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The next issue of Currents will be emailed out and posted on Tues., Sept. 1, 2015 (Deadline: Wed., Aug. 26, 2015). Send updates and announcements to:

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Campus News

Academic News

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. The next issue is August 31, 2015.

Administration News


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


The Fitger's Brewhouse Summer Daze Concert Craze Continues on KUMD
KUMD is celebrating summertime with The Fitger's Brewhouse Summer Daze Concert Craze – the best chance to win tickets to summer festivals and concerts in the Northland and beyond. Tune in daily to win tickets to KUMD-sponsored events like All Pints North Summer Brew Fest, Porcupine Mountain Music Festival, Twin Ports Bridge Festival, Festival Palomino and more. Winners announced weekly. Visit the KUMD website for more information on each week's giveaways.

Broadcasting Live at the Minnesota State Fair
KUMD will be taking an end-of-summer road trip to the Minnesota State Fair to broadcast Live at the Fair on Thurs., Sept. 3 from 9 am–5 pm with special interviews from fair-goers, musicians, and more. KUMD is joining other AMPERS member stations Live at the Fair. Fair-goers are invited to swing by the booth in the Education Building.


The UMD Stores Summer Sidewalk Sale will be held July 22–26 in Kirby Plaza - directly inside the front doors of the 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., July 31 from 8 am–3pm in the Lower Level Store. July 31 is the only day students can sell and return summer term textbooks.

Shop UMD Stores. Get rewards. Every dollar spent at UMD Stores equals one point. Accumulate 1,000 points and earn a $10 UMD Stores Gift Card. Sign up for UMD Stores Rewards and receive 100 points just for signing up.

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.

For store hours, events, and merchandise visit the UMD Stores website.

Faculty and Staff News

Academic News

UMD faculty, staff, and students participated in the 2015 conference of the Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability, hosted by Bemidji State University, in June. David Beard, associate professor, Department of Writing Studies, presented "Windowstrikes in the Migration Path of UMD Students: Collaboration between Campus and Community on Sustainable Designs," which was co-authored by Darren Houser, assistant professor, Department of Art and Design, and Mindy Granley, director, Office of Sustainability. The conference was also attended by Eleva Potter, environmental education graduate student, advised by Ken Gilbertson, associate professor, Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation.

Jill Doerfler, associate professor and department head of American Indian Studies, published her third book. Those Who Belong: Identity, Family, Blood, and Citizenship among the White Earth Anishinaabeg was recently published by Michigan State University Press in the U.S. and the University of Manitoba Press in Canada. Those Who Belong explores how White Earth Anishinaabeg understood identity and blood quantum in the early twentieth century, how it was employed and manipulated by the U.S. government, how it came to be the sole requirement for tribal citizenship in 1961, and how a contemporary effort for constitutional reform sought a return to citizenship criteria rooted in Anishinaabe kinship, replacing the blood quantum criteria with lineal descent.

Dalibor Froncek, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, presented an invited lecture “Kotzig arrays three generations later” at the 50th Czech-Slovak Graph Theory Conference in Bozi Dar, Czech Republic. The lecture concentrated on results obtained by his graduate and undergraduate students generalizing a method introduced by his ‘scientific grandfather’ Anton Kotzig around the time when the 1st Czech-Slovak Graph Theory Conference was taking place.

Alexandra Luong, associate professor, Department of Psychology, and director, Graduate Studies MAPS Program, had her article, “Hedonic product discounts: When is the price right?” published in Nankai Business Review International. The piece was selected by the journal’s editorial team as the outstanding paper in the 2015 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence.

Alexis Pogorelskin, associate professor, Department of History, has been awarded the first Vera Brittain Fellowship at the Chawton House Library for October 2015. The fellowship is offered in partnership with the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Southampton, Alton, Hampshire, U.K. She is the first scholar to receive a fellowship under the newly established program, the Vera Brittain/ Society of Women Writers and Journalists Fellowship. About 30 scholars within six programs have been invited to the library in 2015–16. Pogorelskin gave a paper at the 17th Annual Conference of the Space Between Society held at Notre Dame University, in June. The paper was titled "At Home in the Alps: Tuberculosis and the Embrace of Viennese Depth Psychology – The Case of Phyllis Bottome." Also, as a board member, she attended an editorial board meeting of the society's journal: The Space Between: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945.

Joellyn Rock, assistant professor, Department of Art & Design, Alison Aune, professor, Department of Art & Design, and Pete Willemsen, associate professor, Department of Computer Science, will travel to Bergen, Norway, in August to present their new collaborative work, FISH.NET.STOCKINGS at the international conference arts festival, ELO 2015 End(s) of Electronic Literature. The Duluth project team also includes Lisa Fitzpatrick, director, UMD Motion and Media Across Disciplines Lab, Logan Sales, computer science graduate student, Justin Anderson, Art & Design undergraduate student, and several other collaborating artists. Activities include installation of the multimedia artwork for exhibit, workshop presentations, exhibition opening performance, and discussions of interdisciplinary collaboration. The Arts Festival features original artworks of diverse media at five venues throughout the city of Bergen during the conference.


