For the Record

Civic leadership
In October longtime Chicago Tribune editor and Pulitzer-winning journalist Ann Marie Lipinski joined the University as vice president for civic engagement, a new position designed to strengthen the University’s partnerships with local neighbors and city institutions. Lipinski—whose portfolio includes work with the Chicago Public Schools, the city’s bid for the 2016 Olympics, and neighborhood public safety—will also serve as a senior lecturer in the College.

Rankings without borders
Chicago placed eighth in the 2008 Times Higher Education Supplement–Quacquarelli Symonds world university rankings, falling one spot from last year. The annual assessment of the world’s leading universities awarded the top three slots to Harvard, Yale, and the University of Cambridge, respectively. The University of Oxford, California Institute of Technology, Imperial College London, and University College London followed.

Financial strategist on board
Economist Kermit Daniel, AM’86, PhD’93, became the University’s first-ever vice president for financial strategy and budget in September. A former management consultant and assistant economics professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Daniel works with the trustees, deans, and officers to develop integrated financial planning for the University.

Score for systems science
Scientists at the new Chicago Center for Systems Biology will receive more than $15 million over five years from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Researchers will use the funds to explore how networks of genes work together, allowing cells and organisms to adapt to environmental and genetic change. Another $3 million over three years—from the Chicago Biomedical Consortium—is earmarked for facilities and a research fellows program.

Nobel has Chicago footnote
One of the few nonfiction works of Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, this year’s recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, was published by the University of Chicago Press and translated by press employee Teresa Lavender Fagan. The book, The Mexican Dream: Or, The Interrupted Thought of Amerindian Civilizations, explores how early Indians might have influenced Western society were it not for the arrival of the conquistadores.

Olopade accolade
Olufunmilayo Olopade, director of Chicago’s Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics, was one of 65 new members elected to the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine (IOM) this fall. Olopade, the Walter L. Palmer distinguished service professor, studies the expression, prevention, and treatment of breast cancer among moderate- and high-risk populations.

Row, row, row whose boat?
Without a trailer, the Chicago crew club planned to get its shells and oars to Boston’s Head of the Charles Regatta with help from the Wheaton College team. But when Wheaton’s trailer broke down en route to the October 18–19 event, Williams College stepped in. In borrowed vessels, Chicago’s four-man crew placed 12th of 31, and the women finished 15th of 35, guaranteeing both teams a spot in next year’s competition.

Sleep expert heads pediatrics
Pediatric sleep researcher David Gozal will take over as pediatrics department chair at the U of C Medical Center February 1. An expert on the developmental neurobiology of respiratory control, sleep-disordered breathing, and treatment of pediatric sleep disorders, he comes to Chicago from the University of Louisville, where he was vice chair for research and director of the Kosair Children’s Hospital Research Institute, a center dedicated to studies on sleep and neurobiology, diabetes, and tumor biology.

Restoring Iraq’s cultural heritage
The Oriental Institute will collaborate with the city’s Field Museum to create a two-year development program for Iraqi museum professionals as part of the Iraq Cultural Heritage Project. Funded by a $13 million grant from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the project hopes to revitalize museums and cultural institutions devastated by decades of conflict. Participants will focus on learning new methods of preservation.

Take a bow, Behnke
After 11 years as vice president and dean of College enrollment, Michael C. Behnke will retire in July. Instrumental in strengthening College admissions, Behnke helped the University reach out to a broader range of applicants, yielding a more ethnically and financially diverse student body. On his watch, African American enrollment increased 120 percent’ Hispanic and Latino 157 percent, and international 122 percent. Meanwhile, SAT scores, applications, and selectivity all soared.

What’s human? What’s not?
Nicholas Epley, professor of behavioral science in the Graduate School of Business, won the 2008 Theoretical Innovation Award from the Society of Personality and Social Psychology. The first business-school faculty member to win the award, Epley was cited for research on what makes people attribute humanlike characteristics to nonhumans. The theory, expected to generate new thinking about social and personality psychology, also sheds light on instances of dehumanization, where people deny others human traits.

Chess moves
Sarra Jahedi, ’09, captured a slice of Hyde Park culture in her short film, The Game. The work profiles the chess players who frequent Washington Park and the Reynolds Club. Jahedi plans to turn the six-minute piece, screened at the Film Studies Center this past spring, into a 30-minute documentary. The biology major also hopes to attend medical school—but not before spending a few years pursuing film.

Law on order
Web site has named the U of C Law School Faculty Podcast ( as one of Ten Legal Podcasts to Keep You Informed. The program, which features lectures, debates, and other legal discussion, rubs shoulders on the list with left-leaning podcast Law and Disorder and several shows from the American Bar Association.

Doctors to the South Side, stat
Pritzker School of Medicine grads who choose to practice in the South Side’s underserved communities will soon be eligible to receive financial support through REACH (Repayment for Education to Alumni in Community Health). The REACH initiative provides $40,000 a year, up to four years, for alumni who complete a residency in primary care or other in-demand specialty, and then return to work at a federally qualified health center or community hospital in the Medical Center’s primary service area.

Compound interest
Biomedical researchers at the U of C, along with partners from Northwestern and the University of Illinois at Chicago, have received $9.2 million from the National Institutes of Health to identify chemical compounds for use in drug development. The Chicago Tri-Institutional Center for Chemical Methods and Library Development, slated to open next spring, will more quickly synthesize compounds potentially useful in combating cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and infectious diseases. An additional $2 million from the Chicago Biomedical Consortium will support center infrastructure.

Social networking as college prep
Chicago’s Urban Education Institute hopes to boost college attendance through its new “6 to 16” program, targeted at public-school students, many of whom may be first-generation college applicants. To be launched in January, the initiative combines online networking and live classroom teams to guide students grade six and older through the high-school and college selection processes. Each student will work with a team of teachers, advisers, friends, and family members to find the best school fit for them.

Splash into learning
Some 200 Chicago-area high-school students converged on campus October 4 to be schooled in sketch comedy, beginning Arabic, and more than 90 other subjects. For the five-hour program, organized by student community-service group Splash, which aims to expose teens to topics they might not normally encounter, 80 College students designed and taught a course of their choosing. Offerings included Pasta Making, Brain Dissection, and Knitting 101.

Return to top