September 26, 2018

Vol. XLVIII No. 29

Editor: Adam Overland (


Inside This Issue

  • Features: To Puerto Rico with love--and medical expertise; Back in the rhythm; Loyal companions.
  • People: Synthetic biologist Kate Adamala is among a group of researchers funded through a $12 million NSF project to advance work on biocomputers; and more.

Top News

To Puerto Rico with love--and medical expertisePuerto Rico team

In the wake of Hurricane Maria, a group of University of Minnesota Medical School physicians, students, and staff have organized efforts to help Puerto Rico, including several mission trips to provide supplies and medical expertise. Ten months after the devastating storm, the group took its fourth trip, this time focusing on the mental health issues Puerto Rico’s citizens still grapple with.

Back in the rhythma drawing of a doctor

The number of children born with heart defects who live to adulthood is increasing all the time. With expertise and ingenuity, a University of Minnesota Health team is committed to ensuring that more people born with heart disease live longer, avoid the need for a transplant, and enjoy a better quality of life than ever before.

Loyal companionsElizabeth Pluhar and Matt Hunt

Despite variations in size, the structure of brains across all mammalian species is remarkably the same. Those similarities are the basis for an ongoing collaboration between Elizabeth Pluhar (College of Veterinary Medicine) and Matthew Hunt (Medical School). Two or three days each month, the pair performs surgery on dogs that have glioblastoma. Their collaboration aims to find better ways to treat glioblastoma in humans while simultaneously offering relief to canines. It’s called comparative oncology, and the U is one of the only centers in the country with the expertise to do this work.


Synthetic biologist Kate Adamala is among a group of researchers funded through a $12 million NSF project to advance work on biocomputers; the U of M will lead a $5.3 million federal grant to improve electronic circuit design; the U.S. Department of Education named the Institute for Global Studies a National Resource Center in International Studies, providing an award of $4 million; the NSF recently recommended renewal of funding for long-term research at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve; the College of Education and Human Development has been recognized as the #4 public school of education in the nation; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

People >

U-Wide News online courses, a library of online training videos, is available at no charge to all current U of M faculty, staff, and students. It can help you, or students you teach, learn technology, creative, and business skills from industry experts. Instructors can also assign tutorials for course work, incorporate in syllabi, and more.


Student profile: Ethan Johnsonethan Johnson

Last fall senior Ethan Johnson started thinking about law school. This fall, he took the entrance exam and is applying for gap year employment. Johnson, a double major in business management and communication, always thinks ahead.

New academic streaming video collection

The U of M Crookston Library has added a streaming video collection, the Master Academic Collection from Films on Demand, to its list of databases. This collection contains over 26,000 films from more than 900 categories. The films are available for use in the classroom and for online classes.

Best in the Midwest

The University of Minnesota Crookston has been ranked one of the best in the latest rankings from U.S. News & World Report. In the category “Midwest Top Public Regional Colleges for 2019,” the U of M Crookston ranked in the number two spot. The campus has ranked in the top 3 for 22 consecutive years.

Sept. 28 - Homecoming recognitions

Recognition of the Outstanding Alumni and the induction ceremony for the Athletic Hall of Fame will be held during the annual Alumni Awards Celebration.


Sept. 27 - Celebrating UMD authorsKathryn Martin Library

Eight faculty members will read from their most recent books beginning at 4:30 p.m., Fourth Floor Rotunda, Kathryn A. Martin Library. A social hour, conversation, and book signing will follow the readings.

Oct. 5 - At the WeberNathan Herfindahl

School of Fine Arts alumnus Nathan Herfindahl will present a concert (find tickets). A baritone, Herfindahl is a former member of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera, where he worked extensively with famed tenor Plácido Domingo. 7:30 p.m., Weber Music Hall.

Oct. 9 - Visual Culture Lecture Series presentationÁsthildur Björg Jónsdóttir

Ásthildur Björg Jónsdóttir will present as part of the Visual Culture Lecture Series. She is an independent scholar with research interests including arts and cultural movements that support sustainability learning at all levels. Previously, she was an assistant professor at the Iceland Academy of the Arts. 6 p.m., 70 Montague Hall.


Morrison Performing Arts Center dedicationJohn Lindahl, Jane Morrison and Nancy Lindahl

The University of Minnesota Morris unveiled its new Edward J. and Helen Jane Morrison Performing Arts Center and renovated Edson Auditorium at a campaign launch celebration on Sept. 21. Morris dedicated the space and paid tribute to longtime friend of the University Helen Jane Morrison, whose generosity made the Morrison Performing Arts Center possible.

