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 15, 2015 Campus Newsletter

Page address:

National Prose Speaking Champion

Minnesota State University, Mankato senior Cade A. Shelton (pictured), a communications studies major from Fairmont, Minn., won the national championship in Prose Speaking at the 2015 American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore.

Shelton, who was among six Minnesota State Mankato students to compete at the competition, became the University’s first national champion at the tournament since Terry Kiel won in the Drama category in 1979. Shelton is the University’s ninth AFA-NIET All-American since 2001.

The Minnesota State Mankato Speech and Debate Team finished 22nd out of 86 schools. Shelton also placed 19th in Individual Sweepstakes (the ranking of a student’s overall performance at the tournament across several events). He earned this 19th overall rank because of his national championship as well as advancing to the quarter-final round of competition in three additional events: Informative Speaking, Poetry Interpretation and After Dinner Speaking. Shelton’s performance resulted in Minnesota State Mankato advancing to elimination rounds in more events than any other school in Minnesota.

All six Minnesota State Mankato students who participated in the tournament helped earn points toward the No. 22 finish. In addition to Shelton, students included Aletta C. Arndt, Kaila M. Beckner, Alex J. Cutschall, Caitlin D. Frymet and Brady R. Taylor.

More details were published in a University press release. For more information, contact Leah White, associate professor of communications studies and director of the Forensics Program, at 507-389-5534 or at

AVID Student Summit

The first-ever Advancement via Individual Determination Student Summit was held March 31 on the University campus. The event was a partnership co-planned and co-implemented by teachers and counselors in Professional Development School partner districts, as well as faculty from the College of Education at Minnesota State Mankato, graduate assistants and students.

More than 90 high school juniors from Mankato, St. Peter, Faribault, Waseca, Le Sueur-Henderson and Sibley East came together to experience aspects of college. The objective was for AVID students to build relationships, expand their awareness of leadership styles and apply note-taking and thinking skills to a college environment.

Among the sessions held were "My Story," in which students heard stories of advice from current students and college graduates on topics such as being a first-generation student, transferring, managing a social life and making responsible acadamic choices. Another session, "Leadership," focused on Myers Briggs types and how that might impact students as leaders. During a "Lecture on Cornell Notes" session, faculty members presented mini-lectures to students and debriefed on how to glean and capture the most important information from a lecture.

Funding for the event was provided by the Enventis Community Fund, the Mankato Area Foundation and individual donors. More than 40 volunteers contributed to the event.

AVID is in year three of implementation in the College of Education. For more information, contact Laura Bemel, director for the Center for School-University Partnerships at or at 507-389-5444.

Alumna, Wall Street Journal Reporter to Visit

Deborah Gage, a 1973 graduate of Minnesota State Mankato with degrees in English, Spanish and American Studies, who is now a reporter for VentureWire and the Wall Street Journal, will be on campus Monday, April 20 to visit with students, faculty and staff about her own career path, how Silicon Valley and venture capital work, how the Wall Street Journal works and what her current job is like.

Gage grew up in Mankato, was editor of the Reporter while attending the University, and she later covered local news for the Mankato Free Press and politics for Minnesota Public Radio. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

As of this writing, Gage is currently scheduled to be available to meet with students, faculty and staff outside of Morris Hall 150 from 10-11 a.m. Monday, April 20, but the agenda for her visit is still being finalized -- please visit the College of Business website for agenda updates.

Gage's visit to campus came about as a result of the academic partnership program between the Wall Street Journal and the College of Business at Minnesota State Mankato. Through this partnership, all students enrolled in a College of Business course (100-499 levels) have access to all Wall Street Journal resources. The College of Business has been integrating the Wall Street Journal into classrooms since 2004.

For more information about Gage's visit, please call 507-389-1120, and ask for either Bryan Hoffman, technology director for the College of Business, or Stephanie Reitter, the Wall Street Journal Student Ambassador for the College of Business. Email inquiries may be sent to either or

Undergraduate Research Symposium

Minnesota State Mankato's 17th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium will be Monday, April 20 from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. Students, faculty, administration and alumni are encouraged to attend. The symposium is way to celebrate the research and creative works of undergraduate students. [PDF] Click here for a schedule of events (87 KiB).

