Home-run Hitter Jordan Knows The ABCs of 50 States

Maverick Spotlight

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by ALEX BAUMANN, CSU Public Relations Intern

In this week’s edition of Maverick Spotlight, the inSIDER features Jordan Hart. Hart is a Senior on the MSU Baseball team. The Lyle, Minn., native appeared in 27 games (25 starts) hit .370 with a .407 on-base percentage, .660 slugging percentage, 37 hits, two triples, four doubles, seven home runs, six walks, 19 runs scored and 31 RBI in 2018 and his 25 career home runs are the fifth most in program history.  Let’s get to know Jordan better.

  1. What three words best describe you?
    • Outgoing, laid-back, open-minded
  2. What tops your list of pet peeves? 
    • Loud eaters
  3. As the only human left on Earth, what would you do?
    • Lose my mind due to interaction with others.
  4. What’s the dumbest thing you’ve done that actually turned out pretty well?
    • Not studied for a test and got a 98% on it. 
  5. Who is your all-time favorite sports star?
    • Derek Jeter 
  6.  What is your most prized possession?
    • My Phone
  7. What three items can always be found in your refrigerator
    • Eggs, Ranch, Leftovers  
  8. What is the most impressive thing you know how to do?
    • Say the states in alphabetical order
  9. Who’s your go to band or artist when you can’t decide on something to listen to?
    • Any EDM
  10. What movie title best describes your life?
    • The Pursuit of Happiness (Will Smith, 2006)
  11. What is the luckiest thing that has happened to you?
    • Getting good grades in college.  
  12. What is something that a ton of people are obsessed with but you just don’t get the point of?
    • Fortnite
  13. If all jobs had the same pay and hours, what job would you like to have?
    • Baseball Coach
  14. Who inspires you to be better?
    • My dad, because he is my biggest fan not only for sports but for life. 
  15. What is something you will NEVER do again?
    • The Iron Maverick (Baseball competition day)
  16. What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch?
    • The bachelor/bachelorette 
  17. If you could have a super power, what would it be? 
    • Probably fly, because then getting around would be a lot faster. 
  18. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? 
    • Pay off my tuition.
  19.  What type of music would you (do you) sing in the shower? 
    • Pop/Rap.
  20. What do you like most about Minnesota State University, Mankato? 
    • I like being a part of the baseball team. The last 4 years, I got to connect with people of the team and made new friends. Without being on the team, I don’t think I would have had as much fun at MSU. 

Thank you to Jordan for answering these questions. If you are an athlete or know an athlete who should be in the Athlete Spotlight, please send an email to Alexander.baumann@mnsu.edu.

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What is eSports?

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by ALEX BAUMANN, CSU Public Relations Intern


eSports – short for electronic gaming sports – is now a global phenomenon.

Even college campuses are getting on the eSports bandwagon. More than 50 colleges have varsity eSports programs, recognized by a governing body called the National Association of Collegiate Esports. NACE championships dole out thousands of dollars in prize money, which is put towards scholarships for the winners. To read about what that might mean specifically to MSU, click here to for the related story by CSU Public Relations Assistant, Brett Marshall.

Gaming tournaments around the world have brought hundreds of thousands of people to enjoy and compete in the growing platform that is eSports.

These organized video gaming events draw competitors from different leagues or teams who face off in the same games that are popular with at-home gamers: Fortnight, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, Overwatch and Madden NFL, to name a few. These gamers are watched and followed by millions of fans all over the world, who attend live events or tune in on TV or online.

Streaming services like Twitch allow viewers to watch as their favorite gamers play in real time, and this is typically where popular gamers build up their fandoms. One of the most popular eSport games, League of Legends, had over 60 million tune into its Finals in 2017.

Even the NBA has partnered with the makers of the NBA 2K video game to create the NBA2K League, an eSports league dedicated to NBA gaming. 

380 million people worldwide will watch eSports this year, including 165 million eSports enthusiasts (a term that describes frequent viewers, as opposed to occasional viewers). The bulk of these enthusiasts watch from North America, China and South Korea.

eSports are growing at a rapid pace with more and more people getting involved with it by the year. It should be interesting to see what the future of this growing industry will be to say the least. 

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Slow Walkers: Get Out Of Monika Ryan’s Way!

