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The next issue of Currents will be sent out and posted on Tues., Dec. 4 (Deadline: Wed., Nov. 28). Send updates and announcements to:

Please note that Currents no longer lists events. Its focus is on Campus News and Faculty/Staff News. Events, which are open to the public, need to be listed on the UMD Events Calendar.

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Campus News

Academic News


The Chancellor's Awards recognize UMD faculty for excellence in teaching, research/creative activity, and public service. The deadline for nominations is Thurs., Nov. 15. Descriptions of each award as well as the nomination process can be found on the VCAA website.


Proposal are being accepted for Strategic Initiative Grants that help UMD achieve Goal 4 of the Strategic Plan. Goal 4 states: Advance UMD’s stature as a major campus for research and creative activities, leveraging our region’s unique natural, human, and cultural resources.

Funding is available to provide one-time grants for projects with the potential for receiving longer-term funding. These projects might involve a trip to a funding agency for discussions with agency personnel, or travel to another institution for work with a colleague to develop a joint proposal for submission to a funding agency. These projects might also involve support, in the form of materials, student help, or PI salary for work on a new project to achieve initial results that would enhance the chances of securing future funding. There are many other possibilities for the use of this grant money.

Projects should be completed by June 15, 2014. Except in unusual circumstances, these Strategic Initiative Grants will be limited to a maximum of $5000. To receive an application form or for more information, contact John Arthur, 726-6358. Proposals will be accepted until 4:30 pm, Nov. 15, 2012 and should be submitted electronically as an email with attachment to John Arthur.


Mortar Board National Honor Society and the Kirby Program Board are seeking faculty and staff for a new lecture series entitled "The Last Lecture." This series is inspired by the lecture "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" given by Randy Pausch. UMD's lecture series will give faculty and staff a chance to offer the campus their most meaningful message and is an opportunity to share valuable life lessons with our learning community. Interested individuals should email Last Lecture Chair Naomi Martin, 218-726-6814, by Fri., Nov 16 for more information.


Applications are now being accepted for the faculty cohort program on Creating an Inclusive Curriculum, held January 15-17, 2013. This program will engage faculty in significant course design or redesign by participating in a multidisciplinary cohort of their peers. See the Request for Proposals for guidelines. Completed proposals are due by 4 pm on Tues., Nov. 20. For more information, contact Shelley Smith, 218-726-7715.


Outstanding Service Awards recognize the contributions of employees in the following job classifications: Civil Service (non-bargaining); AFSCME; TEAMSTER; Academic Professional/ Administrative (P&A) appointment that do not hold faculty rank. The Outstanding Service Award is comprised of two categories: Continuous Service Award and the Project Award. Procedures, instructions, and nomination forms for nominating employees for Outstanding Service Awards are now available on online. The deadline to submit a nomination form is Fri., Nov. 30. For more information, contact Lita Wallace, 218-726-7822.


Limited funds are available to support UMD-centered activities sponsored by UMD staff (civil service bargaining and non-bargaining employees) and students or student organizations that focus on diversity, discrimination, social justice, sexual harassment prevention, equal opportunity/affirmative action, and inclusivity.

Effective 2012-2013, $2,000 has been allocated on a recurring basis for diversity initiatives for students and/or student organizations, and $3,000 has been allocated on a recurring basis for staff (civil service bargaining and non-bargaining employees) diversity initiatives. Small grants (up to $300) may be awarded to staff (civil service bargaining and non-bargaining employees) and individual students or student organizations. Major grants ($301 and above) may also be awarded to staff (civil service bargaining and non-bargaining employees) and individual students or student organizations.

The purpose of this grant program is to advance Goal 2 of UMD's Strategic Plan. Applications are accepted beginning July 1 of each year and will continue on a rolling basis throughout the academic year as long as funds are available. For more information. visit the grant guidelines and application website. For more information, contact Mary Cameron or call 726-7912.


Andrea Schokker, executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, recently moved her EVCAA blog to In addition to posting items under consideration for academic affairs and answering her frequently asked question, the blog also lists times and locations on campus where Schokker is available for coffee and discussion with individuals from the campus community.

In an effort to reduce the volume of email sent out by the office of Academic Affairs and to provide an archive of announcements, regular updates will be posted on the Academic Affairs homepage, rather than sending campus-wide email. Bookmark their homepage and check it on a regular basis for updates. Items currently listed on the page include: Academic Calendars, LSBE Dean Search Committee, and Tutoring Center move. Past postings are listed in the archive section. Questions may be directed to the office of the vice chancellor of Academic Affairs.


