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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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May 11, 2016 Campus Newsletter

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Spring 2016 Commencement

Amanda Motz Spring 2016 Commencement

Amanda Motz (pictured above) from Stacy, Minn., was among the approximately 1,500 students who participated in the three spring commencement ceremonies that were held Saturday, May 7 in Taylor Center’s Bresnan Arena.

Students in the colleges of Arts and Humanities and Science, Engineering and Technology were recognized in a 9 a.m. ceremony; those in the colleges of Allied Health and Nursing and Education were recognized in a noon ceremony; and students in the colleges of Business and Social and Behavioral Sciences were recognized in a 3 p.m. ceremony.

The University awarded 2,371 degrees at the end of the spring 2016 semester.

For more information on the spring commencement ceremonies, including a link to a video stream of all three ceremonies, click here. Alumni spirit items are available for online purchase.

Campus Kitchen Volunteers Needed

Campus Kitchen logoMaybe there are not as many students around over the summer months as during the regular academic year, but food insecurity certainly does not take a summer vacation.

The Campus Kitchen at Minnesota State Mankato will continue to operate over the summer, but on a lighter schedule. Instead of holding operations five days a week, the Campus Kitchen will only operate three days a week, provided the program has community volunteer support.

Food will be delivered to community partners on Tuesdays. Donations will be picked up from local restaurants on Wednesday mornings and packaging will take place immediately afterwards. Volunteers are sought for packaging on Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The Campus Kitchen Garden will also be maintained, growing fresh produce to share with community partners.

To sign up for one of the shifts, visit the OrgSync form. The Campus Kitchen is located at 331 Dillon Avenue. For further information, contact Karen Anderson, 507-389-6076.

Highway 169 Bus Service

Minnesota Department of Transportation logoLive in St. Peter or Mankato, but want to see a ballgame in the Twin Cities? Don’t have a car, or just don’t want to drive, but you found a good job in Belle Plaine? MnDOT and several partners want to know if you are a potential bus user along the Highway 169 corridor.

A short survey will ask the participant if they have a car, if they travel to Mankato or the Twin Cities and if so, for what, how and how often. The survey’s main goal is to figure out who are these potential bus users. Two lucky participants will win $25 VISA gift cards for completing the survey. The deadline to take the survey is May 15.

While the actual bus service would take shape around the yet-to-be identified markets, goals of an intercity bus along Highway 169 would include:

  • A regular schedule with limited stops
  • Fixed routes connecting two or more urban areas
  • Capacity for transporting passenger’s baggage
  • Tying into local and regional bus services

In the fall of 2015, MnDOT assembled a team of agencies to evaluate the potential for intercity bus improvements between Mankato and the Twin Cities and an even broader stake holder group to engage in the study. The survey and more information can also be found at

Connect Business Magazine Feature

Connect Business Magazine logoMinnesota State Mankato’s collaboration with S-T Industries is featured as the first in a “strategic partnership series” in Connect Business Magazine.

S-T Industries donated a video inspection system to the Department of Automotive and Manufacturing Engineering Technology to help students explore metrology. The company’s goal is to provide University students with hands-on opportunities before graduating.

The article was published in Connect Business Magazine’s May/June 2016 issue.

Sears Gives Back

Students living in Julia Sears Residence Community service projectStudents living in Julia Sears Residence Community participated in four weeks of service projects aimed at helping students reach beyond their own experience on campus and give back to the Mankato community and beyond through a program called “Sears Gives Back.”

From March 29 through April 25, more than 100 students participated in events, such as learning about various causes and the ribbons associated with them, writing letters to U.S. Veterans for the Vets Roll program, making blankets for the local animal shelters and raising money through a Penny Wars competition. Over 70 handwritten letters were collected and sent off to veterans and $413 was raised for the Backpack Food Program ($360 is enough to provide meals for one student for a whole year).

Residential Life staff in Julia Sears North were responsible for implementing the “Sears Gives Back” program.

Planting Day  

University's 16th annual Planting DayCampus volunteers planted around 6,700 plants on Tuesday, May 3 during the University’s 16th annual Planting Day. Volunteers included students, faculty and staff.

Cleanliness and maintenance of grounds, beautification, preservation of green space and landscaping are vital aspects of enhancing the Minnesota State Mankato campus and making a positive first impression to visitors. Without volunteers, it would not be possible to beautify the University's grounds with flowers.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please share them with Grounds Supervisor Bruce Leiverman. His email address is

May 25: Highland Summer Theatre Opens

Highland Summer Theatre's 50th Golden Anniversary SeasonSeason tickets are on sale for Highland Summer Theatre’s 50th “Golden Anniversary” Season at Minnesota State Mankato.

