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Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College

MSC Southeast News and Events

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Keeping you in touch with MSC Southeast

MSCS Ready for Fall Semester

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Minnesota State College Southeast planning for a safe return to campus when Fall Semester begins on August 24

Josiah Litant wearing maskWith Fall Semester starting soon, Minnesota State College Southeast has released its COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, laying out the college's plans for a safe opening of the Red Wing and Winona campuses on August 24. (Download COVID-19 Preparedness Plan PDF)

"We are looking forward to the fall, when we will have a mix of in-person classes for hands-on learning, hybrid courses, and online instruction. Faculty are busy planning for fall to ensure that you are able to continue your education at MSC Southeast without interruption," said Josiah Litant, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students (pictured at right).

Students can apply for admission, register for classes, and attend college this fall with confidence that they can continue to achieve their educational goals in a safe environment. For more information on applying for admission, go to

The MSC Southeast COVID-19 Preparedness Plan calls for students, employees, and campus visitors to:

  • Self-screen for symptoms of the disease before entering buildings
  • Observe proper handwashing and respiratory etiquette
  • Wear face masks or cloth face coverings inside campus buildings
  • Maintain physical distancing of 6 feet or more 

Classes and programs that require hands-on learning experiences will be taught on campus, with measures in place to assure physical distancing and enhanced cleaning and disinfectant routines. In addition, to reduce the number of people on campus, many general education and theory classes will be available online or in a hybrid format.

Every academic program that requires instruction on campus has developed its own specific return-to-campus plan. For example, in the Auto Body Collision Technology program, each auto body welding student will be assigned their own welding booth and related equipment. They will be the only one to use that station for the length of the term.

"We want to provide a safe environment for our students, faculty, staff, and visitors. We can accomplish this by reducing the number of individuals on our campuses, adhering to self-monitoring protocols, wearing masks, maintaining safe distancing, practicing good hand hygiene, and staying at home when feeling ill as outlined in the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan," said Interim President Larry Lundblad. "It is up to all of us to follow the guidelines."

Given the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the plan is subject to revision. The college's Emergency Response Team will meet regularly to make updates as needed following direction from Minnesota State, the Office of Higher Education, the Minnesota Department of Health, and the CDC.


In the video below - see how our band instrument instructors learned how to weld this summer so they could build 9 vise stands, which will help them safely spread out students in the shops this fall.

$325,000 Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership grant will support new Advanced Mechatronics Certificate

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MSC Southeast and six Winona manufacturers awarded $325,000 Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership grant to develop Advanced Mechatronics Certificate

Andy George, Mechatronics InstructorSupported by a $325,000 Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership (MJSP) grant, Minnesota State College Southeast will collaborate with six Winona-based companies -- Acuity Brands Lighting, Bay State Milling, Behrens Manufacturing, Miller Ingenuity, RiverSide Electronics, and Thern Inc. -- to develop a new Advanced Mechatronics Certificate over the next three years.

The new and innovative 22-credit Advanced Mechatronics Certificate will provide employees advanced Mechatronics training that is currently unavailable in southeast Minnesota. The businesses involved in the grant are committed to participating in the design and development of the curriculum as well as enrolling their employees in the training.

"The strong relationship between Minnesota State College Southeast and our business partners will help provide the skilled workers they need, plus help the college add a much-needed advanced technology certificate program that will continue to serve the region after the grant is complete," said Larry Lundblad, MSC Southeast Interim President.

Training in Mechatronics spans electronics, mechanics, hydraulics, and motors. Mechatronics technicians work with industrial electricians, engineers, and technical support staff to ensure that production processes and equipment can be expanded and sustained in a wide range of industries.

The Advanced Mechatronics Certificate will include coursework focused on advanced PLC (programmable logic controller) programming, integrated industrial systems, motors and drives, and process control systems.

"Manufacturing technology continues to change and evolve," according to Chad Dull, MSC Southeast Vice President of Academics. "As the relevance and rigor of the courses are shared with area companies, the sustained utilization of this program for employee training is assured."

Minnesota State College Southeast has successfully worked with Minnesota Job Skills Partnership over the past 30 years and has administered training grants in partnership with over 60 companies.  Through a prior MJSP grant, the college developed a 19-credit Introductory Mechatronics Certificate and discovered the need for more advanced coursework.  

"The Advanced Mechatronic Certificate will include competencies needed in today's environment and into the future. This training will give employees additional skills and the opportunity to access a higher pay scale within their organizations," said Larry Lundblad. "As area manufacturers purchase and install upgraded equipment, they will need well-trained technicians to maintain that equipment." 

