May 17, 2017

Vol. XLVII No. 19

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Board of Regents May meeting highlights.
  • Features: 3D-printed ‘bionic skin’ could give robots the sense of touch; MnTAP interns save businesses time, resources, and money; Professor Peter Reich: Connecting people to climate research.
  • People: Deborah Swackhamer will receive the Warren A. Hall Medal; and more.

Top News

Board of Regents meeting highlights

The U of M Board of Regents reviewed a draft of the systemwide strategic plan at its May meeting. The plan, based on input from nearly 1,000 University stakeholders, highlights and connects the distinctive strengths across the U of M to build a collective future. Regents also received an update on the status of the U of M’s budget request at the state legislature and reviewed the FY18 annual capital improvement budget. Additionally, the board honored dozens of award winners from across the University who received the highest recognitions the institution offers.

See the news release >

3D-printed ‘bionic skin’ could give robots the sense of touchfingers with electronic sensors

Engineering researchers at the U of M have developed a revolutionary process for 3D printing stretchable electronic sensory devices that could give robots the ability to feel their environment. The discovery is also a major step forward in printing electronics on real human skin.

MnTAP interns save businesses time, resources, and moneymntap graphic

No business wants to waste resources, and the people watching the bottom line understand that conservation can translate into major cost savings. Finding time to focus on solutions, though, can be difficult. But each summer through the MnTAP program, U of M students are paired with local companies and municipalities that want assistance with addressing those long-term challenges. In just one example, at Xcel Energy interns explored new ways to reduce water consumption, saving the company an estimated $69,000 per year.

Read more about MnTAP at Legacy >

Professor Peter Reich: Connecting people to climate researchyoutube video still

Openness of information inhabits a central place in the work of the University of Minnesota Libraries. The Libraries partner with faculty, staff, and students to connect their research to the widest possible audience in an effort to advance knowledge. Sharing and advancing knowledge is also a goal of Peter Reich, a Regents Professor and Distinguished McKnight Professor in Forest Ecology, whose research focuses on climate change issues.

Learn more >


Deborah Swackhamer will receive the Warren A. Hall Medal; Jessica Hellmann has received a Climate Adaptation Leadership Award; the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy has recognized Jacqueline Barber as a master preceptor; University Libraries is a recipient of the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service; the Milken Institute has ranked the U’s Office for Technology Commercialization sixth among public research institutions and second in the Big Ten in its “Best Universities for Technology Transfer” report; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Spotlight on Safe Computing: Internet security

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to move too quickly, especially when you’re online. However, speeding around the Internet can sometimes lead to trouble. It’s important to stop, think, and then click. Check out a few ways to be both quick and careful while you’re online.


Faculty/Staff Awards Day

The work of outstanding faculty and staff was recognized during the annual Faculty/Staff Awards Day on May 9. The annual event recognizes years of service, retirements, and awards including distinguished teaching, scholarly work, service, and more.

Annual tree planting trip

Nineteen students were part of the 35th annual Natural Resources/Chippewa National Forest Tree Planting Trip on Apr. 28. As a result, there are now 2,500 white spruce seedlings that call the east shore of Lake Winnibigoshish home.


Westlund honoredJulie Westlund

Julie Westlund, director of UMD Career & Internship Services, recently received the Minnesota Career Development Association’s Kerlan Outstanding Achievement Award. Westlund has 35 years of experience in higher education career counseling. She initiated the first U of M systemwide job fair in 2004 and serves on the executive board of the U of M Job and Internship Fair.

Zenith City on TapGlensheen mansion

Glensheen, the historic Congdon estate, is hosting a series of “Zenith City on Tap” events, Wednesday evenings in May. Presentations are held in the Amusement Room on the lower level of the mansion. There is no charge. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Happy half hour begins at 7 p.m. and speakers start at 7:30 p.m.

‘Sinew’ at the TweedAm Indian art

The work of eight American Indian artists is on display in “Sinew: Female Native Artists of the Twin Cities” at the Tweed Museum of Art. The exhibit was originally curated for Artistry in Bloomington, MN, in conjunction with the Guerilla Girls Twin Cities takeover. The Tweed’s show was curated by Dyani White Hawk. An opening reception will be held June 1, 6-8 p.m.


Climate Adaptation Awardclimate award winners

UMM earned a 2017 Minnesota Climate Adaptation Award from the Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership. The awards recognize individuals, organizations, institutions, and businesses for exceptional achievements in leadership, education, research, policies, and practices that have resulted in development or implementation of climate change adaptation strategies.

UMM faculty and staff earn IAS research awardswind turbines overlooking river

Seven UMM faculty and staff members earned U of M Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) Research and Creative Collaboratives awards. Representing some of the most innovative work at the University, these self-initiated groups come together to work on a project of common interest.

Gender, Sexuality, and Taxis: An Interview with Elliot JamesElliot James

Why should we pay attention to gender and sexuality in something as benign as setting up a business? Assistant Professor of African History and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Elliot James looks at how gender and sexuality play a significant role in normal business operations.

Class of 2017 commencement photosUMR commencement students

Nearly 370 graduates participated in commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2017.

