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2015

2015-4-30 Admitted_Student_Reception_Indianapolis.jpgIn April, the Northwestern Alumni Association hosted receptions for newly admitted students across the world. Admitted Student Receptions provide admitted students the opportunity to connect with alumni and fellow members of the Class of 2019 before making the decision to join the Northwestern community.

 

The Northwestern Alumni Association would like to thank all of our volunteers in the following cities for making the Admitted Student Receptions a success.

  • Brazil
  • Dubai
  • Indianapolis
  • Korea
  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco
  • Southeast Florida
  • Turkey
  • Washington, D.C.

 

Congratulations to the newly admitted Class of 2019 — we wish you the best as you make your decision! Share your memories and photos from admitted student reception using the hashtag #NU2019, and check out #NU2019 digital swag.>>

 

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See more photos from receptions around the world on in the Admitted Student Receptions - 2015 Facebook album.>>

_ESQ4654.JPGEVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University Library has partnered with Indiana University (IU), which received a $750,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support continued development of the Avalon Media System.

 

Avalon is a software product that helps libraries manage, deliver and improve access to large collections of digitized audio and video used for research and teaching.

 

The national Avalon community, led by the libraries of Northwestern and Indiana University-Bloomington, is made up of education, media and open-technology institutions. Though currently a grant-funded effort between Northwestern and IU, supporters are working to make the open source system sustainable through community development.

 

Online access to video and audio collections is growing more essential to scholarship, making a resource such as Avalon increasingly critical, Northwestern University Library Dean Sara Pritchard said.

 

“The Avalon platform is transforming the way we produce, retain and use the complex digital content that is needed to integrate audio, video and related materials in university teaching and learning," Pritchard said.

 

The current grant will focus on making Avalon more functional and user friendly, including supporting studies that explore how scholars use audio and video in their research. A business model will be developed to keep the system sustainable and offer more flexible options for institutions that prefer using cloud-based rather than locally hosted software.

 

At Northwestern, the locally customized and branded version of Avalon is called the Audio + Video Repository (AVR), which went live in July of 2014.  Thanks to AVR, digitized audio and video collections are available for the first time from Northwestern’s unique holdings. Currently two publicly accessible collections from the Music Library and University Archives can be found at media.northwestern.edu.

 

Northwestern and Indiana University have successfully collaborated to release three major versions of Avalon since the development project began in October 2011, with funding from a three-year, $948,000 National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The project has also been buoyed by advice and support from 10 additional partner institutions.

 

Avalon partially grew out of the Variations Project, one of the world’s first digital music libraries, developed initially in the mid-1990s at Indiana University.

 

Visit Northwestern News for more

_ESQ2860.JPGEVANSTON, Ill. --- The Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) at Northwestern University has received an NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

 

Northwestern is one of only eight institutions recognized nationwide with the new award, out of approximately 240 proposals that were received by the NSF. The $3 million grant will provide 35 NRT graduate fellowships over five years to students from several different Ph.D. programs at Northwestern.

 

The NRT project is titled “Training in Data-Driven Discovery -- From the Earth and the Universe to the Successful Careers of the Future.” The program will train students in data-intensive research and will give them the opportunity to improve their communication skills, learn about parallel programming and visualization, and take part in summer internships at national labs and in industry.

 

Vicky Kalogera, CIERA director and the Erastus O. Haven Professor in the department of physics and astronomy in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, is the principal investigator. Team members are from Weinberg, the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Education and Social Policy.

 

The NSF Research Traineeship program was developed to advance cutting-edge research in high-priority areas; increase the capacity of graduate programs to produce interdisciplinary STEM professionals with technical and transferrable professional skills for a range of research and research-related careers; and develop innovative approaches and knowledge that will promote transformative improvements in graduate education.

 

More information about the NRT program is available online.

 

See Northwestern News for more

04-grad-speaker.jpgSocial entrepreneur Shiza Shahid has been named speaker for Northwestern University in Qatar’s fourth annual graduation exercises on Sunday, May 3.

 

Shahid is co-founder and global ambassador for the Malala Fund, which represents the young Pakistani activist who was shot by the Taliban for her campaign for girls’ education in 2012. In recognition of her work, Shahid was named one of Time magazine’s “30 Under 30 World Changers” in 2014 and Forbes “30 Under 30” of the world’s top social entrepreneurs.

 

In announcing the speaker for NU-Q’s Class of 2015, Dean Everette E. Dennis said Shahid was selected because “she has been at the center of one of the greatest human rights stories of recent decades—and because she is a master communicator. At a school where co-education thrives, where students learn that their skills as journalists, communication professionals, filmmakers and storytellers have the power to effect change, Shahid is a speaker who touches our deepest values as a community.”

 

“Shiza Shahid is an absolute gem in the new communication field. She is a hero and role model to all of us who will be officially launching our careers on Graduation Day,” says Amna Elsaka, one of 41 students in the class of 2015.

