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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

COVID-19 campus response and Return to Learn news and updates.



October 23, 2013 Campus Newsletter

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State Legislators Visit Campus

Minnesota state legislators from the House Capital Investment Committee, Senate Capital Investment Committee and officials from the Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB) office visited Minnesota State University, Mankato over the past two weeks (Oct. 9, 15, 16) to listen to a presentation on a request for bonding that would finance construction of a new Clinical Sciences Building on campus.

The capital bonding request is for $25.8 million to construct a 55,872-square foot clinical sciences facility for the School of Nursing and Departments of Dental Hygiene, and Speech, Hearing & Rehabilitation Services. The building would provide 32 treatment, clinical consult or exam rooms and 22 labs, classrooms or observation areas in addition to 24 offices, an Advising Center and student/faculty interactive spaces.

Presenters included Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport and College of Allied Health and Nursing Dean Kristine Retherford.

HAN Delegation

Ingrid Le Coultre and Moniek Hermans from HAN University of Applied Sciences visited Minnesota State Mankato on Monday, Oct. 14 to learn more about the College of Business and promote the exchange relationship. HAN offers a summer program called "Doing Business in Europe" that they promoted. They met with College of Business Dean Brenda Flannery and had lunch with the College of Business department chairs.

Minnesota State Mankato is hoping to learn more about HAN's business opportunities and share opportunities with them.

Hosei University Delegation

Dr. Noriko Ishihara and Mr. Jun Kojima of Hosei University (Tokyo, Japan) spent Oct. 15 on campus exploring areas of potential collaboration with Minnesota State Mankato, including opportunities for student study abroad, faculty and staff exchanges, and interdisciplinary student and faculty research.

The visitors met with staff from International Affairs (Mandy Prorok and Steve Stoynoff), faculty in the departments of Art (Mika Laidlow), Communication Studies (Sachi Sekimoto), English (Karen Lybeck), Government (Eiji Kawabata), K-12 and Secondary Programs (Anne Dahlman), and World Languages and Cultures (Jim Grabowska), and the Director of the Center for Excellence in Scholarship and Research (In-Jae Kim).

For more information on the visit or the opportunities available at Hosei University, contact the Kearney International Center.

Undergraduate Mentor Spotlight

The Undergraduate Research Center recognized Karla Lassonde, associate professor from the Department of Psychology, as the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year (2013). Maria K. Almoite, an undergraduate member of Lassonde’s research team, nominated Lassonde for the award. There were seven undergraduate students on Lassonde’s Spring 2013 research team.

Lassonde’s commitment to undergraduate scholarly activity is evident by her accomplishments. Since 2010, her research team has been awarded six Undergraduate Research Center grants, 10 students have presented at the Minnesota Undergraduate Scholars Conference, 19 students at Minnesota State Mankato's Undergraduate Research Symposium, and four students at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

Lassonde views integrating research in the classroom as the next frontier since it can be difficult to help all students advance their research skills. This spring, Lassonde will be included in a pilot program to increase research opportunities in undergraduate courses, the URC Graduate Research Consultant Program. In her opinion, this is an effective way to support the next generation of students.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Wednesday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m.
Screening and discussion of the film, “Sin By Silence,” in Ostrander Auditorium

  • The California Institution for Women, the first inmate-initiated and led group in U.S. prison history, shatters the misconceptions of domestic violence. Convicted Women Against Abuse (CWAA) was created in 1989 to help women inside prison break the silence about abuse and learn more about what they needed to do to help others stop the cycle of violence.

Friday, Oct. 25, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Violence-Free Zone Training in CSU 238

  • This training will address intimate partner violence (IPV) and help attendees learn about response and referral tools when confronted with these issues. Since the presentation will contain information about IPV, it may prove as a trigger for some attendees. Registration is requested, as space is limited. Those interested in reserving a space may email Laura Schultz at

For more information about these events, please contact Laura Schultz at or 507-389-5127.

Study Abroad Photo Contest

The International Programs Office is seeking photos taken outside the Unites States by Minnesota State Mankato students for its 13th annual Study Abroad Photo Contest.

The contest offers a chance for study abroad returnees and international students to share their best photos. Contest categories include Landscape, Cultural Experience, Defining Moment, and Daily Life. Entry forms are available [PDF] here (151 KiB). All entries must be submitted electronically. Deadline for submittal is Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. Full contest details are available [PDF] here (174 KiB).

All entries will be displayed the week of Nov. 11-15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Lincoln Lounge on the CSU main level. Visitors will be able to vote for their favorite entry in each category. Prizes will be presented to the top winner of each category as well as a grand prizewinner.

Research and Professional Development Grants

The President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) has announced that grants of up to $500 are available throughout this year for campus community members who plan to conduct research or attend professional conferences concerned with the status of women and/or gender related issues.

All interested faculty, staff and students are encouraged to apply for this funding opportunity. Grant information and the application form are available online here.

The deadline for Fall 2013 proposals is Friday, Nov. 8. All funds must be spent by June 1.