PHOTO CAPTION: MSC Southeast instructor Andy George will provide Advanced Mechatronics training to the college’s Winona area business partners through a Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership grant.

MSC Southeast Med Lab Tech program gains maximum 10-year accreditation

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Med Lab Tech program at MSC Southeast gains maximum 10-year accreditation 

Applications being accepted now for Fall 2020 start!

Medical Laboratory Technician GraduatesMinnesota State College Southeast is pleased to announce that the college's Medical Laboratory Technician (MLT) program has received the maximum 10-year accreditation award from the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) Board of Directors. 

The program at MSC Southeast met all the established standards in the clinical laboratory science discipline of Medical Laboratory Technician.

"By going through the NAACLS accreditation process our students and employers can be assured that our graduates possess the knowledge and competencies necessary for an entry-level Medical Laboratory Technician," according to Medical Laboratory Technician instructor Carol Cantlon.

Minnesota State College Southeast's Winona campus will be open this fall for programs that require hands-on learning, and MLT instructors at Minnesota State College Southeast are making plans for students to learn in a COVID-19 safe environment. 

Applications are being accepted for the program, and Workforce Development Scholarships worth $2500 may be available to qualified applicants. See the Medical Laboratory Technician AAS page for more detailed information about the MLT program and to apply.

A vital part of healthcare team in combating Covid-19

Now more than ever, Medical Laboratory Technicians are essential for comprehensive patient care and are a critical part of the healthcare team.

"Med Lab Techs play a vital role in the fight against COVID-19. Every day medical lab technicians and scientists are performing molecular tests to help identify patients who have COVID-19. They are also conducting serology antibody assays to determine who may potentially be immune to this novel Coronavirus," said Carol Cantlon.

"Med Lab Techs are working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure providers have the information necessary to not only identify and treat COVID-19 patients, but treat all patients," she added.

Over a 3-year period (2017-2019) MSC Southeast MLT Program students achieved 100% graduation rate, 94% first-time board exam pass rate, and 100% job placement. The demand for Medical Laboratory Technicians is very strong. Employment in the field is expected to rise 11% between 2018 and 2028, faster than other occupations.

The Medical Laboratory Program's 10-year NAACLS accreditation will continue until April 30, 2030.

PHOTO CAPTION: Youa Xiong, Oralia Rueda Gomez, and Jesse Lorenz are all graduates of MSC Southeast’s Medical Laboratory Technician program, now working together at Winona Health.

Called to Serve: Confronting Campus Hunger

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Called to Serve: Confronting Campus Hunger 

Thomas Lorenz and Pancake Breakfast

Winona Campus earns LeadMN Hunger Free designation under leadership of Student Senate President Thomas Lorenz 

For Thomas Lorenz, the wakeup call came on the day that he witnessed a student being taken away from campus in the back of an ambulance. She had passed out in class. 

Later, he learned that her diagnosis was simple: hunger. "As a dad, it pulled on my heartstrings. I found out that she hadn't had a decent meal in two weeks and she hadn't had a meal with meat in more than a month. And she wasn't a vegetarian."

Tom, a CNC student and father of five, said he talked to another student who was homeless. "He wasn't even used to having access to running water."

Hunger may be invisible on campus, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The 2020 #RealCollege survey of Minnesota colleges and universities indicated that 37% of respondents were food insecure in the prior 30 days. Students reported high levels of housing insecurity and homelessness as well.

Finding solutions

Thomas Lorenz and twinsWith a background in service, Tom Lorenz wanted to be part of the solution. He joined the U.S. Army at the age of 17, served until 2006, then stayed in the Army Reserves until 2013. He was a first responder at the Pentagon when it was struck by an airplane in the 9/11 attacks. Though he was not directly wounded in the line of duty, he had injuries to his back, knees and ankles.

His injuries were part of what brought Tom to Southeast. Working with the Veterans Administration, he enrolled in CNC Machine Tool as a new career direction. 

Tom's first step toward setting up a food pantry on campus was finding a spare bookshelf and putting it in the Winona campus student lounge. "My wife and I put $300 worth of canned goods into it," he said.

The PantryTom and the Student Senate enlisted the support of the college to rally around the cause:

  • PTK, Med Lab Tech, and Cosmetology students held food drives. 
  • Instructor Jon Powell and his Construction Technology students built custom cabinetry to house the donated goods. 
  • Sustainable Food and Farming set up an aeroponic Tower Garden to provide greens such as lettuce, basil, and kale. 
  •  The college established a Food Insecurity Task Force including representatives from students, faculty, and staff.

