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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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June 14, 2017 Campus Newsletter

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National D-II Softball Champions


The Minnesota State University, Mankato softball team won the NCAA Division II national championship May 29 in Salem, Va., to cap a record-breaking season.

The national title was the first in program history, and the Mavericks' season record of 64-7 was an all-time school best and the second-best record ever for an NCAA Division II national champion.

For details about the 5-1 title-clinching win over Angelo State, click here.

The Mavericks were welcomed home Tuesday, May 30 with a championship celebration in downtown Mankato on the Grand Lawn in front of the Intergovernmental Center. For more information on the event, click here.

Mavericks Head Coach Lori Meyer was named the HERO Sports Fans' Choice DII Coach of the Year, and senior pitcher Coley Ries was named the Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II National Player of the Year.

The national title marked the seventh time in school history that a Mavericks team has won a national team championship. Wrestling has won three titles (1957-58 NAIA, 1958-59 NAIA, 1964-65 NCAA DIII), while men's hockey (1979 NCAA DII), men's cross country (1988 NCAA DII co-champions), women's basketball (2008-09 NCAA DII), and softball (2017 NCAA DII) have each claimed one national championship.

Sesquicentennial Name Badges

Employee name badges featuring the new sesquicentennial logo are now available.

To request one, bring a CA037 form for interdepartmental purchases, which are available through departmental administrative assistants, to the MavCARD office located at 117 Centennial Student Union. You can also send the CA037 form via campus mail to MavCARD Office SU117.

Requests will be processed as quickly as possible, as orientation traffic allows; the MavCARD office will call you when your badge is ready to pick up.

Business cards with the sesquicentennial logo are also available through Printing Services. To order business cards, click here

The sesquicentennial badges and business cards can be used between now and the end of the 2018 academic year.

New Foundation Board President

Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport (left in photo) welcomed Tim Huebsch (right in photo) to his position as the Minnesota State Mankato Foundation Board president during a May 19 board meeting. Huebsch will serve a two-year term as president.

Huebsch is currently a senior manager at General Mills, where he has worked since graduating summa cum laude from Minnesota State Mankato in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

At General Mills, Huebsch has progressed through leadership roles of increasing responsibility in multiple business divisions. In his current role, he has responsibility for leading solutions and systems supporting the Innovation, Technology and Quality (ITQ/Research & Development) organization. Huebsch received Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal’s “40 Under Forty” award in 2010 for his contributions to business and community.

He received Minnesota State Mankato's Distinguished Young Alumni Award in 2012 and the Minnesota State University Student Association's Andrea Ruesch Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2013. In addition to his involvement at Minnesota State Mankato, Huebsch is currently on the Board of Governors at the Minneapolis Club, a member of the Guthrie Theater’s Corporate Council, serves on the Regent Candidate Advisory Council and is immediate past president of the Carlson School of Management Alumni Board at the University of Minnesota.

While attending Minnesota State Mankato, Huebsch served on the Minnesota State Student Association as senator, technology coordinator and vice president. During his four years on campus, Huebsch used his passion for technology to champion big ideas; one of those ideas resulted in campus-wide wireless Internet access.

The Minnesota State Mankato Foundation was established in 1958 as a private, 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization dedicated to securing private gifts and grants that benefit Minnesota State Mankato. Each year, thousands of generous benefactors make gifts to help students, faculty and programs at the University.

National Residence Halls Conference

Ten Minnesota State Mankato student leaders recently returned from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., where they attended the National Association of College and University Residence Halls Conference.

The annual conference allows student leaders to network with other student leaders from across the nation, attend social & educational sessions and bring new ideas back to their own campuses to improve the residential living experience for all students.

Presentations by Minnesota State Mankato students included “Aliens Inside Me,” which was about mental health stigmas and self-care (by Stephanie Oxley and Megan Iverson), “The Last Launch” (by Steph Lowe), which was about leadership qualities and lessons from “The Last Lecture,” and “Recognizing Superstars!,” which was about the various ways recognition can occur on campus (by Steph Lowe and Katie Schleper). “Aliens Inside Me” was awarded a Top 50 program honor.

