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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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July 18, 2018 Campus Newsletter

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Sesquicentennial Parade Route

Minnesota State University, Mankato will hold its Homecoming Parade this fall in downtown Mankato on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 10 a.m. The parade is being held downtown this year in honor of the University's sesquicentennial celebration, and also to acknowledge the 150th anniversary of Mankato’s city charter, said Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport.

“We are excited to bring the University’s Homecoming Parade back downtown as we celebrate our 150th anniversary,” said Davenport. “We invite the entire Mankato-area community, as well as alumni and friends of the University, to join us on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 10 a.m. for this spectacular downtown parade involving the University and local businesses. Also, please plan to attend the many sesquicentennial events being held on campus. I want to thank the City of Mankato and community members for their work in making this possible.”

Curt Fisher (left in above photo), chair of the Sesquicentennial Parade Committee, joined Paul Hustoles (right in photo), co-chair of the University’s Sesquicentennial Planning Commission, at a recent announcement of the parade route.

The 1-mile downtown parade route (see map below left) is approximately double the distance of the ½-mile campus parade route used in recent years. This year’s parade, scheduled to last for an estimated 1-1/2 to 2 hours, will begin on South Front Street at the corner of West Liberty Street and proceed through downtown Mankato on South 2nd Street and then through Old Town on North Riverfront Drive for its final six blocks.

From 7:30-10 a.m. Sept. 29, prior to the parade, Davenport will host his annual free community pancake breakfast, which will be held this year at Mankato’s Civic Center Plaza.

A complete news release about the parade route is available here.

BBQ Demo and Maverick Meal Deal

Alumnus and former Minnesota State Mankato wrestler Pat Nelson, who is also a barbecue competitor and owner of Big Boned BBQ, will return to campus on Thursday, Aug. 2 as part of the Student Activities Summer Program Series.

Nelson will provide a barbecue demonstration, beginning at 11:30 a.m. on the campus mall, located near the outdoor fountain on the north end of the Centennial Student Union. Small samples of his award-winning meats will be available.

For the third year, a Maverick Meal Deal will be offered. For $6, attendees will be able to enjoy either a pulled pork sandwich or a brisket sandwich, a side of coleslaw, and a side of cornbread. Cash or credit/debit card payments will be accepted, and they may be paid at the event.

Advance orders are requested by Monday, July 30 and may be placed by visiting

A limited number of meals, in addition to the advance orders placed, may be made available. Last year, the additional meals sold out in 5 minutes.

The event will be held rain or shine. Should inclement weather prevent the demo and sampling from taking place, meal pick-up will still occur.

Nelson and his Big Boned BBQ team will be competing in Mankato’s annual Ribfest, taking place at Riverfront Park Aug. 2-5.

Please email, or call 507-389-6076, with questions regarding this event.

Alumni Zone Sign-Up

The Office of Alumni Relations is holding its third annual Alumni Zone event during Homecoming on Saturday, Sept. 29 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Lot 20A.

The Alumni Zone is a pregame tailgating experience featuring live music, food trucks, games, a cash bar and door prizes.

Cost is $12. Cost for season ticket holders and current students is $7.

The event includes a Maverick football game ticket and exclusive access to the Alumni Zone.

All alumni and friends are welcome, but RSVPs are required by Friday, Sept. 21. Register here or by phone at 507-389-1515. No walk-up admission is available.

Lifelong Learners Summer 2018 Program

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

Topics include sessions on "Succulents and Designs/Mulch for the Gardener"; "Horror Films and History"; "Fixing Healthcare"; a "Community Climate Conversation"; and many more sessions.

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

Online registration is available at Choose "Classes & Events," "Class Schedule" and then click on "Register Online Now." For more information, call 507-389-2011.

10th Annual Play Day

Minnesota State Mankato's Department of Family Consumer Science held its 10th annual parent-child play day on Friday, June 15 at Rasmussen Woods, inviting parents and children of all ages to participate for free.

Click here to read a KEYC TV story on the event.

Parent-child play day is for both parents and preschool-early school age children and designed to encourage play.

The event was led by students and faculty in the Department of Family Consumer Science.

For more information, contact Associate Professor Heather Von Bank by email at or by phone at 507-389-5915.

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:

July 19: 'Space Jam' is Next Summer Outdoor Film

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

The outdoor movies are shown in the amphitheatre, which is located between the Centennial Student Union and Memorial Library.

The next outdoor movie in the summer series is "Space Jam" (PG), which will be shown at 9 p.m. Thursday, July 19. The series concludes with a showing of "Frozen" at 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2.

The series opened Thursday, June 14 with a showing of "Black Panther" (PG-13).

During the series, movies are 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

Aug. 24: New Student Rally

The second annual New Student Rally will be held during Welcome Week on Friday, Aug. 24 at 10:30 a.m. in the Taylor Center. Weather permitting, the students will gather at the Alumni Arch and march into Bresnan Arena, where they will be welcomed by the University president, the provost, student government president and other special guests.

