Driven to be more diverse

Thursday, December 17, 2015

A diverse workforce of faculty and staff is fundamental to the University’s mission, values, and strategic vision. Hiring and Retaining top-notch  women, people of color, and members of other underrepresented groups is a top priority for many employers, and the University is implementing additional strategies to be seen as an employer of choice for these diverse candidates.

That was the message Kathy Brown, Vice President of the Office of Human Resources (OHR); Vice President for Equity and Diversity Katrice Albert; and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Karen Hanson delivered Thursday (Dec. 10, 2015) to the Board of Regents’ Faculty and Staff Affairs Committee.

News and Information

New Survey Identifies Health Issues Affecting College Students and Academic Success

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Boynton Health Service of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities (UMTC) today released the 2015 College Student Health Survey identifying health and health-related behaviors affecting college students and their academic success. The survey found more students have access to health insurance, fewer use tobacco and high-risk drinking rates continue to drop—although it remains a problem. Mental health continues to be the number one public health issue on campus, and there has been an increase in the number of women who reported they have been a victim of sexual assault.

“University of Minnesota students demonstrated they have the talent to be successful here. When they aren’t successful, it is often because of a variety of issues that may impact them: mental health problems, alcohol use, illness, injuries or other challenges life brings them,” said Danita Brown Young, Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. “The College Student Health Survey helps us understand how we can make the University of Minnesota a healthy environment for all students. In the Office of Student Affairs, we are here to help students connect, engage, and grow both intellectually and in their personal lives, which benefits everyone in our community.”

Read the full news release here.

News and Information

Inclusive Holiday Celebration Reminder

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

By Kimberly D. Hewitt, Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action 

As we enter the holiday season, our community remains committed to balancing individual rights to express and observe religion with the University's obligation, as a public institution, not to promote any particular religion or faith. We encourage units to recognize holidays in ways that are respectful of the diversity of our University community, and recommend the following for your consideration. These are recommendations only and are not intended to infringe upon any individual's free exercise of religion.


English Works: Exploring an "Impossible Mourning"

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Alumnus Jermaine Singleton illuminates African American melancholy and resistance in the face of continuing oppression  

Hamline University Associate Professor Jermaine Singleton (PhD 2005) prepares his students for “21st-century multiculture” by encouraging them to practice those core English skills, critical and creative thinking, even—or most especially—within “areas that cause people the most trepidation.” He himself investigates the continuing effects of racial oppression in his compelling new work Cultural Melancholy: Readings of Race, Impossible Mourning, and African American Ritual (University of Illinois). In the book as in the classroom, Singleton aims to unsettle false binaries and other calcified ways of thinking. “It’s all about preparing students to engage, collaborate, and lead across the manifold differences that beset our world,” he says.

Read the full story on the CLA Department of English website.


Blindness does not stop theoretical computational chemist from achieving her goals

Monday, December 14, 2015

By Eileen Harvala, Department of Chemistry Communications Coordinator

Even when she was a small child, she always wanted to be a scientist. She was curious about how the world worked. Her inspiration came from Bill Nye the Science Guy, the Magic School Bus, and Sherlock Holmes. She was intrigued that the detective could see footprints and determine who made them.

For Mona Minkara, a post-doctoral associate working with Chemistry Professor J. Ilja Siepmann, nothing was impossible for these scientists, and nothing was impossible for her.  With tenacity, courage, and stubborn resistance to “you can’t do that,” from an early age, Mona has turned the impossible into the possible. It isn’t always easy. Mona is legally blind, diagnosed at the age of 7 with a genetic, degenerative eye disease. Her current vision is limited to a small amount on the periphery of her left eye, and the ability to tell light from dark. Her younger sister is also blind. Read the rest of the story on the Department of Chemistry website.