myU OneStop

What's Inside

Related Links

Home > People > Awards and Appointments - April 2009

Awards and Appointments - April 2009

By Adam Overland

J Romano
John Romano, professor in Educational Psychology, was co-recipient of the American Counseling Association 2009 Research Award. 

April 29

John Romano, professor in Educational Psychology, was co-recipient of the American Counseling Association 2009 Research Award. Arunya Tuicomepee, assistant professor of psychology at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, also received the award, which was presented at the Association's annual convention. The award was given in recognition of the paper, "Thai Adolescent Survivors 1 year after the 2004 Tsunami: A Mixed Methods Study." The paper was based on Tuicomepee's doctoral dissertation under the direction of Romano. The University, CEHD, and Educational Psychology all have institutional partnerships with Chulalongkorn University.

Sociology professor Joachim Savelsberg was recently inducted as a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology. The title recognizes those who have made a scholarly contribution to the intellectual life of the discipline and a significant contribution to the field through the career development of other criminologists. The American Society of Criminology is an international organization whose members pursue scholarly, scientific, and professional knowledge concerning the measurement, etiology, consequences, prevention, control, and treatment of crime and delinquency. Savelsberg's recent work on the reciprocal relationship between criminal law and collective memory received a best article award from the Law and Society Association and the Culture Section of the American Sociological Association. For more information, see Savelsberg.

Two faculty members from UMC were honored at the Minnesota State FFA Convention April 27. Associate professor Lyle Westrom will be inducted into the Minnesota FFA Hall of Fame and Terrill Bradford, animal science instructor, will receive the Minnesota Honorary FFA Degree.

Westrom, who teaches in both agricultural education and dairy science at UMC, has been a mentor and advisor to countless students over the years. He has worked closely with the Minnesota Agricultural, Food and Environmental Education Teacher Induction Program to serve as a mentor to young agricultural education teachers in high schools. He also serves as the coach for the U of M, Crookston Dairy Team along with the Parliamentary Procedure Team associated with Collegiate FFA Association.

Bradford teaches animal science on the Crookston campus. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from UMC in technical studies and North Dakota State University in animal health technology. She completed her master of education degree from the University of Minnesota in agricultural education while employed as a teaching specialist on the Crookston campus.

The Minnesota FFA Hall of Fame tradition began in 1994 providing the opportunity to honor men and women who have demonstrated leadership and influence in the many facets of agriculture and to the FFA. Past UMC faculty and staff who have been inducted into the Minnesota FFA Hall of Fame include: founding provost Stanley Sahlstrom; Dave Hoff, who taught in the Agriculture Department for 38 years; and George Nornes, who worked as a recruiter for agriculture on the Crookston campus and was a long time agriculture teacher at the Climax High School. The Minnesota Honorary FFA Degree is the state's highest honorary degree.

Steven Harris has been named director of the Marriage and Family Therapy graduate program. For the past 13 years, Harris has been a faculty member at Texas Tech University, training masters and doctoral students in Marriage and Family Therapy. For eight years at Texas Tech, he served as the College of Human Sciences' associate dean for academics and student affairs. He conducts research in family therapy ethics and professional identity, family violence, and more recently has focused his research activities on evaluating programs that aim to strengthen marriage and committed relationships among diverse populations in the state of Texas. Harris has been appointed as professor in the Family Social Science and will begin work at the University in August 2009.

Duane Burnham, former CEO and chairman of Abbott Laboratories, was presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award April 27. The Outstanding Achievement award is conferred on graduates or former students of the University of Minnesota who have attained unusual distinction in their profession or in public service and who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership. For more information, see the news release.

The Law School's Asylum Law Project (ALP) received a University of Minnesota Tony Diggs Excellence Award for Outstanding Graduate or Professional Student Group of 2008. ALP leaders Jordan Shepherd ('11) and Brianna Mooty ('10) accepted the plaque, given by Students Unions and Activities, on behalf of the group, its student board, and its volunteer members. The award recognizes demonstrated significant success and development in following the mission and goals of the group. Professor David Weissbrodt and Amber Fox of Student Services nominated ALP for the honor. For more information, see excellence.

