University of Minnesota Duluth
myUMD | Search | People | Departments | Events | News


The next issue of Currents will be emailed out and posted on Tues., Feb. 2, 2016 (Deadline: Wed., Jan. 27, 2016). 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.

Currents has been designed to print from any printer. You may need to change your settings to print the most optimized and visually appealing version. Make sure colors and backgrounds are turned on and go to print preview to change the font size.

If you need more information, see "About Printing Currents" or contact the Help Desk at 218-726-8847.

Campus News

Academic News

The U of M Office for Public Engagement is requesting proposals for a system-wide conference on Thurs., Mar. 31, 2016, to examine the role of community and public engagement in addressing society's greatest issues. The conference, Meeting Society's Grand Challenges Through Community-Engaged Research, Teaching, and Learning, will provide opportunities for individuals to learn about the University's community-engaged research, teaching and outreach initiatives; explore strategies for incorporating community engagement in research, teaching and learning; and take part in crafting a call to action for the University's community-engaged practices.

All University faculty, staff, students, institutional leaders, and community partners affiliated with the University are invited to submit proposals. Conference proposals are due at 5 p.m., Fri., Dec. 4, 2015. Get details on submission guidelines, as well as more information about conference themes and presentation options at the conference web page.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to submit nominations for the University of Minnesota President's Community-Engaged Scholar Award. This annual, system-wide award recognizes one faculty member or one academic professional and administrative (P&A) employee for exemplary community-engaged scholarship in his or her field of inquiry. Each college on the Twin Cities campus and the campuses of Crookston, Duluth, Morris, and Rochester may select one individual to serve as the unit's Community-Engaged Scholar Award Collegiate/Campus Recipient. All collegiate/campus award recipients then become eligible for the University-wide award, which includes a one-time $15,000 prize.

UMD nominations should be sent to Kim Riordan, associate vice chancellor of Outreach and Online Delivery,, 218-726-7251, no later than Thurs., Jan. 14, 2016. For more information about the award, visit the public engagement website. All collegiate/campus award recipients will be recognized at an awards luncheon on Fri., Apr. 29, 2016, at which time the recipient of the University-wide President's Community-Engaged Scholar Award will be announced.

The Swenson College of Science and Engineering communication team of Valerie Coit and David Orts have decades of filmmaking and production experience and would like to develop videos with faculty and staff that document scientific research. If you have interest or ideas, contact them at

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.

Administration News


ITSS educational technologists offer support and consultation opportunities to faculty and instructional staff. To date they’ve held 34 educational technology drop-in sessions. Drop-in sessions will be held through Dec. 21 in Kirby Plaza 175 on the following days (No appointment needed): 
Mondays from 2–3 pm
Wednesday from 9–10 am
Thursdays from 2–3 pm

ITSS educational technologists will also hold extended drop-in sessions in Kirby Plaza 175 on the following dates: 
Tues., Dec. 8 from 2–4 pm
Fri., Dec. 11 from 9–11 am
Tues., Dec. 15 from 2–4 pm
Wed., Dec. 16 from 1–3 pm
Fri., Dec. 18 from 9–11 am

They also offer small group and 1:1 consultations. They will even come to a department to offer drop-in sessions or custom sessions, based on department needs, ideas, course projects etc. Email your request(s) to

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

Holiday Special: Caring & Sharing
For the month of December, presents "Caring & Sharing," a series connecting listeners with non-profit organizations making a difference in the Northland. Learn about help that is available to the community all year long and how to give this holiday season. Listen to "Caring & Sharing" on Northland Morning every Tuesday and Thursday at 8 am throughout the month. Audio Archive and featured organizations at


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. UMD Stores will be open 10 am–5 pm Monday–Saturday.

The annual UMD Stores Holiday Sale will be held Dec. 2–8. 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.

Get a photo taken with the Grinch on Wed., Dec. 9 from 11 am–2 pm in the Lower Level Store. All photos will be posted on the UMD Stores Facebook page.

Gift Wrap for Charity: UMD's Gamma Sigma Sigma will wrap gifts thru Dec. 11. Members will sit in the Kirby Bus Hub (directly outside the main Street Level door) wrapping UMD Stores purchases.

Textbook Buyback will be held the following days in Express:
Fri., Dec. 11: 8:30 am–4pm
Mon., Dec. 14: 8:30 am–5pm
Tues., Dec. 15: 8:30 am­–5pm
Wed., Dec. 16: 8:30 am–5pm
Thurs., Dec. 17: 8:30 am–5pm
Fri., Dec. 18: 8:30 am–4pm

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

Matthew T. Andrews, McKnight Presidential Professor, director, Bio-Translational Research Center, Department of Biology, had a paper on a proteogenomic screen to examine the genes and proteins expressed in the hearts of hibernating animals featured in Chemical and Engineering News.

