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Vol. XL No. 25; August 25, 2010
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--Features: Regents Professor profile: William Iacono; A trick of nature.
--People: Jeffrey McCullough received a letter of commendation from the Ministry of Public Health in Afghanistan for his work there; and more.

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

BRIEF IS NOW PRINT FRIENDLY. A survey of faculty and staff indicated a desire of some readers to view Brief on paper, and that option is now available by using the print icon in the upper right-hand corner of the publication, or simply by using your computer's print function. Brief will print with a consistent, easy-to-read layout.

FEATURE: REGENTS PROFILE: New Regents Professor William Iacono is considered a pioneer in the neurobiological approach to the study of mental disorders. Much of Iacono’s renown comes from his work with the Minnesota Twin Family Study, a benchmark investigation of about 1,900 sibling pairs and their parents begun in 1987. He is the first to admit that his research doesn’t yield daily "Aha!" discoveries. But that’s to be expected when you examine research subjects over the course of decades as opposed to days. For more information, read "An epic investigator."

FEATURE: How does a hibernating 13-lined ground squirrel survive physiological conditions that could kill a human with heavy blood loss? Three U scientists have developed a drug that could save thousands of lives in trauma centers and on battlefields worldwide—thanks to the squirrel we know as the "golden gopher." Medical School–Duluth campus scientists Lester Drewes and Matthew Andrews, working with their Twin Cities colleague Gregory Beilman, discovered that a drug made with two compounds that help hibernating gophers survive the winter may also help humans recover after major blood loss. For more information, read "A trick of nature."

STEM CELL RESEARCH TREATS RARE SKIN DISEASE: U Medical School researchers have published promising results showing the healing power of stem cells to repair skin. John Wagner and Jakub Tolar, in collaboration with a group of international scientists, have used stem cells from bone marrow to repair the skin of patients with a rare and devastating skin disease. This is the first time that researchers have shown that marrow stem cells can alter the natural course of the disease. For more information, see stem cells.

PEOPLE: Jeffrey McCullough received a letter of commendation from Ahmad Masoud Rahmani, national director of the Ministry of Public Health in Afghanistan; Kathleen Fagerlund received the Program Director of the Year award from the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists; U in the News features U faculty cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



THE INSTITUTE FOR MATHEMATICS (IMA) AND ITS APPLICATIONS HAS BEEN AWARDED A $20.5 MILLION National Science Foundation (NSF) renewal grant over the next five years. The renewal grant continues the IMA’s tradition as one of the nation’s top math institutes in terms of funding. For more information, see the news release.

U RESEARCHERS WILL LEAD A TEAM IN A NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (NSF) PROJECT advancing the study of global climate change. Researchers led by computer science professor Vipin Kumar have been awarded a $10 million grant from the NSF. The team includes faculty and researchers from the College of Science and Engineering; the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences; the College of Liberal Arts; the Institute on the Environment; and others. The U is one of only three lead institutions nationwide receiving the latest round of awards under the NSF's Expeditions in Computing program. For more information, see the news release.

A RECENTLY DEVELOPED UNIVERSITY-WIDE ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY PORTAL will serve as a one-stop launch pad for the environment and sustainability at the U. The portal was developed under leadership from the Institute on the Environment with input from sustainability faculty and staff from across the U. For more information, see the new site.

THE U'S GREAT DISCOVERIES WILL BE ON DISPLAY AT THE MINNESOTA STATE FAIR with exhibits and experts from all five campuses. The U's stage will feature performances, demonstrations, and appearances by U personalities. Maroon and Gold Day will be Aug. 29. U of M Bookstores offers discounts on admission. Aug. 26-Sept. 6, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., U building, Dan Patch Avenue. For more information, see State Fair.

U OF M MOMENT: How healthy are school lunches? New legislation under review in the U.S. House and Senate would create new, healthier standards for lunches in schools. Epidemiology professor Jamie Stang says parents need to be aware that certain foods currently available in schools may not be the healthiest options for their children. For more information, listen to the U of M Moment.

