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Awards, appointments, and 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.


2014 President's Award for Outstanding Service

The President's Award for Outstanding Service was established in 1997 to recognize faculty and staff who have provided exceptional service to the University. This award is presented each year in the spring and honors up to twelve active or retired faculty or staff who have gone well beyond their regular duties and have demonstrated an unusual commitment to the University community.

2014 recipients:

Mary Lisa Berg, library assistant III, Veterinary Medical Library and Magrath Library, Health Sciences Library

Barbara Blacklock, program coordinator, Disability Services, Office for Equity and Diversity

Skeeter Burroughs, assignment group coordinator, Office of Information Technology

Sharon Dzik, director, Office for Student Conduct and Academic Integrity, Office for Student Affairs

Joseph Franek, lecture demonstration director, Department of Chemistry, College of Science and Engineering

Michael Hancher, professor, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts

Peter Hudleston, professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Newton Horace Winchell School of Earth Sciences, College of Science and Engineering

P. Jay Kiedrowski, senior fellow, Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Scott Lanyon, professor and head, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, College of Biological Sciences

Connie Magnuson, lecturer and director, Recreation, Park, and Leisure Studies Program, School of Kinesiology, College of Education and Human Development

Jerry Meier, lab supervisor, Soudan Underground Laboratory, School of Physics and Astronomy, College of Science and Engineering

Ann Waltner, professor, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts and director, Institute for Advanced Studies, Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

The recipients will be recognized at the Board of Regents meeting on May 9 and a reception at Eastcliff on June 3.

2014 U of M Outstanding Community Service Awards

Faculty Award: Larry Jacobs, professor and Walter F. and Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies, Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Staff Award: Makeda Zulu-Gillespie, director of community outreach, Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center

Student Award: Rahsaan Mahadeo, graduate fellow, Department of Sociology

The University of Minnesota Outstanding Community Service Awards recognize faculty, staff, students, and University-affiliated community partners who, by devoting their time, talents, and expertise to serve the public good, have made significant, demonstrable, and direct contributions to society's wellbeing.

Kaler elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation's most prestigious academic honorary societies.

Now in his third year as University of Minnesota president, Kaler received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the U in 1982. He went on to become one of the nation's foremost experts on "complex fluids," which have applications in drug delivery, food processing, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing. He is one of just six members entering in 2014 with inter-class distinction.

Kaler joins some of the world's most accomplished leaders from academia, business, public affairs, and the arts and humanities. Current members of the Academy represent today's leaders in every field and profession, including more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners. He is one of just three University of Minnesota presidents to be elected to the Academy, joining O. Meredith Wilson (Class of 1970 from Stanford) and Mark G. Yudof (Class of 2001 from UC-Berkeley).

Since its founding in 1780, the Academy has elected leading "thinkers and doers" from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th and Margaret Meade and Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 20th.

In 2010, Kaler was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. In 2012, then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano named him to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council. In 2013, he was named a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Kaler joins 23 additional current active members from the University of Minnesota. See the full list at American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

IAS names Jennifer Gunn director

Jennifer Gunn has been named director of the UMN Institute for Advanced Study effective Aug. 15. In this position reporting to the provost, Gunn will provide academic and administrative leadership to the IAS, supporting and encouraging interdisciplinary and collaborative work across and beyond the University.

Gunn brings to the IAS position broad experience advancing interdisciplinary research and teaching, both as a scholar and as an administrator. She is an associate professor and the director of the Program in the History of Medicine, a division of the Medical School surgery department situated at the intersection of the humanities, social sciences, natural and physical sciences, engineering, and the health professions. She shares leadership responsibilities for a tri-college graduate program, the Program in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine.

The IAS, which recently moved into the new Northrop, is one of six all-University interdisciplinary centers and an important catalyst for innovative research and discovery in the sciences, humanities, and the arts. It supports faculty fellowships and collaborative research programs and offers extensive public programming to address in creative ways substantial questions that call for interdisciplinary perspectives. (Information on the IAS may be found at www.ias.umn.edu.

Gunn was appointed by the provost following a search by a seven-member faculty committee chaired by Renee Cheng. She will assume the IAS position following Ann Waltner's decision to step down from the directorship after nine years to return full time to her faculty position in the Department of History.

