September 15, 2021

Inside This Issue
  • Board of Regents September meeting highlights.
  • Feature: Closing the STEM gap.
  • Awards and Recognition: U of M researchers are part of a new $25 million NSF-funded climate modeling center; and more.
Top News

Board of Regents September meeting highlights

In its annual report to the Board of Regents, Gopher Athletics detailed a year unlike any other in the department’s history—punctuated by extraordinary academic and athletic achievements against a backdrop of persistent, pandemic-fueled challenges. Regents also received an update on ongoing operational impacts related to COVID-19, reviewed President Gabel’s recommended six-year capital plan and 2022 state capital request, received an annual update on academic program changes, and more. See the news release for more details

Closing the STEM gap

Swati Rampalli

Swati Rampalli was a high school senior when she took her first class in statistics and computer science. It got her thinking about possibilities, including a career in bioinformatics. Her experience led her to co-found Code the Gap, a student group that encourages kids from backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) jobs to explore those fields. Read more about Rampalli's journey.


Awards and Recognition

U of M researchers are part of a new $25 million NSF-funded climate modeling center; U of M researchers will lead the search for 1.5 million-year-old Antarctic ice through a new NSF-funded Center for Oldest Ice Exploration; the family of Thomas E. Burnett, Jr., is establishing a scholarship at the Carlson School of Management to honor his life, leadership, and sacrifice on 9/11; U in the News features highlights of U faculty and staff cited in the media.

Awards and Recognition

U-Wide News

Participant recruitment for personalized U of M Brief research study

Would you like a personalized issue of the U of M Brief? If so, we are interested in learning more about your experiences. Participants will complete two surveys and will receive personalized issues of Brief over a period of two months. Participants will be compensated with a $40 Amazon gift card if they complete all steps. To participate, you must 1) be an employee of the University; 2) use Gmail to read Brief; 3) use the Chrome browser to read your email. Learn more and sign up with your UMN account

MyU Reporting Center redesign coming Sept. 19

The MyU Reporting Center (MyU > Key Links > Reporting Center), which hosts a catalog of enterprise reports and dashboards from across the University, will have a new design and layout beginning Sept. 19. No reports will be removed as part of this change. Learn about key changes on the MyU Reporting Center 2021 Redesign Transition webpage.

StudyFinder enhancements to help Minnesotans find U of M research opportunities

Minnesotans now have an easier way to find clinical trials and other health research studies at the University of Minnesota, thanks to enhancements to StudyFinder. The Clinical and Translational Science Institute updated the website so that it features more research studies, has study landing pages, includes more information about each study, and offers a better search experience. 

OVPR announces new Innovation Impact Case Award

The Office of the Vice President for Research is launching the Innovation Impact Case Award, recognizing research that has led to significant impact outside of academia and has made a meaningful difference in our communities. The competition, open to all eligible U of M faculty and researchers, requires the development of a short, written case study highlighting the impact of research to an external audience. Two awards ($10,000 per case) will be given during the grant cycle. Applications will be open from Oct. 5 to Nov. 24.

2021 UROC Research Agenda Grant Award competition

The University's Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) seeks proposals from University faculty to address community-identified urban issues outlined in the UROC Research Agenda through collaborative, community-based research projects. Launched in 2020, the agenda is a framework for healing, equity, and financial well-being based on themes focused on building a thriving North Minneapolis and Twin Cities urban core. Grants of up to $15,000 will be awarded. Proposals are due Oct. 25, 8 p.m. 

UMN Headlines: September 2021

Graphic reading Discovery never stops

Watch the September installment of the "UMN Headlines" video series, which shares highlights from around the University of Minnesota System, ranging from student and alumni successes at the 2021 Olympics to wetland restoration research, solar vehicle success, public health, and more. See past episodes here



Research Brief: U of M scientists develop a novel virus-like particle COVID-19 candidate vaccine

U of M researchers have developed a novel virus-like particle vaccine against COVID-19. Having been successfully tested in animals, the novel vaccine offers a new approach to a potential human vaccine in the global battle against COVID-19 and its emerging variants. Additional recent Research Briefs include “Study of NYC vaccination rates proves validity of new structural racism measurement tool.”

Webinar series on intercultural and global learning in the classroom

Faculty and instructional staff interested in exploring fresh ways to engage students to increase their international, intercultural, and global skills are invited to register for a series of Internationalizing the Curriculum and Campus webinars and workshops. Participants will learn teaching activities and approaches to support global learning for all students and explore strategies applicable to every course, whether online or in-person. 

Sept. 21 - A Guide To Making Your Teaching More Inclusive

Kick off the fall 2021 Pedagogical Innovations Journal Club with a discussion of "Inclusive Teaching," a 2019 article in which the authors recommend strategies for creating a positive classroom climate, choosing appropriate pedagogical strategies, and leveraging existing support networks to help all students succeed. The article serves as useful background reading for the rest of the articles in this series.

