Past Events - 2016

Welcome to the 2016 UMR CONNECTS past events page. All presentations on this page have already taken place. Some of them have been recorded and made available via YouTube. You may browse through the recorded UMR CONNECTS presentations on the UMR CONNECTS YouTube Channel, or if there is a "Watch this presentation now" link below, you may click it to view the coinciding presentation, directly. You can view the list of upcoming presentations here.


January 5 - New Foods For the New Year

Kaitlin Anderson, RD, LD

Join Hy-Vee Dietitian Kaitlin Anderson for a fun, interactive look at the hottest supermarket trends and newest foods to hit the shelves. Sign up to learn more about which foods you should be eating this year, and how you can make simple changes that add up to long-term benefits.  Kaitlin Anderson, RD, LD is an award-winning supermarket dietitian. Kaitlin was named one of four finalists for Retail Dietitian of the Year—a national award from the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance—in 2015, a Hy-Vee "Legendary Customer Service Award" winner in 2013 and "Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year" by the Minnesota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2012. She transitioned into a new role with Hy-Vee in 2015 and is now serving as the community relations coordinator. Kaitlin’s community involvement includes the Wellness Works Coalition, Making it Better—Olmsted County, Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce—Leadership Greater Rochester and the Go Red for Women Leadership Team. You can also find Kaitlin every Tuesday in the Rochester Post-Bulletin—her column is entitled “Cart Smarts.” She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in dietetics from the College of St. Benedict and completed her dietetic internship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester in 2008. She has spent her entire career with Hy-Vee in Rochester. Kaitlin’s ultimate goal is to leave the grocery store every day having made at least one person’s life easier, healthier, happier.

January 12 - Fitness for the Ages

Jon Giese M.Ed

Fitness and health go hand in hand - and fitness at any age is possible. What is 'fitness'? It has been defined as "having enough physical strength and energy to do the things you need to do each day and, when you're finished, to have the strength and energy to do what you like to do! This presentation will look at what it takes to be 'fit' at any age and what can be done to maintain fitness for the ages (for life).  Jon has a B,S Physical Education, M.Ed. Exercise Science He has been in the fitness personal training field for 25 yrs and have been at the RAC since 1999. He served as a Pt Ed Specialist at Mayo Clinic for 7yrs. Currently, in addition to personal training, he has been Wellness Coaching (with over 9000 wellness coaching sessions completed since 2012 ). He has worked with clients of all ages and have had and currently have many clients over 65yrs old. His 'most senior' client at this time is 93 - and she is doing great!

Click here to view the presentation

January 19 - How Brightly is Your Energy Shining?

Donna Magtibay, MSN, RN

There are seven main energy centers or Chakras in our bodies. As we interact throughout our day, our chakras exchange energy with our environment and the people we come in contact with. Our health relies on keeping these energy channels open and flowing. This class will de-scribe the characteristics associated with each of the seven main chakras, discuss energy principles as it relates to chakras, and will explore a variety of techniques you can use in balancing your own chakras

January 26 - Resilient Living

Debbie Fuehrer, L.P.C.C.

Stress is perceived when there is an imbalance between the demands placed on us and our ability to meet those demands. Ongoing stress has a negative effect on health, happiness, relationships, sleep, mood, and overall quality of life. Excessive stress also adversely affects cognitive functions (including attention, memory, judgment and decision making). Resilience is the ability to adapt well to stress, and to even thrive amidst adversity. Resilience correlates positively with several psychosocial and health related variables. In this single 90-minute group session, you will understand how the brain and mind generate unwanted stress every day, even during routine daily activities. Based on this understanding, you will learn a two-step program that will empower you to handle your stressors with less distress, and as a result, enhance your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.


February 2 - Rochester Fire Department - 150 Years of Service to Rochester

Vance Swisher, Rochester Deputy Fire Chief

This event was cancelled due to inclement weather and will be rescheduled in September.

