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CBS News - March 2012


college news | research news | people | events | FYI



House bonding bill includes $4.1 million for Itasca!

The House Capital Investment Committee has released its 2012 bonding bill recommendations. The bill totals $280 million, which includes $39.1 million for the University: $35 million for Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR) and $4.1 million for Itasca Facilities Improvements. 

You can help the Itasca capital request cross the finish line by urging the Senate to include the request in their bonding bill, which will be completed by the end of the week.  It’s easy. Select messages or write your own. Send a message to your legislators.

CBS Commencement is Saturday, May 12

CBS Undergraduate Commencement will be held in Mariucci Arena on Saturday, May 12. Daphne Preuss, a geneticist, HHMI Investigator, and co-founder and CEO of Chromatin, Inc., will address graduating students and their families. Chromatin is a biotech company that uses proprietary technology and sorghum seed products to develop feedstocks for renewable energy markets. Read more about Dr. Pruess. Faculty line-up is at 7 p.m.; the ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. Faculty please RSVP by March 30.

CBS has highest ratio of freshman applicants to class size

CBS topped 7,000 applications for 450 spots in next year's freshman class on March 1. This is the first time CBS has exceeded 7,000 applications and represents the highest ratio of applications to spots of any school or college at the University of Minnesota.

New award program recognizes creative work

As part of an effort to foster and recognize creative work in the college, CBS has announced two new awards: the CBS Award for Technical Innovation and Faculty Support, and the CBS Award for Administrative Innovation. The awards were developed by the CBS administrative team. Details about eligibility and the application process are available online. Nominations are due to Elizabeth Wroblewski, chief administrative officer, by April 2.

Dean Elde will lead Weisman Art Museum during director's absence

Dean Elde will serve as acting director of the Weisman Art Museum for the next two months standing in for Lyndel King, who has requested a two-month leave of absence. Elde has served on the WAM Colleagues Advisory Board and is a long-time friend of the museum. “Dean Elde is deeply knowledgeable about the Weisman's operations and keenly supportive of its activities and goals,” said Provost Karen Hanson. “We are grateful for his willingness to step in and assume this added responsibility.” The temporary appointment became effective on March 9.

Dean's Scholars wins another award

CBS Dean's Scholars has received yet another award, bringing the total to three over the past several months. This time, the student leadership program has taken the “Promising Practice” award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. As a national award, this one is more competitive than the other two, which were state and regional honors respectively. The award will be presented in Phoenix this month at the association's national meeting. Additional information.

CBS wall displays - how did they get there?

CBS IT and communications staff are responsible for the wall displays that have appeared at entrances to buildings on the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses. The monitors display essential information about lectures, seminars and other events as well as research and college news. Send suggestions about ways to make the displays more useful to Stephanie Xenos at

Bio of Raymond Lindeman online

A biography of Raymond Lindeman prepared by Robert Sterner (EEB) is now posted on the CBS website. Lindeman, who earned a Ph.D. in botany at the U of M in 1941, discovered how energy moves through an ecosystem, from the sun to plants to animals and top-level predators, essentially launching the field of ecosystem science. He was briefly at Yale University for posdoctoral studies, but died prematurely in 1942 from a genetic liver disorder. His seminal paper, “The Trophic Dynamic Aspect of Ecology,” was published posthumously. The Raymond Lindeman Discovery Center at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve honors his memory, and much of the research by faculty who work at Cedar Creek, including Regents Professor David Tilman, builds on his discoveries.


IonE seeks applications for resident fellows

The Institute on the Environment seeks outstanding scholars who are working to transcend disciplinary boundaries and/or to extend their scholarly work into communities and institutions beyond academia. IonE resident fellows will have ongoing appointments and will be provided an initial award of $10,000 in flexible funds to support their new research, teaching, outreach or leadership activities. Ideal candidates are creative problem solvers who work well collaboratively and want to advance their careers.

Applications are due no later than 11 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27. More information.


Undergraduates Melissa Reilly and Suresh Pavuluri have been selected to receive the 2012 President's Leadership and Service Award. The awards will be presented at a banquet in Coffman Memorial Union on April 30.

The University has selected Bonnie LeRoy (GCD) for an Outstanding Contribution to Post-Baccalaureate, Graduate and Professional Education Award. LeRoy, a CBS alumnus, is director of the genetic counseling program in the Medical School.

Daniel Janzen (B.S. '61; Honorary Doctorate, '96) has been selected to receive a BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award for Ecology and Conservation Biology. He was selected for his pioneering work in tropical ecology and his contributions to the conservation of endangered tropical ecosystems throughout the world, drawing on an understanding of plant-animal interactions. After earning his B.S. from the University of Minnesota, Janzen got his Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley. CBS presented him with an honorary doctorate in 1996.

The BBVA awards recognize leaders in eight categories: Basic Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics), Biomedicine, Ecology and Conservation Biology, Information and Communication Technologies, Economics, Finance and Management, Contemporary Music, Climate Change and Development Cooperation. BBVA is an international financial services company headquartered in Spain. The award for Ecology and Conservation Biology is considered among the most prestigious in the field.

Melissa Gardner (BMBB) and David Largaespada (GCD) joined President Eric Kaler and faculty selected from departments across the U of M for small group lunches in recent weeks. Kaler is continuing to hold small group lunches to get acquainted with a broad representation of faculty.

Undergraduate Justin Paz received a Howard Hughes Medical Institute research grant for this coming summer. The grant will allow Justin to spend 10 weeks conducting research on mitochondrial dynamics and function with David Chan M.D., Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech).

CBS undergrads Kendra Radtke and Sepeedeh Niknam, both juniors, also have been accepted to prestigious summer programs. Kendra will participate in the Summer Undergraduate Research Program with CTSI (Clinical and Translational Science Institute) and Sepeedeh received a Mayo Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship.

Graduate student Holly Stessman (MCDB&G) won the top poster award at the Annual LifeScience Alley Conference and Expo in Minneapolis in December. The poster, titled "Good and Poor Response Gene Expression Signatures to Proteasome Inhibitors Using a Mouse Model of Multiple Myeloma" earned her a $500 prize. Her work was also presented at the International Myeloma Workshop in London, and the American Society of Hematology annual meeting in San Diego. Brian Van Ness (GCD) is her advisor.

Undergraduate Alyssa Williams served on a panel with other student interns at a recent meeting of the Minnesota Association for Experiential Learning. Alyssa discussed her experiences as a research associate in the emergency department at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Student Services welcomes two new staff members: Jeremy Burke, Honors Program advisor, and Kelaine Haas, undergraduate research coordinator.


April 18-19

CBS Annual Plant Sale

CBS Greenhouses and CBS Phyograduate students will hold their annual plant sale in April. The sale will include a large selection of blooming annuals, tropical plants, herbs, carnivorous plants, succulents and orchids. Plant experts will be on hand to answer questions about care.

St. Paul Student Center | Minnesota Commons Room | 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Minnesota Cup

Minnesota Cup, an annual competition for entrepreneurs, begins March 26 and continues through May 18. Professional, amateur and student entrepreneurs are invited to compete. Total cash prizes have been increased to $200,000. More information.

U of M Relay for Life event needs faculty volunteers

Colleges Against Cancer, a student group, invites CBS faculty and staff to participate in the U of M annual Relay for Life, which will begin at 6 p.m. on April 27 at Bierman Athletic Field. Relay for Life is a family friendly event. There will be food, games, a silent auction, and a lot of passionate people. Stay for an hour or two or for the entire event. To join a faculty/staff team, contact Jackie Ebnet ( or Shelby Rentmeester (