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The next issue of Currents will be sent out and posted on Tues., Feb. 4, 2014 (Deadline: Wed., Jan. 29, 2014). Send updates and announcements to:

View past issues of Currents.

Please note that 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


The Enterprise Systems Upgrade Program (ESUP) Portal Team has an early “Rough Draft” of the new U-wide portal planned for late 2014. The development team would like users to visit the Portal Project website, to log in (using their U of M Internet ID), explore, and provide feedback. The portal will be a website that simplifies the online experience at the U by bringing together, in one place, tools and resources that users need.

The “Rough Draft” version was created from many of the ideas and suggestions that the team began collecting at the Kickoff Meeting in January 2013 and continued to compile through the Design Thinking Workshops, meetings and presentations, and feedback on their website.

Participants should review the site for organization, use of graphics vs. text, amount of space to accommodate content, relevancy, etc. Participants will have the opportunity to indicate likes, dislikes, and provide brief feedback about what is missing, what should be changed, etc. Feedback will help the team build a portal that will work well for the University. Feedback should be supplied no later than Wed., Jan. 15, 2014.


Updates about Academic Affairs are posted on the Academic Affairs homepage. Items currently listed on the page include the NRRI director search and the dean of SCSE search. Past postings are listed in the archive section. Questions may be directed to the office of the vice chancellor of Academic Affairs.


Faculty and staff are encouraged to submit information about events via the easy-to-use Bulldog Update form. 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.


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


Two IT Staff Members Honored
Two UMD Information Technology staff members received the Fall 2013 IT@UMN Outstanding Service Award. They are Karl Oman of Information Technology Systems and Services and Peter Angelos of the College of Liberal Arts. This is a system-wide award was presented by Vice President and CIO Scott Studham at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus Club. Studham said, "The enthusiasm and dedication displayed by these talented individuals is truly exemplary, and I valued the opportunity to thank them for their contributions and visit with many of them."

ITSS Newsletter
Archived ITSS news articles are available online. For more information, contact the ITSS Help Desk, 218-726-8847.


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

Wed., Dec. 4, 8 am: Speech pathologist Kay Walls has run a stuttering support group for teenagers and adults at UMD for about a year for Duluth's chapter of the National Stuttering Association.

Thurs., Dec. 5, 8 am: For the second highlight of KUMD "Caring and Sharing" series, Cindy Finch of Woodland Hills will be their guest.

Fri., Dec. 6, 8 am: Lucie Amundsen is a writer (and reluctant farmer) finishing a narrative nonfiction about Locally Laid. She is also the company's Marketing Chick. Lucie and her husband, Jason, run Locally Laid, and they are currently in the top four for a Super Bowl ad contest. They will be in the studio to talk about what they have been up to. Visit Locally Laid's website.

To hear audio from previous Northland Morning features, check out the Audio Archives page.

Weekday afternoons from 3–5pm, listen to World Café, an eclectic mix of contemporary music, live performances, and interviews. This week’s guests include:

Tues., Dec. 3: Mike Doughty re-imagines songs from his '90s rock band Soul Coughing on Circles Super Bon Bon.

Wed., Dec. 4: Veteran indie-rockers Superchunk recently released I Hate Music, their tenth studio album.

Thurs., Dec. 5: On Oni Pond showcases the experimental rock of Philadelphia band Man Man.

Fri., Dec. 6: The Head & The Heart return with Let's Be Still four years after the overwhelming success of their self-titled debut.

Visit for more information on interviews and featured bands.

Live from Studio A offers interviews and performances.

Thurs., Dec. 5, 2 pm, The Lowest Pair: Tune in for a live studio session with this banjo picking duo from Minnesota and Washington. They will be playing at Fitger's Brew House the same night.

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


The UMD Archives continues to collect selected posters that advertise or announce department, administrative, program, book store, Kirby, and student organization events, new courses, speakers, initiatives, colloquia, and so forth. Submissions should be sent to the Archives electronically in pdf (preferred) or jpeg format to Patricia Maus, UMD archivist and special collection curator. These items will be accessible and searchable in the Kathryn A. Martin Library's d-Commons.


