August 17, 2016

Vol. XLVI No. 25

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Driven to Discover: Ruby Nguyen.
  • Features: Ten #UMNonaStick things to do at the fair; Student entrepreneurs go big.
  • People: A nearly $5 million state investment in agricultural productivity at the U of M will be used to hire scientists and improve infrastructure; and more.

Top News

Driven to Discover: Ruby NguyenRuby

Thousands of biological mechanisms naturally determine a baby's genetic path in its mother's womb. But some mechanisms are disrupted by environmental factors. And the harmful effects can show up later, in areas such as play behaviors, learning disorders, and fertility issues. Researcher Ruby Nguyen is studying chemicals found in common products to determine how they alter hormone-related levels in expectant mothers and affect their child's development.

Read more about Nguyen >

Ten #UMNonaStick things to do at the fairState fair band pic

From raptors and bees to performances and freebies, the U has something to offer everyone at the Minnesota State Fair. Download the UMN@TheFair app to see the entire schedule of activities and events.

See the top ten >

Student entrepreneurs go bigEric Sannerud

A U of M student start-up is on the verge of becoming Minnesota's largest grower of hops. Mighty Axe Hops started as a three-acre test plot on a family farm in Ham Lake in 2013. New financing will allow the company to purchase 120 acres, making it the largest grower of hops in the state—larger than all other Minnesota hops farms combined.

Read more about hops >


A nearly $5 million state investment in agricultural productivity at the U of M will be used to hire scientists and improve infrastructure; U researchers have been awarded a $6.9 million grant to continue research to map human brain connectivity; 18 faculty members have been selected for the 2016-17 Internationalizing Teaching and Learning Faculty Cohort Program; the IGDILab has received three $1.4 million grants to expand research in assessment of early language and literacy development of children ages 3 to 5; Eric Kaler has been elected chair of the NCAA Division I Board of Directors; Aiyesha Dey has been named a visiting academic scholar with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; Jeff Peterson has been named to the Water Use Advisory Council of the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research; Pamela Webb has received the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research Administration; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Research ethicsdna strand

The U of M is launching a University-wide research ethics campaign that includes posters, digital communications, events, and other activities to promote and build awareness of the University's principles, policies, and processes that support and require ethical research practices. The campaign has been developed with the input from U researchers, staff, and bioethicists.

Aug. 25-Sept. 5 - #UMNonaStick at the Minnesota State Fair

The University of Minnesota will be showing off discoveries and expertise at the 2016 Minnesota State Fair. Whatever your interests, you'll find fascinating and fun exhibits and hands-on activities in buildings all over the fairgrounds, ranging from interactive robotics demonstrations to tap dancing and photos with Goldy Gopher. Download the UMN@TheFair guidebook for information on U of M locations, schedules, and giveaways.

Aug. 30 - Graduate and professional student orientation and welcome

The Graduate School, in collaboration with the Council of Graduate Students, will hold a welcome and orientation event at Northrop, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Sessions for doctoral students will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, and sessions for master's and professional students will be held from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. There will be a resource fair from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for all students.

Institute on the Environment call for new Fellows and Affiliates

The Institute on the Environment has launched a new Fellows and Affiliates program as part of its commitment to bring together innovators from across the University and beyond to solve complex environmental problems. The new program will expand on the current fellows program and offer openings for early-career faculty, visiting scholars, and others. The application/nomination (PDF) deadline is Sept. 15.

Grant-in-Aid competition

Apply now for the fall 2016 Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry and Scholarship program, sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research. The program promotes the research, scholarly, and artistic activities of faculty. The deadline to submit applications to approvers is Sept. 19; deadline for approvers to submit final applications is Sept 22.

U of M crowdfunding website improvements

The U's crowdfunding platform recently got a new look and name. The site at is now known as "URaiseMN" and features a fresh design that reflects the spirit of crowdfunding and welcomes citizen fundraisers and donors into the U of M giving experience. In addition to the new branding, help-related content and navigational improvements were also made, as well as an FAQ and a "Tips for success" section. The platform continues to receive a strong response from donors, with gift activity that has made crowdfunding one of the U's fastest-growing giving channels.

Sept. 26-Oct. 24 - Mini Medical School lecture series

Register for the fall 2016 session of Mini Medical School, "Are you Thriving? The Science Behind Integrative Health and Wellbeing." Faculty researchers from all six U of M health science schools and colleges will discuss the science and research behind alternative medicine and how it can be applied to your everyday life. Discounted registration for University faculty and staff. Lectures take place Mondays, 6-8:30 p.m.


Aug. 17 - Veterans Recognition Ceremony

The annual Veterans Recognition Ceremony will be held as part of Crookston's Ox Cart Days, 3 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. The ice cream social will follow.

Aug. 19 - Orientation and move-in day

New Student Orientation and move-in day begins Aug. 19 at 8 a.m. and runs through Aug. 22. Classes begin Aug. 23.

Aug. 19-29 - Photo exhibit and social commentary projectJohn Noltner

A Peace of My Mind, a social commentary project and exhibit by photographer John Noltner, will be on display on campus Aug. 19-29. Panels from the project will be displayed in four locations: Kiehle Auditorium Rotunda, Sargeant Student Center, Brown Dining Room in Sahlstrom Conference Center, and the new Wellness Center.


Gift launches centerKurt Heikkila

A generous gift from alumnus Kurt Heikkila, and his wife, Beth, is making the new UMD Advanced Materials Center (AMC) a reality. The center will bring synergy to innovative research, student learning, and stakeholder partnerships in materials science. Professor Robert Carlson, chemistry and biochemistry, will serve as the AMC's first director.