Soil Science Society of America award

At the Annual Meeting of the Soil Science Society of America in Tampa, Professor David Mulla (Dept. Soil, Water & Climate) received the Applied Soil Science Research Award. The annual awards are presented for outstanding contributions to soil science through education, national and international service, and research.

The award recognizes Mulla's pioneering research in water quality and precision agriculture. Mulla is the first scientist from Minnesota to receive the award. 

David Mulla is a professor and Larson Chair for Soil and Water Resources in the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate. He received a B.S. degree from the University of California-Riverside, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University.

UMTC named "Gold" bicycle friendly

UMTC has been upgraded to a "Gold" bicycle friendly institution after receiving the "silver" designation for the last three years by the League of American Bicyclists. The U makes bicycling an easy option for transportation, providing conveniences like bike paths, lanes, racks, and lockers. For more information, see bicycle friendly U.

Foley to lead California Academy of Sciences

Jonathan Foley will be departing the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment this summer to become executive director of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

Foley's last day at the University of Minnesota will be Aug. 15. Further details on this leadership transition and the search for the Institute's new director will be announced in the weeks ahead.

Under Foley's leadership, the Institute on the Environment has become one of the pre-eminent environmental research institutions in the country and influenced global thinking around such topics as increasing food production while reducing environmental impacts, the economics of natural systems, planetary boundaries, pathways to increasing renewable energy and much more.

Foley has also led the charge to bring together faculty and researchers from across the University of Minnesota, engage hundreds of external partners, leverage tens of millions of dollars in funding support, and perhaps most importantly, inspire and engage the next generation of environmental leaders through an array of classes, workshops and social entrepreneurship experiences.


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

Lack of city pools called a civil rights issue
In a city where water is often a part of life, advocates say there's a dearth of indoor swimming pools. They say many children who live in the city of lakes, especially in diverse and lower-income patches of the city, aren't learning to swim. U of M Roy Wilkins professor Samuel Myers comments. MPR.

Downton Abbey gets a U of M medical check up
An exhibit at the University of Minnesota features medical books and artifacts from the time of Downton Abbey. U of M Medical Center's Jon Hallberg and curator Emily Hagens comment. MPR.

Sensors installed at MN arboretum could help improve environment
Visitors to the University of Minnesota's Landscape Arboretum spent this Earth Day enjoying the sun and early spring scenery. Brian Smoliak, atmospheric scientist with the University of Minnesota, was also out on the grounds installing the last of 24 temperature sensors. WCCO.

Growing discount airlines learn the hard way you can't leave workers behind
JetBlue and Southwest Airlines are starting to look less like innovative upstarts -- complete with low fares and unusual perks -- and more like their stodgy competitors. As they age, they may have less room to treat workers well, and employees are starting to respond. U of M Carlson School of Management's John Budd comments. Huffington Post.

U unveils its ultra-tech nano lab
The University of Minnesota unveils its new state-of-the-art physics and nanotechnology building. U of M Nano Center Director Steve Campbell comments on the building's opening. Star Tribune.

Invasive carp: U prof has plan, needs money - NOW
The carp invading Minnesota up the Mississippi River could be stopped -- at least for several years. It would only cost $60,000. So says the man with a plan -- University of Minnesota researcher Peter Sorensen. Pioneer Press.

UMD plans center to train new generation of miners
The University of Minnesota-Duluth is creating a new program to turn out more graduates who can work in the mining field. UMD geology professor Jim Miller says the goal of the Mineral Resources Center is to graduate people with a full understanding of the mining cycle, even if they specialize in certain areas. WCCO.

Human rights award
Steve Miles was featured in the Star Tribune as the recipient of the Sullivan Ballou Award for his work in human rights and torture. Star Tribune.


April 23

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 Professorship recipients

Six new Distinguished McKnight University Professors have been named. The Distinguished McKnight Professorship program recognizes outstanding faculty members who have recently achieved full professor status. Recipients hold the title "Distinguished McKnight Professor" 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.