As Winona Student Senate President, Tom was motivated to apply for Hunger Free Campus standing with LeadMN, the statewide organization representing public two-year colleges. The Hunger Free Campus designation was created to recognize colleges that are actively working to reduce food insecurity and helps promote a culture of holistic student support. 

Colleges with the Hunger Free Campus designation show a commitment to identifying barriers to student success and an attitude towards working towards solutions.

Tom was notified in April that the application was successful! MSC Southeast's Winona campus is one of a handful of campuses to attain this status.

Creating a legacy

Plant TowerAs Spring Semester draws to a close, Tom will be graduating from the CNC program. He realized it's not enough to start a project -- it has to be sustainable over the long haul. Responsibility for maintaining The Pantry will be carried on by next year's Student Senate and the Food Insecurity Task Force.

But he wants to leave MSC Southeast a better place than he found it. 

"You can't make yourself indispensable, but you can set up for long term success. We have to do whatever we can to make our organizations better. If people are going to school and they are hungry, we have to make sure that when they come to campus that they are safe and able to learn," he said. "It's a legacy and I want to make sure the place is better than when I came here."

"The Pantry has been a critical lifeline for many of our Winona students, and never more so than during this current pandemic," said Dean of Students Josiah Litant. "The initiative of our Student Senates and PTK members to build food pantries on both campuses has created steady, reliable, and important resources for our campus community."

Zoom on in for Admissions Open Houses in August!

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Zoom Meeting 2020

Zoom on in for Admissions Open Houses in August!

Join us online to meet with admission staff and get answers to your questions about starting college this Fall Semester! 

August Virtual Admissions Open Houses 

Are you looking for information about Minnesota State College Southeast? Have a question about a program? Need help with the application or enrollment process? Join us for a Virtual Admissions Open House

A member of our Admissions Team will be available to help answer any of your questions. Just click below to reserve your time to join us for a fast, free, virtual session. A Zoom link will be sent to you after you register. Questions can always be sent to us at  We’ll even waive your $20 application fee when you apply during an Open House!

Wednesday, August 5, 2020 @ 12:00 PM - Register

Thursday, August 6, 2020 @ 9:00 AM - Register

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 @ 12:00 PM - Register

Thursday, August 13, 2020 @ 9:00 AM - Register

Wednesday, August 26, 2020 @ 12:00 PM - Register

Thursday, August 27, 2020 @ 9:00 AM - Register

MSC Southeast helps out local hospitals with equipment and supplies

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What can we do to help? MSC Southeast helps out local hospitals with equipment and supplies 

Hospital BedsIn response to the Covid-19 pandemic, on-campus instruction at MSC Southeast has been suspended for the remainder of Spring semester. Nursing and health care coursework has been adapted to online and distance learning opportunities.

That means the nursing simulation labs at the college, which closely represent real hospital settings, aren’t in use right now. The equipment in these labs doesn’t just look real – it is real – and it could be used to help real patients at area hospitals.

Last week, Minnesota State College Southeast’s Winona campus nursing department loaned 10 hospital beds and 8 nightstands to Winona Health. The college also donated supplies of medical-grade personal protective equipment, including 29 pairs of goggles and 3000 gloves.

In addition, 68 masks were donated to Winona County, and an agreement is in place that the Tandeski Center can be used as a medical facility if needed.

This week, Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing picked up equipment from the Red Wing campus, including 10 hospital beds, 6 nightstands, 8 swing bed trays, and 6 IV poles. 

Dean of Health Jennifer Eccles noted that the entire college worked to create an inventory of supplies. “It wasn’t just the nursing program.  Staff and faculty throughout the college searched cupboards and closets for personal protective equipment. We found medical equipment, goggles, masks, and gloves in classrooms and labs including auto body, biomedical, chemistry, cosmetology, medical lab tech, radiography, welding, guitar repair and building — even the bookstores. We are ready to donate or loan as needed.”

MSC Southeast is grateful to have the opportunity to help out in this crisis situation. 

65 Workforce Development Scholarships available for 2020-2021

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20-21 Workforce Development ScholarshipsOPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: 65 MSC Southeast students will receive $2500 Workforce Development Scholarships in 2020-2021

Application Deadline extended to JULY 31, 2020!

 For students starting or continuing in their education at Minnesota State College Southeast in high-growth, high demand careers this fall, opportunity is knocking -- and the college is planning to open its doors for on-campus instruction in programs that require hands-on training.

This year, $132,500 has been allocated by the Minnesota state legislature for  Workforce Development Scholarships at Minnesota State College Southeast. Combined with $30,000 provided by Minnesota State College Southeast Foundation, a total of 65 students will receive $2500 scholarships for the 2020-2021 school year!

