February 20, 2019

Vol. XLIX No. 7

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • President Kaler responds to Governor Walz’s budget recommendation.
  • Features: Improving autism intervention; Stimulating idea; Giving gets real; Eyes on the Wild at Cedar Creek.
  • People: 2018-19 recipients of the John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising; and more.

Top News

President Kaler responds to Governor Walz’s budget recommendation

On Feb. 19, Governor Tim Walz recommended a $39.2 million increase in funding for the University of Minnesota during the 2020-21 budget cycle. President Eric Kaler responded to Walz's recommendation as well as the governor’s proposed $150 million capital investment. Learn more about the University's biennial budget request and capital request at U of M Government and Community Relations, and advocate for the U of M at UMN Advocates.

Improving autism interventionwoman and child in front of computer

Early identification, treatment, and intervention helps Minnesota's children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities reach their potential. Yet some families can encounter waitlists of up to a year for evaluation services. Part of the reason for this is geography: while most autism evaluation clinics are located in the Twin Cities, the families of children with autism live all over the state. Researchers at the U of M Institute on Community Integration’s Telehealth Lab are finding ways to shorten waitlists and improve access to early intervention for children with autism.

Stimulating ideaBernadette Gillick and child

Stroke affects as many as one in 2,300 infants worldwide and is a primary cause of cerebral palsy (CP) in children. Such realities led U of M neuroscientist Bernadette Gillick and her team to conduct the first-ever study that combined two treatments to enhance motor skills in children with stroke-induced CP, both of which significantly improved hand function compared with those who received a placebo. She’s now extending her study to infants and young children. Learn more and watch a video to hear what inspires Gillick.

Giving gets realRaj singh

Raj Singh, associate dean of the Carlson School of Management’s undergraduate program, says that when he and his wife were considering upgrading their car, they decided instead to put some money away for a scholarship. “Last year, we met our scholar. She’s a first-generation student. The impact our giving had on her--the ability to go to college--is something that gave us goosebumps.” Hear more from Singh.

Eyes on the Wild at Cedar Creekdeer at cedar creek

Racoons, coyotes, turkeys, bears, and deer are just a fraction of the species that can be found at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, located north of the Twin Cities. And while Cedar Creek is world-famous for its long-term ecological research, you don’t need to visit the field station to get a look at the wildlife. Cedar Creek's latest project calls on citizen scientists to identify wildlife entirely online.


2018-19 recipients of the John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising; Amy Hewitt has been named president of the Association for University Centers on Disabilities; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media. People.

U-Wide News

Nominations for the Regents Professorship

The nomination deadline for the Regents Professorship is March 8. Established in 1965 by the Board of Regents to recognize the national and international prominence of faculty members, the Regents Professorship is the highest honor the University of Minnesota bestows on its faculty. It recognizes faculty who have made exceptional contributions to the University through teaching, research, scholarship, or creative work, and contributions to the public good.

Call for proposals: IDEA awards

The Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy (IDEA) invites proposals for Multicultural Research Awards and Faculty Driven. These funding opportunities support faculty who engage in transformative research, creatively address equity and diversity needs within their departments, and/or develop programs that strengthen the University’s diverse community of scholars. Proposals are due March 15.

2018-19 award submission deadlines

Nomination details for the President's Award for Outstanding Service, Outstanding Achievement Award, Award of Distinction, honorary degree, and honorary namings for the remainder of this academic year are available. See the All University Honors Committee for deadlines and more information.

Benefits Advisory Committee requests comments

The Benefits Advisory Committee (BAC) would like to hear about experiences with the UPlan health and wellbeing programs since January 2018. The BAC requests comments to help assess the quality of services for members. Anonymous summaries are used in performance reviews of UPlan health and wellbeing programs. Comment deadline is Feb. 28.

Rothenberger Institute reaches milestone

The School of Public Health’s Rothenberger Institute serves undergraduate students with one-credit, online wellness courses. Since its first offering in 2002, more than 50,000 students have taken the institute’s courses, which have played a significant role in undergraduate retention at the University of Minnesota.

Research Brief: New method shows possible link between E. coli toxin and cancercells under microscope

Researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and Masonic Cancer Center have developed an innovative method for determining how toxins interact with and damage DNA on the molecular level. The method may help researchers uncover the genetic chemistry leading to cancer development, which has broad applications ranging from understanding how toxins are affecting DNA in the body to developing tools to improve outcomes of chemotherapy.


