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Awards, appointments, & other announcements

By Adam Overland

Norwood Teague 1
Norwood Teague at an April 23 press conference, announcing him as the next director of Gopher Athletics.

April 25

To submit U of M staff or faculty for consideration in People, contact the Brief editor. For more information, see award & appointment submission guidelines.


Norwood Teague named director of Gopher Athletics

Norwood Teague was introduced as the University of Minnesota’s director of Gopher Athletics on April 23. He will take over for Joel Maturi, who will conclude his 10-year stint in that role on June 30.

Teague has been the director of athletics at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) since 2006. During his tenure at VCU, he has overseen continued success in the classroom and on the playing field, as well as stunning growth in gifts to VCU’s annual and capital funds. VCU’s annual fund has increased more than 119 percent, student-athletes achieved the highest graduation rate in school history and several Rams teams have achieved unprecedented athletic success.

Teague, 46, is a graduate of the University of North Carolina (B.A. 1988). For more information, see Gopher Athletics.

2012 Outstanding Community Service Award winners

The Office for Public Engagement has named the 2012 Outstanding Community Service Award winners:

  • Margaret Kuchenreuther, Faculty Award, Associate Professor of Biology, University of Minnesota Morris
  • Emily Springer, Student Award, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Sociology, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
  • Carla Bates, Staff Award, Information Technology Manager, Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
  • Catherine Jordan, Staff Award, Executive Director of the Children, Youth and Family Consortium and Associate Professor, Department of Pediatric, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
  • Haila Maze, Community Partner Award, City of Minneapolis Department of Planning and Economic Development

The awards recognize faculty, staff, students and University-affiliated community members who, by devoting their time, talents and expertise to serve the public good, have made significant, demonstrable and direct contributions to society’s well-being. For more information about each award recipient, see Outstanding Community Service.

Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Awards winners

The Office for Equity and Diversity has announced the 2012 winners of the Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Awards. Faculty/staff winner is Mark Bellcourt, who has a split appointment as coordinator of Access to Success in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) and senior academic advisor in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD). Student winners are Lolla Mohammed Nur (CLA) and Yodit Tesfaye (CLA).


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

New Gophers AD Teague's mandate: to sell hope
He doesn't have the splashy name. And his experience with a football program? That's six years in the past. But Norwood Teague believes he is exactly what the University of Minnesota needs right now. Star Tribune.

Photos: Emperor penguins in Antarctica
University of Minnesota scientist Michelle LaRue photographed emperor penguins in Antarctica in the spring of 2010. LaRue is co-author of a study that used satellite imagery to conduct the first-ever comprehensive census of a species taken from space. Pioneer Press.

Pulitzer Prize picture highlights ethics debate
It is a picture of pure horror that is difficult to look at. But Agence France-Presse photographer Massoud Hossaini's gut-wrenching image of an Afghan girl crying in fear after a suicide bomber's attack last December was widely disseminated and on Monday won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography… Journalists have long debated the use of graphic and violent images which can offend readers and sometimes inflict more trauma on victims and their families, says Jane Kirtley, director of the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law at the University of Minnesota. Yahoo News.

Guthrie's 2012 lineup starts diversity debate
The Guthrie on Monday announced 11 plays for its two main stages next season. Within minutes, social media lit up with protest…"It caught my attention," said Lisa Channer, artistic director of Theatre Novi Most and a professor of directing at the University of Minnesota. Star Tribune.

The New Normal: A demographer and an economist explain what Minnesota has to do to survive
Leave it to a demographer and an economist to stir things up. "Looking into the future, things aren't all that great," said state economist Tom Stinson, but the New Normal "plays to our strengths" as a state… Tom Gillaspy, who just retired as the state demographer, having served since 1979, and Tom Stinson, Minnesota’s state economist and a professor in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota, delivered a fascinating presentation on how demographics and policy will shape the state’s educational future, and the role education will play in the survival of our economy. Twin Cities Daily Planet.


April 18

To submit U of M staff or faculty for consideration in People, contact the Brief editor. For more information, see award & appointment submission guidelines.


Distinguished McKnight University Professorships

The Office of the Vice President for Research has announced the new recipients of the Distinguished McKnight University Professorships. The goal of this program is to recognize and reward the University of Minnesota's most outstanding mid-career faculty. Recipients are honored with the title Distinguished McKnight University Professor, which they hold for as long as they remain at the university. The grant associated with the professorship consists of $100,000 to be expended over five years.

The recipients are selected based on the level of distinction their scholarly work brings to the university; the merit of their achievements and the potential for greater attainment in the field; the dimension of their national or international reputation; the extent to which their intellectual work and reputation are identified with Minnesota; the quality of their teaching and advising; and their contributions to the broader community.

