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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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April 13, 2016 Campus Newsletter

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26th Annual Fund Award Ceremony

Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport will be among those who honor 40 students for their dedication to the 2015-2016 Annual Giving Programs on Thursday, April 21 at 2 p.m. in Centennial Student Union, room 245. A reception will follow the program.

The student leaders have assisted in raising $5.1 million thus far in 2015-2016.

This year's campus drive chair was Joan Roca, dean of Library Services.

More information on the Annual Fund and Campus Drive is available online.

Stomper Move Crew 

Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Residential Life is seeking faculty and staff volunteers to help greet students and parents as they arrive to move into the residence halls Thursday, Aug. 18.

Faculty and staff will greet students and parents, direct them to the correct buildings to get keys and information and watch heaps of belongings that are piled in front of our halls. Volunteers will receive a free T-shirt to wear during their shift.

Volunteers are needed from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Entire shifts are from 7:45-11:45 a.m. and from 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. If a volunteer cannot work an entire shift, he or she is welcome to volunteer for just a few hours.

If you are interested in volunteering or have any questions, contact Torin Akey, associate director of residential life at or 389-1011 by June 16. Volunteers should include their T-shirt size and shift preference. Additional information will be provided to move crew volunteers in August.

'Spring Into Action'

Minnesota State Mankato’s Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services will host a "Spring into Action" event Tuesday, April 19 for the community to learn about activities for those individuals with disabilities. The free event will take place from 3:30-6 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

Attendants will have the chance to socialize and play game like Nine Square-in-the-Air, Softball Toss and life-size Pac-Man. There will also be snacks, prizes, resource information and the chance to learn about fun leisure opportunities in Mankato, especially for those with disabilities.

To register, email Jordain Hansen at Find more information on the event Facebook page.

Forensic Team Member Accomplishments

Minnesota State Mankato forensic team member Brady Taylor was recently selected as a 2016 AFA-NIET All-American team member. He was given this honor during the opening assembly for the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament held at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Fla., on April 2-4.

Any active speech competitor in his or her senior year of competition may be nominated; however only 13 students in the nation were selected. Selected students demonstrate strong competitive success in forensics, excellent academic records and an impressive resume of campus and community service.

Taylor joins nine other Minnesota State Mankato alums who have received this award since its inception in 2001.

Planning Common Read Activities for Fall 2016 

Minnesota State Mankato faculty and staff are invited to attend the final spring campus planning meeting for the 2016 Common Read. The meeting will take place from 2-3 p.m. Thursday, April 14, in Memorial Library 3105.

The 2016 Common Read book is “When the Emperor Was Divine,” a story about a Japanese-American family’s internment in a Utah enemy alien camp during World War II. It was written by Julie Otsuka.

The meeting will be a follow-up to two previous Common Read planning sessions. Attendants are encouraged to bring details for events/programs that different departments/groups are planning for fall 2016 so that this information can be included on the Common Read calendar.

For more information, contact Monika Antonelli at or 507-389-2507. There is also information at the Common Read website and Facebook page.

Veteran's Club 22 Push-Up Challenge 

For the second year in a row, in an effort to raise awareness of the high suicide rate of veterans, the Veteran’s Club is hosting its 22 Push-Up Challenge.

The challenge began April 1 and will take place each weekday throughout the month of April.

Participants meet at the fountain in front of the Centennial Student Union at 11:30 a.m. and do 22 push-ups. Everyone is welcome to participate.

The event is designed to raise awareness of the reality that, on average, 22 military veterans commit suicide in the United States every day, according to a 2012 data report issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

For more information, contact the Minnesota State Mankato Veterans Resource Center at 507-389-5726.

Employee Expense Reports

As a reminder for all faculty and staff who may be traveling during the summer, employee business expenses must be submitted for reimbursement within 60 days after the expense is incurred or the trip ends.

If a request is not submitted within 60 days, the reimbursement becomes taxable income to the employee. Consequently, federal, state, FICA and Medicare withholding taxes must be taken from the reimbursement and submitted to the IRS and can add up to nearly 40% of the total reimbursement request.

A detailed memo is available here. For additional information, contact Tami Liebl, the University’s travel claims clerk, at 507-389-5006, or view the University’s travel website.

