August 22, 2018

Vol. XLVIII No. 24

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • The Great (University of) Minnesota Get-Together.
  • Features: Bee love; To touch the sun; New 3D-printed device could help treat spinal cord injuries.
  • People: The Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota has announced the first Chainbreaker Breakthrough Cancer Research Grant; and more.

Top News

The Great (University of) Minnesota Get-TogetherState Fair with U of M colorguard at the parade

The 12-day run of the Minnesota State Fair (Aug. 23-Sept. 3) is a fantastic opportunity to get to know Minnesota’s one and only land-grant university. While there are hundreds of U of M events to choose from, we’ve highlighted 10 that will leave you informed, entertained, or carrying home goodies. You can see a complete lineup at the U of M State Fair website.

Bee lovea honeybee on flower

There has been a surge in public interest and concern about bee health worldwide, and it comes at just the right time for the new U of M Bee Lab, which opened in September 2016. Unlike facilities at other universities, the U of M’s Bee Lab combines research on honey bees (which are not native to the United States) and native bees. Learn more about what the Bee Lab is doing to understand our favorite pollinators.

To touch the sunNasa rockets readying for lift

Swooping closer to the sun than any previous mission, a new NASA spacecraft will probe the star’s corona--and its two biggest secrets--with help from University of Minnesota space physicists. The physicists were chosen to design experiments for the Parker Solar Probe (PSP), which will plunge so close to the sun that if the Earth and the sun were at opposite goal lines on a football field, PSP would reach the sun’s 4-yard line.

New 3D-printed device could help treat spinal cord injuries3D printed spine piece

Engineers and medical researchers at the University of Minnesota have teamed up to create a groundbreaking 3D-printed device that could someday help patients with long-term spinal cord injuries regain some function. It marks the first time anyone has been able to directly 3D print neuronal stem cells derived from adult human cells on a 3D-printed guide and have the cells differentiate into active nerve cells in the lab.


The Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota has announced the first Chainbreaker Breakthrough Cancer Research Grant awarded to a team of 13 Masonic Cancer Center faculty; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Aug 22. - Canvas Basics Workshop

An online Canvas Basics workshop for faculty and staff will include a review of the Canvas interface, tools and features, course design options, and an introduction to moving content from Moodle to Canvas. Noon-1:30 p.m. Register to attend.

Announcing the Fall 2018 Grant-in-Aid Competition

The U of M's Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry, and Scholarship program promotes the research, scholarly, and artistic activities of faculty and supports academic excellence throughout the University. Administered through the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), the Grant-in-Aid program provides funding for a wide range of projects in seven funding categories, including a special category for Opioid Related Research added for fall 2018. Timeline to apply: start accepting applications, Aug. 27; applications to approvers, Sept. 17; applications to OVPR, Sept. 20.

Equity and Diversity Breakfast and award applications

The annual Equity and Diversity Breakfast, sponsored by the Office for Equity and Diversity, will take place on Nov. 15. Several awards will be given at the breakfast; applications for the Outstanding Unit Award and the Josie R. Johnson Award are now open and can be submitted online until 4:30 p.m., Sept. 17.

CTSI releases more than $1.8M in funding to support Minnesota health research

Funding has been released through several Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) programs that help U of M researchers prepare and implement studies, further the pipeline of next-generation clinical and translational researchers, stimulate community research collaborations, advance early-translational technologies toward commercialization, and address important health issues.

OnCore tapped to provide support for Minnesota Cancer Clinical Trails Network

A CTSI team and supported resource, made possible through the U of M's federal Clinical and Translational Science Award, is contributing to the Minnesota Cancer Clinical Trials Network that aims to expand access to cancer clinical trials for all Minnesotans.

MnDRIVE Industrial Partnership Bioremediation Seed Grants

MnDRIVE Environment invites proposals for Industrial Partnership Bioremediation Seed Grants. The goal of the seed grant program is to improve bioremediation strategies and industrial applications through the augmentation or alteration of microorganisms or microbial communities. Only new projects will be considered. Applications should emphasize relevance to Minnesota’s industry and environment. The deadline for proposals is Oct. 12.


