Online MBA degree coming to U. of I.`s College of Business

May 7, 2015
Vol. 34, No. 20
For Faculty and Staff, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign •
Gene mapping reveals
soy’s dynamic,
differing roles in
breast cancer
By Sharita Forrest
News Editor
cientists have mapped the human genes triggered by
the phytonutrients in soy, revealing the complex role
the legume plays in both preventing and advancing
breast cancer.
Researchers at the U. of I. found that the compounds in minimally processed soy flour stimulate genes that suppress cancer,
while purified soy isoflavones stimulate oncogenes that promote tumor growth. The paper, available online, was accepted
for publication in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food
Yunxian (Fureya) Liu, a graduate researcher in the laboratory of nutrition professor William G. Helferich, investigated
more than 22,680 gene expressions in tumors collected from
mice. The mice were injected with MCF-7 human breast-cancer
cells and fed one of four diets – including one based on soy flour
that contained mixed isoflavones, and another diet based on a
purified isoflavone mixture.
Each of these diets contained 750 parts per million of genistein equivalents, an amount comparable to that consumed by
women eating a typical Asian diet. Genistein is the primary isoflavone in soy, and recent studies have raised concerns about its
long-term effects and potential role in carcinogenesis.
Asian women’s risks for breast cancer tend to be three to
five times lower than those of women in the U.S., which some
researchers have attributed to Asian women’s consumption of
soy-based whole foods, such as tofu and soy flour, across their
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
It’s On Us Mitch Dickey, Illinois Student Senate president, shares a laugh with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden
during an April 23 event recognizing the student-led “It’s On Us” anti-sexual assault campaign. The initiative
was started by the White House last year to help reduce the number of sexual assaults occurring nationally on
college campuses. It is estimated that one in five college students is sexually assaulted during their college years.
U. of I. students earned special recognition and the vice president’s visit because of the high number who signed
the “It’s On Us” pledge. (To pledge, go to More than 1,500 people attended the event, held at Campus
Recreation Center East. For more photos, visit Inside Illinois online at
Online MBA degree coming to U. of I.’s College of Business
By Phil Ciciora
Business and Law Editor
photo courtesy College of Business
In This Issue
Tradition of excellence The new online MBA degree will
democratize access to the coveted graduate degree, said Larry
DeBrock, the Josef and Margot Lakonishok Endowed Dean of the
College of Business.
he U. of I. College of Business will launch an onlineonly Master of Business
program, pending approval by the
U. of I. Board of Trustees.
The degree, called the
“iMBA,” will be the first online
graduate business degree offered
in partnership with Coursera, the
Silicon Valley educational technology company that already offers a number of U. of I. courses
through its platform of massive
open online courses, more commonly known as “MOOCs.”
The online degree will democratize access to both the coveted
business credential and the worldclass faculty of the Urbana campus, said Larry DeBrock, the Josef
and Margot Lakonishok Endowed
Dean of the College of Business.
“The University of Illinois has
a tradition of excellence and a distinguished reputation as a leader
in research, teaching and public
engagement, and our faculty is at
the heart of that tradition,” he said.
“All of the classes for the new degree program will be taught by
faculty members from the College
of Business as well as industry experts. In leading the new endeavor, they will continue our college’s
Brain trauma
Advances in cognitive
neuroscience should inform
the treatment of traumatic
brain injuries.
tradition of excellence.”
According to DeBrock, the
100th anniversary of the founding
of the U. of I. College of Business
was the impetus behind the development of the program.
“We considered it an opportunity to reinvigorate the landgrant mission of the University
of Illinois as a public university,”
said DeBrock, who noted that the
iMBA program will cost one-third
as much as a master’s degree from
an institution of similar stature.
“We’re entering the online MBA
field motivated in part to find new
ways to return to the tradition of
great public universities making
an elite education available to all.”
The program also amounts
to a total rethink of the online
MBA degree curriculum, said Raj
Echambadi, the associate dean of
outreach and engagement for the
College of Business and a professor of business administration.
“This will be the first for-credit
graduate program from a top university to offer individual certificates in subject areas that can double as building blocks to earning
a full MBA degree,” Echambadi
Honoring excellence
Excellence in teaching,
mentoring and advising was
recognized at the campus’s
annual Celebration of Teaching
Excellence reception April 30.
PAGE 10-11
The “stackable credentials”
will be offered in topics such as
digital marketing, accounting and
finance – courses that have their
own appeal for current professionals, Echambadi noted.
Illinois also is leveraging
platform to reconceptualize business subject areas.
“Rather than simply transferring traditional MBA content
online, we’re mixing academic
disciplines into active-learning
packages about how businesses
work that are preassembled for
students,” Echambadi said. “This
is part of what makes stackability
possible: self-contained classes
with execution-ready content.”
“We’re finding new ways to
mix content and active learning
that’s better suited to high-level
business leadership while also
democratizing access to the degree,” DeBrock said. “For business education, it’s a truly historic
The stackable nature of the
degree program also means that
students are not locked into a particular course sequence.
“Students can take any set of
courses in any order that suits
them,” Echambadi said. “The
iMBA program will work for the
4, 13
PAGE 2 May 7, 2015
If making benefit changes, submit them online by June 1
. of I. employees are reminded
that if they wish to make changes
to their health or dental insurance,
dependent coverage or flexible
spending plans, the changes must be made
using NESSIE, the university’s online selfservice benefits application. All changes
must be made by June 1 and will have an
effective date of July 1.
If no changes are desired to insurance
plans, employees do not need to do anything. But employees who want to enroll
or re-enroll in the Medical Care Assistance Plan or Dependent Care Assistance
Plan must do so each year. Renewal is not
Information sessions
There are two remaining information
sessions sponsored by University Payroll
and Benefits. The sessions provide employees with Benefit Choice information and
allow employees to ask questions. Registration is not required.
n10 a.m.-noon, May 14, Beckman
Institute auditorium, Room 1025
n 2-4 p.m., May 20, Bevier Hall,
Room 180
Documentation requirements
Documentation is required when making
some changes.
Documentation, including the dependent’s Social Security number, is required
when adding dependent coverage.
An approved statement of health is required to add or increase Member Optional
Life coverage or to add Spouse Life or
Child Life coverage.
If opting out of health insurance, proof
is required of other comprehensive health
coverage provided by an entity other than
the Department of Central Management
Opt out and dependent documentation
should be faxed to 217-244-3135 on or before June 11.
Transition of care
Members and their dependents who elect
to change health plans and are then hospitalized prior to July 1 and are discharged
on or after July 1 should contact both the
current and future health plan administra-
tors and primary care physicians as soon as
possible to coordinate the transition of services. Members or dependents involved in
an ongoing course of treatment or who have
entered the third trimester of pregnancy
should contact the new plan to coordinate
the transition of services for treatment.
Pharmacy administrator change
Central Management Services announced that pharmacy benefits for the
Quality Care Health Plan, Coventry Open
Access Plan and HealthLink Open Access
Plan will change to CVS/Caremark effective July 1, 2015. u
Senate review report may lead to future reforms
By Mike Helenthal
Assistant Editor
report reviewing the full breadth
of the responsibilities of the
Urbana-Champaign Senate is expected to lead to action following
its acceptance at the May 4 meeting.
“This framework could turn into morespecific recommendations in the future,”
said Kim Graber, a professor of kinesiology
and community health, who is vice chair
of the Senate Executive Committee and
a member of the seventh Senate Review
The commission, led by Abbas Aminmansour, a professor of architecture, was
asked last year to begin reviewing senate
government and organizational structures
and make recommendations to improve
Graber said the report’s recommendations were broad and would need more
discussion and refinement to turn them into
actionable concepts. The report was submitted at the April 27 meeting of the Senate
Executive Committee.
The commission’s membership included
faculty and staff members, campus administrators and students. Senate members and
committee chairs also were consulted.
“The commission firmly believes that
our … senate is a crucial partner in our
shared governance system,” said the report’s introduction.
Initial discussions coalesced around five
themes: senate membership, senate rule
13, senator engagement, the Illinois Open
Meetings Act issues and shared governance.
As for senator membership, the report
recommends allowing units to elect alternate members when a senator cannot attend,
and better enforcing current attendance
The report also recommends limiting
faculty seats to full-time faculty members,
with a predetermined number of seats offered to and selected by retired faculty
members. It also suggests “a more uniform
mechanism” to elect specialized faculty
members and to increase the number of academic professionals who may serve.
As for improving engagement, the report
suggests actively recruiting senate candidates, creating a guide for new senators and
adding technology that allows resolutions,
documents and even motions and amendments to be projected in real time during
meetings. It also suggests creating a postmeeting summary that senators could share
with constituents.
“Senators should be reminded that their
role as senator does not end once a senate
meeting adjourns,” the report says. “A culture must be created whereby the role of the
senate is perceived as critical to the successful functioning of the university.”
The report recommends a larger role for
the senate’s Educational Policy Committee
by adding to its purview an annual review
of the campus Enrollment Management report for academic units and programs undergoing large changes.
“The commission believes that the EPC
can share experiences and knowledge
with anyone considering reorganization of
units so that there is a more consistent and
smooth process,” the report says. “Particular attention should be paid to the impact
of such changes on other units or programs
and their resources.”
It also recommends reviewing the senate
committee structure every five years. u
After initial success, senate OKs more winter sessions
By Mike Helenthal
Assistant Editor
proposal to offer winter session
to students for two more years
received the unanimous backing of senators May 4 at the last
Urbana-Champaign Senate meeting of the
2014-15 academic year.
The campus hosted a pilot winter session
this year, with 764 students taking eight
courses for four weeks.
Initial surveys of the students and teachers involved in the session show it was
successful. Students had an unusually high
pass rate and said the course was manageable, while professors said the students taking the session were high achievers.
“It’s another opportunity for students
to take high-level courses,” said Charles
Tucker III, the vice provost for undergraduate education and innovation. He said the
extra session gives students more scheduling options.
Tucker said the winter session would be
studied over the next two years to see if it
continues to be well received and effective.
The session will not be offered over the
2017-18 academic year because the winter
break consists of only three weeks.
Other business
n Senators finished what has been a
yearlong effort by all three campuses to review the documents that codify university
policies and procedures.
The senate approved text revisions made
by the University Senates Conference in
an effort to reconcile suggestions from the
The senate’s University Statutes and
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Doris K. Dahl
217-333-2895, [email protected]
Assistant Editor
Mike Helenthal
L. Brian Stauffer
Student Interns
Ali Braboy
Austin Keating
News Bureau contributors
Liz Ahlberg
engineering, physical
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
Senate Procedures Committee provided
a side-by-side comparison of the changes
made during the senate’s original review.
Senators also approved moving provisions regarding intellectual property from
the General Rules to the statutes.
The move does not change university
intellectual property rules, said William
Maher, university archivist and chair of the
He said transforming the rules to statutes
would ultimately give campus leaders the
ability to lobby the U. of I. Board of Trustees for changes. As it stands, only the board
can initiate changes in the rules.
“If you want to change them, then it has
to be done through the statutes,” Maher
n Senators endorsed a “Statement on
Budget Planning and Reform,” a letter pre-
pared by the University Senates Conference
and already delivered to the university president’s office.
The letter suggests that proposed campus
financial cuts be targeted in order to protect
core educational functions, and cuts should
start with administrative functions. It also
asks that short-term reactionary budget
planning be replaced with a more long-term
strategic plan reflecting ongoing budget
“Undoubtedly, some short-term strategies may be required to pave the way for
long-term structural changes,” the letter
says, “but the review and reform processes
of developing these longer-term strategies
needs to begin without delay.” u
Summer ’15 rates & dates online
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available online.
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May 7, 2015 InsideIllinois
On the Job Beth Visel
By Ali Braboy
News Bureau Intern
eth Visel, an officer for the U. of I.
police department, said she realized she had found the right job
while chasing after suspects with a
gun during training for her position, a little
more than four years ago.
Originally from Champaign, Visel
earned an associate’s degree in criminal
justice at Parkland College and transferred
to Western Illinois University, where she
earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology
and law enforcement.
During her training at the U. of I., there
were a couple of subjects who fired a pistol
in the air during an argument, and the officers ended up apprehending the suspects.
“Something like that might shake a few
people up (and make them) question the
job,” Visel said. “It just felt really good to
be in the right place at the right time to take
March marked her fourth anniversary
with the department, and before that she
worked briefly at METCAD, the 911 dispatch center. Working at METCAD is not
an easy job, she said, so she has a lot of respect for those who work there.
Visel said her job as a police officer entails upholding laws, respecting everyone,
giving each person their due process and
preventing and responding to criminal activity and emergencies. However, the U. of I.
police department has the additional responsibility of promoting a safe and secure
environment where education, research and
public service can flourish.
She said when the department sees people, it often is the worst day of their life and
that is why they are calling 911. Visel said
the officers try to focus on the big picture
when handling emergencies.
“They may be cussing at us. They may
be screaming. They may be yelling,” Visel
said. “But ultimately, that’s not who they
are. They are going through an emergency
in their life when we get the call.”
She said she loves that her job is full
of variety – it’s never the same thing every day. She also gets the chance to meet
people from many different cultures.
“I can talk to somebody from China one
day, and I can talk to somebody from Bangladesh, and then I can talk to somebody
from Africa or New Zealand. I can talk to
somebody who grew up right here,” Visel
said. “I can talk to them and learn about
their culture and what they’re used to.”
She said police enforcement means different things in different cultures. It can be
hard to break through the cultural barriers
as some people might have a lack of trust
or understanding in police because of their
past experiences.
“(In) some countries it’s fear and in some
countries, it’s safety. We try and encourage
people that it’s safety here,” she said.
The hardest part of the job for Visel is
seeing people struggle while the resources
to help them are lacking. Jail sometimes is
not the answer for people who have mental health issues, for example. Depending
on the situation, Visel said, sometimes the
department’s hands are tied when it comes
to helping them. Problems can arise from
social problems, as well.
“You hate to put somebody in jail for
stealing food if they have no food at home,”
she said.
Visel is involved with the community
and the U. of I. outside of being an officer.
She teaches a Rape Aggression Defense
class for women, instructing people in self-
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Safety first Officer Beth Visel has been with the U. of I. police department for more
than four years. She said the department is responsible for promoting an environment
that allows education, research and public service to flourish.
defense techniques that start with risk reduction and advance to defense training.
She said the most rewarding feeling she
has had as an officer has been working with
Special Olympics Illinois. The police department last year raised more than $15,000,
with some of the money going to help more
than 500 local Champaign County Special
Olympics athletes. Visel attended the 2014
Special Olympics Summer Games Illinois,
which she really enjoyed.
“Just to see the joy on their faces and
the camaraderie. Even if they didn’t win,
they were high-fiving, and they were giving
hugs,” she said.
Outside of work, Visel is a graduate student in the School of Social Work at the
U. of I. She also enjoys horseback riding,
hiking and being outdoors. When she wants
to cool down and get away from the job, she
enjoys going somewhere peaceful and getting in touch with nature.
Visel is one of 10 female officers in the
department. She knows women who balance being mothers and being officers:
They can have a career, free time and being
a woman, which is empowering, she said.
“It’s really encouraging to see that we’re
not stuck back in the ’50s and ’60s where
being a female meant that you had to let go
of all that,” she said.
Visel said her four years with the department has been enjoyable, and she takes
pleasure in being able to help others.
“We need to protect people,” Visel said.
“We need to do what’s right.” u
On the Job features U. of I. staff
members. To nominate a civil service
employee, email [email protected]
Commencement to take place May 16 at Memorial Stadium
he 144th Commencement of the
U. of I.’s Urbana campus will take
place May 16 at Memorial Stadium.
The event begins at 9:30 a.m.
The featured speaker will be Risa LavizzoMourey, the president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation since 2003.
With more than 30 years of personal experience as a medical practitioner, policymaker, professor and nonprofit executive,
Lavizzo-Mourey combines the scientific
and ethical values she learned as a doctor
with a conviction that meaningful philanthropy must achieve lasting social change.
As noted on the Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation website, the foundation under
her leadership has researched, evaluated
and implemented transformative programs
tackling the nation’s most pressing health
Lavizzo-Mourey earned her M.D. at
Harvard Medical School in 1979 and an
MBA in health care administration in 1986
at the Wharton School of Business at the
University of Pennsylvania.
Lavizzo-Mourey and Ralph J. Cicerone,
the president of the National Academy
of Sciences and the chair of the National
Research Council, will be awarded U. of
I. honorary doctor of science degrees at
Cicerone earned his Ph.D. in 1970 on the
U. of I.’s Urbana campus, where his adviser
was Sidney A. Bowhill, the director of the
Aeronomy Laboratory from 1962-87.
Timothy Nugent, the director emeritus
of the U. of I.’s Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services, also will
be awarded an honorary doctor of humane
letters degree.
The U. of I. Alumni Association will
present five awards:
Dale H. Flach, who was instrumental in
initiating the Allen Hall Unit One program
at the U. of I. and was a strong advocate
for the living-in-residence concept, will
receive a distinguished service award honoring his insight and innovation in devel-
oping programs that continue to serve the
state. He was at the forefront of developing
the Illinois Rural Medical Education Program to recruit applicants from rural areas
throughout downstate Illinois and, following their formal training, have them return
as primary care doctors to meet the needs
of underserved communities. He earned a
B.S. in physical education in 1959 and an
Ed.M. in 1964 at the U. of I.
