Be a Test Pilot

Career Development is looking for 25 students to test-pilot the new Virtual Career Center (VCC), an online portal that provides career guidance and job search assistance as students navigate their degree program and pursue a professional career.

Developed by Collegis Inc., VCC offers interactive learning modules in the following areas: assessing industries, effective job searches, the hiring process and future career success.

The program works similarly to an interactive video game. VCC’s interactive simulation places the student in the role of the hiring manager for a high tech startup company.

Integrated into VCC is an evaluation tool that provides assessments across six universal career traits. The report provides students with tips to improve their resume and strengthen their interviewing skills. Students can create a professional resume, an employment profile, cover letters, reference pages and thank you letters. For participating in the pilot, students may retain these materials for personal use.

The project is anticipated to begin late August or early September. Only 25 participants can be sponsored, so interested parties are encouraged to sign up soon.

For more information, contact Career Development at 651-793-1528 or Include the student’s name, age, major and class (year in school). By registering, students give permission to share their information with the Collegis Inc. VCC developers.

Construction Update

Parking Ramp Site: Soil Contamination, Testing and Mitigation
During excavation at the parking ramp site, environmental safety consultants discovered soil that has been contaminated with gas and diesel. Further testing and excavation revealed evidence of volatile organic compounds. No evidence of risk to persons on or near the worksite has been found. As health and safety is the university’s highest priority, response to this issue has begun in several ways, such as:

  • Launching new rounds of testing on this and other areas;
  • Removing contaminated soil;
  • Consulting with MnSCU’s finance and facilities leadership team and appropriate regulatory agencies including the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Capital Region Watershed District; and
  • Developing plans to replace our intended storm-water infiltration system with a filtration system that will keep storm-water from entering the watershed.

The university is gathering information on potential impact to construction timelines and costs. Some spring semester courses will be moved to other locations to reduce the demand for parking at Saint Paul Campus.

It is estimated that the ramp will open early summer of 2015. More information will be communicated as it becomes available.

Interim Parking and Construction Websites and Webcam
Faculty and staff are able to view the parking ramp and student center construction  sites live via webcam. Follow this link, and click on either “Parking Ramp” or Student Center” in the right-hand column.

For the latest in Interim Parking information, find the link “Interim Parking–Saint Paul Campus” on the university home page, or click this link.

Remote Parking System
To-date, the shuttle and remote parking system are functioning well. The shuttle’s hours of operation are extended with the start of fall semester to accommodate students in evening classes. Also, to reduce pressure on university parking capacity during construction, 59 fall semester classes are relocated to Saint Paul College.

Progress on Science Education Center, Traffic-calming Measures
Site preparation work for the science education center begins next month. In anticipation of construction activity, the university has been actively consulting with community representatives and neighbors. In partnership with the city of Saint Paul, traffic-calming measures have been implemented on Maria Avenue between East Sixth Street and East Seventh Street. The parking ramp and traffic-calming measures will be completed simultaneously.


Roger Prestwich, Professor and Interim Dean, Retires

Roger Prestwich
Roger Prestwich

The long-time international program director at Metropolitan State University’s College of Management (COM) and the college’s 2013-2014 interim dean has retired after 13 years at the school. Roger Prestwich was granted professor emeritus status.

Prestwich oversaw the international business program since 2002 and served as COM’s international business curriculum coordinator. He negotiated MBA partnership programs with two Taiwan universities. A native of Oldham, England, Professor Prestwich developed and taught bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral international business classes while contributing to professional publications and Twin Cities-area news media, presenting at conferences and serving on boards.

“What I was able to accomplish internationally while representing Metropolitan State was really the pinnacle of my career,” said Prestwich, who lives in Blaine with his wife, Cherie. “I couldn’t have wished for anything more. I’m grateful to the university for that opportunity.”

As interim dean, Prestwich guided COM during continued growth and brought stability to one of the university’s largest colleges. He was COM’s department chair for three years and was a strong supporter of the college’s Doctor of Business Administration program.

COM Professor Carol Bormann Young called Prestwich an “intelligent, knowledgeable and rigorous instructor” and a “consummate professional” whose significant and rich experience as international advisor and consultant “brought considerable value to his students in the classroom.”

As interim dean, Young added, “(Prestwich) made great strides in helping the College of Management chart a course for the future that has, at times, meant making difficult decisions. He has been a leader who understands the need to value both a faculty and administrative perspective and to balance the two.”

Before joining Metropolitan State, Prestwich served as director of the Minnesota Trade Office education program for 12 years and of the World Trade Conference Center for two years. He trained managers from more than 500 companies on exporting, garnering a special service award for outstanding contributions to international trade from then-Gov. Jesse Ventura.

Previously, Prestwich was a COM community faculty member, an adjunct instructor at the University of St. Thomas Graduate School and a research associate at the NorthWest Area

From 1971 to 1987, he was a tenured professor and administrator for Anglia Polytechnic University, Cambridge, England.

Prestwich earned his BA in geography and a graduate diploma in education from the University of Sheffield, Sheffield, England. He received his MA and PhD in geography and economics from the University of Minnesota, which he attended as a Fulbright scholar.  Prestwich also earned a master’s in international relations from the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England.

In retirement, he plans to continue consulting with organizations and businesses. Prestwich also intends to spend time with grandchildren and remain engaged internationally, serving on the Saint Paul-Minneapolis Committee on Foreign Relations, the Minnesota District Export Council, the Midwest Global Trade Association and delivering talks for the Minnesota International Center’s “Great Decisions” program.

