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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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January 30, 2008 Campus Newsletter

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Todd Hoffner: New Grid Coach

Todd HoffnerTodd Hoffner has been named the 14th head coach in the history of the Minnesota State Mankato football program.

Todd is offensive coordinator at the University of South Dakota and former head coach at Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He recently completed his second season as offensive coordinator for USD.

Todd started work this week.

"We are very excited to have Coach Hoffner join us as the new head coach of our football program." said Kevin Buisman (Athletics).

A 1989 Valley City (N.D.) State grad, Todd earned a master's degree from North Dakota in 1991. A native of Esmond, N.D., he and his wife, Melodee, have three children, Kiaya (4), Brady (3) and Mara (6 months).

Kevin thanked the search committee and others who were a part of that ensured a successful search outcome. "Because of their involvement, I believe it was very evident to our candidates that there is a strong level of interest and support that will sustain the ongoing growth and development of Maverick football."

Wrestlers: No. 1

Mavericks LogoLast week the Maverick wrestling team was ranked No. 1 nationally in the NCAA Division II Wrestling Coaches' Association poll.

The team was a near-unanimous pick for No. 1, receiving seven of the eight first-place votes and finishing with 159 points.

The ranking is Minnesota State Mankato's first-ever top billing in the poll. The Mavericks were rated second last year on Feb. 9, and were rated second on Dec. 6 of this season.

Seven Maverick individuals received attention in last week's announcement. Senior Jason Rhoten is rated #1 at 157. Sophomore heavyweight Brady Wilson is #2, as is senior Nick Smith at 125. Senior Andy Pickar is fourth at 165. Freshman Tommy Abbott is fifth at 149 and sophomore Travis Elg is fifth at 141. Junior Tim Matheson is rated eighth at 174.

Ramsey County Attorney to Speak on Meth Epidemic

Susan GaertnerRamsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner will present a lecture on "Methamphetamine and the Plague of Addiction" on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. in the Ostrander Auditorium of Centennial Student Union at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Her presentation is the 5th Annual College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Advisory Board Lecture at Minnesota State Mankato. The public is invited to attend without charge.

Gaertner will talk about what methamphetamine is, how it devastates families and threatens our communities, where it comes from and the public policies we could employ to stop it. She also will discuss the broader consequences of all chemical addictions on our society and offer an agenda for addressing this epidemic.

Gaertner was elected Ramsey County Attorney in 1994 and re-elected in 1998, 2002 and 2006. She is only the fourth person and the first woman to hold the office. She was honored as a 2003 Attorney of the Year by the weekly newspaper "Minnesota Lawyer."

She has made fighting the methamphetamine epidemic one of her top priorities. She chairs a statewide meth task force of county attorneys that has launched several initiatives, including a meth documentary and a meth education Web site.

As county attorney Gaertner has targeted several public safety issues. She established the Joint Domestic Abuse Prosecution Unit in a new partnership with the St. Paul City Attorney's Office. The unit focuses on domestic assault cases where children are present. She also initiated the Truancy Intervention Program (TIP) to address a serious problem with chronic absenteeism in the schools. Now in its 13th year, TIP has contributed to a dramatic increase in school attendance and graduation rates.

Service Awards

CertificateMore than 180 faculty, staff and administrators were honored for service to Minnesota State Mankato in a ceremony Jan. 28.

Employees were honored for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years of service at a recognition event in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. Recognition of Service certificates and service awards were presented by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Scott Olson.

Among the longest-serving employees honored for service milestones are Nancy Murilla (Printing) and Robert Herickhoff (Physics & Astronomy), who each received a 40-year award. Suzanne Dugan (Security) received a 35-year award. Thirty-year awards went to William Anderson (Social Work), Sandra Eggenberger (Nursing), Donna Hensel (Facilities Management), LeeAnn Larson (Library), Malcolm O'Sullivan (Student Information & Policy), Wayne Sharp (Academic Computing) and LuAnn Struck (Human Resources).

