December 12, 2018

Vol. XLVIII No. 40

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Joan Gabel named U of M presidential finalist.
  • Board of Regents meets Dec. 13-14.
  • Features: Can exercise delay dementia symptoms?; Clean air, healthy swine; Letting nature do its work.
  • People: Carol Ishimaru and Natalia Tretyakova have been elected AAAS fellows; and more.

PUBLICATION SCHEDULE: Brief will not publish Dec. 26 or Jan. 2. Weekly publication will resume Jan. 9.

Top News

Gabel named U of M presidential finalist

Joan Gabel has been selected by the U's Board of Regents as sole finalist to become the 17th president of the University of Minnesota. Gabel, currently provost at the University of South Carolina, has been visiting each U of M campus this week for public forums. Faculty and staff can submit feedback through the presidential search website in advance of Gabel being interviewed by the Board of Regents on Dec. 14.

Board of Regents December meeting

At its December meeting, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents will discuss UMD enrollment planning processes and strategies, non-resident/non-reciprocity UMTC tuition, and diversity in undergraduate enrollment on the Twin Cities campus. The board will also interview Joan Gabel as the finalist for the 17th president of the U of M. See the news release for more information.

Can exercise delay dementia symptoms?an older gentleman

After reading studies that showed aerobic exercise can improve cognition in healthy adults, School of Nursing researcher Fang Yu wondered how exercise could affect people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Her research shows that non-pharmacological treatments hold promise for slowing Alzheimer’s progress.

Clean air, healthy swinepigs eating

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus costs the swine industry more than $580 million each year, while foodborne illnesses on the whole cost the U.S. economy about $77 billion. But some relief may be in sight. Researchers in the U of M’s College of Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Diagnostic Lab (in collaboration with the College of Science and Engineering) are pursuing the use of cold plasma for decontaminating food and food-processing surfaces.

Letting nature do its workMaria Camila Merino Franco

Like many Minnesotans, Maria Camila Merino Franco spent a good portion of her summer out on the water. Unlike most, she spent that time taking drone pictures, measuring native wetland plant growth, and building goose-deterrent fencing. The senior in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering earned a UROP grant that allowed her to work with Professor Joe Magner on a novel project aimed at improving water quality in Minnesota. Read about other CSE student research experiences in “Tinkering in different buoyancies” and “More to bubbles than you think.”


Carol Ishimaru and Natalia Tretyakova have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Frank Bates has been named a National Academy of Inventors Fellow; Ecolab has committed a $5 million gift in support of environmental sustainability research and education; the U of M will lead a $2.25 million grant to develop materials and device knowledge necessary for creating the next generation of computing; Deb Swackhamer was named a finalist for MIT’s Disobedience Award; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Employee sexual misconduct prevention training survey results

Last spring, as part of the President’s Initiative to Prevent Sexual Misconduct, the University implemented systemwide online training for faculty and staff. A survey was used to evaluate the training and provide a snapshot of self-reported sexual harassment by faculty and staff. Survey results show a need to build greater confidence in the University’s ability to prevent retaliation and to respond properly to reports. The survey data will be used to focus resources on institutional accountability, support for victim survivors, transparency in the complaint process, reducing retaliation, and the creation of additional tools to support bystander intervention. Survey highlights, an executive summary, and the full data set are available on the President’s website.

Administrative policy update

The revision version of the policy Undergraduate Degrees with Distinction and Degrees with Honors allows for degrees to be awarded with honors in cases where a student has exceptional thesis work but missed the GPA cutoff by a small margin (0.100). The policy is available for review and comment.

Recognize and report scams this tax season

As tax season approaches, scams often increase nationwide. Be cautious with suspicious emails and phone calls and learn more about the different types of scams you may encounter, how to protect yourself against fraud, and how to recognize and report scams to the U of M.

Duo Security at sign-in

Reduce the number of times you need to use Duo Security (two-factor authentication) to once a week by learning how to set Duo’s “Remember Me” feature. Duo Security will be required at the U of M sign-in page for all faculty, staff, and students by November 2019.

IAS 5x5 applications due Dec. 22

Applications for the second round of Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) 5x5s are due Dec. 22. The IAS is a University-wide center supporting interdisciplinary research, collaboration, and critical conversations. Its 5x5 initiative brings together small groups of people (about five) from differing disciplinary backgrounds and positions in the University and off-campus communities for a short-term exploration (about five gatherings over several months).

The Journal of Opinions, Ideas, and Essays is soliciting articles

The online Journal of Opinions, Ideas, and Essays (JOIE) is soliciting articles for its 2019 issue. JOIE publishes works on a wide range of topics by retired or active University faculty and staff. Accessible through a web search, its articles have been downloaded by readers in more than 60 countries. The journal is sponsored by the U of M Retirees Association and managed by the University Libraries system.

