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Awards, appointments, and other news

Compiled by Adam Overland

Brian Herman 165
Brian Herman will assume leadership of the University's research enterprise on Jan. 1, 2013, subject to approval by the Board of Regents. 

October 31

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

Brian Herman named VP for research

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler named Dr. Brian Herman the U's next vice president for research. Herman will assume leadership of the University's research enterprise on Jan. 1, 2013, subject to approval by the Board of Regents in December.

Herman comes to the university from the University of Texas (UT), where he has been serving as the Chancellor's Health Fellow in Collaboration for the UT System and Special Assistant to the President for the UT Health Science Center for the past two years. He is a full professor of cellular and structural biology, receiving his doctorate from the University of Connecticut Health Science Center and postgraduate training from Harvard Medical School.

Herman is an internationally renowned researcher in the field of cell death and the applications of optical imaging technologies to the study of cellular, tissue, and organismal physiology and pathophysiology. He has received two NIH merit awards and served on multiple NIH and NSF study sections, including a four-year term on the NIH Cell, Development and Function-2 study section, two of which he served as chair. He has published over 450 papers, book chapters, and abstracts, edited 4 books, and trained 26 students and 27 postdoctoral fellows over his scientific career.

As the University's chief research officer, Herman will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of research at the University of Minnesota's five campuses, providing guidance and support to individual researchers and managing the university's research enterprise. He will also be a member of the University's senior leadership group.

Largaespada awarded ACS research award

David Largaespada, associate director of Basic Sciences and professor in Genetics, Cell Biology and Development and the Departments of Pediatrics, has been awarded the prestigious American Cancer Society (ACS) Research Professor Award.

This ACS award recognizes investigators who have made influential and fundamental contributions to cancer research. Just two candidates are selected nationally, each year. Largaespada is just the second University of Minnesota faculty member to have been granted this award. Stephen Hecht held the honor from 2000-10.

Largaespada led the way in developing a unique way to identify and understand cancer genes, using a tool called Sleeping Beauty.

Sleeping Beauty earned its name because it is a transposable element or jumping gene that was "awoken" by research done in the lab of Perry Hackett at the University of Minnesota in 1997. Largaespada was able to use this tool for finding cancer genes.

When applied to cancer research, Sleeping Beauty has allowed Largaespada and his research partners to spot cancer genes hiding inside cells in the body. Using this knowledge, researchers can learn how cancers spread and how the cells are being impacted by drugs and other treatments.

Most recently, Largaespada collaborated on a project to identify genetic markers associated with colon cancer. Currently in the Largaespada lab, researchers are studying whether a blocking agent could be useful in treating tumors driven by R-spondin production. If this project is successful, it could help create new therapeutic approaches useful in certain patients after a tumor genetic test is done.

The ACS award will provide Largaespada with flexible funding for the length of his appointment.

Nelson receives Women of Color award

Elizabeth Nelson, office manager in TRiO Upward Bound, has received the 2012 University Women of Color (UWOC) Tapestry Award. The award recognizes the individual efforts of faculty, staff, and students to create a positive campus climate for women and particularly, women of color.

Nelson began working at the University as a work-study student in the Spanish and Portuguese department and the Upward Bound office, and returned to Upward Bound as staff in 2007. She's pursuing a master of education in human resource development and mentors Upward Bound's human resource development interns. She is actively involved in the Community of Scholars program, which supports graduate students who are underrepresented in academia, and is also president of the Graduate Students of the College of Education and Human Development (GradSEHD). Nelson was presented the award at a UWOC reception on Oct. 18.

Nicole Letawsky Shultz receives Outstanding Advising Administrator Award

Nikki Schultz 165Nicole Letawsky ShultzNicole Letawsky Shultz, assistant dean for Student Affairs and International Programs, College of Biological Sciences, has received the Outstanding Advising Administrator Award from National Association of Academic Advisors (NACADA). NACADA is an association of more than 10,000 advising professionals (professional advisers, counselors, faculty, and administrators) devoted to the educational development and retention of students in higher education.

