April 5, 2017

Vol. XLVII No. 13

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • Urge lawmakers to support the U.
  • Features: Matching grad student skills with regional business needs; CTS celebrates 30 years; Range contraction puts species at risk; Ethanol’s land impacts.
  • People: Carol Strohecker has been named dean of the College of Design; and more.

Top News

Urge lawmakers to support the U

Both the House and Senate have released their Higher Education bills, and there is cause for concern. The University's core mission is significantly underfunded, and that will likely lead to tuition increases. Now is a critical time for you to make sure Minnesota legislators hear your voice, both as a constituent and as a supporter of the University of Minnesota. Learn more about key University initiatives and contact your lawmakers (it takes less than 60 seconds).

Matching grad student skills with regional business needsstudents talking at table

Business development, market research, product improvement—these are all top-of-mind for small- and medium-sized businesses looking to grow. And for a few of these businesses, they’re also where teams of University of Minnesota graduate students are lending a hand. The U of M’s Economic Development Fellows Consulting Program connects groups of four to five graduate student consultants with Minnesota companies looking to overcome business challenges.

CTS celebrates 30 years of transportation research, innovationcars in traffic

The Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) celebrates its 30th anniversary, capping three decades of developing new tools to help agencies across the United States improve transportation systems and provide objective data to inform elected officials on matters of transportation policy. During that time, transportation research projects at the University have served as prime examples of how U of M research meets the practical needs of citizens, in the Twin Cities area and throughout Minnesota—and CTS research continues to drive innovation today.

Range contraction puts species at riskan elephant in a forest

When certain species decline in number, the geographic areas they inhabit also shrink. With less space to occupy, these decreasing populations manage to remain locally abundant. As a result, in the places where these species can still be found, they remain easy, affordable targets for hunters and fishermen. A recent study found that this can drive the animals to extinction.

Ethanol’s land impactland use map

A new study from the Natural Resources Research Institute details the conversion of grassland to corn production in relation to expanding ethanol refineries. Nearly 4.2 million acres of land was converted to cropland from 2008 to 2012 during the peak of ethanol expansion. Of particular interest is the conversion of Conservation Reserve Program lands and native prairies that provide habitat for many species and improve water quality. The study, an example of NRRI’s role in providing data for sustainable planning, points to the need for more comprehensive monitoring to assess whether the Renewable Fuel Standard is having the intended effect of reducing greenhouse gases.


Carol Strohecker has been named dean of the College of Design; four U of M researchers received Innovation Awards during the recent Inventor Recognition Event; George Weiblen is the recipient of the U’s systemwide President's Community-Engaged Scholar Award, with additional college-wide award recipients; the Institute for Advanced Study has announced its 2017-18 Research and Creative Collaboratives; a U of M geosciences outreach app is a winner of a national competition sponsored by Popular Science and the NSF; three faculty members will receive major awards from the American Chemical Society in 2017; the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum was named USA Today’s Best Botanical Garden in the country; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News


Discover a world of opportunities for children at the University of Minnesota’s Youth.umn.edu. The site lists summer camps, after-school enrichment programs, online experiences, and places to visit at U of M locations across the state, customizable by subject, age range, and location.

Apr. 12-14 - Faculty/staff savings on Apple computers

U of M faculty and staff can receive 8 percent off on the purchase of Apple computers at the U of M Bookstore M Tech Store, located in Coffman Union, or online. A payroll deduction program is also available for technology purchases.

Befriending bumble beesbee on flower

University of Minnesota Extension has published Befriending Bumble Bees: A practical guide to raising local bumble bees. The guide provides the step-by-step information needed to find, capture, house, and feed the next generation of bumble bees. Beekeepers, gardeners, nature lovers, and anyone interested in pollinators will enjoy the benefits these bees provide to gardens and crops while helping to support native ecosystems.

U Minnesota Mobile App

The U of M has signed another three-year contract with Guidebook to maintain its University of Minnesota mobile app through 2019. The app is available for all faculty and staff as a mobile solution to support U of M programs and events.

Learn more at uminnesota.umn.edu >

Helping home gardeners manage plant diseases

Every plant disease problem is unique in its own way. Extension educator Michelle Grabowski is finding ways to prevent and manage these diverse and complex plant pathogens. Grabowski teaches people across the state who are growing fruits, vegetables, flowers, and trees, and she works with growers to find strategies to avoid plant diseases and manage them if they do show up.

