InsideIllinois - News Bureau | University of Illinois

InsideIllinois
April 2, 2015
Vol. 34, No. 18
For Faculty and Staff, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign • http://news.illinois.edu/ii
Ultrasonic hammer sets off tiny explosions
Campus Town Hall
Questions will be taken
from the audience at the
end of the presentation as
time allows. u
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
hancellor Phyllis M. Wise and
Provost Ilesanmi
Adesida will host
a town hall meeting from
noon to 1 p.m. April 9 in
the Ballroom of the Illini
Union. They will discuss
the progress against the
Strategic Plan goals as
well as some emerging
new initiatives, such as the
Carle-Illinois College of
Medicine. They also will
share what they believe
are critical goals for the
upcoming year and discuss current budget challenges and preparations for
the upcoming fundraising
campaign. The entire campus community is encouraged to attend.
Phyllis M. Wise
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
C
By Liz Ahlberg
Physical Sciences Editor
Noon-1 p.m. April 9
Illini Union Ballroom
Ilesanmi Adesida
WATCH LIVE
go.illinois.townhall15
G
iving new meaning to the
term “sonic boom,” U. of I.
chemists have used sound
to trigger microscopic ex-
plosions.
Using an “ultrasonic hammer,”
the researchers triggered tiny but intensely hot explosions in volatile materials, giving insight into how explosives work and how to control them.
Led by chemistry professors Ken Suslick and Dana Dlott, the researchers
published their findings in the journal
Nature Communications.
Explosive materials often are
shock-sensitive, meaning they can
be triggered by hitting or dropping
them. Scientists have long thought
that the impact triggers the explosion
by creating hot spots in the material,
but these hot spots have never been
directly observed, making it difficult
for researchers to understand the dynamics of such explosions or how to
control them.
“Many explosives go ‘boom’
when dropped. Nobody really knows
why,” said Suslick, the Schmidt Professor Emeritus of Chemistry. “The
problem with controlling explosions
lies in the difficulty of seeing where
hot spots are formed and how they
grow. A mechanical impact strong
enough to produce intense hot spots
also destroys the structure of the energetic material too quickly, in a mil-
lionth of a second,
so we cannot really
track their location
and dynamics.”
The Illinois researchers used the
ultrasonic
hammer to bombard
the material with
ultrasound waves,
watching with a
fast infrared camera to detect any
hot spots. They saw
that the ultrasound
triggered local hot
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
spots and tiny ex- Volatile discovery Ken Suslick led a team of
plosions within the Illinois chemists who developed an ultrasonic
material, without hammer to help explore how impact generates hot
destroying the ma- spots that trigger explosive materials.
terial completely.
“Instead of one big bang, we had composite explosives, the research20,000 little bangs per second,” Su- ers used sugar crystals as a stand-in
to more volatile explosives and covslick said.
Thanks to the infrared camera, ered them in a thin liquid coating,
the researchers were able to see then embedded them in a flexible
where the hot spots formed and how polymer. When hit with the ultrasonhot they got. They were able to pro- ic hammer, intense hot spots formed
duce hot spots at targeted locations only on the crystal surfaces, while
with temperatures soaring at rates of the rest of the material, including
uncoated sugar crystals, stayed cool.
40,000 degrees F per second.
“The liquid coating around the
The experimental setup allowed
researchers to explore some of the embedded crystals keeps the crystal
mysteries surrounding the nature of from sticking to the polymer,” Dlott
explosive materials, such as how de- said, “then the ultrasound rubs the
fects in composite materials contrib- polymer against the crystal, and this
causes friction leading to hot spots.”
ute to explosiveness.
To simulate defects in polymer- SEE HAMMER, PAGE 2
New Illinois home page tells ‘Illinois story’ with mobile access
By Mike Helenthal
Assistant Editor
I
In This Issue
llinois.edu has a new look, a
new feel, a new focus and a
“future-friendly” construction
that will make it relevant for
years to come.
The website was made available last week after two years of
development, and extensive testing by prospective and current students, faculty and staff members,
and alumni.
The campus website last was
redesigned in 2008, a year after
Facebook started offering its service to the general public, and at
the start of the mobile technology
revolution.
The speed of technological
change in the time since then
could be measured in dog years.
“As fast as technology is moving these days, it’s sure to change
again,” said Libby Kacich, the
director of Creative Services, a
department within Public Affairs.
“The new website is built to allow
us to respond to those changes
more quickly.”
Students, current and potential, are the drivers of the new
blog-based website, after analytic research showed they make
up about half of the visits – and
most of them through mobile
ON THE WEB
illinois.edu
technology.
Last year, illinois.edu saw
more than 8.6 million users, who
generated around 2.5 page views
per visit.
“We did a lot of research before we even started,” Kacich
said. “We’ve been looking at what
people are clicking and how they
access the website.”
The redesign group also studied the websites of other universities, as well as high-trafficked and
more modern commercial sites.
The new website embraces student mobility like never before by
offering direct entry from almost
any device. For the old website,
one had to download a devicespecific application and then wade
through a format much different
than the one available on the full
website.
“If you were mobile, it took
many more steps, and users simply weren’t getting the same experience,” Kacich said. “It did not
reflect how our users were using
the website. Now they will get
the same experience, and they can
take all of the functionality of the
website anywhere they wish.”
The upgraded website also
moves away from the traditional
“information concierge” format,
where the site was used to point
users to other online destinations.
While features like the A-Z index and tabs can still be used for
campus navigation, the site itself
focuses on the most interesting
and significant news on campus in
order to expand the audience and
promote the university.
“Telling the Illinois story is the
best way we promote our brand,”
she said
“This is really just the start of a
totally new way of thinking about
marketing.”
One of its greatest features is
its day-to-day adaptability. Categories are added and taken away,
or even moved around, within the
operational ease of a blog format.
Not only is the front-page news
better categorized than the everchanging banner of the old website, the stories will be populated
with the help of the 400-strong
Campus Communications Council, with the most compelling
stories featured graphically and a
more-detailed description appearing when the cursor passes over it.
That greater connection to the
home page is expected to lead to
a better public reflection of the
SEE HOME PAGE, PAGE 2
First chancellor dies
Jack Peltason, the
campus’s first chancellor,
has died at age 91.
PAGE 4
Same place, new package The new Illinois home page is now
available for navigation after two years of development. It takes
into consideration the growth in mobile device use and makes
special accommodations for social media users. It also moves away
from the traditional “information concierge” format and toward a
blog-based construction, allowing scalability and adaptation.
CAPES announced
Six to be honored with
the 2015 Chancellor’s
Academic Professional
Excellence award.
PAGE 8
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INDEX
A MINUTE WITH … ™
5
BRIEF NOTES
14
ON THE JOB
3
DEATHS
11
InsideIllinois
PAGE 2 April 2, 2015
Campus leaders discuss strategy in light of state cuts
By Mike Helenthal
Assistant Editor
U
niversity and campus officials
have testified before legislative
budget committees in Springfield
to illustrate the importance of the
state’s investment in higher education.
But they continue to worry over the
possible passage of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s
proposed budget for next year, which calls
for a 31.5 percent cut to higher education,
equating to a $208 million loss for university operations.
Ilesanmi Adesida, the provost and vice
chancellor for academic affairs, told members of the Senate Executive Committee at
the March 30 meeting that estimates of the
direct impact to campus have varied from
$86 million to $114 million in lost state
funding, should Rauner’s budget pass.
In addition, he said there also are concerns that legislators may rescind about $15
million of this year’s general revenue allocation as they search for ways to minimize
the state’s funding obligations, which include $6 billion in backlogged bills, a $1.6
billion annual structural budget deficit and
more than $100 billion in unpaid employee
pension obligations. He said the loss would
be absorbed through central administration.
Adesida said if the state follows through
on the threat to cut funding significantly, the
university will be hard-pressed to make it
up – considering one of the only other funding option, outside of donations, is tuition
revenue.
Legislators also are considering moving
some of the state’s employee benefit obligations to the university.
“We have to be prepared for that,” he
said. “We anticipate something (in the way
of cuts). We’re just not sure what that number will be. It looks extreme right now. If
it’s 30 percent, that will be very serious and
we’ll know it’s going to be very tight.”
Tuition and state funding are considered
general revenue used for day-to-day institutional operations, while most other funding
is restricted and earmarked for specific uses.
Adesida said that means making cuts and
finding efficiencies may be the only options
if state funding is cut significantly.
“Everything is on the table,” he said.
“Spending cuts would be applied strategically and would be determined through a
consultative process. We have to start a discussion as a campus.”
The process is being led by an inclusive
campus budget oversight committee and
will go through the typical campus government structures prior to final approval.
He said campus leaders hope to have
an austerity-response plan for the U. of I.
Board of Trustees to consider at its May 7
meeting.
“We are preparing for the worst and hop-
ON THE WEB
senate.illinois.edu
ing for the best,” said Chancellor Phyllis M.
Wise.
She said campus administrators have
tried to share with legislators the importance of investing in the U. of I. – and the
potential return it delivers to taxpayers.
A recent legislative presentation included students who shared stories about the
university’s impact on their lives.
Nicholas Burbules, a professor of education policy, organization and leadership,
said he wondered if the state budget problem wasn’t a permanent fixture and whether
leaders should adopt a longer term and more
strategic approach to adapt to that reality.
“This isn’t a one-time event,” he said.
“Every indication is that we’re in the middle of a trend that’s a long-term trend.” u
‘Survival gardening’ education goes global via cellphones
Burkybile, the agricultural director of Healing Hands International, worked with
entomology professor Barry Pittendrigh, animator Benjamin Blalock, Center for
African Studies assistant director Julia Bello-Bravo and animator Anna Perez
Sabater to develop the videos, which HHI distributes around the world.
The SAWBO team routinely works with goodwill,” Pittendrigh said. “Sometimes
community educators to develop education- you can move mountains with goodwill.”
“We’re excited about what we’ve develal animations to meet their needs. Today,
oped
with SAWBO,” Burkybile said. “We
SAWBO offers dozens of videos in more
have
survival
gardening handouts that I’ve
than 20 languages. The video developers
developed
in
English and Spanish right
consult international experts on the topnow,
but
many
poor farmers are illiterate.
ics the animations address. The videos are
With
the
cellphone
videos, they can learn
made available at no cost to the public and
how
to
do
these
things,
even though they
to educators who can share them widely.
can’t
read.”
“If we can partner with a group, even
The videos demonstrate how to build
if they can’t bring financial resources to
raised
planting beds using layers of vegthe table, sometimes they bring even more
etation,
animal manure and soil. They also
valuable resources: expertise, time and
show how to install a drip irrigation system.
Healing Hands International provides the
drip irrigation buckets, lines and hardware
to those it serves, but most of the techniques
in the videos also can be adapted by people
who have no access to drip lines, Burkybile
said.
“We say to farmers, don’t think about
what you don’t have; think about what you
do have,” he said. “So they have vegetation,
animal manure, kitchen scraps. They can
make their own fertilizer.”
If they lack drip lines, farmers can water
the plants by hand. If water is scarce, they
are instructed to water only at the base of
each plant. The videos show how to build
15-meter-long planting beds that are one
meter wide with two rows of plants per bed.
“With 10 gallons or 40 liters of water
per day, they can raise enough vegetables
to feed a family of five to seven during the
dry season,” Burkybile said. “So if one bed
will feed your family, the second one is income, and the third one and the fourth one.
So first we want to feed the family and then
have an income so that the kids can get an
education and the family can be productive
and prosperous.”
The survival gardening videos are now
available in English, Spanish and French,
and soon will be translated into Swahili,
Creole and Portuguese. So far, the videos
have been shown in El Salvador, Guyana,
Haiti, Honduras, Kenya and South Sudan,
Burkybile said.
Pittendrigh and Bello-Bravo will present
on SAWBO at the 2015 conference of the
Central American Cooperative Program for
the Improvement of Crops and Animals in
Guatemala City. u
HAMMER, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
This finding gives insight into the properties of composites loaded with high-explosive crystals, as well as the explosion
between an oxidizer and a fuel – the typical ingredients of homemade or improvised explosive devices.
Next, the researchers will use ultrasound to control the thermal reaction of
real polymer-bonded explosives, which
have a high density of explosive crystals.
“Astronomers are interested in the Big
Bang, but to understand what starts explosions, we want to understand these little
bangs,” Suslick said.
Graduate student Sizhu You and postdoctoral researcher Ming-Wei Chen were
co-authors of the paper. The U.S. Office of
Naval Research, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the National Science
Foundation supported this work. u
By Diana Yates
Life Sciences Editor
S
ubsistence farmers in Africa, the
Americas and the Caribbean are
learning how to construct raised
planting beds and install drip irrigation systems to boost their agricultural
productivity, conserve water and perhaps
even halt the rapid advance of desertification in some drought-prone regions.
