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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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April, 2016

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iStockSpecial Education News

Dr. Aaron Deris, Department Chair

Our faculty in the department of special education are continually working with our candidates to ensure rich and diverse experiences, as well as growing our program through recruitment efforts. Two items to highlight our work for rich and diverse experiences are our MSU Mankato student chapter of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and our international student teaching experiences. In the area of recruitment faculty have been part of St Clair career day and development of a job fair.


The MSU, Mankato CEC chapter has approximately 10 active students this year. We have hosted and participated in a number of events this year. These include a Learning Carnival with crafts and books for children; Project Linus to make blankets for hospitalized children; Spread the Word to End the Word awareness; Relay for Life at MSU; Career Expo for area high school students; Autism Awareness activities; and volunteering at a photo shoot for area children with Down Syndrome.


Four undergraduate students in the Department of Special Education (Josie Sayre, Lynessa Walters, Korey Kronforst, and Emily Grams) completed a portion of their student teaching experience in Australia. Their reflections reveal that teachers in Australia and the US use similar techniques and strategies when working with students with Autism and Emotional/Behavioral disorders. They have learned about the country and culture and have also had the opportunity to share what they have learned during their program at MSU with others.


Ensuring recruitment of students and assisting our current students in securing jobs are an important part of our role. Dr. Kyena Cornelius and Dr. Kim Johnson-Harris represented the Department of Special Education at the New Ulm Career Expo on April 6th. They enjoyed interacting with high school students who wanted to learn more about becoming a special education teacher. Dr. Sean Wachsmuth partnered with districts from Southwest MN to host the first MSU, Mankato department of special education job fair.

iStockCenter for Mentoring & Induction News

April Rosendale, Director of CMI


Faculty members, Teresa Kruizenga and Lori Piowlski, joined CMI Interim Director, April Rosendale, at the New Teacher Induction Retreat in San Jose April 25-27. They are pictured here with New Teacher Center CEO, Ellen Moir.

iStockUpdate from Military Science

LTC. Dennis Murphy, Department Chair

Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Army ROTC program, the Maverick Battalion, will induct Army Brig. Gen. Patrick Roberson of Fort Bragg, N.C., as its inaugural inductee into the newly created Maverick Battalion Hall of Fame in an 11 a.m. ceremony on Friday, April 1.

Roberson will participate in the ceremony via video teleconference from Iraq. His wife, Carolyn, will represent him at the ceremony in Mankato along with several family members, friends and Minnesota State Mankato alumni.

Roberson, a 1986 graduate of Annandale (Minn.) High School, graduated magna cum laude from Minnesota State Mankato in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement. He earned a minor in history. While in ROTC, Roberson was an exemplary cadet, received an “outstanding” evaluation at ROTC advanced camp and earned his jump wings at Airborne School. He was a Distinguished Military Graduate and branched infantry upon graduation in 1990.

Roberson has spent the majority of his 26-year career in special operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, serving as commander for numerous units. Included among Roberson’s many decorations and badges are the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze State Medal (3/Oak Leaf Cluster), Defense Meritorious Service Medal (1/Oak Leaf Cluster) and Meritorious Service Medal (4/Oak Leaf Cluster).

Minnesota State Mankato’s Maverick Battalion plans to hold annual Hall of Fame inductions. Nominees can be selected from three categories: alumni (commissionees) of the program, staff and cadre of the program and individuals who have provided significant support to the program.

iStock AVID Event

Laura Bemel, Acting Director, Center for School-University Partnerships

The College of Education hosted its second AVID Student Summit on Monday, April 25 in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom.


The AVID program is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. Students who participate in the program receive a system of support as they take rigorous classes in high school to prepare for college.

Minnesota State Mankato teacher candidates benefit from AVID by learning how to engage and challenge their own middle school or high school students during field experiences.


The College of Education is completing year three of its AVID teacher preparation initiative. Minnesota State Mankato students filled 70 AVID tutoring spots in K-12 schools during 2015-2016. This amounted to 700 hours of tutoring for local students.