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Awards, appointments, & other news

Compiled by Adam Overland




April 30

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



Sarah Hobbie elected to National Academy of Sciences

Sarah Hobbie, professor of ecology, evolution and behavior in the College of Biological Sciences, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Hobbie has been with the University of Minnesota since 1998. Hobbie's research focuses on two main areas: 1) the influence of changes in atmospheric composition, climate, land use and plant species composition on ecosystem processes, and 2) the effects of urbanization on biogeochemical cycles. Hobbie is active in the National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research program, with ongoing research at the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. She has served on the LTER Executive Board, on the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis Center's Science Advisory Board and on several NSF panels, and has contributed to a report for the Minnesota Legislature evaluating the potential for Minnesota's terrestrial ecosystems to sequester carbon and thus offset emissions from fossil fuel combustion. She was a McKnight Land-Grant professor and an Aldo Leopold fellow.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private, nonprofit society of distinguished scholars, charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. Scientists are elected by their peers to membership in the NAS for outstanding contributions to research. Nearly 500 members of the NAS have won Nobel Prizes, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, founded in 1914, is today one of the premier international journals publishing the results of original research. For more information, see the NAS announcement.

Elaine Tyler May receives Guggenheim fellowship

Regents Professor Elaine Tyler May has received a Guggenheim Fellowship. It will support her book project The American Quest for Security, 1960 to the present.

Elaine Tyler May, Regents Professor of American Studies and History at the University of Minnesota, received her Ph.D. in United States History from UCLA in 1975. She served as 2009–2010 President of the Organization of American Historians, and as 1995–1996 President of the American Studies Association. She has taught at Princeton University, Harvard University, and as Distinguished Fulbright Chair in American History at University College, Dublin, Ireland. She was the 2008 Douglas Southall Freeman Visiting Professor of American History at the University of Richmond.

A specialist in social, cultural, and political history, her research examines the intersections of public and private life throughout the twentieth century. Her books include America and the Pill: A History of Promise, Peril and Liberation (2010); Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era (1988, new edition 2008); Barren in the Promised Land: Childless Americans and the Pursuit of Happiness (1997); Pushing the Limits: American Women, 1940–1961 (1996); and Great Expectations: Marriage and Divorce in Post-Victorian America (1980). She is also co-editor of Here, There and Everywhere: The Foreign Politics of American Popular Culture (University Press of New England, 2000), and co-author of the college-level United States history textbook Created Equal: A History of the United States.

Wentzcovitch elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering professor Renata Wentzcovitch has been elected a 2013 Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation's most prestigious honorary societies.

A professor of chemical engineering and materials science, Wentzcovitch, is one of 198 newly elected members who will be inducted into the Academy on Oct. 12, 2013 at the academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. Members of the 2013 class include winners of the Nobel Prize; National Medal of Science; the Lasker Award; the Pulitzer and the Shaw prizes; the Fields Medal; MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships; the Kennedy Center Honors; and Grammy, Emmy, Academy, and Tony awards.

Wentzcovitch is a renowned researcher devoted to quantum mechanical studies of materials. Her research group's major effort is working to understand the thermo-chemical state of the Earth's mantle, traditionally divided into upper mantle, transition zone and lower mantle. Her group also investigates the magnetic state of materials.

Wentzcovitch has previously been elected as a fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America, a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and a fellow of the American Physical Society. She has received the Alexander von Humboldt Award for Senior U.S. Scientists and the American Geophysical Union Graduate Research Award in Mineral and Rock Physics.

Founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholar-patriots, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences elects members who are the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation. Its roster has included such influential figures as George Washington, Ben Franklin, Daniel Webster, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Albert Einstein, and Winston Churchill. The current membership includes more than 170 Nobel laureates and 50 Pulitzer Prize winners.

Excellence and innovation in online learning award

CFANS faculty member Susan Galatowitsch (department head for Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology) has won the 2013 R1Edu award for excellence and innovation in online learning for her work in developing the series, Ecological Restoration Online Training Courses.

