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65 Workforce Development Scholarships available for 2020-2021

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20-21 Workforce Development ScholarshipsOPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: 65 MSC Southeast students will receive $2500 Workforce Development Scholarships in 2020-2021

Application Deadline extended to JULY 31, 2020!

 For students starting or continuing in their education at Minnesota State College Southeast in high-growth, high demand careers this fall, opportunity is knocking -- and the college is planning to open its doors for on-campus instruction in programs that require hands-on training.

This year, $132,500 has been allocated by the Minnesota state legislature for  Workforce Development Scholarships at Minnesota State College Southeast. Combined with $30,000 provided by Minnesota State College Southeast Foundation, a total of 65 students will receive $2500 scholarships for the 2020-2021 school year!

Go to for the most current information, a list of all eligible majors, and to download the application form. The deadline to apply is July 31, 2020. 

"This will make an incredible impact on students who need help paying for college-level education in high-demand career areas," said MSC Southeast Interim President Larry Lundblad. "A Workforce Development Scholarship can cut the cost of a year's tuition in half."

Workforce Development Scholarship Deadline Most Minnesota students who will major in these programs will be eligible for Workforce Development Scholarships:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Sustainable Food and Farming
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Health Care Services 
  • Information Technology
  • Transportation Careers

Hands-on career programs to be offered on campus this fall

Many of the Workforce Development Scholarships will impact students in hands-on career programs, such as CNC Machine Tool, Construction Technology, and Bicycle Design & Fabrication. Formal safety plans are being prepared for every program that requires hands-on training.

"For example, vehicles in the auto programs will be spaced more than six feet apart throughout the lab to allow for social distancing and adequate workspace," according to Dawn Lubahn, Interim Dean of Business, Trade and Technology. "Students will work individually as much as possible. When social distancing is unable to be maintained, students will wear masks, gloves, and full face shields."

Workforce Development Scholarships are also available for several programs that are offered 100% online, including Early Childhood Education, Information Technology, and Medical Support Careers. 

Affordability a top priority

To further assist students in affording college this fall, tuition is frozen at approximately $172 per credit at MSC Southeast. Making college affordable is a top priority for the college.

"If you will be in an eligible program, we strongly encourage you to apply for a Workforce Development Scholarship!" said Financial Aid Counselor Pam Zimmerman.  "Plus, in addition to Workforce Development Scholarships, students may be eligible for grants which can reduce costs even more."

To apply for a Workforce Development Scholarship, go to The deadline to apply is July 31, 2020.


MSCS Creative Writing program publishes literary journal

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MSC Southeast Creative Writing program publishes first edition of literary journal, Highway 61, Revised

Special event on Feb. 28 at Fair Trade Books in Red Wing celebrated book release

Highway 61, Revised Book CoverVisit the MSC Southeast Creative Writing Facebook Page to see a photo album from the book release party!

Minnesota State College Southeast's Creative Writing Certificate faculty have been inspired by the quality of their students' work - so much so that they decided to launch a new literary journal featuring student poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction. 

Highway 61, Revised includes works written over the past year by students enrolled in creative writing classes at the college. The 100-page journal is published in a softcover paperback edition.

The entire book is also published online at

Pete BeurskensEnglish instructor Pete Beurskens served as the editor of the publication, which highlights writing by his own students as well as students of MSC Southeast English instructors Mike Larson and Dan Bernstrom. 

Pete said the instructors have been surprised and pleased with the quality of the work the students have produced in the online Creative Writing Certificate program. 

"Really, I think it is better in many respects than much of the work we published when I worked on university literary magazines. When I read a student piece and think, 'I wish I had written that line,' that's a good sign," he said. "In any case, I would simply invite people to read Highway 61, Revised and judge the quality for themselves!"

There are 37 different works in the book, by a total of 14 authors, ranging from nontraditional students age 60 and above to PSEO (current high school) students. "We have folks who already have a degree or two, and ones just starting their educational journey; those who have already published, and those who have never even tried their hand at creative writing."

Pete added that balancing the journal's content as to theme, tone, style, genre, and subject matter was a challenge. "In the end, I think there is something for every reader: poetry, fiction, literary essays; nature, work, travel, philosophy, spirituality, adventure, relationships --even leopard geckos! Highway 61, Revised is the kind of publication you can pick up and dip into many times and encounter something new and delightful or thoughtful or inspiring."

Highway 61, Revised is available for sale in Minnesota State College Southeast's bookstores in Red Wing and Winona and at Fair Trade Books in Red Wing.

