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!


2015 Schedule of Events

(Events will be held indoors in room 417, 4th floor of University Square)

(Schedule is subject to change. * Denotes tentative information, with 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.

January ~ Adapting Today to Protect Our Future

January 20 ~ The Evolution of Business: Adaptation or Extinction
Stephen Troutman, Futurist, Keynote Speaker, Facilitator, and Community Volunteer.

Free Professional Speaker Series Businesses, and all organizations, must change over time or they risk losing relevance and going out of existence. Understanding the future and preparing for it has become a critical capability. In this original presentation, we will look at some adaptive changes from history, using some IBM and the Mayo Clinic examples, and then turn our sights on what futurists today are saying about the future. We will briefly touch on the ways organizations go about doing foresight work (i.e. Futuring).


January 27 ~ Emerging Infections in the Modern World: A View From the Front Windshield and Rearview Mirror
Michael Osterholm, PhD, MPH

An extremely timely topic following the national worry concerning Ebola, this presentation brings to Rochester one of the nation's leading experts on the public health risk of infectious disease. Dr. Osterholm will discuss how epidemics spread so quickly, as well as touch on the likelihood of whether an epidemic could actually 'end' the world. For more information, click here.

February ~ The Often Forgotten: Prisons, Poverty, and Homelessness

February 3 ~ What Do We Know After 30 Years of Research on Homelessness in Minnesota?
Greg Owen, Consulting Scientist, Wilder Research
In this presentation, Greg Owen, a Consulting Scientist at Wilder Research in St. Paul, will describe the origins of homelessness research in Minnesota and key changes that have been observed over the past 30 years. The presentation will include study results related to health, mental health, and housing barriers as well as a comparison of how homelessness in the Rochester area compares to homelessness elsewhere in Minnesota. Participants will have a chance to discuss the range of challenges we face in our efforts to end homelessness.

February 10 ~ Pregnancy and Parenting Support for Women in Prison
Rebecca Shlafer, Ph D; Assistant Professor in the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Dr. Shlafer will discuss the complex mental and physical health needs of incarcerated pregnant women. She will share information about an innovative program at the women's state prison and her ongoing research through this community-university-corrections partnership. In addition, Dr. Shlafer will discuss recent legislation aimed at improving the care for pregnant women in custody and the University's role in translating science to inform public policy on this topic.

Febuary 17 ~ Combating Poverty and Social Justice Issues in Rochester and Around the World
Glen Morris, UMR Student, The UMR Oxfam Chapter; Activators, Global Brigades, HELP, and Intercultural Club
This event will focus on the source of social inequalities and what is being done here in Rochester, MN by hearing presentations from the Oxfam America student club at UMR, the Activators student club at UMR, along with the Channel 1 Food Bank. Oxfam is a global organization, working to "right the wrongs" of poverty, hunger, and other social injustices. Activators is a group dedicated to creating social impact within the city of Rochester by addressing issues such as homelessness, poverty, human trafficking, and all forms of stigma. During this event, there will be other social justice UMR student groups present which you are welcome to interact with following the shorter presentation portion. Join us this evening to see how UMR students are dedicated to making a change, and how they are actively making those changes happen. (If you'd like, please bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the Channel 1 Food Bank.)

February 25 ~ Humility Ability
Sanni Brown-Adefope, Radio/TV Personality, Behavioral Therapist, and Speaker
Sometimes we forget that as human beings, we really have a lot more in common than we think...regardless of the circumstances. As a result, I believe this negatively effects our ability to connect with each other on a deeper level...a human level. During a month of "The Often Forgotten: Prisons, Poverty, and Homelessness," this UMR CONNECTS event can help us to remember those who've fallen on hard times. It also gives us a chance to feel and find inspiration that will move us to take action on it. My goal is to use my experience with homelessness to help make that happen.


March ~ The Amazing Human Brain

April ~ The Great Unknowns

May ~ Conspiracy Theories, Revisited!