The Bulldog Update is a weekly digest of campus activities and news that is sent to all students in the form of an email with links to more detailed information on the Bulldog Update website. Faculty and staff are encouraged to submit information about events via the easy-to-use Bulldog Update form.

Guidelines for emailing large groups of students were developed this summer and approved by the Chancellor's Cabinet earlier in September. The goals in developing the guidelines were to ensure that email is used as an effective communication tool for our students and to reduce the number of all-student emails so that the ones critical for university business are more noticeable for students. View the guidelines online.


LakeVoice News is once again being published. It is a bridge between the Twin Ports community and the UMD campus. The newsroom is run by students, and the majority of the content is written by students. Yet the news is about the community. For more information, contact John Hatcher, 218-726-7325.

Administration News


Vote for Bob
Help Bob Nielson repeat as Liberty Mutual Division II Football Coach of the Year. A victory would bring $70,000 to our community. The winning coach in each division receives $50,000 to donate to charities of their choice and $20,000 to their school's alumni association for student scholarships and programming. To vote, visit the Coach of the Year website.

Vote every day until Dec. 1. The top 15 coaches advance to the evaluation round on Dec. 1 and only five move on to the finals. The higher he places, the better his chances are. Fan voting counts towards 20% of the final decision. If you have questions, contact the UMD Alumni Association.


A valuable tool for student development for many years now, ePortfolio began life as an enterprise application. It is now the responsibility of the Duluth Campus to support. After several years of being supported by the Knowledge Management Center, responsibility for support now resides with ITSS. To request assistance or report problems, contact the ITSS Help Desk, 218-726-8847.

As time has passed, requirements for portfolio systems have changed and funding to further develop ePortfolio has diminished. Paul Treuer, who first conceived of ePortfolio, has been assigned the job of evaluating options and helping the campus to determine a new strategy. In the meantime, ITSS will continue to support ePortfolio. When a decision is made about our new direction, ITSS will work with users of ePortfolio to provide a mechanism for moving materials stored in ePortfolio to a different solution.

911 Emergency Dialing
Individuals can make emergency calls on campus telephones by dialing either 911 or 9-911. In the past however, emergency calls placed by dialing 911 took longer to start ringing than calls placed dialing 9-911. The delay was related to a misdial prevention feature. Misdial prevention has been removed, thus eliminating the delay. Either method of dialing now routes the call in the shortest possible time.

Callers who inadvertently dial 911, should not hang up. Stay on the line until the dispatcher answers, then simply explain that the number was accidentally misdailed. This saves the dispatcher several minutes of valuable time. Dispatchers are required to call numbers that hang up. If the dispatcher can not reach the caller, they are required to call Campus Police to have an officer dispatched to the office to ensure that there is no actual emergency.

The latest ITSS news is available online. Archived articles may also be viewed. October articles included information on the Microsoft Home Use Program, support for Macs and PCs at ITSS and student computer labs moving to virtual workstations.


KUMD offers Northland Morning weekdays from 6-9 am for music, features, and interviews with a local perspective. Coming up this week:

Wed., Nov. 7, 8 am: Pete Nichols will discuss the future of fresh water and the environment.

Thurs., Nov. 8, 8 am: Jennifer Schultz, director of the Health Care Management Program, will share her experiences abroad while studying the Dutch health care system and discuss its potential viability for the United States.

Fri., Nov. 9, 8 am : Andy Bennett, guest director, will talk about the UMD theatre production of White Baby.

To hear audio from previous Northland Morning interviews, check out the Audio Archives Page.

World Café, weekday afternoons from 3-5 pm, features an eclectic mix of contemporary music and live performances and interviews. This week's guests include:

Wed., Nov. 7: Bloc Party's new release, Four, happens to be the fourth addition to their indie rock catalog. Thurs., Nov. 8: Former Mott the Hoople frontman, Ian Hunter, carries on his tradition of insightful songwriting with the rocking new album, When I'm President.

Fri., Nov. 9: Taking a break from his band Mojave 3, Neil Halstead offers a collection of easygoing, folksy songs on his third solo outing, Palindrome Hunches.

Live from Studio A

Mon., Nov. 12, 2 pm: A live session with Barbara Jean, a Grand Marais-based folk violinist/singer/songwriter.

