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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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April 27, 2016 Campus Newsletter

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Employee Appreciation Breakfast

On behalf of Minnesota State University, Mankato's Employee Recognition Committee, and to express gratitude for a great year, all employees are invited to the employee appreciation breakfast Monday, May 9 from 8-9:30 a.m. at Carkoski Commons. There will be a program at 8:45 a.m.

A breakfast buffet will include pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, fresh fruit, coffee and orange juice.

Offices may be closed for the period of time all staff are at the event. This is intended to be a day that the university employees can enjoy. 

Campus Beautification

Facilities Management has announced that this year's 16th annual spring planting and campus beautification day will be Tuesday, May 3 at 11:30 a.m. (Wednesday, May 4 is the weather back-up date.)

The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. with lunch (hot dogs and chips) served up by Facilities Management staff on the Performing Arts Plaza. At noon, “volunteer teams” will be assigned to one of 27 campus areas for planting, cleanup, raking, etc.

The enthusiastic response and teamwork seen on previous campus beautification days has greatly contributed to making the Minnesota State Mankato campus the lovely place that it is.

An all-staff email was sent out on Monday, April 25 with details on signing up to help continue this tradition. For more information on how to sign up, please contact Becky Gahler, office administrator in Facilities Management, by phone at 389-2267 or by email at


Faculty and staff are personally invited and enthusiastically encouraged to attend and/or participate in the Saturday, May 7 commencement ceremonies. The invitation was extended by Marilyn Wells, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs; Paul Hustoles, director of theatre & commencement coordinator; Mary Visser, president, Minnesota State Mankato Faculty Association; and Jean Clarke, president, MSUAASF.

Three commencement ceremonies are scheduled:

  • 9 a.m.   College of Arts and Humanities; College of Science, Engineering, and Technology
  • 12 p.m. College of Allied Health and Nursing; College of Education
  • 3 p.m.   College of Business; College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

This year's ceremonies will include some new features intended to "shorten and liven up the proceedings."  These include a pre-ceremony student DJ, a "tighter" script, both graduate and undergraduate student commencement speakers, and more. All staff are invited to attend the ceremonies.

Service faculty and administrators who may not be associated with a particular college are invited to pick a time to "walk." Requests to participate must be made by the end of the day on Friday, April 29. Please contact Becky Miller at with your name, rank and the year your employment began at Minnesota State Mankato, along with the ceremony in which you would like to participate.

Gowns are available to borrow on a first-come, first-served basis (your height is needed). Ceremony participants will need to get their own hoods, which are available for rent (deadline is Friday, April 29) for an approximate cost of $30 at the on-campus Barnes and Noble bookstore. Barnes and Noble will need to know your academic degree and alma mater.  For any additional questions, please contact Becky Miller at

Live-Streaming Captioning Services

Minnesota State Mankato will provide live-streaming captioning services to support its deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

This service will provide live, closed captions for the spring 2016 commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 7. The captions will be typed live to display the text from speakers at the ceremonies and will be streamed over the web with the commencement video feed for those viewing remotely.

The captioned web stream is available for each of the three ceremonies -- at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. May 7.

The service is a partnership effort between Minnesota State Mankato's Offices of Accessibility Resources, Graduation Services and Information and Technology Services.

Midwest Play Conference 

The 2016 Midwest Play Conference will take place on campus in Minnesota State Mankato's Centennial Student Union from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 25. A reception at the Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota will follow from 4:30-7 p.m.

The Midwest Play Conference is an inaugural event that brings playful professionals, educators, parents, play advocates and community members together. Attendees will have the opportunity to network and learn about local efforts to promote play throughout the Midwest.

The keynote speaker is Lisa Murphy, the founder of Ooey Gooey Inc. Her mission is to assist the training of early childhood educators. Her lecture will inspire educators and parents to create environments that are relevant, meaningful, play-based and grounded in nurturing relationships. The conference will also include discussions, lectures and hands-on workshops covering various play topics. 

Register by Monday, May 16 to receive the early bird rate of $50. Tickets will be $75 after May 16 and will be $25 for undergraduate students with a student ID. Five contact hours (professional development hours) will be issued. 

Hooper Award 

Minnesota State Mankato teacher candidate Giovanna Margallie, an elementary education major, received the Hooper Award, sponsored by the Minnesota Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. She and her nominator, Steven Reuter, professor in the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education, attended the MN ASCD conference April 9.

The award is given to one teaching candidate from all participating teacher preparation programs in Minnesota and recognizes the recipient for scholarship, leadership, integrity and enthusiasm for teaching and learning. 

Margallie is currently student teaching in the Bloomington school district and will graduate in May 2016.

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).

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 was held 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 held 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 28: Jazz Ensembles and Contemporary Groups Spring Concert

Minnesota State Mankato's Department of Music will host a performance of the University jazz bands, Maverick Elision (pictured) and Maverick Fusion vocal groups and instrumental combos Thursday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for the Performing Arts. 

Douglas Snapp, director of jazz studies, and undergraduate Adam Maurer direct the groups. This concert, celebrating the end of the academic school year, will feature a variety of popular and contemporary music.

Concert admission is $9 for community members 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. 

April 30-May 1: Rock, Pop and Opera Performance

Students from Minnesota State Mankato's Department of Music vocal studios will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30, and again at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 1. Both performances will take place in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The performance is titled "Rock, Pop & Opera" and is directed by Nicholas Wayne from the University's theatre department and Stephanie Thorpe (pictured) from the University's music department.

The concert will feature vocal and instrumental students performing in a contemporary combination of rock, folk, pop, music theatre and operatic vocal genres. Musical selections will range from Die Fledermaus, La Traviata, Les Miserables, Miss Saigion to Queen and Imagine Dragons.