View the photos >


UMR's Inaugural Undergraduate Academic Showcasestudents presenting at UMR showcase

UMR's Inaugural Undergraduate Academic Showcase was held May 5. The event included presentations, poster sessions from students, and a keynote by faculty member Yuko Taniguchi. The showcase wrapped up with Raptor Awards for students/groups, including the Difference Maker Award, G.R.I.T. Award, Student Leader Award, Hall of Fame Award, and Group Award.

May 23 - Historic Preservation: You Don't Know What You've Got ’til it's Gone

At the next UMR Connects, local historians John Kruesel and Kevin Lund will give their unique perspectives on the history of Rochester and its importance in shaping the future as the community evolves. 7 p.m., Room 417, 111 S. Broadway.

Twin Cities

Register for 2017-18 Early Career Teaching Program

The Early Career Teaching Program is for UMTC faculty and instructional staff who are in their first seven years of teaching in any educational setting. This program is designed to develop and enhance teaching skills and establish a foundation for a lifetime of effective and engaging teaching. Those who complete the program receive a $300 stipend.

Register and learn more >

Bias Response and Referral Network report

The Bias Response and Referral Network (BRRN) has released a one-year report (PDF) to the Twin Cities campus community. The report provides background information, an analysis of incidents reported to the BRRN, and recommendations for next year.

Reduced campus shuttle service

Campus Connector buses run from May 15 to June 9, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.–6 p.m., every 15 minutes. There will be no service Memorial Day, May 29.

See summer campus shuttle service >

May 17 - Northrop Presents Eifman Ballet

Propelled by an electrifying score by Tchaikovsky and Bizet, this full-length ballet portrays the dramatic life story of Russian prima ballerina Olga Spessivtseva and her descent into madness. U of M rush tickets are $10 (students) and $20 (faculty and staff), available at 10 a.m. on May 17 online, in person, or by phone at 612-624-2345. Watch a sneak peek of the performance. 7:30 p.m., Carlson Family Stage, Northrop.

May 19 - Bike to Work Day

Take part in Bike to Work Day and enjoy complimentary coffee, food, and giveaways at the West Bank bridgehead on the Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis. Visit with Parking & Transportation staff as well as members from the Minneapolis Bike Coalition. The Zap Program will also be on hand to add RFID tags to bicycles. 7:30-9 a.m.

May 19 - John S. Najarian Lecture

Fifty years ago U of M surgeons pioneered the first pancreas transplant. Since 1966, over 30,000 such transplants have been performed worldwide benefiting seriously ill diabetic patients. This lecture features leaders in the field of pancreas transplantation who will provide a current national and international perspective on innovations in the field. Speakers will also take a historical look at how the origins of pancreas transplantation at the U sparked its advancement across the globe. 3:30-6 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center.

May 22-26 - Demo Week: Fitness Classes at the Rec

U faculty and staff UPlan members can receive attention from a personal trainer, have your $199 registration fee reimbursed by attending 13 of 16 classes, and earn 50 wellness points toward reducing your premiums with summer classes at the U of M Rec Center. Classes will be available to try at no charge during demo week.

See the class schedule and register >

June 2 - An Evening with Senator Al Franken

Join in a conversation with Senator Al Franken for the release of his new book, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate. Franken’s book takes the reader along with him on the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of his new career in politics. Professor Larry Jacobs will moderate. 7:30 p.m., Ted Mann Concert Hall.

Upcoming concerts at NorthropDiana Ross

June 3 - Norah Jones
June 7 - John Legend
June 9 - Cloud Cult
July 11 - Diana Ross
Sept. 8 - John Prine

June 6-9 - Walk the Wa(ste)ist Away

Walk the Wa(ste)ist Away is a program to encourage healthy habits and waste reduction. During this time, faculty and staff can bring their desk-side trash and/or recycling bins to their centralized office collection point. Dump out your trash and recycling into the correct bins and stack your bins next to the collection point for pickup. Employees will walk their daily waste to the collection points, encouraging conscious recycling habits and movement around the office.

June 10-11 - Northern Spark

Stay up late with WAM during the 2017 Northern Spark all-night art celebration. Hop off the Green Line at the museum to witness time and space blend together. Participants will be able to record personal climate change stories, build an animal luminary, visit with the owls, and lend your body’s internal rhythm to electronic sonatas.

June 22 - 2017 Turtle Derbydrawing of 2017 turtle derby poster

For 30 years, the Turtle Derby at U of M Masonic Children’s Hospital has been a tradition for patients, families, faculty, and staff. Activities include turtle races, a dunk tank, games with prizes, a lollipop tree, therapy dogs, refreshments, and more. The fundraiser provides many of the extras that make the children's hospital a healing place with a heart. The cost to sponsor a turtle is $40 for an individual or family and $80 for a work team or department. 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m., front lawn, Masonic Children's Hospital. Registration will be June 5-16.

UMTC Featured Eventsgraphic of a brain

May 22 - Public Health Institute
May 22 - Design Futures 2017 | Public Interest Design Student Leadership Forum
May 22 - UROC Critical Conversation - Sanctuary Through the Eyes of Women and Girls
May 23 - Mending the Brain (LearningLife course)
May 23 - U of M Night at the Minnesota Lynx
May 24 - Chinese Language Cafe

Events Calendar >