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The next issue of Currents will be emailed out and posted on Tues., Oct. 6, 2015 (Deadline: Wed., Sept. 30, 2015). Send updates and announcements to:

Click here for a complete list of issue deadlines for 2015–16.

View past issues of Currents.

Please note that Currents no longer includes events. Events, which are open to the public, need to be listed on the UMD Events Calendar.

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Campus News

Academic 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 Services, 209 DAdB. Questions regarding transportation arrangements, reimbursement requirements, and this procedure should be directed to Greg Sather, UMD Business Services, 218-726-6137 or email


The Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) has officially changed its name to the Department of Applied Human Sciences (AHS) as of July 1, 2015.  The department is located in UMD's College of Education and Human Service Professions.

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.

A formal university unit, International Programs and Services (IPS), was launched on Sept. 1. In addition, the International Education Office has changed its name to Study Abroad. The IPS unit represents select campus internationalization activities that support the University’s strategic plan for internationalization. Current services and activities are:

The IPS email address is: The web address is: The Study Abroad e-mail address is: The web address has changed to: The Study Abroad office will continue to operate in its current structure and contacts will remain the same. For more information visit the websites or contact Leigh Neys, director, International Programs and Services, at 218-726-7053 or email

Administration News


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


KUMD 103.3 FM will make its Minnesota State Fair debut on Thursday, Sept. 3, broadcasting live from 9 am to 5 pm, in the Education Building, along Snelling Avenue and Cosgrove Street. KUMD’s “Made in Duluth” themed booth will be open until 9 pm.

The live broadcast brings a taste of the Fair to the KUMD listeners in the Northland and worldwide online, by featuring upcoming Fair events and topics from farming to food and music. Interviews will highlight some of the longtime Fair exhibits such as the Future Farmers of America, Eco Experience, and the State Fair History and Heritage Center. KUMD will also bring in performers like the Chmielewski Funtime Band, the Tango Society of Minnesota, and indie folk singer-songwriter Haley Bonar.

KUMD’s “Made in Duluth” booth will feature gifts and information from KUMD and its State Fair community partners, including Duluth Grill, The Electric Fetus, Pizza Luce, Great Lakes Aquarium, Fitger's Inn, Loll Designs, and Frost River.

Celebrating its State Fair debut, KUMD will run an on-air “Duluth Radio Roadtrip” giveaway through Wednesday, Sept. 2, by giving away a Frost River Woodsman Pack, Loll Designs Adirondack Chair, and a “Duluth Getaway” including a one-night stay at Fitger's Inn and a gift card to Duluth Grill.

KUMD’s presence at the Fair is made possible by AMPERS (Association of Minnesota Public Educational Radio Stations), the nation’s largest state association of community radio stations. KUMD will be one of nine AMPERS' stations broadcasting live from the Fair. This will also be AMPERS' inaugural appearance at the Fair.


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 purchase what they need for fall semester at UMD.

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.

Touchdown Tuesday
 returns in September. Every Tuesday after a home football game, save 5% for each Bulldog touchdown, up to 30% off, one regular-price UMD Wear or Gift Item. Touchdown Tuesday will be held Sept. 15 and 29.

EXPRESS Store events for September include the annual "Brighter UMD Energy Event," Sept. 8–18, where customers can purchase energy-efficient lamps and light bulbs and the "Plant Sale" Sept. 21–Oct. 6. Over 100 plants, perfect for office or home, will be available for purchase.

All staff and faculty are invited to an Open House in the Lower Level store on Thurs., Oct. 1. Explore the store, visit, enjoy refreshments, and receive store coupons.

For store hours, 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, had photographs in the D-Art Gallery for IV2015 19th International Conference on Information Visualization and the 12th International Conference on Computer Graphics, Imaging and Visualization, both at the University of Barcelona in Spain in July. The images were uploaded for the conferences and remain on the London server for a year. The D-Art reviewing committee included digital arts professionals from the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.

Runa Das, associate professor, Department of Political Science, published an article, "The Rise of a 'Masculine' Nuclear India" in Business Line, one of India's leading newspapers. Her recent book, Revisiting Nuclear India: Strategic Culture and (In)Security Imaginary, Sage Publications 2015, prompted the article.