 

Shahid was first inspired by the young activist while watching a New York Times documentary about Malala, then 11-years old, who was secretly blogging for the BBC about her day to day struggle to get an education. Then a student at Stanford University, Shahid contacted Malala and went on to organize a summer camp for girls in Pakistan. In 2012, Malala was targeted by the Taliban and shot in the face. Shahid flew to London where the critically-ill girl was hospitalized.

 

In the media blitz that followed, Shahid worked with Malala and her family to use the growing global interest to build an organization that would improve access to education for girls around the world. The Malala Fund began by communicating her story through the book, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban, published by Little Brown in 2013. Malala went on to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.

 

Shahid’s speech will be the capstone of the 2015 NU-Q graduation celebrations. On April 16, the graduating students attended “Last Lecture,” a lunch where three faculty members chosen by the students—Christopher Sparshott, Janet Key and Anne Sobel—delivered parting words of wisdom. On April 23, the Class of 2015 was honored at a gala dinner with faculty and staff, and May 3 they and their parents will celebrate academic excellence at the President’s Award Luncheon, presided over by NU President Morton Schapiro.

 

See more Northwestern Qatar News here

_ERR8217.JPGEVANSTON, Ill. --- The Greater China Business Conference will take place May 9 at the Kellogg School of Management in Evanston.

 

The day-long event will feature three panel discussions covering technology and innovation, retail and consumer markets and sustainability.

 

China has witnessed incredible economic development since the country opened its doors to the world 36 years ago, organizers said.

 

But China’s growth is facing fierce challenges from multiple angles and China’s annual GDP growth will inevitably slow down to less than 8 percent, some predict. How China addresses the issues and fuels its future growth will lay the foundation for China’s next chapter and could change the world.

 

The conference is one of the largest Greater China-themed conferences in North America, aiming to provide inspirations and in-depth perspectives on the China growth story, as well as to strengthen Northwestern University students’ networks with elite business leaders in China, organizers said.

 

The panel discussions will include:

 

  • Panel 1: Technology and innovation - China is transitioning from the “world’s factory” to an innovation lab. What exactly is encouraging this innovation ecosystem? What should we expect to see from this innovation lab? What are the challenges in China’s quest to lead the world in innovation?
  • Panel 2: Retail and Consumer Market - China is expected to surpass the United States to become the world’s largest consumer market within five years, presenting huge opportunities for consumer goods and retail sectors. How can firms manage national expansion? How can firms handle operations complexity?
  • Panel 3: Sustainability - The extensive development model of China’s economy has led to inefficient use of natural resources and environment deterioration. What efforts have the Chinese government taken to change the development model? What is the implication for firms in China?

 

The conference, titled “China’s Next Chapter – Future Growth Engine,” will take place on May 9, 2015 at Kellogg School of Management in Evanston. It will also feature a webinar platform to help connect with remote audience members. Join us to understand more about China's growth vision and strategy and to connect with other professionals helping to shape the country's future.

 

Yan Xuan, Greater China president of Neilsen, Alex Tze-Pin Cheng, general manager of Baidu, U.S., Satish Gupta, vice president of technical strategy for Lenovo and others are scheduled to speak.

 

For more information or to register, visit http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/conference/chinesebusiness/index.html.

 

See more in Northwestern News

teri-odom-186x232.jpgEVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University scientists have developed the first liquid nanoscale laser. And it’s tunable in real time, meaning you can quickly and simply produce different colors, a unique and useful feature. The laser technology could lead to practical applications, such as a new form of a “lab on a chip” for medical diagnostics.

 

To understand the concept, imagine a laser pointer whose color can be changed simply by changing the liquid inside it, instead of needing a different laser pointer for every desired color.

 

In addition to changing color in real time, the liquid nanolaser has additional advantages over other nanolasers: it is simple to make, inexpensive to produce and operates at room temperature.

 

Nanoscopic lasers -- first demonstrated in 2009 -- are only found in research labs today. They are, however, of great interest for advances in technology and for military applications.

 

“Our study allows us to think about new laser designs and what could be possible if they could actually be made,” said Teri W. Odom, who led the research. “My lab likes to go after new materials, new structures and new ways of putting them together to achieve things not yet imagined. We believe this work represents a conceptual and practical engineering advance for on-demand, reversible control of light from nanoscopic sources.”

 

Odom is Board of Lady Managers of the Columbian Exposition Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

 

The findings were published this week by the journal Nature Communications.

 

The liquid nanolaser in this study is not a laser pointer but a laser device on a chip, Odom explained. The laser’s color can be changed in real time when the liquid dye in the microfluidic channel above the laser’s cavity is changed.

