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Awards, appointments, & other announcements

By Adam Overland

Dante Cicchetti 165
Dante Cicchetti

November 30

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


Cicchetti honored by AAAS for ground-breaking research
Dante Cicchetti, McKnight Presidential Chair, William Harris Professor of Child Development and Psychiatry, has been elected to the rank of AAAS Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Each year the AAAS Council elects members whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished. Cicchetti is being honored for ground-breaking research in the fields of developmental neuroscience and child psychology, impacting theory and practice related to child maltreatment, depression, and developmental psychopathology.

100 Notable Books of 2011
Edelstein-Keller Professor in Creative Writing Charles Baxter's collection Gryphon: New and Selected Stories was named one of the 100 Notable Books of 2011 by The New York Times.


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

Debt panel's failure could benefit Minn., analysts say
The finger-pointing in the nation's capital continues over which political party is to blame over the failure of the deficit-reducing supercommittee… But even if automatic budget cuts take place and federal spending falls by a scheduled $110 billion next year, the state's economy may weather the storm better than places with lots of military facilities, said Art Rolnick, an economist at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Minnesota Public Radio.

Will vitamins extend your lifespan or just shrink your piggy bank?
Recently researchers delivered a double dose of negative press for consumers regarding the use of vitamins and supplements. First, the University of Minnesota reported the results of the 19-year Iowa Women's Health Study, which followed more than 38,000 women who were around age 62 at the start of the study in 1986. CBS.

As rover's launch nears, 'space geeks' are all a-Twitter
The spacetweeps were full of Thai food and beer when they finally rolled back to Gale House, nearing the end of a pretty good day on Earth… Danny Sussman is 36, a webmaster for the University of Minnesota extension in Minneapolis. Los Angeles Times.

Minnesota Study Finds Promise in Using Abandoned Mesabi Iron Range Mines to Store Wind Power
The potential is there to re-purpose abandoned open pit iron ore mines in northeastern Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range to store energy from wind turbines and farms, according to a team of researchers at the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s Natural Resources Research Institute. Don Fosnacht, the study’s lead investigator and director of NRRI’s Center for Applied Research and Technology Development, told Haugen he thinks a 100-megawatt mining-pit system could be built be built for around $120 million. CleanTechinca.

Do female athletes have to wear miniskirts to be taken seriously?
A love of sports came to my seven-year-old son with no effort. It came from his friends, from the cereal box, from Saturday nights with Don and Ron… Mary Jo Kane, a professor at the University of Minnesota, conducted a study in which male and female subjects were shown various images of women athletes – some of them at moments of great athletic triumph, some of them lounging and some in supine soft-porn positions. Globe and Mail.

Holiday books roundup: Regional
"Gryphon: New and Selected Stories" by University of Minnesota English professor Charles Baxter is seven new and 16 selected short stories. Star Tribune.

Buying a car? Tool compares carbon footprints, costs
As Derek Droen narrowed his search for a new car or truck this year, he relied on his own back-of-the-envelope math to figure out if a hybrid SUV was worth the higher price tag over the conventional fuel model… Doug Tiffany, an applied economics regional extension educator for the University of Minnesota. Finance and Commerce.

New projection shows global food demand doubling by 2050
Global food demand could double by 2050, according to a new projection reported this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences… Scientists David Tilman and Jason Hill of the University of Minnesota and colleagues found that producing the amount of food needed could significantly increase levels of carbon dioxide and nitrogen in the environment, and may cause the extinction of numerous species. Science Codex.

Thanksgiving day high temp ties a record
MPR's Cathy Wurzer spoke with University of Minnesota Climatologist Mark Seeley about the balmy weather for Thanksgiving Day for the Twin Cities, which tied a record high. Minnesota Public Radio.


November 23

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


Vince named to Minnesota Science and Technology Hall of Fame

University of Minnesota professor and director of the Center for Drug Design Robert Vince has been named to the Minnesota Science and Technology Hall of Fame.

Robert Vince 165Robert Vince, who discovered and developed an important treatment against HIV/AIDS.Now holding 24 patents, Vince discovered and developed “carbovir,” a compound that was eventually licensed and sold by GSK as Ziagen, an important treatment against HIV/AIDS. The drug is used worldwide, and the resulting royalties of over $575 million have aided the U’s efforts to finance further scientific research in anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-cancer research. In addition, the 21st Century Endowment Fund, a matching scholarship endowment for graduate education throughout the U system was created, a portion of the new Lions Research Building/McGuire Translational Research Building was financed, and other colleges and departments are supported through this royalty stream.

