Born of hunger

Browse PDFThe 1995 Hunger Strike was a significant moment in the history of the University that helped usher in a stronger, healthier multicultural campus and community.

From the President

Respecting the spirit of diversity


As the catalyst for systemic changes in the environment for all students of color at St. Cloud State, the 1995 Hunger Strike was a significant moment in our University’s history.

Led by members of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) determined to fast until the University reached agreement on their 13 demands, the strike played a historic role in the struggle to create processes and policies to address discrimination and inequities on campus. Among the changes that have occurred as a direct result: the establishment of a Student Cultural Center, the creation of a Multicultural Resource Center, the plan to establish and maintain a Chicana/o Studies major, a commitment to recruit and retain more students/faculty of color, the creation of a student Cultural Diversity committee in student government and the hiring of a legal advocate for students.

On May 5 MEChA and their allies commemorated the 15th anniversary of the hunger strike. A large and diverse group of faculty, staff and students gathered in respect and solidarity and through ceremony to honor their role in making St. Cloud State a better place.

Danza Mexica Cuauhtémoc, traditional Aztec dancers, offered ceremonies honoring the stages of life and the progression of change, and a first cut of a documentary about the Hunger Strike, “Born of Hunger,” was shown. The independent film describes the facts about the discrimination and inequities that led to the Hunger Strike and the resulting changes on campus. As executive producer Jerry López ’97 put it: “We’re not just trying to tell a story, we’re trying to change the way people think about St Cloud State ... the stigma of this university has gone on long enough. We want people to feel connected, that this story is relevant to them.”

St. Cloud State is 141 years old, but it wasn’t until nearly 100 years after its founding when doors opened to students from groups that had been largely shut out of most public college and university campuses. College was no longer for the select few, thanks to civil rights laws, federal financial aid and changing attitudes about the value of a college education for individuals representing all races, religions, genders and physical abilities.

We’ve been struggling ever since to get it right. Struggling to be more than a place that says it is open and welcoming to all students who want to come here for an education and all faculty and staff who want to be a part of providing that education. Struggling to be what we say we are for a student of color population that has grown to 1,560.

We advertise St. Cloud State as a university that prepares its graduates to live in a global community. The rich diversity of traditions and perspectives that are celebrated on our campus are our biggest asset in accomplishing this part of our students’ education. The leadership and the resources that have emerged also are assets to a broader community grappling with their own biases and preconceived ideas about our emerging community.

The ceremonies of the Hunger Strike commemoration were a beautiful reminder of how far our campus has come in embracing and celebrating our diversity. We are thankful for the student leaders and others who strive in the spirit of those seven Hunger Strikers in 1995 to make us a stronger, healthier multicultural community.

Earl H. Potter III, President

University News

College town banners


For generations, people passing through the Granite City failed to notice a college on the oak-crowned west bank of the Mississippi River.

Today more than 70 banners bearing the St. Cloud State University wordmark, logo and some with the words “Welcome to St. Cloud” extend into the community on three
sides, boldly proclaiming St. Cloud’s status as a college town.

The banners remind campus and community of the pledge President Earl H. Potter III made at his September 2008 inauguration. “We are not the ivory tower or a separate
town,” Potter said. “We are a university community that educates students by example, to engage in an active life as part of this community.”

St. Cloud State’s 18-month banner project climaxed in April with the hanging of the final 20 banners on the south and southwest margins of campus. Red St. Cloud State banners were mounted on University Drive light poles from Sixth Avenue west to Ninth Avenue. They alternate with black, tan and white Historic Southside Neighborhood banners. Black St. Cloud State banners were mounted on Fifth Avenue/Fourth Avenue light poles from University Drive south to 15th Street South, along the west edge of the university’s athletic complex.

In 2008, the university launched the project with red St. Cloud State banners on
University Bridge and University Drive west to Sixth Avenue. In 2009, university officials
teamed with city and neighborhood leaders for the second phase of the project. St. Cloud State banners, some red, some black, were alternated with city banners on Minnesota Highway 23 from Granite City Crossing Bridge west to Seventh Avenue. Black St. Cloud State banners were alternated with Historic Southside Neighborhood banners on Fifth Avenue from Minnesota Highway 23 south to University Drive.

The banners are more than five feet tall and nearly two feet wide. The street banners
are in addition to more than 70 smaller red ones that line campus walkways.

“Now when you come to St. Cloud there’s a bit more of an opportunity for you to
know it’s a college town,” said Loren Boone, assistant vice president of marketing and
communications. “Those banners shout college town.”

Jeff Wood '81 '87 '95

Power in diversity


More than 240 students from 15 colleges attended the “Power In Diversity
Leadership Conference” in January. The weekend conference provided workshops,
speakers and a variety show.

St. Cloud State’s Multicultural Student Services (MSS) sponsored the conference. Students, faculty, staff and advisers from MnSCU and other regional colleges attended the conference to enhance their leadership skills. In conjunction with the conference MSS teamed up with Career Services to offer a Diversity Job Fair. The pairing created a unique opportunity for students to connect with nearly 50 of Minnesota’s largest businesses in technology, healthcare, government, and education as well as a number of non-profits. “We were very impressed with the caliber of students we met,” said Stephanie Davis, human resources manager for Frito-Lay. “The students were prepared and had a lot of relevant work and educational experience that would translate well into the ‘real’ work world.”

MBA wins award


The University’s MBA Engaged Marketing campaign earned an ADDY Award from the Central Minnesota Advertising Federation. The ADDY Awards recognize creativity in numerous forms. The campaign was produced by HatlingFlint, a marketing firm in St. Cloud with alumnus Bill Hatling ’86, St. Cloud, as its president.

Personal letters of Sinclair Lewis published on the Web


Through a newly published collection of 262 letters and one poem written between 1939 and 1947 the world now has a closer look into the personal life of Nobel Prize-winning author and Sauk Centre native Sinclair Lewis.

The writings were penned to his most intimate friend at the time, Marcella Powers, and are the first comprehensive collection of primary source text material of the author available on the Web. The material offers an intimate perspective into the day-to-day life and creative processes of the writer and important figure in Minnesota’s history.

The letters, owned by St. Cloud State University’s Archives and Special Collections, were digitized and published through the Minnesota Digital Library. They are available and fully searchable on the Minnesota Reflections Web site at reflections.mndigital.org.

UTVS partners with St. Cloud Times


Earlier this year UTVS news directors, Ryan Ruud of Roseau and Raquel Hellman
of Burnsville, helped launch a new website for the campus TV station, providing more
video content and up-to-the-minute news. In an attempt to expand their audience
they sought out a partnership with the St. Cloud Times. The result was a pooling of resources that expands local online news content for both organizations with UTVS student reporters and video featured on the Times website.

“The world is all about innovation,” said John Bodette, executive editor for the St. Cloud Times. “This partnership is a splendid example of an innovative partnership between the Times and the University.”

Building academic bridges to India


The Institute of International Education (IIE), a nonprofit organization affiliated with higher
education in India for more than 50 years, selected St. Cloud State University as one of 10 U.S. institutions to participate in a pilot academic partnership program. Ann Radwan, associate vice president for international studies, said that over the next few months campus representatives will participate in a number of training activities focused on preparing them to meet with potential Indian partner campuses in the fall of 2010.

In their official announcement IIE noted St. Cloud State’s “commitment to international education” and “demonstrated support from both administration and faculty, commitment to increasing internationalization on your campus and stalwart desire to foster a partnership with an Indian institution.”

Selected from a pool of more than 70 other institutions, St. Cloud State joins California State University - San Bernardino; College of William and Mary; Florida Atlantic University; Oakland Community College; Ohio Wesleyan University; Spelman College; The University of Tulsa; University of South Carolina and Winston Salem State University.

St. Cloud becomes a commercial star


St. Cloud and the campus community are part of a mattress commercial for Tempur-Pedic. The Lexington, Ky., company launched a new mattress and pillow line called Tempur-Cloud and decided that St. Cloud would be the perfect place to film the commercial. Using the opening line, “Recently, a whole new Cloud came to St. Cloud, Minnesota,” the 60-second commercial features a number of St. Cloud landmarks, businesses and residents including the National Hockey Center and St. Cloud State. The company spent more than two weeks filming the commercial that is running nationwide and can be viewed on YouTube at www.youtube.com/TempurpedicBeds.

Husky Bookstore now offering Rent-A-Text


This summer the campus bookstore introduced The “Rent- A-Text” program allowing students to save upwards of 50 percent. The program, launched on the bookstore’s Web site in early June, boasts a number of benefits including ease of purchase, payment and the choice of purchasing the book at the end of the semester. Students can also treat the rented text like any other, highlighting and taking notes throughout. For more information visit the Husky Bookstore at www.husky.bkstr.com or the Rent-A-Text website at www.rent-a-text.com.

