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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

February 7, 2018 Campus Newsletter

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Super Bowl Volunteers

Minnesota State University, Mankato Applied Organizational Studies program director Christine Mollenkopf-Pigsley (pictured) was one of 10,000 super bowl volunteers for Crew 52 in Minneapolis this past week. She signed up in August while updating her online courses for the new semester. Pigsley said what started as a way to connect with her students at a distance ended up being much more.

“From the registration process to the actual volunteering it was amazing to see the theory I teach on virtual collaboration and crowdsourcing come to life under the banner of a sporting event like the Super Bowl,” said Pigsley. “It engages students and helps them see how their studies are applicable in the real world.”

Pigsley said she has already incorporated the information from her Crew 52 experience into the classroom.

Pigsley also said it was also interesting to hear how unique Minnesota volunteers compare to other Super Bowls nationally. She said the host committee was told to expect up to a 40% attrition in volunteers as the recruitment and training process was conducted. However, Pigsley said, staff at the Crew 52 headquarters reported that as before the event the no-show rate was less than 10% and once the event started last week the rate was even lower and volunteers were clamoring to work more than their three 6-hour shifts. Pigsley said this has already sparked interest in doing some research on what makes these volunteers tick.

Pigsley also found a strong Minnesota State Mankato contingent among the volunteers.

“Whether it was on the train or at the venues, all I had to say was Minnesota State Mankato, and there were alumni there to give a Go Mavs high five or talk about the great students they met while volunteering,” said Pigsley. “I found myself thinking that it was like Homecoming week with Minneapolis-St. Paul as our campus.”

If any staff, faculty or students are interested in trying out the volunteer experience at another major national event in Minneapolis, Pigsley invites you to join her and volunteer for the NCAA Final Four in April of 2019. The website to register is here

Employee Recognition

The Employee Recognition Committee will be hosting an employee recognition reception Monday, Feb. 12 from 9-10 a.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

The event will have refreshments and music.

Service awards will be presented by President Richard Davenport at 9:30 a.m.

A full list of the honorees will be posted on the Employee Recognition website.

The Employee Recognition Committee holds a variety of events each year, to include the quarter century club reception, employee recognition reception, retirement luncheon and annual employee appreciation breakfast.

PCSW Grants

The President’s Commission on the Status of Women is again offering research and professional development grants to students, faculty, and staff at Minnesota State Mankato. Stipends of up to $500 are available to students and employees to conduct research or attend professional development opportunities concerned with the status of women and/or gender-related issues.

For more information and to submit your electronic grant proposal, please visit the PCSW website.

The spring deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 4 p.m. All activities using funds must occur before June 1, 2018. The commission is not able to fund equipment requests or incentives. Please email questions to Liz Steinborn-Gourley ( or call 507-389-2693.

Volunteers Needed for STEAM Event

The Minnesota State Engineering Center of Excellence is looking for students (preferred) and faculty/staff to volunteer to share their experiences at the second annual 7th Grade STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) Career Pathways Day, which will be held Thursday, March 8 during spring break week.

Event session 1 is from 8:45-10:45 a.m., and event session 2 is from 11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.

This event exposes local 7th graders (approximately 650) to the Minnesota State Mankato campus, different fields of study and career awareness.

The event goal is to have 10 -15 minute stations with discussion about the area/department(s) being represented. During the two-hour block, students will visit as many sites as time permits. Two volunteer options are available--speakers and tour guides.

Site speaker(s) (1 to 3), would briefly discuss:

  • Who they are
  • Where they came from
  • Why they chose to come to Minnesota State Mankato
  • Why they chose their area of study
  • Plans after graduation
  • What jobs are available for students with these degrees

Other speakers are needed to present a 10-15 minute eye-catching or interactive display.

Last year’s sites included: Anatomy, Automotive and Manufacturing Engineering Technology, Biology, Campus Recreation, Career Development Center, Civil Engineering, Centennial Student Union, Memorial Library, Mechanical Engineering, Residential Life, Taylor Center, and Theatre and Dance.

Tour guides will lead a student group around campus to each of the stations.

