myU OneStop

What's Inside

Related Links

Home > Brief > Brief (5-5-2010)  Print

Vol. XL No. 17; May 5, 2010
Editor: Adam Overland,

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

Inside This Issue
--Features: With every language, a world; Employees step up; A new face in the academy.
--Reminder: Take the Pulse Survey by May 14.
--Brief monthly top three.
--People: The Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment awarded over $1.3 million in early career and seed grants; and more.

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

FEATURE: WORLD LANGUAGES DAY. Scandinavian Vikings and rap music might seem unrelated to the untrained ear and eye, but on World Languages Day, at least one U instructor will draw a connection, albeit it an anachronistic one. The outreach effort, now in its seventh year, will introduce mostly metro-area high school students to the many language opportunities at the U. More than 40 instructors, most of them P&A staff, will participate in the May 18 event. For more information, read "With every language, a world."

FEATURE: Nearly 500 faculty and staff on five campuses took to the stairs in March in the first-ever StairWELL Challenge. Spearheaded by wellness advocates and sponsored by the Wellness Program, the campaign delivered impressive results, including a top stair climber who took nearly 3,000 flights of stairs, and more than a quarter of a million flights climbed among all participants. For more information, read "Employees step up."

FEATURE: An economist by training, Stephen Polasky helps people grasp the value of a healthy environment to both their well-being and the bottom line. His work just earned him a place in the National Academy of Sciences. For more information, read "A new face in the academy."

THE 2010 PULSE SURVEY measures faculty and staff satisfaction with the U. You have until May 14 to complete the survey. The survey takes 20 minutes. Your unique perspective and individual understanding of your college or unit could lead to positive change. Complete the survey using the unique link provided to you within your email invitation. If you did not receive an email invitation, email Institutional Research and Reporting.

BRIEF MONTHLY TOP THREE. In case you missed them, the top three features appearing in Brief during the month of March, as measured by readership numbers, were "Prescription for pain?," "Still Driven to Discover," and "Spring into action."

PEOPLE: The Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment awarded more than $1.3 million in early career and seed grants; professor Frank Bates, head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, was named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Martha Thurlow, director of the U's National Center on Educational Outcomes in the Institute on Community Integration, delivered testimony before the United States Senate on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization; U in the News features U faculty cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



GRADUATE EDUCATION WORK GROUPS released recommendations regarding restructuring graduate education at the University. Provost Sullivan received their final report April 30, following a 30-day public comment period and feedback sessions held in February and March. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to review the recommendations. The provost will study the report and issue his response in the coming weeks. For more information, see recommendations.

THE SECOND EPISODE OF DRIVEN TO DISCOVER: THE RESEARCH SERIES will debut May 4. The episode, "Smart Solutions," will feature researcher Massoud Amin and the Smart Grid. Also covered: the Internet before the World Wide Web; discussion of the Patriot Act; examining the art of visualizing concepts. For more information, watch the series online.

U OF M MOMENT: Facebook, the popular social networking website with more than 400 million active users worldwide, has come under fire for recent changes to its privacy rules, which now have some users revealing more information than they would like. Professor Bill McGeveran studies privacy law and says Facebook could be more user-friendly in this regard. For more information, listen to "Facebook and online privacy law."

CHANGES TO THE UNIVERSITY WEBSITE SEARCH FEATURE. University Relations recently updated the search feature on the Twin Cities home page and other pages to use a new, combined web and people search; there are no longer separate radio buttons for "Web" and "People." Search results from a name or Internet ID search will be shown alongside web search results. If no results are found, an advanced people search option is included on the search results page. For information about more advanced people and web search options or if you have additional questions, email UR Web.

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA TRANSCRIPTS ARE NOW MAROON. All campuses recently began printing official transcripts and certification letters on new, maroon paper, retiring the blue paper that was previously used. The new color is consistent with the U's color palette, and improves contrast and readability. For more information, email Frank Blalark.


