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The next issue of Currents will be emailed out and posted on Tues., May 3, 2016 (Deadline: Wed., Apr. 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.

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Campus News

Academic News

The University of Minnesota Office for Equity and Diversity (OED) is seeking nominations for the Equity and Diversity Transformation Awards. These awards fund creative yet pragmatic proposals for projects that support equity and diversity initiatives. They also provide a platform for cooperative efforts that will not only advance the institution's transformation, but also help ensure that all resources devoted to equity and diversity are used to ensure maximum impact. The focus for the 2016 awards is building capacity for institutional change through the use of strategic partnerships. Partnerships must go beyond financial assistance/sponsorship and efforts must exemplify working in collaboration in one or more of the following ways:

: Partnership of two or more units/offices within a larger department or college OR partnership of two or more units/offices across various departments or colleges.
External: Partnership of one or more units/departments with one or more external stakeholders (community organizations, corporations, etc.).

Applications are due Monday, May 9. Visit the OED website for a full description of the application guidelines and procedures. For more information, contact Barbara Chapin, 612-626-7386.


The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) evaluates the university on its mission and five criterion areas. These include formal educational activities, institutional resources, governance and administration, student learning, institutional effectiveness, student services, and financial stability. The process of reaffirmation provides institutions with the opportunity to undergo a rigorous process of self study, resulting in self-improvement.

Planning is underway for the spring 2018 reaffirmation visit. The HLC Steering Committee, comprised of seven members, (Richard Davis, co-chair, Fay Maas, co-chair, Jefferson Campbell, SFA, Scott Carlson, CEHSP, Sheryl Grana, CLA, Rich Maclin, SCSE, and Lin Xiu, LSBE), has been established, and they have begun their work. They are looking for individuals (faculty and staff) to participate on one of the criterion-based subcommittees, each convened by a member of the steering committee. It is important that the campus community is engaged in the reaffirmation process.

Criterion-based subcommittees will convene in early fall 2016. They will meet monthly throughout the academic year and into fall 2017. Members will participate in creating sections of the final assurance argument (essentially, the self-study). Contact Kim Riordan, 218-726-7251, or one of the steering committee members listed above for more information.  


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


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

Visit for music and archived interviews.


It's Earth Day all month at UMD Stores.

Five Easy Steps to Go Green with UMD Stores:
1. The month of April is Bag Free month. Bring in a reusable bag or backpack when shopping at UMD Stores.
2. Need to purchase a reusable bag? Chico bags and Envirosax bags are 20% off the month of April.
3. Don’t take a plastic bag and receive a wooden nickel to drop in the charity bin. Local charities benefit from this effort to go green.
4. Drop off #2 and #4 plastic bags for recycling. Look for the square collection bins at every UMD Stores entrance.
5. UMD Stores EXPRESS will "Go Green" through April 8. Products featured are recycled/sustainable/eco-friendly/USA Made/local/regional.  

UMD Stores EXPRESS will hold a plant and garden sale April 11–27. Get an early start on gardening projects.

Jefferson Lines offers daily bus service, year round, from the UMD Campus to the Twin Cities, Iron Range and Fargo, North Dakota. Purchase tickets at UMD Stores Street Level. 

Shop UMD Stores. Get rewards. Every dollar spent at UMD Stores equals one point. Reach 1,000 points and earn a $10 UMD Stores Gift Card. Sign-up for UMD Stores Rewards and receive a sign-up bonus of 100 points.

UMD Stores offers special events and promotions all year long. Check the website often. UMD Stores is also on facebook and Twitter.


Faculty and Staff News

Academic News

Wendy Anderson, assistant professor, Department of Social Work, is the recipient of the 2015–16 Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award for the College of Education and Human Service Professions. This award is given each year to faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding service to their students. She will be recognized at an all-campus reception on Tues., Apr. 26 at 3 pm in Kirby Rafters.

