Category Archives: Announcements

Raelene Caswell selected Metropolitan State University Outstanding Student for Spring 2018 graduating class

SAINT PAUL, Minn.—A Saint Paul resident has been selected a spring semester Outstanding Student at Metropolitan State University.

Raelene Caswell graduated summa cum laude with a master’s degree in advocacy and political leadership was chosen Outstanding Graduate Student representing the university’s College of Community Studies and Public Affairs. She was one of 1,058 students receiving bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees at Metropolitan State’s 102nd commencement exercises on April 28, 2018, at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

“I chose Metropolitan State so that I could be enroll in the Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership program,” Caswell said. “My goal was to learn about policy and advocacy work, and connect with amazing people that are active in their communities.”

At Metropolitan State, Caswell was active in student life. She was the president of Metropolitan State’s Advocacy and Political Leadership student organizations where she built a network of like-minded community-oriented scholars.

Caswell is also active in her community, playing with the Roseville Community Band and dance with Rince na Chroi. She’s also played with the Center for Irish Music.

Caswell holds a bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. She is a program manager at SafeJourney, a domestic violence program at North Memorial Health in Minneapolis.

“She has helped to revitalize APLS, bringing in new leadership and raising the prominence of the group in our program… She has always been an active volunteer helping out with human needs, said Caswell’s advisor, Adrienne Falcon, MAPL academic director.

MN Cyber opens premier regional training facility for cybersecurity professionals at Metropolitan State University

The opening of the MN Cyber Range, the first of its kind in Minnesota, represents a unique opportunity for Metropolitan State University and its partners to address upcoming cybersecurity workforce demands.

With this installation of the MN Cyber Range powered by the Cyberbit training and simulation platform, Cyberbit Range, MN Cyber and Elbit Systems of America are addressing the challenges of accelerating the certification of new cybersecurity experts, and providing training, skills, knowledge and credentials necessary to professionals in information technology and cybersecurity career fields.

The event, celebrated May 16 at Metropolitan State University, included a tour of the training classroom and a demonstration of the MN Cyber Range training platform’s capabilities. The MN Cyber Range simulator platform is the first and only Cyber Range in Minnesota.

The U.S. cybersecurity workforce shortage is expected to reach 1.5 million unfilled positions by 2019; an industry survey in February put the number of vacant cybersecurity positions statewide at over 5,400.This shortage of IT professionals with the necessary skills, certifications, and problem-solving and teamwork aptitudes to meet cybersecurity industry needs in Minnesota and the nation is expected to persist for years, and presents a tremendous career opportunity for motivated individuals. Computer science and information security graduates working in cybersecurity can expect to earn a six-figure salary by mid-career (Cyberbit).

The event featured remarks from such distinguished Minnesota guests as Rep. Tony Albright (MN Dist. 55B); Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne, Commissioner and CIO of Minnesota IT Services; Sharon Kennedy-Vickers,director of Technology and Communications for the City of Saint Paul; and Adjutant Gen. Jon Jensen of the Minnesota National Guard. Elbit Systems of America, based in Fort Worth, Texas, was represented by Scott Evers, vice president, and Angel Martinez, director of product development.

“This program is Metropolitan State’s most recent disruptive solution to a multi-sector human capital logjam. It provides students and career-changers with a laddered career path into the cybersecurity sector,” University President Virginia “Ginny” Arthur said at Wednesday’s event. “It’s happening because we asked, ‘How can we help?’ We thought outside the box and found outstanding partners. We planned in terms of months instead of years, opened the door to students, and got started.” Elbit Systems VP Scott Evers concurred: “We need to exponentially disrupt higher education to bring people into the classroom and drive an ‘innovation ecosystem.’ I’m convinced Metropolitan State is the place to make this happen.”

The purpose of the MN Cyber Range, headed by Executive Director Faisal Kaleem, is to position Minnesota as a national leader in cybersecurity through education, innovative public/private partnerships, interdisciplinary research, and community engagement. In addition to the MN Cyber Range, the organization’s outreach includes the MN Cyber Academy for training professionals, and MN Cyber Pathways, to interest youth K-12 in cybersecurity career fields.

“The most exciting thing about cybersecurity is that this field probably will never see its demise. The battle between the good and bad guys will never stop. No company, no matter the size or industry, is or will ever be immune to a cyber-breach. We all know technology alone goes only so far. It is the skilled workers who make the difference in protecting sensitive information. Ongoing training is the only solution that boosts agile response to powerful adversaries, who will always challenge organizations in a constantly evolving cybersecurity world,” says MN Cyber Executive Director Faisal Kaleem.