Maverick Spotlight

by ALEX BAUMANN, CSU Public Relations Intern

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In this week’s edition of Maverick Spotlight the inSIDER features Monika Ryan. Ryan is a Junior on the MSU Tennis team. The Las Vegas, Nev. native Went 5-11 in singles matches, including a 5-10 record in No. 2 singles match, went 5-12 in No. 1 doubles matches with her teammate Erin Streeter in the 2017-18 season. Let’s get to know Monika a little better.

  1. What three words best describe you? 
    • Hardworking, Excited, Spontaneous  
  2. What tops your list of pet peeves? 
    • Slow walking people 
  3. If you could be any animal, what would it be and why? 
    • I would be a bird because I love to travel
  4. What’s the dumbest thing you’ve done that actually turned out pretty well? 
    • Don’t know
  5. Who is your all-time favorite sports star? 
    • Shawn White
  6. What is your most prized possession? 
    • Family
  7. What three items can always be found in your refrigerator? 
    • Carrots, Parsley, and Bacon
  8. If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? 
    • Write 
  9. What skill would you like to master? 
    • Dancing
  10. What movie title best describes your life?
    • I don’t really watch/like to watch movies 
  11. What is the luckiest thing that has happened to you? 
    • I got my puppy Bently
  12. What is something that a ton of people are obsessed with but you just don’t get the point of? 
    • High waisted anything 
  13. If all jobs had the same pay and hours, what job would you like to have? 
    • Own a no kill animal shelter 
  14. Who inspires you to be better? 
    • My mom
  15. What is something you will NEVER do again? 
    • Not sure.
  16. What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives? 
    • Travel to Europe
  17. If you could have a super power, what would it be? 
    • Read peoples’ minds
  18. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? 
    • Tell my mom to quit her job
  19. If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be? 
    • I would like to see the middle ages 
  20. What do you like most about Minnesota State University, Mankato?
    • I like how close knit and nice everybody is, I don’t have that from my home town, Vegas. 

Thank you Monika for taking the time to answer these questions. If you are an athlete or know of an athlete who should be featured in the Athlete Spotlight, please send an email to Alexander.baumann@mnsu.edu

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MN United Kicks Open Allianz Field

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by ALEX BAUMANN, CSU Public Relations Intern

”ALLLIANZ FIELD, St. Paul, Minn.

On Sat. Apr. 13, the MNUFC Major League Soccer team in Minnesota, kicked open its new stadium, Allianz Field. This was a dream made reality by many people, both those who work for the team and supporters of it.

‘It creates an environment that opposing teams will not want to walk into and will provide MN United a distinct home-field advantage.’

Oscar Gonzalez, Assistant Director of Admissions and MN United Season Ticket Holder

So how exactly did Allianz Field become a reality?

This project can be traced back to 2015 when Minnesota United was awarded an expansion spot in Major League Soccer. Shortly after, the team announced it’s intention to build a state of the art soccer stadium in St. Paul at the center of downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. Construction of the stadium was expected to begin in the summer of 2016 with United joining MLS in 2017. MN United played at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus until moving into their brand new home.

Allianz Field seats up to 19,400 people and has 1.9 million people within 30 miles of the stadium with many more around the midwest this facility will be available to.

MSU student Frida Farstad Erikkson, who is from Sweden and a lifelong soccer player says, “I hope it will bring more people to games. I am all for soccer growing,” regarding the opening of Allianz Field.

“I would love to go to the game on April 24th when they are playing LA galaxy. I want to see Zlatan,” Errikson said, when considering which game(s) she would like to attend.

Cydney Coffey who is a graduate student in the Sport & Exercise Science program and played soccer at the Division 1 level at NDSU said, “I’m definitely excited! The stadium looks amazing from the pictures that I’ve seen! Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to attend any of their games in the past so I am excited and plan on attending more games this year!”

Coffey also thinks the stadium could help soccer gain popularity in Minnesota. “I think that now that there is an official soccer stadium you will see a huge increase in people’s interest in soccer! Yes, since I’m closer to the stadium I am hoping to be able to go to a handful of their games!”

Assistant Director of Admissions at MSU, Oscar Gonzalez, has followed MN United for several years and has season tickets said, “The atmosphere was exciting and energetic. It creates an environment that opposing teams will not want to walk into and will provide MN United a distinct home-field advantage.”

