July 20, 2016

Vol. XLVI No. 23

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • Board of Regents July meeting highlights.
  • Driven to Discover: Valery Forbes.
  • Features: 'Dirty' mice model human biology better; Addressing the childhood obesity epidemic in rural Minnesota; Transit and training crucial to connecting unemployed with jobs.
  • People: Sarah Hobbie named 2016 Ada Comstock Distinguished Scholar; and more

Top News

Board of Regents July meeting highlights

A resolution that allows the U to continue advancing long-term plans for health sciences and student housing needs on the Twin Cities campus was adopted by the Board at its July meeting. Also discussed were proposed TC campus student housing investments, including renovating historic Pioneer Hall. Additionally, the Board learned of new ways in which alumni are engaging with the U during the annual report from the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, voted to terminate the letter of intent to create an academic health system with Fairview Health Services and U of M Physicians, reviewed University Progress Card metrics, and received an update on the Rochester campus' strategic plan.

See the release for more >

Driven to Discover: Valery ForbesValery Forbes

As dean of the University of Minnesota's College of Biological Sciences, Valery Forbes strives to ensure that faculty and students in her college can do what they do best to push biology forward. That means bringing the sub-disciplines of biology together in new ways and integrating biology with other disciplines, says Forbes.

Read more >

'Dirty' mice model human biology betterlab mouse

U researchers have called into question the practice of studying the immune system by using only lab mice that have been protected from exposure to microbes. Getting "dirtied" by pet store mice helped lab mice build immune systems that more closely resembled the human variety. This seminal finding could lead to more realistic research that saves time, money, and effort in developing vaccines or treatments.

Read more >

Addressing the childhood obesity epidemic in rural Minnesotatomatoes sliced

Healthy meal and snacking habits at home could be building blocks for battling childhood obesity. Children in rural communities are particularly at risk for the development of obesity. That's why nursing professor Jayne Fulkerson is partnering on a new family-based project to help boost healthy eating habits.

Learn more >

Transit and training crucial to connecting unemployed with jobspeople waiting for lightrail

According to a new University of Minnesota study, the mismatch between unemployed workers and job vacancies is a serious problem in the Twin Cities region and it appears to have worsened since the turn of the millennium. The biggest concentrations of unemployed workers lack fast or frequent transit service to some of the richest concentrations of job vacancies, particularly vacancies in the south and southwest metro.

Learn more >


Sarah Hobbie was recently named the 2016 Ada Comstock Distinguished Scholar; Elizabeth Kerns McCann has been named the U of M's assistant director of bands/director of marching and athletic bands; CTSI has awarded $200,000 to five U of M research partnerships to address Minnesota health issues; two research teams that include both a University and Mayo researcher have been awarded up to $50,000 each to pursue health research projects; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Kids, parents, and caregivers invited to share unmet child health needs

A new University program is soliciting public input about a challenge or experience related to children's hospital stays, health conditions, or home health care that might be improved through the development of new medical devices.

Learn more and comment >

Hazard Mitigation Plan open for comment

The U has completed a draft of its systemwide Hazard Mitigation Plan, which assesses the hazards that can affect U of M campuses and vulnerabilities to those hazards. The plan focuses on reducing the risk of loss of life, injury, and property damage due to hazards such as high winds and severe storms. Review the draft and submit any comments or suggestions by July 25.

New opt-in service protects W-2 and direct deposit information

University faculty, staff, and student employees are eligible to opt in to an additional layer of protection for W-2 and direct deposit information. Duo Two-Factor Authentication for W-2 and Direct Deposit is easy to use and no charge.

University login upgrade

Beginning in August, the pages you use to log in to University applications will be updated. There will be no service disruption and no action is required, but behind the scenes, IT will upgrade to the latest version of software necessary to maintain vendor support.

