January 16, 2019

Vol. XLIX No. 2

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • U of M legislative requests presented to the state.
  • Sneak peek of K-12 camps and programs at the U of M.
  • Features: An ambidextrous approach; Alive and thriving; Exploring the full landscape of veterinary medicine.
  • People: The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy has received a $5.4 million gift; and more.

Top News

U of M legislative requests presented to the state

On Jan. 9, President Eric Kaler outlined the U of M’s biennial budget request and capital request to the State of Minnesota. In outlining the requests, Kaler was joined by a range of speakers who highlighted the University’s strengths, including U of M Rochester student Chidiogo Orakwue, Extension educator Megan Weber, recent Ph.D. graduate Marie Manner, and Assistant Professor Jed Elison. The University’s biennial budget request totals $30 million in FY 2020 and $27 million in FY 2021. The majority of the 2019 capital request is for $200 million in Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement funds. Learn more about the funding requests.

Sneak peek of K-12 camps and programs from the U of Mkids on climbing wall

Finding summer camps just got a whole lot easier. From science to the arts and everything in between, U of M Youth Central is Minnesota’s one-stop destination to explore statewide University of Minnesota youth programs. Visit youthcentral.umn.edu to learn more.

An ambidextrous approachWanda Evans

Inspired to both borrow from and improve upon human medicine, Wanda Gordon-Evans was recruited to strengthen the University of Minnesota’s canine cardiac care team. Equipped with a research background in biomedical sciences, she aims to broaden the cardiovascular surgery program’s strong research and clinical foundations to benefit both pets and owners.

Alive and thrivingDuke Pieper

Duke Pieper was a hockey phenom as a youngster. He made the varsity as a freshman and was about to play his first game … when everything changed. Pieper felt “off” before the game, and was soon rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with a cavernous hemangioma (brain bleed), and given just a 5 percent chance to survive. Score one for the 5 percent. A decade later Pieper is now finishing up college at the University of Minnesota, with a hopeful eye toward the future.

Exploring the full landscape of veterinary medicinecows in a field

The field of veterinary medicine is constantly evolving. Yet, the image it evokes remains static: white-coated doctors wielding stethoscopes and treating pets at the local clinic. This association, while it represents crucial parts to the whole, is a drastic minimization of the professional range found within the animal health world. Veterinary medicine contains unexpected roles and applications that, through shaping animal health, actively mold the world around us—the environment, the economy, and human health. Read more about veterinary medicine.


The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota has received a $5.4 million gift to address global drug and medical supply shortages; Jim and Carmen Campbell have pledged $8 million to renovate the Institute of Child Development; Frank Meuschke has been awarded a $10,000 Artist Initiative Grant by the Minnesota State Arts Board; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

New research collaborative to support multidisciplinary research teams

The Strategic Partnerships and Research Collaborative (SPARC) is a new U of M research service and innovation hub created to help multidisciplinary teams from across the University submit and execute complex grant proposals, particularly those offered by nontraditional funding agencies and requiring external partners. Learn more at a meet and greet featuring remarks by U of M research leaders, an overview of the SPARC program, and opportunities to provide input on research needs. Jan. 29, 3-6 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center (UMTC).

Feb. 1 - 2019 Sustainability Education Summit

The 2019 Sustainability Education Summit is a cutting-edge multimedia, interactive event that will showcase innovative pedagogy in teaching sustainability across disciplines, display how University of Minnesota campuses use place in sustainability education, and expand the community of sustainability educators. Noon-3 p.m., online and in-person at all U of M campuses. Register to attend by Jan. 28.

Spring 2019 Grant-in-Aid competition

Apply now for the U of M's Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry, and Scholarship program, sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR). The program promotes the research, scholarly, and artistic activities of faculty. The deadline to submit applications to approvers is Feb. 4; the deadline for approvers to submit final applications to OVPR is Feb. 7.

New Online Professional Development Course: Instructional Design for eLearning

U of M staff receive a 50 percent discount off the 10-week online course: Instructional Design for eLearning, which begins March 4. The program will teach theories of adult learning, interaction design, and multimedia learning within a practical, authentic framework. Participants will study both traditional and contemporary instructional design models while gaining hands-on experience with real-world design challenges.

Research Brief: The effects of video game-based exercise in preschool-aged childrenkids playing video games and exercising

In a recent study from the University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development’s School of Kinesiology, researchers examined the effects of a school-based exergaming intervention on preschool children's health outcomes. Among other findings, the study showed that exergaming has a positive effect in promoting preschool children's moderate-to-vigorous physical activity at school.