First Staff Emerita Named

Diana Reichel
Diana Reichel

An Oakdale woman who worked for Metropolitan State University for 22 years has retired as the university’s first staff emerita. Diana Reichel spent the past 15 years as office manager for the university’s College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).  She oversaw a five-person staff as CAS blossomed into one of Metropolitan State’s largest colleges. Reichel was active on several university groups, including the Women’s Commission and the Employee Recognition Committee.  Before joining CAS, she worked in the university’s registration office and at the College of Management. She has volunteered with Meals on Wheels and is continuing that into her retirement. Reichel was honored as staff emerita at Metropolitan State’s 94th commencement on May 5.

Theater Department Has Open Auditions

Metropolitan State’s Theater Department, together with Theater Underground, has set audition dates for the premiere of My Soul, and Other Broken Things by Metropolitan State theater student Sarah Dewhirst.

Auditions are Wednesday, Sept. 3 from 4–6 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 4 from 6–8 p.m. at Minneapolis Community and Technical College in the Whitney Fine Arts Center’s Stagedoor Theatre, located at 1424 Yale Place, Minneapolis. Auditions are open to all students. Participation on and off-stage is eligible for upper division credit.

General auditions will consist of cold readings and some improvisatory movement work. Performers will be seen individually for approximately 10 minutes on a first come, first served basis. Performers are asked to wear clothing comfortable for physical movement.  Theater majors should bring a headshot and resume.

Callbacks are on Friday, Sept. 5 from 6­–9 p.m.

Rehearsals begin in early September, with performances on November 6, 7 and 8 at 7 p.m. and November 8 at 2 p.m. at the Stagedoor Theater.

Directed by David Hanzal, My Soul, and Other Broken Things traces the coming-of-age of Sephora, a young woman who, guided by a mysterious stranger, returns to her Christian fundamentalist home in search of her estranged mother. Sephora has been living a life that is repugnant to her family and everything that they believe. Sephora takes us with her on a journey that plumbs the darkest depths of the human soul, asking the ever-present question: “Is there a God?”

For more information, contact David Hanzal, director, at

Masters Information Sessions Available

The College of Management offers fall information sessions for those interested in attaining a master’s degree in business or information systems management. The sessions are Wednesday, Sept. 17 from 4:30–5:30 p.m. at Minneapolis Campus. The master of business administration session is in Room M2100. The master of management information systems session is in Room M2200.

To register, visit the College of Management’s information session website and select the appropriate link or e-mail

November 15th is the application deadline for spring semester.  Apply early for a better selection of classes, instructors and locations.

Community Garden Volunteers Sought to Provide Healthy Foods for Needy Families

Volunteers are sought to help harvest foods, plant new vegetables for fall and contribute to a community garden with Metropolitan State and Inver Hills Community College students.

Gardeners meet at the Inver Hills-Metrostate garden on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m.–noon and Saturdays from noon–3 p.m. The Inver Hills-Metrostate garden is located on the Inver Hills campus at 80th Street East, Inver Grove Heights. Lunch and refreshments are provided for Saturday participants.

In partnership with Inver Hills Community College, Metropolitan State has donated over 200 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to local food shelters in the greater Saint Paul area.

For more information contact August Hoffman, psychology professor, at or Barbara Curchack, Inver Hills Community College, at

Plans are being made to build a community apple fruit tree orchard in the Detroit, Mich. community during the fall 2014 semester. For more information, contact August Hoffman at 651-999-5814.

Family Resource Network Host One-Day Clothing and Toy Fair

Students are invited by the university student organization Family Resource Network to attend The Resource Fair on Tuesday, Aug. 19, from 2–7 p.m. at Saint Paul Campus in New Main’s Great Hall. At the Resource Fair, students can pick up free food, clothing and toys for their children. Students must bring their own bags to shop.

For more information, to donate or to volunteer, contact Sue Fust, Student Parent Center coordinator, at 651-793-1564 or

New Gordon Parks Gallery Exhibit Includes Reception

Waterfall by Areca Roe
Waterfall by Areca Roe

Metropolitan State’s Gordon Parks Gallery presents Mixed Media: The Faculty Show as the first exhibit of the school year. The exhibit opens with a reception on Friday, Sept. 12 from 5–7:30 p.m. and continues through Oct. 3. Gallery hours are Monday–Thursday, 11 a.m.–7 p.m., and Friday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. The gallery is located in the Library and Learning Center, 645 East Seventh Street, at the university’s Saint Paul Campus.

This exhibition features creative works produced by Metropolitan State’s fine arts instructors. From paintings and sculptures to photographs and films, this show highlights the multi-disciplinary efforts of resident and community faculty. Participants include: James Byrne, Saint Paul; Joseph Flores, Minneapolis; David Means, Minneapolis; Amy Sands, Golden Valley; Areca Roe, Minneapolis; Erica Spitzer Rasmussen, White Bear Lake; Anne Sugnet, Minneapolis; Alonso Sierralta, Minneapolis; and Petronella Ystma, Saint Paul.

“Although this exhibition is open to the entire university community, exposure to such a show can be an invaluable tool for students interested in taking art classes,” said Erica Rasmussen, resident faculty member and gallery director, about the exhibition.

“Close inspection of imagery and objects or multiple viewings of short films can reveal subtleties about the work that might otherwise be lost through limited contact or reproductions,” Rasmussen continued. “Similarly, investigating the work on an intimate level will likely communicate a great deal about an instructor’s technical abilities, personal interests and conceptual concerns.”

The reception includes a screening of James Byrne’s new film, The Light of Each New Day. The film will be looped in a room adjacent to the gallery. All shows and programs at the Gordon Parks Gallery are free and open to the public.

For more information about the exhibit, contact Erica Rasmussen, gallery director, at 651-793-1631 or e-mail her at

A newsletter for the Metropolitan State University community