June 24, 2020

Vol. L No. 24

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • Features: The education of a public health worker; Beyond the classroom; Diary from the Diamond Princess; Preparing today’s law students for tomorrow’s world; Breaking barriers, bridging care.
  • People: 2020 recipients of the Research Infrastructure Investment Program; and more.

Top News

The education of a public health workerA street scene in India

U of M students studying public health in India returned home shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic exploded. What they found there underscores the importance of public health efforts, and how hard this pandemic is hitting the poorest in the world.

Beyond the classroomwill collins

After six post-undergrad years working for Target and Home Depot, Will Collins ’04 made the switch from corporate work to teaching and leading students of color. The applied economics major says he liked the business world well enough, but education beckoned. He says the move has fed his soul.

Diary from the Diamond PrincessRon and Amy on cruise ship

In January, Ron Hildeen ’71 and Amy Liljegren Ellefson ’69 flew from Minneapolis to Tokyo to take a 15-day cruise on the Diamond Princess. At the tail end of the voyage, the crew announced that a new sort of disease had just been detected in several of the countries the cruise ship had visited. They were told they wouldn’t be getting off the boat. Here, they share their day-by-day notes after COVID-19 left them in quarantine for nearly a month.

Preparing today’s law students for tomorrow’s worldFrancis Shen

Who is liable for injuries sustained in an accident when artificial intelligence was controlling the car, flying the airplane, or performing the surgery? What are the legal implications of a cyberattack that results in a massive data breach? U of M Law School faculty are blazing new trails on the cutting edges of emerging disciplines.

Breaking barriers, bridging careGraphic of two vets caring for cat

College of Veterinary Medicine students spend four rigorous years preparing for their careers. The first three focus on classroom-based curriculum. But while textbooks, lectures, and laboratories are a crucial foundation, they can only take students so far. Outreach at the College of Veterinary Medicine is driven by students and focused on community.


The Office of the Vice President for Research has announced the recipients of its 2020 Research Infrastructure Investment Program; Nic Rider and Stephanie Terezakis are co-principal investigators on a grant focused on health disparities in cancer care plaguing the LGBTQ population; Matt Clark has been named research director of the University of Minnesota’s Horticultural Research Center; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Furlough and pay reduction program

The University of Minnesota will be implementing measures to ensure the fiscal stability of the University System in light of impacts from COVID-19. A temporary furlough and pay reduction program will take effect July 1, which will affect a majority of systemwide faculty and staff earning $60,000 or more annually. Learn more from the Office of Human Resources.

Reminder: 27 pay dates in fiscal year 2021

In fiscal year 2021, starting July 1, employees will be paid 27 times instead of the typical 26. Faculty and P&A staff paid over 12 months will receive 1/27th of their annual salary instead of 1/26th each pay period, resulting in a slight reduction in their biweekly amount; however, they will also receive an extra paycheck in the fiscal year. Other employees will continue to be paid as usual in FY21.

Legal scholars release list of reforms to address enduring problems in American policing

Professor Maria Ponomarenko is one of eight legal scholars who released a list of reforms to address enduring problems in American policing. The report, “Changing the Law to Change Policing: First Steps,” outlines why it is time to rethink the structure and governance of policing and engage in a deeper conversation about the meaning of public safety and the appropriate role of police to achieve it. Read more about the report.

George Floyd Memorial Scholarship established at Law School

With a gift from Catlan M. McCurdy ’11 and Sanjiv P. Laud ’12, and an equal match from the Law School, the George Floyd Memorial Scholarship in Law was announced in mid-June. The endowed scholarship will provide critical financial support, allowing students of color, and Black or African-American students in particular, to pursue careers in law and achieve their dreams. The U of M Foundation has also created a University of Minnesota Scholarship in honor of George Floyd.

Urology resident launches new podcast to highlight people of color in STEM

Shortly after moving to Minnesota to begin her journey as the first Black woman to match with, and eventually graduate from, the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Urology, Chief Resident Maria Uloko realized something had to change. After considering the idea for years, Uloko finally had the time she needed to launch her passion project during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her new podcast, Battle Cry, is “a love letter” to minorities pursuing careers in STEM.

Medical School ophthalmologists will test tears for COVID-19

A research team at the University of Minnesota Medical School will begin a study to test whether COVID-19 can be diagnosed with tears. If proven, their discovery may lead to an even bigger breakthrough—a safer and less painful way to collect patient samples and a new test, using faster diagnostic technology, that would help providers repeat tests to track the lifespan of an active virus in sick patients.

Arboretum nominated for Best Botanical Garden

The University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum has been nominated for the 2020 USA 10Best Readers' Choice Best Botanical Garden contest. Nominations come from top garden experts across the country. The Arboretum won the contest in 2019 and 2017 and was runner-up in 2018. Vote for the Arboretum by July 6.

Online training through LinkedIn Learning

Summer is a good time to consider some online training to boost your professional skills. U of M faculty and staff can access online training videos at no charge through LinkedIn Learning. Browse through and take courses such as Discovering Your Strengths, Improving Your Listening Skills, Excel: Tips & Tricks, and many more.

Research Brief: New discovery allows 3D printing of sensors directly on expanding organs

In groundbreaking new research, mechanical engineers and computer scientists at the University of Minnesota have developed a 3D printing technique that uses motion capture technology, similar to that used in Hollywood movies, to print electronic sensors directly on organs that are expanding and contracting. The new 3D printing technique could have future applications in diagnosing and monitoring the lungs of patients with COVID-19.

