Minnesota State College Southeast - News, Events, and Updates MSC Southeast - News and Events
Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College


MSC Southeast News and Events

News and Events

Keeping you in touch with MSC Southeast

3 music repair program instructors receive Outstanding Alumni Awards

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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.


Daniel Matejka receives Outstanding Alumni - Winona Award

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Minnesota State College Southeast honors Daniel Matejka with 2019 Outstanding Alumni - Winona Award

Daniel MatejkaSince graduating from Minnesota State College Southeast's Accounting program in 1984, Daniel Matejka has advanced in his career to a leadership role as Goodview's City Administrator and has become a valued supporter of the college.

On Tuesday, May 14, 2019, he was honored with the "Outstanding Alumni of the Year - Winona" award at the MSC Southeast graduation ceremony in Winona. The award recognizes outstanding personal and professional achievement and service to others.

After graduating from Southeast in 1984, Dan began his career in accounting for the Winona Area Public School District.  Then in 1999, he became the Business Manager at the La Crescent - Hokah school district.  

In 2006, Dan accepted the City Administrator position in Goodview. "He is an extraordinary leader for the City of Goodview and has built great relationships with his staff and everyone he works with on any given day," said Casie Johnson in nominating Dan Matejka for the award. "He is respected and admired as a leader of the community by all." 

Dan recognizes the importance of the mission of the college and continues to support it in a variety of ways.  He served on the Minnesota State College Foundation Board from 2007 - 2013, the last three of those years as board president. He has volunteered on the Foundation Golf Tournament Committee for several years and is instrumental in its continuing success.

Dan and his wife, Natalie, support the Minnesota State College Southeast Foundation with their time and talents and as generous donors. They are members of the Foundation's Legacy Circle, which is a group of donors who have included the college in their future estate plans.

In addition to his service to the college, Dan is very active in the wider Winona community. He is currently the board president of Project Fine, and he has served on the boards of Winona Volunteer Services, the Winona State University Warrior Club, and Goodview Trinity Lutheran Church. He is active as a basketball and baseball official and coached the Winona VFW Baseball Team from 1986-1999.

"On behalf of the entire college community, I am delighted to congratulate Dan Matejka for receiving the 2019 Outstanding Alumni - Winona Award," said MSC Southeast Interim President Larry Lundblad. "This is an honor well deserved."

Congratulations to the Class of 2019!

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Congratulations to the Class of 2019!

Class of 2019 - hatCeremonies were held on May 14 in Winona and on May 15 in Red Wing. In addition, nursing and guitar students celebrated the end of the year with their own special events. 

View our Facebook photo albums:

Winona Graduation
Red Wing Graduation

Winona Nursing Pinning Ceremony
Red Wing Nursing Pinning Ceremony

Red Wing Student Guitar Show

3 MSCS Students named to 2019 PTK All-Minnesota Academic Team

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Three MSC Southeast Students named to 2019 PTK All-Minnesota Academic Team 

PTK All State 2019


This spring, three Minnesota State College Southeast Students -- one from Winona, one from Red Wing, and one online -- were named to the All-Minnesota Academic Team by Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the honors society for two-year colleges. Their achievements were recognized at a banquet in April celebrating their college accomplishments and service to the community. Congratulations to Abigail Backman, Sophia Kiesow, and Adam Spearman!

"Abby, Adam and Sophie exemplify all of the best qualities of Southeast students.  They shine on all fronts: academics, service, and leadership," said PTK advisor Jean Egbert, a math instructor at the college.  "We are proud to celebrate this recognition with them and know they will bring their remarkable skills to their next stage in life."

Winona: Abigail Backman (above, left), a second year Radiography student, graduated in May 2019. During her three years at MSC Southeast she has been involved in various clubs and committees including Student Senate, the Diversity Committee, the Radiography Advisory Committee, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), and Radiography Club. She has also served as the president for both the Radiography Club and PTK Beta Rho Mu. Abigail began taking general classes at MSC Southeast for health care and quickly found herself drawn to Radiography. After graduation from Southeast, she plans to transfer to Winona State University to earn her bachelor's degree in Health Care Leadership, all while working full time as a radiographic technologist.

Red Wing: Sophia Kiesow (above, center) is a non-traditional student returning to college after a hiatus of 12 years, seeking to become a registered nurse. She will be starting a core nursing program in the fall of 2019 and intends to finish this educational endeavor with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She has been named to the President's List each semester, has maintained a 4.0 GPA, and is an active member of Phi Theta Kappa. Without the support of her husband, Barry, she claims she would not have been able to do so well academically. She is the mother of five children: Dan, 13; Owen, 12; Jacob, 11; Madison, 9; and Eli, 8. When not studying, she enjoys cooking, vegetable gardening, and volunteering as a medical staff member at the local Care Clinic in Red Wing.

