January 23, 2019

Vol. XLIX No. 3

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • Features: U of M researchers discover how to treat diastolic heart failure; She is ME; Design as a force for good.
  • People: U of M researchers received a $1.4 million grant for ovarian cancer research; and more.

Top News

U of M researchers discover how to treat diastolic heart failuregraphic of heart x-ray

University Minnesota Medical School researchers have uncovered causes of diastolic heart failure and how it can be treated. Patients with diastolic heart failure have high morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs, and up until now there were no known specific treatments. Researchers found that cardiac mitochondrial oxidative stress can cause diastolic dysfunction, while magnesium can be used to treat diastolic failure.

She is MERachel Anderson

From the moment Rachel Anderson set foot on campus, she knew she wanted to have an impact on the University. Seeing a need for a group to support female students in her major--mechanical engineering--she helped create one.

Design as a force for goodAbigail Mitchell's design concept of a dress

Students in College of Design professor Lucy Dunne’s technical apparel design studio course took on a creative challenge: to design--and deliver--new garments for vulnerable girls in Uganda. With a focus on teaching students about clothing production, Dunne’s course takes them through the entire product design process, from concept to final product.


University of Minnesota researchers have received a $1.4 million grant for ovarian cancer research; the Minnesota Historical Society awarded a $135,122 grant to the Humphrey School to fund the Smart Politics Minnesota historical election data archive; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media. People.

U-Wide News

Furco highlights U of M community engagement resources

University of Minnesota associate vice president for public engagement Andy Furco kicks off the University's 2019 spring semester with a message about new and existing Office for Public Engagement resources available to community-engaged scholars and staff.

Announcing the Minnesota Futures Grant Program

Letters of intent are now being accepted for the Minnesota Futures grant program, administered by the Office of the Vice President for Research. The program promotes new research and scholarship that address societal challenges. Letters of intent are due Feb. 18; completed proposals are due March 18. All applicants who submit an LOI are invited to submit a full proposal, unless notified otherwise. Two grants will be awarded in June. Note: PIs holding an AHC Faculty Research Development Grant, or who have applied within the past year, are not eligible to apply as a PI.

Fall 2018 Student Rating of Teaching (SRT) results are now available

SRT results are now available for fall 2018 courses, including both paper and online SRTs. Instructors can log in to Explorance Blue to view and download reports for their classes. SRTs are completed by students to provide input about courses and instructors. The University encourages all instructors to incorporate student feedback to improve their teaching and courses.

Collaborative Online International Learning Faculty Program

Instructors looking to create opportunities for students to interact with other students from across the globe can receive guidance and assistance for the active development of an international tele-collaboration project. Cohort meetings will provide guidance and best practices in tele-collaboration curriculum co-development. Up to eight faculty will be accepted and $250 in professional development funds provided. Application deadline: Feb. 8.

Research Brief: The shifting age of peak binge drinking

Young adults in the U.S. are engaging in binge drinking later into their 20s, according to a recent analysis from the long-term Monitoring the Future study that has tracked the attitudes and behaviors of young adults since the 1970s. The study examined how the peak binge drinking prevalence has changed in both men and women over time.

Research Brief: Employer-sponsored insurance levels stable after start of ACA provisions

A new School of Public Health study found that new individual health insurance options and expansion of Medicaid eligibility provided by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014 did not prompt employers to quit offering health benefits. Policymakers were concerned that employers might drop health benefits to cut costs when the act went into effect.

Research Brief: Possible link found between exposure to household chemical and heart disease and cancer

School of Public Health Ph.D. candidate Mary Rooney led a recently published study that found that exposure to certain Dichlorophenols (chemicals found in a variety of consumer and industrial products) suggests a possible link with a higher prevalence of heart disease and cancer.


Jan. 29 - Find your target market event

The Northwest Minnesota Small Business Development Center is hosting the workshop “Identifying your Target Audiences for Marketing.” The workshop will explore important pieces for defining your target audiences and prioritizing those audiences so you can choose your marketing methods with intention. 6:30-8:30 p.m., Valley Technology Park Conference Room.

Temple Grandin visitstemple grandin at podium

Temple Grandin, American autism spokesperson, professor of animal science, and consultant to the livestock industry, visited the U of M Crookston campus Jan. 14-15. Audiences from all over came to listen to her, and she also worked with animal science students directly. The Crookston Times reported on Grandin’s visit.


Program assessment excellenceUMD flag

Programs across campus received Excellence in Program Assessment awards last month. The categories were in measurement, program development reporting, and stakeholder involvement. The winning programs were chosen by subgroups of the assessment subcommittee, based on peer review ratings and related annual program assessment reports. This was the first year the awards were given.