Go to for the most current information, a list of all eligible majors, and to download the application form. The deadline to apply is July 31, 2020. 

"This will make an incredible impact on students who need help paying for college-level education in high-demand career areas," said MSC Southeast Interim President Larry Lundblad. "A Workforce Development Scholarship can cut the cost of a year's tuition in half."

Workforce Development Scholarship Deadline Most Minnesota students who will major in these programs will be eligible for Workforce Development Scholarships:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Sustainable Food and Farming
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Health Care Services 
  • Information Technology
  • Transportation Careers

Hands-on career programs to be offered on campus this fall

Many of the Workforce Development Scholarships will impact students in hands-on career programs, such as CNC Machine Tool, Construction Technology, and Bicycle Design & Fabrication. Formal safety plans are being prepared for every program that requires hands-on training.

"For example, vehicles in the auto programs will be spaced more than six feet apart throughout the lab to allow for social distancing and adequate workspace," according to Dawn Lubahn, Interim Dean of Business, Trade and Technology. "Students will work individually as much as possible. When social distancing is unable to be maintained, students will wear masks, gloves, and full face shields."

Workforce Development Scholarships are also available for several programs that are offered 100% online, including Early Childhood Education, Information Technology, and Medical Support Careers. 

Affordability a top priority

To further assist students in affording college this fall, tuition is frozen at approximately $172 per credit at MSC Southeast. Making college affordable is a top priority for the college.

"If you will be in an eligible program, we strongly encourage you to apply for a Workforce Development Scholarship!" said Financial Aid Counselor Pam Zimmerman.  "Plus, in addition to Workforce Development Scholarships, students may be eligible for grants which can reduce costs even more."

To apply for a Workforce Development Scholarship, go to The deadline to apply is July 31, 2020.


MSC Southeast Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

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 Covid-19 Updates Banner


  YES! You can go to MSC Southeast this fall!  

Most tech and trade classes will be taught on campus. Most other programs will be taught online. We’re here to support you all the way. Apply for admission now! 

COVID-19 Preparedness Plan

We are continuing to monitor the developing situation related to COVID-19 and are committed to taking steps necessary to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of our faculty, staff, and students. Our COVID-19 Preparedness Plan (PDF) is now available. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 on our campuses and that requires full cooperation among students, faculty, staff, and members of our campus community. Only through a cooperative effort, can we establish and maintain the safety and health of our campuses. The college will review and update this plan as needed. Updates will be publicly posted and shared.

 Download COVID-19 Preparedness Plan PDF 

Masks or Cloth Face Coverings Required

To protect the health and safety of our campus community, MSC Southeast requires all employees, students, and visitors to use face masks or face coverings that completely cover the individual’s mouth and nose while within MSC Southeast facilities. Individuals are encouraged to bring their own face covering to campus. If unable, the college will provide face coverings, as necessary. Masks will be made available at the front desk of the main building at each campus. Exceptions are spelled out in the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan (PDF).

Minnesota Governor's Stay Safe Orders

  •  Effective June 10, 2020,  Executive Order (EO) 20‐74 permits postsecondary institutions to offer in‐person classes or activities (credit or non‐credit) of 25 individuals or less, if those services cannot be provided through a distance learning model. 
  • On July 22, Governor Tim Walz announced Executive Order 20-81 (PDF). This order requires face coverings in indoor spaces and public buildings including businesses and retail stores, and in similar outdoor settings where social distancing is not possible. 

Health Concerns

During the Covid-19 outbreak, the entire college community needs to take all necessary precautions regardless of confirmed cases in any particular area.  The Minnesota Department of Health recommends that you protect yourselves and others by:

  • Wearing masks when in public. 10-50% of virus carriers are asymptomatic. Wearing masks helps control the virus and has been shown to lower COVID-19 spread. 
  • Avoiding enclosed spaces with large groups of people, where the virus can linger in the air for long periods of time.
  • Getting tested if you have cold or flu-like symptoms - Find testing locations.
  • Staying six feet away from others.
  • Covering your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or sleeve, or a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or before eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoiding touching your face – especially your eyes, nose and mouth – with unwashed hands.

If you feel ill, please contact your healthcare provider or local medical services before visiting in person or going to the hospital emergency room. For more specific information, please review the detailed CDC guidelines: What to Do if You Are Sick 


Campus Access

At this time, Minnesota State College Southeast is not open to visitors who are not students, faculty, or staff. MSC Southeast students, faculty, and staff may come to campus to access necessary support services, The Roost, The Pantry, and Wi-Fi. 

Since most employees are working remotely, the college has expanded means to deliver student services by email, telephone, and Zoom video conferences. See the Student FAQ for more information.