 

The laser’s cavity is made up of an array of reflective gold nanoparticles, where the light is concentrated around each nanoparticle and then amplified. (In contrast to conventional laser cavities, no mirrors are required for the light to bounce back and forth.) Notably, as the laser color is tuned, the nanoparticle cavity stays fixed and does not change; only the liquid gain around the nanoparticles changes.

 

 

The main advantages of very small lasers are:

 

  • They can be used as on-chip light sources for optoelectronic integrated circuits;
  • They can be used in optical data storage and lithography;
  • They can operate reliably at one wavelength; and
  • They should be able to operate much faster than conventional lasers because they are made from metals.

 

Some technical background

 

Plasmon lasers are promising nanoscale coherent sources of optical fields because they support ultra-small sizes and show ultra-fast dynamics. Although plasmon lasers have been demonstrated at different spectral ranges, from the ultraviolet to near-infrared, a systematic approach to manipulate the lasing emission wavelength in real time has not been possible.

 

The main limitation is that only solid gain materials have been used in previous work on plasmon nanolasers; hence, fixed wavelengths were shown because solid materials cannot easily be modified. Odom’s research team has found a way to integrate liquid gain materials with gold nanoparticle arrays to achieve nanoscale plasmon lasing that can be tuned dynamical, reversibly and in real time.

 

The use of liquid gain materials has two significant benefits:

 

  • The organic dye molecules can be readily dissolved in solvents with different refractive indices. Thus, the dielectric environment around the nanoparticle arrays can be tuned, which also tunes the lasing wavelength.
  • The liquid form of gain materials enables the fluid to be manipulated within a microfluidic channel. Thus, dynamic tuning of the lasing emission is possible simply by flowing liquid with different refractive indices. Moreover, as an added benefit of the liquid environment, the lasing-on-chip devices can show long-term stability because the gain molecules can be constantly refreshed.

 

These nanoscale lasers can be mass-produced with emission wavelengths over the entire gain bandwidth of the dye. Thus, the same fixed nanocavity structure (the same gold nanoparticle array) can exhibit lasing wavelengths that can be tuned over 50 nanometers, from 860 to 910 nanometers, simply by changing the solvent the dye is dissolved in.

 

The National Science Foundation (grants DMR-1306514 and DMR-1121262) supported the research.

 

The title of the paper is “Real-time Tunable Lasing from Plasmonic Nanocavity Arrays.”

 

See Northwestern News for more

 

In recent addresses on the Evanston and Chicago campuses, Northwestern President Morton Schapiro said the state of the University is strong and that Northwestern is poised for even greater success.

 

Schapiro cited the University's strong finances, improving town-gown relations with Evanston and Chicago and its success in recruiting and retaining top faculty and staff as signs of its overall health.

 

Schapiro made the comments during his sixth annual "Conversations With President Schapiro" events in April. He was joined this year for the first time by Provost Daniel Linzer and Executive Vice President Nim Chinniah. The three participated in a panel discussion at both events on a wide range of issues about the University, taking questions from staff members in attendance and via the Web.

 

Among the topics discussed by Schapiro, Linzer and Chinniah were the success of We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern, progress on diversity and inclusion issues and efforts to expand research, scholarships and global programs.


For complete coverage of the "Conversations With President Schapiro" events, including Schapiro's list of personal highlights from the past year and audio recordings of the events, please visit the Northwestern News Center.

Instead of one Wildcat of the Week this week, we've named the 2015 Alumni Awards winners co-Wildcats of the Week! Congratulations to this year's recipients.

 

Click on the links below to read full spotlights of each of the recipients.

 

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ALUMNI MEDAL
for attaining superior professional distinction and/or exemplary volunteer service to society, with an outstanding record of service to Northwestern University:
Nicholas D. Chabraja ’64, ’67 JD


ALUMNI MERIT AWARDS
for high achievement in a profession or field (recipients chosen by school):
Mara Brock Akil ’92 – Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications
William Bindley ’84 – School of Communication
Herold "Mac" Deason ’67 JD – School of Law
Ashley Fields ’09 MA – School of Professional Studies
Wiley Conrad Hausam ’80 – Bienen School of Music
Daryl Morey ’96 – McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science
Brad J. Potter ’79 DDS – Dental School
David L. Revsine ’91 – Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
Arva Rice ’90 – School of Education and Social Policy
Nayef Hassan Samhat ’95 PhD – The Graduate School


ALUMNI SERVICE TO SOCIETY AWARD
for the exceptional advancement of causes or ideas that improve society:
John Wood ’89 MBA


ALUMNI SERVICE AWARDS
for outstanding service to the University:
Gita Blumentals Budd ’76, ’78 MBA
Jeffrey M. Harris ’93
Charles F. Sansone ’62
Todd M. Warren ’87

 

GRANT GOODRICH ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

presented to one outstanding individual who, although not a graduate of Northwestern University, greatly enhances the University through his or her professional accomplishments, commitment, and service:
John A. Canning Jr.