UMD Stores has opened a temporary seasonal location at 5 W. Superior Street in Downtown Duluth as part of the Greater Downtown Council's "Pop-Up Shops" Program. The Council brought together local businesses and empty store fronts in an effort to revitalize the Downtown. This temporary store will be open 10 am–6 pm Mon.–Sat. until Jan. 10, 2014 and is an excellent way to support Goal 5 of UMD's Strategic Plan (strengthen ties with Duluth and surrounding communities in an intentional, visible, and mutually beneficial partnership).

Faculty, staff and students are welcome to have their photo taken with the Grinch on Wed., Dec. 4 from 10 am–-2 pm in the Lower Level Store. Photos will be posted on the UMD Stores facebook page.

The annual UMD Stores Holiday Sale is planned for Dec. 4–10. UMD Wear & Gifts, Seasonal Gift Items, Art Supplies and General Books will be 25% off. Products will be available in both the Street and Lower Level stores.

Gift Wrap for Charity: UMD's Gamma Sigma Sigma will wrap gifts to support the Salvation Army's Adopt-A-Family Program during the month of December. Members will sit in the Kirby Bus Hub (directly outside the main Street Level door) Dec. 2-20 wrapping UMD Store's purchases. Hours are Mon.–Thurs. 9 am–8 pm and Fridays 9 am–5 pm.

Textbook Buyback will be held the following days in Express:
Fri., Dec. 13: 8 am–4 pm; Mon., Dec. 16: 8 am–6 pm; Tues., Dec. 17: 8 am–4 pm; Wed., Dec. 18: 8 am–6 pm; Thurs., Dec. 19: 8 am–4 pm; and Fri., Dec. 20: 8 am–3 pm.

Students are reminded that they may receive the best prices during Buyback if they sell earlier rather than later. In addition, all rented textbooks and accompanying parts (CDs / DVDs, solution manuals, companion texts, etc.), must be returned during Buyback.

UMD Stores December hours through Dec. 22:
Street Level: Mon.–Thurs. 7:30 am–8 pm; Fri. 7:30 am–5 pm; Sat./Sun.: 11 am–5 pm

Lower Level: Mon.-Thurs. 8 am–5 pm; Fri. 8 am–4:30 pm (Closed weekends and campus holidays)

Express: Mon.–Fri. 8 am–4 pm (Closed Dec. 12–Jan. 27)

Downtown at 5 W. Superior Street: Mon.-Sat. 10 am–6 pm (Closed Sundays and Christmas Day)

UMD Stores is on facebook and Twitter

Faculty and Staff News

Academic News

Gloria DeFilipps Brush, professor, Department of Art and Design, had work in the invitational 2013 Photo Review Auction Exhibition in November at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pa.

Jill Doerfler
, associate professor, Department of American Indian Studies, has been involved in the White Earth Nation's constitutional reform effort since 2007 and served on the team that wrote the constitution. On Nov. 19, the White Earth Nation voted to approve the proposed constitution. Nearly eighty percent of votes cast were in favor of adopting the proposed constitution. Last spring, Doerfler received funding from the White Earth Nation and a Strategic Initiative Grant from UMD to continue her work on this project. She helped to develop range of educational materials on the proposed constitution, co-facilitated more than fifty community education forms, worked to plan a national symposium, and assisted in the creation of a special issue of the tribal newspaper.

Julie Etterson, associate professor, Department of Biology, joined graduate faculty in the Conservation Biology program at University of Minnesota Twin Cities in October 2013. She published a journal article, "Local adaptation and genetic effects on fitness: calculations for exponential family models with random effects," with co-authors C. J. Geyer, C. E. Ridley, R. G. Latta, and R. G. Shaw, in 2013 Annals of Applied Statistics 7:1778-1795. Etterson gave an invited seminar "Climate Informed Restoration" at the 40th conference of the Annual Natural Areas Association, in Chicago.

