February 21, 2018

Vol. XLVIII No. 7

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • U of M economic impact report.
  • Features: Neuromodulation gives new hope to paraplegic patients; Global grazing lands increasingly vulnerable to a changing climate; HEAPR funding extends life of buildings, labs.
  • People: Larry Jacobs has been awarded the McKnight Presidential Chair in Public Affairs; and more.

Top News

U of M economic impact reporteconomic impact stat of $8.6 billion

According to a recent economic impact report, the University of Minnesota contributes more than $8.6 billion a year in economic activity to the state of Minnesota--supporting more than 77,000 jobs and generating more than $470 million in state taxes.

Learn more and see the full report >

Neuromodulation gives new hope to paraplegic patientsman in wheelchair

Imagine being able to walk one moment and not the next. It’s a reality faced by roughly 100,000 individuals with complete or partial paraplegia in the United States. Yet, after more than 50 years of research, scientists have made little progress in treating the most severe spinal cord injuries. David Darrow, U of M neurosurgery resident and MnDRIVE Neuromodulation Fellow, aims to use electrical signals to stimulate damaged nerves and allow paraplegic patients to move.

Learn more about Darrow's research >

Global grazing lands increasingly vulnerable to a changing climatecow on a field

Some 800 million people around the world depend on livestock that graze on natural vegetation for their livelihoods and food security. A new study, led by a team from the U of M Institute on the Environment, reveals that over the past century year-to-year precipitation variability has increased significantly on 49 percent of the world’s grazing lands, affecting vegetation and constraining its ability to support livestock.

HEAPR funding extends life of buildings, labsItasca biological station sign

The U of M has more than 850 buildings that total about 29 million square feet of infrastructure. As the Minnesota Legislature convenes, the U is asking for $200 million to renovate buildings, classrooms, and labs so they remain useful for years to come. This Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR) funding, part of the U’s larger 2018 capital request, aims to repair and renovate existing buildings across the University system so they don’t need to be demolished and replaced--at a significantly higher cost.

Learn more about HEAPR >


Larry Jacobs has been awarded the McKnight Presidential Chair in Public Affairs; Frank Albert has been named a 2018 Sloan Research Fellow; Martha Scott Johnson has received an excellence in advising award from the National Academic Advising Association; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

U of M breaks ground on Health Sciences Education CenterHealth Sciences Education Center artist rendering

Gov. Dayton and other policymakers joined with the University of Minnesota in officially breaking ground on the Health Sciences Education Center. The center will play a vital role in educating and training the next generation of Minnesota’s health professionals.

Meetings of the University/Faculty Senates

On March 1, the University and Faculty Senates will hold concurrent meetings from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m., Coffman Theater, to be immediately followed by the 2018 State of the University Address. All members of the University community are invited to attend. System campuses will be linked via ITV.

See the docket materials >

Call for proposals: 2018-19 Faculty Interactive Research Program

The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs invites proposals for its Faculty Interactive Research Program. This program encourages U of M faculty members to carry out research projects that involve a significant urban-related public policy issue for the state or its communities.

Learn more and apply by March 9 >

Workforce Research Symposium: interest and speaker survey

On May 15, the U of M Extension Center for Community Vitality is bringing together faculty and staff from all campuses to discuss Minnesota's future workforce needs, challenges, and potential solutions. As a major outreach arm of the University, Extension connects research and engagement work from across the University and inspires new research and partnerships that can make a difference for Minnesota. Complete a brief survey to share your ideas, research, and interest in speaking.

Sleep program added to Learn to Live online mental health resource

A new program for insomnia is now available through Learn to Live. Many students report difficulties with sleep, which can lead to academic, health, and safety concerns. Learn to Live includes programs for stress, depression, social anxiety, and insomnia. Faculty and staff are encouraged to share this confidential mental health resource with students. Students can access Learn to Live with the code UMN.


Celtic music

A Celtic music performance by Hanneke Cassel with Mike Block and Keith Murphy will take place Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m., Kiehle Auditorium.

Feb. 24 - Science Fair

The Western Minnesota Regional Science Fair for youth in grades 4-12 will take place at the University of Minnesota Crookston in the Wellness Center. The public is invited to view the exhibits from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m.

International Dinners Series

Delight in the taste and culture of countries around the world at the annual International Dinners Series at the University of Minnesota Crookston. The 2018 series highlights the Hmong, Cayman, and Zimbabwe cultures, and concludes with an International Dinner Finale. Dinners are scheduled for March 5, 19, and 26, with the finale on Apr. 4.