In Memoriam: Nicki R. Crick

Nikki Crick 165Nicki CrickNicki Crick, McKnight-University Professor and Harris Professor of Child Psychology, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, passed away peacefully this morning, Oct 28, 2012, at age 54, following a brief but courageous battle with cancer.

Professor Crick is known for her groundbreaking research on relational aggression. Only recently, and largely through Professor Crick's work, has the archaic belief about girls being made of "sugar and spice and everything nice" given way to a more accurate view of the sometimes vicious world of girls' aggression. For decades, the study and treatment of aggressive behavior focused almost exclusively on boys and men and their use of physical aggression. Professor Crick and her students showed that girls and women use a relational form of aggression that includes such nasty behaviors as social exclusion, mean gossip, threats to end friendships and destroy romantic relationships as ways of controlling or punishing others. Her work made it clear that relational aggression is a significant problem, that relational victimization can ruin the lives of young people, and that those who are highly relationally aggressive have serious emotional and behavioral problems similar to boys who are highly physically aggressive.

As a result of Professor Crick's work, there are now school-based programs to reduce relational aggression (see work by Stephen Leff) and groups organized around the reduction of relational aggression (see the Global Alliance for the Prevention of Relational Aggression). Studies of aggression now routinely include measures of relational aggression and measures of emotional and behavioral problems include assessment of relational bullying and victimization.

Professor Crick's work was well known among academics. She published over 90 peer-reviewed papers, among them some of the most highly cited papers in developmental psychology, including one paper, "A review and reformulation of social information-processing mechanisms in children's social adjustment" that has been cited almost 3,000 times, and another, "Relational aggression, gender, and social‐psychological adjustment.Child Development" that has been cited nearly 2500 times.

Professor Crick's work reached public consciousness through publications such as a NY Times magazine story, February 4, 2002, "Girls Just Want to be Mean" and a Discovery Channel documentary (2004) on "Rituals of the Girl Tribe" which featured Professor Crick.

In addition to her two chaired professorships, Professor Crick was the Director of the Institute of Child Development from January of 2005 to June of 2011, she was awarded the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology, American Psychological Association, the Boyd McCandless Young Scientist Award, Division 7 (Developmental Psychology), American Psychological Association and was a William T. Grant Faculty Scholar. Memorial service details will be forthcoming.

U in the News: A selection of U faculty and staff in the news as appearing daily in Today's News.

'U of M' struggling to keep up with mental health cases
New research shows one in four students at the University of Minnesota is diagnosed with a form of mental illness every year. ...Boynton Health Service Chief Medical Officer Gary Christienson says the plan is to increase staff and resources by 15 percent on the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses, and they've already started. WCCO-TV.

The future of retail: Shopping more at smaller stores
In the next five to eight years, consumers can look forward to disappearing checkouts, shrinking stores and hovering holograms with product information. Many people will move closer to urban centers, where quick trips to stores, restaurants and services will be more convenient. But they will continue to blur the line with such discounters as Target offering more expensive merchandise as a splurge item or Nordstrom offering a value-priced item, said Akshay Rao, professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. Star Tribune.

That guy won? Why we knew it all along
Amid the many uncertainties of next Tuesday's presidential election lies one sure thing: Many people will feel in their gut that they knew the result all along. "What consciousness does is tell the most compelling story it can come up with," Dr. Kathleen Vohs, the University of Minnesota psychologist, said in an e-mail. New York Times.

Discussion of professor's memoir
Between July and December of 2007, Louis Mendoza, a Chicano studies professor and the associate vice provost for equity and diversity, rode eight thousand miles on his bicycle around the perimeter of the U.S. Mendoza will be hosting a discussion on his memoir and the hostile immigration debate surrounding his trip. Minnesota Daily.

