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Questions? Please email Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann.

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Campus News

Academic News

The Kathryn A. Martin Library and Friends of the Duluth Public Library are seeking nominations for the 29th annual Northeastern Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA).

Books may be nominated in one of six categories. The six categories include (1) Nonfiction, (2) Fiction, (3) Art, Photography, (4) Children's Literature, (5) Poetry, and (6) Memoir. The awards recognize books that are substantially representative of northeastern Minnesota in the areas of history, culture, heritage, or lifestyle. For purposes of the awards, northeastern Minnesota includes the following counties: Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Kanabec, Koochiching, Lake, Pine, and St. Louis. Nominated books must have been originally released in 2016.

Prizes will include $200, one hundred book seals, and a plaque for the winner in each category. Books receiving honorable mention in each category will be recognized with a plaque and one hundred book seals. An awards reception honoring all nominated authors will be held on Thursday, May 18, 2017, in Kirby Ballroom on the UMD campus. The reception is open to the public.

Visit the NEMBA website for information on how to nominate a book. Nominations must be postmarked or delivered to the Kathryn A. Martin Library by Wed., February 1, 2017. For more information, call 218-726-7889 or email

The Office for Public Engagement is seeking nominations for the 2017 University of Minnesota Outstanding Community Service Awards (OCSA).

The OCSA recognizes faculty, staff, students, and University-affiliated community members who have made significant, demonstrable contributions to the public good through research, teaching, and/or public service.

There are four OCSA categories: (1) Outstanding Faculty Member Community Service Award; (2) Outstanding Student Community Service Award; (3) Outstanding Staff Community Service Award; and (4) Outstanding Community Partner Service Award.

Nominations for awards are due by 5 p.m., Fri., February 15, 2017. Full nomination guidelines can be found on the award's web page.

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 was October 21, 2016, but additional grant proposals may be submitted 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,

Administration News


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


KUMD's Lisa Johnson received a Minnesota journalism award for reporting on suicide
In November, “Northland Morning” host Lisa Johnson received her acknowledgment as the recipient of the Journalism Award Program for Excellence in Reporting on Suicide in the state of Minnesota. She was selected from more than a dozen submissions covering print, radio, and television media. Judges from around the world reviewed and scored the submissions.

The winning entry for the award was Don't Believe Everything You Think: Talking About Suicide which Lisa initiated and produced as part of KUMD's two Mental Health Weeks. The first mental health week was entitled Change Your Mind: Living with Mental Illness. In addition to the two stories, KUMD partnered with Miller-Dwan Foundation, St. Luke's Foundation, and Human Development Center to air numerous public service announcements throughout the year, educating its listeners about depression, suicide, and other mental illnesses.

KUMD celebrated College Radio Day by airing The Basement live all day long
The student-run radio program, “The Basement,” has always aired during late-night hours from 9 pm-3 am. On November 4, "The Basement" aired during the day for the first time as KUMD took part in the nation-wide celebration of College Radio Day 2016. The Basement's team of student disc-jockeys were able to broadcast to a new audience which proved to be an exciting learning experience for students and a fresh musical experience for listeners.

KUMD celebrates 25 years of "Highway 61 Revisited"
A musical celebration honoring John Bushey, host of “Highway 61 Revisited,” was held in November at Fitger's The Rex Bar. It was a night of music and special guests honoring the local Dylanologist, magician, collector, historian, educator, and dedicated community volunteer who's been bringing listeners a weekly dose of Bob Dylan music and news for over 25 years.

KUMD will turn 60 years old in 2017
KUMD started as an illegal AM station in the basement of Old Main's Washburn Hall in 1957. Since then, it has gone from 100 watts to the current 100,000 watts with a 75-mile broadcast radius from Duluth. With arrival of the world wide web, KUMD has attracted a worldwide audience to the unique programming offerings.

KUMD will be celebrating the milestone throughout 2017 with musical events, a KUMD alumni reunion, and more. To find out more about the 60th anniversary and its celebration, contact Assistant Marketing Director Sam Quackenbush at

 103.3fm. Listen online.


