September 13, 2017

Vol. XLVII No. 28

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Driven: The University of Minnesota Campaign.
  • Board of Regents meeting highlights.
  • Features: Corn’s environmental impact varies greatly across U.S.; A project with a purpose; The mystery of leaf size solved; Changing course to make change.
  • People: CURA has received the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership's G. Thomas Kingsley Impact Award; and more.

Top News

Join Driven: The University of Minnesota Campaign
campaign poster of two people kayaking

The University of Minnesota transforms lives, keeps our economy strong, fuels creativity, and serves as a source of answers for people around the world. That's why the University launched the public phase of a 10-year systemwide fundraising campaign called Driven: The University of Minnesota Campaign. The goal is to raise $4 billion for students, faculty, and the University’s three-part mission of education, research, and outreach for the benefit of all Minnesotans. Support the campaign on social media by using #UMNdriven.

Learn more at >

Board of Regents meeting highlights

President Kaler provided an update on systemwide strategic planning at the September Board of Regents meeting, including a proposal to appoint a Strategic Planning Oversight Committee, which will coordinate efforts around strategic focus areas. Additionally, the board received recommendations and next steps in systemwide enrollment management, an update on the University’s 2018 capital budget request to the Legislature, and publically kicked off Driven: The University of Minnesota Campaign.

See the release for more details >

Corn’s environmental impact varies greatly across U.S.
corn impact map

Until now, U.S. stakeholders trying to assess and improve the sustainability of their supply chains had to rely on one coarse national estimate for the upstream environmental impact of corn production. New U of M research drills down to the county-level impact of corn production, connecting it for the first time to where corn likely winds up. The research reveals that the environmental impact of corn varies significantly across geographic consumption locations of sectors and individual producers.

A project with a purpose
couch with recycle graphic

What marketing class project could be better than one that helps a real client assist local families in need while also reducing waste? That’s what Alison Jing Xu, assistant professor at the U of M’s Carlson School, offered her MBA students in spring 2017 when she asked them to develop marketing solutions for ReStore--Habitat for Humanity’s Twin Cities home improvement store that sells donated merchandise.

The mystery of leaf size solved
science magazine cover

A global team of researchers, including Peter Reich of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, has cracked the mystery of leaf size. The research was recently published as the cover story in Science.

Changing course to make change
Ed Presley

New MBA student Edward Presley is a graduate of West Point, a U.S. Army veteran, a former FBI agent, and a husband and father of seven. At age 45, most people don’t choose to chart a new course, but Presley is confident that his experience at the Carlson School of Management will become integral to the process of what he can give back, and who he will become next.


The U’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) has received the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership's inaugural G. Thomas Kingsley Impact Award; Heather Zierhut has received the Strategic Leader Award from the National Society of Genetic Counselors; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Sept. 15 - Innovation in Sustainability Education Summit

The first in a two-part series, this Sustainability Education Summit offers faculty and staff on all campuses an opportunity to share best practices in teaching and innovation in sustainability. The event will feature a provocative, multicampus discussion on sustainability across the curriculum, with fresh ideas and new ways to reach students. Digital hosting locations will be available at all campuses and the event will be streamed live online. 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

RSVP and see campus locations >

Fall 2017 Grant-in-Aid competition

Apply now for the fall 2017 Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry, and Scholarship program, sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research. The program promotes the research, scholarly, and artistic activities of faculty. Deadline to submit applications to approvers is Sept. 18; deadline for approvers to submit final applications to OVPR is Sept. 21.

Public forums: VP for University Services finalists

The University community will have the opportunity to hear from the finalists for the next Vice President for University Services. Finalists will be on campus the week of Sept. 18. Public forums will be held at 402 Walter Library and livestreamed online. Candidate resumes and livestream links will be posted at VP for U Services when available. Forums will take place Sept. 18, 19, 20, and 21 (if needed), 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Some MyU and student records services unavailable Sept. 23, 24

Some MyU services, PeopleSoft applications, and other related online applications such as APAS and Grad Planner will be unavailable due to system updates Sept. 23 and 24. Service is expected to be restored on Sunday afternoon, Sep. 24. During the outage, you can access Moodle courses through, Canvas courses through, and University email through

See complete details on the outage >

Sept. 30 – Landscape Arboretum Fall Harvest Festival
poster says fall harvest festival

The U of M Landscape Arboretum Fall Harvest Festival is a full day of fun with activities for the whole family. Activities will include arts and crafts, games, an Instagram booth, apple tastings, live music, tastings with local brewers, face painting, a corn roast sponsored by the Minnesota Corn Growers, fall-inspired food, and a marketplace featuring local crafters and artisans. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

University begins transition from Moodle to Canvas

After a summer of planning for the initial rollout, a small group of early adopters are kicking off the two-year journey towards the adoption of Canvas and replacement of Moodle as the University’s centrally supported learning management system.