The new awardees

Laura Gagliardi, Dept. of Chemistry, College of Science and Engineering

Jill Elaine Hasday, Law School

Robert F. Krueger, Dept. of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts

Chris Leighton, Dept. of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, College of Science and Engineering

A. David Redish, Dept. of Neuroscience, Medical School

George D. Weiblen, Dept. of Plant Biology, College of Biological Sciences

Presidential Early Career Award

The STEM Education Center's Tamara Moore was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers on Apr. 14 at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. This award is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Moore is currently the principal investigator of an $8 million dollar grant awarded by the National Science Foundation titled EngrTEAMS: Engineering to Transform the Education of Analysis, Measurement, and Science in a Team-Based Targeted Mathematics-Science Partnership. The grant is one of the many Moore has been awarded while at the STEM Education Center.

The Presidential Early Career Awards embody the high priority the Obama Administration places on producing outstanding scientists and engineers to advance the nation's goals, tackle grand challenges, and contribute to the American economy.

President's Community-Engaged Scholars Award

Medical School assistant professor Michele Allen is the recipient of the University's 2014 President's Community-Engaged Scholars Award. Nominees included: William Craig, Associate Director, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs; Yingling Fan, Assistant Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs; Louis Mendoza, Professor,; College of Liberal Arts, and Associate Vice Provost, Office of Equity and Diversity; Myron Orfield, Professor, Law School, and Director, Institute on Metropolitan Opportunities; and Stacey Stark, Director, Geospatial Analysis Center, University of Minnesota, Duluth.

CBS interim dean announced

Thomas Hays has been named interim dean of the College of Biological Sciences from July 1 until a new permanent dean is in place. Hays has served since mid-2010 as one of two associate deans for research and graduate education.

Hays joined the University of Minnesota faculty in 1989, after earning his Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is a professor in the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development and a graduate faculty member for two programs: molecular, cellular, developmental biology, and genetics as well as biochemistry, molecular biology, and biophysics. His research, supported by the NIH for 23 years, focuses on the structural and regulatory mechanisms that drive intracellular transport.

Dean Trevor Ames of the College of Veterinary Science has agreed to chair the search committee to identify a new dean for CBS. The search committee expects that public interviews of finalists will take place during the fall semester or very early next spring semester, and that the search will conclude with an appointment of a dean by July 2015.

Arts, Design, and Humanities Chair

Provost Karen Hanson has named Professor Ozayr Saloojee, School of Architecture, as the University's new Arts, Design, and Humanities Chair. Saloojee will assume this two-year role, awarded through the Provost's Imagine Fund, in July 2014. In partnership with a team of collaborators, Saloojee's work will span the topics of resiliency, community, and extraction as part of a more broadly connected human and natural ecology. His team will create interdisciplinary coursework, community-based art and civic engagement projects, public symposia, a university-wide public lecture series, and pop-up presentations, exhibitions and lectures.

Spring 2014 Mini Grants

IonE has awarded $41,000 to 18 interdisciplinary projects across the U of M that aim to study the effect of city farms on urban heat islands, the conversion of cooking grease to biodiesel and more.

Mini Grants are designed to encourage collaboration among faculty, staff and students across University of Minnesota disciplines, units and campuses on environmental themes. Along with up to $3,000 in funding, each recipient is provided space for meetings, workshops and conferences and some administrative support for a year. Grant recipients will share $41,075 for this round of funding.

Jon Foley in NatGeo on the future of food

Institute on the Environment director Jonathan Foley kicked off an eight-month National Geographic series on the future of food and how to feed a 9 billion people without harming the planet. The article, "A Five-Step Plan to Feed the World," launched online Apr. 15, with the print issue hitting newsstands the week of Apr. 21.

Drawing on research by IonE's Global Landscapes Initiative, Foley proposes five steps that could solve the world's food dilemma.

Foley, who was recently honored with the 2014 Heinz Award in the Environment, is a McKnight Presidential Chair of Global Environment and Sustainability and professor in the College of Biological Sciences.

Carlson Ranked 16th in Research Journal Contributions

According to a report from the University of Texas, Dallas' Naveen Jindal School of Management, the Carlson School is No. 16 in research journal contributions among business schools worldwide. The rankings were based on the quantity of article citations by researchers across an array of disciplines in leading business journals published from 2009 to 2013. Since 2011, the Carlson School ranks third in the world behind Wharton and Harvard in research published in the six top strategy and management-specific journals.


