News from the U

Homecoming Parade and Pepfest photos by Jayme Halbritter.
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News from the U - Nov. 6

Top Stories     *    Headlines     *    From The Daily   *   Upcoming Events   *   Gopher Sports  

Top Stories

Preventing the Next Pandemic

Swine flu and bird flu and ebola, oh my! Experts from the U's College of Veterinary Medicine will soon be on the front lines working to help developing countries better respond to "zoonotic" pandemics—diseases such as H1N1 (swine) flu that can spread between humans and animals. A $55 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development to the U’s College  of Veterinary Medicine will fund a multidisciplinary team that will travel to Southeast Asia, the Congo Basin and the Amazon Basin. Learn more here about how the U is uniquely equipped for this task.
(Above, U researchers Katey Pelican and John Deen, Photo: Jack McTigue)

U of M a Top Fulbright School
The University of Minnesota ranked fifteenth nationally in the number of Fulbright scholars it produced in 2009-10, tying with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Indiana University, according to rankings released by the Fulbright Program. Fourteen Minnesota graduate and undergraduate students won the prestigious scholarship this year, one more than last year’s total of 13. In the past several years the U has averaged 8 Fulbright scholars per year.

The U also had the highest application success rate among the top 15 institutions—the 14 Fulbright scholars came from a pool of 39 applicants, a 36 percent success rate. The rankings as listed in the Chronicle of Higher Education can be viewed here.

Quotes of the Week

"The best shot parents have at protecting their kids is to get them a shot in the arm or up the nose."
- Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, refuting experts who advise against getting the H1N1 vaccine.

"The process of eating together actually takes on the quality of a kind of social ritual."
- U Anthropology professor William Beeman on his research on "commensality" - the worldwide phenomenon of group dining.

“I’ve got green paint in places you do not want green paint.”
- Unidentified reveler dressed as a teenage mutant ninja turtle during Halloween in Dinkytown.

Headlines

Regents Approve Capital Request
The University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved a 2010 capital budget request to the state asking for more than $193 million in state bonding funds for the coming biennium. The majority of the funds would be used to maintain and update existing building to make them more energy efficient, safer and longer lasting. Major new building requests include a proposed Physics and Nanotechnology Building to be located in the heart of campus. the next largest item is the restoration of historic Folwell Hall (left). See a PDF document of request highlights here.

Central Corridor Negotiations Continue

The U and the Metropolitan Council are working to settle a daunting lawsuit that could derail the planned Central Corridor LRT line from reaching Federal final approval stages next month. The U contends the line, planned to bisect campus via Washington Avenue, would create electromagnetic fields and vibrations that could disrupt sensitive research. Read a Minnesota Public Radio report on the latest developments. For background, visit the U's Central Corridor page and the Met Council's Central Corridor Page

Monkey Suits: U of M Anthropologist Studies Wall Street
Karen Ho, assistant professor of anthropology, recently released her findings based on months of interviews and observations of Wall Street brokers in their natural habitat. Her findings, as interpreted by the UK's Guardian in this column, include kinship networks and origin myths.

Saving the Ash Tree
The emerald ash borer is set to devastate Minnesota's stately ash trees, many of which were planted in the Twin Cities to replace the ravaged elm. Some from the University hope to preserve ash seeds in an effort to repopulate after the scourge has passed. Read the StarTribune article here.

Stimulating Research
A new $2.2 million grant awarded out of federal stimulus funds will allow U researchers to study whether bacteria can be converted to biofuel. The project was featured in a New York Times article here as well. As MinnPost points out in this article, this brings the U's stimulus grant total to more than $200 million.

Web Site of the Week
Radio K's Web site won the Best Student Media Web Site Award this week from College Broadcasters, Inc., an organization representing student media ventures. See what all the fuss is about here: www.radiok.org.

From The Daily

A few interesting headlines from the campus newspaper

Students for a Democratic Society members face discipline over disrupting convocation.

Student gifts from pharmaceutical companies under scrutiny

Students provide basic health care for homeless

Dinkytown Halloween costume slide show

Photo: Brea McGee

Upcoming Events

The Purpose Project: Working on Purpose with Richard Leider.
Monday, November 16
This one-day workshop-retreat is designed for people who want to explore alternatives to the conventional notion of retiring from work. Visit www.csh.umn.edu for more information.

A Night at the University Opera
November 19-22
Catch three short operas by Igor Stravinksy and receive half-priced tickets ($10) with your Alumni Association membership. “Stravinksy in Paris” runs November 19-22. Visit www.opera.umn.edu for details.

Minnesota Marching Band Indoor Concert
November 21-22
The Pride of Minnesota will blow the roof off of Northrop Auditorium in their annual indoor concert. This November highlight is loud, proud and not to be missed. Tickets are already on sale. Visit the U's Marching Band page for information.


Gopher Sports

First the good news: The Gopher football team's impressive 42-34 win over Michigan State means they are just one win from qualifying for their ninth bowl game in the last 11 years. Keep up with the Bowl picture on our bowl Web page here.

Hassan Mead, a junior from Minneapolis South High School who was born in Somalia, won his second consecutive Big Ten cross country title last week. Mead has earned three all-America citations in track and two in cross country in his first two seasons. He has a chance to become the most decorated Minnesota long distance runner ever, being the first freshman all-American in cross country and the first runner to win five titles in one year (cross country and indoor and outdoor 5,000 and 10,000 meters).

Less pleasant news came in last week as well, as a football player was involved in an altercation with police and three Gopher mens basketball players were at least temporarily suspended from playing. Read a StarTribune roundup of the situation here.

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