Nick Holonyak Jr., the John Bardeen
Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics, will receive an alumni
achievement award honoring his pioneering and world-renowned achievements in
optoelectronics that facilitate conversion
between electricity and light. The most
prominent among his discoveries is the first
practical LED (light-emitting diode) that
revolutionized lighting and communications technology. With U. of I. professor
Milton Feng, Holonyak also developed the
first transistor laser, which is changing the
future of high-speed signal processing, integrated circuits, supercomputing and other
applications. Holonyak was a professor of
electrical engineering at the U. of I. from
1963 until he retired to emeritus status in
2013. Holonyak is a three-time graduate
in electrical engineering from the U. of I.
College of Engineering, having earned a
bachelor’s degree in 1950, master’s degree
in 1951 and Ph.D. in 1954.
Molly Melching will receive an alumni
humanitarian award honoring her work to
develop literacy and skills training programs, reduce infant and maternal mortality rates, increase school and birth registrations, and foster human rights and female
leadership in communities in Senegal and
elsewhere. Together with local villagers,
Melching developed a new type of learning
program for adults and adolescents by using African languages and their traditional
methods of learning. This effort became the
What to know if you’re coming …
he stadium will open at 8 a.m. Construction will reduce access to the
stadium, so guests are encouraged to
arrive as early as possible. The ceremony
will take place regardless of the weather,
unless conditions are deemed unsafe.
Guests may bring into the stadium sealed
plastic water bottles up to 20 fluid ounces,
and sunscreen is recommended.
Tickets are required and may be picked
up Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the
event services window at the Illini Union.
Guest seating will be on the west side
of the stadium (enter through Portals 1 and
2 along First Street). Parking will be available in Lot E-14 (at First Street and Kirby
Avenue, Champaign) and, if weather permits, in the grass lots west of the stadium.
The wheelchair accessible entrance is
Gate 24. Guests with a handicap permit on
display may park in the north lots of State
Farm Center.
Kirby Avenue will be closed from First
Street to Fourth Street from 7 a.m. to
1 p.m., as will First Street between Kirby
Avenue and Peabody Drive.
Shuttle buses will run from 11:30 a.m.
to 11 p.m. on May 16 and from 8 a.m. to
11 p.m. on May 17 to convocation venues
throughout the campus.
A reception for graduates and their
families will take place in the gardens
of the President’s House, from noon to
1:30 p.m. on May 16. Academic attire is
All students who have earned bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees and advanced certificates
during the preceding year are honored at
The first floor of the main library will
be open from 1 to 4 p.m. May 16 and 17
for visitors to view the University Honors
Bronze Tablets.
Many individual U. of I. units have
scheduled additional convocation ceremonies. More information is available
online. u
impetus for her 1991 founding of Tostan
(“breakthrough” in the Wolof language), an
organization that has engaged hundreds of
thousands of people through a grass-roots
education model called the Community
Empowerment Program. She received a
bachelor’s degree in 1971 and master’s degree in French in 1979 from the College of
Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Sylvia Puente will receive an alumni
achievement award honoring her national
leadership and work to improve educational quality and access, as well as social
equality issues, for the Latino community
through policy analysis and advocacy. The
executive director of the Latino Policy Forum in Chicago since 2009, she is known
as a leading voice for Latino/Latina advancement and was named one of the “100
Most Influential Hispanics in the U.S.” by
Hispanic Magazine. Puente works with
more than 100 organizational leaders in the
Chicago area on issues such as education,
housing and immigration reform. Her 1980
U. of I. undergraduate degree was in economics from the College of Liberal Arts and
Don B. Wilmeth will receive an alumni
achievement award honoring his distinguished 40-year career as one of the most
productive and renowned historians of
American theater and popular entertainment. His work has helped to establish
American theater studies as a respected
academic discipline, challenging the oncepopular opinion that the field should focus
exclusively on elite literature. The Asa
Messer Professor Emeritus and former
head of the department of theatre at Brown
University, Wilmeth has excelled as a
scholar, teacher and editor. At the U. of I.,
he earned a Ph.D. in 1964 in speech.u
PAGE 4 book corner
May 7, 2015
By Craig Chamberlain
Social Sciences Editor
f you think reporters are scoundrels,
you might point to popular culture. If
you think they’re heroes, you might do
the same.
For more than a century, both depictions
have been plentiful and constant, whether
in films, books and comics; on TV and radio; or more recently in video games, says a
book by two experts on the subject.
And those depictions, in all their variety,
“are likely to shape people’s impressions
of the news media at least as much if not
more than the actual press does,” according
to Matthew Ehrlich and Joe Saltzman, in
“Heroes and Scoundrels: The Image of the
Journalist in Popular Culture,” published in
After all, the authors write, few people
ever visit a newsroom or any place where
journalists work, and research has shown
that popular culture influences public perceptions of various professions, whether
it’s doctors, lawyers, cops or reporters. So
depictions of journalism in everything from
“Superman” to “House of Cards” likely influence our views of the news business.
The subject is not a new one for either
author. Ehrlich is a U. of I. journalism professor and previously wrote “Journalism in
the Movies.” Saltzman is a journalism professor at the University of Southern California and the author of “Frank Capra and the
Image of the Journalist in American Film.”
Saltzman also directs the Image of the
Journalist in Popular Culture project in The
Norman Lear Center at USC, overseeing its
database of more than 85,000 items. Ehrlich
is an associate director of the project.
In writing “Heroes and Scoundrels,” the
authors did not confine their study to just
the obvious and prominent examples. They
don’t just focus on journalism-centered
films such as “All the President’s Men,”
“The Killing Fields” or “Anchorman”; or
on TV series like “The Newsroom,” “Lou
Grant” or “Murphy Brown.”
They take in depictions of journalism in
all manner of movies and television shows,
in books going back to the 1800s, and in
cartoon series, graphic novels, short stories,
plays, video games, poetry and music. They
reference “The Daily Show,” the news on
“Saturday Night Live,” and even the puppet
reporters on “Sesame Street.”
The book is not chronological, but structured around themes, among them how
popular culture has portrayed journalism
history, how it has explored professional
ethics and objectivity, and issues of race,
gender and sexual orientation. Other chapters look at issues of power, image, war and
the future of journalism.
A lot has changed over more than a century of mass media and popular culture,
Ehrlich said, but in portrayals of journalism
and journalists, “it’s astounding how many
things have remained consistent,” one of
those being the stereotypes. Among them
are the naive cub reporter; the tough, sarcastic female journalist trying to hold her
own in a male-dominated profession; the
power-hungry gossip columnist; the gruff
but often soft-hearted editor; and the ruthless media tycoon.
TV journalists have often gotten the
worst treatment; female TV journalists even
more so, with them often portrayed as lacking brains and news experience. War correspondents have consistently been shown as
leading glamorous, dangerous and exciting
“For years, journalists have complained
about how popular culture has portrayed
them,” Ehrlich said, going back at least to
The New York Times’ complaints in the
1920s about the play (and later the movie)
“The Front Page,” which established many
of the themes and stereotypes still in use
“But the truth is that popular culture
always has portrayed a noble side of the
press, as well,” he said.
Even when journalists are portrayed in a
negative light, whether in fiction or in coverage of real-life events, “it’s a sign that the
ideals of journalism matter,” Ehrlich said.
Since journalism ideally gives us the information and ideas we need to govern ourselves, “that’s hardly a bad thing,” he said.
“Popular culture rarely gets it right in
terms of presenting a realistic image of what
the typical journalist does on a typical day,
because what the typical journalist does on
a typical day is typical,” Ehrlich said. The
same could be said about the portrayals of
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online version
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Popular images of journalists have changed little over a century
A look at journalists Our images
of journalists, both good and bad, likely
come from portrayals in popular culture
as much as from what journalists
actually do, says journalism professor
Matthew Ehrlich, who co-wrote a book on
the subject with USC journalism professor
Joe Saltzman.
doctors, lawyers and cops, he said.
As a result, popular culture can exaggerate both the best of what journalists do, as
well as the worst, Ehrlich said. But in doing
so, “popular culture heightens how it matters, and I think that’s part of the reason why
it’s important that we study popular culture
and the stories that it tells about journalism,” he said.
Popular culture can be “a really good,
entertaining and provocative means of
thinking about what journalism is, what it
should be, what it should not be,” Ehrlich
said, “and how the debates over these questions have played out over the years.” u
May 7, 2015 PAGE 5
Six professors elected to National Academy of Sciences
By Diana Yates
Life Sciences Editor
ix U. of I. professors
have been elected to
the National Academy
of Sciences, one of the
highest professional honors a scientist can garner.
Renée Baillargeon, Gary Dell,
Steve Granick, Taekjip Ha, Catherine Murphy and John A. Rogers
are among 84 new members and
21 foreign associates announced
by the academy on April 28.
“National Academy memberships are among the highest academic honors our nation bestows,”
said Phyllis M. Wise, the chancellor of the Urbana-Champaign campus. “These faculty members are
recognized today as leaders in biophysics, chemistry, engineering,
molecular biology and psychology. This is a great day for these
scholars and for our campus.”
Baillargeon, a professor of
psychology, is the director of the
U. of I. Infant Cognition Laboratory, where she studies infants’
physical, psychological and moral
reasoning. Her work has challenged previous theories of infant
development by demonstrating
that even very young infants are
able to differentiate events that
are physically possible from those
that appear to be physically impossible, and that an infant’s ability to reason about how others will
behave is more sophisticated than
previously thought.
Baillargeon is an Alumni Distinguished Professor as well as a
Center for Advanced Study Professor. She has received the Fyssen International Research Prize
and a Guggenheim Fellowship,
and she is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Cognitive Science Society
and the Association for Psychological Science.
Dell, a professor of psychology, studies how people produce
and understand sentences. He
developed the first computational
model of language production
and used it to simulate properties of speech errors, or “slips of
the tongue.” He later used related
models to understand patterns of
pathological speech production
resulting from brain damage. His
recent work focuses on how linguistic abilities change with experience and how such changes can
be captured in neural networks.
Dell is a professor in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and a recipient of the American Psychological
Association Early Career Award.
He is a fellow of the American
Association for the Advancement
of Science, the Society of Experimental Psychologists, the Cognitive Science Society, the Association for Psychological Science
and the Psychonomic Society.
Granick, professor emeritus of
materials science and engineering,
is an expert in the chemistry and
physics of colloids and polymers.
His work focuses on soft materials, working across disciplines
to explore imaging, assembly,
behavior and interactions of molecules in living cells and specially
designed colloidal particles. His
work has broad applications in
medicine, biology, chemistry and
Granick also is affiliated with
the departments of chemistry,
physics, and chemical and biomolecular engineering at the U. of
I. He is a fellow of the American
Physical Society. He retired from
the U. of I. in 2014, and is currently director of the IBS Center
for Soft and Living Matter, Korea.
Ha, the Edward William and
Jane Marr Gutgsell Endowed
Professor in physics, uses physical concepts and experimental
techniques to study fundamental
questions in molecular biology.
He has developed new techniques
that have enhanced the study of
individual molecular interactions.
His most recent work uses singlemolecule measurements to understand protein-DNA interactions
and enzyme dynamics.
Ha is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and is affiliated with the Beckman Institute
and the Carl R. Woese Institute for
photos by L. Brian Stauffer/Catherine Murphy photo courtesy of Catherine Murphy
Scientific leaders Six U. of I. professors are among those elected to the National Academy of
Sciences this year. Pictured, top row, from left: Renée Baillargeon, Gary Dell and Steve Granick; bottom
row, from left: Taekjip Ha, Catherine Murphy and John A. Rogers.
Genomic Biology at Illinois. He
also is co-director of the Center for
the Physics of Living Cells at the
U. of I. Ha has received the HoAm Prize and an Alfred P. Sloan
Fellowship, and he is a fellow of
the American Physical Society.
Murphy, the Markunas Professor of Chemistry, works to develop
inorganic nanomaterials for applications in biology and technology.
Her group develops methods to
manufacture tiny nanorods made
of metals such as gold, silver and
copper, and investigates their uses
for imaging cells, chemical sensing and photothermal therapy. She
also studies the environmental
impact of nanoparticles and how
their properties influence their
Murphy is the associate director of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory, and also
is affiliated with the Micro and
Nano Technology Laboratory and
the Beckman Institute. She has received an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow-
ship and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American
Chemical Society and the Royal
Society of Chemistry.
Rogers, a professor of materials science and engineering and
the director of the Frederick Seitz
Materials Research Laboratory,
is a pioneer of flexible, stretchable and transient electronics. He
combines soft, stretchable materials with microscale and nanoscale
electronic components to create
classes of devices with a wide
range of practical applications
from medicine to sensing to solar
Rogers is affiliated with the
Beckman Institute and the departments of chemistry, bioengineering, electrical and computer engineering, and mechanical science
and engineering. He has been
awarded a MacArthur fellowship,
a Lemelson-MIT award and the
Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award. He is a fellow of the
American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, the Institute
for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Materials Research
Society and the National Academy
of Engineering.
“Congratulations to all six of
our newly elected National Academy of Sciences members. They
are clearly innovators and leading
scholars in their respective disciplines, and this recognition is welldeserved,” said Ilesanmi Adesida,
the provost and vice chancellor for
academic affairs at Illinois. “We
are all proud to call them our colleagues here at Illinois.”
The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization of
scientists and engineers dedicated
to the furtherance of science and
its use for the general welfare.
Founded in 1863, the academy
acts as an official adviser to the
federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or
technology. u
U. of I. campus to support La Casa mural restoration
By Mike Helenthal
Assistant Editor
he effort to save a group of historic
campus murals received a boost last
week after officials agreed to help
fund the project.
The vibrant room-size murals, inside the
former site of the department of Latina/Latino studies building at 510 E. Chalmers St.,
Champaign, which also once housed the La
Casa Cultural Latina, were created in 1974
as a protest piece by alumnus and artist Oscar Martinez and fellow students.
The funding allows project leaders to
seek competitive bids for removing and
restoring the murals. The mural removals
could be completed by the end of summer,
with the art conservation work continuing
“The work to remove the murals will
take the coordinated effort of three entities:
an art conservator, an art mover and a general contractor,” said Brent Lewis, the landscape architect at Facilities and Services.
Work stages include photographing the
murals to create a digital archive; carefully
removing and packaging them for travel;
then transporting them to a conservator,
who will separate the paintings from the
40-year-old plaster wallboard and place
them on canvas for framing or storage.
“On-site, the art mover and general
contractor will work in concert to safely
remove the murals from the building,” he
said. The building will be stabilized during
the removal process and razed immediately
Consultants last year estimated the
cost to remove and conserve the murals at
$300,000. The Office of the Chancellor and
the Office of the Provost each will provide
one-third of the funding, and the College of
Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Office of
the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs will
split the remaining third.
Alicia P. Rodriguez, the academic adviser and administrative coordinator for the
department of Latina/Latino studies, said
the murals hold a special place in the hearts
of the department’s students and faculty
members, present and past.
“The murals represent the legacy of Latino students on campus and their role in
and importance to the student population
photo by Ben Woloszyn
Saving history The murals inside the former site of the U. of I.'s department of
Latina/Latino studies and the La Casa Cultural Latina, a converted house at 510
E. Chalmers St., Champaign, reflect themes of heritage, social justice and strength.
Created in 1974 by alumnus and artist Oscar Martinez and fellow students, the murals
will be conserved before the building is razed.
here,” she said.
Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise said the murals and the struggle to save them are important to everyone on campus.
“We want to do all we can to preserve the
history of this institution,” she said. “The
beauty of the murals and the activist spirit
that created them should inspire all of us.” u
PAGE 6 InsideIllinois
May 7, 2015
Device performance enhanced with transistor encasing method
By Austin Keating
News Bureau Intern
more effective method for closing gaps in atomically small
wires has been developed by U.
of I. researchers, further opening
the doors to a new transistor technology.
Led by electrical and computer engineering professor Joseph Lyding and graduate
student Jae Won Do, the Illinois team published its results in the journal ACS Nano.
Silicon-based transistors have been the
foundation of modern electronics for more
than half a century, allowing for the precise
control of electronic signals throughout circuits. A new transistor technology, carbon
nanotube wires, shows promise in replacing
silicon because it can operate 10 times as
fast and is more flexible – but it has an important gap to cross.
“The connection between the nanotubes
is highly resistive and results in slowing the
operation of the transistor down,” Lyding
said. “When electrons go past that junction,
they dissipate a lot of energy.”
The resistance results in heat pooling at
the junctions between the tubes, providing
researchers with the perfect opportunity
to solder these connections using a material that reacts with heat to deposit metal
across the junctions. Once the current runs
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Transistor technology Electrical and computer engineering professor Joseph
Lyding and graduate student Jae Won Do led a research team to develop a new method
of soldering gaps between carbon nanotubes, a new type of transistor.
through, the deposited metal reduces the
junction resistance, effectively stopping the
energy loss.