Douglas Dunham, professor, Department of Computer Science, gave talks at three conferences this summer.
The first paper, "Patterns on Triply Periodic Polyhedra," was presented at the joint 2015 International Meeting of the American Mathematical Society, the European Mathematical Society, and the Sociedade Portugusa de Matematica. The second paper with John Shier, "Fractal Wallpaper Patterns," was presented at the Bridges 2015 Conference, Baltimore, Md., in July and appears in the conference proceedings. The third paper, "Artistic Patterns on Triply Periodic Polyhedra," was presented at MathFest 2015, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Mathematical Association of America, Washington, D.C., in August. In addition, three mathematical models designed by Dunham: "The {3,12} Polyhedron Decorated with a Fractal Circle Pattern," "Angels and Devils on a {4,5} Polyhedron," and "Butterflies on a {3,8} Polyhedron" were selected for display at the Bridges Art Exhibit. The first two of those models were also selected for display at the "Connections Between Mathematics and Art (Juried Exhibition)" at Towson University Center for the Arts, June 27– July 25, and at the Art Exhibit at MathFest.

Elias Mokole, instructor, Department of Music, was invited to present at the e-Learning Summit, held this past July. The e-Learning Summit is a gathering place for K-12, college, and university educators and innovators in the Midwest who are committed to effective online and blended learning. His presentation, "Devices in the Classroom - An Aid, Not a Hindrance to Learning," is available online. As a part of his U of M Imagine Fund Award, Mokole visited Paris this summer to continue work on a cross-collaborative project entitled Jardins de Paris (Parks of Paris). This project is a creative collaborative experience connecting educators, creative professionals and students from music, art and design, history, foreign languages, and the sciences. He further researched parks as well as conducted copyright research by studying the only existing score of the original work at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. He will premiere selections from Jardins de Paris, featuring UMD music faculty instrumentalists including Department Chair bassoonist Jefferson Campbell, along with a short film created by Omaha-based artist, Paula Wallace. This French-themed recital will be offered Oct. 2 at Weber Music Hall. Also in October, Mokole will perform in Lyric Opera of the North's production of The Barber of Seville and, in December he will appear as soloist with the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra in Handel's Messiah.

Robin Murphy, assistant professor, Department of Art and Design, has a ceramic sculpture in the MacRostie Art Center, Grand Rapids, Minn., exhibition "What's Left", from Sept. 4– 26.  "What's Left” is a traveling exhibition with the goal of reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide and raising awareness about mental health.

Jeanine Schroer, assistant professor, Department of Philosophy, was the recipient of a 2015 Institute on Diversity, Equity and Advocacy, IDEA, Multicultural Research Award for the proposal "The Stereotype Project." IDEA invites proposals for research that addresses issues related to its mission “to transform the University by enhancing the visibility and advancing the productivity of an interdisciplinary group of faculty and community scholars whose expertise in equity, diversity, and underrepresented populations will lead to innovative scholarship and teaching that addresses urgent social issues.” 


Special Recognition

Presented by the Center for Economic Development (CED), the 23nd annual Upper Midwest Basic Economic Development Course brought 22 economic development professionals from Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Iowa to Duluth to attend this week-long course at the Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE) in July. The course is accredited through the International Economic Development Council. Sessions were given by experts, and participants toured Frost River, Epicurean Cutting Surfaces, Lincoln Park Apartments, Heritage Center, the Duluth harbor, and Glensheen.

CED presented the UMD Teen Enterprise at LSBE in August. This week-long camp is designed to help high school teens learn what it takes to start a business. The program included information sessions, business tours, talks with entrepreneurs, and projects and activities that help young people develop skills and knowledge. The program included touring Frost River, Lake Superior Art Glass, Art in the Ally, and other businesses as well as learning how to present effectively. Students also talked with banker Dale Lewis from Park State Bank about financial concepts for starting a business. At the end of the week, the students presented their business plans and then capped off the camp with a harbor cruise.

UMD’s Tau Delta chapter of Mortar Board received the 2015 Gold Torch Award. This honor is presented annually to the most exceptional chapters of the Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society for excellence in promoting scholarship, leadership, and meaningful service to their institutions. This year, 36 out of Mortar Board’s 231 nationwide chapters received this distinction. The award was presented to chapter delegates at the Society’s annual national conference, held in Phoenix in August. Ryan Goei, associate professor, Department of Communication, is the UMD chapter advisor.

Large Lakes Observatory News

Sergei Katsev, associate professor, Large Lakes Observatory, and his colleague, Sean A. Crowe, whose article, "Organic Carbon burial Efficiencies in Sediments: The Power Law of Mineralization Revisited," was published May 2015 in Geology, will have this same article highlighted in an upcoming issue of EARTH Magazine.

