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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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February 12, 2014 Campus Newsletter

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New Website Launch

A new look for Minnesota State University, Mankato’s home page and header launched on Friday, Feb. 7, and the campus community is also encouraged to check out their mobile devices to see the new mobile-friendly design.

The new home page incorporates a responsive framework designed to function well on both desktop and mobile devices. A more mobile-friendly design has become an important aspect of website accessibility because of the increased use of mobile devices by the University’s audiences.

Minnesota State Mankato is among several universities and colleges transitioning to the mobile-friendly framework, which allows all users to have a more enjoyable experience on the website.

The new header will provide better access to high-priority pages, which were determined through use of website analytics as well as a recently published report about the use of navigation on higher education websites.

In addition, mobile-friendly templates for second- and third-level home pages will be introduced soon.

New Social Media Web Page

A new social media resource is available for the campus community at The new tool is intended to be a resource to campus social media administrators as well as a public directory of social media accounts across campus. Here, you will find posting guidelines, ideas for engaging audiences, and more. The directory is a great way to find other campus social media accounts and direct contact information so that administrators can collaborate easily.

If you would like your social media pages to be added to the directory, please email Lindsey Tollefson at with the name of the entity you represent, links to your social media pages, and the names and email addresses of your social media administrators.

Fulbright Information Sessions

The Office of University Fellowships and the Kearney International Center will co-host two information sessions on the Fulbright Award. The sessions will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 12 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Wednesday, Feb. 26 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Morris Hall 265.

Please encourage high achieving students who might have an interest in pursuing a Fulbright Award to attend one of the sessions.

For more information on what makes a competitive award candidate, please visit the newly launched Office of University Fellowships website here.

Alternative Spring Break Fundraiser

More than 15 students from Minnesota State University, Mankato will spend their 2014 spring break by traveling to El Paso, Texas, to build houses for Habitat for Humanity from March 10-15.

The students are participating in Habitat for Humanity’s year-round Collegiate Challenge Program, which is coordinated through the Collegiate Challenge Team at Habitat for Humanity International in Americus, Ga.

In addition to donating their time and energy to help build houses, the Minnesota State Mankato students have already raised more than $2,700 for El Paso Habitat to build the home they are constructing as well as future homes in the area.

To further donation growth, students are partnering with Culver’s on Madison Avenue in Mankato from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 18. A portion of proceeds raised during that time will go to defraying the cost of the students’ spring break trip. Those interested in donating and participating in the fundraiser may pick up tickets in the entryway at any major grocery store in Mankato or at Minnesota State Mankato’s Student Activities Office (Centennial Student Union 173).

For more information about the alternative spring break trip, please contact Steph Stassen from Minnesota State Mankato’s Student Activities Office by phone at 507-389-5746 or by email at

Tobacco-Free and Smoke-Free Campus

The Physical Plant Office in Facilities Management reminds faculty, staff and students that Minnesota State Mankato is a tobacco-free and smoke-free campus. Minnesota State Mankato prohibits smoking, tobacco use and tobacco sale (including the use or sale of smokeless tobacco products) on university property or in vehicles the university owns, operates or leases.

The campus began a community policy education and cessation campaign at the start of fall semester 2011, and the policy went into effect on Jan. 1, 2012. To review the campus policy and learn more about the tobacco-free and smoke-free campus at Minnesota State Mankato, please click here

Dance Marathon

On Feb. 1, Minnesota State Mankato hosted a dance marathon that raised $14,017 to benefit Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.

The three-hour event included teams created by student organizations, two local bands and games.

A few Mankato-area children who receive care at Gillette’s and their families also attended the event, which had an animal theme, "Gettin' Wild for the Kids."

The goal for this year’s dance marathon was $15,000.

Feb. 12: Teju, the Storyteller

Storyteller, folklorist and oral historian Tejumola Ologboni will speak at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12 in Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Centennial Student Union (Room 253).

Ologboni’s presentation is free and open to the public and is one of a series of events and programs provided by Minnesota State Mankato’s Center of African American Affairs to celebrate Black History Month.

According to his biography, Ologboni is an avid student of African folklore and one of the nation’s leading authorities on African spirituality and culture. As an educator, he taught African literature, African American literature, creative writing and English. His stories are drawn from African traditions and African American history and folklore. His high-energy, fast-paced and witty performances are spellbinding.

For more information about Institutional Diversity and their activities, contact Shayla Braunshausen at or visit the Institutional Diversity Homepage here.

Feb. 13: ‘Inequality for All’

The Kessel Peace Institute and Library Services will present the documentary, “Inequality for All,’ on Feb. 13 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the center ballroom of Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union.

The film is free and open to the public, and seating for 200 is available. An open discussion will follow the film.