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

U.S. minorities exposed to more toxic air, U finds
Minorities across the country are exposed to more of a dangerous air pollutant than whites, resulting in thousands of preventable deaths due to heart disease, according to a University of Minnesota study. U of M Department of Civil Engineering's Julian Marshall comments on his findings. Washington Post.

Feeding 9 billion
When we think about threats to the environment, we tend to picture cars and smokestacks, not dinner. But the truth is, our need for food poses one of the biggest dangers to the planet. U of M director of the Institute of the Environment Jonathan Foley writes on the topic. National Geographic.

Why is Good Friday called Good Friday?
Today is Good Friday, the day on which Christians commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. The name may seem counterintuitive to many Christians and nonbelievers, since the day is typically viewed as a solemn one, often observed with fasting and somber processions. U of M Center for Medieval Studies' Anatoly Liberman comments. Slate Magazine.

U proposes plan to offer students access to course evaluations
Students at the University of Minnesota have for years called for access to student course evaluations that they provide at the end of courses, saying they havet a right to know what peers have thought of the classes they're considering. Now students might get their wish – at least part of it. U of M Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education Robert McMaster comments. Inside Higher Ed.

Study questions environmental benefits of biofuels
A $500,000 study paid for by the federal government and released Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change concludes that biofuels made with corn residue release 7 percent more greenhouse gases in the early years compared with conventional gasoline. U of M Institute on the Environment's David Tillman comments. PBS: Public Broadcasting Service.

New buzz around 'bee-safe' plants
Gardeners shopping for plants this spring at Bachman's nurseries in Minnesota will find some new signs in the soil: The company will begin telling customers which of its plants are safe for bees. U of M entomology professor Marla Spivak comments. La Crosse Tribune.

Diabetes complications show significant decline in past two decades
Diabetes is becoming increasingly common in the United States, but the risks of complications from the blood sugar disease have declined since 1990, according to a new study. U of M Medical School's Elizabeth Seaquist comments. Bloomberg.

To fight off emerald ash borers, U turns to Leg
Emerald ash borers are destroying ecosystems across the state, and University of Minnesota researchers are asking for state funding to help stop them. U of M College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences interim dean Brian Buhr, and head of the Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology Department Susan Galatowitsch comment. The Minnesota Daily.

Census survey revisions mask health law effects
Changes to the Census Bureau's annual survey on health insurance will make it hard to gauge any shift in the number of uninsured; an internal paper called the timing "coincidental and unfortunate." U of M School of Public Health's Kathlene Thiede Call comments. New York Times.

Active body, nimble brain
Researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health found in a study released earlier this month that maintaining an active lifestyle as a youth may help preserve memory and other brain functions. U of M School of Public Health's David Jacobs and Recreation and Wellness fitness director Greg Stephenson comment. The Minnesota Daily.

5 cops caught in alleged lies on witness stand
In a 'Perry Mason' moment, a video played in court contradicts police officers who testified their drug arrest was proper. U of M Law School's Myron Orfield comments. Chicago Tribune.

College Trustees in Wall Street Club Clash With Campus Culture
Karen Ho (anthropology) comments on the scary combination of Wall Street hedge-fund types sitting on university boards. "Culture clash" doesn't even begin to describe the scenarios. Chronicle of Higher Education.

Soul seekers: How spiritual is secular America?
Penny Edgell (sociology) explains why young adults are turning away from religious institutions that they feel are "out of touch, corrupt, biased, or too politicized." State Journal-Register.


April 16

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


John Watkins receives Guggenheim Fellowship

University of Minnesota English Professor John Watkins has been named a 2014 fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Watkins is among 178 U.S. and Canadian scholars, artists and scientists selected from almost 3,000 applicants.

Watkins is Distinguished McKnight University Professor of English. His expertise is in sovereignty, diplomacy, and political culture of the medieval and early modern eras, the world of Elizabeth I and Shakespeare, and the apocalypse. Although his interests are rooted in centuries past, Watkins is a frequent media commentator on our enduring fascination with royals today.

During his fellowship, Watkins will complete a book he is writing about marriage diplomacy in the late middle ages to the end of the 17th century.

Since its establishment in 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has granted over $315 million in fellowships to almost 17,700 individuals, among whom are scores of Nobel laureates and poets laureate, as well as winners of Pulitzer Prizes, Fields Medals, and other important, internationally recognized honors.

