image: University of Chicago Magazine - logo

link to: featureslink to: class news, books, deathslink to: chicago journal, college reportlink to: investigationslink to: editor's notes, letters, chicagophile, course work
link to: back issueslink to: contact forms, address updateslink to: staff info, ad rates, subscriptions

FEBRUARY 2000 (print version)

College Report:
Campus News (print version)

College scholars cross the pond…again
Current Rhodes scholar Erin A. Bohula, AB’99, advises the University’s newly named Rhodes and Marshall scholarship winners to cultivate a taste for mayonnaise, because in Britain, where they’ll be studying, “it’s served with everything.” She also suggests that they bring umbrellas and be ready “to meet some amazing people, both students and teachers.”

Bohula is one of four alumni who received prestigious British scholarships last year. Maureen N. Dunne, AB’98, AM’98, and Mira C. Lutgendorf, AB’99, also received Rhodes scholarships, while Elizabeth M. Evenson, AB’99, was awarded a Marshall scholarship.

Two more College students and two more recent grads will be following in their footsteps next year: a Rhodes scholar and three Marshall scholars, all of whom plan to study at the University of Oxford. Chicago’s 35th Rhodes scholar, Jasdip S. (“Jesse”) Kharbanda, AB’99, was one of 32 U.S. students to receive the honor this past December. One week later, Robert R. Chenault, AB’99, and fourth-years Sarah C. Bagby and David B. Haglund became three of 40 Americans to pick up a Marshall. This is the first time three University of Chicago students have received the scholarship in one year, bringing Chicago’s total number of Marshall winners to 15.

Established in 1902 by British patriot Cecil J. Rhodes, his scholarship provides tuition and living expenses for up to three years of study at Oxford. The Marshall scholarship program was founded by an act of the British Parliament in 1953 and commemorates the ideals of the Marshall Plan. Funded by the British government, the scholarship provides tuition and a living stipend to Americans for two years of study at any British university.

While on his Rhodes, Kharbanda will study economic theory and environmental science. Interested in the potential effects of global warming on small-scale farmers in the developing world, he says he would like to pursue a career in environmental public policy as both a researcher and an advocate.

Bagby plans to apply her Marshall toward the study of biochemistry. She wants to explore how malfunctions in the internal communication of single cells can lead to diseases such as cancer and cholera, hopefully yielding clues to the development of therapies for these diseases. She would also like to pursue a career in teaching. “Challenging my students stimulates me to challenge myself,” says Bagby, who has served as a teaching assistant in biology. “And coming up with new ways of explaining what we know helps me to find new questions to ask about what we don’t know.”

Chenault will study classics, looking for ways to make Greek and Latin available to more students at a younger age. He hopes to one day establish an educational academy that will include training in Greek and Latin--subjects he believes provide great joy while training young minds in interdisciplinary subjects. Chenault credits Chicago’s classics department with kindling his love for the subject: “When people ask me what there is for a classicist but to teach classics, I say nothing would please me more than to interest others in the field that has given me such pleasure.”

Haglund plans to study English literature on his way to becoming an essayist and a biographer of Wallace Stevens. He says he would eventually like to write and edit for such literary publications as the New York Review of Books. “I must thank Wayne Booth for feeding my growing passion for literature and thoughtfulness and then assisting that pursuit as perhaps no one else has,” he adds.

Dunne, one of Chicago’s current Rhodes scholars, says the recent winners may be surprised by how different it feels to pursue their intellectual passions at Oxford, without an American emphasis on output, deadlines, or tests. “You can escape to a garden and read for hours because the supervisors here encourage you to read and re-read until you think about your material differently,” she says, advising them to prepare to live life more slowly, and perhaps more fully, next year.

And, if mayonnaise isn’t the new group of scholars’ condiment of choice, Bohula recommends opting for Britain’s other culinary passion--Indian cuisine.--Jennifer Leovy

Alumni help third-years take the next career step
On January 15, more than 400 third-years eagerly sought words of wisdom from 66 University alumni at the third annual Taking the Next Step conference, co-sponsored by the Maroon Key Society and the Student Alumni Association--with assistance from the Alumni Association, Career and Placement Services, the Office of the Reynolds Club and Student Activities, and the University Community Service Center. The event, held at the Chicago Hilton and Towers, was funded by the Office of the Dean of the College. Designed to give students advice on how to make the transition from college to the “real world,” the conference featured 16 different panels on a range of possible post-graduation pursuits, from careers in the sciences and the arts to graduate programs to hi-tech jobs.