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

Abram Anders, associate professor, Department of Business Communication, received the 2016 Rising Star Award from the Association for Business Communication at their 81st annual international conference in October. This award recognizes meaningful contributions to the mission and membership of the Association and to the field at large through excellent teaching, research, and/or practical applications, such as consulting and training. Anders has been an LSBE faculty member for over seven years. He has also served as faculty fellow for online and technology-enhanced learning at UMD and as an Office of Information Technology faculty fellow in the U of M system. He has created and facilitated workshops addressing communication skills, digital literacies, and interpersonal skills for diverse audiences including academics, professionals, and non-profit organizations.

Alison Aune, professor, Department of Art and Design, presented a workshop on Cultural Portraits at the Art Educator’s of Minnesota conference in Minneapolis in November. Her Nordic pattern and portrait paintings will be on exhibition at the Duluth Art Institute through Feb. 2, 2017. The exhibit, “4North: New Work by Alison Aune, Kirsten Aune, Ann Klefstad, and Arna Rennan,” explores a sense of place through four distinct voices. The artists share a Scandinavian heritage, as well as live and work in northern Minnesota. While the four create in disparate media—painting, sculpture, and textile arts—the threads connecting their work reveal a deep reverence for the natural world and the translation and transmutation of patterns and symbols.

Beth Bartlett, professor, Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, was awarded the 2016 Women of Distinction award from the Duluth YWCA and the 2016 Community Ally Award from PAVSA. She authored the chapter, "Feminist Parenting as the Practice of Non-Domination: Lessons from Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Sara Ruddick, and Iris Marion Young," in Feminist Parenting, Lynn Comerford, Heather Jackson, and Kandee Kosior, eds., Toronto: Demeter Press, 2016. Bartlett will be retiring at the end of fall semester 2016.

Jeni Eltink, director, Kirby Student Center, received the ACUI Inspiring Vision Award during the Region V Conference at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, in October. This award honors an individual who has exemplified the mission, vision, and values of their home institution and the Association of College Unions International (ACUI).

Dalibor Froncek, professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, presented a seminar talk "Decompositions of complete bipartite graphs into generalized prisms" at CAGS (Combinatorics, Algebra and Geometry Seminar) at George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.

Christiana Kapsner has been hired as the alumni officer for the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus. This is a newly created position for the Duluth campus. In her new role, she will work closely with her counterparts at the University of Minnesota Medical School in the Twin Cities. She has served as the assistant director of UMD Alumni Relations for the past four years. Prior to that, she was the public relations associate in University Marketing and Public Relations (then known as External Affairs).

Gideon Mailer, associate professor, Department of History, will have his book, John Witherspoon's American Revolution, published in January 2017 by the University of North Carolina Press, in association with the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture in Williamsburg, Va. John Witherspoon was the only clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independence. Mailer's exploration of Witherspoon's thought and influence suggests that, for the founders in his circle, civic virtue rested on personal religious awakening.

Dan Martin, professor, and Janelle Wilson, professor, both from the Department of Sociology/Anthropology, presented "Bullshitting, Brownnosing, and Sucking Down: An Exploratory Study of Modes of Ingratiation," at the Language in Thought and Action conference, sponsored by the Institute of General Semantics, and held at The Princeton Club in New York in October.

Ted Pedersen, professor, Department of Computer Science, is co-author of two papers that were presented at workshops held in conjunction with the annual conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing. The first, entitled "Why Do They Leave: Modeling Participation in Online Depression Forums," was presented at the 4th International Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Social Media. It was authored by Farig Sadeque, Pedersen, Thamar Solorio, Prasha Shrestha, Nicolas Rey-Villamizar and Steven Bethard. The second, entitled "Analysis of Anxious Word Usage on Online Health Forums," was presented at the Seventh International Workshop on Health Text Mining and Information Analysis. It was authored by Nicolas Rey-Villamizar, Prasha Shrestha, Farig Sadeque, Steven Bethard, Pedersen, Arjun Mukherjee, and Thamar Solorio.

