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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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August 19, 2015 Campus Newsletter

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2015 Convocation

Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport introduced new and returning administrators and welcomed Minnesota State Mankato faculty and staff back to campus Aug. 17 in his annual Convocation speech.

Davenport discussed accomplishments from the past year and announced that Paul Hustoles, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, and Kent Clark, vice president for University Advancement, would be co-chairs of the initial planning committee that will begin preparations for the University's sesquicentennial celebration in 2017.

Davenport also said he was not announcing any new initiatives for the coming year, but that the University would continue work on projects already begun.

He also invited the campus community to celebrate the publication of the University's academic master plan at an afternoon reception in Centennial Student Union's Hearth Lounge.

Higher Learning Commission Seeks Third Party Comments

Minnesota State University, Mankato is seeking comments from the public about the University in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency. The University will host a visit March 28-29, 2016, with a team representing the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. Minnesota State Mankato has been accredited by the Commission since Jan. 1, 1916. The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet the Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation.

The public is invited to submit comments regarding the University to:

Third Party Comments on Minnesota State University, Mankato
The Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1411

The public may also submit comments on the Commission’s website at

Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Comments must be in writing. All comments must be received by Feb. 29, 2016.

Social Media Trademark Reminder

Many units within the University use such social media platforms as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google Plus and others to communicate with various audiences and promote their programs.

Anyone who is using such platforms is welcome to place their respective trademarked icons on websites and print materials to help drive traffic to those channels. Please be sure to use the correct icons and to follow the standards for each one; click the links below for more information about each channel:

If you have questions about social media, please contact Director of Web Marketing Lindsey Tollefson at or visit

Classroom Phone Replacement

Information & Technology Services announced that over the next few weeks, the oldest Cisco phones in University classrooms and hallways will be replaced.

Phones that are being replaced at this time are model 7912 classroom and hallway phones. After 10 years of service, these phones are no longer supported by Cisco, and no new security updates are available for them.

After the start of fall semester, another announcement will be sent regarding replacement of Cisco phone models 7940 and 7960 in offices.

NOTE: All newer Cisco IP phones (models 7941, 7961, 7945 and 7965) are still supported and will continue to be used until support ends.

If you have any questions regarding this project, please contact the Service Desk at (507) 389-6654 or

Update on Strategic Prevention Framework Grant

This spring, Student Health Services announced that Minnesota State Mankato is one of seven colleges and universities in Minnesota that will participate in a five-year grant program that focuses on preventing underage drinking and marijuana use among people between 18 and 25 years old. Antonia Kolas ’12, ‘14, will serve as the project coordinator on campus.

The Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive grant was given by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to the Minnesota Department of Human Services—which in turn named Minnesota State Mankato as one of seven sub-recipients.

The grant focuses on assessment, capacity, planning, implementation and evaluation. Kolas is currently focusing on assessment and capacity building. She is also in the process of reaching out to students, departments and community members to build a coalition. The coalition will eventually work alongside the Minnesota Department of Human Services to create a strategic plan that identifies evidence-based strategies to decrease the rates of underage drinking and marijuana use.

Kolas, who received a bachelor’s degree in school health education and a master’s degree in community health from Minnesota State Mankato, is excited about this opportunity. “It really gives the campus an opportunity to develop a relationship with the community of Mankato,” she says. “I think this will be a good opportunity for partnerships and relationships to develop.”

Throughout each stage of the grant, Kolas and the coalition will re-evaluate and assess their goals. “We look forward to tailoring the project to the needs of Minnesota State Mankato students,” said David Jones, Minnesota State Mankato’s vice president of student affairs and enrollment management.

Kolas is confident that, “together, we can make a difference in lowering the rate of underage drinking and marijuana use.” In addition, other campuses and communities will be able to look at the work being done on campus and will hopefully emulate that partnership in their communities.

“This is a problem that affects the city in addition to the campus,” Kolas said. “It makes sense that we work collaboratively as one to make a change.” (Written by Katie Ness.)

Sept. 25: Purple and Gold Gala

Faculty and staff are invited to help celebrate and thank our generous alumni, friends, and community partners at the Purple & Gold Gala on Sept. 25 at 5:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union. Cost $75 per person. The Gala is an annual event welcoming new members into the Purple & Gold Society (our society to recognize generous lifetime donors).

For a list of this year’s honorees, visit the Gala website. To sign up to attend, arrange payment, and choose an entrée, please contact Becky Miller at or 507-389-1798 by Friday, Sept. 11.

Nominations Sought for Distinguished Alumni Awards

Many graduates of Minnesota State Mankato have gone on to successful careers and rewarding lives. There are a select few, however, whose work and contributions to society have been so outstanding that special recognition for their achievements was deemed appropriate. This recognition has taken the form of the Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Since 1961, Minnesota State Mankato has honored more than 200 accomplished alumni. Each individual has a unique personal story that reflects on the education they received. We are proud of their success, and in turn, proud of the role we played in their lives.

Do you know an extraordinary alumna or alumnus?

The Minnesota State Mankato Alumni Association is accepting nominations for the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards. For more information on the awards, click here.

An online nomination form, to include the four award categories and descriptions of each, is here. The deadline for nominations is Tuesday, Sept. 15.

Student News

Senior student Jazmine Newsom and Karen Anderson, interim assistant director of community engagement, attended the Campus Kitchens Project's "Boot Camp" in Washington, D.C. this summer. As the result of a Campus Kitchen garden grant received in January. Newsom and Anderson were invited to visit with staff in the office of Representatives Collin Peterson and Tim Walz, and Senator Al Franken.

