January 20, 2016

Vol. XLVI No. 2

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • Driven to Discover feature: Charlie Miller.
  • Feature: Preparing Students for a World of Grand Challenges.
  • Governor announces bonding recommendations.
  • People: Eight faculty members have been named as the 2016-18 McKnight Land-Grant Professors; and more.

Top News

Driven to Discover: Charlie Millercharlie miller

The interactive, online tool Flipgrid started out modestly enough, with U of M professor Charlie Miller and graduate student Brad Hosack creating a platform to hear Miller's students' thoughts on design. From its understated beginnings, Flipgrid grew exponentially. Dean Jean Quam adopted the platform for the College of Education and Human Development, and soon it spread across the U of M, then to schools around the country and the world.

Learn more >

Preparing Students for a World of Grand Challengesa slice of earth as seen from space

The University's Grand Challenge courses address important global issues by engaging students in the process of discovering solutions to big problems. Learn more about the Grand Challenges vision, and watch how some of these innovative courses have the potential to enrich the student experience.

Governor announces bonding recommendations

Governor Mark Dayton's bonding proposal includes funding for four U of M projects that demonstrate the governor's continued recognition of the institution's impact throughout Minnesota. The University is requesting $236.30 million in this year's bonding bill for six priority projects that will renovate facilities and provide students access to 21st-century learning tools. Governor Dayton's recommendation provides $153.30 million of that request. Learn more about the University's 2016 capital request or watch a short video about the projects.

See President Kaler's reaction >


Eight faculty members have been named as the 2016-18 McKnight Land-Grant Professors; University Libraries' Tretter Collection has been honored for service to the GLBT community; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Tax-related phishing attempt

Some University employees have received a fraudulent email instructing them to click on a link to access their paperless W2; this message did not come from the University and was a phishing attempt. University Information Security Services took immediate steps to mitigate the attempt, but caution that it is likely the first of many targeting the University.

Learn more about this attempt and how to protect your personal information >

Administrative policy update

One revised policy and one new policy covering the use of human fetal tissue for research are now available for review and comment. Both policies incorporate a new requirement to procure and dispose of human fetal tissue through the Anatomy Bequest Program, and specify that the research using human fetal tissue must be reviewed and approved by the Stem Cell Research Oversight Panel.

Review policies and comment >

Mileage rate change

The IRS has announced changes in the standard business mileage rates for 2016. As of Jan. 1, the reimbursement rate for personal vehicle use on approved University business will decrease from 57.5 cents to 54 cents per mile. The standard mileage rate for moving expenses will be 19 cents per mile as non-taxable and the remaining 35 cents per mile as taxable. Mileage incurred in 2015 but reimbursed in 2016 should be reimbursed using the 2015 rates.

See the Mileage Reimbursement Appendix for more information >

Move your technology closer to clinical application with MN-REACH

MN-REACH, an NIH-sponsored funding opportunity, supports innovators in advancing their discoveries as clinical products. Funding of up to $150,000 for 18-month projects is available. Applicants also receive individualized coaching and skills development to further their understanding of the commercialization process. Pre-proposals will be accepted Jan. 25-Feb 11.

Attend an information session and learn more >

Feb. 3 - MN-REACH Medical Technology Commercialization Boot Camp

This immersion seminar is designed to help innovators understand the commercialization process and move scientific discoveries closer to the marketplace/clinic. Topics include: academic roles in commercialization; intellectual property: why it's important and how to protect it; market assessment; and regulatory considerations. The seminar is open to faculty, staff, and student health care researchers at no charge.

Registration and more information >

Bringing Minnesotans together to further healthy food systems

In 2016, the U of M Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives (HFHL) Institute will serve as the organizational host for the Minnesota Food Charter Network, which is charged with implementing food charter strategies statewide. Interested parties may participate in a Network Action Team, which identifies strategic goals and builds action plans for coordinated efforts to increase access to healthy food for all Minnesotans. HFHL will also help organize a national conference on Native American nutrition as part of a University gift from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.

Learn more and volunteer for a Network Action Team >

Research with Human Participants conference videos availablepeople in a high tech work environment

Videos of all sessions of the recent national conference on Research with Human Participants are now available for online viewing. The conference was part of the University's Advancing Human Research Protections effort. Eminent speakers addressed some of the most urgent and important topics facing researchers, policymakers, clinicians, and patient advocates: research oversight, informed consent, community roles, conflicts of interest, and research with vulnerable individuals.


UMC top ten campus stories for 2015

The top ten campus stories for 2015 ranged from the addition of new majors to a new location for the Admissions Office and the construction of a new wellness center.

UMC named one of 'Best Online Bachelor's Programs'

The University of Minnesota Crookston has been ranked in the "Best Online Bachelor's Programs" for 2016 by U.S.News and World Report. The Crookston campus also has been recognized among the top two "Best Online Colleges in Minnesota" by OnlineColleges.net for 2016.

