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Vol. XLII No. 7; Feb. 22, 2012
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--State Relations Update.
--Features: To be a scientist; A better classroom; Punch for a poison; Doing clean energy right; U of M Moment; This Week @Minnesota.
--People: Former U provost Tom Sullivan has been named the next president of the University of Vermont; and more.

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


STATE RELATIONS UPDATE: President Kaler recently presented the U's capital request to a Senate Capital Investment Committee. He also presented his strategic vision for the U to both the House and Senate higher education committees. Slideshows of the presentations are available online. In other legislative news, the Decade of Discovery initiative, a partnership between the U and Mayo Clinic to cure diabetes, was given an informational hearing; and the Senate reviewed the Renewable Development Fund, a portion of which supports the Institute on Renewable Energy and the Environment. For more information, see State Relations.


FEATURE: Where does it begin, the act of becoming a scientist? Perhaps with a bowling ball, its finger holes packed with explosives, which when detonated, launch the ball into the air, cracking the otherwise pristine concrete walkway of your childhood home in four places, much to the consternation of your father. Bob Vince can't be sure where it began. But where it led changed the world. Vince's invention of a leading AIDS drug has saved or prolonged millions of lives, and enabled the U to keep funding drug research for years to come. For more information, read "To be a scientist."

FEATURE: When the U opened its Science Teaching and Student Services building in fall 2010, it established itself as the national leader in advanced learning classrooms. The building has 10 such spaces, besides traditional classrooms. The latest study by U researchers J. D. Walker, Christopher Brooks, and Paul Baepler confirms the strength of advanced learning classrooms: students perform better, and teachers end up using more active, student-centered techniques. For more information, read "A better classroom."

FEATURE: It lurks in apple seeds, fruit pits, and the cassava root consumed widely in Africa. It's released by house fires when materials like some acrylics, polyurethane, and nylons burn. And it could be used in terrorist attacks. It's cyanide, one of the deadliest poisons around. Researchers at the U's Center for Drug Design have synthesized Sulfanegen, a fast-acting antidote, and California-based startup Vytacera Pharma will develop and market it. For more information, read "Punch for a poison."

FEATURE: The role of academic research in commercial development is like teaching a kid to ride a bike: Give a boost and stand back. Right? Wrong, says John Sheehan, science director for the U's Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment (IREE). Collaboration between academia and industry is vital every step of the way along the road to new technologies. For more information, read "Doing clean energy right."

U OF M MOMENT: If you made New Year's resolutions to eat healthy and exercise more, are you still on track? Mark Pereira, an associate professor in the U's School of Public Health, says the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise are plentiful. Pereira says healthy habits aren't too difficult to achieve. For more information, listen to the U of M Moment.

THIS WEEK @MINNESOTA: Feb. 13–17. This installment of the weekly video feature takes a look at the grand opening of the Mni Sota Native American art exhibit, a February Physical Activity Challenge, and clips from the U of M senior Apparel Design Fashion Show. For more information, watch "This Week @Minnesota."

Awards, appointments, and other announcements

PEOPLE: Former U provost Tom Sullivan has been named the next president of the University of Vermont; President Kaler has named a search committee for a new Gopher athletics director; the U of M Alumni Association's Bruce Rader has been named a 2012 Robert G. Forman Fellow by the Council of Alumni Association Executives; Caryn Schultz Korman has been named vice president for outreach with the U of M Alumni Association; Maria McSherry, a principal office and administrative specialist in the Office of Human Resources, was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; U in the News features U faculty and staff cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Administrative information

THE CIVIL SERVICE SENATE will meet Feb. 28, 2:30–4 p.m., 1-450 Moos Tower. Topics will include an update on the new wellness/work life program and discussion of the Student Health Advisory Committee tobacco-free campus initiative. The meeting is open to the public. For more information and coordinate campus ITV locations, see the agenda.

THE BENEFITS ADVISORY COMMITTEE IS REQUESTING COMMENTS about experiences with UPlan pharmacy and dental plans since January 2011. Comment deadline is Feb. 29. Anonymous summaries of comments are used in performance reviews of UPlan health plans. Enter your comments online at Benefits Advisory.


A FACULTY ASSEMBLY MEETING will take place Feb. 24, 3 p.m., 207 Dowell Hall. For more information, see faculty meeting.

ADAM KLEINSCHMIDT, a senior from Glenwood, Minn., majoring in natural resources received the Student Conservationist award from the Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society at its annual meeting in Fargo. The award marks the 10th time in the last 15 years that a UMC student has been recognized with the award. For more information, see conservationist award.

A $10,000 GRANT awarded by the Northwest Minnesota Regional Arts Council will support the fourth annual "Fiesta in the Spirit of Cinco de Mayo" at UMC. The grant, offered through the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, helps support access and exposure to the arts in all corners of the region. For more information, see grant.

"A CELEBRATION OF BLACK HISTORY AND CULTURE" will take place Feb. 28, 6 p.m., Kiehle Auditorium. Hosted by the Black Student Association, the evening includes a variety of performances followed by a dessert reception. Planned performances include African drum and dance, a gospel choir, step team, spoken word artist, and fashion show. For more information, see black history and culture.


THE WILLIAM PLATER AWARD was presented to UMD's Vince Magnuson, the highly regarded former vice chancellor for academic administration who retired in July 2011. For more information, see William Plater Award.