Alison Aune, professor of art education, Department of Art and Design, has been elected as cultural director of The Sons of Norway Nortun Lodge of Duluth to promote, preserve, and celebrate the heritage and culture of Norway. She also serves on the board of directors of the Nordic Center of Duluth with the mission to preserve and advance Nordic culture through social, educational, and cultural arts programs that serve the greater community.

Beth A. Bartlett, professor, Department of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies, gave a poster presentation on her research and forthcoming book, Making Waves: A History of Grassroots Feminist Organizations in the Northland: 1975-2015, at the Gallery of Excellence on the UMTC campus in November.

Joseph Bauerkemper, assistant professor, Department of American Indian Studies, published an essay titled "Federalism Reconfigured: Native Narrations and the Indian New Deal" in The Routledge Companion to Native American Literature, edited by Deborah L. Madsen.

Gloria DeFilipps Brush, professor, Department of Art and Design, will have a photograph at PhotoPlace Gallery in Middlebury, Vt. through Dec.18 in the “Stories and Secrets” exhibition. Her work was selected by Emma Powell of Colorado College and Kirsten Hoving, the Charles A. Dana professor of art history at Middlebury College.

Douglas Dunham, professor, Department of Computer Science, was elected as chair of SIGMAA-ARTS, the MAA (Mathematical Association of America) special interest group consisting of over 300 MAA members who are also interested in the arts. He has served as interim chair for the past two years. Also, his sculpture "The {3,12} Polyhedron Decorated with a Fractal Circle Pattern" (which can be seen at: was featured in the "Snapshot" section of Baltimore University's fall 2015 magazine.

Lisa Erwin, vice chancellor and dean of Students, was recently named a member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Class of 2016 Pillars of the Profession. The NASPA Foundation and its board of directors chose honorees based on four specific criteria: being an individual of sustained distinction in higher education as defined by donors and supporters; having served in leadership roles in NASPA, regionally or nationally; being recognized or remembered by colleagues, friends, students or student organizations for extraordinary service; and having significant lifetime contributions to higher education. Erwin and 13 other student life leaders will be honored at the NASPA Annual Conference in Indianapolis, Ind. in March 2016.

Dalibor Froncek
, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, held a recruitment meeting for UMD Applied and Computational Math Graduate Program at Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Mich., and presented an undergraduate colloquium talk "How to schedule a professional soccer league."

Joanne Itami, assistant professor and director of undergraduate studies, Department of Biology, and her coauthors, Y. Sakata, Y. Isagi, and T. Ohgushi, had their article, “Multiple and mass introductions from limited origins: genetic diversity and structure of Solidago altissima in the native and invaded range” published in the November 2015 issue of Journal of Plant Research 28:909-921.

Micaella Penning, researcher, Department of Geography, and Stacey Stark, director of the Geospatial Analysis Center (GAC), presented “Visualization for Community Engagement in Flood Mitigation Planning” at the Minnesota Floodplain Managers Association Conference in Moorhead, Minn., in November. An article by Penning on this topic was also published in The Insider, a publication of the Association of State Floodplain Managers, and can be found on the GAC's website.

Rudy Perrault, director of UMD Orchestras, Department of Music, is entering his second year of service on the Depot Foundation's board of directors.

Jon L. Pierce, professor, Department of Management Studies, and his coauthors, Donald G. Gardner, Guo-Hua Huang, Xiongying Niu, and Cynthia Lee, had their article, “Organization-Based Self-Esteem, Psychological Contract Fulfillment, and Perceived Employment Opportunities: A Test of Self-Regulatory Theory,” published in the Nov.–Dec. 2015 issue of Human Resource Management, Volume 54(6), pp. 933-953.

Corbin Smyth, associate vice chancellor for Student Life, received the Susan Maul Distinguished Service Award at the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) Region V conference held at the U of M Twin Cities campus in November. He was the first person from Region V to receive the award. The recipient must have participated in the college union and student activities movement as a professional for a minimum of 10 years and be active in the field at the time of nomination. The individual chosen must also have attained prominence through his or her efforts to develop the college union and student activities movement through work within the ACUI and on campus. Nathan Ernst, president of UMD's Student Association, coordinated Smyth’s nomination.

