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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

COVID-19 campus response and Return to Learn news and updates.



January 13, 2016 Campus Newsletter

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Welcome Back Students

Minnesota State University, Mankato’s 11th Annual Winter Welcome Week will feature a variety of events to welcome back students for the spring semester.

The Winter Welcome Week tradition, which began in 2005, has evolved from an event with hot cocoa and a chili cook-off to a full week of events and activities coordinated by Residential Life staff. The week of activities is also assisted by different campus partners, including the Residence Hall Association, the Student Events Team, New Student and Family Programs, Campus Recreation, Library Services, and the Department of Athletics. Last year, over 1,500 students attended events.

Jan. 11 and 12 events included Welcome Back Hot Chocolate in area lobbies, dog sledding, the Found Footage Film Festival, and ice skating at All Seasons Arena.

Other events of the week will include a dodgeball tournament, the Maverick Tailgate and open climbing at Myers Field House.

Find information about events, dates and times here.

Job and Internship Fair

The Career Development Center invites all Minnesota State Mankato students and alumni to attend the Minnesota State Universities Job and Internship fair on Friday, Feb. 26 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center, Minn.

Each year, Minnesota State Mankato collaborates with other Minnesota state universities (in St. Cloud, Winona, Moorhead, Bemidji, etc.) to bring a collaborative job and internship fair together for all students and alumni. This year’s fair is expected to have 160 employers present, recruiting for both internships and full-time positions.

Free bus transportation from Mankato is available for students and alumni to and from the event. Students can register in advance for $25 through or register onsite the day of the event for $35 with cash/check.

Forensic Team Accomplishments

The Minnesota State Mankato Forensic Team competed in the third Twin City Forensic League Tournament of the semester on Dec. 1 at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. Ten schools competed in this tournament. Individual placements are listed:

  • Brady Taylor: 1st in Poetry Interpretation, finalist in Informative Speaking
  • Ariel Smith: 3rd in Dramatic Interpretation, finalist in Prose Interpretation
  • Bianca Walton: 3rd in Informative Speaking

HERS Institute

The Minnesota State Mankato President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) is now accepting applications for a University representative to attend one of the annual Higher Education Resource Services Institutes for women. HERS Institutes help to advance women leaders in the middle and executive levels of higher education administration.

The application consists of a self-descriptive letter, a letter of recommendation from a supervisor, a resume and a printed copy of the HERS application form. The application should not be submitted electronically. Find a printable copy of the application here.

HERS Institutes is offering three different locations and schedules for 2016. Find more information about each option here.

Completed applications are due by Jan. 22 to Gihanthi De Silva, the graduate assistant for the PCSW. You can submit applications via email to

Give Kids a Smile

Concerned about the growing number of children who are unable to access necessary dental care, Minnesota State Mankato’s Dental Education Department and area dental professionals will join a statewide effort to provide free dental care to area children from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5. Care will be provided in the University’s dental clinic, located in the lower level of Morris Hall.

Patients seeking appointments for cleanings, x-rays, exams, fluoride treatments and sealants should be under age 18 and accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

The University will also offer free dental exams and x-rays for adults on Friday, Feb. 5 from 8 a.m. to noon. To schedule an appointment, please call 507-389-2147.

Mileage Reimbursement Rates 

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced a decrease in the standard mileage reimbursement rate for business miles. The rate has been adopted for use by state employees and is effective from Jan. 1, 2016 to Dec. 31, 2016.

Mileage rates are used to calculate reimbursements to employees that use their personal vehicle for business trips. Employees should note that the university actually utilizes two different reimbursement rates. The IRS standard mileage reimbursement rate (54 cents) is used when a state-owned vehicle is unavailable, and a lesser rate (47 cents) is used when a state-owned vehicle is declined or not requested by the employee.

Please use the new mileage reimbursement rates when completing employee expense forms for trips taken during 2016. Click here for more information about traveling for the University. For questions regarding travel or expense reimbursements, contact Minnesota State Mankato’s Travel Claims Clerk Tami Galema-Liebi at 507-389-5006 or at

Unions United Food Drive Results

Results are in from this year's Unions United Food Drive, which began Nov. 23 and continued through Friday, Dec. 11.

The drive resulted in 420 food items collected and $829 raised for the ECHO Food Shelf.

The winner of the campus competition for most food items and cash collected was Memorial Library. The library collected 151 food items and $579. The unions thank everyone for contributing to the food drive.

Jan. 11-25: Professor Todd Shanafelt Art Exhibit

Minnesota State Mankato Professor Todd Shanafelt’s artwork will be on display in an exhibit titled “Ballades Répétés (Repeated Steps)” from Monday, Jan. 11 through Monday, Jan. 25 in Minnesota State Mankato’s Conkling Gallery.

