April 4, 2018

Vol. XLVIII No. 13

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • Support the U Day is Apr. 10.
  • Features: Researchers uncover the farthest star ever seen; Assessing how alcohol affects the adolescent brain.
  • People: The NIH has awarded Dianne Neumark-Sztainer a $6.5 million Outstanding Investigator Award; and more.

Top News

Apr. 10 - Support the U Day

Register for Support the U Day at the Minnesota State Capitol, 1-5 p.m. Participants will get some cool gifts, meet with lawmakers, be part of a rally, and help show that the University is supported across the state. Each campus will have bus transportation for the day.

Researchers uncover the farthest star ever seenIcarus star rendering

A research team led by the U of M has spotted an enormous blue star, nicknamed Icarus, more than halfway across the universe. It is the farthest individual star ever seen. The discovery, through a phenomenon called gravitational lensing, has initiated a new way for astronomers to study individual stars in distant galaxies. These observations provide a rare, detailed look at how stars evolve, especially the most luminous stars.

Assessing how alcohol affects the adolescent brainan adolescent brain graphic

In 2013 researchers led by Monica Luciana reported that the brains of adolescents who began drinking developed differently from those who didn’t. Compared to those who refrained, the cerebral cortexes of those who began drinking showed greater thinning in some parts and blunted development of white matter in others. Now Luciana is part of the NIH-funded consortium that is following 11,500 children for at least five years with a long-range goal of finding strategies for preventing and treating substance abuse.

Learn more about the research >


The NIH has awarded School of Public Health Professor Dianne Neumark-Sztainer a $6.5 million Outstanding Investigator Award; announcing the recipient of the systemwide President's Community-Engaged Scholar Award as well as collegiate-level award recipients; Jerica Berge has been named director of the new Center for Women in Medicine and Science; Patent Roll Call, spring 2018; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Training for preventing sexual misconduct

The U of M’s Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault, Stalking and Relationship Violence policy prohibits sexual misconduct and describes the University's sexual misconduct response processes and resources. Training for all faculty and staff is mandatory, and an online training module should be completed by June 30. The training informs faculty and staff about University policies, how to intervene and support those affected, and what our responsibilities are as bystanders and representatives of the University community.

Lynda.com online courses

Lynda.com, a library of online training videos, is available at no charge to all current U of M faculty, staff, and students. It can help you or students you teach to learn technology, creative, and business skills from industry experts. Instructors can also assign tutorials for course work, incorporate lynda.com in syllabi, and more.

Apr. 5 - Meetings of the University/Faculty Senates

University and Faculty Senates will hold concurrent meetings from 2:30 to 5 p.m. All members of the University community are invited to attend. System campuses will be linked by video conference.

See the docket materials for locations and topics of discussion >

Apr. 9 - Public hearings on proposed revisions to Civil Service Employment Rules

The Civil Service Consultative Committee and Employment Rules Subcommittee have proposed revisions to the Civil Service Employment Rules. Two public hearings will be held in order to hear constituent feedback on the proposal. The hearings will be held in 300 Morrill Hall (and by video conference) at noon and 4 p.m.

Learn more and view the proposed revisions >

IonE spring Mini Grants

The Institute on the Environment (IonE) is accepting Mini Grant applications for the spring 2018 cohort. Mini Grants are small awards of $3,000 or less, intended to spur new collaborative efforts on environmental topics across the U of M system. The application deadline is noon, Apr. 16.

Review proposal requirements and application instructions >

MN Cup entrepreneurial competition

Apply by Apr. 27 to enter into the largest statewide startup competition in the country, featuring awards of $475,000 as well as mentorship opportunities with industry leaders, business plan feedback, media exposure, and networking opportunities with potential investors.

Apr. 27 - U of M Night at Target Fieldmaroon and gold themed twins hat

The U of M Night at Target Field ticket package includes a ticket to the game and a special U of M/Twins cap. The night will also include an appearance by Goldy Gopher, a distinguished alum throwing out the first pitch, and more. A portion of each ticket will support the University of Minnesota Alumni Association. Game time is 7:10 p.m.

