For the record


New dean for BSD research
Conrad Gilliam, the Biological Sciences Division’s human-genetics chair since 2004, has been named to the new position of dean for research and graduate education. Gilliam, the Marjorie I. and Bernard A. Mitchell professor of human genetics and a senior fellow in the Computation Institute and the Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology, taught at Harvard and Columbia before coming to Chicago.

Math addition equals coup
Mathematician Ngô Bao Châu joins Chicago as a professor in September. Châu, 37, now at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, has advanced two central areas of modern mathematics—number theory and representation theory—with a proof that Time magazine named one of 2009’s top ten scientific discoveries. Physical-sciences dean Robert Fefferman called Châu “one of the great mathematicians of our time.”

Diverse leaders honored
Duel Richardson, AB’67, and Evette Cardona, AM’98, received the University’s 2010 Diversity Leadership Awards at a January 14 reception honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Richardson directs neighborhood relations and education in the University’s Office of Civic Engagement. Cardona, a program officer for the Polk Brothers Foundation, founded the nonprofit women’s organization Amigas Latinas.

Helping hands in Haiti
Three University surgeons and two nurses arrived January 25 at the Dominican Republic–Haiti border to help operate a hospital for earthquake refugees. Delivering more than 1,000 pounds of medical supplies, the initial University team served for two weeks, providing surgical and postoperative care, mostly amputations and treatment for complex fractures. Teams of five to eight orthopedic and trauma specialists planned to rotate every two weeks, with the expectation that public-health and infectious-disease experts would also be needed. 

A record for research funding
Federal and other research funding increased 11 percent in FY09 to a University-record $471.8 million. Chicago received more than 2,000 awards in all—including 60 for more than $1 million—from federal agencies and private sources such as corporations, foundations, and nonprofits. More than two-thirds of Chicago’s awards came from the Department of Health and Human Services. The National Science Foundation granted $32 million, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act kicked in $5 million.

Now he’s everyone’s arts prize
Renaissance Society Director of Education and Associate Curator Hamza Walker, AB’88, has received the $100,000 Ordway Prize, which honors achievement in contemporary art from an international pool of nominees who have not been widely recognized. Walker has curated Renaissance Society exhibits such as Black Is; Black Ain’t (2008) and All the Pretty Corpses (2005). Walker told the Chicago Reader that his plans for the prize money include buying his seven-year-old daughter a new harp. 

Schiele develops interim role
Michele M. Schiele, vice president and associate dean for Medical Center development, has been appointed interim vice president for alumni relations and development. A 14-year Medical Center veteran, Schiele led two campaigns that exceeded their goals—the $71 million Campaign for Children that started with a $50 million goal, and an $810 million capital campaign that had a $550 million target. A national search is ongoing to replace Ronald J. Schiller, who left in October to become National Public Radio’s chief fund-raiser. A permanent successor will be named later this year. 

Benjamins from Washington
The University has joined the Federal Direct Student Loan Program, effective for the 2010–11 academic year. Under the program, students will obtain loans from the federal government through financial-aid offices rather than private banks and credit unions. Market turmoil caused many of those institutions to stop brokering federal loans, prompting the U of C’s move to the direct program, which includes more than 2,000 colleges and universities.

National labs are Quinn’s business
Tracey Quinn, a business-development strategist for Abbott Laboratories since 2008, joined the University February 8 as assistant vice president for national laboratories. In that role Quinn serves as secretary to the UChicago Argonne LLC board of governors and the Fermi Research Alliance LLC board of directors.

Risk and regulation
The Chicago Booth School of Business and Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank have established a partnership to expand risk-management and financial-regulation education. As part of the deal, Deutsche Bank funds a PhD summer conference and a lecture series for MBA students, Risk and Regulation in Financial Markets, which began in February. 

Heineman honors Kolb, Turner
Edward “Rocky” Kolb and Michael Turner received the 2010 Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics, presented by the American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society. Kolb, the Arthur Holly Compton distinguished service professor and chair of astronomy and astrophysics, and Turner, the Bruce V. and Diana M. Rautner distinguished service professor in astronomy and astrophysics, cowrote The Early Universe, a monograph considered the handbook for the astrophysics field. 

