Interstate 94 East traffic changes begin June 23

Traffic change details

Project milestone: Beginning Friday, June 23, westbound traffic on Interstate 94 will be switched to the newly-paved westbound lanes. This is the first in a series of traffic changes that will occur between June 23 and June 30. The changes are needed to set up the traffic pattern that will allow construction crews to begin resurfacing all eastbound I-94 travel lanes between Saint Paul and Maplewood in early July.

Drivers will encounter the following lane and ramp closures over the next week in the project area:

Beginning June 22:

Lane closure: Starting 9 a.m., June 22, the right lane on northbound Highway 120/Century Avenue will be closed from just south of I-94 to 3M/Innovation Road for approximately three weeks. The closure is needed to provide work space for crews to construct the trail on the east side of the road.

Beginning June 23:

Lane closure: The right lane (local access lane) and all ramps on westbound I-94 between Highway 120/Century Avenue and Mounds Boulevard will be closed through 5 a.m., June 24. During this time, all westbound I-94 traffic will be routed to the far left lane. Once these closures are lifted, most ramps will reopen and motorists will have three travel lanes on westbound I-94.

Ramp closures: The following westbound I-94 entrance and exit ramps will be closed through August 2017, unless otherwise noted. These closures are necessary to maintain a safe traffic flow on I-94 during construction.

Hudson Road to westbound I-94 (the far east entrance ramp in front of 3M) White Bear Avenue to westbound I-94. This closure will be in place through fall 2017.

Beginning June 24:

Crews will be relocating the moveable barrier from eastbound I-94 to westbound I-94 as part of preparing for the next construction stage. From Saturday morning, June 24, through Thursday evening, June 29, there will be three eastbound travel lanes and three westbound travel lanes on I-94.

Beginning June 29:

Lane closure: The right lane (local access lane) and all ramps on eastbound I-94 between Mounds Boulevard and Highway 120/Century Avenue will be closed beginning at 9 p.m., June 29 through 5 a.m., June 30. During this time, eastbound I-94 between St. Paul and Maplewood will be reduced to a single lane of traffic. After these closures are lifted, most ramps will reopen and eastbound I-94 will be set up in the traffic pattern that will be in place through August 2017.

Ramp closures: The following eastbound I-94 entrance/exit ramps are currently closed and will remain closed through fall 2017:

  • McKnight Rd. to eastbound I-94
  • NB/SB Hwy 61 to eastbound I-94

Be prepared to choose a lane

Starting on Friday morning, June 30, motorists on eastbound I-94 should be prepared to choose a lane.

Drivers exiting within the 5-mile project area between Mounds Boulevard and Highway 120/Century Avenue should stay in the right lane and follow the “local access, stay right” signs.

Drivers traveling beyond Highway 120/Century Avenue should remain in the left lanes and follow the “through traffic, stay left” signs.

Watch this brief video before driving in the area.

Closure durations and time frames are all approximate and weather dependent.

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Dean’s List to be implemented

At the request of the Student Senate, the Interim Provost has announced that the “Dean’s List” will be implemented as an academic recognition for students at Metropolitan State University beginning spring 2017 semester.

Students may earn Dean’s List recognition in any semester when they have successfully completed at least six credit hours earning letter grades (A to C-) and have a minimum term grade point average of 3.50. A student who receives an “I” or “W” in courses beyond the required six credits are also eligible for Dean’s List. Additionally, credits from a successfully repeated course earning a letter grade are counted toward the minimum six-credit requirement.

Upon request by Metropolitan State’s Registrar’s Office, the System Office ran a script and posted the verbiage “Dean’s List” to the transcript for all students who had grades posted for spring as of May 19.

The next step will be to determine a location to post the Dean’s List to the website.  More information on the “Dean’s List” will be posted on News@Metro once it is obtained.

June 20: Neighbors Meet Neighbors

Click to download flyer

The East Side Freedom Library is organizing a series of public forums centered around the stories and experiences of recent immigrants to the east side communities.

The series will feature a different community each month where attendees will hear about the community’s history, culture, stories, and challenges.


