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The next issue of Currents will be sent out and posted on Tues., Sept. 3, 2013 (Deadline: Wed., Aug. 28, 2013). 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


Staff from the office of Career Services surveyed UMD alumni who received undergraduate degrees between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. A report has been released based on responses from 1729 graduates (91% of the reported 1901 undergraduate students granted degrees during the time frame). Of the 1729 graduates who responded, 1656 (96%) reported being "employed" or "continuing education."


The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations (VCFO) has posted an online newsletter outlining the latest activities in the departments of Facilities Management/Sustainability, Police, Human Resources & Equal Opportunity, and Business Services. Visit the VCFO website and click on VCFO Summer News.


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 Cathy Rackliffe or call 726-6827.


Updates are posted on the Academic Affairs homepage. Check it on a regular basis. Items currently listed on the page include information about Support Services Program's move to the Library, the Writing Center, and the search for the NRRI director. 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.

Administration News


The latest ITSS news is available online. Archived articles may also be viewed. For more information, contact the ITSS Help Desk, 218-726-8847.


KUMD is giving away tickets to local summer concerts. Listen for a chance to register and win tickets to summer concerts every day, during the Fitger's Brewhouse Summer Daze Concert Craze. KUMD 103.3 will announce when the phone lines are open for registration. Listeners who make the call are automatically in the drawing held every Friday at noon. Giveaways include tickets to Lyle Lovett, Johnny Lang, and Indigo Girls at Big Top Chautauqua and many more.

KUMD 103.3 FM has received the 2013 Station of the Year Award from the Association of Minnesota Public Educational Radio Stations (AMPERS). KUMD was honored for its accomplishments in 2012–2013, demonstrating excellence in the areas of production, engineering, development, promotion, and community involvement.

KUMD and UMD joined forces once again to Stuff the Truck at the Twin Ports Bridge Festival to benefit local charitable foundations. This year, over 1300 clothing items were donated to benefit the Domiano Center of Duluth. A donation of over $100 was also given to benefit the Kid's Cafe at Damiano.


The UMD Stores Summer Sidewalk Sale will be held July 24–28 in Kirby Plaza – directly inside the front doors of the main Kirby Plaza entrance. Receive up to 70% off UMD wear & gifts, general books, select textbooks, office, art & school products, snacks, and more.

Summer Cash for Books textbook buyback will be held Fri., Aug. 2 from 8 am–3 pm at UMD Stores EXPRESS. August 2 is the only day students can sell and return Summer Term textbooks.

Bring a bag or backpack or purchase a reusable bag at UMD Stores. Don’t take a plastic bag and get a wooden nickel to drop in the charity bin to support three local charities. These charities benefit from this conscious effort to go green at UMD Stores. (Purchases must be "baggable" merchandise to earn wooden nickels for charity.)

Shop UMD Stores. Get rewards. Every dollar spent at UMD Stores equals one point. Reach 1,000 points and earn a $10 UMD Stores Gift Card. Sign-up for UMD Stores Rewards and receive a sign-up bonus of 100 points.

Jefferson Lines offers daily bus service, year round, from the UMD Campus to the Twin Cities and Iron Range. Purchase tickets at UMD Stores Street Level.

UMD Stores offers special events and promotions all year long. Check the website often. UMD Stores is also on facebook and Twitter.

Faculty and Staff News

Academic News

Subhash Basak, adjunct professor, Department of Chemistry, published a paper titled "Philosophy of Mathematical Chemistry: A Personal Perspective" in the International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry, V. 19, No. 1 (2013), pp. 3-17.

Denny Falk
, professor, Department of Social Work, and Bill Payne, dean, School of Fine Arts, continue to work on the Global Engagement Initiative with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). This initiative is a collaborative project that includes UMD and 10 other AASCU institutions. In the past year, Falk and Payne have contributed to 1) a revision of Global Challenges: Promise and Peril in the 21st Century, a national blended learning course; 2) Educating Globally Competent Citizens: A Toolkit, a book co-edited by Falk and published by AASCU; an e-book titled Global Challenges that is available through VitalSource and iBooks; and 4) three faculty development institutes on Educating Globally Competent Citizens sponsored by AASCU.

Dalibor Froncek
, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, recently gave a seminar talk entitled "Magic Rectangle Sets" at the University of Vermont.