Special Recognition

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Large Lakes Observatory News

Robert Sterner, director, led a workshop in summer 2014 in Sydney, Australia, for young scientists interested in chemical elements and how they shape biology. This event, Woodstoich III, brought together talented graduate students and postdocs from around the world to write papers and submit them for publication. Most of the papers were recently published. A brief commentary explaining the workshop and discussing the outcomes may be viewed online

Medical School-Duluth News

Lynne Bemis, biomedical sciences department chair and associate professor, was the keynote speaker at the 13th Annual Disparities in Health In America Workshop at Texas A&M University in Houston, in June. The title of her talk was “Genetic Education for Native Americans."

Bemis was a 2015 Innovations Research Grant award winner. A new Innovations Research Grant Program for investigators at the University of Minnesota Medical School promises to bolster outside-the-box research ideas, originate new technology, and lead to uncommon discovery. Out of 103 applicants, she is funded for “Mechanisms of Vitamin C.” As a means to increase scholarship and give faculty a chance to be imaginative, Dean Brooks Jackson designed the new grant initiative to fund high risk/high reward proposals for which little or no preliminary data currently exists. Each project is scheduled to end within a year. By that time, it is hoped that the investigator will have proof of concept enough to substantiate further investigation and scholarship. Ideally, even attract federal funding to continue the work.

Goran Hellekant, professor, and Teresa Rose-Hellekant, associate professor, had their article, “CALHM1 Detection in Mice Affects Glossophyaryngeal Taste Responses, Food Intake, Body Weight and Life Span” published in Chemical Senses doi:10.1093/chemse/bjv009 (2015).

Kendra Nordgren, assistant professor, has been elected vice-chair of the UMD Commission for Women for the Duluth campus. She has also received a registration scholarship from the UMN Medical School office of Faculty Affairs to attend the AAMC’s Early Career Women Faculty Development Seminar.

Jean Regal, professor, and Jeff Gilbert, assistant professor, had their article “The Complement System and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes,” published in Molecular Immunology, Sept. 2015, Vol. 67, Issue 1 (56-70).

Pat Scott, assistant professor, and Robert Cormier, associate professor, wrote and received an R15 grant for their lab entitled "The Role of KCNQ1 in Colorectal Cancer."  The award is for $450,000 and the grant runs through April 30, 2018. The goal of these studies is to determine the therapeutic potential of KCNQ1 as a prognostic biomarker or therapeutic target in metastatic colorectal cancer.

Ken Wallace, professor, was appointed to a 5-year term on the Scientific and Medical Advisory Board to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF), which is established to promote research and education for the diagnosis, treatment, and cure of mitochondrial disorders and to provide support to affected individuals and families. Such diseases can be inherited through mutations to the maternal genome or acquired through various environmental exposures.

Wallace has been re-appointed as a Medical Expert to the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) and Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP).  Both programs are established by Congress and administered through the Secretary of Health and Human Services. He was also recently appointed as a voting member of the NSF Joint Committee for the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) Publicly Available Standard. This committee is tasked with defining the criteria and protocol for designating GRAS status for direct and indirect food additives in compliance with U.S. FDA regulations.

Kun Zhou, graduate student working with Bemis, had a poster presentation at the recent RNA meeting in Madison, Wis.  The poster is entitled "tRF5-Glu Detection and its Regulation of BCAR3 in Ovarian Caner Cells." His co-authors are Kevin Diebel, assistant professor, Evan Odean, junior scientist, Andy Skildum, assistant professor, Jon Holy, associate professor, and Bemis

Minnesota Sea Grant News

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Natural Resources Research Institute News

Matt Aro, scientist, Brian Brashaw (U.S. Forest Service), Patrick Donahue, program director, and Xiping Wang (U.S. Forest Service), gave a presentation titled "Destructive and Nondestructive Evaluation of Thermally Modified Laminated Strand Lumber and Laminated Veneer Lumber" at the Forest Products Society 69th International Convention held in Atlanta, in June.

Aro, Donahue and Randy Schwartzhoff (Wisconsin Business Innovation Corporation) gave a presentation titled "New Developments in the Utilization of Thermally-Modified Engineered Wood and Solid Wood for Fenestration Applications" at the 2015 Window and Door Manufacturers Association Technical and Manufacturing Conference held in Minneapolis, in June.