You can also view the complete list of 2008 honored employees.

The annual event is sponsored by the Employee Recognition Committee and Human Resources.

Teaching Scholar Fellowships

TeacherEleven faculty members have been awarded 2008 Teaching Scholar Fellowships for research projects this summer.

The annual fellowships, announced by President Richard Davenport, provide support for faculty as they develop new ways to improve teaching and learning. Each Fellow will be engaged in an eight-week project involving teaching and scholarship. The faculty members will explain the results of their research at campus-wide workshops in the fall.

Each fellow receives a $6,000 stipend, plus $300 for related expenses. The fellowships are awarded on a university-wide, competitive basis, and recipients are recommended by the Faculty Development Sub Meet and Confer committee and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Scott Olson.

Summer 2008 Teaching Scholar Fellows and their projects are:

  • Kathleen Blue (Anthropology), "Childhood Health in Anglo-Saxon Britain"
  • Jinbong Choi (Mass Communications), "Framing the Battle for the Blue House: A Comparison of Four International Newspapers' Coverage of the 2007 South Korean Presidential Election"
  • David Engen (Speech Communication), "The Third Place in Blue Earth County"
  • Vicki Hunter (Sociology and Corrections), "Identity Work in Women's Re-Entry Experiences"
  • Rajiv Kapadia (Electrical & Computer Engineering & Technology), "Open Course Ware in Digital Signal Processing"
  • Guynel Reid (Educational Studies: K-12 & Secondary Programs), "Researching Program Design: Structural Forms and Functions"
  • Elizabeth Sandell (Educational Studies: Elementary & Early Childhood), "A Cross-Cultural Instructional Redesign Project with Northern International University, Magadan, Russian Federation: Incorporating Guided Inquiry Learning and Online Teaching Strategies in EEC 227 Early Learning and Development"
  • James Slack (Information Systems & Technology), "Applied Data-Modeling Supplement for iSYS 441: Database Modeling for Applications"
  • Kristen Treinen (Speech Communication), "Integrating Technology into the Classroom Environment: Utilizing Podcasts as a Pedagogical Tool"
  • Michael Wells (Information Systems & Technology), "Researching Outsourcing to Stay Current in the Computers in Society Course"
  • Hongxia Yin (Mathematics & Statistics), "Creation of Two Code Packages for Computer Aided Study in Mathematical Modeling and Optimization Methods."

Youth Sports Camp Successful

MSU Volunteer with KidsThe recent Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Sports Camp was a success, with nearly 80 children and 30 volunteers participating, according to Michelle Oman, assistant women's track and field coach who co-directed the camp.

In addition to taking part in such activities as obstacle courses, soccer, football, dodge ball, track and field, and basketball, participants heard members of the track team read Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I have a dream" speech. Children received track and field T-shirts for correctly answering questions about Dr. King's life.

The free camp, for children from kindergarten through sixth grade was in Meyers Field House. Co-sponsored by Intercollegiate Athletics and the Office of Institutional Diversity, the event was intended to inspire youth to develop positive mental and physical values.

Foreign Travel Changes

ShipAs of Jan. 31, all adult travelers will be required to present proof of citizenship (i.e., birth certificate) and proof of identity (i.e., driver's license) when entering the United States through land and sea ports of entry.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State say this is a necessary step to prepare travelers for the future requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. The initiative will establish documentation requirements for travelers entering the United States who were previously exempt, including citizens of the U.S., Canada and Bermuda.

Customs and Border Protection officers have accepted oral declarations of citizenship from U.S. and Canadian citizens seeking entry through a land or sea border. As of Jan. 31:

  • Oral declarations of citizenship alone will not be accepted;
  • U.S. and Canadian citizens ages 19 and older will need to present a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, along with proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or naturalization certificate;
  • Children ages 18 and under will only be required to present proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate;
  • Passports and trusted traveler program cards - NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST - will continue to be accepted for cross-border travel.