February 9 - The History of Police Use of Force Methodology and Policies

Mark Erickson and Steve Borchardt

Retired Olmsted County Sheriff Borchardt and Deputy Erickson will provide a historical overview of Police Use of Deadly Force Training, 1970’s – present.  They will explore current cases that are affecting law enforcement and information about the frequency of use of force by law enforcement.  They will explain the Use of Force Continuum, techniques and weapons, and the physical and cognitive limitations Peace Officer are subject to. 

Click here to view this presentation.

February 16 - Keeping our Children (and grandchildren) Safe on the Internet

Detective Michael Ranfranz, Olmsted County Sheriff's Office, MN Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Mark Peterson Rochester Police Department Investigator

Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, texting, chat rooms, and the list goes on. In the ever-changing world of technology, keeping kids safe is a constant concern for parents and grandparents. Olmsted County Detective, Mike Ranfranz of the MN Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Rochester Police Department Investigator, Mark Peterson will give a presentation on current trends & dangers in regard to the internet and steps we can take to keep the children in our lives safe.

February 23 - Identity Theft- Advice from Two Retired FBI and CIA Executives

Deb Pierce and Patti Weber

This Identity Theft presentation will answer questions such as - What is identity theft? How can identity be stolen? How can identity theft be prevented? What do you do if your identity is stolen? Two women who are retired executives from the CIA and the FBI have joined forces to provide insight and advice about identity theft based on their years of experience and on research into the current issues surrounding identity theft. Find out what you can do to prevent identity theft and what you can do if your identity is stolen.

Click here to view this presentation.


March 1 - Stories from the Sidelines: The Joys and Challenges of a Professional Team Physician

Dr. Matt Thompson

Dr. Thompson will discuss the challenges, including ethical considerations, that come with the medical treatment of professional athletes and Olympic competitors, as well as those striving to make it to those levels. A focus will be on concussion diagnosis and managment, a "hot button topic" in news and legislation today.

Dr. Matt Thompson is a Sports Medicine Physician at Olmsted Medical Center in the Dept. of Sports Medicine and Athletic Performance, Rochester, MN He is the Team Physician: Milwaukee Brewers, Major League Baseball, Milwaukee, WI He is Head Team Physician for Rochester Community and Technical College, Rochester Honkers and previous Team Physician for: - Milwaukee Ballet, St. Louis Rams, National Football League, USA Speedskating, & USA Ski Team. Dr. Thompson received his Undergraduate degree in Biology from U of MN-Duluth, Master's Degree: Viral Immunology, U of MN. Graduate of U of MN Medical School, Residency at Mayo Clinic, and Fellowship at Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI

March 8 - Putting Yourself in a Position to Succeed

Jon Lucivansky, NFL Ref

Jon Lucivansky just completed his 7th season as an official in the National Football League where he is a side judge and wears #89 *Officiated for 7 seasons in the Big Ten Conference , *Officiated NCAA Division II and III football from 1987-2002 *Officiated College Basketball from 1998-2009, *Umpired Minor League Baseball from 1985-1988 *Recently retired after a 23 year career as a teacher and school administrator Currently supervises student teachers for Winona State University. Jon has a BA in Psychology and a BS in Elementary Education from the University of Minnesota. He has a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from University of Wisconsin-Superior He resides in Rochester, MN is married to Terri and is the father of 5 children ages 13-21.

Click here to view this presentation.

March 15 - Darrell Thompson: Coming Full Circle From Rochester Youth & John Marshall Football to the NFL and Paying it Forward

Darrell Thompson, President of Bolder Options

After graduating from John Marshall High School in Rochester, Darrell Thompson played college football for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, where he became the school's all time leader in career rushing yards. Thompson was selected 19th overall by the Green Bay Packers in the 1990 NFL Draft. During his NFL career, he played in 60 games, gained 1640 rushing, 330 yards receiving, and scored 8 touchdowns. Currently Darrell resides in Minnesota with his wife and four children. Darrell is the President of Bolder Options, an innovative organization focused on healthy youth development. Uniting one-on-one mentoring with goal setting, physical activity, tutoring, and leadership opportunities the program builds confidence, maximizes potential, and encourages healthy life skills in 10-14 year-olds. Darrell Thompson is a respected leader in the youth development field having been with Bolder Options for 21 years. As President, Thompson has grown the organization which engaged over 2700 kids in the St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Rochester metropolitan areas in 2014. He leads a professional staff and volunteers as they work to achieve Bolder Options’ mission: Teaching youth to succeed in ALL of life’s races.

