November 18, 2021

Inside This Issue

Notice: Brief will not publish on Nov. 24.

  • Give to the Max Day.
  • Features: Where discovery creates hope; Lights out; Nose-to-tail and beyond. 
  • Awards and Recognition: Carlson School faculty will lead a research effort to explore innovations in how health care can better address societal health issues; and more.
Top News

Nov. 18 - Give to the Max Day

Give to max day logo

Nov. 18 is the University of Minnesota’s Give to the Max Day. Join colleagues and the University community in showing your U of M pride by using #UMNGive on social media, and support your favorite University cause at Your support will go even further because of special one-day matches, and a gift or social media shout-out could win your U of M cause up to $50,000 in bonus funds. 


Where discovery creates hope

Tori Jaffray and Mellisa Geller look at a CT scan

Her life had rolled along for 55 years without any health issues. But when confronted by a stubborn thickening of her midsection, Tori Jaffray went to an urgent care center. Her diagnosis: stage four ovarian cancer. She sought help from doctor after doctor but got nowhere until she found Melissa Geller. “I looked at her CT scan, did an exam, and had her on my operating schedule within a week,” says Geller, a gynecologic oncologist at the Masonic Cancer Center.


Lights out

person putting out cigarette in ashtray

In Minnesota, American Indian and Alaska Native people are three times more likely to smoke cigarettes than other residents, and their risk of developing lung cancer is more than double that of any other racial or ethnic group in the state. University of Minnesota researchers are working with American Indian tribes and communities to understand what’s fueling commercial tobacco use and to develop community-driven approaches to reducing the substance’s burden.


Nose-to-tail and beyond

Two vet techs work on dog and give him cheese

In a Sunday school classroom in the basement of Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in Minneapolis, Minnow, a 2-year-old golden retriever/shepherd mix, is being distracted by a University of Minnesota veterinary student holding a stick covered with spreadable cheese. As Minnow licks the cheese, another student performs a nose-to-tail exam, while another records the findings. Minnow and his owner are here for the VeTouch Clinic, a student-run clinic that provides free care for pet owners who otherwise couldn’t afford a vet visit.

Awards and Recognition

A research team led by Carlson School of Management faculty has earned a $500,000 grant to explore innovations in how health care can better address societal health issues; the University of Minnesota Twin Cities has been named a top producing Gilman Scholars institution by the U.S. Department of State; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

Awards and Recognition

U-Wide News

Funding opportunity: MnDRIVE Research Fellowships in Neuromodulation

The University of Minnesota’s MnDRIVE Research Fellowships in Neuromodulation are funded by the Discoveries and Treatments for Brain Conditions core area of the Minnesota Discovery, Research and InnoVation Economy (MnDRIVE) initiative. The yearlong fellowships will be awarded to outstanding graduate students (doctoral), postdoctoral trainees, and residents/clinical fellows pursuing research in neuromodulation. The deadline to apply is Jan. 19. 

Help to properly share human research data

Does your grant or publisher mandate that you share your data? Was your data collected from human participants? The Data Repository for the University of Minnesota (DRUM) service offers consultations on de-identification, participant consent for data sharing, and data management plans. Updated Human Participant Data Guidelines are intended to help researchers share their data in DRUM.

Study: Heart’s own immune cells hold potential for the treatment of heart failure

Heart failure affects more than 6 million Americans and is the main cause of death for one in eight patients. New research from the U of M Medical School shows that immune cells located in the cardiac tissue protect the failing heart and could be targeted in immunomodulatory therapies

COVID-19 forced a shift from healthy feeding practices by parents of young children

The U of M Medical School conducted a study which demonstrated that parents of young children shifted their approach to feeding during the COVID-19 pandemic, engaging in lower levels of structure and autonomy support. 

Nation’s first ivermectin clinical trial now 50 percent enrolled

An ongoing COVID-19 clinical trial studying outpatient treatment with generic medications, including ivermectin, is now more than halfway enrolled. The COVID-OUT study was the nation’s first to begin looking at whether metformin, a medication for type 2 diabetes, fluvoxamine, an antidepressant, and ivermectin, an antiparasitic, or their combinations could serve as possible treatment options to prevent hospitalization and long COVID.

Research Brief: Felons remain out of work, despite paying debt to society

A felony history carries more than just a social stigma. It can lead to more adults without work—even after paying their debt to society, according to new research from U of M faculty and other collaborators. Additional recent Research Briefs include “Limited social media engagement may have caused older adults to miss out on resources and support early in the pandemic" and "Large MeerKAT telescope data release reveals beautiful new cosmic puzzles."

Dec. 10 - An Hour with the Scholars: Celebrating the University's 2021 Community-Engaged Scholars Awardees

An Hour with the Scholars will celebrate the best of community-engaged scholarship as told through video stories and the scholars themselves. Join Associate Vice President for Public Engagement Andrew Furco, Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs Rebecca Ropers, and special guest Executive Vice President and Provost Rachel Croson in an event honoring the work of the University's 2021 Community-Engaged Scholars Award recipients. 1 p.m. via Zoom.  

President Gabel to speak at U.S. National Competitiveness Forum

President Joan Gabel, vice chair of the Council on Competitiveness, will speak on Dec. 16 at the 2021 National Competitiveness Forum: “Competing in the Next Economy - Future Focused.” Gabel will share perspectives on the critical role of higher education in creating a competitive U.S. economy. Learn more and see registration details for the event.

