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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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July 20, 2016 Campus Newsletter

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Former Maverick an Olympian

Former Minnesota State University, Mankato sprinter Emmanuel Matadi (pictured) will become the first athlete who has competed for the Mavericks to also compete in the Summer Olympics when he competes for Liberia next month in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, against the best sprinters in the world.

Matadi competed for the Mavericks in the 2014-15 season and rewrote the Maverick track & field record books. In one season, Matadi set a pair of indoor records (60m/6.66 & 200m/21.10), to go along with outdoor records in the 100m (10.19) and the 4x100 relay (40.15). His season culminated in a pair of NCAA Division II outdoor track & field championships in the 100m and 200m events.

To read more about Matadi, courtesy of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, click here.

Dean of University Extended Education

Minnesota State Mankato’s Office of the Provost and Office of Strategic Partnerships announced (news release) that Tom Norman (pictured), who for the past three years has led workforce development initiatives for the State of Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), has been named dean of University Extended Education.

Norman, appointed after a national search process, will begin his duties Aug. 5. He will report to Vice President of Strategic Business, Education and Regional Partnerships Mike Gustafson.

Norman earned a doctor of education degree (Ed.D.) from the University of Minnesota with a concentration in educational policy administration. Prior to DEED, he spent 13 years at the University of Minnesota, last as senior director, research, innovations and outreach. Key among his accomplishments were enhanced approaches for faculty research commercialization, online program development and outreach to new student and industry audiences.

Norman’s experience also includes time spent with Personnel Decisions International, an education consulting company, for which he worked in sales and marketing.

As dean of University Extended Education, Norman will oversee the Twin Cities locations where Minnesota State Mankato offers courses and programs, including Normandale Community College and 7700 France in Edina.

Alumni Association President

The Minnesota State Mankato Alumni Association announced that Christopher Meyer (pictured) is its new president.

Meyer, who has served on the board since 2014, graduated from Minnesota State Mankato's College of Business with a degree in marketing.

He has worked in the finance and banking industry and is currently the president/CEO of Capital Growth Management in Belle Plaine, Minn.

Meyer has been active in various volunteer and community service activities in Belle Plaine, where he resides with his family.

The Minnesota State Mankato Alumni Association helps students transition into engaged alumni and helps alumni build deeper connections to the University, other alumni and current students. Photo galleries, information on benefits and how to stay informed along with all the latest alumni events are available on the Alumni Association website.

IT Solutions Center: New Name, New Place

Launching fall semester – the IT Service Desk has two new locations and has changed its name to IT Solutions Center. Beginning Aug. 1, here are the hours of the two new campus locations:

  • IT Solutions Center in the Academic Computing Center (Wissink Hall):
    • Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
    • Friday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    • Sunday, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.
  • IT Solutions Center behind the Campus Hub:
    • Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Walk-up support on the 3rd floor of Memorial Library will no longer be available after Aug. 12. More information on the new name and move are available here.

July 28: Vikings Report to Training Camp

For the 51st consecutive year, the Minnesota Vikings will conduct the team's training camp on the Minnesota State Mankato campus, reporting to Mankato on Thursday, July 28 and holding their first practice on Friday, July 29.

According to, the team will hold an evening practice in Blakeslee Stadium followed by a team introduction and fireworks on Saturday, Aug. 6. The team's full practice schedule is listed here. The Vikings' training camp web page is available here.

The team first conducted its training camp on campus in 1966, and the relationship between the team and University is one of the longest ongoing training camp partnerships by any NFL team.

Aug. 4: BBQ Extravaganza

Alumnus, former Minnesota State Mankato wrestler, and barbecue competitor Pat Nelson, owner of Big Boned BBQ, will return to campus on Thursday, Aug. 4, as part of the Student Activities Summer Program Series. Nelson will provide a barbecue demonstration, beginning at 11:30 a.m. on the University mall, located near the outdoor fountain on the north end of the Centennial Student Union. Small samples of his award-winning meats will be available.

New this year, a Maverick Meal Deal will be offered. For $6, attendees will be able to enjoy either a pulled pork sandwich or a brisket sandwich, a side of coleslaw, and a side of cornbread. Only cash payments will be accepted, and they may be paid at the event. Advance orders are requested and may be placed by emailing or calling 507-389-6076 by Tuesday, Aug. 2.

