All posts by Ryan Jay

Feb. 28: Sachiko: A Bomb Survivor’s Story

Caren Stelson, author of Sachiko: A Bomb Survivor’s Story, will visit Metropolitan State University for a conversation about bomb survivor, Sachiko Yasui’s  life, and to discuss her lecture to medical doctors at the University of Wisconsin Medical School about radiation exposure.

Sachiko received the American Library Association’s Siebert Award for Information Books, and the Jane Addams Book Award for Peace and Justice, among other recognition. Stelson’s visit will be 3 to 4:20 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 28, at Midway Center, room 154, 1450 Energy Park Drive.

Stelsonis an active partner at Metropolitan State and Nagasaki University as the two build close ties via the Nagasaki-St. Paul Sister City organization.

No RSVP necessary. Contact Michal Mosckow at with questions.

March 11: Winter Clothing Drive

The Social Work Student Association is hosting a winter clothing drive. Donate your clothes at bins located in the Student Center, Founders Hall, and Library and Learning Center now through Sunday, March 9.

Donated items will be available for pickup at a free “shopping” event from 1-4 p.m., Monday, March 11 in the Student Center, room 101.

The event is open to the public.

Contact Rachel Hanson at for more information.

April 1: Application deadline for Annual Art Purchase Awards

In an effort to encourage the growth and development of studio artists among its students and alumni, and to elevate the profile of the arts on campus, Metropolitan State University has committed to sponsor an annual art purchase and competition.

Students and alumni may submit up to six works annually.  This year there is a special purchase from the library that will allow faculty to submit up to six works as well. All subjects, media and forms are welcome. Four works will be purchased for $1,000 each.

Applications are due on April 1. Incomplete and late applications will not be considered.  A decision regarding the work selected for purchase will be made by the end of spring semester.  All applicants will be notified shortly thereafter.

Hard copy entry forms are available at The Gordon Parks Gallery.  Electronic versions of the entry form are available in the links below. Questions about entries can be sent to Amy Sands at 651-999-5963 or

Submissions will be reviewed by the Art Exhibition Committee, consisting of students (appointed by the Student Senate), faculty (appointed by the Inter Faculty Organization) and staff members (academic and administrative, appointed by the president and Executive Council).

The committee may request that works under consideration for purchase be lent to the university for the AEC to review firsthand.  In such a case, the artist will be contacted by an AEC member and arrangements will be made for a brief loan period.

Generous donors include the Office of the President, Academic Affairs, the Alumni Association, the Library Endowment, and the Student Senate.

Feb. 19: Pink triangle persecution: in history and memory

It took over 45 years for the German government to formally
recognize LGBTQ victims of the Nazi regime, to say nothing of the continuation of National Socialist-era laws in post-1945 policing and jurisprudence.

Metropolitan State University will host a discussion led by Dr. Jennifer V. Evans beginning at 5:15 p.m., on Monday, Feb. 19, Founders Hall Auditorium, Saint Paul campus. The event is open to the public.  Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.

Dr. Evans is a professor of history at Carleton University in Ottawa,
Ontario. Her teaching revolves around contemporary German and
European history, and the transnational histories of love, hate, sexuality, and everyday life. This lecture explores the work of LGBTQ groups to realize a memorial to the persecution of sexual minorities in East Berlin. It outlines the historical and ongoing struggles over whose experiences should be honored-and how-in today’s memorial landscape.

For more information contact Dr. Maura Chhun, Department of History, at If you need disability related accommodations, including parking, to make this event accessible, please contact  the Center for Accessibility Resources, 651-793-1549 or

The lecture is sponsored by the Campus Outreach Lecture Program of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, supported by the generosity of the Jerome A. Yavitz Charitable Foundation, Inc., and Arlyn S. and Stephen H. Cypen.

“In Like a Lion” East Side Neighborhood Improvement Campaign

Jane Prince
Jane Prince

The Metropolitan State University community is invited participate in a new campaign, championed by Saint Paul Council member Jane Prince, Ward 7, which aims to gather input on what you would like to see in vacant lots and building near the Saint Paul Metropolitan State campus.

The “In Like a Lion” campaign uses the Hoodstarter platform to gather ideas and support from those that are most directly impacted by what happens on those properties. Please visit the website and create a login (very simple: add your name and create a password) and browse the five properties on the East Side. Propose your own ideas, and vote for ideas proposed by others.

The campaign lasts until Monday, Feb. 5, so make sure your voice is heard.

