shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

February 26, 2014 Campus Newsletter

Page address:

Posters at St. Paul

Five Minnesota State University, Mankato students are among 48 students from 12 Minnesota state colleges and universities whose research will be featured in a “Posters at St. Paul” event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26 in the Minnesota Capitol rotunda in St. Paul, Minn. (NOTE: The photo shown above is the cover of the abstract book for this event.)

The multi-disciplinary poster presentation will allow undergraduate students to share the results of their work with state government leaders and highlight the work being done on Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (Minnesota State) campuses throughout the state.

The five participating Minnesota State Mankato students include Hilary Deragisch (Lyudmyla Stackpool, faculty mentor), Amber Hindt (Jeffrey Buchanan, faculty mentor), Angela Graske (Emily Stark, faculty mentor), Kali Trukki (Michael Bentley, faculty mentor) and Elizabeth Lohrenz (Elizabeth Sandell, faculty mentor).

Detailed information about the Posters at St. Paul event, to include an event schedule, description of research projects, student bios and more, is available online here (broken link). A complete news release about this event is available here. The coordinator of the event is Marilyn Hart, interim associate dean for Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology, and director of Minnesota State Mankato’s Undergraduate Research Center.

Climbing Wall Family Day

The Office of Alumni Relations and the Employee Wellness Committee are co-sponsoring a family day at the climbing wall in Myers Field House on the Minnesota State Mankato campus on Sunday, March 16 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The event is free and open to all ages and abilities. Registration is required by March 10.

Trained staff ensure the safety of all climbers. Equipment, such as shoes and harness, is provided.
For more information, including information about parking and registration, please click here.

Recycle Mania

Minnesota State Mankato has been entered in a nationwide competition, RecycyleMania, which runs from Feb. 2 to March 29.

RecycleMania is a competition that includes 461 colleges and universities across the United States. Its purpose is to promote waste reduction among staff and students on campus.

Colleges are ranked in various categories based on:

  • Which schools recycle the most on a per capita basis
  • Which schools have the best recycling rate as a percentage of total waste
  • Which schools generate the least amount of combined trash and recycling

National recognition is provided to the winning school in each category and the school has the opportunity to host a special traveling trophy for the coming year.

For more information, please click here.

Mankato Snow Emergencies

Stay informed about Mankato snow emergencies:

  • Subscribe to snow emergency alerts via email or text message.
  • Sign up to receive notifications about Mankato's snow emergency messages on Facebook.
  • Receive Mankato's snow emergency messages on Twitter.
  • Telephone Mankato's snow emergency line at 507-387-9001, 24-hour service.

For more information, contact staff at 507-387-8516.

Masters of Accounting Scholarship Competition

The Masters of Accounting program at Minnesota State Mankato hosted its first-ever scholarship competition in January. While each student who entered was knowledgeable in their field, the competition emphasized both written and oral communication skills, which professionals in the field identified as the most in-demand skill for future accountants.

Chad Hess was awarded the top scholarship of $2,000. Rustam Zufarov was awarded $600 and Zhongwei Lu was awarded $400. Each of the winners demonstrated how they would effectively communication with their clients – non-accountants. To read the complete article, click here.

For more information about the Masters of Accounting program, please click here.

Greek Recognition

Twelve representatives from the Minnesota State Mankato Greek community attended the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values Central Regional Conference, held from Feb. 6-9 in Indianapolis, Ind.

Minnesota State Mankato's Panhellenic Council, which governs sororities, was recognized for excellence in the areas of council management, public relations, membership recruitment, risk reduction and management and self-governance and judicial affairs.

Grant Smith, corresponding secretary and scholarship chair for the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, and John Bulcock, assistant director of student activities, were selected to participate in the Order of Omega Case Study Competition, which calls for the team to resolve a hypothetical situation. Smith and Bulcock achieved first place among 32 teams in the competition.

Vikings Stadium

A public listening session for the new Vikings stadium is scheduled for Wednesday, March 5 at 5:30 p.m. in Room 253/255 of the Centennial Student Union.

The session will feature a presentation on the stadium project, including new design renderings and a look at the construction process and milestones with a question/answer session to follow.

