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.


August 24, 2016 Campus Newsletter

Page address:

2016 Convocation

President Richard Davenport speaking at the 2016 Convocation

Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport introduced new and returning administrators and welcomed Minnesota State Mankato faculty and staff back to campus Aug. 15 in his annual Convocation speech. (NOTE: The above photo is courtesy of Lenny Koupal.)

Davenport discussed accomplishments from the past year and his vision for the 2016-2017 academic year. After Davenport's remarks, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Marilyn Wells addressed the faculty and staff.

A video of the 2016 convocation remarks by Davenport and Wells was produced by Maverick Video Productions. Davenport's speech can be viewed here, and Wells' speech can be viewed here.

Non-traditional Students welcome back family picnicFamily Picnic

The Non-traditional Student Center is hosting a family picnic at Sibley Park on Friday, Sept. 9 between 4-6 p.m. at Shelter #3 near the playground and ball fields.

There will be food, games, activities for kids, etc. All are invited to come and enjoy a kick-off to the semester, meet fellow students and enjoy a wonderful day in the park.

Purple & Gold Gala

Purple and Gold GalaFaculty and staff are invited to help celebrate and thank the University's generous alumni, friends, and community partners at the Purple & Gold Gala on Friday, Sept. 30 at 5:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union. Cost $75 per person.

The Gala is an annual event welcoming new members into the Purple & Gold Society (the University's society to recognize generous lifetime donors).

For a list of this year’s honorees, visit To sign up to attend, arrange payment, and choose an entrée, please contact Becky Miller at or 507-389-1798 by Friday, Sept. 16.

Public Speaking Workshops

Public Speaking WorkshopsThe Department of Communication Studies and the Center for Academic Success are sponsoring public speaking workshops.

Faculty who are interested in having a public speaking expert share their skills can schedule a workshop in their classrooms:

Workshop topics include outlining, source integration and citation, speech arrangement, speech delivery, informative and persuasive strategies. Workshop lengths are flexible, based on need.

Speech tutoring is also available for students by appointment in ML116 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-4 p.m. Students can stop by ML 125 or call 389-1791 to schedule an appointment. Drop-in Speech Lab hours are in ML 109 on Wednesdays from 6-9 p.m. (no appointment necessary).

Peace Crane Team Building

Peace Crane Team BuildingAs part of Minnesota State Mankato’s 2016 Common Read—"When the Emperor Was Divine" by Julie Otsuka—the campus and community are invited to be part of the 1,000 Peace Crane Project. Folding origami cranes allows individuals to visually reflect on their own wishes for the future, and installing the completed cranes around campus provides an opportunity for everyone to share in the peace and prosperity they represent.

The Common Read committee is offering team building sessions for departments and offices throughout fall semester. A Peace Crane Team Building session includes all materials, can be done anywhere on campus, and can be completed in 25-30 minutes. Completed peace cranes will be added to the campus collection that will be installed around campus. Offices and departments are encouraged to sign up early, as these fun sessions are limited to the first 10 requests. To schedule a session, emails should be sent to one week prior to a group's requested date.

Everyone is welcome to participate in the 1,000 Peace Crane Project. More information is available online.

Renaissance Festival

Employees of Minnesota State Mankato may purchase discount tickets to the Renaissance Festival (runs weekends from Aug. 20 through Oct. 2 in Shakopee, Minn.) through the State Employee Inc. benefit. A direct link to those discounts and others is available here.

A general link to the Minnesota State Mankato Human Resources Web page that covers employee discounts is available here.

Minnesota State Day at Twins Game

Minnesota State Day at Twins GameMinnesota State kicked off the $50 million Access to Excellence Scholarship Campaign in June, and all students, faculty and staff and families from institutions throughout the system are invited to purchase discount tickets to the Minnesota Twins game against the Chicago White Sox at Target Field in Minneapolis on Sunday, Sept. 4.

There will be a pregame, on-field celebration of students colleges, universities, Minnesota State, and the kick off of the Access to Excellence campaign. Those attending are encouraged to wear their favorite shirts from one of Minnesota State's 37 colleges or universities.

The game starts at 1:10 p.m., but those who attend are invited to come early for the pre-game festivities that will include our mascots and students leading on-field games with kids and TC Bear (gates open at 11:10 a.m.).