The 2012 Distinguished McKnight Professors are C. Daniel Frisbie; John Riedl; David Samuels; Claudia Schmidt-Dannert; and Jian-Ping Wang. For more information, see 2012 Distinguished McKnight Professors.

Billie Wahlstrom to retire

Billie Wahlstrom, vice provost for distributed education and instructional technology, will retire May 1. Wahlstrom plans to step down from the position and return to her academic work in Writing Studies. The effective date of her retirement is May 1, but she has agreed to offer advice and bridge-support during the transition.

Wahlstrom came to the University of Minnesota in 1989 as the chair of the Rhetoric Department in the College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences. After ten years in that role, she was appointed a vice provost by then-provost and senior vice president Robert Bruininks. During that time, she worked closely with Robert Kvavik on a series of technology initiatives that began with MyU.

Throughout a decade as vice provost, Wahlstrom worked with her team and with partners around the University to organize and strategically develop the University's e learning efforts. Together they created the first catalog of online and hybrid courses, the Digital Campus, including the Digital Campus Student Support Center, and they helped units increase their noncredit online offerings through the noncredit registration system.

Wahlstrom's work in e-learning and distributed education has stretched beyond the University. She has worked closely with colleagues in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) and the Minnesota Department of Education to create the Minnesota Learning Commons (MnLC), which supports online learners across the state, and with MnSCU and state agencies to create ISeek, which makes educational and employment opportunities available regionally and nationally. In addition, her work with Reverse Transfer has helped give a range of motivated students a second chance to earn a degree.


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

April frost is threatening Minnesota's apple crop
Minnetrista apple grower Lowell Schaper spent a cold, sleepless Monday night driving a tractor through his Minnetonka Orchards, trying to circulate warmer air and protect his budding trees from the chill… Spring bloom is a sensitive time for apple trees, according to David Bedford, research scientist and apple breeder at the University of Minnesota. Star Tribune.

Dumpster diners eat what they see as food waste
I got some strawberries!" Seth Graham's voice bounds off the walls of a dumpster as he settles unopened containers of fruit into a cardboard box Ruthie Cole is holding…The thought of eating food from garbage bins can offend public sensibilities, says Valentine Cadieux, who researches agriculture and food systems at the University of Minnesota. Leader-Telegram.

Sounding the sugar alarms
Worried about trans fat or salt? That's a little old-school. If you want to stay current on dietary villains, you'll want to start thinking about sugar…"Sugar isn't a poison — diet is more complicated than any one single villain," says Joanne Slavin, professor of nutrition at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul. Los Angeles Times.

Students weighed down by debt
Jinaa Lane is a college student. She's also a single mother who works three part-time jobs…Lane was one of a dozen students who told their stories Monday to local officials and a U.S. senator during a roundtable on college affordability at the University of Minnesota…The average debt load at the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus is closer to $ 27,500 -- a number that is "too high," said U President Eric Kaler. Star Tribune.

Debate reignites over risks to water from farm runoff
Wells and lakes across Minnesota are at risk from fertilizers and pesticides running off the state's expansive farmlands, according to a detailed new inventory released Thursday… University of Minnesota water researcher Deb Swackhamer agreed. "We are seeing an increase in public and private wells that are above the health limits for nitrates," she added. Star Tribune.

Texas Board Approves Rules on Use of Stem Cells
The Texas Medical Board on Friday approved controversial new rules on the use of adult stem cells, raising concerns that Texans could receive therapies that have not yet been proven to work and that could be unsafe…“I think there are some real problems with these rules,” said Leigh Turner, a professor at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Bioethics, who commented on the rules before the board. New York Times.

MPR News Primer: Copper-nickel mining
Mining runs deep in the culture and economy of northern Minnesota. So why are people drawing battle lines over plans to build copper-nickel mines in the Iron Range?… Eventually the waste rock would be returned to the mined-out pits, which would be allowed to flood, says Jim Miller, associate professor of geology at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Minnesota Public Radio.


April 11

To submit U of M staff or faculty for consideration in People, contact the Brief editor. For more information, see award & appointment submission guidelines.


Susan Wolf receives Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award

Susan Wolf 165
Professor Susan Wolf has received a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy.
Susan Wolf, McKnight Presidential Professor of Law, Medicine and Public Policy and chair of the University’s Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment and the Life Sciences, has been awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research. The award will support a two-year project on the contentious question of whether investigators should return incidental findings and individual research results to participants in human subjects research.

Wolf has led multiple NIH/NHGRI-funded projects on this issue, most recently with co-investigators and University professors Frances Lawrenz and Brian Van Ness. Project publications include an April symposium in Genetics in Medicine that has generated news articles in Nature and Science.


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

New Estimate Raises Civil War Death Toll
For 110 years, the numbers stood as gospel: 618,222 men died in the Civil War, 360,222 from the North and 258,000 from the South — by far the greatest toll of any war in American history…Dr. Hacker said he realized in 2010 that a rigorous recalculation could finally be made if he used newly available detailed census data presented on the Internet by the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota. New York Times.