Online: Adam Spearman (above, right) is an distance learning student from Indianapolis, IN, and graduated in May 2019 from the online Computer Aided Drafting and Design program. He has had a love for all things mechanical his entire life, from playing with Legos as a kid to becoming a mechanic. When he decided that his career path was moving toward the innovative and ever-growing field of CAD design, he reached out to MSC Southeast to gain more information on its program, and eventually applied after instructor Jim Ziegler answered every question he had. During Adam's two years as an online student at MSCS, he has worked at a full-time job at a company in Columbus, Indiana where he helps produce service and parts manuals for Cummins using various CAD software programs. Adam has been a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society since November 2018 and has also been named to the President's List every semester for having a 3.5+ GPA. 

The mission of Phi Theta Kappa is to recognize academic achievement of college students and to provide opportunities for them to grow as scholars and leaders. Membership in Phi Theta Kappa is by invitation only to eligible students; requirements include a 3.5 minimum GPA and at least 12 credits at the college. Minnesota's state academic team is a division of the Academic All-American Team for community, technical and junior college students, an international program sponsored annually by PTK, USA Today and the American Association of Community Colleges.

Food service vendor opportunity at Winona Campus

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Students in college dining room

Food and Beverage Vendor Opportunity at MSC Southeast, Winona

The Winona campus of Minnesota State College Southeast is seeking vendors to provide food and beverage options during the months of August through May.

All creative solutions welcome!

Join us for an information session and facility tour: 


Tuesday, May 28, 2019
MSC Southeast Student Commons
1250 Homer Rd., Winona, MN


Minnesota State College Southeast reserves the right to cancel this solicitation if it is considered to be in the best interest of the College. This is not a guarantee of work and does not obligate Southeast to award any contracts. Southeast reserves the right to discontinue the use or cancel all or any part of the request if it is determined to be in best interest. All expenses incurred in responding to this notice are solely the responsibility of the responder.

Mechatronics program keeps students ahead of new technologies

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New Mechatronics program keeps students ahead of constantly changing technology

What is Mechatronics? It's a new word to many. "This technology is the cutting-edge discipline of building, troubleshooting, and maintaining the industry of tomorrow," according to Travis Thul, Minnesota State College Southeast Dean of Trade and Technology.&

Students are applying now to start this brand-new program in Fall 2019, which is housed on the college's Winona campus. Students will learn a range of skills spanning electronics, mechanics, hydraulics, and motors. 

Marc Kalis"More and more, manual labor is being replaced by robotics and the mini-computers that control them. Jobs require people who can work with the computers that run the production line," explained electronics instructor Marc Kalis. "Technology keeps on going forward -- you've got to keep up on it or try to stay ahead of it if you want to grow in your career."

In advanced manufacturing, everything in the production line is controlled by PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers). The college's PLC lab is dedicated to teaching students how to program and operate these machines.

PLC Stoplight Controls"PLCs control everything from conveyor belts to robotic arms," Marc continued, pointing out a model intersection next to a PLC. "Stoplight controllers like this can monitor cars, determine when the lights should change, and adjust to changing conditions. The Department of Transportation is always looking for technicians with the skills to install and maintain them."

Travis Thul noted that the Mechatronics Technology program is being launched as part of the college's larger Advanced Manufacturing Infrastructure Initiative. "Over the summer, Mechatronics facilities will benefit from this $600,000 investment fund, allowing for hands on experience with state-of-the-art robotics, automation, and electro-mechanical systems."

The new laboratories will house modern and uniform automation suites, hydraulic and pneumatic training platforms, robotic computer numerical control (CNC) systems, brand new precision machining tools, and rapid prototyping capabilities, including additive manufacturing/3D printing.

"Our facilities will be ready to welcome the first cohort of Mechatronics majors in August!" said Travis Thul. "Prospective students with an interest electro-mechanical systems and engineering technologies should apply now for admission to the program."

Student Guitar Show on May 15 in Red Wing

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Student Guitar Show features guitars, mandolins & more built by college students


Post Bulletin: Guitarists say luthiers make the grade at MSC-SE in Red Wing
Brian Todd, May 15, 2019
Read the full story
View Photo Gallery by Andrew Link

KTTC-TV, Rochester: Professionals test out brand new instruments made by students
View the TV story online

Red Wing Republican Eagle: Guitars Aplenty
View the story on Facebook

Facebook Photo Gallery

Caleb Holst

Dust is flying, the smell of lacquer is in the air, and excitement is building as the Guitar Repair and Building students of Minnesota State College Southeast are completing work on their brand new musical instruments. At the Student Guitar Show on May 15, 2019, their beautiful new guitars will be on display in the guitar labs and played in concert by professional musicians. The event is free and the public is invited to attend. 