Existing nonimmigrant visa and passport requirements will remain in effect and will not be altered by this change.

The Department of State reminds the public that the current turnaround time for a passport is four to six weeks, so Americans planning international travel should apply early. Those who want more information may visit or call 1-877-487-2778. You may also view documentation requirements for land, sea and air travel.

Through Feb. 1: Medallion Hunt

MedallionThe Minnesota State Student Association is sponsoring a campus medallion hunt, open to students, faculty and staff, during the week of Jan. 28 to Feb. 1.

An iPod shuffle will be given to whoever finds the medallion. Those who wish to participate can get clues daily about where the medallion is hidden.

The MSSA will host various activities throughout the week as an opportunity for students to get to know members of their student senate.

On Wednesday, Jan. 30, members of student senate will be in the CSU basement to join students for lunch and will provide refreshments from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. On Thursday, Jan. 31, from 2 to 3 p.m. there will be an open house in the student senate office located at CSU 280 -- an opportunity for students to meet with the student attorney and ask questions.

Jan. 30, 31: Focus the Nation

Focus the Nation

Minnesota State Mankato is one of more than 1,100 schools participating in Focus the Nation, the nation's largest teach-in for global warming solutions, on Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 30 and 31.

The teach-in is a generational partnership between baby boomers and today's college students. Two days of roundtable discussions between students, elected leaders and members of Congress will culminate in a nationwide vote on solutions to global warming. The top five results will be announced in February 2008.

Both days of the event are free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public.

For more information visit Focus the Nation's website, or contact local coordinator Carly Clements at (507) 581-6338.

Jan. 30-Feb. 10: 'Dancing'

Dancing at LughnasaThe Department of Theatre and Dance will kick off the second half of its 2007-08 Mainstage season with Brian Friel's touching drama, "Dancing at Lughnasa," Jan. 30-Feb. 3 and 6-10 in Andreas Theatre.

The play is the story of five unmarried sisters, eking out their lives in a small village in Ireland in l936. The festival of Lughnasa celebrates the pagan god of the harvest. When the sisters dance to a wild, pagan Irish tune, they embody the core of the human spirit that cannot be vanquished by time or loss, or fully expressed in language.

The show marks the Minnesota State Mankato directorial debut of Heather E. Hamilton (Theatre). She has directed and acted in plays on both American coasts, playing major characters in nearly 40 productions over the last decade.

Tickets for "Dancing at Lughnasa" are $14.50 regular, $13 for senior citizens, youth 16 and under and groups of 15 or more, $10 for Minnesota State Mankato students. They go on sale Jan. 22 at the Theatre & Dance Box Office, and are available by calling (507) 389-6661 between 4 and 6 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Feb. 1: 'Better Off Tomorrow'

This week's Centennial Student Union free concert series features the band Better off Tomorrow performing Friday, Feb. 1, starting at 9 p.m.

The free student event, which complements the Mavericks After Dark initiative, will be on the first level of the CSU. Pizza will be available for $1 per slice and refills of fountain soda will be available for 50 cents.

The concert series provides live music every Friday night through April 25 in Centennial Student Union starting at 9 p.m. (No shows are scheduled on March 7 and 14 because of spring break.) Upcoming performances include:

  • Feb. 8: Drift Effect and Cryptic
  • Feb. 15: Parrallax
  • Feb. 22: Effinheimer
  • Feb. 29: Lights Out Dancing
  • March 21: The Blend
  • March 28: Love in October
  • April 4: Crash Anthem
  • April 11: Scarlet Haze
  • April 18: Brakelazy
  • April 25: Throw the Fight

Feb. 1: HERS Applications

Summer Institute PosterThe President's Commission on the Status of Women is accepting applications for the Bryn Mawr/HERS Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration, to be held at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania June 21 through July 16. Completed application packets must be submitted by Friday, Feb. 1.

