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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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September 28, 2016 Campus Newsletter

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'Midnimo' Grant

Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Department of Music announced that its Performance Series is part of a consortium that has received a $600,000 grant from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters through the “Building Bridges: Arts, Culture and Identity” program, a component of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

The grant focuses on increasing understanding and awareness of Muslim cultures through the performing arts and will result in approximately five or six community musical performances in Mankato over the next three years by internationally renowned Somali artists. The first artist and performance information will be announced this fall.

Dale Haefner, performance series director at Minnesota State Mankato, is the Midnimo grant coordinator and Midnimo project director at Minnesota State Mankato.

Speakers at the grant announcement included (left to right in photo); Haefner; Bobby Fleischman, associate provost, Minnesota State Mankato; Fardousa Jama, local Somali organizer and community leader; Heather Mueller, director of teaching and learning, Mankato Area Public Schools; Danielle Haque, professor, Department of English, Minnesota State Mankato; and Bukata Hayes, executive director, Mankato Diversity Council.

More details on the grant, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art are available in the full news release.

Seasonal Flu Vaccinations

Seasonal flu vaccinations are available for faculty and staff on Monday, Oct. 10 from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m., in CSU 233-4-5. (The worksite clinics are for state employees only. Family members may obtain vaccinations at their primary care clinics.)

If you bring your Advantage health insurance member card with you there is no cost for the flu vaccinations.

If you don’t have insurance through the state of Minnesota, the shot will cost $33.

Vaccinations are available on a walk-in basis, no appointment necessary.

For more information and clinic locations visit the Vaccination Program page. Flu vaccinations are also available at your primary care clinic and in-network convenient clinics.

2016 Homecoming and Founders Day

Homecoming week for Minnesota State Mankato is Oct. 3-8. Homecoming kickoff is at 12 noon in the campus mall on Oct. 3, and the founding of the University (Oct. 7, 1868) will also be celebrated at the Oct. 3 kickoff event. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend Homecoming week events and enjoy cupcakes, giveaways, royalty voting, and more.

Since 1928 Homecoming has given everyone a chance to celebrate the University and its rich history.

The theme for 2016’s Homecoming is “Going for Gold,” with the following activities planned (partial list below, full list here):

Decorate Your Office

  • Sign-up for the office decorating contest. $200 gift card to Pub 500 for winning office.

Sign-up for a parade float

  • Offices, departments, and clubs can register at no cost to participate in the parade. Registration

On-campus alumni lunch

  • Cost: $5. Alumni must RSVP by Friday, Sept. 30 for the lunch on Friday, Oct. 7..

Monday, Oct. 3

  • 8 p.m. - Bonfire and Fireworks - Blakeslee Field
    • Featuring a 20-foot tall bonfire light and a light show (presented by Hot 96.7). Fireworks to follow.

Friday, Oct. 7

  • 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. - CSU 253-4-5. Cost is $5. RSVP required.
  • 3-5 p.m. - University dining hall tours
  • 7 p.m. - Homecoming concert featuring T-Pain in Myers Fieldhouse - Tickets
  • 7:07 p.m. - Men's hockey vs. Michigan Tech at Verizon Wireless Center - Tickets

Saturday, Oct. 8

  • 9-11 a.m. - President's free pancake breakfast - Blakeslee Field
  • 9-11 a.m. - University dining hall tours
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. - NEW Alumni Zone - Purple Lot 20A across from Blakeslee Stadium
  • 12 p.m. - Homecoming parade - Warren Street
  • 2 p.m. - Football vs. Concordia- St. Paul - Blakeslee Stadium - Tickets
  • 4:30 p.m. - Hockey night in Mankato City Center
  • 7:07 p.m. - Men's hockey vs. Michigan Tech at Verizon Wireless Center - Tickets

Lifelong Learners Fall 2016 Program

The Lifelong Learners Program continues this fall with presentations on subjects that range from acupuncture to reverse mortgages to wildlife safaris.

Single presentations cost $5 and a full list of dates and times can be found in the online calendar. There are also options for those who wish to become members and pay an annual fee instead.

On Thursday, Oct. 6 from 2-4 p.m., Al Wortman, professor emeritus, will discuss how Alexander Hamilton became the subject of a standing room only Broadway production. Wortman will discuss and also play selections from the production. Wortman's presentation will take place at Snell Motors Community Room, located at 1900 Madison Ave. (northeast corner of Madison Avenue and Highway 22). Non-members are welcome to attend -- admission is $10.

Chthonic Sculpture Failing Condition

According to Ron Fields, assistant vice president for facilities management, the Chthonic art sculpture by the Centennial Student Union fountain has reached the end of its life expectancy.

The materials that make up the sculpture have become subject to severe weathering and insect infestation.

As a result, the piece will be removed from campus and disposed of prior to the first freeze.

The base of the sculpture has deteriorated so severely that the sculpture itself cannot be salvaged.

