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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

April 11, 2018 Campus Newsletter

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Clean Energy Community Award

Minnesota State University, Mankato was one of seven Minnesota communities that received 2018 Clean Energy Community Awards on March 28 at the Community Driven Clean Energy Conference in St. Cloud, Minn. The awards were sponsored and presented by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, with financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The awards recognize communities that contribute to the state’s clean energy goals by planning and implementing programs, policies and technologies that encourage energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy generation.

Minnesota State Mankato's project team is pictured above. It includes (back row, left to right): Terry Lewis, physical plant director; Kevin Morgan, electrical supervisor; Paul Corcoran, assistant vice president, Facilities Management; and (front row, left to right): Steve Ardolf, chief engineer; Greg Borchert, project manager; and Rick Straka, vice president of finance and administration.

Minnesota State Mankato earned its award for a project at the University titled "Campus-wide Energy Savings-Sustainability Project." This $8.1 million guaranteed energy savings performance contract included 31 campus buildings and various parking lots, sidewalks and roadways.

Sesquicentennial Events

University departments or units hosting a sesquicentennial event are asked to submit event information to the 150th committee so it can be included on the 150th events page. The same form may be used to request the 150th portable exhibit panels.

After events, departments are asked to consider submitting photos with captions to be included on the past events galleries page.

Gallery submissions may be sent to

More information is available on the sesquicentennial page:

Maverick Day of Service Sign-Up

The Community Engagement Office and Student Activities encourage the campus community to spend a morning giving back to the community on Saturday, April 28 from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

Individuals or groups may sign up for activities at various sites that may include campus clean-up, landscaping, park clean-up, etc. Gloves and bags will be provided.

Members of the University's Environmental Committee will be planting a bee-friendly garden in a prairie lot on campus that is southwest of the toll lot in addition to helping with campus clean-up. Last year volunteers picked up 11 bags (55-gallon size) of trash as part of the effort.

Check-in and the welcome ceremony will begin at about 8:30 a.m., and groups will head out to their service sites to serve from 10 a.m.-noon. After the service is done, groups will promptly return to campus for free lunch and live music by Irie Minds. There will also be a blood drive from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the flexible programming space on the lower level of Centennial Student Union.

If the weather is good, the welcome ceremony will be on the University mall between Armstrong Hall, Wigley Administration Building and Memorial Library. If the weather is not good, the opening event will be held in Centennial Student Union's Ostrander Auditorium.

The group volunteer form can be found here and the individual volunteer form can be found here. More questions? Contact Kennedi Alstead, graduate advisor in the Community Engagement Office, at

April 26: Big Bands Concert

The Minnesota State Mankato Jazz Maverick Big Band and the University Jazz Maverick Lab Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26 in Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Avenue.

The University Jazz Maverick Big Band will perform traditional jazz charts along with arrangements of contemporary pop songs. The group is directed by Douglas Snapp, director of jazz studies.

The University Jazz Maverick Lab Band strives to expand beyond traditional jazz genres, performing a wide variety of pop/rock and contemporary styles. The group is directed by Will Frame, a graduate assistant in the Department of Music.

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 27: College of Business Annual Research Day

Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Business will hold its annual research day event Friday, April 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the University’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, located at 424 N. Riverfront Drive, Room 210, in Mankato.

Recipients of College of Business faculty research awards will give presentations. The event is open to the public. There is no cost, but those wishing to attend are asked to register online here.

College of Business Annual Research Day Agenda

  • 9:30 a.m. – Food and Networking
  • 10 a.m. – Welcome
  • 10:15 a.m. – Presentation of Awards
  • 10:30 a.m. – Presentation of Research
  • 12 p.m. – Conclusion

The 2017-18 Research Award recipients include faculty members Oksana Kim (Accounting) and Puneet Jaiprakash (Finance). Each will give an approximately 20-minute presentation of their research findings. The 2018-19 Research Award recipients include faculty members Leon Chen (Finance), Christine Brown Mahoney (Management) and Marilyn Fox (Management). Each will give an approximately 10-minute overview of their research project in the coming year.

