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In the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) you will be taught by world-renowned professors. These folks are not only outstanding teachers and scholars, but also are engaged in research and creative works. U of M undergraduates are often involved in these projects, working side-by-side with faculty and graduate students. You can get to know some of our amazing professors by taking a look at our professor profiles.

This week, I would like to highlight some of the accomplishments of Chris Uggen, chair of the sociology department and a Distinguished McKnight Professor. Professor Uggen advocates for more boldness from professors. He "believes that faculty are too timid; that they should be bold in tackling the issues people care about. And perhaps more to the point--issues that many of us haven't been asked to care about."

Dr. Uggen co-wrote the book Locked Out: Felon Disenfranchisement and American Democracy with Jeff Manza, which agrues for the restoration of voting rights for criminals. "The outline of the book was based on a series of articles, and it was going to close with a public opinion poll and not formulate a policy stance. But the evidence was just very powerful on a number of fronts, and so we ended up taking a position that would lead to re-enfranchisement," says Uggen. 

As a professor held to the standard of "advocating with facts," Uggen came to the conclusion, supported in part by public opinion, that voting rights should be restored to criminals who have completed their sentence, are on probation or on parole. He supports his claims in his book and has more recently written articles that focus more specifically on disenfranchisement in Minnesota which currently denies the right to vote for anyone convicted of a felony who is incarcerated, on probation, or on parole.

You can read more about about about Professor Uggen by checking out his profile.

Robert Bruininks was officially named president of the University of Minnesota on November 8, 2002. This will be his last year in that role. Our search for a new president has yielded one final candidate, Eric Kaler.

Dr. Kaler would be the 16th president of the University and only the second to be an alumnus.  The first alumnus to serve as president was Malcolm Moos in 1964. Dr. Kaler received his Ph.D. in 1982 from the College of Science and Engineering (known then as the Institute of Technology) in chemical engineering.

Dr. Kaler is certainly well-prepared for the position, having been a professor at the University of Washington and the University of Delaware, the dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Delaware, and finally a provost at Stony Brook University.

His qualifications look good on paper, and this week Dr. Kaler is participating in a public question-and-answer session and also an hour-long public interview with the University's Board of Regents. These will help demonstrate if Dr. Kaler is a good fit for the U of M.

I'm happy to hear that one of CSE's alumni may be returning to campus to lead our University!  The Minnesota Daily has been following the presidential search: Read the MN Daily article introducing us to Dr. Kaler.

Exciting update! Since I wrote this entry, it has been announced that Dr. Kaler will be the 16th president of the University!  Read about the decision here.

Hi everyone! Below is a video I created about an interesting campus event that I attended on campus recently. The event is called Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). The video will give you a brief history of Dia de los Muertos, an annual holiday celebrated in Mexican culture--and on the University of Minnesota campus. I'll be posting more footage of the event soon!

The Black Student Union, commonly known as 'The BSU', around campus is an organization that I hold dear to my heart! Since my freshman year of college, I have been an active member and have served on its board all four years. The Black Student Union provides an intellectual, cultural, and social environment for students to grow, learn, network, and more!  It exists to encourage a positive image of Black people and to support its members in achieving their educational goals. Founded in 1969, The BSU has rich traditions and strong presence on the University of Minnesota campus!

The video below is a snapshot of the kick-off event that The BSU hosts every September to welcome incoming freshman, transfer students, and current student back to campus! The event featured great speakers, an introduction to some of the different organizations on campus, music, spoken word, step performances, and free food!

If you ever happen to be on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota and have some spare time, visit the amazing plant collection at the College of Biological Sciences Greenhouse. This beautiful 10,000 square foot facility is masterfully divided into 8 spacious rooms thriving with 1,200 different species of greenery!

According to their webpage, the greenhouse is home to plants of distinct aquatic, desert and tropical communities. The facility provides students to experience an array of plant life throughout the year. For instance, come see the Ananas comosus, commonly known as the pineapple, growing in Minnesota during the winter! With laboratories housed in the facility, students can get hands-on experience working with hundreds of species while discovering the beauty of plant biology.

If you are at all interested in visiting, the University of Minnesota's Greenhouse offers tours of the plant collections throughout the year. To schedule a visit or find out more information, please visit the University Greenhouse website for more information. 

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