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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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February 21, 2018 Campus Newsletter

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Carol Ortman Perkins Lectureship

Journalist, author, scholar and activist Melissa Harris-Perry will be the featured speaker in Minnesota State University, Mankato's 13th annual Carol Ortman Perkins lecture, held Thursday, March 15 at 7 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

Tickets are free and available in the Women's Center, located in Centennial Student Union, Room 218.

Harris-Perry, who earned a doctorate in political science from Duke University, is the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University. There she is the faculty director of the Pro Humanitate Institute and founding director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center. She previously served on the faculty of the University of Chicago, Princeton University and Tulane University.

Harris-Perry hosted the television show "Melissa Harris-Perry" from 2012-2016 on weekend mornings on MSNBC and was editor at large for in 2016-2017.

The Department of Gender & Women’s Studies launched the Perkins Lectureship campaign in 2003 to commemorate Perkins’ retirement as chair of the department for over a decade. Perkins’ commitment to and enthusiasm for gender & women’s studies helped make the department an exciting and dynamic place to study systems of oppression both locally and internationally.

The aim of this lectureship is to invite a distinguished feminist scholar/activist to campus each year to visit Minnesota State Mankato and deliver an address to the community. Lecturers are selected based on their contributions to feminist scholarship and their ability to forge connections between theory and practice.

Previous lecturers have included Lilly Ledbetter, Gloria Steinem, Wilma Mankiller, Laverne Cox, Anita Sarkeesian and others.

For more information about this event or other Minnesota State Mankato Women’s Center events, visit or call the Women’s Center at 507-389-6146.

Engineering Machine Design Contest

The Minnesota State Engineering Center of Excellence is holding an engineering machine design contest for students in grades 6 through 12 Friday, March 2 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on campus in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. The event is free and open to the public.

Student competitors will be divided into a senior division (grades 9-12) and junior division (grades 6-8). Student teams of up to four students will enter into the contest a machine they engineer to complete a specific task, engaging hands-on with engineering and STEM principles.

A good machine incorporates every-day devices and objects and connects them in unique ways. The machine must be no more than 5 feet by 3 feet by 2 feet. The mission is to construct a machine that uses multiple steps to complete an assigned task, which varies from year to year. This year’s challenge is to… WEIGH IT! Teams are scored on progress reports, a team
presentation, and the operation of their machine.

For more information, contact Melissa Huppert, STEM outreach director, by phone at 507-389-2110 or by email at

Writing Fellows Program

Ten Minnesota State Mankato faculty have completed the Spring 2018 Writing Fellows Program, the signature "Writing Across the Curriculum" faculty development program on campus. Faculty dedicated six weeks to strengthening a writing component in a course that they teach, including completing a comprehensive writing curriculum capstone project.

Spring 2018 graduates of the Writing Fellows Program are: Angelica Aguirre (Psychology); Jessica Albers (Human Performance); Brooke Burk (Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services);Robyn Ceurvorst (Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services); Charis Davidson (Health Science); Carl Lafata (Government); Pat Nelson (Government); Deepa Oommen (Communication Studies); Noreen Reding (Nursing); and Debra Salmon (Social Work).

Feb. 28 Early-Bird Registration for Health Biomedical Sciences Summit

Minnesota State Mankato's Colleges of Allied Health & Nursing and Science, Engineering & Technology, along with Mayo Clinic Health Systems, are holding a day-long (8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) Health & Biomedical Sciences Summit on March 28 that addresses how partnerships can help build a healthier community.

The event is titled "Building a Health Community: Innovating Through Partnerships." CEUs will be available for all attendees.

Faculty, staff and students are invited to attend and listen to dynamic speakers and presentations. A full schedule and online registration is available here. The day also includes tours of classrooms and labs, including the new Clinical Sciences Building; lunch and an afternoon social. Early-bird registration is $35 through Feb. 28. The cost goes up to $50 after Feb. 28.

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. 10 at 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.

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. 22: Good Thunder Reading Series

Minnesota State Mankato will host novelist Stephen Graham Jones on Thursday, Feb. 22 as the fifth writer who will be on campus for this year’s Good Thunder Reading Series.

On Feb. 22, Jones will hold a workshop from 10-11 a.m. at the Emy Frentz Gallery, located at 523 S. Second St. in Mankato. Jones will also hold a “Talk on Craft” from 3-4 p.m. at the First Congregational United Church of Christ located at 150 Stadium Court in Mankato. Jones will then read from his work from 7:30-8:30 p.m. in Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union, Room 253.