U in the News: A selection of U faculty in the news

Higher Ed TV: How the University of Minnesota got more than 1.5 million views in less than 2 months with one of their YouTube videos
I stumbled upon this YouTube blockbuster, the Science of Watchmen, just 2 days ago as I was browsing YouTube EDU. It's not the most viewed university video of all time (Randy Pausch's Last Lecture from Carnegie Mellon is with more than 9.5 million views), but this YouTube video produced by the University of Minnesota has really achieved a big success in terms of viewership with more than 1.5 million views since it was posted on February 24, 2009 - just 2 months ago today. College Web Editor.

Good Question: What Is Dust Made Of?
Perhaps the least pleasant part of spring cleaning is the discovery of a giant pile of dust, lurking behind a TV or on a bookshelf. "It can be disgusting," said Neil Carlson, an industrial hygienist and public health specialist at the University of Minnesota. WCCO – TV.

Valerie Kiger: Encourage kids to poke in the dirt
Some of Kyle Borst's earliest memories include picking pea pods to eat the young, tender peas, and digging up carrots and potatoes from his family's gardens... University of Minnesota Master Gardener Joan Woxland has been growing gardens with children for 15 years, and the joy she takes in it is evident in her voice. Rochester Post Bulletin.

Violent crime down dramatically in Minneapolis
During the first 110 days of 2007, Minneapolis had 18 homicides. "In criminological scholarship there are always debates about what is responsible for crime booms and crime busts," said Prof. Joachim J. Savelsberg, who specializes in criminology at the University of Minnesota. Star Tribune.

Higher sales brewing at family-owned java importer
As a lad growing up on a coffee farm in the Comayagua mountains of Honduras, Guillermo Velasquez and his brothers herded a dozen coffee-laden mules up and over four mountain passes on the roadless, 2-mile trek to the little town of La Palma, where his father maintained a storage facility. Guillermo continues full time as a plant researcher at the University of Minnesota. Star Tribune.

For more, see Today's U in the News.

April 22

Bradley DeaneBradley Deane, an assistant professor of English at the University of Minnesota, Morris, is this year’s recipient of the University of Minnesota, Morris Alumni Association Teaching Award.

Bradley Deane, an assistant professor of English at the University of Minnesota, Morris, is this year’s recipient of the University of Minnesota, Morris Alumni Association Teaching Award. Thanks to the generosity of the UMM Alumni Association, the Morris campus annually recognizes its outstanding professors through this award, created by the alumni in 1994. Deane holds doctorate and master’s degrees in English from Northwestern University and received his bachelor’s degree in English, With Great Distinction and Highest Honors, from the University of Michigan. He has served on a number of campus committees and written on a variety of topics, including his most recent work in progress, The Monkey in the House: Commodities and the Subversive Fetish in Late Victorian Imperial Romance. He is a member of the Modern Language Association, Sigma Tau Delta and the North American Victorian Studies Association. Deane will be will be honored during the annual campus Recognition Dinner on April 30 and will give the keynote address, “Morris Saves The World,” during the annual Student Honors and Awards Ceremony on Friday, May 15.

Two U faculty members have been elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences: John Freeman (Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Political Science), and A. Stephen Polasky (Fesler-Lampert Professor of Ecological and Environmental Economics). The two join one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies and a center for independent policy research. The scholars, scientists, jurists, writers, artists, civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders elected this year come from 28 states and 11 countries and range in age from 33 to 83. They represent universities, museums, national laboratories, private research institutes, businesses, and foundations. Since its founding by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the Academy has elected as members the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners. For more information, see the news release.

U philanthropist Larry Bentson, who co-founded Midcontinent Communications and donated millions of dollars to the University, died April 12. Benston graduated from the U in 1943, and after meeting with success in broadcasting became a strong financial supporter of the University. Nancy and Larry Bentson donated $10 million in November 2003 for undergraduate scholarships, the largest gift ever received by the university designated solely for scholarships. The Bentsons began their giving to the university in 1977 and have supported the Department of Pediatrics, the KDWB University Pediatrics Family Center, a fellowship in pediatric cardiology, and student scholarships. In 1989 they established the Ruben-Bentson Chair in Pediatrics. They have also volunteered their time in support of many fund-raising activities at the university. Bentson’s 2003 gift now provides 238 undergraduates with $5,000 per year for four years. For more information, see the Minnesota Daily.

