March 20, 2019

Vol. XLIX No. 11

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • President Kaler delivers his final State of the University address.
  • Features: Back to the start; Hyper drive; Enhancing dairy farm profitability.
  • People: Newly named Distinguished McKnight University Professors; and more.

Top News

President Kaler delivers his final State of the University address

Reflecting on his eight years as president and highlighting the growing impact of the University of Minnesota’s education, research, and outreach missions, President Eric Kaler delivered his final State of the University address on March 14. See excerpts from Kaler’s address, which can be found in full at SOTU 2019.

Back to the startnasa logo

In pondering the big questions of life, few are bigger than “Where did we come from?” Aaron Engelhart and Kate Adamala, researchers in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development, have joined the recently created Center for the Origin of Life, funded by NASA to answer that question. The center will explore the origins of life by looking at mutualistic relationships between metals, molecules, and minerals.

Hyper driveillustration of campus with AV bus

In October, a team of researchers led by Zhi-Li Zhang of the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering (CSE) received a $1.75 million grant from the NSF to study the potential impact of autonomous vehicles (AVs) on communities. Faculty involved in the project come from CSE, the Center for Transportation Studies, the College of Design, and the Humphrey School. Here are some of the ways researchers believe AVs will affect us.

Enhancing dairy farm profitabilityJolene Hadrich

College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences associate professor and U of M Extension specialist Joleen Hadrich is finding ways to combine animal health, production, and farm financial data to help dairy farmers create more profitable and sustainable operations. Read more and watch Hadrich describe her work in a video.


Newly named Distinguished McKnight University Professors; Jamie Stang has been chosen as one of 20 experts in the U.S. to shape the 2020-25 Dietary Guidelines for Americans; Mark Umbreit has been awarded the Distinguished Residency in Restorative Justice at the University of Minnesota Duluth; QS World University Rankings named the U of M College of Veterinary Medicine as the 13th-best veterinary medicine program in the world and the fifth-best in the U.S.; five College of Education and Human Development graduate programs have been ranked among the top 20 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Folwell web theme now availablegraphic of person stacking blocks

The Folwell web theme is now available for systemwide use via the Drupal 8 content management system, with code provided for units not using Drupal. The theme includes predesigned web components that will help save time and money on University website projects. Explore the benefits of Folwell, view the components, and provide feedback.

Creating sustainable, accessible scholarly publishing

The University of California system made news recently when it broke off negotiations with Elsevier, one of the world’s largest scholarly journal publishers. UC's main goals are to secure universal open access publishing for UC research so that anyone in the world can view it at no charge while curbing the rising costs of for-profit journals. Wendy Pradt Lougee, University librarian and dean of libraries, writes about what's happening at the University of Minnesota regarding publishing and open access.

Klodd helps grow Minnesota's wine grape industryAnnie Klodd with grape growers

Annie Klodd provides education and applied research to grape growers on the most effective ways to successfully grow high-quality Minnesota wine grapes in Minnesota’s climate. Klodd is an Extension educator in fruit and vegetable production. Learn more and watch a video.

March 29 - Learning Analytics iCoP meeting

Faculty and staff interested in Learning Analytics (LA) are invited to attend the LA informal community of practice (iCoP) meeting. The agenda will include an overview of significant learning analytics initiatives currently underway. RSVP to receive a calendar invitation to attend online or in person. 10-11:30 a.m., 110 Anderson Hall.

May 17-19 - Humanitarian Crisis Simulation

The University of Minnesota is hosting its sixth Humanitarian Crisis Simulation in Hudson, WI. This 48-hour immersive learning experience is delivered by partners from across the U of M and beyond to prepare learners to work or volunteer in a humanitarian crisis, and to develop a greater understanding of the refugee experience. Learn more about participating or volunteering.

Research Brief: Noninvasive ultrasound stimulation of spleen could lead to new treatments for inflammatory arthritis

Researchers at the University of Minnesota, in collaboration with researchers at Medtronic, have shown that noninvasive daily ultrasound stimulation of the spleen in mice with inflammatory arthritis resulted in significantly less joint swelling compared to arthritic mice that were not treated. The research is a first step to developing new treatment options for more than a million people in the United States who currently suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.


Student feature: Navjot SinghNavjot Singh

From the hustle and bustle of India to the serene surroundings of Crookston, senior Navjot Singh, a software engineering major, has traveled across the world to find himself.

Community letter from Chancellor Holz-Clause

Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause writes to the U of M Crookston community in a recent letter about the many events at the campus, from women’s basketball to the international dinner series.

March 26 - Book discussion: Girl, Wash Your Face

As part of Women's History Month, there will be a discussion about the book Girl, Wash Your Face. 3 p.m., UMC Library. Open to the public.


Perrault to be honoredJean Perrault

Music professor Jean Rudy Perrault will be honored at the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial annual fundraising dinner on March 23, Greysolon Ballroom, Duluth. Perrault will be recognized for his work with music students, for his own compositions, and for raising awareness of composers of African descent through the “Shades of Africa Festival” he founded at UMD.

Apr. 2 - Regional Economic Indicator ForumJen Ford Reedy

Jen Ford Reedy, president of the Bush Foundation, will be the keynote speaker at the Regional Economic Indicator Forum breakfast. Ford Reedy will present “How Change Happens” at 8 a.m., followed by a Q&A. A student poster session, networking, and breakfast begin at 7 a.m. Harbor Side Ballroom, Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.

