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MSCS Creative Writing program publishes literary journal

(Faculty and Staff, Student Activities) Permanent link

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 publizr.com/mscsoutheast/mscs-highway61-january-2020

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 publizr.com

Leah Schnaith named college's Outstanding Educator of the Year

(Awards and Recognition, Faculty and Staff) Permanent link

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

(Awards and Recognition, Faculty and Staff) Permanent link

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!"

 

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 (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!

3 music repair program instructors receive Outstanding Alumni Awards

(Awards and Recognition, Faculty and Staff) Permanent link

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.

 

Southeast Tech Foundation establishes scholarship fund in honor of Jim Johnson

(Faculty and Staff) Permanent link

Southeast Technical Foundation establishes endowment fund in honor of President Jim Johnson

Scholarship funds will help students stay in college and complete education

The Southeast Technical Foundation has established an endowment fund honoring the legacy of President Jim Johnson, who will retire on June 30, 2014.  Jim Johnson, St. James Hotel, 5.1.2014

The Jim Johnson Legacy Scholarship Fund is designated to help students complete their education. Organizers originally set a goal of raising $25,000, but have since exceeded that goal and are continuing to raise money in Jim's honor.  "After 32 years of dedication, service and leadership, it is with gratitude and honor that we recognize Jim's commitment to higher education by creating this endowment fund in his name," says Chris Schabow, Foundation Director.

Johnson, however, expresses that he doesn't want the fund to be about recognizing his accomplishments - he wants contributors to be aware of the needs of current and future Southeast Technical students, who struggle to complete their education as state support declines, college costs rise, and student loan debt soars. 

"I want to thank all the supporters of the Legacy Fund as the gifts you bring to this drive will have a significant impact on our current and future students.  Over my career at Southeast Tech I have seen countless students drop out of their programs due to lack of funds. Many say they will return after they can raise some money. The sad truth is too many of those students never come back," Jim Johnson says. "A fund like this can help the college retain students who just cannot continue due to finances.  Thank you for being there for Southeast Technical and our students ... your gift counts." 

Donations for the Jim Johnson Legacy Scholarship Fund are welcome, and can be made online at www.southeastmn.edu/donate or by mail to: 

Southeast Technical Foundation
Tandeski Center
1200 Storr's Pond Road
Winona, MN 55987

For more information, contact Chris Schabow, 507-453-1423, cschabow@southeastmn.edu.

Red Wing Wows ‘Em in Chicago!

(Faculty and Staff) Permanent link

Band Instrument Repair Chicago Clinic 2008 This past December 19th and 20th, Lucas Pemberton, John Huth and Greg Beckwith had such an opportunity at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, IL. In a presentation entitled, “It’s Gotta Work – NOW!” the Red Wing Repair Program Instructors gave advice to band directors on how to responsibly keep an instrument functioning long enough to get it to the repair shop.

Over 350 attendees learned about simple temporary fixes that do not compromise instrument performance, longevity, and appearance using common simple items. Examples included using cable zip ties to secure broken solder joints, using pipe cleaners and hair scrunchies to secure waterkeys, using piper cleaners or bread ties (instead of paperclips) to secure sax key guards, appropriate and inappropriate applications of masking tape, how to pull a stuck mouthpiece and much more: all simple things we want them to know. The three also emphasized common mistakes made by directors, students and parents, warning of the dangers of using superglue, rubber bands, pliers, screwdrivers and mallets by the inexperienced and untrained, equating common mistakes with the associated costs of money and time.

Each session closed with a sobering conversation on the need to provide our aspiring musicians with instruments that are worthy and play their best at all times, encouraging directors to establish and maintain strong relationships with their repair shop.

The complete presentation including handouts is available at www.redwingmusicrepair.org.

 


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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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