President Pershing recaps an eventful year


President Pershing recaps an eventful 2011-12 academic year, which included the U’s inaugural Pac-12 season, the construction of a handful of state-of-the-art facilities, numerous national honors and awards, and, of course, a new president. Listen here.


Info for Researchers

  1. Research Development and Grant Writing NewsResearch Updates
    2. FURTHeR
    3. Education and Outreach Resources
    4. Grant Writing Crash Course
    5. Upcoming Research Grant Opportunities

 1.    Research Development and Grant Writing News

The Office of the VP for Research has subscribed to Research Development and Grant Writing News, a monthly electronic newsletter published by Academic Research Funding Strategies, LLC. The newsletter is content rich, and focused on how to compete successfully for research and education funding from federal agencies and foundations. The newsletter is available for unlimited distribution within the University; we hope you will find this to be a good resource.

The newsletters will be available here, and posted to Unite.

2.    FURTHeR

FURTHeR is a query tool that will enable pre-research clinical cohort discovery for the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) at the University of Utah. The objective of FURTHeR is to deliver practical software tools and services that can directly support data, knowledge access, integration, and discovery. FURTHeR currently allows de-identified searching of the Utah Population Database – Limited and some of the clinical data in the University of Utah Enterprise Data Warehouse. In the future, FURTHeR will be connected to more data sources. The Health Science Library offers a short course on using FURTHeR on May 31, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. You can also set up access and start querying online without taking a class. You can access FURTHeR online. There are online video clips to assist you in using this search software.

 3.    Education and Outreach Resources

Many grants require education, outreach, or broader impart activities. To help you find existing programs and opportunities, we have compiled an Education and Outreach Resources table with contact information for University of Utah, State, and Federal programs and partners that specialize in K-12, undergraduate, and community outreach resources. This table will be continually updated. It can be found on MYRA under grant writing resources on an ongoing basis. To add a program or to request edits, please contact Liz Johnsen (801-587-8018).

4.    Grant Writing Crash Course

Registration for the Fall 2012 “Grant Writing Crash Course” is now available.Oct. 12-14, 2012
The Lodges at Deer Valley Resort
Park City, Utah

Experienced University of Utah faculty will provide individualized instruction in the mechanics of effective grant proposal writing, how to sell your idea to a sponsoring agency, how to develop specific aims and justifications, and the political and social aspects of “grantsmanship.” Participants will work on their grant proposals at the Crash Course, receiving real-time feedback to strengthen their proposals and enhance their likelihood of funding. A high faculty-to-trainee (PI) ratio is provided, so the number of spaces available for attendees is restricted. If you do not have seed or personal funding available for the registration fee, we encourage you to discuss other options with your Department Chair or Research Dean. Registration fees include two nights lodging at the Deer Valley Resort, use of recreational facilities, and most meals. A spouse and up to two children are welcome to accompany the participant (additional charge if more than two children attend).

Attendance is highly limited, so you are encouraged to reserve your place as soon as possible. To register, or for more information, please contact Tony Onofrietti, Director of Research Education or call 801-585-3492.

The “Grant Writing Crash Course” is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research and led by Gary C. Schoenwolf, Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy.

5. Upcoming Research Grant Opportunities

Longitudinal Study of American Youth
The NSF has funded a one-week summer workshop to expand the number of young scholars who are familiar with the Longitudinal Study of American Youth (LSAY) data set and who can use it in conjunction with other EHR funded studies and programs.

The LSAY has been following 5,000 young adults since 1987 and they are now 37 to 40 years of age (see LSAY online for a full description of the LSAY). This 25-year longitudinal record offers unique research opportunities. The Analysis of Longitudinal Study of American Youth (LSAY) Data workshop is designed to facilitate the use of the LSAY data set by education and social science scholars who are unfamiliar with this data set or with very large data sets generally. The workshop will provide an introduction to the nature and structure of the LSAY longitudinal record, the scales and summary variables available within the data set, and the statistical procedures needed to analyze it. A full description of the workshop is available online.

