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Vol. XLI No. 37; Nov. 23, 2011
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--Register for the 2012 Legislative Briefing.
--Features: A tailored pair of genes; Talking Turkey; Laborers of love; This Week @Minnesota; U of M Moment.
--People: Center for Drug Design professor and director Robert Vince has been named to the Minnesota Science and Technology Hall of Fame; and more.

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


REGISTRATION IS OPEN FOR THE U'S 2012 LEGISLATIVE BRIEFING. Held annually, the legislative briefing serves as the U's kickoff to the legislative session. Attracting hundreds of University advocates—including faculty, staff, students, and alumni—the evening features a reception and dinner. University officials introduce the U's proposed legislative agenda and discuss the political landscape with attendees. Feb. 1, 2012, 6–7:30 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. To register and for more information about U advocacy, see Legislative Briefing.


FEATURE: In the wake of the disaster that killed the dinosaurs, the ancestors of today's crop plants doubled their genomes, an act that set the stage for feeding the world 60 million years later. U researchers hope that studying the effects of the doubling on legumes like alfalfa will lead to genetically engineered legumes that do a better job of meeting the world's rising demand for nitrogen, the backbone of all protein and a major nutrient in fertilizers. For more information, read "A tailored pair of genes."

FEATURE: Every year, about 49 million turkeys are produced in Minnesota, more than anywhere else in the nation. That's because U research on how turkeys breed and feed helps the industry thrive. Poultry scientists in CFANS have been studying turkeys for more than a century, and their work continues today. Recent research focuses on how distiller's dried grains with solubles, a byproduct of ethanol production, can be used as animal feed. The story also includes some fun turkey facts. For more information, read "Talking Turkey."

FEATURE: From cleaning birdcages to cataloging bones and teaching, three volunteers are putting their passions to work at the U to make a difference. For more information, read "Laborers of love."

THIS WEEK @MINNESOTA: Nov. 14–18. In "This Week @Minnesota" get a sneak peek at an upcoming opera performance of Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, follow students as they practice parkour on campus, and learn about a student video contest for scholarships. For more information, watch "This Week @Minnesota."

U OF M MOMENT: Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and that means thousands of Minnesota college students will be heading home to spend time with their families—some for the first time since starting college. Marjorie Savage, the U's Parent Program director, says parents need to be prepared. Savage says students also play a role in easing any potential stress points. For more information, listen to the U of M Moment.

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: Center for Drug Design professor and director Robert Vince has been named to the Minnesota Science and Technology Hall of Fame; the Humphrey School has been chosen to receive the inaugural Diversity Award given by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration; three U faculty are part of a design team that won the Plaza Design Competition sponsored by the Weisman Art Museum; professor Ingrid Schneider has been inducted into the Academy of Leisure Sciences; professor Elaine Tarone is the recipient of the American Association for Applied Linguistics' Distinguished Scholarship and Service Award; U in the News features U faculty and staff cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Administrative news
CANDIDATES FOR THE VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER position have been invited to campus for interviews. The public forums will take place Nov. 28, 29, and 30; at 3 p.m. each day, 3-180 Kenneth H. Keller Hall. The sessions will also be live-streamed on the web. For more information, see VPCIO Search.

OPEN ENROLLMENT deadline is Nov. 30. Employees who participated in the HealthPartners U Classic Plus plan during 2011 must choose one of the Medica plans in order to have medical coverage in 2012. Those otherwise satisfied with their current medical and dental plan choices do not need to re-enroll; current plans will continue into 2012. Regardless of medical plan, all employees who wish to have a flexible spending account in 2012 must enroll at this time. This year, participants also have a one-time opportunity to enroll in or increase the amount of short-term disability insurance without medical evidence of insurability. For more information, see Open Enrollment or visit Employee Self-Service to enroll by Nov. 30. Call Employee Benefits at 612-624-9090 or 1-800-756-2363 with specific questions.

Funding awards and opportunities

THE OFFICE FOR EQUITY AND DIVERSITY announced its student and campus/college awards at the fourth annual Equity and Diversity Breakfast. Thirteen students received a 2011 Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) Award. The Outstanding Equity and Diversity Unit Award went to UMD. President Kaler delivered the keynote address at the event. For more information, see Equity and Diversity Breakfast.

DOCTORAL STUDENTS APPLYING FOR THE INTERDISCIPLINARY DOCTORAL FELLOWSHIP (IDF) program offered by the Graduate School must include a letter of support from the interdisciplinary research center or institute where they propose to do the fellowship. The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) has served as an IDF host institution since the program's inception. Doctoral students who are interested in applying for an IDF at the IAS in 2012–13 must submit a preliminary application to the IAS by Jan. 18. For more information, see IAS fellows.


THE DOCUMENTARY INVISIBLE CHILDREN, which explores the plight of Central Africa's child soldiers, will be shown Nov. 30, 8 p.m., Kiehle Auditorium. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Programs. For more information, see child soldiers.

KATY SMITH AND ERIC CASTLE have been selected to participate in the 2011–12 Internationalizing Teaching and Learning Cohort Program, sponsored by the U's Global Programs and Strategy Alliance, the Center for Teaching and Learning, Instructional Development Services, and the Office of Information Technology. Smith is an assistant professor of biology, and Castle is an assistant professor of horticulture. For more information, see internationalizing teaching.


IANNI RESIDENCE HALL ENERGY EFFICIENCY was recognized with a rebate of more than $18,000 from Minnesota Power. Chancellor Lendley C. Black was presented with the rebate check by Tina Koecher, Minnesota Power's manager of energy efficiency programs, on Nov. 22. The rebate was based on energy savings accrued since construction of the building was completed, and recognizes UMD's continued sustainability efforts. For more information, see UMD sustainability.