Combined Charities Campaign Kickoff

The campus community is invited to stop by the CSU ballroom on Monday, Oct. 10 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to meet some of the charities and federations that are part of the University's local community.

The kickoff provides an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and learn what their donations do. Free popcorn and door prizes will be distributed. Payroll deductions for the charities can be set up in self service or to learn more visit the combined charities website.
The full campaign runs from Oct. 1-31.

Those interested in helping with the kickoff or other combined charities activities may contact Nina Stupeck in Human Resources – 507-389-6942.

URSI’s 50th Anniversary

The Urban & Regional Studies Institute is celebrating 50 years of preparing community leaders.

Faculty and staff are invited to help the Urban & Regional Studies Institute celebrate the milestone as well as the accreditation of the Urban and Regional Studies, MA, (Local Government Management Program).

The Urban & Regional Studies Institute would also like to celebrate the accomplishments and service to URSI of faculty member Janet Cherrington-Cucore upon her retirement.

The anniversary celebration will take place at the Country Inn & Suites, 1900 Premier Drive in Mankato on Friday, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m.

For more information, contact Nathan Pasmore, office administrator for the Urban & Regional Studies Institute, by phone at 507-389-1714 or by email at

Ron Fields Retirement Farewell Reception

A retirement farewell reception for Ron Fields, assistant vice president for facilities management, will be held on Thursday, Sept. 29 from 1-2:30 p.m. in the Wiecking Center lobby.

Sept. 19-Oct. 10: Melissa Oresky Art Exhibit

Artist Melissa Oresky is the first featured artist in Minnesota State Mankato’s Art Enrichment and Andreas Endowment Residency and Lecture Series this year.

She presented an artist’s lecture on Monday, Sept. 19 in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium.

Oresky’s “Foliage” exhibit will be on display through Oct. 10. Oresky was artist-in-residence on Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 19-20 in the Nelson Hall Painting Studios on campus.

An excerpt from a curatorial statement by Minnesota State Mankato alumna Gina Hunt about Oresky’s exhibit says that “Foliage” is a collection of folded, cut, torn, and branching works that have developed through Melissa Oresky’s intensive studio practice involving collage, drawing, painting, and video.

Sept. 29: Music Photographer Rob Shanahan

MavHouse Entertainment (an activities and practicum class taught by Tonya Butler, professor of music) in conjunction with local production facility Studio Six announced that music photographer Rob Shanahan will hold an on-campus student workshop and evening Q&A and neworking reception on Thursday, Sept. 29.

Shanahan, a Minnesota State Mankato alumnus, is Ringo Starr's personal photographer and one of the world's most-published photographers in the music industry today.

Both events are free and open to the public. The student workshop will be held from 12-1:30 p.m. in Armstrong Hall, Room 323. The evening event will be held from 6-8 p.m. at Studio Six, located at 509 S. Front Street, Mankato.

Sept. 29: How to Help a Friend

A resource fair for those interested in bystander intervention, consent, and how to support survivors is being put on in Preska residence hall (Room 126) on Thursday, Sept. 29 from 5-6:30 p.m.

The purpose of the fair is to showcase all of the resources on campus and in the community for victims/survivors of sexual violence and relationship abuse/power-based personal violence.

Offices that will have information at the fair include Student Health Services, Mankato Public Safety, University Security, and Title IX.

Following the fair there will be a group Q&A along with discussions with the attendees and the offices. Pizza will be provided for those who stop by all of the tables.

Sept. 29–Oct. 9: 'The Full Monty'

Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Theatre & Dance is putting on the Broadway comedy play, “The Full Monty,” beginning Sept. 29. David Yazbek, the Broadway artist who wrote the music, was recently in residence to offer master classes with the musical theatre students. “The Full Monty” is about a group of unemployed steelworkers who become male strippers to earn some quick cash. The musical is based on the hit 1997 British film, reimagined and set in contemporary Buffalo, N.Y. The performance is a Minnesota State Mankato premiere and is recommended for mature audiences only.

“The Full Monty” runs 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 and Oct. 6-8; and 2 p.m. Oct. 8-9 in the Ted Paul Theatre, Earley Center for Performing Arts.

Tickets are available for purchase online and 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 for more information.

Oct. 2: Folk Guitarist John Gorka

Folk artist John Gorka will perform on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

Originally from New Jersey, Gorka is a world-renowned singer-songwriter who got his start at a neighborhood coffeehouse in eastern Pennsylvania. In 1984 he won the New Folk Award and then in 1987 the young Minnesota-based Red House Records released Gorka’s first album, "I Know." In 1989, he signed with that label’s imprint, High Street Records. His album with Lucy Kaplansky and Eliza Gilkyson called "Red Horse." was on the Billboard Folk Charts and one of the most played albums on folk radio.