The groundbreaking five-course series, based on Galatowitsch's work, is the foundation for the Ecological Restoration Training Cooperative, and is sponsored by the College of Continuing Education and CFANS.

R1edu.org provides students easy access to high-quality distance learning programs from world-class institutions. It provides a one-stop portal to the most innovative distance learning programs at some of the most respected schools in North America.

For more information, see Restoring Minnesota.

Outstanding Unit Award

The College of Biological Sciences Student Services Office is the recipient of the 2013 P&A Senate Outstanding Unit Award. The award recognizes units that are judged to be exemplary in their support of P&A staff and the critical role P&A employees fulfill in supporting the University's mission. The unit receives a plaque, University-wide recognition, $1,000 for a professional development activity.

Winners of 2013 Mobile App Challenge

Winners of the 2012-2013 Mobile App Challenge for undergraduate students to design and develop a mobile application have been announced. UMN IT and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) cosponsor the challenge, which is supported by U faculty and IT staff members throughout the app development process.

To learn more about challengers' apps, see Mobile App Challenge.


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

Revolutionary treatment begins
Six tablespoons of blood may turn a young person with both AIDS and leukemia into a healthy long-term survivor. Yesterday, doctors at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital began treatment by infusing umbilical cord blood into a boy who has traveled a long distance for this treatment. Physicians Michael Verneris, John Wagner and HIV/AIDS infectious disease specialist Timothy Schacker will be completing the treatment. Star Tribune.

Dean returns to teaching
College of Liberal Arts Dean James Parente is returning to teaching in the Department of German, Scandinavian and Dutch after serving in collegiate administration for 13 years. Minnesota Daily.

Summit Brewing is selling barrels by the laugh
For Summit Brewing Co. and Minneapolis ad agency Gabriel deGrood Bendt, less is more. Although it seems counter¬intuitive, the pioneer craft brewer and its marketing partner have made an empty beer glass the center of a five-year advertising campaign. Jennifer Johnson, a brand strategy instructor at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communications, offers insight. Star Tribune.

Immigration scholar at U worries Boston bombings will derail reform plans
Katherine Fennelly, professor at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs and an expert on immigration and public policy, comments on possible issues in immigration related to the Boson bombings. MinnPost.

Corner Table founder Scott Pampuch joins U of M dining
Scott Pampuch, the one-time James Beard award semifinalist who left for Milwaukee last year, is back in the Twin Cities as the executive chef at the University of Minnesota. Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal.

Dean heads Humphrey with humility
On a shelf in a large office overlooking the University of Minnesota West Bank sits a framed photograph of two men. In it, Eric Schwartz attempts to detail a migration issue while former President Bill Clinton looks down, smiling. "And as I'm briefing him, he reaches down to my shirt and starts adjusting my tie," said Schwartz, who heads the University's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Minnesota Daily.

U of M educator and scientist honored for research excellence
The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy will honor Gunda I. Georg, professor and head of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, for her outstanding research and contributions to the field of synthetic medicinal chemistry. Wall Street Journal.


April 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.



President's Award for Outstanding Service

The President's Award for Outstanding Service is presented each year in the spring and recognizes exceptional service to the University, its schools, colleges, departments, and service units by any active or retired faculty or staff member.

Recipients of this award have gone well beyond their regular duties and have demonstrated an unusual commitment to the University community.

Recipients of the 2013 President's Award for Outstanding Service

Linda DeBeau-Melting, associate University librarian for organizational development, college equal opportunity/affirmative action liaison and human resources director, University Libraries

Sharon Emde, administrative director, Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, College of Science and Engineering

Emily Hoover, professor and head, Department of Horticultural Science, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Sandi Larson, program and workshop coordinator, Center for Economic Development, University of Minnesota Duluth

Juavah Lee, assistant director for K-12 outreach and civic engagement, Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence, Office for Equity and Diversity

Victoria Munro, coordinator, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, Office of Undergraduate Research

Neal Nickerson Jr. , professor emeritus, Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, College of Education and Human Development

Margaret O'Neill-Ligon, director, Personal Enrichment Programs, College of Continuing Education

Duane Rohovit, counselor, International Student and Scholar Services, Global Programs and Strategy Alliance

George Sheets, associate professor, Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies, College of Liberal Arts

Raymond Troyer, engineering manager, Classroom Technical Services, Office of Classroom Management, Academic Support Resources

Kris Wright, director, Office of Student Finance, Academic Support Resources

For more information about the award, see Outstanding Service.

