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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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October 14, 2015 Campus Newsletter

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Career and Internship Expo

The Minnesota State University, Mankato, Career and Internship Expo will be held Tuesday, Oct. 20, and Wednesday, Oct. 21 in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The event is free for students and alumni and is open to all majors.

A variety of employers from disciplines in science, engineering, technology, construction and healthcare will be featured Tuesday. Employers from disciplines in business, communications and human services are featured Wednesday.


The Career Development Center is requesting volunteer help from faculty and staff to support students attending this important career event. This year volunteers are needed to help in the “Green Room” area, and help is also needed to “Greet and Host” students as they enter the Ballroom to connect with employers. IT IS EASY! The main focus for volunteers will be to help support and encourage students in one of these areas. To volunteer for a one hour block of time - Sign up using the Volunteer Spot link by Thursday, Oct. 15 at 3 p.m.

Here’s how Volunteer Spot Works:

  1. Click this link to see our Sign-Up on VolunteerSpot:
  2. Review the options listed and choose the one hour spot(s) you like.
  3. Sign up! It's REALLY Easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on VolunteerSpot.

Those with questions should contact Matt Carlson, interim assistant director, Career Development Center, at or 507-389-6061.

Partnering with City of Mankato on Safety

The city of Mankato recently published a safety video on YouTube that highlights how the city and Minnesota State Mankato work together to provide and support a safe environment, good stewardship and citizenship.

The video includes an introduction of Stephanie Wilkins, the police officer who in July began working closely with the campus community and surrounding neighborhoods on personal safety and crime prevention.

Sign up for city of Mankato news by email. Sign up for city of Mankato snow emergency alerts by text message or follow city of Mankato snow emergency alerts AND/OR city of Mankato street closing information on twitter.

Mankato, Minn., is ranked as one of the best college towns in America. Read the full list here.

Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium 

Minnesota State Mankato geography graduate student Kyle Mullen won the GIS/LIS graduate student paper competition at this year’s Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium on Oct. 8 in Duluth, Minn.

His paper was titled “The Mountain Pine Beetle Infestation of the Ponderosa Pine Forest in the Black Hills of South Dakota: Mapping and Earlier Detection.” He beat a number of tough competitors, including graduate students from the University of Minnesota and St. Mary’s. Undergraduate student Tylor Schwarz also competed.

Several other students and faculty presented posters at the conference.

The conference’s keynote speaker was Jack Dangermond (pictured fourth from left in picture), co-founder of and owner of Environmental Systems Research Institute.

Successful DPS Program in McElroy

McElroy Residence Community hosted a “Grill a Cop, Cheese in a Cruiser” event Sept. 30. The event was a huge success, drawing in more than 100 residents.

A week prior to the event, students were able to submit anonymous questions related to alcohol and marijuana. At the event, students were able to ask these questions to be answered by an expert panel featuring Mankato Department of Public Safety Liaison Officer Stephanie Wilkins and Campus Security Officer Sarah Boxrud. McElroy hall directors Nick Kramer and Korey Theil and Laura Herbst-Johnson from Student Health Services completed the panel.

Students also had the opportunity to handcuff their community advisor or friend and have their picture taken in the back of a police car. University Security also facilitated multiple activities using “drunk vision” goggles and community advisors had a make-your-own grilled cheese station.

Maverick Elision A Cappella Group

Minnesota State Mankato’s Maverick Elision A Cappella group recently submitted a music video to the Macy’s $25,000 A Cappella Challenge competition.


This video was produced entirely by university students, faculty and staff on the Mankato campus. Music Industry professor Michael Olson guided his students in building a recording studio in the performance arts building during the first two weeks of classes, and then Olson and his students recorded and mixed the audio portion of the video.

Robert Peterson and his students and staff from Mav Visual Productions recorded the video in Ostrander Auditorium and in front of the Performing Arts building and then edited and mixed the video with the audio recording.

