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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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April 30, 2014 Campus Newsletter

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1,000 Wins

Minnesota State University, Mankato head softball coach Lori Meyer won her 1,000th career game on April 18 as the Mavericks swept Wayne State (3-2 and 8-0) in a doubleheader. Meyer became just the 26th coach in all NCAA divisions to reach 1,000 career wins.

Meyer began coaching at Minnesota State Mankato in 1985. Already a National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Hall of Fame inductee, Meyer has led the Mavericks to three consecutive NSIC conference titles (2012, 2013, 2014), six Division II conference titles in her career and 11 trips to the NCAA Division II tournament.

The Mavericks (41-9 overall, 25-3 NSIC) are the top seed in the NSIC conference tournament and will begin tournament play at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 1 in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Faculty Evaluation Focus Group

A collaborative study involving National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) students and Minnesota State Mankato professor Stewart Ross may help ensure the effectiveness of student evaluation of faculty at the University. Currently, evaluations of faculty are conducted at the end of each semester.

Ross conducted focus groups with students, of which half had experienced only one semester of classes with evaluations. The other half had experienced more than one semester with evaluations.

As a final project before his retirement in May, Ross hopes that others will review the current process and forms used for student evaluations in order to best evaluate the effectiveness of professors and their courses.

Women's Leadership Program

On behalf of the Carol Stallkamp memorial and the President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW), applications are being accepted for the selection of a representative from Minnesota State Mankato to attend the Elizabeth Kearney Women’s Leadership Program through the YWCA Mankato. The leadership program focuses on women’s strengths, values and talents. The curriculum is powerful and unique, and guides intention towards a greater impact.

More information and a printable application form is available at the commission’s website. Completed application packets should be submitted by June 2. Applications may be submitted via email to, or hard copies may be submitted to Jeane McGraw at 325 Wigley Administration Center. Please note that late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

‘Independence to Inclusion’

“Independence to Inclusion” is a TPT documentary that tackles the stigma and stereotypes against people with developmental disabilities in Minnesota state institutions.

Partially taped at Minnesota State Mankato this winter, student Melanie Davis and Social Work faculty member Nancy Fitzsimons participated in the project.

For the full documentary, please click here

Recycling Winners

Minnesota State Mankato was named the winner of the “Game Day: Basketball – Per Capita Recycling” category of the 2014 RecycleMania competition.

The competition strives to promote waste reduction and recycling on college campuses. This year, participating campuses recycled and composted 89.1 million pounds of material.

For more information and a full list of winners, visit the RecycleMania website here

‘Space-out’ Souvenir Presented

On Friday, April 25, Minnesota State Mankato officials were presented with a school t-shirt that has made quite a trek to get back home.

The shirt is a gift from Bruce Neischwitz, a former Minnesota State Mankato graduate student who today is a certified athletic trainer for NASA’s Astronaut Strength, Conditioning and Rehabilitation team. Neischwitz attended Minnesota State Mankato in the mid-1990s.

After a long journey to the International Space Station, the shirt, which is now encased in a frame and accompanied by a photograph of the shirt on the space station, was presented on Friday to the University in the Hearth Lounge in the lower level of the Centennial Student Union.

Neischwitz’s team is responsible for ensuring the health, fitness and safety of astronauts from suiting up to navigating zero-gravity situations. He discussed his work in a presentation on Thursday, April 24.

For more information, contact Patrick Sexton, director of Athletic Training Education in the Human Performance Department at or by phone at 507-389-2092.

Greek News

The United States Department of Defense has given the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and award for Outstanding Excellence of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. Many members of the fraternity are in the military. Also, many are a part of the Veterans Club.

Phi Kappa Theta, one of Minnesota State Mankato’s newest chapters, hosted “The First Annual Phi Kappa Theta Dodge Ball Tournament” on April 17. The tournament raised money for The Children’s Miracle Network.

May 1: Department of Aviation Open House

The Department of Aviation at Minnesota State Mankato will give demonstrations of the new Aviation Flight Jet Simulator on campus during at open house from 1-3 p.m. Thursday, May 1 at Wiecking Center (Room B133).

The open house, featuring demonstrations, conversations and light hors d’oeuvres, is free and open to the general public. There will be a short presentation at 1:30 p.m.