Lunch will be provided for all volunteers. Please contact Jason Bruns, director, Engineering Center of Excellence, by email at by Friday, Feb. 16 with questions or to volunteer.

Encourage Students to Apply for Scholarships Feb. 1-28

University Advancement has requested that faculty and staff encourage students to apply for scholarships from Feb. 1-28 on Scholarship Finder.

Scholarship Finder offers easy, one-stop access to University scholarships.

Students can find and apply for scholarships based on their major, interests, background, grade point average and more.

Once they sign in, they’ll complete a general application and the site will then give customized recommendations that match their academic records.


Minnesota State Mankato's Environmental Committee announced that the University is one of 190 schools participating in "Recyclemania," a competition to see which campus can recycle the most from Feb. 4 through April 1.

Last year, Minnesota State Mankato finished 127th with a recycling/ waste diversion rate of 25.9%.

As part of "Recyclemania," the Environmental Committee is hosting a game-day event on Saturday, Feb. 10tat Bresnan Arena during both the 4 p.m. women's and 6 p.m. men's basketball games. Spectators attending the Maverick basketball games are asked to bring something to recycle to help out campus recycling numbers

The Environmental Committee aims to make Minnesota State Mankato an environmentally friendly campus, and hopes that involvement in programs like "Recyclemania" will lead to a greater emphasis on recycling in the future.

For more information, please contact Erik Olson, student co-chair of the Environmental Committee and president of Habitat for Humanity at Minnesota State Mankato.

Dining Deal

University Dining Services announced that those who purchase the 50/50 off-campus meal plan or $300 dining dollars plan between Feb. 5-19 will be entered into a chance to win a GoPro HERO5* camera.

"All you care to eat" meals at the University Dining Center are $6.40 with the 50/50 off-campus meal plan. Receive up to $45 bonus dining dollars with a a dining dollars plan purchase.

Plans may be purchased at 7 Centennial Student Union, by calling 507-389-2613 or online at Click on "Dining Plans" under the "Shop" tab.

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:

Feb. 7-9: Pan African Conference

The 42nd annual Dr. Michael T. Fagin Pan African Student Leadership Conference will be held Wednesday-Friday, Feb. 7-9 at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Vindicating the Suffering of Our Ancestors and Earning the Respect of Future Generations.”

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 a keynote address by Bernard LaFayette Jr. (pictured), civil rights movement activist and authority of the strategy on nonviolent social change, Friday, Feb. 9 in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

A complete news release with more information is available here.

Feb. 1-11: George Orwell's '1984'

Of the number of concerns George Orwell explored in his book “1984,” one glaring question raised is what happens when there no watchdogs.

Up next in the Minnesota State Mankato Theatre & Dance Mainstage season is the play version of Orwell’s famous work, and Director Heather E. Hamilton explores and emphasizes that very threat to society.

Hamilton writes, “Our country was founded on the idea that individuals would seek truth, find facts, and think for themselves. The press, in reporting on events, was intended to help Americans find those truths. Good journalism does not spread lies. Good government does not ‘wage war’ on good journalists. Let us find facts and believe what we find, instead of passively swallowing party lines. Let us dig deeper for truth and never, NEVER, simply believe what we know not to be true. Two plus two will never equal five.”

About the play: Based on the iconic novel by George Orwell, “1984” brings us the story of Winston Smith, a cog in the giant machine state of Oceania. Physically and mentally under the omnipresent eye of Big Brother, Winston has been caught struggling for scraps of love and freedom in a world awash with distrust and violence. With the brutal "help" of four Party Members, Winston is forced to confess his Thoughtcrimes before an unseen inquisitor, and the audience – which acts as a silent witness to his torture. A ferocious and provocative adaptation of one of the most prescient works of literature of the last century.

The play runs 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1-3 and 7-10; and 2 p.m. Feb. 4, 10 and 11 in the Andreas Theatre, Earley Center for Performing Arts, Minnesota State Mankato.

Tickets are $16 regular; $14 for seniors ages 65 and older, children under 16 and groups of 15 or more; and $11 for Minnesota State Mankato students. Contact Amanda Dyslin at 507-389-6663, or for more information.

