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Vol. XLI No. 2; January 19, 2011
Editor: Adam Overland,

Welcome! Brief welcomes returning faculty, staff, and students to the 2011 spring semester!

Inside This Issue
--Features: Elizabeth Amin, MSI Fellow; Above and beyond the genes; Why heart attacks hurt; U of M Moment.
--People: Dean Meredith McQuaid has been elected president of NAFSA; and more.

University News and Events
Top News | University-wide | Crookston | Duluth | Morris | Rochester | Twin Cities


FEATURE: Deep in a basement under a Twin Cities campus library, Elmo, Itasca, and Blade are at work. They’re running high-level quantum calculations in the war against anthrax and other biological and chemical weapons, led by Elizabeth Amin. Amin is an assistant professor of medicinal chemistry, and her three assistants are supercomputers. They all work together in the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute for Advanced Computational Research (MSI), uncovering clues in the search to find antidotes for biological weapons. For more information, read "Elizabeth Amin, MSI Fellow."

FEATURE: University researchers are chasing down the mechanisms that switch genes on or off, affecting traits that range from the color of corn leaves to the risk of serious human disease. For more information, read "Above and beyond the genes."

FEATURE: It happens to heart attack sufferers and highly fit marathoners alike. When a muscle isn't getting enough oxygen, it hurts. Yet while the pain is caused by lactic acid leaking from oxygen-stressed muscle, the amounts of acid are too low for pain nerves in muscle to detect. That paradox led U neuroscientist Robert Elde and his colleagues to investigate how oxygen-starved muscles get their SOS through to the nervous system. For more information, read "Why heart attacks hurt."

U OF M MOMENT: Advances in video game technologies always bring big sales, but biomedical engineering professor Bin He's newest project goes beyond even Nintendo’s latest offering—to 3-D mind control. Professor He also hopes that someday his work on brain-computer interfaces will give people who can only communicate with their minds some control over their environment. For more information, listen to the U of M Moment.

Awards and appointments

PEOPLE: Dean Meredith McQuaid has been elected president of NAFSA: Association of International Educators; Laura Babcock has been named the director of the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program; three College of Science and Engineering professors have been named fellows to the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Chronology of the Evolution-Creationism Controversy, a book by Randy Moore, Mark Decker, and Sehoya Cotner, has been selected as one of 13 winners of the Outstanding Reference Source Award; The Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion was chosen as winner of the Dartmouth Medal for outstanding reference; U in the News features U faculty cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Administrative information

CAPA 2011 OUTSTANDING UNIT AWARD: The Council of Academic Professionals and Administrators (CAPA) is accepting applications for its annual Outstanding Unit Award, which recognizes units of the University that are judged to be exemplary in their support of P&A staff and the critical role P&A employees fulfill in supporting the U's mission. The application deadline is March 4. For more information, see CAPA award.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

REGISTER TODAY FOR THE 2011 QUALITY FAIR & FORUM. This year's theme is "Working Together, Learning from Each Other," with a keynote address "Hang Together or Hang Separately" by UMR chancellor Stephen Lehmkuhle. Lehmkuhle will describe the forces that are changing higher education, the power of networks, the impact of collaborative leadership, and the critical development of a shared vision with all the U's partners. The fair will also include more than 40 poster displays featuring the year’s most notable quality improvement initiatives, opportunities to network and learn from U colleagues, a snack buffet, and door prizes. Feb. 3, 8:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Carlson School of Management. For more information, see Quality Fair 2011, or register online.

IonE OUTBURST! Representatives from more than a dozen IonE-sponsored projects will each provide a five-minute overview of the big question they’re addressing with their project, how they’re doing it, and what it means for the rest of us. Topics will include measuring ecosystem health in great lakes, fostering innovation in social media, measuring sustainable development in Tanzania, leading travel adventures to global climate hot spots, and more. A live online broadcast will be available via UMConnect. Jan. 20, 3–5 p.m. For more information, see Outburst!

REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR THE SPLIT ROCK ARTS PROGRAM'S FEBRUARY RETREATS: Winter Landscape Photography, with Craig Blacklock; and Reinventing Your Future, with Gerald Allan. Both take place Feb. 10–13, Cloquet Forestry Center. Faculty and staff can use the Regents Scholarship if taking the program for credit. For more information, see Split Rock Arts or call 612-625-1976.

