Inside This Issue
- Board of Regents meeting highlights.
- Driven to Discover feature: Tracy Sherbert.
- Features: A Workforce to Thwart Infectious Diseases; Fossil Teeth Point to Early Exodus from Africa.
- People: Regents Professor R. Lawrence Edwards has been elected as a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences; and more.
Board of Regents December meeting highlights
During its December meeting, U of M Regents received the U's annual research report, highlighting faculty and staff awards of $754 million in externally sponsored research in 2015, ranking eighth nationally and third in the Big Ten. Regents also reviewed a record-setting year of gifts to the U of M Foundation, and received an update on undergraduate education on the Twin Cities campus, which included a record number of applications, new highs in average incoming ACT scores (28.2) and graduation rates (63.3 percent in 4-years); and an increase in the percentage of undergraduate students of color (20.8 percent). President Eric Kaler also outlined to the board implementation steps and a timeline regarding recommendations from findings from an external review and a financial audit of Gopher Athletics.
Driven to Discover: Tracy Sherbert
Telemarketing trainer Tracy Sherbert recruits, hires, and trains the student staff that work in the U of M Foundation's annual giving call center. She loves working with students every day, sharing in their successes and helping them with their setbacks.
A Workforce to Thwart Infectious Diseases
U of M researchers are leading an international effort to ensure nations have the skilled health care workers they need to battle the spread of infectious diseases like Ebola as they emerge. The One Health Workforce project is building a stronger workforce of health professionals in 11 countries that currently lack the professional resources needed to respond to a pandemic threat. More than 20 University researchers contribute to the project.
Fossil Teeth Point to Early Exodus from Africa
What are clearly modern human teeth, 80,000-120,000 years old, doing in a cave in southeastern China? For starters, they're turning back the clock on modern humans' exodus from the African cradle by at least 20,000 years. Using methods he developed, the discovery by the U's R. Lawrence Edwards and Chinese colleagues place modern humans in southeastern Asia at least 35,000 years before they entered Europe.
Regents Professor R. Lawrence Edwards has been elected as a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences; Christopher Phelan has been elected a fellow of the Econometric Society; Andrew Furco has been named to the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities' 2016 Board of Directors; the School of Dentistry is a recipient of the ADEA's 2016 Gies Award for Outstanding Vision by a Public or Private Partner, and dentistry professor Mark Herzberg was named recipient of the Gies Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Dental Educator; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.
Get W-2 tax statements electronically
Employees can now choose to receive their official W‐2 tax statements online, rather than by mail. Electronic W‐2s are available earlier than by mail, and they're accessible anytime. From MyU, click My Pay, then the W-2/W2C Consent link. After submitting your consent, you'll be asked to enter your MyU password again to confirm. If you do not choose to get your W-2 online, you will continue receiving paper W-2s by mail.
Administrative policy updates
The new administrative policy Access to and Use of Physical Security Data covers the use of, oversight and controls of, and access to information generated by video and card access systems for the purposes of crime prevention. The revised version of the Protected Health Information policy consolidates information from three existing policies and 23 procedures. The Promoting Timely Graduation by Undergraduates policy has been revised to add more detail around the expected timelines for declaring a major, and the provision for units to place a hold on a student record if the declaration is not within the specified term.
Drupal website creation tool now available
The "Drupal Lite" website creation tool, designed to help users quickly and easily develop websites using professionally designed themes and page templates, is now available for use. This tool was developed for users without access to web-developer resources and is ideal for creating small- to medium-sized sites for research projects, conference events, and student groups.
State Fair D2D Building request for applications
The U of M's Driven to Discover research facility on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds is accepting applications for faculty and student researchers who wish to recruit research subjects from among the fair's 1.8 million yearly visitors. The application deadline is Jan. 8.
Austin Lien ready to graduate and go back for more
Originally, senior Austin Lien thought he would spend his days soaring above the field, but his interest in ag-related research is going to keep him much closer to the ground.
Faculty and staff luncheon
Faculty and staff from across the campus community are invited to attend the annual UMC Holiday Luncheon on Dec. 18, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. This event is open to faculty and staff from UMC, NWROC, and Extension.
The Rapid Access Ice Drill (RAID) mobile drilling system will soon be shipped to Antarctica. It will enable scientists to drill into some of that continent's deepest sheets of ice. Professor John Goodge from UMD's Earth and Environmental Sciences department is one of the co-leaders on the project, which is supported by the U.S. Antarctic Program.
UMD's men's rugby football club, the Fighting Penguins, claimed its third Division II national championship in as many years. They defeated the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's War Hawks 25 to 19.
While most of the campus will be rather quiet in late December and early January, the Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium offers no-charge shows every Wednesday at 7 p.m. and low-cost shows on Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Ceballos joins U.S. delegation to Vietnam
Assistant professor of biology Michael Ceballos joined a delegation to the U.S.-Vietnam Joint Science and Technology Committee Meeting. This meeting, which took place in Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho, Vietnam, earlier this month, was organized in part by the U.S. Department of State Office of Science and Technology.
Theatre lighting upgrade
UMM has executed its second Green Reinvestment Fund project: an LED lighting upgrade for campus theatre spaces. Orchestrated by assistant professor of theatre arts Craig Moxon and theatre and events coordinator Carrie Hurst in consultation with Facilities Management and the Morris Campus Student Association, the project improves energy conservation and curriculum.
UMR student starts group to help kids with cancer
The Spring Valley Tribune recently published an article on UMR freshman Trevor Schwarz, who started a campus crew based off the organization Love Your Melon to promote cancer research and bring smiles to the faces of children with cancer.
Cooking for Wellness course for employees
The Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute invites U of M Twin Cities employees to participate in a hands-on demonstration cooking course led by culinary instructors, where you will learn the benefits of developing your cooking skills as an important first step toward personal wellness. The winter session starts Jan. 12.
A new look at plants and CO2
A new study led by Institute on the Environment researcher William Kolby Smith uses satellite observations of plant growth to suggest that CO2 emissions targets need to be reevaluated.
Jan. 13 - Preparing Future Faculty retreat
The next Preparing Future Faculty retreat will include workshops that cover the academic job search and opportunities to speak with faculty experts about finding an academic position that's right for you. A $10 registration fee includes workshop materials and light refreshments. Noon-4:45 p.m., 312 Bruininks Hall.