August 2010 Archives

It's serious, it's funny, it's about making a difference, and it's all happening at the University of Minnesota, Crookston this week. The campus will take both a serious as well as a lighthearted look at saving energy with Bill LeBlanc, president of the Boulder Energy Group. The events are free and public is welcome to attend.

The usual What's on Wednesday (W.O.W.) event takes on the topic of energy saving with "Watt's on Wednesday" on Wednesday, September 1, 2010. LeBlanc will blend his comedy insights with his career in energy efficiency and technology in a program at 7 p.m. in Kiehle Auditorium. The event is co-sponsored by U of M, Crookston student activities, the Center for Sustainability, and Otter Tail Power Company. Otter Tail Power Company  selected the university of Minnesota, Crookston last year to participate in the Campus Energy Challenge, which is an effort to reduce electric energy use on campus by as much as 15 percent by the end of 2010 through behavior changes, equipment upgrades, and education.

On Thursday, September 2, LeBlanc will take a more serious tone as the guest speaker during the Thursday Commons at 12:30 p.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. A recognized leader in energy efficiency programs, LeBlanc has particular expertise in program design, marketing, market research, branding, and strategy. He assists utility and public clients in understanding their customer markets, providing tools and messages to sway customer demand, and creating overall market strategies. He has also done extensive work on social marketing.

LeBlanc recently won the Energy Outreach and Branding contract for the state of Colorado and is a senior advisor for the California state energy rebranding effort. He has been a leader and innovator in energy efficiency and load management throughout his 20 year career, working for PG&E, EPRI, E Source, and consulting firms. In 1990, he founded the Association of Energy Services Professionals, still the industry's major society.

Using his comedic talents, LeBlanc travels around the U.S. talking with people about their energy use habits, but there's always a twist because humans manage to screw things up and often lack knowledge about energy, which is true, sad, and funny. LeBlanc, also a standup comedian, performs primarily at larger clubs in Denver and around the state of Colorado. He recently won the Boulder Comedy Contest, and has been a two-time finalist in Colorado's New Faces Contest.

LeBlanc is known for his creativity and problem-solving ability and is a sought-after public speaker. He holds both master's and bachelor's degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford University as well as a bachelor of arts in management economics from Claremont McKenna College.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates from more than 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact:  Dan Svedarsky, director, Center for Sustainability, 218-281-8129 (dsvedars@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

IAS_wordmarkcombo.jpgFor the first time in its history, the University of Minnesota, Crookston will host a conference
under the auspices of the University of Minnesota's Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). The conference, scheduled for Thursday, October 14, 2010, will explore themes related to visual persuasion and interdisciplinarity.

The conference keynote speaker is Bryan Crable, Ph.D., chairperson in the Communications Department at Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania. For more information, visit the conference Web page at www.umcrookston.edu/ias.

For more information, contact Mark Huglen, Ph.D., at 218-281-8275 (mhuglen@umn.edu).

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates from more than 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: : Mark Huglen, associate professor, communication, 218-281-8275 (mhuglen@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

NWSA folks + flags 9604.jpgEvent has been postponed, rescheduled for Monday, September 13, at 10 a.m.

Honoring the history of the University of Minnesota, Crookston, will be a part of the dedication of the Centennial Park flag project on the Campus Mall. The ceremony, hosted by the Office of Development & Alumni Relations, will be held on Friday, September 10, 2010 (rescheduled for Monday, September 13), at 10 a.m. The public is welcome to attend.
 
The three flags that are a part of the project were raised initially in late June in time for the Northwest School of Agriculture (NWSA) alumni reunion. The entire project was a gift of Alumnus Harris A. Peterson, a 1942 graduate of the NWSA. Peterson was also responsible for the construction of a gazebo in 2000, also a part of Centennial Park on the Crookston campus.

Background and History

The project includes the United States flag, measuring 10' by 19', flanked by the Minnesota state flag, and a maroon and gold flag bearing the logo of the U of M, Crookston, each measuring 8' by 12'. The flag poles measure 70 feet and 50 feet, respectively. The drawing and design were the work of Widseth Smith Nolting and Community Contractors served as the general contractor on the project.