Steve Bardolph, associate professor, Department of Art and Design, is the recipient of the 2015–16 Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award for the School of Fine Arts. This award is given each year to faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding service to their students. He will be recognized at an all-campus reception on Tues., Apr. 26 at 3 pm in Kirby Rafters.

Paul Bates, assistant professor, Department of Biology, is the recipient of the 2015–16 Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award for the Swenson College of Science and Engineering. This award is given each year to faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding service to their students. He will be recognized at an all-campus reception on Tues., Apr. 26 at 3 pm in Kirby Rafters.

Geoffrey Bell, associate professor, and Jannifer David, associate professor, both from the Department of Management Studies, had their article “What if Corporate Governance Fostered Executive Dignity?,” published in the fall 2015 issue of the Journal of Applied Business and Economics, 17(4).

Gloria DeFilipps Brush, professor, Department of Art and Design, has work included in the invitational Pulp through July 31, 2016 in the Frank and Laura Ruth Bidwell Gallery at the Akron Art Museum, Ohio. Elizabeth Carney curated the exhibition, which explores paper as subject matter, from the Museum’s permanent collection. One of Brush's photographs is in the exhibition image banner. She also has a work included in the Still Life section of the "2015Competition Web Galleries" curated by Photo Review editor Stephen Perloff. The galleries went online in March.

Stephen Castleberry
, professor, Department of Marketing, had his article, “I Never Thought I Would End Up In Prison: White Collar Dilemmas,” published the spring 2016 issue of the Journal of Business Case Studies, Volume 12(2), Second Quarter, pp. 69-76.

Shane D. Courtland, assistant professor, Department of Philosophy, is the recipient of the 2015–16 Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Public Service. This award recognizes faculty who have demonstrated an integration of civic and community engagement in their teaching; shown leadership in advancing students’ civic learning; conducted community-based research; fostered community partnerships; promoted the scholarship of engagement among colleagues; or made contributions to positive change on issues of public concern. He will give a presentation, entitled “The Importance of a University's Commitment to Public Outreach," on Tues., Apr. 26 at 2 pm in the Rafters, with the All-Faculty Awards presentation and reception immediately following at approximately 3 pm.

Kristina Estell
, research studio technician, and David Bowen, associate professor, both from the Department of Art and Design, have a collaborative project, voyager one, opening April 7 at Pivot Art + Culture in Seattle in conjunction with the exhibition "Imagined Futures." Pivot Art + Culture is a 3,000-square-foot concept space located on the ground floor of the newly constructed Allen Institute building in the heart of Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. It is part of Vulcan Inc. and Paul G. Allen’s mission to make art accessible to the public. 

Dalibor Froncek, professor, Department of Mathematics & Statistics, is the recipient of the 2015–16 Outstanding Graduate Faculty Advisor Award. This award is given each year to faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding service to their students. He will be recognized at an all-campus reception on Tues., Apr. 26 at 3 pm in Kirby Rafters. He recently presented a conference talk, "Regular handicap tournaments of odd order," at the Forty-Seventh Southeastern International Conference on Combinatorics, Graph Theory, and Computing in Boca Raton, Fla.

Ken Gilbertson, professor, Department of Applied Human Sciences Applied Human Sciences, is the recipient of the 2016 Faculty Sustainability Inspiration award for his advocacy and active involvement with the promotion of sustainability and sustainability education at UMD for over 25 years. He is recognized internationally as an important leader in guiding work in protected nature areas. He will be honored at the UMD Student Awards Reception & Program on Sun., Apr. 10, from 11:30 am –1:30 pm in Kirby Rafters.

Rebecca Katz Harwood, associate professor, Department of Theatre, recently presented two master classes in Modern Jazz at the North Central Regional Conference of the American College Dance Association held at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. In June, she wraps up two terms of service on the board of directors for the organization. Additionally, she will serve as conference coordinator when UMD hosts the North Central Regional Conference in March 2017. Her work will be seen locally this month as the director and choreographer for the musical Spring Awakening, on the MPAC Main Stage, Apr. 14–23.