Karen Gran
, assistant professor, Department of Geological Sciences, gave a seminar at the University of Aix-Marseille in February and a talk at the annual European Geophysical Union meeting in April entitled "Tracking sediment through the Holocene: Determining anthropogenic contributions to a sediment-rich agricultural system, north-central USA".

Chris Haidos
, associate director, Office of Admissions; Tim Holst, associate vice chancellor, Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs; Zhuangyi Liu, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics; Leigh Neys, director, International Education Office; and Mark Whitlock, professor, Department of Music, visited with Vice President Li Huajun of Ocean University of China (OUC) in June at the Laoshan campus in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China. They discussed expanding collaboration between the two universities in the areas of research and education. OCU and UMD launched a joint educational program in 2011. Currently there are 12 OUC undergraduate students studying at UMD. Three of the students have received scholarships because of their excellent academic performance.

Milan Kovacovic
, associate professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, had his memoir, Ma's Dictionary, selected as a Publishers Weekly Staff Pick for "Best Read of the Year." It has also been selected by the Library of Congress for its permanent collection and is included in the Mel B. Yoken collection of France-related documents at the Brown University Library.

Sandi Larson
, public engagement coordinator, Center for Economic Development, attended a reception at Eastcliff in St. Paul in June, where she and 11 other U of M recipients of the 2013 President's Award for Outstanding Service were honored. In presenting the award, U of M President Eric Kaler mentioned some examples of her service to the University of Minnesota, including her efforts in developing a youth entrepreneurship program and assisting business owners at the Disaster Recovery Center after the June 2012 floods. Regarding her oversight of the Student to Business Initiative program at UMD, Kaler stated, "She is credited with making it the best student community engagement experience on campus."

Susan Maher, dean, College of Liberal Arts, organized and chaired a panel entitled "Thinking Continental" at the international Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment conference held on the campus of the University of Kansas, May 29–June 2. She read a creative nonfiction essay, "Superior's Waters," as part of the panel.

Joseph Maiolo
, professor, Department of English, read from his book, Saint Matthew in Appalachia and Other Stories, in July at Malaprop's Bookstore in Asheville, N.C.

Elias Mokole, instructor, Department of Music, is starring as Juan Peron in the Duluth Playhouse production of Evita. He previously performed in the Playhouse's production of The Children's Hour and has performed extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad as a classical/operatic singer and in numerous theater productions. Fellow UMD Professor Rajiv Vaidyanathan, Department of Marketing and Director of MBA Programs, Labovitz School of Business and Economics, is also performing in the Evita ensemble. Mokole was featured on "Good Morning Northland" on WDIO, promoting the show which runs through Aug. 4. He recently returned from France with Dana Lindaman, assistant professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, as a part of a UMD Seed Grant Strategic Initiative.

Michael Mullins, instructor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, is the Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship’s director. Cultural Entrepreneurship is a new major at UMD and the first of its kind in the U.S. The program, offered by the College of Liberal Arts, includes courses from all five collegiate units and is comprised of business, cultural competency, and two foreign languages. Students are encouraged to have internships and study abroad.

Ted Pedersen, professor, Department of Computer Science, presented a system demonstration at the 2013 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, which took place in Atlanta in June. The demonstration featured UMLS::Similarity, open-source software that measures the similarity and relatedness of medical concepts. He also presented a paper at SemEval-2013: Semantic Evaluation Exercises, International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation, which also took place in Atlanta in June. The paper was entitled "Duluth: Word Sense Induction Applied to Web Page Clustering" and describes his system that participated in an international evaluation of tools for organizing Web search results.

Cheryl Reitan, associate director, External Affairs, has given several presentations around the U.S. about the book Thunder of Freedom: Black Leadership and the Transformation of 1960s Mississippi with co-author Sue [Lorenzi] Sojourner. They gave presentations at Mixed Blood Theater in Minneapolis, Minn,. in February; at the University of Southern Mississippi - Hattiesburg and at the Conference of the Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement, Tougaloo College, Jackson, Miss., in March; and at UMD in the Kirby Ballroom and at Peace Church in Duluth in May. In June, Reitan and Sojourner were honored by U.S. Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) at an African American Civil War Memorial and Museum event in Washington, D.C.

Reitan has been named the judging coordinator for the Excellence in Diversity Programming category for the CASE District V Awards Program. CASE, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, is a nonprofit association of educational institutions. Judging takes place during August and September and the winners are announced at the CASE V conference in Chicago, Ill., in December 2013.

