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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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December 4, 2019 Campus Newsletter

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ACUI Region V Graduate Student of the Year

Cydney Coffey (center in photo), graduate assistant with the Centennial Student Union Communications Office at Minnesota State University, Mankato, was selected the 2019 Graduate Student of the Year for Region V of the Association of College Unions International.

The award was announced at the ACUI Region V Conference at the University of Iowa in Iowa City on Nov. 8-10. The annual award is given to an outstanding graduate student at a member institution for exemplary performance in the college union/student activities field. Candidates will have a positive impact on student life and serve as a role model to the mission of the college union.

Coffey, a second-year graduate student in sports psychology, joined the CSU Communications Office in August 2018. Her primary responsibilities include supervising student communications and graphic design staff and serving as managing editor of the inSIDER, a weekly student e-newsletter that is committed to helping students be successful and involved.

In her nomination, Coffey was recognized for the positive difference she has made to CSU communications and the student union environment.

ACUI's Region V represents student union members from Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Manitoba.

Also pictured are Lenny Koupal (left in photo), communications coordinator in the Centennial Student Union, and Mark Constantine, director of the Centennial Student Union.

Unions United Food Drive

Bargaining units on campus are once again holding the “Unions United Food Drive” to benefit the ECHO Food Shelf.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to make food and financial donations for ECHO Food Shelf.

The food drive began Nov. 22 and will run through Dec. 16.

Donations will also be accepted Dec. 16 at the president's chili luncheon.

The Unions United Food Drive is sponsored by: AFSCME Local 638, ASF, IFO, MAPE, MGEC, MMA and MNA.

Donations may be dropped off with the following University staff members at the following campus locations:

  • Cindy Arndt, AF 126
  • Sue Darge, MH 240
  • Julie Dornack, ML 3104
  • Bonnie Hanson, MF 124
  • Vicki Hanson, WA 238
  • Katie Roeder, WA 132
  • Katie VanErdewyk, TN 131
  • Helen Walters, WC 358

NCAA Division II Playoffs

The Maverick football team and women's soccer team are each hosting games in the NCAA Division II playoffs this weekend.

The Maverick women's soccer team is (18-3-1 overall) is hosting the third and fourth rounds of the NCAA Division II tournament Friday and Sunday at The Pitch. Grand Valley State and Indianapolis will square off Friday at 10 a.m. before the Mavericks take on visiting Central Missouri at 1 p.m. The winners will play Sunday at 1 p.m. at The Pitch.

The undefeated Maverick football team (12-0 overall) will play host to Texas A&M-Commerce (11-2 overall) at noon Saturday, Dec. 7 at Blakeslee Stadium in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II football playoffs. Tickets are for sale online now.

For more information on Maverick athletics, visit

Dec. 5: Contemporary Vocal Groups

Minnesota State Mankato's Department of Music will present two contemporary a cappella vocal groups in concert 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5 in Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

Maverick vocal precision and Maverick fusion vocal ensembles feature a cappella stylings of vocal groups such as Pentatonix, Rockapella and Backtrack. The concert will also include arrangements of seasonal favorites. Vocal instructor Stephanie Thorpe and Director of Jazz Douglas Snapp coordinate the two ensembles.

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

Nov. 25-Dec. 6: Senior Student Art Exhibit

Senior Department of Art students at Minnesota State Mankato are displaying their art on campus at Conkling Gallery in two separate fall semester shows. The first show was from Monday, Nov. 11 through Tuesday, Nov. 19. The second opened Monday, Nov. 25 and continues through Friday, Dec. 6.

All artwork will be on display at 139 Nelson Hall, the Conkling Gallery, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and some evenings as coverage permits.

For more information, call the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art at 507-389-6412.

Students displaying their art in the second show include Andy Anderson, Cheyenna Bjorklund, Savannah Davila, Katelyn Dick, Emily Gehler, Samantha Kary, Erika Sheflet and Elyse White.

Dec. 6-8: Fall Dance Concert

Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Theatre & Dance will present the 2019 Fall Dance Concert Dec. 6 and 7 and the Student Dance Showcase on Dec. 8 in the Ted Paul Theatre in the Earley Center for Performing Arts.

The Dec. 6 and 7 performances will be a full-length concert featuring eight pieces choreographed by both faculty and students and featuring 44 student performers. The Dec. 8 performance is a Student Dance Showcase, which is choreographed, designed, produced and performed by students.

