February 12, 2020

Vol. L No. 6

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • Board of Regents meets Feb. 13-14.
  • Features: Student discovers key to growing cancer-fighting crop; Astronaut Scholars have set high goals; Caring for pets in underserved communities.
  • People: Ten faculty members have been named 2020-22 McKnight Land-Grant Professors; and more.

Top News

Feb. 13-14 - Board of Regents meets

This week, President Joan Gabel and the Board of Regents will examine preliminary results of a comprehensive scan of University programs and services that address the mental health needs of students. Regents are also expected to discuss progress on systemwide strategic planning, hear strategies for enhancing diversity and inclusion among faculty, act on the 2019 University Performance and Accountability Report, and consider a report from Huron Consulting that benchmarks University spending against higher education peers. See the news release for more details.

Student discovers key to growing cancer-fighting cropIlse Renner with her plants

What if farmers knew how to grow crops to boost the levels of cancer-fighting nutrients they contained? That, says Ilse Renner, would help turn the management of cancer away from treatment and toward prevention. A doctoral student with Professor Vince Fritz in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, Renner studies what conditions make cruciferous vegetables, mainly cabbage, ripe for producing a nutrient called glucobrassicin.

Astronaut Scholars have set high goalsMatt and Macy

Winning a prestigious Astronaut Scholarship is a thrill, but meeting a former astronaut and hearing him tell what it’s like to walk on the moon—priceless. For students Matthew DeJong and Macy Vollbrecht, a trip to Washington, D.C., to meet not only moonwalking astronaut Charlie Duke but also former astronaut and Kennedy Space Center director Robert Cabana put the icing on a very substantial cake. DeJong and Vollbrecht are among 52 Astronaut Scholars for 2019-20.

Caring for pets in underserved communitiesLaura Molgaard and a dog

Many people love their pets but aren’t able to care for them the way they would like. The reason often comes down to a lack of nearby, affordable veterinary care, particularly in under-resourced communities. The University's College of Veterinary Medicine has two student-led organizations that partner with communities across the state to provide care to pets and give students learning opportunities. One of those partners may someday be the University’s Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center, which is considering rolling out a mobile vet clinic.


Ten faculty members have been named as the 2020-22 McKnight Land-Grant Professors; the University of Minnesota Medical School has been ranked as the 27th most funded institution in the 2019 NIH rankings; Paul Sackett has been awarded the Dunnette Prize from the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Taking color out of medicineEbiere Okah

Today doctors around the world use race, or skin color, as a tool in diagnosing and treating some diseases. University of Minnesota Medical School resident Ebiere Okah is working to eliminate race from medical teaching and practice.

Preventing healthcare provider burnout

Many national healthcare organizations have stated that teamwork is critical to avoiding provider burnout. However, it is unclear if the extent of teamwork or makeup of the interprofessional team might influence wellbeing and burnout. Kylee Funk, College of Pharmacy, and colleagues from the Academic Health Sciences, Fairview Health Services, and the Carlson School of Management are applying novel techniques developed in social network analysis to map interprofessional networks.

Creating a space to engage learners in social determinants of healthShailey Prasad

Several years ago, Shailey Prasad, Family Medicine faculty at the U of M Medical School, observed a disillusionment that seemed to come as students and residents at the Broadway Family Medicine Clinic confronted the complexities of the social determinants of health. Prasad and his colleagues began the Community Health & Advocacy Talks—or CHAT—to create a space for conversations about the social determinants of health and connect students and residents with partners in the work of health advocacy.

Feb. 18 - Webinar for supervisors: Supervising Undergraduate Student Employees

What many student employees lack in professional experience, they make up for in their willingness to learn and their enthusiasm for new projects. Register for this webinar to explore simple ways to mobilize students’ eagerness and guide them in their development as young professionals, while ensuring the work you need to finish is completed. Noon-1 p.m.