Facebook.com/stcloudstate aims for 10,000 fans


10,000 fans in 2010.

That’s the goal for one of the best and largest university Facebook pages in Minnesota.

Since its launch in December 2007, http://facebook.com/stcloudstate has earned more than 7,000 fans and a growing reputation for making the most of what Facebook has to offer.

Announcement of the site’s fan total caused a stir at a recent Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) marketing and communication conference in St. Paul, said Jeff Wood, director of web communications.

“At the start of the conference we were asked to introduce ourselves and share a success story. We shared that our Facebook page had 6,800 fans,” said Wood. “Heads turned. During the first break four people approached our table asking why our Facebook site is so successful.”

Wood cites these as the main reasons:

  • Unique content found nowhere else
  • Image-rich content postings weekdays and sometimes weekends
  • Questions posted by visitors are promptly answered
  • A full-time employee and a graduate student to maintain the site

Facebook is a highly cost-effective way of communicating with multiple audiences, including prospective students and alumni, according to Loren Boone, assistant vice president of marketing and communication.

“We have 50 fans in Malaysia,” Boone said. “We can’t afford, much less staff, telephone or mail interaction with them. But with Facebook and a little sweat equity they can talk to us and we can talk to them.”

In the week the site surpassed 7,000 fans, there were nearly 2,500 visits. By spring 2010 wall posts were averaging more than 50 a week, said Wood.

The site is a key tool for communicating with alumni and older students because nearly half the fans are 25 and older and nearly one in four fans is 35 and older, according to Boone.

“If you are not a part of the St. Cloud State Facebook community, then join up. Help us get to 10,000 fans in 2010,” said Wood. “The benefits to you are a sense of belonging and an easy connection to campus life and university news.”

Inaugural conference on immigrant workers in Minnesota


A two-day interdisciplinary “The Global Goes Local: The Social Conditions of Immigrant Workers and Families in Minnesota Conference” in April explored the challenges that Somali women and Latino farm workers face when resettling in Central Minnesota. Throughout the event, eight panels and three speakers promoted community engagement while addressing the issues. The College of Social Sciences (COSS) Faculty Research Group on Immigrant Workers in Minnesota sponsored the conference. The recently formed group is composed, primarily, of COSS faculty who collaborate with community-based organizations that serve or organize Minnesota’s immigrant workers and their families to develop data of use to the community and academics.

Selected to participate in science expo


St. Cloud State is one of 75 colleges and universities participating in the inaugural USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. The Festival is the collaboration of more than 500 of the country’s leading science and engineering organizations in an effort to reignite the interest of science and engineering in the nation’s youth.

The Festival will be held from Oct. 10-24 and culminate in a two-day expo on the National Mall. Young people will have the opportunity to explore all facets of science and engineering through hundreds of free hands-on activities, 750 exhibits spanning aerospace through robotics, and more than 40 science shows on three different stages. To learn more visit the USA Science & Engineering Festival at usasciencefestival.org.

Real community banking


TCF Bank, St. Cloud State University’s “Campus Card Bank,” is not only the benefactor of $10,000 in annual scholarships to students but is also an active participant in the campus community.

TCF annually hosts the holiday gathering for faculty and staff, co-sponsors the Mississippi Music Festival and Atwood After Dark, partners with Residential Life by donating Husky Hauler t-shirts and the Residence Hall Challenge, Husky Kick-It Picnic, India Night, Chinese Moonlight Festival, Row Team Regatta, Earth Day Half Marathon and are active participants in Mainstreet and Sidestreet. Kappa Phi Omega Sorority and KVSC - 88.1 FM, the campus radio station, also benefits from the generosity of TCF.

And TCF personnel volunteer countless hours to campus activities. Karen Luukkonen, a TCF branch manager, is just one example. She has participated in The Husky Leadership series, served as a Business Advisory Board member for Students In Free Enterprise and hosted a video blog for Public Relations Student Society of America.

At their campus branch bank located in Atwood Memorial Center, TCF provides a number of services including free checking accounts for students, faculty and staff that links to their St. Cloud State ID card allowing it to be used for purchases on campus goods and services. For the full story visit www.stcloudstate.edu/outlook.

Melissa Croteau '10

Activist speaks on Rwanda


Mathilde Mukantabana came to campus in April to speak on how Rwandans are rebuilding their lives and communities in the wake of the 1994 genocide in the central African nation where an estimated 800,000 died. In an effort to recover, Rwanda has become a model for developing nations and is considered by some to be Africa’s biggest success story. Mukantabana was born and reared in Rwanda and is president of the Friends of Rwanda Association and professor of history at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, Calif. The Department of Communication Studies, Women’s Action, Women’s Center and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education sponsored her visit.

Being unemployed shouldn't leave you up in the air


“Anybody who ever built an empire, or changed the world, sat where you are now. And it’s because they sat there that they were able to do it.”

In the movie, “Up in the Air,” George Clooney’s character delivers these lines to a string of workers as he lays them off. The words are an attempt to soften the blow. His point, that people who succeed usually have suffered some setbacks, may not offer that intended glimmer of hope. But, FastTrac NewVenture: Starting a Business Workshop will do that and more.

Offered by the Center for Continuing Studies in collaboration with the Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and area Minnesota Workforce Centers, the workshop is for dislocated workers who are considering self-employment and entrepreneurs who might not have the necessary skills or expertise to get their business ideas off the ground.

“In the past 10 months we have run three workshops,” said Tammy Anhalt-Warner, assistant director of training at the Center for Continuing Studies. The fourth was held May 3 − June 10, just as Outlook was going to print. According to Anhalt-Warner, 65−80 percent of all business startups fail within the first five years of business. However, 80 percent of SBDC long-term business clients are still in business after five years.

“One-hundred percent of the 30 participants completed the course and 77 percent of them are in business or in the process of setting up their business,” added Anhalt-Warner. The program is made possible by a ProjectGate (Growing America Through Entrepreneurship) Phase II grant from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Dislocated Worker Program.

Sandi Bernard, a graduate of the workshop, owns and operates You Have It Maid, a professional cleaning company. The Richmond resident soon realized after starting her business that she needed help and enrolled in the class for guidance.

“This workshop gave me the opportunity to learn the things that I might have missed,” said Bernard. She started her business in 2007 when, after 23 years, her position as a social worker was eliminated.

“I just jumped into business ownership,” she said. “The workshop helped me understand financial statements and that cash flow is a process. Before, if I had a balance in my checkbook I thought I was fine.”

Though losing her job after 23 years was a personal jolt, Bernard is a positive individual and said that when the social work position was gone she had to rely on herself and figure out what to do. “My heart led me in a different direction. I can’t tell you why I chose the cleaning business, but I did and it kept rolling form there. It was about starting something on my own.”

Bernard is part of a cadre of FastTrac graduates who continue to regularly meet and discuss ideas about their businesses. “It is great to have a support group of people who are in the same situation. One of the most rewarding experiences of this group has been the relationships I have established.”

Juli Popp, a fellow workshop graduate of Bernard’s, is owner of Precise Book Works, a company that helps train and consults small businesses on the use of Quickbooks. A Sauk Rapids resident, Popp recently taught a Quickbooks class at the SBDC and is working with Anhalt-Warner to set up even more classes.

“It is a one-day Quickbook seminar teaching the basics to beginners,” said Popp who thinks that setting the groundwork for self-employment is crucial. “You have to get a whole different mindset; you have to start thinking as a business owner instead of an employee.”

For more information about FastTrac, along with other courses offered through the Center for Continuing Studies go to SCSUTraining.com.

Mike Doyle '07

Student research colloquium


More than 400 students participated in the 13th Annual Student Research Colloquium with 122 poster and 102 paper presentations and performances from the various academic fields of all five colleges. Winners of a $300 award were:

  • Graduate student Jamie Hanson,
    Kimball, “Restoring Invasive Plant
    Dominated Areas by Means of
    Assisted Succession.”
  • Junior Hwee Kiat Gong,
    St. Cloud, “Induction of
    Autoimmune Diabetes in Mice by

Medical technology research degree debuts


A Master’s of Science in Applied Clinical Research degree program will debut this fall. The degree serves the medical technology industry by providing professionals who can design, conduct, manage and evaluate clinical trials for medical devices.

A group of top industry experts in Minnesota helped to create the curriculum. Clinical research is critical to developing safe and effective medical products while ensuring valid and ethical research protocols. In short, it provides the scientific validation of medical devices under strict scientific and ethical standards.

Classes will be held evenings and weekends at the St. Cloud State Twin Cities Graduate Center in Maple Grove. Interested students can contact the College of Science and Engineering at 320-308-2167, or by email to acr@stcloudstate.edu.

