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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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July 15, 2015 Campus Newsletter

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Vice President Named

Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport announced that Mike Gustafson has been named vice president of the Division of Strategic Business, Education and Regional Partnerships, a position in which Gustafson (pictured) has served in an interim role since July 10, 2014.

Minnesota State Mankato’s vice president for strategic business, education and regional partnerships is responsible for leading a division that engages business/industry and the community in building partnerships that accelerate innovation and enhance economic development, research and cooperative ventures.

“Mike’s broad business background and recent year as interim vice president has brought a strong level of energy to our campus community and expanded relationships with external business, education and regional partners,” said Davenport. “I have appreciated his passion in sharing the Minnesota State University, Mankato story with our current and new partners. In addition to the knowledge and experience he brings, he is committed to telling community partners about the ‘Big Ideas and Real-World Thinking’ demonstrated by our university faculty, staff and students.”

Gustafson joined Minnesota State Mankato in 2014 with 30 years of business experience, including 20 years in senior management and 10 years as an executive. He has led two different services companies that had $150 million in revenues, and he also has 10 years of experience with nonprofit board work.

New Associate Provost

Minnesota State Mankato Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Marilyn Wells recently announced that Robert “Bobby” Fleischman was appointed associate provost after a national search.

Fleischman (pictured) began his duties at Minnesota State Mankato on Monday, July 13 after serving as dean of the College of Business and Management at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania since 2013.

Fleischman spent more than 20 years at East Stroudsburg, advancing from instructor to full professor, department chair to graduate coordinator and then to his recent position as college dean.

“I’m pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Robert Fleischman as associate provost,” said Wells. “He has a passion for working together with internal and external partners to find solutions to pressing problems and seize new opportunities. In his first two years as dean at East Stroudsburg, Dr. Fleischman led his college to expand programs and departments, meet new program accreditation standards, hire new faculty, focus on diversity, increase transfer and international partnerships, and deepen community relations—all against a backdrop of state budget cuts.”

Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport said he was impressed by Fleischman’s career experience.

“I want to join Marilyn Wells in welcoming Dr. Robert Fleischman as associate provost,” said Davenport. “Dr. Fleischman’s 20-plus years in higher education as a faculty member, department chair and dean, and his overall experience in higher education, will be invaluable to our leadership team in the Office of the Provost.”

Honors Program Welcomes New Students

The Honors Program at Minnesota State Mankato is happy to welcome 47 new entering first-year students who will join the program in the fall of 2015.

The incoming honors students averaged a 27 on their composite ACT scores, and they completed their high school studies within the top 11% of their graduating classes. This honors class of 2019, which includes five 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 web site at or contact the Program office at 507-389-5191.

Greek Community Excels

The Minnesota State Mankato Greek community’s academic and membership statistics for spring 2015 show academic achievement and a commitment to growth. The Greek community collectively posted a 3.07 grade point average, marking the fifth consecutive semester that the all-Greek GPA has exceeded 3.00.

The Greek community also saw growth in numbers, with an overall 10 percent increase from the same semester last year. The growth is attributed to the addition of a fraternity colony, along with a spike in the fall recruitment numbers (50 percent increase) for Panhellenic chapters. An exploratory committee formed last year, made up of undergraduate, alumnae, and staff representatives, made a unanimous recommendation to the Panhellenic community to expand.

Vikings Training Camp Oral History Project

The University Archives is conducting an oral history project to document Vikings training camp at Minnesota State Mankato.

For the project, University Archives is looking for fans, community partners, University employees, and Viking players/coaches/staff—past and present—to share their stories.

Interested in being interviewed?

  • Email or call the University Archives at 507-389-1029. You'll be asked a few general biographical questions and your experience to prepare for the actual interview.
  • Or, download and fill out the [PDF] biographical data form (86 KiB) and submit via email to

Interviews will be conducted during the months of June through August 2015. Learn more about the Vikings Training Camp Oral History Project here.

University Archives is also helping with the Blue Earth County Historical Society's exhibit on Vikings training camp in Mankato.

American Cancer Society Relay for Life

Kevin Buisman (pictured), director of athletics at Minnesota State Mankato, has been designated an honorary survivor for this week's Blue Earth County Relay for Life, which will be held Friday, July 17 at Ray Erlandson Park in Mankato.

Buisman also participated in a 2015 Survivor Reception that was held Monday, July 13 at the WOW! Zone in Mankato.

During Monday's event, Buisman, a cancer survivor, shared about his personal journey with cancer and his experiences with the American Cancer Society.

"I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to share my personal cancer story of survival at these important community events," said Buisman. "Dealing with cancer has been a life-changing experience for me and my family and I am pleased to join the effort as this year's Honorary Survivor," as we come together to comfort and console others, create awareness, and to fight back against this deadly disease."

Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees

The Department of Athletics announced that the university's Hall of Fame Selection Committee has selected six individuals for induction in the school's Athletics Hall of Fame.

The new Hall of Fame members in the student-athlete category include women's hockey stand-out Shari (Vogt) Dickerman (2000-04), iconic women's volleyball setter Jennifer (Blendermann) Nelson (1999-2002), men's cross country/track & field All-American Gordon Cookshaw (1973-77) and wrestling national champion Matt Petsinger (1997-2001).

Slated for induction in the builders category are former faculty athletics representative Ron Hybertson (1991-2000) and former women's soccer coach Chris Miskec (1996-2007). Selected for induction in the "team" category is the men's track & field team from 1975-76. The Jim Schaffer Service Award will be presented to Rod Mitchell and this year's Minnesota State Athletics Philanthropic Award recipient is Bron Scherer.

