UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
What U alumni and faculty are doing to
and other good news from the world of politics Secretary of State Steve Simon protects against cyberattacks. OpenSecrets's Sheila Krumholz sleuths for the hidden money. U professor Chris Uggen, student Rob Stewart, and lobbyist Sarah Walker advocate for felon voting rights. The Humphrey School launches a Certificate in Election Administration program.
Plus: CAMPUS A TO Z and our 2018 HOMECOMING GUIDE, featuring Grand Marshal Alan Page
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Made possible by members of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association since 1901 | Volume 118, Number 1
Fall 2018 4 Editor's Note 5 Letters 8 About Campus
Soaring eagles, an A to Z campus guide, a Big M Bridge goodbye, Gophers hall of fame, and Kaler’s 2019 departure
Helping Alzheimer’s patients live at home By Lynette Lamb Plus: a global health training program, waiting for the cookie, cancer killers, and why thriving watersheds matter
Will Your Vote Be Hacked?
Alumnus and Secretary of State Steve Simon stands guard over Minnesota’s elections By Britt Robson 24
The U’s one-of-a-kind training program 26
By Elizabeth Foy Larsen
Alumna Sheila Krumholz tracks the dark money 28
By Susan Maas
They’ve Done Their Time
Is it time for felon voting rights? Plus: I Married a Pundit
By Elizabeth Foy Larsen
By Julie Schumacher
34 History: On Ice Early Antarctic explorers name features after the U
By Tim Brady
A pilgrimage to the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain By Jennifer Vogel
Spoken word artist and alumnus Guante examines modern manhood By Jim Walsh Plus: our quarterly books roundup
43 Alumni Stories
An alumnus scientist grows a new grain, a deaf engineer breaks ground at NASA, and a developer leaves a U legacy
51 Stay Connected
The Alumni Association’s strategic plan and new board chair, plus events, benefits, and a thanks to our donors
60 The Last Word
A mother contends with racial bias in public schools By Taiyon J. Coleman
Cover art by Eric Hanson • This page from top: Kristi Anderson, Thomas Bastien, Sara Rubinstein
Center for Innovation and Collaboration
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CALL 612-624-8041 OR EMAIL NEXUS@UMN.EDU TO RESERVE SPACE FOR YOUR NEXT MEETING OR EVENT! MCNAMARA ALUMNI CENTER 200 Oak Street SE, 2nd Floor Minneapolis, MN 55455
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chair Douglas Huebsch, ’85 Chair-elect Laura Moret, ’76, ’81 Past Chair Sandra Ulsaker Wiese, ’81 Secretary Mark Jessen, ’85 Treasurer Scott Wallace, ’80 President and CEO Lisa Lewis Eric Brotten, ’03 Xin (Sean) Chen, ’16, ’19 Carol Johnson Dean, ’80, ’97 Patrick Duncanson, ’83 Catherine French, ’79 Chad Haldeman, ’08 Maureen Kostial, ’71 Matt Kramer, ’84 Peter Martin, ’00 Simran Mishra Akira Nakamura, ’92 Emilia Ndely, ’11 Peyton N. Owens, III Roshini Rajkumar, ’97 Jason Rohloff, ’94 Kathy Schmidlkofer, ’97 Ann Sheldon, ’88, ’04 Anthony (Tony) Wagner, ’96 Myah Walker, ’10, ’16 UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA GOVERNANCE President Eric Kaler, ’82 Board of Regents David McMillan, ’83, ’87, chair Kendall Powell, vice chair Thomas Anderson, ’80 Richard Beeson, ’76 Linda Cohen, ’85, ’86 Michael Hsu, ’88 Dean Johnson Peggy Lucas, ’64, ’78 Abdul Omari, ’08, ’10 Darrin Rosha, ’90, ’91, ’93, ’96 Randy Simonson, ’81 Steven Sviggum
To join or renew, change your address, or get information about membership, go to UMNAlumni.org or contact us at: McNamara Alumni Center 200 Oak St. SE, Suite 200 Minneapolis, MN 55455-2040 800-862-5867 612-624-2323 UMAlumni@umn.edu The University of Minnesota Alumni Association is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex, national origin, handicap, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation.
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Jennifer Vogel (B.A. ’92) can be reached at email@example.com.
EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING President and CEO Lisa Lewis Editor Jennifer Vogel Senior Editor Elizabeth Foy Larsen Copy Editor Susan Maas Contributing Writers Jodi Auvin Tim Brady Taiyon J. Coleman Lynette Lamb Susan Maas Britt Robson Julie Schumacher Chris Smith Emily Sohn Jim Walsh Art Director Kristi Anderson Two Spruce Design Senior Director of Marketing Lisa Huber Advertising Send inquiries to MinnnesotaAlumni@umn.edu or call 612-626-1417 Minnesota Alumni ISSN 2473-5086 (print ) is published four times yearly by the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, 200 Oak St. SE Suite 200, Minneapolis MN 55455-2040 in SEPT., DEC., MAR., and JUN. Business, editorial, accounting, and circulation offices: 200 Oak St. SE Suite 200, Minneapolis MN 55455-2040. Call (612) 624-2323 to subscribe. Copyright ©2017 University of Minnesota Alumni Association Periodicals postage paid at St. Paul, Minnesota, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address corrections to: Minnesota Alumni, McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak St. SE, Suite 200, Minneapolis, MN 55455-2040.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Send letters and comments to UMNAlumnimag@umn.edu
4 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
WHEN IT COMES TO VOTING, Minnesota does exceptionally well. Often, including in 2016, the state has the highest voter turnout in the nation for presidential contests. That’s partly thanks to the fact that, back in 1974, when alumnus Wendell Anderson (B.A. ’54, J.D. ’60) was governor, Minnesota was ahead of the pack in adopting Election Day voter registration. The law was supported by former Secretary of State Joan Growe, who also attended the U, while she was a state legislator. Minnesota is a good government state—with problems, certainly, including dramatic racial disparities—where residents take civic engagement seriously and evince confidence in elected officials. Minnesotans are dutiful. We read a lot. We attend forums and call in to radio shows. And we are educated, with 35 percent of adult residents holding bachelor’s degrees or higher. The University of Minnesota, by equipping and inspiring people to participate in public life, owns a big part of Minnesota’s enviable reputation. The U has a habit of making good citizens and turning out political big deals who put their stamps on the culture, from Hubert H. Humphrey (B.A. ’39) to Walter Mondale (B.A. ’51, J.D. ’56) to Eugene McCarthy (M.A. ’39) to Harold Stassen (B.L. ’27, J.D. ’29). In fact, at present, there are 52 alumni serving in the Minnsesota Legislature—of various political stripes, religious backgrounds, races, and genders—comprising a quarter of all lawmakers. When we vote, we are stating our collective will. Yes, it’s hard to imagine a collective will at the moment, since society feels more divided than most of us can remember. But when we vote we are expressing confidence that each of us matters, even if by dint of addition. And so, despite attempts to undermine the elections process by nefarious actors, domestic and foreign, and despite schemes to make us believe our votes in fact don’t count, we will line up at the polls this November to fill in the ovals. As always, the stakes will be high. As always, we will—gleefully or glumly—accept the results. Take heart in the knowledge that good citizens, who also happen to be U alumni and faculty, are working hard to safeguard elections everywhere. Alumna Sheila Krumholz (B.A. ’88) runs the D.C.-based Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan nonprofit that tracks the hidden money behind elections. Former sociology doctoral student Sarah Walker, U professor Chris Uggen, and Ph.D. student Rob Stewart (B.A. ’12, M.A. ’18) are working to restore voting rights to felons. The new Certificate in Election Administration program at the Humphrey School, the only program of its kind in the country, is teaching administrators how to run honest, secure elections. And alumnus and Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon (J.D. ’96), who oversees voting and statewide election services, is keeping the doors wide open to voters while guarding against the increasing threat of cyberattacks. You’ll find these stories and more in the issue you hold in your hands. So, why vote? Because voting is the only mechanism sturdy and legitimate enough to determine what we think as a society and where we’ll go next. But it only works if we all show up, away from the shouting, to cast our ballots. —Jennifer Vogel
Readers respond to our Summer 2018 issue The Summer 2018 issue of Minnesota Alumni was a delight. I especially enjoyed two articles [“The Bell Comes Alive” and “First Mates”]. In 1969, when I was a freshman at the U, I couldn’t get back to the dorm to eat lunch so I ate my sack lunch in front of the Bell Museum dioramas three days a week. The quiet setting and beauty of the dioramas were nice antidotes to a busy class schedule. The article makes me want to visit the museum in its new location very soon. Regarding the University presidents’ wives, my family attended a graduation reception at Eastcliff when my daughter graduated in 2010. We were greeted by President Bruininks’ wife, Susan Hagstrum. Your article brought back memories of that and also an appreciation for all the “first mates.” Colleen Hondl Gengler (B.S. ’73) Iona, Minnesota I enjoyed Jennifer Vogel’s recent column concerning the new Bell Museum’s planetarium [“The Perspective Machine”] and how it will make us feel both insignificant
and part of something larger and grander. You are living proof of the value of a liberal education. Jim Hart (M.D. ’75) Stillwater, Minnesota If the cover of the Summer issue [“Going Wild for the New Bell Museum”] has you thinking you’d like to go out and put your hand on an owl’s head, think twice. It’s illegal to touch a wild owl in most circumstances, as well as potentially unsafe for you and scary for the owl. Unless injured and requiring assistance, it’s best to watch owls and other raptors from a distance. What makes the Bell Museum’s taxidermied animals such a valuable resource is that you can touch those incredible feathers legally. Touch and see at the Bell Museum. Watch and listen at the Raptor Center. Two great partners at the University of Minnesota! Julia Ponder (D.V.M., M.P.H. ’15) Executive director, the Raptor Center U of M St. Paul campus I thought [“First Mates”] was an excellent, well-informed, and interesting article. So nice to know that we have had and continue to have such good WOMEN to second chair their husbands as presidents of the
Within sight: A healthier life for all A gift in your will fuels life-saving research in a world where the health of people, animals, and the environment is inextricably interconnected. Learn more at driven.umn.edu/waystogive or call Planned Giving at 612-624-3333.
It’s great to have a large scale public planetarium back in operation in Minnesota!
Robert Brose (B.S. ’78), St. Paul
University. I am wondering when it will be MEN who second chair their wives. Judge Gary Meyer (J.D. ’59) St. Marys Point, Minnesota Today, I opened my plastic-wrapped magazine and thought I would recommend that you follow the path of other periodicals that have begun using paper wrapping, National Geographic for one. Al Tappe (B.A. ’78) Moraga, California Editor’s response: We heard from a number of readers regarding the polybags around our Summer issue. We share your environmental concerns. Rest assured, we do not plan to repeat this one-time experiment in the future.
6 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
Freedom Each fall, the Uâ€™s Raptor Center releases rehabilitated birds into the wild. Here, an eagle takes flight. Photo by Sara Rubinstein
Campus A to Z Twenty-six reasons to love the U of M’s Twin Cities campus
C is for children’s literature
A is for Aeolian-Skinner
pipe organ, Northrop Auditorium’s newly restored instrument, which comprises nearly 7,000 pipes. It makes its official debut in a concert series in October.
archives, or Kerlan Collection, which contains more than 100,000 books, plus original manuscripts and artwork from more than 1,700 authors and illustrators.
D is for the Dairy and Meat
B is for Norman Borlaug, who earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D., in plant pathology, from the U. He won the Nobel Prize in 1970 for innovations that increased worldwide agricultural production and alleviated hunger.
Salesroom on the St. Paul campus, open every Wednesday from 2 to 5 p.m. Try the ice cream and the Nuworld blue cheese, which isn’t even blue.
E is for Leatherdale Equine
Lynette Lamb, M.A. ’84, has earned her Gopher bona fides: She has been a U of M student, staff member, faculty member, and neighbor. 8 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
Center, opened in 2007 on the St. Paul campus, where you can learn about the health, well-being, and performance of horses.
By Lynette Lamb
I is for Immigration History
F is for foot-washing stations.
Three stations with floor sinks are scattered around campus for Muslim community members to use before prayer times.
Research Center, part of the College of Liberal Arts, renowned for researching and telling stories that illuminate the immigrant experience.
J is for School of Journalism G is for Guthrie Theater
B.F.A. Actor Training Program, which brings talented U undergraduates to the Guthrie’s stage—and beyond.
H is for Honeycrisp, the popular and tasty apple developed by the U’s Horticultural Research Center.
and Mass Communication, which added “Hubbard” to its name in 2017, training ground for such famous journalists as Harry Reasoner, Eric Sevareid, and Michele Norris.
K is for Kroll Boathouse in
East River Flats Park on the Mississippi River, named for the late Irene Claudia Kroll, whose children made the largest gift in Gopher rowing history.
A: Tim Rummelhoff • C: Peggy Parish, Fritz Siebel/Courtesy Kerlan Collection • J, W: Creative Commons license • M,O,S,T,Y: Patrick O’Leary • N, O: iStock • All others: various UMN archives and departments
S is for the Shoe Tree perched L is for Lindsay Whalen,
former Gopher and pro basketball star, who recently returned to the U to coach women’s basketball.
P is for pacemaker, developed in conjunction with the U of M. The first external, battery-powered model was produced in the 1950s by alumnus Earl Bakken at the behest of U heart surgeon C. Walton Lillehei.
T is for the frostbite-fighting
M is for Mississippi, the
network of campus tunnels— and underground hallways and skyways—collectively known as the Gopher Way.
mighty river that splits the Minneapolis campus and is traversed on foot via the Washington Avenue Bridge.
Q is for Queen Rearing Short N is for Nutritious U Food Pantry, based in Coffman Union, which provides thousands of students with food three days a month during the school year.
on the Mississippi River’s West Bank, which holds hundreds of hurled student sneakers. It’s best viewed from the Washington Avenue Bridge.
Course, a three-day class at the U’s Bee Lab that teaches both hobby and commercial beekeepers how to raise their very own queen bees.
U is for University of Minnesota Advanced Careers, a new program helping Baby Boomers transition from work to a new phase in which they contribute their talents to the social good.
R is for Raptor Center,
O is for the owls adorning Walter Library—225 at last count, not including the stylized owl’shead design incorporated into reading room light fixtures.
which annually rehabs approximately 1,000 sick and injured eagles, hawks, and other birds of prey.
V is for vaccines. Medical
School scientists are currently developing vaccines that treat heroin and prescription opioid abuse by blocking the drugs from reaching the brain.
W is for Weisman Art Muse-
um, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. Its iconic shape, forged from steel, shines like a beacon on the East Bank.
X is for Queer X, an educational series sponsored by the Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life, which explores important topics impacting the LGBTQIA community.
Y is for Youth Programs Summer Camps, which annually bring thousands of schoolchildren onto U campuses for classes ranging from Backyard Bugs to Lumberjack Log Rolling.
Z is for Ziagen, one of the world’s most effective HIV/AIDS drugs. Also known as Abacavir, it was developed by U medicinal chemist Robert Vince and patented in 1988.
Fall 2018 MINNESOTA ALUMNI 9
here are many pedestrian bridges on the U’s Minneapolis campus, but perhaps none so charming as Bridge #93837, which spans the 176-foot-wide railroad trench separating the Knoll area from Sanford and Wilkins Halls in Dinkytown. Sadly, a June inspection of the nearly 70-year-old
The Big M Bridge, in its previous location, in 1958.
suspension bridge found deterioration that cannot be repaired at a reasonable cost, according to Jacqueline Bass, communications manager for the U’s Parking and Transportation Services. The only course, she says, is to close the bridge permanently.
10 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
Nicknamed “the Big M Bridge” because of the pair of tall, maroon-and-gold Ms securing suspension cables at its ends, the bridge is both picturesque and scary. Before it closed, pedestrians and bicyclists crossed 40 feet above train tracks, a dirt service road, and a bike path on a 10-footwide deck of rough wooden planks, which creaked, swayed, and bounced rather significantly. On a gray winter morning, pedestrians might wonder how they had managed to escape the troll who was supposed to ask them questions. The Big M Bridge was moved to its current location in 1995. Built in 1949, at the peak of the postwar campus boom, it originally traversed the same railroad tracks farther east, connecting pedestrians to the parking lots and athletic fields north of campus. Changes to the athletic district meant the bridge had to be removed in the mid1990s, which coincided with the building of Wilkins Hall. The increased foot traffic in the area justified moving the bridge to its current location. The bridge will remain standing, albeit fenced off, for several months, according to Bass, while her department determines whether a replacement is necessary and feasible. For now, students will have to walk a few blocks farther to cross the tracks and enter campus, and alumni will have to be content with wistfully recalling their bouncy, charming, and sometimes unnerving jaunts across Bridge #93837. —Chris Smith
Goodbye to the Big M Bridge
Gopher athletics hall of fame
Kaler: Patrick O’Leary • Hall of fame: U Athletics
Eric Kaler to Step Down as U President On July 13, University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler announced that he would step down as of July 1, 2019. Noting that he’s been in the job longer than the average university president, he said in a statement that, “Quite simply, it is time. “This is an incredibly demanding job, essentially seven days a week, evenings and nights included, and as proud and confident of my contributions and ability as I am, I also know that the University will benefit from a fresh perspective,” said Kaler (Ph.D. ’82), who plans to assume a faculty position in the U’s Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. Asked during a press conference to list the biggest challenge facing the U going forward, Kaler cited a growing strain of anti-intellectualism. “I think probably the single biggest obstacle . . . is the public attitude toward higher education, toward seeing the value of public higher education—being willing to invest in it,” he said. “And a growing sense of anti-intellectualism or the idea that you don’t really need to go to college to be successful. Those are worrisome trends in our nation.” Board of Regents Chair David McMillan said, “I want to thank Eric for his remarkable and extraordinary leadership of this institution over the past seven years. Under his presidency, this institution has grown in academic stature and it is a better place today than when he arrived.” Now, the hunt for a successor begins. To keep up with the search and add your input, visit: president-search.umn.edu
In 2000, a shy kid from Hutchinson, Minnesota, named Lindsay Whalen—you know where this is going— made her way to the Twin Cities to attend the University of Minnesota. A high school basketball star, Whalen arrived at the U without much fanfare, but went on to have such a stellar college career that she was drafted into the WNBA. For nine seasons, she was the much-adored star of the much-adored Minnesota Lynx, and now she’s the new coach of the Gopher women’s basketball team. You can see Whalen’s Gopher bobblehead and other memorabilia from her college basketball career as (now-retired) No. 13 at the T. Denny Sanford Athletics Hall of Fame at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium. More than just an homage to the Big 10 football-basketball-hockey juggernaut that gets most of the headlines, the 5,000-squarefoot hall is a celebration of what it means to be a college student athlete, coach, and fan. Open to the public on a limited basis and to ticket holders on game days, this little-known attraction is crammed with U history. There are trophies galore, of course. But the items that hold your attention and really tell the stories of the college sports experience are more prosaic. There’s baseball coach Dick Siebert’s score books from the five seasons when the Gophers went to the College World Series and the mustard-colored wool leggings worn by wrestlers in 1946. And there are the beaten-up cleats used by quarterback Adam Weber, who started 50 consecutive football games during his college career. There are leotards and Speedos and tennis racquets and oars and deflated basketballs and footballs, each accompanied by an explanation that puts it into the greater context of Gopher sports. And there are megaphones, buttons, maroon-and-gold letter sweaters, and other mementos of cheerleading and fandom. There’s even an explanation of the U’s famous “Rah! Rah! Rah! for Ski-U-Mah,” rouser, which was written in 1884, after a U rugby captain heard fans cheering for a canoe race on Lake Pepin. “Minnesota, hats off to thee!” Adapted from Elizabeth Foy Larsen’s 111 Places in the Twin Cities That You Must Not Miss
She was a towering figure in journalism history. In her generation, she was one of the top journalism historians. Her legacy lives on not only in her work, but in her students. Kathy Roberts Forde, speaking of her former colleague, Hazel Dicken-Garcia (right), the longtime U journalism professor who died on May 30, as quoted in the Star Tribune.
