November 15, 2017

Vol. XLVII No. 37

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Features: Access to jobs by transit increases in many U.S. metros; New technology makes oak wilt detection faster, more affordable; U of M study affirms new strategies for reducing achievement gap.
  • People: Pinar Karaca-Mandic has received a $1.6 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media; and more.

Top News

Access to jobs by transit increases in many U.S. metrosinterior of a bus

Annually updated research from the U of M Accessibility Observatory ranks 49 of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States for connecting workers with jobs via transit. The new rankings, part of the Access Across America national study that began in 2013, focus on accessibility, a measure that examines both land use and transportation systems. The study ranks the Minneapolis–St. Paul metropolitan area 13th nationally in access to jobs by transit, falling from 12th in last year’s rankings.

New technology makes oak wilt detection faster, more affordableoak wilt measuring device

Oak wilt fungus is an invasive plant pathogen that often goes unnoticed, until it’s too late. New technology developed by College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences researcher Abdennour Abbas and his team offers a simple, affordable diagnostic test utilizing nanotechnology and gold.

U of M study affirms new strategies for reducing achievement gapstudents raising hands

Successful implementation of preschool to 3rd-grade programs yields benefits in increasing school readiness, improving attendance, and strengthening parental involvement in school education--strategies that can close the achievement gap for children at risk, according to a new University of Minnesota study.


Pinar Karaca-Mandic has received a $1.6 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Survey: Your communications preferences

University Relations is seeking feedback on internal communications preferences. The information gathered through the survey will help the University strengthen how and when we communicate important University information. Please complete the short survey by Dec. 1.

Updated Google Calendar interface

Google Calendar’s updated interface will be available at the U of M beginning Nov. 28. The interface will be optional until Feb. 28, when it will become the University’s standard Google calendar interface.

Nov. 16 - Give to the Max Day

Nov. 16 is the University of Minnesota’s Give to the Max Day. Show your U of M pride by using #UMNGive on social media, and support your favorite U cause at A shout-out or gift could get your cause a share of $50,000 in awards.

Alumni Association opens Alumni MarketMembers of alumni maker market

The U of M Alumni Association has launched Minnesota Alumni Market, believed to be the first alumni-maker online store to sell only products created by alumni-owned businesses. The market, which will feature everything from home goods to books, apparel, and even unique product lines, brings alumni-created products (from any campus) together in one shopping environment while helping fellow alumni connect and support each other and the Alumni Association in a non-traditional way.

Next Generation Network update

The next phase of the Next Generation Network (NGN) project is scheduled for Nov. 25-26. At this time, migration to new network cores and related equipment will be performed. NGN teams are committed to minimizing network outages as much as possible; however, short disruptions may be experienced throughout the weekend on the Twin Cities campus. Updates will be posted to the U of M System Status website. Contact Technology Help or email the NGN team with questions.

Nov. 30 - Teaching Support Workshop: Fostering students’ motivation to learn

TeachingSupport@UMN is offering a series of workshops for faculty and instructors throughout the year focused on how the research on learning can inform teaching. In this online workshop, attendees will learn about factors that motivate and strategies for enhancing students’ motivation to learn in face-to-face, online, or hybrid courses.

Dec. 6 - Startup Workshop: Call for Startup Ideas

U of M faculty, graduate students, and post-docs are invited to a startup seminar and networking event for researchers interested in bringing their ideas to market. Learn from entrepreneurs, OTC Venture Center staff, and business advisors--all with real-world experience in turning an invention into a successful new company. Attendees are encouraged to come with specific ideas for a new startup to discuss, and will receive feedback and guidance on next steps. No charge. Includes complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

Register and learn more >


Nov. 16 - UMC Give to the Max Day

Faculty and staff members are encouraged to give to a U of M Crookston cause that is close to their heart during Give to the Max Day. This year three UMC initiatives are featured: The UMC Alumni Association is fundraising to purchase a people mover to utilize at various campus events; UMC softball is fundraising for its batting cage; and UMC baseball is fundraising for a much-needed press box at the UMC baseball field.

Reductions in campus energy usage

The UMC Center for Sustainability and the Facilities and Operations Department have compiled data on reductions in campus energy usage resulting from the retrofitting of several hundred light fixtures and the transition to LED lights. From June through October, the energy reduction achieved was approximately 172 kilowatt hours per day.

Agricultural Business online program

The new online program in Agricultural Business, which will be offered beginning fall semester 2018, has launched a new website.

UMC a top school for first-year financial aid

The University of Minnesota Crookston has been ranked nationally among the 100 “Top Public Schools for Freshman Financial Aid” by the Student Loan Report, an online resource covering student loan and debt issues in higher education.


Mental health supportDuluth aerial view

UMD has received funding to hire two additional mental health counselors to allow UMD Health Services to better serve the needs of students. Currently, UMD’s team of five therapists and one mental health counselor has difficulty seeing individuals within a week of an appointment request.

NRRI helps with online breeding bird atlasbird on branch

Scientists at UMD’s Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) provided expertise to help create Minnesota’s first online, interactive breeding bird atlas. The site highlights the effectiveness of conservation, documents breeding sites for rare birds, and spotlights endangered species. More than 380,000 records of breeding evidence were compiled for 249 species of birds that were documented as nesting in Minnesota.

