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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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October 28, 2015 Campus Newsletter

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Marathon Volunteers

A group of Minnesota State University, Mankato athletic training students and one alum volunteered to help provide finish-line coverage at the Mankato Marathon on Oct. 18. Students from the Athletic Training Program have been volunteering at the marathon since 2011—the second year the Mankato Marathon was held—making this year the fifth year in a row they have volunteered at the event.

Minnesota State Mankato’s Athletic Training Program, one of the oldest and most respected programs of its kind in the country, is part of the Department of Human Performance in the College of Allied Health & Nursing.

2016 Pan African Conference

Minnesota State Mankato’s 2016 Pan African Conference, the 40th in the history of the conference, has been set for Thursday-Sunday, March 24-27, 2016, dates that were recommended by key campus stakeholders.

In preparation, President Richard Davenport has called for a program review of the conference this fall to ensure that the Pan African Conference honors its rich history while also considering new and innovative opportunities and expectations for the future. The program review is intended to be a collaborative process involving faculty, staff, students, administrators, community members and external stakeholders. The program review is on an ambitious timeline to be completed by the end of fall semester.

Davenport has appointed Kimberly Greer, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Queen Booker, professor of management in the College of Business, to co-chair the program review. Additional program review team members will be announced. For more information about the program review, please contact Greer at

Davenport also announced that a different team would begin planning the 2016 conference through a collaborative planning process that involves a university-wide perspective. Planning will also be on an ambitious timeline, beginning in late December or early January and continuing up to the March 24-27 conference.

Davenport has appointed Henry Morris, dean of Institutional Diversity, to co-chair the planning team. Another co-chair and planning team members will also be selected. For more information about the conference planning process, please contact Morris at

Giving Week Challenge

Minnesota State Mankato will hold its second annual Giving Week Challenge from Nov. 6-13. The program’s goal is to help students, faculty and programs by encouraging philanthropic support.

Lloyd Companies has offered a gift match up to $60,000 (gift match fund is pre-designated by Lloyd Companies) to support the entrepreneurial endeavors of the University's students, faculty and staff. Gifts also qualify for the 2015-16 Annual Fund and/or Campus Drive.

Those who give can fund their passion by making a secure donation online to any area of the university, including the Campus Kitchen, Honors Program, departments, colleges and hundreds of others here.

Giving impact is seen everywhere at Minnesota State Mankato, including in the video about student Mara Soupir at

You can check daily results there or by following #givingweek. For more information, call the Annual Giving Department at 507-389-5279.

Mark M. Welter Student Scholarships

The Minnesota State Mankato Global Education unit announced that applications for the Mark M. Welter World Citizen Award student scholarship are due by 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15.

This scholarship promotes recognition of students in the Minnesota State College and Universities system who exemplify the thoughts, words and actions demanded by a 21st century world citizen. The award is available to all Minnesota State Mankato students who meet the following criteria:

  • 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Part-time or full-time degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate student enrolled at Minnesota State Mankato
  • High school graduate (PSEO students are not eligible)
  • In good academic standing
  • Evidence of financial need

Complete the application form and required supporting documents as outlined on the criteria form, all of which can be found here. Email all documents and attachments in a single email to

Nomination decisions will be made on Monday, Nov. 23. Incomplete, late or hand-delivered submissions will not be considered.

Honors Beacon Award

The Honors Program at Minnesota State Mankato is proud to announce that the Honors Beacon newsletter was named the first place winner of the National Collegiate Honors Council’s Newsletter Contest. Issues VII and VIII of the Honors Beacon were submitted last spring to the contest and awarded first place out of 19 print submissions.

The Honors Beacon newsletter is a 12-page, bi-annual newsletter produced by honors students under the leadership of editor-in-chief Rachael Igo. Students who contributed to the winning issues of the Honors Beacon as writers, photographers and copy editors in the 2014-2015 academic year include Sarah Aldrich, Sara Baranczyk, Laura Cattrysse, Sarah Gorman, Libby Guss, Katelynn Malecha, Karen Muller, José Lopez Muñoz, Jessica Staricka and Trisha Walker.

The award will be officially presented at the 2015 NCHC National Conference in Chicago in November. Igo will be attending the conference and accepting the award at the ceremony on the Honors Program’s behalf.

The mission of the Honors Program 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.

View the online PDF versions of the Honors Beacon newsletter here.

