Past Events - 2012

Welcome to the 2012 UMR CONNECTS past events page. All presentations on this page have already taken placeYou can view the list of upcoming presentations here.

December Theme ~ 2012: The Year in Review

December 18 ~ Great Shipwrecks and the Lighthouses Built to Protect Us

The waters of Lake Superior are known for being dangerous & deceptive. Great Lakes mariners have watched walls of water appear out of nowhere and swallow ships whole! In this the upcoming one hundred anniversary year of the of the 1913 storm known as “The White Hurricane” and “The Big Blow,” hear the stories & see the lake at her most aggressive! Also, hear of the rise of the U. S. Lighthouse Service & the Lighthouses built to protect ships & mariners alike!

Speaker: John Grabko has worked with the Minnesota Historical Society/Historic Forestville as Site Supervisor the past 10 years. An alumnus of Mankato State University, he has presented and shared his passion for Minnesota and American history with dozens of groups during the past 20 years. In 2009 he founded "Historic Adventure & Travel Tours," taking interested travelers the next step in walking the ground where history happened!

December 11 ~ Cosmic Catastrophes: Apocalypse, When?

Our existence on Earth is at once robust and fragile. Life manages to survive under a wide range of conditions, but we also live under constant threat from all manner of events in the vast universe. In the talk, we will explore a variety of ways our world could end, why it won't happen at the end of the Mayan Long Count, and we'll wax philosophical questions about whether the universe itself might have prevented us from ever existing. You may lose some sleep after this talk -- not from the fear but from the amazing perspectives we gain on humanity when we think big.

Speaker: Professor Lawrence Rudnick is an observational astrophysicist from the University of Minnesota, studying both the remnants of supernova explosions and the very large-scale structures in the Universe. He uses a wide variety of ground and space-based telescopes in the radio, x-ray, infrared and optical portions of the spectrum. He is heavily involved in public outreach activities and K-12 science education including the planetarium program of the Bell Museum. For 14 years, he was a consultant and on-screen expert for TV's Newton's Apple. Rudnick also conducts workshops on science communication and teaching in departments across the University. Professor Rudnick has been recognized with the Morse-Alumni Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education and the Outstanding Community Service Award at the University of Minnesota.

December 4 ~ Election in Review

This session will examine the 2012 Election. It will focus specifically on the race for President, as well as the overall results for both houses of Congress, and also the state legislature. Explanations for the results, the post-election narratives, and an attempt to project what the 2012 election means for the future will also be provided.

Speaker: Chad Israelson has been a history instructor at Rochester Community and Technical College since 1996 and received "Outstanding Teacher of the Year" in 2003 and again in 2012! He has been the Faculty President at RCTC from 2010 to the present. He has a BA in History from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and an MA in History from the University of Nebraska. Mr. Israelson writes a monthly political column for the Post Bulletin newspaper and does political analysis for KTTC and KAAL TV stations.


November Theme ~ Patents and Innovative Research

Are you intrigued by ideas, innovation, or inventions? Please join us in November as we explore the endless possibilities created by the human imagination and discuss the importance of research and invention to the nation's economic vitality, as well as innovations and patents related to regenerative medicine, blood testing, and informative technology.

November 27 ~ Intellectual Property Patents

This session will focus on intellectual Property Patents: specifically a recently won intellectual property patent lawsuit regarding the patenting of blood tests.

Speaker: James Rogers, Director of the Patent Office at Mayo Clinic, formerly worked at 3M and has a significant amount of experience on both the legal and licensing sides of patent law. He is an attorney, and before becoming the director managed the patent liaisons group that conducted patentability searches for the tech transfer office, and "freedom to operate" searches for the DLMP group responsible for in-house licensing. James was the "go to" person whenever licensing managers needed help with the legal aspects of any agreements.

The speaker will describe the patent process at Mayo Clinic, including how inventions are disclosed, protected and commercialized. In addition, the speaker will compare the process at Mayo Clinic with the process he followed while at 3M. The speaker will also give an overview of Mayo's recent Supreme Court victory relative to patenting laws of nature.

November 20 ~ Medical Innovations at Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic has a long history of medical innovation. Advances such as cortisone, open heart surgery, and the medical record are a few well known examples. This presentation will go over the process of innovation at Mayo Clinic, including a review of current projects. These projects include technologies in areas such as regenerative medicine, minimally invasive surgery, personalized medicine, and information technology.

Speaker: Andrew Danielson is Technology and Business Development Manager in Mayo Clinic Ventures. He works to identify, develop, and license technologies arising from Mayo Clinic Researchers and Clinicians. He manages multiple development projects around novel devices, biotherapeutics, and information technology. Mr. Danielsen received his B.S. in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, his M.S. in Molecular Biology from the Mayo Graduate School, and is a registered Patent Agent.

Mr. Danielsen often collaborates with Charles J. Bruce, M.D., a sample of their work may be seen at:

November 13 ~ IBM Master Inventors for a Smarter Planet

The role of Master Inventor is both an honor and an important responsibility reserved for leading inventors at IBM whose talents, insights, and contributions are not only exemplary, but critical for IBM's continued leadership and growth in Intellectual Property. Master Inventors at IBM have mastered the patent process, mentored broadly, added value to IBM's portfolio and demonstrated sustained innovation leadership and service.

Smarter Planet provides a platform to apply what we know about infrastructure technologies and business insights to our clients' problems and opportunities. The world is becoming instrumented and interconnected. IBM is positioned to infuse intelligence into these physical and technological infrastructures, systems and processes, which can improve the way businesses, governments, economies, and societies run.

The Master Inventors are critical to providing innovative solutions that, when applied, simply make the world work better. That's what it means to build a Smarter Planet and it takes thought leaders like Master Inventors to make it happen.

Speakers: IBM Master Inventors Charles Archer and Mike Blocksome.

Charles Archer is a Master Inventor and an Advisory Software Engineer at IBM, and has worked as an architect for various IBM supercomputing projects.

Charles joined IBM in 2001 in Rochester, Minnesota, as a Software Engineer working on sockets and grid technologies and has been a team lead for BlueGene/L and BlueGene/P's MPI (Message Passing Interface) implementation, a designer/architect for software for Los Alamos Road Runner - all of which have made the top 10 in the Top500 Supercomputing List including the most recent #1 Supercomputer Blue Gene/Q Sequoia. Charles currently has over 150 pending or issued patent applications most of which are related to massively scalable systems and supercomputing.

