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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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April 16, 2014 Campus Newsletter

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Department of Social Work Lobbies at Capitol

On Monday, April 7, 94 Minnesota State University, Mankato (undergraduate and master’s) social work students, five social work faculty and one visiting lecturer from the University of Ft. Hare, East London Campus, South Africa attended the 18th Annual Social Work Day at the Minnesota Capitol.

The group lobbied state Senators and Representatives on a number of issues including:

  • Homeless Youth – increasing funding for the Homeless Youth Act
  • Early Childhood Education – Promoting universal preschool
  • Children’s Mental Health services in school – improving the Mental Health in Schools Grant Program
  • Enacting the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act
  • Raising and Indexing the Minimum Wage
  • Enhancing Community-Based Services for people with mental illness – Improving the Olmstead Plan
  • Expansion of the TXT4LIFE Program – Border to border

The Department of Social Work was also selected for the fifth time to receive the National Association of Social Workers-Minnesota Chapter Advocacy Award for the department’s lobbying efforts last year – the 2013 legislative session.

Legacy Society

The Legacy Society is introducing its new name and its redesigned newsletter, which focuses on the impact planned giving has on students at Minnesota State Mankato. This university is blessed to have a rich heritage of generosity, and the legacy of those gifts lives on in the students, programs and events that they fund.

The Legacy Society was previously known as the Heritage Society. The new name reflects the fact that planned gifts leave a legacy that will impact generations of students at Minnesota State Mankato.

Printing and Branded Merchandise Approval Process

If you plan to use an outside vendor for printing or branded merchandise, a new online approval process is now in place.

The process has been developed to ensure that:

  1. The University’s graphic standards are being met.
  2. No copyright laws are being violated.

Maintaining graphic standards strengthens the University’s brand and supports the strong brand recognition that we have achieved in a competitive marketplace. Avoiding use of copyrighted material reduces the risk of copyright lawsuits and settlements.

The approval process is facilitated by University Printing and Photocopy Services. All requests will receive a response within two business days of submission.

For more information, call Doug Fenske or Aaron Tish at ext. 1181 or email either of them at or

Jason Roberts Kicks off ‘The Big Event’

Jason Roberts, founder of the Better Block project, will speak at 7 p.m. Friday, April 25 at Bresnan arena in hopes of inspiring students and the Mankato community to improve their community spaces. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Roberts will share his experiences on how he has created progressive community spaces. From bike lanes to public transit and outdoor cafés to green spaces, Roberts looks to create friendly spaces to promote community engagement.

Roberts' presentation is a kick-off to the Big Event, an April 26 community service event.

For more information on the upcoming speaker, please contact Morgan Romero by phone at 651-402-4788 or by email at

Student Caller Award Ceremony

The 24th Annual Student Caller Award Ceremony is Thursday, April 24 at 3 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Room 253/54/55.

The celebration will honor 50 student fundraising assistants, who will be recognized for their dedication to the Annual Fund and Campus Drive in assisting in raising $2.9 million for the 2013-2014 Minnesota State Mankato Giving Programs.

There is a reception at 2:30 p.m. prior to the ceremony.

Student-Run Business Helps Local Charity

MavFit is a business started by a group of students in the Minnesota State Mankato College of Business that sells fitness-related products as a part of the Integrated Business Experience (IBE) program.

The students have one semester to start and run a business, the profits from which are donated to a local charity.

More information about MavFit and products are available on

MavFit has decided to donate all of its profits to The BackPack Food Program, which feeds hungry children on weekends and school breaks in Blue Earth County.

SBDC Client Wins Award

Joshua Vanderberg, owner and operator of Vanderberg Clean, based in Mankato, Minn., has been named the Minnesota Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Vanderberg, a marketing and management graduate of South Central Community College, has been a client of Minnesota State Mankato’s Small Business Development Center for many years.

The Young Entrepreneur of the Year is selected annually based on success as measured by sales and profits, increased employment opportunities created by the business, development and/or utilization of innovative or creative business methods, and demonstrated entrepreneurial potential necessary for long-term business success and economic growth.

Olmstead Subcabinet Listening Session

The Minnesota State Mankato Department of Human Services is hosting a Subcabinet Listening Session on Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Rooms 253/254.

Input from individuals with disabilities, their families, advocacy organizations, service providers and others is sought on modifications to a plan that will help Minnesota develop the next generation of opportunities for people with disabilities.

A subcabinet of state agency leaders led by Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon is holding listening sessions in St. Paul, Mankato, Bemidji and Duluth in the next few months.