In the summer of 1932, a new seventy-five foot steel flag pole, a tribute from the class of 1929, was presented to the school during the NWSA alumni reunion in June. The new pole replaced the wooden pole that crashed to the ground in a heavy windstorm late in the fall of 1928.

The NWSA opened its doors in 1906 and graduated its first class of 8 students in 1909. The campus educated students for 60 years, and during its last two years of operation, the campus transitioned to a two-year technical college, known as the University of Minnesota Crookston Technical Institute. In 1993, the campus transitioned again to offer baccalaureate degrees and became the first-ever laptop university in the nation.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates from more than 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photo: During the Northwest School of Agriculture alumni reunion in June, many of the attendees enjoyed viewing the flags in Centennial Park.
 

Contact: Corby Kemmer, director, alumni and development, 218-281-8434 (ckemmer@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Interactions with nature when we are children make a difference in our health and well-being. Simple steps can help reconnect young children with nature, and create a mass movement encouraging these interactions to improve health and wellness in every child. Butterfly tagging 0205.jpg

The upcoming Connecting Children and Nature Conference, scheduled for September 29, 2010, at the University of Minnesota, Crookston will engage K-12 educators, parents, and public health workers, along with community leaders and resource managers, in an effort to reconnect children with the natural world.

Keynote speaker Cheryl Charles, Ph.D., will present The Ecology of Hope:  Building a Movement to Reconnect Children and Nature.  Cheryl Charles is President and Co-founder, with Richard Louv and others, of the Children and Nature Network (www.childrenandnature.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to building a movement to re-connect children and nature.  Cheryl will speak about the growing disconnect between children and nature, indicators of what Richard Louv calls nature-deficit disorder, and the scientific as well as common-sense evidence of the benefits to children from direct experience with nature on a daily basis in their lives.  Grounded in research as well as experience, Cheryl offers practical suggestions for action by parents, grandparents, physicians, urban planners, architects, designers, business leaders, public officials, academics, educators and others concerned about the nature of childhood, the health of communities and the future of the Earth.  The presentation will address why it is important to connect children and nature and what is the role of the conference attendees to do this work.
During the noon lunch, participants will share stories of their childhood memories of interacting with nature.

During the day breakout sessions will include such topics as nature engaged families; using technology to connect students and nature; environmental education resources; organizing a community bike/walk audit; fundraising for community projects; and a look at the health benefits when children and nature connect.

The conference is funded by a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is sponsored by US Fish & Wildlife Services, Rydell Wildlife Refuge, Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, Extension Environmental Science Education, University of Minnesota, Crookston, NW Statewide Health Improvement Program Cluster, Northwest Regional Development Commission, and U of M Regional Extension - Crookston.

For more information on the Connecting Children and Nature Conference, visit www.umcrookston.edu/childrenandnature or Deborah Zak at 218-281-8684 (dzak@umn.edu).

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 17 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates from more than 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.


Contact: Deborah Zak, director, Regional Extension Office, 218-281-8684 (dzak@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

2010BeautificationAward.jpgThe University of Minnesota, Crookston was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Beautification Award by the Crookston Area Chamber of Commerce during Ox Cart Days on Sunday, August 22.   The award was given in recognition of the work done by the campus to beautify the community through maintaining the  flowers, gardens, and landscaping over the years.   

From the initial work to develop the Curtis Rude Memorial Gardens to the work done by Jerry Rude for many years in designing and expanding campus gardens to the continued work by staff in the Facilities and Operations Department, citizens of Crookston and visitors from all over have been able to enjoy the beauty of the campus.   Accepting the award on behalf of the campus was Brian Christensen, maintenance supervisor, who credited the work of staff members Neil Vraa, Greg Benoit, Theresa Helgeson, and Sue Jacobsen as well as summer interns Kenny Mendez, Mark Michalski, and Tammy Wroblewski.  The award will be placed in the display case between Dowell Hall and Sahlstrom Conference  Center.


