January 17, 2018

Vol. XLVIII No. 2

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • Features: Seeing Alzheimer’s disease; Vital years; New discovery could improve brain-like memory and computing; Point A to Point B.
  • People: Sri Zaheer has been appointed a Class C director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis; and more.

Top News

Seeing Alzheimer’s diseaseBob Vince and Swati More

What if we could diagnose early-stage Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by looking into a person’s eyes? A retinal scan technique, developed by researchers in the University’s Center for Drug Design, has the potential to detect AD in its early stages, when treatment may still be possible, and also to allow doctors to trace the progress of treatments and help the 100,000 Minnesotans with AD and their families.

Vital yearsan elderly woman's hands folded

An innovative approach to healthy aging  is being pioneered by Helen Kivnick, Minnesota’s Gerontologist of the Year. Vital Involvement Practice is the focus of Kivnick and her research colleagues in the U of M’s School of Social Work. “Vital involvement” is defined as a person’s meaningful engagement with the world—taking part in things that bring deep joy and have a positive effect on one’s environment. Kivnick made the practice her research focus 40 years ago while exploring her dissertation topic about what it means to be a grandparent.

New discovery could improve brain-like memory and computingcomputer chip closeup

A new discovery, led by researchers at the University of Minnesota, demonstrates the existence of a new kind of magnetoresistance that could result in improvements in future computing and computer storage. U researchers believe that the discovery is a key piece of the puzzle to improve the future of low-power computing and memory for the semiconductor industry, including brain-like computing and chips for robots and 3D magnetic memory.

Point A to Point Bying Song

Assistant Professor Ying Song’s research focuses on urban accessibility, sustainable transportation, and human mobility--and the U of M provides the perfect setting to study these issues. Song recently partnered with a municipality transit system to analyze traffic patterns, investigate traffic delays, and create estimation models for transit operations. The research will help policymakers decide whether they should provide more frequent services or whether there should be more business opportunities around certain areas, says Song.


Carlson School dean Sri Zaheer has been appointed a Class C director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Participate in University Senate governance

Share your voice, lend your expertise, and take an active role in shaping the University of Minnesota by applying to serve on a University Senate committee or subcommittee. Consideration of applications for the 2018-19 academic year will begin on Jan. 22.

Apply and learn more >

DACA Frequently Asked Questions

There is still time for Congress to find a legislative solution to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, but the situation has many young people in limbo. The Immigration Response Team (IRT) has created an FAQ regarding DACA that should be helpful to affected students, department leaders, and advisers on all campuses. Anyone with questions may email IRT at immigration@umn.edu.

Find low prices on airfare

Whether traveling to a conference, conducting research, or performing another activity that requires faculty or staff to travel, Concur is the online tool to find reasonably priced flights. The University’s discounts are preloaded, with additional discounts from Christopherson Business Travel (CBT). CBT has a low-price guarantee.

Learn more on the U Travel website >

Beginning Jan. 20 - Science of Plant Propagation series

The science behind plant growth is mesmerizing. Attend a hands-on session to learn and explore the seemingly magical ways that plants can be propagated through seeds, cuttings, and grafting, and how slight changes to soil can make all the difference. The series runs for four consecutive Saturdays, Jan. 20-Feb 10, U of M Landscape Arboretum. The classes can be taken individually or bundled together.

Register and learn more >


Review of strategic planning

Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause appointed a task force to review strategic planning at UMC, including a review of the Strategic Planning Leadership Team (SPLT). The chancellor's charge to the task force is to review the current strategic planning model in use; clarify roles, responsibilities, authority, accountability, and motivations; and review the purpose and composition of the SPLT.

May 7 - Northern Great Plains Youth Institute

The inaugural Northern Great Plains Youth Institute will take place on the UMC campus. High school students in grades 9-12 during the 2017-18 school year are eligible to take part. Registration and paper submissions are due online by Apr. 9.

Latest issue of Torch magazine online

The latest issue of Torch, U of M Crookston’s alumni magazine, was recently published. It features a cover story about alumnus Bryan Boutain, who completed his marketing degree online.

See the magazine >


Battling invasivesMV Federal Biscay ship

A team of scientists from the Natural Resources Research Institute shadowed the commercial bulk carrier MV Federal Biscay for months in order to test ballast water at uptake and discharge ports around the world. The team was testing ballast treatment technology in an effort to stop the spread of invasive species.

Jan. 22 - Author Gene Luen Yangauthor Gene Luen-yang

As part of the national Reading Without Walls program, the Kathryn A. Martin Library and Duluth Public Library are hosting author Gene Luen Yang. An award-winning graphic novelist, Yang will present “We Need Diverse Books.” He is the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and the spokesperson for the Reading Without Walls program. 6 p.m., Kirby Ballroom.

Jan. 27 - Gallery Talk: Women, Work, and WarA Kollwitz print

Sara Blaylock, assistant professor, UMD Art History, will present a talk entitled “Women, Work, and War: Käthe Kollwitz Prints.” Blaylock will discuss the three works by Kollwitz that are included in the Tweed’s current “Modern(ism)” exhibition. 2-3 p.m., Tweed Museum of Art’s Special Exhibition Gallery. No charge, but registration is required.


