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May 2012 Archives


According to a new joint study by Apartments.com and CareerBuilder.com, Minneapolis is currently one of the country's top 15 cities for new college graduates.

Minneapolis (Minnesota's largest city) was ranked 4th in the nation, following Washington D.C., New York, and Boston. Our city's score is better than Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Denver.

Minneapolis has the second-lowest unemployment rate of the 15 cities on the entire list, scoring at 5.6%.  It also has a lower rent rate, averaging $974 for a one-bedroom apartment, compared to $1,789 in New York or $1,814 in Boston.

Since there are more than one million bachelor's degrees earned each year, new graduates need to hastily decide where to work and live. Luckily, Minneapolis scored well in the entry-level position category of the study.

Throughout my educational career at the U of M, I have seen these statistics come to life in real situations. Many of my friends had not just one, but several internships in their fields while being a student, and several of them received jobs immediately after gradation. I myself have been lucky enough to gain valuable career experiences through three different internships while being a student here at the U of M.

Living in a major metro area is full of opportunities, especially since Minneapolis is a leader in healthcare, IT, manufacturing, and other forms of commerce. I'm glad to be taking advantage of the opportunities Minneapolis has to offer!


New College of Biological Sciences (CBS) faculty member G.W. Gant Luxton is currently making headway in the fight against dystonia, a common movement disorder. But his research holds a special place in his heart beyond simple scientific interest.

Luxton's Uncle Vince and his uncle's mother Gerry both suffered from Parkinson's Disease, a disorder of the brain that leads to shaking and difficulty with movement.

When Luxton was 24, Gerry passed away due to this condition. Coincidentally this was the time when he needed to select a focus area for his research. He chose dystonia, a similar neurological movement order. This area of study would allow him to explore his interest in cell polarity and the cytoskeleton. Currently scientists have identified mutated genes related to different forms of dystonia, but have still not concluded why these mutations result in the disease. Luxton is working to find that out, focusing on the most common and severe form of dystonia, "early onset torsion dystonia," which begins in children when they are just 11-12 years old.

Recently, Luxton was nominated for the Mallinckrodt Foundation award, which provides start-up funding to one junior faculty member in the U.S. every year.

"Grant's nomination reflects the great science he did as a graduate student and a postdoc, and his potential for uncovering a new disease mechanism that will hopefully lead to a treatment for this disease," says Michael O'Connor, head of the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development (where Luxton is a new assistant professor)

"What I really like about working on dystonia is that it allows me to do practical, applied cell biology," Luxton says. "In trying to determine how mutations in dystonia-associated genes disrupt the molecular machinery that controls cell polarity...we hope to better our understanding of this fascinating aspect of basic cell biology."

After graduating from Grinnell and Northwestern he completed postdoctoral research at Columbia, then came to the University of Minnesota in 2011 for one reason. "The department was the biggest draw," he says. "I've got really great colleagues. I feel very supported and I'm really happy to be here."

Source credit: "Moving Ahead," www.cbs.umn.edu



My name is Emily Ehlert and I am gong to be the new Gopher Student blogger for the University of Minnesota Office of Admissions this summer! I will be a senior next year and am pursuing a double major in both Journalism and Theatre Arts.

Outside of school I have also worked as a promotions intern for the radio station 101.3 KDWB where I helped out with many events and helped to promote the radio station. 

I am currently a performer at ComedySportz Twin Cities where I perform live improvisational comedy in a "sport-like" setting, doing scenes based on audience suggestions. This summer I am also interning at Allied THA where I will be working with Paramount Pictures and promoting their films in the Twin Cities. 

Since I was a freshman at the U of M in fall 2009, my class got to be the first to create the now-traditional "M" on the TCF Bank Stadium, and my Gopher pride has grown more and more every day since then. I have loved the opportunities the U of M has provided to me, not only because I'm at a Big 10 university, but also because the University that lies in the heart of a major metropolitan area!

I will be updating this blog throughout the summer with information about upcoming events, profiles on current students, and all things U of M--the great academics, opportunities, and even Goldy himself.

I look forward to communicating with you throughout the upcoming summer!


Emily Ehlert


On April 25th, University of Minnesota students "explored the dark side of fairy tales" with No White, a fashion show featuring the sixteen finalists from a design competition in March. Each designer was paired with a student model, and designers were encouraged to use thrift store finds and incorporate unconventional materials. No white was allowed in the designs. The theme of the event was villainy, murder, passion, and deception.

The fashion show took place was produced by the WAM Collective--the official student group at the U of M which bridges the gap between the Weisman Art Museum and the U of M community. No White was a part of the creative celebration around Ballet Preljocaj's performance of Snow White, presented by Northrop.

Take a look at the photos below, which showcase the work of the U of M's talented design students! 

Photo credit: All photos by Travis Chantar, for the Weisman Art Museum.

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Happy Minnesota Museums Month! May is the month of a 31-day celebration of the hundreds of historic centers, art museums, zoos, and science centers located across the state of Minnesota. Did you know that there are 55 museums in Minneapolis and St. Paul alone? That's twice as many as in Chicago!

