March 9, 2016

Vol. XLVI No. 9

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • State of the University recap.
  • State Relations Update.
  • Driven to Discover: Matt Russell.
  • Feature: In the Pursuit of Science.
  • People: Alvin Beitz has been named director of the U of M's Center for Educational Innovation; and more.

Top News

Driving Tomorrow: State of the University recap

President Eric W. Kaler delivered his Driving Tomorrow: 2016 State of the University Address on March 3. Kaler spoke about the importance of campus climate, reflected on his first five years in office, and outlined his priorities for the upcoming year.

Read the address >

State Relations Update

President Kaler and Vice President of University Services Pamela Wheelock outlined the University's six proposed capital request projects for the House Capital Investment Committee on March 3. Kaler emphasized the value of state investment in University facilities across Minnesota. The legislative session convened March 8.

Learn more about the U's 2016 capital request >

Driven to Discover: Matt RussellMatt Russell

The forest products industry contributes 60,000 jobs and more than $9 billion to Minnesota's economy. But we need forests for something else: absorbing the carbon that is warming the earth's climate. That drives the work of Matt Russell, Extension forest resources specialist and CFANS assistant professor, who is dedicated to maintaining resilient and productive forests. Russell partnered with the USDA Forest Service to create a Forest Carbon Xplorer app, which uses forest data to show landowners and managers how much carbon they have on their land and how it's distributed.

Learn more >

In the Pursuit of ScienceSammy Shaker

Sammy Shaker is 20 years old, graduating, and heading overseas after receiving one of the most prestigious scholarships in the United States.

Read more about Sammy Shaker >


Alvin Beitz has been named by Provost Karen Hanson as the director of the U of M's Center for Educational Innovation; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

New institutional license with Wolfram|Alpha

The University of Minnesota has an institutional license with Wolfram|Alpha, a computational engine that provides users with access to the world's facts and data, and calculates step-by-step solutions across a range of topics. Current faculty, staff, and students can access the service at no charge.

Learn more >

Ebooks Minnesota

Ebooks Minnesota is now open to all Minnesota readers. This online collection is available through Minitex—a joint program of U Libraries and the Office of Higher Education—and the Minnesota Department of Education.

Learn more >


UMC secures reaccreditation

UMC has secured continued accreditation status from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The HLC officially took action to continue accreditation with the next reaffirmation of accreditation in or before 2023-24.

Learn more >

FFA contests

The Agriculture and Natural Resources Department is hosting a number of FFA Region 1 contests across campus on March 9.

Learn more >

March 9 - Farewell reception for Chunhui Wang

The International Programs Office and Confucius Institute Satellite Office will host a farewell reception for Chunhui Wang. Wang came from Capital Normal University in China and served as the first director of the Confucius Satellite Office at the Crookston campus. 3-5 p.m., Prairie Room.

Learn more >

Spring break

Spring break will be March 14 through March 18. Classes resume March 21.


Dining Center Modernizationold black and white of UMD dining center

After more than 40 years of service, the UMD Dining Center will undergo a four-month, $5.2-million remodel. The original footprint will remain, but the space will be opened up and offer improved traffic flow and a variety of seating options.

Learn more >

Women's History on KUMDKUMD poster of woman flexing

KUMD 103.3 FM celebrates Women's History Month by honoring Minnesota women, past and present. Listen to their stories throughout March at 7 and 11 a.m., Mon.-Fri., streaming online.

Learn more >

Head of the Lakes Jazz Festivalguy playing jazz trumpet

UMD will host the 43rd annual Head of the Lakes Jazz Festival. March 18 will feature the Tom Harrell Trio, 7:30 p.m., Weber Music Hall. March 19 will feature the Head of the Lakes Jazz Festival All Stars, joined by Kenni Holmen, saxophone, 5 p.m., Marshall Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available online or at 218-726-8877.

CPR and AED Training

National Safety Council CPR/AED (automated external defibrillator) courses are being offered to employees (and the employee's family) and students through the UMD Environmental Health and Safety Office. $15 for materials.

Login and register through ULearn >


Meagan Rollins wants to wipe out cancerMeagan Rollins

Alongside Assistant Professor of Biology Rachel Johnson, Meagan Rollins '17, North Branch, is pioneering immunotherapy treatment possibilities for cancer. Their work has shaped Rollins' trajectory—from setting her on a new career path to helping her cope with her mother's cancer diagnosis.

Read more >


UMR receives 10-year accreditation

The University of Minnesota Rochester has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), approved for 10 years without any interim monitoring. The process was completed by an external review team, which reported back to the HLC that "the quality of teaching and learning as well as student support services are found to be exceptional."

