Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College


MSC Southeast News and Events

News and Events

Keeping you in touch with MSC Southeast

October is Free Application Month

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MSC Southeast offers Free App Month throughout October to celebrate College Knowledge Month

2019 StudentsApplication Fee will be waived entire month

October is College Knowledge Month, and in honor of the occasion, students applying to Minnesota State College Southeast can skip the $20 application fee when they apply any time during the month.

"Fall is a great time to explore your college options! If you're getting ready to start college in 2020, now is the time to submit your application, because you'll save the $20 fee during Free App Month," said Tammy Vondrasek, MSC Southeast Director of Admissions and Enrollment. "We encourage you to come to campus or visit our website at www.southeastmn.edu to learn more about MSC Southeast."

To apply for admission to Minnesota State College Southeast, go to www.southeastmn.edu/apply and fill out the online application form. During Free Application Month, many colleges and universities throughout the Minnesota State system are waiving the standard fee for applying. For more about the Minnesota State system, visit www.minnstate.edu/collegeknowledge.

Did you know? 

Test your College Knowledge! Here are a few key facts about Minnesota State College Southeast:

  • Our typical classes have a 15:1 student teacher ratio
  • Over a 3 year period we enrolled students from 48 states and 31 countries 
  • Tuition for residents and non-residents is the same
  • 100% of our liberal arts and sciences faculty have a master's degree or higher
  • Best of all -- our career and technical programs average 95% job placement!


Minnesota State College Southeast

Minnesota State College Southeast is a two-year technical and community college that prepares students for a lifetime of learning by providing education for employment, skill enhancement, retraining, and transfer, to meet the needs of students and the community. The Winona campus opened in 1949, merging with the Red Wing campus in 1992 and updating its name to Minnesota State College Southeast in 2016 with the change of mission to offer both technical training and the associate of arts degree. Minnesota State College Southeast is a member of Minnesota State. For more information, visit www.southeastmn.edu.

Meet Chad Dull, VP of Academics: All in for the students

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An interview with Chad Dull, Vice President of Academics: "I'm a huge believer in community and technical colleges"

Over the summer, the Minnesota State College Southeast community was delighted to welcome Chad Dull as the new Vice President of Academics. He began his new job on August 20, 2019, and we caught up with him in early September to get his perspective on his new position at MSC Southeast. 

Chad Dull - 2019

Tell us a little about your background and what brought you to Minnesota State College Southeast. 

I've been an educator for most of my career. I started out in K-12, and then moved into the technical college system in Wisconsin, first as an instructor, then as a grant coordinator, eventually 11 years as a dean. I've always had my eye across the river to MSC Southeast; I thought there was a lot of potential there to make a collective impact in the communities that it serves.

When I first visited the college, I found that there's a real feeling among the people at Southeast of "all hands on deck, all in it for the students." It's great to be here!

What do you mean when you talk about collective impact?

I'm a huge believer in community and technical colleges. I think they're the best game in town for the people who need the biggest difference made. In communities the size of Winona and Red Wing and the surrounding towns, you have opportunities for partnership. The college is deeply embedded in those communities or it should be, so you start to work with industries in town, with non-profits. And that work has a collective impact on your communities.

Another thing about our kind of college is that the students tend to be local and stay local, with some obvious exceptions -- the musical instrument repair students will probably go back to where they're from. I think that whole idea of being able to change the places that you live for your friends and neighbors is really powerful.

What is your role as VP of Academics?

I'm interested in access, support, and innovation. I think the academic leader is supposed to be facilitating and supporting the idea of "what's next" -- what's next in how we meet the educational needs of our community? At the same time, you're really teacher in chief. How do we make sure that what we are doing is excellent? How do we make sure we have the resources to allow our faculty to excel?

There's a false barrier among the departments in higher education between what Academics does, what Student Services does, even what Finance and Operations does. You can't be separated that way in this day and age. I'm grateful that my office is located within the Student Services department (at least on the Winona campus) so it's embedded in that culture of service, because you just have to work together. And because we're small enough, not only is it likely, it's almost required.

But what about all the paperwork and administrative duties?

As a college, we're the last great vehicle for social mobility. That's what our students come to us for. They might come to us to learn a particular trade or skill, but for the most part, they're really here to change their circumstances in life. 

There are things that a college has to do to make sure that we're credible, and solid, and meet the needs of the folks that are holding us accountable, including our students. So whenever I'm working on things that don't sound like a ton of fun -- like accreditation, quality checks, scheduling, curriculum -- my focus is always on how we are helping these people we care so much about change their reality. And I find meaning that way; it's important work. 

Look for Chad Dull's blog posts on LinkedIn and podcasts on Soundcloud and follow the hashtag #MSCSoutheastCares on Facebook and Twitter.

Band Instrument Repair partners with Vega to donate musical instruments

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Neglected musical instruments find new life, new purpose through MSC Southeast's Band Instrument Repair Program

Vega and Band Instrument Repair PartnershipDo you have a clarinet collecting dust in your closet? A tarnished trumpet in your basement? A squeaky saxophone stored in your attic?

A new partnership between the Band Instrument Repair (BIR) program at MSC Southeast and Vega Productions, a non-profit based in the Twin Cities, can transform those abandoned instruments into something wonderful for an aspiring young musician. 

Vega collects musical instruments from people who don't need them anymore and provides them to school programs whose families can't afford to buy or rent instruments. But many of the donated instruments need to be repaired before they can find new homes.