  • The Bookstores are now open, but online ordering is recommended. Check the Bookstore page for current information.
  • Food service will be available starting on August 24 on the Red Wing Campus.  The Winona bookstore will have pre-packaged Deli Express items for purchase.
  • The Red Wing MakerSpace is closed.

We have implemented telework for most employees. For those who are on campus, we are wearing face masks, practicing social distancing as recommended by the CDC, and using alternative meeting methods whenever possible. 


 See also: Covid-19 Student FAQ Page 


Cancelled: TRANSPORTATION CAREER NIGHT on March 24 in Winona

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CANCELLED: TRANSPORTATION CAREER NIGHT on March 24 at Minnesota State College Southeast in Winona

CANCELLED: Transportation Career Night
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
6:00-7:30 PM
Transportation Center, MSC Southeast Winona Campus
1250 Homer Road, Winona, MN

Updated 3/16/2020 - Spring Break extended an additional week through March 29; Transportation Career Night has been cancelled.

Transportation Career Night is coming up on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 from 6 to 7:30 pm at Minnesota State College Southeast's Winona campus, 1250 Homer Road, Winona, MN. Prospective students and their families, job hunters, or anyone interested in learning more about the college's transportation programs are all welcome to attend. Admission is free and open to the public.

Five college programs will be represented: Auto Body Collision Technology; Automotive and Light Duty Diesel Technology; Heavy Diesel Maintenance; Transportation Management; and Truck Driving. All majors within these programs lead directly to high growth, high demand careers.

Labs in the college's state-of-the-art facilities will be open for tours, and hands-on activities have been designed to give people an opportunity to explore the programs. A number of local business and industry representatives will be available to discuss opportunities in these high-demand job markets.

"We want to give future students a realistic idea of what transportation careers can offer. Current students and industry representatives will be on hand to talk about their experiences with our programs and job openings  in the transportation sector," said Dawn Lubahn, Interim Dean of Trade and Technology. "Plus it's a great chance to meet our faculty, who are all experts in their fields and enthusiastic about teaching the next generation."

Transportation Career Night Highlights: 

  • Meet with representatives from business and industry 
  • "Toolbox Scholarships" offered at event
  • Tour our labs and see a variety of automotive vehicles and technologies
  • Save $20 -- no fee if you apply for admission at Career Night!
  • College admissions and financial aid staff available to answer questions
  • Learn about $2500 Workforce Development Scholarships for eligible Minnesota students
  • Plus - amazing door prizes -- must be present to win!

Transportation Career Night

MSCS Creative Writing program publishes literary journal

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MSC Southeast Creative Writing program publishes first edition of literary journal, Highway 61, Revised

Special event on Feb. 28 at Fair Trade Books in Red Wing celebrated book release

Highway 61, Revised Book CoverVisit the MSC Southeast Creative Writing Facebook Page to see a photo album from the book release party!

Minnesota State College Southeast's Creative Writing Certificate faculty have been inspired by the quality of their students' work - so much so that they decided to launch a new literary journal featuring student poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction. 

Highway 61, Revised includes works written over the past year by students enrolled in creative writing classes at the college. The 100-page journal is published in a softcover paperback edition.

The entire book is also published online at

Pete BeurskensEnglish instructor Pete Beurskens served as the editor of the publication, which highlights writing by his own students as well as students of MSC Southeast English instructors Mike Larson and Dan Bernstrom. 

Pete said the instructors have been surprised and pleased with the quality of the work the students have produced in the online Creative Writing Certificate program. 

"Really, I think it is better in many respects than much of the work we published when I worked on university literary magazines. When I read a student piece and think, 'I wish I had written that line,' that's a good sign," he said. "In any case, I would simply invite people to read Highway 61, Revised and judge the quality for themselves!"

There are 37 different works in the book, by a total of 14 authors, ranging from nontraditional students age 60 and above to PSEO (current high school) students. "We have folks who already have a degree or two, and ones just starting their educational journey; those who have already published, and those who have never even tried their hand at creative writing."

Pete added that balancing the journal's content as to theme, tone, style, genre, and subject matter was a challenge. "In the end, I think there is something for every reader: poetry, fiction, literary essays; nature, work, travel, philosophy, spirituality, adventure, relationships --even leopard geckos! Highway 61, Revised is the kind of publication you can pick up and dip into many times and encounter something new and delightful or thoughtful or inspiring."

Highway 61, Revised is available for sale in Minnesota State College Southeast's bookstores in Red Wing and Winona and at Fair Trade Books in Red Wing.

