April 17, 2019

Vol. XLIX No. 15

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • Features: Working with communities to end addiction; Opportunity for everyone; The female formula; A stimulating treatment for mental illness.
  • People: The U of M recently honored the innovation and entrepreneurship of its top researchers; and more.

Top News

Working with communities to end addictionKerry Michael

Today, more than 130 U of M researchers are working to address the opioid crisis, uncovering solutions ranging from the development of non-addictive pain treatments to understanding how brain circuits malfunction in addiction. But an area that gets less attention is simply stopping to ask, what is working now, and how can we do it better? That’s the question that has been put to University of Minnesota Morris researcher and assistant professor of psychology Kerry Michael, who is partnering with communities in Minnesota’s eighth judicial district to fight addiction.

Opportunity for everyoneLance Jannson

As the child of two teachers, Lance Janssen grew up in an environment of learning. It’s inspiring to give to the U of M, he says, because he’s seen firsthand how gifts have a real impact on students. Janssen, who’s on the communications team at the College of Biological Sciences, is one of 12,000+ faculty and staff who have given to the University since the Driven fundraising campaign launched in 2011. Hear Janssen’s story.

The female formula3 female formula car students

Electrical engineering major Rose Slater is the project manager of Gopher Motorsports, more formally known as the U of M’s Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (FSAE) team. Slater is one of three women holding managerial positions in Gopher Motorsports. Completely student-run, the group designs, markets, and races a high-speed formula car. The team is currently ranked second in the country.

A stimulating treatment for mental illnesssilouhuette of person's head

Precisely treating the source of mental illness--the brain--is on the horizon, thanks to work by U of M researcher Alik Widge and colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital. The technique involves deep brain stimulation (DBS), in which an electrode implanted deep in the brain stimulates cells. DBS has helped patients with Parkinson’s disease and similar disorders, but has not worked as well for severe illnesses like major depressive disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.


The U of M recently recognized researchers whose groundbreaking research and entrepreneurial spirit have led to new technologies that hold the potential to address major societal challenges; the Institute for Advanced Study has been awarded a $1,077,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation to develop an environmental stewardship and community initiative that centers on respect for traditional Indigenous ways of understanding; Carolyn Porta and Shanda Demorest were recently honored by the Women’s Health Leadership Trust; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Register for Mini Bioethics Academy

Registration is open for Mini Bioethics Academy, a three-evening series taught by bioethics experts and sponsored by the U of M Center for Bioethics. The series helps the public engage with U of M faculty in learning about the ethical challenges in today's society. Attend one, two, or all three sessions: Apr. 24, May 1, and May 8, 6:30-8 p.m., 2-690 Moos Tower, Twin Cities.

Research Brief: Health insurance coverage increases for individuals on probation after ACA implementation

In the first year after implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) key provisions, health insurance coverage increased for individuals with involvement in the criminal justice system, according to a study by researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.


Apr. 18 - Inaugural faculty research fair

University of Minnesota Crookston faculty will participate in the inaugural faculty research fair. Research stands will be located in the Northern Lights Lounge, the Prairie Room, and the International Lounge--all in the Sargeant Student Center. Community members are encouraged to attend and explore ways their organizations can collaborate with Crookston faculty.

Advisory Board members complete terms

Three members of the University of Minnesota Crookston Campus Advancement and Advisory Board have stepped down after years of service to the board. Pete Kappes, Roger Moe, and Jerry Knutson completed their terms in 2019 and were recently recognized for their contributions.

Foss accepted to Minnesota TeachingWorks FellowshipJames Foss

U of M Crookston assistant professor James Foss was recently accepted into the Minnesota TeachingWorks Fellowship. The fellowship supports participants in developing their ability to use practice-based pedagogies of teacher education to create learning opportunities for teacher candidates.


Recognizing leaderspeople accepting linda larson award

Three U of M Duluth women received the Commission on Women’s Linda Larson Woman of the Year Award. Student Lizzie Easter, staff member Becky Nelson, and faculty member Terri Moses were given the award in honor of the work they do for women both on campus and in the community. The award is named for former UMD employee Linda Larson, who championed women’s athletics and UMD’s Women’s Resource and Action Center.

Palombi honoredLaura Palombi

Laura Palombi, assistant professor in the College of Pharmacy Duluth, received the St. Louis County Public Health Achievement Award in recognition of the extensive work she has done in the area of substance abuse prevention and intervention. Palombi has also provided leadership in training people on how to use naloxone to save the lives of people experiencing an opioid overdose.

A great fitTyler Koonst

Raised in a small town, Tyler Koonst chose the Medical School Duluth because of its focus on rural medicine. He served in the Air Force for eight years as an aircraft mechanic, then went into medicine “after seeing the role of healthcare on the front lines of the military,” he says. Koonst hopes to complete a residency in emergency medicine and practice in a rural community in southwest Minnesota.

Apr. 25 Fictionalizing historyposter of star

Deborah Petersen-Perlman, associate professor in the Department of Communication, Matt Rosendahl, director of the Kathryn A. Martin Library, and John Schwetman, associate professor in the Department of English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies, will give a presentation entitled “Fictionalizing History: A Talk on The Librarian of Auschwitz, The Lullaby of Auschwitz, The German Girl, and others.” In addition, students from the College of Liberal Arts' communication class, Telling Stories About the Holocaust, will give poster presentations. 7 p.m., Kathryn A. Martin Library.


Jefferson earns FulbrightDrewe Jefferson

Drewe Jefferson '16 earned a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award for 2019-20. A German and English graduate, Jefferson will spend nine months in Germany teaching English, serving as a cultural ambassador, and learning about traditional German herbal medicine. She says the small class sizes and close-knit community at Morris set her up for success in the Fulbright competition.

