5/9/2011

Iconic Students

Three who excel in active learning, community engagement and globalization

From the President

Changing lives, changing the world

St. Cloud State continues to be a university on the move. Throughout our reorganization process we have invited members of the campus community to "imagine" a vision for what we want our university to be and to work together to make that vision a reality. An important outcome has been to identify four key elements – or "pillars" – that we believe are essential to making a St. Cloud State education a life-altering experience. They are community engagement, active learning, sustainability and globalization.

The pillars support an enhanced total educational experience that is built around rigorous academic programs and designed to prepare students for life and work in the 21st century. This is our mission, a sacred trust that is no less than the future of our graduates and of the communities they will impact.

On the pages of this magazine you will meet students who are immersed in the kind of learning experiences that will help them make a positive difference in their own unique ways. The four senior technology management majors pictured below are good examples. In a senior project for their environmental technology class, they elected to work with the St. Cloud State University Community Garden folks who asked them to create an irrigation plan that would accommodate needs of the garden, be easy to operate and use collected rain water as the main water supply. Their project is an experience that has had life-altering impact on four students whose careers and personal passion for tending the physical environment will continue to intersect. They have left the Community Garden with the necessary tools to move forward with a sustainable irrigation project.

These students have encountered the impact of the garden on the development of social capital in our neighborhood and beyond through the modeling, teaching and networking among the many emerging garden sites in the region. Thus they have experienced sustainability in its broadest sense. Others you will meet on the following pages have been involved in projects, volunteer activities, internships and other learning experiences that incorporate the elements that define a St. Cloud State education.

Despite lingering economic struggles and the challenges that come with deep mandated budget cuts, St. Cloud State is making extraordinary progress in our efforts to adapt and improve to meet the changing needs of our students and the world in which they live and work.

As we "imagined" a vision for St. Cloud State, some of the descriptors used to define that vision included collaborative, innovative, relevant, connected, dynamic and intentional – words that say who we want to be and how we should be known. But I saved the most powerful for last. Above all, we are and always must be "student-centered" – a university that remains an agent of change in individual lives and in the world beyond our walls.

The Pillars that define a St. Cloud State Education

  • Community Engagement – we must be what we teach in order to provide our students role models and real-life in action examples of what they are learning in the classroom
  • Active Learning – we must provide opportunities to put classroom learning into action in order to provide our students with practical experience and reinforcement of their learning
  • Sustainability in its broadest sense – we must tend to our community as well as the physical environment so that our students can have real opportunities to succeed
  • Globalization – we must be attentive to a changing world and agile in our adaptation to new developments in order to ensure that our students are prepared for a world in which nothing is static and knowledge rapidly becomes obsolete

University News

Students educate about choosing nutritious foods

Students from St. Cloud State who are studying for careers as dieticians or nutritionists helped educate consumers about NuVal, a system aimed to help Central Minnesotans eat healthier by choosing nutritious foods at the grocery store.

CentraCare Health Foundation's BLEND initiative, along with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and Coborn's launched the system in late October and it ran through early December.

Juniors Alissa Walden and Sarah Covelli, St. Joseph, are among a group of students who volunteered for the program.

"Our role as educators is to inform customers on how the scoring system works as they enter the store," said Walden, a community health major.

Food items receive a NuVal score from 1 to 100; the higher the score, the higher the nutrition. Scores are located on the supermarket shelf marked by a hexagon, allowing customers to easily compare the overall nutrition of foods.

Walden and Covelli became involved when project coordinator Jodi Rohe (CentraCare) presented the opportunity in their public health class.

"It was offered as a good opportunity to spread this to the community and make it more approachable," said Covelli. "It helps you make better and ultimately healthier decisions for yourself and for your family."

Covelli, who is pursuing a degree in community health, would know. She not only educates consumers about the system, but as a mother of three she uses it when shopping.

For more information on the NuVal System visit www.BlendCentralMN.org.

Story By Brett Shoene fel d '10 Schoenefeld '10 completed his internship with University Communications this past fall. The Watertown, S.D. native graduated with a bachelor's degree in Public Relations and a minor in Political Science.

Student overcomes arthritis; earns scholarship

Senior Chris Swanson is used to overcoming obstacles. For that, he has been awarded a $10,000 scholarship.

Swanson of Savage, was named one of the 2010 Rheumatoid Arthritis Family Scholarship Program winners.

Now 23, Swanson was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when he was an active 16-year-old. The disease forced him to stay home and miss more than 50 days of school, but his inner strength kept him moving forward.

Instead of feeling sorry for himself, Swanson counted his blessings, especially his family.

"We are only limited by what we allow to hold us back," he said. "With unwavering faith and determination, I have found a way to achieve my goals at all costs."

Swanson set his expectations high. He has earned a black belt in martial arts and played on his high school's varsity lacrosse team during his senior year — this after spending two years on crutches.

And Swanson didn't only have to deal with his own illness. His mother, a nurse and one of the leaders of his support network, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Chris helped care for his mother every step of the way through her treatment, just as she had done for him.

Today, both Swanson, an accounting major who expects to graduate fall 2011, and his mother have battled their diseases into remission.

"Looking for the positive side of every situation truly pays off," Swanson said. "The time you have with the ones you love matters the most above all else, and projecting kindness outward into the world can never steer a person down the wrong path."

Student organization makes big splash

A tower of plastic water bottles was the focal point for AniMent at a Celebrating Connection event in Atwood Memorial Center in mid November.

The five-year-old organization's sculpture of 1,000-plus discarded water bottles made a strong statement, drawing a steady stream of visitor traffic. The sculpture contains about the same number of plastic water bottles bought in the United States each second. According to one estimate: 85 percent of those bottles are discarded while only 15 percent are recycled, said Shaun Phillips, AniMent president.

Celebrating Connection showcases student and community collaborations. It is sponsored by Volunteer Connection and Career Services Center and managed by the Service-Learning Advisory Committee.

The water-bottle sculpture, which took four members 11 hours to develop, speaks to how the bottled-water industry worldwide misuses environmental resources, according to Phillips. Bottled water reduces water levels in aquifers, rivers, lakes and reservoirs, diverting a critical resource away from animals and plants. It also reduces the availability of free water to people in developing nations, Phillips said.

"Water should not be a commodity," said Phillips, a graduate student in the Master's In Social Responsibility Program. "It should not be privatized. It should be for the common good."

Phillips hails from Australia, which has a history of water scarcity. The town of Bundanoon, which is believed to be the first entity to outlaw bottled water, is in the New South Wales, which adjoins Phillips' home state of Victoria.

Less than 1 percent of the world's fresh water is drinkable, according to Julie Andrzejewski, the AniMent faculty advisor. As freshwater supplies dwindle, the need to restore the environment becomes ever more urgent, Andrzejewski said. Water-reclamation and desalinization plants are expensive alternatives to simply helping nature do its job, she said.

AniMent draws is name from its advocacy for Animals and the Environment.

Nursing students take pulse of program, culture in Chile

Jenna Johnson and Samantha Rausch couldn't have had a more eye-opening experience during a month-long stint they spent at Universidad de Concepción in Chile.

The St. Cloud State University senior nursing students not only immersed themselves in the nursing program there, but experienced the culture as well.

What they learned included: Chileans have a high level of respect for nurses, similar to how doctors are sometimes revered in the U.S.

The physical contact between nurses and patients is very influential on the care that is given. "Physical boundaries are less restricted and personal space is smaller than we are used to in the United States," Johnson said.

Said Rausch: "We learned so much from the efficiency and resourcefulness of the staff in both the public health agencies and the hospitals and really enjoyed the closeness in patient contact when providing care."

Many of the differences that they noted were a reflection of the differences in cultures.