Valerie Brady, research associate, Josh Dumke, research fellow, Bob Hell, principal lab technician and Jeremy Erickson, research fellow, led a Great Lakes coastal wetland sampling team to Green Bay at the end of June. This is part of an effort funded by the US EPA Great Lakes National Program Office to assess the condition of all Great Lakes coastal wetlands in five years and involves research field teams from Duluth to Brockport, New York, and Toronto, Canada. The NRRI crew expects to sample 25 wetlands this year for fish, wetland vegetation, and water quality, and 45 wetlands for birds and amphibians.

Janet Silbernagel (University of Wisconsin-Madison), George Host, senior research associate, Cindy Hagley, environmental quality extension educator, Minnesota Sea Grant, David Hart (Wisconsin Sea Grant), Rich Axler, senior research associate, Rosanne Fortner (Ohio State University), Matthew Axler (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Vincent Smith (Southern Oregon University), A. Drewes (Leech Lake Tribal College), William Bartsch (U.S. EPA Mid-Continent Division), Nick Danz (University of Wisconsin Superior), J. Mathews (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Mark Wagler (University of Wisconsin-Madison), published an article titled "Linking place-based science to people through spatial narratives of coastal stewardship" in the Journal of Coastal Conservation Planning and Management, V. 19, No. 2, pp. 181-198, April 2015.

Lucinda Johnson, center director, presented research co-authored by Mei Cai, research associate, J.D. Allan (University of Michigan), Nick Danz (University of Wisconsin Superior) and D. Uzarski (Central Michigan University) on "Use and interpretation of human disturbance gradients for condition assessments in Great Lakes coastal ecosystems" at the 9th International Association for Landscape Ecology World Congress in Portland, Ore., in July.

Gerald Niemi, senior research associate and professor, Department of Biology, is serving on a panel of six experts established by the Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Agency (AEMERA) and Environmental Canada to conduct an external peer review to evaluate the extent to which the implementation of the Joint Canada-Alberta Oil Sands Monitoring (JOSM) has improved the scientific integrity of environmental monitoring in the oil sands since the launch of JOSM in 2012.

Jennifer Olker, senior research associate, presented research co-authored by Johnson, W. Carter Johnson (So. Dakota State) and Glenn Guntenspergen (U.S. Geological Survey) on "Evaluating Wetland Connectivity in the Prairie Pothole Region under Climate Change Scenarios" at the 9th International Association for Landscape Ecology World Congress in Portland, Ore., in July.

Joel Ralston (University of Massachusetts), David King (US Forest Service, Amherst), William DeLuca University of Massachusetts), Niemi, Michale Glennon (Wildlife Conservation Society), Judith Scari Vermont Center for Ecostudies) and J. Daniel Lambert (High Branch Conservation Services) published a paper titled "Analysis of combined data sets yields trend estimates for vulnerable spruce-fir birds in northern United States" in Biological Conservation, Vol. 187, pp. 270-278, July 2015.

Pharmacy Department News

Ben Aronson, Social & Administrative graduate student, was awarded a Health Services Research Dissertation Fellowship from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) for his project “Understanding Diabetes Self-Management Behaviors Among Indigenous Adults.”

K. K. Fierke, assistant professor, M. K. Speedie, L. J. Anderson, and J. A. Varin, had their article, “Board of advisors’ influence in a highly ranked college of pharmacy,” published in Currents in Pharmacy Teaching & Learning 2015;7(4).

The following were presented at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Annual Meeting held in National Harbor, Md., in July: Keri Hager, assistant professor, D. Uden, and D. Tomaszewski, had their article, “Bridging the location gap: physician perspectives of physician – pharmacist collaboration in patient care (BRIDGE Phase II)” published in the Journal of Research Interprofessional Practice and Education 2015;5(2).

Olihe Okoro, assistant professor, received a $7,000 Multicultural Research Award from the Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy for her project, “Patient-Satisfaction with Health Care: Experiences and Perceptions of Low-Income African American Women.”

Laura Palombi, assistant professor, was awarded a $4,000 Clinical and Translational Science Institute Dissemination and Implementation Grant for her project, “Carlton County Community Forum Addressing Heroin and Opioid Abuse.”

Mark Schneiderhan, associate professor, Marcia Gurno (St. Louis County Public Health & Human Services), Lt. Jeffrey Kazel (Duluth Police Department), and Gary Olson (Center for Alcohol & Drug Treatment) presented "What Sustains Community Collaboration in Facing an Opioid Epidemic?" at the 2015 Minnesota Public Health Association Annual Conference held in Duluth, Minn., in May.

Megan Undeberg, assistant professor, presented "Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Women Heart" at the AHC Mini Medical School held on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus in March.

Undeberg and Dawn Carlson, assistant professor, presented "Medication and Pain Management in Rural Health Patients" at the 2015 Minnesota Rural Health Conference: Partnerships in Progress held in Duluth, Minn., in June.


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Event Publicity

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