Max Chao


University researchers look to reinvigorate greater Minnesota

A new research initiative from the University of Minnesota aims to analyze population trends in order to reinvigorate rural Minnesota. With a recent $500,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture in tow, the ten-person, three-year project attempts to examine data that shows rural communities are growing but need to improve to thrive in the future. Bucking a popular narrative, statistics show rural communities have increased in population by 11 percent, predominantly in the form of 30-49 year olds, since 1970.

Postdoc parents face biases, study finds

A new study shows postdoctoral researchers have trouble accessing parental accommodations. The study, published June 21, found that postdocs were often hesitant to request pregnancy accommodations, had limited access to parental leave and were pressured to return to work early.

St. Anthony Falls Laboratory names new director

The University of Minnesota’s St. Anthony Falls Lab near the Stone Arch Bridge recently appointed its new director. Earlier this month, Lian Shen was named the new director of the SAFL after a two-year, five candidate search.

Amid fidget toy craze, U grads create silent device

In 2016, a group of University of Minnesota business students were looking to create a way for young students and their classmates to fidget in peace. Not long after, an unexpected craze formed with fidget toys in all shapes and sizes everywhere.

U center explores a sustainable future

In a workshop in St. Paul, several researchers work to advance the future of sustainable energy. For almost 15 years, theUniversity of Minnesota’sCenter for Biorefining has researched ways to convert waste into valuable resources like energy and food. “We saw so much of this waste and it actually causes a lot of pollution to the environment ... it’s actually, simply, a waste of the resources,” said Roger Ruan, founder and director of the center and a University professor.

One Stop expands financial resources

As part of a push to improve students’ fiscal responsibility, the University of Minnesota is expanding its financial education resources. Counselors at One Stop Student Services recently completed training and added online resources to help students develop financial skills.

Study shows students prefer "authentic" professors

A recent study shows students prefer professors they perceive to be “authentic.” The study, published in Communication Education, surveyed nearly 300 college students on behavior from past professors they deemed to be authentic or inauthentic. The study found students can distinguish between authentic and inauthentic behavior from professors and learned better from authentic professors, said Zac Johnson, co-author of the study and assistant professor of instructional communications at California State University, Fullerton. “[It’s] being yourself rather than trying to do the things that pedagogy books would tell you that you have to do in order to be successful as a teacher,” he said. The study derived “authenticity” from student’s responses and found authentic professors to be approachable, passionate, attentive, capable and knowledgeable.