Click here to view the presentation

March 22 - Understanding the Career Transition of the College Student Athlete

Dr. Leo Lewis, lll

Leo E. Lewis III is currently the Athletic Director at Minneapolis North Community High School. Prior to his hiring he was Associate athletic director at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities since 2005. Prior to his hiring in Gopher Athletics, he spent 24 years with the Minnesota Vikings Football Club as a player, pro scout and Director of Player Development. Lewis received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Missouri in 1980 and his Master of Science degree from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 1985. In 1997 he earned his Ph.D. in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota. To complement his career goals, Leo completed a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Argosy University in 2005. Leo’s primary research and applied interests focus on the social and psychological dimensions of sport and performance.

Click here to view this presentation.

March 29 - If You Let Me Play

Ms. Beth Goetz, Interim Athletic Director, University of MN Twin Cities

Beth Goetz was named Minnesota’s Interim Athletics Director on Aug. 7, 2015 previously serving as Deputy Athletics Director and senior woman administrator since she joined the department on March 4, 2013. Goetz is a member of the Executive Leadership Team and Senior Leadership Team for athletics and also serves on the Big Ten’s Administrators Council and is a member of the conference’s Sports Management Committee. Goetz came to Minnesota from Butler University, where she was an associate athletic director and the senior woman administrator from August 2008 to February 2013 While at Butler, Goetz served as the sport administrator for softball, volleyball and the men's and women's soccer programs. She previously supervised the men's and women's cross country and track and field programs. Goetz also worked closely with both of Butler's basketball programs and was the liaison for the women's team for post-season play. Goetz earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Clemson in 1996. She received her Master in Education degree from UMSL in 2000. Goetz was an accomplished collegiate soccer player and earned All-America recognition at Brevard College in North Carolina before heading to Clemson. She would lead the Tigers to a combined 29-11-1 record over the next two years.


April 5 - Are In-Class Speech Restrictions Ever Appropriate?

Academics have recently began paying special attention to the effects trigger warnings and safe spaces have had on student development. In some cases, such tools have protected students from revisiting unwanted psychological trauma. In other cases, though, these tools have been used to restrict speech and stifle in-class discussion. I will examine the debate and suggest two things. First, I will present some reasons why the balance between individual rights and the good of the whole make this a particularly difficult issue. Second, unlike many commentators on this subject, I will offer some reasons to think no solution to this problem can apply universally.

April 12 - Freedom of Speech and the Impact of Language

Societies have many structures, both formal and informal, that govern the behaviors of individuals. These structures are always fluid, responding to an array of cultural, environmental, and economic stimuli. In formal structures change may take the form of an amendment or adoption. In something informal, like language norms, the process is slower and much messier. Join us in a discussion of language and our personal responsibility for shepherding change.

Click here to view the presentation.

April 19 - “Truth, Justice, and the American Way”: When the U.S. Weighs In On Genocide

In anticipation of Genocide Remembrance Day on April 24, this talk addresses the ongoing issues surrounding a proposed bipartisan resolution on Capitol Hill to recognize the Armenian Genocide of 1915. For context, Ford will trace the U.S. response to genocide abroad in the past 100 years before examining this controversial topic in light of his recent trips to the Republic of Turkey.

Click here to view this presentation.

April 26 - A Gathering of Eagles – Those Who Serve

Why serve? Why give up your individual rights for the good of others? Why risk your life? These are questions every member of the military could face. Author and U.S. Army Colonel James Coy will shares stories and reflections based on his four book series A Gathering of Eagles.