Afterward, the Maverick Machine band will escort everyone out of Bresnan, back thru the Alumni Arch, and to the "Welcome Week Backyard Bash" near the Bell Tower/Alumni Arch (rain site is Myers Field House.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to welcome the new students as they process through the Alumni Arch after the rally. For more information, contact Greg Wilkins, associate director of Centennial Student Union and Student Activities, by phone at 507-389-6076 or by email at

Aug. 28: 29th annual Leonard A. Ford Lectures

Robert S. Kania (Ph.D.), senior director of design chemistry for oncology for Pfizer Inc., will deliver two lectures at Minnesota State Mankato on Tuesday, Aug. 28 as part of the 29th annual Leonard A. Ford Lectureship.

Both lectures, free and open to the public, will be held on campus in the Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium.

Kania is an inventor of axitinib, sold as Inlyta™, a new pharmaceutical treatment for renal cell carcinoma. Kania has worked for 20 years in oncology on approaches for the treatment of various tumor types.

Kania will give a technical talk, titled “The Design of Kinase Inhibitor Medicines Utilizing Protein-Ligand Structures and Property-Based Efficiency,” at 1 p.m. In an abstract, Kania wrote that the talk will cover some themes of drug discovery across several programs that have advanced through clinical development and to approval. The focus will be on the design and characterization of axitinib and key published clinical results to date.

Kania will present a general talk, titled “Life Lessons, from Puppies & Tinker Toys to Blackjack, Applied to Drug Design,” at 7 p.m. In an abstract, Kania wrote that the talk will summarize a high-level, basic view of cancer and the typical steps involved in modern drug discovery programs. The story will weave together relatable life learnings with lessons from a career in science and the simplified principles of drug design that guides Kania's everyday work.

The event is sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Geology in Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Science, Engineering & Technology. For more information, contact Christine Cords, office manager in the Department of Chemistry and Geology, at 507-389-1963, or

Student News

The following six students have received $20,000 Presidential Scholar Awards for this fall: Jacob Dougall (Ankeny, Iowa); Kaitlyn Gloege (Brandon, S.D.); Emily Klinker (Coon Rapids, Minn.); Lyric Lopez-Kohler (Rochester, Minn.); Jennifer Vetter (Kasota, Minn.); and Jessica Wimp (Rapid City, S.D.). Presidential Scholar Awards are awarded to selected new students based on class rank, ACT scores, recommendations, leadership, personal essays and interviews. Students must rank in the top 10 percent of their high school class (or hold a 3.8 grade point average at a non-ranking school) and have an ACT composite score of 26 or greater (or rank highest in their high school class) to be considered. These $20,000 scholarships are awarded over four years. On-campus interviews for finalists are held in November and February.

Jason Jones, who is earning his master's degree in Spanish for the professions this summer, was recently selected to participate in the 3M Impact program and wrote an article about his experience in the program.

Alumna Jill Louters, superintendent of the New Rockford-Sheyenne Public School district in North Dakota, was appointed by North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum to the North Dakota Board of Higher Education, according to a Jamestown Sun news article.

Alumnus Mehr Jay Shahidi has been volunteering at the American Refugee Committee for over 19 years and served on the committee board for 11 years. He recently traveled to a refugee settlement in Uganda near Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to check on the work at that settlement and to participate in a 5K run on World Refugee Day.

Christine Bauer, an alumna who majored in mass communications, recently published her first book, "Those Three Words: A birth mother's story of choice, chance and motherhood."

Faculty/Staff News

H. Matthew Loayza, professor and chair of the Department of History, has been appointed interim dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, effective July 1.

Teresa (Teri) Wallace, professor in the Department of Special Education, has been appointed interim associate vice president for undergraduate education, effective July 16.

Daardi Sizemore Mixon, certified archivist, has been appointed interim dean of Library Services, effective Aug. 1.

Christopher T. Ruhland and Timothy Secott, professors in the Department of Biological Sciences, recently published an article with undergraduate authors Amanda Remund and Celsey Tiry. Their paper was a direct product of undergraduate research performed by Remund and Tiry. The study examines how differences in initial lignin concentrations in plant litter influences decomposition and soil inputs in an agricultural setting. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation Grant DEB-1256129 to Ruhland.

Andrew Johnson, professor of literacy instruction, has been working as chief literacy adviser for Readocity. An article on the company's work was published in a June 5 online article in the Boston Herald.

Jennifer Karlin, a research professor in the Department of Integrated Engineering, recently learned that she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring for work while she was employed at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.

Kristi Rendahl, assistant professor and director of the Nonprofit Leadership Program in the Department of Sociology and Corrections, wrote a recent commentary that was published in the Star Tribune.

Chris Veltsos, professor in the Department of Computer Information Science, earned the CERT Certificate in Cybersecurity Oversight for having successfully completed the NACD Cyber-Risk Oversight Program (July 2018).