Photo above: Pete Beurskens

View Highway 61, Revised as a flip book below, or view the file at full scale online at

Lockdown issued and cleared at MSC Southeast, Winona on Feb. 3

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Lockdown issued and cleared at Minnesota State College Southeast in Winona on Monday afternoon

A lockdown of the Minnesota State College Southeast Winona campus was issued on Monday afternoon, February 3, 2020 at 2:15 pm due to a credible threat against members of the campus community.

The Winona Police Department was called to campus to investigate. After their investigation, an All-Clear was issued at 3:27 pm. 

The Winona campus will be closed for the remainder of today (Monday, February 3, 2020) and classes after 3:00 pm are cancelled for both the Red Wing and Winona campuses.

"The safety and security of our college community is our most important priority. If you ever become concerned about a threat to the college, call 911," said Interim President Larry Lundblad.

Both the Winona and Red Wing campuses will be open on Tuesday, February 4, and classes will resume as scheduled.


Leah Schnaith named college's Outstanding Educator of the Year

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Chemistry instructor Leah Schnaith named MSC Southeast's 2019-2020 Outstanding Educator of the Year

Dr. Leah SchnaithMinnesota State College Southeast is proud to announce the selection of chemistry instructor Dr. Leah Schnaith as the college's Outstanding Educator of the Year.

"Dr. Schnaith is a passionate educator who strives on a daily basis to help her students be successful. Her commitment to education and outstanding work ethic have earned her the respect, admiration, and genuine affection of her students," said Interim President Larry Lundblad. "She embodies the qualities of a brilliant educator who puts her students first and endeavors to see them master the material and achieve their goals."

Leah Schnaith earned a B.A. in Chemistry from St. Olaf College and a Ph.D. in Chemistry (emphasis Bioinorganic) from the University of Minnesota. She is a member of the Two-Year College Chemistry Consortium (2YC3) and the American Chemical Society. 

Prior to joining the faculty of MSC Southeast in 2006, she worked in conjunction with the Red Wing School District to provide enrichment for gifted and talented students (Spectrum and Math Masters), tutored students at the high school and middle school level, and was a chemistry teaching assistant at the University of Minnesota.

Leah currently teaches Fundamentals of Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Introduction to Forensic Science, Principles of Chemistry, and General, Organic & Biochemistry at the college, commuting between the Red Wing and Winona campuses and teaching online.

Nominated by five different students

Leah Schnaith was nominated for the Outstanding Educator award by five different students. One student wrote, "Leah is an absolute angel. She has gone out of her way to stay late with me and other students to make sure that we are able to get the help we need to pass."

In nominating Leah, a nursing student commented, "She is always willing to help students when they need it and available to us with a smile. She is a really considerate, kind person. She knows how to teach with her genuine desire to help us succeed." 

Still another student stated, "She pushes the budget to the max, tries to make labs that are both fun and creative with limited supplies, and she is always available for questions about the content."

"I want to thank my students, who took time out of their busy schedules to nominate me. When you consider all of the outstanding educators at MSC Southeast, I am truly honored to represent the college for this award," Leah Schnaith said.

Having been named the college's Outstanding Educator of the Year, Leah Schnaith will be among those recognized at a statewide awards banquet in April 2020. At that time, the Minnesota State Board of Trustees will announce its awards for Excellence in Teaching and the state-wide Educators of the Year.

"The entire college community is proud to have Dr. Leah Schnaith represent Minnesota State College Southeast as 2019-2020 Outstanding Educator," said Larry Lundblad.

Michael Kroening, MSCS Chief Financial Officer, Recognized for Outstanding Service

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Michael Kroening, MSC Southeast Chief Financial Officer, Recognized for Outstanding Service at the Minnesota State 2019 CFO Annual Conference

Mike KroeningMichael Kroening, Minnesota State College Southeast Chief Financial Officer, was one of five Minnesota State employees who were recognized for outstanding work at the 2019 CFO Annual Conference held at the Minnesota State system office in St. Paul.

Individuals who were recognized with the Outstanding Services Award include:

  • Jean Hollaar, Minnesota State University Moorhead
  • Deb Kerkaert, Southwest Minnesota State University
  • Michael Kroening, Minnesota State College Southeast
  • Jodi Landgaard, Minnesota West Community and Technical College
  • Karen Lester, Minnesota State University Moorhead

The Outstanding Services Award recognizes individuals and/or teams that provide outstanding services to colleges and universities in the Minnesota State system. Bill Maki, Interim Vice Chancellor for Finance and Facilities of Minnesota State, said, "These honorees are shining examples of individuals that not only lead the financial operations of their institutions, but also provide guidance to their colleagues in what is in the best of interests of student success and in the financial sustainability of their college or university." 

