March 23, 2016

Vol. XLVI No. 11

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Driven to Discover: Bob Gehrz.
  • Features: From Sugar Beets to Spandex; The Game's Afoot.
  • People: 2016-17 Imagine Fund Annual Award recipients; and more.

Top News

Driven to Discover: Bob GehrzBob Gehrz

The Big Bang didn't make any noise, but it keeps Bob Gehrz awake at night. Gehrz is showing how physics shaped the Universe.

Read more >

From Sugar Beets to Spandexcorn stalks in field

U of M researchers have engineered cost-effective ways to turn agricultural waste like cornstalks, sugar beet pulp, and orange peels into chicken feed and even spandex. The new processes will be better for the environment—and bottom lines.

Read more >

The Game's AfootSeyhoya Cotner

Sehoya Cotner and Barbara Billington have teamed with local startup Andamio Games to create a tablet-based lesson on cell respiration and photosynthesis after receiving a $150,000 NSF grant. Pilots will be conducted with classroom teachers this summer, and the interactive series will eventually be provided at no charge to schools throughout the country.

Learn more >


2016-17 Imagine Fund Annual Award recipients; Marla Spivak has been named a recipient of the Siehl Prize for Excellence in Agriculture; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Request for applications: State Fair D2D building

The U of M's Driven to Discover research facility on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds is a resource for both faculty and student researchers who wish to recruit research subjects from among the fair's 1.8 million yearly visitors. A short online application form is due Apr. 10.

Learn more and apply >

Apr. 6 - Startup Seminar: Working with an Entrepreneur

U of M faculty, graduate students, and post-docs are invited to a startup seminar and networking event for researchers interested in connecting with experienced, successful entrepreneurs. Learn from faculty and entrepreneurs with real-world experience in engaging with successful business ventures and who are well-versed in commercializing university technologies. No charge, and includes complimentary drinks and hors d'oeuvres. 5-7:30 p.m., 105 Cargill Building, St. Paul.

Register and learn more >

Apr. 6 - Best practices on motivating and engaging faculty and staff

Leadership and Talent Development and the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs will present the panel "Senior Academic Leaders Share Best Practices on Motivating and Engaging Faculty and Staff," featuring leaders from across the U. Open to all faculty and staff. 1-3:30 p.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union.

Register and learn more >

June 20-21 - Educational Equity in Action

Registration is now open for Educational Equity in Action, the first-ever U of M convening of Minnesota's education leaders, researchers, policymakers, and nonprofit organizations committed to improving educational equity. Upon registration, you'll become a member of an online community that will help shape the event by discussing current issues and sharing what's working in your organizations and communities.

Register and learn more >


March 23-24 - Cultivating wellbeing workshop

Professor Mary Jo Kreitzer, director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Spirituality and Healing, will present a workshop and program on cultivating wellbeing in our lives and communities.

Learn more >

March 23 - Golden Eagle Gratitude

Encourage students to participate in Golden Eagle Gratitude, a campus celebration of donor support. The first 100 students to write a thank-you will receive a t-shirt, pizza, and cookies. 11:44 a.m.-12:44 p.m., Sargeant Student Center. Hosted by the Office of Development & Alumni Relations.

Learn more >

March 29 - Victorian era comes to life

Two presentations on Victorian era life including "The Past is a Foreign Country: Understanding Historical Diversity through Cultural Studies Techniques" and "Victorian Ventures: Flip Your Paradigm" will be featured. Noon, Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.

Learn more >


McInnes honoredBRian Mcinnes

Brian McInnes, assistant professor in the Department of Education, is a 2016 recipient of the Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award, which recognizes excellence in undergraduate teaching. With this award, he is also inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers and will provide leadership to the University community as a mentor, adviser, and spokesperson.

Learn more >

Solar assistance grantsolar panels

UMD has been awarded a grant to assess the feasibility of installing solar photovoltaics on campus. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory will provide an initial assessment, including cost-effectiveness of solar installations, recommended system sizes, estimated capital costs, and estimated life-cycle cost savings.

Learn more >

Honors Journal onlinejournal cover

The University Honors (UH) journal, Aisthesis, was published exclusively online for the first time in its seven-year history. The journal features poetry, research, fiction, nonfiction, and artwork submitted by UH students from across the country. The journal is curated and produced by UMD's UH students in conjunction with an advanced writing honors course taught by Associate Professor Elizabethada Wright.

Learn more >

March 29 - Visual Culture Lecture SeriesDaniella Sandler

Daniela Sandler will present as part of the free Visual Culture Lecture Series. She is an assistant professor of architectural and urban history in the UMTC School of Architecture. Her teaching and research interests include history and memory in the built environment. 6-7 p.m., 70 Montague Hall.

Learn more >


Juried art exhibition showcases student workabstract art

Artwork by UMM students will be on display during the 2016 Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition in the Edward J. & Helen Jane Morrison Gallery. This year's student show features works from majors and non-majors, beginning to advanced students. An opening reception will be held March 24, 7-9 p.m.

Learn more >

Apr. 5 - French Poetry Contestpoetry poster

The 30th Annual Edith R. Farrell French Poetry Contest celebrating student performance and literature will showcase students' proficiency in the French language and their appreciation of the culture's written arts. This event will recognize UMM students who have shown studious dedication to the linguistics and culture of France. 7 p.m., Oyate Hall.

Learn more >

UMM Research: Crash risk higher among truckers not adhering to OSA treatmenttrucking researchers

Truck drivers who fail to adhere to treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have a fivefold increase in the risk of serious, preventable crashes, according to a new study led by UMM faculty and staff members Stephen Burks, Jon Anderson, and Rebecca Haider along with nine student researchers.

