Maverick Moments

These stories highlight students, faculty, staff, and/or events from Student Affairs Offices fostering big ideas and real-world thinking on campus and in the community.

Matt DuRose

This photograph was taken on Matt's first day of graduate school classes. His children insisted he take a first day of school picture like they do.

For the last 15 years, Matt DuRose has been working for the Police Services Division of the Mankato Department of Public Safety. Throughout his tenure, he has applied the knowledge and skills he learned at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where he earned a degree in Law Enforcement.

Currently, Matt is a Commander assigned to the geographic area that includes Minnesota State Mankato and the surrounding off-campus housing. He enjoys being around campus again and connecting with students, staff and faculty. Matt has also had the opportunity to oversee the department’s new officer training program and internship program, in which many of the participants have a connection to Minnesota State Mankato.

Every year, Matt will recruit at many of the job and internship fairs on campus. Through his recruitment, Matt is able to supervise up to four interns each semester. Matt enjoys this experience because he is able to connect with other students who are pursuing a passion of his. In addition, he is able to help provide an experience for these students to get hands-on experience in the field. This real-world experience opens doors for other opportunities, such as the volunteer police reserves or even full-time employment.

Over the years, Matt has also partnered with different student organizations and offices to provide programs. He has started to reach out to student organizations across campus beyond the Law Enforcement club, in hopes of expanding the Department of Public Safety’s services in other areas besides just safety and enforcement.

For example, Matt and many of his colleagues have collaborated with Student Health Services and Health Pros. Together, these groups sponsor a program known as House Party. This event is a great way to help provide education around the potential dangers of binge drinking. This is just one of the many events that Matt contributes to on campus to help connect the campus, the community and the Police Department.

Recently, Matt began thinking about his own career goals. He has always wanted to be able to advance within his own department, so he started looking around for ways to increase his knowledge. This period of self-reflection led him to enroll in the Public Administration master’s program last fall.

Even though he had the full support of his wife and kids, as well as the support of his unit, Matt admits that he was a little nervous about getting back into the swing of school after being away for 15 years. After a couple weeks of classes, however, that all changed.

That’s when Matt realized that this time, being in the classroom felt different. The program includes students of diverse backgrounds who are all interested in public administration for varying reasons. As a result, the classroom discussions are fruitful.

When doing his homework at home, often with his two kids keeping him company, Matt is able to grasp the readings and apply the ideas to his own professional experiences. He is also able to share his perspective during the classroom discussions. Although Matt appreciated his experience as an undergraduate at Minnesota State Mankato, he feels that what he is learning as a graduate student is much more rich.

Matt’s real-world experiences with the Mankato Department of Public Safety have had a huge impact on his learning in the classroom. Likewise, the content he’s learning in the classroom can be applied right away to his professional experiences. This practical experience that Matt, and many other graduate students encompass, is a great asset to pursuing advanced degrees at Minnesota State Mankato.

This story highlights students, faculty, staff, and/or events from Student Affairs Offices fostering big ideas and real-world thinking on campus and in the community.

Seth Hoscheit

For many students at Minnesota State University, Mankato, the Campus Recreation office (otherwise known as Campus Rec) allows them to get involved, be active and fulfill their competitive hankerings by participating in intramurals. However, graduate student Seth Hoscheit has found another edge to intramurals that may lead him to an unexpected career.

Seth, a native of New Ulm, Minn., refereed basketball and football games and was an umpire for baseball games in high school. When he transitioned to Minnesota State Mankato as an undergraduate, continuing to officiate allowed him to stay involved in athletics —and helped cover some of his expenses as well.

Seth’s interest in officiating led to a connection with Todd Pfingsten ’89, the director of Campus Rec. Pfingsten’s guidance and mentorship helped Seth grow as a referee. “[He taught me that my] job as an official is to work hard for the players on the court and ensure that they have a fair opportunity every time,” he says. “The job is not about [the officials], it’s about the athletes having an enjoyable experience, and [the officials] are a large part of making sure that games are fun and safe.”

