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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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March 18, 2015 Campus Newsletter

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Spring Gallery Walk is Friday

Minnesota State University, Mankato will host a Charting the Future Gallery Walk on Friday, March 20 from 1-3 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Hearth Lounge. The event is free and open to the public.

Attendees will review and provide input on concepts and themes proposed by four Charting the Future implementation teams. Refreshments will be provided. Charting the Future is a collaborative process for developing actions to better serve the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system of 435,000 students.

Six recommendations developed with input from students, faculty and staff were adopted by the Minnesota State Board of Trustees in November 2013. To act on the recommendations, eight implementation teams convened by campus presidents and comprised of students, faculty and staff were launched.

Four of those implementation teams presented their work during fall Gallery Walks at each of Minnesota State’s 31 institutions, and the remaining four implementation teams are presenting their work this spring. Eleven Minnesota State Mankato employees have served on the implementation teams.

The teams that will present in the spring Gallery Walk include:

  • Academic Planning and Collaboration convened by President Richard Hanson of Bemidji State University
  • Competency Certification and Credit for Prior Learning convened by President Annette Parker of South Central College
  • Education Technology convened by President Ron Anderson of Century College
  • Information Technology Systems Design convened by Minnesota State Vice Chancellor Ramon Padilla

In addition, there will be a Gallery Walk at South Central College on April 2. Contact to share ideas, concerns and feedback.

Purple and Gold Fridays

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to show their Maverick spirit by wearing purple and gold apparel on Fridays, as appropriate to individual work areas.

A variety of branded apparel is available for purchase on campus through the Office of Alumni Relations, Printing Services and the Barnes & Noble Bookstore in Centennial Student Union -- but anything representing the University colors is also appropriate!

Dance Marathon 2015

Minnesota State Mankato hosted Dance Marathon 2015 in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom on Feb. 28. Dance Marathon is a fundraising event for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare Hospital and has taken place on campus for the past five years. This year, the University raised more than $15,000 for the cause.

Organizations on campus created teams and competed to raise the largest amount of money. Sponsors from the Mankato community, such as Erbert & Gerbert's, Buffalo Wild Wings, Pub 500 and Insomnia Cookies donated food and money to show their support. Activities included karaoke, trivia hour, dancing, games and a lights show.

Minnesota State Mankato Handball Results

Fifty teams from the U.S., Ireland and Canada competed for a title at the U.S. Handball Association’s National Collegiate Handball Tournament in Raleigh, N.C., at North Carolina State University from Feb. 19-23.

The Minnesota State Mankato Men’s Handball Team placed second in Division I. Minnesota State Mankato finished ahead of perennial powers such as the University of Texas, the University of Illinois, Michigan State University and the University of Minnesota.

Among Minnesota State Mankato's men's players, Tyler J. Stoffel, a freshman majoring in accounting, finished ninth in the Open Division and defeated Michael Hedigan of the University of Limerick by scores of 21-11 and 21-14. This was the highest individual finish ever by a Minnesota State Mankato player. Other men who scored for the Mavericks were senior Matt Job (13th), freshman Jordan Taylor (19th), senior Jerad Michels (25th), senior Cody Kutil (51st) and senior Kevin Pattain (57th).

The Maverick women finished seventh overall. They were led by Jessica Herion, who defeated Cheryl Chen of Stony Brook University by scores of 9-21, 21-20 and 11-10 to finish 13th overall. Shannon Strand was runner up in the Women’s A Division and finished 18th overall. Strand was defeated by Niamh Farrell of Dublin City University by scores of 11-21 and 5-21. Other women who scored points toward the team title were Missy Kohout (25th) and Vanessa Arndt (41st). The Mavericks finished fifth in the Combined Team Championship.

Tech Fair 2015

Students, faculty and staff are invited to Information and Technology Services’ fifth annual Tech Fair on Wednesday, March 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This year’s theme is “Technology Partners Transforming the University.” Tech Fair 2015 will showcase campus technologies, partnerships and support services vital to the success of University students, faculty and staff. Information about 3D imaging and printing, accessibility and usability,, cyber security, library services, wireless presentations, a new scholarship finder and many other topics will be presented.

The fair provides an opportunity to make connections and discover how technology is transforming the way the Minnesota State Mankato community members learn, teach and conduct business. For more information, contact Cathy Colby at

Fourth Annual Karaoke Challenge

A Campus Karaoke Carousel will be held in the Centennial Student Union Lincoln Lounge on Thursday, March 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The carousel is a promotion for the Fourth Annual Karaoke Challenge that will take place March 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

Student, faculty and staff singing talent from across campus will be showcased during the midday carousel. Staff members expected to perform include: Leonard L. Koupal, communications coordinator of the Centennial Student Union; Admissions Officer Paulette Kimber; Jessica R. Flatequal, director of Gender and Sexuality Programs; Maria R. Bevacqua, chair of the Department of Gender & Women’s Studies; Frederick V. Slocum, associate professor of political science; Sara Granberg-Rademacker, assistant director of New Student and Family Programs; and Scott Granberg-Rademacker, chair of the Government Department.

