myU OneStop

What's Inside

Related Links

Home > People > Awards and appointment, June 2011

Awards and appointment, June 2011

By Adam Overland

Maureen Reed 165
Maureen Reed

June 29

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

Reed elected chair of the U of M Alumni Association

Maureen Reed, executive director of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, has been elected volunteer national chair of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA) for 2011-12. She is the 75th chair in the organization’s 107-year history.

Reed (B.A. ’75, M.D. ’79) will officially assume her role on July 1. Outgoing volunteer national chair Ertugrul Tuzcu (M.S. ’78) presented Reed with the gavel at UMAA’s annual celebration on May 3.

Reed is the executive director of the Nobel Peace Prize Forum. She has been a physician, administrator and health policy advocate in the Twin Cities for over two decades and has run for both lieutenant governor and U.S. Congress. From 1997 to 2005, she served on the University of Minnesota Board of Regents and held the role of chair for two years. She currently holds an adjunct faculty appointment at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and the School of Medicine. For more information and other elections, see Alumni Association.

George John named Carlson associate dean of faculty and research

Professor George John, the General Mills/Paul S. Gerot Chair in Marketing, has been named the new associate dean of faculty and research at the Carlson School. He assumed this role from Professor Sri Zaheer, who vacated the position to become interim dean.

The associate dean of faculty and research serves as the administration contact for the school's academic departments, faculty, research infrastructure, and doctoral programs.

John, formerly chair of the Department of Marketing and Logistics Management, received his MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his PhD in marketing from Northwestern University. He is a nationally known expert in marketing channels, industrial marketing, and high technology. His current research has focused on branded components, trade-ins for industrial goods, and co-development of new products with suppliers. John was the 2010 recipient of the American Marketing Association Interorganizational Special Interest Group (IOSIG) Lifetime Achievement Award.

Labuza Receives Life Achievement Award

Ted Labuza, Professor of Food Science and Engineering in the Dept. of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota and NCFPD investigator received the Life Achievement in Food Engineering from the International Association for Engineering and Food on May 22. The award was presented at the opening session of the 11th International Congress of the Engineering of Food in Athens, Greece. He was cited for his work on both growth and inactivation kinetics of microbes and bioterror agents, design of shelf life testing parameters and the material science of foods with respect to water activity and glass transition phenomena.

Georgiou elected to Royal Academy

Tryphon Georgiou was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences at its General Meeting on June 15.

Peter Zetterberg passes away

Peter Zetterberg 165 President Bruininks presenting Zetterberg with the 2009 President's Award for Outstanding Service.Peter Zetterberg passed away June 22, at the age of 61. Zetterberg was one of the University's most trusted advisors on tuition policy, scholarships, need-based financial aid, and improved educational access for Minnesota students. He was the architect of many of the University's most successful tuition strategies, including 13-credit tuition banding, which provides a financial incentive for students to take a higher course load, resulting in more timely graduation and reduced total cost of education. His work on behalf of the University improved access and affordability for thousands of Minnesota students each year.

Over the course of three decades, Zetterberg worked in a variety of capacities at the University, playing an important role in decisions that have affected student education at all levels. He served as the director of the Office of Institutional Research and Reporting; led the semester-conversion process; and served as the lead University analyst on important projects such as tuition modeling, financial aid allocation and policy, human resource assessment, curricular review, and innumerable budget modeling initiatives. He is also credited with the development of the Founder's Free Tuition Program, a precursor to the University of Minnesota Promise scholarship program.

Kris Nelson passes away

Kris Nelson 165Kris NelsonKris Nelson, director of neighborhood programs at the U's Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), died unexpectedly June 17 at the age of 60. Nelson touched the lives of many people in the Twin Cities metro area, and he will be deeply missed. For more information, see Kris Nelson.




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

Ethanol-dependent towns caught in middle of subsidy fight
The white plume still billows from the smokestack at the ethanol plant off Hwy. 14 here, and the 18-wheelers still screech to a stop at the corn unloading station… That probably isn't going to change if subsidies are dropped, said Doug Tiffany, an assistant extension professor of applied economics at the University of Minnesota. Bellingham Herald.

Power Potential
UMM was featured in the article "Power Potential" in the latest issue of Business Officer, published by the National Association of College and University Business Officers. Lowell Rasmussen, vice chancellor for facilities and finance, was interviewed about Morris's local renewable energy resources as cost-effective power supplies. Business Officer.

Organic Pesticides: Not An Oxymoron
It may seem counterintuitive, but foods that are grown to organic standards can contain commercially manufactured pesticides… So we called Jeff Gillman, a professor of nursery management at the University of Minnesota, who has written about organic practices for lay readers. Vermont Public Radio.