IAS Research and Creative Collaboratives

Institute for Advanced Study Research and Creative Collaboratives represent some of the most innovative work at the University. These self-initiated groups come together to work on a project of common interest--be it the development of a performance piece, the exploration of a concept or research area through different disciplines, or the creation of a supportive intellectual community. Applications for 2019-20 collaboratives are open through Feb. 1.

Research Brief: Enlarged heart linked to a higher risk of dementia

Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), also known as an enlarged heart, is associated with a nearly two times higher risk of dementia, according to a recent University of Minnesota School of Public Health study published in the American Heart Journal.

Research Brief: Unhealthy weight-control practices can persist and intensify in adulthood

A new study involving researchers and data from the University of Minnesota recently examined the prevalence of weight control behaviors across life stages and found that they often begin in adolescence and can persist--or even intensify--in adulthood.


Bachelor of Science in Health Management accreditation

The Bachelor of Science in Health Management at the University of Minnesota Crookston has received accreditation approval by the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards.

Chancellor’s update

Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause recently provided the Crookston campus and the community with an update on rankings, events, and more in a December letter.

Jan. 14 - Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin, American autism spokesperson, professor of animal science, and consultant to the livestock industry, will speak at the University of Minnesota Crookston. No charge, but seating is limited. RSVP before Dec. 14.


Biofuel from forest wasteforest fire

The Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) is working with Restoration Fuels, a new start-up in Oregon, to convert small-diameter trees harvested from Malheur National Forest into a compressed, renewable coal-alternative biofuel. Producing a high-value product from forest waste makes the effort to harvest the wood more profitable. The biofuel produces lower greenhouse gas emissions than coal.

Jan. 29 - Diversity reading circlereading circle poster

UMD’s Commission on Equity, Race & Ethnicity will offer a reading circle for the book Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy by Sheryll Cashin. Each reading circle is designed to foster conversations on diversity and equity. 4 p.m., 4th Floor Rotunda, Kathryn A. Martin Library.


Faculty research awardsMorris seal on building

Four Morris faculty members received Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry, and Scholarship program (GIA) awards in the fall round: Adam Coon, Michael Lackey, Angela Hume, and Nadezhda Sotirova. GIA promotes the research, scholarly, and artistic activities of faculty and supports academic excellence throughout the University of Minnesota.


Capstones presentated

2019 graduates of UMR's Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) program recently presented their capstone projects. BSHS students have the unique opportunity to personalize their education with a capstone experience. A capstone is a combined set of learning experiences focused on an individualized theme that aligns with each student's personal and professional goals. See what was presented.

Wright-Peterson’s work published on Smithsonian blog

Virginia Wright-Peterson, a faculty member at UMR’s Center for Learning Innovation and author of Women of Mayo Clinic: The Founding Generation, recently had her work published in "What It Means to Be American," a national blog hosted by the Smithsonian.

Twin Cities

Meet the music librarianJessica Abbazio

In her role as music librarian at the University of Minnesota Libraries, Jessica Abbazio benefits from her training in music history, teaching, and librarianship. She can also play all the instruments that are typically taught in a music program in the United States.

Department of Food Science and Nutrition cheese gift boxes

Cheese gift boxes featuring items made in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition Pilot Plant are available for purchase. The gift boxes feature a variety of cheeses and can be picked up during regular Dairy and Meat Salesroom hours (Wednesdays, 2-5 p.m.) or shipped for $18.

Engage with LearningLife: Winter/spring courses open for registration

Intellectually challenging and personally enriching, LearningLife’s innovative short courses and seminars feature a wide range of topics and approaches to learning. Taught by University faculty and professionals from the community, LearningLife’s noncredit offerings share the University’s research and knowledge with those who seek personal development, academic rigor, and civic engagement. Registration is ongoing; discounts are available to U of M employees, alumni, and retiree association members.

Jan. 9, 10 - Teaching Enrichment Series

Begin the new year by attending workshops focused on planning and assessing student learning and creating inclusive learning environments. Topics in the Teaching Enrichment Series include effective multiple choice exams, student presentations, authentic assignments, active learning, names and pronouns in the classroom, and more. See the full schedule and register.

UMTC Featured Eventsbaby pic superimposed on border wall

Dec. 12 - Petri Dish: Our ever-evolving diet
Dec. 13 - Migration and Migrants in Terrifying Times: Evening Keynote Event
Dec. 13 - 2018 Local Government Innovation Awards
Dec. 14 - Programming & Pizza December - Research Consultations Served with a Slice
Dec. 14 - Guitar Ensemble Concert
Dec. 15 - Brazil and Minnesota: Building the Path Towards Collective Liberation and Justice

Events Calendar >