Feb. 2: Metropolitan State Winter Fest 2018

Metropolitan State’s all-student University Activities Board will host Winter Fest 2018 from 3 to 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 2, in the Student Center, Saint Paul Campus.

Winter Fest is also an opportunity to learn about the office of Student Life and Leadership Development and a variety of student organizations. Students will also be able to explore the Student Center and sample select menu items offered by Alimama Mediterranean Deli, located on the first floor of the Student Center.

The event will feature an ice-less skating rink, a hot soup and cider buffet, winter health and safety resources provided by the Health and Wellness Student Association, a “selfie” photo station, and numerous giveaways. At 6:30 p.m., a free screening of the Disney animation movie, “Frozen” will be shown in Film Space in Founders Hall Auditorium.  Students, employees, alumni, and guests of any age are invited to attend all festivities.

For more information about Winter Fest 2018, contact Alysia Lajune at or call 651.793.1550.

Erica Rasmussen wins the 2018 Minnesota Book Artist Award

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library announces Erica Spitzer Rasmussen as the winner of the 2018 Minnesota Book Artist Award for her work entitled The Love Affair.

Sponsored by Lerner Publishing Group, this annual award is presented as part of the Minnesota Book Awards with the Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA), and recognizes a Minnesota book artist or book artist collaborative group for excellence of a new artistic work. Winners also demonstrated proficiency and quality in the book arts through three pieces of supporting previous work, as well as an ongoing commitment and significant contributions to Minnesota’s book arts community.
The Love Affair is a mixed-media sculptural book handcrafted from pieces of old family letters. Rasmussen was inspired to create the piece when she inherited two handmade wooden boxes filled with love letters exchanged between her maternal grandparents in the 1930s. She delicately cut the letters apart and interspersed them, binding them with a Coptic stitch. To retain the couple’s privacy, Rasmussen cut the pages small enough that significant content couldn’t be read by others. She then placed the book inside one of the wooden boxes crafted by her grandfather, in the twisted form of an infinity symbol, to suggest that the couple might continue their communion from life to death.

Members of the award committee praised the project as “playful, clever, and reverential in its reference to the art of love letters, 17th Century fashion, stitching, and symbolism.” Said one judge, “the classical essence in Rasmussen’s piece gives way to an avant-garde play on the notion of a book, with the written letters rendered inaccessible, untouchable and unreadable…and yet, the narrative, the history, and the intimacy are mysteriously palpable.”

Rasmussen is an artist who creates handmade paper garments, neckware and small editions of hand-bound books. She received her BFA and MFA at the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities), which included coursework in Mexico and Greece. Her current work explores issues of identity and corporeality. Rasmussen is a recipient of an Artist’s Assistance Fellowship (1999) and an Artist’s Initiative Grant (2015) from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Other professional highlights include a papermaking residency in Vienna, Austria (2010), a solo exhibition in Mexico City, Mexico (2012), and a bookbinding residency in Venice, Italy (2016). Her work has been featured in such publications as FiberArts magazine, Surface Design Journal, American Craft magazine, Hand Papermaking magazine, and the Huffington Post. Rasmussen teaches studio arts as a full professor at Metropolitan State University. Her artwork is exhibited and collected internationally.

A retrospective exhibition celebrating The Love Affair will be on display Feb. 1 to March 13 in the Cowles Literary Commons on the second floor of the Open Book building, 1011 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis. A reception and artist presentation will take place, from 6 to 8 p.m Friday, March 9, at the Open Book building. The exhibit will remain open during the Meet the Finalists event for the Minnesota Book Awards, 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 13. Rasmussen will also receive special recognition and an award at the 30th annual Minnesota Book Awards Celebration on Saturday, April 21, at the InterContinental Hotel in downtown Saint Paul, sponsored by Education Minnesota.

Star Alert Mass-Notification System

Metropolitan State University operates an emergency mass-notification system called Star Alert, to notify members of our University community about any emergency that may threaten safety or any incident that may impact normal campus operations.  This system, which is also used by our Minnesota State partner colleges, delivers messages to students, staff, Resident Faculty, and Community Faculty by phone, text, or e-mail.  Workplace or other emergency numbers and e-mails are regularly added to the Star Alert system for registered students, staff, and faculty.

Each student or employee can view their contact information and, if interested, can make changes to their phone numbers and e-mail addresses, and can choose what methods Star Alert will use to contact them.  Through the Star Alert Portal, you can also choose to be contacted by text (SMS) messaging.  If you are not interested in adding numbers or making changes, you do not have to do anything; you will receive alerts.

