November 23, 2016

Vol. XLVI No. 38

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Driven to Discover: Abolishing hunger with Philip Pardey.
  • Features: U of M scientists assist in breakthrough wheat gene research; The other side of the bars; Study finds affordable housing crisis worsened after recession; Seeking educational equity.
  • People: 2016 recipients of the Award for Global Engagement; and more.

Top News

Driven to Discover: Abolishing hunger with Philip PardeyPhilip pardey

The challenge of abolishing hunger is daunting, to say the least. Not only is the global population growing, demand for food is expected to rise while resources remain scarce. Philip Pardey blends evidence from biology, agroecology, and economics to find the innovations needed to tackle these challenges.

U of M scientists assist in breakthrough wheat gene researchJames Anderson

U of M researchers are among a group of scientists who have isolated and cloned a gene that provides resistance to Fusarium head blight, a crippling disease that caused several billion dollars in direct grower losses in U.S. wheat fields between 1993 and 2001. Their findings are published online in the journal Nature Genetics. The article details nearly 20 years of research that includes scientists in China, at the U of M, and at other American universities.

The other side of the barsdrawing of family by child

CLA undergraduates are researching the impacts of the criminal justice system on children and families. The topic is one rarely explored. In fact, so little is known about it that the Minnesota Department of Corrections did not know the prevalence of paternal incarceration in their facilities until just last year, when Professor Rebecca Shlafer and her students shared their data. Among the results: parental incarceration increases children's risk of mental health problems, substance use and abuse, and delinquency, which in turn creates intergenerational cycles of poverty and limited access to opportunity.

Learn more about what they found >

Study finds affordable housing crisis worsened after recessionstevens square apartments

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, the affordable housing crisis in the United States has become worse, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at the Humphrey School. The study found that since the recession of 2008-09, the percentage of renter households in the United States facing difficulties paying their rent rose to historically high levels, and that more people with higher incomes are also experiencing “rent burden.”

Seeking educational equitypeople at table

In 2015, the U of M established the Educational Equity Resource Center--the region’s first research hub and portal dedicated to closing the opportunity gap. The center serves as a bridge between University researchers and the educators who work with children and youth every day. Just a year after its launch, the U hosted more than 600 education leaders, researchers, policymakers, and others from across the country in a two-day conference on educational equity in action, which yielded numerous resources for educators.

Learn more about educational equity >


2016 recipients of the Award for Global Engagement; Ray Gonzalez has won the Witter Bynner Prize for Poetic Achievement from the Library of Congress; the University of Minnesota Alumni Association’s magazine has received five awards for excellence from the Minnesota Magazine & Publishing Association; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Call for proposals: Summit on Equity, Diversity, and Multiculturalism

The Summit on Equity, Diversity, and Multiculturalism: Creating Change will be held Feb. 22, UMD Kirby Student Center. The UMD Commission on Equity, Race, and Ethnicity seeks proposals from all faculty, staff, students, and interested community organizations for meaningful and interactive workshops, presentations, lectures, and other educational formats. Proposals will be accepted until Jan. 13.

Learn more about proposal submission topics >

NCORE registration discounts

The 30th annual National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will be held in Fort Worth May 30-June 3. Those planning to attend all or part of the conference can receive a 10 percent discount, and may sign up to attend a dinner with Katrice Albert and other U of M colleagues on June 1 at the conference.

Breakfast and photos with Santa

The U of M Landscape Arboretum will host many holiday activities, including Breakfast and Photos with Santa on Dec. 3, 10, and 17, 9 a.m.-noon, MacMillan Auditorium. Additionally, the popular Pet Photos with Santa are scheduled for Dec. 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Snyder Auditorium.

Learn more and make reservations for photos with Santa >


Nov. 24 - Thanksgiving Day meal

Students staying in Crookston on Thanksgiving Day are invited to join other students, faculty, and staff for a hot meal at no charge. The annual P.E.A.C.E. Unity Meal will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Evergreen Grill, Evergreen Hall.

