Q & A with Taylor Zenz

Taylor Zenz works as a Public Relations intern in the Centennial Student Union’s Communications department and she is the CSU Student Employee of the Month for November 2017. We quizzed Taylor on very important topics so you could get to know her better.

A BRIEF PROFILE

Name: Taylor Zenz

Hometown: Anoka, MN

Major: Mass Media

Occupation: CSU Public Relations Intern

Birthday: July 24, 1996

15 VERY IMPORTANT QUESTIONS

  1. If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be? Contact with other life on different planets
  2. What did you want to be when you grew up? A dentist
  3. What is the happiest moment in your in your life so far? Receiving my acceptance letter to MSU.
  4. If you could live anywhere, where would that be? ANYWHERE on the west coast that’s warm. Maybe California or Hawaii.
  5. If you could have dinner with three famous people (current or historic), who would they be? Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Luke Bryan (My 3 favorite people)
  6. What is your favorite childhood memory? Tubing on the Mississippi River every weekend with my friends.
  7. What is your most prized possession? My Netflix account. There’s nothing like rewinding after a long day watching your favorite show.
  8. What tops your “bucket list?” To go backpacking through New Zealand.
  9. If you could have a super power, what would it be? To be able to transport myself to different places. Goodbye long travel times!
  10. What is the one thing or achievement you are most proud of? Being elected VP Public Relations and Marketing on the Panhellenic Council.
  11. If you could start your dream business, what would it be? My own public relations firm helping small businesses grow.
  12. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I was the most shy person you’d ever meet before I came to college. College really opened me up!
  13. How do you hope to be remembered (what will people say at your eulogy)? That I was a great friend and role model.
  14. What three words best describe you? Personable, energetic, outgoing.
  15. What do you like most about Minnesota State University, Mankato? The college community. I love walking down any given hallway and seeing a familiar and friendly face.

November 2017 RSO: Dream Closet

Get to know Dream Closet

  1. What is the focus of your organization? The focus of Dream Closet is to offer free clothing for people in the community who need a helping hand. Once a semester, we put on a free shopping event in MSU-Mankato’s Centennial Student Union Ballroom. The clothes we provide at these events are donated in boxes by members in the community.
  2. When did your organization start on our campus? How many members do you currently have? Dream Closet was started in an entrepreneurship class on MSU-Mankato’s campus in 2013. We currently have approximately 20 members in the organization.
  3. How often do you meet? What offices do you offer within the chapter? We meet two times a month. The offices we offer are social media/marketing advisory and tasks are otherwise assigned based on member interest.This year, we are changing leadership and that has been a challenge. However, we are excited to use this opportunity to create a new vision for Dream Closet. 
  4. What are your goals? Our goals for our organization is to continue to have more people come to our events, and to be more active in our community.
  5. What is the greatest achievement your organization has received? The greatest achievement Dream Closet has received is last spring our organization was chosen for Summit and Jacob Heights honorary charity.
  6. How do you join? If someone is interested in joining Dream Closet, they can join via our OrgSync page (Dream Closet for Girls). Dream Closet is a great opportunity to give back to your community and experience first-hand the way the community comes together in a supportive way.
  7. When is your next event? The next free shopping event will be in the Spring of 2018, follow us on Facebook for updates.

Connect with Dream Closet-Mankato on Facebook

October 2017 RSO: Black Motivated Women

Get to know Black Motivated Women – Mankato

  1. What is the focus of your organization? The purpose of Black Motivated Women is to provide a safe space for African and African-American women on campus to voice our opinions on social, economic and political issues as they pertain to the black community.
  2. When did your organization start on our campus? How many members do you currently have?The organization was created in 2014, but was brought back to the MNSU campus officially in the fall of 2017. We currently have a consistent 35 members, but over the past few weeks we have had a maximum of about 60 students attending our meetings.
  3. How often do you meet? What offices do you offer within the chapter? We meet bi-weekly on Thursdays from 6pm-7:30pm. Location varies between CSU 238 and CSU 253/4/5 depending on the week. We typically send the specifics of each meeting in an email to our members.
  4. What are your goals? Our biggest goals are empowering women of color on campus, strengthening the bonds of black women here in Mankato, and bridging the achievement gap. We want our girls to graduate and excel in life after college.
  5. What is the greatest achievement your organization has received? Receiving October RSO of the month has been the greatest achievement for our organization.
  6. How do you join? Joining BMW is simple! All students have to do is attend one of our meetings and sign up to receive our emails or send a formal request to join on Orgsync.

