October 31, 2018

Vol. XLVIII No. 34

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • Features: From Garlic to Grocery: turning empty trucks into bigger business for rural Minnesota; Startups help medical discoveries reach patients, clinics; Move to better housing has opposite effects on girls’, boys’ binge drinking.
  • People: The Borchert Map Library is the recipient of the Governor’s Award; and more.

Top News

From Garlic to Grocery: turning empty trucks into bigger business for rural Minnesotatwo people in grocery aisle

Why are there food deserts in the heart of some of the most productive farm country in the world? That’s a good question. Through the one-of-a-kind rural Minnesota Backhaul Project, the U of M’s Kathy Draeger is connecting rural grocers and farmers to bring new sources of fresh food to Greater Minnesota. Watch a video and learn more.

Startups help medical discoveries reach patients, clinicsstartup graphic

Launching new companies can help U of M medical devices succeed beyond the lab—and reach the people they were designed to help. The Venture Center, the startup-focused arm of the U of M’s Office for Technology Commercialization, helps researchers navigate the path from lab to market. Learn more about the center and explore some of the recent startups that show promise in health and medical applications.

Move to better housing has opposite effects on girls’, boys’ binge drinkingpublic housing

When a family moves from a high- to a low-poverty neighborhood, the move ought to help adolescents adopt less risky behaviors. But whether it does or not may depend on the child’s gender. In a new study led by U of M researcher Theresa Osypuk, girls who moved to better neighborhoods reduced their binge drinking, but boys increased theirs, compared to comparable adolescents who remained behind in high-poverty public housing.


The Borchert Map Library has won the Governor’s Award; U of M researchers have received an NSF planning grant to develop the framework for an “Engineering Research Center for Advancing a Circular Water Economy”; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Nov. 1-30 - Benefits Open Enrollment

Benefits Open Enrollment begins Nov. 1 in MyU and remains open through Nov. 30. This year you can select different medical or dental plans, enroll in an FSA, increase short-term disability, add or increase long-term disability, or add child life insurance. If you’re satisfied with your current benefits selections and don’t want an FSA, you don’t need to take any action. Any changes you make will be effective on Jan. 1, 2019.

Meetings of the University/Faculty Senates

On Nov. 1, the University and Faculty Senates will hold concurrent meetings from 2:30 to 5 p.m. in 25 Mondale Hall. System campuses will be linked by videoconference at the following locations: 105 Kiehle Hall (UMC); 173 Kirby Plaza (UMD); 45 Humanities Fine Arts Building (UMM); and 320 University Square (UMR). The agenda includes discussion of proposed amendments to the administrative policies Faculty Development Leaves and Grading & Transcripts. See the docket materials for more information.

Nominations for the U of M President's Community-Engaged Scholar Award

The Office for Public Engagement seeks nominations for the President's Community-Engaged Scholar Award. The systemwide award recognizes one faculty member or one academic professional and administrative employee for exemplary community-engaged scholarship in his or her field of inquiry. Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester and each college on the Twin Cities campus may select one individual to serve as its award recipient. Nominations are due Jan. 25.

Professional Development Grants for Retirees

The University Retirees Association (UMRA) is now accepting applications from any University retiree to apply for a Professional Development Grant for Retirees. These competitive awards, administered through the Office of the Vice President for Research, can enable any University retiree to pursue their academic or professional interests by providing up to $5,000 in expenses. Learn more and apply for a grant.

Study of access to jobs by auto ranks Twin Cities #7

Annually updated research from the Accessibility Observatory at the University of Minnesota estimates the impact of traffic congestion on access to jobs for the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States. According to the latest data, the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area ranks 7th nationally in access to jobs by auto.

Nov. 16 - Diversity Data Deep Dive 3 conference

The U of M Diversity Community of Practice (DCoP) will host the Diversity Data Deep Dive 3 conference, which will explore aspects of data-driven approaches toward improving equity, diversity, and inclusion at the U of M. The conference will focus on systemwide initiatives, measurement, impact, and innovations. Morning and afternoon panel sessions will be live streamed. 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union. No charge, but registration is required. A more detailed schedule will be posted by Nov. 6.

Statewide prevention roundtables on sexual violence, domestic violence, and sex trafficking

The University’s Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center is sponsoring a statewide series of community roundtables on the intersections of sexual violence, domestic violence, and sex trafficking. The first event will take place Nov. 26 in Morris. Participants will hear about the latest research findings and learn how to apply the findings to community contexts for collaboration and prevention. RSVP and learn more.

Research Brief: Opioid-affected births to rural residents are increasing in both rural and urban hospitals

Both maternal opioid use disorder and neonatal abstinence syndrome, also known as infant withdrawal, are increasing faster in rural areas than in urban areas. Katy Kozhimannil and her colleagues studied where rural women with opioid use disorder gave birth and examined the characteristics of opioid-affected births to rural mothers, based on whether they occurred in rural hospitals, urban non-teaching hospitals, or urban teaching hospitals.


New center paves way for collaborative researcha freshwater sponge

As major transformations changed the University of Minnesota Crookston campus over the years and reconfigured its buildings and spaces, few spaces were designed specifically for scientific research. This fall, the new Center for Collaborative Research facility changed that, introducing a space where UMC faculty, staff, and students can conduct research in analytical chemistry, microbiology, and molecular and cellular biology from start to finish.