IAS Research and Creative Collaboratives

Institute for Advanced Study has announced its 2013–14 Research and Creative Collaboratives. The institute will support 12 Research and Creative Collaboratives in 2013-14. These self-organized interdisciplinary groups will engage in collaborations across the humanities, science, arts, policy, education, social science, and design.

The collaboratives were chosen from a field of 31 applications, the most that the IAS has ever received for this program. Seven of these are new collaboratives, with five already funded by the IAS. Each collaborative is organized by a group of co-conveners, who are drawn from 26 departments in seven colleges and schools as well as three central University units. The work plans of the collaboratives are diverse: some will use the power of a multidisciplinary approach to consider vexing problems such as juvenile sex trafficking in Minneapolis or to examine the resiliency of Duluth’s complex infrastructures, or to develop new methods of research that connect dance and cell biology. Others will convene interdisciplinary forums to connect scholars examining topics such as mass violence, childhood and youth, music and sound, critical science studies, and interpretation and translation. The IAS will provide financial and administrative support to each collaborative.

For recipients and more information, see IAS collaboratives.

Mark Bee wins Fulbright to study in India

Associate professor Mark Bee has received a Fulbright-Nehru Award to study in India, where he will create a digital archive of the calls of Indian frogs in the Western Ghats, a mountain range along the west coast of India known for its biodiversity. He will use the archive to potentially identify new species and study the evolution of vocal behavior in these animals. Bee will work with Dr. S. D. Biju at the University of Delhi. The two have been collaborating since 2009, when Bee first visited his lab using funds from his McKnight Land-Grant Professorship. Bee is co-advising one of his graduate students, Robin Suresh. Bee, Biju and Suresh published their first two papers earlier this year.

Half of the funding for the Fulbright-Nehru Award, named for Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, comes from the Indian government and half from the Fulbright Program.


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

Sequestration gouges U of M and Mayo Clinic research budgets
Minnesota stands to lose tens of millions of dollars in federal medical research funds this year as a result of the congressionally mandated budget cuts known as sequestration. Dr. Brian Herman, vice president of research at the U of M and a professor of cellular and structural biology, comments. Star Tribune.

Crashing science into dance
University of Minnesota biomedical engineering professor David Odde and Theatre, Arts and Dance Department Chair Carl Flink started collaborating four years ago after attending a workshop on finding chaos in different disciplines. Minnesota Daily.

Parents still enforcing "clean your plate" rule through teen years
A study published on April 22 in Pediatrics showed that up to two-thirds of parents still encourage their adolescents to finish all the food on their plates. Study author Katie Loth, a registered dietician, doctoral candidate and research assistant at the University of Minnesota, comments on the study. CBS News.

Obama nominates Humphrey School dean to commission on religious freedom
President Obama has announced that he will nominate Humphrey School of Public Affairs Dean Eric Schwartz to serve on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. MinnPost.

U of M Faculty Senate turns 100 this year
The U of M Faculty Senate turns 100 this year. Historian and professor emeritus Hy Berman visited Almanac to discuss the surprising highs and lows of the Faculty Senate's life. Almanac.

Report on U.S. meat sounds alarm on resistant bacteria
More than half of samples of ground turkey, pork chops and ground beef collected from supermarkets for testing by the federal government contained a bacteria resistant to antibiotics, according to a new report highlighting the findings. The data, collected in 2011 by the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System, show a sizable increase in the amount of meat contaminated with antibiotic-resistant forms of bacteria. Randall Singer, a professor of veterinary science at the U of M, offers his expertise. New York Times.