Connect with Black Motivated Women on Facebook 

Faculty Faces features Queen Booker

EDITOR’S NOTE: Many of you have your favorite classroom mentor – that professor or instructor who made learning fun, who believed in you and inspired a passion to learn or pursue your dreams. If you have a faculty member you would like to see featured, send an email to csuinfo@mnsu.edu

Continental Traveler Seeks Global Community 

By Patricia Anyango
Graduate Assistant, CSU Communications

 

Queen Booker still needs to see the bottom of the world.

An associate professor of Management within the College of Business who loves to travel, Queen said many would be surprised to know that she has travelled to all the continents except Antarctica. Among her favorite – and most daring – journeys was her travels in Angola during the late 1990s.

“I loved the people and the most courageous thing I ever did was travel there to determine what aid was needed for civilians who were trying to survive the civil war,” she said. The payoff was knowing that what she was doing in Angola had a positive effect.

A native of the Mississippi Delta, Queen has always been passionate about helping communities and making them stronger. She has worked with the Ford Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other nonprofit organizations focusing on economic empowerment of rural communities.

Although her background is in community development, Queen got into academia to serve as a resource and source of encouragement to students.  Helping them see the importance of community and economic development is at the heart of her teaching philosophy.

“Be engaged, think and look outside your classroom and yourself and look at how you can make a difference in your community,” is her advice to students.

Besides the classroom, Queen offers guidance to students involved with African Students’ Organization for Development and Progress (ASODP), Liberia Student Association & African Student Association (ASA). In and outside the classroom, Queen remains actively involved in the advancement of diversity on campus. You may also find her singing some of the R&B classics in Centennial Student Union during daytime karaoke events.


I would like for students to remember me as someone who genuinely cared about their long-term success and well-being. –  Queen Booker


Queen holds a doctorate from the University of Mississippi, an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s from Harvard University. During her 14 years at Minnesota State Mankato, she has taught subjects like Principles of Management, Ethics, Operations Management and Management Information Systems.


If she had a superpower, what would it be? 12 questions with Queen Booker

  1. What did you do for fun growing up? I was and still am a complete bookworm. I read books. My early favorites were the Child Craft books and World Book encyclopedias followed closely by the Sam and Ann adventure series, especially in the later books where the authors focused on Greek and Roman mythology.
  2. What is your favorite childhood memory? When I was in first grade, I was named homecoming queen of our elementary and middle schools. It was the one and only time I have ever been Queen Queen!
  3. Would you rather watch a movie or read a book? Oh in a heartbeat: Read a book!
  4. Which superpower would you choose? I would chose the power to summon the elements of a storm (lightning; rain; wind; snow) like Thor.
  5. Which fad do you wish would come back, and which do you wish would disappear?  The fad that I wish would disappear is the practice of wearing pants around the hips and the one I wish would come back is men opening the car door for women.
  6. Do you collect anything? I collect post cards and t-shirts. Instead of taking pictures when I travel I purchase post cards and t-shirts to recall my favorite memories of my trips.
  7. What would you do if you weren’t a professor? If I weren’t a professor, I would most likely have been a writer of “love inspired” religious novels.
  8. What does your perfect day include? A perfect day for me is one where it snows and then it stops before I have to drive in it! I love the snow but hate driving in it!
  9. Who is your hero/heroine? I don’t have a specific hero/heroine. But I admire anyone who is willing to stand up for what they truly believe as long as it doesn’t bring harm to others or themselves.
  10. Where in the world would you like to live? I would love to live in the Mississippi delta again. There is just something about being able to get peaches and plums fresh off the tree!
  11. If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to? If I could go back in time, I would go back to 1982 and relive my first year of college. I made many mistakes during that first year including but not limited to eating too many Nutty Bars and Oreo cookies that caused me miss a few classes. Missing those few classes could have ended my academic future but I was lucky enough to have professors who cared enough to address my problem and helped me to continue my education. Being a professor now, I realize how important it was to have caring professors but I also know that it was my responsibility to take care of myself. So I would go back and be a better person during that first year of college.
  12. If you could share a meal with any 3 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?  If I could share a meal with any three individuals, I would choose my mom, my maternal Aunt Mae Bell and my maternal grandmother Gertrude all of whom have passed on. I never had the chance to share a meal with them at the same time although all three had a profound impact on the woman I now am.