“Cybersecurity readiness is more important than ever,” Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said in a pre-recorded video address(https://youtu.be/ZgSn4P3xRH4). “This world-class cybersecurity training and simulation platform— the only military-grade cyber training facility in Minnesota — will go a long way in strengthening our state cyber security training capabilities. It will not only help bolster our workforce, but also provide training to agencies, companies and the Minnesota National Guard, ensuring our state is prepared for any kind of attack.”

Cybersecurity is a high-demand field with great industry need. The increasing incidence of cyber-attacks demands highly-qualified cybersecurity professionals. The MN Cyber Range is a simulator platform and has been used elsewhere to train and certify thousands of new IT and cybersecurity professionals. It allows security professionals to advance their careers by staying current in their skills and knowledge of cybersecurity attacks and threat detection. The MN Cyber Range provides up-to-date selections of authentic cybersecurity attack scenarios, including ransomware attacks and even “zero-day” vulnerabilities. Trainees operate in secure settings that accurately replicate network setups, using actual security tools and responding to attacks in the presence of typical network traffic. Classes at the MN Cyber Range training facility and simulation center are set to commence on June 4.

For more information, contact Kyle Swanson, dean of the College of Sciences, at 651-793-1681and Kyle.Swanson@metrostate.edu, or Wilson Garland, executive director of Minnesota State IT Center of Excellence and MN Cyber, at (612) 659-7221 and Wilson.Garland@metrostate.edu. Learn more at MNCyber.org.

Elbit Systems of America, headquartered in Fort Worth Texas for more than 25 years, is a leading provider of high performance products, system solutions, and support services focusing on the defense, homeland security, commercial aviation, and medical instrumentation markets.

Cyberbit Range is a solution developed by Cyberbit, an Elbit Systems’ subsidiary. Cyberbit Range is a widely-deployed cybersecurity training and simulation platform, currently training and certifying thousands of cybersecurity professionals in training centers across the globe.

Genevieve Calvillo of Prior Lake selected Metropolitan State University Outstanding Student for Spring 2018 graduating class

SAINT PAUL, Minnesota—A Prior Lake resident has been selected a spring semester Outstanding Graduate Student at Metropolitan State University.

Genevieve D. Calvillo
Genevieve Calvillo, College of Individualized Studies Outstanding Student 2018

Genevieve Calvillo graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree and was chosen Outstanding Graduate Student representing the university’s College of Individualized Studies. She was one of 1,058 students received bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees at Metropolitan State’s 102nd commencement exercises on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

“I was drawn to Metropolitan State University after earning my associate’s degree at Normandale Community College because of the way the university supports adult learners, like me,” Calvillo says. “Also, Metropolitan State has a diverse population of students coming from many cultural backgrounds, which is very important to me. My goal was to explore various courses in order to discover my vocational path by coupling my personal interests with my potential career opportunities.”

Calvillo, a student in the College of Individualized Studies, was amazed by the program’s resource and opportunity for students to incorporate their experience, knowledge and skills with creative learning. In her experience, the required courses to develop her degree as well as reflect upon her academic career were thought provoking and meaningful.

“I am grateful for the manner in which my advisor and professors left no stone uncovered when it came to putting my degree together and in providing me ample opportunities to understand the process of creating and earning a degree tailored made to fit my needs,” Calvillo says. She appreciates how Metropolitan State validates and encourages its multicultural students by authentically supporting and creating awareness of cultural knowledge and traditions represented in its diverse student body.

Calvillo is active in community service, primarily in her tribal community of sovereign people and government. As a general council member, she works with elected tribal leaders to support the community well-being. Calvillo has worked numerous roles a volunteer for nearly 16 years, with her most recent service Saint Gertrude’s Health and Rehabilitation Center in Shakopee where she spent time with the elderly.

Calvillo is now considering graduate school, starting as early as this summer, so that she can serve others as an educated person and global citizen. “It is my belief that it is important to give back to society after

earning a degree,” she said. “I appreciate the time, attention, and care that my professors, and especially my advisor, Judith Minning, took to support me as I strove to reach my goals and dreams.”

