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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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March 15, 2017 Campus Newsletter

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Sesquicentennial Bus Wrap


Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport, Stomper and Minnesota State Student Association President Faical Rayani were among the first to get a close-up look at the new 150th Sesquicentennial Celebration bus wrap that will be featured on city buses.

The new wrap features the University’s sesquicentennial logo along with images of “Old Main,” the alumni arch and bell tower.

Registration for Distinguished Alumni Event

The Office of Alumni Relations encourages the University community to register for the Distinguished Alumni Award ceremony and reception coming up Friday, April 21 at 6 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

Heavy appetizers and desserts will be served and a cash bar provided. Online registration is available at this link.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards honor Minnesota State Mankato alumni who have enhanced the reputation of the University through their actions, hard work and achievements. This year’s honorees include:

  • Achievement Award: Randall Sampson, class of 1980
  • Harold J. Fitterer Service Award: Joleen Hartung Durken, class of 1963
  • Humanitarian Award: Stuart Keroff, class of 1996
  • Recent Alumni Award: Josh Hackbarth, class of 2001

Learn more at

2015 Graduate Follow-Up Survey Summary

Every year, the campus Career Development Center distributes a [PDF] Minnesota State Mankato graduate follow-up survey (190 KiB) to gather information on the status of individual graduates within the year following their graduation. This year they achieved a response rate of 86.2% across all colleges and programs. 

The Career Development Center asks departments to encourage students to take the survey through this link.

Department chairs, directors and other faculty or staff with an official business reason to access customized graduate survey may request access to the Institutional Research Graduate Survey Power BI report by completing and returning an IR Power BI Request Form from the Minnesota State Mankato Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment website

For specific program information, visit the Career Development Center graduate statistics page.

Contact Matt Carlson with any questions via email or at 507-389-6061

Thesis Research Request

Health science/community health education graduate student Holly Munch is conducting thesis research on knowledge and risk perception of avian and pandemic influenza among adults in southern Minnesota.

Munch is requesting participants to take a five-minute survey, which will outline the extent of knowledge they know on the subjects. Minnesota State Mankato's Institutional Research Board has approved her research protocol to maintain the privacy and rights of participants. 

She requests that you take a moment to complete the survey. All responses will be kept anonymous and must be completed by March 31. 

Students Lobby at Capitol

Faculty member Mary Kramer, an assistant professor in the Department of Health Science, helped organized a group of 11 students that traveled to the state Capitol on Feb. 22 to lobby legislators on stronger community smoke-free policies.

The students met with area legislators and discussed several initiatives. The Mankato Free Press published a story about the student lobbying effort.

2017 Dance Marathon Raises $26,000 

This year more than 200 people attended the "Mavathon" dance marathon in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. The event raised $26,347 for Children's Miracle Network and its local affiliate, Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare. The amount raised surpassed the previous record of $26,082 in 2016. 

The dance marathon is one of the largest student-run philanthropic events that Minnesota State Mankato hosts. Students fundraise for Children's Miracle Network /Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare all year and celebrate their efforts with the marathon each spring. 

The event included musical performances, face painting, food, bowling, karaoke and more. Three local families with children who benefit from services provided at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare also attended the event to share their stories and make it a more meaningful experience. 

‘American Politics & Our Democratic Principles’

The Office of the Provost announced five upcoming events in a spring 2017 Colloquium Series on “American Politics & Our Democratic Principles.”

All members of the campus community and the general public are invited to attend this reflective and intellectually engaging series. Speakers from across the Minnesota State Mankato campus will share their expertise and views. Each event will be followed by deliberative discussions and light refreshments.

  • Tuesday, March 21, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Ostrander Auditorium, "Separation of Church & State: Constitutional Principles, Contemporary Issues"
  • Tuesday, March 28, 1-2:15 p.m., Ostrander Auditorium, "Current Geopolitical Conflict Zones: Critical Issues for America"
  • Tuesday, April 4, 3:30-4:45 p.m., Morris Hall 102, "The Role of the Media in a Democratic Society"
  • Monday, April 10, 1-2:15 p.m., Ostrander Auditorium, "Sanctuary Campus, Safe Spaces: What Can Our University Do?"
  • Wednesday, April 19, 1-2:15 p.m., Ostrander Auditorium, "What Should I Say & How Should I Say It? Communication Strategies for Challenging Conversations"

Specific details for each session, including the panel of speakers and their respective topics, will be share the week before the event. The format for each session will be a moderated panel discussion with an introduction, three-four speakers for five-eight minutes each, questions and open discussion for 20-30 minutes and closing remarks. All views are welcome.

