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Awards, appointments, & other announcements

By Adam Overland




January 25

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


Imagine Fund Recipients
The U has named more than 150 recipients of its 2012 Imagine Fund Annual Awards and Special Events Grants.

Supported by a grant from the McKnight Foundation, the Imagine Fund is a unique systemwide program that supports projects in the arts, humanities, and design at the University of Minnesota.

The Imagine Fund annual awards support a variety of faculty activities, ranging from the development of unique teaching materials to new research directions for established scholars, creative works and performances. Imagine funded Special Events often connect the U to its larger community, promoting discussion on difficult topics such as migration and culture or hosting public events that add vibrancy to communities across Minnesota.

More information on the Imagine Fund can be found online here:. For more information, see Imagine Fund or a complete listing of the 2012 Annual Award winners and Special Events Grant recipients.

Office for Equity and Diversity directors
The U has named Frederic MacDonald-Dennis as director of the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence and Matthew Antonio Bosch as director of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Ally Programs Office within the Office for Equity and Diversity (OED).

Most recently, MacDonald-Dennis was interim director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Haverford College. He has also been associate dean of students and director of residence life at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, and director of the Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs at the University of Michigan. He earned B.A. and M.A. degrees at the University of Alabama.

Bosch most recently served as the chief diversity officer at North Hennepin Community College and as the coordinator (a volunteer position) of state divisions for the American College Personnel Association. A Latino hailing from New York City, Bosch has immersed himself in local communities as an active nonprofit volunteer, a member of the Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus and a member of numerous LGBTQ sports teams. He earned a B.A. from Cornell University and an Ed.M. from Harvard University.

U of M President Eric Kaler has made equity and diversity a priority for the U. The new hires are part of moving this priority forward. The mission of the OED is to infuse the core values of equity and diversity into all aspects of teaching, learning, research, service and outreach throughout the statewide University of Minnesota system. For more information, see the news release.

Women in Athletic Leadership award
Mary Jo Kane 165Mary Jo KaneKinesiology professor Mary Jo Kane, director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, has been chosen by the Minnesota Coalition of Women in Athletic Leadership to receive their Special Merit Award. The award is presented to an individual or organization who exemplifies the highest levels of commitment and contribution to breaking barriers for girls and women in sport. Professor Kane will receive the award at the State Capitol Rotunda on Feb. 1 as part of Minnesota National Girls and Women in Sports Day, which this year recognizes and celebrates the 40th anniversary of the passage of Title IX.

Photography competition
Associate professor Dona Schwartz received an Honorable Mention at the Santa Fe Prize for Photography awards, a biennial, nomination only award.

Schwartz is also featured in Elle Men China magazine and in the January 2012 issue of Minnesota’s METRO magazine.


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

Collision in the Making Between Self-Driving Cars and How the World Works
Even as Google tests its small fleet of self-driving vehicles on California highways, legal scholars and government officials are warning that society has only begun wrestling with the changes that would be required in a system created a century ago to meet the challenge of horseless carriages…Yet simple questions, like whether the police should have the right to pull over autonomous vehicles, have yet to be answered, said Frank Douma, a research fellow at the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota. New York Times.

Poet gets new partner in $250 million cellulosic ethanol plant in Iowa
Poet LLC, a Sioux Falls, S.D. ethanol giant with several plants in Minnesota, today announced a joint venture with a Dutch biotech company to build a $250 million ethanol plant that it hopes will pave the way for the next generation of renewable biofuels…In recent years, a number of ventures have promised to unlock the secret to making cellulosic ethanol cheaply, said Doug Tiffany, a renewable energy expert at the University of Minnesota. Pioneer Press

Cow to Cracker: Making Cheese at the University of Minnesota
Cheese comes to us from cows (and goats and sheep) — but not without the intervention of a cheesemaker or two. This video from the University of Minnesota lays out how the magic happens. MinnPost

No Wikipedia? Libraries didn't really notice
As Wikipedia shut down Wednesday in protest of pending Internet anti-piracy bills, did libraries experience an influx of calls seeking information?…In 2011, the University of Minnesota libraries received 95,558 reference questions. Star Tribune.

