Category Archives: Student Life

May 11: Game and Movie Night

Are you interested in learning about other cultures and their games? Would you like to teach others about your own cultural games? Join the International Student Organization (ISO), International Student Services (ISS) and Metro State Soccer Club (MSSC) for a game and movie night.

This event will be held May 11 from 4 to 7:00 p.m. in Student Center, room 101, 690 East Seventh Street, Saint Paul, MN 55106. There will be a showing of Selena and games from various countries and cultures. Refreshments will be provided.

The mission of ISO is “to recognize and represent the particular needs of international students at Metropolitan State University. The organization strives to “provide a platform for understanding global perspectives and cultural exchanges.”

If you need disability related accommodations, including parking, to make these events accessible, please contact the Center for Accessibility Resources, 651-793-1549 or

For more information, or to RSVP, check out ISO’s OrgSync page. If you have any questions, please email

April 24: End of Spring Semester Celebration

Metropolitan State University’s African American Student Association (AASA) will be hosting an end of Spring Semester Celebration. All university students are invited to attend.

AASA will present on the Kente Stole, a sacred African tradition derived from the Kente Cloth. A meet and greet with the officers of AASA will follow the presentation.

When: 4 to 6 p.m., Monday April 24
Where: Fireside Lounge, Student Center, Saint Paul Campus, 690 East Seventh Street

Refreshments and pizza will be provided.

Screenwriting Program takes students on industry journeys

The screenwriting program at Metropolitan State University was recently redesigned to better meet the needs of today’s students and marketplace.

“The screenwriting major at Metropolitan State University began in 1999.  We were pioneers in the field then and we remain innovative leaders today.  The new curriculum positions our students for success,” says James Byrne, screenwriting program coordinator.

James Byrne
James Byrne

Metropolitan State’s screenwriting majors, alumni, and faculty are active in the field in many different ways. Current students write, travel, learn and invest in their futures. Alumni pursue many different paths within the industry. Faculty write screenplays and direct films, winning awards and bringing professional experience into the classroom.

Notable examples of professional and creative accomplishments of current screenwriting majors and screenwriting alumni include:

• Samuel Stiegelmeier, a current screenwriting major, was one of 25 film students selected from universities throughout North and South America to participate as a member of the student Mezcal Jury at the Guadalajara Film Festival in Guadalajara, Mexico.  The Screenwriting Program at Metropolitan State selects one student each year to be the Mezcal Jury Fellow at the Guadalajara Film Festival and to participate in 12 days of films, panels, and professional activities at the Guadalajara Film Festival, all expenses paid.  This not only serves as educational and professional development for the participants, but it is an important intercultural experience. Stiegelmeier was joined by previous fellows, Autumn Kisling and Annie Moua.

• Benedicta Cobbinah will study screenwriting and film history in Rome, Italy in fall semester 2018 as part of a study abroad experience.

• Ian Withey won Best Screenplay at the 2017 Z Fest Film Festival in Minneapolis.

• Andrew Mueller, Stiegelmeier and Adam Moyer attended Steve Kaplan’s Comedy Intensive in Los Angeles in March.  The trip was sponsored by Metropolitan State University.

Metropolitan State’s screenwriting alumni are also staying busy:

• Moua is a media developer at the Science Museum of Minnesota, and a 2017 recipient of a Knight Arts Challenge Grant for her dance company’s new project, CommUNITY: An Urban Dance Workshop.

• Jessica Bergren is the producer of the new feature-length film “Cold November” playing in theaters now. Bergren was also associate producer for the feature film “Virginia Minnesota” premiering at the 2018 Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival.  She is also a post associate producer at Tremendous! Entertainment.

• Cole Meyer is currently in production for his new feature film “Chaste” which he wrote, produced, and is directing.

• Stephanie Shinn (’02) owns a production company, ShinnDing Productions, LLC. Shinn produces and edits promotional and instructional videos for Garmin Ltd.

• Evan Price (’06) was script supervisor for AMC’s “Mad Men”, then moved on more recently to serve as script supervisor for CMT’s “Nashville.”

