March 18, 2015

Vol. XLV No. 11

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • 2015 State of the University Address.
  • Federal Relations update.
  • Feature: Foundation will expand researcher’s spatial data software.
  • People: Spring 2015 patent roll call; and more.

Top News

Apr. 2 - State of the University Address

The 2015 State of the University Address will feature remarks by President Kaler, followed by a moderated question-and-answer period and a light reception. Submit a question for Kaler now through the end of his address. He will also accept questions on Twitter (#UMNsotu), Beginning Apr. 2 at 3:30 p.m., Kaler will also accept questions on Twitter (#UMNsotu) and in written form from event attendees. 3:30-4:30 p.m., Coffman Union Theater and live via ITV to all campuses.

Learn more > 

Federal Relations update

The 114th Congress has begun with a burst of activity on funding proposals for the National Institutes of Health and other health-related agencies. President Obama's FY16 budget proposes a new precision medicine initiative with funding for a $215 million investment in the NIH, the FDA, and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Proposed legislation includes an Accelerating Biomedical Research Act, The Medical Innovation Act, the Permanent Investment in Health Research Act, and a 21st Century Cures initiative.

See Federal Relations >

Foundation will expand researcher’s spatial data softwaredigital pixels

In 2013 Mohamed Mokbel, an associate professor of computer science and engineering, created a platform that could handle giant sets of spatial data more quickly and gracefully than anything that came before it. Now the Eclipse Foundation has adopted the project. Meanwhile, he plans to continue developing the original version for the needs of research at the U. In his own work, it’s already paying dividends.

Read more >

Peopledrawing of lightbulbs and arm

Spring 2015 patent roll call; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

See People >

U-Wide News

New Information Security policy available for review

Effectively protecting electronic devices and other resources that store, transmit, or process University information requires active involvement by users as well as technical staff. The latest version of the Information Security administrative policy now includes more than 20 technical standards based on industry best practices. It is currently open for 30-day review.

Review the policy >

March 21 - Sugarbush Pancake Brunch and Syruping Demosstack of pancakes

The U of M Landscape Arboretum will host its annual Sugarbush Pancake Brunch from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Oswald Visitor Center. Tickets can be purchased the day of the event at the Arboretum. Before or after brunch, venture outside for a self-guided maple syrup tour and demonstrations to discover how trees are tapped and sap collected and processed into pure maple syrup.

Learn more >

March 24 - Campus Conversation: Conflict Resolution

Julie Showers, director of the Office for Conflict Resolution (OCR), will lead a discussion on conflict resolution and the role of OCR. Noon-1 p.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union and live online via UMConnect. A discussion will follow the presentation.

Learn more and RSVP >

May 12 - The Other Side of Poverty in Schools

This one-day workshop is for teachers, administrators, counselors, and teacher educators to learn about the five principles for change to better meet the needs of working-class and poor students, develop research-based teaching practices, and take away classroom ideas. Email Colleen Clements for a discounted rate of $75 for faculty and staff and $25-$50 for students. 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 325 Education Sciences bldg.

Register and learn more >


March 19 - Career Day

More than 500 high school juniors from regional schools will visit campus to learn about different careers from about 40 local professionals during Career Day, sponsored by UMC and the Crookston Chamber of Commerce Education Committee.

Learn more >

March 23 - Banned Books event planning

Be part of next fall's Banned Books event by attending the planning meeting March 23, 3:30 p.m., Academic Success Center, 270 Owen Hall.

Learn more >

March 24 - Weave Got Maille presentation

The Business Department will host Edie Ramsted, owner of Weave Got Maille, to speak to business students and other interested individuals about her experiences as the owner of a small business that conducts business internationally. Noon, Bede Ballroom.

Learn more >


UMD gender inclusive housingshoes

In fall 2015, UMD will offer gender inclusive housing. Students will be able to select apartments in which their roommates can be any combination of genders. While drafting a plan, input was sought from members of UMD’s Queer & Allied Student Union and the UMD GLBT Commission, which stressed the importance of removing the gender barrier for transgender students.

Learn more >

Global UMD podcastpodcast

The second episode of the Global UMD podcast series introduces listeners to the Intercultural Communication course and a friendship that developed through the class. Jiaxun Fan, a senior majoring in journalism, produces the podcast.

Learn more >

March 24 - Visual Culture Lecturevisual lecture logo

Heidi Jensen, a UMD alumna and associate professor of art at Ball State University, will present as part of the Visual Culture Lecture series. Her artwork, primarily drawing, explores issues regarding biology, narrative, and function. 6-7 p.m., 70 Montague Hall.