How I became we, which became I again
Most life on Earth exists as single cells…In an elegant new experiment, William Ratcliff from the University of Minnesota has shown that this story could have been a surprisingly quick one. Discover Magazine

One in three Minnesotans are diabetic or show signs of it
One third of all adults in Minnesota either have diabetes or are pre-diabetic, and over the past 15 years the number of Minnesotans with diabetes has grown so fast that state health officials describe the disease as a juggernaut threatening to overwhelm the state's health care system… "It's just awful to watch someone walk in, have a little ulcer on their foot that you say, ‘Hmm, this doesn't look good. We're going to get you to see the surgeon right away,'" said Elizabeth Seaquist, a University of Minnesota diabetes specialist. Winona Daily News.

Kaler's big test: Chasing U funding
Six months in, new University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler is still honeymooning. His choice for provost has proved popular…"I cannot wait until he gets over there and starts squeezing some hands," said Bill Gleason, an associate professor who never would have uttered such a thing about the last U president. Star Tribune.

Bonding Bill Includes $78M for U of M, $63.5M for MnSCU Projects
Gov. Mark Dayton unveiled a list of projects he’ll ask the Legislature to pay for using proceeds from the sale of state bonds. The list includes $78 million for University of Minnesota building projects and another $63.5 million for MnSCU campus projects. KSTP.

Progress in Myanmar took years
Myanmar used to have hostile relations with nearly every nation except China… “One of the lessons from this experience is that change can often take a great deal of time, and you can’t always predict when political opening are going to take place,” said Eric Schwartz, dean of the Humphrey School at the University of Minnesota. Star Tribune.

Martin Luther King Would Have Occupied Wall Street
Dr. Martin Luther King — if he were alive today — would have embraced the Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Homes movement and spoken out against the current exploitative economic system, members of Occupy the Hood articulated during a spirited MLK Day march in Minneapolis… He imagined a world of social justice, and he fought for that world,” said Rose Brewer, an African-American studies professor at the University of Minnesota who said that King’s words for justice continue to ring true today. UpTake.


January 18

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


Chutich named to Minnesota Court of Appeals
Margaret Chutich 165Humphrey School assistant dean Margaret Chutich has been named to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Chutich previously served as deputy attorney general of the Law Enforcement Section, executive counsel and assistant attorney general with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. Before that, Chutich was an assistant United States attorney in the District of Minnesota, and she clerked for Federal Judge Diana E. Murphy, then a United States District Court Judge for the District of Minnesota. She received a B.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1980, and a J.D. cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 1984.

Additionally, Chutich is a former director and current member of the Advisory Council for the Advocates for Human Rights and is a director with the YWCA of Minneapolis. She is a member of the International Women’s Forum and was involved with the Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Group of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota.

For more information, see a news release from Governor Dayton’s office.

IAS Faculty Fellows
The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) has announced its Faculty Fellows for 2012-13. The eleven fellows come from six colleges or schools on the Duluth, Morris, and Twin Cities campuses.

Faculty Fellows Fall 2012

David Chang, UMTC
Department of History, College of Liberal Arts
"A World of Power: Native Hawaiians and the Politics of Global Geography in the Nineteenth Century"

Nancy Cook, UMTC
Law School, Director of the Lawyering Program
"The Witness Project"

William McGeveran, UMTC
Law School
"Self and Selves: Public and Private Regulation of Online Identification"

John Nichols
, UMTC
Department of American Indian Studies, Program in Linguistics, Department of American Studies, College of Liberal Arts
"Algonquian Digital Text Editions"

Frances Vavrus, UMTC
Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, College of Education and Human Development
"Poverty Lessons: Education and Economic Development in Africa in a Neoliberal Age"

Shannon Walsh, UMD
Department of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts
"Engendering State Institutions: State Response to Violence Against Women in Latin America"

Faculty Fellows Spring 2013

Michael Gaudio, UMTC
Department of Art History, College of Liberal Arts
"Prosper Thou Our Handyworks:" Prints and Protestant Devotion at Little Gidding, 1625-1642"

David Pellow, UMTC
Department of Sociology, College of Liberal Arts
"Social Movements and the Quest for Total Liberation"

Kathy Quick, UMTC
Public and Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
"Intersections of Bioecological and Institutional Paradigms for Practicing Resilience: An Investigation of Collaborative Environmental and Community Stewardship"

Ray Schultz, UMM
Department of Theatre, Humanities Division
Solo Performance Project: "It Could Be Worse: The Mayo, Mutant Genes, Cancer, and Me"

Shaden Tageldin, UMTC
Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, College of Liberal Arts
"Toward a Transcontinental Theory of Comparative Literature"

For more information, see IAS Fellows.