U names new VP for research
The University of Minnesota has picked its next vice president for research – Brian Herman, of the University of Texas. Herman, a cellular and structural biology professor, is special assistant to the president at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the chancellor's health fellow in collaboration for the UT system. Star Tribune.

How companies have assembled political profiles for millions of internet users
If you're a registered voter and surf the web, one of the sites you visit has almost certainly placed a tiny piece of data on your computer flagging your political preferences. That piece of data, called a cookie, marks you as a Democrat or Republican, when you last voted, and what contributions you've made. "A lot of people would consider their political identity more private than lots of information," said William McGeveran, a data privacy expert at the University of Minnesota Law School. Truthout.

October 24

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

Center for Design in Health grant

The University of Minnesota’s Center for Design in Health, Mayo Clinic, Phillips Research North America and the United States Critical Illness and Injury Trials Group have been awarded more than $16 million from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to improve critical care for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in intensive care units (ICU). Data show that 27 percent of such Medicare beneficiaries face preventable treatment errors due to information overload among ICU providers.

The organizations will use cloud-based technology to help prevent medical errors by improving and standardizing clinical decision making, enhancing patient monitoring and better implementing quality metrics.

Medical errors can cause devastating and measurable harm in acute care settings, adding significantly to health care system costs. To comprehensively address this issue and transform the deluge of patient data into actionable insights, the collaborators are creating a cloud-based clinical decision support system built on Mayo Clinic’s Ambient Warning and Response Evaluation application. The project includes a secure, bi-directional communication connection to the cloud where the data is analyzed, interpreted and sent back to the facilities’ care teams to be displayed and mobilized for patient alerts.

Over a three-year period, the collaborators will train 1,440 existing ICU caregivers in four diverse hospital systems to effectively use new health information technologies to manage ICU patient care. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation estimates that this project will save more than $80 million while creating new health care jobs.

For more information, see the news release.

President of Research Libraries
Wendy Pradt Lougee, University Librarian and McKnight Presidential Professor, begins a one-year term this month as president of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). ARL is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries at comprehensive, research-extensive institutions in the United States and Canada.

For more information, see U Libraries

U in the News: A selection of U faculty and staff in the news as appearing daily in Today's News.

President Kaler is taking a ‘different approach’ at freezing tuition
U of M President Eric Kaler is taking a different approach in his proposed budget to freeze tuition: the budget would freeze tuition if lawmakers increased their investment in the university while having an incentive for students to work hard toward graduation. Several studies since 2008 show that the increase in tuition prices at pubic universities is primarily attributable to the decrease in per-student state appropriations, a trend Kaler and the U of M hope to reverse. The budget, approved by the U’s Board of Regents Friday, would freeze tuition prices at the 2012-13 level if the state agrees to invest an additional 42.6 milllion over the next two years. Inside Higher Ed

U of M scientist contributes to mapping of barley genome
U of M scientist Gary Muehlbauer is part of an international team that mapped the genome of barley, one of the world’s most important and genetically complex cereal crops. The researchers say the work will help produce higher yields, improve pest and disease resistance, and enhance barley’s nutritional value. Pioneer Press

U of M researchers call for better flu vaccines
Dr. Michael Osterholm of the U of M’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy said at a news conference yesterday that people should still get flu vaccines this fall, but Osterholm also presented results from his research on flu vaccines that show the effectiveness of flu shots is not as high as most believe. “We believe current influenza vaccines will continue to have a role in reducing influenza … but we can no longer accept the status quo regarding vaccine research and development.” Pioneer Press

U of M developing homegrown diesel alternative
David Kittelson, a mechanical engineering professor in the U of M’s College of Science and Engineering, is leading a research project to develop a clear-burning, renewable alternative to diesel and a fuel-injection system for it. With the developed alternative, Minnesota pulp mills could meet 10 percent of the state’s diesel fuel needs. The project is receiving funding and consulting from a state grant as well as big-name industry partners, like General Motors and Volvo. Finance & Commerce

