Campus News

CFANS Commencement: Over 600 students join the CFANS alumni community

On May 6, graduate students of CFANS commenced in a ceremony at the North Star Ballroom on the St. Paul campus, bringing graduation back to St. Paul for the first time in nearly a decade. Maureen Omolo '15 (M.S. Food Science) served as the student speaker and Mary Wagner '84 (Ph.D. Food Science), senior vice president of Global Product Innovation/Food Safety and Quality for Starbucks, served as the commencement speaker. You can learn more about Dr. Mary Wagner in this special Food Science & Nutrition Department feature, and watch the ceremony online

On May 13, CFANS seniors commenced in a ceremony at the Northrop Auditorium. Mikalyna Sell '16 (B.S. Animal Science) served as the student speaker, and Mehmood Khan M.D., Chief Scientific Officer and CEO of the Global Nutrition Group at PepsiCo served as the commencement speaker, receiving a standing ovation. You can watch the ceremony online.

Check out our Facebook page to view photos from graduation!

CFANS Students Named Princess Kay of the Milky Way Finalists

On May 15, a nervous hush came over the Saint Cloud State University campus as more than 60 dairy princesses were narrowed to 12 finalists for Princess Kay of the Milky Way. After spending hours preparing and interviewing for the opportunity to become a finalist for this prestigious honor, two CFANS students were named finalists!

CFANS student Morgan Krause is a rising sophomore from a dairy farm in Buffalo, Minnesota and she is majoring in Agricultural Education. "Being involved in the dairy community has provided me with so many great opportunities and experiences," explains Krause. "I have learned many lessons by growing up on my families sixth generation farm. One I apply most during school here at the University of Minnesota is doing my best, doing it right and working until the job gets done. I have watched my family work hard every day to take the best care of our animals and the land we live on. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to apply this lesson in all aspects of my life as I further my education in agriculture."

Finalist Kayla Leiding is a rising sophomore studying Agricultural Communication and Marketing. She grew up on a dairy farm in Fountain, Minnesota and also has a strong connection and enthusiasm for the dairy industry. "My passion for the dairy community has grown tremendously throughout the years," says Leiding. "I have had countless positive experiences and opportunities over the years and I want to continue to be a role model in the dairy community whether it be through informing consumers or getting them actively involved. Because of this, I have found that I want to stay within the dairy community and continue to deepen my passion in a future career." See the full list of Princess Kay Finalists on the Midwest Dairy website

Imagining the Future: Bell Museum

Construction and the final phase of fundraising for the Bell Museum + Planetarium has begun in earnest since our groundbreaking celebration on Earth Day. Construction highlights for May include the following:

-Site clearing has been completed
-Construction fence installation has been completed
-Earth work has commenced
-Job site trailers have been delivered and set
-Upcoming construction activities: Earthwork and soil export & Concrete footings pour

The Bell Museum is also pleased to report that its fundraising goal now stands at $13.7M after many recent generous gifts and commitments. The greatest outstanding needs include building infrastructure, funds to move and preserve the museum's world-famous dioramas, and ongoing support for exhibits and programs. Programming is anticipated to grow by 25% and provide greater access for all Minnesotans regardless of abilities and income levels.

Write history by adding your name to the Diorama Legacy Society, or be part of the story in other ways by visiting the website or contacting Beverly Anglum at 612.301.9469 or

Ag Ed Enthusiast Spring Newsletter Published

The spring newsletter of the Ag Ed Enthusiast is out on the Ag Ed website. Agricultural Education student assistant Ellyn Swanson wrote and edited this semester’s e-newsletter. A number of alumni were featured, including Kirby Schmidt '14 and a number of alumni who have mentored Ag Ed students through the CFANS Mentor Program. Check out the newsletter to learn the latest happenings from the Agricultural Education Department. 

Free Alumni Association Career and Personal Enrichment Webinars Available Online

Thanks to everyone who attended, viewed, and participated in the 2015-16 series of Alumni Association webinars. Over the past year, over 2,100 alumni, students, and friends attend live! There were also over 4,100 people who watched the webinars afterward on the Alumni Association YouTube channel. Some of these webinars were led by CFANS alumni, including: 

Science Discovery Day Camps at the Bell

Unearth unforgettable experiences in the arts and sciences powered by the University of Minnesota including hands-on learning, planetarium shows, outdoor exploration, creative activities & so much more! Register today!