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2014

Madelyn Dinnerstein (J83) shares her memories of Northwestern student life, including building sets for plays, developing her journalism career, and learning to juggle.

 

Northwestern's Council of One Hundred — a group of highly successful alumnae — is hosting networking events for Northwestern alumnae and female students in several cities over the next few weeks. For information about each city's event, please see the links below.

 

For more stories from this month’s Alumni News email, visit the NAA on Our Northwestern, the University’s exclusive online community.

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Wildcats at Wimbledon

Posted by anew.0000677560 Jul 10, 2014

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This year's official Wimbledon poster, designed by David Bartholow ’02.


Two Northwestern alumni had prominent roles at Wimbledon this year.


David Bartholow ’02, a Los Angeles resident and graduate of the School of Communication, won the first-ever contest for fans in North America to design the official Wimbledon poster, making his design the public symbol of this year’s tournament.


Bartholow’s design was picked over nine other finalists by Philip Brook, chairman of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, and ESPN tennis analysts and Wimbledon champions Chris Evert and John McEnroe.


“The poster is inspired by the London summer light, the mystique of Wimbledon, and the hues and geometry of Centre Court,” Bartholow said in a statement released by ESPN. “The piece is informed by an appreciation for independent British graphic design and, more personally, lifelong dreams of visiting the All England Club.”


Meanwhile, Samantha Murray ’10, a former standout tennis player at Northwestern, lost in the first round at Wimbledon to Maria Sharapova, the No. 6-ranked player in women’s tennis.


For more stories from this month’s Alumni News, visit the NAA on Our Northwestern, the University’s online community.

The Houston Astros may be near the bottom of the American League standings right now, but that doesn’t mean the team’s future is bleak. In fact, Sports Illustrated predicted last month that the Astros will win the 2017 World Series, in part because of the work of a Kellogg School of Management graduate.


Jeff Luhnow ’94 MBA, the Astros' general manager, is one of the people directing the team's rebuilding process. A former entrepreneur and management consultant, Luhnow was featured in Sports Illustrated's June 30 cover story about how data analytics is reshaping the Astros and the rest of Major League Baseball.


Also in Houston, Daryl Morey ’96 is relying on data analytics in his role as general manager of the Rockets, helping pioneer the use of advanced statistical analysis to measure player performance across the NBA. Morey was profiled in the Winter 2013 edition of Northwestern magazine.


For more stories from this month’s Alumni News, visit the NAA on Our Northwestern, the University’s online community.

Northwestern’s Board of Trustees has approved changing the name of the University’s School of Continuing Studies (SCS) to the School of Professional Studies, effective September 1.


“The School of Continuing Studies has dramatically changed over the past decade from an academic unit focused almost exclusively on undergraduate studies to a school that offers a wide assortment of professional graduate, post-graduate, post-baccalaureate, and certificate programs, which today comprise the majority of our academic offerings” said Thomas Gibbons, dean of SCS. “In keeping with that change, I proposed to Northwestern leadership that we align our school identity with the students it serves and rename SCS to Northwestern University School of Professional Studies.”


Northwestern began offering evening classes in 1908 in what was then the School of Commerce and now is the Kellogg School of Management. The current SCS school was officially established in 1933 as University College and has had several different names since then.


Gibbons noted that SCS increasingly serves adult students who seek professional advancement or career change. “Our programs are overwhelmingly comprised of students in professional programs, and our long-term strategy is to continue to build professional program capacity, so our name should reflect the nature of what we teach,” he said.


To read the original story, please visit the Northwestern News Center.


For more stories from this month’s Alumni News, visit the NAA on Our Northwestern, the University’s online community.

In Kenya, Paul Victor Oloo teaches young African journalists to think beyond print media. This summer, with 24 other young Africans, the Nairobi-based media production company owner is at Northwestern as a fellow in the Washington Fellowship of the Young African Leaders Initiative.


An Obama administration program, YALI is designed to support and develop young African leaders, strengthen partnerships between the United States and Africa and promote democratic governance.


“With nearly one in three Africans between the ages of 10 and 24 and about 60 percent of the continent’s total population under the age of 35, it’s imperative that we make investments in the future generation of African leaders,” says Will Reno, director of Northwestern’s Program of African Studies (PAS).


Working with the University’s Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Center for Leadership, PAS is hosting the 25 young Africans for six weeks this summer and will host similar groups for the next four years.


Reno, a political scientist in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and Northwestern Vice President for Research Jay Walsh recently welcomed the newly arrived YALI fellows to campus. They urged the students to connect with one other, the Chicagoans they meet, and with Northwestern faculty and staff.


