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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Ocotber 9, 2013 Campus Newsletter

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Visitors from Brazil

The U.S. Embassy to Brazil through its Public Affairs section and in partnership with the Fulbright Commission in Brazil sponsored the program on “Higher Education in the U.S.” A delegation of six Brazilian academic administrators from the program spent Monday, Oct. 7 at Minnesota State University, Mankato exploring exchange possibilities with Brazil that are connected to the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program (also known as the Science without Borders initiative).

The Brazil Scientific Mobility Undergraduate Program, launched by the Brazilian government in 2011 at the Science Without Borders meeting, brings 4,000 Brazilian undergraduate students to study in the United States each year. The scholarship program funds one year of study abroad and six months of intensive English study. Its ultimate goal is to send some 100,000 Brazilian undergraduate and graduate students abroad, particularly to pursue studies in the STEM fields “to enhance the country’s competitiveness” in this area. Minnesota State Mankato currently has four students from the program enrolled in the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology.

HAN Delegation

The Kearney International Center hosted a presentation by Professor Job Vogel and Professor Cees Landman from Minnesota State Mankato’s partner university in the Netherlands, HAN University of Applied Sciences, on Monday, Oct. 7. The presentation provided an overview of the current partnership between Minnesota State Mankato and the HAN University of Applied Sciences, with a focus on the unique “buro302” internship/study program opportunity that is currently available to Minnesota State Mankato Computer Information Science, Films Studies and Graphic Design students. There is the possibility of including students from other disciplines in the future.

Twin Cities Engineering Feature

The Twin Cities Engineering program, a collaboration between Minnesota State Mankato and six state colleges and held at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn., is scheduled to be featured in a KARE 11 television story on Thursday, Oct. 17.

The story, by KARE 11's Kim Insley for KARE 11's "Cool in School" segment, is tentatively scheduled to air Oct. 17 between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. and also possibly during KARE 11's 4 p.m. newscast. The story is scheduled to be posted at in the "Sunrise" section later in the morning on Oct. 17.

Broadcast times of all television news stories are subject to change.

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.

Mock House Party

For the 11th year in a row, Minnesota State Mankato’s Student Health Services will co-host an educational event called House Party along with other Minnesota State Mankato departments, Mankato Department of Public Safety & Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association. This year’s House Party will take place on Thursday, Oct. 18 from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

The goal of the event is to educate students on the dangers of high-risk drinking. This event is a mock house party where students take a tour of an off-campus house and explore a “house party” from a sober perspective. Student volunteers act out scenarios that students may have encountered at a real house party. Students will be given statistical information about the prevalence of high-risk behaviors and then will be educated on how they can better keep themselves and friends safe if they do choose to drink.

Founders Day Celebration

Minnesota State Mankato held its third annual Founders Day on Monday, Oct. 7, celebrating the 145th year of the school's birth in 1868.

The celebration, free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public, was held in the Lincoln Lounge, located on the first floor of Centennial Student Union.

The Maverick Athletic Band performed to open a brief program that included remarks from Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport and Minnesota State Student Association Vice President Ben Shakespear.

University Archives also set up a display that highlights the history of the institution.

Giving Season

Student Activities Community Engagement and the Non Traditional Student Center are happy to announce the launch of their second annual Giving Tree program. The event is designed to inspire a season of giving in support of families of Minnesota State Mankato students who are managing economic strain. Students, faculty and staff are invited to participate in this campus-wide tradition.

Families with children who would like to receive gifts can register through Friday, Nov. 15. Gift sponsors can register through Wednesday, Nov. 27. Registration is available on the Non-Traditional Student Center website here. Registrations are confidential.

If you would like to donate new gifts without registering to be a sponsor or make a monetary contribution, bring them to Student Activities CSU 173 by Dec. 3.

