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Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

February 18, 2011
Lucy Kragness, Assistant to the Chancellor, 218-726-6176,
Cheryl Reitan, Director, Marketing and Communication 218-726-8996,

Chancellor's Inauguration Week Features Panels on Diversity and Sustainability; Keynote Speaker on Human Rights

University of Minnesota Duluth faculty and students will present free public forums about two high-priority campus issues - inclusiveness and sustainability - on March 2 and 3 as part of a week celebrating the inauguration of Chancellor Lendley C. Black. The keynote inauguration speech by Cathi Tactaquin, a nationally known expert on immigration and human rights, also will carry the theme of inclusiveness.

The events are part of the March 1-5 celebration of Chancellor Black's official installation as chancellor. Inauguration Week will include academic presentations, concerts, a day of volunteering and a men's hockey game in addition to the March 4 inauguration ceremony at 2 p.m. in the Romano Gym on campus. Most events, including the inauguration ceremony, are open to the public.


On Wednesday, March 2, the campus will host a day's worth of programs about gender, race and ethnicity. Chancellor Black and his administration place a high priority on embracing diversity in learning, working and living as an academic community. The inauguration week panels on equity and diversity are an effort to share discussion, ideas and research about inclusiveness with students, faculty and the public.

The panels are scheduled at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the UMD Library Rotunda. The topic of the 11:30 a.m. panel will be "From detachment to empowerment: How HIV+ people join together and mobilize health and social change."

UMD faculty members from three disciplines will share their research related to diversity in relationship to health care. Rebecca de Souza, assistant professor, Department of Communication, does research studies of communication in health contexts. Paul L. Ranelli, professor, Duluth College of Pharmacy, studies factors that influence medication use behavior. Melissa L. Walls, assistant professor, Department of Sociology/Anthropology, conducts research in behavioral health.

At 3 p.m., a second panel will include three UMD faculty members, each speaking on a separate topic. Paula Pederson, assistant professor, Department of Psychology, will speak about teaching and learning with relationship to cultural differences. Jill Doerfler, assistant professor, Department of American Indian Studies, will examine Anishinaabe identity as understood during the 20th Century and what it means today. Adam Pine, assistant professor, Department of Geography, will speak about making the benefits of urban growth available to all urban residents.

At 7 p.m., Cathi Tactaquin, executive director of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, will give the chancellor's inaugural keynote and Women's History Month address in Kirby Ballroom. Her presentation, titled "Women, Global Migration and Human Rights," will draw on her work defending and expanding the rights of immigrants and refugees. A reception by the Women's Studies Department will follow the talk.


Chancellor Black has also set a high priority on balancing current environmental, economic and social needs with the needs of future generations - an effort that is moving toward making the campus a student laboratory in sustainability.

On Thursday, March 3, panels in the Library Rotunda at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. will address issues of sustainability on campus. The morning panel, moderated by UMD Sustainability Coordinator Mindy Granley, will discuss how UMD can become more sustainable and how those efforts can involve students in their studies, co-curricular activities and everyday life. A panel of faculty, staff and students will discuss the issue and the audience will be invited to join the discussion.

The afternoon panel will talk about what sustainability means and how UMD embeds it into learning and research. Andrea Schokker, professor and head, Department of Civil Engineering, will moderate and UMD faculty panelists from engineering, geology, biology, environmental science and sociology/anthropology will join the discussion. For more information visit the Inauguration Week Schedule of Events.

UMD is a comprehensive university - part of the University of Minnesota system - that offers 13 bachelor degrees in 74 majors. UMD has a two-year medical school and a College of Pharmacy among its graduate programs in 24 fields. Fall 2010 enrollment in all UMD programs was nearly 11,800 students.

UMD ranks among the top universities the country for its commitment Undergraduate Research Opportunity Programs. The University is also leader in American Indian education, with nearly 20 related campus programs, including strong programs in medicine. The Center for Freshwater Research and Policy and the Large Lakes Observatory contribute to the university's international reputation for comprehensive research in freshwater.

UMD consistently ranks among the top Midwestern, regional universities in U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Colleges" issue

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