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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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October 23, 2019 Campus Newsletter

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'Good Thunder Presents!'

Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Good Thunder Reading Series is hosting a special event featuring the editors of the book, “Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan,” on campus Friday, Oct. 25 at 1:30 p.m. in Armstrong Hall, Room 101.

The “Good Thunder Presents!” event is free and open to the public.

During the event, the book’s editors, Thom Tammaro and Al Davis, will discuss the process of publishing an anthology (pitching the project to a small press, soliciting poems, ordering the collection and publishing) and about publishing in general.

Tammaro and Davis will also read poems by contributors like Robert Bly, Joyce Sutphen, Charles Bukowski, Johnny Cash, Diane di Prima, Allen Ginsberg, Tony Hoagland and Patti Smith.

Tammaro and Davis, both emeriti professors of creative writing at Minnesota State University Moorhead, have long been associated with New Rivers Press, one of the oldest independent presses in Minnesota.

For more information about the event, contact Candace Black, professor of English at Minnesota State Mankato and the director of the Good Thunder Reading Series, by phone at 507-389-2680 or by email at The Good Thunder Reading Series, is in its 38th year. For more information, visit

IT Solutions Announcements has upgraded to LinkedIn Learning. Note: Individuals who currently link to within any courses will need to update the URL by Jan. 1, 2020. More on LinkedIn Learning is available here.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and IT Solutions provided the following cybersecurity tip:

“When it comes to creating secure passwords, it’s important to mix it up and stay unique. You should also make sure it's something you can remember. Most importantly, never reuse your passwords or share them with anyone.”

More information about cybersecurity is available here.

2019 Campus Drive a Success

The University Advancement division’s annual giving program announced that the 2019 Campus Drive campaign raised over $33,000 to help students and programs across campus.

More than $10,000 was raised for the MAV Cares Emergency Grant Program, and as a result of a matching program, more than $20,000 will go towards providing small grants to students who encounter unexpected expenses.

Fund for OER Professional Development

The Minnesota State system has awarded collaboration grant funds totaling $80,000 to support faculty cohorts on four university campuses, including Minnesota State Mankato, in the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) during the 2019-2020 academic year. Apply by Oct. 23, 2019.

Through Oct. 23: 100th Anniversary of 19th Amendment

In 1919, Minnesota become the 15th state to vote yes to ratify the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote.

To highlight the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, Minnesota State Mankato will be hosting a variety of events in October – all free and open to the public.

Remaining events include:

From Sept. 30 until Oct. 23, a 12-panel traveling display, titled “A Century of Civic Engagement,” created by the League of Women Voters of Minnesota, will be showcased on the first floor of Memorial Library.

From Oct. 14 – Oct. 28, the Minnesota State Mankato Women’s Center will display in its Centennial Student Union office window, Room 218, a timeline of when various groups were granted the right to vote and who still remains disenfranchised.

On Monday, Oct. 28, from 3-4:30 p.m., Lahlum will be honored with a book release program celebrating the publishing of her new book, “Equality at the Ballot Box: Votes for Women on the Northern Great Plains.” The event will be held in the Centennial Student Union, Room 245. Joining her on stage will be guest speaker Sarah Carter from the University of Alberta.

The events listed above are sponsored by Library Services, the Women’s Center, the History Department, the Kessel Peace Institute, and African American Affairs. For any questions about these programs contact Monika Antonelli, Outreach Librarian, at 507-389-2507 or by email at

Oct. 23-24: Good Thunder Reading Series

Minnesota State Mankato will host fiction and non-fiction writer Hisham Matar (pictured) and fiction writer Hannah Schultz Oct. 23-24 as the second and third 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.

The events open Wednesday, Oct. 23 with Matar giving a talk, “Narratives of Social Protest: Personal & Political,” at 7:30 p.m. at the IAM Wisdom House, located at 222 E. Walnut St. in Mankato.

On Thursday, Oct. 24, Matar will hold a workshop from 10-11 a.m. at the Emy Frentz Gallery, located at 523 S. 2nd St. in Mankato.

Later Thursday, Matar will also hold a “Talk on Craft” from 3-4 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium, located in Centennial Student Union on the Minnesota State Mankato campus. Events will conclude with Schultz holding a reading of her work from 7:30-8:30 p.m. in the University’s Centennial Student Union, Room 245.

Matar is this year’s Nadine B. Andreas Visiting Resident in partnership with the Minnesota State Mankato Women’s Center, and Schultz is the recipient of the 2019-20 Nadine B. Andreas Graduate Assistantship.

Matar was born in New York City to Libyan parents, spent his childhood in Tripoli and Cairo, and has lived most of his adult life in London. His 2016 memoir, “The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between,” won the Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography and received the PEN American Book of the Year Award. His debut novel, “In the Country of Men,” was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His second novel, “Anatomy of a Disappearance,” was named one of the best books of the year by the Guardian and the Chicago Tribune. In 2013 Matar received the Blue Metropolis Al Majidi Ibn Dhaher Arab Literary Prize, an award for a substantial literary achievement by an Arab writer working in any genre and in any language. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and serves as an associate professor at Barnard College. He lives in London and New York City.

Schultz is a master of fine arts candidate in fiction at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she teaches introduction to creative writing. She serves as managing editor for Blue Earth Review and treasurer for Minnesota State Mankato’s Graduate Scholars of English Association. She received one of Minnesota State Mankato’s 2018 creative summer fellowships and is the recipient of the 2019-20 Nadine B. Andreas Graduate Assistantship.

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

Oct. 26: CADSCOM 2019

More than 140 students, educators and industry professionals from Minnesota and surrounding states will attend a Colloquium on Analytics, Data Science and Computing from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 at Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Edina location (7700 France Ave.).

The event features keynote presentations on “Quantum Computing and Artificial Intelligence” by computer science author and consultant Chuck Easttom and “Deep Learning in Recommender Systems” by Georgia Koutrika (Ph.D.), a computer scientist, software developer and inventor.

This second colloquium, organized by the Twin Cities (Minneapolis) Professional Chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery and the Metro Analytics Club at Metropolitan State University, also features industry-faculty panels and peer-reviewed papers.

There are more than 25 topics covered in the paper presentations in the areas of big data applications; business management and strategy; emerging technology; data analytics; data ethics; data infrastructure/computing; data management; machine learning, artificial intelligence; and security.

Minnesota State Mankato's Department of Computer Information Science had 15 papers accepted to the conference.

For more information, contact Rajeev Bukralia, faculty member in Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Computer Information Science and vice chair of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis) Professional Chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery, by phone at 507-389-1437 or by email at

Oct. 26: Singer/Songwriter Erik Koskinen

Singer-songwriter Erik Koskinen performs with his band Saturday, Oct. 26 at Hooligans Neighborhood Pub, 1400 East Madison Avenue (Madison East Center), Mankato. Southern Minnesota favorite City Mouse will open the show with a set starting at 7:30 p.m.

The concert event is co-sponsored by KMSU-The Maverick and the Minnesota State Mankato Performance Series with assistance from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

The Erik Koskinen Band is currently touring in support of its latest CD release, “Burning the Deal.” Jon Bream of the Minneapolis Star Tribune calls Erik Koskinen “…the state’s best pure country singer/songwriter,” and Jim Walsh of MinnPost writes: “The real deal: Erik Koskinen's authenticity comes through.” The Southern Minnesota Music Scene says, “Koskinen has the ability to create a song, and a sound, that feels natural, intimate and exciting all at the same time, which is something only the truly great songwriters and musicians can claim.”

Since moving to Minneapolis 10 years ago, Koskinen has amassed a following as a musician, songwriter, producer and engineer. His songs speak to the experiences and encounters stemming from years of traveling the United States from coast-to-coast.

The supporting act, City Mouse, is a regional music favorite. Their folk-rock blues styled music has been appreciated in the region for over 45 years. The group remains strong today as the current band lineup has enjoyed 30 plus years of performing together.

Concert admission is $12 in advance, $15 day of show. Tickets are available at Hooligans or online at For more information, call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

Oct. 27: University Choral Groups Fall Concerts

Minnesota State Mankato's choral groups will perform Sunday, Oct. 27 at 3 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 28 at 7:30 p.m. Both concerts take place in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The concert theme is “The Love You Give.” The concert choir and chamber singers are conducted by Aaron Humble, and the University chorale is conducted by Charlie Leftridge.

With the retirement of David Dickau, Aaron Humble has taken over a program that has been creating community and inspiring singers and listeners for many decades on this campus.

When asked about the concert theme, Humble said, “Perhaps the hardest love to give is the love we give, or don’t give, to ourselves. Musicians and performers are legendary for being self-critical, creating impossible standards, and never giving themselves a break. I encourage everyone to take this time to reflect about the love you give others and start to believe that you deserve all of the love that you get and eventually learn how to give that love back to yourself.”