PCSW Grants

The President’s Commission on the Status of Women announced that grants of up to $500 are available this year for campus community members who plan to conduct research or attend professional development opportunities concerned with the status of women or gender-related issues. Staff, faculty and students are encouraged to apply.

Grant information and online applications are available. Fall 2015 proposals are due Friday, Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. For more information, contact Gihanthi De Silva by email.

Forensics Team Accomplishments

Southwest Minnesota State University held the 2015 Mustang Stampede speech tournament at Minnesota State Mankato on Oct. 18. Seventeen schools competed in the tournament. Individual awards of the Minnesota State Mankato team are listed:

  • Brady Taylor: 4th in Informative Speaking
  • Jordan Carrillo: 5th in Communication Anaylis and 6th in Persuasive Speaking
  • Ariel Smith and Alex Mathiowetz: 6th in Duo Interpretation
  • Karissa Blum: Top Novice in Poetry Interpretation
  • Ariel Smith: Top Novice in Dramatic Interpretation

Giving Tree

The third annual Giving Tree program is a campus-wide tradition designed to inspire a season of giving. Families with children can register their children for gifts from Oct. 26 to Nov. 16.

All registrations are confidential. 

Oct. 28: Air Force Veteran Discussion

In recognition of Minnesota’s Veterans’ Voices Month (the entire month of October), Air Force veteran and writer J.A. Moad II will visit Minnesota State Mankato, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, to speak about the importance of encouraging veterans to share their stories as a way to bridge the military-civilian divide.

The event, sponsored by the Department of Mass Media, Veterans Club and the Veterans Resource Center, will be held in Nelson Hall 3 (lower level). Free parking is available after 6:30 p.m. in purple and gold lots. The event is free and open to the public thanks to a grant from the Nadine B. Andreas Foundation.

Gov. Mark Dayton signed Veterans’ Voices Month into law on May 16, 2014, making Minnesota the first state to designate an entire month honoring veterans.

In a country where less than one percent of the citizens have served, Veterans’ Voices Month provides opportunities to hear the stories of veterans and individuals who have been touched by war and conflict. Veterans’ stories provide perspective on the repercussions war has on both individuals and society, offering key insights and reflections.

Moad served as an Air Force C-130 pilot and English professor at the U.S. Air Fore Academy and is currently the fiction editor and blogger for War, Literature, and the Arts, an international journal. He received the 2014 Consequence Magazine Fiction Award and is currently editing a draft of a novel about an American military in a not too-distant future.

Moad will also be speaking at noon Thursday, Oct. 29, at South Central College in Conference Room B. For more information about the events, please contact Rachael Hanel, assistant professor of mass media, by phone at 507-389-1247 or by email at

Nov. 1: Rob Meany and Terramara Concert

Rob Meany and Terramara will perform on Sunday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will take place in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Terramara is the brainchild of Minneapolis-based singer/songwriter/keyboardist Rob Meany, who formed the group in 1998. Over the last 17 years the band has released three full-length albums and won numerous awards for songwriting and performance. Critics and fans alike were quick to compare their sound to Steely Dan because of Meany's penchant for writing jazz-influenced rock songs with plenty of harmonic twists and turns.

Following the release of the band’s latest release "Four Blocks To Hennepin," the band undertook a big promotional push. A college radio campaign yielded ads on almost 300 college and public stations, and many top 30 adds. At least 40 stations had Terramara in heavy or medium rotation. The new album has garnered airplay nationwide on XM Radio and been featured on local radio (Cities 97) and TV (KARE 11).

General admission to the concert is $12 and $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. 

Nov. 4: History Forum Lecture

Minnesota State Mankato’s fall History Forum lecture will be presented by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee history professor Martha Carlin (pictured) on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 4 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union’s Room 253. The event is sponsored by Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of History and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Carlin’s presentation is titled “Putting Dinner on the Table in Chaucer’s London.” The lecture is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public. Refreshments will be served following the presentation.

In her presentation, Carlin will discuss how, when England’s most celebrated medieval poet, Geoffrey Chaucer, was writing “The Canterbury Tales,” the king of England’s master cooks were also writing a cook book called “The Forme of Cury.”

Carlin will describe what a medieval meal was really like, along with the logistics that went into producing it and the kinds of evidence that have survived. She’ll also address whether or not there are parallels with the culture and practical realities of feeding a household today.

The History Forum Lecture Series is an opportunity for faculty, students, staff and community members to learn about the latest historical research from local and regional scholars. The History Forum Lecture is presented twice a year, once in the fall and again in the spring.

Those who want more information about the lecture may contact the Department of History at 507-389-1618.