  • In the first year Guitar Repair and Building program, you'll find flat top acoustic guitars in the works. All first year students are required to build a flat top guitar. Several have chosen to build electric guitars as well. 
  • In the second year Guitar Development and Production program, students are building a variety of more complex instruments, including archtop guitars, mandolins, and electric guitars. Second year students explore more challenging options in finishing and inlay work.

During the Student Guitar Show, three award-winning guitarists -- Phil Heywood, Mike Cramer, and Chris Silver -- will play the new acoustic instruments, giving students the thrill of hearing their instruments played on stage by expert professional musicians. 

Eric OurenFirst year student Eric Ouren, from Kasota, MN, said has dreamed about coming to Red Wing for a long time -- about ten or fifteen years. "I always wanted to get better at building musical instruments. There's a lot I still don't know, but I would say I'm learning how to be more precise," he said modestly. His small-bodied acoustic guitar is built from fine tone woods, including East Indian rosewood and Sitka spruce.

Caleb Holst, a second year student from Hartford City, Indiana, is putting the final touches on a guitar and a mandolin. "I came to Red Wing because I was interested in working with my hands, and I enjoy making music, so I felt that it's the perfect combination," he said. "I've gotten a lot of knowledge and skills here that are going to be really valuable to me in the future. I am planning to into furniture or cabinetry building, but eventually I'd like to have my own guitar building business."


Above: Caleb Holst uses a hand drill to place position markers on the neck of the guitar he is building.
Below: Eric Ouren checks the fingerboard angle with a straight edge.

Pitches and Prototypes - A Winona Collaboration

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Pitches and Prototypes - Winona Student Start Up

Students from MSC Southeast and St. Mary's University work together on design challenge

View the Facebook Photo Album

Students from MSCS, WSU, and St. Mary's

It's not every day that you find students from Minnesota State College Southeast and Saint Mary's University working together on a common goal. But over the past month, four students from MSC Southeast and five students from Saint Mary's have been collaborating on the rapid innovation, planning, and launch of hypothetical products.

The Winona Student Start Up launched on March 5, when the students divided into three teams, which were student-led and mentored by faculty from Winona State University, MSC Southeast, and Saint Mary's.

But it wasn't a battle between the schools. Instead, the teams combined MSC Southeast's Prototype Engineering and CNC/Machine Tool students with Saint Mary's business and marketing majors, leveraging the talents and skills the students are learning in college. 

"Our students can learn so much from these partnerships as they combine their business and engineering skills to design and develop prototypes of potential new products," commented Christine Beech, Executive Director, Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and an assistant professor of business at Saint Mary's University.

The teams were given one month to work on their co-creations. On Friday, April 5, they met up at Miller Ingenuity's Creation Station to pitch their ideas to local industry representatives. 

Team Snap SolesNew products begin with a problem that needs solving. Team Snap Shoes, Team Fin Flick, and Team LAZ Cup took turns defining problems and pitching their imaginative solutions.

  • How about too many shoes cluttering your closet? Team Snap Shoes conceived of a shoe with replaceable soles. One shoe + a variety of soles for different purposes = a solution for closet clutter and the expense of buying different shoes. (Pictured: Isaac Al-Abad of Team Snap Shoes)
  • If you've ever been snorkeling or scuba diving, you know how hard it is to walk wearing flippers. Team Fin-Flick designed a flipper with an adjustable dial that rotates the front of the flipper up and off the ground, allowing for a more natural gait.
  • Finally, who hasn't spilled a tall water bottle or cup of coffee in their car because the cup holders aren't deep enough? Team LAZ Cup came up with a solution: a cup adapter that fits into the cup holder and secures taller beverages. 

"It's wonderful to see our students put their prototyping and CNC skills into a practical application," Travis Thul, Dean of Trade and Technology at MSC Southeast, said. "This project is a perfect opportunity for them to see how these competencies are used in a business and manufacturing setting." 

Christine Beech was also pleased about the collaboration. "We are excited to see cross disciplinary students coming together in a spirit of entrepreneurship and problem solving," she said.

The Winona Student Start Up was made possible by the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at Saint Mary's University, Miller Ingenuity, the Garage Cowork Space, Winona State University, and Minnesota State College Southeast.

MSC Southeast mentors at FIRST Robotics Competition

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MSC Southeast mentors at FIRST Robotics Competition

Winona/Cotter High School FIRST Robotics team place in the top 20!