In this 2013 documentary, former United States Secretary of Labor Robert Reich examines the nature, causes and effects of the massive and growing inequality of wealth distribution in America. Reich argues that this economic pattern is destroying the middle class and the hope of equal opportunity for all. He calls for the U.S. to institute the economic policies that produced high productivity, relative equality, and rapidly rising prosperity following World War II. More information about the film is available at

For more information, please contact Jacqueline Vieceli, director of the Kessel Institute for the Study of Peace and Change and professor in Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Government, by phone at 507-389-6938 or by email at

Feb. 13: Project Management Speaker

Bruce Bong, a project management expert with nine years of progressive leadership experience will give a presentation entitled “Change the Way You Think: Introduction to Project Management” on Thursday, Feb. 13 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Heritage Room, CSU 101.

A networking session and light dinner will occur from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Both the networking session and presentation are free and open to the public.

The presentation is sponsored by the Southwest Outreach Program, which started in 2011 to provide networking and learning opportunities to advocate the project management profession in the greater Mankato region.

To register, please send an email to For more information, please email Mohamed Diab at

Feb. 13-14: V-Day Mankato

Performances of the award-winning play, "The Vagina Monologues," will be held as part of V-Day Mankato at 7 p.m. on both Thursday, Feb. 13 and Friday, Feb. 14 in Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Ostrander Auditorium.

The award-winning play is based on V-Day founder/playwright Eve Ensler’s interviews with more than 200 women. With humor and grace, the piece celebrates women’s sexuality and strength. For over 15 years, "The Vagina Monologues" has given voice to experiences and feelings not previously exposed in public.

The event is open to the public. Cost of the event is $5 for students and $8 for non-students.

The Violence Awareness and Response Program and The Women’s Center at Minnesota State Mankato are partnering with Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and Department of Residential Life along with area organizations that include the YWCA of Mankato, The Coffee Hag, Cactus Tattoo, and Pub 500 to host V-Day Mankato.

For more information about "The Vagina Monologues" benefit performance at Minnesota State Mankato, contact Becca Gonnering at or 507-389-2486.

For more information about V-Day, click here.

Feb. 16: The New Standards

The New Standards, an eclectic Minnesota-based music trio, will perform on Sunday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The concert event is co-sponsored by KMSU-The Maverick and the Minnesota State Mankato Performance Series with assistance from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

The three core members of The New Standards all come from illustrious Twin Cities bands. Chan Poling founded the seminal Punk/New Wave band The Suburbs. John Munson was an original member of Trip Shakespeare and the chart-topping Semisonic. Steve Roehm started on drums with the avant-jazz Electropolis.

Concert admission is $15; $13 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.

Feb. 17-18: Nadine Andreas Lectures

Prominent international philosopher Ned Block, a professor at New York University who has lectured around the world, will deliver the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Philosophy’s Nadine Andreas Lectures on Feb. 17-18.

Block will address the question “Does Consciousness overflow Cognition?” in a lecture at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 17. He will discuss “Seeing as in the Light of Vision Science” in a lecture at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 18. Both lectures will be held in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium and are free and open to the public.

The lectures are cosponsored by the Departments of Philosophy, Biology and Psychology and the Cognitive Science Program.

Block’s work is noted for his appeal to relevant sciences to address traditional issues about the nature of the mind. His work makes original contributions to our understanding of functionalist, or computer models of mind. For more information on Block, click here.

Those who want more information may contact faculty member Richard Liebendorfer, professor in the Department of Philosophy, by phone at 507-389-2317 or by email at

Feb. 18-21: Good Thunder Reading Series

Minnesota State Mankato’s Good Thunder Reading Series continues its 2013-2014 schedule when it hosts Twin Cities fiction writer for young adults Pete Hautman (pictured at left) and Texas poet and creative nonfiction writer Alex Lemon (pictured at right) in the four-day Eddice B. Barber Visiting Writer Residency Tuesday-Friday, Feb. 18-21.

The writers will lead prose and poetry writing workshops each morning from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Centennial Student Union's rooms 202 (Hautman) and 203 (Lemon).

During the week they will meet with individual writers in the community and with high school students and other groups. On Thursday, Feb. 20, at 3 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union's Ostrander Auditorium, they will lead a discussion on the craft of writing. Also on Thursday, at 7:30 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Room 253, they will read from their published work.

All events are free and open to the public.

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

Feb. 20: Annual Economics Lecture

Alex T. Tabarrok, a professor from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., will discuss “What is Democracy Good For? Paradoxes of Voting Theory” in a lecture from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20 at Minnesota State Mankato in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium.

Tabarrok’s lecture is free and open to the public and is part of an Annual Economics Lecture Series at Minnesota State Mankato.

Tabarrok, the Bartley J. Madden Chair in Economics at George Mason University, is a co-author with Tyler Cowen of a well-known economics blog, “MarginalRevolution.” He is also co-founder of the online educational platform, “Marginal Revolution University,” the author of “Launching the Innovation Renaissance” (a TED book), and co-author with Cowen of the book, “Modern Principles of Economics.”

