All posts by Ryan Jay

July 26: Metropolitan State Resource Fair

Metropolitan State University’s Student Parent Center is hosting their annual resource fair from 2 to 7 p.m., July 26, Saint Paul Campus, New Main, reception area.

This is an opportunity for Metropolitan State University students to pick up donated clothing and household items, at no cost.

Items available at the resource fair include:

  • Baby/ children clothing
  • Adult clothing
  • Sporting equipment
  • Baby items

The resource fair doesn’t supply bags, so please bring your own bags to tote your items from the fair.

Volunteer opportunities in the community

The Minnesota Literacy Council, a nonprofit organization that provides educational services to children and adults is in need of volunteers to tutor adult immigrants and refugees who are learning English, help them build their language and literacy skills, and thrive in the United States.

Students are also invited to explore opportunities volunteering with learners who are pursuing their GED or brushing up on reading, writing, math, and computer skills.

Volunteers help with  tasks, such as helping a child with homework, reading a prescription bottle, helping an adult fill out a job application. It may not seem like much, but it’s important work, and makes a big difference.

This is an excellent opportunity for Metropolitan State students to help their neighbors achieve their dreams while gaining teaching experience and learning more about the people in the community.

No previous tutoring experience is necessary. Required training is provided. The only language requirement is the ability to read, write and speak English. Flexible morning, afternoon and evening opportunities are available throughout the Twin Cities. The time commitment ranges from two to three hours per week. Volunteers must be 18 years old, or 16 if volunteering with a parent or guardian.

The organization’s learning centers are across the Twin Cities metro area and volunteers can be matched to nearest locations.

Contact Wendy Roberts for more details:

July is Alcohol Awareness Month

July is Alcohol Awareness Month! Join the university in spreading awareness by participating in a variety of activities. Healthcare and Wellness Services is offering opportunities which include:
  • Substance abuse self-assessment tool (e-CheckUpToGo
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving Speaker, 4 to 5 p.m., July 17, Student Center, Room 101
  • Alcohol use and prevention talk, 4 to 5 p.m., July 12, Student Center, Room 101
  • Wear Red Day, July 17
  • Smoking Cessation Classes 3 to 4 p.m. each Thursday, SJH 254
 Be aware that Zipnosis, the telemedicine platform has changed its name to OnCare. If you have already used Zipnosis, you will not need to re-register. The new link is
For new users, please remember to register using your university e-mail address and Star ID, and use the following link:


For more information, contact: Jodee Fitzgerald Health and Wellness Services 651.793.1552 |

Donations needed for Student Parent Center Resource Fair

The Student Parent Center is collecting clothing items to distribute at a Resource Fair on July 26.

The collected clothing, household supplies and other items will be freely available for Metropolitan State  student. Student parents are also able to get school supplies for their children on that day.

Please donate items you might ordinarily take to Goodwill. Shoes, even old, yucky ones, can be donated to Good in the ‘Hood, the nonprofit that purchases food for our food pantry. Donors may also purchase new school supplies or personal care items, which are greatly appreciated. The Student Parent Center has fewer resources this year to purchase those kinds of items.

Items needed include:

  •  Clothes (infant to adult; gently used and clean)
  •  School supplies (new)
  •  Shoes
  •  Sporting equipment
  •  Personal care items (new)
  •  Cleaning supplies, household items
  •  Baby items, diapers, toys
  •  Food
Donation Bin locations:
  • Saint Paul Campus:  Gateway, Food for Thought, Student Center, Library and Learning Center
  • Midway Campus– Security desk and Gateway area
  • Minneapolis – Third floor near Information desk
  • LECJEC – next to first floor elevator

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.

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.

Science Museum summer youth camps are discounted for Metropolitan State community

The Science Museum of Minnesota is offering youth summer camps with a variety of themes and activities to keep youngsters cool and busy this summer.

Steep discounts are available for Metropolitan State students and faculty. Use code 55106 when registering online. To register by phone, call (651) 221-4511.