U of M featured virtual events

Drew Lanham

Sept. 16 - Policing and Public Safety

Sept. 22 Webinar: Leading Through Uncertainty 

Sept. 22 - What You Need to Know About Trump Supporters

Sept. 23 - Annual David Rothenberger Lecture: ‘A National Perspective: Leading the Largest Healthcare System in the US during COVID-19’

Sept. 28 - Amplifying Black Narratives: Past, Present, and Future

Sept. 30 - Kolshorn Lecture: Coloring the Conservation Conversation

See the full Events Calendar >


Thoroughbred Education Research Foundation awards Crookston grant

The University of Minnesota Crookston has been awarded a $4,000 grant from the Thoroughbred Education and Research Foundation (TERF), to be used for two scholarships. Scholarships will be awarded to students studying equine science or equine business management who maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0, demonstrate campus involvement, and are pursuing a career in the equine industry. 


New director of Recreational Sports Outdoor Program

Adam Burke

Adam Burke joined UMD as the director of the Recreational Sports Outdoor Program on Aug. 30. Burke has a wealth of experience, having most recently been the assistant director of programs at the University of Wyoming. "I’m excited to engage with students, faculty, staff, and the Duluth community in providing excellent programs and services around recreation, health and wellness, and outdoor engagement,” says Burke. 


Bringing jazz to Canal Park

Duluth's canal park area

UMD Jazz Studies major Andrew Peterson and fellow music students are bringing music to community members and visitors in Duluth’s scenic and popular Canal Park (watch a video of their performances). Peterson fell in love with the Duluth music community when he was invited to play with Professor Ryan Frane the evening of his program audition. “It’s not something I would probably get anywhere else,” says Peterson.


LSBE welcomes new Professional Sales Program director

Jessica Gardner

Jessica Gardner is the new director of the Professional Sales Program at the Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LBSE). Gardner comes to the position with a background in the sales industry and higher education. Gardner will focus on providing students with real-world experiences to prepare them for their careers in sales.


U of M Morris project supports conservation work in Stevens County

A collaboration among associate professor of political science Roger Rose, student Erik Kjer, and the Stevens Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is helping to support conservation work in Stevens County. Begun as a service-learning project in one of Rose's political science courses, and continued with funding from the U of M Southwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership and U of M Morris Center for Small Towns, the project gathered data that will help inform the work of the Stevens SWCD.

Burks quoted in WSJ

Stephen Burks

Professor of economics Stephen Burks is quoted in The Wall Street Journal article "Push to Let Teens Drive Trucks Interstate Divides the Industry." Burks says, "You can run your trucks more efficiently, in which case, especially as they go longer distances, drivers get treated like pinballs and they don’t get home very often; they work long hours.”


UMR Career Pathways: Health Care Research and Discovery

Aashka Joshi

UMR's innovative degree programs and integrated curriculum provide students with a foundational undergraduate education. Discover how Aashka Joshi navigated UMR’s many health career pathway opportunities while completing a clinical research internship, volunteering, and conducting research through her individually planned capstone. These experiences prepared her for a career as a senior clinical trial manager for the pharmaceutical company Alector. Learn more about UMR's Pathways.

Twin Cities

University of Minnesota launches Center for Medical Device Cybersecurity

students and faculty converse around a table

The University has announced a new Center for Medical Device Cybersecurity (CMDC). The center will foster University-industry-government collaborations to ensure that medical devices are both safe and secure from the growing number of cybersecurity threats. The CMDC was formed in response to a request from members of the medical device manufacturing industry to form a collaborative hub for discovery, outreach, and workforce training in the emerging device security field. 


Sept. 20-25 - Homecoming

The Twin Cities campus homecoming celebration begins Sept. 20, and much of the pomp and ceremony is back this year. In-person and virtual opportunities include the Alumni Awards Affair (Sept. 23), the Homecoming Parade (Sept. 24), the Gopher football homecoming game (Sept. 25), and more. 

Analytics U introduces high school students to the endless potential of data

When a group of 15 Twin Cities high school students arrived at the Mall of America earlier this week, they weren’t there to hang out and shop. Instead, the students were gathering data on how time of day affected the popularity of rides in the mall’s amusement park. It was all part of an immersive educational experience in the Carlson School’s Analytics U program. This new, free week-long pathway program for underrepresented high school students introduces students to how data science plays a critical role in solving real-world problems.

For CSE student, climate change solutions are bigger than electric cars

Amethyst O'Connell

Electrical engineering senior Amethyst O’Connell participates in the Solar Vehicle Project student group and is planning a career that includes solving the climate crisis. O’Connell recently won third place in the 2021 Midwest Climate Summit’s Climate Stories Contest for an academic paper that explores how racism has influenced the modern transportation system, and how that system contributes to global warming.