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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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June 6, 2018 Campus Newsletter

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NSIC All Sports Award

Minnesota State University, Mankato's Department of Intercollegiate Athletics won its fifth Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference All Sports Award for its efforts during the 2017-18 season. The Mavericks recorded a total of 196 points, en route to claiming its fifth NSIC All Sports Award since joining the NSIC in 2008.

The NSIC All Sports Award is calculated by awarding the winner of each conference-sponsored championship points totaling the number of teams in that sport plus one.

New this season was the recognition of separate men's and women's champions. The Maverick men's programs won the men's award with a total of 90.5 points, while the Maverick women's programs finished second with 105.50 points. The awards will be presented at the NSIC Hall of Fame Banquet on Tuesday, July, 10 in Burnsville, Minn.

In total, the Mavericks won six NSIC championships during the 2017-18 season, with conference titles in football, soccer, women's swimming and diving, men's indoor track and field, men's golf and men's outdoor track and field.

For more information, click here.

Minnesota State 'Shark Tank' Grant

David Engen, a faculty member in Minnesota State Mankato's Department of Communication Studies, and Robert Jersak, a colleague from Century College, were awarded a grant of $22,220 from the Minnesota State system office for their proposal titled “Dreaming by Degrees - An Open Source Podcast for First-Year Students.”

The award was the result of a proposal for innovation funding at Minnesota State's 2018 "Shark Tank Open" event that was held in April.

According to an excerpt from their proposal, Engen and Jersak's project “seeks to improve the retention and success of first-year college students through the creation and distribution of a student-centered, non-commercial podcast on the college experience.”

Working under the leadership of Engen and Jersak, the proposal describes, “a team of diverse college students will be trained in the art of audio storytelling and will co-produce podcast episodes designed to make visible the hidden dimensions and potential barriers of college. The project relates directly to first-year students, although we believe the content will be of value to all students, and all listeners.”

Explore STEM Day Camps

The Minnesota State Engineering Center of Excellence, in partnership with the Southern Minnesota Center of Agriculture along with the University's College of Science, Engineering and Technology and Women's Center, is holding four youth day camps this summer. The camps include:

  • June 11-15: Girls Explore STEAM: Computer Science
    During this day camp, youth will explore Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics through hands-on activities. The theme for 2018 is Regenerative Medicine and Computer Science. Youth will explore ways in which biomedical engineers and computer scientists are working together to improve lives.
  • June 26-28: Explore STEAgM: Animals & Food
    During this day camp, youth will explore Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, and Mathematics through hands-on activities. The theme for 2018 is Animals and Food: Cows, Milk, Cheese, and CANDY!?. Youth will explore ways in which agricultural engineers, food scientists, and animal caregivers are working together to improve the lives of animals and the safety and quality of food products.
  • July 9-13: Explore STEM
    During this day camp, youth will explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) through hands-on activities. Youth will explore STEM careers and ways of which STEM is part of everyday life.
  • July 16-19: Explore Engineering: A Reaction Contraption
    During this day camp, youth will explore the engineering design process while developing a fun and whimsical change reaction contraption out of everyday objects. Youth will explore the endless career possibilities of being an engineer.

The camps are for ANY youth entering grades 6-9 this fall. Each camp, held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, can accommodate up to 25 students. Costs range from $120 to $200, with lunch and snacks included. For more information, visit the camp Web page.

Stomper Move Crew

Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Residential Life is seeking faculty and staff volunteers to help greet students and parents as they arrive to move into the residence halls Thursday, Aug. 23.

Faculty and staff will greet students and parents, direct them to the correct buildings to get keys and information and watch heaps of belongings that are piled in front of residence halls. Volunteers will receive a free T-shirt to wear during their shift.

Volunteers are needed from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Entire shifts are from 7:45-11:45 a.m. and from 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. If a volunteer cannot work an entire shift, he or she is welcome to volunteer for just a few hours.

Those interested in volunteering or who have any questions are asked to contact Torin Akey, associate director of residential life, at or 507-389-1011 by June 29. Volunteers should include their T-shirt size (S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL) and shift preference. Additional information will be provided to move crew volunteers in August.

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:

June 4-29: Camp Maverick – Rec N' Read

Minnesota State Mankato's Colleges of Allied Health and Nursing and Education are partnering to offer a literacy intervention and recreation camp on the University campus throughout the month of June to help children in grades kindergarten through fifth grades make important gains in literacy and well-being over the summer.

The camp, called Camp Maverick – Rec N’ Read, will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily from June 4-29. The camp will feature four themes – "Fun in the sun," "Underwater World!," "Let’s travel" and "Wacky World of Science" – intended to keep children interested in reading and recreation.

The camp costs $170 weekly, but financial assistance is available to those in need. Registration is available online. The Mankato Clinic Foundation is also providing support for the camp.