IAS 2014-15 Research and Creative Collaboratives

The IAS has announced Research and Creative Collaboratives for 2014-15.

The twelve projects will engage in activities ranging from the study of the wellbeing of different African diasporic communities in the Midwest to the development of digital studies at the University, from exploring efforts to govern emerging technologies such as nanotechnology and genetic engineering to engaging artists with ecosystems research.

Conveners are faculty and staff from 27 departments in 10 colleges/schools, as well as outside partners from the Walker Art Center and the Farmers' Legal Action Group.

Flipgrid selected as Webby honoree

Flipgrid, the Learning Technologies Media Lab's video-based discussion and reflection tool, was selected as an honoree in three categories for this year's Webby Awards. The categories are Web Education, Mobile Education and Reference, and Social Education and Discovery.

Flipgrid was developed to enable teachers to create short, discussion-oriented questions that students respond to through recorded videos. Since its launch, over 600,000 teachers and students, community groups, corporate teams, research organizations, and individuals looking to boost social presence in their online discussions have utilized Flipgrid. 

The Webby Awards is the leading international award program honoring excellence on the Internet.

Lauren Beach honored by U.S. Jaycees

Law School grad and Ph.D. candidate Lauren Beach '12 has been named one of "10 Outstanding Young Americans" by U.S. Jaycees, an award she shares with the likes of Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy, Orson Welles, Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon.

Beach was named to the United States Junior Chamber's 2014 list of the 10 men and women under age 40 "who best exemplify the highest attributes of the nation's emerging generation."


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

Palm Sunday goes eco-friendly
Eco-Palms are harvested and marketed in sustainable ways that help preserve the rain forest and provide an economic boost to palm workers and their communities, said program founder Dean Current, U of M director of the Center for Integrated Natural Resource and Agricultural Management. Philly.

U of M tuition freeze for resident students is paying off
U of M vice provost and dean of undergraduate education Robert McMaster comments on the results from the ongoing tuition freeze. MinnPost.

Cedar-Riverside addresses crime, victims
For the Somali community of Cedar-Riverside, the impact of misconceptions about crime hits home. U of M's director of the Brian Coyle Center, Amano Dube, and Humphrey School of Public Affairs' Katherine Fennelly comment. The Minnesota Daily.

The race to locate Twitter users
Few Twitter users broadcast their locations, but businesses and researchers are hunting for ways to infer it. U of M assistant professor of computer science and engineering Brent Hecht comments. Wall Street Journal.

Legislature gets involved in fight against cattails
U of M Center for Forest Ecology's Lee Frelich comments on a bill that would expand people's ability to combat cattail spread. Star Tribune.

Climatologist says snow-free areas of Minnesota growing rapidly
U of M climatologist Mark Seeley comments on the snow melting quickly across more and more of the state. MPR.

Affordable housing forum at U of M: Do first-ring suburbs have too much of it?
When light rail travels through Hopkins, affordable housing projects will likely follow. The result will draw more low-income residents and people of color to the first-ring suburb, which is already 30 percent minority. U of M Law School's Myron Orfield comments. Pioneer Press.

U maps out long-term mission
With every new wave of University of Minnesota leaders, the institution re-establishes goals to hold the administration accountable and make sure the school is moving forward. The plan under University President Eric Kaler's administration is underway and will launch this fall. U of M Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Karen Hanson comments. The Minnesota Daily.

New care model could save Minn. nearly $1B in Alzheimer's costs
The state could save nearly $1 billion over the next decade, in part by reducing the most expensive forms of care that dementia patients require, according to a study published Monday by the influential journal Health Affairs. Joseph Gaugler of the U of M School of Nursing and Steven Foldes of the U of M School of Public Health comment. Star Tribune.


April 9

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


Josie R. Johnson Award recipients

Priscilla Gibson, associate professor of social work, is the faculty/staff recipient of the 2014 Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award, and Daniel Nidzgorski, doctoral candidate in ecology, evolution and behavior, is the 2014 student recipient. The award recognizes individuals who exemplify Dr. Johnson's standard of excellence in creating respectful and inclusive living, learning, and working environments.


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

MNsure claims success in first year sign-ups
The exchange closed out the Affordable Care Act's first open enrollment period on Monday, March 31, at midnight with nearly 170,000 enrollments. U of M School of Public Health's Roger Feldman comments. Politics in Minnesota.

