• Spotlight

    An UNRL Success Story

    Most college students have enough trouble just juggling course loads, part-time jobs and extracurricular activities. But Michael Jordan has them all beat. While he was at Minnesota State Mankato, he also started his own business: UNRL. “It’s sort of a nightmare,” Jordan says with a laugh. “But I think it’s rewarding, seeing that light at the end of the tunnel and knowing it’s all going to pay … Read full article »

    Stage Debut

    Anyone who has been around Paul Hustoles during his nearly 31 years leading the Minnesota State Mankato Department of Theatre and Dance has heard this statement: Mankato is among the top 1 percent of theatre programs for attendance in the United States. The 529-seat Ted Paul Theatre (named for Hustoles predecessor, who was chair of the department from 1955 to 1985) is the primary setting for … Read full article »

    Seeing Things in a Different Way

    When Matthew Stairs steps onto a stage, all eyes are immediately drawn to him. He has a natural stage presence that quickly catches people’s attention. Whether he’s playing a rascally villain or a loveable chimney sweep, when he starts to sing, you feel like he’s looking right at you. The surprising truth, however, is that Stairs isn’t looking anywhere—because he’s legally blind. Born with a … Read full article »

    The Tie that Binds

    Making His Own Music Shortly after enrolling at Minnesota State Mankato as a music major in 2013, Andrew Grabowska discovered something potentially disastrous about his piano playing. “I have terrible performance anxiety,” he recalls. In junior and senior high music events, the St. Clair, Minn., student always seemed to get hit with the nerves. While fine in rehearsal, playing at competitions … Read full article »

    A Powerful Partnership

    For Cherie Pettitt, a trip to South Africa as a doctoral student sparked a love affair with the country. It also made her determined to help future students have the same life-changing experience. For the past three years, Pettitt and other Minnesota State Mankato faculty have led groups of undergraduate and graduate students on two-week trips to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in … Read full article »

    A Life of Advocacy

    In October 2015, the Arc of Minnesota honored Wilbur Neushwander-Frink ’00 with a Professional of the Year award. Her bio, in part, read: “Wherever self-advocacy is happening, Wilbur is near.” It’s true. When laid out together, the list of activities and organizations Neushwander-Frink is involved in is remarkable. The 56-year-old is a community organizer at the Arc of Minnesota Southwest, … Read full article »

    Team Player

    All it took was one visit, and Dale Wolpers was hooked. In the early 1970s, Wolpers was a student at Minnesota State Mankato. Like many people his age, he was mulling over potential majors and careers. The idea of teaching and coaching had some appeal for him, so he interned at an elementary school in Mankato. As he recalls, the goal was simply to help out in the classroom and observe teachers … Read full article »

    Shining Bright

    Mafina Sanou, an international student from the West African country of Burkina Faso, was a bit surprised to discover that her classmates in the Teaching English as a Second Language program hadn’t heard of her home country. But then again, when she first learned of her acceptance as a Fulbright scholar at Minnesota State Mankato, she had to research the location of Minnesota, which wasn’t … Read full article »

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  • Maverick Sports

    From Pins to Medals

    On the mats of Rummy Macias Wrestling Complex on the campus of Minnesota State University, Mankato, the foundation of an American hero was built. It was there that Tom Block learned what he could be, before becoming all he could be. “The best thing about being a wrestler is that you learn about adversity,” Block says. “You learn what … Read more about Maverick Sports »

  • Emeritus Profile

    All the Right Moves

    In 1968, Robert Cobb was asked to lead the Health Sciences Department at Mankato State College. He accepted the appointment—but during the negotiations he requested that his wife, Florence, be hired as a physical education instructor as well. “I didn’t know it at the time, but my position was … Read full article »