December 9, 2015

Vol. XLV No. 41

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

Notice: Brief will not be published on Dec. 23, Dec. 30, and Jan. 6. The weekly schedule returns Jan. 13.

  • Board of Regents meets Dec. 10-11.
  • Driven to Discover feature: Tony Bittner.
  • People: Roger Ruan has been elected a Fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers; and more.

Top News

Board of Regents meet Dec. 10-11

During its December meeting, U of M Regents will review and act on a supplemental budget request in anticipation of a potential state supplemental budget bill during the 2016 legislative session. The request proposes initiatives in four areas: health care training, education, and services; continuation of critical health care services; Minnesota’s mining industry; and new cyber security technologies. Regents will also receive the U’s annual research report, review a record-setting year of gifts to the U of M Foundation, and discuss tuition and financial aid strategies among other items. Additionally, Regents held a special meeting on Dec. 8 to discuss findings from an external review and a financial audit of Gopher Athletics Department leadership following the resignation of former Gopher Athletics director Norwood Teague. Both reports can be viewed at:

See the full news release >

Driven to Discover: Tony Bittner[[{"attributes":{},"fields":{}}]]

Tony Bittner's Fleet Services team keeps the U fleet ready to accomplish the mission. "Cradle-to-grave service"—that's what Bittner and his crew provide U of M vehicles statewide—from snowmobiles to garbage trucks and everything in between, including a 1942 fire engine in Rosemount.

Read more >


Roger Ruan has been elected a Fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers; Shri Ramaswamy has been elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers; Robert Stupar has received the Outstanding Young Crop Scientist Award from the Crop Science Society of America; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Register for Educational Equity in Action

Registration is now open for Educational Equity in Action, the first-ever U of M convening of Minnesota's education leaders, researchers, policy makers, and nonprofits committed to improving educational equity. The event will take place June 20-21 on the U's West Bank. Register now to become a member of an online community that will help shape the event by discussing current issues and sharing what's working in your organizations and communities.

Registration and more information >

IAS Call for Proposals

The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) is hosting the summer institute "Grasping Water: Rivers and Human Systems in China, Africa, and North America" June 13-17. "Grasping Water" examines rivers ecologically, at the intersection of the physical world and human culture, in ways that demand both humanistic and scientific perspectives. IAS seeks scholars at all levels to participate in the institute, including graduate students and junior scholars. Applications are due Jan. 15.

Learn more >


Career Services Grad Fest

Career Services will be hosting a fall Grad Fest. During the event, all graduates will be able to make sure that they are registered on the U of M GoldPASS System, and that their resume is online for their job search now and in the future. Dec. 9, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., International Lounge, Sargeant Student Center.

Learn more >

December concerts celebrate the holidays

Two band concerts slated for Dec. 10 and Dec. 13 will support the Crookston High School Band. The holiday jazz band concert and a community band concert will celebrate Minnesota and put you in the holiday mood.

Learn more >

UMC Teambackers to host basket auction

The UMC Teambackers will host a basket auction Dec. 11, 4-6 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. The event will include appetizers and a cash bar, as well as raffles and an opportunity to place bids on some 25 gift baskets. All proceeds will go to support scholarships for student-athletes.

Learn more >


RICH receives gift[[{"attributes":{},"fields":{}}]]

UMD's Research for Indigenous Community Health (RICH) Center is among the organizations to benefit from a gift from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community as part of its Seeds of Native Health campaign. The funding will support a bibliography on Native American nutrition and a database of experts, both of which will be comprehensive and publicly accessible.

Learn more >

UMD students win Collegiate Computing Competition[[{"attributes":{},"fields":{}}]]

Students from the Swenson College of Science and Engineering took first place in the DigiKey Collegiate Computing Competition. The Wylie Werevoles, a team of four, had to solve short and long programming problems as well as word problems. This is the second year in a row UMD students have earned top honors at the competition.

