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Awards, appointments, and other news

Compiled by Adam Overland




December 18

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


Remington Honor Medal in pharmacy

Marilyn Speedie, dean of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, is the recipient of the 2014 Remington Honor Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). Speedie was selected in recognition of the professional achievements, innovations, and advancements she has contributed to the pharmacy profession.

A few of Speedie's accomplishments include facilitating the National Institutes of Health's recognition of Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) accredited individuals as principal investigators; helping Minnesota create practice environments where pharmacists are using their clinical knowledge to provide compensated medication therapy management to patients; leading the way for passage of legislation in Minnesota that allows pharmacists to administer immunizations and recognizes pharmacists as healthcare providers; facilitating the implementation of the University of Minnesota's entry-level Pharm.D. program, and initiating a nontraditional, web-based Pharm.D. program.

The Remington Honor Medal, named for eminent community pharmacist, manufacturer and educator Joseph P. Remington. Speedie will be officially recognized during the APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Orlando, March 28-31. The APhA awards and honors program is the most comprehensive recognition program in the profession of pharmacy.

Speedie has been dean of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy since 1996. Her leadership interests include developing the college's education, research and clinical practice missions, including drug discovery and development and advancing pharmacy practice to improve care for patients. During her tenure as dean she expanded the pharmacy program to the campus of the University of Minnesota, Duluth, resulting in an increased admission of 60 students per year, established the Center for Leading Healthcare Change, which she also co-directs, and built a national presence for the College of Pharmacy through service in AACP, USP and other organizations.

Fairhurst receives French Medal of Honor

Civil Engineering Professor Emeritus Charles Fairhurst was in Paris recently to receive the Officer in the National Order of the Legion of Honor (aka The French Medal of Honor).

By decree of the President of the French Republic, this is the highest decoration awarded in France.

The honor acknowledges Professor Fairhurst's personal commitment to French-American relations, and, in particular, his extensive leadership in rock mechanics and nuclear waste within public-private partnerships in France.

The French Medal of Honor rewards outstanding merits of citizens in all areas. The international achievement be added to the U's Scholars Walk.


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

Graduation rates soar at the University of Minnesota
In the 1990s, only 15 percent of the students at the University of Minnesota graduated in four years. Now, the 4-year graduation rate on the Twin Cities campus has soared to 59.1 percent — within "striking distance" of its goal of 60 percent, according to a report to the Board of Regents, who are meeting Thursday. Bob McMaster, vice provost for undergraduate education, comments. Star Tribune.

Polar Geospatial Center releases new application with high-res satellite imagery
The Polar Geospatial Center (PGC) at the University of Minnesota has produced high-resolution imagery and maps of the Antarctic and Arctic in unprecedented detail. Paul Morin, the center's director, comments. Directions Magazine.

Crossword puzzle rules are puzzling
Creating a crossword puzzle involves more than just knowing a lot of words. Constructors also need to know an elaborate set of rules. Victor Barocas and George Barany, U of M professors and veteran puzzle creators, comment. Star Tribune.

U of M professor probes the science of blue jay betrayal
In the basement of on the U of M's St. Paul campus there are blue jays that play games for their supper. The birds are members of a colony maintained in a lab run by David Stephens, a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. Pioneer Press.

Generating electricity may utilize otherwise unwanted carbon dioxide
Researchers have designed a novel geothermal power plant that would sequester large amounts of carbon dioxide underground as part of its operations. Jimmy Randolph, an earth science researcher at the U of M, comments. redOrbit.

'Here's Proof' female athletes also can deliver high TV ratings
Nicole LaVoi, associate director of the U of M's Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport, has long questioned the stubborn assumption that nobody watches female athletes or, if they do, prefer that they be out of uniform and out of most other clothing, too. Star Tribune.

Family urges mass petition to free man jailed in Abu Dhabi
A U of M graduate from the Twin Cities was working in Dubai when he was arrested. Shezanne "Shez" Cassim has been held in a maximum security prison in the United Arab Emirates for more than eight months. Barbara Frey, the director of the U's Human Rights Program, is among the many calling for his immediate release. WCCO TV.

The people's politics of Nelson Mandela
Humphrey School of Public Affairs senior fellow Harry Boyte pens an op-ed about Nelson Mandela. Huffington Post.

Pregnant prison inmates find support during birth
Rebecca Shlafer, U of M Medical School, shares her research on women who are pregnant in prison. KARE 11.


December 11

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


U of M honored with two 2013 AAAS Fellows

Two faculty members at the University of Minnesota have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers, and recognizes scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

TWO newly elected AAAS Fellows represent two University campuses, chosen in two AAAS sections:

Eugene Borgida, professor, Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Elected in the Section on Psychology, Borgida’s research interests include social cognition, attitudes and persuasion, psychology and law, and political psychology.

Thomas C. Johnson, professor, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Minnesota Duluth

Elected in the Section on Geology and Geography, Johnson’s research interests include paleoclimatology, sedimentary processes, acoustic remote sensing of lake basins and water sustainability and climate in the Great Lakes region of East Africa.

Borgida and Johnson, along with the other 386 AAAS Fellows elected in October, will be recognized for their contributions to science and technology at the Fellows Forum during the AAAS Annual Meeting in February 2014.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science.

