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The next issue of Currents will be sent out and posted on Tues., Oct. 1, 2013 (Deadline: Wed., Sept. 25, 2013). Send updates and announcements to:

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Currents no longer includes 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


Updates are posted on the Academic Affairs homepage. Check it on a regular basis. Items currently listed on the page include information about a new Learning Commons, a new Mathematics Learning lab, 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 Office of Civic Engagement (OCE) welcomes requests from faculty and staff for the services that they provide. These services include course design, classroom presentations, community partner development, one-time volunteer opportunities, and events and workshops. Complete a brief online request form or contact Michele Hargrave, OCE director, at 218-726-7125, for more information. The OCE strives to educate students to be civically aware, skilled, and committed to act for the public good through curricular and co-curricular activities that create opportunities for students to find a meaningful role in their local, regional, national and international communities.


Recently, External Affairs launched the first set of updates to the UMD homepage. This is in preparation for the launch of the new design during Homecoming. External Affairs has set up a blog to serve as a vehicle for updates on this project at Anyone may visit the site to view the different elements that will be integrated into the new design, read updates, make comments, and participate. For more information, contact Joel Youngblom.


Student Life has created Champ's Cupboard as a food shelf option for students who may be struggling financially. Champ's Cupboard consists almost entirely of nonperishable food items, although it also has a few linens and other miscellaneous items as well. Located in 245 Kirby Plaza, Champ's Cupboard will be available to students year-round, Monday through Friday, 8 am–4:30 pm. Students will be able to ask for access to Champ's Cupboard at the front desk and will be allowed to pick as many items as they need. Student Life hopes that the program will be sustained through UMD staff and faculty donations. Nonperishable food items, as well as other necessities, are always appreciated. Faculty and staff should encourage students to utilize Champ's Cupboard if they are struggling to make ends meet financially and need assistance. For more information about the Champ's Cupboard program, contact

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.


The Office of Sustainability would like to recognize UMD departments for their green efforts to reduce waste, save money, and conserve energy. Departments are encouraged to participate in a simple four-step process. Sustainability staff will score efforts, and departments will receive a Green Office Certification ranking. The Office of Sustainability is also looking for green leaders to participate in the first round of rankings. Contact Sustainability for more information.


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.

Administration News


Accessible transportation assistance is available on the UMD Campus. Departments are encouraged to arrange transportation for individuals with mobility limitations at the same time they arrange their other University-sponsored travel transportation needs.

Possible sources for this transportation include Courtesy Cab (218-590-9222) or Northern Access (218-728-5464). Requests for reimbursement of costs should be submitted to the UMD Business Office, 209 DAdB. Questions regarding transportation arrangements, reimbursement requirements, and this procedure should be directed to Greg Sather, UMD Business Office, 218-726-6137.


Three dates have been set aside for UMD faculty and staff who would like a studio portrait for UMD use. Stop by the photography office (Darland 247) on Fri., Sept 6, between 9 am–noon; Thurs., Sept. 12, 10 am–1pm; or Mon., Sept. 16, between 1–3 pm. No appointment is needed. The cost is $10, and an edited digital image large enough for high quality printing will then be emailed to the department. Contact Brett Groehler in the photography office with any questions, 218-726-7115.


Cash-to-Card Machine System Upgrade
ITSS has been working with the Business Office, Library, Auxiliary Services, UMD Stores, and Chemistry for several years to upgrade the system that enables UCard users to store cash on the card and use it for campus purchases. This has been a very complex project with multiple implementation issues, but ITSS is hopeful that it will be up and running for the start of classes this fall. Watch for future details on this project.

Active Learning Classrooms
Last March, ITSS announced their first active-learning classroom in Library 410. This state-of-the-art classroom was a collaboration with Pharmacy, Information Technology Systems and Services, Classroom Technology Services, and Facilities Management. For this fall, ITSS anticipates a second active-learning Classroom in Swenson Science Building 216. This second room is a collaboration with the Department of Biology and Facilities Management. Watch for future details on this project.

Large Lecture Hall Wireless Upgrade
During the summer, ITSS network staff improved wireless service in all large lecture halls on campus. While the previous wireless service in those rooms was adequate to allow for occasional wireless access during class, it was not sufficient to support an entire large class of students to take an exam online all at one time. ITSS would like to hear from faculty and students using large lecture halls. Contact the ITSS Help Desk or call 218-726-8847. ITSS recommends testing the new system by asking all students to connect to Moodle using wireless and doing some low-stakes activity before attempting to do a full exam.

ITSS Newsletter
The next ITSS newsletter will come out on or about Sept. 13. Archived ITSS news articles are available online. For more information, contact the ITSS Help Desk, 218-726-8847.


