October 25, 2017

Vol. XLVII No. 34

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • Driven to Discover: Karen Hsiao Ashe.
  • Features: Scientists detect gravitational waves produced by colliding neutron stars; A new look at freshwater sponges in Minnesota; Nitrous oxide emissions may get worse as climate warms.
  • People: Jakub Tolar has been named dean of the Medical School and interim VP for the Health Sciences; and more.

Top News

Driven to Discover: Karen Hsiao AsheKaren Ashe

Karen Hsiao Ashe has devoted her life to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Her peers regard her as one of the world’s top researchers of the disease.

Learn more about Ashe's work >

Scientists detect gravitational waves produced by colliding neutron starsGravitational wave

For the first time, scientists have directly detected gravitational waves--ripples in space and time--in addition to light from the spectacular collision of two neutron stars. University of Minnesota astrophysicists were involved in the discovery.

A new look at freshwater sponges in Minnesotastudent holding freshwater sponge

When people think of sponges, they may picture colorful organisms in the ocean or, even likelier, pads used to clean their cooking pots. But there are also sponges living in our freshwater lakes and rivers. Faculty and students at the U of M Crookston are studying freshwater sponges and how they correlate to the health of Minnesota’s waters.

Nitrous oxide emissions may get worse as climate warmsemissions measuring tool atop tower

New research from the University of Minnesota shows nitrous oxide emissions may get worse as the climate warms. While not as prevalent in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, a nitrous oxide molecule is nearly 300 times more effective in terms of warming the planet. Using long-term measurements and modeling, the U of M research team suggests that emissions will increase significantly as temperature and precipitation increase.


Jakub Tolar has been named dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School and interim vice president for the Health Sciences; the Institute on Community Integration has been awarded a $2.5 million "Stepping-Up Technology Implementation" grant; the Carlson School of Management’s Medical Industry Leadership Institute has won the MBA Roundtable 2017 Innovator Award; the School of Nursing has received the 2017 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Reserve research space now for the 2018 Minnesota State Fair

The Driven to Discover Research Facility helps recruit hundreds of research participants within days at the Minnesota State Fair. The facility is open to U of M faculty, staff, or student investigators for on-the-spot research or for studies conducted elsewhere. The new building, which opened for the 2017 fair, attracted more than 60,000 visitors, with over 18,000 fairgoers enrolling in 36 studies. Funding is available for eligible cancer and pediatric studies; additional funding opportunities may open later this fall. An online application is due Jan. 16.

Oct. 30 - Revisions to Civil Service Employment Rules public hearing

The Civil Service Consultative Committee and Employment Rules Subcommittee have proposed revisions to the Civil Service Employment Rules. Two public hearings will be held in order to hear constituent feedback on the proposal. Hearings will be held at noon and at 4 p.m., 237 Morrill Hall.

Oct. 28-29 - Some MyU services unavailable overnight

Due to a planned software update, some MyU features will be unavailable Oct. 28-29, 6 p.m.-noon. During that time, users will not be able to access the My Time, My Pay, My Info, My Benefits, and Manager Info tabs.

Oct. 31 - Ar-BOO-Retum

Gather your little ghosts and witches and visit the U of M Landscape Arboretum to trick-or-treat for apples in the Arboretum gift store from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kids can enjoy a special story time at 10:30 a.m. in the Reedy Gallery and let their creativity flow at coloring stations in the Oswald Visitor Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. No admission charge for anyone in costume.

Nov. 2 - CTS Research Conference

LA Metro’s chief innovation officer Joshua Schank headlines the 28th Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) Transportation Research Conference with a presentation about an ambitious experiment to quickly bring about dramatic changes in transportation policy and innovation to a large government agency. In addition, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials policy director Joung Lee will examine infrastructure funding at the federal level and the difficulty for the public to easily understand the cost and value of infrastructure. Commons Hotel, Minneapolis.