See the Facebook Photo Gallery

FIRST Robotics CompetitionOver the weekend, MSC Southeast was involved with the FIRST Robotics Regional Competition at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin (Friday, April 5th and Saturday, April 6th). This event pulled together robotics teams from high schools across the region, including schools in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and beyond. 

Paul Sorenson, CNC Machine Tool instructor, helped mentor the Winona/Cotter HS First Robotics team, which took 17th overall out of 54 teams! Paul Melling, a former MSC Southeast student, also served as a volunteer mentor.

CNC Machine Tool instructor Roger Holland and Winona Admissions Representative Chris Cook were at the event to talk with students and parents about the programs available at Southeast. These programs include: CNC Machining, Welding, Electrical Engineering, Network Administration, and two new programs for Fall 2019, Bicycle Design and Fabrication, and Mechatronics Technology.

Bicycle Design & Fabrication celebrates Grand Opening in Red Wing

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MSC Southeast will celebrate Bicycle Design & Fabrication Grand Opening April 8 in Red Wing

Bike Event InviteOpportunity to meet with new instructor Chase Spaulding, members of program Advisory Board

Bicycle Design & Fabrication Grand Opening
Monday, April 8, 2019, 5:30 - 7:00 pm
Minnesota State College Southeast
308 Pioneer Road, Red Wing, MN
Free and open to the public - everyone is welcome!

Excitement has been building throughout the year for the opening of the new Bicycle Design and Fabrication program at MSC Southeast in Red Wing. The college will celebrate the program's launch on Monday, April 8 with a special event starting at 5:30 pm in the bicycle program labs on the Red Wing campus.

  • 5:30 pm: Public Reception and Refreshments
  • 6:00 pm: Ribbon Cutting, then Presentation on Program with Q & A
  • 6:30 pm: Facilities Tours

The Grand Opening will be the first opportunity for the public to meet Chase Spaulding (pictured), who recently moved to Red Wing from Raleigh, NC to lead instruction in the Bicycle Repair and Fabrication program. Chase has bachelor's and master's degrees from North Carolina State University in Industrial Design. His background ranges from fabricating architectural metalwork to building custom motorcycles, putting academic theory into practical experiences and real world creations.

Chase Spaulding"Chase has assembled a broad range of competencies from which he can educate and inspire. He has strong capabilities in design, fabrication, and college-level instruction," said Dean of Trade and Technology Travis Thul. "He is the perfect individual to help us build this innovative new program."

Mike Ford will also be teaching in the bicycle program. A long-time Red Wing area resident, Mike has been an instructor in welding at the college since 2016. He is a retired iron worker with experience in construction welding with organizations like the Army Corps of Engineers, Rosemount Pine Bend Refinery, and 3M.

"We couldn't have designed this program without the help of our Advisory Board team members from top companies including QBP, HED, Eric's Bike Shop, Trek, Hawk Racing, Kirk Pacenti, and Wolf Tooth," said Travis Thul. "The board will be meeting on campus on April 8, and we'll celebrate their contributions at the Grand Opening."

Students in the program will explore a mechanical engineering technology and design curriculum in the nation's only two-year degree focused on the fabrication of bicycles and associated components. Interest has been very strong, with applicants from around the globe.

"Anyone who is curious about Bicycle Design and Fabrication is invited to join us for the Grand Opening, including bike enthusiasts, prospective students, and college and community supporters," said Travis Thul. "Everyone is welcome!"

Winona Open House Rescheduled for Tuesday, April 9

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MSC Southeast Winona Open House Rescheduled for Tuesday, April 9, 4 to 5:30 pm

Winona Students

Back in February, an Open House was planned to welcome the community to Minnesota State College Southeast in Winona. Unfortunately, the event landed on one of the many snow days that we endured this winter and had to be postponed! Now the college invites everyone to an Open House on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 from 4:00 to 5:30 pm. 

"Get to know the dedicated, friendly, student-centered people of Winona's only two-year college! Faculty and staff members will be available to answer questions about the college's wide range of educational options," said Tammy Vondrasek, Director of Admissions and Enrollment. "We know people can be intimidated about the admissions process, so we want to make it as easy as possible. This is a chance to meet with our instructors and staff one-on-one and see how we can help you reach your goals."

MSC Southeast Winona Open House
Tuesday, April 9, 2019 -- 4:00 to 5:30 pm
Minnesota State College Southeast - Winona campus
1250 Homer Road, Winona

At the Winona Campus Open House, people can:

  • Meet with instructors in various business, trades, technology, and liberal arts programs
  • Tour campus classrooms and labs, such as Construction Technology, Nursing, and the Transportation Center
  • Visit the college Bookstore and Learning Resource Center
  • Meet with Continuing Education about adult education/training options
  • Learn about financial aid and MSC Southeast Foundation scholarships
  • Save $20 -- we'll waive the application fee if you apply at the Open House!

