September 14, 2016

Vol. XLVI No. 28

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Board of Regents meeting highlights.
  • Driven to Discover: Luis Ramos-Garcia.
  • Features: "Together, we'll change the world" video; To break down stereotypes about librarians.
  • People: U of M researchers have been awarded a $4 million NIH grant to launch the Baby Connectome Project; and more.

Top News

Board of Regents meeting highlights

The Board of Regents heard the annual report on private giving during its September meeting. With more than $312 million raised during FY2016, it was the second-highest total ever. In addition, the U of M Foundation distributed a record $214 million to benefit students, faculty, research, and other strategic priorities. Regents also reviewed the proposed six-year capital plan, the 2017 state capital request, and the proposed FY2018-19 biennial budget request, and approved a capital budget amendment to renovate Pioneer Hall. Additionally, Regents received a progress report on the human participant research protection program plan, and heard the annual report on intercollegiate athletics from athletics director Mark Coyle.

See the news release >

Driven to Discover: Luis Ramos-GarciaLuis Ramos Garcia

For more than 20 years, Luis Ramos-Garcia has visited war torn countries in Latin America, traveling among shantytowns, engaging with the people, only to return with their stories, bringing to life their experiences through theater. In so doing, he hopes to draw attention to often poorly understood tragedies—tragedies that can seem far removed from everyday life in America. But the fact is, they're not. Read more about what drives Luis Ramos-Garcia

Together, we'll change the worldMarvin Banks

The U of M Office of Human Resources created a video to show new employees, introducing them to the thriving community that is the University of Minnesota. The video features U of M staff, faculty accomplishments, and the tremendous energy on campus.

Watch "Together, we'll change the world" >

To break down stereotypes about librariansAndre Nault

A wildlife biologist who professes to know a little about many things, André Nault initially pursued a career in library sciences to get better at sating his curiosity. Along the way he discovered how much he enjoys teaching others his tricks of the trade.

Read about what drives André Nault >


Researchers led by Jed Elison have been awarded a $4 million NIH grant to launch the Baby Connectome Project; Daniel Voytas is the inaugural recipient of The Hackett Fund for Genome Engineering; the CHS Foundation has announced a $3.44 million grant to the U of M to transform agriculture education from kindergarten through higher education; Andrew Barnes will represent the U's Clinical and Translational Science Institute as part of a new multi-site, multidisciplinary child health research program; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News

Call for nominations: McKnight Land-Grant Professorship

The McKnight Land-Grant Professorship program seeks to advance the careers of the most promising junior faculty members who are at the beginning stages of their professional careers and who have the potential to make significant contributions to their departments and scholarly fields. See nomination information for the 2017-19 Land-Grant Awards. The nomination deadline is Nov. 1. For more information, email Chris Bremer or call 612-625-6176.

Inbox by Gmail now available

U of M Gmail users now have access to Inbox by Gmail, a Google app focused on improving email productivity and organization. Inbox is available for all users except those within the Academic Health Center (per the University's Business Associate Agreement).

Office 365 for U faculty, staff, students

Microsoft Office 365 Pro Plus is available for personal use at no charge to current U of M faculty, staff, and students, and includes Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and more. Office 365 can be installed on up to 15 devices.

Learn more and download Office 365 >

Community engagement tool to inform health sciences research

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) recently piloted its Community Engagement Studio program, which is aimed at better engaging the community to help inform research conducted at the U of M. CTSI plans to make it fully available to researchers this fall.

StudyFinder transforms participant recruitment

Researchers in the School of Dentistry and across the U of M are benefiting from the CTSI-built StudyFinder tool in their public research awareness and recruitment efforts for clinical trials and research studies. 

Sept. 18 – Grand opening of Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Centerbee center building

The grand opening of the Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center at the U of M Landscape Arboretum will feature photo opportunities with beekeeping garb and a bee beard, honey and beeswax samples, guided tours, and more. The center will serve as a hub for community outreach and education that is grounded in the world-renowned research of the U's Marla Spivak. 1-4 p.m.


Sept. 15 - Crookston Chamber Membership Mixer

UMC will host a Crookston Chamber Membership Mixer, open to all members of the Crookston Chamber and Visitors Bureau as well as the general public. 5-7 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.

