December 7, 2016

Vol. XLVI No. 40

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Board of Regents will meet Dec. 8-9.
  • Driven to Discover: Abolishing hunger with Vipin Kumar.
  • Features: Losses of soil carbon will accelerate pace of climate change; IonE researchers produce first map of worldwide farming households; Building a culture of health across the United States.
  • People: J.B. Mayo has received the Josie Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award; and more.

Top News

Board of Regents will meet Dec. 8-9

During its December meeting, the University’s Board of Regents will explore the makeup of the Twin Cities undergraduate student body, with specific attention to metrics outlined in the Board’s Progress Card and in the five-year enrollment plan. Highlights will include record applications and enrollment among students of color, and higher first-year retention rates and four-year graduation rates. Regents will also be presented with the annual University Plan, Performance, and Accountability Report, and hear about the U’s progress in exceeding all five 2016 performance goals set by the Minnesota Legislature. Additionally, the Board will review the U’s research enterprise and discuss systemwide strategic planning efforts.

See the news release for more details >

Driven to Discover: Abolishing hunger with Vipin KumarVipin Kumar

“Big data” has emerged as an enormous tool as we work to feed the world. Vipin Kumar analyzes the massive data being generated by Earth observation satellites to figure out how to best navigate the intersecting worlds of food production, water, energy, and climate change.

Read more about Kumar >

Losses of soil carbon will accelerate pace of climate changesoil carbon loss map

A new global analysis finds that warming temperatures will trigger the release of trillions of kilograms of carbon from the planet’s soils into its atmosphere. The increase will accelerate the pace of climate change. The study, published in the journal Nature, is based on 49 climate change experiments worldwide, including six in Minnesota.

IonE researchers produce first-ever map of worldwide farming householdsyoung men prepare fields in Ethiopia

Smallholder and family farms are crucial to feeding the planet, and successful policies aimed at alleviating poverty, boosting food security, and protecting biodiversity and natural resources depend on the inclusion and participation of small farmers. However, detailed information on location and size of such farms has been virtually absent. A new study led by Institute on the Environment researchers attempts to fill this crucial knowledge gap.

Building a culture of health across the United StatesIRL team locations map

A new national initiative will bring experts together to address complex health issues at the community level. As the program lead, the U of M will bring together a wide variety of researchers to conduct action-oriented public health studies in communities across the country. Through the program, U of M public health researchers Rachel Hardeman and Katy Kozhimannil are studying racial inequities in birth outcomes across the U.S.


J.B. Mayo has received the Josie Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award; 21 projects have been chosen to receive fall 2016 Institute on the Environment Mini Grants; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Statement of support for non-citizen U community members

The U of M has issued a statement of support for non-citizen U of M community members. The U remains committed to the safety of all, including immigrants and undocumented students, and will advocate for them to be able to attend the University and continue their studies uninterrupted. President Kaler also joined other college and university presidents in supporting a statement urging government leaders to continue and expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Dec. 17 - Walks with Matt: The Arboretum on Icearboretum in winter

Spend time with naturalist Matt Schuth to learn more about the U of M Landscape Arboretum's flora and fauna and how they have evolved and specialized to survive the long, cold winter. Schuth will begin with a show-and-tell about some of the Arboretum's fauna and flora, then head outdoors to track animals and identify trees and plants in their winter form, and finally return to the Oswald Visitor Center for a warm drink and conversation. 10 a.m.-noon.

Apply now for the State Fair D2D Research Facility

Time is running short to apply for space in the new Driven to Discover research building at the 2017 Minnesota State Fair. The D2D Research Facility is for faculty, staff, and students from any U of M campus wishing to recruit participants from among the fair’s 1.9 million annual visitors--either for on-the-spot research or for studies conducted elsewhere. The setting allows rapid enrollment and access to a more diverse participant pool than typical methods. Applications will be accepted through Jan. 15.


Dec. 12 - Chancellor's Office open house

An open house for faculty, staff, and students will be held in the newly renovated and reconfigured office suite for the UMC Office of the Chancellor, 9-11 a.m., 107 Selvig Hall.

Keinath appointed interim chancellor

President Eric Kaler has appointed Barbara Keinath to serve as interim chancellor for the University of Minnesota Crookston, tentatively beginning Jan. 1. Information regarding the recruitment of the new chancellor can be found on the AGB Search website.

New issue of Torch

The latest edition of Torch, the UMC alumni magazine, has been published with a cover story featuring Jane (Ewing Peterson) Provo, class of 1968.

Endowment of Justin Knebel Memorial Scholarship

A check for more than $17,000 was recently presented to the University of Minnesota Crookston by the UMC Teambackers to support student-athlete scholarships.

Learn more >


Commission on Disabilities seeks new membersUMD aerial view

The Commission on Disabilities is seeking new members. This opportunity is open to anyone interested in actively increasing the commission’s impact on campus and in championing education and awareness on such issues as expanding accessibility, reducing mental illness stigma, and promoting inclusivity.

