Fall Semester 2013 Brings Changes, Excitement to U of M Crookston

A new residence hall, new programs, and the latest in technology greets students at the 
University of Minnesota Crookston this fall. Classes begin on Tuesday, August 27, 2013, following a weekend of orientation activities and the annual "Meet Crookston Through Service," a service event that introduces new students to the community. 

The most recent residential facility, Heritage Hall, will be open for only the second semester since it was first occupied last January. Of the three residence halls built on campus since 2006, each one has included a classroom: Centennial Hall (2006), Evergreen Hall (2009), and Heritage Hall (2013). The Harris A. Peterson Classroom located in Heritage Hall holds up to 118 and can be reconfigured from a classroom to a large space for hosting campus events. The inclusion of classrooms in the residence halls is designed to encourage a living and learning environment. 

The Undergraduate Collaborative Learning and Experiential Applied Research Lab (UCLEAR) allows students across disciplines to explore information in a whole new way. For example, students in the health sciences can "slice" into an MRI, which displays data in 3-D using BodyViz. Tissues can be isolated and examined. The data can be shared with the five Microsoft PixelSense tables in the room where the students can investigate the case while determining the history of the patient. The PixelSense tables and immersive visualization provide a technologically advanced interface for students to experience course or research material. A team could work on up to 9 different components of the same project or 9 projects can be investigated simultaneously.

New programs in elementary education and finance, which is also offered online, provide students more majors to choose from this fall. An update to Brown Dining room makes the space even more inviting and gives it a contemporary look. 

The campus also welcomes Barbara Keinath, the new vice chancellor of academic affairs, and Carola Thorson, the new director of admissions and enrollment management. Chancellor Fred Wood welcomed faculty and staff during a Welcome Week luncheon on Monday, August 19, and this fall, the campus is preparing to celebrate its 20th year as a four-year institution and its anniversary as the first-ever laptop university in the country.  Special recognition for the 20-year anniversary will kick off at homecoming on October 4, 5, and 6.

Today the University of Minnesota Crookston delivers 28 bachelor's degree programs, 20 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 11 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from 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: Landscaping continues around Heritage Hall in preparation for the arrival of students and the beginning of fall semester. 

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