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U of M Extension Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (NW RSDP) joins 6 organizations to bring natural play spaces to connect children and nature in Polk, Norman, and Mahnomen Counties. 

Even a generation ago, children spent more time outside because it was the normal thing to do. We can all remember the days when we would listen to the birds sing, play in the rain, and use our imagination to contrive games. 

These experiences are important as they provide a connection to nature and a way to use the imagination.  

NW RSDP was recently selected to receive $25,000 in Community Engagement Innovation funding from the Center for Prevention (the Center) at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. This support will be used to connect children and nature in Northwest Minnesota. 

The grant will provide funding for a project called Tree Cookies and Mud Pies: A Recipe for Community Health.  Engagement activities will focus on four communities: Fosston, Crookston, Ada, and Mahnomen. 

This project engages in the development and use of natural play spaces in support of health equity and active living strategies. The NW Regional Partnership and its partners in public health, early childhood education, youth development, parks and rec, and resource management, will use storytelling, activity mapping and design workshops to enable communities to create and utilize natural play spaces. 

NW RSDP has leveraged partners from various disciplines and agencies.  A new partner this year is Alysa Zimmerle, serving with Conservation Corps MN & IA  as the Community Mapping and Outreach Specialist with Project Get Outdoors (Project GO), an organization that works to reintroduce kids to their natural environments. Collaboration with Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) staff in the region continues with Kristen Fagerlund, Tammy Carlsrud, and Kelsey Borgen representing Polk, Norman-Mahnomen counties. SHIP works to help Minnesotans live longer, healthier lives by working with communities to gain better access to healthy foods and implement a healthier way of life.  

Sarah Reese, director of Polk County Public Health works to connect resources to community members and university partners interested in connecting children to nature.  Eric Castle, assistant professor at the U of M Crookston will work to facilitate the planning, design, and implementation of the natural play spaces. 

"This project has been a great way to connect university resources to the community.  Students in my classes and student researchers have been able to apply what they are learning in real world settings, said Castle."

To learn more about the work of the Northwest Regional Partnership go to http://blog.lib.umn.edu/rsdp/northwest.  For more information on Project GO initiatives visit www.facebook.com/pages/Project-Get-Outdoors-Inc/137770441949

The Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDPs) give communities in Greater Minnesota access to the University of Minnesota in order to help solve problems and take advantage of new opportunities. As a part of University of Minnesota Extension, NW RSDP brings together local talent and resources with University of Minnesota knowledge and seed funding to drive sustainability in four areas: agriculture and food systems, tourism and resilient communities, natural resources, and clean energy. 

Contact: Linda Kingery, executive director, U of M Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, 218-281-8697 (kinge002@umn.edu)

Pulitzer Prize winning author and historian Taylor Branch will present "Civil Rights Then and 
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Now: Reflections on the King Years" in the Kiehle Auditorium at the University of Minnesota Crookston on Monday, January 20, 2014, at 7 p.m. The event is free and all are welcome.  A book signing will be held in Kiehle 124 following the presentation and books by Branch will be available for purchase on site. Branch also will speak on Tuesday, January 21 at 10 a.m. at the Lake Agassiz Regional Library in Crookston as part of his visit.

About Taylor Branch

Taylor Branch is an American author and public speaker best known for his landmark narrative history of the civil rights era, America in the King Years. The trilogy's first book, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63, won the Pulitzer Prize and numerous other awards in 1989. Two successive volumes also gained critical and popular success: Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years, 1963-65, and At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-1968. Decades later, all three books remain in demand. 

In the October 2011 issue of The Atlantic, Branch published an influential cover story entitled "The Shame of College Sports," which author and NPR commentator Frank Deford said "may well be the most important article ever written about college sports."  The article touched off continuing national debate.  

Aside from writing, Branch speaks before a variety of audiences--colleges, high schools, churches, synagogues, mosques, political and professional groups. He has discussed doctrines of nonviolence with prisoners at San Quentin as well as officers at the National War College. He has presented seminars on civil rights at Oxford University and in sixth-grade classrooms. His 2008 address at the National Cathedral marked the 40th anniversary of Dr. King's last Sunday sermon from that pulpit. In 2009, he gave the Theodore H. White Lecture on the Press and Politics at Harvard. 

Branch began his career in 1970 as a staff journalist for The Washington Monthly, Harper's, and Esquire. He holds honorary doctoral degrees from ten colleges and universities. Other citations include the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 and the National Humanities Medal in 1999. More information is available at taylorbranch.com. 

Recent Work

In Branch's latest book, The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement (Simon & Schuster), Branch has identified eighteen essential moments from the Civil Rights Movement, and providing selections from his trilogy, has placed each moment in historical context with a newly written introduction.  The captivating result is a slender but comprehensive view of America in the turbulent, transformative 1960s, by our nation's foremost authoritative voice on the subject.

Background

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This activity is funded, in part, by a grant from the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council and the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund appropriated by the Minnesota Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008. Other sponsors include the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, the Lake Agassiz Regional Library, Crookston High School, and Academic Affairs, Campus Ministry, Concerts & Lectures, Honors Program, and Career and Counseling at the U of M Crookston. 

Earlier in the day activities in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., designed around the theme "Faces of Civil Rights: It isnt' just a Black Thing" will be taking place. The day marks a Red River Valley Celebration of Dr. King with events at the University of North Dakota and the University of Minnesota Crookston throughout the day. 

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.

Contact: Kenneth Mendez, office support assistant, Post Office, 218-281-8329 (mende089@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

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The presentation, Civil Rights Then and Now: Reflections on the King Years, is free and all are welcome. Several unique opportunities are developing around his visit including a booksigning and a visit by Branch on Tuesday, January 21, to speak at the Lake Agassiz Regional Library in Crookston at 10 a.m.

Taylor Branch is an American author and public speaker best known for his landmark trilogy on the civil rights era, America in the King Years. He has returned to civil rights history in his latest book, The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement(2013).  More: http://taylorbranch.com.

