February 22, 2017

Vol. XLVII No. 7

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • Reminder: State of the University address.
  • Features: Opioid prescriptions in the crosshairs; Zuzia's new skin; From orange peels to yoga pants; Researchers assist in identifying autism biomarkers in infancy.
  • People: U Libraries has received a $1.5 million gift from the Wallin Foundation; and more

Top News

March 2 - State of the University address

Faculty and staff are encouraged to submit a question for President Kaler now through the end of his State of the University address. Beginning at 3 p.m. on March 2, Kaler will also accept questions on Twitter (#UMNsotu) and from those in attendance. 3:30-4:30 p.m., Coffman Union Theater. The address will also be available via ITV at Crookston, 101 Dowell Hall; Duluth, 173 Kirby Plaza; Morris, 45 Humanities Fine Arts Building; and Rochester, 398 University Square.

Learn more and watch the address online >

Opioid prescriptions in the crosshairsman holding prescription bottle

Between 1999 and 2015, more than 183,000 people in the United States died from overdoses related to prescription opioids. That is far too many for Pinar Karaca-Mandic. An associate professor in the University’s School of Public Health, she is out to reduce the incidence of opioid drug abuse and overdose.

Learn more about Karaca-Mandic's work >

Zuzia's new skinZuzia and her sister hugging

In search of a cure for their daughter's devastating skin disease, a Polish family found hope in a novel treatment developed at the U. As part of their fundraising campaign, Zuzia Macheta’s parents allowed her to go on television and tell her story. Her mother recalls that Zuzia said, “‘There is a doctor in America. He is magical. He can give me new skin.’”

Learn more about Zuzia's story >

From orange peels to yoga pantswhimsical graphic

In 2016, Kechun Zhang and his colleagues announced groundbreaking findings that could change the way we produce many everyday products, making them more affordable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly.

Learn more about Zhang's research >

Researchers assist in identifying autism biomarkers in infancyJed Elison and Jason Wolff

Jed Elison and Jason Wolff are part of a team of researchers across the country who have announced the results of a first-of-its-kind study predicting autism in infants. Using magnetic resonance imaging in infants with older siblings with autism, these researchers were able to predict with 80 percent accuracy which infants would later meet criteria for autism spectrum disorder at age 2.

Learn more about this autism research >


U of M Libraries has received a $1.5 million gift from the Wallin Foundation; Lynda Welage has been named dean of the U of M College of Pharmacy; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Women’s Center awards, grants, and scholarships

The Women’s Center invites nominations for its multiple awards, grants, and scholarships, which honor the engagement, contributions, and leadership of University faculty, staff, and students. Due dates range from Apr. 14 for awards to June 2 for gender equity grants and student scholarships.

Learn more and apply >

A future for rural grocery storesrural grocery storefront

The rural grocery store is facing change. Big box competition is fierce, customers shop in larger towns, and grocery store owners who have played a vital role in small-town life for decades are retiring. Kathy Draeger, director of Extension’s Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP), is helping RSDP consider what could help rural grocery stores thrive.

Master Gardeners share U research

Concern about pollinators is growing, and the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener program is increasing its efforts to help bees and other pollinators thrive. In 2017, Master Gardener volunteers across the state will help pollinators by encouraging Minnesotans to choose and tend plants in their home landscapes and communities that provide healthy food (nectar and pollen) for pollinators.


Feb. 22 - Immigration: Know Your Rights

Speaker Martha Castanon of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota will present “Immigration: Know Your Rights.” Topics will include: knowing your rights (in the event one is questioned by law enforcement), Homeland Security, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) updates. There will also be a 30-minute Q&A session. No charge and open to the public. 6:30 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.

Feb. 24 - Kiddie Carnival

Local children are invited to join UMC student clubs and organizations for a fun-filled late afternoon sponsored by SPACE (Student Programming and Activities for Campus Entertainment) and Student Activities. With the theme of candy castles, the carnival will feature many activities for children (suggested age range of 2 to 8) along with prizes. No charge and open to the public. 4-7:30 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.

Feb. 28 - Annual Night of Expression

The Black Student Association's Annual Night of Expression will be held as part of Black History Month, beginning at 4:30-6:30 p.m. with a meal and cultural and arts display. Cost: $12 per person, $6 for students without a meal plan, $3 for students with a meal plan. Following the meal, a program in Kiehle Auditorium will begin at 6:30 p.m. Scheduled performers include the Robbinsdale Cooper Step Team, Afro Fusion, Praise Feet, and Guadalupe Crawford, as well as UMC students, faculty, and staff. Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.


New book released

Associate Professor Adam Pine, director of UMD’s Urban and Regional Studies program, recently had his book published. Entitled Confronting Hunger in the USA: Searching for Community Empowerment and Food Security in Food Access Programs, Pine's work focuses on four food delivery programs in the Duluth area.

Honors journaljournal editing students

Submissions are being sought from honors students across the country for UMD’s honors journal, Aisthesis. Both research and art will be considered for this annual online publication. Students in Honors Advanced Writing, along with faculty, make up the journal’s editorial board. The submission deadline is March 15.

Feb. 28 - Visual Culture Lecture SeriesJenny Schmid

Jenny Schmid will present as part of the Visual Culture Lecture Series. Schmid is a printmaker, an associate professor at UMTC, and owner of bikini press international. Schmid has received numerous grants including the Fulbright, the McKnight Fellowship, and the Bush Artists Grant. 6-7 p.m., 70 Montague Hall.


New UMMAA Board of Directors presidentAmy Doll-Wohlers

Amy Doll-Wohlers ’90, District Court Judge in Minnesota's Eighth Judicial District, is starting a term as president of the UMM Alumni Association (UMMAA) Board of Directors. A proud supporter of her alma mater with an impressive history of campus and community service, Doll-Wohlers is the 37th president to serve the board.

