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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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August 28, 2019 Campus Newsletter

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2019 Convocation, Welcome Week

President Richard Davenport talking at the 2019 Convocation

Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenport introduced new and returning administrators and welcomed Minnesota State Mankato faculty and staff back to campus Aug. 19 in his annual Convocation speech. (NOTE: The above photo is courtesy of Lenny Koupal.)

Davenport discussed accomplishments from the past year and his vision for the 2019-2020 academic year.

After Davenport's remarks, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Marilyn Wells addressed the faculty and staff.

The convocation remarks may be viewed on demand here.

The University's annual move-in day was Thursday, Aug. 22, when nearly 3,000 students moved into campus residence communities.

New students were welcomed to Minnesota State Mankato on Friday, Aug. 23, participating in a new student rally in Bresnan Arena before walking through the Alumni Arch to symbolize becoming students at the University.

Classes began Monday, Aug. 26.

University Launches Mobile App – ‘Mav Life’

Mav Life mobile appIT Solutions announced that the University's new mobile app, Mav Life, is now available.

Mav Life allows users to customize the app, browse campus events and activities, access campus services, view the bus tracker and more.

With D2L integration, students can receive reminders about assignments and tests.

The Mav Life app is available on the App Store and on Google Play.

More information is available at

2019 Campus Drive

2019 Campus DriveThe University Advancement division's annual giving program will be holding its 2019 Campus Drive from Sept. 9-30.

Members of the University community are invited to join this year’s “Double the Dollars & Double the Difference Challenge.”

This year there is a $10,000 match from the Minnesota State University Mankato Foundation’s Board of Directors. Sign up to give $5 or more to the Emergency Grants Program through payroll deduct to make twice the difference.

Gifts to the Emergency Grant Program provide small grants to students who encounter unexpected expenses. There is a 15% increase in retention for low income, underrepresented students who are helped through the grant.

More information about the 2019 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 2019 Campus Drive.

Maverick Diversity Institute

Maverick Diversity Institute logoThe Maverick Diversity Institute is offering five challenging and unique workshops and programs this fall that will help participants become a diversity certified expert on inclusivity, access and equity in the workplace and classroom environment.

Those who attend four programs and write a short reflection are able to have their “Diversity Passport” stamped by a Diversity & Inclusion staff member. At the end of the semester, the passports can be used to receive a certificate of completion that can be used as part of one's professional development plan or report.

Fall 2019 sessions include:

  • Monday, Sept. 16, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (CSU 204): “The Impacts of Implicit Bias on the Working & Learning Environment,” Liz Steinborn-Gourley, director of Women's Center
  • Thursday, Sept. 26, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (CSU 204): “SNAP Advocacy Training,” Tina England, SNAP outreach specialist
  • Tuesday, Oct. 29, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (CSU 204): “Unpacking Neurodiversity: Bringing the Invisible into the Spotlight,” Julie Snow, Beth Claussen & Neal Sorensen, Accessibility Resources
  • Thursday, Nov. 7, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (CSU 204): “Checking More than One Box: Multiracial Identity in a Dichotomous World,” Alex J. Lucier, graduate assistant, American Indian Affairs
  • Tuesday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (CSU 204): “Taking Action: Supporting Equal Employment Opportunity Strategies on Campus,” Linda Alvarez, Laura Diaz & Maegen Sincleair Usher, Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX

For more information or to register to attend any or all of these sessions, please visit

Those with questions may contact Megan Heutmaker at or 507-389-5230.

Looking for Authors

Memorial Library signAre you a Minnesota State University, Mankato author?

Library Services is looking forward to honoring faculty and staff publications at its Minnesota State Mankato Authors Reception to be held in spring 2020.

The Minnesota State Mankato Authors Collection highlights the intellectual heritage of the University and the contributions of Minnesota State University, Mankato faculty, staff, students, and alumni to contemporary scholarship. This special collection within the University Archives accepts books, scores, and other materials authored, co-authored, compiled, edited/co-edited, translated or illustrated by Minnesota State Mankato faculty, staff, students and alumni.

To ensure that authors are not missed, Library Services would like to hear from authors directly. Anyone who has authored and/or edited books, scores, etc., that have been published since March 2018, are asked to contact the University Archives at 507-389-1029 or and provide information to be added to the list of honorees.

Bibliographic information regarding other types of works (articles, scholarly papers, book chapters, etc.) submitted to the University Archives will be added to an ongoing bibliography of University authors' works.

