The Magazine of the University of Minnesota Duluth

Volume 21• Number 2 • Summer 2004

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This past October, students in the Labovitz School of Business and Economics were joined by the public to hear a special presentation by UMD benefactor Joel Labovitz
during the annual “Professor for a Day” event.
In May, 2003, Duluth natives Sharon and Joel Labovitz presented $4.5 million to UMD to name the school and a proposed building the Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE). The gift is the largest ever for the Labovitz School of Business and Economics and the second largest for UMD. The gift is dedicated to the construction of a new building for the UMD Labovitz School of Business and Economics. UMD is going to the Minnesota Legislature in 2004 with a proposal for the structure. Joel Labovitz is the former CEO of the Maurices clothing chain, and LSBE alumnus.
“Professor for a Day” is hosted by the Labovitz School of Business and Economics and provided students with the opportunity to meet with 18 UMD LSBE alumni and talk with them about career choices and opportunities.


University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) Professor of Mathematics Joseph Gallian was named the 2003 Minnesota Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Gallian was honored at an awards luncheon in Washington, D.C., in November. For this award which salutes the most outstanding professors in the United States, Gallian was selected from among nearly 400 top professors in the country. Criteria for the award includes “extraordinary dedication to undergraduate teaching, demonstrated by impact on and involvement with undergraduate students; a scholarly approach to teaching and learning; contributions to undergraduate education in the institution, community, and profession; and support from colleagues and current and former undergraduate students.”
Gallian has taught at UMD for over 30 years. Since 1977 he has directed an annual undergraduate research program. The program allows Gallian to select six to eight of the best undergraduate mathematics students in the nation for a ten-week UMD summer research program. Over the years 118 students have participated in Gallian’s program. Most have presented their findings at the annual meeting of the American Mathematical Society, and to date over 100 of the students’ papers have been accepted for publication in mainstream professional journals.


The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy celebrated the grand opening of its Duluth expansion on October 22. This marks the first expansion in the College of Pharmacy’s 110-year history. The expansion grew out of the overwhelming number of
applicants and the knowledge that Minnesota has one of the highest demands for pharmacists in the country. The College of Pharmacy Duluth has begun with 52 first-year students whose curriculum emphasizes pharmaceutical care in Greater Minnesota. The college is led by Stephen Hoag, senior associate dean and head, who is excited about the opportunity to
provide more services to the underserved areas of the state. “The program will emphasize opportunities and advantages of rural practice, and we expect to be successful in serving Greater Minnesota. Our new students are outstanding and show considerable leadership abilities. We have been impressed with the level of support from UMD and the community,” he said.
Recurring funding for the program will come from the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center (AHC) Education Endowment funded with tobacco settlement funds. Start-up funding has come from the AHC Endowment and private funding.



A locally produced documentary has won a regional Emmy Award nomination from the National Television Academy’s North Central Chapter and has been submitted to PBS for national broadcast. “Starting in Innocence” follows UMD associate professor Tom Isbell and his students through the creative and emotional process they experienced while producing the stage play, “Dear Finder.”
“Dear Finder” is the Holocaust play produced by the UMD Theatre Department and selected for performance in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. “Starting in Innocence” tracks the changing perceptions and attitudes of the white, non-Jewish, Midwestern writers, cast and crew as they meet survivors, read personal accounts and watch films about the



The year 2004 marks the tenth anniversary of the Baeumler-Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration Series. The 2004 program features a major art exhibition and lectures by participating artists. The
program, entitled, “The Holocaust as Subject,” is sponsored by the Baeumler-Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration Committee in partnership with the Tweed Museum of Art. The featured artist of the event is Samuel M. Bak, a renowned painter, who will speak at 4 p.m. on April 20, 2004 in the UMD Ballroom. Several of Bak’s paintings will be on exhibit in the Tweed Museum of Art from April 13 to June 13. In addition, the Tweed Museum has purchased one of Bak’s paintings, “Creation of War Time II” (1999) as well as one of his sketches.
The program will also feature the work of three additional artists who work with Holocaust themes. Graphic artist and printmaker, Art Spiegelman is best known for his Maus books which tell the story of the Holocaust in the comic book genre. Photographer Debbie Teicholz and installation artist Ellen Rothenberg will also be featured.
In keeping with the theme, on April 15, Dr. Stephen Fienstein, director of the Center on Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota, will lecture on Holocaust Memorials Around the World.
Justin Rubin, UMD associate professor of music, will add to the commemoration with a performance work entitled “6,000,000” in which people will participate by attempting to draw 6,000,000 short black lines to represent each of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust.