This educational effort, led in large part
by nonprofit groups and private donors, is
getting a boost from Scientific Animations
Without Borders, an initiative that produces
animated educational videos that can be
played and shared on cellphones and other
digital devices. The videos focus on health,
agricultural production and development,
and are narrated in local languages, reaching many who cannot read.
Carl Burkybile, the agricultural director of Healing Hands International, a faithbased, humanitarian nonprofit group that,
among other things, teaches “survival gardening,” first contacted SAWBO co-founders, U. of I. entomology professor Barry
Pittendrigh and Center for African Studies
assistant director Julia Bello-Bravo, in the
summer of 2014. Burkybile, an Urbana
resident, asked SAWBO to work with him
to develop animated videos to help get the
survival gardening information into more
hands.
“This is exciting from my perspective,”
Bello-Bravo said. “Here is someone from
the community who was already going
global with important agricultural information. He worked with us on every detail of
these videos, and now he is actively sharing
them globally.”
HOME PAGE, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
groundbreaking innovations that happen on
campus every day.
“The fun part is that this is ongoing,”
Kacich said. “It’s much more easily adjusted than the old website, which means we
can make changes when the need arises.”
The design also features orange prominently, and the layout of each page forms an
almost subliminal classic “Block I.”
This week’s release follows a “soft
launch” for campus communicators, a debugging process that focused on functionality and design.
CAMPUS
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photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Global reach Animated videos teach “survival gardening.” From left, Carl
Kacich said Web Services has played a
strong role in the redesign, and that many
on campus had participated in the process.
To ensure the website is accessible to
people with a wide range of disabilities, the
redesign group continues to work with staff
members in the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services.
“It’s been a concerted and collaborative
effort from the beginning,” she said. u
InsideIllinois
Editor
Doris K. Dahl
217-333-2895, [email protected]
Assistant Editor
Mike Helenthal
Photographer
L. Brian Stauffer
Student Interns
Ali Braboy
Austin Keating
News Bureau contributors
Liz Ahlberg
engineering, physical
sciences
Craig Chamberlain
media, international
programs, social sciences
Phil Ciciora
business, labor, law
Sharita Forrest
education, social work
Jodi Heckel
arts, information science,
humanities, library
Diana Yates
agriculture, applied health
sciences, life sciences
Inside Illinois is an employee publication of the
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April 2, 2015 InsideIllinois
PAGE 3
On the Job Gary Williamson
By Ali Braboy
Inside Illinois Intern
G
ary D. Williamson is well aware
he doesn’t always see people at
their finest moments.
That’s because Williamson is
a customer service specialist for the U. of
I. parking department, which means when
he does interact with them, it’s usually to
either resolve a citation or collect money –
which can leave a customer understandably
cranky.
Being able to ameliorate disputes is a
required skill when you work at the parking department, he said, whether it’s as an
enforcement officer cruising campus or a
customer service worker at a desk.
“I think our staff does a wonderful job
of explaining and conveying why citations
are issued and why they may have received
one,” he said. “I work with a lot of good
people.”
Williamson has been a U. of I. employee
for 26 years, and he has been with the parking department since 2010.
He started at the U. of I. as an inventory
clerk in the department of materials science
and engineering, in which he dealt with the
shipping, receiving and physical inventory
for the department. He then went on to be
an inventory specialist at Central Stores
before serving nine years as a customer
service specialist at the computer store at
the Illini Union known as the Micro Order
Center.
“I thought it might be time for a change,”
Williamson said of the opportunity to work
for the parking department.
He said his current job is similar to a
communications position because part of
the responsibility is to ensure that everyone
in the organization is informed. And it’s a
big organization. In addition to employee
parking issues, he works with outside vendors who want to park on campus and with
local towing companies to ensure enforce-
ment follow-up.
As a parking dispatcher, he takes calls
from field officers who ask for vehicle records and whether a specific vehicle should
be ticketed or towed. He said he also coordinates bag meters, which are meter covers used to regulate parking during campus
special events.
The department also provides motor
assistance services for students, staff and
guests on public streets on campus or in the
university’s lots. The service includes assisting motorists who need gas for an empty
tank, air for a low tire or a jump-start for
a dead battery. The department also will
unlock a vehicle if keys have been locked
inside.
“Every day is exciting in some way,”
Williamson said.
Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day, held each
March, is one of the biggest annual events
for the department, Williamson said.
One of the challenges for parking employees working the event is ensuring that
lots and parking garages on campus are
cleared for the people who pay to park in
those spots.
Williamson and his co-workers start
their day at 3 a.m., towing vehicles and ensuring employee spaces are open by 7 a.m.
During past Unofficial events, the department has cleared as many as 30 to 80 cars
from the parking garage next to the Swanlund Administration Building, an attractive
parking location because of its proximity to
the bars on Green Street.
He said the department has done well
in past years getting information out about
parking, though.
“I would say our instance of selling day
permits for the lots that guests are permitted
to park in has increased significantly over
the last several years,” Williamson said.
The number of parking violators on Unofficial this year was down for the third
consecutive year, Williamson said.
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Jump starter Starting in 1989, Gary D. Williamson has worked at a number of
different jobs for the U. of I., but his latest job is as a customer service specialist for
the parking department. His favorite aspect of the job is the opportunity to work with
the rest of campus. “I get to deal with all the departments on campus for either solving
their problems or making them aware of issues that they may have,” he said.
“We consider this a victory, as our goal
is to obtain compliance, not to cite or tow
as many as we can,” he said. “I believe this
was due to the education of the parkers as to
where to park and the extreme cold.”
For him, the best part of this job is
the opportunity to work with the rest of
campus.
“I get to deal with all the departments on
campus for either solving their problems or
making them aware of issues that they may
have,” Williamson said. “You get to know
the campus community.”
Outside of work, Williamson is a big
movie fan and enjoys attending Roger Ebert’s Film Festival. His most memorable
“Eberfest” moment was getting to meet
Roger Ebert in person “even if just to thank
him for the wonderful festival. And before
he was unable to speak (because of cancer),
to get to listen to his commentary and feelings for the films he chose.”
He said he also enjoys cooking, and in
the past has made and sold cheesecakes.
Williamson, born and raised in Champaign,
said his father, Bennie Williamson, worked
at the U. of I. for 38 years as a maintenance
inspector for Orchard Downs housing. u
On the Job features U. of I. staff
members. To nominate a civil service
employee, email [email protected]
Study: Economic benefits of medical innovation undervalued
By Phil Ciciora
Business and Law Editor
A
new analysis co-written by a U.
of I. expert in health care economics concludes that increases
in the pace of medical innovation
reduce overall physical risks to health, and
thus function in a manner similar to an expansion of or improvement in the efficiency
of health insurance markets.
Policymakers concerned about improving the management of health risks should
view the pace of medical innovation as an
important “lever of influence,” says Julian
Reif, a professor of finance and of economics at Illinois.
“With the Affordable Care Act, policymakers in the U.S. have focused on
improving health insurance access and
design. While those are certainly worthy
goals, medical innovation policy may have
an even greater impact on reducing health
risks,” said Reif, also a faculty member
of the Institute of Government and Public
Affairs and the Center for Business and
Public Policy. “We spend 17 percent of our
economy on health care and regulate many
aspects of it. Going forward, it is important
for the U.S. to provide an environment conducive to continued innovation in the medical sector.”
Economists tend to think of medical innovation as a valuable but risky good, one
that yields health benefits for the sick but
ultimately increases the financial risk for
the healthy through higher medical costs,
Reif said. But according to the paper, this
perspective doesn’t account for how innovation can lower the risks of a currently
healthy person contracting a life-altering
disease in the future.
Just like buying auto insurance reduces
the financial risk of car accidents, medical
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Medical innovation Health care policymakers concerned about improving
the management of health risks should view the pace of medical innovation as an
important “lever of influence,” says Julian Reif, a professor of finance and of economics
at Illinois.
technology reduces the physical risk of illness, Reif said.
“The key point of the paper is that we
ought to start thinking of medical innovation as a form of insurance,” he said. “It
generates value even for someone who is
not sick because it reduces the risk of falling ill.”
One of the examples Reif and co-authors
Darius Lakdawalla, of the University of
Southern California, and Anup Malani, of
the University of Chicago, use in the paper
is Parkinson’s disease.
“You may not have Parkinson’s, but
there’s a chance in any given year that you
may develop it or some other similar life-
altering illness,” Reif said. “But unlike with
a car, you can’t go out and buy some sort
of financial contract to get rid of this health
risk. It’s a risk that you face every year, and
there’s nothing you can do about it without
an advance in medical technology.”
For the risk-averse, medical technology
reduces those risks and generates insurance
value, Reif said.
“This is similar to the value generated by
auto insurance,” he said. “People are willing
to pay a little extra to avoid the risk of paying large bills if they wreck their car. Likewise, people are willing to pay a bit more to
avoid the risk of falling ill. Which is why
our framework shows that there’s a really
good reason why we might want to invest
more money in researching cures for severe
diseases, because they generate a lot of insurance value that is not being captured by
traditional cost-benefit analyses.”
But then the question is, how much more
value?
“What we find is that it depends a lot on
the type of disease the medical technology
is addressing,” Reif said. “The numbers are
going to be vastly different from mild diseases to severe diseases.”
If you come out with a new lotion to
treat a mild skin rash whose physical risks
are “not huge,” the insurance value of that
innovation is still present “but it’s basically
trivial and small enough to ignore,” Reif
said.
But treatment for severe diseases like
Parkinson’s, HIV or Alzheimer’s disease
might be undervalued by “300, 400 or 500
percent,” Reif said.
“With severe diseases, now you’re talking about very large risks, and we find that
the insurance value of treatments for these
diseases is very large,” he said.
The policy implications of the paper suggest that “encouraging medical innovation
may actually reduce risk more efficiently
than giving people health insurance,” Reif
said.
“And of course, they are complementary – you can give people health insurance
and encourage medical innovation at the
same time,” he said. “Medical technology
reduces physical risk, and health insurance
reduces financial risk. But the physical insurance value of medical technology is often larger than the financial insurance value
created by health care insurance. That suggests that medical technology, on its own,
may do more to reduce health risk than financial health care insurance.” u
PAGE 4 InsideIllinois
April 2, 2015
Jack Peltason, the campus’s f irst chancellor, dies at age 91
By Mike Helenthal
Assistant Editor
T
he last person who ever expected
Jack Peltason to be the head of a
major university, let alone two of
them, may have been Peltason him-
self.
Peltason, who died March 21 at age 91,
was a renowned political scientist and constitutional scholar and author who already
had established an academic reputation by
the time he was named the Urbana campus’s first chancellor in 1967.
He also had proved his leadership ability
after arriving as a professor in 1951, serving as dean of the College of Liberal Arts
and Sciences from 1960-64, and then at
the University of California at Irvine as the
vice chancellor for academic affairs before
returning to Illinois.
But by all accounts, he did not exude
power.
Bespectacled and bookish, he seemed
most comfortable in the confines of a secluded office working on political science
books with straightforward titles such as
“Understanding the Constitution” and
“Government of the People,” or at home
with his wife, Suzanne, (they were married for 68 years and she survives) and their
three children.
He rode his bike to work, an advocate for
community bike trails long before cycling
became accepted as an adult pastime, and
he waved to anyone he recognized along
the way.
“But you stay because
you find that things you
value very deeply are in
jeopardy and you feel a
sense of responsibility.”
–Jack Peltason
News-Gazette article.
He was not the most captivating of
speakers either, said Stanley O. Ikenberry,
who served as U. of I. president from 1979
to 1995, returning as interim president in
2010.
But his self-deprecating, sometimes irreverent sense of humor kept audiences
listening.
“He was a great communicator, which
in the end, is what counts,” Ikenberry said,
adding they kept a friendship for years after
Peltason left the U. of I.
“He often scuffed and stuttered (when
he spoke),” Ikenberry said, “but at the same
time he was sharp, sometimes eloquent and
always to the point. He was authentic, he
generated trust and was willing to make
tough, sometimes unpopular decisions.”
Honesty was perhaps the most important
asset Peltason could have brought to campus during the civil unrest of the 1960s.
His first major
assignment was to
help President David Dodds Henry to
incorporate the aspirations of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964
into a successful
campus initiative.
The result was
the Special Education
Opportunities Program, or
“Project 500” as it
was dubbed, which
sought to identify
and recruit a group
of 568 “low-income
students of color,”
photo courtesy U. of I. News Bureau
mostly
African‘Just a professor’ Jack Peltason, the first chancellor
Americans, for inof the Urbana campus, shown here with his wife, Suzanne,
tegration on the
brought a calming effect to campus during a tumultuous era.
Urbana campus.
