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Community Voices, February 2015

February 2015

Southwest Minnesota State University is very proud to serve the southwest region of Minnesota as its only four-year university. This important role affords us the opportunity to reach beyond the classroom and serve all levels of learners in addition to those who are enrolled as traditional students. The past few weeks SMSU has opened the doors to host over a thousand students on campus.

The SMSU Theatre Department is featuring a production of James and the Giant Peach this semester and recently shared the show with a full-house of elementary students. It was a unique learning opportunity for the students to compare the story they read and the movie they watched with a live theatrical performance.

In addition, the SMSU Athletic Department in partnership with the SMSU School of Agriculture hosted the 3rd annual Ag Bowl Scholarship Challenge where over 350 FFA students from 20 high schools competed in14 different competitions. The career exploration events exposed students to a diverse mix of contests with a variety of agriculture related topics. The event was sponsored by RALCO and continued the mission of the Ag Bowl to "celebrate agriculture in southwest Minnesota."

Minnesota FFA also held their state FFA Food Science Contest in conjunction with SMSU's Culinology department. The best FFA Food Science teams from across the state were on campus to test their food product development skills against their peers. This is a growing field and one that is a big part of Minnesota's growing economy.

Forensics, or speech and debate as some may know it, has a long and storied history at SMSU and in our area high schools. This past week SMSU was host to the Minnesota Collegiate Forensics Association State Tournament with close to 200 students competing on campus. I am proud to share that SMSU captured the state championship in the Limited Entry Team Sweepstakes Division, culminating another outstanding season.

Our regional impact also touched some of our more seasoned community members this past week. The SMSU GOLD College program went on the road to offer a class in Phoenix, Arizona, where retired professor of education Lloyd Peterson presented on "the 20s and 30s, decades that shaped your grandparents." The class was a sell-out and alumni, retirees and local community members enjoyed an education-filled day with Dr. Peterson's class. GOLD College kicks off back here on campus on March 4th.

As is clear, our regional university is a place for everyone - a place filled with a variety of educational, cultural, and social activities. Be sure to check out our website at to see what is of interest to you and take advantage of the abundance of opportunities at your university.


published in the Marshall Independent, February 27, 2015

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