Contact: Andrew Svec, director, communications, 218-281-8438 (asvec@umn.edu)

U of M, Crookston Welcomes New Faculty and Staff

As a new semester begins, the University of Minnesota, Crookston is pleased to announce the hiring of several new faculty and staff.

The Math, Science and Technology (MST) Department welcomes Marcella Melby, Ph.D., Melby_Marcella 0176.jpg(photo, right) who has been hired as a lecturer in mathematics. She recently earned her doctorate in teaching and learning in teacher education with a minor in mathematics education from the University of North Dakota (UND).

Youssef_Eyad 0169.jpgEyad Youssef, Ph.D., (photo, left) assistant professor, is teaching marketing in the Business Department. He holds a doctorate in international business and marketing from Old Dominion University. Denis Maier, Ph.D., (photo, right middle) assistant professor, will be teaching business management. He earned his doctorate in operations management from Technical University in Munich, Germany.

Lisa Leiran (photo, left middle) began her duties in March 2010 as a teaching specialist/online student support assistant in the Business Department.Maier_Denis 0173.jpg  She completed her undergraduate work at Minnesota State University, Moorhead and holds an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix.
 
Leiran_Lisa 0255.jpgJoining the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department is Matthew Simmons, Ph.D., (photo, right below) assistant professor, in ecology.  Simmons holds a doctorate in rangeland ecology and management from Texas A&M University.


Additionally, Daniel Sherman (photo, left below) has been hired as a teaching specialist in a grant-funded position working with agricultural education through theSimmons_Matthew 0166.jpg Sparsely Populated Agricultural Education Program.  He will be working with the following high schools: Bagley, Clearbrook-Gonvick, Red Lake Sherman_Daniel 0181.jpgCounty Central (Oklee), and Lake of the Woods (Baudette).




Changes in appointment

David Rolling, Ph.D., assistant professor, teaches sport and recreation management in the Business Department.  Rolling, who has been a lecturer on the campus for the past four years, recently earned his doctorate in sport administration from the University of Kansas.

In the MST Department, Thomas Henderson, Ph.D., is a lecturer in biology. He has taught as an adjunct faculty member on the Crookston campus since 2008 and recently earned his doctorate in microbiology and immunology from UND.

Kristie Walker, assistant professor, is teaching agronomy on the campus and has served as a lecturer on the campus for the past two years. She holds a doctorate in agronomy from Purdue University. Brenda Miller is a lecturer in soil science and related areas.  She holds a master's of engineering from the UND and has previously taught at the U of M, Crookston. Walker and Miller are both in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department.

Two lecturer positions in the Liberal Arts and Education Department include Jim Schaar, M.Div., teaching in humanities, and Karen Miller, Ph.D., teaching composition.  Both have taught as adjunct faculty members for a number of years.  

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates from more than 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.
 

Contact: Andrew Svec, director, communications, 218-281-8438 (asvec@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Minnesota is home to 40% of the Golden-winged Warbler population, yet very little is knownGWWA-Dennis Malueg.jpg about this small forest songbird. Research by a professor at the University of Minnesota will help answer questions about the species currently under consideration for placement on the Threatened Species list by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Four undergraduate students worked with Associate Professor John Loegering over the summer in an effort to gather information about the golden-winged warbler and its habitat. The project is part of the Golden-winged Warbler Conservation Initiative, a 4-year, 11-state collaboration to conduct research and develop conservation strategies throughout the range of the species. Loegering, who teaches ornithology on the Crookston campus, is widely known for his teaching and research in the field of natural resources.

"The golden-winged warbler can disappear quickly from an area once its habitat is threatened," Loegering says. "Our concern revolves around the declining population of this vulnerable species and developing effective strategies to preserve them. We need to bring this concern into the public consciousness."

