Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College


MSC Southeast News and Events

News and Events

Keeping you in touch with MSC Southeast

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.

© 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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