President Earl H. Potter III TAKES THE HELM
Outlook Magazine, Fall 2007
The university launched a "new and improved" Web site late this summer.
Visitors now find a high-impact, "image rich" look and new navigational tools at www.stcloudstate.edu. The site also has a strong external focus, as it’s aimed at the 75-85 percent of prospective students who receive their first impression of SCSU from the Web site. Statistics show that four out of five prospective students use the Web to search for a college.
The redesign is based on consultation with Stamats, a higher education marketing firm that conducted extensive research at the University 18 months ago. In addition to incorporating messages developed from the market research, the site capitalizes on the power of the Web, one of the institution’s most important marketing tools.
The new design, which also complements new publications from the SCSU Office of Admissions, is heavily populated with pictures and profiles of students, faculty members and alumni.
Open for Business: Centennial Hall revitalized
An extensively renovated Centennial Hall opened this fall as the new home of the G.R. Herberger College of Business, and completion of the project is the SCSU Foundation’s current fundraising priority. Much of the building that for 30 years was known as "The Library" has been transformed this past year into offices for College of Business faculty as well as classrooms, an auditorium, breakout rooms, student common areas and a network research lab. The majority of the work has been completed, and the project is expected to be finalized in the spring of 2008.
The five-floor building also now houses the philosophy deparment and the Center for Student Success, which combines academic student services including the Advising Center, Career Services, Student Disability Services, Honors Program and the Multicultural Academic Center. An expanded Husky Bookstore occupies nearly half of the ground floor of the building whose groundbreaking in 1969 commemorated the institution’s 100th anniversary.
The SCSU Foundation has pledged to raise $2.2 million to complete funding for the $15.2 million project. The state funded the balance of the cost. For more information on how to support the project, contact Terri Mische, director of development, G.R. Herberger College of Business, at 320-308-6676.
In an effort to increase knowledge, sensitivity and awareness of the histories, cultures and languages of the American Indian bands in Minnesota, SCSU held its first American Indian Studies Summer Institute in June. The weeklong program was sponsored in partnership with the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and the Minnesota Historical Society.
Sessions throughout the week covered "Minnesota Indians 101," tribal sovereignty, stereotypes and cultural misinformation, incorporating American Indian history and culture into the curriculum and language training. In addition, there were field trips to urban Indian communities and the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation.
Job Well done
Four students were recognized for outstanding contributions to the campus and the community through their employment in the university’s second annual Student Employee of the Year competition.
The 2007 Student Employee of the Year is Thea O’Sullivan, of St. Paul, who was employed by the Lindgren Child Care Center at SCSU before she earned her marketing degree in May.
First runner-up was Elizabeth Selton, senior, mass communications, Crystal, who worked at the American Indian Center at SCSU. Irfan Mohammed, graduate student, mechanical engineering, India, employed by the SCSU Center for Continuing Studies, was second runner-up. Third runner-up was senior Sara Georges, marketing, St. Cloud, who works in collection management at the SCSU library.
Pack Your Bags
An enthusiastic response to the first-ever Passport Fair in January prompted SCSU to host a second such event in April for the benefit of students, faculty members, staff and the entire community.
The original Passport Fair was prompted by new passport requirements that went into effect in January, as well as the many students and employees who need passports for study abroad or to travel during the summer months. Every year more than 425 SCSU students study abroad in 20 countries, and half of the university’s faculty members have international experience.
Up in the Air
For the seventh time in 10 years, the Aero Club flight team won the opportunity to compete for the nation’s top collegiate flying honors at the annual Safety and Flight Evaluation Conference in Ohio. SCSU is in Region V, which has produced the national champion five of the last 10 years.
In picture: The Aero Club's Cessna 172 on the way home from regional competition were Jon Gourdox, sophomore, of Pleasant Prairie, Wis., and Brett Teat, sophomore, Stillwater. The photo was taken by Lisa Wixom, junior, Janesville, Wis., who was with Craig Johnson, senior Chanhassen, in a Cessna 152.
The team flew three planes to Columbus, where they competed in such events as power-off landing, short-field approach and landing, navigation, message drop, simulated and precision flight, ground training, aircraft preflight inspection, aircraft recognition and simulated comprehensive aircraft navigation.
Window to the Stars
A powerful new projector broadened the scope of the SCSU Planetarium this fall, bringing more than 8,500 stars and 24 constellations and galaxies to students and the community.
The new projector replaces equipment installed in 1973 that allowed observers to take in 3,000 stars and constellations. Thanks to fiber optics technology, the new projector can instantaneously display the skies at any time in the past, present or future. The views can also be from any spot on Earth or in the solar system.
Despite the 34-year-old projector’s limitations, the Planetarium presented an average of 80 shows a year to more than 5,000 Central Minnesota students and adults. That’s in addition to the SCSU students who visited the Planetarium for astronomy classes.
Regulatory affairs masterís: first-of-its-kind
The University’s new master of science degree in regulatory affairs and services (RA) is believed to be the first in the country to focus specifically on medical devices. The SCSU program will educate professionals to lead medical device companies through the Food and Drug Administration and international regulatory processes designed to ensure new medical devices are safe and effective.
The concept for the program arose out of the Science Initiative of Central Minnesota, a community effort to encourage science-based businesses to locate or expand in the St. Cloud area. "There is a shortage of well-trained individuals in the RA profession – we’re stepping up to help meet that need," said David DeGroote, dean of the College of Science and Engineering.