Dalibor Froncek, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, was appointed executive member of the Forum of Researchers on Mathematics in Engineering & Business (FRMEB), India. 

Deb Good, student personnel coordinator, International Education Office, was chosen to participate as a national selection panelist for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program. Panelists convened in Houston, Tex,, in November, to select spring 2014 scholarship recipients of the Gilman scholarship. The Gilman is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International Education. It aims to diversify the kinds of students who study abroad and the regions and countries where they visit.

Karen Gran, associate professor, Department of Geological Sciences, recently had a paper published in the GSA Bulletin entitled "Landscape evolution, valley excavation, and terrace development following abrupt postglacial base-level fall" with co-authors Noah Finnegan, Andrea L. Johnson, Patrick Belmont, Chad Wittkop, and Tammy Rittenour. Gran also recently gave a talk entitled "Duluth stream geomorphology and the solstice flood of 2012" as part of the Sip of Science series at the Aster Cafe in Minneapolis.

Randall Hicks, professor, Department of Biology, and associate director, Graduate Studies - Water Resources Science Graduate Program, recently returned from Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture (Beijing, China) where he gave an invited talk, "Rusting Away – Roles of Water Quality and Microbes in the Accelerated Corrosion of Steel Infrastructure in Ports and Harbors", in November to faculty members and students in the Faculty of Environment and Energy Engineering. The MnDrive Initiative: Advancing Industry, Conserving Our Environment, recently announced that the laboratory of Hicks will be awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship to study microbiologically-influenced corrosion of steel structures in the Duluth-Superior harbor and examine manipulation of microbial communities to reduce such corrosion in this Minnesota infrastructure.

John Hiller, professor, and Sophia Chabysheva, assistant professor, both of the Department of Physics, recently published "Zero modes in the light-front coupled-cluster method" in volume 340 of Annals of Physics.

Thomas Hrabik, associate professor, Department of Biology, has number of articles that were published or are in press:
D. L. Yule, J. Adams, T.R. Hrabik, J. Woiak, M. Vinson, and T. Ahrenstorff published "Use of Classification Trees to Apportion Acoustic Targets to Species: Application to the 2011 Lake-wide Acoustic and Midwater Trawl Survey of Lake Superior," in Fisheries Research 2013 140:123-132. 
B. V. Holbrook, T.R. Hrabik, D.B. Branstrator, and A. Mensinger published "Foraging Mechanisms of Age-0 Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush)" in the Journal of Great Lakes Research 2013 39:128–137
J. Janssen, J.E. Marsden, T. R. Hrabik, and J.D. Stockwell. "Are the Laurentian Great Lakes Great Enough for Hjort?" In press. ICES Journal of Marine Sciences
D. L. Yule, J. Adams, D. Warner, T.R. Hrabik, and B. Wiedel. "Evaluating approaches for estimating biomass of pelagic fish species using simulated fish communities." In press.  Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.
T. D. Ahrenstorff, T. R. Hrabik, P. C. Jacobson, and D. L. Pereira. "Food resource effects on diel movements and body size of cisco (Coregonus artedi) in north-temperate lakes." In press. Oecologia. DOI 10.1007/s00442-013-2719-3
Hrabik recently secured three grants:
2013-2015.  Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  PI J. Vander Zanden, co-PI’s S.R. Carpenter, T.K. Kratz and T.R. Hrabik.  Whole-Lake Mixing to Remove Invasive Rainbow Smelt in Crystal Lake, Wis.  $147,028.
2013-2014.  Great Lakes Fishery Commission, science transfer program. PI-D. Warner, co-PI J. Adams, D. Yule, T. Hrabik, and R. Claramont. Using a simulated fish community to evaluate the importance of catchability on abundance estimates for acoustic surveys. $15,750. 
2013-2015.  Great Lakes Fishery Commission, pilot project program. O. Gorman, T. Hrabik, C. Bronte, and S. Sitar.  A hyperbaric holding and transport vessel for collection of deepwater fishes for research and broodstock development.  $10,000.  

