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Parent Email–February 12, 2013

University Parent

February 12, 2013

Inside This Issue

  • State of the University
  • Tax Assistance for Students
  • Graduation Information
  • Strengths at the U
  • Classes Without Quizzes
  • Peer Research Assistance
  • Miscellaneous

We have added a new feature to the University of Minnesota Parent Program Facebook page. "Our Students: Your Photos" features parents' submissions of photos of their Gopher student. If you have a photo and brief story about your student that you would like posted on the Parent Program Facebook page, please email it to If you have not yet joined the University of Minnesota Parent Program Facebook page, "like" us today!

By the way, we do reserve the right to determine appropriateness of any photos submitted for the Parent Program Facebook page. No photos will be posted  that would be expected to embarrass a typical student—which means, for example, no photos of your student's messy bedroom.

State of the University

President Eric Kaler will share his priorities for the University of Minnesota during the 2013 State of the University Address, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, February 28, at the theater in Coffman Union. The address will be broadcast live to all University campuses, and President Kaler will respond to questions from local and online audiences during a question and answer session following his talk. Parents can watch a live stream of the talk. Visit the president's website at 3:30 p.m., Thursday, February 28, to view the event.

Tax Assistance for Students

Students are eligible for free assistance with tax preparation through the Volunteer Tax Assistance Program (VTAP). Students and community members with an income of less than $49,000 qualify for the free help, offered between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, in Hanson Hall on the West Bank. For information on preparing for and making an appointment, students can check the VTAP website. (And the video on that website is pretty amusing.)

Graduation Information

The University Parent website now features a page dedicated to graduation. The new page is your first go-to link for graduation details ranging from information on how students can graduate in four years to graduation checklists, a link to the commencement calendar, and a few fun facts about traditions to look for during commencement. A note: Not all colleges have yet posted their graduation ceremony details on the commencement calendar. Students will receive date, time, and place information from their college student services office. Please ask your student for information if he or she has not yet given you those details.

Strengths at the U

The University of Minnesota is using a Strengths approach on campus to enhance student engagement and well-being. By working with students as they focus on building their individual talents into Strengths, students can thrive and develop to their full potential in academics, career development, leadership, relationships, and community engagement.

During the next couple of months, a series of workshops will be offered to allow students to explore ways to use their strengths in the classroom, in their personal lives, and in the workplace. Students can find more information on how to make the most of their strengths in these workshops.

Classes Without Quizzes

Each year, the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) offers its Classes Without Quizzes program, featuring the latest research from CFANS scientists. This year's program includes keynote speaker Mike Sadowsky of the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate. The half-day event scheduled for Saturday, April 6, on the St. Paul campus, will include sessions on beer, robots, bioenergy, plants, and economics, as well as programs for kids and opportunities to network with college alumni and friends. For more information, see Classes Without Quizzes.

Peer Research Assistance

Most students will need to work on research projects or papers during their academic career. They can receive free help from Peer Research Consultants as part of the University Libraries services. Peer consultants will guide students in narrowing a research topic and creating a thesis statement, seeking out articles and resources, and evaluating websites and other information. Peer research assistance is just one of many academic support services available to students.


A spring 2013 bill was sent to your student's University email account on January 26 and will be due on February 20. The list of billing and due dates for spring semester is posted on the One Stop website.

For information on some of the issues that students are dealing with at this time of the year, take a look at Timely Issues on the University Parent website. Also, please respond to our February Question of the Month.

For today's view of Northrop Mall, here is the College of Science and Engineering's webcam link. If you hadn't noticed before, the CSE webpage also notes the current weather (including temperature) and a link to the forecast. As of this writing, Northrop Mall is at a balmy 34 degrees.