The visit by Branch is part of a day of activities in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., designed around the theme "Faces of Civil Rights: It isnt' just a Black Thing." The day marks a Red River Valley Celebration of Dr. King with events at the University of North Dakota and the University of Minnesota Crookston throughout the day. 

This activity is funded, in part, by a grant from the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council and the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund appropriated by the Minnesota Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008. Other sponsors include the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, the Lake Agassiz Regional Library, Crookston High School, and Academic Affairs, Campus Ministry, Concerts & Lectures, Honors Program, and Career and Counseling at the U of M Crookston. 

Representatives from some of the groups sponsoring the event in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr., 
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gathered recently for a photo.

In the group photo, left to right, are Laurie Wilson from Career and Counseling Services; Trey Everett from Campus Ministry; Lorna Hollowell, director of Diversity and Multicultural Programs; Barbara Keinath, vice chancellor for Academic Affairs; Dawn Ganje, program officer for the Northwest Minnesota Foundation; Chris Boike, Crookston hub supervisor, for the Lake Agassiz Regional Library; Lisa Loegering, assistant director of Community Engagement; Ken Mendez from Student Support Services; Associate Professor Brian Dingmann, advisor of the Honors Program; and Chancellor Fred Wood.


Contact: Kenneth Mendez, office support assistant, Post Office, 218-281-8329 (mende089@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

This event has been CANCELED. 

The University of Minnesota Crookston Music and Theater Department will perform the farcical black comedy "Arsenic and Old Lace" on Thursday and Friday, May 2 and 3, 2013. The performances, which begin at 7:30 p.m., will take place in Kiehle Auditorium. Tickets, available at the door, are $5 for adults and $3 for students and children. 

The comedy is directed by Junior Beth Motley, an equine science major from Vadnais Heights, Minn., and is an undergraduate research project for Motley. "Arsenic and Old Lace," by playwright Joseph Kesselring, is the story of a drama critic named Mortimer Brewster who discovers his eccentric, elderly aunts are actually homicidal maniacs. The play was written in 1939 and made into a film in starring Cary Grant.  

Members of the cast include Martha Brewster played by Liz Massie, a junior from Eagan, Minn., majoring in communication; Abby Brewster played by Joanie Melichar, a sophomore from Richfield, Minn., majoring in early childhood; Teddy Brewster played by Justin Burogz, Crookston, Minn.; Elaine Harper played by Sarah Lanners, a sophomore from Nashwauk, Minn., majoring in horticulture; Mortimer Brewster played by Nathan Anderson, a sophomore from Appleton, Minn., majoring in agricultural education; Jonathan Brewster played by Dylunn Frazee, Crookston, Minn.; Dr. Einstein played by Sam Haugen, a sophomore from Fertile, Minn., majoring in agronomy; Officer Brophy played by Bomi Jang, a sophomore from Yangpyeong, South Korea, majoring in marketing; Officer O'Hara played by Johnnie Pauly, a junior from Wrenshall, Minn., majoring in equine science; Mr. Witherspoon/The Rev. Dr. Harper played by Emily Steenhout, a senior from Backus, Minn., majoring in equine science; Lieutenant Rooney played by Hyeseung Ko, a sophomore from Seoul, South Korea, majoring in marketing; Mr. Gibbs played by Cholong Sung, an ESL student from , Seongnam South Korea

Today the University of Minnesota Crookston delivers 27 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 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.

Contact: George French, associate professor, 218-281-8266 (gfrench@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

A $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of State will fund a collaborative effort between the University of Minnesota, Crookston and Zhejiang Economic and Trade Polytechnic (ZJETP) to establish an American Cultural Center in China. The purpose of the cultural center, to be located on the campus of ZJETP in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, is to cultivate greater understanding between the United States and China. One of the unique aspects of the American Cultural Center at ZJETP is the construction of a 3-D immersive lab similar to the one located on the Crookston campus. 

Students in China will be able to use the lab to demonstrate American historical scenes and visit sites in the U.S. including universities, national landmarks, and other places of interest. The lab combines the most recent computer technology, sensor technology, and visual technology to allow users to "immerse" themselves in a virtual environment and interact with that environment. Along with the 3-D immersive lab, the American Cultural Center at ZJETP will include a multimedia conference room and theater, a reading room, and an e-reading room.

To be eligible for the grant, an applicant had to demonstrate expertise in one or more of the following subject areas: people-to-people exchanges, cultural and academic programming, international cooperation, institution-to-institution partnerships, and the ability to develop and implement programs in China. The one-time grant funding, which runs from September 20, 2012, through September 20, 2013, will promote a greater understanding of and appreciation for American culture. 

Jingpeng Tang, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Math, Science, and Technology Department on the Crookston campus is the grant's principal investigator. Kim Gillette, Ph.D., director of the Office of International Programs will join Tang to serve as the cultural center's deputy directors. Serving as their counterpart as deputy director in China is Mingdi Gu, who is the director of the international office at ZJETP. 

According to Tang, the American Cultural Center is the natural outgrowth of a long-term relationship between the U of M, Crookston and ZJETP. "We have been partners with Zhejiang Economic and Trade Polytechnic since 2005," Tang says. "This American Cultural Center will help foster mutual understanding between both countries, assist with student recruitment, and further our campus mission of outreach. We are excited about the opportunity and proud to be included among the campuses that have this kind of collaboration." The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is home to the only other center of this kind in the U of M system.

One of the long term goals for the American Cultural Center at ZJETP is to use it as a bridge to universities, businesses, industries, governmental and non-governmental agencies in the United States and Zhejiang province and the Yangtze River Delta of China, including Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. The Center also opens doors for potential research opportunities across both campuses.