Q & A With Bethelhem Legesse

Bethelhem Legesse works in the Centennial Student Union’s Operations department and she is the CSU Student Employee of the Month for September 2017. We quizzed Bethelhem on very important topics so you could get to know her better.

A BRIEF PROFILE

Name: Bethelhem Legesse

Hometown: Ethiopia

Major: Electrical Engineering

Occupation: Student

Birthday: May 4

 

  1. If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be? The building of the pyramid
  2. What did you want to be when you grew up? An engineer

  3. What is the happiest moment in your life so far? When I got accepted to Minnesota State University, Mankato
  4. If you could live anywhere, where would that be?  Fiji

  5. If you could have dinner with three famous people (current or historic), who would they be? Moses and David from the bible and Steve Jobs

  6. What is your favorite childhood memory? Hanging out with my parents and siblings over the weekend
  7. What is your most prized possession? My family

  8. What tops your “bucket list?” Flying in a hot air balloon
  9. If you could have a super power, what would it be? Flying
  10. If you could start your dream business, what would it be? Owning a cupcake store 

  11. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you. I’m double-jointed 

  12. How do you hope to be remembered (what will people say at your eulogy)? That I impacted lives
  13. What three words best describe you? Adventurous, open minded, relatable 

  14. What do you like most about Minnesota State University, Mankato? The vibrant social life

 

September 2017 RSO: MSU Mankato Swing Dance Club

                                                                                            Swing Dance club members

Get to know MSU Mankato Swing Dance Club

  1. What is the focus of your organization? To teach people how to swing dance and create a fun and welcoming environment for meet new people.
  2. When did your organization start on our campus? How many members do you currently have? We started in 2006 and we have roughly 20-30 members.
  3. How often do you meet? What offices do you offer within the chapter? We meet every Monday in either the ballroom of the CSU or the flex space next to the Bullpen of the CSU. Within the club we have the office of the President and Vice President as well as treasurer, secretary, and media positions.
  4. What are your goals? To teach swing dancing skills ( we have three types) and to create a social environment.
  5. What is the greatest achievement your organization has received? As a club we do not compete but some members have gone on to compete after learning how to dance at our club.
  6. How do you join? You show up with an open mind.
  7. Why should someone want to join your organization? Swing dancing is a skill that can be applicable throughout your life and is a great way to be social.

The Effects of Music on the Brain

  • Music keeps the brain active – even while sleeping
  • Instrumental music is more conducive to concentration
  • Surgeons perform better when listening to music
  • Music can reduce blood pressure and is a defense against anxiety, depression and stress
  • Types of music impact our relationships and willingness to help others.

Even if we listen to music in a passive state and largely as a means to relax or let go, music is anything but. Whether you use it when you exercise or during a power nap, your brain, when in contact with music, is working at full!

Since the 1950s, many studies have focused on identifying the action of music on the brain.

Music and Work

Not everyone has the same needs when it comes to music and work. Some prefer silence despite scientific proof that music helps to focus and improve efficiency and creativity.

In 1994, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported a spectacular difference in performance of stressful operations between surgeons operating with their music of choice versus those that operated in silence.

