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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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September 27, 2017 Campus Newsletter

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Homecoming 2017

Minnesota State University, Mankato's 2017 Homecoming week kicks off Monday, Oct. 2 with a full weeklong schedule of events that concludes Saturday, Oct. 7, a date that marks the 149th anniversary of the founding of the University on Oct. 7, 1868.

Campus offices are encouraged to show off their Maverick spirit by participating in the office decorating contest. A $200 gift card to Pub 500 will be awarded to the winning office. Online registration is due Monday, Oct. 2, with judging scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 3.

Employees are encouraged to wear purple and gold all week to celebrate the week.

Highlighting the Monday, Oct. 2 activities are a 25-foot tall bonfire and light show at 8 p.m. that will be followed by fireworks. 

Saturday, Oct. 7 activities include the president's free pancake breakfast from 9-11 a.m. and the annual Homecoming parade at noon.

Click here for information on Maverick athletic events during Homecoming week.

Alumni Zone

All alumni and friends are welcome to register for the second annual Alumni Zone, a pregame tailgating event to be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7 in Lot 20A adjacent to Blakeslee Stadium. The Alumni Zone event will immediately precede Minnesota State Mankato's Homecoming football game against Augustana, which will begin at 1:30 p.m.

Cost is $12 and includes a Maverick football game ticket. RSVPs are required by Wednesday, Sept. 27 to attend the Alumni Zone. Register here or by calling 507-389-1515. Space is limited, and there is no walk-up admission

The Alumni Zone will include food trucks, live music, kids' activities, door prizes, giveaways and much more.

Seasonal Flu Vaccinations

Seasonal flu vaccinations are available for faculty and staff on Wednesday, Oct. 4 from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m., in CSU 253-4-5. (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.

Employees without a valid card or who don’t have health insurance through the state of Minnesota can receive the flu shot for $33.

Vaccinations are available on a walk-in basis. No appointment is necessary.

For more information and clinic locations, click here. Flu vaccinations are also available at primary care clinics and in-network convenient clinics.

CSU 50th Anniversary, Art Gallery Exhibit

Memories and vision are the focus as the Centennial Student Union celebrates its 50th anniversary with a new CSU Art Gallery exhibit and a Saturday, Oct. 7 Homecoming Day celebration that includes the premiere of a CSU video.

The CSU 50th Anniversary Art Exhibit on display through October features alumni contributions of serendipitous memories that share stories about lives impacted by, in or through the CSU. The exhibit is open daily in the CSU lower level.

The Homecoming 2017 celebration will conclude with the CSU co-hosting the Student Events Team's free Edge of Illusion performance by Reza - recognized as one of the world’s top illusionists - on Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. in the CSU Ballroom.

Known today as the House of Serendipity, the CSU opened Oct. 27, 1967, on the eve of then Mankato State College’s Homecoming. It was named Centennial Student Union as the college celebrated its 100-year anniversary. CSU's Homecoming 2017 celebration is among events celebrating the University’s year-long Sesquicentennial observance.

At the May 3, 1968, dedication of the CSU, Student Senate President Jim Albani saw the student union as a place for shaping attitudes and behaviors.

“Our union is a testing ground for student responsibility, student management, student jobs, student government and student life in general,” he stated.

Funded through student fees and generated revenue, the CSU was envisioned in the late 1950s as the college planned expansion to the upper Highland Campus. In 1962, students began contributing $5 per academic quarter toward construction of a student union. As planned, the $1.5 million building was expanded in 1972 and again in 1999.

The $14 million renovation in 2005, which included the addition of the main glass-walled south entrance and Hearth Lounge, significantly changed the look and feel of the CSU.

Drawing upon C. Shaw Smith’s view of the student union as a House of Serendipity, the CSU seeks a place and culture that invites, involves and inspires students. The six core values of the CSU seek to nurture leadership, integrity, community, personal development, innovation and celebration.

Commemorating its 50th Anniversary, the CSU’s Serendipitous Memories Art Exhibit will be on display through October. Along with alumni memories, the exhibit includes a teaser of the new video, a photo slide show, a CSU timeline and the history of the Lincoln statue and Stomper.