SECC makes an executive decision
Wendy Walker Williams has been named executive director of the South East Chicago Commission (SECC). Williams most recently worked as assistant commissioner in the Chicago Department of Community Development. She comes to the SECC, which the University founded in 1952, with plans to expand its geographic reach and economic development. Williams succeeds Bob Mason, now the U of C police department’s public information officer, who led the commission for 28 years.

Jelinkova is IT
Klara Jelinkova became the University’s associate vice president and chief information technology officer March 1. Jelinkova was most recently the assistant vice president for shared services and infrastructure at Duke University. She replaces Greg Jackson, who left in September.

Richter scale adds more weight
Geologist Frank Richter, SM’71, PhD’72, has received the 2009 Harry H. Hess Medal for outstanding research on the constitution and evolution of Earth and its sister planets. During his career, Richter, the Sewell Avery distinguished service professor in geophysical sciences, has studied fluid dynamics, geodynamics, geochemistry, experimental petrology, and cosmochemistry.

A neurophenomenonal paper
Elizabeth Davenport, dean of Rockefeller Chapel, presented a paper in December at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia. In “The New Archaic: A Neurophenomenological Approach to Religious Ways of Knowing,” Davenport, visiting Divinity School scholar Anne Benvenuti, and Australian scholar Glenys Livingstone sparked “an intellectual and spiritual back-and-forth,” Davenport said. “Neurophenomenology refers to the way in which neuroscientific discovery grounds religious knowing in an observable, shared reality, transcending particular traditions.”

White House funds Exploration
Project Exploration, a science-education organization cofounded by University paleontologist Paul Sereno and his wife, social-justice activist Gabrielle Lyon, AB’94, AM’94, earned a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Mentoring. Sereno and Lyon accepted the award, which includes a $10,000 grant, at a White House ceremony in January. The nonprofit Project Exploration offers after-school, weekend, and summer programs for students to interact and collaborate with scientists.

OI professes Picken’s importance
The Oriental Institute has established the Rita T. Picken professorship in ancient Near Eastern art to honor the longtime docent, who died in 2009. Rita Picken’s daughter, Kitty, who began volunteering at the OI with her mother in 1977, made a $3.5 million gift to endow the professorship.

Scientific INCITE
Five Argonne researchers have been awarded a combined 80 million hours of supercomputing time on Argonne’s Blue Gene/P to conduct advanced simulations and analyses of scientific problems such as nuclear-reactor design and protein interactions. The U.S. Department of Energy selected the five projects as INCITE award recipients based on their potential to advance scientific discovery.

Complex plans for Harper Court
The University and the City of Chicago have hired Vermillion Development to redevelop Hyde Park’s Harper Court retail complex. Vermillion, chosen from among 11 firms submitting proposals, plans to demolish the existing center at 5211 South Harper Avenue and replace it with a mixed-use development. The $200 million project, which requires city-council approval, will include dining, entertainment, retail, housing, and office space.

Four named AAAS fellows
Four Chicago researchers have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Psychologist Susan Levine, a specialist in early learning, codirects the Center for Early Childhood Research and chairs the psychology department’s cognition and cognitive-neuroscience program. Argonne chemist Ron Shepard describes the quantum-mechanical behavior of electrons in molecular systems. Fermilab’s Marge Bardeen was cited for “contributions to the educational experience of K–12 teachers and students,” and physicist Patricia McBride for “contributions to particle physics and for her leadership in the international scientific community.”

Auction boosts public interest
The Chicago Law Foundation held its 13th annual Public Interest Auction on January 14, raising money to fund fellowships for students in public-interest jobs. Auctioneer and law professor Douglas Baird took bids on more than 50 items, which included backstage passes to the NBA draft and NPR’s Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me! More than 200 additional items were available through a silent auction. The event raised a record $107,000.

Permanent parking for Morris
Rodney Morris has been appointed senior director of University transportation and parking and Medical Center public safety. Morris, the head of Medical Center public safety for three years, had overseen transportation and parking on an interim basis since last fall.

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