U of M to host Minnesota Sparks in St. Cloud


On Thursday, Nov. 10, the University of Minnesota will host Minnesota Sparks in St. Cloud, Minn., at the Tuscan Center. The event brings three University researchers—who are tackling some of the area’s most critical issues—into conversation with members of the local community.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., presentations and Q&A discussions are held from 6–7:15 p.m., and an open social hour will be held at 7:15 p.m. to close the evening. Minnesota Sparks is free of charge, and all are welcome to attend. Registration is encouraged. To register, visit z.umn.edu/UMNsparks or contact Ashley Harville at harville@umn.edu, 612-625-5156. The evening will be hosted by U of M Regent Laura Brod.

Minnesota Sparks in St. Cloud features three University of Minnesota researchers:

Hank Balfour: Could a vaccine help eliminate mono, multiple sclerosis, and cancer?
Epstein-Barr virus disease is one of the most common and complex viruses. It can cause mononucleosis, lymphoma and other cancers, and it may play a causative role in multiple sclerosis. The development of a vaccine is among the most promising research at the University of Minnesota. Hank Balfour is a professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology as well as the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota.

Mark Seeley: Coping with Climate Change
Hear thoughts from a climatologist and meteorologist on how, when weather no longer plays by the rules, we must adapt to the new rules of the game. Climate change is creating powerful new short- and long-term affects. Audiences will learn how to adapt to the new normal of extreme weather. Mark Seeley is a climatologist and meteorologist at the University of Minnesota.

Ben Winchester: Rural Rebound
We often hear about a rural brain drain—young people leaving their hometowns after high school. Ben Winchester introduces audiences to in-migration. Young adults and their children are moving into rural communities, often surpassing the numbers of those moving away. This brain gain is a trend that needs to sustain. Ben Winchester is a research fellow in the U of M Extension Center for Community Vitality.

Minnesota Sparks in St. Cloud is part of a larger series of Minnesota Sparks events throughout the state. Find out more about statewide Minnesota Sparks events.

Media note: Media are welcome to attend any or all of the event. Please RSVP to Emmalynn Bauer, University News Service, 612-626-1720, ebauer@umn.edu. Interviews with presenting faculty are available upon request. 

Media Contacts

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University Public Relations
(612) 293-0831
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University Public Relations
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University of Minnesota, Twin Cities