Daniel Fujen Hsiao, associate professor, Department of Accounting, and his coauthors, Yan Hu and Jerry W. Lin, had their article, “The Earnings Management Opportunity for U.S. Oil and Gas Firms during the 2011 Arab Spring Event,” published in the spring 2016 issue of Pacific Accounting Review, Volume 28 (1), pp. 71-91.

Ryan Hueffmeier, researcher, Natural Resources Research Institute, is the recipient of the 2016 Staff Sustainability Inspiration Award, for his leadership in formalizing a sustainable culture both internally and externally at NRRI; focusing on opportunities with the largest potential environmental, economic, and social returns. He has mentored numerous UMD student interns in projects related to solid waste and recycling, energy and water conservation, sustainable food production, and outreach and education. He will be honored at the UMD Student Awards Reception & Program on Sun., Apr.10, from 11:30 am –1:30 pm in Kirby Rafters.

Tom Isbell, professor, Department of Theatre, had his second Young Adult novel, The Capture, published by HarperCollins in January. It's the second of a trilogy (The Prey series) that deals with extreme prejudice and marginalization in a dystopian future. Book 3 will be released in early 2017.

Elizabeth James, assistant professor, Department of Art and Design, was invited to have a solo exhibition, “Clayscapes," at the Kruk Gallery located in the Holden Fine Arts Center, University of Wisconsin, Superior. The exhibition ran March 9–April 1. She also had artwork in multiple galleries on view before and during the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts 50th Anniversary at Kansas City, Mo., in March: “Yoshi and Friends: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Yoshiro Ikeda” at the Thornhill Gallery, campus of Avila University, Kansas City, Kan.; “Flourishing: Ceramic Legacy of Kansas State University,” at the Hilliard Gallery, Kansas City, Mo.; and “Kansas Clay Connection II” at Bracker’s Good Earth Clay, Lawrence, Kan. The “Kansas Clay Connection II” exhibition travels on to Wichita State University and the Birger Sandzen Memorial Art Gallery, Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kan.

Jim Klueg, professor and department head, Department of Art and Design, will have work in the "21st San Angelo National Ceramic Competition," San Angelo (Texas) Museum of Fine Arts, April 15 –June 26.The exhibition juror was Christy Johnson, retired director of the American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, Calif.

Brian McInnes, assistant professor, Department of Education, is the recipient of the Morse-Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Award. For over 50 years, this award has been given to a select group of faculty members who reflect the University's emphasis on the importance of high quality undergraduate education. With this award, he becomes a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers. Members of the Academy provide important leadership to the University community by serving as mentors, advisers, and spokespersons for the University’s mission.

Viktor Nemykin
, professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, is the recipient of the 2015–16 Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Research/Creative Activity. This award honors faculty for their excellence in research or creative activity, scholarly or artistic contributions to individual disciplines, and dedication to student research. He will give a presentation, entitled “New materials for solar energy conversion, nano-scale electronics, and imaging,” on Tues., Apr. 26 at 2 pm in the Rafters, with the All-Faculty Awards presentation and reception immediately following at approximately 3 pm.

Dan Nolan, assistant professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, is the coordinator of UMD's 2016 International Film Series. The free series, which includes critically acclaimed and important films from around the world, runs every Tuesday through April 19 at Zinema 2 Theater in downtown Duluth.  All films are presented in the original language with English subtitles. A guest speaker introduces each film and afterward the audience is invited to join faculty and students in the Atrium for snacks and an informal discussion. The film series commemorates 30 years of excellence in the College of Liberal Arts.

