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Home > People > Awards and appointments, October 2010

Awards and appointments, October 2010

By Adam Overland

Jennifer Alexander 165
Jennifer Alexander

October 27

To submit U of M staff or faculty for consideration in People, contact the Brief editor.

Sidney Edelstein Prize
Jennifer Alexander, faculty member of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine Program, has won the prestigious Sidney Edelstein Prize for the best book in the History of Science for her book, Mantra of Efficiency. The award was announced at a special ceremony at the Society for the History of Technology meeting two weeks ago.

President of NAFSA
Meredith McQuaid, associate vice president and dean of international programs, will be the next president of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, effective January 2011. With 10,000 members, NAFSA is the world’s largest nonprofit professional association dedicated to international education.

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

Want to improve productivity? Scrap meetings
In my work with CEOs, senior executives and employees the number one complaint is meetings--specifically how they are a waste of time… Research by University of Minnesota psychologist Kathleen Vohs and her colleagues as well as other neuroscientists, indicates that we have a limited amount of cognitive or what they call "executive" resources. Wired For Success Blog - Psychology Today.

Rare Vote Set on a Union in Fast Food
The Jimmy John’s restaurants here are known for serving attitude with their sandwiches… Some workplace specialists view the unionization drive with skepticism. “It’s clearly an uphill battle,” said John Budd, a professor of industrial relations at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. The New York Times.

Bruininks' changing course
For another man, it might have been a year to slough off… But Robert Bruininks isn't just trying to remake the University of Minnesota. He's trying to change all of education. On both fronts, there's work left to do. Star Tribune.

Living (not so) large?
Great rooms. McMansions. Jumbo mortgages. The American home -- and everything associated with it -- got supersized during the housing boom. Big was good… "We were bloated," said Tom Fisher, dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. Star Tribune

Good Question: How Common Is Sexting?
Brett Favre has put the word "sexting" onto our TV screens, newspaper headlines and all over the web… There's no good research on older people sexting, but according to a University of Minnesota professor, Shayla Thiel-Stern, there's also no reason to think that older people wouldn't be doing it. WCCO-TV.

October 20

To submit U of M staff or faculty for consideration in People, contact the Brief editor.

Cundill Prize in History
Giancarlo Casale 165Giancarlo Casale Associate Professor Giancarlo Casale's (History) book The Ottoman Age of Exploration is one of three finalists for the Cundill Prize in History. The prize, now in its third year, will award one full prize of $75,000 and two "Recognition of Excellence" awards of $10,000 on November 14 in Montreal, Canada. The short list of three books was chosen from 181 eligible entries representing some 85 publishing houses from around the world. Jury member Adam Gopnik had the following to say regarding this year’s short list:

"Giancarlo Casale’s The Ottoman Age Of Exploration (Oxford University Press) gives us much news about the spread and nature of Ottoman seafaring missions and asks us to see the Turkish, Muslim Empire not as some strange “Other” but as one more of the competing and trading nations of the period, in constant exchange and dialogue with the West."

The book is the first comprehensive historical account of this century-long struggle for global dominance, a struggle that raged from the shores of the Mediterranean to the Straits of Malacca, and from the interior of Africa to the steppes of Central Asia. Based on extensive research in the archives of Turkey and Portugal, as well as materials written on three continents and in a half dozen languages, it presents an unprecedented picture of the global reach of the Ottoman state during the sixteenth century. It does so through a dramatic recounting of the lives of sultans and viziers, spies, corsairs, soldiers-of-fortune, and women from the imperial harem. Challenging traditional narratives of Western dominance, it argues that the Ottomans were not only active participants in the Age of Exploration, but ultimately bested the Portuguese in the game of global politics by using sea power, dynastic prestige, and commercial savoir faire to create their own imperial dominion throughout the Indian Ocean. Giancarlo Casale is associate professor of the History of the Islamic World and the 2009-2011 McKnight Land Grant Professor.

2010 Access Achievement Award
Eight individuals recently received a 2010 Access Achievement Award from the Office for Equity and Diversity's Disability Services unit. Awards were given in honor of their contributions to making the University campus more inclusive and accessible for all. Recipients included: Kathryn Brown (Office of the President); Steve Carnes (Office of Information Technology); Mannix Clark (Housing and Residential Life); Michelle Driessen (Department of Chemistry); Gordon Legge (Department of Psychology); Lois Maturi (Disability Services Scholarship Committee); Ruanne Pearson (Academic Support Resources); and Heidi Soneson (International Programs Office).

