March 2, 2016

Vol. XLVI No. 8

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Driven to Discover: D. Subbaram Naidu.
  • Feature: Driven to Fight for Educational Equality. 
  • People: Erin Carlson has been named a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers; and more.

Top News

Driven to Discover: D. Subbaram NaiduSubbaram Naidu

"Control" is D. Subbaram Naidu's passion, and his desire for even more control could provide life-changing benefits for millions of people. Naidu, a professor and the Minnesota Power Jack Rowe Chair in electrical engineering at the University of Minnesota Duluth, is creating a five-finger prosthetic hand that can do most anything a human hand can do.

Read more >

Driven to Fight for Educational EqualityAneesh Sohoni

U of M alumnus Aneesh Sohoni, recently named one of Forbes magazine's "30 Under 30 in Education" for 2016, talks about education reform and what drives him in his career.

Read more >


Erin Carlson has been named a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. Government on science and engineering professionals; Rafael Fernandes and William Pomerantz have been named 2016 Cottrell Scholars; UMTC has ranked sixth in the nation among public universities in the number of 2015-16 Fulbright Program student awards; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Benefits Advisory Committee requests comments

Your comments about your experiences with the health and wellness plans since January 2015 are valuable to the Benefits Advisory Committee as it monitors the quality of services for the UPlan health benefits program. Anonymous summaries of comments are used in performance reviews of UPlan health plans. Comment deadline is March 14.

Submit comments >

Arts, Design, and Humanities Chair

The Imagine Fund committee encourages faculty to submit an application for the Arts, Design, and Humanities Chair. Full proposals are due March 21. During the two-year term, the faculty awardee receives up to $70,000 to work with a group of faculty, staff, students, and other collaborators to create a program of activities for the University community and the community at large. Email Emily Ronning with questions.

Learn more and apply >

Call for applications: Leadership initiative to advance health equity

The U of M School of Public Health has issued a call for applications for Interdisciplinary Research Leaders, a program it is leading for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. It will train teams from across the country representing diverse disciplines, geography, backgrounds, and perspectives to produce community-relevant, action-oriented research to improve health and wellbeing. Apply by Apr. 19.

Learn more and apply >


U of M advocates on campus

Adam Yust, alumni advocacy director at the U of M Alumni Association, and Mike Miller, legislative advocacy coordinator at the U of M Office of Government and Community Relations, will visit campus March 2.

March 3 - Convocation

Brandy Chaffee, chief development officer, will be the featured speaker at Spring Semester Convocation. Noon, Kiehle Auditorium.

Learn more >

March 8 - Women's Health Issues conversation

"Women's Health Issues: What you wish your Mama had told you" is an open dialogue event featuring a presentation by Erika Beckett, CNP with Riverview Clinic. Noon, Bede Ballroom.

Learn more >


Global mental healthMustafa al'Absi

Duluth Medical Research Institute Director Mustafa al'Absi was among the authors who offered recommendations on the subject of global mental health in a recent review published in Nature. While they recognized that awareness of mental illness has increased, al'Absi and his colleagues called for more action in the areas of treatment and research.

Learn more >

Pre-Doc ProgramBasit Hammad Qureshi

Pre-doctoral program scholars Basit Hammad Qureshi and Alex Hermida are gaining teaching experience while they work to complete their dissertations. In return, they offer students diverse perspectives within their areas of expertise.

Learn more >

March 24 - Upper Great Lakes Law and Policy SymposiumGreat lakes symposium poster

Recognizing the need for a deeper conversation, the U's Law School and Sea Grant will host experts from the U.S. and Canada at the Upper Great Lakes Law and Policy Symposium. The event will focus on how recent activities might serve as models for tackling Great Lakes trans-boundary issues like climate, mining, crude oil/energy movement, and water levels.

Learn more >


Batchenkova selected for Exceptional Research Opportunities ProgramNatalia Batchenkova

Natalia Batchenkova '18, Morris, is one of only a few students nationwide selected for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Exceptional Research Opportunities Program, which provides outstanding summer research experiences to motivated undergraduates from groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences. Batchenkova is the second UMM student selected for the program.

Learn more >

March 5 - UMM Chancellor Emeritus Samuel Schuman celebrationSam Schuman

UMM will celebrate the life and legacy of the late Chancellor Emeritus Samuel Schuman, remembered for his intellect, wit, firm belief in the value of liberal arts and liberal learning, and scholarly contributions to his discipline and to higher education. He will be honored in the tradition of Festschrift—from the German fest ("celebration") and schrift ("writing").