URC Fall Faculty Workshop

The Undergraduate Research Center is offering a Fall Faculty Workshop on Saturday, Nov. 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bethany Usher, director of the “Students as Scholars” initiative at George Mason University, will present “Creating Authentic Research Experiences in Courses.” The goal of the workshop is to design or re-design a course so students who take the course contribute to an authentic research or creative project and disseminate the results of that project.

Faculty participants will use a curriculum mapping approach to analyze a current or potential course. Using personal research experience and inquiry-based learning models, participants will then re-design a course, integrating the research or creative project. The workshop will be hands-on and interactive. Faculty who co-teach classes are encouraged to attend as a team. For more information, please click here.

MAGS Award 2014

Minnesota State Mankato is once again participating in the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award (MAGS) and thesis nominations are encouraged. In a change from past years, MAGS will implement the same process as that of the Council of Graduate School’s for awarding the Distinguished Thesis Awards. For the 2014 cycle, MAGS is seeking nominations in the two broad categories of Biological and Life Sciences, and in the Humanities. To be eligible, the nominee must have been awarded the master’s degree within these areas during the calendar year from July 1, 2011-June 30, 2013.

The nomination form, the abstract of the nominated thesis (submitted as a standalone document), and the thesis must be submitted electronically by Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 to More information about the MAGS award and the nomination and selection process is available here.

Nature's Nook

The second Friday and Saturday of each month, Minnesota State Mankato students will greet you and your family to facilitate an environmentally based story and activity time through Elk’s Nature Center in Rasmussen Woods, 555 Stoltzman Road. Friday, Oct. 11 will engage pre-school learners and Saturday, Oct. 12 will support students in third through sixth grade. This month’s topic is “Minnesota Fall and Our Colorful Foliage.” Sessions run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Plan to join in the celebration of reading skill development, our natural world and Minnesota’s ever changing seasons.

More Nature’s Nook events will take place:

  • Nov. 8-9, 2013
  • Dec. 13-14, 2013
  • Jan. 10-11, 2014

For more information, call The Office of Community Engagement at 507-389-5789.

Richard Miller Lecture, Discussion

Richard Miller, a professor of English at Rutgers University, will deliver a lecture entitled “Cultivating Curiosity in These Our Distracted, Polarized, Irate, Ill-Informed Times” in the Centennial Student Union’s Searing Room (Room 201) Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m.

Educators have always worked to unsettle confirmation bias--the tendency we all have to seek out information that confirms our biases. But, what are educators to do now that the algorithms of the search engines, the online shopping sites, and the many forms of social media all generate bias-confirming information that seeks us out? This campus-wide talk will discuss how the shift from a paper-based world to a screen-based world requires a redefinition of both the form and the function of public education.

Following the lecture, the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning will host a lunch and discussion Wed. Oct. 16 in the Heritage Room from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

During the discussion, Miller, and those who attend, will discuss the successful marketing of an apocalyptic encounter with zombies. The title of the discussion, “The Pleasurable Apocalypse: Teaching at the End of the World”, comes from a video lecture created by one of Miller’s students last fall.

Lunch will be provided to the first 30 registrants and a copy of Miller’s book, “Writing at the End of the World,” will be provided to the first 15 registrants. Individuals need not have read the book in order to participate in the discussion. Registration is required to participate in the discussion. To do so, please click here.

Therapeutic Interventions in Dementia Care

Innovative Therapies in Dementia Care is a full-day conference on Tuesday, Oct. 15 from 8:30 a.m to 3:30 p.m. at the South Central College conference center and is designed for geriatric professionals working with people experiencing cognitive disorders. The conference will be divided into a keynote address in the morning followed by five workshops, which will be presented to breakout groups. The goal of the workshop is to provide direct training in a variety of therapeutic interventions for persons with dementia, as well as to assist with the end-of care, end-of-life transition through family-focused planning and care.

Registration is $95 and will take place from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. The pre-registration price is $85. The deadline for which is Oct. 9 and can be completed here.

