December 14, 2016

Vol. XLVI No. 41

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Board of Regents meeting highlights. 
  • Driven to Discover: Abolishing hunger with James Bradeen.
  • Features: Motivation to move; Researchers explore 2D materials; A Calling in Conakry; Marten habitat research informs forest planning.
  • People: Nasreen Mohamed has received the Josie Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award; and more.

Top News

Board of Regents meeting highlights

The Board of Regents heard a report from VP for Research Brian Herman highlighting that University researchers successfully competed for a record $788 million in externally sponsored research awards in FY16, increased business and industry funding, and launched a record 17 startups. The report was Herman’s last, as he returns to the faculty. The board also heard a report from Medical School dean Brooks Jackson on progress on the school’s strategic plan, research, and scholarship achievements. Additionally, Regents reviewed the makeup of the UMTC undergraduate student body and discussed the 2016 University Plan, Performance and Accountability report.

See the news release >

Driven to Discover: Abolishing hunger with James BradeenJim Bradeen

With increasing population and decreasing available cropland, global food security is a serious and pressing threat. James Bradeen and colleagues identify genes in plants that contribute to disease resistance and make our crops more resilient and secure.

Read more about Bradeen >

Motivation to movezan gao and kids

At a time when both obesity and sedentary screen-based gaming are on the rise, a new lab led by Zan Gao is exploring how technology can be used to promote health. Among other things, Gao is exploring exergaming--a type of video game that doubles as exercise.

Researchers explore 2D materials2D materials

A new study by an international team of researchers led by the University of Minnesota highlights how manipulation of 2D materials could make our modern-day devices faster, smaller, and better.

A Calling in ConakryKarimatou Bah

Karimatou Bah sees pursuing medicine as more than studying the human body or enjoying the prestige of becoming a doctor. For her, it’s a personal endeavor. Bah grew up in Guinea, a country on the west coast of Africa, in the capital of Conakry. When she or her brother would get sick, she often noticed the lack of doctors available to treat patients. While still a child at the time, Bah looked at these moments as a chance to make a difference.

Read more about Bah >

Marten habitat research informs forest planningamerican marten in a tree

A need to nest in old tree cavities means the American marten has something to tell us about long-range forest planning. Natural Resources Research Institute researcher Michael Joyce is collaborating with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to be sure management of structurally complex, older forests is carefully planned.

Read more about Marten habitat >


Nasreen Mohamed has received the Josie Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award; Peg Lonnquist has received the National Women's Studies Association Lifetime Achievement Award; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Protect yourself from identity theft

Take identity security into your own hands by being attentive to your digital activities and practicing safe computing. Learn how to recognize identity theft and how to protect yourself online.

Flipping the Classroom Learning Community

The Flipping the Classroom Learning Community is for faculty and instructional staff at the Duluth and Twin Cities campuses who are interested in implementing a “flipped” approach in one of their courses. The program is designed to provide techniques and models for this teaching style and one-to-one support. No charge, and those who complete the program receive a $500 stipend.


Dec. 16 - Holiday luncheon

Faculty and staff from across the campus community are invited to attend the annual holiday luncheon. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.

Dec. 16 - Farewell reception for Chancellor Wood

Students, faculty, staff, and community members are all invited to attend a farewell reception for Chancellor Fred Wood. 2-4 p.m., Prairie Room, Sargeant Student Center.


Eltink honoredEltink with her award

Kirby Student Center director Jeni Eltink received the Association of College Unions International’s Inspiring Vision Award at the Region V Conference at the University of Nebraska Lincoln in October. The award honors those who exemplify their university’s mission, vision, and values as well as those of the ACUI.

Helping American Indian childrenTribal logo

The UMD Center for Regional and Tribal Child Welfare Studies, part of the Department of Social Work, has received an Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Implementation Partnership Grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grant will fund the creation of an improved ICWA delivery system. The center will work with seven organizations, including child welfare agencies and tribes, to determine the best methods to help children and families. 

