Category Archives: Student Services

University ombudsperson is there to advocate for and support students

Renne Beaulieu-Banks
Renne Beaulieu-Banks

Metropolitan State University continues to address and provide resources available to students.

Renee Beaulieu-Banks currently serves as the ombudsperson and American Indian Student Success Coordinator.

Beaulieu-Banks’ primary responsibility as ombudsperson is to provide advocacy and support for students who may be engaged in the grade appeal or student complaint process. Students should consult the ombudsperson in the event they believe they were treated unfairly in the grading process. With many years of service and commitment to students, Beaulieu-Banks’ is available help navigate the processes. More information about the Academic Appeals Procedure can be found on the University website here.

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.


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

Nikitha Kommera, Fall 2017 College of Sciences Outstanding Student

Nikitha Kommera
Nikitha Kommera

A Saint Paul resident has been selected a fall semester Outstanding Student at Metropolitan State University.

Nikitha Kommera, who graduated with a Master of Computer Science degree, was selected as an outstanding graduate student in the university’s College of Sciences. She was one of 1,368 students receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Metropolitan State’s 101st commencement exercises on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017 in Minneapolis.

After completing her undergrad from a top university in Telangana, India, Kommera decided she would pursue a master’s degree in information technology in the United States. Finding a potential National Science Foundation research opportunity in cybersecurity at Metropolitan State sealed the deal for her.

She transferred from the University of Michigan to Metropolitan State in spring 2016. She started as a graduate research assistant under Dr. Faisal Kaleem. She drew on technical skills that she had learned as far back as high school, and went to work.

“I was inspired by Dr. Faisal to pursue a career in the field of cybersecurity,” she said.

Her first months of research came with challenges. “I was neither aware of the cybersecurity nor the project. But it is because of Dr. Faisal’s trust in my capabilities he gave me a chance to get onboard.” Kommera pushed through the difficulties for two years, balancing school and research. She also worked full-time to guarantee her project deadlines were met.

Kommera is a first-generation college graduate in her family. “My parents are extremely happy and proud of my achievements. They always dreamt of making my dreams come true and wanted me to succeed the way I want to succeed in life. I’m happy I made them proud.” Her parents attended her graduation ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017.

With a recent move to Chicago, Kommera seeks opportunities to serve and protect the community from cybercrime. “I want to continue a lifelong journey towards making a significant contribution in the field of cybersecurity.” When she’s not busting cyber-criminals, Kommera can be found at the gym, spending time with her family, or relaxing with a book.

OnCare telemedicine portal provided free for students

Metropolitan State University is excited to provide Healthcare and Wellness Services to its students.

What is Healthcare and Wellness Services?

All enrolled students have access to a free telemedicine portal called, OnCare. OnCare serves as a virtual doctor visit and is brought to students in part by Fairview Healthcare Services.
All enrolled students pay a fee of $2.50 per credit, approved by the Metropolitan State University Student Senate in 2014, for Healthcare and Wellness Services, Additionally, health and wellness initiatives are available to students throughout the year including flu vaccination clinics and wellness fairs.

What is OnCare?

OnCare enables students to access online healthcare in minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays. Access the OnCare service using a smartphone or computer.
Quick care is available for a number of conditions including:
•    Colds, flu, strep throat
•    Allergies
•    Ear aches
•    Whooping cough (pertussis) exposure
•    Pink eye (conjunctivitis)

How does OnCare work?

•    Register at with your Metropolitan State e-mail and Star ID
•    Answer questions regarding the client’s symptoms
•    When a Fairview clinician has a diagnosis, the client will receive an e-mail to their account
•    Log back into OnCare for a treatment plan and prescriptions
•    If a strep test is necessary, the client will need to enter the promo code MSUTICKET to access the ZipTicket on the OnCare website
•    Either print or take a snapshot of the ZipTicket and take it to one of the designated Fairview clinic locations (found at
•    If other treatment is needed, students will be responsible for payment through their insurance or out of pocket

Other things to look for:

•    New webpage with many more resources and health and wellness information
•    Check out our Facebook page at
•    We are looking for new members for the Health and Wellness Student Association. Contact Healthcare Services for more information!
For questions or further information, e-mail, call the Coordinator of Healthcare and Wellness Services, Jodee Fitzgerald at 651-793-1552, or stop by Founders Hall 240D.