Feb. 11: Singer/Songwriter Andrea Lyn

Singer/songwriter Andrea Lyn will appear onstage at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11 in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

Lyn has performed nationally for more than 20 years. She has written over 40 songs, recorded one CD, and will finish her second in 2018. Her influences include Sara Bareilles and Sia. Lyn’s music captivates listeners with meaningful lyrics and memorable melodies. Having won multiple awards for her original songs, she continues to entertain and engage audiences everywhere.

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

Feb. 5-26: Jason S. Yi Art Exhibit

An art exhibit titled "Terraform" by artist Jason S. Yi will be on display in Minnesota State Mankato’s Conkling Gallery (located in Nelson Hall 139) from Monday, Feb. 5 through Monday, Feb. 26.

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.

Yi will present a lecture on Monday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium, with a gallery reception immediately following the lecture.

Yi's presentation is a Nadine B. Andreas Artist Lecture that is part of the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art’s Art Enrichment and Andreas Endowment Lecture and Residency Series. Yi will be on campus for an artist residency from Feb. 5-12 in the Nelson Hall Art Studios and Conkling Gallery.

For more information, call the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art at 507-389-6412. The complete 2017-2018 Conkling Gallery Schedule, list of artist residencies and lecture series is located at

Feb. 12-15: Snow Daze

The Student Events Team announced it is reviving a weekly winter campus celebration by holding "Snow Daze" on campus from Feb. 12-15. "Snow Days" was held previously on campus from the 1980s through the early 2000s.

Faculty and staff are welcome to attend and participate in the events.

The following daytime events will be held from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

  • Feb. 12 -- Soda Ring Toss and Karaoke in the Lincoln Lounge.
  • Feb. 13 -- Mini-golf hole with prizes in Lincoln Lounge; Big Screen Rock Band in Ostrander Auditorium.
  • Feb. 14 -- Food-eating contest in the Hearth Lounge.
  • Feb. 15 -- Snow Drop Bingo on the CSU mall.

Evening Events:

  • Feb. 14 -- Free bowling and trivia from 8-10 p.m. in the Bullpen. 
  • Feb. 15 -- Family Feud at 7 p.m. in the CSU Ballroom.

For more information, please contact Bailey Hofmeister, Student Events Team special events chair, at or call 507-380-6076.

Feb. 15-18: Bunny Just Piano Festival

The 22nd Annual Bunny Just Piano Festival will highlight performances by professional and amateur pianists Thursday, Feb. 15 through Sunday, Feb. 18 at the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

Piano festival events are sponsored by the Bunny Just Piano Festival Endowment.

On Feb. 15, Mr. B, Mark Lincoln Braun will perform at 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall. Blues and boogie-woogie pianist Mr. B has become one of the premiere purveyors of a vanishing art. Downbeat Magazine writes, “Mr. B knows the complete legacy of blues piano. Not many pianists in this style today play with more conviction.”

On Feb. 18, classical pianist Adam Clark will perform a recital at 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall. Clark has been heard as a soloist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist throughout the United States, as well as in Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Australia, and South Korea.

Beneta Just initiated the Bunny Just Piano Festival at Minnesota State Mankato in 1996. In 2004 her estate created an endowment to fund the annual festival. Just was a promoter, volunteer and financial supporter of many local social concerns, including special education and human rights. A University scholarship in special education remains in her name today.

Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to Those who want concert information should call the Performance Series office, (507)-389-5549.

Feb. 17: Middle School & Senior High Regional Science and Engineering Fair

The 67th annual Middle School and Senior High Science and Engineering Fair will be held on Saturday, Feb. 17 in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

The exhibit hall will be free and open to the public from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., and all are welcome to stop in and support the hard work of these future scientists. An award ceremony in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium will begin at 3 p.m. and is also open to the public.

The Southern Minnesota Regional Science and Engineering Fair, hosted by Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Science, Engineering & Technology, will include approximately 120 students, 90 projects and 15 papers. The participating students represent 27 southern Minnesota counties.