Funding opportunities

INSTITUTE ON THE ENVIRONMENT (IonE) MINI GRANTS have been created to provide support for interdisciplinary teams that seek to organize and develop new activities around environmental research, education, or engagement. Grant amounts range from $1,000 to $5,000. Proposals are due Feb. 1. The grants are meant to encourage collaboration across disciplines, units, or campuses at the U. For more information, see IonE Mini Grants.


THE 2011 LEGISLATIVE BRIEFING will be broadcast live Jan. 19, 116 Kiehle Building. Light hors d'oeuvres and refreshments will be served at 5:30 p.m. For more information, see Legislative Briefing.

THIS YEAR'S CINCO DE MAYO CELEBRATION will be supported by a $10,000 grant from the Northwest Minnesota Regional Arts Council. The event is slated for April 15. For more information, see grant.

AN EMERGENCY SIREN AND VOICE ALERT SYSTEM has been installed on campus in the parking lot just east of the Sports Center. In the case of an emergency, the system will sound and provide information. The project was funded by the U's Department of Emergency Management and was installed by UMC Facilities and Operations staff.

KRIS BRUCKERHOFF has been hired as a lecturer in the Business Department, where he will teach classes in management and marketing. He completed his undergraduate work in economics and sociology at Ohio Wesleyan University, and he earned his M.B.A. from St. Cloud State.

ANDREA REED has been hired as lab services coordinator for the equine science program in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department. The UMC alumna holds a bachelor of science in equine science.


UMD TWEED MUSEUM OF ART PRESENTS "Landscapes of the Russian North" by Vladimir Labonov, a Russian artist from Petrozavodsk, one of Duluth's Sister Cities. The collection of watercolors portrays Labonov's travels around Karelia, Murmansk, and the countryside surrounding Petrozavodsk. The exhibit continues through Feb. 6. For more information, see exhibit.

UMD PLANETARIUM INTRODUCES "Astronomy Lessons from Star Wars!" This show will reveal insights about the Star Wars universe and how it is similar to our own. Jan. 19 and 21, 7 p.m., Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium. Free and open to the public. For more information, see Star Wars.

MATHEMATICS PROFESSOR JOSEPH GALLIAN and three of his summer research students received high awards at the annual joint meetings of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) in New Orleans on Jan. 7. Gallian won the Gung and Hu Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics, MAA’s most prestigious award for service. He was cited for his work with summer research students in his REU Program (Research Experience for Undergraduates) at UMD, and also for his work with Ph.D.s new to the academic profession, and for communicating mathematics to the widest possible audience. For more information, see Gallian award.


ARCHITECTURE MINNESOTA FEATURED THE WELCOME CENTER in its January/February issue. For more information, see Welcome Center

"PRAIRIE YARD AND GARDEN" (PY&G) begins a new season on public television Jan. 20. Created and produced by Roger Boleman, Instructional and Media Technologies director, the series’ success and longevity (nearly 25 years on the air) represents a cooperative alliance between Morris and Pioneer Public Television. PY&G has been the number-one-rated program of national or local origin on Pioneer for the last few years. For more information, see public television.

"UNBRIDLED VISION AND NEW PAINTINGS opens in the Humanities Fine Arts Gallery on Jan. 20. The exhibit features the work of alumni Ken and Kathleen Kollodge. Ken's non-enhanced photographs focus on themes of nature, wildlife, abstract color, and political satire. Kathleen's paintings record travels in colorful images. For more information, see exhibit.

"PROMISE OF THE PRAIRIE: EDUCATION IN THREE ACTS," a documentary created by Media Services, will be aired on Pioneer Public Television Jan. 23, 6 p.m. For more information, see documentary.


A PLAN TO REDEVELOP DOWNTOWN ROCHESTER WAS APPROVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL. Developed by a partnership that includes UMR, the Mayo Clinic, and the Rochester Downtown Alliance, the Downtown Master Plan is a 150-page blueprint for growth in the city's core. Among other things, it calls for increasing reliance on mass transit and de-emphasizing automobile commuting; for developing a university campus south of downtown and an arts and entertainment district along the Zumbro riverfront; and for adding as many as 4,000 new residences, 500,000 square feet of retail, offices, and classrooms, and 1,000 hotel rooms over the next 20 years. For more information, see the Rochester Post-Bulletin.