Eun-Kyung Suh, professor, Department of Art and Design, has her work, In tears, in “The Fourth Iowa Metals Exhibition: Iowa + Taiwan” at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, through August 27 2017. Her work, Fragmented, is included in the “Oxygen – Fragmented Cities+Identities” exhibition at Jorge Jurado Gallery, Bogota, Columbia, through December 19, 2016. Also, she will serve on the site selection committee for the Wade Stadium Percent for Art project in Duluth, in conjunction with the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Rajiv Vaidyanathan
, professor, Department of Marketing, facilitated a UMD Alumni Lunch and Learn Session on branding. UMD's Center for Economic Development hosted the event.

Special Recognition

Thanks to everyone who, over the years, contributed their achievements, publications, exhibits, and all around awesomeness to Currents. We seriously could not have done it without you!

Center for Economic Development

Once again, CED partnered with the National Bank of Commerce to host the 6th Regional Economic Indicators Forum Breakfast which had 284 participant registrations. The topic was transportation, with keynote speaker Richard Dow Stewart, Ph.D., CTL, professor at the University of Wisconsin Superior (UWS) and the director of the UWS Transportation and Logistics Research Center. Students from UMD, College of St. Scholastic, and UWS made presentations on various aspects of the regional economy.

Jenny Herman, a Northeastern Small Business Development Center (SBDC) business consultant in International Falls, Minn. who has worked with the Koochiching Economic Development Authority, recently earned certification as a Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) coordinator through Business Retention & Expansion International. Earlier this fall, she also became recertified as a QuickBooks ProAdvisor and earned certification in QuickBooks Online. She has been with the MN SBDC network for 10 years serving the Koochiching County and International Falls area with expertise in financial analysis, loan packaging, business expansion along with general business planning, and many other topics.

Mary Lundeen, business consultant, provided information to participants at the 2016 Greater Minnesota Procurement Fair held at Black Bear Casino and Resort. The fair focused on small business preparation to conduct business with state, local, and federal governments. She also participated as a presenter at the Federal Prison Camp, Duluth Re-entry to provide individuals being released with the information needed to start a business.

Curt Walczak, business consultant, held workshops in Hibbing in partnership with the Hibbing and Chisholm Chambers of Commerce to assist regional businesses with improved social media marketing and uses.

CED hosted a UMD Alumni Lunch and Learn Session. Rajiv Vaidyanathan, professor, Department of Marketing, facilitated a session on branding. 

Large Lakes Observatory News

Jay Austin, associate professor, and Dan Titze, researcher, had their research highlighted in an article written by Great Lakes Echo. The study that Austin and Titze coauthored was recently published in the Journal of Great Lakes Research.

Sergei Katsav, associate professor, and his co-authors, S. Loucaa, A. K. Hawley, M. Torres-Beltran, M. P. Bhatia, S. Kheirandish, C. C. Michiels, D. Capelle,  G. Lavik, M. Doebeli, S. A. Crowe, and S. Hallam, had their article, “Integrating biogeochemistry with multiomic sequence information in a model oxygen minimum zone,” published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201602897.

Ted Osersky, assistant professor, was featured in an article for Lake Superior Magazine. The article referenced a New York Times article about benthic algal blooms in Lake Baikal and questioned whether this could happen in Lake Superior.

Cody Sheik, assistant professor, is co-mentoring Mindy Morales, a post-doc limnologist and biogeochemist, who recently produced the second in a four-part series, "Changing Landscapes Are Changing Waters," on the first round of research projects funded through the College of Biological Sciences' Grand Challenges in Biology Postdoctoral Program.

Robert Sterner, director, presented a lecture, “The Outsized Role of Earth’s Largest Lakes," at the Moos Family Speaker Series on Water Resource. Since early 2010, the Freshwater Society and the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences have co-sponsored this lecture series on water and the environment, which honors the late Malcolm Moos, president of the university from 1967 to 1974. The series brings together experts on a broad array of topics and pairs a nationally-known speaker with a panel of regional experts.