Chongwon Park, associate professor, Department of Writing Studies, is the recipient of the 2015–16 Albert Tezla Teacher/Scholar Award. This award is given annually to a faculty member in the College of Liberal Arts or the School of Fine Arts who has an exceptional and effective teaching style that emphasizes the worth of research in a learned discipline and the maturing impact scholarly activity has on the development of human attitudes and values. An awards ceremony will be held on Tues., Apr. 26 at 3 pm in Kirby Rafters.

John Pastor, professor, Department of Biology, delivered the 2016 David Schindler Professorship in Aquatic Science Lecture at Trent University in March. His talk, “Reflections on the North Woods: Past, Present & Future,” examined one of the most ecologically, geologically, and aesthetically interesting and diverse places in North America. In his lecture, he explored the nature and natural history of the North Woods, how it became assembled, how its resident organisms interact with each other, and its future in light of expected global warming and human change.  The David Schindler Endowed Professorship in Aquatic Science was established in 2008 and is the first-ever endowed professorship at Trent University. For more information, visit

Bruce Peckham, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, along with his co-authors, Chia-Hsing Nien, Department of Financial and Computational Mathematics, Providence University, Taiwan, and Richard P. McGehee, School of Mathematics, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, published a paper entitled ``Classification of critical sets and their images for quadratic maps of the plane'' in the Journal of Difference Equations and Applications in January.

Jon L. Pierce, professor, Department of Management Studies, and his coauthors, Donald G. Gardner and Courtney Crowley, had their article “Organization-Based Self-Esteem and Well-Being: Empirical Examination of a Spillover Effect,” published in the spring 2016 issue of the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, Volume 25(2), pp. 181-199.

Roxanne Richards, Continuing Education, has been named the new director of that department. She served as interim director following Lynn Burbank's retirement in December.

Jennifer Feenstra Schultz, associate professor, and Kim Nichols Dauner, assistant professor, both from the Department of Economics, along with their coauthors, Rebecca de Souza, associate professor, Department of Communication, Ryan Goei, associate professor, Department of Communication, Lara LaCaille, associate professor, Department of Psychology, Rick LaCaille, associate professor, Department of Psychology, Amy Nowak, associate professor, Applied Human Sciences, and Ronald Regal, professor, Department of Mathematics, had their article, “GO!: Results from a Quasi-Experimental Obesity Prevention Trial with Hospital Employees,” published in the Spring 2016 issue of BMC Public Health, 16:171.

Shannon Stevenson
, assistant professor, Department of Biology, is the recipient of the 2015–16 Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. This award honors faculty for innovative pedagogy, development of creative and critical thinking, student mentoring, commitment to liberal education, and leadership and impact within a department. She will give a presentation, entitled "Engaging diverse students with active learning," on Tues., Apr. 26 at 2 pm in the Rafters, with the All-Faculty Awards presentation and reception immediately following at approximately 3 pm.

Krista Sue-Lo Twu, associate professor, Department of English, is the recipient of the 2015–16 Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award for the College of Liberal Arts. This award is given each year to faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding service to their students. She will be recognized at an all-campus reception on Tues., Apr. 26 at 3 pm in Kirby Rafters.

Lin Xiu, assistant professor, Department of Management Studies, is the recipient of the 2015–16 Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award for the Labovitz School of Business and Economics. This award is given each year to faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding service to their students. She will be recognized at an all-campus reception on Tues., Apr. 26 at 3 pm in Kirby Rafters.  


Special Recognition

The Commission for Women has named the following individuals as recipients of the 2016 Linda Larson Woman of the Year Award in their respective categories: Anna Spielmann, student, Lucy Kragness, staff, and Andrea Schokker, faculty. An award reception and spring social will be held, Mon., Apr. 18 at 1:30 pm in Kirby Rafters.

Continuing Education (CE) received two grants from the Department of Employment and Economic Development Minnesota Job Skills Partnership program. The first grant of $145,320 was awarded in partnership with Essentia Health. CE will create and deliver a customized resiliency program for Essentia employees that focuses on self-awareness, mindfulness, purpose and meaning, and self-care. The second grant of $26,392 was awarded in partnership with Peace of Mind, a privately owned health care business in Duluth. CE will create a customized, leadership development program for Peace of Mind employees. Both of these programs may be rebranded by CE and sold to other clients in the future. Learn more about the grants.

