December 13, 2017

Vol. XLVII No. 41

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

Notice: Brief will not be published on Dec. 20, Dec. 27, and Jan. 3. The weekly schedule returns Jan. 10.

  • Board of Regents meets Dec. 14-15.
  • Features: Researchers 3D print lifelike artificial organ models; A wolf den and an opportunity; Too many nutrients make microbes less responsive.
  • People: Apostolos Georgopoulos was recently awarded the American Legion Distinguished Service Medal; and more.

Top News

Board of Regents meets Dec. 14-15

At its December meeting, the University’s Board of Regents will hear an annual report of the U’s research accomplishments during fiscal year 2017, including the launch of multiple University startup companies and the success of MnDRIVE, the U’s landmark research partnership with the state. Additionally, regents will review the 2017 University Plan, Performance, and Accountability Report and discuss Systemwide Strategic Planning. The board is also expected to consider current and future student housing at the Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and Rochester campuses, and receive the report of the Faculty Consultative Committee.

See the news release for more details >

Researchers 3D print lifelike artificial organ modelsA 3D printed organ

A team of researchers led by the University of Minnesota has 3D printed lifelike artificial organ models that mimic the exact anatomical structure, mechanical properties, and look and feel of real organs. These patient-specific organ models, which include integrated soft sensors, can be used for practice surgeries to improve surgical outcomes in thousands of patients worldwide.

A wolf den and an opportunitylone wolf pup

After a litter of wolf pups turned up at Cedar Creek--the first time in a century that a den with a litter has been found so far south--University researchers embarked on an effort to understand how wolves affect their environment.

Too many nutrients make microbes less responsivemicroscope

Bacteria in lakes play a key role in maintaining water quality by absorbing excess nitrogen and phosphorus. They also help store carbon, which has implications for our climate. But, as it turns out, their ability to do these tasks varies depending on the makeup of the lake in which they live, according to a new study by University of Minnesota researchers.


Apostolos Georgopoulos was recently awarded the American Legion Distinguished Service Medal; Zan Gao has been selected as 2017’s Foreign Outstanding Instructor by Hunan University in the People’s Republic of China; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Administrative policy updates

The revised Individual Conflict of Interest policy, which incorporates language from the clinical healthcare policy (to be retired), includes a new provision that states no new income standard for human participant study investigators. Alignment with new legislative changes to MN §137.47 in the area of fetal tissue research accounts for key revisions to two University policies: Acquisition, Use, and Disposition of Donated Human Fetal Tissue for Transplantation Research, and Acquisition, Use, and Disposition of Donated Human Fetal Tissue for Research or Teaching. For units who host University events and activities and offer sponsorship packages, the new policy on Classifying and Recording Sponsorships specifies how the revenue should be handled. Expanded background check requirements are proposed in the Background Checks and Verifications policy.

The policies are available for review and comment >

Submit your proposal for the Higher Education Innovation Summithigher ed summit poster

The Higher Education Innovation Summit planning committee is seeking U of M colleagues to showcase their knowledge and expertise in student learning and innovation at the June 6-8 summit. The proposal deadline is Jan. 1.

Learn more and submit a proposal >

Spring 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 seed funding for a wide range of projects in five funding categories. Applications will be accepted beginning Jan. 2, are due to approvers by Feb. 5 and to OVPR by Feb. 8.

Last call to apply for State Fair research opportunity

Recruit participants from among 2 million fairgoers for on-the-spot research at the Driven to Discover Research Facility. Last summer, nearly 18,000 fairgoers from across the state enrolled in studies from 27 University departments, including business, law, computer science, and health. Funding is available for eligible cancer and pediatric studies. A brief application is due Jan. 16. To schedule a 10-minute information session on D2D at your faculty meeting or other event, email

U data center maintenance in January

Annual maintenance of the U of M’s primary data center is scheduled for Jan. 6-7. This scheduled maintenance requires a complete shutdown of the main data center and will affect many IT services including the enterprise business systems (MyU, PeopleSoft). University email, Google applications, Moodle, and Canvas will be available. See a complete list of affected services or visit the University's IT Service Status page for maintenance updates.

ULearn transition planning under way

ULearn, the University's training administration system, will be retired this summer. The replacement solution will leverage Canvas, the University's new enterprise learning management system, and a front-end user interface under development by the Academic Health Center.

