August 9, 2017

Vol. XLVII No. 25

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

Notice: This is the last issue of Brief until weekly publication resumes on Aug. 30.

  • Ten great UMN things to do at the fair.
  • Features: MAISRC announces six new projects; New U report explores sex buyers in Minnesota; On her own path to end world hunger.
  • People: The NSF has awarded the U of M nearly $4 million to boost retention of underrepresented students in STEM; and more.

Top News

Ten great UMN things to do at the fairpeople in parade

The Minnesota State Fair, which runs Aug. 24-Sept. 4, is a great University of Minnesota get-together. Here are 10 U of M attractions that will leave you informed, entertained, or carrying home free gifts.

See the State Fair website for a complete list of events >

MAISRC announces six new projectsperson in waders taking notes in river

The Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) has announced six new research projects, tackling topics ranging from assessing the impacts of aquatic invasive species (AIS) on walleye populations, prioritizing cleaning efforts for reducing the spread of spiny waterflea, and creating a decision-making tool to help counties better allocate AIS funds. The projects will lead to better prevention of AIS and improved management of Minnesota’s natural resources.

New U report explores sex buyers in Minnesotacover of the report

New research on sex buyers in Minnesota provides insight toward developing a nationwide model to combat human trafficking, according to a first-of-its-kind study released by researchers at the U of M’s Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center.

On her own path to end world hungerShantal Pai

Driven in part by a worldview-changing childhood memory, U of M student Shantal Pai has immersed herself in coursework related to alleviating hunger. She’s majoring in plant science with a minor in political science, and looking into the field of administrative law. Learn more about Pai >


The NSF has awarded the U of M nearly $4 million to boost retention of underrepresented students in STEM; Deniz Ones and Mustafa al'Absi are part of a six-university team awarded $13.8 million to develop and test a system of mobile sensors and software; Kristin Hickman has been appointed to serve as one of the 40 public members of the Administrative Conference of the United States; 2017-19 McKnight Presidential Fellows; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Administrative policy update

The University’s administrative policy Make Up Work for Legitimate Absences: Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris, Rochester has been revised after consultation with affected campuses during the last academic year and is effective starting this fall semester. Review the changes to learn how they may impact your current practices.

Submit nominations for 2018-20 McKnight Land-Grant Professorship Awards

The McKnight Land-Grant Professorship program seeks to advance the careers of the most promising junior faculty members who are at the beginning stages of their professional careers, and who have the potential to make significant contributions to their departments and to their scholarly fields.

See nomination information, email Chris Bremer, or call 612-625-6176 >

Submit nominations for 2018 Distinguished McKnight University Professorship Awards

The Distinguished McKnight University Professorship program seeks to honor and reward the U of M’s most distinguished and highest-achieving mid-career faculty who have recently attained full professor status--especially those who have made significant advances in their careers at the U, whose work and reputation are identified with the University, and whose accomplishments have brought renown and prestige to Minnesota.

See nomination information, email Chris Bremer, or call 612-625-6176 >

Submit nominations for 2017-18 University-wide Distinguished Teaching Awards

Nomination materials for the two University-wide Distinguished Teaching Awards, the Horace T. Morse-University of Minnesota Alumni Undergraduate Education Award and the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education, are now available at Awards for Outstanding Contributions to Education. These awards recognize and reward outstanding contributions to teaching at the U of M. Awardees become members of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

Call for proposals: MN-REACH funding

U of M researchers with cancer therapeutic (drug), health IT, or neuromodulation discoveries are invited to apply for $50,000 awards to support key activities over a six-month period to further prepare the discovery for health care delivery. Researchers must indicate their intent by completing a short online form. Applications will be accepted through Aug. 31.

Aug. 30 - Translate your research into a product to improve human health

MN-REACH/MIN-Corps is offering a Medical Technology Commercialization Boot Camp for University faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdoctoral associates who want to learn more about commercializing research designed to improve human health. The boot camp will also help connect innovators with resources available to support bringing an innovation to market.

No charge, but registration is required >

Sept. 18-20 - Conference on Native American Nutrition

Register for the second annual Conference on Native American Nutrition, hosted by the U’s Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute in partnership with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. Join more than 20 experts and thought leaders including tribal officials, researchers, and practitioners to discuss topics relating to decolonizing food and nutrition, Indigenous evaluation frameworks, and successfully translating research into practice. Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Prior Lake, MN.

Sept. 20-21 - Minnesota Nutrition Conference

The Minnesota Nutrition Conference, presented by the Department of Animal Science and U of M Extension, is intended for livestock nutritionists, feed industry professionals, and others interested in leading-edge, research-based information to advance sustainable production of beef, dairy, equine, poultry, and swine. Registration ($200 before Sept. 15) includes conference proceedings, two meals, a pre-conference symposium sponsored by Dupont, and a welcome reception sponsored by Alltech. City Center Hotel, Mankato, MN.

See the agenda and speakers >

Mini Medical School lecture series

Register for the fall session of Mini Medical School, "Medical Mysteries: Navigating Complex Health Cases." Faculty from all six health science schools and colleges will discuss rare and complex health cases, how they navigate these situations, and the breakthroughs discovered in the process. Discounted registration is available for University faculty and staff, alumni association members, and Fairview staff. Mondays, Oct. 2-30, 6-8:30 p.m.


Teambacker Golf Classic

The University of Minnesota Crookston Teambacker Golf Classic was held July 14. The tournament helped the UMC Football Alumni Scholarship exceed the $25,000 needed for its endowment.

