Over the weekend, a group of MSCSA students immersed themselves in a three-day cultural experience at the Power in Diversity Conference 2015. The event was held in Saint Cloud and the weekend consisted of keynotes, workshops, a job fair, a graduate school fair, and social engagements. It was a great opportunity for our students to grow personally and professionally.
The keynote speakers shared their inspirational stories and students found these powerful messages really moving and motivational. Some of the key lessons were about diversity in arts, understanding and utilizing the advice from your mentors, and realizing that it doesn’t matter where we come from but rather about where we are going. The workshops covered a range of topics related to cultural diversity, from movements of the 1960’s to myths surrounding the stigma of the ebola virus. Throughout the conference the attendees experienced a variety of types of foods so that everyone had the chance to try something new. They also got the opportunity to open their eyes, and their ears, to music from different parts of the world. During a mid-conference break, the whole group participated in dances from around the world and then everyone broke into a mini dance party! Overall, the students left more culturally aware and inspired to bring their new ideas and experiences back to their campuses.
We are already looking forward to next year's event!
January 9, 2015 was a very special day for the Minnesota State College Student Association. It marked the eighth annual MSCSA Scholarship Gala and was also the day that the Dr. Steve Frantz Leadership Scholarship, a new MSCSA scholarship, was announced.
Dr. Frantz has played a very meaningful role in the development of MSCSA through his tenure at MnSCU. This year, Steve retired from MnSCU but we are thankful that his legacy will live on within our association with this new endowed scholarship.
Guests turned out in record numbers this year to the Radisson Blu - Mall of America, where we hosted this event for the very first time. The new venue truly created a lively and modern environment for our gala.
This year's silent auction was one-of-a-kind, with many of our items being handmade by student programs on our MnSCU campuses. We also had a full wall of wine sell out! There were 120 bottles donated and we raised $1,200. We also unveiled a new game this year, Plinko, and it was a huge hit.
We are proud to announce that over $15,000 was raised for scholarships. Thank you to everyone who came to the gala for the first time and a special thank you to everyone who continues to support us year after year. The MSCSA Leadership Scholarship program has grown from a few small fundraisers a year, to today, where we have been fortunate enough to have an endowment to keep the scholarship program alive forever. We cannot say enough about the appreciation we have for supporters like you.
If you were unable to attend the gala this year and wish to support students, you can still make a donation. We also gladly accept silent auction items and wine donations throughout the entire year. Contact Amanda Skorich at email@example.com for pick-up or drop-off arrangements.
We hope to see you next year, so please save the date for the ninth annual MSCSA Scholarship Gala on January 8, 2016!
Director of Development
Minnesota's legislative session kicked off last week and higher education was pushed to the forefront with the introduction of Senate File 2, authored by Senator Stumpf. This legislation will provide tuition assistance for Minnesota high school students to attend Minnesota State Colleges and Universities(MnSCU) community and technical colleges.
In order for a student to be eligible for the new assistance, they must enroll in college no later than the fall after high school graduation and must make satisfactory academic progress in order to maintain eligibility for the funding.
This bill parallels a new proposal from the Obama Administration that was released late last week. Few details are known around this proposal, but the administration believes it would save students attending community colleges around the country an average of $3,800 annually.
It's possible that these initiatives could receive attention during either the state legislative session or during the current session of Congress.
After nearly 7 years of dedicated service to students, Jonathan Miller will be departing MSCSA on Oct 19 for a new opportunity at the University of Minnesota.
Jonathan will be the Communications Coordinator for the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) at the University of Minnesota. CURA's mission is to strengthen the partnership between the University of Minnesota and the community that it serves. As the Communications Coordinator, Jonathan will use many of the skills he developed at MSCSA including writing, editing, graphic design, social media work, website maintenance and communications planning.
Jonathan's leadership in the area of communications led MSCSA to a full website redesign, deployment of a new office IT system, launch a new database system and a transition of MSCSA's print publications to online and social media. He will be missed, but his work leaves a solid communications structure for the association to build upon in the future.
Please join me in thanking Jonathan for his service and offering him congratulations!
Justin Klander, MSCSA Executive Director
Last Wednesday long-time MSCSA Scholarship Board member and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities employee Steve Frantz retired from MnSCU after 36 years of service. It was important to Steve that his retirement celebration share the spotlight with two of his favorite charities, so he worked closely with MSCSA and theMinnesota Military Family Foundation (MMFF), as well as the venue Wild Tymes to incorporate a fundraising aspect for his retirement party. MSCSA organized a Toast or Roast, Shave or No Shave contest and a raffle with a gift basket full of Steve’s favorite things with proceeds benefitting the MSCSA Leadership Scholarship and the MMFF.
Over 100 people showed support for Steve and the causes he holds close to his heart, but they didn’t let him off easily. The Shave or No Shave contest raised over $1,600 with “Shave” tipping the scales by raising over $1,000! Steve had no idea whether his beard was staying or leaving until he was brought up on stage and the barber from Heimie’s Haberdashery got out his clippers.
The event raised several thousand dollars as a tribute to Steve’s service. It was an honor for MSCSA and the MMFF to be able to take part in the evening as we wished Steve a long and happy retirement. If you weren’t able to attend the event, you can still donate and send along a message to Steve.