Learn more about the grant >

Creating changegraphical poster

UMD’s Commission on Equity, Race, and Ethnicity is seeking proposals from faculty, staff, and students, as well as community organizations, for the Feb. 22 Summit on Equity, Diversity, and Multiculturalism: Creating Change. Proposals on a wide range of topics are sought for interactive workshops, presentations, lectures, posters, and films with discussion, and may be submitted online.


Roberts to study unusual polynomials with NSF grantdavid roberts

David Roberts, professor of mathematics, was recently awarded a three-year National Science Foundation research grant to support his work in number theory. His topic is a class of very unusual polynomials with origin in work around 1900 by the German mathematician Adolf Hurwitz.

Raths ’19 to practice optometry at PineCone Vision CenterKentra Raths

Kendra Raths '19, Sartell, MN, recently completed an internship at PineCone Vision Center in Sartell. She is one of 46 students to complete a paid off-campus internship through the UMM’s Career In program since spring 2016.

Morris community mealwoman serving food at community meal

In 2009, Matthew Johnson ’10 came up with the idea of hosting a community meal in Morris. With the help of former community service and volunteerism coordinator Carol McCannon, Johnson was able to turn this idea into a regular event. The now-monthly event has been unifying the community ever since. 

Learn more >

Senior banquet photosstudents at senior banquet

Soon-to-be-graduating seniors gathered for a special dinner held in their honor on Dec. 8. They celebrated achievements and memories and prepared to join the University of Minnesota Morris Alumni Association family.

See photos >


Dec. 20 - Celebrating ten years of the University of Minnesota Rochester

The University of Minnesota Rochester celebrates its 10th year this month. Chancellor Stephen Lehmkuhle will take a look at UMR's history and aspirations at the next UMR Connects. 7 p.m., 417 University Square.

Twin Cities

Department Directory Update project

The Twin Cities online Department Directory is being redesigned and updated. The new Department Directory will launch in January, replacing the current directory. Updated directory information is requested from all units. Unit heads who have not yet designated a directory approver are asked to do so as soon as possible.

Find out more at Directory Update Project >

Dec. 14 - Immigration Law Teach In: Sanctuary and the Rights of Immigrants on Campus

Professor Linus Chan of the U of M Center for New Americans and Professor Virgil Wiebe of the University of St. Thomas School of Law will discuss the rights of undocumented people on campus, what it means to be a sanctuary campus and city, and what local law enforcement and Immigration and Customs Enforcement can do on and off campus. 4-5:30 p.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union.

Jan. 11-12 - Winter Teaching Enrichment Series

The Center for Educational Innovation will offer a Winter Teaching Enrichment Series, which will include the workshops Responding to Students in Distress and Teaching Critical Thinking. 10-11:50 a.m. daily. There will also be a new TA orientation Jan. 13, 10-11:50 a.m.

Registration and more information >

Register for the Focusing on Student Success Conference

All University faculty, staff, and administrators are invited to register for the biennial Focusing on Student Success Conference to discuss and strategize about academic and student development issues relating to student success. The conference will be held Feb. 15, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Coffman Union. Conference registration will close Feb. 1 or once capacity has been reached.

Feb. 21 - Distinguished Carlson Lecture featuring Margot Lee ShetterlyMargot Shetterly

The Humphrey School will host Margot Lee Shetterly in the annual Distinguished Carlson Lecture. The New York Times best-selling author breaks open critical conversations about race, gender, and science in her book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race. 6 p.m., Carlson Family Stage, Northrop. Tickets will be available starting Jan. 6.

UMTC Featured Eventexplosion experiment at Energy and the U

Dec. 14 - Campus Orchestra Concert
Dec. 16 - Arranging Meetings 101: Tips, Tricks, and Tactics for Planning a Successful Meeting
Dec. 16 - Star Party with MIfA
Dec. 20 - Café Scientifique: Moving Minnesota
Jan. 7 - Energy and U Public Show

Events Calendar >