November 2, 2016

Vol. XLVI No. 35

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Open Enrollment now through Nov. 30.
  • Features: Researchers invent perfect soap molecule; Research partnerships work to bring knowledge beyond U.
  • People: U of M researchers have won the National Cancer Institute’s Up for a Challenge Breast Cancer Challenge Award; and more.

Top News

Open Enrollment now through Nov. 30

Open Enrollment continues through Nov. 30 with online enrollment through MyU. Those satisfied with their current coverage do not need to reenroll. However, to have a flexible spending account (FSA) account for 2017, you must reenroll. This year you can add up to $25,000 of additional employee life; add or increase long-term disability; add to existing short-term disability; add child life insurance; and select different medical or dental plans. Changes are effective Jan. 1. Employee Health and Benefits Fairs will take place on the UMC, UMD, UMM, and UMTC campuses Nov. 1-16.

Researchers invent perfect soap moleculeperfect soap molecule

A team led by University of Minnesota researchers has invented a new soap molecule made from renewable sources that could dramatically reduce the number of chemicals in cleaning products and their impact on the environment. The soap molecules also worked better than some conventional soaps in challenging conditions such as cold water and hard water.

Research partnerships work to bring knowledge beyond Ulightrail train

A new U of M pilot program focuses on working with partners outside the U to create new knowledge and put it into play benefiting the community. External Stakeholder Engagement, launched by the Office of the Vice President for Research, combines U research talent with community organizations, government agencies, industry, and nonprofits to promote innovation across a range of disciplines. Current partnerships include “Streamlining public transit,” “Informing Minnesota’s policies towards new Americans,” and “Fresh perspectives in graphic design.”


U of M researchers have won the National Cancer Institute’s Up for a Challenge Breast Cancer Challenge Award; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Call for nominations: President's Community-Engaged Scholar Award

This annual, systemwide award recognizes one faculty member or one academic professional and administrative employee for exemplary community-engaged scholarship in their field of inquiry. Each college on the Twin Cities, Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and Rochester campuses may select one individual to serve as recipient. Nomination materials are due Jan. 27.

Nov. 8 - Canvas faculty experience presentation

The second year of the Canvas learning management system pilot continues. Bodong Chen from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction will give a presentation discussing why he decided to try Canvas, how it's working, and how he is utilizing it for research. 11 a.m.-noon, 221 Mechanical Engineering Building or live online.

Nov. 12-Apr. 9 - ‘Bruce Munro: Winter Light at the Arboretum’

The U of M Landscape Arboretum will host outdoor light installations by acclaimed British artist Bruce Munro. The installations feature thousands of radiant lights illuminating optical fiber, acrylic pegs, and prismatic rods. Some also incorporate animations in a range of colors and sound. The exhibit is open Thursday through Sunday weekly, beginning at dusk.

Minimum wage study cites benefits of higher pay

A study conducted by Humphrey School researchers, led by Professor Samuel Myers, concludes that raising the minimum wage in Minneapolis to $15 an hour would increase the incomes of some 71,000 workers and help lift them out of poverty. The study was commissioned by the Minneapolis City Council, which is considering a proposal to raise the minimum wage to either $12 or $15 per hour.


Nov. 2 - Torch and Shield recognition event

Torch and Shield recipients for 2016 include Jim Cameron, research plot coordinator, retired, Northwest Research and Outreach Center; Betty Younggren, Kittson County commissioner and member of the UMC Campus Advisory and Advancement Board; and the UMC Faculty Women's Association. A recognition event will be held at 5 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.

Nov. 3 - Thursday Commons

Rich Wellons and Alex Wood from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Grants Resource Center will be the featured speakers for Thursday Commons. 12:15-1:45 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.

Nov. 2 - Employee benefits counselor appointments

Melissa Unruh, U of M employee benefits counselor, will be on the Crookston campus to help employees with phased or general retirement planning and to answer questions regarding the University's UPlan, dental plans, and/or disability insurance coverage.