For more information about the event, contact Heather Von Bank, undergraduate research symposium coordinator, at

2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards

Eight Minnesota State Mankato graduates have been named 2015 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 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. For a full list of this year’s honorees, click here.

Autism Awareness Day

The Minnesota State Mankato Chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children hosted a scavenger hunt on April 2 in honor of Autism Awareness Day. About 18 students participated in the hunt by searching campus for autism awareness ribbons and handbills. Winners received a blue tumbler with this year's theme, "Keep Calm and Shine On."

Buildings around the world, such as the Empire State Building, the Sydney Opera House, the Taj Mahal, the Tokyo Tower, the Prince’s Palace of Monaco and the Nelson Mandela Bridge, as well as the bell tower on campus, lit up with blue lights for autism awareness.

For more information about the Council for Exceptional Children, contact Karen S. Eastman, faculty advisor and professor of special education, at or at 507-389-5651.

Nominations for Volunteer of the Year

Nominations are being accepted for the 2015 Foundation Board’s Volunteer of the Year. The award will be presented during the annual Foundation Gala on Friday, Sept. 25. Nominations are a way to recognize and show appreciation for community, regional and other volunteers who have contributed significant value to any area of the University.

To nominate someone, contact Marie A. Worrell, director of stewardship and advancement services, at or at 507-389-1905 by May 1.

Homecoming 2015

Based on a Minnesota State Mankato poll via Orgsync, this year’s homecoming theme is Maverick Takeover: Forever Purple and Gold. Homecoming will kick off Monday, Oct. 5 and end Saturday, Oct. 10. A parade and football game are among Saturday's festivities.

Last year, attendance in homecoming events skyrocketed with more than 12,385 students participating in nonathletic events. This year, homecoming events will include a bonfire, concert, lip sync, dodgeball and more. All homecoming events are free for University students.

Those interested in helping plan homecoming should attend committee meetings every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Innovative Memorable Programming Activities for Campus Togetherness (Student Events Team) Office, located at Centennial Student Union Room 173. The homecoming committee will plan concert artists, events, competition team information and promotional strategies.

For more information, contact Rachel A. Hoehn, homecoming promotions and partnerships chair, at or at 507-389-6076.

Employee Expense Reports

As a reminder to faculty and staff who 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, Federal Insurance Contributions Act and Medicare withholding taxes must be taken and can total up to nearly 40 percent of the reimbursement.

A detailed memo on submitting employee expense reports is available here. For more information regarding travel or business expense reimbursements, contact Tami Galema-Liebl, the University’s travel claims clerk, at 507-389-5006, or visit the travel website.

'What's Your Commute?'

In an effort to make Minnesota State Mankato a cleaner, greener campus, the Environmental Committee is asking, “What’s Your Commute? How do you get to and from campus?”

The committee is updating the University’s carbon footprint, also known as a greenhouse gas inventory. Click here to complete a brief survey, which will provide a meaningful, measurable metric for this update. Please complete the survey by Friday, April 24.

Students who complete the survey will be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble. Faculty and staff are encouraged to complete the survey as well.

April 13-17: Greek Week Upcoming Events

Minnesota State Mankato’s Greek Week is from Monday, April 13 to Friday, April 17.

There will be a clothing drive Wednesday, April 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union mall. The Salvation Army will be on campus to collect donated clothes. A boat regatta race will take place Thursday, April 16 from 7-8 p.m. at the campus pool in the Myers Field House. A Survivor Challenge will take place Friday, April 17 in the Centennial Student Union Hearth Lounge from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Teams will compete in an obstacle course and food-eating contest. All events are open to all campus community members.

For more information, contact Riley Devenport, Greek Week co-chair, at 907-229-2286 at

April 16: 'What's Best for Baby?'

