News and Perspectives


Small World Coffee Hour - Indonesia

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday, January 22, 4:00pm to 6:00pm, Yudof Hall Clubroom. Have you heard of an archipelago country that has more than 10,000 islands, 300 ethnic groups, and 700 languages living in harmony? This country is Indonesia, a very diverse nation that lives with the idea of "Unity in Diversity." You can learn more about Indonesia and its vibrant cultures through Samll World Coffee Hour. More information here.


Finding a home away from home - Graduate student ambassador program helps students get settled in Minnesota

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The University of Minnesota defines diversity as not only a driving force, but a necessary condition for academic excellence. A diverse student body contributes to a rich graduate education experience – one in which students with vastly different backgrounds and experiences come together to learn, research, and create new knowledge.

But for many students who are traditionally underrepresented in graduate education – and may be unaccustomed to the state’s climate, customs. and culture – making a smooth transition to the land of lakes, mosquitos, midwestern winters, and the culture of “Minnesota Nice” can be difficult.

The UMN Graduate Ambassadors Program is an initiative that aims to make these students aware of the opportunities available and to ease their transition into graduate school at the University of Minnesota.

Read the full story here.


Communicating with International Students — ISSS Intercultural Workshop Series

Thursday, January 21, 2016
 Thursday, January 21, 2:30pm to 4:30pm, University International Center
This workshop is part of the ISSS Intercultural Workshop series for UMN staff. See the full list of at

When attempting to navigate new systems at the University of Minnesota, international students can be confused by the American approach to conversations, instructions, and explanations. Likewise, staff and faculty often wish they understood the cultural expectations, communication styles, and accents of international students. This interactive workshop will be your opportunity to share, learn, and practice actionable approaches to communicating and connecting with international students, staff, and faculty (including those who are working in their second, or even third or fourth, language).

At the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Appreciate why the English language is difficult to learn
  • Develop tactics on communicating effectively with English language learners
  • Deepen the impact of your communications by understanding the cultural expectations of international students at UMN

Registration is now open on ULearn, and participants should register for each course they wish to attend.


Minnesota Couple Behind America’s First Gay Marriage Shares Their Story in New Book

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

In 1971, two Minnesota men, Michael McConnell and Jack Baker, aplied for a marriage license and made national headlines. The couple recently donated their 60,000-piece archive to the University of Minnesota Trettor Collection. Now they've written a book about their experiences, The Wedding Heard 'Round the World: America's First Gay Marriage. Read more in this WCCO story.

On Tues, Jan. 26 at 7:00 p.m. the U of M libraries is hosting a publication celebration at the Elmer L. Anderson Library. The event will feature remarks by authors Michael McConnell, Jack Baker, and Gail Langer Karwoski as well as the opening of an exhibit based on their archived material. Books will be available for purchase. RSVP here.

News and Information

U Libraries receives $224,450 to digitize African American collections

Monday, January 11, 2016

After receiving a nearly $225,000 grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources, the University of Minnesota Libraries will soon embark on an ambitious two-year endeavor that aims to digitally archive its materials representing African American history and culture. 

Digitized materials, dating from the 16th century to present, will include nearly half a million pages of print documents, images, and audio and video recordings from across more than 70 collections within the Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections Department.

Read the full story.


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"Perspectives" stories are the views and opinions of their authors and do not necessarily reflect any official position of the University of Minnesota.