June 26, 2019

Vol. XLIX No. 22

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

Summer publication: Brief will publish on July 17 and Aug. 14. Weekly publication resumes Aug. 28.

  • Board of Regents June meeting highlights.
  • Features: Being a friend to bees; Research on the Midway; Teamwork for holistic dental health.
  • People: Ned Mohan, David Pui, and Marlene Zuk have been named Regents Professors; and more.

Top News

Board of Regents June meeting highlights

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents discussed President Eric Kaler’s proposed University operating budget at its regular June meeting and later approved the $4.2 billion budget at a special meeting on June 19. The budget calls for investments in several key areas of the University, including Greater Minnesota campuses and Extension, as well as investments in faculty and staff. Regents also celebrated the tenure of Eric and Karen Kaler and highlighted President Kaler’s imprint on the University since he took office in 2011.

Being a friend to beesbee on a flower

More than 300 different species of bees call Minnesota home. Worldwide, the number is more than 20,000. And yet pollinators—especially bees—have seen massive population declines in recent years, due to habitat loss, pesticide use, parasites, and disease. From beekeeping short courses to planting bee lawns, you can help bees and other pollinators survive and thrive. Explore efforts to protect pollinators.

Research on the MidwayState fair crowd

During her many years studying insects, Professor Sujaya Rao kept encountering a conundrum. Humans use pesticides on crops because they don’t want to eat bugs in their fruit, but these pesticides also kill the key pollinating insects that make fruit form. Her solution: Eat the bugs. Rao tested it out last year at the Minnesota State Fair, where her study was one of more than 50 conducted at the U’s Driven to Discover Research Facility. For scientists seeking large, diverse samples of people, the State Fair is a gold mine.

Teamwork for holistic dental healthStephanie Goldschmidt and dog

Veterinary dentist and oral surgeon Stephanie Goldschmidt, who won the American Veterinary Dental College Outstanding Resident of the Year Award in 2017, came to the College of Veterinary Medicine to help lead the dental surgery services at the Veterinary Medical Center. Since then, the assistant professor has shown a knack for collaborating with colleagues to put the U of M on the map for team-based veterinary dental care.


Ned Mohan, David Pui, and Marlene Zuk have been named Regents Professors, the highest level of recognition given to faculty by the University; Frank Albert has been named a Pew Biomedical Scholar; the Office of the Vice President for Research has awarded more than $2.7 million in funding through its 2019 Minnesota Futures and Research Infrastructure Investment programs; Laura Molgaard has been named interim dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine; Jim Wilgenbusch has been named director of Research Computing for the Office of the Vice President for Research; University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital has been recognized as a national leader in children’s health by U.S. News & World Report; the Minnesota Population Center has launched a new training program in Population Health Science, funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Ask a professor: Five questions for philosopher Valerie TiberiusValerie Tiberius

University of Minnesota professor Valerie Tiberius is one of those philosophers whose work can be profitably read outside the grad school seminar. When you find yourself wondering, for instance, how best to respond to a friend’s need for guidance, you might refer to Tiberius’s recent book, Well-Being as Value Fulfillment: How We Can Help Each Other to Live Well, which presents her value fulfillment theory. Minnesota Alumni magazine recently asked Tiberius about her theory.

Administrative policy updates

The Family and Medical - FMLA Leave policy includes a new section (Use of Paid Leave) that provides a clear road map to employees as to when various paid leaves, including parental leave, must be used in conjunction with the otherwise unpaid FMLA leave. The proposed Animals on Campus policy specifies which kinds of animals can be on campus and in buildings and provides guidance on the topics of service and assistance animals. The policies are currently under a 30-day review and are available for comment.

McKnight Land-Grant and Distinguished McKnight nominations for 2020

Nomination instructions for the 2020 McKnight Land-Grant Professorships and Distinguished McKnight University Professorships are now available. McKnight Land-Grant nominations are due Nov. 13; Distinguished McKnight nominations are due Jan. 29.

Reporting information technology security incidents

In a highly digital world, information security is often at the forefront of concerns when it comes to personal devices and data. University Information Security has created a variety of resources to help prevent, identify, and report security incidents to create a safe environment for all and preserve the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information at the University of Minnesota.

Lynda.com platform transition

Lynda.com, a library of online training videos available to current University of Minnesota students, faculty, and staff, will transition to a new platform, LinkedIn Learning, July 16-17. Existing University Lynda.com accounts, including users’ training history, will be transitioned to LinkedIn Learning. Learn about the transition.

July 31-Aug. 1 - Minnesota Summit on Learning and Technology

Bernard Bull, president of Goddard College, will be the keynote speaker for this year's Minnesota Summit on Learning and Technology. Attend this premier gathering for innovators in K-12 and higher education and take a deeper look into the role that technology will play in the teaching and learning landscape. U of M employees from the same department receive a subsidized rate when registering as a group of three or more.