The University of Minnesota has a few of its very own museums right on campus:

The Weiseman Art Museum 

Frederick R. Weisman was a noted California philanthropist, art patron, and entrepreneur who provided the pivotal gift of $3 million, which gave the University of Minnesota Art Museum a new home. Frank Gehry, the architect of the building, won a prestigious Progressive Architecture Design Award for his design. The museum opened in 1993. Its structure was built to represent both the beauty of the Mississippi River and the architecture of the U of M campus.


Of course, the art within the building is also amazing. There are many exhibits and events currently held at Weisman, including "Cartography of a Collection," "Sympathies," and many more. U of M students are lucky to have the Weisman Art Museum, right at our doorstep in the heart of campus. Visit the Weisman Art Museum website to learn more!

Even if you won't be able to visit the Weisman Art Museum anytime soon, you can still celebrate Minnesota Museums Month! Check out some fun facts about Minnesota museums, and the featured video, "Museums Creating Community," below.

The Bell Museum of Natural History

The Bell Musuem of Natural History was established in 1872 to "collect, preserve, skillfully prepare, display, and interpret our state's diverse animal and plant life for scholarly research and teaching and for public appreciation, enrichment, and enjoyment." This museum allows its visitors to become closer to the natural world through its exhibits. One of the features of the Bell Museum is the ExploraDome, which is a portable dome that allows students to virtually travel across the universe. I've been inside the ExploraDome when I was taking an Astronomy class at the U of M. It was an amazing experience, and I was able to see planets and stars like never before!

Goldstein Museum of Design

The Goldstein Museum of Design has two gallaries on the U of M Twin Cities campus -one in St. Paul (in
McNeal Hall) and one in Minneapolis (in Rapson Hall). This museum features many diverse exhibits. The current exhibitions include the work of Jack Edwards, a master costume designer, and Leonard Parker, an architect and skilled designer. The next time you are on campus, check of the work of these great designers and get inspired!

Did you know?

  • Minnesota has approximately 600 museums. That's one for every 9,000 residents and twice as many as the national average.
  • Every county in the state has at least one museum.
  • The total economic impact of Minnesota museums is over $300 million annually.
  • An estimated 1.7 million tourists traveled outside their region to visit museums in 2011, resulting in $53 million in economic activity in Minnesota.

The school year is has ended and it's time for summer to begin. My summer plans are especially exciting because I will be leaving the country for six weeks to intern abroad in Sydney, Australia! Unfortunately, that means that I will not be blogging for the next couple months, but I will be sure to take many photos and share them with you upon my return!

My internship abroad is part of CAPA International Education. I learned about this program while researching study abroad opportunities at the Learning Abroad Center. There are so many options to consider at the Learning Abroad Center--300 programs in more than 70 countries!

It's always been a dream of mine to travel halfway across the world to Australia and experience the Australian culture. I am taking on a long-term program because I want to be fully immersed in the culture; it was a tough choice between studying abroad for a semester or instead participating in an internship abroad during the summer. I choice to intern abroad because I believe it will be interesting to learn how businesses operate internationally, and I will gain a better global perspective. Additionally, I will be living with a family in Sydney, rather than in an apartment building, to completely understand the daily life and culture in Australia. I will not be traveling with anyone I know, so it will be exciting to meeting new people on this trip! Click here to learn more about my "Study and Internships in Sydney" program through the Learning Abroad Center!

As a Carlson School of Management student, a period of international experience is required of me during my time at the University of Minnesota. However, I know that I would have participated in a study abroad program even if it were not required. The best learning comes from pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and experiencing new things, and that's what studying abroad does for students. The University of Minnesota's Learning Abroad Center makes it very easy to study or intern abroad, and they work with you to make sure your international credits transfer back to the U of M. The one thing that most graduates regret is not taking the opportunity to study abroad, so I encourage you to all consider it when making your college plans.

Thank you for staying with me this academic year and reading about the U of M through my eyes. Another current U of M student, Emily Ehlert, will be taking over the blogs this summer, so you will be able to experience campus life from a whole new perspective. See you in the fall! Bon voyage! 


Erin Tlachac is a junior studying child psychology at the University of Minnesota, a U of M Admissions Ambassador, and a cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma last May, but with a positive spirit and many treatments at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Erin beat cancer. She told her story to the 1,700 participants at the ninth-annual Relay For Life last Friday.

I was one of the lucky listeners at the event that night. Relay For Life, put on by Colleges Against Cancer, involved 140 teams who walked to raise awareness and money for the American Cancer Society from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Friday, April 27.  Emily's speech was incredibly touching, and I think the entire audience was able to look at life from a different perspective after hearing her story. Erin said she worked hard to stay optimistic, and the hardest part was losing her hair. At Relay For Life, Erin was able to walk a lap with fellow cancer survivors.

It was a very rainy night, but supporters of the cause stayed awake, walked, played games, and attended the luminaria celebration--a candlelight vigil--to honor victims taken by cancer. Eric was part of the Admissions Ambassador's team, which came in third as one of the leading donation teams at the event.

Erin is still involved with the Admissions Ambassadors as a co-chair with her best friend Quintin Walker, who said he "was impressed and proud of her attitude throughout the summer." I hope that Erin continues to share her story and reaches even more people to help support the cure for cancer in the future.

If you are interested in learning more about Relay For Life and how you can be involved with the program in the future please visit the Relay for Life website. Additionally, click here for more information about the American Cancer Society.

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