Sept. 15 - Chinese mid-autumn or Moon Festival

Join the Confucius Institute for an afternoon celebrating the Chinese mid-autumn, or Moon Festival, 3-4:30 p.m., Prairie Room, Sargeant Student Center.

Sept. 19 - Constitutional rights and responsibilities

A conversation around the topic of Constitutional rights and responsibilities will take place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Evergreen Hall Classroom.

Sept. 20 - Alumni Brew Bash Tour

The second stop in the Alumni Brew Bash Tour will take place at Day Block Brewing Company in Minneapolis. The tour is sponsored by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations.


UMD named a Sierra magazine 'Cool School' for 2016UMD sustainability logo

For the second year in a row, UMD has made Sierra magazine's list of Top 100 Green Schools. Campus goals include achieving a 25 percent reduction in emissions by 2020 and working towards carbon neutrality by 2050. The campus is focusing on efficiency upgrades and energy conservation strategies to reduce the campus's greenhouse gas emissions. 

NRRI receives expanded research supportLake Superior shore

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has increased funding to the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) to examine biological changes in freshwater algae in the Great Lakes. The expanded funding will assist in data gathering in near-shore areas and under ice. Funding will also enable scientists to deploy robotic equipment to collect data year-round.

At the theatreONe River poster

The regional journalism project One River – Many Stories has been transformed into a play. Written and directed by Professor Tom Isbell, One River will be performed Sept. 29-Oct. 1 and Oct. 4-8 at 7:30 p.m., and Oct. 2 at 2 p.m., in the Dudley Experimental Theatre.

Find tickets to One River >


UMM named one of Sierra's top 30 'Cool Schools' for 2016Morris Wind tower at sunset

The University of Minnesota Morris is one of Sierra magazine's top 30 Cool Schools for 2016. Morris was ranked 28th in the nation and 1st in the state. This is the campus's sixth consecutive appearance on the list. UMM has risen 41 places since first appearing on the Cool Schools list in 2011.

Students and faculty partner on summer research projectsUMM student and faculty member

Thirteen UMM professors and 23 student researchers collaborated in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Summer Research Program. The program gives students extended research opportunities during their undergraduate years to better prepare them for careers in science and for graduate work. 

Learn more about HHMI collaborations >

Sept. 17 - 2016 Performing Arts Series openingMark Nizer juggling

The 2016-17 Performing Arts Series will open with juggler extraordinaire Mark Nizer. Described by Performance Magazine as "nothing less than brilliant," Nizer's performance--the only live 4D show out there--offers a one-of-a-kind experience. 7:30 p.m., Edson Auditorium, Student Center.

2016 Latterell Visiting AlumnusKurt Refsnider

Kurt Refsnider '04 served as the 2016 Latterell Visiting Alumnus. Refsnider delivered the 2016 Latterell Visiting Alumni lecture, "Ancient features in glaciated landscapes on Baffin Island, Arctic Canada, and implications for today's changing climate." He currently teaches environmental studies at Prescott College.


Sept. 20 – Workforce-Based Affordable Housing

Is affordable housing an issue in Rochester? The short answer is yes, and it impacts residents of all ages and many different walks of life. The next UMR Connects will address what is being done to control these issues.

Fall Yoga and Meditation Series

Fall yoga and meditation for faculty, staff, and students will take place on Wednesdays, 8:30-9:30 a.m., 318 Commons, Room 217.

Twin Cities

Smart 9-1-1

The University of Minnesota Department of Public Safety is rolling out Smart911, a new service that lets students and staff create an online safety profile that can include information such as emergency contacts, medical history, a photo, and more. When a 9-1-1 call is made on campus, the profile information is immediately displayed to the dispatcher, resulting in improved emergency response.


Faculty and instructional staff looking for help with their teaching have a new resource available called TeachingSupport@UMN that provides teaching, learning, and technology support from across campus in one location. A request made at TeachingSupport@UMN will result in coordinated support from the Center for Educational Innovation, University Libraries, the Disability Resource Center, and Academic Technology - OIT, along with other University support units.

Community-Engaged Learning course attribute now available

A new Community-Engaged Learning course attribute is now available for instructors to select when developing or revising a course that includes a community-engaged learning component.

