March 21, 2018

Vol. XLVIII No. 11

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Board of Regents meets March 22-23.
  • Features: Opioids not superior pain relievers; Healthily ever after; Teens in homeless families more likely to attempt suicide; BMT: The original cell therapy.
  • People: Nearly 70 M Health physicians have been honored as “Rising Stars” by Mpls.St.Paul Magazine; and more.

Top News

Board of Regents meets March 22-23

The Board of Regents will hold its March meeting in Rochester to emphasize items of importance to UMR and southeastern Minnesota. The agenda will include the board’s formal introduction to UMR chancellor Lori Carrell and a discussion of the vision for the campus. Regents will also discuss the Research & Discovery focus area of the U of M Systemwide Strategic Plan.

See the news release for more details >

Opioids not superior pain relieverspill capsules

A big obstacle to stemming the tide of addiction to opioid pain relievers has been the doubt that nonopioid drugs could provide similar relief. But in a striking new study led by University of Minnesota/Minneapolis VA Health Care System researcher Erin Krebs, nonopioids not only weren’t inferior, but in some ways tested superior, to opioids.

Read more about this work >

Healthily ever afterbaby Jane Comfort and her mother

Children with the devastating type of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) diagnosed in little Jane Comfort usually don’t live to see their third birthdays. But a U of M doctor’s suspicion--and decisive action--set a life-changing series of events in motion. Through a combination of initiative and timely observation, Jane was saved from at least a month and a half of irreversible muscle deterioration, and had treatment started even a month later, Jane likely would have needed a feeding tube and 24-hour breathing support for the rest of her life.

Learn more about Jane's journey >

Teens in homeless families more likely to attempt suicideyoung child leaning against wall

According to a recent estimate, 1 in 30 children are homeless annually. A new study has found the risk of suicide and other emotional health problems is increased among youth who have experienced family homelessness in the past year, and though developmental assets reduce this risk, some of them are less protective for homeless youth compared to housed youth.

BMT: The original cell therapybone marrow transplant cell graphic

It’s an idea that’s reshaping medicine today: using cells, rather than chemicals, to eradicate disease. But it’s a familiar concept at the U of M Masonic Cancer Center. In the 50 years since the world’s first successful bone marrow transplant (BMT) from a matched, related donor was performed at the U, this cell therapy has paved the way for a new generation of treatments and provided hope to thousands of people facing otherwise incurable diseases.

Learn how BMT works >


Nearly 70 M Health physicians have been honored as “Rising Stars” by Mpls.St.Paul Magazine; Gary Anderson has been named dean of the School of Dentistry; 2018 recipients of the U of M's Outstanding Community Service Award were recently honored; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Administrative policy updates

The new Parental Leave for Employees policy provides both parents who meet eligibility requirements with six weeks paid leave, expands coverage to include gestational surrogacy, removes the nine-month employee eligibility requirement, and replaces the current policy: Parental Leave for Academic Employees. The new Postdoctoral Appointments policy provides a fringe benefit--parental leave (see above for new policy language) for postdoctoral fellows--which was not previously provided to this appointment classification.

The policy drafts are available for review and comment >

Protecting Minnesota’s drinking water

The value of clean water remains largely invisible, but the Institute on the Environment’s Natural Capital Project, in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health, is working to change this reality. Through a combination of approaches that includes mapping, modeling, stakeholder engagement, and conversations with water experts around the state, the effort is illuminating the true value of clean water in Minnesota.

Apr. 29-May 2 - International Conference on One Medicine One Science

iCOMOS 2018 is a global forum on science and policy at the interface of environment, agriculture, and medicine. The event will feature keynotes by Nobel laureates and global thought leaders; scientific sessions covering agriculture’s influence on health and the environment; interactive sessions on precision medicine, science communication, and health policy; and panel discussions among researchers on emerging, zoonotic, and other infectious diseases. iCOMOS is coordinated by the College of Veterinary Medicine and cosponsored by 13 colleges and units.