In general, instrumental music has been shown to be more conducive to concentration than alternative forms. Lyrics and singing may cause distraction even if it is in an unconscious manner. That being said, the type of work being done and the monotony of the task will affect this.

The Mozart effect

Listen to music and your body, in particularly your brain, will say thank you. With slower music, it can improve circulation and dramatically reduce blood pressure.

According to a 2004 study involving rats listening to Mozart, music generates a supply of calcium to the brain that produces dopamine, inhibiting the sympathetic nervous system and reducing blood pressure. This also explains why music acts as a defense against anxiety, depression and stress.

Music makes us better

Beyond the biological benefits of music, it is now proven that it even has impact on our relationship with others.

A 2009 study revealed that if one is subjected to a happy music, the people who surround us will seem happier.

Even more surprising is the experience of psychologists Rona Fried and Leonard Berkowitz of the University of New York: they subjected a group of students to listen to calm music; another to stimulating music; a third group to music producing negative emotions; and lastly one with no music at all. The students were then asked to render a service. Students submitted to the calming music were more likely to help (90%), followed by those in the third group and those who did not listen to music (60%) and in last, the group subjected to more negative music (45%).

Moral of the story: listen, sing, play! It’s good for the body and for the soul.

Taken From Karaoke Version Blog

Alumni Memories Sought; Centennial Student Union Plans 50th Celebration Homecoming Day, Oct. 7


The Centennial Student Union invites students and alumni to join its 50th Anniversary Reunion Celebration on Homecoming Day, Saturday, Oct. 7.

Highlighting CSU reunion festivities during Minnesota State University, Mankato Homecoming Day 2017 activities will be an afternoon reception starting at 3:30 p.m. in the CSU Hearth Lounge. Other days activities will be a morning light breakfast, an invitation to participate in the Homecoming Day parade, and an evening “family friendly” event.

Mark Constantine, director of the Centennial Student Union, said activities celebrating the student union’s 50th anniversary will begin at the start of the Fall 2017 semester and continue through Homecoming 2017.

“We are reaching out to all alumni – and particularly our past CSU student employees – to return to the Centennial Student Union on Homecoming Day to help us celebrate,” Constantine said. “We also are inviting all alumni to share photos and memories shaped in the CSU as a part of a Fall ‘Serendipitous Memories’ art show planned in the CSU Art Gallery.”

“We are reaching out to all alumni – and particularly our past CSU student employees – to return to the Centennial Student Union on Homecoming Day to help us celebrate. We also are inviting all alumni to share photos and memories shaped in the CSU as a part of a Fall ‘Serendipitous Memories’ art show planned in the CSU Art Gallery.” – Mark Constantine

Photos and memories can be shared on the CSU 50th Anniversary website, www.csu.mnsu/50thAnniversary. Shared memories will be displayed in a CSU Art Gallery exhibit from August through the Homecoming celebration.

“Maybe the CSU is where you met your life partner, found a lifelong Greek community or discovered a personal passion,” Constantine said. “We want to share your CSU memories.”

The CSU also is creating a 50th anniversary display that will be used in the CSU throughout the 2017-18 academic year as well as with the University’s planned Sesquicentennial traveling display. The CSU display will include a video timeline featuring CSU directors, key staff members and special guests.

Q & A With Abby Westphal

Abby Westphal, an administrative aide in the Centennial Student Union Administrative Office for the past four years, is the CSU Student Employee of the Month for April 2017. We quizzed Abby on 20 very important topics so you could get to know her better.

