Kathryn Ganfield

    Summer Sampler: Recommendations for summer fun from the Metro State community

    by , June, 2017

    Metro State fac­ulty aren’t spend­ing the sum­mer holed up in their offices. They are out explor­ing all the Twin Cities have to offer, and they’re a fount of ideas for sum­mer fun. Check out their rec­om­men­da­tions for activ­i­ties and events

    Trail Blaz­ers

    Kal Tuomi­nen, com­mu­nity fac­ulty mem­ber in the depart­ment of nat­ural sci­ences, is teach­ing NSCI 201 Min­nesota Ecol­ogy and Con­ser­va­tion Biol­ogy this sum­mer. They rec­om­mend stu­dents take a hike “a bit out­side the Twin Cities.

    Peo­ple who want to get out of the city for a few hours, or even for a few days, will find a lot to do at Afton State Park. This is my first choice when I want to go for an intense hike with­out dri­ving too far!” Tuomi­nen said.

    The park offers 20 miles of hik­ing trails, includ­ing 0.6 miles that are wheel­chair acces­si­ble. Ter­rain varies from flat to steep.

    Tuomi­nen points to the park’s “excel­lent exam­ples” of decid­u­ous for­est, for­mer pine plan­ta­tion, oak savan­nah and restored prairie.

    Park activ­i­ties include camp­ing, pic­nick­ing, swim­ming and fish­ing in the St. Croix River, vol­ley­ball, horse­shoes and geo­caching. An archery range will be open on June 10 and July 15.

    Afton State Park is about a 30-​minute drive east from the St. Paul cam­pus. A one-​day vehi­cle per­mit costs $5. A twelve-​month per­mit is $25 and allows access to all 75 Min­nesota state parks and recre­ation areas. Entry is free on June 10 in cel­e­bra­tion of “National Get Out­doors Day.” For more infor­ma­tion about Afton State Park, see dnr​.state​.mn​.us/​s​t​a​t​e​_​p​a​r​k​s​/afto

    Gallery Gaz­ers

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    Stocking the Library Stacks

    by , May, 2017

    New books with shiny cov­ers and crisp pages sit on shelves near the Met­ro­pol­i­tan State library’s sec­ond floor cir­cu­la­tion desk. Recent acqui­si­tions include the children’s pic­ture book “Hun­gry Johnny” and the agri­cul­tural pol­icy book “The Pol­i­tics of Food Sup­ply.” How do these new mate­ri­als get added to the library’s collection?

    Assis­tant Pro­fes­sor Becca Peters has the answer. She has served as Metro State’s cat­a­loging and acqui­si­tions librar­ian since 2015.

    We’re not like the pub­lic library sys­tem, where they try to antic­i­pate people’s needs and buy ahead. We work more on an ‘as needed,’ respon­sive basis,” Peters said.

    To develop the library’s col­lec­tion, Peters works with seven “liai­son librar­i­ans.” They are assigned to aca­d­e­mic depart­ments across the uni­ver­sity to sup­port fac­ulty research and mate­ri­als requests.

    Many ideas for new mate­ri­als come from the liai­son librar­i­ans. “They’re read­ing book reviews. They look at rec­om­mended and well-​reviewed texts. The liaisons lis­ten to fac­ulty and take that all into account,” Peters said.

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    Metro State Marches for Science

    by , May, 2017

    Sci­ence is the under­pin­ning for every­thing. Whether peo­ple believe it or not, it exists and it needs sup­port,” said Eliz­a­beth Hud­man, Met­ro­pol­i­tan State alum and retired staff mem­ber. That was the mes­sage she wanted to send through her par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Min­nesota March for Sci­ence on Sat­ur­day, April 22. She joined with dozens of Metro State com­mu­nity mem­bers and thou­sands of marchers to pro­mote the impor­tance of sci­ence in society.

    Chant­ing and car­ry­ing signs, marchers moved from the Cathe­dral of St. Paul to the Capi­tol, where they heard speak­ers includ­ing Uni­ver­sity of Min­nesota cli­ma­tol­o­gist Mark See­ley and Rep. Betty McCol­lum, D-​MN. St. Paul police esti­mated 10,000 peo­ple participated.

