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University of Minnesota Retirees Association.



in 2012-2013 for 2013-2014


Frank R. Akehurst, Emeritus Professor of French; Department of French and Italian; CLA; University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

“To List the current locations of the manuscripts of the
Conseil à un ami of Pierre de Fontaines (13 c)”

The Conseil à un ami is an important treatise on French customary law written by one of Louis IX's judges. The last edition (of the Old French text) was in 1846, and I have translated this text into English. I plan to publish the translation, as a third part of the trio of customary laws consulted by the 18th c. French jurist Montesquieu. I have translated and published the other two customaries. The introduction I plan to write for the Conseil should contain a list of the extant manuscripts, with their current location. One manuscript (allegedly the first to be written) needs to be tracked down: it recently came on the auction market, was sold, and has disappeared. The auction house will not tell me who bought it, but perhaps I can find out. I shall need to go to Paris and perhaps elsewhere in France for about two weeks.

Ronald E. Anderson, Emeritus Professor of Sociology; Department of Sociology; CLA; University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

“Individual and World Suffering”

For several years, I have been investigating personal and global suffering from sociological points of view, including comparison of 123 countries based estimates of trauma, calamities, and negative quality of life. I have extended this comparative work to include narrative analysis of personal and social suffering and statistical analysis of pain and suffering within the United States. This work has been well received and I have signed contracts for two books on these subjects with Springer. This proposal is for assistance to complete the analyses underway, finish writing the books, and to cover some of the costs of travel to international conferences to present papers based upon this work. Not only will this work add to the scientific knowledge of individual and global suffering, but also ultimately, it may help to promote the reduction of major suffering as a central humanitarian goal.


Anna Gerenday, Scientist; Department of Entomology, College of Food,
Agricultural and Natural Resource; University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

“Inventory of Mushrooms in Sphagnum Bogs of Minnesota”

In this proposal funding is requested for salary of an undergraduate assistant and for supplies for a one year mushroom inventory project. Mushrooms will be collected in selected sphagnum bogs during the fruiting season, and they will be identified using standard microscopic and molecular methods. Representative collections will be deposited in the University of Minnesota Fungal Collection at the Bell Museum of Natural History Herbarium. These collections will increase the known diversity of mushrooms in Minnesota, and will contribute to the knowledge of mushroom diversity in North America. Student assistant working on this project will have opportunity to gain knowledge of standard field collections and the process of identification of mushroom specimens.

Richard W. Ojakangas, Emeritus Professor of Geological Sciences; Department of Geological Sciences; College of Science and Engineering; University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

“Ancient (2.7 – Billion-year-old) Glaciation in Southern India: An Uncommon“Mega-event” of Possible Value in Intracontinental and Intercontinental Correlations”

I plan to return to India to continue geological investigations of probable ancient glacial deposits, which two Indian colleagues and I began in 2009. We found convincing exposures of a glacial origin in 2011. This is one of three places on Earth with evidence for such ancient glaciation. Primary evidence in the rock record is the association of diamictite (unsorted sediment containing boulders down to fine claysized material) and "dropstone units" (large stones in fine-grained sedimentary layers). We have verified the presence of these rock types in five schist (metasedimentary) belts. Besides providing data for climate change, this study has the potential to correlate these isolated schist belts on the Dharwar Craton, and even with some in South Africa and Mozambique. As we were preparing two manuscripts for publication over the past year, we realized that additional data are necessary to provide a more convincing case for this rare glaciation.

Nora Plesofsky, Research Associate; Department of Plant Biology; College of Biological Science; University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

“Fungal Resistance to Stress-Induced Cell Death”

The combined stresses of high temperature and carbohydrate deficiency are lethal to wild type cells, but they are survived by os-2, which lacks a functional stress MAP kinase, involved in signaling. Proteomics analysis showed that stressed os-2 cells have large increases in sulfuryielding enzymes. We believe that a sulfur starvation response is triggered in os-2 by stress and that its acquisition of sulfur for incorporation into antioxidants and mitochondrial respiratory components allows the cells to survive. We will determine if this response is regulated at the mRNA level by comparing mRNAs for these proteins in the two strains. To test the importance of oxidative damage to cell death, we will measure reactive oxygen species in wild type and os-2 extracts from cells and mitochondria. Cellular glutathione is a very important sulfur-containing antioxidant that is actively transported into mitochondria. We will measure glutathione in wild type and os-2 cells and mitochondria.

Gerald M. Siegel, Emeritus Professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences; Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences; CLA; University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

“Winning Isn’t Everything: A collection of stories and essays”

During my academic career I received awards for research, writing, and teaching (see Vita). As an avocation, I also wrote essays and fiction and since retiring have pursued creative writing even more avidly. This past year I self-published You Shoulda Been There, a collection of 53 stories. I have enough material for a second book and, if I receive financial support to defray some of the costs, will proceed as I did with You Shoulda Been There, hiring editors, graphic designers, and a printer. The first book was thematic: about faith and family, celebration and loss, leaving a familiar environs and creating community anew. The proposed volume will be more eclectic, with children’s stories, wisdom gained on the handball court, Aesop revisited, flights of fancy.

Gloria M. Williams, Associate Professor Emerita and Barbara P. Heinemann, Honors Program Coordinator Emerita; Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel; College of Design; University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

“Through the Lens of a Scholar: An Intellectual Biography of Joanne Bubolz Eicher”

The commitment to write an intellectual biography of Joanne Bubolz Eicher, a significant woman scholar in the field of textiles and clothing and also a University of Minnesota Regents‘ Professor Emerita, originated after the release of a 10 volume Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion (2010) of which she is the editor-in-chief. An intellectual biography takes into account the interrelations between (1) the person‘s family life, education, and career positions, (2) the person‘s intellectual and creative achievements and professional contributions to the specific field or discipline, and (3) the larger context in which the person‘s work takes on significant meaning. An academic scholar has impact on her field of study (and other disciplines) through her innovative teaching, research and publications, sharing of knowledge in many fora, and her leadership activities. Such were Joanne‘s contributions and accomplishments, which were recognized by many honors and awards. We tell her story.