Charles received a BS degree in Chemistry and a BA degree in Mathematics from Minnesota State University (Moorhead) in 2000. In 2001, he received a MA degree in Chemistry from Columbia University in the city of New York. In 2008, he completed a MS degree in Computer Science at the University of Minnesota, and the Ph.D. program for Computer Science at the University of Minnesota.

November 6 ~ Gather to Watch Election Results

Due to the presidential election we will not have a traditional UMR CONNECTS session with a speaker. Instead, please join us for an Election Open House! Cheer on your candidate and enjoy free appetizers and desserts as we watch the election results live. We will be televising the election results from 6:30-8:00pm. Plan to stop in after you have voted, or on your way to the voting booth! Voting hours are 7:00am-8:00pm. For more information on voting visit:


October Theme ~ Public Policy

October 30 ~ The Fiscal Cliff and the Lame Duck Congress with Tim Penny

Congress has not approved a budget in three years as Democrats and Republicans refuse to negotiate. Now, worried about offending voters with an election looming, politicians have again delayed action on a budget. But a fiscal cliff looms at the end of this year – making it dangerous to postpone action any longer. On January 1, 2013, absent a budget agreement, the Bush era tax cuts will go away – raising taxes on every American. The Obama payroll tax cuts will expire – returning Social Security payroll taxes from 4 percent back to 6 percent. Across the board spending cuts averaging $100 billion per year will begin to be implemented. Will Congress and the President reach a budget deal in a “lame duck” session between the election and the end of the year? What kind of agreement might they seek? If they fail, what will the consequences be for our federal budget and our economy?

Speaker: The Honorable Tim Penny, President/CEO of Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation

October 23 ~ "What Is It That We Really Disagree About, and What Can Be Done About It?"

Are we “more divided than ever? If so, what is it that we really disagree about? Is it abortion, gay marriage, immigration, and entitlements, or are those just examples of more fundamental disagreements? I will suggest two fundamental areas of disagreement: (1) the nature of the human condition; and (2) the roles of individuals and governments. The prospects for agreement on the first topic are dim, but the field of public finance provides a framework for analysis of the second topic.

Speaker: Bryan Dowd, Ph.D. Professor, U of M School of Public Health, Policy and Management

October 16 ~ The Built Environment and Health – New Prescriptions for Prevention

What do you get when you bring Doctors, Planners, Engineers, and Public Health officials together? Learn about collaborative efforts in Rochester to improve opportunities for healthy living through policy, promotion, and changes to our physical environment.

Speakers: Robin G. Molella, MD, MPH and Mitzi A. Baker, AICP. Dr. Molella works in preventive medicine and serves as the consulting physician to Olmsted County Public Health. She has provided leadership to the Olmsted County Statewide Health Improvement Program Executive Leadership Committee, and has been active in supporting a built environment that supports healthy living. Mitzi is a community planner and has been focusing efforts on transportation and development policies that support active living and healthy communities.

October 9 ~ Legislation and Public Policy Surrounding Sexual Violence

Speaker: Donna Dunn became the Executive Director of MNCASA in July, 2006. Prior to this, Ms. Dunn served as the program manager of the Sexual Violence Justice Institute, the criminal justice arm of the coalition. An activist in the movement to end violence against women, Ms. Dunn has over 20 years of experience in community based private non-profits. She was the director of Victim Services of Dodge/Fillmore/Olmsted Community Corrections and served as the Sexual Assault Program Director for the state of Minnesota. Ms. Dunn has lectured on team collaboration and sexual assault response across the U.S. She believes that multidisciplinary collaboration brings together the community forces that need to be working in tandem to stop violence against women. She is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College and Vanderbilt University.

Speaker: Caroline Palmer joined MNCASA in 2008. As staff attorney she works to develop MNCASA's policy agenda, provide technical assistance to member programs, organize trainings for criminal justice and social services professionals, and develop educational resources. Prior to her duties at MNCASA she was the Pro Bono Development Director at the Minnesota State Bar Association and a staff attorney at the Minnesota AIDS Project. Ms. Palmer is a graduate of Barnard College and Hamline University School of Law (where she is currently an adjunct professor). She also completed the Policy Fellows Program at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

October 2 ~ Discussion on the Marriage Amendment and Stories of How Policy Impacts Our Lives

Members of the greater Rochester community will share stories reflecting different perspectives on marriage and the marriage amendment. This will be followed by a moderated discussion open to the audience. The goal is to provide education about and dialogue on the proposed marriage amendment.

Speakers: Allan Witz, James Martinson, Robert Werner, Madeleine Hammerlund, and Ann Smith


September Theme ~ Election 2012

Sept 25 ~ The Voter ID Debate in Minnesota - Across the Nation

The nationwide debate over voter ID has found its way to Minnesota, where voters this fall may be asked whether to amend the state constitution to require voters to show photo ID at the polls. Minnesota isn’t the only state debating ID, however – and the issue isn’t new to the 2012 campaign. Join Doug Chapin, an election expert at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, as we put Minnesota’s ID debate into a national and historical context and discuss how ID could reshape the voting process here and across the country.

Speaker: Doug Chapin is the director of the Humphrey School’s Program for Excellence in Election Administration. Chapin came to Humphrey in 2011 after 10 years at The Pew Charitable Trusts, where he served as director of Election Initiatives for the Pew Center on the States. Under his leadership, Pew's elections team successfully lobbied for enactment of military and overseas voting reform in Congress and state legislatures; enlisted dozens of states and technology partners like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook to provide official voting information online and via mobile technology; and worked with election officials, academics, and technical experts to design and implement efforts to upgrade the nation's voter registration systems. Prior to serving at Pew, Chapin was an attorney in private practice specializing in election and ethics law. He served as elections counsel to the Democrats on the U.S. Senate Rules Committee from 1997 to 2000, where he focused on federal election legislation and participated in the review of the disputed 1996 Senate election in Louisiana. He holds a law degree from Georgetown University, a master of public administration degree from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and an A.B. in politics from Princeton University.