June 25 - Webinar for Supervisors: Engaging Virtual Teams

Keeping your virtual team connected and engaged is easier said than done, yet not impossible. Join in the webinar “Engaging Virtual Teams” to learn more about how to leverage your supervisory skills to create an engaging virtual work environment. Noon-1 p.m. Register to attend.

July 14-15 - noRth 2020: A (virtual) conference for R users in the Twin Cities and greater north region

Calling all R users: Participate in the noRth conference to connect with others in the R community, expand your skills, and spark inspiration for your next project. Conference tickets are $100 for U of M faculty and staff, or $50 if paying with a chartstring. Register now or visit z.umn.edu/noRth2020 for full details.

U of M featured virtual eventsperson doing yoga

June 24 - Addressing Racial Inequities in Health Outcomes During COVID and Beyond
June 25 - Pride@Work Twin Cities Pride Social
June 25 - Covid-19 and Incarcerated Populations
June 26 - The Way We Work: The Changing Nature of the Office
June 30 - Starting and Restarting with Digital Marketing: Ben Theis, CEO of Skol Marketing
June 30 - The Minnesota Paradox
Beginning July 17 - Mindfulness at Work
Ongoing - Summer series to build resilience skills


Crookston receives Regents approval for Equine Business Management

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved the academic program proposal for Equine Business Management at the University of Minnesota Crookston, effective fall 2020. Students in the program will learn the skills of managing the daily nutrition, health, exercise, and training needs of horses in their care. No other equine academic programs exist in Minnesota and the proposed program makes use of existing resources.


Robert Carlson honoredRobert Carlson

Professor Emeritus Robert Carlson, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, received the U of M President’s Award for Outstanding Service. Wendy Reed, dean, Swenson College of Science and Engineering, in recognizing Carlson’s dedication to his students, says he gave them “valuable experience in conducting authentic and impactful research.” Carlson is the interim director of UMD’s Advanced Materials Center.

Remote campingKen Gilbertson

Getting away from everything and everyone can be a great way to de-stress during the pandemic. However, for those who aren’t familiar with wilderness camping, it can be a daunting and even dangerous venture. Professor Ken Gilbertson, head of the Department of Applied Human Sciences, offers some guidelines for success to those considering camping far from civilization.

‘We All Belong Art Show’ winnersstudent art show winners

Take a moment to view, read, and watch the work of the students, faculty, and staff who won UMD’s "We All Belong Art Show." Visual art, poetry, and spoken word entries were submitted in three categories: diversity, inclusivity, or civility. The artwork will be on display in the Kathryn A. Martin Library during the 2020-21 school year.


The need for African American studies to make George Floyd a visible manMichael Lackey

In a guest post for the University of Virginia Press, Distinguished McKnight University Professor Michael Lackey talks about teaching Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, The Haverford Discussions, and their particular relevance today. Lackey’s 2013 book The Haverford Discussions: A Black Integrationist Manifesto for Racial Justice, focuses on systemic racism and social justice.


UMR's founding chancellor to release Campus with Purpose

UMR founding chancellor Stephen Lehmkuhle’s book, Campus with Purpose, will be available on Oct. 16. Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County shares, "Those who lived the launch of this campus with UMR's founding chancellor will be affirmed, and all who work in higher education will be challenged to consider how we might continue to adapt, grounded by our core purpose."

One Discovery Square turns one

One Discovery Square is the foundational anchor of Destination Medical Center, the largest public-private economic initiative in Minnesota history. One Discovery Square has been designed to create a culture of collaboration within an advanced healthcare innovation ecosystem.

Twin Cities

New podcast puts transgender movement in contextPodcast graphic

Transcripts, a new podcast that debuts June 24, features oral histories from the Tretter Transgender Oral History Project at the U of M Libraries. Hosts Andrea Jenkins and Myrl Beam introduce listeners to the trans activists who are changing our world.

The value of pie

On June 1, Rose McGee, founder of Sweet Potato Comfort Pies, arrived at the memorial for George Floyd Jr. with more than 20 pies, baked the night before by volunteers. It’s a path of caregiving that she began following the 2014 shooting of young Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, by a police officer. Sweet as pie is, it’s not just about the pie, says McGee, who is a board member of the Friends of the University of Minnesota Libraries. It’s what happens when people are making pies together, when they gather for conversations.

A 400-year-old map is a precious gift

The 1602 Ricci Map is the largest gift ever to the U of M Libraries, thanks to the James Ford Bell Trust. There are only six known copies of the Ricci Map in the world. The U of M copy is the most accessible to the public, to students, and to researchers.

Bubolz selected as a 2020 Tillman ScholarKevin Bubloz

Carlson School of Management student Kevin Bubolz has been named a 2020 Tillman Scholar. Bubolz, a former Army helicopter pilot, is among the 60 U.S. service members, veterans, and military spouses named to the Pat Tillman Foundation's 12th class of scholars. His goal is to help children develop their reading skills through increased access to therapy dogs. He discovered his passion for therapy dogs in 2014 while serving in Afghanistan.

UMTC receives large PPE donationStudent with PPE boxes

Earlier this month, more than 100,000 items of personal protective equipment (PPE) arrived at U Market Services, thanks to a generous donation from Tencent. Spearheaded by a Carlson School of Management student who is also a Tencent employee, the effort resulted in surgical masks, gloves, coveralls, and facial shields being sent to the Twin Cities campus. The equipment will enhance the University's ability to fight COVID-19.