Special Recognition

Marketing staff from the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics won three national awards at the annual NACMA (National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators) Conference. All NCAA Institutions are eligible for awards at the annual conference. The Bulldogs won a Silver Award in Sponsorship Activation, a Silver Award in New Revenue Generating Idea, and a Silver Award in Student Promotion.

Center for Economic Development
The Center for Economic Development will welcome economic development professionals from Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Minnesota to its 20th Annual Upper Midwest Basic Economic Development Course (BEDC), July 22–26. The Upper Midwest BEDC is a comprehensive educational experience on the theory and practice of economic development fundamentals and is accredited by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). It fulfills the first prerequisites for those who wish to take the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) Examination. Some of the nation's most knowledgeable and respected finance and economic development leaders will be speaking on topics including: Business Retention and Expansion, Strategic Planning, Marketing/Attraction, Economic Development Finance, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development, Community/Neighborhood Development, Real Estate Development and Reuse, Workforce Development, and Managing Economic Development Organizations. More than 800 people have attended the Upper Midwest BEDC in its 20-year history.

Large Lakes Observatory News

See Next Issue

Medical School-Duluth News

Arlen R. Severson, professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, attended the annual conference of the American Association of Clinical Anatomist in July. At the conference, he presented a talk entitled "Using a Computer-based Program to Learn Human Neuroanatomical Structure and Function" and demonstrated the computer program NeuroTime at the tech fair.

Minnesota Sea Grant News

Marte Kitson, aquatic invasive species specialist and national park service liaison, gave a presented “What’s in Your Water Garden? Addressing AIS that use Gardening and Aquarium Pathways” and hosted a Habitattitude booth at the Environmental Green Club Community Event, Duluth, Minn., in June.

Kitson met with the Fond du Lac Reservation Environmental Program, Cloquet, Minn., in June, to discuss outreach opportunities and media.

Sharon Moen, communications coordinator, appeared on WCCO (CBS Twin Cities) news to talk about Minnesota’s non-existent experimental city in June.

Danielle Sacket and Lowell Moon, aquatic invasive species program undergraduate interns, hosted a booth featuring Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! and Habitattitude at the Rivers and Lakes Fair, Aitkin, Minn., June 16. Other related outreach efforts include: The 13th Annual Lincoln Park Walleye Open, Duluth, Minn., June 22; The South St. Louis County Fair, Duluth, Minn., July 10–14; Two Harbors Heritage Days, Two Harbors, Minn., July 11–14, Mills Fleet Farm Kids Appreciation Day, statewide, July 13; and Lake Superior Days, North Shore coastal communities, July 18–21.

Jesse Schomberg, coastal communities and land use planning extension educator, and Hilarie Sorensen, climate change extension educator, facilitated a discussion about heavy rain events. The discussion was held in June in Grand Marais, Minn., and involved a UMN researcher and the community.

conducted a Rip Current Identification workshop with Carol Christensen, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service Office in Duluth, in July for Park Point Beach lifeguards. Schomberg talked with visitors about rip currents and other water safety issues at the 2013 Water Safety Expo and sandcastle-building contest in July in Duluth, Minn.

Schomberg, Cindy Hagley, environmental quality extension educator, and John Bilotta, water resource management and policy extension educator, trained people to facilitate The Watershed Game for community planning in July in Duluth, Minn.

Peter Thibaul
t, accountant, joined the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program in June.

Megan Thiesse, front office specialist, joined the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program in June.

Cristina Villella, stormwater management assistant with MN Green Corps, organized rain garden workshops on the UMD campus that will take place July 24–25 and Aug. 7–8.

is offering stormwater management information at the Duluth Farmer’s Market on Tuesdays through Sept. 14.

Minnesota Sea Grant and partners kicked off the campaign on July 1. Look for coasters at Canal Park restaurants, tray liners at Dairy Queen, posters, Frisbees, TV ads, movie theater ads, radio ads, and more.

Natural Resources Research Institute News

June Kallestad, public relations manager, gave an invited talk titled "Doing More: Byproduct Reuse Projects at the Natural Resources Research Institute" at the Association of Recycling Managers annual meeting held in Minnetonka, Minn., in June.

Lucinda Johnson
, senior research associate, will serve as NRRI's interim director while a national search is underway following the retirement of Mike Lalich in June.

Ron Moen was promoted to senior research associate in NRRI's Center for Water and the Environment.

Pharmacy Department News

See Next Issue

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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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