October 26, 2016

Vol. XLVI No. 34

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • Driven to Discover: Closing the Opportunity Gap with Michael Rodriguez.
  • Features: Speaking for the Voiceless; U of M buys community solar subscription.
  • People: U researchers have been awarded a $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences; and more

Top News

Driven to Discover: Closing the Opportunity Gap with Michael RodriguezMichael Rodriguez

The opportunity gap among children in our society is growing, and part of the problem is how we assess and educate our children. Michael Rodriguez’s mission is to close the gap by helping schools understand how to work with diverse students, families, and communities.

Speaking for the VoicelessTetyana Shippee

Tetyana Shippee is working to help answer a very large question: How can we make care toward the end of life a more positive experience, regardless of race, ethnicity, or culture? To discover the solution, she lived in a long-term care facility for two years as a graduate student. Now as an assistant professor in the School of Public Health, she’s changing the way we think about long-term care.

U of M buys community solar subscriptionsolar panel

The University of Minnesota is tapping into a new source of power. With approval from the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents last week, the U’s Twin Cities campus will purchase two megawatts of community solar garden subscriptions from Minneapolis-based Geronimo Energy, LLC.


U researchers have been awarded a $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Study away—but not too far awayMap showing U's campuses

University of Minnesota students now have the opportunity to enroll in a unique, semester-long program at any U of M campus. The new program, called “Study Away,” packages courses in a particular program area for students interested in expanding their education and experiencing the state of Minnesota.

Call for programs: Student Success Conference

Faculty and staff are invited to submit a proposal for a presentation or poster for the Focusing on Student Success Conference, Feb. 15. Presentations should focus on research, programs, initiatives, tools, and/or strategies that contribute to student engagement, retention, persistence, and graduation.

Learn more and apply >

Dayton proclaims Water Resources Professionals Week

Governor Mark Dayton proclaimed Oct. 19-26 Water Resources Professionals Week (PDF) during the Minnesota Water Resources Conference sponsored by the U's Water Resources Center and College of Continuing Education. The proclamation cites the U's work in advancing science-based solutions for freshwater management and providing lifelong education and professional development.

Applications sought for disparities in African American men’s health research

The Center for Healthy African American Men through Partnerships (CHAAMPS) is requesting applications for translational and community-based research projects focusing on health disparities for African American men, including chronic diseases, cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, hepatitis C, unintentional and violence-related injuries and homicide, and head injuries in athletes. The center will fund five projects with awards ranging from $50,000 to $100,000. The center will connect investigators with national and community local partners. The deadline for letters of intent is Nov. 17.

Professional development grants for retirees available

The Office of the Provost, Office of the Vice President for Research, and the U Retirees Association have announced grants (up to $5,000) to help U retirees pursue projects related to their scholarly and/or creative interests. Faculty, P&A, and civil service retirees from the Twin Cities and system campuses are eligible to apply, including those retiring by July 1, 2017. The application deadline is Dec. 16.


Oct. 26 - Meet the Candidates Forum

The Crookston Chamber of Commerce and the University of Minnesota Crookston will cohost a Meet the Candidates Forum from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., Kiehle Auditorium. Members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Oct. 28 - Professional Development Day

During Professional Development Day classes are excused, and campus offices are open but may have limited coverage to allow employees to attend professional development sessions at locations across campus.

Oct. 31 - Get your flu shot

Polk County Public Health will be on campus administering influenza vaccines to faculty and staff from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.

Nov. 1 - Health and Benefits Fair

Employees are encouraged to attend the 2016 Employee Health and Benefits Fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.


National geoscience meetingpebbles in stream

The Swenson College of Science and Engineering recently hosted the 2016 Big 10 Academic Alliance Geoscience Department Heads Meeting. In addition to sharing ideas, the group viewed geological exposures on Minnesota’s Iron Range on its way to visiting the Soudan Underground Laboratory in Coleraine, MN.

Oct. 24-Nov. 4 - Dia de los MuertosDay of Dead artwork

An art exhibit and a Night of the Dead Dance are part of the Day of the Dead celebration. On Halloween, art education students will install sculptures in the Multicultural Center for their annual ofrenda (Spanish for offering). The events are sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Latino/Chicano Student Association, and art education students.

Nov. 1 - Students present at REIFstudent presenting at REIF

Transportation is the topic of the Regional Economic Indicators Forum (REIF). Students from the Labovitz School of Business and Economics, as well as St. Scholastica and the University of Wisconsin Superior, will present their findings at the forum’s breakfast. 7-9 a.m., Lake Superior Ballroom, Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.


Climate-Smart Municipalities initiativepeople from UMM brainstorming

Mayor Wilfried Roos and Guido Wallraven from Saerbeck, Germany, recently visited representatives from UMM and the city of Morris as part of the Climate-Smart Municipalities initiative. Topics of discussion included the Morris Model as well as new efforts in energy conservation, clean energy, community resilience, and climate education. Climate-Smart Municipalities is coordinated by the U of M Institute on the Environment.

Oct. 31 - Trick or Can eventpumpkin poster

The Office of Community Engagement will host its annual Trick or Can event. Students will be knocking on doors throughout the community collecting donations for the Stevens County Food Shelf. Last year UMM students gathered 1,036 pounds of food and products and more than $571 in donations.