Those around him saw him as a principled leader who built
Though it tripled
relationships and made things happen. Peltason lamented,
the number of Afri“What am I doing here? I’m just a professor.”
can-Americans on
campus,
it
was
not
a
runaway
success, adHis television habits, he admitted in a
mits
Clarence
Shelley,
who
was
brought in
1967 interview, included public programto
the
dean
of
students
office
in
1968
to help
ming, professional football and one guilty
implement
elements
of
the
SEOP.
pleasure – the weekly show “The Smothers
In fact, one of the most memorable moBrothers Comedy Hour.”
ments
was when a large group of the pro“He had this light approach, and he was
gram’s
students filled the Illini Union’s
always so warm to everybody,” said Misouth
lounge
demanding better living conchelle Thompson, a 20-year secretary for
ditions
and
the
level of financial aid that had
the U. of I. Board of Trustees, whose first
been
promised
to them.
campus job included an interview with
The
protest
ended when nearly 250 stuPeltason for the university’s director of afdents
were
subsequently
arrested and transfirmative action position. “He had a great
ported
by
police
for
being
at the Union past
sense of humor and he used himself as the
midnight.
butt of the joke.”
“There was a lot to do, and there was
She said it was not unusual for one to
pressure
from all sources,” Shelley said.
stop by the chancellor’s office and find him
All
of
them
– students, parents, community
working on an academic manuscript.
people,
state
legislators – urged Peltason to
“He was very low-key but he would absee
their
side.
solutely become riveted to a task,” she said.
In retrospect, Shelley said, Project 500
“He would get things to change because it
did
not go nearly as smoothly as had been
was like a good friend asking.”
hoped,
but it was a foundation upon which
His nickname, “Boy Dean,” was picked
the
university
kept building.
up after his appointment, when he answered
“(Peltason)
often would say, ‘I do not
the phone using the title – only to find the
know
the
best
way
to do this, but we’re goperson on the other end was a reporter from
ing
to
do
it,’”
he
said.
“It was apparent that
the Chicago Tribune.
he
put
great
value
on
this
work, and he had
While others applied to be LAS dean,
the
full
support
of
President
Henry.”
Peltason, 36 years old at the time, hadn’t
Shelley
said
the
main
problem
with the
considered being selected and was making
implementation
of
Project
500
was
that
plans for a sabbatical in England.
there
was
very
little
in
place
beforehand
“It just never entered my mind as a possibility,” he was quoted as saying in a 1995 to help the minority students make the
photo courtesy U. of I. News Bureau
Following the lead University President David Dodds Henry, left, picked
Jack Peltason in 1967 to lead the Urbana campus after the university created
chancellorships at Urbana, Chicago Circle and the Medical Center in Chicago. Dodds
was said to have been unbendingly supportive of the new chancellor’s activist efforts,
made in the aftermath of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Higher Education Act and
the assassination of movement leader Dr. Martin Luther King.
transition.
It didn’t take long for Shelley to realize
that Peltason genuinely believed in what the
university was trying to accomplish, even
though it was turning out to be a difficult
road.
“He was a political scientist who was the
chancellor,” Shelley said. “He believed the
system should work for the greater good,
that it was our obligation to make it work.”
On the night of the Union incident, Shelley said he and other Peltason advisers had
to “almost tie him to his chair to keep from
going down there. I thought he was awfully
naive, but he felt it was a risk worth taking
to settle things down.
“So many things at that time were in
such upheaval, we had a hard time understanding what it was the students really
wanted,” Shelley said. “Maybe his greatest
virtue was the sense of not knowing everything, but let’s see how far we can go.”
Peltason instituted a series of talks with
students to discuss whatever was on their
minds. Just about any invitation, from a
residence hall or a fraternity, was accepted.
“Frequently I would say, ‘What am I
doing here? I’m just a college professor,’”
he said in a 1975 interview. “But you stay
because you find that things you value very
deeply are in jeopardy and you feel a sense
of responsibility.”
The Peltason touch wasn’t limited to the
U. of I.
In 1979, Peltason, a native of Kansas City, Missouri, and a graduate of the
University of Missouri at Columbia, was
picked to head the American Council on
Education. In 1984, he was appointed chancellor of the University of California at Irvine before becoming president of the state
system in 1992.
The obituary in the Los Angeles Times
said, despite critics opposed to the 69-yearold’s appointment, Peltason handled it with
his usual wit in his acceptance speech.
“There has been some concern about
… a generation gap,” he said. “I think that
concern is exaggerated. I do not have any
trouble working with older people.”
Ikenberry said Peltason’s impact at the
U. of I. is still being felt.
“He invented the role,” said Ikenberry.
“He led the campus during a turbulent, difficult time of student unrest. He was a true
academic administrator, that is, an academic first who learned to lead and administer
the campus.”
Shelley said Peltason always kept the
university’s mission in sharp focus.
“He taught me how important it is to
trust the students to do the right thing and to
always keep in touch with the faculty,” he
said. “There may be conflict during the process, but conflict is not always a bad thing.”
Thompson said Peltason went out of his
way to stop and say hello when he returned
to speak on campus.
“He was an absolute expert at forming
and maintaining relationships. It was who
he was.” u
UPI photo
Sign of the times Social unrest was evident in most corners of university life
in the late 1960s, as controversy over the Vietnam War collided with racial tensions
and riots at the Democratic Convention in Chicago. Here, African-American students
brought in as part of a university integration initiative were arrested after protesting
at the Illini Union after hours and causing minor property damage. In all, 248
students were arrested.
InsideIllinois
April 2, 2015 PAGE 5
Law professor
Robin Fretwell Wilson
on religious freedom and discrimination
Editor’s note: Robin Fretwell Wilson is the Roger and
Stephany Joslin Professor of Law and director of the
Program in Family Law and Policy at the University of
Illinois College of Law. She spoke with News Bureau
business and law editor Phil Ciciora about Indiana’s
recently enacted religious freedom law.
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed a
religious freedom bill into law and
immediately had to defend the decision
against critics who say the law
undermines anti-discrimination laws.
Can you explain the nuances of the
law? Is it constitutional?
A religious freedom restoration act
polices instances when the government
overreaches and burdens religious belief
or practice without good reasons for doing
so. The classic example would be when the
government says to Amish people that they
can’t run their buggies with steel wheels
on the road. The Amish can then use the
law to fight back. So a religious freedom
restoration act asks whether it’s necessary
for the government to impact a religious
community’s beliefs, and it essentially tests
whether the government should be more
flexible and if it can avoid an adverse impact on religious belief or practice.
These laws are constitutional. Indeed,
legislative enactments to protect religion
were specifically contemplated by the 1990
U.S. Supreme Court case Employment Division v. Smith. So there is nothing inherently bad about laws that want to protect
religions from governmental overreach.
Unfortunately, the move to enact
these laws comes at a time of great social
change. A federal court struck down Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage last year,
and because the ban was not repealed by
legislation, the electorate, in some sense,
finds itself unprepared. That’s why some
in the religious community have latched
onto religious freedom restoration acts
as a way to preclude gay rights. But in a
clash between nondiscrimination norms
and religious beliefs, a litigant is almost
certain to lose a claim that they should
be exempt from nondiscrimination laws.
This is so because legislation saying that
society should not discriminate against the
LGBT community in housing, hiring or
public accommodations will be seen as a
compelling interest trumping any religious
claim. Because religious believers would
lose in such a contest, Indiana’s new religious freedom law cannot undermine antidiscrimination legislation.
The real issue in Indiana is not the religious freedom law. It is the fact that the
state does not provide protections in statewide laws for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender community against sexual orientation discrimination in housing, hiring
or public accommodations. That is the real
travesty that should be addressed.
In public comments defending the
law, Gov. Pence noted that the state
of Illinois also has a religious freedom
restoration law on the books. How
does Illinois’ law, which was enacted
in 1998, differ from Indiana’s new law?
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How is Indiana’s new law different from
or the same as other states’ laws?
Illinois’ law is substantially similar to
Indiana’s new religious freedom law, but it
was enacted in a far different time and on
the heels of the federal religious freedom
and restoration act.
But Illinois followed its law with sexual
orientation nondiscrimination protections
in 2004, giving the LGBT community protections that the rest of us simply take for
granted. Indiana state law does not give the
LGBT community those needed protections – as I believe it should.
A lot of attention has been paid to the
fact that Indiana’s religious freedom law
defines a person broadly. The U.S. Congress did not define the term “person”
when it enacted the federal religious freedom and restoration act, and the meaning
of “person” was at the heart of the Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Burwell
v. Hobby Lobby. Some see the Indiana
Legislature’s decision to define personhood
as harmful. Yet it is to be expected that a
legislature would want to define that term
after the protracted litigation that ended
with the Hobby Lobby case.
Some also attack the Indiana definition
as overly broad. While the definition is expansive, a litigant still has to show a substantial burden. As an entity seeking protection under a religious freedom law gets
bigger in size, it becomes progressively
harder to see how a government regulation
or rule substantially burdens the owner’s
religious beliefs. Thus, a company may get
their day in court under this definition, but
it may lose nonetheless.
Recently, you were a key advisor on
Utah’s landmark anti-discrimination
legislation. Can we look to the “Utah
compromise” as a model for the future
of anti-discrimination legislation?
At times of great social change, it is
far better to find ways to live together in
peace, without one person’s rights coming
at the expense of another – or being seen
as a way to stave off another’s rights. Utah,
arguably the most “red” state in America,
provided protection for the LGBT community that far surpasses what even New
York provides. But in providing landmark
protections, the Utah Legislature also gave
important protections for religious believers and faith communities. Protecting both
sets of civil rights in the same set of legislation makes it clear that the extension of
protections to the LGBT community need
not wash out the uniquely religious character of faith communities.
More than anything, the lesson of Utah
and Indiana is that balancing religious
liberty with protections for the LGBT
community is not only right and decent,
but it’s also the key to calling a truce in the
relentless culture war that roils our country. Indiana should follow Utah’s example
and extend protections to the LGBT community, while speaking to how faith communities can maintain their character at a
time of great change. u
A Minute With ...™ is provided by
the U. of I. News Bureau. To view
archived interviews, visit
go.illinois.edu/amw.
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InsideIllinois
PAGE 6 April 2, 2015
Photosynthesis hack needed to feed the world by 2050
By Diana Yates
Life Sciences Editor
U
sing high-performance computing
and genetic engineering to boost
the photosynthetic efficiency of
plants offers the best hope of increasing crop yields enough to feed a planet
expected to have 9.5 billion people on it by
2050, researchers report in the journal Cell.
There has never been a better time to try
this, said U. of I. plant biology professor
Stephen P. Long, who wrote the report with
colleagues from Illinois and the CAS-MPG
Partner Institute of Computational Biology
in Shanghai.
“We now know every step in the processes that drive photosynthesis in C3 crop
plants such as soybeans and C4 plants such
as maize,” Long said. “We have unprecedented computational resources that allow
us to model every stage of photosynthesis
and determine where the bottlenecks are,
and advances in genetic engineering will
help us augment or circumvent those steps
that impede efficiency.”
Substantial progress has already been
made in the lab and in computer models of
photosynthesis, Long said.
“Our lab and others have put a gene from
cyanobacteria into crop plants and found
that it boosts the photosynthetic rate by 30
percent,” he said.
Photosynthetic microbes offer other
clues to improving photosynthesis in plants,
the researchers report. For example, some
bacteria and algae contain pigments that
utilize more of the solar spectrum than
plant pigments do. If added to plants, those
pigments could bolster the plants’ access to
solar energy.
Some scientists are trying to engineer C4
photosynthesis in C3 plants, but this means
altering plant anatomy, changing the expression of many genes and inserting new
genes from C4 plants, Long said.
“Another, possibly simpler approach is
to add to the C3 chloroplast the system used
by blue-green algae,” he said. This would
increase the activity of Rubisco, an enzyme
that catalyzes a vital step of the conversion
of atmospheric carbon dioxide into plant
biomass. Computer models suggest adding
this system would increase photosynthesis
by as much as 60 percent, Long said.
Computer analyses of the way plant
leaves intercept sunlight have revealed other ways to improve photosynthesis. Many
plants intercept too much light in their topmost leaves and too little in lower leaves;
this probably allows them to outcompete
their neighbors, but in a farmer’s field such
competition is counterproductive, Long
said.
Studies headed by U. of I. plant biology
professor Donald Ort aim to make plants’
upper leaves lighter, allowing more sunlight to penetrate to the light-starved lower
leaves.
Computer modeling of photosynthesis
also shows researchers where the traffic
jams occur – the steps that slow the process
down and reduce efficiency.
“The computer model predicts that by
altering this system by up-regulating some
genes and down-regulating others, a 60 percent improvement could be achieved with-
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Boosting plant efficiencey Plant biology professor Stephen Long and colleagues
report on advances and challenges in improving plant photosynthesis.
out any additional resource – so 60 percent
more carbon could be assimilated for no
more nitrogen,” Long said.
“The next step is to create an in silico
plant to virtually simulate the amazingly
complex interactions among biological
scales,” said U. of I. plant biology professor
Amy Marshall-Colon, a co-author on the report. “This type of model is essential to fill
current gaps in knowledge and better direct
our engineering efforts.”
While many scientific, political and
regulatory hurdles remain for plants engineered to do a better job of converting the
sun’s energy into biomass, the work should
be undertaken now, Long said.