Dec. 8-9 - Antics Road Showopera performers on stage

The Opera Studio and the Department of Music will present Antics Road Show, a selection of opera scenes. 7:30 p.m. each evening, Weber Music Hall. Tickets are available online.


Larson gains classroom experience at Butterfly Hillpaige larson

Paige Larson '18 recently completed an internship at Butterfly Hill Nature Preschool in Alexandria, MN. Larson is one of 46 students to complete a paid off-campus internship through UMM's Career In program since spring 2016.

Native American Heritage Month photosstudents at native american ceremony

UMM celebrated Native American Heritage Month with a pipe ceremony, tipi demonstration, film screening, convocation, an exhibition of storytelling through dance, and more. The activities were supported by a Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions program (NASNTI) grant from the U.S. Department of Education; the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Intercultural Programs; the Circle of Nations Indigenous Association; and the Campus Activities Council.

See photos from the events >


Dec. 13 - Mental Health is Public Health

Learn about mental health vs. mental illness, warning signs of mental illness, and available community support including community education, screening for illness, and linking people to care aspects of public health at the next UMR Connects. Nurse Sue Morrison will present. 7-8:30 p.m., 111 South Broadway.

Capstone presentations

December graduates of UMR's Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) program presented their capstones this week. 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.

Learn more about the presentations >

Twin Cities

Toys for Tots at UMPD

The Toys for Tots box is available until Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. in the UMPD lobby, 100 Transportation & Safety Building, 511 Washington Avenue on the East Bank. UMPD is collecting new, unwrapped toys to be distributed during the holidays for those less fortunate in our community. The age groups most in need are 0-2 and 15-17, but toys for all ages are appreciated. Monetary donations may be made online or by mail at Toys for Tots.

Explore your leadership skills and potential

Join colleagues in a program offered by Leadership and Talent Development in the Office of Human Resources to build and explore leadership potential and skills. Leading on All Levels will help individual contributors learn more about their own leadership strengths and provide tools for leadership and professional development. Registration for the spring cohort is now open.

Funding request for International Student Academic Services Fee

Faculty and staff are invited to submit proposals for academic service projects that focus on ensuring retention, timely graduation, and student satisfaction of international students. Funding for approved projects comes from an international student fee. Units may submit multiple requests, but must use a separate online submission for each project. Requests are due Feb. 10.

Learn more and apply >

Dec. 9 - Final Bell Museum Social with Har Mar SuperstarHar Mar Superstar with his shirt off

Join the Bell Museum of Natural History for one last after-hours bash in its Minneapolis location. A variety of refreshments and activities are planned for the Bell Social, including a museum-wide art exhibition and live music from special guest Har Mar Superstar. The event will also feature a mini Café Scientifique, science trivia, ExploraDome planetarium shows, DIY art, and other surprises. Latin American cuisine from Cafe Racer and a cash bar will also be available. 7-11 p.m. Cost: $15 for U of M faculty, staff, students, and members.

Find tickets >

Dec. 10 - Eat Design

Food and design students will collaborate with local chefs and food experts to explore basic design principles in this hands-on, edible experimentation event. Cost: $25. 7 p.m., McNeal Hall Atrium, St. Paul.

Find tickets and learn more >

Dec. 14 - Active Shooter Response Presentation

The University of Minnesota Police Department, in partnership with the Coffman Memorial Union, will present the Active Shooter Response Plan in an open forum for all University of Minnesota faculty, staff, and students. This is an opportunity to learn what actions you can take during an active shooter incident. 12:30-2 p.m., Coffman Union Theater.

RSVP and learn more >

Dec. 14 - Altar Call: American Religion in Presidential Politics

In the aftermath of the tumultuous and divisive 2016 election, English and journalism visiting professor and New York Times religion columnist Samuel Freedman surveys religion's influence on U.S. presidential elections. 4:30 p.m., 100 Murphy Hall.

Dec. 16 - Tea & Scone Diorama Tourdiorama elk

Visit the Bell Museum’s treasured dioramas one last time before the Minneapolis location closes in preparation for the move to the St. Paul campus. Tea, scones, and other refreshments will be on hand as visitors gain a fresh perspective on the dioramas from experts. No charge for U of M faculty, staff, and students. The tour begins at 2 p.m.

UMTC Featured Eventsrobot show students

Dec. 10 - Yoga @ WAM
Dec. 8-10 - CSE Winter Light Show
Dec. 12 - Mechanical Engineering Robot Show
Dec. 12 - An Evening with Tom Friedman: "Thank You for Being Late" Discussion and Book Signing
Dec. 14 - U of M Trombone Choir Holiday Concert and Ugly Sweater Contest
Dec. 14 - December Sip of Science - Deadliest Enemy: A war against killer germs

Events Calendar >