Learn more about the gift and AMC >

Donation funds math learning labmath lab building

The new Securian Math Learning Lab, which will open in late September in the Kathryn A. Martin Library, will double the capacity for developmental math courses and feature active learning technology. Securian Financial Group funded the project in honor of their recently retired CEO, Bob Senkler, who is a UMD alumnus.

The health of wetlandslake

A Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) team of faculty, staff, and students has been assessing wetlands from Green Bay to Duluth. NRRI aquatic ecologist Valerie Brady is a co-principal investigator on this $2.3 million federal project. Brady worked to ensure that teams throughout the Great Lakes were trained and now coordinates and monitors their progress.

Learn more about their work >

Sept. 18 - Food and Farm Festivaltractor

UMD's Food and Farm Festival will feature a 5k-trail race, kids' races with Champ, a farmers market, and a $5 "farm to plate" lunch at the UMD Farm. Money raised at the festival supports the Sustainable Agriculture Project. The UMD Farm yields over 50,000 pounds of food annually for UMD Dining Services.


UMM teacher education program nationally accreditedteacher and student

The University of Minnesota Morris Teacher Education Program (UMM TEP) received accreditation for seven years under the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) standards. NCATE reviewers noted UMM TEP's success in providing opportunities and field experiences that allow teacher candidates to gain the necessary knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed for beginning professionals in the teaching field.

VFW creates scholarship for veterans and families at UMM

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5039 recently created the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5039 of Morris Scholarship for veterans and their families at UMM. New for 2016-17, this scholarship adds to the campus's demonstrated commitment to attracting and supporting military students.


New nursing degree optionNursing students

Starting in fall 2017, UMR will be offering a Nursing Guarantee Option for students interested in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree through the University of Minnesota.

Collaboration brings new Bridge Program to Health CORE students

This year UMR is welcoming its first cohort of Health CORE students to campus as part of a new Living Learning Community. These students will arrive on campus two weeks early to participate in the Bridge Program that will support their transition to college through academic support in writing and statistics, and their transition to the expectations of leadership and a structured living community.

Twin Cities

Aug. 23 - Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity meeting

The U of M Technological Leadership Institute will host a public meeting of the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity. In February 2016, President Obama announced a Cybersecurity National Action Plan to improve our nation's cybersecurity. The nonpartisan Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity has been traveling the country to learn about the challenges and opportunities to improve cybersecurity and is charged with recommending bold, actionable steps the nation can take to implement the improvements. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., DQ Room, TCF Bank Stadium.

Registration and more information >

Aug. 24 - So you've inherited a WI course: An interactive workshop

The University of Minnesota Writing Intensive designation applies to courses that require a significant amount of student writing, revision, and writing instruction, but what does that mean, practically? Dan Emery of the Writing Across the Curriculum program and Rachel Rodrigue from the Campus Writing Board will review guidelines for WI courses and offer assistance and advice for course design, classroom activities, assignments, and grading. The workshop is intended for faculty who are teaching WI courses or for those interested in proposing courses for the WI designation. 1-3 p.m., 135 Nicholson.

Registration >

Aug. 31 - TA workshop: Commenting on and Grading Student Writing

This half-day workshop is intended for new or returning teaching assistants and graduate instructors who will respond to and grade student writing for the first time in fall 2016. Participants will have the opportunity to practice with writing samples from actual students in various disciplines and to work with writing specialists to develop specific course grading and commenting strategies. Attendees will also learn about the resources available through the Center for Writing and have the chance to talk with a panel of TAs about their experiences. 1-4 p.m., 114 Bruininks Hall.

Register >

Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 - Moodle Clinics

Faculty and instructional staff are invited to attend the fall 2016 Moodle Clinics, noon–3 p.m. Staff from Information Technology and, University Libraries, and academic technologists from across campus will be on hand to help set up Moodle sites and show how to use them for maximum teaching and learning effectiveness. No charge. Participants may stop by anytime during the clinic hours to get help.

Mississippi River exhibit and cleanup

The Weisman Art Museum (WAM) exhibit Silver River surveys the changing landscape and health of the Mississippi River through the eyes of artists. In conjunction with Silver River, the WAM Collective is partnering with teaching artist Sean Connaughty to create art and awareness around the question, "What role do individuals play in the health of our nation's great river?" Join the WAM Collective on Sept. 3 as they collect, research, and classify refuse found on the east and west banks of the Mississippi.

Sept. 26-27 - Conference on Native American Nutrition

Spaces are filling quickly for the first annual Conference on Native American Nutrition. The event will showcase the innovative work being done in Indian country to improve Native American nutrition; convene Native American leaders, academics, and public health workers in order to build new partnerships; and candidly explore ways to overcome existing obstacles to greater understanding between Indigenous and academic scientific knowledge.

Register and learn more >

Voicemail decommissioning final reminder

The University will decommission its old voicemail system on Aug. 31. Access to the old system has been removed. In order to continue voicemail service or retrieve old messages, users must transition to the new system. Enrolling in the new system takes about five minutes, and step-by-step instructions are available. Contact Technology Help at (612) 301-4357 (1-HELP) for assistance.

UMTC Featured Eventsbrushed back exhibit painting

Aug. 18 - Peace Building Approaches to Countering Extremism

Aug. 21 - Countdown: Solar Eclipse

Aug. 26 - One Health Workforce Engagement

Aug. 31 - PACE Workshop: Disabilities and Inclusive Design

Through Sept. 29 - Brushed Back to Life: Healing from Illness through Intuitive Painting and Poems

Events Calendar >