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Awards, appointments, and other news

Compiled by Adam Overland


July 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.

LGBT-friendly campus

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus has earned a top rating from the Campus Pride Index, which measures specific components determined to contribute to a more inclusive, welcoming and respectful LGBT and Ally campus.

UMTC’s overall Campus Pride Score is 99 percent, earning five of five stars in the Campus Pride Index rating system for the second year in a row.

The Index reviews eight areas of focus and the U received perfect marks (100 percent) in six categories.

LGBT Student Life received a 98 percent score and LGBT Policy Inclusion earned 96 percent.

The Campus Pride Index is a vital tool for assisting campuses in learning ways to improve their LGBT campus life and ultimately shape the educational experience to be more inclusive, welcoming, and respectful of LGBT and Ally people. The index is owned and operated by Campus Pride, the leading national nonprofit organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create safer, more LGBT-Friendly learning environments at colleges and universities.

For more information, see the news release.

Brian Buhr named interim dean of CFANS

Brian Buhr, professor and head of the Department of Applied Economics, has been named interim dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and interim director of the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Buhr will serve from Aug. 26, 2013, until July 2014, or until a new dean and director is in place.

Allen Levine, dean of the college since its inception in 2006, is returning to research and working with the provost on special initiatives.

Buhr, 50, is an Iowa native who’s been part of the applied economics faculty since 1992 and head of applied economics and agricultural education in the college since 2008. He’s well-known for his expertise in risk management and commodity markets. He’s been recognized for his excellent work in research and teaching through numerous national, university, and college awards.

A national search for the permanent dean and director will launch at the start of the academic year, with recruitment of candidates throughout the fall semester and campus interviews of finalists planned for shortly after the first of the year. Trevor Ames, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, will chair the search committee.

Dante Cicchetti receives APS’s highest honor

The Institute of Child Development’s Dante Cicchetti has been chosen to receive the Association for Psychological Science's 2014 James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award. The award is the highest honor conferred by APS, and recognizes distinguished APS members for a lifetime of outstanding contributions to applied psychological research. It will be presented at the 2014 APS Convention in San Francisco on May 22, 2014.

Umbreit named founding president of Association for Restorative Justice

The School of Social Work’s Mark Umbreit, director of the Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking, was elected founding president of the new National Association for Community and Restorative Justice at the National Restorative Conference in Toledo, Ohio, on June 21. This new association includes practitioners and scholars from throughout the United States and will support the needs of members through annual conferences, technical assistance, training, and other resources.

Catherine McGlinch elected to CASE Board

The membership of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education has elected 13 individuals to fill open positions on the CASE Board of Trustees. The 30-member board sets CASE policies, approves the annual budget and ensures sound management of the organization.

Catherine McGlinch was named District V trustee. McGlinch is director of development for neurosciences, heart and lung at the University of Minnesota Foundation. She previously was the executive director at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Foundation. She has also held advancement roles at the College of St. Benedict in Collegeville, MN, and the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management.

Women’s Health awards

The Powell Center for Women’s Health has announced the awardees for the 2013 Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) and Masonic Cancer Center Women’s Health Scholar.

The new scholars include BIRCWH scholars Anne Blaes, Susan Mason, and Rebekah Nagler, and Masonic Cancer Center Women’s Health Scholar Alicia Allen. For more information, see Women’s Health.

In memoriam: John Riedl

John Riedl, a professor in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering and world-renown expert in the field of recommender systems, died on July 15, after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 51.

A faculty member at the University of Minnesota since 1989, Riedl is known worldwide as a pioneer in the field of recommender systems—a field he was instrumental in creating and nurturing. Recommender systems are information filtering systems that seek to predict the “rating” or “preference” that users would give to an item (such as music, books, or movies) or social element (such as people or groups) based on previous choices.

The impact of Riedl's work is extensive, both in industry and among the research community. Software derived from his research is used by tens of thousands of businesses today.

Riedl is survived by his wife Maureen, his sons Eric and Kevin, and his daughter Karen and her husband Anthony.

For more information, see John Riedl.

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

Hobbit's size not likely linked to growth disorders
Kieran McNulty of the University of Minnesota was on the research team that explains 'hobbits,' or an extinct group of little people, were remnants of a previously unknown distinct species of the genus Homo that lived as recently as 17,000 years ago. New York Times.

Living with Lions: When people and lions collide, both suffer
Lion expert and U of M ecology, evolution and behavior professor Craig Packer offers suggestions on how to protect lion strongholds. National Geographic.

Shoo, fly! New pest infests Minnesota berries, grapes, other fruits
Growers of raspberries, strawberries, grapes and other Minnesota summer fruits are on guard for a newly arrived pest that could spoil some late-season delights. Mark Asplen, a University of Minnesota research associate, comments. Star Tribune.