Going from TCF Bank Stadium over to Allianz Field brought some changes to the game day environment. Gonzalez said, “For the players going from the turf field at TCF Bank Stadium to the natural grass at Allianz Field is a step up. Soccer players definitely prefer grass to turf. And for the fans, Allianz Field provides a much better view of the field from the stands and an environment better suited for soccer games, since TCF Bank Stadium is a football stadium.”

Gonzalez added, “Students around campus should be excited about Allianz Field opening. I see many students wearing MN United gear and having a strong presence of international students as well as the teams established here on campus have helped generate excitement about the game.”

In front of a sold-out crowd, MN United and New York City FC played to a 3-3 tie. Their next home game is April 24 at 7 PM vs. the Los Angeles Galaxy.

For more information regarding Allianz Field, MN United, or to get tickets to an upcoming game visit mnufc.com

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“Take Your Heart” To The MavSMASH

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by ABIGAIL SKAALERUD, CSU Public Relations Intern

Do you have an interest in video games such as Smash 4, Melee, or Tekken?

On May 2, MavSmash will be hosting a tournament for these different video games at the Maverick Bullpen. Check in and signing up for a bracket starts at 6 p.m. and the actual tournament starts at 7:30 p.m.

MavSmash is a newly developed club right here on campus at MSU. It is meant for video gamers alike and anyone who would like to join is welcome to become a part of it!

“MavSmash is open to anyone wanting to play,” said Luis Angel Ruiz, a member of MavSmash.”We have students who aren’t MSU students, as well as people who aren’t students who come and play. MavSmash is open to the public and to MSU students.”

Even if you are at best average at playing video games, they are willing to teach anyone.

“We are very welcoming and want more students to be enrolled and engaged,” Ruiz said.

So come out for a fun event of video games and getting to know people who have similar interests!

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‘Hunchback’ Offers Timeless Tale Against Timely Headlines

Production at Minnesota State Mankato Enters Final Weekend

SOUNDBITE: Theatre Director Paul Hustoles on the timeliness and social significance of Minnesota State University, Mankato’s musical stage adaptation of Disney’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
Quasimodo (Billy Gleason) is delighted to be “On Top of the World,” in the bell tower of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, with his new friend, Esmeralda (Delanie Wiedrich). Minnesota State Mankato’s production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame follows the Disney animation storyline and features music written by composers of such blockbusters as Wicked and Beauty and the Beast.

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by LENNY KOUPAL, CSU Communications Coordinator

The bells of Notre Dame will ring this weekend as cast and director of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” at Minnesota State University, Mankato enter final performances reflecting on this week’s devastating fire of the iconic 850-year-old cathedral.

For Paul Hustoles, director of Minnesota State Mankato’s Theatre’s latest musical, said production plans started over a year ago for this adaptation based on the Disney animation of Victor Hugo’s 1831 classic,. This week’s Notre Dame Cathedral fire proved to be an eerie twist of fate.

“This is just a really strange coincidence that it would happen while we are doing the show,” Hustoles said.

‘The reason I like the show so much is because there are gypsies coming to Paris. The so-called church-going people want to get rid of all foreigners and they build walls…I think it’s incredibly timely for political reasons but then coincidentally timely because of what happened.’

Paul Hustoles, Director of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Final weekend performances of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. All performances are in the renovated Ted Paul Theatre in the University’s Earley Center for the Performing Arts.

Remaining tickets for this weekend may be purchased through the theatre box office open weekdays from 4 to 6 p.m. Tickets by phone can be purchased at that time by calling 507-389-6661.

Hustoles said the cast hasn’t met since the fire, but he spoke with key cast members after watching shocking scenes from Monday’s fire. He added that one of the show’s special effects may have heightened emotional impact for cast and audience.

“One of the big things that happen in this show – it’s rather spectacular – the bells fly in. It will be very interesting to see what the audience does when that happens,” Hustoles said.

He added that the bells and the rose window featured in the performance were among those notable cathedral features spared by firefighting efforts.

The director said other aspects of Hunchback’s storyline are as timely as today’s headlines.

“The reason I like the show so much is because there are gypsies coming to Paris. The so-called church-going people want to get rid of all foreigners and they build walls,” Hustoles said. “I think it’s incredibly timely for political reasons but then coincidentally timely because of what happened (this week).”

