University of Minnesota Alumni Association

Up Front

Up Front

Stories from around the U of M

Photo Credit: Eric Miller

Graduation Update

SINCE 3M ARENA at Mariucci will be undergoing renovations during commencement season in May, many colleges will be joining together for campuswide conferral ceremonies at Huntington Bank Stadium.

Undergraduate Student Conferral Ceremony

Saturday, May 13, 1 p.m. | Huntington Bank Stadium

The undergraduate ceremony will include bachelor’s degree graduates from the College of Biological Sciences; College of Continuing and Professional Studies; College of Design; College of Education and Human Development; College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences; College of Liberal Arts; Carlson School of Management; and the College of Science and Engineering.

Graduate Student Conferral Ceremony

Friday, May 12, 5 p.m. | Huntington Bank Stadium

The graduate ceremony will include master’s and doctoral students from the College of Continuing and Professional Studies, College of Design, College of Education and Human Development, College of Liberal Arts, Carlson School of Management, and the College of Science and Engineering.

During the ceremonies, degrees will be formally granted by a regent of the University of Minnesota. These ceremonies will include a procession of graduates, alumni and student speakers, and some special surprises.

More details will be announced in the coming months.

University leadership has also developed opportunities to individually recognize spring 2023 graduates. In mid-February, graduates received an invitation to register for their Commencement Conferral Ceremony and had the opportunity to sign up for a separate stage crossing ceremony. Some colleges and departments are also planning individual celebrations.

Stage crossing events will take place from May 11 to May 13 at various times and locations. Graduates can choose a specific day and time to have their name announced, cross a stage, and be congratulated by a University leader. In addition, graduate students may invite their advisors and arrange to be hooded during their scheduled stage crossing time. Professional photographers will be available to take photos.

Kohlstedt Honored with Vetlesen Prize

U of M Professor Emeritus David Kohlstedt has been awarded the Vetlesen Prize, one of the highest honors in Earth sciences and considered to be the field’s Nobel Prize equivalent. Kohlstedt will receive a $250,000 prize and gold medal at Columbia University in April 2023. 

The award honors an individual’s “scientific achievement resulting in a clearer understanding of the Earth, its history, or its relation to the Universe.” 

Kohlstedt, a professor emeritus in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, is internationally renowned for his research on rock deformation processes and the physics and chemistry of minerals. He and his research group at the U of M are widely recognized for demonstrating why plate tectonics take place on Earth. Most geologic processes on the surface have their origins far below, in the region known as the mantle, but it is too remote for humans to directly observe. 

In recent decades, Kohlstedt and his colleagues have found a way around this by recreating the mantle’s temperature, pressure, and chemical conditions in the lab, observing what happens on microscopic levels and then scaling up the results to real-world size. 

Their findings underlie much of modern geophysics, structural geology, volcanology, seismology, glaciology and even the study of other planets.

Design Students Produce Onesies for Sick Kids

IN THE FIGHT against cancer, even the smallest things can make a world of difference. Cancer Care Foundation MN and U of M College of Design Professor Lucy Dunne’s technical design studio class collaborated to create a comfortable garment for infants undergoing cancer treatment at Children’s Minnesota. The outcome? A onesie with predesigned pockets for easy access to treatment ports.

Founded three years ago by Mike Tulkki (D.D.S. ’01, M.S. ’06), Cancer Care Foundation MN’s mission is to bring comfort to cancer care. The foundation started after Tulkki saw a story about U of M football player Casey O’Brien (B.S.B. ’20) and his ongoing battle with osteosarcoma. “His story really struck me, particularly how he would go straight from practice to chemo treatments. That’s what inspired our group to start making T-shirts with predesigned port openings for people undergoing chemo treatment,” Tulkki says. 

Through this initial project, Tulkki worked with others in the health care space, including Children’s Minnesota. That served as the spark for the foundation’s onesie for infant cancer patients, leading to a partnership with the College of Design’s Apparel Design Program. 

Students designed two different onesies as part of their functional clothing class. Students in the technical design class, focused on how clothing products are developed and manufactured, used the designs to produce a small run of both designs. 

“We designed the pockets in the onesies to help prevent the children from tugging on their port or the cords, which hurt when pulled,” explains apparel design student Jaden Evenson. “I hope this project will help reduce parents’ frustration and pain by eliminating some of the difficulties they encounter.”

Read More