U of M College of Liberal Arts linguistics student Dustin Chacón has won a Beinecke Scholarship. Chacón, who speaks six languages, becomes the third U of M student to win the award. The honors student was one of 21 scholars nationwide to be awarded a 2009 Beinecke Scholarship. Chacón is the third student in university history to win this prestigious national award. Chacón has received several awards and scholarships, including a National Merit Scholarship and the Bentson and Brundage Family Scholarships. Chacón is currently working with professor Hooi Ling Soh on an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program project on the structure of noun phrases in Hmong. For more information, see the news release.

U in the News: A selection of U faculty in the news

Comfort from strangers: Born with a rare skin disease, Payton Thornton finds support in the surrounding community
In the context of a small town, where faces are familiar even if names can't be called right off, the word alone is an exaggeration if not a total lie... But there is hope, even a possible cure. Dr. John Wagner, head of the pediatric Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation Program at the University of Minnesota, is perfecting an experimental transplant using stem cells that has helped kids like Payton produce collagen VII. Business Week.

The real story of the Somali pirates
Pirates caught redhanded by one of Her Majesty's warships after trying to hijack a cargo ship off Somalia made the grave mistake of opening fire on two Royal Navy assault craft packed with commandos armed with machineguns and SA80 rifles, began a November 22, 2008 London Times article. Abdi Ismail Samatar, a geography professor at the University of Minnesota, told Al Jazeera the naval forces despatched to the Gulf of Aden to protect shipping from the pirates had turned a blind eye to the waste dumping. Green Left.

Professors urging college students to 'Tweet'--even in class
College students are increasingly using social-networking Web sites like Twitter during class time, but not always to the annoyance of their professors... University of Minnesota adjunct professor Eva Keiser's first assignment for students in her public relations class was to sign up for Twitter and begin posting messages. Pioneer Press.

April 15

R. Lawrence EdwardsGeology and Geophysics professor R. Lawrence Edwards has received a prestigious Guggenheim award. Geology and geophysics professor R. Lawrence Edwards has received a Guggenheim Award. The Guggenheim Foundation awarded 180 Fellowships to artists, scientists, and scholars. The successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants. Guggenheim Fellows are appointed on the basis of stellar achievement and exceptional promise for continued accomplishment. Edwards, who is the George and Orpha Gibson Chair of Earth Systems Science and a Distinguished McKnight University Professor, was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for his work on climate change. Edwards' career achievements have been recognized with a number of awards. In 1999, he was awarded the C.C. Patterson Medal by the Geochemical Society for outstanding research in environmental geochemistry. In 2004, he was elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2008, he was elected fellow of the American Geophysical Union and was also honored as the first recipient of the N.J. Shackleton Medal by the European Association for Geochemistry. With 150 published journal articles—more than 20 in the journals Science and Nature—Edwards is among the most highly cited earth scientists in the world. For more information, see Guggenheim.

Distinguished McKnight University Professors for 2009 are Bin He, biomedical engineering; Joseph Konstan, computer science and engineering; Marla Spivak, entomology; and Li-Na Wei, pharmacology. The McKnight awards recognize and reward outstanding mid-career faculty, who hold the title as long as they remain at the U of M and receive a grant of $100,000 over five years. They will be recognized by the Board of Regents on May 8. For more information, see McKnight professors.

Eli Coleman, professor and director of the Program in Human Sexuality, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, will receive the Master and Johnson Award for lifetime achievement of excellence in clinical and/or research areas of sexual disorders. This award is given annually by the Society for Sex Therapy and Research (SSTAR), an organization dedicated to fostering communication and an exchange of ideas among sexual health professionals. Coleman has been a pioneer in the field of human sexuality as a teacher, clinician, researcher, and advocate. In addition to the intellectual contributions Coleman has dedicated a great deal of time over the years to the growth of sexual health organizations. He currently serves as president of the International Academy for Sex Research and in May 2007 he was appointed the first Chair in Sexual Health at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He has been awarded the U.S. Surgeon General's Exemplary Service Award (2001), the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award (2001) from the Society for the Scientific Study, The Alfred E. Kinsey Award by the Midcontinent Region of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (2001), and a Gold Medal for his lifetime contributions to the field of sexual health by the World Association for Sexual Health (2007). 