Researchers agree puzzling new bird flu should be taken seriously
An influenza A virus called H7N9 exploded onto the global infectious-disease radar on April 1 when the World Health Organization revealed China had found three people infected with a new form of bird flu. Since then 77 cases have been confirmed, and the virus has spread from China's largest megalopolis, Shanghai, and several surrounding provinces to the capital, Beijing. David Halvorson, an avian influenza expert and professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota, weighs in. Scientific American.


April 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.



UMAA names Lisa Lewis president and CEO

The University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA) Board of Directors named Lisa R. Lewis president and chief executive officer at its April 6 meeting. Lewis is currently the executive director of the University of Connecticut Alumni Association. She will join the UMAA on May 31.

Lewis arrives with 23 years of alumni association experience. Prior to her executive director role at the University of Connecticut, Lewis served as assistant vice president of communications for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business in Tampa, Fla. She also held positions of president of the University of South Florida Alumni Association, Inc., and associate vice president of alumni affairs for the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Lewis has served in several leadership roles with the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) as well as the Council of Alumni Association Executives (CAAE). She is an honors graduate of the University of South Florida with degrees in both marketing and public relations. She brings to the alumni association experience in all aspects of association management, with expertise in leadership, board management, membership, marketing, communications, income development, legislative advocacy, strategic planning, and financial and staff management.

The University of Minnesota Alumni Association is a nearly 60,000-member organization that fosters a lifelong spirit of belonging and pride by connecting alumni, students and friends to the University of Minnesota and each other.

For more information, see the news release

Dorothy Durkin Strategic Innovation Award

Stephanie Platteter, executive director of marketing and college wide enrollment management for the College of Continuing Education, is the recipient of the 2013 Dorothy Durkin Strategic Innovation Award from the University Professional & Continuing Education Association. A national award, the Dorothy Durkin Strategic Innovation Award recognizes an individual for achievement in strategic planning, marketing innovation or enrollment management success. A key element in all areas is demonstration of creativity layered on a foundation of strategic thinking. Awardees have exhibited leadership and commitment to achieving a responsive, student-centric culture at their institution.

Katrina Klett named 2013 Truman Scholar

Katrina Klett, a junior at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, has been selected as a 2013 Truman Scholar.

Sixty-two scholars from across the U.S. were announced today by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. Established by an Act of Congress in 1975, the foundation is the official federal memorial to President Truman, who touted the importance of promoting young leaders and envisioned a program for students that would encourage educated citizenship and political responsibility.

Klett, an undergraduate in the College of Liberal Arts and the University Honors Program who is majoring in Asian languages and literatures/Chinese and minoring in sustainability studies, focuses on beekeeping as a means to alleviate poverty and protect biodiversity in developing countries.

Also recently selected as a 2013 Udall Scholar, Klett is the fifth Truman Scholar since 2001 to come from the U's College of Liberal Arts (CLA).

First awarded in the 1977-1978 academic year, the Truman Scholarship is presented to undergraduates with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education, or elsewhere in the public service—change agents, as the foundation refers to them. Truman Scholars receive up to $30,000 to use toward graduate or professional school.

For more information, see Truman Scholarship.


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

To get more hours out of your day, look at something awesome
Surveys show experiencing something awe-inspiring—whether it's the Grand Canyon, a soaring cathedral, or a Puccini aria—can expand perceptions of time, enhancing quality of life. Kathleen Vohs, a professor at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, assisted in the study that calculated the effects of awe on how people perceive and use time. Quartz.

Employer health coverage in U.S. continues to decline
University of Minnesota researchers say nearly 240,000 fewer Minnesotans got their health insurance through an employer in 2011 compared to 2000. The university's State Health Access Data Assistance Center reports that 71 percent of Minnesotans received their health insurance through their employer in 2011, down from about 80 percent in 2000. Julie Sonier and Lynn Blewett, School of Public Health, comment. MPR.

