December 1, 2021

Inside This Issue
  • Report vaccination or exemption by Dec. 3.
  • Feature: Wanted: The next generation of food ingredients. 
  • Awards and Recognition: A pair of new funding awards for College of Veterinary Medicine faculty will tackle joint disorders; and more.
Top News

Report vaccination or exemption by Dec. 3

Visit Get the Vax to learn about the new federal mandate for all faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate student workers, adjuncts, professionals in training, and postdoctoral associates. The deadline to complete the “Report a Vaccination or Exemption” form in MyU on the My Info tab is Dec. 3.  

Wanted: The next generation of food ingredients

Brigitta Yaputri conducts research in lab

Plant proteins are soaring in popularity. The U of M’s Plant Protein Innovation Center (PPIC) was founded in 2018 to bring together researchers and industry experts to study and produce sustainable plant protein ingredients and products that are nutritious and acceptable by the consumer. The PPIC is the first center of its kind in the nation for plant and other alternative proteins.


Awards and Recognition

A pair of new funding awards for College of Veterinary Medicine faculty members will tackle joint disorders caused by impaired blood flow that can lead to osteoarthritis; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

Awards and Recognition

U-Wide News

Reserve research space for the 2022 Minnesota State Fair

Be part of the Great Minnesota Get Together and recruit hundreds of participants within days at the Driven to Discover (D2D) Research Facility at the Minnesota State Fair. D2D provides turnkey research space for U of M faculty, staff, and student investigators wishing to recruit and collect data from among the fair's 2 million annual visitors. Funding is available for eligible Masonic Cancer Center investigators. A brief online application is due Jan. 18

Extension and the College of Pharmacy combat the opioid crisis

More than 100,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States during the 12-month period ending April 2021. That's a new record high, with overdose deaths nearly doubling over the past five years. U of M Extension and the College of Pharmacy are partnering to reduce drug overdoses in rural Minnesota

4-H empowers youth to tackle plastic pollution

child looking at water sample in plastic bag

About 22 million tons of plastic enter the waters of the Great Lakes each year. With partners across the U.S., Minnesota 4-H has launched an innovative program to make youth part of the solution to plastic pollution.



Research Brief: Exploding and weeping ceramics provide path to new shape-shifting material

An international team of researchers from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and Kiel University in Germany have discovered a path that could lead to shape-shifting ceramic materials. This discovery could improve everything from medical devices to electronics. Additional recent Research Briefs include “Chemical researchers invent bio-petroleum for sustainable materials.”

Dec. 3 - Accessibility Ambassadors: Universal Design for Learning

Join the University of Minnesota Accessibility Ambassadors in this webinar (register) to learn tips for improving accessibility and engagement in college coursework through Universal Design. This session will be recorded, captioned, and shared with the Accessibility Ambassadors Google Group. 9-10 a.m.

U of M featured virtual events

Lei Liang

Dec. 2 - Art and Science in the Age of Convergence

Dec. 6 - Norman Ornstein and Keith Ellison on Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System

Dec. 6 - Web GIS: Introduction to ArcGIS Online 

Dec. 7 - Minnesota NeuroSpin Initiative Workshop 

Dec. 7 - Dean Billmeyer Holiday Organ Recital A Winter Meditation and Celebration

Dec. 8 - Bad Stuff, Trauma and PTSD: How COVID blew the lid off it all 

Things to do in December at the Arb

See the full Events Calendar


Loegering's research recognized with The Wildlife Society's Publication Award

John Loegering with two birds

University of Minnesota Crookston professor John Loegering was recognized with The Wildlife Society’s Publication Award for the journal article “Population Trends in Vermivora Warblers Are Linked to Strong Migratory Connectivity.” The article was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Loegering was part of a large research team studying Golden-winged Warblers from 2007-15 and was an author on the publication, along with several others. 


Olson gives back to 4-H while growing through internship opportunity

Madison Olson with a pig at a farm

For U of M Crookston student Madison Olson, a senior majoring in early childhood education and elementary education, 4-H has been a long-time passion. She was involved in the organization for seven years, and because of her experiences she wanted to give back through an internship. 


Laying the groundwork for student success

students taking soil samples from pit

Before the U of M Soil Judging Team could win the Region V contest, Nic Jelinski had to lay the groundwork for a successful learning experience. Through his network of soil scientists, agronomists, landowners, and farmers, Jelinski secured seven field sites in and around Crookston, and opened up 27 soil pits for students to interpret. “There is no other context that we would have that many soil pits open in a small area,” says Jelinski. “It’s such an amazing learning opportunity for the students, and for me as the organizer.”


Three recent graduates and their careers

Priya Sulzer

Priya Sulzer, Myka Dixon, and Izabel Johnson are making the most of their post-UMD years. Sulzer '17 leads kayak trips at Rendezvous Sports in Jackson Hole, WY. Dixon '20 is a full-time influencer at Sigma Beauty. And Johnson '20 is a reporter for the Pine Journal. All three have taken different paths to create positive change in the world.


Chan Lan Chun: Environmental engineer

Chan Lan Chun

Chan Lan Chun, senior research program manager at the University’s Natural Resources Research Institute and associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, considers herself an environmentalist first and foremost, but she has found that her innovations can also aid corporations. “People see industry and environmentalism as fighting each other,” says Chun, “but we can help each other too.”