Additionally, Gracie Smith was officially sworn in as the Regional Director of MACURH (Midwest affiliate) for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Minnesota State Mankato student delegates who attended the conference included Stephanie Oxley, Steph Lowe, Gracie Smith, Reece Boelter, Megan Iverson, Jorey Fischer, Neil Mendonca, Morgan Berg, Jennifer Anderson and Katie Schleper.

The students were joined by advisors Kirsten Andrews and Phil Neuman.

CSU Looking for Memories

The Centennial Student Union staff invites alumni, past employees, students, faculty and staff to share memories of the Centennial Student Union by submitting photos or videos for a special exhibit this fall, or by logging memories in CSU's authentic red English phone booth, located near Ostrander Auditorium.

Submitted photos or videos should capture a “serendipitous memory” created in the CSU. Photos for the exhibit can be nostalgic or current and should include a short story or caption to go with the photo. Deadline for submitting is June 30, 2017. Items can be submitted electronically at, or mailed to: Serendipitous Moments, 220 Centennial Student Union, Minnesota State University Mankato, Mankato, MN 56001.

As a thank you, the CSU will send a 9x11 print of “The Journey,” a commissioned work of art by Marian Anderson that depicts the history of Minnesota State Mankato.

Visitors to the phone booth are invited to spend a minute -- literally -- and log a video or audio memory (follow the simple memory booth instructions) shaped in the CSU or while attending the University. Shared stories will be part of a special CSU 50th Anniversary “Serendipitous Memories” art exhibit in the fall of 2017.

For more information contact Lenny Koupal, CSU communications coordinator, by phone at 507-389-6744 or by email at

Shared memories will become part of the University’s oral history library as the University prepares its 150th celebration in 2018.

The Centennial Student Union will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017.

Women of Distinction Exhibit

Minnesota State Mankato history students and faculty conducted research for a traveling historical exhibit, titled “Mankato’s Leading Women: The Women of Distinction Award in Historical Perspective,” that is currently on display in the Blue Earth County Library, located at 100 E. Main St. in Mankato, until Aug. 1.

The exhibit comprises four standing banners that document the history of the YWCA Mankato’s Women of Distinction Award and its effect on the greater Mankato community. The Women of Distinction Award is an honor that has been presented annually since 1973 by the YWCA Mankato to two to three prominent women in the community.

In conducting their research, students and faculty interviewed previous honorees and analyzed archival material housed in the University's archives.

The traveling exhibit is intended to document the interviews and research conducted to date and to help educate the community on the project. But the women of distinction research project is ongoing. Community members with an interest in participating in the research, either as an interviewer or an award honoree, are invited to contact Minnesota State Mankato's Department of History by phone at 507-389-1618 or by email at

The exhibit was made possible by grants from the President’s Commission on the Status of Women at Minnesota State Mankato and the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Traverse de Sioux Library Cooperative.

Mavericks Finish 8th in Learfield Director's Cup

The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics had 11 teams score points in NCAA postseason competition and completed the 2016-17 season ranking eighth in the final Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings.

Boosted by a national championship from the Maverick sofball team, this year marks the 10th time in the last 13 years that the Mavericks have finished in the top 10 in the standings, which recognize the top athletic programs in the country.

Minnesota State Mankato totaled 559.75 points in the 2016-17 Director's Cup standings, putting the Mavericks in the top three percent of the 300 schools that compete in NCAA Division II.

This year marks the 16th straight year that the Mavericks have finished in the top 25 in the country in the national standings.

The Mavericks have finished in the top 25 a total of 17 times in the 22 years since the Directors' Cup program was inaugurated -- 2nd in 2008-09; 3rd in 2007-08; 4th in 2006-07, 2009-10 and 2012-13; 5th in 2014-15 and 2015-16; 8th in 2005-06 and 2016-17; 10th in 2004-05; 13th in 2010-11; 15th in 2013-14; 16th in 1995-96; 20th in 2003-04; 21st in 2011-12; 22nd in 2002-03 and 23rd in 2001-02.

