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Vol. XLII No. 3; Jan. 25, 2012
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--Participate online in the U's 2012 Legislative Briefing.
--Features: Profile of Mark Distefano, Distinguished McKnight University Professor; This Week @Minnesota.
--People: The U has named more than 150 recipients of its 2012 Imagine Fund Annual Awards and Special Events Grants; and more.

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


REGISTER TO PARTICIPATE IN THE U'S 2012 LEGISLATIVE BRIEFING. While in-person attendance has reached capacity, registration is still open for online participation. Participants will learn about the U's 2012 legislative agenda and President Kaler's vision for the U. Attendees will also hear about new and interactive ways to advocate on behalf of the U. Feb. 1, 6 p.m. For registration and more information, see Legislative Briefing.


FEATURE: Science seldom fits neatly into organized disciplines. The same applies to scientists. Transcending the boundaries of disciplinary research, Distinguished McKnight University Professor Mark Distefano combines chemistry and biology to defeat cancer cells, creates methods for "green" chemical synthesis, and more. The grandchild of a hunter/trapper and a strawberry farmer, and the son of an engineer and a nurse, Distefano has inherited a love of science and nature. For more information, read a profile of Mark Distefano.

THIS WEEK @MINNESOTA: Jan. 16–20. This installment of the weekly video feature takes a look at the new, recently revealed Gopher Football jerseys, plus the story of a cat whose life has been saved by researchers at the Academic Health Center, and big grants for the College of Education and Human Development. For more information, watch "This Week @Minnesota."

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: The U has named more than 150 recipients of its 2012 Imagine Fund Annual Awards and Special Events Grants; the Office for Equity and Diversity has named Frederic MacDonald-Dennis as director of the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence and Matthew Antonio Bosch as director of the GLBTA Programs Office; kinesiology professor Mary Jo Kane, director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport, has been chosen by the Minnesota Coalition of Women in Athletic Leadership to receive their Special Merit Award; associate professor Dona Schwartz received an Honorable Mention at the Santa Fe Prize for Photography competition; U in the News features U faculty and staff cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Administrative information

FINALISTS FOR THE POSITION OF DEAN OF THE CARLSON SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT have been invited to campus for public interviews beginning Jan. 30. The identity of each finalist will be made public approximately 48 hours prior to the start of the individual candidate's public interview, along with her/his interview schedule, vita, application letter, and link to a live webcast or video file of her/his public presentation. Each candidate will make a public presentation, followed by an open Q&A. The U launched an international search for the position in August 2011. For a complete schedule of interviews and more information, see Carlson School Dean.

A WORKSHOP ON FINANCING START-UPS BASED ON UNIVERSITY RESEARCH will be offered by the Office for Technology Commercialization for U researchers, including faculty, graduate students, and post-docs. A panel of investors will answer questions about the financing process. Feb. 15, 5–7 p.m., Campus Club, Coffman Union. Free. RSVP online by Feb. 13. For more information, see technology commercialization.

AN EQUITY AND DIVERSITY CERTIFICATE is now available through the Office for Equity and Diversity. The certificate is designed to help participants develop tools for advancing equity and diversity in all aspects of their personal and professional lives. The certification has two levels—basic and advanced—and is free of charge and open to faculty, staff, and students on all campuses. Workshops begin Jan. 31. For more information, see Equity and Diversity Certificate or email Anne Phibbs.

A NEW ONLINE TRANSCRIPT-ORDERING SYSTEM for official transcripts is scheduled to go live Feb. 1. The new system will expedite both ordering and processing and will offer an option for delivery of an electronic transcript minutes after it is ordered. A new pricing structure for official transcripts will also take effect with the launch. For more information, see transcripts.

