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The next issue of Currents will be emailed out and posted on Tues., Feb. 3, 2015 (Deadline: Wed., Jan. 28, 2015). Send updates and announcements to:

Click here for a complete list of issue deadlines for 2014-15.

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


UMD d-Commons is a new and growing initiative by UMD, through the Kathryn A. Martin Library, that digitizes, curates, and shares the intellectual output of faculty, staff, and students in a singular, easy -to-access platform. UMD community members interested in publishing or depositing publications and/or research data in d-Commons should contact Shixing Wen, via email, phone 218-726-8498, or visit the d-Commons homepage for more information.

There are many advantages of publishing or depositing content in UMD d-Commons. First, using a centralized institutional repository removes the burden of web curation and maintenance from individuals and departments. ITSS provides backup, storage, and uptime for all items in the repository. Second, items stored in institutional repositories such as d-Commons are given higher page ranks in Google Scholar searches, which can lead to more citations of research findings and increase research impact worldwide. Moreover, all d-Commons resources have their own persistent URL addresses to ensure perpetual access. The Kathryn A. Martin Library took part in Open Access Week, a global event in October. On this occasion, the Library widely shared collections and services available through UMD d-Commons to support Open Access efforts on campus.


Effective Mon., Dec. 1, the Room 241 Darland Facilities Management office began closing for business at 4 pm (Monday–Friday). At 4 pm, the 218-726-8262 "trouble line" is forwarded to voicemail. Beginning at 4 pm, custodial staff respond on the 218-726-8147 "after hours" line.


All U of M faculty members, professional and administrative, and civil service retirees are eligible to apply for the 2015-16 Professional Development Grants for Retirees. The application deadline is Wed., Dec. 10.

Grants may be for a scholarly project or a new creative interest that a retiree wishes to pursue and that would be assisted with a small grant (up to $5,000). Eligible expenses include travel and per diem costs related to research trips and conference participation, stipends for undergraduate and/or graduate students, photocopying, the purchase of books, computer, software and other relevant costs. Ineligible expenses include salary for the applicant and institutional overhead charges. The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) has agreed to fund the cost of undergraduate assistants who work with grantees.

Details for submitting proposals are available online. For more information, contact Jan Hogan, committee chair.


Answers and research services are now closer than ever for UMD students, thanks to a new Moodle Library Widget that was just recently made available. This new tool links online courses to catalog search, Ask Us! reference services, and access to over 200-plus library guides. Faculty interested in integrating this tool in their online course materials should contact the Reference desk for more information at 218-726-8161.

Administration News


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


Caring & Sharing
For the month of December, KUMD brings listeners Caring & Sharing, a special series of interviews with local non-profit organizations making a difference in the Northland. Hear about the various ways people are getting involved all year long and how to help during the holiday season. Listen to "Northland Morning" on 103.3FM, Tuesday and Thursday at 8 am, all month long.

Best of "Live From Studio A"
On New Years Day 2015, KUMD will be looking back at all of the artists they had in their studio the year before and will bring listeners the “best of the best” from 2014. Visit the "Live from Studio A" archives.


UMD Stores has opened a temporary seasonal location at 201 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 storefronts, in an effort to revitalize the downtown. The downtown Duluth UMD Stores shop will be open 10 am–6 pm Monday–Saturday.

The annual UMD Stores Holiday Sale will be held Dec. 3–9. UMD Wear & Gifts, Art Supplies and General Books will be 25% off. Products will be available in the Street and Lower Level stores and Downtown Duluth location (201 W. Superior Street).

Gift Wrap for Charity: UMD's Gamma Sigma Sigma will wrap gifts during the month of December. Members will sit in the Kirby Bus Hub (directly outside the main Street Level door) Dec. 8­–19 wrapping UMD Stores purchases.

Textbook Buyback will be held the following days in Express:
Fri., Dec. 12: 8:30 am–4 pm
Mon., Dec. 15: 8:30 am–5 pm
Tues., Dec. 16: 8:30 am–5 pm
Wed., Dec. 17: 8:30 am–5 pm
Thurs., Dec. 18: 8:30 am–5 pm
Fri., Dec. 19: 8:30 am–4 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. 

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

Gloria DeFilipps Brush, professor, Department of Art and Design, has a photograph in the PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, Vt., exhibition, “The Traces Left Behind: Evidence of Humanity,” from Dec. 17–Jan. 16, 2015. The work will also be in the online gallery and in the book produced for the exhibition. Matthew Christopher, author of the monograph Abandoned America: The Age of Consequences, selected Brush’s work from over 1,400 images considered. Her work was also in the 2014 Duluth Art Institute Benefit Auction in October at the Kitchi Gammi Club, Duluth.

