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

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Campus Community: click here for COVID-19 news and updates.


April 1, 2015 Campus Newsletter

Page address:

$10,000 Grant for STEM Camp

The Women’s Center, Minnesota Center for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence, College of Science, Engineering & Technology along with Institutional Diversity received a $10,000 grant from Regenerative Medicine Minnesota for the Girls Explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Camp this summer.

The Girls Explore STEM Camp will be July 6-10 on the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus. The camp is geared toward incoming sixth-to-eighth-grade students from Mankato and its surrounding regions. The goal of the camp is to foster girls’ enthusiasm for STEM related fields. Girls Explore will showcase career options through a wide range of demonstrations, activities and conversations with female professionals in STEM fields.

The camp will allow girls to experience the world of regenerative medicine through interactive laboratories. The lab for the Girls Explore STEM Camp has also been used at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, Md.

Total cost of attendance for the camp is $150. Registration information is available on the Women’s Center website.

Partnership with LCWM

A collaboration between Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial Elementary School and the Computer Information Science Department will take place Monday, April 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Room 253/4/5.

More than 180 Lake Crystal Elementary students were introduced to programming principles during the fall semester and have been working on programming concepts throughout the year. Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial fourth-to-sixth-grade students will take part in a lunch, question-and-answer session and interactive game with Minnesota State Mankato CIS students during the collaboration. The elementary students will also tour part of the University campus.

The CIS Department also created a graduate class for this summer -- T691: In-Service in Computer Science -- that elementary and secondary teachers can take for graduate credits. The class will help teachers establish self-paced programming curriculum in their classrooms.

Veteran Suicide Awareness

In an effort to raise awareness for veterans' issues, specifically suicide, members of the Minnesota State Mankato Veterans Club will do 22 pushups every weekday during the month of April at noon in the campus mall. The club invites the Mankato community to join in on the effort, regardless of one's ability to do 22 pushups.

The club chose 22 pushups to raise awareness of the 22 veterans who commit suicide daily, according to a 2012 data report issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Coincidentally, the 22 pushups the Veterans Club will do each day also equal the 22 weekdays during the month of April.

For more information, contact the Veterans Resource Center at 507-389-5726.

Major Declaration Day

Major Declaration Day is an opportunity for students to learn about majors from University staff. Students are encouraged to stop by the New Student & Family Programs Office, located at Preska 103, Wednesday, April 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students who have chosen a major but have yet to formally declare it before fall registration are especially encouraged to attend.

Research Day

The College of Business invites campus community members to attend Research Day on Friday, April 10 in Centennial Student Union Room 245 to celebrate faculty Research Award recipients. Breakfast will be served at 9 a.m., and presentations will begin at 9:30 a.m.

Featured speaker Hyuna Park (pictured), a 2014-2015 Research Award recipient, will provide her perspective on the current state of the hedge fund industry. Award recipients will also briefly present their research proposals and answer questions. Congratulations to the following 2015-2016 Research Award recipients: Queen E. Booker, Ph.D.; Jianwei Hou, Ph.D.; Christine Brown Mahoney, Ph.D.; and Stephen E. Wilcox, Ph.D., CFA.

For more information about College of Business Research Award recipients, click here,or contact Stephen E. Wilcox, chair of the Research Committee, at or 507-389-5429.

2015 Retirement Luncheon

The University Employment Recognition Committee invites campus community members to the 2015 Retirement Luncheon on Tuesday, April 14 at 11:30 a.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. More than 40 faculty and staff members will be honored.

Tickets are $13.25 per person. Contact Lu Ann Struck at 507-389-6946 or at by March 31 to RSVP. Checks should be made payable to Minnesota State University, Mankato and mailed to Wigley Administration Center Room 336. Individuals requesting a vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free meal should indicate so.

150th Anniversary of Lincoln Assassination

Mankato Area Lifelong Learners invites community members to a presentation in remembrance of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination. The event will take place Wednesday, April 22 from 6-8 p.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church, located at 302 Warren St. Admission is $5.

The presentation will include a re-enactment of the assassination, featuring Lincoln persona Bryce Stenzel and history lecturer David Jones. [PDF] Click here for the complete schedule of Lifelong Learners 2015 spring presentations (488 KiB), which include more than 20 events. Among the other Lifelong Learners spring events are sessions on Ecuadorian Perspectives, learning to play Pickleball and many more. Those who are interested are invited to try one of the presentations for the low cost of $5. For more information, call the Lifelong Learners Office at 507-389-2011.

