All posts by sambbenson

July 10: LGBTQ Ally Development Training

Metropolitan State University’s Women’s and LGBTQ Student Resource Center invites you to Ally Development Training at 1–4 p.m., Tuesday, July 10, in the Metropolitan State University Library and Learning Center, Room 302, 645 East Seventh Street.

An aspiring “ally” is a member of the majority group who works to end oppression in their professional and personal life. Allies are also advocates for the minority population.

Seventy percent of first-year lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer college students consider leaving school out of fear from being bullied or harassed. However, Ally and Safe Space programs have been shown to be effective tools for helping LGBTQ students and staff feel safer and more included in college communities.

To register for the training or for more information, contact the Women’s and LGBTQ Student Resource Center at

Immigrant Heritage Month: June 28 Immigration Walking Tour and Immigrant Youth Event

On Thursday, June 28, East Side Freedom Library will host a walking tour on Saint Paul’s East Side to celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month. The tour will meet at East Side Freedom Library, located at 1105 Greenbrier Street in St. Paul. Please arrive by 3:45 p.m. The tour will begin at 4 p.m., and will last around 90 minutes.

Freedom Library’s co-founder Peter Rachleff will lead the tour along Payne Avenue, following the experiences of 19th century immigrants up to contemporary Hmong, Somali, Mexican, and Karen neighbors. The tour will explore political, economic, and cultural forces prompting emigration from homelands, as well as settlement patterns and organization in St. Paul.

Library parking is available. Please wear walking shoes and dress for the weather.

It is free to attend the tour, but space is limited to 30 people. Reservations are required. Please RSVP by Monday, June 25, to Chrissy Hursh at

After the tour, there will be refreshments provided in the library between 5:30 p.m.–7 p.m.

Following refreshments, the East Side Freedom Library invites everyone to another event, a special reading curated by Green Card Voices, a local nonprofit organization. The reading is from 7 p.m.–8:30 p.m. in the library, and is free and open to the public.

“The Voices of St. Paul’s Immigrant Youth” features three of 30 students from St. Paul’s LEAP High School Green Card Voices met with in 2017. Supported by their English Language Learning teacher and Hamline University graduate students, these 30 students from 13 different countries created online video narratives and wrote essays that were included in a book published in the summer of 2017. The book, Green Card Youth Voices: Immigration Stories from a St. Paul High School, was a Midwest Book Award finalist.

Come meet and listen to three of these authors.

Immigrant Youth Reading Speakers

Jae Nay Htoo (Thailand-Karen): “When I was in the refugee camps, there were no surprises in my life. It was just a simple life. But when I here, many surprises happened to me, and there were many challenges that I had to face.”

Nima Ahmed (Djibouti): “When I was sixteen, my parents kicked me out because they found out that I was gay. After I moved out, I lived in a shelter for several months. I felt lonely and isolated because I have never experienced life alone.”

Anta Thosaengsiri (Thailand-Hmong): “I remember meeting family members who were like strangers to me because I’d never met them before.”


June 26: Fourth Annual Community Puppet Palooza

The Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship, Metropolitan State University Library and Learning Center, the Student Parent Center, and Saint Paul Public Library all invite you to the Fourth Annual Community Puppet Palooza from 6 p.m.–8 p.m., Tuesday, June 26,  Everyone is welcome to join in on the fun.

This free, family-friendly event is an evening of outdoor games, face painting, snacks, and a live puppet show of Open Eye Figure Theatre’s Driveway Tour. The festivities will start at 6 p.m., rain or shine, near the Labyrinth on the west side of the Metropolitan State University Library. At 7 p.m., the curtain will rise on Open Eye Figure Theatre’s “Little Grandpa’s Big Surprise.”

Per Open Eye Figure Theatre’s website:

Little Grandpa is turning 100 years old, and his granddaughter BB is planning the best, biggest, most bodacious, and SECRET—ssshhh—Surprise birthday party ever. But when cake-baking chaos ensues, BB has to call on her friends and neighbors for help. Can they bring all the ingredients together in time?

Come watch and find out. Feel free to bring a blanket to sit on during the puppet show.

For more information, contact Michelle Filkins at 651-793-1621 or at

Summer Movie Fridays at the Library

If you’re looking for something to do indoors on hot Friday afternoons this summer, check out Summer Movie Fridays, co-sponsored by Metropolitan State University Library and Learning Center and Dayton’s Bluff Public Library.

Every Friday from June 22–Aug. 17, a movie will be shown at 1 p.m.–2:30 p.m. in Metropolitan State University Library and Learning Center Room 132.

These family-friendly screenings are free and open to the public.