“I have been one of Seth’s mentors the past few years and have thoroughly enjoyed our interactions both on and off the court,” Pfingsten says. “He is a student of the game, is professional, a great communicator with players, coaches and fellow officials, and has a great feel for the game.”

Pfingsten was particularly impressed while watching Seth officiate during a playoff game between St. Clair vs. Madelia this spring. “The two coaches I was sitting with were impressed with how Seth just blended in and didn’t stand out,” he says. “He just managed the game, called what needed to be called and helped the kids have fun.”

The impact mentors such as Pfingsten have had on him over the years led Seth, who is now working on his graduate degree in Sport Management, to reach out to other aspiring officials himself. As the graduate assistant for the Campus Rec office, his job is to recruit, train, schedule, supervise and evaluate all of the officials for all of the intramural team sports, as well as managing some of the scheduling of team sports and individual/dual activities. Seth has also stayed connected with the Mankato Area Officials Association.

Through both of these organizations, Seth is able to work with and evaluate up-and-coming officials. He values the opportunity to work with these new officials and help develop their skills. “It has been fun to watch these young officials get better over the past year,” he says.

Seth also appreciates the connections he has been able to make with the community. Over the past couple of years, he has worked in high school games, college games and youth tournaments, which has allowed him to interact with a wide range of individuals and visit many sporting venues in the area.

As Seth works towards his graduate degree, he wants to continue officiating. Eventually, he would like to work as a referee for basketball and football in a big conference at the Division I or II level. With the help of mentors like Pfingsten, he will continue to improve and chase this dream.

This story highlights students, faculty, staff, and/or events from Student Affairs Offices fostering big ideas and real-world thinking on campus and in the community.

Stephanie Trejo

Stephanie Trejo, recipient of the Steve & Judy Legenhausen Distinguished Scholarship Award.

For most high school seniors, the decision to further their education is the first of many big decisions. The importance of a campus’ size, the institution’s location, the major course offerings and the cost of attendance become common conversation topics. This was not any different for incoming first-year student, Stephanie Trejo.

Stephanie, a senior at Butterfield Secondary, had many big decisions to make regarding where she wanted to pursue her bachelor’s degree. Growing up within 45 minutes of Minnesota State University, Mankato, Stephanie always knew it was a great school. It wasn’t until her junior year, when her high school counselor took their class on three college visits, including Minnesota State Mankato, that Stephanie knew it was the place for her. “After the visit, I knew that I could picture myself pursuing my degree there,” she says. “I’ve always wanted to attend a school like MSU that has diversity and academic challenges.”

Stephanie also appreciated the sense of community on campus. After growing up in a town of around 600 people, Minnesota State Mankato’s size felt like the perfect transition for Stephanie.

With the decision of where to go made, Stephanie now has other important decisions to consider. She’s still figuring out what she will major in. At the moment, she’s focused on either Communication Disorders or Social Work—but she is glad that she’ll have the opportunity to explore many options at Minnesota State Mankato.

She’s also glad that she’ll be able to continue pursuing extracurricular activities. Throughout her high school career, she has been extremely involved in many activities. Since ninth grade, she has played the bass clarinet in the Senior High Band and recently participated in the Section 6 Honor Band. She has also participated in one-act plays and served as her class president since 10th grade. Stephanie has been involved in many community service events as well, such as elementary reading nights, preschool screening, community nights. She has also served as a translator as parent/teacher conferences or new student orientation, which influenced her decision to minor in Spanish.

One of the final decision-making steps in determining where Stephanie will go to college was the financing of her education. In January of this year, Stephanie applied for the Presidential Scholarship—a stressful process, because the application includes two personal essays. Stephanie wanted both essays to accurately represent herself so that she would be considered a candidate for the scholarship.

In February, Stephanie was invited to campus to interview for the Presidential Scholarship. After the deadline dates passed and she hadn’t heard anything about the scholarship, she assumed that she had not received one. Although she was disappointed, she was extremely grateful that she had been considered as a candidate.