Learn more >

Jan. 21 - Canadian Consul-General Jamshed Merchant

Canadian Consul-General Jamshed Merchant will discuss the symbiotic relationship between the U.S. and Canada, his role as consul-general, and the differences between the U.S. and Canada in their approach to immigration. 12:30 p.m., Bede Ballroom.

Learn more >

Jan. 26 - Soup and Substance

Soup and Substance will feature award-winning transgender advocate Darcy Corbitt. She will share her experience of transitioning in a small, conservative southern town. Noon, Bede Ballroom.

Learn more >


Unprecedented biodiversity researchmalawi lake

Professor Erik Brown and Regents Professor Emeritus Thomas Johnson are part of an international team whose research was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper announced how geochemical and sedimentary analyses of Lake Malawi in Africa reveal climate history and its influence on biodiversity.

Learn more >

Jan. 20 - Appalachian Trail talkapplachian trail head marker

UMD grads Keon Mostofi and Charlie Goudreault will give a presentation about their five-month adventure hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2015. They will also discuss the planning process and food resupplies. No charge and open to the public. 7-8:30 p.m., 90 Bohannan Hall.

Learn more >

Jan. 27 - Nerd Nitenerd nite logo

Faculty and staff will present on Pride and Prejudice in the movies, the art of Edward Gorey, and the indie video game "Dwarf Fortress" at Nerd Nite, hosted by the Kathryn A. Martin Library. 7:30-9:30 p.m., 90 Bohannan Hall. No charge and open to all nerds.

Learn more >

Tweed renovationfront of tweed museum

The Tweed Museum of Art is closed through April 2016 during an upgrade of its heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. This is the first phase of a renovation project that will provide the museum with 21st-century accommodations and ensure that the Tweed remains a center for art and culture for generations.

Learn more >


Jan. 26 - Cafe Scientifique at UMMcafe science poster

Assistant Professor Chrissy Kolaya will lead the next Cafe Scientifique discussion, "Big Science Through a Small Lens: the story of the U.S.'s attempt to build the world's largest particle accelerator, told through the eyes of two families." Kolaya will discuss her research into the Superconducting Super Collider as well as the challenge and importance of effective science communication. 6 p.m., Common Cup Coffeehouse.

Learn more >


PAWS at UMR for spring semesterhappy puppy dog

The PAWS (Pet Away Worry and Stress) program is expanding from the Twin Cities campus to UMR. PAWS is an Animal Assisted Interactions program that features handlers and their partners, usually of the canine variety (but possibly other animals, as well), interacting with the campus community to relieve stress.

Learn more about PAWS >

Students write Rochester Art Center exhibit reviews

In a partnership with the Rochester Art Center (RAC) and Med City Beat, UMR students wrote reviews on the recent RAC exhibition Akosua Adoma Owusu: Existential Crisis. The partnership encourages cross-disciplinary engagement between students at UMR and the exhibitions at the center. Read the reviews.

UMR junior presents at Pacifichem 2015

UMR junior Samantha Schutz presented a poster (PDF) at the International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies Dec. 19 in Honolulu. "Design and Synthesis of Intramolecular Charge Transfer Based Fluorescent Anion Sensors" was authored by Schutz, Jacob Anderson, and Rajeev Muthyala.

Twin Cities

'M' banners on campus

"M" banners are popping up in buildings around campus. They are part of an effort to help each of us connect our values and work with the broader mission of the U. If you see one on campus, grab a gold sticker, write down what drives you in your work at the U, and add it to the banner to share how you're #UMNdriven.

Feb. 5 - First Fridays at the Libraries

The First Fridays series at U Libraries continues with "For the Individual and Common Good: How Social Welfare Agencies Used Comics to Create Better Citizens," presented by the Social Welfare History Archives; and with "What's So Funny About Being Queer?," presented by the Tretter Collection. Noon-1 p.m., 120 Elmer L. Andersen Library.

Learn more >

Feb. 17 - "The Evolving Human Biome"gut microbe

The Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences will host a public lecture by one of the nation's top experts in therapeutic interventions for the human microbiome. Alexander Khoruts, Microbiota Therapeutics Program, will describe the ways modern lifestyles challenge our gut microbes, as well as his pioneering work on ways to repair the ecological crisis within. Best Buy Theater, Northrop.

Register and learn more >

UMTC Featured Eventsperson giving peace sign with two fingers painted green

Jan. 23 - Hungry Planet: What the World Eats

Jan. 23 - Saturday with a Scientist: Food

Jan. 23 - EXHIBITION | When Places Speak

Jan. 25 - OED Certificate Workshop 1: Being an Ally in the Work of Equity and Diversity

Jan. 25 - Where Diamonds Come from and Where They Are Going

Jan. 26 - The Wedding Heard 'Round the World

Jan. 28 - The Future of the Meme: #Iranelection, Activism, Social Media

Jan. 29 - A Failing Grade? Addressing Opportunity and Achievement Gaps in Public Education

Events Calendar >