EMERGING LEADER AWARD
for making a significant impact in his or her profession and/or community at large by the age of 35 (as of date of the event, April 25, 2015):
Karen Russell ’03

 

Read more 'Wildcat of the Week' profiles at alumni.northwestern.edu. >>

truman175.jpgEVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University junior Qiddist Miriam Hammerly has received the highly competitive Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a $30,000 award that supports graduate education for outstanding students who plan to pursue careers in public service.

 

Hammerly, an activist, campus leader and self-described “advocate for racial, social, environmental and economic justice,” plans to study racial disparities in education and youth incarceration.

 

“I want to create a more equitable system of education and criminal justice for youth across America and drastically reduce the number of youth who end up in the juvenile justice system,” she wrote in her application.

 

Already a veteran community organizer, with experience teaching and working in the juvenile justice system, Hammerly has spent the last three years as a teacher’s aide, working with first graders in an Evanston elementary school.

 

She also conducts research, writes articles on social justice issues related to education policy and leads African-American social action and a capella groups. She is currently a Presidential Fellow with the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, which recognizes national leaders with a strong interest in public policy.

 

“Qiddist is the very best that Northwestern can produce,” said Dan Lewis, the director of Northwestern’s Center for Civic Engagement. “She’s bright, energetic and committed to an engaged life of scholarship and service. I couldn’t be happier for her.”

 

A native of Portland, Oregon, Hammerly plans to teach for a few years after she has graduated from Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy. She will likely then use the Truman Scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in education and also hopes to get a master’s degree in public policy and possibly a law degree.

 

Hammerly said she appreciates both the networking opportunities that come with the award and the financial support. One of her heroes is civil rights lawyer, legal scholar and former Truman scholarship winner Michelle Alexander, who wrote the book, “The New Jim Crow.”

 

“Being put in that network, with people I hope to collaborate with in the future, is really exciting,” she said. “For me, the Truman is an open door to a lot of other opportunities and connections.”

 

A natural leader, Hammerly is the outgoing vice coordinator for external relations for Northwestern’s Black Student Alliance, where she worked to implement a mentoring program during her sophomore year. 

 

This year, she helped bring to campus Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, for an event that attracted more than 600 people. Martin, a 17-year-old African-American high school student, was fatally shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, sparking protests around the country.

 

“Leadership is constantly finding balance: between listening and talking, leading and developing leadership in others, and between sharing my own opinion and representing those of my organization,” Hammerly said.

 

For the last several years, Hammerly has participated in Northwestern’s Arts and Music for Education in Detention Centers (AMPED), a weekend music mentorship program that uses GarageBand software and connects Northwestern students with incarcerated young men at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center.

 

“It’s incredibly rewarding to be involved with youth in the criminal justice system because it can make a difference in their understanding of who they are and what they can achieve,” she said.

 

Friends, colleagues and mentors describe Hammerly as poised, articulate and insatiably curious. “Qiddist is very thoughtful; she will not voice her opinion on something until she has given it great thought and studied it from every angle possible,” said Northwestern alumnus Patrick Keenan-Devlin, deputy director of The James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy. “She does not like to speak from an uninformed position.  What’s extremely impressive is that she’s able to quickly discern what she sees and hears. She asks questions and processes accordingly.”

 

The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation was created by Congress in 1975 to select and support the next generation of public service leaders.

 

Annually, candidates for the Truman Scholarship go through a rigorous, multi-stage selection process. In 2015, there were 688 candidates for the award nominated by 297 colleges and universities.

 

Fifty-eight new Truman Scholars were selected in 2015. They will receive their awards in a ceremony at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri on Sunday, May 24, 2015.

 

See the original story in Northwestern News

Arch_Alan_Chan_4711000902_1e7a508bd4_o.jpgEVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences faculty members Monica Prasad and Jennifer Richeson are among the newly named 2015 Guggenheim Fellows, with a total of 175 scholars and artists from the United States and Canada selected from more than 3,100 applicants. They are two of the 13 social scientists to receive the award this year.

 

Awarded by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the fellowships are appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise.

 

Monica Prasad


 

Prasad, professor of sociology and faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern, studies comparative-historical sociology, economic sociology and political sociology.

 

With her Guggenheim fellowship, Prasad is writing a book on the Reagan tax cut of 1981, based on access to previously unseen documents from the Reagan presidential library.

 

“The idea is that the U.S. has fallen into this low-tax regime where politics is always about cutting taxes, and the Reagan tax cut was really the start of that,” Prasad said.

 

Prasad’s most recent book, “The Land of Too Much: American Abundance and the Paradox of Poverty” (Harvard University Press, 2012), received several awards, including the American Sociological Association’s (ASA) award for the best book in sociology. The book develops a demand-side theory of comparative political economy to explain the surprisingly large role of the state in the United States, its origins in the 19th-century revolution in agricultural productivity and its consequences for undermining a European-style welfare state and leaving U.S. economic growth dependent on “mortgage Keynesianism.”