College of Business Research Day

The College of Business announced that its 2017-18 Research Award recipients are faculty members Oksana Kim and Puneet Jaiprakash, who will be recognized during the College of Business Research Day event March 24 at 9:30 a.m. in the Centennial Student Union’s Nickerson Room.

The purpose of the Research Awards is to promote and acknowledge high-quality business research, and all full-time and fixed-term College of Business faculty are eligible to apply. A maximum of four research awards of approximately $5,000 are granted every year. The 2017 research awards mark the fourth year that the College of Business has presented research excellence awards to its faculty members.

To receive a Research Award, the applicant must demonstrate superior scholarship as evidenced by recent publications in prestigious journals and a consistent record of influential scholarly works.

For more information and to RSVP for the event, click here.

Sharing Acts of Kindness

Minnesota State Mankato students enrolled in three sections of the University’s Nursing 101W course – titled “Courage, Caring, and Team Building” – are documenting acts of kindness they witness this semester by passing out “wooden nickels” to the purveyors of the good deeds.

Professor Norma Krumwiede and adjunct instructor Becky Gerdes teach the classes. The approximately 70 enrolled students (mostly first-year students) are documenting the kind acts they see in written summaries, which they are posting online using serial numbers imprinted on the 1.5-inch wooden disks, or “wooden nickels.” To read the full news release, click here.

March 14-17: Good Thunder Reading Series

Author Chris Bachelder will be on campus March 14-17 for the Good Thunder Reading Series' Eddice B. Barber Visiting Writer Residency.

Bachelder (pictured) will lead writing workshops each day March 14-17 from 10-11 a.m. at the Emy Frentz Gallery (523 S. Second St. in Mankato), and a “Talk on Craft” from 3-4 p.m. Thursday, March 16, on the Minnesota State Mankato campus in the Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium. Bachelder will read from his work on Thursday, March 16 from 7:30-8:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union, Room 245.

All Good Thunder Reading Series events are free and open to the public.

Bachelder is an author of “Bear V. Shark, U.S.!,” “Abbott Awaits” and “The Throwback Special.” Foreign editions of his novels have been published in the U.K., Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Russia. Bachelder's short fiction and essays have appeared in McSweeney’s, The Believer, Harper’s, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, The Massachusetts Review, Black Warrior Review, Subtropics and other publications.

March 15: ACLU President Susan Herman

Susan Herman (pictured), the national president of the American Civil Liberties Union, will deliver the 31st Annual Kessel Memorial Lecture at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 15 in Minnesota State Mankato’s Ted Paul Theatre, located on campus in the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

Herman’s presentation, “The Battle for Civil Liberties Never Stays Won,” which will include a discussion period after the lecture, is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The Ted Paul Theatre has general admission seating for approximately 500 people. A public reception will be held in the lobby of the Earley Center for Performing Arts following Herman’s presentation.

During the reception, Herman will sign copies of her most recent book, which will be available for purchase. The book, “Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy,” was the winner of the 2012 IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize.

March 15-17: 41st Annual Pan African Student Leadership Conference

The 41st annual Dr. Michael T. Fagin Pan African Student Leadership Conference will be held Wednesday-Friday, March 15-17 at Minnesota State Mankato.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Pan Africanism: Intersectionality, Building Bridges and Reconnecting to Our Roots.”

The focus of the conference is to build student leaders and provide an opportunity for academic scholars, students, professionals and community members to discuss issues that affect African-American people.

