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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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September 16, 2015 Campus Newsletter

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New University Home Page

To stay current with new web challenges and meet requirements to be accessible and transactional, a new home page will be launched on the Minnesota State University, Mankato website tomorrow (Thursday, Sept. 17).

The new home page uses fewer photos, improving load time on desktop and mobile devices. A new home page slider provides better opportunities to tell the Minnesota State Mankato story and feature happenings at the University. With more descriptive text, there will be improved usability and search engine optimization, which will help web pages appear higher in search results.

The University domain will also move to a white background. This design helps the website feel more open and modern, keeping up with web design trends and focusing attention on the content.

Since spring 2014, the website has been moved to a mobile-friendly format. However, a few existing University web pages use retired templates that do not respond to mobile devices. If you have a website that uses the old template, please contact to request a free conversion to a mobile-friendly format.

Later this week, please visit the University’s home page, refresh your browser, and enjoy the new home page.

Scholarship Information Sessions

The Office of University Fellowships has announced that information sessions for specific awards and scholarships will be held beginning in September and that two new faculty programs will be offered through the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning.

More details are available in the [PDF] Office of University Fellowships fall newsletter (527 KiB). The newsletter also features a reflection from Laura Berg ('15) on her critical language scholarship.

Previous editions of the University Fellowships newsletters are available online here.

Family Weekend

Sept. 18-20 is Family Weekend at Minnesota State Mankato. Families of students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in the weekend. Events will be planned for Mavericks of all ages, and all are invited to attend.

Those registering for family weekend will receive a Family Weekend Button, which is required to obtain free entry into most events (the only event with a cost is the football game, but there is a reduced cost for game tickets with pre-registration and/or a Family Weekend Button).

Free parking is available in any lot (gold, purple, or green) on campus beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday. Overnight parking is only available in GREEN lots. No camping is allowed on campus.

Family Weekend registration information and a complete schedule of events is available on the Family Weekend website.

9/11 Memorial

The College Republicans, a recognized student organization on campus, organized a display of miniature American Flags around the fountain on the campus mall on Friday, Sept. 11.

The display was set up as a memorial to remember the tragic events and loss of life that took place in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.

The group organized a similar display last year.

The photo of the display that accompanies this story was taken by Susith Pansalawatte, graduate assistant student in University Scheduling and Conference Services.

In the Rankings

The United States Department of Education recently launched College Scorecard, a website that allows visitors to research information on higher education institutions across the country. The website has received widespread media coverage.

In addition, each summer and fall various companies and organizations publish a wide variety of rankings on higher education institutions.

Here is a sampling of Minnesota State Mankato's recent rankings:

  • Tied for 75th among Midwest regional universities in U.S. News & World Report's annual "Best Colleges" rankings.
  • 2nd-best higher education value in Minnesota behind the University of Minnesota, according to SmartAsset, a New York financial technology company. SmartAsset ranks Minnesota State Mankato as 4th-best among Minnesota colleges/universities for highest starting salaries for its graduates.
  • 8th-best "Online College" among Minnesota schools for 2015-2016 by
  • 23rd-best Minnesota college (out of 31), 304th-best "nationwide college for your money" (out of 1,223) and 878th-best nationwide college overall (out of 1,393 listed), according to
  • 124th (out of 402 institutions) by Washington Monthly's "Best Bang for the Buck" Midwest rankings. 461st (out of 673) in Washington Monthly's top "master's universities."
  • 613th nationally (out of 650 ranked institutions) in the July 2015 edition of Forbes' "America's Top Colleges" rankings.

Depression Screening Day for Students

As part of Depression Screening Day on Monday, Sept. 28, Minnesota State Mankato's Counseling Center is offering an opportunity for students to complete a written screening questionnaire and discuss the questionnaire and results with a mental health professional.

Screenings are anonymous, confidential and free.

Additionally, educational material on the signs and symptoms of mood and anxiety disorders will be provided, as well as connecting students to resources.

  • Screening Site: Counseling Center (285 Centennial Student Union)
  • Date: Monday, Sept. 28
  • Time: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Canterbury Alumni Event

There were 1,040 attendees at the College of Business's annual "Alumni & Friends Night" on Aug. 21 at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn.

It was a great night filled with races, music from OffRamp of Minnesota Musical Ensemble, photo booth fun, and conversations with Minnesota State Mankato leaders, to include President Richard Davenport, College of Business Dean Brenda Flannery, Foundation President Ellen Steck, & MSSA President Mariah Haffield.

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.

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. 14-30: Graphic Designer Tad Carpenter

Next in the Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Art 2015-16 exhibition schedule in Conkling Gallery is work by Tad Carpenter Creative from Monday, Sept. 14 through Wednesday, Sept. 30. Carpenter's work will be on display at 139 Nelson Hall, the Conkling Gallery, during gallery hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday).

Carpenter will give an artist's lecture that is free and open to the public on Monday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium, with a reception following the lecture. He will do a Nadine B. Andreas Artist and Scholar Endowment residency on Sept. 28-29 in the Nelson Hall graphic design labs.

Tad Carpenter is a designer, illustrator, author and teacher based in Kansas City, Mo. Tad Carpenter Creative’s overall approach to branding, strategy, and design have gained clients ranging from Target, Macy’s, Land of Nod, Rayban, Nick Jr, MTV and Adobe. Carpenter’s work has appeared in numerous publications and he has written/illustrated a number of children’s books in the market today. Since 2009, Tad also teaches graphic design at the University of Kansas.