"We have a climate controlled storage unit full of instruments that are in need of attention before they can go out to schools for students to use. The supply exceeds our ability to get them repaired," said Vega Executive Director Caitlin Marlotte. 

"The Band Instrument Repair program at Red Wing has such a good reputation -- whenever I would talk about needing instrument repair, people would suggest that I reach out and partner with the college," she continued.

"As part of their training, our students completely overhaul several instruments. We have a constant need for instruments that need repair," explained BIR instructor John Maddox. "Meanwhile, Vega has a constant supply of instruments that need work!"

Packing instruments into carIn 2018-2019, BIR students repaired instruments provided by Vega. In August, Caitlin Marlotte came to campus to receive 95 clarinets, cornets, trumpets and saxophones, now in perfect working condition. They are ready to be distributed to schools through VEGA's flagship program, Instruments in the Cloud (www.instrumentsinthecloud.org).

"Vega is really doing a really great thing in that they're finding the places where these instruments will be best utilized, with schools that have the greatest need," said John Maddox. 

He believes this work is not only valuable to the schools and aspiring musicians who will receive the instruments --- it's valuable to the college student as well. 

"We talk about this partnership with our students, how what they're repairing will have a real, tangible effect on a young student who might be making music for the first time," he said. 

"One of the beauties of repair in general, and how we as repairers fit into the cycle of music making, is that we get to be a part of that journey with a musician to help them express themselves." 

Caitlin Marlotte is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the Band Instrument Program. "Having a partnership with Minnesota State College Southeast really accelerates the impact we can make on music education," she said. 

For more information about Vega's instrument donation program, visit www.instrumentsinthecloud.org

Photo above: Vega Board Member Max Kittel, Executive Director Caitlin Marlotte, and BIR instructors John Maddox and Greg Beckwith posed with a cartload of musical instruments ready for Vega's school donation program.

Photo below: Max and Caitlin packed up two cars with all of the instruments!

Great River Guitar Show coming to Red Wing Campus Sept. 7-8

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Great River Guitar Show coming to Red Wing Campus Sept. 7-8

Great River Guitar Show LogoRed Wing may be world famous for Red Wing Shoes and Red Wing Pottery -- but the town is also known around the world for Minnesota State College Southeast's Guitar Repair and Building Program. That's why the campus will be such a great venue for the Great River Guitar Show this September!

Great River Guitar Show
Saturday, September 7 from 10 am to 5 pm
Sunday, September 8 from 11 am to 4 pm
Minnesota State College Southeast, Red Wing Campus
308 Pioneer Road, Red Wing, MN
Admission: $15 at the door

Tim Reede is the lead organizer of the event, which will draw luthiers (stringed instrument makers) from across the USA and Canada to display their work. Tim is not only a guitar builder himself, he's a graduate of MSC Southeast's program and now teaches at the college.

"Red Wing has long been the destination for weekend getaways due to the charm of the historic downtown and Mississippi River," he said. "When the Great River Guitar Show comes to town, there will be another attraction for the public to enjoy -- two days of exhibits and concerts showcasing the very best stringed instruments. There will be hand crafted acoustic and electric guitars, basses, amplifiers, banjos, mandolins, and ukuleles, from over 30 makers!"

Tim Reede Venitian archtop guitar

What's happening at the Great River Guitar Show:

  • See extraordinary hand made guitars and hear them played in showcase concerts by some of the Upper Midwest's top talent, including Jerry Kosak, Mark Kreitzer, and Mike Cramer
  • Movie screenings: "Acoustic Uprising" by Drew Roller and "Don't Get Trouble in Your Mind" by John Whitehead
  • Open acoustic music jam sessions and workshops for players
  • An exhibit of unique and historic stringed instruments
  • Door prizes provided by D'Addario
  • And much, much more!

In addition, of course, you can tour the college's Guitar Repair and Building program labs and see where our students begin their journey to becoming talented luthiers themselves.


There will a special concert at the Sheldon Theatre on Saturday evening, September 7: Masters of Guitar in Concert, featuring three world-class instrumentalists -- Pat Donohue, Tim Sparks, and Dean Magraw. Tickets for this concert are sold separately at www.sheldontheatre.org. On Sunday afternoon, roots/soul singer Annie Mack and her band will close out the show with a free concert from 5-7 pm at The Harbor Bar, just across the river from Red Wing.

Photo above: This hand-built archtop guitar by Tim Reede is just one example of the kind of instruments that will be on display at the Great River Guitar Show in September.

For more information about the Great River Guitar Show, visit greatriverguitarshow.com.

Grand Opening - Advanced Manufacturing CNC Lab in Winona

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Grand Opening - Advanced Manufacturing CNC Lab at MSC Southeast in Winona

Ribbon CuttingOn Monday, August 12, the college cut the ribbon to officially open the Advanced Manufacturing CNC Lab in Winona -- sparkling clean facilities showcasing newly-installed, state-of-the art equipment. The lab is ready to welcome students as Fall semester 2019 begins.

Winona area manufacturers, businesses, organizations and individuals have come together to support the college through the Advanced Manufacturing Infrastructure Initiative. Business leader Jerry Papenfuss signed a symbolic check for $582,000, representing the funding that has been raised so far to equip and refurbish technical lab spaces.

"Students need to train on the same kind of equipment they will be using in real world manufacturing positions," said Travis Thul, Dean of Trade and Technology. "We have brand new automated CNC lathes, CNC mills, manual processes including advanced digital readouts, and 3D printing capabilities -- not to mention a completely overhauled infrastructure within the facility itself."