This summer’s workshop is limited to education and social science scholars in the first decade after their doctorate. The workshop will held at the Institute for Social Research (ISR) in Ann Arbor from July 23 through 28 and we are able to provide a $2,000 stipend to offset travel and lodging costs. The course is limited to 20 participants and priority will be given to applicants who are associated with a currently funded NSF-EHR project. All application materials must be submitted no later than June 1, 2012. Applicants will be notified by June 15, 2012.

To apply for the workshop, applicants should click on “Registration & Fees” at the top of the course description page. If they do not have an ICPSR MyData account, they will be prompted to create one. As part of the application process, applicants will need to upload the following documents through the ICPSR online portal: (1) a current curriculum vita, (2) a brief letter of interest describing how they plan to apply the knowledge and skills gained from the workshop, including relevance to their research agenda, and any prior experience with SPSS, and (3) their relationship to a current NSF-funded project, if any.

If you have any questions about the course, please email Jon Miller or call 1-800-984-5271.

Limited Submission Opportunities (apply through CIS in the Limited Submission Application link)
For updates regarding Limited Submission Opportunities, you can also receive updates via RSS feed by clicking the RSS symbol in the top right corner of the Current Opportunities list.

Scientific Innovations Award
Internal submission deadline: June 1, 2012
Please include: Full CV, 1 page statement (eg. summary of aims), list of people who will provide letters of support, and other financial support for the project: list of applications funded and pending.

William T Grant Scholars
Internal submission deadline: June 1, 2012
Please include: Full CV, 1 page statement (eg. summary of aims), list of people who will provide letters of support, and other financial support for the project: list of applications funded and pending.

Edward J Mallinckrodt Foundation
Internal submission deadline: June 1, 2012
Please include: Full CV, 1 page statement (eg. summary of aims), list of people who will provide letters of support, and other financial support for the project: list of applications funded and pending.

Sloan Research Fellowships
Internal submission deadline: June 1, 2012
Please include: Full CV, 1 page statement (eg. summary of aims), list of people who will provide letters of support, and other financial support for the project: list of applications funded and pending.

Searle Scholars Program
Internal submission deadline: June 1, 2012
Please include: Full CV, 1 page statement (eg. summary of aims), list of people who will provide letters of support, and other financial support for the project: list of applications funded and pending.

Occupational Safety and Health Training Project Grants
Internal submission deadline: Jul. 5, 2012

Centers of Excellence for Research on CAM
Internal submission deadline: Aug. 2, 2012

Career Awards for Medical Scientists (CAMS)
Internal submission deadline: Aug. 9, 2012

NIDCD Research Core Centers
Internal submission deadline: Aug. 9, 2012

Academic-Community Partnership Community Series (R13)
Internal submission deadline: Aug. 30, 2012

Major Research Instrumentation Program
Internal submission deadline: Dec. 6, 2012

Getting to know piano man Vince Mrykalo

Vince Mrykalo has worked as a piano technician for 38 years, the last nine in the School of Music. He uses both aural and electronic means to tune the 103 pianos there. FYI had the opportunity to speak with him about his work at the U.

FYI NEWS: What’s a typical day like for you?
VINCE MRYKALO: I might tune the two nine-foot pianos in Libby Gardner Hall in the morning, and the seven-foot Hamburg piano in Dumke after that; then fill the dehumidifiers in the pianos used for teaching (so the pianos will stay in pitch). Then I might tune pianos in various practice rooms, classrooms, or studios, and leave a little time for pulling out a grand action (a grand piano’s action mechanism), and, using a voicing tool, probe the hammers with needles to soften those that have become too hard from heavy playing (called “voicing). Then I’ll adjust the action parts to each other, which get out of adjustment because of wear (called “regulation”).