The Open House take place in the late afternoon -- a convenient time that's after work and before dinner for many people. But just in case you're hungry, refreshments will be provided -- help yourself to hot dogs, chips, and popcorn. There will be drawings for a variety of fun prizes, too. 

"The Open House is an opportunity for people to engage with our entire team," added Tammy Vondrasek. "We want to know how we can support you in meeting your goals. We're here to meet you where you are and help you get to where you want to be."

Strings, Winds and Brass at the Sheldon on April 6

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Strings, Winds & Brass showcases the unique talents of the college community at the Sheldon in Red Wing on April 6

Strings Winds and Brass 2019

Where can you find a heavy metal string quartet and a blues singer on the same stage? At Strings, Winds & Brass, Minnesota State College Southeast's annual showcase of the college community's amazing talents! Strings, Winds & Brass will take place at The Sheldon Theatre on Saturday, April 6 (7:30 pm) in Red Wing.

Strings, Winds & Brass
Saturday, April 6, 2019 (7:30 pm)
The Sheldon Theatre,
443 West 3rd Street, Red Wing, MN.
Tickets: www.sheldontheatre.org, 800-899-5759, at the box office, or at the Red Wing campus Bookstore
Only $5 for students, $15 for adults!  

Every year Strings, Winds & Brass is a different experience. At auditions in February, ten original acts were chosen to perform by a panel of music and arts professionals. This year, look for Tech Support Brass Quintet covering the classics and The Flying Chuck Keys, a brass rock band, covering pop tunes. Welding instructor Mike Ford will play harmonica and sing the blues, and the intense cello duo Metalbuddah will dazzle with their virtuosic original music. MSC Southeast Dean of Students Josiah Litant is on deck to serve as Master of Ceremonies.

View our Facebook photo gallery of all the performers

And it's not just about entertainment. The performers are "paying it forward," as proceeds from the variety show are directed into Minnesota State College Southeast Foundation scholarship funds which will benefit future students.

The Red Wing campus's band instrument repair, violin repair, and guitar repair & building programs draw students from across the United States, many with advanced music degrees and professional performance experience. This year, Strings, Winds & Brass will feature the talents of 24 performers from as far afield as Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and of course, Minnesota.

The 2019 Strings, Winds & Brass concert line-up includes:

  • Andrew McGowan -- solo euphonium
  • Big Sissy Love Pig -- singer-songwriter with guitar, banjo, and mandolin
  • Carrie Maynard-Allen -- poet
  • Charlie Wylie -- solo trombone
  • Isabel Collins -- vocals and guitar
  • Mike Ford -- harmonica and voice
  • Metalbuddah -- heavy metal cello duo
  • Mad Dog and the Flying Chuck Keys -- big band rock music
  • Tech Support Brass Quintet -- trumpet, euphonium, French horn, tuba
  • Shagawa Shorty -- blues guitar, mandolin and vocals
  • VC-BC -- two cellos, viola and bass 
Advance tickets are $15.00 adults, $5.00 students. Seats are general admission; doors open at 7 pm day of show.

Pictured above: 
Tech Support Brass Quintet, cello duo Metalbuddah, and Mike Ford, harmonica

MSC Southeast named to 19-20 Military Friendly Schools list

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Nation's Top Military Friendly® Schools Announced; Minnesota State College Southeast is named to 2019-2020 List

Military Friendly Logo 19-20"Better for Veterans" institutions identified across the country

Minnesota State College Southeast is pleased to announce that the college has been named to the 2019-2020 Military Friendly®Schools list. Now in its 10th year, the Military Friendly Schools list sets the standard for higher education institutions to provide the best opportunities for veterans and their spouses. 

"We are very proud to be named a Military Friendly college. This honor is based on sound research and data, and takes note of our explicit commitment to serving the military and veteran community," said Josiah Litant, MSC Southeast Dean of Students. "Our faculty and student services staff go above and beyond to make sure that active service members and veterans are welcomed and respected at MSC Southeast."

The Military Friendly Schools list is created each year based on extensive research, using public data sources for more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to the proprietary, data-driven Military Friendly Schools survey from participating institutions. This year only 766 schools earned this prestigious designation.