“The entire day was a very inspirational experience that happened just at the right time,” concluded one conference attendee, third-year Katrina A. Oppen. “I had recently been panicking about internships for the summer and career choices for the future, and hearing the stories of U of C grads old and new helped to calm my fears about the job application process ahead of us."

Buses left campus every 15 minutes beginning at 9 a.m. to shuttle third-years downtown. Told to dress casually, the students left their interview suits at home and mingled in jeans and sweaters. After Alumni Association president and Washington Post columnist Bob Levey, AB’66, reassured students in his opening remarks that the College will prepare them well for the future, they struck out for the panel discussions. Panelists included alumni from across the country who work for organizations as diverse as NASA, J.Crew, Pfizer, NBC News, Second City, the White House, Merrill Lynch, the Center for AIDS Research at San Francisco General Hospital, and Ameritrade.

“We really strove to have the greatest breadth of topics possible in order to attract the greatest number of students,” said fourth-year Jessica Robinson, a co-chair of this year’s conference planning committee.

The bottom-line message behind many of the alumni comments was perhaps best summed up by luncheon keynote speaker Elizabeth Michaels, AB’88, who is the president and business director of Chicago-based Jellyvision, an interactive media company responsible for the game You Don’t Know Jack. Michaels advised the students: “Make sure that whatever it is you do is something that you have a real passion for, something that you’re going to feel great about.”--C.S.


The Interfraternity Council (IFC) represents seven of the University’s roughly one-dozen fraternities and serves a three-fold purpose: communicating among the fraternities, regulating pledging and other interfraternity issues, and coordinating joint functions with the University’s two sororities. Nate Norstrud, ’00, the IFC’s vice president, gives a glimpse of the Greeks:

Greek events
Each weekend there’s at least one fraternity or sorority party, and at many of the fraternities there are weekly study breaks for the general public. At the end of the year, Greek Week brings all of the fraternities and sororities together to hold events both for the public and the Greeks. Each night, a different fraternity and sorority host a study break--for two or three of them, we charge a can of soup or a pair of socks for admission, which is funneled back to philanthropic organizations. We also have a closed event just for Greeks, but the week culminates in a big party for the general public. On the community service side, all of the fraternities contribute--through tutoring at local high schools or other initiatives, and a yearly fundraiser for a philanthropic cause.

Campus image
It’s not too popular to be Greek here because of the nature of the U of C as an academically vigorous institution, where students don’t have time to get involved in many social activities. There are people who look down on the whole life. When I hear people speaking negatively, I’ll mention that I’m in a Greek organization, and it’s a real surprise to them. I’ve diminished a few stereotypes.

You automatically have people that you can really resonate with, go out with at night and have a good time. But the fraternities and sororities also come together and help each other in their academic pursuits. Then there’s the whole aspect of brotherhood--or sisterhood. The University of Chicago can be a lonely place, and you can go through a lot of struggles. To have a fraternity brother or a sorority sister can give you the kind of aid and support that can definitely help you here.

Want to be Greek?
We’re looking for the best and the brightest. We look at GPA, at initiative, sense of purpose. We want to know that it will be a mutually beneficial relationship. Involvement in campus life is a requirement for membership in most of the fraternities and sororities.

Role of alumni
There is strong alumni contact. In any given quarter, the fraternities hold receptions and they invite alumni. Alumni are a tremendous source of resources, especially financially. Each fraternity or sorority has a chapter adviser who is an alumnus or an alumna, and they communicate constantly. There’s an incredible network of connections in terms of getting support professionally.

In terms of social events, we do the IFC Sing spring quarter, where all of the fraternities and sororities get together with their alumni and sing two songs important to their group. The event holds significant meaning for many current and alumni Greek members.

Administration support
Greeks on the U of C campus know their limits and adhere pretty strictly to policy and regulation. It would be nice to have a little more support from the administrative standpoint, but they have some pretty liberal policies that the fraternities and sororities appreciate.--B.B.