Music department vocal professor Stephanie Thorpe provided vocal coaching to the students and assisted with the rehearsals and production, while sophomore Kelsie Dornquast, who has a background in competitive a cappella, designed all of the choreography for the group.

View the video on YouTube

University Forensic Team Accomplishments

The Minnesota State Mankato forensic team traveled to Moorhead, Minn., to begin the 2015-2016 season. The team took third on the first day on Talk of the Tundra hosted by North Dakota State University and second on the second day on Talk of the Tundra hosted by Concordia. Individual placements are listed:

Day 1

  • Senior Brady Taylor: 5th in Informative Speaking, 5th in Prose Interpretation, 3rd in Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Junior Aletta Arndt: 4th in Informative Speaking, 3rd in Prose Interpretation, 2nd in Dramatic Interpretation
  • Junior Alex Mathiowetz: 3rd in After Dinner Speaking, 1st in Duo Interpretation (with Ariel Smith)
  • Freshman Ariel Smith: 4th in Dramatic Interpretation, 1st in Duo Interpretation (with Alex Mathiowetz)

Day 2

  • Senior Brady Taylor: 3rd in Informative Speaking, 2nd in Extemporaneous Speaking
  • Junior Aletta Arndt: 1st in Prose Interpretation, 2nd in Dramatic Interpretation
  • Junior Alex Mathiowetz: 2nd in Prose Interpretation, 2nd in After Dinner Speaking, 1st in Duo Interpretation (with Ariel Smith)
  • Freshman Ariel Smith: 3rd in Dramatic Interpretation, 1st in Duo Interpretation (with Alex Mathiowetz)

Internal Revenue Service Regulations

Business Services reminds all faculty and staff who may be traveling and incurring business expenses that employee expense reports must be submitted in a timely manner, according to Internal Revenue Service regulations.

Employee business expenses must be submitted for reimbursement within 60 days after the expense is incurred or the trip ends. If a request for reimbursement is not submitted within 60 days, the reimbursement becomes taxable income to the employee. In past years, some employees have incurred travel and business expenses during the summer and have waited to submit their employee expense report until the start of the next fall semester, and in a number of instances, not within the required 60 days. In adhering to the IRS rules, employees that continue this practice will be taxed on their reimbursement, so please keep this in mind when traveling or incurring business expenses.

It is always best to submit your employee expense reports as soon as your business trip is completed. Additionally, if an employee does not plan to return to Mankato after their trip is completed, they should submit their expense reports in the mail to maintain compliance with the 60-day submission requirement.

Questions regarding travel or business expense reimbursements may be directed to the university’s travel claims clerk, Tamara Galema-Liebl at 507-389-5006 or by viewing the travel website.

Resilience Sessions

The Counseling Center and Psychology Department is providing a new outreach program this coming academic year. The program addresses how to be a resilient and successful student and consists of four sessions, all 50 minutes long. The four sessions are:

  • October 19: 10 a.m. — Be Your Best Self With Care
  • November 12: 2 p.m. — How to Ace Every Test
  • February 17: 10 a.m. — Emotional Intelligence and Social Support
  • April 7: 2 p.m. — Grit and Persistence in Achieving Your Academic Goals

Oct. 5-21: Jenny Schmid Print Exhibit

Minneapolis-based artist Jenny Schmid’s prints will be on display in an exhibit from Monday, Oct. 5 through Wednesday, Oct. 21 in Minnesota State Mankato’s Conkling Gallery.

Schmid’s exhibit is free and open to the public, and her 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).

The exhibit is made possible through the Nadine B. Andreas Endowment for Artists and Scholars in memory of Andreas’ lifelong devotion to the visual and performing arts.

More information and a preview of Schmid’s work are available at

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

Oct. 14: Documentary Film 'The Hunting Ground'

The documentary film, “The Hunting Ground,” which addresses difficulties students experience after being victims of campus rape, will be shown on Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. at Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Ostrander Auditorium (located in Centennial Student Union).