 

Her first book, “The Politics of Free Markets” (University of Chicago Press, 2006), also received a book award, and she counts a Fulbright and a National Science Foundation Career Award among her other honors.

 

Jennifer Richeson

 

Richeson, MacArthur Foundation Chair and professor of psychology and African-American Studies, researches the social psychological phenomena of cultural diversity. Her work concerns social group membership, particularly the ways race and gender impact the way people think, feel and behave.

 

“The fellowship will allow me to integrate the insights from my own research on interracial interactions and diversity with those emerging from organizational psychology, sociology and political science in a book project on what I call the ‘paradox of diversity,’” said Richeson, also an IPR faculty fellow at Northwestern.

 

“Specifically, how can we understand why actual and perceived increases in racial/ethnic diversity can yield both more egalitarian and more exclusionary racial attitudes, and, similarly, engender mixed outcomes in other important life domains, for example, social isolation, creativity, task performance.”

 

Richeson’s work has been published in various scholarly journals, including Psychological Science, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Nature Neuroscience, and Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Her work also has appeared in popular publications such as The Economist and The New York Times. She was a visiting fellow at Stanford University's Research Institute of Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity in 2004-05. In 2009 she received the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contributions to Psychology from the American Psychological Association. She was named one of 25 MacArthur Fellows in 2006 for her work as a leader in “highlighting and analyzing major challenges facing all races in America and in the continuing role played by prejudice and stereotyping in our lives.”

 

Guggenheim Fellows cite influence of Institute for Policy Research

 

Both Prasad and Richeson cite IPR, where they are faculty fellows, as instrumental in helping them to shape their research.

 

“Just going to the (IPR) colloquia week after week allows me to see all of these different methods that people use in their research and familiarizes me with all of the different kinds of research that are happening,” Prasad said.

 

“The rich interdisciplinary, intellectual environment that is IPR consistently motivates me to think beyond my own academic discipline to understand the research questions I pursue,” Richeson added. “My fellowship project is definitely a product of this type of broad, cross-disciplinary thinking and perspective.”

 

Since its establishment almost 90 years ago, the Guggenheim Foundation has granted over $325 million in fellowships to almost 18,000 individuals, among whom are scores of Nobel laureates and poets laureate, as well as winners of the Pulitzer Prize, Fields Medal and other important, internationally recognized honors.

 

“These artists and writers, scholars and scientists, represent the best of the best,” said Edward Hirsch, president of the Guggenheim Foundation. “Since 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has always bet everything on the individual, and we’re thrilled to continue the tradition with this wonderfully talented and diverse group. It’s an honor to be able to support these individuals to do the work they were meant to do.”

 

See more in Northwestern News

Northwestern student-athletes continue their academic success in the classroom following an exceptional winter quarter. The average GPA for all 19 Wildcats Athletic teams in the winter was a 3.26. Nearly 76 percent (75.8 percent to be exact) of NU student-athletes earned winter quarter GPAs over a 3.00. In addition, 39 student-athletes had perfect 4.00 GPAs for the quarter.

 

"The success our student-athletes continue to achieve in the classroom is remarkable and without peer," Vice President for Athletics and Recreation Jim Phillips said. "These numbers do not simply represent a handful of top academic performers on our teams, but each and every one of our 494 student-athletes. To have a group of that size average a 3.26 GPA is stunning and makes all of us involved with Northwestern Athletics incredibly proud."


Seventeen of the 19 teams had team GPAs over a 3.00, with 14 of these over a 3.20 (the two teams under a 3.00 both had 2.96 GPAs). Field Hockey led all teams with a 3.476 winter quarter GPA followed by women's fencing (3.404), cross country (3.382) and women's basketball (3.358). Men's swimming and diving was the top men's squad with a 3.319 GPA.


Also notable is the football team, which had one of its highest team GPAs ever with a 3.133.

womens_bball_coach.jpegUSA Basketball announced that Northwestern women's basketball head coach Joe McKeown (left) will be the head coach for the 2015 USA Basketball Women's World University Games Team.


McKeown and the USA squad will be assisted by collegiate head coaches Holly Warlick from the University of Tennessee and Tanya Warren from the University of Northern Iowa. The coaching staff was selected by the USA Basketball Women's Junior National Team Committee and approved by the USA Basketball Board of Directors.

 

"While Joe McKeown, Holly Warlick and Tanya Warren haven't coached for USA Basketball previously, they all three bring outstanding experience as coaches in the college game," said Jim Foster (Tennessee at Chattanooga), chair of the USA Women's Junior National Team Committee. "The committee really feels that given their achievements with their respective teams, they will be able to continue the success that USA Basketball has enjoyed at the World University Games."


