June 26, 2003
1. U committed to diversity; president praises court decision
2. Bridging lab science and patient care with translational research
3. Driving and over-the-counter
4. Staying sane while travelling
5. U medical foundation breaks
6. Lawn signs welcome gophers
7. Women recognizing women
8. Polishing prose
9. U of M Happenings
U committed to
diversity; president praises
This week, University of Minnesota
president Bob Bruininks praised the historic U.S. Supreme Court
ruling in a challenge to the University of Michigan’s use
of race-conscious admissions policies.
“This is a very important decision that appears to affirm a compelling
state interest in creating a diverse student body and endorse the use of race
as a factor, among many, in admissions decisions,” said Bruininks. “The
University of Minnesota has always been committed to diversity and to creating
learning and living environments that incorporate a rich composite of experiences
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court upheld the University of Michigan Law
use of race as part of an individual review of each applicant’s record
In a second decision, the court struck down the use of a “mechanical” point
system that awarded undergraduate applicants extra points based on their race.
The University of Minnesota, in its admissions process, reviews each applicant
individually, considering academic qualifications first and factors such as
leadership experiences, musical or athletic ability, and race secondarily.
“Our goal is to admit students who are able to succeed academically at
the University and who would enhance the intellectual, social, and cultural life
of our community,” says
While University officials say it appears the court’s decision supports
current admissions practices and procedures, a thorough legal analysis of the
decision will be conducted and U admissions policies and procedures will be
reviewed to ensure they continue to conform to the law.
To learn more about the U’s admissions policies, see http://admissions.tc.umn.edu.
For information about the U’s Board of Regents policy on diversity, equal
opportunity, and affirmative action, see www.umn.edu/regents/policies.html.
From the University of
Minnesota News Service
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Bridging lab science and
patient care with translational
Every day, University
of Minnesota researchers take
basic scientific discoveries--like
the breast cancer gene--investigate how to use them, and
pass on their findings
to help create new treatments or cures for diseases. This kind of work
new, but the name is--it’s called translational research. Thanks to
a private donor and the people of Minnesota, the new Translational Research
the U will advance this important work.
Without translational research, scientific discoveries would languish on
the lab bench and never make it to the bedside. University researcher Jeffery
for example, explores the immune system’s natural killer cells--NK cells
for short--which cruise the bloodstream, attaching to foreign objects and killing
them with exploding pods of poison. As a translational researcher, Miller investigated
how NK cells develop and how they distinguish between friend (a person’s
own healthy cells) and foe (germs and cancer cells). He’s now working to
apply that knowledge to a practical problem: improving NK cells’ ability
to fight leukemia. Miller’s work will then be used in clinical studies
by actually introducing them into the blood stream of cancer patients.
The U’s new facility, scheduled to open in 2005, was made possible
by $12.3 million from private sources and $24.7 million from the state. This
Legislature also approved funding for several other U building projects.
The Translational Research Facility will include medical research lab and
space for 33 clinician-scientists and about 200 research staff from the Medical
School and College of Pharmacy.
To read more examples of
translational research at the U, see www.mmf.umn.edu/1_AboutMMF/section1.cfm?id=1l.
For information about other U projects approved by the Legislature in
capital bonding bill, see www.umn.edu/govrel.
Edited from an original
story by Mary Hoff in Medical Bulletin, winter 2003.
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Driving and over-the-counter
In 2002, an estimated 500
people were arrested for drug-impaired driving in Minnesota.
Although most were found to be using illicit drugs, some
drugs. University of Minnesota professor Judith Garrard has been
working with the Minnesota State Patrol to better understand
how drug use may
In 2001, the state patrol asked Garrard to conduct research based
on more than 10 years of behavioral and toxicological records of
for driving under the influence (DUI). “The state patrol files were a potential
gold mine,” says Garrard. “We were able to get a grant from the U’s
Center for Urban and Regional Affairs to spend a year turning the administrative
information into a research database.”
Garrard will share her findings with state policy makers and transportation
safety professionals to help them improve vehicular safety and reduce
injury and death
on Minnesota roads. The state patrol will also use her research to
evaluate the Drug Recognition Expert program, which trains law enforcement
a 12-step procedure to determine if an individual is under the influence
Gerrard’s next project, to study the use of prescription drugs by elderly
impaired drivers, will be the first of its kind in the nation. “As a result
of our initial work with the state patrol, our research team became aware that
no one has examined the role that prescription drugs play in impaired driving
by elderly people,” says Garrard. “We are especially concerned about
the use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs--how they interact and how
they potentially impact a driver’s ability to react quickly.”
To learn more about Garrard’s work on drugs and driving, see www.hsr.umn.edu/People/regular/garrard/garrard.htm.
Edited from an original story by Kristin Stouffer in Division
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Staying sane while travelling
Before you shout out, “Don’t make me stop this car!” read
what Martha Farrell Erickson, University of Minnesota family social
has to say about making road trips easier for young children.