U of M Landscape Arboretum Summer Youth Programs

The U of M Landscape Arboretum offers unique, nature-inspired summer programs for youth ages 3-13. Side effects of class participation may include an increased appetite for vegetables, unusual spikes in time spent outdoors, a persistent desire to search for wild things, and an increase in the use of words like trowel, kohlrabi, and proboscis.


Apr. 4 - Grad Fest

Grad Fest will be held for the Class of 2018 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., International Lounge.

Apr. 6 - Chancellor inauguration

Events for the inauguration of Mary Holz-Clause as the sixth chancellor for the University of Minnesota Crookston are set, with a noon inauguration ceremony, Kiehle Auditorium. A public reception follows in Sargeant Student Center.

Sign the guest book >


Apr. 5 - Frozen Four: Bulldog CountryUMD hockey team

The UMD men’s hockey team will take on Ohio State at the NCAA Frozen Four semifinals at 5 p.m., Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2, but you may also be able to join fellow Bulldog fans for a watch party at locations nationwide.

See watch-party locations >

Pittman honoredKim Pittman

Kim Pittman has received the 2018 Instruction Section Innovation Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries. Pittman, information literacy and assessment librarian at the Kathryn A. Martin Library, and two colleagues received the award for their work on 23 Framework Things, an online development tool that helps librarians engage in discussions, activities, readings, and reflection at their own pace.

Excellence rewardedTracey Bolen

Tracey Bolen, director of Advising and Academic Services at the Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE), has received the 2018 John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising. The award recognizes and rewards high-quality academic advising. Bolen began at LSBE in 1991 as an academic adviser, becoming director in 2007.

Apr. 10 - Trends and forces in learning and technology lectureBryan Alexander

Bryan Alexander will present “Learning and Technology in the 2020s, Trends and Forces of Change” at this year’s Ben and Jeanne Overman Distinguished Speaker Series. Alexander is a futurist, researcher, writer, and teacher working in the field of how technology transforms education. 7 p.m., Weber Music Hall.


Faculty and staff IAS awardsnature path through a grassland

Five Morris faculty, staff, and alumni earned Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) Research and Creative Collaboratives awards. Representing some of the most innovative work at the University, these self-initiated groups come together with the idea of working on a project of common interest.

Beauto recognized by National Student ExchangeKatie Beauto on a mountain in Alaska

Katie Beauto ’18 earned the National Student Exchange Dr. Richard R. Bond Student Achievement Award. Beauto was recognized for her work at the University of Alaska Southeast, where she analyzed seawater samples for nutrient content and supported projects related to atmospheric mercury. The projects reaffirmed her desire to work in environmental research.

Apr. 13-14 - Step on a Crackpeople performing theater

The Theatre Discipline closes its 2017-18 season with Step on a Crack, a children's play by Suzan Zeder. Directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Siobhan Bremer, this whimsical production tells the story of Ellie, a young girl struggling to come to terms with the addition of a stepmother into her family.

May 12 - Senator Klobuchar to give commencement speechAmy Klobuchar

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar will serve as the 2018 Commencement speaker at Morris. Klobuchar is the first female senator elected to represent the State of Minnesota. Throughout her public service, she has embraced the values she learned growing up in Minnesota.


Apr. 10 - UMR Connects: Acknowledging Privilege in Support Systems: Intersections of Race and Ability

Join Audrey Mouser Elegbede at the next UMR Connects for a presentation addressing issues of white privilege, multiracial and multicultural identities, Muslims in the U.S., and the intersection of race and ability. 7 p.m., 417 University Square.

UMR Students Present at IMPACT

On March 10, four UMR student groups participated in Mayo Clinic's Innovative Minds Partnering to Advance Curative Therapies (IMPACT) program. Of the 55 teams that participated in this year's event, 8 were invited to give an oral presentation, and 2 of those included UMR students. "My experience with IMPACT is what sparked my interest in research. I would not have had this interest if it weren't for this experience," says UMR junior and IMPACT presenter Mohamed Addani.