"Mike Kroening is an exceptional CFO who provides outstanding service both to the college and to the Minnesota State system, where he serves on various committees and mentors new chief financial officers," said Larry Lundblad, MSC Southeast Interim President. "Under his leadership as Vice President of Finance and Administration, the college's finance and facilities departments do stellar work. Our faculty, staff, students, and administrators all join me in congratulating Mike on his receipt of the Outstanding Service Award -- it is well deserved!"


Student returns to college on November 19 - as a teacher

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 Keiko Tsuda gives a BIR clinic in 2019

International student returns to MSC Southeast in Red Wing to give band instrument repair clinic

Keiko Tsuda came back to school on November 19 -- but this time it was to teach, not to study.

Originally from Japan, Keiko (pronounced Kay-Koh) studied saxophone performance at Senzoku Gakuen College of Music near Tokyo and lived in Australia before coming all the way to Red Wing, Minnesota to master the craft of band instrument repair (BIR). 

This week she returned to MSC Southeast to give a clinic on key concepts that can help repair technicians work more efficiently and effectively. She demonstrated tools, tips and tricks, and specific techniques for a very attentive group of BIR students in the woodwind lab.

Keiko TsudaJust two and a half years ago, Keiko was a student herself! She had been working in different industries for nearly 20 years in Japan and Australia. "Finally, I decided to follow my passion, but there is no band instrument repair school in Australia. I visited repair shops in Sydney, but they don't do apprenticeships, so there was no opportunity there," she said.

However, she got a tip there that would change the course of her life. "A technician in Sydney told me that there is one of the best repair school in Red Wing, Minnesota, USA. I asked myself -- I already migrated from Japan to Australia, do I need to go overseas again? But I didn't have any family there, or a mortgage, so I decided to do it!"

Coming back to college to speak to the class of 2020, Keiko shared some of the expertise she has gained since she graduated. She demonstrated a number of tools and emphasized how important it is to use them efficiently and safely.

Buy your last tool first

Her first piece of advice was to invest in top-quality tools from the beginning. "Buy your last tool first," she said. "It will save money in the long term over buying cheap tools and upgrading, and it will save a lot of frustration."

She also suggested color-coding matched sets of tools to make it easier to pick up the correct size on the first try, not digging through various sizes over and over every time you use them. "Saving a half-second on a particular action may not seem like much, but when you think of how many times you might do that action at your work bench every day, it matters," she told them.

Keiko recommended buying tools that are ergonomically designed. "With ergonomic tools, you can reduce the chances of injury," she said. "For example, we use screw drivers every day and we will turn screws for next 50 years, so if the tools are ergonomic, it will make a big difference in your career."

Even though she's only been working for a couple of years, BIR instructor John Huth said, "Her confidence and skills were on display as she succinctly and thoroughly explained what she does and why."

Immediately after graduating, Keiko found employment at Tim's Music in Sacramento, California, under the mentorship of Master Technician Scott Mandeville.

Learning new things every day

"I want to continue learn the craft of Band Instrument Repair in the U.S. as my home country does not have the opportunity to learn from masters of this field. The United States is leading this industry," she noted.

"Mastering band instrument repair is not an easy journey, it takes time. The Band Instrument Repair Program at MSC Southeast gets you started, but after that, you have to learn more, improve your skills and develop your own techniques by applying the concepts you have already learned. I am excited to be learning new things every day."


Veterans Day event held at Red Wing High School

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Red Wing community organizations will join forces to commemorate Veterans Day on Friday, November 8, 2019

Patriot BrassCeremony at Red Wing High School will focus on the repatriation of Corporal Gudmund Christopher Johnson, Jr., who had been missing since the Korean War

Download a Poster (PDF)

More than 70 years ago, Gudmund Christopher ("Sonny") Johnson, Jr. left his home in Red Wing to enlist in the U.S. Army. This November, he will finally return home to be laid to rest in the family plot at St. John's Cemetery.

In 1950, during the Korean War, Johnson was captured by Chinese forces. Sadly, he died in a prison camp, and though his remains were returned to the United States under "Operation Glory" at the end of the Korean conflict, they were not identified until August 2019. Only through family DNA samples was the mystery solved.

On the morning of Friday, November 8 (9:30 am), Red Wing High School, Hiawatha Valley Family--Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, Red Wing American Legion Post #54, and Minnesota State College Southeast will co-sponsor a Veterans Day Commemoration at Red Wing High School honoring all veterans and especially Corporal Gudmund Johnson, Jr. 

Everyone is welcome to attend, and all service members, veterans, and their families are invited to sit in a reserved section of seats on the floor of the Sonju Gymnasium. 