The intern's road to experience


Two St. Cloud State alumni made some highly effective and sought-after internships. Kyle “Fletch” Fletcher ’09 and Alexandra “Ali” Tweten ’09 are mass communications graduates whose pursuit of their careers landed them in two very different places. Their passion for the media began long before attending St. Cloud State and they used student run-media to help hone their craft.

Kyle Fletcher ’09, a graduate in television production and film studies, is living and doing freelance work in New York City after a stint as the head writer intern in the winter of the ’09 semester at “Late Show with David Letterman.”

“I was going to shoot for the moon,” Fletcher said about the internship application process. “‘Letterman,’ ‘SNL’ and ‘Conan.’ Those were the three. ‘Letterman’ was the first internship I applied for and I got it.” He had the good fortune of working with the team of ‘Letterman’ writers, particularly Eric and Justin Stangel who are now the show’s executive producers.

“One of the perks was that I knew the ‘Top 10 list’ before anyone else,” Fletcher said. In the fast-paced world of late-night television, he confirmed there was rarely a dull moment.

Fletcher originally wanted to go to college in the Netherlands, but his family wanted him to stay closer to home and his high school guidance counselor talked to him about St. Cloud State. He saw the TV facilities and was convinced.

“When I saw the ‘Triviaholix’ (the only game show on UT VS) I said, ‘I want to do that, I need to do that’ and I bribed them into letting me host it.” He got involved in all aspects of the TV production and, along with hosting the popular game show, he diversified his experiences as UT VS programming director and as a student engineer for Husky Productions.

Alexandra Tweten navigated her media path on the West Coast after interning the spring ’10 semester in the editorial department of Ms. Magazine in Beverly Hills, Calif.

A print journalism major, Tweten is attempting to crack that competitive field and knew the importance of an internship. “I couldn’t pursue an internship because of time commitments to the University Chronicle student newspaper,” she said.

A women’s studies minor, Tweten’s consideration to feminism translates into her writing. During her internship, she contributed to an article about crisis pregnancy centers for the spring ’10 issue.

“I knew I was going to be in a writing field since I was young,” Tweten said. “I was always better at it than math.” She started writing for the Grand Forks Herald teen page in ninth grade and started writing for the Chronicle. “I learned the ways of working in the newsroom and how to work on deadlines and how to write news stories,” she said

She was a major contributor at the newspaper during a critical crossroad as the executive editor during the move from the old world of purely print, to the Chronicle having an online presence. “When I was editor, I learned how to lead people,” Tweten said. “What I learned at the Chronicle will help me with skills I will use in my career.”

Internships are In

  • The 2010 Minnesota College Job Outlook Survey found that
    52.9 percent of the employers surveyed listed internships as
    one of their most effective recruiting methods.
  • The National Association of Colleges and Employers 2010
    Internship Survey found that 83.4 percent of responding
    employers said the primary focus of their internship
    program is to help them recruit entry-level college hires.
  • A recent St. Cloud State Career Services survey of 2007 and
    2008 alumni found that 39 percent of those who graduated
    in 2007 had participated in an internship compared to 48
    percent of 2008 graduates.

Mike Doyle '07

Faculty/Staff News

News & Notes


Caesarea Abartis
Professor of English Caesarea Abartis had her short story “Penelope and David” published in the Story Quarterly by Rutgers University- Camden. In 2008, Abartis received the Lidano Fiction Award for “The Sleeping and the Dead” published in the New York Tyrant.

Corita “Corie” Beckermann
Director of Student Health Services Corita Beckermann ’92 ’02 is president of the North Central College Health Association executive board. The organization promotes health education, preventative therapeutic medical care and environmental health and safety
within campus communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Stephen Frank
Professor of Political Science and founder of the SCSU Survey Stephen Frank is the recipient of the first Distinguished Political Scientist award by the Board of the Minnesota Political Science Association. Frank’s recognition comes from his 30 years of public opinion research in the state. He will present the keynote speech and receive his honor at a conference in November.

Michael Jeannot
Professor of Chemistry Michael Jeannot is co-author of “Solvent Microextraction: Theory and Practice” published by John Wiley and Sons. The book offers a practical and theoretical approach to solvent microextraction, a relatively new sample preparation technique in analytical chemistry. Jennot specializes in analytical chemistry and trace environmental analysis using microextraction techniques.

Rona Karasik
Rona Karasik, director of the Gerontology program and professor of Community Studies, is the recipient of the distinguished faculty award from the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education. The Association has a membership of 150 institutions representing 48 states and 5 foreign countries. She received the honor as an educator whose teaching is impactful, exemplary and innovative. Her specialization is in housing for older adults, intergenerational service learning, dementia, aging and developmental disabilities.

Marie Seong-Hak Kim
Marie Seong-Hak Kim, professor of History, is a recipient of a 2010-
2011 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for her project, “Law and Custom in Korea.” The project sets forth the evolution of Korea’s civil law and legal culture in the modern period with an emphasis on customary law. She is one of 110 faculty members across the U.S. to receive the award.

Kim Koffi
Assistant Director of International Student and Scholar Services Kim Koffi ’06 is the chair of the Minnesota International Educators (MIE) board for the 2010-11 academic year. MIE provides to international educators up-to-date information from the Internal Revenue Service, Customs and Border Patrol, Social Security Administration and immigration attorneys.

Christopher Lehman
Chris Lehman is cited in “War and the Media,” a book of essays on reporting and propaganda during wartime published by McFarland & Company. A chapter on messages in animated cartoons cites an article and book penned by Lehman. The article is “The new black animated images of 1946: Black characters and social commentary in animated cartoons” in the Journal of Popular Film & Television. The book, published in 2006 by McFarland, is “American Animated Cartoons of the Vietnam Era.” Lehman is interim chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies.

Yolanda Lehman
Yolanda Lehman, adjunct in the Racial Issues Colloquium, is the new co-pastor of Atonement Lutheran Church. The congregation has served St. Cloud for almost 50 years. Lehman teaches a diversity class called “Race in America.”

Abbas Mehdi
Professor of Sociology Abbas Mehdi is the Iraqi representative to the World Bank in Washington, D.C. The World Bank is a source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world with a mission to fight poverty by providing resources, sharing knowledge, building capacity and forging partnerships in the public and private sectors.

Tracy Ore
Tracy Ore, professor of Sociology, is one of the 11 members appointed to the City of St. Cloud’s re-formed Human Rights Commission. Also named to the Commission is retired English professor Judy Foster, undergraduate student Jason Lindberg, graduate student Nathan Meints, Acquisitions Coordinator Rachel Wexelbaum, Eunice Adjei-Bosompem ’06 ’09 and Cara Ruff ’92. The office and commission will provide regional services of education, outreach, enforcement and mediation to the cities of St. Joseph and St. Cloud. Ore’s term continues through 2011.

Mary Wingerd
Mary Wingerd’s “North Country: The Making of Minnesota” is a fresh take on the founding of Minnesota that examines the state’s multicultural, multiracial origins from the mid-17th century to the mid- 19th century. Acclaimed Macalester College anthropology professor Jack Weatherford says: “A long overdue book. By opening up this neglected and hidden history of the land’s native people, she helps us to understand the debt and respect that we owe and points the way for us to make a better future for our children.” Published in May by the University of Minnesota Press, the 472-page book includes llustrations and 17 maps. Wingerd is a professor of history and the author of “Claiming the City: Politics, Faith, and the Power of Place in St. Paul,” published in 2003 by Cornell University Press

Fulbright scholars


Artatrana Ratha, professor of Economics, G.N. Rangamani, associate professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Lakshmaiah Sreerama, professor of Biochemistry, are recipients of individual Fulbright Foreign Scholarships. The Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Committee chose Ratha and Rangamani for work they will do independently in India and Sreerama for work he will do in Nepal. The Fulbright program sends approximately 1,100 American scholars and professionals annually to approximately 125 countries, where they lecture and/or conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields. Approximately 294,000 “Fulbrighters,” 111,000 from the United States and 183,000 from other countries, have participated in the Program since its inception more than 60 years ago. In the history of the Fulbright program 20 Fulbright alumni have served as heads of state, 11 have been elected to the United States Congress, a Secretary-General of the United Nations, a Secretary-General of NATO , 40 are Nobel Prize recipients and one is an Olympic gold medal winner.

Feature Story

Breadth of vision

For the first time, undergraduate students interested in communication disorders get to see the specialized technique used to identify and treat hearing loss in the youngest of patients – a newborn baby.

Just down the hall, students pursuing speech pathology get a window into real-life experience as they tune into an actual patient visit from an adjoining private observation room.