A BRIEF PROFILE

Your Name: Abby Wesphal

Hometown: Circle Pines, Minnesota

Major: Nursing

Occupation: CSU Administrative Aide

Birthday: February 20

  1. If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be? Declaration of Independence signing
  2. What did you want to be when you grew up? A nurse
  3. What type of music would you (do you) sing in the shower? Country
  4. What is the most unusual food you’ve ever eaten? Alligator
  5. What is the happiest moment in your in your life so far? Nursing program acceptance
  6. If you could live anywhere, where would that be? Minnesota, I love it here!
  7. If you could talk to one species of animal which would it be? Dogs
  8. What three items can always be found in your refrigerator? Frank’s Red Hot, eggs, milk
  9. If you could have dinner with three famous people (current or historic), who would they be? Betty White, Ryan Reynolds, Florence Nightinggale
  10. What is your favorite childhood memory? Spending time at my family’s cabin
  11. What is your most prized possession? Time with family and friends
  12. What tops your list of pet peeves? Loud chewers
  13. What tops your “bucket list?” Save someone’s life
  14. If you could have a super power, what would it be? To fly
  15. What is the one thing or achievement you are most proud of? Getting chosen for summer internship at University of Minnesota
  16. If you could start your dream business, what would it be? Bakery
  17. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you. I love Harry Potter
  18. How do you hope to be remembered (what will people say at your eulogy)? I would want people to remember me as caring, fun to be around, and as someone that is influential in a positive way.
  19. What three words best describe you? Ambitious, honest, conscientious
  20. What do you like most about Minnesota State University, Mankato? Community feeling, my friends/classmates and my professors 

Faculty Focus features GUARIONEX SALIVIA

For Dr. Guarionex Salivia, the family business is teaching.

“My mom is a high school teacher, my father was a university professor and most of my uncles have taught at university level,” Salivia said. “My grandfather was a medical doctor and he was also a teacher. I have a brother who is finishing a doctorate who will be a professor, and two of my brothers are elementary schoolteachers. Everyone in my family is a teacher!”

Becoming a university professor was a natural result of growing up around so many academics, but his love for teaching goes deeper than tradition.


“Standing in front of all those people and having them somehow learn something from me; that is really exciting.”
– Guarionex Salivia


“Standing in front of all those people and having them somehow learn something from me; that is really exciting,” Salivia said. “That’s why I love teaching. Even if it’s only 10 percent of the students that get something out of the class. That’s what motivates me.”

Outside of school, Dr. Salivia likes to mountain climb, cross-country ski and catch up on the many Netflix series he has started. He also loves to play soccer.

“I used to play soccer in college so I’ve been trying to stay in shape for when the next opportunity arises,” Salivia said. “I try to connect with the students as much as I can, and in the context of sports, it would be nice to connect with a group of students that play soccer and would be open to involving faculty.”

Dr. Salivia is on the brink of getting his tenure promotion. He is excited to continue expanding his research and teaching spectrum at Minnesota State, Mankato.


Find out what his spirit animal is and why plus more in 10 questions with Guarionex Salivia.

  1. What is your favorite music? I listen to anything from Spanish rock to reggae. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Bob Marley.
  2. Where is your hometown? I’m from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  3. What is your favorite movie? Star Wars, but only the original trilogy. Not the prequels and not the enhanced versions. I read recently that Disney is going to release the original untampered with trilogy, and I cannot wait until that happens so I can get my hands on it.
  4. What is your spirit animal? The dragon. I was born in 1976, which is the year of the dragon in the Chinese calendar.
  5. What word best describes you? I like to think of myself as a highly collaborative person. I don’t know if that’s how people perceive me, but that’s how I would like to be perceived. I do my best to collaborate.
  6. If you were stranded on an island, what three items would you want? If I can choose anything, then a boat. A knife, a rope and a boat.
  7. Where in the world would you like to live? There is this one town I visited in the northwestern part of Italy where my ancestors from my mother’s side are from called Genoa, Italy. I loved it. It’s a port-town and it’s interesting because the town is built on a hill. It’s beautiful.
  8. Do you speak any second languages? My native language is Spanish, and I also speak Italian.
  9. If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time? Catch up on all my Netflix. I’m watching too much stuff and it’s hard to catch up.
  10. Do you have a hero/heroine? I look up to my father a lot because he was also a university professor. I think of him as a figure to emulate. I rely a lot on my wife, not just for support, but also because we compliment each other. It’s not about heroics, it’s about life experiences.