shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Campus Community: click here for COVID-19 news and updates.


March 16, 2016 Campus Newsletter

Page address:

'Steal This Idea' Competition

Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Centennial Student Union earned second place in the national Association of College Unions International annual “Steal This Idea” competition.

The University earned second place in the Interior and Wall Art category for the elevator wrap campaign titled “The Maverick Crowd: Celebrating Our Students.” The campaign worked with Sports Pix in Mankato, Minn., to photograph the elevator cabs crowded with students of different University groups, including MSSA, Campus Recreation and Student Events Team. The photos were then used to wrap elevator doors.

The winning entries are selected based on concept, design, editorial content and effectiveness.

This idea will be displayed at the annual conference in New Orleans March 20-23 and will appear in the July/August 2016 issue of ACUI’s The Bulletin.

HLC Accreditation Visit March 28-29

A team from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) will be visiting campus as part of the University’s reaffirmation of accreditation. HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region of the United States and conducts a full review of accreditation every 10 years.

Accreditation is critical to the University because it assures the public that the University meets certain standards in terms of mission; integrity; quality of teaching and learning; evaluation and improvement of teaching and learning; and utilization of resources, planning and institutional effectiveness. The HLC and other accrediting agencies are also considered to be “gatekeepers” for federal funding in higher education; unaccredited schools are not eligible for many kinds of federal support.

For more information about the accreditation process, what HLC looks for and how it evaluates the University, please click here. Campus open forums will be scheduled during the HLC site visit with students, faculty and staff. Times and locations for the HLC campus open forums will be announced shortly.

Tobacco Cessation Resources

Student Health Services currently offers cessation resources for tobacco and e-cigarette users on Minnesota State Mankato’s tobacco and smoke-free campus.

There are nicotine replacement therapies, such as patches, gum and lozenges available for purchase at a discounted price in the Student Health Services pharmacy.

Quit Kits are also available for free upon request. These kits can help delay nicotine cravings while on campus. Check out the Student Health Services website to request a kit.

QUITPLAN is a free resource for everyone in Minnesota. It includes email, phone or text coaching and a starter quit. Call 1-888-354-7526 for more information.

If you see someone on campus smoking and do not feel comfortable confronting him or her, please fill out a “Hot Spot” report form.

College of Business Research Day

Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Business will host its Research Day Friday, March 25 in Morris Hall 208 (Finance Lab). Breakfast will be served at 9:30 a.m. and presentations will begin at 10 a.m.

2015-16 Research Award recipients include faculty members Queen E. Booker, Jianwei Hou, Christine Brown Mahoney and Stephen E. Wilcox. Each will give an approximately 20-minute presentation of their project and noteworthy findings.

2016-17 Research Award recipients include faculty members Leon Chen, Oksana Kim, Christine Brown Mahoney and Byron Pike. Each will give an approximately 10-minute overview of their research project.

Tech Fair

Information and Technology Services will host a Tech Fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 23 in the main corridor of the Centennial Student Union.

The event’s theme is “Connecting Faculty, Staff and Students With Technology That Powers Success.”

There will be informational tables, an innovation space and bingo for prizes.

More information about Information and Technology Services is available online here.

Maverick Machine Accomplishments

The Minnesota State Mankato Maverick Machine marching band placed first at the Winterguard International Minneapolis Regional Competition. Twenty-six teams competed.

The band performed “Mr. Roboto” by the Styx and “Firebird” by Stravinsky in a show titled “The Rise of the Machine.”

The Maverick Machine was the only collegiate group that participated in the competition, and its scores currently have the band ranked in the top five nationally, according to Michael Thursby, director of athletic bands.

No Frills Conference

A group of Minnesota State Mankato residence hall students were recently awarded the bid to host the 2017 No Frills Conference next February.

No Frills is a business conference attended by elected student leaders in the Midwest Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls.

At the next conference, elected leaders will do strategic planning and vote on collaborative changes for the future of residence halls, awards will be given and elections will take place for the region’s future leaders.

The bid team created a 46-page bid and two presentations and was one of four colleges and universities to apply to host the conference.