“If we have a success today, it won’t appear in farmers’ fields for 15 years at the
very earliest,” he said. “We have to be doing
today what we may need in 30 years.”
Long is a professor in the Carl R. Woese
Institute for Genomic Biology at Illinois.
Funding for this work was provided by
the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the
U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Science Foundation and the Chinese
Academy of Sciences. u
Public employee pensions continue to lose out to gambling
By Phil Ciciora
Business and Law Editor
A
legacy of giveaways to gambling
interests continues to haunt the
pension system in Illinois, a leading national gambling critic and
U. of I. expert warns.
Since 1990, the state of Illinois has given
away between $35 billion and $100 billion
to gambling insiders in the form of low-cost
casino licenses and tax giveaways – money
that could have been used to shore up a
pension system that is now teetering on the
brink of insolvency, says John W. Kindt, an
emeritus professor of business and of legal
policy at the U. of I.
According to Kindt, all signs point to a
number of new casinos sprouting up in the
cash-strapped Land of Lincoln, including
a long-sought-after “megacasino” to lure
tourists in the heart of downtown Chicago.
“Considering the dire straits of the state’s
finances and the Legislature’s attempts to
curtail pension assets, I certainly wouldn’t
bet against expanded casino gambling coming to the state of Illinois in the near future,”
said Kindt, a senior editor of the United
States International Gambling Report, a
six-volume series released between 2008
and 2013.
An expansion of gambling is commonly
seen as one way to increase revenue without raising taxes, but that line of reasoning
“couldn’t be further from what reams of
research tell us about the true costs of gambling,” said Kindt, the author of the 2013
book “The Gambling Threat to World Public Order and Stability: Internet Gambling,”
the third in a series of three books on Internet gambling.
According to Kindt, more gambling is a
recipe for continued economic stagnation.
“When you increase the opportunities to
gamble, you’re creating more social problems, which likewise strain taxpayer dollars,” he said. “You’re also draining jobs
away from the consumer economy. All of
that money that could be used to buy bigticket consumer goods – cars, appliances
and electronics, for example – is being
flushed down slot machines, video poker
machines and, increasingly, the legal grayarea of Internet gambling. More blackjack
tables and more roulette wheels don’t create
jobs. They are job killers that also destroy
the communities they’re located in.”
If the state of Illinois adds casinos,
whether it’s one megacasino in Chicago or a
competing proposal that would add another
five new casinos throughout the Chicago
suburbs and downstate, look for cronyism
and mismanagement to continue, Kindt
said.
“In Illinois, the first 10 casino licenses
were each worth a fair market value of at
least $500 million, but they were granted to
political insiders for $25,000 per license –
including one insider convicted in the (former Illinois Gov.) Rod Blagojevich scandals,” Kindt said.
In 2015 dollars, those initial gambling
licenses would be worth a total of more
than $10 billion. Kindt notes that the 2015
Illinois budget had more than $110 billion
in unfunded liabilities, “most of which is
owed to teachers,” he said.
“The state of Illinois also has a backlog
of overdue bills totaling nearly $6 billion,
and a budget deficit of almost $1.6 billion in
the current fiscal year,” Kindt said. “Before
expanding gambling and raiding teachers’
earned benefits, the state should consider
making existing gambling interests pay up.”
Kindt testified March 25 before the U.S.
House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations
on Internet gambling and the Wire Act of
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Illinois pensions A legacy of
giveaways to gambling interests
continues to haunt the pension system in
Illinois, says John W. Kindt, an emeritus
professor of business and legal policy at
the U. of I.
1961. The hearing was prompted by the
Department of Justice’s reinterpretation
of the law, “which arguably resulted in a
180-degree reversal of the strictures against
Internet gambling and spawned expanded
gambling and legal confusion nationwide,”
he said. u
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April 2, 2015 InsideIllinois
PAGE 7
Tablets to be used to screen women for perinatal depression
By Sharita Forrest
Social Work Editor
P
regnant women and new mothers at one central Illinois public
health clinic will soon receive depression screenings using mobile
health – also called mHealth – technology.
Researchers from the School of Social
Work at the U. of I. are collaborating with
staff members at Champaign-Urbana Public
Health District on a project that will provide
perinatal depression screenings using tablet
computers.
“We’ve talked to clinicians at other sites,
and the mHealth technology is a no-brainer –
it’s easy, people are comfortable with it, it’s
faster and it’s paperless – there are so many
great things about it,” said principal investigator Karen M. Tabb Dina, a professor of
social work. “But clinics across the country are struggling with how to implement
universal screening, and from what we’ve
learned, they’re implementing it without
getting staff feedback first.”
Early in the project, focus groups were
held with public health staff members to
gain their perspectives about the clinic’s
paper-based screening system and the possibility of using technology to overcome
language barriers and other obstacles.
Tabb Dina is the lead author on a paper about the project that is forthcoming
in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry.
She also is the principal investigator for
Identifying Depression through Early Assessment, a multidisciplinary project that
is exploring the prevalence of perinatal
depression among women in Brazil and
the U.S.
Perinatal depression – which begins during pregnancy or up to a year after childbirth
– may affect up to 20 percent of women
worldwide. Some recent studies suggested
that the disease might be twice as prevalent
among low-income women.
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Electronic screening Perinatal depression screenings will be available
electronically to Champaign-Urbana Public Health District clients through a
collaborative project led by social work professor Karen M. Tabb Dina, center. Shown
with Tabb Dina are co-authors Brandon Meline, the director of maternal and child
health management at CUPHD; and graduate student Maria Pineros-Leano.
Under a 2008 Illinois law, clinics and
hospitals that provide prenatal care, labor
and delivery services are required to screen
women for perinatal depression.
Champaign-Urbana Public Health District serves about 3,100 pregnant women
and postpartum women each month, administering a depression questionnaire at least
once during each client’s pregnancy and
again after delivery.
“The paper-based screenings are great
if you complete them and score them immediately, but sometimes there’s a little
bit of delay, which can be a barrier if you
have to find the client later,” said Brandon
Meline, the director of maternal and child
health management at CUPHD. “We have a
pretty transient population, so we try to get
everything done – education, interventions
and referrals – while the client is here.”
The tablets are equipped with electronic
versions of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, a 10-item questionnaire commonly used by clinics. Currently, CUPHD
provides the paper form in English, French
and Spanish, although it frequently treats
clients who speak other languages, such as
Korean, Mandarin and Turkish.
Women who rely upon their partners to
help them complete the forms may be re-
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luctant to disclose their symptoms, staff
members said.
Because the software provides the questionnaire in numerous languages, clients
can complete the screening in the language
they are most comfortable using. And audio
technology enables even women with poor
literacy skills to complete the screening independently, Tabb Dina said.
“Most of our moms come in with smartphones, so they’re savvy to the use of mobile technology and touch-screen functionality,” said Meline, adding that data will not
be stored on the tablets but in the clinic’s
electronic medical records system.
“One of the main concerns that clinicians had was that the tablets could get lost,
broken or stolen,” said doctoral student Maria Pineros-Leano, who analyzed the focus
group data and is the lead author on a related paper published online recently by the
journal Family Practice. “We’re considering bright covers or protectors, so that even
if a tablet falls on the floor it’s unlikely to
break.”
Tabb Dina purchased three tablets for the
project with funding from a Monkman Endowment Award for Faculty Research from
the School of Social Work.
Tabb Dina’s co-authors were social work
professor Hellen G. McDonald, graduate
student Shinwoo Choi and Pineros-Leano,
all at Illinois; Rachel Kester and Hsiang
Huang, both of Cambridge Health Alliance
at Harvard Medical School; and Meline.
Huang, Meline, Tabb Dina and graduate
student Heather Sears were Pineros-Leano’s co-authors on the paper published by
Family Practice.
The U. of I. Campus Research Board,
the Fulbright Scientific Mobility Program,
and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative provided
additional funding for the project. u
InsideIllinois
PAGE 8 April 2, 2015
Six academic professionals to be honored with CAPE award
S
ix academic professionals will
be honored with 2015 Chancellor’s Academic Professional
Excellence awards at a reception
April 2.
Now in its 27th year, the program honors the accomplishments and contributions
of academic professionals, who perform a
range of vital functions for the campus community. They provide critical support for
administration, research laboratories and
educational programs, and offer important
outreach programs throughout the state.
Recipients are selected for work, personal and professional contributions. Each
award winner receives a $2,000 award, a
$1,000 increase in base salary and a $1,000
one-time budget increase for his or her
department.
This year’s honorees:
Kimberly J. Alexander-Brown, the director of the Access and Achievement Program and an assistant dean in the College of
Liberal Arts and Sciences, was commended
for her tireless dedication and service to her
students.
“What impresses me most is her sustained enthusiasm and advocacy for her
students,” said Kathy Martensen, the assistant provost for educational programs, who
nominated Alexander-Brown.
“She is a tireless champion for students
in her program, helping them navigate the
campus’s resources to be successful, finding a program of study that fits their interests, and seeing them through until they
complete their degrees and beyond. It is no
wonder hundreds of Kim’s former students
keep in touch with her well beyond their
college years,” Martensen said.
Martensen also noted that AlexanderBrown organized the Building Emergency
Action Plan for the English Building and
currently serves as a Girl Scout troop leader. She won the Larine Y. Cowan “Make a
Difference Award,” awarded by the Office
of Diversity, Equity, and Access for promotion of diversity and inclusion.
Alexander-Brown has worked at the U.
of I. for 20 years. She works as part of a
team to further the educational mission of
the college by helping students understand
and negotiate the academic rules and regulations governing their academic eligibility,
progress and successful degree completion.
She also serves as administrative support to the LAS Student Academic Affairs
Office’s associate dean in the areas of underrepresented student recruitment and retention. She serves as a chief administrator
for a comprehensive academic support program serving primarily underrepresented
students of color with declared and undeclared majors within the college.
Gretchen Adams, the director of undergraduate studies and Chemistry Merit Program Director in the department of chemistry, said in support of Alexander-Brown’s
nomination: “Kim deeply cares about the
College of LAS and the university at large.
“Kim has been pivotal to helping the
Merit Program on campus secure a National Science Foundation STEM grant,
which provides financial support to underrepresented students majoring in chemistry,
mathematics and integrative biology,” Adams said.
vvv
Kimberly L. Armstrong, the deputy director for the Committee on Institutional
Cooperation’s Center for Library Initiatives, was cited as a phenomenal asset to
the library community, leading to the development of many opportunities that increase
the availability of resources while keeping
costs low.
The CIC is a consortium of the Big Ten
member universities and the University of
Chicago, and operates as a unit of the U. of I.
Office of the Provost. The CIC’s Center for
Library Initiatives optimizes student and
faculty access to the combined resources of
the 15 CIC member libraries, supporting a
collaborative environment for library staff
Kimberly J. Alexander-Brown
Kimberly L. Armstrong
Rhiannon Clifton
Laura Frerichs
Tonja Henze
Rebecca McBride
photos by L. Brian Stauffer
members.
In her role, Armstrong manages the center’s staff and provides advice and information regarding the program and related
initiatives.
Barbara Allen, the executive director of
the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, said Armstrong’s work has led to the
creation of the CIC’s Shared Print Repository, which holds more than 95,000 volumes. She added that Armstrong’s work has
ensured the continued progression of the
Google Digitization Project, which “represents one of the largest cooperative ventures
of its kind in higher education.”
Armstrong has been an employee of the
U. of I. for seven years. Before becoming
the deputy director, Armstrong started at
the Urbana campus as the CIC assistant
director. She led and assisted program planning, managed projects and coordinated
collaborative initiatives, which included the
coordination of library licensing and acquisitions, shared print storage and the Google
Digitization Project.
In a letter of support, John P. Wilkin,
the dean of libraries and university librarian, said “Armstrong is a rare professional
capable of managing widely distributed
processes, understanding diverse institutional contexts, mediating the interests of
senior administrators across the CIC, and
demonstrating a high level of professional
competence.”
Wilkin said one of Armstrong’s significant responsibilities involves coordinating
a significant fund for shared collection development of electronic resources.
Armstrong has taken part in a number of
advisory boards, such as the IEEE Library
Advisory Council, the COUNTER Journal
Usage Factor Advisory Board and the Nature Library Advisory Board. She also has
been a part of professional committees,
including the ILLINET Network Advisory
Council and the HathiTrust Collections
Committee.
vvv
Rhiannon Clifton, the program director and an adjunct lecturer in the Charles H.
Sandage Department of Advertising in the
College of Media, is “dependable, remarkably efficient and enthusiastic about all aspects of the department’s mission,” according to Jacqueline Hitchon, the head of the
department and a professor of advertising,
who nominated Clifton.
As a program director, Clifton developed
a plan that has enhanced the reputation and
revenue of the department. She is responsible for the quality and management of
programs, such as the student study abroad
and international collaborative degree programs. She also hires and trains for the programs, secures grants and funding for the
programs, oversees the budget and ensures
financial accountability.