Concurrent with camp, Assistant Professor Megan Mahowald (Department of Speech, Hearing, and Rehabilitation Services) will be hosting a comprehensive professional development opportunity for professionals where they will be learning about literacy development, assessment and intervention. Professional development participants will be able to work with children and receive coaching and mentorship. Continuing education units will be available. For more information, click here.

For additional information, contact faculty members Megan Mahowald or Brooke Burk at Additional information is available on the camp’s Facebook page.

June 13-16: 'Steel Magnolias'

The second theatre production of Highland Summer Theatre’s 52nd season will be Robert Harling's "Steel Magnolias," which will be staged at 7:30 p.m. from June 13-16 in the Andreas Theatre.

During this play, set in Truvy's beauty salon in Louisiana, the wise-cracking Truvy dispenses shampoo and free advice to the town's rich curmudgeon, Ouiser; an eccentric millionaire, Miss Clairee; and the local social leader, M'Lynn, whose daughter, Shelby (the prettiest girl in town), is about to marry a "good ole boy."

Tickets: $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. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit, or call the Box Office 4-6 p.m. weekdays at 507-389-6661.

June 14: Summer Outdoor Film Series Begins

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

The series opens Thursday, June 14 at 9 p.m. with a showing of "Black Panther" (PG-13) in the amphitheatre, which is located between the Centennial Student Union and Memorial Library. Other movies in this summer's series include "Space Jam" (PG) at 9 p.m. Thursday, July 19 and "Frozen" at 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2.

During the series, movies will be projected onto an outdoor screen, and spectators are encouraged to bring blankets or chairs on which to sit. [PDF] Free parking is available in Lots 4 and 11A (click here for map) (563 KiB).

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

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

June 18: Red Cross Blood Drive

The Upward Bound program is sponsoring a Red Cross Blood Drive.

It will be held Monday, June 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Otto Arena, Court #3.

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

Walk-ins are always welcome.

June 21: Night at the MoonDogs

Minnesota State Mankato's Student Activities and the University's Centennial Student Union are hosting a "Night at the Mankato MoonDogs" baseball game for Minnesota State Mankato staff and students Thursday, June 21 at Franklin Rogers Park (located at 601 Reed Street in Mankato).

Game time for the June 21 MoonDogs game vs. Eau Claire is 7:05 p.m.

Minnesota State Mankato staff and students can purchase a discounted ticket package for $10 with a valid MAVCard. Admission includes a reserved seat ticket, MoonDogs baseball hat and a meal deal consisting of a hotdog, chips and pop. The package value is more than $30.

Tickets are limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Staff and students are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance online at or in person at the Student Activities office, located in Centennial Student Union, Room 173. Limited tickets may be available the day of the game at the MoonDogs ticket office.

For more information on this event, contact William Tourville in Student Activities by email at or by phone at 507-389-6076.

The Mankato MoonDogs have been the winningest team in the Northwoods League over the past 10 years. Since 2010, they have reached the Summer Collegiate World Series three times, and they will look to capture the city’s first championship in 2018.

June 26-July 1: 'Shrek' the Musical

The third production of Highland Summer Theatre’s 52nd season will be "Shrek" the musical (book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire; music by Jeanine Tesori), which will be staged at 7:30 p.m. each night from June 26-July 1 in the Ted Paul Theatre.

About the play: "Once upon a time, there was a little ogre named Shrek ..." And thus begins the musical tale of an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking donkey and feisty Princess Fiona who resists her own rescue. Throw in a short-tempered bad guy, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you've got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero: Shrek!

Tickets: $22 regular, $19 discounted (over 65, under 16 and groups of 15 or more) and $15 for current Minnesota State Mankato students. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit, or call the Box Office 4-6 p.m. weekdays at 507-389-6661.

July 11-14: 'The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940'

The fourth and final production of Highland Summer Theatre’s 52nd season will be John Bishop's "The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940," which will be staged at 7:30 p.m. from July 11-14 in the Andreas Theatre.

About the play: As a composer, lyricist, actors and director prepare a production, bodies start to drop in plain sight, knives spring out of nowhere, masked figures drag their victims behind swiveling bookcases and accusing fingers point in all directions. The murder mystery does get solved—but not before the audience has been treated to a sidesplitting good time.

Tickets: $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. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit, or call the Box Office 4-6 p.m. weekdays at 507-389-6661.

Student News

Khadiyah Hollingsworth, a junior on the Maverick women's track and field team, won the national championship in the high jump at the NCAA Division II outdoor track and field championships, held May 24-26 at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C.

An article posted May 21 in the Minnesota High Tech Association's online SciTechsperience Web page detailed the internship experience that Twin Cities Engineering student Colin Terry had with Trusted Semiconductor Solutions. The article included a quote from Stephanie Pusch, who is on the Twin Cities Engineering Industrial Advisory Board.

Faculty/Staff News

Rajeev Bukralia, assistant professor in the ´╗┐Department of Computer Information Science, presented at the Big Data Tech conference, which had more than 1,200 attendees, June 5 in Minneapolis. More information about Bukralia's presentation is available here.

