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February 2011 Archives

College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) horticulture students have already begun growing season preparations on "Cornercopia" the CFANS student-lead organic farm on the University's St. Paul campus. Cornercopia provides the opportunity for horticulture students to get hands-on learning experience right on campus. Not only are students studying and growing herbs and vegetables, they are also responsible for the business-end of the farm--marketing and selling the produce. The students working on this project have actually put together their own Cornercopia Blog.

 

organic jpgThe organic farm has relocated this year to the northeast section of the St. Paul campus. The vegetables that are grown on this organic farm will be sold at the U of M Farmer's Market on Wednesdays from July to October.


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As a student in the College of Liberal Arts, you will have the support to thrive academically, personally, and professionally. We have great resources to help you succeed in all aspects of your undergraduate career!

Today, students in the College of Liberal Arts are invited to the largest student career fair in Minnesota! The College of Liberal Arts Career Services office, in conjuntion with the four other U of M campuses, is bringing over 200 organizations to the Minneapolis Convention Center to recruit students in all of our liberal arts majors.

College of Liberal Arts Career Services also offers additional support throughout the rest of the school year, and even up to a year past graduation. Through their office, you will have the support to not only find job and internship opportunities through individual appointments and our GoldPASS website, but also polish your interviewing skills though our mock interviews and workshops and fine-tune your resume through resume critiques. 

You can learn more about the services provided by the College of Liberal Arts Career Services Office here

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton recently attended the Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance Banquet. He spoke about his efforts to protect the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in his new budget, and of the importance of hunting and fishing in the state of Minnesota. It is so great to see that our governor understands the importance of conserving and preserving the natural resources of our state.

Many students in College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) are currently preparing for careers in the Department of Natural Resources. Some example of CFANS majors that will prepare students for a DNR career are Environmental Science Policy and Management, Forest Resources, Recreation Resource Management, and Fisheries and Wildlife. Each of these majors include hands-on learning opportunities. For example, forestry  students conduct research at the Cloquet Forestry Center, and fisheries and wildlife students join the Conservation Biology Club in working on wildlife rehabilitation at the Sarita Wetlands.

During the banquet, two of our current fisheries and wildlife students were honored with Joseph N. Alexander Scholarships. The scholarship is named for the late Joe Alexander, who served as Minnesota game warden and DNR commissioner. It is great to see the students of CFANS recieving such support from the communities working to protect our state's resources.

CFANS has truly set itself apart as a college dedicated to the preservation of our natural resources, and we are educating students that will continue our conservation efforts for years to come. If you are interested in a career in natural resources, I hope you'll visit our website to learn more!

 

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is a truly fascinating place. As a student, I was amazed with how many new and exciting things I could discover day after day on campus. I think that one of the most fascinating places on campus is the University of Minnesota Raptor Center, housed on the University's St. Paul campus.

Since 1974, the University of Minnesota Raptor Center has educated and trained students, researchers, and professionals from around the world about raptor medicine and conservation. Partnering with the University of Minnesota's Department of Veterinary Medicine, the Raptor provides a hub for educational programs and events for the University of Minnesota and surrounding community.

When you're on campus, I encourage you to check the Raptor Center. If you live in the metro area and are interested in sharing your time and talents, The Raptor Center has volunteer opportunities. In addition, the center offers training programs like Basic Raptor Rehabilitation and Avian Orthopedic Workshop. 

The College of Education and Human Development prides itself using technology to enhance education inside and outside the classroom. This past fall, CEHD first-year students were welcomed to campus with brand-new iPads. The iPads were part of a privately funded pilot program--one of the largest of its kind in the nation!

Learn more about the CEHD iPad program here.

In a new College of Biological Sciences course entitled BIOL 4950 Special Topics in Biology: Exploring Mississippi Metagenomics, students are the principal investigators in ambitious research project to catalog the Mississippi River's microbes. In this course, each student leads a research project that contributes to a larger study of the metagenomics - the study the DNA of all microorganisms found in a given environment - of the Mississippi River.