ANNUAL BODY IMAGE AND EATING DISORDER AWARENESS WEEK will take place the week of Feb. 27 with "Family and Friends" as the theme. U alumna Kitty Westin will kick off the week speaking on "Understanding Eating Disorders and How to Support Someone Who is Suffering," Feb. 27, 7 p.m., 90 Bohannon Hall. For more information, see eating disorder awareness.


A LEADERSHIP IN ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN (LEED) GOLD RATING was awarded to the UMM Welcome Center by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings. Built in 1915 during the West Central School of Agriculture era, the Welcome Center is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and its renovation was completed in February 2010. In addition to the LEED Gold rating, the building was previously awarded the 2011 Preservation Alliance of Minnesota's Sustainable Design Award and the 2011 Minnesota Construction Association Award. For more information, see Welcome Center.

STUDENT JODIE ROY will lead UMM's water conservation efforts in her new role with the Morris GreenCorps program. Roy will take on the challenge of "managing water out of the tap and out of the sky" in conducting outreach and education activities on storm water management and water conservation. Currently in an assessment phase, she is studying existing campus and community storm water plans and practices, as well as investigating management and conservation work at other campuses and communities. Roy is taking steps to form a water working group similar to the campus composting group. For more information, see campus water conservation.


MINNESOTA BOOK AWARD FINALIST: UMR writing faculty member Bronson Lemer's memoir The Last Deployment: How a Gay, Hammer-Swinging Twentysomething Survived a Year in Iraq is a finalist for a 2012 Minnesota Book Award. The Last Deployment was named one of the "Best Books of 2011" in the gay and lesbian category by and has been featured in Instinct magazine.


Administrative information

LEARNING SESSIONS FOR PLAGIARISM PREVENTION AND GRADING SOFTWARE SUITE TURNITIN, will be held by the Office of Information Technology. Upcoming brown bags and webinars for interested faculty and staff will take place Feb. 27, Feb. 28, and Mar. 8. For registration and more information, see Turnitin.

THE FUTURE OF STADIUM VILLAGE will be discussed at a forum sponsored by the U District Alliance in the context of a planning study for the area. The study is a collaboration of the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, the U of M, Stadium Village representatives, and the District Alliance. Attendees will hear about the current demand for commercial and retail space, development opportunities, parking strategies, opportunities to improve open space, bike and pedestrian safety, and more. Feb. 28, 3–5 p.m., Grace University Lutheran Church, 324 Harvard Street S.E. For more information, see Stadium Village forum.

U OF M BICYCLE PAIR-UP: University Bike Center and bike commuters are proactively pairing up to commute to and from the UMTC campus. U students, faculty, and staff interested riding with someone while enjoying the fresh air, being active, and saving gas can meet potential riding partners Mar. 1, 11–noon, University Bike Center. For more information, see the bike center.

SUSTAINABILITY-RELATED UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE COURSES across Twin Cities campus departments, colleges, and programs have been organized in a searchable online database with the help of a new Sustainability Course Search tool created by the Institute on the Environment. For more information or to nominate courses for inclusion, see

THE OFFICE FOR PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT is accepting applications for the C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Award and the Outreach Scholarship W. K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award. Sponsored by the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU), the regional and national awards recognize public colleges and universities for their engaged learning and discovery. Applications are due Mar. 9, 4 p.m. For guidelines and criteria, see APLU awards. Notify of intent to apply as soon as possible.

Funding awards and opportunities

PROPOSALS FROM RESEARCHERS IN THE PHARMACEUTICAL FIELD are sought by the new Committee for Pharmaceutical Development. The committee provides guidance and ultimately funding, with potential matching funds from philanthropic and industry partners. Funded technologies will have demonstrated persuasive indicators of commercial success and will show potential for improving human health and generating revenue for the University. For more information, and to submit a proposal, see pharmaceutical proposals.

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 forum, "Questions Without Borders: Why Future Research and Teaching Will Be Interdisciplinary." Previews include a Chased by the Light exhibit walkabout at the Bell; a Frontiers in the Environment lecture; the U of M Landscape Arboretum Spring Gardening Expo; and more. For more information, see Preview/Review.

CORPORATE STEWARDSHIP will be the focus of the lecture, "Investing in Sustainability: Building Water Stewardship Into the Bottom Line," sponsored by the Freshwater Society and the U's College of Biological Sciences. Mindy Lubber, an international leader in efforts by investors to lead and pressure multinational companies to adopt environmentally sustainable business practices, will deliver the free, public lecture Mar. 1, 7 p.m., St. Paul Student Center. For registration and more information, see sustainability.

SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH ROUNDTABLE: "The Economy and Health: What is the Role of Public Health?" will focus on the effects of recent changes in the economy on health and the policies and programs needed to improve the health of those most affected by the recession and job loss. Free and open to the public, but registration is requested. A complimentary light breakfast will be provided. Apr. 27, 9 a.m.–noon, Coffman Union Theater. For more information, see economy and health roundtable.

MORE EVENTS include Dickens's Pageant with Anatoly Liberman (Feb. 23); Emerging Markets Symposium (Feb. 24); Beyond bin Laden: The Future of al-Qaeda and American Counterterrorism (Feb. 25); Questions and Uncertainties on the Full Implementation of FSMA (Feb. 28). 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.

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. Submission guidelines are available online.

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