Chris Veltsos, professor in the Department of Computer Information Science, was listed as No. 28 in the Thomson Reuters "U.S. top 50 social influencers in risk, compliance and RegTech" list published here. Veltsos recently produced a podcast titled "What’s the Best Defense Against Cyberattacks? You Are" for IBM that is available here. He was also quoted in this SecurityInfoWatch article.

Leah White, professor in the Department of Communication Studies, has been named interim director of the Honors Program. Her first day in the Honors Program was May 30.

Mike Hastings, head coach of the Maverick men's hockey team, was named head coach for the 2019 U.S. National Junior Team. USA Hockey made the announcement May 29. Originally selected as an assistant coach for the team, USA Hockey tabbed Hastings for the post after David Quinn, who was named head coach of the team in April, was introduced as the head coach of the National Hockey League's New York Rangers. The U.S. National Junior Team will take part in the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2018 – Jan. 5, 2019, in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia.

Department News

The Undergraduate Admissions office has changed its title to University Admissions. This change is intended to provide a welcome for all students supported by this office.

The School of Nursing will hold a celebration of 65 years of education and family nursing research Thursday, Sept. 27 from 5-8 p.m. in Centennial Student Union, Room 253. A welcome and introductions will be held from 5-5:15 p.m., followed by an alumni panel from 5:15-6:15 p.m., "re-pinning" of alumni from 6:15-6:30 p.m. and light appetizers and social time from 6:30-8 p.m.

Taco Bell at Minnesota State Mankato was recently ranked 2nd out of 289 Taco Bell non-traditional restaurants throughout the nation in Taco Bell's first quarter Golden Bell program rankings. Restaurants are ranked on various "best of the best" criteria that include low dissatisfaction ratings by customers, high operations rankings, high food safety evaluations and more.

RASP SpotLight

The following principal investigators made submissions in April 2018:

College of Allied Health and Nursing
  Brooke Burk – Recreation, Parks and Leisure
  and Megan Mahowald – Speech, Hearing and Rehabilitation Services
  Camp Maverick
  Submitted to: Mankato Area Foundation for $5,100

  Jennifer Londgren – Health Science
  Opioid Symposium
  Submitted to: Mankato Area Foundation for $5,000

  Megan Mahowald – Speech, Hearing and Rehabilitation Services
  Speech Language Pathology Progress Monitoring Tools: Exploratory Study of Language Sample Analysis Tools
  Submitted to: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association for $21,502.66

College of Science, Engineering and Technology
  Shaobiao Cai – Mechanical and Civil Engineering
  Integration Agriculture Machinery Design into Engineering Education Curriculum
  Submitted to: Minnesota Agricultural Leadership Council for $8,352.75

  Melissa Huppert – Minnesota Center for Excellence in Manufacturing and Engineering
  Minnesota STEM + Ag Career Pathway Curriculum
  Submitted to: Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council for $14,452.20

  Chad Wittkop – Chemistry and Geology
  Assessing the Environmental Significance of Glacial Sediment Chemistry
  Submitted to: Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) for $200,000

  Matthew Kaproth – Biological Sciences
  and Robyn Ceurvorst – Recreation, Parks and Leisure (in CAHN)
  State of the Prairies: Assessing Public-Private Land Management
  Submitted to: Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) for $337,055

  Robert Sleezer – Integrated Engineering
  Self -Cleaning Solar Cell Coatings in Minnesota
  Submitted to: Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) for $285,988

University Advancement
  James Gullickson – KMSU
  3% Reissue Minigrant
  Submitted to: Minnesota Department of Administration for $3,428.57

  Strategic Business, Education and Regional Partnerships
  Mike Hahn – Small Business Development Center
  Minnesota Rural Business Succession Program
  Submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for $24,998

The following faculty and staff secured over $917,021 in April 2018:

College of Business
  Yvonne Cariveau – Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  Nidec Corporation – “Kato Engineering Market Study”
  Awarded: $17,600

College of Allied Health and Nursing
  Julia Hebenstreit – School of Nursing
  Minnesota Department of Health – “Medical Education and Research FY18-19”
  Awarded: $899,421

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


Carol Myhre, an emeritus faculty member who taught in the Communications Disorders Department before retiring in 2012, died April 28. An obituary is available here.

Online TODAY Magazine

Visit the online TODAY magazine at to keep up-to-date with news, alumni and stories about the people who help make this University great.

The mission of TODAY is to entertain, to inform and to connect the reader to the campus. The print TODAY is mailed twice per year to 95,000 alumni and friends.

TODAY welcomes story ideas supporting this mission. Contact Sara Frederick at 507-389-6981 or to share ideas.

Content is updated regularly, so check back often!


Do you have faculty, staff, student or departmental news for the campus newsletter? Send news items to the Media Relations Office at The newsletter is published every other Wednesday during the academic year (except during scheduled break weeks) and monthly during the summer. The next newsletter will be published Wednesday, July 18. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (July 13).

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