The Program in Human Sexuality is one of the largest clinical, teaching, and research institutions in the world specializing in human sexuality. Professor Edward Goetz from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs accepted an offer to serve as Director of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), effective June 2009. This appointment follows an internal search process to fill the position after professor Tom Scott steps down as part of a phased retirement. As CURA director, Goetz will provide administrative oversight and strategic leadership to CURA activities. Professor Goetz is a former associate dean for academic affairs at the Humphrey Institute and serves as director of the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning degree program. His research and teaching areas are urban studies and politics, housing policy and discrimination, neighborhood revitalization, and economic development. He has a history of service and leadership including having chaired the board of the Urban Affairs Association and the Central Community Housing Trust of Minneapolis, and having been a member of the executive council of the Research Committee on Housing and the Built Environment for the International Sociological Association. He has served on study groups and boards for the Metropolitan Council and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and is on the editorial boards of three major housing and urban policy journals.

2009 Distinguished Women Scholar Awards are professors Ann Fallon, entomology, and Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, epidemiology and community health. Fallon is a world-renowned researcher on Minnesota's signature pest, the mosquito, and Neumark-Sztainer is a leading scholar helping to prevent adolescent obesity and eating disorders. Each year, the award honors the exceptional accomplishment of one scholar in science and engineering and another in humanities, arts, and social sciences. An awards program honoring these and other outstanding U women will take place April 20, 2:30 p.m., Memorial Hall, McNamara Alumni Center. Sudha Shetty, executive director of the International Fellowship Program, will deliver opening remarks. Free and open to the public. RSVP to outstanding women or call 612-625-9837. 

Those to be honored include

Distinguished Women Scholar Awards
--Ann Fallon, professor of entomology
--Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, professor of epidemiology

Civil Service and Bargaining Unit Staff Award
--Dee Anne Bonebright, consultant, OHR
--Susan Geller, analyst/program manager, OIT/Graduate School

Mullen-Spector-Truax Women's Leadership Award
--Sally Kenney, director, Center for Women and Public Policy, Humphrey Institute

Sharon L. Doherty Women Student Awards
--Jacqueline Heard, B.S candidate in marketing; B.A. candidate in psychology

For more information, see Celebrating University Women.

UMM junior Tara Greiman is a recipient of the 2009 Udall Scholarship, one of only two students awarded who attend a Minnesota college. Greiman is the second Morris campus student to receive the Udall and the first to focus on environmental studies. She hopes to earn a master's degree in city planning and doctorate in health psychology. The Udall Foundation awarded this highly competitive and prestigious scholarship to only 80 students from 66 colleges and universities nationwide. The Foundation seeks future leaders across a wide spectrum of environmental fields, including policy, engineering, science, education, urban planning and renewal, business, health, justice, and economics. Established by Congress in 1992 to honor Morris King Udall’s 30 years of service in the House of Representatives, the Morris K. Udall Foundation is dedicated to educating a new generation of Americans to preserve and protect their national heritage through studies in the environment and Native American health and tribal public policy.

UMM student Melinda Kernik is a 2009 recipient of the Katherine E. Sullivan Scholarship. The Scholarship provides an opportunity for seniors who attend any campus of the University of Minnesota to enrich their academic experience with a fifth year of undergraduate study in another country. For more information, see scholarship.

On April 4, CLARION hosted its 2009 National Case Competition featuring eight interprofessional teams from schools across the U.S. Each school has a team consisting of 3-4 students from at least three different health areas. This year, the teams presented their recommendations on the chosen case study to a panel of four judges and were awarded for their efforts in identifying key issues in patient safety and quality improvement as well as making recommendations for implementing a better system overall. The University of Minnesota team, consisting of Elizabeth Hackenmueller, Colleen May, Jeanna Swanson, and Saundra Hartmann, took second place. For more information, see CLARION.

U in the News: A selection of U faculty in the news

Gophers close to fundraising goal for new stadium
More than 2,000 private residents have donated a total of $81.5 million to help build the new Gopher football stadium at the University of Minnesota. KARE-TV.

Chimps Trade Meat for the Chance of Sex
There's nothing like a prime rib dinner to boost a guy's chances of getting lucky. Anne Pusey, director of the Jane Goodall Institute's Center for Primate Studies at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, notes that it's the first study to show such a strong statistical correlation, for example. Science Now.