In the next phase of the Advanced Manufacturing Infrastructure Initiative, the college will expand its robotics capabilities.

Donation Check"Today's industry requires a more highly skilled workforce that is able to troubleshoot, design, develop, and operate this type of equipment," Travis continued. 

"We will train our students on the mechanics, the electronics, the programming and the nuances required to be able to operate everything from an automated CNC machine tool to multi-axis automated conveyor systems. We want to be ahead of the curve on providing an environment where students can learn on the most current equipment possible."

3 New Transfer Pathways: English, Poli Sci, and Sociology

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3 new Transfer Pathways pave the way for 4-year degrees in English, Political Science, and Sociology

Transfer Pathways Logo

With the launch of 3 new Transfer Pathways at Minnesota State College Southeast, the journey to completing a four-year degree in English, Political Science, or Sociology has become easier and less expensive for students in Winona and Red Wing. 

"These Transfer Pathway degrees will help students build the foundation of a liberal arts education that involves critical thinking, promotes lifelong learning, and will serve them well in any profession," said Jo Poncelet, Dean of Academics at Minnesota State College Southeast. 

Transfer Pathway degrees are two-year associate degrees that transfer smoothly into related majors at any university in the Minnesota State system, such as St. Cloud State University, Bemidji State University, or Winona State University. Students complete the first two years of classes at MSC Southeast, then start their bachelor's degrees as juniors without any loss of credits.

"Students save time and money by beginning at MSC Southeast," said Dean Poncelet. "Our classes are smaller and more personal, the cost of tuition is lower, and we offer flexible online and on-campus courses."

English Transfer Pathway    Political Science Transfer Pathway    Sociology Transfer Pathway

  • English Transfer Pathway
    The English Transfer Pathway degree includes core courses in both writing and literature as well as several English electives. Students also have the option of simultaneously completing the Creative Writing Certificate while pursuing the English Pathway.
  • Political Science Transfer Pathway
    The study of political science teaches valuable analytical, communication, and research skills. Political Science Transfer Pathway students delve into systems of government, political behavior, and the election process.
  • Sociology Transfer Pathway
    Sociology is the scientific study of human social relationships, societies, and institutions. In the Sociology Transfer Pathway, students consider a wide range of human issues, including poverty, family dynamics, and the impact of social media.

Students who complete a Transfer Pathways program and are admitted to a Minnesota State university are guaranteed junior status and all 60 associate degree credits will count toward the related bachelor's degree. Students must meet special admission requirements for the major and are not guaranteed admission into the major itself. The seven universities of Minnesota State are Bemidji State University; Metropolitan State University; Minnesota State University, Mankato; Minnesota State University Moorhead; Southwest Minnesota State University; St. Cloud State University; and Winona State University

MSC Southeast now offers a total of nine different Transfer Pathways degrees. For more information, see our Transfer Pathways page. 


18 More Workforce Development Scholarships available for Fall

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18 More Minnesota State Workforce Development Scholarships available for Fall Semester

Auto Body Collision Technology StudentEmployers in our region are asking for skilled, well-educated employees in a number of high-demand sectors, including manufacturing, health care, and transportation careers. To help meet this ever-increasing need, the Minnesota state legislature allocated funding for a $1 million pilot program that initially awarded hundreds of scholarships throughout Minnesota in the 2018-2019 academic year.

The program was so successful that this spring the Minnesota Legislature and Governor Walz approved an appropriation that added $7 million to the Workforce Development Scholarship program. Funding is available to support students at the colleges and universities of Minnesota State who are pursuing programs that prepare graduates for careers in high demand sectors.  

To date, Minnesota State College Southeast awarded sixteen scholarships for students in 2018-19 and eight additional scholarships for 19-20. Now 18 more $2500 scholarships will be available to Minnesota students who are beginning college at MSC Southeast this fall!  Apply now for this competitive scholarship program. The deadline to apply is August 5, and scholarship awards will be announced on August 9, 2019.


How to apply

Prospective students must apply online for admission to MSC Southeast with a Fall 2019 start in one of the career program areas listed below. Then they must fill out and submit an application form for the scholarship. 

  • Applicants must be enrolled or have applied for admission at MSCS.
  • Applicant must be a resident of the state of Minnesota.
  • The applicant must document her/his eligibility by submitting a fully-completed scholarship application as instructed.
  • Current students may apply; must be in good standing with the college.
  • Students must be enrolled for a minimum of 9 credits per term. 
  • Student must maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA.
  • Preference for students with demonstrated financial need
  • Primary preference will be awarded to new students, high-school seniors or recently graduated individuals, though the awards are open to all applicants.

Eligible Programs


Early Childhood Education

Health Care

Information Technology



MSCS receives $441,952 grant from National Science Foundation

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National Science Foundation awards $441,952 grant to Minnesota State College Southeast to develop advanced manufacturing education hub

Project will create pathways for high school students that lead directly to college education, career success


Prototype engineering student

Minnesota State College Southeast announces today the award of a $441,952 grant from the National Science Foundation. This grant, guaranteed for three years, will build on the success that MSC Southeast has already had in creating high school partnerships that provide college credits, credentials, and internships in advanced manufacturing to students throughout southeast Minnesota.

Through the project, entitled "Establishing a Rural Advanced Manufacturing Education Hub in the Upper Mississippi River Basin," Minnesota State College Southeast, regional K-12 schools, industry partners, and 4-year universities will collaborate to develop a high school STEM Academy Hub model in southeastern Minnesota and nearby western Wisconsin.