FYI: Where did you learn to tune pianos?
MRYKALO: I started with a one-year correspondence course in 1972, then apprenticed for six months while working at a Baldwin piano dealership in Howell, New Jersey. I joined the Piano Technicians Guild in 1976 where I have taken literally hundreds of classes on specific piano technical subjects. I completed training at several different piano factories—Baldwin, Steinway, Mason & Hamlin, and the Kawai Shiguru factory. It’s an ongoing learning experience.

Piano action (Wikimedia Commons)

FYI: What’s the most common problem you encounter when tuning pianos?
MRYKALO: Other than being out of tune, the most common problem is the action (mechanism) being out of adjustment, causing the player to be unable to fully control the sound. Ninety-nine percent of the pianos I see outside of the University need cleaning under the keys and inside the action.

FYI: What’s the most surprising?  
MRYKALO: What is most surprising is also most delightful—a piano that stays in tune after one year! There are not many that do, but I have run into a couple. They had two things in common: they were older, and they were all very well taken care of, meaning they were tuned and serviced regularly. 

FYI: How long does it typically take to tune one piano? 
MRYKALO: That depends on how out of tune they are. A piano that needs to be tuned for a concert, but was tuned just one week prior, might take 20 minutes. A piano that gets tuned once every 10 years (whether it needs it or not) might take up to two hours. Normally a piano takes a little more than one hour to tune.

FYI: How often are they tuned?
MRYKALO: It varies. A concert or recital piano will be tuned at a minimum once every week. A practice piano should be tuned once each semester. (It doesn’t always happen. I work 30 hours a week and the load I carry should be handled by one full time and one part time piano technician, which means there are 60 hours of work to be done each week.)

FYI: What brands of piano does the school have?
MRYKALO: We are an all-Steinway school, which means that 80 percent of all the pianos in the school are Steinway, including all concert and recital pianos. The remaining 20 percent are Yamaha, Kawai, Baldwin, Mason & Hamlin, Bosendorfer, and Everett.

FYI: I understand the school ranks the different pianos. Can you explain?
MRYKALO: We rank them in order of importance. That is, there are concert and recital pianos, then piano faculty teaching pianos, then practice room pianos for the piano majors, other studio or faculty pianos, classroom pianos, and last, the practice room uprights.

FYI: What do you like most about your job?
MRYKALO: The people I work with. That’s No. 1. The quality of the pianos I work on is also very enjoyable.

FYI: What do you like most about working at the University of Utah?
MRYKALO: The people and the physical surroundings, which bring to mind some of the historical campuses found back east. I love history.

Vince Mrykalo has a B.A. in music and studied music composition as an undergraduate. He played piano, tuba, and bass in the ’60s and ’70s. Today, he listens to jazz and classical music, “and oh, yes, some ’60s and ’70s rock.”



FYI poll

It’s live until June 19 when the next issue of FYI News is published. All responses are anonymous.

May 29 Poll:

Have you ever looked through the Crimson Classifieds in FYI News?

Would you consider listing an item to sell in Crimson Classifieds?

Show Results

Last FYI poll results–based on 184 respondents:


Do you plan on attending Commencement this year?

Yes, I know someone who is graduating.  11 votes (5%)
Yes, I want to hear Ed Catmull speak.  9 votes (4%)
No, I have to work during that time.  76 votes (41%)
No, I do not have any interest in attending Commencement.  78 votes (42%)
I cannot decide.  2 votes (1%)
Other (please use comment section to explain).  8 votes (4%)


Upcoming on campus


June 2 – Sept. 16
Utah Museum of Fine Arts
The UMFA will offer U staff, faculty, and students discounted tickets to Speed: The Art of the Performance Automobile. Racing onto campus on June 2, Speed will showcase 19 of the world’s finest and fastest automobiles. The exhibition will feature a century of legends on wheels, ranging from the 1957 Jaguar XK-SS Roadster (once owned by Steve McQueen) to the 1938 Mormon Meteor III–the famous Bonneville racer that holds more long distance speed records than any other automobile in history. Each car exemplifies premier aerodynamics, engineering, and design of its era. U of U faculty and staff will receive $5 off the regular ticket price of $18. Tickets are now on sale and must be purchased in person with a valid UCard at the Union or the UMFA. More information is online or contact Shelby Lang at 801-581-7332.