Parking is available in Lot 18 (gold lot), which has an entrance on Ellis Avenue. There will be signs inside of Wiecking Center with directions to the open house.

For more information about the open house, please contact Linda Winans by phone at 507-389-6116.

May 1: Blues Poet/Musician Ray Bonneville

World-class guitarist, harmonica player and hard-hitting songwriter Ray Bonneville will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 1 in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

Bonneville's concert is the final concert of the University's 2013-2014 Performance Series season and is co-sponsored by the Andreas Visiting Artist Endowment.

Bonneville is a Canadian-born, Austin, Texas based singer, songwriter, guitarist and harmonica player who is known for his “loose, darkly funky vibe” (All Music Guide).

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.

May 2-3: ‘Carmina Burana’

The Minnesota State Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance and Department of Music will collaborate on a production of “Carmina Burana” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 2, and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 3, in the Ted Paul Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

One hour before each performance, there will be an informational presentation by those involved with the show in the Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center.

A large, extraordinary collection of medieval poetry came to light in 1803 at the southern Bavarian monastery of Benediktbeuern. This collection of 320 poems, known as “Carmina Burana” or “Songs of Benediktbeuern,”dates back to about AD 1230.

Tickets are $12 regular, $10 discounted (over 65, under 16 or groups of 15 or more) and $9 for current Minnesota State Mankato students with a MavCard. They may be purchased online at or by calling or stopping by the Theatre & Dance Box Office in the lobby of the Earley Center for Performing Arts from 4-6 p.m., Monday-Friday. Call 507-389-6661. Please note: Discounts can be taken through the box office only.

May 8: International Stole Ceremony

The annual International Stole Ceremony will be held May 8 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Room 253/4/5. The ceremony recognizes international graduates and study abroad students.

Students who have participated in some form of study in a foreign country, including sponsored and exchange students will receive a stole to celebrate their experiences.

In addition to student speakers, who will give accounts of their experiences, the dean of International Affairs, Stephen Stoynoff, will speak.

May 14: ‘Toward Zero Deaths’ Workshop

Minnesota State Mankato will host a South Central Minnesota “Toward Zero Deaths” workshop on Wednesday, May 14 in the Centennial Student Union.

Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths uses interdisciplinary approaches to reducing traffic crashes, injuries and deaths on Minnesota roads. While individual disciplines have a long history of successful traffic safety programs, Towards Zero Deaths aims to tie these together with a common vision and mission for even greater success.

Individuals encouraged to attend include:

  • Community law enforcement
  • Engineers
  • Educators
  • Emergency medical services
  • Local policymakers
  • Traffic safety advocates

There is no cost to attend, but registration is required by April 30. Register online.

A draft workshop agenda is published here (broken link). For more information, click here or contact Annette Larson, SC/SW Toward Zero Deaths Coordinator, by phone at 507-304-6110 or by email at

Student Achievements

The Finance and Administration Division presented seven Fiscal Services Scholarship awards at its annual Student Employee Appreciation, which recognize academic and workplace success within the division’s fiscal unit offices. This year Ashreeya Bhaju, Coby Enochson, Montasir Hossain, Heidi Lybarger, Kalie Molden, Gary Pipes, and Stephanie Reitter were honored. Molden was also named as this year’s recipient of the Carol Hanson Scholarship, a special distinction for exemplifying outstanding customer service.

The winners of the Community Service Award 2013 of College of Social and Behavioral Science were recognized at a special breakfast ceremony on Tuesday, April 22. The individual winners were Alicia Armstrong, Jacob Thunander, Lauren Kross, Lindsay Bolstad, Margaret Pence, Rebekah Buege, Supriya Sarkar and Taylor Ondracek. Ondracek also won the Perry Wood Award of $500. Ethnic Studies Student Organization, Law Enforcement Club, Psi Chi/Psychology Club, School Psychology Society and Social Work Club were the clubs awarded. The award is given to a student or a club for their diligent service to the community. The award recipient has had a large scope of volunteer activities with a strong level of commitment to the community.

Samantha Jo List, Family Consumer Science Dietetics, was selected as the 2014 Minnesota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Outstanding Dietetics Student of the Year for the state of Minnesota.

Master’s of science student Michael Robinson, who is employed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) was selected as the winner of a DNR Commissioner’s Award in the category of conservation enhancement for his work on conservation easement stewardship by DNR commissioner Tom Landwehr.