Cindy Christian, program director, Alworth Institute, and Gesa Zinn, associate professor and department head, Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, presented a paper entitled "Injustice and Incompetence on American Campuses: Administrators Look on As Workplace Bullying Explodes. No End in Sight?" at the National Women's Studies Association Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in November.

Sylwia Cichacz-Przenioslo, assistant professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, presented a conference talk, "Union of distance magic graphs," at AMS Special Session on Graphs and Hypergraphs, held at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Richard Davis, professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, and David Englund, program director, NRRI, published a paper titled "CFD model of a straight-grate furnace for iron oxide pellet induration" in the journal Minerals & Metallurgical Processing, Vol. 31, No. 4, pp. 200-208.

Denny Falk, professor, Department of Social Work, and faculty fellow for Internationalization, and Bill Payne, dean, School of Fine Arts, presented “Educating Globally Competent Citizens" at the 2014 Global Challenges Institute at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. This two-day institute was sponsored by the American Associated of State Colleges and Universities and was attended by over 50 faculty members from across the United States.

Dalibor Froncek, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, presented a talk, "Decompositions of complete bipartite graphs into prisms," at Department of Mathematical Sciences Combinatorics Seminar at Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Mich.

Joe Gallian, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, gave a 50-minute invited address at the Midwest Conference on Combinatorics, Cryptography and Computing held at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, in October.

Mindy Granley, director, Office of Sustainability, and UMD student Hannah Farmer, presented “We’re Gonna Get Hydrated! Shrinking Bottle Water Use (Without a Ban),” at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education 2014 Conference in Portland, Ore. in October. Bryan French, sustainability programs coordinator, Office of Sustainability, presented “Building a Living Learning Community: Big Problems and Big Success” at the same conference. Also in attendance were UMD students Olivia Dehler, Kate Strassman, Cody Torgerson, and Alexis Weaver. A summary of the trip is available at the blog post here.

Vicki L. Hansen, professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, has been awarded a 2015 Gledden Visiting Fellowship with Professor Myra Keep, School of Earth and Environment at The University of Western Australia. Past PhD student Dr. Jonathan Dyess and his advisor, Hansen, published: “Application of LiDAR to resolving tectonic and glacial fabrics in glaciated terrain: An example from an Archean granite-greenstone belt, NE Minnesota” in Geosphere, 2014, v. 10, p. 987-997. Dyess completed his PhD under the guidance of Hansen in Sept. 2014.

Dahui Li, professor, Department of Finance and Management Information Sciences, and his coauthors, Haichao Zheng, Zongxiao Xie, and Wenhua Hou, had their article, “Antecedents of Solution Quality in Crowdsourcing: The Sponsor’s Perspective” published in the Journal of Electronic Commerce Research.

Susan Maher, dean, College of Liberal Arts, has been elected co-president of the Western Literature Association for 2017. With co-president Dr. Florence Amamoto, Gustavus Adolphus College, she will lead the organization and preside over the 2017 annual conference to be held in Minneapolis. The Western Literature Association focuses on the literature, culture, and history of the North American West, west of the Mississippi River. The conference was last held in the Twin Cities over 30 years ago.

Christopher R. McIntosh, associate professor, Department of Economics, had his article, “Preference Reversals: Experimental Review and a New Idea for Using Arbitrage within the Double Bound Dichotomous Choice Elicitation Method,” published in the spring 2014 issue of Western Economics Forum.

Ryuta Nakajima, associate professor, Department of Art and Design, has a solo exhibition titled "Just like You and I" at Park National Bank Art Gallery, UC Clermont College, Batavia, Ohio. The exhibition runs through Dec. 17. Nakajima conducted a Skype talk with UC Claremont in conjunction with the exhibit. Nakajima's work Angry Squid was exhibited in November at Prøve Collective, Duluth, as a part of "Plys with Purpose," a skateboard art show and auction. The Carlton County Skatepark Association, Damage Boardshop, and Prøve Collective organized and hosted this skateboarding-inspired event, which served as a fundraiser to help build a new concrete skatepark in Cloquet, Minn. Nakajima has his work featured in a new publication, "Pickled Matter: New Faces of Contemporary Art," edited by Eiketsu Baba. Other artists in the publication are Melanie Bonajo, Ernest Concepcion, Sara-Vide Ericson, Jim Gaylord, Joshua Hagler, Kuo I-Chen, Keiko Kamata, Gemis Luciani, Luo Jr-shin, Max Razdow, The Friendly Falcons, and Charwei Tsai.