Nov. 17 - Artaria String QuartetArtaria string quartet

Artaria String Quartet will perform as part of the Guest Artist Recital Series. The quartet has performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe and was named the 2013-14 Minnesota Public Radio Artists-in-Residence. 7:30 p.m., Weber Music Hall.

Tickets and more >

UMD Dance Concert: In a Jazz Waypeople at an event

Associate Professor Rebecca Katz Harwood is directing the dance concert In a Jazz Way. The pieces, many created by professional guest, residential, and student choreographers, are inspired by jazz and popular music. Dance lessons will be offered before each show. Nov. 30-Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 3, 2 p.m., Marshall Performing Arts Center.


Sustainable Campus Index top performerUMM Green Prairie area

UMM is a top performer in the 2017 Sustainable Campus Index. It is the only public college on the baccalaureate list. The index, a publication of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, highlights top-performing colleges and universities overall and in 17 impact areas.


Nov. 15 - Klobuchar staff public forum on opioid epidemic

As part of a two-day tour, representatives from the office of U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar will be on campus to meet with first responders, advocates, and elected officials for a public forum focused on combating the opioid epidemic. Klobuchar’s staff will provide updates on the senator’s work to support local efforts and hear firsthand from community leaders about resources needed to continue effectively responding at the local level. 3:30 p.m., 419 University Square.

Keynote Speaker Announcement: Randy Bass

Randy Bass has been named as a keynote speaker for the Higher Education Innovation Summit being held June 6-8. Bass is vice provost for education and professor of English at Georgetown University, where he leads the Designing the Future(s) initiative and the Red House incubator for curricular transformation. In 1999, Bass won the EDUCAUSE Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Technology and Undergraduate Education.

Nov. 17 - Hmong New Year Celebration

The Rochester Hmong Student Association is hosting the 2nd Annual Hmong New Year Celebration. The celebration will include food, student performances, a display on Hmong history, and a fashion show to showcase the different types of traditional clothing. The event is a way to celebrate and teach the UMR community about the Hmong culture and tradition, says Hmong Student Association president Sarah Vang. Admission is $7. 7-8:30 p.m., 417 University Square.

Twin Cities

Bias Response and Referral Network postcards available

The Bias Response and Referral Network (BRRN) responds to incidents of bias on the Twin Cities campus. To help spread the word about this important resource to students, faculty, and staff, BRRN promotional postcards are available through Printing Services at no cost to units or departments. The minimum order is 50 and supplies are limited.

Nov. 17 - Programming & Pizza

Join experienced staff from U Libraries, Liberal Arts Technology and Innovation Services, and Research Computing at the monthly Programming & Pizza workshop series. Noon-1 p.m., Wilson Library Research Collaboration Studio. Participants will be able to connect with an expert for 30 minutes of hands-on help.

Register in advance >

Dec. 1 - Conflict Competency - Moving from Avoidance to Engagement

Join the Center for Integrative Leadership for bagels, coffee, and a skill-based session with Julie Showers on tackling real or anticipated conflicts that may otherwise pose a stumbling block to effective collaboration. The session will provide strategies for raising difficult issues in a manner that leads to greater comfort and better outcomes. Showers is director of the U’s Office for Conflict Resolution and teaches a conflict resolution course at the Law School. 8:30-9:30 a.m., Freeman Commons, Humphrey School.

Dec. 5 - ‘Snow Business: Scientific Computing in the Movies and Beyond’

In this lecture, mathematician Joseph Teran will speak about the applications of scientific computing for solid and fluid mechanics problems, such as the simulation of materials like water, smoke, fire, and soft tissues in visual effects for movies and virtual surgery. He will also discuss a new algorithm used for simulating the dynamics of snow in Disney’s animated feature film Frozen. 7 p.m., Coffman Theater.

Dec. 8 - ‘Prince from Minneapolis’ preview partyPrince

Get your groove on and honor the purple one at a sneak peek of the “Prince from Minneapolis” exhibit. At the event, view rarely seen photos from photographers who hail from Minneapolis, lounge in purple luxury, nosh on small bites, and soak in the sounds of DJ Shannon Blowtorch. 7 p.m., Weisman Art Museum. Cost: $25 ($10 for U students with ID).

Registration is required >

‘Underwater’ exhibitionimage from exhibit featuring whale and ships

Discover what voyagers encountered on the sea and how interactions with water have been the harbinger of health and illness across the centuries in the exhibit “Underwater,” which explores humans, health, and science in watery spaces. Open through May 18, Wangensteen Historical Library (568 Diehl Hall).

UMTC Featured Eventsgraphic of head made from sneakers

Nov. 15 - Andrea Jenkins Lecture & Reception
Nov. 16 - Sneakerheadz
Nov. 17 - Urban Tinkering: Seminar with Prof. Thomas Elmqvist
Nov. 20 - Victor Gruen: Visionary Urban Designer
Nov. 21 - Body and Belief in Sattriya

Events Calendar >