"In the U.S. we have to enter a password when retrieving medications so that only authorized personnel are handling them and so that usage is documented and tracked," Rausch said. This is not a concern yet in Chile. They do not have a public health issue of IV and prescription drug abuse as we do in the U.S. Wrist bands are not a cost-effective means in the public hospitals. However, they are still used in the private hospitals. Instead of wristbands, nurses rely on the patient, the family and their organization and critical thinking skills to assure that they are providing the correct patient with the correct treatment. Patients are incredibly trusting of their nurses.

Johnson and Rausch not only learned a lot while in Chile, they taught as well.

"We spent a great deal of time providing community education in Concepción," Johnson said, adding that they presented information on the U.S. health system, public health and home care, diabetes, healthy lifestyles and even the topic of bullying.

They also worked with patients, performing everything from wound care to catheter care. They visited several different communities.

"In the short time we were there we worked with three public health agencies that were within 20 miles of each other- some were government funded, others were privately funded- where as in Minnesota, public health agencies cover a large geographical area that is usually countybased, "Rausch said.

Each of the women stayed with a host family and learned that the "family unit is very strong" in Chile. College students, for instance, live with their families and most stay with their families until they are married.

"Many students in Concepción do not drive because they utilize a large and well-organized public transportation system," Johnson said. "It is a point of preference; one of the students we stayed with had a car and chose not to use it because it was easier to take the bus. We really enjoyed using public transportation there."

"The people were among the most gracious, kind, generous and welcoming people we had ever met," Johnson said. "We have thanks and gratitude to our families and the health care workers for being so helpful and accommodating and really giving us so much to bring back that has bettered us as both persons and nurses."

Story by Mike Nistler '79

University recognized by Carnegie Foundation

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching honored St. Cloud State University for "practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement" when it named the institution to its Community Engagement Classification, a roster of higher education institutions that exchange knowledge and resources with local, regional, state, national and global communities.

"Their certification and recognition is very special," said President Earl H. Potter III. "This is a great achievement."

Founded by steel magnate Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered in 1906 by an act of Congress, The Carnegie Foundation is based in Stanford, Calif.

"We hope you will see this as an opportunity to push your own efforts to a next level and also to mentor and support campuses that are in earlier stages of institutionalizing community engagement," said Anthony Bryk, Carnegie Foundation president.

St. Cloud State joins Winona State University, University of Minnesota, Augsburg College, Metropolitan State University, Macalester College and the University of St. Thomas as the only Minnesota institutions on the 311-school list which includes nationally known public and private schools such as Purdue University, University of North Carolina, Georgetown University and Duke University.

A total of 311 schools among the country's 3,900 degreegranting institutions are recognized.

Potter has made community engagement the hallmark of his administration since joining St. Cloud State in July 2007.

Scholarship winner is an active activist

Working towards global human equality is a noble cause. Nabila Feroz Bhatti has devoted her life to human rights, peace education and empowerment of women in her homeland of Pakistan and has brought this vision to St. Cloud State University where she is working toward a master's degree in social responsibility.

Bhatti won the 2010 Jacobson Scholar designation reserved for the top scholarship recipient from the Vincent L. Hawkinson Peace Scholarship.

"I believe that every person is a global citizen," Bhatti said. "Constructive or destructive activities in any part of the world affect the whole of humanity and human nature."

Bhatti has worked with civil society organizations as a member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, the Pattan Development Organization, the Taangh Wasaib Organization and the Catholic Bishops' National Commission for Justice and Peace in Pakistan. At St. Cloud State she helped organize the 2009 and 2010 Global Social Responsibilities Conferences and film festivals and has presented workshops to area groups on Pakistan and Afghanistan and peace issues.

Bhatti is in the United States with her sons, who are studying at St. John's Preparatory School in Collegeville, Minn., while her husband, also a human rights activist, remains in Pakistan.

Bahatti plans to make take her experiences in America and St. Cloud State back to her homeland. The St. Cloud State program addresses a citizen's responsibility to others, to society and to the environment," Bhatti said. "After completing my graduate program, I will go back to Pakistan and will start the work again."

Painting brings Japanese Garden indoors

Bela Petheo has once again left his mark — in the form of brushstrokes — on St. Cloud State University.

Petheo, the city of St. Cloud's own world-renowned artist, created an inspiring painting of the campus' Japanese Garden for the fourth floor of Centennial Hall. During a six-month period, Petheo worked with Mary Soroko, advisor of Beta Gamma Sigma, the College of Business honor society, to find and bring to life an aspect of campus that might spark creativity in the minds of business students.

Believing that the quality of education is based in part on the contributions of alumni, Soroko wanted to make sure her students made an impact. "Students don't have the money, but they do have time, and passion, and we applied all of that in order to make a lasting impression on the Herberger College of Business and its future students."

"To be successful in business takes risktaking, creativity, and the ability to come up with new approaches to doing things. But public institutions always seem to consider activities that promote that kind of development as least important," she said.

Soroko and Beta Gamma Sigma wanted to "bring the outside in" and start turning the gears in the minds of business students.

Petheo was skeptical about painting the Japanese Garden. He remembers thinking: "In terms of creativity, this is going to be dangerous: it's going to be dull—There's so much green!"

"After looking at other photographs of the garden, I saw color in flowers, in the pond and the bright orange fish, and in the people and their colorful clothing." Petheo said. "I wanted to bring life to the painting, and that's what the colors did."

Other details of the painting make it stand out. The blurred look and lack of detail is deliberate, so as not to take away from the whole picture. The painting is a triptych, divided into three separate frames.

The painting has had an effect on students and passersby. "It brings life to the business office, which is usually not a place where art is present," Soroko said. "Students are drawn to it; they gather around it, which then initiates conversations and peer interaction. It raises the overall comfort level of the fourth floor, making it feel less 'institutional.'"

The $5,000 painting was funded by Beta Gamma Sigma, which raised $1,500. Various clubs of the College of Business Executive Council contributed the rest of the funds.

Petheo previously created an oil painting for St. Cloud State which is in the Mississippi Room of Atwood Memorial Center.

Story by Kasey Jaskowiak | Photograph by Neil Andersen '96

Geocaching at Quarry Park: A photo essay

Using handheld GPS navigation devices, Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) members locate and retrieve objects Dec. 3 at Quarry Park and Nature Reserve in Waite Park.

The 42-year-old GTU is the university's Geography Club.

Leading the geocaching outing is club president Jessica Rosier, Hoyt Lakes.

Rupak Shrestha, an international student from Nepal, finds GTU's own cache.

The group's first find of the afternoon is a cache in a repurposed ammunition box.

Jenna Holm, an undergraduate from Lakeville, records a find in a cache logbook.

Graduate student Eric Ege, Anoka, and a friend take a break on an observation desk.

{ WEB EXTRA }
View a photo slide show of Quarry Park Geocaching

Story and Photographs by Jeff Wood '81 '87 '95

Faculty/Staff News

Mikhail Blinnikov

Professor of Geography Mikhail Blinnikov has had a textbook titled "Geography of Russia and its Neighbors" published by Guilford Press as part of its regional geography series. Few textbooks about the region exist in English. Blinnikov is a native of Moscow with extensive travel experiences in the post-Soviet Eurasia. He is a member of the Association of American Geographers with long-standing research interests in environmental geography. At St. Cloud State, he teaches "Geography of Russia," "Introduction to Global Geography," "Conservation of World Resources," "Biogeography" and other classes. He also coordinates the geography graduate program and has led study abroad tours in Russia.

