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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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September 12, 2018 Campus Newsletter

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Delta Airlines Visits Campus

Representatives from Delta Airlines presented Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport with a banner during an Aug. 30 visit to campus for a kick-off event that announced the Delta Propel Pilot Career Path Program.

The event provided Minnesota State Mankato aviation students the opportunity to learn more about the new Delta program.

The Delta Propel Pilot Career Path Program offers students the opportunity to join a defined, accelerated and customized path from college to Delta. This program allows Delta to recruit talented pilots at an earlier stage in their career, provide a qualified job offer to selected students and be an integral part of their professional development.

Minnesota State Mankato is one of just eight collegiate aviation programs in the United States selected by Delta to be part of this unique pathway for students.

Sesquicentennial History Book Release

Minnesota State Mankato will celebrate the release of a book on its 150-year history Thursday, Sept. 13 from 2-3 p.m. in the Marilyn J. Lass Center for Minnesota Studies, located on the second floor of the University’s Memorial Library.

The book, titled “Minnesota State University, Mankato 1868-2018: A Sesquicentennial History,” was written by William E. Lass, a professor emeritus of history at Minnesota State Mankato.

Lass will attend Thursday’s event, and there will be a short program and refreshments available. The event is open to the public. Books (hard cover) will be available for sale at the event for $29.99 plus tax.

“Minnesota State University, Mankato 1868-2018: A Sesquicentennial History” follows the development of the University from its first 27 students pursuing two-year diplomas in 1868 to the almost 15,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees in 2018.

The highly readable and thoroughly illustrated book is extensively researched. It covers in details the development of academic programs, the physical campus, University leadership and faculty, as well as student life.

William E. Lass taught history at Minnesota State Mankato for more than 40 years (1960-2002), worked on many campus committees and served as Department of History faculty chair. He was the founding director of the Southern Minnesota Historical Center and University Archives.

2018 Campus Drive

The University Advancement division's annual giving program will be holding its 2018 campus drive from Sept. 17-28.

Members of the University community are encouraged to participate in this year's drive by making a gift to the "emergency grant program," which provides small grants to students who encounter unexpected expenses.

More information about the 2018 campus drive will be distributed throughout campus in the coming weeks.

Immediate contributions may be made by clicking here, with all gifts counting toward participation in the 2018 campus drive.

Alumni Zone Sign-Up

The Office of Alumni Relations is holding its third annual Alumni Zone event during Homecoming on Saturday, Sept. 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 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.

Student Depression Screenings

Minnesota State Mankato's Counseling Center is offering depression screenings for students on the morning of Friday, Sept. 21.

This is an opportunity for students to complete a written screening questionnaire and discuss the questionnaire and their results with a mental health professional.

Screenings are anonymous, confidential, and FREE. Additionally, educational material on the signs and symptoms of mood and anxiety disorders will be provided, as well as connecting students to resources.

  • Screening Site: Counseling Center (285 CSU)
  • Date: Friday, Sept. 21, 2018
  • Time: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Those with questions may contact Miranda Hellenbrand, professor in the Counseling Center, by phone at 507-389-1455 or by email at

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:

Sept. 12-15: 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch'

Minnesota State Mankato's Department of Theatre & Dance will open its 2018-19 Studio Season with a musical, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”

Directed by Seth Honerman, the musical runs 7:30 p.m. Sept. 12-15 in the Andreas Theatre, with a special midnight matinee the evening of Sept. 14.

“Hedwig” tells the story of “internationally ignored song stylist” Hedwig Schmidt, a fourth-wall smashing, East German rock ‘n’ roll goddess who also happens to be the victim of a botched sex-change operation, which has left her with just “an angry inch.”

Tickets are $13 regular; $12 for seniors ages 65 and older, children under 16 and groups of 15 or more; and $11 for Minnesota State Mankato students.

The box office is open 4-6 p.m. weekdays in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center, or buy single tickets online at Call the box office at 507-389-6661.

Contact Paul J. Hustoles at 507-389-2118, or for more information.

Aug. 27-Sept. 18: Xavier Tavera Art Exhibit

Work by photographer Xavier Tavera will be displayed in an exhibit titled “Borderlands” in Minnesota State Mankato’s Conkling Gallery (located in Nelson Hall 139) from Aug. 27 through Sept. 18.

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.