Friday, November 8, 2019
9:30-10:30 am (please be seated by 9:20 am)
Sonju Gymnasium, Red Wing High School (Enter through Door 36, District Office)
2451 Eagle Ridge Dr, Red Wing, MN   
Social Hour to follow for Veterans, Service Members, and their Guests

Lance Garrick and veteransSergeant First Class (US Army Ret) Lance Garrick, President of Hiawatha Valley Family--Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, and Renee Garrick will make a presentation on the repatriation of Cpl. Gudmund Johnson, Jr.

"This will be a very special opportunity for our local community to welcome home one of its own from the Korean War," said Lance Garrick. "We will pay tribute to the sacrifice of Gudmund Johnson, Jr. and honor his remaining family at the third annual Veteran's Day Commemoration."

Red Wing High School Band, a cappella choral ensemble Ovation, and Minnesota State College Southeast Patriot Brass will provide live music for the special event. 

Veterans, service members, families, and caregivers are invited to stay for a Social Hour after the Veterans Day Commemoration. Marine Corps Vietnam Combat Veteran Lieutenant Colonel Richard Johnson will "saber cut" a cake  and coffee will be served.

The funeral service for Cpl. Johnson will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, November 9 at the Mahn Family Funeral Home in Red Wing with visitation one hour prior to the service. Burial will be at St. John's Cemetery with full military honors. The funeral is open to veterans and their families.


4 new short-term health care career programs start in February

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Jump start a health care career with short-term, intensive training at MSC Southeast

Medical Assistant, EKG Tech, IV Therapist, Pharmacy Tech programs can be completed in weeks, not months

Medical Career TrainingMinnesota State College Southeast's Continuing Education department is now offering several new options which can jump start a health care career in a matter of weeks! Registration is open now for four new programs, which start in February 2020.

If you are eager to get to work, these short-term, non-credit programs may be the perfect way for you to begin a career in health care as quickly as possible. Classes are intensive, with lecture and hands-on components, and are available at both our Red Wing and Winona campuses.

  • Clinical Medical Assistant Program (140 Hours, starts Feb. 18, 2020) Red Wing | Winona 
    The Clinical Medical Assistant Program will prepare you to launch an exciting, challenging, and rewarding career in healthcare! Learn how to assist physicians by performing functions related to the clinical responsibilities of a medical office. Instruction includes preparing patients for examination and treatment, routine laboratory procedures, diagnostic testing, technical aspects of phlebotomy, and the cardiac life cycle. This program meets the necessary requirements to take the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) national examination. (140 Contact Hours plus 160 hour Clinical Externship)
  • EKG Technician Program (50 hours, starts Feb. 24, 2020) Red Wing | Winona
    The EKG Technician Program prepares students to function as EKG Technicians and to take the ASPT -- Electrocardiograph (EKG) Technician exam and other national certification exams. Learn the anatomy and physiology of the heart, medical disease processes, medical terminology, medical ethics, legal aspects of patient contact, electrocardiography, and stress testing. You will practice with EKG equipment and perform hands-on labs, including function and proper use of the EKG machine, the normal anatomy of the chest wall for proper lead placement, 12-lead placement, and other clinical practices. 
  • Intravenous (IV) Therapy Program (50 hours, starts Feb. 18, 2020) Red Wing | Winona 
    In the Intravenous (IV) Therapy Program, students will receive instruction on performing IV therapy with a focus on anatomy and physiology, asepsis, equipment and supplies, review of drug calculations, pharmacology as it relates to IV therapy, and the practice of starting and running an IV. This course is appropriate for Phlebotomist, RNs, LPNs and other caregivers looking to enhance and or refresh their IV Therapy skills. (There is no clinical externship or national certification objective included with this program.)
  • Pharmacy Technician Program  (50 hours, starts Feb. 25, 2020) Red Wing | Winona 
    The Pharmacy Technician Program will prepare you to work as a pharmacy technician in a retail or other pharmacy setting and to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board's PTCB exam. Learn pharmacy medical terminology, pharmacy calculations and measurements, reading and interpreting prescriptions, defining drugs by generic and brand names, and more. Through classroom lecture and hands-on labs, students will review dosage calculations, drug classifications, the "top 200 drugs," the handling of sterile products, dispensing of prescriptions, inventory control, and billing and reimbursement.

For more information about these programs and to register, go to or call 651-385-6320.

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 to learn more about MSC Southeast."

To apply for admission to Minnesota State College Southeast, go to 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

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

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

(Faculty and Staff) Permanent link

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

(Faculty and Staff, Student Activities) Permanent link

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 (

"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

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 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

© 2020 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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