A description of Shanafelt’s exhibit features a quote from poet John Keats that reads: “The poetry of the earth is never dead.” The description of Shanafelt’s exhibit then states: “These sculptural clusters are an attempt to illustrate this poetry. Small figurines are frozen in time depicting desperate scenes from the world that surrounds us.”
Shanafelt’s art will be on display at 139 Nelson Hall, the Conkling Gallery, during gallery hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday).

There will be an artist’s reception for Shanafelt at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 25 at the Conkling Gallery. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

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

Jan. 24: Singer/songwriter Andrea Lyn, Bluegrass Artist Dick Kimmel

Singer/songwriter Andrea Lyn will appear on stage with bluegrass artist Dick Kimmel at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24 in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

Andrea Lyn is a singer/songwriter from Minneapolis. She has shared the stage with The Marshall Tucker Band, Gene Watson, and Ronnie Dunn. In 2014, Lyn was a featured artist on the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand.

Dick Kimmel generally performs as a vocalist playing guitar, mandolin, and claw hammer banjo. He was inducted into America's Traditional Country and Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 2008, the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Mid-America Music Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2014, he was nominated as Bluegrass Entertainer of the Year by the Society for the Preservation of the Bluegrass Music of America.

Concert admission is $12 for community members, $11 for Minnesota State Mankato 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. 

Jan. 28: Employee Recognition Reception

The Employee Recognition Committee will host the Employee Recognition Reception on Jan. 28 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

President Davenport will present service awards at 9:45 a.m. Everyone is invited to attend and enjoy a relaxing morning of refreshments, music and appreciation.

Student News 

Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Business received praise for its Global Entrepreneurship Week and its annual Big Ideas Challenge in a recent column in Connect Business Magazine. This challenge provides $10,000 for winners to start up a business idea. Past winners include Kylen Feltes, a 2015 Minnesota State Mankato graduate and the founder and CEO of Dream Closet, and nursing alumnae Katie McDonald and Megan Chase, founders of Mankato Pediatric Respite.

According to a Waseca County News article, Minnesota State Mankato students Marisa Hansen, Andrew Langholz, Ethan Nelson, Nathan Paris, and Dillon Petrowitz are working with Janesville to vie for funding for funding from the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program, part of a national program aimed at creating safe opportunities for students to walk or bike to school. The students are part of an urban studies class that asks them to do something tangible for another city or organization.

Faculty/Staff News 

Tom Ahern, CEO of Capstone and Coughlan Companies, was selected as the Connect Business Person of the Year by College of Business faculty. Ahern led the company into the Digital Age, converting Capstone’s print content into online form, doubling the company’s revenue and bringing it into the international market.

Ellen Schofield’s ARTCRANK poster “Sol Cycle” was selected for How Magazine’s 7th Annual Poster Design Awards. Schofield is a faculty member in the Department of Art. Her poster was among 10 posters voted upon for the additional “Reader’s Choice Award.” View the poster here.

Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art faculty members Brian Frink, David Hamlow, Liz Miller and Josh Winkler and alumni Anne Rynearson and Lyz Wendland were awarded in the competition for Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants. Each artist received a $10,000 grant to support specific artistic research and projects that have a direct, positive impact on the lives of Minnesotans.

St. Paul students of the Sanneh Foundation’s Dreamline program visited Minnesota State Mankato for an interactive visit Nov. 20. Professor of English and Director of Technical Communication Lee Tesdell and Dean for Institutional Diversity Henry Morris have played a large role in helping to make this partnership possible. More information is available here.

In The Rankings

Minnesota State Mankato was recently ranked on a series of different criteria. Here is a sample of its recent rankings:


Bruce Williams, Minnesota State Mankato’s first African-American graduate, died Aug. 16. His accomplishments were summarized in a St. Paul Pioneer Press obituary here.

Online TODAY Magazine

Visit the online TODAY magazine at to keep up-to-date with news, alumni and stories about the people who help make this University great.

The mission of TODAY is to entertain, to inform and to connect the reader to the campus. The print TODAY is mailed twice per year to 95,000 alumni and friends.

TODAY welcomes story ideas supporting this mission. Contact Sara Frederick at 507-389-6981 or to share ideas.

Content is updated regularly, so check back often!


Do you have faculty, staff, student or departmental news for the campus newsletter? Send news items to the Media Relations Office at The newsletter is published every other Wednesday during the academic year (except during scheduled break weeks) and monthly during the summer. The next newsletter will be published Wednesday, Jan 27. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday, Jan. 22.

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