In Our August, 2017 Issue:

Two more years: Tibetan memoir in the making

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Caption: Tendar Tsering sets up his video camera at the Dalai Lama’s residence in Dharamshala, India, to hear the Tibetan spiritual leader’s teachings.

When Ten­dar Tser­ing was 12 years old, he left his fam­ily in Tibet. He trav­eled over a thou­sand miles and crossed the Himalayas to study in India. He has not seen his fam­ily since 1997

I could call my fam­ily in Tibet two times a year, but they couldn’t call me. There is no inter­na­tional out­go­ing call ser­vice in most of Tibet. It is a for­bid­den region.

Some­times I could reach them. It took hours of try­ing over and over again. But most of the time, I heard: “Duibuqi, ni de dian­hua buzai choe.” Your call is not reachable

When­ever we spoke on the phone, I sensed that both of my par­ents were liv­ing in agony and regret. My mother would often apol­o­gize to me for send­ing me away to an unknown coun­try. She would always sob. Her tears reminded me that the pain in her heart was still an open wound. Know­ing my tears would be like rub­bing salt into her wound, I held them back. But often I cried in silence, lying on my bed, drown­ing myself with tears.

Since 2010, things have become dif­fer­ent. In all those years when I couldn’t reach my par­ents on the phone, I never dreamed of the day we could do a video chat. Once we had free, cross-​platform instant mes­sag­ing appli­ca­tions, we were able to talk reg­u­larly. I told my fam­ily to seek train­ing on how to go online. Then they could video chat with their long-​lost son.

For days, I was glued to my bed. Soon my fam­ily and I would meet face-​to-​face via video chat. I combed my hair with my fin­gers. I washed my face. With my best clothes on, my lap­top on my lap, I waited for my par­ents to come online.

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Students take the lead rope at leadership retreat

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Metro State students can choose their own adventure on high-ropes course offered at the Transformational Leadership Retreat, Aug. 18 to 20.

It’s not about get­ting to the top. It’s about set­ting a goal for your­self and hav­ing a team to cheer you on and give you advice,” said Phil Fuehrer, the Interim Direc­tor of Stu­dent Lead­er­ship Devel­op­ment. “It’s about reach­ing that goal and celebrating.”

Fuehrer was speak­ing about climb­ing the high-​ropes course at Metro State’s annual Trans­for­ma­tional Lead­er­ship Retreat. But his words apply equally to the aims of the retreat itself.

As Metro State read­ies for the fall semes­ter, 60 stu­dents will make their way to lakeshore cab­ins in the woods. The 2017 retreat takes place Aug. 18 to 20 at Camp Courage.

Train­ing, lodg­ing, food and trans­porta­tion are all pro­vided and free for stu­dents. Par­tic­i­pants can ride a motor­coach bus to the retreat. “It’s a good dis­tance away from cam­pus,” Fuehrer said. “When there is too much time on the road, there is less time for work­shops and down­time.” Camp Courage is located in Maple Lake, about an hour’s drive from the St. Paul campus

Many lead­ers of Metro State clubs and orga­ni­za­tions will attend the retreat. New stu­dents can use the retreat to make friends and learn about stu­dent orga­ni­za­tions and oppor­tu­ni­ties on cam­pus. “It ener­gizes these atten­dees to become lead­ers after the retreat,” Fuehrer said

Work­shops will teach stu­dents cre­ative learn­ing strate­gies, goal set­ting, lead­er­ship and com­mu­nity engage­ment skills.

Anh Tran, a 20162017 Stu­dent Sen­ate mem­ber, attended last year’s retreat. She appre­ci­ated the pre­sen­ta­tion “Brag about it: How to express stu­dent lead­er­ship on your resume,” given by Alysia Lajune, Metro State’s Stu­dent Life and Lead­er­ship Devel­op­ment Coor­di­na­tor. Tran val­ued Lajune’s tips and sug­ges­tions for job searches and career development

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Defying labels & making an imprint

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Studio arts professor Amy Sands discusses depth and contrast in Yareli Ortiz Villarreal’s ballpoint pen drawing assignment in the Introduction to Drawing class during the summer semester. Students were asked to complete 2 pieces: a contour line drawing from a still life using graphite (bottom) and a perspective drawing using  a ballpoint pen (top). All assignments were displayed on the wall of the fine arts studio as students took turns offering feedback to their classmates for the final project.