It’s Sustainability Week on KUMD. Join them as they talk with people who actively work to increase awareness of this issue.

Listen to Northland Morning from 6–9 am for a mix of music, fun features, and interviews from a local perspective. Coming up this week:

Wed., Sept. 4, 8 am: Tune in to hear from Bryan French on the UMD Office of Sustainability.

Thurs., Sept. 5, 8 am: KUMD will be talking to Jamie Harvie, executive director of the Institute for a Sustainable Future.

Fri., Sept. 6, 8 am: John Fisher-Merritt discusses the history of the Harvest Festival in Duluth.

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

Tune in to KUMD weekday afternoons from 3–5 pm for World Café, an eclectic mix of contemporary music, live performances and interviews. Visit the World Café website for more information on interviews and featured bands. This week’s guests include:

Wed., Sept. 4: Lumen is the new sophomore solo release from long-time Thievery Corporation vocalist Natalia Clavier.

Thurs., Sept. 5: Blues harmonica icon James Cotton's new record Cotton Mouth Man features guest appearances by Gregg Allman, Warren Haynes, Keb Mo, and more.

Fri., Sept. 6: Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand return with Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action after a four-year hiatus.

Live from Studio A offers interviews and performances. Listen to past sessions on the Audio Archives page. This week's guests include:

Thurs., Sept. 5, 2 pm: Alpenglow: Tune in for a lsession with this folk group from Vermont. They’ll be playing at Redstar in Duluth that night and at Thomas Owens Park in Two Harbors on Sept. 6.

Visit the KUMD events page for information on concerts, festivals, art exhibits, and more.


UMD Stores is a one-stop source of office supplies, textbooks, art supplies, and UMD Wear and gifts for faculty, staff, and students as they shop for their fall semester needs.

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.

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

Faculty and Staff News

Academic News

Alison Aune, professor, Department of Art and Design, had a solo exhibition "Nordiska Mandalas och Blommande Ikoner” (Nordic Mandalas and Floral Icons) at Sahlströmsgården in Utterbyn, Torsby, Sweden, July 20–Aug. 4.

Gloria DeFilipps Brush, professor, Department of Art and Design, had her photographs selected for the 17th Annual Conference on Information Visualization online gallery in July at SOAS, University of London, U.K., and at the 10th Annual International Conference on Computer Graphics, Imaging, and Visualization at the University of Macau, Macau S.A.R, China, in August. Her work was selected by exhibition panelists from the U.S., Australia, Canada, and the U.K.

Leif Brush, professor emeritus, Department Art and Design, has a permanent Windribbon installation, a replica of his original 1975 soundwork, at Klankenbos (Sound Forest) in Neerpelt, Belgium, a project of the Musica Impulse Centre for Music. The work was installed in July.

Scott Drewlo, captain, UMD Police Department, along with other UMD officers, hosted a seminar by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman entitled "Lessons from Columbine and Virgina Tech." Grossman is an internationally recognized expert on school violence and the author of On Killing which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Qiang Fang, associate professor, Department of History, had his book in Chinese entitled Zhongguo shangfang zhidu shihua (A Short History of Chinese Petition) published by China Youth Press in August. China Youth Press is one of China's first-class national presses.

Dalibor Froncek, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, presented a talk "Group distance magic graphs" at the Seventh Czech-Slovak International Symposium on Graph Theory, Combinatorics, Algorithms and Applications, in Kosice, Slovakia.

John Hiller, professor, and Sophia Chabysheva, assistant professor, both of the Department of Physics, recently published "Dynamical model for longitudinal wave functions in light-front holographic QCD" in volume 337 of the Annals of Physics.

Jim Miller, professor, Department of Geological Sciences, led a two-day field excursion in June for 15 people on the geology of the North Shore. It was part of a program for the North House Folk School based out of Grand Marais. Another field excursion was held in August that included a geology field trip up the Gunflint Trail, as well as along the North Shore.

Miller is one of the directors of the Precambrian Research Center. The Center completed its 7th annual Precambrian field camp this past summer.  The six-week camp was attended by 22 students from 16 different colleges throughout the US. Three weeks of the camp were run out of UMD, two weeks were based out of Vermilion Community College in Ely, Minn., and one week was devoted to a capstone mapping project that sent students out to one of four remote field locations in northeastern Minnesota. The Center also served as the principal organizer for the 16th annual Minnesota Minerals Education Workshop (MMEW), which was held at Hibbing Community College in June. This three-day event for K-12 earth science educators offered a day of short course instruction on various geoscience and mineral resource topics, two days of field trips to local geological and mining sites, and included field trip visits to the major mining operations along the western Mesabi Range. This year, 76 teachers from throughout the state attended.

