U of M Brief - November 12, 2014
The Upgrade: PeopleSoft changes coming soon
In February the U will launch a massive upgrade of three PeopleSoft systems, which will affect nearly all faculty, staff, and students. Changes include a personalized MyU portal, consolidated reporting, and new processes. Subscribe to “The Upgrade” newsletter to stay informed. Short videos about the project are also available. See how the PeopleSoft Upgrade will affect students by attending one of several Student Experience Previews to be held on each campus.
Benefits 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.
Jenny Laaser awarded $60,000 L'Oréal Fellowship
University of Minnesota chemistry researcher Jenny Laaser is one of only five recipients nationwide of the 2014 L'Oréal USA For Women in Science Fellowship, which recognizes U.S.-based female researchers for their outstanding contributions in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Recipients receive $60,000 each for their postdoctoral research.
Laaser, who completed her Ph.D. in physical chemistry last year, is conducting research that will impact future efforts to design gene therapies. Also active in the University’s Women in Science and Engineering group, Laaser helps lead “Cool Chemistry,” an outreach event that brings local middle school girls to campus for chemistry activities and demonstrations.
Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grants
Four UMTC faculty have received Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grants to teach and/or conduct research abroad during the 2014-15 academic year: Nina Asher, Curriculum and Instruction, CEHD (India); Karlyn Eckman, Forest Resources, CFANS (India); Shalom Michaeli, Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, Medical School (Finland); and Matthew Rahaim, Music, CLA (India).
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. The GPS Alliance is the University’s campus representative for the program.
Patent roll call, fall 2014
Patents allow the most promising discoveries of today to become the game-changing innovations of tomorrow. A key milestone in the transition from the lab to the marketplace, patents protect the ownership of university technologies and grant them real-world applications to benefit society. Congratulations to University of Minnesota faculty who were recently awarded patents for their discoveries.
UMN in the News
Board of Regents Chair Richard Beeson writes in the Star Tribune about ways the U is addressing student debt; Taylor Hannah, Goldy Gopher’s coach, is interviewed in a WCCO story on getting to know Goldy; Susan Wolf comments in the Star Tribune on the genomic research versus privacy debate; U research is cited in “5 tips to stay healthy if you sit at a computer all day” in Time magazine; agricultural economist Michael Boland comments in Forbes on Cargill's plan to make the world's biggest food business even bigger; Michele Mazzocco is interviewed in The Atlantic in “Turning 3-year-olds into scientists.”
Wireless network reliability
Some Macintosh laptops upgraded from Mavericks (10.9) to Yosemite (10.10) cannot reliably connect to wireless networks. Users are strongly encouraged to wait for Apple to release its 10.10.1 patch before upgrading to Yosemite. Those who upgraded and are experiencing difficulties should contact Technology Help.
Effective ways to influence corporate environmental stewardship
The fall 2014 series of Frontiers in the Environment wraps up with a thought-provoking debate over the most effective ways to influence corporate environmental stewardship. It features Steve Polasky, IonE resident fellow, lead scientist of the Natural Capital Project; Amy Skoczlas Cole, VP for corporate social responsibility at Pentair; J. Drake Hamilton, science policy director at Fresh Energy; and Chris Lambe, managing director of Columbia University Earth Institute's Agriculture and Food Security Center. Nov. 19, noon-1 p.m., R-380 Learning and Environmental Sciences, St. Paul, and online via UMConnect.
Professional Development Grants for retirees
The Office of the Vice President for Research and the U Retirees Association have announced a seventh cycle of awards to help U retirees pursue projects related to their research, instructional, or other scholarly work, including their new and/or creative interests. Faculty, P&A, and Civil Service retirees system-wide are eligible to apply. Application deadline is Dec. 10. Email Jan Hogan for more information.
Six Appeal to perform
Faculty and staff are invited to learn more about the Office of Community Engagement during the presentation Service Learning: What is it? What is it not? Why should I care? Nov. 14, noon-1 p.m., Bede Ballroom.
Next to Normal
Outstanding Achievement Award
Alumna Anne Tsui '73 recently received the U of M’s Outstanding Achievement Award. The Motorola Professor of International Management at the W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, Tsui has focused on the topic of compassion within organizations. She is the author of six books and more than 50 journal articles.
Mary Owen to direct Center of American Indian and Minority Health
Mary Owen received her M.D. from the U of M Medical School Duluth in 2000 and completed her family medicine training with the U’s North Memorial residency program in 2003. After working as a family physician in Juneau, AK, Owen has returned to UMD as the director of its Center of American Indian and Minority Health.