Minnesota research project focuses on saving tiny songbird
Nearly half the golden-winged warblers in the world are in northern Minnesota right now for the summer breeding season… "A golden-winged warbler is kind of the proverbial canary in the coal mine," says Henry Streby, a researcher with the University of Minnesota, which is a member of the research unit. The study is part of a global effort to save the songbird. University of Minnesota Crookston Professor John Loegering is one of the members of the Golden Winged Warbler Working Group. Minnesota Public Radio.

How 'cash for clunkers' could rev our engines
Not just on by getting new cars off the lots, but by bettering fuel efficiency… Jason Hill is assistant professor of bioproducts and biosystems engineering at the University of Minnesota. Star Tribune.

Record Food Prices Linked to Biofuels
The biofuels industry is being blamed for record food prices and high price volatility… "We've lost a lot of our ability for our agricultural system to be buffered from price shocks from weather and other things that affect production," says Jason Hill, a professor of bioproducts and biosystems engineering at the University of Minnesota. MIT Technology Review.

University of Minnesota President Retires, Leaves His 17-Pound, 6-Ounce Walleye Behind
Who wouldn't want to go to college where the president's nickname is Walleye Bob? GoFISHn.

Stop Critters From Eating Your Garden Before You Do
How do you keep animals from eating the vegetables in your garden before you do?... There’s also a new product on the market developed by the University of Minnesota. WCCO-TV.

New Alloy Can Convert Heat Directly Into Electricity
A new alloy with unique properties can convert heat directly into electricity, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota. Popular Science.

Goodbye, Team D? When One State’s Cuts Hurt Everyone
Here’s a little tip that will make you feel like a public-health insider… The state found them at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, which every year supplies a group of graduate students to perform the painstaking interviews that underlie MNDoH’s unusually good analyses. Wired Science.

Men misbehaving: the psychology of cheating
Over the last few years the list of distinguished male politicians falling from grace in sex scandals has grown disturbingly long… "I think promiscuity and risk taking go hand in hand and risk taking often underlies power," University of Minnesota psychiatrist Jon Grant said Thursday. KARE-TV.

Goldy goes global
And you thought you’ve always had cool summer plans. Get on the Global Goldy Facebook page and check out where the gopher has traveled throughout the world, having tagged along with students, staff and alumni. Minnesota Public Radio On Campus.

FDA Cracks Down on Sunscreen Labels
The FDA is cracking down on sunscreen labels -- especially on claims that they’re water proof. “UV-A and UV-B can both play a role in skin cancer development, but I think it’s increasing awareness about the role that UV-A can play, especially in non-melanoma skin cancer development,” explained Kristen Hook, a pediatric dermatologist with the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital. KMSP-TV.

June 15

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

Eric Schwartz named Humphrey School dean
Eric Schwartz 165Eric SchwartzEric Schwartz, assistant secretary for Population, Refugees and Migration in the U.S. Department of State, has been named dean of the University's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Schwartz will begin his service as dean on Oct. 10.

Eric Schwartz has 25 years of senior public service experience at the State Department, the National Security Council, the United Nations and the U.S. Congress, as well as in the foundation and NGO communities. He holds a juris doctor from New York University School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden-Snow Scholar, and a master of public and international affairs degree from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He earned a bachelor of arts degree with honors at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Schwartz served for many years as a visiting lecturer of public and international affairs at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School and was the school’s first practitioner-in-residence. While at Princeton, he taught graduate and undergraduate seminars and workshops dealing with the United Nations, democracy promotion, peace operations, international humanitarian assistance, and recovery and reconstruction after disasters. In addition, he was a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. Institute of Peace, and a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. His academic and research experience has complemented his leadership as a policy practitioner focusing on international humanitarian affairs, human rights, international organizations and peacekeeping.

Cynthia Scott named associate to president-designate Kaler
Cynthia Scott has been named associate to president-designate Kaler. In this role, Scott will be an integral member of the president's team, overseeing President's Office operations, including the management of support staff, scheduling, workflow, technology, human resources, budgets, and events; and providing daily support to the president.

Scott has been with the University since 1991, most recently serving as the associate director for Government Relations where she has worked closely with Presidents Bruininks and Yudof and senior leaders from across the University. She has effectively managed numerous high profile projects, including preparing the University's biennial and capital budget requests, responding to inquiries from legislators and other policy makers, coordinating legislative and Board of Regents presentations, and tracking legislation that impacts the University. Over the past 24 months, she has worked especially collaboratively with University Services on the University's involvement in the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit project.

New associate deans begin terms
The Carlson School of Management has two new leaders. Professor Art Hill, the John & Nancy Lindahl Professor for Excellence in Business Education, assumed the role of Associate Dean of the school's MBA Programs today while Professor Connie Wanberg, the Industrial Relations Faculty Excellence Chair in the Department of Human Resources and Industrial Relations, became Associate Dean of its Undergraduate Program.