"This is an incredible opportunity for Minnesota State College Southeast to make an impact in our region," said Larry Lundblad, Interim President of MSC Southeast. "Hundreds of high school students will benefit from increased access to high technology education."

Regional manufacturers will serve in an advisory capacity, and companies will provide work experience opportunities for participating students. 

"Our corporate partners will benefit from a robust pathway from high school to their companies, and our communities will benefit from better integrated education and industry," said MSC Southeast Dean of Trade and Technology Travis Thul.

"The hub model will help us give students hands-on exposure and college credit before they even graduate from high school," noted Willie Lubahn, Manufacturing Trainer and Recruiter at Fastenal Manufacturing in Winona. "We need a new generation of workers with high level skills in robotics, mathematics, and computers. This will help create a pipeline from high school to industry."

To date, MSC Southeast has partnered with nearly a dozen high schools within driving distance of the Winona campus -- including Wabasha, La Crescent, Rushford, Caledonia, Winona and even into Wisconsin -- to offer students in grades 10-12 the opportunity to complete a 13-credit certificate in Prototype Engineering, which students earn concurrently with their high school diploma. 

In order to ensure that students who live beyond commuting distance to Winona have the same opportunities, MSC Southeast worked with high schools in Cannon Falls and Chatfield, MN, to develop the National Science Foundation grant, which will build out technical hubs in their communities.

"Cannon Falls is so excited to be a part of such an amazing endeavor. It has been my dream for years to bring this opportunity to our students!" said Superintendent Beth Giese.

Through the National Science Foundation grant:

  • MSC Southeast will facilitate collegiate education, credits, and laboratory capabilities so that more students can participate in advanced manufacturing and STEM curriculum.
  • Four modules of study will be developed: Design Fundamentals, CAD-CAM, Machining, and CNC Programming.
  • All partner high school faculty members will have access to dedicated professional development, training, and networking opportunities.
  • The college will coordinate training for technical educators throughout southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin, including opportunities to connect with area industry.
  • Winona State University and MSC Southeast will partner to build transfer agreements so that students can earn associate of applied science degrees at MSC Southeast and then transfer into directly related programs at WSU as college juniors.

"A smooth pathway like this allows students to set a long-term vision while gaining world class credentials along the way," said Travis Thul. "After high school, students can choose to enter the workforce, continue their educations, or split the difference and work while going to college."

When the National Science Foundation grant is complete, the intent will be to ensure that every high school student in southeastern Minnesota has access to a high technology career path.

"By starting early, students will save money on getting a higher education and have increased access to high-demand careers," said Travis Thul. "Our college vision is to enrich lives and communities by being the best. This is only the beginning as we continue to build the most robust campus of advanced technology in the state."

3 music repair program instructors receive Outstanding Alumni Awards

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Three college instructors honored with 2019 Minnesota State College Southeast Outstanding Alumni - Red Wing Awards

Three Alumni Awards

Three instructors in the world-renowned musical instrument repair and building programs at Minnesota State College Southeast were honored with Outstanding Alumni - Red Wing Awards at the commencement ceremony held in Red Wing on May 15.

"In the many years of the musical instrument repair programs hundreds of students have graduated, but tonight we are here to honor three of these graduates with Outstanding Alumni Awards -- three whose accomplishments and expertise led to their returning to Minnesota State College Southeast as instructors," said Interim President Larry Lundblad in presenting the awards.

The college made awards to Greg Beckwith (Class of 1992, Band Instrument Repair), Brian Boedigheimer (Class of 1994, Guitar Repair and Building), and Steve Rossow (Class of 2001, Guitar Repair & Building and 2002, Violin Repair).

"All three of these individuals have presented at national workshops and seminars, been featured in national publications and websites, and are active in national organizations," Larry Lundblad added. "We are very proud of their accomplishments and happy to recognize each of them with the Outstanding Alumni - Red Wing Award."

  • Band Instrument Repair program instructor Greg Beckwith graduated from MSC Southeast in 1992 and returned to the college as a full time teacher in 2003. Greg is a member of the National Association of Band Instrument Repair Technicians and has presented at their regional and national conferences. He has also given presentations at The Midwest Clinic's International Band and Orchestra Conferences, Minnesota Music Educators Association conferences, and International Horn Society symposiums. Greg and his family have shown their devotion to the college by setting up an endowed scholarship fund with the Minnesota State College Southeast Foundation, in honor of his father, Gene Beckwith. 

  • In 1994, guitar program instructor Brian Boedigheimer received his Guitar Repair & Building diploma from Minnesota State College Southeast. After graduating, he provided repair services in area music stores and built guitars with the Benedict Guitar Company. He started teaching electric guitar building at MSC Southeast on an adjunct basis in the year 2000. In 2003, Brian attended the Wood Finishing Technology Program at Dakota County Technical College, which led to his becoming an expert instructor in in specialized guitar finishing techniques. In 2005, Brian returned to Southeast as a full time instructor.

  • Steve Rossow earned diplomas from the Guitar Repair & Building in 2001 and Violin Repair in 2002. After graduation, he apprenticed with John Waddle in Saint Paul, under whom he studied violin making and restoration. He also set up his own shop, building, restoring, and repairing fine violins and building guitars and mandolins. Returning to MSC Southeast as a full-time instructor in 2010, Steve developed coursework for incorporating CNC work into guitar making and taught advanced acoustic guitar construction and computer-aided drafting. In the past year, Steve has transitioned to a role as the lead instructor in Violin Repair and is designing a new curriculum for Violin Making.