The purpose of the Summer Institute is to improve the status of women in the middle and executive levels of higher education administration. More information about the Institute can be obtained from the HERS website. A printable application form is available at the Commission's website.

Application packets should be submitted to Elizabeth Lindstrom, CSU 218. Applications will be reviewed by the Commission and recommendations forwarded to President Richard Davenport. The President's selection will be announced by Feb. 15.

Feb. 4: Diversity Training

Hands in the AirThe first in a series of diversity training events sponsored by the Diversity Institute will be Monday, Feb. 4, in CSU 201 from 2-3 p.m. The "Diversity Dialogue" event is co-sponsored by the President's Diversity Commission and the President's Commission on the Status of Women.

The series is intended to allow faculty and staff members to share ideas and engage in dialogue about diversity on campus. Other series events include:

  • "Culturally Sensitive and Intentionally Inclusive," presented Feb. 25 by Michelle Carter (Research & Sponsored Programs), CSU 285, 2-3 p.m. The interactive session will explore cultural sensitivity and intentional inclusivity. Participants will learn strategies to engage and include multicultural staff and students without pressuring them to "speak for their race, ethnicity, or culture."
  • "CommuniTEAM BUILDING - Creating a mattering and valuing workplace," presented April 17 by Doug Cureton, 10-11:30 a.m.
  • "Humans as Cultural Animals: Implications for Psychological Diversity in Cognition, Emotion, Motivation, and Constitution of Subjective Well Being," presented April 28 by Vinai Norasakkunkit (Psychology), 2-3 p.m., CSU 201.

Feb. 5-7: TIAA-CREF Counseling

TIAA-CREF will offer one-on-one counseling sessions Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 5-7, and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, March 4-6, as well as webinars on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 5 and 6.

TIAA-CREF administers the IRAP, SRP and TSA/403(b) retirement plans. (Tax-deferred and Roth programs are offered via the 403(b) plan.) Individual appointments will be available from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day, and can be scheduled at the TIAA-CREF website or by calling (800) 877-6602.

The Feb. 5 and March 4 sessions will be in CSU 123. The Feb. 6 and 7 sessions will be in CSU 202. The March 5 and 6 sessions will be in CSU 285.

Webinar topics include effective withholding strategies, tax-favored financial products, Roth and traditional IRAs and favorable tax law provisions. The webinar will be offered from 9-10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, and from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6.

Employees may view the webinar on their computers. Instructions (link removed) are posted on the Human Resources website. Employees also may attend the Feb. 5 webinar in the Technology and Teaching Center, Room 94B, Memorial Library or the Feb. 6 webinar in ML3012. Contact Human Resources at 389-2015 to sign up for the group webinar option.

Additional information about the above events is posted on the Human Resources website.

Feb. 5: Service-Learning Fair

The spring Service-Learning Fair will be Tuesday, Feb. 5, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.

The fair allows students to connect with community agencies and learn more about volunteering and service-learning opportunities in the Mankato area. Students and faculty members involved in curricular service learning activities, and campus community members interested in volunteering with a community agency, are invited to attend.

The event is sponsored by Academic Affairs and Student Affairs.

Feb. 5: Precinct Caucuses

DFL CaucusGOP CaucusPrecinct Caucus Night will be Tuesday, Feb. 5, which means no classes or university sponsored events are permitted after 6 p.m. that day.

The Office of General Counsel advises that no public meetings may be conducted by state boards or agencies after 6 p.m. that day, and the limitation includes the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees and Office of the Chancellor. In addition, Minnesota Statutes prohibit state colleges and universities from scheduling any event, including classes, after 6 p.m. on a caucus unless approved by the Board of Trustees.

Feb. 14, 15: 'Monologues'

V-DayThe seventh annual benefit production of Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues" will be presented Thursday and Friday, Feb. 14 and 15, at 8 p.m. in Ostrander Auditorium, Centennial Student Union.