The Minnesota Science and Technology Hall of Fame was created by the Minnesota High Tech Associate and Science Museum of Minnesota to honor individuals whose achievements in science and technology have made lasting contributions to Minnesota and the world. For more information, see the news release.

Humphrey School wins NASPAA Diversity Award

The Humphrey School of Public Affairs has been chosen to receive the inaugural Diversity Award given by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), the 275-member organization that promotes excellence in education and training for public service. The newly created award recognizes the public affairs or public policy program that "exemplifies the highest standards of promoting and supporting diversity in research, teaching, and/or service." The School received the award at NASPAA's annual conference in Kansas City the week of October 17.

The School's nomination packet included letters of support from Provost E. Thomas Sullivan; Carol Chomsky, a professor at the University's law school; Susan Gooden, a professor from Virginia Commonwealth University; U.S. Representative Keith Ellison; and former student Anita Patel. For more information, see Diversity Award.

Three U faculty to design Weisman plaza

Associate professor Diane Willow (Art) is part of a design team who won the Plaza Design Competition sponsored by the Weisman Art Museum Target Studio for Creative Collaboration. The team, which also includes adjunct associate professor Vincent James and associate professor Marc Swackhamer, will eventually redesign the space between the Weisman and the STSS building, transforming it "into a more artful and meaningful experience for its users." The competition was juried and creative products from each team are on display in the Target Studio at the Weisman. For more information, see Weisman plaza.

Schneider inducted into Academy of Leisure Sciences

Ingrid Schneider, professor in the department of Forest Resources and director of the Tourism Center was inducted into the Academy of Leisure Sciences during the National Recreation and Parks Association Annual Conference in Atlanta Georgia on Nov. 4. The academy comprises nearly 100 elected members who have made major contributions to the study of leisure sciences. The mission of the Academy of Leisure Sciences is to advance the field of leisure studies through three main activities: recognizing outstanding scholars, creating forums for exchanging knowledge and ideas, and promoting the study through scholars programs.

Linguistics' Distinguished Scholarship and Service Award

Elaine Tarone 165Elaine TaroneElaine Tarone (professor of Second Language Studies, director of CARLA) is the recipient of the American Association for Applied Linguistics' Distinguished Scholarship and Service Award for 2012. She will receive the award on the opening day of the 2012 AAAL conference in Boston in March and have the opportunity to deliver the DSSA special lecture. Elaine will also be a visiting professor teaching graduate courses at the University of Vienna in May-June 2012.


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

U president on diversity: 'We've made some progress... but it's been slow.'
University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler has promised to pick up the pace on increasing the diversity of the institution. During his recent keynote address at the university's Equity and Diversity Breakfast, Kaler asked for "candid, even blunt" advice on what's working—and what's not. Star Tribune.

Fetus donates stem cells to heal mother's heart
Why wait to be born to develop a healing hand? Mouse fetuses will give up stem cells to repair their mother's heart…"The study is the first to show conclusively that fetal cells contained in the placenta assist in cardiac tissue repair," says Jakub Tolar, director of stem-cell therapies at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. New Scientist.

Nonprofits are feeling the pinch
Like many in the state, Minnesota's nonprofit organizations are caught in the financial squeeze of the slow recovery that has settled in following the recession…A future of slower economic growth, fewer wage earners, greater income disparities and rising child poverty in Minnesota took shape in a presentation by Jay Kiedrowski, senior fellow at the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Star Tribune.

Q: Where would you not expect evolution to be controversial? A: The Galapagos
Sehoya Cotner teaches a study-abroad course, "Biology of Galapagos," for the College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota. When people learn that I get to spend weeks each year in the Galapagos Islands, they say things like "I hate you," "You make me sick," and "Don't even talk to me." Minnesota Public Radio.

Spanking doesn’t workso why do so many parents continue to use it?
Most American parents—at least 80 percent, by some estimates—believe in using corporal punishment, whether it be spanking or “whipping” with a belt or other object, to discipline their children… To get some insight into why today’s parents continue to defend spanking and other forms of corporal punishment, I spoke with Rich Kaplan, a pediatrician and medical director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Safe and Healthy Children. MinnPost.

University of Minnesota scientists waging carp wars
Fitted with electrofishing equipment, the boat eased into the cattails along North St. Paul's Casey Lake, two University of Minnesota technicians standing at the bow with dip nets ready to scoop up stunned common carp…Led by professor Peter Sorensen, U scientists are trying to figure out what makes these carp tick: where they go, when and why, and what attracts and repels them. Pioneer Press.


November 16

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


Schwartz places third in Taylor Wessing Photo Prize
Dona Schwartz 165Dona SchwartzAssociate professor Dona Schwartz placed third in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize competition. More than 2,500 photographers entered the competition.