More information about the sessions is available on the Olmstead Plan website here

Employee Expense Reports

As a reminder to faculty and staff who may travel during the summer, employee business expenses must be submitted for reimbursement within 60 days after the expense is incurred or the trip ends.

If a request is not submitted within 60 days, the reimbursement becomes taxable income to the employee. Consequently, federal, state, FICA and Medicare withholding taxes must be taken and can total up too nearly 40 percent of the reimbursement.

For more information regarding travel or business expense reimbursements, please contact Tami Galema-Liebl, the University’s travel claims clerk, by phone at 507-389-5006 or view the travel website here.

Wi-Fi Upgrade

Information and Technology Services (ITS) replaced 70 Wi-Fi access points throughout the Minnesota State Mankato campus during spring break.

The new equipment will improve the reliability and performance of wireless connections, especially in areas where large numbers of laptops and mobile devices are in use.

To learn more about Wi-Fi on campus or to report any areas on campus where Wi-Fi coverage is needed, contact the ITS service desk at

2014 Distinguished Alumni Awards

Eight Minnesota State Mankato graduates have been named 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award winners for exceptional achievement and contributions to their professions and communities.

The awards will be presented by the Minnesota State Mankato Alumni Association on Friday, April 25, at 6:30 p.m. at the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. For a full list of this year’s honorees, click here

Steel Bridge Team Wins 2nd Place

Minnesota State Mankato’s Steel Bridge Team won second place in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Midwest Region at this year’s Student Steel Bridge Competition (SSBC) in Platteville, Wis., on Sunday, March 30.

The SSBC strives to supplement the education of civil engineering students with a comprehensive, student-driven project experience.

The SSBC increases awareness of real world engineering issues such as spatial constraints, material properties, strength, serviceability, fabrication and erection processes, safety, aesthetics, and cost. Success in intercollegiate competition requires effective teamwork and project management.

Campus Visitors

International Affairs hosted three delegations recently as they visited the Minnesota State Mankato Campus.

On Tuesday, April 1, a representative from the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), a non-profit organization providing innovative programs to promote positive and lasting global change, visited campus. 

On Wednesday, April 2, a delegation from the University of Ft. Hare, South Africa visited to look into expanding the existing exchange student partnership between the two schools.

On Thursday, April 3, a group from Telemark University College in Norway visited campus to promote an exchange and to ensure a smooth academic transition for students participating in the exchange.

Undergraduate Research Symposium

The 16th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium will be held Monday, April 21. The symposium is part of the rich and meaningful experience that undergraduate students at Minnesota State Mankato have through their participation in scholarly and creative work.

This year, the theme for the symposium is again “Inspiring Students, Creating Scholars.” The research process allows undergraduate students to engage in scholarship in new and exciting ways. Elizabeth Sandell, interim director, Undergraduate Research Center, announced that the event will feature more than 160 projects. In addition to the 47 oral sessions and 115 poster presentations throughout the day, five creative works will be showcased at the Centennial Student Union Gallery on Monday evening.

English Department’s Graduate Student Conference

The second annual Minnesota State Mankato English graduate student conference will take place on Saturday, April 26 in the Centennial Student Union.

The conference is designed to provide graduate students an opportunity to share their work. The theme for this year is “The world as I see it,” and focuses on individual perspectives of shared and unshared worlds.

The registration cost is $20, but is waived for current Minnesota State Mankato students. To register for the conference or to view a schedule of events, click here.

The conference is presented by the Graduate Scholars of English Association, the Department of English and Minnesota State Mankato.

House Party wins MADD Award

On April 7, Lori Marti and Minnesota State Mankato Student Health Education received a MADD Statewide Recognition Award for Underage Drinking Prevention – Teen Influencer at a ceremony in St. Paul, Minn.

Every year in October, Student Health Services hosts an alcohol education event called House Party, which is designed to educate party-goers of the dangers of high-risk drinking.

This event is a collaborative efforts by multiple campus departments, student groups, a local neighborhood association and the Mankato Department of Public Safety.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is the largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking.

Maverick Forensics

On April 5-7 three members of the Minnesota State Mankato speech team traveled to the American Forensic Association – National Individual Events Tournament held at Arizona State University.

Although additional team members qualified for the tournament, program budget constraints required only those students with four or more events qualified would attend. The three students attending included seniors Maggie Pence and Rebekah Buege and junior Cade Shelton.

Buege advanced to the semi-final round of persuasive speaking competition (top 12 students in the event). She was part of a three-way tie to advance to the final round (top six) but based on the tie-breaking procedures, she did not advance.

