All posts by Ryan Jay

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.
512268064801947.QM2jSHSJ5O3VlQigXuY8_height640.png512268064801949.Ig16Yqk7r51krCiTn2cw_height640.png

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 robert.sausen@metrostate.edu.

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 https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/proposal_SFC2018, or e-mail faculty.development@metrostate.edu with questions.

Student Angela Edwards recognized with Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Unsung Hero Award

Student Angela Edwards was recently awarded a Minnesota Council of Nonprofits award for unsung heroes for her work with the nonprofit Education Explosion.

As founder of Education Explosion, Edwards works with students in North Minneapolis to achieve educational and career goals through test preparation, counseling and on-site computer training. Because of her work and encouragement, many in her community are moving away from poverty. Edwards is a student in the Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) program at Metropolitan State.

“Angela brings a sense of hope to her community and to everyone she works with, and, according to her nominator, has brought many from poverty to self-sufficiency.  The combination of the incredible work she’s doing plus her determination and heart made her stand out.  That, in addition to the fact that she has never received recognition for her amazing work, really won her the award,” said Sarah Crumrine, communications coordinator for the
Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.

Edwards was recognized at a luncheon at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and will be honored at its annual conference in October. Each awardee in 2017 will receive a cash prize of $10,000 from the McKnight Foundation and MCN and were honored at a private luncheon in Minneapolis on Sept. 26. Award recipients will also be recognized at the 2017 MCN Annual Conference on Oct. 12 in Saint Paul.

According to Edwards, this recognition will allow her to devote more  monetary resources to her nonprofit, Education Explosion. Winning grants has been difficult and Edwards has been funding the organization through businesses that she has started.  The recognition from this award will help with future grant applications and as she seeks money to fund the organization.

Since 1985, the McKnight Foundation has recognized Minnesotans who have improved the quality of life for current and future generations with the Virginia McKnight Binger Awards in Human Service. In 2015, MCN partnered with McKnight Foundation to coordinate and present the inaugural Unsung Hero Awards, honoring individuals performing life-changing work in communities across Minnesota, with little or no recognition.

Additional sessions scheduled for Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training

Metropolitan State University is launching efforts to reduce and prevent suicide by providing gatekeeper training, which teach participants to recognize signs of distress in people and to connect that person to helpful resources. You can help to prevent suicide at Metropolitan State University. Suicide prevention is all of our business, and everyone can play a role to help.

Training events are planned across several campus locations. Representatives from the Suicide Awareness Leadership Team and Metropolitan State University Creating Awareness Regarding Suicide (CARES), will teach the warning signs of suicide and promote upcoming gatekeeper training.

Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour in-person course for faculty, staff, and students, which teaches the risk factors and warning signs of mental health and substance use related crises, and how to recognize a problem, give reassurance and refer them to seek professional help. Three sessions and locations are offered for this training:
  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 31, Brooklyn Center (Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Center) campus. Includes one hour luch break. Register at: mhfalecjec.eventbrite.com.
 Kognito is a 45-minute online training and uses role-playing to teach how to recognize when a student is in crisis and refer them to the appropriate services. There is a general module, a veteran module, and an LGBTQ module. Kognito can be accessed by going to www.kognitocampus.com. The enrollment key for Kognito is “MetroState.”
Both options count toward community faculty PDA credit.
E-mail cassandra.shaker@metrostate.edu with questions.

Oct. 15: Unleash the She, 5K and 10K women’s runs

In recognition of Women’s Health Month, Metropolitan State University is participating in “Unleash the She,” a run and walk to support the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance.

Start time is 8:30 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 15 at Phalen Lake Park, 1600 Phalen Drive, Saint Paul.

Visit unleashtheshe.com to register for Metropolitan State’s team. Use code METROSTATE17 for free entry. Space on Metropolitan State’s team is limited to 30 students; register as soon as possible to secure your spot on the team.

Call for entries for Student Film Festival

Submit your film to be be screened in the university’s new state-of-the-art digital cinema theater. The inaugural Metropolitan State Student Film Festival will be 7 p.m., Oct. 20, at Film Space theater in Founders Hall, Saint Paul Campus.

The festival is open and non-juried. Students or alumni with a short film to showcase are encouraged to send their name, the film title and its duration to James Byrne, james.byrne@metrostate.edu. Do not send the film. Only films under 20 minutes will be considered.  The submitter must be the film director or screenwriter.  The window for entries will close when spaces are filled or by the deadline, Oct. 16.

Oct. 19: Reunion for public relations majors

Catch up with former classmates and meet the new cohort of graduates and current students studying public relations at Metropolitan State.

The inaugural reunion for public relations graduates and current students (2005-present), and guest speakers will be from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday Oct. 19, at the Metropolitan State Minneapolis Campus, room T3930. Greg Zimprich and Rose McKinney are hosts. The reunion is held in conjunction with the fall semester Communication 481 students.

Admission is free, and light snacks will be provided.

RSVP at this link. Click here for a campus map.

 

Oct. 10: Think Tank, “We Are All Criminals”

This think tank will examine how a criminal record limits career options and complicates a job search, challenge our perception of what it means to be a criminal and help us to help students. It will also explore the feasibility and possibility for a “second chance” and raise questions about privilege, class and race matters.
Guest speaker Emily Baxter champions social justice and equity and  is the founder and executive director of We Are All Criminals (WAAC). She was the director of advocacy and public policy at the Council on Crime and Justice in Minnesota and as assistant public defender at the Regional Native Public Defense Corporation.
The event will be 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 10, in the Library and Learning Center, room 302, Saint Paul Campus. Cookies and lemonade will be provided. Feel free to bring a lunch.
  • Faculty and staff register here
  • Metropolitan State students register here
We Are All Criminals combines criminal justice statistics and statutes with compelling photography and first-person narrative to demonstrate the destruction caused by decades of mass criminalization, while leaving the reader with a sense of hope and inspiration to affect change. It is an examination of criminality, privilege, punishment, and second chances. Woven throughout is incisive commentary on the havoc our carceral state has wreaked upon the nation; the disparate impact of our legal system on poor communities and communities of color; and the exploration of innumerable life barriers created by criminal and juvenile records.
About the organization: WAAC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that inspires empathy and ignites social change through personal stories of crime, privilege, justice, and injustice, disrupting the barriers that separate us. We envision a more just and equitable world, where each of us is able to transcend our past and reach our full potential. More information on the organization
can be found at weareallcriminals.org