Director of vascular medicine found a new treatment for blocked vessels
Dr. Alan Hirsch, director of vascular medicine at the U of M Medical School, headed a study funded by the National Institute of Health involving exercise. The study concluded that a six-month supervised exercise program proved more effective than using a stent to treat a blocked vessel in the pelvis called the iliac artery in improving time and distance a patient could walk on a treadmill. Wall Street Journal

Did a lion really befriend a baby antelope? U of M ecologist says no
Adri De Visser recently documented a lion hunt in Uganda, and came across a surprising sight: a lioness seeming to “adopt” a baby antelope after killing and eating its mother. ...Ecologist Craig Packer, who is also the director of the Lion Research Center at the U of M, doesn’t think this was the case, “the lamb always gets eaten … It’s quite common for cats to play with their prey and they can look very gentle doing it. But it always ends in tears.” Mother Nature Network

October 17

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

2012 Alumni Awards Celebration

The University of Minnesota Alumni Association honored its outstanding alumni volunteers, groups and programs at the 2012 Alumni Awards Celebration.

Five individuals and seven groups received Alumni Association awards in recognition of contributions to the mission of the association by connecting alumni, students and friends in support of the University during the past year.

The Alumni Association’s awards are as follows:

Faculty/Staff Volunteer of the Year: Louis Quast, College of Education and Human Development

Student Volunteer(s) of the Year
: Prescott Morrill, College of Design
Luke Nichols, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Advocate of the Year: Chris Tastad, College of Biological Sciences

utstanding Alumni Society: College of Design Alumni Society

Outstanding Alumni Chapter: Washington, D.C. Chapter

Program Extraordinaire awards for creative, innovative and engaging activities: College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences Alumni Society; the School of Nursing Alumni Society; the College of Pharmacy Alumni Society; the College of Science and Engineering Alumni Society and the Arizona West Valley Chapter.

2012 Alumni Service Award winners: Fifteen individuals received the University of Minnesota Alumni Service Award, recognizing alumni volunteers who have had a significant impact on the university; its schools, colleges, departments, or faculty; or to the University of Minnesota Alumni Association or any of its constituent groups.

Roberta J. Anderson, School of Dentistry

Ann Carlson Birt, College of Design

Robert A. Bjork, Carlson School of Management

James L. Chosy, Law School

June LaValleur, Medical School

Marie Manthey, School of Nursing

Padraic S. McGuire, College of Science and Engineering

John Mendesh, College of Science and Engineering

Jan Anderson Meyer, College of Liberal Arts

Carol Mulligan, College of Education and Human Development

Rusty Nelson, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Robert K. Schultz, College of Pharmacy

Katherine Siggerud, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Ertugrul Tuzcu, University of Minnesota Alumni Association

David E. Walstad, Carlson School of Management

Read more about each of the winners.

Brian Kobilka, '77 wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry
UMD graduate Brian Kobilka won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with another U.S. scientist, for studies about how cells in our body sense their environments. These studies are key for developing better drugs.

Kobilka will share the prize with fellow American Robert Lefkowitz. Kobilka graduated summa cum laude from UMD in 1977 with bachelor of science degrees in biology and chemistry.

Kobilka obtained his medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine in 1981, trained in internal medicine at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis (1981-1984) and served as a research fellow (1984-1989) and assistant professor (1988-1989) at the Duke University School of Medicine. In 1989 Kobilka joined the faculty of the Stanford University School of Medicine where currently he is professor of medicine, and molecular and cellular physiology. He was inducted into the UMD Academy of Science and Engineering in 2005.

Dr. Robert Lefkowitz, of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in Maryland who shares the prize, is also a professor at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina.

For more information, see Kobilka.

2012 Access Achievement Awards Recipients
Disability Services established the Access Achievement Awards in 2010 to recognize individual outstanding achievement in support access to the University.

