February 28, 2018

Vol. XLVIII No. 8

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • Features: Non-invasive brain stimulation could help treat cerebral palsy; Scientists poised to win the race against rust disease.
  • People: Announcing the 2018 recipients of the University-wide Distinguished Teaching Awards; and more.

Top News

Non-invasive brain stimulation could help treat cerebral palsyHuman brain graphic

In a first-of-its-kind study, University of Minnesota Medical School researchers found that non-invasive brain stimulation could be a safe, feasible intervention for improving coordination and motor skills in children with cerebral palsy.

Scientists poised to win the race against rust diseaseWheat rust on a crop

In a race to prevent and control rust disease epidemics, scientists have positioned themselves to better understand how rust fungi infect crops and evolve virulence. A joint U.S. and Australian research team, including researchers from the U of M, have used the latest genome sequencing technologies to understand how rust fungi adapt to overcome resistance in crop varieties.

Learn more about the research >


2018 recipients of the Horace T. Morse - University of Minnesota Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education; 2018 recipients of the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

March 1 - 2018 State of the University address

President Eric Kaler will deliver the 2018 State of the University address on March 1, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Coffman Theater. Visit the State of the University website to watch the address online. The event will also be broadcast via ITV at locations in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and Rochester.

Improving digital accessibility at the University of Minnesota

As a follow-up to the work completed last year by the Digital Accessibility Stakeholders group, the steering committee is developing projects and strategies to address the need for improved digital accessibility. Members from the University community are encouraged to join one of the working groups or email Scott Marshall for more information.

New Google Calendar interface

As of Feb. 28, Google Calendar’s new user interface for the web is the standard interface for all Google users, including the University of Minnesota (the design was optional since Nov. 28). If you’d like help getting started with the new calendar, Google provides self-help training resources in the G Suite Learning Center. Users may also contact the University’s Technology Help Service.

Drop-in labs for employee engagement data

Supervisors with employee engagement data can bring questions to one of the upcoming Employee Engagement Labs on March 7, 12, and 13. Leadership and Talent Development consultants can provide leaders with confidential support to help them chart a path forward.

See lab details and additional resources >

March 9 - Submission deadline for Teaching Innovation Grants

TeachingSupport@UMN will be awarding Teaching Innovation Grants (up to $1,000) starting this spring. Proposals will be accepted from faculty and instructors at any U of M campus. Innovation is broadly defined and encompasses innovation in all forms, including pedagogy, content, accessibility for students with disabilities, and technology.

Apr. 3 - Antibiotic Resistance Policy Challenges and Solutions

Professor Ramanan Laxminarayan of the Princeton Environmental Institute’s Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy will discuss how we might develop realistic goals for antimicrobial stewardship, mobilize resources, and agree on a global accountability mechanism. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union and live online.

Apr. 14 - Global Health Day

The Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility is accepting student abstracts and requests for table space at Global Health Day. The University-wide event includes student presentations, a U of M Global Health Showcase, and a Global Health Resource Corner. 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Coffman Union, Twin Cities.


Student feature: Caleb Rempel

He enjoys growing plants now, but one day University of Minnesota Crookston junior Caleb Rempel hopes to help future college students reach their full potential. The agronomy and horticulture double major from Mountain Lake, MN, has been involved in a number of projects on campus within his field of study.

Read more about Rempel >

Employee Engagement Survey results

In the fall of 2017, the University of Minnesota conducted the Employee Engagement Survey. Results of U of M Crookston staff members (Civil Service, Teamsters, AFSCME, and non‐instructional P&A) responses will be presented and discussed March 2, noon-1 p.m., Peterson Classroom, Heritage Hall.

Equine Exploration Days

Equine Exploration Days for college transfer and high school students interested in earning a bachelor’s degree in equine science at the U of M Crookston will take place March 2-3 (for transfer students) and March 23-24 (for high school juniors). Attendees will meet with faculty and explore the equine science industry and related career opportunities through hands-on labs and interactions with horses.


Honors journal seeks submissionsAisthesis journal cover

The student editorial board of Aisthesis, UMD’s online Honors Program journal, is accepting submissions from honors students nationwide through March 15. A variety of work will be considered, including research, nonfiction, fiction, poetry, visual art, and photography. Last year, the journal received 120 submissions from over 40 honors programs across 23 states.