Morris alum Ossenfort collecting rings with PatriotsMonti Ossenfort

No former Cougar student-athlete has ever played in the Super Bowl, but one just collected his third Super Bowl ring. Monti Ossenfort ’00 is director of college scouting for Super Bowl LI champs the New England Patriots. He just completed his 12th year in the organization and has three rings to show for it.


Health Care Scholars Day 2017Health care scholars day students

Fifty-two students and their families attended Health Care Scholars Day 2017 on Feb. 4. Students competed for two different scholarships: A Health Care Passion Scholarship, where students shared their stories and commitments to making a difference through their passion for health care, and a Health CORE Scholarship, based on modeling respect and contributing a unique perspective as a leader on the UMR campus.

Feb. 28 - Discovering Passion in Health Science

UMR students in the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences program will present on their capstone experiences based on their unique personal and professional goals. Presentations will include Karl Freeze: Cycling Through Emotions to Reestablish Stability; Priya Posani: Passion Amidst Adversity - The Foundation for Healthcare Innovation; Mackenzie Rahnenfuehrer and Laura Magee: Generation Tech; Elizabeth Richards: Muéveme - A Journey into the Unknown to Understand the Familiar; and Brian Nguyen: Derealization and Catharsis - A Journey of Self-Discovery. 7 p.m. Room 417, 111 South Broadway.

Twin Cities

Feb. 23-24 - Fresh Frames

Refresh your look at Boynton Eye Clinic's annual Fresh Frames showcase. There will be a large selection of frames, purchasable with Flex spending dollars. Join us on Facebook to win $100 toward new frames.

Feb. 28 - Expand your feedback and coaching skills online

Bring out the best in your team each day through the new online Supervisory Development program from Leadership and Talent Development in the Office of Human Resources. A kick-off webinar “Feedback and Coaching” will preview online resources you can use to hone your skills. Noon-1 p.m.

Feb. 28 - Northrop presents Bereishit Dance Company

The South Korean Bereishit Dance Company makes its Twin Cities debut with a program that merges the control and excitement of break dancing with the ancient musical heritage of Pansori. 7:30 p.m. $20 U of M faculty/staff rush tickets will be available starting at 10 a.m. the day of the show online, over the phone, or in person. Watch a sneak peak of the evening's performance.

March 7 - ‘Racial Panics in the Press before the Civil War’

Racist thought has a long history in America, beginning well before the nation's founding. Fear underlies much of this, especially white fear of black violence. In his talk "Racial Panics in the Press before the Civil War," U of M alum Brian Gabrial, author of The Press and Slavery in America: The Melancholy Effect of Popular Excitement, will take an historical look at white fear of black violence and connect the topic to recent events, as well as the role media plays in sharing these stories. 5:30 p.m., 130 Murphy Hall.

March 8 - Research Development and Safety Fair

The St. Paul Campus Research Development and Safety Fair brings more than 40 University research centers, institutes, and support units to the St Paul campus to share information about how they can help you with your research. Participants will be able to talk with exhibitors to learn about funding opportunities, facilities, and resources that are available to you. No charge. 11 a.m., St. Paul Student Center.

Register and learn more >

March 8 - International Researcher Series: Best Practices in Proposal Development

The series from the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility highlights best practices in planning and implementing global health research studies. The March 8 session will cover key considerations when developing new research proposals that include an international component, particularly when the field work is done abroad. Noon-1 p.m., 1250 Mayo building.

Learn more and RSVP >

March 9 - Teaching Support Workshop: Using what students know to help them learn

TeachingSupport@UMN is offering a series of workshops for faculty and instructors focused on how the research on learning can inform teaching. In this third workshop, attendees will learn about ways that students' prior knowledge can impact their learning, and how to use that knowledge to enhance online and face-to-face courses. 10:30-11:30 a.m., 101 Walter Library.

March 9 - Magic with Group Testing

Mathematician Anna Gilbert will demonstrate the usefulness of group testing, or testing large populations of items in a single test, with a simple magic trick. Gilbert will also describe modern applications of group testing in genetics and illustrate several group testing designs that come from error-correcting codes. 7 p.m., 2-650 Moos Tower.

Call for Proposals: UMN-SSRC Interdisciplinary Dissertation Proposal Development Program

The Interdisciplinary Dissertation Proposal Development program seeks applications from humanities and social science doctoral students for 2017. The University of Minnesota is one of 5 national institutions selected to offer this program, made possible by a grant from the Social Science Research Council with funds provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Twelve University of Minnesota students will be selected. The application deadline is March 13.

Apr. 3-8 - National Public Health Week events

Join the U of M School of Public Health community to celebrate the important ways public health has improved health and changed lives. Events include Research Day and the Gaylord Anderson Memorial Lecture (Apr. 5); Health Disparities Roundtable: Building Safe and Healthy Communities for All (Apr. 7); and more.

Studying abroad not just for students

A new collaboration between the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and the College of Education and Human Development provides alumni and friends the chance to participate in a non-credit educational experience similar to study abroad. Participants will travel to Italy Nov. 3-13, learning about the science of food, wine, and the Renaissance from U of M faculty and local experts.

Learn more and reserve a spot >

UMTC Featured EventsSonia Nazario

Feb. 23 - Improvising Ecosystems

Feb. 23 - The Kitchen

Feb. 24 - Nurturing Justice: Raising Inclusive Children in an Unjust World

Feb. 27 - Wellbeing Lecture Series - Dr. Robert Emmons: How Gratitude Heals, Energizes, and Transforms Lives

March 1 - Seeking Refuge in a Changing World

Events Calendar >