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Home > Brief > Brief (4-13-2011)  Print

Vol. XLI No. 14; April 13, 2011
Editor: Adam Overland,

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Inside This Issue
--Open house for President Bruininks and Susan Hagstrum.
--UMD Bulldogs win national championship in men's hockey.
--Features: A new side of invasive species; Chad Myers, McKnight Land-Grant Professor; Searching for precursors to degenerative brain diseases; U of M Moment; This week @Minnesota.
--People: Lesa Covington Clarkson is the recipient of the 2011 Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award; and more.

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


THE REGENTS INVITE THE U COMMUNITY TO AN OPEN HOUSE WITH PRESIDENT ROBERT BRUININKS AND SUSAN HAGSTRUM to celebrate their leadership of and dedication to the University of Minnesota. All faculty, staff, and students are welcome to attend. Apr. 27, 9–11 a.m., DQ Room, TCF Bank Stadium. Please enter TCF Bank Stadium at the Benton County Premium Entrance on the southwest side.

THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA DULUTH BULLDOGS won their first-ever national championship in men's hockey Apr. 9 at the Frozen Four in St. Paul. Kyle Schmidt's goal 3:22 into overtime—on a deft pass from Travis Oleksuk—gave the Bulldogs a 3–2 victory over Michigan in front of 19,222 fans at the Xcel Energy Center.


FEATURE: A new study by a worldwide web of ecologists headquartered at the U should bolster efforts to contain the spread of destructive exotic plants by providing solid data about the likelihood of such events, says Elizabeth Borer. She and Eric Seabloom, both associate professors of ecology at the University, are among the authors of the study, which is published in the journal Ecology Letters. For more information, read "A new side of invasive species."

FEATURE: As a specialist in systems biology, Chad Myers of the College of Science & Engineering is at the forefront of a generation of young scientists finding out where computational methods are relevant to biological questions. This year he was named a McKnight Land-Grant Professor because of his role in developing computational approaches to tackle challenges related to genetics and disease. For more information, read a profile of Chad Myers.

FEATURE: A team of U of M Medical School researchers have identified what may be one of the earliest known precursors to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease: an abnormal buildup of a protein known as “tau” in the brain. According to neuroscientists Karen Hsiao Ashe and Dezhi Liao, a buildup of tau can disrupt the brain’s communication abilities even before noticeable symptoms occur. For more information, see Searching for precursors to degenerative brain diseases.

U OF M MOMENT: A new U of M study found workplaces that allow employees to change when and where they work positively affects work-family balance and reduces turnover. Researcher Erin Kelly says Results-Only Work Environment, or ROWE, benefits both employee and employer. Phyllis Moen says ROWE moves workers away from the "time cages" created in the middle of the 20th century. For more information, listen to the U of M Moment. U employees can find out more about flextime options at the U at OHR Flex.

THIS WEEK @MINNESOTA: SPECIAL GOLDY GOPHER EDITION. This weekly video roundup from the U's News Service is all about Goldy Gopher—what's a typical week like for the world's greatest mascot? For more information, watch "This Week @Minnesota."

Awards and appointments

PEOPLE: Lesa Covington Clarkson is the recipient of the 2011 Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award; the Council of Graduate Students (COGS) has announced the winners of its 2011 Outstanding Faculty Award; Thomas Proehl, producing director of the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, has passed away; U in the News features U faculty cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Administrative information

THE RETIREMENT INCENTIVE OPTION (RIO) WILL CLOSE MAY 15. RIO is an opportunity for voluntary retirement for eligible U employees. Interested faculty, P&A, civil service, union represented employees must complete an application and meet the program requirements before this closing date. All faculty and staff employees who elect to participate in RIO must retire at a date mutually acceptable to the employee and his/her unit, but no later than Jan. 11, 2012. A list of frequently asked questions is now online. For more information, see Retirement Incentive Option.

THE UNIVERSITY SENATE AND FACULTY SENATE will meet Apr. 14, 2:30 p.m., 25 Mondale Hall. Discussion topics will include the University budget, health insurance issues, and Faculty Retirement Plan changes. Coordinate campuses and those who cannot attend in person are invited to view the meeting on the web. For more information, see the full agenda at University Senate.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE 2011 COMMUNICATORS FORUM CONFERENCE "Making Our Case" will feature keynote speaker John Moe, host of American Public Media's "Marketplace Tech Report." The registration fee for the conference includes breakfast, lunch, door prizes, the keynote, and three breakout sessions on a wide variety of communications issues and trends. You must be a Communicators Forum member to attend and may join at the time of registration. Register before Apr. 27 and receive a $25 discount. May 12, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. The Forum is a professional growth, networking, and career development organization. For registration, more information about the conference, and Forum membership, see "Making Our Case."