A traveling display included in the exhibit will be shown throughout the CSU during the academic year.

The 50th anniversary video features observation by current CSU Director Mark Constantine as well as past directors Laurie Woodward and Henry Morris. Others featured in the video include Mike Hodapp, long-time CSU finance director who retired in 2011, as well as the late Scott Hagebak, former CSU facilities director. The video includes comments from students and alumni. The video will be added to the art exhibit following its premiere.

Learning Communities

The [PDF] call for proposals for Learning Communities (539 KiB) for next academic year is now open, and proposals will be accepted through Friday, Oct. 20.

Students involved with Learning Communities at Minnesota State Mankato have proven to have higher retention rates, higher grade point averages and a higher completion rate than their non-enrolled peers.

Those completing the proposal form are asked to complete the 10 questions and the course selection section, route for dean’s signature and return to or send via campus mail to Learning Communities CR C131.

Notifications to proposal submitters will be sent out by mid-November with confirmation if the Learning Community will be offered.

To learn more about Minnesota State Mankato’s Learning Community program, please visit the Learning Communities Web page or stop by the Learning Communities Program Office in Crawford C-131. Please refer questions to Jean Clarke, Learning Community program coordinator, who can be reached by phone at 507-389-1450.

Lunch & Learn; Leadership U

Student Activities is sponsoring two upcoming "lunch and learns" for students. The events will be facilitated by local professionals from a variety of organizations and industries. Students are invited to come for free food, networking with local professionals and building leadership skills.

Date/Time/Location: Tuesday, Oct. 3, 12-1 p.m., Career Development Center
Topic: Strategic Planning                                                              
Facilitator: To be determined

Date/Time/Location: Tuesday, Oct. 10, 12-1 p.m., Career Development Center
Topic: Delegation                                                                                                      
Facilitator: To be determined

Leadership U is a program that provides opportunities to students to grow as leaders of their communities. Facilitators from the Minnesota State Mankato community (faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students) will lead participants in an interactive learning session to analyze and build leadership skills. Students are invited to gain some skills while having fun with other leaders on campus.

Date/Time/Location: Tuesday, Oct. 3, 5-6 p.m., CSU 245                                       
Topic: Group Dynamics, Organizational Behavior
Facilitator: To be determined

Date/Time/Location: Tuesday, Oct. 10, 5-6 p.m., CSU 245                                         
Topic: Group Dynamics, Power Dynamics
Facilitator: To be determined

Advising Forums

Advising Forum meets a few times each semester to discuss trends and issues in academic advising. Members of the campus community who want to know more about these timely topics are welcome to attend. For more information, contact Sara Granberg-Rademacker, Trudy Kunkel or Marie Slotemaker.

Upcoming forums will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 11 from 9-10 a.m. in CSU 238 on the topic of Mav Connect and on Wednesday, Nov. 15 from 9-10 a.m. in CSU 204 on the topic of emergency grants.

Majors in Minutes

National data suggest that 70% of students change majors during their college experience. Locally, we know that 15-19% of Minnesota State Mankato's new first-year students come in undecided about a major. That number does not include those who are not sure, but are too scared to say so.

For these reasons, learning opportunities are held each fall to engage students in major selection processes. Majors in Minutes is a round-robin event where undecided students interact with upper-class students to learn about students’ major exploration processes, why they chose particular majors, what they enjoy about their majors, and more. The event will happen Monday, Nov. 6 from 6-8 p.m. in the CSU Ballroom.

Faculty and staff are asked to help by nominating approachable, enthusiastic students in different majors across campus who would be great representatives of their major. Students may be nominated at this link. Nominations must be completed by Friday, Sept. 29. Nominated students will then be contacted to determine their interest and availability for Majors in Minutes. For more information, contact Sara Granberg-Rademacker.

Lifelong Learners

The Lifelong Learners Program continues this fall with presentations on subjects that range from a tour of New Sweden Dairy to a "Thinking About Capitalism" series to a conversation with an award-winning mystery author from Mankato.