A Rumble of Beauty, an Uproar of Love

This January marked the beginning of more than another calendar year. As actor/director Roberto Benigni stated it, the Italian American Festival 2004 is “a rumble of beauty and an uproar of love.” This festival celebrates an exchange of art, academics, and culture between Duluth, Minnesota, and Palermo, Italy.
Over several months, Duluth and Palermo are sharing a
number of cultural experiences. The first of many musical and theatrical productions was held in October as the UMD Departments of Music and Theatre along with the Conservatorio Statale di Musica of Palermo joined forces to perform Guys and Dolls in Duluth. They also brought the production to Palermo in January.
The Big Band Show presented their first tribute to Italian Americans in January in Palermo. They continue their tour in Hibbing, Minnesota, on April 16 and Duluth on May 1.
On April 22, Duluth will host the world premiere of the musical The Secret of the Talking Bird. The Italian opera, La Traviata will be performed in Duluth April 29 - May 2 and again in Palermo in August.
Opening in January, original works of art created by UMD Art and Design faculty and Duluth area artists, as well as a selection of Tweed Museum of Art American paintings, were exhibited at Palazzo Sclafani in Palermo. On April 28, the Tweed Museum of Art and North Shore Bank of Commerce will feature original art from Palermo’s Accademia di Belle Arti.
“Crossing the Waters: Italian American Connections” shifts the focus from art to academia. The conference is intended to encourage dialogue among international scholars, to celebrate and increase the understanding of ethnic and cultural traditions, and to explore the past, present, and future connections between ethnic heritage in the United States and communities of origin in Europe. It will feature prominent speakers on the Italian American experience. The conference is hosted by UMD and the Universita degli Studi di Palermo in collaboration with the College of St. Scholastica and the University of Wisconsin Superior.
The crowning event of the Italian American Festival 2004 will be the Italian American Heritage Celebration in Duluth on May 1 with special activities presented by Italian heritage clubs including entertainment, Italian culinary treats, a bocce ball tournament and an evening Heritage Banquet. Duluth high school bands, orchestras, and choirs will present a concert of Italian American music.
For more information, see the web site at


Calling the Plays On and Off the Field
UMD head football coach Bob Nielson assumed his new position as the Director of Athletics on December 1. Nielson has been head football coach at UMD since 1999. In the fall of 2002 he was a finalist for the NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year.
Before joining UMD, Nielson was named NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year for 1998 by the Football Gazette, served as associate athletic director and head football coach at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire from 1996 to 1999, and athletic director and head football coach at Wartburg College from 1991 to February 1996.


Shannon Miller, (left) the first NCAA women’s hockey coach with a national championship team, and Kathryn A. Martin, (right) the first woman chancellor in the University of Minnesota system, meet with former first lady, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Washington, D.C. They attended a reception in May 2003 for the UMD women’s hockey team in honor of its third NCAA national championship title.



UMD College of Science and Engineering (CSE) inducted five new members into the Academy of Science and Engineering in September. The Academy was established to give public recognition to distinguished alumni and special friends of CSE, who have brought distinction to themselves through their participation, commitment, and leadership in their chosen profession.

Laurence Skog, a 1965 Biology graduate from UMD, was honored for his work with the Smithsonian Institution, and his research in Biology and Botany that has led to 129 reviewed scientific publications, three new genera and more than 20 new species of plants that he has described, and at least two species of plants named for him.

James I. Swenson, a 1959 UMD graduate in Chemistry, earned this honor through his industry-leading circuit board manufacturing company, Details, Inc. The generosity of Jim and Sue Swenson through the Swenson Family Foundation has been a powerful and enabling force in the lives of countless students.

Dick Ojakangas, 1955 UMD graduate of Geology, joined the faculty at UMD in 1964 and has been called the conscience of the department. Throughout his tenure he has published at least 99 papers, reports, maps and books.  In 1999 his Ph.D. dissertation (published in 1964) was recognized as a “classic concept in Cordilleran Geology,” a high honor.

William Mularie, a Physics and Mathematics graduate of UMD in 1961, was honored for his success in a number of private and government organizations. In 1996 he retired from 3M after 30 years of employment in the private sector. Mularie also worked as general manager and director of the CAT-ARC Division of Perkin-Elmer Corporation, vice president of VacTec Systems, and director of the National Media Laboratory. Mularie held government positions including deputy director for science and technology for the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (for which he received the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Award), office director for the Information Systems Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and science and technology directorate of the Central Intelligence Agency. He is currently CEO of Telework Consortium.

Robert L. Senkler, a 1974 UMD graduate in Mathematics and Statistics, was recognized for his work with Minnesota Life. In 1974 he
started as an actuarial trainee in the Individual Insurance Division.  In 1994, after a number of achievements and promotions, he was named president and chief executive officer of Minnesota Life.  One year later he was also elected chairman of the board.Families are His Priority



Duluth School of Medicine alumnus Dr. Eric M. Ossowski has been named National Family Physician of the Year at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Dr. Ossowski entered the School of Medicine, Duluth (SOMD) in 1973 and graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, Twin Cities in 1977. He returned to Duluth in 1997 to complete his residency in Family Practice. Currently, Dr. Ossowski is Chief of Family and Primary Care Medicine at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center.

— Student Intern Amelia Anderson worked on Campus Updates.

— Susan Beasy Latto was a contributing writer.

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