  • 7 p.m, June 20 – Hear from members of the Hmong community
  • 7 p.m, July 18 – Indigenous Roots
  • 7 p.m, August 15 – Hear from members of the Somali community

All events will be at East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier St, Saint Paul. These events are free and open to the public. 

Phone: 651.230.3294

Graves Family Foundation awards $46K to School of Urban Education

The Graves Family Foundation has awarded the School of Urban Education a grant of $46,000 to provide stipends to student teachers during the fall 2017 and spring 2018 semesters.

In the summer of 2014, John and Denise Graves sold Convey Compliance Systems, the company they had built up over the last 28 years. They decided to shift their energy toward philanthropy, and launched The Graves Family Foundation. To date, the foundation has donated over a million dollars to fund dozens of education and youth programs.

Dean Rene Antrop-Gonzalez of the School of Urban Education was especially delighted by the news of this grant.

I would like to express my gratitude to Maureen Acosta (director of development for University Advancement), Eric Fotsch (Urban Education director of field experiences), and Gashan Yusuf (Urban Education pre-service teacher) for their advocacy and support of the urban education department during the grant proposal process,” Antrop-Gonzalez said. “Gashan was especially instrumental in this process, as he shared his perspectives regarding his experiences as an urban education department pre-service teacher during the foundation’s site visit to Metropolitan State University.”

To find out more about The Graves Family Foundation, click here.

June 15-16: Black Men Healing Conference

Black Men's Healing ConferenceMetropolitan State is, once again, the host site for the annual Black Men Healing Conference, which is co-sponsored this year by Metropolitan State’s Alcohol and Drug Counseling Student Association and Black Student Union.

The conference is June 15-16, 2017.

Conference coordinator, Samuel Simmons Consulting, is offering Metropolitan State employees and students a reduced registration rate of $95 for both days (box lunch included).

*Registered members and advisers of ADCSA and BSU/AASA may attend at no cost, but need to register through Alysia Lajune directly by June 9 by clicking on the link below:

Black Men Healing Conference

Learn more about Simmons Consulting, the Healing Brothers initiative, and Historical Trauma Work at

Minnesota Dental Hygienist’s Association names new president

Louann Goodnough

The Dental Hygiene Department through the College of Nursing and Health Sciences announces Louann Goodnough as the president of the Minnesota Dental Hygienist’s Association.  She was was installed April 30. Additionally, she was appointed as a dental hygiene member of the Dental Services Advisory Committee through DHS to a four-year term beginning in January.

Goodnough is a licensed hygienist in Minnesota who has been active with oral health advocacy throughout her professional career. She is the current Dental Clinic Coordinator at Metropolitan State’s Advanced Dental Therapy Clinic in Maplewood.

Metropolitan State to welcome first students in Nagasaki University exchange

Metropolitan State University will welcome two students from Japan who will attend the Saint Paul university as a cultural exchange, in a celebration that also commemorates the Nagasaki-Saint Paul Sister City Committee’s fifth anniversary of the Gift of Cherry Trees.

President Virginia “Ginny” Arthur will greet students Ayano Tsuchihashi and Yoshiki Ohgi coming from Nagasaki University to attend Metropolitan State in an inaugural exchange between the universities. A representative from the Japanese Consulate in Chicago will attend, as well as city officials. Special guests include Takayuki Miyanishi, president of the Nagasaki-Saint Paul Sister City Committee.

In February 2017, the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Metropolitan State and Nagasaki University opened opportunities for a cultural exchange of students. The memorandum allows students from Metropolitan State to study in Japan for long and short term sessions. As part of the exchange, Metropolitan State will host an equal number of Nagasaki University students. Metropolitan State students will leave in August 2017 to attend Nagasaki University.

In 2012, the government of Japan donated 20 cherry trees to the City of Saint Paul as part of its Centennial Celebration of the Gift of Trees to Washington, DC. Saint Paul was one of 36 cities in the U.S. chosen to receive them in large part due to its having the oldest Sister City relationship with any city in Japan. The cherry trees line the steps up to the Mannheimer Memorial and form a semi-circle at the top of the hill. Additional trees are planted each year and the grove now numbers 30-plus trees.

