October 4, 2017

Vol. XLVII No. 31

Editor: Adam Overland (brief@umn.edu)


Inside This Issue

  • Driven to Discover: Marilyn Bruin.
  • Features: Researchers set sights on land-based invasive species.
  • People: The Center for Magnetic Resonance Research has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health’s BRAIN Initiative; and more.

Top News

Driven to Discover: Marilyn BruinMarilyn Bruin

Marilyn Bruin’s passion is to see aging people live the way they want to live and to find ways to use public resources to accomplish that. Bruin says that baby boomers as a whole must do more to plan for their retirements. But saving money isn’t the only challenge; retirement planning also involves finding or developing living arrangements that meet retirees’ needs. 

Learn more about Bruin's work >

Researchers set sights on land-based invasive speciessoybean farmer

As invasive species continue to infest the state’s waterways, more Minnesotans are becoming aware of the destruction they can cause. But stemming the spread of invasive species in the water is only half the battle. Experts are also working to curb invasive species that thrive on land. These plants, insects, and fungi wreak havoc on the state’s ecosystems and carry a hefty price tag--at least $3 billion a year in Minnesota alone. This year, the U’s Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center launched 11 new projects to research land-based invasive species.


The Center for Magnetic Resonance Research has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health’s BRAIN Initiative; the U of M was recently named 2017 Corporation of the Year by the North Central Minority Supplier Development Council; Mike Berthelsen has been appointed vice president for University Services; Joe Redden was recently named one of the “Top 40 Undergraduate Business Professors” by Poets & Quants; Jon Steadland has been named chief of staff in the Office of the President; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Start earning wellbeing points now

The 2017-18 Wellbeing Program kicked off Oct. 1 with a new program vendor, RedBrick, and the ability to save 25 percent more on UPlan premiums. You can now earn 500 (individual) or 750 (family) points for a $500 or $750 savings on your UPlan premiums for 2019. Access all program information on RedBrick's portal with your U of M username and password.

How U researchers leveraged internal resources to launch a tech start-up

One of the major challenges faced by technology start-ups is proving the technology can deliver as promised. CoreBiome, an early-stage company offering microbiome analysis services, cleared that hurdle with support from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute and other University entities.

Gardening with Classstudents learning about gardening

Master Gardener volunteers are trained in horticulture by University of Minnesota Extension so they can help communities solve problems. They work at the local level to provide schools with the know-how to design, maintain, and teach in a schoolyard garden.

Learn more about schoolyard gardens >

New online mental health resource

A new online mental health resource is available to Student Services Fee-paying students on all campuses. Learn to Live is a confidential service that includes online assessments, self-paced digital programs, and optional coaching at no charge. Programs help students with issues related to stress, depression, and social anxiety. Faculty and staff are encouraged to share this new resource with students. Students can access Learn to Live by entering the code “UMN.”

New way to collect community input to inform health research

A new feedback model was recently launched that enables U of M health researchers to gather structured feedback from patients, community members, and other stakeholders to inform their research.

New tool for clinical research professionals working with human participants

A new tool is now available for U of M clinical research professionals (and supervisors) who work with human participants that prescribes required and optional training needed to perform research with human participants.


New Confucius Institute satellite office director

Professor Xiaojun Wang has been appointed the new director of the University of Minnesota’s Confucius Institute satellite office on the Crookston campus. His appointment term is two years, and his office is located in the suite in 170 Owen Hall, an area now known as The Compass.

UMC Center for Collaborative Research planning

Plans are being finalized for the new University of Minnesota Crookston Center for Collaborative Research, the first dedicated, self-contained research lab facility on the Crookston campus allowing work in analytical chemistry, microbiology, and molecular/cellular biology to be carried out from start to finish. The lab will be located in 107 Sahlstrom Conference Center.

Campus Experts List

University Relations is updating the Campus Experts List to help tell the University of Minnesota Crookston story. Interested individuals should include any and all areas of expertise they would be comfortable discussing with the media. To view last year’s list and to complete or update the information form online, see University Relations.

Loegering appointed Extension regional director

Lisa Loegering has been appointed Extension regional director for the Northwest Region. She will have responsibility for the Extension regional offices in Crookston and Roseau, and, along with Regional Director Ben Anderson, will work with Extension offices in the 19 counties of the Northwest Region. Her office location will be the Extension regional office in the Valley Technology Park Building on the north side of campus.


