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Vol. XXXIX No. 42; December 23, 2009
Editor: Adam Overland,

Brief publication calendar: Brief will not be published Dec. 30 and Jan. 6. Publication will resume Jan. 13. All submissions for the Jan. 13 issue are due no later than noon, Jan. 8.

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

Inside This Issue
--Features: A new form of matter?; Smarter snowplows; Vitamin D and weight loss.
--People: Pam Cosby has been named executive director of the newly established Minnesota Urban Area Health Education Center; and more.

Campus Announcements and Events
University-wide | Crookston | Duluth | Morris | Rochester | Twin Cities

FEATURE: An invisible, mysterious "dark matter" accounts for the bulk of the mass of the Universe. But what is it? After eluding researchers for decades, it may finally have signaled its presence in northern Minnesota. For more information, read "A new form of matter?"

FEATURE: New research at the U may shed light on the inner workings of shedding pounds. In a clinical study led by researcher Shalamar Sibley, higher levels of vitamin D were found to predict fat loss, especially in the abdominal area. For more information, read "Vitamin D and weight loss."

FEATURE: U researchers are developing technology that may make life easier for snowplow drivers. An enhanced friction-measurement system helps to determine exactly where slippery patches are on roads so that salt and sand can be targeted to those areas. For more information, read "Smarter snowplows."

PEOPLE: Marc Hillmyer, David Norris, and Carol Windels have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Pam Cosby has been named executive director of the newly established Minnesota Urban Area Health Education Center; Connie Delaney has been appointed as adviser to the Bonnie Wesorick Center for Healthcare Transformation; Department of English professor Ellen Messer-Davidow has received a Dr. Matthew Stark Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Award; U in the News features U faculty cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



MULTIMEDIA: Sherlock Holmes, one of the best known fictional characters ever created, did most of his detective work in his home country of England. But the world's largest collection of Holmes documents and artifacts resides at the University of Minnesota Libraries. With more than 60,000 items, it's a unique resource for the public, says Tim Johnson, curator of the collection. For more information, see "U of M is home to Holmes."

THE MINNESOTA LANDSCAPE ARBORETUM will celebrate winter and outdoor recreation Dec. 31, during "Ar-BRRR-etum Day." With its 8.5 miles of cross-country ski trails and 3.3 miles of snowshoe trails, the arboretum is a great place to burn off holiday calories and bid 2009 goodbye. Ar-BRRR-etum Day visitors receive complimentary hot chocolate from noon to 2 p.m., plus discounts in the gift store. For more information, see Ar-BRRR-etum.


SENIOR VICE CHANCELLOR FOR ACADEMIC AND STUDENT AFFAIRS, Thomas Baldwin, returned from an international conference in Taiwan where he presented a paper entitled "Relevance for Life 'Our Curriculum.'" Part of the goal of the trip was to develop collaborative opportunities and discuss possible exchange programs for students and faculty. A "2+2" agreement--where students complete two years at their university before attending UMC for two years was renewed with Nan Kai University of Technology, and new 2+2 agreements were signed with National Taipei College of Business and China University of Science and Technology.

A UMC COOKBOOK featuring recipes from faculty and staff recently went to print. The price is $15 per copy, with proceeds going to support student scholarships. To order a cookbook, contact Patti Tiedemann, 218-281-8402 or Linda Wilkens, 218-281-8403.


UMD STUDENT SEMESTER BREAK takes place from Dec. 22 to Jan. 18. Spring semester classes begin Jan. 19. "ARTS FOR HIRE: PRINTS FROM THE MINNESOTA WPA," featuring lithographs by Minnesota artists employed by the Works Progress Administration, 1933-43, will be shown through Jan. 3, Tweed Museum. For more information, call 218-726-8222 or see Tweed Museum.

UMD ASTRONOMY CLUB will hold a meeting Dec. 23, 7 p.m., Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium. The focus will be astronomical events surrounding Pluto, the dwarf planet. In addition, a "Future of Space Exploration" program discussing coming changes in astronomy will be held on Dec. 30, 7 p.m., Alworth Planetarium. Private shows are available by appointment for groups of 10 or more. For more information, call 218-726-7192 or see astronomy.


ALUMNUS SAL MONTEAGUDO, '99, was introduced as the fourth annual winner of the Morris Human Rights Award. The award is sponsored by the Morris Human Rights Commission and is presented to residents who further human rights in Morris. For more information, see human rights.

SHANNON LAMBERT, '01, WAS NAMED ONE OF THE 2009 L’Oréal Women of Worth. Lambert is the founder of Pandora's Project, a community where women who have survived rape can connect and support one another. For more information, see women of worth.