Photo above, from left: Interim President Larry Lundblad presented awards to Greg Beckwith, Brian Boedigheimer, and Steve Rossow.


Daniel Matejka receives Outstanding Alumni - Winona Award

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Minnesota State College Southeast honors Daniel Matejka with 2019 Outstanding Alumni - Winona Award

Daniel MatejkaSince graduating from Minnesota State College Southeast's Accounting program in 1984, Daniel Matejka has advanced in his career to a leadership role as Goodview's City Administrator and has become a valued supporter of the college.

On Tuesday, May 14, 2019, he was honored with the "Outstanding Alumni of the Year - Winona" award at the MSC Southeast graduation ceremony in Winona. The award recognizes outstanding personal and professional achievement and service to others.

After graduating from Southeast in 1984, Dan began his career in accounting for the Winona Area Public School District.  Then in 1999, he became the Business Manager at the La Crescent - Hokah school district.  

In 2006, Dan accepted the City Administrator position in Goodview. "He is an extraordinary leader for the City of Goodview and has built great relationships with his staff and everyone he works with on any given day," said Casie Johnson in nominating Dan Matejka for the award. "He is respected and admired as a leader of the community by all." 

Dan recognizes the importance of the mission of the college and continues to support it in a variety of ways.  He served on the Minnesota State College Foundation Board from 2007 - 2013, the last three of those years as board president. He has volunteered on the Foundation Golf Tournament Committee for several years and is instrumental in its continuing success.

Dan and his wife, Natalie, support the Minnesota State College Southeast Foundation with their time and talents and as generous donors. They are members of the Foundation's Legacy Circle, which is a group of donors who have included the college in their future estate plans.

In addition to his service to the college, Dan is very active in the wider Winona community. He is currently the board president of Project Fine, and he has served on the boards of Winona Volunteer Services, the Winona State University Warrior Club, and Goodview Trinity Lutheran Church. He is active as a basketball and baseball official and coached the Winona VFW Baseball Team from 1986-1999.

"On behalf of the entire college community, I am delighted to congratulate Dan Matejka for receiving the 2019 Outstanding Alumni - Winona Award," said MSC Southeast Interim President Larry Lundblad. "This is an honor well deserved."

Congratulations to the Class of 2019!

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Congratulations to the Class of 2019!

Class of 2019 - hatCeremonies were held on May 14 in Winona and on May 15 in Red Wing. In addition, nursing and guitar students celebrated the end of the year with their own special events. 

View our Facebook photo albums:

Winona Graduation
Red Wing Graduation

Winona Nursing Pinning Ceremony
Red Wing Nursing Pinning Ceremony

Red Wing Student Guitar Show

3 MSCS Students named to 2019 PTK All-Minnesota Academic Team

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Three MSC Southeast Students named to 2019 PTK All-Minnesota Academic Team 

PTK All State 2019


This spring, three Minnesota State College Southeast Students -- one from Winona, one from Red Wing, and one online -- were named to the All-Minnesota Academic Team by Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the honors society for two-year colleges. Their achievements were recognized at a banquet in April celebrating their college accomplishments and service to the community. Congratulations to Abigail Backman, Sophia Kiesow, and Adam Spearman!

"Abby, Adam and Sophie exemplify all of the best qualities of Southeast students.  They shine on all fronts: academics, service, and leadership," said PTK advisor Jean Egbert, a math instructor at the college.  "We are proud to celebrate this recognition with them and know they will bring their remarkable skills to their next stage in life."

Winona: Abigail Backman (above, left), a second year Radiography student, graduated in May 2019. During her three years at MSC Southeast she has been involved in various clubs and committees including Student Senate, the Diversity Committee, the Radiography Advisory Committee, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), and Radiography Club. She has also served as the president for both the Radiography Club and PTK Beta Rho Mu. Abigail began taking general classes at MSC Southeast for health care and quickly found herself drawn to Radiography. After graduation from Southeast, she plans to transfer to Winona State University to earn her bachelor's degree in Health Care Leadership, all while working full time as a radiographic technologist.

Red Wing: Sophia Kiesow (above, center) is a non-traditional student returning to college after a hiatus of 12 years, seeking to become a registered nurse. She will be starting a core nursing program in the fall of 2019 and intends to finish this educational endeavor with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She has been named to the President's List each semester, has maintained a 4.0 GPA, and is an active member of Phi Theta Kappa. Without the support of her husband, Barry, she claims she would not have been able to do so well academically. She is the mother of five children: Dan, 13; Owen, 12; Jacob, 11; Madison, 9; and Eli, 8. When not studying, she enjoys cooking, vegetable gardening, and volunteering as a medical staff member at the local Care Clinic in Red Wing.

Online: Adam Spearman (above, right) is an distance learning student from Indianapolis, IN, and graduated in May 2019 from the online Computer Aided Drafting and Design program. He has had a love for all things mechanical his entire life, from playing with Legos as a kid to becoming a mechanic. When he decided that his career path was moving toward the innovative and ever-growing field of CAD design, he reached out to MSC Southeast to gain more information on its program, and eventually applied after instructor Jim Ziegler answered every question he had. During Adam's two years as an online student at MSCS, he has worked at a full-time job at a company in Columbus, Indiana where he helps produce service and parts manuals for Cummins using various CAD software programs. Adam has been a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society since November 2018 and has also been named to the President's List every semester for having a 3.5+ GPA. 

