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Vol. XLI No. 16; April 27, 2011
Editor: Adam Overland,

Inside This Issue
--Features: Gardening Minnesota; "How to make 'green' fossil fuels; profile of Christopher Hogan, McKnight Land-Grant Professor; U of M Moment; This week @Minnesota.
--People: Regents Professor Thomas Johnson has been named a fellow of the American Geophysical Union; and more.

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



FEATURE: Every year about this time many of us plant a garden. Whether by overwatering, underwatering, animal appetites, or more, many of us fail. But there's help. In 2010, U of M Extension master gardeners gave more than 127,000 hours of service to their communities. Put a dollar amount on that service, and you’ve got a public value worth about $2.6 million. Master gardeners can tell you everything from how to protect that carrot from a rabbit's nibbling mouth to which long-rooted plants best stabilize shorelines in times of flooding. Julie Weisenhorn, Extension assistant professor, has been leading the master gardener program since 2007. For more information, read "Gardening Minnesota."

FEATURE: A University team is out to coax bacteria to make petroleum fuels from carbon dioxide. This novel idea for making renewable fuels that you can put in your gas tank won the team a $2.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy in October 2009. Led by biochemistry professor Lawrence Wackett, the researchers are assembling a "co-culture" system in which two types of bacteria grow on opposite surfaces of a thin latex film. For more information, read, "How to make 'green' fossil fuels."

FEATURE: Chris Hogan is a mechanical engineer on the trail of nanoparticles—clusters of molecules—specifically those suspended in air and other gases. His approach spans the fields of mechanical engineering, chemistry, and materials science. Because his work is highly original with such a strong potential to advance basic science related to many critical questions, he was named a McKnight Land-Grant Professor for 2011–13. For more information, read a profile of Christopher Hogan.

U OF M MOMENT: Farm animals descended upon the U’s Church Street at the second annual “Ag Awareness Day,” Apr. 19. Caitlin Kasper, a senior agricultural education major, helped organize the event and says it’s important to raise awareness of the role agriculture plays in Minnesota’s economy. Kasper says bringing the sights and sounds of a Minnesota farm to the heart of the U’s East Bank makes for some interesting reactions from onlookers. For more information, listen to the U of M Moment. Also be sure to check out the Facebook photo album from the event.

THIS WEEK @MINNESOTA: April 18–22. This installment of the weekly video feature from the U's News Service features cyclists on Northrop Plaza during "Beautiful U" Day, a preview of the Dalai Lama's May 7–8 visit to campus, and farm animals on the U's East Bank for Ag Awareness Day. For more information, watch "This Week @Minnesota."

Awards and appointments

PEOPLE: Regents Professor Thomas Johnson has been named a fellow of the American Geophysical Union; Jasjit Ahluwalia has joined the editorial board of the Journal of General Internal Medicine; Lisa Johnston, a research services librarian, has been named the recipient of the first annual Academic Innovators Award; the National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a 2011 summer stipend to associate philosophy professor Michelle Mason; Kola Okuyemi was named the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians’ 2011 Researcher of the Year; U in the News features U faculty and staff cited in the media. Read about these topics and more in People.



Administrative information

NEW ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT: Individual Conflicts of Interest policy: Standards that Govern Those Involved in Clinical Health Care, replaces the prior clinical health care appendix with a stand-alone policy. This policy expands application of these standards to all units within the University who have faculty and staff involved in clinical health care. It is available online for review and comment through May 20.

THE OFFICE OF PLANNING AND ANALYSIS (OPA) is launching the Survey Peer Network (SPN), a communications platform designed to connect U faculty and staff with survey-related resources—and with each other. A kickoff meeting on May 10, facilitated by Jeff Stafford (Organizational Effectiveness), will engage participants in determining the future direction of the group. For registration and more information about the meeting, see SPN kickoff. For more information about the SPN, see OPA’s new survey website, The Survey Connection.

THE INAUGURATION OF PRESIDENT-DESIGNATE ERIC W. KALER will take place Sept. 22, 11 a.m., Ted Mann Concert Hall. In addition, a variety of inaugural activities will be held during the week of Sept. 19. Regents Professor Frank Bates, head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, will chair the Honorary Inauguration Advisory Committee. More information will be made available as details are finalized. Colleges that have activities or events planned for the week of Sept. 19 are asked to email Bobby Wangaard to discuss coordination of events.

Funding opportunities

HEALTHY FOODS, HEALTHY LIVES INSTITUTE has released its spring RFP, requesting applications for grants to fund innovative community/University partnerships related to food, nutrition, and health. Projects should include participatory action research or other creative strategies for addressing community identified problems by bringing together academic and community partners. Three to four proposals will be funded. The institute will award a grant of up to $50,000 for one year to each winning proposal. Project teams have the potential for a one-time renewal for one year. Proposals are due May 31. For more information, see Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives.