See more upcoming Live from Studio A sessions on the Arts page of the KUMD website. Listen to past sessions on the Audio Archives page.


The UMD Library's Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA) Team and the Friends of the Duluth Public Library are seeking individuals to serve on one of the reading teams that will select the winning book in each of the award’s six categories. Each of the six reading teams will be composed of 3-5 members and will meet several times between the beginning of February and the end of April to discuss the nominated books. The six categories are (1) General Nonfiction, (2) Fiction, (3) Art, Photography, (4) Children’s Literature, (5) Poetry, and (6) Memoir and Creative Nonfiction. The amount of reading tends to vary, with the Fiction and Nonfiction teams reading the most. Those who would like to volunteer should complete the online application form. For more information, contact Kim Pittman, 218-726-7829. The awards presentation ceremony will be held in UMD’s Kirby Ballroom on Thursday, May 23, 2013.


UMD Stores has three locations on campus, Street Level, Lower Level, and EXPRESS. UMD Stores also operates the UMD Print Shop, U Card Office, and The Bulldog Shop at Amsoil Arena. UMD Stores mission is to provide quality products and services to students, staff, faculty, and the community through friendly, efficient customer service in support of the University mission.

Textbooks, office and school products, general books, and the Computer Corner can be found in UMD Stores Lower Level. It is open Mondays-Thursdays from 7:30 am-6pm and Fridays from 7:30 am-4:30 pm during the academic year, excluding holidays.

For store hours, events, and merchandise visit the UMD Stores website. UMD Stores is also on facebook and Twitter.

Faculty and Staff News

Academic News

Jing Bai, assistant professor, Electrical Engineering, was recently awarded a research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for her research on soliton dynamics in mid-infrared quantum-cascade lasers. The research project focuses on the elucidation of underlying physics and nonlinear dynamics in quantum-cascade lasers, which will enable the design of a new class of compact, ultrafast lasers for applications on biomedical sensing and environmental control.

Gloria DeFilipps Brush
, professor, Department of Art and Design, has work in the Permanent Collection exhibition at the Plains Art Museum, Fargo, N.D. The exhibit opened in Sept. 2012 and will continue for two years. She also served as a panelist for the Minnesota State Art’s Board Artist Initiatives in photography grants in October in St. Paul, Minn.

David Edmund and Jian-Jun Edmund, both assistant professors, Department of Music, presented "Elements of Multiculturalism in the Music of Taiwan and the Caribbean" at the 2012 Summit on Equity, Diversity, and Multiculturalism in Oct. 2012. The interactive presentation dealt with regional aspects of Taiwanese Aboriginal Music and cross-cultural elements in Latin Bugaloo.

Julie Etterson, associate professor, Department of Biology, gave an invited symposium talk, Project Baseline: A living genome bank for the study of evolution (Etterson, J.R., S. Franks, S. Mazer, and R. Shaw), at the EcoSummit 2012 meeting in October in Columbus, Ohio.

Etterson had two articles published:
Shaw, R.G. and J.R. Etterson. 2012. Tansely Review “Rapid climate change and the rate of adaptation: insight from experimental quantitative genetics.” New Phytologist 195:752–765.

M.W. Schwartz, J.J. Hellmann, J.M. McLachlan, D.F. Sax, J.O. Borevitz, J. Brennan, A.E. Camacho, G. Ceballos, J.R. Clark, H. Doremus, R.Early, J.R. Etterson, D. Fielder, J.L. Gill, P. Gonzalez, N. Green, L. Hannah, D.W. Jamieson, D. Javeline, B.A. Minteer, J.Odenbaugh, S. Polasky, D.M. Richardson, T.L. Root, H.D. Safford, O. Sala, S.H. Schneider, A.R. Thompson, J.W. Williams, M. Vellend, P. Vitt, and S. Zellmer. 2012. Managed Relocation: Integrating the Scientific, Regulatory, and Ethical Challenges. Bioscience 62:732-743.

Dalibor Froncek, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, presented a graduate seminar lecture "Incomplete Round Robin Tournaments and Graph Theory" at Brock University, Ontario, Canada. Froncek also presented a conference talk “Magic rectangle sets and ordered distance antimagic graphs” at conference MIGHTY  in Terre Haute, Ind.

Joe Gallian, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, gave the keynote address at annual fall meeting of the North Central Section meeting of the Mathematical Association of America held at UMD on Oct. 19-20. The meeting featured 16 presentations and a game of Math Jeopardy for UMD students. Five of the talks were given by UMD faculty. Fifty-three people from Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota participated.