JULY 24 – 28: For ages 9-12

Explore the world of film production. You can be a director, actor, cinematographer, and producer of your films and team film project. Record movies using a digital video camera then use software to edit. Post it online to share with your friends.

When: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Fee: $215 (full price), $205 (members), University price: $108/seat (50 percent off with code)
Where: Metropolitan State University College of Sciences.

Are you a gamer girl and like to dance? Design your own dance game using Scratch software. Choreograph a dance game, design an environment, create characters, and add music. Build your own controller to play your dance game.

When: Mon-Fri, 1-4 p.m.
Fee: $215 (full price), $205 (members), University price: $108/seat (50 percent off with code)
Where: Metropolitan State University College of Sciences.

WEEK 9: AUGUST 7 – 11: Ages 6-8

Use Scratch Jr. to illustrate your favorite jokes, tell jokes, read jokes, and make up jokes. Use coding and creativity for a laughing good time.

When: Mon-Fri, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Fee: $215 (full price), $205 (members), University price: $108/seat (50 percent off with code)
Where: Metropolitan State University College of Sciences.

Design and create your own puppets. Bring them to life using HUE stop- motion animation software. Plan and film adventures for your characters with props and backgrounds of your own design. Share your movies online.

When: Mon-Fri, 1-4 p.m.
Fee: $215 (full price), $205 (members), University price: $108/seat (50 percent off with code)
Where: Metropolitan State University College of Sciences.

June 23-24: Qhia Dab Neeg Film Festival

Click to download flyer

The Qhia Dab Neeg Film Festival encourages Hmong people in the media, recognizes Hmong filmmakers and celebrates their stories. This year includes the first double-feature screening. The event is free and open to the public.  

The Qhia Dab Neeg (Storytelling) Film Festival strives to preserve the rich cultural heritage of Hmong people and their stories through the art of film and takes the tools of contemporary American storytelling and places it into the hands of Hmong artists. Metropolitan State University hosts the annual Qhia Dab Neeg Film Festival through co-sponsorship with the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship and the Hmong Student Organization, providing opportunities for students, faculty, staff and the community to view film screenings, a photography exhibit and engage in discussions with Hmong filmmakers.  

The theme this year is The Essence of Hmong. Each year the festival showcases films from Hmong filmmakers worldwide, from filmmaking veterans to individuals with a camera and a story to share. It is from this venue that Hmong stories find a contemporary platform in which to be heard.

Screenings are shown at Film Space auditorium, Founders Hall, Metropolitan State University Saint Paul Campus, 700 East Seventh St. More information can be found on the organization’s Facebook page.

 Tentative screening/festival schedule: (Film selections to be annouced)

5:00 pm – Opening
5:30 pm – Recognize photographers
6:00 pm – Keynote Speaker
7:00 pm – Feature film 1
9:00 pm – Q&A
10:00 pm – Closing

12:00 pm – Short films
2:30 pm – Feature film 2
5:00 pm – Q&A/Closing
6:00 pm – Transition to In Progress for Dinner
(213 Front Avenue, St Paul, MN 55117)
7:30 pm – Awards
8:00 pm – Socialize
10:00 pm – Closing

Day 1: Eventbrite link
Day 2: Eventbrite link

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.

Mathematics professor Cindy Kaus receives prestigious award

Dr. Cindy Kaus, professor of mathematics at Metropolitan State University, has been named recipient of the Mathematical Association of America’s (MMA) North Central Section award for Distinguished University Teaching of Mathematics.  John Zobitz, mathematician at Augsburg College, nominated Kaus for this award. The Distinguished University Teaching of Mathematics award is based on the following criteria:

  • Be widely recognized as extraordinarily successful in their teaching.
  • Have teaching effectiveness that can be documented.
  • Have had influence in their teaching beyond their own institution.
  • Foster curiosity and generate excitement about mathematics in their students

Cindy received her award at the Spring 2017 Meeting  on April 21-22 at Anoka-Ramsey Community College.  In addition, the North Central Section will forward Dr. Kaus’ name as a nominee for the national award.