Click here to view this presentation


May 3 - Designing Landscapes for a Healthier You

Come hear how to create outdoor spaces where you can reap the benefits of a closer relationship with nature in order to lead a healthier life. Jeff Feece, Sargent's landscaper, will discuss the basics of creating outdoor spaces using natural elements which are personalized to your individual aesthetic style and activity level. He’ll share the ongoing process of transforming his .2 acre lot from turf grass to a place where he and his family can reconnect with the natural world.

Click here to view the presentation.

May 10 - The Most Important Machine of All

Dr. Jim Maher will explore why the most abundant nano machine on the planet might be considered the most important. If so, then that award goes to a nano machine that is crammed into the leaves of every living tree (and plant). That nano machine is Ribulose bis-phosphate carboxylase (RuBisCo) and it is the most abundant protein enzyme on earth. It is the nano machine that takes carbon dioxide from the air and uses light energy to turn it into sugar. Reduction of carbon dioxide is a critical counter balance of human life and the consumption of fossil fuels and deals very fundamentally with human health.

Click Here to view this presentation.

May 17 - City trees and green space are health determinants: a review of evidence and values with Dr. Kathleen Wolf

The U.S. is an international leader in environmental health best practices. Policy and regulations help create communities that are free of toxins and risk. Research evidence points to the urban forest and city green spaces as additional determinants of health, contributing to cleaner air and water, less flooding, reduced urban heat island effect, and other environmental services. Perhaps less known, but equally important, nearly 40 years of research across many disciplines (psychology, epidemiology, sociology, and more) indicates the salutary effects of nearby nature in cities. Having nearby trees and green spaces is associated with faster healing, reduced stress response, improved cardiovascular health, and better social cohesion. Dr. Kathleen Wolf will provide a review and synthesis of the evidence, demonstrating how nearby nature contributes to disease prevention and health promotion.

Click here to view this presentation.

May 24 - Complex Answers to Simple Questions: How Trees Work with Eric North 

How big can trees grow? How old can trees get? Normally we try to find simple answers to these seemingly simple questions. This talk uses a mix of entertainment and science to explore the complexities of trees.

Click here to view this presentation

May 31 - i-Tree: Assessing and sustaining the public health benefits of trees

The evidence for the positive impacts of trees on health and well-being is rapidly growing. It seems like every week there is a new publication touting the abilities of trees to decrease hospital stays, improve student test scores, lower stress levels, and even reduce crime. How can you put this type of research to use in your community? What is the tree cover of Rochester? Which neighborhoods are providing the most tree benefits? Are there underserved areas that need more tree canopy? How does Rochester compare to other local communities? The answers to these questions are necessary to optimize and sustain tree related public health benefits. Now there are free research based tools to help. Attendees will see how they can apply the i-Tree software at multiple scales to understand relationships among trees, people and public health in order to sustain benefits and improve communities.

Click here to view this presentation


June 7 - Rochester Choral Arts Ensemble's Community Sing

Join Choral Arts Ensemble and performing partners from their May 7th Diverse Voices concert at CAE's annual Community Sing. Together we will learn about and sing from musical traditions of the Chinese, Somali, Indian, African-American, and Filipino communities as well as some of our summertime favorites. Come and make music with your neighbors!

June 14 - Honors Choirs of SE Minnesota presents Fiddler on the Roof

Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota is a nonprofit organization of four youth choirs for grades 3-12, and a musical learning class for children in grades 1 & 2. Founded in 1992, its mission is to promote the highest standard of excellence in the preparation and performance of choral music, seeking to provide artistic challenge and growth opportunities for youth throughout the region and enjoyment for the community at large.This past season, 350+ Honors Choirs singers represented over 25 different communities and 50 different schools in southeast Minnesota! The singers rehearse weekly throughout the academic year in Rochester preparing challenging repertoire, learning music history and theory, and practicing ear training techniques. Fiddler on the Roof is the organization's 9th summer musical and is part of the Rochester fest celebration. The cast, pit orchestra and crew members for this year's production include over 100 people of all ages. There are four shows -- June 23-26. Tickets can be purchased online at

June 21 - Perfectly Frank Show

Todd Anderson will give a historical introduction of Mr. Sinatra's most famous songs based on the year they were written. This is a nostalgic trip down memory lane of an American favorite in honor of Mr. Sinatra's 100th birthday.