Not far away, nursing students gather around a computerized mannequin in a simulated critical care hospital room. An instructor operating the mannequin from an adjoining room begins the lesson as she poses as the patient. The patient begins to cough before complaining of chest pains and has difficulty breathing. With each new symptom, the nursing students reference the monitors, assess his condition and begin to take the necessary care delivery steps they’ve talked about in class.

Recent renovations to Brown Hall, more than $13.5 million, have made these once infrequent or absent experiences every day learning opportunities for St. Cloud State University students. The renovations started last year bringing the nursing program back on campus after nearly a decade, expanding space for both general science education and communication sciences and disorders and gives continuing studies programs an academic space of their own.

“It’s going to enhance the learning of our students because we now have a physical space to support their training,” said Monica Devers, chair of the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at St. Cloud State.

The total overhaul completed in January moves the 78,000-square-foot building to the 21st century with not only standard code, accessibility and functional requirements, but also an assortment of interactive technology that enhances the learning environment.

“It is modern, updated and gives students motivation to learn,” said Elizabeth Dwyer, a junior nursing student from Montana.

Back on Campus
Nursing students once drove across town – 20 minutes each way – and often spent most of their days far from campus, nestled into leased space the University converted into a small lab.

“We felt so disconnected from campus,” Dwyer said. “We were rarely on campus so we lost touch with being a St. Cloud State University student. I’ve seen a lot of benefits of having the lab back on campus.”

Prior to January, nursing students would hustle from one end of campus to the other – sometimes even during one of their classes – to a classroom not being used by another academic program. Instructors would follow with their projectors and other class materials tucked around their arms. Props, now commonly used in Brown Hall, were seldom offered to provide a visual demonstration for students.

An increase in the number of hospital beds from 10 to 19 provides more opportunity for hands-on learning – an essential element of teaching the profession, said Brenda Lenz, associate Nursing professor and chair of the Nursing

“We’re bringing the hands-on learning and teaching directly to the student,” Lenz said. “We now have the ability to increase the amount of simulation that we are able to have
the students do.”

Dwyer often visualizes herself doing the simulated activities when she is caring for an actual patient during her clinical experience at a hospital. “By doing it, you know more of what to expect,” she said. “If you are exposed to things that are more real life, then you are going to be more prepared to handle them in real life.”

Expanding Clinical Opportunities
The space upgrade moves Communication Sciences and Disorders from the Education Building to four times the space in Brown Hall. The added space allows the program to expand to two dedicated labs, add two group therapy rooms and double the number of clinic rooms.

“We’ve been around for a long time, but I think we are one of the least known programs,” Devers said. “I think with this move to Brown Hall, some of that will change. “We now are a very visible face for the University with our interactions with the community,”

The additional rooms increase the clinic’s capacity, giving way to an increasing number of new learning opportunities for students. Once crammed in a closet-size room, the audiology program’s lab now has space to show students firsthand how to care for a lifespan of patients and gives them hands-on experiences like using a hearing aid testing box to determine the right setting for patients.

Each exam room in the Speech Language and Hearing Clinic also is equipped with recording devices that allow instructors to critique a consultation with the student who completed it or review the assessment and diagnosis with a group of students. The technology allows more students to learn from the nearly 100 patient visits to the clinic each week instead of only the one patient they are assigned to for the semester, said Judi Larsen, clinical services coordinator.

“Instead of reading about something in a book, they can see it being done or be a part of it as a graduate student,” said Rebecca Crowell, practicing Audiologist and professor of Audiology at St. Cloud State. “Our students choose between audiology and speech pathology. Now that I am able to make audiology come to life for them, they are able to make a better decision which path they want to take.”

The new space also enhances the experience for the parents and caregivers of those patients. Instead of standing in a hallway between classrooms while other students passed by or discussed the assessment, the caregivers observe from private suites while students receive a play-by-play from their instructor in an observation space that spans all the rooms.

Growing Demand
The renovations come at a time when demand for these programs and professions rise.

Nursing is among the nation’s high growth occupations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the employment of registered nurses to increase 22 percent from 2008 to 2018 - much faster than other occupations.

New space in Brown Hall will allow the nursing program to expand its ability to help meet the national need as it goes from admitting 40 students a year to 40 students a semester, Lenz said. That is expected to propel the program to 200 undergraduate students by the end of 2010.

That capacity proves particularly beneficial now as Mayo Clinic in Rochester and other health-care providers require nurses to have a bachelor’s degree and more licensed practical nurses (LPN) return to school for a bachelor’s degree. The space also provides opportunities to meet a growing demand for advanced nursing training and potential of a future graduate program, Lenz said.

The nationally accredited master’s program in speech pathology also faces a growing industry need. The program recently posted 100 percent placement of its students and continues to see a growing interest in employment. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the need for speech pathologists to grow by nearly 20 percent from 2008 to 2018.

“We are two of the fastest growing professions in the nation right now,” Devers said.

More than 130 students applied for the speech pathology graduate program this year, but space constraints and a requirement of every student to receive 400 hours of clinical experience typically limits admittance to 15 to 20 students a year.

Devers expects the space to increase interest in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. She already has seen the impression the space has on prospective students during tours.

“Every student who came to visit our campus this year left incredibly impressed with the lab, equipment and the work being done here,” Devers said. “I am willing to bet that we are going to see more yeses to the program than we used to.”

Dawn Zimmerman

Duchenne duo


A kitchen table conversation about a frightening diagnosis has evolved into a fundraising organization with a global reach.

Paul Miller ’87 and Debra Miller founded CureDuchenne in 2003, after learning their son, Hawken, had a degenerative muscle disease called Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Since then the couple’s Corona del Mar, Calif., non-profit has raised $5 million to build awareness about and fund research for the disease, paved the way for a nine-figure investment by a multinational pharmaceutical firm and garnered support from the sports and entertainment industries.

Historically, Duchenne muscular dystrophy has received a fraction of the research funding of other diseases. A bar graph on the cureduchenne.org Web site comparing National Institutes of Health grants across four diseases looks like a city skyline: Huntington’s chorea, cystic fibrosis and pediatric AI Ds are the skyscrapers and Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the threestory building.

In 2004, with just $10,000 in the CureDuchenne bank account, the Millers signed a contract to raise $1.3 million for Prosensa, a Dutch start-up, to help fund research on exon skipping, a method to skip over the genetic mutation that causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

In just two years the gamble paid off. CureDuchenne delivered $1.3 million and Prosensa’s pre-clinical work attracted venture capital. Then GlaxoSmithKline, the world’s fourth-largest pharmaceutical firm, committed $650 million and optioned four exon-skipping compounds. Clinical trials are underway for one compound and planned for another, said Debra.

CureDuchenne is funding other research projects including stem-cell therapies that would promote muscle regeneration and gene therapies that would force the body to produce dystrophin, the protein that enables muscle-tissue repair.

“Things don’t occur unless people can figure out how to make money out of it,” said Paul, a St. Cloud State management graduate and a Husky hockey player who played on the celebrated 1986-87 team that included Mike Brodzinski, Jeff Tollette ’86 and future Husky hockey coach Bob Motzko ’89.

Paul is president of Buena Vista Food Products, Azusa, Calif., which vends bakery products to K-12 schools. The Crookston native holds a master’s of business administration degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu. A recommendation letter from then President Brendan J. McDonald keyed his admission to the exclusive Malibu, Calif., school, Paul said.

In just seven years the Millers have leveraged their sales and marketing backgrounds to brand Duchenne muscular dystrophy and find big-name fundraisers.

“Our biggest enemy was ignorance of the disease,” recalls Debra. “Not a single national organization had Duchenne in its name.”

Now sports and entertainment luminaries – including actors Anne Heche and James Tupper, singer Mandy Moore and University of Texas football coach Mack Brown – are championing Duchenne.

Brown, who coached the Longhorns to a national title, is the latest celebrity advocate to join the fight for a cure. He and his wife, Sally, hosted a casino night May 1 in Austin. In attendance with their Heisman trophies were Longhorn legends Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams.

Celebrity poker tournaments, casino nights, mountain climbing and regattas are part of CureDuchenne’s “have fun” fundraising strategy, according to Debra.

Less fun is the constant monitoring and coaching necessary to keep Hawken healthy. The 13-year-old, who is still ambulatory, must follow a strict diet, restrict his activity and take two medications and more than 40 diet supplements each day, according to Paul.

On a recent trip home from a biannual visit to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Hawken asked his parents: “Do I have a shortened lifespan?”

His parents, armed with hard-earned hope and knowledge, mastered their emotions and replied: “We can’t honestly say, Hawken. We don’t know.”