Background
Over their history, the U of M, Crookston and ZJETP have collaborated on student exchange, faculty exchange, curriculum construction, and joint programs. More than 50 students from ZJETP have attended the U of M, Crookston in the software engineering, business management, and agricultural business programs. These programs allow ZJETP students to transfer to the U of M, Crookston to complete a bachelor's degree. The Crookston campus also established an English as Second Language (ESL) Center on the ZJETP campus. Study abroad opportunities for both faculty and students at the U of M, Crookston have been enhanced by the relationship with ZJETP and many have taken advantage of the opportunity to visit the campus in China. 

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 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.

Contact: Jingpeng Tang, associate professor, Math, Science, and Technology Dept., 218-281-8182 (jptang@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

cres_logos_final_wgreen.jpgThe Bremer Foundation has awarded a grant for $50,000 to the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies (CRES) at the University of Minnesota, Crookston.  The grant, which provides $25,000 each year for two years, offers operational support to extend the unique entrepreneurial assistance services and programming of CRES to northwestern Minnesota. It will also focus on developing entrepreneurial awareness among area high school and U of M, Crookston students.  Susan Brorson, head of the Business Department serves as the principal investigator for the grant which was written by Kevin Cooper, who serves as director of CRES, and Rachel Lundbohm, the Center's assistant director. 

"We want to engage students and assist businesses by providing technical assistance to area entrepreneurs and conducting valuable research related to entrepreneurship," explains Lundbohm. "Encouraging students interested in entrepreneurship while getting them involved in the region is also a priority. We appreciate this award from Bremer to support our passion for entrepreneurship and to help us provide assistance to entrepreneurs and businesses in the region."

Goals of CRES for the next two years include entrepreneurial and small business consulting, community education and outreach that facilitates entrepreneurial networking, and the dissemination of rural entrepreneurship research. 
The work of CRES positively impacts entrepreneurs and small businesses in northwest Minnesota by providing no-cost technical assistance to these individuals.  Entrepreneurs, companies, and non-profit organizations receiving the assistance of CRES have provided positive feedback regarding their experience with the program. Students who have worked on CRES-initiated projects have also received valuable experience, further contributing to their education and professional understanding.

Background
The mission of the Center for Rural Entrepreneurial Studies is to encourage entrepreneurship through educational leadership, applied research, and insightful consulting.  CRES engages the students, faculty, and research facilities of the University of Minnesota, Crookston in order to stimulate the entrepreneurial culture and strengthen the economic vitality of northwest Minnesota.  

The U.S. Department of Education awarded a $550,000 congressionally-directed grant to the University of Minnesota, Crookston to establish the CRES in 2010. Congressman Collin Peterson played an integral leadership role in this entrepreneurial initiative and was supported by both Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar. CRES serves the eleven county region of northwest Minnesota, including Beltrami, Clearwater, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, and Roseau counties, and is located in Dowell Hall 117on the Crookston campus.

For more information, contact Lundbohm at 218-281-8190 (rlundboh@.umn.edu) or visit the CRES Web site at www.umccres.org.   

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 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.

Contact: Rachel Lundbohm, associate director, CRES, 218-281-8190 (rlundboh@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

A cultural celebration with something for everyone, the Fourth Annual "Fiesta in the Spirit of 100_0057.jpgCinco de Mayo" will be held on Saturday, April 21, 2012, at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. The day is filled with activities for the whole family and celebrates the rich tradition of the Mexican people. This year's fiesta also recognizes the Month of the Young Child with many activities focusing on children and families.

From 2-5 p.m., Children can choose from nearly a dozen arts and crafts activities in Bede Ballroom and the International Lounge in the Sargeant Student Center featuring more than 200 piñatas made by event volunteers this year. This important aspect of the Fiesta is led by Early Childhood Education (ECE) students, faculty, ECE program alumni, and Month of the Young Child volunteers. Games, music, and rhythm activities will take place in the International and Northern Lights lounges. Information booths, a scholarship table, and a mini marketplace will be located throughout the Sargeant Student Center and into the Eagle's Nest in the Sahlstrom Conference Center.

Music and a performance of an anti-bullying skit by True Players will also be part of the afternoon in the Prairie Room. Featured musical performers include both professional balladeers, Cathy and Abel Pineiro, and local talent Bryan Sanchez. Snacks for children will be available from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

dancers.jpgFolk dance classes, for those who have pre-registered, will be held in the Lysaker Gymnasium in the Sports Center on campus. The dance sessions will include age appropriate folk dance steps and begin at 2 p.m. for students in grades kindergarten through second grade; followed at 3 p.m. for students in third through sixth grades; and concluding with a session at 4 p.m. for students in grades seven through adult. For more information or to pre-register for a session, contact Anna Corona at 218-521-0245; Rosa Quiroz at 218-289-7479, or Rae French at 218-281-8339. News release on dance sessions.

Beginning at 4 p.m., there will be appetizers in the Eagles Nest and an authentic Mexican dinner will be served in Brown Dining Room from 4:30 until 7 p.m. featuring the talent of several area cooking experts including two all-time favorites: tamales and Mexican rice.

Following the dinner at 7 p.m., entertainment moves to Kiehle Auditorium for a performance by Los Alegres Bailadores, a dance troupe from St. Paul, Minn. Many of the dances will feature the younger members of the dance troupe to draw attention to the children who dance with Los Alegres Bailadores.

Another highlight of the evening will be the announcement regarding the progress of the Ramona Mendez Endowed Scholarship fund drive. The academic scholarship honors the memory of Ramona Mendez, a long time employee of UMC Facilities, whose son Kenneth is a graduate of the U of M, Crookston and a lead member of the planning committee. The scholarship was initiated during last year's "Fiesta in the Spirit of the Cinco de Mayo."

The evening concludes with a family dance from 8 to 12 p.m. in Bede Ballroom featuring Crookston's own VJ (video disc jockey) Nico from Z Martin Entertainment, playing Cumbia, Tejano, and Mexicano music and more.
The goal of the Cinco de Mayo celebration at the U of M, Crookston is to promote learning, understanding, and appreciation for the Mexican culture through traditional Mexican entertainment, crafts, and cuisine.

