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January 2011 Archives

The College of Biological Sciences is a small, close-knit college community with all the benefits and resources of a major research university. Students and faculty are able connect with their students both in and out of the classroom and will see familiar faces in their classes throughout their four years at the University.

Each year, the College of Biological Sciences sponsors events that bring students and faculty together. For first-year students, the Nature of Life program is an excellent opportunity for the CBS community to spend some time together before classes even begin. During the academic year while everyone is on campus, the College of Biological Sciences Student Board hosts an event in the spring called BioDayz. This is a week jammed packed with fun-filled activities, seminars and social gatherings that bring students, faculty and staff together. These are just a couple examples of the many events and activities available to CBS students.

Take a minute to check out the College of Biological Sciences events slideshow and see for yourself how students, faculty, and staff are connecting outside the classroom and sharing their CBS pride!

University Dining Services (UDS) opened four new restaurants over winter break: Topio's Pizza is in Coffman Union's Marketplace; Papa John's and Subway in Blegen Hall; and Cone 10 Cafe in the Regis Center for the Arts. I cannot wait to try some of these new on-campus eateries!

I love going out for dinner, and some of my favorite restaurants are right here on campus. Restaurants scattered across the East Bank, West Bank, and St. Paul Campus in very convenient locations. Some of my favorites are:

Panda Express
Panda Express offers Chinese favorites in Coffman Memorial Union's Minnesota Marketplace. There are a bunch of different places to eat in the Minnesota Marketplace (which is set up food-court style) but I crave the orange chicken and fried rice whenever I am at Coffman.

Wise Owl Cafe
I spend a lot of my time studying at Walter Library, and sometimes I need a little extra fuel to help me complete a paper or get through some dense readings. The Wise Owl Cafe is conveniently located in the basement of Walter Library and offers coffee, espresso drinks and smoothies, freshly baked pastries, and a selection of sandwiches, salads, sushi, and parfaits.

Nolte Restaurant
Nolte Restaurant is located in the basement of Nolte Hall. It is a quick walk through a tunnel from the Office of Admissions where I work, so I ate here a lot during while working full days during the summer. It offers delicious sandwiches, soups, salads, and entrees. 

Pioneer Hall
I have not been to the Pioneer Hall dining center for a while, but I miss its famous made-to-order sandwiches and pastas. When I was a freshman and lived in the 'superblock' (a block with four residential halls on it), I went to Pioneer Hall just about every day for lunch with my roommates from Territorial Hall.

Bleeker Street
Bleeker Street is my favorite place to eat on the West Bank. It is in the basement of the Carlson School of Management and offers great coffee and Panini sandwiches. I like to stop there before my classes on the West Bank.

Check out the University Dining Services website to learn more about good eats on campus!

This coming Wendesday, February 2, students from CFANS will be attending the the annual Environmental Internship and Career Fair. Employers from around Minnesota and the US will be on the St. Paul campus to recruit students for their environmental based openings. Some examples of employers attending the event are the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, The National Parks Service, Barr Engineering, The Como Park Zoo and Conservancy, and the BioBusiness Alliance of MN, along with many others.

This fair is a great example of one of the many efforts CFANS makes to make sure that our students go on to lead successful careers after graduation. Some other efforts include resume reviews, mock interviews, and job postings on our Career and Internship Services website.

Check out this video current senior Hilary Baril, sharing some reasons why she chose to attend the U of M.

Thanks for watching! 

Jasmine Omorogbe, a freshman admissions counselor and U of M alumna, shares why she chose the University of Minnesota for her college experience.

Thanks for watching!

Frank Blau, senior admissions counselor and U of M alumnus, shares why he chose to attend the U of M.

It's not too late to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! While the holiday may have already passed, you can still celebrate his amazing contributions by attending Tapestry of Dreams: 30th Anniversary of the MLK Jr. Concert on Sunday, January 23. The event is sponsored by the School of Music and the Office for Equity and Diversity will feature artists 4Given, The Steels, and The Langston Hughes Project: Jazz Moods for Dreamers. The concert is free and open to the public.

The University offers thousands of fascinating courses. With all of the choices, it can be hard to choose--especially when registering for your first semester. Fortunately, you will have the guidance of an excellent academic advisor every step of the way. Here's one tip from me: You shouldn't miss out on is a freshman seminar!