“You are now lifetime members of the University,” Walsh told the YALI fellows, who are taking Northwestern-designed courses on innovation and meeting with representatives from a diverse group of Chicago area organizations to complement that classroom learning.


Twenty institutions of higher learning across the country are hosting YALI participants this summer. After six weeks at their host institutions, all 500 participants will take part in a summit meeting with President Barack Obama. They can then opt to do eight-week internships in the U.S. or take part in continuing education in Africa.


Visit the Northwestern News Center for the full story.


For more stories from this month’s Alumni News, visit the NAA on Our Northwestern, the University’s online community.

Northwestern professors Robert J. Gordon, the Stanley G. Harris Professor in the Social Sciences, and Joel Mokyr, the Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences and professor of economics and history in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, were profiled in the Wall Street Journal and shared their thoughts about innovation and the future of America’s economic growth.


In “Economists Debate: Has All the Important Stuff Already Been Invented?,” Gordon, considered to be one of the most influential macroeconomists in the world, and Mokyr, an economic historian who has long studied how new tools have led to economic breakthroughs, share their opposing views on whether America’s best days are over.


With a focus on unemployment, inflation and both the long-run and cyclical aspects of labor productivity, Gordon raises questions about the process of economic growth — questioning whether economic growth is a process that will persist forever. His controversial 2012 academic paper “Is U.S. Economic Growth Over?” predicts that the economy will grow less than half as fast as the 2 percent it averaged between 1870 and 2007.


According to the June 15 article, Gordon described an aging citizenry, jobs lost abroad, government debt, stagnant rates of Americans earning college degrees, and growing income inequality as just a few of the troubling signs ahead for the economy. As a result, Gordon said, economies need technological advances to compensate. He believes, however, that the biggest scientific breakthroughs, like electricity, are behind us.


For example, recent inventions, including the Internet, “won’t pack the same punch,” and cellphones are just a refinement of the telephone, Gordon said.


The more optimistic Mokyr “imagines a coming age of new inventions, including gene therapies to prolong our life span and miracle seeds that can feed the world without fertilizers,” according to the story.


“I think the rate of innovation is just getting faster and faster,” Mokyr said in the article.


Mokyr added that in the past, many economists like Gordon, his long-time colleague, have proclaimed the end of progress, but have always been proven wrong in time.


Read the full Wall Street Journal article (subscription required).


For more stories from this month’s Alumni News, visit the NAA on Our Northwestern, the University’s online community.

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Northwestern Academy prepares high-achieving students from public high schools in Chicago for success at selective colleges.


Nearly 80 high school students began taking classes last month through the Northwestern Academy for Chicago Public Schools, a new initiative to prepare lower-income Chicago teens for success at selective colleges.


The first Academy class, a group of highly motivated rising sophomores, was chosen from an applicant pool of high-achieving students from throughout Chicago Public Schools. The multi-year Academy program will provide students with summer classes, tutoring, mentoring, and other services at no cost to them or their families.


Based on applications, recommendations, and other qualifications, 80 students will be selected each year for the Academy, which will eventually grow to more than 200 students.


“Northwestern is deeply committed to supporting Chicago Public Schools students and providing opportunities for a world-class education that will prepare these students for college and careers,” said Northwestern President Morton Schapiro. The Academy extends Schapiro’s initiatives at Northwestern that include the Good Neighbor, Great University program of scholarships for local low-income students.


Northwestern Academy is offered through the Center for Talent Development at the School of Education and Social Policy, which has more than 30 years of experience in academic enrichment for gifted students. Northwestern underwrites the Academy program through donations from alumni.


Ninth-graders in Chicago Public Schools who meet the qualifications may apply for the program in February, and interviews take place in early spring. Northwestern Academy selects students who demonstrate an aptitude for strong long-term academic performance, the motivation and willingness to engage in intensive learning experiences, and a commitment to excellence.


For more information about the Northwestern Academy for Chicago Public Schools, visit academy.northwestern.edu.


For more stories from this month’s Alumni News, visit the NAA on Our Northwestern, the University’s online community.


Northwestern’s Ryan Field and Welsh-Ryan Arena will take special measures to welcome families managing peanut and tree-nut allergies during select events in 2014.


The Peanut/Tree Nut (PTN) Program includes the Wildcats’ first three home football games, 10 men’s basketball and six women’s basketball games, all 18 home volleyball matches, and three wrestling events.


