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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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March 27, 2019 Campus Newsletter

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Undergraduate Research

Eight Minnesota State University, Mankato undergraduate students presented research March 25 at the eighth annual Minnesota Conference on Undergraduate Scholarly and Creative Activity, held in St. Cloud, Minn.

Minnesota State Mankato’s Undergraduate Research Center nominated the student projects and funded the students’ travel to the conference.

Four of the presenting students are pictured above. They are (from left to right): Jonathon Arndt, Sarah Hagar, Olivia Thomas and Linnea Carlyle

Arndt and Thomas received the outstanding oral presentation award at the conference and received $400 for their presentation, “Intercultural Competencies among Undergraduates in the College of Arts & Humanities.” Hagar and Carlyle presented their research on “Developing Intercultural Competency in the College of Allied Health and Nursing.”

The students are mentored by Elizabeth J. Sandell, professor of elementary and literacy education in the College of Education, as well as Chris Brown, associate professor of communication studies in the College of Arts and Humanities, and Lynnette Engeswick, professor of dental hygiene in the College of Allied Health and Nursing.

Another group of four students (pictured below) also presented at the conference. The students include (from left to right): Sierra Peters, Katlyn Jaeger, Linda Zheng and Alexis Peralta.

The group’s research project was titled “Effects of Maladaptive Interpersonal Schemas on College Students’ Performance.”

All four students are part of Psi Chi, the international honor society for psychology.

The students’ faculty mentor is Emily Stark, associate professor of psychology in the College of Social and Behavioral Science.

The Minnesota Conference on Undergraduate Scholarly and Creative Activity that was held March 25 is just one of many undergraduate research opportunities during the spring semester for Minnesota State Mankato students.

Minnesota State Mankato’s Undergraduate Research Center will hold the University’s annual Undergraduate Research Symposium on Tuesday, April 2 in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. 

There will be about 115 projects either showcased as posters or oral presentations throughout the all-day event.

More than 160 students will participate. In addition, multiple students will present artwork in the CSU Gallery from April 1-5.

The annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) provides another opportunity for students to present research – promoting undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity at the national level.

The 2019 conference will be held April 11-13 in Kennesaw, Ga., at Kennesaw State University.

Web Express

IT Solutions announced the launching of Web Express, a series of upcoming open work sessions aimed at giving the campus faculty and staff an opportunity to ask specific questions about their department's website and work one-on-one or brainstorm ideas with IT Solutions staff.

The sessions are aimed at the NEW content management system and are for anyone at any point in their web journey, whether just planning or fully launched.

IT Solutions can assist with content planning, site mapping, best practices, how-tos and more. The work sessions are also designed for participants to learn from peers across campus.

Anyone interested in attending is asked to RSVP online (RSVPs are not required, but are preferred). Participants are asked to bring a laptop if they have one available. Sessions will be held in 3012 Memorial Library (located inside the IT Solutions department entrance).

Upcoming Sessions

  • Thursday, March 28 -- 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 3 -- 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, April 11 -- 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 17 -- 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, April 25 -- 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 1 -- 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Midwest Undergraduate Data Analytics Competition

More than 250 students representing 60 teams from over 30 universities and colleges in the Midwest will compete in the eighth annual Midwest Undergraduate Data Analytics Competition (MUDAC) Saturday and Sunday, March 30-31 at Minnesota State Mankato.

During the two-day competition, student teams will spend 24 hours working on a real-world data analytics problem pertaining to Minnesota water quality. Forty faculty advisors will work with the student teams, and 80 industry professionals and educators will judge the competition.

A news release about the competition is available here.

Lifelong Learners Spring 2019 Program

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

Topics include a session on “Understanding Minnesota's Climatology”; a session that will address “History Does Matter: Considering the Renaming of Sibley Park”; a six-part series of “Spring Bird Walks”; a presentation titled “Experiencing Hubble: Understanding the Greatest Images of the Universe”; 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 “Class Schedule,” and then click on “Register Online Now.” For more information, call 507-389-2011.

Writing Across the Curriculum

Eleven faculty members have completed the Writing Fellows Program, the signature Writing Across the Curriculum faculty development program at Minnesota State Mankato. Faculty members dedicated six weeks to strengthening a writing component in a course that they teach. They then shared their accomplishments through an on-campus presentation and capstone project.

