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CBS News - May 2003

News

All-College Meeting
The spring All-College Meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 20, from noon to 1 p.m. in room 239 Gortner. All faculty and staff are encouraged to attend.

Mark your calendars for CBS Community Day Sept. 5
All faculty and staff are invited to CBS Community Day on Sept. 5 in the Cargill Building for Microbial and Plant Genomics. Community Day will begin with lunch, followed by Dean Elde's "State of the College" address. The afternoon will consist of tours and workshops throughout various CBS research facilities. More information will follow shortly.

CBS Commencement
175 of the 273 CBS seniors who received B.S. degrees this academic year will cross the stage at Northrop auditorium to get their degrees on Saturday, May 17. A reception will be held in front of Northrop for graduates, family, and friends from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; the ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. Chris Maziar, Executive Vice President and Provost is commencement speaker. Alumnus Pearl Bergad (M.S. in Botany) will receive the Outstanding Achievement Award from the University for her volunteer service to Chinese Americans in Minneapolis and for her use of music to improve understanding among people of different cultures. Faculty members Rob Brooker, GCD, and Claudia Neuhauser, EEB, will be recognized for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education.

More than 700 attend CBS Year-End Picnic
Despite the gloomy weather, CBS students, faculty, and staff turned out in record numbers for the annual CBS picnic. Bob Elde, Judd Sheridan, Robin Wright, Dave Bernlohr, Brian Van Ness, Bob Sterner, Dave Biesboer, and Kate VandenBosch grilled 760 burgers, and more than 70 graduating seniors showed up for the class photo. Dean Elde would like to thank the nearly 60 people who volunteered to work at the picnic.

Governor Pawlenty speaks at Cargill Building opening
Nearly 500 people attended the opening of the Cargill Building Microbial and Plant Genomics on Monday, May 5. Speakers included Governor Tim Pawlenty, University President Robert Bruininks, Cargill CEO Warren Staley, Claire Fraser, director of The Institute for Genomics Research During the ceremony, as well as Ron Phillips, director of the Center for Microbial and Plant Genomics, and deans Bob Elde and Chuck Muscoplat. Staley announced a $1 million gift to the University that will fund the Cargill Chair in Systems Biology of Human Metabolism in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics. Later that afternoon, more than 130 people attended Claire Fraser’s lecture, “Healing to Evolution: Harnessing the Genome,” and saw her receive an honorary doctor of science from the University. The opening was covered by WCCO, Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, Twin Cities Business Journal, the Scientist, and AgriNews.

Governor's Biosciences Summit
Dean Elde moderated a panel on Minnesota’s Biosciences Strengths at the Governors Biosciences Summit on Monday, May 12. The panel featured Stephen Oesterle, M.D., a senior VP at Medtronic, Karl Rabago, J.D., from Cargill-Dow, and Gregg Vandesteeg, Ph.D., executive director of 3M Research and Development. Other sessions included Bioscience Markets and Minnesota by Heath Lukatch, director of Piper Jaffray Ventures in San Francisco, The Growing role of the University and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota’s Bioscience Industry, featuring Frank Cerra, Sr. VP for Health Sciences, and Hugh Smith, chair of the Mayo Clinics Board of Governors. The event focused on how to leverage Minnesota’s unique strengths in medical devices, agribusiness, basic research, and health care to create a niche for the state in the booming global biosciences market. At the end of the day, Governor Pawlenty announced plans to form a Biosciences Advisory Council to guide the effort.

Packer elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Craig Packer, professor of ecology, evolution, and behavior, has been elected to 2003 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The class also includes Kofi Annan, Bill Gates, Walter Cronkite, three Nobel Prize winners, and four Pulitzer Prize winners. A member of the university faculty since 1983, Packer is known for his diverse studies of African mammals. Working with baboons, he became one of the first scientists to show that animals have built-in mechanisms to avoid inbreeding. From his observations of animal cooperation, especially among primates and carnivores, he found that it is possible to predict when animals will work together to hunt.

CBS volunteers call in record numbers
Phones of CBS alumni and friends rang off the hooks the night of Tuesday, April 22, as a record number of faculty, staff, and student volunteers made calls to enlist support for the U and to thank people for their gifts to CBS. At UMAA offices at the McNamara Center in Minneapolis,16 people showed up to call CBS alumni and ask them to urge their legislators to minimize cuts to the U's budget. CBS had more volunteers than any other college that participated in one of several UMAA calling nights. Volunteers were John Anderson, Janene Connelly, Ed Cushing, Bob Elde, Sharon Jansa, CBS Alumni Relations, Jill Johnston, Maggie Kubak, Claudia Neuhauser, Catherine Pham, Justin Piehowski, Peggy Rinard, Cynthia Weinig, Jason West, Wojtek Kraszkiewicz, and Robin Wright.

Meanwhile, in the Dean's Office in Snyder Hall in St. Paul, 22 students contacted approximately 700 donors to thank them for their gifts to the College. Many of the students were CBS scholarship winners, and each of them could add something personal about how private support has helped make their college experience better. The students were, Esther Kao, Michelle Gleason, Jessica Dreis, Aaron Potretzke, Jennie-Beth Swanson, Kristine Hartmark, Kayleen Fabini, Tara Gottsacker, Kristin Seitz, Matthew Stone, Tara Dowling, Rao Fu, Twinkle Jennifer Gravelle, Sharolyn Kawakami, Zeina Dajani, Phil Jensen, Shruthi Ravimohan, David Atkinson, Rania Habib, and Kristin Berg.

