Monthly Forums and Workshops

UMRA's monthly programs typically include a speaker forum followed by a workshop. The schedule is below.  During this time of online programming, we have an addition to our speaker line-up -- UMRA AM, monthly at 9am. Learn more about our meetings. 

Luncheon & Forum:  11:30 - 1:00 pm (except where noted)
Campus Club West Wing   Upcoming programs are online due to COVID-19

Living Well Workshop:  1:30 - 2:30 pm (except where noted)
Dale Shephard Room

 2020 - 2021 Forum & Workshop schedule:

Recorded meetings are available in the left column of this page.

August 18,  12:00 noon   ONLINE
Rachel T. A. Croson
Executive Vice President and Provost
University of Minnesota

September 8, 2020, 9:00 AM    ONLINE
Henning Schroeder
Director of International Programs, College of Pharmacy;
Professor, Dept of Pharmaceutics, UMN
Working through the Past

September 15, 2020,  11:00 AM   ONLINE
Living Well Workshop:
Jenny Blaine
Security Analyst
Office of Information Security, UMN
Cybersecurity:  Safeguarding Your Data and Identity

September 29, 2020,  12:00 noon   ONLINE
PDGR Grant Recipient
Josie Johnson, EdD
Author, activist, Regent Emerita
Hope in the Struggle: A Memoir

October 13, 2020, 9:00 AM    ONLINE
Kirsten Delegard
Co-founder and Project Director, Mapping Prejudice Project.  
UMN Libraries Research + Learning

October 20, 2020,  11:00 AM   ONLINE
Living Well Workshop:
Office of Human Resources, UMN
OHR Annual Benefits Update

October 27, 2020,  12:00 noon   ONLINE
Drs. Katharine Nelson and Kathryn Cullen
Dept of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, UMN
Crisis in Youth Mental Illness

November 10, 2020, 9:00 AM    ONLINE
Dr. Timothy Schacker
Professor of Medicine
Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine, UMN
A vaccine for COVID-19

November 17, 2020,  11:00 AM   ONLINE
Living Well Workshop:
Dr Lucy Rose Fischer and Mark Fischer
artist and owner of LucyRoseDesigns
The Best Age

November 24, 2020,  12:00 noon   ONLINE
Kathryn Pearson, 
Associate Professor
Dept of Political Science and Center for the Study of Politics and Governance
Humphrey School of Public Affairs, UMN
2020 Election Analysis

January 12, 2021, 9:00 AM    ONLINE
Rajean Moone, Associate Director of Education,
Center for Healthy Aging and Innovation,
School of Public Health;
Lynn Anderson, UMRA
Representative to the UMN Age-Friendly University Council
UMN and the Age-Friendly University

January 19, 2021,  11:00 AM   ONLINE
Living Well Workshop:
Lisa Lemler
Associate Director of Recreational Sports and Wellness, UMN
Developing a Balanced Exercise Program

January 26, 2021,  12:00 noon   ONLINE
Brad Holschuh
Co-Director, Wearable Technology Laboratory
College of Design
Wearable Technology:  Principles, Applications, Challenges

February 9, 2021, 9:00 AM    ONLINE
UMRA A.M.    
Greg Hestness
UM Associate VP for Public Safety and Chief of Police (retired)
Abolish, De-fund, Reimagine, Reform? The Future of Policing in Minneapolis

February 16, 2021,  11:00 AM   ONLINE
Living Well Workshop:
Peter J Watson
Associate Professor of Speech, Language, Hearing
How Not to Sound Old

February 23, 2021
, 12:00 noon    ONLINE 
Myron Frans,
Senior Vice President for Finance and Operations
The Buck Stops Here, the University in a New Era

March 9, 2021, 9:00 AM    ONLINE
Andrea Backes,
Chief of Operations, BioMADE;
Michael Smanski, 
McKnight Land Grant Professor,
Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics
BioMADE, a new hub of innovation on the St Paul Campus

March 16, 2021, 11:00 AM    ONLINE   
Erik Moore
Head of University Archives & Co-Director
University Digital Conservancy
Downsizing:  Spotting and Donating Historic Treasures

March 23, 2021, 12:00 noon  ONLINE
Timothy Johnson,
Morse Alumni Distinguished Professor
of Political Science and Law
The Supreme Court

April 13, 2021, 9:00 AM    ONLINE
Jim Bowyer, ret faculty
Dept of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering
The Irresponsible Pursuit of Paradise

April 20, 2021, 11:00 AM    ONLINE       
Sharon Stiteler
Ranger and Naturalist
National Park Service
Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
The Minneapolis Megamurder (about crows!) and other remarkable things about our urban national park

April 27, 2021, 12:00 noon  ONLINE
Michael Rodriguez
Professor and Interim Dean
Educational disparities and the work of CEHD

May 3, 2021   11:00 AM    ONLINE    (Note date change)
Ann Van Heest
Professor UM Dept of Orthopedic Surgery
How to Keep your Hands and Wrists Healthy and Strong

May 11, 2021, 9:00 AM    ONLINE
Stephen Befort
Professor of Law
Police union agreements and our cities

May 25, 2021   12:00 Noon    ONLINE   
Member Meeting, election of officers

12:20 AM  Forum  ONLINE
Ken Powell
Outgoing Chair, UMN Board of Regents,
former Chairman and CEO
General Mills
Reflections on his time of leadership at the University of Minnesota

June 8, 2021, 9:00 AM    ONLINE
John Gordon
Executive Director, MN ACLU
Voter Suppression

July 20, 2021, 4:30 PM   ONLINE
Workshop & Discussion
Andrew Horton
Enology Specialist, UMN Dept of Horticultural Services
Wine Tasting  --  Those registered will be sent a list of wines to purchase

August 17, 2021, 11:30 - 1:30 PM    In Person!
Como Lakeside Pavilion
1360 Lexington Pkwy N
Lunch will be served
Registration required
Fully vaccinated individuals are welcome to attend



See Forums and Workshops held in prior years

More about our meetings

UMRA Forums include a meal and require reservations.  Reservations for the next monthly Forum begins online the day following the monthly meeting (e.g., reservations for November opens the day after the October meeting).  There is no need to RSVP, or pay, to attend the Workshops, just come and enjoy.  All meetings are scheduled for the 4th Tuesday of the month over lunch (except November and May, which are on the third Tuesday).

Invited speakers from within and outside the University address a variety of scholarly, informative, and entertaining topics. These gatherings allow members to renew long-standing friendships with former colleagues, make new acquaintances, and strengthen a sense of connection with the University community. Reservations and a $23 fee to cover food expenses  (make reservations) are required. An optional coffee hour (no charge) begins at 10:30 on days of luncheon meetings.

Living Well Workshop: A workshop in conjunction with most of our luncheon meetings. Living Well Workshos are held in the Dale Shepherd Room, and are generally designed to be highly interactive. There is no fee for workshops, and you need not have attended the luncheon to participate. Sample recent workshop topics have included housing alternatives, financial planning, long-term care, photography, and caregiving.

Annual meeting: The final monthly meeting of the year, in May, is considered to be our annual gala social event, an expanded menu and an especially entertaining program. UMRA officers hold a brief business meeting, and the membership elects new association officers and board members to lead the next year’s activities. There is no May workshop.

Governance meetings: The Executive Committee and the Board meet most months during the academic year; other committees meet as needed.

Other: Clubs and special interest groups are informal, self-governing groupings of UMRA members who share a common interest. Our various groups can be found under Activities. Social events in addition to the luncheons are organized on an occasional basis and publicized through the newsletter or emails to the membership.