Minnesota State College Southeast exceeded standards in six areas:  

  • Academic Policies and Compliance
  • Admissions & Orientation
  • Culture & Commitment
  • Financial Aid & Assistance
  • Graduation  & Career
  • Military Student Support & Retention

Specific information about the college's ranking can be found at: www.militaryfriendly.com/schools/minnesota-state-college-southeast

Learn more about Veterans Resources at MSC Southeast

Transportation Career Night on March 26 in Winona

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Transportation Career Night set for Tuesday, March 26 in Winona

 Transportation Career Night

Learn about opportunities to accelerate your career at Minnesota State College Southeast

Transportation Career Night
Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 6:00-7:30 PM
Transportation Center at MSC Southeast Winona Campus
1250 Homer Road, Winona, MN
Register in advance for chance to win door prize at www.southeastmn.edu/event

Transportation Career Night is coming up on Tuesday, March 26! Prospective students and their families, job hunters, or anyone interested in learning more about the college's transportation programs are all welcome to attend. Admission is free and open to the public.

Five college programs will be represented: 

"All of these programs offer certificates, diplomas, and degrees that can lead directly to high-paying, high growth occupations," according to Travis Thul, the college's Dean of Trade, Technology, Business, and Transportation. "At Transportation Career Night you can tour our state-of-the-art facilities and experience hands-on activities. Plus, industry representatives will be available to discuss opportunities in these high-demand job markets. We want to give current and future students a realistic idea of what transportation careers can offer."

Accelerated Programs

The college recently updated its Automotive and Light Duty Diesel Technology and Heavy Diesel Maintenance diploma programs so that students can complete a diploma in one year or less. "Knowing that it's a hot job market, we have accelerated our curriculum so that students in these programs can graduate faster, spend less money on college, and get started in their careers sooner," Travis Thul said. 

Transportation Career Night Highlights:

  • Learn more about career opportunities from industry representatives
  • "Toolbox Scholarships" offered at event
  • Tour our shops and see a variety of automotive vehicles and technologies
  • Save $20 -- no fee if you apply for admission at Career Night!
  • College admissions and financial aid information available
  • Plus - amazing door prizes -- must be present to win

Register in advance at www.southeastmn.edu/event for a chance to win a Matco 1/2" Impact Wrench, valued at $450. Check in at the registration table to verify your name and online entry. 

Plus, apply for admission or register for classes at Transportation Career Night for a chance to win a Snap-on Bit Driver Kit, valued at $415. Must be present to win prizes; winners will be chosen at the conclusion of the event. 

*New diploma curriculum - accelerated program

More than $500,000 raised for for Advanced Manufacturing in Winona

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Community support totals more than $500,000 for Advanced Manufacturing Infrastructure Initiative at Minnesota State College Southeast in Winona

Minnesota State College Southeast is excited to announce the launch of a successful new project, the Advanced Manufacturing Infrastructure Initiative (AMII). This effort, a product of local businesses, community advocates, and the college's leadership, will overhaul the college's advanced manufacturing education capabilities and provide state-of-the-art equipment for years to come. 

"The AMII project grew out of needs identified by our manufacturing advisory council members and college volunteers. Together, these team members helped to determine the scope of the project," explained Travis Thul, Dean of Trade and Technology. "Once we defined our goals, our faculty and staff helped design a plan to renovate and install mission-critical laboratory capabilities."

To date, the college has received a total of $524,500 in support towards the Advanced Manufacturing Infrastructure Initiative. Individual and corporate donors include: 

  • DCM Technology
  • Fastenal
  • Merchants Bank
  • Miller Ingenuity
  • Jerry & Pat Papenfuss
  • Peerless Industrial Group
  • PlastiCert
  • RTP Company
  • Slaggie Family Foundation
  • Thern, Inc.
  • WNB Financial
  • Watlow
  • Winona Area Industrial Development Association

"With the funds currently raised, deployment of new laboratory infrastructure is scheduled to start in May 2019 and end the first week of August, in time to begin the 2019-2020 academic year," said Travis Thul. "The lab will house modern and uniform robotic computer numerical control (CNC) systems, brand new precision machining tools, and rapid prototyping capabilities, including additive manufacturing/3D printing." 

"This lab will also complement the recently launched industrial automation laboratory, helping to make MSC Southeast one of the most technologically sophisticated two-year colleges in the state of Minnesota," said Interim President Larry Lundblad. "Local employers tell us that many high-demand, high-paying jobs are going unfilled. Facilities like these will help us meet the needs of the region and prepare graduates for the jobs of today and tomorrow."

"Our total goal is to raise $1.4 million, allowing us to continue upgrading laboratory capabilities," said Travis Thul. "We will be able to procure additional equipment pertinent to mechatronics, automation, electronics, and construction technology as the AMII closes in on its ultimate goal."