David Viscoli, professor of piano in the Department of Music, recently performed a two-piano recital at the Alfredo De Saint-Malo Festival in Panama City, Panama. He also gave a master class at the University of Panama.

Department News

Students in the undergraduate and graduate Developmental Adapted Physical Education Program are facilitating fun sports and activities for children with disabilities from Mankato and surrounding communities in the second annual Disability Sport/Activity Camp. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. July 16-20 in the Otto Recreation Center, Court 4 (9-10:45 a.m.), and the Highland Center swimming pool (11-11:50 a.m.). For more information, contact Sue Tarr, coordinator of the Developmental Adapted Physical Education Program, by phone at 507-389-2626 or by email at

University Dining Services is running a promotion through Dec. 21 in which faculty and staff can receive unlimited refills of drip coffee and fountain beverages by purchasing a commemorative sesquicentennial tumbler for $100 plus tax. Beverages are available during the summer at Jazzman's and MavAve. In the fall, beverages will be available at Jazzman's, MavAve, Einstein Bros Bagels in Myers Field House and Simply to Go in Wissink. A limited number of tumblers are available for purchase at Jazzman's, MavAve or the University Dining Services office located in Centennial Student Union, Room 7. Those with questions may call 389-2613.

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.

The Career Development Center is holding its Career and Internship Expo on Oct. 16-17, and 69 employers are already registered for the event.

RASP Spotlight

The following principal investigators made submissions in May 2018:

College of Science, Engineering and Technology
  Beth Proctor – Biological Sciences
  Assessment of Toxic-Algae/Phosphorus/E.coli Entering Minneopa Park
  Submitted to: Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) for $327,253

  Jennifer Karlin – Integrated Engineering
  EAGER Collaborative Proposal: Supporting CAREER Development in Engineering Education
  Submitted to: National Science Foundation for $138,282

  Brian Martensen – College of Science, Engineering and Technology
  and Christopher Ruhland (Biological Sciences); Bryce Hoppie (Chemistry & Geology); Fei  Yuan (Geography); Stephen Druschel (Mechanical & Civil Engineering); Rebecca Bates (Integrated Engineering); Matthew Kaproth (Biological Sciences); Kimberly Musser (Water Resources Center); Donald Friend (Geography); Melissa Huppert (Minnesota Center for Engineering & Manufacturing Excellence), Ryan Wersal (Biological Sciences) Integrated Agricultural Sciences: Increasing Future Workforce Diversity and Preparation through Project-Based Learning.
  Submitted to: United States Department of Agriculture for $750,000

College of Business
  Queen Booker – Management
  Understanding Best Designs for Increasing Student Success in Online Courses
  Submitted to: Spencer Foundation for $50,000

  Yvonne Cariveau – Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  Marketing Strategy and Updates for
  Submitted to: for $14,000

Strategic Partnerships
  Lou Dickmeyer – Continuing & Professional Education
  Partnership Grant: Gentle Touch Health Initiatives
  Submitted to: MN Department of Employment and Economic Development for $279,334

College of Allied Health and Nursing
  Brigette Cooper – Dental Hygiene
  and Dr. Angela Monson
  Masters in Advanced Dental Hygiene with Normandale Community College Intra-Agency Agreement
  Submitted to: US Department of Health and Human Services for $20,000.

College of Arts and Humanities
  Lee Tesdell – English
  and Sara Parks - English
  Supporting the Water Resource Center through Technical Communication
  Submitted to: Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) for

The following faculty and staff secured nearly $350,000 in May 2018:

College of Science, Engineering and Technology
  Melissa Huppert – Minnesota Center for Engineering & Manufacturing Excellence
Minnesota Regenerative Medicine – “Explore STEM: Reducing Barriers, Career Exploration, and Networking”
  Awarded: $15,000

  Hyekyung Min – Mathematics & Statistics
  Society of Actuaries – “SOA Educational Institution Grant”
  Awarded: $5,000

  Michael Wells – Computer Information Sciences
  Easy Automation Inc. – “Project Easy Automation”
  Awarded: $324,262

University Advancement
  James Gullickson – KMSU
  Minnesota Department of Administration – “3% Reissue Minigrant”
  Awarded: $3,429

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


Walton Shrewsbury, an emeritus faculty member who was employed at Minnesota State Mankato for 35 years before retiring in 2000, died June 7. Shrewsbury taught in the Political Science Department and chaired the department for nine years. An obituary is available here.

Professor Emerita Kathleen Hurley, who was employed with Minnesota State Mankato as a faculty member in the English Department and retired in 2008, died June 18. An obituary is available here.

Stephanie Hanson, who was employed with Minnesota State Mankato for the past three years as an assistant professor in the Education Studies: K-12 and Secondary Programs, died June 21. An obituary is available here.

Professor Emerita Avra Johnson, who was employed with Minnesota State Mankato as a faculty member in the Government Department and retired in May, died July 4. 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, Aug. 29. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Aug. 24).

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