Call for proposals: Teaching Sprints

Teaching Sprints are a unique opportunity for faculty and instructors to design or redesign a course, or portions of a course, for improved learning outcomes in an intensive, four-day program (June 8-11) supported by U of M Libraries. Participating instructors will have the opportunity to make significant progress on a course-related project. The deadline to apply is March 15.

Apply for Imagine Fund Special Events Round 2

Imagine Fund grant programs support projects in the arts, humanities, and design at the University of Minnesota. The annual Special Events grant program seeks to support new and ongoing activities at the University of Minnesota that promote profound understanding of the human condition, excellence, innovation, collaboration, interdisciplinary dialogue, and greater public engagement with the University. Applications will close on March 16.

March 18 - Webinar: Mindfulness at Work

Join the University of Minnesota's Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing for an introduction to mindfulness at work. The session will include an introduction to mindfulness and explore the ways in which mindfulness relates to essential workplace skills such as regulation, resilience, and cognitive flexibility. 12:30-1:15 p.m.

Apr. 17 - Kids on Campus conference: Protecting and supporting minors across the U of M

The College Readiness Consortium invites those with involvement in youth programs to a day of engaging workshops, networking and collaboration with youth program leaders, and a special keynote presentation. Participants will gain practical tools to enhance leadership and skills for improving youth programs. 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Recreation and Wellness Center, Minneapolis. A preconference opportunity to become certified by Youth Mental Health First Aid takes place Apr. 16, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. No charge. Email Jazmin Danielson to register and receive more information.

Research Brief: Facebook postings by breast cancer patients initially surge, then decline

Transitions in breast cancer care are associated with significant increases in stress and anxiety, and this stress can negatively impact the mental and physical health of patients. Increasingly, patients are seeking support from friends and family through social media, including Facebook. A new study from the School of Public Health examined the posting behavior of breast cancer patients on Facebook and offers details on how—and possibly why—it changed over time.


Alaskan follows her interests to MinnesotaLindsey Daml

A love for both playing soccer and being outdoors helped guide Lindsey Daml (North Pole, AK) across the country to continue her education at the University of Minnesota Crookston. Daml is pursuing a degree in Natural Resources Management while also playing for the Crookston women's soccer team.

Shiozawa receives Josef Mestenhauser AwardShiozawa

Kimie Shiozawa is a recipient of the Josef Mestenhauser Student Award for Excellence in Campus Internationalization. The award recognizes outstanding student contributions to international education.


Feb. 18 - ‘Connection Day’students on cell phones

A group of UMD students wants the community to join them for “Connection Day”—a day to turn off your mobile devices and strike up a conversation with the person next to you. The students have partnered with the Kirby Program Board to provide fun activities, while the Kathryn A. Martin Library is sponsoring events in the Library Annex’s Zen Den.

Feb. 18 - ‘Art in Conflict’ exhibit lectureexhibit poster

Carol Veldman Rudie, lead docent and coordinator of outreach education at The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis, will present the lecture “Art on the Edges: Non-Conformists and Spirituality.” Veldman Rudie will discuss how artists, featured in Tweed’s current exhibit “Art in Conflict,” used religious symbolism to show alternative cultural realities. 6-8 p.m., Tweed Museum.

Feb. 27 - Books and experiential learningod books

Krista Twu, associate professor of Medieval & Renaissance Literature, and Aimee Brown, head archivist at the Kathryn A. Martin Library, will discuss how the Ramseyer-Northern Bible Society Collection provides experiential learning for students and the community. The Ramseyer Collection contains over 1,800 volumes, some more than 600 years old. 7 p.m., 4th floor Library Rotunda.

May 13-15 - Course Design RetreatBagley nature center building

UMD educators are invited to (re)design a course to maximize student learning using principles from learning science research. Participants will consider how modifying content, activities, and assessments can help students retain knowledge and transfer what they have learned to new contexts while increasing their motivation. The retreat will be held in the Bagley Nature Area Classroom. Applications are due Apr. 3.


