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The University of Minnesota Duluth
BRIDGE - Winter 2006, Volume 23, #1
The first sexual harassment class action lawsuit, initiated by Lois Jenson, addressed working conditions in the Eveleth mine, about 60 miles north of Duluth. The book Class Action: The Landmark Case That Changed Sexual Harassment Law and the 2005 movie North Country are based on the case.
Lois Jenson, Judy Henry, Sue Ann Succio, Dee Sabin, Gloria Huseby, Cherie Averill Manner, and Nan Duchene spoke at UMD. Several were among the first females hired as miners. Others witnessed both harassment and the changes in employment practices brought about by the landmark case.
The group told UMD students the story of what it was like on the job when they first started. They described the three intense trials and the historic day of the settlement. It took 25 years for them to fight the battle with the mining company, but they eventually prevailed.
UMD political science major and communication minor David Lislegard joined the cast of the movie, North Country. Lislegard, a third generation miner and former steelworker, plays a miner in the film. He said, "When I worked in the mines, I worked right alongside women and didn't see harassment. However, I am fully aware that throughout the mine's history, women were not always treated with proper respect."
Many of the movie's issues tie into Lislegard's interest in political science and politics. Lislegard lobbied U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone (who died in a plane crash in 2002) on behalf of the Steelworkers and he has worked with former Minnesota Senator Roger Moe. Currently Lislegard is on the city council for the city of Aurora, Minn.
Although Lislegard has several lines and two scenes with Charlize Theron in North Country, he didn't plan on being in the movie. He was encouraged to audition. After the screening and a call back, he was offered a part as an angry, rude union member. "I had reservations about playing that type of character, due to living on the Range and being a former Steelworker. It's not who I am. I didn't want that kind of stigma attached to me," he said. The casting director talked Lislegard into it. "She helped me see that who an actor portrays is not who they are in real life."
UMD has another tie to the North Country film. Keith Hendrickson, '80 alumnus and Bulldog hockey star, gave actor Woody Harrelson hockey lessons. Hendrickson is the Virginia/Mountain Iron-Buhl hockey coach.
Terrence Tumpey, Ph.D., a 1986 UMD biology graduate and senior microbiologist at the Influenza Branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is at the forefront of the research on avian flu.
"Studying the influenza virus is a challenge," he said. "We're always trying to stay one step ahead. We're amazed at how it can adapt if you give it time." he added.
Tumpey and his colleagues are studying the lethal 1918 virus that killed 50 million worldwide and half a million in the U.S. alone. Their work, as reported in the October 2005 issue of Science (vol. 310, p. 77) uses a technique called reverse genetics to recreate a living 1918 virus. First, they gathered viral DNA from the preserved tissues of people who died in 1918 and 1919 -- including a woman whose body was frozen in the Alaskan permafrost.
Tumpey's research has determined that avian flu is genetically similar to the Spanish flu of 1918. The virus began with bird flu genes but then mutated to become infectious to humans. The research team also found that the 1918 flu was a purely avian virus, not a hybrid. It appeared to have passed directly from birds to humans and mutated on its own. Scientists say this is one mode of viral infection and the possible cause of the rapid spread of the 1918 pandemic.
Tumpey's tests revealed that the 1918 flu had a unique function. It targeted deeper areas of the lungs than standard viruses. It affected the delicate tissues where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged, creating inflammation deep in the lungs and blocking the airways.
His work is extremely dangerous so the precautions are meticulous. All viruses are handled inside a biosafety cabinet. Researchers wear a half-body suit with a respirator and all the air they breathe is filtered. Rigorous security requirements include fingerprinting pads and retina scanning, thus guaranteeing the virus doesn't fall into the wrong hands.
"By identifying the characteristics that made the 1918 influenza virus so harmful, we have information that will help us develop new vaccines and treatments," said Tumpey. "Influenza viruses are constantly evolving, and that means our science needs to evolve if we want to protect as many people as possible from pandemic influenza."