Until now, the problem has been finding a realizable approach to applying the
heat-reactive materials. In 2013, Lyding
and Do used a vacuum chamber to apply
a gaseous chemical to metallize the junctions. The new technique, the subject of the
new paper, takes a different route by ap-
Self-soldering The heat produced
at carbon-nanotube
junctions causes
metallic material in
the solution to deposit
onto the junctions,
soldering them.
photos by Joseph Lyding
plying a thin layer of solution, made from
compounds that contain the metal needed to
solder the junctions together.
“Our new technique is much simpler. It
involves fewer steps and it’s more compatible to existing technology,” Do said. “We’re
getting similar improvements to what we
got from the gaseous method, only now
we can experiment with the capabilities of
other materials that aren’t gases, which will
let us improve the transistors’ performance
even more.”
To expand the technique to encompass
more materials, Lyding’s group teamed with
Eric Pop, an adjunct professor of electrical
and computer engineering at the U. of I. and
an expert on carbon nanotube synthesis and
transfer, as well as with chemistry professor
Greg Girolami.
Do said the new technique is transferable
to the current manufacturing equipment silicon transistor manufacturers are using.
“With this method, you just send current through the nanotubes and that heats
the junctions. From there, chemistry occurs
inside that layer, and then we’re done. You
just have to rinse it off,” Lyding said. “You
don’t need a custom, expensive vacuum
The next step for the team is to start
looking at compounds for the junctions that
help to amplify the current even more.
“Now that we see this effect, how do we
get to the next level? How do we improve
by another order of magnitude? We’re advancing this work as we speak, with chemicals that have been synthesized specifically
for speed,” Lyding said.
The National Science Foundation, the
Office of Naval Research and the Army Research Office supported this work. Lyding
and Do also are affiliated with the Beckman
Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the U. of I. u
Scholar: To improve diversity in STEM, fix higher education
By Sharita Forrest
Education editor
he U.S. will make little progress
toward changing the predominately
white-male face of its science and
technology workforce until higher
education addresses the attitudes, behaviors
and structural practices that undermine minority students’ access and success at college, a new study suggests.
Protecting national economic prosperity has been federal officials’ rationale for
implementing programs to increase the
numbers of U.S. youth preparing for careers
in the science, technology, engineering and
mathematics sectors.
However, underrepresented students will
remain a trickle in the STEM-fields pipeline
until postsecondary educators’ and policymakers’ motivation changes from economics to ensuring equal opportunity, according to the study’s author, U. of I. education
policy professor Lorenzo D. Baber.
“In the 1950s when Sputnik happened,
and the federal government made the decision to invest more in research and utilizing
universities, our higher education structure
was very segregated,” Baber said. “Students of color weren’t able to participate in
the development of STEM fields. The economic rationale is important, and obviously
brings more people to the table, but we also
need to recognize that increasing diversity
in STEM is a social justice issue. We need
to think about remedying past discrimination in STEM fields along with the economic rationale. I don’t think we have to choose
between them; we can have both.”
Baber interviewed 32 administrators of
diversity programs at 10 public research
universities in the U.S. – predominately
white institutions that award nearly 10 percent of all bachelor degrees in STEM fields
conferred by four-year publics nationwide,
as well as about 4.5 percent of STEM degrees earned by minorities.
According to these administrators, ex-
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Fixing higher ed To achieve diversity in the United States’ STEM workforce,
policymakers and educators must ameliorate the higher education environment
and address barriers that marginalize minority students, according to research by
education policy professor Lorenzo Baber.
ecutive officers at their universities focus provide some access, they don’t address the
primarily on building compositional diver- structural factors – like admissions policies,
sity – recruiting targeted numbers of minor- teaching practices and faculty-student relaity students – for their STEM programs, tionships – that shape students’ experiences
rather than tackling the complex challenges and influence patterns of inequality.”
of changing systemic inequalities and marWhen recruitment goals are not achieved,
ginalizing attitudes, Baber said.
or minority students fail academically, these
While amassing critical numbers of outcomes are attributed to individual lack of
underrepresented students is important, merit or interest by underrepresented popuachieving enrollment targets does little to lations, rather than marginalizing practices
improve the problems in the campus culture and attitudes, Baber wrote.
that affect students and contribute to their
During campus visits, the research team
noncompletion of degrees, Baber said.
“found little evidence of a consistent, longi“You can have compositional diversity tudinal investment in equity initiatives that
without necessarily having a diverse com- addressed structural barriers, such as demunity or culture,” Baber said. “The focus partment climate and/or faculty awareness
on diversity in STEM education has been of diversity issues in STEM education,” acvery much at the level of individual access cording to the paper, published in The Refor underrepresented populations. While view of Higher Education.
programs focused on individual students
Program directors expressed frustration
with the cost-benefit approach taken by
executive officers, who expect measurable
benefits, such as increased enrollment and
improved persistence to degree, to justify
investments in diversity initiatives.
Directors described struggling to piece
together budgets while their superiors
blocked their access to external funding
sources that were supportive of diversity
activities. Frequently underfunded and disproportionately targeted for elimination, diversity programs received top-level administrators’ support only if these initiatives did
not interfere with institutional policies and
the overall revenue-generating efforts of
academic units, program directors told the
Beyond small core groups of faculty
members from underrepresented groups,
program directors perceived a general lack
of support from many faculty and staff
members, unless prompted by agencies
such as the National Science Foundation.
Underrepresented faculty members often
experience a “cultural tax” – disproportionate pressure to engage with diversity programs and represent their departments as the
outcomes of these initiatives. However, faculty engagement is often viewed as “trivial”
or as “charity,” and needs to be attached to
traditional rewards and incentives, such as
tenure and promotion decisions, to prompt
broader faculty participation, Baber said.
Data for Baber’s analyses were drawn
from the STEM Trends in Enrollment and
Persistence for Underrepresented Populations (STEP-UP) research project at the
U. of I., which was funded by the Alfred P.
Sloan Foundation and the NSF.
Baber’s research team included education professor William T. Trent and postdoctoral research fellow Casey GeorgeJackson, principal investigator and project
coordinator of STEP-UP, respectively; and
graduate students Erin L. Castro, Mariana
G. Martinez, Blanca Rincon, Kimberly
Walker and Montrischa M. Williams. u
May 7, 2015 PAGE 7
TBI patients need therapies based on cognitive neuroscience
By Diana Yates
Life Sciences Editor
atients with traumatic
brain injuries are not
benefiting from recent
advances in cognitive
neuroscience research – and they
should be, scientists report in a
special issue of Current Opinion
in Behavioral Sciences.
Those who treat brain-injured
patients rarely make use of new
scientific discoveries about the
workings of the brain. Instead,
doctors, nurses and emergency
personnel rely on a decades-old
tool, the Glasgow coma scale, to
categorize brain injuries as mild,
moderate or severe. Brain scans
are sometimes performed to help
identify damaged regions, and
then most patients receive one or
more of the following four diagnoses: coma (no response to sensory stimulation), delirium (impaired ability to sustain attention),
amnesia (impaired memory) and
dysexecutive syndrome (impaired
ability to engage in goal-directed
These crude classifications reveal little about the underlying
brain mechanisms that are damaged as a result of brain trauma,
said Aron Barbey, a professor of
neuroscience, of psychology, and
of speech and hearing science. He
and his colleagues propose that
doctors take a deeper look at the
brain networks that enable the regulation and control of attention,
memory and thought – termed
“cognitive control processes” –
and use this knowledge to develop
more targeted treatment strategies.
Barbey is a professor in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and in the
Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology.
graphic by Julie McMahon
Brain trauma Specific diagnoses likely reflect damage to
different brain networks, researchers argue.
“Traumatic brain injury is a
global public health epidemic
with an incidence that continues
to rise,” Barbey said. “By 2020,
the World Health Organization
projects TBI will be the world’s
leading cause of neurological disability across all age groups.
“An emerging area of research
seeks to develop better ways to
assess traumatic brain injury. Recent findings demonstrate that
multiple, interdependent brain
networks drive and organize cognition. It is these networks that are
highly susceptible to brain injury,”
he said.
Cognitive neuroscientists have
identified dozens of brain networks, each of which engages a
specific set of brain structures to
perform particular tasks. Each
node in a network communicates
with the others via axons, the
nerve fibers that bundle together
to form white-matter tracts.
“There are three core networks
that support cognitive control
processes that often are impaired
in traumatic brain injury,” Barbey said. “The ‘salience network’
directs attention to significant
events in our environment and
is known to enable coordinated
behavior. The ‘default mode network’ supports an internal focus
of attention, enabling autobiographical memory and the ability
to envision future events. Finally,
the ‘central executive network’
directs attention to the external
environment and supports goaldirected thought, such as planning
and problem solving.”
Disruption of the salience network corresponds to symptoms
seen in those diagnosed with delirium, Barbey said. A diagnosis of
amnesia corresponds to disruption
of the default mode network, and
dysexecutive syndrome is associated with damage to the central
executive network, he said. (See
A coma diagnosis reflects systemwide failure, Barbey said.
Understanding which brain
networks are damaged in braininjured patients will help doctors
better predict the kinds of impairments their patients will experience, and will guide clinical treat-
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Brain-injury treatment Advances in cognitive neuroscience
should inform the treatment of traumatic brain injuries, says U. of I.
neuroscience professor Aron Barbey.
ment and therapy.
To that end, the researchers recommend therapies that have shown
promise in strengthening specific
cognitive control functions.
Many methods that are familiar to cognitive neuroscience
but little-used in patient therapy
should be tested in patient populations, the researchers wrote. These
include interventions that target
specific brain networks, such as
transcranial direct-current brain
stimulation, and approaches that
deliver global benefits to brain
health, such as physical fitness
Research indicates that brain
stimulation can be applied to specific brain networks to enhance
their ability to respond optimally
to cognitive rehabilitation, Barbey
said. Physical fitness is known to
promote brain health and therefore
may enhance resilience to brain
injury, he said.
“The goal is to develop more
precise assessment standards for
traumatic brain injury and to translate discoveries from cognitive
neuroscience into effective clinical therapies that promote recovery from brain injury,” he said. u
BPA exposure in pregnant mice affects fertility for generations
By Diana Yates
Life Sciences Editor
hen scientists exposed
mice to levels of
bisphenol A equivalent to those considered safe in
humans, three generations of female mouse offspring experienced
significant reproductive problems,
including declines in fertility,
sexual maturity and pregnancy
success, the scientists report in the
journal Toxicology and Applied
Bisphenol A, an industrial
chemical, is found in polycarbonate plastics used in food and drink
packaging, and in epoxy resins,
which coat the insides of some food
containers and plumbing pipes.
Thermal paper receipts and dental
sealants also may contain BPA.
A national study found detectable levels of BPA in 93 percent of
2,517 human urine samples tested
in 2003-04, suggesting that most
of the U.S. populace is regularly
exposed to the chemical. BPA also
has been detected in human ovarian follicular fluid, placental tissue and fetal plasma, said U. of I.
comparative biosciences professor
Jodi Flaws, who led the new analysis. According to the National
Institutes of Health, the primary
route of human exposure to BPA
is diet.
BPA is an endocrine disruptor,
which means that it can interfere
with the body’s normal hormone
signaling. Many studies in animals indicate that BPA exposure
can undermine reproductive func-
graphic by Julie McMahon
Reproductive effects BPA exposure during pregnancy
was associated with reproductive problems in the next three
generations of mice, researchers report.
tion, but no previous studies have
looked for its effects in three generations of offspring.
“Our study followed up on a
previous study of ours that found
that BPA can affect the development of the ovary and reduce
fertility in the pups of pregnant
mice exposed to the chemical,”
Flaws said. “We found that exposing them to levels of BPA which
are below what the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration says is a safe
dose causes reproductive problems in these mice.”
Compared with controls and
depending on the dose, many of
the mice in the new study saw
reductions in fertility and in their
ability to carry a pregnancy to
term. (See graphic.) The first generation of pups also experienced
an abnormal estrous cycle and
engaged less in typical mating behavior than mice that had not been
exposed in the womb.
The third generation – which
was not directly exposed to BPA
either as a fetus or as an egg in a
fetus in its mother’s womb – experienced later sexual maturity,
reduced fertility and lower pregnancy success than mice whose
ancestors were not exposed to
BPA. In this generation, the lowest dose of BPA exposure (given
to their great-grandmothers) interfered most with their fertility.
“In toxicology, a lot of times people think: The higher the dose, the
worse it is,” Flaws said. “But with
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
BPA exposure and fertility In a study of mice, comparative
biosciences professor Jodi Flaws and her colleagues linked BPA
exposure during pregnancy to reproductive problems in the next
three generations.
endocrine-disrupting chemicals, it’s were associated with reduced fersometimes the low doses that cause tility and women’s ability to get
pregnant. So I personally think
the most profound effects.”
Studies in humans suggest BPA there is pretty good evidence that
also interferes with human fertil- BPA is a reproductive toxicant in
ity and reproductive function, mice as well as in humans.”
The BPA study is one of sevFlaws said.
initiatives of the Children’s
“There are a lot of studies out
Health and Disthere, and when you look at BPA
Research Center
in women’s reproductive health,
is funded
there are a lot of consistencies
of Enviwith the animal studies,” she said.
at the
“Many of the studies in women
have been done by Dr. Russ Hausthe
er at Harvard. He has shown that
urinary concentrations of BPA Agency. u
PAGE 8 May 7, 2015
fter the precipitous drop
in crude oil prices over
the past nine months,
some policymakers in
Illinois have advocated raising
the state’s excise tax on gasoline,
which has remained unchanged at
19 cents per gallon since 1990.
Although increasing the gas tax
might lead to a reduction both in
the consumption of fuel and in a
few other negative side effects like
air pollution, it wouldn’t do much
to address two of the biggest problems associated with driving: traffic congestion and traffic accidents,
says a policy brief co-written by a
team of U. of I. economists.
Increasing the number of tolls,
implementing “surge pricing” on
highways during rush hour or taxing the number of miles traveled
by vehicles might be a better overall solution, says the paper, which
was co-written by Don Fullerton,
the Gutgsell Professor of Finance;
Julian Reif, a professor of finance
and of economics; and Kaveh Nafari, a graduate student at Illinois.
While it may be the easiest fix
to implement, as well as a surefire
way to increase highway revenue,
a higher gasoline tax wouldn’t
mitigate the “negative externalities” associated with driving, the
economists say.
“A gasoline tax affects the
consumption of gasoline, not the
driving itself,” said Fullerton, also
an associate director of the U. of
I.’s Institute of Government and
Public Affairs. “Increasing the
gas tax might encourage drivers to
drive less or switch to more fuelefficient cars, but the best way
to reduce traffic congestion and
traffic accidents is to tax driving
According to the study, the
state could levy a tax on the number of miles driven based on annual odometer readings or some
other technological means.
“This solution has the added
benefit of taxing drivers in exact
proportion to their benefits: the
more you drive, the more you
pay,” said Reif, also a faculty associate at IGPA.
The state also could increase
the number of tolls and the price
for driving on tollway roads – or
even institute “surge pricing” by
varying the price of a toll by location and time of day, with a higher
toll during congested rush-hour
“This would allow tolls to
target congestion and traffic accidents more efficiently, and it
encourages drivers to use roads
when they are less congested,”
said Fullerton, who along with
Reif is a faculty associate with the
Center for Business and Public
Policy in the College of Business.
“Moreover, the primary advantage
of tolls is that they collect taxes
from those who benefit the most
from using highways.”
Another potential problem
with the gasoline tax is that it is
a regressive tax, rendering it “not
an ideal solution” for policymakers who wish to collect taxes from
those most able to pay.
“The gasoline tax is not the
most efficient or effective way of
taxing those who receive the most
benefits from highways,” Fullerton said. “For example, drivers of
plug-in hybrids derive the same
benefits from the use of highways
as drivers of gas-guzzlers, but the
former will pay much less in gas
taxes simply because they purchase less gas. But perhaps the
biggest issue is that the poor spend
a larger portion of their income on
driving than the rich do. And so
the poor would be unduly burdened by increasing the gas tax.”
According to the research, vehicle travel on interstate highways
in Illinois increased 25 percent
between 1990 and 2012, even
though the state’s population only
grew by 13 percent and lane miles
lifespans. However, it’s unclear whether post-menopausal women in the West
achieve similar protective benefits by consuming purified isoflavone supplements
later in life.
In the current study, the mice’s ovaries
had been removed to simulate post-menopausal women, and Liu found that the soy
flour and purified isoflavone diets had differing effects on their cells’ expression of
genes associated with breast cancer.
The mice that consumed soy flour exhibited higher expression of the tumor-suppressing genes ATP2A3 and BLNK, each of
which is associated with suppressed tumor
growth. These mice also expressed lower
levels of oncogenes MYB and MYC, which
researchers have found to be critical to tumor growth during early stage breast cancer, and associated with the uncontrolled
proliferation of cancer cells, respectively.
“Most important, we found that the soy
flour strengthened the whole immune function, which probably explains why it does
not stimulate tumor growth,” said Liu, who
is completing both a doctorate in human
nutrition and a master’s degree in statistics.
Conversely, the purified isoflavones
stimulated tumor growth by activating oncogenes MYB and MYC, while suppressing both immune function and antigen processing, the body’s natural process of seeking out and destroying cancer cells.
Liu correlated the gene expression of the
tumor cells with that of women with breast
cancer. She found that the purified isoflavones promoted the expression of two ki-
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
By Phil Ciciora
Business and Law Editor
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Economists: Pros, cons to raising the gas tax in Illinois
Julian Reif
by 11 percent.
