For the record

Medicine gets a new chair
Everett E. Vokes took over March 9 as chair of the Department of Medicine. Vokes, who joined the U of C Medical Center in 1983 as a hematology/oncology fellow, helped pioneer the combined use of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. He also has served as deputy director of the University’s Cancer Research Center and vice chair for clinical research in the department. He replaced Joe G. N. Garcia, the chair since 2005. Vokes is leading a review of plans for emergency-room configuration and locating more general-care capacity at nearby hospital partners.

Lerer’s criticism constructive
Seth Lerer, PhD’81, has won the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism for Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History from Aesop to Harry Potter (University of Chicago Press). Lerer is the dean of arts and humanities at the University of California, San Diego.

Gunning passes Mellon screening
Film historian and theorist Thomas Gunning received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The award carries a grant—up to $1.5 million over three years—to support his research, “Poetics of the Moving Image,” on the historical and aesthetic context of film, along with a visiting professorship, graduate-student research, and public conferences.

Isaacs leads Argonne
University physicist Eric D. Isaacs has been promoted to director of Argonne National Laboratory. Previously he led strategic planning at Argonne and directed its Center for Nanoscale Materials. Isaacs succeeds Robert Rosner, who returns to full-time teaching in the Physical Sciences Division and the College after his four-year term as director.

College admits Nondorf
Jim Nondorf becomes vice president and dean of College admissions and financial aid July 1, replacing the retiring Michael Behnke. Nondorf currently is vice president for enrollment and dean of undergraduate and graduate admissions at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Before his career in higher education, he worked in the technology industry and helped found a charter school in Tampa, Florida.

A thing that goes bump
David Lieb and Jake Mintz, first-year students at Chicago Booth, have developed an application that transfers contact information between two iPhones with a fist bump. It works just like it sounds: two people holding iPhones equipped with the free Bump app can share data by bumping hands. To put it another way, Lieb explained to the Chicago Tribune, the app “monitors the accelerometers in the two phones and a smart matching algorithm running in the cloud is able to match up any two phones in the world that bump each other.” In April a 13-year-old made Bump the one billionth app downloaded from Apple.

Obama taps Easton for institute
President Obama has nominated John Q. Easton, PhD’81, for a six-year term as director of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), pending Senate confirmation. Easton, the executive director of the University’s Consortium on Chicago School Research since 2002, will oversee four national centers at the IES, which funds research studies on improving academic achievement and evaluates federal education programs.

Third-year named Truman Scholar
Sociology major Antonia Clifford, ’10, has received a Truman Scholarship, one of 65 third-year students in the United States honored annually for public service and achievement in policy studies. Clifford, who studies mental health and issues of identity among young people, plans to use the $30,000 award toward a master’s in public policy and public health.

Well-fed from the Fed well
Three faculty members have earned major federal grants: Mathias Drton, assistant professor in statistics and the College, received $400,000 from the National Science Foundation to support his study, “Statistical Interference in Algebraic Models with Singularities.” Greg Engel, assistant professor in chemistry and the College, got $300,000 from the Air Force’s Young Investigator Research Program for his work harnessing solar power using a novel strategy to design photocatalysts. Robin Santra, an Argonne physicist and assistant professor, won a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, which provides $250,000 over five years for her research in atomic, molecular, and optical science.

Kass looks for an honest man
Leon R. Kass, SB’58, MD’62, the Addie Clark Harding professor in the College and the Committee on Social Thought, delivers the 2009 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities May 21 in Washington. The National Endowment for the Humanities sponsors the annual lecture, which honors distinguished intellectual achievement. Kass, who chaired the President’s Council on Bioethics from 2001 until 2005, will speak on “‘Looking for an Honest Man’: Reflections of an Unlicensed Humanist.”

Five young fellows
Five faculty members have received $50,000 research fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation: Florencia Canelli, assistant professor in physics and the College; Mathias Drton, assistant professor in statistics and the College; Matthew Gentzkow, associate professor in economics and a Neubauer Family Faculty Fellow at Chicago Booth; Luis Silvestre, assistant professor in mathematics and the College; and Dmitri Talapin, assistant professor in chemistry and the College. Sloan Foundation fellowships support young researchers in math and science.

Farrell to direct policy center
Betty G. Farrell, associate director of the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences, has been appointed director of the Cultural Policy Center. Farrell, the coeditor of Entering Cultural Communities: Diversity and Change in the Nonprofit Arts (Rutgers University Press, 2008), starts her new role in July.

Former president earns a degree
University President Emeritus Don M. Randel received an honorary doctorate of humane letters during Winter Convocation in March. Randel, a musicologist and president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, was cited for bridging the humanities and the sciences during his 2000–06 tenure as Chicago’s president, in addition to being “an inspiring teacher and a brilliant speaker.”

Mr. Quigley goes to Washington
Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley, AM’95, won an April 7 special election to fill Illinois’s Fifth District congressional seat vacated by Barack Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. Quigley, a Democrat, received 70 percent of the vote to defeat Republican Rosanna Pulido and Green Party candidate Matt Reichel.

Pevehouse lands Deutsch Award
Harris School of Public Policy Studies Associate Professor Jon Pevehouse has been recognized with the 2009 Karl Deutsch Award, which goes to a scholar under 40 who has made “the most significant contribution to the study of international relations and peace research.” The International Studies Association cited Pevehouse’s “contributions to understanding the impact of international organizations on democratization processes and outcomes, as well as his work on crucial aspects of U.S. policy to use deadly force.”

Taking the long view
Riccardo Levi-Setti, professor emeritus in physics and the College, received the Fifth International Prize for Investigations in Paleontology for his 2006 paper, “The eyes of trilobites: The oldest preserved visual system,” published in the journal Arthropod Structure and Development. The award, presented by the United Paleontological Foundation in Teruel-Dinopolis of Spain’s autonomous Aragon region, had personal resonance for Levi-Setti, “since my grandmother’s ancestors were kicked out of Spain in 1492 by the same government, by order of Fernando and Isabella.”

Human rights: a major minor
For the first time since the Human Rights Program was established in 1997, the College is offering a minor in the subject. Students who complete at least five courses not used toward other minors or concentrations will receive recognition on their diplomas, beginning with the Class of 2009.

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