Spring 2019 graduates of the Writing Fellows Program are: Queen Booker, Management; Sara Frederick, Mass Media; Adriana Gordillo, World Languages and Cultures; Saiful Islam, Sociology and Corrections; Laura Jacobi, Communication Studies; Dan Moen, Family Consumer Science; Kristi Rendahl, Sociology and Corrections; Kristie Smith, English; Tyler Vaughan, Sociology and Corrections; Gwen Verchota, Nursing; Bradley Wolfe, Communication Studies.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month throughout the United States, and the Violence Awareness and Response Program at Minnesota State Mankato has scheduled a series of events throughout the month intended to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals about prevention of sexual violence.

In an effort to show community support for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Minnesota State Mankato Violence Awareness and Response Program and several other campus, local government and community organizations will sponsor a number of events within Mankato throughout the month of April.

A list of April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month events is posted online

All the events are free and open to the public. Events that require an RSVP are noted. To get involved or for more information about Sexual Assault Awareness Month at Minnesota State Mankato, contact David Gardner, acting director of gender and sexuality programs, by email at or by phone 507-389-1535.

This year’s national theme for Sexual Assault Awareness Month is “I Ask.” The theme of “I Ask” not only encourages, but empowers everyone, no matter the situation, to ask for consent, to listen, and to accept the responses without pressure or coercion.

The Violence Awareness and Response Program (VARP) provides a safe, supportive space for students and others affiliated with Minnesota State Mankato. The Violence Awareness and Response Program’s mission is to reduce the pervasiveness and effect of sexual violence, domestic/relationship violence and stalking.

March 26-27: Health & Biomedical Sciences Summit

The topic of Minnesota State Mankato’s second annual Health & Biomedical Sciences Summit, to be held Tuesday-Wednesday, March 26-27, is “The Future of Health Care: Talent, Expansion, Innovation.”

The event is free for Minnesota State Mankato students, faculty and staff, but registration is required.

The event is also open to educators, health and medical practitioners and community members. CEUs are available. The registration fee is $175 for both days or $100 for one day.

The opening speaker March 26 is Toby Freier, president of the New Ulm Medical Center, which is part of Allina Health. Freier will speak on “The Story of New Ulm: A Pursuit of Health Transformation.”

A full schedule and list of speakers for the two-day summit is available online.

March 27: Addressing Islamophobia

The Muslim Student Association is hosting an event titled "Addressing Islamophobia" Wednesday, March 27 at 6 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

The guest speaker for the event is Sheikh Yusuf Estes, who according to an event preview will discuss Islamophobia and misconceptions about Islam.

The event is free and open to the public.

March 27: Douglas R. Moore Lectureship

The 45th annual Douglas R. Moore Faculty Research Lecture at Minnesota State Mankato will feature a presentation by faculty member Brian Frink at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 27 in Centennial Student Union's Ostrander Auditorium.

Frink’s presentation, titled “Magical Landscapes: A Discussion of the Creation of a Work of Art,” is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served following the presentation in the Hearth Lounge – CSU Art Gallery.

In a preview of his lecture, Frink, an associate professor in the Department of Art in Minnesota State Mankato's College of Arts and Humanities, wrote:

“I am so very grateful for this opportunity to present my creative research to a broad campus and community audience. I will be presenting the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the creation of one of my paintings from my series of works I call Magical Landscapes. My hope is to demystify the creative process for those in attendance. Perhaps through this demystification we will be able to experience the magic of our world.”

For more information about the subject of the lecture, contact Frink by phone at 507-389-6413 or by email at

March 27-30: 'Mothers and Sons'

Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Theatre & Dance will open “Mothers and Sons” by Terrence McNally on March 27 in the Andreas Theatre at the Early Center for the Performing Arts.

“Mothers and Sons” tells the story of a woman who pays an unexpected visit to the New York apartment of her late son’s partner, who is now married to another man and has a young son. Challenged to face how society has changed around her, generations collide as she revisits the past and begins to see the life her son might have led.

MFA directing candidate David T. Loudermilk is directing “Mothers and Sons,” and he explains that this show is all about relationships: “For me, this play is just as much about the script as it is the audience that surrounds us while we experience it. I hope that this show does not end when the curtain falls, but the dialogue continues, because it is necessary.”

“Mothers and Sons” runs March 27-30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Andreas Theatre at the Earley Center for Performing Arts, Minnesota State Mankato. Tickets are $10 regular, $9 for seniors ages 65 and older, children under 16 and groups of 15 or more; and $8 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.