New dual admissions agreement

University of Minnesota Crookston and Red Lake Nation College (RLNC) have announced a new comprehensive dual admissions agreement. The agreement establishes a cooperative academic relationship between the two institutions. RLNC president Dan King and U of M Crookston chancellor Mary Holz-Clause signed the new memorandum of agreement on Aug. 7.

Fall semester begins

The University of Minnesota Crookston’s fall 2018 semester began on Aug. 21. Find out what’s new.

2019 Best Regional Colleges list

The University of Minnesota Crookston has again been named one of the best colleges in the Midwest according to The Princeton Review. The U of M Crookston is one of 160 institutions The Princeton Review recommends in its "Best Midwestern" website feature, "2019 Best Regional Colleges."


New Director in LSBEPushkar Raj

The Labovitz School of Business and Economics has named Pushkar Raj as the new director of the Marketing Analytics program. While completing his MBA in marketing research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Raj led student consulting projects for Orbitz and General Mills and completed a new product development consulting project with American Family Insurance.

Mindset of a championAlexandera Houchin

In just 23 days, Alexandera Houchin, a junior double majoring in American Indian studies and chemistry, won the 2,745-mile Tour Divide, an ultra-endurance bike race that runs from Canada to Mexico. Houchin will focus that same drive when she prepares for dental school entrance exams. An enrolled member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, she wants to serve American Indian people.

Sparking STEM interestkid at a STEM camp

Swenson College of Science and Engineering recently hosted STEM in Motion camps for middle school youth. The young people worked with faculty and staff on a variety of projects including exploring chemical engineering by creating flavors of chocolate and building solar-powered toy cars. One of the main goals of the camps is to get kids thinking about engineering as a career.


McPhee wins best paper honors in genetic programming

Professor of Computer Science Nic McPhee won best paper honors in the Genetic Programming track at the 2018 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference for work he coauthored with colleagues from Hamilton and Hampshire Colleges. This is McPhee’s fourth conference best paper award since 2001. The activity was made possible by support from the Faculty Research Enhancement Fund, the Morris Academic Partners program, and the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program.

Transition ahead for director of athleticsJason Herbers

Jason Herbers will wrap up a successful stint as University of Minnesota Morris director of intercollegiate athletics in August. Herbers has accepted a new appointment in higher education in Wisconsin. Matt Johnson '03, associate athletic director and associate head football coach at Morris, will serve as interim director of intercollegiate athletics for 2018-19.

Student Day of ServiceGateway students

Students in the University of Minnesota Morris Gateway and STELLAR programs took part in a Day of Service on Aug. 10. These first-year students had a chance to get involved in and to serve the Morris community.

Morris students fight ‘fake news’ abroad

University of Minnesota Morris students and faculty recently returned from a study abroad course on media literacy and democracy. The course, in partnership with the Baltic International Summer School and hosted by the Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, taught students to analyze media messages and to be more aware of how disinformation is created and spread.


UMR student presents research at HarvardDaniel Turin

Daniel Turin, a second-year student at UMR, participated in the Nephrology and Urology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (nuSURF) program at Mayo Clinic. Turin recently presented his research and poster about using Drosophila as a model for genetics in kidney stone formation at Harvard Medical School. His experience with the nuSURF program gained him a unique exposure to the field of nephrology through working in the lab and shadowing other researchers.

UMR Living Learning Community students move inUMR living learning students moving in

Thirty Living Learning Community students were the first to move onto UMR’s campus on Aug. 14. UMR’s Living Learning Communities are designed to enhance the student experience through intentional community development and support. UMR’s four Living Learning Communities are Global Connections, Health CORE, Healthy Living, and Recovery on Campus (ROC!).

Twin Cities

I-9 walk-in appointments for foreign national employees

From Aug. 22 to Sept. 5, foreign national faculty, staff, and student workers who need to complete an I-9 will not need to make an appointment with Payroll Services. Foreign national employees can complete their I-9s anytime between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. in 210 Donhowe, 319 15th Avenue SE.