June 1-2
Fort Douglas Post Theatre
The 2012 festival will feature two days of events beginning Friday at 7 p.m. with an exclusive Utah Filmmaker’s Meet and Greet that is free to the public, followed by a screening of “Boardshorts.” On Saturday, June 2, at 4 p.m. a “Best of Short Shorts” screening will be followed at 6 p.m. by a Short Shorts filmmaker panel discussion featuring Marshall Moore from the Utah Film Commission and several other industry experts. At 8 p.m. the official spring screening gets underway. More information is available online or by contacting Ian Scharine at 801-558-7766.




Tuesday, June 5, 3-9 p.m.
Natural History Museum of Utah
Join the Natural History Museum of Utah for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the planet Venus passing directly between the sun and the Earth. The transit of Venus won’t happen again until 2117. This family-friendly event features transit of Venus viewing opportunities, a chance to win free telescopes, and hands-on activities for families. Free solar glasses to the first 200 admitted guests. More information is available online or by contacting Stephanie Smith at 801-581-8909.




Saturday, June 2, 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
College of Social Work
Help the College of Social Work celebrate its 75th anniversary with a day of service. Select one of four partner sites for a morning of volunteering and helping the community, then visit the college for a barbecue lunch. These free events are open to family and friends of all ages. More information is available online or by contacting Irene Ota at 801-585-1267.




Tuesday, June19, 7:30 p.m.
Libby Gardner Concert Hall
Violinist Tim Fain will be at the U as part of the annual Summer Chamber Music Workshop for students across the region. Fain’s residency will include a guest artist recital with distinguished faculty pianist Heather Conner. Fain was most recently seen on screen and heard on the soundtrack of the new hit film Black Swan, and heard as the sound of Richard Gere’s violin in Fox Searchlight’s feature film Bee Season. For more information call 801-581-6762.

Learn in Montana’s pristine Centennial Valley

The Environmental Humanities Education Center, located in the remote Centennial Valley on the southern border of Montana, operates during the summer and early fall months and is available for students, faculty and other groups to study, explore and create in a wilderness setting that has been deliberately protected and conserved.

“Our aim is to attract students from many disciplines to the rich landscapes of Utah and the Intermountain West, which provide an ideal base for wide-ranging environmental and humanities study,” says Heidi Camp, assistant dean in the College of Humanities.

The Center is a partnership of the College of Humanities and the non-profit conservation group International Center for Earth Concerns (ICEC). The Valley is a significant landscape at 6,700 feet elevation and comprises 385,000 acres—largely public lands—of intact ecological systems, expansive wetlands, and diverse wildlife with unique concentrations of rare species.

Four programs are scheduled at the Center in 2012, each taking advantage of the rare setting for studies with an in-depth environmental focus:

  • Aug. 14 – 19: Eco-Spirituality, with Tom Goldsmith, minister of the First Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City, and George Handley, Brigham Young University professor who has taught humanities, classics, and comparative literature.
  • Sept. 12 – 16: Tutored by the Land: A Writing and Photography Workshop, with award-winning Utah writer and photographer Stephen Trimble.
  • Sept. 19 – 23: The Centennial Valley Documentary Film Seminar, with Emmy-award winning filmmaker Phil Tuckett, artistic director of the Southern Utah International Documentary Film Festival, and associate professor of communications at Dixie State College.
  • Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Centennial Arts Festival. Visual artists, photographers and people with multi-disciplinary creative talents are invited to gather as the seasons change to display and create artworks inspired by the landscape. Artists-in-Residence Frank and Louisa Carter will share their work and discuss the residency program.