Funding awards and opportunities

THE MINNESOTA FUTURES GRANT PROGRAM encourages U faculty to reach across academic disciplines. The program helps to advance ideas into viable research questions, enabling researchers to respond collaboratively to emerging opportunities. The Office of the Vice President for Research is seeking research proposals that originate from new interdisciplinary groups. Proposals may be for up to two years and a maximum of $250,000 each. Two grants may be awarded. A letter of intent is due by Mar. 9, with the application due Apr. 16. For eligibility criteria and application instructions, see Futures Grant, email grant program, or call 612-625-2356.

THE CENTER FOR WRITING'S Interdisciplinary Studies of Writing (ISW) program offers research grants to support the inquiry of U of M scholars and teachers into writing and literacy. Letters of Intent are due Feb. 6. For more information, see ISW grant application.


THE UMC FACULTY ASSEMBLY WILL MEET Jan. 27, 3 p.m., 207 Dowell Hall. For more information, see faculty assembly.

UMC WILL HOST THE 37TH ANNUAL AG ARAMA weekend, featuring contests in agronomy, animal science, horticulture, and natural resources. Most activities take place Jan. 28, University Teaching and Outreach Center. For more information, see Ag Arama.

SUSTAINABILITY SUPPER: D. Scott Johnson will present an overview of Systems Dynamics as it applies to topics of resource use and availability, analysis of local food systems, campus greenhouse gas inventories, and more at the next UMC Sustainability Supper. Johnson is an experienced system dynamicist residing in Grand Forks. Jan. 30, 5 p.m., Brown Dining Room. RSVP by email to Dan Svedarsky or call 218-281-8129 by Jan. 27 to attend. For more information, see sustainability.


THREE UMD MEN'S HOCKEY PLAYERS ARE CANDIDATES FOR THE HOBEY BAKER AWARD, which honors all-time great contributors to the game of college hockey. Candidates from the Bulldogs are sophomore J.T. Brown, senior Jack Connolly, and senior Travis Oleksuk. The UMD men's hockey team continues to rank number one in the latest and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls, as well as the Power Rankings. Fans can vote for candidates through Mar. 25 at vote Hobey. For more information, see Hobey Baker Award.

A WINNING MUSICAL SCORE by assistant professor Gene Koshinski of the UMD Department of Music was honored with the 2012 Rudolf Nissim Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers foundation. The award recognizes Koshinski's composition, Concerto for Marimba and Choir. For more information, see musical score.


HUMORIST, AUTHOR, AND DAILY SHOW RESIDENT EXPERT JOHN HODGMAN will present a night of silliness and laughs at "That is All, An Evening with John Hodgman." Feb. 11, 8 p.m., Edson Auditorium. Tickets are available at the Information Desk/Higbies, Morris Student Center. For more information, see John Hodgman.

RESEARCH STEMMING FROM THE TRUCKERS AND TURNOVER PROJECT was presented at the American Economic Association's annual meeting in Chicago. Jon Anderson, professor of statistics, and Stephen Burks, associate professor of economics and management, co-authored with Colin DeYoung and Aldo Rustichini of UMTC, "Toward the Integration of Personality Theory and Decision Theory in the Explanation of Economic and Health Behavior." The Truckers and Turnover Project is a multi-year study in the field of "behavioral personnel economics" which has involved faculty participants from several universities in the United States and Europe, along with more than twenty Morris students. For more information, see research.


"4 SEASONS OF ROCHESTER" will bring together local photographers and artists to showcase seasonal imagery. Mar. 16, 6–10 p.m., Rochester Art Center. Tickets, $35, go on sale Feb. 1. To submit a photo for a chance to be part of the event, and for more information, see "4 seasons of Rochester."


Administrative information

DRIVEN TO DISCOVER VIDEO CONTEST WINNERS have been announced after eighty-three video submissions and 16,659 votes on Facebook. The sixteen winners received a combined $30,000 in scholarships for the current semester, with individual awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Some of the videos may be used in University promotions. For the full list of winners and to watch the videos, see video contest.