Additional information about the Minnesota State Mankato Authors Collection and previous receptions can be found online at

School of Nursing Homecoming

2019 School of Nursing homecoming adThe University's School of Nursing is hosting a Homecoming celebration Saturday, Oct. 5 from 5-8 p.m. in Centennial Student Union, Room 253. Tours of new School of Nursing facilities will be held at 4 p.m. prior to the celebration event.

The event is titled “Honor the Past – Envision the Future,” and the event theme is “Advancing Family and Community Health and Healing.”

The event includes a social hour and dinner, and current and retired faculty and staff and alumni are invited. The program will include talks from former faculty members who have become published authors, an artifact table with display items, and special items for sale with proceeds supporting scholarships and the Building Healthy Communities Endowment Fund.

The School of Nursing graduate program is commemorating 25 years, and the class of 1969 is celebrating 50 years.

Dinner tickets may be reserved here. For more information, contact Lynn Kuechle at or 507-389-6516.

Podcast Series for Incoming, First-Generation and First-Year College Students

Finding Your Place college podcast seriesMinnesota State University, Mankato faculty member David Engen and Century College faculty member Robert Jersak have co-produced a 12-episode podcast series for incoming, first-generation and first-year college students.

The free podcast series, titled “Finding Your Place,” introduces students to the most important and challenging issues of the college experience. Student producers narrate and guide this series, telling their stories and sharing their one-on-one interviews with important college mentors and guides.

A promotional video shows how the project evolved and gives some insight into the goals of the podcast. The free podcast series, also available on iTunes, is designed to address issues that university and community college students face in higher education. [PDF] Click here to access the Educator's Guide to the podcast series (2 MiB).

To read the full news release, click here.

Red Cross Blood DriveSept. 3: Red Cross Blood Drive

Upward Bound at Minnesota State University, Mankato is sponsoring a Red Cross Blood Drive on Tuesday, Sept. 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union flexible space area (basement level).

Appointments may be made by calling 507-389-1211 or by going online at and entering sponsor code MSUUPWARD.

Walk-ins are also welcome.

Sept. 4-6: LGBT Center Showcase of Support Photoshoot

LGBT Center Showcase of Support PhotoshootThe LGBT Center on campus invites students, faculty and staff to participate in the Center's 4th Annual Showcase of Support Photoshoot between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4 through Friday, Sept. 6.

Participants are invited to share supportive messages and get photos taken.

Photos will be uploaded to the LGBT Center's Facebook page, and as many photos as possible will be shared in the Centennial Student Union showcases the first two weeks of October, to celebrate and encourage students ahead of National Coming Out Day.

Those with questions may contact David Gardner, director of the LGBT Center, by email at Information is also available on the LGBT Center's Facebook event page.

The LGBT Center will also be taking photos at the LGBT Center's booth Saturday, Sept. 6 in Riverfront Park from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. during the 18th annual Mankato Pride event.

Mankato Pride will be held from Sept. 6-8. This year's theme is UNITE, and this year's event will commemorate the life of the late Jessica Flatequal, who served as director of the LGBT Center at Minnesota State Mankato and also as SCMN Pride's executive director.

This year's poster and T-shirt design are a tribute to Flatequal's bowties, with the word UNITE written in Jessica's handwriting.

More information on Mankato Pride is available at or

Sept. 9: 30th annual Leonard A. Ford Lectures

30th annual Leonard A. Ford LecturesDr. Brian Kobilka (M.D.), professor of molecular and cellular physiology, and Hélène Irwin Fagan Chair in Cardiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, will deliver two lectures at Minnesota State Mankato on Sept. 9 as part of the 30th 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.

Kobilka, a Nobel Laureate, will give a technical talk, titled “Structural Insights into G Protein Coupled Receptor Activation,” at 9 a.m.

Kobilka will then present a general talk, titled “From Bedside to Bench and Back, My Career as a Physician Scientist,” at 7 p.m.

In a preview of his general talk, Kobilka wrote that he will talk about his path to a career as a physician scientist: “My initial goal was to become a physician, probably due the fact that I grew up in a small town where physicians were held in high regard. During my undergraduate education at the University of Minnesota Duluth and medical training at Yale, I became interested in research. Following my residency in internal medicine, I had the opportunity to get involved in research on a family of proteins known as G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) at Duke University. GPCRs conduct the majority of cellular responses to hormones and neurotransmitters including adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin, and are therefore the largest group of pharmaceutical targets for a broad spectrum of diseases. This experience at Duke led to a faculty position at Stanford University, where I established a research program to understand how GPCRs work at the molecular level.”