Research and Sponsored Programs Workshop

Research and Sponsored Programs (RASP) is a one-stop shop for Minnesota State Mankato faculty and staff interested in obtaining external funding. We focus on the technical details: identifying sources of funding, assisting with budgets, processing internal paperwork, reviewing the proposal for submission, initiating cost center setup, providing post award support, and more. Come to hear more about our office, how we can help you from start to finish, and let us take the panic out of the process for you.

The workshop is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in CSU 238. To register, please click here and use the keyword “RASP”.

Homecoming Food Drive a Success

The annual homecoming canned sculpture contest collected 2,453 pounds of canned goods, which were donated to the ECHO Food Shelf Thursday. Sigma Nu created the winning sculpture, which depicted a football stadium with the Gage towers in the background.

ECHO Food Shelf opens its doors to everyone needing food assistance. In 2012, the non-profit served 51,750 individuals, 20,727 of whom were under 18 years of age. Through ECHO’s Summer Feeding Program and donations around the Thanksgiving holiday, an additional 8,030 individuals were helped.

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, gave an artist lecture at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7 in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium on the Minnesota State 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., also conducted a studio residency on Oct. 7-8, and his work will be displayed in Conkling Gallery from Oct. 7 to Oct. 23.

Oct. 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. 10-12, with 2 p.m. matinees on Oct. 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. 12-13: Women and Spirituality Conference

Starhawk, the author and co-author of 12 books on Goddess religion, earth-based spirituality and activism, will be the keynote speaker at the 32nd annual Women & Spirituality Conference Oct. 12-13 at Minnesota State Mankato.

Starhawk will speak at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, followed by a book signing in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. The title of Starhawk’s keynote address is “Women’s Hidden Histories: Goddesses, Witches, Hags and Wild Women.”

The conference, open to students, faculty, staff and the public, includes two days of workshops, discussions, exhibits, dialogue, discovery and celebrations, with 90 vendors and more than 100 workshops.

The purpose of the annual conference is to provide a supportive and nurturing setting for a dialogue of caring and mutual respect between and among women and men from many spiritual and religious traditions.

For more information about the sessions or to register, please call 507-389-2077, email, or click here, where a complete booklet is available on all session workshops.

Oct. 13: Cellist Jeffrey Zeigler

Former Kronos Quartet cellist Jeffrey Zeigler will perform on Sunday, Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave. Zeigler will be assisted by Carleton College faculty pianist Nicola Melville in a program of profound and appealing contemporary music.

As a member of the internationally renowned Kronos Quartet, Ziegler was awarded Sweden’s prestigious Polar Music Award in recognition of a broad approach to programming, often incorporating avant-garde rock and music from a variety of sources worldwide. The duo’s recital promises selections that echo this timely and thrilling aesthetic.

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

Oct. 14: ‘Palestinians in Syria and the Syrian War’

Sociologist Anaheed Al-Hardan, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry in Berlin, Germany, will lecture on “The Palestinians in Syria and the Syrian War” at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14 in Room 102, Armstrong Hall on the Minnesota State Mankato campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

In her lecture, Al-Hardan will examine the historical realities of the Palestinian refugees in Syria and discuss how they have formed one of the most stable and integrated of the Palestinian refugee communities in the Arab world. She will discuss how the integration and access to rights on par with Syrian citizens has also meant that Palestinians in Syria have tragically become embroiled in the country’s civil war.

At the Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Al-Hardan is completing a book on memories of the 1948 Nakba in the Palestinian refugee community in Syria. She will begin work as assistant professor of sociology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Media Studies at the American University of Beirut in the 2013-14 academic year.

For more information, please contact the Minnesota State Mankato Honors Program office at 507-389-5191 or email Chris Corley at

Oct. 16: Potter Warren MacKenzie

A documentary film of renowned 89-year-old potter Warren MacKenzie at work in his studio will be shown at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 16 in the Northeast Ballroom of Centennial Student Union on the Minnesota State Mankato campus.