DISTINGUISHED TEACHING AWARDS CEREMONY: Fifteen U faculty members will be inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers as recipients of the Distinguished Teaching Awards, the U's most prestigious awards for excellence in teaching. Apr. 25, 3:30–5 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. The awards ceremony is free, but registration is required. For registration and more information, see awards ceremony. In addition, registration for the related Academy of Distinguished Teacher's conference on Teaching and Learning is still open. For more information, visit the conference website.


A WEEKEND OF ENGAGING ARTS, HISTORY, AND OUTDOOR EVENTS in Crookston, Apr. 15–17 will begin with "Fiesta in the Spirit of Cinco de Mayo" at UMC. Dan Svedarsky, professor and director of the Center for Sustainability, will give a lecture on the "Greater Prairie Chicken" Apr. 16, 4 p.m., Presbyterian Church, 510 N. Broadway. For more information, see arts weekend.

STUDENT CONSERVATIONIST AND SCHOLARSHIP AWARD RECIPIENTS for 2011 are seniors Timothy Knudson, Monticello, MN, and Adam Kleinschmidt, Glenwood, MN. This marks the eighth time in the last 10 years that a UMC student has received the honor, awarded by the Minnesota Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society. For more information, see conservation award recipients.

THE STUDENTS IN FREE ENTERPRISE TEAM were named Regional Champions for a 12th consecutive time at the 2011 Regional Competition on Mar. 30. The team is coached by business instructors Kenneth Johnson and Rachel Lundbohm. For more information, see regional champs.


THE UMD BULLDOGS MEN'S HOCKEY TEAM WON THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE April 9, and to celebrate the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center is hosting a reception for the Bulldogs and their fans. It will include a team autograph session and a post-reception party. Apr. 13, 6 p.m., AMSOIL Arena. Free and open to the public, with free parking.

THE DEPARTMENT OF ART AND DESIGN will hold a student-run Open Studio event Apr. 16, 11 a.m.–6 p.m., in conjunction with the annual Duluth Gallery Hop and the Tweed Museum of Art’s annual student exhibition. Free to the public, this event will include studio tours and activities. For more information, see open studio or email Elizabeth James.

THE SPRING 2011 BIANNUAL SUSTAINABILITY FAIR Apr. 19–20 will feature discussions and presentations focusing on issues that overlap into government, economy, health, and social justice. Guest speaker Don Shelby will talk about the failure of American journalism to tell the story of global climate change. Apr. 19, 6:30 p.m., 200 Chemistry. For more information, see sustainability fair.

THE 19th ANNUAL LABOVITZ ENTREPRENURIAL AWARDS will be presented Apr. 20, Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, Harbor Side Ballroom. Tickets are $25 per person. Register by Apr. 15. For information, see awards or call 218-726-7298.


POET AND LECTURER ATHENA KILDEGAARD will read from her new book, Bodies of Light, Apr. 14, Common Cup coffee house. The reading is part of the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance annual meeting. For more information, see author reading.

EARTH WEEK 2011 is packed with opportunities to engage and to learn. Speakers are Chris Farrell, author of The New Frugality: How to Consume Less, Save More, and Live Better; Jim Farrell, St. Olaf College professor and author of The Nature of College: College Culture, Consumer Culture and the Environment; and Cyrus Bina, Morris professor of economics, who will discuss his newly released book, Oil: A Time Machine—Journey Beyond Fanciful Economics and Frightful Politics. Events include green energy tours, sustainability conversations, a clothing swap, screening of The Human Footprint, and an Earth Day Critical Mass event to promote commuting by bicycle. For more information, see Earth Week.

THE 25th ANNUAL EDITH R. FARRELL FRENCH POETRY READING CONTEST, hosted by the Entre Nous student organization and the French department, provides a showcase for students to celebrate the beauty of the French language and verse from across the francophone world. Apr. 19, 7 p.m., Oyate Hall, Student Center. For more information, see French poetry reading.


REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE U'S RAPTOR CENTER will bring three raptors for a "Get to know your Mascot" event. Center staff will share information about raptors with students, faculty, and staff, and answer questions. Apr. 18, 12:30–2:30 pm, 3rd floor atrium. For more information, see raptors.

THE STOP LOSS ALCOHOL AND TEXTING SIMULATOR will be on campus to give students a chance to experience drunk driving without actually being under the influence, and see the effects alcohol and texting have on reaction time. Students are encouraged to sign up ahead of time to ensure they get a chance to take part in the simulation. This event is open to the public. Apr. 21, 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Peace Plaza. For more information, see driving and texting.