2018-19 SEASON DANCE SEASON
THU, OCT 4 Ballet Hispánico
FRI-SAT, OCT 12 & 13 Minnesota Orchestra Celebrating Northrop’s Restored Pipe Organ
SAT, NOV 3 Compagnie Käfig—CCN THU, NOV 8 Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra THU, FEB 7 Ate9
SUN, NOV 11 Lest We Forget World War I Armistice Centenary Concert
SAT-SUN, NOV 24 & 25 57th Annual U of M Marching Band Indoor Concert TUE, DEC 4 Nathan Laube in Concert
U OF M ALUMNI ASSOCIATION MEMBERS SAVE $5 ON SINGLE TICKETS AND UP TO 22% ON SERIES PACKAGES. TICKETS FOR KIDS 17 AND YOUNGER ARE 50% OFF!
SAT-SUN, MAR 2 & 3 The Joffrey Ballet TUE, MAR 12 Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater SAT, MAR 30 Ballet Preljocaj TUE, APR 2 American Ballet Theatre
SPECIAL EVENT THU, APR 25 & SAT, APR 27 Le Patin Libre
Photo © Andrew Eccles.
SAT, APR 13 David Roussève/REALITY
12 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
Caring for the Caregivers photo to come
University of Minnesota Professor Joe Gaugler develops support systems for families tending to Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
By Lynette Lamb
Above: Joe Gaugler talks with Roberta Hunt and her husband, Tim Heaney, in the couple’s kitchen. Hunt (M.S. ‘86, Ph.D. ‘04) cares for Heaney (J.D. ‘72), who suffers from dementia.
usan Thompson and her husband, Mark, are caring for his father, Gary, a 75-year-old former CFO who, three years after being diagnosed with dementia in 2011, moved into their home in Roseville, Minnesota. Given that both Susan and Mark had full-time jobs and were raising two teenagers, the addition of Gary to the household put them under a significant strain. The Thompsons are not alone. Almost 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s; as many as 14 million will be facing the disease by 2050. While it is undeniable that each of these people suffers, what too frequently goes unnoticed is the burden on the army of family caregivers backing them up. That’s where Joe Gaugler—energetic, compassionate, and devoted to practical applications—comes in. In his role as professor and Robert L. Kane Endowed Chair in LongTerm Care and Aging in the School of Public
Health, Gaugler and his team are running three major research projects on people with dementia, exploring the challenges faced by caregivers and how various technological and psychosocial supports might help them. One of Gaugler’s first initiatives upon arriving at the U in 2005 was to establish an annual conference called Caring for a Person with Memory Loss, which attracts more than 300 everyday caregivers to a one-day symposium that provides them with information, support, and education. For Susan Thompson, as for so many others, that conference was her introduction to Gaugler and his research. The Thompsons recently took part in one of Gaugler’s research projects, which will ultimately follow for 18 months 200 people testing a smart sensor home system. The system, built by the company GreatCall and installed and monitored by licensed vendor Lutheran Home Fall 2018 MINNESOTA ALUMNI 13
Training the Global Health Workforce
14 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
“FEEDBACK FROM FAMILIES SHOWS THEY GREATLY VALUE THE SUPPORT.”
Thompsons, Susan says they miss the bed monitor. “I can’t ask Gary how he slept or how his night behavior is changing,” she says. “With the monitor I could see if he was up 20 times the previous night.” Gaugler and his team are spearheading two other studies to support caregivers. The first involves regular telephone-based counseling sessions for families of dementia patients who have moved into residential care facilities. “These families feel cut off from support and sometimes feel guilty about their relatives’ living situations,” says Gaugler. His program provides families with six telephone counseling sessions in four months, plus the opportunity to call counselors over the rest of the year. Early results? “Feedback from families shows they greatly value the support.” The second study also provides caregiver support, but in this case for those whose loved ones are in adult day services. “We speculated that if families are supported along with relatives who use day services, there could be better outcomes for everyone,” he says. With a rapidly aging population, Gaugler’s research has gained an added sense of urgency. “We rely heavily on families for long-term care, but we can’t assume we can always do so,” Gaugler says. “We need innovative supports and services for these families so they can benefit throughout their caregiving journeys.”
Thanks to a collaborative program called One Health—funded by the United States Agency for International Development and led by the U of M and Tufts University—government workers and students from around the world are being trained to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. One Health experts in a range of disciplines have taught students to judiciously dispense antibiotics, for example, in order to stem the spread of resistant pathogens. They also helped define infectious disease workforce needs in seven countries in Africa and Asia. Pictured here, students in Thailand attend a field training course and prepare for outbreak response needs using the One Health approach. (H/T Frank Jossi, who wrote about this for the Summer ‘18 issue of Profiles, the College of Veterinary Medicine magazine.)
Coutesty OneHealth Workforce Network
Association, allows families to track their loved one’s motion and activity patterns via smartphone, computer, or automated telephone messaging. Known as Remote Activity Monitoring or RAM, it employs six sensors installed throughout the home—on walls, doors, beds, and toilets—to track what the person with dementia is doing when caregivers are at work or asleep. The Thompsons were part of an initial six-month trial run, in which 132 families from throughout the country tested the system. Those early results, as the Thompsons found, were mixed. While the bed sensor helped the family monitor Gary’s sleeping and nighttime behavior, it was difficult for Susan and Mark to draw conclusions from the other data provided by the monitoring devices, since multiple people in their family were using toilets, opening and shutting doors, etc. “With five people living here and four bathrooms,” says Susan, “it was hard to pick apart what movement was Gary’s and what was ours. I think this technology would be better for someone living on their own in the community.” Insights like this have led Gaugler and his team to conclude that the RAM technology may work best for Alzheimer’s patients who have problems navigating their homes and for those with milder dementia. “What we and the families are hoping,” he says, “is that RAM will allow patients to live at home longer.” Although the system didn’t work perfectly for the
Waiting for that cookie At a time when you can post a selfie or complete an online purchase in less time than it takes to jot down a to-do list, it would stand to reason that today’s kids are less able to delay gratification than other generations. But, according to new research led by University of Minnesota professor Stephanie M. Carlson, director of research for the Institute of Child Development, children growing up in the 2000s actually have better self-control than kids in the 1960s and 1980s. Carlson and her colleagues from universities across the country measured 358 U.S. adults’ perceptions of self-control in kids today and compared those findings to children’s performance in the 1960s, 1980s, and 2000s on the “marshmallow test,” a now-classic experiment where children between the ages of 3 and 5 are offered one treat they can eat immediately or a larger treat if they wait. The ability to delay gratification is associated with a range of positive outcomes, including better relationships with peers, healthier weight, and higher SAT scores. Carlson and her colleagues found that kids growing up in the 2000s waited an average of two minutes longer on the marshmallow test than kids in the 1960s and one minute longer than kids tested in the 1980s. By contrast, the adults they surveyed overwhelmingly assumed that today’s children would be less likely to control their impulses. The researchers theorize that the improvements
in self-control can be attributed to rising IQ scores and a nationwide commitment to preschool. The two-part study was published in the June 2018 issue of Developmental Psychology.
Cancer killers Today, 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Now, researchers at the U’s College of Pharmacy’s Wagner Research Lab are offering hope to these women and other cancer patients with a new treatment that uses nanotechnology to transform immune cells into cancer killers. Professor Carston R. Wagner and his team designed proteinbased nanorings—microscopic crystals that are shaped like rings—that bind to immune cells, specifically T cells. These modified T cells, which are called Prosthetic Antigen Receptors (PAR-T), are then able to quickly find and destroy tumor cells. Wagner’s team was also able to figure out how
to switch the nanorings off in order to prevent the toxic side effects that can occur with cellbased anticancer therapies. So far, the U team has been able to employ the technology to safely eradicate solid tumors in mice. Their research has also showed an effectiveness against breast cancer. The hope is to one day be able to use the PAR-T approach to target cancer stem cells to prevent cancers from recurring. “With some luck, using the tools of chemical biology and nanotechnology, we may be able to expand the scope of cancer immunotherapy for the treatment of some of the toughest cancers we face,” says Wagner. This research was published in the May 2018 issue of ACS Nano.
and other environmental challenges. A new study from the U’s College of Biological Sciences provides important insights into how organisms can survive over time in rivers and streams. Using mathematical models and 18 years of Japanese fish population data, researchers from the U and Hokkaido University in Japan looked at how river and stream life is highly influenced by the networks of water that flow downstream through connecting channels. What they discovered is that watershed populations are more stable in complex river systems with networks of streams and branches, which act as natural buffers against environmental uncertainties. Maintaining the complexity in watersheds could, researchers say, become an important tool in the effort to conserve the diversity of river and stream life. “Human activities often reduce complexity of stream networks,” said Jacques Finlay, professor in the College of Biological Sciences and coauthor of the study. “This work demonstrates the critical importance of maintaining diverse environmental conditions throughout watersheds for populations of river organisms.” The results of the study were published in the June 2018 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Life downstream The question of how populations of living organisms maintain themselves has gained a sense of urgency now that an increasing number of species are being threatened by climate change
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Send letters and comments to UMNAlumnimag@umn.edu
Fall 2018 MINNESOTA ALUMNI 15
UMAA GUIDE TO HOMECOMING September 29–October 6, 2018 UMNALUMNI.ORG/HOMECOMING
ALAN PAGE TRADITION NEVER GRADUATES U of M day of service
The annual day of service engages alumni and friends in volunteer activities that benefit their communities. More than 485,000 alumni have the opportunity to show their school pride while helping in a variety of ways, from planting trees to baking cookies. Confirmed locations as of press time include the Twin Cities, Denver, L.A., San Francisco, New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Las Vegas, Charlotte, Boca Raton, and Tokyo. To register and see available options, go to UMNAlumni.org/DOSregister #DayofServiceUMN
ALUMNI AWARDS AFFAIR
Check-in 5:30 p.m., Dinner 6:15 p.m., Program 7 p.m. Graduate Minneapolis, 615 Washington Ave. SE Celebrate with the Alumni Association as we honor exceptional alumni and students. Includes reception, dinner, and presentation of the Alumni Association Awards, Alumni Service Awards, Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals, Donald R. Zander Alumni Award, and Mary A. McEvoy Award for Public Engagement and Leadership. Registration required. $50. Go to UMNAlumni.org/Awards18
Alumni leader summit 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Johnson Room McNamara Alumni Center Network with fellow alumni volunteer leaders, hear from University leadership, and celebrate with UMAA staff. Information and registration: Stephanie Klein firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan C. Page was born in 1945 in Canton, Ohio. He graduated from Canton Central Catholic High School and went on to earn a B.A. in political science from the University of Notre Dame and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1978. After graduating from the U, Page worked as an attorney for a Minneapolis law firm, then served seven years as an attorney in the Minnesota Attorney General’s office. He sought election to the Minnesota Supreme Court in 1992 and won, becoming the first African American on the court and one of the few associate justices to join the court initially through election, rather than gubernatorial appointment. When Justice Page was reelected in 1998, he became the biggest votegetter in Minnesota history. He was reelected in 2004 and 2010 and retired at age 70 in 2015. Page served as a U of M Regent from 1989 to 1993. In 2017, the U Law School awarded him the Polaris Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless work toward equity, diversity, and justice. Law was Page’s second career. He was first known for his skills in football both in college and the NFL. At Notre Dame, Page led the school’s football program to a 1966 national championship and in 1993, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Stay connected throughout Homecoming via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter by tagging @UMNAlumni and using #UMNHC
He was a first-round draft choice of the Minnesota Vikings in 1967 and played for the team until 1978, spending the last three years of his football career with the Chicago Bears. He played in 218 consecutive games, earned All-Pro honors six times, and was voted to nine consecutive Pro Bowls. In 1971, he was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player, the second defensive player in history to earn the honor. In 1988, Page was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Also in 1988, Justice Page and his wife Diane founded the Page Education Foundation, which helps Minnesota students of color pursue postsecondary education. To date, the foundation has awarded $14 million in grants to 6,750 students. Justice Page and his daughter, Kamie Page, have written three children’s books: The Invisible You (2014), Alan and His Perfectly Pointy Impossibly Perpendicular Pinky (2013), and Grandpa Alan’s Sugar Shack (2017).
6:30 p.m. University Ave. Parking available in the 4th Street ramp; limited access to University Avenue ramp due to parade route. For full schedule and details about U-wide events, visit homecoming.umn.edu #UMNHC
Sponsored by Minnesota Alumni Market and U of M Bookstores
11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. McNamara Alumni Center $15 for Alumni Association members $20 for nonmembers Celebrate Homecoming at the premier pregame party for alumni and fans. Hear from head women’s basketball coach Lindsay Whalen; stay for the coronation of Homecoming Royalty, an appearance by Goldy Gopher, the Spirit Squads, and the alumni band. Required registration includes $15 to spend at event food stands, plus a swag bag (game tickets not included). Go to UMNAlumni.org/SUM18
Homecoming football game
OCTOBER 6 October 6, 2:30 or 3 p.m. Gophers vs University of Iowa Hawkeyes Purchase tickets at mygophersports.com
SHOW YOUR UMAA PRIDE
We’ve created a new, limited-edition Maroon Shirt™ tee, designed by U student Breanne Christian. Featuring Goldy through the decades, this is must-have Homecoming attire. Available with UMAA membership. Go to UMNAlumni.org/MaroonShirt
HOMECOMING APP Download for event details, campus maps, and info on hotels, restaurants, parking, and transportation. Search app store for “UMN,” download Guidebook Inc. app, and search for Homecoming 18.
Photo-compostie by Kristi Anderson
18 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
WILL YOUR VOTE BE HACKED? Not while alumnus and Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon stands between voters and danger. By Britt Robson Photos by Mark Luinenburg
Most any Minnesota voter would recognize the thing perched in a corner of Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon’s office on the ground floor of the State Office Building adjoining the Capitol in St. Paul. It seems to be an ordinary voting booth, constructed of standard-issue blue and white plastic on metal legs, with three walls for privacy and a flat surface on which to lay your ballot. But the voting surface in this booth is disheveled, with white paper dots littered around an open booklet. “This is from Broward County,” says Simon meaningfully. Ah, yes. Broward County, Florida, will forever be known as a battleground site for recounted ballots in the notoriously contested 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. The white paper dots attest to the fact that Floridians punched out serrated circles instead of darkening ovals with pens to make their choices. Except, the ones that clung to the ballot—the infamous “hanging chads”—sowed confusion about what voters actually intended and thus compromised the integrity of the outcome. Simon picks up the open booklet to show that it’s actually a Florida ballot from 2000. He points out how the relatively small and dense typeset is slightly misaligned on the adjoining pages, making it easy for a voter with less than eagle-eye vision or a steely hand to physically sabotage their intellectual decision. The voting booth is a nifty conversation piece, an artifact of political history that also demonstrates that even the most mundane aspects of our great American voting tradition must be rigorously scrutinized and safeguarded. After spending a little time with Simon (J.D. ’96), you come away with two other conclusions. One is that the current threats to the sanctity of our elections are much more sinister and sophisticated than the paper-dot chads and sloppy typeset of 18 years ago. Another is that even if Simon were not Secretary of State, he’d likely have this voting-booth tableau set up in his home or private business to spark conversation about our participatory democracy. Minnesota happens to be one of the best places in the country when it comes to open and secure elections, according to reports by the Center for American Progress and the Pew Charitable Trusts, which ranked the state second in “election performance” in 2016. It habitually tops the list when it comes to voter turnout, largely because Minnesota makes voting easy: The state was early to the table in allowing same-day voter registration, adopting the policy in 1974 following Maine, and has one of the country’s lengthiest early voting periods. In 2013 and 2014, Simon helped usher in online voter registration and no-excuses-needed absentee voting while a state legislator representing the Minneapolis suburbs of St. Louis Park and Hopkins. But, what really makes Minnesota stand out as a bastion of electoral integrity is its stubborn reliance on paper ballots. Other states, like Georgia and Pennsylvania, have gone Fall 2018 MINNESOTA ALUMNI 19
to touch-screen voting machines that leave no verifiable paper trail should anything go wrong. During the 2016 presidential election, according to a near-consensus among American intelligence officials, agents of the Russian government conducted a coordinated effort to hack into the voting systems of more than a dozen states. Minnesota was among them, but paper balloting saved the day. “From the standpoint of election security, the fundamentals of our system are very strong,” says Simon. “You go to the ballot booth in Minnesota and you are just darkening an oval with a pen. It doesn’t even have to be a special pen—it could be a BIC pen from Walgreens. It is very hard to hack paper. “While it is true that you or an election judge feed that paper ballot into a ballot counting machine, that machine under state law shall not and must not be connected to the internet, and even after that we have an encrypted system by which the results are reported and uploaded, and even after that the counties do what is called a postelection review, a postelection audit, and even after that, under federal law, we have to keep the ballots for nearly two years,” says Simon while tucking into a scone in a coffee shop on the Minneapolis skyway. “So anyone with a suspicion or a hunch or a worry can touch and see and feel the actual ballots.” It started with a placemat To understand how Simon was seemingly destined to become the good shepherd of voting rights and civic engagement in his native Minnesota, begin with a restaurant placemat brought home by his parents in 1976. To celebrate the country’s Bicentennial, the mat arrayed all 38 presidents up to that point, from George Washington to Gerald Ford. Six-year-old Steve memorized them all. In order. And a good-government geek was born. Before he was 10, Simon was leafing through the issues of Time magazine that came in the mail, and knew the names of all the political correspondents on television. His precocious, and voracious, appetite for current events was whetted and sated by the arrival of round-the-clock updates from Headline News and its more in-depth sister station, CNN, during the 1980s. At Hopkins High School just west of Minneapolis, Simon dropped tennis during his junior year to better concentrate on speech and debate. He competed in national tournaments and, as a senior, was state champion in extemporaneous speaking. When he and his buddies took a couple of “epic” road trips during the succeeding two summers—one to the East Coast, one to the West Coast—Simon made sure the routes went through as many state capitals as possible. “Steve must have been the easiest child to raise you could ever imagine,” says his friend since high school, Adam Samaha, a professor of civil liberties at New York University. “He was honest and dependable, always 20 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
wanting to do the right thing. I actually think his mother might have wished he’d taken more risks and gotten into more trouble.” Indeed, his sister Andrea Simon, younger by three years, went to a different high school rather than deal with the expectations Simon’s legacy might create for her with his former teachers. Asked if he’d ever gone through a “wild time” in his life, Simon repeats the question and gamely responds, “Yeah, there was a period in high school where I got into a couple of scrapes, was sort of pushing boundaries.” Asked whether people would laugh at any specific examples he might provide, he concedes, “Yeah, most people would laugh.” But there was one rebellious act that reverberated through his family. After high school, Simon chose to attend Tufts University instead of the University of Minnesota. “My family bleeds maroon and gold,” he says, noting that his paternal grandparents were both alumni. “My late grandmother graduated in 1924, which is pretty remarkable—you don’t see pictures of many women in the yearbooks from back then.” He adds that his father, Ron Simon, is a “double Gopher: He went as an undergraduate and then to law school.” The elder Simon’s subsequent relationship with U men’s hockey coach Glen Sonmor helped launch his successful career as a professional sports agent. He later became president of the Alumni Association’s board. Meanwhile, Steve Simon was earning his B.A. in political science at Tufts in Medford, Massachusetts, where he was a member of the school’s College Democrats and the founder of a now-defunct political journal. But perhaps his most valuable political experience was discovering how often his patrician classmates condescended to the kid from flyover country. “I don’t pretend to be anything but a metro guy—I’m from Hopkins,” says Simon. “But I think I know how people in rural Minnesota feel when they say people [from the Twin Cities] talk down to them. I remember feeling [at Tufts] like, ‘They think I’m a dipshit just because of where I’m from.’” It’s one reason why he was respected by members of both parties while serving five terms in the Minnesota House, and why he has set and fulfilled a goal of visiting every one of Minnesota’s 87 counties each year since being elected Secretary of State in 2014. That isn’t to say Simon didn’t engage in partisan politics. After Tufts, he proved so adept while volunteering for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign that he became a paid staffer, even earning a brief cameo in the 1993 documentary The War Room, when he got up to change the television channel. “Steve was probably the only person in that movie who didn’t follow Clinton to Washington,” says his closest friend, Mitch Gordon (J.D. ’97, M.A. ’97), an associate professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. Nope, the prodigal son was instead returning home to get his law degree at the U.