John Harlander

Professor of Physics John Harlander is co-author on a paper that has won the prestigious 2010 Alan Berman Research Publication Award from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) recognizing outstanding publications for their quality and significance. Harlander was honored at the Alan Berman Research Publication Award Dinner in Washington D.C. The paper, "Spatial Heterodyne Imager for Mesospheric Radicals on STPSat-1," published last March in the Journal of Geophysical Research details results obtained from a near-ultraviolet spectrometer that flew aboard the satellite STPSat-1 making measurements of the Earth's upper atmosphere between March 2007 and October 2009.

John Hotz

John Hotz, a professor in the Rehabilitation Counseling Program, received the Minnesota Rehabilitation Association Meritorious Service Award. Hotz has been teaching in the Rehabilitation Counseling Master's Degree Program for 28 years, including serving as the programs coordinator for 20 years and as past president of the state association. He currently serves as historian for the group. Hotz is co-author of "History of the Minnesota Rehabilitation Association 1952-2009."

Chris Lehman

Cultural scholar Chris Lehman's new book on slavery in the Upper Midwest is on bookshelves. "Slavery in the Upper Mississippi Valley, 1787- 1865" documents the persistence of slavery in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin through the end of the Civil War. Lehman's research includes details on Mary Butler and other slaves who lived in St. Cloud and Sauk Rapids in the mid-19th century. Lehman coordinates the African American Studies minor at St. Cloud State and is the former faculty adviser for the Council of African-American Students on campus. A St. Cloud resident, he holds a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Lehman was recently honored by being accepted at the NEH Summer Institute on "African American Struggles for Freedom and Civil Rights, 1865-1965," sponsored by the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University.

Heiko Schoenfuss

Heiko Schoenfuss, director of St. Cloud State University's Aquatics Toxicology Lab, who received national media attention for his study of pollutants in the Mississippi River, is now garnering attention for turning that focus on lakes. In the summer of 2008, Schoenfuss joined the state Pollution Control Agency and the U.S. Geological Survey to study endocrine disruptors in 11 Minnesota lakes. Researchers found endocrine-disrupting chemicals to be widespread in low concentrations in the lakes. The researchers collected water and sediment samples from each lake and analyzed them for 110 chemicals in pharmaceuticals, hormones, pesticides and personal care products. The list of pollutants detected was similar to those found in rivers, including detergents, caffeine and hormones.

Carolyn Williams

Carolyn R. Williams, associate dean for Multicultural Affairs and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) initiatives at St. Cloud State, attended a presentation at the White House with experts from across the country. Discussion focused on the barriers women and minorities face in the fields of science and engineering and on improving the preparation of students in the STEM fields.

Feature Story

Iconic Students

A person's character and special qualities determine who they are. Opportunities that present themselves along the way further shape an individual.

From a leader on and off the baseball field to one who has become the voice of the student body, these student achievers and their character represent the culture and integrity of a 21st century education and embody the elements considered essential to a St. Cloud State education: community engagement, active learning, sustainability and globalization

Story By Mike Doyle '09 Photograph courtesy of St. Cloud Times

Iconic Students : An active voice

Student Government president spreads wings In fewer than three years, Amanda Bardonner has gone from planning high school dances to helping determine the fate of a major university program.

The Wausau, Wis., junior is double majoring in international business and marketing, working a part-time job at a department store and serving as Student Government president at St. Cloud State where she represents 18,318 students.

As president, Bardonner was at the center of a recent campus-community discussion about a budget-balancing proposal to cut Husky athletic programs such as football.

Throughout the fall semester, Bardonner was an active voice at public meetings and in discussions with the university's leaders. Ultimately, she helped manage a student fee-increase referendum that resulted in three years of additional funding for Husky Athletics.

"It was an experience," said Bardonner. "It was intimidating to stand up in front of 300 angry community members saying "Save our football program" and help them settle down and rationalize the situation."

The position description for Student Government president calls for 20 hours of service a week. But, as former student president Michael Jamnick '10 knows, the rigors of student government often leads to 60-plus hour work weeks.

"Amanda handled the situation very well," said Jamnick, legislative assistant for the Minnesota House of Representatives. "It was certainly taxing with a lot of exposure and media coverage."

"Dealing with the negative aspects of the position, it is sometimes difficult to remain positive, but she remained fair," Jamnick said. "It is a credit to her by remaining open and honest with community engagement."

Said Bardonner: "I don't really enjoy the dramatic side of the position, but I do like the public service and helping with the results of students' needs."

Students turned out for the Nov. 15-17 referendum in record numbers, approving an additional $601,344 a year for Husky Athletics, for fiscal years 2010 through 2014.

"The student turnout was fantastic; it speaks to the increased student engagement on campus this year," Bardonner said. "Our student body understands the issues and has a vested interest in the future of this university."

Matt Trombley, director of the Center for Student Organizations and Leadership Development, said Bardonner has worked hard for her fellow students.

"I have appreciated Amanda's commitment to the position. Whether it is an early morning meeting or a weekend event, Amanda has represented Student Government and St. Cloud State University whenever and wherever she has been needed. I've been impressed by her ability to handle her full-time course work while serving in this role."

Bardonner was the student government president and class president at Wausau West High School and used that experience to dive into student life, running for student government at St. Cloud State her freshman year.

"That was a little intimidating," said Bardonner, the lone freshman running for office. "I remember giving my speech and shaking, I was so nervous."

She was elected senator at large and hasn't looked back.

"I knew she would do a good job before I was done with my first semester as president," Jamnick said. "You kind of look around and ask, "Who would be a good fit to take the reins?" I immediately thought of Amanda."

Iconic Students : A leader on and off the field

Speak softly but carry a big stick could be Kent Koch's motto.

The soft-spoken St. Cloud State University senior not only is a captain on the Husky baseball team, but is mayor of his hometown of Loretto.

There aren't many college seniors who are mayors of their hometowns, but then, to hear folks who know him talk, there aren't many guys like Koch running around. Heck, he even admits he is kind of different.

"I've always liked going to city council meetings," the fifth-year finance major said. Koch, 23, grew up in the community of 609 people. How small is the town? "Basically, we don't have a high school, so I went to high school in Delano."

As a high school student, Koch worked in the city parks department. "I learned a lot about the city working for the parks department."

He also played a lot of baseball. It's a family tradition in a town that has a rich baseball history. Koch's father, Herb, is a manager and long-time player. And his two older brothers, Herb, Jr. 27, and Nick, 26, play ball. The four even played all four infield positions during one game and grabbed newspaper headlines for the feat.

"The baseball field is the first thing you see when you drive into town from the north," said Koch, whose amateur team has qualified for the last two state tournaments. "There's a sense of community."

And on Wednesday nights and Sunday afternoons, when the baseball team plays its games, the community shows up at the ballpark.

"It's a real small-town atmosphere. It's a nice park, one of the best in our league. A lot of pride and joy and a lot of volunteer work when into it."

And the Koch family has invested lots of time and energy into the park and baseball program, including the elder Koch. "He manages now and still plays a bit" at age 50, Kent Koch said. And while Dad played, his sons got their start as bat boys.

The decision for the youngest Koch to attend St. Cloud State was easy. His uncle, Tom Ditty '69, was a standout baseball and basketball player at St. Cloud State. So when then Head Coach Denny Lorsung '71, recruited him, Koch knew he wanted to wear the Huskies uniform. His first year on the team ended when he broke a bone in his hand, but every year since then, he has played more and has become a versatile player who can man every infield position. It's that versatility the makes him a great team player and will serve him well in his new role as mayor of Loretto.

Koch filed for the mayoral position because no one else was running and he thought it was time to step up to the plate. He won by a vote of 189-109, beating a former mayor who ran as a write-in candidate.

"I'm definitely excited about it," said Koch who will graduate this spring. "It will be a fun and exciting challenge."