IonE names director and COO

Lewis Gilbert has joined IonE as managing director and chief operating officer. Gilbert comes to Minnesota from the University of Wisconsin, where he served as associate director at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.


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

Best Buy earns props for airing dirty laundry on CEO blog
There's been speculation and debate about the future of Best Buy…"Many of the comments were quite long, quite detailed," said John Budd, a professor of human resources at the University of Minnesota. Minnesota Public Radio.

Study finds more cardiac arrests during marathons is due to more runners
Cardiac arrests in marathon and half-marathon runners have become more common during the past decade - a fact that has generated more terrifying accounts about fit athletes keeling over in the midst of competition…"The most important message is that people should keep exercising," said Dr. William Roberts, a University of Minnesota family medicine doctor who contributed to the research. Pioneer Press.

Back From War, Fear and Danger Fill Driver’s Seat
Before going to war, Susan Max loved tooling around Northern California in her maroon Mustang. A combat tour in Iraq changed all that…“I can’t talk with somebody who is a returned service member without them telling me about driving issues,” said Erica Stern, an associate professor of occupational therapy at the University of Minnesota, who is conducting a national study of driving problems in people with brain injuries or P.T.S.D. for the Pentagon. New York Times.

High Court Case May Ease On-Air Obscenity Rules
A case before the Supreme Court could have major ramifications on all four broadcast networks -- including Fox -- now that the networks are asking justices whether the government has the right to police public airwaves or whether doing so infringes on the First Amendment…Fox 9 talks to Jane Kirtley, U of M Media Ethics and Law professor. KMSP-TV.

Will Minnesota have to pay for this weather respite?
It's an odd sight on January 10, a packed parking lot at Como Lake, people walking and running around, some in shorts…"Looking at the balance of winter, most of us don't see anything terribly traumatic happening," said Dr. Mark Seeley, Climatologist at the University of Minnesota. KARE-TV.


January 11

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


New VP and CIO
R. Scott Studham 165          R. Scott Studham R. Scott Studham has been named the University of Minnesota’s vice president and chief information officer. He will begin the position Feb. 13, pending approval by the Board of Regents.

Studham most recently served as the chief information officer at the University of Tennessee, where he was responsible for the strategic direction and management of the university’s information resources.

As the chief information officer, Studham will be responsible for ensuring the strategic and operational excellence of both academic and administrative information technology for the entire system. This includes establishing a strong IT platform for evidence-based decision-making, managing systemwide IT projects and services, pursuing standardization through disciplined innovation, and deploying tools to meet the needs of academic programs and administrative operations across the University’s five campuses.

Studham received his undergraduate degree from Washington State University in 1997 and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Tennessee in 2008. An expert in computer-related security issues, Studham has served as project manager and chief architect for a top ten supercomputer six times during the course of his career. He is an internationally recognized researcher in the area of high-performance computing, and has been called upon to give expert testimony before the U.S. Congress.

Studham, who was recommended by a systemwide search committee, replaces Steve Cawley, who left the university in April for a position at the University of Miami. Ann Hill Duin, who has served as interim VP and CIO since April, will return to her role as associate vice president and associate CIO. For more information, see VP CIO.

Vice President for Equity and Diversity search
The U has appointed a search committee and launched a national search for a new vice president for Equity and Diversity.

President Kaler decided to maintain the position at the vice presidential level to underscore the significance of equity and diversity to the University, to the communities with whom we engage, and to the state of Minnesota. The vice president for Equity and Diversity will be responsible for implementing the University’s equity and diversity vision across the system; practicing shared leadership and governance to advance and support equity and diversity through education, research, outreach and service; working effectively and collaboratively across the University and with diverse Minnesota communities; and upholding diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism, and educational and employment equity as core values of the University.