Todd grew up in Andover, Minnesota. As a youngster he worked as a farm hand, played hockey, and rode his horse in the Anoka County Fair for 4H. (The horse was named "Chester") At age 20, Todd started performing on stage with community and professional theater. He is also classically trained. You may remember Tood from last year when he entertained us as Elvis.

June 28 - The Art of Social Dance

A presentation and demonstration on the significance of social dance in the past 100 years and how it has evolved in the US based on music trends and cultural contributions. We will be showcasing costuming styles, music and connection through dance.

April Dahl founded Dahl Dance with her partner in 2005. She has been dancing for 34 years and is skilled in multiple dance disciplines including ballet, jazz, contemporary, ballroom, Latin and Argentine Tango to name a few. Her constant movement started as a child. Her mother will testify to the many kitchen mishaps as April used counters for stretching and spun her way through the room along with making everyone stand up straight at home. She holds a degree in Kinesiology from the University of MN and is a certified postural alignment specialist. Her passion is helping people enjoy movement through music and to work with clients recovering from injuries that have affected their balance and coordination. She is a former member of the Beyond Ballroom Dance Company in Minneapolis, has participated as a guest artist with numerous dance companies and universities and was one of the top five for 2016 at the United States Argentine Tango Championships. When not in the studio, April enjoys more dancing with an addiction to Argentine Tango and has toured extensively in the US and abroad studying with the master’s of this art form. She enjoys cooking, really loves her two children, is an exercise enthusiast, snowboards,snorkels and still makes people stand up straight.


July 5 - NO EVENT - Holiday week

July 12 - To Serve & Protect: The Rochester K9 Unit, Officer James Bradley

Join us for a demonstration presented by the Rochester Police Department's K9 Unit. Learn about the important work these dogs do in keeping our city safe.

Officer James Bradley has 14 years of law enforcement experience (patrol, investigations, SWAT, and now K9) and has been a K9 handler since 2008. His canine partner Duke is a 3year old german Shepard from Slovakia. Duke is a dual purpose K9 meaning he is suited for street work(tracking and apprehension) and narcotic detection. United States Police K9 Association requires us to certify every year at police K9 trial (bitework, article search, obedience, and agility) Rochester PD has 6 dual purpose dogs and 2 single purpose explosive detection dogs. They work together with Olmsted County Sheriff's Office who has 5 dogs.

July 19 - Bird Stories by Al Batt

We all have our stories. Birds have theirs. By doing something wild and looking at a bird, Al has learned that a special place outside equals a special place inside.

Al Batt of Hartland, Minnesota is a writer, speaker, storyteller and humorist. Al writes humor and nature columns for many newspapers and does weekly radio shows about nature. He writes a number of popular cartoon strips that are syndicated nationally and is author of the book, "A Life Gone to the Birds." He is a columnist for "Bird Watcher’s Digest." He has received the Ed Franey Conservation Media Award from the Izaak Walton League and the Thomas Sadler Roberts Award from the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union for lifetime contributions to birding. Al speaks to anyone who will listen. His mother thinks he is special

July 26 - UMR CONNECTS Welcomes the National Eagle Center

Bucky Flores, Volunteer Coordinator and Naturalist Educator

Guests will have the opportunity to learn all about eagle biology, ecology and natural history in an engaging and entertaining presentation by one of our naturalist interpreters. Programs are approximately 45 minutes in length and each feature a live eagle ambassador. Cameras are welcome.

The National Eagle Center is an interpretive center located on the Mississippi River in Wabasha MN and is home to six permanently injured eagles. These resident eagles, five bald eagles and one golden eagle, now serve as ambassadors in educational programs in Wabasha and beyond.