Higher Learning Commission comments requestedaerial of Duluth

In preparation for the April 2018 visit by the Higher Learning Commission, UMD is seeking comments from the public. Comments must be submitted in writing and must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Comments are due no later than March 16.

Arctic entrepreneurshipOlaf Kuhlke

Olaf Kuhlke, associate dean, College of Liberal Arts, discusses in Wildtech News the founding of UMD’s B.A. program in Cultural Entrepreneurship and looks ahead to working on a collaborative NSF project entitled "Incubator for Digital Entrepreneurship in the Arctic." He and his project colleagues will go to the Arctic in spring 2018 to meet with local artists and assess the potential of creative and cultural entrepreneurship there.

Youth at the Land Labperson picking food on farm

In September, the Land Lab, UMD’s organic farm, hosted 600 students from Ordean East Middle School. After studying local food systems in their classes, the students were able to see one in action. UMD’s Land Lab is a 30-acre site that produces 20 to 25 tons of sustainably grown food for UMD Dining Services each year.


A model for living and learning campaign launchesscreen shot of video

Earlier this month the University of Minnesota Morris launched its $21 million A model for living and learning campaign--part of Driven: the University of Minnesota Campaign. Today the campus premieres a video celebrating campaign priorities and progress.

Interns conserve energy and save thousands in the processSydney Bauer

Sydney Bauer '19, Jordan, recently worked with the Office of Sustainability and Jan Broemmelhaus, a J-1 student intern from Ahaus, Germany, to track UMM’s electricity usage. Facilities Management staff are using the data to cut energy consumption, saving electricity and money in the process.

2017-18 theater season

The Theatre Discipline has announced its 2017-18 season, which will explore the concept of “generations.” The season includes rock musical Spring Awakening, poetic drama Eurydice, and the children's play Step on a Crack.

Chancellor Behr inaugurated

Morris celebrated the inauguration of Michelle Behr as its sixth chancellor on Sept. 29. The ceremony was attended by members of the campus and greater community as well as distinguished guests and delegates from across the country. Well-wishers shared messages of hope and congratulations for Chancellor Behr; she spoke to the power of place and how it inspires the campus community.

See photos from the event >


Twenty-one UMR students selected for Pre-Med Insights Program at Mayo Clinic

Pre-Med Insights is a unique one-year mentorship opportunity for underrepresented students through the Mayo Clinic that promotes early exploration in the field of medicine. Participants are matched with a mentor and engage in clinical and surgical simulations, small-group projects and discussions, skill-building activities, and interdisciplinary interaction with peers, physicians, patients, faculty, staff, and other professionals in the field. Students are selected from UMR, St. Cloud State University, and Carleton College.

Oct. 10 - Exploding Dots! A Journey from Numbers to Arithmetic to Algebra and Beyond

In celebration of Global Math Week, participants at the next UMR Connects will visualize numbers as dots and connect the method to arithmetic, algebra, calculus, and even advanced mathematics. The session is designed to be interactive with engaging math-related conversations. Students and K-12 educators are particularly encouraged to attend. 7 p.m., 417 University Square.

Twin Cities

2017 Community Fund Drive - Together, Making a Differencehands joined together

Each year the faculty and staff on the Twin Cities campus come together to help others through the Community Fund Drive, the University’s charitable giving campaign. The Community Fund Drive is now under way and runs through Oct. 31. Faculty and staff can choose to donate to a federation or charity using payroll deduction or make a one-time gift. Together, we can make a difference in our community.

Pledge today >

Libraries offers systematic review service

The University Libraries is piloting a new service for U of M researchers working on systematic reviews in areas outside the health sciences. If you are undertaking a systematic review, scoping review, or meta-analysis, U librarians can help (at no charge) with developing search strategies, documenting them for reporting, managing citations, and more.

Request a consultation >

College name change

The College of Continuing Education announced on Oct. 2 that the college name has changed to the College of Continuing and Professional Studies (CCAPS, pronounced see-caps). The new name more clearly reflects the diverse audiences that the college serves. Its mission remains the same: to provide opportunities for people to enhance academic credentials, to advance careers through professional courses, and to learn across lifespans.