Medical School-Duluth News

Christiana Kapsner has been hired as the alumni officer for the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus. This is a newly created position for the Duluth campus. In her new role, she will work closely with her counterparts at the University of Minnesota Medical School in the Twin Cities. She has served as the assistant director of UMD Alumni Relations for the past four years. Prior to that, she was the public relations associate in University Marketing and Public Relations (then known as External Affairs).

Minnesota Sea Grant News

The top 60 papers in the past 60 years in Limnology and Oceanography included John Downing, director, as well as Robert Sterner, director, Liz Minor, professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Robert Hecky, assistant professor, all with Large Lakes Observatory.

Natural Resources Research Institute News

Euan Reavie, researcher, had his research on impacts of climate change on algae species featured in a story in the Dec 4, 2016 Duluth News Tribune.

Morgan Swingen, researcher, gave a webinar presentation with Mark Jacobs (Aitkin County Land Dept.) about her research, co-authored by Rich Baker (MN DNR) and Ron Moen, senior research associate, titled "Update on northern long-eared bat research in Minnesota, 2016" for the University of Minnesota Sustainable Forests Education Cooperative Forestry Webinar Series in Cloquet, Minn. in November.

Pharmacy Department News

Kerry Fierke, assistant professor, presented "Ethical Leadership: Creating Inclusive Environments by Identifying Student Perspectives in Reflective Writing" and led a roundtable with Gardner Lepp, education program specialist 2, on "Engaged Learners = Engaged Leaders" at the International Leadership Association 18th Annual Global Conference held in Atlanta, Ga. in November.

Keri D. Hager, assistant professor, Y. M. Roman, and R. J. Straka, have their chapter, “Hypertension: Newly diagnosed,” in Pharmacotherapy Principles and Practice Study Guide, edited by M. D. Katz, K. R. Matthias, and M. A. Chisholm-Burns, 4th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2017. Print. Hager, E. Anastasia, and D. Parra have their chapter, “Uncontrolled hypertension," in this book as well.

A poster by D. MacDonald, adjunct assistant professor, Ann Yapel, adjunct assistant professor, Hager, H. Pett-Taylor, and K. Dean, titled "Developing and Refining Residency Orientation to Facilitate Pharmacist-physician Collaboration in a Family Medicine Residency Program" was presented at the 2016 American College of Clinical Pharmacy Annual Meeting held in Hollywood, Fla. in October.

Courtney Murphy, PD4, and Yapel were selected to receive the Century Mortar Club (CMC) Student Award and Friend of the College Award, respectively.

The following were presented at the American Public Health Association 2016 Annual Meeting held in Denver, Colo. in October:

"Leveraging the Family Influence of African American Women in Prostate Cancer Prevention Efforts: A Culturally-responsive Approach" by Olihe Okoro, assistant professor.

“Combating the Drug Abuse Epidemic Through Formation of a Community Task Force: A Unified Approach” by Laura Palombi, assistant professor, and Amy LaRue.

"Interprofessional Collaborations Between Academic Pharmacy Programs and Public Health Organizations" by N. A. DiPietro Mager, L. Ochs, Paul Ranelli, professor, et al.

Mark Schneiderhan
, associate professor, presented "Managing Safety and Effectiveness of Medications for Behavioral Dyscontrol" at the Minnesota Society of Health-System Pharmacists/Arrowhead combined meeting in Duluth, Minn. in October.

Tim Stratton, professor, received a $46,889 Community Pharmacy Foundation award for "The Rural Minnesota County Jail Tele-MTM Project." Palombi, assistant professor, is co-investigator.

Mike Swanoski, associate professor, gave an oral presentation titled "A Tough Pill to Swallow (Special Considerations for Medication Administration in Geriatric Patients)" and a poster presentation titled "Inappropriate Medication Prescribing as a Dimension of Polypharmacy in US Older Adults with One of Three Conditions (Diabetes, Arthritis, Depression)" by Swanoski, Meg Little, assistant professor, Catherine St. Hill, Kenric Ware, Scott Chapman, and M. Nawal Lutfiyya at the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists annual meeting in Dallas, Tex. in November.


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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