March 16, 2016

Vol. XLVI No. 10

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • State Relations Update.
  • Driven to Discover: Paul Capel.
  • Feature: A Critical Mass for Computational Biology.
  • People: Ran Blekhman has been named a 2016 Sloan Research Fellow; and more.

Top News

State Relations Update

March 8 marked the first day of the 2016 Minnesota legislative session. The legislature will focus on crafting a bonding bill, as well as deciding how to allocate the $900 million budget surplus. In his March 9 State of the State address, Governor Dayton included support for investments in the University, particularly capital investment, and on March 15, through his supplemental budget proposal. On March 10, the U of M provided the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee with an update on the progress of the U's human research participant protection program.

Driven to Discover: Paul CapelPaul Capel

Humans use chemicals—lots of them. And some portion of them ends up in the environment—in plants and animals, in our food, and eventually in our bodies. Paul Capel traces the fate of chemicals so that we understand their consequences.

Learn more >

A Critical Mass for Computational Biologychad myers, dan knights, frank albert, ran blekhman

A unique new space in the Molecular and Cellular Biology building is designed to break down barriers to collaboration. With a floor plan that simultaneously suggests both startup and science lab, the new space unites researchers from the College of Biological Sciences and the College of Science and Engineering who are working at emerging frontiers in computational biology.

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Ran Blekhman has been named a 2016 Sloan Research Fellow, an award for early-career scientists of outstanding promise; the Otto Bremer Trust has announced a $2.5 million donation to help fund the Center for Safe and Healthy Children at the U's Masonic Children's Hospital; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

CTSI provides researchers with geocoded data

Geocoded data from more than two million medical records housed in the Clinical and Translational Science Institute led clinical data repository have now been assigned GPS coordinates, giving all University researchers a more flexible, precise way to study health issues that involve location.

Learn more >

Better courses and learning through instructional designinstructional design graphic

An instructor is building a new course; the curriculum is developed and in place. But how can the instructor create an active and impactful learning experience for their students? Learn more about instructional design, one of several offerings available at no charge through Academic Technology Support Services.

Learn more >

March 22 - UMN Sparks: Insights that lift communitiesM sparks poster

Learn more about how the University of Minnesota is impacting Minnesota's communities at UMN Sparks. In the first event, to be held in Red Wing, three U of M experts—in climate change, raptors, and medical devices—will show how innovative approaches are meeting rapid changes affecting our health and living environments. Snacks and refreshments will be provided. Hosted by Regent Michael Hsu. 6-7 p.m., Red Wing Golf Club, followed by a social hour.

Learn more >

Deadline extended: Equity award nominations

The Charlotte Striebel Equity Award, sponsored by the Women's Center, recognizes contributions from faculty and staff of any gender who promote access for the common good, help undo bias and discrimination, or build capacity for diverse and equitable campus communities. Nomination deadline: Apr. 8, 4:30 p.m.

Learn more >

CTSI funding opportunity

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute's Translational Grant Program, which funds U of M early-stage translational research projects and offers support with a project development team, is accepting applications until Apr. 13.

Learn more and apply >

Discounts on NCORE registration

The annual National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will be held in San Francisco May 30-June 4. Those planning to attend all or part of the conference may receive a 10 percent discounted rate here. Join Katrice Albert and U of M colleagues June 1 at the event for dinner.

Yoga and more at the Arbpeople doing yoga around a tree

The next session of the U of M Landscape Arboretum's popular indoor yoga will take place March 31, noon-1 p.m. Sessions are suitable for all levels of experience. Bring your own mat and water bottle. Other upcoming events include the Sugarbush Pancake Brunch and Maple Syrup Time Demonstrations (March 19), and Quilting with Photographic Fabric & Embroidery (March 22).

See the full Arboretum events calendar >


March 17 - Chamber of Commerce Career Day

More than 400 high school juniors from regional schools are scheduled to visit UMC to learn about career opportunities from a number of local professionals during the annual Crookston Chamber of Commerce Career Day.

Learn more >

March 22 - An Inclusive Model of Diversity, Ability, and Inclusion

It's a Wrap! - A Blonde, Blind Lady and a Southern Sister, Turned Minnesotan: An Inclusive Model of Diversity, Ability, and Inclusion will be presented at 3:30 p.m., Bede Ballroom.

Learn more >

Habitat restoration project

The Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society recently joined staff from the Minnesota DNR, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Audubon Minnesota, and grouse enthusiasts to help restore a bog to prime sharp-tailed grouse habitat on the Palmville Wildlife Management Area located near Wannaska, MN.

Learn more >


NSF funds birch bark researchhands holding birch bark extract pellets

The Natural Resources Research Institute has received a National Science Foundation grant to work with a Minnesota producer of natural birch bark chemicals to increase production and lower prices. The process will produce chemicals that have been shown to be effective in the prevention and treatment of cancer, chronic inflammation, HIV/AIDS, type 2 diabetes, tuberculosis, and more.

Learn more >

Continuing Ed receives two grantstwo women at table

UMD's Continuing Education (CE) Department was awarded two grants from the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership program. The first grant will enable CE to design and launch a resiliency program for employees of Essentia Health. With the second grant, CE will create a leadership development program for Peace of Mind, a privately owned Duluth health care business.

Learn more >

March 17 - Winona LaDuke lectureWinona Laduke

UMD's Center for Ethics and Public Policy will host Winona LaDuke, who will speak about returning ethics to public policy discussions and today's challenges of major oil pipelines and mining expansion. 7-9 p.m., 90 Bohannon Hall.