This year’s winners

Marilyn Becker, Director of Learner Development, Medical School

Robert Burgett, Vice President of Development, University-Wide Programs, University of Minnesota Foundation

Lisa Gruszska, Associate Director, Orientation and First Programs

Glenn Hirsch, Director, University Counseling and Consulting Services

Chen-Fu Liao, Information Technology Professional, Civil Engineering

Laura Molgaard, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Veterinary Medicine, Academic and Student Affairs

Jerry Rinehart, Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Larry Rudnick, Professor, Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics

Steven Miles awarded St. Olaf Alumni Achievement award
Steven Miles, Center for Bioethics, has been awarded the St. Olaf College Alumni Achievement award, and is featured in the current issue of St Olaf Magazine. Steve is Professor and Maas Family Endowed Chair in Bioethics, Center for Bioethics; and Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School.

U in the News: A selection of U faculty and staff in the news as appearing daily in Today's News.

Minnesota could become cyber-security hub, speakers say
Minnesota can become a hub for developing new ways to protect businesses on the Internet, according to the state's former chief information officer, who is leading a two-day summit on cyber security in Minneapolis this week. "Our goal is to build Minnesota into a cluster in developing cyber security business models for companies… like Silicon Valley is for technological innovation," said Gopal Khanna, a senior fellow at the Technological Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota. Pioneer Press.

Math has never looked as pretty as this
When you were at high school, math was probably an uninspiring string of algebra you had to crunch through. Get to the cutting edge of computational fluid dynamics, though, and it all starts to look a hell of a lot more pretty. These images represent incredibly complex fluid flows, and were generated suing supercomputers by researchers at the Laboratory for Computational Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. Gizmodo.

UCare Mobile Dental Clinic returns to Twin Cities
The UCare Mobile Dental Clinic, which is converted a 43-foot long bus into a four station mobile dental clinic, has returned to the Twin Cities. The mobile dental clinic travels 15,000 miles across Minnesota throughout the year, as U of M Dentistry School students, who are supervised by faculty, provide care to UCare members. The initiative has existed for 10 years. CBS Minnesota.

U of M ranks 20th in the nation for fundraising among colleges
The Council for Aid to Education annually ranks the top 20 fundraising schools, and the University of Minnesota made the list at number 20. According to the U, in 2011, the U raised $221 million in donations from 79,137 donors: 44,633 of which are alums, 29,980 others, and 4,494 organizations. WCCO-TV.

What's in a name: The U redefines job categories
In a debate over whether the University of Minnesota has too many administrators, the university has a new tool: definitions. U officials on Thursday unveiled a way of classifying its employees that throws out what it believes was an outdated system that labeled too many people as "administrative." Instead, employees are now defined by whether they "deliver," "support" or "oversee" the university's teaching, research and outreach missions. Star Tribune.

U of M launches research project to make lawns more sustainable
Eric Watkins, U of M associate professor of horticultural science, along with his team and scientists from Rutgers University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have launched a 5-year project investigating how to develop turf grasses that will not require as much water and mowing, and can remain green without fertilizers and pesticides. The Line.

Taco expert dishes on Mexican food
If you think you know your tacos, you're probably wrong. Spend an hour listening to Jeffrey Pilcher talk about his new book, Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food, and you will feel like a taco novice. Pilcher, a professor at the University of Minnesota, spoke at Doheny Library on Tuesday. Daily Trojan.

Spider-math and bat-physics: Science in the superhero world
Jim Kakalios, a physics professor at the U of M and a science consultant for "The Amazing Spider-Man" movie, explains that in mass quantities, spider silk is extraordinarily strong, stretchier than nylon and, pound for pound, is stronger than steel cable. In other words, when produced in mass quantities, it could plausibly dangle a car and child from a New York City bridge just as Peter Parker saves a child trapped in a car in the film. Kakalios also wrote a book explaining this titled "The Physics of Superheroes." PBS.

October 10

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

Honorary Fellowship of King's College

Irving Gottesman will receive the Honorary Fellowship of King's College London. The fellowship recognizes the exceptional distinction achieved on the part of the holder through their public and professional life.