Schwartz was named one of the five finalists for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize at the National Gallery in London. The prize presents the very best in contemporary portrait photography, showcasing young photographers to gifted professionals.

Schwartz’s photograph focuses on Christina and Mark Bigelow standing in their son’s empty bedroom. Her series of portraits focus on moments of change in parents’ lives. The photograph will be on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London along with sixty other works selected for the exhibit, which will be on display through February 12, 2012. For more information, read a feature story on Dona Schwartz.

Schwartz was also recently nominated for the Santa Fe Prize for Photography, a biennial, nomination only award. The prize winner will be announced in December.

Momentum magazine awards
Momentum magazine cover 165The Institute on the Environment's Momentum magazine received awards in 10 categories, including a gold for overall excellence in its class, at the Minnesota Magazine & Publishing Association's annual awards ceremony last week. For more information, see magazine awards.

CBS student leadership program wins national award
CBS Dean's Scholars, a student leadership program, received the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators' Regional Award for Innovative Program. For more information about the program, see Dean’s Scholars.


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

Good Question: How Much Sex Is Enough?
It can be one of the biggest issues in a marriage: how much sex is enough to keep everyone happy?…"I think couples are concerned about this all the time," said Eli Coleman, who is the director of the human sexuality program at the University of Minnesota. WCCO-TV.

A call for research funding stability
Some of southeastern Minnesota's most notable leaders in health, research and education are hoping their message will reach the "Super Committee" charged with the task of controlling the federal budget…"It would just be the wrong time to turn the spigot off," Stephen Lehmkuhl, chancellor of the University of Minnesota Rochester, says in Wednesday's print edition. Rochester Post Bulletin.

Debate heats up over voter ID laws
Mississippi has joined the growing number of states adopting tougher voter ID laws, a trend that promises to fuel an intense battle over how such laws may affect voter turnout in the 2012 elections...The trend toward more stringent laws affecting voter IDs and other election issues isn't surprising, said Doug Chapin, an elections expert at the University of Minnesota. USA Today.

Majority of new moms are getting paid leave
The number of new mothers receiving paid maternity leave has climbed to a majority for the first time, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Thursday, but the news drew tepid reactions from advocates because the benefit remains largely unavailable to younger and less-educated women...Even so, the women who could benefit most from paid leave are the ones who aren't getting it as much, said Erin Kelly, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota. Star Tribune.

Neti pots: Just tilt and pour
After two excruciating sinus infections in one winter, Krista Schweppe began using a neti pot at the recommendation of a massage therapist...A professional singer from Edina, he sought advice from Dr. George Godding Jr., an ear, nose and throat specialist at the University of Minnesota. Star Tribune.

UMM Math professor receives inaugural Simons Foundation Collaboration Grant
David Roberts, professor of mathematics at the University of Minnesota, Morris, received a $35,000 grant from the Simons Foundation. Over the next five years, the grant will support Roberts’ research, the Division of Science and Mathematics, and the campus. Morris Sun Tribune.

Jane McKinnon, the U's gardener extraordinaire, dies
New to the University of Minnesota's St. Paul campus, graduate student Emily Hoover watched Jane McKinnon swing into action on a campus "cleanup day" in the late 1970s. Star Tribune.

Reducing traffic congestion with buses that could drive themselves
The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority’s bus simulator in Burnsville, Minnesota, is used to train bus drivers to operate the Bus 2.0 system, which employs a host of technology to assist drivers in piloting buses in the Twin Cities region’s narrow bus lanes (a.k.a. the shoulders of highways)…According to Craig Shankwitz, director of the University of Minnesota’s Intelligent Vehicles Laboratory, the region has more miles of bus-only lanes than the rest of the country combined. Automobile Magazine.

Cormorants corner trouble at Lake Waconia
Double-crested cormorants have been shot at Lake Waconia for the past four years, part of an ongoing effort to limit damage to a private island…People hate them, according to Francesca Cuthbert, a colonial waterbird expert at the University of Minnesota. Star Tribune.


November 9

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


Recipients of the U’s Award for Global Engagement

Kumar Belani 165Kumar BelaniKumar Belani, professor of anesthesiology, School of Medicine, and assistant vice president, India Affairs, Academic Health Center, is honored for his strong leadership and substantial contributions that have resulted in increased internationalization at the University and major improvement in the lives of ordinary people in India. For more information, see Belani.

Zhuangyi Liu 165Zhuangyi LiuZhuangyi Liu, professor of mathematics and statistics, University of Minnesota Duluth, is honored for his outstanding contributions to create and sustain international programs on the Duluth campus. For more information, see Liu.