Classes are held nights and weekends in the northwest Twin Cities.
The student chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) was honored at the AMA International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans with the Outstanding Chapter Award and third place in the Web site competition.
The SCSU group, one of 126 collegiate chapters competing for a chapter award, placed among the top 10 chapters overall.
At the conference were seniors Jason Douglas, whose hometown is Hopkins, Shawn Nelson and Rachel Anderson, Maple Grove, Amie Morris, Waite Park, Brandon Tamm, Sartell, Will Orr, Benson, Jaclyn Warne, Rosemount, Erik Doerr, Lakeland, Ashley Lifgren, Shafer, Kelsi Palin, Cumberland, Wis., Martin Gjerde, Brooten, Gina Higgins, Center City, Max Markham, Woodbury, and Ross Juntti, Minnetonka; juniors Cierra Oberg, Detroit Lakes, Laura Steffenson, Owatonna, and Jennie Haak, Maple Grove; and sophomores Kristie Keller, Bismarck, N.D., and Megan Mrdjenovich, Maple Grove.
Outreach work noted
For the fifth consecutive year, the Students in Free Enterprise won regional championship honors and qualified for the national competition.
During the 2006-07 school year the team coordinated 26 projects that directly impacted more than 2,100 high school, college and community members, with an additional 3,500 individuals reached through their bi-weekly radio show and identity theft programs. In addition to teaching financial literacy and personal success skills, the team also executed projects to teach entrepreneurial skills, market economics and business ethics.
Presenters at the national competition, where the team placed, were seniors Adam Schmitt and Jeff Albin of Plymouth, and Cassie Anderson, Clear Lake; juniors Kendra Willis, Neenah, Wis., and Adam Lund, Apple Valley; and sophomore Oscar Cediel, Bogota, Colombia.
UTVS grabs an Emmy
This spring UTVS took first place and a College Emmy Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation for best daily student television news program. The College Emmy competition is designed to give student work exposure to the television and film industry.
Now in its 30th year, UTVS cablecasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The independently-operated station is completely student run, from camera operators to station management.
The UTVS experience, open to every SCSU student, brings viewers the station’s own programs (newscasts, a trivia game show, Monday Night Live with KVSC and all home Husky hockey games) as well as cable entertainment, education and arts programming.
Leading service: Leadership Awards
Excellence in Leadership Awards were presented this spring to 23 students who, through their leadership efforts, have made significant contributions to SCSU and their communities.
The top honor, the Dennis M. Thayer Leadership Award, was presented to Allissa Dillman, senior, of St. Cloud.
The Rich Murray Volunteer Service Scholarship was presented to Jenna Trisko, senior, Waite Park.
Adam J. Schmitt, senior, Eden Prairie, president of Students in Free Enterprise, received the Student Leader of the Year Award.
The Students in Free Enterprise/Target Outstanding Community Service Award went to the students’ Medical Professions Association for their work with Relay for Life, which raised $32,000 this year, and to the Communication Studies Association for their work on the annual bone marrow donor registration project, which registered its 1,000th donor this year. Associate Professor Heiko Schoenfuss was named Adviser of the Year for his work with the Medical Professions Association.
Additional honorees, year in school at the time of the honor and hometown were:
An innovative instrument developed by professors at SCSU and the University of Wisconsin-Madison in collaboration with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., into low earth orbit aboard Space Test Program Satellite-1 this spring.
The satellite carried the Spatial Heterodyne Imager for Mesospheric Radicals (SHIMMER) instrument, a rugged, high-resolution ultraviolet spectrometer designed to image the earth’s atmosphere. The instrument is not only a third the size of earlier instruments, but its higher sensitivity allows for seven times faster sampling of the atmosphere.
The SHIMMER effort at SCSU is led by Physics, Astronomy and Engineering Science Professor John Harlander. He and his undergraduate students contributed to the project in numerous ways, including the design and testing of prototypes at SCSU, the detailed optical design of SHIMMER and development of alignment and data analysis techniques.
Faculty/Staff News & Briefs
A licensed attorney who practices solo and with a firm association, Vadnie is co-adviser of the Society of Professional Journalists student chapter, coordinator for the university’s news-editorial sequence, senior consultant for the First Amendment Forum and adviser for the University Chronicle newspaper.
New Faces, New Places
There are new faces and new places at St. Cloud State this fall – a new president, a new home for the G.R. Herberger College of Business and student services, new degree programs, new chairs of the SCSU Foundation Board of Trustees and Alumni Association, and a new set of alumni award winners, ranging in class year from 1952-2003. What a lot these people have accomplished, some during long, distinguished careers and others in just a few short years since graduation!
Bob White ’71, retired president and CEO of Bankers Systems, St. Cloud, assumed leadership of the SCSU Foundation Board of Trustees on July 1. Bob recently led the Foundation’s strategic planning process. We look forward to his tenure as chair and thank past-chair Diana Carter ’78 for her service. Della Ludwig ’95 steps up as president of the Alumni Association board this year.
Past-president Kevin Gohl ’84, along with alumni and foundation board members, participated in the presidential search process that led to the hiring of Dr. Earl Potter III as SCSU president.
