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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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January 11, 2017 Campus Newsletter

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$5 Million Gift Pledge

Sanford Health $5 Million Gift Pledge

Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport announced on Dec. 8 that Sanford Health has pledged $5 million to the University’s Department of Athletics to create the Sanford Health/Matt Margenthaler Basketball Scholarship Endowment.

The gift, named in honor of current Maverick head men’s basketball coach Matt Margenthaler, now in his 16th year as head coach, is the single-largest gift in the history of Maverick athletics.

The endowment will support scholarships for student-athletes competing at Minnesota State Mankato who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to pursue a post-secondary education. Scholarship criteria will require that a student-athlete be seeking a future career in health care, remain in good academic standing with the University and qualify for need-based aid.

Read the full press release online.

Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation GrantDelta Dental of Minnesota Foundation Grant

Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport announced that the Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation has granted the University $250,000 to purchase dental exam chairs and associated operating equipment for the oral health clinic area in the University’s new Clinical Sciences Building.

The equipment, which enabled Minnesota State Mankato to complete its Dental Hygiene Program’s oral health clinic, was installed and ready for use at the beginning of the spring semester (Jan. 9). A ribbon cutting for the Clinical Sciences Building is scheduled for Jan. 19.

Read the complete news release online.

Lifelong Learners Winter 2017 Program

Lifelong Learners Winter 2017 ProgramThe Mankato Area Lifelong Learners will be hosting a series of presentations and speakers from January through March.

Topics include "The Black Death: The World's Most Devastating Plague," "Native American History Issues," "Abraham Lincoln's Spirituality" and many more sessions.

Cost of quarterly presentations and the speaker series are $5 for members and $10 for non-members.

Big Ideas Challenge

Big Ideas ChallengeThe College of Business is again presenting the Big Ideas Challenge, where students can submit innovative ideas for start-up businesses.

The challenge is open to all students or alumnus (within two years of graduating) who wish to enter for a chance to win $10,000 to fund their start up. Both individuals and teams are welcome.

The challenge consists of three rounds. Students should submit their ideas for the first round by Jan. 15. A full calendar and description can be found online.

Contact Channing Pick with any questions.

Mileage Reimbursement Rates

Mileage Reimbursement RatesThe Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced a decrease in the standard mileage reimbursement rate for business miles. The rate has been adopted for use by state employees and is effective beginning Jan. 1, 2017 - Dec. 31, 2017.

Mileage rates are used to calculate reimbursements to employees that use their personal vehicle for business trips. Employees should note that the university actually utilizes two reimbursement rates.

The IRS standard mileage reimbursement rate (53.5 cents per mile) is used when a state owned vehicle is not available. A lesser rate (46.5 cents per mile) is used when a state vehicle is declined or not requested by the employee.

Find more information online, and for questions regarding travel or expense reimbursements, contact Minnesota State Mankato’s travel claims clerk, Tami Liebl, at 507-389-5006.

Farewell to Kim Greer

Kim GreerA reception to honor the many contributions and service of College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Dean Kimberly Greer will be held Wednesday, Jan. 11 from 1-2:30 p.m. in CSU 245. There will be a brief program at 1:30 p.m.

The reception is being held to congratulate Greer on her appointment as provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Stanislaus.

A full press release regarding Greer's new position can be found online.

Jan. 9-30: Carolyn Swiszcz Art Exhibit

Carolyn Swiszcz Art ExhibitArtist Carolyn Swiszcz will display her paintings from Jan. 9-30 at Minnesota State Mankato as the next featured artist in the University’s Art Enrichment and Andreas Endowment Residency and Lecture Series.

Swiszcz will present an artist’s lecture that is free and open to the public at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 23 in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium. The artist’s lecture will be followed by an 8 p.m. reception in the Conkling Gallery (located in Nelson Hall 139), where Swiszcz’s “Research Room” exhibit will be on display from Jan. 9 through Jan. 30.

A Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art preview of the upcoming exhibit said that Swiszcz’s paintings rely heavily on rudimentary printmaking processes, most of which she achieves without the use of a press; many of the patterns and textures in her work are created with trace monotype, stencils and rubber stamps.

Jan. 21: A Cappella Group Blue Jupiter in Concert

A Cappella Group Blue Jupiter in ConcertMinnesota State Mankato's Department of Music presents New York City based Blue Jupiter (pictured at left) in concert Saturday, Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m.

The a cappella group will perform in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.The music department’s a cappella group, Maverick Elision, will open the show.

Blue Jupiter first gained national fame as the voices of Oreo Cookie, singing the national Oreo radio commercial since 2005. Since then, Blue Jupiter has worked with famed producer and American Idol judge Randy Jackson, and performed on Oprah and VH1's Save the Music.