IonE Discovery Grants

Institute on the Environment awards $1.9 million in Discovery Grants to six projects with global reach* - The Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota has selected six projects to receive $1.9 million over four years through its Discovery Grants program. From reducing health and environmental harm caused by household stoves in developing countries to carrying out an adventure learning program that connects climate hot spots around the world with learners via social networking, the projects will accelerate innovation in environmental research and problem solving related to improving air and water quality, protecting ecosystems and the services they provide, and reducing the threat of global climate change. 

The new Discovery Grants cut across numerous campus units and involve many different departments, colleges and outside partners. The projects were selected through a rigorous review process involving outside national experts as well as internal strategic reviews.

They join 11 others that are already part of the Institute’s research portfolio: Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment, Global Landscapes Initiative, River Life, Natural Capital Project, Global Great Lakes, Reinventing the Boreal Forest, Science-on-a-Sphere, Whole Village Project, Global Health and the Environment in Africa, Dialogue Earth, and NorthStar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2011, the Institute will award $100,000 per year per project as follows:


Principal Investigator: Aaron Doering, Department of Curriculum and Instruction (College of Education and Human Development)
Co-PIs: Charles Miller, Department of Curriculum and Instruction (College of Education and Human Development); Cassie Scharber, Department of Curriculum and Instruction (College of Education and Human Development).

The Institute will support the Earthducation team as it travels to climate hot spots on all seven continents and collaborates with cultures around the world to create the first global ecological narrative of collective beliefs related to education and sustainability. The ecological narrative will engage students and the public through an adventure learning program tied into social networking to allow global documentation, sharing and discussion. (three years)

Water Crisis in the 21st Century: Global Challenge, Local Solutions

Principal Investigator: Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, Department of Civil Engineering (College of Science and Engineering)
Co-PIs: Tom Johnson, Great Lakes Observatory, Department of Geological Sciences (U of M Duluth); Upmanu Lall, Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering and Department of Civil Engineering & Engineering Mechanics (Columbia University)

Key to sustainable water use is knowledge of the source, movement and stores of water in the atmosphere, surface and subsurface. With the Institute’s support, researchers will develop a framework that makes it possible to integrate data from satellite, on-the-ground and other sources to predict local water quality and supply at remote places of the world. The team will then apply the model to understanding and enhancing water sustainability in India and East Africa. (two years)

Connecting People, Land and Water in Urban Ecosystems

Principal Investigator: Sarah Hobbie, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior (College of Biological Sciences)
Co-PIs: Larry Baker, Water Resources Center; Kristen Nelson, Department of Forest Resources and Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology (College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences); Carissa Schively Slotterback, Humphrey Institute

Trees, shrubs, grasses and other plants not only beautify cities, but also enhance air and water quality, provide protection from wind and sun, offer recreational opportunities, and much more. To help make the most of the ecosystem services urban vegetation offers, the Institute will support research to identify and characterize motivations and institutional forces that shape vegetation management in cities, assess the consequences of vegetation management for aquatic ecosystems, and explore how vegetation management affects plants’ ability to deliver ecosystem services. (four years)

Stove Change-Out: A “Win-Win-Win” for Development, Environment, and Health

Principal Investigator: Julian Marshall, Department of Civil Engineering (College of Science and Engineering)
Co-PI: Gurumurthy Ramachandran, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health (School of Public Health)

Biomass-burning household stoves used in developing countries contribute to local health problems and global climate change. The Institute will support a neighborhood-scale stove change-out program in India that will reduce air pollution while exploring opportunities for establishing financially sustainable businesses. (three years)

Opportunity Knocks: Transformative Steps in Plant Data Synthesis

Principal Investigator: Peter Reich, Department of Forest Resources (College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences)
Co-PIs: Arindam Banerjee, Department of Computer Science and Engineering (College of Science and Engineering); Daniel Boley, Department of Computer Science and Engineering (College of Science and Engineering); Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior (College of Biological Sciences); Singdhansu Chatterjee, School of Statistics; Vipin Kumar, Department of Computer Science and Engineering (College of Science and Engineering); Jacek Oleksyn, Department of Forest Resources (College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences); Shashi Shekhar, Department of Computer Science and Engineering (College of Science and Engineering); Rebecca Montgomery, Department of Forest Resources (College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences)

Studies that seek to understand Earth’s biological resources must be integrated across time and space if we are to effectively apply the knowledge they yield to efforts such as maintaining biodiversity, regulating atmospheric CO2, and promoting other economic and ecosystem services. This Institute-supported initiative will use data mining, management and analysis tools to create a comprehensive plant trait data base; conduct multidimensional studies of forest diversity, community dynamics and biomass pools; synthesize data from long-term ecological research sites; and link ecosystem modelers and global change ecophysiologists. (three years)