Loegering and Johnson banding.jpgIn February 2010, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service received a petition to list the species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. In the past, only a few studies have been conducted noting the presence and/or absence of the birds making this research of particular significance. Loegering is intent on gathering information to answer the basic research questions: where do the birds occur, how productive are they, how many survive the migration to and from Columbia each winter, and what vegetative characteristics are associated with the most productive habitat.  He is currently on a team to develop a conservation strategy and management prescriptions for the species throughout its range.

The small, gray songbird with its striking yellow and white markings arrives early in the spring and begins its migration early in the fall to its winter home in southern Central America andClaire Hanson with GWW.jpg northern South America.

Loegering's research was conducted in the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, located near White Earth, Minn. It centered on locating singing golden-winged warbler males, mapping their territories, capturing and color-banding birds for subsequent identification, finding nests, documenting reproductive productivity and quantifying the habitat.

Loegering credits his field crew for their dedication. "Nests are incredibly difficult to find.  It takes great patience and observation skills.  This year we found more nests than were previously discovered in Wisconsin and Minnesota combined," he says.

Hanson (l) and Haarstad banding.jpgWork started early for the students beginning 30 minutes before sunrise often in the midst of intolerable attacks by insects and constant threat of Lyme Disease, a tick borne illness, but the students relished their work. Involved in the project were two recent graduates, Ben Haarstad, Pelican Rapids, Minn.; and Claire Hanson, King, Wis.; along with Senior Mike Johnson, Centerville, Minn.; and Freshman Josh Bruggman, Cologne, Minn. All are natural resources majors on the Crookston campus.

Loegering is jointly appointed to both the U of M, Crookston campus where his focus is on undergraduate education and the U of M, Twin Cities campus where he is focused on outreach and research as a wildlife specialist for the U of M Extension Service.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates from more than 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photos:
Top, right: Golden-winged warbler
Middle, left: John Loegering (left) and Mike Johnson band a 4-day-old golden-winged warbler chick.
Middle, right: Claire Hanson shows off a golden-winged warbler she just finished banding.
Bottom, left: Claire Hanson (left) and Ben Haarstad (right) put unique color bands on a male golden-winged warbler. 





Contact: : John Loegering, associate professor and extension wildlife specialist, natural resources, 218-281-8132 (jloegeri@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

For a thirteenth consecutive year, the University of Minnesota, Crookston has been recognized as one of the top four public regional colleges in the Midwest in its category for the 2011 edition of Best Colleges by U.S. News Media Group.  The exclusive rankings, which include rankings of more than 1,400 schools nationwide, are available today at www.usnews.com/colleges, and will also be published in the September issue of U.S.News & World Report, available on Tuesday, August 31.  

"It's always gratifying to have our efforts recognized by organizations such as U.S.News & World Report.  It affirms a level of quality in what we do as we strive to offer our students an exceptional educational experience," says Dr. Charles H. Casey, chancellor at the U of M, Crookston. "Our strong commitment to students shines through, and I believe there is no question that the greatest contributing factors in the quality of our programs lie in our talented, caring faculty and staff and the distinctive atmosphere focused on experiential learning found on our campus."

"It's also rewarding to start the academic year knowing an eager incoming class of students has selected the University of Minnesota, Crookston as their college of choice," adds Casey.  "As we draw more students from across the U.S. as well as from all over the world and bring them together here, we all gain a better understanding of diverse viewpoints and cultures.  That certainly adds value to the educational experience."

The University of Minnesota, Crookston's category in the U.S. News rankings, Best Regional Colleges, is comprised of 319 public and private institutions that focus on undergraduate education and offer a range of degree programs but grant fewer than 50 percent of their degrees in the liberal arts.

Over the past two decades, the U.S. News college rankings, which group schools based on categories created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, have grown to be the most comprehensive research tool for students and parents considering higher education opportunities.