Campus Club fall membership drive

Join the Campus Club from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 for a 60 percent discount on first-year dues. Member benefits include use of meeting rooms, outstanding food and beverages, and access to programs and events such as trivia nights, $10 Tuesday dinners, pairing dinners, and even yoga. Sign up online, at the club, or call executive director Ann Holt at 612-624-6626 for more information.

Oct. 5 - Civil Service Senate meeting

The Civil Service Senate October meeting agenda will include revisions to Employment Rules, Parental Leave Equity, Compensation and Benefits, and more. 10-11:30 a.m., 300 Morrill Hall.

Oct. 5 - Race, History, and the Current Political Climate: Charlottesville and Beyond

A panel discussion on race, history, and the current political climate will feature panelists Melanie Adams (Minnesota Historical Society) and Kate Derickson (Geography, Environment and Society). 3:30 p.m., 240 Northrop.

Oct. 11 - Jizi: Journey of the Spirit Panel DiscussionWAM jizi exhibit image

This fall the Weisman Art Museum’s (WAM) feature exhibition is “Jizi: Journey of the Spirit,” a memorial retrospective of works by contemporary Chinese painter Jizi (1942-2015). Hear from the artist’s son and co-curator of the exhibition, Wang Chunchen, and scholars David Brubaker and Ann Waltner. Panelists will discuss the selection of works in the exhibition and the major themes and the cultural contexts of Jizi’s work over his career. 7 p.m., WAM.

Register to attend (no charge) >

Oct. 11 - Arts Quarter Festival

Arts collide at the annual Arts Quarter Festival, an evening of visual art, dance, music, and theatre showcasing student and faculty talent from across the University. No charge and open to the public. 6-9 p.m., West Bank.

Oct. 16 - Student parent panel discussion with state representativesIlhan Omar

Join the Student Parent HELP Center for a discussion with Minnesota State Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rena Moran and two student parents about the challenges and opportunities that students with children face when accessing higher education. 2-4 p.m., Coffman Theater.

RSVP to attend >

Oct. 17 - Covestro Lecture in Sustainability - The transition to a low-carbon world: It's here, and it’s OK

The most conservative estimates predict that energy consumption will double by 2050 and triple by 2100. Energy underpins all aspects of society, and thus highly scalable, low-carbon energy sources are needed. In this lecture hosted by the Center for Sustainable Polymers, University of Alberta researcher Jillian Buriak will discuss the various sources of energy available to humanity, and their scalability to respond to a doubling of energy usage. She will also touch upon the psychology of humans when responding to technological change.

Registration and more information >

Oct. 22 - The Democratic Party at a Crossroads: The Wellstone Way and Economic PopulismElizabeth Warren

The Democratic Party is at a crossroads as Republicans control the White House, Congress, and two-thirds of governorships and state legislatures. Senator Elizabeth Warren and a wide-ranging group of political analysts and activists will discuss the sources of the Democratic Party's defeats and future directions. The event marks the 15th anniversary of Paul Wellstone's death, and it will focus on "the Wellstone Way," economic populism, and grassroots organizing. 12:30-5 p.m., Ted Mann Concert Hall.

Register to attend >

Oct. 26 - Medical School Dean’s Distinguished Research Lectureship

Celebrate the outstanding research achievements of Medical School faculty and recognize faculty members whose names will be added to the Medical School Wall of Scholarship at the Dean’s Distinguished Research Lectureship. The nominees represent the best research faculty in the basic and clinical sciences.

RSVP to attend >

UMTC Featured EventsJames Ron

Oct. 5 - Crossing the Divide: Storytelling & Somali Identity in America
Oct. 5-8 - Byzantine Studies Conference
Oct. 6 - Citizenships ancient and modern: exclusion all the way down?
Oct. 9 - 12th Annual Children’s Cancer Research Fund Norma K.C. Ramsay, M.D. Lectureship
Oct. 9 - Trust Issues: Government Visibility & the Decline of American Political Trust
Oct. 10 - Freeman Seminar: The Global Crackdown on Civil Society: Patterns and Causes
Oct. 11 - Courageous Conversations: A statewide dialogue about older adults in Minnesota's workforce
Oct. 11 - New Era of Refugee Response: The Syria Crisis

Events Calendar >