Read more here.

News from Staff Council


Join the U’s soccer fans as the U of U Staff Council hosts UNight @ RSL versus the LA Galaxy on Wednesday, June 20, at 7 p.m., at the Rio Tinto Stadium. Tickets are $15 per person ($25 value). Bring your family and friends and sit in the specially designated University of Utah section. The Staff Council Staff Scholarship Fund will receive a $1 donation for each ticket purchased. The deadline to order tickets is May 31. Order here, using promo code: UUSC. Or purchase with cash via Positively U, the gift shop located inside the University Hospital. Please note that online orders will have a $2 service fee added, which does not come back to Staff Council. Also note that once the ticket allotment is exhausted, RSL cannot guarantee additional seats at this price, so don’t delay in purchasing your tickets! More information is at Staff Council online. For additional questions, contact Mike Demko at Real Salt Lake, or call 801-727-2856.


Know an outstanding staff employee at the U who deserves to be recognized?  Here’s your opportunity to make that happen. Nominations are now being accepted for The District Staff Excellence Awards (DSEA). Twenty-four staff members from six districts (academic affairs, administrative services, general administration, hospital and clinics, other health sciences, and student affairs) will be recognized for superior service and ongoing contributions to the U. From these 24, six will be chosen as the winners of the U’s Staff Excellence Award (USEA). Each USEA recipient will receive a $5,000 honorarium, a special plaque, and their name will be added to the perpetual plaque on display in the Human Resources Building at 420 Wakara Way in Research Park. Additional information, including nomination forms, is online. Nomination deadline is Friday, June 8, before 5 p.m. Questions? Contact Terri Crow or call 801-585-0928. 

The U wants you (to nominate a veteran)

The deadline to submit nominations is June 1, 2012

The University’s 15th annual Veterans Day Commemoration Program will be held Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 in the Olpin Union Ballroom. University employees and all members of the public are encouraged to nominate a Utah veteran to be honored at the events that day. The university encourages nominations from every conflict, including present-day. Honorees are selected after a thorough examination of their military service. The nominee must currently live in Utah and be able and willing to talk about his or her experiences in the armed forces. While all nominations will be considered, special attention will be given to those who have been in harm’s way. Nominations will be reviewed by members of the University’s Veterans Day Committee, which is comprised of veterans, military experts, university faculty and staff, and members of the public. The 11 veterans who are selected will receive a commemorative medallion onstage at a ceremony in their honor. A nomination form, available available online, along with detailed supporting materials, is due June 1. Mail to:

Office of Public Relations
201 S. Presidents Circle, Room 308
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112

Forms also are available in the Park Building, Room 308; or by sending an e-mail request to Kate Ferebee. Information about past honorees and photos of previous years’ ceremonies may be found here.

Announcements of interest

Sustainability wants your feedback

Whether striving to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, participating in the Better Buildings Challenge; or going for Gold in the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS), the U has its eye on the future. By making wise and economical purchases, faculty and staff not only play an important role in reaching these goals, they also impress national foundations which often require grant recipients to include plans for environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP). Therefore, the Office of Sustainability is currently seeking feedback regarding EPP for computers and office paper. Contact Matthew Boerke to request further information or to offer your comments.  


Saturday, June 16
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Fort Douglas Parade Grounds
The 2012 Fort Douglas Day marks the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Fort Douglas Military Base. The day-long commemoration is a salute to the courageous veterans, past and present—dating as far back as the U. S. Civil War. Restored military vehicles, weapons, uniforms, and encampments will be on display. Fire off the cannon, listen to the music, or revel in the stories of the era. Everyone is welcome!  Admission and parking are free. Additional information is online, or call 801-581-1251.


Clayton Rather, Jennifer Marsh, and Matt Zitting

More than 10,000 students, staff, and faculty completed Commuter Services’ recent 11-question survey related to transportation issues at the U. Three participants were selected randomly to receive a new iPad. The lucky winners are Clayton Rather, law student; Jennifer Marsh, employee; and Matt Zitting, business student. Congratulations to all three–and to all who completed the survey.