It all started with paper

My father worked at a paper mill so he used to bring huge rolls of paper home and I used to draw grow­ing up. So I’ve always had a strong love of paper,” said Amy Sands, Metro State’s new asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of Stu­dio Arts.

Sands is just the sec­ond mem­ber of the res­i­dent Stu­dio Arts fac­ulty, join­ing Pro­fes­sor Erica Ras­mussen. Sands was a com­mu­nity fac­ulty mem­ber for eight years. She teaches Intro­duc­tion to Draw­ing (ARTS 106), Inter­me­di­ate Draw­ing (ARTS 306) and Muse­ums and Gal­leries (ARTS 300). She also facil­i­tates the Exhi­bi­tion Prac­tices intern­ship (ARTS 302) in the Gor­don Parks Gallery.

As a com­mu­nity fac­ulty mem­ber, Sands taught a wide array of stu­dio arts classes at other local col­leges includ­ing the Min­neapo­lis Col­lege of Art and Design, St. Cather­ine Uni­ver­sity, Inver Hills Com­mu­nity Col­lege and Macalester College

One of the things that I find com­mend­able is that she has a wide under­stand­ing of the arts and is a ver­sa­tile teacher,” said Pro­fes­sor Erica Rasmussen

As a print­maker, Sands strives to evoke how we expe­ri­ence life through every­day objects. “I’m really inter­ested in how things influ­ence who we are as peo­ple and how that becomes a part of our iden­tity,” she said.

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Faculty study general education requirements

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As fall semes­ter begins, fac­ulty will resume their eval­u­a­tion of the impact of gen­eral edu­ca­tion require­ments on students.

In Jan­u­ary, the Fac­ulty Coun­cil, the lead­er­ship of Metro State’s fac­ulty union, directed the Gen­eral Edu­ca­tion Com­mit­tee to study the credit require­ments of Gen­eral Edu­ca­tion and Lib­eral Stud­ies (GELS), accord­ing to the committee’s chair, Dr. Patri­cia Borchert. She also serves as depart­ment chair of Man­age­ment, Entre­pre­neur­ship and Human Resource Management.

All under­grad­u­ate stu­dents must com­plete the 48-​credit GELS require­ments, regard­less of major or pro­gram. The cred­its are spread across 10 goal areas, includ­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion, nat­ural sci­ences, human­i­ties and fine arts. Eight of the cred­its must be in 300-​level or higher lib­eral stud­ies courses, and may over­lap with one or two of the goal areas.

There is a per­cep­tion that a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of stu­dents are hav­ing trou­ble com­plet­ing the Gen Ed require­ments in 120 cred­its,” said com­mit­tee mem­ber Mark Matthews. Matthews is the committee’s Col­lege of Lib­eral Arts rep­re­sen­ta­tive and a pro­fes­sor of Phi­los­o­phy. “We will be look­ing at this anec­do­tal infor­ma­tion and try to find more sys­temic infor­ma­tion. Because I don’t know how bad the prob­lem really is. I don’t really know who has the prob­lem, or why they’re hav­ing the problem.

The com­mit­tee began its work in Jan­u­ary by ask­ing for input and com­men­tary from fac­ulty in every col­lege. By April, com­mit­tee mem­bers knew they needed more time. Their motion for “the nec­es­sary time for delib­er­a­tion, study, and suf­fi­cient reflec­tion upon this mat­ter of exis­ten­tial impor­tance to the Uni­ver­sity” was approved by the Fac­ulty Council.

Once they fully under­stand the issue, Borchert said any num­ber of pro­pos­als may come forward

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Pedal pushers: Benefits of biking to campus

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Professor Allen Bellas commutes by bicycle year-round to the Minneapolis campus from his home in Edina. He teaches economics courses including ECON 311 Economics of the Environment and ECON 635 Economics of Social Issues.