The screenwriting program at Metropolitan State utilizes faculty comprised of working professionals, in the field of screenwriting.

For example, Cristina Pippa‘s short film, “Amelia” screened at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival Kids Festival.  Her screenplay “Questica” was top 10 for the IFP MN Screenwriting Residency and her television pilot “The Last Job” was a finalist for the Sundance New Voices Lab.

Byrne’s feature-length screenplay, “Things to Do Before Leaving,” won Best Screenplay at the 2017 Hollywood Verge Film Awards and was a finalist in the Screenplay Competition at the 2017 Catalina Film Festival.  His feature film, “Light of Each New Day (in five chapters)” was an official selection in the 2017 Director’s Cut Film Festival in Vancouver.  He is currently developing his screenplay “Things to Do Before Leaving” for a feature-length production slated for late 2019.

This program, mixing the fundamentals of story and writing, with real-world experience, leaves graduates ready to take on a tough industry.

“Screenwriting majors graduate with a market ready feature-length screenplay that is both a significant creative achievement and a building block for the future,” Byrne says. “The Screenwriting B.A. Degree at Metropolitan State University not only prepares students to become screenwriters but also provides a foundation to grow in many different directions.”

Please see for admission information or contact James Byrne, for information about the Screenwriting Program.




April 17: Health Expo

Join the Transforming Health and Empowering Minds (THEM) student organization, and Health and Wellness Services for a day of health, fitness and nutrition at the Health Expo. The Health Expo will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on April 17 in New Main, Great Hall, 700 East Seventh Street, Saint Paul, MN, 55106.

The event will offer fun activities, including exercise demos, games and more. Community vendors will also be present to provide information about what they have to offer.

Attendees can register to win prizes, including:

  • Fitbit Charge 2
  • Beats Wireless Headphones
  • Live Infinity Yoga Kit
  • $150 Nike Gift Card

This event is open to the community. Food and refreshments will be provided.

To RSVP, check out THEM’s OrgSync page. For more information, contact Jodee Fitzgerald, coordinator of healthcare and wellness services, by email at or by phone at 651-793-1552.

April 16: Self-Care Event

Metropolitan State University’s Nursing Student Organization (NSO) is hosting a self-care event to help students, staff and faculty relax and de-stress. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to noon on April 16 in the Student Center, room 101, 690 East Seventh Street, Saint Paul, MN, 55106.

Attendees will have the opportunity to network with peers and healthcare professionals, all while learning about the importance of making time to take care of oneself. Be sure to enter the self-care prize raffle while learning more about stress management techniques. Food and beverages will be provided.

Self-care activities available at the event include:

  • Back massages
  • Hand massages
  • Acupressure
  • Essential oils

The NSO is a student organization that is “dedicated to improving and enriching the experiences of both nursing students and the student body at large through events that enhance holistic connection and health awareness.” For more information, or to RSVP, check out the NSO OrgSync page.

April 13: Queersplosion

The Lavender Bridge invites the community to attend Queersplosion, a spoken word/poetry/rap event, from 7-10 p.m. on April 13. The event will take place at the Student Center, 690 East Seventh Street, Saint Paul, MN, 55106.

During this event, the mic will be open to anyone willing to share their work. The event will also feature a performance from Lil One (Dom Giovon). Food and coffee will be provided.

Lil One is a transgender hip hop artist based out of Saint Paul, MN. According to Reverbnation, “His goal is to link communities with music and education and to make music that all can enjoy.”

Lavender Bridge is a student organization that “is comprised of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (and non-binary/gender non-conforming), questioning, queer, intersex, pansexual, asexual, and ally students who strive to provide social opportunities, support for our members through developing an academic environment that supports queer scholarship, and through organizing events relating to political and social issues affecting the queer and transgender communities.”

For more information about Queersplosion, or to RSVP, check out Lavender Bridge’s OrgSync page.