Duchenne Facts

  • One in 3,500 boys born worldwide each year is afflicted
  • Diagnosis typically occurs by age five
  • Most boys don’t survive their teens
  • Caused by inherited or spontaneous mutations in the dystrophin gene found on the X-chromosome
  • Progressive muscle damage typically results in death by heart failure or pulmonary failure
  • Find out more at cureduchenne.org

Sources: CureDuchenne.org and the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Center at UCLA (cdmd.ucla.edu).

Jeff Wood '81 '87 '95

Restoring a treasure


The award-winning renovation of St. Cloud State’s Riverview has turned the tired old building into a stunning representation of the University’s past, present and future. It’s all there. Every hallway, classroom and office is a place both rich in history and equipped to
teach new generations in a dynamic, high-tech environment.

Hundreds of campus and Riverview Lab School alumni, neighbors and St. Cloud State faculty, staff and students turned out April 30 to celebrate the building’s $6.2 million renovation and share memories of its past as well as visions for its future. The wide halls buzzed with praise for the new home of Communication Studies and the former lab school steeped in St. Cloud State’s roots as a premier institution where education students learn to teach.

“It was just beautiful,” said Deborah Biorn, who attended the Riverview Lab School from 1947-56 and taught English in Riverview in the days before the renovation. “They succeeded in retaining the charm of the building.” The St. Cloud Heritage Preservation Commission agreed, presenting St. Cloud State with a 2010 City of St. Cloud Historic Preservation Award - Building Rehabilitation/Restoration Award in June.

Architect Ellen Luken of Luken Architects led a team of builders and designers who together brought the sunshine back to St. Cloud State’s only campus building on the National Register of Historic Places and returned the graceful dignity of original architect Clarence Johnston’s 1911 design for what was until 1958 the neighborhood elementary school for children on St. Cloud’s south side.

Kathy Laughlin Trumann, who was part of the last class to go through ninth grade in Riverview during the 1957-58 school year, lived in a house that sat on what is now a parking lot between the Education Building and Halenbeck Hall. “It seemed that about half my classmates were professors’ kids,” she said. “But I didn’t think of myself as a student in an elite school.”

Maybe not elite, but Riverview School did provide amenities no other neighborhood school offered. “It was like a private school education,” said Ann Wick Roettger ’67, daughter of Robert Wick, who was a speech professor and president of St. Cloud State (1965-71). “What benefits we had. Starting in fifth grade we had swimming lessons at Eastman Hall, and we had ‘specials’ in music, art and physical education.”

Riverview alumni talked about how special and influential the lab school teachers were on their lives. And they talked about lifelong friendships they made with fellow students. “My best friend still is a girl I met in kindergarten,” said Roettger, who became a teacher.

David Sahlstrom met his wife Jean at a Riverview Halloween dance when he was 15 and she 13. Both were children of St. Cloud State – David’s dad was Stan Sahlstrom, then director of Special Services; and Jean’s dad was George Serdula, who taught physical education.

“We were so lucky to have all those opportunities,” said David Sahlstrom, now a Twin Cities physician who credits his seventh-grade teacher, Ruth Cadwell, with developing his interest in science. “You had such a good foundation for the rest of your life.”

“They just had the right stuff,” Dr. Sahlstrom said of the teachers and administrators at Riverview. “They were encouraging and fair. That’s what made me what I am today.”

“Riverview had a great effect on my life,” said Trumann. “Five or six of us in eighth grade did volunteer work with the students of all ages with cerebral palsy. That directly affected my career choice to become an occupational therapist.”

“Part of the magic had to do with Riverview – the building,” said Biorn, whose pre-renovation teaching days in Riverview were not always as idyllic. She recalls winter days when the wind would come howling through the English classroom windows and students would stay bundled up in their coats, hats and mittens. “Riverview was run down, but it was fun to be able to tell my students I was teaching in my old fourth-grade classroom,” said Biorn, whose parents were faculty members Arthur Nelson (who headed the Math and Science Department) and Ruth Nelson (Interdisciplinary Studies instructor).

“Every day was a happy day at Riverview Lab School.”

Alumni and other visitors agree the “magic” has been well restored to Riverview. Large photos of early Riverview days are hung throughout the building. Two “historic” classrooms with antiques and reproduction desks are reminders of Riverview’s heritage as a school where children and future teachers learned together. The original red paint on the exterior trim and woodwork stripped and stained to its original color are just some of the touches that have restored Today’s Riverview “smart” classrooms use the latest teaching tools in a setting that has retained the graceful dignity of the original school building.

“Riverview is a place with such historic roots,” said Communication Studies Professor and Department Chair Roseanna Ross. “And it always has been and remains a place where faculty are involved in community outreach and students are active and involved. We have high-profile student groups, including a nationally recognized competitive speech team, players group that does events and students who work with the campus bone marrow registry drive,” Ross said.

“Communications Studies was in the Wick Science Building for 24 years, with our 30 faculty spread all over campus,” Ross said. “Here you see the gold letters with our name on the wall when you enter the building. Now we have a sense of place, a sense of identity.”

Marsha Shoemaker

Reel world fantasy


Fantastic designs from the imagination of artist TyRuben Ellingson ’81 ’82 have gone into a string of popular Hollywood movies – most recently “Avatar.” As lead vehicle designer, he was a major player in carrying out the vision for the film that shattered box office records.

Ellingson designed all but two of the vehicles as well as the Armored Mobility Platform suit used in the interstellar 3-D adventure; and, as he correctly pointed out, “The vehicle stuff takes up a lot of real estate in this movie.”

“Avatar” has been widely hailed for setting a new standard for computer-generated storytelling and has garnered several top honors, including a Golden Globe for best movie and three Academy Awards in categories of special effects and art direction. Ellingson was with “Avatar” creator/director James Cameron when the Art Directors Guild Awards honored “Avatar” with its Excellence in Production Design Award.

Ellingson’s first major contribution to a blockbuster movie was visual effects art director on Steven Spielberg’s groundbreaking “Jurassic Park” in 1993. Since 1989 he’d been working for George Lucas’s Industrial Light and Magic, “an extraordinary opportunity” that he landed the way most entertainment industry jobs are secured – through aggressive networking. In 1995 he went on his own and has been landing opportunities to do creative work in movies, video games, music videos and commercials ever since.

The list of film directors he’s worked with – Cameron, Spielberg, Lucas, Coppola, Kubrick – is an impressive “who’s who” of movie moguls. His upcoming movies include “Priest” and “Battle: Los Angeles,” both due out in 2011.

“The way you survive Hollywood is always do the best job you can with a smile,” he said. “It’s an aggressive, supersuper competitive place – a high-octane existence.”

He was advised early in his career to live somewhere other than Los Angeles because “they take you more seriously when they have to fly you in.” He and wife Karen live in Arizona, near his mother, Sharon Ellingson Bayne, and her husband, former St. Cloud State Vice President Bob Bayne. Karen’s parents live across the street.

His father, the late Bill Ellingson, was a prolific and well-known artist, printmaker and longtime professor of art at St. Cloud State. “Family activities were around the University,” said Ellingson, who attended the campus laboratory school and palled around with other faculty and staff members’ children.

Growing up with a father who was both a working artist and a teaching artist gave Ellingson a creative perspective and foundation of knowledge far beyond the average young person. “I was always around art work,” he said. “My dad always had a studio, and that’s where I was. I was treated as a colleague by him very early. We had a lot of dialog about art.”

Ellingson has good memories of growing up in St. Cloud – doing many of the same things other kids did as well as special activities like entering adult juried art exhibitions at age 13. Another particularly special experience was his summers at the Lake Irene family cabin.For three of his preteen-age summers his father taught at Studio L’Homme Dieu, where St. Cloud State had a sort of student artists’ colony. It was at Lake Irene where he first met his wife Karen when she and her mother came to visit.

At St. Cloud State, Ellingson found new teachers and mentors – among them Rena Coen, Myrle Sykora, Jerry Ott – who helped him tap into his considerable potential. “I was a truck full of lumber when I hit St. Cloud State,” he said. “Now I appreciate my influential years at St. Cloud more than I did at any time in my life.”

“The ’70s was a time of personal and cultural invention,” Ellingson said. “Personal relevance seemed to be more front and center. The university was about change. It gave people the idea their lives could be extraordinary.”

“Ty was the most inquisitive student, and always energetic,” said Ott, whom Ellingson refers to as “an extraordinary artist and personality.”

“He would always bounce from one destination to another, as if there weren’t enough hours in day to do what he wanted to get done,” Ott said. “On one hand he was a boyish jokingly lighthearted sort, and on the other an extremely serious and dedicated person with a massive drive to succeed and display his talents.”

The student found his balance early. “I had such a focused capacity to hallucinate success,” Ellingson said. “Something in me allowed me to dream with such a kind of clarity of mission that once I saw it I didn’t let go of it.”