A news release with more information is available here.

April 27-28: Spring Dance Concert

The Minnesota State Mankato spring dance concert will feature diverse works choreographed by faculty, students and Andreas guest artist Ruben Del Valle Jr., who has performed on Broadway.

Del Valle Jr. is originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., and holds an MFA in acting from The Actors Studio Drama School. He has appeared on Broadway as Young Simba in “The Lion King,” was a featured vocalist in the Musical Theater Works gala benefit concert, and originated the role of Jack Scott in Disney’s stage version of “High School Musical.”

Del Valle Jr. was last seen on tour with Theater Works’ production of “Freedom Train” as Harriet Tubman’s brother, David, before relocating to Minnesota with his wife and son several years ago. At Minnesota State Mankato, he appeared as Amonasro in “Aida” in 2017.

The dance concert will run 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 27, and 2 p.m. Saturday, April 28, in the Ted Paul Theatre, Earley Center for Performing Arts. The Student Dance Showcase, exclusively featuring student work, will be 2 p.m. Sunday, April 29, in the Ted Paul Theatre.

Tickets for the spring dance concert 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. Tickets for the Student Showcase are $5 and available at the door.

Visit for more information, or contact Amanda Dyslin at 507-389-6663, or

April 28: Elementary Science & Engineering Fair

Nearly 900 students in grades 3 through 6 from more than 100 Minnesota elementary schools have registered approximately 770 projects for the annual elementary division of the Southern Minnesota Regional Science and Engineering Fair, which will be held Saturday, April 28 in Myers Field House on the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus.

The exhibit hall is free and open to the public from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. April 28, and all are welcome to stop in and support the hard work of these future scientists. An award ceremony that begins at 2:30 p.m. in the Taylor Center’s Bresnan Arena is also open to the public.

The Southern Minnesota Regional Science and Engineering Fair is hosted by Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Science, Engineering & Technology, and the fair is intended to foster a passion for exploration and discovery in students from 3rd grade through high school. Participation prepares students for college, allows them to compete for scholarships and introduces them to career opportunities in science and engineering. The middle school and high school science and engineering fair was held Feb. 17.

For more information about any of the science fairs, please call 507-389-2849 or send an email to

April 28-29: 'Musical Fantasies & Fairy Tales'

Students from Minnesota State Mankato's Department of Music vocal studios will perform Saturday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. and again Sunday, April 29 at 3 p.m. in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave.

In the performance, "Musical Fantasies & Fairy Tales," princesses find their princes, evil stepmothers and stepsisters get their due, freaks find their friends and the Red Queen lets everyone keep their heads.

"Musical Fantasies & Fairy Tales" is directed by Stephanie R. Thorpe, choreographed by freshman music industry major Jada LaFrance and assisted by musicians Ben Marti, Logan Burns, Johnathan Moeller, Ryan Rader and Garrett Steinberg.

The student performers are ecstatic about their upcoming performances.

Concert admission is $12 and $11 for students with a valid MavCard. Discount tickets are available online for University students. 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.

April 20-May 5: 'Afterthought' Art Exhibition

Minnesota State Mankato students taking an art history class, "Museums and Exhibition," are co-curating an art exhibition called "Afterthought" from April 20 – May 5 at the 410 Project Gallery (523 S. Front St., Mankato). An opening reception will be held Friday, April 20 from 7-9 p.m. The exhibit and opening reception is open to the public.

The exhibit features 54 works of art selected from the university’s permanent collection as well as from abandoned and unfinished works left behind by former students. According to an exhibit preview, "this unique show calls into question the value and meaning of art and how this changes in relationship to ownership and abandonment."

Works featured in "Afterthought" include sculpture, printmaking, ceramic, painting, drawing, photography and installation by students, faculty, alumni, and friends of the university, including both known and unknown artists.