Finalists will perform before a panel of judges during the Fourth Annual Karaoke Challenge. Student contestants qualify by earning weekly points during Serendipity Karaoke hosted Thursdays in the Centennial Student Union Maverick Bullpen throughout the school year.

25th Annual Fund Award Ceremony

Join President Richard Davenport, colleagues and friends Thursday, April 9 for the 25th Annual Fund Award Ceremony to honor 70 students for their dedication to the Annual Fund and Campus Drive. The student leaders have assisted in raising more than $3.7 million for the 2014-2015 Annual Giving Programs.

A reception with refreshments will be at 2:30 p.m. in Room 245 of the Centennial Student Union. The Award Ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. Faculty and staff are encouraged to wear purple or gold to receive a prize.

Soupir Selected as Hunger Fellow

The Campus Kitchens Project, a national organization that empowers student volunteers to fight hunger in their communities, received a $150,000 investment from CoBank to support seven Campus Kitchens from across the United States in addressing the challenge of rural hunger in their communities.

Minnesota State Mankato's Campus Kitchen was among the seven to be selected. Mara Soupir, a Minnesota State Mankato marketing student, was selected as a CoBank Rural Hunger Fellow. In this role, she will build and develop several community gardens to augment meals prepared through cooking classes coordinated by the University of Minnesota Extension.

For more information about the CoBank Rural Hunger Fellow or Minnesota State Mankato Campus Kitchen, contact Karen Anderson, assistant director for community engagement, at 507-389-6076.

Charles McDew Lecture

Charles McDew (pictured), former chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, retired Metropolitan State University professor and civil rights activist, will give a lecture titled “We are the People We’ve Been Waiting For” Tuesday, March 31 at 6:30 p.m. in Morris Hall 103.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act for African-Americans; however, in recent years, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Act, and various states have passed more restrictive voting requirements. McDew’s lecture will provide a platform for discussing such issues.

McDew’s lecture is part of the History Department's Spring Lecture Series. It is cosponsored by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Government Department, Honors Program, Institutional Diversity and Department of Ethnic Studies.

For more information, contact the history department office at 507-389-1618, or contact Angela Cooley, assistant professor of history, at 507-389-1248 or at

March 16-25: William Eilers Photography Exhibit

University graduate student William Eilers will display his photography in a master’s thesis exhibit titled “Environmental Portraits” from Monday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 25 in the Conkling Gallery, located at 139 Nelson Hall.

(Note: Photo at right by William Eilers used with his permission).

The exhibit is free and open to the public during gallery hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday). Eilers will give a lecture Monday, March 16 at 7 p.m. in the Conkling Gallery, which will be followed by a reception.

Eilers is an instructor in the Photography Program at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, Minn., and his upcoming exhibit has been submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for master's degree in art at Minnesota State Mankato.

In a preview describing his exhibit, Eilers wrote: “This environmental portrait project focuses on the way that physical identity is shaped by cultural institutions like family, school, church and work. Cultural institutions that people belong to play a large part in defining the image that they project with respect to their clothing, posture and overall affect. These photographs also pay attention to people’s hands and the tools and artifacts that they hold dear.”

For more information, call the Department of Art at 507-389-6412. Click here for the complete 2014-2015 Conkling Gallery Schedule.

March 19: Good Thunder Reading Series

Nigerian author Chris Abani will answer questions about writing, present a craft talk and give a reading at the University on Thursday, March 19 as part of the University's Good Thunder Reading Series. All events are free and open to the public.

An informal question-and-answer session will be held from 10 -11 a.m. in Centennial Student Union Room 202. A craft talk will be from 3-3:50 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ostrander Auditorium, and a reading and book signing will be from 7:30-8:30 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Room 245, where books will be available for purchase. An interview with Abani will be featured on radio station KMSU on March 19 at 1 p.m. and Friday, March 20 at 11 a.m.

Abani has a bachelor’s and master’s in English, a master’s in gender and culture, a masters in English and a doctorate in literature and creative writing. He currently teaches at Northwestern University.

Abani has received the Poets, Essayists and Novelists U.S.A. Freedom-to-Write Award, the Prince Claus Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the PEN Hemingway Book Prize and a Guggenheim Award.

For more information, contact Diana Joseph, series director, at or at 507-389-5144.

March 20: Carrie Mesrobian to Discuss Recent Novel

Young adult author Carrie Mesrobian (pictured) will discuss her most recently published book, “Perfectly Good White Boy,” Friday, March 20 from 1-2 p.m. in Memorial Library’s Casual Learning Lab. The event is free and open to the public. Live streaming will be provided by Maverick Visual Productions and Library Services.