The film, rated PG-13, is free and open to the public, and a panel discussion will follow the film (1 hour, 43 minutes in length) that will explore campus and community processes as well as resources available for survivors.

The film was scheduled by Minnesota State Mankato’s Violence Awareness & Response Program and the University’s Student Events Team as part of an effort to raise awareness of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

For more information, contact Laura Schultz, violence awareness and response coordinator at Minnesota State Mankato, by phone at 507-389-5127 or by email at

Oct. 15: Singer/Songwriter Jillian Rae

The Jillian Rae Band will appear onstage at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15 in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The band's namesake is its multi-talented violinist, lead vocalist and songwriter, Jillian Rae. Her creative and dynamic style of violin-playing, along with her lifelong experience as a performer, lend her an assured stage presence. She has an innate ability to create hook-laden tunes affirming the positives of life in the face of struggle and disappointment. With the overarching joy she takes in all things musical, it was inevitable that Jillian should form her own band, and not too surprising that it should be in her own name.

Jillian Rae has been a heavy hitter in the Minnesota music scene for years, playing with as many musicians as humanly possible. In the past, she had been known to lend her fiddle chops in the Duluth-based band Two Many Banjos, and also spent some time fronting the local pop country staple, The Killer Hayseeds.

Concert admission is $12 and $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.

Oct. 15: Documentary on Youngest Woman to Earn Ph.D.

Patti Kenner, one of the executive producers of the documentary film "Ahead of Time" will screen the film Oct. 15 at Minnesota State Mankato and take questions from the audience after the film. The film tells the story of journalist Ruth Gruber, the youngest woman ever to earn a Ph.D. degree.

The event, free and open to the public, will take place from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15 in Ostrander Auditorium, located in Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union.

According to the award-winning, Gruber received her doctorate at the age of 20 in 1931. Described on the website as a “feminist before feminism,” and the first Western journalist to enter the Soviet Arctic, Gruber was also an undercover journalist during Adolf Hitler’s rise to power and an operative for the Roosevelt Administration during World War II. Gruber subsequently covered developments in the Middle East as the state of Israel was coming to birth.

As one of the film’s executive producers, Kenner has presented “Ahead of Time” at numerous campuses and community venues throughout the United States.

For more information about the event, contact Jackie Vieceli, director of the Kessel Institute for the Study of Peace and Change, by phone at 507-389-6938 or by email at

The film and presentation are sponsored by the Kessel Institute for the Study of Peace and Change, which is dedicated to advancing the understanding and the existence of peace at all levels, from the individual to the global community.

Oct. 15-18, 21-25: 'The Miracle Worker'

The 2015-16 Minnesota State University, Mankato Theatre and Dance season will continue with the beloved classic play “The Miracle Worker.”

“The Miracle Worker” dramatizes the volatile relationship between lonely teacher Annie Sullivan and her violent, spoiled charge, Helen Keller, who was stricken blind and deaf at a young age. Annie realizes that there is a mind and spirit waiting to be rescued from the dark, tortured silence.

During the 2 p.m. matinee Oct. 18, the department will be offering audio description services to audience members with visual impairments. Meridith Tietz, a teacher of the blind for South Central Service Cooperative, will be describing the interaction on stage and other details through FM transmitters and ear pieces worn by visually impaired audience members.

“The Miracle Worker” will run 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15-7 and 21-24; and 2 p.m. Oct. 18, 24 and 25 in the Andreas Theatre, Earley Center for Performing Arts.

Tickets are $16 regular; $14 for seniors ages 65 and older, children under 16 and groups of 15 or more; and $11 for Minnesota State Mankato students. Discounted tickets for $14 will also be available to those with visual impairments who attend the 2 p.m. matinee Oct. 18.

Those with visual impairments who are interested in reserving audio description equipment should call the box office at 507-389-6663. Contact Amanda Dyslin at 507-389-6663 or for more information.