March 30-May 6: Senior Art Exhibits

Three art exhibits featuring students’ work will be displayed up until Wednesday, May 6 in the Conkling Gallery, located at 139 Nelson Hall. Gallery hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays (and some permitted evenings). The exhibits are open to the public.

The first exhibit opened March 30 and will be on display until Wednesday, April 8. Exhibit Two will be displayed from April 13-22, and Exhibit Three will be displayed from April 27 to May 6. Receptions will be held at 7 p.m. in the gallery on Monday, April 13 and Friday, April 27.

For more information, call the Department of Art at 507-389-6412.

April 1-2: 'Ivory Tower' Documentary

Innovative Memorable Programming Activities for Campus Togetherness invites campus community members to the 2014 documentary, “Ivory Tower,” which explores and weighs the cost and value of higher education. The film will be shown at both 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ostrander Auditorium on Wednesday, April 1 and Thursday, April 2.

Admission is $1 for the general public; free for University students, faculty and staff. For more information, contact Mechelle Poessnecker, graduate advisor for Student Events Team at 507-389-6076 or at

April 2: Morgan Thomas Executive Lecture

Sisters and business executives Amy (pictured) and Maha Abouelenien will deliver the annual College of Business Morgan Thomas Executive Lecture on Thursday, April 2 from 4:30-6 p.m. in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Amy and Maha will share their stories of success as entrepreneurs, executives and leaders in their fields. Amy is currently vice president of innovation, technology & quality for the General Mills Inc. Global Baking Platform and the company’s Convenience & Foodservice Segment. Maha is the founder and managing director of Organizational Consultants, a communications firm based in Cairo, Egypt. The lecture series is in honor of the first dean of the College of Business, Morgan Thomas.

In addition to the lecture, Amy and Maha will serve as executives in residence for the College of Business at during their visit. The program provides an opportunity for students and faculty to engage with industry executives.

For more information, contact Greta Fennell at 507-389-5420 or at

April 2: Kessel Memorial Lecture

Ralph Menning, an assistant professor of history at Kent State University at Stark in North Canton, Ohio, will speak Thursday, April 2 from 7:30-9 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Heritage Room for the 2014-2015 Kessel Memorial Lecture. The event is free and open to the public.

Menning’s lecture is titled “The Great War 101: Outbreak of the Great War, Who Did What to Whom in July 1914, Why it Mattered Long After, and Why it Matters Still.” A discussion and short reception will follow the lecture.

The Kessel Memorial Lecture commemorates the life and work of the late Abbas Kessel, who taught for 19 years in the Department of Political Science. For more information, contact Kevin Parsneau, associate professor of political science at 507-389-5232 or at

April 6: Lisa Congdon Lecture

Artist-in-residence Lisa Congdon will give a lecture Monday, April 6 at 7 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ostrander Auditorium. The lecture is part of the Andreas Endowment Lecture & Residency Series. It is free and open to the public. Congdon’s studio residency will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Monday, April 6 and Tuesday, April 7 in Nelson Hall Art Studios.

Congdon is best known for her colorful abstract paintings, intricate line drawings, pattern design and hand lettering. She works for clients around the world including the MoMA, Martha Stewart Living, Chronicle Books, The Land of Nod, Simon & Schuster, Cloud9 Fabrics and many others. She has exhibited her work around the country, including shows at the Contemporary Jewish Museum and Bedford Gallery. She is currently represented by Uprise Gallery in New York.

April 9: Kathy Gorman Lecture

Minnesota State Mankato’s Kathleen Gorman, professor of history, will present “Minnesota’s Civil War: A Conflicted Legacy” Thursday, April 9 at 4 p.m. in Armstrong Hall Room 7. The lecture is part of the Department of History’s Spring Lecture Series. It is free and open to the public.

In 1861 Minnesota was a state with a still tenuous connection to the nation, but the four years of the Civil War served to solidify its sense of belonging. Even as it fought for the Union cause, it too was a battleground as decades of conflict with the Dakota Indians erupted into warfare. The combination of fighting for the Union and against the Native Americans has left a complicated legacy for modern Minnesota.

For more information Gorman’s lecture, contact the Department of History at 507-389-1618 or at

April 9-19: ‘Pirates of Penzance’

The Department of Theatre & Dance will present the comic opera "The Pirates of Penzance" at 7:30 p.m. April 9-11 and April 16-18 in the Ted Paul Theatre of the Early Center for Performing Arts. There will also be a showing at 2 p.m. on April 18-19.