Administrative information

COURSE RESERVES FOR Spring 2011: University Libraries can assist instructors in providing course materials, articles, textbooks, videos, and other information resources to students online and/or in the libraries. All materials are accessible from Moodle, via the Library Course Pages on the Libraries home page, and through the "My Courses" tab in myU. In addition to course reserves, the Library Course Pages bring together academic research tools tailored to your course. For more information about placing materials on either print or electronic course reserves, see reserves, email libraries, or call 612-624-3321. For additional information, see instructor support.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE HENNEPIN-UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIP, a program of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), will host a symposium aimed at strengthening and enhancing the collaborative work between Hennepin County and the U by learning from current projects and discussing new ideas for future work. The event will include breakout sessions, a panel discussion, and opportunities to network. Keynote speaker is Jennifer Godinez, associate director for the Minnesota Minority Education Partnership. Feb. 4, 8 a.m.–1 p.m., Humphrey Institute. Registration requested by Jan. 21. For more information, see Hennepin-U, email Amy, or call 612-625-9885.

CURA HOUSING FORUM: The Effects of Holistic, Values-Based Financial Literacy Programming on Housing Stability: A Case Study from North Minneapolis. Jan. 21, noon–1:30 p.m., West Bank. In the spring of 2010, CURA granted Build Wealth Minnesota a part-time research assistant to conduct a mixed-methods program evaluation of the Build Wealth Minnesota "Family Stabilization Plan." Hear about the findings and discuss the implications of this work with the researchers and executive director of the program. Free and open to the public. For more information, see CURA forum. Register online or at 612-625-9040 by Jan. 20.

THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. CONCERT will feature The Steeles, 4Given, T. Mychael Rambo, and faculty member John Wright with The Langston Hughes Project: Jazz Moods for Dreamers. Jan. 23, 4–6 p.m., Ted Mann Concert Hall. Sponsored by the Office for Equity and Diversity and the School of Music. For more information, see MLK concert.

THE 2011 GAYLORD ANDERSON LECTURE "Is There the Courage to Change the American Diet?" will be delivered by Kelly Brownell, co-founder and director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. Feb. 11, 10 a.m., Coffman Union Theater. A light breakfast buffet will precede the lecture. Free and open to the public. Registration is strongly encouraged. For more information, see Gaylord Anderson.

THE THIRD ANNUAL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FAIR will include breakout sessions and an information expo featuring training and development organizations from across the U. UMD Chancellor Lendley Black will deliver the keynote address. Space is limited. March 8, Coffman Union. For more information, see development fair or register online.

UNIVERSITY DINING SERVICES ADDED FOUR NEW EATERIES TO CAMPUS over winter break: Topio’s Pizza in Coffman Union’s Minnesota Marketplace; Papa John’s in Blegen Hall; Subway, inside Essentials Market in Blegen Hall; and Cone 10 Café in the Regis Center for Arts. For hours and more information, see UDS eateries.

MORE EVENTS include Walter Mondale, LearningLife Forum (Jan. 20); Carl Elliott "The Clinical Trial as Pharmaceutical Marketing Tool" (Jan. 21) Airborne: Graphic Design Senior Show (Jan. 22); Twin Cities GLBT Oral History Project (Jan. 24). SEE THESE AND MORE TWIN CITIES CAMPUS EVENTS.

UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS: Golden Gophers | UMD Bulldogs | UMM Cougars | UMC Golden Eagles

For additional news, information, and resources about U faculty and staff, visit the Faculty and Staff website. Follow us on Twitter at UFacultyStaff.

Brief is the official University of Minnesota staff and faculty weekly news digest, featuring human resource, employee benefit, administrative, legislative, budgetary, event, and other pertinent information.

Published by Internal Communications in the Office of University Relations at the University of Minnesota. Please send comments, questions, or submissions to the editor at The deadline for submissions is noon on the Friday before publication. All Twin Cities event submissions are handled through the events calendar at

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