An employee of the U. of I. for nine
years, Clifton has managed three facultyled study abroad courses and three exchange programs, which has led to almost
50 students having the opportunity to study
abroad. She hosted a professional development program for an agency in Korea, and
she is in the process of bringing another
group to campus from China.
Clifton also teaches at least two semesterlong courses per year and has taught
advertising industry immersion courses,
bringing national academic attention to the
program.
She has been involved in volunteer and
professional activities, such as being the
president of the American Marketing Association Central Illinois Chapter and the Executive Club of Champaign County, along
with being the publicity coordinator of the
Champaign County Freedom Celebration.
“Rhiannon is the professional face of this
department across many levels,” Hitchon
said. “We are incredibly fortunate to have
her on our team, and her work epitomizes
what this award represents.”
Jan Slater, the dean of the College of
Media, said in a letter of support, “(Clifton’s) work is exceptional, her professionalism is unquestioned, and her contribution
is invaluable.” Slater said Clifton’s work
has created an impact on faculty members,
students and alumni.
Some of Clifton’s achievements include
building a certificate program in Digital
Media, developing a high school AdCamp
and expanding it to Media University, and
assisting three interim department heads.
vvv
Laura Frerichs, the director of the Research Park, has led the organization to receive national and international recognition
for excellence.
During Frerich’s time as director, the
Research Park was named the Association
of University Research Parks’ “Outstanding Research Park of the Year” in 2011;
Inc. magazine named it one of “Three College-Town Incubators To Watch” in 2013;
and Forbes magazine named it one of “12
Business Incubators Changing the World”
in 2013.
Frerichs manages the U. of I.’s operation of EnterpriseWorks and the incubator
within the Research Park, along with being
the overall communicator between the U. of
I. and the Research Park.
Laura Bleill, the assistant director of external relations of the Research Park, nominated Frerichs and said she “is relentless in
her drive to make the University of Illinois
Research Park the best in the world.”
Under Frerichs’ leadership, the Research
Park has expanded internship opportunities
to students by going beyond engineering
and into math, statistics, communications
and other fields. She also created the I-Start
grant program, which provides first-year
funding to companies started by faculty
members.
SEE CAPES, PAGE 12
InsideIllinois
April 2, 2015
PAGE 9
Drug stalls estrogen receptor-positive cancer cells
By Diana Yates
Life Sciences Editor
A
n experimental drug rapidly
shrinks most tumors in a mouse
model of human breast cancer,
researchers report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
When mice were treated with the experimental drug, BHPI, “the tumors immediately stopped growing and began shrinking rapidly,” said U. of I. biochemistry
professor and senior author David Shapiro.
“In just 10 days, 48 out of the 52 tumors
stopped growing, and most shrank 30 to 50
percent.”
The key to the drug’s potency lies in its
unusual mode of action, Shapiro said.
“BHPI works through the estrogen receptor protein, but in a way that is different
than estrogenic hormones,” he said. “The
drug hyperactivates a pathway called the
unfolded protein response, which estrogens
normally use to protect cells from stress and
help them grow.”
Rather than blocking the stress response,
BHPI kicks the UPR into overdrive, said
M.D./Ph.D. student and lead author Neal
Andruska.
“This drives the cancer cells from using
the UPR in a protective way into making it
a lethal pathway,” Andruska said. “In this
way, it stops growth and eventually kills
many types of breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer cells that contain estrogen
receptor.”
BHPI shuts down the production of new
proteins, including proteins that normally
keep the stress response pathway in check,
Andruska said.
“Eventually, many cancer cells die – in
part because they can’t make any new proteins,” he said.
BHPI spurs a number of events in the
cell, including the opening of calcium channels in the endoplasmic reticulum, a special
intracellular compartment. The influx of
calcium into the cytoplasm sets off a cascade of events that prepare the cell to deal
with stress. The cells try to pump the calcium back into its compartment, but BHPI
keeps the calcium channels open, allowing
the calcium to flow back into the cytoplasm.
After about 30 minutes of this “futile cycle,” the cells run low on energy.
“Without enough energy, cancer cells
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Cancer breakthrough Researchers have developed a new drug that kills estrogen receptor-positive cancers in mice. The team,
from left, includes M.D./Ph.D. students Neal Andruska, Lily Mahapatra and Mathew Cherian; graduate student Xiaobin Zheng; food
science and human nutrition professor William Helferich; research scientist Chengjian Mao; and biochemistry professor David
Shapiro.
The mice that received the drug tolerated
it
well,
with no weight loss or other negative
ONLINE VIDEO
side effects, the researchers said.
go.illinois.edu/
“It’s still in the early days for this drug,
AntiCancerDrugBHPI_Video
and there are many hurdles to overcome to
bring BHPI to the clinic,” Shapiro said. “But
don’t grow,” Shapiro said. The cascade so far, it’s been clearing the hurdles by a wide
initiated by BHPI eventually turns on four margin.”
The study team also includes researchers
pathways, “each of which could potenfrom
the U. of I. department of food science
tially contribute to the death of the cancer
and
human
nutrition, the department of mocells,” he said.
lecular
and
integrative physiology, the ColBecause the UPR pathway is overexlege
of
Medicine
and the U. of I. Cancer
pressed in therapy-resistant cancer cells,
image by Neal Andruska
Center.
the drug is especially effective in targeting
Disrupting
cancer
growth
An
The
National
Institute
of
Diabetes
and
Diestrogen receptor-positive cells that are reexperimental
drug,
BHPI,
binds
to the
gestive
and
Kidney
Diseases
at
the
National
sistant to tamoxifen and other anti-cancer
estrogen
receptor
and
disrupts
the
Institutes
of
Health
and
the
Department
of
drugs, the researchers report.
“BHPI works equally well in the pres- Defense Breast Cancer Research Program growth of cancer cells.
ence or absence of estrogen,” Shapiro said. funded this research. u
New technique paints tissue samples with light
By Liz Ahlberg
Physical Sciences Editor
O
ne infrared scan can
give pathologists a window into the structures
and molecules inside
tissues and cells, enabling fast
and broad diagnostic assessments,
thanks to an imaging technique
developed by U. of I. researchers
and clinical partners.
Using a combination of advanced microscope imaging and
computer analysis, the new technique can give pathologists and
researchers precise information
without using chemical stains or
dyes. Led by Rohit Bhargava, a
U. of I. professor of bioengineering and member of the Beckman
Institute for Advanced Science
and Technology, the researchers
published their findings in the
journal Technology.
“Any sample can be analyzed
for desired stains without material
cost, time or effort, while leaving
precious tissue pristine for downstream analyses,” Bhargava said.
To study tissue samples, doctors and researchers use stains or
dyes that stick to the particular
structure or molecule they are
looking for. Staining can be a long
photo by Rohit Bhargava
Tissue samples Breast tissue is computationally stained using
data from infrared imaging without actually staining the tissue,
enabling multiple stains on the same sample. From left, the image
shows a Hematoxylin and Eosin stain (pink-blue), molecular
staining for epithelial cells (brown color) and Masson’s trichrome
(blue, red at right).
and exacting process, and the added chemicals can damage cells.
Doctors also have to choose which
things to test for, because it’s not
always possible to obtain multiple
samples for multiple stains from
one biopsy.
The new, advanced infrared
imaging technique uses no chemical stains, instead scanning the
sample with infrared light to directly measure the chemical com-
position of the cells. The computer
then translates spectral information from the microscope into
chemical stain patterns, without
the muss or fuss of applying dyes
to the cells.
“We’re relying on the chemistry to generate the ground truth
and act as the ‘supervisor’ for a
supervised learning algorithm,”
said David Mayerich, the first author of the study. Mayerich was a
post-doctoral fellow at the Beckman Institute and now is a professor at the University of Houston.
“One of the bottlenecks in automated pathology is the extensive
processing that must be applied
to stained images to correct for
staining artifacts and inconsistencies. The ability to apply stains
uniformly across multiple samples could make these initial image processing steps significantly
easier and more robust.”
The researchers reproduced
a wide array of molecular stains
by computationally isolating the
spectra of specific molecules. This
allows the user to simply tune to
a required stain, for as many different stains as are necessary – all
without damaging the original
tissue sample, which can then be
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Imaging technique Professor Rohit Bhargava led a
group that uses infrared light to
image biopsy samples without
dyes or stains.
used for other tests.
“This approach promises to
have immediate and long-term
impact in changing pathology to
a multiplexed molecular science –
in both research and clinical practice,” Bhargava said.
The National Institutes of
Health supported this work. Carle
Foundation Hospital in Urbana
and the U. of I. Cancer Center at
UIC were partners in this work. u
PAGE 10
Roger Ebert’s Film Festival
InsideIllinois
April 2, 2015
Film about David Foster Wallace featured, Jason Segel is guest
By Craig Chamberlain
Social Sciences Editor
A
new film about a journalist’s five insightful
days with “Infinite Jest”
author David Foster
Wallace, “The End of the Tour,”
will be among the featured films
at this year’s Roger Ebert’s Film
Festival, running April 15-19 in
Champaign-Urbana.
Wallace, raised in ChampaignUrbana, is played in the film by
Jason Segel, who will be a guest
for the screening. Joining him will
be director James Ponsoldt, who
came to the festival two years ago
with his film “The Spectacular
Now.”
Also on the schedule for the
17th annual “Ebertfest,” as previously announced, will be “A
Bronx Tale,” a 1993 Robert De
Niro-directed drama starring both
De Niro and Chazz Palminteri,
who also wrote the screenplay.
Palminteri and producer Jon Kilik
also will be guests.
Opening the five-day event on
Wednesday evening will be JeanLuc Godard’s “Goodbye to Language 3D,” a Jury Prize winner at
last year’s Cannes Film Festival
and the first 3-D film to be shown
at Ebertfest. Lead actress Héloïse
‘Ebertfest’
campus
events
announced
P
anel discussions about
film and the film industry, featuring many of
the directors, actors, critics and
other guests of Ebertfest, will
be held in the Pine Lounge of
the Illini Union, and are free
and open to the public.
The schedule:
Thursday, April 16
n 9-10 a.m.
“Challenging Stigma Through
the Arts”
n 10:15-11:15 a.m.
“Ebert Center @ Illinois:
Storytelling Meets
Engineering”
Friday, April 17
n 9-10 a.m. “Filmmaking in
the Digital Age”
n 10:15-11:15 a.m. “Criticism
and its Futures” u
Special guests Actor Jason Segel, left, will be on
Featured films Above, “Wild Tales,” a dark comedy billed as “six
deadly stories of revenge,” will be shown April 18 at Ebertfest. The
Argentine film was nominated for best foreign-language film at this
year’s Oscars.
Godet will be a guest.
Poland, comic absurdity in SweGodard, now 84, was once de- den and wild tales in Argentina.
scribed by Ebert as “a director of One of the four won last year’s
the very first rank” and a signifi- Oscar for best foreign-language
cant influence on the development film, and another was a nominee.
of feature-length film.
Also on the schedule: a drama/
Wednesday evening also will thriller about two Nevada brothfeature a tribute to comedy direc- ers escaping into fantastic stories
tor, screenwriter and actor Harold to deal with their persistent hard
Ramis – associated with films such luck, a drama about the Great
as “Caddyshack,” “Ghostbusters” Recession housing crisis, a docuand “Groundhog Day” – who died mentary about the moving of a
last year, and for whom this year’s Southern plantation house and its
festival is dedicated.
mixed-race family history, and an
Besides “Goodbye,” four oth- Ethan Hawke-directed documener recent foreign-language films tary about a classical pianist who
are on this year’s schedule, deal- gave up the limelight to teach.
ing with female adolescence in
This year’s silent film stars RuFrance, World War II barbarity in dolph Valentino in his final role,
stage after “The End of the Tour” is screened on April 16.
Actress Héloïse Godet will be a guest with “Goodbye to
Language 3D,” which will open the festival April 15.
and will be accompanied by the
three-man Alloy Orchestra, of
Cambridge, Massachusetts, back
for its 14th appearance.
Segel is known for his roles in
the TV series “How I Met Your
Mother” and in films such as “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “The
Muppets.” Palminteri is known
for roles in “The Usual Suspects,”
“Analyze This” and “Bullets Over
Broadway,” which earned him an
Oscar nomination for best supporting actor. Kilik recently was
the producer for “Foxcatcher” and
has produced all of the “Hunger
Games” films.
All of the festival films will be
screened at the 1,500-seat Virginia
Theatre, a downtown Champaign
movie palace opened in 1921
ON THE WEB
www.ebertfest.com
www.thevirginia.org
and restored to its early grandeur
though extensive renovations prior to the 2013 festival.
Chaz Ebert, Roger’s wife, will
serve as the festival emcee. She
also works with festival director
Nate Kohn to select the festival’s
films, based on Roger Ebert’s criteria and lists he developed over
the first 15 years of the festival,
before his death in 2013.