Admissions stats
The Office of College Admissions saw a 36 percent increase in early applicants this fall with 1,648 applications, up from 1,215 last year and 862 in 1997. Michael Behnke, vice president and associate dean for enrollment, says this 91 percent increase in two years can be attributed to the success of a new outreach program to high-school sophomores. Early applicants scoring in the top tier of the SAT (1,500 to 1,600) doubled this year, increasing 158 percent over the past two years. Regional interest from the western United States increased by 61 percent from last year, while early applications from New England rose by 38 percent.

Smarts in the city
The U of C College Bowl team emerged victorious from competition against rival Northwestern in a tournament dubbed “Smartest in the City.” The defending national champions, the U of C College Bowlers are on a winning streak, claiming victory in 12 of the last 13 regional matches. College Bowl tournament questions range from science and history to pop culture and sports.

Student Activities Fair
Nearly 500 students attended the January 16 Student Activities Fair, where 125 student and University organizations, geared to cultural, preprofessional, sports, or other interests, were represented. The second such fair held this year for College students, it allowed groups to “put the word out and let students know what they’re doing,” says student organization coordinator Jennifer Parry Bird, AB’97. “It was also a chance to rekindle interest now that students are in winter quarter and a little less swamped.”

CULTURAL STUDIES: When not showing recent blockbusters on Friday and Saturday nights, Doc Films caters to more esoteric film buffs, offering a different category of film for each weekday:

SUNDAY: The Last War
The Dawn Patrol, Edmund Goulding, 1938. The film depicts young men in a WWI fighter squadron constantly coping with death and killing. The British airmen fly missions on command as is their duty, but they also share a professionalism with the German pilots they battle daily.

MONDAY: Surrealist Visions
Landscape Suicide, James Benning, 1986. Benning explores locations that have been scarred by murders, intercutting poetic and quiet landscape shots with haunting portrayals of the murderers based on court transcripts.

TUESDAY: African Cinema
Everyone’s Child, Tsitsi Dangarembga, 1996. Dangarembga follows the lives of four children orphaned when their parents die of AIDS-related complications. This 35-mm film shows how a village eventually recognizes its responsibility for the orphans when one of them dies accidentally.

Mountains of the Moon, Bob Rafelson, 1990. Partially based on journals, Mountains chronicles Victorian explorer Sir Richard Francis on his explorations through Africa, focusing on the man and his relationship with fellow explorer John Hanning Speke.

Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht, Werner Herzog, 1979. This eerie remake of F. W. Murnau’s silent horror classic relates the story of a man who ignores his wife’s premonitions and travels from his small town in 1850s Germany to close a real-estate deal with the bald, pale, and fragile-looking Count Dracula.


All-America honor(s)
Third-year middle linebacker Daniel T. Philips was named to both the Hewlett-Packard and Football Gazette NCAA Division III All-America football teams in December. In 1999, Philips recorded at least ten tackles in every game and led the Maroons (5-4) with 141 stops on the year. He is the fifth Chicago football player to garner All-America status since 1990.

Women’s soccer stars
Fourth-years Cinnamon M. Pace and Jessica C. Berry were named to the 1999 NSCAA/Adidas Scholar Athlete All-America Team in January. Pace, who garnered All-Central Regional status in 1999, and Berry, who earned All-America honors in 1999, were among ten players chosen from NCAA Division III institutions nationwide.

Men’s basketball
The Maroons go into February with a winning record, spurred on by a UAA athlete of the week, first-year Derek M. Reich. He’s the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, responsible for driving Chicago to victory in January against a pair of conference rivals, Carnegie Mellon and Emory. .

Swimming qualifier
In a dual meet against Wheaton College on January 15, second-year Jeremy E. Lankford recorded a time that was under the NCAA’s National B-standard--posting a time of 53.56 seconds in the 100-meter backstroke.

Women’s lacrosse
The lacrosse team ranks in the Midwest’s top ten, according to the Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse League. The league’s preseason poll has Chicago at number 10 (of 30-plus teams), joined by Big Ten competitors Michigan (1), Michigan State (4), Northwestern (5), Ohio State (7), Wisconsin (8), and Illinois (9). The Maroons (9-4-1 in ‘99) will look to build on last year’s playoff success--when they reached the quarterfinals of league competition at the University of Toledo.

 link to: top of the page


uchicago® ©2000 The University of Chicago® Magazine 1313 E. 60th St., Chicago, IL 60637
phone: 773/702-2163 fax: 773/702-2166