Are you looking for something to do in Rochester on a Tuesday night? Please join us for these FREE Professional Speakers every Tuesday at 7:00 pm. During June, July, and August you can enjoy these presentations or performances outside on the Peace Plaza, and the rest of the year (or inclement weather) we head inside to University Square room 417, on 4th floor of the University of Minnesota Rochester (downtown Rochester, MN). Get directions here.

UMR CONNECTS is committed to supporting the University's overall mission of public engagement and outreach by fostering connections between the University, its students, and those who live in or visit our community. In support of this, UMR launched a weekly professional speaker series for the Rochester community and visitors in 2011, entitled "UMR CONNECTS," which just celebrated the 10,000 attendee milestone! The University of Minnesota Rochester strives to sustain an open exchange of ideas in an environment that embodies the values of academic freedom, responsibility, integrity, and cooperation. Please check the Google Calendar for up-to-date cancellation or location-change information, and contact Nick Anderson at 507-258-8053 or with any other questions.

Following a specific theme each month, this weekly professional speaker series will connect you to speakers, authors, panels, etc. on a variety of engaging topics. No pre-registration is required, and we hope you will join us!

Would you like to receive a monthly email with the list of upcoming speakers, and information on other happenings at UMR? Sign up here!

 2014 Schedule of Events

(Schedule is subject to change. * Denotes tentative information: final details still to come)
Would you like to easily add the UMR CONNECTS events you're interested in to your own Google calendar? Click here!
This page lists only UMR CONNECTS events. Please check the Event Calendar for other events taking place at the University of Minnesota Rochester.

September Reminder: Indoor Season Begins
(Events will be held indoors in room 417, 4th floor of University Square)

September ~ Spirituality and World Religion

September 23 ~ Old Order Amish: In the world, but not of the world

Drucilla Milne, Author, "Amish Voices of Harmony."

Drucilla lived on a farm near Harmony within the Amish community for many years. Living in close contact with her Amish neighbors enabled her to interact with families. She earned their trust, shared their humor, and learned about their struggles with their shunning practices. She also shared their heartwarming times as families and a community. Despite the changes that have taken place in the past 40 years, the Amish continue to live without modern conveniences, rejecting the world as we know it. They call attention to this separation by referring to this as "your world and/or our world." There are many ways they separate from the world at large and there are several Bible verses on which they base their practices and beliefs.

September 30 ~ Toleration and Intolerance of Other Religions in the Christian Bible

Joe M. Sprinkle, Ph.D., Professor of Old Testament, Crossroads College

Toleration is not always a characteristic of religion, though it is an important value in today's society. Moreover, the definition of tolerance has changed considerably over the last fifty years. After defining what tolerance ought to mean, this talk will discuss ways in which the Bible in both Old and New Testaments is both tolerant and intolerant of other religions. This will lead to reflections on toleration between religions today.

October ~ Bioethics

October 7 ~ History of Bioethics

Alex Kromminga, E.J.D. Director of Student Conduct, Winona State University

This presentation will look at the history of Bioethics with the understanding that this new discipline is located between the intersections of medicine, theology, politics, the life sciences, law and moral philosophy. The emergence of bioethics was the outcome of a number of different historical developments, including social movements, technological developments, the setting of legal precedents, the breaking of medical scandals, changes to the institutions of medicine, new ways of saving and prolonging life, and the appearance of new diseases.


October 14 ~ Next-Generation Sequencing: Brute Force & Big Data

Dr. Kenneth Beckman, Director, Biomedical Genomics Center, UMTC

The modern era has been one of technological revolution, with new methods for acquiring and analyzing data resulting in far-reaching changes that have broad implications for society. Personal computing, the Internet, and cell phones are three obvious examples. In the coming decade or two, revolutions from the life sciences are poised to combine with and amplify these other technologies, brining the concept of "Big Data" into medicine. In this talk, Dr. Beckman will describe the ways in which the Big Data revolution has already re-made life science research itself, and how this revolution is about the spill over into the lives of us all.


October 21 ~ Shades of Grey: Ethics and Controversies in Brain Death

Dr. Jennifer Needle, Assistant Professor, Center for Bioethics and Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Medical School

Recent headlines about patients who are declared brain dead but remain on life support have raised questions about what it means to be brain dead.  How has the concept and controversy evolved over time for medicine, ethics, religion, and society?  This talk will explore the history and science of brain death, the implications for patients and their families, and how ethics addresses these concepts.


October 28 ~ Ethical Quandaries and Emerging Technology: Direct-to-Consumer Advertising and Testing

Dr. Aaron Kostko, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Dr. Kelsey Metzger, Assistant Professor of Life Sciences, University of Minnesota Rochester        

Should pharmaceutical companies be targeting their advertising directly to consumers? Should genetic test results be provided to individuals without the guidance of a physician or genetic counselor? Participants in this interactive session will consider these and other questions through facilitated discussion.

November ~ Terrorism

November 18 ~ University of Minnesota Marching Band, at Rochester Civic Center

UMR CONNECTS takes a week off to promote one of the most exciting and highly visible organizations on the UMTC campus! The Minnesota Marching Band provides enthusiastic support to the University's athletic programs, and represents the University with pride, at home and away. See them online here.

December ~ Natural Disasters

December 23 ~ ***NO EVENT*** Happy Holidays!
December 30 ~ ***NO EVENT*** Happy Holidays! 


 UMR CONNECTS Google Calendar