June 6, 2018

Vol. XLVIII No. 20

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

Summer publication: Brief will publish on June 20, July 18, and Aug. 8 and 22. Weekly publication will resume Aug. 29.

  • Board of Regents will meet June 7-8.
  • Features: Scientists discover new magnetic element; Can Zika fight cancer?; A brain out of tune; Genetic ‘switches’ linked to longer lifespans in mammals; Democracy of care.
  • People: Two U of M research teams have received this year’s Minnesota Futures grants; and more.

Top News

Board of Regents will meet June 7-8

During its June meeting, the U of M’s Board of Regents will hear the bi-annual report of the Faculty Consultative Committee (FCC) from FCC chair Professor Joseph Konstan. The report profiles faculty members across the University system and shares faculty input on University governance. The board will also review the Teaching & Learning focus area of the Systemwide Strategic Plan, take action on the president’s recommended fiscal year 2019 operating budget, and receive a progress update from the Systemwide Enrollment Planning Taskforce.

See the news release for more >

Scientists discover new magnetic elementperiodic table

A new discovery, led by researchers at the University of Minnesota, demonstrates that the chemical element ruthenium (Ru) is the fourth single element to have unique magnetic properties at room temperature. The discovery could be used to improve sensors, devices in the computer memory and logic industry, or other devices using magnetic materials.

Can Zika fight cancer?virus under microscope

If the Zika virus can cause devastating damage to a baby’s developing brain, could it also wipe out a brain tumor? Walter Low, a neuroscientist with the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, has found that the Zika virus is capable of killing the cells that make brain tumors.

A brain out of tuneillustration of a brain intertwined with music

Sophia Vinogradov, head of the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry, believes that psychiatry is undergoing a revolution. She predicts that computational psychiatry--the use of such tools as data analysis, computer simulation, mathematical models, and brain imaging--will lead to a golden age in the evaluation and treatment of mental illness.

Genetic ‘switches’ linked to longer lifespans in mammalsa whale's tail

Ever wonder why mammals’ lifespans vary so widely? They range from two or three years in mice to 90 or more years for humans and elephants, and a whopping 180–200 years for bowhead whales. New work by a pair of U of M and SUNY Polytechnic Institute researchers indicates that a species’ lifespan may depend on how well it maintains the regions of DNA that act like on/off “switches” for critical genes. The switches for those traits could someday become targets for medical interventions to improve or maintain health.

Democracy of careJoan Tronto

All around the world, people depend on care--for ourselves and others. However, we often don’t realize how society affects the way we are caring. Professor Joan Tronto says that in a society that only really values paid work (whether you’re in childcare, nursing, or social work), it is too easy for all of this caring to go unnoticed. Tronto researches the fundamental values and commitments of caring and how they’re different from the reality of care in America.

Learn about Tronto's work >


Two U of M research teams have received this year’s Minnesota Futures grants; Mos Kaveh has been appointed dean of the College of Science and Engineering through June 30, 2020; the Mellon Foundation has awarded the Department of History with a grant aimed at diversifying the next generation of scholars; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Training Hub replaces ULearn

Training Hub, the University’s replacement training administration system for ULearn, is now available at training.umn.edu. U of M training providers will continue to add courses to the catalog over the coming weeks.

Learn more about Training Hub >

June 14 - Canvas Basics workshop

An online Canvas Basics workshop for faculty and staff will include a review of the Canvas interface, tools and features, course design options, and an introduction to moving content from Moodle to Canvas.


New managers: Gain confidence to lead your team

Effectively managing a team is key to driving results and creating a healthy workplace culture. The Leadership Essentials course helps new managers increase their self-awareness and build high-performing teams. The program includes self-assessments, lectures, discussions, simulations, and hands-on practice. The next four-day course takes place on July 16, 23, 30, and Aug. 6.

Register by July 13 >

July 13-15 - Bell Museum grand opening and membership discountsBell Museum building

The Bell Museum grand opening weekend kicks off with an after-hours party with music featuring Ashley DuBose, DIY art making with sketching and make-your-own dioramas, planetarium previews, and more. Saturday and Sunday will feature extended hours, science demos, water-rocket launching, and full access to new and restored exhibits. U of M faculty/staff who join as members can purchase tickets starting on June 6. Membership pays for itself in two visits and is good for a year of gallery admission, 50 percent off planetarium tickets, special events, and more. Join online at z.umn.edu/grand2018 using promo code GRAND2018. The offer ends July 31.

Aug. 8-11 - 2018 Urban Food Systems Symposium

The 2018 Urban Food Systems Symposium will be held Aug. 8-11 at the Graduate Hotel, located on the U of M Twin Cities’ east bank. The symposium will bring together a national and international audience of academic and research-oriented professionals to share and gain knowledge about urban food systems and the role they play in global food security.

Register and learn more >


Sustainability AdvanceUMC sustainability day team

Sustainability Advance was hosted on the Crookston campus in late May. Directors and students participated in discussions on sustainability efforts across the U of M System.

New dual admissions agreement

The U of M Crookston and Northland Community and Technical College (NCTC) announced a new comprehensive dual admissions agreement between the two institutions. The agreement establishes a cooperative academic relationship under NCTC’s NorthernConnect Dual Admission Program.