Islands in the Sun: Redesigning Cities to Mitigate the Urban Heat Island Effect

Principal Investigator: Peter Snyder, Department of Soil, Water and Climate (College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences)
Co-PI: Tracy E. Twine, Department of Soil, Water and Climate (College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences)

Most urban areas are warming at twice the rate of the planet as a whole. With half the human population now living in cities, the implications for morbidity and mortality during heat-related events are alarming. The goals of this Institute-supported project are to quantify the factors contributing to the formation of urban heat islands for cities around the world, develop numerical models to assess strategies for mitigating urban heat islands, and create practical mitigation strategies using the Twin Cities metropolitan area as an example. (four years)

U in the News: A selection of U faculty in the news
Molecular Mimicry: Plastic, Steel Line Up Like Kin Frank Bates didn't start out expecting to find a fundamental property of nature, but that's what he may have done… Bates is a chemical engineer and materials scientist at the University of Minnesota. National Public Radio.

Study mapping brain's connections to provide answers on what's normal
The human brain can be a mysterious place, misfiring or missing connections in ways that continue to leave doctors and scientists scratching their heads...Researchers at the University of Minnesota and eight other research centers this fall started work on the biggest effort yet to map the brain's connections. Minnesota Public Radio.

Antarctic Ice Sheet Preserves Invisible Mountain Range
Buried deep beneath East Antarctica’s ice sheet, the Gamburtsev Mountains are the world’s most invisible range… The new work can’t reveal anything explicit about when big ice sheets or smaller mountain glaciers were actually present, says John Goodge, a geologist at the University of Minnesota in Duluth. Wired.

Mouse Study Sheds Light on Hearing Loss in Aging Humans
New insight into how different types of age-related hearing loss may occur could help lead to the development of drugs to preserve hearing, scientists say… The team at the University of Minnesota Medical School looked at how two closely related genes affect hearing in mice. U.S. News & World Report.

Human Ancestors Hunted by Prehistoric Beasts
Early humans may have evolved as prey animals rather than as predators, suggest the remains of our prehistoric primate ancestors that were devoured by hungry birds and carnivorous mammals… "I have observed multiple tooth pits and probable beak marks on these fossil primates, which are direct evidence for creodonts and raptors consuming these primates," researcher Kirsten Jenkins told Discovery News.

Make the most of those leaves
It seems as if raking leaves, bagging them and hauling them to the curb is what responsible homeowners do in the fall… Mary Hockenberry Meyer is a professor and extension horticulturist with the University of Minnesota. Star Tribune.

Quantum mechanics made easy - seriously
A University of Minnesota professor again uses a pop culture approach to get at the core of physics. Star Tribune.

Much more than just mourning a life cut short
A woman on stilts twirling a parasol, a bike shaped like a giant fish, a brass band, a canoe, banners, flowers. Such were the makings Wednesday evening of a memorial procession for Ethan T. Johnson, a University of Minnesota scientist who died Sept. 21 after a hit-and-run crash in south Minneapolis. Star Tribune.

The sad truth: Technology can't protect our kids from being kids
Of all the agonizing images we're left with in the aftermath of the likely suicide pact of Lakeland teenagers Jacob Campbell and Lisa Grijalva, I can't get one out of my head: Their apparent decision to shut down their Facebook pages a few days before they died... This stunning disconnect is familiar territory to Nora Paul, an expert on New Media in the School of Journalism at the University of Minnesota, and the mother of two young adults. "What comes up a lot in our information-strategies class is that young people are 'digital natives' and so savvy," Paul said. "But they are so naive." Star Tribune.

October 13

To submit U of M staff or faculty for consideration in People, contact the Brief editor.

Mary Story has been elected to Institute of Medicine
Mary Story 165 Mary Story U of M School of Public Health nutrition expert Mary Story has been elected to Institute of Medicine (IOM).

Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

New members are elected by current active members through a highly selective process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health. The Institute of Medicine is unique in its structure as both an honorific membership organization and an advisory organization.

In addition to being a professor in the School of Public Health’s Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, Story is associate Dean for Student Life and Leadership and an adjunct professor in the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine at the University of Minnesota.

Story’s expertise is in child and adolescent nutrition, and childhood obesity prevention. She is director of the National Program Office for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Healthy Eating Research, an initiative that supports research on environmental and policy strategies to promote healthy eating among children to prevent childhood obesity.

She has conducted numerous school and community-based obesity prevention studies, several of them have focused on low-income communities and minority populations.

