Category Archives: Community

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.

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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.

Jan. 30: Caucus 101

The Minnesota caucuses are coming up and Metro State Votes 2018 invites you to learn more about the process at Caucus 101.

This training event is 4:15 to 5:45 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 30 at the Library and Learning Center, Ecolab 302, 645 East Seventh Street, Saint Paul.

Precinct caucuses are meetings organized by Minnesota’s political parties to begin the process of selecting candidates for the 2018 election.  People who participate in caucuses have the opportunity to influence the issues their party will stand for by offering resolutions. Caucuses take place in locations across the state and are open to the public.

At the Caucus 101 Training, you’ll learn:

  • What a precinct caucus is and why it is important
  • What to expect when you attend your caucus
  • How to write a resolution and get it passed
  • How to stay involved by becoming a delegate for local and state-wide conventions

Light refreshments are provided. For more information, contact Jodi Bantley at 651-793-1294 or jodi.bantley@metrostate.edu.

Metropolitan State teams compete at MinneMUDAC Data Science Challenge

On Saturday, Nov. 4, six teams from Metropolitan State University were among those competing at MinneMUDAC 2017 in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The annual data science competition gives teams a difficult challenge question and one month to analyze a massive dataset before presenting their results. This year, more than 60 teams participated at three levels, including Advanced Graduate, Advanced Undergraduate and Novice divisions.

Undergraduates Mohamed Abdi, David Bowles, Dahir Mohamed, Khom Redlinger and Benjamin Sipe competed in the Novice division and received the Discovery Award for presenting the most interesting insight from the data. According to judges, the team provided “actionable analysis and good presentation of findings.”

Other undergraduate participants in the Novice division included Mitchell Billion, Jessica Maistrovich, Teng Xiong, Amanda Spradling, Udochukwu Eze, Brent Gallagher, Haris Javed, Laura Kokkila and Kondiway Bagana.

Metropolitan State undergraduates participating in the Advanced Undergraduate division included Abdalla Abiikar, Abdirizak Jama, Ibrahim Mohamed, Bukari Hirade, Damilola Adeyemi, Susan Bartuah, Ashmi Bista, Kafayatou Saka, Kelechi Uchegbu, Jay Carey, Kjerstin Jovaag, Anthony Ly and Richard Pineda.

Student teams were assisted by faculty advisors Cindy Kaus, professor of mathematics, and Firasat Khan, professor of management information systems.

Learn more about the competition and see the complete list of winning teams at this link.

MinneMUDAC is presented by MinneAnalytics (MinneAnalytics.org) in partnership with the Midwest Undergraduate Data Analytics Competition (MUDAC.org).

Nov. 18: National American Indian Month celebration with author, Everett LaFromboise

American Indian Student Services invites the university community and public to a meet and greet with guest speaker, Everett LaFromboise (Asinaabe Inini), author of “The Path of Purpose: Apply the Ancient Anishinaabe,” 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18 at the Library and Learning Center, room 101, 645 E. 7th St, Saint Paul.

Asinaabe Inini is a brainwave optimization technician for Fond du Lac Behavioral Health. He has worked with Mashka-wisen and Tagwii treatment centers in Fond du Lac. Through use of the “Seven Teachings” and attending countless ceremonies, he has found healing from addiction. Through storytelling and teaching, he will take participants on a journey that will outline the basic traditional healing approach.

Participants will learn about the importance and use of the “Seven Grandfather Teachings” and the “Four Sacred Medicines.”

There will be a drawing for prizes including several of his books and other prizes. For information or to RSVP, contact Renee Beaulieu-Banks at 651-793-1560 or renee.beaulieubanks@metrostate.edu. A light meal will be served.

Here’s how you can help students at Metropolitan State during the holidays

The Metropolitan State University community can be proud that for 17 years we have sponsored families in need over the holiday season. For the past five years, donations were made to families of our Metropolitan State students who were in need of help and support. The Student Parent Center is offering the Holiday Giving Program again this year and asking of the community’s help.

Many students at Metropolitan State University are parenting as they attend school and their budgets can be very tight. There are already families who are eagerly waiting to see if they will be adopted this year. Your generosity through gifts and donations last year made for some very happy children and grateful students. This year those student parents in need are coming to us in greater numbers and we would like to help each and every family.

If you are interested in sponsoring a Metropolitan State student parent family, or can contribute gifts for an individual child, contact holiday.giving@metrostate.edu as soon as possible so we can match you up with a family. Please specify the size of the family (two, four, or more) you would be willing to sponsor or an individual child you would like to help during the holidays.

Acceptable donations:

  •    Toys and goods (please do not wrap, but provide gift wrap for the student)
  •    Gift cards
  •     Kohl’s Cash (which will be used to buy gifts)
  •    Checks made out to Metropolitan State Foundation (write in memo line: “Holiday Giving Program”)

 Please plan to have all gifts and financial contributions to us by Monday, Dec. 11.

