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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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April 29, 2015 Campus Newsletter

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15th Annual Planting Day

Facilities Management at Minnesota State University, Mankato will host the 15th Annual Spring Flower Planting and Campus Beautification Day on Tuesday, May 5 (weather permitting). Check-in will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the Campus Mall by the circle planter. Planting and clean-up will begin at noon.

Participants will engage in in planting flowers, raking and picking up litter. Hot dogs and chips will be provided.

Facilities Management reports that all volunteer spots have been filled, and extends a thank you to everyone for their willingness to contribute to the beautification of campus. Those with additional questions should contact Brittany Mitchell, project manager for Facilities Management, at

Spruce Up Food Drive

In conjunction with planting day, the Community Engagement Office, Environmental Committee and RecycleMania will sponsor a Spruce Up Food Drive on Tuesday, May 5 at 11:30 a.m. A donation box will be located near the planting day check-in table at the campus mall. The drive will provide students with the opportunity to donate nonperishable food before summer break. Open containers of food will not be accepted. Food items will be donated to Campus Kitchen.

For more information, contact Karen Anderson, interim assistant director for Community Engagement, at or at 507-389-6076. In case of inclement weather on May 5, the event will be rescheduled to May 6.

CIS Game Demo Display

Computer gamers throughout the community are invited to a Game Demo Display on Friday, May 1 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union lobby. Participants will play, inspect and give suggestions on games created by a University game-development class within the Computer Information Science department. The event is free and open to the public.

Nepal Earthquake Relief

A candlelight vigil for all those affected by the Nepal earthquake a few days ago will be held on Wednesday, April 29 at 8:30 p.m. near the Centennial Student Union Fountain.

Those who want to contribute directly to Nepal earthquake relief efforts on behalf of the 70 Minnesota State Mankato international students from Nepal and others affected by the earthquake may submit financial contributions online through the Minnesota State University, Mankato Foundation.

To contribute, click on the "make a gift now" button on the Foundation web page. Then highlight "MSU Cares" in the "I would like my gift to support" dropdown bar. Lastly, type in "Nepal earthquake" in the "enter your own fund here" line.

All donations will go to Nepal earthquake relief efforts, and the Nepali student association on campus, NeStCom, will make a recommendation to the Foundation as to which specific relief organization the funds will go. Those with questions may contact University Advancement at 507-389-2021or stop by the student association table at Centennial Student Union's MavAve from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Friday, May 1.

Suggestion Survey for 2016 Common Read

The Minnesota State Mankato common read planning group needs the campus community's help in creating a list of books to explore and consider for the 2016 Common Read.

The group asks the campus community to make suggestions through a short survey. Ideal book suggestions will encourage discussion and exploration among students, as well as the campus and the community at large. Suggested books could focus on a variety of topics, including life transitions, global issues, service to community and cultural diversity.

Information about the 2015 Common Read is available online.

April 30: Contemporary Vocal and Instrumental Performance

Minnesota State Mankato Contemporary Vocal and Instrumental Ensembles will perform Thursday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

The ensembles will perform a mix of jazz, pop, rock and a cappella music.

General admission is $9; $7 for students.To purchase tickets, visit

For more information, call the Performance Series Office at 507-389-5549.

April 30: Good Thunder Reading Series

Richard Robbins, poet, along with Richard Terrill, creative nonfiction writer and poet, and Yer Thao, poet and 2014 Robert Wright Award winner, are the featured guests. For more information, visit the Good Thunder Reading Series website.

May 1-2: Spring Dance Concert

The Department of Theatre and Dance will present its Spring Dance Concert on Friday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 2 at 2 p.m. in the Ted Paul Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

The concert will feature works choreographed by Director of Dance Julie Kerr-Berry, Assistant Professor of Dance Daniel Stark and adjunct faculty member Allison Doughty Marquesen. Student choreographers include Sam Chmiel, Alina Fatieieva and Amber Hommer. Chmiel’s piece will be shown on video in the lobby before the concert and during intermission. As part of the concert, Fatieieva and Hommer will present their piece, “Edges,” which was selected for performance during the Gala Concert at the American College Dance Association Festival.

Tickets are $10; $9 for those over 65, under 16 or groups of 15 or more; and $8 for University students. Tickets may be purchased at the Theatre and Dance Box Office in the lobby of the Earley Center for Performing Arts from 4-6 p.m., Monday through Friday. To purchase tickets are online, visit or

In addition to the Spring Dance Concert, a student dance showcase will be presented Sunday, May 3 at 2 p.m. in the Ted Paul Theatre. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased beginning at 1 p.m. in the lobby.