“In short, the societal costs of
driving have increased significantly, and, due to inflation, the drivers
who are the main culprits of these
negative externalities are actually
paying less in the way of user fees
like tolls and gasoline taxes,” Reif
The state of Illinois also has
consistently spent more on highways than it has collected in highway-related revenue, Reif noted.
“State gasoline taxes provide
only 15 percent of the total funds,
which is down from 36 percent
in 1994,” Fullerton said. “Since
Illinois hasn’t raised the gas tax
rate since 1990, revenue from the
tax has declined in absolute terms
over the past 25 years. That decline has been partially offset by
revenue increases for tolls and,
in some years, by motor vehicle
taxes. But a large gap remains between total user tax revenue and
total highway spending, and it
has grown substantially in recent
According to the authors, the
gap is likely to continue to grow
even larger in the future.
“First, real gasoline tax revenue
is likely to continue decreasing
due to inflation and the improved
fuel efficiency of cars,” Reif said.
“Second, highway spending will
probably increase because the
nesin family genes, KIF14 and KIF23, each
of which has been associated with shorter
survival rates – i.e., less than five years. Accordingly, the isoflavone diet also decreased
expression of zinc finger protein gene 423,
also called ZNF423, which has been linked
with survival rates of five years or greater
among breast cancer patients.
Liu’s findings also support a hypothesis
called the soy matrix effect, a theory that
soy’s cancer preventive properties are derived from the interactions of complex bioactive compounds – other than isoflavones
– within whole foods, such as soy flour.
“There was a difference in the biological responses of mice that consumed the soy
flour and those that consumed isoflavone
supplements, although both diets contained
the same amount of the phytoestrogen genistein,” Liu said. “The findings suggest
that it’s advisable for women with breast
cancer to get isoflavones from soy whole
foods, rather than isoflavone supplements.”
Helferich, a co-author on the paper, said
purified isoflavones behave similarly to estrogens such as estradiol, which prior studies have linked with the growth and proliferation of breast cancer cells.
“The gene array data for the isoflavones
look very similar to estradiol, which turns
on many of the same genes, while the array data for the soy flour look somewhat
like the negative control,” said Helferich,
who has been studying the effects of soy for
more than 20 years. “When the estradiol is
removed, the tumors regress and almost become nondetectable. But with the soy flour,
Raising the gas tax Implementing “surge pricing” during
rush hour or taxing the number of miles a vehicle traveled
might be better than raising the gas tax, says a policy brief cowritten by U. of I. economists Don Fullerton, above, and Julian
Reif. Illinois graduate student Kaveh Nafari also contributed
to the study.
state’s infrastructure is in shambles. The American Society of
Civil Engineering’s 2014 report
card for Illinois infrastructure
says that more than 40 percent of
Illinois’ major roads are in ‘poor
or mediocre condition’ and concludes that additional long-term
funding sources will be required
to pay for the repairs.”
Although a vehicle-milestraveled tax and increased tolls
would be quite feasible to implement with current technology,
they would likely face significant
political pushback from drivers
accustomed to “free” roads.
The authors emphasized that,
like the gasoline tax, a vehiclemiles-traveled tax and increased
tolls would be regressive.
“However, for many drivers, a
vehicle-miles-traveled tax would
not differ substantially from a
gasoline tax,” Fullerton said. “But
if policymakers’ primary goal is
to collect highway revenue from
those with the ability to pay, the
state’s best option might be to do
nothing about it and use general
revenues from the income tax to
pay for roads. It all depends on
what the endgame is for policymakers.” u
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Soy differences New research by doctoral candidate Yunxian (Fureya) Liu and
nutrition professor William Helferich suggests that soy’s breast cancer preventive
properties may stem from eating soy-based whole foods across the lifespan.
the tumors don’t grow or regress, so they’re
not exactly like the negative control.”
In another new study at Illinois, researchers found that soy isoflavones enhanced the
growth of bone micro-tumors in mice with
estrogen-responsive breast cancer, causing
the tumors to metastasize more aggressively from bone to lung. Xujuan Yang, an associate researcher in Helferich’s laboratory,
led that project.
The mice that consumed an isoflavones
diet had triple the number of tumors – and
had larger tumors – on their lungs, compared with their counterparts in the control
groups, Yang found. A paper on the study
was published in the April issue of Clinical
and Experimental Metastasis.
“The main take-home message is, if
you have breast cancer, isoflavone dietary
supplements are not recommended,” Helferich said. “However, consuming soy from
a whole food – along with other legumes –
is likely safe.” u
May 7, 2015 PAGE 9
By Jodi Heckel
Arts and Humanities Editor
tudents of color at the
U. of I. say they hear
racist remarks, are subjected to stereotypes,
feel excluded in group projects or
receive other negative messages
based on race, according to a new
report on race relations.
The report, “Racial Microaggressions at the University
of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign:
Voices of Students of Color in
the Classroom,” looks at issues of
inclusion, diversity and the racial
climate in learning environments
on campus. The report was written by Stacy Harwood, a professor
of urban and regional planning;
Ruby Mendenhall, a professor of
sociology and of African American studies; and Margaret Browne
Huntt, a research development
specialist in the Interdisciplinary
Health Sciences Initiative. The
research group also produced a
report in 2010 on racial microaggressions in student housing on
Racial “microaggression” is
defined as “daily verbal, behavioral or environmental slights and insults that send hostile, derogatory
or negative messages to people of
color,” and that can be intentional
or unintentional.
The report’s findings are based
on an online survey of 4,800 students of color during the 2011-12
academic year, who responded at
a 45 percent rate.
“The biggest surprise of the
whole study was the sheer number
of students who responded,” Harwood said.
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Report details racial stereotyping, offers recommendations
More than half of the students
responding to the survey – 51
percent – reported experiences of
stereotyping. A little more than a
quarter – 27 percent – said their
contributions in the classroom
have been minimized because of
race, or they’ve been made to feel
the way they speak is inferior. And
25 percent of the students said
they felt they were not taken seriously because of their race.
In addition to responding to the
survey’s questions, the students
were given the opportunity to describe situations where they felt
invalidated or disrespected, experienced stereotyping or felt unwelcome because of their race.
“They shared very detailed personal stories of experiencing racism on campus,” Harwood said.
For example, some students
said they heard classmates comment that racial minorities were
less qualified and only admitted
because of affirmative action.
Others said their advisers encouraged them to change their majors
to something less challenging.
In addition to documenting students’ experiences of racism in the
classroom, the report offers recommendations to the campus for
training faculty and staff members
in addressing racial microaggressions and challenging stereotypes,
encouraging dialogue and defusing rancor. The recommendations
included requiring students to take
Report on racism The co-authors of a report on racism in the classroom at the U. of I.: from left,
Ruby Mendenhall, a professor of African American studies; Margaret Browne Huntt, a research
development specialist, Interdisciplinary Health Wellness Initiative; Stacy Harwood, a professor of
urban and regional planning; Moises Orozco, associate director, recruitment and admissions, College
of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Shinwoo Choi, a doctoral student in the School of Social Work.
courses on racial inequality in the
U.S. and on non-Western culture;
creating ways for students to identify, report and respond to racial
microaggressions; and tracking
majors with low enrollment, high
numbers of transfers out of the
major, and low graduation rates
for students of color.
“It’s not about policing language in the classroom. It’s about
creating opportunities for discussion,” Harwood said.
She said while it’s hard to understand the world from a different point of view, it’s important
for teachers and students to listen
and pay attention to daily interactions in the classroom.
“As an instructor, if you don’t
understand how to facilitate a racially charged conversation, it will
go poorly,” she said. “Students get
angry with each other, they feel
unheard and it doesn’t expand the
conversation. As a society, we’re
afraid to talk about race.”
Harwood noted the U. of I.’s Inclusive Illinois program is a good
start, but she said more needs to be
done. During the current academic
year, Inclusive Illinois sponsored
a lecture series, workshops and
campuswide conversations on
Ads removed for
online version
Helping students learn to talk
about difficult and complex problems gives them a skill they’ll use
in their workplaces and their daily
lives, Harwood said.
“To be a progressive university,
you have to take on these issues,”
she said.
“If we can create an environment where people are able to engage in conversations about race,
or about gender, social class, sexuality or religion, they will be better prepared to go out in the world
and make a difference,” Harwood
said. u
May 7, 2015
Faculty and staff members honored for excellence at Illinois
photo by Della Perrone
aculty and staff members and
graduate teaching assistants at the
U. of I. were honored April 30 for
excellence in teaching, mentoring
and advising. Each was recognized during
a reception at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.
Faculty members honored with the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate
Teaching, with comments from their nominations:
John Murphy, communication, is known
by his students and colleagues alike as a
“passionate and highly accomplished educator.” By presenting complex subjects to
his students in manageable and creative
ways, he prepares his students to move on to
higher-level work and apply what they have
learned by the end of a course. His teaching
philosophy is aimed at “helping students
grow beyond a ‘rhetoric as rules’ approach
to communication and instead cultivates an
understanding of ‘rhetoric in action.’”
Fiona I.B. Ngô, Asian American studies and gender and women’s studies, is an
enthusiastic and flexible teacher. She consistently goes above and beyond to provide
exceptional learning experiences for her
students. She believes that teaching critical
analytical skills is indispensable in shaping
undergraduate students’ ability to decode
the world. Her teaching style is described
as having a positive impact on learning and
a “transformative effect” in the classroom.
Andrea Stevens, English, is considered
one of the department’s “most brilliant instructors, an innovator who galvanizes her
students’ enthusiasm for often difficult material, and molds them into strong critical
readers and writers.” Her teaching philosophy is to train students to be both literate
and attuned to the idea of “literary scholarship as an ongoing conversation to which
they can contribute their own original
Bradley Sutton, bioengineering, has an
incredibly effective teaching approach, and
students choose his courses “simply due to
his excellence as an instructor.” His teaching reputation is credited to the innovations
in his lectures and lab courses, which he
unites with a progressive approach when
introducing new material. By involving
students in the development of models to
explain complex concepts related to biological systems, he empowers them with the
ability to model anything.
Amy Woods, kinesiology and community health, has a passion for students and
their success. She captures students’ attention and engages them fully in the curriculum through her student-centered teaching
philosophy. She views her responsibility
as an educator to be “both within and beyond the brick-and-mortar building.” She
sees her students as equals in the learning
Instructional staff members who received the award:
Dawn M. Bohn, the director for Offcampus Programs and a teaching associate
of food science and human nutrition, enters
every classroom ready to inspire and bring
out the best in her students, empowering
them to transform themselves into the professionals they aspire to be. She creates a
learning environment that is inviting, sincere and promotes critical thinking and responsible learning for students so they will
evolve both personally and professionally.
Her effectiveness is reflected in her students’ steadfast support of her style.
Jennifer Follis, a lecturer in journalism,
has a remarkable record of teaching excellence and innovation with “an unparalleled
dedication and commitment to her students” in her 30 years of teaching on the U.
of I. campus. One student said Follis “cares
about how students take the classroom to
the real world, and she impacts their future.” With passion, commitment and imagination, she teaches of the important role
journalists play in society.
Adam Poetzel, a clinical professor of
John Murphy communication
Fiona I.B. Ngô Asian American studies/gender and
women’s studies
Bradley Sutton bioengineering
Andrea Stevens English
Amy Woods kinesiology and community health
Dawn M. Bohn food science and human nutrition
Jennifer Follis journalism
Adam Poetzel curriculum and instruction curriculum and instruction, empowers his
students to become engaged and enthusiastic about teaching mathematics. He instills
in them a responsibility to make their own
students discover and value their mathematical capabilities. Poetzel often cites a
Chinese proverb in his course syllabi: “Tell
me and I forget. Show me and I remember.
Involve me and I understand.”
Graduate teaching assistants who received the award: Miranda Haus-Segura,
plant biology; Ann Hubert, English; Alicia
Kozma, media and cinema studies; Audrey
Neville, political science; and Elyse Yeager,
The awards recognize professors, instructional staff members and graduate
teaching assistants who display consistently excellent performance in the classroom,
take innovative approaches to teaching,
positively affect the lives of their students,
and make other contributions to improve
instruction, including influencing the
Faculty members and instructional staff
members selected for the awards each receive $5,000 cash and a $3,000 recurring
salary increase; graduate teaching assistants
receive $3,500.
Other honorees:
John Lambros, aerospace engineering,
and Albert J. Valocchi, civil and environmental engineering, received the Campus
Award for Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching. Each receives $5,000
and a $3,000 recurring salary increase.
Lambros has had an important leadership role in graduate education in aerospace
engineering. He has contributed to the revision of the graduate curriculum through the
creation of innovative graduate courses and
the online master’s program. He uses problem-solving techniques and hands-on projects in his teaching, which allow students
to apply concepts to real-life engineering
structures and materials.
Valocchi has implemented a number of
changes to improve the quality of the graduate student experience by giving them a
more active voice in the department. With
a philosophy that “recognizes that each student is unique,” he shares his knowledge
and experience to help students discover
their professional goals and define their
own measures of success.
Mark Rood, civil and environmental
engineering, received the Campus Award
for Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate
Research. The $2,000 award is designed
to foster and reward excellence in involving and guiding undergraduate students
in scholarly research. Rood is known as a
remarkable mentor as a result of his active
and continued accomplishments with undergraduate research assistants for nearly
May 7, 2015
30 years.
Andrew G. Alleyne, mechanical science
and engineering, and Violet Harris, curriculum and instruction, received the Campus
Award for Excellence in Graduate Student
Mentoring, which provides each recipient
with $2,000.
Alleyne’s philosophy on mentoring graduate students is understanding each student’s
life goals. Understanding each student as an individual allows him to identify their strengths
and weaknesses, which helps the students to
develop a plan to achieve their goals. He is
a dedicated mentor to students, particularly
to those in underrepresented groups. Former
graduate students said he “recognizes that
personal success is just as important as professional success.”
Harris advocates for all students, nurtures
their intellectual development, and imbues
within them a sense of commitment to intellectual advancement and equality in educational and cultural institutions. She commits
personal time to support her mentees, including time on weekends and holidays. She advocates for her students and nurtures their
intellectual development. Harris encourages
her students to “expand their intellectual horizons” and “open themselves to the possibilities of many perspectives.”
Richard Gorvett, mathematics, and Carol
Firkins, an academic adviser for the Community Health Program in the College of Applied
Health Sciences, received the Campus Award
for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising,
which provides each recipient with $2,000.
Gorvett has had an intense influence on
many students. He believes the best approach
to advising students is to consider each one
“holistically – not just as a college student
earning a degree, but as an entire person.” A
former student said Gorvett’s “passion is evident through his connections with students in
a manner that inspires them to succeed.”
Firkins is an advocate for students because
she takes time to get to know each one of her
advisees and invests in their successes. She
embraces each student’s diversity and treats
them with dignity, value and respect. Her
students said, “She has been there to support
and encourage us every step of the way.” She
always offers her assistance to colleagues,
and as an adviser, she aims to foster within
students critical thinking skills and selfresponsibility.
Anjale Welton, education policy, organization and leadership, received the Campus
Award for Excellence in Online and Distance
Teaching. The award consists of $5,000 to be
placed in the recipient’s research/teaching account and $1,000 for the recipient’s academic
unit to further develop the program.
Welton is a strong, capable, and intensely
thoughtful scholar and teacher who is able
to “mitigate the distance in ‘distance learning.’” Innovative and student-centered, she
addresses topics that can be difficult even in
face-to-face classes. “That she is able to do
this in an online forum is a remarkable testament to what thoughtful scholar-professors
can accomplish.” Welton states that because
her students lead complex lives, “technology
is instrumental in helping them feel connected
to the university.”
Three faculty members also were recognized as University Distinguished TeacherScholars. Gretchen M. Adams, an instructor and the director of Undergraduate Studies
and of the Merit Program in the department
of chemistry, and Matthew West, mechanical science and engineering, were honored
for 2014-15. Jennifer Amos, a senior lecturer
and the director of Undergraduate Programs
for bioengineering, was honored for 2015-16.
The University Distinguished TeacherScholar Program, sponsored by the Teaching
Advancement Board and the Office of the
Provost, honors and supports outstanding instructors who take an active role in promoting
learning on campus. Although the appointment lasts one year, honorees carry the designation with them throughout their careers. u
John Lambros aerospace engineering
Albert J. Valocchi civil and environmental
Mark Rood civil and environmental
Violet Harris curriculum and instruction
Andrew G. Alleyne mechanical science and
Richard Gorvett mathematics
Carol Firkins applied health sciences
Anjale Welton education policy, organization
and leadership
Gretchen M. Adams chemistry
Matthew West mechanical science and
Photos by L. Brian Stauffer
Jennifer Amos bioengieering
May 7, 2015
‘Considerable scope’ for improvement in agricultural pollution
By Phil Ciciora
Business and Law Editor
uring the industrial era, financial
indicators were a company’s primary measuring stick. But as the
concept of sustainable development has gained relevance, a fundamental
change in the assumptions underlying how
businesses are measured has also started to
take hold.