Recipients will be honored at an award ceremony on Nov. 16 at the McNamara Alumni Center on the Twin Cities campus.

The all-University Award for Global Engagement is given to faculty and staff members—active or retired—in recognition of outstanding contributions to global education and international programs at the University or in their field or discipline. The award is sponsored by the Office of the Senior Vice President for System Academic Administration and administered by the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance.

Top 25 most admired design educators

College of Design dean Tom Fisher and architecture head, professor Renee Cheng, have been recognized as two of the top 25 most admired design educators for 2012 by DesignIntelligence (DI) magazine. DI selects educators from the disciplines of architecture, interior design, industrial design and landscape architecture who exemplify excellence in design education leadership. The graduate programs for landscape architecture and interior design were also ranked among the most admired of their kind in the country.

This is the fourth time Fisher has received this recognition and the second time for Cheng. It is a unique distinction for two faculty members from the same institution to be on the top 25 list at the same time. This is the third time, and second year in a row, for the College of Design. Interior Design Professor Denise Guerin was honored in 2009 and 2011.

Fisher is a leader in the public-interest design movement, and a long-time researcher and advocate for using design to tackle the major economic, environmental, and societal challenges facing the world. Recognized as one of the most published academics in his field, Fisher is the author of six books, 45 book chapters and over 250 major articles. His new book, due out in early 2013, is entitled: Designing to Avoid Disaster: The Nature of Fracture-Critical Design.

Cheng's recognition on this list for the second year in a row is for good reason. She has led the School of Architecture in a direction that builds upon its already successful undergraduate and graduate degree programs in order to take advantage of new opportunities in the design and architectural professions. For more information, see the news release.


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

Dr. Kieran McNulty, U of M Researcher
Watch an extended interview with Kieran McNulty, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Minnesota, as he talks to reporter Mark Albert about his research on Rusinga Island in Kenya. KSTP-TV.

A battle builds over breakfast
Lucky Leprechaun isn't looking so lucky these days. For almost 50 years, the cartoon imp has helped General Mills peddle its Lucky Charms cereal…"The guidelines would be one of the most important ways for the food industry to improve children's health," said Mary Story, a University of Minnesota public health professor and expert on child and adolescent nutrition. Star Tribune.

A life-size lab chases the wind
Earlier this year, scientists offered a novel approach to boost the output of electric wind turbines: Coat the blades with a ribbed film that mimics shark skin…"There are all these turbines around, but it is not easy to go to a wind farm and tell that owner, 'I want to turn off your turbine. I want to try something,'" said Fotis Sotiropoulos, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Minnesota and head of its Eolos Wind Energy Research Consortium. Star Tribune.

Storming the walls of academia
For Carl Flink, it didn't feel right. In the midst of the Twin Cities' thriving artistic community, the University of Minnesota performing arts department sat as an isolated island. Star Tribune.

The Sweet Smell of Chocolate: Sweat, Cabbage and Beef
Chocolate may be the most sought-after treat among trick-or-treaters on Halloween, with little hands grasping for all of the milk- and dark-chocolate morsels they can collect, but the details of its taste and aroma profiles have long eluded scientists… "By the time you put four chemicals together, your brain can no longer separate them into components. It forms a new, unified perception that you can't recognize as any of those individual aromas," says Gary Reineccius, a food scientist at the University of Minnesota. PBS NewsHour.

A comic-book fest's indie uprising
Believe it or not, there are comic-book conventions where 40-year-old guys don't dress up in Spider-Man tights… The woman behind MIX is Sarah Morean, a one-time fledgling cartoonist turned comics crusader. By day, she's a library assistant at the University of Minnesota. Star Tribune.

Leopards in the Twilight Zone
It’s the close of a long day driving the unpaved tracks of the Mara North Conservancy, which lies along the northern edge of Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve….Biologist Craig Packer of the University of Minnesota, who has studied lions in the Serengeti in Tanzania for three decades, visited Chauvet Cave and coauthored a Natural History article about it with Clottes. Natural History Magazine.

Walleye anglers are building case for killing protected cormorants
It started as a local dispute about birds eating too many fish at a popular lake in the west metro...Linda Wires, a research fellow at the University of Minnesota, said cormorants are federally protected because they are a national resource and a migrating species. Star Tribune.


November 2

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


OIT's Bowen elected to three-year leadership term of PMI-MN
Garfield Bowen, director in the Office of Information Technology (OIT) Project Management Office (PMO), recently was elected 2013 president of the Minnesota Chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI-MN). He was elected to a three-year term that begins in January 2012 as President-Elect and COO, and continues through 2014 as Past President. For more information, see Bowen elected.

