On the Quads

By Brooke E. O’Neill, AM’04

A 15-foot papier-mâché iguana was among the highly evolved creatures celebrating Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday in February. Lab Schools teacher Philip Matsikas created the iguana, which was part of a February 12 parade on campus. The undergraduate club Phoenix Biology organized the events, which included a poetry contest and T-shirt sales, in honor of Darwin. The group plans to make the iguana parade an annual event….

For the second year in a row, U of C alumni made up the nation’s highest number of Peace Corps volunteers among schools with 5,000 or fewer students. Thirty-five recent grads volunteered in 2008, joining the roster of nearly 700 alumni who have served with the corps. Chicago, with an undergraduate enrollment of about 4,900, has been on the organization’s top-schools list for the past nine years….

Fourth-year Thomas Graham has won a Churchill Scholarship to study under theoretical chemist Robert Best at the University of Cambridge. Graham will receive $44,000–$50,000 for the 2009–10 academic year as he pursues his MPhil in chemistry….

Third-years Erin Mowers and Donnie Bungum were named Goldwater Scholars for their accomplishments in science. The prize provides science undergraduates up to $7,500 per year toward college expenses. Bungum, a chemistry and biochemistry major, studies organometallic synthesis, while Mowers, a biology and chemistry major, researches cancer-drug development….

The nationwide college gossip Web site Juicy Campus closed in February, but interest in it at Chicago had been waning for months. On Juicy Campus, and other sites like it, students can post anonymous items, often touching on salacious and controversial topics. “Clearly fictitious or irrelevant entries,” writes Steve Saltarelli, ’10, in the Maroon, contributed to apathy about the site on campus. He also attributed the increasing local indifference to “spotty postings and banality that results from our unique campus nerdery.”

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