August 2 - Minnesota State Parks: 125 Years of Beauty &I Adventure

Sara Holger, Naturalist at Whitewater State Park

Come and enjoy interactive displays, photo exhibits and hands -on activities celebrating the beautiful state parks of Minnesota. 

Sara Holger is an Interpretive Naturalist for Minnesota State Parks at Whitewater State Park. Sara has worked in the naturalist field for over 20 years at a variety of sites including the Bell Museum of Natural History, Olmsted County Parks and Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park. Sara is a native of the Lake Minnetonka area but has called the blufflands area home since 1996. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her family collecting agates and fossils, kayaking the streams of the region, and exploring our public lands.


August 16 - Native American Cultures and Earth's Diversity of Life

Nakoma Volkman, Artist and Storyteller

The diversity of human cultures on Earth, including Native American tribes and creatures of nature, is astounding. Earth is a masterpiece of creation within a vast universe. All life on Earth shares the same shoreline with the sky. Our home planet is an Island floating in the cosmos sea. Nakoma will speak, as he has done over 3600 times since the 1950's, on the existing diversity and the dire need for serious understanding, respect, appreciation and required care of it all. Questions and answers will follow. Born in 1939, Nakoma is of mixed heritage, including Chippewa-Cree, Scottish and German. He has grown up in the Native culture, adopted by the Oglala Lakota Sioux which forms his strongest identity. He and his wife, Kati, have traveled nation-wide lecturing and set-up as art and craft vendors at Native American Pow-Wows. He is a traditional dancer, singer, speaker, story-teller, writer and artist.

August 23 - Women of Mayo Clinic: The Founding Generation- Stories of Courage, Innovation, and Perseverance

Virginia Wright-Peterson, Ph.D., Author & UMR Faculty Member

Author Virginia Wright-Peterson will share stories from her recently published book, Women of Mayo Clinic: The Founding Generation, which traces the contributions of more than forty women — physicians, Franciscan Sisters, nurses, librarians, secretaries, a janitress, an interpreter, mothers, wives, and others — who were instrumental in establishing the medical center despite disease, war, and the hardships of pioneer life encountered in the remote Midwest from the 1850s to 1943. Mayo Clinic would not be the medical center that it is today without the contributions of these women. Virginia Wright-Peterson, a native of Rochester, Minnesota, worked in administrative capacities for Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and Arizona for seventeen years and has taught college level English, humanities, and philosophy for thirteen years, including as a Fulbright Scholar in Algeria. She also served with the American Red Cross on a military base in Iraq. She has a Ph.D. in English from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and is currently on the writing faculty at University of Minnesota Rochester. Women of Mayo Clinic: The Founding Generation is her first book.

August 30 - Dry as a Bone: Prohibition Era in Rochester

Janet Timmermann, Past Executive Director of Olmsted County History Center

The battle over booze that raged across the country during the early 20th Century played out in Rochester as well, with its own unique cast of characters. Rochester's Women’s Christian Temperance Union was integral to the story, as was Schuster Brewery, the Mayo brothers, and many involved with the criminal justice system. This session will tell the story of Prohibition's rise and fall in the Rochester area through the stories of those who lived through the era. Janet Timmerman is a past Education Director and Executive Director of the History Center of Olmsted County. She received her BA in history from Southwest Minnesota State University and MA in history from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. Janet is the co-author and co-editor of Draining the Great Oasis: An Environmental History of Murray County and The1993 Floods in Southwest Minnesota: 40 Photos and 40 Essays. Janet is the author of two chapbooks released by the Society for the Study of Local and Regional History in Marshall, Minnesota: “Draining the Great Oasis: Agricultural Drainage 1910-1915” and “Red Earth White Road: Metis Families during the US Dakota War of 1862.” Today, Janet serves as the Museums Coordinator for Murray County and leads a team in managing the End O Line Railroad Park and Museum, The Murray County Museum, and the Dinehart Holt Historic House Museum.