Gottesman, senior fellow, Department of Psychology and [ret.] Bernstein Professor in Adult Psychiatry University of Minnesota, has been conducting research on the genetics of mental disorders in that environment since 1963. The British honor is for research and mentoring done at the Institute of Psychiatry, starting in 1964 as a USPHS Fellow in Psychiatric Genetics and for his twins with schizophrenia studies, resulting in a 1972 book on the subject. Gottesman’s career will be featured in the October issue of Minnesota Medicine.

Finnegan receives Albert Justus Chesley Award from MPHA

John Finnegan, dean of the School of Public Health, has received the Albert Justus Chesley Award from the Minnesota Public Health Association (MPHA). The award honors members of MPHA who have distinguished themselves in the field of public health and who have made a contribution to MPHA.

U in the News: A selection of U faculty and staff in the news as appearing daily in Today’s News.

Yosemite hantavirus and climate change - the plague of climate denial confronts an actual plague
Just to get your weekend off to a happy start, there seems to be an outbreak of the hantavirus in Yosemite, and folks aren't entirely sure that it will stay there, or that it will be the only little biological horror to visit these shores. ...Climate cycles very clearly play a part in outbreaks, says Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Esquire (The Politics Blog).

On campus beat: Don't be so shy, Kaler tells U faculty
University of Minnesota professors are excellent, President Eric Kaler believes. They're also a bit too ... Minnesotan. Kaler has been pushing against that culture, nudging faculty members to nominate themselves and their colleagues for the nation's top academic honors. "This helps drive the reputation of the University of Minnesota," Kaler told faculty and staff during a "Campus Conversation" on Tuesday. Star Tribune.

Curiocity: Cloud Cult on partnering with U of M ad campaign
There’s something awfully familiar about the new University of Minnesota ad campaign. The ads, which focus on the theme of illumination, features a recognizable sound — that of the Minneapolis-based indie rock band, Cloud Cult. WCCO.

University of Minnesota engineers invent new device that could increase Internet download speeds
A team of scientists and engineers at the University of Minnesota has invented a unique microscale optical device that could greatly increase the speed of downloading information online and reduce the cost of Internet transmission. "This device is similar to electromechanical relays but operates completely with light," said Mo Li, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering in the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering. United Press International.

University of Minnesota demos light-powered nano-relay
The "light sail"—a spacecraft powered by the pressure of photons streaming from a handy star—might still be science fiction, but researchers in the US have demonstrated that photons can flip switches at the nano scale. The University of Minnesota research published in Nature Communications describes a nano-technology that creates relays controlled by light instead of electricity. The Register.

Observers seek connection between new Vikings stadium, Downtown East
Tom Fisher, dean of the University of Minnesota’s College of Design, is not a fan of the current Metrodome stadium in Minneapolis. The 30-year-old stadium is “this big spaceship that just kind of sits there on its own,” Fisher says. Finance and Commerce.

Family speaks out in support of marriage amendment
Professor Dale Carpenter is with the University of Minnesota law school. “If the amendment fails there’s no same sex marriage,” he said. “If the amendment passes, there’s no same sex marriage.” WCCO.

October 3

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

STEM Education Center receives $8 million NSF grant
The University of Minnesota’s STEM Education Center has received an $8 million, five-year grant from the National Science Foundation, to partner with 200 Twin Cities metro area teachers to increase science and math learning through engineering for 15,000 students in fourth through eighth grades.

Project partners include the university’s Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power and Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement, the St. Paul Public Schools, the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District, the South Washington County Schools, the Metropolitan Cooperative Service Unit, and the Grants and Research Office of Intermediate Districts 287 and 916.

The grant is among the largest awarded through the Mathematics and Science Partnership program by the Division of Undergraduate Education of the National Science Foundation, which is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…" With an annual budget of about $6.9 billion, it is the funding source for about 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America's colleges and universities.

Part of the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), the STEM Education Center includes researchers from five U of M colleges, with core faculty from CEHD’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction. For more information, see the news release.

