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The next issue of Currents will be emailed out and posted on Tues., Dec. 6, 2016 (Deadline: Wed., Nov. 30 2016). Send updates and announcements to:

Questions? Email Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann at

View past issues of Currents.

Campus News

Academic News

The Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) subcommittee announced a call for grant proposals supporting action items aligned with improved undergraduate student success and retention. Faculty, staff, departments, and programs are eligible to submit proposals for consideration. Proposals should focus on new initiatives supporting student success in the freshman and sophomore years.

UMD has established the goal of increasing first-to-second year retention to 80% by fall 2018 – a four percent increase from the most recent rate. UMD is employing the 4-Pros framework, with its emphasis on Profile, Progress, Process, and Promise, to guide the campus conversation and to identify action items. Successful grant applications must show alignment with this framework. Proposals should address specifically how the project addresses one or more of the 4-Pros. More than sixty action items are already underway and are highlighted within the UMD SEM Action Plan for Student Retention. Additional information is available at

The priority grant proposal deadline is Wed., October 21, 2016. Additional grant proposals may be submitted after October 21 and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis pending funding. Forward grant proposals to Jason Ellis, 420 Darland

The UMD Equity Education and Diversity Funding Program has changed its name to the UMD Diversity Education and Projects Fund. However, its focus remains the same, to improve campus climate by furthering Goal 2 of the UMD Strategic Plan.

Review the changes and requirements to apply for funds. Changes were made to the requirements, effective July 1, 2016. The biggest change is that the total amount funded has been reduced to a maximum of $500. This will allow for more programming and projects to take place thereby increasing the sharing potential with the campus community of diversity information learned and experienced. This funding program is for student projects, as well as Civil Service bargaining, and non-bargaining employees.

Questions should be directed to one of the committee members: Mary Cameron, chair, 218-726-7912,, or Joie Acheson Lee, 218-726-8740,

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


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UMD Stores

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

Lucie Amundsen, writer, Glensheen, recently learned that her book, Locally Laid:  How We Built a Plucky, Industry-Changing Egg Farm--From Scratch, won the 2016 Midwest Choice Award for Nonfiction. The business was nurtured by UMD’s Center for Economic Development and Assistant Professor Randy Hanson, director, Sustainable Agriculture Project.

Gloria DeFilipps Brush, professor, Department of Art and Design, served as an Artist Initiative grants panelist for Photography at the Minnesota State Arts Board, in St. Paul, in October.

Catherine Caine, program project specialist, International Programs and Services, presented on "International Funding Models and Methods from Small to Large Universities" with Ben Fan, director of Finance at Rutgers University Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs, at the 2016 Annual Higher Education International Business Officers (HEIBO) Conference in Minneapolis in October.

Dennis Falk, professor, Department of Social Work, co-edited and contributed to an electronic book titled Educating Globally Competent Citizens: A Toolkit. This third edition of the book is published by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

Dalibor Froncek, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, presented a conference talk “Incomplete tournaments with handicap two,” at 30th Midwest Conference on Combinatorics, Cryptography and Computing, held at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill.

Alison Hoxie, associate professor, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, was appointed to the inaugural cohort of “IonE Associates.” She was one of twelve scholars selected by the Institute on the Environment’s faculty leadership council. Training opportunities for Associates include workshops around media and stakeholder engagement, best practices for interdisciplinary scholarship, strategies for effective project management, and strategic thinking to create impact in society. Associates will interact with corporate, NGO, and government leaders in several networking activities. Each IonE Associates receives formal and informal mentorship by an IonE Fellow — an established environmental scholar with considerable experience navigating an interdisciplinary career. The term for IonE Associate is two years.

Brian McInnes, assistant professor, Department of Education, has had his book, Sounding Thunder, published by Michigan State University Press. The subject of the book is his great-grandfather, Francis Pegahmagabow, who became one of Canada’s most decorated Indigenous soldiers, having served in WWI as a scout and sniper. When he returned home, Pegahmagabow fought for Indigenous rights and served a term as Supreme Chief of the National Indian Government.

Kim Riordan, associate professor, Department of Education, and Falk, presented a session on "Preparing Global-Ready Students within a Framework for Comprehensive Internationalization" at the Fifth Biannual Internationalizing the Curriculum and Campus Conference at the U of M Twin Cities Campus. Falk also presented a session on a "Toolkit for Preparing Global-Ready (Globally Competent) Students."

Julie Slowiak, associate professor, Department of Psychology, achieved her certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. This ertification in behavior analysis is awarded by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation established in 1998 to meet professional credentialing needs identified by behavior analysts, governments, and consumers of behavior analysis services.