Husky Baseball Coach Pat Dolan '92, has nothing but words of praise for his senior co-captain.

"Kent is just a quality young man and a leader for us both on and off the field. At first when I heard about his election to mayor of Loretto I was kind of surprised, but what a great honor for a senior in college. With only one class remaining this semester for his graduation in finance it does open up some time for him and his duties as mayor.

"I just told him when he's elected president to remember us at Huskyland," Dolan said.

After graduation, Koch will move home and delve more deeply into the role of mayor. One of the big issues on the horizon in Loretto is building a storm water drainage system and doing away with sewer ponds. That move will mean a tax increase, though, and will need to be explained to residents. Koch feels as though he can handle the job.

"I've gone to city council meetings the last couple of years regularly," said Koch of the once-a-month Tuesday night meetings.

Koch won't have an office in Loretto, but if you need to find him, check the ballpark on Wednesday nights and Sunday afternoons.

Iconic Students : Ambassador with a world view

Whether she's riding her horse to the midwest championship, rebuilding tsunami-damaged homes in Sri Lanka or selling millions of dollars of software during an internship, Shanika Perera loves the challenge.

Perera, Mahtomedi, is a St. Cloud State University marketing major who, in a vast understatement says, she is "involved in lots of different organizations."

Besides the marketing major, Perera is pursuing a minor in mass communications. She expects to graduate this fall.

She is currently taking part in her second internship, this one with HealthPartners of Central Minnesota where she is involved in event planning. "I really enjoy it," she said.

Her first internship was with Epicor Software in the Twin Cities. Epicor is a partner of Microsoft and Perera's role was to sell business software on the telephone. It's a tough job, but one that Perera excelled at, selling more than $10 million in software during her time there. It was good enough for Perera to be offered a full-time job, but "I want to keep my options open," she said.

When she's not in school, Perera loves riding horse. In high school she was the midwest champion for Equestrian Jumper Riding.

And if that weren't enough, she was a part of an effort that led to the rebuilding of 50 homes in Sri Lanka after a devastating tsunami.

"It was a group effort," Perera is quick to point out. "I participated with my parents and some friends. My parents (Mithula and Udi Perera) came to me to see if I wanted to get involved."

Perera started by helping raise money through an organization that she began called MN Friendship Foundation. She asked her high school classmates during lunch hours for donations. She orchestrated Persian rug sales. All of that led to a village of 50 homes being reopened. She also received the Minnesota Woman of Achievement Award for those efforts.

During her visits to Sri Lanka, her parents' native land, they met a young boy who eventually became her adopted brother.

Naturally, her parents are proud of their daughter.

"Shani applied to several universities but she wanted a medium-sized college," her father said. "She is really blossoming there and we are happy with her experiences."

Perera said she liked several aspects about St. Cloud State.

"I picked St. Cloud because the Herberger College of Business is nationally accredited, the tuition prices are low, the commute to the cities is convenient, and the campus struck me as a diverse liberal school with a strong history of success."

Perera has come so far since the days that she first visited St. Cloud State that she now helps others decide on whether the University is a good fit for them. She works as a student ambassador in the Admissions Office.

Life without borders

Globe-trotting graduates

The 1990 study-abroad experience that Marc Nordberg '93 shared with future wife Sharon (Russell) Nordberg '93 at England's Alnwick Castle launched a career and life adventure that has spanned three continents.

Marc returned to campus last fall to speak to classes about the choices and experiences that led to his life as a career globe-trotter with the U.S. State Department, a life he and Sharon aim to lead "until it stops being fun."

After the Alnwick semester that stoked their fascination with foreign travel, each went on to take part in multiple learning and teaching opportunities around the world. They married before Marc entered the exotic world of the U.S. Foreign Service that has taken him and Sharon to Israel, Belize, Belarus and Estonia. Son Evan joined them in 2004.

What the couple — he from Brooklyn Park and she from Rogers — discovered while living and studying in the Duke of Northumberland's home/fortress steeped in 900 years of high profile English history was the magic of being someplace far different.

St. Cloud State's British Studies program in northern England became a significant link to his State Department position, said Marc, who majored in political science and international relations."It was the first time I'd left the United States, and I didn't know what to expect. It was fantastic. That experience is what gave me and my wife the travel bug."

"I was living in a one-person room the size of a closet, it was freezing and when you turned on the gas heater it got so hot you had to turn it off, only to get cold again," Marc said of his castle stay. "But you didn't think twice about the inconveniences. Walking across the drawbridge and knocking on those massive double doors to have a gatekeeper let you inside the castle walls made up for it."

Marc and Sharon had extraordinary experiences during their Alnwick semester, including a trip to Berlin a year after the Wall that for 28 years had divided East and West Berlin was torn down. "We went to East Berlin and walked through Checkpoint Charlie ... it was great fun being in Europe at that point," Nordberg said. "Also, the Gulf War started when we were in Alnwick. It was a historic time."

The 1990 Alnwick class also had a "Hollywood" encounter while living in the castle that has been the setting for two Harry Potter movies, "Elizabeth," and many other films and television series. "Robin Hood Prince of Thieves" was filmed at the castle in 1990, and Marc met star Kevin Costner and secured an autograph for his grateful sister.

After Alnwick, history major Sharon took part in another study abroad semester in Ingolstadt, Germany, and eventually went into the Peace Corps, serving and studying in Poland for two years. After graduation Marc taught English for five months at Petroznavodsk in northern Russia, where he'd earlier put his St. Cloud State Russian studies to use during a five-week study-abroad. "It was a fantastic opportunity and it was not anything I would have done if I hadn't gone to Alnwick."

In 1998 Marc entered the U.S. Foreign Service, and after a year of training in Washington, D.C., he and Sharon were sent to their first assignment, Tel Aviv, Israel. "I had never been to that part of the world," Marc said. "We could go to a place where there was a Roman amphitheater next to a Crusader fortress next to an Arab village abandoned in 1948 — three very different sites of history in one place.

Next it was Belize for two years. "Neither of us had been in Central America," Marc said. "The work wasn't as interesting as in Israel, but it was a fantastic place to visit. The cruise ships started coming more frequently right before we left."

Their third overseas assignment was in Minsk, Belarus, part of the former Soviet Union and an "entirely different world politically," according to Marc, whose diplomatic skills were put to the test frequently. "The government there is strongly anti-American and tries to pass that feeling to its citizens. My largest task was simply trying to talk to average people — fielding questions about democracy and building ties. There were a lot of questions about whether I disagree with my country."

"If pressed I would say that Minsk might have been one of our best tours because the staff there was terrific to work with," said Sharon, who acknowledged that the government of Belarus is oppressive and less than fond of Americans.

Now the Nordbergs are in Tallinn, Estonia, where Marc is the political and economic counselor at the U.S. Embassy. It's another popular tourist attraction that he said has "far too much sunshine in the summer and far too little in winter."

While it's been a "terrific experience," Sharon admits there are downsides to their ongoing global adventure, especially now that son Evan is getting older and the gaps between visits home seem longer. "This part of living overseas is tough to be honest because we would like our son to know his aunts, uncles and grandparents," she said. "We don't get to take advantage of the family ties that most people can."

It's also next to impossible for spouses of foreign service officers to have a career, Sharon said. "Nonetheless, I think we all enjoy the experience of living overseas, and we are already speculating about where we might get to serve next. I for one hope for a sunny, warm country!"

Intern's dreams take her far

When Professor Linda Butenhoff advised global studies major Emilie Wardrip to "dream big," the Alexandria senior responded by landing a plumb internship with the East Asia/Pacific Bureau of the U.S. State Department.