Concert admission is $15 for community members and $13 for K-12 students and Minnesota State Mankato students with a valid MavCARD. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Advance purchase is encouraged. Tickets are available for purchase online. For more information, call the Performance Series office, (507) 389-5549.

Jan. 23: Costa Rican Saxophone Quartet SONSAX

Costa Rican Saxophone Quartet SONSAXMinnesota State Mankato's Department of Music presents SONSAX in concert Monday, Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. The saxophone quartet and percussionist hail from Costa Rica. They will perform in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.In addition to their evening performance, members of SONSAX will conduct clinics with Minnesota State Mankato students in the afternoon.

For more than 15 years, SONSAX has pursued a particular creative vision. Through the years, SONSAX has maximized all the different qualities and possibilities of the saxophone and percussion, instruments that due to their versatility allow performing many different styles and rhythms.

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

Student News

Rachel Hoehn, recent graduate of Minnesota State Mankato, created a campaign to support the homeless population in Mankato. The campaign was created after Hoehn learned of the over 300 youth and children who are identified as homeless by Mankato Area Public Schools. She decided to raise funds to help those in need. All proceeds are sent to the REACH Youth Drop-In Center, which offers a safe place for teens and young adults.

Donate to Hoehn's campaign here to help her reach her goal.

Faculty/Staff News

Brigette Cooper, associate professor in the Department of Dental Hygiene, was the grant writer for the successful $250,000 grant request from Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation, which allowed for the purchase of equipment for the new Clinical Sciences Building.

Matt Cecil, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, gave a presentation on his book, “Branding Hoover’s FBI,” at the 92nd Street Y in New York City on Dec. 16.

A media interview with Tom Inglot of the Department of Government, on the rise of populist politics and policy in Europe, was published in the leading Hungarian weekly political news magazine 168 ORA. 168 ORA is the one of the few remaining publications in Hungary that hasn't been taken over by the government or government-friendly companies. Read the full interview (in Hungarian only) online

Paul Corcoran has been named as the new assistant vice president for facilities management at Minnesota State Mankato. Corcoran will move into this position beginning Jan. 11, 2017. Corcoran has previously served in a variety of management roles since 1993.

The Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly published its semi-annual compendium of abstracts in its CUR Quarterly Highlights. Among the chosen abstracts was a paper published by Professor Ishuan Li, co-authored with Professor Robert Simonson and former students Guncha Babajanova and Matthew Tuomala.

Department News

In November, the Department of Athletics ranked sixth in the nation and led the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference in community service hours by student-athletes. Minnesota State Mankato student-athletes average 4,000 hours of community service annually.

The Family and Consumer Science department is listed among the "Partners in Play" with the US Play Coalition. The coalition promotes the value of play throughout life. Department Chair and Associate Professor Heather Von Bank is bringing a group of students to the coalition's conference in April.

The Career Development Center announced the following upcoming events: a Summer Job Fair on Wednesday, Feb. 8; an Engineering Job Fair that is sponsored by IEEE on Thursday, Feb. 9; and the 2017 Career & Internship Day, sponsored by the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, on Tuesday, Feb. 17. For more information, visit the CDC website.

Minnesota State Mankato was one of only two Minnesota universities listed in Allergic Living magazine’s nationwide summary of universities that offer programs and menu options for students living with food allergies. The University’s Sodexo registered dietician, Lexi Cournoyer, coordinated Minnesota State Mankato’s response to Allergic Living’s call for information.

The Minnesota State Mankato pedestrian link was cited in AS&U’s Architectural Portfolio. The connector between the Centennial Student Union and the Library was called "a beautiful space that connects two facilities in a way that 'you never feel like you’re in a tunnel.'" Read the full article online.

The Department of Music is holding a Contemporary Music Festival on Saturday, Jan. 21. The event will provide opportunities for school groups (secondary through college), in addition to Minnesota State Mankato groups, to perform in a day-long festival. The broad contemporary music theme is inclusive of a wide variety of musical groups/styles (i.e. a cappella groups, combos, big bands, electronic music groups). Also participating in this year’s afternoon festival events as well as performing an evening concert will be New York City-based Blue Jupiter.


Carol Brown, emerita faculty member, died Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016 in Edina, Minn. She was employed with Minnesota State Mankato for 18 years until her retirement in May 2008. During her tenure she worked in the nursing department. Read the full obituary online

Professor emeritus Chan Lee died Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016 at his home surrounded by his family. Lee established the Financial Planning Certificate Program in Minnesota State Mankato's College of Business in 1998 and served as the program’s director until his retirement from the university in 2005. Read the full obituary online

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, Jan. 25. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday, Jan. 20.

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