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. 5 at 2 p.m., there will be a tour of New Sweden Dairy in rural Nicollet (this event is limited to 20 participants. Online registration is available here. The "Thinking About Capitalism" series includes presentations on six Wednesdays in October and November. The two-hour sessions will be half lecture and half discussions. On Thursday, Nov. 2, Allen Eskens, an award-winning and bestselling local author of four mystery novels, will discuss the inspiration behind his books as well as plans for a movie of his first novel.

Sept. 18-Oct. 10: 'Project Passion'

Project Passion, a juried exhibition of the self-initiated work of graphic designers, will be on display in Minnesota State Mankato’s Conkling Gallery (located in Nelson Hall 139) from Sept. 18 through Oct. 10.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday as coverage permits. Please call 507-389-6412 to ensure the gallery is open.

Project Passion is a collaborative effort of Minnesota State Mankato design faculty members David Rogers, Bradley Coulter, Ellen Schofield and Matt Willemsen along with AIGA Minnesota. The exhibition is made possible through the Nadine B. Andreas Endowment Program.

For more information, call the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art at 507-389-6412. 

Sept. 26-27: Cuba(n) Conversations

The University's Department of World Languages and Cultures is hosting Alberto González Rivero, who is from Cuba, to lead discussions Sept. 26-27 that are part of the College of Arts and Humanities 2017 Nadine B. Andreas Speaker Series.

González Rivero was a K-12 teacher who has worked as an interpreter/translator for the past 24 years. He will share his perspectives on Cuba following the revolution in two discussions that are free and open to the public.

He will share his understanding of the role of education in the K-12 and higher education environment in Cuba, his knowledge of how worldwide efforts for justice and peace impact Cubans and others in today’s world, his perspective of the critical need for preparing multilingual students for leadership in a global workplace, and his impressive experience as a “country boy” who “made it” as an author/translator and interpreter to better our world through “translating Cuba” for others.

On Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 4 p.m., González Rivero will give a presentation titled "Mind Games in Translation" in Memorial Library 45.

On Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m., González Rivero will speak on "Cuba Today: Much More than Cigars, Rum, Salsa & Old American Cars" in Centennial Student Union's Ostrander Auditorium. From 8-8:30 p.m., following his presentation, González Rivero will be available to sign copies of his 2014 book, "Born to Translate Cuba: A Country Boy's Dream Come True," which is available for purchase at the Barnes & Noble campus bookstore.

Sept. 28-Oct. 8: 'Little Women' Opens Mainstage Season

The premise of the 2017-18 Minnesota State Mankato Theatre & Dance Mainstage season was easy enough to arrive upon. Six Mainstage productions to choose. The 150th birthday of the University to celebrate (1868-2018). Why not have each production represent one 25-year piece of the University’s history?

The kismet seemed to occur, however, when realizing that there was one very special musical based on a wildly popular book that was published the year the University was founded as the Mankato Normal School in 1868. That musical was “Little Women,” a Minnesota State Mankato premiere opening Sept. 28 in the Ted Paul Theatre.

Based on author Louisa May Alcott’s life, “Little Women” follows the adventures of the March sisters, Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy. Jo is trying to sell her stories for publication, but the publishers are not interested. Her friend, Professor Bhaer, tells her that she has to do better and write more from herself. Begrudgingly taking this advice, Jo weaves the story of herself and her sisters and their experience growing up in Civil War America.

“Little Women” runs 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28-30 and Oct. 5-7; and 2 p.m. Oct. 7 and 8 in the Ted Paul Theatre, Earley Center for Performing Arts, Minnesota State Mankato.

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.

Season tickets for all six Mainstage productions are on sale for $100 through Oct. 8. Visit the Box Office in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center 4-6 p.m. weekdays or call 507-389-6663.

Oct. 2: Memorial Library Celebrates 50 Years

Minnesota State Mankato and Library Services invite the community to join a celebration of Memorial Library's 50th year on Monday, Oct. 2 from 2-4 p.m.

While Memorial Library has experienced many changes over the last 50 years, one thing remains constant. The Memorial Library continues to be the academic center for Minnesota State Mankato. As part of its vision, Library Services facilitates discovery, study, learning and scholarship; creates a physically and virtually accessible environment, leads in campus collaboration and anticipates and embraces transformational change.