The event is sponsored in part by a grant from the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council, which serves the seven counties located in the northwest corner of the state.  The Arts Council receives funding from the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment from the Minnesota State Legislature. Other sponsors include the Crookston Convention and Visitors Bureau; Northwest Mental Health Center; Tri-Valley Opportunity Council; RiverView Health; Crookston Police Benefit Association; and Concerts and Lectures; Diversity and Multicultural Affairs; the Coca Cola Community Initiative Fund; and the Department of Liberal Arts and Education, all at the U of M, Crookston.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,600 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 photos: Children dancers from Los Alegres Bailadores, a dance troupe from St. Paul.

Contact: Kenneth Mendez, office support assistant, Post Office, 218-281-8329 (mende089@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

The University of Minnesota Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (NWRSDP) is offering mini-grants for gardens for communities and schools. The mini-grants can be used for gardening supplies, equipment and tools, and communication and outreach activities, up to a maximum award of $500. The application deadline is March 26, 2012, by 5 p.m. Grant awards will be determined by March 30. The application form is available at www.rsdp.umn.edu/northwest

The grants are part of an effort to strengthen a gardening culture and engage new gardeners in northwestern Minnesota. The mini-grants are funded through a grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Minnesota and its Growing up Healthy Program.

The NWRSDP connects University resources and citizen leaders in support of regional aspirations for natural resources, clean energy, agriculture and food systems, and resilient communities. Linda Kingery serves as the executive director.  For more information, visit http://rsdp.umn.edu/northwest.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,600 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.

Contact: Linda Kingery, executive director, Northwest Minnesota Sustainable Development Partnership, 218-281-8697 (kinge002@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

A $10,000 grant awarded by the Northwest Minnesota Regional Arts Council will support the Cinco de Mayo 2012 1159.jpgfourth annual "Fiesta in the Spirit of Cinco de Mayo" at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. The event is slated for Saturday, April 21, 2012. The grant, offered through the Arts and Cultural Heritage fund, helps support access and exposure to the arts in all corners of the region.

Area clubs or organizations interested in helping to support the "Fourth Annual Fiesta in the Spirit of Cinco de Mayo" are encouraged to contact Kenneth Mendez at 218-281-8329. Since the first celebration in 2009, the event was designed to honor the rich heritage of the Mexican people.

The goal of the Cinco de Mayo celebration at the U of M, Crookston is to promote learning, understanding and appreciation for the Mexican culture through traditional Mexican entertainment, crafts, and cuisine. It is held in honor of Cinco de Mayo, a day that historically, represents the victory of Mexico over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 and culturally, represents Mexican heritage and pride.  

LegacyLogo.jpgThe Northwest Minnesota Arts Council serves the seven counties located in the northwest corner of the state.  The Arts Council receives funding from the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment from the Minnesota State Legislature.  This allows the Arts Council to develop services and grant programs for arts access, arts learning, and folk and traditional arts.  More information is available at www.NorthwestMinnesotaArtsCouncil.org   

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 26 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 36 concentrations, including 10 online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,600 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 at top, left to right:  Peter Phaiah, UMC, Rosa Quiroz, CHS, Anissa Moore, TVOC Head-Start, Ken Mendez, UMC, Laurie Wilson, UMC, Dale Knotek, NW Arts Council, Eryn Killough, NW Arts Council, Marsha Odom, UMC, Chuck Casey, UMC Chancellor, Patti Tiedemann, UMC, Tony Taylor, UMC.  NOT PICTURED: Leticia Sanchez and Anna Corona, Migrant Health Services.



Contact: Kenneth Mendez, UMC Post Office, 218-281-8329, (Mende089@umn.edu) or Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

For the past three years, the University of Minnesota, Crookston has served as the umcedacenter_verticallogo.jpgEconomic Development Administration (EDA) University Center for the state of Minnesota. That designation will continue with the recent awarding of a grant appropriation of $615,000 from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Under the guidance of Jack Geller, Ph.D., who serves as director, the EDA Center will work with economic development agencies to focus on two complementary areas: Fostering a climate of entrepreneurship in economically distressed rural communities and increasing digital literacy and technology adoption. Geographic regions in Minnesota each have their own unique regional economy as well as economic challenges and opportunities. The Center will leverage the intellectual resources of the U of M to help distressed rural communities facing these economic and demographic challenges and broaden the tools available to regional economic agencies.

"Economic development has traditionally focused on business recruitment and retention, but more and more we are realizing that the path towards rural economic prosperity also includes creating a climate for entrepreneurship and small business creation.  More than ever in rural Minnesota we realize that small business is big business," notes Geller.

The grant also facilitates greater collaboration with University of Minnesota Extension. Geller worked with Dick Senese, associate dean for public engagement and the Extension Center for Community Vitality, to identify Extension programs and applied research that can be tapped to inform decisions in regional economies. Extension has expertise in applied research for communities, especially as it relates to supporting community-driven approaches to economic development.

"When it comes to facing the new economy, local leadership matters - a lot," says Senese.  "Extension's Center for Community Vitality is eager to help the EDA Center make University research practical and useful for those local leaders who are ready to grow their economy through business retention and development."

Utilizing the intellectual resources of the University and Extension will allow the Center to continue to provide technical assistance and applied research as well as foster a culture of entrepreneurship and business development across the state.

The Crookston campus will leverage funds to provide strategic investments through cash support and in-kind investments to help increase both opportunities for undergraduate research and internships with an economic development agency. The Center provides the opportunity to utilize the capacity of the U of M, Crookston in partnership with economic development agencies to support job creation, capital investment, business recruitment, and job retention.

"Since 2008 under the direction of Professor Jack Geller, the University of Minnesota, Crookston has served as the EDA University Center with a focus on serving the rural, economically-distressed communities across Minnesota.  This new award will greatly enhance our ability to expand the geographic reach of the University Center, help foster a stronger entrepreneurial culture in these communities, and enhance the digital literacy skills of small rural businesses in economically-distressed areas of the state," explains Charles H. Casey, D.V.M., chancellor at the U of M, Crookston. 