Nov. 1-3 - Celebration of Scholarly AccomplishmentsUMM scholars

UMM will host its sixth Celebration of Scholarly Accomplishments, a showcase of outstanding research and artistic activities undertaken by faculty, staff, and retirees during the last year. The celebration is sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean, the Rodney A. Briggs Library, and the Grants Development Office.


UMR students win national respiratory care competitionMohamed ‘16, Kari ‘17, Hannah ’16, and Gage ‘16

Four UMR Bachelor of Science in Health Professions Respiratory Care students recently won the Sputum Bowl, a respiratory care knowledge bowl. The students then advanced to represent Minnesota at the national competition, competing against teams from throughout the United States, where they also took first place. From left to right are Mohamed ‘16, Kari ‘17, Hannah ’16, and Gage ‘16.

Nov. 1 - Energy Challenges Today and into the Future

Elaine Garry, president and CEO of People’s Energy Cooperative, and Curt Shellum, Solar Connections, Inc., will discuss some of the current challenges facing electric cooperatives, including renewable requirements, conservation improvement plan requirements, fair and equitable rate-making, and proposed federal regulations. 7 p.m., 417 University Square.

Twin Cities

Community Fund Drive ends Oct. 31a baby receiving hospital care

The Community Fund Drive will end on Oct. 31. Faculty and staff can donate to our community through numerous partner charities or write in a nonprofit of their choosing. Donations can be made using payroll deduction or as a one-time gift.

Please give today >

About the Bias Response Team

Bias incidents at the University of Minnesota undermine the U’s efforts towards equity and inclusivity, and limit our community’s ability to excel in our work and learning. The Bias Response Team, along with other campus bodies, works to respond to bias incidents in ways that support those most impacted, promote education and dialogue, and affirm our University’s commitment to equity and diversity, free speech, and academic freedom.

Learn more about the Bias Response Team >

Oct. 29 - School of Music Collage Concert

The Collage Concert is a nonstop showcase of performances by choral, orchestral, jazz, chamber, world music, and wind ensembles as well as solo performances by faculty and students. Attendees will hear more than 300 students and faculty performing. No charge, open to the public. 7:30 p.m., Ted Mann Concert Hall or streaming live online.

Nov. 1 - U.S. Engagement with Muslim communities

Humphrey School Dean Eric Schwartz will lead a discussion with Shaarik Zafar, the U.S. Department of State's special representative to Muslim communities. Zafar will discuss his role in engaging Muslim communities globally, fostering relationships with minority communities, and the role religious communities play in welcoming and integrating refugees. 5:30-6:45 p.m., Humphrey School.

Nov. 2 - Women’s Health Lecture

The Powell Center for Women’s Health, in partnership with the Medical School Office of Faculty Affairs, welcomes Catherine Morrison as November's guest lecturer. Morrison's talk, “Managing Conflict: A Problem-Solving Approach,” will introduce the basics of managing conflict effectively. Noon-1 p.m., 2-620 Moos Tower. Open to the public, but attendees are encouraged to RSVP.

Nov. 2 - Reflections on the Unspoken

This experimental, interdisciplinary event brings together scholar Leslie Morris, countertenor Ryland Angel, and artist Rebecca Krinke. Attendees will listen to excerpts of Morris’s memoir reflecting on her unexplained coma induced by her complicated Holocaust family history, hear the world-premiere performance of Angel’s libretto inspired by Morris, and contribute to Krinke’s participatory installation, “What Needs to Be Said?” 7 p.m., Weisman Art Museum.

Register and learn more >

Nov. 3 - Transportation Research Conference featuring automated driving

University of South Carolina law professor Bryant Walker Smith will headline the Center for Transportation Studies Transportation Research Conference with a presentation about the development, deployment, and use of automated driving systems. In addition, transportation expert and author Gabe Klein will examine these and other innovations taking place in cities and how government, business, and nonprofit leaders can use this change to improve quality of life. 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., The Commons Hotel, East Bank.

Nov. 4 - Library First Fridays

U Libraries Archives and Special Collections will host two presentations at the next First Fridays event: “Out of the Shadows: Representing Black History and Memory with Umbra: Search African American History” and “Have You Seen My Son?” Noon-1 p.m., 120 Elmer L. Andersen Library.

Dec. 2 - Adverse childhood experiences and mental health conference

Boynton Health is sponsoring a one-day conference to shed more light on the intersection of adverse childhood experiences and mental health. Presenters will discuss recent data from Boynton’s College Student Health Survey, resiliency, and the impact of adverse childhood experiences and mental health issues on academic success. This conference (no charge) is ideal for college administrators, educators, students, public health professionals, and researchers.

UMTC Featured EventsBell Museum skeleton

Oct. 28 - Unmaking & Remaking the World in Long-Term Solitary Confinement
Oct. 29 - Halloween: The Dead Zoo
Oct. 30 - Amos Lee
Oct. 31 - Sovereignty Matters: Perspectives on the Dakota Access Pipeline Project
Nov. 1 - Women and Their Handbags: A Rich History
Nov. 3 - Marisol
Nov. 3 – Webinar: Take Control of Your Stress

Events Calendar >