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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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February 12, 2020 Campus Newsletter

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University Dining, Campus Kitchen Partnership

University Dining Services at Minnesota State University, Mankato has partnered with Campus Kitchen to develop a program addressing food insecurity on campus.

Excess food prepared at the University Dining Center and Centennial Student Union is now being donated multiple times per week to Campus Kitchen. The program helps those in need as well as aids in reducing food waste. The first donation made to Campus Kitchen included 153 pounds of food.

Jamie Waterbury, the general manager for University Dining Services, said: “We are excited to partner with Campus Kitchen and collaboratively create a solution towards zero food waste from our dining facilites on campus by helping those with food insecurity on campus and across the community.”

Pictured in the photo (from left to right) are: employees Tim Born and Lee Hengescht, student Brian Swancutt (a Campus Kitchen intern) and Karen Anderson, assistant director of community engagement.

National Diversity Case Competition

A team of four Minnesota State University, Mankato College of Business students finished fourth among 42 schools from across the nation in the 9th Annual Indiana University Kelley School of Business National Diversity Case Competition, held Friday and Saturday, Jan. 17-18 in Bloomington, Ind.

The Minnesota State Mankato student team, which included Shams Adediji (finance), Marilyn Allen (American Indigenous studies & business law), Michelle Dolezal (marketing) and Dhaval Bhakta (management), was the only team in the competition from Minnesota.

This year’s competition challenged teams to propose STEM education programming for under-resourced and underrepresented youth communities. For more on the Minnesota State Mankato team's plan, click here.

In finishing fourth, Minnesota State Mankato bested several national universities in the competition, including the University of Texas, University of North Carolina, University of Arizona, Syracuse University, University of Vermont, Brigham Young University, Temple University, and Rutgers University Newark.

This is the sixth year that the College of Business team has competed in the competition. Minnesota State Mankato and the host team, Indiana University, are the only two teams to reach the final round of competition in two of the last three years.

This year’s team was coached by professors Wade Davis (business law) and Oksana Kim (accounting).

Black History Month

African American Affairs at Minnesota State Mankato is holding a number of events throughout February to celebrate Black History Month. The events include:

  • Feb. 1-29: “Pub 500 Partnership,” (500 S. Front St., Mankato). During February, when Pub 500 customers buy an entree, Pub 500 will donate $5 to the University's Multicultural Center, and customers will receive a dessert. The official partnership coupon MUST be printed and provided with one's bill. Partnership coupons are available in the Multicultural Center (CSU 269), on African American Affairs' Facebook page or at
  • Monday, Feb. 3, 1-4 p.m. (Multicultural Center, CSU 269): “Pan African Pride Showcase”
  • Friday, Feb. 7, 7-9:30 p.m. (Ostrander Auditorium): “Harriet” film screening
  • Saturday, Feb. 8, 6-10 p.m. (CSU Ballroom): “For the Culture” Expo
  • Tuesday, Feb. 11, 6-9 p.m. (CSU 253/4/5): “The Talk - Race in America” film
  • Saturday, Feb. 15, 1-5 p.m. (CSU 253/4/5): MN Hip Hop Coalition (MN-HHC). This event will showcase Minnesota's hip hop artists. The MN-HHC is dedicated to the preservation of the state's hip hop culture.
  • Thursday-Friday, Feb. 27-28: 44th Annual Pan African Conference, visit
  • Saturday, Feb. 29, 9-11:30 p.m. (CSU Ballroom): Silent Party. Tickets are $10 in advance (order at and $12 at the door. 

For more information, contact Kenneth Reid, director of African American and multicultural affairs, by phone at 507-389-6207 or by email at

Encourage Students to Apply for Scholarships Feb. 1-29

Minnesota State Mankato students are encouraged to apply for scholarships starting Feb. 1 on Scholarship Finder.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to make students aware of Scholarship Finder.

Scholarship Finder offers easy, one-stop access to all of the University’s scholarships. Students can find and apply for scholarships based on their major, interests, background, academics, personal circumstances, financial circumstances and more.

Once students sign in, they complete a general application; the site then gives them customized recommendations that match their records. Key word searches assist students in finding scholarships that are unique to them.

Most opportunities are open between Feb. 1 and Feb. 29, but students should check back periodically.

