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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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September 2, 2015 Campus Newsletter

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Legislators Visit

Approximately 20 Minnesota state legislators visited campus on Tuesday, Aug. 26 to take a tour of Wiecking Center and listen to presentations from Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport and administrators, faculty, staff and students about the University's proposed $6.525 million [PDF] Phase II of the Clinical Sciences Project (238 KiB).

The project, which will impact spaces in four different buildings on campus and complete the installation of solar panels on the Clinical Sciences Building, is part of the 2016 capital request from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

When the new Clinical Sciences Building opens next year, entire programs and departments will vacate spaces in four buildings -- Wiecking Center, Wissink Hall, Armstrong Hall and Morris Hall. That opens up space to be repurposed and used to benefit all students, faculty and staff at Minnesota State Mankato.

Smoke-Free Campus

In order to improve the signage supporting our University’s status as a smoke-free campus, Facilities has taken several initiatives:

  • Replaced more than 60 “Thank you for not smoking” building entrance stickers that had aged or been vandalized.
  • Developed similar stickers for dumpsters and other non-building structures.
  • Placed new freestanding “no smoking” signs in eight locations on campus.

Smoking cessation resources can be found here:

In the interests of a healthy campus environment, President Richard Davenport announced a new campus tobacco policy for Minnesota State Mankato starting Jan. 1, 2012.

This transition aligns with a March 12, 2010 resolution by the Minnesota State College and Universities’ Board of Trustees that encourages each Minnesota State institution to take steps to reduce tobacco use on campuses.

Thank you for supporting the University’s goal of a healthy environment for all through elimination of tobacco use on our campus.

New University Calendar

What's the New BIG DEAL on campus? Check out the mobile-friendly, one-stop University Calendar.

Bookmark the NEW University Calendar, your mobile-friendly, one-stop for campus events, important deadlines and more!

The calendar allows specific events to be viewed by category using filters by event types or location. All events on a given day may be also viewed.

Colleges, departments, offices and individuals are encouraged to enter events on the calendar.

A link to the new calendar is also available on the University Scheduling and Conference Services website. The website features links to forms and maps and directions to campus.

University Scheduling and Conference Services is your first-stop, full-services resource for supporting events at Minnesota State Mankato. An experienced staff and online master calendar will make scheduling, promoting and coordinating every aspect of your event easier.

Ordering Branded Merchandise

Colleges, divisions, departments and offices are reminded that a new online approval process (click here for forms) was implemented in April 2014 for getting approval to use outside vendors for printing or producing branded merchandise.

The new forms were NOT designed to block use of outside vendors. Rather, using the forms ensures the use of proper university branding and avoidance of copyright violations.

Maintaining graphic standards strengthens the University’s brand and supports the strong brand recognition that we have achieved in a competitive marketplace. Avoiding use of copyrighted material reduces the risk of copyright lawsuits and settlements.

The approval process is facilitated by University Printing and Photocopy Services. All requests will receive a response within two business days of submission.

For more information, call Doug Fenske at ext. 1181 or email him at

12th International Family Nursing Conference

Ten representatives from the School of Nursing (including two students who graduated in May and one retired faculty member) and one faculty member from the Department of Computer Science, representing Bureau 507, attended the 12th International Family Nursing Conference from Aug. 18-21 in Odense, Denmark.

The Minnesota State Mankato contingent made nine different presentations at the conference.

Nursing faculty and staff attending the conference included Sandra Eggenberger, Norma Krumwiede, Patricia Young, Marilyn Swan, Stacey Van Gelderen, Colleen Royle and Lynn Kuechle. Retired faculty member Mary Bliesmer also attended, as did recent graduates Emilee Kuehl and Molly McGough and Department of Computer Science faculty member Cyrus Azarbod. (Faculty member Kelly Krumwiede had a presentation accepted and assisted with the preconference, but was unable to travel to Denmark.)

According to the conference website, the 12th International Family Nursing Conference focused on engaging nurses and interdisciplinary colleagues in discussion of global trends and issues facing families worldwide. With an emphasis on enhancing family strengths, the conference also emphasized promoting creative partnerships among researchers, clinicians, and educators that expand the capacity of family nurses to further family wellbeing.

Glen and Becky Taylor, founders of the Glen Taylor Nursing Institute for Family and Society, were awarded the 2015 Distinguished Partner in Family Health Care Award at the conference. Sandra Eggenberger, director of the Glen Taylor Nursing Institute for Family and Society, accepted the award on behalf of the Taylors. The award nomination is posted here (broken link).

Sip & Chat with the Provost

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Marilyn Wells will again host a series of "sip & chat with the provost" sessions during the upcoming academic year.