Team members are Jennifer Anderson, Arliah Cox, Kayla Cremers, Meme Cronin, Madison Gottschalk, Sidney Knapper, Ruru Machinga, Olivia Maldonado, Jay Meyer, Erin Reiels, Katie Schleper, Kate Schmit and Gracie Smith. They were advised by Kristen Andrews.

Diversity Strategic Inclusion Plan

Minnesota State Mankato’s Diversity Commission is continuing to gather information from the community on a diversity inclusivity workplan. There are two listening sessions remaining: Friday, March 25 from 8-9 a.m. and 3-4 p.m. in Centennial Student Union, room 204.

As part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Charting the Future initiative, Minnesota State has directed each college and university in the system to develop an “inclusivity plan” that will enable campuses to effectively increase diversity for employees and students at all levels of the institution, close the opportunity gap for students and meet the needs of the institution's economic region. 

More information is available on the Diversity Commission website.

Forensic Team Accomplishments

The Minnesota State Mankato forensic team traveled to Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., to compete in the state tournament Feb. 20-21. Minnesota State Mankato placed third as a team in both individual events and overall sweepstakes. Ten schools competed in the tournament. 

Minnesota State Mankato won 12 of the state championships awards given. Specifics are listed below.

  • Brady Taylor: 1st in Informative Speaking, 2nd in Communication Analysis, 2nd in Poetry Interpretation, 3rd in Extemporaneous Speaking, 4th in Impromptu Speaking and 2nd in Individual Sweepstakes
  • Aletta Arndt: 1st in Dramatic Interpretation, 3rd in Communication Analysis
  • Emmalee Eide: 1st in After-Dinner Speaking, 3rd in Dramatic Interpretation, 4th in Duo Interpretation
  • Alex Mathiowetz: 3rd in Oratory (First alternate for the Interstate Oratorical National Tournament in April), 3rd in Duo Interpretation and 5th in Prose Interpretation
  • Ariel Smith: 3rd in Extemporaneous Interpretation, 3rd in Duo Interpretation and 6th in Prose Interpretation
  • Bianca Walton: 2nd in Informative Speaking
  • Emily Huttner: 4th in Duo Interpretation
  • Alex Smith: 5th in After-Dinner Speaking

Emergency Management Training

Campus Security and Community Engagement Officer Seth Whalen (pictured on left in photo) was awarded a Director’s Qualification Emergency Management Certificate from the State of Minnesota Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management on Feb. 11.

Whalen completed more than 260 hours of FEMA independent study courses and HSEM group training classes and workshops to earn this certificate. Whalen will be able to put his training into practice on campus by applying it to existing emergency response plans.

Representatives from the Mankato Department of Public Safety and the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office received certificates the same day.

Cyber Defense Competition

Minnesota State Mankato students took third place at the 11th annual Minnesota Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition March 5 in Minneapolis at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and in Alexandria, Minn.

The competition is a day-long battle that places student teams against incessant cyber attacks by a team of security professionals.

Team captain Zach Orum along with students Jesse Aland, Sarah Day, Eduardo Herrera-Velasquez, Joshua Jordi, Brad Kosel, Myles Landais and Dan Salmon formed the Minnesota State Mankato team. The team’s coaches were adjunct faculty members Brad Ammerman and Sarah Kruse.

The top three teams will be recognized at the Secure360 Conference in St. Paul, Minn., May 18.

Lifelong Learners Spring 2016 Program

Mankato Area Lifelong Learners will host a series of presentations, discussions and special events throughout April, May and June. There is a wide variety of events to attend, some occurring weekly.

Some events include a taxidermy presentation, an art crawl and a day tour of New Ulm. Two new art workshops will also be offered.

A full list of events, prices and registration information is available at the Lifelong Learners website.

March 15-18: Good Thunder Reading Series

Minnesota State Mankato will host poet and creative nonfiction writer Jonathan Johnson from March 15-18 for the Good Thunder Reading Series’ Eddice B. Barber Visiting Writer Residency.

