March 4, 2015

Vol. XLV No. 9

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • State Relations update.
  • Feature: Keeping Teen Drivers Safe.
  • People: 2015 recipients of Outstanding Teaching Awards; and more.

Top News

State Relations update

In response to Minnesota's revised budget forecast, which projects a $1.87 billion surplus, Gov. Dayton has proposed to fully fund the U of M's two-year tuition freeze request. The governor's new proposal thereby increases funding for the University by $32.5 million. Additionally, the House Higher Education Policy and Finance Committee heard a presentation from U of M leaders showing that the U has met all five performance-funding measures signed into law in 2013.

See State Relations >

Keeping Teen Drivers Safe

A car's speedometerAlthough teen drivers make up a small percentage of the U.S. driving population, they are at an especially high risk of being involved in a crash. To help keep teen drivers safe on the road, researchers at the U's HumanFIRST Laboratory have been refining the Teen Driver Support System.

Read more >


2015 recipients of the Horace T. Morse Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education; 2015 recipients of the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education; Regents Professor Frank Bates and Distinguished McKnight University Professor Chris Leighton, along with doctoral student Sangwoo Lee, have been awarded a 2014 Cozzarelli Prize; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

Learn more >

U-Wide News

U releases independent review of human research protections

An independent review of human subjects research at the University of Minnesota has been completed. The report details findings and makes recommendations for enhancing the U's human subjects research protections. The review will be formally presented at a special meeting of the Faculty Senate on March 6. In response to the report, President Kaler has asked VP for Research Brian Herman and Dean of the Medical School and VP for Health Sciences Brooks Jackson to lead implementation of the recommendations.

See the news release >

New U libraries Data Repository tool

DRUM, the Data Repository for the University of Minnesota, is a new service from University Libraries that allows researchers to provide open, long-term access to their research data.

Learn more about DRUM >

New Mobile Health Lab available to U researchers

U of M researchers can now access the Clinical and Translational Science Institute's Community Research Van, a mobile health lab designed to help researchers conduct health studies in the five-state area. At no cost, researchers can request to use the van, which features a laptop, space for private interviews, and equipment for measuring height, weight, cholesterol, heart rates, body composition, and blood sugar.

Learn about the mobile health lab >

U of M Open Textbook Library

The University of Minnesota's Open Textbook Library has more than 160 titles. Instructors who adopt a textbook from the library can save students money and ensure all students have access to course textbook content. Additionally, instructors can edit the textbooks to fit course requirements and best meet student needs. All textbooks in the library are complete and openly licensed.

See the Open Textbook Library >

March 7 – Landscape Arboretum Mill City Farmers Market

food itemsThe Arboretum will host the Mill City Farmers Market, where visitors can shop for everything from wild rice to kimchi, specialty cheeses, freshly milled grains, local honey, small-batch granola, unique jams and jellies, pastured meats, handmade soaps, baked goods, beautiful ceramics, and handcrafted jewelry. Chef Heather Hartman will also be on site for cooking demonstrations and will be sampling Minnesota Wild Rice-Bison Meatballs in BBQ Sauce. Oswald Visitor Center, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Benefits Advisory Committee request for comments

The Benefits Advisory Committee is requesting comments about your experiences with UPlan health and wellness plans since January 2014. The comment deadline is March 12. Anonymous summaries of comments are used in performance reviews of UPlan health plans.

Enter your comments >

March 31 - Flexible Spending Account claims deadline

The deadline for Flexible Spending Account (FSA) claims is March 31. If you have money remaining in your 2014 health care or dependent daycare FSA and wish to receive payment, you need to incur eligible expenses by March 15. Submit claims by fax or mail by March 31 to ADP, the claims administrator. IRS regulations specify that funds remaining in accounts after March 31 will be forfeited. Obtain ADP claim forms at FSA Accounts with ADP, or call ADP with questions at 1-866-697-6077.

Call for Proposals: UMASH Pilot Projects

The Upper Midwest Agriculture Safety and Health Center (UMASH) is requesting applications for small grants from $5,000 to $20,000 to address health and safety issues related to agricultural workers and their families. UMASH is specifically interested in projects that address the NIOSH National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) for agriculture, integrate a One Health model, and address issues important to the agriculture industry in the Upper Midwest. The application deadline is March 31.

See the RFP and application >


Regents approve Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education

At its February meeting, the U of M Board of Regents approved UMC's Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education; however, UMC cannot actively market or advertise the major until the campus receives approval from the Minnesota Board of Teaching (BOT). Preparation consists of a rigorous approval process that demonstrates evidence of program development, curriculum and instruction, and assessment of student learning in meeting the BOT standards. UMC will offer AgEd courses only after BOT approval has been granted. Students can begin to take foundational courses before then, but there is no promise about timing or ultimate approval by the BOT.

March 9 - Weaving the Stories of Women's Lives

In celebration of Women's History Month, UMC will host the panel discussion "Weaving the Stories of Women's Lives," sponsored in part by the Northwest Minnesota Women's Fund, along with UMC's Center for Adult Learning, Office of Diversity and Multicultural Programs, Student Activities, and Golden Eagle Athletics. 3 p.m., Youngquist Auditorium, Ag Research Center.

Learn more >

Fund drive a success

The We Are Family Faculty and Staff Fund Drive, held Feb. 9-23, raised $6,305 in gifts and payroll deduction pledges from faculty and staff, as well as $2,500 in matching funds from Sodexo. When all payroll pledges are fulfilled, the Ramona Mendez Scholarship Fund will be at $19,143, with less than $6,000 remaining to endowment. Thanks to all who contributed.

