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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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July 16, 2014 Campus Newsletter

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4 NACMA Awards for Athletics Marketing

Minnesota State University, Mankato’s athletics marketing office was recently honored with four 2013-2014 awards at the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA) annual convention in Orlando, Fla.

Initiated in 2003, the NACMA “Best of” Awards program honors outstanding achievement in marketing and promotions. Awards are presented in 13 categories, with each category divided into three groups based upon school size and conference affiliations to promote fairness. An association record of more than 1,000 awards entries were received for the 2013-14 year.

Minnesota State Mankato received the following awards:

  • Gold - Static Display Ad (Get Hooked on Maverick Hockey -- River Hills Mall Signage)
  • Silver - Sales Piece (Cyber Monday Ticket Specials)
  • Bronze - Promotional Video (Hockey Season Ticket Commercial)
  • Bronze - Sponsorship Activation (3 Point Pancake Challenge Presented by Weggy's: Basketball In-Game Promotion)

Parent-Child Play Day

Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Family Consumer Science held its sixth annual “Parent-Child Play Day” on Friday, June 13 at Rasmussen Woods.

The event was very successful, as families with preschool and early school-age children from the entire greater Mankato community participated in the free event.

Minnesota State Mankato undergraduate students created activities to engage caregivers and children in play with low-cost and no-cost household items.

The play day is organized each year by students and faculty as part of a class about the benefits of play for children taught by Minnesota State Mankato Associate Professor Heather Von Bank.

Honors Program Welcomes 46

The Honors Program at Minnesota State Mankato announced that it would be welcoming 46 new entering first-year students to the Honors Program this fall.

The incoming honors students averaged a 27 on their composite ACT scores, and they completed their high school studies within the top 12% of their graduating classes. This honors class of 2018, which includes six high school valedictorians, also includes six students who were recipients of the Presidential Scholar award offered by Minnesota State Mankato.

The mission of the Honors Program at Minnesota State Mankato is to create future leaders, researchers and global citizens by providing high-ability and motivated students with exceptional learning opportunities, mentoring relationships, and a community of scholars that foster their development as future leaders in a global society. For more information about the Honors Program, visit the website at or contact the program office at 507-389-5191.

Women's Leadership Program

The President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) announced that Jennifer Chelstrom, graduate admission coordinator in the College of Graduate Studies and Research, has been selected as Minnesota State Mankato’s representative to 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.

Greek Community Excels Academically

During the spring semester, the men and women of the Greek Community collectively posted an All-Greek GPA of 3.13, exceeding the all-University average of 3.03 (for students enrolled full-time). This marks the third consecutive semester this has been accomplished, an achievement that according to Greek Community academic records has not occurred previously within the last 13 years.

Handball Champion

Mike Wells, a professor in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology’s Department of Computer Information Science, recently won singles and doubles titles at a recent 45-plus Masters Tournament in Minneapolis. Wells was featured in a Mankato Free Press article on July 6. More information is here.

July 16-19: 'Hairspray'

The Minnesota State Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance will conclude its 48th annual Highland Summer Theatre season with the musical “Hairspray,” with performances at 7:30 p.m. July 16-19 in the Ted Paul Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

Based on the New Line Cinema film written and directed by John Waters, “Hairspray” tells the story of Tracy Turnblad, a social outcast in 1962 Baltimore, and her efforts to become a dancer on a weekly Corny Collins TV show. Along the way she finds love and a social cause: to integrate a TV network.

“Hairspray” is directed by Paul J. Hustoles, chair of the department, with musical direction by Nick Wayne and choreography by Sam Stoll, a spring BFA musical theatre graduate who also appears as “Link Larkin.” Appearing as “Tracy Turnblad” is Gianna Schiller, a junior theatre generalist from Anoka who made her Minnesota State Mankato debut as “DeLang” in the studio production “Sky Girls.” In total, the cast numbers 37.

Tickets are on sale now at, or at 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. Call 507-389-6661. They are $22 regular, $19 discounted (groups of 15 or more, those over age 65 or under age 16) and $15 for students with a current Minnesota State Mankato MavCard; discounted rate tickets must be purchased through the box office.

July 24: MSW Student Research Showcase

The sixth annual Master of Social Work Research Showcase will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 24 in the CSU north ballroom.

All 26 graduating MSW students will be presenting academic posters that represent the capstone projects that they are completing in their practicum sites. The campus community is invited to stop by the showcase event to learn how these students are using applied research skills to improve the delivery of social work services across southern Minnesota.