Kim Homan, Briana Fish, Tara Fruechte, Samantha Trost, Melissa Anderson and Sheen Chiou presented a research study, “A Combination of Therapeutic Techniques: Broca's Aphasia,” at the Minnesota-Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention in Rochester, Minn., on April 11.

Homan was awarded the Minnesota Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation Robert Yoss Memorial Scholarship at the convention. Posters were presented at the convention by Homan, Fish, Fruechte, Trost, Anderson, Elizabeth Smith, Haley Lutteke, Allison Schwanberg, Katelyn Gehling and Kristina Barton.

Mass Media Day Scholarship and Award Winners

Who’s Who Among American Universities and Colleges Award

  • Kathryn Hagan-Edina, Minn.
  • Melissa Jones-North Mankato, Minn.
  • Samuel Thompson-Clive, Iowa
  • Leanne Walterson-Burnsville, Minn.

Certificate of Excellence Award

  • Kassandra Hanson-Savage, Minn.
  • Gillian Needham-Waseca, Minn.
  • Aneta Oglezneva-Champlin, Minn.
  • Joshua Ratzloff-Owatonna, Minn.
  • Morgan Romero-East St. Paul, Minn.
  • Lisa Stevens-Rochester, Minn.
  • Israel Tan-Mankato, Minn.

Outstanding Sophomore Award

  • Victor Ongule-Mankato, Minn.

Outstanding Senior Award

  • Samuel Thompson-Clive, Iowa

Public Relations Student Society of America Scholarship ($250)

  • Morgan Romero-East St. Paul, Minn.

Suzanne Pothast AP Style Scholarships ($250 each)

  • Ashley Gerken-Fairmont, Minn.
  • April Parks-Mankato, Minn.

Department of Mass Communications Scholarships ($300 each)

  • Victor Ongule-Mankato, Minn.
  • Israel Tan-Mankato, Minn.

Department of Mass Communications Scholarships ($200 each)

  • Asha Buxton-Savage, Minn.
  • Bridget Fisher-Becker, Minn.
  • Brittany Kemmerer-Hager City, Wis.
  • Samantha Klitzke-Montrose, Minn.
  • Katrina Ortloff-Mankato, Minn.
  • Joshua Ratzloff-Owatonna, Minn.
  • Holly Steffl-Lakeville, Minn.

Sue Menton Memorial Scholarship ($500 each)

  • Valisa Fair-North Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Michael Mauer-North Mankato, Minn.

McConnell Writing Excellence Scholarship ($350)

  • Alyssa Filip-St. James, Minn.

The Sky and Mark Kunerth Scholarship ($1,000)

  • Amber Parks-Mankato, Minn.

Robert O. and Jeanille Shipman Scholarship ($1,000)

  • Jill Roesler-Blue Earth, Minn.

International Student Endowment Scholars

Elizabeth Kearney Scholar

  • Kwame Opoku Akyeampong (Ghana)

Waldo and Jean Jaax Scholar

  • Bassam Al Mohamadi (Yemen)

Kuhn H. Lee Scholar

  • Anish Dangol (Nepal)

Gladys Olson Scholar

  • Aneta Oglezneva (Moldova)

Mary Taggart Scholar

  • Prithviraj Palit (Bangladesh)

Florence Sponberg Scholar

  • Faizan Rauf (Pakistan)

William Olszewski Scholar

  • Barsha Shrestha (Nepal)

Carole and Dwain Peterson Scholar

  • Ecaterina Sram (Moldava)

Louise Steele and Linda Steele Severson Scholar

  • Abrar Zawed (Bangladesh)

Beatrice and Joseph Moosally Scholar

  • Hui Zhou (China)

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Dean Kristine Retherford, of the College of Allied Health and Nursing, hosted an alumni event for former and current students and faculty sponsored by Minnesota State Mankato Alumni Office at the Minnesota-Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention in Rochester, Minn., on April 11.

Joe Kunkel was interviewed by Mark Zdecklick, Minnesota Public Radio, about the Aaron Miller v. Tim Walz election for Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District.

Department News

Research and Sponsored Programs recently published its Spring 2014 Newsletter. To read the newsletter, please click here (broken link).

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 May 14; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (May 9).

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.