shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Campus Community: click here for COVID-19 news and updates.


January 10, 2018 Campus Newsletter

Page address:

Visiting Air Force OSI

Minnesota State University, Mankato faculty members Dan Sachau and Andi Lassiter (professors in psychology) traveled with psychology graduate students Samantha Kalsow, Bailey Dixon, Haley Solem and Hannah Lee to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations in Quantico, Va., in December.

They met with Col. Scott Kieffer and other staff regarding a variety of organizational development projects with the University's Organizational Effectiveness Research Group.

The Minnesota State Mankato group also attended the 40th anniversary meeting of the Personnel Testing Council of Metropolitan Washington, a regional professional organization for industrial-organizational psychology that is based in Washington D.C.

Mileage Reimbursement Rates for 2018

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced an increase in the standard mileage reimbursement rate for business miles. The rate has been adopted for use by state employees and is effective from Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2018.

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 different reimbursement rates.

The IRS standard mileage reimbursement rate (54.5 cents) is used when a state-owned vehicle is unavailable, and a lesser rate (47.5 cents) is used when a state-owned vehicle is declined or not requested by the employee.

Click here for more information about traveling for the University.

Scholars at Work Conference

Minnesota State Mankato is hosting a Scholars at Work Conference for faculty members on Friday, March 30, and calls for proposals are now being accepted, with a deadline of Thursday, Feb. 15.

Jennifer Veltsos, director of the University's Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and an associate professor of technical communication in the Department of English, described the upcoming conference as an on-campus opportunity for faculty to create networking opportunities and more.

"Teaching, creative achievement, and research are integral components of academic life," wrote Veltsos. "But the irony is that faculty work is better known by people outside of the university rather than those of us within it. Therefore, full-time and contingent faculty are invited to participate in a one-day, peer-reviewed academic conference showcasing the teaching, research, and creative works of the Minnesota State Mankato community.

"The Scholars at Work Conference is an opportunity to learn more about the exciting intellectual work happening all around us and to create networking opportunities that may lead to future collaborations and innovations. Faculty are also encouraged to present with graduate students to help their professional development, too."

For more information, read the call for proposals online here.

Lifelong Learners Winter 2018 Program

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

Topics include "The Conquest of the Americas"; "What Should the U.S. Policy on Energy Be?"; "What Drives Our Area Compared to Other Counties" and many more sessions.

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

University Representative to HERS Institute

The Minnesota State Mankato President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) is now accepting applications for the selection of a representative from Minnesota State University, Mankato, to attend one of the annual HERS Institutes for women. The purpose of the HERS Institutes is to advance Women leaders in the middle and executive levels of higher education administration.

HERS Institutes is offering three different locations and schedules for 2018.

The University's application process entails a self-descriptive letter, letter of recommendation from a supervisor, resume, and a printed copy of the HERS application form. (Note: do not electronically submit this online to HERS.) More information and a printable application form available at the Commission’s website.

Completed application packets should be submitted by Jan. 15 to Shalinie Bandaranayaka, the graduate assistant for the President’s Commission on the Status of Women. Applications may be submitted via email to

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, Jan. 16, 12-1 p.m., Career Development Center
Topic: Promoting Events                                                              
Facilitators: Lenny Koupal, CSU communications coordinator, and Bill Tourville, assistant director, Student Activities

Date/Time/Location: Tuesday, Jan. 23, 12-1 p.m., Career Development Center
Topic: Relationship Building                                                                                                  
Facilitator: Chris Collins, brew master, Mankato Brewery

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, Jan. 16, 5-6 p.m., CSU 245
Topic: Creating a Culture of Inclusion
Facilitator: To be determined

Date/Time/Location: Tuesday, Jan. 23, 5-6 p.m., CSU 245
Topic: Responsible Decision Making
Facilitator: To be determined

Sesquicentennial Events

University departments or units hosting a sesquicentennial event are asked to submit event information to the 150th committee so it can be included on the 150th events page. The same form may be used to request the 150th portable exhibit panels.

