December 5, 2018

Vol. XLVIII No. 39

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Board of Regents meeting to consider presidential candidates.
  • Features: Silent seizures: seeds of Alzheimer’s disease?; Owning Up: Racism and Housing in Minneapolis.
  • People: An anonymous faculty member and spouse have committed $1 million to support graduate students at the College of Design; and more.

Top News

Board of Regents meeting to consider presidential candidates

The U of M Board of Regents will hold a special meeting Dec. 5, 3 p.m., to discuss three candidates seeking to become the U of M’s 17th president. The meeting will be livestreamed at Under the Minnesota Data Practices Act, the applicants’ identities are private until selected for a final interview. As a result, Regents will discuss individual candidates in ways that de-identify them (e.g., candidate 1, 2, 3). Finalist(s) are expected to visit the University for public forums, followed by interviews with the board. For ongoing updates and more information, see

Silent seizures: seeds of Alzheimer’s disease?woman resting head on pillow

It can be frightening to watch a person experiencing an epileptic seizure. But some seizures can’t be seen, and these play a role in a different form of devastation--Alzheimer’s disease--according to work led by U of M researcher Keith Vossel. With colleagues at the University of California San Francisco, Vossel has found previously undetected electrical activity similar to epileptic seizures in 42 percent of Alzheimer’s patients--four times the incidence in matched controls.

Owning Up: Racism and Housing in Minneapolisstudents looking at exhibit

On display at the Hennepin History Museum, “Owning Up: Racism and Housing in Minneapolis” explores the history of racial housing discrimination in Minneapolis. Created by heritage studies and public history graduate students Denise Pike and Kacie Lucchini Butcher, with help from Augsburg University graphic design students, “Owning Up” demonstrates the lasting effects of structural discrimination. For their exhibit, the students used research from the award-winning Mapping Prejudice project, based at the University of Minnesota.


An anonymous faculty member and spouse have committed $1 million to support graduate students at the College of Design; 21 U of M researchers are named in the 2018 Highly Cited Researchers list; the U of M has launched the startup Vascudyne to commercialize biologic engineered tissue with the potential to transform medical device technology; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.


U-Wide News

Learning in retirement with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Keep your brain healthy by joining the U of M’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). OLLI offers over 300 courses, 30 interest groups, social events, and national and international travel opportunities designed for retirees. Many former professors and administrators continue to share their knowledge and skills by volunteering to teach or provide leadership for OLLI. Winter course registration begins Dec. 17. Discounts are available.

New emergency travel assistance vendor

The University will transition to a new emergency travel assistance provider on Jan. 1. If you are traveling more than 100 miles from home or internationally on or after Jan. 1, print a new Redpoint card with 24/7 emergency contact information. Redpoint offers assistance at every step, provides worldwide medical and dental referrals, and more.

Research Brief: Exposure to chemical in many plastics linked to language delay in toddlers

Phthalates, compounds that make plastics soft and flexible, are often called “everywhere chemicals” because they are so common in the environment. A new study involving University of Minnesota School of Public Health researchers discovered that prenatal phthalate exposure can disrupt the hormone systems in people, leading to physical abnormalities and altered brain functioning, such as language development delays.

Research Brief: Plant communities help predict consequences of climate changevarious landscapes of plants

The world's first global vegetation community database--which contains complete lists of plant species sampled from more than 1.1 million plot acres across all of Earth’s ecosystems--aims to help better predict the consequences of global climate change.


Dec. 6 - Holidays Around the World

The department of Residential Life, in partnership with International programs, will host "Holidays Around the World." During the event, each residence hall will represent a different country, providing traditional food, activities, and holiday traditions.

Dec. 7 - Agriculture and Natural Resources Activities Day

The University of Minnesota Crookston will host Agriculture and Natural Resources Activities Day. The annual event gives area high school students the opportunity to participate in agricultural activities.

2019 Farm to Table event

The 2019 Farm to Table event has been scheduled for Aug. 9. This unique celebration of northern Minnesota–grown and raised food features dinner prepared by local chefs, as well as food grown by U of M Crookston students, alumni, and friends.


New associate vice chancellorMark Yuran

Mark Yuran has been named associate vice chancellor for the Department of Human Resources. This is a new position for UMD. Most recently, Yuran was the system associate vice chancellor and chief human resources officer for the Lone Star College System. He holds an MBA from Notre Dame, a master’s in HR management from Villanova, and a M.Ed. in HR and organizational development from the University of Georgia.

Creations and connectionsblack and white poster advert for exhibit

An exhibition of freshman art, “Fresh Foundations,” is on display at the Tweed Museum of Art through Jan. 9. The show features work by first-year students in the Department of Art and Design and was curated by art and design students in a senior seminar II class. In addition to having their work seen, first-year students benefit by making connections with seniors, helping to build retention.


Year in review: 2018Amy Klobochar at commencement

Economic impact, a campaign celebration, and a visit from United States Senator Amy Klobuchar: 2018 was another great year for the University of Minnesota Morris. Read more about some of the highlights.


Students collaborate with local high school in outdoor field experience

UMR students took on public health roles as they participated in EcoliteracySCHOOL, a weekend-long outdoor field experience to Tettegouche State Park. UMR students designed and led the curriculum for Pine Island High School students. EcoliteracySCHOOL was designed for health-focused students to engage in environmentally oriented experiential learning and career discussions together.

Twin Cities

15 research highlights from the College of Liberal Artsbook shelf

Discovery thrives across the 31 academic departments and 13 research centers that make up the UMTC College of Liberal Arts (CLA). As the college continues to celebrate its 150th anniversary, here is a small sample of the many people, centers, and projects that built CLA’s past and are driving its future.

Dec. 10 - Mechanical Engineering Robot Showkids watching robots

For six weeks, the 210 college students in the introductory design course in Mechanical Engineering design and build their own robot. Their task is to create a machine that "does something useful." See the results at the 2018 Mechanical Engineering Robot Show. 2:40-4:30 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center.

Toys for Tots

The Department of Public Safety has placed collection boxes for Toys for Tots at several campus locations, including the UMPD lobby (Transportation and Safety Building), Coffman Memorial Union information desk, St. Paul Student Center information desk, University Office Plaza entryway, and Hanson Hall information desk. The drive ends on Dec. 14.

2019 Engaged Scholar Workshops: Promotion and Tenure

Join fellow U of M faculty in a workshop series designed to provide community-engaged scholars with practical strategies for making their best case in the promotion and tenure process. Sponsored by the Office for Public Engagement and the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs, the series begins Jan. 31 with Community-Engaged Scholarship in Promotion and Tenure: Context and Overview. No charge, but registration is required.

UMTC Featured Eventsalumni gifts on display

Dec. 5-7 - WAM Shop Holiday Sale | Double Discount Days
Dec. 6 - ‘Does Sexual Assault and Harassment Training Work?’
Dec. 7 - Solar for Humanity: Nonprofit Approaches to Delivering Solar Energy to Low Income Households
Dec. 10 - EXHIBITION - Graphic Design Senior Show
Dec. 11 - Minnesota Alumni Market Holiday Pop-Up
Dec. 11 - Is Civility Possible in Today’s Polarized Political Climate? “Scicourt” Mock Trial!
Dec. 12 - U of M Holiday Horn Ensemble Concert

Events Calendar >