“Perfectly Good White Boy” centers on the tough decisions a high school boy must make during his senior year. An interview will be conducted by Geoff Herbach, assistant professor of English. A question-and-answer session will follow.

Mesrobian received the 2014 Minnesota Book Award for Young People’s Literature, was a nominee for Young Adult Library Services Association’s 2014 Best Fiction Award and was a finalist for both the 2014 William C. Morris Young Adult and Cybils Best Young Adult Fiction awards.

For more information about the event, contact librarian Lisa Baures at 507-389-2255 or at

March 21: Sonny Knight and the Lakers

Sonny Knight (pictured) and his band, the Lakers, will perform Saturday, March 21 at 8 p.m. at Hooligans Neighborhood Pub. The concert event is cosponsored by radio station KMSU, the Minnesota State Mankato Performance Series and the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Knight tours Europe and the U.S. with a mixture of heavy funk and a feel-good style music. At 66 years old, the Mississippi-born singer is reclaiming the stage after an interrupted career.

Tickets are $15 in advance; $18 the day of the show. To purchase tickets, visit For more information, call the Performance Series Office at 507-389-5549.

March 22: Brass Ensemble Recital

The Department of Music welcomes the Minnesota Valley Brass Quintet and Trombone Octet for an afternoon of brass music performance on Sunday, March 22 at 3 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

The Minnesota Valley Brass Quintet consists of three former University music professors: Stewart Ross, trombone; Tom Giles, trumpet; and Dave Schulz, horn; and also includes current professors Doug Snapp, trumpet and Gerard Aloisio, trombone.

Joining Ross and Aloisio in the Minnesota Valley Trombone Octet are area trombonists Sarah Houle, Mike Pegram, Nate Beran, Ryan Shirk, Dave Stordalen and Amy Olsen. The program unites classical and contemporary repertoire containing works of classical and contemporary composers such as J.S. Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Victor Ewald, Raymond Pemru and Eric Ewazen.

Concert admission is $9; $7 for students. To purchase tickets, visit For more information, call the Performance Series Office at 507-389-5549.

March 23: Historical Fiction Workshop

Author Susanna Calkins (pictured) will give a workshop on historical fiction writing Monday, March 23 at 6 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Heritage Room. The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a book signing.

During her workshop, titled “Writing Historical Fiction: Balancing Accuracy and Authenticity,” Calkins will discuss her experience writing historical fiction as a historian-turned-novelist and offer strategies for avoiding common pitfalls in writing historical fiction.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Calkins lives outside Chicago with her husband and two sons. She earned a doctorate in history from Purdue University. Her first novel, “A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate,” was a finalist for the Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award. Another of her works, “From the Charred Remains,” is currently a finalist for the Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery Award. Her third novel, “The Masque of a Murderer,” will be released in April 2015.

For more information, contact Chris Corley, director of the Honors Program and associate professor of history, at 507-389-5191 or at

March 24: Community Orchestra Concert

The newly formed Minnesota State Mankato Community Orchestra will perform Tuesday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

Orchestra Director Joseph Rodgers (pictured) has transformed this year’s university orchestra by inviting community members to perform with University student musicians. Many of the community members playing in the University Community Orchestra have also performed with the Mankato Symphony Orchestra.

Concert admission is $9; $7 for students. To purchase tickets, visit For more information, call the Performance Series Office at 507-389-5549.

March 25-28: 'Boom'

The Department of Theatre & Dance will present Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s “Boom” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, March 25-28 in the Andreas Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

“Boom” is directed by second-year master of fine arts acting candidate TS McCormick, who was last seen on stage as John Hinckley in the production of “Assassins.” “Boom” features Matthew Stairs, a transfer sophomore bachelor of fine arts musical theatre candidate who received Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship nominations for his previous roles as Gaston in “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” and John Wilkes Booth in “Assassins.”

Tickets are $10; $9 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more; and $8 for University students. To purchase tickets, visit The box office will open March 16 from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and one hour before performances.

March 31: 'An Evening with Storyteller Kevin Kling'

The Department of Communication Studies will host “An Evening with Storyteller Kevin Kling” for its 2014-2015 Nadine B. Andreas Lecture on Tuesday, March 31 at 7 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

Kling (pictured), is an author, playwright and storyteller. He is known for his commentaries on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and his storytelling shows like “Tales from the Charred Underbelly of the Yule Log.”

Kling grew up in the Minneapolis suburbs of Brooklyn Park and Maple Grove, Minn. He graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1979 with a bachelor’s in theater. He has been awarded numerous arts grants and fellowships. Organizations that have honored Kling include the National Endowment for the Arts, the McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Bush Foundation and the Jerome Foundation.