Lifelong Learners Summer Schedule

The Mankato Area Lifelong Learners group is offering a variety of summer classes in June, July and August.

A complete calendar is available online here.

Cost of quarterly presentations and the speaker series are $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Online registration is available at Choose "Class Schedule," and then click on "Register Online Now."

For more information, contact the Mankato Area Lifelong Learners office by phone at 507-389-2011 between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon Monday through Friday.

June 14-17: 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood'

Minnesota State University, Mankato Highland Summer Theatre director and cast of “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” have prepared eight possible endings for the murder-mystery musical, the audience decides whodunit, which runs 7:30 p.m. June 14-17 in the Ted Paul Theatre, Earley Center for Performing Arts.

This wildly warm-hearted theatrical experience kicks off when the Music Hall Royale (a hilariously loony Victorian musical troupe) “puts on” its flamboyant rendition of an unfinished Dickens mystery in “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.”

The story itself deals with John Jasper, a Jekyll-and-Hyde choirmaster who is quite madly in love with his music student, the fair Miss Rosa Bud.

Now, Miss Bud is, in turn, engaged to Jasper’s nephew, young Edwin Drood. Our title character disappears mysteriously one stormy Christmas Eve – but has Edwin Drood been murdered? And if so, then whodunnit? You decide!

This is a Minnesota State Mankato premiere. Tickets 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.

June 16: Parent-Child Play Day

Minnesota State Mankato's Department of Family Consumer Science is holding its 9th annual parent-child play day on Friday, June 16 from 10 a.m. to noon at Rasmussen Woods, located at 555 Stoltzman Road in Mankato.

The event, free and open to the public, will be held rain or shine.

Parent-child play day is for both parents and preschool-early school age children and designed to encourage play. The event will be led by students and faculty in the Department of Family Consumer Science.

For more information, contact Associate Professor Heather Von Bank by email at or by phone at 507-389-5915.

June 19: Red Cross Blood Drive

The Upward Bound program and the Mavericks volleyball team are sponsoring a Red Cross Blood Drive.

It will be held Monday, June 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Otto Arena, Court #3.

Appointments can be made by calling 389-1211 or by going online and entering sponsor code MSUUPWARD.

Walk-ins are always welcome.

June 20: Fitness Trail Walk

All members of the campus community are invited to participate in a fitness trail walk on Tuesday, June 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This walk will begin at the start of the University's fitness trail, located by the softball fields in the back of the green parking Lot 1 (by the shed).

Maps will be provided for the 1.5-mile loop.  Participants may show up any time between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and walk for any length of time or mileage.

All participants will receive a plastic water bottle and will be included in a drawing.

In case of inclement weather, the event will be cancelled.

For more information on the Wellness at Work Committee's ongoing classes and events, click here or watch for wellness information sent via campus email.

June 22: Summer Outdoor Film Series Begins

Student Activities will again be sponsoring a free outdoor film series this summer on campus that is open to the local community as well as students, faculty and staff.

The series opens Thursday, June 22 at 9 p.m. with a showing of "Beauty and the Beast" (rated PG) in the amphitheatre, which is located between the Centennial Student Union and Memorial Library.

During the series, movies will be projected onto an outdoor screen, and spectators are encouraged to bring blankets or chairs on which to sit. Free parking will be available directly next to the amphitheatre in Gold Lot 4. Click here for a University parking map.

Theatre popcorn, candy, and beverages will be available for purchase. All films will start at 9 p.m., and all will be rated PG-13 or lower. In case of inclement weather, the films will be shown inside in Ostrander Auditorium.

Collections for Campus Kitchen and Campus Cupboard will be collected during the film showing. For each non-expired food donation, participants will receive a free small popcorn (limit two popcorns per family).

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

Student News

Three Minnesota State Mankato students who are members of the campus Somali Student Association discussed Somali singer Nimco Yasin's recent Mankato Midnimo residency and its transformative impact on them in a video at this link. The three students were Abdul Aziz, Kathar Mohamud and Kos Adam.

