Center for Continuing Studies - Innovative Leadership for Lifelong Learning

Center for Continuing Studies - Innovative Leadership for Lifelong Learning - St. Cloud State University

MCFOA Athenian Dialogue

MCFOA - Minnesota Clerks & Finance Officers Association

September 11, 2013

(held the day prior to the MCFOA 2013 Advanced Academy)


Cambria Suites - Maple Grove, MN

9655 Grove Circle North

Maple Grove, MN 55369


Sponsored by the:

 Minnesota Municipal Clerks & Finance Officers Association (MCFOA)


 The Center for Continuing Studies at St. Cloud State University



The premise of this program is the idea that clerks are leaders in very profound yet subtle ways. But leadership here is not the transactional vending machine citizens seem to believe about public management.

Our leadership is more transformational in nature. That is to say, the contribution of clerks to municipal leadership changes the perception of colleagues and citizens about the role and purpose of government.

MCFOA Athenian Dialogue flyer (PDF)


Dialogues are conversations that go beyond the usual knowledge recall and application process familiar to all municipal clerks in training seminars. They are unique because they explore leadership principles and practice, drawing on the insights contained in a book that all participants have read.

Dialogues are conversations in which clerks share their experience and understanding as it relates to the ideas of the author and the relevance of those ideas to their public leadership role.


Barbara Goldsmith Obsessive GeniusThe Book!

Obsessive Genius by Barbara Goldsmith

The story of Marie Curie (1867-1934) is well known. Born into an intellectual but impoverished Polish family, she struggled to obtain a scientific education, first in Poland and then at the Sorbonne in Paris. While a graduate student, she met and married the young chemist Pierre Curie. Together, with essentially no funding and dismal laboratory space, they discovered and characterized radioactivity. Later, on her own Marie discovered and isolated two new elements, polonium and radium. Subsequently Marie and Pierre created the Curie Institute, where Marie was in the forefront in envisioning medical applications of radioactivity and radium.

The story is especially powerful in its depiction of bias against women in science. Marie had to fight for many years to obtain a faculty position at the Sorbonne (unheard of for a woman), or even space to conduct her experiments. When the Nobel Committee awarded its 1903 Prize in Physics, Pierre had to fight to have his wife included in the citation, even though the bulk of the brains and energy behind the discovery of radioactivity were clearly Marie's. Marie was later vindicated when she won her second (and solo) Nobel Prize in 1911 for the discovery of radium.

Obsessive Genius doesn't shy away from Marie Curie's recurrent clinical depressions, which began during her adolescence, nor from her obsessive, hard-driving personality. The book presents an even-handed picture of repeated conflict between her love of her husband and children (one of whom, Irene Joliet-Curie, in 1935 became the second woman scientist ever to win the Nobel Prize); and her passion for her work.



Susan Frost (WI)



Dialogues have been approved by IIMC for two CMC Education Points or two MMC Advanced Education Points (with completion of assessment form). Please refer to the Athenian Leadership Society Policy for Dialogue Guidelines.


Who Should Attend?

All clerks are welcome to register. There is a maximum of 30 participants, so register early!


Registration and Fees

The registration fee for the Athenian Dialogue $65.00 and is limited to 30 registrants. The registration fee must be postmarked prior to September 4. This fee includes instruction, course materials, one lunch, and refreshment breaks. Participants in this program will be responsible for purchasing a copy of the book themselves as well as a $15 registration fee to the Athenian Leadership Society at IIMC. More information on the society and Athenian Dialogues can be found at

A refund, minus a $30 processing fee, will be granted if you cancel by September 4. If you cancel after this date, you will not be eligible for a refund. A full refund will be issued if St. Cloud State University cancels the Dialogue.

Registration Form (PDF)

Check or money order is payable to SCSU. A $30 service charge will be applied if returned for insufficient funds, closed account or Stop Payment request. Mail with registration form:

St. Cloud State University

Attn: Amber Sonsalla, BH 211A

720 4th Avenue South

St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498

Online Registration



The MCFOA Athenian Dialogue will be held at the

Cambria Suites - Maple Grove

9655 Grove Circle North, Maple Grove, Minnesota.

Please check the website: for maps and location.


A block of sleeping rooms has been reserved at the Cambria Suites - Maple grove at a discounted rate of a rate of $89.00 plus tax per room per night. In order to book your room at the group discounted rate, individuals need to call the hotel directly @ 763-494-5556. Please refer to "St. Cloud State University" when making all reservations. Check-in time for all rooms is 3:00 p.m.

Please call the hotel by August 28, 2013. After this date, reservations will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis at the hotel or neighboring lodging property.


For Further Information

If you would like more information or have questions, please contact:

St. Cloud State University

Center for Continuing Studies

720 Fourth Avenue South, BH211

St. Cloud, MNĀ  56301-4498

Gail Ruhland at 320-308-5759 ( Or

Charlotte Kastanek at 320-308-4723 (


Special Accommodations

To ensure full participation in this workshop, please inform us about any dietary requirements or physical challenges which should be addressed prior to your arrival.

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