Kohn said films are chosen because they have been overlooked
by critics, distributors or audiences; come from overlooked genres
or formats; deserve a second look;
SEE EBERTFEST, PAGE 15
Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, April 15-19
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15
7 p.m. “Goodbye to Language 3D”
(French, 2014). Guest: lead actress
Héloïse Godet.
9:30 p.m. A tribute to Harold Ramis,
followed by a conversation with his wife,
Erica, and Producer Trevor Albert.
THURSDAY, APRIL 16
1 p.m. “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence” (2014), a Swedish
film centered on a pair of Laurel and Hardylike traveling salesmen and a collection
of comic vignettes, by Roy Andersson.
Guest: Producer Johan Carlsson.
4 p.m. “Moving Midway” (2007), about
moving a Southern plantation house and
discovering family history. Guest: Director,
film critic Godfrey Cheshire.
8:30 p.m. “The End of the Tour” (2015),
a drama that centers around a conversation between two writers, one of them the
acclaimed David Foster Wallace, who died
in 2008. Guests: Actor Jason Segel and
Director James Ponsoldt.
FRIDAY, APRIL 17
1 p.m. “Girlhood” (2014), a French drama about a teenage girl and the gang of
girls she falls in with.
4 p.m. “Son of the Sheik” (1926), this
year’s silent film and the last starring Rudolph Valentino. The three-man Alloy Orchestra will provide live accompaniment
and composed the score.
8:30 p.m. “A Bronx Tale” (1993), a
drama set in 1968 in an Italian-American
Bronx neighborhood about a teenage boy,
his father (Robert De Niro) and a gangster
named Sonny (Chazz Palminteri). Guests:
Palminteri and producer Jon Kilik.
SATURDAY, APRIL 18
11 a.m. “Wild Tales” (2014), a multistory film from Argentina that was nominated for a 2015 Oscar for best foreignlanguage film, and won last year’s Academy Award for best film in Argentina.
2 p.m. “Ida” (2013), a black-and-white
Polish drama set in 1962, about an
18-year-old orphan and aspiring nun and
the journey she takes with her aunt seeking to learn how her Jewish parents died
during World War II.
5 p.m. “The Motel Life” (2012), a
drama/thriller about two brothers who
work odd jobs, drink hard and drift from
motel to motel when a hit-and-run accident causes them to flee across Nevada.
Guests: Director Alan Polsky and actor
Stephen Dorff.
9 p.m. “99 Homes” (2014), the latest
film from director Ramin Bahrani, which
takes an uncomfortable look at the housing crisis through the story of an evicted
family and a real estage agent who profits
from it. Guests: Bahrani and Noah Lomax,
who plays a son in the evicted family.
SUNDAY, APRIL 19
11 a.m. “Seymour: An Introduction”
(2014), a documentary directed by “Boyhood” star Ethan Hawke about a classical
pianist, Seymour Bernstein, who gave up
his career at age 50 to teach piano and
compose. Guest: Bernstein. u
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InsideIllinois
April 2, 2015 PAGE 11
Sloan grant to help improve STEM minority representation
By Mike Helenthal
Assistant Editor
fred P. Sloan Foundation. “(The Centers of
Exemplary Mentoring) are designed to support graduate students at every point in the
graduate study pipeline.”
In addition to Sloan Foundation funds,
the universities have made substantial costsharing commitments in the form of direct
support to students, program activities, and
the personnel costs of running the program.
Combining Sloan Foundation and university funds, selected graduate students will
receive tuition, a stipend and professional
development support over three years.
“The Sloan partnership will help us leverage the numerous existing resources
the U. of I. devotes to supporting minority
doctoral students,” said Sarah Theule Lubienski, the interim dean of the Graduate
College. “We also will draw from the expertise within our departments on campus,
as well as in the Sloan network of member
institutions.”
ON THE WEB
www.sloan.org
Boylan said the U. of I. was chosen for
its already proven commitment to minority
Ph.D. students in the sciences and engineering, its efforts to expand that support, and
its comprehensive assessment of doctoral
students’ experiences and outcome.
Lubienski said a coordinating committee – comprising the graduate college’s associate dean, Assata Zerai; representatives
of the chemistry, math and physics departments; and the College of Engineering –
will oversee the center’s mentoring activities.
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant-making institution based in New York City. u
deaths
Ads removed
for online
version
Barbara Van Vliet Badger, 93, died March
19 at her Champaign home. She worked at
the U. of I. for 13 years, retiring in 1988 as
a technical editor for vocational agriculture
in the College of Agriculture, now known
as the College of Agricultural, Consumer
and Environmental Sciences.
Gracye Parks Baker, 84, died March 22.
She worked at the U. of I. for 36 years, retiring in 1995 as an administrative secretary
for urban and regional planning.
Eleanor “Ellie” Knipfer, 77, died March 20
at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana. She
worked at the U. of I. for 22 years, retiring
in 2002 as a secretary III for International
Student Affairs.
Donald L. Schwab, 63, died March 16 at
his Rantoul home. He worked for the U. of
I. for 26 years, retiring in 2007 as a building
service worker at the Illini Union.
Linda S. Vogel, 63, died March 19 at her
Mahomet home. Vogel worked at the U. of
I. for 14 years, retiring in 1999 as a secretary
IV for electrical and computer engineering.
Memorials: Lutheran Church of Mahomet,
www.lcofm.org; or the Carle Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit, www.carle.org. u
@Illinois
jobs
T
he U. of I. is one of three institutions awarded a grant by the Alfred
P. Sloan Foundation’s expanded
Minority Ph.D. Program to support
underrepresented minority doctoral students in science, technology, engineering
and math fields.
The competitive three-year, $3 million
Sloan Foundation initiative, announced
March 24, asks each institution to create a
Center of Exemplary Mentoring, a campuswide center that provides scholarships to
minority doctoral students in the physical
and mathematical sciences, and engineering. With the expansion, the Sloan Foundation will have eight centers nationally.
The Illinois center will coordinate a host
of activities designed to help students succeed in their graduate studies and careers,
including an extensive orientation program
for new students, research opportunities,
workshops and seminars, professional development, scholarships and stipends, and
a three-tiered mentoring program that provides peer, academic and research mentors
to students.
The center’s goal will be to double the
number of applications, offers and enrollments of underrepresented students in
STEM fields, and it will comprise 12 departments from the College of Engineering
and six from the College of Liberal Arts and
Sciences. The grant application was submitted by the Office of the Provost and the
Graduate College.
“Increasing the diversity of graduate
education in the sciences, mathematics and
engineering means getting talented minority
candidates into quality Ph.D. programs and
helping them succeed once they get there,”
said Elizabeth S. Boylan, the director of the
STEM Higher Education program at the Al-
To view job postings, apply for civil service or academic jobs at Illinois,
or to update your application information:
Ads removed for
online version
jobs.illinois.edu
InsideIllinois
PAGE 12
April 2, 2015
Structural reform litigation helps curb police misconduct
By Phil Ciciora
Business and Law Editor
T
he Violent Crime Control and
Law Enforcement Act of 1994 has
served as the basis for the reform
of many police departments in cities across the country, including Cincinnati,
Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. And in
what’s now seen as an increasingly likely
next step, Ferguson, Missouri, will undergo
its own Department of Justice-administered
police reforms.
Despite some shortcomings, structural
police reform litigation has been an effective tool for reducing misconduct in several
law enforcement agencies, according to a
forthcoming study by a U. of I. expert in
criminal law.
Structural reform litigation is uniquely
effective at combating misconduct in police
departments, said Stephen Rushin, a professor of law at Illinois.
“It forces local municipalities to prioritize investments in police misconduct regulations,” he said. “It utilizes external monitoring to ensure that frontline officers substantively comply with top-down mandates,
and it provides police executives with legal
cover to implement wide-ranging, potentially unpopular reforms aimed at curbing
misconduct.”
The paper, which will be published
next month in the Minnesota Law Review,
draws on original interviews, court documents, statistical data and media reports to
describe the federal government’s use of
structural reform litigation and theorize on
its effectiveness.
“Structural reform litigation provides the
federal government with a unique opportunity to force local police agencies to adopt
invasive and costly reforms,” Rushin said.
“Because of this, legal scholars have long
been optimistic that it could become one of
the most important ways of addressing police misconduct.”
The paper outlines the structural litigation reform process – where it’s happened
CAPES, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8
“Laura’s work has solidified the reputation of the University of Illinois Research
Park – a reputation that spans the world,”
Bleill said.
Along with being an employee of the U.
of I. for five years, Frerichs also has been
the chairman of the board of directors for
the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation and has been on the board
of directors of the Illinois Technology Association. She also was named one of the
“40 Under Forty Woman of the Year 2009”
by Central Illinois Business Magazine.
In a letter of support, Edward McMillan,
a trustee of the U. of I, said “Laura’s efforts,
attention to detail, dogged determination to
find solutions to every obstacle she has encountered, while maintaining her unwavering integrity and professional rapport with
all she comes in contact, is outstanding.”
McMillan said Frerichs manages the relationship between U. of I. and the Research
Park developer, Fox/Atkins. He added her
work has been significant in advancing the
college’s mission in economic development, which has assisted in research and
teaching.
vvv
Tonja Henze, a lab animal facilities
coordinator in the Division of Animal Resources, works toward the facilities’ mission of providing quality care, training and
consultation in the safe and humane use of
laboratory animals in research and education. She has worked at the U. of I. for 28
years.
Jennifer Criley, the assistant director of
animal resources, nominated Henze, saying
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Police reform Structural reform litigation is uniquely effective at combating
misconduct in police departments, says Stephen Rushin, a professor of law at Illinois.
in the past, how long it took, how much it
cost and, ultimately, how effective it was. It
also details the package of reforms that are
most commonly implemented by municipalities: use of force policy changes, early
intervention and risk management systems,
complaint procedures and investigations,
and training overhaul.
“Most agreements have included sections regulating the use of force by police
officers, and virtually all agreements require some change in officer training and
the implementation of an early warning system to identify officers engaged in a pattern
of misconduct,” Rushin said. “Agreements
also frequently regulate the handling of citizen complaints and the internal investigation of officer wrongdoing. About half of
the agreements require external auditing or
monitoring to ensure compliance.
“In recent years, the scope has expanded
to cover a wide range of topics, including
gender bias, interrogations, lineup procedures, recruitment, crisis intervention and
promotion standards.”
Although police departments in some of
the nation’s largest cities have undergone
structural police reform, there has been little empirical research on the topic, Rushin
said.
“Previous studies offer little explanation
of how and why structural reform litigation
achieved its results,” he said. “This is in
part because the existing literature offers a
relatively thin conception of how the process works from beginning to end. My paper attempts to fill this gap by developing a
thorough descriptive account of this largely
extra-judicial police-reform process.”
The paper also details some of the weaknesses of structural reform litigation.
“It’s far from a perfect regulatory mechanism,” Rushin said. “The process is long
and costly, and questions remain about the
sustainability of its reforms after monitoring ends. Some also question whether this
type of federal intervention makes officers
less aggressive. Successful organizational
“she encourages career development and is
a strong advocate for all of her employees.
She never fails to recognize her employees’
accomplishments and landmarks.”
The division manages eight animal facilities, with all the supervisors reporting
to Henze. With this comes numerous and
diverse responsibilities, Criley said. She
added that Henze manages the goal of providing high-quality care for the animal care
units.
As the coordinator, Henze is responsible
for standardizing procedures between different units in the program, supervising unit
supervisors and animal care staff members,
participating on search committees and interview teams, among other duties.
“Tonja is always a strong advocate for
the field of laboratory animal care,” Criley
said. “She is a strong asset to our division,
the university and the laboratory animal
care community.”
She also has been part of professional
organizations such as the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science,
the Committee for Technician Awareness
and Development, and the Central Illinois
Branch of the American Association for
Laboratory Animal Science.
Lyndon Goodly, the associate vice chancellor for research and the director of the
Division of Animal Resources, said in a
letter of support, “Her integrity as a friend,
colleague, mother, and as a human being
is absolute. All of these personal attributes
flow into her work, which for Tonja is not
her work but her passion. Time after time,
Tonja puts the needs of others before her
own, not for personal gain, but simply because it’s the right thing to do.”
Goodly mentioned that outside of providing a great work ethic and positive attitude at her job, Henze also has been involved with being a leader for the Campus
Charitable Fund Drive, as well as bringing
her service and leadership to the Girl Scouts
of America, the 4-H Club and as an English as a Second Language conversational
mentor.
vvv
Rebecca McBride, the senior associate director of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, has contributed to making
Krannert Center a vibrant cultural center,
influencing every area, including increasing local and national awareness, improving audience engagement and boosting
attendance.
She was nominated by Maureen Reagan, the assistant director for marketing,
who said “McBride has earned a reputation
as one of the most effective and respected
academic professionals on campus, and as
a valuable resource when a campus unit or
community organization seeks assistance
with strategy, communications, organizational culture, or myriad other areas.”