Hill replaces Professor Ed Joyce who concluded five years of service in the key leadership role on May 31 and returned to the faculty. Wanberg follows Professor Bob Ruekert who has begun a well-deserved sabbatical following 10 years of service to the Undergraduate Program.

Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Award
Jim Litsheim was awarded the 2011 Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Award for his work at the University. Litsheim is a senior architect with the U’s Department of Capital Planning and Project Management. His career focus as an architect is Historical Preservation and Restoration; he is currently active in the revitalization of Northrop Memorial Auditorium.

Best dissertation award winners 2011
Each year the Graduate School recognizes the University's top recent Ph.D. graduates by presenting 'best dissertation' awards.

The award is given in each of four broad disciplinary areas:

Arts & Humanities (including history and philosophy)

Biological & Medical Sciences

Physical Sciences & Engineering

Social & Behavioral Sciences & Education

This year's best dissertation award winners for 2011:

Arts and humanities: Daniel LaChance, American studies (adviser: Elaine Tyler May).

Biological and medical sciences: Paul Gugger, ecology, evolution, and behavior (adviser: Jeannine Cavender-Bares)

Physical sciences and engineering: Sangwoo Lee, chemical engineering (adviser: Frank Bates)

Social and behavioral sciences and education: MiYoung Kwon, psychology (adviser: Gordon Legge)

For more information, see best dissertation.

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

Farewell interview with University of Minnesota President Bruininks
University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks presented his final budget to the Regents and steps down at the end of June. Minnesota Public Radio.

New Kind Of Caterpillar Army Invading The Twin Cities
If you’ve taken a look at the trees in your yard lately, you may have noticed some unwelcome guests… “The trick is to catch them when they’re relatively small and before they have done much damage,” said Jeff Hahn, Extension Entomologist with the University of Minnesota. WCCO-TV.

Scientists: 'Super' Wheat To Boost Food Security
Scientists say they're close to producing new "super varieties" of wheat that will resist a virulent fungus while boosting yields up to 15 percent, potentially easing a deadly threat to the world's food supply… The new strains mark a huge advance, said Marty Carson, research director at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cereal Research Laboratory at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul. National Public Radio.

Dried fruit 'just as healthy as fresh' and can help combat cancer and heart problems
Dried fruit is as healthy as its fresh equivalent and can help combat cancer, metabolic disease and heart problems, researchers have found… Daniel Gallaher, of the University of Minnesota, said: 'Dried fruits are great sources of total and soluble fibre in the diet. Daily Mail Reporter.

Egypt’s Economy Slows to a Crawl; Revolt Is Tested
Egypt’s economy, whose inequities and lack of opportunities helped topple a government, has now ground to a virtual halt, further wounded by the revolution itself… Phasing out the subsidies would leave plenty of savings to compensate the poor and working class in other ways, said Ragui Assaad, an Egyptian economist who teaches at the University of Minnesota. Blue Ridge Now.

Regents chew on U budget plan
The first public look at a proposed budget for the University of Minnesota provoked some angst, some praise -- and strong skepticism from a new member of the U's governing board… "There's not enough money to fulfill all the commitments we have," said Dr. Patricia Simmons, a regent. Star Tribune.

U.S. Calls Antibiotics Wrong Step on E. Coli
There are few things more frightening in the world of food safety than becoming infected with the kind of toxic strain of E. coli that has sickened more than 1,500 people in Germany and beyond, but public health officials in the United States caution that the bacteria is not as scary as some reports suggest… One clear lesson from the German outbreak is that contaminated food can come from anywhere, said Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research at the University of Minnesota. New York Times.

A Plea for the Water in All We Use, Make and Eat
“We’re using tomorrow’s water to meet today’s food demand,” warned Sandra Postel, National Geographic Freshwater Fellow, helping to provoke a meaningful discussion on water as it relates to food at the Aspen Environmental Forum… Jon Foley from the University of Minnesota painted a picture of our inefficiency. National Geographic.

Potent and popular, heroin booms in Minnesota
Cases are showing up more frequently than ever here -- in hospitals, treatment centers, jails and morgues… "It's a potent, cheaper alternative," said Dr. Gavin Bart, director of addiction medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center and professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota. Star Tribune.

Cellphones don't scare this doctor
For years, we've been hearing rumors that cellphones might cause brain tumors… So why was Dr. Christopher Moertel, director of the pediatric brain tumor program at the University of Minnesota, so unmoved? Star Tribune.

