May 18, 2022

Inside This Issue

Brief summer schedule: June 1, 15, and 29; July 20; Aug. 3, 17. Weekly publication resumes Sept. 7.

  • Board of Regents May meeting highlights.
  • Awards and Recognition: Megan Gunnar, Larry Que, and Kristin Hogquist have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences; and more.
Top News

Board of Regents May meeting highlights

At its May meeting, the Board of Regents recognized dozens of exceptional students, faculty, and staff who were honored with prominent awards and distinctions during the past year. The Board also reviewed President Gabel’s recommended FY23 operating budget, as well as the FY23 capital improvement budget; finished a three-part discussion on health science strategy with a focus on clinical care; reviewed the annual workforce and human resources strategy report; and concluded a series of discussions on diversity, equity, and inclusion work on the University’s five campuses with a presentation from the Duluth campus. See the news release for more details.

Awards and Recognition

Megan Gunnar, Larry Que, and Kristin Hogquist have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences; the University of Minnesota has named Shane Stennes as its first systemwide chief sustainability officer; Sylia Wilson and Scott Vrieze have received a five-year, $4.6 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse; Sarah Greising is part of a five-year, $2.3 million NIH grant toward investigating rehabilitation response after orthopaedic extremity trauma; U in the News features highlights of University faculty and staff cited in the media.

Awards and Recognition

U-Wide News

Take personal holidays by June 30

As a reminder, University employees have until June 30 to take any remaining personal holidays, including the two additional holidays President Gabel announced in December. The Board of Regents approved the two extra personal holidays to acknowledge the dedication of faculty and staff during the pandemic. Check your personal holiday balance in the My Time tab of MyU. For details on eligibility and scheduling your holidays, visit the Office of Human Resources.

Latino/a/x Faculty and Staff Association survey and events

The Latino/a/x Faculty and Staff Association (LFSA) will meet with Ken Horstman, vice president for human resources, in June. Email your questions to Patricia Izek. LFSA is also hosting a summer social at La Dona Cerveceria on June 1, 5-7 p.m. Complete this LFSA informational survey to inform organizational priorities.

Sign up to volunteer at Twin Cities Pride by June 1

Pride flag

University Relations is planning a systemwide presence at this year's Twin Cities Pride Festival, which will be held June 25-26 at Loring Park in Minneapolis. Volunteer spots are available for staff, faculty, alumni, and students (sign up by June 1). University Relations will follow up with volunteers with details about the University’s presence. Email Jason Kaiser with any questions.

U of M celebrates 200th startup and top ranking for technology transfer

The University of Minnesota has launched 200 startup companies since 2006, a significant milestone in its work to scale and commercialize ideas and inventions from labs and research facilities on its five campuses. The milestone coincided with a recent report by the group Heartland Forward that ranked the University of Minnesota Twin Cities first for technology transfer within the heartland—a 20-state region—and fifth among all U.S. public universities.  

Energy researchers invent chameleon metal that acts like many others

University of Minnesota researchers have invented a “catalytic condenser” that opens the door for new catalytic technologies using non-precious metal catalysts for important applications such as storing renewable energy, making renewable fuels, and manufacturing sustainable materials.

Study: Not enough food crops harvested to meet UN food security goal

U of M senior research scientist Deepak Ray, with global collaborators, mapped global crop harvests and found that harvests for direct food use will be insufficient to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal of food security for all by 2030. Today, we grow enough total calories from the top ten global crops to meet food demands—if all crops were harvested for direct food consumption. Increased competition for crops for other uses means a smaller fraction of calories are available as food.

Where discovery creates hope: The science of sleep

Barbara and Allan Moon

Sleep is something that impacts all of us—when it's good, we’re able to perform at our best, and when it’s bad, everything gets a little harder. But what happens when your body starts acting out your dreams in your sleep? For Barbara and Allan Moon, that’s when they turned to U of M Medical School’s Michael Howell and the M Health Fairview Sleep Clinic.  


Talking sustainable Minnesota landscapes with the U of M

Minnesota gardeners can’t be blamed for greeting May with more than the usual anticipation after April’s unrelenting cold, wet days. Extension horticulture educator Julie Weisenhorn can relate, but she also says this is a good time to slow down and take stock of how choices made in our yards and gardens can have an impact on the environment

UMN Headlines: May 2022

Spring brings new beginnings, and in the May installment of the “UMN Headlines” video series, more than 11,000 U of M graduates embark on their next adventure. This episode features highlights from around the University of Minnesota System, including medical innovations, diabetes discoveries, U of M Duluth’s economic impact, the development of more efficient farming practices, supply chain forecasting, sustainability work, and more. See past episodes here.