Gibson Nene, assistant professor, Department of Economics, and his coauthors, Azzeddine Azzam and Karina Schoengold, had their article, “Hog Structure and the Stringency of Environmental Regulation,” published in the fall 2014 issue of Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Ted Pedersen, professor, Department of Computer Science, co-authored a paper presented at the Annual Symposium of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), which took place in Washington, D.C., in November. The title of the paper is "U-path: An undirected path-based measure of semantic similarity." One of his co-authors is UMD alumna Bridget McInnes, who is now an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. The other co-authors include Genevieve Melton, University of Minnesota Medical School, Serguei Pakhomov, University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, and Ying Liu, The Advisory Board Company.

Roger W. Reinsch, professor, Department of Accounting, and Sonia M. Goltz, summer adjunct professor, Master of Business Administration program, had their article, “You Can’t Get There From Here: Implications of the Walmart v. Dukes Decision for Addressing Second-Generation Discrimination,” published in the fall 2014 issue of Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy, Volume 9(2), Article 3.

Gesa Zinn, associate professor and department head, Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and
Cindy Christian, program director, Alworth Institute, presented a paper entitled "Injustice and Incompetence on American Campuses: Administrators Look on As Workplace Bullying Explodes. No End in Sight?" at the National Women's Studies Association Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in November.  

Special Recognition

Two UMD students received 2014 MHTA Foundation STEM scholarship. The MHTA Foundation promotes the development of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) competency in students that will enable them to thrive in and support the global competitiveness of Minnesota’s technology-based economy.

Hillary Heiling will graduate in May 2016 with a double major in statistics and biochemistry. She is an IBM Watson Scholar and has received three awards for being number one in her classes: The C.R.C. Freshman Award for Excellence in General Chemistry, the Grace C. Peterson Calculus Achievement Award, and Achievement in Organic (POLYED) Award. She volunteers as a math tutor on campus and has received the highest tutoring certification available by the International Tutor Training Program. Hillary also participates in undergraduate research. She recently received funding for an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program project, where she gathered heat of binding data for calcium-ion dependent membrane binding proteins using isothermal titration calorimetry and used mathematics and statistics to determine the binding parameters of the proteins. She plans to go on to graduate school for a Ph.D. in biostatistics after she graduates.

Mathew Kayser will graduate in May 2014 with a double major in chemistry and biochemistry and molecular biology. He was the recipient of the James H. Maguire Scholarship and the James C. Nichol Scholarship during the 2013-2014 academic school year. He worked as an undergraduate researcher during the summer of 2014. As a Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) researcher, under the direction of Professor Viktor Nemykin, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mathew synthesized and characterized a component of a dye to be used in an organic solar cell. He received UROP funding for the fall of 2014 to continue his work with organic solar cell dye synthesis. He plans to pursue an MD/PhD at the University of Minnesota.

Large Lakes Observatory News

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Medical School-Duluth News

Alan Johns, interim dean, is the representative to UMD on an Ebola Task Force.

Emily Onello, assistant professor, and Melissa Walls, associate professor, had their article, “Collaborating with Indigenous Communities: Considering culture for promoting health,” published in the November issue of Minnesota Physician.

Jacob Prunuske, assistant professor, had his research article, "Opioid prescribing patterns for non-malignant chronic pain for rural versus non-rural US adults: a population-based study using 2010 NAMCS data," published in BMC Health Services Research in November.

Minnesota Sea Grant News

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Natural Resources Research Institute News

Matt Aro, scientist, and Pat Donahue, program director, conducted an online webinar titled "Thermally-Modified Wood/Timber: Technology and market Overview" for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in October. Aro gave an invited lecture titled "Static Bending Tests of Thermally-Modified Laminated Strand Lumber and Laminated Veneer Lumber” at UMD's Dept. of Civil Engineering’s Design of Wood, Masonry, and Cold-formed Steel Structures class in October. He also gave an invited lecture titled "Thermal Modification of Engineered Wood Materials” at UMD's Dept. of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering this fall.

Richard Axler, senior research associate, gave a presentation titled "Weather, Water & People: Animating Water Quality Data to Protect Lake Superior Basin Waters" at the Water Resources Science Interdisciplinary Seminar held at UMD in November. Axler provided input on behalf of the science sector at a public workshop titled  “Success Stories: Lake Superior Ojibwe (Anishinaabeg) Protecting and Restoring the Lake Superior Basin" at the Lake Superior Binational Forum to help inform management efforts and inform the public at its meeting Nov 14-15, 2015 in Red Cliff, Wisc. The Lake Superior Binational Forum was organized in 1991 as a way to include and engage volunteers from federal, state, provincial and First Nations governments in the United States and Canada in the conversation about land stewardship in the Lake Superior Basin.