Register and learn more >

May 3-5 - Statistics and Data Science for Earth Systems

The annual conference of the Institute for Research on Statistics and its Applications will be held at the University of Minnesota at the Graduate Hotel in Minneapolis. This year, the theme is “Statistics and Data Science for Earth Systems.”

Register and learn more >

May 29-June 2 - National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education

Discounts are available when registering for the 31st annual National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education, to be held in New Orleans. Those planning to attend all or part of the conference can receive a 10 percent discount and may sign up to attend a May 31 dinner with the Office for Equity and Diversity and other U of M colleagues.


Sophomore Josh Kauck: Connecting Academics and OpportunitiesJosh Kauch and teachers

Playing football brought Josh Kauck to the U of M Crookston, where he plays on the defensive line for the Golden Eagles. Now, an opportunity to help with a robotics camp may have changed the direction of his future altogether. This semester, Kauck, who developed his own curriculum materials, is teaching public school teachers how to teach their students to program robots.

Learn more >

Spring theater production: Twelve Angry Men

A theater production of the courtroom drama Twelve Angry Men will take place at the U of M Crookston. The play is a co-production of the Crookston Community Theater and the U of M Crookston Music and Theater Department. Performances begin March 22, 12:15 p.m., followed by performances on March 23 and 24, 7:30 p.m., Kiehle Auditorium.

March 26 - New Student Registration and Scholarship Luncheon for Merit Scholars

The New Student Registration and Scholarship Luncheon for Merit Scholars will include campus tours and multiple information sessions for students and parents, as well as lunch and additional programming. 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Sargeant Student Center.


Morse Award recipientsMitra Emad

Associate Professors Mitra Emad, Anthropology, Sociology and Criminology (College of Liberal Arts), and Geoffrey Bell, Management Studies (Labovitz School of Business and Economics), are recipients of the 2017-18 Horace T. Morse Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education. Emad helped found UMD’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Bell was instrumental in launching LSBE’s new Sustainable Organization Minor.

Berlo honoredJosh Berlo

Josh Berlo has been named a recipient of the 2017-18 Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year Award by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. Berlo was one of four athletics directors in the NCAA Division II who were selected for the award, which is given to those who demonstrate their commitment and positive contributions to student-athletes, campuses, and surrounding communities.

March 23-24 - Shades of Africa Festival: Rise Up!Map of Africa

The accomplishments and legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela will be celebrated during Shades of Africa: Rise Up! On March 23, the presentation Apartheid, Civil Rights and the Quest for Social Justice will feature the Honorable Judge LaJune Thomas Lange, Minnesota's honorary Consul for South Africa, as well as five Duluth community leaders. On March 24, the film Sarafina! will be shown as a commemoration for the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth and the fight against Apartheid.


Summer term registrationMorris campus summer scene

Registration for summer term opens March 21. Summer courses include a broad range of offerings that meet the same academic rigor as classes taught during the fall and spring semesters, all in a condensed format.

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santanadancers

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana will close the 2017-18 Performing Arts Series on March 23. One of the nation's premier flamenco and Spanish dance companies, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana upholds the traditions of flamenco and classical Spanish dance while pushing the boundaries of the art form in new directions.

Book celebrationCourse book cover

Tinderbox Editions has released Teaching Specialist Athena Kildegaard’s latest book of poetry, Course. On March 26, the campus will host a celebratory reception featuring a song cycle of poems from the book by Minnesota composer Linda Kachelmeier, performed by Professor of Piano Pedagogy Ann DuHamel and Anika Kildegaard ’13. A book signing and reception will follow. 7-8 p.m., Recital Hall, Humanities Fine Arts Building.

Apr. 6-7 - UMM Jazz FestivalJazz Fest poster

Tickets for the 2018 UMM Jazz Festival are on sale now. Guest artists include Kate Skinner, JC Sanford, Josh Skinner, Pete James Johnson, the West Central All Stars Big Band, and UMM Alumni Jazzers Big Band.