Conference highlights include keynote speeches by Fagin, the founder of the conference, Wednesday, March 15 from 4-6 p.m. in Centennial Student Union 245, and Shaun King, social justice activist and journalist for the New York Daily News, Thursday, March 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

The conference schedule and registration information are available online. For more information, contact Briana Williamson, interim director of African American Affairs at Minnesota State Mankato, by phone at 507-389-1459 or by email at

March 18: Stephanie R. Thorpe Recital

In honor of Women’s History Month, soprano Stephanie R. Thorpe (pictured) will perform a recital of vocal music featuring poetry and music composed by women on Saturday, March 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The recital, "Charting Changes: Women, Words and Music," features several languages and a variety of genres of music. Selected artists and composers include: Sara Bareilles, Cécile Chaminade, Georgia Stitt, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Audrey Assad, and Minnesota-based Jocelyn Hagen.

Thorpe will be musically assisted by Vonnie Elker, piano; Johnathan Möeller, guitar; Logan Burns, bass; and Cayle Wendorf, drums. Thorpe is a voice faculty member in the Department of Music at Minnesota State Mankato.

Concert admission is $9 and $7 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 online. For more information, call the Performance Series office, (507) 389-5549.

March 20: Film ‘American Revolutionary’

Minnesota State Mankato’s Kessel Peace Institute and Women’s Center are sponsoring “Women of Action Month” events in March in an effort to educate about women who take action to make the world a better place.

The next event is a documentary film, “American Revolutionary,” that will be shown from 5-7 p.m. Monday, March 20 in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium.

This documentary film is about Grace Lee Boggs, whose activism has been central to labor, civil rights, black power, feminism, the Asian American and environmental justice movements. The film screening is free and open to the public.

March 20: 'Title IX and The Right to Play: Oral Histories of Women in Sports'

Diane LeBlanc, professor of interdisciplinary studies from St. Olaf College, will be giving a presentation on Title IX of the education amendments of 1972 on Monday, March 20 at 4 p.m. in in Centennial Student Union, Room 201.

The event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served. For more information, call the Department of History at 507-389-1618 or email

Title IX prohibits sex-based discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities. 

The lecture will draw from the histories of eight women who came of age before or during the implementation of Title IX and their experiences with inequality in sport. Those women include: Catherine Allen, Ruth Schellberg, Celeste Ulrich, Fay Biles, Dorothy McIntyre, Willye White, Doris Corbett and Anita DeFrantz.

Their experiences span two generations and reach from World War II ships to high school gymnasiums to Olympic stadiums to the International Olympic Committee. Each recalls the tension between two competing philosophies of sport: playing to participate and playing to compete.

March 21: University Orchestra

The Minnesota State Mankato orchestra will perform on Tuesday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The university orchestra provides a laboratory for the study of orchestral playing and a practical introduction to orchestral literature. Orchestra Director Joseph Rodgers has transformed the university orchestra by inviting area community members to join the former university orchestra to perform with university student musicians.

The orchestra has quadrupled in size and offers an abundance of new opportunities for both students and community members.

Concert admission is $9 and $7 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 online. For more information, call the Performance Series office, (507) 389-5549.

March 23: Pop/Rock Ensembles

Minnesota State Mankato's Department of Music will host a performance featuring student musicians on Thursday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. on the stage of E.J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for the Performing Arts. The musicians are supervised by
Michael Olson.

The pop/rock showcase features some of the University’s best songwriters and producers. Eight songwriters and producers will play pieces in genres from rock to pop to hip hop.

“The concert will be very exciting,” Olson said. “Each student musician has written and arranged their own original music. The concert will give them the opportunity to display their musical talents to the audience.”

General admission is $9 and $7 for students with a valid MavCard. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Advance purchase is encouraged. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go online. For more information, call the Performance Series office, (507) 389-5549.

March 27: 38th Annual Frontier Forum

Minnesota State Mankato's College of Social and Behavioral Sciences is sponsoring the 38th annual Frontier Forum lecture Monday, March 27 from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union's Ostrander Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

This year's lecture, "The Ghosts and Hauntings of Everyday Life," will be presented by Dennis Waskul (pictured), professor of sociology in the University's Department of Sociology & Corrections.