The documentary showing is free and open to the public.

The documentary, titled “Warren MacKenzie: A Potter’s Hands,” follows the potter through his complete firing cycle and captures MacKenzie sharing his own stories. It provides a view into the creation of the art form and imparts to Minnesotans the artistic value of pottery, as well as its historic and cultural significance to society as a whole.

The showing at Minnesota State Mankato is one of five this fall for the documentary, which premiered Sept. 5 at Anoka-Ramsey Community College in Coon Rapids, Minn. The film was also shown Sept. 20 in Duluth, Minn. It will be shown Oct. 10 at the University of Minnesota before coming to Minnesota State Mankato.

For more information, contact Harlan Bloomer in the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art by email at or by phone at 507-389-6017.

Oct. 17: Indie Musician Bella Ruse

Bella Ruse will perform Thursday, Oct. 17 at Minnesota State Mankato. The Performance Series concert will be at at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

Bella Ruse's combination of airy folk and crunchy pop transforms rooms into secret gardens and paints pictures of invading bombardiers, salty sea love, and super glued hearts. Surrounded by a laboratory of instruments - typewriter, suitcase organ, glockenspiel, and kazoos - singer Kay Gillette's voice and Joseph Barker's guitar twist and twirl and carry you deep into their magical musical world.

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.

Oct. 20: Concert Bands to Perform

The Symphonic Band and Concert Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Amy Roisum Foley, will perform on Sunday, Oct. 20 at 3 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The Symphonic Band and Concert Wind Ensemble will present a program titled Envisioning the Future: A Fusion of Music, Art and Drama. The concert will open with Brian Balmages' Fusion—a three-movement work fusing three familiar styles of music making. The ensemble will close the first half with a regional premiere of Andrew Boysen and Erik Evenson's Star Crossed—an animated adventure starring two star crossed super heroes. The Concert Wind Ensemble will take the audience on a musical journey depicting a celebration of one of the finest conductors in musical history, a sunrise over the spectacular Grand Canyon's Angel's Gate and on to an adventure on the Las Vegas Strip.

Concert admission is $9; $7 for students with a valid MavCard. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Advance purchase is strongly encouraged. To purchase tickets online, please visit For more information, call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

Oct. 21: Singer/songwriter Slaid Cleaves

Singer/songwriter Slaid Cleaves will perform on Monday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave. Cleaves will be joined on stage by Austin (TX) sideman Scrappy Jud Newcombe.

Much like Hank Williams or Woody Guthrie, Slaid juxtaposes tales of working class woes. When Slaid Cleaves wrote the title track for his new album ‘Still Fighting The War,’ he had a specific subject in mind. Inspired by a Pulitzer-winning series of photos on an Iraq War veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, he sought to address the plight of those returning from war and struggling to readjust to society. However, as the album progressed, the phrase “still fighting the war” began to take on a broader meaning.

Concert admission is $15; $13 for students with a valid MavCard. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Advance purchase is strongly encouraged. To purchase tickets online, please visit

Student Achievements

Four athletes from Minnesota State Mankato’s handball team have each received $300 scholarships funded by Buster’s Bar & Grill. The scholarship recipients included Cody Kutil, a junior from Wausau, Wis., majoring in aviation and geography; Jessica Herion, a sophomore from Dublin, Ohio, majoring in international business, finance and French; Sara Schoborg, a second-year student from Westbrook, Minn., majoring in accounting; and Matt Job, a senior from Richmond, Minn., majoring in corporate finance.

Herion won the women's 19U national championship at last year's USHA 4-wall nationals in Des Moines, Iowa. Schoborg was the runner-up in her individual bracket at the USHA collegiate nationals last year.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Mark Constantine has been appointed as the new director of Centennial Student Union and Student Activities. Constantine has over 30 years of student affairs experience at several institutions, including Shippensburg University, the University of Tennessee and the College of William and Mary. He has been an involved leader in his field and is a recipient of the Founders Award, the National Association for Campus Activities' highest honor. Constantine will begin his duties on Oct. 14.

