CLA Stories

At Backpack, we’re strategic storytellers for the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. The college is a hub for intellectual and creative innovation, and we tell stories that spark curiosity, connection, and inspiration. Our objective is to transform CLA into a destination college by telling stories about the students, faculty, and alumni.

Statistician Lindsey Dietz poses

Predict and Prepare: Severe Weather

PhD Candidate Lindsey Dietz sees herself as part of a burgeoning moment in researching extreme climatic events. Her research aims to have real-world applications by helping communities and states prepare for these extreme events. Lindsey’s studies shows the ability of statistical research to not only have theoretical implications, but be applied in truly tangible and monumental ways.
Professor Howard Lavine in his office.

Emotion and Political Judgment

When are citizens willing to put political party allegiances aside in order to think more deeply and even-handedly regarding salient policy issues? Through their collaborative research, University of Minnesota political psychology professor Howard Lavine, Duke University professor Christopher D. Johnston, and University of Missouri-Kansas City professor Benjamin Woodson, seek to answer this question.
SLHS professor Ben Munson poses in his office

A Solid Phonology Foundation for Adolescents is Critical

“I like working with people who have the most to gain and the most to lose,” Munson says. Munson is in the midst of finishing a large longitudinal study of the relationships between phonology and children who are still acquiring basic language skills. By using a number of behavioral measures, such as eye-tracking to measure speech perception and nonword repetition, he hopes to better understand how speech production and speech perception grow throughout the years and help with word learning.
An old painting of Japanese Onnagata performing on stage.

Onnagata: The Stars of Japanese Kabuki Theater

Kabuki Theater is a centuries old Japanese artistic tradition. Asian Languages & Literatures Associate Professor Maki Isaka has a unique relationship with the art form and all the issues surrounding it. Isaka is also affiliated with the Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies, as well as the Department of Theater Arts & Dance. Her combinations of academic expertise allowed her to produce a truly innovative piece of research, a new book titled "Onnagata: A Labyrinth of Gendering in Kabuki Theater."

Holocaust Education in a Global Context

From June to November of 2015, the Institute for Global Studies, in partnership with the Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies, worked with K-16 teachers to explore the issues and challenges of genocide education in the classroom. Almost 75 educators participated in a series of collaborative workshops that addressed the historical and sociological significance of the genocide in a global context (Holocaust, Native American, Armenian, Cambodian, and Rwandan Genocides).