Photo above: Pete Beurskens

Student returns to college on November 19 - as a teacher

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 Keiko Tsuda gives a BIR clinic in 2019

International student returns to MSC Southeast in Red Wing to give band instrument repair clinic

Keiko Tsuda came back to school on November 19 -- but this time it was to teach, not to study.

Originally from Japan, Keiko (pronounced Kay-Koh) studied saxophone performance at Senzoku Gakuen College of Music near Tokyo and lived in Australia before coming all the way to Red Wing, Minnesota to master the craft of band instrument repair (BIR). 

This week she returned to MSC Southeast to give a clinic on key concepts that can help repair technicians work more efficiently and effectively. She demonstrated tools, tips and tricks, and specific techniques for a very attentive group of BIR students in the woodwind lab.

Keiko TsudaJust two and a half years ago, Keiko was a student herself! She had been working in different industries for nearly 20 years in Japan and Australia. "Finally, I decided to follow my passion, but there is no band instrument repair school in Australia. I visited repair shops in Sydney, but they don't do apprenticeships, so there was no opportunity there," she said.

However, she got a tip there that would change the course of her life. "A technician in Sydney told me that there is one of the best repair school in Red Wing, Minnesota, USA. I asked myself -- I already migrated from Japan to Australia, do I need to go overseas again? But I didn't have any family there, or a mortgage, so I decided to do it!"

Coming back to college to speak to the class of 2020, Keiko shared some of the expertise she has gained since she graduated. She demonstrated a number of tools and emphasized how important it is to use them efficiently and safely.

Buy your last tool first

Her first piece of advice was to invest in top-quality tools from the beginning. "Buy your last tool first," she said. "It will save money in the long term over buying cheap tools and upgrading, and it will save a lot of frustration."

She also suggested color-coding matched sets of tools to make it easier to pick up the correct size on the first try, not digging through various sizes over and over every time you use them. "Saving a half-second on a particular action may not seem like much, but when you think of how many times you might do that action at your work bench every day, it matters," she told them.

Keiko recommended buying tools that are ergonomically designed. "With ergonomic tools, you can reduce the chances of injury," she said. "For example, we use screw drivers every day and we will turn screws for next 50 years, so if the tools are ergonomic, it will make a big difference in your career."

Even though she's only been working for a couple of years, BIR instructor John Huth said, "Her confidence and skills were on display as she succinctly and thoroughly explained what she does and why."

Immediately after graduating, Keiko found employment at Tim's Music in Sacramento, California, under the mentorship of Master Technician Scott Mandeville.

Learning new things every day

"I want to continue learn the craft of Band Instrument Repair in the U.S. as my home country does not have the opportunity to learn from masters of this field. The United States is leading this industry," she noted.

"Mastering band instrument repair is not an easy journey, it takes time. The Band Instrument Repair Program at MSC Southeast gets you started, but after that, you have to learn more, improve your skills and develop your own techniques by applying the concepts you have already learned. I am excited to be learning new things every day."


Band Instrument Repair partners with Vega to donate musical instruments

(Faculty and Staff, Student Activities) Permanent link

Neglected musical instruments find new life, new purpose through MSC Southeast's Band Instrument Repair Program

Vega and Band Instrument Repair PartnershipDo you have a clarinet collecting dust in your closet? A tarnished trumpet in your basement? A squeaky saxophone stored in your attic?

A new partnership between the Band Instrument Repair (BIR) program at MSC Southeast and Vega Productions, a non-profit based in the Twin Cities, can transform those abandoned instruments into something wonderful for an aspiring young musician. 

Vega collects musical instruments from people who don't need them anymore and provides them to school programs whose families can't afford to buy or rent instruments. But many of the donated instruments need to be repaired before they can find new homes.

"We have a climate controlled storage unit full of instruments that are in need of attention before they can go out to schools for students to use. The supply exceeds our ability to get them repaired," said Vega Executive Director Caitlin Marlotte. 

"The Band Instrument Repair program at Red Wing has such a good reputation -- whenever I would talk about needing instrument repair, people would suggest that I reach out and partner with the college," she continued.

"As part of their training, our students completely overhaul several instruments. We have a constant need for instruments that need repair," explained BIR instructor John Maddox. "Meanwhile, Vega has a constant supply of instruments that need work!"

Packing instruments into carIn 2018-2019, BIR students repaired instruments provided by Vega. In August, Caitlin Marlotte came to campus to receive 95 clarinets, cornets, trumpets and saxophones, now in perfect working condition. They are ready to be distributed to schools through VEGA's flagship program, Instruments in the Cloud (

"Vega is really doing a really great thing in that they're finding the places where these instruments will be best utilized, with schools that have the greatest need," said John Maddox. 