The following UMD faculty members are recipients of the University of Minnesota's 2016 Imagine Fund Annual Award. The fund supports research in the arts, design, and the humanities. To learn more about a project, click on the title of the research:
David Beard, associate professor, Writing Studies, Game Studies from the Rhetorical Perspective: Research in Collaboration with the Games Institute at the University of Waterloo
Joshua Bernstein, assistant professor, English, In Josaphat’s Valley: Essays on War, Literature, and Life
Jefferson Campbell, associate professor, Music, New Music for Bassoon Tour and Recording
Paul Cannan, associate professor, English, The Making of Shakespeare the Poet: The Publication and Reception of Shakespeare's Poetry, 1640-1790
Mitra Emad, associate professor, Sociology & Anthropology, Exploring the Capacities of Digital Storytelling to Theorize the Learning Body
Paula Gudmundson, assistant professor, Music, Performance at the La Cote Flute Festival in October 6-9, 2016 in Switzerland
Eugene Koshinski, associate professor, Music, Artistic HD Video Documentation
Susan Maher, dean, College of Liberal Arts, English, Authoring Landscapes: Literary Pilgrimage in the Interior of North America
Jamie Ratliff, assistant professor, Art & Design, Presence of Mind, Absence of Voice: Contemporary women’s art practice in Mexico, 1968-present
Justin Rubin, professor, Music, Variations on American Themes and the Reacquisition of Traditional Forms
Theodore Schoen, professor, Music, International Performances and Master Classes in Russia and France
David Short, assistant professor, Art & Design, Type at Cooper—Certification to Education
Craig Stroupe, associate professor, Writing Studies, Charismatic Spaces: Transgressive Identities and Networked Presence on the Physical University Campus
Eun-Kyung Suh, professor, Art & Design, The Dual Metaphor of Doors in Relation to Refugees
David Syring, associate professor, Sociology & Anthropology, Finalizing the Vida Matizada Collection: Participatory Media Making with the Saraguro People of Ecuador
Krista Twu, associate professor, English, Chaucer's Boethius: Literary?
Shannon Walsh, assistant professor, Political Science, Living in Violence: Women’s Rights without Remedies in Latin America

The following faculty and staff received 2016 UMD Student Awards in recognition of their work on campus. Recipients and nominees will be honored at the Students Awards Program, Sun., Apr. 10, from 11:30 am –1:30 pm in Kirby Rafters.
Outstanding Staff:
Anna Gilmore, international student advisor, Office of Cultural Diversity
James Vileta, library associate, Kathryn A. Martin Library
Outstanding Academic Adviser:
Ahmed Heikal, professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Geoff Sheagley, assistant professor, Department of Political Science
Outstanding Faculty:
Wendy Anderson, assistant professor, Department of Social Work
Kevin Diebel, assistant professor, Medical School
John Hatcher, associate professor, Department of Writing Studies
Megan Streveler, assistant professor, Department of Applied Human Sciences
Outstanding Student Organization Advisor:
Jennifer Doebler, advisor, Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity
Romesh Lakhan, advisor, Chemistry Club

UMD hosted the first University of Minnesota System Campus First Year Experience (FYE) Summit in March in the Office for Students in Transition. Representatives for first year student programming from the Twin Cities, Rochester, Crookston, and Duluth came together to discuss ways they can better serve incoming students (Morris representatives were at another conference). One of the main strategies discussed was more collaboration to reduce costs and increase best practices across the UMN system. The next FYE Summit will be October 11 at the University of Minnesota Crookston to work towards common learning outcomes, assessment, and staff training.   