For 10 weeks during fall semester Wardrip had a desk in a high-profile Washington, D.C. office, working alongside a public diplomacy officer to help draft official responses about events and issues involving U.S. relations with Japan and Korea. "I was fortunate," she said. "What I was working with was really exciting. I even helped draft speeches used by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton."

"She spoke some of the paragraphs we wrote word for word," Wardrip said, referring to the experience of having the U.S. Secretary of State incorporate her work into presentations such as the U.S.-hosted Trilateral Ministerial Meeting that took place after North Korea attacked a South Korean island Nov. 23. "It was amazing to hear her address issues I had directly worked with on the Korea desk team."

While she sometimes felt "out of her comfort zone" among the other interns — primarily from prestigious East and West Coast colleges — Wardrip had superior preparation for her internship. She had a year of study abroad at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, where she lived one semester with a Korean family and the second with a 28-year-old single career woman who worked for a Korean shipping company. Her older brother Nathan, a St. Cloud State student veteran majoring in engineering, also was studying at Yonsei that year.

Wardrip's passion for East Asia had its roots at Winona State University, where her freshman roommate was an international student from Korea. Wardrip drastically changed directions in her education and transferred from studying composite materials engineering at Winona to pursuing a global education at St. Cloud State, which has an educational partnership with Yonsei.

The suggestion to pursue the internship came from Butenhoff, a professor of political science and director of global studies for St. Cloud State who inspires students by telling them it's important to aspire to bigger and better opportunities. Ann Radwan, associate vice president for academic affairs/international studies at St. Cloud State, helped Wardrip with her application essay. "She helped me clarify my ideas and goals."

"I wouldn't have been able to pursue this opportunity without their support," Wardrip said of the mentors at St. Cloud State.

Butenhoff, who is one of those mentors, said Wardrip deserves much of the credit for her internship accomplishment. "Emilie is an exceptional student for a number of reasons," Butenhoff said. "She's an academic superstar with a GPA of 3.73, and, while this is important, the U.S. Department of State is looking for students who also are well-rounded in their course work and life experiences. Emilie is a mature, thoughtful and well-liked individual who has extended herself by seeking out an education-abroad experience, electing to study Korean language, culture, history and politics in Korea and receiving a Gilman Scholarship to support her studies."

What does Wardrip consider the greatest benefit of her extraordinary internship? "Confidence," she said without hesitation. "I've learned to think about what's possible, not what's impossible."

What's next? "I've applied for a Boren Scholarship for overseas study," she said. "I plan to go back to Korea for my fifth year." After that Wardrip is considering a career in foreign service or global business.

In the meantime, Wardrip is finishing her courses and living in Lawrence Hall, St. Cloud State's residence hall dedicated to international students and students interested in global education. Her current roommate is an international student from Nigeria.

"The best thing about living in Lawrence is being able to meet more international students from Korea cooking, speaking Korean and watching Korean movies with them," Wardrip said. "Just being around them is really helping me gain back vocabulary that I have forgotten since returning to Minnesota from my year at Yonsei."

For Wardrip, a global education is essential. "The world looks to the United States and most U.S. citizens look inward," she said. "We're not always aware of what's going on in other countries. It's good to have that exposure and realize that everyone's watching you — even if you're not watching them."

Weapons of mammoth destruction

Mark Muñiz calls what St. Cloud State University graduate students are unearthing in the remote reaches of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) "National Geographic kind of stuff."

Muñiz, associate professor in the Sociology and Anthropology Department, is referring to research at Knife Lake on the U.S.-Canadian border that could prove that some of the earliest cultures in the state date back more than 12,000 years ago.

"We have literally just scratched the surface," Muñiz said of the research that began in 2009 and continued last year but only for a matter of days. The dig's location in the isolated Superior National Forest, and the climate (biting bugs in the summer and snow and cold in the winter) have limited the students' access to the site to a few days each fall.

Knife Lake is a 5,254-acre, 130-foot deep lake in extreme northeastern Minnesota.

Thousands of years ago humans gathered at the siltstone outcroppings along the lakeshore to manufacture stone tools and weapons. Paleoindians at Knife Lake likely used antlers and granite stones to shape siltstone into knives, scrapers, spear points and adzes, a process called flintknapping.

The term Paleoindians describes first peoples who migrated into North America as the last glaciers retreated. Knife Lake was a "cul-de-sac" of human habitation, Muñiz said, with massive glacial Lake Agassiz to the west, the retreating glacier to the north and glacial Lake Duluth to the east.

Because of the highly acidic soil at the Knife Lake sites, animal bones and other organic material decay rapidly.

Muñiz, director of the master's program in Cultural Resource Management Archaeology (CRM), and his students are dating artifacts using three techniques:

  • Analyzing the flintknapping techniques used to manufacture stone weapons and tools
  • Radiocarbon dating phytoliths recovered in the soil
  • Radiocarbon dating two small bits of charcoal

Phytoliths are microscopic minerals absorbed by plants and deposited in the soil after plants die. Phytolith dating can be as accurate as charcoal dating, according to Muñiz, because charcoal can travel by winds or water, but phytoliths generally cannot go as far.

The preliminary findings suggest tools and weapons found at the Knife Lake sites are similar to those found at other Paleoindian sites on the Great Plains and Upper Midwest that date between 11,500 to 12,500 years ago.

Preliminary analysis is underway on a dozen phytolith samples from Knife Lake. Sue Mulholland, a professor at University of Minnesota-Duluth, has determined that:

  • Seven samples show evidence of coming from the Paleoindian period
  • Four samples are of a quality that will yield radiocarbon data

Radiocarbon dating results are expected late 2011, at the earliest. The CRM Archaeology program is seeking a Minnesota Historical Society grant to fund the radiocarbon dating.

Tyler Olsen, a graduate student from Oshkosh, Wis., said he felt exhilarated when he found a five-inch stone likely manufactured to kill a wooly mammoth, Bison Antiquus or caribou that inhabited the area at that time.

Because of what was discovered, Muñiz believes the site was a quarry used again and again for the manufacturing of heavy, bi-faced weapons. Nearby sites, within a "rock's throw," indicate that there were nearby campsites established.

"These sites are combining lots of different research," Muñiz said.

At the Council for Minnesota Archaeology 2011 Conference held at Inver Hills Community College in February, seven students joined Muñiz in presenting information from the Knife Lake digs.

Reaching the site is in itself a major challenge. There is a nine-person limit in that portion of the BWCAW so the group travels in four canoes; one is a three-seater. The canoes are packed with food and tents and a bit of clothing and lots of archaeological equipment, everything from screens to sift material with to shovels, trowels and hand tools.

Everything that is loaded into the canoes has to be paddled and portaged about 15 miles. Muñiz and his team have entered the site from both the east and the west and both are about equal distance.

"Portaging is a lot of work," Muñiz said. "We have to double portage because we can't carry everything in one trip."

Blade wisdom

Talking above the roar of machinery on the Whirltronics factory floor, toolmakers Jamey Olson and Al Roepke discuss improving the die for a lawnmower blade.

Trading ideas with them are St. Cloud State mechanical engineering students Adam Moser, Albany, Jared Johnson, Eagan, and Jesse Lanie, Ihlen.

Andrew Bekkala, professor of mechanical and manufacturing engineering, stands several feet away with a smile on his face.

"I'm not a toolmaker. These guys are the toolmakers," shouts Bekkala, pointing at Olson and Roepke. "They're translating knowledge directly to the students, who are learning stuff I can't teach them — what works and what doesn't work."

Arrayed across the 45,000-square-foot factory in Buffalo, Minn., are stations dedicated to manufacturing more than a million blades a year for about a dozen lawnmower manufacturers.

Near the southwest corner of the factory, students John Feia, St. Cloud, and Grant Helgeson, St. Michael, have their tape measures out and their logbooks at hand. They're documenting the dimensions of two units that comprise a blade-straightening station. Their goal: Design modifications that would automate the station.