New Community Host Program

Building a home away from home for University of Minnesota Crookston students is the objective of a new program launching this fall. The new Community Host Program will facilitate informal friendships and networking for first-year students at the U of M Crookston with local community members, faculty and staff, and alumni.

Ox Cart Days

The 2017 Ox Cart Days festival will kick off with the annual Ice Cream Social on Aug. 16, 3-5 p.m., Campus Mall.


Student research honoredteacher and two students pose for a photo

Environmental education majors, led by Professor Ken Gilbertson, received the 2017 U of M Resilient Communities Project Outstanding Team Student Project award. They worked with the Brooklyn Park Recreation and Parks Department to design nature play areas for children. Brooklyn Park has already implemented some of the recommendations outlined in the students’ study.

Economics of water resourcesaerial photo of Duluth

Stephan Polasky, Regents Professor and the Fesler-Lampert Professor of Ecological/Environmental Economics at the U of M, will be the keynote speaker at the Regional Economic Indicators Forum (REIF). His talk is entitled “Economics of the Region’s Water Resources.” REIF covers a 15-county area in Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin. Oct. 31, 7-9 a.m., DECC.

A year of theatretheater poster

The School of Fine Arts’ Department of Theatre has announced its 2017-18 season. Shows include Antigone, Noises Off, Charlotte’s Web, and Into the Woods. Season tickets are available for purchase online.


Students develop Horticulture Display Garden apptour group at UMM hort garden

Students taking a software development class gained hands-on experience when they developed an application for the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) earlier this year. Rolling out this month, the app allows visitors to WCROC's Horticulture Display Gardens the chance to rate and comment on flowers they're viewing.

First fully electric car added to UMM fleetchevy bolt

This month brings a first for UMM: a fully electric vehicle addition to its fleet. The Chevrolet Bolt EV is one of 22 purchased by the Minnesota Department of Administration, in partnership with the University of Minnesota, the Metropolitan Council, Ramsey County, and the City of Minneapolis. Matt Privratsky '11 was instrumental in bringing it to campus.

Recycling efforts divert waste from landfillcompost

To reduce waste and cut costs, Facilities Management is boosting sustainability efforts on campus and in the community. By organizing a composting partnership with Morris Area Elementary School, recycling furniture at move-out time, and turning plastic bags into benches, the team has brought Morris closer to achieving its goal of zero-waste.

Anderson named NCAA Division III FAR FellowTracey Anderson

UMM associate professor of biology Tracey Anderson, UMM's faculty athletic representative (FAR), is a 2017 NCAA Division III FAR Fellow. Anderson is one of nine faculty members on the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Council of Faculty Athletic Representatives. Launched in 2010, the FAR Fellows Institute aims to increase the effectiveness of Division III FARs at the campus, conference, and national levels.


UMR grad named to fellowshipGlen Morris

Glen Morris, a graduate of UMR, has been selected as a 2017 USDA Wallace-Carver Fellow, as reported by Faribault Daily News. Morris spent his summer working at the USDA National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, MD.

Aug. 15 - UMR Connects: American Cowboy Songs

Join entertainer Todd Anderson at the next UMR Connects for famous cowboy and western songs from the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s. Anderson will give historical introductions and perform memorable songs made famous by Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Tennessee Ernie Ford, and many more anthems about the American homeland. 7 p.m., Peace Plaza.

Twin Cities

New Twin Cities public engagement plan

Under the leadership of Associate VP for Public Engagement Andrew Furco, a 38-member work group of faculty, staff, and students has produced a detailed action plan that will guide the advancement of the Twin Cities campus' reciprocal, public engagement over the next five years. Aligned with the goals of the campuswide strategic plan, Driving Tomorrow, this newly recalibrated public engagement plan presents 10 strategic priorities with an articulated vision and set of action steps to advance each priority area.

ISSS Intercultural Workshop Series

Staff interested in learning how to effectively work with international students and colleagues are encouraged to register for the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) Intercultural Workshop Series. The series combines intercultural competency and skills development sessions with "Culture In-Depth" workshops discussing the unique cultures of the largest international student populations on campus.

Aug. 30-31 - Teaching Enrichment Series workshops

Eighteen teaching-related workshops will kick off the academic year, with topics including addressing academic dishonesty, teaching sensitive course content, getting feedback you can use, improving presentations, and active learning.

Register and view the full schedule >

Register for the Early Career Teaching Program

The Early Career Teaching Program is for UMTC faculty and instructional staff who are in their first seven years of teaching in any educational setting. The program is designed to develop and enhance teaching skills and establish a foundation for a lifetime of effective and engaging teaching. Those who complete the program receive a $300 stipend.

Registration and more information >

LASIK discount with U ophthalmology residents

The U of M Department of Ophthalmology is offering faculty, staff, and students LASIK at a discount. The surgery will be performed by an ophthalmology resident with oversight by faculty. While insurance plans do not cover LASIK, it is an itemized tax deduction and a qualified Flexible Spending Plan expense. To determine if you are a candidate, schedule an initial consultation (no-charge) by emailing Debbie Hannem or calling 612-626-1442.

New East Bank Circulator route

Starting Aug. 15, a new East Bank Circulator route will provide greater access around the East Bank. It replaces the Stadium-Superblock Circulator.

See the new stops, route, and timing >

UMTC Featured Eventsphoto of eclipse

Aug. 12 - Yoga at WAM
Aug. 13 - Pre-Eclipse Block Party
Aug. 13 - Twin Cities Early Music Festival: Baroque Instrument Program Final Concert
Aug. 16 - Orkestar Bez Ime
Aug. 17 - Tour of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory
Sept. 2 - EXHIBITION: Dutch Complex Housing

Events Calendar >