Laura Harrison, assistant professor of gender and women’s studies, will present “What’s Best for Baby? Bed-Sharing, Co-Sleeping and the Politics of Inequality” at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 16 in the Centennial Student Union Ostrander Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The 36th Annual Frontier Forum Lecture is sponsored by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. In her lecture, Harrison will speak about a campaign that was launched in Milwaukee, which aimed to eliminate bed-sharing between parents and infants to reduce infant mortality. Her talk will analyze the race, class and gendered dimensions of the campaign, arguing that it holds individual families responsible for the problem of infant death.

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

April 18: Chicana-Latina Mother and Daughter Conference

The University will host the Life-Work Planning Center’s Chicana-Latina Mother and Daughter Conference, “Your Generation and Mine,” Saturday, April 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Rooms 201, 204, 245 and 253/4/5.

The conference is for Chicana-Latina mothers and daughters. Its purpose is to encourage bonding and effective communication by providing resources and information through workshops, panel discussions, a keynote speaker and information booths.

Registration is $10. To apply, contact Maritza Navarro at 507-345-1577 or by email at

April 19: New York Singer Lucy Kaplansky

Minnesota State Mankato’s Performance Series will feature New York City singer and songwriter Lucy Kaplansky on Sunday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Halling Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center.

Kaplansky’s intimate folk voice can be heard on recently released albums by Nanci Griffith and John Gorka. Kaplansky also joined Dar Williams and Richard Shindell to celebrate the revitalization in contemporary songwriting by recording some of their favorite songs on an album titled “Cry, Cry, Cry.” The album resulted in a national, sold-out tour.

Tickets are $15; $13 for University students. Click here to purchase tickets. For more information, call the Performance Series Office at 507-389-5549. Those with a disabilities who need accommodation may call 507-389-2077 or 711 (Teletypewriter) at least two days prior to the event.

April 21: Speaker Boyd Huppert

TV journalist Boyd Huppert (pictured) of KARE-11 will present a lecture, “It’s Just Video until a Storyteller Creates an Experience,” Tuesday, April 21 at 7 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. The lecture is part of the Department of Mass Media’s “Media Day” celebration.

Huppert’s work has earned some of broadcast journalism's highest honors, including a National Emmy for feature reporting, more than 80 Regional Emmys, the National Headliner Grand Award, the Scripps-Howard Award, three National Sigma Delta Chi Awards and 12 National Edward R. Murrow Awards.

The Department of Mass Media will also honor about 20 students at a scholarship reception on April 21 at 3 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Room 253.

For more information, contact Rachael Hanel, assistant professor of mass media, at 507-389-1247 or

April 21: University Percussion Ensemble Concert

The University percussion ensembles will present a spring concert Tuesday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

The event will feature a wide variety of music from different cultures and musical traditions. The concert will open with a traditional-style brass band tune with percussion, followed by West African pieces performed on the djembe.

The concert will also feature an inaugural performance with the University’s newly donated Guatemalan marimbas, provided by the Joe Meidl family of Mankato. The concert will close with a traditional Brazilian samba.

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

April 22: Hoodie Allen Concert

Hoodie Allen will perform live in concert Wednesday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Bresnan Arena. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The concert is sponsored by Innovative Memorable Programing Activities for Campus Togetherness.

Attendees must be 16 years of age or older. Tickets are $15 for Minnesota State Mankato students; $25 for the general public. Click here to purchase tickets, or visit the Student Activities front desk.

April 22-25: 'Venus in Fur'

The Department of Theatre & Dance will conclude its 2014-15 Studio season with David Ives’ provocative play “Venus in Fur” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, April 22-25, in the Andreas Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts. This production includes mature language and themes.

Thomas Novachek is the writer-director of a new play, an adaptation of the 1870 novel “Venus in Furs” by Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, the man who inspired the term “Masochism.” Thomas is lamenting the inadequacies the actresses who have auditioned for the role when a new actress, Vanda Jordan, bursts in. Not only does she nail the audition, she seems innately qualified for the role.

Individual tickets are $10 regular, $9 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more, and $8 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. They may be purchased online at, or by calling or visiting the Theatre & Dance Box Office in the lobby of the Earley Center between 4-6 p.m., Monday-Friday. Call 507-389-6661.

April 23: University Jazz Ensembles

The Department of Music will present the University jazz bands on Thursday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for the Performing Arts.