The operetta spins a hilarious farce with characters morally bound to the often ridiculous dictates of honor. It is sponsored by Community Bank Mankato, Jones & Magnus Attorneys at Law and Tailwind Group. The production is directed by faculty member Heather E. Hamilton, with scenic design by faculty member John David Paul and musical direction by Nick Wayne.

Tickets are $22; $19 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more; $15 for University students. Tickets are available at the Theatre & Dance Box Office in the lobby of the Earley Center from 4-6 p.m., Monday-Friday. Call 507-389-6661.

Student News

Ellen Ahlness, a senior majoring in international relations and Scandinavian studies, was accepted to the Ph.D. Political Science Program at the University of Washington in Seattle. Ahlness was offered five years of full funding, provided as compensation for her work as a teaching assistant. She is expected to graduate with honors from Minnesota State Mankato in May and begin her graduate studies in fall 2015.

Geography graduate students Devon J. Libby, Johnathon T. Salfer and Carson A. Smith received a Creating a Strong and Vibrant Graduate Community Grant for their project, titled "Hydrologic and Geomorphic Investigation of the Minnesota River.” Their faculty advisor and mentor is Phillip H. Larson, assistant professor of geography.

Kaleb F. Short, a master of science candidate from the Department of Biological Sciences, presented a portion of his thesis research, which was conducted under Assistant Professor David S. Sharlin and Associate Professor Penny R. Knoblich, at the Endocrine Society's 97th Annual Meeting in San Diego. Short’s presentation was titled “A Comparison of the Effect of Hypothyroidism on Blood Pressure of the Wistar Kyoto Rat and the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat.” Undergraduate biology majors Jessa R. Gute and Brenan Nygard also contributed to the work.

Faculty/Staff News

Six faculty received Quality Matters certification for their online courses. QM certification recognizes online and hybrid courses that meet standards for course design after undergoing a peer review process. Faculty and their courses are listed:

  • Elizabeth A. Harsma of the Department of World Languages & Cultures- SPAN 355: Spanish Civilization
  • Nancyruth Leibold, assistant professor of nursing- NURS 412: Leadership and Management Principles for RNs
  • Daniel A. Moen of the Department of Family Consumer Science- FCS 100: Personal and Family Living
  • Patricia L. Nelson, assistant professor of law enforcement- LAWE 432: Minnesota Criminal Code
  • Laura Marie Schwarz, assistant professor of nursing- NURS 382: Provider of Care I for RNs
  • Emily N. Stark, associate professor of psychology- PSYC 340: Social Psychology

Phillip H. Larson, assistant professor of geography and director of Earth Science Programs, will deliver the keynote address, “A River Runs Through It: Creating Rivers in the Basin and Range," at the 2015 Midwest Undergraduate Geography Symposium. MUGS 2015 will be held at Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, Minn., on Saturday, April 18.

Ishuan Li, an associate professor of economics, Robert Simonson, a professor of economics, and Matthew Tuomala, an economics alumnus, authored a paper titled “Smartphone Diffusion and Consumer Comparison Shopping Behavior: Implications for the Marketplace Fairness Act,” that was conditionally accepted by the Policy & Internet Journal, published by Wiley-Blackwell.

Ishuan Li also authored a trade article, “Using REXCEL to Reshape or Aggregate Data,” that was published by the Association for Institutional Research in January.

Theresa R. Mackey, associate professor and clinical coordinator for Athletic Training Education, will be inducted into the Ball State University Sports Medicine Ring of Honor this summer at the National Athletic Trainers Association Annual Symposium in St. Louis.

Associate professors of geography Cynthia A. Miller, Ginger L. Schmid and Forrest D. Wilkerson were invited to submit manuscripts to Germany’s leading geographical journal, Geographical Review, for an inclusion in an issue devoted to the Midwest. Also invited was Minnesota State Mankato’s first visiting doctoral student scholar Stephan Fuchs, who was in residence in the Department of Geography during fall 2009. Their manuscripts were subjected to peer-review. All were accepted, translated to German and published this month.

Department News

Mavericks 14th in Directors’ Cup
Postseason performances landed Minnesota State Mankato in 14th place for the 2014-2015 Learfield Sports Directors' Cup. This winter, the Mavericks received a combined total of 141 points, with the women’s swimming & diving team placing 32nd and earning 42 points, the men’s track and field team also placing 32nd and earning 42 points and the wrestling team placing 17th and earing 57 points. Click here to read more.

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
March Good News (broken link)


Professor Emeritus Patricia A. Hale died March 24 at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato. Hale was employed at the University for 32 years in the Department of Human Performance until her retirement in 2005.

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 15. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday, April 10.

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.