“At 50 do I feel fortunate?” Ellingson asked. “Yeah. The last 15 years especially have been extraordinary.”

TyRuben Ellingson Trivia:

  • Entered work in first adult juried art exhibition at age 13 – awarded prize in Zapp Bank Art Show
  • Father-in-law, Charles Crane, was art history professor at St. Cloud State from 1957- 1969. The Cranes built a cabin near the Ellingson family’s Lake Irene home and introduced them to sailing
  • Worked as a cook in a Mexican restaurant while a student at St. Cloud State
  • His art during university years reflected an early interest in science fiction-related themes
  • Film instructor Darrel Swanson’s film appreciation classes had an extraordinary influence on Ellingson
  • Received master of fine arts degree in 1987 from Southern Methodist University in Texas
  • 1989 joined Industrial, Light, and Magic as Visual Effects Art Director, Marin County, Calif. While at Industrial, Light, and Magic he was the only one of five art directors to have a fine art background
  • 1993 Grand Marshall of St. Cloud State Homecoming celebration
  • 1995 began career as independent conceptual designer, Marin County, Calif.
  • While being photographed with other Industrial light and Magic workers for the computer simulation of a scene in “Jurassic Park,” Ellingson tripped, fell and broke a shoulder bone. The fall is recorded in the scene where the scientist and two young children are cowering under a fallen tree while stampeding animals jump over the log – and one of them trips and falls, recording Ellingson’s accident for film posterity.
  • After “Jurassic Park” the visual effects field quickly expanded and Ellingson found himself among a small group of professionals who had a working knowledge of the new technologies
  • Credits the unwavering support of his first wife, Donell (Rouch) Ellingson ’82, as being foundational to his successful journey to Hollywood
  • 2008 relocated to Maricopa County, Ariz.
  • Has returned to St. Cloud State several times to speak to students
  • TyRuben Ellingson Web site: www.AlienInsect.com

Marsha Shoemaker

More about Moore


St. Cloud State’s founding leader, Ira Moore, went on to become the founding leader of University of California, Los Angeles. This intriguing piece of trivia came to light this year when a historian sent documentation that St. Cloud Normal School’s first principal, Ira Moore, later was the first principal of the California State Normal School in Los Angeles.

Yale graduate Moore was hired in 1869 to lead St. Cloud’s new training school for teachers, which later evolved into St. Cloud State Teachers College, St. Cloud State College and St. Cloud State University. He left Minnesota in 1875 to become a professor at the San Jose Normal School in California, then was named first principal of the California State Normal School in Los Angeles, a position he held from 1883-98. In 1919 the normal school became the University of California at Los Angeles, currently said to be the university with the highest number of applicants in the United States.

One aspect of this exciting story is puzzling. Sometime during his move from Minnesota to California, Ira Moore turned into Ira More. Despite considerable historical information about this ubiquitous launcher of U.S. normal schools (he also was second in command at the founding of the Illinois Normal School at Bloomington – now Illinois State University), the reason behind his dropped “o” remains a mystery.

St. Cloud State Archivist Tom Steman has unearthed birth records from York, Maine; census records from Illinois and Minnesota; early course catalogs and two universities’ histories that prove Moore spelled his last name with two letters “o” until he left Minnesota. However, all California records, including normal school histories and his colorful obituary in the Oct. 29, 1897, Los Angeles Times, list him as Ira More. Somewhere between St. Cloud and San Jose, our founding principal decided that less was more when it came to spelling his name.

  • Before coming to St. Cloud, Moore had been furloughed from the Illinois 33rd Volunteer Infantry because of health problems that were said to plague him until his death by suicide in 1897.
  • After teaching in Massachusetts and Chicago, Moore served as assistant principal for the Illinois Normal Institution (later Illinois State University) established in 1857.
  • In 1883 Ira More was named the first principal of the Los Angeles State Normal School.

Past times at St. Cloud State University

Haiti & Chile fundrasing at St. Cloud State


Students and faculty were just returning to classes for the spring semester, when on Jan. 12, a devastating earthquake struck the small island country of Haiti. In the following weeks, all media outlets were saturated with news of the loss of life – recent updates estimate between 200,000 and 250,000 people perished – and the indescribable plight of survivors in the impoverished nation. Soon, the nation of Chile would suffer a similar fate and although the death toll was not as severe, the loss and destruction for the country and especially at the Universidad de Concepción, a partnering university with St. Cloud State, was felt by everyone.

The call for help was immediate and on the far-removed, wintry campus landscape, small groups of students and faculty began to hear the call of service and they responded in droves. From all over campus, individual and most often student-led relief efforts began to take shape to organize, fundraise and educate at a grassroots level.

Beth Knutson-Kolodzne, who heads the Volunteer Connection Program and has been tracking relief efforts on campus, is not surprised by the student’s eager activism. A 2009 student survey found that more than 50 percent of students volunteer an average of approximately five hours per month. Given their course loads and personal obligations, this is an impressive fact, Knutson-Kolodzne said.

While volunteerism isn’t a university requirement, through core classes and various departments, it is encouraged. In Knutson-Kolodzne’s opinion, this level of volunteerism also affirms guiding principles and philosophies that have emerged under recent university leadership: the idea of educating the whole student and graduating students with a sense of their place in a broader community as global citizens. This is the product of a less measurable, but no-less important, facet of fundraising –– the element of awareness which took the form of many campus activities from general fund-raising to the longheld college tradition of the Teach-In.

A Teach-In differs from a seminar or lecture in its refusal to be tied to one perspective or academic discipline. St. Clair worked with more than 13 campus departments and organizations to solicit help in planning and presenting. “You don’t need to be an expert on Haiti specifically to bring a new and important perspective,” St. Clair emphasized. “The idea is to use the expertise that is around you to bring new light to the situation.”

In March, more than 400 students, faculty and community members attended the Haiti Teach-In. Haitian student Mike Fabre emceed the evening as Kampach’s students discussed their fundraising efforts and seven professors presented topics ranging from the more nebulous, “The Psychological Processes of Blaming the Victim” to the pragmatic, “Health Issues in Haiti.” St. Clair reflected, “It was impressive for everyone to recognize the degree of expertise on this campus.”

St. Clair hopes to develop a model for organizing Teach-Ins as a response to current events as they arise. Robert Lavenda, professor of anthropology, sought to utilize those same resources for a Chile Teach-In following the devastating quake there. Shortly after the Haiti Teach-In, six presenters prepared a similarly broad range of topics on the Chilean earthquake and Chile in general. While turnout was substantially lower – attributed to “donor fatigue” – Lavenda thought that the Teach-In was the best response to the disaster in Chile. While he had hoped to donate money directly to the Universidad de Concepción with which St. Cloud State has an ongoing relationship with, collecting and donating money turned out to be a bureaucratic nightmare, he said. Instead, they encouraged people to donate privately, and focused efforts on raising awareness. The Teach-In was a resource unique to the University, with its ability to draw on multiple disciplines and offer a contextual understanding.

The spontaneous fundraising efforts across campus, provided an opportunity for students to give money – and for other students to learn about the planning and logistics of charitable giving. When faced with tragedy or misfortune, a community can use that event as a catalyst for greater understanding of the world around them. As Beth Knutson-Kolodzne observed, “It is an example of students taking what they have learned academically, and applying it in the community. To ‘Think Globally’ isn’t just a slogan, it’s a broader experience that students are getting. It’s about expanding their world.”

Jennifer Kohnhorst

St. Cloud PROUD


St. Cloud State billboards featuring Intana Chanthirath and a fish from a University aquarium have brought the biology major from Rogers considerably more than her proverbial 15 minutes of fame.

As soon as her bigger-than-life face became highly visible on I-94 near Rogers and in Rochester, Chanthirath was inundated with phone calls, texts and e-mails. Hometown media shared news about the Class of 2009 Rogers High School co-president and honor student “prominently featured on a billboard for St. Cloud State University.”

By the time the billboards went up in March, the Rogers native already was a familiar face to many on campus. She’s invested in an eclectic mix of academic and extracurricular activities, working part time in the Biology Department, playing a range of instruments with the University’s Percussion Ensemble and getting involved in multiple campus organizations. She also plays the clarinet, saxophone, trumpet and baritone.

Chanthirath’s interest in science began long before she chose St. Cloud State. After seventh grade she attended Math-Science-Computer Camp on campus, and throughout junior high and high school she was part of the Scientific Discovery Program. The summer learning opportunities, aimed particularly at underrepresented groups in the sciences, are among St. Cloud State Professor Robert C. Johnson’s acclaimed Pipeline Summer Camp Programs at St. Cloud State. Chanthirath is one of many camp graduates who have attended Pipeline programs and gone on to succeed at the University.