    Prior to the march, more than forty mem­bers of the Metro State com­mu­nity gath­ered at Boyd Park in the Cathe­dral Hill neigh­bor­hood. Nat­ural sci­ences pro­fes­sors Mark Asplen and Kate Ries, and librar­ian Jen­nifer DeJonghe orga­nized the event with the sup­port of the Metro State Inter­fac­ulty Orga­ni­za­tion (IFO). The Wednes­day before the march, they offered a poster-​making party.

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    Faculty Respond to Executive Order on Immigration

    by , March, 2017

    Met­ro­pol­i­tan State fac­ulty mem­bers have issued robust responses to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s exec­u­tive order on immi­gra­tion. The over­ar­ch­ing mes­sage is one of con­cern and sup­port for stu­dents impacted by the order.

    Pro­fes­sor Nantawan Lewis of the Eth­nic and Reli­gious Stud­ies depart­ment is orga­niz­ing a panel dis­cus­sion on the exec­u­tive order. “Since it was issued on Jan­u­ary 27, there’s been a lot of con­cern, a lot of anx­i­ety, a lot of uncer­tainty in the com­mu­nity,” said Lewis.

    The exec­u­tive order barred cit­i­zens of seven Muslim-​majority coun­tries: Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Soma­lia, Libya, and Yemen. As of Feb­ru­ary 9, the 9th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Appeals has blocked the order. It is unknown when or if the Trump admin­is­tra­tion will issue a revised or new order.

    Lewis noted that Metro State has a siz­able pop­u­la­tion of stu­dents orig­i­nat­ing from Soma­lia, one of the affected coun­tries. “We must exam­ine how this ban impacts them, their classes, their fam­i­lies, their com­mu­nity,” she said.

    She urges stu­dents to attend the forum, “to get a bet­ter under­stand­ing and to have an informed per­spec­tive— not just what they hear from social media.”

    The forum will pro­vide infor­ma­tion on the seven affected coun­tries, and his­tor­i­cal con­text for the immi­gra­tion and travel ban. “This didn’t drop from the sky, there’s a long his­tory of exec­u­tive power to deter­mine who can come in and who can­not come in, who can be a cit­i­zen and who can­not,” Lewis said.

    The event will be held March 1 in the Great Hall, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pan­elists include Tamara Gray, Mus­lim scholar and fac­ulty in the Eth­nic and Reli­gious Stud­ies depart­ment; Jay­lani Hus­sein, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can Islamic Rela­tions (CAIR) Min­nesota; and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the offices of Sen­a­tor Al Franken and Con­gress­man Keith Ellison.

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    Art exhibit asks students to be part of “experiment of sorts”

    by , February, 2017
    The Gordon Parks Galley is on the third floor of the Library and Learning Center at the Saint Paul Campus

    A new art exhi­bi­tion in the Gor­don Parks Gallery at Met­ro­pol­i­tan State trans­forms the space into a “tem­po­ral class­room” that invites view­ers to pon­der their edu­ca­tional expe­ri­ences. “How Do We Remem­ber?” fea­tures objects and mixed media works by Kinji Aka­gawa, a retired pro­fes­sor of sculp­ture at Min­neapo­lis Col­lege of Art and Design. His art­work is also in the col­lec­tions of the Smith­son­ian Insti­tu­tion, the Min­neapo­lis Insti­tute of Arts, and the Walker Art Center.

    Pro­fes­sor of Stu­dio Arts and direc­tor of the gallery Erica Ras­mussen noted this is an unusual show by Aka­gawa, who is best known for his out­door sculp­tural instal­la­tions. “I invited him to look at our space and asked what he would like to do,” Ras­mussen said. “He’s been col­lect­ing desks and think­ing about the role of edu­ca­tion in our lives. He wanted to make an exper­i­ment of sorts.”

    The result is an inter­ac­tive, play­ful exhi­bi­tion of vin­tage stu­dent desks and mixed media works on paper. To put vis­i­tors in a reflec­tive state of mind, Aka­gawa altered the gallery signs to read “Gor­don Parks Tem­po­ral Class­room.” He uses uni­ver­sal sym­bols and tools of edu­ca­tion— desks, paper, pen­cil, ink, rulers, tape, thumb­tacks — to explore how we edu­cate and how we learn.

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