In praise of Calvillo, Judith A. Minning, academic advisor for the College of Individualized Studies, says “Genevieve inspires. Her character, inquiring mind, devotion to her Dakota cultural roots and community, and passion for the well-being of others continue to have a transformative effect. Her vision is the beauty of hope for humanity and healing. Her graduate studies will be in counseling and integrative medicine. The very essence of her life has been dedicated to family, learning, and community development. I know she will continue to build circles of trust that create places of grace.”

Stacy Buschmann-Ford selected Metropolitan State University Outstanding Student for Spring 2018 graduating class

SAINT PAUL, Minnesota—A Farmington resident has been selected as a spring semester Outstanding Student at Metropolitan State University.

Stacy Buschmann-Ford
Stacy Buschmann-Ford, College of Nursing and Health Sciences Outstanding Student Spring 2018

Stacy Buschmann-Ford, graduates summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science, is chosen Outstanding Student representing the university’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences. She is one of 1,058 students receiving bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees at Metropolitan State’s 102nd commencement exercises on April 28, 2018 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

“It was such an honor,” Buschmann-Ford said. “I have been putting my heart and soul into my studies and am so happy to be graduating as an Outstanding Student and a four-year registered nurse.” She graduates from Metropolitan State with a 4.0 grade point average and on her on her first attempt passed the National Council Licensure Examination, the required exam to become a registered nurse.

Buschmann-Ford is a staff sergeant in the Minnesota National Guard with 21 years of service and an emergency medical technician. She and her husband, Mark, have three children together ages 11, 15, and 20 years old.

In the first semester upon her return to university, Buschmann-Ford’s daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor. “Her amazing strength and will to get it out and move on got me through four years of college. She is my strength and will and she was my inspiration and drive to get through college.” Her daughter is now studying to become an echo cardiography nurse after experiencing firsthand the difference medical professionals make.

At Metropolitan State, Buschmann-Ford was active in student life. She assisted Dr. Pat Schoon and Dakota County Public Health Services in gathering information about dentists in the Dakota County area that accept families on medical assistants and distributed resources to acquire dental services.

In her community, Buschmann-Ford volunteers with her family at Feed My Starving Children and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and donates money and gifts to families in need at Christmas.

Jennifer Cannon selected Metropolitan State University Outstanding Student for Spring 2018 graduating class

SAINT PAUL, Minn.—A Saint Paul resident was selected a spring semester Outstanding Student at Metropolitan State University.

Jennifer Cannon
Jennifer Cannon, College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Students Spring 2018

Jennifer Cannon graduated summa cum laude with a master’s in technical communication and was chosen Outstanding Graduate Student representing the university’s College of Liberal Arts. She was one of 1,058 students receiving bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees at Metropolitan State’s 103rd commencement exercises on April 28, 2018, in Minneapolis.

“The biggest challenge was probably just staying motivated to continue when I was already successful in my career,” Cannon said. ” I took a couple courses here and there during the 90s and early 2000s, then went consistently starting in 2012 when I wanted to make a career change.”

Cannon, who earned a bachelor’s degree in technical communication from Metropolitan State in 2015, is a web administrator and instructional designer at the Center for Victims of Torture. At Metropolitan State, Cannon was active in student life, and was an officer of TC3, the student organization for technical communication. Cannon is also active in the community as a volunteer writer for streets.mn. In the past, Cannon volunteered for Boy Scouts of America and her son’s school’s booster club.

“What really stands out with Jennifer is that she is an excellent scholar, but she is also constantly working to make the world around her better… Jennifer Cannon is a doer, a maker, a leader, and a scholar. She is as comfortable applying theoretical concepts to a document design project as she is creating podcasts and video, or pitching in to lead a student organization or volunteer for a nonprofit. She is committed both to academic excellence, and to contributing her considerable skills to making a better world,” said Anne Aronson, professor in the School of Communication, Writing and Arts and Cannon’s nominating instructor.

From the Chancellor: Job well done!

Dear colleagues,

Last summer, I wrote to you at the beginning of the academic year when I began serving as interim chancellor. As you know, the Board of Trustees appointed me chancellor on March 2. Serving as Minnesota State chancellor is an honor, a privilege, and an awesome responsibility, but I am confident that with more than 16,000 faculty and staff, 30 presidents, and other institutional leaders as partners, we can accomplish the task ahead together.