After graduating from UMD, Tumpey worked for five years as a laboratory technician at the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Illinois, Chicago. There he started working on herpes simplex type one (HSV-1) ocular disease and got interested in immunology. He was accepted in the Ph.D. program at the University of South Alabama and received his doctorate in basic medical sciences at their College of Medicine in 1997. During graduate school he became interested in influenza and applied for an ASM postdoctoral fellowship. He received a two-year fellowship to work at the Influenza Branch, CDC and continues working there today as senior microbiologist.
The UMD Study in England Programme (SIE) celebrated its 25th Anniversary in October, 2005. More than 400 former students, faculty, and guests gathered at the two main events at the Tweed Museum and the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC). British faculty member and artist Tom Millard had his opening exhibition at the Tweed Museum as part of the reunion celebration.
Other British guests included Robert and Lynda Huddleston and Marjorie Blagburn who were involved with the student and office support aspects of the Programme as well as Professor Willie Henderson and Professor Bridget Pugh. June Kendall, the landparent to at least 20 UMD students, spent much of the time surrounded by her fan club. Chancellor Kathryn A. Martin, British Deputy Counsel General Jonathan Darby and Minnesota Senator Yvonne Prettner Solon also attended the festivities.
The UMD Study in England Programme was established in 1980 and since then more than 1,100 students and over 160 faculty members have participated. Students study and live for one academic year in Birmingham, the second largest city in England. Former students describe the experience as life-changing and a very rewarding academic and cultural opportunity.
Those interested may contribute to any of the three funds established to support students and scholarships. Please contact Director of Development Diane Skomars at 218-726-7467.
The UMD Department of Intercollegiate Athletics officially retired Brett Hull's jersey, Number 29, in a special ceremony between the first and second periods of the Bulldogs' WCHA game with the University of Wisconsin in Duluth in February.
Two decades have elapsed since Brett Hull last put on a UMD uniform and dazzled college hockey fans with his goal-scoring wizardry. "Retiring Brett's jersey is a fitting and lasting tribute for the tremendous impact he has made on the UMD hockey program," said UMD Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Bob Nielson. "He's truly one of the game's greatest players."
Hull greeted former classmates, family and friends before the game. "I always love coming to Duluth," he said. "I had two great years here at UMD, and I keep coming back in the off-season. I made great friends here, Jim Toninato, Bill Watson, Skeeter Moore... and it's always good to see them." During his sensational two-year career with the Bulldogs, Hull distinguished himself as the most prolific goal producer in UMD history. "I had the chance to work with Coach Mike Sertich, and he had me work on my skating... That was good for me. He helped me adapt to the speed of the game."
Hull had high praise for UMD academics as well. "The faculty made it easy for me to go to class. Every department wanted to help me succeed."
In 1984-85, he was chosen the WCHA's Freshman of the Year, and the following winter, Hull collected 52 goals -- a figure no Bulldog has come close to equalling. Derek Plante, with 36 in 1992-93, is his nearest rival. That year, Hull landed All-WCHA first team honors and became a Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist. In addition, he established Bulldog records for hat tricks, multiple-goal games and power play scores in one season. Hull passed up his final two years of collegiate eligibility to join the National Hockey League's Calgary Flames.
Hull, a 1997 UMD Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, signed on with Calgary for the 1985 Stanley Cup playoffs and went on to play 20 years in the NHL before retiring. A nine-time NHL All-Star and the recipient of the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league's Most Valuable Player in 1991-92, he finished his playing career with 741 goals, placing him behind only Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe on the NHL's all-time list. Besides winning Stanley Cups in 1999 with the Dallas Stars and in 2002 with the Detroit Red Wings, Hull skated for the U.S. Team that captured the 1996 World Cup of hockey title, and a silver medal at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. He played with the U.S. at the 1998 Olympics, the 1991 Canada Cup and the 1986 World Ice Hockey Championships.
Hull and fellow hockey forward Keith "Huffer" Christiansen (1963-67) are the only UMD players to have a jersey retired. Hull said, "When you're in college you think you're going to live forever and play forever... but that doesn't happen. I've always been proud to represent the city of Duluth and UMD. This day is truly an honor for me."