Learn more >

Aug. 3 - Medical Technology Commercialization Bootcamp

MN-REACH/MIN-Corps is offering a Medical Technology Commercialization Bootcamp for University faculty, staff, graduate students, and postdoctoral associates who want to learn more about commercializing research designed to improve human health. The event will also help connect innovators with resources available to support bringing an innovation to market. No charge.

Registration (required) and more >

Move technology towards clinical application

MN-REACH, an NIH-sponsored funding opportunity, supports innovators in advancing their discoveries as impactful clinical products. Funding up to $150,000 for 18-month projects is available. Applicants receive individualized coaching and skills development to further their understanding of the commercialization process. Cycle 4 pre-proposals are being accepted through Aug. 12.

Learn more and submit >

Big Ten Academic Alliance name change

The Committee on Institutional Cooperation has changed its name to the Big Ten Academic Alliance. The new identity will elevate awareness about the impact of these great universities on the region and the nation. U of M provost Karen Hanson chairs the alliance.


Digital Art Camp

"Fresh Voices" Digital Art Camp will be on campus through July 22. Participants are introduced to camera technique, story planning, aesthetic concepts, and editing.

Learn more >

New Help Desk service

The Computer Help Desk announced a new service beginning Aug. 1. When UMC students, faculty, or staff members call the Help Desk after hours with technology-related issues, they will now be directed to 1-Help on the Twin Cities campus to assist with the issue, rather than having to wait until the next day when the Help Desk reopens.


KUMD's Lisa Johnson honoredLisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson, KUMD's Northland Morning host and producer since 1991, has been named the 2016 Broadcaster of the Year by the Association of Minnesota Public Educational Radio Stations. In addition to presenting information to her listeners on a wide range of subjects, Johnson has trained numerous students interested in careers as journalists and news producers.

Learn more >

Training program receives award

The Tribal State Relations Training program, created by UMD's Continuing Education and the Department of American Indians Studies in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, will be honored with the Humphrey School State Government Innovation Award. In order to develop an effective program, the partners worked with a number of American Indian tribes in Minnesota.

Learn more >

July 21-22 - Author eventsharon moen

Minnesota Sea Grant science writer Sharon Moen will read from her book, With Tomorrow in Mind: How Athelstan Spilhaus Turned America Toward the Future at two locations in the Twin Cities. Moen will also share stories about Spilhaus. Among his many achievements, Spilhaus originated the idea of the National Sea Grant Program.

Learn more >


Money and Forbes praise UMM return on investmenthappy graduate

With the school year approaching, UMM is earning accolades for the return on investment it offers students and their families. The campus is one of Money magazine's 10 most improved colleges of 2016 and was included on the ninth annual Forbes ranking of the best colleges and universities in the country.

Learn more >

UMM included in 2017 Fiske GuideFiske guide logo

UMM has once again been included in the Fiske Guide to Colleges. For more than 30 years, millions of students, parents, and guidance counselors have relied on the Fiske Guide during college searches. This is the sixth consecutive year in which the campus has been featured among the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada, and the UK.

Learn more >

Ortiz receives IDEA multicultural research awardChristina Ortiz

Cristina Ortiz, assistant professor of anthropology, has received a University of Minnesota Institute on Diversity, Equity and Advocacy (IDEA) Multicultural Research Award for "Rural Community Identities in a Context of Transnational Immigration." Ortiz will use this opportunity to provide a holistic picture of what happens to rural communities within the context of globalization.

Learn more >


July 26 - UMR CONNECTS welcomes The National Eagle Centerbald eagle

Learn about eagle biology, ecology, and natural history in an engaging and entertaining presentation by Bucky Flores, volunteer coordinator and naturalist from the National Eagle Center. The program will feature a live eagle. 7 p.m.

Learn more >

Twin Cities

Welcome Week volunteers needed

Faculty and staff volunteers are needed to assist with Welcome Week 2016. Opportunities include helping with Residence Hall Move-In (Aug. 29-30); Move-In Receptions for Families (Aug. 30); New Student Convocation (Sept. 1); and Earth, U, & Barbecue (formerly the Class of 20XX Cookout, Sept. 2). Each year, more than 5,000 first-year students participate in Welcome Week, which is designed to prepare them for the start of their academic careers.