Nov. 5: An Evening of Choral Music

An evening of choral music will be presented by Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Music Thursday, Nov. 5. The performance will be at 7:30 p.m. at Saint Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 105 North 5th Street, Mankato. The Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, under the direction of David Dickau, will perform along with a number of area high school choirs.

Dickau is a choral conductor and composer residing in Mankato, Minn., where he has served as Director of Choral Activities at Minnesota State Mankato since 1991. He recently received the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award from the university.

Dickau's published compositions appear in a number of catalogues and he has filled commissions for choral festivals, colleges and universities, community choirs, churches, and schools. Significant commissions have included "Dresden Canticles" composed in honor of the rebuilding of the Frauenkirche in Dresden, Germany and "View from the Air" commissioned by the Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation in honor of the seventieth anniversary of Charles Lindbergh's historic trans-Atlantic flight.

General admission is $9 and $7 for K-12 students and Minnesota State Mankato students with a valid MavCard. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to For more information, call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

Nov. 5-15: 'A Christmas Story,' The Musical

"A Christmas Story," the Musical, is the next Mainstage play that will be performed at Minnesota State Mankato. The book is by Joseph Robinette, with music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. The play is based on the motion picture.

Set in the 1940s in the fictional town of Hohman, Ind., the musical follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker and his quest for the Holy Grail of Christmas gifts—an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. Ralphie plots numerous schemes to achieve his desperate desire for the coveted BB gun. This is its Minnesota State Mankato debut.

For showtimes and dates and ticket information, please visit the Department of Theatre & Dance website, or contact Amanda Dyslin at 507-389-6663 or for more information. 

Nov. 7: 'Are You Thirsty?'

The Nontraditional Student Center will host the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre in its performance of “Are You Thirsty?” on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 10 a.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ostrander Auditorium at Minnesota State Mankato.

The performance explores the many questions contained in a single glass of water, one of our most precious resources that is often taken for granted.

The event, free and open to the public, is for grades three to adult. The performance runs between 35 to 40 minutes. For more information, visit the group’s website.

Nov. 7-8: 'A Musical Revue' 

Stephanie R. Thorpe (pictured), soprano and assistant professor of music in the Department of Music at Minnesota State Mankato, will present a Musical Revue of vocal repertoire spanning several different genres and languages on Nov. 7 and 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the E.J. Halling Recital Hall in the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

The recital, with the assistance of collaborative pianist Jesse Beulke, includes well-known French and English jazz standards, wonderful musical theatre selections by Stephen Sondheim, a poignant song cycle by Lori Laitman, beautiful songs in many other languages, and an exciting finale incorporating students from the Department of Music, conducted by Amy Roisum-Foley.

Concert admission is $9 for community members and $7 for K-12 students and Minnesota State Mankato 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

Nov. 9: Leonard A. Ford Lectureship

The Minnesota State Mankato Department of Chemistry and Geology will present the 26th annual Leonard A. Ford Lectureship on Monday, Nov. 9.

The featured speaker will be Michael T. Osterholm, who holds many prestigious titles at the University of Minnesota.

There will be a “technical talk” and a “general talk,” both in the Centennial Student Union Ostrander Auditorium. The “technical talk” is titled “Ebola Virus in Africa: A Harbinger of Things to Come” and will take place at 11 a.m. The “general talk” is titled “Infectious Diseases of the 21st Century: A New World Order” and takes place at 7:30 p.m.

If you would like to learn more about Michael T. Osterholm, read his online biography.

Nov. 9: University Percussion Ensembles Concert

The University Percussion Ensemble will present their fall semester concert on Monday, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m. The concert takes place in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave. Director of Athletic Bands Michael Thursby leads the ensembles.

The 15-member University Percussion Ensemble performs with an extensive array of instruments, from traditional drums, xylophones, marimbas and cymbals to just about anything that can be struck or shaken. The concert features an eclectic mix of musical styles including traditional classical works, contemporary pieces and Afro-Cuban world music.

Concert highlights include a bucket drumming performance piece and a medley of songs by the band Muse arranged by the percussion students and performed on percussion instruments and various electronic media.

Concert admission is $9 for community members and $7 for K-12 students and Minnesota State Mankato 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. 

Nov. 10: Common Read Public Lecture by Erika Allen

Erika Allen, national projects director for Growing Power Inc., will present a lecture free and open to the public on Tuesday, Nov. 10 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. Allen's presentation is part of a series of events being held in conjunction with Minnesota State Mankato's common read program, now in its sixth year.