Departments or offices wishing to place multiple orders are encouraged to send one group order. Orders should include the quantity of each (brisket or pulled pork) desired, a name, and a contact phone number and e-mail address. A limited number of meals, in addition to the advance orders placed, may be made available.

Nelson and his Big Boned BBQ team will be competing in Mankato’s annual Ribfest, taking place at Riverfront Park from Aug. 4-7.

Please email or call 507-389-6076 with questions regarding this event.

Aug. 4: Final Summer Outdoor Film

The Mankato-area community is invited to the fourth and final free summer outdoor film held on campus this summer, to be shown Thursday, Aug. 4 at 8:30 p.m. at Blakeslee Stadium.

The film, “Captain America: Civil War,” is rated PG-13 and will be at Blakeslee Stadium as a part of Verizon Wireless Training Camp with the Minnesota Vikings. The general public is welcome.

Student Activities at Minnesota State Mankato, with assistance from FUN.COM, has sponsored the summer film series. The outdoor film series is a part of a summer programming series sponsored by the Centennial Student Union and Student Activities. Other events include an organized bike ride, outdoor films, BBQ demonstration and other events. All events are free to the public. Student Activities has five full-time staff and four graduate students who provide guidance and planning for more than 230 student groups, Greek Life, Community Engagement and campus-wide programming.

For more information contact Student Activities Assistant Director Bill Tourville at 507-389-6076 or send an email to

In the Rankings

Minnesota State Mankato was ranked as having the most affordable doctoral degrees in counselor education and supervision among 45 programs ranked by According to the website, the ranking was created using information from the CACREP website and data from the NCES College Navigator database.

Student News

Minnesota State Mankato student Patty Paulson, who is working toward a master's degree in sociology (human service planning and administration) and expects to graduate in December 2016, has been named the new shelter coordinator at NUMAS Haus in New Ulm. NUMAS Haus will be an emergency shelter for homeless mothers and children. A New Ulm Journal article and Mankato Free Press article describe NUMAS Haus.

A fundraiser to help support the children of the late Molly Lorentz Nickal, a Minnesota State Mankato alumna, will be held from 6-11 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20 at the WOW! Zone Family Entertainment Center in Mankato. For more information, contact Krista Kolars at 507-327-3796 or Misti Simon at 507-995-9339.

Faculty/Staff News

Karen Anderson has been named assistant director of community engagement after serving in that position in an interim role for the past two years. Anderson is a 1986 Minnesota State Mankato alumna and formerly served as the coordinator of community service and civic engagement at Transylvania University, with several years of experience in residential life at Kutztown University, Keene State College and College of Wooster.

School of Nursing faculty members Kristen Abbott-Anderson and Marilyn Swan, assistant professors, were guest lecturers at the University of Applied Sciences Krems, in Krems, Austria, in May. Abbott-Anderson and Swan presented on the illness belief model as a theoretical background to family nursing.

Ishuan Li, associate professor of economics, published a paper in the Economics Bulletin that she co-authored with Robert Simonson, professor of economics, and two economics program alumni, Matthew Tuomala (2013) and Guncha Babajanova (2011). The title of the paper was ''Smartphone Diffusion and Consumer Price Comparison Shopping Behavior: Implications for the Marketplace Fairness Act.''

Brigette Cooper, advisor in the Department of Dental Hygiene, was chosen as the Minnesota Dental Hygiene Association’s Member of the Year, as noted in the organization's June newsletter.

David Sharlin, assistant professor in the Department of Biology, was recently awarded a two-year $50,000 grant from the American Thyroid Association (ATA) to study how developmental hypothyroidism alters brain development.

Department News

The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced its 2016 Hall of Fame class.


Former faculty member Derell Frederick Apitz died June 18. An assistant professor emeritus in the Department of Geography, Apitz was employed with Minnesota State Mankato for 27 years before retiring in 1985. Read his full obituary here.

Former faculty member Florence Cobb died June 24. A professor emeritus and founder of the University's dance program, Cobb was employed with Minnesota State Mankato for 20 years until her retirement in 1988. Read her full obituary here.

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, Aug. 24. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday, Aug. 19.

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