CBS student leadership program recognized for innovation

CBS Dean’s Scholars, a student leadership program launched in 2007, has won the Minnesota College Personnel Association's Innovations in Student Development Award. The award goes to a program with a new or creative approach to a student development issue. Coordinated by Meaghan Stein, Dean's Scholars is designed to help CBS students learn to increase self awareness, become engaged citizens and create change. "One of the ways that the Dean's Scholars is unique is that it identifies students with leadership potential – not always the most vocal, experienced leaders—and gives them the skills and confidence to make a difference in their communities," says Nikki Letawsky Schultz, director of CBS Student Services.


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

Why We Enjoy Being Scared
They pop up every fall: dozens of haunted houses, horror movies and Halloween traditions. Some are cute, others terrifying, but why do we seem to enjoy being scared? “We have moments when we forget that they’re hypothetical, followed by moments when we realize they’re only hypothetical that come with a relief,” said University of Minnesota assistant professor of psychology Shmuel Lissek. WCCO Radio.

Climatologist Recalls Halloween Blizzard Of 1991
Monday marks the 20th anniversary of the famous Halloween Blizzard… Mark Seeley is a climatologist at the University of Minnesota. WCCO Radio.

Cigarettes Are Enlisted to Test Ways of Quitting
When a truck recently delivered 45,000 cartons of cigarettes to a research company in North Carolina, it was a turning point in the government’s war on smoking…One study of the test cigarettes will follow about 500 smokers over six months to determine whether they are more likely to quit if they switch to those cigarettes quickly or gradually. The research, led by Dorothy Hatsukami, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota, and Eric C. Donny, associate professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, will use about 1.5 million of the recently acquired cigarettes. New York Times.

Every day is Halloween for Dressy Jessie
Halloween is the one time each year many people love to pick a character and get dressed up. But for Jessica Mooney of Minneapolis, it's Halloween year-round. That's because the 43-year-old marketing communications manager at the University of Minnesota has been dressing up as a different person each work day since April 2009 and documenting her elaborate outfits. Pioneer Press.

Antarctica Rocks!
Geologist John Goodge looks for clues about Antarctica's past in the 2 percent of the continent that is not covered in ice! The University of Minnesota-Duluth professor has been visiting Antarctica since 1985, finding and studying rocks that help tell the story of how this desolate continent has formed and changed over time. Science Nation.

It is now possible to scan someone’s brain and get a reasonable idea of what is going through his mind
If you think the art of mind-reading is a conjuring trick, think again. Over the past few years, the ability to connect first monkeys and then men to machines in ways that allow brain signals to tell those machines what to do has improved by leaps and bounds. In the latest demonstration of this, just published in the Public Library of Science, Bin He and his colleagues at the University of Minnesota report that their volunteers can successfully fly a helicopter through a three-dimensional digital sky, merely by thinking about it. Economist.

Six UMD professors use zombies to impart real lessons in each department’s academic tenets
David Cole has a philosophical conclusion: Killing a zombie is “morally inexcusable.” The head of the philosophy department at the University of Minnesota Duluth delivered his finding, based on philosophy principles, to an overflow audience Thursday at the 368-seat Bohannon Hall on campus. Duluth News Tribune.

Poverty surging in Twin Cities' suburbs
In Maplewood, a charitable Angel Fund is buying shoes so a kindergartener can attend school… But make no mistake, urges Myron Orfield, director of the University of Minnesota Law School's Institute on Race and Poverty and author of three books on metropolitan development, that though generally the suburbs are getting poorer. MinnPost.

How to feed all 7 billion of us
Recent global population growth estimates plus slowing annual increases in agricultural yields have a lot of analysts worried that many of those new people will suffer from chronic hunger — and that much of the land that hasn’t been converted to agriculture will be plowed under to grow crops… I talked with Jon Foley — lead author of the study and director of the University of Minnesota’s Institute for the Environment — to find out what it would take to make these recommendations a reality. Mother Nature Network.

Flu vaccine not as effective as thought, new study says
A new comprehensive analysis of flu studies concludes that most flu vaccines provide only moderate protection against influenza, and in some years barely make a difference at all…University of Minnesota infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm and three other national flu researchers led the research effort. Minnesota Public Radio.

Gas, Electric, Hybrid? New Tool Can Help
Potential new car buyers often ponder the purchase of an alternative fuel vehicle, A University of Minnesota Extension energy economist has developed a new tool to help answer that question. Doug Tiffany’s tool—free of charge—helps car shoppers measure the costs of ownership and operation and greenhouse gas emissions among conventional, hybrid, electric and extended range electric vehicles. WCCO.