These two groups of dedicated supporters work on your behalf, administering scholarships such as the Goff scholarship profiled below, managing the alumni awards process, and providing support for Outlook to keep you informed about SCSU. They will host a variety of events this year to introduce President Potter to you, our alumni and supporters. I hope you will join us in welcoming him to Minnesota and St. Cloud State.
Profile: Dr. Earl H. Potter III was appointed SCSU’s 22nd president by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees, effective July 1, 2007.
It didn’t take long for Earl Potter to determine St. Cloud State University was right for him – and vice versa.
"The first day I liked the way it felt to be on this campus," said the university’s 22nd president. "Students I’ve talked to have told me the same thing – they’re excited about being here. That’s powerful affirmation that we’re making a difference by offering a fine education to a broad range of learners.
I value that mission – it’s why I’m here."
Many on campus and in the broader community have agreed Potter and SCSU are a good fit. His packed schedule these first few months indicates Potter intends to learn from as many of those individuals as he can. It’s a steep learning curve, "sort of like drinking water from a fire hose," he said.
Employees across campus have been buzzing about their shared experience of looking up to see Potter in their office, locking their names into his memory and asking them to tell him about what they do and how things could be better.
"President Potter is exactly what we need at this time – a breath of fresh air," said Presidential Search Advisory Committee and College of Education faculty member Christine Imbra, who was seeking the strong leader, seasoned academic and willing decision-maker she and others see in Potter. Committee members correctly perceived Potter to be an unusually intent listener with an impressive memory – an analytical leader who sifts carefully through evidence before sharing his conclusions.
"He assembles information very well, and he’s able to process things he hears from multiple corners and assimilate that information into a clearly articulated vision," said Bob White ’70, St. Cloud, president of the SCSU Foundation. "There’s no mistaking he’s leading."
President Potter understands the University shouldn’t be an island in the community, White said. "He’s working on a master plan, and a huge piece of that includes ways the University should be involved with a multitude of community stakeholders."
St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis ’89, who meets regularly with the new president, agrees Potter is a quick study and a bridge-builder. "I’ve been very impressed with his emphasis on the University being a greater partner with the city," he said. "He believes the University does well if the city does well, and the city does well if the University does well."
SCSU faculty member, Debra Leigh, a leader of the Community Anti-Racism Education Initiative (CARE) is impressed with Potter’s "sincerity and concern about the issues that he knew he would face – a person who genuinely cares about people."
Robert Lavenda, faculty member of the College of Social Sciences, values President Potter’s grasp of complex issues – "being prepared at all times for anything that might happen."
"It’s clear President Potter has hit the ground running with the community and with legislative affairs," said State Sen. Tarryl Clark, St. Cloud. "That will serve St. Cloud State well."
Potter’s education – predominantly in the discipline of psychology – no doubt helped build his listening and relationship-building habits. He also points to experiences that have influenced his character and his priorities. "There are a lot of bricks in this wall," said Potter, who grew up in North Kingstown, R.I. One of those "bricks" was his early experience with international study.
While an undergraduate student at Williams College, one summer Potter was one of six students chosen to teach English as a second language in Hong Kong. "They gave you a round-trip ticket to Hong Kong, but for $200 more you could go around the world," he said. It was 1967, and Potter traveled across Europe and Asia. The experience taught the young member of a centuries-old New England family that the importance of international education goes beyond things related to international affairs.
"It teaches, through experience, that you can make your way in different cultures," Potter said. "More importantly you learn that your own way of looking at the world is not the only way. It’s going beyond just acknowledging others are not the same; it’s about learning to look at the world you know from an entirely different perspective . . . an experience that humbles and lays the foundation of respect for all peoples."
That early life-altering experience still resonates as he considers the future of SCSU. "A lot has been done to make this a global community," he said. "This is really special about St. Cloud State. We have some programs going on that are having a profound impact on students, and I want to build on that."
"We can take great pride in making a difference – in many different ways – in the lives of students as we help them discover their curiosity and their potential," Potter said. He believes in offering a good mix of academic excellence and life-altering opportunity to support intellectual and emotional growth for the whole person. The first in his family to go to college, he attended Williams with the aid of scholarships and part-time jobs. An honors student elected to Phi Beta Kappa, he also benefited from activities such as glee club and the football team.
Listeners of KVSC-88.1 FM, the campus radio station, got to know Earl Potter better during this July interview conducted by KVSC News Director Samrat Kharel, a graduate student from Nepal.
"In our Search Advisory Committee meetings President Potter articulated a broad role for higher education – institutions preparing students for life, not just a career," said former Alumni Association President Kevin Gohl ’81,
Plymouth. "He also spoke eloquently about the university’s role in the
St. Cloud community and the region – from being a good neighbor to providing intellectual and financial capital to pursuing opportunities and addressing compelling needs."
Potter sees the University as an engine for change and intends to do a better job of building a common understanding of its cultural and educational impact on the region.
"I want the people of Central Minnesota to be proud of their University."
Minnesota State Rep. Larry Haws, below, St. Cloud, a member of the House Higher Education Committee, joins Earl Potter in preparing root beer floats for sale at a Municipal Band concert in Barden Park Aug. 2.
To reach this objective SCSU will have to be recognized as a key asset that drives the economic and cultural well-being of this region, Potter said. "It will be unmistakable that this is a ‘university town’; the city will have the character and feel of communities that attract and hold talent, and our University will be at the center of that city."