The play, sponsored by the Women's Center and part of the V-Day College Campaign, is a collection of monologues taken from the real-life experiences of women throughout the world.

Playwright and activist Ensler interviewed women of all races, religions and locations, and in her script recounts their relationships, their lives and their experiences as women. The monologues are different each year, because Ensler regularly interviews more women and adds new material.

The production is intended to bring attention to the ways by which individuals and groups maneuver women's lives and experiences; to bring awareness to issues surrounding women's fight for social justice; and to encourage volunteers to think and feel deeply about the role of women's activism in social change.

Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for all others, and are on sale in the CSU lobby and in CSU 218, the Women's Center. Those who want more information may contact Lauren Pilnick in the Women's Center at (507) 389-5127 or stop at CSU 218.

Feb. 15: Trustee Applications

The Trustee Candidate Advisory Council is accepting applications for four positions on the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees. Appointments will be made by Gov. Tim Pawlenty in April. Candidates for the positions should apply to the council before Feb. 15.

The council seeks candidates to fill four open seats: one 4th Congressional District position, one 7th Congressional District position, and two at-large positions. The terms are six years in length.

Application materials are available on the council's Web site.

Vacation Donations Needed

Ginny Fitzloff (President's Office) has been approved for the vacation donation program in order to care for her husband, who is in the end stages of congestive heart failure and is awaiting a heart and possible kidney transplant.

Ginny has exhausted her sick and vacation leave. Human Resources is asking university employees to consider donating vacation or personal leave to Ginny.

More information and a vacation donation form are on the HR website.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Gale Allen (Electrical & Computer Engineering) submitted two abstracts ("Concept Learning Experiment in Electronics" and "DSP Communications Experiment") which were accepted by the 2008 ASEE IL/IN Section Conference in April.

Steven Case (Computer Science) received $65,000 from Walters Publishing to continue supporting graduate and undergraduate research related to image processing and software development. The grant will fund undergraduate and graduate assistantships for spring, summer and fall 2008.

CSET recently received $16,000 from Thin Film Technology for continued support of scholarships and the Science Fair. The organization's gift for 2007-08 is $8,000 for CSET scholarships and $8,000 for the Science Fair - a $4,000 increase over last year.

Janet Cherrington (Urban & Regional Studies) has been appointed to the City of Janesville's Economic Development Authority for a term ending in December 2010. She also serves as vice chairperson for the Janesville Planning Commission.

President Richard Davenport recently thanked Linda Duckett (Music) for leading the Equal Opportunity & Title IX Office during fall semester. Melissa Van Winkle (Equal Opportunity & Title IX Officer) will continue to assist students and employees as the search for an affirmative action director continues. "In accepting this one-semester appointment, Dr. Duckett exemplified her personal strong commitment to Minnesota State University, Mankato and to our efforts to provide an environment that is fair and safe for all to study, learn and work," the president said. Linda is returning to her faculty position; she will continue her responsibilities as co-chair of the Diversity Commission and will assist in concluding Affirmative Action cases currently in process.

Brian Frink (Art) exhibited a series of drawings and paintings at Dakota State University, Madison, S.D., in December.

Francis T. Hannick (Mathematics/Statistics) presented a workshop, "Hands-On Experience with Numerous Activities for the Elementary School Math Curriculum," at the Fall Meeting & Exposition of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in New England in Springfield, Mass., in November.

In-Jae Kim's (Mathematics/Statistics) joint paper, "Nonsingular Acyclic Matrices," has been accepted for publication in the journal Linear and Multilinear Algebra.

Russell Palma (Physics/Astronomy) gave two talks recently: "NASA's Genesis and Stardust Missions: Bringing the Sun and Comets to Earth" to the Department of Physics Colloquium, St. John's University, Collegeville, and "Developing a Speaker Exchange Series Between MSU Mankato and MAAPT Institutions" to the Minnesota Area Association of Physics Teachers Conference, St. Cloud.