Maverick Diversity Institute

The Maverick Diversity Institute, a workshop series hosted by Diversity & Inclusion, is offering five upcoming challenging and unique workshops and programs for faculty and staff this spring 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.

Spring 2020 sessions include:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 19, 1-3 p.m. (CSU 238): “Military and Veteran Students,” Tim Adams, military & veteran student success coordinator
  • Thursday, March 26, 1-3 p.m. (CSU 238): “Forging a New Path: Identity Development for First-Generation College Students,” Alex J. Lucier, graduate assistant, American Indian Affairs
  • Monday, March 30, 2-4 p.m. (CSU 238): “Bridge to Benefits,” Liz Steinborn-Gourley, director, Women's Center
  • Monday, April 13, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (CSU 238): “SNAP Advocacy Training,” Tina Englad, SNAP outreach specialist
  • Tuesday, April 28, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (CSU 238): “Microaggressions,” Kennethy Reid, director of African American Affairs, and Rosalin Cobb, interim recruitment & retention advisor

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

A student track is also offered. Those with questions may contact Megan Heutmaker at or 507-389-5230.

Breakfast Networking Series in Edina

Minnesota State University, Mankato at Edina has started a Breakfast Networking Series in Edina at 7700 France Ave.

The Breakfast Networking Series is intended to help individuals expand their networks, gain new insights and develop innovative strategies to drive results. It is aimed at emergency leaders, current leaders looking to grow and learn, young professionals and those who love to learn new things.

Breakfasts will begin at 7:30 a.m., with keynote addresses at 8 a.m. and conclusions and Q&A sessions at 9 a.m.

Industry professionals presenting and subjects include:

  • Feb. 20: Peter Bailey, president of the Prouty Project, on “The Heroic Journey”
  • March 19: Maureen O’Malley Rehfuss, president & CEO of CPI Twin Cities, accompanied by Tamara Tasche, vice president of executive transition services of CPI Twin Cities, on the subject “Build an Impactful Personal & Digital Brand”
  • April 16: Dan Neitz, facilitator and coach with COR, on “The Biggest Gap in Leadership Hides in Plain Sight”
  • May 14: Brent Bidjou, Esq, CIPP/US, CIPM, PLS, discussing “Global Privacy Law and Cybersecurity Update 2020 - an introductory overview”
  • June 11: Tracy Eberly, president & CEO of Fang Consulting, regarding “Medical Device Regulations Update”

Feb. 16: Jay Hershberger

Internationally acclaimed recitalist Jay Hershberger will perform Sunday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave. The evening piano recital marks the final event of the 24th Annual Bunny Just Piano Festival.

Hershberger has performed throughout the United States, as well as Canada and Europe. Hershberger has also served on numerous juries of competitions and award contests. He is the vice president of the American Liszt Society.

Through his performing experiences he has come to the conclusion that performing is an act of sharing with others. He wants his audiences to come to concerts ready to receive music into their minds and hearts.

Hershberger is an associate professor of piano at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. 

General admission for the concert is $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Minnesota State Mankato students will be admitted free with a valid MavCARD. Performance Series ticket packages are available for those who pre-purchase. For more information visit or call the Performance Series office, (507) 389-5549.

Feb. 20: Anthropology Day

Minnesota State Mankato's Department of Anthropology will celebrate World Anthropology Day on Thursday, Feb. 20 with a raffle and snacks from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Trafton North, room 359.

At 5 p.m., there will be a free public presentation in Centennial Student Union's Heritage Room by a guest speaker, Jim Cummings, who will speak on “Life in the Center: Archaeology of the Mille Lacs Region.”

Cummings' presentation will explore the archaeology and prehistory of the Mille Lacs Lake area, including its unique geographic setting, early archaeological investigations, continuing research and the present-day interaction of archaeological inquiry and traditional Native American heritage preservation, research and practice.

According to a preview of Cummings' presentation provided by the Department of Anthropology: “On July 2, 1679, Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut (namesake of Duluth, Minnesota) wrote of planting the flag of King Louis XIV at a large village where the Rum River flows out of Mille Lacs Lake. The following year, Father Louis Hennepin wrote extensively of the area and his Mdewakanton Dakota hosts during a six-month stay at Mille Lacs. Since these early written accounts, archaeologists have investigated the region in an effort to understand the significance of human interaction with this landscape within the framework of our nation’s heritage.”