General admission is $15 and $13 for students with a valid MavCARD. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Advance purchase is strongly encouraged. Purchas tickets online here. For more information, call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

Oct. 3-28: Gina Mumma Wenger Art Exhibit

Gina L. Mumma Wenger, professor of art at Minnesota State Mankato, will display her photos in an exhibit titled "What Remains: Photos of the Japanese American Concentration Camps" from Oct. 3-28 in the Centennial Student Union Gallery.

Wenger's exhibit is in collaboration with the Minnesota State Mankato Common Read programming for 2016. Wenger will also be leading a book discussion about “When the Emperor was Divine,” by Julie Otsuka, on Monday, Oct. 3 from 7-9 p.m. at the Emy Frentz Art Gallery, Twin Rivers Council for the Arts (523 South 2nd Street, Mankato). She will be discussing how the book connects to the research she did surrounding the Japanese American internment camps. More information on the Common Read program is available on the program's website.

An artist’s reception for Wenger’s exhibit will be held Tuesday, Oct. 18 from 7-9 p.m. 

Wenger has been researching the Japanese American Concentration Camps of WWII since 2006. Her artwork documents the camp spaces as they exist today. She has photographed the spaces of the 10 camps located in Arkansas, California, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and Idaho. The photographs are digital infrared exposures printed on large aluminum sheets. In addition, Wenger will create and install 1,000 origami cranes (senbazuro), which will be presented in the space. These cranes are meant to reflect a remembrance of those incarcerated in the documented spaces.

Oct. 9: Pianist David Viscoli

An afternoon of classical music will be presented by Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Music Sunday, Oct. 9. featuring pianist David Viscoli (pictured). The performance will be at 3 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

Viscoli, professor of piano at Minnesota State Mankato, will be performing a recital titled, “A Journey Through Latin American Piano Music.” This program will include works by eight composers from the countries of Cuba, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.  

Viscoli has performed extensively, both nationally and internationall in places such as Korea, Taiwan, Panama, Europe and Canada. He has won awards in the Los Angeles Liszt Competition, the Carmel Music Society Piano Competition, and the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition.

General admission is $9 and $7 for students with a valid MavCARD. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Advance purchase is strongly encouraged. Purchase tickets online. For more information call 507-389-5549.

Oct. 11: An Evening with Slaid Cleaves

Singer/songwriter Slaid Cleaves will perform on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave. Cleaves will be joined on stage by Austin, Texas, sideman Scrappy Jud Newcombe.

Called “one of the finest songwriters from Texas” by the New York Times, Cleaves knows a thing or two himself about perseverance. It’s been 25 years since he first moved from his home state of Maine to Austin, Texas, where he started his career playing open mics and barbeque joints around town before earning international acclaim for his “powerfully direct” (NPR) songwriting style.

Concert admission is $15; $13 for students with a valid MavCard. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Advance purchase is strongly encouraged. Tickets can be purchased online. For more information, call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

Oct. 12: Driven to Deliver: An Evening with Mark Davis

Mark Davis, chairman of Davis Family Holdings, will give a presentation on Wednesday, Oct. 12 from 4:30-6 p.m. in Centennial Student Union's Ostrander Auditorium. The presentation, sponsored by the University's College of Business, is free and open to the public. An RSVP is required to attend.

Davis, known for his entrepreneurial spirit, started as a milk truck driver and is now partner in or leader of brands such as Davisco, Cambria and Sun Country Airlines that have gained international renown.

At his presentation, Davis will share his story and tips for other entrepreneurs.
Read more about Davis [PDF] online here. (22 KiB)

In the Rankings

Faculty/Staff News

Mark Whitmore of Scitrain and Minnesota State Mankato industrial/organizational psychology graduate student Ryan Powley have received the Douglas W. Bray and Ann Howard Grant of $4,000 from the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Awards Committee for their proposal entitled, “The Effects of Participant Self-Assessment on Development Center Performance.” Whitmore and Powley will be honored at the 2017 SIOP Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla., and the award will be featured in the “SIOP Salutes” brochure.

Namyong Lee, professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, was elected as president of the North Central Section of the Mathematical Association of America. The section covers Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota as well as two provinces of Canada.

Student News

Over the last three years, Minnesota State Mankato's Organizational Effectiveness Research Group and B507 have been working together to create films that capture the culture of various Minnesota businesses. Student teams have been working on a new methodology for summarizing culture that involves interviewing employees and then using the interviews to make an organizational culture film. Graduate student Lauren Bahls and student filmmaker Huy Nguyen just completed this video for Forecast Public Art.  

Recently, with the crest of the Le Sueur River, students and veterans Caleb North and Curtis Peters volunteered to help organize sand bagging activities. North, vice president of the Veterans Club on campus, drove to St. Clair and stepped up to lead a group volunteers. Peters helped lead a Team Rubicon effort for the cities of Waseca and Albert Lea following flooding in those communities.

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, Oct. 12. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday, Oct. 7.

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