The Mississippi Metagenome Project research project that aims at gathering genetic information of microbes that survive along the Mississippi River, from Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico. One of the goals of the program is study how human activity is affecting the biodiversity of microogranisms along the Mississippi.

This exciting course introduces students to two facinating aspects of biology--metagenomics and research. Check out the Exploring Mississippi Metagenomics video and learn about this fascinating experience for University of Minnesota and College of Biological Science students!  

I'm a true Midwesterner, and enjoy the winter months. I love skiing, ice fishing, the works. I love the changing seasons, snowy holidays, and the breathtaking landscape. But when mid-February arrives, I can't help but think about how nice it would be to be sitting on a beach somewhere...just for a couple of days. I'm sure many of you are currently feeling the same way! 

If you're craving a winter escape, the University of Minnesota has study abroad opportunities for you to do just that! Many U of M students spend their winter break studying abroad in warmer climates, immersing themselves in new cultures, and earning college credit. One example is a study abroad seminar called "Riviera Maya: It's Land. It's People."

During the seminar, "students visit ancient Maya archaeological sites of Chichen Itza, Tulum, and Coba, learn about Indigenous worldviews of the environment, participate in seminars on environmental sustainability, learn about local eco-systems and water quality, and explore the Yucatan's fringe reef system, lagoons, and caves (cenotes)."

It sounds like a fantastic way to spend winter break to me! Check out the class blog to see pictures of the students' experiences along with many interesting stories. (Be sure to take a look at the photo of the group in the underground cave. Amazing!)

Congratulations to the College of Biological Sciences iGEM team! In November, the team of five won the annual International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) after competing against 130 student teams from 25 countries around the world. The competition, hosted annually at the MIT, requires teams to engineer a biological machine that could successfully work in a living cell, and the University of Minnesota's team rose to the challenge! Check out this article highlighting this incredible achievement.

Wondering how you might be able to get involved in research opportunities like this iGEM? Take a look at my previous post called "The world of biology is a world of opportunities" to discover some amazing opportunities in biology at the U of M. There are research opportunities all over campus for all undergraduates, no matter their specific area of study. For instance, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program enables students to conduct research throughout their college careers and paid by earning stipends. 

One of the many benefits of being in the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) is that you're not just a part of the College. You're a student of the University of Minnesota! You have access to outstanding faculty and students in more than 135 different academic programs. The collaboration of these minds can lead to some amazing discoveries.

A unique partnership between the College of Science and Engineering, the Medical School, and the College of Education and Human Development has faculty performing research using the Xbox Kinect.

Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos, a professor in the Computer Science and Engineering department, explains, "Researchers and scientists believe that psychiatric disorders display subtle physical abnormalities in childhood well before the onset of a full disorder. We believe that we can use new computational tools, including computer vision and robotics, with a unique new computer vision algorithm to observe and detect abnormalities in motor and emotion in children to automatically analyze them for abnormalities."

Traditionally, we have relied on experts watching video tapes of children's movements to diagnose psychiatric disorders, but this new cross-disciplinary research offers a solution to the subjectivity of that approach. This kind of ground-breaking research is happening every day across our campus, and everyone from undergraduate to post-doctoral students has an opportunity to be part of it.

To learn more about research projects and events in CSE, check out the recent news releases on our website.

In my last year at the University of Minnesota, I joined the student group Women in Mathematics (WIM). Through this group, I found out about a lot of awesome events, speakers, and other professional organizations. That's why joining student groups is so important - they help you create a community on campus!

Through WIM, I was able to hear about an essay contest being hosted by the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) and Math for America (MfA). 

To give you some background on these organizations...

AWM is a non-profit organization founded in 1971 to encourage women and girls in the mathematical sciences.  AWM has grown to over 3,000 members from the US and around the world.

MfA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving mathematics education in US public schools. Their vision is to "dramatically change mathematics and science education over the next decade throughout America in order to keep our country competitive."  MfA Fellows spend one year earning a master's degree in education and four years teaching math in public secondary schools.