Nov. 3 - Mind Your Well-Being

The weekly Thursday workshop “Mind Your Well-Being” for faculty, staff, and students shows participants how to work through stress and anxiety and teaches practical tools for self-care. 3:30-4:30 p.m., Wellness Center.


Study reveals energy split incentivecity of Duluth aerial shot

UMD’s Bureau of Business & Economics Research has published a study that examines how Duluth landlords, and the students who rent property from them, may be at odds when it comes to energy savings. The study, “Impacts of the Split Incentive on Privately Owned Rental Housing,” will be shared with the City of Duluth, landlords, local utilities, and energy organizations.

Making Wavesmaking waves book cover

Making Waves: Grassroots Feminism in Duluth and Superior, a new book by Elizabeth Bartlett, professor in the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, chronicles the 40-year history of feminist organizations in the Twin Ports. Her research was drawn from over 100 interviews of local feminist activists, as well as archival material and newspaper articles.

Sounding ThunderSounding book cover

Sounding Thunder, a new book by Assistant Professor Brian McInnes, Department of Education, tells the story of his great-grandfather, Francis Pegahmagabow, who became one of Canada’s most decorated Indigenous soldiers, having served in WWI as a scout and sniper. When he returned home, Pegahmagabow fought for Indigenous rights and served as Supreme Chief of the National Indian Government.


UMM named top performer in sustainable campus indexUMM sustainable building

UMM has been recognized as a top performer in the 2016 Sustainable Campus Index, ranking third in the area of buildings and overall among baccalaureate institutions. The index, a publication of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, highlights top-performing colleges and universities in 17 areas and overall by institution type, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System.

UMM Premieres Visiting Jazz Artist Programjazz musicians

The UMM Music Discipline announces its Visiting Jazz Artist Program. This new program will regularly bring to campus some of the most prestigious jazz musicians in the northern Midwest for interactive performances, master classes and clinics, and individual and group lessons.

Nov. 12 - Sossy Mechanics bring Trick Boxing to Morristrick boxing actor and child

The 2016-17 Performing Arts Series continues with Sossy Mechanics' Trick Boxing. Described by The Scotsman as "brilliantly, cleverly funny" and by the Winnipeg Free Press as "a sweet little love story from a bygone era," Trick Boxing promises romantic comedy, theater, puppetry, dance, and more.


Respiratory Care poster presentedKari Kalthoff

Kari Kalthoff, a senior in UMR's B.S. in Health Professions Respiratory Care program, worked on research with professor Bill LeTourneau. Their abstract, “Performance Evaluation of Automated Endotracheal Tube Cuff Pressure Regulators” was accepted for discussion at the 2016 American Association for Respiratory Care Congress meeting. The study assessed aspiration risk past the breathing tube cuff after a disconnection from a ventilator with an elevated mean airway pressure. After testing three brands of automated regulators, the study found there was no benefit compared to control.

IHI club identifies areas of improvement in patient/practitioner experience

UMR's Institute of Healthcare Improvement club (IHI), in partnership with the Mayo Clinic, identified possible areas of improvement in patient and/or practitioner experience. The first group of students--Alecia Alto, Mikayla Schmidt, Samantha Gregg, Kree Kerkvlient, and Professor Rachel Olson--shared information on the efficiency of a patient’s time spent in the clinic in relation to patient satisfaction. The second group of students--Vivian Ma, Sondra Windus, and Katrina Diaz--sought to improve employee physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Twin Cities

Copyright permission requests for spring 2017

Course material lists for spring 2017 should be submitted to the Copyright Permissions Service by Nov. 18. A new online submission form is available.

Apply for a Campus Climate micro-grant

Campus Climate micro-grant funding is available for projects to advance campus climate. The theme is “building bridges” to encourage two or more groups (departments, units, student groups, etc.) to work collaboratively on projects to enhance the campus climate. Awards will be between $500 and $1,000. Applications are due Nov. 30.