Two Minnesota State Student Association leaders were among a group of approximately 10 college students who collectively walked 100 miles from Mankato to the Minnesota state Capitol in St. Paul from May 7-10 to draw attention to the need for funding for tuition relief at state universities. Faical Rayani (MSSA president during the 2016-2017 academic year) and Maria Ruiz (MSSA vice president during the 2016-2017 academic year) were among the students who participated in the walk. The Mankato Free Press published an article about the student effort, which was organized by Students United.

A company run by a Minnesota State Mankato student and another run by a recent Minnesota State Mankato graduate were among 80 Minnesota-based startup companies named as finalists in the 13th annual Minnesota Cup, a startup competition event organized and conducted by the University of Minnesota. Primate Longboards, a company started by Minnesota State Mankato sophomore Jackson Jones, is one semifinalist, and Iron Range Makerspace, a company started by 2015 graduate Andrew Hanegmon, was also named a semifinalist in the competition.

The following four students were awarded $400 University Advancement Scholarships: Adam Fleischhacker, Shreya Koirala, Abigail Schmidt and Kelsey Valley.

Alumnus Robb Krueger, who earned a master of fine arts degree from Minnesota State Mankato, announced that his play, "The Perils of Steve," has made it into the 2017 Minnesota Fringe, an annual festival that will be held this year from Aug. 3-13.

Faculty/Staff News

James Rife and Theresa Salerno, professors in the Department of Chemistry and Geology, were recently recognized with Mankato Area Public Schools' Community Education & Recreation 2017 Spirit of Youth Awards as "outstanding educators."

Jim Dilling, who won four NCAA Division II high jump titles while competing for Minnesota State Mankato, has been named to the United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame. A native of Fond du Lac, Wis., Dilling captured the NCAA DII national indoor championship in 2006 & 2007 and won national outdoor championships in 2005 & 2007 and was a six-time All-American in the event (second at 2005 indoor & third at 2006 outdoor). Dilling served as men's track & field coach for the Mavericks from 2013 through the end of this season. He was also head coach of the Maverick women's track & field program this past season.

David Viscoli, professor of piano in the Department of Music, was featured on Minnesota Public Radio's MPR Days: Mankato. One of Viscoli's recordings was broadcast as part of the day-long celebration of MPR's 50th anniversary.

Chris Veltsos, associate professor in the Department of Computer Information Science, was mentioned in a May 8 Wall Street Journal column about changing user behavior in the area of passwords and attachments. In addition, Veltsos was part of a May 24 Association of Certified E-Discovery Specialists Twin Cities Chapter expert panel discussion on the subject of "CyberSecurity in the eDiscovery Realm" in Minneapolis.

Chad Wittkop, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Geology, was recently awarded a research grant from the National Science Foundation.

Pat Nelson, assistant professor of law enforcement in the Department of Government, was a source for a article about the best states in which to be a police officer.

Kasey Linde has been named interim director of the annual fund in University Advancement. Linde was most recently the manager of the Gustavus Fund at Gustavus Adolphus College. She is an educational doctorate (2019) candidate at St. Cloud State University.

Chelsea Skluzacek has been named assistant director of the annual fund in University Advancement. Skluzacek, who graduated from Minnesota State Mankato in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in social work, has served as interim assistant director of the annual fund for the past two years.

Greg Weis has been named assistant athletic director for development and revenue generation. Weis, a two-time alum of Minnesota State Mankato, most recently served as the general manager of the Mankato MoonDogs baseball team.


Clarence "Dean" Alders, who was employed at Minnesota State Mankato for 33 years before retiring in 1989, died May 19. Alders was employed in the Department of Math, Astronomy and Statistics. An obituary is available here.

Leona Garman, who was employed at Minnesota State Mankato in the Department of University Systems from September 1959 to January 1986, died May 8. An obituary is available here.

Lisa Coons, who was employed as an adjunct professor for various academic terms between 1991 and May 2013, most recently in the subject of non-profit leadership, died May 16. An obituary is available 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, July 19. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (July 14).

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