The 2015 World University Games women's basketball competition will be held July 4-13 in Gwangju, South Korea. Held every other year, the World University Games is organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The WUGs are a multi-sport competition open to men and women who are between the ages of 17 and 24 (born between 1/1/88 and 12/31/98), who are enrolled as a full-time collegiate student with remaining eligibility for the 2015-16 school year.


Trials to select the 2015 USA World University Games Team will be held May 14-17, 2015, at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Invitations to attend trials will be issued in April to approximately 30 athletes who have at least one year of collegiate eligibility remaining.


"It's a great honor to named the head coach for the World University Games team and to be involved with USA Basketball," said McKeown. "I'm excited to have the opportunity to represent Northwestern University. I especially want to thank Carol Callan and USA Basketball for thinking of me and having the confidence to name me as the coach of this team and allowing me to be part of this prestigious program.


"I'm thrilled to share the bench with a gifted coaching staff that includes Holly Warlick and Tanya Warren. It will provide all three of us with great experiences and allow us to share ideas with one another as we take this team to South Korea. There is a wealth of knowledge on this staff, and we will work hard to represent the United States. I'm already looking forward to training camp, and of course, on to South Korea to go after the gold medal."


McKeown is a 29-year (1986-87 to present) coaching veteran who has compiled a 620-284 (.686) record overall and a 111-110 (.502) record in seven seasons at Northwestern. Prior to his arrival, Northwestern had last advanced to the postseason in 1997, and in just his second year McKeown took NU to the WNIT Sweet 16.


This past season McKeown coached the Wildcats to a 23-9 record, which marked the program's most victories since the 1995-96 season, and NU received a bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1997. When Northwestern entered the Associated Press top-25 poll for the first time since 1996 in February, McKeown became only the 10th head coach to lead at least three different programs to that distinction having also done so in stops at New Mexico State and George Washington.


To read the entire story, visit nusports.com.

tracey-williams-1989-nu-guard_350px.jpgApril 28 Update: With two days left, we're at 979 donors! Tracey has decided to up the ante even more: If an additional 121 donors make a gift by April 30, she will give an additional $25,000. That means if 1,100 donors make gifts of any amount by April 30, she will contribute $100,000 to the University!

 

April 16 Update: As of today, 687 donors have made a gift in support of the Tracey Benford Challenge! Tracey was so thrilled with the momentum and energy surrounding the challenge that she has decided to take it further: if an additional 213 donors make a gift by April 30, she will contribute an additional $25,000. This means that if a total of 900 donors make a gift by April 30, she will contribute a total of $75,000!


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Northwestern alumna and basketball standout Tracey (Williams) Benford ’91 (left) has issued an ambitious challenge to the University community: If 750 or more people make a gift by Thursday, April 30, she will contribute $50,000 to Northwestern.

 

Tracey, who played on the Northwestern women’s basketball team when they won the Big Ten women’s basketball tournament in 1990, seeks to inspire alumni, family, and friends to take part in the challenge to significantly boost giving in the month of April.

 

For Tracey—a mathematical methods and economics graduate who is now a partner at Goldman Sachs Chicago—giving back to the University is a way to remain part of the community. “When I issued this challenge,” she says, “I thought it would be a great way to do my part in reconnecting the University with its alumni. I’ve enjoyed becoming more involved, both financially and through my participation in various clubs and programs at Northwestern.”

 

“There are so many reasons to give back and so many areas to support—making a gift is about making an impact,” she says. “I want to help make the biggest impact possible with this challenge.”

 

Annual gifts provide a flexible source of funds that are needed each year for student aid, campus programs, and other initiatives. Every single corner of campus is touched by annual gifts, and small gifts can collectively make a big difference. In fact, two out of three alumni gifts are $100 or less, and these contributions add up to about $20 million each year. That’s why the Tracey Benford Challenge is focused on number of donors rather than dollars raised. Gifts of any amount to any area of the University count toward the challenge.

 

Tracey sums up her time at Northwestern simply: “There wasn’t one specific event or moment or person who made Northwestern special for me—it was everything. Northwestern helped me become who I am today.”

 

Make a gift to the Tracy (Williams) Benford challenge.

 

Tweet and post about the challenge using #NUChallenge and #4NUby430.

Thomas King’s provocative and unflinching book The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America will be the One Book One Northwestern selection for the coming academic year.


Thomas King.jpgKing’s (left) subversive account of the disastrous relationship between whites and Native Americans will be given to all incoming freshmen students at Northwestern in the fall of 2015 and serve as the centerpiece of a year’s worth of lectures, films and other programs related to issues raised in the book.


“It’s a history book that turns conventional wisdom on its head, but is told with a storyteller’s humor and elegance,” said Medill professor and former dean Loren Ghiglione, the faculty chair of the 2015-16 One Book One Northwestern program. “The Inconvenient Indian will help diminish the ignorance many of us have and focus on some important issues that don’t normally come to the fore in media.”