Winona business leader Jerry Papenfuss has been a supporter of MSC Southeast since the mid-1960s, calling the college "a great cornerstone of this community."

"Winona has over 70 manufacturing companies, unique for a community of our size, so technical education is critical to provide workers for this huge element of our community," he said. "Under President Lundblad and Travis Thul's leadership, Southeast is leading the way in providing an education that is affordable and results in opportunities for graduates to lead successful lives."

Fundraising continues to support the Advanced Manufacturing Infrastructure Initiative at MSC Southeast. If you or your company is interested in becoming involved, please contact Travis Thul, Dean of Trade and Technology, at 507-453-2738 or tthul@southeastmn.edu.

Student Music Association hosting Swap Meet on Feb. 23

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2019 Swap MeetRed Wing Student Music Association hosting Musical Swap Meet on February 23

On Saturday, February 23, the Minnesota State College Southeast Student Music Association (SMA) will host the annual Musical Swap Meet on the Red Wing Campus. The Musical Swap Meet is a place for vendors to display, sell, and trade new and used musical instruments, accessories, tools, and supplies. Both individuals and music stores are represented at the Swap Meet. The event is free and open to the public. 

SMA Musical Swap Meet
Saturday, February 23, 2019
10 am to 3 pm
Minnesota State College Southeast, Red Wing Campus
308 Pioneer Road, Red Wing, MN

"The Swap Meet provides both students and community members an opportunity to showcase their musical activities and products," said Jacob Vidourek, President of the MSCS Student Music Association." There's a great music community in Red Wing, and we are thrilled to invite everyone to our campus for this event!" 

MSC Southeast's signature musical instrument repair programs draw students from across the country to study violin repair, band instrument repair, and guitar repair & building. This year's Musical Swap Meet coincides with the regional NAPBIRT (National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians) clinic, which will bring experts in band instrument repair to the Red Wing campus from all over the Midwest.

Vendors who would like to participate may request a table in advance by email to jacob.vidourek@fulbrightmail.org. 

Workforce Development Scholarships for New Students

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MSC Southeast to offer 8 Workforce Development Scholarships valued at $3500 for Minnesota students entering college this fall

Application Deadline extended to March 15

Workforce ScholarshipsThis spring, eight lucky students will receive $3500 Workforce Development Scholarships from Minnesota State College Southeast. The scholarships are available to students who will start college next fall in a field that will help meet the area's workforce needs, including manufacturing, health care, information technology, and agriculture (see list of programs below).

Workforce Development Scholarships are intentionally targeted to recent high school graduates and adults coming to college to train for a new career. They are designed to help prepare the next generation of workers in high-demand fields. Only eight (8) $3500 scholarships are available, and applicants must be Minnesota residents.

"This is an incredible opportunity! A $3500 scholarship will cover more than half of a full-time student's tuition," said Casie Johnson, Minnesota State College Southeast Foundation Associate Director. "Plus, students who are admitted for 2019-2020 are still eligible to apply for other scholarship opportunities through the MSC Southeast Foundation."

Workforce Development Scholarships are made possible by the Minnesota State legislature, with additional funding provided by donors to the Minnesota State College Southeast Foundation. 

The deadline to apply for a Workforce Development Scholarship is MARCH 15, 2019. Awards will be announced on April 1, 2018. 

For detailed information and an application form, please see: www.southeastmn.edu/wfs

Qualifying Programs at MSC Southeast


Health Care

Information Technology


Peace Corps volunteer picked up Spanish at MSC Southeast

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MSC Southeast student now a volunteer in Peru with the Peace Corps 

Brian RiversWith a name like Rivers, it must be natural for Brian Rivers to work with water systems. The 2011 graduate from Cotter High School in Winona earned a degree in civil engineering from UW-Platteville in December 2016. 

After college, Brian returned to Winona and applied to serve in the Peace Corps. He was assigned to work in Peru. Knowing he was headed for South America, he thought he should brush up on his high school Spanish. 

He began with a free online class but didn't find it very helpful. "I thought, I'll try Minnesota State College Southeast -- maybe they'll have something, and they really came through!"

He emailed instructor Lynne Rabuse to determine whether he should start with Spanish I or II. That's when he discovered that she had been a Peace Corps volunteer too. It was exciting that both student and teacher had that experience in common.

Most language courses are all about memorization, but Brian says Lynne's course was much more active. "From the beginning, she's getting you to listen, and repeat, and speak. She spoke to us in Spanish from the get go. You get used to hearing the sounds and carrying on a conversation. You get over the hump of being afraid to speak the language." 