U of M arctic expedition aims to document climate change stories
Wednesday morning a group of Minnesota adventurers, led by U of M professor Aaron Doering, will leave for the Arctic. Their Arctic adventure isn't for sport, but for storytelling. A U of M project called "North of Sixty" aims to create videos that weave together both the ecological and cultural history of northern communities. MPR.

The real reasons your toddler is crying
While the reasons for a toddler's tears may sometimes seem to be known only to him or her, experts say there are three basic motivations for the behavior and that research has suggested some ways of dealing with the crying episodes. Michael Potegal, of the U of M Medical School, weighs in. Today's Health.

Minnesota farmers reaped record incomes in 2012
Minnesota farmers enjoyed a monster year in 2012, with net farm income soaring 50 percent to a record $297,000 per farm, according to a new statewide survey. Dale Nordquist, a University of Minnesota official who helped compile the study based on 2,291 farms, offers his expertise. St. Cloud Times.

A digital library in every living room
The Digital Public Library of America, launching April 18, will open collections from libraries and museums across the country to anyone with an Internet connection — for free. The new "library" is essentially a Google-like search portal tying together digitized records from around the country, including that old image of the first president and those sordid century-old serials that sold for a cent. Jason Roy, director of digital library services at the University of Minnesota and coordinator of the state's contribution to the national project, adds insight. Star Tribune.

U researchers utilize noninvasive brain stimulation in adolescent Cerebral palsy treatment
U of M assistant professor Bernadette Gillick discusses how her lab, only one of two in North America, is testing a ground-breaking brain stimulation therapy on children with Cerebral palsy. HealthTalk.


April 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.



Distinguished McKnight University Professorships

The Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost has announced that five faculty members have been named as the 2013 Distinguished McKnight University Professors. 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.

This year’s awardees and their key areas of contribution

Paul Glewwe (Applied Economics, CFANS): The Impact of Government Policies on Education, Child Nutrition, Poverty and Inequality in Developing Countries

Gary Muehlbauer (Agronomy & Plant Genetics, CFANS; Plant Biology, CBS): Genomics Applied to Studying Plant Function and Agricultural Productivity

Andrew Oxenham (Psychology, CLA; Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Medical School): Fundamental and Translational Contributions to Understanding Human Hearing and Disorders

Barbara Welke (History, CLA; Law School): Law and the Conditions of Freedom in Everyday Life

Zhi-Li Zhang (Computer Science, CSE): Computer Networking and Internet Development: Packet Scheduling, Video Delivery, Reliable Network Routing, and Network Management

For more information, see Distinguished McKnight University Professorships.

Rotenberg named VP for Johns Hopkins
Mark B. Rotenberg, who has served as the University of Minnesota’s Chief Legal Officer for the past 20 years under four presidents and 11 Board of Regents chairs, will leave the U to take the post of vice president and general counsel at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore beginning on June 3.

Rotenberg leaves a broad legacy at the U of M, including extraordinary litigation successes in which the U recovered more than $580 million, among the highest recovery rates of any university counsel office in the U.S. Rotenberg personally argued and won an important constitutional case for the U in the U.S. Supreme Court and also was successful in representing the U in numerous Minnesota Supreme Court cases. He saved the University millions of dollars by implementing measures to substantially reduce litigation against the University and by handling the overwhelming majority of litigated matters in house.

He negotiated the naming and sponsorship agreement with TCF Bank Corp. for the U’s on-campus football stadium that generates tens of millions of dollars for the University, including student scholarships; negotiated the lease for the Minnesota Vikings to play on campus when the Metrodome roof collapsed; built one of the nation’s most successful athletic compliance offices, which has enabled the U to have a spotless record of no major NCAA infractions in any sport for more than a decade; and created an in-house team of legal experts in transactional law which covers a range of legal issues including technology commercialization, patents, copyrights, trademarks, real estate, public finance, and other areas.

For many more information, see the news release.

Cramer receives Taylor Award of Distinguished Service

Professor Christopher Cramer has been awarded the 2013 George W. Taylor Award of Distinguished Service by the College of Science and Engineering. This award recognizes outstanding service to the University of Minnesota and voluntary public service.