Back to the essay contest...

The essays will be based on interviews with contemporary female mathematicians or statisticians in academic, industrial, or government careers. The hope is that this will "increase awareness of women's ongoing contributions to the mathematical sciences."

The contest is open to students in grades 6-8, grades 9-12, and undergraduate college students. At least one winning essay will be chosen from each of those categories and be published on the AWM website. A grand prize winner will be chosen and published in the AWM newsletter.

The deadline for the essay contest is February 27, 2011! I'm not eligible to participate, but I am very excited to read the winning entries. If you want to hear about the lives of some phenomenal women, check out the winning essays from 2010.

Are you interested in participating in an off-campus study experience, but don't want to travel halfway around the world? At the University of Minnesota, you can! The University of Minnesota's off-campus study programs allow students to exchange and study at affiliated universities all over North America for a semester, or even year.

For instance, the National Student Exchange program allows students to exchange at  universities across the United States (including Hawaii and Puerto Rico), as well as Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Canada! As a former biology major, I think it would have been amazing to study marine biology at California State University Monterey Bay for a semester. Or, spend a year mastering Spanish at one of the several universities in Puerto Rico.

Off-campus study programs are an excellent opportunity to enrich your undergraduate experience, meet new friends, take courses that are specific to a certain geographic area (such as marine biology), and simply experience college life in another place--and then return home to the U of M!

Click here to learn more.

Each year, the Carlson School of Management offers Entrepreneurship in Action, a year-long course in which students create and launch new businesses.

This year, some of the student entrepreneurs in the class saw a common problem and came up with a simple solution. The problem: People do not like to touch public restroom door handles and will use paper towels, their elbows, or anything else in to avoid receiving germs. The solution: a device that allows people to open the door with their foot.

The product, known as the Toepener, is becoming a hit at bars and restaurants in the Twin Cities. I don't think it will be long until this simply genius device pops up in establishments across the nation!

Check out this video from WCCO to hear the story of the Toepener and see how it works:

 

Are you a kid at heart? Would you like to tinker with toys...for a living? Students pursuing a product design minor at the University can get a glimpse into the life of a toy maker in course called Toy Product Design. In this course, students learn the ins and outs of toy design.

Students are put into teams and will design their own toy prototypes. They will also learn about the design process and the necessary steps of creating products while considering customer wants and needs. Students work closely with children to see how they interact with the toy and make adjustments to the product that will improve the user's experience.

At the end of the semester, students present their work to children, toy designers, engineers, and even some toy stores, including Twin Cities-based company Creative Kidstuff. The professor of the class, Barry Kudrowitz, has had plenty of experience in the toy-making industry. He designed a Nerf Atom Blaster!

Learn more about this interesting, challenging, and undoubtedly fun class on the course website.

Activities that students can become involved in at the University of Minnesota allow them to practice and gain many skills that will benefit them upon graduation. One of the most important of these skills is leadership! 

Currently, the University YMCA is accepting volunteers to build their leadership skills through the Y-Immersion program. This program gives students a chance to lead a trip of young students (with the assistance of the YMCA) to Zion National Park in Utah. This type of prgram would be perfect for students in Youth Studies; Recreation, Park, and Leisure Studies; and students pursuing a minor in Leadership.

I invite you to learn more by clicking the link above!

One of the highlights of being a student at the University of Minnesota is having the opportunity to study just about anywhere in the world through the U of M Learning Abroad Center, one the nation's largest study abroad programs! 

The Learning Abroad Center has put together a wonderful website to help students research and plan their study abroad experiences. If you ask me, the most helpful page is on the site is the Major Advising Page. This page assists students in planning their experience so that the classes they take abroad will be able to count toward their major. The Learning Abroad Center's advisers also work very closely with students to ensure their study abroad plans fit into their 4-year academic plan.


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Another interesting part of the website is the Global Crossroads Blog. This blog is authored by students who are currently studying abroad. It is wonderful to be able to read about the different experiences that these students are having on their trips across the world. My favorite blog post so far was posted by Amanda. She tells us the story of her first motorcycle experience on the streets of India. You can read all about her high-speed adventure right here.