UMC CELEBRATED ENERGY SAVINGS associated with the Campus and Community Energy Challenge, sponsored by Otter Tail Power Company. In 2010, UMC achieved metered kilowatt-hour savings of approximately 7 to 8 percent. When all technology improvements and behavioral change initiatives have been in place for a full year, and when results are adjusted for changes in weather and growth, UMC is on track to save 17 percent of its prior electricity use. For more information, see UMC energy savings.

JOHN LOEGERING, associate professor in UMC’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Department, has been chosen president-elect of the North Central Section of The Wildlife Society. The three-year commitment includes serving as the section's president and past-president as well. For more information, see Loegering.

A STUDENT-SPONSORED AWARDS PROGRAM RECOGNIZED FACULTY AND STAFF at a recent event. Associate professor Brian Dingmann, Math, Science and Technology Department, received an award for Most Creative Use of Technology; assistant professor Kevin Thompson, Liberal Arts and Education Department, received the Outstanding Educator Award and the Most Supportive of Students Award; and Pam Sullivan, who oversees operations in Eagle’s Nest, received the Outstanding Service to Students Award. For more information, see awards.


THE UMD SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE IS SEEKING FEEDBACK from faculty, staff, and students on UMD’s Energy Action Plan. UMD hopes to achieve a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. For more information and to comment on the plan, see Energy Action Plan.

THE SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS AND THE NEW YORK TIMES will join together in a two-part online course, Theater and Global Change, May 12–June 8. The second part of the course will be offered in the fall. UMD School of Fine Arts professor and interim dean Bill Payne will team-teach with Ben Brantley, chief theater critic of The New York Times. For more information, see UMD Fine Arts.

CIVIL ENGINEERING STUDENTS WERE AWARDED second place in strength, third place in prediction, and an overall “Outstanding University” title in the American Concrete Institute international competition. For more information, see Civil Engineering.


THE FACULTY AND STAFF RECOGNITION DINNER to congratulate 2011 award recipients and thank faculty and staff retirees for their service will take place Apr. 28. Honored retirees are Joyce Amborn, Jim Anderson, Paul Keitzman, Ron Kubik, Margaret Larson, Neil Leroux, Jenny Nellis, Judy Van Eps, and Randy Wenz. Faculty award honorees are Michelle Page, Neil Leroux, and Jennifer Rothchild. Staff award honorees are Jane Harstad, Pat Nelson, Lou Logan, and Marge Kleinhans. For more information, see recognition dinner.

MORRIS HEALTHY EATING will host the premier of filmmaker Chris Bedford’s Getting Real about Food and the Future Apr. 28, 7 p.m., 109 Imholte Hall. The event features a discussion with Bedford. For more information, see healthy eating.

STUDENTS ARE RECEIVING HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH MORRIS WIND TURBINES. The students, from Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Canby, are receiving the experience as part of the partnership between the Minnesota State Colleges and University system and the University of Minnesota to reach a common goal: to provide learning opportunities to benefit and advance sustainability. For more information, see wind turbine.

UMM COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER FOR 2011 will be alumnus Doug Lennick, CEO and cofounder of the Lennick Aberman Group. An internationally known speaker on the development of successful individuals and organizations, Lennick’s expertise is in the practical applications of the art and science of human behavior. For more information, see 2011 commencement.


RECIPIENTS OF THE CHANCELLOR’S AWARD FOR PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT will be recognized at an event Apr. 27, 3:30–4:30 p.m., 3rd floor, Student Commons, University Square. Snacks and refreshments provided. For more information, see Chancellor’s Award.

PUTTING YOUR BEST SELF FORWARD: RESUME WRITING, INTERVIEWING, AND OTHER SKILLS, will feature an evening of networking and education as human resources consultant Susan Stehr helps participants present work experience and accomplishments in an effective market-driven resume and cover letter; as well as discusses interviewing and other skills for successful career planning strategies. Apr. 27, 5:30–7 p.m., 417 University Square. RSVP to Jenny Casper.


Administrative information

THE BROADER IMPACTS & ENGAGEMENT EXPO is an opportunity for the U research community to learn more about current modes of public engagement and broader impacts on funded proposals through discussions, presentations, and demonstrations. The Expo is a collaborative effort by the University and other organizations to assist researchers in creating broader impacts as a key portion of grant proposals and providing collaboration on the public engagement component of projects. Refreshments will be served. Apr. 28, 3:30–6:30, Atrium of Learning and Environmental Sciences. For more information, see impacts and engagement.

A CAMPUS SUSTAINABILITY FORUM will be held to discuss UMTC’S proposed Climate Action Plan. The Twin Cities Sustainability Committee is seeking feedback on how the U can reach climate neutrality by 2050. Visit the Sustainability Committee website to learn about its work and to submit ideas to help the University achieve its sustainability goals. May 5, 9–11 a.m., 365 Borlaug Hall.