Devinder Malhotra
Devinder Malhotra

As commencement ceremonies celebrate the more than 20,000 students who are graduating this spring, it is clear what the colleges and universities of Minnesota State mean to the people of communities across our state. My understanding of our complexity and the challenges we face has matured over time (much as I have, though it might be surprising to some!) from my time at St. Cloud State University, at Metropolitan State University, and as your interim chancellor.

A couple of weeks ago, I undertook a three-day, 936-mile tour that included campus visits and discussions with local television and newspapers in ten cities – St. Cloud, Bemidji, Fargo-Moorhead, Worthington, Marshall, Mankato, Winona, Red Wing, and the final two campuses in my quest to visit all of our 54 campuses: Central Lakes College in Staples and the Canby campus of Minnesota West Community and Technical College.

My goal was to tell our story – the story of the college or university in each media market and how those campuses are absolutely vital to the social and economic vibrancy of the community they serve; and also the story of the collective impact of all our colleges and universities across the state. A powerful symbol of that impact is the 40,000 students who graduate from our campuses every year and bring their skills and talents back into Minnesota communities. That is critical when you’re greeted by Help Wanted signs these days, no matter what city or town you’re in.

I’d like to share with you just two examples from my recent campus visits that reveal what we do and who we are as a system of colleges and universities:

At Central Lakes College, I toured the 360-acre operations field (affectionately known as “the sand box”) used by the Heavy Equipment Operations and Maintenance program, which is the largest laboratory at any of our colleges and universities. Central Lakes students gain hands-on experience running equipment fitted with the latest GPS technology, including one piece of equipment for laying pipe donated by community partners.

My visit to Minnesota West in Canby gave me a great deal to reflect on. It’s where I met Jody Olson, an incredibly proud supporter of the Canby campus, whose late husband, Dr. Robert Olson, was instrumental in the creation of what was then Canby Area Vocational Technical Institute in 1965. Jody continues that legacy through an annual scholarship, and her family’s generosity represents the generosity of families and community partners who over the years helped build our system of colleges and universities. Because of people like the Olsons, the Canby campus of Minnesota West is now home to unique programs such as Wind Energy Technology, which attracts students from across the state.

Canby is also where I was presented with a sacred ceremonial Lakota pipe carved by Ray Redwing, a Vietnam Navy veteran, member of the Santee Dakota Nation, and pipe carver who worked at Pipestone National Monument for over two decades. I was told the pipe represents the four directions from which the four winds come, and each direction and each wind has a special meaning: North brings the cold, cleansing winds of winter. South stands for warmth and growing. East is where the sun rises, bringing a new day. And West is the source of thunder and rain, which provides our lakes, streams, and rivers. I was deeply moved by this gift, and the wisdom behind it will be an inspiration as we respond to our challenges and to the headwinds facing higher education.

At every campus I set foot on, I am incredibly humbled and impressed by the deep commitment faculty, staff, and community members show for students and for the college or university. From a simple “hello” faculty and staff say to students in the hallway, to the president who doesn’t think it’s beneath him to stop to pick up trash, to community partners who make it possible for our students to have real-world experience long before they graduate, I sense something powerful that’s unlike anything that exists at any other higher education providers. That’s what makes Minnesota State and the work we do very special. We are the flagship higher education system for the state of Minnesota.

The past year has been a learning experience for me – first as interim and now learning what it means to be the long-term chancellor. I began the year planning to pass the torch to the next chancellor, little did I realize that I would be passing it along to myself. I finish this year well aware that I have much to do and much to learn from all of you, but I am excited about our partnership and the work ahead.

One final thought: as we strive to provide the educational experiences our students need, I hope we will all remember to take care of ourselves and each other.

Until my next visit to your campus,

Chancellor Malhotra signature

Devinder Malhotra
Chancellor
chancellor@minnstate.edu

MN Cyber positions Metropolitan State University as premier regional training facility for cybersecurity professionals

There is current and upcoming need for IT professionals with the skills, certifications, and problem-solving abilities to meet cybersecurity industry growth in Minnesota and the nation. This shortage is expected to persist for years and presents a tremendous career opportunity for motivated individuals with the right skills and certifications. Increasing incidence of cyber-attacks demands highly-qualified cybersecurity professionals.

MN Cyber and Elbit Systems of America are addressing the challenges of accelerating the certification of new cybersecurity experts with the installation of the MN Cyber Range powered by the Cyberbit training and simulation platform, Cyberbit Range.The grand opening of the MN Cyber Range will be celebrated with a ribbon-cutting event at Metropolitan State University’s Saint Paul Campus at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 16 at the Jason R. Carter Science Education Center, 664 6th Street East. The event will include a tour of the training classroom and a demonstration of the MN Cyber Range training platform’s capabilities. 

