U of M Brief - November 5, 2014
Benefits Open Enrollment
Open Enrollment continues through Dec. 1. Enroll online through Employee Self-Service. Changes are effective Jan. 1. You need to make a change if you currently have Insights by Medica, the employee and spouse coverage tier, or same-sex domestic partner coverage. If you are satisfied with your current coverage choices, you do not need to re-enroll. However, to have an FSA account for 2015, you must re-enroll. Additional options this year: Add up to $25,000 of additional life insurance without evidence of good health; add or increase long-term disability; add up to $200 to your existing short-term disability; add child life insurance. Employee Health and Benefits Fairs take place on the UMC, UMD, UMM, and UMTC campuses Nov. 5-12.
State relations team prepares for 2015 session
IOM elects Harry T. Orr as member
The Institute of Medicine announced the names of 70 new members and 10 foreign associates during its 44th annual meeting. Among the inductees was Harry T. Orr, director, Institute of Translational Neuroscience, and professor, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology.
Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.
Hormel Institute researchers awarded major grant
More than $1.6 million has been awarded to The Hormel Institute's Rhoderick Brown and Edward Hinchcliffe for a collaborative research project on sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication of infections that affects many people, including cancer patients.
The two received funding approval for their portion of a nearly $4 million, five-year project with two other research institutions aimed at determining whether a new molecular target could lead to a potential cure for 65 percent of sepsis patients. Sepsis is the 10th-leading cause of death in the United States.
U in the News
Robert Zink's research is referenced in The Guardian in a story about cats as "pure and simple, ecological pollution"; Stephen Schondelmeyer talks about ways to save on medications in Consumer Reports; Akshay Rao responds to WCCO's "Good Question: Will we ever be wallet free?"; Michael Osterholm comments on why there isn't a vaccine for Ebola at WCCO; Leon Assael comments in The New York Times on the most common chronic childhood disease in the U.S.--tooth decay
Google accounts now have unlimited storage
Writing research colloquium and workshop: ISW Grants
Join a disciplinarily diverse group of faculty, staff, and students for a presentation and discussion of research projects funded by the Center for Writing's Interdisciplinary Studies of Writing (ISW) program, followed by a brief workshop on applying for the center's 2015 grants. Nov. 7, noon-2 p.m., 12 Nicholson Hall.
Research career development opportunities for assistant professors
The Clinical and Translational Science Institute is now accepting applications for three programs that help junior investigators build independent research careers. Programs provide a comprehensive career development infrastructure that supports awardees via funding, mentorship, weekly seminars, individualized development plans, and ongoing support. Applications are due Dec. 18.
Request for applications: State Fair D2D building
Employee Health and Benefits Fair
Faculty and staff are encouraged to attend the 2014 Employee Health and Benefits Fair on Nov. 5, noon-2 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. Employees may learn more about medical plans, flexible spending accounts, disability benefits, retirement savings, dental plans, pharmacy benefits, and employee wellness.
Faculty and Student Research Day
Faculty members and students will share some of their current research with the campus community at the Thursday Commons: Fall Semester Faculty and Student Research Day. Nov. 6, 12:30-2 p.m., Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center.
Campus Emergency Closing Policies and Procedures
Members of the campus community are encouraged to review the Campus Emergency Closing Policies and Procedures. Watch for official weather-related closing information via cell phones using the TXT-U emergency notification system, campus email, alerts on the UMC main web page and UMC Today page, as well as announcements on KROX radio (1260 AM), WDAZ TV, KVLY TV, and other regional media outlets.
Pavel Krasutsky's Success with Birch Bark Extracts
For nearly two decades, Pavel Krasutsky, director of the Chemical Extractives Program at UMD's Natural Resources Research Institute, has worked to transform a chemical concept into a full-scale manufacturing process. That research is enabling a Two Harbors-based company, The Actives Factory, to extract compounds from birch bark that will be used in pharmaceutical, cosmetic, industrial, and nutritional supplement products.
UMD Retires Alumnus Bill Watson's Jersey
UMD alumnus Bill Watson's ('90) No. 14 Bulldog hockey jersey was recently retired during a ceremony at AMSOIL Arena. Watson, a Hobey Baker Memorial Award recipient, became the third Bulldog male in any sport to be so honored. He joins UMD hockey alumni Brett Hull, No. 29, and Keith "Huffer" Christiansen, No. 9, who also had their jerseys retired.
UMD Faculty Releases Book
Assistant Professor Erik Redix, in the Department of American Indian Studies, had his book, The Murder of Joe White: Ojibwe Leadership and Colonialism in Wisconsin, published by Michigan State University Press. The book examines the little-known 1894 murder of Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe chief Giishkitawag, also known as Joe White, by state game wardens. Redix's book has received early praise.
Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today
The Baeumler Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration Committee welcomes Sandra Schulberg, who will present a screening of Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today [The Schulberg/Waletzky Restoration]. She will discuss the making of the original 1948 film, its suppression, and her quest to restore the film and show it around the world. Nov. 9, 1 p.m., Weber Music Hall.
UMM named a Smartest Public College
UMM has been named one of the 104 Smartest Public Colleges in America by Business Insider. According to Jonathan Wai, a Duke University Talent Identification Program researcher, these colleges "offer brainpower and affordability." UMM is one of only two Minnesota schools included on this list, the other being UMTC. UMM was ranked No. 68 overall.
