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Research at the University is conducted in every academic discipline. The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program allows undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct their own research or complete a creative activity. To help students get started with their ideas, the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program offers workshops throughout the academic year. Students then write a proposal for research or a creative activity in any area of interest. If their proposal is approved, they will work in consultation with a faculty adviser and are also awarded stipends of up to $1,400 and paid expenses up to $300--an excellent opportunity for undergraduate students to get experience in their field, work with leading experts across our diverse array of majors, and get paid!

As the end of the spring semester approaches students are preparing to showcase their research findings. As part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), over 250 undergraduate students will present their research findings next Wednesday in the Great Hall of Coffman Memorial Union. The Undergraduate Symposium offers undergraduate students a platform to showcase their results from research they've been conducting over the course of the past year. The symposium will highlight research accross a broad spectrum of topics from students in all of the University of Minnesota's colleges!

The Twin Cities have had the most beautiful weather this week! The last of the snow has finally melted and greenery is starting to peak out here and there. University of Minnesota students are starting to remove their parkas and venturing outside. When the weather gets nice, students hang out on the mall area playing frisbee, taking naps, and doing homework.

Spring time also brings some exciting events to campus. There are a bunch of things I am looking forward to during this last month of school:

Minnesota Royal
This week is Minnesota Royal, which is a week-long agriculture celebration on the St. Paul campus hosted by the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. Student groups participate in a number of contests including skits, Ag Challenge, Milkmaid Contest, Ag Olympics and Animal Calling, as well as showmanship contests. At the end of the week, there is a concert and the Queen and King of St. Paul are announced. I went to the concert last year and had a blast!

Relay for Life
For the past month or so, I have been gearing up and raising money for Relay for Life tomorrow night. Relay for Life is a celebration of life in honor of people whose lives have been touched by cancer. It involves teams of 8-20 people that take turns walking or running for 12 hours. Teams also compete to raise money before and during the event. This will be the third relay I have participated in, and I could not be more excited. I will let you know how it goes next week! 

Spring Jam
Spring Jam is another celebration that happens at the end of the year. It is a three-day long music festival including live performances, competitions, BBQs, outdoor movies, and more. So far, the Student Unions & Activities Board has announced two of the headliner bands--Trampled by Turtles and P.O.S. I always look forward to the Ballyhoo dance competition in which Greek teams perform original dance routines.

I will conclude the year with graduation. It will be a bittersweet but equally exciting day for me. I am looking forward to the commencement ceremony and receiving my diploma. It is going to be a busy and fun-filled spring!

The student groups of the St. Paul campus are currently participating in the annual Minnesota Royal. Minnesota Royal is a week-long event that dates back all the way to 1916, when it was known as Ag Royal. MN Royal consists of a number of competitions held throughout the week where different St. Paul student groups compete for bragging rights. The competitions include:

  • Royal Run
  • Ag Olympics              
  • Quiz Bowl
  • Organization Skits
  • MN Royal Royalty
  • Milk Maid Milking and Lipsync Contest
  • Showmanship
  • Celebrity Showmanship

MN Royal began yesterday, April 4th, and continues through the week until the closing award ceremony on Monday, April 11th. The events provide the students of the St. Paul campus the opportunity to compete, have fun, and connect with staff, faculty, and alumni. You can keep up to date on MN Royal events at their Facebook page.

Did you know that the University of Minnesota has a YouTube channel? In particular, I recommend checking out the "This Week @Minnesota" videos. They'll help you can stay up-to-date with what is happening at the U of M. Check out this week's video on spring fashions!

Also on the University of Minnesota YouTube page there are channels for the Academic Health Center, Goldy Gopher, and even the College of Biological Sciences! These channels highlight some of the many great opportunities and academics our students experience. For instance, the most recent video on the College of Biological Sciences channel highlights a scientist in the Panama studying tropical forest ecology.

One channel that I particularly enjoy viewing is for Radio K, the University of Minnesota's the award-winning, student-run radio station. The station plays an eclectic variety of independent music both old and new. On this channel, you can see in-studio performances by artists from our local area or traveling through the Twin Cities while on tour. Also, make sure to take a look at the Radio K homepage for information about artists, concerts and events going on around campus.

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Do you enjoy outdoor activites? Are you interested in learning more about the unique things that make the U of M special? Well here is your chance: the annual Gopher Adventure Race is back on campus for another year of fun and exploration!

The Gopher Amazing Race is a competition for students, faculty, staff, and alumni to experience the U of M in a new and exciting way. Participants of the race form teams and travel across the University of Minnesota campus (East Bank, West Bank, and St. Paul). Each team will have mental and/or physical challenges at selected spots across campus to solve.

This speicalized activity was created by students and staff in the Recreation, Park, and Leisure Studies Department within the College of Education and Human Development. Students in the Recreation, Park, and Leisure Studies program study health and wellness with activites that enhance the mind and body. Recreation, Park, and Leisure Studies is one of the many majors in CEHD that prepares students to help people of all ages and backgrounds enjoy life to its fullest!

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