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Parent Email–January 12, 2012

  • Legislative Briefing
  • Apartment Open House
  • Career Development
  • Discounts and Deals for Students
  • Final Call for Student-Parent-Family International Service Learning Trip
  • One Credit Courses for Personal and Financial Health
  • Seniors: Study Abroad Scholarship
  • Miscellaneous

We are looking forward to having students back on campus. All the study spaces have been empty since the end of final exams, and it's just a little too quiet around here. Classes start again on Tuesday, January 17.


The University of Minnesota has established an emergency notification system for students and staff. In an emergency situation or a campus closure, a text message will be sent through the TXT-U system. Parents cannot sign up for the messages, but students can add more than one cell phone number to their registration. If you would like to receive the notifications, please ask your student to go to the TXT-U website and add your cell phone number to his or her account.

Legislative Briefing

Please join President Eric Kaler and University of Minnesota Alumni Association president Phil Esten at a Legislative Briefing starting at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 1, at the McNamara Alumni Center. President Kaler will discuss the University's legislative agenda and his vision for the University. The program will include a light dinner, cash bar, and a program. Please register online by January 24.

Apartment Open House

As we mentioned in our last newsletter, a few campus-area apartment complexes will offer tours and provide information on rentals from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, January 14. Details are online.

And as we mention frequently, students should not sign a lease before having it checked with University Student Legal Service.

Career Development

For those students who have spent winter break thinking about their career plans, a number of opportunities for exploration and planning will be coming up in the next few weeks.

Peace Corps Information Session: 5 p.m., Monday, January 30, in Comstock Hall. Students can start planning to  become a Peace Corps volunteer. For more information, contact campus representative, Samantha Mills, at in the Learning Abroad Center, 230 Heller Hall, Mondays, 9 a.m.–12 p.m., and Tuesdays, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Environmental internships & career fair: 1 to 5 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 1, North Star Ballroom, St. Paul Student Center. Students can meet employers hiring interns and full-time employees for jobs in environmental and natural resources fields. The fair is free and open to all U of M students.

U of M Job and Internship Fair: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, February 23, Minneapolis Convention Center. The biggest student career fair in Minnesota will feature nearly 200 organizations recruiting for hundreds of jobs and internships. For details and registration, visit the Job and Internship website. Registration is $10 for pre-registration by Feb. 20 or $25 the day of the fair.

Exploring Interests and Majors: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, February 29, Great Hall, Coffman Union. Students can learn about U of M majors, get help from advisers and career counselors, take a short quiz on interests and connect the results to majors, and learn about national and international study opportunities. Open to all students at no charge.

Health Careers courses: Students thinking of a career in a health field can explore the possibilities through coursework, online workshops, or through an information session offered by the Health Careers Center.

Discounts and Deals for Students

U of M students are eligible for discounts on arts, cultural, and recreational events and activities simply by being a registered student. Tickets can be purchased at the Coffman Information Desk and the St. Paul Student Center Information Desk.

They can also get discounts on software, hardware, internet service, and cell phone service through the Office of Information Technology.

Final Call for Student-Parent-Family International Service Learning Trip

The Minnesota Parents Association joins the Learning Abroad Center and Common Hope, a community non-profit organization, in sponsoring a Vision Team to Guatemala for a week of volunteer service from May 13-20. That's right after the end of exams for spring semester.

While in Guatemala, students, parents, and other family members will build a house, visit Guatemalan families in their homes, work in schools, and participate in other community projects. As one student described her experience on this trip last year, “Going as a whole family was a way to see the strengths of my family as individuals and as a whole, which I really enjoyed.”

If you are interested in joining the 2012 U of M Parents Association Vision Team, information and applications can be found on the MPA webpage. Applications are due by Friday, January 20. Contact Chelsea in the Parent Program Office ( for information.

One-Credit Courses for Personal and Financial Health

Through the University's Rothenberger Institute, students can sign up for one-credit, online courses that improve their overall wellness and help students make informed decisions, set realistic goals, and manage everyday aspects of college life. Another one-credit, online course addresses financial literacy for students. That course is offered through the Department of Family Social Science. For information on all three courses, see the Freshman Survival Skills webpage.

Seniors: Study Abroad Scholarship

The Katherine E Sullivan Scholarship for Study Abroad allows seniors at the University of Minnesota to enrich their academic experience with a fifth year of undergraduate study in another country. Applicants must be U of M students with senior status (at least 90 credits completed) by the end of Fall semester 2011 and at least 30 credits in residence at a University of Minnesota campus; must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents; and should have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. Applicants must be available for an in-person interview on the Twin Cities campus on March 2, 2012. Application materials and instructions are available on the scholarship website. The application requires a study abroad adviser's signature. Application deadline: February 3, 2012.

Information about other study abroad scholarships is online at the Learning Abroad Center's scholarship page.


A reminder regarding new electronics, bikes, or other cool stuff that students may be bringing back to campus for spring semester: please have your student safeguard all valuables. Jot down registration numbers, install and activate location software, and generally promote safety and security to your student. The Office of Information Technology provides a webpage about Safe Computing, and the Parent Program has posted a page on Crime Prevention as well as a page on Campus Safety and Security Tips.

If you have not yet responded to our January Question of the Month, please find the question on the University Parent webpage. In December, we asked what your student would be doing during winter break. Most of you said your student would be hanging out at home or with friends. For the full results, see the Question of the Month webpage.

For those who just want to see what campus looks like now, here is the Northrop Mall Webcam.