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Linda Thrane

Linda Thrane will become the vice president for university relations January 3.

Faculty and staff: December 2004

By Gayla Marty

From Brief, December 15, 2004

Selected items have appeared in Brief as indicated.


Linda Thrane, executive director for the Council for Biotechnology Information in Washington, D.C., was named vice president for university relations beginning January 3. Thrane formerly served as vice president for public relations at Cargill, as an editorial writer at the Star Tribune, and as a reporter for United Press International. She will follow former vice president Sandra Gardebring, who left the University in September, and interim vice president Tom Swain. For more information, see the news release. (Brief, November 17.) Timothy Mulcahy Timothy Mulcahy (left), professor of pharmacology and associate dean for biological sciences at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, was named vice president for research beginning February 1. At Wisconsin, Mulcahy has also served as vice chancellor for research and associate vice chancellor for research policy. He will follow interim vice president David Hamilton, who has served for two years and will return to the Medical School faculty. For more information, see the news release. (Brief, November 10.)

Greater collaboration between the University of Minnesota and Hennepin County will be fostered by a new liaison, Kathie Doty. A U employee, Doty reports to both the director of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) and to the Hennepin County deputy administrator. "It makes sense that the state's largest county and largest educational institutional strategically coordinate our efforts to find the best solutions in this era of shrinking resources," said Hennepin County commissioner Linda Koblick, a strong advocate for the position. Doty's work will include bringing the most current U research and practices to bear on services and decisions in Hennepin County. "She will be ranging all over the U and the county, looking for opportunities for research to connect with practice," says U community relations director Jan Morlock. Doty's office is part of CURA, located in the Humphrey Center. She can be reached at 612-625-4383 or For more information, see the Hennepin County news release.

U.S. Bank executive Jacqueline Copeland-Carson is a new senior fellow at the Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs, appointed in November. As part of the Center for Leadership of Nonprofits, Philanthropy, and the Public Sector, Copeland-Carson will conduct research in the areas of economic development, philanthropy, and evaluation for Minnesota's changing nonprofit sector, including groups that serve immigrants and other communities. For more information, see the news release.

Two interim appointments at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, were announced. Mary Feller, who has served as a financial aid officer and admissions counselor, is interim director of admissions; vice chancellor for enrollment management Jim Mootz is leaving the Crookston area but will consult with the admissions office for the coming year. Interim head of the Department of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences is longtime faculty member Bill Peterson.

Canine officer Raven and officer Daniel Hugger are two new members of the University of Minnesota Police Department sworn in November 17. Raven, a female Dutch Shepherd handled by officer Ryan Rivers, had assisted in her first arrest November 10. For more information, see the news release.


Jan Hogan Jan Hogan (right), professor of family social science in the College of Human Ecology, Twin Cities, has been named to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agriculture Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board. The 31-member board advises the USDA on national policies and priorities from homeland security to obesity. Hogan is an expert in family resource management and decision-making, whose research focuses on the saving patterns of low-income families and family financial management decisions. For more information, see the news release.

Two U faculty members were named to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in October: Apostolos Georgopoulos, professor of neuroscience and director of the Brain Sciences Center at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, and Michael Osterholm Michael Osterholm (left), professor of public health and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. The institute is recognized as a national, independent resource for analysis and recommendations on health issues, and members study a broad range of health policy issues. For more information, see the news release.

Senior vice president for health science Frank Cerra was elected chair of the Association of Academic Health Centers beginning in fall 2005. The association is a national, nonprofit organization that advocates for leadership of academic health centers in education, research, and health care delivery. For more information, see the news release.

Medical School dean Deborah Powell was elected chair of the American Association of Medical Colleges Council of Deans beginning immediately. The nonprofit association represents all 125 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools. For more information, see the news release.


The newly renovated social science building at the University of Minnesota, Morris, will be named John Q. Imholte Hall to honor the former chancellor and distinguished professor of history. One of Morris's founding faculty members, Imholte was its first provost, served as chancellor from 1969 to 1990, and is now a professor emeritus. "Because of Jack's lifetime of devoted service to our college, [this is] the right thing, for the right person, at the right time," said chancellor Sam Schuman. The campus plans to celebrate the new name next fall with the Imholte family, friends, and community. (Brief, December 1.) Henry Mann, professor of clinical and experimental pharmacy and director of the Center for Excellence in Critical Care, will receive the Weaver Medal for distinguished contributions to the College of Pharmacy December 16. Mann played a key role in beginning the nontraditional doctor of pharmacy degree. His research focuses on how critical illness affects the way the body handles drugs. For more information, see the news release.

Lanny Schmidt Lanny Schmidt (left), Regents Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, was named to the 2004 Scientific American 50. The list is published annually in Scientific American magazine's December issue to recognize outstanding acts of leadership in science and technology. Schmidt was cited for inventing the first reactor capable of producing hydrogen from a renewable fuel--ethanol from corn. To read more about Schmidt's work, see "Hydrogen from renewable resources within reach" in UMNnews. See also the Institute of Technology Web site.


The three 2004 winners of the Siehl Prize for Excellence in Agriculture were announced by the College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Science November 8. The prize is awarded in three categories: agribusiness, academic, and production. Winners receive $50,000 and were honored in a ceremony at the McNamara Alumni Center.

For more information, see the news release.

A gift of $100,000 for American Indian student scholarships to attend General College, Twin Cities, was made in honor of the late Richard Lussier, Red Lake Objibwe band, by alumnus Scott Davis of Alexandria, Minn. About one-third to half of Native American students on the Twin Cities campus--176 last spring semester--have entered through General College. For more information, see the news release.


Public health pioneer Ancel Keys died November 20 at the age of 100. Keys was renowned for his research establishing the connection between diet, cholesterol, and heart disease. His World War II laboratory conducted research and training in the new field that combined physiology, nutrition, epidemiology, and prevention research and was the precursor to the School of Public Health's Division of Epidemiology. A memorial service was held December 4. For more information, see the news release.

Robert Dexter, associate professor of civil engineering and a leading expert on steel fatigue and cracking, died November 16 of acute leukemia. He was 48. Dexter's research on wind-induced vibrations in signs, signals, and stadium lights was the basis for national code changes. His work on steel cracking in ship panels, funded by the U.S. Navy, contributed to a significant change in the design of naval ship welds. He worked with the Minnesota Department of Transportation nd the state bridge engineer's office on projects including bridges over the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers. He also served as adviser to the student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineering and to the steel bridge and concrete canoe teams. A memorial service was held November 20. For more information, see the news release.

Former governor and University regent Elmer Andersen died November 15 at the age of 95. University presidents from C. Peter McGrath to Robert Bruininks remembered his service and devotion to the University and his intellectual breadth and rigor. For more information, see "Elmer L. Andersen 1909-2004: Longtime servant of the University" in UMNnews. (Brief, November 17.)

Former senior vice president for health science Lyle French died unexpectedly October 19 in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the age of 89. French was a neurosurgeon in the Medical School and instrumental in persuading the state legislature to fund construction of the Phillips-Wangensteen Building and Moos Tower in the 1970s. For more information, see the news release.