May 22-June 9 - Summer Public Health Institute

Explore the field of public health and earn credits toward your degree or brush up on your public health skills by taking a weeklong, interactive summer course on the UMTC campus. Graduate students and professionals in public health and other health and human service organizations will find these courses to be valuable.


Holz-Clause named chancellor of the University of Minnesota Crookstonmary Holz-Clause

An entrepreneurial and accomplished leader deeply committed to the land-grant mission, Mary Holz-Clause has been named chancellor of the University of Minnesota Crookston. Holz-Clause will provide leadership for Crookston's unique position in the region while building on UMC's legacy of providing an innovative, hands-on educational experience for students. Her appointment is effective June 30, pending approval by the U of M Board of Regents.

Choi receives Josef Mestenhauser Student AwardKaren Choi

UMC senior Karen Choi is one of four students in the University of Minnesota system to receive the Josef Mestenhauser Student Award for Excellence in Campus Internationalization.

Apr. 5 – Grad Fest

All graduating seniors are encouraged to attend Grad Fest in order to receive important information regarding the process of graduation and related services. 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., International Lounge, Sargeant Student Center.

Apr. 6 - Mayor's Meetup

Crookston Mayor Wayne Melbye will host a community-wide meetup to hear from partners, organizations, and committees on their missions, projects, and happenings. 5 p.m., Kiehle Auditorium.


Sterner honoredBob Sterner

Robert Sterner, director of UMD's Large Lakes Observatory and professor of biology, has received the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography’s John Martin Award for a 1994 paper about herbivore nutrition. Coauthored with Dag Hessen, the paper was cited as having a major impact on other researchers.

Gold-medal chefConor Maki

UMD Chef Conor Maki recently won a gold medal at the regional National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) culinary competition in Fargo. Using the featured product, bone-in pork loin, he created “Swine in the Brine,” which beat out dishes prepared by six other chefs. In July, Maki will compete at NACUFS’s national conference.

Apps4U at UMDGirl on computer

UMD faculty and students can now use any device to access software programs needed for classes and coursework. Apps4U is a new virtual software delivery program that allows users full access to log in to specialized academic software and applications like ArcGIS, MATLAB, SPSS, and more. Software is also accessible on campus via the UMD computer labs.

See setup and login instructions and a list of available software >

Apr. 11 – Tweeveningpainting of old woman

Kristy Jeffcoat, a conservator at the Midwest Art Conservation Center in Minneapolis, and Kurt Nordwall, a frame technician at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, will discuss restoration and custom frame creation for the painting Portrait of an Elderly Lady, 1628. The work is part of the Tweed’s collection and is attributed to Dutch artist Michael Janszoon Van Miereveld. 6:30 p.m., Tweed Museum of Art.


Garavaso receives Faculty Distinguished Research AwardPieranna Garavaso

Pieranna Garavaso, professor of philosophy, has received the University of Minnesota Morris Faculty Distinguished Research Award, which recognizes sustained research/artistic productivity of a Morris faculty member over the course of a career. Garavaso has enjoyed a long and distinguished career, producing a massive body of work that has earned her the admiration and respect of colleagues all over the world.

Dean receives Alumni Association Teaching AwardRebecca Dean

Rebecca Dean, associate professor of anthropology, has received the 2017 UMM Alumni Association Teaching Award, which honors faculty members for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education by calling attention to educational philosophies, objectives, and methods. Dean stands out for her creative, effective pedagogy, her incorporation of community outreach into teaching and research, and her leadership in redesigning the anthropology curriculum to emphasize service learning.

Donovan receives CDN Lifetime Achievement Awardgary donovan

Gary Donovan, director of career services, has been recognized by the Career Development Network with the CDN Lifetime Achievement Award. Recipients are selected based on commitment to student and career development, impact on students across the University system, and contributions to CDN or system/campus-wide career initiatives that have helped to raise career services at the University of Minnesota to a higher standard.

Apr. 7-8 - James and the Giant PeachJames and Giant Peach poster ad

The Theatre Discipline will close its 2016-17 season with Roald Dahl's classic children's story James and the Giant Peach, directed by visiting Assistant Professor Sara Pillatzki-Warzeha. Amusement and chaos ensue when James, an orphan living with his evil aunts, accidentally spills a magical concoction onto the roots of a dormant peach tree. Apr. 7, 7 p.m.; Apr. 8, 1 p.m.; Raymond J. Lammers Proscenium Theatre.