- Dress children in loose, comfortable clothing and have a pillow and blanket
for them to snuggle up with. Prepare a special bag of goodies for each child
includes their favorite snacks, beverages, small toys, books, and art supplies.
- Set clear and realistic expectations or “rules of the road.” For
example, let all family members know they must be strapped into their car seats
or have their seatbelts on at all times. And let children know when you’re
pleased with their behavior.
- Plan surprises along the way. This can include pulling out a new book,
game, or treat or making an unannounced stop at a roadside attraction.
- Mark the passing of time by breaking it into manageable chunks. Try an oven timer--set
it for 20 minutes and let children know that when the bell rings it’ll
be time for a special treat.
- Take frequent breaks with opportunities to burn off energy, such as a
10-minute stop at a playground or a quick game of catch at a rest stop.
- Do less. Better to have a good time in a few places than to be miserable
For more tips on parenting,
see the University of Minnesota
News Service “Growing
Concerns” column at www.unews.umn.edu.
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U medical foundation breaks
The Minnesota Medical Foundation
has raised more money in a seven-year period than in the entire
100-plus-year history of the U’s
Last week, the foundation announced that its medical and public
health fundraising effort surpassed its $500 million goal set
in 1995. This
drive to benefit
the U’s medical schools and School of Public Health is
part of Campaign Minnesota, the U-wide campaign to generate $1.3
billion in private support
for the University.
Campaign Minnesota began in July 1996 and ends on June 30, 2003.
“The generosity of more than 60,000 benefactors during some difficult economic
times says a great deal about the confidence people have in
what the Academic Health Center is all about,” says Frank Cerra, senior
vice president for health sciences. “They believe, with good reason, that
the U is where new therapies, preventions, and cures will be
developed to improve the lives
The effort has raised $22 million for medical student scholarships
and almost $7 million for graduate medical education. It has
endowed faculty positions, with an additional 16 chairs or
professorships pledged through
deferred gifts, and it has also raised money for many areas
of medical investigation at the U. These include cancer research
$50 million); research
in neuroscience and disorders affecting the brain, including
Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and muscular dystrophy ($31 million);
and research in children’s health ($29 million), diabetes (nearly $12 million),
and women’s health ($3.6 million).
To learn more about the Minnesota Medical Foundation or Campaign
Minnesota, which has raised more than $1.6 billion, see www.mmf.umn.edu.
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Lawn signs welcome gophers
Gophers, once unwanted
guests in anyone’s lawn, are now
being welcomed into the yards of homeowners thanks to a new
lawn sign campaign launched
by the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, athletics department.
More than 3,500 “Beware of Gophers (Dangerous During Football Season)” signs
have already been distributed to Gopher football fans since April. “Our
fans are looking forward to another successful season,” says Betsi Sherman,
athletics assistant director of marketing and sales. “We
wanted to gain momentum early in a unique way and get people
talking about Gopher football.”
To provide added support for
the campaign, the athletics
department and the University of Minnesota Alumni Association
cosponsoring the “Signs of Spirit” photo
contest to find the most creative use of the sign. First
prize includes a pair of tickets to the Minnesota vs. Iowa
in Cedar Rapids,
apparel. Second and third-prize winners will receive Homecoming
game tickets and apparel packages. To learn more about the
photo contest, see www.alumni.umn.edu/photocontest.
The free signs will be available through the 2003 football
season on the Twin Cities campus at the U’s Sports Marketing office
in Mariucci Arena and the UMAA office in the McNamara Alumni
Center. They can also be picked
major UMAA and athletics events.
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Women recognizing women
Susan Hagstrum, wife of
University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks, played a pivotal
role in founding the Women’s
Philanthropic Leadership Circle at the U. On Monday (June
23), the group gave its
first awards and introduced
The circle, a volunteer organization housed in the College
of Education and Human Development, supports women in educational
by creating new
money. The circle currently has 35 members and membership
is open to the public. Members have pledged to contribute
each year they
will decide as a group where the funds should go in the
college. To date, the group has raised $75,000.
The group gave $4,000 to the Tucker Center for Research
on Girls and Women in Sport to support the revision, publication,
worldwide distribution of its
1998 research report, “Physical Activity and Sport in the Lives of Girls
18 and Under”; $2,000 was awarded to the Mary McEvoy Fund
that supports early childhood research and outreach; and $1,000
was given to the Urban
Leadership Academy to fund up to five summer institute scholarships.
The circle also introduced three new scholarships, which
it will present this fall. The Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Award will be given to a U alumna
who has demonstrated outstanding leadership or made significant contributions
to charitable organizations; the Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Circle
Rising Star Award will go to a female junior faculty member in the College of
Education and Human Development (CEHD) whose work holds great promise for the
future; and the Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Graduate
Scholarship Award will be presented to a current CEHD female
graduate student who demonstrates
academic promise and leadership ability.