March 28: Country Singer, Songwriter Chris Lane

Minnesota State Mankato’s Student Events Team announced that pop country artist Chris Lane will perform in concert at Minnesota State University, Mankato on Thursday, March 28 in the Taylor Center’s Bresnan Arena. Country singer Tyler Rich is the concert’s opening act. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

The concert is for all ages. Tickets are on sale while they last at or in person at Minnesota State Mankato’s Student Activities front desk, located in Centennial Student Union, Room 173.

Student tickets and VIP tickets are sold out. Ticket prices are $25 for the general public. Free event parking will be available in Lots 20 and 21, which are located adjacent to Blakeslee Stadium on campus.

For more information on the concert, contact Alex Schauer from the Student Events Team by email at or by phone at 507-389-6076.

According to a provided bio, Lane has toured with many country superstars, including Florida Georgia Line, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. Lane has surpassed 840 million career streams. His sophomore album (Big Loud Records) is available now on all digital platforms after debuting at No. 1 on the iTunes Top Country Albums chart and Top 10 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart.

Minnesota State Mankato’s Student Events Team and radio station Minnesota 93 are sponsoring the concert.

Student Events Team is a student-led organization that produces fun, interactive, educational events where students make lifelong memories and celebrate their Maverick pride.

March 29: Social Work Honors Day

Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Social Work will hold its annual social work honors day event Friday, March 29 at 10 a.m. in Centennial Student Union, Room 245. A 9:30 a.m. reception will precede the 10 a.m. program. This year’s theme is “Recognizing the Role of Social Workers across the Health Care Continuum.”

The guest speaker will be Assistant Professor Sky Niesen Smith, who will draw on her experience and research in the field of oncology social work while speaking on “Bringing Humanity to Cancer Care: Social Workers as Leaders for Inter-professional Medical Models.”

The University’s Department of Social Work will present two individual awards and one organizational award during the event.

The department will present the Social Work Alumnus of the Year award to Todd Archbold (BSSW Class of 2003). The Outstanding New Social Worker of the Year award will be presented to Nelsie Yang (BSSW Class of 2017). The Collaborative Agency of the Year Award will be presented to Mayo Clinic Health System-Southwest Minnesota Section of Social Work. In addition, the department will recognize social work student scholars and scholarship recipients at the event.

For more information, please contact Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Social Work at 507-389-6504.

March 31: Blues Artist Albert Cummings

Blues guitarist Albert Cummings performs Sunday, March 31 at Hooligans, 1400 East Madison Ave. (Madison East Center), Mankato in a concert co-sponsored by KMSU The Maverick and Minnesota State Mankato’s Performance Series. The show kicks off at 7 p.m. with an opening set by Steve Boom Boom Vonderharr, Kit Kildahl and Josh Gravelin. The Albert Cummings Band takes the stage at 8:15 p.m.

As a developing artist – touring and playing with the likes of legends from B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy and many more – Cummings continues writing and performing, relentlessly devoting effort to his craft, ready to continue on his ever expansive musical journey. His latest release, “Live at the ‘62 Center,” showcases Cummings’ rapidly developing songwriting chops and deeply emotional vocals as well as stunning guitar pyrotechnics, fully showcasing his well-rounded talents.

Cummings has been nominated by the Blues Foundation for a Blues Music Award in the Blues Rock Album category for his album "Live at the '62 Center" recorded in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Concert admission is $15 in advance; $18 day of show. Advance purchase is encouraged. Tickets are available at Hooligans or online at For more information, call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

April 1: Pan-Lingua: Undergraduate Conference on Languages & Cultures

Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of World Languages & Cultures and the Nadine B. Andreas Endowment Program is hosting Pan Lingua: Undergradate Conference on Languages & Cultures on Monday, April 1 from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The event is free and open to the campus community and general public. Event panel sessions will be spoken in a particular language. Languages spoken at the conference will include English, Dakota, French, German, Russian and Spanish.

A conference schedule is available online. The conference will feature more than 75 presentations on film, literature, linguistics, culture, anthropology, politics and more. Other topics that will be explored include Asian studies, Chinese films, German history, Russian politics, immigration issues, Hispanic literature and cultural studies, gender issues in the Francophone world, Lakota orthography and many more.

The keynote speaker for the event is Kelly McDonough, an associate professor of Spanish and Native American and Indigenous Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. McDonough will speak from 1:30-2:30 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium about her book, “The Learned Ones: Nahua Intellectuals in Postconquest Mexico.”