Aug. 14-15 - Introduction to Reproducible Data Science with R

The open source data analysis tool known as R is quickly becoming a leading programming language across the globe. The Institute for Research in Statistics and its Applications will host several educational opportunities for R users at all levels to engage with like minds and develop R skills. Registration is required.

Sept. 5-6 - Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities conference

Extension’s Center for Community Vitality will host the Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities conference in Waseca. The event will bring together entrepreneurs to share ideas, learn best practices, and find tools and resources to support their work.

Research Brief: Stabilizing nations’ food production though crop diversity

With increasing demand for food from the planet’s growing population and climate change threatening the stability of food systems across the world, University of Minnesota researchers examined how the diversity of crops at the national level could increase the harvest stability of all crops in a nation. Additional recent Research Briefs include “Women who declined medical care during hospital births report poor treatment overall,” “Many young adults value sustainably produced foods, leading to healthier food choices,” and “Evaluating the effect of spin in health care news.”


June 28 - NWSA alumni reunion

The Northwest School of Agriculture (NWSA) will host its annual alumni reunion honoring top Aggies and featuring food and fun.

Aug. 9 - Farm to Table

Join the University of Minnesota Crookston community for the second annual Farm to Table event, celebrating Northern Minnesota foods. Farm to Table will include an evening dinner prepared by local chefs, featuring food grown by Crookston students, alumni, and friends. Seating is limited, and registration is required.


Alumnus reflects on careerpatrick johns

For the past eight years, Patrick Johns ’76 has served as president of Lake Superior College in Duluth. He will retire June 30. During his 42-year career in higher education, Johns focused on innovative solutions to help nontraditional students, especially shift workers and those looking to retrain for new careers. “We didn’t cut corners or lower standards,” he says. “We simply removed barriers.”

New corporate development officerKristi Schmidt

Kristi Schmidt has joined UMD’s development team as the Corporate and Foundation Relations development officer. Schmidt will plan and implement partnerships and giving strategies that align corporation and foundation business needs and interests with key UMD and University of Minnesota system priorities. Schmidt most recently served as vice president and chief marketing and communications officer for Essentia Health.

Concerts on the Pierband performing on pier

Glensheen celebrates the fifth season of Concerts on the Pier with twice the acts and twice the food trucks. Concerts run every Wednesday in July, with gates open at 5 p.m. and music from 6 to 8 p.m. No charge, but because parking is limited, attendees are encouraged to walk, bike, or boat to Glensheen.


Wilmot earns Fulbright awardRayann Wilmot

Rayann Wilmot '19 earned a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award for 2019-20. Wilmot was one of two Fulbright finalists at U of M Morris this year. A sociology major and biology minor, she hopes to someday work in medicine.


Casper receives President’s Award for Outstanding Service

Jenny Casper, University of Minnesota Rochester director of community engagement and career development, is a recipient of the President’s Award for Outstanding Service. As the director of community engagement and career development, Casper works to develop structures for community-focused learning opportunities for UMR students, including bringing industry professionals to campus to expose students to various career paths and pre-health opportunities.

Twin Cities

Beyond the ClassroomKerry Witherell

With busy schedules and professional demands, it can become easy to get caught in the trap of your own work and inadvertently ignore the needs of other communities. Kerry Witherell, audiology clinical supervisor in the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, helps her students break out of their regular routine by serving people who need audiological services in Minneapolis’ Phillips neighborhood.

The Effect of Weapons on International PoliticsMark Bell

The United States, Great Britain, and South Africa have all utilized nuclear weapons in different ways. How are international politics affected by a country’s nuclear arsenal? Assistant Professor Mark Bell of the Department of Political Science explores this question.

It’s time to #GopherSummer

While the University of Minnesota Twin Cities is a hive of activity and enlightenment from September through May, it takes on a different vibe during the summer. Traffic dwindles, parking spots abound, and the campus becomes a hot spot for fun and relaxation. Explore this sampling of places and things to do.

Tuesdays, July 9-30 - Positive Psychology: The Science of Well-Being

Become more adept at activities that researchers believe increase life satisfaction, purpose, and meaning through this short course (register) hosted by LearningLife in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. The course delves into the tenets of positive psychology, which focuses on human strengths, resilience, and well-being.

July 10-Sept. 25 - Farmers Market

The U of M Farmers Market returns to campus every Wednesday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., beginning July 10 on the Gateway Plaza, just outside McNamara Alumni Center. The market features Twin Cities-area vendors who travel two hours or less to sell a variety of fresh flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

UMTC Featured Eventsrock cairn

June 26 - Dan Newton's Café Accordion Orchestra
June 30 - Mindfulness Retreat
July 2 - Desktop GIS 101: Analyzing Data and Creating Maps
July 9 - Gender Equity
July 10 - Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Community Course
July 12 - Programming & Pizza July - Research Consultations Served with a Slice

Events Calendar >