Learn more and volunteer >

Farmers Market returns

The U of M Farmers Market continues each Wednesday through Oct. 12 on the Gateway Plaza, just outside the McNamara Alumni Center, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy fresh veggies and flowers, a festive atmosphere, and healthy food.

Learn more >

Teaching Across Difference scores big for faculty and students

Recognizing that intercultural competence--the ability to work with people of different races, cultures, and perspectives--is crucial for anyone who wants to tackle global challenges and meet employer demands, the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences has begun a Working Across Difference Initiative to help faculty and staff understand the importance of differences, whether gender, racial, ethnic, cultural or otherwise.

Learn more >

Voicemail decommissioning

Effective July 27, callers will no longer be able to leave voicemail messages on University phones that are still using the old voicemail system. If you have not transitioned to the new system, do so as soon as possible. The process takes about five minutes, and step-by-step instructions are available. The old voicemail system will be decommissioned Aug. 31.

Aug. 3 - Leadership: The Essential Ingredient to Employee Engagement

Mark your calendars for the panel discussion Leadership: The Essential Ingredient to Employee Engagement, sponsored by the Leadership and Talent Development in the Office of Human Resources. 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union.

Register and learn more >

Aug. 4 - McNair Scholars Program research symposium and reception

The U of M TRIO Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program will host its 25th annual research symposium and reception featuring 21 students from UMTC and Metropolitan State University. The students are conducting research under the direction of U of M distinguished faculty research mentors. The McNair program seeks to increase doctoral program application, matriculation, and degree attainment by underrepresented and first-generation college students. 1:30-3:30 p.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union.

Learn more >

Seeking international student hosts

MAST International, a program at the University of Minnesota, is looking for volunteers to host an international exchange student. Volunteers are needed for Aug. 5-10. Students between the ages of 18 to 32 come from around the world to train in agriculture. Responsibilities include meeting students at the airport, and providing food, shelter, and transportation to the St. Paul campus.

Volunteer and learn more >

Aug. 18 - Peace Building Approaches to Countering Extremism

As societies around the world face the growing challenge of extremism, Minnesota has found itself at the center of this critical issue. What lessons can be drawn from our community's struggles to preserve both public safety and civil rights, address root causes of extremism without stigmatizing entire communities, and propose positive, community-based alternatives to the extremist message? This event will examine the roles education, communication, and action play in battling extremism. 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School.

Learn more >

Sept. 9-11 - Humanitarian Simulation Course

Enroll in a three-day Humanitarian Simulation Course and be immersed in an enriching experience. The course is offered to professionals of all backgrounds who are interested in learning more about humanitarian aid. It is led by faculty in the Medical School, School of Public Health, and Humphrey School.

Register and learn more >

Boynton Health receives re-accreditation

Boynton Health has received re-accreditation with the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). Boynton was the first college health service in the nation to attain AAAHC accreditation in 1979 and has been continuously accredited since. By voluntarily undergoing an in-depth, rigorous survey every three years, Boynton demonstrates its commitment to excellence and its confidence in the quality and safety of the care, treatment, and services Boynton provides.

Personal web space service to be retired

The personal web space service will be retired at the end of calendar year 2016. Personal websites hosted with this service appear in the format www.tc.umn.edu/~username. Other services with similar URL formats, such as d.umn.edu/~username and umn.edu/~username are not impacted.

Learn more >

UMTC Featured Eventssunglasses graphic

July 20 - Music on the Plaza: Socaholix

July 20 - Utility Vehicle Expo 2016

July 22 - One Health Workforce Engagement

July 23 - Brit Floyd

July 28 - Summer Orchestra Concert: Magic and Majesty

July 29 - Fun-glass Showcase

July 30 - Universe in the Park

Aug. 3 - Music on the Plaza: Flamenco - A Touch of Spain

Events Calendar >