Medical School-Duluth News

See Next Issue

Minnesota Sea Grant News

John Bilotta, associate extension professor, led two NEMO-on-the-water workshops this summer: one on the St. Croix and one on Lake Minnetonka. These workshops focused on bringing elected and appointed officials and community leaders out on the water to build their knowledge and provide skills that will assist them in making informed decisions and taking actions for community planning and water resource protection and restoration. Approximately 200 leaders participated in these two interactive, hands-on learning experiences. These are examples of how Minnesota Sea Grant infiltrates into inland waters throughout the state of Minnesota.

Megan Bock, front office specialist, Dee Angradi, publications assistant, and Chris Benson, graphic designer, web developer and photographer, have been crafting various Sea Grant publications throughout the summer.

Cynthia Hagley, environmental quality extension educator, co-presented with Eleanor Burkett from the University of Minnesota Extension at the Watersheds Conference at Sugar Lake Lodge in Grand Rapids, Minn., in July. Hagley led an hour and a half session titled “Keeping Our Lake and Streams Clean: A Watershed Approach Using the Watershed Game.”

Doug Jensen, extension educator and AIS program coordinator, spoke and hosted a booth at the DNR’s AIS Regional County aquatic invasive species (AIS) Workshop, in Little Falls, Minn., in June.

Jensen and Marte Kitson, AIS extension educator, hosted an AIS training session for Sea Grant AIS program undergraduate student interns and partners, in Duluth, Minn., in June.

Kitson spoke and hosted a booth at the DNR’s AIS Regional County AIS Workshop, in Duluth, Minn., in June. She gave a presentation at a U.S. Forest Service Ranger Orientation, in Isabella, Minn., in June. She also gave a presentation, Preventing the Spread of AIS: Who, How, and What Now?, at the Aerie Lake Association Annual Meeting, in Alborn, Minn., in June. She gave an AIS presentation at the Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials Workshop, at Lake Minnetonka, Minn., in July.

Sharon Moen, communications coordinator, finished editing both the Wild Rice Field Monitoring Guide and the Wild Rice Monitoring Handbook. These two publications are available online.

Brent Schleck, coastal storms outreach coordinator, wrote a feature story highlighting Great Lakes work for Rip Current Preparedness Week in June, published on National Sea Grant program website. A National Sea Grant program spotlight article also featured him during Rip Current Preparedness Week.

Schleck attended a NOAA meeting in Alpena, Mich., in June, to connect with and present GLRI and NOAA Coastal Storms Program information to NOAA Great Lakes staff; Michigan Coastal Program staff; and other federal, academic, and non-profit partners in the area. He published a snapshot document showing currently available, climate change-related funding opportunities through the Nature Conservancy's website, in July. He also provided a presentation titled "Great Lakes Coastal Storms Program," which provided an overview of 17 ongoing NOAA Coastal Storms Program projects in the Great Lakes region. Approximately 35 in-person in Silver Spring, Md., and 30 attended via webinar in August.

Jesse Schomberg, interim co-director, coastal communities and land use planning extension educator, has been involved in rip current research this summer and is just one signature away from getting coast guard approval to conduct further research on Lake Superior. He presented a webinar for University of Wisconsin Extension's webinar series "Sustainable Strategies-Webinar for Wisconsin’s Municipal Professionals" on the topic of rural road ditch maintenance.

Hilarie Sorensen spoke about climate change in Minnesota for the St. Louis County Master Gardeners monthly meeting on August 6th. She also participated in a walking tour of Duluth's storm water infrastructure and spoke about climate change for a group of journalists learning about climate change and journalism.

Peter Thibault, fiscal officer, received a grant to cover expenses for the upcoming symposium to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Minnesota Sea Grant.

Nick Wahl, AIS undergraduate student intern, hosted a Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!/Habitattitude booth during the Park Point Garage Sale, Duluth, Minn., in June. He also hosted the booth during the Aitkin County Rivers and Lakes Fair, in Aitkin, Minn., in June.

Minnesota Sea Grant featured Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! and Habitattitude! during the 6th Annual Let’s Take a Kid Fishing on Lake Vermilion, at Lake Vermilion in Tower, Minn., in July. Kids were the winners as 70 fishing guides and boat operators took 102 underserved kids out for a beautiful afternoon of fishing on Lake Vermilion. During the morning breakfast for guides, operators, and sponsors, Jensen spoke about the importance of professional anglers and boat operators taking action, it’s everyones responsibility, and about taking the opportunity to reinforce prevention messages to youth while they are fishing.  Throughout the day, Jensen and May Yang, AIS undergraduate intern, were on hand to answer questions about AIS at the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!-Habitattitude booth.