Will Allen’s book, “The Good Food Revolution,” has been chosen as the common read for the 2015-16 academic year.

“The Good Food Revolution” discusses the life of Allen, a businessman turned farmer who began his journey with a roadside food stand in urban Milwaukee. He has since founded Growing Power Inc., an organization devoted to “developing living systems that are economically feasible for all people to have sustainable protein and vegetables all year round.”

Erika Allen is Will Allen's daughter. In her position as she works as national projects director, she runs eight farm sites around Chicago. Erika and her team teach adults and at-risk youth how to grow food and create a sustainable food economy. They sell the fruits of their labor at farmers’ markets around the city.

A full list of Minnesota State Mankato's common read program activities is available here

Nov. 11: Upward Bound Blood Drive

Upward Bound is sponsoring a Red Cross Blood Drive Wednesday, Nov. 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom at Minnesota State Mankato.

To make an appointment, call 507-389-1211 or visit and enter sponsor code MSUUPWARD. Walk-ins are also welcomed. All donors will receive a Pub 500 coupon.

Student News

Jaden Roddick and Nicholas Booker (pictured on left), both undergraduate biology students, attended the 2015 Society for Neuroscience meeting in Chicago on Oct. 19. This international meeting hosts over 30,000 attendees from 75 countries. They presented research on how testosterone impacts the addition of new neurons into the brain. Roddick and Booker presented research conducted in Rachel Cohen’s laboratory on how testosterone impacts the addition of new neurons into the brain. Cohen is an assistant professor in Minnesota State Mankato's Department of Biological Sciences.

Courtney Igbo-Ogbonna (pictured on right) was recently crowned the winner of the 2016 Miss Chain of Lakes Scholarship Pageant. This qualifies her to compete at the state level. If crowned there, she will move on to compete in the 2016 Miss America Pageant.

Austin Rau, an undergraduate geography and honors student, won the Richason Scholarship from Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU), the International Geographical Honor Society. In a competition among honors students inducted to GTU, he was selected as one of only four undergraduates worldwide to receive honors from GTU for his outstanding academic performance.

Joe Wolf, an undergraduate geography student, spent the summer attending the Juneau Icefield Research Program (JIRP) in Alaska and Canada. The program has been in existence for 70 years and accepts only 30 students per year. He received a JIRP scholarship as well as Department of Geography scholarship funds and College of Social and Behavioral Sciences funds to support the program cost. He spent eight weeks on the icefield learning winter ski mountaineering skills and conducting research on climate change. He will present results of his work at the December meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

Zach Hilgendorf, a geography graduate student, won Best Master’s Student Research Paper at the Annual Meeting of the West Lake’s Division of the Association of American Geographers on Oct. 16. His second and third authors are Minnesota State Mankato faculty members Phil Larson of the geography department and Bryce Hoppie of the geology department. The paper is titled “County Ditch 57: Understanding the implications of intensive agricultural practices within first-order drainages and their effects on the larger system.”

Zachary Zoet, a geography graduate student, was awarded a Virtual Student Foreign Service intern assignment with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). He begins work immediately with the USAID and Central Asia Mission on the U.S. government's New Silk Road initiative, promoting stability and prosperity across Central and South Asia.

Faculty/Staff News

Heather Von Bank, associate professor in the Department of Family Consumer Science, was quoted in a recent Star Tribune column by Gail Rosenblum. Read the column here.

Ishuan Li, associate professor of economics, was named Reader for the Educational Testing Services (ETS)’s Advanced Placement Capstone Program. View the website for more information.

A manuscript by Raymond Asomani-Boateng (associate professor in the Urban and Regional Studies Institute) on “Assessing Local Networks: Commodity Queens and the management of market organic solid waste in indigenous open-air markets in Ghana” has been published in the Journal of Education Planning and Research. In addition, Asomani-Boateng’s manuscript “Assessing the market potential for compost use in Ghana’s urban areas” has been accepted for presentation at the 11th International Conference on Urban Regeneration and Sustainability in Alicante, Spain, from July 12-14, 2016.

Department News

The Minnesota State Mankato Library Services' October Newsletter is now available.

Minnesota State Mankato's club handball team was host to a tournament this past weekend that featured 100 competitors. KEYC TV did a story on the event.

Two members of the Maverick Machine marching band were recently married, and the band performed a show dedicated to the couple. The story was highlighted by as well as KEYC TV.

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, Nov. 11. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday, Nov. 6.

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