Artist information provided by Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Art:

Xavier Tavera is a photographer whose work deals with Latino/Latinx identity and race. He was born in Mexico City and has been based in Minneapolis since 1996. He teaches photography at the University of Minnesota, where he also recently completed his master of fine arts degree. Tavera exhibited his series “Veterans” at the Minnesota History Center in 2017, and he has shown at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Goldstein Museum of Design, Minnesota Museum of American Art and many other venues nationally and internationally.

For more information, call the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art at 507-389-6412. The complete 2018-2019 Conkling Gallery Schedule, list of artist residencies and lecture series is located at

Sept. 13: Maud Hixson, Rick Carlson in Concert

Jazz vocalist Maud Hixson (pictured) and pianist Rick Carlson will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13 in Minnesota State University, Mankato's Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

Hixson is a singer of classic jazz and popular songs of the 20th century. Many of her shows focus on songs written by women during the 1930s and 1940s, an era Hixson says is one of the most fertile periods for women songwriters.

Hixson made her Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis) debut in 2010, performed at the New York Cabaret Convention in 2011 at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall and in 2012 appeared in concert with composer and pianist Sir Richard Rodney Bennett as part of the Midtown Jazz Series in New York.

Carlson taught himself to play the piano by studying the vast catalogs of Count Basie and Duke Ellington while absorbing their musical technique. He is a sought-after accompanist and has served as pianist and musical director for various Twin Cities concert series and theatre productions.

Concert admission is $12 for community members and $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.

Sept. 13: Good Thunder Reading Series

Minnesota State Mankato will host poet and essayist Ladan Osman (pictured) Thursday, Sept. 13 as the first of eight writers who will be on campus for this year’s Good Thunder Reading Series. All Good Thunder Reading Series events are free and open to the public.

Osman will begin her Sept. 13 visit by holding a workshop from 10-11 a.m. at the Emy Frentz Gallery, located at 523 S. 2nd St., Mankato.

During the afternoon, Osman will 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.

Then in the evening, from 7:30-8:30 p.m., Osman will read from her work in the University’s Centennial Student Union, Room 245.

Osman is a Somali-born artist whose work is a lyric and exegetic response to problems of race, gender, displacement and colonialism. She is the author of “The Kitchen-Dweller’s Testimony” (University of Nebraska Press, 2015), winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize. Her next collection, “Exiles of Eden,” a work of poetry, photos, and experimental text, is forthcoming with Coffee House Press in 2019. Osman’s writing has been translated into over 10 languages.

For more information contact Candace Black at 507-389-2680 or visit

Sept. 14: Stomper's Drive-In

Minnesota State Mankato’s Student Events Team will be hosting a drive-in movie Friday, Sept. 14 at 9 p.m. in University Parking Lot 20 (located on the corner of Stadium Road and Warren Street).

The featured film will be “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” and the event is free and open to the public. Drive-in movie attendees may enter Parking Lot 20 with their vehicles beginning at 8 p.m.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is a science fiction adventure film released in 2018 that is the sequel to the 2015 film “Jurassic World.”

According to Minnesota State Mankato’s Student Events Team, there has not been an outdoor drive-in movie shown in the Mankato area since the Kato Twin Star Drive-In closed in 1988. The Student Events Team reported that only six drive-in theaters remain active in Minnesota, with the closest of those to Mankato located 55 miles away.

The Sept. 14 drive-in movie event is part of the Student Events Team Stomper’s Cinema fall movie lineup, which is also open to the public. The Sept. 14 drive-in is one of the activities the Student Events Team is holding as part of Minnesota State Mankato’s sesquicentennial celebration.

Unless otherwise noted, other movies in the Stomper’s Cinema schedule are shown in Ostrander Auditorium, located in the University’s Centennial Student Union.

For more information on the drive-in movie, contact Alex Fry from the Student Events Team by email at or by phone at 507-799-6294.

Sept. 17: Constitution Day Panel

Minnesota State Mankato is honoring Constitution Day with two September panel discussions. The next panel discussion is Monday, Sept. 17 from 12-1 p.m. in Centennial Student Union, Room 245, and is titled "The Constitution and You."

The first panel discussion was held Tuesday, Sept. 11. It was titled "Freedom of Speech."

Those attending the events are encouraged to bring a laptop or cell phone to access the internet during the panel discussions.

Refreshments will be served. On Sept. 17, attendees can win a prize by completing the constitution quiz handed out by Centennial Student Union "colonialists."

For more information, contact Karen Anderson in the Office of Community Engagement by phone at 507-389-6076 or by email at

Sept. 18: 'Controlling Borders and Policing Race'

Minnesota State Mankato's Department of Sociology and Corrections, the Kessel Peace Institute and the Minnesota State Mankato Performance Series offers the opportunity for University faculty, students and community members to attend a Tuesday, Sept. 18 panel discussion titled "Controlling Borders and Policing Race: The Lived Experiences of Xenophobia and Racism in the United States."