The mission of Phi Theta Kappa is to recognize academic achievement of college students and to provide opportunities for them to grow as scholars and leaders. Membership in Phi Theta Kappa is by invitation only to eligible students; requirements include a 3.5 minimum GPA and at least 12 credits at the college. Minnesota's state academic team is a division of the Academic All-American Team for community, technical and junior college students, an international program sponsored annually by PTK, USA Today and the American Association of Community Colleges.

Food service vendor opportunity at Winona Campus

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Students in college dining room

Food and Beverage Vendor Opportunity at MSC Southeast, Winona

The Winona campus of Minnesota State College Southeast is seeking vendors to provide food and beverage options during the months of August through May.

All creative solutions welcome!

Join us for an information session and facility tour: 


Tuesday, May 28, 2019
MSC Southeast Student Commons
1250 Homer Rd., Winona, MN


Minnesota State College Southeast reserves the right to cancel this solicitation if it is considered to be in the best interest of the College. This is not a guarantee of work and does not obligate Southeast to award any contracts. Southeast reserves the right to discontinue the use or cancel all or any part of the request if it is determined to be in best interest. All expenses incurred in responding to this notice are solely the responsibility of the responder.

Mechatronics program keeps students ahead of new technologies

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New Mechatronics program keeps students ahead of constantly changing technology

What is Mechatronics? It's a new word to many. "This technology is the cutting-edge discipline of building, troubleshooting, and maintaining the industry of tomorrow," according to Travis Thul, Minnesota State College Southeast Dean of Trade and Technology.&

Students are applying now to start this brand-new program in Fall 2019, which is housed on the college's Winona campus. Students will learn a range of skills spanning electronics, mechanics, hydraulics, and motors. 

Marc Kalis"More and more, manual labor is being replaced by robotics and the mini-computers that control them. Jobs require people who can work with the computers that run the production line," explained electronics instructor Marc Kalis. "Technology keeps on going forward -- you've got to keep up on it or try to stay ahead of it if you want to grow in your career."

In advanced manufacturing, everything in the production line is controlled by PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers). The college's PLC lab is dedicated to teaching students how to program and operate these machines.

PLC Stoplight Controls"PLCs control everything from conveyor belts to robotic arms," Marc continued, pointing out a model intersection next to a PLC. "Stoplight controllers like this can monitor cars, determine when the lights should change, and adjust to changing conditions. The Department of Transportation is always looking for technicians with the skills to install and maintain them."

Travis Thul noted that the Mechatronics Technology program is being launched as part of the college's larger Advanced Manufacturing Infrastructure Initiative. "Over the summer, Mechatronics facilities will benefit from this $600,000 investment fund, allowing for hands on experience with state-of-the-art robotics, automation, and electro-mechanical systems."

The new laboratories will house modern and uniform automation suites, hydraulic and pneumatic training platforms, robotic computer numerical control (CNC) systems, brand new precision machining tools, and rapid prototyping capabilities, including additive manufacturing/3D printing.

"Our facilities will be ready to welcome the first cohort of Mechatronics majors in August!" said Travis Thul. "Prospective students with an interest electro-mechanical systems and engineering technologies should apply now for admission to the program."

Student Guitar Show on May 15 in Red Wing

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Student Guitar Show features guitars, mandolins & more built by college students


Post Bulletin: Guitarists say luthiers make the grade at MSC-SE in Red Wing
Brian Todd, May 15, 2019
Read the full story
View Photo Gallery by Andrew Link

KTTC-TV, Rochester: Professionals test out brand new instruments made by students
View the TV story online

Red Wing Republican Eagle: Guitars Aplenty
View the story on Facebook

Facebook Photo Gallery

Caleb Holst

Dust is flying, the smell of lacquer is in the air, and excitement is building as the Guitar Repair and Building students of Minnesota State College Southeast are completing work on their brand new musical instruments. At the Student Guitar Show on May 15, 2019, their beautiful new guitars will be on display in the guitar labs and played in concert by professional musicians. The event is free and the public is invited to attend. 

  • In the first year Guitar Repair and Building program, you'll find flat top acoustic guitars in the works. All first year students are required to build a flat top guitar. Several have chosen to build electric guitars as well. 
  • In the second year Guitar Development and Production program, students are building a variety of more complex instruments, including archtop guitars, mandolins, and electric guitars. Second year students explore more challenging options in finishing and inlay work.

During the Student Guitar Show, three award-winning guitarists -- Phil Heywood, Mike Cramer, and Chris Silver -- will play the new acoustic instruments, giving students the thrill of hearing their instruments played on stage by expert professional musicians. 

Eric OurenFirst year student Eric Ouren, from Kasota, MN, said has dreamed about coming to Red Wing for a long time -- about ten or fifteen years. "I always wanted to get better at building musical instruments. There's a lot I still don't know, but I would say I'm learning how to be more precise," he said modestly. His small-bodied acoustic guitar is built from fine tone woods, including East Indian rosewood and Sitka spruce.

Caleb Holst, a second year student from Hartford City, Indiana, is putting the final touches on a guitar and a mandolin. "I came to Red Wing because I was interested in working with my hands, and I enjoy making music, so I felt that it's the perfect combination," he said. "I've gotten a lot of knowledge and skills here that are going to be really valuable to me in the future. I am planning to into furniture or cabinetry building, but eventually I'd like to have my own guitar building business."


Above: Caleb Holst uses a hand drill to place position markers on the neck of the guitar he is building.
Below: Eric Ouren checks the fingerboard angle with a straight edge.