A-Lab aims to dismantle systemic racism in the classroom

stack of books

The Antiracist Literary Advisory Board (A-LAB) in UMD’s College of Education and Human Services Professions, which consists of 20 students from different backgrounds, has grown into an opportunity for students to become practitioners of anti-racism. “The whole project is built around the idea of not just talking about race but actually doing something,” says A-LAB cofounder Suki Mozenter.


Composting program serves as a model for others

large compost pile at Morris

A tub grinder for dining hall food waste has improved the Morris campus composting system, which serves as a model for others hoping to implement similar programs. The grinder removes excess water—a vital step for communities and organizations that need to transport organic waste for composting programs.


Dec. 2-4 - Art Club Holiday Sale

holiday sale poster

The annual Art Club Holiday Sale opens Dec. 2, 5 p.m., Edward J. and Helen Jane Morrison Gallery. Find unique gifts made by local (and some from farther afield) artists. Items range from ceramics to textiles and paintings to jewelry. 


Dec. 3 - Sustainability forum

The Morris Campus Student Association invites the campus community to a fun night of learning about diverse opportunities in sustainability. A keynote panel of people who work in different aspects of sustainability will present, followed by a sustainability fair with the opportunity to talk to faculty, staff, students, and other members of the community about their work in sustainability. 4:30-7:30 p.m., Turtle Mountain Café, Student Center.


Alumni profile: Sarah Vang

Sarah Vang

Sarah Vang '21 faced a critical moment in her respiratory care rotation this past spring when she helped care for her boyfriend’s grandfather, who was admitted to the ICU with COVID-19. Read Vang's story of grit and resilience as she navigated her career in the midst of a pandemic that put her in a position to make a difference in the lives of her patients and the Hmong community. Read more stories in UMR's alumni magazine, The Kettle.

Capstone presentations

Poster with student smiling reading Capstone Week

Fall graduates of UMR's Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) program will present their capstones Nov. 30-Dec. 3. A capstone is a combined set of learning experiences focused on an individualized theme that aligns with each student's personal and professional goals. BSHS students have the unique opportunity to personalize their education with a capstone experience. 

Twin Cities

University of Minnesota stormwater pollution prevention survey

Do you have input regarding the University of Minnesota Twin Cities' Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program? Submit your feedback using this public comment form, open year-round. Learn more about the U of M stormwater program.

Stuttering doesn't define you

Goldy posting with kids

Founded in 2009, the Sioris Family University of Minnesota Kids Who Stutter Camp is the brainchild of Erin Bodner—then a U of M grad student in speech-language pathology, now a clinical supervisor in speech-language pathology and camp director. Just as Bodner and her clinical supervisor, Linda Hinderscheit, were mulling over the idea of a day camp, Professor Leo Sioris and his wife Cheryl were approaching the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences expressing interest in helping children who stutter. A partnership was born.

Setting the path for more American Indian nurses

While a nursing student at Bemidji State University, Misty Wilkie learned there were only 12 American Indian nurses with PhD degrees. Knowing the importance of representation, she was motivated to earn one herself. Wilkie went on to earn a PhD in nursing from the University of Minnesota in 2009, becoming the 14th American Indian nurse to earn the degree. She’s now dedicated her career to ensuring more American Indians become nurses and has earned some of nursing’s highest honors.

Clinton N. Hewitt Archive: Preserving a career of passion and joy

clint hewitt

In 1972, Clinton Navarro Hewitt was hired at the University of Minnesota and quickly promoted to assistant vice president of planning. For the next 37 years, Hewitt would shape the U of M’s campuses across the state through dozens of landmark building projects—including Scholar’s Walk, David M. Lilly Plaza, and the Weisman Art Museum. To celebrate his career of building community and expanding the field of landscape architecture, the Department of Landscape Architecture worked with U of M Archives to create the Clinton N. Hewitt archive.

Partnering for health

Anna Fryxell packaging lab supplies

Anna Fryxell, master of public health student in environmental health, recently spent time sorting medical supplies and doing research at Mano a Mano International. The Bolivian-based nonprofit has a warehouse in St. Paul and ships medical supplies from Minnesota to rural Bolivian communities, while also working with Bolivian partners to build roads, clinics, schools, wells, and even airstrips for emergency transport in this country that is among the most impoverished in the world. Read more about her experiences in the School of Public Health Advances magazine.

Not all fire is bad: A short film honors Indigenous ways of knowing

Film cover reading Oshkigin

Cloquet Forestry Center researcher Lane Johnson contributed to the creation of a 16-minute documentary titled Oshkigin | Spirit of Fire, which features two local tribal fire specialists. The collaborative project aims to educate and encourage a resurgence of cultural fire, and prescribed fire generally, in the Great Lakes region. 


Dec. 9 - Teaching with Writing Workshop: Managing the Paper Load

Writing provides students with unique and powerful opportunities for learning. However, the time commitment for assessing and grading writing is often a barrier. How can instructors capture the benefits of asking students to write without burying themselves under an avalanche of student work? This interactive workshop will address strategies for simplifying and streamlining the process of assigning, assessing, and grading writing. Registration is required. 1-3 p.m., 313 Vincent Hall.

Dec. 9-11 - CSE Winter Light Show

light show gathering

The College of Science and Engineering Winter Light Show is back this year. This student-designed 3D outdoor experience features more than 250,000 LED lights set to music written and recorded by U of M students. Shows are at 5:30, 6, and 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 9-11 with a Premiere Party on Dec. 10. Civil Engineering Building Courtyard.