Learn more >

Dec. 10 - Fuzz therapy[[{"attributes":{},"fields":{}}]]

A UMD PAWS (Pet Away Worry and Stress) event will feature dogs and cats available to pet and cuddle on Dec. 10, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Kirby Student Center. The event is just one of many "Stress-less" events being held during finals week.

Learn more >

Make your own snowshoes[[{"attributes":{},"fields":{}}]]

Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center is offering two workshops during which participants will create their own pair of laced Ojibwe-style snowshoes, made from locally harvested black ash. Workshops are limited to eight individuals and take place Dec. 14 and Jan. 9, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Registration is required >


UMM ranked among technologically advanced small colleges[[{"attributes":{},"fields":{}}]]

UMM has been ranked among the 50 Most Technologically Advanced Small Colleges 2015 by The Best Colleges Online, a resource for information about the top online colleges and degree programs available. The campus was ranked 41st overall and was the most highly ranked of the two Minnesota colleges included.

Learn more >

Breen attends International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources session[[{"attributes":{},"fields":{}}]]

Sheri Breen, associate professor of political science, recently attended the Sixth Governing Body Session of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. The treaty is handled by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), a subdivision under the United Nations. Breen attended the event to gain firsthand insight on the international politics of agriculture.

Learn more >


Driven to Discover: UMR's Jake Anderson[[{"attributes":{},"fields":{}}]]

The systemwide Driven to Discover campaign celebrates U of M heroes in all fields who are driven to meet the challenges of a diverse and changing world. What was UMR grad Jake Anderson driven to discover? A way to ease the pain of kidney stones.

Read more >

UMR CONNECTS: Preying on the Graying

The annual financial loss for victims of elder abuse nationwide is estimated in billions of dollars. Detective Dave Rikhus will discuss his role with Olmsted County's Adult Protective Services and give elder abuse warning signs.

Learn more >

Twin Cities

University Libraries extended hours

Faculty are encouraged to let students know that University Libraries will offer "distraction-free" studying for finals that includes extended hours in buildings, expanded tutoring hours, and stress-reducing activities.

Dec. 11 - What Universal Design for Learning Teaches us about Writing

Panelists from the Center for Educational Innovation, Office of Equity and Diversity, and the Disability Resource Center will discuss the relationship of Universal Design for Learning to student writing and writing instruction. Noon-1:30 p.m., 103 Appleby Hall.

Learn more >

Dec. 15 - Galápagos: Invasive Vertebrates vs. Island Endemics[[{"attributes":{},"fields":{}}]]

Join the Bell Museum's Café Scientifique crew at Bryant Lake Bowl for a special presentation by Julia Ponder, executive director of the U of M Raptor Center. Explore Ponder's wildlife restoration projects involving the hawks, rats, and lava lizards of the Galápagos Islands. 7 p.m., Bryant Lake Bowl. Tickets: $5-$12.

Learn more >

Feb. 5 - The Other Side of Poverty in Schools

This one-day workshop is for teachers, administrators, counselors, and teacher educators to learn about the five principles for change to better meet the needs of working-class and poor students, develop research-based teaching practices, and take away classroom ideas. Cost: $50 for faculty and staff; $15-25 for students. Coffee and breakfast are included. 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 325 Education Sciences Building. Email Kelly Gast for the discounted rate.

Registration and more information >

UMTC Featured Events[[{"attributes":{},"fields":{}}]]

Dec. 9 - December Sip of Science: If we found rock evidence for life on Mars, what might it look like?

Dec. 10 - Stakman-Borlaug Center Fall Symposium: Sustainable Crop Production Research and Outreach in Africa

Dec. 11 - Tanked: On Keeping Things Alive in Places They Shouldn't Be

Dec. 12 - An Afternoon with PerFarmance Project

Dec. 14 - Robot Show

Dec. 16 - U of M Trombone Choir Holiday Concert

Events Calendar >