"This is strongly tied to our mission as a land-grant university; to leverage the skills and talents of our faculty and students to provide technical assistance and conduct applied research to solve real-world problems in rural Minnesota," Casey added.

To learn more about the EDA Center, visit www.edacenter.org . For more information about Extension, visit www.extension.umn.edu/community.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including 10 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 1,450 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: Jack Geller, professor and head, Liberal Arts and Education Dept. and director, EDA Center; Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

gustafson_c.jpg Biofuels Economist Cole Gustafson, Ph.D., from North Dakota State University (NDSU) will present "Economics and Biofuel Opportunities for Agriculture in Northern Minnesota" as part of the fourth in a series of seminars at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. The upcoming Sustainability Supper Seminar, scheduled on May 10, 2011, begins at 5 p.m. with a meal in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center, followed by Gustafson's presentation at 6 p.m. in Youngquist Auditorium. For meal reservations, contact Michael Knudson, Minnesota GreenCorps member at 218-281-8128 (knud0189@umn.edu).
 
Dan Svedarsky, professor and director of the Center for Sustainability on the Crookston campus, is pleased to have Gustafson headline the seminar. "We are privileged to have a leading expert on the economic aspects of biofuels in the Upper Midwest as our guest speaker for this seminar," Svedarsky says. "He is a distinguished member of the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics faculty at NDSU and the NDSU Extension Service biofuels specialist."

Gustafson's research responsibilities include development of financial management strategies for farms, ranches, agribusinesses, and agricultural lenders. He has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and has obtained grant funding totaling $1.1 million. He most recently received a $300,000 grant  to research an energy beet for the biofuel industry in North Dakota. In addition to serving as a faculty member, Gustafson has also served as department chair and associate dean of research. For more information on Gustafson, visit www.ext.nodak.edu/homepages/aedept/staff/bio_gustafson_c.htm.

A mini-grant from the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment helps fund the series of bi-weekly, "sustainability supper seminars" designed to educate the campus and the local community on sustainability applications as well as explore the "Communiversity" concept.

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 1,400 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: Michael Knudson, Minnesota GreenCorps member, 218-281-8128 (knud0189@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Doris Cooper Hired as Grants and Contracts Coordinator at U of M, Crookston

Doris Cooper was hired  recently as the grants and contracts coordinator at the University Cooper_Doris 0925.jpgof Minnesota, Crookston. Her major responsibilities will be to research, identify, and communicate potential sources of funding to support research projects and program development opportunities, to coordinate sources of funding for future grants and contracts, and to assist faculty members with grant writing and coordination of necessary resources.  She began her new role on Monday, April 4, 2011.

Cooper came to the U of M, Crookston from the University of North Dakota (UND), where she most recently served as executive director for the UND Alumni Association and UND Foundation.  She has also served as director of development marketing and communications at UND, as a marketing and communication coordinator for the Anne Carlsen Center in Jamestown, ND, and as associate director of public relations for Jamestown College.  Cooper holds a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from UND.  

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 1,400 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: Thomas Baldwin, senior vice chancellor, academic affairs, 218-281-8340 (tbaldwin@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

RSVP of the Red River Valley, sponsored by the University of Minnesota, Crookston, has received funding for 2011 from Land of the Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging to start two pilot projects in Crookston, East Grand Forks, Red Lake Falls, and Thief River Falls. The $7500 grant will help establish both the "RSVP Handyman Program" and "RSVP Groceries to Go Program" to help seniors remain safely and independently in their homes for as long as practicable.

Through the RSVP Handyman Program, trained volunteers will provide minor home repairs and safety modifications as well as providing safety assessments and educational material on falls and fire prevention in the home. The volunteers provide their labor free of charge, and the client pays for needed materials. The RSVP Groceries to Go Program will provide trained volunteers to shop for and deliver groceries for clients who  are no longer able to shop on their own.

Deanna Patenaude, Director of RSVP "We are excited to bring these two programs to our area and hope that their success will garner interest in other communities in the seven county region." rsvp_logo.jpg

With RSVP, you choose the amount of time you want to give. And you choose whether you want to draw on your skills or develop new ones. When you volunteer, you're not just helping others-you're helping yourself. Volunteering leads to new discoveries and new friends. Plus, studies show that volunteering helps you live longer and promote a positive outlook on life.

In addition, with RSVP you'll receive pre-service orientation, training from the organization where you serve, and supplemental insurance while on duty. If you are interested in making a difference in your community by volunteering, contact RSVP at 281-8288 or e-mail dpatenau@umn.edu.
 
This project is made possible in part, under the Federal Older American's Act through a grant with the Land of the Dancing Sky AAA under an Area Plan approved by the Minnesota Board on Aging. RSVP engages adults 55 and older in volunteer service to meet community needs, and to provide a high quality experience that will enrich the lives of volunteers.

RSVP connects volunteers age 55 and over with service opportunities in their communities that match their skills and availability. From building houses to immunizing children, from enhancing the capacity of non-profit organizations to improving and protecting the environment, RSVP volunteers put their unique talents to work to make a difference. To learn more about RSVP, visit www.umcrookston.edu/rsvp. 

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 1,400 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: Deanna Patenaude, director, RSVP, 218-281-8288 (dpatenau@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Seven projects have been supported through the awarding of $500 mini-grants from aThumbnail image for Mini-grant brochure revised.jpg unique working partnership focused on connecting children and nature. The mini-grant project goals are to connect children with nature, get children outdoors, develop community support for unstructured outdoor activities, provide multiyear benefits for encouraging a personal experience in outdoor places, help remove barriers to outdoor activities, such as access issues, safety concerns, and negativity of natural play or other concerns.