Learn more >

UMTYMP seeking middle school studentsyoung boy studying

University of Minnesota's Talented Youth in Mathematics Program (UMTYMP) is seeking students grades 5-7 who are gifted and deeply interested in mathematics. UMTYMP sets these students on a five-year path to complete a traditional high school sequence of mathematics courses at an accelerated pace, and then has the students enroll in a college-level calculus curriculum.

Learn more >

March 15 - UMR CONNECTS: Coming Full Circle With Darrell Thompson

Darrell Thompson was selected 19th overall by the Green Bay Packers in the 1990 NFL Draft. Before that, he was a high school student at John Marshall in Rochester and played college football for the Golden Gophers. Thompson is currently the president of Bolder Options, an organization focused on youth development. Thompson will share his journey and how he is now paying it forward. 7 p.m., 417 University Square.

Learn more >

Twin Cities

March 9 - International Researcher Series

Skills for Health Research in Low and Middle Income Countries: Household and Survey-Based Research will be the focus of the next International Researcher Series. Benjamin Capistrant from the School of Public Health will share tools and lessons learned from his field work in Malawi and India. Noon-1 p.m., 2-118 Moos Tower.

Learn more >

March 16 - Bridging the Age Gap: Creating a High-Performing, Multigenerational Team

The Project and Change Management Collaborators group and the Communicators Forum will present the workshop "Bridging the Age Gap: Creating a High-Performing, Multigenerational Team" featuring Carrie Mitchell from Hollstadt & Associates, Inc. No charge, and open to all faculty and staff. 1-2:30 p.m., 312 Bruininks Hall.

Register and learn more >

March 22 - America's Turning Point: The 2016 Elections with E.J. Dionne

The 2016 presidential election may offer the sharpest divide since Barry Goldwater squared off against Lyndon Johnson in 1964. How did we get here and what are the stakes in the outcome of the election? Join Professor Larry Jacobs in a conversation exploring these questions with E.J. Dionne, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and syndicated columnist for the Washington Post. Noon-1:15 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School.

Register and learn more >

March 24 - Renovated Rubrics: Panel and discussion

This panel will bring together faculty members who incorporate rubrics to assess student writing and who have recently revised their rubrics to better meet students' needs. Panelists include Peter Bruggeman, Department of Mechanical Engineering; Jessica Chung, Undergraduate Leadership minor; and Jennifer Marshall, Department of Art History. Noon-1:30 p.m., 135 Nicholson.

Registration and more >

Apr. 2-9 - National Public Health Week

National Public Health Week is a nationwide celebration of public health and is an initiative of the American Public Health Association. Join the School of Public Health in recognizing the importance of the field, and its accomplishments, with a variety of events including a blood drive, a film series, a Health Disparities Roundtable, and more.

Learn more >

Apr. 3 - Celebration of Herbert Wright Jr.

The School of Earth Sciences will host a celebration of the life and career of Regents Professor Emeritus Herbert E. Wright Jr., who passed away last November. Wright had a significant impact on Quaternary science and related fields. The celebration will feature reminiscences by former students and associates. 2-5 p.m., Memorial Hall, McNamara Alumni Center. RSVP to by March 15.

Learn more >

Apr. 4 – Women's Health Research Conference

The Powell Center for Women's Health, along with cosponsors, will present the 2016 Women's Health Research Conference "Environmental Exposures and Hormones: Implications for Health." The conference will examine the impact of environmental aspects that alter hormone action on human health and chronic conditions, and 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.

Register and learn more >

Take the Goldy's Run $100 challenge

Rally support for the U of M Masonic Children's Hospital by creating a Goldy's Run crowdfunding page before the Apr. 9 race on campus. Once a crowdfunding page raises $100, a matching donation to the hospital will be made by race organizers.

Register for the race and/or take the challenge >

Apr. 15 - Sustainability Symposium

Faculty and staff are asked to encourage students who would benefit from an opportunity to practice presenting their work in a symposium format to submit an abstract for the Sustainability Symposium. The event is an opportunity to practice communicating about research and other scholarly work. Submissions can be made in three categories: poster, lightning talk, or creative work. Abstracts are due March 21.

Learn more >

May 24 - U of M Night with the Minnesota TwinsTwins U of M themed hat

U of M Night with the Minnesota Twins will feature a hat giveaway, a special appearance by Goldy Gopher, a distinguished alum throwing out the first pitch, and a chance to watch U of M alums Paul Molitor and Glen Perkins in action. A portion of every ticket sold will support the U of M Alumni Association.

Learn more >

UMTC Featured EventsPeppa Pig

March 10 - Discouraging plagiarism and encouraging effective citation: An interactive workshop
March 15 - Café Scientifique: The Physics of Confections
March 15 - Technically Speaking: Does Competition Promote Planet-Saving Innovation?
March 19 - Peppa Pig Live!
March 23 - Public Health Solutions: Reducing Violence against African American Males
March 31 - Celebration of the Whittington Press and Archives

Events Calendar >