Written in 1831, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame is Victor Hugo’s tale of Quasimodo, the deformed, yet tender-hearted, bell ringer for Notre Dame who is shown compassion by a young gypsy street dancer. The Disney version of tragic love told through animation and music raised awareness and controversy around what is interpreted as good and evil, ugly and magnanimous.

Having done previous stage versions of Disney productions, Hustoles said he wasn’t planning to direct this show until the musical director suggested he take a second look.

“It was never done on Broadway. The reason it was never done on Broadway is because it is the most un-Disney thing that Disney ever did,” Hustoles said. “It’s serious. It has character. It has plot. And yet it’s also incredibly romantic.”

The show’s music also features two heavy hitters. Composer Alan Menken is credited with the musical score for such Disney animated blockbusters as Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. Lyricist Stephen Schwartz is best known for the Broadway smash hit, Wicked.

Hustoles said the cast of Hunchback is one of the largest for an MSU production. Along with the leads and support cast, the show features an onstage choir comprised of students from the music department.  

“Four out of the five leads are graduating seniors,” he added. “It’s really fun when you can go out on a literal high note.”

The title role features Billy Gleason as Quasimodo. Senior All-American Actor Mathew Sather appears as Captain Phoebus.

‘Our Esmeralda is played by Delanie Wiedrich, who is an All-American Actress. Two years ago when she won the status as best musical theatre actor in our region – which put her in the top eight in the country – she did a song from Hunchback.’

Paul Hustoles

“Our Esmeralda is played by Delanie Wiedrich, who is an All-American Actress,” Hustoles added. “Two years ago when she won the status as best musical theatre actor in our region – which put her in the top eight in the country – she did a song from Hunchback.”

That song, “Someday,” has earned “screaming ovations” for Wiedrich in the opening weekend, Hustoles added.

This weekend’s production closes MSU Theatre’s main stage season for the University’s sesquicentennial year. Hustoles said it’s not yet known if this week’s events will prompt ticket sales for the stage adaptation of Disney’s animated version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

“We normally get a bump in our second weekend,” he said. “The word of mouth (on this show) has been really very good. Many people thought this was the best show they’ve seen in quite some time, and I think we do pretty good shows. So that is a high compliment for us.”

Hustoles added that last Thursday’s snow also caused audience members to move their reservations to the second weekend.

One thing is for certain, audiences of this Disney musical will have a distinct historic perspective of an eight-century-old cathedral set against a 19th century social tale wrapped around today’s headlines of destruction and rebirth. Some could say that is theatre at its finest.

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Organized eSports Coming to Minnesota State Mankato?

Survey Looks At Popularity, Possibilities

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by BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Assistant

Take the gaming survey to provide feedback on gaming habits like systems used and games played.

One of the fastest growing communities in the world could soon have a new home at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

A group of Minnesota State Mankato staff recently completed a research report on eSports and its presence across colleges and universities across Minnesota and the rest of the United States.

The report was submitted to University administration and is being reviewed to determine the feasibility of having eSports as an active part of student life at Minnesota State Mankato.

Ben Nelson, marketing & facilities coordinator for MSU Campus Recreation, has been one of the leads on the research and thinks bringing eSports to campus could help build friendships and community.

“We want gamers to able to experience that community beyond their screens and headsets and to be able to game together on campus.”

Nelson and the team have been surveying campuses similar in size to Minnesota State Mankato to find out if they have an eSports program and, if so, how it operates. They found that although several campuses have eSports programs, there doesn’t appear to be one magic recipe for how eSports groups are started, funded and supported.

“There’s no clear home for eSports in a lot of universities,” Nelson said. “Some schools have eSports under the same umbrella as NCAA sports like basketball volleyball. Others are based out of academic areas, some are based out of recreational areas and some are based out of student unions.”

Not even the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA), a leader in advising campus recreation programs, had an idea of where to house eSports.

“It’s not typical to what campus recreation is used to offering. It’s not a physical sport,” Nelson said. “Even in the campus rec world there’s a divide between ‘Is this part of us?’ or ‘Is this not a part of us.'”

Nelson thinks Minnesota State Mankato would benefit most from housing eSports in Campus Rec with a mix of intramurals and competitive club teams.

