December 2010 Archives

Campus Closed December 23 Through January 2

The University of Minnesota, Crookston campus will be closed Thursday, December 23, 2010, through Sunday, January 2, 2011. During this time, most campus buildings and services, offices (including admissions and the business office), the library, the bookstore, and other spaces will be closed or unavailable.

This closure is a cost-savings measure adopted across the five campuses of the University of Minnesota and purposely scheduled at a time when campus activity is naturally reduced so effects of reduced services are minimized. Utility savings will be realized by turning the heat down in most buildings, and labor savings will be achieved through a three-day furlough for many employees. Nearly all employees and services will be unavailable during this time.

The campus will return to normal staffing and hours on Monday, January 3, and classes for spring semester 2011 will begin on Monday, January 10, 2011.  
Read closure information regarding specific offices and units.

Update Your Contact Info and TXT-U

TxtU.jpgDear University of Minnesota, Crookston Students,
I am writing to let you know about a new effort to remind you to keep your contact information up-to-date in University systems.

Beginning January 4, 2011, when you log in to the MyU portal, the "Grades" page on One Stop, or when you access an unofficial transcript, you will be temporarily redirected to a web page that asks you to verify or update your contact information. This page, entitled "Verify your contact information," is a legitimate University web page, and you should not be alarmed when you encounter it.

When you see this reminder, please take a moment to review and, where necessary, update any changes to your current or permanent address, emergency contact information, or TXT-U notification numbers. Once you verify or update your information, you should not encounter the reminder again for another year.

If you choose to subscribe to TXT-U, you will receive notifications about campus closure and critical campus safety emergencies via text message. Your TXT-U notification number will not be used for any other purpose.  You may also elect to have someone else notified as well (i.e. parent, spouse, etc.)

By keeping your contact information current, you will ensure that University communications reach you in the most timely way possible.

Thank you for your assistance in this important matter.

Peter G. Phaiah, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

U of M, Crookston Financial Aid and Scholarships News

financial aid.jpgUMC Students,
We hope the Fall Semester went well and you are resting easy now that finals are over.  Please note a few items of importance from the Office of Financial Aid:

1. Spring Semester financial aid disbursements are scheduled to pay into your student account beginning January 4, 2011.  Refund checks will be available on the first day of class if you do not have direct deposit set up and if you have aid in excess of your bill. 

2. The Specialty Scholarship Online Application will be open January 5 - February 15.  You are highly encouraged to apply for these scholarships! 

3. Remember to complete loan exit counseling if you are graduating this semester or do not plan on enrolling Spring Semester and you have borrowed student loans.  You may complete exit counseling online at

4. Work study paychecks will be directly deposited on December 29 if you submitted a timecard by this past Monday.  If you do not have direct deposit, your paycheck will be mailed to your home address. 

5. The Office of Financial Aid will be closed from December 23 - January 2.  We will reopen January 3.  You may e-mail us at and we will answer your questions upon reopening. 

Enjoy your break and see you next year!

The Office of Financial Aid
Melissa Dingmann, Financial Aid Director

Dan Svedarsky recognized as a Fellow by The Wildlife Society

Svedarsky_Dan 2.jpgUniversity of Minnesota Wildlife Professor Dan Svedarsky was among 8 individuals recognized as  fellows at the fall annual meeting of The Wildlife Society in Snowbird, Utah.   Svedarsky is a research biologist at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center (NWROC) and professor of natural resources at the University of Minnesota, Crookston.

The title of fellow recognizes members of The Wildlife Society who have distinguished themselves through exception service to the wildlife profession.  Svedarsky received the Minnesota Award from the Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society in 1999 and served as national president of the 9,000 member organization in 2007-08. He currently chairs the College and University Wildlife Education Working Group of The Wildlife Society which organized a symposium at the Utah meeting on educating the wildlife professional.  Svedarsky presented a paper at the symposium along with U of M, Crookston colleagues, Phil Baird and John Loegering.  Svedarsky also serves on a USDA-sponsored, Blue Ribbon Panel with 17 representatives from universities and conservation agencies in the U.S. and Canada who are reviewing the future of the wildlife profession and identifying recruitment strategies for new employees.

Click for story

Shawn Sperling Wins NSLS PlayStation 3 Move Bundle

NSLS 1080.jpgApril Jordan sold the winning ticket to Shawn Sperling on behalf of the National Society of Leadership (NSLS) and Success / Sigma Alpha Pi. The drawing was held recently at the annual study breakfast in Brown Dining Room. Drawings were also held for two UMC hooded sweatshirts. The winners for those were Tammy Wroblewski and Eric Morgan. Thank you to Don Cavalier who graciously allowed us to redraw after he initially won the PlayStation system.

Thanks to all who attended this event and purchased tickets from the NSLS society members.

by Katie Bowar, National Society of Leadership and Success, President-Spring Semester

Photo (l to r): April Jordan, Shawn Sperling and Katie Bowar

Happy Holidays from the Crookston Student Association

CSA Holiday Photo.jpgThe University of Minnesota, Crookston Student Association wishes you a Happy Holidays!

Click here and be taken to their YouTube video

Students Encouraged to Complete Energy Survey

Over the past year, the University of Minnesota, Crookston has worked with Otter Tail Power Company in a first-of-its-kind program to encourage electrical energy conservation and to nurture behaviors that aid in that effort.  