Freshman seminars are unique courses that are taught by some of our most distinguished faculty members. From Nobel Prize winners to award-winning authors, our faculty really enjoy the opportunity to be able to work with new students in a close-knit classroom environment. Freshman seminars provide students with an opportunity to get connected with a professor and their classmates while studying a interesting, interdisciplinary subject. With over a 100 seminars taught each year, freshman seminars cover a vast array of topics. And, over half the courses are taught by CLA faculty. Here are just a handful of examples:

Humanities 1905: Utopias and Anti-Utopias
This seminar explores a variety of visions of an ideal society (utopia) and its opposite (anti-utopia) in the writings of philosophers, novelists, psychologists, and social and cultural critics through the ages, from Plato to Orwell, to feminist perspectives. Of central concern in this seminar is the degree of actual or potential correspondence of these visions to the real world of individual and social existence.

Music 1905: Bob Dylan
This seminar is an examination of the contribution of Bob Dylan, one of the world's greatest artists, mostly to music, but also to literature, film, and the visual arts.

English 1910W: Our Monsters, Ourselves
We all grow up with "monsters". They can be campy and kitsch, or objects of true fear and loathing. But what is monstrosity? What do "our" monsters reveal about us, as individuals and as a culture? How do they embody our conflicts, ambivalence and denial about our desires and our identity?

Psychology 1905: What is the Human Mind?
One of the most intriguing aspects of the universe is that you can think, that minds operate as entities apparently crucially tied to physical brains but are also importantly different. In this seminar, students examine conceptions of the human mind from psychological, philosophical, and neuroscientific perspectives.

Psychology 1905: The Cultural Psychology of Storytelling
In this seminar, students explore the form and content of the stories that people tell about their lives, and how these culturally-grounded stories are indicative of the psychologies of the individuals, groups, and societies who produce them.

For more information about  freshman seminars take a look at our Orientation and First Year Services website!

Danielle Williams.jpg

Hello! My name is Danielle Williams, and I am an admissions counselor for the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities.

I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. During my junior and senior year of high school, I began considering the University of Minnesota as a college option. The U of M stood out to me because of its gorgeous campus (in a metropolitan area like I was used to at home) and reciprocity agreement with Wisconsin, which meant I would qualify for resident tuition.

I enrolled at the University as an accounting major. As time passed, however, I found the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) and their Human Resource Development (HRD) program was the perfect fit for me.

After graduation, I decided to stay in Minneapolis and begin my career search here. After two years of employment with Wells Fargo, I accepted my postion as an admissions counselor and returned to campus to work in the Office of Admissions. I love that I get to work closely with students and their families as they explore my alma mater.

I'm so excited to share my U of M experiences with you, and to showcase what life is like on our campus. If you're interested in the College of Education and Human Development, I'd love to hear form you! You can find my contact information by clicking the "My bio" link under my name.

-Danielle

Each summer, College of Biological Sciences (CBS) freshman travel to the headwaters of the Mississppi River in northern Minnesota to participate in a unique pre-college experience called Nature of Life. During this 3-day retreat, CBS first-year students are able to spend time with current CBS students, faculty, and staff, while learning about their college and University at the Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories. 

 

                 NOL.jpg

                                        Photo of Nature of Life Peer Mentors, Summer 2010


I will be honest, after attending Nature of Life during my first year, I could not wait to have the opportunity to do it again. As a CBS student you can actually participate in Nature of Life throughout your college career. You can return to Itasca as a peer mentor!

As a peer mentor, students develop close friendships, build their leadership skills, teach and mentor incoming students, and connect with CBS faculty and staff. If you attend Nature of Life and have as much fun as I did, you may be interested in becoming a peer mentor. You can apply for the program during your first year on campus!

To learn more about the Nature of Life program, click here

First-year students entering the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) participate in a unique experience to support them in successfully transitioning from high school to college and finding a home in the CEHD community. This comprehensive program is called the First-Year Experience (FYE). Components of FYE include a first-year inquiry course taken with other freshmen in the college that explores a central theme, such as "How Can One Person Make a Difference?," "Food for Thought and Action," and "The Power of the Story"  through writing, reading, discussion, and critical thinking. Read more about First-Year Inquiry courses.

In addition, students become part of a Learning Community, in which they take courses-in-common with a cohort of their fellow freshmen. Learning Communities are linked classes that enable students to create a greater understanding of their studies and enhance intellectual interaction with faculty and fellow students. These courses are designed to fulfill the University's liberal education requirements and prerequisites for majors in CEHD. Best of all, they provide an excellent opportunity for students to build strong connections with their classmates and faculty. For fall 2010, twelve Learning Communities were offered in CEHD, including "Exploring the American Dream: Fact? Fiction? Forgotten?," "Multicultural Perspectives on Family and Community," and "The Power of Shared Stories." Read more about Learning Communities.