Reagan said McBride manages the operations at the center, which includes the
oversight of almost 80 staff members who
annually produce and present more than
300 performances, hundreds of nonperformance engagement activities and a host of
services, and who support the academic
units of music, theatre and dance. Reagan
mentioned that McBride led Krannert Cen-
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reform requires continual support from municipal leaders, dedication by executives
within the targeted agency, and buy-in by
frontline officers. Taken together, it all suggests that structural reform litigation alone
is insufficient to transform a law enforcement agency.”
The financial burden of structural reform litigation is heavy, and falls on local
police agencies over a relatively short period of time.
“It is costly, but structural reform litigation may ultimately pay for itself by reducing a police department’s civil liability,”
Rushin said.
According to Rushin, the Ferguson case
is progressing similarly to many other past
structural reform cases.
“While each negotiated settlement
should be specifically tailored to the
unique needs of the individual municipality, they’ve proved to be remarkably similar over time,” he said. “What we’re seeing
so far in Ferguson is no exception, and it’s
what you would expect to see in a case like
this: a change in leadership, the DOJ getting ready to propose a significant package
of reforms, and the city about to undergo
a potentially decade-long reform process.”
Rushin cautions that there are no fasttrack solutions to police reform – in Ferguson or anywhere else in the U.S.
“It’s slow and incremental by design so
you can change leadership and bring about
sustainable reform over time,” he said.
“Ferguson could take less time because it’s
not a department with thousands of officers,
but I would imagine some pretty significant
reforms will be implemented.”
But will the process bring about sustainable reform?
“It’s worked pretty well in a lot of different cities, but the question of whether this
will work long-term in Ferguson is still an
open one,” Rushin said “In some cities, the
reforms have been maintained long-term.
In others, it hasn’t. But it looks like a good
tool for this particular situation.” u
ter’s artist residency program into a deeper
and more diverse initiative, which is recognized nationally for its inclusive approach.
Mike Ross, the Krannert Center director,
complimented McBride’s work ethic in a
letter of support. “Rebecca exhibits extraordinary interest in the well-being of all those
under her supervision, as well as of those
in positions of higher institutional rank. She
is a naturally and deeply empathetic human
being, embodying the values of tolerance
and the embrace of difference, even when
challenged by the sometimes narrower
worldviews of others with whom she finds
herself engaged.”
An employee of the U. of I. for 22 years,
McBride also has been involved in public
engagement. She was a project manager
in the past for Jazz Threads, a community
project that celebrated the local history of
jazz, and she is currently the project manager for Making Communities Visible, a
three-year community initiative that aims to
generate art activities between community
groups.
She also has been involved in sustainability efforts at the center, and she assumed
leadership of a Sustainability Vision Plan,
which resulted in more than 50 percent annual energy savings since early 2000. McBride has incorporated organic food offerings and expanded recycling at the center,
and she is currently working with the Illinois Green Business Association to create
a national environmental certification program for university-based performing arts
centers. u
Spring ’15 rates & dates online
Advertising rates and a full schedule with deadlines are
available online. go.illinois.edu/iiads
InsideIllinois
April 2, 2015 PAGE 13
Floral designs on display for Krannert Art Museum fundraiser
By Jodi Heckel
Arts and Humanities Editor
K
rannert Art Museum will soon
display a different kind of artwork. Its annual Petals & Paintings exhibition takes place April
11-12, with an opening gala April 10. The
exhibition will feature 21 floral designs that
complement or respond to a piece of artwork in the museum.
Petals & Paintings is a museum fundraiser organized by the Krannert Art Museum
Council, the all-volunteer organization that
supports the museum. This year, the event
also celebrates the council’s 50th year.
Museum Director Kathleen Harleman
and local florist Rick Orr – who is curator
for the exhibition – chose the artwork and
provided images to the florists who are designing the floral pieces. Orr said they try
to choose artwork from throughout the museum so visitors will see all the galleries.
“The things I look for in choosing works
of art are color and texture and rhythm and
motion – the things florists do in their everyday work. That’s how one art form complements the other,” Orr said.
photo provided by Krannert Art Museum
Inspired The colors in a painting
of parakeets inspired this floral
arrangement at the 2009 Petals and
Paintings exhibition at Krannert Art
Museum.
ON THE WEB
n go.illinois.edu/
PetalsandPaintings15
n go.illinois.edu/MFA15
photo provided by Krannert Art Museum
Ocean view A floral arrangement by local florist Rick Orr for the 2013 Petals &
Paintings exhibition at Krannert Art Museum was inspired by a painting of an ocean.
“They’re all so different, from a landscape in the Old Masters gallery section,
as opposed to the Andy Warhol piece (a
portrait by Marlene Dumas) and a mask in
the African room,” he said. “They all lend
themselves to a variety of interpretations.”
Julia Kelly, the museum’s communications and marketing director, said the florists have free rein with their designs.
“Sometimes they do something that replicates a theme in the artwork, or sometimes
they do something that is responding to it.
Sometimes they will take a detail of a painting and reflect it in the floral design,” Kelly
said.
Orr will create a floral piece based on
an Old Master landscape. The painting includes a depiction of a water feature in the
forefront of the landscape, and he plans to
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use a mirror to pick up the effect of the water in the painting.
The exhibition is during the U. of I.’s
Moms Weekend, and more than 2,000 people come through the museum to see the floral designs, said Gloria Rainer, a member of
the Krannert Art Museum Council and cochair of the Petals & Paintings event.
“For some people, it’s an introduction
to the museum as well,” Rainer said. “It’s
a way for them not only to see the flowers, but also to see the art collection at the
university.”
The council supports the museum in various ways, Rainer said, but mainly in educational initiatives and programming. Half
of the money raised at last year’s Petals &
Paintings was used to support KAM-WAM,
the “Week at the Museum” program for
fourth- and fifth-grade students. The other
half went toward updating the decorative
arts gallery on the museum’s lower level,
including new lighting and redesigned display cases.
Rainer said the council also supports restoration of pieces of art and maintains the
Gelvin Gardens in front of the museum.
Sculptor Fletcher Burton of San Francisco, who designed the “China Moon II”
sculpture on display outside the Peabody
Drive entrance to the museum, donated a
sculpture that will be sold in a sealed-bid
auction. There also will be a silent auction
of items donated from local businesses,
restaurants and individuals. A list of those
items is available on the event’s website.
Opening the same weekend is the Master
of Fine Arts Exhibition, featuring the work
of 11 MFA candidates. The exhibition opens
April 11 with a public reception from 5 to
7 p.m. and continues through May 2. The
exhibition will include student work in metalwork, industrial design, video, sculpture,
painting, graphic design and photography.
The works presented are the culmination
of three years of research by the MFA candidates, who also have written theses and
presented their work to an advisory committee. Patrick Earl Hammie, a professor in
the School of Art and Design and coordinator of the exhibition, said the students’ theses are not just self-expression, “they delve
into contemporary and past histories and to
find how and where their voices can add to
and complicate those conversations.” u
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InsideIllinois
PAGE 14
briefnotes
CHAMP Conference
Entrepreneurial heritage discussed
The Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management
and Policy (CHAMP) will host an international conference
April 23, “Entrepreneurial Heritage and the Information
Economy.” The conference brings together distinguished
officials from Brussels, Luxembourg and Marseille, France
(three cities in the region considered the cultural sector of
the European Union); U. of I. professors; Eastern Illinois
University faculty members; and keynote speaker Rosemary Coombe from York University, Canada. The conference meets from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Room 314A of the
Illini Union. The meeting is open to the public and free of
charge. The full program is available on CHAMP’s website, champ.anthro.illinois.edu. For more information, contact Helaine Silverman, a professor of anthropology, at [email protected]
Boneyard Creek Community Day
Volunteers needed in cleanup effort
For the last 10 years, Boneyard Creek Community Day
has been an integral part of helping protect local waterways
though cleanup and public educational activities.
Celebrate the event’s 10th anniversary from 9 a.m. until
noon April 18 by registering to volunteer and make a difference for the environment.
People of all ages can participate. Work sites vary from
projects in the creek to those suitable for children. Last year,
a record number of more than 400 participants cleaned up
litter and non-native plants from 1,459 acres of Boneyard
Creek at seven different locations.
Scott Park will serve as the event’s primary setting for
lunch, music and interactive learning displays following
cleanup activities.
Boneyard Creek Community Day is a collaborative partnership among the U. of I., Facilities and Services, the cities of Champaign and Urbana, Champaign Park District,
Urbana Park District, Prairie Rivers Network, Champaign
County Soil and Water Conservation District, Champaign
County Design and Conservation Foundation, Ward & Associates Realtors Inc., Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club,
Della Perrone Photography, Champaign Unit #4 School
District’s Operation Hope and Farnsworth Group.
For online registration and more information, go to www.
boneyardcreek.org. Registration closes at 5 p.m. April 15.
WILL-TV and WILL Radio
Show shares local cancer stories
WILL-TV and WILL Radio are teaming with WTVPTV in Peoria to examine cancer treatment and research in
central Illinois for programming related to the PBS documentary series “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies,” being broadcast March 30 to April 1 on WILL-TV.
“Living with Cancer in Central Illinois” on WILL-TV
features two half-hour documentaries on April 2. At 8 p.m.,
“Strategic Treatment” looks at the latest in treatment and
care, and at 8:30 p.m., “Seeking a Cure” examines medical research underway at the U. of I. Interviews in the programs include Dr. Kendrith Rowland, of the Carle Cancer
Center and a professor of medicine at U. of I., who will talk
about how cancer treatment has evolved and how research
is changing treatment. Rohit Bhargava, a bioengineering
professor at the U. of I., will describe working with students
on early detection of cancer by developing better diagnostic
tools. Dr. Vamsi Vasireddy, of Carle and a professor of medicine at the U. of I., will provide an overview of vaccine
and biological research and treatment. Carle oncologist Dr.
Maria Grosse Perdekamp and one of her patients will talk
about diagnosis and treatment.
At 9 p.m., doctors, families and cancer survivors come
together in the WILL-TV studio for a half-hour community
conversation, “Diagnoses and Decisions,” hosted by Illinois Public Radio’s Amanda Vinicky. She’ll talk to people
who have faced challenging decisions because new biotechnology and research make more information available
to patients.
Visit www.will.illinois.edu/cancerstories for Illinois
Public Media News reports on cancer in central Illinois and
to listen to the StoryCorps-style series featuring pairs of
people from central Illinois describing how their relationships have been affected by cancer.
IFLIP
Foreign language courses begin May 18
The School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at
the U. of I. will offer a unique learning opportunity in the
form of its Intensive Foreign Language Instruction Program this spring.
Known as IFLIP, the courses are held daily for two
weeks (except Saturdays, Sundays and Memorial Day, May
25) from May 18 to May 29 for three hours a day. Classes
are taught by advanced graduate students or U. of I. faculty
members. April 2, 2015
WILL-AM: Student program looks at people with intellectual disabilities
W
ILL-AM will air a new University Laboratory
High School student documentary, “A Place
in the Community: Rallying for the Rights of
People with Intellectual Disabilities,” at 10 a.m. April
10 and at 2 p.m. April 12.
The program and a companion radio series look at
the challenges for people with intellectual disabilities
in Illinois, from mistreatment and neglect in institutions
to fighting for jobs and income equality. Students in
Uni’s class of 2017 interviewed 14 advocates, parents
and policymakers about the
experiences of people with inON THE WEB
tellectual disabilities from the
will.illinois.edu
1940s to the present.
Janet Morford, the Uni
teacher who directed the documentary and series along
with WILL’s Dave Dickey, said it’s very rare today for
families to put loved ones in institutions. “Instead, parents are raising children at home and public schools are
providing services for children with special needs. The
tricky point comes when the person with an intellectual
disability turns 22,” she said.
For those over the age of 22, no laws guarantee their
employment, said student producer Gloria Ha. “This
leaves parents and children at a loss,” she said. “Also,
Courses focus on conversational skills, travel preparation and language survival skills. There is minimal homework, no attendance policy and no academic credit. Each
class must have a minimum of 10 participants.
Participants can place themselves based on the following guidelines:
n Elementary, for those with no prior experience or formal training in the language
n Intermediate, for those with the equivalent of one
year of college-level instruction in the language
n Advanced, for those with the equivalent of two or
more years of college-level instruction in the language
Registration by May 4 is strongly encouraged. Registration fees will be fully refunded for classes cancelled because of limited enrollment.
Except as noted below, classes will take place from 9
a.m. to noon. Instruction will be offered in the following
languages: Biblical Greek (5 to 8 p.m.), Elementary Arabic, Elementary French, Intermediate French, Advanced
French, Elementary German (1 to 4 p.m.), Elementary Italian, Intermediate Italian, Elementary Japanese, Elementary
Latin (5 to 8 p.m.), Elementary Portuguese, Elementary
Russian, Elementary Spanish (9 a.m. to noon and 5 to 8
p.m.), Intermediate Spanish and Advanced Spanish.
The cost for U. of I. students is $100; for U. of I. faculty
and staff members, and retirees, $125; and for the public,
$150. Payments must be made at the time of registration.