The Misguided Quest for Universal Coverage
America's dysfunctional health care financing system needs to be reformed. Indeed, this would enable more than 20 million more Americans to get insurance, according to a model created by Steve Parente, a health economist at the University of Minnesota. New York Times.

Cancer drug tested at U receives FDA approval
A new cancer-fighting drug, tested at the University of Minnesota's Masonic Cancer Center, received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. KSAX–TV.

April 8

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf 165x165President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree April 10.President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree on April 10. The Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs will present the 2009 Distinguished Carlson Lecture featuring Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, on April 10, 2 p.m., Northrop Memorial Auditorium. Doors open at 1 p.m. Internationally known as Africa's “Iron Lady,” Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was the first woman democratically elected to lead an African nation. She previously held several positions at the United Nations, including serving as the first woman to lead the Development Project for Africa. The honorary degree is the highest award conferred by the University of Minnesota. For more information, read "Leading the way."

Morris Shines: UMM's Kellcee Baker and Ashley Gaschk are two of 60 2009 Truman Scholars selected from across the United States. Baker plans to work with Native American and low-income youth; Gaschk wants to help labor unions. For more information, see Truman Scholars.

Four University of Minnesota students have won the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship. The Goldwater Scholarship is awarded annually to outstanding sophomores and juniors in mathematics, science, and engineering who intend to pursue research-oriented careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The scholarships provide up to $7,500 per year for up to two years of undergraduate study. All four Goldwater Scholars are enrolled in the University Honors Program.

The four U of M students awarded are:

Mitch Biermann, a College of Biological Sciences sophomore majoring in biochemistry and microbiology, plans to earn a Ph.D. in biochemistry and would like to teach at the university level and conduct research in biochemistry and biophysics.

Matthew Coudron, an Institute of Technology physics and mathematics sophomore, intends to earn a Ph.D. in physics or mathematics. Coudron plans to conduct research in applications of mathematics to practical problems and teach at the university level.

Peter Lofgren, an Institute of Technology mathematics and computer science sophomore, plans to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics and computer science. He would like to conduct research in mathematics or computer science and teach at the university level.

Rebecca Szarkowski, an Institute of Technology biomedical engineering junior, plans to earn a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. She hopes to conduct research in biomedical science for industry some day and would like to oversee the device design cycle process from concept to use.

This year 278 Goldwater Scholars were selected from a field of 1,097 nominees from colleges and universities nationwide. Since the program began, 42 University of Minnesota students have been named Goldwater Scholars. Institutions are permitted to nominate four candidates per year. For more information, see Goldwater.

The U's Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment announced awards totaling more than $745,000 in seed grants to 12 projects. IREE's 2009 seed grants program will help launch high-potential projects that are in the initial phase of development. The goal of this program is to promote early-stage research in renewable energy and the environment and to position the work for future extramural funding opportunities. In conjunction with IREE's large grants program--which will support seven new projects with a total of $4.85 million--the seed grant program investments will expand IREE's research portfolio to encompass a broader range of focus areas.

The projects selected to receive IREE seed grants include:

Biohydrogen-Based Biofuel Cells: Highly Efficient and Clean Electricity Generation Using Mixed Wastewater Feedstocks-A Rural Development Project
Project lead: Jun Zhu, Southern Research and Outreach Center
Goal: To investigate the feasibility of developing a biological fuel cell system, which consists of a bio-hydrogen-producing fermenter connected to an enzyme-based fuel cell that can produce electricity directly from waste biomass.

Creation of Energy Efficient Inorganic-Bonded Structural Insulated Panels
Project lead: Matthew Aro, Natural Resources Research Institute
Goal: To combine the properties of chemically-bonded inorganic binders with regionally-sourced and underutilized red pine forest thinnings in order to create moisture-, decay-, fire-, and mildew-resistant structural insulated panels. Compared to traditional structural insulated panels, the new products will require much less energy to produce.

Enhanced Biogas Formation from Animal Waste: Evaluation of a New Technology for Increased Biogas Quality and Quantity
Project lead: Michael Sadowsky, Soil, Water and Climate
Goal: To evaluate the scientific basis for enhanced biogas production, as well as improved gas composition produced by an anaerobic digester using the Hogen process.