An alumnus of the camps who worked as an adviser in her school district, James Turner, encouraged Chanthirath to attend camp as an elementary student, and she was a regular participant in the programs until her graduation from high school. She entered St. Cloud State with a dream of becoming a geneticist, to study diseases and make discoveries that may lead to cures.

“Intana has always been a cheerful, outgoing student with a great passion for learning,” Johnson said. “As a high school student she found her niche working with faculty in the biology department.”

Biology Professor Matt Julius has been a mentor to Chanthirath during the summer camps and continues to work with her as a college student. “I love working with Dr. Julius,” Chanthirath said. “He’s cool.”

When they learned she was coming to St. Cloud State, Turner and Johnson convinced Chanthirath to take advantage of St. Cloud State’s Advanced Preparation Program (APP), offered through Multicultural Student Services to give students the opportunity to come to campus early and learn about student resources, time management and study skills and to gain social connections while earning two class credits. “I hope people take advantage of APP,” she said. “It’s worth the investment in time. It makes you feel more comfortable on campus.”

“I have been amazed at the number of activities she engages in on campus and the many talents and interests that she displays,” Johnson said.

“I made the right choice to come to St. Cloud State,” Chanthirath said. “I love my job, I love my friends, and the Music Department’s rockin’!”

Marsha Shoemaker

Husky Sports

Men's Basketball


In its most successful season ever the men’s basketball team advanced to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight in Springfield, Mass. By winning a quarterfinal game, 92-88, over Midwestern State University (Texas), they reached the Final Four of the national tournament. The Huskies fell to Indiana (Pa.) 76-70, in the national semifinal game to conclude a season in which they won a school-record 29 games and posted a 29-6 overall record. The Huskies won the first-ever Elite Eight game behind one of the top performances in the tournament history from junior guard Taylor Witt of Morris. Witt had the fourth highest scoring total in an Elite Eight game with 43 points, including 38 in the second half. He also set an NCAA tournament record with 22 free throws made and 23 attempted.

To get to the Elite Eight St. Cloud State won the NCAA Division II Central Region Tournament and the NSIC/Sanford Health Tournament.

Senior center Matt Schneck of Whitefish Bay, Wis., led the Huskies in scoring and rebounding and, along with Witt, was named to the five-member Elite Eight All-Tournament team. Schneck was named to three All-American teams and averaged a double double in NCAA tournament games. He also earned honors as the Most Outstanding Player of the Central Region Tournament, the MVP of the NSIC/Sanford Health Tournament, was named First Team All-NSIC and the NSIC Player of the Year. In addition, the marketing major was named to the NSIC All-Academic team and the College Sports Information Directors Association Academic All-District team.

Women's Track & Field


Heather Miller reached the pinnacle of NCAA competition winning the Division II National
Pentathlon Championship, in Albuquerque, N.M. The Sun Prairie, Wis., native scored a national and school record 3,993 points. Miller is the third female track star in St. Cloud State history to win a national title, following in the footsteps of GiGi DesLauriers ’93 for the indoor high jump in 1992 and Marie Sherwood ’86 for the outdoor javelin in 1982. Miller also set a school record in the 60-meter hurdles with her time of 8.70.

The national title was one of many accomplishments by the nursing major including three All-American honors won at the championships when she also placed fourth in the long jump and fifth in the triple jump.

Miller is the United States Track & Field/ Cross Country Coaches Association Female Field Athlete of the Year, the 2010 Central Region Female Field Athlete of the Year and the 2010 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Field Athlete of the Year.

Miller’s collegiate career included ten All- American finishes and 14 NSIC titles in both indoor and outdoor track.

Men's Hockey


St. Cloud State men’s hockey won its first NCAA tournament game and finished the year with a 24-14-5 overall record, a third place mark of 15-9-4 in the WCHA and ranked #5/7 in the final NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey polls.

St. Cloud State won a best of three series in the opening round of the WCHA playoffs against Minnesota State in St. Cloud and then captured second place at the 2010 WCHA Final Five in St. Paul.

To cap the season, the team gained a coveted NCAA tournament bid where they earned a historic 4-3 double overtime win against Northern Michigan. In NCAA quarterfinal action against Wisconsin, the Huskies ended the season with a 5-3 loss in St. Paul.

St. Cloud State skaters earning All-WCHA honors in 2009-10 include senior forward Ryan Lasch, Lake Forest, Calif.; senior defender Garrett Raboin, Detroit Lakes; junior forward Garrett Roe, Vienna, Va., and junior goalie Dan Dunn, Oshawa, Ontario. Lasch broke the Huskies’ long-time career scoring record this winter with 183 points, which had been held by Jeff Saterdalen ’94 who scored 179 points from 1988-92. Lasch ended his storied career at St. Cloud State with a team record 183 points, 104 assists, 13 game-winning goals and 161 games played. He also ranks second in team history with 79 goals and 37 power play goals.

Felicia Nelson


Female hockey team captain Felicia Nelson was voted MostValuable Player after putting
together an incredible senior season in 2009-10. The St. Paul resident and senior completed the season with...

  • 46 points (31 goals, 15 assists), ranking second on the team, fifth in the league and 10th in the nation
  • 30 regular season goals leading the nation at the Division I level for both men and women
  • Is the first player in school history to lead the nation in goals scored during the regular season
  • Is the first player in school history to earn All-American recognition when she was named to the American Hockey Coaches Association Division I All-American Second Team
  • 2009-10 WCHA Co-Player of the Year
  • Named to All-WCHA Second Team
  • The first player in school history to be named a Top-10 Finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award
  • Selected as a 2010 WCHA All-Academic
  • Led the nation and the WCHA with 15 power play goals
  • Finished her collegiate career with 106 points (64 goals, 42 assists) in 131 games played (combined stats from Minnesota State and St. Cloud State).

Michelle Blaeser


Michelle Blaeser has been named the Huskies head women’s volleyball coach. A St. Cloud native and Technical High School graduate, Blaeser brings 20 years of coaching experience, including 18 years at the collegiate level and 10 years as a head coach to the Husky volleyball program. Since 2000, Blaeser has been the head volleyball coach at the College of St. Benedict where she also served as an assistant athletic director and compliance director.

Blaeser recently completed her 10th season with the Blazers where she compiled a 187-109 overall record. The 2009 Blazers posted a 26-6 overall record and a 10-1 mark in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIA C). The Blazers tied for the MIA C regular season title and won the MIA C playoff championship. Blaeser was named the 2009 MIA C Coach of the Year. She was a four-year starter at Minnesota State from 1985-89. She has a bachelor’s degree from MSU and a master’s in sport management/sport psychology from the University of Minnesota.

Alumni News

Alumni events and happenings


Junior Taylor Witt from Morris is surrounded by his family following the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Championship game in St. Cloud on March 7. Witt is flanked by his parents Holly and Jerry. His brother Forrest Witt ’03, second from right, was also a former Husky basketball player.

Former St. Cloud State hockey player and alumnus Jeff Saterdalen ’94, Eden Prairie, right, congratulates Ryan Lasch, Lake Forest, Calif., for breaking his hockey all-time scoring record during the St. Cloud State-UN D game at the Final Five.

Alumni and friends take time to pose with the St. Cloud State flag at the Annual Arizona Golf Tournament. From left are Dan Faust ’69, Fort Myers Beach, Fla., Dick Langdok, Roger Duininck, and Paul Duininck.

Denny Niess of Leighton Broadcasting, left, and Jason Bernick of Bernick’s Beverages & Vending enjoy the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey West Regional on March 26-27 in St. Paul.

2010 Beta Gamma Sigma Inductees are welcomed into their life-long membership. Beta Gamma Sigma is the honor society for students enrolled in Business and Management programs. Master’s degree inductees are Robyn Carter, Brooklyn Park; Christy Coudron, Marshall; Dustin Marker, Sartell; Rebecca Schlorf Von Holdt, St. Cloud; Sean Stucker, Marshall and Susan Walz. Seniors are Sidhartha Basu, Minneapolis; Andrew Beacom, Maple Grove; Robert Brauer, La Crosse, Wis.; Beth Christensen, St. Cloud; Chad Dahlman, Stewart; Tyler Datko, Shoreview; Travis Decker, Cold Spring; Andrew Foreman, Hopkins; Joel Gregory, Richmond; James Gruber, Sauk Rapids; Warda James-Hester, Monticello; Keith Lambert, Eden Prarie; Kyle Marthaler, Melrose; Carissa Moritz, St. Cloud; Jay Nielsen, St. Cloud; Ashley Raushel, Jacobson; David Serposs, St. Louis Park; Anthony Thorn, St. Cloud and Wendy Vitzthum, St. Cloud. Juniors are Benjamin Brendler, Madison, Wis.; Chris Elhardt, Ham Lake; Jeffrey Engebretson, Chanhassen; Kaylan Gorecki, Oak Park; Tyler Hartmann, Maple Grove; Nicholas Helsene, Shorewood; Marcus Horbal, Coon Rapids; Courtney Johnson, Benson; Danielle Kettenacker, Buffalo; Sarah Lindquist, Pennock; Mitchell Means, St. Cloud; Roxanne Merriman, Aberdeen, S.D.; Ali Mohamed, St. Cloud; Sarah Philippi, Sartell; Samuel Rentz, Buffalo; Kayla Rohe, Hawick; Lacey Schumacher, Jamestown; N.D.; Melisse Sullivan, Osseo; Gretchen Turnbull White Bear Lake and Kaylee Wagner, Chaska.