Preview of Waskul's presentation: "For over a century, scholars in the social sciences and humanities have confidently predicted that beliefs in the supernatural, will fade into historical memory as a result of advancements in science, education, and technology.  Waskul illustrates that these predictions have never proven true.  Waskul draws from his recent book, "Ghostly Encounters: The Hauntings of Everyday Life" (2016, with Michele Waskul), to illustrate how people experience uncanny happenings, how those strange events are made into ghostly experiences, the functions of those ghosts in the everyday life that people live, and to what consequence.

Student News

The Minnesota State Mankato club handball team traveled to Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz., for the 65th United States Handball Association’s (USHA) National Collegiate Championships on Feb. 22-26. The Mavericks had a very successful tournament and finished as runner-up in the open combined team title competition for the second straight year. The Maverick men’s team finished third in the open men’s division, and the Maverick women's team finished third in the open women’s division. To read more, click here.

Anjola Onadipe (Biomedical Sciences, ‘19) was recently awarded the Frankel Summer Fellowship at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center. Onadipe will be placed in a laboratory based on his interests and led by a faculty member. Possible research topics include atherosclerosis, genetic cardiomyopathies, blood clotting disorders, cardia arrhythmias, vascular biology and heart failure. At the conclusion of the 10-week fellowship, fellows will present their work in a research forum.

A group of students from the Department of Mechanical & Civil Engineering won a student video competition sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineering. The students will be traveling to Denver in April to receive their award. 

Samantha Kary, a first-year student and a marketing & communications student assistant in the Department of Residential Life, created a time-lapse video on the construction of the University Dining Center that is available here.

Faculty/Staff News

Both Nikki Stock, director of New Student & Family Programs, and Cathy Hughes, technical director for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management Division, were accepted to attend the HERS Leadership Institute. Stock will be at HERS Bryn Mawr Summer Institute from July 10-22, and Hughes will attend the HERS Denver Summer Institute from June 19-July 1.

Nate Wenner, adjunct professor in the Financial Planning Certificate Program, provided advice in WalletHub's recent piece about credit scores

The Faculty Research Committee and Karin Lindstrom Bremer, director of the Center for Excellence in Scholarship and Research, recently announced Minnesota State Mankato's 2017 Distinguished Faculty Scholars. The three individuals honored this year were Paul B. Eskridge, Department of Physics & Astronomy; Jeffrey A. Buchanan, Department of Psychology; and John W. Seymour, Department of Counseling and Student Personnel.

Distinguished Faculty Scholars are tenured professors whose body of scholarship and current level of scholarly activity warrant distinction within the university community. The Center for Excellence in Scholarship and Research and the Faculty Research Committee annually select up to three Distinguished Faculty Scholars. Once named a Distinguished Faculty Scholar, recipients maintain the distinction for the remainder of their tenure at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Distinguished Faculty Scholars are recognized on the University website and at the annual Celebration of Excellence Dinner.

Department News

The Student Events Team has announced its lineup of upcoming movies that will be shown in Ostrander Auditorium. Admission is free with a Mav ID card or $1 for the general public. Concessions are available, and parking in Lot 11 or the Pay Lot is free after 4 p.m. on Fridays.

Minnesota State Mankato Iron Range Engineering students Araina Boyd and Kortani Martin planned, managed and hosted a STEM Outreach event Feb. 10-11 for high school girls at Mesabi Range College in Virginia, Minn. It was the second year the event was held. The Mesabi Daily News wrote an article about the event.


Herbert "Herb" Noetzel, who was employed by Minnesota State Mankato for 15 years and retired from the Library Automation (PALS) Department in June 2002, died Feb. 22. View his full obituary online.

In the Rankings named Minnesota State Mankato as "one of the top colleges for online master's in communications degrees." Minnesota State Mankato was ranked fourth out of 79 colleges or universities listed in the rankings. 

Mankato, Minn., was ranked by as seventh in the website's ranking of the 20 best college cities to stay in after graduation. The website looked at the unemployment rates for people in Mankato between ages 25-29, the median salary with a bachelor's degree, and the percentage of 25-34-year-olds living in Mankato with a bachelor's degree.

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, March 29. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday, March 24.

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