When the Memorial Library opened its doors Oct. 2, 1967, the library's holdings included 160,000 volumes and 1,600 periodicals. Today, about six times as many books (more than a million) and 60 times as many online and print periodicals (more than 100,000) are available to library users, in addition to a vast Inter-Library Loan network that reaches around the world. The library building was expanded with a major building project in 1992, and today also has an "all-weather" pedestrian connection to other campus buildings.

Joan Roca, dean of Library Services, encourages former students and all interested community members to come and experience the transformations.

"It is very fitting that the University's celebration of the 150th year since its foundation include recognition that our 50-year-old Memorial Library can be proudly showcased as a modern facility offering a caring and professional staff, high-quality services, carefully selected resources in many formats, state-of-the-art technologies, and a variety of comfortable, flexible study spaces to serve the needs of 21st century students," said Roca.

For more information, contact Leslie Peterson at 507-389-5952 or by email at

Oct. 4: Aar Maanta and The Urban Nomads

The Minnesota State Mankato Performance Series will host a jam session at the Coffee Hag, 329 North Riverfront, with artist Aar Maanta and The Urban Nomads on Wednesday, Oct. 4 from 5-7 p.m. Local musicians are invited to attend and join the band in performance.

Aar Maanta’s appreciation for live music led him to form his band, The Urban Nomads. The group is a multinational and multi-talented collective which consists of Italian bass player Ruth Goller, British/Caribbean saxophonist and keyboard player Josh Cutler, French guitarist and sound engineer Thibaut Remy, and Nepalese/Scottish drummer Pharoah Smeaton Russell.

Each member of the band brings a unique musical knowledge and background to the mix to create a distinct sound that reflects the diversity of Aar’s musical influences.

For more information on this event, contact the Performance Series Office at 507-389-5549 or email

Oct. 5-21: Department of Art Sesquicentennial Exhibition

In celebration of the sesquicentennial celebration of the founding of Minnesota State University, Mankato, the University's Department of Art is sponsoring an exhibition of new work by alumni, current faculty, and faculty emeriti at Mankato’s Carnegie Art Center (120 South Broad St.) from Oct. 5-21. Hours are Thursdays from 1-7 p.m., Fridays from 1-4 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Titled "Faculty, Emeriti, Alumni, 150," this first-time exhibition highlights 40 years of artistic activity nurtured and inspired by the University’s acclaimed Department of Art, the academic home of nationally and internationally renowned artists, designers and scholars. Jim Johnson, Rea Mingeva, Bob Finkler, Jim Tanner, Roy Strassberg, David Morano and John Spurgin are the emeriti faculty exhibiting.

Several exhibiting artists will attend the opening reception, to which the public is invited, on Sunday, Oct. 8 from 3-5 p.m. at the Carnegie Art Center.

For more information, contact Brian Frink, chair of the Department of Art.

Oct. 8: Ellis Street Singers

Minnesota State University, Mankato's Department of Music opens the University’s Sesquicentennial year with a concert featuring the Ellis Street Singers performing with the department’s Contemporary Vocal Ensembles, Sunday, Oct. 8 at 3 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

Director of Jazz Studies Douglas Snapp directs the Contemporary Vocal Ensembles and former music faculty member Al Wortman (pictured) directs the Ellis Street Singers.

The Ellis Street Singers began in 1969 under the direction of Al Wortman. The group consisted of full-time music students from Mankato State College interested in singing popular music. The Ellis Street Singers consisted of usually 12-16 singers accompanied by a six-member combo. The group performed jazz music, popular music from the time and musical theater pieces. These pieces were selected by the students.

Over the last 20 years of the group, the Ellis Street Singers performed as many as 22 shows over the Christmas holiday season at Cannon Falls, Minn. In addition to performing throughout Southern Minnesota, the group always included a trip over spring break or at the end of the year.

Over the years, the group went to many different performance locations including Canada, Mount Rushmore, New Orleans, New York, Australia and two goodwill tours to the Soviet Union. The 1995-1996 academic years were the last years of the Ellis Street Singers due to Wortman's retirement.

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

Student News

In August, recent graduate Mikyla Denney (anthropology & Spanish ’17) began a one-year residency with the St. Paul, Minn., chapter of the nationally recognized social change organization, the St. Joseph Worker Program.