Jim Lyttle, assistant professor, Department of Management Studies, continues to give presentations on the effective and responsible use of humor for persuasion. In February, he presented "A framework for therapeutic humor: Coalitions for better or worse" at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Tex. In July, he presented "Comic S&M: Legal defenses for humorists" at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. In October, he presented "Using humor to encourage critical thinking" to the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. On December 1, he presented "Having fun with religion" to the Lake Superior Freethinkers in the Great Room at the Duluth Radisson. His entry on humor as a tool of workplace control will be part of the Encyclopedia of Humor Studies, edited by Salvatore Attardo and published by Sage. This year, his research has been cited in the journals Leadership & Organization Development; Management Research Review; English Linguistics Research; Telematics & Informatics; and The Southwest Mass Communication Journal.

Mary Ann Marchel
, associate professor, Department of Education, and her colleagues, Tom Fischer and Denise Clark, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, have published a textbook titled Assistive Technology for Children and Youth with Disabilities with Pearson Publishers. The book will be available in January 2014 and includes eleven chapters highlighting pedagogy for use of a range of assistive technologies with children and youth, ages birth to 21 years of age.

Jim Miller, associate professor, Department of Geological Sciences, and administrative director, UMD's Precambrian Research Center, organized a weeklong professional workshop on Copper-Nickel-Precious Metal Deposits in the Lake Superior region. The workshop took place October 6-13, 2013 and was attended by an international group of 76 geoscientists. It involved two days of short course instruction in UMD’s Griggs Center by 22 local and international experts, and five days of field trips visiting mineral deposits in Upper Michigan, northeastern Minnesota, and the Thunder Bay, Ontario, area.

Michael Mullins
, director, Cultural Entrepreneurship Program, and instructor, Department of German Studies, hosted the first UMD Cultural Entrepreneurship lecture series event in November. Olaf Kuhlke, assistant professor, Department of Geography and founding director of the Cultural Entrepreneurship Program, was the co-host. The lecture, "Poetics & Business in the Global Political Economy," featured Manuel-Julian R. Montoya, assistant professor, International Management/Global Structures, University of New Mexico, Anderson School of Management.

Paul Sharp
, professor, Department of Political Science and International Studies, co-presented a workshop on the future of diplomacy to senior Chinese academics and researchers at the China Center of Contemporary World Studies (CCCWS) in Beijing in November. The workshop was based on a report which he co-authored for the Finnish government on the same topic. CCCWS is the think tank of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. The workshop was followed by a two-day conference in the CCCWS "China: Contemporary World Dialogue" series during which he chaired a panel of international academics and practitioners on China and contemporary international security issues.

Steven Sternberg
, associate professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, served as the mentor for chemical engineering and civil engineering students participating in the regional Environmental Challenge at the 28th Annual Conference on the Environment in November, in St. Paul, Minn. The UMD students took third place and received a $500 prize. This year’s challenge was to develop a plan for a small Minnesota city to find green engineering solutions to water, wastewater, and solid waste problems. The teams competed on three elements: 1) written solution submitted prior to the conference, 2) table-top presentation at the conference, and 3) formal presentation at the conference. The winning student team consisted of Emily Campion (ChE), Scott Chester (ChE), Matt Johnson (ChE), Joseph Sternberg (CivE), and Nathan Welle (ChE).

Eun-Kyung Suh
, associate professor, Department of Art and Design, had her work included in Textiles: The Art of Mankind by Mary Schoeser, published by Thames & Hudson. Suh's work "100 Floating Fears" (2008) is featured in two full pages with a review in chapter one. The book's juxtaposition of historical and contemporary examples highlights the skill and imagination of textile designers through the centuries as well as the remarkable range of achievements. Schoeser is a textile historian and curator who has advised English Heritage, the National Trust, Liberty of London, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Mark Whitlock, director of Bands and professor, Department of Music, will conduct the UMD Festival Orchestra for the Minnesota Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker Dec. 20–22 at the DECC Symphony Hall.