In win­ter, when bit­ter winds howl across ice-​crusted roads, most Min­nesotans rely on the com­forts of a car to get them safely to where they need to go. Pro­fes­sor Allen Bel­las is an exception.

Regard­less of the weather, Bel­las con­tin­ues to bike the 45-​minutes from Edina to the Min­neapo­lis cam­pus where he teaches economics.

Many Min­nesotans would con­sider this type of com­mit­ment to be bor­der­line insan­ity. But, for Bel­las, it is sim­ply a way of life

Bel­las chooses bik­ing because it gives him a deeper sense of the community

Bik­ing puts you in touch with the world around you much more than dri­ving does,” Bel­las said. “I’ve watched an eagle hunt on Lake Cal­houn once. I also hit a rac­coon once, which was scary as hell late at night. You see a lot more and expe­ri­ence a lot more when you’re on a bike.”

He would like to see more Metro State stu­dents bike to class. Bik­ing to cam­pus can mean sav­ing money and get­ting exer­cise. To get started, Bel­las sug­gests get­ting a rudi­men­tary bike and a hel­met. A stu­dent cyclist shouldn’t need any­thing more than the basics, he said

Harsh win­ters aside, why don’t more stu­dents ride their bikes to cam­pus? Bel­las thinks the main rea­son is the men­tal bar­rier of get­ting on the bike. “Once you get rolling, it’s not bad,” he said. “But there is a cer­tain men­tal hur­dle to put forth the effort to bike ride rather than drive. That’s espe­cially true when you go home at night after class. Usu­ally after class, I’m com­pletely exhausted and until I get on the bike the last thing I want to do is ride home. Once you’re out and rolling it’s nice, but just the thought of rid­ing home after the last class is hard.

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Block and tackle social media pests

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Block­ing peo­ple on social media has become a con­tentious sub­ject in recent years. We are crit­i­cized when we block peo­ple whose ideas we don’t want to hear. We’re told it cre­ates a bub­ble that strength­ens our pre­con­ceived notions of the world.

But trolls are real. And social media is designed to let us choose who to friend, fol­low or hear from. You can block hurt­ful peo­ple and keep them as far away from you as pos­si­ble. Learn­ing how to block on social media will help you keep your online life safe and worry-​free

When you just want some­one to stop being a bother, use this handy ref­er­ence for block­ing on every major social media platform.

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Present your best

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As col­lege stu­dents, we have all been assigned a class pre­sen­ta­tion. To help us, we turn to soft­ware like Microsoft Pow­er­Point, Google Slides or Prezi. They are easy-​to-​use and acces­si­ble from almost any device.

Cre­at­ing a good pre­sen­ta­tion is one thing. But run­ning it on a class­room com­puter is the vital part. What if there are soft­ware or hard­ware com­pat­i­bil­ity issues and your care­fully crafted pre­sen­ta­tion won’t load? Here are some ideas to make sure your pre­sen­ta­tion goes smoothly no mat­ter which com­puter you use

Favor a flash drive?

One option is to upload your pre­sen­ta­tion file on a USB flash drive, con­nect it to your class­room com­puter, open it and press play.

This might be the most pop­u­lar approach among Metro State students.

When I see my class­mates use this method in class, their pre­sen­ta­tion runs smoothly — most of the time.

But using a flash drive has more cons than pros. First, there may be cross-​platform issues between your per­sonal com­puter and trans­fer­ring the infor­ma­tion to a cam­pus computer.

Or you could lose or break your flash drive on the way to class.

If you want to avoid these issues, test out the tar­get com­puter in advance and make mul­ti­ple copies of your pre­sen­ta­tion file in var­i­ous file-​formats

Opt for e-​mail or web storage?

Another approach is to attach the pre­sen­ta­tion file to an email and send it to your­self or your pro­fes­sor. In COMM 103 Pub­lic Speak­ing, my pro­fes­sor required us to send our pre­sen­ta­tion files to her email account and then use it to run the presentation.