Johnson will lead a writing workshop at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 15 through Friday, March 18 in Centennial Student Union, room 202. He will present a craft talk at 3 p.m. March 17 in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium and give a reading from his 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.

Johnson’s poems have appeared in Best American Poetry and numerous other anthologies, as well as recent issues of Southern Review, Ploughshares, North American Review and The Prairie Schooner. Johnson is also the author of a memoir titled “Hannah and the Mountain: Notes Toward a Wilderness Fatherhood,” published in 2005 by the University of Nebraska Press in its American Lives Series.

Johnson is a professor at the Inland Northwest Center for Writers, the master of fine arts program at Eastern Washington University.

For photos or more information, contact Diana Joseph at or 507-389-5144 or visit the website.

March 17-20: Student Art Installation Exhibition

Twin Rivers Council for the Arts will host Strata, a site-specific installation exhibition of three Minnesota State University, Mankato students in the Emy Frentz Arts Guild Gallery at 523 South 2nd Street in Mankato from March 17 until April 20.

The exhibition will feature the work of Minnesota State Mankato students Shelley Caldwell, Eli Rose and Shayna Tietje, each of whom is enrolled in advanced installation art courses at the University.

The public is invited to attend an opening reception on Thursday, March 17 from 5-8 p.m. at the gallery. Light refreshments will be served. More information is available here.

March 19: Davina and the Vagabonds

Davina and the Vagabonds will perform on Saturday, March 19 at Hooligans Neighborhood Pub, 1400 East Madison Ave., Mankato. The concert will begin at 8 p.m. with Davina Sowers performing two sets that evening. Concert attendees are able to stay for both sets.

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.

“We are very excited to be returning to Mankato,” Davina Sowers (pictured) said. “It has been quite some time since we last appeared there. We always have a great time, and the Mankato audiences have always been very supportive and enthusiastic. We plan to have some new music to share as well.”

Concert admission is $15 in advance and $18 the day of the show. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to and select the ‘News and Events’ link. For more information, call the Performance Series office, (507) 389-5549.

March 20: Sustainability Expo

The 2016 Sustainability Expo will take place Sunday, March 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union Ballroom. This year’s event is being offered in connection with the campus Common Read program and will focus on the theme of sustainable food. The Expo is sponsored by the Environmental Committee and Library Services at Minnesota State Mankato, Transition Mankato and the Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Ministry.

It is a free event.

Following up on the success of the 2014 Sustainability Expo, the daylong activities will again consist of information tables, speakers, workshops, vendors, kid friendly activities and lots of fun. Expo organizers are looking for exhibitors, presenters, local organizations and attendees who are interested in participating in creating a sustainable and resilient community together.

An online form is available for organizations and businesses that would like to register. For more information about the Sustainable Expo and to access the online form, click here or contact Monika Antonelli at 507-389-2507 or by email at

March 21: Cordoba, Spain's 20th, 21st-Century Islamic Monuments

Jennifer Roberson, an associate professor of art history at Sonoma (Calif.) State University, will discuss Islamic monuments built in the 20th and 21st centuries in Cordoba, Spain, in a guest lecture Monday, March 21 from 7-8 p.m. in Minnesota State Mankato’s Nelson Hall, room 3.

Roberson’s presentation is free and open to the public.

According to a lecture preview, Roberson will examine the treatment of Cordoba’s historic Islamic monuments and the new narratives that arose as the political climate in Spain shifted drastically after general and dictator Francisco Franco’s death in 1975.

For more information, please contact Alisa Eimen by email at or by phone at 507-389-2886.

March 21: Male Allies in Anti-Violence Activism

Kris Macomber, a visiting assistant professor at Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C., will present a lecture, “Male Allies in Anti-Violence Activism: Lessons Learned and Next Steps,” on Monday, March 21 from 6:30-8 p.m. in Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

The lecture, free and open to the public, is part of a three-month series of events in February, March and April at Minnesota State Mankato that have been scheduled in an effort to end violence against women. All the events are free and open to the public.