April 14-20: Campus screenings from the 37th Annual Minneapolis Saint Paul International Film Festival


Each year, the Film Society of Minneapolis scours the globe in search of cinematic excellence, otherwise not available in our part of the world. Last year, 45,158 attendees saw films from 72 countries. Screenings at Metropolitan State University’s Film Space will be April 14-19.

Metropolitan State will provide complimentary admission to university students for films screened in the Founders Hall Auditorium Film Space throughout the MSP International Film Festival with presentation of a valid Metropolitan State student ID card. University employees can access discounted tickets for screenings in the Metropolitan State Film Space by presenting a valid Metropolitan State faculty/staff ID card.

Download the MSPIFF university schedule

Click on the films title to view the trailer.

Not in My Lifetime

SHOWTIME: 2 p.m., Saturday, April 14
Film Space, Founders Hall Auditorium, Saint Paul Campus

In “Not in My Lifetime,” documentarian Pamela Colby offers insight into the fight for marriage equality from the viewpoint of the GLBT community of the Baby Boomer generation. For the GLBT community of this generation, denial of the right to marry forced couples to navigate an unsteady and often unjust world in order to protect and preserve their love.

Through periods of tensions and injustices, “Not in My Lifetime” showcases the bonds that have lasted and continue to stand for equality in the present day, focusing on individuals and couples of the Baby Boomer generation that have persisted despite adversity.

Colby is a documentary filmmaker and writer with over 30 years of experience in cinema and television. Her credits include Fertile Ashes (’11) and Secrets for Mom (’13). She is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota and teaches Cinema and Documentary courses at Film North.

Growing Up Hmong at the Crossroads

SHOWTIME: Noon, Sunday, April 15
Film Space, Founders Hall Auditorium, Saint Paul Campus


From director Safoi Babana-Hampton, “Growing up Hmong at the Crossroads” is a documentary feature that serves as a portrait of culture, family and young adulthood. The film follows four children of Hmong refugees as they forge their places within a constantly shifting world. This film is a sequel to the award-winning documentary feature “Hmong Memory at the Crossroads” (2015), which follows the story of former Hmong refugee Liachoua Lee as he reflects on his family history and its complex ties with French colonial history, the legacy of the French Indochina War (1946-1954) and the American Vietnam War.

Workers Cup

SHOWTIME: 2:15 p.m., Sunday, April 15
Film Space, Founders Hall Auditorium, Saint Paul Campus


Adam Sobel’s documentary “The Workers Cup” is the kind of feature that cannot be ignored. With the 2022 FIFA World Cup on the horizon, Qatar’s migrant population exploded with over 4,000 Asian and African workers living in labor camps. Their jobs are strenuous and low paying, and the camp itself is akin to a prison. Keeping the 2022 Cup in the background, the film instead focuses on the workers’ own football tournament. Made up of workers from the 24 construction companies working in Qatar, the football players are stars when they hit the field, but find themselves on the lowest rung of the ladder otherwise.

A look inside modern oppression, Sobel’s film makes it a point to highlight each player’s personal struggle within a suffocating and destructive environment. What becomes clear from their stories is that the path toward a global “celebration” may be anything but.

The Other Man

SHOWTIME: 7 p.m., Monday, April 16
Film Space, Founders Hall Auditorium, Saint Paul Campus

A staged script reading co-presented by MSPIFF and FilmNorth, “The Other Man” by Matthew Dressel is about a weekend in the country that turns deadly when an inebriated hunter accidentally shoots a passing motorist and discovers a man bound and gagged in his trunk.

Number One

SHOWTIME: 6:50 p.m., Tuesday, April 17
Film Space, Founders Hall Auditorium, Saint Paul Campus

In Tonie Marshall’s film “Number One,” the marvelous Emmanuelle Devos plays an ambitious corporate manager, also named Emmanuelle, who dreams of becoming the first woman to lead a major French company.

Emmanuelle is tireless and determined in her pursuits. Currently working as a corporate team leader, she has her eyes set on a promotion but is always passed over despite her hard work and success. When she finally does get the chance, her place at the top is quickly threatened by personal and political factors—her father has a stroke, the lobbyist who championed Emmanuelle for the job suddenly dies and her husband and daughter wait somewhat impatiently on the sidelines. Meanwhile, others work behind the scenes to pull the rug out from under her. Within the chaos, Emmanuelle forges a way through the obstacles and setbacks, only to find herself at another trial—facing herself.