While different sustainability indicators
have been developed at an aggregate level,
less attention has been paid to farm-level
sustainability measures. A study from a U.
of I. expert in production economics and
efficiency analysis has developed technical and environmental efficiency indices for
agriculture that can be used to assess sustainability at the farm level.
Moving toward sustainable agricultural
practices entails minimizing the production of bad outputs while maximizing good
output production, which in turn involves
maximizing technical and environmental
efficiency levels. In the study, farms are
regarded as multioutput firms that produce
both good outputs (crops) and bad outputs
(nitrogen runoff and leaching) given the use
of a certain quantity of inputs, such as land,
fertilizer, labor and seeds, says Teresa Serra, a professor of agricultural and consumer
economics at Illinois.
The paper, which was published in the
European Journal of Operational Research,
analyzed data from a sample of farms in the
Catalan region of Spain that specialized in
the production of cereals, oilseeds and protein crops. The results identify significant
room for efficiency improvements both in
crop production and in the control of pollution from nitrogen-fertilizer runoff, Serra
Output technical efficiencies – that is,
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Agricultural pollution Significant room for improvement exists in the
environmental efficiency of both crop production and the control of pollution
from nitrogen-fertilizer runoff, says a new study from Teresa Serra, a professor of
agricultural and consumer economics at Illinois.
how efficient farmers were at growing
crops – averaged 87 percent. But environmental performance measures that analyzed
nitrogen pollution show more scope for improvement, with an efficiency rating of 80
percent, Serra said.
“This paper models farm technology
by explicitly allowing for production risk,
and its findings confirm that ignoring this
risk tends to produce biased efficiency estimates,” Serra said.
Results show that environmental efficiency fluctuates according to crop-growing conditions. It’s especially low (70 percent) when growing conditions are good,
indicating that farmers tend to overfertilize when preparing for good crop-growing
“When you look at farms from a technical point of view, the ratings that you get
in terms of technical efficiency are higher
than the ones for environmental efficiency.
Why is that? It’s because environmental
pollution is not well-regulated,” she said.
“There’s not a big incentive for farmers to
become more efficient, since there’s no actual price on nitrogen pollution.”
Although there are no market prices
for pollution, any move toward deriving a
baseline would help in implementing regulatory policy, Serra said.
“The methodology developed in the paper can be easily used to assign monetary
values to pollution in terms of the tradeoff
between pollution and crop production,”
she said.
According to Serra, developing and
implementing new farm assessment indicators is an important research topic that has
economic, social and political implications.
While its initial objectives were focused
on farm income support, the European
Union’s Common Agricultural Policy has
expanded to encompass environmental
preservation, Serra noted.
“Increasingly, one of the things Europeans want to see is, if we give subsidies to
farms, they should reciprocate by conserving the environment,” she said. “If it’s a
public expenditure, then they expect environmental as well as economic benefits. So
the question becomes, is there a way for us
to achieve a better distribution of the subsidies by measuring farms not only in terms
of how efficient their production is, but also
whether they minimize their pollution for
the amount of output they create?”
Implementing such a redistribution
scheme requires empirically based tools to
measure a farm’s success in achieving those
goals. According to Serra, the paper marks
a step toward the eventual implementation
of such schemes.
“The methodology developed in this paper can be implemented in other empirical
settings,” she said. “For example, fertilizer
used by farmers in Illinois is contributing
considerably to pollution in the Gulf of
Mexico. Determining the environmental
efficiency of Illinois farmers would help in
identifying nitrogen overuse and being able
to make specific recommendations to minimize its use at the farm level.”
The paper was co-written by Robert G.
Chambers of the University of Maryland
and Alfons Oude Lansink of Wageningen
University. u
New Orleans’ school reforms harmful to black community
By Sharita Forrest
Education Editor
y most media accounts, education
reform in post-Katrina New Orleans is a success. Test scores and
graduation rates are up, and students once trapped in failing schools have
their choice of charter schools throughout
the city.
But that’s only what education reform
looks like from the perspective of New Orleans’ white minority – the policymakers,
school administrators and venture philanthropists orchestrating and profiting from
these changes, say three education scholars in a new paper published in the journal
Qualitative Inquiry.
From the perspectives of black students,
parents and educators – who have had no
voice in the decision-making, and who have
lost beloved neighborhood schools and jobs
– education reform in New Orleans has exacerbated economic and cultural inequities.
Researchers Adrienne D. Dixson, of the
University of Illinois, and Kristen L. Buras
and Elizabeth K. Jeffers, both of Georgia
State University, are the co-authors of a
new study that examines the racial implications of education reform in New Orleans
after Hurricane Katrina.
Each of the scholars has an insider’s perspective on events in New Orleans’ schools:
Dixson and Buras as longtime researchers,
and Jeffers as a former teacher at John McDonogh Senior High School.
McDonogh is one of three public high
schools presented as case studies in the
paper to illustrate the methods of dispossession that the reformers engaged in and
the resistance mounted by community
“Parents, teachers and, importantly, students have fought back against the reforms
in New Orleans schools,” said Dixson, who
is conducting a multiyear ethnography of
African-Americans’ experiences with education reform in New Orleans. “This resistance is important to document and share
with a wider audience. We also wanted to
speak back to the success narrative portrayed in the media, and the promotion of
educational improvement for racially marginalized youth under the guise of civil
rights. Genuine educational justice in urban
public schools will be born only from substantive, ongoing community-based decision-making, rather than the accumulative
interests of white elites.”
After the 2005 hurricane, the state of
Louisiana took control of 102 of Orleans
Parish School Board’s 117 schools – those
deemed its worst performers – and appointed the Recovery School District to oversee
When McDonogh reopened in 2006,
students had no textbooks, computers, bathrooms or water fountains, and only one certified English teacher for about 1,200 students. Yet, the newly installed school district administrators were receiving inflated
salaries that were paid through hurricane
relief funds, the researchers wrote.
Nonetheless, students were eager to
learn, and teachers were highly engaged
with their pupils – despite reports from reform advocates “that public education in
New Orleans was of such low quality, the
displacement of local veteran teachers and
administrators was warranted and necessary,” according to Jeffers.
When outside interests and local officials
began pushing for McDonogh to become a
charter school, constituents fought to preserve the school, its legacy and its teachers.
Students, families and teachers protested
the unequal distribution of resources and
demanded evidence of the charter operators’ effectiveness, since none of them had
track records of successfully operating
schools, the researchers wrote.
Many community members believe their
resistance to McDonogh becoming a charter school is why a program that offered
advanced placement courses was shifted
abruptly from McDonogh to a charter
school, the study said.
The school board eventually handed
McDonogh over to the charter operator
Future is Now, beginning with the 201213 academic year. All of the school’s black
veteran teachers were replaced. Two years
later, Future is Now closed McDonogh, citing poor student performance and heavy financial losses.
Similar battles were fought over the
chartering of New Orleans’ Frederick Douglass and Walter Cohen high schools, the
two other case studies explored in the paper.
While education reformers both within
and outside of Louisiana tout the chartering
of all the traditional schools taken over by
the Recovery School District as a success,
the researchers conclude that the results
have been devastating for the black community – jeopardizing the future of public
education, the black middle class and the
historic city’s long-term survival.
Some constituents view the education
reform movement in New Orleans as the
colonization of the city’s public schools,
rather than the model of equity and success
portrayed in the media. From many black
New Orleanians’ perspectives, the takeover
and conversion of public schools to charters
has been “more like an assault than the positive transformation promised by education
entrepreneurs, many of whom are white and
relatively wealthy,” the researchers wrote.
“The disproportionate enrollment and
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
School reform The racial implications
of the school reform movement in New
Orleans are explored in a new study led
by education policy professor Adrienne
Dixson. Kristen L. Buras and Elizabeth K.
Jeffers, both of Georgia State University,
were co-authors.
admissions practices, whereby a majority
of the students in C, D and F schools are
overwhelmingly African-American, while a
majority of white students attend A-graded
schools, is another story that needs to be
told,” Dixson said.
The researchers’ accounts of events in
New Orleans are based on historical sources, autobiographical narrative, personal observations of public meetings and protests,
and digital media produced by community
groups, among other sources. u
May 7, 2015 InsideIllinois
book corner
Tale of colonial Illinois about collaboration not conquest
By Craig Chamberlain
Social Sciences Editor
Empire by
llinois has an early colonial
history that’s easily forgotten
or boiled down to just the explorers Marquette and Jolliet
and a few French fur traders.
What’s missing in that, however, is a surprising history of European and native cooperation, interracial marriage and mixed-race
communities, according to a U. of
I. history professor.
“It’s a very different and distinctive kind of colonial history
than what we tend to think of,”
said Robert Morrissey, the author
of the recently published “Empire
by Collaboration: Indians, Colonists, and Governments in Colonial Illinois Country.”
Rather than finding conflict,
the people involved found mutual
self-interest, Morrissey said. And
rather than carrying out the wishes
of the French empire that supposedly ruled them, they often acted
in defiance of it, then forced it to
go along.
“My point in the book is to kind
of complicate the understanding
of how people think about colonialism in early America, and the
idea of empire in early America, as
much more of a two-way street,”
Morrissey said. “In this case, there
were lots of ways in which Indians
took advantage of the European
presence, and Europeans benefitted from their relationship with
native peoples.”
Understanding that theme
probably starts with understanding the Illinois Indians and their
Illinois’ colonial
history is a
distinctive one, says
historian Robert
Morrissey in a new
book. The French
who settled there
found a mutual
self-interest with
the Illinois Indians,
forming not only
alliances but mixedrace communities.
They often worked
against the goals of
the French empire.
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
bid for power in the region at that
time, Morrissey said. Their home
base was the Grand Village of
the Kaskaskia, near present-day
Starved Rock State Park on the Illinois River about 80 miles southwest of Chicago. At one point, it
would be the largest concentration
of population in North America
north of Mexico City.
The Illinois had chosen that
location for its access to bisonhunting, but also because it was a
borderland between tribes to the
east and west and served as a base
from which to raid those tribes to
take captives for trading as slaves,
Morrissey said. Mostly women,
these slaves were taken and traded
not for their labor, but to replace
Indian populations that had been
decimated by European diseases
and conflicts in the Great Lakes
The slave trade became an important basis for Illinois power,
Morrissey said, and the Illinois
would rank among the most powerful peoples in North American at
the end of the 1600s.
French settlement began with
Jesuits establishing a mission
in the 1680s near the Grand Village, and the settlement would attract French fur traders. As far as
French officials were concerned,
neither the priests nor the fur traders were supposed to be there.
They were not part of French
Soon, French men were marrying Illinois women, and with Jesuit encouragement, Morrissey said.
The men gained not only wives,
but beneficial connections to the
tribe, and the women had their
own reasons for valuing these arrangements.
Eventually, five mixed-race
settlements would be established
much farther south, on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River,
south of present-day St. Louis.
Morrissey said the settlements
included slaves seized from both
African and Native American
populations. And they began to
farm, eventually growing enough
wheat for export down the river.
French officials had not wanted to settle the “Illinois Country,” wanting instead to establish
intensive settlements in Canada
where they would “Frenchify” the
Indians, Morrissey said. In many
ways, and ironically, “these people had Frenchified,” he said.
A further irony was that although these settlers and their Indian allies had largely acted from
self-interest, they still wanted and
needed connection with the empire. “They’re not trying to be
independent out here on the edge
of the world,” Morrissey said.
“They’re trying to work them-
Ads removed for
online version
selves into the networks of the Atlantic world, but on terms that are
advantageous to them.”
In addition to connection, they
needed the empire to give them
government and law, Morrissey
said. The need was so strong that
when the Illinois Country became
British territory in the 1760s, after the French and Indian War,
these villages were practical and
ready to accommodate. “There’s
no nostalgia for France,” he said.
“They’re like, ‘OK, what’s next?
Fine, we’ll be British.’”
As a result, in the early 1770s,
as colonists on the East Coast are
beginning to talk about throwing
off British rule, the colonists in
Illinois are lobbying for more of
that rule. “The farmers of Illinois
were appealing to the British empire to send them a government,”
Morrissey said.
But it was too late. By the
time these inhabitants of Illinois
got the British government’s attention, the American Revolution
was underway. Under the American government that followed,
the collaborative imperial culture
in Illinois was overshadowed by
new Yankee settlers “with different ideas and more power,” Morrissey said.
As a result, much of Illinois’
multicultural colonial population
migrated west, bringing their distinctive political culture and pragmatism with them. u
May 7, 2015
Stephen Peterson appointed to lead U. of I. bands program
By Jodi Heckel
Arts and Humanities Editor
he longtime director of bands at
Ithaca College will lead the U. of I.
concert and athletic bands, including the Marching Illini, beginning
in August.
Stephen Peterson has been appointed the
director of bands, with artistic, academic
and administrative leadership of the U. of
I. Bands Program. He’ll oversee the assistant and associate band directors, including
Barry Houser, the director of the Marching
Illini and athletic bands.
Peterson also will conduct the U. of I.
Wind Symphony; direct the graduate program in wind band conducting; and teach
courses in advanced wind band rehearsal
techniques and literature.
“(Illinois) is where everything began,”
Peterson said. “The heritage of the entire
university band system, if not the entire
American band system, can be traced right
back to the University of Illinois. Many of
our icons were band directors there.
“It’s a university with a lot of appreciation for what the bands mean,” he said. “I
don’t know of another university where the
bands program is as deeply rooted within
the entire university as it is in Illinois. It really is quite remarkable.”
An Arizona native, Peterson has connections to the Midwest. He spent 10 years
as the associate director of bands at Northwestern University, and he was the director of the marching band there for eight of
those 10 years, taking the band to the 1996
Rose Bowl.
“I deeply love the Big Ten. I’m very hap-
py to get back to it,” Peterson said. “I love
the sports. I also love the camaraderie the
band directors in the Big Ten have. They are
a very close-knit group, and there is great
respect amongst all my colleagues.”
Jeffrey Magee, the director of the School
of Music, described Peterson as “down-toearth, approachable and demanding, all at
“He is in the prime of an illustrious
career, with a long and remarkable list of
invited conducting appearances across the
U.S. and abroad,” Magee said. “He brings
a sterling reputation in every area that
matters: musicianship, conducting, teaching, leadership, integrity and collegiality.
He stands among the nation’s most distinguished concert band conductors.”
Peterson has been the director of bands
and a music professor at Ithaca College
since 1998. He led the Ithaca College Wind
Ensemble, which produced widely respected recordings and performed at Lincoln
Center and on a tour of Ireland. Peterson
has been a leader in cultivating new musical
work through commissions and premieres.
“I’m looking forward to a new challenge,” Peterson said about coming to the
U. of I. “I’m looking forward to working
with doctoral students that I haven’t done
before, and to a very, very high level of
music-making, which can be attained there.
I’m eager to work with very talented colleagues there.”
Prior to his position at Ithaca College,
Peterson was the associate director of bands
at Northwestern University from 1988 to
1998, and he led the Northshore Concert
Band from 1996 to 1998.
He also served as the associate director of bands for Stephen
F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, for four years,
and he was a teacher and conductor at high schools in Phoenix
and Tempe, Arizona.
Peterson earned his doctorate of music from Northwestern
University, and his bachelor’s
and master’s degrees from Arizona State University.
Peterson succeeds interim director Linda Moorhouse. His appointment is effective Aug. 16.
Peterson’s wife, Elizabeth Peterson, also has been hired as a
clinical professor of music at the
U. of I. School of Music. She is
the conductor of the Ithaca College Symphonic Band and the
coordinator of the Instrumental
Junior Student Teaching Program. She served as a guest conductor of the Cornell University
photo courtesy of Stephen Peterson
Wind Symphony in fall 2012 and
spring 2014, and as a co-conduc- New leadership Stephen Peterson, director of
tor of the Ithaca Concert Band bands at Ithaca College, has been appointed the
new director of bands for the University of Illinois.
since 2000.
Elizabeth Peterson is a native Peterson will oversee all the concert and athletic
of Glenview, Illinois, and was bands.
the director of bands for Lake Zurich High tion add further luster to this new era in our
bands program and hold out the promise of
School from 1991 to 1998.
She received her doctorate of musical attracting more excellent student musicians
arts in music education from Shenandoah to our campus,” Magee said.
The Illinois Bands Program is regarded
Conservatory, her master’s degree from
Northwestern University and her bachelor’s as one of the world’s top college band programs. More than 650 students participate
degree from the University of Michigan.
“Her Illinois roots and national reputa- in the program. u
Study: This is your teen’s brain behind the wheel
new study of teenagers and their
moms reveals how adolescent
brains negotiate risk – and the
factors that modulate their risktaking behind the wheel.
In the study, reported in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience,
14-year-old subjects completed a simulated driving task while researchers tracked
blood flow in their brains. In one trial, the
teen driver was alone; in another, the teen’s
mother was present and watching, said U.
of I. psychology professor Eva Telzer, who
led the study.
Laurence Steinberg, a professor of psychology at Temple University, developed
the driving task and evaluated how the presence of peers influenced teen risk-taking,
Telzer said.
“He found that peers significantly increase risk-taking among teens,” Telzer
said. “I wanted to know whether we could
reduce risk-taking by bringing a parent into
the car.”
Telzer and her colleagues observed that
teens driving alone found risky decisions rewarding. Blood flow to the ventral striatum,
a “reward center” in the brain, increased
significantly when teen drivers chose to ig-
nore a yellow traffic light and drove through
the intersection anyway.