The discussion takes place Tuesday, Sept. 18 from 4-5 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall, Room 250, Earley Center for Performing Arts. Free parking will be available in Lot 16 Gold. The event is free and open to the public.

Musical artist, activist and humanitarian Aar Maanta and other local panelists will discuss the lived experiences of those who are impacted by racism and xenophobia in the United States. The discussion will cover a range of issues from profiling to visa denials to microagressions and more. Panelists will discuss the impact on individuals and the community.

As an artist with a mission, Aar Maanta has prioritized education and mentorship of young people through workshops and music-focused educational programs throughout his career. As a singer and songwriter, Aar Maanta has embraced an eclectic mix of styles including influences from rock and reggae blended with traditional Arabic and Somali music. As a humanitarian, Aar Maanta’s efforts in North Africa refugee camps led him to become a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees.

The event is supported by the Building Bridges: Arts, Culture and Identity grant program with funding from the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, a component of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. The program serves as a unique medium for the funders to support mission-critical projects that demonstrate the power of the arts to strengthen communities and increase intercultural understanding across America.

For more information on this event, contact the Performance Series Office at 507-389-5549 or email

Sept. 17-Oct. 2: Rafael Perez Art Exhibit

Artist Rafael Perez's sculpture work will be on display in Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union Gallery (located on the building’s lower level) from Sept. 17 through Oct. 2.

The exhibit, free and open to the public, will be open during Centennial Student Union open hours.

Perez will deliver an art enrichment lecture Monday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium, located in Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union. A reception for the artist will be held immediately following the lecture from 8-9 p.m.

Perez will be in residence Sept. 24-25 in the Nelson Hall ceramics studios as part of the Art Enrichment and Andreas Endowment Lecture and Residency Series.

More information on the artist is available here.

For more information, call the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art at 507-389-6412. The complete 2018-2019 Conkling Gallery Schedule, list of artist residencies and lecture series is located at

Sept. 19: Education Abroad & Away Fair

Minnesota State Mankato's Center for Education Abroad and Away is hosting an education abroad & away fair Wednesday, Sept. 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on MavAve in Centennial Student Union.

According to a statement from Nancy O'Brien, director of the Center for Education Abroad and Away, on the Center's website, the goal of the Center is to “provide thorough and thoughtful guidance to all students interested in exploring academic adventures away and abroad.

“For students hoping to study away in other U.S. cities, territories or states, we encourage you to speak to Center for Education Abroad and Away staff, your professors, or staff members across campus about potential study away opportunities.”

The Center for Education Abroad and Away is currently located in Wissink Hall 379. Its hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those wanting more information may call 507-389-1341.

Sept. 22: Aar Manta and the Urban Nomads

International Somali artist Aar Maanta (pictured) and his band, the Urban Nomads, will conclude a residency week in Mankato with a public performance at the Kato Ballroom, 200 Chestnut Street, Saturday, Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m.

Aar Maanta is considered to be the voice of the new Somali generation and revered as one of the most creative and talented Somali musicians both in the Horn of Africa and the Diaspora. His music melds traditional Somali music together with Western musical influences into a fusion described as Afro Hop.

Lyrically, Aar Maanta’s songs are written to address issues of relevance to Somali immigrants. In 2017, Aar Maanta was chosen by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees along with five other North African musicians to record a video using his song, Tahrib, to support a campaign to raise awareness about the risks of onward movement of refugees from Northern Africa.

During his Sept. 17-22 residency in Mankato, Aar Maanta will be involved with various activities. The artist will visit both East and West high schools and Bridges Community School to lead activities with students at those schools. In addition, he will visit multiple Minnesota State Mankato classrooms in the art, English, music and history areas.

This interaction with college students will tie directly into the curricula of the courses to give the students the opportunity to gain an understanding and appreciation of diverse peoples and diverse perspectives. 

General admission concert tickets are $10. Student tickets are $5 for all students with a valid student ID card. Advance purchase is strongly encouraged. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to For more information, contact the Performance Series Office at 507-389-5549 or email Dale Haefner at

Sept. 23: Minnesota River Valley Wind Ensemble

The Minnesota River Valley Wind Ensemble will perform Sunday, Sept. 23 at 3 p.m. at Minnesota State Mankato's Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The ensemble is a semi-professional group comprised of faculty, community members, music teachers, music students, and professional musicians. The concert promises to be a very diverse program blending core wind band works with new works. The group is in its 14th season and continues to perform demanding music with a group of very talented musicians.