Eun-Kyung Suh, professor, Department of Art and Design, was invited to InKas' Second Annual International Art Exhibition, “Reminisce,” in Seoul, South Korea, in November. She also presented The Diaspora of Korean Comfort Women as part of the Alworth Institute’s Brown Bag Lecture Series in November. This event was co-sponsored by the UMD Commission for Women.

Bedassa Tadesse, associate professor, Department of Economics, and his coauthor, Roger White, had their article, “Do Immigrants Affect the Profile of U.S. Exporters?,” published in the fall 2015 issue of Applied Economies.

Janelle Wilson, professor, Department of Sociology/Anthropology, had her article, “Here and Now, There and Then: Nostalgia as a Time and Space Phenomenon," published in the journal Symbolic Interaction (Volume 38, Number 4, 2015, pp. 478-492).



Special Recognition

Students Shine at 2015 Environmental Challenge
UMD Chemical Engineering students, A.J. Butterfield, Carissa Kloncz, Lukin Moline, and Carlie Sweet, took the second place prize of $1000 in the 30th annual Conference on the Environment’s Environmental Challenge. This year’s challenge was to investigate options for reducing sulfate loads to surface waters from mining, industrial, and municipal sources. The teams competed on three elements: 1) written solution submitted prior to the conference, 2) table-top/poster presentation at the conference, and 3) formal presentation at the conference. The competition, held at the Minnesota Convention Center in Minneapolis, is sponsored by two of the leading regional organizations of environmental professionals: Air & Waste Management Association–Upper Midwest Section, and the Central States Water Environment Association–Minnesota Section.

Large Lakes Observatory News

See Next Issue

Medical School-Duluth News

Lynne Bemis, associate professor and department head, Department of Biomedical Sciences, presented “Lyme Disease: What You Need to Know” at the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center Fall 2015 Mini Medical School, The Evolving Threat of Infectious Diseases, held in October.

Ben Clarke, associate professor, and Amy Prunuske, assistant professor, have their article “Community Partnership Designed to Promote Lyme Disease Prevention and Engagement in Citizen Science” in press for the Journal of Biology and Microbiology.

Lester Drewes, professor, was awarded a Medical School Equipment Grant for “Seahorse XFe96 Analyzer and Prep Station Shared Instrument for Medical School, Duluth Campus.”

Janet Fitzakerley, associate professor, Sarah Lacher, postdoctoral associate, and Diandra Little Dog, first year medical student, presented “Neuroscience for Middle School Students” at the Minnesota Indian Education Association Conference held in Mahnomen, Minn., in November.

Kendra Nordgren, assistant professor, received a Grant Award, “Disruption of Mitophagy after DOX Exposure in Vivo,” from the University of Minnesota Foundation/Medical School.

Prunuske presented at the Society for the Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientists - Mentoring Training and the National Research Mentoring Network. She also gave an invited presentation at the University of Cincinnati - Facilitating Mentor Training Workshop.

Matt Slattery, assistant professor, Lacher, and Joslynn Lee, postdoctoral associate, had their article, “Beyond Antioxidant Genes in the Ancient NRF2 Regulatory Network,” published in the November issue of Free Radical Biology and Medicine.

Slattery and Lee had their article, “Ribbon Regulates Morphogenesis of the Drosophila Embryonic Salivary Gland Through Transcriptional Activation and Repression,” published in the October issue of Developmental Biology.

Slattery had his article “Establishment of Developmental Compartment Requires Interactions Between Three Synergistic Cis-regulatory Modules,” published in the October 15, 2015 issue of PLOS Genetics.

Kendall Wallace, professor and associate dean of Faculty Affairs, had his article, “Multiple Targets for Drug-Induced Mitochondrial Toxicity,” published in the July issue of Current Medicinal Chemistry.

Minnesota Sea Grant News

Dee Angradi, program analyst, and Jesse Schomberg, interim co-director, hosted a water safety booth at the Bridge to Wellness health Fair in Duluth, Minn., in November.

Dale Bergeron, maritime extension educator, met with the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network working group in October to explore the potential threats and opportunities in moving crude oil within the Great Lakes Basin. The group will be submitting a joint letter to the Federal Dept. of Transportation and the National Transportation Research Board, suggesting a strategy for a more intentional approach to understanding the issues related to crude oil movement choices and identifying risk and safety challenges.

Doug Jensen, aquatic invasive species program coordinator, participated in the fall meeting of the Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species, in Ann Arbor, Mich., in October. As an at-large member and chair of the Information and Education (I&E) Committee, he led planning activities to coordinate regionally AIS outreach by the panel and its members.