Summer camps and conferences

This summer, learn more about horse training, rider-position exercises, trail-riding exercises, horse control, and lateral work during the Horse Riding Clinic for Adults. There are also camps available for children. Learn more >

Teambacker Fun Nite

More than 135 people attended the annual Teambacker Fun Nite recently held at the Crookston Eagles Club and hosted by UMC Teambackers. This year’s event raised some $19,000 for Golden Eagle student athletes.


New BGS inducteesBGS inductees

Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE) associate professor Ariuna Taivan was recently inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS), and LSBE associate professor Seung Lee was named BGS Faculty Member of the Year. In addition, 25 LSBE students who rank in the top 10 percent of their junior or senior class were inducted into BGS.

Learn more >

Making a differenceUMD athletes with adopt a highway sign

Student-athletes, as well as coaches and staff, put in over 3,600 hours volunteering in the community in 2017-18. For the second time in as many years, Women’s tennis earned the UMD Team Impact Award, with each player volunteering an average of 25 hours. Women’s soccer and women’s basketball took second and third place, respectively.

Student-poweredsolar panels are installed on building roof

UMD’s Solar University Network Delegation, a student organization, identified funding that led to a new solar array being installed on the Aspen Building of UMD’s Oakland Apartment Complex. This latest array more than triples solar production at UMD and will produce over 50,000 kilowatt hours each year, equal to about $3,500 in electricity savings.


Fulbright studentsBrittany Grady and Autumn Carlson

Brittany Grady '17 and Autumn Carlson '18 have earned Fulbright U.S. Student Program awards. Grady, an English/German/Medieval Studies graduate, will spend a year in Germany; Carlson, a Spanish and Latin American Area Studies graduate, will spend a year in Mexico. Their successes speak to the power and value of a Morris education on the global stage.

NCAA Division III track and field competitorsJustin Pearson and Emily Ciesynski

Justin Pearson ’21 and Emily Ciesynski ’19 represented the Morris campus at the 2018 NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships last month. Pearson competed in the 100-meter dash; Ciesynski in the 400-meter hurdles.

Twenty Morris professors earn Imagine Fund awards

Twenty Morris professors earned all-University 2018-19 Imagine Fund Annual Faculty Awards. The Imagine Fund supports innovative projects in the arts, design, and humanities that may not otherwise be possible.

Spring Grant-in-Aid recipients

Five Morris faculty members received awards in the spring round of the University of Minnesota Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry, and Scholarship program. Based on the belief that faculty research, scholarly, and artistic efforts encourage academic excellence throughout the institution, the Office of the Vice President for Research administers the awards, which act as seed money for developing projects to the point of attracting more complete, external funding.


Higher Education Innovation Summit

The Higher Education Innovation Summit begins June 6 with the opening keynote presentation "Imagining a Future for Higher Education" by Randy Bass of Georgetown University.

See the full agenda, including keynotes and sessions >

Twin Cities

Beginning June 6 - Northrop’s Music on the Plazapeople dancing on Northrop plaza

Music on the Plaza, Northrop's popular outdoor summer concert series, returns to campus Wednesdays at noon, June 6 to Aug. 8 (no event July 4), with a dynamic lineup of eight local bands. In the case of inclement weather, performances may move to Northrop's Best Buy Theater.

See the lineup >

June 8 - Programming & Pizza

Have a programming project you could use a little help with? Attend Programming & Pizza for a half-hour consultation and pizza for fuel. Participants will connect with experienced staff from University Libraries, Liberal Arts Technology and Innovation Services, and Research Computing for 30 minutes of hands-on help. Noon-1 p.m., Wilson Research Collaboration Studio, Wilson Library.

Register >

Sponsor a turtle for the 2018 Turtle DerbyTurtle derby 2018 poster drawing

The U of M Masonic Children's Hospital’s annual Turtle Derby raises funds to help provide many of the extras for children and families, such as end-of-life memory-making activities, books, anxiety-reducing toys for pediatric clinics, musical instruments, artwork, and more. Turtle registration ends June 15. The cost is $40 for an individual or family and $80 for a department. The derby event will be held June 21, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and will include a dunk tank, carnival games, turtle merchandise, food, and more.

BIRCWH K-12 Scholar Training Program

The Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) K-12 Scholar Training Program is accepting letters of intent (PDF) for its mentored research career development program. The awarded scholar will receive research training, protected time, and research funding support. Qualified candidates include any assistant professor (in rank ≤ 6 years) who is researching women’s health and/or sex differences. The deadline is July 2, 4 p.m.

UMTC Featured Eventsan apple resting on books

June 7 - Summer Orchestra Concert
June 9 - The Demonstration Garden: Designing Flowers Exhibition
June 11 - Story Maps 101: Visual Storytelling with Maps
June 12 - Curiosity Drives Progress Lecture Series: Enhancing Safety and Security
June 14 - OED Certificate Workshop: My Role in the Work of Equity & Diversity
June 18 - Mindfulness in Education Summer Institute
June 20 - Launch | Mississippi. An Anthropocene River

Events Calendar >