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Every year during homecoming, the University puts on a series of great events for students. Many of the events have elements of fun and competition mixed in. One event that has a long tradition on campus is the annual lip sync competition. 


Lip sync is a competition to see who can best lip sync and perform to a mix of songs. The teams must "tell a story" while also promoting the overall homecoming theme. This year's theme was "Paint the Town Gold." The event was held on campus at Ted Mann Concert Hall. All of the seats were filled and the crowd was thrilled to support their friends and fellow classmates. The video below highlights three of the teams from this year's competition! 



On Thursday, space shuttle astronaut Captain Daniel Brandenstein delivered a free public lecture in Coffman Memorial Union. Captain Brandenstein has flown four shuttle missions, logged over 780 hours in space, and commanded the maiden voyage of the Endeavour. He was inducted into the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2003 and now serves on the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Board of Directors. 

During his lecture, Captain Brandenstein presented Astronaut Scholarships to College of Science and Engineering students Scott Isaacson, a chemical engineering major, and Matthew Coudron, math and physics major. Both students are enrolled in the University Honors Program.


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Photo courtesy College of Science and Engineering

The Astronaut Scholarship is worth $10,000 and is the largest merit-based scholarship awarded to science and engineering students it the US. The U of M is one of only 20 universities to partner with the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation to award these prestigious scholarships. 

This is an awesome achievement. Congratulations, Scott and Matthew!

This weekend the University of Minnesota campus is going to be full of zombies, witches, Ninja Turtles, bumblebees, and more! Why? Because it's Halloween of course! Students are putting on their costumes and getting ready for a spooky, fun-filled weekend.

Last night, the first-annual Humans vs. Zombies: U of M Twin Cities began. Over 200 people are participating in this huge game of tag that goes all weekend and ends on Sunday night. The event is held by one of our official student groups, Minnesota Association for Zombie Enthusiasts. One team dresses like zombies and the other team dresses in normal clothing. Team members are armed with Nerf guns and try and hit as many opponents as possible. I'm rooting for the humans!

Another event happening on campus this Halloween weekend is the first Harry Potter Halloween Quidditch Tournament. Teams from all over the Big Ten conference will be here to battle the Golden Gophers. The tournament will feature a Harry Potter bake sale, prizes, a raffle, and the chance to watch teams compete to be the first fall champions. I'm a Harry Potter fan, so I just might have to check this out.

Saturday night, I will be wearing my Minnie Mouse costume to the home football game against Ohio State. Students are encouraged to wear costumes and before the game, food and entertainment will be provided. Last year, fans were given Goldy Gopher masks to wear during the game!

I can't wait for Halloween weekend to begin!

You've surely noticed the increasing numbers of political ads on the radio and television lately. If you have really been following political campaigns this year, you've probably be monitoring online media outlets as well.

In an age where news is published online 24/7 and anyone can instantly update his or her status through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, voters can engage with political campaigns more readily than ever before. Young voters especially are more apt to connect with campaigns online. Seth Lewis, a professor of new media journalism is studying the relationship between sources of political information and how they influence political behavior. Check out Seth's expert perspective below:

 


Nick Welander was one of the first students to start dancing during a College of Science and Engineering flash mob on Northrop Mall last week. In coverage by the Minnesota Daily, Nick said that, "We just want to show that engineering students can have fun too, and that we know how to dance." This is certainly true, as the flash mob's dance was choreographed by a mechanical engineering and dance double major, Lauren Butler.

Lauren is the student who kicked off the dancing in front of Northrop Auditorium. Check it out!

 


I love that even Goldy Gopher joined in the CSE spirit!


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