SEPTEMBER 6 - Rochester's Projects and Expansions

Panelists: Nancy Cashman- Gage East & Empowerment Center, Sally Gallagher-  125 Live, ANDY KROGSTAD  - Mayo Civic Center, Dale McCamish - Rochester Rec Center

Facilitator: Jay Furst, Post Bulletin Managing Editor

Our city is growing and improving everyday. Have you wondered when some of the construction projects around town would be completed? or how these projects and expansions will benefit the Rochester residents? Our panelists will give updates on their projects and explain the importance of these projects for the city of Rochester.

September 13       A Better Understanding of Homelessness

Nancy Cashman, Center City Housing Corporation, Melissa Brandt, Rochester Public Schools

Speakers Nancy Cashman and Melissa Brandt will discuss the changing face of homelessness in the United States, and specifically present on local perspective and understanding on issues of affordable housing, trauma informed care, and school district resources for students and families experiencing homelessness.

Click here to view recording

September 20 - WorkforceAffordable Housing

Panelists:  Jeff Ellerbusch, Olmsted County Planning, Pete Giesen, Olmsted County Public Health, Jeff Urban, Bear Creek Church Outreach Pastor, Joe Weis, Weis Builders

Facilitator: Steve Borchardt, Rochester Area Foundation

Is affordable housing an issue in Rochester? The short answer is YES and it impacts residents of all ages and many different walks of life.  Steve Borchardt of the Rochester Area Foundation will facilitate a discussion with various community leaders who deal with different aspects of affordable housing and what is being done to control these issues.

Click here to view recording

September 27  Rochester Fire Department, Celebrating 150 Years

Deputy Fire Chief R. Vance Swisher graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelors of Science in Fire Protection and Safety Technology in 1995 and began his fire service career with the Cedar Rapids Iowa Fire Marshal's Office the same year. In 1999, Chief Swisher accepted a position with the Rochester Fire Marshal's Office and has had the opportunity to progress to the rank of Deputy Fire Chief. During his time with the Rochester Fire Department, he has completed a Masters of Science in Fire and Emergency Management Administration from Oklahoma State University, the Executive Fire Officer course from the National Fire Academy, and became certified as one of only a hand full of Certified Fire Investigators in the state of Minnesota. Today, Chief Swisher utilizes his education, training, and experience to lead the Rochester Fire Marshal's Office and manage the Adminstrative division of the Rochester Fire Department 

Click here to view presentation

October 4 - Citizen Advocacy

How does an average citizen get involved in advocating for a cause they are passionate about? What are some tips and helpful hints? (We will also talk about the election, registering to vote, accessing the polls and other information to remove barriers to election participation.) We will share information about NAMI Southeast MN. NAMI stands for National Alliance on Mental Illness,

Click here to view presentation

October 11, 2016  Women’s Shelter, Inc. presents: Tough Guise 2 Violence, Manhood & American Culture’, video screening as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month

A Public Awareness Forum surrounding the ongoing epidemic of men’s violence in America. Tough Guise 2 is the highly anticipated update of the influential and widely acclaimed Tough Guise, pioneering anti-violence educator and cultural theorist, Jackson Katz argues that the ongoing epidemic of man’s violence in America is rooted in our inability as a society to move beyond outmoded ideals of manhood. In a sweeping analysis that cuts across racial, ethnic, and class lines, Katz examines mass shootings, day to day gun violence, violence against women, bullying, gay-bashing, and American militarism against the backdrop of a culture that has normalized violent and regressive forms of masculinity in the face of challenges to traditional male power and authority. Along the way, the film provides a stunning look at the violent, sexist, and homophobic messages boys and young men routinely receive from virtually every corner of the culture, from television, movies, video games, and advertising to pornography, the sports culture, and U. S. political culture. Tough Guise 2 stands to empower a new generation of young men – and women – to challenge the myth that being a real man means putting up a false front and engaging in violent and self-destructive behavior. There is a warning associated with the video: This program contains graphic and extreme violence, explicit language and partial nudity. Viewer discretion is strongly advised. Following the screening there will be an opportunity for questions and open discussion.