The partnership, which includes the University of Minnesota, Crookston; University of Minnesota Extension; Northwest Regional Development Commission; Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership;  International Water Institute River Watch; Polk and Mahnomen Public Health Programs; and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, awarded the grants in December and is looking to fund a second round in February 2011.  Applications are encouraged.

The mini-grant opportunities are available to any school, club, group, community, or non-profit organization directly involved with educating or caring for children located in Becker, Beltrami, Cass, Clay, Clearwater, Hubbard, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, Roseau, and Wilkin counties. To be considered for the next round of funding applications must be received by February 1, 2011. For more information or to access the application form, visit www.umcrookston.edu/childrenandnature.

The seven projects receiving funding in December included several projects in the Crookston community: The Northwest Mental Health Center's summer program gardens will encourage children in grades K-6 to participate in gardens at 12 school sites tying nutritional benefits to working with nature in a garden. The School Age Care's school garden project will help support learning during the summer program using the garden at Washington School. Little Villagers Child Care  at the Villa St. Vincent will use their grant to provide children with outdoor program supplies including a toboggans, composter, bug nets, and shovels, etc. Highland Elementary School will purchase digital cameras to be used for the sixth grade's annual field trip to Itasca and for a winter survival unit at the U of M, Crookston's Nature Center.

The Ada- Borup Elementary School will use their funding to purchase digital cameras for their after-school science enrichment program for grades 3-6. In Newfolden, Minn., Marshall County Central's mini grant award will help defray transportation costs for a field trip to Wolf Ridge for a field-based science learning experience, and Marshall County's McCrea 4-H Club will use funds to learn about native fish in Minnesota through an ice fishing trip to Lake of the Woods.

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 1,400 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: Linda Kingery, executive director, Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, 218-281-8697, kinge002@umn.edu; Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Students from Norman County East (NCE), a high school serving students in Gary and Twin Valley, Minn., will experience college life firsthand during a visit to the University of Minnesota, Crookston on Tuesday, November 23, 2010.

The students in the NCE 10th grade life skills class will attend a class in the Business Department, learn about sustainability initiatives, and have an opportunity to experience virtual reality in the new Informatics Lab on the campus. Along with a campus tour and lunch in the dining hall, these high school students will leave campus with a glimpse into collegiate life.

The campus visit is the result of a Ramp Up to Readiness grant collaborated through the Center for Adult Learning on the Crookston campus and written by Jolee Habadank, a counselor from Norman County East.
 
"We want students to experience a college or university campus at a younger age.  Doing so may bridge the gap and spark their intentions proving they can maneuver and succeed in a college environment," says Christopherson. "This visit will give students a chance to see, do and be a college student for a day, our hope is that they discover areas of study that may interest them and help them refine their career goals and get more involved."

This year at NCE, ninth, tenth and eleventh grade students will visit the different types of campuses; two and four year, to help them make informed decisions about what type of post-secondary schools will be best for them. At each of the institutions, students learn about opportunities available, admissions requirements, and the application process.

The purpose of the Ramp Up to Readiness program is to help University colleges, departments and offices launch new or enhance existing partnerships with preK-12 schools and systems to increase the number and diversity of students who graduate with the knowledge, skills, and habits for success in higher education. To learn more, visit www.rampuptoreadiness.org.

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 1,400 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: Michelle Christopherson, director, Center for Adult Learning, 218-281-8679 (mchristo@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

A grant awarded to the University of Minnesota, Crookston will allow the campus to host a member of Minnesota's statewide initiative to help preserve and protect the environment, known as the Minnesota GreenCorps. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) coordinates the Minnesota GreenCorps, which is an environmental AmeriCorps program.

Knudson_Michael 9329.jpgMichael Knudson (pictured,left) was appointed as the green infrastructure and stormwater management specialist and will be trained for his role as part of a new generation of environmental professionals under the program. He will be located on the Crookston campus and assist with the campus and the city of Crookston in addressing storm water management. He will develop and help implement action steps that will have an immediate effect as well as look at how to invest in the future in an environmentally conscious way. Knudson is a 2009 graduate of the U of M, Crookston, where he majored in natural resources.
    
The Center for Sustainability at the U of M, Crookston was also successful in hosting a GreenCorps member in 2009-10 when Chris Waltz was an energy conservation specialist.  Dan Svedarsky, Ph.D., director of the Center for Sustainability, is enthusiastic about hosting another Minnesota GreenCorps member and what it means, "This opportunity connects the Crookston campus and community in an effort to become more environmentally conscious in managing stormwater in a responsible way," Svedarsky says. "Furthermore, it will help the community and campus have baseline data in place in preparation for future regulations that may be required."
The mission of the Minnesota GreenCorps is to provide its members with opportunities to contribute to improve Minnesota's environment, while gaining experience and learning valuable job skills. Local governments and community organizations statewide host Minnesota GreenCorps members and provide day-to-day supervision for members working on projects in the areas of local government energy conservation, school waste prevention, living green outreach, local food systems, and urban forestry. To learn more, visit the MPCA's NextStep sustainability Web site at www.nextstep.state.mn.us.

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 1,400 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)

The Statewide Health Improvement Program recently awarded a grant to the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of the Red River Valley. The Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) funds will assist Deanna Patenaude and Jan Aamoth of RSVP in expanding their system-wide training efforts for their volunteer Bone Builder trainers.

RSVP Bone Builders is an exercise initiative that focuses on enhancing physical and mental well-being and the prevention and reversal of osteoporosis.  RSVP has twenty-five classes and over 375 participants throughout seven counties in Northwest Minnesota including Polk, Norman, Kittson, Marshall, Roseau, Pennington and Red Lake.  Classes are led by trained RSVP volunteer instructors and class participants have experienced great benefits due to their increase in physical activity.

