All posts by Kevin O'Connor

Slideshow: 2017 Employee Awards

At the Employee Awards event on April 14, awards were given to employees of the university for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years of service. See below for photos and details about each recipient.

Awards are also given for several categories of outstanding service. Recipients were nominated by their colleagues based on their accomplishments and efforts in their departments.

Stanley Hatcher, College of Individualized Studies – Academic Advisor

Stanley is a highly respected advising professional who nurtures relationships by interacting with a broad spectrum of university colleagues and students; and, not to mention his humorous/playful demeanor which makes him an absolute joy to work with. His perseverance and pain-staking efforts with students continues to impress his colleagues across Metropolitan State University. His in-depth knowledge of the University’s curriculum, policies, and resources is very valuable to those he serves and enriches the quality of the student’s advising/learning experience.

Stanley is excellent in demonstrating intellectual competence and personal understanding. He is the go-to person for CIS advisees who come from families who are the first to attend college; they seek him out because of his intellect, strong interpersonal skills, and his nurturing as he guides them through the maze of academia. No student is ever turned away, he always responds with a “can do” attitude toward students, he is always ready and willing to help answer or solve a problem even at 5:00 p.m. when the student shows up at his door. He is very hardworking, sincere and dedicated towards his responsibilities to students while maintaining a cool, calm and collective demeanor.

Valerie Geaither, Faculty Anti-Racism Legacy Award

Valerie has been unwavering in her commitment to challenge institutional racism at Metropolitan State and has demonstrated leadership by currently serving as co-chair of the Anti-Racism Leadership Team, being a member of the Anti-Racism Leadership Team for several years, the 2011 Campus Climate Report and Presentation Team, and Racial Issues Graduation Requirement Task Force that proposed the new requirement and developed the criteria that gained Faculty Council approval.

Valerie’s community involvement includes:

  • Member and national representative, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
  • Member of Afro-Eco Environmental group
  • Co-chair, Minneapolis National Council of Negro women chapter


Photos by Kevin O’Connor

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Photo credit: United Nations ,

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and in an effort to educate the campus community, Metropolitan State is offering Mental Health First Aid.  This training is much like regular first aid or CPR, and designed to give people the skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.  The course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to recognize and respond to the warning signs of specific illnesses.

Training is limited to 30 people per session. Register for the training here.

· 2 half-days: 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., May 2  and May 4 in the Student Center, room 101, Saint Paul Campus. Light breakfast will be served both days.

Yoga with Sue Fitzgerald

Come relax with yoga – bring your mat! 

• 4 to 5 p.m., Tuesdays, May 9, 16, 23, and 30, in Student Center, Room 101, Saint Paul Campus.

Film screening: “Depression: Out of the Shadows”

Many Americans are keeping an important, possibly deadly secret: depression. Approximately 15 million American adults live with this devastating disease which affects all age, race, gender, and socioeconomic groups. Through the voices and stories of people living with depression and interviews with scientists, Depression: Out of the Shadows provides a portrait of the disease never before seen on American television.

• 5 to 7 p.m., May 17 and May 25; Film Space auditorium, Founders Hall, Saint Paul Campus.

View event flyer

Contact Jodee Fitzgerald at: 651-793 1552 or email for information.

Additional information can be found at:


The Gordon Parks Gallery exhibit, Ecocentric: Art, Ecology and Engagement, features artists addressing environmental issues through their work and engaging the public in their creative medium.

“Ecocentric is a term that was coined in recent years to denote a nature-centered system of values; that which directly opposes anthropocentrism (the idea that humans are the center of the universe), says gallery director Erica Rasmussen about the exhibit. “Like the development of environmentalism that seeks to protect the natural environment, Ecocentrism intends to challenge Western practices associated with culture, science and politics. In the arts there has also been an emergence of ecologically minded individuals who seek to raise our consciousness about pressing environmental issues through solution based artworks. Each of these artists not only addresses environmental issues through their work, but also engages the public in their creative practice.”

Exhibition participants include Miranda Brandon, Minneapolis; Rachel Breen, Minneapolis; and Mary Johnson; Shoreview.

Exhibit Hours

The exhibit will be on display through July 13.

