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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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November 6, 2013 Campus Newsletter

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Pride of CASE District V Gold Award

Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Office of Alumni Relations recently received a Pride of CASE V Gold Award for its efforts in planning the events surrounding the June 29 implosion of Gage towers, which housed more than 50,000 students in their 47-year history.

Minnesota State Mankato won gold in the category of “Excellence in Special Events, Individual Event,” which according to the award criteria “recognizes a single event and outstanding program,” with judges considering how the event successfully and creatively met objectives.

Minnesota State Mankato’s entry, which was titled “Gage Goes Boom: Planning for an Explosive Experience,” was selected for the Gold Award over entries by Michigan State University (which won silver and bronze awards), and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (which received honorable mention).

The 2013 Pride of CASE V Awards will be presented at an awards ceremony during the CASE District V Annual Conference on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 at 4:15 p.m. in Ballroom I and II at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Chicago.

Minnesota State Mankato’s Office of Alumni Relations led all campus planning efforts for events associated with the Gage implosion.

For more information, click here.

Library/CSU Connection Set to Open

A grand opening and ribbon cutting for the Memorial Library/Centennial Student Union Connection is set for 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13 in the library’s lower level corridor. The library drill team, pep band, and Stomper are scheduled to lead guests on the inaugural journey through the walkway from the library to Centennial Student Union, where cake and refreshments will be served at the CSU Maverick Bullpen end of the tunnel.

Guests from Tongxiang City, China

Representatives from Tongxiang City, China, including Mayor Yongjun Sheng (left in photo), visited the City of Mankato and Minnesota State Mankato campus on Monday, Oct. 28.

In addition to the Tongxiang City mayor, other guests included the director of the Tongxiang Municipal People’s Government Office, director of Tongxiang Commerce Bureau and consultant of Tudian Town People’s Government of Tongxiang.

The Chinese delegation met for an hour with President Richard Davenport, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Marilyn Wells and other administrators and staff members, exchanging information and discussing future opportunities for students and faculty to study and work in both China and Mankato through exchange programs.

‘Remember November’

Minnesota State Mankato’s Community Engagement Office is sponsoring activities through a “Remember November” campaign that aims to increase awareness of national hunger and homelessness.

The entire Mankato area community is invited to participate alongside student volunteers, the Community Engagement Office leadership team and campus and community partners.

For more information on how to participate, email or call 507-389-6076. For more information about planned November events, please click here

Undergraduate Research Center Fall Seminar

Bethany Usher, George Mason University, will present, “Discovery, Inquiry, and Creation: Scaffolding Research Skills for Undergraduate Students,” Friday, Nov. 8 at 3 p.m. in Morris Hall Room 102 on the Minnesota State Mankato campus. There will be a reception preceding the seminar at 2:30 p.m. in Morris Hall Room 265.

Usher will discuss a model of skills to facilitate undergraduate student participation in research and creative projects.

The seminar is open to the public, and faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend.

Usher is an associate professor of biological anthropology and associate director for the Center for Teaching and Faculty Excellence at George Mason University. She directs the Students as Scholars initiative, is a Councilor for Undergraduate Research Program Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) and co-chair of the 2014 CUR National Meetings.

For more information, please click here

SHERO Awards

Two women from Minnesota State Mankato received SHERO (She Helps Everyone Realize Opportunities) Awards from the YWCA Mankato.

Michael Nolan nominated Julie Nelson (back row, third from left in photo), program director, Small Business Development Center at Minnesota State Mankato because of her deep sense of community and innovative solutions to the region’s issues. Nelson and Nolan took over the Small Business Development Center, and after a few years, built one of the top 10 best SBDCs in the country.

Leigh Pomeroy nominated Gretta Handke (standing, fourth from left in photo), Department of History, because of her efforts to improve the university learning experience and providing students with a grander concept of world history so that they can become better world citizens.

The SHERO Award is given to women who make a significant, positive impact on the community every day. They contribute to their family and their workplace through volunteer commitments and in endless other ways.

Mahkato Wacipi Pow Wow

The Mahkato Mdewakanton Association hosted its 41st annual Traditional Wacipi Pow Wow on Sept. 20-23 at Land of Memories Park in Mankato. The event’s goal is to create a climate for positive interaction between Mdewakanton Dakota and non-Dakota people.

Twenty-five students and one faculty member from Minnesota State Mankato’s Elementary and Early Childhood Education Human Relations classes accumulated nearly 500 hours of volunteer service at the pow wow.

“As a teacher, I will work with many different people," said one of the volunteers. "To be a well-rounded teacher, I need to learn about all different cultures. I want to be confident when teaching. After my service learning at the pow wow, I feel like I have a better understanding about Native American culture.”

Student ePortfilios Available

Minnesota State Mankato students now have access to a tool that empowers them to create their own personal website to organize, display and reflect on academic coursework, co-curricular involvement, and internships and employment. The tool is called ePortfolio and is hosted within the new software purchased by Student Activities called OrgSync, but branded as "MavSync" for the university.