There are three discounted ticket options: $15 “Skyline View” (Sections 323-327), $28 “The Deck” (Sections S-V), and $36 “Field Box” (Sections 125-127). You can purchase as many as you’d like, so bring your friends, family and colleagues.

HERS Leadership Training

HERS Leadership TrainingHigher Education Resource Services (HERS) announced that Anne Dahlman, Honors Program director and professor of K-12 and Secondary Programs at Minnesota State University, Mankato, completed the 2016 HERS Bryn Mawr Summer Institute, held July 11-23. Dahlman joined 63 women leaders from across the United States as part of the HERS Institute at Bryn Mawr College.

For over 40 years, HERS has prepared women faculty and administrators for leadership roles in higher education. At one of the three HERS Institutes – HERS Denver, HERS Bryn Mawr, and HERS Wellesley – participants gain the knowledge and skills needed to lead change on their campus and positively affect higher education. The participants selected for this year’s HERS Denver cohort represent institutions across the U.S.

Dahlman said she was grateful for the financial support of President Richard Davenport and the support of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women at Minnesota State Mankato. More information about HERS is available at

Continuing & Professional Education

The Center for Talent Development oversees and supports continuing and professional education at Minnesota State Mankato.

New System of Record: As of July 1, 2016, a new registration system, rSchoolToday (RST), was implemented as the official system of record for all non-credit courses for all of Minnesota State. The continuing & professional education (CPE) division has been using the system successfully and encourages all Colleges to flow their registrations through RST.

Services include: Event organization, registration, tracking, recordkeeping, marketing and promotion, and assistance in establishing new programs.

Service Levels: Three service levels have been developed as a platform for the fees that will be charged to our clients. Our Basic Service Level which is at no cost to the College or Department includes:

  • Registration Set Up in official Minnesota State system of record, rSchoolToday (RST)
    • Allows for multiple price points, e-forms, promo codes
    • Collect payments via RST (on-line credit card/check/or cash)
    • Auto invoicing of outstanding payments
    • Access to management reports in RST for enrollment, invoicing, class lists, more!
    • CRM system availability for ongoing contact and future promotion to participants
  • Event/program listed on CTD website w/ links to the registration site
  • Recordkeeping including student transcript (automatically combines with for-credit transcript)

Call 507-389-3283 or email for more information.

Sodexo Continued Partnership

Sodexo Continued PartnershipMinnesota State Mankato announced it has reached a five-year agreement, effective July 1, to continue its relationship with Sodexo to lead Dining Services on the University campus.

Highlights of the new contract include:

  • Working with Dining Services on the new residential dining facility (pictured) coming on board for spring semester.
  • A new campus dietician, Lexi Cournoyer, has been hired to work exclusively on campus to help students with dietary needs and provide other dietary education (see Faculty/Staff News for more on Cournoyer).
  • Dining Services is the exclusive food service provider for the entire campus. All food must be purchased through Dining Services. Please call the Contracts Office with questions.
  • A new addition to the contract is a $75 exemption for departments and registered student organizations (RSOs). If a department or RSO wants to have food at an office or organizational meeting (not an event), they could spend up to $75 without going through Dining Services. This exclusion is for departmental or student organizational meetings only. Catering must be used if you are hosting an event.
  • Re-investment dollars will be used at a variety of locations across campus. Centennial Student Union will see changes this fall to the lower level, while changes to the first floor will occur during the summer of 2017. Two immediate changes will be the arrival of Erbert and Gerbert's and Star Ginger to the lower level. Star Ginger, headquartered in California, is a new Asian concept on campus.

Aug. 29: 27th Annual Ford Lecture

Malika Jeffries-ELMalika Jeffries-EL, an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Division of Materials Science at Boston University, will deliver two lectures at Minnesota State University, Mankato, on Monday, Aug. 29 as part of the 27th annual Leonard A. Ford Lectureship.

Both lectures are free and open to the public and will be held on campus in the Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium.

Jeffries-EL's first lecture, titled “Design and Synthesis of Organic Semiconductors for Advanced Applications,” will be held at 10 a.m. Her second lecture, titled “Taking the Road Less Traveled: My Journey to the Ivory Tower,” will be held at 7:30 p.m.

A complete news release on Jeffries-EL's lectures is published here.