That service has included key leadership roles with the Department of Chemistry, College of Science & Engineering, and University of Minnesota, as well as national and international science organizations.

Cramer is currently serving as faculty liaison for the University's e-Learning initiatives. He is one of five U professors developing and delivering a free online course through the University's partnership with Coursera.

Professor Cramer is one of the University's top professors and researchers. He is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor, a University Teaching Professor, and the Elmore H. Northey Professor of Chemistry. Recently, he became the director of the Center for the Study of Charge Transfer and Charge Transport in Photoactivated Systems.

The George W. Taylor Award was established in 1982. In addition to Cramer, other chemistry professors who have received this award include Paul Barbara, Paul Gassman, Louis Pignolet, and Donald Truhlar. For more information, see Chris Cramer.

Hy Berman featured on Almanac

Professor Emeritus Hy Berman, History, will be featured on Almanac on Friday, April 12, 7:00 p.m., Channel 2. Co-hosts Eric Eskola and Cathy Wurzer will interview Professor Berman about the history of the University/Faculty Senate and the commentary he wrote for the Senate Centennial: (PDF) The Senate, Academic Freedom, and the Importance of Governance.

Professor Berman was an active member of the University Senate Centennial Planning Committee.

For more information, see Senate Centennial


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

U of M scientist to help shape BRAIN initiative
Kamil Ugurbil, director of the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR), is part of the 15 person working group that will develop the scientific strategy for the BRAIN Initiative that will map the human brain in hopes of finding cures for Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and traumatic injuries. KARE 11.

Richard Pitino introduced today as Head Coach of the men's basketball team
In a press conference this morning, University of Minnesota Athletic Director Norwood Teague introduced Richard Pitino as the new men's basketball coach. MPR.

How climate change may help penguin colony
A recent study found that over the last 60 years, a colony of the birds on Beaufort Island in the Ross Sea, south of New Zealand, increased by 84 percent, from 35,000 breeding pairs to 64,000 breeding pairs. This increase has come as glaciers have retreated from the island, leaving more bare, snow-free ground, where the penguins make their nests. Michelle LaRue, study co-author and researcher at the U of M, comments. UPI.

Group-based incentives may produce more weight loss
Employees offered financial incentives to lose weight may drop more pounds when they're competing as part of a group of colleagues, a new study suggests. Although weight-loss incentives are becoming popular with many employers, researchers said there are still questions about what type of program provides the most bang for the buck. Robert Jeffery, who has studied financial incentives at the University of Minnesota, weighs in. Fox News.

North Korean threats raise global concerns
Threats from North Korea are nothing new, especially this time of year when the U.S. and South Korea engage in military operations together, but, this time there might be more cause for concern. It has plenty to do with Kim Jong Un. The young leader is immature, possibly looking to assert power and save face by following through on his threats. Brian Atwood, professor in the U of M's Humphrey School of Public Affairs, comments. KARE 11.


April 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.



Tageldin receives Honorable Mention for Harry Levin Prize

Associate professor Shaden M. Tageldin (Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, College of Liberal Arts) has received the Honorable Mention for the 2013 Harry Levin Prize, awarded by the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA), for her book Disarming Words: Empire and the Seductions of Translation in Egypt (University of California Press, 2011).

The 2013 Levin Prize distinguishes the best first book in comparative literature published in 2010–12.

The prize committee was "notably excited about the book's theoretical considerations of translation using the paradigm of seduction, as well as the brilliant case studies, with their sophisticated movements among works, languages, and cultures." Tageldin will receive the honor at the 2013 ACLA Annual Meeting in Toronto.

2013 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars

Three University of Minnesota Twin Cities undergraduates have been named 2013 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars. A fourth student also received an honorable mention. 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. The three students are:

Daniel Boman, a California resident, is a junior majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in Spanish studies. He is enrolled in the College of Science and Engineering.

Karen Leopold is a junior biochemistry and genetics major from Falcon Heights, Minn. She is enrolled in the College of Biological Sciences.