After events, departments are asked to consider submitting photos with captions to be included on the past events galleries page.

Gallery submissions may be sent to

More information is available on the sesquicentennial page:

Looking for Minnesota State Mankato Authors

The Minnesota State Mankato Authors Collection is a special collection within the library that highlights the intellectual heritage of the University and the contributions of Minnesota State University, Mankato’s faculty, staff, students and alumni to contemporary scholarship. Included in the collection are books, monographs, DVDs and scores that were authored, co-authored, compiled, edited/co-edited, translated or illustrated by Minnesota State Mankato faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Every two years, Library Services honors faculty and staff publications at the University's Authors Reception. The next Authors Reception will be held April 4 from 2-4 p.m. in the Marilyn J. Lass Center for Minnesota Studies, 2nd floor of the Memorial Library. This event will honor faculty authors who have written and/or edited books with publication dates between March 2016 and March 2018.

If you have published (authored and/or edited) books, scores, DVDs, etc., since March 2016, Library Services would like to hear from you. Please contact the University Archives at 507-389-1029 or to be added to the list of honorees. Additional information about the Authors Collection is available online.

Dining Services Meal Plans

Dining Services has announced that faculty and staff who purchase a meal plan or dining dollars plan between Jan. 8-21 will have the chance to win a Keurig OfficePro K145 coffee brewer.

Among the plans available are a 50/50 plan that includes 50 meals at the University Dining Center and 50 dining dollars to use at any University Dining Services location across campus for $370 ($60 savings); a 25/25 plan for $190 ($25 savings); and a 75/75 plan for $561 ($84 savings). Meals expire May 4. Dining dollars do not expire.

Plans may be purchased by visiting the Dining Services office at 7 CSU. For more information, call Dining Services at 507-389-2613 or visit and see the dining plans tab.

Jan. 8-29: David Rogers Art Exhibit

Minnesota State Mankato Associate Professor David Rogers’ art exhibit, “One Letter Leads to Another,” will be on display in Minnesota State Mankato’s Conkling Gallery (located in Nelson Hall 139) from Monday, Jan. 8 through Monday, Jan. 29, and a reception is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. in Conkling Gallery.

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.

Rogers is a faculty member in Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Art. Information on his work is available at, and a complete 2017-2018 Conkling Gallery Schedule is available online.

In a preview of the exhibit, Rogers wrote that exhibit represents the various type-based projects he created during his 2016-17 sabbatical. “Letterforms and words have always played a vital role in my self-initiated projects,” Rogers wrote. “With this show I aim to highlight how one creative endeavor fuels the next. In all, I’m exploring the shape of letters, the meanings of words, and how language is used to make sense of our lives.”

Jan. 13: Tom Hanson to Discuss U.S. Election, Foreign Policy

Tom Hanson, who spent 25 years as a U.S. foreign service officer, will give a presentation titled “The U.S. Election and its Effect on U.S. Foreign Policy” Saturday, Jan. 13 from 1-3 p.m. in Minnesota State Mankato’s Ostrander Auditorium.

The event is free and open to the community, and free parking is available in the Visitor’s Lot across the street from Centennial Student Union – one block north of Stadium Road and Ellis Avenue.

Hanson’s presentation at Minnesota State Mankato follows his speaking at foreign policy conferences in Europe in recent weeks. He has spoken in Mankato on foreign policy previously during the past three years.

The audience is encouraged to be involved in a question and answer session after his address.