The first of six sessions will be held on Thursday, Sept. 17 from 2-3 p.m. in Memorial Library 88A. The complete list of this year's sessions is as follows:

  • Thursday, Sept. 17, 2-3 p.m., ML 88A
  • Monday, Oct. 12, 10-11 a.m., CSU 256
  • Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2-3 p.m., MH 215
  • Monday, Feb. 8, 10-11 a.m., CSU 256
  • Wednesday, March 16, 2-3 p.m., ML 88A
  • Monday, April 25, 10-11 a.m., MH 215

During the sip and chat sessions, members of the campus community are invited to stop by for informal conversations with the provost. They provide a time for Wells to listen and learn, opportunities for visitors to share and showcase and allow all a time to enjoy seasonal beverages and sweet treats.

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.

Aug. 24-Sept. 9: 'Areas of Overlap' Art Exhibit

Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Art has a new faculty art exhibit, “Areas of Overlap,” on display from Monday, Aug. 24 through Wednesday, Sept. 9 in Minnesota State Mankato’s Conkling Gallery.

Art by Bradley Coulter, David Hamlow, Ellen Schofield, Amy Toscani and Joshua Winkler is featured in the exhibit, on display at 139 Nelson Hall, the Conkling Gallery, during gallery hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday).

While each artist’s work is visually very different, the artists often “overlap” in their exploration of similar visual themes and materials.

For more information, call the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art at 507-389-6412. The complete 2015-2016 Conkling Gallery Schedule is located here.

Sept. 8: Blood Drive

Upward Bound is sponsoring a Red Cross blood drive Tuesday, Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

To make an appointment, call 507-389-1211 or visit and enter sponsor code 0175952. Walk-ins are also welcomed.

All presenting blood donors will receive a coupon by email for a free haircut at participating Sport Clips locations.

Sept. 8: Chiarina Piano Quartet

The Chiarina Piano Quartet will perform on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The Chiarina Piano Quartet formed in 2010 and consists of violinist Mary Horozaniecki, violist Nancy Nehring, cellist Mark Rudoff, and Minnesota State Mankato piano professor David Viscoli.

The program features Piano Quartet in G minor, Op. 1 composed by Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart, Piano Quartet in A minor, Op. 67, Joaquín Turina, and concludes with the Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 47 by Franz Schubert.

Concert admission is $12, $11 for students with a valid MavCard. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Advance purchase is strongly encouraged. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to For more information, call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

Sept. 10: Feminist Author Roxane Gay

Minnesota State Mankato will host fiction and creative nonfiction writer Roxane Gay on Thursday, Sept. 10 as the first of nine writers who will be on campus for this year’s Good Thunder Reading Series.

On Thursday, Sept. 10, Gay will lead a writing workshop at 10 a.m. in Centennial Student Union, Room 202; present a “Talk on Craft” at 3 p.m. in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium; and give a reading from her work at 7:30 p.m. in Centennial Student Union, Room 245. All Good Thunder Reading Series events are free and open to the public.

In 2014, Gay published her powerful debut novel “An Untamed State,” a thought-provoking examination of privilege, social class, entitlement and corruption. It was longlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize and was named one of the 10 best books of the year by the Library Journal. The Indiana resident also garnered international acclaim in 2014 for a reflective, no-holds-barred exploration of feminism in her collection of essays, “Bad Feminist.”

Gay is an associate professor of English at Purdue University, currently working on her new novel “Hunger.” She is also the co-editor of “PANK” and was the non-fiction editor at The Rumpus. She is at the helm of “The Butter,” a website dedicated to cultural criticism and personal essays by people of color and queer writers. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, The New York Times Book Review, The Nation, and many others.

For more information, contact Diana Joseph at or 507-389-5144. 

Sept. 13: Bluegrass/Newgrass Group Blue Hazard

Bluegrass/Newgrass group Blue Hazard will appear on stage at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13 in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

Blue Hazard is a young band that recently released its third album. The five-piece band, consisting of three siblings and friends, merges its traditional roots with folk, pop and contemporary genres.

The band frequently appears at numerous bluegrass festivals, including the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival, the Southeast Minnesota Bluegrass Festival and Lakes Bluegrass Festival, among others. Blue Hazard has performed with the Grammy-nominated bluegrass sensation Cherry Holmes, International Songwriter Competition winner Ben Kyle, and Minnesota Music Hall of Fame members The Platte Valley Boys.

Concert admission is $12, $11 for students with a valid MavCARD. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to For more information, call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

Sept. 14: Texas Singer/Songwriter Randy Weeks

Texas singer/songwriter Randy Weeks will appear on stage at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14 in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave. Weeks will be backed by The Erik Koskinen Band.

Weeks is best known for penning Lucinda Williams' hit "Can't Let Go" from "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road." Weeks was also a founding member of HighTone Records artists The Lonesome Strangers. Weeks recently moved from Los Angeles to Austin. Weeks said he moved because "Life in L.A. was comfortable - maybe a little too comfortable. I knew I could count on a packed house at every gig, and I lived in a cool little shack three blocks from the beach. But it became time to shake things up. Sometimes that's what needed to shift things into high gear."

Concert admission is $12, $11 for students with a valid MavCARD. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to For more information, call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

Sept. 16: DISH Fair

Institutional Diversity at Minnesota State University, Mankato will hold its annual Diversity IS Happening (DISH) Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16 on the Centennial Student Union mall (if it rains, the event will be moved inside to Centennial Student Union’s Mav Ave).