Comedian and political commentator Al Franken broadcast his Air America Radio radio show live from the the Marshall Performing Arts Center on the UMD campus on December 7, 2005. His guests included Duluth Mayor Herb Bergson (shown here) as well as UMD students Jamison Tessneer and Chad McKenna of the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group. Franken praised the city of Duluth for having the highest voter turnout of any U.S. city in the 2004 presidential election, and he also congratulated UMD's Precinct 10 for having an 85 percent turnout.
Paul Deputy, speech and language pathologist and dean of the UMD College of Education and Human Service Professions, presented an Eddy Lecture last fall at UMD. Deputy returned to his clinical practice roots in order to educate practicing speech and language pathologists from around the region. The two-day event, "Integrated Diagnosis and Remediation of Developmental Phonological Disorders: A Perspective for the Dawn of a New Century," drew dozens of area practitioners.
For 18 years Deputy worked as an associate professor of phonology for Idaho State University's Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, where he served a term as chair of the department. Based on 25 years of direct contact with unintelligible preschool children, he has developed two clinical models that have been presented widely and perceived as practical and useful by working clinicians. In addition to his duties as dean, Deputy teaches the phonology portion of a course in communication disorders at UMD and speaks on professional development topics for school districts, state agencies, conferences, and businesses.
BRIAN K. KOBILKA
Kobilka, a noted expert in studies of the structure and function of adrenergic receptors, has led the way in researching the physiology of adrenergic receptor subtypes, including signaling and intracellular trafficking in cardiac myocytes, particularly through the use of "knockout" mice. Adrenergic receptors form the interface between the sympathetic nervous system and the cardiovascular system and play a critical role in the regulation of cardiovascular function. His awards and honors include a Young Investigators Award of the Western Society for Clinical Investigation and a Javits Investigator Award.
KATHLEEN R. ANNETTE
Annette's curriculuum vita is punctuated by many "firsts." She is the first Minnesota Ojibwe woman to earn an M.D. and the first woman to serve in her current position. Annette is a member of the White Earth Band of Chippewa and a native of Minnesota. She has spent her entire professional career serving the medical needs of our region's Indian population. The Bemidji Area Indian Health Service serves nearly 100,000 American Indians from 34 federally recognized tribes in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.
Annette serves on many boards and task forces and has been recognized numerous times for her excellent service, leadership and accomplishments. Among them are the 1993 U.S. Public Health Service Outstanding Service Award, 1998 Secretary's Award for Distinguished Service from the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, 1999 Commendation from the Tribal Leaders of the Oklahoma Area IHS and the 2000 Presidential Award for meritorious executive performance.
UMD is Seeking Funding for a new LSBE Building from the State Legislature
Joel and Sharon Labovitz have a special relationship with UMD. "UMD and Duluth are our garden, and we are lucky that we can tend to our garden." Joel Labovitz used these words to describe the gift of $4.5 million he and his wife, Sharon, made to the UMD Labovitz School of Business and Economics in May 2003.
Their generous gift enabled UMD to approach the state legislature for the public portion of the project. UMD has hired the world-class architectural firm of Perkins & Will to design a new building.
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty held a news conference at UMD in January, where he announced he will recommend $15.3 million from the Minnesota Legislature bonding bill for a new building for the Labovitz School of Business and Economics. Total cost of the building is estimated at $23 million, with $7.7 million from University funds.
The new structure is planned to be 65,000 square feet, approximately 1.5 times the size of the current School of Business and Economics. The building will provide faculty, administrative and student support offices. The physical space will incorporate 21st century teaching methods, including an auditorium equipped with the latest technology, rooms for breakout sessions, a computer lab, and much more. It will also include general-purpose classrooms, specialized academic teaching laboratory spaces, conference rooms and student gathering/study space.
The new building will also allow UMD to accommodate the 1,900 students who are enrolled in LSBE, up from the approximately 1,300 enrolled in 1998. If the funding is approved, the building project could begin in 2006, with completion in January 2008.
Joel Labovitz, a '49 graduate in business administration, is a senior fellow at the university. Beginning in 1984, he created and taught a course in entrepreneurship to graduating seniors and graduate business students. He is currently chairman of the Duluth-based, Labovitz Enterprises. Sharon Labovitz, a Duluth native, has actively participated in activities with the Junior League, public television and the Depot Foundation.
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