October 18, 2016  After the 2016 Election. Will Minnesota Keep on Being Minnesota?

Wy Spano

Historically, Minnesota was known as one of the best governed states in the nation, if not THE best. Our political culture was thought to be just right for civil, problem-solving democratic action. Things began to change in the late 1990’s; this year’s election promises even more change. We will talk about the past—why everyone thought we were so good—then we’ll muse about this question: Can Minnesota’s fabled good politics survive Hilary vs Trump?

Click here to view the presentation.

October 25  Challenges and Opportunities for Women Candidates and Officeholders in a Partisan Era

Dr. Kathryn Pearson, Associate Professor, University of MN Twin Cities

Women comprise less than 20 percent of the United States Congress. Why are women underrepresented at every level in U.S. politics, and is this likely to change any time soon? What particular challenges and opportunities do women face on the campaign trail and in elected office? How does electing women to office make a difference?

Click here to view the presentation

November 2016 - Conservation and the Environment

November 1 Energy Challenges Today and into the Future

Elaine Garry President and CEO at People’s Energy Cooperative (PEC) & Curt Shellum, CEO/Owner Solar Connection

Elaine J. Garry, President & CEO, People’s Energy Cooperative and Curt Shellum, Solar Connections, Inc.will discuss some of the current challenges facing electric cooperatives including renewable requirements, the conservation improvement plan requirements, fair and equitable rate-making and proposed Federal regulations

November 15 Large Lakes as a Climate Antenna

Jay Austin, Ph.D, Large Lakes Observatory/Department of Physics and Astronomy University of Minnesota, Duluth

Ice plays a major role in the physical and biogeochemical development of mid- to high-latitude lakes. Specifically, ice has been shown to be a major driver of the annual thermal development of large lakes like Lake Superior, with winter ice conditions playing a fundamental role in determining seasonal timing and eventual thermal structure of the lake during the subsequent year. Two more recent results help to put this result in context: first, that worldwide, partially-ice covered lakes tend to have significantly higher rates of warming than more temperate lakes, and second, that seasonal ice coverage is a surprisingly sensitive function of seasonally averaged air temperature. As lakes are fixed features on the landscape, this suggests that partially ice-covered lakes can provide a sensitive and robust gauge of winter conditions, and by extension, long-term change in winter conditions. Additionally, most in-situ research on lake ice has focused on small lakes, largely for logistical reasons. Surprisingly, our knowledge of the behavior of ice on the US/Canadian Laurentian Great Lakes, and on large lakes in general, is derived almost entirely from remote sensing, and indirectly from numerical modeling. Recent novel field results reveal details of ice features such as keel distribution and depth and ice drift, features that will need to be better understood in order for numerical models to provide us with a better understanding of the ice environment.

November 22 What Lives and What Dies

UMR Faculty - Shanna Altrichter, M.A. and Rahel Olson, Ph.D.

Environmental conservationist.s warn that we are at a point where we can no longer save all species on the endangered or threatened list. We now must decide what to save, rather than how to save all threatened species since resources are limited. How we decide what species to study and what species we allocate resources to will determine which endangered species will live and, ultimately, which species we will let die. How we make decisions about what to study or where to allocate resources are often not made on the basis of scientific knowledge or environmental importance but on more subjective measures, such as how cute an animal is. Is this how we want this type of decision to be made? If it's not, how do we change our perspective? If it's cute and if it's furry, does it deserve to live?

Click here to view the presentation

December - Farewell to 2016

December 13 - Mental Health is Public Health

Anita Otterness, NAMI

NAMI will present on mental health vs. mental illness, warning signs of mental illness and community supports including community education, screening for illness, linking people to care aspects of public health in particular.

December 22 - The 10 Year History of UMR

UMR Chancellor Stephen Lehmkuhle

As University of MN celebrates its 10 year anniversary, join UMR Chancellor Stephen Lehmkuhle for a look at our past, present and future.

Click here to view presentation.