The season kicks off May 25, and includes the comedy “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” (May 25-28 in Andreas Theatre); the family-friendly musical “Seussical” (June 8-11 in Ted Paul Theatre); the hilarious play “The Nerd” (June 22-25 in Andreas Theatre); and finally, the season ends with the blockbuster musical “Footloose” (July 7-9 and 13-16 in Ted Paul Theatre).

Minnesota State Mankato Theatre has brought back alumni to take part in all four productions, and exhibits will be on display in the lobby to celebrate each of the five decades of Highland.

A “Golden Ticket” to see all four shows is $66. Download a brochure at or call the Box Office for single tickets starting May 9 at 507-389-6661.

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

Student News

Rasheed Al-Amari, a Minnesota State Mankato honors student and accounting major, was recently awarded the Beatrice and Joseph Mossally Scholarship as part of the Gladys B. Olsen International Student Endowment through the Elizabeth and Wynn Kearney International Center. This scholarship is awarded to international students who promote an appreciation of diversity, allowing it to grow and prosper. Since its inception in 1988, the endowment has awarded 226 scholarships to students from 46 countries.

Minnesota State Mankato alumna Laura Chopp (biology, ’15) was recently awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP). According to its website, the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctorate degrees at accredited United States institutions.

Students in the student chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), advised by Sungwon S. Kim in the Mechanical Engineering Program in the ME/CIVE department, won national scholarships from ASHRAE. Aldo Kusnardi was selected to receive $10,000 and Ryley Davis was selected to receive $3,000 for their outstanding scholastic and leadership abilities, character, and potential service to the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) profession.

The Finance and Administration Division presented seven Fiscal Services Scholarship awards at its annual student employee appreciation event, which recognize academic and workplace success within the division’s fiscal unit offices. This year's honorees included Jessica Arteaga-Ramirez, Allaa Chahid, Jolene Fadden, Anne Krautkremer, Jessica Pajari, Mikayla Paulson and Maly Xiong. Paulson was also named as this year’s recipient of the Carol Hanson Scholarship, a special distinction for exemplifying outstanding customer service.

Minnesota State Mankato senior Kyle Pirron (international relations & German, ’16) and graduate student Elizabeth Horneber (master of fine arts, ’16) were named Fulbright semifinalists in the 2015-16 competition. Pirron applied for an English teaching assistantship in Germany and Horneber applied for a study/research award in South Korea. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

Melanoma Foundation of New England, a non-profit aimed at reducing the incidence of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, awarded five college students $1,000 each for participating in the “Your Skin is In” college ambassador program. Courtney Sill was awarded the scholarship for her work on the Minnesota State Mankato campus. To qualify for scholarship consideration, students had to take an eLearning lesson, take the "Your Skin is In" pledge and obtain pledges from classmates, family and friends, then submit an application explaining what they did on campus as an ambassador and the number of pledges obtained.

The University Advancement Student Employee Scholarship Selection Committee announced its recipients for its fall 2016 scholarships. The following students were each awarded a $300 scholarship: Aynura Berdyyeva, Printing & Photocopying Services; Lexi Dierauer, Printing & Photocopy Services; Qendresa Insniqi, Annual Fund; and Jaci Ullrich, Annual Fund

Faculty/Staff News

Ishuan Li, associate professor of economics, co-led a Minnesota State Mankato team of students with Joe Reising, associate professor of finance, to the 2016 Midwest Undergraduate Data Analytics Competition (MUDAC) April 2-3 at Winona State University in Winona, Minn. The students on the team were Horeja Jeng (finance), Kyler Schoner (economics), Inigo Villanueva (finance) and Anes Muratovic (marketing). The Minnesota State Mankato team was one of the top four teams in the competition. This is the third year that the Minnesota State Mankato team has participated in MUDAC.

In April 2016, Raymond Asomani-Boateng and his graduate student advisee, Clay Wilfahrt, completed an ordinance for the city of Big Lake, amending the building and housing code and adding single or two-family rental housing registration codes. It was then adopted by the Big Lake City Council.

Department News

The Glen Taylor Nursing Institute for Family and Society released the latest edition of its newsletter.

The Urban and Regional Studies Institute has been selected by the Assessment and Evaluation Sub-Meet and Confer Committee and Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment to receive Minnesota State Mankato's 2015-16 Pathways to Student Learning Assessment Award. The award recognizes programs that participate in student learning assessment at the highest levels, show integration of assessment data into program improvement plans and have considerable buy-in and participation across program faculty members. In addition, two University programs have been recognized for their high quality student learning assessment practices. The Theatre Technology Design bachelor of science and Dental Hygiene bachelor of science programs were each selected to receive the High Flyer Assessment Award for their work.

The Library Services May 2016 newsletter is available.

Online TODAY Magazine

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, June 15. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday, June 10.

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