Sept 18 ~ Women and Politics in Today's World

During this election year, one wonders why the U.S. does not have a woman presidential candidate. Other nations in the world have had women leaders. What factors have prevented the supposedly most democratic nation in the world from nominating and even electing a woman to the highest office in the land? The purpose of this presentation is to develop an understanding of the role and status of women in poitical systems in today's world.

Speaker: Dr. Cecilia G. Manrique is a professor and chair of the Political Science/Public Administration Department at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and has been with the institution for more than 20 years. She received her doctorate in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame. Her areas of specialization are Comparative Politics and International Relations especially having to do with the developing world. She has published in the fields of immigration and incorporating technology in the Political Science classroom. She is the author of The Houghton Mifflin Guide to the Internet for Political Science which went into two editions. She also co-authored a book with Dr. Gabriel Manrique of Winona State University entitled The Multicultural or Immigrant Faculty in American Society published by the Mellen Press of New York and a chapter entitled “A Foreign Woman Faculty’s Multiple Whammies” in the book Women Faculty of Color in the White Classroom edited by Lucila Vargas and published by Peter Lang of New York. She also teaches courses in Women and Politics.

Sept 11 ~ A History of Presidential Elections

Chad Israelson will provide an examination of the origins of how we elect the President, how the election of the President has changed, and noteworthy or unusual elections.

Speaker: Chad Israelson has been a history instructor at Rochester Community and Technical College from 1996 to the present and received “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” in 2003 and again in 2012! He has been the Faculty President at RCTC from 2010 to the present. He has a BA in History from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse and an MA in history from the University of Nebraska. Mr. Israelson writes a monthly political column for the Post Bulletin newspaper and does political analysis for KTTC and KAAL TV stations.

Sept 4 ~ Politainment: The Ten Rules of Contemporary Politics

Politics is perplexing and the 2012 elections are confusing. How can we make sense out of the candidates and the issues? The simple truth is that politics can be reduced to ten simple rules. Come and hear about the rules of politics, ways to research the election, and learn to think about both like an insider. As an added bonus, a prediction on winners and losers!

Speaker: David Schultz is Hamline University professor at the School of Business in St. Paul, Minnesota and is the author of more than 25 books and 90 articles on various aspects of American politics, media and politics, campaigns and elections, and election law. David is a nationally and internationally recognized and respected political analyst whose comments have appeared in places including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Los Angeles Times, MSNBC ABC, NBC, and CBS News.


August Theme ~ The Great Outdoors

August 28 ~ The Raptor Center: Raptors of Minnesota (At Least 3 Live Raptors Will Be Present!)

This event is a learning experience you will not soon forget! The Raptor Center of the University of MN will explore the different raptors found in Minnesota and their role in the environment. You will learn the three key features of ALL raptors and learn why they are different from other birds. Discussion will include the positive and negative impact humans have on our environment, including some of our greatest environmental success stories, such as the peregrine falcon and the bald eagle. The Raptor Center will share its important role in protecting raptors and the world we share. You will leave feeling inspired and empowered, having learned specific ways you can help protect raptors and the environment.

Established in 1974 as part of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, The Raptor Center rehabilitates more than 700 sick and injured raptors each year, while helping to identify emerging environmental issues related to raptor health and populations. An internationally renowned education facility, The Raptor Center trains veterinary students and veterinarians from around the world to become future leaders in raptor medicine and conservation. In addition, The Raptor Center reaches more than 200,000 people annually through its unique public education programs and events.

August 21 ~ Is Recreation an Amusement, or, Something Else? And, What do Trout have to do With It?

Recreation has increasingly become an essential part of the lives of busy people. What do we do in the name of recreation that provides benefits that we couldn't get from another source? What are the aspects of an activity that are essential for recreational fulfillment? Does your recreational fulfillment depend on the presence of other people, the aesthetics of your environment, a contest between yourself and past experience, personal risk, or a chance to experience a highly unlikely event? Join with us in an exploration of how and why we engage in recreational activities. Answer for yourself the question: What do trout have to do with it?

Speaker: George R. Spangler, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota; Chairman of the Board of Directors, National Trout Center
Raised in California's north Sacramento Valley, I learned to fish for trout in the streams and rivers in the shadow of Mount Lassen. My avocational passion turned to a professional pursuit as I studied fisheries biology at Humboldt State University and zoology at the University of Toronto. As a research scientist for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, I studied lamprey predation on whitefish in Lake Huron, and the population dynamics of splake hybrids as part of a Great Lakes trout rehabilitation program. Joining the faculty in Fisheries and Wildlife at the University of Minnesota, I taught fish population dynamics, fishery science, and Native American treaty rights for the next 30 years. Research interests at Minnesota included the biology of invasive fishes, dynamics of fish in large lakes, fishery rehabilitation, biochronology of fishes and Native American Resource management. Now retired in the Root River valley of southeastern Minnesota, I am enjoying the opportunity to help others derive knowledge and satisfaction in the pursuit of wild trout in Minnesota's stream trout fisheries.

August 7 ~ Minnesota's Dedicated Environmental Funding: Minnesota's Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund and the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources

Speaker: Jeffrey Broberg, McGhie & Betts Environmental Services, Inc.


July Theme ~ Sports and Athletics: Past, Present, and Future

July 31 ~ ACTN3 and the Ethics of Testing, Guiding, (and in cases, Overdetermining) Children in Athletics

What’s a parent (and culture) to do? A company offers to test for a genetic variation (ACTN3) associated with muscle performance in elite athletes. Its target market: infants to 8 year-olds. Is a genetic test to identify potentially “faster, higher, stronger” muscle types in a child for sport selection of intrinsic value in American culture - giving the utmost advantage? Or does it play on parental psyches, dreams, and naiveté, adding yet another layer of expectations to overly specialized and managed childhoods? In addition to the science, this presentation invites reflection on social values, the nature of play and sport, and the healthy development of children now and in the future.

Speaker: Kirk Allison directs the Program in Human Rights and Health at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and is a research fellow of Geneforum, a 501(c)3 affiliate of the Portland State University Foundation, established to ensure that decisions about genetic research and biotechnology are informed by public values. Dr. Allison’s modest intercollegiate athletic career comprised a novice season with the University of Kansas Crew decades ago. He is also principle translator of Science in Elite Sport (E&F Spon,1999).

