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What do you get when you cross ice hockey with water polo? Underwater hockey, of course! The University of Minnesota's Underwater Hockey Club is one of many teams across the world that enjoy this innovative sport. The Minnesota Daily, our student-run campus newpaper, reported today on this incredible sport.

According the article, written by Ian Larson, "Underwater Hockey breaks ice at U," the game is played in a pool with a puck, sticks, goals and six players to a side. Under the water, players wear flippers, snorkels, goggles and swimwear. Players dive to strike the puck that glides across the bottom of the pool competing the score as many underwater goals as they can. (To see what this amazing sport looks like while being played, check out the photo accompanying the article!)

I had never heard of the sport until reading this story. Now, I'm fascinated! Apparently, it has been around for years and there's a national team that competes with many European nations as well as Australia and New Zealand. After four years here as a student, and several months as a staff member, I constantly amazed by the new things that I discover happening on our campus.  

I've never had a migraine and I consider myself very lucky. A lot of my friends and relatives get them frequently, and they sound incredibly painful. As a former math major, I was very interested to read about a math professor at the U of M who is using math to cure migraines.

Because cells use electricity to communicate with each other, Professor Mori is trying to model the electrical activity of cells and tissue. These models can help other researchers better understand migraines and heart disease. His research furthers our quest to cure migraines, hearth arrythmias, and other ailments.

yoichiro mori.jpg

Photo courtesy the College of Science and Engineering

One of the great advantages to being at a top public research university like the U of M is the opportunity for collaboration between so many different fields. Professor Mori is working very closely with researchers in our biomedical engineering department to further his research.  The cooperative efforts between science and engineering disciplines in the College of Science and Engineering make amazing advances like this possible!

Because Professor Mori's research is so promising for biomedical research, he has been named a McKnight Land-Grant Professor. This award is given to our most promising junior faculty to support their research.

Read more about Professor Mori's research.

The Sustainable Endowments Institute just released their College Sustainability Report Cards for over 300 colleges and universities throughout the US. The University of Minnesota was one of just three schools to recieve an 'A' grade in all nine categories, and placed first among schools in the Big Ten Conference. See the complete list of the sustainability report cards.

Much of the research being conducted in the the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) focuses on ways that we can reduce our environmental impact. According to the Minnesota Daily (our campus newspaper), "The report card cited 16 sustainability-themed student groups, a student-run organic farm, and the option of living in a sustainability-themed hallway as a reason for the A grade." 

Many of the student groups, the student-run organic farm, and the Environment House are based in CFANS. CFANS is also proud of its use of biodegradable fountain drinking cups in the St. Paul Student Center, biofuel research on algae, and the University's future plans to power University vehicles using excess cooking oil procured from our dining facilities. In addition, the U of M offers an interdisciplinary Sustainability Studies Minor that has become very popular among students in a wide variety of majors. (Stay tuned for a future blog post on the Sustainability Studies Minor!)

Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) is one of the most prominent student groups at the University of Minnesota. This organization hosts various events and fundraisers throughout the year to raise money for cancer research. Members also volunteer and spread cancer awareness throughout the community. CAC often volunteers at the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge, a homestay for cancer patients that live far away from the treatment centers in the Twin Cities.

Colleges Against Cancer's biggest event every year is the Relay For Life. Relay For Life is an overnight event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for research and programs for the American Cancer Society. Last year, the overall theme was "Fight for your Right to Birthday Party!". I participated on the Public Relations Student Society of America's team and had a great time. It is a really moving event and I was proud to be a part of it. The U of M raised over $201,000 for the American Cancer Society. This year CAC's goals for the Relay For Life are to raise $222,000, have 222 teams participate, and attract 2,600 individual participants.

CAC's next event is to promote lung cancer awareness. The event is called "Kicking Ash" and will feature a talent contest that students can enter by submitting an audio recording of how they use their voice for singing, poetry, acting, etc. The top six entrants chosen will perform at the event. In addition to the contest, bands will be performing throughout the night. The event is free, and there will be prizes!

To learn more about Colleges Against Cancer, visit its website or Facebook page.

Facebook and other social media sites like MySpace have become an everyday part of life for many teenagers. But what happens when these websites are used with malicious intent? 

Assistant Professor Shayla Thiel Stern in the U of M School of Journalism and Mass Communications is studying the harmful effects cyberbullying and researching ways for parents, educators, and community members to help prevent and address it.

Check out her expert perspective on this very pressing topic below:

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