UMC INDUCTED 44 STUDENTS into the National Society of Leadership and Success at a gathering held in Bede Ballroom April 27. Keynote speaker Kenneth Johnson, instructor in the Business Department, spoke to the students about vision, leadership, and lifelong goals. For more information, see students inducted

THE UMC ICE HOCKEY CLUB PRESENTED $1,600 to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation for breast cancer. Representative Colin Guidinger was on campus to accept the donation on April 30. The money was raised by auctioning off pink jerseys hockey players wore during the "Pink the Rink" event held earlier in the semester.

UMC WAS REPRESENTED AT THE 2010 NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH (NCUR) by Heather Donati-Lewis, who presented her research "Common Spices and Uncommon Properties." Donati-Lewis is a senior majoring in equine science. Her research was led by faculty mentors Brian Dingmann and Venu Mukku, who accompanied her to the conference. For more information, see undergrad research.

THE ANNUAL STUDENT AWARDS PROGRAM AND RECEPTION recognized students for outstanding achievement and service as nominated by faculty and staff. Emcee for the evening was Pam Elf, associate professor in the Math, Science, and Technology Department. For more information, see reception.


UMD HAS ANNOUNCED THE RETIREMENT OF FIVE FACULTY MEMBERS: Jon Berry, associate professor, Dept. of Theatre; Eugene Grossman, associate professor, psychology; Patricia Merrier, professor, finance and management information sciences; Kristelle Miller, professor, psychology; and John Red Horse, professor, American Indian studies will retire at the end of the 2009-10 academic year. For more information about each of the retiring faculty, see UMD retirement.

UMD HAS ANNOUNCED 2009-10 FACULTY AWARD RECIPIENTS: Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award: Joseph Gallian, professor, mathematics and statistics; the Jean G. Blehart Distinguished Teaching Award: Bruce Peckham, professor, mathematics and statistics; Albert Tezla Teacher/Scholar Award: Allison Aune, associate professor, art and design. Additionally, five recipients of the UMD Outstanding Faculty Advisor Awards include Marian Colman, instructor, art and design; Jennifer Jones, associate professor, sociology/anthropology; Carol Kivi, instructor, psychology; Bruce Peckham, professor, mathematics and statistics; Rajiv Vaidyanathan, professor, marketing. Kang James, professor, mathematics and statistics, received the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education at the U-wide Distinguished Teaching Awards ceremony on April 26. For more information, see awards ceremony.


MICHELLE PAGE RECEIVED THE 2010 UMM ALUMNI ASSOCIATION TEACHING AWARD. Page is an associate professor of education. The honor recognizes UMM faculty for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. For more information, see teaching award.

REGISTRATION FOR THE 2010 SYMPOSIUM ON SMALL TOWNS IS OPEN. "Finding Solutions and Redefining Communities" will focus on leadership, capacity building, and practical improvements. Highlights include a gubernatorial candidate policy forum and speaker Colleen Landkamer, Minnesota state director for USDA rural development. June 10, with a Rural-Urban Gathering the evening before. For more information, see symposium.


REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR THE SUMMER 2010 Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology (BICB) Program Research Symposium. For more information, see symposium

REBECCA BAMFORD, assistant professor in the Center for Learning Innovation at UMR, has been awarded an Imagine Fund Annual Award for a project entitled "The heart of the matter: Nietzsche on pity and compassion." For more information, see Imagine Fund Awards.

Twin Cities:

PREVIEW/REVIEW: UNIVERSITY EVENTS AND LECTURES features a review of the Spring Raptor Release (with photographs!), and previews of events like The Big Build at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Red-Headed Woodpecker Day at Cedar Creek, the Horticultural Club's annual spring plant sale, the 8th Annual Beer Tasting event at the Campus Club, plus much more. Faculty and staff are invited to contribute to the column. For more information, see Preview/Review.