Nov. 29 - Nicole Jacobson: 'Navajo Code Talkers and Their Culture'

Crookston resident Nicole Jacobson, a member of the Navajo Nation, will present "Navajo Code Talkers and Their Culture" as part of Native American Heritage Month. No charge, and open to the public. Noon, Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.

Nov. 29 - PechaKucha Night

Back by popular demand, students in event planning and management invite the campus and community to the second PechaKucha Night. The audience will determine the winning presentations, so bring your friends. 7 p.m., Evergreen Grill.


Anders honoredAbram Anders

Abram Anders, associate professor of business communications at the Labovitz School of Business and Economics, is the recipient of the 2016 Rising Star Award from the Association for Business Communication. The award recognizes his contributions to the association and to the overall field.

Rare books giftJohn Staba

Pharmacy Professor John Staba has donated over 1,500 books to the Kathryn A. Martin Library and the Mishoomis Collection Library in UMD’s American Indian Learning Resource Center. The books, primarily nonfiction, highlight the history, culture, dance, music, and art of Indigenous people from 1700 to 1900, and from South America to Canada.

Nov. 25-Jan. 8 - A Glensheen ChristmasGlensheen in winter

Experience a 39-room mansion decked out for the holidays with over 25 Christmas trees, hundreds of feet of garland, and small hidden elves to locate throughout. Visitors can also enjoy cookies and hot cocoa and take a photo on a Portland Cutter sleigh. The estate is closed Dec. 24-25.

Find tickets >

At the theatreshe loves me poster

Michael Brindisi, artistic director and president of Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, guest directs She Loves Me, a musical comedy about two clashing coworkers who are actually falling for each other as anonymous pen pals. 7:30 p.m., Dec. 1-3 and 7-10; and 2 p.m., Dec. 4, Marshall Performing Arts Center.


Campus-community partnership models sustainable innovationmorris model staff members

This fall UMM racked up a host of sustainability accomplishments--the result of efforts to grow a collaborative initiative with community partners. According to Sustainability Director Troy Goodnough, this Morris Model is "a community effort to work toward building out more energy conservation, clean energy, cultural exchange, community resilience, and celebration."

Bean makes headlines at the Morris Sun Tribuneallison bean

Allison Bean '17, Grand Rapids, recently completed an internship at the Morris Sun Tribune. She is one of 46 students to complete a paid, off-campus internship through UMM’s Career In program since spring 2016.

Learn more >

Nov. 29 - Sinclair to discuss how indigenous knowledge can save the worldSinclair Niigaan

The Campus Activities Council Convocations will present Niigaan Sinclair's "How Indigenous Knowledge Will Save the World." Sinclair is a writer, activist, and associate professor and department head of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba. 7:30 p.m., Edson Auditorium, Student Center.


Nov. 29 - 55th annual U of M Marching Band Indoor Concert in Rochester

Join the Pride of Minnesota for a concert experience you will never forget. Come and be a part of the excitement and energy of the University of Minnesota Marching Band. 7 p.m., Mayo Civic Center. Registration is requested.

Twin Cities

What Drives Kim Clarke to Cheer People On?kim clarke

Growing up in Virginia, Kim Clarke was inspired after spending numerous hours in the stately downtown Richmond library, where the children’s librarian was always attentive and encouraging. Now a U of M associate librarian, Clarke serves a slightly different population, but her goals are much the same: to help people. Whether she’s working as a library liaison or counseling students on research strategies, Clarke finds it enormously gratifying to make instructors’ jobs easier and ignite students’ passion for learning.

Read more about Kim Clarke >

Student Spotlight: Adriana Alvarez De la Hoz

In selecting a graduate school, biologist Adriana Alvarez De la Hoz was drawn to the U of M because of the interdisciplinary programs in science and engineering. Studying at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris has provided her with an increased understanding of the complexity of environmental issues relating to agricultural production as well as her commitment to solutions.