Feb. 26-March 1: 38th Pan African Student Leadership Conference

Scholar Molefi Kete Asante, a professor in the Department of African American Studies at Temple University, will be the keynote speaker at the 38th Dr. Michael T. Fagin Pan African Student Leadership Conference to be held Thursday, Feb. 26 through Saturday, March 1 at Minnesota State Mankato.

This year’s conference theme is “The Power of Education in Advancing the Pan African Community.”

Asante, who has written more than 70 books and 400 articles, will speak at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28 in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. Asante’s speech is free and open to the public.

Asante received his doctorate from UCLA at the age of 26 in 1968 and was appointed a full professor at the age of 30 at the State University of New York at Buffalo, has been recognized as one of the 10 most widely cited African Americans, according to the biography on his website.

A complete schedule and registration information is available online [PDF] here (197 KiB). For more information about the conference, contact Michael Fagin by phone at 507-389-1126 or by email at

Feb. 28: ‘The Mind and Music of George Gershwin’

Juilliard-trained concert pianist and Harvard-educated psychiatrist Richard Kogan will present a lecture/performance titled “The Mind and Music of George Gershwin” at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28 in Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Wiecking Auditorium (Wiecking 220).

The event is free and open to the public.

Kogan’s presentation will explore the impact of psychological factors and psychiatric illness on the creative output of the great American composer George Gershwin. The program will include performances of Gershwin masterpieces such as “Rhapsody in Blue” and “Porgy and Bess.”

For more information, please contact Emily Stark, associate professor in Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Psychology, by phone at 507-389-5822 or by email at

March 1: Live Stream of ‘As You Like It’

The Minnesota State Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance’s 7:30 p.m. performance of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” on Saturday, March 1 will be streamed live here, marking the first time a Minnesota State Mankato theatre production has been broadcast, either live or recorded.

The event will be produced with multiple camera angles at the rear and on the sides of the theatre with high-definition cameras, so those who have HD download capabilities will be able to watch the production in high definition.

The March 1 live stream of “As You Like It” will be produced by Maverick Visual Productions, a unit of Minnesota State Mankato’s Information and Technology Services, in partnership with the university’s Department of Theatre and Dance.

More information about “As You Like It” is available here.

March 1: ‘Escape to Wonderland’

The Minnesota State Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance will present its one public performance of its touring children’s theatre production, “Escape to Wonderland,” at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 1, in the Andreas Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts. Tickets are $5 and available beginning at 9 a.m. that day at the Theatre & Dance Box Office in the lobby. (NOTE: Photo at right is courtesy of Kathy Scinto.)

“Escape to Wonderland” is a story of Alice, a young girl whose life is not going the way she wants. As she follows the white rabbit to Wonderland, she encounters a variety of characters who show Alice how every choice we make changes how we are perceived. Alice and the other characters realize that sometimes the right choice isn’t always the easy one.

The seven first-year students who make up the cast go out every Tuesday and Thursday for at least two performances a day at southern and central Minnesota elementary schools. By the end of the tour in mid-March, more than 8,000 elementary school students will have seen the show, which is an annual Department of Theatre & Dance tradition.

March 1: JazzMN Orchestra

Minnesota State Mankato's Department of Music welcomes the JazzMN Orchestra on Saturday, March 1. The Orchestra’s performance concludes day-long activities associated with Jazzfest 2014. The performance, with the University Jazz Mavericks, takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

Critics have described the JazzMN Orchestra as the finest big band in the Upper Midwest. The JazzMN Orchestra regularly performs a concert series and outreach concerts throughout the Twin Cities.

JazzFest is an annual all-day Department of Music event. The festival is open to instrumental high school and middle school jazz ensembles. Each group performs and receives a clinic from professional musicians and educators. Also included are master classes for rhythm, trumpet, trombone and saxophone sections. It is a semi-competitive festival. Awards are presented to outstanding sections and soloists, and one participating high school band is selected to open the evening concert.

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..

March 2-3: Winter Choral Concerts

Department of Music winter choral concerts will take place on Sunday, March 2 at 3 p.m. and Monday, March 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The University Choral Groups consists of three ensembles; the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers conducted by David Dickau, and the University Choral conducted by Rodney Urtel. The Concert Choir is an auditioned group that includes students from all areas of the university.

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.

