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The next issue of Currents will be emailed out and posted on Tues., Sept. 6, 2016 (Deadline: Wed., Aug. 29, 2016). Send updates and announcements to:

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Campus News

Academic News

Four UMD faculty members have received Institute on Diversity, Equity and Advocacy (IDEA) Multicultural Research Awards from the University of Minnesota:

Derek Jennings
, assistant professor, Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences, for his research “Gimaajii Mino-Bimaadizimin Children’s Program”

Melissa Lewis, assistant professor, Biobehavioral Health & Population Sciences, School of Medicine, for her research “First-Year Medical Students Learning and Personal Growth following Indigenous Health Lectures”

Jennifer Gomez Menjivar, assistant professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, College of Liberal Arts, for her research “Black in Print: Fictions, Discourses and the Politics of Seeing Blackness in Latin America”

Shannon Walsh, assistant professor, Department of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts, for her research “Engendering State Institutions: State Response to Violence against Women in Latin America”

IDEA Awards are given for research that addresses issues related to the Institute’s 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.” Award recipients present their work as part of U of M’s Diversity through the Disciplines Symposia sponsored throughout the academic year.

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


In June, ITSS hosted the entire IT@UMD community as one of 32 sites of the 2016 MOR Leadership Conference. Participants explored topics around reimagining information technology support in higher education. The Twin Cities campus was also a conference site and both sets of conference proceedings will help inform the next set of University of Minnesota system-wide IT priorities for the coming year.

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


KUMD 103.3fm. Listen online.


The UMD Stores Summer Sidewalk Sale will be held July 20–24 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 Friday, July 29 from 8 am–3 pm in the Lower Level Store. July 29 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. Reach 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 both the Twin Cities, Iron Range and Fargo, North Dakota! Purchase tickets at UMD Stores Street Level.

For store hours, events, and available merchandise visit the UMD Stores website. UMD Stores is also on facebook and Twitter.

Faculty and Staff News

Academic News

Manik Barman, assistant professor, Department of Civil Engineering, and his former colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh, had their article, "Accounting for Temperature Susceptibility of Asphalt Stiffness When Designing Bonded Concrete Overlays of Asphalt Pavements," published in the Journal of Transportation Engineering, ASCE. (DOI- 10.1061/(ASCE)TE.1943-5436.0000861). He received a 2016 Research Infrastructure Investment Program (RIIP) award from the U of M’s Office of the Vice President for Research to purchase a new equipment- Asphalt Mixture Performance Tester (AMPT). The AMPT can characterize the performance of asphalt mixtures against typical pavement distresses. His proposal was one of 11 selected for a RIIP award this year. The awards are designed to help maintain the robust, state-of-the art equipment key to propelling research and innovation at the U. Barman presented an invited lecture in the department of Civil Engineering of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee, India. His talk was entitled “Research in Pavement Engineering: Implementation and Collaboration." He also met with the Civil Engineering faculty members of the IIT Roorkee and discussed the opportunities for possible research collaboration.

Julie R. Etterson
, professor, Department of Biology, and her colleague, Susan J. Mazer, had their article, “How Climate Change Affects Plants’ Sex Lives: Shifts in plant sex ratios help plant species to expand upslope in a warmer climate,” published in the July 1, 2016 issue of Science, Vol. 353, Issue 629-4. Etterson had a series of papers published in an invited special issue of the American Journal of Botany in January 2016. The special issue was entitled “Evolutionary insights from studies of geographic variation: Establishing a baseline and looking to the future.” This issue was based on a symposium organized by the three postdoctoral researchers on Project Baseline (NSF DEB 1142784 to Etterson) at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Botanical Society of America. Project Baseline was featured in the article “Resurrected seeds to track evolution: US Bank created to monitor plant’s response to climate change," published in the March 2016 issue of Nature. She presented a seminar, “Project Baseline: A time capsule of seeds,” at the Department of Biological Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, N.D. in April. She also presented a plenary lecture, "Adaptive forest management and restoration," at the Janet Meakin Poor Research Symposium Seed Sourcing in an Era of Climate Change, at the Chicago Botanic Garden, in Chicago Ill., in May.