Being close to home and affordable were factors, too. "I live about a mile from here. I was super impressed that I could ride my bike down the road to Southeast, take a very progressive, effective Spanish course, and learn so much so fast. And of course, it was relatively inexpensive compared to other colleges."

"It was great having someone in class with a specific goal," said Lynne. "Brian knew he would be applying his new skills in a real world environment, which can be very motivating when one is tackling the challenge of mastering a new language." 

Partway through his second semester, it was time for Brian to leave for his Peace Corps assignment. "Even though I didn't finish the class, it was still worth it!"

Brian Rivers talk at MSC SoutheastWhen Brian was home for a visit over the holidays, he spoke to a large group at MSC Southeast and shared some of his Peace Corps experiences. Now living in a small, remote mountain town, Brian's work is helping people obtain clean water and promoting sanitation and hygiene. 

"Basic things like washing your hands are not as intuitive there. They have access to water, but it's not continuous, and not always clean," he said.

He explained that the Peace Corps doesn't do construction projects. "You don't need bulldozers or shovels to change behaviors. You need time to build relationships, and that's how we bring about change. We are working with communities to take care of the water themselves." 

As Brian returns to Peru this week, we wish him all the best! 

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Med Lab Tech major provides a great return on investment

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Med Lab Tech major provides a great return on investment

Karissa KluzikHave you ever had your blood drawn? Or taken a strep test? When you need medical care, 70-80% of the time physicians order some kind of lab test to find out what's going on. They are counting on the test to be accurate -- patients' lives depend on it.

"Medical Laboratory Technicians perform the lab work behind the scenes," according to Carol Canton, an instructor in the Med Lab Tech Program at Minnesota State College Southeast. "They do the detective work that makes it possible for health care providers  -- nurse practitioners, physician assistants and doctors -- to accurately diagnose and treat their patients."

Karissa Kluzik is one of the "detectives" in the lab at Saint Elizabeth's Medical Center in Wabasha. She graduated from the Med Lab Tech program at MSC Southeast in 2015 with a job offer already lined up. Now only 26 years old, she is well established in her profession and even owns a house!

She is seeing a great return on her investment in a degree from MSC Southeast. "When you get a two-year degree, you may not expect much, but I've got an exciting job with a good salary and benefits. Every day is different, and that makes it fun."

She also appreciated that MSC Southeast was affordable and accessible. "I am so thankful that I had the two-year option so close to home! I know some people my age who have four-year degrees and their student loan debt is incredible. I lived at home while I was in college, so I didn't have to pay for college room and board -- that saved me money too."

Saint Elizabeth's has a relatively small department with only seven Med Lab Techs and three phlebotomists. The lab is bright and clean, with high windows shedding plenty of natural light into the well-organized space. The hospital's connection with Minnesota State College Southeast is strong. Besides Karissa, there are two other MSC Southeast grads working there and a current student doing clinicals.

"We get a lot of emails from potential employers asking if we have anyone graduating that they can hire," said Carol Cantlon. "Once you have an associate degree, the opportunities for advancement in this field are great. You can go on to a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, or even a Ph.D. The associate degree can be just the beginning of a life-long career."

Learn more about Med Lab Tech at MSC Southeast

Apply now for admission

Download the December 2018 edition of Campus Connect to read the full story (PDF)


New -- Sustainable Food and Farming program

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Sustainable Farming

MSC Southeast launches new Sustainable Food and Farming program

Agriculture that feeds your pocketbook, your planet, and your soul

The new two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Sustainable Food and Farming will prepare students to enter the evolving and growing field of specialty agriculture, particularly those students interested in small-scale, diversified production. 

Biology instructor Liz Micheel has worked to develop the program for two years. "It's designed to teach students how to implement integrated farming practices that promote healthy soil, ecologically sound nutrient management, and sustainability," she said.

Liz also noted that the program has a very practical side. "Students will learn the safe and effective use of a variety of agricultural equipment and will develop a sound business plan for a family farm or small-scale agricultural operation."

"Instructors from many different areas of the college will be involved -- biology, business, truck driving, construction technology, electronics -- even welding!" said Jo Poncelet, Dean of Academics. "This is a unique program teaching practical, hands-on skills and business know-how."

In addition to the 2-year degree, there is also a certificate in Farm Maintenance. This 16-credit certificate includes most of the hands-on skills in construction, diesel tech, electronics, truck driving, and welding that are part of the A.A.S. degree.

For more information about enrolling in the Sustainable Food and Farming program, please contact Admissions Representative Chris Cook, at 507-453-2410 (Christopher.Cook@southeastmn.edu).


© 2019 Minnesota State College Southeast

RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066 | 651-385-6300
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987 | 507-453-2700

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment base on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


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