March 8, 2017

Vol. XLVII No. 9

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Urge lawmakers to support the U.
  • State of the University address highlights.
  • Features: New technology rewarms large-scale tissues preserved at low temperatures; Study finds secret to diverse forests’ success; Three Good Things about addiction recovery.
  • People: 2017 recipients of Distinguished Teaching Awards; and more.

Top News

Urge lawmakers to support the U

Legislators are making budget decisions right now that will determine Minnesota's state budget for the next two years. Now is a critical time for you to make sure they hear your voice, both as a constituent and as a supporter of the University of Minnesota. Learn more about key University initiatives and contact your lawmakers now (it takes less than 60 seconds) at Take Action.

State of the University address highlights

During the 2017 State of the University, President Eric Kaler announced new commitments to immigrant and undocumented students, to faculty and staff, and to the prevention of sexual assault. Kaler also stressed inclusiveness, expressing the institution’s support for members of the University’s transgender community, and decrying recent racist and hateful incidents. His remarks also focused on the University’s role in the state of Minnesota and its commitment to academic freedom and freedom of speech.

See the news release >

New technology rewarms large-scale tissues preserved at low temperaturesBischof and research team

A research team led by the University of Minnesota has discovered a groundbreaking process to successfully rewarm large-scale animal heart valves and blood vessels preserved at very low temperatures. The discovery is a major step forward in saving millions of human lives by increasing the availability of organs and tissues for transplantation through the establishment of tissue and organ banks.

Study finds secret to diverse forests’ successforest plot study area

Scientists have long known that diverse stands of trees tend to be more productive than monocultures. But they haven’t known why. Now, researchers from the University of Minnesota and Université du Québec à Montréal have a case study that provides evidence to support a hypothesis involving complementarity in the use of space.

Three Good Things about addiction recoveryAmy Krentzman

Working with 23 adults undergoing treatment for alcohol use disorder, University of Minnesota social work researcher Amy Krentzman decided to find out if a popular intervention from the field of positive psychology called the Three Good Things practice might help their recovery.

Read more about Amy Krentzman’s work >


Recipients of the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education; recipients of the Horace A. Morse UMAA Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education; Megan Gunnar has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Education; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Update on immigration policy changes and support

On March 6, President Trump signed an updated executive order on immigration that, among other provisions, stipulates that citizens of Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen will not be granted a visa to enter the U.S. for 90 days. To ensure that all who are affected by immigration policy changes have a clear and accessible path to resources and support, President Kaler has announced the creation of an immigration response team. The team will also provide outreach to the greater University community on issues around immigration, DACA, and diversity. Look for further announcements after spring break.

Administrative policy updates

The administrative policy Make-up Work for Legitimate Absences removes the requirement to provide a medical excuse for a “single episode” medical absence, with a few exceptions. A revision to Leave of Absence and Readmission for Undergraduates documents appropriate reasons for a leave of absence and provides information for students about the consequences of interrupting their enrollment. The policy drafts are available for comment until Apr. 1.

New funding opportunity for grants to support rare disease research

There are currently 6,000 to 7,000 rare diseases, yet less than 5 percent of them have a treatment available. The Clinical and Translational Science Institute is helping meet this critical unmet need for rare disease research through a new funding opportunity for U of M researchers.

Minnesota Master Naturalist program

The Minnesota Master Naturalist program promotes awareness, understanding, and stewardship of Minnesota’s natural environment by developing a corps of well-informed citizens dedicated to conservation education and service within their communities. A collaborative effort of U of M Extension and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the program’s volunteers contribute to science-based projects such as monitoring monarch butterfly larvae, managing invasive species, bird banding, and evaluating stream ecology.

March 14 - Webinar: Writing for Social Media Engagement

Join this lunchtime webinar where professional editor and writer Ben Shank will discuss trends in major social media platforms, best practices, and the essentials of writing for social media. Noon-1 p.m.

Register and learn more>

March 27 and 30 - Learning Management System open forums

The University of Minnesota is approaching a decision on the future of its centrally supported Learning Management System. As the formal evaluation process continues, join Provost Karen Hanson and VP-CIO Bernard Gulachek for two open forum discussions to learn more about the factors shaping the decision, ask questions, and share feedback.


UMC students compete at Harvard

UMC business students are currently competing in the Harvard Global Case Competition. The students have already completed their first-round submission. In early April, they will attend the main event at Harvard University.

Chancellor applicant interviews

The Chancellor Search Committee will be bringing in four applicants to campus. Each applicant will visit for a full day of interviewing. Applicants will be on campus March 8, 9, and 10.

See candidate interview times and locations >

UMC named among most affordable colleges

UMC has been ranked as one of the “Most Affordable Colleges for Incoming Freshmen with Financial Need” by the Student Loan Report, an online resource providing information about the student loan industry.


Women in EnergyAlison Hoxie

Assistant Professor Alison Hoxie, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, is featured in the Minnesota Women in Energy series, launched by Clean Energy Resource Teams. In the article, Hoxie discusses how she became interested in clean, renewable energy and shares advice for women interested in entering that field.

Music educationmusicians performing

UMD’s Department of Music was well represented at the 2017 Minnesota Music Educators Midwinter Clinic. Assistant Professor David Edmund and Assistant Professor Jian-Jun Chen-Edmund delivered a teacher education session. Professor Mark Whitlock conducted the UMD Symphonic Wind Ensemble, while the All State Jazz Ensemble was led by Professor Ryan Frane. More than 30 UMD music students attended the conference.