Ramey earns $75,000 award for studio upgradesJason Ramey

Assistant Professor of Studio Art Jason Ramey earned a $75,000 award from the Windgate Charitable Foundation to upgrade the campus sculpture studio. Ramey learned to love woodworking as a student and now is sharing this traditional craft with a new generation of artisans, equipping them with practical skills for furniture design, sculpture, and more.

Sleep apnea and safe drivingstephen burks

After accepting the University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies 2019 Robert C. Johns Research Partnership Award for researching commercial drivers and untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), Distinguished Research Professor of Economics and Management Stephen Burks answered questions on how programs for diagnosing and treating OSA correlate with preventable tractor-trailer collisions.


Lemer awarded 2019 McKnight Artist Fellowship for WritersBronson Lemer

Bronson Lemer, creative writing faculty at UMR’s Center for Learning Innovation, is one of four writers to receive the 2019 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Writers for his work The Last Deployment: How a Gay, Hammer-Swinging Twentysomething Survived a Year in Iraq. The fellowships are judged by prominent American authors and editors, and the winners, all from Minnesota, are awarded $25,000 each.

Twin Cities

Twin Cities campus construction

It's construction season across the Twin Cities campus. For the next few months, several projects will be underway that may affect vehicle, bike, or pedestrian traffic. Please be cautious and watch for construction areas and signs indicating lane changes, parking restrictions, and more. Visit Capital Project Management and Parking & Transportation Services for construction updates.

Apr. 18 - Propelling Coca-Cola into the Digital World

Take a look inside how the Coca-Cola Company is reigniting its brands in the age of social, eCommerce, and augmented reality at this U of M Communicators Forum event featuring Ellen Duncan of Coca-Cola North America. The first 200 attendees will receive a Coca-Cola brand gift. Snacks and beverages will be provided. No charge, but registration is requested. 3-4:30 p.m., 3M Auditorium, Carlson School.

Apr. 23 - Becoming an Ally in Stopping Sexual Harassment

A panel of University experts moderated by Katie Eichele (director of the Aurora Center) will discuss the impact of sexual harassment, provide tools to address it, and share strategies for being an ally. A resource fair will follow to provide additional information and materials. This event is open to all U of M faculty and staff. RSVP requested. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union.

Apr. 23 - Emerging Opportunities Forum: Crowdfunding Strategies & Opportunities

Crowdfunding is a potentially valuable and multifaceted tool for many startups. This panel session will look beyond the hype to hear from leading researchers, attorneys, and entrepreneurs discussing opportunities available for entrepreneurs to test market acceptance, create awareness, fund initial production runs, or potentially to raise equity/debt capital. 4-5:30 p.m., 2-206 Carlson School.

Apr. 24 - Apple savings event at U of M Bookstores

Faculty and staff are eligible to receive up to $300 off select Apple retail pricing during a special Apple savings event at the Coffman Union Bookstore. Eligible employees can apply for the U of M payroll deduction program. Faculty and staff are invited to test technology, have questions answered, and enjoy in-store refreshments and special accessory offers.

Apr. 25 - Bagels Beyond Boundaries

Join the Center for Integrative Leadership for a conversation with Marnita's Table, a local nonprofit that promotes intentional social interaction across race, class, culture, and self-identity. Speakers will share the goals, strategies, and challenges of Marnita’s Table as a case study on promoting civil dialogue across differences. 8:30 a.m., 1-123 Carlson School.

Apr. 25 - Hunger Relief Benefit

The Creative Writing Program's annual hunger relief benefit will feature readings from its two new assistant professors. Douglas Kearney’s fourth poetry collection, Buck Studies, won the Theodore Roethke Award. He also published the nonfiction volume Mess and Mess and. Kathryn Nuernberger’s second collection, The End of Pink, won the James Laughlin Prize. She’s also the author of the essay collection Brief Interviews with the Romantic Past. 7 p.m., Upson Room, Walter Library.

Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble concerts celebrating Frank Bencriscutto

The U of M School of Music will present two concerts celebrating the historic international band tours led by bands director alumnus Frank Bencriscutto. The Symphonic Band Concert (Apr. 25) commemorates the China Tour of 1980, and the Wind Ensemble Concert (Apr. 26) celebrates the seven-week tour of the Soviet Union in 1969. Both concerts take place at 7:30 p.m., Ted Mann Concert Hall and streaming live online.

May 1 - Celebrating 110 years of the University of Minnesota School of Nursing

In 1909, the first nursing program within a university was established at the University of Minnesota, forever changing the trajectory of nursing education and the profession. Help commemorate the history of the School of Nursing and celebrate its bright future at this event featuring keynote speaker Army Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho (retired), who was the first woman and first Nurse Corps Officer to hold the appointment of U.S. Army Surgeon General and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Medical Command. 5:30 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center.

May 7 - Founders Day 2019

Learn about innovative student startups in the fields of engineering, design, agriculture, policy, and business at this year’s Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship Founders Day (register). The event will also announce student and faculty entrepreneurship awards, recognize the 2019 U of M Entrepreneurs of the Year, and close with a talk by legendary entrepreneur Phil Soran. 4:30-7 p.m., Carlson Atrium and 3M Auditorium.

UMTC Featured EventsCarol Anderson

Apr. 18 - BFA Acting Original Comedy
Apr. 18 - Carol Anderson: "White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide"
Apr. 19 - Destination Discovery: St. Paul Campus
Apr. 23 - Rwanda. Remembering Genocide with Resilience: the Voices of Women Survivors
Apr. 23 - 17th Annual Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Awards
Apr. 23 - In Concert: University Organist Dean Billmeyer
Apr. 24 - We* Talks: Brewing Possibilities - Women Leading Innovation In Beverage

Events Calendar >