U of M President Kaler to bring some class to the MinnRoast 2014 stage
This year MinnRoast will be held in a larger venue, the Historic State Theatre, and among the new faces performing will be University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler. MinnPost.

Experts: Native gardens can help pollinator species now in decline
The bad news just seems to keep coming for bees and butterflies, from long-term global population declines to massive die-offs in local areas. Karl Foord of U of M Extension comments. InForum.

Young and fit? You'll be old and sharp, study finds
People who were the fittest in their 20s were sharper thinkers 25 years later, new research shows. And the fitter they stayed physically, the more mentally fit they were in middle age. U of M School of Public Health's David Jacobs discusses his findings. TIME.

Amid cheers, union bid stirs concern for women
Those involved in sports equality issues see benefit and risk for women's sports in the changes that might ripple from the Northwestern football players' quest to unionize. Mary Jo Kane, U of M director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sport, comments. The New York Times.

Earplug ordinance clears hurdle at City Hall
A proposal that would require Minneapolis music venues to carry free earplugs passed a key hurdle at City Hall Wednesday, to the delight of hearing advocates worried about the growing public health impact of loud music. U of M speech, language and hearing sciences professor Robert Schlauch comments. Star Tribune.

Digital materials could cut book costs
Course materials could soon become cheaper and more accessible at the University of Minnesota. U of M Wilson Library's Danika Stegeman and College of Education and Human Development's Dave Ernst comment. The Minnesota Daily.

New Minn. woolen mill finds unexpected markets
Founded last year, Northern Woolen Mills is finding markets for its yarn from the U.S. textile industry to Minnesota regional fiber artists excited to find a locally made product. U of M Extension's Jim Stordahl comments. MPR.

University experts recommend whole grain food regulations
U of M researchers participated in a multidisciplinary and international discussion in 2012 to develop a standardized definition of a whole-grain food, the results of which were published late last month in the journal Advances in Nutrition. U of M Food Science and Nutrition professor Joanne Slavin comments. The Minnesota Daily.

Wolves owner Glen Taylor makes cash offer to buy Star Tribune
Minnesota billionaire Glen Taylor has made a formal offer to acquire the Star Tribune, a purchase that would add the state's largest media company to his diverse business empire. Dan Sullivan, Cowles Chair of Media Management and Economics at the U of M, comments. Star Tribune.

University to pilot global graduate student survey
Come fall, University of Minnesota graduate students will be among the first in the nation to take part in a survey measuring their experience at research institutions. U of M Office of Institutional Research's Ronald Huesman comments. The Minnesota Daily.


April 2

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


Seeley awarded Siehl Prize in Agriculture
One of Minnesota's best-known climatologists, the CEO of a large agricultural products company and a farmer who has played a key role in the state's turfgrass industry are this year's recipients of the prestigious Siehl Prize in Agriculture.

The prize is awarded annually by the University of Minnesota's College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. Recipients are chosen in three categories: knowledge (teaching, research and outreach); agribusiness; and production agriculture.

This year's winners:

Mark Seeley (knowledge): Since 1978, Mark Seeley has been the go-to source for information about Minnesota's weather and climate. As a professor in the U's Department of Soil, Water and Climate and Extension Climatologist/Meteorologist, he has led numerous research projects, mentored and advised students, and is perhaps best known for his Extension and agricultural outreach work. In collaboration with the National Weather Service and Minnesota State Climatology Office, he has nurtured a Weather and Climate Education Extension Program, which has reached all 87 Minnesota counties. He's also a frequent guest on local and national media and makes many public appearances each year, many associated with his books and television documentary work.

Other recipients:

Tom Rosen, CEO of Rosen's Diversified, Inc., and Richard Magnusson, Magnusson family farm.

The 2014 Siehl Prize laureates will be honored at a ceremony in McNamara Alumni Center on the University campus on May 22.

The Siehl Prize was created in the early 1990s by a generous gift from New Ulm-area livestock breeder and businessman Eldon Siehl, a dedicated philanthropist who had a lifelong interest in agricultural systems. Siehl was concerned that people were losing touch with their agrarian roots and wanted his gift to ensure that achievements in agriculture would be recognized and celebrated. Recipients receive a $50,000 award as well as a sculpture and lapel pin designed by Minnesota artist Thomas Rose especially for the Siehl Prize.