Sandra King has been appointed to Interim Assistant to the President. In this role, King will assist President Davenport and other senior university staff in managing numerous projects and administering duties on behalf of the president. She will serve as a member of the president’s cabinet and supervise the president’s office support staff.

DeeAnn Snaza has been appointed to Director of Human Resources for Minnesota State Mankato. In this role, Snaza will provide leadership in the administration of the university’s human resource programs and oversee all functional areas within the Human Resources office. Those areas include classification, compensation, recruitment/selection, performance management, benefits administration, workers’ compensation, and professional development.

Walter Roberts, Jr., professor of counselor education in the Department of Counseling & Student Personnel, moderated a Sept. 11 panel of medical, mental health, and educational professionals at Children's Hospital, Minneapolis, created to brainstorm potential solutions to the issue of bullying. Children's Hospital and Clinics of Minneapolis plan additional activities surrounding this topic in the future based on the outcome of the panel's recommendations.

Marty Rost (Facilities) will be honored at a retirement party from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11 on the Wiecking Center North plaza. Sandwiches, snacks, cake and beverages will be served.

Department News

The Institutional Review Board’s fall 2013 newsletter is available here.

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences’ September-October newsletter is available here.

The Center for Excellence in Scholarship and Research (CESR) has published the Fall 2013 newsletter featuring scholarly achievements of Dr. Elizabeth Sandell, in the Department of Educational Studies. An electronic copy of the newsletter is available [PDF] here (836 KiB).

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning has posted the October newsletter. An electronic copy of the newsletter is available here.

Human Resources has published its most recent quarterly newsletter [PDF] here (110 KiB).

September Externally Funded Projects

Jim Gullickson (Division of University Advancement) “MN State Arts & Cultural Heritage Grant TY2014-15 Biennium” funded by the Department of Administration.

Guadalupe Quintero (Division of Academic Affairs) “Migrant College Weekend Experience” funded by Minnesota Migrant Secondary Program.

Allan Hart and Aaraon Budge (College of Science, Engineering, and Technology) “GEMINI Geotechnical Mobile/Web Gateway Phase II” funded by MN Department of Transportation (MNDOT).

Ronald Schirmer (College of Social and Behavioral Sciences) “Archeological Survey of Le Sueur County, Minnesota” funded by Minnesota Historical Society.

Jim Gullickson (Division of University Advancement) “FY14-15 Minnesota State Public Radio Community Service Grants” funded by MN Department of Administration.

Jim Gullickson (Division of University Advancement) “FY14-15 Minnesota State Public Radio Equipment Grant” funded by MN Department of Administration.

Kevin Filter (College of Social and Behavioral Sciences) “Building PBIS Capacity in Minnesota” funded by MN Department of Education.

Robert Pettitt (College of Allied Health and Nursing) “Force Science GA” funded by Force Science Institute.

Ginger Zierdt and Jill Ryan (College of Education) “ISD 2310 Sibley East Teaching Fellow” funded by ISD #2310 Sibley East; “ISD 77 Mankato Teaching Fellow” funded by ISD #77 Mankato; “ISD 271 Bloomington Teaching Fellow” funded by ISD #271 Bloomington.

Online Voter Registration

Minnesotans will now be able to apply online to register to vote, or update their existing registration, thanks to an application developed by the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State and accessed at The online process will deliver convenience to voters, reduce errors in voter rosters, and deliver significant cost- and time-savings for local election officials.

In addition to launching online voter registration during National Voter Registration Month, the office is making absentee ballot applications available online for military and overseas voters. This will allow those voters to apply for an absentee ballot quickly and easily without the need to print, scan forms, and return by mail, fax or email. In the 2012 general election, there were 10,506 absentee ballots successfully cast by military and overseas Minnesota voters.

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. 23; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Oct. 18).

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.