Terrible grades during his first semester of law school, in February 1994, prompted the first real personal crisis of Simon’s life. It sounds trivial in retrospect, but up until then he’d burnished an image—and perhaps a self-image—as a Dudley Do-Right, a straight arrow. “It probably hit me harder than it should have,” Simon acknowledges. Gordon, his roommate at the time, recalls that, “It freaked him out because he was working so hard. He got very quiet. He had to learn to learn a different way.” Gordon went on to manage a number of Simon’s political campaigns, that fateful day becoming an inside joke. One of them will say: Something bad happened today, but it’s not February ’94. Five years later, a more profound shock rocked Simon’s existence. His 54-year-old mother, Marlen, went to the doctor’s office with a persistent cough. Twelve days later, she died from cancer that had spread throughout her body. His sister Andrea believes it motivated Steve to more seriously pursue his longstanding goal of running for public office. “He’d always wanted to be in public service, and when our mom died we both had a ‘life is short’ moment,” she says. “He felt like she would have liked to see him run. So the night he was first elected was celebratory and a little sad at the same time.” Simon invokes the visceral experiences of family to explain his political views. His linkage of patriotism and immigration stems from his great grandparents coming over from Lithuania—“They didn’t just immigrate, they fled; we have the ship’s manifest telling of my great grandfather coming to the Iron Range as a 19-year-old laborer”—and from his mother, born south of Vienna, who met Ron in Austria and moved her life here. Simon—who has two young kids, a son and a daughter, with his wife, former lobbyist Leia Christoffer Simon—cited the limited mobility of his father, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, when he authored the no-excuses absentee voting bill in the Legislature. Indeed, his longstanding presence and activism on various election committees, and his work to successfully defeat a 2012 amendment that would have required a photo ID to vote in Minnesota, made his candidacy for Secretary of State seem inevitable when Mark Ritchie stepped down in 2014. Those who know Simon aren’t surprised that he embraces the more civic-minded and less partisan nature of his duties. “One of the things I am actually quite proud of is that I was sued by my own political party,” he says, referring to the DFL challenge to his ruling that the Trump-Pence presidential ticket would remain on the Minnesota ballot despite bureaucratic deficiencies in their application—a decision eventually upheld by the Minnesota Supreme Court. Indeed, he seems most at home cheerleading for voter participation, sometimes telling crowds, “Failure to vote is not an act of rebellion, it is an act of surrender.”
“FROM THE STANDPOINT OF ELECTION SECURITY, THE FUNDAMENTALS OF OUR SYSTEM ARE VERY STRONG.”
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The threat to cybersecurity “I want to put out an alarm without being an alarmist, if that is even possible,” Simon says, summing up his approach to election cybersecurity just days after testifying before the U.S. Senate on the topic. He’s sitting at a coffee shop, honoring a request to meet out of the office, though he doesn’t drink coffee and the place happens to be right downstairs from his former law office at Robins Kaplan LLP. He contents himself with the scone. “I feel very good about our situation in Minnesota. I have a high level of confidence that we have minimized the risk.” Citing the state’s reliance on paper ballots and counters disconnected from the internet, he says, “My concern is less about the polling place than it is about some of the centralized functions that our office operates. For example, we run the statewide voter registration system, which is what it sounds like, and more.” The database contains registered voters’ names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, and voting histories. Theoretically, hackers could remove names or other information from the rolls. “It has been reported publicly that Minnesota was one of the 21 states targeted by Russian hackers,” he says. “The good news is that Minnesota passed the test. We were able to turn back and block any wrongdoers. “But [in] two of those 21 states, Illinois and Arizona, there was a breach, and in Illinois in particular it was a very serious breach. Those breaches occurred in centralized systems . . . at the Secretary of State’s office. So we have been very concerned about that.” Minnesota’s voter registration database was built in 2004. A March 2018 report from the Office of the Legislative Auditor recommended modernizing the system to ensure that
and modernize our system.” Unfortunately, the request, which required the state to match only 5 percent of the federal outlay, fell victim to politics, as Governor Dayton’s veto of omnibus bills passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature included the approval. “There is $6.6 million specifically earmarked for [Minnesota election security] sitting in a bank account and we can’t touch it,” Simon says. “That’s frustrating, but it doesn’t undermine my fundamental confidence in the system.” Then comes the non-alarmist alarm. “So, as I said, we have minimized the risk. But I don’t think you can honestly say we have eliminated it, any more than Home Depot or Equifax or anyone else can say it. When it comes to cybersecurity it is like a race without a finish line. I can only tell you what the Department of Homeland Security officials have told me time and again: Expect more incidents from more sources. And when they say that, I take it seriously.” That is the governmental side of voting security and election integrity. But of course there is the other threat, more insidious and diffuse in our election process: the spread of disinformation and the assault on accepted norms of truth. “Our citizens have to be unhackable,” says Melissa Hortman (J.D. ’95), minority leader in the Minnesota House, who went to law school and came to the Legislature at the same time as Simon. “Yes, our systems are under stress, and there is no one I would rather have in the Secretary of State’s office than Steve. But it is also up to the voters themselves to carefully scrutinize information, so that we are not hackable.” In this sense, too, Simon is a solid role model. No, perhaps the rest of us don’t go to Des Moines with a group of friends the weekend before the Iowa presidential caucuses and attend every campaign event they can squeeze in (“as tourists, enjoying the process,” Simon explains), as he’s done for the past five contests. And not all of us can relate to Simon’s agony at possessing every edition of the Almanac of American Politics (which began publishing in 1972) but one. But if you hang around Simon, the enthusiasm is infectious. “Steve is so trustworthy, honest, and dependable, and so genuinely interested in people, with no exceptions, that he draws people to him,” says friend Samaha. “I know he’s been the best man at more weddings than anyone I’ve ever met.” To that add best man for the job of fostering confidence in our electoral system.
“FAILURE TO VOTE IS NOT AN ACT OF REBELLION, IT IS AN ACT OF SURRENDER.” voter eligibility information is as up to date as possible and so it can handle an ever-increasing number of records. Simon credits some of the success at safeguarding the system against hacks to actions taken before 2016. He formed an internal IT security team to beef up protections, then hired an outside vendor to probe it for vulnerabilities. During the 2018 legislative session, Simon sought approval to access federal money for a project to “recode, resecure, 22 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
Britt Robson, once Rudy Perpich’s speechwriter, covers the Timberwolves and music for a variety of local and national publications.
OPIOIDOVERDOSES KILLMORETHAN AMERICANSEACHYEAR
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Too often a routine prescription can lead to a life-threatening addiction. What can be done? Teams of researchers at the University of Minnesota are tackling this challenge from every angle. From creating non-addictive painkillers, to helping people avoid relapse, to finding the switch in the brain that turns off addiction, weâ€™re solving the worldâ€™s biggest challenges. Learn more at discover.umn.edu
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Fall 2018 MINNESOTA ALUMNI 23
MAKING SURE EVERY VOTE COUNTS
Hennepin County Elections Manager Ginny Gelms is a graduate of the U’s Certificate in Election Administration program.
24 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
manager, Ginny Gelms’s days are consumed by the details that make an election run smoothly and ensure that each vote is counted accurately. She oversees a team that trains volunteers to work the polls, counts the thousands of absentee ballots that come in every election, and implements safeguards to ensure that Hennepin County ballots aren’t hacked by bad actors, a growing concern across the country. Like most election administrators, Gelms—a 2018 graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Election Academy—didn’t grow up imagining a career devoted to the intricacies of voting. “I fell into it,” admits the Iowa native with a laugh. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2005, she was working for a software firm when she spotted a job listing for the Johnson County elections office in Iowa City. Intrigued, she decided to give election administration a try, and discovered that working with voters made her feel that she was tangibly promoting the values of American democracy. As Gelms moved from running elections in Johnson County to a similar job with the City of Minneapolis and then to Hennepin County in 2011, she realized that like most election administrators, she was learning everything on the job, with few opportunities to network and share trade secrets with colleagues across the rest of the U.S. So, in 2015, she signed up for the U’s newly minted Certificate in Election Administration program, offered by the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs. “I was excited there was a program that fit with my schedule where I could do professional
In her job as Hennepin County’s elections
development,” she says. “I know the basics of my job, but in the rush of the day-to-day, we don’t get the chance to step back and take the long view.” The 12-credit online program—designed to address the need for election officials trained in the latest technology, security issues, and legal and policy challenges facing the American voting system—includes classes at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Offerings include Elections and the Law and Voter Participation, with a new class on deck focused on cybersecurity. The program is the first of its kind in the U.S. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. “American democracy rests on fair elections and, yet, there is an unsettled sense that the political parties or foreign enemies can infiltrate our elections,” says Larry Jacobs, director of the U’s Center for the Study of Politics and Governance. “The mission of our work is to create a profession of election administrators. Our certificate program is the first certificategranting curriculum offered by a major university in the country. It is entirely nonpartisan and geared to bringing the science of administration to elections.” The certificate program—part of the Humphrey’s Program for Excellence in Election Administration—is run by adjunct faculty member and Washington, D.C.-based election expert Doug Chapin. He became aware of election administrators’ appetite for professional development while working as the director of election initiatives for the Pew Center on the States at the Pew Charitable Trusts. “No matter what the subject was—whether it was military and overseas voting, the greater use of technology in helping voters find their polling places, modernizing voter registration, or increasing access to evidence-based management in the field—there was a gap between the everyday practice of election administration and this notion of a profession,” he says. The online program has attracted students not just from Minnesota but also from Kansas, Colorado, Vermont, and Canada; they are able to remain in their jurisdictions while pursuing their studies. So far, dozens of students have enrolled in the program or taken individual classes; nine have completed their certificates. Part of the challenge in keeping elections on the up-and-up in the U.S. is that every state conducts its elections differently. Some states, like Minnesota, still use paper ballots, which are hard to hack, while
others have gone fully electronic. In some states, including Oregon and Colorado, voting is done entirely by mail. “There are 50 Springfields in this country, one in every state,” explains Chapin, who also writes the highly regarded Election Academy blog (editions.lib. umn.edu/electionacademy/). “The election nuts and bolts and habits and traditions in each community vary wildly. People who know about running elections in Springfield, Texas, might not know anything about how to run an election in Springfield, Minnesota.” This makes it difficult to establish policies and procedures—not to mention expertise—that will keep our national elections safe and credible. The program aims to bring more uniformity and agreed-upon best practices, along with prestige, to a field that many Americans mistakenly believe is a part-time, volunteer vocation. That appealed to William Cavecche, a voter services specialist with King County Elections in Washington state, who received his certificate in 2017. “I wanted to continue in my career, but when I was looking at master’s programs, there weren’t any with an emphasis in elections administration,” he says. At the U, Cavecche gained not just practical knowledge but also networking opportunities. “When you are looking at running elections from a nationwide level, it helps you hone your skills,” he says. King County is in the very early stages of exploring the possibility of ranked choice voting and Cavecche says it was helpful to hear from his colleagues, including Gelms, regarding how that option has played out Minneapolis. New this fall is the certificate program’s course on cybersecurity. Taught by Chapin, the class examines the history of cyberattacks on the American election system, with special attention to the 2016 election cycle. Students will explore the types of cybersecurity threats that exist and strategies to protect against them. They’ll also hear from key officials about the issues raised by responses to election security threats at the federal, state, and local levels. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Russian hackers attempted to break into the voting systems in 21 states, including Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Chapin likens most of the efforts to burglars “checking doors and locks but not getting into the house.” Yet the attempted incursions, as well as the proliferation of fake news on social
A one-of-a-kind program at the U teaches students how to run efficient, open, and secure elections. By Elizabeth Foy Larsen
Fall 2018 MINNESOTA ALUMNI 25
media and warnings of “rigged” election results at the highest levels of government, have challenged public confidence in the system. Losing voter confidence would be a drastic blow to our democracy, says Heather Heyer (B.A. ’07, M.P.P. ’16), voting process administrator for the Denver Elections Division in Colorado, who received her Election Administration certificate in 2017. “Voting is one of the first steps you can take to be engaged in your community.” She stresses that while the high-profile races get the most attention, voting matters at all levels. “Elections for local county commissioners determine where our tax dollars are going. If you care about the bad intersections in your city, it’s important to know where to go and take action.” Election administrators stress that voting security was a priority long before the 2016 election. But they also agree that the attempted break-ins have made the issue a top focus for the coming contest in November. The biggest challenge going forward, according to Chapin, is taking a decentralized community of election officials and finding ways to collectively share information and detect and respond to threats. It’s a process that is well underway in Hennepin County, which conducts an external postelection audit after every federal election to make sure votes are counted correctly. Gelms says her staff has received training in how to detect email phishing attempts and making sure all rooms that contain sensitive material are protected with key cards and access logs. To counter disinformation, Hennepin County uses Facebook, Twitter, the county website, and press releases to provide accurate information about elections to the public. The certificate program showed Gelms how to do this in a userfriendly way, including the use of infographics. “I feel that the public can be confident,” Gelms says. “We already had good practices, but we are making them even better.” Chapin sees an upside to the public’s increased awareness of how elections work. “As difficult and divisive as it has been since 2016, there is a greater appreciation across the map of how important elections are,” he says. “For the longest time we’ve talked to people and said, ‘You should vote because it’s your duty.’ Today, more and more people are saying ‘If I care about Medicaid expansion or I think immigration is out of control’—people are understanding that elections are the way we make these decisions.” Elizabeth Foy Larsen is a longtime Twin Cities-based writer and editor and Minnesota Alumni’s senior editor.
26 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
Americans across the political spectrum agree:
The outsize influence of money in U.S. politics is a kind of plague. That’s borne out in numerous surveys, including a recent bipartisan poll by the Democracy Project, whose founders include former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Joe Biden. The survey found that 68 percent of voters believe democracy is growing weaker, with “big money in politics” tying racism and discrimination for top culprits. University of Minnesota alumna Sheila Krumholz (B.A. ’88), executive director of the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, D.C., uses the same metaphor—and her organization is working night and day to shine a light on the ever-mutating disease so journalists and policymakers can treat it. The center (OpenSecrets.org) aims to provide voters, elected officials, and media outlets with access to clear and unbiased information about money’s role in politics and policy. “We are scientists, tracking the pathogens through the body politic,” Krumholz says. “When you follow the money, it’s like injecting dye into the bloodstream.” It’s not a simple task, she adds, because the “paths keep changing. So many paths are taken to game the system.” Krumholz, who grew up in Owatonna, Minnesota, was a freshly minted U grad with majors in international relations and Spanish and a minor in political science when she arrived in D.C. She began as associate editor of the very first issue of OpenSecrets, the group’s flagship publication, later moving to research director. “When I was hired in 1989, there were four employees; I was the fifth,” Krumholz recalls. “We now have 18 employees—and also several interns, who are really important to our work. “That’s not meteoric growth, by any means, but I’ve learned as executive director that I’d rather be nimble and small than to balloon to a size that’s difficult to sustain over time.” The center is not in the business of advocating particular policy solutions, Krumholz explains. “We don’t have a horse in the race; we’re not trying to take sides. There needs to be a just-the-facts
Alumna Sheila Krumholz tracks the big money that fuels our elections.
By Susan Maas
organization that puts the information out there and lets the chips fall where they may. “The press can’t do their job, and the voters can’t do theirs, if they don’t have access to the information they need to defend their own interests. What we’re advocating is transparency—and we want to be a trusted source no matter what your ideological perspective is.” The organization’s research has been used and praised by journalists and media outlets across the country, from Dan Rather to George Will, from the Economist to the Columbia Journalism Review. Larry Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the U’s Humphrey School, says the importance of OpenSecrets.org to preserving American democracy can’t be overstated. “People can think of American democracy as a battle of candidates and voters,” he says. “But the real story is of big wealthy donors. The checkbook
is challenging the voters. . . . We live in the politics of big money, and OpenSecrets is the portal into that world. Without them we’d be flying blind.” Attempts to reform campaign finance over the years have invariably prompted lobbyists and political operatives to invent new and craftier workarounds, Krumholz says. “It’s kind of two steps forward, one step back. We’re always trying to play catchup to the new innovations around money in politics,” she explains. “New ways to hide the money, new ways to get around the limits on [campaign] donations, new ways to get around the limits on how the money can be used. The outrage, of course, is not what’s illegal; it’s what’s perfectly legal, perfectly allowable.” The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling—which held that, under the First Amendment, the government can’t restrict “independent” electioneering communications expenditures by corporations, unions, nonprofits, and other associations—increased the scope and difficulty of the center’s work. “We now have both unlimited spending and secret sources,” Krumholz says, so discovering who’s buying access and influence from whom is more challenging than ever. Heading into the midterms in November, Krumholz paints a depressing—but not hopeless—picture. “For those who care about money in politics, the bad news is there’s going to be record-setting spending aimed at this election,” she says. “We say that every cycle, and it’s always true.” But she takes heart in the stories of grassroots candidates who, working hard on the ground and earning massive numbers of small, individual donations, manage to prevail despite a broken and Byzantine system. “People should know that however hopeless it seems, in the end, who is pulling the lever on Election Day? Voters.” According to Krumholz, “If voters understand their power, their potential to organize, money can still lose.” Susan Maas is a Minneapolis-based writer and editor. She is also Minnesota Alumni’s copy editor.