The MN Cyber Range is a simulator platform and has been used to train and certify thousands of new IT and cybersecurity professionals. It allows security professionals to advance their careers by staying current in their skills and knowledge of cybersecurity attacks and threat detection. This platform is the first and only Cyber Range in Minnesota and will enable MN Cyber to train and provide the skills, knowledge and credentials necessary to professionals in information technology and cybersecurity career fields. The MN Cyber Range training facility is set to commence training classes on June 18 at Metropolitan State.

“The most exciting thing about cybersecurity is that this field probably will never see its demise. The battle between the good and bad guys will never stop. No company, no matter the size or industry, is or will ever be immune to a cyber-breach. We all know technology only goes so far. It is the skilled workers who make the difference in protecting the sensitive information. Ongoing training is the only way that boosts agile response to powerful adversaries who will always outpace organizations in a constantly evolving cybersecurity world,” says MN Cyber Executive Director Faisal Kaleem.

Continue reading MN Cyber positions Metropolitan State University as premier regional training facility for cybersecurity professionals

Kossi Ayigah selected Metropolitan State University Outstanding Student for Spring 2018 graduating class

SAINT PAUL, Minnesota—A Brooklyn Park resident was selected a spring semester Outstanding Student at Metropolitan State University.

Kossi Ayigah
Kossi Ayigah, College of Management Outstanding Student Spring 2018

Kossi Ayigah, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, was chosen Outstanding Student representing the university’s College of Management. He was one of 1,058 students receiving bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees at Metropolitan State’s 102nd commencement exercises on April 28, 2018 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. He has also been chosen to speak to the graduating class at commencement.

“I am overwhelmed to be selected as the commencement speaker and so is my family. It is a dream coming true for me,” says Ayigah of his selection. “I was diligently working toward my bachelor’s degree, thriving for excellence, giving the best of myself… I truly don’t have words to express how I feel.”

At Metropolitan State, Ayigah was active in student life and served as the student president for the College of Management. In his community, Ayigah is involved in his church’s activities, sharing his passion for gospel music and playing the bass guitar.

Ayigah is currently working as a staff auditor at the Minnesota Department of Transportation. After graduation, he intends to take the Certified Public Accounting exam through Becker CPA and pursue a master’s degree in business communication. His career aspiration is to become an auditor at International Monetary Funds or Federal Reserve. He also enjoys public speaking, particularly to present new research.

“Kossi not only eagerly seeks understanding of accounting matters but also, challenges himself to create new knowledge,” says nominator Linda McCann, professor of accounting in the College of Management. “He demonstrated this ability in audit class where he created a textbook worthy visual representation synthesizing concepts related to key internal control activities. It was a pleasure to have him as a student.”

Adjusted summer hours for some university services

Certain university services are observing adjusted summer schedules and will be closed at certain hours during the week. The following university services will be closed from noon to 5 p.m. on Fridays from May 6 to Aug. 7:

• Gateway Student Services
• Admissions
• Enrollment Services
• Academic Partnerships
• College of Management
• College of Liberal Arts
• Veterans Services
• Multicultural Affairs
• Advancement
• Campus Operations (events, classroom scheduling, parking, EHS, maintenance)
• Health Care Services (currently vacant)

For any questions about the implementation of summer hours, consult with Human Resources at 651-793-1275.

Dr. Charles Tedder named interim dean of the College of Individualized Studies

Dr. Charles Tedder has accepted the interim position as dean of the College of Individualized Studies and will start in that role on May 8, 2018. He will serve as interim dean through fiscal year 2020. Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Amy Gort made the announcement on May 7.

Dr. Charles Tedder
Dr. Charles Tedder

Tedder joined the Metropolitan State University in fall 2011 as an assistant professor in First College, which was renamed that year to the College of Individualized Studies. He earned his bachelor of arts in English at High Point University and his master’s and PhD in English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His dissertation focused on utopianism in American novels, a prelude to joining a college founded on a utopian vision of what higher education can be for students and their communities. He has previously served as department chair and as an officer in the university’s faculty association.

His teaching and research interests include philosophy and practice of higher education; 20th century American literature and culture; utopian studies; critical and literary theory; cultural studies and human rights; environmental discourse and the literary imagination; rhetoric and composition.