April 1, 2015

Vol. XLV No. 13

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • Board of Regents meeting highlights.
  • Feature: Bacteria tapped for eco-friendly industrial cleanup.
  • People: Five faculty have been named 2015 Distinguished McKnight University Professors; and more.

Top News

Board of Regents meeting highlights

At its March meeting, the Board of Regents pledged to provide an open planning process that includes faculty and U community engagement, as well as strong oversight and monitoring of the University's efforts to strengthen human subjects research practices. Regents also passed a resolution that endorsed immediate and longer-term actions. Additionally, the board heard an update on President Kaler's Operational Excellence initiative and reviewed progress on the Twin Cities campus Strategic Plan.

See the news release >

Bacteria tapped for eco-friendly industrial cleanupResearcher in river collecting samples

An interdisciplinary team of researchers is developing a system for quickly and easily discovering which naturally occurring bacteria are capable of detecting and breaking down harmful chemicals in the environment to lessen the impact of byproducts from industrial operations. The project merges the hard sciences with entrepreneurial expertise to determine how best to match new methods of environmental cleanup with opportunities and needs in the marketplace.

Read more >


Five faculty have been named 2015 Distinguished McKnight University Professors; the Institute for Advanced Study has announced 2015-16 Research and Creative Collaboratives; the U of M has been selected as hub for an NIH program to accelerate new inventions to the market; the Resilient Communities Project has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the MAGS/ETS Excellence and Innovation in Graduate Education Award; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

Learn more >

U-Wide News

The New MyU for Faculty

There are new features and changes for faculty in the new MyU. These include streamlined access to teaching and advising information, consolidated grade entry, a Reporting Center, and MyU tabs for research and faculty career information. The changes will go live with the launch of The Upgrade on Apr. 20.

Learn more >

Partnership Strengthens Upgrade Accessibility for People with Disabilities

Some people with disabilities use adaptive technologies such as screen readers and screen magnifiers to interact with digital information. The Disability Resource Center and The Upgrade staff have established an innovative partnership to ensure people with disabilities have full access to the upgraded MyU and PeopleSoft data.

Learn more >

Updated Safety of Minors policy

The University recently updated its Safety of Minors policy. Programs intended for children under age 18 must register with the U and follow health/safety requirements. Staff and volunteers who regularly interact with unsupervised minors must complete online training and a background check. All University employees, including student employees and volunteers, must promptly report suspected abuse/neglect of minors (current or within the past three years). For more information, email Julie Sweitzer.

New CTSI health strategies funding opportunity

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute's Dissemination & Implementation Awards program will provide funding to research teams to support the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based health strategies, with the ultimate goal of improving human health. A total of $20,000 will be awarded to 6 to 12 collaborations between University researchers and Minnesota-based community organizations. Proposals are due Apr. 27.

Learn more and apply >

Climate Minnesota events in Bemidji and Crookston

In cooperation with the Will Steger Foundation, Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships are holding regional climate change events with Extension Climatologist Mark Seeley at Bemidji State University Apr. 14, 5-8 p.m., and University of Minnesota Crookston Apr. 15, 5-8 p.m.

Learn more >


Grad Fest

Graduating seniors are invited to attend Grad Fest to receive information about the process of graduation. Apr. 1, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., International Lounge, Sargeant Student Center.

Learn more >

Campus Assembly

The spring 2015 Meeting of Campus Assembly will be held Apr. 2, 12:30-2 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.

See the agenda >

Learning Centered Advising brown-bag

A Learning Centered Advising workshop will focus on advisees as learners. All faculty and staff who advise students are welcome. Apr. 7, noon-1 p.m., Prairie Room, Sargeant Student Center.

Learn more >


Steinman Sets Sights on Global LakesByron Steinman

Assistant Professor Byron Steinman's internal variability research, conducted with colleagues from Penn State University, was recently featured in Science magazine. Working with UMD's Large Lakes Observatory, Steinman plans to drills core samples in lakes around the world in order to analyze the isotope geochemistry of lake water and sediment for application to paleoclimatology.

Learn more >

Champ's CupboardChamp's Cupboard staff

Champ's Cupboard is an on-campus food shelf for students who find themselves in need. Supported by students, staff, faculty, and alumni, Champ's hopes to one day expand its offerings to include clothing, from winter attire to garments suitable for job interviews.

Learn more >

Shades of Africa music eventsAfrica map

UMD Music will present Shades of Africa, celebrating African heritage. This year's theme is Haiti, Pearl of the Antilles. Karine Margron will give a guest lecture/recital, "From Folk to Art," on Apr. 1; John Amira offers "Roots, Rituals and Rhythms" on Apr. 2; and the Crossing Borders Music Collective presents "Pain, Hope, and Resurrection" on Apr. 3. Each concert starts at 7:30 p.m., Weber Music Hall.