Musicians will perform a variety of popular pieces and provide an opportunity for students to solo. The jazz literature performed in the ensemble ranges from classic, to contemporary jazz, to pop charts.

Concert admission is $9 for community members; $7 for students. Click here to purchase tickets. For more information, call the Performance Series Office at 507-389-5549.

April 24: ‘An Evening with Maud Hixson’

Mankato Area Lifelong Learners will present “An Evening with Maud Hixson,” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 24 at the Treaty Site History Center, located at 1851 North Minnesota Ave in St. Peter, Minn. Doors will open at 7 p.m.

Hixon is a singer of soft jazz selections from the flapper, swing and bebop eras, with piano and bass accompaniment.

Tickets are available for $15 at the Lifelong Learners Office, located at 115 Wiecking Center. Tickets are also available at both Hy-Vee stores in Mankato, the Nicollet County Bank in St. Peter, the Arts Center of St. Peter and the Treaty Site History Center.

For more information, contact Lifelong Learners at 507-389-2011.

April 24: University Concert Bands

The University concert wind ensemble and symphonic band will perform with special guests Friday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the historic Kato Ballroom, located at 200 Chestnut St.

The concert will open with the Garfield Elementary band. The 34th Infantry "Red Bull” brass quintet will join the University groups to perform “Mass” by Leonard Bernstein. The third piece, “Cave (of the Winds)” by Russell Peck, will feature choreographed movement by the ensemble. Professor of Voice Stephanie Thorpe will lend her vocal skills during a performance of “Spring” by Johan de Meij, and all three bands will perform John Williams’ theme from “Star Wars” at the end of the concert.

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

April 25: Elementary School Science Fair

The elementary division of the Southern Minnesota Regional Science and Engineering Fair will be held Saturday, April 25 in Myers Field House. There will be public viewing from 12-2 p.m. with an award ceremony at 2:30 p.m. There are 918 projects (1,030 students) registered.

The Southern Minnesota Science and Engineering Fair fosters a passion for exploration and discovery in students from third grade through high school. Participation prepares students for college, allows them to compete for scholarships and introduces them to career opportunities in science and engineering.

More on the science fair is available at or on Facebook. For more information, call 507-389-2849 or send an email to

April 26: University Choral Groups Spring Concert

The Department of Music will present its spring concert Sunday, April 26 at 5 p.m. at Saints Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church, located at 105 N. Fifth St. in Mankato.

The chorale, conducted by Rodney Urtel, will perform a variety of selections from English Renaissance art songs to contemporary works. The chamber singers, conducted by David Dickau, will perform a cappella sacred settings of the last 75 years. The concert choir, also conducted by Dickau, will perform a range of music that celebrates the rich diversity of the American choral tradition.

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

April 27: Moore Faculty Research Lecture

Jonathan Heath Anderson, an assistant professor of anthropology, will present “Ashes to Empire Cerro Magoni and the Toltec State” Monday, April 27 at 7 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ostrander Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Anderson’s presentation is this year’s Douglas R. Moore Faculty Research Lecture. The lecture will center on the rise and fall of empires in Mesoamerica and how present-day societies can learn from such events.

The annual Moore lecture celebrates excellence in research at the University. Moore was president of Minnesota State Mankato from 1974 to 1978.

April 28: University Orchestra Spring Performance

The University Orchestra will perform Tuesday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

Orchestra Director Joseph Rodgers has transformed this year’s orchestra, inviting area community members to perform with Minnesota State Mankato student musicians. Many community members in the University Orchestra have also performed with the Mankato Symphony Orchestra.

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

Student News

Ozlem Barin, an economics alumna, was accepted to the University of New Mexico’s Department of Economics Ph.D. program for fall 2015. She was also offered a graduate assistantship valued at $22,000. While a student at Minnesota State Mankato, Barin’s undergraduate research was supervised by Associate Professor of Economics Ishuan Li.

Music education students Jesse Beulke and Laken Fennern placed first in the North Central Regional National Association of Teachers of Singing Music Theater Auditions. Beulke, a junior, accompanied Fennern, a senior, perform four musical theater selections of various styles. The next step in the audition process for Buelke and Fennern will be to advance to the national online screening round.