Jan. 10-14 - Teaching with Writing Virtual Short Course: Integrating Multimodal Communication into Your Classes

Faculty members and instructors are invited to register for a virtual short course focused on developing and implementing assignments and activities that support multimodal communication—assignments involving visual, audio, and/or text. 

U of M featured virtual events

U.S. border fencing

Nov. 19 - For Biden, Failure is an Option

Nov. 22 - STEP Seminar Panel: Talk-Back with the UMN Delegation to COP26 Glasgow

Nov. 29 - From Crisis to Futurity: Refuge, Asylum, Violence

Nov. 29-Dec. 1 - SKY Campus Happiness Retreat  
Dec. 1 - Bakken Center Mindfulness Programs Information Session 

Dec. 2 - High School & Beyond: Tracing Early-life Predictors of Cognitive Impairment

Dec. 3 - First Fridays: The Early Years of the Northwest Architectural Archives

Dec. 9 - Strategies for Supporting Physical Activity and Wellbeing Among Youth and the Young at Heart 

Dec. 16 - Celebrating and Caring for Loved Ones with Memory Loss During the Holidays

See the full Events Calendar


Nov. 18 - Webinar: Starting a business in Minnesota

Every year thousands of American entrepreneurs start their own small businesses. Entrepreneurs who succeed in the long run tend to start businesses with a clear plan of action. This free entrepreneurship training will be held both online and in the Pennington County Offices, 101 Main North, Thief River Falls. 11:30 a.m.


New leadership in the UMD education department

Eric Torres

Eric Torres joined the College of Education and Human Service Professions this fall as a new tenured faculty member and department head. “I have taught within a wide developmental spectrum, in diverse cultural settings, at different levels of formal design, in two different languages, in two different countries, and I have enjoyed it all,” wrote Torres in his UMD application letter.


Our People, Our Climate screened at COP26

person standing on plain looking at snowy mountains

The documentary Our People, Our Climate was recently screened at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Glasgow. Arctic students learned photography and documentary filmmaking through an international collaboration between the University of Minnesota Duluth, West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative, Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts, and the ilinniapaa Skills Development Centre.


UMD named a 2021 ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge Gold Seal recipient

UMD flag and American flag

The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge honors higher education institutions, educators, and students who increased student voter engagement during the 2020 elections. Data from the Institute for Democracy in Higher Education shows that the University of Minnesota Duluth’s student voting rate increased by 10 percent from 2016 to 79 percent in 2020 (13 percent higher than the national average).


U of M Morris recognized as a top performer in 2021 Sustainable Campus Index

two people examine solar panel installation

A publication from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, the Sustainable Campus Index recognizes top-performing sustainable colleges and universities overall and in 17 impact areas. U of M Morris is listed among the top ten baccalaureate institutions and is one of only two public schools in the top 10


Second edition of alumni magazine, The Kettle, released

UMR recently released the second edition of its alumni magazine, The Kettle. The magazine connects UMR graduates, showcasing their achievements and highlighting their growing impact. A term derived following field observations of hawks, “kettle” means a group of soaring raptors. Few words could capture more succinctly the ever-growing community of Raptor alumni. 

UMR Career Pathways: The Business and Leadership of Health Care

Rachelle Johnson

UMR's innovative degree programs and integrated curriculum provide students with a foundational undergraduate education. Discover how Rachelle Johnson navigated UMR’s many health career pathway opportunities, while focusing on the business side of health care through her individually planned capstone to prepare herself for a career as a project manager at a health care IT company. Learn more about UMR's Pathways.

Twin Cities

U of M and Minneapolis Public Schools establish partnership to improve outcomes for students

The College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) and Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) announced a partnership to improve outcomes for students. As part of the partnership, leading CEHD researchers in literacy, math, school climate, and staff engagement will share evidence-informed practices with MPS leaders, who will tailor those practices for MPS classrooms. In turn, MPS educators will help inform new areas of research based on their firsthand knowledge and experience. 

New staffing will help ensure security in U Libraries

U of M Libraries’ leadership convened a Safety/Security Working Group to examine ways to ensure safety coverage in the libraries. Two full-time security advisors will each cover Walter Library and Wilson Library Saturdays through Wednesdays. They are employees of the Department of Public Safety who are assigned to the Libraries. 

A scicomm ecosystem takes shape

Becoming an effective science communicator takes training and practice. For many science students, opportunities are limited. With that in mind, the University of Minnesota Science Communication Lab—an interdisciplinary internship program and incubator for science communication projects—and the College of Biological Sciences communications team formed a collaboration to develop communications courses and workshops designed to help participants move past jargon to develop engaging, accessible narratives.

Becoming an antiracist school

The School of Public Health has created a five-year Strategic Plan for Antiracism to keep it moving toward becoming an antiracist school. Learn more about the school’s commitment to build equity and drive justice.

Nov. 20-21 - 60th annual Marching Band Indoor Concert

Marching band members playing instruments

Don’t miss the Pride of Minnesota’s indoor concert featuring halftime favorites and more. One of the most exciting and highly visible organizations on campus, the University of Minnesota Marching Band provides enthusiastic support to the University’s athletic programs and represents the University at events throughout the year. Nov. 20, 7 p.m.; Nov. 21, 2 p.m.