March 4: Carol Ortman Perkins Lecture

Kathy Najimy will deliver the annual Carol Ortman Perkins Lecture at Minnesota State Mankato on Tuesday, March 4 at 7 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

The event is free and open to the public.

Najimy is an enthusiastic supporter of women’s and girls’ rights, AIDS awareness, animal rights and a woman’s right to choose. She frequently travels the country to speak on these issues. Najimy is currently helping a movement to abolish the New York City carriage horses.

For more information about Najimy, please click here.

The Carol Ortman Perkins Lectureship is presented by the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and invites a distinguished feminist scholar/activist to campus each year.

For more information about this event or other Women’s Center events, please click here or call the Women’s Center at 507-389-6146.

March 6: 'The Abolitionists'

To mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Library Services at Minnesota State Mankato will be showing a portion of the film, "The Abolitionists," followed by a discussion, on Thursday, March 6 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please call Library Services at 507-389-5952.

"The Abolitionists" depicts the anti-slavery movement through reenactments of the lives of individuals. Following a showing of a portion of the film, Lori Lahlum, an associate professor and department chair in the Department of History at Minnesota State Mankato, will moderate a discussion.

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

Fourteen students from the Department of Psychology, under the guidance of five faculty mentors, have been selected to present 15 projects at the 28th National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), which will be held April 3-5 in Lexington, Ky., at the University of Kentucky. NCUR promotes undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity in all fields of study by sponsoring an annual conference for students. This opportunity gives students recognition and exposure to undergraduate research at the national level. The 14 students selected to participate include: Maria Almoite, Jessica Kay, Raechel Erdman, Shelby Flegel, Jennifer Nelson, Lauren Bach, Katie Westermayer (two projects), Jenna Miller, Nicole Nohelty, Kristen Paulsen, Christine Scheper, Emilee Shaw, Felicia VandeNest, and Sladjana Todorovic. Faculty mentors include Dawn Albertson, Kathy Bertsch, Karla Lassonde, Chip Panahon, and Emily Stark.

The fall 2013 United Prairie Bank Integrated Business Experience program (UPB-IBE) donated more than $2,500 to the American Cancer Society in December 2013. The class had one semester to create a company, design and market products, apply for a bank loan (up to $5,000) and sell their products before finals were over. The class was able to pay back their loan and have profit left over to donate to charity.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Stewart Ross, founding director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning (CETL), presented a two-day workshop on course design for 70 faculty at Holy Spirit University near Beirut, Lebanon, on Feb. 17-18. He also presented a one-day course design workshop at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, Tenn., on Feb. 22.

Gwen Westerman (English and Humanities) has three art quilts in an exhibition on display at the State Capitol and State Office Building during the 2014 legislative session. The pilot project is called "MN Creates" and features the two-dimensional work of Minnesota artists who have received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board. The exhibition runs through May 2014.

Gwen Westerman, Kimberly Contag and Mika Laidlaw are the recipients of the 2014 Distinguished Faculty Scholars award based on the recommendation of the Faculty Research Committee. The award was announced by the College of Graduate Studies and Research and the Center of Excellence in Scholarship and Research.

Walter Roberts (Professional Counseling Programs) was featured in the February 2014 issue of Mankato Magazine for his work with the "Golden Horde," his team of therapeutic dogs. Roberts and his two golden retrievers visit schools, nursing homes and airports in an effort to reduce the anxiety of those he visits.

Elizabeth Sandell (Elementary and Early Childhood) recently conducted two sessions at the 2014 annual conference for the Anchorage (Alaska) Association for the Education of Young Children. Sandell presented "Beyond Smiley Faces: Authentic Assessment and Evaluation for Early Childhood Education" (Feb. 7) and "Global Guidelines: A Quality Rating and Improvement Scale" (Feb. 8).

Department News

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences has released its monthly “Good News” newsletter, which is available here.

The Institutional Review Board at Minnesota State Mankato has released its spring 2014 newsletter, which is available [PDF] here (152 KiB).

Library Services at Minnesota State Mankato has released its February 2014 newsletter, which is available here (broken link).


Wayne Koenen, who worked in Minnesota State Mankato’s Education Foundations Department for 25 years, died on Feb. 5, 2014. Koenen was hired in 1968. An obituary for Koenen may be found here.

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 March 19; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (March 14).

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.