“The most likely route would be an eSports umbrella with subsequent RSO’s dedicated to different games underneath that umbrella,” Nelson said.

But getting to that point will still require funding and resources from the University. Nelson said the University would have to determine if it wanted to invest in gaming systems and computers, a dedicated space for the gaming, travel and/or other expenses associated with the formation of eSports.

There’s no timeline for eSports at this time as the preliminary research just concluded and was passed on to administration. Nelson said if students continue to show interest and support, it could help push the idea forward. He said the best way for students to help is go to the Campus Rec Facebook page and take the gaming survey to provide feedback on gaming habits like systems used and games played.

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Rocketing to the Top: Spencer Good a Top Minnesota Gamer

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by BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Intern

eSports gaming is rising faster than ever before, and Spencer Good, a junior at Minnesota State University, Mankato, is looking to make his mark in a game called Rocket League.

Good began playing Rocket League, a game he described simply as “rocket powered cars playing soccer,” on his XBOX five years ago while attending Mankato West High School.

He originally picked up the game casually to play with friends. The rush he got from playing was similar to the nerves and excitement he got from playing lacrosse and ever since he’s developed a big passion for the game.

Spencer Good, a junior in MSU’s Accounting program is a top 10 ranked Rocket League player in Minnesota.

“It’s helped me find a healthy gaming community. I’ve met and connected with people I never would have if not for Rocket League. There’s been so many times when someone has told me their friends play Rocket League and we end up playing with one another down the road and becoming friends,” Good said.

After years of playing Rocket League with his friends, Good has developed serious skill. In March, he rose to a top 10 player in the state of Minnesota and to the top 1 percent of Rocket League players internationally which means among the 50 million players worldwide, he’s one of the top 500,000 players.

He credits his rapid growth to active learning within the game and a mindset focused on skill development and not just winning.

‘I also play under the philosophy that I’m playing to improve and not to win.’

Spencer Good, Top 10 Minnesota Rocket League Player

“I attribute my relatively fast growth to watching and playing with higher skilled players and picking their brains to learn what they’re doing that I’m not. I also play under the philosophy that I’m playing to improve and not to win.”

Despite these achievements, Good remains humble.

“Honestly I still don’t think I’m very good at the game. There are so many weird and complex mechanics I still have to master and practice. So to me, it’s easy to see where I can still get better,” he said.

Good hopes to help grow Rocket League at Minnesota State Mankato by forming team, which could eventually receive support from the university. The team would compete in the College Rocket League (CRL), which features university teams from across the country. Most of the matches are streamed on Twitch and YouTube and often generating hundreds of thousands of views. Good has also been asked to join a competitive team out of Eastern Connecticut University.

Good says school remains his top priority as he’s pursuing a degree in accounting, but hopes he can continue to hone his skills.

“I want to reach the top rank in Minnesota and move into the top .1 percent internationally. There’s a lot of growing to do before then, but I hope to eventually get it.”

Good encourages anyone who’s passionate about eSports to dive in and go for it. He said the best way to start is to do it with friends.

“Every game is better with friends, so make sure you either find people or bring people to the eSport.”

He also recommends playing the underdog as the key to success.

“Finding people that are better than you at the game is huge if you want to get better fast, but most importantly you should play to improve. If you only focus on winning on every single game, you won’t try new things and make the mistakes that are key to learning and improving.”

If you’re interested in becoming a part of MSU’s Rocket League team or want some tips and tricks to improve at Rocket League, Good said he’d love to help.

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Student Fee Referendum Passes By 16 Votes

Omar, Trenne Win; Inauguration April 17

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Passing by a 16-vote margin, students Tuesday supported a 4.9 percent increase to the Student Activity Fee in a Student Government ballot that included selection of Anisa Omar and Andrew Trenne with Empowering Mavericks as the incoming president and vice president.

2019-20 Student Government President Anisa Omar and Vice President Andrew Trenne.

Voter results for the referendum were 715 votes for the fee amendment and 699 opposed.

The passed amendment increases average student fees from $8.36 to $8.77 per credit hour effective in Fall 2019. Student Activity Fees support a range of programs including busing, student activities, theater and dance, multicultural student activities, and international student activities.