July 24 ~ Growing Up in Rochester: Getting the Most Out of Your Environment

Join Rochester-native and assistant football coach for the University of MN Golden Gophers, Mike Sherels, as he shares his story of how living in Rochester was a big influence in shaping who he is today and highlights the many opportunities to be found here. He will include stories experienced by both he and his brother, Marcus (Marcus will be present if possible with his MN Vikings schedule).

Speaker: Mike Sherels grew up in Rochester living on both the south and north sides of town. He attended John Marshall High School where he was a star athlete for the Rockets football team. After high school, he went on to play football at the University of MN where he was a two-time captain. Younger brother Marcus Sherels, who was also a star athlete at John Marshall and the University of MN, is currently a defensive back and kick returner for the Minnesota Vikings. Both brothers currently reside in Apple Valley, MN and Mike is now an assistant football coach at the U of M.

July 17 ~ Special Olympics: Be a Fan!

Special Olympics is more than just an annual track and field event. In fact, Special Olympics Minnesota offers year-round opportunities in 18 sports, giving more than 7,200 athletes the chance to compete! Learn more about Special Olympics statewide and right here in Rochester, and the many ways you can get involved.

Frank Spaeth, Sports Program Manager, Special Olympics Minnesota
Aimee Tillman, Head of Delegation, Special Olympics Rochester Area
Erikka Giere, Athlete & Special Olympics Global Messenger, Special Olympics Rochester Area

July 10 ~ High School Sports: Past, Present, and Future

High school sports have long been an important part of life in Minnesota towns. But there has been a lot of change since the 1960s. Post-Bulletin sports editor Craig Swalboski has had a front-row seat for a lot of this change in his 40-year career in newspapers. As a sports reporter and editor, he has been heavily involved in newspaper coverage of high school sports, including the past 35 years at the P-B. He will look at what high school sports were like when he started his journalism career, how they have changed and at some of the memorable individuals he has encountered along the way.

Speaker: Swalboski holds two degrees from the University of Minnesota (B.A. in Newspaper Journalism, MBA in General Management). He and wife Dawn have lived and worked in Rochester since 1977 and raised three children here. He began his newspaper career with the St. Cloud Times while a college student at St. Cloud State University.

July 3 ~ The Roosters: Base Ball As It Was Meant To Be Played

The Roosters, presented by the History Center of Olmsted County, play the 1860 rules of base ball while wearing period uniforms and using replica bats and balls. All are volunteers and their approach is educational and entertaining for all ages. Learn about the history of base ball (2 words in 1860),and how it spread and changed as it became America's national past time.

Speakers: Mark "Sir Fines A. Lot" Bilderback, Roosters umpire and former player under the name of "Swamper"; Cory "Goose" Gaskell, the Roosters captain; and Mary Jane Schmitt, founder and general manager of the Roosters. Each has a passion for baseball and an interest in history as they volunteer for the Roosters who are celebrating their 15th Anniversary in 2012.


June ~ Building Community Through Music

Music is an art form based on the union of both sound and silence. Throughout history it has been known to tear down walls AND build a sense of belonging. Please join us in June as we listen to remarkable and inspiring stories from the past and present of how music has played a vital role in reminding us all of the importance of "community".

June 26 ~ How Yankee Doodle Learned The Chicken Dance: A Brief History of Building Community Through Music and Dance

From the origins of the United States until the present our citizens have shared a love of music and dance. The early immigrants brought with them the songs and dances from their native countries. As time passed, the music and dances evolved to be more of a shared American experience. We use music and dance in good times and bad times. Every war we've fought has been the origin of some of our most famous songs. Almost every American knows and sings along to the same songs at birthdays, congratulatory occasions, baseball games, New Year's Eve, and before the start of many of public and sporting events. We grew up learning to square dance in grade school and from toddlers to seniors we dance the Chicken Dance at weddings. However, have you ever stopped to wonder who, when, and why we learned those songs and dances? Join Paul Koeller as he takes you on a historical ride through the stories behind those questions and relives some of the music and dance highlights from the earliest days of Rochester to the thriving music scene of Rochester today.

Speaker: Paul Koeller moved to Rochester from La Crosse, Wisconsin in 1977 to work as a Software Engineer at IBM. He retired in 2009 after 32 years. He currently volunteers at the Rochester Public Library, The Olmsted History Center, and at Mayo Clinic's downtown campus where he is the President Elect of Mayo Clinic Volunteer Services. Paul has an interest in researching and presenting local history and has presented at the Olmsted History Center, Rochester Public Library, Mayo Clinic, and a variety of civic and service organizations. Paul also loves music and has taught numerous music classes for Rochester Community Education. Paul and his wife Karen enjoy traveling, exercise, and gardening and have one daughter Mara who resides and works in the Twin Cities. Paul is the coauthor of one book "Brewed With Style - The Story of the House of Heileman," a history of the Heileman Brewery in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

June 5 ~ How The Carillon Came to Rochester

Join us to "RING IN" the Summer Outdoor Season with a brief concert from Master Carillonneur, Jeffrey Daehn, followed by a presentation of an historic sketch of the Rochester carillon beginning in 1928, the expansion in 1977, and a look at the larger carillon world today.

Speaker: Jeffrey L. Daehn, a native of Oak Park, Illinois, has been a resident of Rochester, Minnesota since 1977. He has served several congregations as organist and music director not only in Rochester, but also in Albert Lea and Red Wing, Minnesota and in Neenah, Wisconsin. Jeffrey holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Valparaiso University, a Bachelor of Science degree from Concordia University, St. Paul and a Master of Sacred Music degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He is married to Dawn Daehn and they have a daughter, Marta Kirby Daehn. Jeffrey studied carillon with former Rochester carillonneur, Dean Robinson, and also with the late Dennis Reppen, previous carillonneur at House of Hope Presbyterian Church in St. Paul. In addition, he has studied with Wylie Crawford in Chicago and Tin-Shi Tam, Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Jeffrey is the third "bell master" in the history of the Rochester Carillon.

June 12 ~ Prelude to "A Song for Sendai" - The Story Behind the JUNE 15th Performance

Hear the story behind "A Song for Sendai", the free concert on JUNE 15th by the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale to benefit the victims of the 2011 tsunami disaster in Japan. The concert aims to give hope to those whose lives have been changed forever.