Center for Economic Development

Sandi Larson, business development professional, presented at the University of Minnesota System-Wide Conference "Meeting Society's Grand Challenges Through Community-Engaged Research, Teaching, and Learning" in March. She delivered a presentation on the CED Student to Business Initiative Program and the impact it has on businesses in Northeast Minnesota and UMD students who participate in the program.

The UMD Center for Economic Development held an Affordable Care Act seminar in March which included presenters from Medica, the LeClair Group, the Internal Revenue Service, and the U.S. Small Business Administration. The seminar focused on business owners questions to help them understand their options, if they qualify for the Small Business Healthcare Tax Credit, how they can control costs when providing employee benefits, and how to stay compliant and avoid penalties.

Large Lakes Observatory News

Doug Ricketts, senior research associate, marine superintendent, and adjunct assistant professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, has received confirmation of $560,000 in funds from the National Science Foundation for equipment and 2016 operational expenses for the Research Vessel Blue Heron.

Medical School-Duluth News

All of the following individuals are in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, unless otherwise noted.

Ben Clarke
, associate professor, and Sally Mayasich, grad student, had their article, “The emergence of the vasopressin and oxytocin hormone receptor gene family lineage: Clues from the characterization of vasotocin receptors in the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus),” published in General & Comparative Endocrinology.

Les Drewes, AHCD program director and professor, and Venkatram Mereddy, associate professor, College of Pharmacy, had a patent based on their research issued on March 29.

Lois Heller, Professor Emerita, had her article “The interplay between genetic background and sexual dimorphism of doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity” published in Cardio-Oncology.

Sarah Lacher, postdoctoral associate, received an NLSOT Travel Award.

Jean Regal, professor, gave an invited lecture, “Mitochondrial RNA Tails: Lessons from Trypanosomes and the Power of Challenging Assumptions” at the Department of Integrative Biology & Physiology seminar series at the U of MN Twin Cities.

Matt Slattery, assistant professor, and Sara Zimmer, assistant professor, received Whiteside Award renewals.

Ken Wallace, associate dean for faculty affairs and professor, is co-editor-in-chief for a new international high impact journal titled Current Opinions in Toxicology, published by Elsevier Publishers.

Sara Zimmer, assistant professor, gave an invited lecture, "The Complement System and Hypertension in Pregnancy,” at the Department of Integrative Biology & Physiology seminar series at the U of MN Twin Cities.

Zimmer had her article “CircTAIL-seq, a targeted method for deep analysis of RNA 3′ tails, reveals transcript-specific differences by multiple metrics” included in an RNA Society publication. She also had her article "Mitochondrial gene expression is responsive to starvation stress and developmental transition in Trypanosoma cruzi," accepted for publication in the journal mSphere.

Minnesota Sea Grant News

Dale Bergeron, maritime extension educator, presented a Great Lakes Policy Workshop for Minnesota legislators at the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus in March.  The presentation discussed international, federal, and state activities related to ballast water regulation and an update on ballast water treatment technology. The workshop was held in St. Paul and attended by both Minnesota State and national legislators.

John Bilotta, water resource management and policy extension educator, completed three Watershed Game trainings (Minneapolis, Duluth, & Minneapolis repeat) and will host another in April in Rochester. Over 100 educators have been trained in the new Classroom Version with +100 Classroom Version kits distributed across the state.

Bilotta presented NEMO Stormwater 101 presentation to the Cities of Bloomington & Richfield in March in partnership with the Bloom-Rich WMO, Nine Mile Creek WSD, and Riley-Pur-Bluff Creek WSD. He also presented at Living off the Land, rural leader workshop for Hennepin & Wright counties in March.  He presented The Watershed Game and “Innovative Engagement Practices:  Inspiring St. Croix Community Leaders to Action” at the St. Croix Basin Conference - Resiliency in Action: Communities & Resources in River Falls in March.