March 11 - Gallery talkBill Shipley

Bill Shipley will present “Andy Warhol and His Enduring Influence.” Shipley, a docent at the Tweed Museum, taught art and art history in New York City for over 20 years and encountered Warhol at exhibitions and parties. Shipley will discuss the two Warhol pieces in the Tweed’s current show “Pop Evolution.” 2 p.m., Tweed Museum of Art.

March 13 - The 24 Hour Plays24 hour plays poster

UMD School of Fine Arts, in partnership with Hennepin Theatre Trust, will present The 24 Hour Plays. Six playwrights, six directors, one musical guest, and 24 actors (including UMD alumni) will present six original short plays created in one 24-hour time period. Proceeds will benefit the UMD School of Fine Arts and Spotlight Education. 8 p.m., Pantages Theatre, Minneapolis.

March 14 - Jankofsky Lecturemedieval swords

The annual Jankofsky Lecture will feature a panel discussion with Assistant Professor Jeffrey Rop and instructor Jess McCullough, both from the Department of History. Rop’s research focuses on Classical Greek and Persian arms, while McCullough’s research is on Viking arms and armor. They will bring pieces from the Oakeshott Institute. 5:30 p.m., Kathryn A. Martin Library Rotunda


Norman ’98 to serve as 2017 commencement speakerRavi Norman

Ravi Norman '98, chief executive officer of Minnesota's largest minority-owned business, THOR Construction, will serve as UMM’s 2017 commencement speaker. Norman possesses more than 16 years of expertise in the areas of strategic management, organizational development, and commercial finance. The public is invited to attend the ceremony or to watch it live online on May 13.

Eighteen professors receive Imagine Fund awardsUMM building icon

Eighteen UMM professors from the Divisions of the Humanities and Social Science have received all-University Imagine Fund grants: seventeen Annual Faculty Awards and one Special Events grant. The Imagine Fund supports projects in the arts, humanities, and design at the University of Minnesota.


March 14 - Stem Cell Research: A Look Back and A Glimpse Forward

At the next UMR Connects, William Hoffman, U of M Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, will discuss what stem cells are, the diseases that cell therapies and regenerative medicine can treat, and highlights in stem cell research. Hoffman will also explore the ethical debate surrounding the use of human embryonic stem cells in research, human cloning, and “designer” children, and he will talk about the direct-to-consumer stem cell industry in the U.S. and “stem cell tourism” around the world. 7 p.m., Room 417, 111 South Broadway.

Twin Cities

Grand Challenges Research Proposal call

Pre-proposals are invited from faculty interdisciplinary teams by March 20 for competitive research funding as part of phase two of the Provost’s Grand Challenges Research Initiative. The opportunities for 2017-18 focus on collaborative research addressing the challenges of fostering just and equitable communities and assuring clean water and sustainable ecosystems.

Learn more and apply >

Is your department in the directory?

The new Department Directory launched almost two months ago. Is your department listed? If not, people who may be searching for you will be unable to find you—old directory information was not used in the new directory. To get your department listed, follow these guidelines to request a new listing.

Download Duo and Donuts events

Opt into Duo Protection for Direct Deposit and W-2 to add a second layer of protection to your W-2 and direct deposit information. This will protect you if your UMN Internet ID and password are stolen. Opt in using the self-help instructions or stop by a Download Duo and Donuts event (March 10, 23, and 30), where staff will be available to answer questions and assist you with the service and enrolling your device.

March 21 - Good Muslim Bad Muslim: Resistance and Comedy in a Time of Uncertainty

Join in an afternoon of conversations, laughter, and social justice with Taz Ahmed and Zahra Noorbakhsh, cohosts of the #GoodMuslimBadMuslim podcast. They will be performing a live show featuring comedy, dialogue, and storytelling, as well as sharing their experiences of activism, comedy, and combating Islamophobia. A facilitated Q&A will follow the interactive lecture. 4:30 p.m., 310 Anderson Hall.

No charge, but an RSVP is required >

March 23 - Shared Water, Shared Responsibility: Engaging Minnesota’s Communities, Students, and Policy-Makers

Inspired by Governor Dayton’s Year of Water Action, this event will include a reception and poster session on water research, followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with policy experts from the Office of Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith and key state agencies. 5:15 p.m., Humphrey Forum, Humphrey School.

Apr. 5 - Graduate and Professional Education Assembly: Creating Inclusive Scholarly Communities

Graduate and professional students, faculty, and administrators are invited to join in a day of provocative discussions on what the University is doing—and what it could do better—to welcome, nurture, and ultimately graduate our students. Featuring keynote speaker Estela Mara Bensimon, professor and director of the Center for Urban Education at the Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Coffman Union.

Register and learn more >

UMTC Featured Eventsplant roots event poster

March 9 - First Books Reading with Creative Writing MFA Alumni

March 9 - Roots to Healing: A brief survey of the past, present & future of plant-based remedies in Minnesota

March 9 - NEXT GENERATION OF PARKS | WATER: Mark Johnson, Civitas, Inc.

March 11 - Yoga at WAM

March 15 - Sip of Science: Not Science, but sciences...and why it matters

Events Calendar >