Metropolitan State University’s Multicultural Affairs again selected for Institute of Mexicans Abroad Fellowship Program

By Santos Martinez, director of Multicultural Affairs

Felicitaciónes! Congratulations! Felicitaciónes!

Año dos mil diez y siete, presente lo tengo yo. 

For the third consecutive year, the Office of the Dean of Students and Multicultural Affairs at Metropolitan State University were selected to participate in the 2017-2018 IME-BECAS (Scholarship) Program, the Mexican Consulate’s Institute of Mexicans Abroad (IME) Fellowship Program.  Dr. Herbert King, dean of students, and Santos Martinez, director of Multicultural Affairs, prepared and submitted the proposal and greatly appreciate the support received from the university’s leadership and IME-BECAS selection committee.

The IME-BECAS Program is another important opportunity to serve Latino students of Mexican origin and ancestry attending our university.  In partnership with the Mexican Consulate, IME-BECAS is a scholarship program instrumental in alleviating some of the financial strains that impede students from accessing and pursuing their postsecondary education.

The institutional IME-BECAS Award Ceremony sponsored by the Mexican Consulate was hosted on Nov. 22 at Century Community College to recognize the 12 higher education institutions and two nonprofit organizations that received the 2017 – 2018 award. The following individuals represented Metropolitan State University at the ceremony: Nellyda Ross, current student and 2016-2017 IME-BECAS scholarship recipient,  Dr. Amy Gort, provost and executive vice president, Roberta (Bobbie) Anderson, interim associate provost for Student Success, Academic and Student Affairs, Dr. Herbert King and Santos Martinez.

Over the past two years, Metropolitan State University has provided assistance to 19 students.  This upcoming  spring, an additional 12 students will be selected to receive the scholarship.  The IME-BECAS (Scholarship) Program has had a positive impact on the lives and educational persistence of students as indicated by some of their comments below.

“As a Mexican woman in the United States, there have been many odds stacked against my success.  With this scholarship, I am able to look forward to completing my degree this year and become part of the positive and growing statistic of Latinos obtaining bachelors’ degrees.”

“I am thankful to have been awarded this scholarship.  It makes completing my educational goals even more attainable while encouraging me to do my best.”

“I am grateful for this scholarship because it will allow me to accomplish my dream of becoming a teacher.”

Metropolitan State hopes to continue assisting students through this partnership with the Mexican Consulate for years to come.

Aquí  terminan los versos de este anuncio especial.

 Congratulations! Felicitaciónes! Congratulations!

Cybersecurity career information sessions

Mid-career worker and veterans who are seeking to transition into cybersecurity should attend an informational session to learn about  free cybersecurity training to qualified individuals.

Register to attend an information session, hosted by Metropolitan State University in collaboration with government agencies.

Register using this link for one of the required information sessions:

Session dates and times: 

  • Saturday, Nov. 11, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 20, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 5, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 13,  from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Session swill take place  at the Metropolitan State University Library and Learning Center (LIB-Room 132), 645 East 7th St., Saint Paul.

Contact Faisal Kaleem at for any questions.

Click here to download the event flyer

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 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.

Nov. 15: Career information session

Career Center Services at Metropolitan State University is organizing an informational session for those interested in careers in natural resources management and environmental stewardship.

Three state and federal agencies to present are Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and US Fish and Wildlife. The event will be from 4 to 6 p.m., Nov. 15 at the Saint Paul Campus, Science Education Center, room 115, 664 East 6th Street.

Register for the event at this link:

The event is open to Metropolitan State students and alumni. Dress is business casual. For questions, call the Career Center at 651-793-1528 or e-mail

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.