Concert admission is $9 for general admission and $7 for K-12 students and children. University students are admitted free with a valid MavCARD. Advance purchase is strongly encouraged. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to

For more concert information, call the Performance Series office, (507) 389-5549.

Nov. 1: Music Performance Series Features Caravan du Nord

The Minnesota State Mankato Department of Music's Performance Series will be featuring Caravan du Nord on Friday, Nov. 1 in the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

Caravan du Nord is a traveling showcase of Minnesota music, bringing top regional acts, emerging bands and music industry professionals to towns across Greater Minnesota for a day of workshops, networking and performances. Sponsored by 89.3 The Current, this annual fall tour has presented more than 200 artists to audiences totaling more than 10,000. Caravan du Nord is an ongoing project of the Minnesota Music Coalition.

A full schedule is available here.

The 2019 Caravan du Nord is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, call the Performance Series office, (507) 389-5549.

Nov. 2: Davina and the Vagabonds

Davina and the Vagabonds will perform Saturday, Nov. 2 at Hooligan's Neighborhood Pub, 1400 East Madison Ave., Mankato. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. with Jada La France and the New Classics, an indie-rock group consisting of Minnesota State University, Mankato music industry students.

The concert event is co-sponsored by KMSU-The Maverick and the Minnesota State Mankato Performance Series with assistance from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Sowers fronts a well-tested road band, creating her own Americana mishmash, a mixture of Etta James, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday and Betty Boop, all with a 21st century twist. Comparisons don’t suffice—Sowers is a true original. Sowers’ voice and vigor have earned the Vagabonds quite a following throughout the United States, Europe, England, and South America.

Sowers has shared the stage with PineTop Perkins, Aaron Neville, Los Lobos, Little Feat, Buddy Guy, Elvin Bishop, The Blues Brothers, Joe Bonamassa, Irma Thomas and James Hunter, among others, at venues such as House of Blues in Atlantic City, N.J., the Bayfront Blues Festival in Duluth, Minn., the Monterey Jazz Festival in Monterey, Calif., the Raperswil Blues & Jazz Festival in Switzerland and Blues in Hell Festival, Hell, Norway.

Concert admission is $15 in advance; $18 the day of the show. Tickets are available for purchase at Hooligans. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to For more information, call the Performance Series office, (507) 389-5549.

Nov. 4: 'Post Traumatic Winning' Presentation by Mike McNamara

Retired Marine Corps officer Mike McNamara is returning to campus for the second consecutive year to speak on “Post Traumatic Winning.” Since speaking on campus last November, McNamara has given his presentation across the United States to more than 10,000 people.

McNamara's talk is intended for anyone who has experienced trauma in their lives or who deals with people personally or professionally who have experienced trauma.

McNamara will give his presentation Monday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Wiecking Center Auditorium (Room 220). It is free and open to all members of the campus community and public. 

According to an event preview provided by Minnesota State Mankato's Veterans Resource Center, McNamara's “basic idea is very simple – both military and civilian people are traumatized by life. (McNamara's) advice on how to live with trauma breaks down to 8 Commandments and 3 Goals. McNamara’s 11 ideas were developed over the course of years by interacting with people, military and civilian, who have struggled with trauma. His talk shares their stories and how the listener can help others to learn to live with trauma and become a positive force for their families and friends.

“These ideas will resonate with social work, medical care (especially mental health and counseling), security, law enforcement, education, communications and military veterans. Everyone who deals with people who have experienced trauma can benefit from learning how to help people of every age and background who are recovering from trauma.”

Instructors are encouraged to offer their students the opportunity to attend this program for credit.

For more information, contact Tim Adams, military and veteran student success coordinator, by phone at 507-389-1465 or by email at

Nov. 7: 2019 Palliative Care Conference

The Chesley Center on Aging, Ecumen and Mayo Clinic Health System Hospice are sponsoring a palliative care conference Thursday, Nov. 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mankato Civic Center Grant Hall. Doors open at 8 a.m.

The title of the conference is “The End-of-Life Experience: A Community Conversation. A New Kind of Heroism for Providers, Patients and Families.”