The Hidden Price of Drugs
Pharmaceutical companies are happy to tout the benefits of their newest drugs… Dr. Jeffrey H. Albrecht, a gastroenterologist at Hennepin County Medical Center and a professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota, said he was frustrated trying to find documented information, outside of news reports, on the price of the new hepatitis C drugs. New York Times.

June 1

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

Statement from president Bruininks on Richard McNamara
Sports- Pinky - col 220x264Richard "Pinky" McNamara was truly one of the great citizens of the University of Minnesota—as a star football player with his brother Bob, as a student in the College of Liberal Arts, and as an alumnus and successful businessman. He gave generously of his time and resources over the years, serving as a Regent and as a trustee for the University of Minnesota Foundation, and supporting the College of Liberal Arts, athletics, and the McNamara Alumni Center, which now bears his family's name. But more than that, he was an inspiring advocate for the University, leading by strong example and calling upon other friends and alumni of the University of Minnesota to help provide the types of educational opportunities he and his brother enjoyed in the 1950s. He will be sorely missed by the entire University community. For more information, read the president’s statement on the passing.

2011 Mortimer Spiegelman Award
Biostats faculty member Sudipto Banerjee has won the 2011 Mortimer Spiegelman Award from the American Public Health Association. This award, given annually since 1970, is presented to the nation's most outstanding public health statistician under the age of 40. Already the author of more than 60 refereed articles, Sudipto was recognized for groundbreaking contributions in four areas related to spatial and environmental statistics.

Kay Thomas retires
Kay Thomas, director of International Student and Scholar Services, will retire on June 30 after more than 40 years of dedicated service to the University and the field of international education. A reception will be held June 16, 3:30–5:30 p.m., Carlson School Dining Room and Courtyard. RSVP by June 13.

During her time at the U, Thomas served as president of NAFSA: Association of International Educators (the world's largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education), supported students during the events of 9/11, and oversaw the launch of international student recruitment and retention initiatives that have led to a large increase in international undergraduates on the Twin Cities campus.

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

What You Don't Know About Copyright, but Should
If Nancy Sims had to pick one word to describe how researchers, students, and librarians feel about copyright, it would probably be "confused." A lawyer and a librarian, Ms. Sims is copyright-program librarian at the University of Minnesota Libraries. Chronicle of Higher Education.

Science spat over discovery of unusual bacteria
A scientific tiff went public Friday as the journal Science took the unusual step of publishing challenges to a report about a strange, arsenic-eating bacteria… In another challenge, James B. Cotner of the University of Minnesota and Edward K. Hall of the University of Vienna, Austria, argued that the microbes might simply have been able to live on very low levels of phosphorous. Forbes.

Embracing the Anthropocene
Following up on my coverage of the first scientific conference on the proposition that we have entered a geological epoch of our own making, the Anthropocene, Room for Debate has assembled a great cast of characters to discuss whether this is a good, bad or indifferent thing… Weighing in are Emma Marris, the author of “Rambunctious Garden“; Jon Foley, the director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota… The New York Times.

Seeing green: Minneapolis uses satellite imagery to track a valuable resource: trees
That high-resolution imaging satellite was just one of the high-tech tools a team from the University of Minnesota used to produce the most detailed map ever of the city’s urban canopy. Downtown Journal.

Is tornado activity increasing in Minnesota?
The tornados over the weekend in Minneapolis, Wisconsin and Missouri are the latest in what seems to be a busy spring for twisters. Meteorologist Paul Huttner and University of Minnesota geography professor Kenny Blumenfeld discussed the increase in tornados and whether urban residents should expect more tornados in the near future with Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer on Tuesday. Minnesota Public Radio.

Watch: Rolling Robot Transforms Into Helicopter
Wheeled robots are nothing new. Flying bots are old-hat, too. But this is new: a dumbbell-shaped hybrid bot that can roll on thin, end-mounted wheels … and fly with two sets of counter-rotating chopper blades… And as a result, the foot-long automaton — designed by a team led by Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos at the University of Minnesota — boasts the freedom of movement of a flying drone with the long endurance and stability of a ground bot. Wired.

University faculty and staff are feeling their share of budget pain
In remarks on Midday with Gary Eichten this week, House Speaker Kurt Zellers expressed concern that Minnesota families have had a 30 to 40 percent pay cut, while "you see a college professor get a 20 to 30 percent increase in pay." Minnesota Public Radio.

Will they get Thor's flying hammer throw right next time?
The humor in the amiable, handsome "Thor" makes it play like a deluxe version of a Capital One Vikings commercial (see above) -- especially when the god of thunder, smitten by the new taste of coffee, shatters his mug with glee and demands another cup... Although even Bartman Comics pilloried this move's apparent breaking of the laws of physics, James Kakalios, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Minnesota, says it's actually "physically plausible." The Baltimore Sun.