General admission is $12 and $11 for University students with a valid MavCARD. Discounted 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.

April 30: Elementary School Students to Participate in Science Fair 

Nine-hundred fifty students in grades 3 through 6 from 92 Minnesota elementary schools have registered 844 projects for the annual elementary division of the Southern Minnesota Regional Science and Engineering Fair, which will be held Satruday, April 30 in Myers Field House on the Minnesota State Mankato campus.

The exhibit hall is free and open to the public from noon to 2 p.m. April 30, and all are welcome to stop in and support the hard work of these future scientists. An award ceremony that begins at 2:30 p.m. in the Taylor Center's Bresnan Arena is also open to the public.

The Southern Minnesota Regional Science and Engineering Fair is hosted by Minnesota State Mankato's College of Science, Engineering and Technology. The fair is intended to foster a passion for exploration and discovery in students from third grade through high school. Participation prepares students for college, allows them to compete for scholarships and introduces them to career opportunities in science and enginnering.

For more information, call 507-389-2849 or email

Student News

Minnesota State Mankato junior Prathibha Mangedarage, who is majoring in biomedical sciences, was recently accepted to the Regenerative Medicine Summer School at the McGowan Institute in Pittsburgh, Pa. The objective of the experience is "to provide national and regional students with a week-long didactic and experiential learning experience addressing the science and engineering related to the multidisciplinary field of regenerative medicine." After graduating from Minnesota State Mankato, Mangedarage wants to pursue a career as a physician or a biomedical science researcher.

Kristina Kunkel received the spring 2016 Mark M. Welter scholarship. This award is given to 30 Minnesota State Colleges and Universities students who are in good academic standing and have demonstrated a keen awareness of our interconnected world. Kunkel, a senior from Glencoe, Minn., is studying dental hygiene.

Faculty/Staff News

Shirley Piepho, assistant director of University Scheduling and Conference Services, was nominated by President Richard Davenport for the Minnesota State Board of Trustees Professional Excellence Award for Administrative Service Faculty. The award is an honor to acknowledge and reward exceptional individual professional accomplishment and to encourage ongoing excellence. Piepho was one of six nominees from Minnesota State universities.

Institutional Diversity at Minnesota State Mankato will host a retirement party to celebrate the career of Maria Baxter-Nuamah, director of diversity outreach. The event will take place from 3-7 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

Don Duehring, who has held various roles in Facilities Management, including his current position as building maintenance supervisor in the residence halls, will celebrate the end of his 25-year career at Minnesota State Mankato with a retirement reception from 1:30-3 p.m. Wednesday, April 27. The event will take place at the north entrance to Wiecking Center. If there is inclement weather, the event will be moved indoors to the Wiecking Center lobby area. Refreshments will be served.

Donna Blom, administrative assistant for Minnesota State Mankato's Faculty Association and the Inter Faculty Association, will celebrate her retirement on Wednesday, May 4 from 2-4 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Heritage Room. A program will begin at 3 p.m.

Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education faculty members Elizabeth Sandell, professor, and Liza Vasquez, associate professor, were featured guest lecturers and "made presentations to the faculty professors and researchers at two universities in Russia" in April. Sandell and Vasquez presented at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, Russia, on April 7 and at the Russian Academy of Education's Institute of Pedagogy Development Strategy in Moscow on April 12-13.

Chris Veltsos' article titled "Securing the C-Suite, Part 2: The Role of CFOs, CMOs and CHROs" was featured on the Security Intelligence website. Veltsos is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science Information. 

Spring 2016 Faculty Research Grants

Research and Sponsored Programs announced faculty research grants funded this spring. Awardees include:

  • Robyn Ceurvorst: (College of Allied Health and Nursing, Department of Recreation, Parks & Leisure Services) "Socioeconomic Impacts of River Recreation on the Minnesota River"
  • Sheen Chiou: (College of Allied Health and Nursing, Department of Communication Disorders) "Outcome Measures of Life Participation in Adults with Aphasia"
  • Rachel Cohen: (College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Department of Biological Sciences) "The Neutral Control of Reproduction in Seasonally Breeding Lizard"
  • Donald Ebel: (College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Department of Sociology & Corrections) "Responding to Institutional Crisis: Strategic Decisions of Skilled Nursing Facility Leaders in Rural Settings" 
  • Russell Fricano: (College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Urban & Regional Studies Institute) "How Can Rainwater Harvesting Be Implemented in the United States?"
  • Mika Laidlaw: (College of Arts and Humanities, Department of Art) "Buddhist Art of Japan and Thailand: Learning from Diverse Expression and Beauty"
  • Steven Losh: (College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Department of Chemistry and Geology) "Genesis of the Magenta Zone, Northmet Copper-Nickel-PGE Deposit, Minnesota"
  • Russell Palma: (College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Department of Physics and Astronomy) "Noble Gas Studies of Stardust Mission Samples and Interplanetary Dust Particles" 
  • Lee Tesdell: (College of Arts and Humanities, Department of English) "Researching a Model for Teaching International Technical Communication in China and Minnesota"
  • Sun Kyeong Yu: (College of Arts and Humanities, Department of Philosophy) "Philosophy, Buddhism and Biology" 

In The Rankings

Minnesota State Mankato was recently named to Affordable Colleges Online's list of "Best Online Master's Degrees." The website ranked Minnesota State Mankato's English program 44th on its list of best online master's degrees.


Jeanette Kendall, staff member emerita, died April 12. She worked as a microfilm specialist in the Registrar's Office and was employed with Minnesota State Mankato for 16 years. Read her full obituary here

Lola Lemke, staff member emerita, died April 8. She worked as a library technician and was employed with Minnesota State Mankato for 45 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, May 11. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday, May 6.

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