Excerpts from President Earl Potter’s opening address to the campus community Aug. 27
Students who believe the St. Cloud State University Criminal Justice Program and the careers that follow are "all handcuffs and assault rifles," said the founder and chair of the program, are not what SCSU is looking for. "Our goal is to turn out well-educated, compassionate human beings who have empathy for their fellow man," according to Professor Bob Prout.
To reach that goal, the program emphasizes the value of a liberal arts education, readily accepts students whose interests are in such non-criminal justice fields as English, biology and history, stresses the inter-relatedness of law enforcement, court services, corrections, juvenile justice and private security, and supports interaction with leaders in the field and around the world.
As a result, employers like Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner appreciate the talent pool at SCSU, where he finds "very well- trained, very professional, very well-rounded" candidates. With their liberal arts background, Sanner said, SCSU graduates make better decisions in the face of challenges throughout their law enforcement careers.
The Stearns County Sheriff’s Department has chosen SCSU candidates often enough that, right now, 23 officers in the department are SCSU alumni. St. Cloud Chief of Police Dennis Ballantine also turns first to the University to fill staff openings: "SCSU is a fantastic resource," he said, adding that the many alumni he’s hired have great track records. He’s not the only police chief aware of SCSU students’ potential – during a recent visit to campus, Ballantine was surprised to run into recruiters from a surburban Dallas, Texas, police department.
SCSU students in criminal justice know all the right people – faculty members with connections. Two examples are Professor John Campbell, who has 28 years of experience with the FBI, the "Harvard" of law enforcement education worldwide, and Professor Barry Schreiber, an ATM crime expert who also has a knack for attracting classroom speakers who deal with law enforcement issues on a daily basis.
Law enforcement professionals who’ve spoken to students in the entry-level criminal justice course taught by Schreiber, and joined students for lunch, have included:
"We want students to see that there are great career possibilities out there, and somebody’s going to get those opportunities," said Schreiber, who asks them: "Why shouldn’t it be you?" Every semester, students from across the country are invited to compete for 8-10 openings in the FBI Academy’s intern program. Chosen students work in the behavioral science unit and the National Center for Analysis of Violent Crime, which is known for its criminal profiling work. Campbell helps students prepare for the extensive interview and screening process, with the result that SCSU wins more than its expected share of the valuable FBI Academy slots:
Criminal justice majors have found that an SCSU education can lead them to careers across the state and country:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
While at SCSU Tim Koupal ’01, San Diego, Calif., interned with the U.S. Marshal’s Office, Minneapolis. He’s now a special agent on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement narcotics task force focused on Mexican and South American channels.
Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA)
On his way to a master’s degree Josh Florell ’02, Anoka County, wrote a policy manual for the Minnesota BCA Statewide Emergency Response Team. He’s now a senior special agent and supervisor in the training unit at the Bureau.
Edwin Quall ’01, Washington, D.C., chose SCSU for his master’s because he wanted to be taught by professors with extensive law enforcement experience. He’s now a supervisory analyst within the Interpol Operations and Command Center for the U.S. National Central Bureau of Interpol, U.S. Department of Justice. The Bureau facilitates cooperation between U.S. law enforcement and the 186 Interpol member countries.
Minnesota Department of Corrections
As an SCSU student, Jennifer Lampert ’04, St. Cloud, participated in a short-term criminal justice course in Croatia led by Professor Dick Andzenge. The experience convinced her corrections would be the right career choice. The former St. Cloud Correctional Facility officer now works in St. Paul with interstate offenders.
After he earned his master’s at SCSU, Larry Carr ‘97, Seattle, spent two years on Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s security detail. He’s now an FBI special agent in Seattle, where he developed a bank employee training program that helped cut bank robberies in half during the first quarter of 2007.
Electrical engineering students Matt Gesmundo, left, and Kelly Honeck watch as Tim Peterson demonstrates the digitally controlled analog transceiver they built as a senior design project.
"Generally we kind of hide out in our own little corner, but this gave us a chance to see what other students are doing," said Peterson, Maple Grove. He and his project mates, Honeck of Maple Grove and Gesmundo of Buffalo, all earned their degrees in May. They started preliminary research on their senior project – required of all electrical engineering majors – in summer and began the project, titled "Digitally Controlled Analog Transceiver," in earnest during fall semester.
Peterson credits Gesmundo, a ham radio enthusiast, with the inspiration to build what essentially is a ham radio controlled by a computer instead of knobs and buttons. "We wanted to create a ham radio that has an analog signal path more fine-tuned to the band that we’re listening to and talking on, and we also wanted the flexibility of a computer interface and embedded system," he said.
"The colloquium is an excellent opportunity for our projects to be displayed," Peterson said. The campus-wide event brings together students, faculty members and community participants involved in scholarly and artistic activities. The projects – offered as poster displays, oral presentations of papers, panel discussions and performances – are scheduled throughout a single April day in Atwood Memorial Center.
Ashley Toenjes delivers her presentation on "Global Politics: NGOs and the Afghan Women’s Movement." The purpose of her research was to clarify the role of non-governmental organizations in local politics, particularly in Afghanistan on organizations such as the Revolutionary Afghan Women’s Association.