Social and Behavioral Sciences Community Service Awards

The College of Social and Behavioral Science held a community service award reception March 30. Winners were chosen based on length of service, level of commitment, scope of volunteer activity, initiative in providing service, innovative solutions to problems and demonstration of leadership ability.

Three clubs and three individual winners were recognized during the event. The clubs recognized were the Gender and Women’s Studies Club, the School Psychology Society and the Social Work Club. The students recognized were Dillon Petrowitz, Lauren Johnson and Karisa Zachar.

Johnson was also selected as the Perry Wood Community Service Award winner. This award was initiated several years ago by Perry Wood, professor emeritus in the Urban and Regional Studies Institute, and consists of a $500 monetary award.

March 28-May 4: Senior Art Exhibits 

Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art students will display their art on campus at Conkling Gallery from March 28 to May 4 in three exhibits that are part of the department’s annual senior exhibits.

All artwork will be on display at 139 Nelson Hall, the Conkling Gallery, during gallery hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and some evenings as coverage permits). The public is welcome to meet all students of each art gallery on the first night of every exhibit. A reception will be held at 7 p.m. in the gallery March 28, April 11 and April 25.

Exhibit 1 was held March 28-April 6 with students Afi Anyide-Ocloo, Carleane Capelle, Collin Clyne, Michelle Larson, Kelsey Munson, Marquis Parks, Lacey Schneekloth, Lexi Schneekloth and Andrea Sweep.

Exhibit 2 is set for April 11-20 with students Brittany Belyea, Jetero Chhen, Woodlin Latocki, Jaylynn Nash, Colin O’Dea, Rebecca Porter, Ethan Schweizer, Brandon Thompson and Jack Worthington.

Exhibit 3 will be April 25-May 4 with students Angie Boettcher, Courtney Hanna, Nicole Mueller, Marina Nastepniak, Hanna Newman, Taylor Owen, Morgan Sierra, Topaz Torres and Sara Winter.

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

April 7-17: 'Mary Poppins' Closes Mainstage Season

Having begun the year with the massive musical “Titanic,” Minnesota State Mankato’s theatre is closing its 2015-16 mainstage season with the equally incredible and infinitely charming Disney’s “Mary Poppins.”

“Mary Poppins” will run 7:30 p.m. April 7-9 and 14-16 and 2 p.m. April 9, 10, 16 and 17 in the Ted Paul Theatre in the Earley Center for Performing Arts. The production is sponsored by Community Bank Mankato, Jones & Magnus (Attorneys at Law) and Tailwind Group.

About the musical: Young Jane and Michael Banks have sent many a nanny packing before Mary Poppins arrives on their doorstep. Using a combination of magic and common sense, she must teach the family how to value each other again. Popular songs include “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Let's Go Fly A Kite” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” This is the first time Minnesota State Mankato has presented Mary Poppins.

Tickets are $22 regular; $19 for seniors ages 65 and older, children under 16 and groups of 15 or more; and $15 for Minnesota State Mankato students.

Contact Amanda Dyslin at 507-389-6663, or for more information.

April 13: Michael Langley Presentation

Michael Langley, the CEO of GREATER MSP, the Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership, will discuss “Managing High-Performing Economic Development Organizations” Wednesday, April 13, from 6-8:45 p.m. at Minnesota State Mankato’s Morris Hall, room 112.

Langley’s presentation, sponsored by Minnesota State Mankato’s Urban and Regional Studies Institute, is free, but is open only to Minnesota State Mankato students and employees. University students and employees interested in attending should RSVP to Nathan Pasmore at or by phone at 507-389-1714.

According to Langley’s biography on the GREATER MSP website, GREATER MSP leads global promotion, regional strategy and project management for economic growth and job creation in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region, with 3.5 million residents and a gross metropolitan product of over $230 billion. Langley brings years of experience to the role as a widely recognized economic development strategist who has also led successful regional economic development organizations in Florida and Pennsylvania.

April 14: Good Thunder Reading Series 

Minnesota State Mankato will host Minnesota native Susan Power (pictured left) and Minnesota State Mankato master of fine arts degree candidate Taylor Tolchin on April 14 for the Robert C. Wright Minnesota Writer Residency as part of the Good Thunder Reading Series.