Creamy the hen and her 3D printed foot3d printed hen foot

Creamy the hen fell on hard times after losing her foot this past winter. But thanks to her owners Melissa and Alex Jokela (both employed at the University) and the Makerspace at the Bio-Medical library, Creamy has a new 3D printed prosthetic foot that could improve her quality of life.

Aug. 24 - Programming & Pizza

Have a programming project you could use a little help with? The Digital Arts, Sciences, & Humanities (DASH) program can provide faculty and students with a half-hour consultation and pizza for fuel. DASH will connect you with experienced staff from U Libraries, Liberal Arts Technology and Innovation Services, and Research Computing for 30 minutes of hands-on help. Noon-1 p.m., Wilson Research Collaboration Studio. Registration is required.

Aug. 28 and 29 - Graduate School orientation and resource fair

The Graduate School will hold an orientation (Aug. 28, 9-11:30 a.m., Northrop) and a resource fair (Aug. 29, 4-5:30 p.m., McNamara) to introduce new graduate and professional students to the University and connect them with each other. Attendees will learn about resources available to support them during their graduate school journey and discover what steps they can take now to plant the seeds for success down the road. These events are open to all incoming graduate and professional students. Faculty and staff are encouraged to promote the events.

Aug. 29 and 30 - Canvas clinic for faculty and instructors

Information technology staff and academic technologists from across campus will be available during the Canvas clinic to help faculty and instructors get course sites ready for fall semester. No charge, and no registration required. Stop in anytime during the clinic hours, noon-2 p.m., at two locations on both days: 50B Humphrey School and the technology help walk-in location (St. Paul Student Center).

Aug. 29 - Art for All: The Stephanie Evelo Fund for Art Inclusion Reception

Join this special public art reception (no charge) honoring the work of five distinctive artists and curated by the U of M’s Institute on Community Integration (ICI). The Stephanie Evelo Fund curates ongoing and revolving exhibits of visual art by artists with disabilities at ICI and off campus, celebrating art and diversity while supporting artists with disabilities.

Fall 2018 ISSS Intercultural Workshop Series

Faculty and staff interested in learning how to effectively work with international students and colleagues are encouraged to register for the Intercultural Workshop Series organized by International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). The series combines intercultural competency and skill development sessions with in-depth workshops discussing the unique cultures of the largest international student populations on campus. The series begins Sept. 12.

Sept. 19 - Supplier Diversity Expo

The Supplier Diversity Expo, hosted by the Office for Business and Community Economic Development, provides a direct link between the University and general contractors, sub-contractors, professional service providers, small business owners, and businesses owned by women, minorities, and disabled persons. 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Saint Paul RiverCentre. Register and learn more.

Sept. 20 - Curiosity Drives Progress Lecture Series: Enabling Technologies

The College of Science and Engineering (CSE) introduced the Curiosity Drives Progress Lecture Series focused on showcasing the college's top faculty in TED-style lightning talks around key research areas. Its next lecture will spotlight CSE faculty members Michael McAlpine, Maria Gini, and C. Daniel Frisbie presenting on their research related to enabling technologies--innovations driving radical change in the capabilities of users or cultures. 6 p.m., Coffman Theater. The lecture is open to the public (no charge), but registration is required.

Oct. 9 - Safety, Environmental, and Sustainability Conference (SESCON)

Register for SESCON, a day of sessions focused on total worker health, with topics pertaining to the benefits of work-life balance, how sustainability reduces stress on the environment and us, how to navigate mental stress, and how to approach safety so you work and get home safely. Keynote speaker Andy Core will discuss thriving in the workplace and beyond. No charge for U of M faculty, staff, and students. 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center

UMTC Featured Eventslaser cutting tool

Aug. 23 - Chinese Language Cafe
Aug. 28 - Assigning and Assessing Student Writing: Workshop for Graduate Student Instructors (TWW)
Sept. 4 - Learn to Laser Cut!
Sept. 6 - Learn to 3D Print!

Events Calendar >