Back at St. Cloud State, Feia and Helgeson will develop computer-based and solid models to demonstrate their design improvements to Whirltronics staff. They'll make presentations and complete a technical report for their Engineering Design Project II class.

Feia and Helgeson contend their improvements could reduce the station's staff requirement from two workers to one — a key efficiency for a manufacturer competing with companies in emerging economies such as China and Brazil.

Jennifer (Thomsen) Lindquist '94, manufacturing engineering manager, said Whirltronics constantly seeks labor efficiencies, yet strives to maintain its workforce numbers through sales growth.

Innovation, including designs developed by St. Cloud State students, is critical to Whirltronics' success, according to Steve Thul, president.

St. Cloud State has partnered with Whirltronics for 15 years on joint projects, research and equipment construction, said Bekkala.

"The workforce here knows our mission in relationship to St. Cloud State. We're quite encouraged and optimistic about the results," said Thul. "We've seen some real, tangible results."

{Web Extra}
View a photo slide show of the workings of Whirltronics

Husky Sports

Athletic notes

  • St. Cloud State University rookie swimmer Napoleon Howell, Trinidad, established two national records at the Short Course End-of-Year Trials of the Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago over winter break. Howell tabbed a new 18+ Trinidad national record in the 50-meter breaststroke in :29.34. A 2010 CISC gold medal winner in both the 50-meter and 100-meter breast, Howell surpassed his own record of :29.55, set this past July. He also broke a new Long Course Open 50-meter breast record. He erased a five-year-old mark to complete the race with a :29.82 record time. (Picture A)
  • St. Cloud State's assistant women's hockey coach Jennifer Kranz, along with future Husky Abby Ness, Roseau, were members of the U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team which captured the gold medal at the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Women's U18 Championship. Ness scored five points (3g, 2a) for Team USA, which finished the tournament undefeated to claim its third world title in four years. (B)
  • Senior men's basketball captain Taylor Witt, Morris, participated in the 2011 Reese's Division II College All-Star Game in Springfield, Mass. Witt is a three-time All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) First Team player and threetime NSIC/Sanford Health All-Tournament team member, including tournament MVP in 2009. Witt played in more games than any player in school history, a total of 123 and made 95 straight starts. He leaves the Huskies fourth on the all-time scoring chart with 1,770 points and fourth on the all-time assist chart with 484. He set the school record for free throws in a career with 465. The Huskies played in back to back NCAA Division II Central Region tournaments, winning the 2010 title and advancing to the NCAA Division II Final Four. In the Elite Eight quarterfinal, Witt lit up the court with a 43-point performance that included a school and tournament record 22 made free throws. (C)
  • St. Cloud State senior women's basketball guard and team captain Talisha Barlow, Little Canada, was named to the All- NSIC Second Team for the third straight year. A four-year starter, Barlow led the Huskies in scoring this season. She played in every game of her collegiate career, a total of 112 and leaves St. Cloud State ranked 10th on the all-time scoring list with 1,520 points. She is the 16th player in school history to score more than 1,000 points and collect more than 500 rebounds. (D)
  • The men's hockey team won the 2010 Florida College Hockey Tournament in Estero, Fla., in December. The Huskies defeated No. 6 ranked Miami of Ohio to win the title. Rookie forward Nic Dowd was named the tournament MVP and was selected the WCHA Rookie of the Week Jan. 4-11.
  • The Husky wrestling team capped an historic season with a runner-up finish at the 2011 NCAA Division II Championships in March. The Huskies were led at the NCAA tournament by senior John Sundgren, Blaine, who won the school's first individual championship since 1995 with a title at 157 pounds. The Huskies also completed the tournament with six wrestlers earning All- America status. For his efforts at the NCAA Championships and the historic season, head coach Steve Costanzo was named the 2011 NCAA Division II wrestling coach of the year. The Huskies finished the season with a school record 19 dual match victories (19-2 overall) and claimed first place honors at the 2011 NCAA Division II Super Region #3 Tournament. St. Cloud State's second place finish at the NCAA championships equals the best finish for a Husky team sport in national competition since the Huskies' men's cross country team placed second in 1983. (E)

Face-off on the ice

Matt Hendricks, a former captain of the Husky Hockey team, sat down in front of the camera, his face marred from the night before. Landing face first onto the ice after a fight, he was left with a swirling bruise that lit up his eye socket like an aurora borealis. Seven stitches were required to mend the gash. Repugnant by most standards, the badge was an unsubtle reminder of another National Hockey League battle, beautiful only to those who find solace on a hockey rink.

On the other side of the camera, Mike Oliver ’05 asked Hendricks when he became a fighter.

“If I don’t do it, somebody else will,” Hendricks said with an intense yet morose expression.

So is life in the NHL.

The scene was from HBO’s critically acclaimed television show “24/7 Pens Caps: Road to the Winter Classic.” The series took viewers on a four-week odyssey, into the locker rooms of the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins on their way to the NHL’s premier regular season event: The Winter Classic.

For the St. Cloud State alumni facing off on both sides of the camera, Hendricks, and Oliver ’05, who was associate producer of the crew following the Caps, it was not their first encounter at a hockey rink. Oliver was the executive producer for Husky Productions, UTVS broadcasts of St. Cloud State men’s hockey games, and is now working in Los Angeles as a producer with DLP Entertainment.

Hendricks, in his first year with the Washington Capitals and second in the NHL, was a four-year Husky hockey standout from 2000-04. Known for his scoring in college, Hendricks has augmented his game to stay in the NHL after bouncing around for several years in the minors.

“Last season, I was talking to a buddy on the golf course about trying to make the team (Colorado Avalanche) out of training camp,” Hendricks said. “He told me that I didn’t need to worry about scoring goals, but to play the role of a fourth-liner.”
He took the advice to heart, fighting six times in preseason. Hendricks made the team and appeared in 56 games during
the 2010-11 season.

This year he attended Capitals’ camp without a contract and impressed them with “my grit and willingness to stick up for teammates.”

Soon after making the team as a free agent, Hendricks said, Capitals General Manager George McPhee informed the team about a film crew following their season. “He said it was going to be full access.” Hendricks said. “They were in the training room, closed door meetings and joined us while we watched film.”

Inserting a camera crew into the height of an NHL season and asking players to share their innermost thoughts is a daunting assignment for even the most seasoned professional. But for Oliver, knowing a familiar face, initially, was reassuring.

“Being in college and working with him in St. Cloud, it was a situation, ‘Who knows if I’ll ever see you again,’” Oliver mused.
“But when I saw him, it made things easier.”

However, for Oliver and the crew following the Capitals, the HBO experiment didn’t start smoothly. The film crew captured the Capitals amid an eight-game losing streak. As Washington struggled, the focus was soon turned on Oliver and the cameramen. Hockey players are notoriously superstitious and outsiders are treated friendly, but cautiously.

“We came in and the guys started losing and they looked at us as if we were the reason for their losses,” Oliver said. “They were kidding with us, but sometimes it felt as if they meant it. It made all of our jobs extremely difficult. We wanted to follow the guys but they didn’t want us to, because they were losing.”

More than 4.5 million viewers tuned-in to NBC during prime-time to see the Caps vanquish the Penguins 3-1. The show has won a Sports Emmy® and gave Hendricks and Oliver a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“(Hendy and I) had a chance to look back at our time in St. Cloud where we both had no money, no experience,” Oliver said. “We were able to make it in our respective fields, in the careers that we wanted to be in.”