Read more about the transition >


Sept. 14 - Alumni Brew Bash Tour

The next stop on the Alumni Brew Bash Tour will be at Day Block Brewing Company, 1105 S. Washington Ave, Minneapolis. 5:30-8:30 p.m. To RSVP, email Sue Dwyer or call 218-281-8401.

Sept. 19 - Retirement reception

A reception will honor Deborah Zak, who will retire at the end of September after 40 years with U of M Extension. 2-4 p.m., with a program at 3 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.

Sept. 19 - University of Minnesota Sparks

University of Minnesota Sparks, a series of outreach events that bring U of M researchers who are tackling the state’s most critical issues into conversation with communities across Greater Minnesota, will host its next event at UMC. Professor John Loegering and Assistant Professor Anthony Schroeder will be presenting. 5:30 p.m., Bede Ballroom.


Swensons honored
James and susan Swenson

In recognition of their philanthropy, James and Susan Swenson were presented with the U of M Regents Award by Regent David McMillan, President Eric Kaler, and Chancellor Lendley Black. In addition to two named buildings on the UMD campus, the Swensons’ full scholarships (first established in 1994) and their Swenson Chemistry Summer Research Grants have benefited 376 students to date.

New minor
students looking up at camera

The Department of English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies in the College of Liberal Arts launched a new minor this fall: Digital Writing, Literature and Design. Craig Stroupe, associate professor of English, says the minor offers students the hands-on digital skills, cultural proficiencies, and historical perspectives crucial for today's digitally mediated work and citizenship.

Sept. 22 - Opening reception: ‘Plein Air Painters: America’s Industrial Landscape’
Plein air painting

The “Plein Air Painters: America’s Industrial Landscape” exhibit features work that highlights city scenes and manufacturing sites, sidestepping the usual bucolic subjects of traditional plein air painting. 5-7 p.m., Tweed Museum of Art. The exhibit runs through Nov. 12.

Sept. 26 - Tango Trio
Tango Trio

Tango Trio will perform as part of the Guest Artist Recital series. The group performs on bandoneon, cello, and guitar and showcases new and original tango music. 7:30 p.m., Weber Music Hall.


Despite cancer diagnosis, Ekness excels on the court
Marissa Ekness

Marissa Ekness ’18 opened her 2017 volleyball season by smashing kills into her opponent's court. A performance like that isn’t unusual for the senior standout, though. What’s remarkable is that she stepped onto the court at all. Ekness is excelling this season in spite of a recent cancer diagnosis.

Read more about Ekness >

Sept. 21 - O. Truman Driggs Distinguished Lecture in History
Marie Griffith

R. Marie Griffith, director and John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at Washington University, will present "Moral Combat: Sex, Politics, and the Fracturing of American Christianity." Supported by the philanthropic gifts of alumni, faculty, staff, and friends, the Driggs Lecture honors the memory of O. Truman Driggs, professor of history at Morris from 1963 until 1989.


Healthy Living Learning Community partners with Nice Ride
4 students on bikes

The UMR Healthy Living Learning Community (HLLC) offers students an opportunity to live in an environment that encourages a healthy lifestyle and supports well-being, academic success, personal development, and a sense of community. Through a partnership with downtown Rochester's bike share program Nice Ride, HLLC students will be able to use the UMR-reserved Nice Ride bicycles and helmets through October. HLLC students and the group plan to host biking events throughout the next two months.


UMR faculty member Virginia Wright-Peterson has received an award from the American Association of Local and State Histories for her book Women of Mayo Clinic: The Founding Generation. On Sept. 17, you can join Wright-Peterson as the narratives based on her book are told during a Cemetery Walk - Meet the Founding Women of Mayo event. The walk will take place at Oakwood Cemetery, where more than 20 women involved in founding Mayo Clinic are buried. Participants will receive a map of the grave sites, meet several women portrayed by local actors, and hear stories firsthand. 2-4 p.m.

Register and learn more >

Sept. 19 - 'Will Power - How Brighter Tomorrows Helps Families Fighting Childhood Cancer'

Having a child diagnosed with cancer is not only shattering but isolating as well. At the next UMR Connects, Tom and Liz Canan will share how they found a way so that no other family would have to travel the pediatric cancer journey alone. In 2007, Liz Canan and three others founded Brighter Tomorrows, a nonprofit whose mission is to provide emotional, spiritual, and educational support by listening to, understanding, and supporting families impacted by childhood cancer. 7 p.m., 417 University Square.