In order to create a safe environment for individuals with peanut and tree-nut allergies, no products containing peanuts or tree-nuts will be sold at Ryan Field or Welsh-Ryan Arena. Both venues will undergo extensive cleaning to ensure that no peanut or tree-nut material remains anywhere in the facility.


“The response to Peanut-Free Day at Ryan Field last season was overwhelming,” said Northwestern deputy athletic director Mike Polisky. “We learned of so many families that were able to experience Big Ten football for the first time on that Saturday. This year we're excited to be able to offer tens of thousands of Chicagoland families perhaps their first opportunity to experience college athletics at the highest level across a number of our programs.”


Last year, Ryan Field became the first college football stadium to be entirely peanut-free when Northwestern hosted division rival Minnesota on October 19.


Reactions to peanuts and tree nuts can be life-threatening. One in 13 children, or roughly two in every classroom, have a food allergy, according to Food Allergy Research & Education. Studies show that the number of children with food allergies in the United States grew by 50 percent between 1997 and 2011, and the number of children living with peanut allergy tripled between 1997 and 2008.


For more information about food allergies, visit foodallergy.org. To read the original story, and for more information about Northwestern sports, visit nusports.com.


For more stories from this month’s Alumni News, visit the NAA on Our Northwestern, the University’s online community.

Northwestern swimmer Jordan Wilimovsky took second place in the 10K and 5K swims at last month’s Open Water National Championships in California, earning a spot on USA Swimming’s team for next month’s Pan Pacific Championships in Australia.


Wilimovsky narrowly missed out on a national championship in last month’s 5K race in Castaic Lake, California, coming in second place after a photo finish.


Wilimovsky, a sophomore from Malibu, California, is a two-time NCAA qualifier for the Wildcats. After reaching the national championships in each of his first two seasons, Wilimovsky was named an All-American in 2014 after finishing fourth in the mile at the national championships and second at the Big Ten Championships.


He holds the Wildcats’ mile record, which he has broken three times, and remains the only swimmer in school history to post a time in the mile under 15 minutes.


To read the original story, and for more information on Northwestern men's swimming, visit nusports.com.


For more stories from this month’s Alumni News, visit the NAA on Our Northwestern, the University’s online community.


Meet some of the newest members of NU’s men’s basketball team as they move in to their dorm rooms and take the floor for their first practice. (Video courtesy of nusports.com.)


For more stories from this month’s Alumni News, visit the NAA on Our Northwestern, the University’s online community.

Northwestern student-athletes capped the 2013-14 school year with one of their best academic quarters in the University’s history.


The average GPA for all 468 Wildcat student-athletes in spring quarter 2014 was 3.279, the highest on record. Eighteen of Northwestern's 19 varsity teams averaged a GPA above 3.0, with the 19th team averaging a 2.94. Eleven of NU’s teams had an average GPA above 3.30 during spring quarter.


Volleyball led all teams with a 3.53 GPA, followed by cross country (3.443), women's soccer (3.44), and softball (3.425). Soccer was the top men's squad in the spring, with a 3.42 GPA.


Individually, 350 of Northwestern's student-athletes (74 percent) had spring quarter GPAs over 3.00, including 38 who earned a perfect 4.0.


“We are incredibly proud of the dedication all of our student-athletes have shown in the classroom not only in this last quarter, but over the entire year," said Jim Phillips, vice president for athletics and recreation. "With school records set for Academic All-Big Ten awards and overall GPA, they continue to raise the bar on what it means to be a Northwestern student-athlete.”


This data caps an incredible year in which Northwestern won a school-record 220 Academic All-Big Ten accolades, had 16 programs earn a perfect 1,000 Academic Progress Rate score for the most recent season, and led the Big Ten by seven percentage points with a 97 percent overall Graduation Success Rate (GSR).


To read the original story, and for more information about Northwestern sports, visit nusports.com.


For more stories from this month’s Alumni News, visit the NAA on Our Northwestern, the University’s online community.

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For a decade, Northwestern’s global health minor has trained undergraduates to address some of the world’s most entrenched public health problems.


With study abroad programs established in Chile, China, Cuba, France, Israel, South Africa, and Tanzania, the global health program is one of the largest and most successful minors at Northwestern and is poised to advance the University’s strategic goals of expanding its engagement with the world and finding innovative solutions to global problems.


To learn more about the global health minor, please view a special feature produced by the University that includes a comprehensive story, an overview video, and an interactive map exploring the program’s effects on Northwestern students and people around the world.