Hydrostatic Transmission for Wind Power Generation
Project lead: Kim Stelson, Mechanical Engineering
Goal: To assess the potential economic and technical advantages of using a hydrostatic transmission rather than a mechanical gear box for wind power generators.

Hydrothermal Carbonization of Algae and Agricultural Wastes: Synthetic Bio-coal
Project lead: H. Ted Davis, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Goal: To use carbon that has been fixed and sequestered by algae and other plant materials to rapidly and efficiently produce synthetic coal.

Improved Energy Production for Large Wind Turbines
Project lead: Gary Balas, Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics
Goal: To study the tradeoffs associated with controlling wind turbines, with the potential impact of enabling the construction of larger, more efficient wind turbines.

Minnesota Microorganisms for Electrical Biocatalysis: Novel Bacteria from Minnesota Habitats that Use Electrodes to Increase Bioproduct Value and Capture Carbon
Project lead: Daniel Bond, Microbiology
Goal: To identify novel bacteria and obtain new models for the study of organisms able to link electricity to biological carbon capture and biocatalysis.

Next Generation Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
Project lead: David Blank, Chemistry
Goal: Photovoltaic devices convert solar energy into electricity; in order to improve their performance, this project aims to reveal the unknown events that occur immediately after light absorption in dye-sensitized solar cells.

Reduction of Carbon Dioxide to Methane Using Nanostructured Heterojunction Photocatalysts
Project lead: Eray Aydil, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Goal: To examine and establish a new class of nanostructured photocatalysts with the aim of converting carbon dioxide and water to methane using sunlight.

State Climate Action Planning: Geography of Regional and National Climate and Renewable Energy Policy
Project lead: Elizabeth Wilson, Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs
Goal: To investigate Minnesota's greenhouse gas reduction policy and renewable technology choices by analyzing results from 14 state climate action plans facilitated by the Center for Climate Strategies.

Universal Utility Interface for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles with Vehicle-to-Grid Functionality
Project lead: Ned Mohan, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Goal: To develop a novel interface between a utility and PHEV battery pack in order to demonstrate a complete system with bidirectional power flow capabilities.

Use of Transcriptomics to Identify Lignin-Degrading Enzymes in Fungi
Project lead: Steve Gantt, Plant Biology
Goal: To better understand how lignin is broken down--a process that is vital to converting complex feedstocks to biofuel. For more information, see the IREE news release.

Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal has selected Undergraduate Business Career Center (UBCC) Director Morgan Kinross-Wright as one of the 2009 40 Under Forty honorees. The 40 Under Forty program honors some of the region's most talented and successful young leaders. Kinross-Wright has been UBCC director since 2005, prior to which she had been associate director of corporate services at the Carlson School. She received her MBA from the University of Michigan, an MS in counseling from Minnesota State University, and a BA from the University of Montana. The UBCC assists undergraduate students and alumni in planning their careers and conducting their internships and job searches. Kinross-Wright works to build key corporate relationships on behalf of the Carlson School. For more information, see the business journal.

Elaine Hansen, Director, University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) Center for Economic Development, has been named the Women in Business Champion of the Year for the U.S. Small Business Administration's Minnesota District Office. The UMD Center for Economic Development is the Small Business Development Center in Northeastern Minnesota serving St. Louis, Carlton, Lake, Cook, Koochiching, and Itasca Counties. The Women in Business Champion is selected annually to honor individuals who have fulfilled a commitment to the advancement of women's business ownership. For more information see the news release.

Susana Pelayo-Woodward, director of the UMD Office of Cultural Diversity, has been named the 2009 winner of the Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award for the University of Minnesota system. In addition to her teaching in the areas of race, class and gender, Ms Pelayo-Woodward oversees academic and cultural programming, and facilitates leadership development on the UMD campus. She will officially receive the award at a celebration ceremony April 20 at 4:30p.m. at the University Campus Club on the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus. For more information see the news release.

At the College of Veterinary Medicine's annual Points of Pride Research Day on March 25, Dr. Peixuan Guo was named Distinguished Research Alumnus. Guo, received his Ph.D. in microbiology and genetics from the University of Minnesota in 1987. He currently holds the Dane & Mary Louise Miller Endowed Chair in Biomedical Engineering and is director of the NIH Nanomedicine Development Center and professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. The 2009 Pfizer Research Excellence Award recipient was Dr. Mathur Kannan, professor in the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department. The 2009 Distinguished Research Partner Award went to the Minnesota Turkey Research and Promotion Council.