I hope you'll check out the Learning Abroad Center to see for yourself the amazing number of global opportunities available to you as a student at the University of Minnesota!

In this video, senior Nate Mueting shares why he chose the U of M!


Thanks for watching!

 

Do you play an instrument or enjoy singing, but don't want to major in music? If so, rest assured that there are plenty of opportunities for non-music majors to pursue their passion for music on campus. From student groups to music classes, here are just a few examples of some of our musical student groups:

Basses Wild
An all-male A Capella group that performs a diverse array of arrangements from barber shop to contemporary pop.

The Enchantments
An all-female A Capella group that practices twice a week and typically performs 3-4 times a semester.

The University of Minnesota Marching Band
The University of Minnesota Marching Band consists of over 300 students. Auditions are not required (except for drumline).

You can also get involved in instrumental or vocal ensembles and competitions through the School of Music or take non-major music courses for credit. 

For information on more opportunities to get involved, take a look at student groups under Fine Arts/Music/Film or check out the School of Music!

 

There are a lot of things I love about Minneapolis and St. Paul. The vibrant culture, vibrant music scene, and fabulous outdoor recreation...just to name a few. However, topping the list is the Twin Cities' commitment to public transportation. In fact, U.S. News named Minneapolis and St. Paul the 5th "Best City for Public Transportation" in the United States!

The article highlights the light rail and the its future development to connect both St. Paul and Minneapolis. Getting around in Minneapolis is super easy with the Metro Transit service. Downtown is a quick 10-minute bus ride from campus. From there, riders to go to the Mall of America, see a Twins game at Target Field, or hop a bus to the beautiful lakes in Uptown! And, with a University of Minnesota U-Pass, a deeply discounted Metro Transit pass for students, getting around without a car is easy and affordable!

It is really great to live in a city where public transportation is so convenient. Not having to worry about a car and parking is a big weight off my shoulders. In addition, public transportation is a much better for the environment and you can relax and enjoy music or a book rather than sitting in traffic!

Interested in learning more about transportation on (and off) campus? Check out my post on biking on campus and around the Twin Cities, visit Metro Transit's website, or explore Parking & Transportation Services at the U of M.

When I entered the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) as a student, I learned about the job resources available to me from the Career Services Center. I remember when I first utilized the Career Services, I found the staff so helpful. The counselor I met with truly cared about my goals and helping me achieve them. Plus, the Career Services Center staff only work with CEHD students, so they have a great understanding of the careers that our students are pursuing and how to help them get there.

Through CEHD career services, I enhanced my resume by having one-on-one sessions with a career counselor, who helped me practice my interview skills (I, like many people, get nervous during interviews!). And of course, our counselors help students to find experience in their fields through volunteering and internships.

In the upcoming weeks and months, the College of Education and Human Development will be hosting job fairs to support students in finding meaningful job and internship experiences. This February, CEHD will host a job fairs for students in all their majors. Companies who hire students in those fields will come to campus to recruit for their organizations. In addition, the U of M recently held the the University of Minnesota Job Fair at the Minneapolis Convention Center in downtown Minneapolis. Student studying health, wellness, recreation and sports had the opportunity to meet with organizations such as the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Minnesota Zoo. Our education students met with organizations such as St.Paul Public Schools, Admission Possible, and Youth Works.

It's a good feeling to know that as you are working toward your degree, your college is working to help you be successful with that degree. Students that have graduated from the College of Education and Human Development have found careers in counseling, teaching, physical therapy, and outdoor activities...just to name a few. The University of Minnesota has a close relationship with literally hundreds of companies and organizations within the Twin Cities and the state. It's a relationship that's vital for the success and development of our graduates. Check out the CEHD Career Services webpage to learn more.