Photos: Inaugural First-Generation College Student celebration, Nov. 8, 2017

Metropolitan State University joined higher education institutions nationwide for the inaugural First-Generation College Student Celebration, Nov. 8, which coincides with the 52nd anniversary of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Metropolitan State recognitions took place throughout the day on the Saint Paul Campus.

The concept of “first-generation” students was introduced into federal policy during the passage of the Higher Education Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965. Yet, even in 2017, campuses and communities are too often blind to the academic capabilities and gifts that lie dormant within so many first-generation students.

The TRIO Programs and Metropolitan State University continue to be called upon to highlight the return on investment our country receives from providing first-generation students with an opportunity to reach their full potential through college.

In this light, Metropolitan State University recognizes and celebrates the administration, faculty, staff and students who are first-generation college students, those whose parents did not complete a baccalaureate degree. Metropolitan State University creates a positive campus climate that supports and values first-generation college students.

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.

Nov. 16: Give to the Max Day

Give to the Max Day at Metro: 

Metropolitan State University Alumni Association’s goal is to raise $10,000 on Give to the Max Day Nov. 16.  Every gift made on the Give MN or on the http://www.metrostate.edu/give page will count toward the goal. All gift designations will also count toward the goal; however, the “featured” designations will be:

The Metro Fund: Gifts to the Metro Fund allow the university to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. These unrestricted gifts plant the seeds for future success.

The Holiday Giving Program Fund: A holiday tradition at Metropolitan State, the Holiday Gift program allows faculty and staff the opportunity make our student’s lives a little brighter in December.

The Katherine B. Anderson Student Success Fund*: Students who are nearing completion of their degree, but have exhausted their financial aid options will benefit from these awards. Gifts to this fund will prevent students from stopping out for financial reasons.

Here is how you can help:

  • Give on November 16. Each hour on Give to the Max Day, one Golden Ticket of $1,000 will be awarded through a random drawing of all donations transacted during the previous hour.
  • Make a gift on the Give MN Site. Additionally, one Super-Sized Golden Ticket of $10,000 will be awarded, drawn randomly from all donations made through GiveMN.org between 12:00am CST November 1, 2017 and 11:59pm CST on November 16, 2017.
  • Give any time between November 1 and November 16 – New for Give to the Max Day 2017: $500 Golden Tickets will be awarded during the 15 days of Scheduled Giving from November 1 through November 15! Make your Give to the Max gift early for an extra opportunity to win! We will draw one random winner each day from November 1 through November 15 and add $500 to that gift.
  • Share your feedback. Let me know how I can get the word out across our community and help you be ambassadors for philanthropy at Metro State

Contact: Kristine Hansen, Alumni Relations Director

Kristine.hansen@metrostate.edu  (651) 793-1810

*Fund name pending donor approval

Early voting and same-day registration: It’s not too late

Election Day is Nov. 7. The Metro State Votes campaign asks eligible voters to get to the polls.

While mayoral elections in Minneapolis and Saint Paul are getting the most attention, other cities in the twin cities metro area will also elect new council members and mayors. Also, every school district in the twin cities area will elect a new school board.

To ensure your voice is heard this year, here are a few reminders.

The first step is to see if you are registered to vote. Click here to find out.

Do you know where to go to vote? Click here to find your polling place.

Same-day registration
To register on Election Day, you need to bring proof that you live in your precinct. Most people can prove residency by bringing:

1. An ID with your current name and address.
a. A Minnesota driver’s license or learner’s permit OR
b. Tribal ID with name, address, photo, and signature.

2. A photo ID (driver’s license; U.S. Passport; Military or Veteran ID; a Minnesota university, college, or technical college ID; or high school ID) along with an approved document that indicates your current address.

Approved documents (which may be shown on an electronic device) include:
a. Residential lease or rent agreement valid through Election day
b. Current student fee statement
c. Bill, account, or start-of-service statement due or dated within 30 days of the election (including phone, TV, or internet bill; banking or credit card; rent or mortgage).

3. A voucher. A registered voter from your precinct who can go to the polling place with you and sign an oath confirming your address.

Click here for a complete list of acceptable methods.

Early voting
If you don’t want to wait till Nov. 7 to vote, then early voting is an option.

Registered or not, you can show up at your county election office until Monday, Nov. 6 and vote in person. Click here to find your county election office.

Note: If you are not registered, you must bring proof of residency, just as you would for same-day registration. (See above under same-day registration for more info.)

If you have questions about voter eligibility, or would like to know more about Get Out The Vote or Ranked Choice Voting efforts this year, contact Ed Day for Metro State Votes at:
yu5187lu@metrostate.edu or community.engagement@metrostate.edu