Leif Erikson Day Lecture

The 2013 Leif Erikson Day Lecture, "O. E. Rølvaag: Author, Professor, Immigrant," will be presented by Solveig Zempel (professor emerita, St. Olaf College) on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 4:30 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium in the Minnesota State Mankato Centennial Student Union. Light refreshments will follow the lecture.

The author of Giants in the Earth, O. E. Rølvaag (1876-1931) was a Norwegian immigrant who worked his way from farmhand to professor before becoming one of Minnesota's most famous writers. In 1926, he was knighted by Norway's King Haakon VII. In 1963, his son Karl Rolvaag became Minnesota's 31st governor.

Solveig Zempel recently completed many years of service as Professor of Norwegian at St. Olaf College. In recognition of her scholarship, she was knighted by Norway's King Harald V in 2008.

Distinguished Alumni Awards

The Alumni Relations office invites you to nominate an alumna/nus for a 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award. The Alumni Association gives awards in four categories: Achievement, Humanitarian, Harold J. Fitterer Service and Young Alumni.

The nomination form describes criteria for each award and can be found here. Deadline for nominations is Nov. 1, 2013. Awards will be presented at the Distinguished Alumni Awards celebration on Friday, April 25.

Read about last year’s award winners here.

Geography Students, Alumnae Win Statewide Awards

The Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium, a statewide organization of geospatial technology professionals, held its annual conference Oct. 9-11. Minnesota State Mankato geography students and alumnae took home four of the eight awards granted each year.

Minnesota State Mankato geography graduate student Philipp Nagel won the graduate student competition and was awarded $1,000 for his paper and presentation, “Using Python Scripting to Integrate Object-Oriented Classification and Wetland Mapping Techniques in GIS.”

Geography undergraduate Andrew L. Stevens won second place in the bachelor’s degree competition and was awarded $400 for his presentation, “Fish Consumption Advisory Awareness in Hennepin County.”

Two Minnesota State Mankato geography alumnae, Catherine L. Hansen (MA '98) and Jane Mueller ('95), were each honored with the Polaris Leadership Award in recognition of their active, established leadership in the geospatial community.

For more information, please contact Donald Friend by email at or phone at 507-389-2617.

Oct. 23-26: Noel Coward’s ‘Blithe Spirit’

Noel Coward’s comedy “Blithe Spirit” will take the stage at the Minnesota State University, Mankato in the Andreas Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts. Performances began last weekend and will continue at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23-26, with 2 p.m. matinees Oct. 20, 26 and 27.

Department faculty member Heather E. Hamilton, who last year directed “And Then There Were None,” directs the second show of the 2013-14 Mainstage season. It features Carter Allen (senior BFA Acting candidate) as Charles Condomine, Amanda Forman (senior BFA Acting) as Elvira, and Kaelea Rovinsky (senior Theatre Generalist) as Madame Arcati. The play is sponsored by Blethen, Gage & Krause, PLLP.

Individual tickets for “Blithe Spirit” are $16 regular, $14 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more, $11 for current Minnesota State students and are available online at, at the Theatre & Dance Box Office from 4-6 p.m., Monday-Friday or by calling 507-389-6661; please mention if you require special accommodations.

Oct. 24: Good Thunder Reading Series

Minnesota State Mankato’s Good Thunder Reading Series continues its 32nd season, featuring two Minnesota writers: Minnesota State Mankato graduate student Alicia Catt and Moorhead fiction writer Alan Davis, Thursday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union, Room 253.

In the morning, Davis will meet with community writers in the Centennial Student Union, Room 238, and be interviewed on KMSU 89.7 FM. Davis will also lead a discussion on the craft of writing at 3 p.m. in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium.

For more information about the series, contact Richard Robbins at the Minnesota State Mankato Department of English, 507-389-1354, click here.

Oct. 26: Blues Award Winner Debbie Davies

Blues guitarist Debbie Davies takes the stage Saturday, Oct. 26 at Hooligan's, located in the Madison East Center, 1400 E. Madison Ave., Mankato. The concert is co-sponsored by KMSU-The Maverick and the Minnesota State Mankato Performance Series with assistance from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Davies has received 10 Blues Music Award nominations, and in 1997 and 2010 won the award for Best Contemporary Female Blues Artist.

Debbie Davies is a singer, songwriter, and guitar player of extraordinary talent who has taken the blues world by storm since leaving her mentor’s band, the late blues guitar great Albert Collins.

Concert admission is $15 in advance, $18 day of show. To purchase tickets online, please visit For more information, call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

Oct. 27-28: University Choral Groups Fall Concert

The University Choral Groups will perform on Sunday, Oct. 27 at 3 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

David Dickau conducts the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, and Rodney Urtel conducts the University Chorale.

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 should go to For more information, call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

Oct. 28: Leonard A. Ford Lectureship

William Arnold, professor of civil engineering at the University of Minnesota, will deliver two lectures at Minnesota State University, Mankato on Monday, Oct. 28 as part of the 24th annual Leonard A. Ford Lectureship.