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. 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. 22: Bass Brand Brass Band

The Bass Brand Brass Band will perform on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m. on the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall stage of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The Bass Brand Brass Band performs a unique style of upbeat, all acoustic New Orleans style street music. The eight-piece group features a unique instrumentation consisting of trumpets, trombones, saxophone, sousaphone, and drums.

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. 24-25: Tip Toland Andreas Artist Residency

Tip Toland, a full-time ceramic artist and part-time instructor in the Seattle, Wash., area, will present an artist's lecture that is free and open to the public on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. in Centennial Student Union Room 245.

Toland is the next Andreas Endowment Artist in Residence and will work in the Department of Art's Nelson Hall Ceramics Studios from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 24-25

Toland's sculptures are fragile creatures depicting stages of life and stages of mind. The innocence expressions convey a sense of vulnerability and reflect deeply felt inner states of mind. The hyper realism of Toland's figures comes from her attention to detail and insight to humor and pathos of self and society. Her works range from the real to the surreal while giving a voice to inner psychological and spiritual states being mirrored back to the viewer. Her ceramic sculptures reflect the profound, inevitable solitude asking the viewer to reflect on universal truths about humanity.

For more information, call the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art at 507-389-6412.

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.

Sept. 27: Minnesota River Valley Wind Ensemble

The Minnesota River Valley Wind Ensemble (MNRVWE) will perform on Sunday, Sept. 27 at 3 p.m. at the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The ensemble is a semi-professional group comprised of faculty, community members, music teachers, music students, and professional musicians. The concert promises to be a very diverse program blending core wind band works with new works. The group is in its 11th season and continues to perform demanding music with a group of very talented musicians.

Concert admission is $9, $7 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.  29: Men's Vocal Ensemble 'Cantus'

Cantus, Minnesota’s internationally acclaimed men’s vocal ensemble, comes to the Mankato area with “The Four Loves,” a program that examines love from all sides and features four new works commissioned by Cantus. The concert will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

As one of the country’s only two full-time vocal ensembles, Cantus has grown to prominence with its distinctive approach to creating music. Working without a conductor, the members of Cantus rehearse and perform as chamber musicians, each contributing to the entirety of the artistic process.

Since 2001, Cantus has released 17 albums on its own self-titled label, many widely acclaimed by media such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Public Radio, Fanfare and critics around the country. The latest Cantus recording, "A Harvest Home," was released in November 2014 to glowing praise.

The ensemble is heard frequently on public radio as regular guests on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor and on American Public Media’s annual Thanksgiving program “Thanksgiving with Cantus,” heard each year on more than 300 public radio stations nationwide.

Tickets to "The Four Loves" are $15 general admission and $13 for Minnesota State Mankato students and are available in advance online or at the door the evening of the concert. Advance purchase is strongly encouraged. For more information, call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

Student News

Cadet Zachary Yozamp, a senior student in the Department of Military Science, was one of 30 cadets in the nation selected to receive a $3,000 scholarship from USAA as the winner of the USAEA national scholarship. This award is given out to the top senior enrolled in Army ROTC in the nation based on leadership and scholastic abilities. Yozamp was also the top recipient of the 30 selected. He and a mentor of his choosing will receive airfare to attend a formal presentation of this award in conjunction with the AUSA Conference in October in Washington, D.C.

Karley Weir, a graduate student who expects to earn a master's in social work degree in July 2016, was recently presented a Eugene R. Bonynge Memorial Scholarship by Woodland Centers, a mental health organization with offices in Dawson, Minn., and throughout west central Minnesota.

Faculty/Staff News

Bob Pettitt, professor in exercise science/physiology in the Department of Human Performance was recognized as a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine at the organization's annual conference in San Diego, Calif. on May 29. Fellows are recognized for their professional achievement and competence in the related disciplines of sports medicine via education,published works, professional practice and a demonstrated interest in and/or contribution to the goals of sports medicine. Persons applying for Fellow status demonstrate a high level of competence and ethical conduct with acceptable knowledge of the principles and practices of sports medicine.

Jacob Swanson, assistant professor in the Department of Integrated Engineering, recently finished analyzing some data from field measurements in the United Kingdom, and with colleagues had a paper published as a "letter" in a high-impact journal. That led to a press release that resulted in many news stories.

Greg Wilkins, associate director of the Centennial Student Union and Student Activities, was elected president of Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council’s executive board. The council awards approximately $600,000 annually with an $13.6 million regional, economic impact as part of Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment.

Atrayee Ghosh Roy, professor of economics, presented her paper entitled “Analyzing the Growth Effect of Transportation Investment?” at the 90th Annual Conference of Western Economic Association International in Honolulu, Hawaii, on July 1. In addition, Ghosh Roy discussed two other papers at the same conference. On June 30, she discussed John V. Winter’s paper titled “Foreign and Native-Born STEM Graduates and Innovation intensity in the Unites States,” and on July 1, she discussed Gregory Gilpin and Anton Bekkerman’s paper titled “A Panel Analysis on School-Break Readership: Are Public Libraries the Great Academic Equalizer?”

Ishuan Li, associate professor of economics, was named peer reviewer for Association for Institutional Research (AIR) publications.

Department News

Human Resources has published its [PDF] September 2015 newsletter (676 KiB).

The Honors Blog was created by Honors students under the leadership of student Rachael Igo. It was first published in the summer of 2014. To read current and former blog posts, click here.


Former Artist in Residence Arnoldus Gruter, whose art is prominently displayed on campus, died on Aug. 31. His obituary was published in the Mankato Free Press.

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. 30. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday, Sept. 25.

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