For more information on this event, please contact Ihsuan Li, associate professor in the Department of Economics, by phone at 507-389-5753 or by email at Or contact Amanda Greenig, administrative assistant in the Department of Economics, by phone at 507-389-2969 or by email at

Feb. 20: Blues Pianist Victor Wainright

Blues Music Award winning pianist Victor Wainright brings his down and dirty barrelhouse style of piano to Minnesota State Mankato on Thursday, Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The concert performance is the first event of the 18th Annual Bunny Just Piano Festival. Activities associated with the festival occur Thursday, Feb. 20 through Sunday, Feb. 23. Festival events are sponsored by the Bunny Just Piano Festival Endowment.

AllMusic Guide describes Wainright’s piano style as "pure dynamite, set to explode, highly combustible, and ready to roll! His singing has a rough edge that might remind listeners of John Hammond."

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.

Feb. 20-March 2: Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’

The Minnesota State Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance will present William Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy “As You Like It” Feb. 20-22 & 27-March 2 in the Ted Paul Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

In the play, Rosalind, the daughter of a banished duke, falls in love with Orlando, the disinherited son of one of the duke’s friends. When she is banished from the court by her usurping uncle, Duke Frederick, Rosalind takes on the appearance of a boy calling herself Ganymede. She travels with her cousin Celia and the jester Touchstone to the Forest of Arden, where her father and his friends live in exile. New friends are made and families are reunited.

Individual tickets for “As You Like It” 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, or through the Theatre & Dance Box Office in the lobby of the Earley Center from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday-Friday, and one hour before performances. Or call 507-389-6661.

Feb. 23: Concert Pianist Gregory Partain

Pianist Gregory Partain will perform a classical recital on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave. The concert performance is the final event of the 18th Annual Bunny Just Piano Festival, sponsored by the Bunny Just Piano Festival Endowment.

In his twenty-six years on the concert stage, Partain has appeared as recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist throughout the United States, and has performed in Germany, Poland, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Russia, and Greece.

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.

Feb. 25: ‘Slavery by Another Name’

To mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Library Services at Minnesota State Mankato will offer a series of film screenings and discussions centered around “Slavery by Another Name” and “The Abolitionists.”

The screening and discussion of “Slavery by Another Name” is Tuesday, Feb. 25 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium. The discussion will be moderated by historian Angela Jill Cooley.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, please call Library Services at 507-389-5952.

The film is part of the National Endowment for the Humanities initiative, "Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle."  The initiative uses the power of documentary films to encourage community discussion of America’s civil rights history. NEH has partnered with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to develop programmatic and support materials for the sites.

For more information about the Created Equal initiative, please click here.

Student Achievements

The Greek Community at Minnesota State Mankato has achieved a grade point average of 3.00, which is above the university-wide average of 2.92, during the fall 2013 semester. Lambda Chi Alpha achieved the highest GPA among fraternities – 3.12. Gamma Phi Beta topped the sororities with a GPA of 3.29.

Minnesota State Mankato alumnus Dustin Hoffman conceived and recorded a video that was featured in a Super Bowl advertisement for Pizza Hut. The "grandma drummer" was created by Hoffman as a part of an internship. The video can be found here.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Michael Nolan (Small Business Development Center) has been selected as a recipient of the Finance & Commerce "Progress Minnesota" award. Nolan will be honored at an awards reception on April 10. "Progress Minnesota" is an acknowledgement of the individuals, companies and associations that are driving business, industrial growth and development in the Twin Cities and the state of Minnesota.

Nancyruth Leibold (Nursing) is the recipient of the 2014 Nurse Educator Award by Wilson Shepard Education Associates. The award was given at a January conference in Hawaii. The Nurse Educator Award is awarded for outstanding contributions in nursing education.

David Viscoli (Music) recently performed solo recitals at the Bloomington Center for the Arts and at Bemidji State University. He was also invited to give a guest artist recital and to teach a master class at Concordia College's Midwinter Piano Festival in Moorhead, Minn.

Scott Fee (Construction Management) has been announced as the interim dean for on-line and extended education strategy and partnerships, effective Feb. 12. Fee has 16 years of experience at Minnesota State Mankato, including six as a department chair.

Marilyn C. Hart (Biological Sciences) has been announced as the interim associate dean for the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, effective Feb. 12. Hart has 15 years of experience at Minnesota State Mankato, including six in a director position.

The campus community is invited to attend a going-away reception for Julie Rabaey from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13 in the Heritage Room. Rabaey, assistant director of the Kearney International Center, has been employed at Minnesota State Mankato since 2002. She is leaving for a new career opportunity.

Department News

The Human Resources department at Minnesota State Mankato has released a new installment of its newsletter. The newsletter is available [PDF] here (352 KiB) .

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 Feb. 26; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Feb. 21).

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.