Research is considered a vital component of higher education at SCSU, and the colloquium represents research in all disciplines, including creative arts, mathematics, business, social sciences, humanities, physical and life sciences and engineering. "The colloquium is a unique opportunity for students to showcase what they’ve accomplished by working one-on-one with their faculty mentors," said Richard Rothaus, assistant vice president for research and faculty development.
"Not only is this the ultimate in active learning, we also get the bonus of scholars from so many disciplines taking a day out to learn from each other," Rothaus said. "When I see faculty from one field being inspired by students in another, I know we have achieved the best learning environment a university can have."
The range of projects is evident in the variety of titles, including: "HIV/AIDS in India: An Awareness," "Current Research in Solar Cells and Their Practical Applications," "Automator Chop Saw," "Global Warming: Is It Human Induced?" and "The Effect of Divorce on Sibling Attachment."
Geography majors Jamie Wheeler, seated, and Chelsea Bagent relax after giving presentations, Wheeler on Russian airports and Bagent on what plant remnants reveal about geography.
Jamie Wheeler ’07, Jackson, and Chelsea Bagent ’07, Battle Lake, were inspired by the same geography professor, Mikhail "Misha" Blinnikov, who grew up in Moscow, to research very diverse topics for their senior projects. Wheeler’s presentation was "Barriers to Russian Air Transportation – Why Russian Citizens Stay Put" and Bagent’s was "What Phytoliths Can Tell Us About the Geography of Plants."
Wheeler researched the obstacles that keep Russian citizens from traveling by air – high costs, an underdeveloped and under-marketed air transportation network, and lack of information and data. Bagent’s project involved counting phytoliths – silica-based microscopic structures left behind from decayed plants – from the Alaska and Yukon regions of what was once ancient Beringia. The span of land existed during the Ice Age on the edge of the Arctic, connecting what is now Siberia and Alaska, and Bagent’s project was aimed at helping determine what differences in vegetation and what climate existed in the lost land.
That such vastly disparate topics could be researched by two women in the same major under the same professor is no surprise to Wheeler and Bagent. "That just shows how cool Misha (Blinnikov) is," Wheeler said. "He knows so much about so many aspects of geography."
"And how diverse the field of geography is," Bagent added, "that you can go anywhere with it."
"The whole geography department is just wonderful," Bagent said. Gareth John, an assistant geography professor in his second year at SCSU, was project sponsor for Wheeler and Bagent’s research presentations. A native of Wales, John is as enthusiastic about his department as the two students. "This is a very student-oriented culture," the professor said.
The Research Colloquium balances the tension that sometimes exists between teaching and research, John said. "It motivates students to design their own research and develop ideas, concepts and methodologies. They experience developing a project over the course of a semester or longer. That ownership really does inspire them." Wheeler agreed. "It’s an opportunity to show off what I’ve been working on," she said of her project presentation. "It’s something we can be proud of."
Dessert Fest brought ‘88 graduates Brad and Kathy Wheelock together with both recipients of the Wheelock Education Scholarship they endowed: sophomore Melissa Wells, White Bear Lake, far left, and junior Tandehl Collentine, Anoka, second from right.
For nine years the college has set aside an April evening to bring together individuals who contribute in a variety of ways to the success of deserving education students. Dessert Fest 2007 celebrated those involved in giving and receiving 128 education scholarships totaling $97,000. Besides thanking donors, students introduce professors who have had the greatest influence on their studies, as well as family and friends who have come to share in
For some scholarship recipients, the opportunity to personally express appreciation to their benefactors is an emotional experience. Laura Fritz, St. Augusta, was visibly overcome as she got up to accept one of five Melissa Johnson Memorial Scholarships for Teacher Education, established nine years ago in honor of Melissa "Missy" Johnson as a community response to a tragedy. Missy was a St. Cloud State University education student who was abducted and murdered in July of 1991, just three days before completing the requirements for her degree.
"I hadn’t realized what it meant," said Fritz as she rose to accept the scholarship from Melissa’s mother, Gayle Johnson, of Alexandria, who sat next to her at their table. Fritz’s words were said through tears as she responded to her introduction, which included an explanation of how the memorial scholarships were initiated with gifts from family, friends and community members who contributed as a way to mourn their loss and celebrate Missy’s life.
Fritz said she had known who the scholarship was named for, but it was the photo projected on the big screen on stage that prompted the surge of emotion.
Johnson has participated in Dessert Fest every year, representing Melissa and meeting the students who will carry on the dream of teaching that her daughter was deprived of achieving. "These scholarships are very important because that’s what Melissa was all about – teaching and her love of kids," she said. "That will continue through these students, and I feel very proud of them."
The scholarship is the first Fritz has received in her college career, and it will have a significant impact on her last semester this fall. She’ll only have to work one day a week, instead of three. "I was a ball of energy that night when I got that letter saying I got the scholarship," she said. "It means a lot to me."
Gayle Johnson, left, and student Laura Fritz, recipient of a Melissa Johnson Memorial Scholarship for Teacher Education, got to know each other over cake and coffee before the Dessert Fest program. Johnson represents donors of the scholarship named for her late daughter, Melissa "Missy" Johnson.
The Dessert Fest event also meant a lot to Fritz. "It was a great night," she said. "It was nice to see so many people recognized and to be honored with others being educated in this important field."