Speaker: Garth Neustadter is an Emmy Award-Winning composer and multi-instrumentalist. He has composed feature-length scores for Warner Bros., PBS, Turner Classic Movies, and China's CCTV. His works have been heard in diverse venues ranging from Lincoln Center to Los Angeles' Nokia Theater. The Baltimore Sun says of his music, "The guy's a natural, as his soaring theme makes plain." Most recently, he completed scores for the restoration of the silent film, The Circle, premiering June 17th on Turner Classic Movies, as well as the feature film, TAR, starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, and Jessica Chastain.

In 2011, Neustadter became one of the youngest composers to receive a Primetime Emmy Award for his score for the PBS 'American Masters' documentary, "John Muir in the New World." Neustadter gained international attention in 2007 when he was selected by Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer as the First-Prize Winner in the Turner Classic Movies Young Film Composers Competition.

Garth Neustadter's achievements have been profiled in USA Today, The Baltimore Sun, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Film Music Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, DownBeat Magazine and on NPR. He has received multiple awards from ASCAP, including the Morton Gould Award, Jazz Composers Award, and ASCAP fellowship for Film Scoring Studies at Aspen, as well as multiple awards from the National Federation of Music Clubs. Most recently, he was selected as the Second-Prize Winner in the Transatlantyk Film Music Competition (Poland).

Neustadter is a graduate of the Yale School of Music, where he completed the Master of Music degree in composition studying on full scholarship under Christopher Theofanidis, Aaron Jay Kernis and Martin Bresnick. He will join the roster of the Los Angeles Opera Chorus for the 2012-2013 season.

June 19 ~ Music for Friendship Among People

Sebastian Modarelli, a performer and composer who lived on three continents, explains how he discovered music as the common language. Music expresses something that brings people together by overcoming distances of space and time. Through his own works and recent activity in Rochester, Modarelli will show how music brings families, the rich and poor, and entire nations closer.

Speaker: Sebastian Modarelli studied at the National Conservatory of Music in his native Argentina, earning his degree as salutatorian of his class. His numerous awards include the First Prize in the triennial Composers' Contest of the National Academy of Arts and the highest prize at the National Composers' Competition Promociones Musicales. In 2001 he was given scholarships from the Italian government and the Mozarteum Argentino to continue his composition studies in the conservatory "Giuseppe Verdi" in Milan. There, in 2004, he earned his graduate degree in Composition and participated in master classes with composers including Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luis de Pablo and Marco Stroppa.

Modarelli composes music now for the same reason he started doing it at age 12: listening to the Infinite Beauty. When he moved to the United States, he discovered an openess rarely found elsewhere which inspired him to pursue his original path of learning from Russian composers, especially Prokofiev, whose harmonic language has fascinated Modarelli and offers him an endless fountain of inspiration.

In 2005 Modarelli moved to Rochester, Minnesota after being offered the position of Music Director and Organist at St. John the Evangelist Church. Since then he has received several commissions and composed mainly organ and chamber music, works for symphonic orchestra, and choral music. Some of his latest premieres include Born in Buenos Aires, commissioned and premiered by the Metro Chamber Orchestra in New York City in 2010 and performed later by the Rochester Symphony Orchestra in 2012; Variations on Picardy for Oboe and Organ, dedicated to renowned organist Jeff Davis in 2011; William Shakespeare for Choir and Organ, commissioned by the Albert Lea Cantori; and the Duet for Cello and Organ premiered in its full version by the Svyati Duo (London) on May 6 of 2012.


May ~ The 50th Anniversary of Silent Spring

"To still the song of birds and the leaping of fish in the streams, to coat the leaves with a deadly film, and to linger on in soil - all this though the intended target may be only a few weeds or insects." - Rachel Carson

2012 marks the 50th anniversary of Silent Spring, the landmark book credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Rachel Carson sounded the alarm to an unsuspecting public about the detrimental effects of pesticides on eagles, fish, and many other forms of wildlife. Join us this month as we discuss the book and its continued importance as a guide for bringing environmental issues into the public forum, even fifty years later.

May 29 ~ Silent Spring 50 Years Later: Reflections on a Mixed Legacy

The biologist Rachel Carson wrote her 1962 book Silent Spring to educate the public about detrimental effects of the large-scale use of chemical pesticides, calling for a shift in man's attitude toward nature. Silent Spring is seen as one of the cornerstones of the modern environmental conservation movement, as well as the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

However, Carson left behind a mixed legacy with Silent Spring. Some of the main criticisms were her allegedly single-sided view of pesticide use as well as the scientific back up of her claims. The controversy about her book has been likened to the debate surrounding climate change research during the last decade. Thus, even 50 years after its publication, Silent Spring remains to have a profound impact on our view of the environmental issues of our times.

Speaker: Franziska Schrodt is a research associate working on the Plant Data Synthesis Discovery Grant in collaboration with the U of M departments of forest resources and computer sciences and the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry. She develops new algorithms to fill sparse matrixes in plant functional trait databases. Franziska earned her Ph.D. in geography at the University of Leeds, UK, on biogeochemical comparisons of tropical forest-savannah zones of transition in Africa and South America. Franziska is also interested in the socioeconomic aspects of environmental change, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

May 22 ~ Bald Eagle Informational Program

This presentation will introduce you to the resident birds that live at the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, MN, with their own personal histories of how they came to live there. Facts about these raptors will be discussed, including their eggs, nest, eyes, talons, and food sources, and how eagles have been affected by human encroachment. As a result of the pioneering work of Rachel Carson, we will consider the effect of DDT on egg shells and how recovery efforts by captive breeding hope to strengthen the population. The life-threatening effect of lead consumption by eagles from hunting or fishing equipment will also be discussed. Designed to be interactive and informative (and fun!), questions are encouraged. Please join us to learn more about our relationship with these magnificent creatures. PLEASE NOTE: a live eagle will NOT be present.

Speaker: My name is Bridget Befort and I started my career at the National Eagle Center as an intern from Winona State University, when we were still located in the little store front right off of Main Street, Wabasha. I continued to volunteer once I completed my internship and then became a staff member after graduation. I currently live in Rochester, MN, which is about an hour drive, but it is all worth it just to work with these wonderful birds and meet all the interesting people. I hope to pass on my love for the outdoors and all animals to my husband's and my new addition, our little girl who was born in April of 2010.

May 15 ~ “Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story”

Please join us to review the documentary video, “Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story” which traces the development of America's bountiful heartland and its effect on our legendary river. Through beautiful photography and inspiring narrative, the film offers solutions to the river's troubles through fresh ideas and concrete solutions. In addition to the film, a brief discussion will be led by Jeff Broberg. Jeff has been engaged with the Troubled Waters movie since the production was funded in 2008 by the Legislative-Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources. He became deeply involved in the controversy at the U of M with the threatened cancellation of the film’s release in 2010. He has been an activist leader on addressing the issues of Ag impact on surface and groundwater.

Speaker: Jeff Broberg of Elba Township, is a Licensed Professional Geologist and Vice President of McGhie & Betts Environmental Services, Inc., a Rochester-based environmental consulting firm. Jeff formerly practiced as a petroleum geologist in South Louisiana for 9 years before returning to Minnesota in 1986 to own a farm and breed and raise thoroughbred racehorses in the Whitewater Watershed. Joining McGhie & Betts in 1990, Jeff's professional consulting practice is focused on geological and environmental assessment, permitting and regulatory affairs including geologic hazards, wetlands, soil and groundwater contamination, asbestos and mold. He is the President of the Minnesota Trout Association, and has served on Whitewater Watershed Project citizen Advisory Committee, the DNR Budget Oversight and the Trout and Salmon Stamp Oversight Committees and is active in natural resource and conservation efforts in the bluff lands and Ag-lands of SE Minnesota.

May 8 ~ Contaminants of Emerging Concern - Past, Present, and Future Challenges

A half-century ago, Silent Spring awakened people to the negative and unintended impacts of chemicals in our environment, and Our Stolen Future brought new knowledge and understanding of the potential threats of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). Now, nearly 20 years later, we still are exposed to hundreds of unregulated and potentially harmful contaminants. Dr. Swackhamer will discuss the current status of chemical management in our country, and the sources and potential impacts of CECs. Future challenges and solutions to those challenges will also be presented.

Speaker: Deborah L. Swackhamer, Ph.D., holds the Charles M. Denny Chair of Science, Technology, and Public Policy in the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs; is Professor, Environmental Health Sciences; and Co-Director, Water Resources Center, University of Minnesota. Among other appointments, Dr. Swackhamer also chairs the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board and is a member of the International Joint Commission of the US and Canada. She was appointed by MN Governor Tim Pawlenty to serve as the Higher Education Representative to Minnesota’s Clean Water Council. Water Resources Center:

May 1 ~ Silent Spring: Fifty Years Later

In 1962, Rachel Carson, a soft-spoken former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist published her fourth book. Silent Spring had an immediate and profound impact upon the nascent environmental movement and, 50 years later, is widely regarded as one of the most influential American works of the 20th century. We will discuss the book, the controversy it initially created, and the not-often mentioned relationship between Ms. Carson and the Mayo Clinic. An accomplished Minnesota environmentalist will touch upon the impact Silent Spring has had upon her life and career.


Joe Marchesani is Program Director for Regional Alliances at the U of Minnesota Rochester. He has been involved in environmental projects since high school (a very long time ago...)

Renay Leone has served as: Executive Director, Minnesota Land Trust; Upper Midwest Program Director, The Conservation Fund; Counsel, Northwoods Land Trust; Board Member, Minnesota Environmental Partnership; Board Member, Gathering Waters Conservancy.


April ~ The Dirt on Gardening

April 24 ~ Savor the Flavor with Your Own Homegrown Herbs

Learn the pleasures of growing and cooking with your own culinary herbs. Which herbs should you grow for cooking and what varieties are best? Which over-winter in our location and which should you start from seed each year? Can you grow herbs successfully in containers and mixed patio gardens? These questions, and yours, are answered in this presentation.

Speaker: Sandie Shores, author of Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs, published by Ball Publishing and Cooking with The Herb Ladies, is a professional grower of fresh-cut, potted herbs and vegetables. Due in part to her longevity in the business of 26 years, she is considered an industry expert and authority in the commercial production and marketing of fresh-cut herbs and potted herbs in volume. Sandie's extensive experience with growing herbs and marketing through wholesale, retail and farmers’ market channels makes her a trusted and requested speaker at Universities and grower conferences around the country.

April 17 ~ Attracting Butterflies to Your Garden

Butterflies are some of the most beautiful and interesting creatures on Earth. So plant a garden and grow butterflies! Learn about plants and flowers irresistible to the butterflies, both as food for the caterpillars and nectar sources for the adults. No backyard is too small to attract butterflies throughout the growing season.

Speaker: Lynelle Webb-ONeill and/or another gardening enthusiast from Everyday Bouquets. Everyday Bouquets creates elegant and affordable floral arrangements for weddings and events. Lynelle Webb-O’Neil has over 20 years of experience and their work has been featured in The Knot Magazine, Minnesota Bride, and other local publications.

April 10 ~ Healthy Soil: The Heart and Soul of an Organic Garden

Healthy food starts with healthy soil. A healthy soil is full of life, natural slow release fertilizer, holds water, provides oxygen, and smells great! Dirt is dead. Bud Markhart will describe how to create and sustain a healthy soil that will serve as the foundation for a sustainable organic growing garden or farm.

Speaker: Albert (Bud) Markhart, Professor, Distinguished Professor of Horticulture, University of MN, Department of Horticultural Science.

April 3 ~ The Moonlight Garden: Creating a Luminous Landscape

Gain additional appreciation and enjoyment from your garden long after the sun has set. An evening moonlight garden is more than white flowers. Learn how texture, form, color, and variegation of leaves can add a special shimmer to the evening garden and help brighten a dark corner of the garden.

Speaker: Shirley Mah Kooyman is a botanist with a specialty in plant taxonomy (plant names and identification), award-winning teacher and plant information specialist. In February 2009 she received the Bruce Beresford Horticulture Educators Award from the MN State Horticultural Society. She worked at the Arboretum for 25 years and was the Adult Education Manager there for 2 decades. She has lectured on numerous botanical and horticultural topics for the University of Minnesota’s Compleat Scholar program, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Master Gardener programs, local community education program, Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and the MN State Horticultural Society.