The themes of The Inconvenient Indian dovetail with Northwestern’s ongoing Native American inclusion efforts.


In response to a report from the John Evans Study committee, the University’s Native American Outreach and Inclusion Task Force recently recommended that the One Book program choose a reading on a Native American topic.


In light of this recommendation, “we were pleased to have received the nomination of The Inconvenient Indian for review and consideration,” said Eugene Lowe Jr., the chair of the One Book selection committee and assistant to the president.


King, a retired professor of English at the University of Guelph, is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, scriptwriter, photographer, woodworker and fledgling harmonica and flugelhorn player. An Inconvenient Indian evolved from a series of conversations and arguments that he has been having with himself and others for most of his adult life, he said.


An unconventional ‘history’ of white-Native American relations King eschews footnotes and lightly interjects his own biases and opinions the book “explores the alternately romanticized and demonized image of the Indian in popular culture, examines various attempts at cultural assimilation (including residential schools) and reveals enduring hypocrisies in the attitudes of whites toward Indians,” wrote the Canadian literary magazine Quill & Quire.


Unlike many accounts of Native American history, King’s book brings the reader up to the present day, showing that broken treaties, forced removals, murderous violence and racist stereotypes still exist, both in the US and Canada.


To read the entire story, visit the Northwestern News Center.


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Sara Schastok, president and CEO of the Evanston Community Foundation, accepts a check for $92,943.29 after Dance Marathon last month. (Photo credit: Jeffrey Wang)


Teamwork and a steady stream of donations and encouragement from across the country helped Northwestern University Dance Marathon (NUDM) one of the largest student-run philanthropies in the world break the $1 million mark this year for the fifth consecutive year.

 

NUDM 2015 raised a total of $1,130,979 in cash and in-kind donations for two worthy causes during the weekend of March 6-8.


Of the cash raised, a check for $836,489.57 was presented to Jacquie Hart, Global CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation, NUDM’s primary beneficiary. The leading global charity partners with experts to improve the life and health of kids and families around the world through an array of family-centered programs. Cortney Szlemp, NUDM’s Starlight liaison, joined Hart on stage to accept the check.


Another check for $92,943.29 was presented to the Evanston Community Foundation (ECF), an Evanston-based organization that provides funding for local grants for the common good. As NUDM’s secondary beneficiary since 1998, ECF received 10 percent of NUDM 2015’s net proceeds. The check was presented to ECF’s outgoing president and CEO, Sara Schastok.


Starlight plans to use the money to fund Starlight Sites in up to 10 Chicago-area hospitals, which will provide welcoming and kid-friendly hospital environments for chronically ill children. It was the first time since 2010 that NUDM dollars raised by Northwestern students were not used for research.


ECF will put the funds to use for a full range of local grants and programs. 


To read the rest of the story, please visit the Northwestern News Center.


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Northwestern University will donate $1 million annually to the city of Evanston for the next five years, starting this year, Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro announced in March.


Mayor Tisdahl announced the agreement by Northwestern to donate $1 million annually for the next five years in her annual State of the City speech.


“My thanks to President Schapiro for the Good Neighbor policy and this wonderful investment in our community. Northwestern is one of the great universities in the country, which is a tremendous asset for Evanston,” Mayor Tisdahl said.


Under an agreement signed recently by Mayor Tisdahl and President Schapiro, Northwestern agrees to donate $1 million annually to the city of Evanston for the city’s “Good Neighbor Fund” for a period of five years, beginning September 1, 2015. Proceeds from this donation will be spent on projects and services agreed to jointly by the mayor of Evanston and the Northwestern president.


Every July 1, the mayor of Evanston will develop a list of projects and services to be eligible for funding and provide that to the Northwestern president. The mayor and president will review the list and agree on projects and issues to be funded for the 12-month period beginning September 1.


“We’re very pleased to make this donation to the city of Evanston. One of Northwestern’s greatest assets is its location in Evanston, so we look forward to providing additional support for the important work that the city does,” President Schapiro said.


Eligible projects and services will include:


  • Capital projects supporting city infrastructure and facilities
  • Specific support for existing city services
  • Special projects

 

“Northwestern and Evanston have been partners for more than 150 years, and the relationship has been mutually beneficial to both the University and the city. This commitment ensures that this partnership will remain strong,” President Schapiro said.


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

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The Wildcats' final nonconference clash of the 2015 season, a September 26 matchup against Ball State at Ryan Field, will be played in prime time on the Big Ten Network.


The exact start time of the Northwestern-Ball State game will be announced at a later date. No matter when it begins, the game will be the first-ever matchup between the Wildcats and Cardinals on the gridiron. Northwestern has hosted at least one prime time game at Ryan Field each season since 2010.