For more information, contact Christine Cords, office manager in the Department of Chemistry and Geology, at 507-389-1963, or

Aug. 30: Emergency Preparedness Training Event

University Security will welcome back FBI Special Agent Joseph Malhoit to Minnesota State Mankato to present on Tuesday, Aug. 30 from 3-4:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union's Ostrander Auditorium.

After positive feedback was received from previous attendees, Agent Malhoit has been asked to return to the University for a third time to present the topic, “How to identify potential pre-event indicators of a person preparing to embark on a mass violence event and what to do in an active shooter situation to increase the probability of survival.”

There is no registration required for this event. Please contact Bryan Johnson, assistant director of University Security, at 389-2111 with any questions.

About the presenter: Special Agent Joseph Malhoit earned a bachelor's degree in pastoral studies from North Central University and a master's degree in psychology from St. Mary’s University. Malhoit has been an FBI agent for 19 years. He was previously assigned to White Collar Crime, Domestic Terrorism and Violent Crime with an emphasis on child prostitution. For the past two years, Malhoit has been the training coordinator for the Minneapolis FBI Office. During his FBI career, Malhoit has been a crisis negotiator, the employee assistance coordinator, a relief supervisor and the crimes against children coordinator. Malhoit has given numerous active shooter presentations over the past few years in a wide variety of settings, including schools and colleges.

Sept. 1: Bob Bingham and Gordon Thorne

Acoustic Blues/Americana guitarists Bob Bingham and Gordon Thorne will perform Thursday, Sept. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The Star Tribune has called Bingham and Thorne, “one of the best ad hoc acoustic duos in the country — a double shot of fingerstyle blues at its finest.”

Bingham and Thorne characterize their music as digging around in the fertile ground of American traditional music, unearthing both the forgotten and the familiar. Upon discovering a tune, a clever phrase, or just a simple lick — they're on it, storing it away with all the other little nuggets they've dug up. Eventually these nuggets find their way to their fingers, instruments and voices — emerging in a new form.

Concert admission is $12; $11 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.

Sept. 6: Blood Drive

Red Cross Blood DriveUpward Bound is sponsoring a Red Cross Blood Drive on Tuesday, Sept. 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

Appointments can be made by calling 507-389-1211 or by going online at and entering sponsor code MSUUPWARD. Walk-ins will also be welcomed.

Once again, the American Red Cross and Sport Clips are teaming up to promote “Saving Lives Never Looked so Good.” A coupon for a free haircut at participating Sport Clips stores will be sent to all presenting donors via email.

Also, because the drive is the day after Labor Day, all presenting donors will also receive a Red Cross duffel bag.

Sept. 8: Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson

Jazz vocalist Maud HixsonJazz vocalist Maud Hixson and pianist Rick Carlson will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8 in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

Hixson is a singer of classic jazz and popular songs of the 20th century. Many of her shows focus on songs written by women, and written during the 1930s and 1940s, an era Hixson says is one of the most fertile periods for songwriters, women included.

Carlson taught himself to play the piano by studying the vast catalogs of Count Basie and Duke Ellington while absorbing their musical technique. He is a sought-after accompanist and has served as pianist and musical director for various Twin Cities concert series and theatre productions.

Concert admission is $12 for community members, $11 for Minnesota State Mankato students with a valid MavCARD. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to For more information, call the Performance Series office at (507) 389-5549.


Three academic programs at Minnesota State Mankato recently were notified that they were accredited.

  • The Urban and Regional Studies Institute at Minnesota State Mankato announced that it has officially obtained accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) for its Master of Arts in Urban Studies program.
  • Minnesota State Mankato's Construction Management program was re-accredited for the full six-year cycle (with interim reports) by the American Council for Construction Education. Minnesota State Mankato's program is one of three accredited programs in the state of Minnesota.
  • Minnesota State Mankato's Twin Cities Engineering program has received initial accreditation for the full six-year cycle (with no interim reports requested) by ABET.

2016 top U.S. nursing schoolsIn the Rankings recently completed its inaugural ranking of U.S. nursing schools and named Minnesota State Mankato as having one of the top nursing schools in the nation, ranking the University's School of Nursing 18th among the website's "top 50 nursing schools in the Plains."

The website ranked Minnesota State Mankato's nursing school among the top 6 percent of all schools considered.

According to the website, data was collected on over 3,200 institutions nationwide, and just 10 percent made the final list.

