Category Archives: Student Life

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 ( in partnership with the Midwest Undergraduate Data Analytics Competition (

Nov. 30: Student Poster Conference

Design a poster to display your research projects at the annual Metropolitan State Student Poster Conference.

The deadline for submissions is Nov. 21. The posters will be presented and on display to the public at 6 p.m., Nov. 30, at the Library and Learning Center, Ecolab, room 302. Check-in begins at 5 p.m.

Download  the Metropolitan State poster conference flyer.

Apply by submitting a 250-word abstract of your project and completing the form linked below. In the abstract, you may want to address the following topics:

  • What is the goal of your project?
  • Who is the audience?
  • What impact do you see your research or creative work having?
  • Is this part of a larger project? How does it fit into other work you’ve done?
  • Is this a personal project for you? Is this an advocacy project?

Submit your poster abstract using at this link.


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.

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 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.

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. 31: Spooky Science Halloween

A fun science-related event for the community is hosted by the Metropolitan State University Natural Sciences Department 5 to 8 p.m, Tuesday, Oct. 31, at Metropolitan State University, Jason R. Carter Science Education Center, atrium and skyway entrance

The free event is family friendly and open to the public. Activities include the ‘MetroDome Planetarium’, microscope exploration, skull and scavenger hunt, slime making and candy.

Social work student Marbel Lih awarded MnSSA scholarship

Marbel Lih
Marbel Lih

Marbel Lih, a senior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social work at Metropolitan State University, has been awarded the 2017-2018 Minnesota Social Services Association  Diversity Scholorship.

Lih identifies as a black female African American immigrant, and upholds values such as respect, justice, equality, dignity and freedom. She is a mother, wife, caregiver, and beyond that an empathetic professional who will stop at nothing to help people find solutions.

Since immigrating to the United States, Lih has been a passionate human services worker for both private and state organizations. Being one with a family history of mental health problems, and after working several years with clients who have mental health issues, Marbel knows firsthand the trials that burden these individuals and families, which inspires her passion to serve.

Sept. 14: Student forum to address DACA

An event for Metropolitan State students to discuss the recent announcement from President Donald Trump concerning the future consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in the United States.

In keeping with the message sent by Metropolitan State President Virginia Arthur affirming the university’s commitment and support for students, event planners intend to create spaces for healing, conversation, and sharing of resources to those directly affected.

The discussion on Thursday, Sept. 14, Saint Paul Campus, Student Center, room 101, will be an opportunity for faculty, staff and the community to show their support. The fight for dignity and respect for all immigrants is a humanitarian issue that affects us all, and this is a time of great uncertainty and angst for many. This day is dedicated to supporting those affected, creating an environment for conversation and learning, promoting campus resources and building solidarity. Refreshment will be provided.


  • 1 p.m.: Check-in and welcome, Student Senate leaders
  • 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Healing circles for students, facilitated by Dr. Raj Sethuraju (concurrent counseling service available nearby with Michael Peterson)
  • 1:45 to 2:45 p.m.: “Discussion: What does DACA mean to you and our students?,” facilitator to be determined. Political analysis and resources for undocumented students available on campus; facilitator to be determined.
  • 3 to 3:45 p.m.: “What can we do, what shall we do, what will you do?” facilitated by Karina Moreno DeSilva
  • 3:45 to 4 p.m.: Closing and next steps

Staff must use personal time to participate and must arrange approval from their supervisor or use personal time to attend the event.

Contact the office of Craig Morris, university chief diversity officer/affirmative action director, at 651-793-1272 with questions.

Dash Grant provides emergency funds to students in need

Car broke down and no money to repair it? Unexpected medical expenses making it hard to pay bills? Electricity or gas about to be shut off?  Undergraduate students who find themselves in a financial crisis which could put their academic success at risk can apply for the DASH Grant.

Metropolitan State University has received a $420,000 Dash Emergency Grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates to operate and maintain a student emergency aid program. Emergency grants will be integrated into the college’s overall student success strategy with the goal of improving retention and completion rates. Metropolitan State is one of the first four-year universities to receive this grant.

“Thanks to the Dash Emergency Grant, Metropolitan State has the resources to provide modest emergency grants to our students in times of acute and unexpected need,” said university President Virginia Arthur. “Most of our students work while attending classes, and many have limited financial resources. That means that, even when the semester is going according to plan, our students struggle to manage work, studies, family, and other commitments. Any number of disruptions can occur—problems with health, family members, automobiles, jobs—and students suddenly find themselves unable to continue their programs. Often a modest supplement can make the difference between continuing to completion and stopping out, which often leads to protracted stopping-out and derails life plans and hopes. Great Lakes has zeroed in on a potent but solvable threat to student success.”

Students who qualify will receive a one-time payment of up to $1,000 to help relieve the stress of an unexpected financial hardship. For qualifications and  to learn more about applying for the Dash Grant, go to


Aug. 29-31: Metropolitan State social for North Hennepin Community College

Kick off the new school year on the North Hennepin Community College campus with your fellow students and Metropolitan State University alumni.

Metropolitan State invites you to network, socialize and enjoy some pizza in an informal setting as the new school year kicks up into high gear. This event is hosted by the Metropolitan State University Alumni Association.

  • 4 to 6 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 29
  • 4 to 6 p.m., Wednesday, August 30,
  • 4 to 6 p.m., Thursday, August 31

North Hennepin Community College, room CBT178  7411 85th Ave N, Brooklyn Park.

Let organizers know which session you’ll be attending and reserve your spot at this link: