January 18, 2017

Vol. XLVII No. 2

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • U receives full reaccreditation for human research protection program.
  • Features: Upholding an academic legacy; Forever Green Initiative takes root; To fix a complex heart defect.
  • People: Elisia Cohen has been named director of the School of Journalism & Mass Communication; and more.

Top News

U receives full reaccreditation for human research protection program

The University of Minnesota has been fully reaccredited with special distinction by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, an independent, nonprofit organization that ensures research institutions meet rigorous standards for quality and protection. The reaccreditation comes as the University wraps up the initial implementation of significant improvements to its processes related to research involving human participants.

Upholding an academic legacyJ.B. Mayo

J. B. Mayo Jr. is an educator from a lineage spanning four generations—beginning with his great-grandfather. His role now is to prepare those who will teach the next generation. As a faculty member in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Mayo is making sure LGBTQ histories are present in public school curriculums.

Read more about Mayo >

Forever Green Initiative takes rootwheatgrass crop

Most of Minnesota’s 27 million acres of farmland are dedicated to summer annuals, including the highly productive and profitable corn and soybeans. But by selectively adding winter-annual and perennial crops to our agricultural landscape, we can support rural communities and provide major benefits to all Minnesotans. A new U of M/USDA Agricultural Research Service program is aimed at developing these new crops to bolster the agricultural economy with sustainable, commercially viable products.

To fix a complex heart defectbaby Gracie

Born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a congenital heart defect, Gracie Wrobel underwent the first of three major surgeries at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital when she was just days old. Gracie's surgeon Tony Azakie developed an innovative technique that allowed him to complete Gracie’s second heart surgery—which took place in December 2016—without a cardiopulmonary bypass. Azakie is the only surgeon in Minnesota who has published research on this groundbreaking technique. 

Read more about baby Gracie >


Elisia Cohen has been named director of the School of Journalism & Mass Communication; EatRightTV recently featured Extension’s Andrew Doherty; the Campus Climate Engagement Team recently awarded micro-grants to 18 projects that will enhance the atmosphere of respect, welcoming, and belonging on the UMTC campus; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Umbra Search African American History launches

U of M Libraries, in partnership with the Penumbra Theatre Company, is launching Umbra Search African American History, an online search tool that facilitates broad access to over 400,000 digitized archival materials documenting African American history from more than 1,000 libraries, archives, and cultural heritage institutions across the United States.

Proposals invited: Academy of Distinguished Teachers conference

The conference of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers will be held Apr. 27. The conference, titled Good Stress, Bad Stress, and the Teaching-Learning Relationship, will provide opportunities for University faculty, staff, and students to learn about how living and working in a demanding academic environment affects our well-being, and how we can achieve and thrive in this setting. 9 a.m.-3 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. Proposals are due by noon, Feb. 20.

Submit a proposal >

Jan. 25 - Minnesota Women in Technology panel discussion

Join the University of Minnesota Women in Technology group for a panel discussion focusing on gender diversity in technology. The event will include a moderated panel discussion and a live-stream option will be available. Open to the public.

Register and learn more >

Feb. 8 - Medical Technology Commercialization Boot Camp

Translate research into a product to improve human health at this seminar, open to U of M faculty, staff, graduate students, and post-docs who want to learn more about commercializing research designed to improve human health. The boot camp will also help connect innovators with resources available to support bringing an innovation to market. Individuals and teams interested in applying for MN-REACH funding are particularly encouraged to attend.

Registration (required) and more >

OIT to enable Apple School Manager

OIT will enable Apple School Manager during spring 2017 (not available at UMD). Apple is allowing a one-time opportunity to migrate Volume Purchasing Program (VPP) Facilitator Apple IDs to this program. Doing so will improve the security of VPP Facilitator accounts and allow OIT staff to perform password resets. To have your account migrated, email help@umn.edu by Feb. 17.

Secure your passwords

Some of the most common passwords are “password,” “qwerty,” “1234,” and “welcome.” Choosing a strong password or passphrase will set you up for security success and protect your identity and valuable data.

Learn more about password and digital security >


Vision statement update

The Strategic Planning Leadership Team recently held a mini-retreat to brainstorm ideas for a potential update to the campus vision statement. The current statement is available online. Opportunities for all members of the campus community to be part of the discussion will be available over the next several months.

UMC chancellor search

The chancellor search committee is presently evaluating applications for the chancellor position. Phone interviews will be followed by a selection of candidates for preliminary interviews at the end of January, with the actual preliminary interviews to occur at an offsite location in mid-February.


Student discovers galaxyBurcin Mutlu-Pakdil

UMD graduate student Burcin Mutlu-Pakdil has observed a rare Hoag-type galaxy uniquely surrounded by two circular rings. Mutlu-Pakdil is the lead author of a paper on the discovery, along with UMD graduate student Mithila Mangedarage, Associate Dean Marc Seigar, Swenson College of Science and Engineering, and Patrick Treuthardt, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Read more about the discovery >

The art of Maria Cristina Taveraart by Maria Cristina

Assistant Professor Jamie Ratliff, Department of Art History, is the curator of the Tweed Museum’s exhibit “Un-Typing Casta,” featuring the art of Maria Cristina Tavera. Ratliff will discuss how Tavera has appropriated the historic genre of casta paintings in order to confront stereotypes about Latinx identity in the Americas on Jan. 19, 6-7:30 p.m., Tweed Museum.

Jan. 24 - Diabetes and Healthy Food AccessDenisa Livingston

Denisa Livingston, American Heart Association “EmPOWERED-to-Serve” national ambassador, will present "A Healthy Diné Nation: Empowering Our Communities." Livingston will discuss the diabetes/obesity epidemic and how she and the Diné Community Advocacy Alliance worked to eliminate taxes on healthy foods sold on the Navajo Nation reservation. 4 p.m., Library Rotunda.

At the theatreShakespeare image

All 37 of Shakespeare’s plays are performed (sort of) in “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged).” The show, directed by Department of Theatre Assistant Professor Jenna Soleo-Shanks, runs Feb. 2-4 and 8-11, 7:30 p.m.; and on Feb. 5, 2 p.m., Marshall Performing Arts Center.

Find tickets >


Lackey interviewed about the biographical novelmichael lackey

Michael Lackey, Distinguished McKnight University Professor of English, is featured in an interview on RhysTranter.com. On the popular site, which celebrates contemporary culture, Lackey discusses the popularity of the biographical novel, and what it can tell us about the relationship between literature, history, and truth.

Winter campus photosSnowy Morris campus

The spring semester might have just begun, but winter is in full force at UMM. Enjoy a small selection of winter campus photos.


Jan. 24 - Contributions of the Rochester Epidemiology Project to Medicine and Public Health

The Rochester Epidemiology Project (REP) is a group of hospitals and clinics in Minnesota and Wisconsin, including Mayo Clinic and Olmsted Medical Center, which have linked their records for medical research. Because patients receiving care at the participating clinics and hospitals have said yes to medical research, the REP is able to answer questions that cannot be answered anywhere else. At the next UMR Connects, join Jennifer L. St. Sauver in a presentation on this little-known resource, which celebrated 50 years in 2016. 7 p.m., 111 South Broadway.

Twin Cities

Jan. 24 - Batsheva Dance Companydancers performing

Northrop and the Walker Art Center present Batsheva Dance Company as the renowned company returns with its rollercoaster of a retrospective, Decadance 2017. $20 U of M faculty/staff rush tickets will be available starting at 10 a.m. the day of the show. Watch a sneak peek of the evening's performance. 7:30 p.m., Northrop.

Jan. 25 - Legislative Kickoff Breakfast

Register for the annual U of M legislative kickoff breakfast, featuring Professor Jakub Tolar, distinguished alumna Myah Walker, President Kaler, and student leaders discussing the importance of this legislative session and how you can help. The event includes a continental breakfast. 7:30 a.m., McNamara Alumni Center.

Jan. 26 - Beyond filter bubbles and affinity groups: Writing to opposing audiences

Faculty from political science, communication studies, biology, and the Center for Writing will share examples of assignments that require students to write to resistant and critical audiences, and discuss how they support and assess their students through the process. Lunch is provided. Noon-1:30 p.m., 55 Mondale Hall.

Register to attend >

CBS/IonE Petri Dish series schedule

The College of Biological Sciences Petri Dish series, held in partnership with the Institute on the Environment, explores how biology affects our lives and what it means for our future. The events include live music, trivia, no PowerPoints, and lots of lively, curiosity-driven conversations on timely topics with U of M experts. Upcoming events include The Petri Dish: Where Do We Go From Here?, Feb. 1; The Petri Dish: A Revolution In The Making, March 1; and The Petri Dish: Beyond Velcro, Apr. 5.

Feb. 8 - Startup Seminar: How to Build a Business Around a University Invention

U of M faculty, graduate students, and post-docs are invited to a startup seminar (no charge) and networking event for those interested in bringing their ideas to market. Learn from patent attorneys, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists with real-world experience in how to turn an invention into a successful new company. Includes complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

Register and learn more >

Feb. 24 - Rare Disease Day - Connecting researchers with patient advocacy groups

This unique opportunity will connect Minnesota researchers with Minnesota patient advocacy groups. Includes a keynote address and poster presentation featuring research that brings hope to people living with a rare disease. 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Johnson Great Room, McNamara Alumni Center. No charge, but registration is required.

March 6-Apr. 3 - Mini Medical School lecture series

Register now for the spring 2017 session of Mini Medical School, "The Aging Game: Living Longer and Healthier Lives." Researchers from all six health science schools and colleges will be discussing topics related to aging, including breakthroughs in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's research, pharmaeconomics, and muscle deterioration prevention. Registration is discounted for faculty, staff, and students. Mondays, 6-8:30 p.m.

Personal web space service to be retired

The U of M personal web space service will be retired June 30. After a thorough review of the Information Technology service portfolio, new technologies have emerged that make creating and managing web content easier. Users with active personal web space may choose to download and move their content or delete the site entirely if it is no longer needed or has been moved to another host. Hosting, web, and collaboration services are available to assist users.

UMTC Featured Eventmembers of congress on capitol steps

Jan. 19 - MLK Jr. Tribute concert

Jan. 19 - Jan Sip of Science: Monitoring Harmful Algae Concentrations using Multi-Satellite Observations

Jan. 20 - "'Wake the Frack Up': Academe and Social Responsibility"

Jan. 20 - Star Party with MIfA

Jan. 23 - LGBT Immigrant Stories

Jan. 24 - The Dynamics & Evolution of Emerging Pathogens

Jan. 25 - Gender, Race and Partisan Politics in the 45th Presidential Administration

Jan. 27 and 28 – Gabor Maté

Events Calendar >