Faculty/Staff News

Beth Beschorner, assistant professor in Elementary and Early Childhood Education, recently had an article titled "Pre-Service Teachers' Use of a Technology Integration Planning Cycle: A Case Study" published in the International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science, and Technology and an article titled "Parent Education for Dialogic Reading: Online and Face-to-face Delivery Methods" published in the Journal of Research in Childhood Education.

Laura Harrison, assistant professor in the Department of Gender and Women's Studies, has written a book, "Brown Bodies, White Babies," that will be published by New York University Press, with a publication date of Sept. 20. According to the publisher, the book focuses on the practice of cross-racial gestational surrogacy, in which a woman - through in-vitro fertilization using the sperm and egg of intended parents or donors - carries a pregnancy for intended parents of a different race. More information about Harrison's book is available here.

Carly Hopper, program coordinator in Campus Recreation, was recently interviewed for an article published in the July/August edition of Campus Rec Magazine. In the article, which begins on page 40, Hopper is quoted on pages 42 and 44.

Aaron Budge was appointed associate dean for the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, effective Aug. 1. Budge has served as a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering and served as chair of that department from 2009 to 2012.

Shane Bowyer has been named the director for strategic partnerships. The position connects the University to the community and region through projects, internships and other institutional initiatives. Bowyer had previously been in the interim role. Prior to returning to Minnesota State Mankato, Bowyer was the Glen Taylor Chair of Business and Leadership at Bethany Lutheran College. Before BLC he was a faculty member in the Minnesota State Mankato College of Business. The Division of Strategic Partnerships assists in building mutually beneficial relationships, which provides the community access to students, faculty and staff.

Registered dietician Lexi Cournoyer recently joined the Minnesota State Mankato campus as part of the Sodexo team. Cournoyer is available for individual counseling sessions and group nutrition/wellness presentations upon request. More information is available under the "meet the dietician" tab on the Dining Services page.

Aaron Humble has joined the Department of Music as a faculty member. Humble, who has expertise and experience in the areas of vocal literature and performance, will direct the University Chorale and teach private voice. He has performed in opera, recital, concert and chamber music venues and previously taught at Augustana College (Ill.). He continues to perform while maintaining his work as a clinician in a variety of vocal and choral settings.

Teresa Neubert has been named assistant director for writing, speech & languages in the Center for Academic Success. Neubert earned a master's degree in English, ELL from Minnesota State Mankato. She was most recently the writing center peer tutor coordinator at South Central College.

Elizabeth Sandell, Department of Elementary Education, has been elected to the Russian Scientific Council on Comparative Pedagogy.

Sun Kyeong Yu, associate professor in the Department of Philosophy, has been invited to become a regular contributor of her philosophical essays for a Korean-language Buddhist magazine, Buddhism and Culture. Her first essay, “Buddhist teachings from the perspective of Bioscience,” is going to appear in the September issue of the magazine. One of Yu's essays is scheduled to appear in this magazine every month for 24 months starting from this September. Yu also presented two colloquia in South Korea this summer, including her talk, “The Gene: Beyond DNA” at Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology on June 15, and another talk, “Buddhist Bioscience: We Should Understand the Gene as a Network That Goes beyond DNA” at MIBUD Academy in Seoul on June 17.

Department News

The YMCA Greater Twin Cities Youth Intervention Services program brought a group of kids to Vikings training camp on Aug. 1, and the group met with a Minnesota State Mankato student panel and was given a campus tour. The purpose of the YMCA's Youth Intervention Services program is to build capacity with youth to overcome barriers, achieve self-sufficiency and thrive.


Former employee Charlene Rheaume, who was employed at Minnesota State Mankato for 40 years until retiring in 1987, died July 17. During her tenure at the University, she worked in the International Student Office. Read her full obituary here.

Former faculty member Edward Olson died July 19. An assistant professor emeritus, he was employed for 26 years by the University before retiring in 1996. He was employed in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Read his full obituary here.

Former faculty member Gladys Olson died July 28. A professor emeritus who taught mass communication, she retired in 1980. She founded the MSU International Student Scholarship Endowment in 1987, as noted in a Mankato Free Press article. Read her full obituary here.

Scott Hagebak, an emeritus staff member who was operations director of Centennial Student Union and employed by the University for 32 years until retiring in 2011, died Aug. 9. Read his 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, Sept. 14. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday, Sept. 9.

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