At the TweedAdvert for exhibit saying fine refine define

The exhibit “Fine. Re/Fine. De/Fine.” features works by School of Fine Arts faculty within studio, graphic design, art education, and art history. Jamie Ratliff, assistant professor of art history, curated this biennial exhibit, which runs through Aug. 5 at the Tweed Museum of Art. Pieces selected reflect the diversity of media, voices, perspectives, and approaches to art making that characterize UMD’s Art + Design program.

March 16-17 - Jazz at UMDa jazz saxophone player

The 45th annual Head of the Lakes Jazz Festival will feature the Bobby Watson Quartet on March 16, Weber Music Hall, and saxophonist Jeff Coffin with UMD Jazz and the Head of the Lakes Jazz Festival All Stars on March 17, Marshall Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available online or by calling 218-726-8877.


U of M Morris a top producer of Fulbright studentsfulbright award logo and student

Morris is one of the American colleges and universities that produced the most 2017-18 Fulbright U.S. students and the only public institution on the list of baccalaureate top Fulbright producing colleges, according to the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Four Morris students earned Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards in 2017-18; four are 2018-19 semifinalists.

Super Bowl internshipSarah Freske and Hailey LaMont

Four Morris students recently had the opportunity of a lifetime, interning with KARE 11 to handle Super Bowl LII coverage in Minneapolis. Communications and marketing staffers Sarah Freske '18, Starbuck, MN, and Hailey LaMont '19, Hot Springs, SD, share their experiences.

Traversie to lead Alumni AssociationLarry Traversie

Larry Traversie '00, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, is the next University of Minnesota Morris Alumni Association Board of Directors president. The former speech communication major brings to the board experience from the Minnesota Timberwolves and Positive Coaching Alliance.


UMR alumni spotlightMelissa Erlandson

After graduating from UMR in 2014, Melissa Erlandson traveled to France and was awarded the A*midex Distinguished International Student Doctoral Grant, ranking first of 150 applicants. In December of 2017, she reached her goal of becoming a Doctor of Philosophy in Neuroscience with Distinction.


Come learn about the University of Minnesota's Talented Youth in Mathematics Program (UMTYMP) program from the Rochester site coordinator and instructor and current students and families during a panel information session. 7 p.m., 417 University Square.

Twin Cities

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 at Vtap.org >

America Saves week: Financial counseling and other benefits

Get help building a budget or retirement plan by scheduling a confidential session with a financial counselor at no cost. Faculty and staff can also enjoy discounted movie tickets, outdoor equipment rental, and personal technology savings with U perks.

March 5 - Women in Data Science conference

The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications is hosting a regional Women in Data Science (WiDS) event in conjunction with the WiDS conference taking place at Stanford. In addition to live-streaming the conference, the event will feature talks from U of M faculty. No charge. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., 305 Lind Hall.

Register and learn more >

Living Lab proposal opportunity

The Office of Sustainability is now accepting proposals for Spring 2018 Living Lab projects. The program is an opportunity to create a space of learning, research, and outreach on campus grounds. All faculty, staff, and students wishing to apply should submit their proposals by March 19.

Apr. 27 - U of M Night at the Minnesota Twins

The annual U of M Night at Target Field ticket package includes a ticket to the game plus an exclusive co-themed U of M Twins cap. A portion of each ticket sold supports the University of Minnesota Alumni Association.

UMTC Featured EventsPetri dish lecture poster

March 1 - Afro-Futurism: Thank You For The Funk!
March 1 - Next Generation of Parks Lecture Series
March 2 - Creativity in Asian American Activism
March 2 - Spring Dance Concert 2018
March 3 - Company Wang Ramirez
March 5 - Architecture as Catalyst Series
March 5 - Mondays @ Minnesota – Guest Master Class: Gordon Ostrowski, opera producer
March 6 - 1st Tuesday featuring Resident Scholar of American Enterprise Institute Norman Ornstein
March 7 - Your Brain on Science: the Promise of New Neurotechnologies

Events Calendar >