Cummings is an archaeologist and principal investigator with McFarlane Consulting, based in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is also the consulting archaeologist for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Tribal Historic Preservation Office. Cummings received a bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University, Mankato and a master’s degree in archaeology and cultural resource management from St. Cloud State University. He served as a museum director in Pipestone, Minnesota, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, as a naturalist and archaeologist for Minnesota State Parks, and recently as principal investigator for the Tribal Cultural Survey of the proposed replacement of the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline.

For more information about Anthropology Day, contact Kathleen Blue at 507-389-6370 or Rachel Krediet at 507-389-6318 or send an email to

Feb. 20: Chris Koza

The Minnesota State Mankato Department of Music will present composer and performer Chris Koza in concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20 in Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Avenue.

Koza is a composer and performer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has supported and shared the stage with artists such as Brandi Carlile, Ingrid Michaelson, The Jayhawks, Neko Case and Dan Wilson, among others. Koza’s music is born out of folk, country, storytelling and rock ’n roll, building on the rich Americana tradition.

His music appears regularly on ABC’s “General Hospital” and “60 Minutes,” and his song “Be Wild” will be featured as the soundtrack to an upcoming state of Minnesota tourism campaign. His song “The Wolves and the Ravens” was featured in Ben Stiller’s film, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”

The music Koza produces is rooted in Americana but heeds its own spirit. Born out of folk, country, storytelling and rock ’n roll, Koza both honors and builds on Americana traditions by incorporating a unique pop-music sensibility, subtle synthesizers, rich harmonies and imaginative production choices. Koza never strays from the core of the song itself and isn’t afraid to let a raw vocal and woodsy acoustic guitar deliver the story.

General admission for the concert is $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Minnesota State Mankato students will be admitted free with a valid MavCARD. Performance Series ticket packages are available for those who pre-purchase. For more information visit or call the Performance Series office, (507) 389-5549.

Feb. 23: Concert Wind Ensemble Performance

The Minnesota State Mankato concert wind ensemble will perform Sunday, Feb. 23 at 3 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave. The concert band is under the direction of Amy Roisum Foley, director of bands at Minnesota State Mankato.

The concert wind ensemble is an auditioned ensemble comprised of 45-50 undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a diverse array of majors. The ensemble is designed for the professionally minded performer and music educator and requires a high level of discipline from its members. Throughout the school year, the ensemble members perform a broad scope of large and small ensemble music written for wind and percussion instruments. The ensemble’s primary goal is to work together to make great music for the ensemble and the audience.

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.

Feb. 24: Dessa Featured in Storyteller Series

Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Arts and Humanities welcomes rapper, writer and public speaker, Dessa, to the Minnesota Storyteller artist-in-residence and performance series. Dessa will be in residence at Minnesota State Mankato Monday, Feb. 24 through Wednesday, Feb. 26. She will perform a public concert Monday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

The Minnesota Storyteller series originated in spring 2019 and is supported by the Nadine B. Andreas Endowment fund. The series features Minnesota artists who are invited to campus for a three-day residency which includes time in our various college classrooms and an intimate evening concert. Students get the opportunity to hear the artist’s stories and experiences. Students can also ask questions and get feedback on various projects they are working on.

2019 has been a big year for Dessa. To follow up on the release of her critically acclaimed, billboard-charting studio album, “Chime,” she contributed her first piece to “National Geographic Traveler,” published new fiction in the “Mississippi Review” and released the paperback version of her book, “My Own Devices: True Stories from the Road on Music, Science, and Senseless Love,” which made NPR's Best Books List in 2018 (Dutton, Penguin Random House). She made her European orchestral debut on Nov. 7 with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at Hoddinott Hall in Cardiff, where a second show was added after the first sold out in under a week. Dessa also toured the road this past year with a string quartet.

General admission for the concert is $15. Minnesota State Mankato students will be admitted free with a valid MavCARD. For more information visit or call the Performance Series office, (507) 389-5549.