Pitches and Prototypes - A Winona Collaboration

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Pitches and Prototypes - Winona Student Start Up

Students from MSC Southeast and St. Mary's University work together on design challenge

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Students from MSCS, WSU, and St. Mary's

It's not every day that you find students from Minnesota State College Southeast and Saint Mary's University working together on a common goal. But over the past month, four students from MSC Southeast and five students from Saint Mary's have been collaborating on the rapid innovation, planning, and launch of hypothetical products.

The Winona Student Start Up launched on March 5, when the students divided into three teams, which were student-led and mentored by faculty from Winona State University, MSC Southeast, and Saint Mary's.

But it wasn't a battle between the schools. Instead, the teams combined MSC Southeast's Prototype Engineering and CNC/Machine Tool students with Saint Mary's business and marketing majors, leveraging the talents and skills the students are learning in college. 

"Our students can learn so much from these partnerships as they combine their business and engineering skills to design and develop prototypes of potential new products," commented Christine Beech, Executive Director, Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and an assistant professor of business at Saint Mary's University.

The teams were given one month to work on their co-creations. On Friday, April 5, they met up at Miller Ingenuity's Creation Station to pitch their ideas to local industry representatives. 

Team Snap SolesNew products begin with a problem that needs solving. Team Snap Shoes, Team Fin Flick, and Team LAZ Cup took turns defining problems and pitching their imaginative solutions.

  • How about too many shoes cluttering your closet? Team Snap Shoes conceived of a shoe with replaceable soles. One shoe + a variety of soles for different purposes = a solution for closet clutter and the expense of buying different shoes. (Pictured: Isaac Al-Abad of Team Snap Shoes)
  • If you've ever been snorkeling or scuba diving, you know how hard it is to walk wearing flippers. Team Fin-Flick designed a flipper with an adjustable dial that rotates the front of the flipper up and off the ground, allowing for a more natural gait.
  • Finally, who hasn't spilled a tall water bottle or cup of coffee in their car because the cup holders aren't deep enough? Team LAZ Cup came up with a solution: a cup adapter that fits into the cup holder and secures taller beverages. 

"It's wonderful to see our students put their prototyping and CNC skills into a practical application," Travis Thul, Dean of Trade and Technology at MSC Southeast, said. "This project is a perfect opportunity for them to see how these competencies are used in a business and manufacturing setting." 

Christine Beech was also pleased about the collaboration. "We are excited to see cross disciplinary students coming together in a spirit of entrepreneurship and problem solving," she said.

The Winona Student Start Up was made possible by the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at Saint Mary's University, Miller Ingenuity, the Garage Cowork Space, Winona State University, and Minnesota State College Southeast.

MSC Southeast mentors at FIRST Robotics Competition

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MSC Southeast mentors at FIRST Robotics Competition

Winona/Cotter High School FIRST Robotics team place in the top 20!

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FIRST Robotics CompetitionOver the weekend, MSC Southeast was involved with the FIRST Robotics Regional Competition at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin (Friday, April 5th and Saturday, April 6th). This event pulled together robotics teams from high schools across the region, including schools in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and beyond. 

Paul Sorenson, CNC Machine Tool instructor, helped mentor the Winona/Cotter HS First Robotics team, which took 17th overall out of 54 teams! Paul Melling, a former MSC Southeast student, also served as a volunteer mentor.

CNC Machine Tool instructor Roger Holland and Winona Admissions Representative Chris Cook were at the event to talk with students and parents about the programs available at Southeast. These programs include: CNC Machining, Welding, Electrical Engineering, Network Administration, and two new programs for Fall 2019, Bicycle Design and Fabrication, and Mechatronics Technology.

Bicycle Design & Fabrication celebrates Grand Opening in Red Wing

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MSC Southeast will celebrate Bicycle Design & Fabrication Grand Opening April 8 in Red Wing

Bike Event InviteOpportunity to meet with new instructor Chase Spaulding, members of program Advisory Board

Bicycle Design & Fabrication Grand Opening
Monday, April 8, 2019, 5:30 - 7:00 pm
Minnesota State College Southeast
308 Pioneer Road, Red Wing, MN
Free and open to the public - everyone is welcome!

Excitement has been building throughout the year for the opening of the new Bicycle Design and Fabrication program at MSC Southeast in Red Wing. The college will celebrate the program's launch on Monday, April 8 with a special event starting at 5:30 pm in the bicycle program labs on the Red Wing campus.

  • 5:30 pm: Public Reception and Refreshments
  • 6:00 pm: Ribbon Cutting, then Presentation on Program with Q & A
  • 6:30 pm: Facilities Tours

The Grand Opening will be the first opportunity for the public to meet Chase Spaulding (pictured), who recently moved to Red Wing from Raleigh, NC to lead instruction in the Bicycle Repair and Fabrication program. Chase has bachelor's and master's degrees from North Carolina State University in Industrial Design. His background ranges from fabricating architectural metalwork to building custom motorcycles, putting academic theory into practical experiences and real world creations.

Chase Spaulding"Chase has assembled a broad range of competencies from which he can educate and inspire. He has strong capabilities in design, fabrication, and college-level instruction," said Dean of Trade and Technology Travis Thul. "He is the perfect individual to help us build this innovative new program."

Mike Ford will also be teaching in the bicycle program. A long-time Red Wing area resident, Mike has been an instructor in welding at the college since 2016. He is a retired iron worker with experience in construction welding with organizations like the Army Corps of Engineers, Rosemount Pine Bend Refinery, and 3M.