Ethics and Public Policy panel discussion
UMD’s Center for Ethics and Public Policy will host a panel discussion Nov. 13, 5-7 p.m., Weber Music Hall. Free and open to the public. The panel will focus on whether Minnesota should remove Sunday sales restrictions on alcohol, also known as blue laws. Minnesota is one of 12 states that restrict Sunday liquor sales.
Visual Culture Lecture Series
Wanda Pearcy, assistant professor, Department of Art and Design, and a 1993 UMD alumna, will present Nov. 18, 6-7 p.m., 70 Montague Hall, as part of the Visual Culture Lecture Series. Pearcy is an interdisciplinary artist whose works often combine painting, sculpture, and photography.
SEED Award recipients
Three UMM students have received the 2014 Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) Award: Jayce Koester ’16, Eagan; Michael Prideaux ’15, Brooklyn Center; and Matthew Thompson ’15, Watertown, S.D. Sponsored by the Office for Equity and Diversity, the system-wide award acknowledges diverse students doing outstanding work at the U, both in and out of the classroom.
Women’s cross country team wins big
For the first time in program history, the UMM women’s cross-country team has won the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Championship. The Cougars finished 27 points ahead of St. Scholastica, ending the Saints’ 13-title winning streak. Amanda Peters ’15, Lonsdale, took home individual champion honors.
Sustainability Leadership fellows announced
UMM has announced its Sustainability Leadership for the Future (SLF) program faculty, staff, and student fellows. Fellows will have a positive and lasting impact on the campus by developing a sustainability leadership strategic plan and shaping its institutional approach to sustainability leadership. The SLF program is supported in part by a grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.
UMM will host its first Holiday Soirée Dec. 6-7. Hosted by the Music Discipline, the event includes pre-concert hors d’oeuvres and jazz in the Turtle Mountain Cafe, a festive meal in Oyate Hall, and a concert of seasonal music presented by the Concert Choir, University Choir, and chamber ensembles.
Future Employer Series: Ofstead & Associates
UMR alum Evan Doyle and Gavin Mark will be on campus to share information about their employer, Ofstead & Associates. Nov. 12, 2:15-3: 45 p.m., 322 University Square.
Women's Health Lecture
The Interdisciplinary Women's Health Lecture Series will feature Steven Miles in a discussion of the Affordable Care Act and its effect on women's access to health care. Nov. 12, noon-1 p.m., 2-650 Moos Tower.
To Embrace Failure? A Multi-disciplinary Re-thinking
Rehearsing Failure: Brecht’s America, a panel discussion organized by the Institute for Advanced Study Collaborative, will inquire into the virtue of failure. What constitutes failure? What does failure mean for academic work? Can failure be disentangled from success? Nov. 13, 4 p.m., 240 Northrop.
College Readiness and Achievement Gap talk
The second College Readiness and Achievement Gaps (CRAG) Talk will be Nov. 14, noon-1 p.m., 101 Walter. Bring your lunch. Beverages provided. The event is an opportunity to hear from U of M colleagues working on similar issues from different angles, to spark new thinking, and to find potential collaborators. CRAG Talks are sponsored by the College Readiness Consortium and Michael Rodriguez, Campbell Leadership Chair.
‘Ralph Rapson: A Legacy in Architecture and Design’
University Libraries will host a reception celebrating the ongoing exhibit “Ralph Rapson: A Legacy in Architecture and Design” Dec. 8, 5:30 p.m., with program at 6 p.m., 120 Andersen Library. Free and open to the public, but reservations are requested by Dec. 1.
To label or not to label, the GMO food paradox
Is labeling of foods containing GMOs a consumer right? Or does labeling of GMO foods create a false warning? Are voluntary initiatives sufficient or should government intervene? How do we balance competing concerns of consumers, food processors and government agencies? As states and the nation grapple with the GMO labeling paradox, the Finding Common Ground forum provides a unique opportunity to explore this complex issue from multiple perspectives. Jan. 16, MN Department of Health, Freeman Building, 625 Robert St. N., St. Paul.
Seminar: How to write winning grant proposals
The popular "Write Winning Grant Proposals" daylong seminar will return Jan. 22, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. A national speaker and grant writing expert will comprehensively address practical and conceptual aspects important to the proposal-writing process for health research.
UMTC Featured Events
World Usability Day (Nov. 13)
MNsure 2.0: Consumer Satisfaction, Private Insurance Enrollment, and Financial Balance in 2015 (Nov. 14)
Book Talk: Trayvon Martin, Race, and American Justice: Writing Wrong (Nov. 17)
What Minnesota Lakes tell us about the last 10,000 years (Nov. 17)
THIS IS WHO I AM! Defining Myself | Discussion for Women of Color (Nov. 18)
Café Scientifique: The Lives and Times of Ice Age Mammoths and Mastodons (Nov. 18)