Cancellations after May 8 will be assessed a $25 fee.
There will be no refunds after May 18, the first day of class.
For online registration and payment, visit go.illinois.
edu/IFLIP_register15.
For more information, visit www.slcl.illinois.edu/outreach/iflip/ or contact [email protected]
Beckman Institute
Molecular imaging series announced
Faculty members from Massachusetts General Hospital
will visit the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and
Technology to host seminars on molecular imaging. The
seminar series highlights the collaboration between Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Radiology, the
Center for Advanced Medical Imaging Sciences and the U.
of I. The talks will be held Fridays at noon. Pizza will be
served.
n “Multimodal MRI Analysis of Speech,” Jonghye
Woo, an MGH instructor, April 10, Room 2269 Beckman
Institute
n “Magnetic Nanoparticles and MR: From Imaging to
Assays and Back Again,” Lee Josephson, an MGH professor, April 24, Room 2269 Beckman Institute
n “Cutting-edge Radiochemical Methods and Technologies for Human PET Imaging,” Neil Vasdev, the MGH
director of radiochemistry and professor at Harvard Medical School, May 1, Room 1005 Beckman Institute
n “Task-based Maximization of Information in Medical Imaging,” Quanzheng Li, a professor and physicist at
MGH and a professor at Harvard Medical School, May 8,
Room 1005 Beckman Institute
Climate change
Why our lakes are turning green
“Algal Blooms and Health Impacts: Current Knowledge
and Research Needs” is a free daylong symposium on May
1 that will address issues related to harmful cyanobacterial
algal blooms and their impacts on human, animal and environmental health. photo courtesy Armstrong family
Special needs Amy Armstrong, who was
interviewed for the documentary, with daughter
Larkin.
monetary support for families is limited, as is residential housing, so there are lotteries and waitlists with tens
of thousands of people. There is a lot of progress to be
made, but thanks to the many people who care deeply
about the issue, things are changing.”
The four-part radio series, “Living with Intellectual
Disabilities,” will air at 6:45 and 8:45 a.m. April 6 to
9, on Morning Edition on WILL-AM and WILL-FM. u
Keynote speaker is Tim Davis, a research scientist at the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Great
Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor,
Michigan. His address is titled “Why Are Our Lakes the
Same Color as Our Lawns? Understanding the Role of Eutrophication and Climate Change in Promoting Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms.”
A roundtable discussion at the close of the symposium
will seek to identify research directions and strategies for
funding and carrying out that research.
This symposium is offered by the department of pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine. It is funded
in part by a U. of I. Graduate College Focal Point Grant.
Space is limited, but the symposium also is available as a
live webinar. Register at go.illinois.edu/hab. Animal rescue training
Free training available April 29
Anyone with an interest in being prepared to assist government officials and animal rescue groups with helping
companion animals (such as dogs, cats and horses) during a
flood, tornado or other emergency is invited to attend a free
training session on the Incident Command System on April
29. This organizational tool developed by the Department
of Homeland Security allows for coordination and communication between first responders and other participants assisting with rescue, response and recovery operations. Many animal rescue organizations are now requiring ICS
certification for their volunteers. At the conclusion of this
interactive seminar, participants will be prepared to successfully complete the online certification exam. Space is
limited. A light dinner is included.
The training will be at the College of Veterinary Medicine, 2001 S. Lincoln Ave., Room 2271C, from 5 to 8:30
p.m. April 29. To register, go to http://goo.gl/forms/
Tb7I0X9k8z or contact Emily Lankau at 706-250-0450 or
email [email protected] CITES
Wireless expansion project underway
In response to the ever-growing demand for more wireless connectivity on campus, the U. of I. has added an estimated 410,400 square feet of wireless coverage as part of
the Wireless Expansion and Upgrade Project, being implemented by Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services.
In the first eight months of this three-year project, wireless coverage was expanded in 36 academic buildings
across campus. The expanded wireless networks in these 36
buildings now offer a combined total of 1,008,213 square
feet of coverage.
Some buildings simply needed to reconfigure and reposition existing hardware for better coverage, while other
buildings needed new wireless equipment. A total of 342
new wireless access points have been installed thus far.
When the project ends, it is estimated that more than
6 million square feet of wireless coverage will have been
added to the campus network and more than 5,000 new
wireless access points will be installed.
Wireless usage on campus continues to grow every year.
During the spring 2015 semester, more than 107,000 different devices connect to the U. of I.’s wireless network during
an average week.
The Connect Illinois website, connect.illinois.edu, provides the latest updates about the project’s status, including
SEE BRIEFS, PAGE 15
InsideIllinois
April 2, 2015 BRIEFS, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14
a building upgrade schedule and information about getting
connected to the campus wireless network.
Prairie Research Institute
Naturally Illinois Expo is April 17-18
The Prairie Research Institute will host its sixth Naturally Illinois Expo April 17-18 at a new location – the U. of
I. Research Park.
Families, teachers and students of all ages are invited
to attend and enjoy more than 50 interactive exhibits and
demonstrations that showcase the work of the institute and
the state’s diverse natural and cultural resources.
The expo is free and open to the public and runs 9 a.m. to
3 p.m. April 17 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 18 at the Forbes
Natural History Building, 1816 S. Oak St., Champaign.
Also new this year, the Illinois Sustainable Technology
Center will host exhibits for older students at 1 E. Hazelwood Drive, around the corner from the Oak Street location
in the Research Park.
PRI is the home of the state scientific surveys on campus. To support the expo with a donation, volunteer or find
out more, visit prairie.illinois.edu/expo. Groups planning to
attend should contact Mary Richardson in advance at 217300-3479. The expo is a zero-waste event.
Facilities and Services
Customer forum is April 9
Facilities and Services will host a customer forum April 9
at the I Hotel and Conference Center.
The forum is an opportunity to learn more about F&S,
ask questions, provide feedback, and find out about the
progress that has been made toward making their services
and procedures more customer-focused. Registration is encouraged at go.illinois.edu/FandS_Forum15.
Refreshments will be available from 8 to 8:30 a.m. The
plenary session, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., will present the
customer survey results as well as provide work management and maintenance zone updates. Breakout sessions are
scheduled from 9:45 to 11 a.m., and will include a Utilities
Production and Distribution Master Plan Overview session
and a Service Request Workflow session.
Presidential politics
Washington Post reporter to speak April 9
Dan Balz, the chief correspondent for The Washington
Post and a long-time chronicler of American politics and
the presidency, will give a talk at 7 p.m. April 9 on the U.
of I. campus.
His talk, “A Reporter’s Notes on Presidential Elections,”
will be held in Room 1092 of Lincoln Hall and is free and
open to the public.
A native of Freeport, Illinois, and a graduate of the U. of
I. journalism program, Balz has been a reporter and editor
at The Washington Post since 1978. He was named chief
correspondent in 2011, prior to that serving as national
political correspondent and White House correspondent,
among other positions.
Balz is the author or co-author of four books, including
two New York Times bestsellers on the last two presidential elections: “The Battle for America 2008” (with Haynes
Johnson) and “Collision 2012.” He also has been a regular
panelist on PBS’ “Washington Week” and a frequent guest
on CBS’ “Face the Nation” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Balz has received numerous awards for his work, most
recently the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting, which he received in March.
Balz and his wife, Nancy, have established the Daniel
and Nancy Balz Endowment Fund in Journalism at the U.
of I. As part of their campus visit, they will be on hand
when the first Balz scholarship is presented April 11 at the
College of Media Honors Reception.
Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities
Inaugural poet to give book reading
Poet Richard Blanco – the fifth and youngest inaugural
poet and the first Latino, immigrant and gay person to serve
in that role – will visit the U. of I. for a reading and book
signing April 7.
Blanco read his poem “One Today” at President Obama’s
second inauguration. He was born in Spain to Cuban-exiled
parents and raised in Miami, and one of the themes of Blanco’s work is a search for identity. He describes himself on
his website as “the Cuban Blanco or the American Blanco,
the homebody or the world traveler, the scared boy or the
openly gay man, the engineer or the inaugural poet.”
His visit is part of the spring events of the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities. Space and place are
unofficial themes for the program’s spring speaker series,
making Blanco’s writings on home and belonging a good
fit, said Nancy Castro, the IPRH associate director.
Blanco’s story is the story of many Latino students at
the U. of I. who grew up in the U.S. but whose parents are
immigrants and whose home lives reflect a strong influence
of Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico or Puerto Rico, said
Gioconda Guerra Perez, the director of La Casa Cultural
Latina.
“They will understand his experience,” Guerra Perez
said.
Students will get to meet Blanco at a lunch at La Casa
Cultural Latina during his visit. The lunch is part of the
IPRH’s Inside Scoop series of conversations between undergraduate students and distinguished scholars in the humanities.
Guerra Perez said Latino students can learn from Blanco’s experience, and his struggles with his identity can help
them understand how to navigate that process themselves.
“We work with a lot of students who have multiple identities,” she said. “You have to value them, value that you
speak another language. Those are assets. Those are not
deficiencies.”
Guerra Perez said Blanco’s part in President Obama’s
inauguration is particularly important to Latinos “because
we had a presence at that historic moment. Somebody could
voice part of what we are and how complex we are.”
Blanco also is a civil engineer. “Since the campus is so
strong in engineering, we thought him a particularly interesting choice, to bring a poet-engineer to campus,” Castro
said. Blanco will meet with engineering faculty members
and students, organized by Raymond Price, a co-director
of the Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering EduEBERTFEST CONTINUED FROM PAGE 10
or are “empathetic works that comment on the human condition.”
Other festival guests will include directors Ramin Bahrani, Godfrey Cheshire and Alan Polsky, who each directed
a film on the festival schedule. They and other guests associated with specific films will appear on the Virginia Theatre stage for informal Q&A sessions after their screenings.
Many guests also will participate in panel discussions
on the U. of I. campus.
Roger Ebert was a Pulitzer Prize-winning critic for the
Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and co-hosted movie review programs on television for more than three decades.
He also was a 1964 Illinois journalism graduate and adjunct journalism professor.
The festival is an event of the College of Media at Illinois. Additional support is provided by the Champaign
County Alliance for the Promotion of Acceptance, Inclusion & Respect; Steak ‘n Shake; and the U. of I.
Tickets for individual films are on sale through the
theater box office (phone 217-356-9063; open 10 a.m. to
PAGE 15
cation, as well as with faculty members in the colleges of
Liberal Arts and Sciences and Fine and Applied Arts.
The reading and book signing is at 7:30 p.m. April 7 in
the ballroom at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center. It is free
and open to the public.
The event is co-sponsored by the Chancellor’s Inclusive
Illinois lecture series, the College of Engineering and the
Creative Writing Program’s Carr Reading Series.
21st Century Scientists Working Group
Workshop on science communication
The 21st Century Scientists Working Group will host a
one-day workshop for scientists devoted to the craft of communication and crafting a community. The workshop is
scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 17 in Room 5602 at the
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.
At 1 p.m., a public panel will discuss traditional and
alternative science careers. Featured panelists are George
Chacko, the director of research information analytics at
the U. of I. Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research;
Miriam Goldstein, a marine biologist and legislative assistant to Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.); Christine Herman, a
freelance science journalist; and Patricia Jones, the associate director for research at the Beckman Institute.
For more information and to register, visit go.illinois.
edu/21st_workshop. There also is a Diversity Award (go.
illinois.edu/21st_diversity) available to cover the cost of
lodging and registration.
The working group is funded by the Graduate College
Focal Point Initiative, the Beckman Institute and the U. of
I. department of journalism.
Krannert Art Museum/Fresh Press
Japanese papermaking demo is April 2
Krannert Art Museum and Fresh Press Agri-fiber Research Lab will present an artist talk and demonstration on
Japanese papermaking April 2.
Lee Running, papermaking expert and a professor of
sculpture and drawing at Grinnell College, will discuss
“Japanese Paper: Beyond Substrate,” part of the museum’s
exhibition “With the Grain: Japanese Woodblock Prints
from the Postwar Years.” The event will begin at 5:30 p.m.
in the Asian Gallery at the museum with an artist talk by
Running. Afterward, Running will present a demonstration in hand papermaking at Fresh Press, located at 2116
Griffith Drive, Champaign, on the south side of the U. of I.
Research Park. u
5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday) and online through the theater
website.
The 1,000 festival passes, covering all festival screenings, went on sale in November and usually sell out. As of
this week, a few remained available.
Even if tickets for individual films are sold out, entrance
can usually be obtained by waiting in a designated line that
forms outside the theater prior to each screening.
The festival schedule also can be found at ebertfest.com,
complete with reviews, information about other events and
video retrospectives from previous festivals. Also available
on the website at the time of the event will be live streaming
of panel discussions at the U. of I. and the post-film Q&A
sessions at the Virginia Theatre.
Those seeking additional information and updates
on films, guests and festival events should contact Mary
Susan Britt, at 217-244-0552 or [email protected],
or festival director Nate Kohn, at 706-542-4972 or
[email protected] u
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