This year's event will feature Dr. Jessica Zitter, the physician and author behind “Extremis,” a documentary on the role of physicians at the end of life. Conference attendees will be introduced to a family who has lived the experience of making choices between quality-of-life and death as they navigated both the medical and legal systems. This family will share their story as they tried to stand by their mother’s wishes to have her pacemaker deactivated.

More information and registration information is available here.

Nov. 7: An Evening of Choral Music

The Minnesota State Mankato Invitational Choral Festival will be held Thursday, Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church, 105 North Fifth Street, Mankato.

The University's concert choir and chamber singers, under the direction of Aaron Humble, will perform along with a number of area high school choir students.

Choirs from Shakopee High School and Buffalo High School and individual choral students from the region have been invited to attend the festival for an entire weekday. The festival provides top-quality performing and listening experiences for the high school choir students.

During the festival day, the combined voices of the high school choirs along with the University concert choir create a large festival choir which works with Aaron Humble on two select pieces. The choirs will also individually work with University faculty on pieces that they have prepared for the day.

The festival concludes with a concert that will feature each individual choir, high school student soloists, the University concert choir, chamber singers and the festival massed choir.

Concert admission is $9 for general admission and $7 for K-12 students and children. University students are admitted free with a valid MavCARD. Advance purchase is strongly encouraged. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to

Nov. 8: 'Finding Your Place' Storytelling Event

Maverick Firsts is a new organization on campus whose main goal is to help build community for and awareness of first-generation students here at Minnesota State Mankato.

Maverick Firsts events are particularly well suited for first-year and first-generation students, but they are of value to all students. Students do not have to be first-generation to benefit or to attend.

The organization's kickoff event was held Sept. 20, with over 75 students attending the event. That was followed by an Oct. 4 event that focused on Financial Aid.

Next in the series is “Finding Your Place” storytelling event that will be held Friday, Nov. 8 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium.

A quick 2-minute video at this link explains Maverick Firsts events, including a couple opportunities for remaining student leadership positions.

For more information, contact Dave Engen, associate professor in Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Communication Studies, by phone at 507-389-5537 or by email at

Faculty/Staff News

Gwen Westerman, professor in the Department of English, is one of three contemporary poets whose work will be featured in a three-part “Books in the Barn” series held this fall at the Anderson Center in Red Wing, Minnesota. Westerman will be the featured poet Friday, Nov. 8. According to a description of the event published on, Westerman's Dakota-inspired poems and visual arts focus on Red Wing and the Upper Mississippi River Valley.

Ron Schirmer, professor in the Department of Anthropology, organized and brought the Midwest Archeological Conference to Mankato from Oct. 10-12. It was held at the Mankato Civic Center.

Gregory T. Wilkins, associate director of the Centennial Student Union and Student Activities, has a solo art exhibition at Gallery 120 in the Fine Arts building at Inver Grove Community College. The exhibition has been extended until Nov. 16.

Glenn Wasicuna, Dakota Language instructor through the University’s Department of World Languages & Cultures and American Indigenous Studies Program, was featured along with the University's Dakota Language courses in an Oct. 13 article in the Mankato Free Press.

Hsinhuei Sheen Chiou, professor in the Department of Speech, Hearing and Rehabilitation Services, has two publications this year (see below). Authors in the second publication are all Minnesota State Mankato faculty members, including Kristen Abbott-Anderson, assistant professor in the School of Nursing, and Brooke Burk, assistant professor in the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services.

  • Chiou, H.S. & Allison, A. (2019). Semantic dementia. In R. Utianski (Ed.), Primary Progressive Aphasia and Other Frontotemporal Dementias: Diagnosis and Treatment of Associated Communication Disorders (pp. 45-75). San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing.
  • Abbott-Anderson, K., Chiou, H.S., Burk, B.N. (2019). Spring EngAGEment: An inter-professional collaboration to enhance community interaction and university education. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Special Interest Division, 2, Perspectives on Neurogenic Communication Disorders, 4, 91– 96.  

Department News

The September issue of the Human Resources newsletter is [PDF] available at this link (539 KiB).

The Oct. 11, 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.

RASP Spotlight: Research and Sponsored Programs has published a list of faculty and staff with external funding submissions and awards during September. More information on who is in the “spotlight” is available on the RASP website.

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.

For the latest news on Maverick Athletics, visit


George Stoops, who was employed at Minnesota State Mankato as a faculty member for 22 years, teaching geography and city planning, died Oct. 2. 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 Joe Tougas at 507-389-1369 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, Nov. 6. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Nov. 1).

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