Pence was selected as an American Forensic Association's National Individual Events Tournament All-American. Although any active speech competitor in his or her senior year of competition may be nominated for this honor, only 13 students in the nation were selected. Pence joins six other Minnesota State Mankato alumni who have received this award since its inception in 2001.

Eleven team members will travel to the National Forensic Association Tournament in Ypsilanti, Mich., from April 18-21.

April 17: Project Management Expert

Tom Fenton, a project management expert with more than 40 years of manufacturing experience, including 20 years in management, will give a presentation titled “Leftover Lobster Problems” on Thursday, April 17 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Room 101 of Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union.

Fenton’s presentation is free and open to the public. At 5:30 p.m., prior to his presentation, there will be a light dinner (no cost) and an opportunity to network. Please RSVP for the dinner by sending an email in advance to

For more information on the Southwest Outreach Program, please contact program manager Mohamed Diab, an assistant professor in the Construction Management Department in Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Science, Engineering & Technology. Diab can be reached by phone at 507-389-2114 or by email at

April 18: Dr. Truman Wood Memorial Lecture

Daniel Dix, a former senior meteorologist for The Weather Channel, will discuss “Communicating Severe Weather: The Convergence of Social Sciences and Meteorology” in the annual Dr. Truman Wood Memorial Lecture at 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 18 in Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

Dix’s presentation is free and open to the public.

Dix, a Minnesota State Mankato alumnus, will talk about the science of communicating and getting the message out when severe weather is imminent. He will discuss the weather community’s increasing awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of conveying pertinent weather information.

For more information, contact Denise Thompson, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, at 507-389-5699 or

April 22: University Jazz Big Bands

The University Jazz Big Bands will perform on Tuesday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

Auditions for the Jazz Mavericks are held at the beginning of each semester. The big band ensembles provide students with experience in a jazz ensemble along with several performance opportunities. The jazz literature performed in the ensemble ranges from classic to contemporary jazz charts.

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.

April 23: 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 a RESCHEDULED date of Wednesday, April 23 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.

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

April 23-26: ‘Maverick Musings,’ an Evening of Six Original Short Plays

The Minnesota State Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance will conclude its academic year play roster with “Maverick Musings,” an evening of six original short plays written by students in the Playwriting class taught by alumnus Bruce Jones of Minneapolis. Performances are 7:30 p.m. April 23-26 in the Andreas Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

The plays are a combination of 10-minute and one-act originals selected from both last spring’s and this fall’s classes. Directors are the three master of fine arts students who directed the previous shows in the Studio season: Matthew Caron, Rusty Ruth and Michael Sheeks. Shows were cast during the most recent departmental auditions.

Tickets for the full night of short plays are $10 regular, $9 discounted and $8 for current Minnesota State Mankato students, and are available online at or by calling or stopping by the Theatre & Dance Box Office from 4-6 p.m., Monday-Friday, in the lobby of the Earley Center for Performing Arts. Call 507-389-6661.

April 24: Good Thunder Reading Series

Minnesota State Mankato’s Good Thunder Reading Series ends its 2013-14 academic year programming when faculty creative writers Candace Black and Roger Sheffer hold a residency on Thursday, April 24.

In the morning, the two will be interviewed on KMSU 89.7 FM. At 3 p.m. in CSU Ostrander Auditorium, they will lead a discussion on the craft of writing. At 7:30 p.m. in CSU Room 253, they will read from their published works. 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.

April 24: University Orchestra

The University Orchestra will perform on Thursday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The University Orchestra provides a laboratory for the study of orchestral playing and a practical introduction to orchestral literature. Membership is open to university students regardless of their major. The ensemble is under the direction of Joseph Rodgers and performs music by varying composers written for both orchestra and chamber ensembles.

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.

April 27: Department of Music Spring Concert

The University Department of Music presents a Spring Concert on Sunday, April 27 at 4 p.m. at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 105 North Fifth Street, Mankato.

The University Chorale, conducted by Rodney Urtel, will perform a variety of selections including English Renaissance art songs to contemporary works.

The Chamber Singers, conducted by David Dickau, will perform some of the most compelling a cappella sacred settings of the last 75 years.

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.

April 28: Mike Posner to Perform

Pop singer-songwriter Mike Posner and a special guest will perform at Minnesota State University, Mankato in an 8 p.m. concert on Monday, April 28 in Bresnan Arena.

Posner concert tickets were exclusively available to Minnesota State Mankato students for one week beginning on April 1, and remaining tickets went on sale to the general public on April 8. Posner’s concert is recommended for audiences 16 years and older.