University of Minnesota Duluth chancellor Lendley (Lynn) Black and College of Education and Human Development dean Jean Quam have agreed to co-chair the search. Other members of the search committee were selected to provide broad representation from across the University and externally:

  • Lauren Beach, student, Law School
  • Irene Duranczyk, associate professor, Post-Secondary Teaching and Learning, College of Education and Human Development
  • John Finnegan, dean, School of Public Health
  • Rickey Hall, assistant vice president, Office for Equity and Diversity
  • Kim Hewitt, director, Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action
  • Glenn Hirsch, director, Counseling and Consulting Services, Office of Student Affairs
  • Erin Kelly, associate professor, Department of Sociology, College of Liberal Arts
  • Peh Ng, professor, Division of Science & Math, UM-Morris
  • Susana Pelayo-Woodward, director, Office of Cultural Diversity, UM-Duluth
  • Catherine Squires, associate professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, College of Liberal Arts
  • David Wilkins, professor, Department of American Indian Studies, College of Liberal Arts
  • Ken Charles, vice president of diversity and inclusion, General Mills
  • Kari Davis, director of diversity and inclusion, United Way

U Receives Department of Education Grant
The U has been awarded a $15 million grant to implement one of the nation's most comprehensive childhood education programs.

The University of Minnesota and partners have been awarded an Investing in Innovation or “i3” grant of $15 million over five years from the U.S. Department of Education. The project will implement the Child-Parent Center (CPC) education program, one of the nation’s most comprehensive early childhood interventions, at 33 sites in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.

The CPC education program provides intensive and continuous educational and family-support services for pre-kindergarten to third-grade children in low-income families and high-poverty neighborhoods. Its goal is to promote school readiness, parent involvement and early school achievement that enhance longer-term effects on achievement, graduation and career success. Cost-benefit analyses indicate a return of $8 to $11 for each dollar invested in the program, among the highest returns of any social program.

An estimated 9,000 children ages 3 to 9 across the three states will be served. Partners in Minnesota include the St. Paul Public Schools, Arrowhead Head Start, and Virginia Public Schools.

The project was developed by the Human Capital Research Collaborative and its partners. HCRC is a partnership between the University of Minnesota and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis to promote effective public policies and programs for young people through multidisciplinary research on human development and learning. Project director Arthur Reynolds, a professor in the Institute of Child Development in the U of M’s College of Education and Human Development, and Art Rolnick, senior fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and former vice president and research director at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, co-direct the HCRC.

The i3 innovations grant follows the recent news of two other federal grants received in Minnesota for early childhood education, the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant, and the Promise Neighborhood Implementation Grant.For more information, see the new release

Internationalizing Teaching and Learning Cohort
Thirteen faculty from around the U system have been chosen to participate in the 2012 Internationalizing Teaching and Learning (ITL) Cohort Program. The first round began Jan. 4 and the remaining participants will begin the program on June 6. The ITL program is a systemwide initiative to engage faculty in significant course design or redesign by participating in a multidisciplinary cohort of their peers. They will identify global learning outcomes for their courses, expand their teaching strategies, and develop course materials, activities, and assessments. Participants are:

  • Eric Castle, Agriculture and Natural Resources, UMC
  • Katy Smith, Math, Science & Technology, UMC
  • David Beard, College of Liberal Arts, UMD
  • Insoon Han, College of Education and Human Service Professionals, UMD
  • Deborah Petersen-Perlman, College of Liberal Arts, UMD
  • Ryan Furness, UMR
  • Abi Asojo, College of Design, UMTC
  • Laura Bloomberg, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, UMTC
  • Linda Buturian, College of Education and Human Development, UMTC
  • Tina Clarkson, Veterinary Medicine, UMTC
  • Brad Greiman, College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Sciences, UMTC
  • Cathy Solheim, College of Education and Human Development, UMTC
  • Teddie Potter, School of Nursing, UMTC

Award for Outstanding Student Mental Health Leadership
The Provost’s Committee on Student Mental Health presented its 2012 Award for Outstanding Student Mental Health Leadership to Betty J. Benson, associate director of Disability Services (Office for Equity and Diversity) on Jan. 10. The award honors a student, staff, faculty member or department that has demonstrated leadership or exemplary practice in: raising awareness about student mental health issues; effecting policy change related to student mental health; improving campus climate for students with mental health conditions; or serving as a model of collaboration for the U of M and other universities on issues related to student mental health.