Previous research has demonstrated that
the ventral striatum is more sensitive to rewards in adolescence than during any other
developmental period, Telzer said.
“The prevailing view is that this peak in
reward sensitivity in adolescence underlies,
in part, adolescent risk-taking,” she said.
A mother’s presence, however, blunted
the thrill of running the yellow light, Telzer
and her colleagues found.
“When mom is there, the heightened
ventral striatum activation during risky
decisions goes away,” Telzer said. “Being
risky, it appears, is no longer rewarding in
the presence of mom.”
Not surprisingly, teens stepped on the
brakes significantly more often at yellow
lights when their moms were present than
when they were alone.
“The teens go from about 55 percent
risky choices to about 45 percent when their
mom is watching,” Telzer said. ”That’s a
big effect.”
Another brain region, the prefrontal cortex, kicked into gear when the teens put on
the brakes – but only when their mom was
watching, the researchers found. The PFC
is important to behavioral regulation, also
called “cognitive control,” Telzer said.
“When they make safe decisions,
when they choose to stop instead of going
through that intersection, the prefrontal cortex comes online,” she said. “It’s activated
when mom is there, but not when they’re
The PFC (the control center) and the
ventral striatum (the reward center) are
key brain regions involved in adolescent
risk-taking behavior, Telzer said. But in the
absence of a well-developed control center, adolescents are more susceptible to the
stimulating allure of risky behavior.
“Here we’re showing that mom reduces
the rewarding nature of risk-taking and increases activation of the prefrontal cortex
during safe behavior,” Telzer said. “And so
these two mechanisms help adolescents to
think twice before running the intersection.
A parent’s presence is actually changing the
way the adolescent is reasoning and thinking about risk – and this increases their safe
The National Science Foundation and
the U. of I. department of psychology funded this study. u
Mary Ann Armstrong, 71, died April 25 at
her Champaign home. She worked for the
U. of I. for 10 years, retiring in 2001 as a
typing clerk III for Personnel Services Office. Memorials: American Cancer Society,
Robert B. Ash, 79, died April 15 at Carle
Foundation Hospital, Urbana. He was a
professor of mathematics for 26 years, retiring in 1989.
Kathryn Irene Beckhart, 84, died April 14
at her Monticello home. She worked at Allerton Park, primarily at the 4-H camp as an
administrative assistant. Memorials: Piatt
County Animal Shelter, 1115 N. State St.
#120, Monticello, IL 61856, or to the 4-H
Memorial Camp for a need-based camp
scholarship, 499 Old Timber Rd., Monticello, IL 61856.
Rupert Nelson Evans, 94, died April 24
at Meadowbrook Health Center at ClarkLindsey, Urbana. He taught at the U. of
I. for 32 years, retiring in 1982. He served
as the head of two departments and the
dean of the College of Education, retiring
in 1982. Memorials: Urbana Free Library
the U. of I. College of Education, https://; or the
Clark-Lindsey Village Friendship Fund,
Gilbert Pierce Haight Jr., 92, died April
27. Haight, a professor emeritus of chemis-
try, taught at the U. of I. for 23 years, retiring in 1987.
Allean Lemmon Hale, 100, died April 18
at Lenoir Woods Senior Living in Columbia, Missouri. She was an adjunct professor theatre at the U. of I. from 1996-97.
Memorials: U. of I. Foundation, 1305 W.
Green St., Urbana, IL 61801, MC-386, on behalf of the
department of theatre.
Saada Hamdy, 68, died April 21 at Carle
Foundation Hospital, Urbana. She was a
research chemist at the Illinois State Water
Survey for 17 years, retiring in 2006.
Willa Hollis, 74, died April 26 at her Champaign home. She worked in the department
of astronomy at the U. of I. for many years.
Memorials: Dr. Gilbert Hollis Memorial
Scholarship Fund, U. of I. Foundation,
1305 W. Green St., Urbana, IL 61801, MC386,
Richard C. “Buzz” McNally, 49, died
March 4 at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana. He was a cook at the U. of
I. for University Housing from 1996 to
1999. Memorials: A memorial fund to
help the family honor his memory, visit or contact
Mary Lehmann, [email protected]
Frances Louise Sykes, 82, died April 14.
She worked at the U. of I. for 34 years,
retiring in 1998. She was a supervisor of
data processing in the Survey Research
Laboratory. u
By Diana Yates
Life Sciences Editor
Teen drivers U. of I. psychology
professor Eva Telzer
and her colleagues
found that a mother’s
presence changes
brain activity in an
adolescent who is
contemplating risky
photo by L. Brian Stauffer
May 7, 2015 PAGE 15
Three elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
By Diana Yates
Life Sciences Editor
hree U. of I. professors have been
elected to the American Academy
of Arts and Sciences, one of the
longest-standing honorary societies in the nation. Psychology professors J.
Kathryn Bock and Gary S. Dell, and physics professor Taekjip Ha will join other new
members in an induction ceremony in October in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Bock, an emeritus faculty member in
psychology and in the Beckman Institute
for Advanced Science and Technology at
Illinois, explores how cognition influences
language structure and whether the language a person speaks influences his or her
perception of events and objects.
Bock received a Fulbright Research
Fellowship (1991) and a Sloan Fellowship
(1982); she was a visiting research associate at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics (intermittently between 1983
and 2012); she is a fellow of the American
Psychological Association (Division 3); a
fellow of the American Psychological Society; and a member of the Society of Experimental Psychologists.
Dell, also a professor in the Beckman
Institute, studies how people produce and
understand sentences. He developed the
first computational model of language production and used it to simulate properties of
speech errors, or “slips of the tongue.” He
later used related models to understand patterns of pathological speech production resulting from brain damage. His recent work
focuses on how linguistic abilities change
with experience and how such changes can
be captured in neural networks.
Dell is a recipient of the American Psychological Association Early Career Award
and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the
Society of Experimental Psychologists, the
Cognitive Science Society, the Association
for Psychological Science and the Psychonomic Society.
Ha is the Edward William and Jane Marr
Gutgsell Endowed Professor, a Howard
Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, a
professor in the Beckman Institute and the
Cellular Decision Making in Cancer theme
leader in the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at Illinois. He also is co-director of the National Science Foundationfunded Center for the Physics of Living
Cells at the U. of I.
Ha uses physical concepts and experimental techniques to study fundamental
The College of Agricultural, Consumer
and Environmental Sciences recognized
outstanding faculty and staff members
at the annual Paul A. Funk Recognition
Awards Banquet April 13 at Pear Tree Estate in rural Champaign.
The awards program was established
in 1970 by the Paul A. Funk Foundation
of Bloomington, Illinois, as a memorial to
Funk, who attended the college as a member of the class of 1929 and devoted his life
to agriculture.
The three recipients of the Paul A. Funk
Recognition Award – Elvira de Mejia, a
professor of food science and human nutrition, Brian Diers, a professor of crop sciences, and Alan Hansen, a professor of
agricultural and biological engineering –
headlined this year’s ceremony. The Funk
Award is the college’s highest honor. It is
presented annually to faculty members for
outstanding achievement and major contributions to the betterment of agriculture,
natural resources and human systems, said
ACES Dean Robert Hauser.
The Spitze Land-Grant Professorial Career Excellence Award went to Scott Irwin,
a professor of agricultural and consumer
economics. Karen Chapman-Novakofski,
a professor of food science and human
nutrition, received the Faculty Award for
Global Impact.
The Senior Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching went to Soo-Yeun Lee, a
professor of food science and human nutrition, while the College Faculty Award for
Excellence in Teaching went to Nicholas
Paulson, a professor of agricultural and
consumer economics.
Sandra Rodriguez-Zas and Ryan Dilger, professors of animal sciences, received
the Senior Faculty Award and College Faculty Award, respectively, for excellence in
The Senior Faculty Award for Excellence in Extension went to Mohammad
Babadoost, a professor of crop sciences,
while the College Faculty Award for Excellence in Extension went to Paulson.
The Teaching Associate Teaching Award
was given to Margaret Norton, a visiting
teaching associate in crop sciences.
The John Clyde and Henrietta Downey
Spitler Teaching Award went to Barbara
Fiese, a professor of human development
and family studies and the Pampered Chef
Endowed Chair, who also is the director of
the Family Resiliency Center.
photos by L. Brian Stauffer
High honors U. of I. psychology professors J. Kathryn Bock and Gary S. Dell, and
physics professor Taekjip Ha have been elected to the American Academy of Arts
and Sciences.
questions in molecular biology. He has developed new techniques that have enhanced
the study of individual molecular interactions. His most recent work uses singlemolecule measurements to understand
protein-DNA interactions and enzyme dynamics.
Ha is a recipient of the Ho-Am Prize
(2011), the Bárány Award of the Biophysi-
cal Society (2007), an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship (2003), a Cottrell Scholar
Award (Research Corporation, 2003), a
Young Fluorescence Investigator Award of
the Biophysical Society (2002) and a Searle
Scholar Award (2001). He was named a
University Scholar at the U. of I. in 2009,
and he is a fellow of the American Physical
Society. u
A report on honors, awards, appointments and other outstanding achievements of faculty and staff members
The Team Award for Excellence went
to members of the STRONG Kids/IllinoisTransdisciplinary Obesity Prevention Program (I-TOPP): Kelly Bost, a professor
of child development; David Buchner, a
professor of kinesiology and community
health; Sharon Donovan, a professor of
food science and human nutrition and the
Melissa M. Noel Endowed Chair in Nutrition and Health; Fiese; Diana GrigsbyToussaint, a professor of kinesiology and
community health; Craig Gundersen, a
professor of nutritional sciences; Jessica
Hartke, a professor of nutritional sciences
and the assistant director of the Division of
Nutritional Sciences; Charles H. Hillman,
a professor of kinesiology and community
health; Rodney W. Johnson, a professor
and the director of nutritional sciences;
Brenda Koester, a professor of human and
community development and the assistant
director of the Family Resiliency Center;
Lee; Janet Liechty, a professor of social
work; Brent McBride, a professor of human development and the director of the
Child Development Lab; Salma Musaad,
a visiting researcher of biostatistics in human and community development; Margarita Teran-Garcia, a professor of food
science and human nutrition; Jennifer
Themanson, a project coordinator for human and community development; Donna
Whitehill, a visiting project coordinator
for nutritional sciences; and Angela Wiley,
a professor of applied family studies and
the director of the Child Care Resiliency
The Professional Staff Awards for Excellence were given to Elizabeth Reutter, a
teaching associate in food science and human nutrition, “for Sustained Excellence in
Advising, Teaching and Outreach”; Lowell
Gentry, a senior researcher specialist in
agriculture in the department of natural
resources and environmental sciences,
“for Sustained Excellence in Research”;
and Linda Tortorelli, the coordinator of
the Autism Program, “for Innovation and
Luis Mejia, an adjunct professor of food
science and human nutrition, received the
Service Recognition Award.
Dianne Carson, an office support specialist in crop sciences, and Donna Stites,
an administrative clerk in agricultural and
consumer economics, received the Staff
Award for Excellence. Maria Rund, an office administrator for human and community development, was awarded the Marcella
M. Nance Staff Award.
Other recent ACES awards:
Amy Ando, a professor of agricultural
and consumer economics, received the
ACE GSO Outstanding Faculty Award.
Richard Gates, a professor of agricultural and biological engineering, received
the Engineering Council Award for Outstanding Advising.
Robert Hughes Jr., a professor of human and community development, received
the National Council of Family Relations
Felix Berardo Mentoring Award.
Walter Hurley, a professor emeritus of
animal sciences, received the United States
Department of Agriculture Food and Agricultural Sciences Excellence in Teaching
Justine Karduck, a teaching associate of food science and human nutrition,
received the Illinois Academy of Nutrition
for online
and Dietetics 2013-14 Outstanding Dietetics Educator.
Lee received the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, American Association of State
Colleges and Universities, and Association
of Public and Land-Grant Universities Regional Teaching Award for Food and Agriculture Sciences.
Vijay Singh, a professor of agricultural
and biological engineering, received the
American Association of Cereal Chemists International Excellence in Teaching
Paul Stoddard, a lecturer of agribusiness, received the Earl M. and Mildred S.
Hughes Teaching Enhancement Award.
Dawn M. Bohn, a director for OffCampus Programs and teaching associate
of food science and human nutrition, DoKyoung Lee, a professor of crop sciences,
and Robert Schooley, a professor of natural resources and environmental sciences,
received the North American Colleges and
Teachers of Agriculture Educator Award.
Faculty members in agricultural and
consumer economics who received the
American Agricultural Economics Association Distinguished Extension/Outreach
Program Group Award: Mark Althouse, a
program coordinator; Ryan Batts, an extension specialist of Farm and Financial
Management; Jonathan Coppess, a clinical professor; Paul Ellinger, a professor
and department head; A. Bryan Endres, a
professor; Darrel Good, a professor emeritus; Scott Irwin, the Laurence J. Norton
Chair of Agricultural Marketing; Hongxia
Jiao, a visiting extension and research specialist; Todd Kuethe, a clinical professor,
Marc Lovell, a director of Tax Education
and Outreach; John Newton, a clinical professor of agricultural commodity markets;
Paulson; Paul Peterson, a clinical professor; Dwight Raab, an extension specialist;
and Gary Schnitkey, a professor.
Flavia Andrade, a professor of kinesiology and community health, received the
college’s Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching Award.
Tina Candler, an administrative aide
in kinesiology and community health, received the college’s Staff Excellence Award
for civil service employees.
Kristin Carlson, a lecturer in kinesiology and community health, received the college’s Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award for instructional staff members.
Carol Firkins, an academic adviser for
the applied health sciences administration,
received the college’s Excellence in Undergraduate Advising Award.
Kim C. Graber, a professor of kinesiology and community health, received the
Phyllis J. Hill Award for Exemplary Mentoring in the Edmund J. James Scholar
Charles H. Hillman, a professor of kinesiology and community health, received the
college’s Excellence in Graduate Student
Mentoring Award.
Edward McAuley, a Shahid and Ann
Carlson Khan professor of kinesiology and
community health, received the Society of
Behavioral Medicine 2014 Distinguished
Research Mentor Award.
Robert Motl, a professor of kinesiology
and community health, received the college’s Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate Research Award.
Jarrod Scheunemann, a community
education and services coordinator for recreation, sport and tourism, received the college’s Academic Professional Excellence
Amy Woods, a professor of kinesiology
and community health, won the college’s
Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
Award for Faculty.
Gopesh Anand, a professor of business administration, received the College of
Business Alumni Association Excellence in
Teaching Award for Graduate and Professional Teaching.
Brooke Elliott, a professor of accountancy, received the St. Louis Teaching
Petro Lisowsky, a professor of accountancy, received the College of Business
Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching
Award for Undergraduate Teaching.
Jessen Hobson, a professor of accountancy, and Adel Ibrahim, a lecturer in accountancy, received Head’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Tammy Collins, a facilities manager for
the College of Education, received the Distinguished Staff Award.
Hedda Meadan-Kaplansky, a professor
of special education, received the SpitzeMather Faculty Award for Excellence.
Karla Moller, a professor of curriculum
and instruction, received the Outstanding
Graduate Teaching Award.
Yoon Pak, a professor of education policy, organization and leadership, received
the Outstanding Asian American Faculty/
Staff Award.
Michelle Perry, a professor of special education, received the Distinguished
Teaching Career Award.
Jena Pfoff, an online academic and student service coordinator for education policy, organization and leadership, received
the college’s Academic Professional Excellence Award.
Adam Poetzel, a clinical assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, received the Illinois Council of Teachers of
Mathematics Max Beberman Mathematics
Educator Award.
Charles Gammie, a professor of physics, has been named a 2015 Simons Fellow
in Theoretical Physics by the Simons Foundation. Gammie, who has joint appointments in astronomy and physics, will use
the fellowship to continue his leading-edge
theoretical work in black hole astrophysics while on sabbatical next academic year
at the University of Oxford in the United
Kingdom. The Simons Fellow in Theoretical Physics allows time away from the
classroom to pursue research. The Simons
Foundation’s mission is to advance research
in mathematics and the basic sciences.
Joseph W. Lyding, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, was awarded
the Foresight Institute Feynman Prize in
Nanotechnology for experimental work.
Lyding is a pioneer in the development of
scanning tunneling microscope technology
and particularly hydrogen depassivation
lithography. Foresight Institute is a leading think tank and public interest organization focused on molecular nanotechnology.
These prestigious prizes, named in honor
of pioneer physicist Richard Feynman, are
given in two categories, one for experiment
and the other for theory in nanotechnology.
These prizes honor researchers whose recent work has most advanced the achievement of Feynman’s goal for nanotechnology: the construction of atomically precise
products through the use of productive
Robert Pilawa-Podgurski, a professor of electrical and computer engineering,
has won the Air Force Young Investigator
Award as part of the Young Investigator
Program through the Air Force Office of
Scientific Research. Pilawa-Podgurski is
designing new computing systems for the
storage and processing of information that
are intended to be lightweight and compact
enough to function on a plane. The threeyear award recognizes promising researchers who have received their doctoral degree
within the last five years. The program aims
to foster creative research in science and engineering and increase opportunities for the
young investigator.