Morris Goodwin Sculpture time-lapse videoGoodwin sculpture

The University of Minnesota Morris formally dedicated its honoring sculpture, Nokoomis Nibii Equay (Grandmother Water Woman) on Sept. 22. The sculpture by Duane "Dewey" Goodwin--a gift from Puncky '73 and Mary Soehren Heppner '76--celebrates the "strength, resilience, compassion, and heart of the indigenous peoples" here. Watch a time-lapse video of the sculpting process.


Carrell inaugurated as UMR’s second chancellorLori Carrell

Lori J. Carrell was inaugurated as the University of Minnesota Rochester’s second chancellor on Sept. 21 in a ceremony highlighting the power of relationships and research to drive student success in preparation to lead tomorrow’s innovations in health care.

National exhibit engages UMR students in genomics education, community outreachstudents presenting to audience

Because of its location in the heart of Med City, the University of Minnesota Rochester is able to connect students to unique experiences with leading nationwide organizations that will further students’ educational experiences. Over the summer, UMR students had the opportunity to do just that by leading family day activities and serving as guides in the traveling Smithsonian Museum of Natural History exhibit, “Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code.”

Twin Cities

Motorized foot scooter pop-up events

Motorized foot scooters from Bird and Lime have officially arrived on campus. Watch the Parking & Transportation Services website for times and locations of pop-up events offering ride coupons and helmet giveaways.

Oct. 2 - Latin Social Dance

The Latin Social Dance workshop is for anyone who would like to learn salsa. Participants at any age and skill level can enjoy taking a turn learning from two of Ballet Hispánico's talented members. 6:30-7:30 p.m., Memorial Hall (front entrance), Northrop.

Oct. 3 - River Walktear drop graphic representing water

Linda Buturian, an educator fellow with the Institute on the Environment, will host a river walk from noon to 1 p.m. (meet at Northrop plaza) as part of the “We Are Water MN” exhibit (Oct. 12-Nov. 26). The popular statewide traveling exhibition is hosted on campus by the Institute for Advanced Study’s River Life program and the Institute on the Environment.

Oct. 3 - Kann Memorial Lecture

New York University professor Larry Wolff will present "Operatic Representations of Habsburg Ideology: Ottoman Themes and Viennese Variations" for the 34th Annual Kann Memorial lecture. 4-6 p.m., 1210 Heller Hall.

Oct. 5 - First Fridays series launch

The First Fridays series of U of M Library archival talks kicks off its 2018-19 season theme "We Are Here: Women in the Archives.” Noon, Elmer L. Andersen Library.

Oct. 8 - MN Cup final awards reception

Meet and hear pitches from the top startups in the state competing for $500,000 in cash prizes in the largest statewide competition in the country. See the division winners here. 4-7:30 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. Register to attend.

Oct. 10 - Luminaries Speaker Series

Humanitarian, activist, and social entrepreneur Craig Kielburger inspires young people around the world to take action and drive social change. Join the Carlson School for an interactive discussion with this bestselling author, columnist, and globally recognized social activist dedicated to freeing millions of children from poverty and exploitation. Noon-1 p.m., 3M Auditorium, Carlson School.

Oct. 10 - Mapping Prejudice: Racism, Rent, and Real Estate in Minneapolis

Join scholars and community members in a University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) Critical Conversation on the hidden history of racial covenants in Minneapolis. The discussion will center on new research showing that structural barriers and legalized discrimination barred many people of color from buying property and building wealth for most of the last century. No charge and open to the public, but registration is requested.

Oct. 10 - Petri Dish: Super Foods or Super Frauds?petri dish

The College of Biological Sciences will kick off a special fall Petri Dish series of curiosity-driven conversations at the Bell Museum. Topics will focus on food in conjunction with the museum’s “Our Global Kitchen” exhibition. Tickets include exhibit admission and there will be a cash bar as well as trivia and lively discussion. 6 p.m., Bell Museum.

UMTC Featured Eventssingle payer healthcare graphic

Sept. 27 - CLA Day
Sept. 27 - Conversations about Sleep
Oct. 1 - Debating Single Payer Health Care
Oct. 2 - Minnesota's Swing Voters: Will Voters Over 50 Decide the 2018 Elections?
Oct. 2 - Gender Equity
Oct. 2 - Homecoming Blood Drive - St. Paul
Oct. 3 - Homecoming Blood Drive - Minneapolis

Events Calendar >