Public Engagement News Bits
Yesterday and today brought a number of University of Minnesota news releases relevant to Public Engagement. They exemplify the marvelous diversity of activities that we -- and most other research universities -- have that connect strongly with important public issues and partners. Rather than writing something of my own, I'll just point you to four of them.
University of Minnesota's Konopka Institute to partner with Kwanzaa Freedom School
The University of Minnesota's Konopka Institute will partner with Kwanzaa Church and the Nia Imani Youth Development Center in North Minneapolis to bring the 2007 Kwanzaa Freedom School to the University of Minnesota campus.
The Kwanzaa Freedom School is a six-week, literacy-rich summer and after-school program designed to create positive learning environments for youth. Freedom School nurtures the belief that young people can make a difference in themselves, their homes and their communities. The program begins June 25 for the nearly two dozen high school students who will participate in Freedom School programs at the university this year. The sessions will be held two days a week for three hours a day and will harness the educational and outreach skills of the university. The Freedom School movement has its roots in the modern civil rights movement and is administered by the Children's Defense Fund. The curriculum is staffed primarily by college-aged young adults -- some of whom will be University of Minnesota students -- committed to community leadership and service to children. Read more...
U of M launches VIRTEx, a new program to promote higher education for youth
The University of Minnesota is launching a new program designed to engage high school students from diverse backgrounds in undergraduate and graduate education. VIRTEx, which stands for Vertically-Integrated Research Team Experience, creates research teams made up of a high school student, an undergraduate student, a graduate student and a faculty mentor to work on a research project over the summer.
Three research teams began projects on campus June 18. These teams will investigate schizophrenia, the role of emotions in political decision-making and discrimination and its effects on mental health. Participants will develop their academic skills and get some real experience in science. This exposure and hands-on participation promotes a deeper understanding of academic pursuits. Read more ...
U of M Center for German and European Studies to hold major health-care forum
The Center for German and European Studies at the University of Minnesota will present a forum on innovation in health care on Monday and Tuesday, July 16 and 17. Participants are experts from Germany and the United States, representing government, business, insurance, health care provider and health educators.
Innovation and change are at the core of medical treatment, technology and any good health care system. Minnesota has a track record of developing exciting new approaches to healthcare policy, while across the United States an unprecedented number of initiatives are being developed at the state and federal levels to improve healthcare. Dialogue between stakeholders from different but comparable national systems can highlight new opportunities. To that end, U.S. and German speakers -- including Germany's federal minister of health -- will present the positions of all stakeholders on innovative health care. Germany, for instance, recently overhauled its health care system and early results indicate that the reforms maintain quality and access while containing the growth of costs. Read more ...
U of M looking for citizen input on the environment - State leaders working with U of M officials to build a conservation plan for Minnesota
Safe water, more forests, the condition of state parks; the state of Minnesota wants to know what environmental issues matter the most to Minnesotans. And the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment has a Web site that allows residents to let their leaders know what they think.
The information gathered from the site will help form the Minnesota Statewide Conservation and Preservation Plan, which is being developed by the Institute on the Environment with consulting partners Bonestroo and CR Planning. The plan will chart a long-term course for safeguarding Minnesota's natural heritage. Read more...