THE COUGAR WOMEN'S SOCCER TEAM has earned the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's "College Team Academic Award." The award was based on the year from fall 2008 through spring 2009, during which the women's soccer team posted a 3.21 grade point average. It's the 11th time the Cougar women's soccer team has earned the award.


REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR THE UPCOMING BICB RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM. The Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology Program will bring together teams of scientists, administrators, and students from UMTC, UMR, the Hormel Institute, the Mayo Clinic, and IBM, as well as other researchers working in the field of biomedical informatics and computational biology. The goal of this event is to facilitate further collaborations in the area of biomedical informatics and computational biology. Jan. 15, UMR. For more information, see BICB symposium.

Twin Cities:

"IT ALL ADDS UP" ENERGY CONSERVATION CAMPAIGN HAS COLLECTED 10,000 PLEDGES. In 2008, the U set the goal of reducing annual campus energy usage five percent by the end of 2010, which would save an estimated $2.25 million each year and reduce CO2 emissions by 25,000 tons. To date, Energy Management has implemented more than $1.9 million in energy savings measures and identified another $4.3 million in savings that they expect to implement next year. These changes should reduce CO2 emissions by more than twice the 25,000-ton goal for 2010, saving the U approximately $6 million annually. For more information, see the news release.

STAFF PROFILE: MEET PETE. Three years ago, the campus Meat Lab was tucked deep in a little-used basement hallway, with only a few customers and even fewer products. Retirements plus a lack of resources and enthusiasm had left the once-busy lab a mostly forgotten corner of CFANS’ animal and food research. Then Pete Nelson arrived. For more information, read "Meet Pete."

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH 12 COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS, THE U HAS RECEIVED A $2.9 MILLION GRANT to help close the digital divide in the Twin Cities. The federal stimulus funds will be used to develop and improve 11 computer labs throughout underserved neighborhoods. Vice President Joe Biden announced that the proposal from the U and its community partners was selected from among 2,200 received by the Department of Commerce. The grant was the only one given to a University and the largest in its category. The project will be implemented by the Office for Business and Community Economic Development and the Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center. Extension will also be involved. It's estimated that the project will create 36 new jobs and save 12 existing jobs. For more information, see the news release.

TEACHING WORKSHOPS AND SEMINARS, SPRING 2010, will be offered by the Center for Teaching and Learning. Designed for U faculty and instructional staff, the semester-long seminars and hour-long workshops energize teaching and support course design innovations. The Just in Time Teaching series begins Jan. 12 with the workshop "Almost There! Taking Your Class from Ready to Remarkable." New seminars for Spring 2010 include: "Legacy Lectures: Creating Your Digital Teaching Story," and "Making a Difference: Designing Courses to Improve Student Learning and Teacher Satisfaction." For more information and a complete listing of seminars and workshops, see Center for Teaching and Learning.

THE PHYSICS CIRCUS annual show by the Physics Force is a unique mix of large-scale physics demonstrations and slapstick humor. Demonstrations include dropping one of the team members from a 20-foot gantry while shooting a ball at him to demonstrate the effect of gravity, a human rocket to show the mechanics of collisions, collapsing a 55-gallon drum to show the force of air pressure, and much more. Jan. 7, 7-8:30 p.m., and Jan. 10, 2–3:30 p.m., Northrop Auditorium. Free and open to the public. For more information, see Physics Force.

A DEMONSTRATION BY STEVE HAYMAN, APPLE CONSULTING ENGINEER, will take place Jan. 13, 1-3:30 p.m., theater, Coffman Memorial Union. The presentation will feature Apple's software development tools for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and demonstrate how individuals and institutions are building innovative mobile applications. Registration is required. Sponsored by the Office of Information Technology. For more information, see Apple.

REC SPORTS' WINTER BREAK GROUP FITNESS CLASSES WILL BE FREE FOR MEMBERS Jan. 4-17, Minneapolis; and Jan. 11-17, Saint Paul. Day passes are available for purchase for non-members. For a full schedule of class and instructor schedules, see the Minneapolis Class and Instructor Schedule PDF or the St. Paul Class and Instructor Schedule PDF. For more information about group fitness classes, call 612-626-9241, e-mail group fitness, or see recreational sports.

MORE EVENTS include Men's Basketball vs. South Dakota State (Dec. 23); American Genocide and Justice, a program airing on TPT (Dec. 26); Drawn to Nature: Art Sale and Exhibition (through Jan. 3); From Hybrid Corn to Honeycrisps (Jan. 3); Headliners: A Way Forward in Afghanistan (Jan. 7). SEE THESE AND MORE TWIN CITIES CAMPUS EVENTS.

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

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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