For more information, see the news release.


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

How does salt melt ice?
Among our weapons to fight winter is an ingredient that's also on our kitchen table. But how does salt melt ice? Chris Cramer, U of M chemistry professor, helps answer this good question. WCCO TV.

Sexual ads turn women off, unless it's for posh items
Marketing gurus often use sexual imagery in magazines and TV ads to lure buyers to purchase a new product. But new research suggests that women tend to find ads with sexual imagery off-putting, unless the advertised item is an elite product of substantial value. Kathleen Vohs, U of M Carlson School of Management, comments. Psych Central.

This device lets people video chat with their pets
Who says you can't Skype with your cat or dog? With PetChatz, owners alleviate separation anxiety and even give their furry friends a special treat. Margaret Duxbury, U of M College of Veterinary Medicine, is quoted. Smithsonian Magazine.

U sprays evergreen trees to deter thieves
Facilities Management employees spray evergreen trees on campus with skunk scent to deter thieves — a method that, while not foolproof, has helped reduce the number of thefts each year. Grounds Superintendent Les Potts weighs in and Doug Lauer, U of M Land Care Supervisor, chats with WCCO TV. WCCO TV.

Giant magnet makes U attractive to brain mapping researchers
The world's most powerful magnet for full-body imaging scans has arrived at the University of Minnesota, where it is expected to attract millions of dollars in research grants and play a significant role in a national project to map the human brain. Kamil Ugurbil, U of M Medical School, is quoted. Star Tribune.

Digital Public Library of America: Young but well connected
This past spring, after years of hopeful talk, the idea of a U.S. national digital library took the leap into reality. About 160 institutions, including the historical society, belong to the Minnesota Digital Library, according to John Butler, associate university librarian for data and technology at the U of M Libraries. Chronicle of Higher Education.

Late morning starts good for teens
New research from the University of Minnesota shows that when teenagers start school later in the morning, they're tardy less often, are absent fewer days, and their grades improve. U of M education and sleep researcher Kyla Wahlstrom comments. MPR.

Anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela dead at 95
Nelson Mandela, the revered South African anti-apartheid icon who spent 27 years in prison, led his country to democracy and became its first black president, died Thursday. Former Humphrey School of Public Affairs dean Brian Atwood comments. KARE 11.

'New' Northrop multi-purpose cultural center 'open to all' by spring 2014
Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Provost Karen Hanson, Northrop Director Christine Tschida and University Honors Program Assistant Director Pamela Price Baker discuss the role the 'new' Northrop will play for all communities. Minnesota Spokesman Recorder.

The flipped career fair
Paul Timmins, director of career services for the college of liberal arts at the University of Minnesota, discusses the benefits of specialized career fairs. Inside Higher Ed.

Crime spree has Dinkytown, U campus on edge
A string of brazen and violent crimes around the U of M has escalated campus fears, with students asking for more security and U officials taking the unusual step of asking the city to send additional police into the area. U Police Chief Greg Hestness comments. Star Tribune.


December 4

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


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

University of Minnesota students take culinary arts to the next level
U of M design professor Barry Kudrowitz is taking culinary arts to the next level. This semester he is teaching a one of a kind "food Design" course at the U of M St. Paul campus. KSTP TV.

Stressed at the holidays? Have a plan, says U psychiatrist
The high expectations and added pressures of the holiday season can make it more difficult for people suffering from anxiety, depression or drug and alcohol addictions. Chuck Schulz, U of M Medical School, comments. MPR.

A different kind of crime
Crime is changing at the U of M. As police continue to send alerts of violent incidents on and around campus, they say they’re seeing more out-of-town suspects come to the campus area to prey on students. U police Deputy Chief Chuck Miner and Ryan Allen, an assistant professor in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, comment. Minnesota Daily.

Ask Healthy Living: Why do sore muscles feel worse on the second day?
Steven Stovitz, U of M Medical School, helps explain. Huffington Post.

Device use expands through adaptation, innovation
Ganesh Raveendran, U of M Medical School, has figured out how to treat young stroke victims with a device designed for congenital heart defects. Star Tribune.

Hive mind: Bees inspire community activism
The U of M Bee Squad is profiled. MinnPost.

Marty Bussman celebrates 40 years as employee of "U" of Minnesota
Marty Bussman has worked as the sound engineer for thousands of shows and concerts in the "U's" Northrop Auditorium, has attended every Board of Regents meeting and has worked almost every Gopher athletics event on campus. Stewartville Star.

Crop of Minnesota ag teachers dwindles while need grows
Over the past five years, there’s been a 29 percent decline in the number of licenses held by agriculture teachers — the second-biggest drop by ¬subject area, just behind family and consumer sciences. Brad Greiman, an agriculture education associate professor at the U of M, comments. Star Tribune.

Campus foundry loses its overseer
Wayne Potratz has been casting metal and teaching sculpture at the University for nearly half a century, but his last pour as a professor and foundry master is Tuesday. Minnesota Daily.

The lowdown on caffeine intakes, energy drinks, safety
The research of Rick Kingston, College of Pharmacy, finding energy drink-related emergency room visits doubled between 2007 and 2011 is cited. Food Navigator.