Tickets are available online with a credit card at (must use Star ID login), or in person with cash or check (must also present MavCARD) at the Student Activities Office located in Centennial Student Union 173. (Only the tickets are required for admission into the concert.)

April 28: Douglas R. Moore Lecture

David Bissonnette, Penny Knoblich and Mary Hadley will present the lecture, “Obesity in America: A National Crisis,” at the 2014 Douglas R. Moore Faculty Research Lecture on Monday, April 28 at 7 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium.

This is the 40th President’s Faculty Research Lectureship and the 27th to be named after former University President Douglas R. Moore.

The purpose of the lectureship is to celebrate the joy and excitement of scholarly creativity. It honors a faculty member (or members) who engaged in an activity demonstrating a quality of excellence in discovery, communicated in a way that enriches the intellectual life of the University community.

April 29: Jazz Spring Concert

Director of Jazz Studies Douglas Snapp leads the Jazz Combos and Vocal Jazz Groups in a performance on Tuesday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The concert will feature a contemporary pop feel. The vocal portion of the concert features both a Daft Punk and a Michael Jackson medley and an arrangement of Lorde’s Royals. Music major Laken Fennern has choreographed a number of dance sequences for the vocal groups.

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.

Student Achievements

Students from the Minnesota State Mankato Triathlon Club competed in the Collegiate USA Triathlon 2014 National Championships in Tempe, Ariz. on April 4-5. Information about the club is available here. Information about the event is available here

The Minnesota Beta Chapter at Minnesota State Mankato was awarded with a Minnesota Committee Award for Outstanding Performance from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve department of The Department of Defense. The award was given to the chapter because of their service to veterans and active military forces.

Minnesota State Mankato alumna Karen Warren was selected to give the 2014 Kurt Hahn Address at the 42nd Annual International Association for Experiential Education Conference on Oct. 24 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The Minnesota State Mankato Undergraduate Research Center has awarded spring grants totaling more than $11,500 to 10 undergraduate students to fund nine projects. For more information, contact Elizabeth Sandell, interim director of the Undergraduate Research Center, by email at or by phone at 507-389-2668.

April 6 marked the end of Greek Week with the Greek Banquet. The week’s events included a coin drive, from which $1,000 was donated to the Campus Kitchen, a Salvation Army clothing drive, which raised more than 3,000 clothing items. Chapter of the Year was awarded to the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and the Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority.

Three Minnesota State Mankato students – Ozlem Barin (Economics), Matthew Petersen (Economics, Math, Finance), and Marinda Phandanouvong (Economics, Computer Science) – participated in the third Midwest Undergraduate Data Analytics Competition held at Winona State University. The event took place on April 5-6. The team was advised and led by Ihsuan Li.

Matthew Petersen (Economics/Finance/Math) won the Omicron Delta Epsilon, International Honor Society in Economics, Outstanding Student Award Competition 2013.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Ginny Walters, assistant director of the Honors Program and University Fellowship Coordinator, had her paper, "Credits and Competencies: The Benefits and Challenges of Providing Student Choice," accepted at the upcoming annual conference of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) in October 2014.

Patrick Sexton has been chosen to enter the Minnesota Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame. Sexton was inducted on April 12 at the MATA Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposium in Rochester, Minn.

Ron Nickerson (Recreation Parks and Leisure Services) will celebrate his retirement on Wednesday, April 30 from 1-3 p.m. in the Johnson Alumni Room.

Ihsuan Li, associate professor of Economics, completed a workshop on Performance Assessment in Higher Education at Harvard University.

Ihsuan Li served as judge in the 2014 North Central Regional Junior Science & Humanities Symposium and science competition. The competition is organized by the Minnesota Academy of Science. Dr. Li judged papers presented in the Behavioral & Social Sciences Category. For more information, click here.

Department News

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences published its monthly “Good News” newsletter for April 2014, which is available here.


Donald Meredith, who, along with his wife, established endowments in Science, Math and Nursing, passed away on March 25 at the age of 86. An obituary for Meredith is available here.

Externally Funded Projects

Daniel Sachau (College of Social and Behavioral Sciences) “Riverland 2014 Climate Survey” funded by Riverland Community College.

Daniel Sachau (College of Social and Behavioral Sciences) “Madison ROI Study 2014” funded by the Madison Performance Group.

Donald Ebel (College of Social and Behavioral Sciences) “MAGEC South Subcontract” funded by the University of Minnesota.

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 April 30; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (April 25).

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.