March 26-May 1: Senior Art Exhibits

Minnesota State Mankato Department of Art students are displaying their art at the University’s Conkling Gallery from March 26 to May 1 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 ran from March 26-April 3. A March 26 reception was held for the students displaying their art in that show. Show 2 runs April 9-17. An April 9 reception was held for the students displaying their art in the current show.

Show 3 will run from April 23-May 1, with a reception Monday, April 23 at 7 p.m. in Conkling Gallery. Students whose art will be displayed in the third show include Dominic Bona, Devon Flohrs, Sarah Huttner, Olivia Isaacson, Jessica Juhlin, Kathryn Mast, Samantha Murnane, Alyssa Pilney, Dustin Pumarlo, Kailee Seifert, Bethany Thalman and Roberta Zamma Gallarati.

Student News

Erik Olson, student co-chair of the University's Environmental Committee, will receive a Presidents' Student Leadership Award at Minnesota Campus Compact's annual summit and awards luncheon, to be held April 19 at Hamline 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. Twenty-six Minnesota campuses selected recipients for this award this year. At Minnesota State Mankato, Olson coordinates the Recyclemania competition, organizes Earth Day events and furniture drives, leads fundraisers and awareness campaigns to support environmental awareness.

Faculty/Staff News

David Viscoli, professor of piano in the Department of Music, recently performed a recital at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. The program was titled "A Journey Through Latin American Piano Music." He also gave a master class at the university. In addition, he played the same program for the Minnesota Valley Music Teacher's Association.

Scott Wurdinger, professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, recently did a workshop on project-based learning and a lecture on challenging the status quo in education at Penn State University for the Rock Ethics Institute. He also recently published two books with Rowman and Littlefield Publishers. The book titles are "Changing the status quo: courage to challenge the education system" and "The power of project-based learning: helping students develop important life skills."

Gregory T. Wilkins, associate director of the Centennial Student Union and Student Activities, is one of 20 artists selected for CoLab 2018 at The Show Gallery Lowertown in St. Paul, Minn. This experience will partner professional artists with self-taught artists to create collaborative work and meaningful connections. The finished creations form the CoLab exhibition held in September 2018. This project is the manifestation of The Show Gallery Lowertown’s mission— to create accessibility in the arts and unite artists of all abilities.



Jessica Flatequal, director of gender and sexuality programs at the University, along with SCMN Pride will receive a Presidents’ Community Partner Award at Minnesota Campus Compact's annual summit and awards luncheon, to be held April 19 at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. This award is for a community-based organization that has enhanced the quality of life in the community in meaningful and measurable ways and has engaged in the development of sustained, reciprocal partnerships with the college or university, thus enriching educational as well as community outcomes. Twenty-four campuses selected recipients for this award this year. Flatequal and SCMN Pride work to help bring together a visible and vibrant LGBT and Allied community in south central Minnesota. In addition to its annual Pride Parade and festival, SCMN Pride works with faculty, students, and staff on campus to build awareness of issues facing the LGBT community.

Carol Glasser, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Corrections and director of Kessel Peace Institute, will receive a Presidents' Civic Engagement Steward Award at Minnesota Campus Compact's annual summit and awards luncheon, to be held April 19 at Hamline 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. Twenty-five campuses selected recipients for this award this year. Glasser promotes and practices publicly engaged sociology with an emphasis on animal welfare, food access and civil rights.

Department News

The Department of Family Consumer Science Dietetics Program recently placed 100% of its dietetics majors who applied in national dietetic internships. The national program average of placement in dietetics internships is about 50%.

The April 13 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.

Library Services recently published its April 2018 newsletter. Download available here.

The Student Events Team's upcoming schedule of events is available here.

Online TODAY Magazine

Online TODAY Magazine

Visit the online TODAY magazine at to keep up-to-date with news, alumni 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 twice per year to 95,000 alumni and friends.

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

Content is updated regularly, so check back often!


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, May 9. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (May 4).

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