Concert admission is $9 for general admission 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.

Sept. 25: 'Future of Mental Health Parity'

Paul David Wellstone Jr., son of late U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone, will be the inaugural speaker at Minnesota State Mankato's Department of Counseling and Student Personnel Lecture Series on Mental Health.

Wellstone will speak Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 6:30 p.m. in Centennial Student Union's Ostrander Auditorium in an event that is free and open to the public.

Wellstone will speak on “The Wellstone Legacy of Mental Health Parity: Successes and Challenges for the Future,” and the work needed to continue the promotion of mental health parity within the health care system, one of his father’s signature legislative efforts during his 11-year tenure in office.

Dave Wellstone was integral in passing federal mental health parity legislation championed by his father along with Republican Sen. Pete Domenici of Arizona and Republican Rep. Jim Ramstad of Minnesota. Dave Wellstone is an author and has been recognized for his work by multiple philanthropic and professional organizations. He currently operates sober living housing in St. Paul, Minn. Dave serves on several boards and is an active volunteer within his community.

The Department of Counseling & Student Personnel Lecture Series on Mental Health and Wellness is funded through a grant from major contributor Ken Pengelly, professor emeritus of library media education at Minnesota State Mankato, to honor the work of Walter Roberts Jr., professor emeritus of counselor education, who was a staunch advocate for the promotion of and access to mental health for the children and adults in the state of Minnesota.

For more information, contact Jackie Lewis, professor in the Department of Counseling & Student Personnel, by phone at 507-389-5655 or by email at

Sept. 25: Bluegrass/Newgrass Group Blue Hazard

Bluegrass/Newgrass group Blue Hazard will appear on stage Sunday, Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The concert event is sponsored by the Minnesota State Mankato Performance Series and is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Blue Hazard is a young band that recently released its third album. The five-piece band, consisting of three siblings and friends, merges its traditional roots with folk, pop and contemporary genres.

The band frequently appears at numerous bluegrass festivals, including the Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival, the Southeast Minnesota Bluegrass Festival and Lakes Bluegrass Festival, among others. Blue Hazard has performed with the Grammy-nominated bluegrass sensation Cherry Holmes, International Songwriter Competition winner Ben Kyle, and Minnesota Music Hall of Fame members The Platte Valley Boys.

Concert admission is $12 general admission and $11 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.

Student News

International students and the friendship family program were featured in a recent KEYC TV news story.

Faculty/Staff News

Whitney Gent, assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies, was selected by the National Communication Association as the 2018 recipient of the Stephen E. Lucas Debut Publication Award. The award is given annually to encourage and reward new scholars in the communication discipline. It aims to identify and recognize a contribution to the discipline by an author or authors publishing their first scholarly book or monograph. Gent was honored for the article, “When Homelessness Becomes a ‘Luxury’: Neutrality as an Obstacle to Counterpublic Rights Claims,” published in Quarterly Journal of Speech 103, 3 (230-250).

Gregory T. Wilkins, associate director of the Centennial Student Union and Student Activities, received third place in the Class 1 mixed media/oil/acrylic division at the 107th Fine Arts Exhibition at the 2018 Minnesota State Fair. He was selected by jury with over 2,500 people applying and approximately 400 selected. During Wilkins’ 2016 sabbatical, he worked with indigenous people on two continents and six countries. “Dhaka, Bangladesh: Portrait Number Three” reflects his work while at International University of Business Agriculture and Technology.

Department News

U.S. News and World Report has published its 2019 Best Colleges rankings, and Minnesota State Mankato is ranked in a tie for 111th in the "Regional Universities Midwest" category.

The Department of Educational Leadership in the College of Education is holding a school superintendent symposium on race equity in education on Sept. 21 and Sept. 28 in Edina. The name of the symposium is "Advancing Race Equity in Education: Superintendent Symposium." More information is available on the symposium registration page.

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences published its September 2018 issue (broken link) of SBS Good News.

The College of Allied Health and Nursing is supporting the Campus Cupboard and is requesting non-perishable food donations be brought to the University's Sept. 29 Homecoming parade and dropped in the college's shopping carts at the parade. Donations can also be dropped off at the Campus Cupboard at the Crossroads Lutheran Church, located at 331 Dillon Avenue. 

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. For more information, contact the Career Development Center at 507-389-6061.

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, Sept. 26. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Sept. 21).

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