$4.3 million NSF grant to study water and land-use systems
The University of Minnesota has received a $4.3 million Water Sustainability and Climate grant over five years from the National Science Foundation to lead a study on the interactions between climate, water and land-use systems. The grant will specifically examine impacts of land use and climate change on water quality and ecosystem health using the Minnesota River Basin as a prototype.

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is the lead institution for this grant that involves researchers from institutions across the country such as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Johns Hopkins University, Utah State University, University of Washington, Iowa State University, and the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

The researchers will develop a framework for identifying and predicting processes, locations and times that are most susceptible to accelerated change. This framework is envisioned to guide decision and policy making toward a healthy and resilient environment. The research team has chosen the Minnesota River Basin as a location for their research because it encompasses an extremely broad spectrum of natural and human-induced rates of change and sensitivity to land-use practices. Many of the state’s waterways already exceed recommended amounts of sediment and nutrients.

Led by Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, the project involves several other researchers including Gary Parker and Praveen Kumar, professors of civil and environmental engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Peter Wilcock, professor and associate chair of geography and environmental engineering, Johns Hopkins University; Jacques Finlay, associate professor of ecology, evolution and behavior, University of Minnesota; Karen Gran, assistant professor of geological sciences, University of Minnesota-Duluth; Patrick Belmont, assistant professor of watershed sciences, Utah State University; Catherine Kling, professor of economics, Iowa State University; Sergey Rabotyagov, assistant professor of environmental economics, University of Washington; and Gillian Roehrig, associate professor of science education and director of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Center, University of Minnesota. For more information, see the news release.

Draeger appointed to Minnesota Pollution Control citizen board
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has appointed University Of Minnesota Extension’s Kathryn Draeger to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency citizens’ board. An adjunct professor of agronomy and plant genetics and statewide director of Extension’s Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, Draeger will serve as the board’s agricultural representative. Previously, Draeger served as Iowa’s Environmental Protection Commissioner and on Governor Arne Carlson’s Minnesota Round Table on Sustainable Development. She and her family practice sustainable farming in rural Big Stone County. 

U in the News: A selection of U faculty and staff in the news as appearing daily in Today’s News.

The fog of diplomacy -- and journalism
Foggy Bottom, the nickname for the State Department, could also describe the cloudy circumstances surrounding the public dispute between the department and CNN over the private journal of Chris Stevens, the slain U.S. ambassador to Libya. The spat hasn't just split the two internationally focused institutions; it has divided some media ethicists and editors as well. "The consulate was not secured; they didn't steal it," said Jane Kirtley, director of the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law at the University of Minnesota. Star Tribune.

Climatologist offers insights into Minnesota's drought

As one of the driest Septembers in state history comes to an end, the drought situation in Minnesota is being assessed by a number of state agencies as well as University of Minnesota Extension’s Mark Seeley. Echo Press.

HIT + The Moving Cell Project

Black Label Movement’s Artistic Director Carl Flink teams up with University of Minnesota biomedical engineer David Odde for The Moving Cell Project, an unlikely collaboration that has proven to be mutually beneficial. Using dancers to model the behavior of molecules within a cell, Odde and his colleagues are able to quickly test theories and communicate their ideas more effectively with each other and with the greater public. Minnesota Original.

Robert Jones: Grammy winner, VP, president

When Robert Jones took an assistant professorship at the University of Minnesota in 1977, he planned to stay for five years, or possibly until he got tenure. Thirty-four years later, the University’s current senior vice president for Academic Administration is preparing to leave for the State University of New York at Albany to become the school’s 19th president. Minnesota Daily.

Is Carlson as good as Ross or Haas? Sri Zaheer thinks so

If Dean Sri Zaheer could wave a magic wand to improve the standing of the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, what would she wish for? To have the Carlson School mentioned in the same breath as two of the best business schools at public universities in the world: the University of Michigan’s Ross School and UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Poets and Quants.