Oct. 17: Singer/Songwriter Erik Koskinen

Singer-songwriter Erik Koskinen will perform with his band on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 9 p.m. at Hooligans Neighborhood Pub, 1400 East Madison Avenue (Madison East Center), Mankato. Southern Minnesota favorites City Mouse will open the show with a set starting at 7:30 p.m. The concert event is co-sponsored by KMSU-The Maverick and the Minnesota State Mankato Performance Series with assistance from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

The Erik Koskinen Band is currently touring in support of their latest CD release, Erik Koskinen: Live at the Real-Phonic Radio Hour. Live recordings on the new record took place during many of the Real-Phonic Radio Hour monthly shows at the historic James J. Hill Library in St. Paul in a four-story room lined with books. Koskinen remarked, “The acoustical oddities in the room make for a wonderful recording, and the level of excitement from the audience and with the band members make for some exceptional performances.” Since moving to Minneapolis eight years ago, Koskinen has amassed a following as a musician, songwriter, producer and engineer. His songs speak to the experiences and encounters stemming from years of traveling north to south and coast-to-coast.

Jon Bream of the Minneapolis Star Tribune calls Erik Koskinen “…the state’s best pure country singer/songwriter,” and Jim Walsh of MinnPost writes "The real deal: Erik Koskinen's authenticity comes through.

Oct. 18: University Concert Bands

The University Concert Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band will perform Sunday, Oct. 18 at 3 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The bands are under the direction of Amy Roisum Foley, director of bands at the University.

Concert admission is $9 and $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.

Oct. 18: U-Lead Conference 2015

Minnesota State Mankato will host the U-Lead Conference, a collaboration between Greek Life and Recognized Student Organizations, on Sunday, Oct. 18 from noon to 4 p.m.

Student leaders from these communities have joined together to offer an afternoon of presentations that will benefit any student from emerging to advanced leader.

The free event begins at noon in the university ballroom with keynote speaker Corey Ciocchetti on "Living an Authentic Life."

Afterwards, there will be three rounds of breakout sessions (at 1:15 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.) lasting 45 minutes each.

Each session offers a variety of presentations covering anything from leadership styles and philosophies, to practical knowledge, such as running an effective meeting.

Registration is on OrgSync, and there is also a link on Facebook for the event.

Oct. 19: Screening of La Sombra Azul

Minnesota State Mankato will host a screening and presentation of the film “La Sombra Azul/The Blue Shadow” with director Sergio Schmucler.

The event, free and open to the public, will take place from 3-6 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 19 in the Heritage Room, located in the Centennial Student Union.

Sergio Schmucler is an independent filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist from Argentina. At age 18, he was exiled to Mexico. Ever since, Schmucler has used his writing and filmmaking skills to reflect on issues related to human rights and cultural identity.

"The Blue Shadow" or "La Sombra Azul" is a film portraying the real story of an Argentinean cop who was forced to torture political militants during Argentina's last dictatorship but refused to do it and was subsequently tortured by his peers. The screening will be followed by a reception in honor of Schmucler.

The event is sponsored by the Center for Latino Affairs and the Department of World Languages and Cultures.

Oct. 20: Community Orchestra

The Minnesota State Mankato Community Orchestra will perform Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

Orchestra Director Joseph Rodgers has recently transformed the university orchestra. The orchestra has invited area community members to join the former University Orchestra and perform with university student musicians. It has quadrupled in size and offers an abundance of new opportunities for both students and community members.

Concert admission is $9 and $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.

Oct. 22: Actress/Author Geri Jewell

Minnesota State Mankato will host actress Geri Jewell on Thursday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. in the Ostrander Auditorium.

There will be a reception, free and open to the public, to celebrate Jewell’s critically-acclaimed autobiography titled I’m Walking as Straight as I Can. There will be a book signing immediately following the event.

Jewell received recognition as the first person with a disability to be cast in a prime-time series, NBC’s The Facts of Life. She has also made many television appearances and earned Emmy considerations for her role as “Jewel” in HBO’s "Deadwood."