Feb. 27: Good Thunder Reading Series

Minnesota State Mankato will host performance poet Bao Phi (pictured at left) and freelance writer Liz Lanier on Thursday, Feb. 27 in the next event of the University’s 38th annual Good Thunder Reading Series.

Phi is the featured writer in the Robert C. Wright Minnesota Writer Residency. Lanier is the winner of the 2019 Robert C. Wright Award.

All Good Thunder Reading Series events are free and open to the public.

Feb. 27 activities will begin with Phi holding a workshop from 10-11 a.m. at the Emy Frentz Gallery (523 S. 2nd St. in Mankato), and then a “Talk on Craft” from 3-4 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium.

That evening, Lanier (pictured at right) will read from her work from 7:30-8:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium.

Phi is the author of two poetry collections: “Thousand Star Hotel,” which was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award for Poetry, and “Sông I Sing.” Phi has been a performance poet since 1991 and is a two-time Minnesota Grand Slam champion and a National Poetry Slam finalist. He has performed all over the U.S. and has appeared on “HBO Presents Russell Simmons Def Poetry.” His first children’s book, “A Different Pond,” won both the Caldecott Medal and Charlotte Zolotow Awards in addition to the Minnesota Book Award for Children’s Literature. His second children’s book, “My Footprints,” is forthcoming.

Lanier is a master’s candidate in fiction at Minnesota State Mankato, where she also teaches composition. She is a freelance writer and has bylines in Variety, Polygon, The Mary Sue, Game Informer magazine and other publications. Lanier is a co-host for “The Weekly Reader,” an author interview program and podcast on KMSU FM Radio, and a creative nonfiction editor of the Blue Earth Review. She is the winner of the 2019 Robert C. Wright Award for Creative Writing.

Feb. 27-28: Pan African Conference

The 44th annual Dr. Michael T. Fagin Pan African Student Leadership Conference will be held Thursday, Feb. 27-Friday, Feb. 28 at Minnesota State Mankato. 

The theme of this year's conference is “Understanding Voters’ Rights Through Voters’ Education.”

The Pan African Conference provides students, academic scholars, professionals and community leaders the opportunity to discuss issues that affect descendants of Africa on a local, national and international level.

This year's theme focuses on the urgency of voters’ rights and voters' education, past, present and future. According to conference organizers, the conference will revisit historical moments that influenced the Voting Rights Act of 1965, examine the evolution and current state of the country’s political climate and galvanize the masses to propel American democracy in a direction that represents the belief that all people are created equal.

Click here to register.

Student News

Fourteen members of the Minnesota State Mankato speech & debate team traveled to St. Louis, Missouri, to compete in the Gorlok Gala forensics tournament hosted by Webster University from Jan. 24-26. Minnesota State Mankato finished second among 39 schools in individual event team sweepstakes. Individual results included:

  • Annie Ward - Tournament champion in Duo Interpretation with Emma Roggeman; tournament champion in Improvisational Pairs with Kaylee Matuszak; top novice in After-Dinner Speaking and tournament champion in pentathlon (5 or more events in all 3 categories)
  • Emma Roggeman - Tournament champion in Duo Interpretation with Annie Ward, tournament champion in Poetry Interpretation; 4th in Prose Interpretation (Qualifying for NFA), 4th in Improvisational Pairs with Kylee Johnson
  • Kaylee Matuszak - Tournament champion in Improvisational Pairs with Annie Ward, 3rd in After-Dinner Speaking (Qualifying for NFA), Excellence Award in Improvisational Pairs with Jacqueline Tomas (top 30%), & 3rd in Pentathalon (5 or more events in all 3 categories)
  • John Sandstede - Top novice and tournament champion in Prose Interpretation (qualifying for NFA); 7th in Dramatic Interpretation (qualifying for NFA)
  • Kassidy Tocco - Tournament champion in Communication Analysis; Excellence Award in Program Oral Interpretation (top 30%)
  • Kylee Johnson - 2nd in Dramatic Interpretation; 3rd in Prose Interpretation;4th in Improvisational Pairs with Emma Roggeman; 5th in Program Oral Interpretation; octafinalist in Junior Parliamentary Debate with Lauren Bryant
  • Jacqueline Tomas - 4th in Poetry Interpretation; 6th in After-Dinner Speaking (qualifying for NFA); Excellence Award in Improvisational Pairs with Kaylee Matuszak (top 30%)
  • Maria Ruiz-Mendez - Excellence award in Prose Interpretation (top 30%)

Faculty/Staff News

Gregory T. Wilkins, assistant director for student activities and the Centennial Student Union, is hosting a solo exhibition, “Thoughts & Prayers,” at the Carnegie Art Center in Mankato from Feb. 6-22.

