May 20, 2015

Vol. XLV No. 20

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Human Subjects Research draft work plan released.
  • State Relations Update.
  • Features: Hope for Alzheimer's sufferers; Clothing for a cause.
  • People: Burckhard Seelig has been awarded the Simons Investigator Award; and more.

Top News

Human Subjects Research draft work plan released

The implementation team charged with developing recommendations to improve human subjects research practices has delivered a draft work plan (PDF) to President Kaler. Public comment may be submitted through June 1 to The team will consider all feedback as it finalizes the plan in early June. Once finalized, President Kaler and the Board of Regents will review it at the board's June meeting, after which implementation will begin immediately.

Learn more at Advancing Human Subjects Research >

State Relations Update

The Minnesota Legislature adjourned May 19, marking the end of the 2015 session. Gov. Dayton said he will veto the E-12 education bill over a lack of universal pre-K funding. The higher education bill, passed by the House and Senate, awaits the governor’s signature. The bill provides $53.2 million in new funding for the U of M, including $30 million for the Medical School and $22.2 million for tuition relief. No bonding bill was passed, but one could be passed during a special session.

More info and additional bills relevant to the U >

Hope for Alzheimer's sufferersKaren Ashe

For the millions of Americans stricken with Alzheimer's, and especially for those who love them, the hope of a breakthrough is never far from their minds. But the disease has proven to be the toughest of challenges for neuroscientists. Now, the U's Karen Ashe, widely considered a superstar in the world of Alzheimer's research, is poised to make her next big Alzheimer's breakthrough with the help of a new technology created by fellow scientist Michael Koob.

Read more >

Clothing for a causeTwo students from Lucy Dunne's class

Juniors in Lucy Dunne's technical design class get hands-on experience in all the steps involved in mass-producing clothing. This year, clothing designed and produced by class members was delivered to 5- to 18-year-old girls living in orphanages in Uganda and Tanzania. Since 2011, Dunne also has sent student-made garments ranging from pajamas to school uniforms to rural villages in Haiti, India, and South Africa.

Read more >


Burckhard Seelig has been awarded the Simons Investigator Award and a five-year, one million dollar grant to join the Simons Collaboration on the Origins of Life; Reuben Harris has been recognized as one of the nation’s top biomedical scientists by Howard Hughes Medical Institute; CBS Pre-Med Scholars, a program to help students prepare for medical school, has received a regional innovation award from National Academic Advising Association; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Serendipity grants target emerging societal issueswhimsical graphic of computer and city

In February, experts, practitioners, and community leaders from across Minnesota came together to discuss how their collective knowledge and resources could create more intelligent, efficient, and livable communities. The event, Smart Cities and Infrastructure, was the first of the U of M's Convergence Colloquia, which are designed to bring together U researchers and private, public, and nonprofit stakeholders to discuss emerging issues in society. After the event, three research proposals were chosen to receive serendipity grants.

Learn more >

July 29-30 - Minnesota eLearning Summit

The Minnesota eLearning Summit is the premiere event of the Minnesota Learning Commons and a gathering place for K-12, college, and university educators and innovators in the Midwest who are committed to effective online and blended learning. Attendees will collaborate and share ideas while learning about new elearning tools, resources, and best practices.

Registration and more info >


Faculty and Staff Day

Faculty and Staff Day was held at the conclusion of spring semester to celebrate excellence and service by members of UMC faculty and staff. Chancellor Fred Wood and Deb Zak, regional director, U of M Extension, served as hosts for the annual event.

Learn more >

2015 Summer Camps & Conferencessummer camp poster advert

Over the summer, UMC will serve as the host site for a number of camps and conferences sponsored by University units and other organizations.

See the schedule and more >

June 2-4 - 2015 X-Camp

Northwest Region Extension will host the 2015 X-Camp (Experience Camp) on campus June 2-4. Grades 6-8 will work alongside U of M faculty in a variety of fields, including animal science, natural resources, business, science, and mathematics. For information, email Margo Bowerman or call 218-281-8695.


LLO data gathering voyagesBlue Heron boat

Large Lakes Observatory (LLO) recently gave members of the media a preview of LLO's 2015 Simultaneous Lake Ecology Research project aboard the Blue Heron. Four data- gathering voyages are scheduled this year as LLO scientists simultaneously study aquatic ecology, phytoplankton abundance, nutrient distributions, biochemistry, carbon cycling, zooplankton ecology, fish ecology, and biological productivity on Lake Superior.

Learn more >

Engineering students share work with Duluth businessesan engineering student shows her work

Seventy students in the Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering departments, with guidance from assistant professors Alison Hoxie and Mary Christiansen and Duluth nonprofit Ecolibrium3, worked to advance the sustainability of six local businesses. The students learned first hand what promotes and hinders the progress of sustainable initiatives. They recently presented their results to the business leaders.

Learn more >

May 21 - Northeastern Minnesota Book Awardsbook awards logo

The annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards will take place May 21, Kirby Ballroom. This year's keynote speaker is Duluth poet laureate Jim Johnson. Awards are given in six categories: fiction, poetry, general nonfiction, memoir/creative nonfiction, children's literature, and art/photography.

Learn more >

May 29 - Glensheen GalaGlensheen mansion

Glensheen Mansion will unlock spaces previously unseen by the public as part of its Glensheen Gala annual fundraiser on May 29. In addition to signature drinks, cash bars, and hors d'oeuvres, attendees will enjoy carriage rides, house tours, and a silent auction. Last year's event sold out.