Read an interview with Alvarez De la Hoz >

Reminder: Campus Climate micro-grant applications due Nov. 30

Micro-grant funding is available for projects to advance campus climate. The theme, “building bridges,” encourages 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.

New Faculty Learning Community is accepting applications

Starting in February, this project-driven cohort will explore combining learning science with effective course design and delivery. This unique opportunity will allow faculty to design and develop a project of their choice to enhance their course and work towards an achievable outcome, while learning from peers and leveraging support and guidance from academic technology and learning experts. Applicants must be available for the 2017 spring semester for meetings and project work.

Learn more and apply >

Nov. 25-27 - Bell Museum Garage Saleold bell museum items

Peruse and purchase museum ephemera in the Bell Museum’s "garage sale" and help the Bell get ready to move to its new home on the St. Paul campus. Find unique treasures like exhibit and education posters, craft supplies, books and periodicals, overstock store merchandise, and decorations.

Dec. 1 - The Art of Grace: A Cognitive, Cultural & Neuroscientific Perspective

The Center for Cognitive Sciences and the Brain Sciences Center will host Sarah Kaufman, arts writer and dance critic for The Washington Post, author of The Art of Grace, and recipient of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for criticism. 4-5 p.m., Mayo Memorial Auditorium.

Dec. 1 - Visualizing Sanudo’s ‘Diarii’: The Multimedia Festival in Renaissance Venice

This final event in the Celebrating Venice Lecture Series is presented by Francesca Bortoletti, research associate at the U of M Center for Early Modern History. 7 p.m., James Ford Bell Library, Wilson Library.

Dec. 4 - SonicWAM: Pan-American Musical Modernists

SonicWAM is a collaborative music series, creating contemporary music programs inspired by the art hanging in the Weisman Art Museum. Experience the richness of musical creation in the beautiful spaces of WAM's galleries. No charge, but register to attend. 2 p.m.

Dec. 7 - Women’s Health Lecture

The Powell Center for Women’s Health will host Rebecca Shlafer as guest lecturer in "Promoting the Health of Pregnant Incarcerated Women: From Research to Advocacy." Shlafer will present her research with the Minnesota Prison Doula Project. No charge, and open to the public. An RSVP is requested. Noon-1 p.m., 2-620 Moos Tower.

Dec. 8 - Moodle Clinic for faculty and instructors

Information technology staff, academic technologists from across campus, and TeachingSupport@UMN will be available during a Moodle Clinic to help faculty and instructors with end-of-semester tasks as well as provide planning assistance for spring semester. No charge, and no registration required. Stop in anytime during the clinic hours (11 a.m.-2 p.m.) at two locations: 4th floor, University Recreation and Wellness Center, and at the technology help walk-in location, St. Paul campus.

Dec. 12 - An evening with Tom FriedmanTom Friedman

We have entered an age of acceleration in technology, economics, climate, and more. How do these changes interact, and how can we cope with them? In his newest book, Thank You for Being Late, Tom Friedman returns to his Minnesota childhood, a world where politics worked and joining the middle class was an achievable goal. Today, in contrast, it is harder than ever to be a leader or even to be “average.” With vision and wit, Friedman offers a blueprint for how to think about our times. 7-8:15 p.m., Coffman Union Theater.

Register and learn more >

UMTC Featured Eventsgraphic avatars representing diversity

Nov. 26 - 55th Annual Indoor Marching Band Concert

Nov. 29 - Webinar - Election 2016: A Look Back (and Ahead) from an Election Administrator’s Point of View

Nov. 29 - Car Crashes, Drug Overdoses, Suicides & Murders: Predictors of Early Death in High School and Beyond

Nov. 30 - WAM Shop Holiday Sale

Nov. 30 - Communicating on Issues of Equity and Diversity

Dec. 1 - One for the Record Books: 2016 Election Results & Implications for Governing (Headliners event)

Events Calendar >