Wahl and Yang, co-hosted a Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! booth at Ely’s Blueberry Festival, Ely, Minn., in July. Staff from the White Iron Chain of Lakes Association, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 1854 Treaty Authority, Lake County, Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District, North St. Louis County Soil and Water Conservation District, Burntside Lake Association, and interns from Vermilion Community College were also on-hand to answer questions about AIS. Eighty visitors learned about how to prevent the spread of harmful AIS into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Jensen, Kitson, Wahl, and Yang attended the Minnesota Invasive Species Advisory Committee Meeting, in Shoreview, Minn., in July. Jensen and Kitson provided an update related to GLRI funded projects. Wahl and Yang gave an overview of their undergraduate student research projects.

A Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! and Habitattitude  booth was featured at the Two Harbors Heritage Days, Two Harbors, Minn., in July. Co-hosted by Minnesota Sea Grant, representatives from the Minnesota DNR Watercraft Inspection Program and Law Enforcement, and UMD Biology were on hand to answer questions.

Minnesota Sea Grant, MN Department of Natural Resources Watercraft Inspection Program, and 1854 Treaty Authority co-hosted a Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! and Habitattitude! booth during Lake Superior Days, in Duluth, Minn., in July. Nearly 700 visitors learned about aquatic invasive species by viewing displays, engaging in conversation and picking up free education resources. Games for kids, drawings for giveaways, and music by Gerry Ouellete provided a festive atmosphere. Activities were also held in Superior, Gooseberry State Park, and at the Great Lakes Aquarium.

Natural Resources Research Institute News

Don Fosnacht, Center Director, gave a talk titled "Future Implications for Minerals Extraction in Minnesota and Conversion to High Value Products" at the APEX Board meeting in July.

Hannah Leopold, undergraduate research assistant, was one of three UMD students awarded a Casmir Ilenda Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research. The award was named for UMD Chemistry Professor Dr. Casmir Ilenda.

Gerald Niemi, senior research associate, and Jarad Niemi (Iowa State University), published a chapter titled "Linear Regression, Model Averaging, and Bayesian Techniques for Predicting Chemical Activities from Structure" in Advances in Mathematical Chemistry and Applications, Vol. 2, 2015.

Niemi wrote a review with R. Todd Engstrom (Tall Timbers Research Station, Tallahassee, Fla.) on a book titled Decision Making in Natural Resource Management: A Structured, Adaptive Approach by Michael J. Conroy and James T. Peterson, published by Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.

Melinda Laidlaw (Queensland Herbarium, QLD), Karen Richardson (Commission for Environmental Cooperation, Quebec), Alice Yeates, research associate, William McDonald (Queensland Herbarium) and R. John Hunter (Lowanna, New South Wales, Australia) published a paper titled "Modelling the Spatial Distribution of Beta Diversity in Australian Subtropical Rainforest" in Austral Ecology, July 2015.

Pharmacy Department News

The following were presented at the Association of Leadership Educators Conference held July 12-15, 2015, in Washington DC:

The following were presented at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Annual Meeting in National Harbor, Md., in July:

Olihe Okoro, assistant professor, is the recipient of a 2015 Institute on Diversity, Equity and Advocacy, IDEA, Multicultural Research Award for the proposal "Patient-satisfaction with Health Care: Experiences and Perceptions of Low-income African American Women." IDEA invites proposals for research that addresses issues related to its mission “to transform the University by enhancing the visibility and advancing the productivity of an interdisciplinary group of faculty and community scholars whose expertise in equity, diversity, and underrepresented populations will lead to innovative scholarship and teaching that addresses urgent social issues.” 

, F. Odedina, and W.T. Smith, had their article “Determining the Sufficiency of Cultural Competence Instruction in Pharmacy School Curriculum” published in the American Journal of  Pharm Education, 2015 May 25;79(4):50. doi: 10.5688/ajpe79450.

A student team from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy Duluth and Twin Cities campuses has been named a finalist in the 2015 Good Neighbor Pharmacy National Chain Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Pruitt-Schutte Student Business Plan Competition. They will present their business plan in a live competition October 10, 2015, at NCPA's Annual Convention in the Washington, D.C. area. Faculty advisor is Randy Seifert, senior associate dean and professor.

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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. 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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