Lisa K. Stevens, a senior majoring in mass media, will attend the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis this fall. Stevens’ acceptance to the school was assisted by Professor of Philosophy John Humphrey, Associate Professor of Mass Media Jane S. McConnell and Full-Time Instructor of Philosophy Christopher W. Stevens.

Student Scholarships

The Department of World Languages and Cultures announced the following student scholarships for the 2015-2016 academic year:

Danielle N. Barr (New Prague, Minn.) received the $500 Waldorf Scholarship for her achievements in Spanish. Kellie D. Metzger (Apple Valley, Minn.) received the $500 Florence and Raymond H. Sponberg Scholarship in Foreign Languages for her achievements in Spanish. Mary K. Sanford (Mankato, Minn.) received the $500 World Languages and Cultures Foundation Scholarship for her involvement in Scandinavian studies, and Jonathan W. Smith (Mankato, Minn.) received the $500 Kaufmanis Scholarship for his involvement in German studies.

International Student Endowment Scholars

Since 1991, International Student Endowment Scholarships have provided more than $300,000 through 226 awards. This year’s recipients and their awards are listed:

  • Aynura Berdyyeva (Turkmenistan) - Elizabeth Kearney Scholarship
  • Rodolfo Correa (Mexico) – William Olszewski Scholarship
  • Swetalina Das (India) – Gladys Olson Scholarship
  • Yahya Jabri (Morocco) – Carole & Dwain Peterson Scholarship
  • Okhumhekho Kassim (Nigeria) – Kuhn Lee Scholarship
  • Sanat Lamichhane (Nepal) – Beatrice & Joseph Moosally Scholarship
  • Karim Nibrasul (Bangladesh) – Florence Sponberg Scholarship
  • Ali Oku (Nigeria) – Waldo & Jean Jaax Scholarship
  • Siavash Sadeghi Sedigh (New Zealand) – Louise Steele Syverson & Linda Steele Scholarship
  • Mira Sainju (Nepal) – Mary Taggart Scholarship

Faculty/Staff News

Performance Series Director Dale F. Haefner was awarded an $8,000 grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council through a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. The grant will partially fund Minnesota State Mankato Performance Series operating expenses for the coming academic year. Other activities funded by the grant include on-campus performances, workshops and outreach activities to area schools.

For his efforts in leading the Mavericks during this year’s National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championships, Michael E. Hastings was named the winner of the 2015 Spencer Penrose Award as Division I Men’s Ice Hockey STX/American Hockey Coaches Association Coach of the Year. Hastings will be honored Saturday, May 2 during the ACHA Annual Convention in Naples, Fla.

Ishuan Li, an associate professor of economics, served as a judge in the North Central Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, hosted by the Minnesota Academy of Science.

 Li was also selected as a reviewer for the proceedings of the 29th Annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research, which will be held April 16-18 at Eastern Washington University in Cheney.

Gregory T. Wilkins, associate director of student activities, participated in the Association of College Unions International 100th anniversary service pledge this year. Wilkins completed 800 service hours, the most of all ACUI members. Wilkins will be honored at the ACUI Annual Conference in San Antonio. In recognition of his achievement, the ACUI will make a monetary contribution to the Oz Radical Faeries in Australia in Wilkins’ name.

Department News

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
April Good News


Clarence J. Becker died March 22 at Hillcrest Health Care Center in Mankato. Becker was employed with the University as a general maintenance worker from 1971 to 1993.

Marilyn M. Rosenau died March 25 at her home in North Mankato. Rosenau was employed with the University as the head women’s tennis coach in 1990.

Professor Emeritus Loy Wayne Young died March 25. Young was employed with the University for 29 years until his retirement in 1985. During his tenure, Young was as an associate professor in the Department of Health and Physical Education, the head tennis coach and the assistant coach for basketball and football. Young was inducted into the Minnesota State Mankato Hall of Fame as a coach in 1983 and a student-athlete in 1989.

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 29. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday, April 24.

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.