Fall 2018 MINNESOTA ALUMNI 27
28 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
Shirley was convicted of credit card fraud. Currently on probation and studying to be a chaplain through Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge, a recovery group, she believes voting helps former inmates and addicts feel part of their communities, an important aspect of rehabilitation and recovery.
Will is also studying the ministry through the MnTC program. A decade ago, he was convicted of felony firearm possession, receiving a short jail sentence followed by 15 years of probation. He occasionally volunteers for local political candidates, but cannot vote.
Photo-compostie by Kristi Anderson
U doctoral student Rob Stewart served a prison sentence for a drug crime, followed by supervised release until 2015. He says that only when he was finally able to vote again did he begin to feel normal, â€œlike I was no longer on the outside.â€?
THEY’VE DONE THEIR TIME Now, according to a growing movement, it’s our time to restore voting rights to people with felony records. By Elizabeth Foy Larsen Photos by Mark Luinenburg
Mark is an honorably discharged, disabled veteran of the Marine Corps. He was convicted of fraud while working as a counselor and received a 10-year probation sentence. Currently a veterans outreach coordinator with MnTC, he would like to regain his right to vote, considering it an aspect of his service to his country.
Like many teenagers, Rob Stewart (B.A. ’12, M.A. ’18) started experimenting with marijuana and alcohol when he was in high school. Unfortunately for the Owatonna, Minnesota, native, an activity that began as a way to hang out with buddies quickly escalated to harder drug use and run-ins with the law. In 2007 he was arrested, tried, and convicted for possessing and attempting to sell methamphetamine to an informant. He was sentenced to 100 months of prison time and served 25 months under an early release program. After he was released in 2009, Stewart, who is now studying for his Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Minnesota, moved to Alexandria, Minnesota, to pursue an associate’s degree at the local community college. While there, a professor encouraged Stewart and his classmates to attend the precinct caucuses. Stewart knew his felony conviction meant he wouldn’t be eligible to vote until 2015, when he finished his supervised release—Minnesota’s version of parole. But, having become interested in the political process while incarcerated, Stewart figured that attending the caucus was a positive step he could take to engage with his community. So it came as a humiliating shock when the precinct captain announced that to take part in the caucus, people needed to be eligible to vote on Election Day. “My neighbors and the professor who had encouraged me to participate were there,” he says, recalling the moment when he had to publicly explain that he’d been convicted of a felony. “I was at a point in my life where I wanted to be involved and do positive things
and to be shut out of the process was very difficult.” (Read our 2015 profile of Stewart here: umnalumni.org/ UMAA-stories/unbowed-rob-stewart) In most U.S. states, people with felony convictions are denied the right to vote in elections; some states automatically restore suffrage after incarceration, others do not. Only Maine and Vermont maintain voting rights even during a prison sentence, mirroring standards in Canada, Israel, and some European countries. In more than 30 states, it’s illegal to vote while completing parole (the supervised period after incarceration) or probation (which occurs prior to or in lieu of prison). That means that roughly 2.5 percent of the adult U.S. population, or 6.1 million people, can’t vote because of a felony conviction, according to a 2016 report coauthored by U sociology professor Christopher Uggen for the Sentencing Project, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit devoted to criminal justice reform. “The United States has excessively punitive laws on disenfranchisement by global standards, and also excessive numbers of people who are subject to them,” says Uggen. The policies disproportionately affect people living in poverty and black men, who are more often swept up into the criminal justice system. A recent study from the University of Georgia, also coauthored by Uggen, estimated that while 8 percent of the overall population have felony convictions, among African American men, the rate jumps to 33 percent. “A lot of the laws grew out of the Civil War and reconstruction, when African American men got the right to vote,” he says. “There were a lot of disenfranchising measures passed, most of which, like poll taxes, have fallen by the wayside. But, voting restrictions on people with criminal records have persisted.” In the U.S., there is a growing movement to restore felon voting rights—especially to those who have served their time—championed by people like Stewart, Uggen, and Sarah Walker, one of Uggen’s former graduate students. “When you vote, no matter how frustrating politics are these days, it’s a way for us to feel connected to and invested in the decisions that govern our lives,” says Walker, a Twin Cities-based lobbyist who completed doctoral-level work in sociology in 2013 but has yet to write her dissertation. In 2007, she founded the Minnesota Second Chance Coalition, which advocates for people involved in the criminal justice system. (Stewart serves on the organization’s board of directors, lobbies at the Legislature for changes to voting 30 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
Lobbyist Sarah Walker and her former sociology professor Christopher Uggen think people with felony records who have completed their prison terms should be able to vote.
laws, and is executive director of the new Minnesota Justice Research Center.) A main goal is to mitigate the so-called “collateral consequences” of convictions, like the loss of suffrage. “If you don’t feel vested in [society], you’re more likely to break those rules, and the covenant that we’re making when we vote,” Walker says. In fact, research done by Uggen and New York University sociology professor Jeff Manza shows that being able to vote may help former felons get back into the civic life of their communities, thereby possibly reducing recidivism. “We think about work and family and housing as being the key to social reintegration, but there is this civic reintegration piece of it that voting comes to symbolize,” Uggen says. “Voting is perhaps one of the most visible and tangible symbols of being an adult citizen in good standing in society.” Walker, who in 2014 successfully lobbied for a Ban the Box law in Minnesota, prohibiting private employers from asking job applicants about their criminal histories on initial applications, says felon voting rights are of particular concern in Minnesota—a state with some of the highest rates of probation and supervised release in the U.S. and long probation sentences. “It could be that you took a plea bargain so you didn’t go to prison for a drug crime, and you never spent a day in prison, but you can’t vote for 20 or 30 years,” she explains.
Uggen’s research shows that 68 percent of Americans believe people on supervised probation should have the right to vote. Sixty percent believe a person should be able to vote while on parole. “The clear majority said, ‘Once you’ve done your time you should be able to vote,’” he says. Still, despite public support for the issue— recently, New York and Maryland reinstated voting rights for those who have completed their prison sentences but remain on parole—many lawmakers are reluctant to take up the cause of felon voting rights for fear of appearing soft on crime. (Uggen’s research also shows that restoring voting rights to felons would give Democratic candidates a slight advantage and would have the greatest impact in close elections in states with the strictest disenfranchisement laws, such as Florida. Felons voting would likely have changed the outcome of the 2000 U.S. presidential election between Al Gore and George W. Bush.) Slow progress doesn’t stop advocates like Walker, who says restoring suffrage for felons is one of the issues she may “die working on.” In addition to citing statistics showing the majority of Minnesotans who lose their voting rights are white and live outside the Twin Cities—many due to the opioid epidemic—she draws a connection between felons voting and high-profile police shootings of African Americans. “It’s about, who is your chief of police and who is helping decide which ordinances are enforced,” explains Walker, who serves on a Minneapolis committee addressing policecommunity relations. “When we talk about building trust within communities, how can you do that if those communities have no say in the political process? Yes, there’s stuff we need to do to improve relationships between cops and citizens, and the city council and citizens—but ultimately, if you can’t vote, you are ignored.” For Stewart, who says his drug addiction and incarceration made him feel like an outcast, regaining his voting rights turned out to be an emotional experience. “When I was released, I was really enthusiastic about rejoining society, doing positive things, and trying to make up for the harm I caused to my family and my community,” he says. “When I was able to vote and actually did vote, I was overwhelmed because finally I started to feel ‘normal’ again—like I was no longer on the outside.”
SEPT 29, 2018
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A spouse shares her take on political commentator Larry Jacobs. By Julie Schumacher Lawrence R. Jacobs, the Walter F. and
Joan Mondale Chair for Political Studies and director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance in the Hubert H. Humphrey School, is a political scientist and policy analyst. He is also a pundit, appearing regularly on TPT’s Friday evening Almanac and offering commentary on NPR, MPR, and CNN, to name a few examples. But who is he, really? As his spouse, I have an inside track and am willing to answer a few essential questions.
On the news, why do I always see Professor Jacobs interviewed outdoors—even in inclement weather—in what appears to be his front yard? Remember the BBC interview with a South Korean scholar that was so charmingly interrupted when the scholar’s kids and 32 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
then his wife erupted frantically into the room, the baby lurching along in his infant walker like a planet recently released from its orbit? That would have been us, 20 years ago. No one wants to see a chain of naked Barbie dolls or a food fight when they turn on the news. Eventually our children grew up and moved out, but the front sidewalk, by then, had become a default. The only interruptions now come from leaf blowers, dog-walkers, and (on a recent Mother’s Day) the sight of Jacobs’s mud-caked, sunburned spouse mulching the lawn. Jacobs seems to be a natty dresser: Is he a formal suit-and-tie person 24/7? Hardly. At home, he prefers clothes that might be mistaken for unusable castoffs from Goodwill.
He’s fairly serious on air and on camera. Does he have a sense of humor? Let me just say that, in my study at home, I have occasionally opened a drawer or looked upon a shelf and found a realisticlooking rubber rat or plastic crow, neither of which could have been set in place by anyone other than my spouse. And it’s probably worth noting that, on Halloween, during election years, he has been known to hold a fake microphone and preside over a haunted voting booth (12-and-under voters only) in our front yard. It’s amusing to watch concerned parents try to correct the vote their 2-year-old has just cast with a red or blue crayon. What’s it like to live with someone who’s always on the hook for a political soundbite? Is your daily conversation filled with politics? If he were married to a person as interested in politics as he is, that might be the case; but as a writer of fiction, I supply a useful corrective. A typical dinner-table dialogue between us might look like this:
I MARRIED A PUNDIT
LJ: “Did you see what the mayor said about [lengthy paragraph follows]?” JS: “Um, no. By the way, there’s a poetry reading in Minneapolis tomorrow night.” LJ: “Tomorrow? Hm. I think I might have to be at—” JS: “I checked your calendar already. It looks like you’re free.” LJ: “Right. Are there more beans on the stove?” JS: “No, we ate them. I went to your political event last week.” LJ: “Yes, but that political event was—” JS: “No.” LJ: “I thought it was—” JS: “No.” LJ: “It might have run long, but it was definitely timely. The mayor—” JS: “Two and a quarter hours isn’t timely. Do you know what William Carlos Williams said about poetry?” LJ: “You don’t need to tell me who William Carlos Williams was.” JS: “He said, ‘It is difficult/ to get the news from poems/ yet men. . .’” LJ: “Pass the ketchup? I read Williams in high school.” JS: “‘. . .die miserably every day/ for lack/ of what is found there.’” LJ: “I’m not going to die, miserably or otherwise, from a lack of poetry. And if we’re keeping score, I think you owed me at least one political evening, so after last week’s event we should be even; now you’ve caught up.” JS: “Wrong. In fact you owe me two poetry readings—or one poetry and one fiction. Remember that fundraiser I went to? The reading starts tomorrow at 7.” LJ: “But I—”
JS: “It’s a plan, then. Seven.” LJ: “How about I try to get there by 7:30?” What was Professor Jacobs’s training? Do you know how he came to be a pundit? Well, I first met him in a freshman English class in 1978. He missed class a few times and asked if, in order to catch up, he could borrow my notes. I made a deal with him: He could borrow my notes (which were handwritten and elaborately color-coded) if he did my laundry. I hated doing laundry. This was an important precedent: He is still very skilled when it comes to laundry. I don’t know whether his experience with the washer and dryer contributed to his professional success, but it couldn’t have hurt. You both teach at the U. Do you ever get together for lunch on campus? He’s on the West Bank; I’m on the East. He studies facts; I make stuff up. (He once told me he was relieved that we have different last names.) I don’t think we’ve ever run into each other on campus. People on the West Bank, I’ve found, are better dressed. The state of politics these days could stress almost anyone out. How does he cope? We have three very needy and very sociable cats. We keep a regular cocktail hour. And there is always the catharsis associated with doing laundry.
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Your spouse carefully cultivates a nonpartisan profile: Which way does he really lean, politically? I might be headed for divorce if I answered that question. Julie Schumacher is the author of 10 works of fiction, including Dear Committee Members, which won the Thurber Prize for American Humor, and the recent novel The Shakespeare Requirement. She directs the Creative Writing Program at the University of Minnesota and is married to Lawrence R. Jacobs.
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In the late 1950s and early â€™60s, teams of researchers from the University of Minnesota made pioneering treks to Antarctica, where they named a formation after Pillsbury Hall.
34 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
Allyn Baum/The New York Times/Redux
By Tim Brady
The geological map of Antarctica is speckled with evidence of visitors from the University of Minnesota. Familiar names dot a pair of mountain
A team of U geologists unloads a plane in a valley backed by the Heritage Range, part of the Ellsworth Mountains, in Antarctica in November 1962.
ranges in the western part of the continent: Gopher Glacier, Minnesota Glacier, Pillsbury Tower. Alumni of the geology classes of 50 or 60 years ago will recognize the names of past professors and teaching assistants in other Antarctic landmarks in the Ellsworth and Jones ranges, like Mount Craddock, Anderson Massif, the Rutford Ice Stream, and Splettstoesser Pass—all proof that U geologists spent a good deal of time trekking at the bottom of the globe in the formative years of scientific exploration in Antarctica. Investigations of the southernmost continent flourished in conjunction with the signing of the Antarctic Treaty in 1959. The treaty, between a dozen countries, stipulated that the continent be used for peaceful purposes, that freedom of scientific investigation continue, and that scientific observations be shared. Funding became available from Washington, D.C., for geologists to do survey work in the Antarctic. So, why not scientists from the U? University teams embarked on a series of explorations. The first, in 1959, included three intrepid souls, including expedition leader Campbell “Cam” Craddock, then assistant professor of geology, who conceived of the mission. The other members of the trek through this virtually uninhabited continent, where the South Pole is located, were geology graduate student John J. Anderson (B.S. ’62, M.S. ’62) and geography graduate student Robert Rutford (B.A. ’54, M.A. ’63, Ph.D. ’69). All but Rutford are deceased. Craddock had “never been south of Las Cruces, New Mexico,” says Rutford, who served in the U.S. Army in the mid-1950s, navigating the glaciers of Greenland in big, treaded trucks as part of a transportation unit. That made Rutford the most experienced polar hand in all of Pillsbury Hall—where geology was located—in 1959 and a valuable asset to the journey. The route from Minnesota to the Antarctic that year was not exactly direct. When the research team left the snug confines of the Minneapolis campus to spend a polar summer researching, they flew first to Washington, D.C., where they listened to cautionary lectures from Navy officers, National Science Foundation experts, and various scientists with Antarctic experience about what they might expect at America’s Antarctic base, McMurdo Station. These included real-life tales of vehicles breaking through the sea ice and the crash of at least one C-124 cargo plane into a mountain while making a supply drop at an Antarctic camp. With these sobering warnings in mind, the Minnesota contingent left D.C. for San Francisco and then flew Fall 2018 MINNESOTA ALUMNI 35
to Honolulu, the Samoa Islands, and New Zealand. Christchurch was the staging area for all expeditions to McMurdo. There, the three boarded one of those big, slow-moving C-124s they’d just heard about for the 2,000-mile, nine-and-a-half-hour flight to the Antarctic. The plane was so cumbersome, says Rutford, “we could have walked to McMurdo as quickly.” About halfway there, they passed what was called the “point of no return,” beyond which there wasn’t enough fuel to get them back to New Zealand. Robert Hoxie Rutford—who would return to the Antarctic dozens of times— was the son of longtime U College of Agriculture faculty member Skuli Rutford (the family is of Icelandic descent). Robert grew up in St. Anthony Park next to the St. Paul campus. He delivered newspapers in the neighborhood, played quarterback
metal arches and canvas, which in football, and ran track well served as frames and walls. enough at Murray High School “They were really quite toasty to earn a scholarship to the U, when they got buried in snow,” where he lettered in each sport Rutford says. twice while earning degrees in The Minnesota group geography and geology. quickly acclimated to the While studying at the U, Explorer Robert Rutford surroundings. Rutford got his Rutford also coached freshman first taste of Antarctic travel while working football and coached Hamline University’s football and track teams. This was all before on a geophysical survey to establish the continental margins of the McMurdo he climbed aboard that lumbering cargo Sound. There were no “motor toboggans” plane with Craddock and Anderson. yet employed at the camp, so he learned The C-124 landed safely at McMurdo, the struggles and techniques of polar at the time a three-year-old station abuzz manhauling on the ice. Rutford was his own with personnel, scientific and military, and beast of burden, dragging his equipment housed on the ice in a huddle of Quonset on a sled behind him. huts and portable structures known as Temperatures in the coastal regions Jamesways. The Jamesways were shipped during summer approximated the weather to the continent in large wooden boxes at the depths of winter in Minnesota, that, when opened, served as floors for the according to Rutford. Gore-Tex had yet to structures. Packed inside the boxes were
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36 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
be invented, so the researchers wore U.S. Army gear. Traveling tents were based on the same design used by Robert Falcon Scott in the earliest days of Antarctic exploration: a center-poled, pyramid-shaped tent rising above an 8-foot-square floor. These may sound like hardships, but the U team enthusiastically returned to the Antarctic in 1960 with five more U colleagues. They set up a base camp in the newly named Jones Mountains and begin in earnest to put a Minnesota stamp on the continent by surveying the range. Rutford and others in the Minnesota group saw patterns of glaciation in the mountains that ultimately helped more accurately determine the age of the continent. Research by the Minnesota contingent a year after that, in 1961, was aided immensely by the addition of snowmobiles, which afforded the group new mobility. Craddock
made an epic circumnavigation of the Ellsworth Mountains on a sled and the ability to move quickly to different sites aided in the discovery of Permian Age plant fossils in the range. These remnants from hundreds of millions of years ago linked Antarctic mountains to ranges in corresponding landmasses in the Gondwanaland supercontinent that once comprised much of the dry earth. The Minnesotans were back again in ’62, ’63, and ’64. (Other U teams followed in later years.) Rutford had no idea, on that first C-124 flight to the continent, that he would pass the point of no return on more than 25 trips to Antarctica in a lifetime of research and scholarship. After earning his Ph.D. from the U, he served as chair of the Department of Geology at South Dakota and chair of geology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He directed polar programs at the National
Science Foundation in Washington, D.C., and served as vice chancellor for research and graduate studies back in Lincoln. In 1982, Rutford was appointed president of the University of Texas at Dallas, a position he held until 1994, when he returned to the faculty as a chaired professor of geology. He retired in 2007. Through the years, he kept his hand in Antarctic study and research. In 2007, he received yet another spot on the map when the U.S. Geological Survey named the highest peak in the Craddock Massif of the Ellsworth Range after him: Mount Rutford. At age 85, Rutford still traces the geological map of Antarctica with his fingertips from his home outside of Dallas. Tim Brady is the author of five books, including His Father’s Son: The Life of General Ted Roosevelt, Jr. He lives in St. Paul
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Fall 2018 MINNESOTA ALUMNI 37
F COURSE YOU’VE HEARD of Basilica de La Sagrada Família:
The Most Beauty Anywhere La Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain, amazes. By Jennifer Vogel
that crazy, Antoni Gaudí-designed Catholic church that stands like a Seussian birthday cake in the center of Barcelona. I had heard of it, too. I even considered skipping it when I was in the Catalan capital recently. Thankfully I didn’t, or I would have missed the most spectacular building I’ve ever seen. I was jet-lagged but attempting to shake it off by walking Barcelona’s elaborate streets and drinking coffee at every opportunity. Then, I arrived at the front doors of La Sagrada Família (“The Holy Family”). These doors aren’t just doors, however. They are enormous, cast bronze slabs, part of the church’s “glory façade,” each imprinted with a section of the Lord’s Prayer in Catalan and 49 other languages. The doors are surrounded by exterior structural lines that tilt at odd angles, as well as sculptures of birds and fish and people, and frosting pillars and balconies that frankly shouldn’t exist by the laws of physics. It’s as much a riot of joy and inspiration as exists in one place anywhere. The true spectacle, however, is inside. Still more pillars reach like trees from the floor to the kaleidoscopic ceiling. Above the main altar, Jesus flies under a canopy festooned with grapes and glowing baubles, as though he’s hang gliding. Gaudí slept in his studio in the basement while he designed and built the church around him (the studio has been recreated for tours). He was struck and killed by a streetcar in 1926, at the age of 73. What Gaudí understood inherently is that while the church itself is dazzling and original, its true purpose is to serve as a vessel for light. On the crisp, blue morning of my visit, the sun streamed through the enormous banks of stained glass windows like searchlights from heaven. Gaudí said color is life. And standing there with yellow, orange, and red beams on my face and in my eyes, I could feel it: life and inspiration and more than a little awe. If you go, alumnus Rahim Habib (M.B.A. ’02) and his wife Marta Rodelas—who met at the Carlson School and now live in Barcelona—recommend these hidden gems:
• The best place to eat patatas bravas, a local fried potato dish, is El Tomás de Sarriá: eltomasdesarria.com • If you’re looking for live jazz music and dinner, you can’t do better than Hotel Casa Fuster on a Thursday night: hotelcasafuster. com/en/gastronomy-jazz/jazz-club/
• Hands down, the tastiest Catalan-style tapas (pica-pica) are served at Paco Meralgo: restaurantpacomeralgo.com 38 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
• The most joyful summer open-air concert series is Festival Jardins de Pedralbes: festivalpedralbes.com/en/the-garden/
Talking the Walk
Spoken word artist and alumnus Guante explores what it means to be a man in 2018 and beyond. By Jim Walsh
AST SEPTEMBER in suburban Minneapolis, at the annual national conference of the violence prevention group A Call to Men, Minneapolisbased poet, rapper, storyteller, and spoken word artist Guante (nee Kyle Tran Myhre) took the stage. Dressed all in black, the 35-year-old Wisconsin native immediately grabbed the attention of the 300 conference-goers, who were assembled to confront issues of domestic violence and male stereotypes, with his brilliant spoken-word piece “Handshakes.” “Do you ever feel trapped?” Guante (M.L.S. ’16) asked an invisible macho hand. “In the mornings, when you’re watching Sports Center or whatever, and downing that protein shake made with raw eggs and liquefied steak and Axe Body Spray, do you ever crush the glass by accident? Do you ever get tired of that voice in the back of your head, the one that sounds just like Denis Leary, telling you to constantly reaffirm that you’re a real man by catcalling women and eating enormous hamburgers and squeezing things really, really hard?”