To learn more about the circle or to nominate someone for
an award, call 612-625-1310.
From the University of Minnesota News Service
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Every writer’s dream is to create stories that move people. But often,
writers--from beginners to professionals--struggle with the words, not quite
able to make their stories sparkle the way they envisioned. This is where the
University of Minnesota’s new Online Mentoring for Writers
From the convenience of their home and via a specialized
Web site, writers can get thoughtful reading and honest
insights from professional
based around the country. “I do believe that the
kind of serious, sustained attention a mentor gives to
a student’s work can make a huge difference,” says
Jim Moore, a nationally known poet who is one of 13 creative
writers on the mentoring faculty. “It is a great
pleasure, something of a luxury as a teacher, to be able
to focus one’s attention on one student and be
able to tailor one’s
responses to that student’s needs.”
The U’s online mentoring course was created by the U’s
College of Continuing Education and is offered through its Split
Rock Arts Program.
Interested writers must submit a work in progress and
goals for their writing as part of the no-obligation
exchange. A mentor
the work and provide feedback. If the writer decides
to continue with the mentor,
commit to a longer relationship. The cost of participating
course will vary with the amount of time a mentor spends
with a writer. Writers
their own mentor or have the Split Rock Arts program
staff match them with one.
[You] don’t need a lot of exotic experience or deep background [to enter
this mentoring relationship],” says nonfiction author Myrna Kostash, a
mentor in the course. “You do need intense curiosity, deep reading, and
the capacity to reflect on what you’ve just seen or heard
or read or felt.”
For more information about the U’s Split Rock Arts Program
Online Mentoring for Writers, see http://mentoring.cce.umn.edu or call 612-625-8100.
Edited from an original story by Elizabeth Turchin in c.c.e. times, summer 2003.
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U OF M HAPPENINGS
A group of professional
performers from Korea will share 5,000-year-old dance, instrumental,
and vocal traditions on Saturday, June 28, at 7 p.m. in Coffman
Memorial Union Theater on the Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis.
Tickets are $10 ($5 for Weisman Art Museum members, students, and
seniors). For tickets, call the museum at 612-625-9495 or the Korean
Association of Minnesota at 763-560-0404.
Time to talk tech
For a series of lessons
guaranteed to turn you into
a geek--the cool kind--tune in to the U’s “Tech Talk” every Sunday at 7 p.m. on Twin
Cities Public Television Channel 17. Program topics are connecting
to the Internet (July 6), virus protection (July 13), digital photography
(July 20), e-mail (July 27), browsing the Web (Aug. 3), computer
breakdown (Aug. 10), online services (Aug. 17), security and privacy
(Aug. 24), online learning (Aug. 31), digital music (Sept. 7),
cell phones (Sept. 14), and computer games (Sept. 21). For local
listings, see http://tpt.org.
“Culture Crash”: a day at the U
Meet a bald eagle, linger
over clothing from the
1800s or a Georgia O’Keeffe painting,
and meander through 1,000
acres of natural landscape. The U’s
first “Culture Crash” tour on Friday, July 11, and
Saturday, July 12, at
9 a.m. will take visitors to the U’s
Raptor Center, Goldstein
Museum of Design, Bell
Museum of Natural History, Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, and
the Minnesota Landscape
Arboretum. The one-day
guided tour costs $20,
which includes admission fees, transportation, and lunch. Space
is limited. To reserve a
spot or for more information,
call Nichole Neuman at
612-626-5302 or e-mail email@example.com.
Hang out with raptors
On Thursday evenings through
Aug. 14, The Raptor Center
will host Family Fun Nights
from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at
1920 Fitch Ave. in St. Paul. In addition to raptor feedings,
facility tours, and guitar
music by The Jersey Boys,
this free event will feature
presentations on wildlife photography (July
10), raptor rescue and
treatment (July 17), wildlife
sketching (July 24), falconry (July 31), raptor
conservation (Aug 7),
and eagle folklore in
Native American culture (Aug.
14). To participate, call
612-624-4745 or see www.raptor.cvm.umn.edu.
Speak and they will listen
The U’s College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental
Sciences will hold “Listening Sessions” this summer
to find out what the public
thinks of its new direction and goals. The sessions will be July
8 at Northwest Research and Outreach
Center, Crookston; July
9 at North Central Research and Outreach Center, Grand Rapids;
July 15 at West Central Research and Outreach
Center, Morris; July 16
at Southwest Research and Outreach Center, Lamberton; July 17
at Southern Research and Outreach Center, Waseca;
July 21 at the Minnesota
Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassen; July 24 on the Twin Cities campus
in St. Paul; and Aug. 5 at the Minnesota
Rural Summit in Mankato.
To register or learn more about the sessions, see www.Coafes.umn.edu/listen.
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