According to an event preview, McDonough explored specific cases of Nahua writing and intellectualism from the past five centuries in order to challenge the commonly held assumption that Indigenous intellectual activities in Latin America ceased or decreased dramatically with the advent of the European conquest and colonization.

Participating schools include: Minnesota State University, Mankato; University of South Dakota; South Dakota State University; University of Wisconsin-River Falls; Briar Cliff University; St. Olaf College; University of St. Thomas; and Macalester College.

For more information, visit the conference website.

April 1: Singer/Songwriter Rachel Kilgour

Rachel Kilgour will give a free performance in the Centennial Student Union Serendipity Music Series on Monday, April 1 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on the CSU Flex Programming Space.

The 2015 winner of the NewSong Music Performance and Songwriting Competition, Kilgour has performed at the Lincoln Center in New York City, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and at the Sundance Film Festival.

According to an event preview provided by the Centennial Student Union, Kilgour’s “powerful lyrics ranging from same-sex marriage and divorce to the debilitating effect of dementia has earned her praise from Rolling Stone magazine, which wrote: ‘Kilgour’s unapologetic lyrics are a real treat.’” The event is a collaboration between the Centennial Student Union and the LGBT Center.

The CSU Serendipity Music Series offers free mid-week, mid-day performances for the campus and Mankato area community that spotlights Minnesota musicians with “street-corner serenade” style performances. Passers-by can stop to listen or bring their lunch and enjoy some of Minnesota’s finest musicians. The performances are sponsored by the Centennial Student Union with support through the student activity fee.

April 1-May 7: Senior Art Exhibits

Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art students will display their art at the University’s Conkling Gallery from April 1 to May 7 in three annual senior exhibits. The public is welcome to meet all students in each show on the first night of every exhibit.

Show 1 runs from April 1-9, with a reception Monday, April 9 at 7 p.m. in Conkling Gallery. Students whose art will be displayed in the first exhibit include Maddison Bickle, Sierra Coy, Caitlin Feikema, Katie Grambart, Kelsey Hood, Cody Landkammer, Malinda Murray, Meghan Rosenau and Yeng Thao.

Show 2 will run from April 15-23, with a reception Monday, April 15 at 7 p.m. in Conkling Gallery.

Show 3 will run from April 29-May 7, with a reception Monday, April 29 at 7 p.m. in Conkling Gallery.

April 2: Songwriter Showcase

Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Music will host a performance featuring student songwriters Tuesday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m. on the stage of E.J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for the Performing Arts. The musicians are supervised by faculty member Michael Olson.

The showcase features the University’s best songwriters and producers in a “singers in the round” format. Five songwriters and producers will each perform two pieces in genres from rock to pop to hip hop. The student group includes Ana Ellis, Noah Battles, Brandon Weideman, Jada LaFrance and Matt Ruff.

Olson is a composer, producer, and musician. Olson’s concert music has been performed throughout the world. His music, performance, and production can also be heard on more than 20 albums spanning the genres of folk to pop, on numerous record labels. His music has been featured in films and television, including programs on MTV, VH1, E!, Spike, ABC, NBC, PBS and CBS.

General admission is $9 and $7 for students with a valid MavCard. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Advance purchase is encouraged. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to For more information, call the Performance Series office, (507) 389-5549.

April 4: Water Storage Forum

Minnesota State Mankato’s Water Resources Center is hosting a Water Storage Forum on Thursday, April 4 from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Kato Ballroom. 

The goal of the Water Storage Forum is to create a day-long event for conservation partners and citizens to learn together about the diversity of water storage solutions to slow the flow of water to the Minnesota River.

The registration fee is $40 online (closes Monday, April 1) or $50 at the door and includes lunch. Anyone who is interested is welcome to attend. An agenda and registration link is available here. Student registrants may email Emma Young directly at

Research shows the long-term solution to improve Minnesota River water quality is to reduce the peak flows and store more water on the landscape, which can take many forms from improved soil health and multi-purpose drainage management, to upland impoundments and urban rain gardens.

This vision is to include presentations from experts in different water storage techniques and to highlight case studies of water storage that are working across the river basin. The intended audience is broad from local and state officials, scientists, conservation partners, farmers, and citizen groups.

Beyond the forum, a website and supplemental summary materials will be developed and housed on Minnesota River Basin Data Center to improve the information flow about water storage.

April 4: University Percussion Ensembles

Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Music presents the University Percussion Ensembles appearing on stage Thursday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

Michael Thursby, director of athletic bands, coordinates the ensembles.