Prabal Shah, graduate student from Nepal, received the Dennis and Anne Fields Scholarship in Information Media at Dessert Fest. The scholarship will help him achieve his goal of making a difference in his homeland.
"I come from a country where thousands of children never get a chance to go to school," said Shah as he thanked the donors of his scholarship, named for Dennis Fields, a retired SCSU professor of information media, and Anne Fields, a former SCSU lab school teacher and assistant registrar.
Melissa Wells, this year’s recipient of two scholarships, including the Wheelock Education Scholarship, talked about being on the receiving end of her donors’ generosity: "It means someone is behind you, supporting you every step of the way," she said.
Brad and Kathy (Mundhenke) Wheelock, 1988 alumni, established their scholarship for education students three years ago to support students like Wells. Their goal is to assist some of the many students who need to work in order to fund their education, as they did. Now the couple is giving back to enable others to achieve their educational dreams.
Elaine Leach, a retired faculty member in the College of Education, established the Scholarship for Women in Educational Leadership nine years ago for women who are planning to continue their careers in education as principals or superintendents in rural Minnesota. "For women wanting to prepare for school administration, some of the challenges are tuition, books, child care," Leach said. "Rural schools deserve and will benefit from these women in administration. It’s a pleasure to contribute in this way."
Graduate student Heidi Hahn, of Baxter, this year’s recipient of Leach’s scholarship, said of meeting Elaine: "It’s truly been an honor. I’ve found out we have quite a few connections, including some administrators who have been my mentors."
"Tonight represents an important intersection: parents who are proud of their children and feel their own sense of accomplishment; professors who labor to impart their knowledge in the hopes that their students will be successful in their professional field of study; and – of course – our donors, those of you who have chosen to give back to the University so that the college experience is more accessible and enriched for those who follow," College of Education Dean Kate Steffens told Dessert Fest participants.
Stories of Campus Life
In 1986, when most of the world was just beginning to wake up to the gravity of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, Joseph Edelheit buried the first of 31 friends whose deaths would make the global tragedy a personal cause for him.
On the St. Cloud State University campus Edelheit is an associate professor of philosophy and director of religious studies. But in the world of HIV/AIDS activism, he’s well known as a committed advocate and global reformer.
"I’m incredibly passionate about this," said Edelheit, who has spent the past two summers working to make a much-needed orphanage a reality in India. The orphanage is a project of the Living India Organization (livingindia.org) that he and his wife, Machelle Norling, founded in a country where she has family and he has had a growing interest because of his AIDS work. The organization’s orphanage/medical clinic is now home to 11 infant to adolescent children, all infected with HIV and orphans of parents who died of AIDS.
"The newest resident – a 7-year-old boy – came to us when his uncle abandoned him on a train," Edelheit said. "The boy’s parents had died of AIDS and the uncle didn’t know what to do. Think of it, India is the world’s largest democracy and fastest growing capitalist economy – where we do our outsourcing – and we overlook the fact that this same government is in public denial of having more than 14 million people living with AIDS. That’s more than South Africa."
According to current estimates, more than one million children in India under age 15 have lost one or both parents to AIDS. Edelheit’s most immediate hope is to find a way to keep more of these children alive. Living India is trying to raise the funds it needs to complete a new building for the orphanage.
The stated purpose of Living India, based in Chandrakal near Hyderabad, South India, and the United States, is to create opportunities for multi-faith and government coalitions to serve and educate the people of India about HIV/AIDS. But for Edelheit, a more crucial objective is to save more of the abandoned children who had the misfortune of being born into desperate circumstances.
Edelheit served five years on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS under President Clinton and continues to be active internationally in the cause. He has a varied and extensive background in spiritual, academic and outreach endeavors. Before coming to SCSU in 2003 to develop the Jewish Studies Program and open the Office of Jewish Communal Activities and Resources, he spent nine years as senior rabbi at Temple Israel in Minneapolis and served as a visiting adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota, teaching in the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Center for Healing and Spirituality.
Edelheit has a history of responding to the needs of those around him, but he said that after his retirement from Temple Israel, the largest temple congregation in Minneapolis, he decided to do more to address global issues. "The most serious challenge we face is indifference and apathy," he said of HIV/AIDS, expected to top 125 million infected by 2010 in just the four countries of India, China, Russia and Nigeria. "It’s not okay to ignore the most serious health disaster in human history, for which there is neither vaccine nor cure."
His passion for the HIV/AIDS issue is directly linked to what he believes is the most important message of the Holocaust – that perpetrators count on the masses being bystanders. "I refuse to spend any part of my life confirming that axiom. I want to be a model to my five children."
He also believes that perpetuating activism in the social and health issues that plague the world is an important model for his students.
"Talking about my work with AIDS is a way for me to relate to students the interdependence of 21st century globalism, to help them understand how to respond when some cosmic need provokes their concern," Edelheit said of the environment in which his students grow and learn.
Edelheit is proud of the way many SCSU students have responded to studying about such global tragedies. "The students of Tonya Huber-Warring (an associate professor of human relations and multicultural education) raised $232 last spring for Living India," he said. "That’s a significant statement that students on our campus are beginning to deal with the real global nature of the pandemic."
Erika Quigley ’07 completed her college career this spring as the most decorated player in St. Cloud State University women’s basketball history. She swept national player of the year honors as she was named the State Farm/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Player of the Year, the Daktronics National Player of the Year and the headliner on the Women’s Division II Basketball Bulletin All-American First Team.