But in March, Stephanie received a call from the Admissions Office informing her that she would be the first recipient of the new Steve & Judy Legenhausen Distinguished Scholarship Award. Specifically designated for a first generation student, the scholarship will cover all tuition and fees for four years. It is one of the University’s most prestigious scholarships. “I am very grateful,” Stephanie says. “I still can’t even express how grateful I am.”

Receiving this new scholarship made all the difference in Stephanie’s decision to attend Minnesota State Mankato. Now she is just excited to come to campus next fall and start her first year at Minnesota State Mankato.

This story highlights students, faculty, staff, and/or events from Student Affairs Offices fostering big ideas and real-world thinking on campus and in the community.

Students talking in hallway

Many programs at Minnesota State University, Mankato require students to complete an internship, which allows them to gain practical, hands-on experience before entering the workforce. Many internship sites are right on campus. The Counseling Center, housed in the Centennial Student Union, is a highly sought-after site from professional programs in Mankato as well as the Twin Cities metro area.

Since 1992, when the Counseling Center took on a doctoral candidate from the metro area as an intern, demand for the Center’s services has continued to grow. As the number of staff members has grown since the Counseling Center first opened, the opportunities for interns in the Counseling Center Training Program have also increased. Currently, the Center accepts between six and eight interns from programs such as counseling, psychology and social work each year.

One of the interns during the 2014-2015 academic year sought out an internship in the Counseling Center because this person had heard that the Center offers great supervision and that the supervisors are invested in the supervisees’ professional development.

Not only do the students benefit from the internship opportunity, but the supervisors enjoy participating in the training program as well. Since the field is constantly changing, the training program requires the clinical staff to stay current on new practices and trends within the field. “We very much enjoy supervising and watching our trainees grow,” one supervisor said. “Also, the trainees add enthusiasm and a great energy level to our center.”

When reflecting on the past year, one of the interns shared how enjoyable and educational the experience had been: “I got to work with different supervisory styles and learn from their strengths. I also received a lot of encouragement and had the space to ask questions. Finally, the camaraderie was a significant factor in making the Counseling Center such a comfortable environment. It helped me become more comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

As a supervisor, it is rewarding to help someone learn how to be a therapist. “Having the privilege to be a part of a trainee’s growth over the course of the year is a humbling and inspiring experience,” a supervisor said.

Big ideas and real-world thinking on campus and in the community.

Student studying in the CSU

Have you been to the Centennial Student Union (CSU)? Sure you have, but it’s not just a place you go to grab a bite to eat on campus. “The Union is more than a structure. It is the lifeblood of the University—a place where students, staff, faculty and the public are educated, have fun, create and learn more about differing cultures,” said Centennial Student Union and Student Activities Director Mark Constantine.

Approaching two years with Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mark calls upon his many years of experience in residential life, career services, student activities, community engagement, and student union, just to name a few, to lead the CSU in a collective vision for the future. Mark says, “Although I’m the “leader”, my style is very collaborative.” The vision for the CSU comes from a collaborative group of staff, student employees and the Student Union Board. The CSU is a student fee funded program and student feedback and input is crucial to the success and future of the Union. Never resting on its laurels, the CSU is consistently looking for a variety of opportunities for students at the University to become involved. “Our vision must include new programs and services, while keeping the Union fresh, modern, exciting and relevant. We INVITE, INVOLVE and INSPIRE on a daily basis!” Mark said.

The CSU is for all and many campus groups organize events through the Union. The Union provides them with services such as room scheduling, set-up, tech services, catering and more to allow the campus groups to conduct a successful event. Between the Student Events Team (formally IMPACT), Greek Life, registered RSO’s, community engagement, leadership programs, non-traditional student resources, MSSA, and more, “we are the heart and soul of student life for the campus.”

The Union also has a great place to relax, play billiards, bowl, play games or just lounge watching TV called the Bullpen. Lead by CSU Communications team leader Lenny Koupal, there are several low-key events held throughout the semester. These low-key events are often referred to by CSU staff as “serendipitous moments.” New experiences may be encountered right around the next corner of the building.

“Our goal is to provide on-going opportunities for students to grow, so they help make the University an exciting, vibrant place – while also preparing them for life after college!”

Big ideas and real-world thinking on campus and in the community.