Dalibor Froncek, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, presented a talk “Handicap tournaments” at the 9th International Workshop on Graph Labelings, held in Krakow, Poland.

Paula Gudmundson
, assistant professor, Department of Music, was selected to perform and present at the 44th Annual National Flute Association Convention in San Diego, Calif., in August. She will also perform at the La Côte Flute Festival in Gland, Switzerland, in October. She is a 2016 recipient of a Career Development Grant and Equipment and Technology grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council.

Britta Hardel, student technician, Geospatial Analysis Center, and a 2016 graduate from UMD's GIS program, received the 2016 UMN Mapping Prize for Best Body of Work. View her maps online. In addition, UMD Geology and GIS student Gary Kelner won the Best Cartography category, for his map Geology of the Sheep Springs Wash, Southern California.

Susan Maher, dean, College of Liberal Arts, spent two weeks at the Wallace Stegner House in Eastend, Saskatchewan, on a competitive Artists Residency Award sponsored by the Eastend Arts Council. A University of Minnesota Imagine Fund Annual Faculty Award helped support this research and writing trip as well for a new book project, Authoring Landscapes: Literary Pilgrimage in the Interior of North America. The residency supported unfettered writing time, access to the Wallace Stegner House book collection, and field trips to important historical sites in southwestern Saskatchewan.

Jennifer Gomez Menjivar, assistant professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, was awarded a 2016 Institute for Diversity, Equity and Advocacy (IDEA) Multicultural Research Award through the University of Minnesota for her project entitled "Black in Print: Fictions, Discourses and the Politics of Seeing Blackness in Latin America."

Curtis Phillips, associate professor, Department of Theatre, designed the set for the Cumberland County Playhouse’s production of “The Little Mermaid” in Crossville, Tenn. The production runs through Aug. 28.

Kristen M. Pless, assistant professor, Department of Art and Design, has a photography show, “Monarchs: Photos from the Reserves,” on display in Great Lakes Aquarium’s Merrill Lynch Fine Arts Gallery. She became fascinated with Monarchs after her husband planted native flowers throughout their yard and the population of Monarchs skyrocketed. She received a grant to photograph wintering Monarchs in central Mexico. A Chancellors Small Grant helped with some of her travel expenses, and an Imagine grant helped to support a share of the printing expenses. The show runs through Sept. 7.

Stacey Stark, director, and Micaella Penning, GIS specialist and research assistant, both from the Geospatial Analysis Center, presented at the Esri Education Conference in San Diego, Calif., in June. Stark presented “What Does a Sustainable GIS Support Center Look Like?" Penning discussed “Introducing Web Mapping to Writing Studies and Journalism Classes at UMD,” based on her work in various classes in the College of Liberal Arts.

Shannon Drysdale Walsh, assistant professor, McKnight Land-Grant Professor, Department of Political Science, was awarded an Institute for Diversity, Equity and Advocacy (IDEA) Multicultural Research Award through the University of Minnesota for her project entitled “Engendering State Institutions: State Response to Violence against Women in Latin America.”

Special Recognition

The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics received five “Best of” awards from the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA) at the organization's annual convention in Dallas, Tex. Three Gold citations, one Silver, and one Bronze were awarded to UMD for marketing and fan-experience work launched during the 2015–16 sports season. Athletic Director Josh Berlo accepted the awards on behalf of Brian Nystrom, director of Marketing and Corporate Relations, and Brian's team of staff, interns, and students. This is the third year in a row that UMD has been honored by the NACMA.

The Tweed Museum of Art exhibition catalog for The Way of Cheng-Khee Chee: Paintings 1974-2014 recently won two awards. It received the NEMBA (Northeast Minnesota Book Award) in the Art and Photography category. It also received the full-color catalog Best of Class Award from Printing Industry Midwest (P.I.M.), a five state competition. This 72-page exhibition catalog features reproductions of 39 of the artist's most important works, depicting 40 years of artistic reproductions. Michael Cousino, senior graphic designer and photographer, Tweed Museum, provided art direction and graphic design. Essays by curator Peter Spooner and artist scholar Ann Klefstad are featured. 