Gallian also was a co-organizer of a conference in Chicago on Trends in Undergraduate Research on Oct. 26-28 sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency.

Karen Gran, assistant professor, Department of Geological Sciences, is one of the four researchers from the University of Minnesota who have been awarded a $4.3 million Water Sustainability and Climate grant from National Science Foundation (NSF).

Ahmed A. Heikal, professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences (Adjunct), served on a Study Section (Enabling Bioanalytical and Imaging Technology, EBIT) for the National Institute of Health that was held in San Antonio, Tex., in October 2012.

Heikal will be an invited speaker at the 6th Fall Workshop on Advanced TCSPC techniques in Biomedical Sciences. His presentation is entitled, “Biomimetic Crowding Effects on the Reaction Kinetics of NADH Binding with Lactate Dehydrogenase.” This international workshop will take place on the NIH campus, Bethesda, Md. in November 2012 and is sponsored by Becker & Hickl GmbH (Berlin, Germany), the National Institute of Health, and Boston Electronic.

John Hiller, professor, and Sophia Chabysheva, research fellow, both of the Department of Physics, participated in the Conference on the Intersections of Particle and Nuclear Physics in St. Petersburg, Fla., June 2012. Hiller spoke on "A nonperturbative coupled-cluster method for quantum field theories" and Chabysheva presented a poster on "The light-front coupled-cluster method applied to quantum electrodynamics."

Joseph Maiolo, professor, Department of English, was interviewed by BBC Radio 4 about his experiences during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The events are covered in his book My Turkish Missile Crisis.

Gerald J. Niemi, professor, Department of Biology, and senior research associate, Natural Resources Research Institute, will give the Yerger Lecture on Nov. 29 at Florida State University (FSU) entitled "Biological and Political Experiences with Boreal Birds and the Great Lakes." The Yerger Lectureship is bestowed upon FSU alumni who have made superior achievements during their careers in science.

Bruce Peckham, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and Brett Bozyk, Master's in Applied and Computational Mathematics Graduate (‘12), presented a poster entitled "Nonholomorphic singular continuation: A case with Radial Symmetry" at the Midwest Dynamical Systems Conference, in Oct. 2012, at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind. The presentation illustrated recent results, much which came from Bozyk's 2012 thesis under the direction of Peckham. The research is a study of the dynamical behavior realized by repeated applications of certain two-dimensional maps.

Alexis Pogorelskin, associate professor, Department of History, recently gave the keynote address in English and Russian at a conference held at the Karelian National Museum in Petrozavodsk devoted to Finnish-Americans in Karelia. Petrozavodsk State University and the American Consulate in St. Petersburg sponsored the conference. Her talk was entitled, "Finnish-American Cooperatives and the Financing of Karelian Fever."

Pogorelskin also gave a talk to scholars at the Academy of Science's Institute of History in St. Petersburg devoted to the bilingual, refereed journal which she edits, The NEP Era, Soviet History, 1921-1928. The sixth volume of the journal appears in November 2012.

She has just published in the refereed, Journal of European Popular Culture, an essay entitled "Exiled to Hollywood: British Cinema, the Plight of Europe's Jews, and the Case of The Mortal Storm," co-authored with Professor Phyllis Lassner of Northwestern University.

She also gave a paper in October to the annual meeting of the Modernist Studies Association entitled "Lev Kamenev and the Spectacle of Resistance at the First Moscow Show Trial."

Christine Schwartz, post-doctoral fellow, Department of Biology, has been awarded a prestigious National Research Service Award (NRSA) from the National Institutes of Health.  This 3-year fellowship will support Schwartz and her research on the Role of Melatonin in Natural Neuroprotection in the laboratory of Matt Andrews, professor, Department of Biology. This is only the second NRSA awarded to UMD, both in the Andrews Lab.

Eun-Kyung Suh, associate professor, Department of Art and Design, had a solo exhibition at Joan Derryberry Art Gallery at Tennessee Technological University, Tenn. from Oct. 1 through Nov. 1, 2012. She gave an artist gallery talk ion Nov 1. Suh received ARAC Individual Artist Fellowship Grant for her Korean Adoptee project.