Oct. 24: Women & Spirituality Conference

Bestselling Latina author and leadership authority Juana Bordas will be the keynote speaker of the 34th annual Women and Spirituality Conference Saturday, Oct. 24 at Minnesota State Mankato.

Bordas is president of Mestiza Leadership International, a company devoted to diversity, leadership and organizational change. She is the author of “Salsa, Soul and Spirit – Leadership for a Multicultural Age,” which won the 2008 International Latino book award and is used in more than 50 universities. Her keynote address will be on the first day of the two-day event on campus.

The Women and Spirituality Conference takes place Saturday, Oct. 24 and Sunday, Oct. 25. The annual event offers presentations on a wide range of approaches to spirituality and the purpose is to provide an atmosphere of support, encouragement and respect among the many paths taken by women and men from various spiritual and religious practices and traditions. The conference neither advocates nor excludes any view, but encourages appreciation of the many different paths represented.

The event, co-sponsored by the university’s College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Gender and Women’s Studies Department, Institutional Diversity and Women’s Center, is expected to attract hundreds of participants. Registration information on the conference can be found at or by calling Gender and Women’s Studies at 507-389-2077.

Oct. 25: University Choral Groups Fall Concert

The University Choral Groups will perform on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 3 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. Both concerts take place in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The Concert Choir and Chamber Singers are conducted by David Dickau and the University Chorale is conducted by Michael Atwood.

Concert admission is $9 and $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.

Oct. 28: Trick or Treat the CSU

Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union will host trick or treaters on Oct. 28 from 1-4 p.m.

The event is free for all faculty, staff, students and their families.

Trick or treaters can pick up a postcard with a list of participating offices in Student Activities (CSU 173).

Participants can collect stamps for each office on the card and turn in the card at Student Activities to win prizes.

Student News

A story about English student Mark Aune helping kids was recently published online by WCCO TV. Read the full story at the CBS Minnesota website.

The Minnesota State Mankato Maverick handball team recently competed at the 51st Heart of America tournament in Overland Park, Kan. Read the full story at the Mankato Times website.

Faculty/Staff News

Cate DeBates, a Minnesota State Mankato alumna, accepted the position of interim associate director of alumni relations and special events. She earned an undergraduate degree in mass media and a graduate degree in educational leadership.

Laurel Ostrow, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing, spent a year teaching nursing in Malawi with Global Health Service Partnership and was awarded a fellowship in global clinical education through Massachusetts General Hospital. She has started giving professional presentations about her experience.

Raymond Asomani-Boateng, associate professor in the Urban and Regional Studies Institute, passed the American Planning Association's Professional Institute of Certified Planners comprehensive examinations in May 2015. He is now an AICP certified planner.

A manuscript by Raymond Asomani-Boateng (associate professor in the Urban and Regional Studies Institute), Russell Fricano (assistant professor in the Urban and Regional Studies Institute), and Frank Adarkwah. titled, "Assessing the Socio-economic Impacts of Rural Road Improvements in Ghana: A Case Study of Transport Sector Program Support (II)," has been accepted for presentation at the 55th Annual American Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) conference Oct. 22-25 in Houston, Texas.

Raymond Asomani-Boateng (associate professor in the Urban and Regional Studies Institute) and Russell Fricano (assistant professor in the Urban and Regional Studies Institute), participated in the Minnesota Chapter American Planning Association leadership session on Sept. 25. The session developed a new legislative platform for Minnesota planning enabling laws.

Tonya Butler, director of music industry studies and a member of the Mankato chapter of Toastmasters International, will advance to the district level of the Humorous Speech Contest following her wins earlier in the month. Read the full article at the Mankato Times.

Department News

Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Family Consumer Science will host its sixth annual FACS to the Max workshop on Friday, Oct. 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. The workshop is designed for high school and middle school educators and future educators. Registration information and itinerary is available here (broken link).

The College of Social and Behavior Sciences’ October Newsletter (broken link) is now available.

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, Oct. 28. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday, Oct. 23.

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