Eric Sprankle, associate professor in the Department of Psychology, was appointed director of the Secular Therapy Project, which is part of the nonprofit organization, Recovering from Religion. The Secular Therapy Project helps nonreligious members of the community in need of mental health services connect with secular therapists in the area.

Ishuan Li, associate professor of economics and a member of the Mankato Faculty of Color Caucus, was re-appointed (2020-2024) as a peer reviewer by the Higher Learning Commission. She also serves as a reviewer of the financial panel under the standard pathway accreditation option at the HLC.  

Mary Kramer and Joe Visker, faculty members in the Department of Health Science, are organizing a free webinar, “Firearms 101: An Introduction to Firearms and Firearm Laws in Minnesota,” that will be held Thursday, Feb. 20 from 12-1 p.m. Registration is required. Kramer and Visker are organizing the webinar for the Minnesota Society for Public Health Education. Those encouraged to participate include public health professionals, parents, educators, community members, allied health professionals, university faculty and students.

Amelia Pridemore, assistant professor of political science, was recently interviewed by KEYC TV about how impeachments have changed over the years.

Stephen Druschel, professor of civil engineering, was recently interviewed by KEYC TV about techniques for salting icy roads during the winter.

Department News

The College of Allied Health and Nursing put out a call for abstracts for an Aug. 10-13 “Family and Society Simulations and Technology Conference: Advances in Research, Education and Practice,” that will be held in the Maverick Family Nursing Simulation Center. The conference will focus on the use of simulation and technology to advance family and societal health. Topics of interest will include research, education and practice initiatives within a variety of disciplines. Click here to register.

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences published its [PDF] February 2020 Good News newsletter (437 KiB).

RASP Spotlight: The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs has published its list of faculty and staff who made external funding submissions and received awards during the months of January 2020. More information is available on the RASP website.

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs announced that an eighth campus affinity group has been created. The “Human Rights and Social Justice” affinity group, promoted by the College of Graduate Studies and Research, is the newest affinity group on campus. Those interested in participating in the group may contact Alfredo Duplat, assistant professor in the Department of World Languages and Cultures, at For information on all University affinity groups, contact Anne Ludvik at

The Career Development Center announced that the “Career & Internship Fair” sponsored by College of Social & Behavioral Sciences will take place in the Minnesota State Mankato Centennial Student Union ballroom Tuesday, Feb. 18 from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Professors, advisors and staff are asked to encourage students to attend. Faculty and staff are also encouraged to attend to see how much employers appreciate the preparation that Minnesota State Mankato provides for its students. There are no pre-registration or attendance fees required for students. Attendees should wear professional attire and scan in for their name badge. Impromptu interviews may take place. 

The University's M.S. in data science program was mentioned in a recent Star Tribune article.

The Feb. 7, 2020 edition of the Community Engagement newsletter is now available. An email subscription sign-up link is available here.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) summer schedule: The Minnesota State Mankato IRB only functions on a part-time basis in summer, so reviews will be delayed from the normal review schedule. The following schedule will be observed. Remember that submissions are not sent for review until the Principal Investigator (who must be a faculty member) has signed the submission. Please be aware that the review schedule is not a promise that approval will be in place.

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


Eugene Sellner, an emeritus employee who worked at the University for 44 years before retiring in 2010, died Jan. 23. After graduating from Minnesota State Mankato, Sellner worked in Computer Services and worked on the University's first mainframe computer. Most recently he was director of Administrative Computer Services. An obituary is available here.

Charles Mundale, a former professor in the University's Political Science Department, died Dec. 30. Mundale was the first recipient of the Douglas R. Moore Research Lectureship. An obituary is available here.

Harold Perkins, an emeritus employee who worked in the University's library for 21 years as a technician, died Feb. 3. 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, Feb. 26. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Feb. 21).

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