{ Web Extra }
View a 3-part interview with Matt Hendricks and Mike Oliver { Part 1 } { Part 2 } { Part 3 }

Annual Report

2009-2010 Annual Report

A Message from the Chairman

Donor investments yield high returns

Hearing St. Cloud State's mission – "to prepare students for life and work in the 21st century" – reminds me that of all the investments I've made, the most important was in my own education. The years I spent at St. Cloud State provided me with an excellent foundation for a lifetime of rewarding experiences. As you can see by the names listed in this Annual Report, I'm just one of many alumni and friends who enthusiastically give back to the University that we believe will continue to grow as a vital educational and cultural resource. In doing so we know we're investing in St. Cloud State's future graduates and every one of the communities they will impact with their character, knowledge and skills.

It's exhilarating to be part of the vision and commitment that drives St. Cloud State forward, building the relationships and strengthening the programs that make ours a great university and an even greater asset to the region. It's heartening also to be part of a growing circle of partners who are finding new ways to support the mission, build endowments for much-needed scholarships and help make up for unprecedented reductions in state funding. Some examples include:

  • In a record turnout last November, students voted to raise their fees by $1.74 per credit to support Husky athletics to the tune of $600,000 a year. Student Government initiated the ultimately successful referendum to increase student fees to alleviate the possibility of cutting out one or more sports.
  • Booster groups for individual Husky sports motivate fans and raise funds in a variety of ways to lend extra support for their teams.
  • Despite the challenging economic times and cuts in academic departments and service offices, the University Campaign set new records for participation and total dollars raised. Last year, 643 employees, emeriti and retired faculty and staff participated in the campaign reflecting a four percent increase over the previous year's total. The campaign also set a new record in total dollars raised — exceeding last year's total by 12 percent to $283,549.

Just as St. Cloud State faces serious economic challenges, so does a growing proportion of deserving students. This fall the number applying for financial aid on our campus increased by 8.3 percent, and records indicate our students are borrowing more than $78 million to help pay for college this year. In 2009-10 the SCSU Foundation provided $548,000 in scholarship assistance, and we hope to increase our giving to help even more students who seek a well-rounded, outstanding education.

As a Foundation Board of Trustees, we realize our students learn better in an environment with the services and resources that support all aspects of their education, and we're grateful that so many individuals in so many ways are honoring the SCSU Foundation's mission "to support and enhance St. Cloud State's ability to ignite students' learning and discovery of their gifts, their passions, and their potential contributions to society."

Russ Hagen '64 Chairman, St. Cloud State University Foundation Board of Trustees

{ Download the 2009-2010 Annual Report (pdf) }

Agatha's golden rule: a life of giving

In a teaching career that spanned four decades, Agatha Fleming never earned more than $16,000 a year. Yet throughout her lifetime she managed to give more than $190,000 to fund three St. Cloud State University scholarships that to date have supported the educations of 77 future teachers.

Agatha, who died at the age of 97 last October, established her "Golden Rule" scholarships with the St. Cloud State University Foundation in 1993. She shied away from recognition for her extraordinary generosity to her alma mater and its students but thoroughly enjoyed receiving the many thank-you notes from grateful scholarship recipients.

She was a modest woman who was compelled to help other students achieve their dreams, just as her mother had helped support her in her quest to become an educator. Her mother had become widowed when her father was killed in a farm accident. Elevenmonth- old Agatha and her mother then moved into the Marietta home of her grandfather to help care for him.

"Someone was there to help me at the time I needed it," Agatha said. It was 1930 — the height of the Great Depression — when 16-year-old Agatha enrolled in St. Cloud State Teachers College, and entered a new three-year music major program. Her mother agreed to pay for the program if she would "make good," said Agatha who spent most of her career in Duluth, where she became well known as a teacher who inspired her students and changed lives through her generous contributions to help people in need.

Agatha's three endowed Golden Rule Scholarships, which to date have provided $75,700 in scholarship awards, are:

  • In Music Education, which goes to support a student studying to be a music teacher.
  • In Child and Family Studies, which goes to support a student studying to be an early childhood school teacher.
  • In Elementary Education, which is the first fund that Agatha established and goes to support a student studying to be an elementary teacher.

In a 2010 videotaped memorial tribute, admirers said she remains a legend with her students because she "had that way of making each kid feel like they were her special student." While she was a simple woman who always was happy with what she had, she was not frugal in her giving. "She really had the best interest of other people first."

{ Web Extra }
View "A Legacy of Giving: Agatha Fleming's story

Scholarship started for Todd DeVriese

St. Cloud State University has begun a scholarship to honor the late Todd DeVriese, who died unexpectedly Nov. 15.

The Todd J. DeVriese Scholarship Fund for Arts and Humanities pays tribute to the late dean of the College of Fine Arts and Humanities. DeVriese had been dean at St. Cloud State since mid-2009.

For more information, contact the St. Cloud State University Foundation at 320-308-3984 or visit stcloudstate.edu/foundation.

Sen. Franken visits Science Express

It was a big day for St. Cloud State's Science Express on Jan. 18 when U.S. Sen. Al Franken visited the mobile laboratory. Franken not only visited, he role-played the part of a burglary suspect much to the delight of those in attendance.

Franken joined second-graders from Talahi Elementary on the Science Express, the university's mobile laboratory for science education outreach. The lab activity, led by Science Express teacher Susan Bialka '10, called for the second-graders to compare soil samples from four suspects with a sample gathered at a mock crime scene. Using microscopes, students determined that soil taken from Franken matched the crime scene sample.

The former television writer, actor and comedian, who achieved fame on the sketch comedy show "Saturday Night Live," played his part to the hilt, confessing and offering his wrists to be handcuffed.

Franken serves on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

The Science Express has been bringing hands-on, high-tech, inquiry learning to outstate Minnesota school districts since 2009. University officials created the Science Express to bridge the gap between what professional scientists use and what is available in rural and small-town classrooms.

The 52-foot laboratory on wheels is a retrofitted Medtronic training trailer. Nearly 12,000 students from 29 schools combined for nearly 14,000 visits during 2009-10. In 2010- 11 the Science Express will visit 33 schools and anticipates serving more than 16,000 students.

{ Web Extra }
View a photo slide show of Sen. Franklin's visit

Alumni News

Hedican's number retired, first in hockey history

St. Cloud State University celebrated the collegiate and professional playing career of former Husky hockey standout Bret Hedican on Nov. 6 by retiring his No. 24 from the program. In an emotional pre-game ceremony at the National Hockey Center, Hedican was joined in the on-ice ceremony by St. Cloud State President Earl H. Potter III, former St. Cloud State head coach Craig Dahl, members of his family and several of his former teammates from his playing days at St. Cloud State. Hedican's number is the first retired in the history of the hockey program at St. Cloud State. He played for the Huskies from 1988-91, and then went on to play in the National Hockey League from 1991- 2009. He helped Carolina win a Stanley Cup championship in 2006, and was also on the USA men's hockey team at the Winter Olympic games in 1992 and 2006.

{ Web Extra }
View a photo slide show of celebrating Bret Hedican

Dusting off those rusty lips

Tom Mehelich '62, Naples, Fla., found the courage to do it. And he couldn't be more proud. After a 55 year hiatus from playing the horn, Mehelich decided it would be fun to learn how to play the St. Cloud State University rouser. He e-mailed Glen Tuomaala, director of the Husky's Sports Band, and asked for the sheet music. Tuomaala directed Mehelich to the Husky Sports Band website where the music is posted.

For his part, Mehelich began to practice and practice and practice some more. He also listened to the Husky Sports Band's rendition. He slowly got better, all in the hopes of being able to play the rouser when the St. Cloud State hockey team traveled to Florida in December to play at the Florida College Hockey Classic in Estero, Fla.