He believes this work is not only valuable to the schools and aspiring musicians who will receive the instruments --- it's valuable to the college student as well. 

"We talk about this partnership with our students, how what they're repairing will have a real, tangible effect on a young student who might be making music for the first time," he said. 

"One of the beauties of repair in general, and how we as repairers fit into the cycle of music making, is that we get to be a part of that journey with a musician to help them express themselves." 

Caitlin Marlotte is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the Band Instrument Program. "Having a partnership with Minnesota State College Southeast really accelerates the impact we can make on music education," she said. 

For more information about Vega's instrument donation program, visit

Photo above: Vega Board Member Max Kittel, Executive Director Caitlin Marlotte, and BIR instructors John Maddox and Greg Beckwith posed with a cartload of musical instruments ready for Vega's school donation program.

Photo below: Max and Caitlin packed up two cars with all of the instruments!

Southeast Cosmetology Academy greets cancer patient with Hello Gorgeous!

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"Hello Gorgeous!" greets surprised client at Southeast Cosmetology Academy

Hello Gorgeous 1Little did she know, an unexpected day of pampering awaited Ginnee Siegel when she checked in for her facial appointment at the Minnesota State College Southeast Cosmetology Academy in Winona on Thursday, October 27. 

As she entered the salon, the gathered students and instructors greeted her with a unison chorus of "Hello Gorgeous!" Cameras flashed, newspaper reporters took notes, and countless smartphones were raised to document the moment. Ginnee's first reaction was to look behind her and see if they were looking for someone else. No, they weren't! 

Cosmetology instructor Jodi Heim had nominated Ginnee to be treated to the "Hello Gorgeous!" red carpet experience. Hello Gorgeous! is a non-profit organization that provides complimentary, professional makeovers and cosmetic education to women battling all cancers. 

Hello Gorgeous 2

Jodi Heim's former salon in St. Charles was a Hello Gorgeous! affiliate. Minnesota State College Southeast is the first college in the country to become an affiliate, and Ginnee was selected to be the first guest in what is hoped to become a monthly offering.

A native of Winona, Ginnee now lives in the Chicago area, where she taught children with behavioral issues for most of her career. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year, she returned to Winona for treatment at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Her niece Gina Glasspoole was in on the surprise and helped Jodi coordinate Ginnee's schedule so that she would arrive on time and be free all afternoon. 

Hello Gorgeous 5

"My niece told me they had called her with two free facials and offered me one of them. I almost didn't make it because I had to see the doctor in the morning," said Ginnee, who was convinced to come in for the appointment anyway. 

"The look on her face when she walked in was priceless," student Tina Daffinson told the Winona Daily News. "It takes a lot of positive thinking to try and stay strong, be positive, and surround yourself with positive people."

Ginnee has been a client of the cosmetology salon for at least 25 years. "I love coming here," she said. "It's really enjoyable and it's nice being around young people. People have always been considerate and helpful -- and it's good quality work." 

First up was a facial, followed by a manicure and pedicure. While enjoying a lunch donated by the Steak Shoppe, Ginnee viewed three outfits selected especially for her from Maurices. After lunch, she tried them on and chose her favorite pieces -- a new jacket, blouse, jeans, necklace and boots -- all of which she wore home at the end of the day.

After lunch, instructor Jodi Heim styled Ginnee's auburn wig and a second wig, which was another gift for her to take home. As Jodi expertly clipped and sprayed them, it was hard to remember they weren't Ginnee's natural hair. The final step in her day of pampering was a professional makeup application. 

More than a makeover

Hello Gorgeous 3The Hello Gorgeous! experience isn't about a beauty makeover in the traditional sense. It's more about caring for women who are facing tough challenges and giving them a "day off" to be pampered. And it can be an learning experience, too.

"It gives us an opportunity to teach [cancer patients] how to apply eyebrows if they don't have any, how to make it look like they have lashes when they don't, or how to work with a wig," Jodi Heim told a reporter from the Winona Post. "It's also an opportunity for us to educate them on questions that they might be afraid to ask otherwise."

After getting her photo taken with the students, Ginnee was escorted to her car by students who were only too happy to help her carry her gifts, which included a wealth of beauty supplies donated by L'Oreal, Redken, Pureology and Mary Kay as well as flowers and chocolates presented by the students. 

"It's been awesome! I've never had anything like this happen before," Ginnee exclaimed. "I'll remember this forever. I feel very special supported, cared for, and loved." 

She plans to come back again soon. "We'll see you again -- maybe with a few less photographers next time!"



© 2022 Minnesota State College Southeast

RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987
COLLEGE PHONE | 507-453-2700 | 877-853-8324

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 based on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


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