The tool also allows students to easily upload work samples, solicit professional recommendations, and link to social media profiles. If you are interested in exploring this tool, click here and login to MavSync using your campus username and password. After completing the brief user profile you will be brought to the MavSync Community home page, where you can hover over "My Tools" on the top purple toolbar and click on "ePortfolio." This page will allow the user to see all the sections included in the ePortfolio platform.

For further questions, please contact Ashley Strom, assistant director of Recognized Student Organizations and Nontraditional Students at

Nov. 6: Facility Energy Savings Workshop

The Energy Services Coalition’s Minnesota Chapter is hosting a regional workshop on facility upgrades that use deep energy retrofits from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6 in Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

The “Energy Savings Performance Contracting” workshop will demonstrate the “how to” of upgrading facilities with deep energy retrofits through budget-neutral financing that uses guaranteed savings and eliminates the need for capital appropriations.

The workshop is free and open to students and anyone who pre-registers (Online Attendee Registration). Seating is limited. Food and beverages will be provided throughout the day.

For a complete conference agenda or more information about the workshop, please contact Minnesota State Mankato Environmental Committee Chair Erica Johnson by phone at 507-389-5254 or by email at

Nov. 6: ‘Crisis in Egypt’ Lecture

Minnesota State Mankato Professor Emeritus Hamed Sallam will deliver a lecture titled “Crisis in Egypt: Prospects for Justice and Democracy” from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6 on campus in Centennial Student Union’s Heritage Room.

In his lecture, Sallam will offer his perspectives on the meaning of recent developments in Egypt, prospects for democracy and for improvements in the socio-economic conditions of the Egyptian people.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Immediately following the lecture, there will be a faculty reception from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the CSU Heritage Room for all colleagues to learn about the work of the Kessel Institute and/or to consider joining the Kessel Steering Committee.

For more information, please contact Jacqueline Vieceli, Department of Government, by phone at 507-389-6938 or by email at

Nov. 6-13: Wes Taylor Photography Exhibit

Photographer Wes Taylor’s work is on display in an exhibit titled “Different Times in Different Places” through Wednesday, Nov. 13 at Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Conkling Gallery, located in 139 Nelson Hall on campus.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and some evenings as coverage permits.

Taylor’s most memorable photography moment was in 1984, when he received the best in show/purchase award from Ruth Barnhard at the annual Utah State University photography exhibition. More of his work can be seen at or

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

Nov. 7: Evening of Choral Music

An evening of choral music will be presented by Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Music Thursday, Nov. 7. The performance will be at 7:30 p.m. at Saint Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 105 N. Fifth St., Mankato.

The Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, under the direction of Dr. David Dickau, will perform along with the Mankato West, Mankato East and Mankato Loyola concert choirs.

General admission is $9, tickets for children, K-12 students and Minnesota State Mankato students with a valid MavCard are $7.Advance purchase is strongly encouraged. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to For more information, please call the Performance Series office at 507-389-5549.

Nov. 7-9 & 14-17: ‘Crumbs from the Table of Joy’

The Minnesota State Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance welcomes back alumnus Lou Bellamy to direct the third show of its 2013-14 main stage season, “Crumbs from the Table of Joy.” Performances are 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7-9 & 14-16 and 2 p.m. Nov. 16 & 17 in the Ted Paul Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lynn Nottage, “Crumbs from the Table of Joy” tells the story of recently widowed Godfrey and his daughters Ernestine and Ermina, who move from Florida to Brooklyn for a better life. Not knowing how to parent, Godfrey turns to religion, and especially to Father Divine, for answers. The girls absorb their new surroundings, but not necessarily religion. As the racial and social issues of the late 1950s escalate, personal issues between Godfrey and Lily, his sister-in-law, explode.

Individual tickets for “Crumbs from the Table of Joy” are $16 regular, $14 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more and $11 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. They may be purchased online at, by calling at 507-389-6661 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. Please note: Discounted prices must be taken through the box office.

Nov. 9: VINE’s Rake the Town

VINE’s Rake the Town event has been rescheduled and will take place Saturday, Nov. 9 due to the late fall. Volunteers will meet on the Minnesota State Mankato campus at 8 a.m. and rake until about 1 p.m.

The event assists homeowners who are age 65 and older, or people with a documented physical disability with their fall raking. Volunteers will be available to help in Mankato, North Mankato, St. Peter and in all other communities in Blue Earth and Nicollet counties.

For more information, please click here or call 507-389-5789.

Nov. 12: ‘African Voices of New Americans’

At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12 in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom, the Office of New Student and Family Programs at Minnesota State Mankato will host the third and final event in a series of fall activities relating to this year’s common read book, Tracy Kidder’s “Strength in What Remains”.

A panel, moderated by Dr. Agnes Odinga, will feature immigrants and refugees from Africa who now live in the Mankato area. Come hear their stories and learn about their own personal experiences and perspectives.

Odinga, a native of Kenya and a historian of modern Africa, is also assistant professor of history at Minnesota State Mankato. Panelists who will share their stories include Bosibori Ndemo, Abdi Mohammed, Lero Odola, and Abdi Sabrie.