Mankato Area Lifelong Learners Summer Courses

Mankato Area Lifelong Learners has published its list of summer courses, which continue into September.

Mankato Area Lifelong Learners is now in its 18th year. Over 12 classes are held per quarter. The Great Decisions program, dining groups and special events are all available through Mankato Area Lifelong Learners. New members are welcome. More information is available online at or by calling 507-389-2011 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Friday.

July 9-11, 15-18: 'The Addams Family' Musical

The Department of Theatre & Dance closes its 49th annual Highland Summer Theatre season with the “ooky” musical comedy, “The Addams Family.” The play opened July 9, and the final performances are at 7:30 p.m. from July 15-18 in the Ted Paul Theatre of the Earley Center for Performing Arts. The production is sponsored by the Orthopaedic & Fracture Clinic, Farrish Johnson Law Office and Lyle Wichmann.

In the play, Wednesday Addams is all grown up and has fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family—a man her parents have never met. Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before, keep a secret from his wife, Morticia, and is put to the test when Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents come over for dinner.

The Broadway production closed on Dec. 31, 2011, after 722 performances. It won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design but received no other major awards. It has a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, and is based on characters created by Charles Addams.

Tickets for “The Addams Family” are $22 regular, $19 discounted (over 65, under 16 and groups of 15 or more) and $15 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. They are on sale online at and through the Theatre & Dance Box Office from 4-6 p.m., Monday-Friday. Call 507-389-6661.

July 24: MSW Student Research Showcase

Minnesota State Mankato's master of social work faculty will honor 27 graduating MSW students as they share their capstone project poster presentations at the 2015 MSW Student Research Showcase from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, July 24 in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

The event is free of charge and open to the public. Licensed social workers are eligible to receive two CEU from the Board of Social Work.

This year's event will feature a wide array of presentations. Capstone projects focus on child welfare, behavioral health, school social work, medical social work, early childhood, refugee and immigrant populations, and academic support, among many others. Social work professionals, students, and community members are encouraged to attend.

For more information, contact the Department of Social Work at 507-389-6504.

July 25: Vikings Training Camp

The Minnesota Vikings will conduct the team's 50th training camp on the Minnesota State Mankato campus this summer.

The team first conducted its training camp on campus in 1966, and the relationship between the team and University is one of the longest ongoing training camp partnerships by any NFL team.

According to a press release posted on the Vikings website, the team announced it would report to training camp in Mankato on Saturday, July 25 and hold its first practice on Sunday, July 26.

The Vikings press release stated that the team will hold an evening practice on Saturday, Aug. 1 in Blakeslee Stadium that will be followed by a team introduction and fireworks.

For complete information on the Minnesota Vikings and the training camp schedule, visit the Vikings website,

Faculty/Staff News

Matt Burns, area director for the Julia Sears Residence Community, was recently selected for a two-year term on the Upper Midwest Region Association of College & University Housing Officers Leadership Team. He will serve as program chair elect during his first year and then as program chair. The program chair coordinates the programmatic element of the UMR-ACUHO annual conference.

Sodexo recently named Kari Doffing (Campus Dining Services) interim general manager for Campus Dining Services. Doffing has more than 20 years of contract management work experiences in K-12 education, health care, business and industry and campus dining. Doffing replaces Aaron Knutson, who was promoted to Sodexo general manager at Drake University, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Cindra Kamphoff, associate professor in sport & performance psychology and director of the Center of Sport and Performance Psychology at Minnesota State Mankato, participated in a regular month-long KEYC TV news segment called "150 seconds of success" on Thursdays in June during KEYC's noon news show. During the segment, Kamphoff talked about various performance psychology topics.

Ishuan Li, associate professor of economics, was named Council on Undergraduate Research quarterly editor for the Division of Social Sciences. Li was also named a member of the Program Review Committee representing the Division of Social Sciences at the Council on Undergraduate Research.

Dee Schmidt (Registrar's Office) was one of three recipients to be designated as an "outstanding school certifying official" at a June 17 Minnesota School Certifying Official Workshop. Schmidt was recognized for her error-free compliance surveys, service to veterans and for extra work in getting the aviation flight certifications organized.

Chelsea Skluzacek (Advancement) has been named acting assistant director of annual giving, effective July 21. A graduate of Minnesota State Mankato, Skluzacek held a number of student positions in the Annual Giving Program while a student. She has been a medical case manager with the Rural AIDS Action Network (RAAN) for the past year.

Department News

The Research and Sponsored Programs spring newsletter is available [PDF] here (671 KiB).

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences May 2015 "Good News" is available through the college by sending an email to Denise Thompson at

The Campus Kitchen Garden was featured in a recent edition of the Crossroads newsletter.

Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works, recently celebrated its first anniversary by announcing it had received 50,000 downloads.

The Glen Taylor Nursing Institute of Family and Society newsletter features the institute's initiatives with practice partners, students and faculty.

KMSU radio will be highlighted on Greater Mankato Growth's JZTV on Aug. 4. JZTV features Greater Mankato Growth President & CEO Jonathan Zierdt sitting down with business leaders for an insider view of the Greater Mankato business community. On the show, KMSU General Manager Jim Gullickson and Operations Director Karen Wright will discuss what makes "The Maverick" such an integral part of Minnesota State Mankato and the surrounding community. 

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, Aug. 19. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday, Aug. 14.

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.