SHOWTIME: 9 p.m., Tuesday, April 17
Film Space, Founders Hall Auditorium, Saint Paul Campus

In Lithuania in 1992, Irena manages a small pig farm, but the switch from communism to capitalism catapults her business into turmoil. Her alcoholic husband is little help, and she has resigned herself to carrying the burden alone. Enter Bernardas, an American who offers a supposed “miracle” by promising to keep the farm alive. As Bernardas integrates himself into all aspects of Irena’s life, his intentions become less clear, and she soon begins to suspect his arrival may not be miraculous at all.

Moments of humor add levity to the story of Irena’s romantic and financial woes, and we as an audience are witness to Irena’s whirlwind of emotions as her business slips out from underneath her already shaky foundations. At its core, director Egle Vertelyte’s film makes for an endearingly strange tale of twisted intentions and the frailty of misplaced trust.

Happy Birthday

SHOWTIME: 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 18
Film Space, Founders Hall Auditorium, Saint Paul Campus


From filmmaker Christos Georgio, “Happy Birthday” tells the story of a broken family in a world of turmoil, and the family’s fight to survive. The central narrative is set in an unsettled Greece and follows riot squad officer Yiorgos (Dimitris Imellos) and his increasingly strained relationship with his teenage daughter Margarita (Nefeli Kouri). Their already fragile bond severs when Yiorgos, while celebrating his birthday with fellow officers, sees Margarita with a group of demonstrators in a fog of teargas.

Realizing they are on opposing ends of the conflict, Yiorgos returns home to a tense encounter with the Margarita. The family matriarch Sofia (Mirto Aikiki) rises above the ensuing arguments to make a suggestion—a road trip to the family’s neglected summer house. Reluctantly the two agree, and what follows is a journey shared by two clashing wills that will not, and perhaps cannot, come to an understanding.

Have a Nice Day

SHOWTIME: 9 p.m., Wednesday, April 18
Film Space, Founders Hall Auditorium, Saint Paul Campus


After his fiance’s botched plastic surgery, Xiao Zhang decides to take drastic measures to help her correct it and steals a case containing over a million yuan ($150,000 USD) belonging to his boss, a local mobster. Word about the missing case reaches the mobster, Uncle Liu, and off we go on a heart-pounding race to get the money back. This turns out to be easier said than done when Xiao Zhang himself gets robbed!

Director Liu Jian gives us a tour of China’s underworld and the odd characters that inhabited it in this edgy, vividly drawn animated thriller. Xiao Zhang’s descent into the worst night of his life is starkly rendered into a modern noir via animation, which is filled with suspicious characters who find themselves caught in absurdity rather than looking for a road beyond the darkness.

Dodging Bullets 

SHOWTIME: 6:45 p.m., Thursday, April 19
Film Space, Founders Hall Auditorium, Saint Paul Campus


Described as “stories from survivors of historical trauma,” this documentary film co-directed by Kathy Broere, Sarah Edstrom, Jonathan Thunder, and Bob Trench was produced in collaboration with several organizations and is the first to chronicle the impact of historical trauma on the lives of Native peoples today, giving voice to their stories of survival and resilience in the face of multigenerational trauma.


SHOWTIME: 9 p.m., Thursday, April 19
Film Space, Founders Hall Auditorium, Saint Paul Campus


A new type of sports hero is born in this warm hearted, fast-paced comedy from the director/writer of The Sandman. After accidentally losing a large sum of money belonging to his employer on what should have been a sure bet, sad-sack high school German teacher Balz Naef needs to replace the funds pronto. Taking inspiration from the streaker that distracted his heavily favored soccer team, he starts recruiting and training exhibitionists for illegal sports betting. His enterprising hairdresser fixes odds for punters to wager on the length of time a naked runner can stay on the field and shares the proceeds with Naef.

