February 13, 2019

Vol. XLIX No. 6

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • Board of Regents February meeting highlights.
  • Features: Bringing meaning to data; Building a better athlete; Mythbuster. 
  • People: U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media; and more.

Top News

Board of Regents February meeting highlights

The U of M Board of Regents reviewed the framework for the operating budget for fiscal year 2020 at its February meeting. The framework is a high-level plan to balance the University’s budget. The Board also discussed the U of M’s biennial budget request to the state and heard the Annual Report on the Status of University Research and Commercialization of Intellectual Property. Additionally, President Kaler outlined to the Board the progress and timeline of the Task Force on Building Names and Institutional History. Regents also approved the 2018 University Performance and Accountability Report and amendments to the Traffic Regulation Ordinances. See the news release for more information

Bringing meaning to dataBrigid Tuck in a community meeting

When Brigid Tuck was growing up in Le Sueur, MN, her mother went to work every morning and her father got the kids off to school. And every day, she says, “Dad would shout after us while we were walking to the bus, ‘Remember! You can make a difference!'” Since 2008, Tuck has been making a difference for Minnesota’s communities and industries. As Extension’s economic analyst, she helps decision-makers enhance the value in their communities.

Building a better athleteStudent athlete April Bockin

A project that has its roots in the U of M’s College of Education and Human Development is helping researchers learn more about the ideal body composition for different positions in sports and how players’ bodies change during the season.

MythbusterTraci Mann looks at a dessert

What do you do when your research reveals that everything you thought you knew about dieting and obesity was wrong? If you’re U of M psychology professor Traci Mann, you translate those scientific findings into an engaging, accessible book for everyone who’s ever failed at a diet--which, it turns out, is almost everyone. Mann’s book debunks some of our most deeply held beliefs about dieting and obesity.


U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media. People.

U-Wide News

Citizen science projects have a surprising new partner--the computera warthog

For more than a decade, citizen science projects have helped researchers use the power of volunteers to sort through data sets that are too large for a small research team. Now, computer machine learning techniques that teach the computer specific image recognition skills can be used in crowdsourcing projects to deal with massively increasing amounts of data--making computers a surprising new partner in citizen science projects.

New partnership with African Institute for Mathematical Sciences

The U of M and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) announced a new partnership for exchanging knowledge and accelerating educational opportunities for talented African mathematicians. AIMS recruits Africa’s most talented university graduates and provides them with a series of intensive, cutting-edge courses in mathematics to enter technical professions or to pursue graduate studies.

Intercampus Journal Club on Inclusive Pedagogies online discussion

Join faculty facilitators and colleagues from the U of M system in an online discussion about inclusive instruction based on scholarly articles and personal experiences. Register to gain access to readings and related resources, online meeting details, and event reminders.

Feb. 21 - Webinar: Introduction to Teaching in Active Learning Classrooms

This session is designed to help faculty and instructors who have little to no experience teaching in an active learning classroom (ALC) prepare for facilitating student learning in this new space. Participants will learn about the advantages of using active learning classrooms and activities and assessments that instructors can use in the space, as well as common challenges that first-time instructors face in an ALC. Register to receive WebEx details.

Feb. 28 - Cancer Disparities in African American Men - A Health Forum

National cancer expert Otis Brawley, who served as chief medical and scientific officer for the American Cancer Society, will speak as the keynote lecturer at an upcoming forum on the state of cancer disparities. Brawley will also participate as a panelist in a discussion with other national cancer researchers. No charge and open to the public.

Teaching Innovation Grants

Proposals for grants up to $1,000 from TeachingSupport@UMN are due March 8. The grants are intended to support innovative teaching and learning at the University of Minnesota. Innovation is broadly defined and encompasses innovation in all forms, including pedagogy, content, accessibility for students with disabilities, and technology.

Announcing the 2019 Research Infrastructure Investment Program

Letters of Intent (due March 11) are now being accepted for the 2019 Research Infrastructure Investment Program, administered by the Office of the Vice President for Research. The funding will be directed toward new or existing facilities, service centers, or other shared resources across the University system. Matching funds are required. Proposal deadline: Apr. 8. All applicants who submit an LOI are also invited to submit a full proposal, unless otherwise notified.

Fesler-Lampert Chair in Urban and Regional Affairs competition

The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs has announced the competition for the 2019-20 Fesler-Lampert Chair in Urban and Regional Affairs. The program offers one year of support for the research activities of a U of M faculty member to work on a project related to urban and regional affairs in Minnesota. Apply by March 15.

Call for proposals: Faculty Interactive Research Program

The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs invites proposals for its 2019-20 Faculty Interactive Research Program. The program encourages U of M faculty members to carry out research projects that involve a significant public policy issue for the state or its communities. Learn more and apply by March 15.

Research Brief: New plant genome cloning method promises to bust rust, other diseases in wheatStem rust on wheat

In a recent study, scientists at the University of Minnesota, along with colleagues in England and Australia, describe a new method for discovering and cloning not just one, but potentially the entire complement of disease resistance genes in a plant species. The method could accelerate the development of rust resistance in wheat and other crops.


Feb. 13 - Job and internship fair

The University of Minnesota Crookston's annual job and internship fair will take place Feb. 13, 1-4 p.m., Wellness Center.

Video: ‘Where Will You Take Your First Step?’