Men tend to put off health care when it costs more, U study says
Men tend to put off health care when it costs more, U study led by Katy Kozhimannil, U of M School of Public Health, finds. Star Tribune.

The deadly science of force-feeding
Steven Miles, U of M Center for Bioethics, comments on the dangers of force-feeding in regards to hunger strikes at Guantanamo Bay. Popular Science Magazine.

Healing gardens now common at hospitals
Jean Larson, director of the U of M's Center for Spirituality and Healing's Nature Based Therapeutics program, discusses the popularity of gardens at health care facilities. Star Tribune.

Coup or failed leader?
Ragui Assaad from the U of Ms Humphrey School talked about the military ouster of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi and the long lasting implications for Egypt, the Middle East and the U.S. TIME.

U researchers pinpoint enzyme that leads to several cancers
Antiviral enzymes have been found to contribute to several forms of cancer according to research led by Reuben Harris, College of Biological Sciences and a member of the Masonic Cancer Center. MPR.

Monarch butterflies even more elusive in Minnesota this year
Karen Oberhauser, U of M professor who runs the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, comments on the scarcity of the monarch butterfly. Star Tribune.

U President Kaler: 'China trip enhances reputation of the University of Minnesota'
Eric Kaler reflects on his first international trip as University of Minnesota president. MinnPost.

July 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.

Lodge and Polasky named University of Minnesota Regents Professors

Timothy P. Lodge and Stephen Polasky have been named Regents Professors by the University of Minnesota Board of Regents. The designation is the highest level of recognition given to faculty by the University.

Timothy P. Lodge, Distinguished McKnight Professor
Professor, Department of Chemistry and Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, College of Science and Engineering.

A renowned polymer scientist whose scholarly reputation is far-reaching and international, Lodge has served the University of Minnesota with distinction for three decades with an outstanding record of research, teaching and service.

Lodge is one of the most productive, innovative and influential polymer scientists in the world, focusing his research on the structure and dynamics of polymeric systems. He has published more than 300 papers on his groundbreaking research, while developing an unparalleled laboratory. Potential applications of Lodge’s work include improved delivery of medicines within the body, solution viscosity modification and nanostructure templating.

A sought-after teacher and adviser, Lodge is an outstanding classroom instructor who created the popular Polymer Chemistry course. He has advised and trained more than 100 students and post-doctoral associates who are heavily recruited by industry or who have attained faculty positions at prestigious universities.

Lodge was recognized as a Fellow of the American Chemistry Society (2010) and the Association of the Advancement of Science (2009). He is one of the few scientists in the world to be awarded both the American Chemical Society Award in Polymer Chemistry (2009) and the American Physical Society Polymer Physics Prize (2004).

Stephen Polasky, Fesler-Lampert Professor of ecological/environmental economics

Professor, Department of Applied Economics, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences; professor, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, College of Biological Sciences; resident fellow, Institute on the Environment.

Among the first scientists to integrate economic thinking into conservation biology, Polasky has inserted a crucial element into debates ranging from energy production to land use and habitat conservation.

Polasky’s research combines natural and social science, and specifically ecology and economics, to better understand the dynamics of social-ecological systems. Through this unified approach, he hopes to successfully address the dual challenges posed by sustainable development: to promote the economic growth necessary to provide all people with a decent standard of living, while maintaining ecosystem processes and environmental quality essential to support human well-being over the long-term.

Internationally renowned for his research and scientific contributions, Polasky was elected into the National Academy of Sciences in 2010. He was also recognized as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2009) and the Association for the Advancement of Science in 2007.

Polasky originally came to the University of Minnesota in 1999.

About the Regents Professorship

The Regents Professorship was established in 1965 by the Board of Regents to recognize the national and international prominence of faculty members. It serves as the highest recognition for faculty who have made unique contributions to the quality of the University of Minnesota through exceptional accomplishments in teaching, research and scholarship or creative work and contributions to the public good.

For more information, see the news release.

Hernandez named associate vice provost for Enrollment Management

Rachelle Hernandez has been named the University of Minnesota’s new associate vice provost for Enrollment Management.

Hernandez has spent nearly two decades in the University’s Office of Admissions, serving as interim director since June 2012. In that role, she provided leadership and strategic oversight of undergraduate admissions at a time when the U received a record 43,000 freshman applications for fall 2013. She also assisted in the implementation of the newly established President’s Emerging Scholars program, a four-year initiative that provides undergraduate students scholarship support, professional advising, peer mentoring and engagement opportunities.

As a member of the Office of Undergraduate Education’s Executive Committee, Hernandez will lead the U’s recruitment efforts and provide strategic leadership to align admissions activities with institutional goals for retention, graduation and student success.

Previously, Hernandez served as associate director of admissions at the University from 2002-2012, as assistant director from 1999-2001, as customer relations coordinator from 1997-1999, and as admissions counselor from 1995-1997.