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

Jones has had more than 15 novels and several stories published, including from William Morrow, the werewolf novel “Mongrels.” He has published over 170 stories in journals ranging from Alaska Quarterly Review to Weird Tales, from Asimov’s to Prairie Schooner.

His books have been finalists for the Bram Stoker Award, three Shirley Jackson Awards and the Colorado Book Award. Jones has won the Texas Institute of Letters Award for Fiction, the This is Horror “Novel of the Year,” the Independent Publisher’s Award for Multicultural Fiction, and he’s been a National Endowment of the Arts Fellow in Fiction.

Jones earned his doctorate from Florida State University and currently resides in Boulder, Colo.

For photos or more information, contact Diana Joseph at or 507-389-5144. Website:

Feb. 24: Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials

Chicago-based blues group Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials will perform Saturday, Feb. 24 at Hooligans Neighborhood Pub, 1400 East Madison Ave., Mankato. The concert will begin at 8 p.m., with Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials performing two sets that evening. Concert attendees are able to attend both sets.

In Chicago, a city overflowing with unrivaled blues talent, world-renowned Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials have been standing tall for almost 30 years. The band’s big sound, fueled by Lil’ Ed’s gloriously rollicking slide work and deep blues string bending, along with his rough-edged, soulful vocals, is as real and hard-hitting as Chicago blues gets. The Chicago Sun-Times says, “Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials are the hottest purveyors of bottleneck boogie to come out of Chicago since Hound Dog Taylor.” The Chicago Tribune writes, "Electrifying, raucous, pure Chicago blues...Lil’ Ed is a guitarist extraordinaire featuring his slashing slide guitar and flamboyant stage persona."

Concert admission is $18 in advance; $20 the day of the show. Tickets are available at Hooligans. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to, and select the ‘News and Events’ link. For more information, call the Performance Series office, (507) 389-5549.

Feb. 15-25: 'Ragtime'

In 100 years, have the struggles of American life and society changed all that much? Our timeless contradictions seem woven forever into our fabric: wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair.

These are the conflicts examined in “Ragtime,” a Minnesota State Mankato musical currently being performed in the Ted Paul Theatre.

About the show: At the dawn of a new century, everything is changing ... and anything is possible. Set in the volatile melting pot of turn-of-the-20th century New YorkCity, three distinctly American tales are woven together – that of a stifled upper-class wife, a determined Jewish immigrant and a daring young Harlem musician – united by their courage, compassion and belief in the promise of the future. Together, they confront history's timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair ... and what it means to live in America.

Upcoming performances of “Ragtime” are at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22-24; and 2 p.m. Feb. 24-25 in the Ted Paul Theatre, Earley Center for Performing Arts.

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. Contact Amanda Dyslin at 507-389-6663, or for more information.

Feb. 25-26: Winter Choral Concerts

The Department of Music's winter choral concert will take place Sunday, Feb. 25 at 3 p.m., with a repeat concert Monday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The University choral groups consists of three ensembles, including the concert choir and chamber singers conducted by David Dickau, and the University chorale conducted by Aaron Humble. All three groups include students from all areas of the University.

Concert admission is $9; $7 for 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. 26: 'We Have Ag!' Event

The next panel discussion in a Minnesota State University, Mankato 2017-2018 “We Have Ag!” colloquium series will be held Monday, Feb. 26 and address “Celebrating our History, Envisioning our Future as a Global Agribusiness Epicenter.”

The event, free and open to the public, is from 10-11:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 26 on campus in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium.

The 2017-2018 “We Have Ag!” colloquium series is intended to highlight the University’s distinctive academics, research and industry connections in agriculture, food and natural resources. The series events will be live-streamed.

The format for each session will be a moderated panel discussion with an introduction, two-five speakers for five-eight minutes each, questions and open discussion for 20-30 minutes and closing remarks. All views are welcome. Deliberative discussions and light refreshments will follow each event.

The Feb. 26 panelists are scheduled to include Jim Boerboom, a former state legislator who served from July 2007 to October 2016 as deputy commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture; Jessica Rollins, executive director of Farmamerica in Waseca, Minn.; Sam Ziegler, director of GreenSeam, LLC at Greater Mankato Growth, Inc.; and Megan Roberts, farmer near Madelia and a University of Minnesota extension educator who focuses on agricultural business.

The Feb. 26 moderator is Matt Cecil, dean of Minnesota State Mankato's College of Arts and Humanities. 

For more information about the colloquium series, please contact the University’s Office of the Provost by phone at 507-389-1333.