Heads bobbed in recognition and rhythm. It was weeks before Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse and assault of women reignited the #MeToo movement, and here was Guante giving his take as a man, poet, and feminist, though he may not be comfortable with that last part. Is Guante (whose wife, Uyenthi Tran Myhre, is assistant director of the Women’s Center at the University of Minnesota) OK with that label? “I’m trying to write a poem about that,” says the full-time artist, taking a break at Five Watt Coffee in Minneapolis’s Kingfield neighborhood. “If I’m in a room with a bunch of people who are anti-feminist, I’ll be like, ‘Yeah. Of course I call myself feminist, and here’s why.’ But I don’t put it in my Twitter bio like, ‘I’m an awesome feminist man.’ It isn’t a hat you can wear, or a button you can put on. It’s a lens for understanding the world. So yes, I call myself a feminist—with an asterisk.” He shows the same reluctance to go for the soundbite when asked how he identifies his race. “I’m mixed, mostly Norwegian and Japanese, but that opens up Fall 2018 MINNESOTA ALUMNI 39
a much more complex conversation about how that identity has shaped both my experience and my writing,” he says. “For example, when I write about race, I tend to mostly write about whiteness, because even if my blood/ experience is mixed, people tend to see me as white, so I feel a responsibility to speak on that.” Born in La Crosse and raised by a single mother, Guante graduated from the University of Wisconsin and became part of the hip-hop scene in Madison. Inspired by the work of Minneapolis hip-hop organizers and Minnesota Spoken Word Association cofounders Sha Cage and E.G. Bailey, he moved to Minneapolis in 2007 and quickly made a name for himself as a sharp-tongued, socially conscious artist. “When E.G. and I met Guante in Madison, he was not only one of the most gifted wordsmiths but was so committed to bringing the next generation up,” says Sha Cage. “Part of us inviting him onto our indie label was about continuing to provide access to artists driven to growing community through the arts. It was evident that his heart was always rooted in social justice work.” In 2016, Guante received his master’s from the U, with a focus on spoken word poetry, critical pedagogy, and social justice education. His final project focused on how the arts can be used to make social justice education more effective than simply, as he puts it, “here’s my PowerPoint on how not to sound racist. “I look at all the work I do, talking about masculinity, socialization, gender violence, whiteness, white supremacy, capitalism, economic inequality—but I think at the end of the day, all those things share a common foundation in that I’m interested in creating more spaces for people to have deeper conversations about power,” he says. “Power in the sense of the powers that be that
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Go to places you’ve always dreamed of going with the UMAA Travel Program. Check out our 2019 destinations at UMNAlumni.org/travel. Email or call to be added to our travel mailings: firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-862-5867.
“I’M INTERESTED IN CREATING MORE SPACES FOR PEOPLE TO HAVE DEEPER CONVERSATIONS ABOUT POWER.”
are held over us, but also the power that people have to push back and do something.” Guante’s work has appeared in a range of media, including MSNBC, Huffington Post, Everyday Feminism, and Upworthy. He’s recorded a TEDx talk and appeared at colleges, universities, and conferences. He’s also the founder of the MN Activist Project and Hip-Hop Against Homophobia concert series. One reviewer dubbed Guante “part Cormac McCarthy, part Woody Guthrie, and part Public Enemy.” A two-time National Poetry Slam champion, these days Guante is busy with readings from his first book, A Love Song, A Death Rattle, A Battle Cry, and hosting weekly open mic poetry slams at the Golden Thyme Café in St. Paul. He regularly performs for schools and businesses—all of which benefit from his streetwise, empathetic, and very much of-these-times perspective. “I almost think that because things are so bad right now, people are hyper-focused on survival and just pushing through,” he says. “Whereas during the last administration or whatever, I’d be doing similar work but we could almost have deeper conversations about it, because it wasn’t so in-your-face all the time. Which is why I also think that 2018 and 2020 are going to be really interesting times to balance those conversations. How do you push back against the really obvious bad things that are happening while also doing it with a critical lens? Having nuanced conversations is not going to be a lot of fun over the next few years.” Lucky for all of us, we’ll have Guante to make the conversation swing along with words, beats, and beauty. Jim Walsh (B.A. ’90) is an award-winning author, journalist, writer, and songwriter in Minneapolis.
OFF THE SHELF
An Academic Skewering, Talks with Hollywood Royalty, and Ruminations on Suicide It’s Minnesota Alumni’s quarterly books roundup. ULIE SCHUMACHER has done it again.
Lynette Lamb (M.A. ’84) is a longtime Twin Cities editor and writer and a regular book reviewer for the Star Tribune.
The veteran University of Minnesota creative writing professor has published a second darkly comic novel set among the petty turf wars and interdepartmental skirmishes of the academy. Her first foray into academic humor, Dear Committee Members, in 2015, was a Thurber Prize-winning novel told through a series of dyspeptic recommendation letters written by disillusioned creative writing teacher Jason Fitger. In The Shakespeare Requirement (Doubleday) Fitger is back—this time in the third person—and more shocked than anyone to find himself the newly installed department chair of the dysfunctional, backbiting English Department at Payne State University. The name of this “mid-sized, middlebrow” university—set in an anonymous Midwestern river city—provides Schumacher with an endless source of laugh-out-loud wordplay. Welcome to Payne. Get Ready for Payne. Ten Years of Payne. Anyone who has ever worked in higher education will recognize the oddball characters, philosophical battles, and bureaucratic lunacy so perfectly detailed in this novel. Among Fitger’s Sisyphean struggles: a bloated and greedy economics department—run by a popinjay named Roland Gladwell—with designs on the English department’s last crumbling bits of real estate; an intimidating department secretary who blocks his every move; and a byzantine online calendar called P-Cal that he steadfastly
By Lynette Lamb
refuses to use and that routinely precludes the possibility of enjoying face-to-face contact with his fellows in Payne. Schumacher has an uncanny ear for the pompous verbiage of professors and the insensible, pop-culture strewn conversations of undergraduates. “Will you be grading us on how we write or on our ideas?” one freshman dares ask Fitger on the first day of his Literature of Apocalypse class, thus making himself a ripe target for the disgruntled English professor, who sets off on a lengthy discourse about the inextricable coupling of lucid expression and transparency of meaning. Just before putting the poor kid in his place, Fitger the narrator muses, “He so enjoyed these first, early encounters with incoming freshmen, who were as tender and unsuspecting as asparagus tips.” Woven throughout the brilliant humor and skillful writing of The Shakespeare Requirement, however, are some serious messages about the current state of higher education. The eponymous battle in the book, of course, has to do with dropping the department’s Shakespeare classes from the curriculum because of their supposed irrelevance to today’s students. Many readers will be reminded of the curriculum war being waged at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where, facing declining enrollment and devastating budget cuts initiated by Governor Scott Walker, administrators have proposed eliminating 13 humanities majors. Then there’s the financial battle for the soul of academy, with its growing reliance on corporate and private funding, coupled with the centrality of the university fundraising machine. Scratch the surface of any educational institution these Fall 2018 MINNESOTA ALUMNI 41
days and you’ll find an army of staffers happy to grant naming rights and even curricular influence in exchange for a new building or academic chair. Of course, “job creating” departments such as computer science and economics are more likely to be the recipients of this corporate largesse, and Schumacher doesn’t miss a beat there. She delightfully describes the keen differences between the fictional Economics Department’s newly refurbished quarters (“state-of-the-arttechnology enhanced classrooms . . . elegant seminar and meeting rooms, faculty offices, and a café . . . stunning mosaic tile floors and skylights underwritten by the Morse Foundation; digital LCD wall displays donated by philanthropist-alum Bill Fixx”) and those of the English Department, with its broken window sashes, blown fuses, network of extension cords, and ancient computers. In other words, when you read The Shakespeare Requirement, get ready for a hilarious romp through the ridiculous, self-important world of the academy, but be prepared for a few sobering reflections about higher education along the way. And . . . the roundup Three new novels by U authors center on the suicides of beloved fathers. The most wrenching is Some Hell (Graywolf), the first major work by promising writer Patrick Nathan, B.A. ’09. From this book’s opening sentence, which recounts the suicide of middle-schooler Colin’s father, to its stunning conclusion, Some Hell is an unforgettable read. Paternal suicides also haunt the lives of Will, the constantly walking protagonist of Alison McGhee’s What I Leave Behind (Atheneum), and Isabelle, stalwart heroine of Jane St. Anthony’s Isabelle Day Refuses to Die of a 42 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
Broken Heart (University of Minnesota Press). Both young adult novels skillfully demonstrate the emotional devastation of suicide and the redeeming power of friendship. McGhee’s (M.A. ’93) book—set in an unnamed present-day town—is told episodically, following Will as he makes sense of his life in the wake of a great loss. St. Anthony’s (B.A. ’73) novel is more conventionally written; U of M alumni will enjoy its Minneapolis setting and many local references. Speaking of Minnesota, if you’re already missing the North Star State’s summer, pick up a copy of Boathouses of Lake Minnetonka (Big Picture Press), with stunning photographs by Karen Melvin, B.S. ’06. Here you’ll find an eclectic collection of structures—ranging from Japanese follies to miniature Swiss chalets—hugging the shores of the western suburban lake. Launched by the Minnesota Daily and a shared enthusiasm for old Hollywood, David Fantle, B.A. ’83, and Tom Johnson, B.A. ’83, have compiled a collection of interviews with an impressive range of movie and TV royalty in Hollywood Heyday: 75 Candid Interviews with Golden Age Legends (McFarland & Co. Publishers). Just 18 when they sought interviews with their first celebrities— Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly—the Daily duo went on to talk with dozens of luminaries, including Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, and Debbie Reynolds. A more contemporary take on media can be found in The Toxic Meritocracy of Video Games: Why Gaming Culture is the Worst (University of Minnesota Press) by Christopher A. Paul, Ph.D. ’05. Although his title makes his premise clear, it’s worth noting that Paul is a lifelong video game player himself. His critique then, comes from a place of deep knowledge and enjoyment, making it that much more persuasive.
Haven’t Heard of Kernza?
Thanks to alumnus and crop scientist Lee DeHaan, you will.
s a teenager growing up on a corn and soybean farm on the outskirts of Albert Lea, Minnesota, Lee DeHaan (M.S. ’00, Ph.D. ‘01) remembers having plenty of opportunities to contemplate what he would eventually view as the shortcomings of traditional agriculture. “I spent hundreds of hours on a tractor tilling fields and burning fuel,” he says in a wry tone that makes it clear he’s understating matters. “I realized what we were doing wasn’t good for the soil.” It was the 1980s—the height of the farm crisis—and many of the farmers in DeHaan’s community were losing their land. Some urged their children not to go into a profession that had been passed down for generations. DeHaan’s father sold their farm to an investor and then farmed it for the rest of his career as a manager under contract. That painful time started DeHaan on a lifelong journey to make farming more environmentally and economically sustainable. Today, he’s the lead scientist for the Kernza Domestication Program at the Land Institute, a Kansasbased agriculture research organization that develops food production methods—including perennial grain and seed crops—that support the land and soil.
By Elizabeth Foy Larsen
An earth-friendly grain that’s getting attention from climate scientists, cereal makers, and sustainable farmers, Kernza is a new domesticated crop bred from an ancient strain of wheatgrass. It grows like grass, but tastes like wheat. Today, thanks largely to DeHaan, it’s the breakout star in an expanding lineup of perennial grains and cover crops that plant geneticists are developing to capture carbon, enrich soils, prevent erosion, and improve both water quality and the economics of farming. More Kernza is grown in Minnesota than in any other state in the country. “A perennial crop doesn’t need to be replanted every year and that conserves the soil’s health,” DeHaan explains. “And when you have the potential for increased productivity with less input, that can also give farmers a greater share of the agricultural revenue, which in turn can help alleviate the extreme swings in the farm economy.” After studying biology and plant science at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, DeHaan attended graduate school at the University of Minnesota, focusing on agronomy and applied plant science. For his master’s degree, DeHaan studied feed options for livestock. He moved on to perennial grains for his doctorate, research Fall 2018 MINNESOTA ALUMNI 43
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Send letters and comments to UMNAlumnimag@umn.edu
44 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
Space Cowgirl Alumna Johanna Lucht is breaking new ground as a deaf engineer at NASA. By Emily Sohn OHANNA LUCHT sat in a control room at the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center, north of Los Angeles, on a clear day in April 2017. In the sky, a flight crew was testing an aircraft with an experimental, twistable wing flap for the first time. On the ground, alongside at least 10 other engineers in a quiet room full of computer screens, Lucht’s job was to help monitor and analyze data, with the ultimate goal of boosting flight efficiency. She knew it was an experience few people get to have, and she was both excited and focused. It was only after the mission was over that Lucht, who graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 2014, discovered she was the first deaf engineer to take an active role in a NASA control center during a crewed research flight. “I was kind of flabbergasted because I’d
that eventually led to a full-time job at the Land Institute and his work with Kernza. Today, DeHaan’s research is partly backed by a partnership between the Institute and the U’s Forever Green initiative, which develops new crops and high-efficiency cropping systems. DeHaan is also a member of the U’s adjunct faculty and sits on graduate student committees. With a spicy, earthy undertone that intrigues foodies—chefs and bakers insist that, like wine, the grain has its own “terroir,” which varies from soil to soil—Kernza serves up a host of environmental benefits that include a deep root system, resistance to drought, and the continuous living cover agronomists say can lower pesticide use, reduce soil erosion, and improve water quality. Kernza is not available yet in grocery stores; it has only recently been milled commercially and quantities are limited. But there are both large and small-scale businesses, including California-based Patagonia Provisions and Minnesota-based General Mills, which are working to incorporate it into their products. When it’s available, the Birchwood Cafe in Minneapolis mixes the grain into its waffles, crackers, and tortillas. Their Kernza sweet corn blueberry eclair made the StarTribune’s 2017 new food roundup when it was served at the Farmers Union coffee shop at the Minnesota State Fair. “It’s a big honor to be a part of this paradigm shift,” says Tracy Singleton (B.A. ‘94), the Birchwood’s owner, who adds that DeHaan’s humble demeanor belies his outsized contribution to sustainable agriculture. Likewise, as part of its Keep the North Cold initiative to combat climate change, Minneapolis clothing brand Askov Finlayson has partnered with Fair State Brewing Cooperative in Northeast Minneapolis to produce a beer—also called Keep the North Cold— using local ingredients, including Kernza. The company views the beer as an investment in the future of farming practices that are easier on the environment. “Making Kernza more widely available is a long-term journey,” says Adam Fetcher, Askov Finlayson’s vice president of environmental impact and policy. “Lee is on the front lines. He owns this work day in and day out.” In fact, DeHaan’s job marries hands-on science with public relations evangelizing. He not only spends days in the field planting and collecting plant tissue for DNA samples; he also writes papers, gives talks, and travels to international meetings, all to improve and promote Kernza’s chances for success. It’s a lot of work, but he and his colleagues at the Land Institute and the U are grounded in a practical strategy for success. “We hope that once Kernza is available, someone shopping in the grocery store won’t notice a big change,” DeHaan says. “We want to provide a solution for environmental concerns without having to revolutionize the human diet.”
You walk in and you see the display cases and you say, ‘Wow,’ and then you see you’re in one of them. It’s flattering to say the least. You walk in and, boom, there you are. I had no idea.