For more information, see the news release.

White House honors Karen Oberhauser

University of Minnesota Professor Karen Oberhauser has been named a White House Champion of Change for Citizen Science for her work in the field of monarch butterfly citizen science and her role as director of the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project (MLMP).

The Champions of Change award recognizes the value citizen scientists provide, particularly as it relates to collecting and analyzing data over broad geographic areas and timeframes that would otherwise be cost prohibitive. To gain a large perspective on monarch biology and population trends, Oberhauser has worked for decades to integrate data from several different monarch citizen science projects including the MLMP, which has coordinated hundreds of volunteers throughout North America since 1996. At the same time, citizen scientists allows for what Oberhauser called "fine-scale data, often literally from people’s back yards."

At the U, Oberhauser researches and teaches in the fields of conservation biology, insect ecology, global climate change and monarch butterfly population dynamics. Her teaching extends beyond the University and into K-12 schools through her "Monarchs in the Classroom" project that began in 1991 and the educational workshops she conducts for teachers.

For more information, see the news release.

2013–14 President’s Excellence in Leadership cohort

The President’s Excellence in Leadership (PEL) program, formerly the President’s Emerging Leaders program, has convened its first cohort with a new focus. The cohort of 26 will concentrate on U of M operational excellence through participation in seminars on change management, leadership, efficiency management, and employee engagement. PEL participants are designated for the program from University units, colleges, and campuses.

Emily Hoover named Faculty Athletics Representative

Professor Emily Hoover has been selected by President Kaler as the U’s Faculty Athletic Representative to the NCAA.

Professor Hoover is head of Horticultural Sciences, and has a strong background in University governance. She served as an elected member of the FCC, as vice chair 2007–08, and chair 2008–09. She understands the importance of effective communication and consulting with multiple stakeholders, and has solid experience in dealing with complex issues and alternative points of view.

The Faculty Athletics Representatives serve as University delegates to the NCAA, Big 10, and Western Collegiate Hockey Association representing the UMTC campus on athletic issues that affect the institution.

CBS Student Services wins innovation award

CBS Student Services has received a Regional Innovation Award from the National Academic Advising Association this for its academic advising appointment "checkback" series, which provides students with opportunities to identify, develop, and achieve their academic, career and personal goals through guided reflection at set points in their academic career.

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

New Equity and Diversity VP talks goals, transition
U of M's new Vice President for Equity and Diversity Katrice Albert speaks with the Minnesota Daily. Minnesota Daily.

Minnesota state economist Tom Stinson: The exit interview
Tom Stinson, U of M economics professor and state economist, gives one of his last interviews and comments on the state of Minnesota's economy. Star Tribune.

Free music has its costs
Thomas Cotter, a professor of law at the University of Minnesota, discusses the financial consequences of pirating music online. Star Tribune.

50 years of ZIP codes: Invaluable
Beyond helping to sort our mail since 1963, ZIP codes have proved invaluable as a way for government and businesses to make sense of data. Jay Coggins, an applied economist at the University of Minnesota, weighs in. Star Tribune.

Health beat: Can doctors help stop torture?
Dr. Steven Miles, a physician and medical ethicist at the University of Minnesota, has made it his personal mission to expose the role of doctors in the torture of prisoners worldwide and to hold them accountable. Star Tribune.

New Regents chair brings passion for community
In an 8-to-4 vote, Richard Beeson, a U of M alumnus, replaced two-term regent Linda Cohen. Dean Johnson replaced David Larson as vice chair. Minnesota Daily.

Is there a phantom power usage in your home?
Dr. David Schmidt, U of M College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences, comments on the results of a study he conducted investigating the sources of phantom power in the home. CleanTechnica.

Use of robot milkers on the rise in Minnesota dairies, despite costs
Marcia Endres, a University of Minnesota professor, helped analyze a year's worth of data gathered from Minnesota and Wisconsin dairy farms using robotic milking technology and comments on the findings. MPR.

Facebook losing its buzz as younger users defect
Shayla Thiel-Stern, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota who studies youth and social media, comments on why Facebook is losing steam with younger audiences. Star Tribune.

Counterfeit food more widespread than suspected
Shaun Kennedy, U of M professor and former director of the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, estimated that 10 percent of food that consumers buy in the developed world is counterfeit. New York Times.

Minnesota Medicaid rolls could expand rapidly with health reform law
Julie Sonier, U of M School of Public Health, shares the results of a recent study she led which shows tens of thousands of Minnesotans may sign up for Medicaid in the next year. Star Tribune.

Minnesota utilities on track to exceed goals of Obama's climate plan
The University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment's managing director Lewis Gilbert comments on President Obama's climate change announcement. MPR.

First four-quark particle may have been spotted
University of Minnesota physicist Ronald Poling comments on the possible finding of a four-quark particle. Science News.