the campaign how appreciative we are for their generosity.”

Read more here.

Homecoming Week 2013

"Maverick Territory: Paint the Town" is the theme of 2013 Homecoming on campus, and a number of activities are scheduled throughout the week of Sept. 23-28. The week concludes on Saturday, Sept. 28 with a 5K run, free community pancake breakfast, parade, athletic events and carnival. A Nashville country band, Scarletta, will perform at the carnival from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Additional events include class and program reunions, a celebration of KMSU Radio’s 50-year celebration, and activities planned by Student Events Team, the student programming board of the Centennial Student Union. For a complete list of Homecoming events, including times and locations, please click 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.

For more information about Homecoming, please contact Jen Myers, interim director of Alumni Relations, by phone at 507-389-1794 or by email at

Family Weekend

Families of Minnesota State Mankato students can ease the transition for their student by attending Family Weekend. The event will take place Oct. 11-13 and will be centered around the Maverick football game. There are many activities for all members of the family and attendance to the game is not required.

In the fall of each year, families of current students are invited to campus to enjoy a weekend full of activities. This is a chance for families to meet faculty and staff and learn more about their student's experiences. With this knowledge, families can contribute to their student's success.

In addition to the football game, activities include cosmic bowling and billiards, a live “a cappella” performance by “Six Appeal”, a 5k run/walk and Family Fun Carnival.

A full schedule of events including dates and times and parking information can be found here.

Research and Creative Grants

The Undergraduate Research Center (URC) offers fall funding for undergraduate research, scholarly, and creative activity. Research and creative grants are awarded on a competitive basis to projects that will be presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in April as well as regional and national conferences. The three types of funding sources available include Minnesota State Foundation, North Star STEM Alliance, and URC Grants. The deadline to apply is Friday, Oct. 11 at 12 p.m. Application and proposal guidelines can be found here.

Learning Communities

The Office of New Student and Family Programs and Academic Affairs are currently accepting proposals for learning community programs for the 2014-2015 academic year.

A survey of Minnesota State Mankato students in 2010 indicated that learning community students had more interaction with their professors, attended more lectures and seminars, showed a better appreciation for diversity and spent more time studying and doing homework than students who did not participate in learning communities. They also reported an easier transition to college and greater confidence in their academic skills. Students who participated in learning communities in 2011-2012 had a retention rate of 79.6 percent and their average cumulative grade point average was 3.17. Non-learning community students had a retention rate of 69.1 percent and an average cumulative grade point average of 3.03. (Data for the 2012-2013 cohort is not yet available).

The benefits of the learning community programs stretch beyond individual student growth and academic success. Learning communities support colleges and academics by structuring:

  • Co-enrollment in courses and clustered housing assignments to build cohesion within a cohort of incoming students
  • Opportunities for out-of-class engagement and learning through a Common Read program
  • Coordinated access to first-year students interested in your program
  • Mechanisms for coordination, organization, and support through the Office of New Student and Family Programs

For information regarding the learning community’s program, please click here.

Proposals for learning community programs will be accepted through Oct. 30. For proposal documents or questions, please contact Kate Hansen in the Office of New Student and Family Programs at 389-5498 or

Faculty Research Grant – Deadline Oct. 3

The purpose of a Faculty Research Grant at Minnesota State Mankato is to encourage excellence in research, scholarship and creative activities among the university 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. More information on committee members, funding statistics, and current guidelines is available here. Faculty is encouraged to contact the appropriate college representative for guidance on proposal development.

Application packets must be submitted to Research and Sponsored Programs (WA 325) by 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3. For clarification or additional information, please contact the research and sponsored programs office at 389-2803.

Common Read Recap

Kate Hansen, assistant director of the Office of New Student and Family Programs, reported that the common read event with Tracy Kidder on Sept. 11 was a big success. Hansen said about 560 people attended and that the online live stream was also well “attended.” Kidder’s Sept. 11 presentation on his book, “Strength in What Remains,” can be seen by accessing the following links from on-campus locations only:;

For more information about the common read program, please click here or contact Hansen at or 507-389-5498.

Introduction to Pivot Workshop

The Community of Science and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will host a workshop to introduce Pivot, a program that combines the most comprehensive, editorially maintained database of funding opportunities worth an estimated $33 billion with a unique database of three million scholar profiles and growing.

Jason High, a Client Educator/Trainer from Pivot, will facilitate the workshop. The workshop will be held on Monday, Oct. 7, from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Wissink Hall, Room 116.

Registration information is available here.

Sept. 16-Oct. 2: Artist Gary Freeburg Exhibit

Minnesota State Mankato alumnus and landscape photographer Gary Freeburg is exhibiting his recent photographic work on campus from Monday, Sept. 16 through Wednesday, Oct. 2 at the university’s Conkling Gallery.

Freeburg’s exhibit, free and open to the public, is titled “The Valley of 10,000 Smokes: Revisiting the Alaskan Sublime.” Freeburg’s work will be on display at 139 Nelson Hall, the Conkling Gallery, during gallery hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday). Baker’s book of the same title is for sale in the Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Centennial Student Union.

Freeburg will deliver an artist lecture from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 30 in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium. The lecture will be followed by a reception in Conkling Gallery. Freeburg is also doing a Studio Residency from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1 in the Nelson Hall Studios.

For more information, call the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art at 507-389-6412. The complete 2013-2014 Conkling Gallery Schedule is located here.