Hanson is a worldwide speaker on the state of the world. He is a 25-year veteran of Foreign Service, having served in East Germany, France, Norway, the Soviet Union, Sweden, and Mongolia. He also served on Foreign Relations Committees in both the U.S. House and Senate and was director for NATO and European Affairs at the Atlantic Council of the United States. He is currently a Diplomat in Residence at the Royal D. Alworth Jr. Institute for International Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

More information about Hanson’s presentation is available on the Mankato Area Lifelong Learners website. Those with questions may call 507-389-2011 or email

Jan. 16-17: Lectures by Petrilson Pinheiro

Minnesota State Mankato's Department of World Languages and Cultures is sponsoring a Nadine B. Andreas speaker event Jan. 16-17 featuring presentations by Petrilson Pinheiro, a visiting speaker from the State University of Campinas, Brazil.

Pinheiro encourages audiences to think critically about the important transformations associated with knowledge brought about by the Internet and how global use of social media impacts literacies, new literacies or multi-literacies.

Pinheiro will speak Tuesday, Jan. 16 from 2-3 p.m. in Memorial Library 47 and Wednesday, Jan. 17 from 6-7 p.m. in Armstrong Hall 219. Both presentations are free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact Kimberly Contag, professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, by phone at 507-389-2116 or by email at

Jan. 18: Stomper Ice Sculpture

Minnesota State Mankato's Student Events Team is bringing Sakatah Carvers, an ice-carving team from Waseca, Minn., to campus Thursday, Jan. 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to carve a life-sized ice sculpture of Stomper in the Centennial Student Union mall area.

The carving of Stomper is expected to be finished around 12 p.m., and the Student Events Team will be providing hot chocolate, s’mores and free cookies. Local radio station Hot 96.7 will provide music at the event.

Once completed, the Stomper sculpture will remain up for a few days, allowing for photo opportunities.

This is the second time an ice carving event has been hosted by the Student Events Team.

Sakatah Carvers, run by Adam Scholljegerdes and Joe Christenson, has won numerous awards and hosted the Kiwanis Holiday Lights carving competition, according to the team's website

For more information, please contact Bailey Hofmeister, the Student Events Team's special events chair at or call 507-389-6076.

Jan. 23: Faculty Concert by Michael Olson

The University's Department of Music will host a performance featuring Minnesota State Mankato faculty member Michael Olson on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. on the stage of Elias J. Halling Recital Hall in the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

The multi-dimensional concert will feature original electronic/ambient compositions by Olson, who currently serves as assistant professor of music composition and music technology at Minnesota State Mankato. More on Olson’s accomplishments is available here.

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 to For more information, call the Performance Series office at 507-389-5549.

Forensics News from Dec. 1-2 Tournament

Nine members (including eight first-year students) of the Maverick forensic team competed at the Valley Forensic League 1 & 2 tournament, hosted Dec. 1-2 at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minn. Thirteen colleges from across the Midwest competed on day one of the tournament, and 15 colleges competed on day two. Minnesota State Mankato placed first in the team sweepstakes on day one and second in the team sweepstakes on day two.

As of Dec. 2, Minnesota State Mankato had two competitors qualified for the American Forensics Association national tournament (1 event each) and 10 competitors qualified for the National Forensics Association national tournament (with a combined total of 17 events).

Minnesota State Mankato day one student results (qualifiers for the National Forensics Association national tournament are listed as NFA qualifiers):

  • Alex Mathiowetz – Tournament champion in "Communication Analysis."
  • Kassidy Tocco – Tournament champion and top novice in "Persuasive Speaking" (NFA qualifier); 2nd place and top novice in "After Dinner Speaking."
  • Kylee Johnson – 4th in "Poetry Interpretation"; 3rd in "Prose Interpretation" (NFA qualifier).
  • Christian Lorenz – 2nd in "Prose Interpretation" (NFA qualifier).
  • Quincy Bryant – 4th in "After Dinner Speaking"; 4th in "Prose Interpretation" (NFA qualifier).
  • Jacqueline Tomas – 2nd and top novice in "Program Oral Interpretation" (NFA qualifier); 5th in "Prose Interpretation" (NFA qualifier).
  • Emily Duley – 2nd and top novice in "Poetry Interpretation."
  • Christian Lorenz and Harielle Hermia – 4th place in "Duo Interpretation."