Cancer Foundation’s Award for National Leadership
Jasjit Ahluwalia has been selected to receive the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s Prevention Laurel Award for National Leadership. The Laurel Award, in partnership with the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, honors individuals who have personal passion for cancer prevention and early detection and who have brought about positive change in the public, professional or political arena on a national level. An awards luncheon will be held in March 22 in Baltimore, during the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s 2012 Dialogue for Action on Colorectal Cancer Screening conference.

Confucius Institute of the Year
The Confucius Institute at the University of Minnesota (CIUMN) was named a 2011 Confucius Institute of the Year by the Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters. The CIUMN was recognized for its efforts to support and increase the number of students studying Chinese in Minnesota, which has doubled since the Institute opened in 2008. The mission of the CIUMN is to promote the study of Chinese language and culture throughout Minnesota. It is one of nearly 400 Confucius Institutes worldwide.

Former Dean of College Of Pharmacy Lawrence Weaver dies
Lawrence Weaver, former dean of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, died Dec. 21, 2011, at his home in Fridley, Minn. after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 87. Weaver is the only person in the history of the College of Pharmacy to twice serve as its dean: he was dean and professor of pharmacology from 1966–84, and interim dean from February 1994–95.


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

Second Life: What Happens to Old and Expired Supermarket Products
As darkness falls, your local supermarket becomes a hive of activity…"Foods can remain safe to consume for some time beyond sell-by and even use-by dates provided they are handled and stored properly," says Dr. Ted Labuza, a professor of food science at the University of Minnesota. The Atlantic.

Fairy tales in prime time
Fairy Tales are often used as the basis for modern day story lines. But recently we've seen a real upsurge in the number of television and movie projects based on these favorite story lines… Jack Zipes: Professor Emeritus of German and Comparative Literature at the University of Minnesota. Minnesota Public Radio.

Professor proposes invasive species research center for U
Beating back invasive species with boat inspections, dams or bubble barriers only buys time at best, a University of Minnesota professor told a legislative panel on Thursday…That was fisheries researcher and carp expert Peter Sorensen's message to the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee when he recommended that a world-class invasive species research center be developed at the U to study not only how to keep leaping carp, clinging zebra mussels and other weird critters out of the state but also how to get rid of those already here. Star Tribune.

U of M economist measures nature's benefits with dollars
Scientists in Minnesota are trying to do something that may be impossible: put a dollar value on nature… University of Minnesota economic researcher Steve Polasky is building on ideas first presented in the field of applied economics back in the 1960s. Minnesota Public Radio.

Study of the Day: Employees With Flexible Work Hours Are Healthier
New research suggests flexible workplaces promote personnel well-being and more healthful behavior from employees… Researchers led by University of Minnesota sociology professor Phyllis Moen analyzed longitudinal data collected from 659 employees in Best Buy's headquarters before and after the Results-Only Work Environment initiative was introduced in 2006. The Atlantic.

New Year’s Resolutions Always Disappoint, So Let’s Try Something Else
Why do we make New Year’s resolutions? What does this custom tell us about ourselves and our society?… According to Marti Hope Gonzales, associate professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota, research shows that “six weeks after people make their New Year's resolutions, 80 percent have either broken them or couldn't remember what they were." Daily Beast.

What's the cost of letting the poor go hungry?
Society's cost for helping the poor has long been monetized, though usually in terms of payouts for such things as financial aid for children and other nutritional assistance… Considered from that point of view, the cost of hunger in Minnesota is estimated conservatively to be at least $1.26 billion and as higher or higher than $1.62 billion a year, according to a report from the University of Minnesota Food Industry Center that was written for Second Harvest Heartland in late 2010. MinnPost.

U of M president hopes business partnerships pay off
From the moment University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler took charge in September, he made establishing closer relationships with business and industry a priority. Minnesota Public Radio.