Learn more (PDF) >


UMM appoints Bill Robb as development officerBill Robb

UMM has appointed Bill Robb as its major gifts officer. Robb holds a B.A. degree in journalism from the University of North Dakota and is a certified gift planning associate. He also has a strong record of community leadership and volunteer work. Robb brings to campus extensive experience in development, particularly in major and planned giving.

Learn more >

Hoidal awarded Sullivan ScholarshipNatalie Hoidal

Natalie Hoidal ’15, Forest Lake, is one of two recipients of the Katherine E. Sullivan Scholarship. Hoidal will spend the 2015-16 academic year in Copenhagen, Denmark. There she will work with professor Sven-Erik Jacobsen of the University of Copenhagen to develop a breeding program for amaranth. Hoidal is majoring in biology and environmental studies.

Learn more >

Sutton qualifies for NCAA ChampionshipsKaopua Sutton

Kaopua Sutton ’15, Hilo, HI, has qualified for the 2015 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in the shot put. Sutton currently ranks 15th in shot put in the country. She is the first Cougar to compete in the NCAA Indoor Championships since the team moved to NCAA Division III.

Learn more >

March 21 - National Players Present The TempestDancers

The 2014-15 Performing Arts Series concludes with the National Players in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The presentation is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Minnesota State Arts Board and General Mills Foundation.

Learn more >

March 27-28 - Theatre Arts Discipline presents Many MoonsActors on stage

The Theatre Arts Discipline’s 2014-15 season will conclude with the children’s play Many Moons by James Thurber. The play tells the story of a princess who falls ill and, with help from her Jester, tries to finds her own cure. Alumna Deon Haider ’14 is guest director.

Learn more >


Beyond PowerPoint: Tech Talk Highlights New Learning Technologies

Recently, seven faculty and IT speakers presented a Tech Talk consisting of eight lightning talks to demonstrate teaching and learning technologies that are available to faculty at UMR. The talks are an opportunity to share technology and spark new ideas that could be used in the classroom. Additional Tech Talks are planned once per semester as classroom technologies continue to evolve.

Read more >

Twin Cities

Northrop Happy Hour continues

Northrop's Surdyk's Café continues to a host Happy Hour on Thursdays, 4:30-6:30 p.m., including during spring break. Due to reduced building hours, attendees are asked to enter through the west doors. Offerings include wine, beer, cocktails, and snack selections. Surdyk's is located on the west-side first floor of Northrop and offers breakfast, lunch, and pre-show dining options, as well as a full-service café and event catering services.

More information and a complete menu >

Nominate outstanding student employees

Supervisors of students are encouraged to nominate student staff for the Outstanding Student Employee Award. The award seeks to recognize the top undergraduate student employees on the Twin Cities campus. Nominations are due March 30. Award winners will be recognized at a May 7 event.

Learn more and nominate >

New Commuting Option

Minnesota Valley Transit Authority Route 490 now offers trips to the U of M. Faculty and staff living in Prior Lake, Shakopee, and surrounding areas can take advantage of the new commuting option. Trips begin in Prior Lake and serve Eagle Creek and Southbridge Crossing with three morning and three afternoon trips.

Learn more >

Jewish Refugees in Shanghai exhibit

The Confucius Institute will present "Jewish Refugees in Shanghai (1933-41)," an exhibit that shares stories about the unique experiences of Jewish refugees (including four Minnesotans) who fled to Shanghai, China, to escape Nazi persecution during World War II. The full exhibit is on display at the Sabes Jewish Community Center, with a partial exhibit at the St. Paul Jewish Community Center. It runs through May 7, with a grand opening March 19.

Learn more >

Apr. 3 - Addressing Change – Perceptions of Threat in Today's World

The annual Council of Graduate Students Research Symposium will showcase the research of U of M graduate students from a broad range of programs as it pertains to the perception of threat in today's changing world. The keynote will be given by Steven Schlozman, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of The Zombie Autopsies: Secret Notebooks from the Apocalypse. There is no cost to attend and lunch will be provided for those who register.

Registration and more information >

Apr. 16 - Pankake Poetry Reading

University Libraries hosts the sixth annual Pankake Poetry Reading, featuring Michael Dennis Browne, poet and U of M emeritus professor, reading from his new book, The Voices. The event also includes a musical performance by Kathy Saltzman Romey and the University Singers. 4-6 p.m., Andersen Library.

Registration and more information >

UMTC Featured Eventsdrawing of a bike

Addressing Bullying Behavior in the Workplace (March 20)

"Listening In(to) Relationships" - Dr. Graham D. Bodie (March 23)

The Decemberists (March 24)

Minnesota bicycling: A Work in Progress (March 25)

Frontiers: Advanced heat recovery in buildings (March 25)

Strategy and Global Politics (March 26)

Events Calendar >