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

Nov. 13: Upward Bound Blood Drive

Upward Bound is sponsoring a blood drive on Wednesday, Nov. 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

Appointments can be made by calling 389-1211 or by going online at; enter the sponsor code 0175952. Walk-ins will also be welcomed.

Nov. 14: Project Management Speaker

Angela Johnson, who holds a number of professional project management certifications, will give an interactive presentation that will cover the characteristics of successful Agile teams and where leaders need to go in order to motivate, enable and sustain a successful Agile transformation.

The presentation will take place from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union Heritage Room (CSU 101). There will be networking and a light dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. preceding the presentation.

Agile methods all rely on empowered, high performing teams in order to deliver the “advertised” benefits of working this way.

Please make reservations by email at For any questions, please email Mohamed Diab at

Nov. 14: Good Thunder Reading Series

Minnesota State Mankato’s Good Thunder Reading Series completes its fall lineup when it hosts creative nonfiction writer Angela Duryee, and fiction and creative nonfiction writer Luis Alberto Urrea for the Nadine B. Andreas Visiting Writer Residency on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Room 253.

In the morning, Urrea will meet with community writers in the Centennial Student Union, Room 238, and be interviewed on KMSU 89.7 FM. Urrea 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 at 507-389-1354, or click here.

Online Campus Directory

Minnesota State Mankato's 2013-2014 Campus Directory is now available online in a form that is searchable, zoomable, fast and easy. The directory can be accessed here. Print editions are also still available.

The campus directory is produced by through Printing Services at Minnesota State Mankato.

Minnesota State Mankato's Graphics, Printing and Photocopying Services is a group of professional designers, printers and support staff, who know how to give publications a distinctive look while adhering to University brand guidelines.

Printing Services staff produce quality, full color materials including publications, letterhead, envelopes, folders, postcards, media guides and more. Finishing touches include coil binding, perfect (book) binding, folding and stapling.

Thanks to the number of different presses located right in Wiecking Center, Printing Services can print just a few copies, or thousands (minimum orders may apply). Regardless of how many pieces are printed, each press run is stopped for a quality check.

Student Achievements

The Maverick Flight Team placed 2nd overall at the NIFA Region V SAFECON 2013 Regional Competition. The team also received the Safety Award, and Trent Fridono received Top Pilot honors. For more information, please click here.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Walter Roberts, Jr., professor of counselor education in the Department of Counseling & Student Personnel and his two therapy dogs, Murphy and Prairie, were selected for the first field trial of therapy animals at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in October. He is working with the MSP Airport Foundation and regional therapy dog groups to design a protocol for the permanent use of therapy animals at MSP.

Don Friend (Geography) was featured in "magazine der Hochschule Karlsruhe," a once per semester publication of Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, a partner university of Minnesota State Mankato. A delegation from Karlsruhe, including the university president, visited Minnesota State Mankato in September. A number of academic programs at Minnesota State Mankato regularly host students from Karlsruhe.

David Sharlin (Biological Sciences) was part of an international task force of experts convened by the American Thyroid Association (ATA) that recently completed a peer-reviewed guide designed to promote the standardization of basic research in the thyroid field. The report, “American Thyroid Association Guide to Investigating Thyroid Hormone Economy and Action in Rodent and Cell Models,” was published in the ATA’s official, peer-reviewed journal, "Thyroid," and can be read here.

David Viscoli (Music) recently performed solo piano recitals and gave master classes at The University of California, Santa Barbara and the Idyllwild Arts Academy in Idyllwild, Calif. Viscoli also performed a solo piano recital at Mountain View College in Dallas, Texas, on Oct. 24.

Julie Rabaey, International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) Assistant Director, was one of four panelists for an online presentation, “Respond to Crisis Situations with International Students and Scholars,” on Oct. 15. NAFSA: Association of International Educators confirmed there were 466 participants during event.

Lynn Akey was appointed to the position of assistant vice president for institutional research, planning, and assessment, effective Nov. 1. Akey brings a record of more than 10 years of assessment experience, eight years of planning experience, and three years of research experience at the divisional and institutional levels to this position.

Maverick Forensics Competition

On Sunday, Oct. 20, the Minnesota State Mankato forensics team traveled north to Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn.

The team advanced into the final rounds of 15 events and placed second for school sweepstakes. Individual awards included:

  • Margaret Pence: 1st in Extemporaneous Speaking, 4th place in Impromptu Speaking and 4th in Communication Analysis
  • Rebekah Buege: 1st in Prose Interpretation, 6th in Impromptu Speaking, 2nd in Persuasive Speaking, 2nd in Poetry Interpretation, 3rd in Dramatic Interpretation and 2nd overall in individual sweepstakes.
  • Cade Shelton: 4th in Prose Interpretation, 7th in Impromptu Speaking and 2nd in Program Oral Interpretation.
  • Tanner Sunderman: 3rd in Impromptu Speaking, 3rd in Persuasive Speaking, 6th in Extemporaneous Speaking, and 2nd in After Dinner Speaking.

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. 20; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Nov. 15).

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.