A health care ruling not apt to end Minn.'s reform efforts
If the U.S. Supreme Court pulls the plug on all or part of the federal health care law, hold off on scrawling R.I.P. on reform efforts in Minnesota…Lynn Blewett, a professor in the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, rates Minnesota among the top 10 states that could assemble their own expanded coverage systems should the Supreme Court strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Star Tribune.

Good Question: How Does A Tornado Pick Up A Trailer?
It seems like the video of those flying trailers has been played on repeat since Tuesday’s tornado hit in Dallas, Texas…University of Minnesota Physics professor Dan Dahlberg says those winds can reach speeds up to 300 mph. WCCO-TV.

Pink slime: You say 'ewwwww'; experts say 'so what?'
Consumer groups are troubled by "pink slime" - but not in the way you'd expect. At Consumer Federation of America, there's regret the "yuck factor" has drowned out the science behind lean finely textured beef… "Honestly, it's causing a loss of jobs, and it will ultimately affect the price of beef," said Ryan Cox, an assistant professor in meat science at the University of Minnesota. Pioneer Press.

When It's Just Another Fight, and When It's Over
One evening shortly after their seventh anniversary, Louis and Shelley Silberman had an argument while preparing dinner…A new type of therapy, called "discernment counseling," breaks with traditional couples counseling, which seeks to solve relationship problems. Instead, discernment counseling, pioneered by Bill Doherty, a professor in the family social science department at the University of Minnesota, aims to help struggling couples decide whether to divorce or remain married. Wall Street Journal.

Why Helping Others Makes Us Happy
Helping our fellow man has long been seen as an altruistic behavioral model. But it turns out that more selfish motives—pleasing friends, doing what you want—are more successful causes of effective volunteering... "On one hand, it's striking that volunteering even occurs," says Mark Snyder, a psychologist and head of the Center for the Study of the Individual and Society at the University of Minnesota. U.S. News and World Report.

Driving Into the Future: Autonomous Cars
They seem like something out of the future, but self-driving cars might be closer than you think…"It's a very attractive notion to move toward more autonomous technology because of the 30,000-plus deaths that we have on the roads each year," Frank Douma, a research fellow at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs, told TechNewsWorld. TechNewsWorld.


April 4

To submit U of M staff or faculty for consideration in People, contact the Brief editor. For more information, see award & appointment submission guidelines.


Appointment to Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies
Rosemary White Shield has been appointed a national expert in evaluation by the Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT), a training and technical assistance center funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C. Dr. White Shield, director of evaluation for the University’s Office for Equity and Diversity, received one of just five CAPT nationwide appointments for the Native American Service to Science Initiative.

Her expertise is in culturally responsive and meaningful research and evaluation, including non-Western, indigenous paradigms and methodologies. She created and utilized the Medicine Wheel Culturally Intrinsic Research Paradigm Model in previous research studies, and her nonlinear, culturally responsive logic models used in higher education and field studies are recognized by SAMHSA/CAPT as a best practice and have set a precedent for the nation in research and evaluation.

Concurrently, White Shield’s most recent books, Gifts from the Sacred Circle, an evidence-based Native traditional parenting curriculum for families affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), were published by Hazelden and released in March. She also recently published a chapter in the book, Southern silences: historical trauma and remembrance of American Indian conquest and internal slave trade in the Southeast , which will be released for distribution this fall. White Shield’s research—the first of its kind on gender-specific slavery and trafficking of Native women and girls from historical and contemporary perspectives—led to the.

UDS chefs achieve Pro Chef certification
University Dining Services is pleased to announce catering executive chef Greg Colline and chef manager Stacy Wiroll have recently earned ProChef II certification from The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the world’s premier culinary college.

The CIA’s ProChef Certification is a comprehensive professional development and culinary skills verification program which measures core culinary, managerial and financial acumen, including a chef’s skill in taste, proper cooking methods, authenticity, plating, use of all ingredients, hygiene and disposal of food waste.

Chefs Colline and Wiroll’s completion of ProChef II is the culmination of a 10-week program that requires completion of online course work and multiple hours in the kitchen practicing and advancing their skills, leading to a four-day practical and written exam judged by Certified Master Chefs at the CIA’s Hyde Park, NY campus.

University Dining Services now has three ProChef-certified chefs. District executive chef Gil Junge completed his certification in February 2010.

Three students named Barry M. Goldwater Scholars
Three University of Minnesota, Twin Cities undergraduates have been named 2012 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars. The prestigious Goldwater Scholarship is awarded annually to outstanding sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research-oriented careers in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. The scholarships provide up to $7,500 per year for up to two years of undergraduate study.

Each of the three Goldwater Scholars is enrolled in the University Honors Program.