Bilotta presented at the Grand Challenge Pecha Kuchas: Water and Sustainability, UMN Minneapolis Campus in March. The Pecha Kucha session highlights work focusing on the grand challenge of ensuring clean water and sustainable ecosystems. He discussed the workshops-on-the-water and the Watershed Game as University investments in engagement.

Bilotta and Cynthia Hagley, environmental quality extension educator, will present a post-conference Wisconsin Sea Grant training for national Sea Grant and Extension colleagues at Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals in June and at the upcoming Minnesota Lakes & Rivers Conference.

Bilotta is coordinating Sea Grant/Extension Green Infrastructure Community of Practice along with three SG colleagues in other Great Lakes states to share successful strategies of green infrastructure and storm water education. He is also helping to coordinate abstract proposals and keynote presenters for the Minnesota Water Resources Conference this fall.

John Downing, director, and many Sea Grant staff attended the Governor’s Water Summit in St. Paul in February.  He also met with Hamline University’s Center for Global Environmental Education to explore partnership opportunities.

Jennifer Gasperini, public relations specialist, wrote an article about Sharon Moen’s biography of Dr. Spilhaus for the front page of the NOAA March Newsletter for the 50th Anniversary of the National Sea Grant Program issue. Chris Benson, graphic designer, created the artwork for the piece.

Hagley presented a poster about St. Louis River Estuary Stories and Science project and web site at the 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting in New Orleans in February. She also co-chaired a session, “Innovations in Environmental and Ocean Science Education,” at the event.

Hagley and Bilotta co-presented a workshop at the Great Lakes Aquarium called The Watershed Game: Training for Educators in February.

Hagley and David Hart of Wisconsin Sea Grant, creators of the Stories and Science web site mapping for the St. Louis River, hosted an event in Duluth in March at EcoLibrium3 with UMD's Geospatial Analysis Center staff, including Britta Hardel, the One River project assistant who is designing maps for One River, Many Voices. Through a combination of demonstrations and hands-on activities, participants learned the fundamentals of designing and sharing online maps, preparing data for use, online data sources, and map design. All One River events are free and open to the public.

Ryan Hueffmeier, invasive species specialist, along with Joe Nelson, volunteer, hosted a Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! booth for divers at the Upper Midwest Scuba and Adventure Travel Show, Bloomington, Minn., in March.

Doug Jensen, extension educator and AIS program coordinator, attended a meeting of the DNR’s AIS Stakeholder Advisory Committee, in St. Cloud, Minn., in January, and again in February, where he provided an update on Sea Grant AIS outreach and future events.

Jensen participated in a meeting of the Top 10 Counties Receiving AIS Prevention Aid, in Baxter, Minn., in March.

Marte Kitson, aquatic invasive species specialist and National Park Service liaison, Jesse Schomberg, coastal Communities and land use planning extension Educator, and Hagley presented sessions at the St. Louis River Watch Congress at Fond Du Lac Tribal Community College in March for area high school and middle school students; Kitson on AIS and Schomberg and Hagley used the new classroom version of The Watershed Game.

Moen, communications coordinator, organized the Upper Great Lakes Law & Policy Symposium held in Duluth in March.  Over 100 scientists, educators and policy experts attended, together with an international trade delegation of water experts from China, Israel, Mexico, Russia, Tanzania, and Vietnam.

Hilarie Sorensen, climate change extension educator, presented a poster about the climate adaptation online training being developed by MN Sea Grant and University of Minnesota Extension at the 2016 Ocean Sciences Meeting in New Orleans, in February.

Sorensen presented at the Chester Creek Green Infrastructure study during the storm water session at the MPCA Annual Conference in March.

Minnesota Sea Grant produced new episodes of The Sea Grant Files.

Natural Resources Research Institute News

Ryan Hueffmeier, scientist, gave an invited presentation titled "Current Status of Amynthas (earthworms) in Minnesota" to the Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources Commissioner's Advisory Committee on Natural Heritage in February.