Center for Excellence in Children's Mental Health (CECMH) recently sponsored a first-of-its-kind event called Talk to the Experts: An Autism Spectrum Disorders Workshop for Parents. Sessions were held in English, Spanish, and Somali. About 80 parents attended and heard from presenters from autism-related agencies throughout the Twin Cities--a primary presenter was Allison Golnik from the University's Office of Pediatrics and Adolescent Health. Participants in the event included staff of the CECMH in collaboration with representatives from community groups, including Arc Greater Twin Cities, Autism Society of Minnesota, Fraser Child & Family Center, Minneapolis Public Schools, MPLN (MN Parent Leadership Network), NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness), PAA (Parents United Against Autism).

U in the News: A selection of U faculty in the news

A Novice in Search of Bounty

Since adjunct assistant professor Michael Tortorello and his girlfriend bought a vacant lot in the winter of 2000, it has provided them with a steady harvest of nothing. "I think for any gardener just starting out, it's good to get a soil sample," said Carl Rosen, an extension soil scientist with the University of Minnesota. New York Times.

Brian Atwood: 'Too good to fail'

Questionable financial practices. Brian Atwood is the dean of the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and the host of the Distinguished Carlson Lecture Series. Star Tribune.

As spring approaches, trees know it

As spring approaches, trees feel the temperature difference just like we do. Jeff Gillman is an associate professor of horticulture at the University of Minnesota. Star Tribune.

April 1

UMC's Adel Ali, professor and head, Math, Science, Technology Department, served as program coordinator for the 15th Annual Conference on Industry, Engineering and Management Systems, held March 9-11 in Cocoa Beach, Florida. At the conference he also co-presented two papers on computer simulation work: “Hybrid Approach for Agent-Based Egress Simulation: Mitigating the Dynamic Re-routing Problem” with Bikramjit Banerjee and “Spot E Vac: A Simulation Environment for Planning, Training and Assessment of Emergency Response and Evacuation Capabilities at High Consequence Sports Events” with Lou Marciani.

U in the News: A selection of U faculty in the news

A lower tolerance for cuts in higher ed President Robert Bruininks told this newspaper 16 months ago that if his University of Minnesota was again threatened with deep state appropriations cuts, he intended to be "meaner than a junkyard dog" in fighting back. Star Tribune.

Fed money stimulates construction of NE MN physics lab

A big construction project planned for the woods south of International Falls, will soon be creating jobs courtesy of the federal economic stimulus plan. The University of Minnesota is building a high-tech particle physics lab just outside Voyageurs National Park. Minnesota Public Radio.

Whistleblower: 'Low-cost' generic drugs not cheap for all

Walgreens, the pharmacy giant that advertises hundreds of generic prescriptions at $1 a week, routinely charges Medicare and Medical Assistance more for the same drugs. Stephen Schondelmeyer, a University of Minnesota pharmacy professor who studies drug pricing, questions whether $4 generic prices will last. Star Tribune.

For Ads, Context, Not Content, Is Key

It's no secret that the subtext of most advertisements involves either fear or sex. A team of researchers led by Vladas Griskevicius, professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota, showed three groups of university students short clips from either a romantic movie (Before Sunrise, in which Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy gradually fall in love) or a violent thriller (The Shining, featuring a crazed, knife-wielding Jack Nicholson). Miller Mccune.

Starting a garden from scratch? Start right

If you've never gardened before or just haven't planted anything in a while, you might be wondering where to start. By taking a soil sample and sending it to lab at the University of Minnesota (, technicians can determine if your soil has major problems, such as a lack of potassium or other important nutrients or if it's too alkaline (most vegetables like a slightly acidic pH of about 6 to 7). Star Tribune.

Putting a Price on a Title Run Stirs a Debate

Early this month, Courtney Paris, an all-American center at the University of Oklahoma, made a promise that was rare and provocative: if the Sooners did not win the national basketball championship, she would repay the cost of her scholarship. Mary Jo Kane, a sports sociologist at the University of Minnesota, said Paris represented the antithesis of the sense of entitlement felt by many male athletes. New York Times.