For more information, please contact David Beimers, associate professor in social work and the MSW program director, by phone at 507-389-6190 or by email at

July 24: Vikings Arrive for Training Camp

The Minnesota Vikings will report to Minnesota State Mankato on Thursday, July 24, and begin practice the next day (July 25) in what will be the 49th consecutive year that the Vikings have held their training camp on the campus of Minnesota State Mankato.

Highlights of the 2014 Verizon Vikings training camp include an evening practice on Saturday, Aug. 2 that will feature a team introduction following practice along with fireworks.

The team will break camp on Friday, Aug. 15. More information about specific practice times and events will be posted on

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Scott Fee, a faculty member within the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Minnesota State Mankato since 1997, who has also held department chair and administrative positions at the university, has been named dean of University Extended Education. Fee’s appointment, announced after a national search process, was effective July 1.

Ginger Zierdt has been appointed interim assistant vice president for undergraduate education. Her appointment was effective July 1 and continues through June 30, 2016. Zierdt most recently served as department chair of the Department of Elementary & Early Childhood Education in the College of Education.

Karen Colum, assistant professor of mathematics and literary education, was elected department chair of the Department of Elementary & Early Childhood Education in the College of Education.

Kimberly E. Contag, professor of Spanish and coordinator of graduate studies in the Department of World Languages & Cultures, was appointed interim dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. Contag’s appointment was effective July 1 and continues through June 30, 2015.

Mike Gustafson has been appointed interim vice president for the Division of Strategic Business, Education and Regional Partnerships. Gustafson has 30 years of business experience, including 20 years in senior management and 10 years as an executive, and he also has 10 years of experience with nonprofit board work.

Ann Goebel, director of strategic partnerships in the Division of Strategic Business, Education and Regional Partnerships, was featured in the June/July 2014 issue of Womeninc magazine.

Melanie Cashin has been hired as assistant director for writing/languages in the Center for Academic Success. She has a master’s degree in English: technical communication from Minnesota State Mankato and has worked for the English department as a fixed term faculty member, adjunct instructor and teaching assistant.

Lindsay Stepan has been hired as assistant director for mathematics/sciences in the Center for Academic Success. She has a master’s degree in mathematics from Minnesota State Mankato and has served as a graduate teaching assistant for the mathematics department.

Jacqueline M. Vieceli, a professor of government in the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, received the Distinguished Alumni Citation on June 27 from Ripon College.

Ihsuan Li, associate professor of economics in the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, completed a workshop on “Honors Program and Curriculum Assessment” sponsored by the National Collegiate Honors Council. More information is available here.

May Externally Funded Projects

Dale Haefner (Music; College of Arts and Humanities) “Performance Series Support/ACH Grant” funded by the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council (PLRAC).

Jan Bauer (Strategic Business, Education and Regional Partnerships) “MJSP Berry Pallots” funded by the Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Jonathan Anderson (Anthropology; College of Social and Behavioral Sciences) “Cerro Magoni Project” funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Kristie Campana (Psychology; College of Social and Behavioral Sciences) “Riverfront Inc. Employee Engagement Survey” funded by the Riverfront, Inc.

Shannon Fisher (Water Resources Center; College of Science, Engineering and Technology) “MN River Sediment Model Assessment” funded by the Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance.

Daniel Sachau (Psychology; College of Social and Behavioral Sciences) “Minnesota State Transfer Study 2014” funded by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (Minnesota State).

Daniel Sachau (Psychology; College of Social and Behavioral Sciences) “Minnesota State Staff Development Study 2014” funded by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (Minnesota State).

Daniel Sachau (Psychology; College of Social and Behavioral Sciences) “Madison Performance Group Flow Research” funded by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (Minnesota State).


Gael Mericle, who began her employment at Minnesota State Mankato in 1986, teaching in the mathematics department and later serving as president of the Faculty Association and becoming director of the Center for Academic Success before retiring in 2007, died on Saturday, June 21. Private family services have been held. An obituary for Mericle is available here.

Bonnie Lee, a University since 1967, died on June 28. Lee served in a number of administrative support roles on campus. In addition to working in the College of Education, Bonnie also worked in Vocational Rehab Counseling; Nursing; Recreation, Parks, and Leisure; Curriculum and Learning Strategies Center; and in Multi-Ethnic Heritage Studies. Additionally, Lee worked in Student Activities since 1988. Lee’s obituary is available 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 Aug. 20; the deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Aug. 15).

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.