Demetriou Wins Immortality Project Grant
Dan Demetriou, assistant professor of philosophy, is a co-recipient of a $100,000 Immortality Project grant. The award will support research on how memorializing civic heroes can encourage liberal values in both Africa and the West. The project was made possible through a grant from the University of California, Riverside, funded by the John Templeton Foundation.
Theatre Arts presents A Midnight Dreary
The Theatre Arts Discipline will open its 2014-15 season with Scott Dixon's A Midnight Dreary. This macabre play depicts the final moments of Edgar Allan Poe's life. Using lines from his poetry and prose, the script explores the author's haunted past. A Midnight Dreary runs Nov. 6-8, Raymond J. Lammers Proscenium Theatre.
James Sewell Ballet Brings Guy Noir to Morris
The Performing Arts Series continues with the James Sewell Ballet in Guy Noir: the Ballet on Nov. 14. Guy Noir brings to life Garrison Keillor's much-loved radio sleuth of "A Prairie Home Companion" fame. Prior to the Friday evening performance, the company will host several master classes with Sewell. Tickets are available now.
Tastes of the World
UMR's Intercultural Club and Muslim Student Association will provide various food and beverage samples from around the world on Nov. 6, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Third Floor Lounge, University Square. Free.
Request for applications: MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship
The Office for Public Engagement is seeking applications for the MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship, recognizing exceptional programs that promote student community engagement and community service. In addition to international recognition, the award provides financial support of up to $7,500 for furthering community engagement initiatives. The application deadline is Dec. 5.
Cracks in the Walls: 25 Years After Berlin
Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, this symposium asks how performance can animate representational ruptures in three walled (or previously walled) sites: Berlin, Israel/Palestine, and along the U.S./Mexico border. Participants will include members of the IAS Collaborative on Brecht, the Department of Theater Arts, and Combatants for Peace--an alliance of Israeli and Palestinian ex-combatants who use theater as a tactic for resisting the Israeli Occupation. Nov. 6, 4 p.m., Crosby Seminar Room, Northrop.
Community Fund Drive extended to Nov. 7
The annual U of M Community Fund Drive has been extended to Nov. 7. The fund drive provides an easy way for employees on the Twin Cities campus to donate to nearly 500 local nonprofits (or choose your own) that enrich the community.
Event planners open house at Northrop
Event planners from across the U are invited to attend a short presentation detailing spaces available for rent as well as tours of Northrop, highlighting the capabilities of each space. Nov. 18, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Light appetizers and drinks will be provided by Surdyk's, which will also share examples of room setups and amenities available for catering. Those interested in attending should RSVP to email@example.com by noon Nov. 10.
Children's Cancer Research Fund lecture
"Regulatory T cells and the quest for transplant tolerance" will be the topic of the annual Norma K.C. Ramsay, M.D. Distinguished Visiting Professor Lecture, featuring Professor Maria Grazia Roncarolo, Department of Pediatrics, Stanford School of Medicine. Nov. 10, 1:15-2:15 p.m., 450 Masonic Cancer Research Building.
Health Insurance Roundtable
Take a look at the economics behind the controversial Affordable Healthcare Act and how it compares to alternative policies at "Health Insurance Reform: Are We There Yet?" The event will feature recent research findings from renowned economists and discussion of how future policy-making may be affected by November's elections. Nov. 12, 5:30-7 p.m. RSVP to attend.
Helping Children Connect to the Natural World
These days, kids spend more time staring at a computer monitor or playing with electronic games than they do interacting with nature. Cathy Jordan will address what effect this has on children's well-being and, ultimately, the well-being of our planet, the benefits of connecting children with nature, and what urban planners, landscape architects, educators, and parents can do to foster engagement between children and the natural world. Nov. 12, noon-1 p.m., R-380 Learning and Environmental Sciences, St. Paul, and online via UMConnect.
Off-Campus Housing Fair
An off-campus housing fair will give students the opportunity to meet with area landlords and compare services side by side. Nov. 13, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Great Hall, Coffman Union.
'Epigenetics, Diet and Cancer Prevention'
The annual Henderson Lecture will feature Roderick Dashwood, professor, director, and John S. Dunn Endowed Chair of the Center for Epigenetics and Disease Prevention, Houston, TX. Presented by the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics and the Department of Food Science and Nutrition. Nov. 14, 2 p.m., 105 Cargill Bldg, St. Paul.
Roosevelt's Second Act
The Paul and Joan Nagel Lecture will feature Richard Moe, who will discuss his book, Roosevelt's Second Act: The Election of 1940 and the Politics of War. Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School.
UMTC Featured Events
Ebola: Rethinking Global Emergency Response (Nov. 6)
A Moveable Feast: Flexibility in Fertility Preferences in Malawi (Nov. 7)
Gravity Always Wins: The Death (and Life) of Stars (Nov. 8)
Working: A Musical (Nov. 9)
I am Not a Compass: LGBT Conversion Therapy Awareness (Nov. 10)
OED Certificate Workshop 6: Educating about Equity & Diversity: Facilitating Challenging Conversations (Nov. 11)
Gaining Ground Book-Signing and Reception with Joan Velásquez (Nov. 11)