Beth Proctor (Biological Sciences) presented a paper, "Allelopathic Effects of Water Extracts of Roots from Typha angustifolia (Narrow Leaf Cattail) and Scripus fluviatilis (River Bulrush) on Seeds of Lactuca sativa," at the North American Lake Management Society International Meeting in Orlando Fla., in November.

Gary Rockswold (Mathematics/Statistics) co-authored a new textbook, Beginning Algebra with Applications and Visualization, Second Edition, published by Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Boston.

Christopher Ruhland (Biological Sciences) presented a seminar, "The Influence of Solar Ultraviolet-B Radiation on Native Vascular Plants during Springtime Ozone Depletion in Antarctica," to the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota in November.

Farid Sabongi (Interior Design/Construction Management) was selected by Prentice Hall Publishing to critique and evaluate the manuscript of a new construction management textbook. The textbook is intended to introduce good business planning and management skills to undergraduates.

Deepak Sanjel (Mathematics/Statistics) received the young investigator travel award to present "Approximations for interval estimation and prediction for exponential distribution based on doubly Type-II censored data" at the joint international meeting of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the International Society for Bayesian Analysis in Bormio, Italy, in January.

Wayne Sharp and Gregg Asher (Information Systems & Technology) presented "Student Study Areas Redefined; Utilizing Student's Expertise as Design & Technical Resources to Create Wireless Study Areas" at the Hawaii International Conference on Education in Honolulu in January. Wayne also was session chair for the multiple presentation session.

Christophe Veltsos (Information Systems) attended the Department of Defense Cyber Crime Conference in St. Louis, Mo., in January. The conference is the prime training event for DOD and law enforcement officials from around the country. In December Christophe was elected president of the Mankato Chapter of the Information Systems Security Association.

Jennifer Veltsos (English) presented a paper, "Manifesting Corporate Culture using Visual Rhetoric," at the 2007 Modern Language Association annual convention in December.

Student Achievements

In January the Forensic Team traveled to Iowa to compete in the Iowa Swing on the campuses of the University of Northern Iowa and Wartburg College.

Senior Zeke Sorenson placed second in Communication Analysis and eighth in Prose Interpretation at the Bill Henderson Invitational at the University of Northern Iowa in January. Junior Grant Anderson was second in Duo Interpretation. Sophomore Megan Petersen was second and fifth in Duo Interpretation and sixth in Informative Speaking. Sophomore Jason Reisch was fifth in After Dinner Speaking and seventh in Dramatic Interpretation. Freshman Wade Werner was fifth in Dramatic Interpretation. Freshman Suzanne Lumberg was fifth in Duo Interpretation and fifth in Informative Speaking. Freshman Sean Paskach was sixth in Prose Interpretation.

At the January Bob Smith Invitational at Wartburg College, Junior Grant Anderson was sixth in Duo Interpretation. Sophomore Megan Petersen was third and sixth in Duo Interpretation. Freshman Wade Werner was fourth in Prose Interpretation and fifth in Dramatic Interpretation. Freshman Suzanne Lumberg was third in Duo Interpretation and fifth in Informative Speaking. Freshman Sean Paskach was second in Program Oral Interpretation and fifth in Prose Interpretation. Freshman Sarah Walker was third in Impromptu Speaking and fourth in Persuasive Speaking.


Do you have faculty, staff, student or departmental news for the biweekly campus newsletter? Send news items to newsletter editor Mike Cooper. The newsletter is published every other Wednesday during the academic year and monthly during the summer. The next newsletter will be published Feb. 13. The deadline for that newsletter will be the previous Friday (Feb. 8).

Submitting an event for the Campus Newsletter doesn't mean that it will be posted on the Campus Events Calendar. To list events on the events calendar, coordinators should go to the website, click on the self-service "Submit Event" link, and provide the information requested.