For more information, see the news release.

2014 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar

A University of Minnesota Twin Cities undergraduate has been named a 2014 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar, and two UMTC undergraduates have received honorable mentions in the competition. 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.

University Honors Program student Rachel Soble is a 2014 Goldwater Scholar. Rachel is in her third year of a five-year undergraduate career pursuing Bachelors of Science degrees in genetics, cell biology & development (College of Biological Sciences) and computer science (College of Science and Engineering). She plans to earn a Ph.D. in computational biology and to develop new computational frameworks for investigating microbial ecology and physiology.

Moriana Haj received an honorable mention from the Goldwater Scholarship Program this year. Moriana is a junior chemistry major in the University Honors Program and the College of Science and Engineering.

Robin Lee also received honorable mention. A native of Bel Air, Maryland and a graduate of Bel Air High School, Robin lived in South Korea for many years before coming to the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities to pursue his interest in cancer genetics. Now a junior in the University Honors Program, he is completing an undergraduate degree in genetics, cell biology & development in the College of Biological Sciences.

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986. This year, 283 scholars were selected nationwide. A total of 55 UMTC undergraduates have been Goldwater Scholars since the program's inception.

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.

After renovation, Northrop is ready to dance again
Dramatically changed after a three-year renovation, the University of Minnesota's Northrop is poised to reopen next weekend. Northrop director Christine Tschida comments. Star Tribune.

Flight 370 and Washington mudslide families face pain of ambiguous loss
As loved ones of passengers on Malaysian Flight 370 and those missing in the Washington mudslide wait for news, we look at the importance for survivors to "know" during the grieving process. U of M's Pauline Boss - who has been repeatedly called in to help in the aftermath of disasters where people are missing and feared dead - comments. MPR.

U on track to meet legislative requirements
The University of Minnesota is proving that it can strengthen its performance when more state dollars are on the line. U of M Chief Financial Officer Richard Pfutzenreuter and vice president for the Office of Human Resources Kathy Brown comment. The Minnesota Daily.

People unwilling to swallow soda tax, size restrictions
Those hoping to dilute Americans' taste for soda, energy drinks, sweetened tea, and other sugary beverages should take their quest to school lunchrooms rather than legislative chambers, according to a recent study by media and health policy experts. U of M School of Public Health's Sarah Gollust comments on her findings. Newswise.

Condoleezza Rice's U visit sparks protest
Members of the University of Minnesota community are voicing disapproval of former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's campus visit next month, citing her involvement in the George W. Bush administration's wartime policies. U of M Humphrey School of Public Affair's Kent Love-Ramirez comments. The Minnesota Daily.

Minnesota farm income dropped 78 percent in 2013
Lower corn prices fueled a dramatic 78 percent drop in Minnesota farm income last year, according to an annual report released Thursday by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and University of Minnesota Extension. U of M Extension economist Dale Nordquist comments. WCCO TV.

How refrigeration changed our lives
Never mind the cold outdoors, it's the temperature inside that makes a difference when we're cooking — inside the refrigerator, that is (which optimally will be set at 39 degrees). Craig Hedberg of the U of M School of Public Health comments. Latino Times.

'Conscious uncoupling' or calling it splits? What Gwyneth Paltrow is talking about
On Tuesday, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin introduced millions to the term 'Conscious Uncoupling' when the couple used it to describe their separation after a decade of marriage. U of M professor of family social science Bill Doherty comments. TODAY.

U Of M's Raptor Center giving snowy owl second chance to fly
A snowy owl who came to Minnesota after being injured in Washington, D.C. is recovering after a unique procedure at the U of M. Lori Arent of The Raptor Center comments. New York Times.

Social media users migrating to smaller circles
In an age when people are encouraged to collect hundreds of Facebook "friends" and thousands of Twitter followers, some social media users, particularly young ones, are going smaller. U of M journalism professor Shayla Thiel-Stern comments. CNN.

Don't wake a sleeping teenager
Neuroscience research says teenagers don't just like to sleep; they need to sleep. U of M professor of educational research Kyla Wahlstrom talks about her study's findings. SoundCloud.