In April, guest speaker Sarah Deer, a professor of law and co-director of the Indian Law Program at William Mitchell College, will present a lecture titled “The Beginning and End of Rape: Sexual Violence in Indian Country.” Deer’s presentation is scheduled for Wednesday, April 20 at 5:30 p.m. in the University’s Ostrander Auditorium.

For more information on any of the events, please contact Carol Glasser by email at or by phone (cell: 949-278-5583; office: 507-389-1345).

March 24-25: Pan African Student Leadership Conference

The 40th annual Dr. Michael T. Fagin Pan African Student Leadership Conference will be held March 24 and 25 in the Centennial Student Union on the Minnesota State Mankato campus.

Conference highlights include a keynote speech by Fagin, the founder of the conference, at 5:30 p.m. March 24, and a keynote presentation at 11:30 a.m. March 25 by Joan Morgan, journalist and Black-feminist writer.

For more information on the conference schedule and to register for the conference, visit Minnesota State Mankato’s Institutional Diversity website.

The focus of this conference is to build student leaders and provide an opportunity for academic scholars, students, professionals and community members to discuss issues that affect African people.

The theme for this year’s conference is “Leading for Change.”

March 25-26: Campus Camp Wellstone

Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Communication Studies, as a result of a generous donation from the Andreas family to the College of Arts and Humanities, will host Campus Camp Wellstone from 3-6 p.m. Friday, March 25, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 26 in Armstrong Hall 101.

Campus Camp Wellstone is a two-day leadership development program that helps students acquire specific strategies for grassroots organizing, forming community coalitions and developing campaigns for various social issues. Participants will gain leadership skills, build their resumes, practice concrete skills and learn how to make a difference on campus and in the community.

The workshop is free for University students, staff and community members. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

This program was created to honor the legacy of the late U.S. Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone and his wife, Sheila Wellstone.

Sign-up forms are available here.

For more information, contact David Engen, associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies, at or Sachi Sekimoto, associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies, at

March 29: Frontier Forum

The College of Social and Behavior Sciences will host the 37th annual Frontier Forum from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday, March 29 in Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union Ostrander Auditorium.

Carol Glasser, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Corrections, will give a presentation titled “Women, Animals and Activism: A Call for Total Liberation.” This event is free and open to the public.

What do sexism and animal abuse have in common? Can we end sexism, racism or other forms of oppression if we don’t also address animal rights? How can activism help to improve our world? This talk investigates these questions and more.

Glasser will discuss the connections between the oppression of human women and nonhuman animals. These themes will be explored through examples such as intimate partner violence, cultural expectations surrounding food, and the use of sexist and anti-animal images in advertisements. The specific case of women and animals will be used as a springboard to discuss social justice issues more broadly and the links between different forms of oppression. Glasser will conclude with a discussion of the emerging ideology of total liberation and provide a framework for effective social justice activism.

Glasser's research examines social movements, human-animal studies, and gender inequality. Glasser is committed to helping create a more egalitarian world through teaching, research, and engaging in advocacy and activism for a variety of movements advocating for social justice. She is the coordinator of the Social Justice Lecture Series at Minnesota State Mankato and is also the co-founder of the feminist collective, Progress for Science, which seeks to end experimentation on nonhuman animals.

For more information on the presentation, please contact Carol Glasser by email at or by phone at 507-389-1345.

March 29: Morgan Thomas Executive-In-Residence

The featured speaker for the College of Business 2016 Morgan Thomas Executive-In-Residence lecture will be Peter Bailey, president of the Prouty Project, who will speak on "The Business of Life" from 4:30-6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29 in Ostrander Auditorium.

Bailey's lecture is part of the 2016 Morgan Thomas Executive-In-Residence series, which include workshops and seminars on March 28-29 that explore and celebrate the concepts of how the College of Business community of practice educates and elevates all students, faculty, staff and business community members on the heroic journeys of their lives.

Information regarding dates, times and locations are available here.