Minnesota State Mankato day two student results (qualifiers for the National Forensics Association national tournament are listed as NFA qualifiers, and qualifiers for the American Forensics Association national tournament are listed as AFA qualifiers):

  • Alex Mathiowetz – Tournament champion in "Persuasive Speaking" (AFA qualifier); 4th in "Communication Analysis."
  • Kassidy Tocco – 3rd and top novice in "After Dinner Speaking" (AFA qualifier); 4th in "Persuasive Speaking."
  • Kylee Johnson – 5th in "Poetry Interpretation"; 2nd in "Prose Interpretation."
  • Harielle Hermia – 4th in "Prose Interpretation" (NFA qualifier).
  • Quincy Bryant – 3rd in "Prose Interpretation."
  • Jacqueline Tomas – Tournament champion and top novice in "Prose Interpretation."
  • Emily Duley – 6th in "Poetry Interpretation"; 5th in "Dramatic Interpretation" (NFA qualifier).
  • Christian Lorenz and Harielle Hermia – 3rd in "Duo Interpretation."  

Student News

MBA student Jill Krosch is this year's David C. Olson Scholarship recipient. In addition to the scholarship, the recipient will gain real-world experience as an intern with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. This endowment is made possible by David C. Olson's family, friends and business associates.

Faculty/Staff News

Diana Joseph, a professor of English and director of the Good Thunder Reading Series, was recently named recipient of the Pathfinder Award by the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Board, which is part of Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. Joseph and other award recipients will be honored at the 34th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration on Monday, Jan. 15 in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

Gregory Wilkins, associate director of the Centennial Student Union and Student Activities, is showcased in the January 2018 Mankato Magazine with an article titled “From Adversity, Beauty” that highlights his artistic endeavors with global communities.

"Branding Hoover's FBI," a book by Matt Cecil, dean of the College of Arts & Humanities, was reviewed in the December 2017 issue of The Journal of American History, which according to its website is "the leading scholarly publication and the journal of record in American history." Cecil's book was reviewed by Richard Gid Powers, a City University of New York professor.

Steve Smith, assistant vice president and business manager, was recognized with the "Outstanding Services Award" at the Minnesota State system office's 2017 CFO Finance Conference, which was held in December in St. Paul.

Rick Straka, vice president of finance and administration, was part of an intrasystem team that was recognized with the "Chancellor's Award" at the Minnesota State system office's 2017 CFO Finance Conference, which was held in December in St. Paul. Straka was part of the 2017 Allocation Framework Technical Advisory Team, which included seven vice presidents from system institutions and one representative from the system office. The team was recognized for the redesign recommendations presented to (and subsequently approved by) the Minnesota State Board of Trustees.

Department News

University Archives announced that it recently added a new digitized collection of audio and print material that detail the 1961 visit to Mankato by Martin Luther King Jr. The new collection includes an audio recording of King’s Nov. 12, 1961 speech, titled “Facing the Challenge of a New Age,” that he delivered at Mankato High School. The audio recording was provided by KMSU radio. The new collection also includes a transcript of the Nov. 12, 1961 speech King delivered at Mankato High School as well as newspaper clippings related to King’s visit to Mankato and research into the visit.

Parking and Transportation Services recently installed [JPG] two electric vehicle charging stations (251 KiB) in Lot 11A. It takes 2-3 hours (at $1 per hour) to fully charge an all-electric vehicle, and customers are notified via text message when their vehicles are fully charged.

The Student Events Team upcoming schedule of events is available here.


H. Roger Smith, who was employed at Minnesota State Mankato for 38 years before retiring in 2004, died Dec. 3. He was employed in the Geography Department and contributed to the development of the University’s Urban and Regional Studies Institute. An obituary is available here.

Karla Rae Worden, who was employed at Minnesota State Mankato from 1974-2010, died Dec. 31. 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, Jan. 24. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Jan. 19).

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