Do you wonder what College of Liberal Arts (CLA) students are up to? If so, I invite you to check out the CLA Ambassadors Facebook page


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On the Ambassadors page, you'll find information about events on campus, majors, and learn about all of the extraordinary opportunities you'll have as a CLA student...including studying abroad, internships, jobs and service-learning projects. You can also get to know our current and former CLA Ambassadors, read up about why they chose the University of Minnesota, what they plan to do with their U of M education, and much more!

In addition, don't forget to check out our Discover CLA website. There, you will find all sorts of helpful information as you continue to explore your college options.


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 You can read about research conducted by CLA professors conduct and learn more about the great opportunities that you can experience as a student in the College of Liberal Arts!

I was looking back at my old blog posts and realized that 2010 was a great year at the University of Minnesota! I have made a lot of great memories and have even more to look forward this spring. Here are some of my favorite posts from 2010:

The Bucket List
At the beginning of the year, I made a to-do list of all the things I have wanted to experience at the U of M before I graduate. I have crossed off a few of the items, but I have some work to do before May!

Homecoming 2010 in review
Homecoming 2010, Paint the Town Gold, was legendary this year. This post highlights all the fun Homecoming events. The best part was that I was on the committee that planned and implemented it!

Hockey season...finally!
In October I wrote about the beginning of the Golden Gopher men's hockey season, a great tradition in the state of hockey. Now it is hard to believe that the season is almost over. Hopefully the guys will make it to the frozen four!

Gopher Adventure Race
The first-ever Gopher Adventure Race modeled after the popular television show, "The Amazing Race", was held on campus this fall. The event was the ultimate scavenger hunt and took the winning team over two hours to complete!

Holiday fun in the Twin Cities
I could not leave for winter break before experiencing some of the best holiday events the Twin Cities have to offer! In this post, I shared some of my favorite things to do during the 'most wonderful time of the year'.

This spring, I'll continue writing about my U of M student experience. I hope you'll join me as I count down the weeks to graduation in May!

Did you know students enrolled in the College of Biological Sciences (CBS) get to spend more than one week with their fellow first-year students before classes even start? CBS freshmen participate in three different programs to support them with their transition to college life, get to know their college, and make new friends. 

First, students with participate in freshman orientation the summer before their first year. During this overnight visit to campus, students learn about important resources and opportunities, register for courses, and meet their acadmic adviser.

CBS students also participate in the Nature of Life program. This three-day retreat that takes place at the Itasca Biological Station and Laboratories, the University of Minnesota's off-campus research station. A unique orientation to the College of Biological Sciences, students will spend time getting to know students, faculty and staff, and the College of Biological Sciences. 

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First-year CBS students at Nature of Life

Finally, first year students begin their college experience during Welcome Week! During this exciting week of events, students will make friends throughout CBS and the University, learn to navigate campus and the Twin Cities, meet with college representatives, and explore resources throughout the University. (And during the Pride and Spirit event, they learn U of M cheers and songs and form a giant "M" on the TCF Bank Stadium field. It's pretty impressive! Check out this video of the Class of 2014 creating the "M".)

The Institute for Math and its Applications (IMA) was founded in 1982 by the National Science Foundation. Its mission is to "increase the impact of mathematics by fostering research of a truly interdisciplinary nature, linking mathematics of the highest caliber and important science and technological problems from other disciplines and industry."

Part of their work includes hosting workshops, programs, public lectures, and other events on campus. You should take a look at their great calendar of events!

This month, they are hosting a special screening of a documentary celebrating the work of female mathematicians during WWII.

"This documentary tells the story of four women 'computers,' presenting their exhilarating successes in aiding the war effort and the moral dilemmas they faced. WWII ushered in a new era for women in the workforce, including female mathematicians. In 1942, the United States military began recruiting college-educated female mathematicians to work as human 'computers.' Equipped with desktop calculators and a differential analyzer (a predecessor to the world's first electronic computer), these women computed firing tables which improved the accuracy and effectiveness of the Allies' weapons. Working 6 days a week, 24 hours a day from a lab at the University of Pennsylvania, the women were considered sub-professionals and paid only $2,000 a year, but their efforts had profound effects on the war and on the dawn of computer programming."