ST. PAUL CAMPUS BURSAR OFFICE TO CLOSE: In an effort to more efficiently utilize University resources and reduce costs, the Bursar Office on the St. Paul campus will permanently close as of June 30. New procedures for depositing revenue and other business processes currently performed by the Bursar Office will be communicated to users as the date for closure approaches.

THE SECOND ANNUAL CONSERVATION MADNESS COMPETITION challenges residence halls to reduce electricity use, water consumption, and waste by the largest percentage, and to recycle the most during the month of February. The winning hall will receive a college basketball national championship party in their residence hall on Apr. 2. The competition is cosponsored by the Office of Housing and Residential Life (HRL) and Facilities Management. HRL will also be introducing a Green Resident Certification program in conjunction with the competition, which begins with a pledge that asks students to incorporate sustainable actions into their campus life. For more information, see Conservation Madness.

APPLICATIONS FOR THE ANNUAL "TONY DIGGS EXCELLENCE AWARDS: Celebrating University Student Group Contributions" will be accepted by Student Unions & Activities through Feb. 22 (by 5 p.m.). Groups must be registered with Student Unions & Activities to be eligible. For more information on the nomination process, see Tony Diggs, email Marissa Suiter, or call 612-626-6919.

BROWN BAG FINANCIAL WEBINARS offer U employees proven guidelines for success in the marketplace. This series of three interactive webinars will be broadcast live from the corporate offices of U of M investment plan providers Fidelity Investments, Securian Retirement, and Vanguard. Registration is required for the Fidelity and Vanguard webinars. Sessions include Fidelity's "Quarterly Market Perspective," Feb. 1, 11 a.m.–noon; Securian's "A Perspective on Today's Economy and Portfolio Diversification," Feb. 8, noon–1 p.m.; and Vanguard's "Investment Perspectives," Feb. 15, noon–1 p.m. For registration and more information, see Employee Benefits.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

PREVIEW/REVIEW: UNIVERSITY EVENTS AND LECTURES is a periodic column highlighting events and lectures recently past and soon to come on the TC campus. This issue features a review of the latest in the Humphrey School lecture series "Connecting with Government: Public Talks by Prominent Government Leaders." Previews include a U women staff and faculty art exhibit opening, the 2012 Tucker Center Film Festival, BIG Thursday Night at the Bell, and more. For more information, see Preview/Review.

THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS (AAUP) Annual Members' Business Meeting will take place Jan. 26, 4:30–6:30 p.m., Dale Shephard Room, Campus Club, Coffman Union. All faculty, graduate students, and P&A employees, regardless of AAUP membership, are welcome to attend and participate in planning AAUP activities for the coming year. Refreshments will be served. For more information, email William Beeman or call 612-624-8990.

GREEN WEEK AT THE ST. PAUL STUDENT CENTER makes it easy for faculty, staff, and students to recycle and repurpose. Drop off unwanted eyeglasses, batteries, cell phones, and small electronics at the Information Desk; eat local food samples; compost; and more. Jan. 30–Feb. 3. For a full events listing, see Green Week.

THE MINNESOTA EVALUATION STUDIES INSTITUTE (MESI) 17TH ANNUAL SPRING CONFERENCE, "Evaluation in a Complex World: Changing Expectations, Changing Realities," is designed for professional evaluators, program directors, and students interested in conducting or using various evaluation methodologies. MESI provides a unique opportunity to learn about contemporary issues in evaluation with national experts and practitioners in a small setting. Mar. 28–30, Continuing Education and Conference Center, St. Paul. The event also includes pre- and post-conference workshops. For registration and more information, see MESI conference.

MORE EVENTS include "Climate Change, Crisis, and Resilience: Perspectives from History" featuring Sam White, Oberlin College (Jan. 26); Lecture: "Latin@s Leading US Demographic Changes" (Jan. 27); Cyndy Brucato on "Communicating public value" (Jan. 30); Drawing Natural History (Jan. 31). SEE THESE AND MORE TWIN CITIES CAMPUS EVENTS.

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

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.

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