A link to the Star Alert Portal:  Star Alert Portal.

A link to the Star Alert Instructional Document:  Star Alert Instructional Document.

As a first-time user making changes, you will need to first click on the “Sign Me Up!” link and enter your First Name, Last Name, your Metropolitan State University e-mail address, and a new password.  You will also be asked to enter an identification code.  This code is your Minnesota State-issued StarID username.  Once you are registered, you will be able to log in, view, and modify your contact record.  Please note that some fields cannot be changed.


Free 2017 income tax preparation assistance

Do you need assistance preparing your 2017 income tax return? Want to make sure you’re taking advantage of earned income credits, and not leaving money on the table? Metropolitan State University has you covered.
Working students, senior citizens, people with disabilities, and households that earned less than $54,000 in 2017 will qualify for free tax preparation assistance. No appointment is needed.
Walk-in services will be held at the Saint Paul Campus Library and Learning Center, Third Floor, Room 312:
  • 9am-3pm, Saturday, Feb. 10
  • 9am-3pm, Saturday, Feb. 17
  • 4pm-7pm, Tuesday, March 6
  • 4pm-7pm, Thursday, March 8
In order to get the most out of this program, please come prepared and bring the following:
  • Health insurance information including form 1095.
  • Social Security cards for yourself, your spouse and each of your children.
  • Any 2017 tax forms or “tax label” postcards received in the mail.
  • W-2 wage and earnings statements from each employer for the year 2017.
  • A copy of your 2016 tax return.
  • Any other information about your 2017 earnings including 1099-G forms stating unemployment.
  • Insurance or interest (form 1099-INT) or dividend (form 1099-DIV) as applicable.
  • Information on child care expenses.
  • Information on other expenses that may reduce your taxes: mortgage interest, union dues, car registration fees, medical expenses, or school expenses.
  • Certificate of Rent Paid (CRP) forms from your landlord if you rent.
  • Statement of property taxes if you are a homeowner.
Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to get your taxes done correctly, for free, and on time! This program is made possible through the Metropolitan State University College of Management. For more information, contact Robert Sausen at

Nov. 17: Spring Faculty Conference 2018 call for proposals deadline

There is still need for faculty presenters for the Spring Faculty Conference. The deadline for presentation proposals is Nov. 17

The 2018 Spring Faculty Conference will be 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. The theme is “Teaching for Inclusion.” The committee will consider only proposals connected directly to the conference theme.

The need for culturally responsive teaching is woven into the mission, vision and values of Metropolitan State University. This need compels the ongoing quest for cultural humility as we seek greater awareness of the facets of students’ lives. Race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious background, accessibility needs, political orientation, military experience, and home language are just the beginning of the conversation about “Teaching for Inclusion.”

How can educators use the power of diversity to improve our classrooms? How can we use the power of our classrooms to impact justice in our surrounding communities? What does “Teaching for Inclusion” mean in the “21st century classroom?”

Do you utilize anti-racist pedagogical strategies? Do you address systems of oppression in your curriculum? How do principles of Universal Design play out in your teaching? What methods — formal and informal — do you rely upon to keep your teaching grounded in Metropolitan State’s bedrock inclusivity?

We invite you to propose a session at the Spring Faculty Conference. This is an opportunity to share your knowledge and best practices with your colleagues. We invite a broad array of proposals from individuals, teams, and panels of faculty. We encourage you to include students where appropriate. Each session is scheduled for 60 minutes. Preference will be given to sessions that employ active learning and sessions which address more than one discipline.

 Session examples include, but are not limited to:
  • Best practices: What does higher education research tell us about teaching for inclusion? What do we do in our own teaching to include our students’ backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences?
  • Cross-disciplinary vs. discipline-based inclusivity: Are inclusion and access addressed differently, depending on discipline?
  • Student panels: What can our students tell us about their differing experiences as learners? What has been effective for them in learning about other cultures and perspectives.
  • Experiential learning: How do students learn about inclusion through experiences outside the classroom?
  • Case studies: What student projects have been most valuable in your classes for teaching about race, culture, access, and inclusion?
  • Universal course design: It’s not just for online learning.
  • Effective practices in online and hybrid teaching: Do we need to take different approaches when students are learning outside the traditional classroom?

Submit proposals to, or e-mail with questions.