On Thursday, April 14, Power will lead a workshop at 10 a.m. in Centennial Student Union, Room 202. She’ll present a craft talk at 3 p.m. in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium. Power and Tolchin will read from their work and sign books at 7:30 p.m. in Centennial Student Union, Room 245.

All Good Thunder Reading Series events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Diana Joseph at or 507-389-5144 or visit the Good Thunder Reading Series website.

April 15: Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards 

The 2016 Minnesota State Mankato distinguished alumni honorees include the owner, president and CEO of a cargo security company, a nursing administrator and educator, a retired high school chemistry teacher and a disaster program manager for the American Red Cross.

The University’s Alumni Association will present its Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards to four individuals at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 15 on campus in the Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium. Four additional awards will be presented to recognize humanitarian work, successful young alumni and service to Minnesota State Mankato.

The Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award is presented to graduates who have achieved high rank or honor in their professions, had widespread effect on their communities and are recognized for their achievements over the course of their careers. This year’s recipients are: David Falk, Waconia, Minn. (pictured right); Debora Natvig, Greenwood, S.C.; Maurice Oehler, Prairie du Chien, Wis.; and Jeffrey Stewart, Rosenberg, Texas.

The Harold J. Fitterer Service Award is presented to graduates who have given distinguished service to Minnesota State Mankato through work preserving and promoting university programs. This year’s recipient is Ginger Zierdt, Mankato, Minn.

The Distinguished Alumni Humanitarian Award recognizes graduates whose lives exemplify service to humankind, and who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to humanitarian causes. This year’s recipient is Carol Martin, Lititz, Pa.

The Distinguished Young Alumni Award honors graduates 35 years old or younger who reached personal or professional achievements early in their careers, positively impacted their communities, and show promise for continued success. This year’s recipients are Sophia Bera, Austin, Texas, and Michael D. Leech, Astoria, N.Y.

More information on the awards and recipients can be found online or by calling (507) 389-3235.

April 16: State of U.S. Foreign Policy in 2016 

Tom Hanson, who spent 25 years as a U.S. foreign service officer, will discuss the state of U.S. foreign policy in 2016 in a presentation from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at Minnesota State Mankato’s Ostrander Auditorium.

Just having returned from a trip to the Middle East, Hanson will present his analysis of the latest foreign policy developments, trends and challenges facing the United States in the year ahead.

Hanson is a worldwide speaker on foreign policy. He is a 25-year veteran of the Foreign Service, having served in East Germany, France, Norway, the Soviet Union, Sweden and Mongolia. He also served on Foreign Relations Committees in both the U.S. House and Senate and was director for NATO and European Affairs at the Atlantic Council of the United States. He is also a Diplomat in Residence at the Royal D. Alworth Jr. Institute for International Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

The Mankato Area Lifelong Learners are sponsoring Hanson’s presentation along with Stifel and Andy and Heather Foster. For more information about Mankato Area Lifelong Learners, call 507-389-2011, email or visit the Lifelong Learners website.

April 18: Combatting the Evil of Torture

The Kessel Peace Institute will host a discussion from 7-9 p.m. Monday, April 18 in Centennial Student Union, Room 201. The discussion is titled “Combatting the Evil of Torture.”

The discussion will be led by Sister Alice Zachmann of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, who has worked to combat the use of torture and support torture survivors for more than 30 years.

The discussion will discuss the nature of torture, the reasons for which governments employ it, the effects on victims and survivors and the inspiring stories of people who have recovered their lives after the nightmare of torture.

April 18: Hip Hop Artist Sammy Adams Concert

Sammy Adams, an American rapper and recording artist from Boston, will perform in concert at Minnesota State Mankato at 7 p.m. Monday, April 18, in Bresnan Arena, located in the Taylor Center.

The concert is for all ages, and doors will open at 6 p.m. All tickets are general admission, with standing room on the floor and elevated seating. E-tickets are on sale now at and are $25 for the general public, faculty and staff. E-tickets are $15 for Minnesota State Mankato students, who may purchase one student ticket per valid MavCARD or online purchase.