Center for Economic Development

Sandi Larson, business development professional, was the featured speaker for the Twin Ports Performance Excellence Network June meeting. She discussed how a small business can implement lean principles, the barriers that keep them from doing so, and the importance of creating a culture of excellence early in the life of a business.

The 2016 Upper Midwest Basic Economic Development Course was hosted by CED in July. This five-day course covered a wide array of topics such as business retention and entrepreneurship development and is accredited by the International Economic Development Council. It fulfills one of the prerequisites for economic development professionals who wish to take the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) exam.

CED will partner with the Koochiching Economic Development Authority to host the 2016 Teen Enterprise camp in International Falls. The five-day camp is for high school students hoping to start a business either now or in the future. During the week, students will learn about business plan development and research. They will visit local businesses and hear business plan presentations. Boise Paper in International Falls is providing scholarship funds and support for this program.

CED is partnering with the Greater Downtown Council to host a series of four workshops developed for downtown Duluth businesses to help them prepare for the Superior Street reconstruction, which starts in 2017. These workshops include instruction on marketing, taught by Steve Greenfield of Greenfield Communications; social media, taught by SBDC Business Consultant Curt Walczak; and finance, taught by SBDC Business Consultant Mary Lundeen

Large Lakes Observatory News

See next issue

Medical School-Duluth News

Melissa Lewis, assistant professor, Biobehavioral Health & Population Sciences was awarded a 2016 Institute for Diversity, Equity and Advocacy (IDEA) Multicultural Research Award through the University of Minnesota for her project entitled "First-Year Medical Students Learning and Personal Growth following Indigenous Health Lectures."

Minnesota Sea Grant News

John Bilotta, water resource management and policy extension educator, and Cindy Hagley, environmental quality extension educator, presented a post conference training of the Watershed Game to Extension and Sea Grant Program educators at the ANREP-NACDEP National Conference in Burlington, Vermont, in June.

In addition, Bilotta collaborated with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and Lake Champlain Sea Grant to lead a Green Infrastructure and Stormwater Management Community of Practice roundtable discussion at the ANREP-NACDEP National Conference.

John Downing, director, and Sharon Moen, communication coordinator, attended The Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography Summer Meeting 2016 in Santa Fe, N.M., in June and represented National Sea Grant with an information table.

Doug Jensen, aquatic invasive species program coordinator, presented to the general public about Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS), "Silent Invasion of the Great Lakes: How fish have been introduced into Lake Superior," aboard the Large Lakes Observatory’s Research Vessel, Blue Heron, for Science on Deck in Duluth Harbor in May.

Jensen is quoted in an article in North Star Port Magazine’s spring 2016 issue on the 10-year success in preventing the spread of any new AIS in the Great Lakes.

Jensen is also quoted in a book, Lake Invaders - Invasive Species and the Battle For the Future of the Great Lakes, by William Rapai published by Wayne State University Press.

Marte Kitson, environmental literacy extension educator, spoke on the impacts of AIS at the Pokegema Lake Freshwater Fair in Minnesota in May. She also worked at the Lake Superior Zoo’s Earth Tracks event in Duluth in May. Using a fun interactive matching game, she taught students about aquatic invasive species and how to prevent their spread.

Jesse Schomberg, coastal communities and land use planning extension educator, was interviewed in a local news segment about safe fertilizing of lawn and gardens in June. He also presented on water safety and rip currents to the Park Point Youth Program in Duluth.

Hilarie Sorensen, climate extension educator, presented at the Duluth Climate Stories event in Duluth in June.

Natural Resources Research Institute News

Josh Dumke, researcher, completed a training course entitled "Principles and Techniques of Electrofishing" by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center. He is UMD's only certified scientist for sampling fish with electrofishing units.

Alexis R. Grinde, graduate student, and Gerald J. Niemi, senior research associate, had their article, “A synthesis of species interactions, metacommunities, and the conservation of avian diversity in hemiboreal and boreal forests,” published in the July 2016 issue of the Journal of Avian Biology 47: 001–013, 2016. They will also have their article, “Influence of landscape, habitat, and species co-occurrence on occupancy dynamics of Canada Warblers,” published in the August 2016 issue of The Condor, Vol. 118 Issue 3.