Rob Wittig, assistant professor, Departments of Art and Design and Writing Studies, recently spoke in Northern California about his creative work. In addition, he spent time visiting Google with UMD Graphic Design alumnus Homer Rutledge, who directs the motion design area of Google Maps. Wittig gave a presentation to faculty and students of the Expressive Intelligence Studio, a game-design studio within the department of Computational Media at the University of California Santa Cruz in October. The presentation was titled "What World Are You From? Transmedia Roots of Netprov" and concerned his research and creative work in netprov (internet improv).  Netprov is a widely practiced, hybrid art form that uses available technologies in transmedia combinations to support improvised role-playing and the creation of fictional narratives in real time. He gave a presentation and helped lead a real-time improvised collaboration for faculty and students at the University of California Berkeley's D-Lab along with Mark C. Marino of USC and Hayley Steele, a scholar and creator of live action role-playing games (LARPs). The session was titled "Lessons in Netpov; Collaborative Writing in the Digital Age." He was also part of the panel discussion "Digital Humanities: Creativity, Collaboration and Code" along with Mark C. Marino of USC and Evan Buswell of UC Davis, in October. The panel was moderated by Claudia von Vacano, executive director & academic coordinator for the D-Lab at UC Berkeley and director of the Digital Humanities Initiative.

Special Recognition

UMD’s online psychology major was ranked in the top 10 Most Affordable Online Bachelor's Degrees in Psychology by This ninth place finish is the online major's third ranking in the top 20 and second in the top 10 this year.

Center for Economic Development

The Center for Economic Development (CED) co-sponsored Accelerating Leadership Performance with the Performance Excellence Network. The workshop focused on the “soft skills” of leadership, including managing change, managing teams, coaching others, influencing, and remaining positive.

Northeastern Minnesota Small Business Development Center (SBDC) consultants and staff members, Jenny Herman, Betsy Olivanti, Mary Lundeen, and Sandi Larson presented at the 2016 America’s Small Business Development Centers (ABSDC) conference in Orlando, Fla. The weeklong conference consisted of various workshops and seminars for SBDC Business Professionals from throughout the US and territories. Herman, Olivanti and Lundeen presented two sessions, Conducting Historical Financial Analysis and Developing Financial Projections. The modules presented were designed and created at CED and have become nationally recognized by ASBDC consultants for their usefulness and effectiveness in serving the needs of businesses across the country. Larson presented Generational Diversity & Consulting/Training which looked in?-depth at each generation and addressed possible conflicts in the workforce and how the utilize each generation to their potential.

Lundeen, an SBDC Business Consultant, provided information regarding business operations at the 2016 Government Procurement Fair at Black Bear Casino. This fair, which is organized through the Metropolitan Economic Development Association in Minneapolis (MEDA), is intended for businesses interested in selling products and services to the government at all levels.

Curt Walczak, an SBDC Business Consultant, instructed three workshops, which focused on helping businesses utilize social media effectively. The three website development workshops were in partnership with the Chisholm Area Chamber of Commerce and the Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce.

Walczak instructed a Starting a Business in MN workshop at the 2016 LSBE Entrepreneurship Conference in October. This workshop, attended primarily by LSBE students, focused on the essential first steps to take when starting your own business.

CED is partnering with Google to bring a Holiday Live Stream workshop titled Help Holiday Shoppers Find Your Business. This workshop focuses on ways businesses can enhance their Google presence to make it easier for shoppers to find them online. Walczak will be the workshop instructor.

CED is coordinating and hosting a semester-long Entrepreneur Internship between Destination Duluth and LSBE students. This internship is instructed by Jerry Thoreso of Destination Duluth and focuses on social media marketing.

Large Lakes Observatory News

See next issue

Medical School-Duluth News

Pedro Fernandez-Funez, associate professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, along with co-authors J. Sanchez-Garcia, K. Jensen, Y. Zhang, and D. E. Rincon-Limas will have their article, A single amino acid (Asp159) from the dog prion protein suppresses the toxicity of the mouse prion protein in Drosophila, published in Neurobiology of Disease. 2016 Nov;95:204-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2016.07.025. Epub 28 Jul 2016.

Göran Hellekant,
professor, and Teresa Rose-Hellekant, associate professor, both from the Department of Biomedical Sciences, will have their article, Oral and Intestinal Sweet Taste T1R2/R3 Receptors in Mice; Effect on Consumption, Overweight, Blood Glucose and Insulin Levels, published in the Journal of Obesity and Weight-loss Medication. In press.

Emily Onello, M.D., assistant professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health Duluth, and her co-author, Camille Murphy, M.A., R.N., had their article, “Physicians and School Nurses: Collaborating to Improve Immunization Rates,” published in Minnesota Physician, 2016: Volume 30, number 6: 22-24.

Joseph Prohaska, professor emeritus, Department of Biomedical Sciences, had his article, “Reflections of a cupromaniac,” published in Metallomics, 2016,8, 813-815 DOI: 10.1039/C6MT90026G. First published online 11 Jul 2016.

Veronica A. Seifert, PhD., grad student; Benjamin L. Clarke, associate professor, and Lynne T. Bemis, associate professor, all from the Department of Biomedical Sciences, had their article, A method to distinguish morphologically similar Peromyscus species using extracellular RNA and high-resolution melt analysis, published in Analytical Biochemistry, 2016 Sep 1;508:65-72. doi: 10.1016/j.ab.2016.06.022. Epub 2016 Jun 24.