NATIONAL COLLEGE COLORS DAY IS SEPT. 3. U students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to celebrate by wearing maroon and gold. Post a photo of your best maroon and gold "look" on the U of M Bookstore's Facebook page; the winning "look" will receive a $50 Bookstore gift card.


THE GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER IS UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR PLACEMENT ON THE THREATENED SPECIES LIST by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Minnesota is home to 40 percent of the Golden-Winged Warbler population, yet very little is known about this small forest songbird. Research by associate professor John Loegering will help answer questions about the species. For more information, see Golden Warbler.

A MONARCH TAGGING OPEN HOUSE hosted by UMC's Agriculture and Natural Resources Department and the Northwest Research and Outreach Center (NWROC) will take place Aug. 28, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Red River Valley Natural History Area. Open to the public. For more information, see Monarch tagging.

UMC HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED FOR THE 13TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR as one of the top four public regional colleges in the Midwest in its category (Best Regional Colleges) for the 2011 edition of Best Colleges by U.S. News Media Group. The rankings include more than 1,400 schools nationwide, and will be published in the September issue of U.S.News & World Report. For more information, see the news release.


UMD SCIENTIST TOM LEVAR HAS DEVELOPED A WAY TO PROTECT PLANTS from browsing deer and mice by delivering a natural hot pepper concentrate through the young plant's roots, making them inedible. Adapting a chemical used to deliver medicines through the skin, Levar developed the plant formulation to move different types of protection chemicals through easily accessible plant pores. For more information, see the news release.

UMD WILL HOST BULLDOG WELCOME WEEK Sept 3-6. Freshman move-in day is set for Sept. 2, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., headquartered at Griggs Hall and Lake Superior Hall. Freshman students are required to attend Bulldog Welcome Week events, which include games, food, music, and helpful information about campus life, academics, and financial issues.

THE CHANCELLOR'S CONVOCATION will be held Sept. 3, 1 p.m., Romano Gym. Freshman students will be given a hearty "Welcome Line-up" from faculty and staff in the Ordean Court outside the Romano Gym at 12:30 p.m., just prior to the convocation. Classes begin Sept. 7.

THREE LARGE EDIBLE LANDSCAPE GARDENS PLANTED ON THE UMD CAMPUS are nearing harvest time. The gardens are meant to educate students and staff, as well as the community, about different food systems, healthy eating, and sustainability. The project has garnered much interest and volunteer help from faculty, staff, and students. For more information, see edible landscapes.

UMD MARKET DAY IN THE PLAZA CONTINUES EVERY WEDNESDAY THROUGH SEPT. 29, 1:30-4:30 p.m., Kirby Plaza. The market includes fresh, local produce, live music, free bike tune-ups, chair massages, book authors, and more. UMD Stores specials during the market include half-price fountain pop and hot beverages and 20 percent off one regularly priced item when using the black, UMD reusable bags. For more information, see market day.


A NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION GRANT HAS BEEN AWARDED TO PETER WYCKOFF to study Minnesota forests. Wyckoff, associate professor of biology, received the grant for "Life at the margins: impacts of climate change and herbivory on tree population dynamics at the prairie-forest ecotone." Professor of statistics Jon Anderson will collaborate. For more information, see Minnesota forests.

2010 DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD RECIPIENTS ANNOUNCED by the UMM Alumni Association Board of Directors include Dennis Anderson '73, M.A. '77, conservationist and Star Tribune outdoor columnist and editor; and Susan Jackson '74, internationally respected scholar and researcher and professor of human resource management at Rutgers University.

FOUNDERS WEEKEND WILL COMMEMORATE UMM'S 50TH BIRTHDAY AND THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY of the founding of the West Central School of Agriculture. The weekend includes tours, campus documentary screenings, a history panel, and music. Sept. 24-26. A program on Sunday will mark the exact day UMM's first students began in 1960. For more information, see Founders Weekend.