Although streaking becomes a trendy new sport in Switzerland, the soccer club owners are furious and Police Commissioner Sandra Strebel takes on the case. This witty and humorous romp offers excellent scripting and direction and, er, revealing performances from a seasoned cast.

El Inca

UPDATED SHOWTIME: 5:30 p.m., Friday, April 20
Film Space, Founders Hall Auditorium, Saint Paul Campus

A film from director Ignacio Castillo Cottin, this biopic chronicles the life, love story and eventual downfall of Venezulan boxer Edwin “El Inca” Valero, whose career came to a crashing halt when he was arrested on suspicion of his wife’s murder.

A fighting force of nature, El Inca is propelled toward fame through pure willpower and, despite an accident that threatened to end his boxing career, would become known as one of the boxing greats in Latin America. However, his mental stability and personal life, namely his relationship with his wife Jennifer, become his undoing as marital tensions begin to unravel the boxer’s psyche, eventually leading to a tragic end.

El Inca was the official Venezuelan entry to the 90th Academy Awards.

Five Fingers for Marseilles

UPDATED SHOWTIME: 8 p.m., Friday, April 20

Film Space, Founders Hall Auditorium, Saint Paul Campus

A hard-boiled Western set in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, “Five Fingers for Marseilles” follows a group of childhood friends who grew up under Apartheid. Once united under a cause, a tragedy results in the loss of their bond. Twenty years later and one of them, Tau, is released from prison. Though determined to start his life with a clean slate, he is pulled back into the fray by another bitter conflict. Wearing the guilt of an unspeakable loss, Tau finds the villains of his youth, white policemen, replaced by a league of black men who call themselves the Night Runners and are led by the brutal Ghost. Forever changed by the past, antihero Tau slowly reunites with his childhood gang to rid the land of the evil that has corrupted it.


April 13: Deadline to nominate for Student Senate positions

Student Life and Leadership Development and the Student Senate Election Board are excited to announce that nominations for 2018-2019 Student Senator positions are open from March 28 and and close 11:59 p.m. April 13.
Ballots may be submitted from April 20 through April 30. Barbecue will be provide for in-person balloting on April 24 at Metropolitan State’s Saint Paul Campus and April 26 at the Midway Campus. More details to come.
There are a total of 20 open seats for the term of June 1, 2018-May 31, 2019. To access the nomination form, go to:

April 20: Cooking Class with ISO

Looking to learn how to cook a healthier meal? Join the International Student Organization (ISO) and International Student Services (ISS) for a cooking class at Mississippi Market on April 20 from 5:30 to 6:30, where you will learn how to make a healthy grain bowl.

Registration is free for students, staff and faculty. Mississippi Market provides free parking. This event is also within walking distance of the Saint Paul Campus at Metropolitan State University.

RSVP is required. To RSVP, check out ISO’s OrgSync page. Email with any questions.

If you need disability-related accommodations, including parking, to make this event accessible, please contact the Center for Accessibility Resources at 651-793-1549 or

April 14: Cambodian New Year

Metropolitan State University’s International Student Organization (ISO) invites students to join them for a different New Year experience on April 14 from noon to 6 p.m. at the Watt Munisotaram. Transportation and a light lunch will be provided.

  • Pick-up: Noon, Metropolitan State, Founders Hall Reception Area
  • Leave: 6 p.m. to Metropolitan State, Founders Hall Reception Area

One of the biggest Asian New Year events celebrated in Minnesota is Cambodian New Year (Chaul Chnam Thmey). The holiday lasts for three days beginning on New Year’s Day, which usually falls on second week of April, and is the end of the harvesting season, when farmers enjoy the fruits of their labor before the rainy season begins.

Participants will be able to learn about Cambodian culture and the tradition of celebrating New Year while participating in activities throughout the day, like lighting candles and burning incense sticks at shrines. This event will be held outside. Bring cash for additional food, clothes and drinks that are offered on-site.

Questions? Email

If you need disability-related accommodations, including parking, to make this event accessible, please contact the Center for Accessibility Resources at 651-793-1549 or