Special Recognition

Under the direction of Stanley R. Wold, professor, Department of Music, the University Singers (U-Singers) were invited to participate in the statewide conference of the ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) of Minnesota which was held in November. The U-Singers auditioned for ACDA in the spring semester of 2013. The auditioning process required that each choir submit recordings from the choir's repertoire to a panel of judges who evaluated the submissions without knowing the name or origin of the choir. The evaluators then selected those groups they found most impressive. During this year's ACDA trip, U-Singers performed at three high schools along the way in order to recruit prospective students and raise awareness of the accomplished music program that UMD has to offer.

Large Lakes Observatory News

See Next Issue

Medical School-Duluth News

See Next Issue

Minnesota Sea Grant News

See Next Issue

Natural Resources Research Institute News

Lucinda Johnson, interim director, is serving on a panel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board that will review a long-awaited study on water "connectivity" that is expected to inform a pending jurisdiction policy. The EPA and the U.S. Corps of Engineers want to clarify the protection of networked smaller waters that feed into larger ones, to keep downstream water safe from upstream pollutants. This report will also clarify protection of wetlands that filter and trap pollutants, as well as store water to keep communities from flooding.

Gerald Niemi reviewed the book The Boreal Owl: Ecology, Behavior, and Conservation of a Forest-dwelling Predator in the Journal of Wildlife Management, V. 75 (5), p. 1,076, 2013.

Nick Danz, University of Wisconsin-Superior; Peter Reich and Lee Frelich, both from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; and Niemi published "Do vegetation boundaries display smooth or abrupt spatial transitions along environmental gardients? Evidence from the prairie-forest biome boundary of historic Minnesota, USA" in the Journal of Vegetation Science, V. 24 (6), pp. 1,129 - 1,140, 2013.

Office of Civic Engagement

Seth Currier, community program assistant, and six UMD students attended the one-day conference “Developing Civic Leaders” hosted by Minnesota Campus Compact in October. The event helped further the discussion on how individuals and institutions can become civic leaders in their respective fields.

Michelle Hargrave, director, and Erin Zoellick, program/project specialist, attended the 2013 Assessment Institute in Indianapolis in October. The Assessment Institute is the nation’s oldest and largest event focused exclusively on outcomes assessment in higher education. Monica Bruning, associate vice chancellor, Office of Academic Affairs, and Corbin Smyth, associate vice chancellor, Office of Student Life, also attended.

The Office of Civic Engagement hosted a community bus tour and networking hour in November. On the bus tour, staff and faculty stopped at two community organizations to discuss service experiences and opportunities with organization representatives. The group returned to UMD and networked with community organizations to discuss opportunities in community-based learning.

The PAL Project connects UMD students as tutors/mentors in the Duluth Public Schools to help close the academic achievement gap. The PAL Project is a partnership among UMD's Office of Civic Engagement, the Duluth Area Family YMCA, and ISD 709 Duluth Public Schools. In fall 2013, 187 UMD students tutored and mentored youth in the Duluth Public Schools.

Pharmacy Department News

The Halvor Lines blood pressure study led by Keri Hager, assistant professor, was highlighted in the Duluth News Tribune story, "Northland truckers navigate new road to health" on November 3, 2013.

Sarah Schweiss, assistant professor, recently passed the Board Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist (BCACP) exam through the Board of Pharmacy Specialties. Her certification is valid through 2020.

A.L. Pittenger, S. Westberg, M. Rowan, and Schweiss published "An interprofessional diabetes experience to improve pharmacy and nursing students' competency in collaborative practice" in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education 2013 77(9), Article 197.

Mike Swanoski
, assistant professor, presented "Depression in the Geriatric Patient" at the Minnesota Pharmacists Association's Fall Medication Therapy Management (MTM) Symposium held in November in Bloomington, Minn.

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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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