For more information, contact David Engen, associate professor and chair of the Department of Communication Studies at 507-389-5537 or at

Forensic Team Accomplishments

The Minnesota State Mankato Forensic Team traveled to Brookings, S.D., Feb. 27-28 to compete in the Alumni Hop Tournament and the Bunny Bop Tournament at South Dakota State University. Nine schools competed in the Alumni Hop Tournament, where Minnesota State Mankato placed second. Ten schools competed in the Bunny Hop Tournament, where Minnesota State Mankato placed first. Individual awards are listed:

Alumni Hop Tournament
Aletta Arndt - Third Place in After Dinner Speaking, Fourth in Poetry Interpretation
Zach Aufenthie - First Place in Informative Speaking, Sixth in Program of Oral Interpretation
Kaila Beckner - First Place in Prose Interpretation, Sixth in Impromptu Speaking
Jordan Carillo - Fourth Place in Informative Speaking, Seventh in Prose interpretation
Alex Cutschall - Third Place in Dramatic Interpretation, Fifth in Informative Speaking
Caitlin Frymet - Fourth Place in Impromptu Speaking
Alex Mathiowetz - First Place in Persuasive Speaking, Sixth in After Dinner Speaking
Paige Russell – Third Place in Poetry Interpretation
Cade Shelton - First Place in After Dinner Speaking, Sixth in Dramatic Interpretation
Brady Taylor - Fifth Place in Impromptu Speaking, Sixth in Poetry Interpretation

Bunny Bop Tournament
Aletta Arndt - First Place in Dramatic Interpretation, Fifth in After Dinner Speaking
Zach Aufenthie - Fifth Place in Impromptu Speaking
Kaila Beckner – Second Place in Impromptu Speaking
Jordan Carillo – Third Place in Informative Speaking
Alex Cutschall – Fourth Place in Informative Speaking, Fifth in Dramatic Interpretation
Caitlin Frymet – First Place in Poetry Interpretation, First in Individual Sweepstakes, Third in Impromptu Speaking, Third in After Dinner Speaking
Paige Russell – Third Place in Program of Oral Interpretation, Third in Poetry Interpretation, Fourth in Individual Sweepstakes, Fifth in Extemporaneous Speaking
Brady Taylor – First Place in Impromptu Speaking

Student News

Cumah Blake, an alumna of Minnesota State Mankato and Hamline University School of Law, is featured on Hamline’s website for her work as general legal counsel in Gov. Mark Dayton's office and her prospect of becoming a Judge Advocate General in the Minnesota National Guard. Blake graduated from Minnesota State Mankato in 2009 with a degree in sociology.

Faculty/Staff News

Lori K. Bird, director of the Center for Mentoring and Induction, and April Rosendale, a teacher on special assignment for Le Sueur-Henderson Public Schools, presented a session titled "Pre-Induction to Induction: Building a Bridge of Support” at the National New Teacher Symposium in San Francisco on Feb. 23. The session highlighted the partnership between the College of Education and professional development school sites that support teacher candidates prepare for the profession. More than 80 participants attended the conference.

The College of BusinessBrenda Flannery, dean; Greta S. Fennell, director of communication and events; Lucas R. Howk, internship and external partnerships coordinator; and Nicholas M. Linde, director of development, were chosen to be plenary speakers at the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business’ 2015 B-School Communications and Development Symposium on March 2-4 in Atlanta.

Elizabeth S. Finsness, professor and director of the Office of Field and International Experience, was selected as vice chair for the American Association of College for Teacher Education Committee on Innovation and Technology.

Sherry L. Folsom-Meek, professor and coordinator of Developmental Adapted Physical Education, was one of two Honor Award recipients at the Central District Society of Health and Physical Educators Convention in Moorhead, Minn., on Feb. 6. The Honor Award recognizes Central District SHAPE members for outstanding service.

Linda S. Meidl, student relations coordinator for the College of Business, was nominated by President Richard Davenport for a Minnesota State Colleges & Universities 2015 Outstanding Administrative Service Faculty Award. An award ceremony will take place at the board's Celebrating Excellence luncheon April 22.

Robert Simonson, a professor of economics, Ishuan Li, an associate professor of economics, and Mathew Malvin, a graduate student and economics alumnus, published a peer-reviewed academic research paper titled “Overeducation and Employment Mismatch: Wage Penalties for College Degrees in Business” in the Journal of Education for Business, published by Taylor & Francis Group.

A retirement party for Norleen E. Turensky, an employee in Information & Technology Services, will be held from 2-4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24 in Centennial Student Union's Heritage Room.

Department News

[PDF] Institutional Review Board Spring Newsletter (422 KiB)


Janice K. Schmidt died Feb. 27 at age 68 at her home in North Mankato. Schmidt was employed at the University from 1994 to 2008 in the Office of the Registrar.

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 Wednesday, April 1. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday, March 27.

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.