Hueffmeier gave a presentation on "Integrating Citizen Science into the Classroom" to more than 50 teachers at two MN DNR School Forests teacher professional development workshops in Bloomington and Grand Rapids in March.

NRRI staff gave presentations at the first Heart of the Continent Partnership’s Science Symposium, held in International Falls in March:

1) Amanda McGraw, graduate research assistant: "Deer Migration and Habitat Use Within Moose Range in Northeast Minnesota"
2) Trevor Vannatta, graduate research assistant: "Inferring Snail-Plant and Snail-Habitat Associations Using Ordination"

Ron Moen, senior research associate, and Morgan Swingen, researcher, received the U.S. Forest Service Easter Region Honor Award for 2015 for Excellence in Science & Technology for the "Superior National Forest Bat Monitoring" project.

NRRI's Bat Field Crew also received the U.S. Forest Service 2016 "Wings Across the Americas" Conservation Research Partnership Award for biological data collected.

Pharmacy Department News

Projects led by Kerry Fierke, assistant professor; Keri Hager, assistant professor; Laura Palombi, assistant professor; and Sarah Schweiss, assistant professor, were recently highlighted on the MinneSOTL blog as part of its "Scholarly Teaching Series."

The Interprofessional Education and Practice Development Collaborative (IEPDC), which Hager is part of, won second place at the March Essentia Health and Duluth Family Medicine Residency Program Quality Improvement Poster Presentation Forum for the poster, "Developing and Refining Residency Orientation to Facilitate Pharmacist-physician Collaboration in a Family Medicine Residency Program" authored by D. MacDonald, A. Yapel, Hager, H. Pett-Taylor, and K. Dean.

Derek Jennings, assistant professor, received a $7,000 award from the Institute for Diversity, Equity, and Advocacy for the project, “Gimaajii Mino-Bimaadizimin Children’s Program.”

Michelle Johnson-Jennings
, assistant professor, has been awarded a Fulbright Core US Scholar grant to study "Developing an Innovative Indigenous Framework for Indigenous Traditional Healing and the Integration within Western Medicine" at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand, and University of Auckland, as well as visit Sidney, Australia. This will occur during spring–fall 2017.

and Jennings received an $11,540 award from the Institute for Advanced Study for the project, “Research for Indigenous Community Health Collaborative.”

Elizabeth LaPensée, a post-doc in the RICH Center, was featured in the Health Talk story, "Building positive food relationships in indigenous populations through games."

Erin Sheets, associate professor, presented two posters at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society held in February in Los Angeles, California: (1) T. Floden, R. Warner, A. A. Heikal, Sheets, "Investigating Membrane Domain Dynamics Using Multimodal Optical Microscopy"; (2) M. Currie, B. Berry, T. Ward, Sheets, and A. A. Heikal, "Modeling Macromolecular Crowding Through Translational and Rotational Diffusion of Small Molecular Probes."

Sheets continues to serve on the executive council of the Biophysical Society. At its annual meeting, she was elected both to the nominating committee and as its chair. Sheets was also recognized on the Biophysical Society blog.

Mike Swanoski, associate professor, has been selected as Duluth Teacher of the Class of 2016.

Megan Undeberg, assistant professor, presented "Clinical Pearls and Treatment Options for Urological Cancers: Moving From Patient to Survivor" to the Prostate Cancer (and other urological cancers) Support Group of Carlton County at the Community Memorial Hospital in Cloquet, Minn., in March.

Undeberg was featured in the Duluth News Tribune story, "Northland seniors share stories about drug costs."

Axel Vazquez-Deida, a student in the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy - Duluth, was awarded the United States Public Health Service "Excellence in Public Health Pharmacy Award" for making a commitment to public health and healthy lifestyles through pharmacy practice. He received the award for his work and leadership in addressing health care needs of the underserved through the Healthy People 2020 Initiatives. Along with other pharmacy students, he was recognized for incorporating core public health principles into today’s pharmacy practice.  

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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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