Feb. 26: Brian Tochterman History Lecture

Minnesota State Mankato's Department of History is sponsoring a spring 2018 lecture series titled "Urban America: Emerald City or Arkham Asylum." This year's lecture series will explore important episodes in recent history that have led to policy changes, debate and fictional depictions of the American city and how our urban present might provide signs for the future ahead. Three lectures are scheduled. The lectures are free and open to the public.

The first of three lectures in the series will be held Monday, Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. in Centennial Student Union, Room 201 with a talk by Brian Tochterman, a professor at Northland College in Ashland, Wis., who is the author of "The Dying City: Postwar New York and the Ideology of Fear" (2017).

Tochterman's presentation at Minnesota State Mankato is titled “Fear City on Film: Fight or Flight in Seventies New York.” He will focus on two prominent films from the 1970s era, "Midnight Cowboy" (1969) and "Death Wish" (1974). Within a week of Tochterman’s visit, a remake of "Death Wish" will open in theaters across the country.

The next presentations in the Department of History's spring lecture series are scheduled for Thursday, March 22 and Wednesday, April 11.

For more information, please contact the Department of History by phone at 507-389-6510 or by email at

Feb. 27: Concert Bands Winter Concert

The University's concert band will perform Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The concert is titled, "LIVE – A Concert Experience." The University Concert Band is comprised of university students, staff, and community members. Conductors are Michael Thursby, director of athletic bands and graduate assistants Will Frame and Brady Krusemark.

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

March 1: Talk by Art Historian Nina Macaraig

Art historian and visiting scholar Nina Macaraig will give a public talk titled "Ottoman Smellscapes: Sensory Experiences in Mosques, Tombs and Palaces" Thursday, March 1 from 7-8 p.m. in Armstrong Hall, Room 101.

Macaraig was associate professor at Koç University, Istanbul, where she worked from 2005 through 2017.

The presentation, free and open to the public, is sponsored by Minnesota State Mankato's Departments of History and Art, and is part of the Art Enrichment and Andreas Endowment Lecture and Residency Series. A full list of the 2017-18 series events is available here.

For more information, please contact Alisa Eimen, professor of art history at Minnesota State Mankato, by phone at 507-389-2886 or email at

March 1: Jazz Bands and Vocal Groups

The University's Department of Music will host a performance of the University jazz bands and vocal contemporary groups Thursday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for the Performing Arts.

Douglas Snapp, director of jazz studies, directs the jazz Mavericks. Graduate student Will Frame directs the University jazz lab band.

The big band ensembles provide students with experience in a jazz ensemble along with several performance opportunities. The jazz groups perform arrangements ranging from classic and contemporary jazz to pop charts.

Minnesota State Mankato’s Maverick Elision recently performed in the SingStrongDC vocal festival in Washington, D.C. Recognized as one of the top groups of the evening, the team received critiques from three professionals in the field, who talked about its great blend, outstanding soloists and fine choice of repertoire that highlighted the many talented vocalists in the group.

Concert admission is $9 for community members, $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.

March 8: 7th Grade STEAM Career Pathways Day

The Minnesota State Engineering Center of Excellence will hold its second annual 7th Grade STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) Career Pathways Day, on 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. During their two-hour block on campus, students will visit as many sites as time permits.

There will be interactive stations for students to explore in the areas of biology, anatomy, engineering, energy, theatre and dance.

For more information, contact Melissa Huppert, STEM outreach director, by phone at 507-389-2110 or by email at

March 17: Broadway Artist David Yazbek

The University's Department of Music is proud to present an evening with the multi Tony Award-nominated artist David Yazbek (pictured), known for writing the music and lyrics for Broadway hits “The Full Monty,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.”

The concert event is 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 17 in Elias J. Halling Recital Hall, housed in Minnesota State Mankato’s Earley Center for Performing Arts.

Yazbek is also in residence in the Department of Music from Wednesday, March 14 through Saturday, March 17 conducting master classes for University music students. He will be joined by four accomplished Broadway musicians for the residency events.

An accomplished musician, Yazbek has released five rock albums to date which highlight his unique perspective and wry sense of humor. He has also written many songs and background music for children's television shows, especially those produced for Disney’s cable television channel. He also co-wrote the theme song to the Emmy award winning PBS-TV series “Where in The World Is Carmen Sandiego?” with songwriter Sean Altman.

In addition to his work with Broadway shows, Yazbek has produced tracks for the band XTC. The band’s lead singer, Andy Partridge, has collaborated on Yazbek's solo albums. Yazbek also has written for or produced recordings by Tito Puente, The Persuasions and Queen.