A new video from the University of Minnesota Crookston gives prospective students a closer look at what it's like to be a student at UMC.

Students create ‘Calling an Audible’ podcastGreg Johnson on set of his podcast

Crookston students Greg Johnson, a junior from Lonsdale, MN, and Zach Greenberg, a senior from Winnipeg, took an interest in creating the “Calling an Audible” podcast following a suggestion by Assistant Professor Dani Johannesen.


Godsey honoredChris Godsey

English, linguistics, and writing studies assistant professor Chris Godsey was named the 2019 University of Minnesota Center for Educational Innovation Faculty Teaching Fellow at UMD. Godsey heads the 2019 UMD Critical Dialogues in Teaching and Learning program, which facilitates conversations for building practical teaching insights among all UMD educators.

World premiereSarah Knott

School of Fine Arts alumna Sarah Knott, mezzo-soprano, will be featured in the performance of “Brittle, Bright,” a song cycle composed by UMD music faculty member Brad Bombardier with text by Duluth poet Marion Thompson van Steenwyk. Knott earned a master’s degree in voice performance from UMD in 2012. Feb. 19, 7:30 p.m., Weber Music Hall.


McBrady named UMMAA Board of Directors presidentDillon McBrady

Dillon McBrady ’13 is the next University of Minnesota Morris Alumni Association (UMMAA) Board of Directors president. McBrady is a partner of McVentures, LLC, and CEO of the Leprekald Grilling Division. The former history major and student body president plans to connect alumni with each other and with U of M Morris students during his year as president.


Chancellor Carrell presents to Board of Regents

UMR Chancellor Lori Carrell updated the Board of Regents last week (see her presentation) about UMR’s strategic enrollment plan and provided the Board with projections of campus growth.

Twin Cities

Feb. 11-17 - Blind date with a bookposter graphic

Stop by participating U of M libraries to select a book wrapped up just for you. Each of the books includes a hint to help guide your connection, but the true identity of your match won’t be revealed until after checkout when you unwrap your book. Libraries also provides ongoing book matchmaking services. Simply fill out an online matchmaking form and a librarian will send you customized book suggestions within a few days.

Reminder: No-cost tax preparation

The Volunteer Tax Assistance Program (VTAP), a student-run service organization, prepares tax returns at no cost for University of Minnesota faculty, staff, and students who have unadjusted gross income of less than $54,000. The program is fast, safe, and IRS certified. Learn more and schedule an appointment.

Sustainability Film Series 2019

The Institute on the Environment, the Bell Museum, the Office of Sustainability, and University Dining Services will host a Sustainability Film Series from February to May. Films are selected to reflect issues that resonate with University students, faculty, and staff. Each film is presented with a panel of experts who provide local, professional, and personal insight into the issues addressed in the films in dialogue with the audience. The first film in the series, Thank you for the Rain, will be shown Feb. 14, 6 p.m., 3-120 Molecular and Cellular Biology. No charge.

Feb. 27 - Exhibit reception for 'The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter'

Join the University Libraries for an exhibit reception for "The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter," a major exhibit from the Kerlan Collection featuring more than 200 books and objects that illuminate the importance of children’s literature throughout history. No charge and open to the public, but reservations are requested. 5:30 p.m., Elmer L. Andersen Library. An exhibit open house will take place at the library on March 2, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Feb. 28 - The Perils of Science to Create Pathogens: Controlling Biosafety and Biosecurity Threats

New synthetic biology capacities to combat disease, produce useful chemicals, and remediate environmental damage are increasingly accessible. Professor Michael Imperiale, associate VP for research, research policy, and compliance at the University of Michigan, chaired a recent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study that provides a framework for assessing vulnerabilities. He will discuss the threat and how that framework can help. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union. Register to attend.

First Generation Institute offers micro grants

Applications are now being accepted for micro grant projects occurring in the 2019-20 academic year from the First Generation Institute. Micro grants are an opportunity for members of the Twin Cities campus community to receive funding to support and advocate for the success of first-generation students. Applications are due March 4.

March 6 - Research Ethics Conference

Researchers and research participants across the country are facing big changes in the rules governing the ethical conduct of research. This conference features national scholars who will analyze changes in oversight of emerging technologies, the Common Rule governing research with human participants, and the federal redefinition of “clinical trials” to cover more studies. 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Coffman Union Theater.

March 7 - U of M Women in STEM Wikithonwoman with test tubes

Mark International Women’s Day by creating and improving Wikipedia profiles of University of Minnesota women scientists (past and present). The U of M is home to many accomplished women scientists, and this event will help raise their profile. Participants don’t need a background in science or experience editing Wikipedia; just bring your curiosity and a laptop and stay for any amount of time. 5-9 p.m., Wilson Library.

UMTC Featured Eventstelemed conference image with laptop and stethescope

Feb. 14 - Mental Health, Human Flourishing, and Religion

Feb. 15 - Programming & Pizza February - Research Consultations Served with a Slice

Feb. 18 - Alumni Webinar: Creating Inclusion Across our Organizations

Feb. 19 - ‘Natural Born Aliens’: Asian American Adoptees and Citizenship

Feb. 21 - Webinar: Developments in MN Telemedicine - Lessons From the Field

Feb. 23 - Jazba 2019

March 2 - 2019 U of M Jazz Festival Concert Featuring Guest Chris Lomheim and Jazz Ensembles I & II

Events Calendar >