Gabriel Popescu, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been
elected as a fellow of the Optical Society
of America. He received his nomination for
his research on “quantitative and nanoscale
imaging of cells and tissues.” Popescu’s
work has focused on helping to turn biology into an engineering-oriented science
through microscopic devices that use light
scattering and interferometry to turn imaging into a quantitative measurement tool.
The society is the leading association in
optics and photonics, and no more than 10
percent of the total membership of the society can be a fellow.
Mats Selen, a professor of physics, has
been named one of the first recipients of the
new Transformational Research and Excellence in Education Award from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. Selen is widely recognized for his
critical contributions to the development of
CLEO, a general-purpose particle detector
at the Cornell Electron Storage Ring, and
his work to advance the understanding of
charm hadronic decays and excited states.
The award recognizes research and educational accomplishments of the Cottrell
May 7, 2015
Scholars community, along with encouraging the improvement of science education
at universities. The Cottrell Scholar program develops outstanding scholars who
are recognized for their research and leadership skills.
Paris Smaragdis, a professor with joint
appointments in computer science and electrical and computer engineering, has been
named an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers fellow. Smaragdis has
spent the majority of his career working on
some of the most challenging problems in
audio processing. The core of Smaragdis’
work lies in making machines understand
sound. The association’s mission is to foster technological innovation to benefit the
world, and only select members of the association with accomplishments are deemed
The College of Engineering recently
hosted its annual awards reception and announced these recognitions:
Catherine Best, a research professor
of bioengineering, received the UIC Urban
Health Program College of Medicine Team
Member Servant Leadership Award.
Timothy Bretl, a professor of aerospace
engineering, received the Collins Award for
Innovative Teaching.
Harry Dankowicz, a professor of mechanical science and engineering, received
the American Society for Engineering Education Fred Merryfield Design Award.
Stephen Downing, a lecturer of mechanical science and engineering, received
the Mechanical Science and Engineering
Five-Year Effective Teaching Award.
J. Craig Dutton, a professor of aerospace engineering, received the American
Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Teacher of the Year award.
Gregory Elliott, a professor of aerospace engineering, received the College of
Engineering Stanley H. Pierce Award.
Randy Ewoldt, a professor of mechanical science and engineering, received the
Rose Award for Teaching Excellence.
Bruce Flachsbart, a senior research engineer and a professor and lecturer of mechanical science and engineering, received
the College of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award.
Grace Gao, a professor of aerospace
engineering, received the Everitt Award for
Teaching Excellence.
Cinda Heeren, a lecturer in computer
science, received the Rose Award for Teaching Excellence.
Wen-mei Hwu, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, received the
Collins Award for Innovative Teaching.
Paul Kwiat, a professor of physics, received the Doug and Judy David Award
for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate
Scott Olson, a professor of civil and
environmental engineering and the Civil
and Environmental Engineering Excellence
Faculty scholar, received the Chi Epsilon
Central District James M. Robbins ExcelSEE ACHIEVEMENTS, PAGE 17
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entire spectrum of potential students, from those who are curious
and merely want to dip their toes
in the water to those who know
they want to earn a full master’s
degree right away.”
Students also have the option
of taking a course sequence free
of charge, receiving a Courseraverified certificate or continuing
their studies for academic credit
through the Urbana campus.
“The iMBA is perfect for those
who want to round out their STEM
or liberal arts educations with
business know-how,” Echambadi
Students can apply for the
iMBA either before they’ve en-
rolled in classes or after they’ve
already sampled one or more
“A student or working professional could sign up for a class in a
topic they need right away for their
work and keep stacking courses
and credits to build toward a full
iMBA degree,” Echambadi said.
“This is part of what makes stackability possible – each sequence
brings together all the pieces of
the puzzle in one place. The iMBA
really redefines business subject
areas so that they’re not confined
to the way other b-schools or universities are organized.”
Offering an online-only MBA
degree will ultimately help the U.
lence in Teaching Award.
Michael Philpott, a professor emeritus of mechanical science and engineering, received the Mechanical Science and
Engineering Two-Year Effective Teaching
Kevin Pitts, College of Engineering
dean for undergraduate programs and a professor of physics, received the Department
of Physics Nordsieck Award for Excellence
in Teaching.
Jeffrey Roesler, a professor, associate
head and the director of Graduate Studies
of civil and environmental engineering, received the College of Engineering Stanley
H. Pierce Faculty Award.
David Ruzic, an Abel Bliss Professor
of Engineering, received the American
Nuclear Society Student Chapter Award for
Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Ruzic also received the Nuclear, Plasma and
Radiological Engineering 2014 Teacher of
the Year.
Peter Sauer, a professor and the W.W.
Grainger Chair in electrical and computer
engineering, received the Tau Beta Pi Daniel C. Drucker Award.
Mariana Sohn, a visiting lecturer, a
visiting curriculum development coordinator and a professor of mechanical science
and engineering, received the Engineering
Council Award for Outstanding Advising.
Timothy Stelzer, a professor of physics,
received the Rose Award for Teaching Excellence.
Dusan Stipanovic, a professor of industrial and enterprise systems engineering,
received The Sharp Outstanding Teaching
Jenny Amos, a senior lecturer and the
chief academic adviser of bioengineering
and the director of Undergraduate Programs; Kerri Green, an Undergraduate
Programs specialist and an academic adviser for bioengineering; Dipanjan Pan, a
professor of bioengineering; and Bradley
Sutton, a professor of bioengineering and
the associate head for Undergraduate Programs; received the Engineering Council
Outstanding Advising Award.
Matthew Caesar, a professor of computer science; Carl Gunter, a professor of
computer science; Jiawei Han, an Abel
Bliss Professor of Engineering; Stephen
Herzog, the coordinator of Undergraduate
Programs for computer science; Laxmikant
Kale, a professor of computer science; Karrie Karahalios, a professor of computer
science; Darko Marinov, a professor of
computer science; Dan Roth, a professor of computer science; Smaragdis; and
ChengXiang Zhai, a professor of computer
science; received the Engineering Council
Award for Outstanding Advising.
Dutton and Laura Gerhold, an academic
adviser and the coordinator of Undergraduate Programs, received the Engineering
Council Award for Outstanding Advising.
Lynford Goddard, Rakesh Kumar, Robert Pilawa-Podgurski and Jose SchuttAine, all professors of electrical and com-
of I. connect with students around
the world who wish to earn a master’s degree in business administration but can’t afford – in terms
of time or money – to push the
pause button on their career or go
back to school full time, DeBrock
“The iMBA really leverages
the power of MOOCs for the first
time,” DeBrock said. “The first
portion of every course is open
enrollment and involves people
from all over the world, not just
those who have applied and been
accepted into an online MBA program. Instructors lead through a
cohort system that creates constant, direct interaction among
puter engineering, received the Engineering
Council Award for Outstanding Advising.
Angus Rockett, a professor and chief
adviser for undergraduates in materials science and engineering; John A. Rogers, a
Swanlund Chair, a professor of materials
science and engineering and the director
of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research
Laboratory; and Kenneth Schweizer, the
G. Ronald and Margaret H. Morris professor of materials science and engineering;
received the Engineering Council Award
for Outstanding Advising.
Emad Jassim, the director of Undergraduate Programs and a lecturer in mechanical science and engineering; Nicole
Neighbors, the assistant director of research administration for mechanical science and engineering; and Pam Vanetta,
an office support specialist for mechanical science and engineering; received the
Mechanical Science and Engineering Staff
Award for Exemplary Service.
Becky Meline, a coordinator of academic programs for nuclear, plasma and radiological engineering, and Ruzic received
the Engineering Council Award for Outstanding Advising.
Abbas Aminmansour, a professor of
architecture, received the Special Achievement Award from the American Institute of
Steel Construction at the plenary session of
the 2015 North American Steel Construction Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.
He received the honor because of his contributions to the advancement of structural
steel design and the construction industry
from his paper, “A New Approach for Design of Steel Beam-Columns,” which appeared in Engineering Journal. According
to the American Institute of Steel Construction’s website, their “mission is to make
structural steel the material of choice by
being the leader in structural-steel-related
technical and market-building activities.”
Erin Gee, a composer known for her
works that use nontraditional vocal techniques, is one of two composers to win
the 2015 Charles Ives Fellowship from the
American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Gee, a professor of composition-theory,
won the fellowship based on two new pieces that premiered in 2014. The compositions are part of Gee’s “Mouthpiece” series,
which she began in 1999 with a composition for a solo voice. The piece does not use
words, but rather a diverse array of vocal
sounds, such as pops, clicks, sung tones and
whistles. One of her new pieces for which
she won the fellowship, “Mouthpiece
XXII,” was written for a string quartet and
was premiered by the Arditti Quartet, one
of the pioneer string quartets for new music.
The other piece recognized with the fellowship award is “Mouthpiece XX: Mathilde
of Loci Part 2,” a composition for voice,
orchestra, actor and video. The American
Academy of Arts and Letters is composed
of architects, composers, artists and writers.
Daphne Koller, co-founder and
president of Coursera, said the
iMBA program “reimagines graduate education to be more flexible
and accessible.”
“Aspiring professionals from
all over the world will be able to
earn meaningful certificates for
the business skills they need and
always have the option to earn the
full MBA degree, at an unprecedented affordable cost, from a
top business school,” Koller said.
“This is an educational model that
puts learners first and is well suited to the needs of today’s workforce.” u
The Academy’s purpose is to foster and sustain interest in literature, music and the fine
arts by identifying and encouraging artists.
Gene Robinson, the director of the Carl
R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology,
was appointed to the Board of Scientific
Advisors of the National Courts and Sciences Institute. The institute is a judicially
governed science and technology organization providing special training to state
and federal court judges, Native American
court judges and administrative law judges
of federal and state executive agencies and
independent regulatory agencies. LAS
Leanne Knobloch, a professor and the
director of graduate studies for communication, will receive the Top Paper in Interpersonal and Small Group Communication
award from the Central States Communication Association. The award honors the
write-up of her research study “Communication of Military Couples during Deployment: Topic Avoidance and Relational
Uncertainty.” Knobloch investigates the
processes of regulating privacy and managing relational uncertainty as challenging aspects of communication for military
couples separated by deployment. The paper then offers recommendations to military
couples facing these communication challenges. The association is a professional,
academic organization of primary- and
secondary-school teachers, students, college and university professors and communication professionals. Founded in 1931
to promote the communication discipline
in educational, scholarly and professional
endeavors, the association consists of 13
Midwestern states and has more than 800
Yi Lu, a professor of chemistry, received
the Royal Society of Chemistry Applied
Inorganic Chemistry Award for 2015. Lu
was recognized for original research breakthroughs in metallo-DNAzyme and for
technological innovations in sensor design
that have resulted in a new class of metal ion
sensors for on-site and real-time detection
in environmental monitoring, food safety
and medical diagnostics. Award recipients
are evaluated for the originality and impact
of their research, as well as the quality of
the results which can be shown in publications, patents or software. The awards recognize achievements by individuals, teams
and organizations in advancing the chemical sciences. The society is the world’s
leading chemistry community, advancing
excellence in the chemical sciences.
Robin Kar, a professor of law and of
philosophy, and Andrew Leipold, the Edwin M. Adams professor and the director
of the Program in Criminal Law and Procedure, received the College of Law’s Award
for Teaching Excellence.
photo courtesy College of Business
Raj Echambadi
T. “Brad” Harris, a professor of labor
and employment relations, received the
LER Faculty Teaching Excellence Award.
Charles “Stretch” Ledford, a professor of journalism, received the Associated
Press Media Editors Innovator of the Year
Award for College Students.
Shachar Meron, a lecturer in advertising, received the Award for Teaching Excellence.
Peter Sheldon, a lecturer in advertising,
received the Association for Education in
Journalism and Mass Communication Distinguished Teaching Award.
Leta Summers, an administrative aide
in the Capital Planning Division of Facilities and Services, received the 2015 Office
Professional of the Year Award from The
Secretariat. Summers was recognized at an
awards luncheon April 15. Also nominated: Peggy Buchner, an office administrator in the Office of the Vice
Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost; Rayme Dorsey, an office manager in
plant biology in the College of Liberal Arts
and Sciences; Michael Foellmer, an office
support specialist in political science in the
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and
Sheila Powers, an office manager in the
College of Medicine.
The Secretariat is comprised of U. of I.
employees in certain civil service classifications. Nominees for the Office Professional
of the Year Award perform their duties well
and enthusiastically support the U. of I. and
its programs. The nominee demonstrates
professionalism and is involved in the Secretariat organization.
Sung Wan Kang, a teaching assistant of
social work, received the Ackerson Award
for Excellence in Student Teaching.
Tyler D. Kearney, the associate director for the University Office of Planning
and Budgeting, and Jennifer Delaney, a
professor of education policy, organization
and leadership, received a 2014 Charles F.
Elton Best Paper Award from the Association for Institutional Research for their paper, “Guaranteed Tuition Policies and State
General Appropriations for Higher Education: A Difference-in-Difference Analysis,”
which appeared in the Journal of Education.
The award honors scholarship that exemplifies the standards of excellence established
by the award’s namesake, and makes scholarly contributions to the field of institutional research and decision making in higher
education. The goal is to honor publishable
papers and to acknowledge that the scholarship of the association is featured in a wide
range of peer-reviewed journals. u
Town hall meeting
Campus welcomes new president
The Urbana campus will welcome Timothy L. Killeen,
the 20th president of the U. of I., at a town hall meeting 2-3:30 p.m. May 18, in the Tryon Festival Theatre at
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. A reception in the
Krannert Center lobby will follow immediately after.
University YMCA
Donate to Dump and Run during May
Moving out or doing some spring cleaning? Donate your
surplus stuff to the University YMCA during its Dump and
Run May collection days.
Now in its 14th year, the community recycling program
collects and sells quality used goods. The program reduces
litter and consumer waste, saves space in landfills, lowers
dumping costs for certified housing and apartments, provides inexpensive items for people to purchase in August,
and serves as a major fundraiser for the University YMCA.
May collection sites are located in Latzer Hall in the
University YMCA and at collection boxes in several campus residence halls. Collection days are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
May 11-16 and May 18-22. There also will be collections
Aug. 12-15 at the U. of I. Stock Pavilion.
The Dump and Run sale will take place Aug. 22 and 23
at the U. of I. Stock Pavilion.
The University YMCA reserves the right to refuse any
donation offered, based on but not limited to its size, weight
and condition.
Anyone who volunteers for six hours or more will be
allowed to shop first during the presale in August. For more
information or to sign up to volunteer, visit
For more information on what may be donated, visit
The University YMCA will also be involved during U.
of I. move-out day May 16. Campus and community volunteers will move from dorm to dorm, sorting reusable items
from dorm collection boxes into large bags to be hauled
back to the YMCA through a donated box truck.
4-H House
Cookbook sales to support 4-H House
More than 1,000 U. of I. students have lived in the 4-H
House at 805 W. Ohio St. in Urbana since it was built in
1960. That number of residents for more than 55 years
would take a toll on any home. Consequently, a new cookbook has been published to help raise funds for the home’s
much-needed remodeling and renovation.
“Nurture the Future @ 805” is a hardcover, spiral-bound
cookbook with 480 pages of favorite 4-H House recipes
through the years.
“Currently 4-H House is home to 51 young women
who have leadership experience in 4-H, Future Farmers of
America or similar organizations,” said Krista Temple, a
freshman at the U. of I., who is the ninth member of her
family to live in the 4-H House. “These women do all of
their own cooking, cleaning and maintenance at the house.
This cooperative living style allows us to live on campus
at a reasonable price and to form long-lasting friendships.”
Temple said the money raised from the sale of the cookbooks will help update the house with air conditioning, new
electrical wiring and updated bathrooms and more.
Each cookbook can be purchased for $30, which includes shipping costs. For details on how to order, visit or send an email to Judy Taylor, judym
[email protected], or Linda Muehling at [email protected]
Technology Entrepreneur Center
Illinois innovation awards announced
The Technology Entrepreneur Center announced the
winners of the Illinois Innovation Prize, which awards
$20,000 to a student who stands out as a passionate innovator and entrepreneur, who is working with world-changing
technology and is seen as a role model for others. Each student was nominated by mentors or a faculty member on the
basis of the nominee’s passion for innovation and work in
Andreas C. Cangellaris, the dean of the College of Engineering, announced that this year, the prize would be divided among three finalists, since all of the students were so
impressive. Ritu Raman, a doctoral candidate in mechanical
science and engineering, was announced as the 2015 winner and awarded $15,000. Raman is focused on developing
and commercializing 3-D printing technologies for applications in biomedical engineering. Raman is interested in using 3-D printing to manufacture biological building blocks,
or BioBlocks. These BioBlocks can harness the innate abilities of biological materials to sense, process and respond to
a variety of dynamic environmental signals in real time. By
crowd-sourcing the design rules and principles of building
with biology in undergraduate classrooms, Raman plans to
May 7, 2015
Faculty and Staff Emergency Fund
seeks donations during annual drive
ince 1992, the Faculty and Staff Emergency Fund
has helped nearly 1,000 employees with assistance during a financial crisis. Last year alone,
the generosity of employee donations provided approximately $30,000 in grants to U. of I. employees.