La Frontera is now open in the Meldrum House building located at the southeast corner of 1300 East and 200 South. This makes a total of nine La Frontera Mexican cafes in the Salt Lake Valley. Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 a.m.; and Sunday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. The menu includes traditional Mexican food, with a daily special for $7.50, which includes a drink. They hope to obtain a beer license. We welcome La Frontera to the University neighborhood! 


The Office of Sustainability is always looking for volunteers to help with planting, weeding, and harvesting its Edible Campus Gardens. The extra bonus for volunteering is the fresh food you get to take home. Weekly volunteer work sessions run all summer. Find out more on Facebook.


Researchers in the Department of Anesthesiology are conducting an NIH-funded, IRB-approved research project investigating blood cell biomarkers in patients with low back pain and need volunteers with this condition. Participants will complete a simple health questionnaire and have a one-time blood draw, for which they will receive a $20 reimbursement. Please send email to Ben Risenmay or Andrea White for more information or to schedule an appointment.



Miriah Meyer

Computer scientist Miriah Meyer has been selected as one of seven Microsoft Research Faculty Fellows for 2012. Meyer is Utah Science, Technology and Research assistant professor in the School of Computing and Scientific Computing and Imaging (SCI) Institute. The award recognizes innovative, promising new faculty members from research institutions around the world for their advancements in computing research.

“I feel incredibly honored to be named a Faculty Fellow and join the ranks of some truly amazing computer scientists,” says Meyer. “This award will give me a huge jump-start on building my research group and lab at the U at a time when resources are scarce and difficult to come by. But even more important to me on a personal level, it is a strong show of support from leaders in our field that the direction I’m taking my work has the potential to really make an impact in computer science, biology, and how we think about dealing with the avalanche of data. I’m absolutely thrilled!” 

Meyer’s research focuses on visualization systems that support complex data analysis for scientific research. She is developing programs that make it faster and easier for scientists to see their data graphically, which provides a way of exploring huge amounts of data visually to spot trends and make comparisons.

Read more about Meyer at Fast Company.   



Nancy Ann Little

Nancy Ann Little has been a volunteer with the Rape Recovery Center since September 2011, answering the crisis line and advocating for survivors with the Hospital Response Team. She is a junior at the U studying biology and math, and coordinates a peer mentoring program for women studying science. She also is a member of an undergraduate global health interest group. Little was selected as volunteer of the year because of her exceptional skills as a crisis line advocate, offering support, empathy, and information to callers throughout her night shift. In addition, a chance occurrence precipitated an opportunity for her to demonstrate her professionalism, dedication to mission, and patience. Not long ago, the phone number for the Children’s Justice Center was inadvertently coded to Little’s cell phone. For months, she received calls—24/7—from the Children’s Justice Center system. She endured this snafu with patience for the staff who were trying to figure out what was going wrong. Supporting survivors through direct advocacy and increasing community awareness, Little is a passionate voice in our community.



Congratulations to Anne Jamison, an associate professor in the Department of English, and Casey Boyle, an assistant professor in the U’s writing program, both of whom are featured on the list of the 50 best creative writing professors on Twitter.

  • @Prof_Anne. Anne Jamison @ University of Utah. Pop culture, follower engagement, occasional bits about parenting and trending hashtags galore — this frequent tweeter’s feed is full of the newest in pop fiction.



  • @CaseyBoyle. Casey Boyle @ University of Utah. Assistant professor of English writing Casey Boyle tweets like a champ (read: often), and his posts are a nice mix of follower interactions and sharing of relevant topics, like how to cite tweets in academic papers.
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Info for Researchers

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  • University of Utah
  • 201 Presidents Circle Room 201 SLC UT 84112
  • 801.581.6773
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