Paul David Carlson, a junior majoring in chemical engineering in the College of Science and Engineering, plans to pursue a combined M.D. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering and specialize in cardiovascular tissue engineering. A National Merit Scholar, a Presidential Scholar, a Minnesota Gold Scholar and recipient of the Monroe Professional Engineers Society and SIG Hagen scholarships, Carlson has been recognized by the American Chemical Society and awarded two Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program grants. In his spare time, he tutors chemistry students at the U of M and volunteers at Amplatz Children’s Hospital.

Chung-Yun (George) Chao is a junior pursuing a double major in genetics, cell biology and development in the College of Biological Sciences and computer science in the College of Science and Engineering. Following his undergraduate studies, he plans to pursue a doctorate in bioinformatics and possibly an M.D. with a future specialty in internal medicine. He has presented his work on several occasions, including a recent TEDxUMN talk, and is involved in leading the U of M’s team for the 2012 International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Competition. Chao is a Presidential Scholar, a Monica Tsang and James Weatherbee Merit Scholar in Biology, a Genetics, Cell Biology and Development Scholar and the recipient of an Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program grant. A competitive ballroom dancer, Chao has won dozens of awards and mentions in local, regional and national competitions.

Mark Strom, a junior chemistry major in the College of Science and Engineering, plans to pursue a combined M.D. and Ph.D. in cell biology with the purpose of conducting research on stem cells as a faculty member at a medical school. Strom is a Presidential Scholar, a Minnesota Gold Scholar, a CSE Merit Scholar, a Robert C. Byrd Scholar and a Thomas J. Watson Memorial Scholar, and he has been recognized with the Prentice Hall Organize Chemistry Book Prize, the Merck Index Award, a pair of Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program grants and a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates grant. A teaching assistant in the University of Minnesota Talented Youth Mathematics Program, Strom is also a longtime Habitat for Humanity volunteer.

For more information, see Goldwater Scholars.


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

Eye to eye with a veterinary ophthalmologist
Ever notice how even the most exotic jobs can sound downright mundane when you talk to the people who work them? Take Christine Lim, the only ophthalmologist at the University of Minnesota's Veterinary Medical Center. Star Tribune.

Online Ojibwe Dictionary To Be Launched Monday
The University of Minnesota’s Department of American Indian Studies is launching a new online Ojibwe People’s Dictionary. College of Liberal Arts dean James Parente, Jr., says the dictionary sets a standard for how indigenous languages will be preserved in the future. WCCO.

Pesticide, EPA faulted in bee die-off
In a spring ritual as old as life itself, Steve Ellis' bees return to their hives day after day loaded with pollen from the dandelions and flowering trees that are in full bloom across central Minnesota…"Seventy percent of crops—apples, oranges, zucchini, melons, strawberries—they all need pollinators," said Vera Krischik, an associate professor of entomology at the University of Minnesota who studies the pesticides and bees. Star Tribune.

What has early spring meant around the state?
We asked sources in our Public Insight Network to tell us what changes they've noticed due to this year's early Minnesota spring… Lee Relich, Director of the University of Minnesota Center for Forest Ecology. Minnesota Public Radio.

Can you predict an outcome from Supreme Court justices' questions?
Supreme Court justices can hide their intentions in plain sight, even with something as complicated as health care… Sarah A. Treul, a University of North Carolina political scientist, joined three other scholars in studying the transcripts of nearly 3,000 Supreme Court cases argued between 1979 and 2008… "We can predict just over 70 percent of votes and cases" based on oral argument questions, said Timothy Johnson, one of the researchers on the paper and a University of Minnesota political scientist. Belleville News Democrat.

Study finds Minnesota's geothermal energy potential is greater than previously thought
Deep below Minnesota’s often-frozen surface lies a boiling-hot, pollution-free energy source just waiting to be tapped. That’s the finding of a report released this week by the Natural Resources Research Institute of the University of Minnesota Duluth. “The potential is three or four times greater than we assumed,” said Don Fosnacht, lead researcher on the project and director of the NRRI’s Center for Applied Research and Development. Duluth News Tribune.

Academic Built Case for Mandate in Health Care Law
After Massachusetts, California came calling. So did Connecticut, Delaware, Kansas, Minnesota, Oregon, Wisconsin and Wyoming…Other models exist — built by nonprofits like the RAND Corporation or private consultancies like the Lewin Group — but they all use Mr. Gruber’s work as a benchmark, according to Jean Abraham, a health economist at the University of Minnesota and former senior economist in both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations. New York Times.

Israel Group Adds a Softer Voice to Debate on Iran
Memo to Congress: Not all American Jews support a military strike on Iran, either by Israel or by the United States… “There’s a myth that the so-called Jewish vote is a monolithic vote in favor of a militaristic position in support of Israel,” said Elaine Tyler May, a professor at the University of Minnesota. New York Times.