March ~ Artfully Yours

March 27 ~ How to Be an Art Historian

What do art historians actually do? In this presentation the speaker discuss her research on a little known St. Paul artist named Clara Mairs who was an integral figure in the development of the Minnesota arts scene at the beginning of the 20th century. After studying in Paris and Algeria in the 1920s, Mairs returned to St. Paul to be one of the leaders of the modernist movements in Minnesota. She will also discuss the trials and errors of being an art historian, a student, and how the best way to approach a career in the arts field is to jump in.

Speaker: Annika Johnson graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2011 with a degree in Art History. Her first experience as a gallery guard at the Minnesota Museum of American Art inspired her to pursue a career in the museum field. As an undergraduate she received the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Award that enabled her to research the Minnesotan artists Clara Mairs and Clement Haupers. Her research involves documenting and interpreting artworks in private collections primarily in Minnesota and New York. An avid traveler, she recently returned from a two-month trip to Turkey, Serbia, and Bosnia.

March 20 ~ Art and Healing: Exploring the Mayo Clinic Art Collection

The primary mission of Mayo Clinic is excellence in patient care – yet its founders recognized that caring for the whole patient extends beyond treating the physical ailments. Since its inception, Mayo has used art, architecture and beauty in surroundings to address the “spiritual” aspects of medical care and to create a healing environment. In this presentation you will see images of art from Mayo’s collection representing a wide range of periods and places, and covering centuries of artistic expressions and styles – each work as diverse as the patients they serve.

Speaker: Sally Enders, Art Program Coordinator, Sr. Interior Designer, CID. Sally Enders joined Mayo Clinic in 1992 after nearly 15 years of commercial interior design experience at major architectural firms in Minneapolis. Since coming to Mayo she has helped to develop Mayo's art program and collection bringing together architecture and art to help create a healing environment. She is responsible for managing the procurement, installation, maintenance and documentation of the art in Rochester. Past projects include the Gonda Building project, Eugenio Litto Children's Hospital, the production of a patient art brochure, Art and Healing DVD and the self guided art audio tour.

March 13 ~ Medical Humanities: Part of the Healing Environment at Mayo Clinic

Dr. Paul Scanlon is Medical Director for Humanities in Medicine at Mayo Clinic. Humanities programs include musical concerts, art exhibits, theatrical performances and dance, visiting lecturers, and other educational programs. He will discuss the evolution of Medical Humanities at Mayo Clinic since the 1980's, how they contribute to the "healing environment" and the basis for uses of the arts in medicine.

Speaker: Paul D. Scanlon, M.D. has been a member of the Mayo Clinic staff since July 1984, serving as Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine; Consultant, Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine; Director, Pulmonary Function Laboratories; and Director, Pulmonary Clinical Research Unit. In addition, he is the Medical Director for the Mayo Clinic Center for Humanities in Medicine as well as Chair of the Humanities in Medicine Committee and member of the Historical Subcommittee (former Chair). Dr. Scanlon graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Humanities from the University of MN in 1975 and earned his M.D. from the Mayo Medical School in 1978. He did his residency at John Hopkins University and a fellowship in Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine from Harvard. He is native of Rochester, MN, and active in the Rochester Public School System, the Rochester Civic Music Board, the Rochester Board of Park Commissioners, and current president of the Rochester Art Center Board of Directors. He enjoys bicycling, skiing, paddle sports, history, antiques, art & architecture, local politics, and gardening.

March 6 ~ The Legacy Amendment

The 2008 Legacy Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution authorized a 25-year statewide sales tax increase of 3/8 of 1 percent, which is projected to raise approximately $240 million each year. Since receiving Legacy Funding in 2009, the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council, Inc. (SEMAC) has awarded over $1 million to arts organizations and artists throughout SE Minnesota. SEMAC is one of eleven Regional Arts Councils designated by the State of Minnesota “to make final decisions on the use of appropriations for local/regional arts development.” SEMAC has served Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, and Winona counties since 1977 and is charged with assessing regional needs and planning and administering programs and services using its legislative allocation.

Speaker: Robin Pearson, Executive Director, Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council, Rochester. Robin joined SEMAC in January 2001. Prior to joining SEMAC, she was employed as a Human Resources Manager for the Department of Defense and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. She began her career as an Exhibits Specialist with Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Art History, Master of Public Administration and completed her post-graduate studies in Public Policy and Finance.


February ~ Patents and Innovative Research

February 28 ~ Minnesota Innovation Partnerships (Event canceled due to inclement weather, Speaker: Chancellor Lehmkuhle)

With Minnesota Innovation Partnerships, the University of Minnesota has effectively eliminated the need for protracted negotiations over rights to intellectual property that may result from industry-funded research. Announced in Dec. 2011, this unique initiative makes it much easier for industry partners to sponsor research on our campuses.

Speaker: R. Timothy Mulcahy, Vice President for Research, University of Minnesota. As Vice President for Research, Mulcahy is responsible for the oversight and administration of an externally-funded research program of more than $700 million on the five campuses of the University of Minnesota system. He has primary responsibility for the overall vitality of the University-wide research environment, including supporting evolution of new research, maintaining a competitive research infrastructure, developing and managing campus-wide research policies, and overseeing administrative management of all sponsored research activity. He is also responsible for technology commercialization activities at the University and for the administration of regulatory offices associated with research.

Mulcahy earned his doctorate in pathology and radiological sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1979. His research has focused on cancer biology with an emphasis on the development of novel therapeutic approaches and on the molecular mechanisms of tumor cell resistance to conventional chemotherapy.

February 21 ~ The Future of Robotics: Teams of Robots

This presentation will focus on robot teams and their use in real-world problems. Our vision is of a distributed robotic system that is made up of a large collection of medium size, small, and miniature robots all connected by a wireless communication network and cooperating to accomplish their given mission. We have built robots that can swim, roll, and fly by utilizing a unique blend of scientific principles and sound engineering. Our basis is an evolutionary robot design that has been deployed in thousands of sites all over the world.

Speaker: Professor Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos specializes in robotics, computer vision and sensors for transportation uses. He is the Director of the Center for Distributed Robotics and leads the Security in Transportation Technology Research and Applications (SECTTRA) program. He is credited with being the major driving force behind the Scout, a small reconnaissance robot now used by the United States Army. Papanikolopoulos and his robots are often featured in the news and are part of University advertising campaigns.