Jensen gave a presentation, How Many Exposures Does It Take to Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers?, at the Minnesota Water Resources Conference, in St. Paul, Minn., in October. Attended by 650 conferees, he also hosted a Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! booth.

Jensen gave an update on reformation of the Communication, Education, and Outreach Committee at the fall meeting of the federal Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, in Silver Spring, Md, in November. Jensen along with Elizabeth Brown, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, serve as co-chairs of the Communication, Education and Outreach Committee of the Task Force, which works to coordinate efforts nationally.

Marte Kitson, aquatic invasive species specialist and national park service liaison, and Jensen participated in the Minnesota Invasive Species Advisory Committee meeting, in Shoreview, Minn., in October. Jensen provided an update on current AIS efforts from international and regional perspectives. Kitson provided an update on Sea Grant program highlights.

Brent Schleck, coastal storms outreach coordinator, attended and presented at the Great Lakes Beach Association Conference in Traverse City, Mich., in October. Approximately 110 people attended two sessions highlighting beach and water safety work funded by the NOAA Coastal Storms Program.

Schleck worked with Bridget Faust from the Association of State Floodplain Managers to publish a case study on the collaborative effort of the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network and Coastal Zone Managers to improve beach safety in the region.

Schleck helped coordinate the Be Current Smart outreach campaign, which targeted young adult males and parents with beach and swimmer safety information, recently announced that the campaign resulted in over 1.1 million social media impressions. This campaign was funded by the NOAA Coastal Storms Program and led by Michigan Sea Grant.

Hilarie Sorensen, climate change extension educator, and Schomberg presented at The River Talks series in October and November, respectively. The River Talks are scheduled through May 2016.

Minnesota Sea Grant hosted a Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!/Habitattitude booth at 28th Annual Gales of November, in Duluth, Minn.

Minnesota Sea Grant and KUMD produced the following episode of "The Sea Grant Files":

Natural Resources Research Institute News

Matt Aro, research fellow, published an article titled "Heating Up: Thermal Modification Testing on Engineered Wood Products" in Engineered Wood Journal, pp. 42 - 47, Autumn 2015.

NRRI staff will participate in the following seminars at the 9th International Conference on Marine Bioinvasions (ICMB-IX) in Sydney, Australia, in January 2016:
1) Donn Branstrator, associate professor, UMD Biology, M.C. TenEyck (University of Wisconsin Superior), Meagan Aliff, junior scientist, Euan Reavie, associate center director, and Allegra Cangelosi (Northeast-Midwest Institute) will present a seminar titled “Characterizing the Generality and Shape of the Relationship Between Propagule Pressure and Establishment Probability for Species Invasions.”
2) TenEyck, Branstrator, Aliff, Reavie, and Cangelosi will present a seminar titled “A Mesocosm-based Method to Quantify the Risk-release Relationship Relevant to Ballast Water Discharge Standards."

Pat Donahue, program director, and Aro received a grant of $236,303 from the U.S. Forest Service Wood Innovations. The five-year project is called "Using Thermal Modification Technology to Add Value to Small-Diameter Logs from Underutilized Species."

Lisa Estepp, researcher, and Reavie published a paper titled “The Ecological History of Lake Ontario According to Phytoplankton” in  Journal of Great Lakes Research 41(3), pp. 669-687, 2015.

Donald Fosnacht, associate director, published a chapter in the book Innovative Process Development in Metallurgical Industry with co-authors Iwao Iwasaki, retired senior researcher, Dick Kiesel, lab director, Dave Englund, program manager, Rodney Bleifuss, senior research associate, Matt Mlinar, coordinator, and David Hendrickson, strategic planning director. The chapter title is "Development of a New Technology for Converting Iron-Bearing Materials to Nodular Reduced Iron for Use in Various Steelmaking Operations.” The book is published by Springer.

Reavie published a report titled “Paleolimnology of the Lake of the Woods Southern Basin” for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Lake of the Woods County. NRRI Technical Report number NRRI/TR-2015/35, 2015.

NRRI staff participated in the following seminars at the 35th North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) International Symposium in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in November:
1) Reavie, Mark Edlund (Science Museum of Minn.), N.A. Andresen (Andresen Consulting) and Daniel Engstrom (Science Museum of Minn.), presented a seminar titled “Despite Remedial Efforts, This Great Lake is Not Recovering as Expected.”
2) Edlund, Reavie, S. Schottler (Science Museum of Minn.), N. Baratono (MPCA Retired), A.M. Paterson (Dorset Environmental Science Centre), and Engstrom presented a seminar titled “A Historical Phosphorus Budget for Lake of the Woods: Legacy Loads Still Affect the Southern Basin.”

