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Awards, appointments, & other announcements

By Adam Overland

Charles Baxter - 300x225

Charles Baxter, Edelstein-Keller Professor in Creative Writing, has received the 2011 Rea Award for the Short Story.

May 16

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


Charles Baxter wins Rea Award for the Short Story

The 2011 Rea Award for the Short Story has been presented to Edelstein-Keller Professor in Creative Writing, Charles Baxter. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of The Rea Award for the Short Story. The late Michael M. Rea founded The Rea Award for the Short Story in 1986 to encourage the writing of short fiction. The annual $30,000 Rea Award recognizes a living U.S. or Canadian writer who has in Rea’s words: “made a significant contribution to the discipline of the short story as an art form.” Previous winners of the Rea Award include Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Ford, Grace Paley, Ann Beattie, Tobias Wolff, and John Updike.

Kathryn Sikkink receives Robert F. Kennedy Book Award

Kathryn Sikkink, University of Minnesota Regents Professor and Human Rights Program Advisory Board Chair, has been named winner of the 2012 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for The Justice Cascade: How Human Rights Prosecutions Changed World Politics.

Offered by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, the award recognizes a book which "most faithfully and forcefully reflects Robert Kennedy's purposes—his concern for the poor and the powerless, his struggle for honest and even-handed justice, his conviction that a decent society must assure all young people a fair chance, and his faith that a free democracy can act to remedy disparities of power and opportunity."

Professor Sikkink is slated to receive the award from Ethel Kennedy at a ceremony on May 24 at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC. She joins the ranks of previous award winners and distinguished authors, Vice President Al Gore, Congressman John Lewis, Taylor Branch, Toni Morrison, Jonathon Kozol, and Michael Lewis. 


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

Should college students 'break up' with their parents?
Having a close relationship with your parents is a good thing. But for college students, how attached is too attached?…Marjorie Savage, parent program director at the University of Minnesota, will also join the discussion. Minnesota Public Radio.

Talk to Me, Not to My Daughter
The first time Corky Alkin remembers being a nonperson was 20 years ago, at a shoe store in the San Fernando Valley suburbs of Los Angeles. Although Mrs. Alkin was the one shopping, the salesman spoke only to her grown daughter, Jodie Reff…Phyllis Moen, a sociology professor at the University of Minnesota who does research on retirement, described a typical encounter when someone has a hearing problem. New York Times.

Good Question: Does Whitening Toothpaste Really Whiten Your Teeth?
It may be the most overwhelming aisle of your local store: 352 distinct types or sizes of toothpaste are currently on the market, according to the Wall Street Journal…“No, it removes stains,” said Lisa Ahmann, a clinical assistant professor of dental hygiene at University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. WCCO-TV.

Critics of war on invasive carp decry cost, environmental impact
For about two decades, several species of fish commonly known as Asian carp have been creeping up the Mississippi River and its tributaries, gobbling up food native fish need to survive…"To me, it's surprising we haven't seen more," says fisheries biologist Peter Sorensen of the University of Minnesota. Minnesota Public Radio.

Good Question: What Does It Mean To Be Obese?
Most of us think we know obesity when we see it…But with so much discussion of the obesity epidemic, what makes someone obese? We asked Allen Levine, director of the Minnesota Obesity Center at the University of Minnesota. WCCO-TV.

Minnesota: Too many farmers' markets?
At six farmers' markets each week, Jessica Gilbertson stands behind her white cooler poised to sell meat and eggs. But when customers trickle in, and she nets $50 in sales, she's left wishing she spent that time on the tractor…"There is a sort of diminishing return," said Rob King, a professor in the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota. Pioneer Press.

Norwood Teague to get early start as University of Minnesota athletics director
Norwood Teague can't wait to get started. The new University of Minnesota athletics director was scheduled to replace Joel Maturi on July 1. Instead, he'll take over Maturi's Bierman Building office on June 18. Pioneer Press.


May 9

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



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

Eric Kaler talks, Bob Sansevere listens
Pioneer Press sports columnist Bob Sansevere regularly interviews sports figures to talk about their lives in a first-person format. Occasionally, he has moved out of the sports world for these interviews. Recently, he talked to University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler. Pioneer Press.