Torch magazine spring issue

The Spring 2015 annual report edition of the Torch alumni magazine is now available online.

See the publication >


March 4 - Change of Season and Welcome Back Feast

UMD feast graphicThe American Indian Learning Resource Center will host the Change of Season and Welcome Back Feast, featuring performances by the Northland Eagles Dance and Drum Group. 11:30 a.m.¬-2 p.m., Kirby Ballroom.

Learn more >

Jason Davis named director of ITSS

Jason Davis, a UMD alumnus, has been named the director of Information Technology Systems and Services (ITSS). Davis served as the ITSS interim director for eight months, following the retirement of Linda Deneen. He originally joined that department in 1996.

Learn more >

UMD Chamber Orchestra performs in Cuba

girl student with cuban childAssociate Professor Rudy Perrault, Assistant Professor Betsy Husby, and the UMD Chamber Orchestra traveled to Cuba just weeks after U.S. travel restrictions were lifted. The group performed four concerts and got "in tune" with the universal language of music.

See images from the trip >

UMD's iconic Ven Den reopens

Interior photo of UMD Van Den lounge with chairs and tablesThe lounge, affectionately known as the Ven Den, was recently reopened following an extensive remodeling. The space hadn't been changed since it first opened in 1966. Solveig Bloomquist, a theatre design and production major, submitted the winning design last year.

Learn more >


UMM women's basketball heads to NCAA tournament

UMM women's basketball teamThe UMM women's basketball team is headed to the NCAA tournament after an overtime win over Northwestern in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) championships. The Cougars were the No. 2 seed in the UMAC tournament after earning their sixth consecutive Conference Champion title the previous week. Emily Auch '15, Benson, was named the UMAC Tournament MVP.

UMMAA Teaching Award

Jim CotterJim Cotter, professor of geology, has received the 2015 UMM Alumni Association Teaching Award, which honors faculty members for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. Cotter was recognized for his engaging teaching methods, efforts to integrate science courses as an integral part of the liberal arts education, sustained encouragement and support of students, and his role in developing a vital Environmental Science program.

Learn more >

Morris shines at Kennedy Center festival

Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Siobhan Bremer, Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts Craig Moxon, and students Rosa Goerdt '16, Iron, Matt McDonough '15, Saint Paul, and Rose Peterson '16, Minneapolis, were recognized for their accomplishments in theatrical teaching and design at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region V. These recognitions are a testament to the strength of UMM's theatre arts curriculum.

Learn more >

Greta Alms named UMMAA Board President

Greta AlmsGreta Alms '04, broker associate and realtor with ResCom Realty, has been named the next UMM Alumni Association (UMMAA) board president. Alms is the 35th president to serve the UMMAA. "As president of the board of directors for the alumni association," she says, "I am more in awe of what it means to be a UMM alumna than ever."

See the announcement >

Morris students travel to Support the U Day

UMM students at Support the U DayEarlier this month UMM students traveled to the Minnesota State Capitol for Support the U Day. Students discussed the importance of funding higher education and shared their unique campus experiences with Minnesota legislators. According to Morris Campus Student Association President Allison Wolf '15, the event "is one of the best events that students can be a part of during their college career."


UMR Connects: The Amazing Human Brain

UMR Connects' March theme is The Amazing Human Brain. The next lecture, "Lighten Your Heart with Laughter," will offer suggestions and tips for good-hearted living every day of the week. There will be a special celebration and treats following the lecture in celebration of UMR CONNECTS' 200th presentation and 4th anniversary.

Twin Cities

Change in approach to Crime Alerts

The purpose of a Crime Alert is to inform the University community of a threat or ongoing risk and to enable community members to take action to better protect themselves, be safe, and avoid being the victim of a crime. On Feb. 25, the U announced a change in its approach to the use of suspect descriptions in Crime Alerts.

Learn more >

New exhibit highlights effects of bird collisions

image of bird smashing into a wallImpact: Birds in the Human-Built World is on display through Apr. 19 at the Bell Museum. The exhibit brings together a local artist and U of M faculty to examine the reality of bird collisions with human-built structures. The exhibit highlights both the loss of individual birds and the scientific analysis of whether this mortality affects overall bird populations. A special gallery conversation with artist Miranda Brandon will take place March 5, 5:30 p.m.

March 6 - University District Homebuyer Assistance Opportunity

Learn about assistance buying a home in the University District of Minneapolis for households with gross incomes at 80 percent or less of the metro median at an orientation session with the City of Lakes Community Land Trust. Noon, 60 Humphrey School.

Registration and more information >

March 11 - Workshop: Managing Your Research Data

Sign up for "Managing Your Research Data," a U Libraries workshop for University faculty, staff, and students. Participants will learn strategies for minimizing risks to research data, identify options for publication and archiving, and find out about data management resources available at the University. 1-2 p.m., 81 Magrath Library.

Register and learn more >

March 11 - IMA Public Lecture

sperm swimming toward an egg"Waving Tails, Spiny Disks, and Sticky Situations: Explorations in Biological Fluid Dynamics" will feature Lisa Fauci, Tulane University. Fauci will explore how mathematical models and computational simulations are used to study intriguing biological systems. 2-650 Moos Tower, 7 p.m.

UMTC Featured Events

Is America still the land of opportunity? (March 5)
The Ukraine Conflict: Contested Past, Contested Present (March 5)
Kevin Kling's 7 Dwarfs (March 7)
American Indian Film Series: Dancing from the Heart (March 9)
Frontiers: Government action on the environment (March 11)
The State of Ibero-American Studies (March 12-14)

See the Events Calendar >