At SCSU, the four-year starter became the all-time leader in scoring (2,570), rebounding (1,341) and blocked shots (300).
For the 2006-07 season, she led all NCAA Division II women in scoring with a 24.5 points-per-game average, ranked in the top 10 in rebounding, was named the North Central Conference MVP and brought to six the number of times during her career that she was named an All-American.
Quigley, who played volleyball and basketball in high school in Duluth, began her athletic career at SCSU with a bang: she averaged 18.1 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game, scored 29 points three times and was North Central Conference Freshman of the Year.
SCSU head women’s basketball coach Lori Ulferts had the pleasure of watching Quigley steadily top that performance. "She was consistently, from her freshman year to her senior year, the best player on the court. To see her ability to get off the quick shot, catch the ball in flight and adjust to the defenses and players around her was amazing," said Ulferts.
Quigley’s focus on the basketball court led to two of the most successful years in the history of the program. In back-to-back seasons (2004-05 and 2005-06), SCSU won the NCAA Division II North Central Region Championship and advanced to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight in Hot Springs, Ark.
The Huskies played in one of the most memorable games in the history of the program when SCSU tipped off against the University of North Dakota (UND) in front of a full house on the Fighting Sioux home court for the regional championship in 2006. At the time North Dakota was the number one-ranked team in the country and was undefeated with a 34-0 record. SCSU surprised the UND faithful, winning in a 75-69 upset.
That UND win stands out as one of her most memorable times at SCSU, said Quigley. "Beating UND to get into the Elite Eight on their own floor was amazing. My teammates and I still get excited when we talk about it. The rivalry was so intense, and you always got excited for that game," said Quigley.
The win gave SCSU a return trip to the Elite Eight. The team made history by defeating Shaw University 78-71 in the quarterfinals, and became the first SCSU basketball team, men’s or women’s, to advance to the NCAA Division II Final Four in a dream season for the entire team.
Quigley spent the summer completing her degree in sports management and working out with older brother Josh, who played international basketball for several years.
Once her playing career is over, Quigley wants to continue to be involved in sports, possibly as the manager of a sports facility.
In July she signed a contract to play for Thessalonika in Greece’s professional basketball league, beginning in September.
The playground in St. Cloud’s Wilson Park opened in June. With wheelchair-height entry sites and varied elevation transfer spots to accommodate youngsters with physical limitations, the regional playground will include rather than exclude those who want to play.
Since 2001 more than 600 SCSU students have had a role in bringing St. Cloud’s colorful, expansive Kaleidoscope playground to life as a unique, accessible play space for children of all physical abilities.
As Community Studies Professor Rona Karasik put it, "Kaleidoscope is a playground for everybody. If kids of differing abilities play together and become comfortable, they don’t see the differences among them as much."
While the region’s children benefit from the unusual playground, the SCSU students who’ve worked on researching, planning, fundraising and gathering support for the facility also have benefited from their experience.
"I learned that when a group of people put their minds together to do something, they can get it done," said senior Chrissy Halonen, a business management major from Kimball who got involved with the playground project when she took Karasik’s "Community and Democratic Citizenship" course in 2004.
Halonen, who operates the National Karate School in St. Cloud, is still volunteering for the Kaleidoscope project three years after organizing a fundraiser at Wilson Park that helped raise nearly $1,800 in one day. Some of her 150 karate students provided demonstrations at the ribbon cutting for the playground in June.
The car washes, spaghetti lunches and other fundraising activities students of community studies professors Karasik, Phyllis Greenberg and Pamela Mittlefehldt have organized to benefit the playground represent just one aspect of involvement in the playground. Faculty members and students have been key players in project development, including building partnerships with sponsors that include the East Side Boosters and St. Cloud Parks and Recreation Board.
Students also established the site for the playground at Wilson Regional Park, named the playground Kaleidoscope, assessed community interest, addressed community and municipal meetings to promote it, and carried out grant writing and a permanent donor board to honor contributors.
Along the way students have learned some of the most valuable lessons about communities that "service-learning" projects offer, according to Karasik. They’ve observed first-hand the diverse needs of community residents and the challenges and rewards of organizing to meet those needs. They’ve gained networking skills and a realistic look at social and other challenges communities face. They’ve also experienced some of the good feelings that come with making a difference.
Alumni Award Winners
Distinguished Alumni Award
Bruce Pearson '64
B.S. Music Education
When Bruce Pearson’s mother encouraged her son to learn to play the clarinet she couldn’t have imagined the impact he’d make on music education.
An internationally known author, composer, clinician and conductor, Pearson, of Elk River, is best known as the author of the "Standard of Excellence Comprehensive Band Method" and co-author of the "Standard of Excellence Jazz Ensemble Method," music series texts used worldwide.
The rare combination of musician and athlete came to
St. Cloud State University originally to play hockey. Student life consisted of music, sports and student government, but he discovered teaching was his passion.
Pearson taught at the elementary, junior high, high school and college levels for more than 30 years with extensive experience in teaching, composing and conducting. He’s led clinics in all 50 states of the United States, conducted many all-state and honor bands and appeared as a guest lecturer at more than 100 colleges and universities.