Crookston announces faculty/staff award recipients for 2021-22

Danielle Johannesen and Kevin Thompson pose with award

The University of Minnesota Crookston held its annual Faculty and Staff Awards Banquet on May 12. See the full list of recipients of the distinguished awards.  


UMD graduation

Students tossing caps in air

More than 2,450 Bulldogs graduated on May 7 with morning and afternoon commencement ceremonies at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth. The morning student speaker was Kayla Nelson from the Labovitz School of Business and Economics, and the afternoon speaker was Eliza Woods from the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.


Making a huge impact on the state

Mary Otto

The Master of Tribal Administration and Governance (MTAG) program presented its first-ever Alumni Award to Mary Otto, a 2017 MTAG graduate. Otto is the director of the Tribal State Relations program, a partnership between UMD, MnDOT, and the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council that provides training and education for state employees about American Indian tribal governments, histories, cultures, and traditions. 

The language of learning

Julia Bianchini

Around 73,000 Minnesotan students are enrolled as English Language Learners in the public school system. Navigating school without English fluency can be daunting, unfamiliar, and even lonely to experience as a child. Julia Bianchini, an Integrated Elementary and Special Education major, was one of those students. Bianchini now aspires to improve outcomes in multilingual classrooms.


Study under way to reduce deer-vehicle collisions

Ron Moen

Some estimates put deer-vehicle collisions in Minnesota at around 40,000 annually. With funding from MnDOT, Natural Resources Research Institute wildlife biologist Ron Moen is taking part in a study to better understand where deer-vehicle collisions happen, document their frequency, and develop recommendations to reduce these incidents. Moen is collaborating with principal investigator Raphael Stern, assistant professor and specialist in traffic engineering at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. 


Morris holds 59th commencement

UMM graduate accepts diploma on stage

Despite the campus being without power less than 24 hours earlier as a result of a mega-storm known as a “derecho”, the University of Minnesota Morris held its 59th commencement for more than 290 students on May 14. Chineng Vang spoke on behalf of the graduates, and University of Washington vice president of minority affairs and diversity officer Rickey Hall served as commencement speaker.


Resilience, well-being and mental health

Monica Ziebell

UMR's innovative degree programs and integrated curriculum provide students with a foundational undergraduate education. Discover how Monica Ziebell navigated her time at UMR to prepare herself for a position at NUWAY in Rochester. Ziebell is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor and runs an intensive outpatient group for substance use disorder treatment. Learn more about UMR’s Resilience, Well-being and Mental Health Pathway.

Twin Cities

Expect increased U Card wait times

During most of the school year it usually only takes five minutes to get a U Card. During the busy summer season, the line could be approximately 30 minutes or more. Get tips on getting through the line quickly, as well as group appointment information

Nothing is stopping her now

Betty Sandison reacts as she gets her degree

On May 7, Betty Sandison strolled across the stage at Northrop, joy lighting up her face, to receive her bachelor’s degree. Seven days earlier, Sandison celebrated her 84th birthday. From a one-room schoolhouse to a large public research university, Betty Sandison’s educational journey is one for the ages.

Teaching inspired by activism

Adam Bledsoe

Assistant Professor Adam Bledsoe is well traveled and has met many people from around the world who are striving to change oppressive societies. Bledsoe joined the Department of Geography, Environment, and Society in fall 2019, interested and well versed in issues of oppression and resistance. His experiences with local activism in a variety of communities drive him and his work and bring energy and inspiration to his classes.

Forging ahead

Two metal cast yoda masks

It’s a chilly, rainy April day outside, the kind that is all too common in Minnesota, but the students inside the foundry at the Regis Center for Art aren’t bundled up against the cold. Quite the opposite: clad head to toe in thick leather aprons, chaps, and hardhats, the students in Assistant Professor Rotem Tamir’s Foundry and Metal Sculpture class are about to lift a 1450° pot of molten aluminum out of the furnace. Things are about to get hot.

UMTC Featured Events

Advert reading "The art of flying"

May 21 - Spotlight Science: Celebrating Urban Birds 

May 24 - Teach With StoryMaps Workshop 

May 25 - Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Awards 

May 25 - Honoring the Memory of George Floyd 

May 26 - 2022 Global Health Spring Seminar and Social Event 

June 4 - All About Dogs Day 

June 5 - Hector Olivera: Tantalizing Transcriptions and Tangos 

Through Aug. 12 - The Art of Flying: Bird Images from A to Z 

See the full Events Calendar