The University Percussion Ensemble performs with an extensive array of instruments, from traditional drums, xylophones, marimbas, steel drums, cymbals and world music percussion instruments. The concert features an eclectic mix of musical styles including traditional classical works, contemporary pieces and world music.

Concert admission is $9 for community members and $7 for K-12 students and Minnesota State Mankato students with a valid MavCARD. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Advance purchase is encouraged. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to For more information, call the Performance Series office, (507) 389-5549.

April 7: Mankato Area International Festival

The annual Mankato Area International Festival is one of Minnesota’s largest international events, and this year’s festival will take place Sunday, April 7 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. in Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union. Admission and parking are free.

“Fusion and Inclusion” is the theme for the 2019 family-friendly festival, which is a showcase for the foods, music, dance, and cultures of dozens of nations, all in one place on one day.

Foods and performances are produced mainly by international students at Minnesota State Mankato, but other local and regional vendors, restaurants, and performance groups are also welcome and encouraged to participate. A sampling of international cuisines will be available,with most food priced at less than $5.

The festival is sponsored, coordinated and implemented by Minnesota State Mankato, the Kearney Center for International Student Services and members of the International Student Association at Minnesota State Mankato. For more information, visit the International Festival website.

The International Festival started in 1972 and has grown into an annual anticipated event by many people in the Mankato and surrounding areas. The mission of the festival is to encourage, sponsor, and support cultural appreciation and diversity within the Mankato area.

April 10: 14th Annual Carol Ortman Perkins Lecture

Stephanie Schriock, the president of EMILY’s List, an organization committed to electing pro-choice Democratic Party women since 1985, will be the featured speaker in Minnesota State Mankato’s 14th annual Carol Ortman Perkins lecture, held Wednesday, April 10 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.

An event preview provided by Minnesota State Mankato’s Women’s Center described Schriock’s background as follows: “Under Schriock’s leadership, EMILY’s List has expanded and tripled its staff and resources, leading to the election of record numbers of women to the U.S. House and Senate and the recruitment and training of thousands of women to run for office. Schriock is also the president of American Women, a research organization affiliated with EMILY’s List which seeks to increase public awareness of the issues impacting women and families. She serves on the board of advisors for Let America Vote, whose mission is to end voter suppression in the U.S.”

Schriock obtained her bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences in 1995. While she was a student she served as the speaker and the legislative director of the then Mankato State Student Association. She earned her master’s degree at George Washington University in political management.

The Department of Gender & Women’s Studies launched the Perkins Lectureship campaign in 2003 to commemorate Carol Ortman 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 Melissa Harris-Perry.

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.

Student News

Yasmeen Black, who interned with Minnesota State Mankato's Violence and Awareness Response Program, where she helped identify community partners to provide care for students who were victims of violence, will receive a Presidents’ Student Leadership Award at Minnesota Campus Compact’s annual summit and awards luncheon, to be held April 10 at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minn. This award is for an individual student or a student organization that models a deep commitment to civic responsibility and leadership, evidenced by initiative, innovative and collaborative approaches to addressing public issues, effective community building, and integration of civic engagement into the college experience. At Minnesota State Mankato, Black also organized events about healing from child sexual abuse, including a film showing of “Invisible Scars.”

Faculty/Staff News

Karen Anderson, director of Community Engagement, will receive a Presidents’ Civic Engagement Steward Award at Minnesota Campus Compact’s annual summit and awards luncheon, to be held April 10 at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minn. This award is for a member of the faculty, administration or staff or for a group (e.g., advisory committee, task force, project team) that has significantly advanced their campus’ distinctive civic mission by forming strong partnerships, supporting others’ civic engagement and working to institutionalize a culture and practice of engagement. Anderson helps the university and community address food insecurity by coordinating efforts between Campus Kitchen, food shelves and churches. Anderson and her students have rescued over 40,000 pounds of food and served 6,000 meals to neighbors throughout Mankato, including many students.

Lisa Vasquez, assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning: Elementary and Literacy Education, will be honored April 7 as the Twin Valley Council’s “Volunteer of the Year.” Vasquez serves as cubmaster for Pack 91 in Mankato, assistant scoutmaster for Troop 4 in Mankato, and serves as the council’s vice president of membership on its executive board.

Brian Martensen was appointed interim associate vice president for faculty affairs, effective March 18. Martensen, who joined Minnesota State Mankato as a faculty member in 2006, has served in multiple leadership positions at the University. Most recently, Martensen has served as dean of the College of Science, Engineering & Technology since 2015.