Research Brief: Preventing violent encounters between police and young black men in Minnesota

In 2016, black men between the ages of 18 and 44 were more than three times as likely as white men of the same age group to be killed by a police officer. A growing body of research suggests that policies and programs specifically designed to reduce violent encounters between local police and young black men could help reduce the deaths. A new School of Public Health study assessed the awareness of such efforts among a diverse group of stakeholders in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Research Brief: Hundreds of genes affecting tobacco and alcohol use discovered

Tobacco and alcohol use, both genetically inheritable behaviors, influence risk for many complex diseases and disorders and are leading causes of mortality. The University of Minnesota is part of a research collaboration that has conducted the first study, recently published in Nature Genetics, to identify hundreds of genomic locations associated with addictive behaviors. Researchers found more than 500 genetic variants that affect the use of and addiction to tobacco and alcohol.


UMC ranked ‘Best for the Money’

The University of Minnesota Crookston has been ranked in the top 10 percent in the country in the category “Best for the Money” by College Factual, an online educational resource.

Jan. 21 - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration

The 7th Annual Red River Valley Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be held at the University of Minnesota Crookston. This year’s event will partner with the Minnesota Humanities Council for the kickoff of the “We are Water” exhibit, which will run through March 4.

U of M Crookston and Binhai College sign MOUChancellor Holz-Clause

Last November, Chancellor Holz-Clause and Kimberly Gillette visited Tianjin, China, to discuss a memorandum of understanding between the University of Minnesota Crookston and Binhai College.


Change by the cupPersabelle Debela

Persabelle Debela, an accelerated MBA student in the Labovitz School of Business and Economics, is studying fair trade coffee and how it affects her home country of Ethiopia. She has partnered with local enterprise Duluth Coffee Company to learn about its fair trade practices, and wants to take what she’s learned and bring it back to Ethiopia, saying, “If I don’t change my country, who will?"

Skills for the journeyportage band member

After forming the band Portage, four School of Fine Arts students landed their first gig opening for bluegrass/folk-rock band Trampled By Turtles. A Portage song was recently featured in a national commercial. Former band member Adam Rosenthal believes the musicians’ degrees provide them with essential skills. “Art is a critical thinking degree,” he says. “It allows you to look at the world in a different way and see solutions that other people don’t come up with."


Jan. 21 - MLK Day of Servicepeople preparing a community meal

The Morris campus and community will celebrate its 10th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. People of all ages and abilities are welcome to attend all or part of the day, which will include children's projects, community-building and service projects, a march, a program, and a community meal.


Students present at CIVSA conferenceUMR students at Civsa

UMR sophomores Jo Boom and Chandi Katoch presented at the 6th annual Collegiate Information and Visitor Services Association (CIVSA) conference on how community engagement impacts the visitor experience. Earlier in the year, they organized a food drive that involved student groups, faculty/staff, and Rochester residents to enhance community relationships, exercise leadership skills, and benefit the greater Rochester community.

Unconventional teaching ideas that work: Using monastic meditative reflection in the classroom

Jake Wright, senior lecturer in philosophy at the Center for Learning Innovation, begins each class with a fairly lengthy session of meditative reflection, based on the medieval monastic practice lectio divina. His goal is to engage his students actively and meaningfully with the material.

Twin Cities

Call for Nominations: 2019 President's Student Leadership and Service Award

Nominations are open for the 2019 President’s Student Leadership and Service Award. The award honors the accomplishments of outstanding students for their leadership and service contributions to the U of M and the community. All Twin Cities faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to nominate current students for the awards.

Jan. 29 - Academic Leadership Development in the Department, Division, and Cooperative

During the panel discussion “Academic Leadership Development in the Department, Division, and Cooperative,” University leaders and keynote speaker Dean Brian Buhr will share their experiences in using employee feedback to improve their colleges and academic units while developing and leveraging their own and others’ leadership skills. 2:30-4:30 p.m., Coffman Union Theater. RSVP to attend.

Feb. 2 - Super Bee Weekend

Learn about bees, their connection to the world, and how to help them with experts from U of M Extension, the UMN Bee Lab, and the Institute on the Environment. Super Bee Weekend starts with a stimulating panel discussion about creating healthy landscapes beyond flowers. 9 a.m.-noon, Cargill Building, 1500 Gortner Avenue, St. Paul.

UMTC Featured EventsMLK Jr.

Jan. 17 - Speaking Science: Communicating with Media, Funders, Policymakers, and the Public
Jan. 19 - Physics Force Public Show
Jan. 20 - The 38th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert
Jan. 22 - Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Community Course
Jan. 23 - Mapping 101: Introduction to Spatial Analysis using ArcGIS Online
Jan. 24 - A Rope From the Sky: The Making and Unmaking of the World's Newest State
Jan. 29 - U of M Mental Health, Well-Being, and Resilience Learning Community meeting

Events Calendar >