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

Aug. 26-Sept. 16: Regan Golden Photography Exhibit

Regan Golden Photography ExhibitWork by photographer Regan Golden will be displayed in an exhibit titled “chrono-flora” in Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Conkling Gallery (located in Nelson Hall 139) from Aug. 26 through Sept. 16.

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.

Golden will deliver an artist’s lecture Monday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium, located in Minnesota State Mankato’s Centennial Student Union. A reception for the artist will be held following the lecture.

Golden will be on campus for an artist residency from Sept. 16-17 in the Nelson Hall Photography Studios.

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

Regan Golden-McNerney depicts ecological change in the American landscape using altered photographs and drawing materials.

Golden’s photographs and large-scale collages have been exhibited in solo and group shows both nationally and internationally. She has received grants from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the Core Program, the Jerome Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Golden is currently a lecturer in drawing and art theory at the University of Minnesota and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Golden is the first of five artists who will be featured in the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art’s 2019-2020 Art Enrichment and Andreas Endowment Lecture and Residency Series.

For more information, call the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art at 507-389-6412. The complete 2019-2020 Conkling Gallery Schedule, list of artist residencies and lecture series is located at

Sept. 12: Singer/Songwriter Lena Elizabeth

Singer and Songwriter Lena ElizabethMinneapolis singer/songwriter Lena Elizabeth (pictured) will perform in concert with her band at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12 in Minnesota State Mankato's Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Chris Riemenshneider writes, “Lena sounds like a Midwestern Brandi Carlile with a meaty voice ... definitely a coming-out effort worth noticing.”

Lena Elizabeth writes songs influenced by folk storytelling with a voice rooted in the blues. The youngest in a household full of musicians, she succeeds in blending old and new influences to create a pop/roots sound that is approachable across generations.

After the successful release of her debut EP, “The Line”, Lena has taken her music to the next level with her new record. The record is a story of self acceptance, anxiety, anger, relationships (good and bad) and through it all, finding home. Through this journey you will hear the same strong voice of Lena Elizabeth with even more confidence and attitude.

Minnesota State Mankato students are admitted free with a valid MavCARD and by preregistering for the concert at Concert admission for community members is $10 (advance purchase) and $12 at the door. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to

Advance purchase ticket package discounts are available for community members. For more information, call the Performance Series office, (507) 389-5549.

Sept. 26: 2019-20 Theatre Mainstage Season Opens

Minnesota State Mankato's Department of Theatre and Dance will open ot Mainstage season with “Newsies” on Sept. 26.

The 2019-20 season includes six mainstage productions, five studio productions, two mainstage dance concerts and two student dance showcases. The Mainstage season will close with “Mamma Mia!” in April.

The full season can be found online at

Season ticket brochures will be available from the Department of Theatre and Dance in mid-August, and individual tickets will go on sale Sept. 3.

For more information, contact Corrie Eggimann, director of public relations for the Department of Theatre and Dance, by phone at 507-389-6663 or by email at

Student News

The Star Tribune published an article Aug. 9 on a music rock band, Last Import, that includes Emily Bjorke (guitar, lead vocals), who according to the article is finishing up her music industry studies at Minnesota State Mankato.

Faculty/Staff News

Bobby Bothmann, professor in Library Services, has been selected as a fellow in the SPARC Open Education Leadership Program. More details are available here.

Hongxia (Laura) Yin, a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, was appointed acting associate dean in the College of Science, Engineering, & Technology, effective Aug. 5.

Gregory T. Wilkins, assistant director for Student Activities and the Centennial Student Union, received ‘Best In Show’ at Twin Rivers Center for the Arts exhibition “Flowers in Bloom.” In addition, he has a solo exhibition, “Thread Bearing Witness,” at the Friendship Gallery within Central Presbyterian Church in St. Paul, Minn. The exhibition runs through mid-September. Wilkins also was selected to participate in Co Lab 2019 at The Show Gallery Lowertown in St. Paul, Minnesota. His work, titled “Dr. Feel Good,” will be on view Friday, Sept. 6 with an artist reception Saturday, Sept. 7. At the reception, an announcement will be for the comedian Bill Murray Choice award.