Faculty/Staff News

Amanda Dyslin has been named public relations director for the Department of Theatre and Dance. Dyslin began her duties on Aug. 10. Dyslin was a journalist for the Mankato Free Press from 2002 to 2014 and served as an adjunct faculty member at Minnesota State Mankato from 2009 to 2014. She completed her master's degree in communication studies at Minnesota State Mankato in May.

Shelley Pierce and Tim "Shyboy" Lind, hosts of the "Shuffle Function" show on KMSU, were named broadcasters of the year by Ampers, a collection of 18 independent community radio stations throughout Minnesota.

Gwen Westerman, professor in the Department of English, was appointed by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton to the Capitol Restoration Art Sub-Committee through 2017. Westerman also received a grant for two years (beginning Jan. 1, 2016) from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the Dakota Letters project, which involves the translation and creation of a critical edition of letters written by Dakota people living in Minnesota in the mid-19th century.

Melissa Purdue, associate professor of English, was invited by the National Endowment for the Humanities to serve on a grant selection panel. She spent two days in Washington, D.C. in July reviewing fellowship applications.

Daniel Sachau, professor and director of the Organizational Effectiveness Research Group, did a study with the Minnesota Golf Association that is the focus of a story in the August 2015 issue of Golf Digest, which has 30 million readers.

Ishuan Li, associate professor of economics, was an invited participant to the first National Retail Federation Foundation Educator Symposium in New York City. One hundred business faculty members around the nation were invited to the symposium held Aug. 5-7.

FY15 4th Quarter Externally Funded Projects

  • Cyrus Azarbod (College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Computer and Information Sciences), "Website Redesign," funded by Avid Fishing Adventures, Green Isle, Minn.
  • Cyrus Azarbod (College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Computer and Information Sciences), "On-site Interviews & Delivery of Security Assessment Roadmap," funded by Carleton College.
  • Cyrus Azarbod (College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Computer and Information Sciences), "Web Design for Body Art Protein," funded by Body Art Protein.
  • Cyrus Azarbod (College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Computer and Information Sciences), "Website Design for UpField Group," funded by UpField Group.
  • Kent Carlson (College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Minnesota Center for Excellence in Manufacturing and Engineering), "Minnesota Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (MNAMP): Learn Work Exam," funded by Department of Labor.
  • Leslie Flemming (College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Integrated Engineering), "Agreement wtih IRE for Student Workers," funded by Minnesota Department of Transportation.
  • Oscar Gonzalez (Institutional Diverstiy, Center for Latino Affairs), "Secondary Migrant Luncheon Experience," funded by Minnesota Secondary Migrant Program.
  • Dale Haefner (College of Arts and Humanities, Music), "Performance Series Support Grant," funded by Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council (PLRAC).
  • Julia Hebenstreit (College of Allied Health and Nursing, School of Nursing), "2015 Medical Education Research Grant (MERC) Trust Fund Grant Application FY2012," funded by Minnesota Department of Health.
  • Bryce Hoppie (College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Chemistry and Geology), "Blue Earth County Ditch 57 Structural Practices Evaluation Project," funded by Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
  • Lucas Howk (College of Business, Management), "Junior Achievement Start It Up! Entrepreneurship Camp," funded by Junior Achievement.
  • Daniel Sachau (College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Psychology), "Minnesota State Gallery Walk Data Analysis Part 1 - Fall," funded by Minnesota State.
  • Daniel Sachau (College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Psychology), "Minnesota State Gallery Walk Data Analysis Part 2 - Spring 2015," funded by Minnesota State.
  • Wendy Schuh (Division of Student Affairs, Student Health Services), "Healthy Mavericks," funded by Minnesota Department of Human Services. (Note: This project received two funding awards.)
  • Renee Shellum (College of Allied Health and Nursing; Speech, Hearing, and Rehabilitation Services), "Mankato Scrubs Camp," funded by Minnesota Regenerative Medicine Grant.
  • Trent Vorlicek (College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Chemistry and Geology), "Collaborative Research: Unraveling Molybdenum and Rhenium speciation: Identifying the burial pathways of redox proxies in sulfidic settings," funded by the National Science Foundation.
  • Leah White (College of Arts and Humanities, Communication Studies), "Archive Assistance: Cataloging of Forensic Organization Artifacts," funded by the Communication and Theatre Association of Minnesota.
  • Chad Wittkop (College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Chemistry and Geology), "Carbon and Iron Cycling in Canyon Lake An Analog for Earth's Ancient Oceans," funded by Huron Mountain Wildlife Foundation.

Department News

The annual Residential Life year-in-review newsletter, highlighting some of the accomplishments and noteworthy items from the previous academic year, is available here. This year's eition was put together this summer by Kelsey Nation, Crawford A and B hall director.

The College of Business will hold its 16th annual College of Business Alumni Night at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn., on Friday, Aug. 21. The event is for College of Business alumni and their guests, College of Business faculty and staff and Expanded Cabinet. For more information, click here.


Emeriti Mary Asher died July 21. She was employed by Minnesota State Mankato for 13 years until her retirement in June 2011. During her tenure she worked in the Career Development Center, Admissions and then as an administrative assistant in the Computer Information Science department. Asher's complete obituary is available here.

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, Sept. 2. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday, Aug. 28.

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.