March 7, 2018

Vol. XLVIII No. 9

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • State Relations update: Minnesota legislative session under way.
  • Features: Differences in drug addiction between the sexes; Shoring up Seemore the sea turtle’s shell; U scientists scan world’s first 10.5-Tesla human MRI image; Combating back pain without opioids.
  • People: U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media; and more.

Top News

State Relations update: Minnesota legislative session under way

The Minnesota legislative session recently began with plenty of activity, including the release of the state budget forecast, a hearing on the University of Minnesota's capital request, and the announcement of committee policy deadlines. You can stay up to date on the session activities as they relate to the U of M at Government and Community Relations.

Differences in drug addiction between the sexestwo pill capsules with male/female symbols

Once, most medical research was carried out only on men and male lab animals. That wall began to crack when Marilyn Carroll’s graduate student Wendy Lynch announced that there was no justification for excluding females, and she was going to study differences in drug addiction between the sexes. Lynch and Carroll, a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, began studies that opened the world’s eyes to the different addiction landscapes that men and women tread.

Learn more about the research >

Shoring up Seemore the sea turtle’s shellSeemore the turtle being fitted by students

In February 2011, Seemore the green sea turtle came to the SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium from a turtle hospital in Florida. A 2009 collision with a boat had damaged her shell and trapped air beneath it, keeping her from diving normally. Her care team at SEA LIFE attaches weights to the shell to correct her buoyancy, but because replacing the weights causes Seemore stress, she needed a better method for readjusting her buoyancy. Since last summer, a team of mostly undergraduate U of M students has been designing one for her.

Learn more about Seemore's shell >

U scientists scan world’s first 10.5-Tesla human MRI imageMRI machine

Scientists at the U of M have become the first in the world to perform magnetic resonance imaging of the human body at 10.5 Tesla--a magnetic field strength 10 times greater than a standard MRI and topping even the most advanced scanners elsewhere in the world. The imaging magnet brings a new level of capabilities to scientists studying how the body works.

Combating back pain without opioidslower back pain graphic

The University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing will use an $11.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study non-drug approaches to prevent chronic low back pain--which could lead to reduced opioid use. According to the World Health Organization, low back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and one study of back pain patients found more than half of the patients used opioids to treat pain.


U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

President Kaler delivers State of the University address

President Eric Kaler emphasized the University’s power to be a force for good, for equality, and for hope and progress in our communities, our state, and our nation during his State of the University address on March 1. Kaler addressed freedom of speech on campus, the University’s role in supporting those affected by immigration policy changes, the prevention of sexual misconduct, the University’s Systemwide Strategic Plan, and more.

March 8 - National conference on challenges and solutions for research integrity

The U of M will host the national conference “Research Integrity and Trustworthy Science,” with speakers addressing threats to the credibility of research and proposing solutions. The event will bring together leading thinkers from biomedicine, the social sciences, law, ethics, and other disciplines to analyze the challenges for researchers, universities, journals, and the community.

U of M licenses technology to monitor crop nitrogen statuscornfield

Sentera, a Minneapolis-based supplier of technology solutions to the agriculture industry, has signed an agreement to bring U of M-developed corn nitrogen deficiency technology to the market. The technology allows growers to more precisely match applied nitrogen fertilizer to the optimal needs of the crop. Minimizing over-application of nutrients saves money, reduces the risk of fertilizer runoff, and preserves crop yield.

New career and networking platform

The Maroon and Gold Network is a new online career and networking platform developed and funded by the U of M Alumni Association where alumni can give career-related advice to current students and fellow U of M grads. The network is open to all U of M students, alumni, and faculty/staff. Participants can browse the network to find individuals who are willing to share insights by industry, college, major, degree type, employer, location, and more.

Mass email software survey

Are you responsible for sending mass email from your unit? If so, you are invited to give your opinion about mass email tools at the University by completing a survey by March 12.

Apr. 6 - Meat or No Meat? HFHL research symposium

Eating meat is a practice deeply embedded in human history, and animal agriculture has shaped the environments and economies of small and large communities. This Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives (HFHL) Institute symposium will consider the consumption of and current farming methods in relation to animal products.

Register and learn more >

June 2 - Caring for a Person with Memory Loss

Join experts in a lively, informative discussion related to memory loss, caregiving tips, and other things you can do to help. The conference will provide information, support, and education for those concerned with caring for persons with memory loss. No charge. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Humphrey School.

Register and learn more >

Register for the Higher Education Innovation Summit

Accelerate your learning in higher education by connecting with creative educators and researchers seeking to transform higher education through innovations that enhance student learning. June 6-8, Rochester, MN.

Register and learn more >


Student profile: Mackenzie CochranMackenzie Cochran

Senior Mackenzie Cochran, Grand Forks, ND, shares a longtime love of gardening that started with her great grandmother and led to a major in horticulture.

Read more about Cochran >

Ramirez receives Spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award

Business management graduate Victoria Ramirez ‘02 is the recipient of the 2018 Spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award. The award recognizes a Red River Valley native or resident who has actively impacted his or her community by promoting diversity, multiculturalism, equality, and human rights through leadership, service, and advocacy on behalf of underrepresented populations and diverse individuals.