"FIRSTING AND LASTING: WRITING INDIANS OUT OF EXISTENCE IN NEW ENGLAND" will be presented by author and U history professor Jean O'Brien Nov. 28, 5 p.m., Library Rotunda. A reception will follow. For more information, see presentation.

A BOOK SIGNING AND PRESENTATION by Minnesota author Lawrence Sutin for the book A Tribute to Jack and Rochelle: Creating a Record of Holocaust Survival will take place Dec. 1, 3:30 p.m., 80 Montague. A reception in the lobby of the Marshall Performing Arts Center follows the presentation. The event is part of the lecture series presented by the Center for Genocide, Holocaust and Human Rights Studies. For more information, see book signing.


PROFESSOR OF GEOLOGY JAMES COTTER and geology and environmental science student Ashley Woods are researching the effects that a 50-year-old ditch winding through farmland and along roadways has had on Lake Wakanga near Willmar. They are testing core samples of lake sediment that has built up at the mouth of the ditch. The U's Center for Urban and Regional Affairs' Community Assistantship Program is funding the project. For more information, see ditch effect.

THE 2011 CAROL CONCERT will feature the Concert Choir and Orchestra performing George Frideric Handel's Messiah oratorio under the direction of Kenneth Hodgson, associate professor of music. Ann Duhamel, teaching specialist, will accompany on piano and harpsichord. Dec. 2 and 3, 7:30 p.m.; and Dec. 4, 2 p.m., Recital Hall, Humanities Fine Arts building. For more information, see concert.

STUDENT KRISTOFOR GIESKE has received a 2011 Minnesota Broadcasters Association James J. Wychor Scholarship. Mentored by Barbara Burke, associate professor of communication, media, and rhetoric, and Roger Boleman, director of Instructional and Media Services, Gieske is studying digital media. For more information, see scholarship.


RYAN FURNESS, Center for Learning Innovation faculty member, was recently selected to take part in the Internationalizing Teaching and Learning Cohort Program. The program engages faculty in significant course design or redesign by participating in a multidisciplinary cohort of their peers.


Administrative information

ADOPT A FAMILY FOR THE HOLIDAYS: The Student Parent HELP Center (SPHC), a program of the U's Office for Student Affairs, is seeking sponsors for its annual holiday assistance program. Students served by SPHC are typically young parents making significant sacrifices to complete their education and provide a good future for their children. All of the student-parents served by the program are low-income, and the vast majority are single parents in the lowest income bracket. For more information, see Adopt-A-Family.

TWO FINALISTS FOR DIRECTOR OF THE MULTICULTURAL CENTER FOR ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE have been invited to campus for public interviews. The candidates are E. Frederic MacDonald-Dennis, former interim director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Haverford College; and Thomas L. Alexander III, special assistant for diversity to the vice president of student affairs at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Forums are scheduled Nov. 29, 1–2 p.m., 140 Nolte; and Dec. 2, 2–3 p.m., 226 Appleby Hall. For more information, see public forums.

AS PART OF THE U'S DRIVEN TO DISCOVER CAMPAIGN and focus on the student experience, UMTC will give away $30,000 in scholarships during a video contest which asks Twin Cities undergraduates to share what they are driven to discover. Winners will be chosen based on the number of "Likes" on the U's Facebook page. Students can submit their videos at from Nov. 16 to Dec. 28.

Funding awards and opportunities

CALL FOR VISUAL ARTISTS: The Visual Arts Committee of Student Unions and Activities is organizing exhibitions at the St. Paul Student Center's Larson Art Gallery and Coffman Memorial Union's Coffman Art Gallery. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to submit an application. For more information, see submission requirements.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

A FORUM FOR MN SENATE DISTRICT 59 CANDIDATES (the seat formerly held by Senator Larry Pogemiller) will be held Nov. 28, 7 p.m., 130 Murphy Hall. District 59 includes the U's East and West Banks and area communities. Sponsored by the Minnesota Daily. Student representation will be the focus of the discussion. For more information, see District 59 forum.

AN LGBTQA FAITH AND SPIRITUALITY DISCUSSION will provide an open forum to talk about the issues and intersections of faith, religion, spirituality, and LGBTQA identities. The event is a follow-up to the Nov. 1 event, "Doing Justice: An Interfaith Panel on Same-Gender Marriage." Nov. 30, 12:30–2 p.m., 117 Appleby Hall. For more information, email the GLBTA programs office.

"SHIFT," an exhibition fundraiser for U art scholarships, will feature a sale of works created by U students and faculty. All proceeds will benefit student scholarships in the Department of Art. Dec. 14, 6–8 p.m., E236 Regis Center. For more information, email SHIFT.

DESIGNING AND CONDUCTING FOCUS GROUP INTERVIEWS will include an interactive overview of focus group procedures that can be used in public and nonprofit environments. Taught by professor emeritus Richard Krueger, the workshop offers practical approaches to determine the appropriate use of focus group studies, develop questions, and recruit participants. Analysis and reporting results are emphasized. Mar. 12–13; or Mar. 14–15. Continuing education credits are available. For registration and more information, see focus group.

MORE EVENTS include The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in concert (Nov. 27); Confucius Says WHAT? On When and How the Analects Took Shape—a presentation by Paul Van Els (Nov. 28); Material Culture, Memory, and Family Dynamics in Late Medieval London—a talk with Katherine French (Nov. 29); Dirty Laundry (Dec. 1). SEE THESE AND MORE TWIN CITIES CAMPUS EVENTS.

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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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