4/28/2016, 9:00pm

Minnesota sex-ed programs go unregulated

Sitting in a circle with several other then-high school girls, Claire Loveall admitted she masturbated. One by one, so did the others. Now a University of Minnesota first-year student, Loveall said she divulged the secret to defend a friend who was ridiculed for mentioning female self-pleasure. Hesitation to discuss masturbation exemplifies the sex talk taboo, said Bielca Guevara, an HIV health educator at West Side Community Health Services in Minneapolis.

4/26/2016, 4:34pm

Beyond the classroom, UMN students find Instagram fame

Posing in a sun-lit, white brick studio space, Sami Huerta illustrated how to create a “geo-inspired silhouette” for a post on her blog.  The University of Minnesota apparel design junior initially started the project as a way to meet new people after transferring to the school.

3/31/2016, 8:42pm

UMN officials push to find upperclassmen living accommodations

Though they bonded in freshman dorms, the four friends couldn’t wait to move into a place of their own off campus. First-year students Grant Zastoupil, Laurel Darling, Alex Mickelson and Alison Gould —  who belong to one of the University’s largest freshman classes — met in September after moving into the Centennial and Frontier residence halls. The group illustrates what University of Minnesota administrators have long called the goal of campus housing: creating a community that boosts connections in and out of class.

3/24/2016, 7:51pm

Though a quarter of young adults experience daily pain, research is slim

Aching muscles were no more than background noise to Claire Stephens until the pain started to creep into her wrists. Stephens, then a music education first-year at Winona State University, worried that daily violin practice could be inducing the pangs. One year later, she set down the instrument for good. Despite giving up the hobby she intended to make her career, the ache continued to spread — first to her back and ribs and then to her head, until Stephens noticed herself feeling dizzy and was unable to remember important moments in her life.

3/10/2016, 8:14pm

Despite holes in process, universities nationwide continue use of search firms

Finding an executive-level administrator to fill an open position at a university comes at a cost. Some officials say schools lack means to conduct large-scale searches to find the perfect fit, which can take months and lag on for even longer if candidates don’t accept an offer. So nationwide, colleges turn to companies to track down and vet candidates, in order to expedite what can otherwise be a long and tedious process.

3/3/2016, 7:01pm

Every day, every hour

By the end of wrestling practice, the Gophers’ basement training area is limp from exhaustion. Its cushioned floor is slick with sweat smears, and only the athletes’ jagged panting can slice through the thick, muggy air. The 90-minute practices are only part of a daily grind for the University of Minnesota’s 44 wrestlers, who equip themselves for competition through a disciplined lifestyle unique to the sport. Each wrestler maintains a regimen of healthy eating, sleeping and exercising, in hopes of making the most of their seven minutes on the mat. “Having the lifestyle of a wrestler is getting up super early to do extra lifts.

2/11/2016, 7:35pm

Searching for Care

Sammy Miller found herself struggling to shake intrusive thoughts of suicide in her dorm room one night during her freshman year. Diagnosed with depression, anxiety and borderline personality disorder, Miller knew what was happening.

12/3/2015, 9:21pm

UMN takes lead in breeding nation's wine grapes

One out of 10,000 vines fruits a cotton-candy-flavored grape. Another produces a grape with a pineapple tang, and a certain dud vaguely tastes of green bell pepper. Through years of testing, hands-on labor and patience, grapes grown at the University of Minnesota’s Horticulture Research Center in Excelsior, Minn., have become a part of a Midwestern resurgence in fruit breeding set in motion in the ’80s. A new grape variety, MN 1285 — created to withstand the state’s cold climate while remaining suitable for Minnesotan wine — is nearing the end of its roughly 20-year testing and naming period. At the start of every fall, University vineyard managers and husband and wife John and Jenny Thull spend their days harvesting ripe grapes, keeping an eye on prospective cultivars and tagging unsuccessful vines for chopping. About 40 percent of the University’s 11-acre vineyard was planted in 2007, said Matt Clark, an assistant professor in grape breeding and enology — the study of wine.  Most of the school’s vines are dedicated to cultivating cold-hardy wine grapes, which thrive in Minnesota’s cool nights and hot summer days and can’t be found in warmer climates, like in California. “I think people are romanced by the idea of growing grapes and making wine,” Clark said. On an autumn harvesting day, Clark joined the Thulls in tasting grapes one-by-one to check for subtle flavors, good and bad, that could set the variety apart. “The acids are really high, really tart, but the flavors are so strong,” Clark says, popping a grape in his mouth.

10/15/2015, 6:08pm

Anonymously Yours

Her oversized maroon bow fluttering, a girl hardly older than 5 hustled down the bleachers at TCF Bank Stadium.