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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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December 4, 2013 Campus Newsletter

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Campus Kitchen Seeks Winter Break Volunteers

As students prepare for winter break, the Office of Community Engagement is preparing to keep things simmering in Campus Kitchen. Community volunteers are needed from Monday, Dec. 16 until Friday, Jan. 10 to rescue food from area restaurants and to package and deliver meals to neighbors managing food insecurity. Three drivers for delivery are needed.

Packaging shifts run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays; deliveries are on Tuesdays from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.; and food rescue and facility management is on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information or to sign up for a shift, please visit the Office of Community Engagement website here or call at 507-389-5789.

Campus Logins Changing to StarID

On Thursday, Dec. 19, Minnesota State Mankato will transition to the StarID network login system, which will increase our digital security, streamline our login processes and align us more closely with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.

The new, Minnesota State-mandated system requires all University faculty, staff and students to use their StarID to log in to the Minnesota State Mankato network and most of its services and applications, including MavMail, D2L and MavNet (a complete list of the systems included is available here).

To activate your StarID, please go to You will be able to look up your StarID and set your password. You will begin using that as your username on Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013.

Mobile devices will need to be reconnected to the network and other services using StarID after the transition.

Contact the ITS Service Desk at 507-389-6654 with any questions about the process.

URC Funds 65 Projects with Fall Grants

Minnesota State Mankato's Undergraduate Research Center (URC) announced that it had awarded fall grants for 65 projects that included 101 undergraduate students and 47 faculty mentors.

URC grants fund projects that are conducted by undergraduate students and make an original intellectual or creative contribution to a particular discipline. Awards are available to provide financial support for students and purchase necessary supplies.

For more information, please click here

Service-Learning Alternative Spring Break

Student Activities is providing a unique opportunity for students interested in participating in a service-learning alternative spring break in March. A group of students will travel to the Habitat for Humanity affiliate in El Paso, Texas, to help build a new home, and there are currently eight spots left for Minnesota State Mankato students.

Anyone who is interested is encouraged to sign up soon. Students can sign up in the Student Activities Office (CSU 173) by signing a Minnesota State Mankato waiver and paying a $30 non-refundable deposit that will go toward the cost of the trip. More information can be found on the ASB portal on MavSync or by emailing Steph Stassen, RSO and leadership graduate advisor, at

Revised University PowerPoint Template Available

Updated versions of the University-branded PowerPoint template are now available to be downloaded and used for presentations. You can find both Mac and Windows versions of the template at the Graphic Standards site here.

If you have any questions about downloading the template, or encounter any problems, please contact the ITS Service Desk at 507-389-6654.

20 Years of FYE

First Year Experience (FYE) will celebrate 20 years at Minnesota State Mankato on Wednesday, Dec. 11 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Preska Room 105 to recognize the history of the office. Also known as the Office of New Student and Family Programs, First Year Experience is dedicated to new students on campus. Guests are encouraged to wear “retro” Maverick attire. Refreshments will be served.

PMI-MN Partnership

The board of directors of the Project Management Institute—Minnesota Chapter (PMI-MN) recently notified Minnesota State Mankato that it had been approved as the newest partner in the PMI-MN Education Partner Program.

According to Assistant Professor Mohamed Diab, through this partnership Minnesota State Mankato will collaborate with PMI-MN to provide recognized learning opportunities to more project management professionals in the greater Mankato area through continuing education programs.

Diab said that the collaboration would attract project management professionals throughout Minnesota to share their experiences with faculty, staff and students, and allow professionals to enhance their professional skills, get better job opportunities and make this region more attractive to large corporations and companies.

For more information, please contact Mohamed Diab, assistant professor in the Department of Construction Management, by phone at 507-389-2114 or by email at

Dining Services Hours

All dining services in the Centennial Student Union will be closed from Dec. 23 through Jan. 5.

PCSW Focus Groups

The President's Commission on the Status of Women is seeking volunteers for focus groups to discuss the status of women on campus. If you are interested in participating, or if you want additional information about these focus groups, please contact us at

HERS Institute for Women – Scholarship Application

The President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) is now accepting applications for the selection of a representative from Minnesota State Mankato to attend one of the annual HERS Institutes for women. The purpose of the Institutes is to advance women leaders in the middle and executive levels of higher education administration.

Attend the session, Women: Leading and Managing Change in Higher Education, on Professional Development Day (Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014) to gain further insight on the HERS experience.

The Minnesota State Mankato selection process includes the following: HERS application form, self-descriptive letter, letter of recommendation from a supervisor, and resume.

Additional information on the Institutes, testimonies, and how to apply (along with a printable application form) are available at the Commission’s website here.

Completed application packets should be submitted by Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. Electronic submissions can be emailed to, or hard copies delivered to Jeane McGraw at 325 Wigley Administration Center. Applications will be reviewed by the PCSW and recommendations forwarded to President Davenport.