Apr. 2 - Visual Culture Lecture Series with Neil MendozaNeil Mendoza

Neil Mendoza will present as part of the Visual Culture Lecture Series. Mendoza’s artwork uses sculpture, electronics, and software to bring inanimate objects and spaces to life. He earned an MA in math and computer science from Oxford University and an MFA in design media art from UCLA. He’s taught classes on art and technology at Stanford and UCLA. 6-7 p.m., 70 Montague Hall.


Alieva earns award for internationalizationEsmira Alieva

Esmira Alieva ’19 earned the Josef Mestenhauser Student Award for Excellence in Campus Internationalization. Alieva has worked to build relationships and connections between international and domestic students throughout her time at Morris. Inspired by her vision of unity, she aspires to continue to foster intercultural competence on a larger scale someday.

Dant earns PPIA FellowshipLexi Dant

Lexi Dant '20 earned a Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellowship. The fellowship helps students thrive in graduate studies and launch careers in public service and international affairs. Dant was interested in the program because it offered her the chance to get involved in education policy and to someday offer students like her a chance to achieve their dreams.

Drake wins international scholarship competitionCatherine Drake

Catherine Drake '21 was awarded a German Academic Exchange Service scholarship to support a Research Internships in Science and Engineering position this summer. The program offers undergraduates the chance to complete a research internship at top German universities and research institutions. Drake will research osteoporosis drugs at Bonn-Rhein-Sieg of Applied Sciences.

Summer Term registrationstudents on lawn studying

U of M Morris Summer Term provides a broad selection of summer courses for degree- and non-degree-seeking students. Summer Term makes it easy for community members and students from Morris and other colleges to enroll in undergraduate courses. Registration opens March 27.


A bold vision for the Rochester campus

With growing demand in health care, the Rochester campus is looking to expand enrollment and influence, reports the Minnesota Daily in a feature story about Rochester’s plans for growth. The campus is looking to enroll more than 1,000 students in the coming decade, then 1,500 students, and eventually to sustain around 2,500 students total.

Twin Cities

A senior living community with a University twistpillars of prospect park

The Pillars of Prospect Park at 22 Malcolm Ave. SE in Minneapolis was recently named the University of Minnesota Alumni Association's first senior living community partner. The property will offer a blend of services and amenities ranging from retail providers to assisted living, memory care, intergenerational programming, and an onsite daycare.

March 31 - Inspired: A Conversation with Misty CopelandMisty Copeland

Northrop will welcome celebrated dancer and author Misty Copeland for a special benefit to support Northrop's youth programs. Copeland is the first African-American woman elevated to ballet's highest title of principal dancer in New York's American Ballet Theatre. A limited number of VIP packages are available for $250 and include a pre-show reception and a photo opportunity. Tickets start at $20. 7:30 p.m., Carlson Family Stage, Northrop.

Apr. 5 - Public talk and policy panel featuring Bruce Western

Columbia professor Bruce Western, one of the nation's foremost experts on mass incarceration and co-director of Columbia University's Justice Lab, will discuss his new book Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison. His presentation will be followed by a response panel including Emily Hunt Turner, Jason Sole, and Tyler Winkelman, as well as an audience Q&A. No charge and open to the public. Mayo Auditorium.

Apr. 7 - Goldy's Run

Join thousands of runners and register for Goldy’s Run. Sign up for the beautiful 5K route through campus or a 10-mile route that runs along the Mississippi River. All races start at TCF Bank Stadium and finish on the 50-yard line. The race benefits the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital.

Apr. 10 - Naomi C. Chase Lecture in Children's Literature

Adam Gidwitz will present "Taboos and Children's Literature" at the Naomi C. Chase Lecture. Gidwitz is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, A Tale Dark and Grimm, and the Newbery Honor book, The Inquisitor’s Tale. His latest book, Unicorn Rescue Society: Chupacabras of the Río Grande, features bloodsucking monsters and Trump’s border wall. Gidwitz will address why he thinks such topics are appropriate for children and how writers and gatekeepers can, and should, discuss uncomfortable topics in engaging ways. No charge and open to the public. 5 p.m., 120 Andersen Library. Register and see the full agenda.

Apr. 10 - SciSpark 2019: Women in Science

Join in a celebration of women in science with an evening of fast-paced, five-minute “lightning talks” by University of Minnesota researchers on a range of topics. Come early for hands-on science activities, food, and community. All ages are welcome. Food and activities, 5:30-6:30 p.m.; Lightning talks, 6:30-7:30 p.m.; Panel discussion, 7:30-8 p.m., Coffman Union Theater.

Apr. 19 - Destination Discovery: St. Paul Campus

Come to an open house showcasing the entire St. Paul campus and its many programs featuring tours, events, food trucks, and educational activities for the entire community. Noon-3 p.m. RSVP to attend.

UMTC Featured Eventsballet dancers

March 21 - Next Generation of Parks Lecture Series: Robert Hammond
March 24 - Mindfulness Meditation Retreat
March 27 - GradFest '19
March 29 - Programming & Pizza March - Research Consultations Served with a Slice
March 30 - Ballet Preljocaj
Apr. 5 - NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four: Volunteer

Events Calendar >