Elias Mokole, instructor, Department of Music, participated in a collaborative event with the Duluth Playhouse at the Minnesota State Fair on August 23 as part of UMD Day. Mokole; Kelly Grussendorf, assistant professor, Department of Theatre; and Adam Sippola, courtesy of the Duluth Playhouse, performed numbers from Evita. All three recently starred in a production of Evita at the Duluth Playhouse. They were accompanied by Andrew Cooke, pianist, courtesy of Chanhassen Dinner Theatres.

In addition, Mokole, Grussendorf, and Rob Wittig, assistant professor, Department of Writing Studies, received a 2013 Strategic Initiative Grant to create a unique, interdisciplinary, project-based course which will be team taught by faculty from the Departments of Music, Theater, and Art & Design. The seminar course is titled: "Exploring Creative Collaboration; Art, Music, Theater," and will be offered this fall to incoming freshman who are pursuing SFA majors in these disciplines.

Robin Murphy, assistant professor, Department of Art and Design, will have a solo ceramic exhibition "Forgotten Tales" at the Duluth Art Institute Sept. 19–Nov. 24. She will present a workshop Sept. 21 at the Duluth Art Institute, sponsored by the Minnesota Women's Ceramic Association.

John Pastor, professor, Department of Biology, has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota-North Dakota-South Dakota Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.

Ted Pedersen
, professor, Department of Computer Science, and his co-authors were runners-up for the best paper award at the 51st annual meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, which took place in August in Sofia, Bulgaria. The nominated paper is entitled "Offspring from Reproduction Problems: What Replication Failure Teaches Us" and was written with Antske Fokkens, Marieke van Erp, and Piek Vossen of VU University Amsterdam, Marten Postma of Utrecht University, and Nuno Freire of The European Library in The Hague.

Justin Rubin
, professor, Department of Music, was awarded first place in the music composition competition "Dream Songs Project" supported by the Minnesota State Arts Board for his song cycle "Ultima Verba" for mezzo soprano and classical guitar. The work will be performed nationally at many venues this coming year.

Corbin J. Smyth, associate vice chancellor, Student Life, has been appointed the national research coordinator for the Association of College Unions International. He will lead a newly-formed research program team for the next two years, focusing on the association's research agenda. The goal of ACUI-supported research is the discovery of new knowledge that benefits and informs the college union and student activities profession.

Eun-Kyung Suh, associate professor, Department of Art and Design, had her work invited to a group show, "Library Thoughts," at the Barabas Villa Gallery, in Budapest, Hungary. The exhibition runs through Sept. 10. The exhibit was curated by Beata Szechy, Hungarian Multicultural Center, Inc.

Special Recognition

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Large Lakes Observatory News

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Medical School-Duluth News

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Minnesota Sea Grant News

Cindy Hagley, environmental quality extension educator, spoke to an estimated 50 people about Lake Superior at Sugarloaf Cove Interpretive Center for their annual meeting in August. Hagley attended the Sea Grant Education Network meeting and National Marine Educators Conference in Mobile, Ala., in July.

Hagley and Hilarie Sorenson, climate change extension educator, taught 12 teachers enrolled in the CYCLES program (CYCLES: Teachers Discovering Climate Change from a Native Perspective). Their presentations regarding the impacts of climate change on Lake Superior were part of a workshop for Minnesota K-12 educators in schools with high Native American populations. The workshop was held in August in cooperation with the Great Lakes Aquarium, UMD’s Natural Resources Research Institute, and Large Lakes Observatory.

Doug Jensen, aquatic invasive species program coordinator, and Marte Kitson, aquatic invasive species specialist and national park service liaison, spoke with tournament anglers at the Salmon Classic, Silver Bay, Minn., in July, about preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species through the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! campaign. They also participated in the summer meeting of the Minnesota Invasive Species Advisory Council, in Arden Hills, Minn., in July.

Jensen participated in the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus in Duluth, Minn, in July.

Kitson spoke about how to Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! at the Kimball Aquatic Plants and Healthy Lakes Workshop, in Kimball, Minn., in August. The workshop was funded through the Coastal Zone Management Act from Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program and co-sponsors included the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota DNR, Minnesota Sea Grant, Cool and Lake County Soil Conservation Districts.

Jesse Schomberg, coastal communities and land use planning extension educator and John Bilotta, water resource management and policy extension educator, presented a Watershed Game session at the 2013 Low Impact Development Conference in St Paul, Minn., in August.