Campus Compact Awards for Public Engagement

Chancellor Lehmkuhle has recognized recipients of the Campus Compact Awards for Public Engagement. The recipients are Abby Cink, Presidents' Student Leadership Award; Virginia Wright-Peterson, Presidents' Civic Engagement Steward Award; and Rochester Public Library (Audrey Betcher), Presidents' Community Partner Award.

Read more about the recipients >

Apr. 11 - That's not funnyprof Mondy

“That’s not funny” is a common response to humor that is regarded as immoral or offensive, but can it be justified? Join UMR faculty Brian Mondy at the next UMR Connects for a serious and humorous discussion of humor and ethics. 7 p.m., Room 417, 111 S. Broadway.

Twin Cities

New version of Adobe Acrobat

On Oct. 15, Adobe Acrobat and Reader XI will no longer be updated or supported by Adobe. The current software will be replaced by Adobe Acrobat DC (currently available for install), which will be the default product included in newly purchased equipment from OIT.

Apr. 7 - Does plagiarism detection software benefit or diminish student writing?

Join The Center for Writing for a discussion about the uses or abuses of plagiarism detection software, and whether it benefits or diminishes student writing. 9-10:15 a.m., 12 Nicholson Hall.

Register and learn more >

Apr. 8 - Northrop Presents Scottish Balletballet on stage

Set in the mean streets of Glasgow, this gritty reworking of the classic ballet La Sylphide follows newlywed James on a fateful journey into a magical world beyond reality and reason. The announcement of the 2017-18 Northrop Dance Season and an audience reception will follow the performance. Rush tickets are $20 for faculty and staff ($10 for students), available beginning at 10 a.m. on performance day. 8 p.m., Carlson Family Stage.

Apr. 10 - The Politics of Rural Resentment

The election of Donald Trump exposed a divide between rural and urban America. His unexpected success raised a critical but understudied question: Why is rural America so full of resentment for cities, city dwellers, and the urban elite? By sitting in on conversations with working-class citizens, Professor Kathy Cramer discovered an overarching complaint: rural voters felt they were not getting their fair share of attention, resources, and respect. Noon-1:15 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School.

Apr. 11 - Celebrating 10 years of the Doctoral Research Showcase

Show your support for some of the University’s most creative thinkers as they share the discoveries they’ve made on the path from student to scholar at the 2017 Doctoral Research Showcase. Email Alison Skoberg to request disability accommodations. Noon-2 p.m., Great Hall, Coffman Union.

Apr. 20 – Reception: Protest Publishing and Art

University Libraries will host an exhibit reception and panel discussion on an exhibit that integrates zines and other counter culture materials from the Gorman Rare Art Book Collection with student, faculty, and community artwork. 5 p.m., Wilson Library.

Apr. 20 - MINDS Spring Symposium

The Minnesota Institute for Neuroeconomics and Decision Science (MINDS) will host a symposium that aims to bridge the gaps among disciplines at the U of M involved in decision-making and neuroeconomics. 5:30-7:30 p.m., 219 Elliott Hall.

Apr. 25 - Laverne CoxLaverne Cox

Actress, speaker, and trans advocate Laverne Cox explores how the intersections of race, class, and gender uniquely affect the lives of trans women of color. She tells the story of the challenges along her journey to womanhood, professional achievement, self-acceptance, and love. Cost: $17 for faculty and staff, $12 for students. 7 p.m., Northrop.

May 5-6 - Neuro-statistics: the interface between neuroscience and statistics

The modern world is one of data: every walk of life and every aspect of nature and human society generates information that can be used for scientific discovery and betterment of life on this planet. This workshop will explore the frontier of collaborative research on the use of statistics and data science methods towards understanding neuroscience data and scientific objectives, and on the challenges and scope of this interdisciplinary research.

Register and learn more >

UMTC Featured Eventsperson looking through telescope

Apr. 6 - Cymbeline

Apr. 7 - Medical Materialities: Teaching, Feeding, and Healing the Body through Medical Humanities - Panel

Apr. 7 - Lubnah Shomali: A Rights-Based Approach to the Palestine-Israel Conflict

Apr. 7 - Star Party: History of Astronomy

Apr. 10 - Suicide Prevention on Campus

Apr. 10 - Tiny House Movement

Apr. 12 - 2017 Naomi C. Chase Lecture By Melissa Sweet

Events Calendar >