UMR WELCOME WEEK ACTIVITIES BEGIN SEPT. 1. Help welcome students to campus for the 2010-11 academic year and participate in planned activities. For more information, see UMR welcome.

Twin Cities:

THE NEW SCIENCE TEACHING AND STUDENT SERVICES (STSS) BUILDING WAS FORMALLY DEDICATED Aug. 24. The 115,000-square-foot building is home to new, state-of-the art active learning classrooms, numerous student services offices, including One Stop Student Services, veterans services, career services, and the financial aid office. For more information, see STSS dedication.

THE REUSE PROGRAM WILL BEGIN OPERATING COLLECTION ROUTES on the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses, at no charge to departments, beginning Sept. 1. Each week, they'll visit nearly 100 sites. Since its founding in 1993, the primary goal of the program has been to put unused or underused property back into use at the U. In 2009, the ReUse program collected and put back into use 230,000 pounds of office chairs, file cabinets, desks, whiteboards, flat-screen monitors, and more. For more information, read "The ReUse Warehouse is coming to you."

FACULTY AND STAFF ARE INVITED TO CELEBRATE U! AUG. 25. The event will feature live entertainment by The Sunny Era; complimentary ice cream treats (while supplies last); an appreciation gift; a 25-foot health and healing labyrinth; laughter yoga; information booths; demonstrations and interactive displays by U departments; and more. Bring your staff U Card to receive your gift and ice cream. Aug. 25, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Northrop Mall. For more information, see Celebrate U!

U LIBRARIES HAS LAUNCHED A REDESIGNED WEBSITE with a focus on the user. Highlights include a tabbed search function, a course resources tab featuring the new Library Course Pages, a login feature that displays personal account activity, an Ask A Librarian tab, and more. Users are invited to provide feedback. For more information, see U Libraries.

VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED FOR NEW STUDENT CONVOCATION on the morning of Sept. 2. Interested full-time faculty or staff should email Nikki Grosz.

HOMECOMING 2010 WILL FEATURE COMMUNITY SERVICE EVENTS for faculty and staff and a coloring contest for children 12 and under (winner gets a chance to be featured as a special guest in the Homecoming Parade). Honor the spirit of the maroon and gold by giving back to the community—donate nonperishable food items for the Stuff the Truck food drive throughout the week of Homecoming, Sept. 26-Oct. 2; or consider donating blood for the American Red Cross Blood Drive Sept. 29. For more information, see Homecoming 2010.

THE CENTER FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING'S AUGUST TEACHING ENRICHMENT SERIES, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 9-11:45 a.m., will offer two concurrent sessions of workshops each day. New workshops include Engaging the International Students in Your Classes, Stress and Learning: How Brain Research Can Support Your Teaching, and Teaching Required Courses: From Student Resistance to Engagement. New teaching assistants (TAs) are also invited to the New TA Orientation, Aug. 30. For registration, workshop locations, and more information see teaching enrichment.

THE MIXED METHODS INTERDISCIPLINARY GRADUATE GROUP is seeking ways to involve more faculty in monthly meetings and larger scale collaborative projects that are interdisciplinary in nature. Current activities include monthly meetings to discuss core concepts in mixed methods research, journal review, and presentations (local and national) of mixed methods projects. A faculty conversation will take place Sept. 16, 4-6 p.m., Dale Shepard Room, Campus Club. Open to all faculty. Free appetizers and wine will be provided. For more information and to RSVP, email Joe Gaugler or call 612-626-2485.

SAVE THE DATE: U WOMEN OF COLOR FALL WELCOME will be Oct. 21, 9-11 a.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union. This year's Welcome features a dynamic panel of speakers on the theme, "A New Decade of Community-Inspired Leadership." Applications are invited for the annual UWOC Tapestry Award, which will be presented at the Welcome. Applications are being accepted until Oct. 1. For more information, email UWOC.

MORE EVENTS include Horticulture Day (Aug. 25); Google: Advanced Searching for Researchers (Aug. 26); IHRC's State Fair Booth (Aug. 28). 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.

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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