With the end of the school year, we are reminded that the end of Campaign Minnesota, June 30, is quickly approaching. Many CBS staff members have contributed gifts to a variety of CBS programs and departments during this campaign. Included among those generous staff members are Jon Ross, associate director at the Itasca Biological Station and Rick Peifer, education specialist in the General Biology Program. Jon’s contributions have focused on student support through the CBS Annual Giving Scholarship Fund. Ricks most recent contribution was an in-kind gift of art to be displayed in the new General Biology office area. Each gift received, regardless of size or method, is greatly appreciated. Join Jon and Rick, contact Janene Connelly (612-624-7496,
Campaign Minnesota is winding downconnelly@cbs.umn.edu) in the CBS Deans Office. Or if you prefer, make your contribution online by going to http://www.foundation.umn.edu/frameset_5.html.

BIO wins two awards
BIO, the College of Biological Sciences magazine, received a Maroon Award from the University of Minnesota and a Merit Award from Minnesota Government Communicators this month. Both awards were for all around excellence in editing, design, writing and photography as well as demonstrated effectiveness in achieving communications goals and prudent use of resources. Editor is Peggy Rinard; designer is Shawn Welch. Photographers are Tim Rummelhoff and Richard Anderson. Writers are Deane Morrison, Jennifer Amie, Mary Hoff, Justin Piehowski, and CBS Alumni Relations. advisors are Janene Connelly, Robert Elde, Judd Sheridan, Robin Wright, John Anderson, David Bernlohr, Robert Sterner, Kate VandenBosch, and Brian Van Ness. BIO is printed by UM Printing Services.

Volunteers tend Henrietta’s garden
The Henrietta Miller Garden in front of Snyder Hall and Gortner Labs is ready to bloom again thanks Jodi Bjork of CBS Greenhouses and several volunteers, who planted flowers, spread compost, weeded and mulched the garden on May 1. Miller was a BMBB administrator for more than 40 years before retiring in 1983. She visits the garden every summer to admire the results of volunteers' efforts. Volunteers included Juli Pelletier, Paul Germscheid, Sandra Mackey, Lori Nicol, and Jody Bjork.

Join the CBS community at the St. Paul Saints game on June 27 when the Saints play the Sioux Falls Canaries. Tailgating starts at 5 p.m. in the Municipal Stadium parking lot and the game begins at 7 p.m. For $8.00 you will get food and beverages in the CBS tailgating space as well as your game ticket. Family and friends are welcome. Call Emily at 612-624-4770 or email
St. Paul Saints Gamedenz0018@umn.edu to reserve your tickets.

People

Michael O’Connor, professor of genetics, cell biology, and development, was promoted to full investigator by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He will receive funding for the next seven years. O’Connor studies the function of several Drosophila genes to learn how interacting cells differentiate to form spatial patterns.

Sue Gibson, associate professor of plant biology, received a $330,000 grant from the Department of Energy to study basic plant development and metabolism.

Stephen Ekker, associate professor of genetics, cell biology, and development, received a $356,477 grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse for his project Insertional Mutagenesis in Zebrafish by SB Transpons.

Claudia Neuhauser, professor of ecology, evolution, and behavior, is the recipient of the 2003 Dagley-Kirkwood Award for Undergraduate Education. She was selected for teaching excellence and national leadership in educational innovation, particularly in the area of mathematical biology.

Sue Wick, professor of plant biology and director of the Plant Genomics Institute, will become the new associate head of plant biology beginning fall semester. She will replace Pete Snustad, who will remain the director of undergraduate studies.

Karen Oberhauser, asssistant professor of ecologoy, evolution, and behavior, received $44,946 from Minnesota’s “Improving Teacher Quality” program for “Monarch’s and More: Insect Ecology for Upper Elementary and Middle School Teachers.”

Jeannette Martinez, graduate student in ecology, evolution, and behavior, received a Graduate School Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant for her research of population genetics and habitat specificity of dragonfly larvae in fragmented landscapes. Martinez has also received the Rothman Award and the Elmer Birney Fellowship.

CBS undergraduates walked away with two of the seven awards presented at the 17th annual Winchell Undergraduate Research Symposium last month. Amy Kullas, a genetics, cell biology, and development, and microbiology major, won an award for her talk, “A New Member of the RIM101 Pathway Links pH Sensing to Endocytosis/Vacuolar Functions.” Timothy Nice, a genetics, cell biology, and development major, won an award for his talk, “Testing the Role of Beta-Catenin in Thymic Positive Selection.” More than 60 students participated in the symposium, which was sponsored by the Minnesota Academy of Science.

Muir Eaton, graduate student of ecology, evolution, and behavior, received an NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant to study traditional assessments about monochromatic vision in birds.

Jacqueline Youtsos, biology major, received the spring 2003 Student Leader of the Semester award from the Biology Colloquium Program for showing excellent leadership skills throughout the school year.

Erika Wedel, coordinator of biology colloquium, received the Presidents Student Leadership and Service Award. The award recognizes the efforts of outstanding student leaders.

Brian Barber, Ian Gilby and Tanya Smutka, all graduate students in ecology, evolution, and behavior, will receive CBS Outstanding TA awards at commencement this Saturday.

Events & Seminars

May 17
CBS Commencement
Keynote address by U Executive Vice President and Provost Christine Maziar
Northrop Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.

Contact CBS Alumni Relations,
Tailgating begins at 5 p.m., game at 7 p.m.
Municipal Stadium, St. Paul
CBS Community Event: St. Paul Saints game
June 27denz0018@umn.edu, or 624-4470.