New academic department structure

A new department structure designed to help better respond to student and workforce needs is taking shape at the University of Minnesota Crookston. A move to two large academic units from the current four-department arrangement will better serve the more than 1,800 students enrolled on campus and online.

Feb. 22-23 - Animal Science Exploration Daysstudent with a cow

High school juniors and seniors will get the chance to explore the animal science degree during Animal Science Exploration Days at the U of M Crookston. Students will have the opportunity to experience labs and other hands-on activities.

Feb. 27 - Workshop: Find your target market

The Northwest Minnesota Small Business Development Center is hosting the workshop “Identifying your Target Audiences for Marketing.” 6:30-8:30 p.m., Valley Technology Park Conference Room.


Lifetime achievementRick Smith

Rick Smith, director of UMD’s American Indian Learning Resource Center, recently received the Minnesota Indian Education Association Lifetime Achievement Award for his “outstanding leadership, contributions, and lifelong dedication to Indian education.” UMD will celebrate his work at the American Indian Learning Resource Center Spring Feast on March 26, 11-1:30 p.m., Kirby Ballroom.

Feb. 21 - Sonora Windssonora winds members

The woodwind chamber ensemble Sonora Winds will present a Guest Artist Recital. Based in the Twin Cities, the group is comprised of professional musicians who both teach and perform. They will be releasing a CD of Polish music this spring. 7:30 p.m., Weber Music Hall.

Feb. 27 - Justice and Equity for All?Janaya Kahn

UMD’s daylong Summit on Equity, Diversity, and Ethnicity will feature more than 35 workshops and presentations. Keynote speaker Janaya Kahn, cofounder of Black Lives Matter Canada, will present in the Kirby Ballroom at 4 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Commission on Equity, Race, and Ethnicity.


Student designs exhibit for Stevens County Historical Society & MuseumOlivia Carlson

Olivia Carlson ’20, Rogers, MN, proposed, researched, and designed an exhibit for the Stevens County Historical Society & Museum. Called “Insectarium: Insects & Agriculture in Stevens County,” the exhibit allowed Carlson to combine her love of many different subjects into an exhibit that merges her passions.


UMR growth plans

A decade after the University of Minnesota Rochester accepted its first class of undergraduate students, UMR officials are making plans to make its second decade the beginning of accelerated growth, as reported in the Rochester Post-Bulletin (PDF).

Twin Cities

Endangered Data Week events

As part of U of M Libraries’ Endangered Data Week, a panel discussion, “Endangered Data, Data Ethics, and ‘Vulnerable’ Populations,” takes place Feb. 21, 2:30-4 p.m., Wilson Library. The workshop Requesting Government Information: FOIA for Scholarship and Publication takes place Feb. 22, 1-2:30 p.m., Wilson Library.

Retiring soon? Check out Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Keep your brain healthy by joining the U of M Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). The institute offers 300 noncredit courses, 30 interest groups, and national and international travel opportunities. Many former U of M professors and administrators continue to share their knowledge and skills by volunteering to teach or provide leadership for OLLI. $240/year provides unlimited courses. UMAA, UMRA, and UVRC members receive a $20 discount. Spring course request period ends Feb. 25.

March 6 - “‘Committing the Truth’ in the Deep State”

In these polarized times, there is a striking bipartisan consensus that government whistleblowers ought to be protected. But that consensus breaks down once we delve into the details of who counts as a whistleblower and what kinds of disclosures merit legal protection. 4 p.m., 25 Mondale Hall. This Robins Kaplan Professor of Law Appointment Lecture will be given by Professor Heidi Kitrosser.

March 13-14 - The Consul

University Opera Theatre and Arbeit Opera Theatre present Menotti’s The Consul, a riveting American drama that earned the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for music. 7:30 p.m., Ted Mann Concert Hall. Tickets and more information.

UMTC Featured Eventsfresh frames sale graphic

Feb. 21 - Why go to the Moon? Apollo, the Space Race, and the Many Faces of Lunar Exploration
Feb. 22 - "No human being is illegal" with Dr. Chen Alon
Feb. 22 - U of M Job and Internship Fair
Feb. 23 - Innovation Challenge
Feb. 26 - Women Leaders in Minnesota and Congress
Feb. 28 & March 1 - Boynton Health Fresh Frames
March 2-3 - The Joffrey Ballet
March 6 - Wind Ensemble and Minnesota Symphonic Winds Concert

Events Calendar