David Englund, program director, and Richard Davis, professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, published a paper titled "CFD model of a straight-grate furnace for iron oxide pellet induration" in the journal Minerals & Metallurgical Processing, Vol. 31, No. 4, pp. 200-208.

Aberra Mogessie and Zsolt Benko (both of the University of Graz, Austria), Feri Molnár (Geological Survey of Finland), Steven Hauck, program director, Minerals Division, Mark Severson (Teck American), and Sara Raic (University of Graz, Austria) presented a talk titled "Role of magma and fluid flow processes in distribution of copper, nickel and PGE in the Duluth Complex, Minnesota" at the 21st General Meeting of the International Mineralogical Association at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, in September.

Ryan Hueffmeier, junior scientist, staffed an information booth about NRRI's sustainability efforts at the UMD Sustainability Fair in November.

Richard Kiesel, director of NRRI minerals lab in Coleraine, presented a talk titled "The Future of Iron Ore Pellets in the United States" at the Engineers' Club of Northern Minnesota, held in Hibbing, Minn., in November.

Gerald Niemi, senior research associate, gave an invited talk titled "Where have all the birds gone?" at the Cable Natural History Museum in Cable, Wisc., in November.

NRRI staff made the following poster presentations at the American Ornithologists Union Annual Conference, held in Estes Park, Colo., in September:
Niemi, Anna Peterson, research associate, Josh Bednar, graduate research assistant, Terry Brown, research associate, and Edmund Zlonis, assistant scientist: "An alternative design to sample breeding birds for a state atlas."
Zlonis, Bednar, Hannah Panci, assistant scientist, and Niemi: "Habitat associations of boreal birds breeding in lowland conifer forests."

Jennifer Olker, research associate, was one of 35 recent doctoral graduates invited to participate in a global symposium on aquatic ecology. The week-long Ecological Dissertations in Aquatic Sciences (Eco-DAS) symposium was held at the University of Hawaii, Manoa campus, in October. The symposium brings together aquatic scientists from the spectrum of disciplines to collaborate and find opportunities for interdisciplinary research. Each participant gave a presentation of their current research and offered proposals for collaboration. Olker was one of a very few in the group whose focus was on inland wetlands and contaminants. The group identified 14 major issues in aquatic ecology that they felt could be addressed by the group.

Euan Reavie, senior research associate, Lisa Allinger, research fellow, Holly Wellard Kelly, principal laboratory technician, Bob Hell, principal laboratory technician, Megan Aliff, graduate research assistant, Hueffmeier, and June Kallestad, public relations manager, staffed an educational outreach booth at Michigan Technological University's Mind Trekker event held in October in Virginia, Minn. Mind Trekkers is an event for K-12 students and their families to encourage excitement about the STEM sciences.

NRRI’s Great Lakes Worm Watch was featured in and

Pharmacy Department News

Grant Anderson, associate professor, gave two seminars in the month of October describing his research on "Thyroid Hormone and Brain Development." The first was for the Chemistry Department Seminar Series at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn., and the second was for the Endocrinology City-wide Seminar Series at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

Keri Hager, assistant professor, has been appointed to one-year terms on the American College of Clinical Pharmacy's (ACCP) Advocacy Committee, which responsible for disseminating information to members about legislative efforts, opportunities, and news, and on the Membership Committee, which is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to increase Practice and Research Network membership and retain current members.

Mark E. Schneiderhan, associate professor, S. Shuster, and C. S. Davey had their article, “12-month prospective randomized study of pharmacists utilizing point-of-care screenings for metabolic syndrome and related conditions in subjects prescribed antipsychotics,” published in Primary Care Companion for CNS Disorders 2014;16(5).

Sarah Schweiss, assistant professor, presented "Hypoglycemia & Diabetes: An Overview of New Evidence & Recommendations" at CentraCare Health System's Annual Diabetes Conference in St. Cloud, Minn. in November.

Schweiss has been appointed to a one-year term on the American College of Clinical Pharmacy's (ACCP) Networking Committee, which is responsible for organizing the Ambulatory Care Practice and Research Network networking functions at annual and spring forum meetings including logistics and programming that fosters interaction among members.

Randy Seifert, senior associate dean and professor, was invited by Shenyang Pharmaceutical University to give a plenary lecture on Clinical Pharmacy Education and Practice at the International Symposium on Pharmacy Education held in November in Shenyang, China. Also, while in China, Seifert presented "Measuring the Value of Medication Therapy Management" at Peking University Third Hospital in Beijing.

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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 218-726-7111 or e-mail

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