The celebration is free and open to the public, and will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 3, at Como Park by the Mannheimer Memorial. It is sponsored by the Saint Paul-Nagasaki Sister City Committee, with assistance from the Japan America Society of Minnesota, AnimeTwinCities, and many volunteers. The event will end by noon. Free parking is available. Entertainment will include performances of Harisen Daiko drumming, shakuhachi flute by Leo Hansen and Sansei Yonsei Kai dancers.

Saint Paul and Nagasaki became Sister Cities in December 1955. It is the oldest Sister City relationship between a U.S. and an Asian city. In 2015, the relationship celebrated 60 years with a gala year of exchanges and exhibitions. In 2015, Devinder Malhotra, then-interim president of Metropolitan State University, accompanied Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman’s official delegation to Nagasaki, which led to the exchange agreement between Metropolitan State and Nagasaki University. Tokens of esteem to Japan include two sculptures in the Nagasaki Peace Park, these cherry trees and the Japanese Garden at Como Park are living tributes from Japan to Saint Paul.

Brian Higbee named new Operations Coordinator for Metropolitan State’s Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship


Brian Higbee joins Metropolitan State University’s Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship as the new Operations Coordinator.

Higbee says that it was a fun choice to move to Minnesota, because it’s so different from New York City, and that he’s enjoying learning about the arts and history native to our state. He’s excited to work at Metropolitan State, because he enjoys engaging with the students, helping them to learn, and helping make a difference in their lives. Higbee says, “I enjoy being a part of something bigger.”

Originally from Rochester, New York, Higbee has lived in Nantucket, MA, McLean, VA, and for the past 20 years in New York City, working the last 10 years as a senior program coordinator for the BuildingWorks pre-apprenticeship training program with the New York City District Council of Carpenters Training Center. Brian earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in communications design from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.

Jenny Xiong named new Admissions Counselor and Asian American Liaison

Jenny Xiong has been named the new Admissions Counselor and Asian American Liaison for Metropolitan State University.

Xiong is passionate about higher education and helping people in the Asian community realize that they can achieve the dream of earning a bachelor’s degree and be more successful in life. Her goal is to bridge the gap of Asian Americans who feel a higher education is beyond them, and to show them that Metro State is a great place to go to school. She wants to help other Asian Americans understand that they can fit their education into their lives with the flexibility that Metro State offers non-traditional students.

Xiong has worked at Metro State for the past three years in the Admissions Office as an Enrollment Specialist and Student Worker Lead. She has over seven years of higher education experience working in Financial Aid and Admissions, and is also certified in Event and Meeting Management.

Xiong, originally from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in 2012 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Technical Communication and Applied Field of Public Relations.

Additionally, Xiong has been actively involved in the Asian American Community for many years. She has volunteered at the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent, the Coalition of Asian American Leaders, and was a curator for the Hmong National Development Conference, in charge of organizing the entertainment.



June 19-22: LGBTQ Ally training and Pride Day volunteers

Registration is now open for summer 2017 Ally Development training. Training will be from 10 a.m.  to noon, June 19 and 22, in the Library and Learning Center, Saint Paul Campus.

 Ally Development training prepares faculty, staff, students, and community members with a comprehensive “advocacy toolkit” to address the needs of individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA).

The training addresses a wide range of terms that LGBTQIA individuals use to define themselves, unpacks the complicated notions of identity in relation to sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, and examines concerns that LGBTQIA students face both in and out of the classroom. Ally Development training also explores the many ways that people can work toward creating more safe, inclusive, and supportive spaces and environments.

Note that this is a four-hour training over two days. Participants must attend both days to receive an Ally sticker and be eligible to sign the ally pledge.

RSVP to Ally Development training here.

This training is just one of the activities for the week leading up to Twin Cities Pride, June 24-25. Opportunities are open to volunteer at the Pride booth; follow this link and help representing Metropolitan State in a celebration of LGBTQ lives and experiences.

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