Pearson has received numerous awards, including two nominations for the Minnesota Business Foundation "Excellence in Education Award." He was honored as "Most Outstanding in the Field of Music" in the state of Minnesota, and in recognition of his "outstanding contribution to music education" was awarded the prestigious Midwest Clinic Medal of Honor in December 1998. In 2001, SCSU bestowed upon him the Distinguished Service to Music Award.
Alumni Service Award
Brian Myres '83
Brian Myres, St. Cloud, leads by distinction through his dedication to the campus and the community. Service on the G.R. Herberger College of Business Dean’s Advisory Board, the Presidential Search Committee, Boy Scouts of America Executive Board and St. Cloud Area United Way are a few examples of his work as an exemplary business and community leader.
Myres is the head of Midwest Operations for ING DIRECT, the nation’s largest online bank. He was instrumental in ING’s recent decision to remain and expand in downtown St. Cloud. ING employees have been involved in Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement, the Clearview project and development of a city playground.
Graduate of the Last Decade(GOLD) Award
Ryan Weber '03
B.S. Computer Science
Ryan Weber, Sartell, launched the Internet marketing company W3i (formerly Freeze.com) while still a student at SCSU. As chief marketing officer of one of the fastest growing companies in its market, with $27 million in sales, Weber maintains his ties to the University by speaking to students and drawing heavily from the talent pool of SCSU alumni.
The winner of multiple entrepreneur awards is known for his "intellect, work ethic, thoughtful leadership and integrity." In 2006 W3i won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Business of the Year Award for e-business in Minnesota and the Dakotas.
G.R. Herberger College Of Business Leadership Award
After graduating from SCSU, Carlo Lachmansingh, originally from Georgetown, Guyana, went on to establish an electrical supply enterprise specializing in commercial, roadway and custom lighting. With the same passion he showed when he started his business, he began sharing his vision and donating time to Junior Achievement, amongst other community organizations. He currently serves as national treasurer of the National Association of Minority Contractors based in Washington, D.C. He helps keep alumni connected and has organized several alumni reunions. His interest is to play Caribbean music professionally.
College of Fine Arts and Humanities Leadership Award
Jack Smith '52
B.S. Speech Pathology
Jack Smith, Tucson, Ariz., influenced generations of students through his professional career at various universities. He was involved in all aspects of speech pathology clinical training programs throughout his career.
Smith has maintained a close relationship with the SCSU Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. He regularly shares his experiences as a speech pathologist and educator with graduate classes. He and his wife support the future potential of students by funding graduate fellowships and faculty development.
College of Education Leadership Award
Marcia Nelson '03
M.S. Educational Administration and Leadership
2007 Minnesota Teacher of the Year finalist Marcia Nelson, Champlin, is an alternative high school teacher and night school principal for the Anoka Hennepin School District. She has devoted her life to at-risk students, "working tenaciously to build connections and foster hope." Nelson’s passion is evident in her annual effort to raise funds of as much as $50,000 to take students on a 10-day adventure trip.
Nelson was one of 16 national educators chosen by Erin Gruwell, author of "The Freedom Writer’s Diary," to write a curriculum guide based on Gruwell’s teaching experiences.
College of Social Sciences Leadership Award
Robert Goff '58
B.S. Social Studies
It started with his election as president of SCSU Student Government. Nearly 40 years of leadership later, Robert Goff, St. Paul, continues to use his knowledge and leadership experience as co-founder and co-owner of Goff and Howard, a full service public relations/public affairs business. Goff’s firm is known for its expertise in integrated communications and employee-focused business practices.
Goff’s career spans several arenas including education; state government; lobbying; public affairs; advertising and public relations. He has volunteered with the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, the Minnesota Historical Society, the Hill Reference Library Board, and the SCSU Foundation Board.
College of Science and Engineering Leadership Award
Joel Goergen '86
B.S. Mathematics, Electrical Engineering
Joel Goergen, Maple Grove, is vice president of technology and chief scientist for Force10 Networks, a leading innovator in high-performance networking systems. He earlier headed signaling research projects at Bell Labs, Ascend Communications, Transition Networks and MTS Systems.
With more than 20 years of research experience and 12 patents, Goergen uses his expertise to benefit SCSU by serving on the Industrial Advisory Council. Through business partnerships, he’s donated expensive lab equipment to SCSU, established scholarship funds, provided internship opportunities and secured outside grants.
Faculty/Staff/Administration Appreciation Award
Jessica (Fitch) Ostman '87 '92
B.S. Photographic Engineering Technology,
SCSU alumna Jessica Ostman, of Sauk Rapids, has been the University Program Board director for more than 10 years. She brings endless energy and a contagious enthusiasm to her extensive involvement on and off campus. Ostman exemplifies excellence as she manages a $600,000 budget and coordinates more than 200 annual events, including the Lemonade Concert and Art Fair, one of the premier local summer events. According to her students, Ostman has touched lives, created future leaders and opened doors for the University by fostering teamwork and enabling and supporting creativity.
Left: Triplets Olivia, Elizabeth and Jordan Barrett model their Husky Pup t-shirts. Proud parents are Joseph Barrett ’91 and Lynette (Collins) Barrett ’92.
Right: Kaywon Raza, little one of Syed Faisal Raza ’98 and Holly (Markwardt) Raza ’92, enjoys sporting a Husky pup t-shirt. Kayvon has two sisters - Mahria and Maleeya.
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