                                              Summer Movie Fridays at 1 p.m.
                                June 22                                   Coco
                                June 29                         The Borrowers
                                 July 6                                  Storks
                                July 13                          The Boss Baby
                                July 20                                Wonder
                                July 27                                   Sing
                                 Aug. 3                        The Emoji Movie
                                Aug. 10                         Despicable Me 3
                                Aug. 17                              Early Man

If you have questions, please contact the Dayton’s Bluff Public Library at 651-793-1699 or Mallory Kroschel and MaiSee Vang at 651-793-1634.

Career Center Videos Helpful Resources for Students’ Futures

Not sure what you are going to do after you get your degree? Are you wondering how to make yourself marketable to employers? The Career Center can help.

With help from Twelve Plus Media, a local production company, and Metropolitan State University alumni, the Career Center has created four Career Education videos: Career Readiness, Choosing A MajorDesigning Your Life, and Job Search Strategies. These videos, featuring colorful, lively animation and engaging alumni presenters sharing their own career paths, address misconceptions and give student viewers advice to prepare for the future. For example, choosing a major is just one decision among many, and career paths can take many unexpected turns before you reach the destination of your dream job.

Networking is crucial. Meeting and connecting with new people face-to-face will help you get noticed. Your key contact could even be sitting next to you in class.

“These videos are the tip of the iceberg in learning about the lifelong process of career management,” says Career Center Director Bill Baldus. “It can be frightening, and yes, there are a lot of unknowns, but there’s a community of support behind you. You can do it.”



Center for Online Learning wins Minnesota Connection Award

Metropolitan State University’s Center for Online Learning (COL) has won the Minnesota Connection 2018 Innovation Award. The award, recognizing Minnesota faculty, technical staff or administrators who have used D2L Brightspace to deliver innovating experiences, rewards COL’s efforts in creating engaging online experiences for students. This is the second statewide award COL has received in three years.

After a series of student interviews COL conducted in 2017, one underlying theme emerged: students praised courses that used videos and other third-party multimedia tools to deliver content. These tools increased students’ immersion and helped students connect with their instructors. COL took these findings to Metropolitan State faculty members and worked with them to identify content that could be converted into animation or an animated series.

Using text submissions, face-to-face meetings and studio recordings, the university’s faculty and COL created narratives that matched courses’ learning objectives. Melissa Heinz, a COL associate, made storyboards and consulted faculty for revisions. Creating drafts of the animations were also collaborative efforts between faculty and COL. Once finished, the completed animations were uploaded to D2L Brightspace.

Interactive case studies were developed, allowing students to apply what they had learned online. Faculty members met with COL Instructional Designer Dr. Bilal Dameh and Dominic Jennen, instructional technology associate. In a case study COL designed with Dr. Debra Eardley, students observed an interview between a nurse and a patient. They then charted the problem, intervention and outcomes using a standardized classification system. In a case study COL and Drs. Carol Lacey, Marcia Anderson and Susan Misterek designed for the Credit for Prior Learning Academy course, Minnesota faculty and advisors, the course’s students played the role of an advisor assessing if a student’s prior education was worthy of college credit.

“COL staff work very hard. It’s great to be acknowledged for that,” says COL Director Robert Bilyk. “COL is customer service-oriented and proposes things that are out-of-the-box. Two years ago, our ability to collaborate was recognized. This year, it was our innovative spirit.”

Introducing Your New Student Senate

Metropolitan State University has a new Student Senate to represent the university’s students in the upcoming 2018–2019 school year. Elections were held in April and May, and the results ratified May 18.

Student Senators returning for another term are President Tina Martinez, Treasurer Jessica Maistrovich, Public Relations Director Richard Ketelsen, Engagement Coordinator Andres Boland, and Juan Gomez.

Newly-elected Student Senators are Vice President Leonel Mejia, Secretary Hamisha Alkamooneh, Angelica Yang, Bee Thao, Graciela Johanna Duran, Lauro Clara-Flores, Nyphen Sanders, Rianna Engel, and Shushan Woldu.

June 14: Metropolitan State University Annual Storm Water Information Meeting

Image result for stormwater runoff

Urban storm water run-off contains heavy metals including lead, organics such as pesticides, and nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus in threatening quantities that cause water quality problems in the lakes, streams, and rivers receiving the runoff.

Metropolitan State University is participating with cities and communities across the country to clean up storm water and reduce flooding, improving our public waters for environmental and recreational uses.

Jim Tiggelaar, civil project manager for LHB Corporation, and Dustin Halverson, account manager for Village Green Landscapes, will present Metropolitan State’s plan and answer questions at the university’s annual Storm Water Information Meeting.

Time: 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
When: Thursday, June 14, 2018

Where: Metropolitan State University
Science Education Center, Room 115

Feel free to bring your lunch.

Thanks in advance for taking part in this important process.