Sept. 30-Oct. 3 - Transforming Higher Education Through Engaged Scholarship

The Office for Public Engagement (OPE) is hosting the 2018 Engagement Scholarship Consortium Conference, an international conference to be held in downtown Minneapolis. OPE is currently seeking conference proposals on the theme "Transforming Higher Education Through Engaged Scholarship."


Lexie Ogdahl dreams bigLexie Ogdahl

In grade school, junior Lexie Ogdahl hoped to be a veterinarian during the week and an archaeologist on the weekends. She’s well on her way. The animal science major from Medina, MN, chose the University of Minnesota Crookston because of its size and her desire to work hands-on. While at U of M Crookston, she has found countless opportunities to work with animals in a variety of settings.

Learn more about Ogdahl >

Horticulture students prepare for the holidays early

There were 635 rooted poinsettia cuttings that arrived in August at the University of Minnesota Crookston in anticipation of another holiday season. Under the skill and coaxing of students involved in the commercial floriculture class, those cuttings develop into a beautiful poinsettia crop.

Dec. 14 - Manufacturers association meeting

The U of M Crookston and New Flyer of Crookston will host the Highway 2 West Manufacturers' Association General Membership Meeting. The program will feature U of M Crookston Assistant Professor Abdulaziz Ahmed and Anchor Marketing President Hal Halliday. An optional tour of New Flyer’s Crookston facility will follow.


Onigamiising: Seasons of an Ojibwe YearLinda Grover

Linda LeGarde Grover’s latest book is entitled Onigamiising: Seasons of an Ojibwe Year. A professor in American Indian Studies, LeGarde Grover says that the book’s essays reflect “what I have learned and thought about here in Onigamiising and now pass on.” Her work The Dance Boots received the Flannery O'Connor Award and the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize.

Working to end addictionaerial view umd

Heather Blue, Keri Hager, Laura Palombi, and Michael Swanoski are among the College of Pharmacy Duluth faculty addressing the opioid epidemic on multiple fronts, including helping to educate the public, physicians, and pharmacists. Palombi recently headed an effort that resulted in over 230 community members being trained on how to use naloxone.

At the TweedModernism exhibit artwork

The exhibit “Modern(ism)” is on view at the Tweed Museum of Art and features 20th-century drawings and prints from the Tweed’s permanent collection, as well as works on loan from the Weisman Art Museum. Artists include Chagall, Kollwitz, Matisse, and Picasso. The exhibit runs through March 18.


UMM year in reviewUMM marquee

From the appointment of Chancellor Michelle Behr to the launch of “A model for living and learning,” 2017 was a banner year for UMM. Check out the highlights in this year in review.

Hoffmann named head coach of Cougar footballMarty Hoffman

UMM has announced the selection of Marty Hoffmann '05 as head coach of the Cougar football program. Hoffmann is no stranger to campus, as he has 10 years of experience as a coach and standout player for the maroon and gold.


UMR capstone presentations

In the final year of the UMR Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences program, students have the unique opportunity to personalize their education with a capstone experience. The capstone experience concludes with students presenting their learning to the UMR community. "The capstone presentations are like a rite of passage, celebrating students’ hard work and accomplishments before they graduate," says UMR faculty member Yuko Taniguchi.

Watch the fall 2017 capstone presentations >

Twin Cities

Super Bowl activities on campus

In less than two months, the Twin Cities will host Super Bowl LII. The University of Minnesota is working closely with the NFL and the local Super Bowl LII Host Committee on plans to stage a number of Super Bowl-related events and activities in University facilities. The primary focus is on providing a safe environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors, and ensuring the success of each event without unduly disrupting day-to-day campus operations. Additional information will be shared at the beginning of the spring semester.

Dec. 17 - Annual bird count

2017 is Audubon's 118th Christmas Bird Count, and Cedar Creek is seeking volunteers to count birds on designated routes across the property. RSVP to

College of Biological Sciences Conservatory calendar

The College of Biological Sciences Conservatory houses the most diverse collection of plants in the region. This little-known resource is located on the St. Paul campus and is open to the public. The Conservatory has produced a limited-edition 2018 calendar highlighting some of the rare and unusual plants visitors can see in the collections.

UMTC Featured EventsDesign art poster

Dec. 13 - U of M Campus Orchestra Concert
Dec. 14 - Tour of St. Anthony Falls Laboratory
Dec. 15 - Programming & Pizza December – Research Programming Consultations Served with a Slice
Dec. 15 - OPENING RECEPTION: Senior Graphic Design Show
Jan. 8-13 - Physics Force Winter Shows

Events Calendar >