Visioning and Planning task force call for participants

The Visioning and Planning task force seeks UMM faculty, staff, and student participation in the next phase of its work. Task force members will facilitate activities this month to discuss how UMM will be a leader in liberal arts education 10 years from now. Members of the campus community are encouraged to attend.


Students Today Leaders Forever

Nineteen UMR students spent spring break taking care of others during the Students Today Leaders Forever trip. In just nine days, the students traveled to seven U.S. cities, where they created trails, cleaned brush, volunteered at a zoo, packed food at food banks, and raised money for Mercy Homes for Boys and Girls.

UMR joins in Day at the Capitol

UMR joined dozens of Rochester companies and community leaders last week at the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce’s Day at the Capitol event. The event included visits with legislators from across the state in order to highlight Rochester and regional priorities for the current legislative session. Key issues included funding for transportation, workforce housing, business tax relief, and more.

March 27 - UMR Connects: The Human Library

The next UMR Connects will highlight The Human Library™, an initiative developed by the World Culture Center in Denmark that allows people to check out human "books" for a unique learning experience. Participants can discover what it's like to be a refugee, a homeless person, a police officer, or a gay man. 7 p.m., 417 University Square.

Twin Cities

Show off your department at ‘Neighborhood U’

The University's Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) is launching “Neighborhood U”--a series of family-friendly community events beginning in April designed to connect community members with University resources and research. For details about how to showcase your department's offerings, email Leola Crawford.

March 23 - Writing and Interpretation (Panel)

Faculty panelists will discuss their use of formal and informal writing assignments to prompt, teach, and assess interpretation in their fields. Lunch will be provided to registrants. Noon-1:30 p.m., 226 Appleby Hall.

Register and learn more >

Cops N’ Coffee

UMPD is partnering with the Aurora Center to host its semiannual Cops N’ Coffee on March 27 (Washington Avenue pedestrian bridgehead), March 28 (Union Street Plaza, across from the East Bank LRT station), and March 29 (St. Paul Student Center bus stop). The U community is invited to stop by for coffee and donuts and to meet University Police Chief Matt Clark and the Community Engagement Team. Events begin at 8 a.m. and go until the donuts are gone.

Apr. 5 - The Business of Energy Transition

The Carlson School of Management Energy Conference will explore the business angle of the transformative changes taking place in the energy industry today, featuring numerous industry and public representatives. 12:30-4:30 p.m., 3M Auditorium, Carlson School.

No charge, but registration is required >

Apr. 5 - Art as Inspiration for the Common Good: Honoring Joan and Walter Mondale

Join in a special evening to examine art in public policy and to honor contributions by Joan and Walter Mondale. The event includes a panel discussion that will address ways that art helps to advance the common good, which includes Roderick Cox (Minnesota Orchestra), Carra Martinez (Guthrie Theater), and Matthew Welch (Minneapolis Institute of Art), and will be followed by the dedication of the newly named Joan and Walter Mondale Commons. No charge. 5 p.m., Humphrey School.

Register and learn more >

Apr. 13 - ‘Is Climate Change a Science Problem or an Engineering Problem?’

The Katherine and Arthur Sehlin Memorial Lecture, “Is Climate Change a Science Problem or an Engineering Problem?”, will be presented by G. Wayne Clough, president emeritus, Georgia Institute of Technology. 3:30 p.m., 100 Rapson Hall.

Register by Apr. 10 >

UMTC Featured Eventssolar panels with wind turbines

March 22 - Native Artist Talk: Tall Paul
March 22 - Curiosity Drives Progress Lecture Series: Advancing Human Health
March 23 - 10,000 Makes Makeathon
March 23 - Body Positive: My Personal Journey to Finding Self-Love and Acceptance as a Trans Woman of Color
March 26 - Mondays @ Minnesota – Guest Recital: Jamie Rose Guarrine, soprano, and Seth Keeton, bass-baritone
March 28 - Alumni Webinar: How to Get Promoted
March 28 - Making Sustainability Pay
Apr. 6-7 - Statistics, Monte Carlo, and So Much More: A Conference in Honor of Charlie Geyer

Events Calendar >