Schomberg’s "Managing Stormwater in Cold Climates: Understanding the Issues" LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) course is now available online at:

Minnesota Sea Grant’s presence was evident at many Minnesota events this summer through the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! booth. Staff at the booth talked with visitors about aquatic invasive species and how to prevent their spread. Visitors were reminded about the “pull the plug” law. The “pickled” specimens of zebra mussels, sea lamprey, and Asian carp were popular. The SAH! booth appeared at Lake Superior Days, Duluth, July 18–21; the North St. Louis County Fair, Chisholm, July 24–28; Fisherman’s Picnic, Grand Marais, Aug 1–4; and the Carlton County Fair, Barnum, Aug 15-18. SAH! partners include the Minnesota DNR Law Enforcement and Watercraft Inspection Program, 1854 Treaty Authority, and the Cook County Invasive Species Team, Lake Superior Binational Program, Lake Superior Magazine, Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center, Seaway Port Authority, Duluth Art Institute, St. Louis River Alliance, Minnesota Environmental Partnership, Gooseberry Falls State Park, Split Rock State Park, Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center, Great Lakes Aquarium, Western Lake Superior Sanitary District, National Park Service-Grand Portage National Monument, Fond du Lac Resource Department, U.S. Forest Service and AMI Consulting. Efforts, in part, were sponsored by Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program, funded through NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resources Management.

Minnesota Sea Grant is cooperating on a three-year project with Large Lakes Observatory to better understand how Lake Superior is responding to the changing climate of the region. Researchers will collect and analyze physical, chemical, and biological data related to lake circulation and mixing to interpret biological processes. Minnesota Sea Grant will help with public outreach and communicating the results to specific audiences. The project is funded by the Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund managed by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.

Northland NEMO Watershed Game received a new project grant from the MNDNR’s Lake Superior Coastal Program, funded through NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resources Management. Minnesota Sea Grant and Minnesota Extension educators will create an electronic version and K12 version of the popular and effective Watershed Game. The project will begin in late 2013 and be complete by the end of 2014.

Natural Resources Research Institute News

Basak Anameric, research coordinator, gave a presentation titled "Production of high quality DR [Direct Reduced) grade pellets" at the Advanced Sustainable Iron and Steel Center (ASISC) at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich., in August.

Ryan Hueffmeier
, junior scientist, has been named director of the Great Lakes Worm Watch and also NRRI sustainability coordinator. He conducted a training session on the Invasive Earthworm Rapid Assessment Tool (IERAT) for the Minnesota DNR yearly relevé training in June.

Hueffmeier gave a presentation about Great Lakes Worm Watch to the CYCLES professional development workshop for 5-12 grade teachers at the Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center in July. He was an invited speaker at the National Tree Farm Convention's Big Woods Farm Field Day held at the Big Woods Farm in Isanti, Minn., in July.

Lucinda Johnson, interim director, served on a team to review "Water for a Healthy Country," a flagship program for the Australian Commonwealth Science and Industry Research Organization (CSIRO) in August. This $80 million program conducts research at the interface of academia, industry, and agencies on the broad topic of water.

Johnson was also appointed to the Science Advisory Board for the University of Michigan Water Center. This center has received funding from the Erb Family Foundation for research in support of the science agenda for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Gerald Niemi, senior research associate, gave an invited talk titled "Spotlight on Lake Superior" at the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus held in Duluth in June.

Niemi and Annie Bracey, assistant scientist, were co-presenters with R.W. Howe, N.G. Walton and E. Giese (all three from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay) on a presentation titled "Avian responses to landscape stressors in Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands" at the Society of Wetland Scientists annual meeting held in Duluth in June. The same presentation was also given at the Partners in Flight meeting, held in Snowbird, Utah, in August.

At the same meeting in Utah, Niemi; Alexis Grinde, UMD graduate student; and Ed Zlonis, UMD graduate student, presented research titled "Long-term monitoring of forest breeding birds of the Western Great Lakes Region -- What have we learned?"

Niemi and Matthew Etterson, NRRI adjunct/EPA Duluth, were co-presenters with L. Condon, UMD graduate student, and R. Green, UMD, on a presentation titled "The effects of urbanization on migrating birds at the western shore of Lake Michigan" at the American Ornithologists Union meeting in Chicago, Ill., in August.

Niemi was invited to give a speech titled "Spotlight on Lake Superior" at the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus held in Duluth in July. He was co-author with H. Panci, UMD graduate student, on a talk titled "Landscape characteristics that influence the distribution and abundance of Marsh and Sedge Wrens in the coastal wetlands of the Great Lakes" at the American Orthithologists Union meeting in Chicago, Ill., in August.

Niemi; Valerie Brady, research associate; Terry Brown, research associate; Johnson; and Euan Reavie, senior research associate, were all co-authors, along with Howe, Walton, Giese, as well as J. Ciborowski and J. Gathman (both from the University of Windsor, Ontario), on a talk titled "How do different taxa respond to landscape stressors in Great Lakes coastal wetlands?" at the Ecological Society of American annual meeting held in Minneapolis in August.

Pharmacy Department News

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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.

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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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