For more stories from this month’s Alumni News, visit the NAA on Our Northwestern, the University’s online community.

Northwestern is serving as a major sponsor for an international Latina/o studies conference in Chicago this month that is expected to be the largest and most comprehensive conference of its kind to date.


The inaugural conference, called “Imagining the Past, Present, and Future,” will be held July 17-19 at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. The event is open to the public.


The conference will bring together scholars, teachers, and students who study the history, politics, and culture of the many Latina/o communities in the United States. 


More than 450 panelists will participate in discussions about immigration, education, health, Latino Chicago, the concept of Latinidad, citizenship, performance and the arts, popular music, and the gradual institutionalization of Latina/o studies.   


Organizers say one of the most important goals of the meeting is to establish the first Latino studies association to promote research and affect policy change related to U.S. Latinas/os, who comprise 17 percent of the U.S. population and are now the largest minority group in the country.


Visit the Northwestern News Center for the full story.


For more stories from this month’s Alumni News, visit the NAA on Our Northwestern, the University’s online community.

The heart is more forgiving than you may think — especially to adults who try to take charge of their health, a new Northwestern Medicine® study has found.


When adults in their 30s and 40s decide to drop unhealthy habits that are harmful to their heart and embrace healthy lifestyle changes, they can control and potentially even reverse the natural progression of coronary artery disease, scientists found.


The study was published June 30 in the journal Circulation.


“It’s not too late,” said Bonnie Spring, lead investigator of the study and a professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “You’re not doomed if you’ve hit young adulthood and acquired some bad habits. You can still make a change and it will have a benefit for your heart.”


On the flip side, scientists also found that if people drop healthy habits or pick up more bad habits as they age, there is measurable, detrimental impact on their coronary arteries.


“If you don’t keep up a healthy lifestyle, you’ll see the evidence in terms of your risk of heart disease,” Spring said.


The healthy changes made by people tracked in the study are attainable and sustainable, Spring said. She offered some tips for those who want to embrace a healthy lifestyle at any age:


  • Keep a healthy body weight
  • Don’t smoke
  • Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity five times a week
  • No more than one alcoholic drink a day for women, no more than two for men
  • Eat a healthy diet that’s high in fiber and low in sodium, with lots of fruit and vegetables

 

Visit the Northwestern News Center for the full story.


For more stories from this month’s Alumni News, visit the NAA on Our Northwestern, the University’s online community.

Eli J. Finkel, a professor of psychology and of management and organizations at Northwestern, writes in a recent op-ed in The New York Times that for decades, admitting that being a new parent could be depressing was not socially acceptable.


In recent years, however, social scientists have demonstrated that being a new parent can be psychologically distressing not just because of a postpartum hormonal crash, but because of "the objectively bleak circumstances new parents often face," Finkel writes in the June 27 op-ed, "The Trauma of Parenthood."


"That you love your child is not always sufficient to counteract this reality," Finkel writes.


To read the full op-ed, please visit The New York Times.


For more stories from this month’s Alumni News, visit the NAA on Our Northwestern, the University’s online community.

Nimalan (Nim) Chinniah, currently executive vice president for administration and chief financial officer at the University of Chicago, will become executive vice president at Northwestern on September 8.


Serving as Northwestern’s chief operating officer, Chinniah will lead all business and finance operations and help shape the University’s global vision and strategy. He will succeed Eugene S. Sunshine '71, '01 P, '08 P, who is retiring after 17 years at the University.

 

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Nimalan (Nim) Chinniah


Chinniah will bring a long history of leadership at the highest levels of academia to Northwestern. He joined the University of Chicago in 2007 and was named executive vice president in 2013. His leadership portfolio at Northwestern will be broad in nature and cover a spectrum of administrative and financial areas.


He also will bring a strong resume of service leadership to his role as principal adviser to the president on nonacademic matters. 


At the University of Chicago, Chinniah leads the Finance and Administration Division and is responsible for fiscal planning. He also actively engages with board of trustees committees at the University of Chicago, as he will at Northwestern.


Besides development of global strategy, his expanded portfolio at Northwestern will include the Office of Human Resources, University Services, the Investment Office, and the Office of Change Management.  


“We are very excited to have Nim Chinniah join Northwestern,” President Morton Schapiro said. “His steady leadership throughout his academic career, most recently as a chief financial officer at one of the world’s best universities, undoubtedly, will serve Northwestern well in the coming years.”


Visit the Northwestern News Center for the full story.


For more stories from this month’s Alumni News, visit the NAA on Our Northwestern, the University’s online community.