Large Lakes Observatory News

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Medical School-Duluth News

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Minnesota Sea Grant News

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Natural Resources Research Institute News

Valerie Brady, research associate, gave an invited talk titled "Stream biota and stormwater runoff" for the Non-point Education for Municipal Officials national meeting as part of a "Train the Trainers" workshop, held in Duluth, Minn., in October 2012.

Sarat Panigrahy recently joined the NNRI research team in the endowed position of Taconite Minerals Research Chair at its Laboratory in Coleraine, a principal research and development facility for taconite and mining in Minnesota. Panigrahy most recently served as managing director of IPL Limited., in India. His skills include industrial and pilot production of both ferrous and nonferrous metallurgical products. He also has extensive experience in the processing of iron ores for sintering and pelletization, as well as iron and steelmaking. He holds a bachelor’s of engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India; a master’s of Science in material science and engineering from the University of California, Berkley; and a doctorate in metallurgical engineering from the State University of Ghent in Belgium.

Euan Reavie, senior research associate, gave a seminar titled "Tracking changes in the Laurentian Great Lakes -- new diatom-based tools for retrospective analyses" and presented a poster co-authored by Lisa Allinger titled "Providing context for the recent collapse of the Great Lakes food web through retrospective analyses" at the 12th International Paleolimnology Symposium, held in Glasgow, Scotland, August 2012.

Reavie and Stephen Juggins (Newcastle University, United Kingdom) gave a seminar titled "Calibrating algal indicators: how many samples are enough?" and presented a poster co-authored by Lisa Allinger titled "Viability assessment of diatom assemblages in ballast water" at the 22nd International Diatom Symposium, held in Ghent, Belgium in August 2012.

Pharmacy Department News

Bjoern Bauer, assistant professor (PI), and Anika Hartz, assistant professor (Co-I), received a $1,662,500 award from the NINDS/NIH for their project titled "Blood-brain Barrier Function in Epilepsy: New Targets for Therapy" for the period 9/30/2012-7/31/2017.

Kerry Fierke, assistant professor, and Gardner Lepp, education specialist, presented "Leading (and Learning!) in an Inclusive Environment" at the 2012 Summit on Equity, Diversity and Multiculturalism held October 25 in UMD's Griggs Center.

Fierke published "Rounding with Students: A Model for Class Advising and Leadership Building" in Res. High Educ. 2012;18.

Keri Hager, assistant professor, was interviewed by KUMD-FM radio in regard to the flu season and flu vaccine. The October 4, 2012, interview can be heard on KUMD's website.

Paul Ranelli, interim department head and professor, has been appointed as faculty representative to the University Social Concerns Committee for a two-year term (2012-2014). The Social Concerns Committee is comprised of faculty, staff, students and alumni and is primarily concerned with the interrelationship between the University and the broader social community.

Randy Seifert, senior associate dean and professor, has been named recipient of the Pharmacy Alumni Society Faculty Recognition Award, which is given in recognition of support, contributions to alumni, the College of Pharmacy, the University of Minnesota and/or the profession of pharmacy.

Debbie Sisson, assistant professor, and pharmacist colleagues’ work with LifeHouse, a Duluth non-profit, was recently highlighted in “LifeHouse: Pharmacy Team Shares their Medication Knowledge and Expertise…as well as their Hearts with Disadvantaged Youth” as part of In the Spotlight-October 2012 on the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists website.

Sisson presented “Medical Therapies and Medication Management: Patient and Pharmacist Medication Team” at the 15th Annual Head of the Lakes Diabetes Conference held in Duluth, Minn.; “Pharmacodynamics and Pharmacokinetics” to College of St. Scholastica nursing students at St Luke’s Hospital, in Duluth, Minn.; and “The 2012 Northeast Flood Response: The Experience of a Volunteer Coordinator and a Volunteer” at the Fall into Preparedness Conference for Central Minnesota Medical Reserve Corps and Community Emergency Response Teams, held in St. Cloud, Minn. All three events were held in October 2012.

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Event Publicity

There are many ways to get publicity for your UMD events: the UMD Calendar of Events, Business Announce E-mail, Department Web pages, Media Releases, the UMD Home Page, advertisements, producing brochures, and advertising in the Statesman student newspaper or on KUMD. For more details, visit Getting Publicity for UMD Events and News.

Events Calendar

Scheduling events? Make sure you post them on the UMD Events Calendar.

Don't forget, public events must be posted on the online UMD Events Calendar before you can send out a UMD business announce message.

For more information, contact Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann at 726-7111 or e-mail

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