Tickets may be purchased in person at the Student Activities front desk in Centennial Student Union Room 173. For more information, contact Emily Lange at 507-380-6076 or

April 18-22: 'Before I Die' Wall

Minnesota State Mankato’s Student Events Team are sponsoring a "Before I Die Wall" in two locations the week of April 18. One location will be in Centennial Student Union and the other will move around campus.

Students can join the fun by writing their answers and engaging in conversation with others.

April 19: Mass Media Day 

Rachael Hanel, assistant professor of mass media, will be the featured speaker at the Department of Mass Media’s Mass Media Day April 19. She will present at 7 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium.

The title of Hanel’s presentation is “Filling in the Gaps: A Literary Journalism Approach to Camilla Hall and the Symbionese Liberation Army.”

Camilla Hall was a St. Peter, Minn., native who became involved in the Symbionese Liberation Army, a domestic terrorist group infamous for kidnapping newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst. She was killed in a shoot-out with Los Angeles police in May 1974. Hanel stumbled across information on Hall 16 years ago, leading her to recreate Hall’s life on paper using a literary journalism approach. The presentation will address Hanel’s research and writing process.

April 25: Douglas R. Moore Lectureship

Rebecca Moen, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Geology, will be the featured speaker at the 2016 Douglas R. Moore Faculty Research Lectureship. The event will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, April 25, in the Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium. The lecture is titled “Oxidative Stress and Muscle.”

This will be the 42nd lecture and the 27th to be named in honor of former president Douglas R. Moore (pictured left).

In a summary of her presentation, Moen wrote: "My research is dedicated to understanding fundamental mechanisms of oxidative stress and muscle function through biochemical applications and novel approaches in site-directed spectroscopy. The age-related deterioration of muscle function is characterized by a decrease in contractile force, progressive loss of muscle mass, and slowing of muscle movement. The defects in muscle force generation are due not only to muscle atrophy but also to molecular modifications within the muscle contractile proteins. These changes can be caused by a chronic imbalance in reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the antioxidants that combat them, a condition termed oxidative stress. My research aim is to bridge the understanding of protein oxidation and muscle dysfunction with molecular-level insights to explain the process by which oxidative modifications lead to muscle malfunction. This advancement in the knowledge of oxidative mechanisms is important for making progress in treatment of degenerative health problems in general, not just in muscle."

Student News

Yves Oelke, a student from the University’s exchange partner, Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences in Germany, presented scholarly work at the American Association of Geographers annual meeting in San Francisco March 29-April 2. He delivered a speech titled “Greater Mankato, Minnesota Employees: Where Do They Live and Why?” He worked with geography professor Rama Mohapatra.

Minnesota State Mankato’s Maverick Elision group performed in the SingStrongDC vocal festival in Washington, D.C., April 1. Recognized as one of the top groups of the evening, the team received critiques from three professionals in the field, who talked about its great blend, outstanding soloists and fine choice of repertoire that highlighted the many talented vocalists in the group. The group also received a private coaching session with Broadway/television star-singer Diana Preisler and festival producer/a cappella star Jonathan Minkoff.

Faculty/Staff News

James Wilde, professor in the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, and 27 Minnesota State Mankato engineering students are leading an after-school program for grades 3 through 6 at St. Mary’s School in Sleepy Eye, Minn. The program is filled with hands-on activities related to concepts of mechanical, electrical and civil engineering. Read the full article here.

Department News

The Department of Residential Life has announced that starting this summer, “flex dollars” will be referred to as “dining dollars” to provide a more descriptive name to assist incoming students and their family members in making transactions. The amount of dining dollars that are associated with each plan will remain unchanged for 2016-17.

In The Rankings

The city of Mankato was ranked 21st out of 50 as one of the most affordable college towns in the United States by Minnesota State Mankato was mentioned in the description of the city.

Information SecURity: U R at the Center

Information Security Awareness Tip #12

Beware sketchy messages. Phishy messages may include a formal salutation, overly friendly tone, grammatical errors, urgent requests or gimmicks. Read more.

Information Security Awareness Tip #13

Verify the source. Check the sender’s email address to make sure it’s legitimate. If in doubt, just delete the message. Read more.

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, April 27. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday, April 22.

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