Find tickets and learn more >

June 2 - New Approaches to GlazingTweevenings logo

John (Butch) Holden, professor of visual arts at Bemidji State University, and Jim Grittner, professor emeritus in ceramics at the University of Wisconsin Superior, will present "New Approaches to Glazing" as part of the Tweed Museum of Art's Tweevenings series. Their talk is related to the Tweed exhibition "Resurfaced, Reformed: Evolution in Studio Ceramics." 6:30-7:30 p.m., Tweed Museum.

Learn more >


O'Leary '15 offered book dealNina Downer

Work by Nina Downer O'Leary '15 will be published by Michigan State University Press. O'Leary was offered the book deal after presenting her portraiture series "Native Enough" at the Native American Literature Symposium. Inspired by Edward Curtis's ethnocentric portraits that historicized Native subjects and by her own experience as a Native student, the series acknowledges the complexity of Native American identity.

Learn more >

Haider '17 helping employers find employees in rural areasHumza Haider

Humza Haider '17 is working with the Center for Small Towns and U Extension to help employers find employees willing to move to rural Minnesota. He also is helping new and potential residents find housing. "I hope this project creates more awareness about housing incentives and determines what incentives are most effective," Haider says.

Learn more >

May 23-24 - Seed saving workshop

The Student Organic Gardening Club will host a seed-saving workshop May 23-24. Presented by expert seed savers from the Great Lakes Indigenous Seed Savers Alliance, the workshop will include the history and political context of seed saving, connections to native food sovereignty, and the technical aspects of saving seed.

Learn more >


May 26 - UMR Connects: 'Who Really Killed President Lincoln?'

At the next UMR Connects, Minnesota State Rep. Dean Urdahl will focus on two plots that can be historically traced leading to Lincoln's death, and discuss the secret of April 14 that, if revealed then, could have brought down the Union government. May 26, 7-8:30 p.m.

Learn more >

Twin Cities

Grand Challenges Research: Identifying Campus Priorities

The Provost's Grand Challenges Research Team of 30 distinguished faculty members invites faculty to respond to a "Call for Ideas" that will shape Grand Challenges research priorities, a component of the TC campus Strategic Plan. The first of several deadlines is June 26. Focused campuswide discussions will follow in early fall. The priorities selected will be in addition to the three existing areas of strength noted in the strategic plan.

See the guidelines >

Get involved in creating a welcoming and inclusive campus

The Office for Equity and Diversity offers workshops in the Equity and Diversity Certificate Program throughout the summer. Workshops are no charge and open to all faculty, staff, and students.

Learn more and register >

May 22 - 'CreativeMornings' with Barry KudrowitzBarry Kudrotz

The "CreativeMornings" breakfast lecture series will host Barry Kudrowitz May 22, 9 a.m., Weisman Art Museum. Kudrowitz received his Ph.D. from MIT, studying humor, creativity, and idea generation. He has co-designed a Nerf toy, an elevator simulator that is in operation at the International Spy Museum, and a ketchup-dispensing robot that was featured on the Martha Stewart Show.

Tickets and more >

June 3-4 - Invasive species in the Galápagos Islands: Challenges and Solutionsphoto of Galapagos

This workshop will include updates and presentations relevant to scientists, graduate students, and anyone interested in the ongoing conservation work in the Galápagos Islands to address the problem of invasive species. Sponsored by the Institute on the Environment, The Raptor Center, the Department of Entomology, and Biology Teaching and Learning. Learning & Environmental Sciences Building, St. Paul.

No charge, but registration is requested >

Stay active this summer with University Fitness Classes

University fitness classes, offered through University Recreation and Wellness, are eight-week classes designed to strengthen your muscles, enhance your cardiovascular fitness, and teach you the basics of a balanced exercise program. University employees and UPlan members can earn 50 wellness points and have the $199 registration fee reimbursed after attending 13 of 16 classes. Classes begin the week of June 8.

See the summer schedule >

Northrop Presents Music on the Plazaposter saying music on the plaza

Northrop will bring back its annual summer music series for the 60th year, beginning June 10. Concerts will be held Wednesdays at noon, Northrop Plaza, through Aug. 12.

See the complete line-up and more >

June 13-14 - Northern Spark festival

The U of M will be a hub for the annual Northern Spark Arts Festival, June 13-14. The popular overnight event celebrates the Twin Cities' continual pursuit of community art-sharing and advocacy. Northrop, the Bell Museum, and the Weisman will host activities, installations, and food offerings throughout the night.

Learn more >

July 8-10 - Art of Participatory Leadership Training

Join fellow faculty, staff, and students from across the U in a three-day Art of Participatory Leadership seminar July 8-10. The training will provide tools and techniques to strengthen collaborative leadership, including building strategic relationships, hosting dialogue and debate, and designing inclusive decision-making processes. Cost: $500. Applications are due by June 1.

Learn more (PDF) >

Teaching Enrichment Series

Registration is now open for this year's Teaching Enrichment Series, Sept. 2-3, sponsored by the Center for Educational Innovation. New sessions include "Small Changes with Big Impact" and "Technology Use with Accessibility in Mind."

Registration and more info >

Morocco and Minnesota: Celebrating our past, partnering for the future

Global Programs and Strategy Alliance and University of Minnesota Extension invite the U community to celebrate a historic partnership with the Kingdom of Morocco while exploring future opportunities, Sept. 15-19. A connection between Minnesota and Morocco, started in 1962 with a Fulbright Scholar in Journalism, by 1969 had grown into the areas of agriculture and natural resource sciences, veterinary medicine, and economic development. For more information, email John Vreyens.

UMTC Featured Eventsupside down desk and chair that says flipped

May 20 - William Krivit Lectureship, Pediatric Grand Rounds
May 23 - Sensory-Friendly Saturday Mornings
May 26 - OED Workshop: Being an Ally in the Work of Equity and Diversity
May 30 - Caring for a Person with Memory Loss Conference
June 3 - Flipping Your Course

Events Calendar >