Students will display projects and provide oral presentations while competing to earn awards from event sponsors and the opportunity to advance to state and international science and engineering competitions.

For more information about any of the science fairs held at Minnesota State Mankato, please call 507-389-2849 or send an email to

Student News

Erin Griffin, a 2005 graduate of Minnesota State Mankato, is a program administrator and an instructor in Dakota Studies at Sisseton Wahpeton Tribal College in South Dakota. The college's fall 2017 Dakota Studies newsletter describes how Minnesota State Mankato Department of Anthropology Professor Ron Schirmer and his students have collaborated over the past four years with Griffin and Sisseton Wahpeton Tribal College in establishing the college's Dakota Studies and Tribal Arts Center. Griffin also works with Glenn Wasicuna, a Dakota Language instructor at Minnesota State Mankato. Griffin, an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota Tribe, is also serving as a mentor for two SWC students who were selected to receive a Native Women Leadership Fellowship.

Faculty/Staff News

The School Psychology Doctoral Program conducted three invited presentations at the 2018 Annual Midwinter Conference of the Minnesota School Psychologists Association on Jan. 25 and 26. Kevin Filter presented “Check-In/Check-Out: A Tier 2 Behavior Intervention.” Chip Panahon and Samantha Steinman conducted a presentation titled “Implementing Efficient Writing Fluency Interventions in the Classroom.” Shawna Petersen-Brown and Panahon presented “Academic Intervention in Schools: Addressing Barriers to Implementation.”

Department News

The College of Social & Behavioral Sciences is sponsoring a 2018 Career & Internship Day on Feb. 13. More information is available online here or by contacting Matt Carlson in the Career Development Center by email at or phone at 507-389-6061.

The Department of Theatre & Dance announced its award winners and recognition received at the Region V Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival competition in Des Moines, Iowa.

Thirty members of the Maverick Machine Marching Band performed Saturday, Feb. 3 at "Super Bowl Live" in Minneapolis.

The Feb. 2 edition of the Community Engagement newsletter is now available. The newsletters can be accessed by scrolling to the bottom of the page at this link or by sending an email to and requesting a copy.

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

Judges are needed for the annual fraternity/sorority awards. For more information or to volunteer, contact John Bulcock by email at or by phone at 507-389-6076.

RASP SpotLight

The following faculty and staff secured over $115,000 in December 2017:

  • College of Business
    Yvonne Cariveau – Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE)
    Jarraff Industries Strategic Planning
    Funded by: Jarraff Industries for $15,000
  • College of Education
    Robbie Burnett – Director of Recruitment and Retention
    Laura Maki – Director of Assessment & Research
    Minnesota Department of Education – “Teachers of Tomorrow” Award for $92,864
  • College of Science Engineering and Technology
    Michael Wells – Computer Information Science
    College of Allied Health and Nursing
    Lynette Engeswick – Human Performance
    US Handball Association promoting “The Perfect Game”
    Funded by: United States Handball Association for $2,852
  • College of Science Engineering and Technology
    Jason Bruns – Engineering Center of Excellence
    STEM Exposure for Underrepresented Groups
    Funded by: The Verizon Foundation for $5,000

The following principal investigators made submissions in December 2017:

  • College of Allied Health and Nursing
    Brooke Burk – Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services
    Megan Mahowald – Speech, Hearing and Rehabilitation Services
    Camp Maverick: Rec N’ Read
    Submitted to: Mankato Area Foundation – Consolidated Communications Community program for $13,537 & Mankato Clinic Foundation for $5,488
  • College of Arts and Humanities
    Gwen Westerman – English
    Speaking from the Heart: Letters from the Dakota after the Treaty of 1851
    Submitted to: National Endowment for the Humanities – Collaborative Research Grants for $199,998

If you have thoughts on how to further promote these achievements, please email the RASP director at


Pamela Jo Schreiner, who was employed at Minnesota State Mankato from 2013-2017, died Jan. 25. She was an adjunct faculty member in the departments of Health Science and Human Performance. 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, Feb. 21. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Feb. 16).

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