As part of this program, the campus and the power company are trying to gauge behaviors, motivations, and knowledge concerning energy use on the part of everyone on campus. All current students are asked to complete the campus survey following this link:

Thumbnail image for CampusEnergy-.jpg

The survey will be available through Friday, December 10.  At the end of the survey you may enter a drawing to win $100.


As we near completion of the first-year incentivized portion of this five-year program, everyone is encouraged to continue to maintain their efforts to conserve energy so we can reach our goal of saving 1.4 million Kilowatt hours of electrical energy in 2010 as compared to 2009. 


UMC Cookbooks Make Great Holiday Gifts!

Campus Cookbook2.jpgStill looking for that special holiday gift? There are a limited number of UMC Campus Cookbooks available. When they are gone, that is it, we won't be printing them again.

If you would like to purchase a copy for only $15 ($10 of which goes to UMC scholarships), contact Linda Wilkens in Kiehle 125, ext. 8403.

Crops Team has Top Finishes in Kansas City and in Chicago

crops_team_2010.jpgThe Collegiate Crops Judging Team from the University of Minnesota, Crookston had two second place finishes at the national crops judging contests held recently. Contests held in Kansas City, Mo., on November 16, and in Chicago, Ill., on November 20 yielded second place finishes to the team from Kansas State University in Manhattan.

Members of the team from the U of M, Crookston included: Sophomore John Plass, Tulelake, Calif.; Sophomore Andrew Gorentz, Dent, Minn.; and Senior Jon Borge, Ada, Minn, as well as alternate team member: Junior Marc Walter, Plummer, Minn.

The crops contests integrate a student's knowledge of agronomy into three categories: seed analysis, grain grading and crop and weed identification.

Photo (l to r): John Plass, Marc Walter, Coach Rob Proulx, Jon Borge, and Andrew Gorentz.  

Click for story

Computer Info for Students Not Returning Spring Semester

Computer Return.jpgSTUDENTS,
If you are NOT returning for Spring Semester your computer MUST be returned no later then 4 p.m. on Friday, December 17, 2010.
After this date and time if you are not registered for classes at U of M, Crookston you will be assessed a $50 late fee and $31.25 per week until it is returned. 

Remember that you need to be registered for 6 or more on-campus credits to use a UMC computer for the semester.

If you are registered for 6 or more on campus Spring semester credits at UMC, your computer contract is valid until May 2011. Please watch for computer return updates from me in April, 2011.

If you have any questions or concerns please e-mail me at, call me 218-281-8376, or stop by the UMC Help Desk to speak with me directly.

Thank you,
   Thea Holen
   UMC Help Desk Manager
   University of Minnesota, Crookston

Flu Shot Clinic for UMC Students, Faculty and Staff

Flu Shots.jpgThere will be a Free Flu shot clinic on: 

When: Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010
Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Place: Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center

FREE for all UMC Students, Faculty and Staff. Bring your University student or employee ID.


Stacey Grunewald, RN
UMC Student Health

Poinsettias Herald Holiday Season for UMC Hort Students

Poinsettia Class2010.jpgHundreds of rooted poinsettia cuttings arrive in August in anticipation of another holiday season. For seven students involved in the commercial floriculture class at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, those cuttings have developed into a beautiful poinsettia crop under their skill and coaxing.

This year's poinsettias create a beautiful and colorful display including varieties such as Freedom Fireworks, Monet Twilight, Salmon Star and Orange Spice, new exciting color.  Most greenhouses grow a large percentage of red, but the UMC students grow more of the novelty colors.

The students started the process of forcing the plants to bloom in time for the holiday season in October. Following a specific procedure to control the light, the students covered the plants with a dark cloth at 4 p.m. and uncovered them at 8 a.m. each day to regulate the length of daylight the plants receive. The students are responsible for greenhouse chores on the weekends as well. Although the class is taught by Sue Jacobson, the crop is in the hands of the students. The work and production of the poinsettia crop is entirely the responsibility of the class.  Jacobson says "It's better to learn expensive lessons in school than at your job.  We don't fire the students."

Commercial Floriculture students are: back row (l to r):  Jordan Jacobson, a senior from Thief River Falls, Minn.; Brandon Pinnow, a senior from Minot, N.D.;  Mike Field, a senior from Spicer and Tammy Cruz, a sophomore from Gary. Front Row: Bethany Jenkins, a sophomore from Grand Forks, N.D.; Tammy Wroblewski, a senior from Milwaukee, Wis.; and Alisha Aasness, a sophomore from Fergus Falls, Minn.

Click for story

Ag and NatR Activities Day is Friday, December 3

FPT Small Animal.jpgThis year Ag and NatR Activities Day will be held on Friday, December 3, 2010. The first contest starts at 7:30 a.m. and activity will continue until mid afternoon with the awards ceremony in the gymnasium.  This is a very exciting day culminating months of preparation and planning. We expect to have over 1000 high school students on campus competing in various competitions. The first, second, and third place winners receive scholarships to UMC.  This day also doubles as a recruitment opportunity for us. The Admissions Office as well as a number of faculty and staff representing the campus are planning to hold sessions to discuss the educational opportunities at UMC.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we could not do this if it weren't for our students working alongside us every step of the way to pull everything together.  Therefore, I would appreciate your cooperation with attendance in your classes.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Ronald P. Del Vecchio, Professor and Head
Agriculture and Natural Resources Department

Photo shows the 2009 first place team in the small animal contest