Alan Page (J.D. ’78), former Minnesota Supreme Court justice and star Viking, on viewing the new Vikings Museum in Eagan for the first time, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Page is this year’s Homecoming grand marshal.
just made history without realizing it at that moment,” Lucht says. “This achievement to me is a feat, validating all my hard work and numerous people who have supported me to this day.” It was a moment that 26-year-old Lucht had, in many ways, been working toward for years, as she tackled one communications obstacle after the next. Born in Germany, where at the time there were few resources for deaf people, Lucht didn’t learn American Sign Language until she was 9. Before then, her memories are fuzzy, probably because of the language delay. But as a preteen and the only deaf student at her school, she remembers the pain of being excluded from social groups by other kids. When she was 12, her family moved to Alaska, where she was finally exposed to a deaf community that gave her full access to a more complete social world and, she says, “your typical school drama.” Lucht arrived at the U in the fall of 2010. She had been impressed by the interpretation services during her tour the year before and, as a bonus, her brother lived nearby. After working through some initial homesickness, Lucht became involved with groups like the U’s deaf and hard of hearing ambassador program—which taught her about teamwork and leadership. Living on her own for the first time, she learned to advocate for herself,
sometimes pushing resistant professors to provide interpreters and video-captioning in classes. After graduation, Lucht landed an internship and then a job at NASA, where she has continued to overcome challenges. The Armstrong Flight Research Center is located on the Edwards Air Force Base in the remote Mojave Desert and lacks a robust supply of interpreters. Over time, Lucht has worked with freelance interpreters who drive in for meetings and off-site interpreters who call in through video conferencing, among other strategies. But many of the words she uses on a daily basis are so technical that she has to teach them to each new interpreter she works with. And sometimes, all options fall through. Once, she had planned to work with an interpreter from the Air Force side of the base, who was pulled away to another project at the last minute, leaving her unable to participate in a meeting. As a deaf woman at NASA, helping control a test flight last spring was a triumph in more ways than one. “It proved that deaf people can do something amazing,” says Lucht, who recently spoke with a 10-year-old girl who was starstruck to meet her. “It’s not just deaf children but also hearing girls who are inspired. It’s astonishing really.”
The Triumphs of a Dogged Man
Alumnus Larry Laukka has spent his life spearheading efforts that will benefit the U for decades to come. By Jodi Auvin
46 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
(B.A.’58) pedaled for miles alongside more than a thousand cyclists in Dakota County, Minnesota, to raise money for research at the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Center. And while many might marvel at an octogenarian even considering such an undertaking, to those who know Laukka’s devotion to the U, it came as no surprise. Especially since the idea for the event was his. The seed was planted a few years prior when Laukka, a prolific Twin Cities real estate developer, learned about an annual cycling fundraiser that was raising millions for cancer research at Ohio State University. Intrigued, he went to Ohio to see the 2015 ride. “It was unreal,” he says, referring to the 7,000 cyclists at the event. He approached the University of Minnesota Foundation about adapting the concept, with every rider-raised dollar going toward research. Two years later, Chainbreaker was born and Laukka was the first to sign up. Despite being diagnosed with Stage III esophageal cancer just days before the ride, Laukka completed the 25-mile course as the race’s oldest rider, describing it as “fun and not too taxing. “My motivation isn’t personal,” he says. “It’s to support an important cause. By 2021, I trust we’ll hit our goal of $100 million.” If history is any indication, that objective will be achieved. Laukka has been a driving force behind buildings, monuments, and initiatives that will serve the U and the people of Minnesota for generations to come. Chief among them is the 231,000-square-foot “front door” to the U at the corner of Oak and Washington: the McNamara Alumni Center.
Laying the groundwork One of two children, Laukka grew up in South Minneapolis. His father was a Minneapolis Gas Light Company repairman; his mother trained cashiers and bookkeepers for Red Owl grocery stores. Neither attended college, but both encouraged higher education. So did Laukka’s high school sweetheart, whom he married in 1961. “Mary wouldn’t marry a man without a college degree,” says Laukka, a 1953 Roosevelt High School graduate. “That sealed the deal.” To help pay for tuition, he worked for an independent grocery store throughout high school and college. He entered the U in 1954 and joined Theta Chi, where he met Fred Friswold (B.S. ’58). “Larry was immediately recognized as a leader and
Tom Sweeney ©1986 StarTribune
N AUGUST 2017, 81-year-old Larry Laukka
appointed the fraternity’s rushing chairman,” recalls Friswold, retired CEO of the former Dain Bosworth. “He more than doubled membership during his term. He was also actively involved in campus politics and governance.” Equally driven as a student, Laukka credits a course that combined geography, architecture, and sociology by legendary professor John Borchert with greatly influencing his career. “He made such an impression, explaining how cities had developed since the beginning of time.” After graduating with a degree in economics, Laukka served in the U.S. Army, then worked for a mutual fund company. Just prior to taking a job at the company’s Kansas City headquarters, a fraternity brother introduced him to Clyde
Pemble, who was starting a residential development company. Laukka, 26, scratched Kansas City and joined Pemtom Inc. as its only salesman. “During the next 10 years, I earned a Ph.D. in the business,” he says. This included cultivating the tenacity that enables him to deal with whatever Murphy’s Law dishes out—design problems, zoning issues, construction delays, and more. In 1972, he left Pemtom to form Laukka Development Company, then spent the next 45 years building and developing more than 6,000 homes and homesites in the Twin Cities. He also lent his expertise to an array of civic associations, including founding the Minnesota Housing Institute and helping develop the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency.
Larry Laukka at the site of Edinborough, a mixed-use development in Edina, in 1986.
Fall 2018 MINNESOTA ALUMNI 47
Perseverance prevails Since its inception in 1904 and despite repeated efforts to find a permanent home on campus, the University of Minnesota Alumni Association had moved repeatedly over the years. In the late ‘80s, it was forced to move again. At the same time, Ken Keller’s U presidency was unraveling due a controversial $1.5 million renovation of Eastcliff, the official residence. “The U was on the front pages every day,” says Friswold, who served as Alumni Association president from 1987 to ‘88. After writing to Friswold expressing his concerns, Laukka suddenly found himself on the Alumni Association board, where his industry expertise made him the point person on the development of a freestanding alumni center. It soon became apparent to him that there was an opportunity to build a facility that could house a number of U-affiliated organizations, including the Board of Regents. It took more than 10 years of “wading through various U bureaucracies” to turn that idea into bricks and mortar. Laukka and Friswold worked together and, with the help of Dale Olseth (B.B.A. ’52), raised the $46 million required to build the McNamara Alumni Center. “To succeed in real estate development, you need perseverance,” says Friswold. “That’s Larry’s style and he carried it through all his work on campus.” During the 1997 groundbreaking ceremony, U President Nils Hasselmo presented Laukka with the “biggest, ugliest bulldog I’ve ever seen”—a tribute to Laukka’s dogged determination to get
My motivation isn’t personal. It’s to support an important cause.
48 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
the project done. “It belonged to the College of Veterinary Medicine and was returned after the ceremony,” says Laukka. “Thank goodness!” Since opening in 2000, McNamara has been home to the Alumni Association and the Foundation, provided office space for 25 U departments, and served as a venue for events that generate enough income to pay for the building’s upkeep. Those events also funded Scholars Walk—another project that had languished until Laukka commandeered it—a pedestrian walkway on the East Bank that lauds the accomplishments of U alumni. “All of that got me more involved,” says Laukka. He was invited to join the Foundation’s board and lead a team of consultants to determine the best use for the University of Minnesota Outreach, Research, and Education Park—known as UMore—in Rosemount. Originally 12,000 acres of farmland, the government used the site for a munitions factory during World War II, then gave 8,000 acres to the U, which used it for agricultural research. Laukka urged the U to investigate the site for gravel, leading to the discovery of more than 400 million tons of it. He helped negotiate a 40-year contract with a company that pays the U a royalty for every ton extracted from a 1,700-acre portion of the site. At the end of the lease, that acreage will be returned to the U, including a lake formed by the extraction. Laukka’s drive and dedication to the U have spurred other alumni forward, including Tom LaSalle (B.A.’72), owner of a project management company. At Laukka’s urging, the two worked together on the Alumni Center. “I did it for Larry,” says LaSalle. “That’s when I started to appreciate how important the U is to Minnesota.” LaSalle served as president of the Alumni Association board from 2007 to ‘08. Today, Laukka sees the Alumni Center as one of the most rewarding undertakings of his career. And he sums up his decades of efforts in his characteristic minimalist style. “I did it out of my personal feelings for the U,” he says. “Fred asked me to lend a hand and one thing led to another. Now it’s Chainbreaker. I’m training for the 50-mile course.” Friswold has a loftier summation. “Larry’s years of service are unique. There’s no one to replace him. He’s committed to building excellence at the U.” Jodi Auvin is a freelance copywriter in Minneapolis who develops marketing communications for a wide variety of clients.
Driven to end cancer EVERY DOLLAR RAISED BY CHAINBREAKER FUELS INNOVATIVE RESEARCH AT THE MASONIC CANCER CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA.
THANK YOU, LARRY LAUKKA, FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP IN BRINGING CHAINBREAKER TO THE U!
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MINNESOTA license plate today!
With an annual contribution of $25 for the special plate, youâ€™re supporting student scholarships at the University of Minnesota.
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UMAA ADOPTS NEW STRATEGIC PLAN
WELCOME TO OUR NEW BOARD CHAIR
In June, the Alumni Association Board of Directors voted to approve a new five-year strategic plan for the UMAA. The plan was informed by alumni feedback—gathered through an all-alumni survey fielded last fall—and input from University leaders. In crafting the strategic plan, the UMAA sought to understand what types of services or involvement are of most interest to alumni. The top responses were career services, opportunities to mentor students, and serving as ambassadors for the U. In addition, alumni emphasized the importance of preserving the strength of the U and the value of every degree. Each of these priorities are addressed in the new plan. Over the next five years, the Alumni Association will focus on four goals: enriching the lives of all alumni, bolstering student success, advancing the interests of the University of Minnesota, and leading through organizational strength. Specific offerings will include career services for alumni, opportunities to mentor students, lifelong learning resources, and other programs that enhance alumni well-being. In addition, the UMAA will continue to provide alumni with timely, relevant University news and partner with them to expand legislative advocacy that strengthens the U. The new plan will enable the UMAA to support the U’s strategic priorities. We will keep alumni connected to the U through Minnesota Alumni magazine, the Alumni Angle weekly email, and other print and digital communications, delivering information that is both timely and personally relevant. As the University continues to manage its enrollment and graduation rates, the UMAA will seek to partner with alumni to recruit students and encourage admitted students to enroll. Once students arrive on campus, the Alumni Association and alumni will serve as a valuable source of mentoring and support. To read the full strategic plan, go to UMNAlumni. org/StrategicPlan.
On July 1, incoming Alumni Association board chair Doug Huebsch (B.S. ’85) took the reins. Huebsch, who has served on the board since 2014, is a partner in New Life Farms, which specializes in turkey and beef production, and president of Goose Group, Inc.—both companies are based in Perham, Minnesota. “Though scattered across the globe, the UMAA connects and supports our alumni to form a network of loyalty and pride,” he says. “The UMAA advocates for the University of Minnesota with a unified voice, knowing that current and future alumni are the economic engine of Minnesota and the world.” Huebsch is an Otter Tail County commissioner and an avid Gophers fan. All three of his adult children are U graduates. One of his goals as chair is to increase Alumni Association funding. “We need to be entrepreneurial in developing a financial and business model that sets the standard for the future and enables us to build even more upon the U’s alumni network and ability to facilitate and enrich the lives of Minnesotans. “We at the University of Minnesota and the UMAA are grateful to our Minnesota residents for investing in the U,” adds Huebsch. “This year, we’re focusing on sending the love back. We’ll be showcasing alumni, businesses, and communities not just across the
state but also across the nation and globe. From health care to agriculture, engineering to technology, we Minnesotans are better off because of the U. It’s really a circle of life and this year, we’re focusing on sharing that message of mutual enrichment, gratitude, and thanks.” Join the UMAA if you haven’t already, he says. “Just as someone advocated for you as a student, you may advocate for current students, as an alumnus. This system only works with the participation of each new alumnus. Standing together, the University and its alumni are greater than standing alone.”
Fall 2018 MINNESOTA ALUMNI 51
MEMBER ADVANTAGES Thank you for being a member! Don’t forget to make the most of your member advantages. Here are just a few: PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
u Take part in a quarterly roster of noncredit courses (save 10% on continuing education). u Invest in yourself with a course in the Carlson Executive Education program (save 10%).
A SPECIAL WELCOME
to our newest Life Members!* As a Life Member, you join more than 19,000 loyal and enthusiastic alumni supporting the U’s important work. Dues are invested in a fund that provides a stable support for key Alumni Association initiatives.
SPECIAL SAVINGS SECTION u Chocolat Celéste offers 20% off online purchases with your UMAA member code. u 20% savings on U of M Bookstores apparel and gifts in store and online. u Academic pricing on select Apple® products at the U of M Bookstores. u 10% discount at Goldy’s Locker Room locations in the Twin Cities. u Show your member card for alumni hotel rates at Graduate Minneapolis on campus.
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EXPLORE CAMPUS u Visit the Weisman Art Museum, Bell Museum, and Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (discounted membership rates). u See the finest Northrop Dance, U of M Theatre Arts, and School of Music performances (member ticket rates). u Dine with a view from the Campus Club (local and non-Twin Cities membership discounts). u Tour the Raptor Center for a beak-to-nose educational experience (weekend program discounts, save 20% on birthday parties). MEMBERS-ONLY ACCESS u Minnesota Alumni Market, where all products are alumni-made. If you are a graduate of the U, a UMAA member, and owner of your business, we would love to discuss selling your goods. MNAlumniMarket.com u Advance notice and special pricing of exclusive events. Keep an eye on your inbox! u Online access to U of M Libraries (subset of student access). u Continue receiving this award-winning, quarterly magazine! Membership includes your print subscription.
52 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
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William Stevens Lisa Stuppy Brett Swanson Peter Swanson Kristin Sweeney Mei Tang Benjamin Thul Jacqueline Tinberg Manuel Torres Lori Tuominen Mark Tuominen Julia Ulmer William Ung Michael Vespasiano Brady West David Wettergren Betty Carol Whealy John Whealy Jochum Wiersma CarolAnn Winther Christina Wowk Victor Wowk Hao Xu Nancy Zaworski Michael Zell Timothy Zhang Alan Ziskin *Reflects April 14-July 14, 2018
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MARK YOUR CALENDARS EVENTS Join us on September 6 from 3 to 6 p.m. for Minnesota SPARKS in Alexandria, Minnesota. Part of our series that brings U experts to far-flung parts of the state, this event’s focus will be, Understanding Minnesota’s Weather Extremes. Featured speakers are climatologist Mark Seeley, professor emeritus in the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate; and Kenneth Blumenfeld, senior climatologist with the Minnesota State Climatology Office. For more information, visit: UMNAlumni.org/Events. Learn about the food grown on the U’s Cornercopia Student Organic Farm in St. Paul on September 16
from 4 to 8 p.m. The tour will be followed by dinner, prepared with Cornercopia produce, at the Campus Club in Coffman Memorial Union. For more information, visit: UMNAlumni. org/Events. To read about events related to Homecoming, from September 29 to October 6, including Day of Service and Ski-U-Mania, see our Homecoming Guide, page 16. Don’t forget your beloved Alumni Association on Give to the Max Day November 15. Contribute during this 24-hour event and take advantage of matching funds from members of our Board of Directors.
WEBINARS Join us for Foes, Fears, and Failures: Confronting the 3 F’s to Become Your Best on October 25 at noon central time and discover how doing what you do best every day is key to career well-being. This interactive webinar, hosted by author and coach Chad Ellsworth, will help you recharge, rediscover, and rethink who you are and what you want from your work and life. For more information on this and all webinars, visit: UMNAlumni.org/Virtual.
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Fall 2018 MINNESOTA ALUMNI 53
THANK YOU, ALUMNI LEADERSHIP CIRCLE We are deeply grateful for the alumni and friends who have given philanthropic support to the Alumni Association above and beyond membership dues. Their generosity provides critical support for resources that ignite personal and professional success for our alumni and student community. Gifts directed to the Alumni Association are annually recognized in the Alumni Leadership Circle and count toward total University-wide giving. THANK YOU! NORTHERN STAR
($1,000+) Guleid Adam Milton G. Andrews Marvin L. Ballard Patrick & Shirley Campbell Foundation Cannon Family Foundation Courtney A. Costigan Kristin A. Cutler Ronald H. Frick Daniel P. Garry Dhruv Goel Daniel C. Hartnett Family Foundation Eileen Heaser Kurt D. & Amanda K. Hines Kent R. & Elizabeth C. Horsager Stanley S. Hubbard Douglas A. Huebsch Ruban Kanapathippillai David R. & Denise R. Kraft Lisa R. Lewis Daniel & Kim McDonald James E. & Rose M. McDonald David W. Molumby Jane N. Mooty Foundation John W. Mooty Foundation Laura M. Moret Charles C. & Terryl O. Mosher David H. & Karen B. Olson William A. Olson Jason D. Rohloff Maryan S. Schall Jon A. & Kathryn G. Schmoeckel Ann M. Sheldon Margaret Spear Thompson Family Trust Ertugrul Tuzcu & Karen Owen Tuzcu Anthony D. & April L. Wagner John W. Wheeler Gary A. & Sandra L. Wiese Carol A. Wimsatt Nanette S. Wittenberg Bernie Zeruhn
($500-$999) David C. Anderson Anthony J. Bauman Royden A. Belcher Peter R. Bjornberg Patricia A. Brown Leticia A. & Douglas N. Chard Barbara Goodwin John A. Haugen & Alicia R. Reeves Mark A. Hughes Lyle G. Jacobson Steven E. & Katherine Jenson Mark H. Jessen Beverly P. Johnson James P. Johnson Sander M. Johnson Maureen G. & Keith Kostial David P. Kuivanen & Karin Ongko Betty G. Lall* Gina V. Laughlin Jennifer M. Marrone & David H. Short Kevin S. McGrew Gary L. & Rebecca J. Messer Violet I. Meyer David L. & Linda J. Mona C. Robert & Sandra Morris Curtis D. Moses Howard M. & Mary Noack Robert A. Novy Jeffrey R. Ohe Richard E. & Florence K. Olson Jingsu Pu Robert C. Ramsdell Charles J. & Kathleen V. Rosenow Sarah A. Selleck Gregg S. Shadduck & Jeanette M. Sullivan Phyllis M. Smith Becky A. Thacher-Bell Gregory J. Toohey Paul J. Tronsgard Stephen J. Wernersbach
To be included in our 2018-19 Alumni Leadership Circle, go to UMNAlumni.org/give to donate online.