The screening will be held on Thursday, February 24 from 5-6 p.m. in 130 Murphy Hall on campus. This documentary sounds fascinating and I will definitely be attending! If you are able to travel to campus, I encourage you to attend too. The screening is free, but the IMA requests that you RSVP by emailing them at this address: imitrea@ima.umn.edu.

Did you know that there is a major in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) called "Recreation, Park and Leisure Studies"? This major is designed for students who have a interest in enhancing people's recreational lives (anything outside of work). I first learned about the program when I entered CEHD as a junior studying Human Resource Development.

Recreation, Park, and Leisure Studies allows students to conduct hands-on activites in their curriculum to gain a thorough understanding of the principles of cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development. They also study the application of these principles to different age groups, such as enrichment programs for students k-12, or adults looking for new and alternative ways to stay mentally and/or physically fit.

This past fall, students in the Recreation, Park and Leisure Studies major had an awesome opportunity to travel to the beautiful country of Costa Rica as part of course called "Outdoor Programming and Environmental Education." Students and Program Director Connie Magnuson spent winter break combining their curriculum with cultural experiences. Check out this slideshow of photos from their trip: Costa Rica Study Abroad.

Study abroad opportunities are available to students in any major at the U of M--in fact, the University is home to one of the largest study abroad programs in the nation! To learn more, visit the U of M Learning Abroad website

Physics Force is a U of M group of professors and high school teachers whose goal is to make math and physics fun! Each year, they entertain more than 20,000 students at their annual shows. 

Their largest show of the year will take place tomorrow, Thursday, February 10, at the Minneapolis Convention Center at 7pm. Best of all, it's free! They do ask that you pre-register, which you can do online here.

Physics Force shows aren't just cool demonstrations. The team explains the physics behind everything they do. I learned some new tricks when I saw the Physics Force last fall. As they say on their website, "Physics Force goes above and beyond (literally) to educate and entertain. It is the interaction between the Force members -- with their blend of slapstick, prop comedy and science."

One of the demonstrations they have planned for tomorrow night is called "Monkey and Hunter." It involves shooting a billiard ball from a cannon at a physicist suspended from a 20 foot tower. You can preview this demonstration on the Physics Force website!

They also have a lot of other videos of their demonstrations, all of which I recommend.  To give you a taste, watch the video below - and keep your eye on the barrel.

 

With the spring semester already into its fifth week, I thought now might be a good time to take a look at some of my blog's highlights from this past year. Here are a few posts that I really enjoyed writing:

Freshman seminars at the U of M

Great opportunities for aspiring communicators

Deciphering a 400-year-old map

Be sure to check back in soon for new entries!

Looking back at my blog posts from this last year, I realized a lot of things have happened! For those of you new to my blog, I thought I would share some of my favorite entries with you:

Engineers Without Borders 

is one of our College of Science and Engineering student groups.  Each year EWB undertakes a new project, most of which involve water distribution, filtration, and storage systems. During the year, they plan and fundraise, then they travel internationally to implement their projects.

Study abroad in science and engineering!  

My international experience was incredible. I traveled to China on a Global Seminar offered by the College of Science and Engineering. I learned about electrical engineering and I got to explore a new country!

Women in the College of Science and Engineering 

This year the College of Science and Engineering's freshman class is 25 percent female!  This is the highest percentage in the history of our college. CSE is committed to encouraging women in the technical fields, and in this blog post you'll learn about some of the programs that support our undergraduate women.

CSE flash mob takes over Northrop Mall  

Last fall the College of Science and Engineering celebrated its 75th anniversary. To mark the occasion, we served sandwiches and soda on Northrop Mall, and some CSE students and faculty showed off their dance moves!

I'll have a lot more exciting information, events, and research to share with you in 2011...so stay tuned!

Below is a video of Sarah Beraki, a junior here at the U of M. Sarah is very active on campus and serves as a board member for Black Motivated Women and Voices Merging. She is also a general member of the Black Student Union. Watch the video below to learn more about Sarah and why she chose to attend The U of M.