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R.T. Rybak named 2016 Commencement speakerR.T. Rybak

R.T. Rybak will be UMM's 2016 Commencement speaker. Rybak is former Minneapolis mayor, current executive director of Generation Next, and author of Pothole Confidential: My Life as Mayor of Minneapolis. UMM's 53rd commencement will be held May 14.

Learn more >


Faculty Member Explores 'Women of Mayo Clinic' In New Bookwomen of Mayo book cover

Virginia Wright-Peterson has written Women of Mayo Clinic: The Founding Generation. Her book focuses on about 40 all-but-forgotten figures who propelled the clinic forward in its early years.

Learn more >

Future UMR Students Showcase Their Passion For Helping Othersstudent scholar

It's not an easy position to be put in—to judge how much a student has made an impact in their community. But UMR staff and faculty had the privilege of hearing from high school seniors who were competing for the Difference Maker scholarship at the Health Care Scholars Day.

Learn more >

UMR CONNECTS: 'Putting Yourself In A Position To Succeed'

Jon Lucivansky just completed his seventh season as a side judge official in the National Football League. Lucivansky overcame long odds to be successful at the highest level of professional football, and will present a straightforward and understandable approach to being successful.

Learn more >

Twin Cities

March 4, 5 - Bach's St. Matthew Passion

A staged production of Johann Sebastian Bach's masterpiece of sacred music performed by the soloists and members of the University Singers and University Symphony Orchestra, in collaboration with students and faculty from the Hochschule für Musik Detmold, Germany, and the Minnesota Boychoir. The March 5 event will be live streamed. 7:30 p.m., Ted Mann Concert Hall.

Tickets and more >

March 7 - MnDRIVE Symposium: Advancing Industry, Conserving Our Environment

The MnDRIVE Environment Symposium will highlight the research of MnDRIVE sponsored faculty and students. The symposium will include a poster session and the opportunity to network with colleagues and guests. 1-5 p.m., Cargill Auditorium, St. Paul.


March 8 - International Women's Day

The Humphrey School of Public Affairs will celebrate women and their social, economic, cultural, and political achievements here at home and around the world during its International Women's Day event. The U community will gather to share stories and learn more about what each other, our faculty, and our alumni are doing to promote the contributions of women worldwide. 3-5 p.m., Humphrey School.

Registration and more >

March 9 - Sip of Science: Minnesota's Water Challengegraphic of shadow t-rex sipping wine with human shadow

"Minnesota's Water Challenge: The Science and Psychology of managing a sustainable harvest of an 'invisible' resource" will feature geologist Paul Putzier of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. 5:30 p.m., Aster Cafe, 125 S.E. Main St., Minneapolis.

RSVP and more >

CTSI funding opportunity

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute's Community Health Collaborative grants, which fund high-impact research projects involving the University and the broader community, are open to receive Letters of Interest until March 9. Full proposals will be due Apr. 27.

Learn more and apply >

March 15 - Does Competition Promote Planet-Saving Innovation?

The U of M Technological Leadership Institute presents "Technically Speaking: Does Competition Promote Planet-Saving Innovation?" with guest speaker Alfred Marcus, professor and Edson W. Spencer Endowed Chair at the Technological Leadership Institute. Using case studies from his recent book, Innovations in Sustainability: Food and Fuel, Marcus will examine the progress, obstacles, and evolution of sustainable innovations among world-leading companies. 5:30 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center.

Registration and more information >

March 22 - CEHD Research Day

The College of Education and Human Development's Research Day will showcase the leading research of faculty, staff, and students on topics such as educational equity, autism, children's mental health, and healthy living across all ages. This year's event includes a three-minute thesis competition, in which six to eight Ph.D. student finalists will present their theses in three minutes with one PowerPoint slide. 10 a.m.-1 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center.

RSVP by March 18 >

March 31 - Women of Color in STEM: A Networking Event

Women of Color in STEM will help connect underrepresented undergraduate women in STEM fields with professional women in STEM, and expose them to the various careers that are available. The event is informal, but it will be a valuable experience for students to network and learn. 5-7 p.m., Bruininks Hall.

RSVP and learn more >

UMTC Featured EventsWing Young Huie

March 2 - Frontiers in the Environment

March 3 - Alumni Webinar Series - Uncovering the Treasures of the U of M Archives

March 3 - Morals, Markets, and Lawyers

March 4 - WE ARE THE OTHER: Get Outside of Your Bubble | Identity Lecture & Workshop with Wing Young Huie

March 7 - St Paul Campus Blood Drive

March 7 - Guest Recital: Craig Sheppard, piano

March 9 - Using Strawberries as a Case Study of How Fruit Production is Changing

March 10 - First Books with Creative Writing MFA Alums

Events Calendar >