Spring gallery hours are 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Summer hours are 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturday. The gallery is located at the university’s Saint Paul Campus in the Library and Learning Center, 645 East Seventh Street. For more information about the exhibit, contact Erica Rasmussen, gallery director, at 651-999-5942 or e-mail her at

Photo Gallery:

Slideshow: Haute Dish Spring Reading 2017

Metropolitan State students read works at one of the most renowned literary centers in the United States when Haute Dish, the student arts and literature magazine of Metropolitan State, hosted it’s 4th Annual Spring Reading on Saturday, April 22 at Open Book in Minneapolis. Open Book is the home of The Loft Literary Center, Milkweed Editions and Minnesota Center for Book Arts.

Haute Dish is now accepting submissions from students, staff, faculty and alumni for their Fall 2017 issue. Submit your poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir/personal essay, photography, illustration, or digital-storytelling (film/video). Multi-lingual poetry and prose is highly encouraged.

Submissions deadline for Fall 2017 is midnight, April 15, 2017.

For submission instructions or general information at their website, or email them at:

Photo gallery:

Photography: Kevin O’Connor

April 26: “Untold Stories” about labor in America

Saint Paul, Minn.—Learn about the history of labor in America in the Labor History series Untold Stories: A World in Turmoil – 1917-2017.

The first event in this series will be 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 26, at the Saint Paul Labor Center, at 353 7th Street West, Saint Paul.

Panelists explore workplace safety issues in advance of the national commemoration of Workers’ Memorial Day.  Presenters include Phil Qualy, a railroad conductor and director of the United Transportation Union Minnesota Legislative Board; John Sielaff, author of A Workplace Accident: John Anderson’s Fall from the High Bridge; and Mike Scully, an attorney from Sieben Carey, knowledgeable about workers’ compensation history and current changes and threats to the system.

This event is sponsored by Minnesota Association of Professional Employees.  All events in this series are free and open to the public.

For more information, click here.

International Cultural Festival

International Student Services and the International Student Organization hosted their final event of the semester on Friday, April 14, the International Cultural Festival.  The event consisted of student presentations and performances representative of their homelands.

For students interested in learning more about and receiving email updates from the International Student Organization, go to Orgsync and join their group.  For further information, contact Tina Martinez at:


April 17-21: Islamic Awareness Week

The Muslim Student Association (MSA), cordially invites ALL Metro faculty, staff and students to the annual Islamic Awareness Week festivities, April 17-21.  The  week’s agenda is as follows:

TUESDAY:  Walk In My Hijab
3-6 p.m. Student Center, room 101, Saint Paul Campus
Sister Julianne Noora will discuss the experiences and importance of the Women of Islam.  Win prizes, try on a Hijab, get a Henna tattoo, and more.  Light snacks will be provided.
WEDNESDAY:  Muslim Inventions & Contributions
4-6:30 p.m. New Main, Great Hall, Saint Paul Campus
Members of our Muslim Student Association will discuss the valuable contributions of Muslim men and women, including popular inventions.  Light snacks will be provided.
THURSDAY:  Panel Discussion – Highlight Our Voices 
Noon to 2 p.m. Library and Learning Center, LIB 302 EcoLab, Saint Paul Campus
A panel discussion featuring dynamic Muslims in various fields.  Light snacks will be provided.
7-10 p.m. at Student Center, room 101, Saint Paul Campus
Join MSA members for a fun-filled night featuring “Poetry Out Loud” spoken word, open mic, comedy skits, and more! (Dinner will be provided.)

The goals of MSA’s annual Islamic Awareness Week are:

• To educate attendees about Islamic history, culture and traditions, as well as address common myths and assumptions that may contribute to prejudice and inequity.

• To engage in respectful discussions about the challenges and injustices that many Islamic individuals deal with on a daily basis—not only in Minnesota, but also nationally and internationally—and share ideas for resolution and prevention.

• To join in fellowship to acknowledge and celebrate the heritage, contributions, and accomplishments of Metro’s own Islamic students, faculty, and staff.

For information about Islamic Awareness Week or the Muslim Student Association, contact MSA President, Guyo Kotile, at

April 22: March for Science

March in celebration of science with Metropolitan State faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Meet at 10 a.m.  Saturday, April 22, at Boyd Park in Saint Paul. Before proceeding to the starting point, there will photography and speeches by science faculty and others, along with cheers for science.

Read here for more information on the march. Read the statement from the Science Museum of Minnesota here.