Dr. Papanikolopoulos has more than 200 publications, including journal and conference papers and book chapters, and has graduated more than 30 masters and doctoral students. He’s won numerous best paper awards, a best video award at the 2000 IEEE Robotics and Automation Conference, a Faculty Creativity award in 1999 and the National Science Foundation's CAREER Award in 1995. In addition, he was awarded the McKnight Land-Grant Professorship Award in 1995. Papanikolopoulos was a member of the IEEE Robotics & Animation Society Administrative Committee (RAS ADCOM) for two consecutive terms and is a Senior IEEE member. He has also served on many conference committees.

February 14 ~ Driven to Discover

Learn about the wide range of research at the University of Minnesota, and why students and staff are "Driven to Discover!" Through video and a discussion led by two UMR students, learn how the U of M is making contributions that are integral to the state, country, and world.

Speakers: Nicole Yates, 3rd year UMR student and Kaylin Hibbing, 1st year UMR student

Special Valentine's Day Event ~ How is Your Heart Throb this Valentine's Day?

Does the thought of a Valentine date raise our blood pressure in some way? Perhaps you are in line for a "virtual valentine" in the form of a free blood pressure check being offered February 14 before the UMR CONNECTS event at the University of Minnesota - Rochester.

In addition to checking blood pressures, students from the University of Minnesota School of Nursing will be on hand to educate on heart health. They will also provide referral information for follow-up in the event of abnormal readings.

Members of the public are advised to arrive 15-30 minutes before the 7 p.m. UMR CONNECTS event and to relax quietly before blood pressures are checked. That way, a more accurate reading is achieved, and may influence the decision whether to go on that Valentine's date or not.

February 7 ~ Rural Nanotechnology and Its Impact on Our Daily Lives

The development of nanotechnology in rural Minnesota is not just a dream. It is starting to flourish in the small rural community of Rushford. Topics to be covered are the Rushford Institute for Nanotechnology (RINTek), Rushford Hypersonic, Rushford NanoElectroChemistry Company, and the involvement with the public schools. The global economic scene is changing and rural nanotechnology gives us another tool to compete in the world market place. Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary field. It is also an enabling technology. The field is evolving fast and before too long everyone will be involved in nanotechnology in some way. It is arguably the largest change in industry since the industrial revolution. We will discuss how these changes will impact our daily lives and how we are working locally to take advantage of this in a rural setting and the progress that has been made.

Speaker: Kevin Klungtvedt holds a B.E.E. in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota and has been in industry over 25 years, most of which has been spent in Rushford, MN. He has been working in rural nanotechnology since 2000. He is among the original founders of the Rushford Institute for Nanotechnology, RINTek, a non-profit 501 c 3 company that was established to promote nanotechnology in the rural areas. In 2009 he started Rushford NanoElectroChemistry Company, a nanotechnology company working in biotechnology and other areas. In addition to nanotechnology, he has written 2 papers in the area of electrical contact theory.


January ~ Responsible Health Care

January 31 ~ Complementary and Integrative Medicine: What You May or May Not Know

This presentation will provide an overview of common complementary alternative medicine (CAM) practices, current CAM services, research happening in this arena at Mayo Clinic, and resources available for further exploration and utilization.

Speaker: Barbara Thomley has worked at Mayo Clinic for the past 11 years. She started her career with Mayo in Human Resources supporting a variety of clinical and non-clinical areas. She began her current position in 2007 as Coordinator of the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program where she works with the clinical practice, in addition to education and research initiatives. Her undergraduate degree is in Music and Psychology. In 2010, she completed her Health and Wellness Coach Certification and her 200 hour certified yoga instructor training. She believes living from the heart provides the foundation to find appreciation in everything life sends your way.

January 24 ~ The Fountain of Youth -- Possible or Not?

Numerous experiments have shown that organisms, including humans, are programmed to age and die, and that this program is genetically controlled. Although life expectancy is constantly increasing mostly due to medical advances, the maximum life span does not seem to increase. Some scientists believe that the life span of humans might eventually be increased, basing their belief on recent genetic experiments in other organisms. But the paramount question that persists concerns the resulting quality of life.

Speaker: Richard Kowles is presently Distinguished Professor Emeritus in Biology at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in Winona, MN. His undergraduate degree was obtained from Winona State University and following two masters degrees, one in biology and one in education, he earned a Ph.D. in genetics at the University of Minnesota. He has taught genetics and related courses at Saint Mary' University for the past forty years, the last four on a part-time basis. Kowles is the author of two college textbooks, "Genetics, Society, and Decisions" and "Problem Solving in Genetics." Recently he has published a trade book geared for the general public titled "The Wonder of Genetics" with Prometheus Books.

January 17 ~ Vaccine Wars in the 21st Century: Innumeracy, Cognitive Biases, and the Power of Story

In this presentation, Dr. Gregory Poland will discuss the current anti-vaccine sentiment and skepticism prevalent in western culture, and explore the causes and consequences to individuals and the public health. With that as a starting point, root causes for this skepticism and possible antidotes will be illustrated and discussed. Participants will understand, in an informed manner, the biases that often dictate their decision-making about medical interventions such as vaccines.

Speaker: Dr. Poland is a Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases, the Director of the Immunization Clinic and the Director of the Program in Translational Immunovirology and Biodefense at the Mayo Clinic. He is the Editor-in-Chief for the journal “Vaccine.” Dr. Poland received his medical degree from the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, Illinois, and completed his residency and advanced post-graduate work at the University of Minnesota/Abbott-Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis, MN. Dr. Poland is also a motivational speaker, published poet, and self-described provocateur. Dr. Poland is the father of three fully immunized children.

January 10 ~ Be Well Now!

In this age of countless miracle cures, it's vital to separate the myths that endanger your health from the medical facts you need. In this session, we will watch the PBS Home Video dvd "Be Well Now! with Dr. Nancy Snyderman" which will sort through the misinformation and half-truths to provide clear, practical, and scientifically-proven advice that can lead to a happier and healthier life. A facilitated discussion will follow, lead by Nicole Yates (3rd year BSHS student) and Teresa Puetz (Director of Outreach).

For more information on the video visit:

January 3 ~ No Session