The event, open to Minnesota State Mankato students of every culture and background, will feature a carnival-themed atmosphere that showcases a multicultural art gallery, a live steel drum band, games, prizes and free food.

Participants will learn about what services, events and programs diverse student organizations and departments have to offer.

For more information on the DISH Fair, contact Shayla Braunshausen, director of diversity initiatives for Institutional Diversity at Minnesota State Mankato, by phone at 507-389-6126 or by email at

Sept. 17: Constitution Day

Minnesota State Mankato will hold its annual Constitution Day observance on Thursday, Sept. 17 with a schedule that includes a number of featured speakers. The day’s marquee event is a presentation by guest lecturer Karen Korematsu, the founder and executive director of the Korematsu Institute and daughter of Fred T. Korematsu.

Karen Korematsu’s presentation, scheduled for 12-1:30 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium, is titled “Korematsu vs. United States (1944): The Growing Legacy of Fred T. Korematsu, National Civil Rights Hero.”

The day’s full schedule of events is listed here.

Sept. 16-19: 'The Haunting of Hill House'

The Minnesota State Mankato Department of Theatre & Dance will open its 2015-16 Studio season with “The Haunting of Hill House” by Shirley Jackson, playing at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 16-19 in the Andreas Theatre. As part of the Studio season, the production is directed and designed by students.

“The Haunting of Hill House” is a chilling and mystifying study in mounting terror in which a small group of “psychically receptive” people are brought together in Hill House, a brooding, mid-Victorian mansion known as a place of evil and “contained ill will.” Led by the learned Dr. Montague, who is conducting research in supernatural phenomena, the visitors have come to probe the secrets of the old house and to draw forth the mysterious powers that it is alleged to possess. This is its Minnesota State Mankato debut.

Individual tickets for “The Haunting of Hill House” are $10 regular; $9 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more; and $8 for current Minnesota State students. Tickets for “The Haunting of Hill House,” as well as all other productions, will be on sale Sept. 14 at the Theatre & Dance Box Office in the lobby of the Earley Center for Performing Arts. Hours are 4-6 p.m., Monday-Friday; call 507-389-6661 or visit for more information.

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

Elise Ristau, a graduate student pursuing a master of business administration degree, was reappointed by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees. Ristau was first appointed to the Board of Trustees in September 2013 for a two-year term.

The first cohort of scholarship recipients from the large Zeno estate gift graduated last academic year. Myra Colakovic (Nursing, summa cum laude, Honors Program graduate) and Andy Dirckx (Physics, magna cum laude) both graduated on or ahead of time.

There are eight current Zeno Presidential Scholars on campus, including the Honors Student Past President Julia Hamann, and they are doing interesting and impressive things as members of the campus community.

Faculty/Staff News

Anne Dahlman, director of the Honors Program and professor of K-12 and Secondary Programs, has started an "honors blog" that is a personal reflection on culture and global citizenship.

Mike Wells, professor in the Department of Computer Information Science, and also the head coach of the club handball team on campus recently won the Veteran Masters (45+) singles event at the 2015 World Handball Championships, which were held in Calgary, Alberta. More than 700 players from four continents participated. Wells and John Stoffel combined to win the Silver Masters (45+) division in doubles competition. Complete results are posted here.

Four individuals 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. Individuals and their courses are listed:

  • Keith Luebke (Sociology & Corrections), “NPL 673: Nonprofit Leadership.”
  • Judith Luebke (Health Science), “HLTH 664: Health Program Planning & Evaluation.”
  • Julie Dittrich (Dental Hygiene), “DHYG 453: Research Methods in Dental Hygiene.”
  • Kathy Richie (Marketing & International Business), “MRKT 310: Principles for Marketing.”

Elizabeth Sandell, professor, Educational Studies, was a member of a panel presentation, "What does it take to develop intercultural competence?", on June 2 at the British Council’s conference, "Going Global: Connecting Cultures, Forging Futures" in London, England. A video of the conference session is available online.

Deborah Jesseman, professor of education and coordinator of the School Library and Information Studies Program is the author of "The Common Core in Action: Ready-to-Use Lesson Plans for K-6 Librarians," recently released by ABC-CLIO, LLC and Libraries Unlimited.

Ishuan Li, associate professor of economics, completed training to be a Higher Learning Commission financial panelist. HLC reviews accredited and candidate institutions' financial information to determine whether an institution operates with integrity in its financial functions. Each year, institutions provide data to HLC through the Institutional Update. The Institutional Update includes financial data, which is reviewed through HLC's Financial Indicator Process. This webinar is scheduled as training for Financial Panelist preparing for the 2015-16 Financial Indicator process.

Department News

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences has published its September 2015 edition of the college's newsletter.

The Institutional Review Board has published its [PDF] fall 2015 newsletter (271 KiB).

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. 16. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday, Sept. 11.

You should also submit your event to the university's official Campus Events Calendar by sending an email to Shirley Piepho at