Sept. 28: KMSU to Celebrate 50 Years

KMSU Radio, 89.7 FM “The Maverick,” an independent radio station operated by Minnesota State Mankato, will celebrate 50 years of broadcasting with a 6 p.m. social and 7 p.m. dinner and program on Saturday, Sept. 28 in Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

To receive any information about KMSU’s 50-year anniversary celebration, or submit audio clips, old photos or stories, contact KMSU’s Jim Gullickson or Karen Wright at 507-389-5678 or by email at or

Sept. 29: Minnesota River Valley Wind Ensemble

The Minnesota River Valley Wind Ensemble will perform Sunday, Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The ensemble is a semi-professional group comprised of faculty, community members, music teachers, music students and professional musicians.

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 may visit For more information, call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

Oct. 1: Theatrical Performance: Marx in Soho

In this witty and imaginative play by the historian Howard Zinn, Karl Marx returns for one hour to defend his ideas, recall his family life, recount his debates with prominent anarchist and socialist thinkers, and comment on the state of our world today. His observations may surprise you.

The performance will begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1 in the Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium and is free and open to the public. Information about the play can be found here.

For more information, please contact Steve Buechler (Department of Sociology and Corrections) at 507-389-5613 or

Oct. 3: Classical pianist Stephen Carlson

Classical pianist Stephen Carlson will perform on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

A member of the Bemidji State University Music Department since 2006, Stephen Carlson is a versatile soloist and chamber musician who has performed at many colleges, universities, and festivals throughout much of the U.S. and Eastern Canada. In 2005, Carlson made his New York debut as a solo recitalist in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Appointed to the Performing Artist Roster of the South Carolina Arts Commission, Stephen Carlson has also performed chamber music with members of the South Carolina Philharmonic as well as the Charleston and Greenville (SC) Symphonies.

The voters of Minnesota make Stephen Carlson’s activity possible through a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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 may visit For more information, please call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

Oct. 3-5, 10-12: 'Les Miserables'

The Minnesota State Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance will present the multiple award-winning musical “Les Misérables” as the opening show of its 2013-14 Mainstage season. Sponsored by HickoryTech Corporation and Foundation, it will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3-5 & 10-12, with 2 p.m. matinees Oct. 5, 6, 12 and 13, in the Ted Paul Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

In 19th century France, Jean Valjean is released from 19 years of unjust imprisonment, but finds nothing in store for him but mistrust and mistreatment. He breaks his parole in hopes of starting a new life, initiating a life-long struggle for redemption as he is relentlessly pursued by police inspector Javert, who refuses to believe Valjean can change his ways. During the Paris student uprising of 1832, Javert must confront his ideals after Valjean spares his life and saves that of the student revolutionary who has captured the heart of Valjean's adopted daughter.

The winner of nine Tony Awards in 1987, it became the second longest-running musical in Broadway history. The 2012 movie version starred Hugh Jackman as Valjean. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, with Anne Hathaway winning for Best Actress as Eponine.

Directing the cast of nearly 40 is Department Chair Paul J. Hustoles. Music direction is by Nick Wayne, with scenic design by John David Paul. Costumes are designed by David McCarl.

Individual tickets for “Les Misérables” are $22 regular, $19 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more, $15 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. They may be purchased online at, or by calling or stopping by the Theatre & Dance Box Office in the lobby of the Earley Center from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday; call 507-389-6663.

Oct. 6: Bob Bingham and Gordon Thorne

Acoustic Blues/Americana guitarists Bob Bingham and Gordon Thorne will perform Sunday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

Former Lamont Cranston Band guitarist Bob Bingham has teamed up with Northwoods fingerstyle wizard Gordon Thorne to form what the Minneapolis Star Tribune hails as, "one of the best ad hoc acoustic duos in the country - a double shot of fingerstyle blues at its finest.”

Combining masterful guitar work with soulful vocals and a comfortable command of the stage, Bingham and Thorne performances are a raucous romp through an American musical landscape inspired by country bluesers, early jazzers, old-time shouters, and rock n' rollers.

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 may visit For more information, please call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

Oct. 7-23: Randy Regier Art Exhibit

Artist Randy Regier, who according to his publicity materials has built full-sized spaceships, racecars and a host of “phantom” vintage toys and their respective packaging, will give an artist lecture at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7 in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium on the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus.

The title of Regier’s presentation is “The Sale Begins When the Customer Says ‘No’: A Real Fiction.” A reception will follow in the University’s Conkling Gallery, located in Nelson Hall.

Regier, who lives in Wichita, Kan., will also conduct a studio residency on Oct. 7-8, and his work will be displayed in Conkling Gallery from Oct. 7 to Oct. 23.

For more information, call the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art at 507-389-6412. The complete 2013-2014 Conkling Gallery Schedule is located here.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Terry Lewis, a manufacturing engineer and Minnesota State Mankato graduate, has accepted the position of Physical Plant Director. Lewis has experience in a variety of facilities disciplines including both the private and public sectors, most recently the Physical Plant Director at the Faribault Correctional Facility.

Bill Tourville, the assistant director of student activities at Minnesota State Mankato, has been published in the Sept. 2013 issue of “The Bulletin,” a publication of the Association of College Unions International. The article can be found here.

Don Friend (Geography) has a new text, “Mountain Geography,” published by the University of California Press, International Standard Book Number 9780520254312.

David Viscoli (Music) recently performed two concerts with The Lowry Hill Chamber Players. They performed at Saint Paul College and on the Saint Mark's Music Series at Saint Mark's Cathedral in Minneapolis. The group is comprised of members of the Chiarina Piano Quartet (of which David Viscoli is a member) and musicians from the Minnesota Orchestra.


Assistant Professor Cheryl Joy (Hexum) Rogers passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. Rogers was employed in Minnesota State Mankato’s Family and Consumer Science Department, most recently during the 2008-2009 academic year. Private services will be held in her memory. 

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 Oct. 9; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Oct. 4).

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.