Feb. 20-22 - Hunting and Gatheringcouch on a stage

The Theatre Arts Discipline will present Hunting and Gathering, a critically acclaimed romantic comedy by Brooke Berman. Hunting and Gathering explores urban rootlessness and the search for connections—physical and emotional—through four dynamic characters living in New York City. Directed by Theatre Arts associate professor Siobhan Bremer.


UMR named a College of DistinctionCollege of distinction badge logo

University of Minnesota Rochester has received national recognition for the integrity of its individualized and engaging education as a College of Distinction. UMR earned its recognition for excellence exhibited in the classroom, incorporating high-impact practices throughout every student’s undergraduate education.

Health Care Scholars DayKylie Van Dyke

Health Care Scholars Day was hosted at UMR Feb. 1, giving future students the opportunity to compete for scholarships. The competition was hosted with the help of faculty, staff, and current students, who interviewed 46 students competing for scholarships. "We have to work hard. We have to work together. We have to believe. Because hope is the foundation for every cure," says Kylie Van Dyke, a high school senior competing for a scholarship.

Twin Cities

U-Pet Wellness Plans for U of M communityMan and dog

The Veterinary Medical Center offers U-Pet Wellness Plans for cats and dogs of University faculty, staff, and students on the Twin Cities campus. Employees can receive up to a 20 percent discount and unlimited office visits with a plan.

Sherlock's collectionSherlock Holmes sketch

Fictional detective Sherlock Holmes resided in the flat at 221B Baker Street in London. Today, his legacy lives on at the Elmer L. Andersen Library, which is home to the world’s largest collection of materials related to Holmes and his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The collection includes more than 60,000 pieces—from original publications and journals to eclectic odds and ends and even a life-size recreation of his sitting room.

Feb. 21 - Governing Minnesota: Tim Walz on the past year and the road ahead

Join a conversation with Governor Tim Walz as he begins his second year in office. Gov. Walz will reflect on the progress and challenges he has experienced with his agenda so far, as well as his 2020 legislative session priorities for the state.

Feb. 28 - Women in Entrepreneurship Conference

MN Cup and the Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship will present the annual Women in Entrepreneurship Conference. This year’s conference will focus on growth, featuring practical, actionable insights from female founders about how to grow and scale a business. Register and see the full agenda and list of conference speakers. 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Carlson School of Management.

Feb. 28 - Unifying Uniqueness Workshop

Part conversation and part movement workshop, Unifying Uniqueness is an all-ages event that investigates the ideologies surrounding uniqueness and likenesses in each participant. Led by A.I.M company members, participants will engage in a dialogue centered around early memories and integrate movement with ideas of perception, family, and freedom. No charge and open to the public, but registration is requested. 3:30 p.m., Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center.

March 24 - Wellbeing Series lecture featuring Rhonda Magee

The Inner Work of Racial Justice: On Healing, Connecting and Practicing for Belonging in a Changing World” will feature lawyer, author, mindfulness teacher, and storyteller Rhonda Magee discussing the links between embodied mindfulness and compassion practices and working to disrupt bias and bring about anti-oppressive social change. No mindfulness experience necessary. A livestream ticketing option is available with the promotional code 1920UMNWELL. 4 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center.

March 31 - Communicating Health in a Climate-Changed World

The Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication, the School of Public Health, and the Institute on the Environment will host an event discussing the correlations of health and climate change and how to better communicate the link. Open to the public, but registration is requested. 4 p.m., 100 Murphy Hall.

UMTC Featured Eventsmagnolia leaves

Feb. 12-14 - Sweetheart Sale | Save 20% in the WAM Shop
Feb. 13 - Philanthropy: Perspectives on Environmental Justice
Feb. 17 - Percussion Ensemble Recital
Feb. 18 - Designing Your Life: Using Design-Thinking Principles to Build a Joyful Life
Feb. 20 - Conservatory Preview Party
Feb. 20 - The Experience Economy: The New Frontier for Economic Value Creation
Feb. 29 - A.I.M by Kyle Abraham

Events Calendar >