Administrative information

COMING SOON: BEAUTIFUL U DAY 2011, featuring a Sustainable Transportation Expo, a used bike sale, bus shelter cleaning, and "Clean Up Cookies." Rich Wieber’s Bicycle Stunt Show will dazzle Northrop Mall over the noon-hour as the ReUse Program bike sale offers hundreds of used bikes priced under $80 to the U community. The Expo on Northrop Plaza will feature the U's sustainable transportation options, free or reduced bike tune-ups, and a competition to build the coolest "Frankenstein Bike" from spare parts. Sustainable commuters will receive a breakfast treat upon arrival at the campus carpool lot, bus stops, or bike racks. Apr. 20. For more information, see Beautiful U 2011.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

A KEYNOTE ADDRESS, "IGNITING THE POWER AND DISABILITY" will be given by Gene Chelberg, founder of the U's Disabled Student Cultural Center. Chelberg is currently associate VP for student affairs and director of the Disability Programs and Resource Center at San Francisco State University. Chelberg will share his journey, beginning when he became blind at the age of 13, and exploring how his multiple identities have been a catalyst for him in becoming a successful university administrator and the first American Council on Education Fellow with a disability. Apr. 18, 5:30 p.m., Mississippi Room, Coffman Union. A dinner buffet will follow his keynote. Tickets: $5. For more information, see Disability Services.

"ACCELERATING THE FUTURE: THE CHANGING FACE OF HEALTH IN AMERICA" will feature experts exploring strategies that target the underlying causes of health disparities in minority, immigrant, and low-income populations. Apr. 19, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., Coffman Union. For registration and more information, see health in America roundtable.

2011 GUY STANTON FORD MEMORIAL LECTURE: "MORALS, MARKETS, AND CIVIC LIFE AFTER THE FINANCIAL CRISIS." Popular American political philosopher and Harvard professor Michael Sandel will address issues such as Is the free market fair? What have we learned from the financial crisis? What is the role of markets in achieving the public good? Apr. 21, 12:15–1:30 p.m., Ted Mann Concert Hall. For more information, see Ford memorial lecture.

"SUSTAINABLE MODELS FOR SOCIETY PUBLICATIONS," an event especially for, but not exclusive to, faculty editors, will be presented by the University Libraries and the Office of the Vice President for Research. Special guest speaker A. Townsend Peterson, University of Kansas, will present along with U faculty panelists Douglas Arnold, Jean Wyman, and Becky Yust. Apr. 25, 2–4 p.m., 120 Elmer Andersen Library. Free and open to the public, but reservations are requested. For more information, see sustainable models.

"FROM RESEARCH TO POLICY: USING SCIENCE TO INFORM AND DESIGN EFFECTIVE INJURY CONTROL POLICY" will focus on linking public health policy to science, and the importance of evaluating policy for intended and unintended consequences. The featured speaker is Linda Degutis, director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Apr. 27, 2–5 p.m., Mayo Memorial Bldg. For more information, see health policy.

"THE CTSA ERA: A CULTURAL REVOLUTION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN" will be the topic of Marc Drezner, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. He will share his expertise, best practices, and lessons learned in guiding the work of an institution with an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). A light lunch will be provided. Apr. 29, noon–1 p.m., Mayo Memorial Bldg. For more information, see Translational Science lecture.

THE FINAL EPISODE OF DRIVEN TO DISCOVER: THE RESEARCH SERIES, an Office of Information Technology (OIT) short-film series, is now available online. Africa Perspectives was produced by Paul Pecilunas, OIT, and Megan Lewis, Theatre Arts and Dance. For more information, see OIT research series.

THE LATEST PERMANENT EXHIBIT AT THE SCIENCE MUSEUM OF MINNESOTA was designed in part by Center for Early Education and Development (CEED) faculty member Karen Cadigan, policy director at the U's Children, Youth and Family Consortium. The exhibit "Wonder Years" shows the world through the eyes of the child. Visitors learn what happens in early development, by exploring how young children learn from the world around them, and how scientists learn about children's development. For more information, see Wonder Years.

THE UNIVERSITY RETIREES ASSOCIATION is seeking volunteers for the Young Authors Conference, May 24–27, sponsored by Success Beyond the Classroom. The four-day writing conference for 4th through 8th grade metro area students is held every year at Bethel University, Arden Hills. More than 3,600 students will attend. Volunteers assist with registration, distribute programs and folders, usher students in the great hall, guide students in the hallway between sessions, monitor the book fair, and monitor the lunch area. For more information, email Retirees Volunteer Center or call 612-625-8016.

RESERVATION SPACE IS AVAILABLE for end-of-year banquets at Coffman Memorial Union and the St. Paul Student Center. For more information, see reservations

MORE EVENTS include "Migration Futures in a Warmer World" (Apr. 14); Motionpoems (Apr. 15); The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler (Apr. 17); Beauty and Brutality: An uncustomary journey into global medicine (Apr. 18); Affordable Healthcare for the Poor: Dialogue with Dr. Devi Shetty (Apr. 18). 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. All Twin Cities event submissions are handled through the events calendar at

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