Molly Norris, an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Social Work, was appointed in June as the president of the Minnesota School Social Work Association.

Mandy Weister, assistant director of the Career Development Center, was interviewed on KEYC's July 22 morning news about the University's Sept. 4 part-time job fair.

Josh Winkler, faculty member in the Department of Art, was selected for a 15-week residency at the University of Minnesota's Bell Museum of Natural History. More information is available here.

Shaheen Ahmed, associate professor of automotive and manufacturing engineering technology, was recently appointed as the University Assessment Coordinator, effective Aug. 19.

Luke Regner has been named men's hockey director of operations.

Jose Javier Lopez, professor in the Department of Geography, along with Deanna Almquist, graduate student from anthropology, and Pedro Thomas, professor in the Department of Sociology, published the research article, “The geography of prostitution arrests in Virginia, USA, 2002–2013,” in the Crime, Law, and Social Change academic journal, August issue, pages 1-25.

Sun Kyeong Yu, professor in the Department of Philosophy, gave two 2-hour lectures at the Buddhist Seminary of Haeinsa Buddhist Monastery in South Korea on July 27. Haeinsa Buddhist Monastery has been the home of the Tripitaka Koreana, the Buddhist Scriptures carved onto 81,350 wooden printing blocks, since 1398. The titles of her lectures were “A Buddhist Bioscientific Understanding of Birth, Aging, Sickness, and Death,” and “Darwin’s Evolution.” Yu also had an interview on her lectures with a Buddhist newspaper in South Korea on July 25. The newspaper published the article on the interview on August 16.

Eric Sprankle, associate professor in the Department of Psychology, and his research team (student Machensey Shelgren and student Alex Twohy) conducted a needs assessment with members of the Sex Workers Outreach Project (Jayne Swift, Andi Snow, and Ramona Falls). This needs assessment examined the workplace conditions and labor rights of Minneapolis-based erotic dancers. According to the University's Department of Psychology, based on the results of the study, and many months of activism with city officials, a new city ordinance was unanimously passed on Aug. 23 that will increase the health and safety of employees, and decrease financial exploitation of workers in Minneapolis strip clubs. This is the first law of its kind in the United States to increase the labor rights of erotic dancers, according to the Department of Psychology.

Department News

The Department of Aviation will be holding its fall aviation student orientation Wednesday, Aug. 28 at 4:45 p.m. in the large North Star hangar at the Mankato Regional Airport. Between 250 and 300 aviation students are expected to attend the event. Representatives from 13 airlines will also be on hand to recruit Minnesota State Mankato students.

Residential Life has developed 3D tours of the various rooms available in Minnesota State Mankato residence communities. Users can look at anything in the rooms by moving their finger on the screen.

The Career Development Center and Diversity and Inclusion are holding the University's first Employer & Multicultural Student Social for students and employers on Wednesday, Oct. 16 from 5-7 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Hearth Lounge. Thirteen employers were registered as of Aug. 15. For more information, contact Karina Clennon at or Kenneth Reid at

The Department of Computer Information Science is holding a 2019 Careers in Computer Information Science Day on Thursday, Sept. 17. More information is available here.

Starting in Fall 2020, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at Minnesota State University, Mankato will require all researchers to complete some training before IRB will review submissions. More information regarding the trainings is available here.

The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced that football game day enhancements include new tailgating initiatives. More information is available here.

The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will hold its annual Maverick Hall of Fame dinner Friday, Oct. 4, with a 6 p.m. social and 7 p.m. dinner and program. The 2019 Hall of Fame class was announced June 17. Tickets may be purchased here. For more information, contact Amy Sander at or 507-389-1458.

For the latest news on Maverick Athletics, visit

The School of Nursing is holding an event over homecoming weekend. The event, titled “Advancing Family and Community Health and Healing,” will be held Saturday, Oct. 5 from 5-8 p.m. For more information, contact the School of Nursing at 507-389-6315.

Human Resources published its [PDF] September 2019 newsletter (539 KiB).


Nancy Miller, who was previously employed in the University's School of Nursing, died July 27. An obituary is available here.

Donna Southwick, who worked in the University's Registrar's Office from 1988 to 1993, died Aug. 19. An obituary is available here.

Online TODAY Magazine

Visit the online TODAY magazine at for alumni news 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 to 95,000 alumni and friends.

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


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. 11. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Sept. 6).

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