Eagle back in nest but still in danger
Harmon, a three-week-old baby eagle, is back in his nest after being treated at the University of Minnesota's Raptor Center. The eaglet was taken down from his nest Friday after one of his wings got stuck in a corner. His wing was wounded so badly it became infected with maggots. Dr. Julia Ponder executive director of Raptor Center said if they didn't intervene Harmon would have died. KARE-TV.

U Of M Earns Top Grade For Organic Agriculture
The University of Minnesota has earned a top grade for its organic agriculture programs. Minnesota is one of only six land-grant universities across the country with a perfect score in the new rankings from the Organic Farming Research Foundation. WCCO.

Good Question: Is The Fridge A Saver Or A Spoiler?
Some things are obvious: meat, eggs and milk go in the refrigerator. Other things are controversial: Tomatoes, bread, apples and peanut butter. So, the question is: To refrigerate or not to refrigerate?…If you like a fully-developed flavor in a tomato, you definitely want to keep it out of the fridge,” said Francisco Diez-Gonzales, a Food Science Professor at the University of Minnesota. WCCO-TV.

Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport on short end of Delta jet swap
Frequent fliers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport notice it: more cramped planes on some domestic routes, less entertainment on some flights to Europe…"For the average person, they're not as comfortable," Timothy Kehoe, an economics professor at the University of Minnesota, said about the 767s. Star Tribune.

New law to fund invasive species research
Gov. Mark Dayton has signed a Legacy bill into law that provides more than $10 million for a new invasive species research center at the University of Minnesota. Minnesota Public Radio.

Are bees pets?
I was going over some notes after last week's story about the status of urban beekeeping in the Twin Cities metro, and I came across a quotation from Gary Reuter about how he classifies bees. Reuter works for the University of Minnesota's entomology department along with Marla Spivak (our guest last week on the Daily Circuit). Minnesota Public Radio.


May 2

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


Bearinger featured in The Lancet

Linda Bearinger 165 Linda BearingerLinda Bearinger, professor in the Schools of Nursing and Medicine, and director of the Center for Adolescent Nursing, is featured in The Lancet, one of the world's best known, oldest, and most respected general medical journals. In addition to recently being highlighted for contributing to a special Lancet series on adolescent health—“Creating Healthy Pathways for Adolescents”—she is also featured in the Perspectives Section of the current Lancet issue, volume 379, issue 9826, page 1581. Recognizing her 40-plus years of service to young people, Bearinger’s career trajectory is described in the Lancet article, including her passion for teaching, her appointments with the Institute of Medicine and other global organizations, and her current position as President of the International Association for Adolescent Health.

For more information, see the full article.

In addition to Bearinger being a featured contributor to the Lancet Series on adolescent health, professor Michael Resnick, Gisela and E. Paul Konopka Chair in Adolescent Health and Development, director of Healthy Youth Development - Prevention Research Center, Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, lead authored the "call to action" in the opening commentary which was used as a basis for meetings with UNICEF and the UN held in New York City last week coinciding with the launch of the Lancet series. For more information, see the Lancet’s Adolescent Health series.

President's Award for Outstanding Service

The President's Award for Outstanding Service recognizes active or retired faculty or staff members who have performed exceptional service to the University, its schools, colleges, departments, and service units. Recipients of this award have gone well beyond their regular duties and have demonstrated an unusual commitment to the University and those of us who study, teach, and work here.

2012 President's Award for Outstanding Service recipients:

  • Stanley Bonnema, senior administrative director (retired), Department of Chemistry, College of Science and Engineering
  • Clinton Hewitt, associate professor emeritus, Department of Landscape Architecture, College of Design
  • Sue Jacobs, dental assistant, Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dentistry
  • Susan Kubitschek, director of student programs, College of Science and Engineering
  • Ann Masten, professor, Institute of Child Development, College of Education and Human Development
  • William Miller, NOvA far detector laboratory supervisor, School of Physics and Astronomy, College of Science and Engineering
  • Michael Mullins, professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Jennifred Nellis, professor emeritus, Studio Arts, Division of the Humanities, University of Minnesota Morris
  • Paula O'Loughlin, professor, Division of Social Sciences, University of Minnesota Morris
  • Mark Seeley, professor, Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
  • Jerie Smith, volunteer coordinator, the Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education, Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs
  • Gavin Watt, information technology supervisor, Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health

