Brett Buckner on KFAI ‘Truth to Tell’

Brett Buckner, managing director of, is a 2016 graduate of Metropolitan State’s Master of Advocacy and  Political Leadership, and earned his bachelor’s in 2012 also from Metropolitan State. Buckner spoke recently on KFAI’s Truth To Tell radio show, hosted by Tom O’Connell, professor emeritus.

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Aug. 6: Saint Paul-itics ice cream social and voter registration event

The Saint Paul Public Library Dayton’s Bluff Branch and the League of Women Voters of St. Paul are hosting the Saint Paul-itics ice cream social and voter registration event at 4 p.m. on Aug. 6, 645 East Seventh Street, Saint Paul.

In addition to frozen treats, the event will include a mock election with a real ballot counter, all-age activities and live jazz music performed by Tres Mundos.

This is an opportunity for Metropolitan State University students, faculty, staff and area residents to meet local elected officials, participate in mock voting and register to vote. The event celebrates the Dayton’s Bluff community, and raises civic engagement and awareness of the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.

Volunteers are needed to help register voters at the event. Those interested should email or contact Sig Johnson at

Tres Mundos features pianist and vocalist Viviana Pintado from Cuba, percussionist Eliezer Freites-Santos from Brazil, and saxophonist and flutist Douglas Little from the United States. Their music blends salsa, samba and jazz to create a sound that is both entirely authentic and original.

Celebrate the Dayton’s Bluff community and get to know our neighbors. Meet elected officials. Register to vote. #MetroStateVotes2018

Michael O’Connor named to Metropolitan State Foundation Board

Metropolitan State University welcomes Michael O’Connor to the Metropolitan State Foundation Board of Trustees.

O’Connor is director, strategy and project management/chief of staff with Medtronic, Plc. He has over 27 years of professional experience in the medical device industry in greater Minnesota and in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. He brings to the Foundation Board an ability to make corporate connections and to advocate on behalf of Metropolitan State as an alumnus of the institution. In addition to Medtronic, his corporate experience includes 3M and Pfizer.

Michael O’Connor
Michael O’Connor

“I am honored to be a part of the Metropolitan State Foundation Board. I very much looking forward to working with the board and making contributions by utilizing my talents, background and networks,” O’Connor says. A native Minnesotan, O’Connor was born in Saint Paul, grew up in Maplewood, and has lived all of his life in Minnesota and the Twin Cities. He now lives in Lino Lakes with his wife and son.

O’Connor received his BA from Metropolitan State in 1992 and a minor in project management in 2004. He also holds graduate degrees in project management, technology management and business administration. O’Connor earned his PhD in civil engineering, majoring in project management, from the University of Maryland, College Park, A. James Clark School of Engineering. In 2012, he was selected as a Quality Fellow for the American Society for Quality (ASQ) and in 2014 selected as a Medtronic Technical Fellow.

In 2017, O’Connor was awarded the prestigious Harold Kerzner Award for Excellence in Project Management. He has also been recognized by the Minnesota Federation of Engineering, Science, and Technology Societies (MFESTS) Distinguished Science and Technology Professional Award in 2018. He is a former director at-large for the Product Development and Management Association, currently the co-chair for community outreach with the Minnesota Project Management Institute (PMI) and has volunteered with many groups, professional societies, universities and colleges over the past 40 years.

O’Connor has been recognized by universities and colleges for his community and educational work. He is an adjunct faculty member at Metropolitan State, The University of Wisconsin, Platteville and The College of St. Scholastica and teaches graduate-level project management, project capstone and culture and organizational courses. In his leisure, he enjoys being outdoors and is active in playing soccer, biking, running and tennis.

In addition, O’Connor recently became a regular contributor to PMWorld 360 Magazine, a digital project management publication that launched in March 2018, and will share his expertise with readers worldwide in the areas of leadership and quality.

“It is a distinct pleasure to welcome Michael to the board. He has already shown an extraordinary commitment to the mission, cause and purpose of the university,” says Rita Dibble, vice president of University Advancement. “He has been most versatile in applying his talents to diverse projects on the Alumni and Foundation boards from hosting an alumni gathering in Las Vegas to serving to review and revise the board’s bylaws. He embodies a Metropolitan State graduate and we look forward to much success together.”

Metropolitan State, a member of Minnesota State, is the Twin Cities public, urban, comprehensive state university providing lifelong learning, and competitive academic and professional degree programs at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels.

The mission of the Metropolitan State Foundation is to generate maximum public awareness, as well as governmental and private support, for Metropolitan State, and to assist the university in its development as a comprehensive, urban university in the Twin Cities metropolitan area for changing and diverse student needs.

Amy Lane joins the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship

Dr. Amy Lane joins the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship as the acting community engagement coordinator for Academic Internships and Study Abroad.

Amy Lane
Amy Lane will become Acting Community Engagement Coordinator: Academic Internships and Study Abroad in the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship.

She is assuming the critical student success role for Victor Cole who is on sabbatical leave through June 30, 2019.

Lane recently served as FUSION director and principal investigator in the Minnesota State I.T. Center of Excellence, housed within Metropolitan State University, where she collaborated with IT faculty on the National Association of Colleges and Employers Career Readiness initiative. Lane brings over 20 years of teaching and leadership experience in higher education, as well as a background in collaborating with diverse populations of students, faculty and employers from her work at several different colleges and universities.

She holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from St. Mary’s University, Minneapolis, a master’s degree in Counseling and Human Resource Development, and a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education, both from South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD.

Aug. 8: Democracy Shark Tank

Compete against other colleges and universities from across Minnesota to win one of 13 grants to support civic engagement at Metropolitan State University.

Campus teams will develop their best ideas and plans to support student voter turnout in the 2018 election, then they pitch those ideas to a panel of “Sharks” who will invest $10,000 worth of seed funding to help support campuses’ work.

The competition will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 8, at MCTC, 1501 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis.

If you would like to join the Metro State team, or to register your own team, contact by Aug. 3. Teams must consist of three participants and must include at least one student and one faculty or staff member. Campuses may enter more than one team to compete for the funding, however only one team from each campus is eligible to win a grant.

Democracy Shark Tank Sponsors include Democracy Works (, LeadMN (, Minnesota Campus Compact (, and Minnesota State (

Questions? Contact LeadMN Director of Programs and Events Lindsay Barton at, or Minnesota Election Engagement Organizer Rachael Houston at


Aug. 9-11: 2018 International Conference on Restorative Practices

The three-day International Conference on Restorative Practices will be hosted Aug. 9-11 at Metropolitan State University.

With the theme “Restoring Self, Restoring Community, Restoring World,” the conference will feature three keynote presentations, more than 60 breakout sessions and cultural performances. The purpose of the conference is to inspire people to think bigger and differently to transform communities into being inclusive and restorative; equip people with the knowledge, skills and tools they need to effectively lead restorative changes in their schools and communities; and spark ongoing opportunities for connections, networking, inspiration and collaboration.

Registration is now open (register at this URL), with options for single-day registration and the full three-day conference.  Information is at The conference outline is available at this URL:

Conference organizers welcome long-time practitioners and those who are newly exploring ways of bringing relationships and humanity into schools, cities, courtrooms, workplaces and communities.

Contact Natasha Lapcinski, conference coordinator and co-convener at (612) 295-7604 and with questions.

Recognizing our faculty

These members of our Resident Faculty who received tenure and were promoted to associate professor. Congratulations to:

  • Dr. Kathleen Cole, Department of Social Science, College of Liberal Arts;
  • Dr. Debra Eardley, Department of Nursing, College of Nursing and Health Sciences;
  • Prof. Donald Eubanks, Department of Social Work, College of Community Studies and Public Affairs;
  • Dr. Karen Gutierrez, Department of Nursing, College of Nursing and Health Sciences;
  • Dr. Kimberly Halvorson, Department of Psychology, College of Community Studies and Public Affairs;
  • Dr. Nicholas Hartlep, Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education, School of Urban Education.
  • Prof. Steven Hirsch, Department of Accounting, College of Management;
  • Prof. Christine Larson, Reference Librarian, Library and Learning Center;
  • Dr. Alexandra Layne, School of Communication, Writing, and the Arts, College of Liberal Arts;
  • Dr. Therissa Libby, Department of Human Services, College of Community Studies and Public Affairs;
  • Prof. Duncan McCampbell, Department of Marketing, Supply Chain Operations Management, and International Business, College of Management;
  • Dr. Susan Misterek, Department of Marketing, Supply Chain Operations Management, and International Business, College of Management;

Colleagues who were promoted to professor include:

  • Dr. Ramin Daghigh, Department of Natural Sciences, College of Sciences
  • Dr. Heidi Frankard, Department of Psychology, College of Community Studies and Public Affairs;
  • Dr. Faisal Kaleem, Department of Computer Science and Cybersecurity, College of Sciences.
  • Prof. Deborah Mosby, Department of Human Services, College of Community Studies and Public Affairs;

All promotions took effect July 1. Tenure took effect on June 15.  These reviews are conspicuous reminders of the outstanding work our faculty do with and on behalf of our students.

June 28: Meet Jason Sole

Despite his incarceration, Jason Sole persevered and became a professor of criminal justice and public safety.

Come to a community gathering to hear about his life journey and recent appointment as the Public Safety Initiatives Director for the City of Saint Paul.

5 to 7 p.m. June 28, Metropolitan State University, Founders Hall Auditorium, 700 East Seventh Street.

July 10: LGBTQ Ally Development Training

Metropolitan State University’s Women’s and LGBTQ Student Resource Center invites you to Ally Development Training at 1–4 p.m., Tuesday, July 10, in the Metropolitan State University Library and Learning Center, Room 302, 645 East Seventh Street.

An aspiring “ally” is a member of the majority group who works to end oppression in their professional and personal life. Allies are also advocates for the minority population.

Seventy percent of first-year lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer college students consider leaving school out of fear from being bullied or harassed. However, Ally and Safe Space programs have been shown to be effective tools for helping LGBTQ students and staff feel safer and more included in college communities.

To register for the training or for more information, contact the Women’s and LGBTQ Student Resource Center at

July 17: Dean’s Visiting Urban Teacher Education Research Scholar Lecture

Fred Bonner
Click to download flyer.

Dr. Fred Bonner will deliver at talk entitled “Building on Resilience: A Research Focus on Academically Gifted Black Males in P–20 Education Contexts.”

The talk will be 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 17 at Metropolitan State Jason R. Carter Science Education Center, Room 100, 644 East 6th Street, Saint Paul. Reserve your spot using this link.

For more information contact Dr. Nicholas D. Hartlep,

A newsletter for the Metropolitan State University community