NRRI staff presented the following posters and seminars at the 23rd North American Diatom Symposium (NADS) in Beaver Island, Mich., in September:
1) Reavie, Gerald Sgro (John Carroll University), Estepp, Andrew Bramburger, researcher, Victorial Shaw Chraïbi (University of Nebraska), Robert Pillsbury (University of Wisconsin Oshkosh), Craig Stow (NOAA), a seminar “The Rise of Cyclotellain 90 % of North America’s Surface Water.”
2) Estepp and Reavie, a poster “The Ecological History of Lake Ontario According to Phytoplankton.”
3) Bramburger, Reavie, Sgro, Estepp, Shaw Chraïbi and Pillsbury a seminar “Like a Frightened Turtle: Historical ‘Shrinkage’ in Great Lakes Diatoms.”
4) Elizabeth Alexson, research assistant, Reavie and Richard Axler, program director, a seminar “Long-term Diatom Records to Support Delisting Efforts on a Great Lakes Estuary.”
5) Sgro and Reavie, a seminar “A Benthic Diatom Metric for Nearshore Lake Erie.”

Pharmacy Department News

Grant Anderson, associate professor, presented a poster, co-authored by Thomas Bastian, Thu An Nguyen, and Katie Thibert, entitled "The Effect of Varying Degrees of Fetal/Neonatal Thyroid Hormone Insufficiency on Angiogenesis Associated Gene Expression and Blood Vessel Density in the Developing Rat Brain" at the International Thyroid Congress held in Orlando, Fla., in October. He also chaired a symposium on "Thyroid Hormone Transport."

Michelle Johnson-Jennings, assistant professor, received a $65,000 Community Health Collaborative Grant from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute for her project, “Little Earth Strong: Diabetes Prevention for American Indian Youth and Families.”

The Research for Indigenous Community Health (RICH) Center received part of a $1 million gift from Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) for work to advance Indian nutritional health. The gift is being made under the tribe's Seeds of Native Health campaign to improve Native American nutrition nationwide, in which the University is a strategic partner. SMSC's gift will fund the development and public launch of two databases: (1) a multi-disciplinary bibliography relating to Native American nutrition, and (2) a publicly accessible, searchable database of leading experts in relevant fields. The work will be led by Johnson-Jennings, director of the RICH Center, with the assistance of the School of Public Health.

Laura Palombi, assistant professor, served as a panelist at the Clinical and Translational Science Institute's Power of Partnerships event held in Minneapolis, Minn., in November.

Palombi was featured in a November 12, 2015, post titled "U of M Pharmacist Helps Prevent Heroin Addictions and Deaths in Northern Minnesota" on the Academic Health Center's Health Talk blog.

Palombi, Ben Aronson, teaching assistant, and Melissa Walls, associate professor, Department of Biobehavioral Health, presented their poster, "Health Outcomes Associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Depressive Symptoms Among Indigenous Adults with Type 2 Diabetes," at the American Public Health Association 143rd Annual Meeting & Expo held in Chicago, Ill., in October–November.

Palombi, L. Nelson, K. K. Fierke, assistant professor, and K. Bastianelli, assistant professor, had their article, “Pilot Study of Patient Perceptions of Pharmacists as Care Providers After Health Screening Encounters with Student Pharmacists,” published in the Journal of American Pharmacists Association 2015;55(6):467-474.

Sarah Schweiss, assistant professor, has been appointed to a one-year (2015–16) term as vice-chair of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Ambulatory Care PRN's Networking Committee.

Yao Yao, assistant professor, received a $23,892 grant from the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation for his project, “Laminin Regulates Pericyte Stemness and Their Therapeutic Potential in Myotonic Dystrophy.”


About Currents

Subscribe to Currents

To have each issue of Currents delivered to your email address:

  1. Go to the Currents List Page.
  2. Sign in if you haven't already done so.
  3. Click on the “Join group” button.

Unsubscribe From Currents

If at any time you no longer wish to receive Currents, you can unsubscribe. Visit this link to learn how:

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

© 2010 University of Minnesota Duluth The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Last modified on 10/28/10 10:47 AM
University of Minnesota Campuses Crookston | Duluth | Morris Rochester | Twin Cities | Other Locations rekarengranclassimages