"I brought the horn to the Husky game and while surrounded by Husky fans, did a few renditions of the rouser," Mehelich reported. "After winning the championship game, a group of us gathered in the arena parking lot and we did another stirring rendition of the song. We had a great time.

"I honestly did not know if I would be brave enough to play in a setting like that. It went well, so I am glad I did it."

Inducted into Hall of Fame

Isidore "Issy" Schmiesing '71, Sauk Centre, made a name for himself on the basketball court at St. Cloud State, but he was recently honored for his efforts while at Sauk Centre High School. Schmiesing was inducted into the Mainstreeter's Hall of Fame for his high school days when he starred in basketball, baseball, football and sometimes track.

Earns high honor

Stacie Jergenson '05 '09, Litchfield, was elected "2010 Court Reporter of The Year" by the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers. Jergenson, a criminal justice major, is an Official Electronic/Digital Court Reporter for the Honorable Steven Drange, in the Eighth Judicial District, Litchfield.

Joins management team

Kara Maynard '99, White Bear Lake, is the newest member of TopLine Federal Credit Union's management team. Maynard is market manager for the credit union's Brooklyn Park branch. Maynard was most recently the manager of the Wells Fargo branch at 3M headquarters in Maplewood. She has more than a decade of financial services experience from teller and service manager to personal banker and branch manager. She has also been part of a credit union family before, having previously served as a branch manager at City and County Credit Union, St. Paul. Maynard holds a degree in advertising.

Honored with special day

Charlie Basch '50 '65, St. Cloud, was honored Aug. 13 at Charlie Basch Day in Alexandria. Basch joined Alexandria High School faculty in 1954 and eventually became the head football and baseball coach. In 1964, Basch joined St. Cloud State as a faculty member and hockey coach. As the Husky head hockey coach from 1968-84, Basch led SCSU to 181 wins, the second most coaching wins in school history. Basch also served as an assistant football coach for the Huskies for 10 seasons. He competed in football, hockey basketball and baseball in high school and later starred on the collegiate level at North Dakota State and Concordia College (Moorhead). He also played professional baseball for the Boston Braves. Basch was inducted into the Concordia College Hall of Fame in 1988 and will be inducted into the St. Cloud State Athletic Hall of Fame on Sept. 10, 2011.

Minor League Baseball vice president

Tina Gust '97, Clearwater, Fla., is the first woman to hold the title of vice president in the 109-year history of the Minor League Baseball office. Gust, who is vice president of Business Development, joined the MiLB office in June 1998 as an assistant in the Licensing Department. Gust was a Mass Communications major and Marketing minor at St. Cloud State.

The Gust family has a deep connection to St. Cloud State University.

"St. Cloud State is truly a family tradition for me," Gust said. "My parents both worked there (now retired), my father, sister and one nephew all graduated from St. Cloud State, and my brother and niece attended St. Cloud State. My sister also worked there for a while. I grew up on campus and while I looked at other colleges, St. Cloud State had a great mass communications department, so my choice was easy."

"When I started at St. Cloud State I didn't really understand the opportunities out there to be involved with sports once your playing days were over. But I was blessed to have some great professors and mentors on campus that took the time to really get to know me, my strengths and interests, and help point me toward my future career. I also had many opportunities through campus activities (I was a Resident Advisor and Assistant Hall Director in the Housing Department; a "Red Shirt" during Orientation, and volunteered with the Sports Information department) to develop the work ethic, and leadership and management skills, that have helped me grow in my career."


St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program

  • David Masters '78, St. Cloud
  • Paula (Regenscheid) Foley '85 '88, St. Cloud
  • Jacqueline (Scholl) Johnson '86, Sauk Rapids
  • Mishon (Sim) Bulson '93, St. Cloud
  • Marie (Tax) Schmitz '02, Sauk Rapids
  • Matthew Coran '03, Sartell
  • Nancy (Neil) Myers '06, St. Cloud
  • Eric DelZoppo '07, St. Cloud
  • Mary Mackedanz '08, Paynesville

Arresting tattoos

Joseph Swanson '99, American Cyn, Calif., has stepped away from law enforcement to pursue his dream job of owning his own tattoo parlor. Swanson opened his new shop, Black Dagger Tattoo Lounge, in the Alta Commercial Center in Vacaville, Calif.

McRib Locator

Alan Klein '05, Burnsville, is receiving national media attention for a website that he created three years ago on his personal website www.kleincast.com. Klein created the McRib Locator in order to track which McDonald's restaurants around the U.S. were currently selling the sandwich, which apparently has a cult following. Klein's website has been featured in multiple publications and newscasts including the Wall Street Journal, NPR, and "CBS Good Morning Sacramento." Klein was also invited to New York City as part of the Legends of the McRib event in New York City in late 2010. Photograph courtesy of McDonald's. Klein, pictured with his wife Kimberly '06 '08.

Head meteorologist

Jonathan Conder '01, Fort Wayne, Ind., is chief meteorologist for WANE-TV in Fort Wayne. Previously, Conder was a meteorologist for WeatherNation and also was a weekend meteorologist at KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, Okla. Conder also spent time as a morning meteorologist at KIMT-TV in Mason City, Iowa.

Top business leader

Mike Meyer '94, St. Joseph, is one of the Top 5 Under 40 business leaders honored by the St. Cloud Times' ROI Magazine for 2011. Meyer, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech, is co-founder and co-owner of PAM's Auto, an auto salvage center. Meyer, has been financial consultant for the Church of St. Joseph's Making Room at Our Table initiative and was pastoral council committee chairman and program facilities evaluation team member at the church. He is co-chairman this year and committee member for past six years of St. Joseph Lab School's Spring Spectacular fundraiser, and is president of Great Lakes Quality Replacement Parts association. Meyer was selected from a pool of two dozen nominees who were under age of 40 as of Dec. 31. A selection committee that included last year's recipients reviewed nominees' successes in business and their community involvement.

Grad pens book on cartoonists

"Superheroes, Strip Artists, & Talking Animals," a book by Britt Aamodt '05, showcases 23 Minnesota cartoon artists, giving readers a look inside a little understood medium.

Published in November by the Minnesota Historical Society Press, the 240-page paperback is packed with 150 black-and-white illustrations.

Aamodt earned a Master of Science degree from St. Cloud State's mass communications department.

The Elk River resident is an arts journalist specializing in pop culture, visual arts and artists. Aamodt founded and writes for the radio theater troupe Deadbeats On the Air, whose works have been heard on Minneapolis community radio station KFAI and seen at the 2010 Minnesota Fringe Festival.

A new way to plan your travels

Lisa Meyers McClintick '90 is helping travelers with a new way of planning their getaways. A travel app on Minnesota's resort communities launched on iTunes in February. Minnesota Lake Vacations rolls together a guidebook, maps, photo album and the advice of a budget counselor and concierge into one package.

Created by McClintick, a St. Cloud travel writer and photographer, the app's first edition includes 120 resorts, restaurants and easy-to-miss destinations along with close to 800 photos.

"You can spool through 120 entries with the flick of a finger, see photo albums for each one, get maps, links to websites and phone numbers and a lot of inside information you wouldn't get in a print travel guide," McClintick said.

"Some of the best places, too, are small businesses that can't afford a lot of advertising. They rely on journalists and regular travelers to get the word out. That can be an ongoing effort with these apps, because they're easy to expand and update, and anyone using them can easily chime in their opinions on what's good to eat, whether they like a certain resort, if they found a great hiking trail. It's not a print guide that simply goes out of date. It's an ongoing conversation."

Meyers McClintick, who graduated with degrees in mass communications and German, has photographed and written about Minnesota destinations for the past 12 years. She also writes a travel blog www.10000Likes.com.

Husky Pupsters

We have Husky tees 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.

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