FOURTH ANNUAL UNSUNG HEROES: Everyone appreciates being recognized for the work they do. Unfortunately for many Facilities Management (FM) workers, their customers have gone home before their workday has started. On April 20, the Sigma Pi fraternity hosted the 4th Annual "Unsung Heroes" Dinner for FM's second-shift workers. This year's event featured additional hospitality help from Gamma Phi Beta sorority. Sigma Pi estimated that they served about 300 FM staffers at this year's event. For more information, read "Unsung heroes."

SOLAR CAR SNEAK PREVIEW: The U's Solar Vehicle Project team will provide a sneak preview of its newest solar-powered car at a special event. The new car will compete in this summer's cross-country race. May 7, 2:30-4 p.m., in the courtyard east of Lind Hall. In the event of rain, the car will be available for viewing under the overhang of the Electrical Engineering/Computer Science Building. For more information, see the news release.

HEALTHY FOODS, HEALTHY LIVES INSTITUTE WILL HOLD ITS YEAR-END MIXER for students and faculty. The event will introduce each of the colleges and programs involved with the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute to interested students. It is an opportunity for students to connect with faculty and learn what participating colleges have to offer for interdisciplinary learning and research surrounding healthy foods and healthy lives. May 12, 4-6 p.m., Campus Club. Free. RSVP to Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives.

THE DISTINGUISHED VISITING SCHOLAR SERIES ON HEALTH DISPARITIES continues with Barbara Israel, professor of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School of Public Health, and Angela Reyes, executive director of the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation. Israel and Reyes will present, "A Partnership Approach to Examining and Addressing Health Disparities," May 11, noon-1 p.m. 2-530 Moos Tower. The talk will also be available online in real time at Academic Health Center, in the Program in Health Disparities Research folder. Lunch will be available at 11:45 a.m. Sandwiches and beverages will be provided for the first 75 attendees. For more information, email visiting scholar series.

A FORUM FOR AUTHORS AND CREATORS OF ACADEMIC WORKS will feature Jason Baird Jackson, associate professor of folklore, Indiana University. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion and question-and-answer session with Stephen Ekker, professor, genetics, cell biology, and development; Neil Olszewski, professor, plant biology; and Gabriel Weisberg, professor, art history. The forum will address questions ranging from who controls publishing in a discipline to open-access environments and restrictive publishing agreements. May 12, 1:30-3:30 p.m., 402 Walter Library. Free. For more information, see forum for academic works.

THE CENTER FOR WRITING WILL HOLD TWO END-OF-SEMESTER EVENTS: Better Next Time: A Workshop to Revise Our Course Designs, May 12, noon-1:30 p.m., 2-260 EE/CSci; Grading Retreat, May 13, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 15 Nicholson Hall. For more information, see the Center for Writing.

UNIVERSITY CATERING WAS AWARDED SILVER in the 2010 Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards, presented annually by the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS). This is the first time in more than 20 years the U has won the award. NACUFS is the national industry association for college and university dining operations.

DOCTORAL STUDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPLY FOR THE 2010 JURAN FELLOWSHIP AWARD through the Carlson School of Management. The $10,000 fellowship will be awarded to a doctoral student whose thesis research contributes to the study of process excellence and quality in their field. Research should meet the highest standards of scholarship and focus on important problems that impact society. For more information, see Juran Fellowship.

MORE EVENTS include Meet author and U of M grad R.S. Praefke (May 6); Geography Coffee Hour: "Lessons from the 2008 Global Food Crisis" (May 7); Solo: 1x2: Documentary Film by Robert C. Hammel (May 8); The Marriage-Go-Round: Partnership Turnover Consequences for Parents and Children (May 10); Tracking the U.S. Economic Recovery (May 10). 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

Brief is published by e-mail and on the Web at

Notice: 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. You may choose to unsubscribe from Brief, but please be aware that if you do, you will not receive this up-to-date information, compiled and delivered directly to you, in any other University communications. To unsubscribe, visit