According to U.S.News & World Report the 2011 Best Colleges package provides the most thorough examination of how more than 1,400 accredited four-year schools compare on a set of up to 16 widely accepted indicators of excellence. Among the many factors weighed in determining the rankings, the key measures of quality are:  peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, and alumni giving.  U.S. News has made some significant changes to the 2011 Best Colleges' ranking methodology and presentation. For more details on these changes, go to www.usnews.com/collegemeth.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of over 1,300 undergraduates from more than 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact:  Andrew Svec, director of communications, 218-281-8438 (asvec@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director of communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Ox Cart Days is an exciting time of the summer for the Crookston community, and the University of Minnesota, Crookston is getting involved in the activities. The campus will host the annual Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social on Wednesday, August 18, 2010, from 2 - 4 p.m. on the Campus Mall.

Music will be provided by the Valley Fiddlers under the direction of Val Buchmeier, orchestra director at Crookston High School. Along with the Valley Fiddlers, Author Gayla Marty will be reading and signing her new book, Memory of Trees: A Daughter's Story of a Family Farm.
ice cream poster4.jpg

Marty grew up on a farm in east central Minnesota and studied journalism at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, including a year at the Universit√© de Tunis in Tunisia, North Africa. She holds a master's degree in creative writing from the University of Minnesota. Memory of Trees was published in April 2010 by the University of Minnesota Press.  The campus bookstore will have copies of Marty's book available for purchase.

The U of M, Crookston Bookstore will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be a special t-shirt on sale for $6.99 and tickets for the Minnesota State Fair will be offered at a reduced price. The Minnesota Fair will take place August 27 through September 7. Free balloons and tattoos will also be available at the Bookstore for children.

Weather accommodations have been made to hold the ice cream social in the Northern Lights Lounge in the Sargeant Student Center.

Ox Cart Days is an annual Crookston community festival celebrating the heritage and history of the region. To learn more about the events taking place during Ox Cart Days, visit www.visitcrookston.com.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates from more than 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.


Contact: Andrew Svec, director, communications, 218-281-8438 (asvec@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu); Jill Zelinsky, communications assistant, (zeli0030@umn.edu)

Two certificate programs will launch in the Math, Science, and Technology (MST) Department at the University of Minnesota, Crookston in fall 2010. A certificate program will be available in Health Informatics Privacy and Security for Health Care Providers along with a certificate program in Health Informatics for Software Engineers and Information Technology Professionals.

The two are integral components of the University Partnership for Health Informatics (UP-HI), a consortium established through partnership among the U of M, Crookston, the University of Minnesota's Institute of Health Informatics, School of Nursing, School of Public Health, and Department of Computer Science, and the College of St. Scholastica.

The Health Informatics Privacy and Security for Health Care Providers (HIPS-HCP) Certificate Program will prepare students to support the secure collection, management, retrieval, exchange, and/or analysis of information in electronic form in health care and public health organizations. The program is designed mainly to attract students who are working as health care providers or who are currently enrolled in or have completed a bachelor's degree or an associate degree in health, allied health, clinical lab science, or public health.  It is especially attractive to community college graduates who are seeking to finish a baccalaureate degree.  

The Health Informatics for Software Engineers and Information Technology Professionals (HI-SEITP) Certificate Program will prepare students with an existing background in information technology, programming, and software engineering to apply their expertise to the domain of health informatics in order to build advanced information systems for health care and public health organizations.  This program is designed mainly to attract students who are enrolled in or who have completed a bachelor's degree or higher in a computer science, software engineering, or information technology profession.

The UP-HI consortium has been funded $5.1 million by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for three full years.  Scholarships to cover tuition are available for up to 54 students at the Crookston campus. Both certificate programs offered by the MST Department were approved at the July meeting of the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota. For information on the programs, visit www.umcrookston.edu/academics.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates from more than 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Adel Ali, head, Math, Science, and Technology, 218-281-8268 (adelali@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

For the fourth consecutive year, the University of Minnesota, Crookston was named one of the best colleges in the Midwest according to The Princeton Review.  It is one of 152 institutions The Princeton Review recommends in its "Best in the Midwest" section of its Web site feature, "2011 Best Colleges: Region by Region," that posted August 2, 2010, on PrincetonReview.com.
   