54 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
(up to $499) Wendy K. Abrahamson Monte J. Ackerman Daniel E. Adams Kent R. Adamson Dorothee M. Aeppli Vikas Agarwal Ronald W. & Mary K. Agerter Dennis P. Albrecht Judi A. & Richard Albrecht Jon B. & Jean M. Albrightson William P. Aleman Lynne B. Alexander Katherine Allabadi Andrews Allen John E. Allerson Robert M. Allison Laurence J. Altman Norman J. Alvares* Mary E. Amberg Ronnie J. Ambriz Paul W. & Gretchen L. Ambrosier Mary J. Amundson Barbara C. & Van O. Anderson Craig E. & Elizabeth M. Anderson Dennis P. Anderson James A. Anderson John F. Anderson Juel E. Anderson Michael C. Anderson Michael E. Anderson Michelle J. Anderson Neal E. Anderson Peter D. Anderson Randy N. Anderson Robert E. Anderson Roberta L. Anderson Roger C. Anderson Sandra J. Anderson Susan & Matt Anderson James M. Angermeyr Howard J. Ansel Peter J. Anthamatten Bonita K. Antonsen Paula D. & Kevin J. Ario Ramses Y. Armendariz Melinda P. Armstrong Darlene M. & Leslie C. Arndt Frederick D. Arny Linda L. Aronson
Elaine H. Ashpole Kiros Assefaw Yiu W. Au Mary R. Aukerman David Aune Angela J. Ause Mark R. Axelrod Ola-Lekan & Adejoke A. Ayanwale Robert G. & Katherine E. Baarsch Tien T. Bach & Phuong-Nga Phan Pamela S. & Richard P. Backstrom Ann M. Bajari Duane H. & Angela A. Bakke Iola H. Bakken Dorothy L. Balch Leonard J. Banaszak Frederick J. Banister Mary Ann Bannerman David T. Barker Courtney K. Barrette Janet L. Bartels Diane B. Barthel Lerdall Mary L. Bassett Ann M. & Koen J. Bastiaens Janis L. Batt Marvin E. Bauer Khara L. Baumann Mary S. Baumgartner Gerald F. Baumgartner John P. & Linda A. Beal Mary L. Beale Patricia K. Beattie Kurt J. Bechthold Donald Beck Jodi L. Becker Anna K. & Matthew L. Beckler Julia G. Behrenbeck Kathy P. Belgea Joyce A. Bell Rebecca A. Beltz Douglas T. Bengson Donna M. & Lionel C. Bening Emily M. Benner Peter E. Bennett Patricia K. Benson Roger D. Benson Ashley V. Bents John E. Berglund Gregg C. Bergman Nicholas E. & Elga O. Berkholtz Robert H. Berland Donald M. Berndt Diane & David A. Berrien Ann L. Berry Nancy J. Berry Jane F. Bersie John C. Bertie Kermit M. Beseke Beverly M. Bethune Gwen G. & Lanny R. Betterman Fazil H. Bhimani Donald F. Bibeau John F. Bierbaum
Mark T. Bierman Bruce K. Birnberg John R. & Sheila A. Bjorklund Michael E. Bjorkman Linda M. Bjornberg Marie C. Blackburn Shannon R. Blackmer Michael J. Blaine Shaun M. Blakeman James J. Blanchard Jeanne M. Blaskowski Richard T. Bleyhl Joseph M. Bloedoorn Jon A. Bloom Amy E. Bloomquist Patricia A. Blum George B. & Mary Ann Bodem Joanne H. Boelke Linda A. Boelter Marjorie A. Boening Gary R. Bohn Andrew R. Bohn Richard R. Bonczek Denise L. & Gerald L. Bonde Peter C. & Annette H. Bondy Alison A. Bondy Alan J. Bonham Lawrence P. Bonicatto Bruce H. Boody Karlyn V. Boraas Nicholas K. Boreen Linda L. Boss Kristin H. Bothun May G. Bottke Catharine D. & Judson T. Bradford Marvin A. Bradford Jill C. Brady Doris J. Brager-Rogers & Robert B. Rogers John R. Brand Steve A. & Gail G. Brand Patrick & Cynthia M. Brankin Nancy Brask Richard E. Bredehoft Jerry A. Brinks Christian F. Brocato Robert G. Brockway Charlotte A. Brooker & Eugene G. Mammenga Mark & Jennifer A. Brooks Eric Brotten Melissa M. Brown Susan M. Bruley Juanjuan Bu Robert L. Buckley Lisa D. Buetow Brian L. Buhr Stephen M. Bullard & Karen Gremminger Michelle K. Burgraff Michele A. Burkard Brian D. & Marilyn Burnett Steven P. & Jody Buska Richard S. Butryn Ljubica Caldovic Bridget M. Callaghan
Patricia A. Callaghan Gretchen M. Camp Melis & Oguz C. Candir Bryan D. & Mary Lee D. Carlson Dayton C. & Gwen K. Carlson John P. & Doris L. Carlson Lynne C. Carlson Steven A. Carlson Edward J. & Arlene E. Carney Phyllis A. Carney Rose & Dino Carota Kimberly R. Carpenter Zachary A. Carpenter Peter S. Cartwright Craig J. Caspers Lorenzo A. Castanon Louis A. Cecil Joseph E. Chadwick Rodney D. & Jennifer L. Chaffee John W. Challas Edwin M. Chang Li-Pen Chao Anupama Chauhan Bin Chen Joy A. & Duane A. Chilgren Donald K. Chock Yong Wan B. Choi Vicky L. Christensen Bruce A. Chuchel Constance S. Churchill Jeannine A. Churchill Ronald T. Clappier John R. Clayton Lynn S. Clayton Elizabeth A. Clifton Cathleen R. Clouse Mary D. Coe Cheryl D. Cohen Howard S. & Patricia M. Cohen Charlotte W. Cohn Steven E. Collin Ann R. & Kevin J. Commers Jill S. Constable Kimberly E. Contag Kim M. Cooke Kristen M. Copham Raymond A. Copt Steven R. Corneillier & Kathleen P. Ewer-Corneillier* Cheryl L. Corneliussen Thomas B. Courtice Mary S. Cox Dan E. & Randina J. Cragg Mary Beth Crowley Patrick Cruikshank Michelle Curtis Mary Cyrier Caroline M. Czarnecki Mark E. & Sarah Czuchry Scott D. Dahl Bree N. Dalager Judith A. Daleki Brian L. Danielson Judy A. Danielson
Derrick D. Dasenbrock Allan E. Davis Daniel W. Dawn Constance H. Dawson Patrick J. Day Carol L. De Vore Mario F. Del Carril Gloria K. Delano Peter Delvigs Nancy L. Devine Charles E. Dexheimer Jacqueline L. Dexter Maxine K. Dilliard Linda L. & John S. Dinan Michael W. Dixon & Lauren R. Eidman Marc H. & Stacy K. DoepnerHove Thomas E. & Marlene M. Dohm Lawrence J. Donovan Gary R. Dorek Kaylah D. Douglas Christine R. & Brady Doyle Charles E. Drake Tiffany R. & Jeffrey W. Dreher Dimitri M. Drekonja James R. Driscoll Lennart P. Droege Rita B. Drone Denise S. Dâ€™Rozario Barbara L. Du Fresne Sandra K. Dubbels Margaret C. Ducharme Sallie A. Duerr Carol M. Duff Angela M. Dunn Alisa M. Duran-Nelson Mary M. Dybvig Robert Dykstra Ruth Ann W. Eaton Michael J. & Amy Jo Ebert Grant Ecker Richard B. Edgar Brooks S. & Terri L. Edwards Michele Eggenberger Stephen R. Eikos Frederick Eisenmann Barbara A. Elick Richard D. Elliott Lynn M. Ellis Mohamed T. Elnabarawy Jean M. Elwell-Keir & Terry D. Keir Maureen T. Endert & Wayne D. Weber Clifford P. & Bonnie A. Eng Jeffrey E. & Patricia M. Englin Mike J. & Pamela J. Enz Steven O. & Cheryl Erdman Laurie J. Erickson Lawrence G. Erickson Mark Erickson Peter C. Erickson Orrin S. Estebo Osama M. Ettouney G. Edward Evans
Mauri L. & Robert J. Evans Roberto J. Evaristo Ronald A. Everson James W. & Anne L. Ewing Gary L. Falk Maram Falk Kurt F. Falkman Samuel S. Fan Seija H. Farber Abraham K. Farkas Bruce C. Faust Frederick R. Faxvog Corrine R. & Thomas D. Feinberg Kay L. & Nile R. Fellows Mike & Pam Fenlon Jack E. & Donna S. Ferebee Richard J. & Penny A. Fick Richard L. Finger Marjorie W. & Mitchell T. Fink Scott H. Fisher John N. & Therese Fitch Alfred C. Fleckenstein Tracy E. Fleischhacker Quigley & Lewis A. Quigley David P. & Beverly M. Fleming James R. Flink Dennis L. Flom Jennifer S. Flynn Dennis E. & Pamela A. Ford D Jonathan Forde Janice K. & Darrell W. Forkrud John P. Fosness Paul R. Fossum Nathan H. Fox Deborah L. & Mark Franco Janet L. Fransen John E. Fredell Joel D. Frederickson Lois E. Freeberg-Requa James R. Frelich Mary E. Freppert Joan & Brian Fritz Frederick G. Frogner Patricia K. Fuher Christine L. Gabel Shelly L. & Michael J. Gaffaney Teresa Garcia-Mila Michele L. Gardiner Robert F. Garland William J. Garvelink Dorothy J. Gascoigne Steven Gathje Elizabeth A. & George V. Gawrys James R. George Michael J. Gerber James J. & Josephine A. Gerding Kristin L. German Marla A. Gerths Jane L. Gfrerer Sharon K. & David A. Giel Heidi S. & Howard D. Gilbert Roger L. Gilles Lisa M. Gillette Jacqueline L. Gilliard
William Gingold Jane A. Gisslen Kiernan J. Gladman Christopher D. Glasenapp Bernadette D. Gloeb Roxann R. Goertz & William Repp Lori A. Goetz Harold N. & Cynthia E. Goldfine Andrew J. & Patricia Golfis Jeffrey A. Gorski Melissa J. & Joseph J. Gotchnik Kevin J. Graebel Julianne M. Graham Gregory M. Grambusch Charles M. Gramling Cassandra W. Gray Frank J. Greco & Marcia P. Cassidy Jane N. Greenberg & Richard Ganaher Raymond L. Grefe* David M. Gregg William J. Gremp Jennifer A. Greseth Stacey J. Grimes Mike Grimm Catherine J. Grinney & Stephen Hunter Jessica J. Grolla Gene D. Gross Amy R. Groszbach Austin C. Grove Lynn R. Gruber John P. Guider Ronald J. Guilfoile Randolph K. Gunn Randall H. Guse Winnifred Gustafson Deborah A. Haake Matthew W. Haas Clair R. Haberman Steven F. Hagen LuAnn M. & John E. Hakel Garrison L. Hale Margaret S. Hall Daniel P. Hallberg Brian Halverson Barbara C. Halvorson Gregory J. & Cynthia K. Hames Barbara J. Hamilton-Sustad Rachel E. Hamlin Paul L. Hammel Larry J. Hampel David S. Hanisch Jo-Ida C. Hansen Joshua F. Hanson & Amina N. Fazlullah Melissa K. Hanson Scott D. Hanson Timothy L. Hanson Victoria E. Hanson Paul O. Hardt Dana J. & M. Katherine Harms
Richard N. Harner Phyllis L. Harris Kent D. Harrison Saundra P. Harrison William D. & Barbara J. Harrison Joseph J. & Virginia Hartert Ione I. Hartley John Hartog Fred G. Hartwig Eileen G. Harvala Mary L. & Paul R. Hasecuster James E. Hassett Kathleen J. Haug Donald J. Haugen James W. & Susan K. Hecker Cameron Hedlund Delphine Hedtke Elizabeth A. Heffernan Nancy D. Hegelheimer Phyllis H. Hegland Harwood A. Hegna Pamela K. & Hugh D. Heinecke Russell C. Heinselman Richard R. Heisler Bruce A. Hella Tryg J. Helseth Jay D. Hempe James P. Henderson Tami E. Henderson Thomas M. Hendrickson Frederick J. Herbold Joseph F. & Roberta J. Hering Matthew J. Herrmann Morgan J. Hertzfeld Gary L. & Laurie A. Heyes Patricia T. Hickey Allan A. Hietala Ingrid B. Highland Linda A. & Craig G. Hildebrant James R. & Donna M. Hill John A. & Judith C. Hill Rebecca N. Hill John E. Hoagberg Kirk M. & Anita P. Hoaglund James E. Hobbs Kristine M. Hodges Donald J. Hoffmann & Teresa Hoffman James R. & Karen R. Hoffner Karen R. Holicky-Michaels John H. Holler Carol E. Holm Keith C. & Marie L. Holmquist Donald N. Holzmer Virginia H. Homme Rosemary M. & Daniel D. Hoolihan Stanley B. & Jane E. Hooper Jennifer Hootman Bruce B. Horswell Carol R. Horswill Janis S. Houston Marilyn D. & Robert V. Hovelson Ruth A. Howe Wesley V. Hromatko Fall 2018 MINNESOTA ALUMNI 55
Lucinda L. Hruska-Claeys Trevor C. Huang Daniel D. & Sandra M. Huebener Sarah Huerta James D. Hughart Margaret D. Hughes Bridget A. Hughes-Binstock Jeffrey V. Hulting Richard A. & Donna L. Humphrey David L. Hunter Kent H. & Linda L. Inman Kevin J. Irving Ruth Isaak Scott A. & Sherilee Jackson Patrick E. & Diane L. Jacoby Dwight E. Jaeger David R. Janecky David E. & Kaye M. Jankowski Kevin A. Janni Brian K. Janssen Peter C. Jarnberg Eugene N. Jaster Jay V. Jayashankar Brenda K. Jenks Mark A. Jensen Thomas P. Jensen Ryan T. Jerman Xiaoling Jin James V. Jirousek Gary G. Joachim Allyn B. Johnson Bruce E. Johnson David E. Johnson David L. Johnson Donald W. & Deborah J. Johnson Donovan R. Johnson Douglas L. & Pamela A. Johnson Erika L. Johnson Ernest T. Johnson Gayle S. Johnson James M. & Kristin L. Johnson John C. Johnson Lorraine A. & Warren C. Johnson Lucille M. Johnson Lyle H. & Denise G. Johnson Mary H. Johnson Millicent M. Johnson Nancy Johnson Patricia L. Johnson & Mark Gronlund Russell L. Johnson Scott C. Johnson Shawna D. Johnson Sheila C. & Ronald B. Johnson Sherri R. & Steven P. Johnson Walter D. & Jean Johnson C. Robert & Merryalice M. Jones Lisa M. Jones Lucy R. Jones Richard C. Jones Geri M. Joseph 56 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
Patrick J. Joyce Rami D. Jubara Alyca J. Judge Shannon M. Juen Barbara A. & Marvin D. Juliar Molly K. Jungbauer Robert A. Kadlec Carla J. Kahle Laurie D. Kaiser Sund Ronald E. Kaldenberg Kenneth W. Kan Matthew G. Kane & Elizabeth A. Conway Patricia S. Kane Deanna L. Kanne Miles F. Kanne Paul L. & Alice J. Kapla Robert L. Kaplan Keith F. Kapphahn David L. Kaput Marilyn R. Karasov Hirschel Kasper Eldon G. & Kathleen L. Kaul Marilyn H. & Neil E. Kay Mavis E. & David S. Kelley Casey P. Kelly Sybil Kelly Anna Keltner Daniel P. Kennedy Vida S. Kent Darren G. Kermes Richard Kielty Elinor K. Kikugawa Thomas M. King Frank E. & Johanne S. King Judy T. Kingsberg Karen J. Kingsley Roger A. Kittelson Ingrid H. Kizen Michele D. Klaus Vicki I. Kleeberger Douglas H. Klein Nancy T. Klemek Susan M. Klicka George C. Klima Roderick M. Klinger Sonia E. Klukas Kerry J. Knakmuhs Scott R. Knapp Timothy J. & Lori Kneeland Lisa A. Knoff Celeste & Jim Knudsen Earl O. Knutson Mary E. Kohl Phillip A. & Ellen Kohl Ingrid M. Koller Albin J. & Bonita F. Koniar Kelly Konietzko Brenda B. Koone Alexander A. Kopco David P. & Ann L. Koppe Aaron & Krystal Kornegay Michael J. Kosik Robert B. Kosse James A. Kottmeier Joseph J. Kowalik Ann J. Kratzer
Warren & Carol Krause Timothy D. & Jacelyn A. Krekelberg George J. Kreutzer Kathleen D. Krueger David A. Kuball Mary B. Kuehneman Canto Monica A. & Kenneth C. Kulander Saurabh M. Kulkarni James E. Kurle Duane H. & Carol Y. Kvittem Juhyun Kwon Philip A. La Porte Harvey G. Laabs Stephen P. Labuz Tyler A. Lacey Linda C. Ladley Arvie A. Lake Charles D. Lake Dale L. Lange Ruth W. & Larry Lange Nancy L. Langness Michael G. & Cheryl H. Lanigan Viateur Larouche Carole J. Larson Dennis L. Larson Harold G. Larson Laurie L. & Eric C. Larson Ruth L. & Richard L. Larson Deborah G. & James B. Lasher Emily J. Laskin Roberta M. Lauer James B. Law Judy K. Layzell Mary H. Lazarus Richard C. Lea Nancy J. Leathers James M. Lebret Bryan K. Lee Dustin B. Lee Janet T. Lee Julie Lee Marlyce I. & Donald E. Lee Peter J. & Janis W. Lee Leonard L. LeMay Arthur G. Lemke Paul J. Lennander Christopher A. Lentz William W. Leslie Daniel R. Leth Clair A. Lewis Mian Li Yu Liao & Jie Chen Albert W. Libke Shui-Chih A. & Yueh-Chuan C. Lien Tracy L. Linbo Mark S. Lindau David C. Lindblom Michael A. Lindboe Sherrie L. Lindborg & Farzaneh Kia Rodney M. & Mary F. Lindell Marcia L. Lindseth
Karen L. Linner & Lester S. Shen Bradley M. Linzie Richard L. Listiak Theodor J. & Brendalee Litman Heng Qian Liu Peter W. & Katherine D. Livingston Sharon & Jeffrey M. Livingston Dawn M. Llorca Gerald E. Lockhart Larry A. Lofgren Kirsten E. Loiseaux-Purcell James E. London Anita G. Long Yaohui S. Lou Holly E. Lozada Daniel W. Luchsinger Sara M. Luedtke John D. Luhman Richard C. & Juanita B. Luis Bruce A. Lund Jerome K. Lund Kathren J. Lundquist Qinyan Luo Judith Lykins Jennifer D. Lynch Mary M. Lynch Diane D. Lyngstad Tongshu Ma Gerald M. Maas Frank T. Mabley Patrick R. & Pauline G. Machnik Jolene W. Madden Thomas J. Madigan Edward C. Maeder Richard J. Magnani Mary P. & Helmut K. Maier Christopher P. Maier James H. & Merilee A. Main Gregory N. Maisel Leo G. & Joan C. Majerus Ray L. Makepeace Frank R. & Doreen C. Malin John A. & Judith Malmberg Suzanne D. & Howard I. Malmon Kane J. Malo Bryan E. & Angela M. Malone Marilyn J. Maloney & Mary E. Barstad John F. Manydeeds Joseph H. Marcel-Saint Louis DeMertine John W. Marchant Elizabeth A. Margolis Scott A. Markel Cynthia E. Marsh & C W. Vandersluis Deanise Marta & Michael P. Allen Magdalena Martell Larry D. Martin Robert J. Marxen
Robert B. Marzolf John C. Mascari Betty A. Massie Joseph Mast* John J. Matta Alexandra Matthews Kenneth Mayer Matthew W. Mayo Wan N. Mazli John E. McCall Catherine A. McCarty Rodger P. McCombs John M. McCormick Cameron E. McDaniel Marsha B. McDonald Donna Y. McDuffie Matthew M. McElroy Brian P. McGlinch John D. McGowan Donald E. & June E. McGrath Byron C. McGregor Hugh E. McGuigan Helen S. McIntyre Britta W. & Steven P. McKenna Pamela C. & Thomas R. McKeown Bill & Amy J. McKinney Stuart G. McKneight Gary W. McLeod Sharon A. & Craig R. McNamara Charles W. McPherson Terrance R. McTeague Thomas M. Medwig Thomas A. Mee Frances K. Megarry Mark Meister & Carla Krivak John T. & Helen M. Melbourn Marlys H. Melius Jeffrey P. & Lisa E. Mellas Todd Meltzer Charles J. Mencel Henry E. Menzel Curtiss J. Meredyk Marianne E. Merriman Charles H. Meyer Gregory N. Meyers Robin L. Michaels John S. Mickman Mary E. & Gary Milavetz Robyn A. Millenacker Sharpe & Michael S. Sharpe Fred P. Miller Lenore L. Miller Sue R. Miller Thomas C. Miller Sherry J. Miner Ann M. Minnick & Wayne A. Nealis John P. Moe Peter C. Moe Johanna A. Mohwinkel Emma J. Molls Moyosola F. Momah Corinna R. Moncada Judith R. Monson