By more than twice the combined votes for the remaining two candidate tickets, Omar and Trenne received 1,044 votes to assume Student Government leadership for the 2019-2020 academic year. Other candidates on the ballot included Kayla Erickson/Logan Dahlk with Maverick: United As One, and write-in candidates Lindsey Leonard/Nick Krekelberg.

The Empowering Mavericks ticket had candidates in most senate races and all but swept the election. Elijah Calderon-Pitchford with Mavericks: United As One was named to one of two senator spots for the College of Allied Health and Nursing. Julia Nellis with Mavericks: United As One was named to an Off-campus Residents seat. Alejandra Bejarano was elected by write-in ballot for College of Graduate Studies. Appointed requires candidate’s acceptance.

Empowering Mavericks earning senate seats include:

College of Allied Health & Nursing: Gretchen Bygd

College of Social & Behavioral Sciences: Shayla Schumacher

Student Body At Large: Arnavee Maltare and Mohammad Sajal

College of Science, Engineering & Technology: Avishek Pradhan, Samikshya and Bishal Patel

College of Arts & Humanities: Olivia Schmidt and Paige Johnson

College of Business: Fadumo Mohamed and Toun Shokunbi

Off-campus Residents: Khaled Souleymane, Andrew Weinzierl, Janet Somah, Fatima Bana, Sneha Bhusal, Agol Akot, Rakhi Karki

Residential Life Residents: Alexander Prom, Sophie Hoiseth, Nolan Bessler, Emma Zellmer, and Jaydon Dickey

Newspaper Board: Jonathan Fjeld

Centennial Student Union Board: Arnavee Maltare and Jaydon Dickey

Inauguration for Omar, Trennen and the 87th Student Government Senate is set for Wednesday, April 17, at 5 p.m. in the CSU Hearth Lounge.

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Minnesota State University Maverick Becca Kufrin’s Shares Life-Changing Experiences

In ‘Bachelor-Bachelorette’ Spotlight

No copyright infringement intended.

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by: MORGAN STOLPA, CSU Public Relations Intern

From a Midwest university to the national spotlight of a popular reality TV series, Minnesota State Mankato alumna Becca Kufrin said high-profile romance brought love and anxiety, friendships and life-changing experiences.

Following a heart-breaking end to her romance with Arie Luyendyk Jr. on the 22nd of ABC’s reality series, The Bachelor, Becca returned to the mansion, but this time as the lead of the 14th season of The Bachelorette. At the conclusion of her season, Kufrin’s second chance at love lead to her engagement to Garrett Yrigoyen.

Minnesota girl turned celebrity, Kufrin said The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, thrust her into the public spotlight.

 “It changed my life drastically. I’ve now found my partner in which I will go through life with,” said the 2012 Mass Media graduate, “It’s also opened up so many doors for my future – career-wise and personally and has allowed me to travel to some places that I never thought I’d experience in my ‘normal’ life.”

“In this world of social media influx, be prepared for everyone to insert themselves in every decision you make, action you take, or word you utter. Once it begins airing, things will never be the same.” – Becca Kufrin

A double dose of reality TV romance also came with “new learning curves and anxiety-ridden situations” that often accompanies celebrity status.

 “I can no longer go out in public without being recognized or be able to just ‘sneak through’ my normal daily tasks,” she said. “It’s opened the doors for anyone to question or comment on every aspect about my life, even though I’m a fairly private person. It’s been a huge change and one that my family, Garrett and I are still learning to adjust to.”

Despite the changes Kufrin is still adjusting to in her life, she doesn’t regret her decision to appear on the Bachelorette.

 “I would do the Bachelorette again because it brought me to Garrett and new friendships, but I wouldn’t necessarily sign up to be on TV again,” said Kufrin.

For Kufrin, making it onto The Bachelor series was a lengthy procedure.

“The overall process was quite long. I had to submit several questionnaires and images, video, attend two casting calls, complete a psych test and background check,” she said.

Kufrin said she attended her first casting call in New York City. Her best friend’s wedding fell on the same weekend as the nearest opportunity – “which was in Chicago,” she explained.  

“Thinking it better be worth it, I used all of my Delta Skymiles to fly out for it,” she added.

As both the winner on Season 22 of The Bachelor and the lead in Season 14 of The Bachelorette. Kufrin said her experiences gave her a unique viewpoint of the reality show franchise.