May 2-3: Students from Music Vocal Studios to Perform

Students from the Department of Music vocal studios will perform “Relationships: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly… Truth” on Saturday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 3 at 3 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

The performance is directed by Musical Director Nicholas Wayne and Assistant Professor of Music Stephanie Thorpe. The concert will give a contemporary review of Broadway’s and animated film’s best show tunes, including songs from "Rent," "Guys and Dolls," "Tangled," "Toy Story 2" and more.

General admission is $12; $11 for students. To purchase tickets, visit For more information, call the Performance Series Office at 507-389-5549.

May 3: Annual Sprint Triathlon

The Office of Campus Recreation will host its Annual Sprint Triathlon on Sunday, May 3 on the Minnesota State Mankato campus. The event will feature a 300-yard swim, 14-mile bike segment and 5K run.

The Annual Sprint Triathlon has been part of campus recreation for more than 30 years. It is open to both University students and to the greater Mankato community.

Check-in will begin at 8 a.m., and the race will begin at 9 a.m. The event costs $25 for individuals or $60 for a team of two-to-three participants. Registration, route details and more information is available online.

For more information, contact Carly Hopper, program coordinator, at 507-389-3269 or at

Fulbright Application Cycle

The Fulbright application cycle for 2016-2017 is officially open, and the University's Fellowship Office encourages students to apply, particularly students who will be seniors next year (2015-16). Faculty are also encouraged to recommend students who may be competitive for a Fulbright grant.

Since its inception in 1946, the U.S. Department of State-sponsored Fulbright U.S. Student Program has provided future American leaders with an unparalleled opportunity to study, conduct research and serve as English teaching assistants in other countries in an effort to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through educational and cultural exchange. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards over 1,900 grants annually and currently operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.

For more information, interested individuals should visit the Fulbright U.S. Student Program website. Applications must be submitted electronically to by the campus closing date of Sept. 1, 2015. For the national deadline, applications must be submitted by Oct. 13, 2015. For more information, contact Ginny Walters in Minnesota State Mankato's Fellowships Office by phone at 507-389-1262 or by email at

Student News

Maegan F. Eatwell, a senior majoring in chemistry and biology, presented her research project, “Protein Photo-oxidation: The Effects of Singlet Oxygen on Protein Function,” at the 249th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Denver on March 22–26. She conducted her research under John Thoemke, associate professor of chemistry and geology. Her work was supported in part by the Undergraduate Research Center.

Biomedical sciences student Emma R. Stong and biochemistry student Natalie E. Young also presented their research at the ACS National Meeting. Their poster was titled “Reverse Phase Ion Pair Chromatographic Separation of Oxythiomolybdate and Oxythioperrhenate Mixtures.”

Young, along with chemistry student Laura M. Groskreutz, coauthored an article titled “A New Analytical Approach to Determining Mo and Re Speciation in Sulfidic Waters” that was published by Elsevier in the Chemical Geology Journal.

The Minnesota State Student Association announced its [PDF] spring 2015 election results (528 KiB). Mariah J. Haffield was elected president, and Bassam “Sam” Al-Mohamadi was elected vice president.

Marcus Hansson, a former Minnesota State Mankato exchange student from Sweden, conducted two lectures via telepresence in Tomasz Inglot’s U.S. Foreign Policy course on April 7 and April 9. Students learned how to research and write diplomatic cables routinely prepared by U.S. embassy officials in foreign countries. Hansson works as a lobbyist for Aberg Communications in Stockholm and was a former employee of the U.S. Embassy. He also holds a master’s in political science from the London School of Economics.

John N. Harper, an educational leadership major, was announced as the National Black Graduate Student Association’s North Central Regional Representative at the NBGSA’s 27th National Conference in Jacksonville, Fla., on April 11. Harper will help NBGSA continue to be a resource for black students, advocates and professionals as the organization works to increase effective recruitment, progression, graduation and overall achievement for black students at institutions across the nation.

Kristi Paulsen, a senior majoring in psychology and French, was awarded a position with the Teaching Assistant Program in France. In this position, Paulsen will assist middle and high school students in mastering conversational English for seven months.

Matthew D. Peterson,a student majoring in finance and mathematics, was accepted to the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University in New York, where he will pursue a master’s in operations research. Peterson’s acceptance was assisted by Associate Professor of Economics Ishuan Li, Professor of Economics Robert Simonson and Professor of Mathematics Ruijun Zhao.

Tatiana Soboleva, a junior majoring in biochemistry, was awarded a chemistry and biochemistry summer internship at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. During this 10-week internship, Soboleva will be work with organometallics in USU’s nationally recognized research lab and participate in graduate-level scientific meetings.