According to its website, the mission of the St. Joseph Worker Program is to empower women to respond to the ever-evolving needs of society through acting on the program’s four core values: leadership, spirituality, social justice, and intentional community with simplicity.

Denney plans to further her education by attending graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in international relations with an emphasis on human rights and social justice. While a student at Minnesota State Mankato, Denney was a member of the Honors Program

Francis Kanneh, a student in the College of Business who founded UnderRecruited Preps, a website for prospective college student-athletes, was named winner in the student category of the 2017 Minnesota Cup competition on Sept. 22. The Minnesota Cup is billed by the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management as Minnesota's largest statewide entrepreneurial contest. Prize money in the competition's various award categories will be announced Oct. 9 in Minneapolis.

Faculty/Staff News

Raymond Asomani-Boateng, professor of urban planning in the Urban & Regional Studies Institute, has been appointed to the editorial board of the International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development.

Raymond Asomani-Boateng, professor of urban planning in the Urban & Regional Studies Institute, presented a paper on "The Planning and Development of British Colonial City Of Accra, Ghana" and chaired the section on Learning at the II International Conference on African Urban Planning held Sept. 7-8 at the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Lisbon, Portugal.

Jasper S. Hunt, a professor in the Experiential Education Graduate Program in the Department of Educational Leadership, has published a chapter in a new book by Simon Priest and Michael Gass. The chapter title is “Teaching Ethics” and the book title is “Effective Leadership in Adventure Programming. Third Edition.

Ishuan Li, associate professor of economics, was named a member of eAIR Advisory Group for the Association for Institutional Research (AIR).

Brenda Flannery, dean of the College of Business, will be a featured speaker at YWCA Mankato's 6th annual Women's Leadership Conference, to be held Nov. 1-2 at the Verizon Center in Mankato. Flannery will speak Nov. 2 on "Honoring Authentic Leadership." Also scheduled to speak at the conference from Minnesota State Mankato are Louise Dickmeyer, director of continuing and professional education in the Center for Talent Development, and Cindra Kamphoff, professor in the Department of Sports and Exercise Psychology and director of the Center for Sport and Performance Psychology. Kamphoff's Nov. 2 presentation is titled "Lead with Bravery and Courage." Dickmeyer will be part of a Nov. 2 panel discussion titled "Finding Your Leadership Voice."

Chris Veltsos, associate professor in the Department of Computer Information Science, had two articles published in August by IBM They included "Main Takeaways for CIOs from the Global C-Suite Study" and "CISOs Moving up in the Corporate Ladder? CIOs Shouldn't Be Worried."

Chris Veltsos, associate professor in the Department of Computer Information Science, was co-author of two articles as part of a group of seven collaborators called the Cyber Avengers. The articles include "3 keys to responding intelligently, publicly to a cyberattack," posted Sept. 19 by Fifth Domain, and "Five Lessons on Cybersecurity Survival," posted Sept. 19 by Brink, The Edge of Risk.

Department News

Human Resources has published its [PDF] September 2017 newsletter (265 KiB).

Library Services has published its September 2017 newsletter. Download it here.

The Sept. 22 edition of the Community Engagement newsletter is now available. The newsletters can be accessed by scrolling to the bottom of the page at [PDF] this link (641 KiB) or by sending an email to and requesting a copy.

The Department of Geography has announced the 2017 Geography Colloquium Fall Schedule.

The Department of Social Work has received a four-year, $399,900 federal Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. A news release is available here.

The Student Events Team is planning a variety of events this fall. Click here for more information.

The Blue Earth County Historical Society opened a special exhibit highlighting Minnesota State Mankato's nearly 150-year history Saturday, Sept. 23 at the Blue Earth County History Center, located at 424 Warren Street in Mankato. The exhibit, titled "Celebrating Minnesota State Mankato 150 Years: From Normal School to University," will be on display through Nov. 25.

Faculty members from the Urban and Regional Studies Institute and representatives from many other offices across the University will host a campus tour for professional urban planners Thursday, Sept. 28 that highlights outcomes of the University's Climate Action Plan.

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. 11. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Oct. 6).

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