Nursing Foundation will honor Donna Bliss
The University of Minnesota School of Nursing and the School of Nursing Foundation will honor Donna Bliss on being named the inaugural holder of the School of Nursing Foundation Research Professorship. Immediately following the presentation, Bliss will deliver the keynote presentation for the 19th Annual Andrea Printy Memorial Lecture. Oct. 12, 5-6:30 p.m., Radisson-Minneapolis.

Distinguished Teacher Award from the American Society of Animal Science
Marshall Stern has been awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award from the American Society of Animal Science.

Stern teaches courses in Companion Animal Nutrition, Animal Nutrition, and Ruminant Nutrition and advises 30 undergraduates. He has advised 24 undergraduate senior research theses and 12 PhD and 16 MS theses to completion. Stern is also responsible for developing a Companion Animal Biology curriculum. His teaching excellence has been recognized with many awards including the 2006 University of Minnesota Morse Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education; 2006 Corbin Award in Companion Animal Biology (ASAS); 2006 Land O’Lakes Dairy Production Teaching Award (ADSA); 2005 Distinguished Faculty Member, College of Agricultural Food and Environmental Sciences (COAFES) Alumni Society; 2005 Outstanding Teacher Award, COAFES Student Board; and 2003 Teaching Award of Merit, North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture. Stern has an internationally renowned research program in ruminant nutrition. He has 87 peer-reviewed publications along with an equally impressive number of published proceedings and abstracts. In addition, he has received the American Feed Industry Association Dairy Nutrition (1991) and Ruminant Nutrition (2008) Research Awards. He was Ruminant Nutrition Section Editor for the Journal of Animal Science. Stern’s incredible commitment to teaching, advising, curriculum development, and research has contributed significantly to the livestock industry.

American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame
Jean Freeman, retired University Women’s Swimming and Diving Coach, has been selected as the first Honoree in the American Swimming Coaches Association Class of 2011 to be inducted into the ASCA Hall of Fame next September, in San Diego, California. The Honorees in this highly selective group must have placed a team in the top 10 at the USA Swimming Nationals and/or the top 10 NCAA Division I National Championships; coached an individual USA summer national champion; coached an individual USA Olympic medalist; coached a USA Olympic Medalist or World Record Holder or made a significant contribution to the sport of swimming, community or profession. She is only the second woman in history to be inducted into the ASCA Hall of Fame.

Philip S. Portoghese Endowed Chair in Chemical Neuroscience
Carrie Haskell-Luevano, an expert in peptide hormone endocrine systems, will join the College of Pharmacy on July 1, 2011, as the Philip S. Portoghese Endowed Chair in Chemical Neuroscience. The Philip S. Portoghese Endowed Chair was established to direct research that addresses neuroscience from a medicinal chemistry/chemical biology perspective. For more information, see pharmacy.

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

Pumping Up the Self-Control in the Age of Temptations
I have a cold and a headache, and I just want to go to bed… “There is research that shows people still have the same self-control as in decades past, but we are bombarded more and more with temptations,” said Kathleen Vohs, associate professor of marketing at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. New York Times.

U's Myron Orfield: Met Council aids and abets suburban sprawl, prosperity at expense of core cities
Has the Metropolitan Council fulfilled its mission of advancing "orderly and efficient" growth for Minneapolis, St. Paul and their suburbs?… For Orfield, director of the Institute of Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota Law School, the Metropolitan Council has been complicit in these disparate trends, especially over the past 20 years. MinnPost.

Governor's JOBZ program had 'little impact' on counties' economic growth
Do companies hire workers in response to tax breaks? In the midst of the Minnesota gubernatorial debate, where tax policy is a major theme, it seems a timely question… Launched by Gov. Tim Pawlenty in 2003 as a cornerstone of his rural economic development program, the JOBZ record is mixed at best, according to Laura Kalambokidis associate professor of applied economics at the Twin cities campus, and co-author Tonya J. Hansen, assistant professor at Minnesota State University-Moorhead. MinnPost.

$1.2 Million Grant to Help Study State Organic Farm Transition
A $1.2 million federal grant will help Minnesota economists study the costs of transitioning from conventional to organic farming… The four-year project is aimed at gathering data about costs and returns for farmers making the switch. It's being led by Robert King, a professor of applied economics at the University of Minnesota. KSAX-TV.