Transportation safety awareness month

Parking and Transportation Services (PTS) is promoting transportation safety awareness with several events this month. Join PTS for U Safety Stops, Behind the Big Wheel, and more.

See PTS event dates and locations >

Sept. 14 - Campus Club final summer happy hour

Come to the Campus Club for its final happy hour of the summer (PDF description). The theme is "Drink North," and will feature complimentary samples from Vikre Distillery, specialty cocktails, appetizers with a Northern Minnesota theme, and live music. Nonmembers are welcome. 4:30-7 p.m.

Sept. 16 - Star Party with Minnesota Institute for Astrophysicsperson looking through telescope

Explore the sky with astronomers from the Bell Museum and the Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics. Telescope observing nights take place on select Fridays every month (weather permitting) at no charge. Star Parties are informal and family-friendly, and you can arrive and leave at any time. 8-9:30 p.m.

Sept. 17 - Confucius Institute Day

The Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota will host its annual Confucius Institute Day featuring martial arts-themed fun. Martial artists will perform on Northrop Plaza from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by a film screening of The Grandmaster inside Northrop's Best Buy Theatre at 1 p.m. The first 200 guests will receive Confucius Day T-shirts, as well as Chinese snacks and tea from event sponsor Chatime Minnesota.

Sept. 20 – 'Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Worldview Transformation'

Marilyn Schlitz will explore the power and influence our personal worldviews have, and how we can utilize and transform them to refine how we live. 4 p.m. On Sept. 19, Schlitz will also screen her film, Death Makes Life Possible, which follows Schlitz as she explores the mysteries of life and death from a variety of perspectives and world traditions. 7 p.m. Both events will be held at Coffman Union Theater.

Register and learn more >

Sept. 20 - Café Scientifique: The Dazzling Dr. Spilhaus

Athelstan Spilhaus was dean of the Institute of Technology (now College of Science & Engineering) at the University of Minnesota, founder of the National Sea Grant program, inventor of the skyway system and bathythermograph (drawings of which grace the Scholars Walk at the U), and author of the Our New Age comic strip. Presenter Sharon Moen, author of With Tomorrow in Mind: How Athelstan Spilhaus Turned America Toward the Future, will tell stories of Spilhaus' many contributions to science, policy, and public art. 7 p.m., Bryant Lake Bowl. 

Find tickets and learn more >

Sept. 21 - Learning Abroad Fair 2016

Faculty and staff are asked to encourage students to attend the Learning Abroad Fair. Students will meet program staff, college advisers, and many others from departments around the U. 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., West Bank Plaza.

Sept. 22 - Relocation Assistance Program job search strategies workshop

The Relocation Assistance Program (RAP) is hosting a job search strategies workshop for the accompanying spouses/partners of new faculty and staff who have relocated from another state or country within the last year. The workshop includes tips for writing effective CV/resumes, networking, and interviewing. Participants will learn more about the support and services RAP provides and how to navigate the U of M employment system. 9-11:30 a.m., 538 West Bank Office Building. Email RAP with questions at

Register for the RAP workshop >

Sept. 25-Oct. 1 - Greater Than 7: diversity and inclusion on campus events

Participate in "Greater Than 7," a series of events to engage the U community in the work of creating an environment where we all can thrive. Though lasting only seven days, the program represents the beginning of conversations about equity and diversity and how they affect our lives. University departments, units, and student groups may submit events for inclusion in the week at

Sept. 26 - Mindful Self-Compassion course

Mindful Self-Compassion is an eight-week program through the U of M Center for Spirituality and Healing that meets for 2.5 hours on Monday nights, Sept. 26-Nov. 14. Participants will learn how to handle difficult emotions with greater ease, how to motivate oneself with encouragement rather than criticism, how to transform difficult relationships, mindfulness and self-compassion practices for home and everyday life, and more.

Learn more and register for Mindful Self-Compassion >

UMTC Featured Eventsa millennial

Sept. 15 - Writing-to-learn in technical fields: Panel and discussion

Sept. 15 – Race, Religion, and Gender: Driving the 2016 Election

Sept. 21 - Community Involvement Fair

Sept. 22 - The Selfie Vote: Where Millennials Are Leading America

Sept. 29 - State and Society in Late Imperial Austria: A Symposium in Honor of Gary Cohen

Events Calendar >