The dance concert will feature a contemporary ballet performance choreographed by Andreas guest artist and Minnesota State Mankato adjunct faculty member Allison Doughty Marquesen. The piece is fast-paced and high energy, and features exciting ballet steps that are sure to make it an audience favorite. The concert also features work from three other guest artists from Minnesota State Mankato: Timothy Berry, Michael Thursby and Gwen Nell Westerman.

The 2019 Fall Dance Concert is at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 6, and 2 p.m. on Dec. 7. The Student Dance Showcase is on Dec. 8 at 12 p.m.

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 for the fall dance concert. Tickets for the student showcase are $5 and available at the door.

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.

Dec. 8: University Holiday Choral Concert

Minnesota State Mankato's Department of Music will present three choral groups in a holiday concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 632 South Broad St, Mankato. The program will include traditional choral works, carols and music of the season.

Aaron Humble conducts the concert choir and chamber singers. Charlie Leftridge concerts the University chorale.

Humble says, “The holidays are such an important time for people to come together in community, and music is a vital part of that tradition here in Minnesota. We will share music old and new and start creating some new traditions of our own that we know you’ll enjoy.”

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

Dec. 14: Summer/Fall Commencement

Minnesota State Mankato will hold summer/fall commencement exercises at 9 a.m. and noon Saturday, Dec. 14 in Taylor Center’s Bresnan Arena on the Minnesota State Mankato campus.

Graduates of the College of Arts & Humanities, College of Business and College of Science, Engineering and Technology will participate in a 9 a.m. ceremony.

Graduates of the College of Allied Health and Nursing, College of Education and College of Social and Behavioral Sciences will participate in a noon ceremony.

Live-streaming captioning services will be provided for each ceremony.

Dec. 16: President's Holiday Luncheon

President Richard Davenport invites all employees to attend the annual faculty and staff holiday luncheon, which will take place in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16.

The luncheon will feature President Davenport’s own chili recipe and will be specially prepared by University Dining Services.

A variety of condiments will be available, along with cornbread, dessert and assortment of beverages.

Bargaining units on campus are once again holding the “Unions United Food Drive” to benefit the ECHO Food Shelf.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to bring a donation to help the Unions United Food Drive.

Checks should be made payable to ECHO Food Shelf.

The Unions United Food Drive is sponsored by: AFSCME Local 638, ASF, IFO, MAPE, MGEC, MMA and MNA.

Student News

Minnesota State Mankato's speech and debate team has had 29 student members participating at various levels at many fall semester competitions. The team has qualified 21 individual events to the National Forensics Association tournament in the spring.

On Oct. 12-13, the team competed against 18 schools at the Jackrabbit Jousts/Jackrabbit Alumni tournaments at South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D. On Oct. 19-20, Minnesota State Mankato co-hosted the Southern Minnesota Swing Tournament with Southwest Minnesota State University before competing and finishing second in team sweepstakes Oct. 20 in SMSU's Mustang Stampede. 

On Oct. 15 and Nov. 12, the team competed at the Parliamentary League of the Upper Midwest debate tournaments at Bethany Lutheran College. On Oct. 25-26, team members competed in the Vocal Viking tournament at Bethany Lutheran College, finishing second in the tournament's team sweepstakes out of 14 competing schools. On Oct. 26-27, the team competed in the Mid-American Forensic League tournaments at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

For more information, visit the speech and debate team's Facebook page.

Faculty/Staff News

Anne Dahlman, interim dean of global education, recently received the Harold B. Allen Award from MinneTESOL.

Thad Shunkwiler, assistant professor in the Department of Health Science, was interviewed by KEYC TV on Nov. 26 to discuss the topic of suicide and its increase in the U.S.

Chris Veltsos, professor in the Department of Computer Information Science, and former student Ryan Manship co-founded the Minnesota State Mankato information security student organization almost 10 years ago. Manship was featured in a recent KARE 11 news story on hacking and cybersecurity.

Department News

 The Kessel Peace Institute published its Dec. 3, 2019 newsletter here.

The Campus Kitchen was featured in a Nov. 20 KEYC TV story.

The Water Resource Center was part of recent stories published by the Mankato Free Press and KEYC TV.

The Nov. 22, 2019 edition of the Community Engagement newsletter is now available. An email subscription sign-up link is available here.

Tidbits from the Institutional Review Board (IRB): Contact or call 507-389-5102 with IRB-related questions. IRB has posted useful information at this link.

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

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, Jan. 15. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Jan. 10).

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