Upcoming changes to Wilson Library spaces

U Libraries plans to redesign Wilson Library to better align with contemporary scholarly needs. Renovation of Wilson Library and the addition of collection storage capacity is on the University’s future legislative agenda, and predesign is slated to begin in the next month.

See plans, sketches, and more information >

Nov. 7 - Voices of Student Veterans

The Humphrey School will host a special event honoring veterans in our community, featuring a panel discussion with Humphrey School students who have served in the military. Students will share their personal experiences and how military service shaped their perspective of the broader world of public affairs. A Q&A and reception with refreshments will follow. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Humphrey Forum, Humphrey School.

Nov. 8 - U of M Travel Fair

Faculty and staff are invited to the University of Minnesota Travel Fair. Vendors will be on hand to talk about their contracts and answer questions. Bring your UCard to be eligible for door prizes. 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union. RSVP by Nov. 4.

Nov. 8 - Women Innovators Conferenceinnovators conference logo

This professional development summit is designed to help female innovators launch their ideas and make an impact. The program features a mix of keynote presentations by prominent Minnesota women STEM leaders, panel discussions on career development, and networking opportunities. Promo codes are available for faculty, staff, and students. 12:30-6 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center.

Register and learn more >

Nov. 10 – Post-election Q&A with Senator Amy Klobuchar

Join U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and Humphrey School Dean Eric Schwartz in a discussion of the current state of politics. Senator Klobuchar will also sign copies of her book, The Senator Next Door: A Memoir from the Heartland. 6 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School.

Nov. 11 - Interdisciplinary Studies of Writing Research Colloquium

Join a disciplinarily diverse group of U of M faculty and staff for the Interdisciplinary Studies of Writing (ISW) Research Colloquium, an annual presentation and discussion of recent research projects funded by Center for Writing ISW grants. Lunch will be provided to the first 20 registrants. Noon-1:30 p.m., 135 Nicholson Hall.

Register and learn more >

Nov. 16 - (Re)Designing your course for flipped and online learning

Three U of M faculty members will share how they moved their face-to-face class to fully online. Attendees will see examples of how they were able to modify their instructional methods, activities, and assessments for an online environment, all while keeping student engagement a main priority. Refreshments served. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 4th floor, Recreation and Wellness Center. RSVP to attend.

Nov. 17 - Aurora Center anniversary celebration

The Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education will hold a 30th anniversary celebration, featuring interactive displays interspersed with greetings and refreshments. Following the event, the premier showing of Seeing Violet, a student film that highlights the impact of sexual assault on a secondary survivor, will take place in the Coffman Theater. 3:30-5 p.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union.

Nov. 17 - Private Versus Public Provision of Health Insurance: Lessons from the Affordable Care Act and Medicare

Several years after the passing of the Affordable Care Act, what have we learned? How can we minimize costs while maximizing consumer benefit? Where are the gaps and what is the best path forward? 5:30 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School. No charge, but registration is required.

Jan. 5-6 - Program for directors of multi-instructor courses

The Center for Educational Innovation invites faculty who direct multi-instructor courses to join this two-day intensive program. Participants will create a common course framework and learn strategies for working with an instructional team.

Register and learn more >

UMTC Featured EventsAszure Barton actors on stage

Nov. 4 – Next Generation of Parks: Featuring Maurice Cox, City Planner, City of Detroit
Nov. 4 - Feminist Friday: Anything But Human
Nov. 5 - Weekend with the Weisguides: Being American Today
Nov. 9 - November Sip of Science: Flyover Country: the mobile app for Earth science
Nov. 9 - The Results Are In: Post-Election Analysis
Nov. 9 - A Race Gender Dialogue on the 2016 Election
Nov. 11 - Mexican Muralism
Nov. 12 - Aszure Barton & Artists

Events Calendar >