For the record

University news


Saussy accepts prestigious post
Haun Saussy, a Chinese- and comparative-literature scholar, has been appointed University Professor, effective July 1. Now the Bird White Housum professor of comparative literature at Yale, Saussy will be the sixth University Professor on the current faculty and the 17th ever to hold the title, which recognizes distinguished scholarship. Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009, Saussy is the author of The Problem of a Chinese Aesthetic, which received the 1996 Rene Wellek Prize.

Music to her ears
Judith Zeitlin, a Chinese-literature, cultural-history, and opera scholar, has received a Guggenheim Fellowship to complete her manuscript, The Culture of Musical Entertainment in Early Modern China: Voice, Instrument, Text. Professor of East Asian languages and civilizations, Zeitlin’s fellowship research will focus on the role of music in the Ming/Qing period.

Bioengineer provides direction
Matthew Tirrell, a biomolecular engineer and nanotechnology researcher, becomes the founding Pritzker director of the Institute for Molecular Engineering July 1. A member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Tirrell has been chair of Berkeley’s Department of Bioengineering since 2009.

Zimmer is on Obama’s radar ...
President Obama nominated University President Robert J. Zimmer to the National Science Board in April. The governing body of the National Science Foundation, the board oversees a $7 billion budget and recommends national policies for research and education in science and engineering. As U of C president, Zimmer, a mathematician, chairs both the Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab governing boards.

... and so is Olopade
Obama also named Olufunmilayo Falusi Olopade, professor of medicine and human genetics and the University’s associate dean for global health, to the National Cancer Advisory Board, which advises the secretary of Health and Human Services and the director of the National Cancer Institute. Also the director of the University’s Cancer Risk Clinic, Olopade is an expert on cancer risk and prevention and on individualized treatment based on risk factors and quality of life.

Student wins in 47th Ward
Ameya Pewar, a School of Social Service Administration student, became Chicago’s first Asian American alderman, winning the city-council seat for the North Side’s 47th Ward. Pewar, 30, received a master of science in threat and response management from the Graham School of General Studies in 2009, and he now works as a program assistant at Northwestern University’s emergency-management office.

Law School: hire education
According to the March 1 National Law Journal, the Law School ranked highest in the percentage of 2010 graduates who got jobs with the nation’s top 250 law firms. Nearly 59 percent of new Chicago JDs landed “BigLaw” jobs—ahead of Cornell, Columbia, Penn, and Harvard.

Excess iron buildup led to death
An undetected condition called hemochromatosis, which causes excessive iron buildup, led to University molecular geneticist Malcolm Casadaban’s death in September 2009 from a weakened strain of the plague he was studying, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in February. The excess iron made Casadaban susceptible to the strain, which needs the mineral to survive but is otherwise harmless to humans in its weakened lab state.

Ratain claims oncology award
Mark Ratain, the Leon O. Jacobson professor of medicine, has recieved the 2011 Translational Research Professorship from the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Conquer Cancer Foundation. Ratain, who directs the University’s Center for Personalized Therapeutics, will use the $300,000 award for the “1,200 Patients Project,” an effort to individualize care by charting each patient’s genetic variations.

Epstein’s scholarship prized
Richard Epstein, the James Parker Hall distinguished service professor emeritus of law and senior lecturer at the Law School, has received the $250,000 Bradley Prize for outstanding achievement. One of four recipients from the private Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Epstein was honored for his work on constitutional, economic, and historical subjects that “have brought clarity to the law and have helped to advance freedom.”

Grant stabilizes housing study
Ariel Kalil, director of the Harris School’s Center for Human Potential and Public Policy, received a $200,000 MacArthur Foundation grant to study how childhood housing instability affects health and education outcomes. Kalil proposed a longitudinal study to measure the effect of housing conditions during the first 15 years of a child’s life.

New look, old degree of difficulty
For the first time in about 40 years, the University has redesigned its diploma. The new version incorporates elements of a design first used in the 1920s while adding safeguards against counterfeiting and aesthetic enhancements such as a maroon foil appliqué to highlight the embossed University seal.

Wulczyn serves the vulnerable
Chapin Hall research fellow Fred Wulczyn, PhD’86, has received the 2011 James E. Flynn Prize for Research. Presented in April by the University of Southern California School of Social Work, the international prize recognizes work that “has created a demonstrable change in the lives of vulnerable populations.” The architect of Chapin Hall’s Multistate Foster Care Data Archive, Wulczyn also designed two major social experiments in New York: the Child Assistance Program and the HomeRebuilders project.

New vision for visual arts
Jessica Stockholder, an artist known for multimedia installations that incorporate everyday objects and bold painting, becomes chair of the Department of Visual Arts and professor in visual arts and the College on July 1. Winner of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s 2007 Lucelia Artist Award, Stockholder is currently the director of graduate studies in sculpture at Yale.

Women’s Board turns 50
President Zimmer and his three predecessors—Don Randel, Hugo Sonnenschein, and Hanna Holborn Gray—were participants in a “fireside chat” as part of the University of Chicago Women’s Board 50th-anniversary program. Moderator and PBS anchor Ray Suarez, AM’92, led a discussion about University issues such as international research programs, the new molecular-engineering institute, and the importance of the humanities. To mark its 50-year relationship with the U of C, the board announced a $1 million gift to provide full scholarships to Chicago Public Schools’ students in the Collegiate Scholars Program.

High five for Sloan fellows
Five faculty members have received two-year $50,000 Sloan Foundation research fellowships: Julia Chuzhoy, assistant professor at the Toyota Technology Institute at Chicago; Veronica Guerrieri, Chicago Booth associate professor of economics; Azeem Shaikh, assistant professor and Thornber research fellow in economics; Jesse M. Shapiro, Chicago Booth professor in economics; and Amir Sufi, Chicago Booth associate professor of finance.

An experience worth trading
Two University financial-mathematics teams placed in the top ten at the 2011 Rotman International Trading Competition. Chicago B finished second to MIT, and Chicago A was eighth. The event featured 46 universities competing in trading cases on securities and markets.

Foster honored for grid research
Ian Foster, director of the Computation Institute, received the IEEE Computer Society’s 2011 Tsutomu Kanai Award for his research on grid computing. Foster, the Arthur Holly Compton distinguished service professor of computer science and Argonne distinguished fellow, will receive the award, which includes a $10,000 honorarium, at the society’s awards dinner May 25 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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