Stephanie Thorpe, faculty member in the Department of Music, wrote an article that will be printed in the April 2019 issue of Choral Journal.

Liz Miller, faculty member in the Department of Art, was the visiting artist in sculpture at the University of Iowa's School of Art and Art History earlier this month. Miller gave a lecture March 13 and did some individual critiques March 14.

Matt Cecil, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, was interviewed by the New York Post for a March 16 article posted with the online headline, “Inside secrets of the FBI's Most Wanted.”

Tom Inglot, faculty member in the Department of Government, published an article, “Social Policy and the New Middle Class in Central and Eastern Europe,” in Current History, a leading Journal of Contemporary World Affairs, vol. 118, no. 806 (March 2019): 96-102.

Jana Finken was named office administrative specialist in the Office of Alumni Relations, effective March 18. Finken joined the University Advancement staff on a temporary basis in the fall of 2018.

Mandy Weister, assistant director in the Career Development Center, recently discussed “what to include in a resume” on KEYC TV.

Department News

The Institutional Review Board requires faculty, staff and students to provide proof of training before IRB will review submissions.

The Center fo English Language Programs and the Center For Education and Abroad & Away moved to its newly renovated space in Morris Hall 002 the week of March 11. For more information, please call 507-389-1341.

The University Dining Center composted over 47 tons of organic material in the 2018 calendar year. The total came primarily from scraps from plates and food preparation, as well as napkins.

About 40 members of the Maverick Machine Athletic Band has been invited to be a part of an NCAA Final Four “Let’s Celebrate Basketball” event Thursday, March 28 at 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Mall of America Rotunda in Bloomington, Minn. This is the third time in three years the band has been invited to perform for an event on a national scale.

Department of Family Consumer Science  faculty member Joye Bond and student Hannah Thompson led sessions at the Culinary Arts Regional Venue in Education event on March 18 at the Courtyard by Marriott in Mankato. Bond led experiments demonstrating how smell and appearance of food affects taste, and Thompson, a professional personal chef, told students that she doesn't always use recipes, discussing how to choose from an array of ingredients to make a spontaneous meal. The event received media coverage from KEYC TV and the Mankato Free Press.

The Office of the Provost announced the following upcoming “Sip & Chat” date with Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Marilyn Wells: Wednesday, April 24 from 2-3 p.m. in WH 11 (telepresence room). The sessions allow for informal conversations with the provost. No RSVP is necessary.

The March 15, 2019, 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.

For the latest news on Maverick Athletics, visit

RASP Spotlight

The following principal investigators made submissions in January and February 2019:

College of Science, Engineering & Technology
  Stephen Druschel – Mechanical and Civil Engineering
  Evaluation of Irrigation Reuse Water for Occurrence and Increase of Coliforms in Residential Park Areas
  “The objective of this proposal is to quantify fecal bacterial density at three residential-area sites representing lawn growth under different irrigation practices.”
  Submitted to: Environmental Protection Agency for $155,827

  Rajeev Bukralia – Computer and Information Sciences
  Collaborative Institute for Data Science Education
  “The project proposes to improve data science education through Collaborative Institute for Data Science Education (CIDSE) – the coordination point for resources, expertise, and collaborative opportunities for data science educators. CIDSE’s mission will be to “promote and enable high-quality data science education by providing professional development support for faculty teaching data science.”
  Submitted to: National Science Foundation for $213,040

  Rebeca Moen, Samantha Katner and Dr. John Thoemke – Chemistry and Geology
  MRI Acquisition of a Circular Dichroism Spectropolarimeter to Expand Undergraduate Research Training and Education Opportunities at Minnesota State University, Mankato
  “The objective of this proposal is to obtain funding for the acquisition of a circular dichroism spectropolarimeter to enhance research and educational activities within Minnesota State University, Mankato.”
  Submitted to: National Science Foundation for $161,948

  Analía Dall'Asén – Physics and Astronomy
  MRI: Acquisition of a Raman spectroscopy-Atomic Force Microscopy system for Research and Training Activities in a Multidisciplinary Environment
  “This proposal requests funding for the acquisition of a WITec alpha 300 RA instrument that integrates a confocal micro-Raman spectrometer and an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM).”
  Submitted to: National Science Foundation for $382,897