“In a time when many experience stress and closed
doors when asking for help, families who have been assisted through FSEF find it gives them hope things can
get better,” said Karie Wolfson, the director of the Faculty/Staff Assistance Program.
Employees are eligible to apply for assistance if they
are experiencing a temporary financial hardship because
of an emergency situation. Faculty members, academic
professionals and civil service staff members with at
least a 50 percent appointment and who have completed
at least six months of service at the university qualify
to apply for the fund and may apply at any time. Applicants are screened through the Faculty Staff Assistance
Program and are reviewed and approved by a confidential committee. All contacts are confidential and assessments are free. However, the fund’s need is outpacing donations.
Although contributions can be made at any time of the
year, employee support is critical during the annual fund
drive, which has a goal of raising $50,000. The fund uses
100 percent of every donation to assist employees. Every gift, regardless of size, will provide much-needed fiuse experiential learning and empirical discovery as tools to
train the next generation of makers, builders and inventors.
The Illinois Innovation Prize runners-up were Ahmed
Khurshid, awarded $3,500, and Amy Doroff, awarded
Khurshid is a doctoral candidate in computer science
working on research that is focused on improving security
and availability of networked systems. He is developing
tools to validate routing and security properties of a network using black-box analysis of network behavior.
Doroff is a senior in industrial and enterprise systems
engineering. During her role at Deere & Co., she worked
on improving the process of installing lock collars during
combine assembly. Before she left, Doroff led a team to design a brand-new process and tool that decreased warranty
claims, reduced safety and ergonomics issues, and allowed
for process standardization internationally.
Technology Services
CITES is now Technology Services.
Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services – more commonly referred to as CITES – is changing
its name to Technology Services.
After much consultation, it became clear that students
and faculty and staff members, particularly those new to
campus, often found the acronym “CITES” difficult to understand. A common question was, “What do you do?”
Removing that immediate point of confusion is a crucial
first step in transforming Technology Services into an organization focused on meeting the changing technology needs
of students and faculty and staff members.
Faculty and staff members and students were invited to
two Technology Services town hall meetings earlier this
week to provide feedback about technology on campus and
learn more about the direction and vision for Technology
Services at Illinois.
Ending the use of “CITES” across campus will take
place over the summer.
The ways to contact the Technology Services Help Desk
will not change. For assistance, call 217-244-7000 or email
[email protected]
The Technology Services website will debut this summer.
Allerton Park and Retreat Center
Second annual plant sale is May 9-10
Allerton Park and Retreat Center will host its second annual plant sale 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 9-10 during Mother’s
Day weekend. On sale will be annuals, herbs and perennials, including arranged hanging baskets – all perfect for
gifts. All proceeds from the sale will benefit the Allerton
Volunteer Fund. Plants will be located next to the visitor
center. There will be a container plant workshop from 1-3
p.m. May 9, facilitated by the U. of I. Extension Master
Gardeners. The event is open to the public.
Technology Services
Cyberattacks down due to router
Home to one of the largest research networks, the U.
of I. constantly faces cyberattacks from around the world.
Thanks to the Black Hole Router, a new security measure
from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications
and the Office of Privacy and Information Assurance, brute
force attacks against the network have dropped from rough-
nancial assistance to
U. of I. employees in
times of crisis.
Payroll deduction
or credit card donations can be made securely online through the foundation website, Donations are
tax-deductible as allowed by law.
n For payroll deduction, click on “Giving to Illinois”
in the center of the page, then “Give Your Way,” then
“Automatic Payments,” and then “Download a Payroll
Deduction Form.”
n For credit card payments, go to the drop-down
menu listed under “Annual Funds,” click on “Select
the college, school or unit you want to support.” Select
“Faculty and Staff Emergency Fund,” and then fill in the
dollar amount you wish to pledge.
n If you wish to send a check, complete the contribution form online at
Checks should be made payable to UIF/UIUC Faculty
and Staff Emergency Fund and mailed to the U. of I.
Foundation, Harker Hall, P.O. Box 3429, Champaign, IL
61826-3429, MC-386.
For more information about the fund, visit fsap. or call 217-244-5312 or contact Debbie
McCall, chair, at [email protected] or 217-2656420. u
ly 900,000 per month to 50,000.
The router identifies malicious traffic that is constantly
scanning the U. of I.’s network looking for vulnerabilities.
Once the router identifies an attack, it automatically routes
this malicious traffic away from the campus network, drastically reducing the amount of time that the cyberattack has
to scan the U. of I.’s network.
Wayland Morgan, an information technology security
analyst, compares the bulk of these attacks to a small-time
thief walking down a street at night checking every car for
unlocked doors. But instead of just one thief probing the U.
of I.’s network, there are hundreds of thousands of network
scans that must be identified and stopped every week before
they find an “open door.”
In the past, seeing and stopping bad traffic was done by
hand. Until that traffic was stopped, the scans were able
to continue checking across the whole network. The number of scans reached a high of 904,825 in February. Since
implementing the router on March 26, the Office of Privacy
and Information Assurance has been able to route thousands
of attacks away from the network, reducing the number of
attacks to 48,028 in April.
Morgan cautions that total security is impossible. Managing risk rather than preventing it is the daily work of IT
For more information, contact Wayland Morgan at [email protected]
Fiscal Year 2015-16
Campus holiday schedule announced
The 2015-16 holiday schedule for the Urbana campus
is now available online at
Friday, July 3: Independence Day holiday
Monday, Sept. 7: Labor Day holiday
Thursday, Nov. 26: Thanksgiving Day holiday
Friday, Nov. 27: day after Thanksgiving (designated
Thursday, Dec. 24: half-day gift (from the chancellor
and the president) / half-day excused*
Friday, Dec. 25: Christmas Day holiday
Monday-Wednesday, Dec. 28-30: Reduced-service
Thursday, Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve - designated holiday
Friday, Jan. 1: New Year’s Day, holiday
Monday, Jan. 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Day – designated holiday
Monday, May 30: Memorial Day holiday
* By university policy, if Christmas falls on a Tuesday
through Friday, employees are given an excused half-day
on Christmas Eve.
**Dec. 28, 29 and 30 are reduced-service days. As in
past years, it is expected that most units will be closed and
most employees will not be working on these days. Additional information about these reduced-service days will
be available closer to the holiday period. Employees can
choose to use three days of benefits (vacation, floating holidays), or take time without pay, or any combination.
Employees have two floating holidays that can be taken
anytime during this fiscal year; however, the scheduling of
May 7, 2015 ELLNORA Guitar Festival to showcase diverse styles
By Jodi Heckel
Arts and Humanities Editor
he spectrum of music at ELLNORA: The Guitar Festival this fall
will range from traditional Mexican
guitar to southern rock, and from
jazz to classical guitar. And the diversity is
not just in the style of music, but the instruments as well. The guitar festival also features banjo, sarod, Hawaiian slack key guitar and pipa, a four-stringed Chinese lute.
The artists featured at the biennial festival – which began in 2005 and this year
will be Sept. 10-12 at Krannert Center for
the Performing Arts – include Los Lobos.
The Grammy Award-winning band returns
with its blend of rock, Tex-Mex, folk and
blues. The band played at ELLNORA (then
known as the Wall to Wall Guitar Festival)
in 2007.
Other musicians include Rodrigo y Gabriela, a Mexican acoustic guitar duo playing a mix of rock and Latin music; Punch
Brothers, a five-man band that includes U.
of I. School of Music alumnus Noam Pikelny; father-and-son jazz guitarists Bucky and
John Pizzarelli; and the Drive-By Truckers, playing Southern rock out of Athens,
This year’s artist-in-residence is clas-
photo courtesy Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
Coming to town Grammy Award
winners Los Lobos will perform at this
year’s ELLNORA: The Guitar Festival at
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
sical guitarist Sharon Isbin, a three-time
Grammy Award-winner. Isbin founded the
Juilliard School’s guitar department and is
head of the guitar department at the Aspen
Music Festival. Isbin will give the keynote
address at 3 p.m. Sept. 11. Isbin and guitarist Colin Davin will perform together Sept.
12. A one-hour documentary on the artist, titled “Sharon Isbin: Troubadour,” will
be shown at the Art Theater in downtown
Champaign on Sept. 9.
While 11 of the performances at the festival require tickets, at least that many will
be free. Among those playing free shows
these holidays is subject to departmental approval.
Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment
Registration open for iSEE Congress
The Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment has scheduled its second annual fall international conference to address a most basic human need: clean, fresh
The 2015 iSEE Congress, “Water Planet, Water Crises?
Meeting the World’s Water-Food-Energy Needs Sustainably,” is set for Sept. 14-16, in the Alice Campbell Alumni
Center on the U. of I.’s Urbana campus. Free registration is
now open at
“There is increasing recognition of the complex interconnectedness between water resources, food and energy
production, and the need for new strategies for enabling interdisciplinary knowledge and systems-thinking to significantly address global water crises,” said Madhu Khanna,
iSEE’s associate director for education and outreach. “Water is demanded for itself and as a critical input for energy
and food production, leading to an interaction between water, food and energy resources – and efforts to address one
will impact the other two.
“Water is used not only for human needs but also to
maintain ecosystem services, which in turn affects human livelihoods and well-being. There is also increasing
evidence that climate change is leading to increased hydrologic variability with a significant impact on the hydrologic
cycle, water availability and water demand at the global,
regional and local levels.”
Addressing these challenges across national and regional boundaries requires coordinated action by researchers,
government and non-governmental organizations – in conjunction with industry practitioners. Multinational companies have become major participants in the water sector,
which is rapidly leading to globalization of water resources.
This event, organized by iSEE and campus water scholars, will provide a forum to not only discuss the challenges
are jazz-rock guitarist John Scofield, who
has played and recorded with Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Pat Metheny, Jack
DeJohnette, Phil Lesh, Herbie Hancock,
Government Mule, Mavis Staples and Joe
Henderson. Scofield will close the festival
with Jon Cleary.
Other performers playing free concerts
include Valerie June, a singer-songwriter
performing roots/country/bluegrass music, who will play with acoustic fingerstyle
guitarist Andy McKee; Los Lobos member
David Hidalgo with guitarist and composer
Marc Ribot; singer-songwriter Jessica Lea
Mayfield; and Earth, based in Olympia,
ELLNORA’s opening night will feature
Luther Dickinson – the festival’s artist-inresidence in 2011 – playing Southern blues
with his brother, Cody, in the North Mississippi Allstars. For the $5 opening night
ticket price, audiences will also hear sets
from AJ Ghent Band playing sacred steel
blues; Terakaft, a desert blues band from
Mali; the John Jorgenson Quintet playing
gypsy jazz; and Australian blues-rock guitarist Mia Dyson.
ELLNORA – named for Ellnora
Krannert, a founder of Krannert Center for
the Performing Arts – features a number of
of global water availability but also to highlight an agenda
for actionable research, iSEE Director Evan DeLucia said.
“Our Institute’s role is to foster ‘uncommon dialogues’
like this one – bringing together experts in several disciplines to potentially form research collaborations,” DeLucia said. “Open discussions like this can help us go beyond
disciplinary boundaries and get us directly to real-world
More about the Congress is online at
May 20-22 conference
Focus is on health issues in Africa
Infectious disease expert Mosoka P. Fallah, one of five
“Ebola fighters” honored as a Person of the Year by Time in
2014, will be among the speakers at an upcoming symposium at the U. of I.
“Health in Africa and the Post-2015 Millennium Development Agenda,” May 20-22, will explore the health
threats and opportunities facing sub-Saharan Africa.
Researchers will examine the progress made toward the
United Nations’ eight millennium development goals over
the past 14 years, and will identify new health objectives,
targets and indicators for the future. Issues such as food
security, nutrition and health; infant, child and maternal
health; and aging and noncommunicable/degenerative diseases will be explored in panel discussions.
“The scale of the challenges facing Africa demands an
extraordinary response, and necessitates bringing together
an interdisciplinary group of researchers to advance recommendations,” said Juliet Iwelunmor, a professor of kinesiology and community health, is coordinating the event along
with Diana Grigsby-Toussaint, a professor in the same department, and geography professor Ezekiel Kalipeni.
“The conference will bring together more than 50 research experts from around the world, and give the academic community a voice in establishing health priorities
in Africa,” Iwelunmor said. “With Carle Illinois College of
prominent women artists. The “first lady of
banjo” Abigail Washburn will perform with
her husband, Béla Fleck. Other female artists include bluegrass singer and Grammy
nominee Rhonda Vincent; Hawaiian hula
dancer and chanter Moanalani Beamer, who
will play with slack key guitarists Keola
Beamer and Jeff Peterson; and pipa player
Min Xiao-Fen.
For a completely different type of show,
ELLNORA offers Squonk’s Pneumatica, an
outdoor event of music and air, featuring
a 40-foot-tall inflatable statue with a wind
turbine head and accordion lungs breathing
steam. The all-ages performance will take
place twice on both Sept. 11 and 12. Dan
Zanes and Friends will also provide familyfriendly entertainment in a Sept. 12 show
celebrating the music of Lead Belly.
Festival passes and tickets go on sale
Aug. 15. The festival passes include access to 10 ticketed events (excluding Dan
Zanes and Friends on Sept. 12). They cost
$330 for the general public, $285 for senior
citizens, $140 for students and $95 for U.
of I. students and youth. Single event prices
vary. u
Medicine establishing the nation’s first engineering-based
medical school on campus, addressing core-critical issues
in global health is a step toward making the campus a leader
in global health concerns.”
Fallah will give a plenary talk on the use of mobile
health – also called “mhealth” – technology in battling the
Ebola epidemic in his native Liberia. Fallah was instrumental in coordinating the responses of community leaders in
the region.
Collins O. Airihenbuwa, a professor and the department
head of biobehavioral health at Pennsylvania State University, will give the event’s second plenary talk, discussing
the role of culture in bridging global health inequities. Airihenbuwa is the lab director of the Global Health and Culture Project at Penn State, studying health and behavioral
issues among African and African-American populations.
“We are very fortunate to have someone such as Mosoka
Fallah, who has really been in the trenches at the forefront
of the response to the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa,
and will speak to us about his experience building community resources to track the disease and curb its spread,” said
Grigsby-Toussaint, who also is a professor of nutritional
sciences. “The diverse group of conference participants
hopefully will allow us to find synergy across disciplinespecific theories and concepts as we strive to meet the call
for global health action as part of the post-2015 development agenda.”
The National Science Foundation is a major sponsor of
the conference, along with several units at Illinois, including the Illinois Strategic International Partnership, International Programs and Studies, the department of kinesiology
and community health, and the department of geography
and geographic information science.
The symposium will be held in the Hawthorn Suites
Conference Center, 101 Trade Center Drive, Champaign.
The event is free and open to the public, but registration
is required. To register, or for more information, visit the
conference website, u
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May 7, 2015
Krannert Art Museum to showcase student work
By Jodi Heckel
Arts and Humanities Editor
rannert Art Museum and the
School of Art and Design will
display the work of graduating
seniors in art and design. The
School of Art and Design Bachelor of Fine
Arts Exhibition opens May 9, with a public
reception from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibition
will be on display in the East and Gelvin
Noel galleries through May 17.
This annual
show allows family members and the
community to see the studio art and design
work that students have been creating. It
will include work from a variety of disciplines, including photography, graphic design, painting, sculpture, metals, industrial
design, new media, art education and art
“This annual spring exhibition is an opportunity for us to showcase the work of
our highly accomplished students, many
of whom will go on to become recognized
leaders in their field,” said Nan Goggin, the
director of the School of Art and Design.
“Their work is a source of great pride for
the faculty who have watched them develop
and mature as artists.”
Sixty-eight seniors will exhibit 139 art
and design objects in the show.
Mason Pott, a senior in painting, is one
of the student coordinators of the show. He
said the show will represent what students
have been working on during the past year,
but it’s not strictly a thesis show.
“Often students choose work from their
thesis, because that is what they are most
confident in and what they have spent the
most time and effort on,” he said.
Pott will show a 5-foot by 3½-foot
painting he created for his senior thesis. It
originated from a computer scan of his face,
courtesy of the artist
BFA candidate in painting Mason Pott. Study of Self, 2015. Ink on paper.
which he made for fun but also to see what
it looked like. He scanned his face several
times, moving it around until the image was
very obscure.
“Then I did some computer manipulations of that image to continue to skew it,
and then eventually started painting that image,” Pott said. “It’s definitely pretty weird.
It’s a portrait, but only in part, because
things are stretched and kind of melting and
obscured in one way or another.”
Pott is interested in how humans see
the world versus how machines do, “and
how people are very quick to believe a
photograph,” even though it can easily be
“I like to make paintings that are very
obviously digitally altered, to take this misconception and bring it to the forefront of
what people are looking at,” Pott said.
More information about the exhibition,
which is sponsored by the museum and
John and Alice Pfeffer, is available online.
The museum website includes a complete
list of exhibiting artists, an image gallery
and links to the online portfolios of many of
the students. u
courtesy of the artist
Above, BFA candidate in photography
Jayme Eng. Rose, 2015. Color photograph.
At left, BFA candidate in metals Weija
Wang. Restraint Necklace, 2015. Silver.
courtesy of the artist
BFA candidate in industrial design Roshni Doshi. Exploration
Sketches, 2015. Digital image.
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courtesy of the artist