Afro-Cuban percussionist Javier Diaz, drummer Dean Sharenow, electric bassist Alexandra Eckhardt, and saxophonist Sam Sadigursky will join Yazbek.

Concert admission is $15 and $13 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

Student Yuseina Brito Lino, an honors student majoring in elementary education, has been awarded a 2018 National Conference on Undergraduate Research diversity and inclusion stipend. The diversity & inclusion stipend was established to assist students with the cost of attendance at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research 2018 in order to promote diversity. Yuseina is a member of an undergraduate research team mentored by faculty member Elizabeth Sandell. The team is studying development of inter-cultural competence among Minnesota State Mankato students. Yuseina's team in particular is investigating the impact of service learning on inter-cultural competence of pre-service teachers. She will present the results of their research at the 2018 National Conference on Undergraduate Research and also at the University's 2018 Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Art work by students enrolled in drawing and drawing workshop classes taught by faculty member Liz Miller are displayed in an exhibit at the Emy Frentz Art Guild (523 S. Second St., Mankato). The exhibit is sponsored by the University's Department of Art.

A group of Minnesota State Mankato women's student-athletes participated in the 2018 NFL Women's Summit on Friday, Feb. 2 in Minneapolis. The summit was held by the NFL as part of its community activities leading up to the Super Bowl, which was played in Minneapolis on Feb. 4. The Women's Summit was intended to "celebrate women in football and acknowledge the leaders within" and also to "inspire young women of the local Minnesota communitya nd provide actionable experiences for growth." The Minnesota State system office coordinated participation of women's students from institutions throughout the system.

Fifty-five students in the Sport Management program at the University volunteered with the Minnesota Host Committee for the Super Bowl along with eight students/faculty from a sister university in the Netherlands, HAN University.

Faculty/Staff News

The Center for Excellence in Scholarship and Research recently announced that the University's 2018 Distinguished Faculty Scholars are Julie A. Carlson (Department of Educational Leadership), Tomasz Inglot (Department of Government) and Todd A. Shanafelt (Department of Art). 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 select up to three Distinguished Faculty Scholars annually. Once named a Distinguished Faculty Scholar, recipients maintain the distinction for the remainder of their tenure at Minnesota State Mankato. Distinguished Faculty Scholars are recognized on the University website and at the annual Celebration of Excellence Dinner.

Paul Force-Emery Mackie, professor in the Department of Social Work, was one of 26 individuals recently appointed to U.S. Sen. Tina Smith's newly formed Ag Working Group. In a news release, Smith said the work group "will bring together Minnesotans with a deep understanding of farm policy and how it impacts our state’s producers, businesses, and communities. They’ll advise me on things like crop insurance, research, conservation, and energy. And then there are others with backgrounds in rural development, rural health, and nutrition." Mackie is immediate past president of the National Association for Rural Mental Health in Washington, D.C.

David Viscoli, professor of piano in the Department of Music, recently performed a recital at the Idyllwild Arts Academy in Idyllwild, Calif. The program was titled "A Journey Through Latin American Piano Music." He also gave a master class and taught private lessons to piano students at the academy.

Stephen Stoynoff, who joined Minnesota State Mankato as a faculty member in 1996, has been appointed interim associate vice president for research and dean of graduate education. He began his duties in that position Feb. 7. Stoynoff most recently served the University as its dean of global education since 2015.

Julie Nelson, associate regional director of the Small Business Development Center, was recently selected to serve on the board of the National Association of Women Business Owners-Minnesota. The association provides a local avenue for women entrepreneurs to connect with their peers. Women business owners, large and small, join together for regular networking, educational programs, mentorship and support.

Department News

The Department of Family and Consumer Science recently created a promotional video called "My FaCS story" that can be viewed on MavTUBE under the topic "Family Consumer Science."

The College of Business recently published its February eNews. Past issues can be viewed at that link, and individuals may also sign up for the College of Business email list at the same link. More information is available by contacting Amy Linde at

The Spring 2018 edition of the Glen Taylor Nursing Institute for Family and Society newsletter is available here.

The Feb. 16 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.

University Dining Services is requesting that customers complete a customer satisfaction survey (available until Feb. 24) on their dining experiences on campus. Participants will be entered to win a coupon book valued at $90 for free food across campus.

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


Donald Buchanan, an emeritus faculty member and dean who was employed at Minnesota State Mankato for 35 years until retiring in 1990, died Feb. 1. He established the Recreation & Parks Administration Department at the University and was chair of the department from 1970-76. In 1976, he was named dean of the College of Health, Physical Education and Recreation/Human Performance and held that position until his retirement in 1990. 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, March 14. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (March 9).

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