Deanna Patenaude, RSVP Director, commented that "the continued success and sustainability is dependent upon the RSVP volunteers who have been trained as Bone Builders trainers."   Polk County Statewide Health Improvement (SHIP) Coordinator, Sarah Reese shared that "it is exciting to be expanding the current training efforts of RSVP. Bone Builders is free for all participants and provides a great resource for physical activity to our aging population of Northwest Minnesota. I have talked to many Bone Builder's participants and they have nothing but great things to say about it."

The Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) strives to help Minnesotans lead longer, healthier lives by preventing the chronic disease risk factors of tobacco use and exposure, poor nutrition and physical inactivity. SHIP seeks to create sustainable, systemic changes in schools, worksites, communities and health care organizations that make it easier for Minnesotans to incorporate healthy behaviors into their daily lives.

For more information about SHIP contact Sarah Reese at sreese@pcphealth.org or 218-281-3385 or about Bone Builders contact Deanna Patenaude at 218-281-8288.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 bachelor's degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture and natural resources; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates, 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: Deanna Patenaude, RSVP, 218-281-8288 (dpatenau@umn.edu)

menardspeaks.jpgA partnership between Crookston's elementary schools and the University of Minnesota, Crookston encourages elementary students to think about attending college at an early age. Project Strong Start was designed as a college day, bilingual-learning experience prompting  fourth, fifth, and sixth  grade students, to  aspire to a college education.  There were 112 fifth grade students visiting the campus on Thursday, May 27, 2010, as part of Project Strong Start. The project was fully funded through a grant from United Way.

The learning objectives of Project Strong Start were to inspire college readiness, demystify the college experience by addressing the practical concerns of preparing for and paying for college, and learning about local colleges and career opportunities available to students.

Tim Menard from the Office of Admissions at the U of  M, Crookston was happy with the students' interest and enthusiasm. "The learning experience, based in the Wiley's Way curriculum, consists of three activities which let students know that they are expected to prepare for college by working hard and taking rigorous courses," explained Menard. "It's never too early to begin thinking about and planning for college."

Along with campus tours and lunch in Brown Dining Room, Regal the Eagle was on hand to meet the fifth graders. Funding from the grant was also used to provide a chapter book for each.  

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 bachelor's degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture and natural resources; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates, 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: Tim Menard, admissions counselor, addresses fifth graders from the Crookston elementary schools as part of Project Strong Start. (Photo courtesy of the Crookston Daily Times.)

Contact: Tim Menard, admissions counselor, 218-281-8571 (menar021@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

A consortium led by the University of Minnesota Institute for Health Informatics has been awarded more than $5 million to train health professionals in the field of health informatics. In a partnership that also includes the U of M, Crookston and the College of St, Scholastica, Professor Adel Ali, Ph.D., head of the Math, Science, and Technology Department will serve as the lead investigator from the Crookston Campus. Learn more.

Contact: Adel Ali, head, Math, Science, and Techology Department, 218-281-8268 (adelali@umn.edu); Andrew Svec, director, communications, 218-281-8438 (asvec@umn.edu)

umcedacenter_verticallogo_resized.jpgThe University of Minnesota, Crookston, home to the Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center, is a partner on a $4.7 million federal grant awarded to the Blandin Foundation and 19 coalition partners to enhance broadband access in Minnesota's rural areas. Through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grant, the Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities coalition will bring a network of resources and support to rural Minnesota individuals and communities--especially those unemployed and seeking employment, small businesses, coalitions of government entities, and local leaders. The Blandin Foundation will administer the grant on behalf of the initiative's partners.

The EDA Center, under the leadership of Center Director Jack Geller, will serve a vital role as project evaluator for the grant. Designed to bring together partners from across a wide spectrum, the grant will provide funding to carry out an array of projects. As evaluator, the EDA Center will design and conduct research on the projects, collect data, and measure the impact and effectiveness of the grant's activities. Some $459,900 is set aside for the evaluation aspect of the grant. Faculty and staff from across the University will have an opportunity to be engaged in research on projects related to the grant's objectives.

Geller is keenly aware of the significant impact improving technology access would have for those who live and work in rural Minnesota. "This grant is a very significant and comprehensive approach to targeting rural communities and those who lack access to technologies that could prove to be critically important to them," Geller states. "We will broaden awareness, provide essential technical assistance, and help those who may not even be online yet. We want to maximize this opportunity to assist rural businesses and help them adopt new technologies, increase their market share, reach new customers, and improve their bottom line."

Total cost of the coalition's proposed projects is estimated at more than $6 million. Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities coalition members will contribute $1.3 million in resources as matching funds toward the effort. The Blandin Foundation submitted the application for federal broadband stimulus funding on behalf of University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, University of Minnesota Crookston, Association of Minnesota Counties and their national counterpart, Network of Care Mental Health, Intelligent Community Forum, Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace, Minnesota Department of Economic Development Workforce Centers, PCs for People and Minnesota's nine Regional Development Commissions.

The mission of the EDA Center, located on the Crookston Campus, is to engage university faculty, staff and students with local, county and regional economic development agencies in support of the rural economy. For more information, contact Geller at 218-281-8248 or visit the EDA Center's Web site at www.edacenter.org.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 bachelor's degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture and natural resources; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates, 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: Jack Geller, director, EDA Center, 218-281-8248 (gelle045@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

Zepeda_Katya 9901.jpgKatya Zepeda, Crookston, Minn., was one of two college students recently selected to receive a $1,000 Carter Academic Service Entrepreneur (CASE) grant supporting innovative service-learning projects.  Zepeda, a first-year student at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, will use her CASE grant to raise funds for the Crookston food shelf by hosting an Empty Bowls Dinner.

Zepeda will partner with students from a local high school to plan and implement the project, while at the same time increasing students' exposure to the University of Minnesota and higher education.

Lisa Loegering, assistant director of service learning at the Crookston campus, guided Zepeda through the grant proposal process and will serve as her advisor for the project.  Zepeda, an organizational psychology major, also will work closely with her academic advisor, Alvin Killough, Ph.D., on developing parts of the project into an independent study within her academic program.