Registration, fees, and the full conference schedule >

Nov. 7 - Discover Canvas: Basics Workshop

An online Canvas basics workshop for faculty and staff will include a review of the Canvas interface, tools and features, course design options, and an introduction to moving content from Moodle to Canvas.


Action drives positive employee engagement

Results from the first three Employee Engagement Surveys found meaningful improvements in engagement in six colleges that shared results and took action. Ensure that your feedback informs action by taking the 2017 Employee Engagement Survey. See Office of Human Resources for more information on the survey, including response rates.


Oct. 27 - Professional Development Day

The fall 2017 Professional Development Day theme is Evolving Expectations in Higher Education. Presentations and discussions will help build on the campus strategic initiative to promote employee engagement and are in direct response to feedback following the last Employee Engagement survey. Refreshments will be available throughout the day, and lunch will be provided. Faculty and staff are welcome to attend any or all of sessions. 8:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.

Oct. 30 - So MinneSOta!So Minnesota poster advert

So MinneSOta! is an event celebrating Minnesota’s culture, people, food, products, industry, and natural resources. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Northern Lights Lounge and International Lounge, Sargeant Student Center.

Oct. 31 - Cultural Presentation with the League of United Latinx

A “Come Celebrate Life With Us!” cultural presentation is an opportunity to learn more about the newly formed League of United Latinx student organization. Noon-2 p.m., Prairie Room, Sargeant Student Center.


IonE associates namedUMD marquee signage

Assistant professors Ryan Bergstrom, Geography, Urban, Environment, and Sustainability Studies; Salli Dymond, Earth and Environmental Sciences; Aparna Katre, World Languages and Cultures; and Neil Wilmot, Economics, have been named Associates of the Institute on the Environment (IonE). This two-year fellowship program provides cohort members with numerous learning, development, and networking opportunities.

At the theatreNoises off poster

Professor Kate Ufema directs Noises Off, a laugh-out-loud play that takes audiences onstage and backstage with a group of thespians for whom the show must go on--no matter how badly. UMD’s production runs Nov. 2-4 and 8-11, 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 5, 2 p.m., Marshall Performing Arts Center.

Culturally responsive arts education lectureJames Bequette

James Bequette, associate professor in the UMTC Department of Curriculum and Instruction, will present as part of the Visual Culture Lecture Series. Bequette is the coordinator of the Arts in Education program and has worked as an arts teacher in K-12 schools with predominantly Indigenous students. Nov. 7, 6-7 p.m., 70 Montague Hall.


IAS Research and Creative Collaboratives and other opportunitiesMinnesota map cut into farm field

Join Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) director Jennifer Gunn to discuss IAS Research and Creative Collaboratives and other opportunities on Oct. 26, 1 p.m., Moccasin Flower Room, Student Center. Then at 3:30 p.m., 45 Humanities Fine Arts, the IAS panel discussion "From Farm to Store: Challenges Facing Rural Food Systems" will explore the intersection of food systems, agriculture, and sociocultural networks in Greater Minnesota.

UMM receives Department of Education granttwo students

UMM has earned a $1.2 million Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement (McNair) Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant will fully fund (through Sept. 30, 2022) UMM’s McNair project, which will provide eligible students with effective preparation for doctoral study as they seek to obtain a Ph.D. or Ed.D.

Alumni working for sustainable food systemspumpkins

As a campus dedicated to sustainable initiatives, UMM is enriched by students who investigate and expand the area of food systems. For alumni like Naomi Olive '13 and Jared Walhowe '09, the food sustainability work to which they are devoting their lives began at UMM.


‘Green Card Voices’Green Card voices exhibit

The University of Minnesota Rochester, in collaboration with Rochester Public Library, the Diversity Council, and the Rochester International Association, is hosting “Green Card Voices.” The exhibit, at UMR through Oct. 30, tells the story of 30 immigrants who have made Minnesota their home.