  Melissa Huppert – Minnesota State Engineering Center of Excellence; and Elizabeth Steinborn – Women’s Center
  Explore STEM Program: Reducing Barriers and Increasing Awareness and Interest in STEM Careers
  “This program is a collaboration between the Minnesota State Engineering Center of Excellence and Minnesota State Mankato’s Women’s Center and College of Science, Engineering and Technology. It includes three-week long day camp experiences that encourage 6th – 9th grade youth to explore various aspects of STEM through experiential learning processes.”
  Submitted to: Regenerative Medicine of Minnesota for $20,000

  Matthew Kaproth – Biological Sciences; and Kimberly Musser – Water Resources Center
  Conservation Collaboration – Innovation in the Minnesota River Basin
  “Using responses from citizen watershed groups, Minnesota State University, Mankato will work to provide operational support and socioeconomic resources for regional improvement of soil health, water quality, technical capacity of local partners, and leveraging of conservation programs.”
  Submitted to: United States Department of Agriculture for $2,318,313

  Geoffrey Goellner – Biological Sciences
  To support scientific research in biology for two Minnesota State Mankato undergraduate students during academic year 2019-20
  “This grant will provide funding for two undergraduate students to work in a laboratory and gain hands-on research experience.”
  Submitted to: Monticello Foundation for $5,200

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
  Karla Lassonde – Psychology; Megan Mahowald – Speech, Hearing and Rehabilitation Services; Sheen Chiou – Communication Disorders; and Michael Altomari – PSEO & Concurrent Enrollment
  LEARN: Developing a Cognitive Training Program for College Student Success
  “This funding will be utilized to move forward with piloting and development of the LEARN innovative and instructional learning method created by a team of faculty and staff at Minnesota State University, Mankato.”
  Submitted to: Minnesota State Colleges and Universities for $25,000

  Susan Schalge – Anthropology; David Engen – Communication Studies; Nicole Stock – New Student & Family Programs; and Margaret Hesser – Student Support Services
  I’m First: A Campaign to Build a Community of First-Generation Students and Scholars at Minnesota State University, Mankato
  “This project is a multi-faceted campaign to increase the awareness of and community for first-generation students at Minnesota State University, Mankato.”
  Submitted to: Minnesota State Colleges and Universities for $10,000

  Philip Larson – AGES Lab
  Managing Mud and Floods on the Nemadji River
  “This project will seek to provide an integrated watershed-scale understanding of the evolving Nemadji River and its impact on Lake Superior and transfer this knowledge to key groups of stakeholders.”
  Submitted to: University of Minnesota for $34,991

  A New Template for Integrated Watershed, Reach, and Point-Scale Monitoring of Catchment Function Through Open-Source Technology
  Submitted to: US Department of Energy for $42,873

  Uncovering Links Between Hydrology, Geomorphology, and Aquatic Ecology at the Chippewa River, Wisconsin
  Submitted to: United State Geological Survey for $67,382

  Afroza Anwary – Sociology and Corrections
  Early Signs, Forces, and Actual Process of Genocide in Myanmar
  “This research study proposes to investigate lived experiences of Rohingya genocide victims.”
  Submitted to: Midwest Sociology Society for $5,651

Division of Student Affairs
  Lindsay Murn and Kimberly Sommers – Counseling and Student Affairs
  LEAD – Mankato: Helping College Students Flourish
  “This project will teach an auxiliary course, LEAD, temporarily housed with the Department of Social Work, and will find a permanent academic home, submit the course through the Curriculum Design System, and continue researching the effectiveness of LEAD- Mankato.”
  Submitted to: Minnesota State Colleges and Universities for $6,850

Division of Academic Affairs
  Thomas Norman – University Extended Education
  Agile Systems Manufacturing Partnership Program (ASM)
  “The program envisioned through this proposal will provide customized skills training and knowledge building to company employees. Many of the participants will be taking multiple courses to build their skills to a significant technical level permitting the implementation of an agile culture and associated changes in the manufacturing processes for the company.”
  Submitted to: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development for $298,564

College of Allied Health and Nursing
  Megan Mahowald – Speech, Hearing and Rehabilitation Services; and Brooke Burk – Recreation, Parks & Leisure Services
  Rec N’ Read: Interprofessional Education & Practice
  “This project offers a literacy intervention and recreation camp on the University campus for kids grades K-5 and helps them to make important gains in literacy and well-being over the summer.”
  Submitted to: Minnesota State Colleges and Universities for $10,000