Throughout the project's development, community and campus partners will play an integral role in the planning and execution of the many aspects of Empty Bowls Dinner, which will be held in fall 2010.
Zepeda was among several students from Campus Compact institutions to propose inventive projects serving their communities. The other CASE grant recipient was Christin Tomy, a senior at the College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, Minn. Tomy and Zepeda are the fifth and sixth students to receive CASE grants from Minnesota Campus Compact.

Minnesota Campus Compact is proud to support the work of students in their community. More information about Zepeda's project is available at www.emptybowls.net.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 applied-science undergraduate degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. To learn more, visit www.UMCrookston.edu.

Contact: Lisa Loegering, assistant director of service learning, 218-281-8526 (loege005@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

The University of Minnesota, Crookston continues to move forward in pursuing energy conservation and sustainability goals with the recent awarding of a Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTS) grant of $11,000 according to Dan Svedarsky, Ph.D., director of the U of M, Crookston Center for Sustainability. The grant will support students being paired with a faculty or staff member to address two projects: conduct a feasibility study for a methane digester and measure building-to-building energy use.

"The grant application was primarily developed by Center staff, Chris Waltz (pictured below on left) and Lisa Gentele (pictured on right), Thumbnail image for Gentele_Lisa 9036.jpgin conjunction with U of M, Crookston faculty and staff," according to Svedarsky. Waltz is an energy conservation specialist supported by the Minnesota GreenCorps and Gentele is a student sustainability assistant working with the Center, the Otter Tail Energy Challenge program, and chair of the Crookston Students for Sustainable Development (CSSD).

Key personnel involved in collaborating with students will be U of M, Crookston faculty members: Christo Robberts, Paul Aakre, and Kent Freberg with the methane generator study. Staff members: Tim Norton, director of Facility Management and Operations; Rusty Remick, electrician; and Ken Johnson, Otter Tail Power Company, will advise the building-to-building energy use study.

"This grant will nicely support the implementation of the Otter Tail Energy Challenge awarded to the Crookston campus earlier in the fall," according to Waltz.  The energy use study will evaluate the installation of better monitoring systems so that students in residence halls can engage in competitions to strive to reduce energy consumption and lessen the impact on global carbon emissions. Students will come from a variety of majors on campus and will begin working on the project early in spring semester 2010.

"Grant funds will support U of M, Crookston students to gain research experience in sustainability and energy as well as develop leadership skills using the campus as a real-world living laboratory," notes Waltz. "The program will bring together clubs and organizations, classes, and individuals across campus disciplines to work on applied sustainable research projects which is necessary for the training and development of new environmental professionals."

Waltz_Chris 9647.jpgWaltz, a spring 2009 U of M, Crookston graduate, co-authored the 2008 CERTS grant, "LEEDing Crookston to a Sustainable Future," which allowed Crookston campus students and the campus community to achieve a new level of sustainability awareness and engagement. The grant also facilitated construction of Evergreen Hall according to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards making it the first LEED-certified dormitory within the University of Minnesota system. Students hosted open forums and guest speakers to educate the campus community on the topic of sustainability and its broad applications to energy efficiency and conservation, economic development, local foods, recycling, and atmospheric carbon balance. In addition, the grant supported the Crookston Students for Sustainable Development to host an educational retreat to the ultimate energy efficient, Biohaus (Bio-House), at the Concordia Language Camp near Bemidji, Minn. This retreat was designed to share ideas between students, not only at the Crookston campus but also students from other campuses such as Bemidji State University.

"It has been an absolute delight working with these UMC students the past couple of years as they have engaged in sustainability initiatives," according to Svedarsky. "And this student sustainability action is spreading nationally and globally as well. I just returned from the U.N. Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen and the commitment of young people to planetary stewardship is nothing short of remarkable.  I would also be remiss in not recognizing the key supporting role of Linda Kingery, executive director of the Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, and U of M, Crookston professor David DeMuth. These two individuals are tireless strategists in facilitating many campus and regional initiatives related to sustainability and the environment."

For more information contact: Waltz at 218-281-8128 or waltz020@umn.edu and Svedarsky at 218-281-8129 or dsvedars@umn.edu at the Center for Sustainability, U of M, Crookston.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 applied-science undergraduate degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. 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)

Exercise can help build stronger bones and prevent or reverse the damaging effects of osteoporosis.  The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of the Red River Valley, sponsored by the University of Minnesota, Crookston recently received $1000 from Roseau's LifeCare Medical Center's LifeCare Health Care Fund to start up a RSVP Bone Builders Exercise Program in Greenbush, Minn. The class, beginning in January 2010, is free of charge for all participants.

RSVP Bone Builders is an osteoporosis prevention/reversal exercise program that uses ankle and hand weights to build bone density. Benefits of the class may include increased bone density, lower blood pressure, increased energy, an increased sense of well being, and improved balance.

The Mayo Clinic reports that 40,000 deaths each year are associated with osteoporosis-many of these resulting from complications following hip and other bone fractures. In fact, there are 1.5 million fractures per year due to osteoporosis, costing an estimated $18 million in hospital and nursing home services. One-half of All American women and one-fourth of men over the age of 50 will have an osteoporosis fracture in their remaining lifetime.

In addition to four Bone Builders classes in Polk County, RSVP sponsored fourteen additional classes throughout northwest Minnesota through an Otto Bremer Foundation grant. Other contributors to the program were Crookston and Thief River Falls United Way, Polk County and the East Grand Forks Senior Center.
 
The LifeCare Health Care Fund received grant proposal requests for $17,112 from very worthy projects and awarded three grants for a total of $2,081.

For more information on RSVP Bone Builders, contact Director of RSVP Deanna Patenaude at 218-281-8288.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 applied-science undergraduate degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. To learn more, visit www.UMCrookston.edu.
 

Contact: Deanna Patenaude, director, RSVP, 218-281-8288 (dpatenau@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director of communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)

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