Listed as best


The Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal’s 2009 “Fast 50,” the fastest growing private companies in Minn., includes five St. Cloud alumni: John Folkestad ’89, Edina; Lisa Hannum ’86, St. Paul; Kurt Rakos ’95, Fridley; Brian Taney ’97, Minneapolis and Peter Taunton, Chaska. Folkestad is co-founder of Oberon which specializes in providing experienced human resources executives for just-in-time interim positions and special initiatives. Hannum is founder of Beehive PR, an agency that has grown to a staff of 12 since 1998. Rakos is a co-founder and partner at McKinley Group, an executive-recruiting services company. Taney is the CEO of GetWireless, an internet company providing services throughout Central and Western Pennsylvania since 1996. Tauton is founder of Snap Fitness, a compact, state-of-the-art, 24/7 express fitness club with more than 2,000 franchises.

Greg Kurowski ’84, Victoria, is owner of Periscope Marketing Communications, an advertising and marketing agency ranked #5 in the Top 25 List of metro area advertising firms by the same publication.

Educational administrative accolades


Patricia Phillips ’05 from Oakdale and Mitchell Anderson’09, graduate, from Detroit Lakes were named Superintendent’s of the Year by the Minnesota Association of School Administrators (MASA) for their work in their respective districts. Phillips is superintendent of North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale Schools and Anderson oversees the Waubun Ogema-White Earth school district.

MASA also recognized Bruce Lund ’80, Staples, as an Administrator of Excellence for his contribution to public education. He has been the executive director and director of special education for the Freshwater Education District since 1995. Darin Laabs ’92, Zimmerman, is the 2010 Assistant Principal of the Year named by the Central Minnesota Association of Secondary School Principals.

Teachers par excellence


Minnesota Teacher of the Year semi-finalists included Richard Halterman ’79 ’81, Montevideo; Darcy Halverson ’97, Mora; and Marcia Nelson ’03, Champlin. Sponsored by Education Minnesota, a 70,000-member statewide educators union, the three were included in a group of 32 semi-finalists chosen from an initial field of 107 candidates. Candidates included pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers from public and private schools. Halterman teaches at Montevideo High School, Haleverson at Mora Elementary School and Nelson at Anoka-Hennepin.

Sue Bremer ’80, Minneapolis, is Teacher of the Year at Cannon Falls Elementary School where she has taught for 26 years. Lori Richards ’90, Cartersville, is Teacher of the Year for Cartersville Schools where she has taught for 20 years.

St. Cloud leadership


Pat Shea ’94, Sartell, directs the Public Services office for the city of St. Cloud after previously serving as public utilities director. He joins a large contingency of alumni who are leading the city. Dave Kleis ’89, mayor; Gregg Engdahl ’79, city clerk; Dave Masters ’78 and Carolyn Garven ’85, two of seven council members; Sue Stawarski ’83 and Richard Wilson ’01, assistant police chiefs; Dede Balcom-Gaetz ’81 ’87, human resources director; Todd Bissett ’92 and Brian Deyak ’89, directors of the Municipal Athletic Complex; Steve Hennes ’77, director of the Whitney Senior Center; Stephen Behrenbrinker ’75, city assessor; Mark Ellering ’84, captain in the fire department.

Author on race relations


Tod Ewing ’76, Washington D.C., has written a book reflecting on his own life and race relations, “Seeing Heaven in the Face of Black Men.” With 25 years of experience in diversity, race relations, communication and conflict resolution, he served for five years as director of minority affairs at St. Cloud State and helped bring a chapter of the The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to campus.

CFO for H2O


Timothy Steinkopf ’84 is chief financial officer for Purfresh, a provider of clean technologies that purifies, protects and preserves food and water. The San Jose, Calif., resident has more than 25 years of experience at both public and private companies, and most recently served as chief financial officer of SumTotal Systems, a talent-development software firm, and McAfee, a computer network security company.

Overseas service


DeeDee Baumgarner ’84, Yuma, Ariz., is in Iraqi Kurdistan where she is the English program director for Millennium Relief and Development Service in Sulaimaniya. She has traveled to Chile and other countries 15 times since 2000 doing humanitarian work, participating in building projects, teaching first aid, CPR and English.

On Target


John Stumpf ’76, San Francisco, is on the Board of Directors for Target. He is also chairman, president and CEO of Wells Fargo & Company.

Business leaders recognized


Byron Bjorklund ’85, St. Cloud, is the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Minnesota Small Business Person of the Year. The owner of Custom Catering by Short Stop received recognition for growing sales, increasing staff, strengthening finances, innovative services and contribution to the community.

Jenny Dougherty ’86, International Falls, is the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Minnesota Financial Services Champion of the Year. The award is for individuals who assist small businesses through advocacy efforts to increase the usefulness and availability of accounting or financial services.

James “Kip” Cameron ’86, Cold Spring, is the St. Cloud Area Small Business Person of the Year. As president and CEO of Granite-Tops, the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce recognized him for his involvement in the industry as founder of the Midwest Stone Fabricators Association.

Patrick Mastey ’99, St. Cloud, is one of 10 Outstanding Young Minnesotans named by the Minnesota Jaycees. He received the award for his work to preserve historic homes in south St. Cloud, his efforts to improve St. Cloud State’s relationship with its neighbors through the Husky Neighbors program and his efforts to promote the U-Choose alcohol education program to St. Cloud State students. Sven Sundgaard ’03, Minneapolis, earned this same award in 2008.

World connections


Roland Fisher ’58 ’89, who was director of Center for International Studies from 1991-2002, was honored with a Haihe Friendship Award for Education at a reception at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing this past September. The recipients of this annual honor for education from different provinces of China are “foreign experts” in education (22), business and other fields (148) who have made special contributions to Chinese culture. The Friendship Award is the highest national award granted to foreign experts and receipients were invited to attend the ceremony in Beijing marking the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.

Cherrey picked for Princeton


Cynthia (Beranek) Cherrey ’76, New Orleans, has been named vice president for campus life at Princeton University effective Aug. 1. She will leave her position as vice president for student affairs at Tulane University where she worked as part of a senior leadership team on recovery and renewal efforts after the New Orleans school sustained at least $650 million in damages from Hurricane Katrina. She is also noted for playing a key role integrating service learning into the curriculum and accelerating a residential college plan while at Tulane.

On the air


Eric Green ’00, Albuquerque, N.M., is the new morning meteorologist with ABC affiliate KOAT in Albuquerque. A certified broadcast meteorologist with the American Meteorological Society, he has worked in the Cincinnati, Huntington, W.V. and Duluth media markets.



Paul Martodam ’93, Burnsville, is the new CEO of Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He is the first non-priest CEO since 1977 when a merger of multiple Catholic social service agencies created Catholic Charities. The organization is the human-services arm of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and annually assists about 35,000 people with children, family, housing and emergency services.

Senior VP


Daniel E. Lee ’80, Plymouth, is senior vice president, general counsel and secretary at Minneapolis-based Caribou Coffee. With two decades of legal experience, he is responsible for all aspects of the legal and risk management functions. Prior to joining the company in 2005, he held counsel and executive positions with International, Carlson Companies and General Electric.

High scorer


Marty Mjelleli ’08, Faribault, led the Amsterdam Tigers in scoring with 41 points in 35 games during the 2009-10 hockey season. The Tigers are a professional hockey team in the Eredivisie League located in Holland. Prior to playing in Holland, he played for the Johnstown Chiefs and the Gwinnet Gladiators in the ECHL.

Husky Pupsters


We’ve got baby gifts for all new additions to the Huskies roster! If you recently welcomed a new addition to the family, your alma mater would like to send you a Husky Pup t-shirt.

Contact us at 320-308-3177, toll free 1-866-464-8759 or stcloudstate.edu/alumni to update your profile and receive a “Congratulations!” gift from the St. Cloud State University Alumni Association.