Region I FFA contests

Region I FFA contests will be held across campus on March 7, 9 a.m.-noon. Contests include small animal, crops, ag mechanics, salesmanship, and parliamentary procedure.


Bulldogs at the CapitolStudent Association President Mike Kenyanya

Student Association members, faculty, and staff participated in Bulldog Lobby Day at the State Capitol on March 1. They met with lawmakers to advocate for UMD’s $28.1 million portion of the governor’s proposed bonding bill. Funding is sought for HEAPR projects, A.B. Anderson Hall (part of the Greater Minnesota Academic Renewal request), and Glensheen, the historic Congdon Estate.

March 26 - ‘The 24 Hour Plays’Poster reading "24 hour plays"

The UMD School of Fine Arts, in partnership with Hennepin Theatre Trust, will present “The 24 Hour Plays.” The cast includes UMD alumni Joel McKinnon Miller from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Serena Brook from Live From Here with Chris Thile, and Kasano Mwanza from Chanhassen Dinner Theatre’s Grease and Sister Act. Proceeds benefit SFA and Spotlight Education. 8 p.m., Pantages Theatre, Minneapolis.


Wu receives Mestenhauser awardFiona Wu

Fiona Wu '18, Shanghai, China, received the Josef Mestenhauser Student Award for Excellence in Campus Internationalization. Through their leadership and involvement in Morris Campus Student Association, the Office of Residential Life, and Gender/Sexuality Advocates, Wu has advocated for international students and encouraged them to get involved on campus.

Earthly invadersHaley Gill

Alumna Haley Gill ’17 is featured in the winter issue of Legacy magazine. Gill conducted earthworm research at Morris’s EcoStation outdoor learning platform. She presented findings at the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science conference.


UMR student artwork on display at Cafe SteamErika Nguyen

Erika Nguyen, a second-year student at UMR, has artwork featured at Cafe Steam. Nguyen uses art to alleviate stress and turns to her sketchpad when her to-do list becomes overwhelming. Her artwork will also be on display at Collider Coworking in Rochester. Upon graduation, Nguyen hopes to become a physician assistant focused in neurology.

Twin Cities

March 22 - Women in entrepreneurship conference

Join hundreds of women entrepreneurs from all industries for the 5th annual Women in Entrepreneurship Conference, featuring successful entrepreneurs and professionals sharing personal success stories and lessons learned related to product testing, user experience, manufacturing, retail, and marketing. With the theme “Start Small, Think Big + Grow,” the event will focus on how you can start small, continue to think big, and scale your business. 12:30-6 p.m., Carlson School.

Register and learn more >

March 26 - 2018 MN Cup Launch Party

Join Minnesota's entrepreneurial community to celebrate the launch of the 2018 MN Cup competition. For its second annual launch party, MN Cup is again teaming up with Grow North, another program of the Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship, to showcase local startups.

March 27 - Kerlan Award Ceremony

Children's book authors and siblings Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm are the recipients of the 2018 Kerlan Award from the Children's Literature Research Collections at the University Libraries. The awards will be presented during a ceremony at 5:30 p.m., 120 Elmer L. Andersen Library.

Apr. 7 and 8 - Houston Ballet

Northrop will present the Houston Ballet, one of America’s most highly regarded ballet companies. The company will return with Artistic Director Stanton Welch’s production of Swan Lake, performed with a live orchestra playing Tchaikovsky’s emotionally charged score. Additionally, a film screening of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake will take place Apr. 4, 6:30 p.m., Best Buy Theater.

To the Extremes: Climate Change and the Wine Industryworld wine production map

People may disagree about the causes or even existence of climate change, but in the area of viticulture, climate change is already having effects on various regions. Participants in this short course, brought to you by LearningLife, will taste a variety of vintages and learn how the industry is addressing this pressing and ongoing challenge. Begins Apr. 10.

See LearningLife for a full list of courses >

Apr. 11 - Pankake Poetry Reading

Margaret Hasse--poet, teacher, and arts consultant with a career spanning four decades in the Twin Cities--will read selections from her most recent publication, Between Us, as well as other works at the Pankake Poetry Reading. 4 p.m., 120 Elmer L. Andersen Library.

Summer writing camps for youth

This June, the Center for Writing's Minnesota Writing Project will begin offering summer youth camps for kids entering grades 5 to 8. Participants will have the opportunity to explore writing topics and genres of their interest in a fun and supportive environment. While these camps are open to the public, they are a particularly convenient option for U of M faculty and staff, with easy drop-off/pick-up at Nicholson Hall.

UMTC Featured EventsNew Bell Museum

March 8 - Design Interventions
March 8 - A Conversation with Pulitzer-Prize Winning Journalist and Author: Susan Faludi
March 8 - Denise Young: The Bell Museum: Evolution of MN's Natural History Museum
March 9 - Advocating for Social Justice through the Arts: Higher-Learning Perspectives
March 10 - Yoga at WAM
March 13 - UMN SPARKS in Worthington

Events Calendar >