Click on the links to get more insight into the majors that Sarah mentioned! 


Anthropology http://anthropology.umn.edu/

Art http://art.umn.edu/

Studying abroad, service projects, research, and hands-on learning are all experiences available to you at the U of M. There are two student groups on campus which incorporate all of these experiences. One you may have already heard of is called Engineers Without Borders (EWB). The University of Minnesota has a very active EWB chapter, currently working on three service projects.

A similar student group was recently founded here called Innovative Engineers. Members of this student group traveled to the Nicaraguan village of La Hermita to install a wind turbine to help residents power their homes. Before the wind turbine, residents were using car batteries for power. When the batteries ran out, residents would lose a whole day of work travelling on horseback to the nearest city to recharge. 



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Photo courtesy the College of Science and Engineering


This group was formed in 2009 by students who were inspired by their participation in a U of M Global Seminar on renewable energies in Scandinavia. The group's website explains, "The overall experience had a profound impact, providing the inspiration to forge a student organization dedicated to the development of renewable energy technology."

Paul Imbertson, professor of electrical and computer engineering, led the global seminar.  After the students' return, he worked with them to build a wind turbine. The student group grew from there.

Within a year, Innovative Engineers reached 85 members and has taken on more projects.  

Read about the group's current projects!

Greetings readers new and old! Today, I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the my favorite blog posts from the the previous year. For those of you that have been up-to-date with my postings in the past, consider this one a review. And for those of you that are new to my posts, this is a great opportunity to get caught up!

College of Biological Sciences Admissions Blog: Best of 2010

1. Adventure awaits at the Center of Outdoor Adventure - This post highlights the University of Minnesota's Center for Outdoor Adventure (COA). Learn about great opportunites and resources COA offers for students interested in outdoor recreation. As a student, I was avid participant in COA activities. I really enjoyed writing this post, since outdoor adventure is my favorite hobby and I able to include a picture of me in Colorado.

2. From the classroom to the exam room - Written in September, this post detailed an amazing volunteer experience I was able to participate in the summer before my senior year in CBS. After our experience, the College of Biological Sciences put together a short video about the trip. Check out the video and learn about the amazing opportunities that await you at the College of Biological Sciences!

3. Study biology in the Galapagos...and beyond - Students interested in studying abroad, definitely consider studying in the Galapagos Islands! This incredible 3-week studying abroad experience has students walk the steps of Charles Darwin and explore first-hand the origins of evolutionary biology. My blog posted back in October includes a great video as well.

Thank for reading the Best of 2010! Stayed tuned to the University of Minnesota Admissions Blogs for more great posts in 2011. 

-Matt

With so many options for entertainment in the Twin Cities, it is difficult to imagine not being able to find something to do. Minneapolis and St. Paul both offer a thriving and vibrant arts community, tons of opportunities to explore different cultures and foods, and eight professional sports teams. With so many choices in the community surrounding campus, it is sometimes easy to overlook events happening on the U of M campus itself.

You can stay in touch with all of the happenings around campus by visiting the University of Minnesota's events calendar. There you will find all sorts of happenings like guest lectures, seminars, Golden Gophers athletics, art exhibitions, theatre performances, concerts, and more.

One of my favorite on-campus events that I attended during my undergraduate career was the School of Music's Chamber Music Galla, which was a string performance by graduate students in the School of Music. At the time I was taking an introduction to guitar class, and my instructor was a student in the Master of Fine Arts program and performed with other students during the event. To this day, it is still one of my favorite concerts ever! Another popular event that many students enjoy is the annual College of Design student fashion show.

Here's a very small sampling of the events happening on campus this month:

Feb. 2 - Gopher men's basketball vs. Indiana (watch in-person or cheer on the team with other fans at Goldy's Gameroom!)