Learn more >

Tweevening with Dorian Beaulieu

Dorian Beaulieu will give a presentation as part of the Tweed Museum of Art's Tweevenings series. Beaulieu has created ceramic pieces for more than 30 years. His work is part of the current Tweed exhibition "Resurfaced and Reformed: Evolution in Studio Ceramics." Apr. 7, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Learn more >


Finzel Appointed Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and DeanBart Finzel

Bart Finzel has been appointed vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean. A member of the UMM faculty since 1989, Finzel has served as interim academic dean since 2011. During his tenure as interim dean, Finzel has shown himself to be a strong advocate for faculty, the liberal arts, and academic programs.

Learn more >

Buchanan Receives All-University Horace T. Morse AwardSarah Buchanan

Sarah Buchanan, associate professor of French, is a recipient of the Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education. Nominators describe Buchanan as an "extraordinarily passionate teacher and adviser" who challenges students to become global thinkers and citizens. She is one of eight recipients systemwide and one of two from UMM.

Learn more >

Pappenfus Receives All-University Horace T. Morse AwardTed Pappenfus

Ted Pappenfus, professor of chemistry, is a recipient of the Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education. Nominators write that Pappenfus has championed undergraduate education by mentoring student researchers and improving the chemistry curriculum.

Learn more >


UMR Sponsors upcoming World Festival

UMR is a sponsor of this year's 40th annual World Festival, an opportunity for the Rochester community to learn from their neighbors about different cultures and countries from around the world. Apr. 10-11, John Marshall High School.

Learn more >

Public engagement awards

Chancellor Stephen Lehmkuhle will recognize the outstanding contributions and commitment to collaborative action by faculty, staff, and students as part of the Minnesota Campus Compact Presidents' Awards for Public Engagement. Apr. 16, St. Catherine University, St. Paul.

Read about award recipients >

Twin Cities

First Fridays at the LibraryYMCA old image

Two First Fridays presentations will be held Apr. 3: "Children's Literature: a case for empowerment" and "Empowerment and the YMCA," featuring archival material from the Children's Literature Research Collections and the Kautz Family YMCA Archives. Noon-1 p.m., Andersen Library.

Learn more >

Apr. 6 - What It Will Take to End the AIDS Pandemic

"What It Will Take to End the AIDS Pandemic: Why Inclusion of Marginalized Populations is Essential" will feature Chris Beyrer, president of the International AIDS Society. Beyrer, who also directs the John Hopkins Center for Public Health and Human Rights, has argued that a wave of discriminatory laws and policies are limiting rights, reducing health care access, and aiding and abetting the virus. 4-5:30 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School.

Learn more >

Apr. 10 - Health Disparities Roundtable: 'Health in All Policies'

The 2015 Health Disparities Roundtable will feature Edward Ehlinger, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health; Keshia Pollack, associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and Kate Hess Pace, community organizer for ISAIAH. 9:30 a.m.-noon, Coffman Union Theater.

Register and learn more >

April 10 - Sustainability Symposium

Graduate, professional, and undergraduate students will present on sustainability projects through posters, lightning talks, and multimedia pieces during the Sustainability Symposium, 1:30-5 p.m., Learning & Environmental Sciences bldg., St. Paul.

Learn more >

Apr. 16 - When Should We All Have Our Genome Sequenced? Assessing the Public Health Implications

Muin Khoury, director of the Office of Public Health Genomics with the Centers for Disease Control, will describe efforts to build the policy and practice to fully realize the public health benefits of genomics. Khoury will be joined by Douglas Yee, director of the Masonic Cancer Center, who will share insights gained at the front line of clinical application. Apr. 16, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Best Buy Theater, Northrop.

Registration requested >

Apr. 22 - Undergraduate Research Symposium

Students across all colleges will showcase their research to the University community during the Undergraduate Research Symposium, 11:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Great Hall, Coffman Union. More than 250 undergraduate students will present on a range of topics, deepening the understanding of undergraduate research across the University.

Learn more >

Apr. 24 - Changing Landscapes: Supporting Artists with DisabilitiesPainting by Jimmy Reagan

The Institute on Community Integration will celebrate the prolific and internationally known artist Jimmy Reagan on Apr. 24, 4-6 p.m. in Pattee Hall, where more than 25 of Reagan's pieces are currently on display. The celebration includes self-guided tours with hors d'oeuvres and cash bar. The art will be on display until mid-June. The work of Reagan, who was diagnosed with complex autism at age 2 1/2, offers him a means to illustrate his perspective of the world.

Learn more >

Apr. 25 - Shark Tank casting callShark Tank logo

University students, staff, faculty, and alumni seeking investment for a product or business have an exclusive opportunity to audition for the casting team of the Emmy-winning business-themed show Shark Tank on Apr. 25. Pre-registration is open now.

Learn more >

UMTC Featured EventsSatellite photo of river

2015 State of the University Address (Apr. 2)

OED Certificate Workshop 7: Race, Racism, and Privilege (Apr. 2)

BIG Thursday at the Bell (Apr. 2)

Doctoral Research Showcase (Apr. 7)

The Once and Future River symposium (Apr. 8-10)

Design of Medical Devices Conference (Apr. 13-16)

Events Calendar >