Author tries to ‘de-Disneyfy’ fairy tales at CSULB
To many people, fairy tales and Disney go hand in hand, but Dr. Jack Zipes, an expert on the matter, disagrees… The University of Minnesota professor and author hosted an analytical seminar Monday night in the Anatol Center at Cal State Long Beach. The title of the lecture, "De-Disneyfying the Fairy-Tale Film," referred to the "Disneyfication" of fairy tales. According to Zipes, Disney has become the downfall of stories that were originally more thoughtful and intended for adults only. Daily 49er.

'U' In Morris To Fire Up New Green Energy System
The University of Minnesota Morris is getting ready to fire up a new system that will use farm biomass to provide about 80 percent of the heating needs on the western Minnesota campus… But James Barbour, director of plant services, tells the newspaper the new startup is now about one or two weeks away. WCCO-TV.

October 6

To submit U of M staff or faculty for consideration in People, contact the Brief editor.

Linda Wells 165       Linda Wells Over 100 friends, admiring fans, and dignitaries gathered Sept. 27 to watch Linda Wells, kinesiology master's graduate, receive the University's Outstanding Achievement Award.

The highest non-academic honor presented to a University of Minnesota graduate, the award acknowledged Wells' groundbreaking accomplishments in women's intercollegiate sports. In 1974, at the age of 21, she became the University's first full-time head coach in three women's sports: basketball, softball, and volleyball. From the start, she was a passionate advocate who challenged athletic directors and school presidents to get what she needed for her teams. She coached 15 years at the U before taking over the women's softball program at Arizona State University. She has coached at the international level, overseeing Olympic softball teams in the Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008) Olympics, played professional softball, and founded her own business, Wells Sports Corporation, which specializes in coaching clinics, speaking engagements, and products and services for youth sports.

Wells retired in 2005 with a collegiate coaching overall winning record of 884-653, numerous conference championships, All-American awards, and an array of medals and national tournament berths. Over the course of her career, Wells empowered countless girls and women through her willingness to challenge the status quo. For more information, see Wells.

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

Lonely people do really weird things to fit in, study confirms
Finally, science explains the scrunchie, parachute pants and those Silly Bandz the kids today are crazy about: You bought them (and your kids are buying them) because the cool kids have them… "I think people experience the threat of exclusion when they move to a new area, start a new job, or start college," says Kathleen Vohs, a marketing professor at the University of Minnesota. MSNBC.

3M Co. will drop retirees from health plans, steer to Medicare
3M Co., citing new federal health laws, said Monday it won't cover retirees with its corporate health-insurance plan starting in 2013… The new policy is likely to save 3M money because it reduces the risk to the manufacturer for rising medical costs, according to Jean Abraham, a University of Minnesota professor interviewed Monday by Minnesota Public Radio.

U of M restarts ad campaign amid concerns
The University of Minnesota has restarted its "Driven to Discover" ad campaign after halting TV ads in 2009 to cut costs. Rolled out this week, the ads—on TV, in newspapers and elsewhere—will cost the university $1.3 million this fiscal year, bringing the total price tag since 2006 to $8.4 million. Star Tribune.

U of M science and engineering R&D spending up 8.5%
The University of Minnesota system moved up one notch to 10th among all public and private universities and eighth among public universities in spending on research and development in science and engineering in 2009. This is the fourth year in a row that the U has moved up in rank nationwide. MinnPost.

The Cult of the Cloves
Are you beguiled by pyramid schemes, but loath to lose a fortune?.. This head was Krasnodar Red, an uncommon variety that a University of Minnesota soil scientist had carried back from a Russian farmers’ market near the Black Sea. The New York Times.

Leaving a Childhood Room Behind, and Much More
I WAS sitting around the table with some friends at an end of summer barbecue and the talk turned to college because one couple had just dropped off their daughter to start her freshman year. The parent program director at the University of Minnesota, Marjorie Savage, is well aware of the “what to do with the room” question. In fact, she talks about it as part of her meetings with parents during freshman orientation. A child leaving home, more or less for good, is one of the big transitional moments in life for the whole family — up there with childbirth. Dona Schwartz, a professor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota, has used photography to look at how those life-altering experiences are mirrored through rooms. New York Times.

Likely Losses of House Seats in Midwest Stir Partisan Feuds
Whatever the outcome of the fall elections, one political loser this year seems certain: the Midwest… By the time a new Congress arrives in 2013, the Midwest is expected to hold a little more than one-fifth of the seats, according to an analysis by Eric Ostermeier of the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. The New York Times.

Buzz about U professor is 'genius’
Marla Spivak never wanted to be a professor… The stories she's heard as a professor at the University of Minnesota have helped bees better protect themselves from an onslaught of threats. This week, that earned her a prestigious, $500,000 MacArthur "genius" grant. Star Tribune.