Skyler Stensrud, a 2013 graduate of the College of Business with a double major in accounting and finance, recently was honored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants by being named a recipient of the prestigious Elijah Watt Sells Award, which recognizes outstanding performance on the Uniform CPA Examination. Stensrud was one of 60 recipients of the award nationwide, out of 91,384 individuals who sat for the exam in 2014. Stensrud's achievement placed him in the top .0007 percent of those candidates.

The Minnesota State Mankato Microbiology Club hosted a t-shirt fundraiser for the Open Door Health Center. The event raised $200 for the cause.

2015 Media Day Awards

The Department of Mass Media presented the following awards during its Media Day Reception on April 21:

Certificate of Excellence
Asha A. Buxton of Savage, Minn.
Ellen L. Hammerschmidt of Mound, Minn.
Kaitlyn L. Kanne of Winona, Minn.
Brittany J. Kemmerer of Red Wing, Minn.
April M. Miller of New Ulm, Minn.
Kelcie M. Richmond of Fargo, N.D.
Haylee R. Sieben of Apple Valley, Minn.
Marysa A. Storm of Owattona, Minn.

Outstanding Sophomore
Nicole M. Schmidt of Chaska, Minn.

Outstanding Senior
Yuseong Jeon of Daegu, Korea
Lisa K. Stevens of Rochester, Minn.

$300 Department of Mass Media Scholarships
Vanessa K. Boreland of Apple Valley, Minn.
Grace O. Doyle of Oakdale, Minn.
Hannah I. Jorgensen of Little Falls, Minn.
Emily M. Lange of Hibbing, Minn.
Holly M. Steffl of Lakeville, Minn.
Madeline S. Zafft of Brookings, S.D.

$350 McConnell Writing Excellence Scholarship
Katrina J. Hanson of Princeton, Minn.

$1,000 Sky and Mark Kunerth Scholarship
Nichole M. Beskau of Hastings, Minn.

$1,000 Robert O. and Jeanille Shipman Scholarship
Yuseong Jeon of Daegu, Korea

Faculty/Staff News

Dalton C. Crayton, a professor of ethnic studies, was recognized at the National Black Graduate Student Association’s 27th National Conference for his years of diligence and dedication as an outgoing leadership team member.

Campus community members are invited to a retirement celebration for Michael T. Fagin, professor of ethnic studies, on Wednesday, May 6 from 3-5 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Hearth Lounge. The program will begin at 3:30 p.m.

Chandler J. Holland, director of the Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management Department, was presented with an Outstanding Service Award at a recent Minnesota State Colleges & Universities Conference.

Professor of Political Science Tomasz Inglot presented a guest lecture titled “Path-Dependence Reconsidered: Toward a New Comparative Historical Approach to the Study of Continuity and Change in Central European Welfare States and Beyond” at Central European University in Budapest on April 8.

Inglot also presented a guest lecture on his forthcoming book, “Welfare States and Families in the Transforming Europe” at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest on April 9.

Associate Professor of Economics Ishuan Li and Professor of Statistics Mezbahur Rahman led a team of students to the 2015 Midwest Undergraduate Data Analytics Competition at Winona State University on April 11-12. The team was comprised of Ana Konatar and Michael W. Kuhnly, both statistics majors, and Matthew D. Peterson, an accounting major. The students competed against 23 other teams.

Linda S. Meidl, student relations coordinator in the College of Business, was nominated by President Richard Davenport for the Minnesota State Board of Trustees Professional Excellence Award for Administrative Service Faculty. The award is an honor to acknowledge and reward exceptional individual professional accomplishment and to encourage ongoing excellence. Meidl was one of six nominees from Minnesota State universities.

Associate Professor of Philosophy Sun Kyeong Yu attended the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meeting in Vancouver, Canada, on April 1-4. She presented a paper titled "Comments on Bihui Li, 'Should Physical Theories be Sanitized for Interpretation?'”.

Department News

The Department of Social Work received the 2015 Social Work Day at the Capitol Advocacy Award from the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers for its advocacy in April 2014 to raise the minimum wage in Minnesota. Nancy M. Fitzsimons and Ross A. Aalgaard, both professors of social work, were co-faculty organizers and advisors to three student organizers: Todd D. Redmann, a graduate social work student, and Oksana Shrunk and Charlene R. Cummins, both undergraduate social work students. This is the fifth year the department received the Advocacy Award, having previously won it in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2014.


Ruth Frisby Fowler died April 2 at Keystone Assisted Living in Mankato. Fowler was employed with the University for 24 years until her retirement in 1988. During her tenure, she was a clerk in the Registrar’s Office.

Carmen K. (Wiedenheft) Geisfeld died April 19 at Oak Terrace Assisted Living in Gaylord, Minn. Geisfeld was employed with the University as a clerk stenographer from December 1980 to June 1985.

Online TODAY Magazine

Visit 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, May 13. 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.