Feb. 3 - Free showing of Food, Inc. at the St. Paul Student Center Theater as part of Green Week

Feb. 3 - The Voronezh State Ballet Theatre of Russia performs Swan Lake at Northrop Memorial Auditorium 

Feb. 4 & 5 - Gophers After Dark at Coffman Memorial Union (learn more here)

Feb. 5 - Galactic Bowling at the St. Paul Student Center

Feb. 5 - Free showing of Due Date at the Coffman Theater

Feb. 8 - Author Charles Baxter discusses his new book "Gryphon" at Coffman Memorial Union

Feb. 8 - Bergen Woodwind Quintet in concert at Ted Mann Concert Hall

Feb. 9 - The War of Words About Science discussion with former WCCO-TV news anchor Don Shelby

Feb. 11 - Winter's Tale (performed by University Theater Arts & Dance) at Northrop Memorial Auditorium 

Feb. 11 - Gopher men's hockey vs. Denver at Mariucci Arena

Feb. 12 - Gopher women's gymnastics Best of Minnesota meet at U of M Sports Pavilion

Feb. 16 - Free showing of The Social Network, St. Paul Student Center Theater

Feb. 17 - Noah Earle, Luke Redfield, and William Within concert at The Whole in Coffman Memorial Union

Feb. 17 - Gopher women's basketball vs. Purdue at Williams Arena

Feb. 23-24 - Gopher men's swimming and diving Big Ten Championship at the University Aquatic Center

Feb. 24 - BITS Student Variety Show at The Whole 

So, if you're curious about student life and wondering what happens on campus outside the classroom, make sure to check out the University's events calendarStudent Unions & ActivitiesNorthrop Memorial Auditorium, and GopherSports.com

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Name:  Megan Odom 

Hometown:  Savage, MN

Major(s):  Spanish and Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Deviance

Year in School: Freshman, Class of 2014

Colleges and universities she considered: Last year as a high school senior, Megan's top choices for colleges included the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Yale University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Bethel College.

Why she chose the U of M:
Megan ultimately chose to attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities based on the quality of academic programs as well as value: low cost of attendance and great scholarship opportunities.





Campus involvement:

Getting involved in research: "My current research project includes working with the speech-language-hearing sciences department to research effective language interventions for children and adolescents with both Down Syndrome and Fragile X Syndrome."

Highlight of her freshman year at the U of M: "Meeting a group of friends who are like family! We made 'family dinners' on Sunday nights a tradition. We even celebrated 'fam Christmas' together before going home for winter break."

Her advice to high school seniors: "Stay in touch with friends once you go off to college - everyone loves to get mail!"

I remember as an undergraduate in the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), walking around the St.Paul campus and seeing signs about STEM on the student bulletin boards. "STEM? What is that?," I thought as I continued on my path to class. Later, I learned all about STEM, and I'd like to some share information with it about you!

STEM, which stands for "Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math," is the name of the Education Research Center located in the College of Education and Human Development. The center's purpose is to research learning and cognition of students in a k-12 environment utilizing a integration of the STEM concepts. The faculty, staff, and students involved in STEM are studying the long-term effects of combining science technology engineering and math to help prepare students in the Teaching Initial Licensure Program for their post-graduate years.

Recently, this research was applied at the White Earth Reservation with a group of students grades 4-8. The students of the White Earth community learned about atmospheric changes through the use of a camera, sensors, and a weather balloon! The lesson was not only fun; it also clearly demonstrated to the students the correlation between science and technology. The lesson plan was a success!

STEM exciting venture for anyone interested in working in education or youth studies. Learn more about it here: STEM Education Research Center 

-Danielle 

Do you remember my blog post back in November about Goldy Gopher making it to the National Mascot Championship? 

Well, I have great news: Goldy Gopher is officially the best mascot in the land! While University of Minnesota students were relaxing over winter break, Goldy was busting his tail at the 2011 UCA/UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship, held at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. Over 150 colleges and universities competed in dance, cheerleading, and mascot competitions. Goldy took home the mascot trophy and the U of M dance team got first place in the jazz and pom divisions. I am so proud of my fellow Gophers!

Check out this video of Goldy's stellar performance:


And here is the dance team's winning routine:


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