Alums give back to the communityAmanda and Abby

Alumnae Amanda Essig ’13 and Abby Fragodt ’14 are paying it forward by serving with Minnesota Reading Corps and Minnesota Math Corps. According to program administrators, they’re vital to student and program success.


#UMRProudtwo umr students

UMR student ambassadors Emily Hayes and Kiersten Lee presented at this year's Collegiate Information and Visitor Services Association Student Leadership Institute. Their session focused on how the UMR Ambassador program aims to personalize the tour experience for prospective students by harnessing the "niche" nature and sense of belonging to the University.

UMR faculty book inspires young student

In her first book, Women of Mayo Clinic: The Founding Generation, UMR faculty member Virginia Wright-Peterson highlights the stories of women who were a part of the early success of Mayo Clinic. Wright-Peterson hoped that by sharing the stories of these inspiring women she would also inspire others in the process. Little did she know that seventh-grader Sami Pollack would be inspired to design a board game demonstrating all she had learned from the book.

Read the story in the Rochester Post-Bulletin >

Twin Cities

Super Bowl: Campus impact informational website

The University has created a website for information related to the Super Bowl. The game, coming Feb. 4 to downtown Minneapolis, will bring much activity to campus. The site will answer common questions regarding campus operations, parking and transportation, and safety and security leading up to and during the event. The site will be updated weekly with information on potential impacts.

Northrop Super Bowl event opportunities

University of Minnesota faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends are invited to participate in a number of events connected with Super Bowl LII.

Supporting multilingual students

The Minnesota English Language Program at the College of Continuing and Professional Studies (CCAPS) hosts a website specifically for U of M Twin Cities faculty and staff who work with multilingual students. Use the site to learn about the unique challenges facing multilingual students and find helpful videos, teaching tools, classroom strategies, communication tips, and more at esl.umn.edu. Faculty and staff from all campuses are invited to use the online resources.

New Faculty Program

The New Faculty Program (NFP) offers multiple opportunities for tenure-track and contract faculty to jump-start their careers at the U of M. The program helps faculty build their capacities in research, teaching, community engagement, career advancement, and leadership.

Spring 2018 ISSS Intercultural Workshop Series

Staff interested in learning how to work effectively with international students and colleagues are encouraged to register for the Intercultural Workshop Series organized by International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). The series combines intercultural competency and skill development sessions with workshops discussing the unique cultures of the largest international student populations on campus. Sessions begin Jan. 24.

Registration and more information >

Jan. 24 - Teaching Writing in Large-Enrollment Courses

In this session, a panel of faculty members who effectively teach with writing in large-enrollment courses will discuss strategies and approaches for breaking lengthy projects into manageable pieces and structuring effective peer response and self-assessment into the process. Lunch is provided to registrants. Noon-1:30 p.m., 110 Nicholson Hall.

Jan. 25 - A Feast of Words

University of Minnesota professor Ann Waltner will present “Performing History: A Personal View.” 5 p.m., Campus Club, Coffman Union. Tickets are required to attend the dinner and program.

Jan. 26 - ‘Vanishing Ice’ preview party

Explore the icy landscapes of our world at the "Vanishing Ice" preview party with the Weisman Art Museum. Experience the way explorers cross the Arctic with professor, explorer, and educator Aaron Doering and his team, and view a documentary on global climate change and its human contributions. 7 p.m.

No charge, but an RSVP is required >

Jan. 27 - Northrop presents: Hubbard Street Dance Chicago

Celebrating 40 years as a major force in American contemporary dance, Hubbard Street’s dancers will return to Northrop with a program of highlights from the company’s history. 7:30 p.m., Carlson Family Stage, Northrop.

Mid-Career Teaching Community

Join a community of mid-career faculty and instructors to explore teaching practices, philosophy, interests, and opportunities for mid-career faculty. This group will meet four times during the semester and determine the topics for discussion. Meetings will be on the first Wednesday of the month beginning Feb. 7.

Register and learn more >

Feb. 15 - How Healing Works featuring Wayne Jonas

Much of health comes from factors outside of what we usually do in the clinic or hospital, including social, environmental, lifestyle, and complementary medicine factors that few clinicians learn to deliver. In this Wellbeing Lecture, integrative health expert, family physician, researcher, and author Wayne Jonas will describe a simple, systematic technique that helps patients tap into their inherent healing capacity. 4 p.m., Mayo Memorial Auditorium.

UMTC Featured EventsNFL team on field

Jan. 18 - 37th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert
Jan. 19 - Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption
Jan. 19 - Hate in the Headlines
Jan. 20 - Reception | Land Body Industry
Jan. 22 - The Honors Lecture Series Presents: Louis Johnston
Jan. 23 - Where Race and Sports Intersect: What is the media’s role?
Jan. 23 - Opioid Addiction in America: Where do we stand?

Events Calendar >