Student News

Minnesota State Mankato’s physical education-school health teacher candidate Alex Kvanli will join a group of 190 physical and health educators March 1-2 in Washington, D.C., for SHAPE America’s Society of Health and Physical Educators 8th annual SPEAK Out! Day. The group will speak to Congressional representatives to ensure that physical and health education are appropriately funded and addressed in a new federal education law titled Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Two Honors Program students, Rachael Igo and Hayley Gorman, received the Project of the Year Award presented by the President's Commission on the Status of Women at Minnesota State Mankato for their research project, "Students' Feminist Identification and Values at Minnesota State Mankato." The purpose of the study was to discover what students at Minnesota State Mankato think of feminism, how they identify with it and to discover if their self-identification correlates with how they agree or disagree with feminist values. The project was carried out under the supervision of faculty member Laura Harrison.

Kwame Opoku Akyeampong, Ali Oku, Uyi Jefferson Imasuen and Okhumhekho Kassim, all students in the Honors Program, were selected as one of the top eight undergraduate medical research teams involved in the Mayo Clinic’s Innovative Minds Partnering to Advance Curative Therapies (IMPACT) research project. They gave both a poster and an oral presentation at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., on March 5.

Six students in the Department of Economics were selected to present at the 30th annual NCUR Conference at the University of North Carolina Asheville from April 7-9. The students are Franziska Deeg, Caleb Goettl, Zegbi Gogui, Jeremiah Miller, Darren Page and Karl Stenerson. All six students are advised by Kwang Woo (Ken) Park, professor of economics, through the Seminars in Applied Econometrics (ECON 485W).

Students Jacob Bukkila, Mehedi Hassan, Natalie Moses, Clenten Ndonwie, Stephanie Peterson, Katherine Rasley and Karl Stenerson will present at Posters at St. Paul March 17. Posters at St. Paul gives students an opportunity to share undergraduate research, scholarly or creative activity with legislators and other leaders in the state government.

Faculty/Staff News

The Mankato Free Press featured Gwen Westerman, professor of English, in an article about the National Endowment for the Humanities grant she received to translate and create a critical edition of letters written by Dakota people living in Minnesota in the mid-19th century.

Tom Inglot, professor of political science, published an article in the refereed journal “Social Policy and Administration.”

Cherie D. Pettitt, assistant professor in the Department of Human Performance, was recently appointed to the 2016 Exercise is Medicine Emerging Leader Program with the American College of Sports Medicine. Pettitt was one of five professionals selected from a national applicant pool. The committee will be determining the priorities of the "Exercise is Medicine" initiative over the next three years.

Department of Family and Consumer Sciences Chair Jill Conlon presented at the Minnesota Association of Family and Consumer Sciences annual conference Feb. 26-27 in Brainerd, Minn. The International Falls Journal covered the event.

The abstract of a paper written by economics faculty members Ishuan Li (associate professor), and Robert Simonson (professor) and urban studies graduate student Matthew Malvin was published in Undergraduate Research Highlights section of the 2016 spring issue of the journal of the Council on Undergraduate Research. More information is available here.

Department News

The American College Personnel Association (ACPA) has named Minnesota State Mankato one of two recipients of its national 2016 ACPA Collaborative Excellence Award. The University was honored for holding its 2014 “mock house party,” which the University held annually in the fall for 12 years (2003-2014) at an off-campus fraternity house in an effort to educate students on the dangers of high-risk drinking. Student Health Services organized the annual mock house party, during which students took tours of a real fraternity house to explore a “house party” from a sober perspective.

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences’ March Good News (broken link) is now available. 

The Glen Taylor Nursing Institute for Family and Society has published its 2015 Annual Report (broken link).

Minnesota State Mankato was recently ranked as 28 out of 30 of the most affordable online nurse educator programs of 2016 by the National Center of Education Statistics College Navigator. More information is available here.


W. Kirk Hankins, a former associate professor, died Feb. 18. He was employed in Minnesota State Mankato’s accounting department for 10 years. Read his full obituary here.

Roger Zimmerman, professor emeritus, died Feb. 22. He was employed in Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Curriculum & Instruction in the College of Education for 34 years. Read his full obituary here.

Former Library Technician Ruth Ballard, staff member emerita, died March 2. She was employed with Minnesota State Mankato for 28 years. Read her full 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, March 30. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday, March 25.

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