Arnold will give a general talk at 7:30 p.m. in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium entitled, “From Triclosan to Dioxins: How your hand soap leads to an unanticipated environmental problem,” in which Arnold will discuss pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) that often find their way into the sewage system.

Prior to his evening lecture, Arnold will give a technical talk at 10 a.m. in the Trafton Science Center (Room TR C124) entitled, “Abiotic Transformations of Pesticides in Prairie Potholes,” in which Arnold will discuss why the prairie pothole region in central North America is one the most extensively altered ecosystems on earth.

Both lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Christine Cords by phone at 507-389-1963 or by email at

Nov. 2: Melissa Williams to Perform Graduate Recital

Soprano Melissa Williams will perform her graduate recital on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 3 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

Williams will be assisted by Johnathan Moeller, guitar, Vonnie Elker, piano and Aaron Hansen, violin. The program will consist of classical and contemporary pieces including works of Fernando Sor, Giacomo Puccini, Libby Larsen, Ricky Ian Gordon, and Eric Whitacre.

The graduate recital is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

Nov. 2: Authentic Sri Lankan Dinner

The Minnesota State Mankato student organization, "Mavlankans," invites the campus community to attend its annual fundraising dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2 in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

The cost is $8 for Minnesota State Mankato students. The cost for regular admission and tickets at the door is $10.

A Facebook link is here. For more information, please contact Sasanka Andawatta by phone at 507-389-1329 or by email at

Student Achievements

‘The Impacts and Results of Online Presence for Small Businesses’

Emily Schmitt, an undergraduate in Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Business, presented her undergraduate research, “The Impacts and Results of Online Presence for Small Businesses,” at the International Association of Computer and Information Systems Conference (IACIS). Her faculty mentor was Queen Booker, an associate professor in the Department of Management.

Schmitt received funding from the Undergraduate Research Center and presented at the Undergraduate Research Symposium, the Minnesota Undergraduate Scholars Conference and the National Conference of Undergraduate Research. Schmitt remains interested in the research topic and plans to attend graduate school. Her research paper will be published in Issues in Information Systems.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Sun Kyeong Yu (Philosophy) wrote a Korean-language paper on Buddhism, "Sudden Enlightenment," and had it accepted for publication in Seoul, Korea. Her paper will appear in Buddhist Review, a Korean-language Buddhist magazine, in December 2013.

John Seymour, a professor in the College of Education’s Department of Counseling & Student Personnel, began serving a three-year term on the board of directors of the Association for Play Therapy during its Oct. 8-13 conference in Rancho Mirage, Calif. A licensed marriage and family therapist and registered play the rapist-supervisor, Seymour was elected by members last June.

Walter Roberts, Jr., professor of counselor education in Minnesota State Mankato's Department of Counseling and Student Personnel, was featured in St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist's Ruben Rosario's Oct. 18 column, "In Cyberage, Bullying Can Last a Lifetime," for his expertise and research on bullying prevention initiatives. A link to the column is here.

Nicholas Linde has recently joined the University Advancement Division as director of development for the College of Business. Linde comes to Minnesota State Mankato after having served as director of major gifts at Upper Iowa University since 2011. Prior to that, Linde worked at DeVry University and the University of Northern Iowa Alumni Association. He earned a bachelor's degree in English language and literature with a minor in creative writing from the University of Northern Iowa. Linde anticipates earning a master's degree in higher education administration from Upper Iowa University in March 2014. Linde began his duties at Minnesota State Mankato on Oct. 17.


Former Assistant to the President Carol Stallkamp passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 15. Stallkamp began her work at Minnesota State Mankato in 1978 as a student loan clerk typist. She later held the positions of cashier, loan assistant, contract assistant/office manager, and for her last 11 years, assistant to the president. Visitation and a memorial service were held on Saturday, Oct. 19. An obituary is available here.

Maverick Forensics Competition

On Oct. 5, Maverick Forensics traveled to the first ever Great Minnesota Get-Together, a speech tournament hosted by Gustavus Adolphus College. It was a great day full of fun and friendly competition.

The Mavericks received 13 individual and team awards, including:

  • Cade Shelton: 7th place in prose interpretation and 1st place in Program Oral Interpretation
  • Tanner Sunderman: 7th place in Impromptu Speaking, 3rd place in After-Dinner Speaking and 2nd place in Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Luke Schroeder: 7th place in Dramatic Interpretation
  • Zach Aufenthie: 6th place in Impromptu Speaking
  • Jordan Carrillo: 4th place in Communication Analysis
  • Margaret Pence: 2nd place in Communication Analysis, 1st place in Informative Speaking and 1st place in Extemporaneous Speaking

The Mavericks placed first in Team Sweepstakes and was also recognized with a Quality Award for maintaining a certain level of quality competition in each event brought to the tournament.

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 Nov. 6; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Nov. 1).

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.