Tribal Nations training surpasses 2,000Tribal Nations flag and others

Through UMD's Tribal State Relations Training Program, over 2,000 Minnesota state employees have received instruction on how to consult with Minnesota’s 11 sovereign tribal nations. Training sites rotate around the state and are hosted by tribes helping participants to gain context and perspectives. The program received the Humphrey School’s State Government Innovation Award in 2016.

Feb. 22 - Seitu Jones presentationSeitu Jones

Seitu Jones will present as part of the Visual Culture Lecture Series. Jones has created over 30 large-scale public artworks and is the recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Artist Award from the McKnight Foundation. 6-7 p.m., 70 Montague Hall. Sponsored by the UMD Viz Lab and Duluth NAACP.

At the theatreThese shining lives play poster

These Shining Lives, directed by Professor William Payne, tells the true story of young women in the '20s and '30s who sought justice after becoming ill from radium exposure. The play, written by Duluth native Melanie Marnich, will be performed March 1-3 and 13-17, 7:30 p.m., and March 18, 2 p.m., Dudley Experimental Theatre, Marshall Performing Arts Center.

Find tickets >


Feb. 22 - Motivational speaker Leigh Anne TuohyLeigh Anne Tuohy

Morris will host philanthropist and motivational speaker Leigh Anne Tuohy. Dubbed a “warrior princess” by author Michael Lewis in The Blind Side, Tuohy is the matriarch who inspired the best-selling book and record-breaking Hollywood blockbuster.

Feb. 23 - Gaelynn LeaGaelynn Lea

The 2017-18 Performing Arts Series continues with a performance by Gaelynn Lea. Winner of NPR's 2016 Tiny Desk Contest, Lea uses music to promote positive social change. Her speaking engagements focus on disability, finding inner freedom, and the power of music.


UMR Sierra Student Coalition

Senior Matt Spiten is combining his love of nature and academic work after founding the University's Sierra Student Coalition in January 2017. The Sierra Student Coalition has found great success in its first year of being a recognized student organization, with more than 10 percent of enrolled students as members.

See the Rochester Post-Bulletin for more >


UMR student Kristen Dezell has been selected for the Outstanding Student Achievement award in the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences Radiography Program class of 2017.

Twin Cities

Nominations sought: 2018 Minnesota Campus Compact Presidents' Awards

Nominations for the 2018 Minnesota Campus Compact Presidents' Awards are due Feb. 23. The awards honor outstanding achievement in campus-community partnerships involving faculty, staff, students, and/or community members.

St. Paul Strategic Facilities Plan campus survey

Planning for the Twin Cities campus in St. Paul is under way. The Strategic Facilities Plan will create a vision for the future that is financially, academically, and physically sustainable. Help inform the future of the campus and complete a survey by Feb. 25 about where you like to work or relax, how you move around, what you love about the campus, or what needs to be fixed.

March 7 - China in the New Era: What Lies Ahead?

At the China Center's 17th annual Building U.S.-China Bridges Lecture, Haiyan Wang will take a look at China's major shifts--demographic, social, economic, political, and geopolitical--and their strategic implications.

RSVP and learn more >

March 8 - International Women’s Day

Promoting and supporting women of African descent will be the theme of the 2018 International Women’s Day. The symposium will provide a space for critical dialogue addressing Minnesota’s racial disparities, which are among the worst in the United States, and will identify ways that Minnesotans can help promote the lives of women of African descent here in Minnesota and around the world. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (includes lunch), Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School.

Register and learn more >

March 8 - Tate Hall open house and self-guided tours

Take a self-guided tour of the recently completed $92.5 million renovation of the historic John T. Tate Hall. The renovated building, which is home to the School of Earth Sciences and the School of Physics and Astronomy, includes new research labs, classrooms, and public space for stargazing. The building serves more than 5,000 students each semester from colleges across campus. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-7 p.m., Tate Hall.

UMTC Featured EventsAcara image of person with earth map overlay on face

Feb. 22 - Exhibit reception for ‘No Private Matter’
Feb. 22 - Desiree Cooper| Know the Mother: Flash Fiction and the Intimate Experience of Gender
Feb. 23 - Gentrification in Minneapolis and Saint Paul
Feb. 26 - U of M Maroon & Gold Campus Bands
Feb. 28 - Tomato goes wild in Minnesota? Breeding short-season tomato varieties for Minnesota growers
Feb. 27-28 - Les Ballets De Monte-Carlo
March 1 - Acara Challenge Reception

Events Calendar >