“I felt that as the Bachelorette I had somewhat more control over situations, but with that I felt much more pressure,” Kufrin said. “While being a contestant on the Bachelor I learned patience and to just go-with-the-flow, but as the lead I realized the immense pressure of making decisions that would affect my (and 28 other men’s) life, which was a lot more stressful.”

Although Kufrin had more control as the Bachelorette, she didn’t have much say in picking the locations and sites for dates or what artists performed during her season except for, “deciding what men I wanted to join me for each date.”

“Almost all travel, date activities and celeb appearances are locked and loaded well before each season begins. I don’t find out about any of it until moments before. I was able to give my input for date ideas, which is why the Lumberjack date was planned, other than that, almost everything is already set.” Kufrin explained.

For future contests or people interested in participating in the Bachelor or Bachelorette, Kufrin offers a piece of advice.

“Really think about your life and how much it will change,” she said. “In this world of social media influx, be prepared for everyone to insert themselves in every decision you make, action you take, or word you utter. Once it begins airing, things will never be the same.

 “But on a lighter note – you’ll have a handful of cool experiences and friendships (and hopefully love) that you’ll take away from it,” Kufrin added.

Alumni Spotlight With Becca Kufrin

How did what you learned during your college experience prepare you for the challenges that you have faced on the Bachelor and the Bachelorette. 

College forces everyone to be around a variety of people and opinions, and the bachelor/bachelorette is no different. I went into each season preparing myself for a multitude of differing opinions and personality types but knowing to respect everyone I came in contact with, even if I didn’t agree. College also taught me to accept and embrace change (it was the first time I lived away from my family, had to pay bills and adult on my own, and learn to grow up), and the show was the biggest changing point in my life, so college just helped pave the way for me to start on the next journey in my life.

What made you decide on Minnesota State University, Mankato? 

When deciding upon where to go to college, I wanted to stay somewhere semi-close to where my family and home-base were. Since my dad was battling cancer, Mankato was the perfect location where I was far enough to ‘do my own thing’ but also make it home enough to be with him and my mom. Also, I really fell for the campus and how accessible everything seemed when touring.”

Share a favorite college memory and/or experiences at Minnesota State Mankato? 

“I worked at Jonny B’s for three years while attending school and absolutely loved it. All of the employees became family and it was by far the most fun part-time job I ever had. I loved interacting with any and everyone while working, and it gave me so many great tools on how to work in a fast-paced industry with ALL types of people, which ultimately helped me succeed in the PR world.” 

Why did you decide to pursue a degree in Mass Media with an emphasis in Public Relations? 

I originally wanted to work with a non-profit organization and knew that PR would be the most beneficial degree for this type of industry. I wanted to be very interactive with people and clients and thought PR would offer the perfect variety for this.

How did Mass Media help you in your career? 

Mass Media in general helped with a general knowledge of PR and looped in other skills and lessons needed for any job. With it I learned how to be more concise but also how to target groups with specific messages.

Did/do you have any faculty or staff members that went the extra mile to help you during your time at Minnesota State Mankato? 

Both Chuck Lewis and Ellen Mrja are some of the professors that stand out to me even years after being away from MNSU. They kept lessons interesting & fun, and allowed me to come to them after hours to help answer any questions I had.

6. What advice would you give to Mankato State University Mass Media graduates as they begin looking for jobs?

“Internships and networking are key. Even if an internship isn’t paid, take it and learn as much as you can in a short amount of time. Also intern within different industries to see what you really enjoy or excel at. As someone who always thought she’d work in non-profits, I quickly learned that as much as I loved helping, it wouldn’t necessarily be sustainable as a career for me personally.

“Also, there is more to life than just a press release.”

Jonny B’s remains a popular hangout (it now has a second Mankato location). What was your favorite thing about working there? Favorite thing to order? 

Favorite things about working at Jonny’s: 1) Jonny himself is an amazing man and I love him to death. 2) Karaoke nights are pretty entertaining. 3) Everyone I worked with became like a family.

And the best thing to order…even though Jonny probably wants me to say the roast beef (which is wonderful with a side of au jus), my favorite thing was something not even on the menu. Next time ask for the crispy chicken sandwich tossed in a mixture of frank’s red hot and ranch dressing – you won’t be disappointed.

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