Kendall Wallace, professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, along with co-authors M. Aschner, H. N. Autrup, S. C. Berry, A. R. Boobis, S. M. Cohen, E. E. Creppy, W. Dekant, J. Doull, C. L. Galli, J. I. Goodman, G. B. Gori, H. A. Greim, P. Joudrier, N. E. Kaminski, C. D. Klaassen, J. E. Klaunig, M, Lotti, H. W. Marquardt, O. Pelkonen, I. G. Sipes, and H. Yamazaki, had their article, Upholding science in health, safety and environmental risk assessments and regulations, published in Toxicology. 2016 Sep 14. pii: S0300-483X(16)30203-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2016.09.005. [Epub ahead of print]

, along with co-authors H. N. Autrup, S. C. Berry, S. M. Cohen, E. E. Creppy, J. L. de Camargo, W. Dekant, D. Dietrich, C. L. Galli, J. I. Goodman, G. B. Gori, H. A. Greim, J. E. Klaunig, M. Lotti, H. W. Marquardt, and H. Yamazaki, had their article, Whither the impending european regulation of presumed endocrine disruptors?, published in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. 2016 Sep 9. pii: S0273-2300(16)30256-2. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2016.09.006. [Epub ahead of print] No abstract available.

, along with co-authors G. C. Pereira, S. P. Pereira, L. C. Tavares, F. S. Carvalho, S. Magalhães-Novais, I. A. Barbosa, M. S. Santos, J. Bjork, A. J. Moreno, and P. J. Oliveira, had their article, Cardiac cytochrome c and cardiolipin depletion during anthracycline-induced chronic depression of mitochondrial function, published in Mitochondrion. 2016 Sep;30:95-104. doi: 10.1016/j.mito.2016.07.005. Epub 14 Jul 2016.

Minnesota Sea Grant News

John Downing, director, had a paper published in Ecology Letters in October. The piece adds to a growing body of work examining the relationship between harmful algal blooms in the Gulf of Mexico and agricultural runoff. The paper focuses on water chemistry, specifically the ratio of dissolved silica to dissolved inorganic nitrogen in 130 lakes connected to watersheds influencing nutrient concentrations in the Gulf of Mexico.

Minnesota Public Radio aired a story on National Sea Grant's 50th anniversary featuring former Minnesotan and Sea Grant's founder, Athelstan Spilhaus and a book about Spilhaus written by Sharon Moen, science writer. The story featured both Moen and Downing.

An article in Boating Magazine online on cold-weather seamanship and nine tips for bracket-season boating references advice from the U of M Sea Grant College Program.

An article on the Minnesota Coastal Program conference highlighted the U of M Sea Grant College Program's role of using research and education to simultaneously preserve and use the North Shore via green infrastructure.

Natural Resources Research Institute News

See next issue

Pharmacy Department News

Sean Hall, director of technology, has been appointed board chair of the NorthEast Alliance for Telecommunications (NEAT), a consortium for education, communication, and technology.

Amanda Klein, assistant professor, received a $120,000 AHC Faculty Development Research Grant for her project, “Diabetic Neuropathy in Mouse Models of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.”

Olihe Okoro, assistant professor, presented "Health Literacy Impact on Diabetes Knowledge & Diabetes Control" at the Head of the Lakes Diabetes Conference at the University of Wisconsin – Superior in September.

Okoro gave an oral presentation, "Gender-specific Risks and Barriers to HIV Prevention & Care in African-born Immigrant Women," and a poster presentation, "Barriers to Effective HIV Prevention and Adequacy of Care in African-born Immigrant Populations – A Needs Assessment," at the 4th United States Conference on African Immigrant and Refugee Health [USCAIRH-4, 2016] held in East Elmhurst, NY, in September.

Okoro (co-PI) and team received a $250,000 Grand Challenges Research Grant for the project “Reminders for Readiness (R4R) – e-Communication to Support Parents in Promoting Early Childhood Development.”

Paul Ranelli, professor, received a $3,500 Imagine Fund Grant for his project, “To Really See: Exploring Medicines & the Medication-taking Experience Through Visual Arts.”

The College of Pharmacy is partnering with playwright Syl Jones and Mixed Blood Theater on “Go Ask Alice”—a play about medications and their social impacts. Public performances are scheduled for Nov. 29 (Minneapolis) and Nov. 30 (Duluth). For more information, contact Paul Ranelli, or visit the University of Minnesota Foundation crowd-funding page.

Tim P. Stratton, professor, and co-authors S. Carlson, B. Dresow, M. Murugappan, E., Sieling, J. Srnec, A. Zoch, R. Westra, and R. Christensen, had their article, "Impact of crisis prevention training on student confidence in patient encounters," published in the Journal of Student-Run Clinics 2016 Sep 30 [online].

Megan Undeberg, assistant professor, presented "Dollars and 'Sense' Approach to Affording Diabetes Medications" at the American Diabetes Association EXPO in Minneapolis, Minn. in October.

A record-setting 1,098 flu shots were given at UMD during the first of two flu clinics sponsored by UMD Health Services, the College of Pharmacy (CoP), and the Employee Health and Wellness Center. CoP Duluth students staffed the event and faculty precepted.

The Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences was mentioned in the Duluth News Tribune story, "Community invited to drug forum in Cloquet on Monday."



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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