If you are interested in hearing from current students about their First-Year Experience and advice on getting involved on campus and in the community, check out these video interviews: http://www.cehd.umn.edu/current/undergraduate/fye/default.html

Did you know the University of Minnesota has been home to a number of Nobel Prize Laureates throughout our history? These individuals include alumni and faculty that made outstanding contributions to their respective disciplines. Studying the biological sciences as an undergraduate, you will interact with many researchers and professors who are making incredible scientific discoveries. 

Two Nobel Laureates who called the University of Minnesota 'home' are Melvin Calvin and Norman Borlaug.

 

                 Calvin.jpg                   Borlaug.jpg

Photos courtesy the University of Minnesota


Melvin Calvin (left) graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1935, recieving a Ph.D in Chemistry. In 1961, Calvin was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovery is the Calvin Cyle, a intricate redox reaction that takes place in photosynthesizing plants. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Melvin Calvin is remember for both his amazing contributions to biology and the University of Minnesota community.

Norman Borlaug (right) was an outstanding humanitarian and agronomist. Borlaug attended the University of Minnesota for his bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees, earning a Ph.D in plant pathology and genetics. In 1970, Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Price for his contributions to the development of high-yield agriculature in third-world countries around to world.

The University of Minnesota is home to so many leaders and innovators just like Melvin Calvin and Norma Borlaug. As a student at the U of M, you can work side-by-side with and learn from these great minds!

Hi everyone, I'm back with another interview! Below is a video of University of Minnesota senior and nutrition major Alicia, sharing why she chose the U of M.

Thanks for watching! 

One of my favorite spots on the University's St. Paul campus is the Raptor Center. The Raptor Center specializes in medical care, rehabilitation, and conservation of eagles, hawks, owls, and falcons. In addition to treating approximately 800 birds a year, the internationally known program reaches more than 200,000 people each year through public education programs and events, provides training in avian medicine and surgery for veterinarians from around the world, and identifies emerging issues related to raptor health and populations.

I love visiting the Raptor Center. They give tours to the public every Tuesday through Friday. Tours typically start every half hour or so. It is amazing to see these birds up close, and to learn about them and why they are in the Raptor Center. The tour guides are incredibly knowledgeable and give some great advice as to what we can do to help prevent future raptor injuries and diseases.

As you could guess, raptors do not have owners to help pay for their medical bills. This means that the majority of the workers at the Raptor Center do their work as volunteers. Students at the U of M and in CFANS dedicate their time to volunteer. You can click here to sign up to volunteer at the Raptor Center (that experience would look great on a veterinary school application!).

Some advice to prevent injuries and illness for raptors:

  • Do not use lead based ammunition and fishing tackle. Lead poisoning is one of the biggest problems for these birds today. Twenty-five percent of the bald eagles admitted to the Raptor Center suffer from lead poisoning.
  • Reduce E-Waste which deposits lead, mercury, silver, and cadmium into the environment which can be very hazardous to wildlife and humans.
  • Do not throw left over food out of your car windows. This attracts mice which in turn attracts birds of prey to the roadside. A large number of the raptors that are brought in have been hit by cars. 
Learn more on the Raptor Center website!

Student groups are an excellent way to make friends, develop your talents and skills, and feel at home in the University community. One of my favorite student organizations at the University is Voices Merging, a spoken-word and arts collective that has performed at several Office of Admissions events over the years. Each time I see them performed, I'm stunned by their talent! 

Voices Merging describes itself as a "multicultural student based artist coalition dedicated to providing venues, workshops and comfortable atmosphere for all types of artists." It offers students a exciting avenue to pursue their artistic endeavors outside of an academic arena. (In fact, one of our very own admissions counselors, Jasmine Omorogbe, is a talented spoken-word artist and a past president of Voices Merging!)

Get more information about Voices Merging here, check out their website, or view an alphabetical list of all of the University's student organizations. 


During the warmer months, the University of Minnesota's Les Bolstad Golf Course is a great place for U of M students, faculty, staff, and general public to test their skills on the links. But did you know that during the winter months Les Bolstad is crafted into a extensive nordic ski track?

This year, the University of Minnesota's Center of Outdoor Adventure and Nordic Ski Center have designed three trails that run throughout the entire golf course. For $3.00, students can ski at will throughout the winter months. Don't have skis? No problem! The Center for Outdoor Adventure located on the lower level of the University Recreation Center has all the the equipment you need to get out on the trails!

Don't get stuck inside during the winter months. There is plenty of fantastic, low-cost outdoor activities to get participate in throughout the University of Minnesota and the Twin Cities. Feel free to stop by the Center for Outdoor Adventure to learn about their outdoor winter trips and clinics!

Hi, everyone! 

I hope that the holiday season has treated you well. Below is a video of one of our admissions counselors, Thuy-Vy Bui, sharing a couple of the reasons she chose the U of M.



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