UNIVERSITY STORES LABFEST 2011 will feature 60–70 scientific vendors and multiple University departments. The event is an opportunity to learn about the products available in-stock and online from University Stores, and the U-wide lab contracts available to researchers. May 4, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., second floor ballroom, University Radisson; May 5, 10 a.m.–2 p.m., Northstar ballroom, St. Paul Student Center.

E-LEARNING COURSES FOR OFFICE 2010 AND WINDOWS 7: The Office of Information Technology provides free e-learning courses for Microsoft Office 2010 and Windows 7, in addition to courses for Office 2007, Office 2003, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. For more information, including a complete listing of courses, see technology training.

SAVE THE DATE: A GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY FOR THE NEW CANCER AND CARDIOVASCULAR RESEARCH BUILDING in the Biomedical Discovery District will take place May 11, 3:30–5:30 p.m., at the intersection of 6th Street SE and 23rd Avenue SE, next to the TCF Bank Stadium. For more information, see Cancer and Cardiovascular Groundbreaking.

Lectures, exhibits, and other events

THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS (AAUP) Twin Cities Chapter will host "Economic and Political Challenges for the Public University: Crafting an Active Role for the AAUP in Our Academic Future." Cary Nelson, AAUP president, will give a keynote address, followed by a discussion with Minnesota Senator Sandra Pappas and U law professor Carol Chomsky. Apr. 29, 5 p.m., Campus Club, Coffman Union. A reception will follow. Free and open to all faculty, graduate students, and others. For more information, email Paige Sweet.

THE OFFICE FOR EQUITY AND DIVERSITY and its Systemwide Equity and Diversity Action Network will present "Cyberbullying and Cybervictimization: The New Rage against Racial, Gendered, and Sexual Differences." May 3, 12:30–1:45 p.m., followed by a breakout session, 2–3 p.m.

2011 CHASE LECTURE: Jerry Pinkney will deliver the 2011 Chase Lecture: “A Sense of Place, Real and Imagined.” Pinkney has illustrated more than 100 children's books since 1964. The lecture will be followed by a reception and book-signing. Free and open to the public. Cosponsored by the College of Education and Human Development, Department of Curriculum & Instruction, and the Children's Literature Research Collections/Kerlan Collection. May 4, 4:30–6:30 p.m., 120 Elmer L. Andersen Library. For more information, see Chase Lecture.

2010–11 NORTHROP DANCE SEASON FINAL EVENT: THE WHIZ: MONEYAPOLIS. Featuring choreography by New York City-based Nicholas Leichter Dance and a commissioned score by club performer Monstah Black with added musical selections. May 4–7, 8 p.m.; May 8, 7 p.m., Intermedia Arts. For more information and to buy tickets, see Northrop Dance.

UNIVERSITY WOMEN OF COLOR (UWOC) WILL HOLD ITS 10TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION on May 5, 3–6 p.m., Urban Research and Outreach/ Engagement Center (UROC), 2001 Plymouth Avenue North, Minneapolis. The program begins at 4 p.m. The keynote speaker is Josie R. Johnson. RSVPs are encouraged. To RSVP or request disability accommodations, please email UWOC by Apr. 29.

WINEFEST NO. 16—A TOAST TO CHILDREN'S HEALTH benefits children's health research, education, and care at University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital. The two-day food and wine event takes place May 6–7, The Depot, downtown Minneapolis. This year, University first lady Susan Hagstrum will be honored for her support of children's health. For more information or to purchase tickets, see WineFest.

SAVE-THE-DATE: “Integrative Global Leadership: Leading Across Boundaries for the Common Good” will focus on how leaders can bring together diverse groups of people to tackle shared problems and achieve the common good. U associate professor Barbara Crosby will offer insights from her research on integrative leadership—the work of leading across boundaries to achieve the common good. May 24, 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School. For more information, see common good leadership.

STAFF BOWLING RESERVATION DEALS at the Student Unions & Activities Gamerooms: Faculty, staff, and department reservations made through June 30 will receive a 15 percent discount on the reservation and 10 percent off all advance food orders. For more information, see bowling.

PARTICIPATE IN THE 2011 HOMECOMING PARADE: University student groups and departments can sign up now for the Homecoming 2011 Parade, scheduled for Oct. 21, 7 p.m. The parade is the signature event of Homecoming Week as students, alumni, faculty, staff, and the campus community gather together to show pride and spirit for the U. For more information, see Homecoming 2011.

MORE EVENTS include Open House for President Robert Bruininks and Susan Hagstrum (Apr. 27); Festival of Community Bands (Apr. 30); University Singers Spring Concert: Music for Choir and Organ (Apr. 30); Bud Break 5K Run/Walk (May 1); Jeff Gillman discusses How the Government Got in Your Backyard (May 4). 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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