Twin Cities

Adobe Acrobat and Reader to be upgraded

The Office of Information Technology will continue to perform mass updates of all Adobe Acrobat and Reader versions to Adobe Acrobat DC and Adobe Reader DC into the fall semester. These updates will affect all OIT-managed devices (both Windows and Mac).

Learn more about Adobe Acrobat and Reader DC >

Sept. 14 - Politics of Land: Colony, Property, Ecology

The Sawyer Seminar on the Politics of Land: Colony, Property, Ecology will host Audra Simpson, who will present “Savage States: Settler Governance in an Age of Sorrow.” The launch event for the Sawyer Seminar also marks the start of the Institute for Advanced Study's IAS Thursdays series. 3:30 p.m., Best Buy Theater, Northrop.

Sept. 19 - ‘Preventing Sexual Misconduct and Promoting Healthy Relationships: Challenges, What Works and How?’

Hear nationally recognized expert Alan Berkowitz on "Preventing Sexual Misconduct and Promoting Healthy Relationships: Challenges, What Works and How?" With years of experience, Berkowitz helps universities create long-term culture change, with particular expertise in bystander intervention and social norms. 8-10:15 a.m., Coffman Theater.

RSVP to attend >

Sept. 20 - Learning Abroad Fair 2017

Faculty and staff are asked to encourage students to attend the Learning Abroad Fair. Students will explore international study, intern, and volunteer opportunities. Faculty and staff can learn about opportunities available to students and other initiatives organized by the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance. 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m., West Bank Plaza.

Sept. 21 - Relocation Assistance Program workshop

The accompanying spouses/partners of new faculty and staff who have relocated to Minnesota and are seeking employment are invited to participate in a job search workshop sponsored by the Relocation Assistance Program. 9-11:30 a.m., 564 WBOB. Email Mary Everley for more information or register for the workshop.

Sept. 25 - Uncover the secrets of English pronunciation for teaching workshop

The Center for Educational Innovation offers a series of workshops for non-native English speaking instructors and teaching assistants. Experienced consultants will explore the nuances of English pronunciation to aid in your teaching. 11 a.m.-noon, 101 Walter Library.

Learn more and register >

Sept. 25 - Oct. 1 - Greater Than 7: Courageous Conversation, Courageous Action

"Greater than 7" is a week devoted to diversity and campus climate issues. The days represent the beginning of a multitude of conversations on campus this semester and beyond about equity and diversity and related topics, and how they impact our lives.

Sept. 29 - Bagels Beyond Boundaries: Climate Change and Collective Action

Bagels Beyond Boundaries provides an informal space for students, staff, and faculty to engage in discussion over bagels and coffee. Speakers from different sectors illuminate examples from their own experience or research on ways to bring people together across boundaries to address a particular issue. This month's conversation will focus on climate change and collective action, led by presenter Greg Page of Cargill. 11 a.m.-noon, 1-132 Carlson School.

Cooking for Wellness courses for faculty and staff

Registration is now open for "Cooking for Wellness - The Basics" and "Cooking for Wellness - Getting Creative,” offered by the U’s Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute. Cost reimbursement and wellness points are available for participation. The Basics (sessions begin Sept. 27 or Nov. 3) is a four-week course designed to help you develop healthy cooking and eating strategies. Getting Creative (sessions begin Sept. 29 or Nov. 1) will enhance your cooking skills while learning to create unique and health-supportive recipes.

Oct. 2 - ‘Making Media Law Great Again: The First Amendment in the Time of Trump’

The 32nd Annual Silha Lecture will feature David McCraw, deputy general counsel of The New York Times. McCraw is among the nation's most prolific litigators of freedom of information cases. His October 2016 letter to Donald Trump's attorney defending the Times’ right to publish a news story over which Trump had threatened a lawsuit became an instant sensation. No charge and open to the public. 7:30-9 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School. Learn more >

Oct. 19 - Celebrating Changemakers

Help honor the outstanding recipients of Women's Center-affiliated scholarships, grants, and awards with a short program and dessert reception. Sponsored by the Women's Center, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, and the Office for Equity and Diversity. 4-6 p.m., Johnson Great Room, McNamara Alumni Center.

RSVP to attend >

UMTC Featured Events
bee lab

Sept. 13 - Seeking Refuge in a Changing World Kickoff

Sept. 14 - IT@UMN Fall Tech Fair

Sept. 14 - Lesley Nneka Arimah Reading

Sept. 16 - Bee Lab Birthday Open House

Sept. 18 - Jennifer Delton: "Yes, Higher Education Is Liberal"

Sept. 19 - Webinar: ‘Goodbye Elevator Pitch. Hello Bumper Sticker: The New Networking Strategy’

Sept. 21 - Writing and oral presentation: Panel and discussion

Events Calendar >