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NASA probe.jpg

Photo courtesy College of Science and Engineering

The image above is of the Solar Probe Plus, a new NASA mission to study the sun closer than ever before. The Solar Probe Plus will travel within four million miles of the sun to take direct measurements of the solar wind in the sun's atmosphere. It will travel almost seven times closer to the sun than the current record-holder, the Helios spacecraft. The measurements it takes will help researchers learn how the sun's atmosphere is heated and how the solar wind is accelerated. This is the first mission which will take us into the sun's atmosphere and the University of Minnesota gets to be a part of making this happen. Awesome!

The U of M was recently awarded a $7 million grant as part of the $180 million Solar Probe Plus project. U of M professors will participate in the FIELDS experiment, one of four instrument suites aboard the spacecraft. Keith Goetz, the associate program director in the College of Science and Engineering's School of Physics and Astronomy, and his team developed the Time Domain Sampler (TDS) as part of the FIELDS suite. The TDS will measure electric and magnetic fields, radio emissions, and shockwaves in the sun's atmosphere. Read more about the U of M's involvement!

This video gives you a good look at the probe and explains the mission in more detail: 

I think this mission is thrilling! Imagine "tasting, touching, smelling the environment of the sun"! 

You can read more about the solar probe on the NASA website or check out the Solar Probe Plus mission website, which includes a timeline of the probe's journey. The bad news is that it's going to take a long time to travel to the sun; the good news is that I now have an event on my 2024 calendar!

By Zack Haas

I received an email a few weeks ago from the Department of Recreational Sports (DRS) inviting me to assemble a team for the inaugural Alumni Flag Football Tournament at TCF Bank Stadium, which got me thinking about all of the opportunities available through their department. Maybe I'm a little partial to DRS (I worked there for a year after I graduated) but if you are looking for a nice way to meet other students, get in some exercise between classes and have fun, DRS offers opportunities for students of all levels of talent.

Intramural Sports within DRS offers options for co-rec and open leagues in a multitude of sports. Whether you are just a beginner or have been playing for years, intramural sports offers excellent opportunities to have fun in both individual and team sports, from basketball to volleyball. You can even compete for the most coveted prize for all students participating in intramurals--a free championship t-shirt! 

If you are looking for competition at a highly advanced level, I suggest checking out Sport Clubs. The University of Minnesota currently offers 25 different sport clubs that allow students to compete against other colleges while also enhancing their skills through instructional sports opportunities.

While located in a large metropolitan area, there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities. The Center for Outdoor Adventure offers students the opportunity to explore their adventurous sides through trips and clinics. They even offer equipment rental and an annual gear sale for students to buy and sell their own equipment. You can also check out the bouldering walls at the Minneapolis Recreational Center and the St. Paul Gym if you are interested in learning the fundamentals of rock climbing.

If you just have some time on your hands and want to get a good workout, you can drop by the Minneapolis Recreational Center or the St. Paul Gym and utilize their state-of-the-art equipment or sign up for one of their many group exercise options. DRS also offers open swimming in the Cooke Hall pools, the natatorium, and the St. Paul Gym pools.

With almost countless ways for students to exercise on campus, the Department of Recreational Sports also offers a fantastic learning environment through their numerous employment opportunities. The Department of Recreational Sports is the largest student employer on campus and offers entry-level to advanced-level positions in all of their departments. (Such as working in the fitness center, lifeguarding, or refereeing intramural games.)

Check them out at http://www.recsports.umn.edu/!

By Hilary Baril

The Washington Avenue Bridge connects the East Bank and West Bank of the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus. Right above the traffic bridge, there is a pedestrian bridge where students walk back and forth between campuses, with an enclosure to protect walkers from the cold weather in the winter. 

Every fall, the Student Unions and Activities Board paints the entire indoor walkway white for an event called Paint the Bridge. Registered student groups and organizations are given the opportunity to paint advertisements on the inside of the walkway. Overnight, the bridge is transformed into a colorful array of artwork representing the many ways to get involved at the University of Minnesota. Every year I have painted for my sorority and it has been a ton of fun. I will be helping out again this year, in addition to helping with the 2010 Homecoming Committee's painting (I'm serving on the Homecoming Committee this year).


Paint the bridge 012.jpgPersian Student Organization


Paint the bridge 011.jpgFood Science and Nutrition Club


Paint the bridge 006.jpgAdmissions Ambassadors


Paint the bridge 010.jpgStudent Unions and Activities supplies the paint


Paint the bridge 004.jpg

Students hard at work!

For more information about Student Unions and Activities at the U of M, click here.

By Matt Coakley

In my opinion, one of the most exciting traditions that we celebrate here at the University of Minnesota is Golden Gopher football. Our campus has a long, rich history of Big 10 rivalries, and with our new TCF Bank Stadium, football fans are feeling more school spirit than ever before!

I recommend that students attend at least one football game in their time at the University. You may think that it can't be much different than watching it on TV, but it is a whole different experience. What makes attending a Gopher football game so great is the camaraderie and the pageantry: Chanting the Minnesota Rouser with thousands of students, alumni, and fans; the marching band; all the students sporting their signature gold t-shirts; and the crowd going wild after a touchdown. As a student, you will have the opportunity to buy season tickets for all of our Division I athletic events at discounted prices.

The Gopher football team has already celebrated their first victory of the year with a 24-17 win over Middle Tenessee. Their first home game is this Saturday at 11 a.m. vs. South Dakota. It will also be the one-year anniversary of the opening of the TCF Bank Stadium. As a senior in college, I was ecstatic that the new stadium opened in time for my final year at the University. The stadium is one-of-a-kind and offers great views of downtown Minneapolis and our beautiful campus. 

To learn more about Gopher athletics, visit www.gophersports.com

Go Gophers!

By Hilary Baril 

Yesterday was my last first day of school. I thought it was going to be different, but it turned out to be just like any other year! It was exciting to come back and see my journalism school classmates and meet all of my professors. This fall, I am taking five classes, one of which is online. Luckily, I was able to plan my schedule so that all my classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It is perfect for me because then I can work and study on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays! 

Here are the courses I am taking this fall:

Visual Communication: This class is all about images. I will learn about the history of images in the media, how words and images compliment one another, and how to critique and create quality images. I am excited for our photography project in which we take multiple photographs of the same object, but emphasizing different elements each time, such as line, shadow, or color.

Basic Media Graphics: In this course, I will be learning basic graphic design techniques. We  started learning Photoshop yesterday and I had fun coloring different parts of a black and white photograph.

Cases in Strategic Planning and Thinking: In this class, I will be completing one of my senior projects--a paper and presentation analyzing an advertising or public relations campaign. My professor is one of the best in the School of Journalism and told us all about his experience in the corporate world. I am excited to hear more stories about his successful businesses.

Introduction to Entrepreneurship: I am excited to have one of my favorite teachers for this course. He tells funny stories about his life, makes an extra effort to get to know his students, and brings in a lot of excellent guest speakers. I have always dreamed about owning my own business, and in this class I will learn what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

Career Skills in the Professional Environment: This is the online course that I am taking. I needed a couple extra credits, and what better class to take my senior year than a career skills class!? The projects include resume writing, conducting informational interviews, and developing networking skills.

It is going to be a busy semester, but I really like all of my professors and think my classes will be challenging and fun!


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