Maxwell Shinn, from Chaska, MN., is a sophomore majoring in neuroscience and mathematics. He is enrolled in both the College of Biological Sciences and the College of Science and Engineering.

Honorable mention
Matthew Hauwiller, from Maple Grove, MN., is a junior majoring in chemical engineering and chemistry. He is enrolled in the College of Science and Engineering.

For more information about the scholarship and each student recipient, see Barry Goldwater Scholarship recipients.

Two U of M students named Udall Scholars

Katrina Klett and Marissa Kramer, both undergraduates at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, have been selected as Udall Scholars for 2013.

The 50 scholars from across the U.S. were announced Thursday by the Morris K. and Stewart L. Udall Foundation, named for brothers who, combined, represented Southern Arizona in the U.S. House of Representatives for more than 35 years and worked together on numerous environmental and Native American initiatives.

These prestigious, congressionally funded scholarships honor exceptional students who are committed to careers related to the environment, tribal public policy or Native American health care. Udall Scholars receive up to $5000 for their undergraduate education and participate in Udall Foundation-sponsored leadership and networking activities.

Klett and Kramer, both juniors enrolled in the University Honors Program and the College of Liberal Arts, plan to pursue environmental-related careers.

Katrina Klett
, who is majoring in Asian languages and literatures/Chinese and minoring in sustainability studies, focuses on beekeeping as a means to alleviate poverty and protect biodiversity in developing countries.

Marissa Kramer is a political science major from North Mankato, MN. She plans to work in environmental policy with a focus on reducing the disproportionate impact of environmental degradation on low-income and minority communities.

For more information, see Udall Scholars.


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

Oldest professor at U of M not done yet
Who knew? John Fraser Hart (geography, environment and society) is the oldest professor at the U, and will turn 89 next week. Happy birthday, Professor Hart! KARE.

It's a gut reaction: How other people's bacteria can cure us - extract
There are 100 trillion bacteria in the gut, and one US professor is convinced that transplanting them is the best way to combat gut infections. The work of Alexander Khoruts, a gastroenterologist and associate professor of medicine at the U of M, is the subject of an article in The Observer. The Observer.

Hospitals question Medicare rules on readmissions
It is no longer enough for hospitals to make patients healthy enough to leave. Now, as part of the Obama administration’s health care overhaul, they are spending millions of dollars to keep those patients from coming back, often acting like personal assistants to help them manage their post-hospital lives. Dennis Niewoehner, a researcher from the U of M, weighs in. New York Times.

To save the king of the jungle, a call to pen him in
After 35 years of field research in the Serengeti plains, Craig Packer, director of the Lion Research Center at the University of Minnesota, has lost all patience with the romance of African wilderness. Fences, he says, are the only way to stop the precipitous and continuing decline in the number of African lions. New York Times.

U of M law professor says justices may avoid taking stand on gay marriage
Dale Carpenter, professor of civil rights and civil liberties law at the University of Minnesota law school, attended yesterday’s oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court challenging California’s Prop. 8, which recognizes as valid only marriages between a man and a woman. He weighs in on the possible outcome. MinnPost.

Men and women are probably equally likely to be shopaholics
Female shopaholics are everywhere in pop culture, and mainstream news outlets tend to pepper their articles about compulsive shopping with anecdotes about women. But it's extremely rare to see a prominent example of a male shopaholic in the press, even though men are about as likely as women to be compulsive buyers. University of Minnesota communications professor Ronald J. Faber, who conducted a study on the shopping behavior of both genders, comments. The Atlantic.

Yet-to-be-completed Minnesota physics lab records milestone
A northern Minnesota physics laboratory yet to be completed already has reached a significant milestone. The first finished section of the NuMI Off-Axis Electron Neutrino Appearance far detector near Ash River has recorded its first three-dimensional images of a subatomic particle producing a shower of energy as it passed through the detector. Marvin Marshak, laboratory director and professor in the U of M School of Physics and Astronomy, comments. Duluth News Tribune.