For more information, contact Keane Richards at

Business Assistance Collaboration

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Minnesota State University, Mankato and the Regional Center for Entrepreneurial Facilitation (RCEF) hosted area legislators Monday, Nov. 25 to demonstrate how the working partnership of the two organizations has generated results and efficiencies far beyond what could have been accomplished separately.

Discussion centered on how to maintain the organizations' state funding and potentially replicate this model in other Minnesota counties.

Legislators attending were State Reps. Kathy Brynaert, Tony Cornish, Bob Gunther, Clark Johnson and Tim Mahoney, chair of the Minnesota House Jobs and Economic Development Committee. Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport and Vice President of Strategic Business, Education and Regional Partnerships Bob Hoffman also attended.

AirSpace Minnesota

AirSpace Minnesota, a non-profit organization based at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, is working on continuing education and promoting the knowledge of aviation in Minnesota.

On Nov. 13, the organization gave Minnesota State Mankato students the opportunity to be the first volunteers in its new program, “The Go-Boldly Crew.” The program gives students a chance to meet and work closely with Minnesota aviation elite and share their passion for aviation with the next generation of students. Students in the program will travel the state to fuel the passions of young, upcoming aviators.

The organization also plans to build a new Aviation Learning Center where students can get a hands-on, scientific look into all facets of aviation.

Dec. 6-7: Fall Dance Concert

The Minnesota State Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance will present its Fall Dance Concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, and 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, in the Ted Paul Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

The concert will include pieces choreographed by faculty members Julie Kerr-Berry and Daniel Stark, as well as adjunct instructor Lynn Andrews. Interspersed are pieces by two senior Dance majors, Sydney Burch (BFA candidate) and Sophia Cecile Pimsler.

Tickets for the Fall Dance Concert are available online at or, or by calling or visiting the Theatre & Dance Box Office in the lobby of the Earley Center for Performing Arts between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., Monday-Friday. Buying tickets in advance is recommended. Cost is $10 regular, $9 discounted and $8 for current Minnesota State Mankato students.

Dec. 8: Holiday Choral Concert

The Department of Music will host a Holiday choral performance at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 623 South Broad St. Compositions will include spirituals, traditional carols and seasonal music from other countries sung in native language.

The Chamber Singers, University Chorale and Concert Choir are directed by David Dickau and Rodney Urtel.

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 at 507-389-5549.

Student Achievements

Elise Konerza, president of the Minnesota State Mankato Chapter of PRSSA, published a student perspective blog entry on the Minnesota PRSA website. The entry is titled "Student Perspective -- The Most Important Lesson I Learned as a Freshman." To read the blog entry, click here.

David Wentzel, with the help of the Wounded Warrior Program, is working in Congressman Tim Walz’s office as a veterans’ constituent. Wentzel joined the National Guard in 2003 at the age of 17 and earned a degree in social work at Minnesota State Mankato between tours overseas. Wentzel graduated in May 2013.

Donna Vig, continuing on her mission to help Indian families, earned a master’s degree in Social Work from Minnesota State Mankato in July 2013. Vig passed her licensure test to become a licensed graduate social worker and plans to become a licensed clinical social worker.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

The Mankato Free Press published an article on Tuesday, Dec. 3 about the upcoming retirement of Georgia Jackson (Building Services). To read the story, click here.

Diane Coursol (Counseling and Student Personnel) has collaborated on a project with a colleague at the University of Central Florida that was written about in a UCF alumni publication. To read the article, click here and scroll down until reaching the article, titled "Help in High Definition."

On Nov. 9, 2013, Monika Antonelli (Library Services) was an invited member of the Climate Change Panel at the 8th Annual Earth Conference in Mankato. She spoke about the Transition Town movement and her work as a founding member of Transition Mankato.

Don Friend (Geography) was quoted in a Nov. 24 Star Tribune article by David Peterson on the revival of small Minnesota towns. The article can be found here.

David Viscoli (Music) recently performed solo piano recitals at Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky., and at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Ky.

African-American Engineering Academic Day: African-American high school students from across the state gathered at Minnesota State Mankato on Monday, Oct. 14 to learn about the importance of careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Keynote speaker Winston Sealy, who teaches in Minnesota State Mankato's auto and manufacturing engineering technology department, talked to the students about the scientific process of "regelation" at the first African American Engineering Academic Day.

Rebecca Bates (Integrated Engineering) presented a seminar, "'Motivation,' Student Learning: Bridging research with practice," at the NHED Professional Development Day, Sept. 27, 2013.

Francis Hannick (Mathematics and Statistics) presented a workshop on "Hands-On Experience with Numerous Activities for the Elementary Math Curriculum" at the 2013 Conference of the South Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics in Greenville, S.C., on Oct. 24.

Namyong Lee (Mathematics and Statistics) presented a talk, "Superconvergence in Discrete Dynamical System" at the Mathematical Association of America's North Central Section Fall meeting, which was held at South Dakota State University, Oct. 18-19.

David Sharlin (Biology) attended and was co-chair of the American Thyroid Association (ATA) Trainees’ and Career Advancement Educational Track – an educational program comprised of special sessions that provides professional development workshops and seminars for students and trainees.