Oct. 31 - Employee Benefits Fair

Employees are welcome to stop by the Employee Benefits Fair and learn more about their benefit options. The fair is a great opportunity to talk to health, dental, pharmacy, retirement, EAP, and wellbeing representatives. 11 a.m-1 p.m., Bede Ballroom.

Nov. 2 - Farm to Table

Farm to Table is a unique celebration of food grown and raised in northern Minnesota. Enjoy an evening dinner prepared by local chefs, featuring food grown by UMC students, alumni, and friends. University Teaching and Outreach Center (5-5:40 p.m.) and Bede Ballroom (6-8 p.m.).


In remembrance: James SwensonJim Swenson

UMD alumnus and benefactor Jim Swenson recently passed away. Through their Swenson Family Foundation, Jim and his wife, Sue, generously supported two buildings on campus, the James I. Swenson Science Building and the Swenson Civil Engineering Building. They also established a full-tuition scholarship in the Swenson College of Science and Engineering that has supported 185 students over the last 25 years.

Nov. 10 - Artaria String Quartet concertAtaria Quartet

The Artaria String Quartet is a teaching and performing string quartet established in Boston in 1986. The group received the McKnight Fellowship for performing musicians in 2004 and recently served as MPR Artists-in-Residence. The quartet members are founders and directors of the Artaria Chamber Music School in St. Paul. 7:30 p.m., Weber Music Hall.

Nov. 14 - CERE diversity reading circlealgorithms book cover

UMD’s Commission on Equity, Race & Ethnicity (CERE) will offer a reading circle for the book Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Umoja Noble. CERE reading circles are designed to foster conversations on diversity and equity. 4 p.m., 4th floor rotunda, Kathryn A. Martin Library.


Oct. 31 - Trick or Can eventUMM students

Instead of asking for candy this Halloween, U of M Morris students will go door-to-door collecting donations for the Stevens County Food Shelf during the annual Trick or Can event. Last year Morris students gathered 883 pounds of food and more than $400 in donations. This year they hope to do even more.

Nov. 1-3 - Dead Man's Cell Phonestudents in a play

The U of M Morris Theatre Discipline opens its 2018-19 season with Dead Man's Cell Phone by Sarah Ruhl. This dark comedy follows Jean, who finds herself in possession of a cell phone belonging to her late fellow cafe patron and quickly learns that his contacts are hiding more than she ever would have guessed. Tickets and more information.


Global Connection Community provides UMR students opportunity to network

The Global Connection Community (GCC), one of UMR’s Living Learning Communities, engages students in the Global Connections Hospitality Program with the Rochester community. The GCC gives students the opportunity to learn about various cultural communities in Rochester, and in turn allows the Rochester community to learn about the diverse backgrounds and stories of UMR students. This year’s community hosts are from China, the U.S., Lebanon, Madagascar, and India.

Twin Cities

Last chance to give: Community Fund Drive

Today (Oct. 31) is the last opportunity to give back to the community through the U of M Community Fund Drive. Faculty and staff can choose to donate to a federation or charity of their choice, or to the U of M, using payroll deduction or by making a one-time gift.

Safe walking resources on campus maps

Campus maps have been updated with safe walking resources to help faculty, staff, and students make safe choices traveling around campus. Use the maps to find lighting locations, emergency phones, the Gopher Way, information about the Safe Walk service, and additional resources.

Nov. 6, 7 - Employee Health and Benefits Fairs

The Employee Health and Benefits Fair is an opportunity to talk one-on-one with representatives from University benefits plans and get a flu shot at no cost from the Wellbeing Program. Take the opportunity to learn more about medical, dental, flexible spending accounts, disability, retirement, and other benefits options. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Great Hall, Coffman Union (Nov. 6); and 10 a.m.-3 p.m., North Star Ballroom, St. Paul Student Center (Nov. 7).

Nov. 7 - What Happened? Post-Election Analysis

What will Minnesota's new political landscape look like after Election Day? A political panel will break down election results and their significance to Minnesota and the nation. Panelists will include current state Rep. and candidate for Congress Ilhan Omar, former Congressman Vin Weber, executive director of WIN Minnesota Denise Cardinal, and Republican political consultant Ben Golnik. 9-10:15 a.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School. Register to attend.

Nov. 14 - 2018 Spatial Forum and Borchert Lecture, featuring Dawn Wright

The 2018 Spatial Forum is a yearly event highlighting spatial research, teaching, and outreach. Dawn Wright, Esri chief scientist, will deliver the accompanying Borchert Lecture. Noon-5 p.m., Wilson Collaborative Studio, Wilson Library. Free and open to the public.

UMTC Featured EventsWafaa Bilal art demonstration

Oct. 31 - Health Care Dysfunction: The Case of the Missing Middle
Nov. 1 - Wafaa Bilal - Visiting Artist Talk
Nov. 2 - Dance like a nurse. Nurse like a dancer.
Nov. 5 - Trauma, Memory, Literature
Nov. 6 - Paul Vaaler on When and How Migrant Money and Ideas Spur New Ventures
Nov. 8 - First Generation College Celebration Day
Nov. 14 - Civic Resistance: The Fight for Civil Liberties in America
Through Dec. 16 - The Section of Disapproved Books

Events Calendar >