Charles F. Montreuil Carlos M. Monzon Thomas A. Mooney Kevin D. Moorhead Marilyn M. Morem Patrick A. Morgan Cathy H. Morris Craig W. Morse Charles H. Moser James B. Mosner Greg S. Mueller Timothy C. & Betty A. Mueller T P. Mullen Angela R. & Steven J. Mund Patrick G. Munt Craig H. Muntifering Akihiko Muramatsu Joseph R. Murashie Brian F. Murn John J. Murnane Gregory R. Murphy & David Engen Manohar L. Muttreja Karla G. Myhra-Bloom & Geoffrey M. Bloom Vivek Narang Nardina L. Nash Mahendra Nath Jill L. Nauman Emilia E. Ndely Thomas E. Neafus Eric E. Neff Kelsey L. Neigebauer Carol J. Nelson Craig A. Nelson Christine I. Nelson Daniel L. Nelson Dennis G. Nelson Muriel B. & Norwood G. Nelson Anton H. Nerad Daniel A. Ness Zachary J. Ness-Deden Janet A. Newberg & Dale J. Duthoy Karen M. Newell Tricia J. Newell Philip N. & Mary E. Newhall Alicia C. Nguyen Quyen T. Nguyen Lisa L. Nicklay Linda C. Nielsen Sally L. Noll Curtis L. Nordgaard Dan C. & Jean M. Norman David R. Novy Robert T. Noyes Yvonne A. Ntem-Diei Donald B. Nuckols Marvin D. Nuorala Kathryn H. Obrien Timothy D. O’Brien Ethel A. Oda Kirk M. & Alice S. Odden Jack D. Odell Brian J. & Sally L. O’Donnell Christofer E. Oelker Richard C. Oftedahl Jeanne A. Ojala Patricia M. Okeson Esti H. Ollerman
Short courses, seminars, and one-day immersions • Out of the Lab and into the Fire: Scientists and the Nobel Peace Prize • The Demoted but Unforgotten Gods of Ancient Scandinavia • Mediterranean Encounters • La Rondine • Climate Change in Our Own Backyards: Evidence and Implications • American Democracy in a Changing World
• The Physics of Superheroes • The Unusual Suspects: Obscure Red Wines • Here Lies: Twin Cities Cemeteries and Their Inhabitants • Fresco Painting: History and Hands-on Practice • The Saint Paul Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald
ccaps.umn.edu/learninglife 612-624-4000 10% discount for UMAA members! 03_LL_FY19_Fall-18-Ad-MinnesotaMag.indd 1
7/16/18 4:46 PM
Eugene W. & Julie M. Ollila Mary A. & Stephen W. Olmsted Sara O’Loughlin Jeanne C. Olsen Kristin A. & Donald J. Olsen Constance J. & S Duane Olson James J. Olson James R. & Sheryl F. Olson Joan M. Olson Linden Olson Thomas D. & Mary Louise O. Olson Thomas P. O’Meara William M. O’Neill Ze H. Ong Katherine K. Onken Peter C. & Heather Opichka Sara E. Opitz Fane W. Opperman John W. Orf Michael T. Orman Ann L. Ornelas Margaret A. Osborne James M. Oscarson Donald C. Oster Karin A. & Gary G. Ostrand Eric R. Overby David W. & Gail C. Owens Nina Pagel
Renuka Paltanwale Jennifer A. Pancratz Michelle R. & Gregory J. Panuccio Constantine S. Papageorgiou Deborah L. Parker James S. Parks Susan V. Parsons John S. Pasowicz Michael F. Patrick Joanne C. Patterson Jerome T. Paulson Sidney J. & Roger A. Pauly Jean E. & Jeffrey J. Paurus Amy R. Pearce Lloyd E. Pearson Sambath Pech Ann K. Peckskamp David M. Pellinger Carolyn V. Pemberton John P. Perkovich Shari M. Perrault Molly A. Perry Daniel F. Perschau James C. Perso Carley F. Pesente Harlan D. Petersen Barry L. Peterson Carl D. Peterson Craig F. Peterson
Eugene J. Peterson Gerald C. Peterson Mary Ann & Garry F. Peterson Douglas J. & Tracey A. Petesch Ryan T. Petz David G. Pfarr Peter J. Pfister Arthur J. Phillips Scott J. & Rebecca T. Pickler Laura N. Pierce Jennifer L. & Chris D. Pierson Gordon C. Pietsch Sheila Piippo Wayne C. Pike James D. Pirie & Linda L. Eells Jerry & Nisie Pitzl Gift Fund Terry L. Placek Miriam & Robert J. Pogulis Elizabeth G. Pohlman Catherine A. Pomeroy Allan R. Poncin Paul E. Portz James V. Pottala John C. Powell Daniel J. Powsner John A. Pringle Jonathan M. Pritchard John E. & Sharolyn T. Ptak James D. Purdy Jeffrey J. Puschell
Ted W. UMAA members receive a 10% discount on continuing professional education courses.
Own Your Career ccaps.umn.edu
58 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
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Anne E. Pusey Yekun Qin Jane E. Quandt Sam A. Quaye Terry J. Quist Karla M. Rabusch Kalpana Ramakrishnan Thomas W. & Cheryl T. Rambosek Seshan Rammohan Darrell W. & Cindy L. Randle Dale R. Rapp Susan H. Rappaport Constance M. & Frank H. Rasmussen Susan L. Rasmussen Robert J. Rausch Dana B. Rebelein Anne Louise Redfern George L. Redman Karen M. Reed Ruth M. Reed Elizabeth A. Reese-Marton Philip C. Reid Karl A. Reinhard Vern Reinhardt Adam Reinhart Susan B. Reinhart Joanne B. Reisberg Ann T. Reisdorfer Eva & Pim Rejhons Joseph A. Reker James R. Renner Harold L. Renollet Amy A. Reuter Marjorie L. Reynolds Royalee Rhoads Francis J. Rian Stephanie A. Rice Barbara A. Richardson Teresa J. Richardson Roger J. Rider Lawrence A. & Barbara Rivers Eric Roach Mark G. Roback Anne C. Robbins Timothy J. Robblee Lisa M. Roche Michael C. Rodriguez Christopher J. Roelofs Robert D. Roesler Mary H. Roessel David L. & Sheila D. Rogers Gerald A. Rosdahl Robert S. Rose George A. Rosevear Paul J. Rothweiler Kristi L. & Robert L. Rousseau Bart D. Routh Juli Rubin Robert M. & Wendy L. Rubinyi Bradley A. Rud Joyce M. Rudenick John B. Rumsey Jeffrey W. Rundgren Kathleen S. & Brent D. Rundquist
David M. Rushenberg Frank P. & Elizabeth L. Russomanno Jill H. Rusterholz Robb G. Rutledge Marie A. & Jon D. Ruzek Catherine R. Ryan Tracy A. Saarela Timothy J. Sagehorn James A. Salfer Makram K. Samaan Melanie Sanco-Gooch Glen P. Sandness Peter Sandvik Jacinta A. Santori Terry R. Sater & Denise Panos Anne M. Sause Gail M. Sauter Lynn R. Scearcy Steven L. Schadegg Clinton N. Schaff Robin E. Schaller Paul M. & Karen G. Schanfield Donna B. Schiff Jill J. Schlofer Su Anne Schloo Andrew M. & Lori L. Schmidt Chad W. Schmidt Maggie Schmidt Gary W. Schnaith Kurt S. Schnapp Jeffrey H. & Patricia A. Schott Meredith E. Schreier David Schroeder Eric K. Schroeder Nancy L. & Douglas A. Schroeppel Bobbi L. & Timothy J. Schroeppel John R. Schroeter Elizabeth C. Schulz Paul D. Schulz Raymond J. Schumacher* Charles H. & Patricia R. Schuveiller George A. & Janet C. Schwartz Rosemary Q. & Jeffrey T. Schwedes Paul J. Scipioni Andrew V. Searles Lawrence J. Seiberlich Timothy C. Sellner William K. Seng Jessica E. Seppala Kinowski David F. & Kari A. Servais Scott A. Setzepfandt Michael V. Severson Morgan A. Shada Seethalakshmi Shambashivan Tatyana A. Shamliyan Michael J. Sheahan Brenda A. Shearer James B. & Leah S. Sheehy Kerry L. Sheehy Teka A. Siebenaler Gene P. Siegal
William Siegel Mary L. & Scott E. Sieling Norman L. Sieling Dave & Lori A. Sievers Hugh R. Silkensen Jennet C. & Greg M. Silverman Joyce M. Simard Bruce L. Simon Peter A. & Serene Simon Robert M. Simonson Kartik Singhal Roy A. & Lana S. Sjoberg Roger J. & Julianna B. Skluzacek Craig D. Skone Timothy M. Skopec Arlene R. Skorich Alan R. Slavik Richard G. Slieter Clyde W. Smith Craig A. & Mary A. Smith George W. & Patti J. Smith Gregory A. Smith Harry L. Smith Susan & Gary D. Smith Terry L. Smith & Linda M. Lorenz Peter T. & Barbara C. Smyth James E. & Ellen B. Snoxell Paula M. & Jeffrey D. Soholt Daniel W. Soiseth Gayle P. Solheim Sandra M. Sonderegger Leilei Song Karin L. Sonneman William J. Sonsin Elise A. Sorensen Jeff D. Sorenson Wayne W. Sorenson Sheryl A. Sostarich Susan B. & Gary M. Soule Faye E. Sparks Robert U. Spear Patricia B. & Guy Spence Michael G. Spencer Amy E. Spiridakis Timothy J. Splinter Barbara L. St. Peter & Neil B. St Peter Mark R. Stahley Barbara J. Stalsberg Jeffrey A. & Kay Stamp Monica M. Stangler Gwen N. Stanley Jody A. Stanton Franklin E. Star Terence W. Steffen Kathleen M. Steffens & Christine M. Imbra Michael L. Stein Robert A. Stein Earle W. & Patricia L. Stevermer Sandra F. Stewart Jeffrey R. Stich Loralee J. Stickel-Harris
Joan O. Stickney Farrell S. & Kathleen J. Stiegler Charles A. Stockwell Michael R. & Beth A. Stoesz Phillip H. Stoltenberg Marybeth S. Stoltz John B. Stone Patrick T. & Sandra D. Stone Allison R. Stoneberg Linda C. Stover Stephen J. & Cecilia C. Strauss Mark E. Strohfus Raymond L. Struck Arnold F. Stull Melita Sturnieks Joseph P. Sullivan Scott G. Sundgren Joan M. Sunram Sunita C. & Shashi M. Suri Charles T. Suss Daniel J. & Sonya Sustacek Bruce N. Swanson Harold R. & Lora L. Swanson Joy E. Swanson Curtis L. Swenson James D. Swenson Winton R. Sweum Edmond A. Sworsky John A. & Lisa M. Taft James S. Tait Ningning Tang & Haitao Wu Hong Tang Victor M. Tapia Loren J. Taple Helder Tavarez Tzeghereda Tekie Sidney L. & Karen Teske Kipling Thacker & Kevyn K. Riley John E. & Janet M. Thames Ashley R. Thill Cheryl P. Thompson David M. & Lane A. Thompson Jeanette L. & Richard K. Thompson Robert L. Thompson Theeratip Thongmeearkom Peter W. Thoreen & Janet S. Marshall-Thoreen Thomas F. Thornton Jennifer H. Thue Mark S. Tiggas Alan K. Tingquist Jeff T. Titon John F. Tocko Myra L. Toconita Mark A. Tomai Steven R. Tower Patricia S. & Tokiaki Toyama Binh V. Tran Dale M. Trapp Juris E. Treibergs Michael L. Trettel Jeffrey A. Trowbridge John R. Trueman
Mark J. Trumm Joan D. Tschida Jon T. & Cheryl J. Tucker Trinity J. Turnbow Brendan J. Turner Dorothy A. Ulbricht Michelle R. Urevig Grilz Jerry L. Utley Robert M. Valente Georgette W. Valle McKenzie Van Der Hagen Ellen T. Van Iwaarden Jody K. & Gary A. Vanderwerf Margaret Vandrovec & Bruce B. Jawer Shannon C. VanPelt Jason A. Varin Mary R. Vasaly Robert S. Vathing Jeanne M. Vestal Mary C. Vidas Mary S. Viking Kueck & John Kueck Myrtle A. Vikla* Thomas H. Vind* Norman M. Vinnes Hema L. Viswanathan Joe Vochko Andrew M. Volin Antoinette L. Volkmeier Jack C. Voller Bruce H. Voss Mary C. Voss & Sharon K. Williams Christopher R. Wagner Richard W. Wagner Kyla L. & Richard J. Wahlstrom Rebecca W. Wahlund Stephen C. & Christina Waldhoff Scott A. & Kathleen S. Wallace Christine A. Walsh Toni Walski Andrew K. Wamugi Shuping Wang Jorgina Wangen Andy M. Wangstad Kimberly Wapola Eric A. Ware David T. Warford Sean M. Warner Jonathan Watkins Gordon V. Watters James M. Weber Michael A. Weber Lanette E. Wedell Eileen Wedge Catherine M. Weflen Margaret R. Weglinski Curtis D. Weitnauer William T. Welch Patrick Weldon Linda M. Wells Craig W. & Judy K. Wendland Donald W. Wennberg John K. Wenner Dennis H. Werling
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Brady P. West Jean M. West George P. Westlund Howard A. & Joycelyn F. Weyker Carol S. Weyrauch David R. & Nancy J. Whitney Richard D. Wieboldt Carol J. Wiegrefe Owen Wigley* William P. Wilczek David R. Wilkowske Patricia F. & Cletus W. Willems Gloria M. Williams Dean M. Williamson Patricia A. Williamson Michelle R. Wills Louise M. Wilson Sharon F. Wilson Thomas B. Winderl Sally C. Wingate Kristen L. Wintheiser Paul D. Wittmer William W. Wolpert Peter M. Wolter Maynard E. Wood Robert C. Wood Susan M. Wootten Victor A. & Christina M. Wowk Winifred C. Wu & Robert Lund Sarah P. Wuest Bradley J. Wuotila
Lynn M. & Alan Wyman Mary E. & Brian M. Xavier Kenichi Yamaguchi Gregory D. & Mary C. Yetzer Bruce C. Young James E. Young Judith E. Young Judith Yourman T A. Yungbluth Adam J. Yust William H. Zabel David J. & Mary E. Zak Mariam T. Zamansky John R. Zamlen Wade A. & Alison A. Zander Yi Zeng Lei Zhang Fei Zheng Matthew R. Ziebarth & Jana Stephens Amy M. Ziegler Joan & Lawrence P. Zielke Leslie K. & Michael T. Zuroski Mary R. & Richard J. Zweber
*deceased Totals include matching gifts and all donations made during the fiscal year: July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018.
Fall 2018 MINNESOTA ALUMNI 59
THE LAST WORD
Sometimes I feel like Harriet Tubman By Taiyon J. Coleman
Taiyon J. Coleman (M.A. ’03, Ph.D. ’13) is a writer and assistant professor of English at St. Catherine University. Illustration by James Heimer
60 MINNESOTA ALUMNI Fall 2018
was invited to speak at a Twin Cities-area school, and it wasn’t until I arrived that the administrator asked me to discuss the immediate challenges facing parents and children in education in Minnesota. Initially, I was hesitant because I didn’t know if I wanted to take a personal risk with the topic. Sure, I could talk about literature, culture, and creative writing, but K-12 education in Minnesota is a sensitive topic freighted with anger, shame, and blame on all sides. And with my own three kids attending Twin Cities-area schools, I have skin in the game. According to the New York Times, “Nationally, black students are suspended three times as often as their white peers; in Minnesota, it is eight times as often.” The recent story points out that while black students comprised 41 percent of the student population in Minneapolis in 2017, they made up 76 percent of the suspensions. Even the best quests for solutions on this issue are mired in the fact that racial disparities in Minnesota are some of the starkest in the nation. A brown parent, a mother, at the back of the room stood and asked, “Can you give an example of implicit bias that has affected your own child in school?” Her question forced me out of the autopilot zone that most professionals slip into when our hubris is set on high. “That’s a good question,” I said, buying time. Looking at the mother, I recognized that her mother body, like many weary parent bodies in the room, was seemingly at ease but conditioned to brace at any moment for the dreaded expected unexpected. I recognized my own mother body and experience inside hers. This is what it feels like to be the parent of a child in Minnesota schools who is the victim of implicit bias. Powerless.
I told the audience about my black children who attend schools in the Twin Cities. Like their momma, they have dark brown skin with beautiful tightly curled hair. They are physically bigger than their classroom peers, and their speech reflects a confidence and experience beyond their years as they hear two different languages at home. Natural leaders, my black children are kind and charming, and like their Tanzanian Bibi (grandmother), a lawyer working for the rights of women and kids, my black children are intelligent, competitive, analytical, and protective. They have a keen sense of fairness and speak up if they sense inequity. These unique qualities that make my black children great are the very same qualities that are perceived by some teachers and administrators as aggressive, adult, disrespectful, loud, defensive, and angry. I laughed and told the mother that as the parent of children experiencing implicit bias, I often feel like Harriet Tubman on the Underground Railroad, trying to help my marginalized children get free, get educated. I added that my husband and I feel incredible fear and guilt at the realization that our own educational success does not protect the brown bodies of our children from the consequences of implicit bias within Minnesota schools. “Yes. That’s just how it feels,” she said to me. In that moment, with those amazing and hopeful parents, I had no choice but to do what most well-meaning professionals in education fail to do: validate the experiences of nonwhite students and their parents, so we all know that we are not alone. We are not the only ones struggling with this very real educational and human rights crisis. And there is strength, hope, and healing in telling our stories.
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