David Sharlin (Biology) was part of an international task force of experts convened by the ATA-- the Task Force on Approaches and Strategies to Investigate Thyroid Hormone Economy--that recently completed a peer-reviewed guide designed to promote the standardization of basic research in the thyroid field. The report was published in the ATA’s official, peer-reviewed journal, “Thyroid.” The report, “American Thyroid Association Guide to Investigating Thyroid Hormone Economy and Action in Rodent and Cell Models,” is available free on the journal’s website here.

David Sharlin (Biology) presented an invited research seminar entitled, “Hear, Hear! Thyroid Hormone and Cochlear Development,” for the Department of Biology at the University of St. Thomas.

Qun (Vincent) Zhang (Electrical & Computer Engineering & Technology) received a $10,000 MicroPoint BioScience Inc. (MBI) research grant for research in digital signal processing (DSP) Algorithm Implementation for MBI point-of-care-testing (POCT) equipment.

Qun (Vincent) Zhang (Electrical & Computer Engineering & Technology) visited the Department of Electronic Engineering, Tsinghua University (China) at the invitation of Professor Hanyi Zhang, and gave a talk on “Simulation and Design of Coherent Optical Fiber Communication Systems.” More than 20 professors, postdocs and graduate students attended the presentation and discussion.

Qun (Vincent) Zhang and Muhammad Khaliq (Electrical & Computer Engineering & Technology) and students published "An Efficient Split-Step Optical Fiber Simulation Package with Global Simulation Accuracy Control” in Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICCC) 2013 at annual meeting of China Institute of Communications, to be included in “IEEE Xplore.”

Qun (Vincent) Zhang (Electrical & Computer Engineering & Technology), students and a researcher from Oclaro Inc. published "Optimization of Transceiver Signal Clipping in Polarization Multiplexing QPSK (PM-QPSK) Systems with Nyquist Signals" in the Proceedings of IEEE Photonics Conference 2013 at the annual meeting of IEEE Photonics Society, to be included in “IEEE Xplore.”


Becky Siekmeier, SciTechsperience program director, visited the Minnesota State Mankato campus last month to meet with department chairs of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) students. Read more about Stiekmeier’s visit here.

Department News

The Research and Sponsored Programs Office recently published its winter 2013 newsletter. To read the newsletter, please click [PDF] here (2 MiB).


Myrna Mae Just passed away on Nov. 18, 2013. Just was employed with Minnesota State Mankato, where she worked as a nurse in health services, from September 1970 until she retired in March 1998. A copy of Just’s obituary can be accessed here

John Edward McCarty passed away on Oct. 31, 2013. McCarty began employment with Minnesota State Mankato in the chemistry department in September 1959. At the time of his retirement in June 1987, McCarty was a full professor. An obituary for McCarty can be viewed here. Funeral services were held on Nov. 9, 2013.

Norman Pietan passed away on Oct. 25, 2013.  Pietan began employment with Minnesota State Mankato in the art department in September 1965. He retired as a professor in June 1983. An obituary for Pietan can be viewed here. Funeral services were held on Nov. 9, 2013.

Ron Gower passed away on Nov. 14, 2013. Gower began employment with Minnesota State Mankato in September 1970 and retired in July 1996. He was a professor in the English department, where he later became department chair. Memorial services for Gower will be held on Dec. 7, 2013, at 12 p.m. at Mankato Mortuary, 1001 N. Riverfront Dr., Mankato. A copy of Gower’s obituary can be found here.

LeeAnn Christian passed away on Nov. 14, 2013. LeeAnn was employed with Minnesota State Mankato from October 1969 to July 2007. She worked as an administrative specialist for dental education and was known to be helpful and delightful. Her services were held on Nov. 18, 2013, and an obituary for LeeAnn can be viewed here.

PCSW Funding Awards

The President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) received 21 applications for professional development funding as part of the new Foundation Account fund for classified staff. Largely due to a generous donation by Jayne Larsen, the PCSW was able to award a total of $4,795 among 16 applicants. These funds are providing Minnesota State Mankato staff valuable conferences and trainings associated with their professional growth. For more information, click here.

Congratulations to this year’s awardees:

  • Lisa Boyer – Student Health Services
  • Jennifer Chelstrom – Graduate Studies
  • Chris Cords – Chemistry and Geology
  • Skye Dauer – Mathematics and Statistics / Computer Information Science Department
  • Kimberly Fortin – School of Nursing
  • Kathy Grant – Student Health Services
  • Beth Holcomb – Building Services
  • Kimberly Kunkel – Student Health Services
  • Darcy Larvick – Cashiers Office
  • Missy Manderfield – Urban and Regional Studies
  • Lori Marti – Student Health Services
  • Carol Reedstrom – Geography
  • Stef Regenold – Residential Life
  • Kathryn Roeder – Registrar’s Office
  • Mary Van Duynhoven – Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
  • Judith Ziemke – Government

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 Jan. 15; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Jan. 10).

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.