Twin Cities

Mindfulness at Work course

Mindfulness at Work is an experiential course designed to teach core mindfulness skills while also exploring specific applications to the workplace setting. The course explores key mindfulness traits and how they relate to essential workplace skills, such as presence, emotional regulation, resilience, cognitive flexibility, and communication. The course fee is $250, but U of M employees are eligible to receive a $100 reimbursement and 150 wellness points through the U of M’s Wellbeing Program. The next section begins Apr. 13.

Register >

Apr. 14 - Global Health Day

Global Health Day will celebrate the work of the U of M’s global health community with presentations from students, residents, and fellows; a Global Health Showcase featuring faculty presentations; and a Global Health Resource Corner. 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Coffman Union.

Register and learn more >

Apr. 16 - The Experimental City: Film screening and conversation

University Libraries is sponsoring a screening of the documentary The Experimental City. A conversation with the film’s director, Chad Friedrichs, and Tom Fisher, director of the Minnesota Design Center, will follow the film. No charge. 6 p.m., Coffman Theater.

Reservations and more information >

Apr. 18 - Grand Challenges Research Expo

The Grand Challenges Research Expo: Inspiring Ideas, Creating Change will inform, engage, and inspire the University community and partners regarding interdisciplinary research opportunities that address society’s most vexing challenges. 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Coffman Union.

Apr. 18 - Astronomy’s Newest Extragalactic Mystery: Fast Radio Bursts!

Professor Victoria Kaspi of McGill University will discuss the Fast Radio Burst (FRB) mystery at the 2018 Karlis Kaufmanis Lecture. Kaspi will also describe a revolutionary new radio telescope being built in Canada that will enable astronomers worldwide to make major progress in understanding the FRB puzzle. 7 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center.

Register and learn more >

Apr. 20 - Borealis Night of Excellence

The CFANS Alumni Society and CFANS Student Board will co-host the Borealis Night of Excellence. The event honors recipients of Student Board and Alumni Society Awards, Mentor Program honorees, and Alumni Society scholarship recipients. All are invited to join in celebrating these outstanding students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the college.

Learn more and RSVP by Apr. 18 >

Apr. 20-21 - The State of Our Satirical Union

The Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law will host a symposium exploring the many dimensions of Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell and the state of political cartoons in the current political climate.

Register by Apr. 9 >

Apr. 24 - Aquaponics Symposium

The Center for Animal Health and Food Safety will host the Minnesota Aquaponics Symposium, featuring talks from experts, a primer for aquaponics beginners, a poster session, and a panel discussion Q&A with industry leaders. The symposium is intended for anyone interested in aquaponic production in Minnesota.

Apr. 25 - 90 Years of the U of M Archives

Explore the last 90 years of University history through people and events brought to life from the collections of the University of Minnesota Archives at this reception to celebrate the exhibit “Gone Into History: 90 Years of the University of Minnesota Archives.” No charge. 4:30 p.m., Elmer L. Andersen Library.

Reservations and more information >

U of M Landscape Arboretum classes and workshops

The U of M Landscape Arboretum offers a host of spring and summer classes and workshops, including Fresh Natural Spring Soap Making, Medicinal Plants of the Midwest, Bent Willow Furniture, Saturday in the Kitchen: Beeswax Beauty, Emotion Potions - The Power of Aromatherapy, and more.

Browse and register for classes >

UMTC Featured EventsGoldy Gopher running a race with headband on

Apr. 5 - Health Professional School Expo
Apr. 8 - UMAA at Goldy's Run
Apr. 9 - Terrorism, Gender, and the 2016 Presidential Election
Apr. 11 - Farming for Bees: Sowing Biodiversity in Agriculture
Apr. 11 - A Tiny Take on Toxins: Engineering Enzymes to Clean up the Environment
Apr. 12 - Design in 7: 7 Stories, 7 Minutes

Events Calendar >