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Chancellor campus chat

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Students senators welcome incoming Interim Chancellor Devinder Malhotra to the St. Paul campus. (From left) Neeraj Gautam, Mitesh Rai, Malhotra, Jessica Maistrovich, Heather Moenck, Metropolitan State President Ginny Arthur and Chris Atemkeng in New Main on Tuesday, July 25, 2017.

Dr. Devin­der Mal­ho­tra, incom­ing interim chan­cel­lor of the Min­nesota State sys­tem, vis­ited the St. Paul cam­pus on Tues­day, July 25 to hear stu­dent ideas and concerns.

He and Met­ro­pol­i­tan State Pres­i­dent Ginny Arthur met with five mem­bers of the Stu­dent Sen­ate in an hour­long session.

I want to hear from you. What things should I know as I start my work?” said Mal­ho­tra. Jok­ingly call­ing his cam­pus visit part of an “edu­cat­ing Devin­der project,” Mal­ho­tra asked stu­dents about why they enrolled at Metro State and their expe­ri­ence in the Min­nesota State system.

Sen­a­tors shared their dif­fi­cul­ties in engag­ing fel­low stu­dents at a non-​residential uni­ver­sity. “It’s that sense of loy­alty. That you love your school. How can we build that?” said Jes­sica Maistro­vich, Sen­ate Treasurer.

Mal­ho­tra encour­aged the Sen­a­tors to push par­tic­i­pa­tion in stu­dent activ­i­ties. “Get as much as pos­si­ble out of your col­lege expe­ri­ence. Accel­er­ate your pro­fes­sional and per­sonal growth. Become a sea­soned leader,” he said.

Stu­dent suc­cess, diver­sity and finan­cial sus­tain­abil­ity will be Malhotra’s pri­or­i­ties dur­ing his tenure as chancellor.

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Sidelines to sports team: Soccer back on campus

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Metro State Soccer Club members practice shooting and goal-tending at McMurray Fields in St. Paul on June 3, 2017.

On a Sat­ur­day after­noon in June, Metro State soc­cer play­ers gath­ered on the field for their first sum­mer prac­tice. Team mem­bers turned in the required par­tic­i­pa­tion forms and received their red and blue jer­seys. They were eager to play.

For the play­ers, it was a chance to return to their roots. Most of them had soc­cer back­grounds. Some had played high school var­sity soc­cer. One woman remem­bered her days as a mem­ber of the St. Paul Black­hawks Soc­cer Club. Now, as mem­bers of the Metro State Soc­cer Club, they could show off their skills again

Emmanuel Adeni­ran, a Finance and Eco­nom­ics major, became pres­i­dent of the Metro State Soc­cer Club in fall 2016. He wanted to build on the work of pre­vi­ous club lead­ers. With guid­ance from staff advi­sor Robert Boos, the club revised their bylaws and made new plans. Adeni­ran acknowl­edges the con­sid­er­able sup­port of the Uni­ver­sity Activ­i­ties Board to keep the club going. “It is one of the first ath­letic pro­grams. They want it to do well,” he said

As they look for­ward to the fall 2017 sea­son, the club wants to expand its coed ros­ter. “It’s a chal­lenge find­ing more female play­ers,” said Adeni­ran. He is aim­ing to assem­ble a com­pet­i­tive team. “We don’t want this to be mediocre.”

Metro State Red Squir­rels
(Record 12 as of July 23)

Aug. 6: 4:25 p.m. vs. The Real Bor­ra­chos F

Aug. 13: 3:30 p.m. vs. Pagliacc

Aug. 20: 12:45 p.m. vs. Secret Sun­day Lover

Post­sea­son games run from Aug. 27 to Sept. 1

Metro State Blue Ox
(Record 03 as of July 23)

Aug. 6: 2:35 p.m. vs. Pagliacc

Aug. 13: 4:25 p.m. vs. Doughballer

Aug. 20: 1:40 p.m. vs. Green Mamba

Post­sea­son games run from Aug. 27 to Sept. 1

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