June 6-8 - Higher Education Innovation Summitlearning summit poster

The University of Minnesota Rochester will host the Higher Education Innovation Summit featuring keynote speakers Freeman Hrabowski, Randall Bass, and Stephen Lehmkuhle. The summit is designed to connect creative educators and researchers seeking to transform higher education through innovations that enhance student learning.

Twin Cities

Oct. 26 - “A Campus Divided” lecture

Robert Cohen will present “A Campus Divided: Liberal/Left Student Activism and Its Foes, 1917-2017.” Cohen is a professor of history and social studies at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. 3:30 p.m., 332 Coffman Union.

Northrop event discounts for faculty/staff

U of M faculty and staff can receive a $20 discount per ticket to see longtime Fleetwood Mac members Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie on Oct. 30 when ordering with promo code UMNProud. Faculty and staff can also get $20 rush tickets to New York City Ballet MOVES beginning at 10 a.m. the day of the performance (Oct. 28).

Oct. 28 - Supporting Girls and Women of Color in Education

Join Twin Cities community advocates, youth, and University of Minnesota faculty for art, lunch, and discussions focused on building strategies to improve education for women and girls of color. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., YWCA Midtown.

Nov. 1 - Power & Privilege: Tiq MilanTiq Milan

Activist and journalist Tiq Milan speaks and writes about intersectional leadership, transgender rights, and racial justice. He shares stories of his life and how his transgender experience has informed his views on masculinity, race, and the gender binary. Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Student Engagement in partnership with the Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life. 4-6 p.m., Best Buy Theater, Northrop.

Nov. 4 - School of Music Collage Concert and CLA Campaign kickoff

The annual Collage Concert and launch of “Shattering Expectations: The Campaign for Liberal Arts” will feature student and faculty performances by choral, orchestral, jazz, chamber, world music, and wind ensembles, as well as solo performances by faculty and students. This year’s show will also feature stories of alumni, students, faculty, and community members describing the life-changing work happening in CLA. Leading the program will be President Eric Kaler, CLA dean John Coleman, and School of Music director Michael Kim. 7:30 p.m., Ted Mann Concert Hall. No charge and open to the public, but registration is required.

Nov. 7 - Keeping America Safe: New Challenges

America faces a daunting list of challenges with the reemergence of great power competition, upheaval in the Middle East, the continuing terrorism threat, challenges to non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and new domains of competition including cybersecurity. Tom Donilon, former national security advisor, will discuss geopolitical trends challenging the United States and the global order. Former Vice President Walter Mondale and Professor Larry Jacobs will moderate. 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m., Humphrey Forum, Humphrey School.

Call for Star Performer Award nominations

Star Performers are University Services employees who go above and beyond to exceed expectations and provide excellent customer service. Any member of the University community is invited to nominate an exceptional employee. Submissions are due by noon, Nov. 9. See the nomination form for information about the awards and a list of all University Services teams.

Apply for a Campus Climate Micro-Grant

Now in their third year, Campus Climate Micro-Grants offer an opportunity to be awarded $500 to $1,000 to support projects that advance campus climate. The theme this year is “fostering understanding, building solidarity and community.” Grants are open to faculty, staff, and students on the UMTC campus. Collaboration between groups is encouraged. The deadline to apply is Dec. 1.

See the application >

UMTC Featured Eventstwo coffee cups with coffee in them

Oct. 26 - Webinar "Our Pursuit of Happiness"
Oct. 26 - Conversation with Jake Sullivan: A Front Row Seat to American Politics
Nov. 1 - Minnesota Institute for Neuroeconomics and Decision Science Fall Research Symposium
Nov. 2 - Interdisciplinary Studies of Writing (ISW) Research Colloquium
Nov. 3 - Small World Coffee Hour at WAM
Nov. 4 - CEHD Saturday Scholars: Civic Engagement & Citizenship in Challenging Times

Events Calendar >