2012 Global Spotlight grant recipients

The Global Spotlight grants for international scholarly activities supports targeted research and other scholarly initiatives related to the spotlight areas for 2010–12: the region of Latin America and the Caribbean and the issue of urbanization. More than $500,000 was awarded to University of Minnesota faculty and graduate students through four grant programs that fund innovative research and support the continued development of a global network of engagement and scholarship across the University.

CBS Student Services receives Outstanding Program Certificate

CBS Student Services has won an Outstanding Program Certificate of Merit from the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) for its Academic Probation Advising Curriculum.

The honor is given to outstanding advising practices that are innovative, creative, address current problems and issues in advising, and provide definite evidence of positive student and/or institutional outcomes. One of the program's strengths is that it continues to evolve and be responsive to the needs of students. The framework, approach, and delivery by each advisor is exceptional, and for many students, a life changing intervention.

Ahluwalia named to Association for Prevention Teaching and Research

Jasjit Ahluwalia has been appointed to the Board of Directors for the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research, a national organization dedicated to interprofessional prevention education and research.

Joseph named president-elect of SRNT

Anne Joseph, professor, Department of Medicine, has been appointed as the president-elect for the Society of Research on Nicotine and Tobacco for the 2012–13 year.

Fisher appointed executive director of Corporate Institute

David Fisher has been appointed executive director of the Law School’s recently created Corporate Institute.

Fisher brings a wealth of experience from his roles as a business lawyer, businessman and public servant to the position. Fisher was associate general counsel and general manager for international and Eastern European businesses, with direct profit and loss responsibility, with The Pillsbury Company. He served as chief legal officer for several publicly traded, multinational corporations and he was commissioner of administration, chief operating officer and chief information officer with the State of Minnesota.

Currently Fisher serves as regional president of the National Association of Corporate Directors, an organization dedicated to helping directors provide efficient, effective corporate oversight. Since 2005 he has been a member, and served terms as council chair and recruitment committee chair, of the Regents Candidate Advisory Council, which is charged with recruiting, screening and recommending to the Minnesota state legislature candidates for election to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents.

The Corporate Institute was created to expand the Law School’s connection with the business community and prepare students to be effective business lawyers and leaders by increasing their understanding and opportunities in the world of business. Leveraging the resources of the corporate community and building on the strengths of the internationally recognized business law faculty, the Corporate Institute combines new programs and current business-oriented activities to establish an area of excellence at the Law School.

Find out more at Corporate Institute.


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

No love for the heart of the city
Nothing riles up the neighbors like the prospect of more neighbors…It's part of an array of hidden subsidies that work against urban infill, said John Adams, professor of geography at the University of Minnesota. Bridges, roads, tax breaks for oil companies and tax deductions for home mortgages all contribute to the suburban advantage, he said. Star Tribune.

$283 million project seeks tiny particles in the big woods of northern Minnesota
Preparations for a $283 million international experiment to solve mysteries of the universe have reached an important milestone in the woods of northern Minnesota…“We are really asking basic questions about the universe in what would seem a pretty unlikely location,” said NOvA lab director Marvin Marshak, a University of Minnesota physics professor. Duluth News Tribune.

A Study on Job Seekers' Mental Health
Job seekers' mental health tends to improve nearly three months into unemployment—after the initial shock of the pink slip, but before the rejection letters start piling up. According to a new study led by Connie Wanberg, a University of Minnesota professor of organizational and work behavior, the average laid-off worker experiences a gradual improvement in mental health until the 10- to 12-week mark, when the trend reverses. Wall Street Journal.

Case of Mad Cow Disease Is Found in U.S.
The Department of Agriculture announced that it had identified a case of mad cow disease, the first in six years, in a dairy cow in central California… “Our best prevailing wisdom about this is that there may be a spontaneous form of this cow dementia,” said Dr. Will Hueston, a professor of public health at the University of Minnesota. New York Times.