Feb. 5 - Tweeveningpainting of woman with umbrella

Jennifer Webb, associate professor of art history, will discuss the art of Annie Traquair Lang and Helen M. Turner. Both Lang and Turner’s work is part of the Tweed’s permanent collection and is featured in the exhibit "Quiet Simplicity," which runs through early spring. 6:30-8 p.m., Tweed Museum of Art. No charge, but registration is required.


Truckers and Turnover project receives award

U of M Morris's Truckers and Turnover (T&T) research team, involving professors Stephen Burks and Jon Anderson, U of M Morris students, private-sector collaborators, Harvard University, and others has earned the 2019 Robert C. Johns Research Partnership Award from the U of M Center for Transportation Studies. The annual award is for a diverse team that worked together across multiple disciplines to achieve significant impacts on transportation.


UMR receives Environmental Achievement Awardenvironmental award logo

Each year, Rochester Public Utilities and the Olmsted County Environmental Commission award several individuals and organizations in Rochester with the Environmental Achievement Award for significant contributions to environmental quality in Olmsted County. The UMR Sierra Student Coalition and its faculty advisor, Professor Jessie Barnett Schimek, will receive the award for the coalition’s numerous efforts in the environmental field.

UMR partners with Mayo Clinic on new physician assistant program

UMR has partnered with the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences on a new master’s degree program for physician assistants. The program has received initial accreditation approval from the Higher Learning Commission. The 24-month program leads to a Master of Health Sciences in physician assistant studies.

Twin Cities

Exhibit opening: ‘Takeover: Morrill Hall, 1969’historical photo from 1969 morrill hall takeover

“Takeover: Morrill Hall, 1969” explores the impact of the Morrill Hall takeover, which took place 50 years ago on Jan. 14-15. During the event, approximately 70 black students from the U of M took over the administration building housing the Office of the President. The event changed the history of the University and resulted in the founding of an African American Studies department. The exhibit is located in Northrop's fourth-floor gallery and features archival documents, photographs, and recordings--some publicly exhibited for the first time. A reception will be held Feb. 6, 5-7 p.m. The exhibit is part of the series "1968/69-2018/19: Historic Upheavals, Enduring Aftershocks." Read a related story about the takeover’s origins and lasting impact.

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.

Relocation Assistance Program temporary housing list update

The University’s Relocation Assistance Program is updating its list of homes available for rent from faculty and staff while they are away for an extended period of time or on sabbatical. If you are interested in renting your home to University faculty and staff who are relocating to the Twin Cities, email everl001@umn.edu or call 612-626-0775.

Teaching with Writing spring 2019 series

The Teaching with Writing series combines panels, workshops, and discussions focused on all aspects of teaching with writing at the University of Minnesota. Events begin Jan. 29. No charge, but registration is required.

Jan. 30 - Teaching workshop: Small Changes with Big Impact

It can be difficult to make major changes to your teaching when there are so many demands on your time. This workshop is designed to introduce quick and simple teaching techniques that are effective for improving student learning and/or satisfaction but which require little preparation or class time. 2-3 p.m., 140 Nolte. Register to attend.

Feb. 5 - MILI Lecture Series: Healthcare Merger & Acquisition Trends

Thad Davis, head of Healthcare US Investment Banking at HSBC, will review the 2018 Global Healthcare M&A environment, the outlook for 2019, and specific insights into the global medical technologies sub-sector. He will also touch on recent trends, case studies, and key process topics. Registration is required.

Feb. 7 - A Teach-In on Racism, Fascism, and Academic Justice

As the nation's sociocultural experience becomes more fractured and radicalized, how do educators and academics react and adapt? How can those in positions of academic authority ensure respect, fairness, and safety for students in the classroom while also acknowledging and addressing the need to analyze and investigate the resurgence of hateful ideologies in an academically honest way? Join IAS for this teach-in, which aims to help better equip faculty, staff, and students to navigate these challenges. 3:30 p.m., 240 Northrop.

UMTC Featured Eventsdouble helix

Jan. 25 - Programming & Pizza January - Research Consultations Served with a Slice
Jan. 25 - Lucy Forston. Annual Science Symposium. Optimizing the Human-Machine Partnership with Zooniverse
Jan. 28 - Faculty & Guest Recital: Steve Campbell (tuba) and Andy Chappell (trombone)
Jan. 29 - AFRO | 50 Black Studies and Protest at the University of Minnesota and Beyond
Jan. 29 - Consumers in the Lead: Transforming Research and Health Lecture, with Speaker Sharon F. Terry
Jan. 29 - Panel Discussion: Academic Leadership Development in the Department, Division and Cooperative
Jan. 31 - Therapy Apps and Virtual Nurses: Of Meaning, Machines and the Future of Connective Labor

Events Calendar