Stories from around the U
Alumnus Produces LGBTQ Documentary
Joel Chiodi (B.S. ’94), left, executive produced
the four-part HBO Max series EQUAL about the
Stonewall Uprising, which has been nominated
for a GLAAD Media Award for best documentary.
The series, narrated by Billy Porter, star of
the current television drama Pose, chronicles
landmark events and leaders in LGBTQ history
through archival footage and reenactments.
EQUAL stars several actors including Samira
Wiley, Jamie Clayton, and Anthony Rapp.
Chiodi, who graduated from what is now known as the Hubbard School of Journalism at the U of M, says, “Of all the things I have done, this is the thing that has brought me back to my roots at the U of M, where I came out and started my journey as a gay man. It has been a three-year labor of love chronicling the early pre-Stonewall uprising heroes of the LGBTQ movement.”
U of M Alumna Designs Award-winning Mask
Julia Duvall (B.S. ’15, M.S. ’17), a
graduate of the U of M’s College
of Design, helped design a face
mask called the B2 for the company
Breathe99 that was named by Time
Magazine as one of the best inventions of 2020, one of three mask
designs selected in the article.
The magazine noted that the
rubber-like face piece holds two
replaceable filters that remove
about 99.6% of particles.
Duvall, part of the product team
who designed the mask, says “I would
not have been able to do the work I
am doing now without my time at the
U of M, the connections I’ve made
there, and the opportunities it has
The mask sells for $59.99 and filters are $7.99, available at breathe99.com.
Report on UMPD, Public Safety Released
After a multi-month investigation of
perceptions of public safety on the
U of M campus, in January consultant
Cedric Alexander, left, an expert in
law enforcement with over 40 years
in public safety, released a 59-page
report with his recommendations.
Alexander was hired last year to conduct interviews and listening sessions
across the University about sentiments
related to the University of Minnesota Police Department (UMPD).
This occurred after some members of
the University community expressed
concerns about feeling unsafe on campus. Critics of the UMPD also became
more vocal about the department after
the death last spring of George Floyd.
Recommendations in the report fell into eight broad areas:
1) Strengthen trust and legitimacy;
2) Embrace procedural justice;
3) Differentiate and realign
4) Engage the U of M campus
community in UMPD training;
5) Measure outcomes and impacts
of these efforts;
6) Better use equipment and
technology to improve safety and
feelings of safety;
7) Improve community
engagement in accountability and
8) Recognize the U of M as a role model in addressing police and safety reforms.
Alexander and his team gathered
input from hundreds of students,
parents, alumni, faculty, staff, and administration, as well as UMPD officers.
President Joan Gabel welcomed the report and promised to implement certain recommendations immediately, including equipping UMPD officers with body cameras; continuing regular meetings with the mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul to keep communication lines open and to coordinate, as needed, on public safety issues; purchasing and distributing a campus safety app to all students, faculty, and staff; and transitioning Department of Public Safety/UMPD oversight to Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations Myron Frans.
Alumna Advises First Lady
Alumna Mala Adiga (M.P.H. ’97) has been
appointed policy director to First Lady Jill
Biden after formerly serving as a senior
policy advisor to the Biden-Harris campaign
and at the Biden Foundation.
Adiga previously served as deputy
assistant secretary of state in the Bureau
of Educational and Cultural Affairs for the
Obama Administration. She is expected to
help Jill Biden, a longtime teacher, focus on
In addition to holding a master’s in
public health from the U of M, she holds a
bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College in
Iowa and earned her law degree from the
University of Chicago.
End of an Era
For generations of U of M students, the Dinkytown McDonald’s was a familiar, comforting stalwart, particularly after late nights. However, after 57 years, the business has now closed and is slated to be demolished. Future plans for the site include an apartment complex.
$5M Grant for Racial Justice
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recently awarded the U of M a $5 million grant to create more just and equitable futures for all through Minnesota Transform: A Just University for Just Futures. The grant will fund efforts around the University’s relations with Minnesota’s tribal nations. See other stories and resources about racial justice on the Alumni Association’s Addressing Racism website at umnalumni.org/addressingracism.