Michael Joyce, graduate research assistant, gave an oral presentation titled "Dispersal of American martens in Minnesota" at the 96th annual meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists, held at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in June.

Niemi, Richard F. Green, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, and their colleagues, Annie M. Bracey, and Matthew A. Etterson, had their article, “Variation in bird-window collision mortality and scavenging rates within an urban landscape,” published in the May 2016 issue of The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 128(2):355–367, 2016.

J. Trevor Vannatta, graduate research assistant, gave a poster presentation titled "Giant liver fluke in North American cervids: Just a fluke?” and a talk titled "Giant liver fluke and thin-necked bladderworm from hunter-harvester white-tailed deer: Co-infection and landscape patterns" at the Annual Midwestern Conference of Parasitologists at Southern Illinois University, in Carbondale, Ill., in June.

Pharmacy Department News

T. W. Bastian, S. Santarriaga, T. A. Nguyen, J. R. Prohaska, M. K. Georgieff, and G. W. Anderson, associate professor, had their article, “Fetal and neonatal iron deficiency but not copper deficiency increases vascular complexity in the developing rat brain, “ published in a 2015 issue of Nutritional Neuroscience: An International Journal on Nutrition, Diet and Nervous System; 18(8):365-75.

Jacob T. Brown, assistant professor, S. M. Abdel-Rahman, L. van Haandel, A. Gaedigk, Y. S. Lin, and J. S. Leeder had their article, “Single dose, CYP2D6 genotype-stratified pharmacokinetic study of atomoxetine in children with ADHD,” published in the June 2016 issue of Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics;99(2):642-650.

Brown and J. R. Bishop had their article, “Atomoxetine pharmacogenetics: associations with pharmacokinetics, treatment response, and tolerability,” published in a 2015 issue of Pharmacogenomics;16(13):1513-20.

Kerry Fierke, assistant professor, led a roundtable session on "Engaging Students in Ethical Leadership Concepts" at the Association of Leadership Educators Conference held in Sacramento, Calif., in July.

Fierke had her article,Create a Leadership Legacy (L2) by developing a pharmacy practice vision,” published in a 2015 issue of International Journal of Research and Development in Pharmacy & Life Sciences;4(4)10001577.

Fierke, Keri D. Hager, assistant professor, Anderson, Michael T. Swanoski, associate department head and associate professor, and A. Lowry had their article, “The process and lessons learned of creating an interdisciplinary department strategic plan designed by faculty and staff,” published in the 2016 issue of EC Pharmaceutical Science 2.2: 252-262.

Fierke and Gardner L. Lepp, Education Program Specialist, had their article, “Documenting student engagement using an intention/reflection exercise during an advanced pharmacy practice experience,” published in a 2015 issue of International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives;14(3):47-60.

Hager, C. A. St. Hill, J. Prunuske, Swanoski, Anderson, and M. N. Lutfiyya had their article, “Development of an interprofessional and interdisciplinary collaborative research practice for clinical faculty,” published in the March 2016 issue of Journal of Interprofessional Care; 30(2):265-7.

Derek Jennings, assistant professor, was awarded a 2016 Institute for Diversity, Equity and Advocacy (IDEA) Multicultural Research Award through the University of Minnesota for his project entitled "Gimaajii Mino-Bimaadizimin Children’s Program."

Olihe Okoro, assistant professor, received a $1,600 Equity and Diversity Transformation Award for “Supporting Students of Color/International Students and Enhancing Cultural Diversity and Inclusivity: A Collaborative Project.”

A. L. Pittenger, S. A. Chapman, C. K. Frail, J. Y. Moon, Megan R. Undeberg, assistant professor, and J. H. Orzoff had their article, “Entrustable professional activities for pharmacy practice,” published in the May 25, 2016 issue of the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education; 80(4):Article 57.

Yao Yao, assistant professor, E. H. Norris, C. E. Mason, and S. Strickland had their article “Laminin regulates PDGFRβ+ cell stemness and muscle development,” published in the May 2016 issue of Nature Communications 3;7:11415.


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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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