"We couldn't have designed this program without the help of our Advisory Board team members from top companies including QBP, HED, Eric's Bike Shop, Trek, Hawk Racing, Kirk Pacenti, and Wolf Tooth," said Travis Thul. "The board will be meeting on campus on April 8, and we'll celebrate their contributions at the Grand Opening."

Students in the program will explore a mechanical engineering technology and design curriculum in the nation's only two-year degree focused on the fabrication of bicycles and associated components. Interest has been very strong, with applicants from around the globe.

"Anyone who is curious about Bicycle Design and Fabrication is invited to join us for the Grand Opening, including bike enthusiasts, prospective students, and college and community supporters," said Travis Thul. "Everyone is welcome!"

Winona Open House Rescheduled for Tuesday, April 9

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MSC Southeast Winona Open House Rescheduled for Tuesday, April 9, 4 to 5:30 pm

Winona Students

Back in February, an Open House was planned to welcome the community to Minnesota State College Southeast in Winona. Unfortunately, the event landed on one of the many snow days that we endured this winter and had to be postponed! Now the college invites everyone to an Open House on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 from 4:00 to 5:30 pm. 

"Get to know the dedicated, friendly, student-centered people of Winona's only two-year college! Faculty and staff members will be available to answer questions about the college's wide range of educational options," said Tammy Vondrasek, Director of Admissions and Enrollment. "We know people can be intimidated about the admissions process, so we want to make it as easy as possible. This is a chance to meet with our instructors and staff one-on-one and see how we can help you reach your goals."

MSC Southeast Winona Open House
Tuesday, April 9, 2019 -- 4:00 to 5:30 pm
Minnesota State College Southeast - Winona campus
1250 Homer Road, Winona

At the Winona Campus Open House, people can:

  • Meet with instructors in various business, trades, technology, and liberal arts programs
  • Tour campus classrooms and labs, such as Construction Technology, Nursing, and the Transportation Center
  • Visit the college Bookstore and Learning Resource Center
  • Meet with Continuing Education about adult education/training options
  • Learn about financial aid and MSC Southeast Foundation scholarships
  • Save $20 -- we'll waive the application fee if you apply at the Open House!

The Open House take place in the late afternoon -- a convenient time that's after work and before dinner for many people. But just in case you're hungry, refreshments will be provided -- help yourself to hot dogs, chips, and popcorn. There will be drawings for a variety of fun prizes, too. 

"The Open House is an opportunity for people to engage with our entire team," added Tammy Vondrasek. "We want to know how we can support you in meeting your goals. We're here to meet you where you are and help you get to where you want to be."

Strings, Winds and Brass at the Sheldon on April 6

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Strings, Winds & Brass showcases the unique talents of the college community at the Sheldon in Red Wing on April 6

Strings Winds and Brass 2019

Where can you find a heavy metal string quartet and a blues singer on the same stage? At Strings, Winds & Brass, Minnesota State College Southeast's annual showcase of the college community's amazing talents! Strings, Winds & Brass will take place at The Sheldon Theatre on Saturday, April 6 (7:30 pm) in Red Wing.

Strings, Winds & Brass
Saturday, April 6, 2019 (7:30 pm)
The Sheldon Theatre,
443 West 3rd Street, Red Wing, MN.
Tickets: www.sheldontheatre.org, 800-899-5759, at the box office, or at the Red Wing campus Bookstore
Only $5 for students, $15 for adults!  

Every year Strings, Winds & Brass is a different experience. At auditions in February, ten original acts were chosen to perform by a panel of music and arts professionals. This year, look for Tech Support Brass Quintet covering the classics and The Flying Chuck Keys, a brass rock band, covering pop tunes. Welding instructor Mike Ford will play harmonica and sing the blues, and the intense cello duo Metalbuddah will dazzle with their virtuosic original music. MSC Southeast Dean of Students Josiah Litant is on deck to serve as Master of Ceremonies.

View our Facebook photo gallery of all the performers

And it's not just about entertainment. The performers are "paying it forward," as proceeds from the variety show are directed into Minnesota State College Southeast Foundation scholarship funds which will benefit future students.

The Red Wing campus's band instrument repair, violin repair, and guitar repair & building programs draw students from across the United States, many with advanced music degrees and professional performance experience. This year, Strings, Winds & Brass will feature the talents of 24 performers from as far afield as Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and of course, Minnesota.

The 2019 Strings, Winds & Brass concert line-up includes:

  • Andrew McGowan -- solo euphonium
  • Big Sissy Love Pig -- singer-songwriter with guitar, banjo, and mandolin
  • Carrie Maynard-Allen -- poet
  • Charlie Wylie -- solo trombone
  • Isabel Collins -- vocals and guitar
  • Mike Ford -- harmonica and voice
  • Metalbuddah -- heavy metal cello duo
  • Mad Dog and the Flying Chuck Keys -- big band rock music
  • Tech Support Brass Quintet -- trumpet, euphonium, French horn, tuba
  • Shagawa Shorty -- blues guitar, mandolin and vocals
  • VC-BC -- two cellos, viola and bass 
Advance tickets are $15.00 adults, $5.00 students. Seats are general admission; doors open at 7 pm day of show.

Pictured above: 
Tech Support Brass Quintet, cello duo Metalbuddah, and Mike Ford, harmonica

© 2019 Minnesota State College Southeast

RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066 | 651-385-6300
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987 | 507-453-2700

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment base on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


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