Learn more >


March 29 - UMR CONNECTS: If You Let Me Playbeth Goetz

Beth Goetz, interim athletics director at UMTC, will discuss the growth of women's sports, Title IX, and creating future leaders at the next UMR CONNECTS. She'll also provide updates about Gopher Athletics. 7 p.m., 417 University Square.

Learn more >

Twin Cities

Last call for Living Lab proposals

Have an idea to create a space on campus to explore and research sustainability? Proposals from the University community will be accepted through March 25 to utilize campus grounds as a living laboratory. Selected proposals will be provided space on the campus and assistance facilitating project implementation.

Learn more >

Japanese Tea Ceremony performance and bamboo carving workshop

A Japanese Tea Ceremony performance by Professor Fumio Watanabe (Yamagata University, Japan) and tea ceremony for students at the U will take place March 28, 4:30-7 p.m., 140 Nolte. A bamboo-carving workshop taught by Professor Watanabe will take place March 29, 5:15-6:45 p.m., E117 Regis Center for Art. Participants will learn how to carve a chashaku "bamboo tea scoop" used in the Japanese tea ceremony. Interested participants should email Paul Linden.

Apr. 4 - Women's Health Research Conference

The 2016 Women's Health Research Conference, "Environmental Exposures and Hormones: Implications for Health," will examine the impact of environmental aspects that alter hormone action on human health and chronic conditions, as well as strategies and treatments aimed at reducing these risks. This year's event features two renowned keynote speakers, an expert panel, and a poster session and reception. Cost: $25; $15 for students.

Registration and more >

Apr. 5 - The Beginning and End of Rape: Author Talk with Sarah Deer

Sarah Deer, a 2014 MacArthur Fellow and professor of law at Mitchell Hamline, will deliver a talk on the possibility of positive change in a world where Native women are systematically undervalued, left unprotected, and hurt. Book signing and dessert reception to follow. 7-9 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School.

RSVP encouraged >

Apr. 6 - Doctoral Research Showcase

Eighty of the U's doctoral fellows will share their research and discoveries in a casual and conversational environment at the 2016 Doctoral Research Showcase, noon-2 p.m., Great Hall, Coffman Union.

Learn more >

Apr. 6 - Women as Refugees in International Development

Join a presentation and discussion on the tragic effects of refugee status on millions of women and their families, and efforts to prevent and solve the refugee crisis. The panel includes a development expert from CARE, U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, and Reem Khamis from the American Refugee Committee. 4:30-6:30 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School.

Registration and more >

Apr. 13 - Design in 7: 7 Stories, 7 Minutes | 7th Anniversarydesign in 7 poster

What can be shared in just seven minutes? Listen in as seven professionals from the fields of architecture, apparel, graphic and interior design, housing, landscape architecture, and retail share thought-provoking, inspiring, and often humorous tales from the design trenches. 7 p.m., Coffman Union Theater. Appetizers and a cash bar will be available before and after the program.

Learn more >

Apr. 5 - Graduate & Professional Education Assembly

Equity, Access, & Diversity Issues in Graduate & Professional Education will be the theme of the spring 2016 Graduate & Professional Education Assembly. Registration is currently full, but faculty, staff, and students are invited to join the waiting list. 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union.

Learn more >

Apr. 12 - Design Lab

Design Lab is a method that allows for collective wisdom to come together to help each other with the knotty problems we are grappling with in our work and lives. Co-hosted by the U of M Art of Participatory Leadership and the Project & Change Management Collaborators group. Noon-2 p.m., 50B Humphrey School.

RSVP and learn more >

Apr. 14-15 - Minnesota Neuromodulation Symposium

The Minnesota Neuromodulation Symposium will highlight recent advances in the field of neuromodulation, showcasing presentations from internationally-recognized leaders in academia, industry, and government. Networking opportunities and interactive panel sessions will be made available throughout the two days to help facilitate discussions and new ideas on the most recent topics in neuromodulation. See the full program and register by March 31 for a guaranteed seat.

Learn more >

May 5-7 - Promoting Health Equity Conference

"Promoting Health Equity Conference: Engage. Inform. Act." is an action-oriented conference is designed to showcase programs and research addressing key health equity areas, to develop synergy across health equity efforts, and to promote partnerships to generate community-oriented health equity solutions.

Register and learn more >

Present at Northern Spark

The U of M is once again participating in Northern Spark. Faculty or staff can deliver a five-minute scholarly presentation at the event, followed by on-the-spot creative responses from community artists, and audience voting on the presentation that helped them learn the most. This year's theme is Climate Chaos | Climate Rising; presentations will ideally address this topic. Presentation times are available every 20 minutes June 11-12, 9 p.m.-5 a.m. With questions or to claim your slot, email Christina Collins by May 15.

May 23 - 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. It is taught by Curriculum and Instruction's Mark Vagle. Cost: $50 for faculty and staff; $15-20 for students. Coffee and breakfast included. Email Kelly Gast for the discounted rate. 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 325 Education Sciences. Register online.

Learn more >

UMTC Featured Eventsiron band in rock

March 23 - Are the days of regulating water quality numbered?

March 25 - Hit 'em Again: Is Violence an Essential Thread in the Fabric of American Society?

March 25 - RECEPTION | BDA Senior Showcase

March 25 - Open Studio Extravaganza!

March 26 - Saturday with a Scientist: MN Geology

March 29 - New Directions in Race Scholarship Panel

Events Calendar >