Strategic Business, Education and Regional Development
  Louise Dickmeyer – Continuing and Professional Education
  MN DEED – Truck TBEI
  “This grant will provide training in LEAN manufacturing principles and tools and will assist in the development of workforce training in technical skills critical to Truck Bodies & Equipment International (TBEI), a leading national and international designer, manufacturer and installer of medium and heavy-duty dump bodies, dump trailers, platforms and related truck body accessories”
  Submitted to: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development for $340,345

College of Arts and Humanities
  Dale Haefner – Performance Series, Music Industry Studies
  Performance Series Support Grant FY19
  “This proposal asks for partial financial support of the Minnesota State Mankato Performance Series. Grant funding will support six Fall 2019 on-campus and off-campus public performances by accomplished Minnesota artists.”
  Submitted to: Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council for $8,000

The following principal investigators secured successfully secured awards in January and February 2019:

College of Arts and Humanities
  Candace Black – English
  Minnesota State Arts Board – “Good Thunder Reading Series FY20”
  “The Good Thunder Reading Series mission is to promote literature, inspire creativity and foster lively conversations about why writing matters.”
  Awarded: $39,792

College of Education
  Kyena Cornelius – Special Education; and Jean Haar – dean, College of Education
  CEEDAR Center University of Florida – “Collaboration for Effective Educator Development Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR)”
  “The purpose of this project is to facilitate support at differing levels to universities and state agencies to reform teacher and school leader preparation programs.”
  Awarded: $25,000

College of Science, Engineering and Technology
  Sarah Kruse – Computer and Information Sciences
  RahmTek, LLC – “RahmTek Commodities”
  “This B507 creative media mob project will utilize their technical expertise to provide support for RahmTek, LLC business development goals.”
  Awarded: $7,168

  Center for Excellence Initiative Fund – “Faculty Led Course Module Development 18-19”
  “Students and faculty will participate in this data curriculum development project sponsored by MN IT COE.”
  Awarded: $6,000

  Jeff Holmberg – “Holmberg Trading Algorithm”
  “Students will gain experience and will be working to create various creative solutions to fulfill the needs of their client.”
  Awarded: $672

  Ryan Wersal – Biological Sciences
  Sibley County SWCD – “Aquatic Plant Surveys of Five Waterbodies in Sibley County, MN”
  “This project will conduct aquatic plant surveys in several Sibley County lakes.”
  Awarded: $34,128

College of Allied Health and Nursing
  Mary Kramer – Health Science
  American Cancer Society – “Advocate for, adopt, and implement a 100% tobacco-free policy”
  “This project will accelerate and expand the adoption and implementation of a 100% tobacco-free policy at Minnesota State Mankato. Minnesota State Mankato is one of 18 universities across the country, and the second in Minnesota, to receive this funding.”
  Awarded: $15,000

  Brigette Cooper and Angela Monson – Dental Hygiene
  Delta Dental of Minnesota – “ADT Infrastructure Grant”
  “This award will support the development of a master’s degree in advanced dental therapy program for rural cohorts.”
  Awarded: $97,065

College of Business
  Yvonne Cariveau – Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation – “Extension of the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: Innovation for Assistive Technology in Rochester, Mankato and Normandale”
  “The overall goal of the project is to increase knowledge of design thinking techniques and to stimulate customer-need-based product and service creation by interdisciplinary teams in the area of assistive technology.”
  Awarded: $20,075 – “ Marketing Project 2”
  “This contract will work to improve sales for a local company as well as familiarize a team of students with hands-on experience.”
  Awarded: $16,500

Strategic Business, Education and Regional Partnerships
  Louise Dickmeyer – Continuing & Professional Education
  MN Department of Employment and Economic Development – “Partnership Grant: MRCI Mankato Rehabilitation Center, Inc.”
  “This partnership grant will provide targeting training to meet specific needs for organizational growth and future employment trends.”
  Awarded: $169,320

  MN Department of Employment and Economic Development – “Partnership Grant: LasX Industries, Inc.”
  “This partnership grant is designed to provide targeted training for overall business leadership and personnel management. In addition, it will also help provide tools and skills necessary for effective communication between all levels of the business and an overall drive for quantifiable goal setting and measurement that is vital for focused, driven improvement and growth.”
  Awarded: $49,541

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


Merwin Williams, an emeritus employee who worked at Minnesota State Mankato for 11 years and retired from Building Services, died March 5. An obituary is available here.

Elizabeth "Betty" Borchardt, an emeritus faculty member who taught and served as department chair in the Education department, died March 15. An obituary is available here.

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