"We emphasize experiential learning on our campus and encourage engagement between Best-Midwestern_OL copy.jpgfaculty and students in research and the application of learning beyond the classroom," said UMC Chancellor Charles H. Casey. "At the U of M, Crookston, we want to create an atmosphere that offers students diverse perspectives and the opportunity for leadership development."

The U of M, Crookston, with its applied learning and rich technology, received the designation "Best in the Midwest" based on survey data submitted by the campus and student opinion data. Student comments are included as part of a profile on each institution compiled by PrincetonReview.com.

Student opinions reflect the importance placed on the application of learning, "No matter what your major, the school emphasizes 'hands-on learning' both in and out of the classroom and internships are required in the majority of majors." Another comment recognizes the personal feel and size of the campus, "Thanks to a low student-to-faculty ratio, it is a 'public school that feels like a private school.'"

 The 152 colleges that The Princeton Review chose for its "Best in the Midwest" list are located in twelve states: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.  The Princeton Review also designated 218 colleges in the Northeast, 120 in the West, and 133 in the Southeast as best in their locales on the company's "2011 Best Colleges: Region by Region" lists.   Collectively, the 623 colleges named "regional best(s)" constitute about 25% of the nation's 2,500 four-year colleges.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates from more than 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.
 

Contact: Andrew Svec, director, communications, 218-281-8438 (asvec@umn.edu)

Field work begins long before kick-off. Research by a university professor will determine the best mix for managing a quality athletic field with a smaller budget and crew - a serious Michalski_M.jpgconsideration in the current economy.

For Assistant Professor of Agronomy Kristie Walker, preparing a soil-based athletic field for both athletes and aesthetics on a budget is a delicate balance. Walker is spending her summer working on the football practice field at the University of Minnesota, Crookston where she teaches students in the agronomy and the golf and turf management programs.

Along with Mark Michalski, a senior double majoring in golf and turf management and horticulture, Walker is examining the effects of cultivation practices on three varieties of grass seed: Kentucky bluegrass , perennial ryegrass, and a mix of the two, all donated by Rivard's Quality Seeds Inc. in Argyle, Minn.  The bluegrass, which spreads through rhizome production, germinates slowly but is the most aesthetically pleasing with its rich blue-green hue.  The ryegrass, a bunch- type grass, has quicker germination but is less desirable in look and color.

"Football fields, like the one on the Crookston campus, are under a significant amount of traffic," Walker says. "With use by both the local high school and the university, we need a speedy recovery of the turf to be ready for play, but we also wanted the best looking field possible with a smaller staff and budget." This situation is common across the region in the parks and school districts with soil-based athletic fields under heavy use.

Best Mix of Seed, Practice, and Price

hollow_tine_aerator_merged copy.jpgWalker is testing hollow-tine and solid-tine cultivation methods along with verticutting on a variety of plots she has marked out for the study. The most disruptive, but probably the most beneficial to the soil, is the hollow-tine aeration which removes soil in cylindrical cores across the profile. The solid-tine aeration punches holes into the soil surface rather than removing cores. The least disruptive to the soil surface is the verticutter, which slices small furrows in the turf canopy and heals more quickly.

Following the weekly cultivation, half of the plots are top-dressed, a method of spreading sand over the turf filling the cuts and holes so water can flow easily through the profile and compaction is reduced.

Measuring the outcome of the seed variety, cultivation technique, and the top dressing against the control will help determine the best method for maintaining football and soccer fields, as well as a baseball outfield. The research will take place over the next two years during the summer months and throughout the fall.

"We are looking for the best overall quality with consideration of cost," Walker says. "The best mix of cultivation practice and price will be the winning combination for us and for our athletic fields."

For more information on the golf and turf management program, visit www.umcrookston.edu/academics.
 
Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 17 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates from more than 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photos:
Top, right: Senior Mark Michalski, Silver Bay, Minn., spreads the top dressing as part of the research on the athletic field.

Bottom, left: The hollow-tine cultivation technique leaves cylindrical cores (inset) across the turf's profile.
 

 

Contact: Kristie Walker, assistant professor, agronomy, 218-281-8116 (kswalker@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

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