Learn more >

The Biomechanics of Olympic Rowingrowing poster

In conjunction with this year's One Book Northland selection of The Boys in the Boat, faculty members from the Department of Applied Human Sciences will discuss and demonstrate the dynamics and precision required to row and compete. March 22, 7 p.m., 290 Engineering.

Learn more >


Joint symposium celebrates diversity of ideasAlan Love

Last month the UMM Philosophy Discipline partnered with UMTC to host the joint symposium "Biology in the 21st Century: Complex Concepts, Amazing Opportunities." The event served as a model for intercampus collaboration.

Learn more >


UMR and UMTC accredited together

UMR and UMTC have been re-accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), together. An erroneous headline confused the reporting of this positive news. As a new University of Minnesota system campus established since the last accreditation visit, UMR's contributions in teaching and learning as well student support services were noted as "exceptional" by the HLC.

Learn more >

UMR senior awarded research fellowshipHawa Ali

Spending a day surrounded by the renowned researchers and educators at Mayo Clinic, studying a topic that she is passionate about, and then presenting on that topic to experts in the field, UMR senior Hawa Ali is doing something only a select few get the chance to pursue. And it's her passion. Ali was recently awarded the American Gastroenterological Association Investing in the Future Student Research Fellowship, presented to just 10 undergraduate or medical students in United States.

Learn more >

Twin Cities

Healthy cooking classes available

Due to high demand, additional Cooking for Wellness sessions have been added and are now available. The Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute invites UMTC faculty and staff to participate in a four-week session of hands-on food preparation, nutrition, meal planning, and food safety lessons led by culinary instructors.

Register and learn more >

March 23 – Reducing Violence against African American Males

Moderated by MPR News host Tom Weber, Reducing Violence is a discussion with William Blair Anderson, St. Cloud Chief of Police, Brett Grant, Voices for Racial Justice, Gretchen Musicant, Minneapolis Health Department commissioner, and Deborah Prothrow-Stith, Harvard School of Public Health. Prothrow-Stith, a national leader in violence prevention, will provide the keynote address in this forum sponsored by the Center for Healthy African American Men through Partnerships (CHAAMPS). 1 p.m., Commons Hotel.

Registration and more >

March 28 - SciSpark 2016: Women in Science

More than a dozen scientists will present their work in five minutes or less at SciSpark 2016, a fun, fast-paced evening of mini-lectures by researchers on the St. Paul campus. Hear succinct takes on topics ranging from aquatic ecology to proteomics to climate change. Food and conversation to follow.

Registration and more >

March 29 - Remarks and discussion with U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar

"Chaos or Coherence? Foreign Policy Challenges for the Next President" will feature a panel discussion on foreign policy challenges facing the next U.S. President. The event, which will include opening remarks and an informal discussion with U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, will feature four distinguished experts from the Humphrey School and the Washington-based Stimson Center, as well as former officials from the White House, the U.S. Military, the National Intelligence Council, and others. 11:30 p.m. lunch followed by the discussion at 12:15 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School.

Registration and more >

Apr. 2 - Classes Without Quizzes

The Classes Without Quizzes program will feature the latest research from CFANS scientists, including keynote speaker Jay Bell, who will speak on the topic of "The 3 Ms of Soils: Minnesota, the Moon and Mars." Breakout sessions will include a variety of topics: grocers in rural Minnesota, cows and technology, recreation on the North Shore, Midwestern hops, and more. The Kids' Edition will provide K-6 youth the opportunity to explore topics like the lives of bees, backyard bugs, and raptors. 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Continuing Education Conference Center, St. Paul.

Learn more >

Apr. 6 - Power and Privilege in Today's America

Marc Lamont Hill, one of the leading intellectual voices in the country, will lead this keynote presentation. He is host of HuffPost Live and BET News, political contributor at CNN, and distinguished professor of African American Studies, Morehouse College. Light reception to follow. Open to the public. 6-8 p.m., Mayo Auditorium.

Learn more >

Apr. 7 – Headliners: The Growing Stickiness of Criminal Labels

Join Christopher Uggen, Martindale Chair and Distinguished McKnight Professor of Sociology and Law in the College of Liberal Arts and internationally renowned sociologist and criminologist, as he contrasts the fluidity in criminal behavior with the growing stickiness of public labels. Uggen will draw from an experimental study of low-level criminal records, demographic analysis of the population bearing such records, and the spillover effects on health care and other institutions.

Register and learn more >

Call for Proposals: [US] and Politics

The Institute for Advanced Study is organizing a fall Thursdays at Four series on interdisciplinary scholarly approaches to politics and the 2016 election. IAS seeks proposals for conversations that explore different perspectives on politics and the election (religious, economic, scientific, etc.). To apply, email by Apr. 30 a brief proposal that includes title, abstract of 100 words, list of possible participants, description of presentation format, and three to five critical questions the event would address. Email Sharon Fischlowitz with questions.

UMTC Featured Eventstwitter logo

March 20 - SONIC WAM: States of Being
March 22 – A Great Conversation with Lindsay Whalen & Cheryl Reeve: Building Champions in Women's Sports
March 23 - TWITTER CHAT | Leveraging Social Media for Your Job Search
March 23 - The Urban Dimensions of American Religion
March 24 - Love versus Duty: A Conversation about Mark Morris's "Dido and Aeneas"
March 25 - Reel Injun: Film Showing and Artist Lead Discussion
March 25 - Hit 'em Again: Is Violence an Essential Thread in the Fabric of American Society?

Events Calendar >