Season tickets for Northwestern's seven-game slate at Ryan Field are on sale now. Northwestern opens the season at home against a Pac-12 foe for the second consecutive year against the Stanford Cardinal on September 5. The Wildcats will also host Eastern Illinois (September 12) and Ball State in nonconference action before welcoming Minnesota (October 3), Iowa (October 17), Penn State (November 7) and Purdue (November 14) for Big Ten battles.


Purchase season tickets today by calling the Northwestern Athletics ticket office at 888-GO-PURPLE (467-8775) or visiting NUsports.com.


To read the original story, and for more news about Northwestern football, visit nusports.com.

tullman638.jpgEVANSTON, Ill. --- The Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) will honor Howard A. Tullman, CEO of digital startup incubator 1871 and an alumnus and adjunct professor of Northwestern University, with the 2015 Public Humanities Award at the council’s annual benefit luncheon on Thursday, May 14, at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago.

 

A serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist, educator, writer, lecturer and art collector, Tullman has fostered a vibrant relationship between the humanities and business. Under his leadership, 1871 has become a globally renowned space for ideas, collaboration and innovation. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called 1871 “a driving force for Chicago’s tech scene, creating jobs and opportunity.”

 

Tullman lectures regularly on venturing, change management and entrepreneurship at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and Northwestern University School of Law.

 

Given annually by the IHC since 1984, the Public Humanities Award recognizes individuals and organizations that have helped transform lives and strengthened communities through the humanities.

 

“Business is a human pursuit, with creativity, innovation and collaboration serving as tenets for success,” said Angel Ysaguirre, IHC executive director. “Howard has highlighted these principles in the operations of 1871, with initiatives that engage political leaders, veterans, women, youth and people of color. He models the way the humanities can strengthen all aspects of life, including business.”

 

Throughout his career, Tullman has encouraged art as a vantage point for expression and digital innovation. He is a co-founder and former chairman and CEO of Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, a premier digital media arts college in Chicago. He also served as president of Kendall College in Chicago and transformed the 70-year-old college into a major national leader in the culinary and hospitality education market.

 

Tullman received a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern in 1967 and a J.D. from the School of Law in 1970. At the School of Law, he graduated with honors, was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as the chairman of the editors of The Law Review. He is the author of “The Perspiration Principles” and writes a weekly blog for Inc. magazine.

 

“Howard is a cultural phenomenon,” said Joel Henning, IHC board member and one of this year’s co-chairs. “I’m delighted to help honor a man who has done more than anyone here to nurture high-tech creativity and entrepreneurialism and also stimulate cutting-edge contemporary art, all of which has vastly enhanced the economics and culture of Illinois and indeed the entire country.”

 

Visit Northwestern News for more

Deary.jpeg

Ashley Deary, a guard on the women's basketball team, was one of 39 Northwestern student-athletes in five winter sports to earn Academic All-Big Ten honors this year.

 

Thirty-nine Northwestern student-athletes in five winter sports have been named Academic All-Big Ten honorees. Coupled with Northwestern's 102 fall award winners, a total of 141 Wildcats have earned academic all-conference accolades thus far in 2014-15.

 

Northwestern's five eligible sports for the winter season are men's and women's basketball, men's and women's swimming and diving, and wrestling. Northwestern's fencing program, which recently secured its 15th straight top-10 national finish at the NCAA championships, will be recognized during the spring at-large period.

 

To earn Academic All-Big Ten recognition, an athlete must be in at least his or her second year at the institution, letter in his or her sport and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.

 

The Big Ten will also hand out its Distinguished Scholar Award at the end of the academic year. Student-athletes eligible for the Distinguished Scholar Award must be letter winners in at least their second year at their institution. Qualifying student-athletes must have earned a GPA of 3.7 or higher for the current academic year, excluding summer school. The 3.7 GPA benchmark was designed to include the top 10 percent of all eligible student-athletes.

 

The Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award was established by conference Faculty Representatives as an addition to the conference's Academic All-Big Ten program. This year's recipients will be honored before the fall, based on their GPAs from the 2014-15 academic year.

 

To read the original post and see a list of all Northwestern student-athletes who earned Academic All-Big Ten honors this winter, visit nusports.com.

intellicare638 (1).jpgCHICAGO --- Feeling blue or anxious? Now, there’s a mobile ‘therapist’ designed to understand you and suggest the ideal mini-app to lift your particular mood.

 

The ‘therapist’ is Intellicare, a new suite of 12 interactive mini-apps to combat depression and anxiety, launched by Northwestern Medicine and funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. 

 

Do you criticize yourself a lot? “Thought Challenger” can help. Ruminating about the tense meeting with your boss? Use the “Worry Knot” app. Does your life sometimes feel empty or meaningless? Try “Aspire.”

 

Intellicare will function like a shopping site that recommends the perfect pair of platform sandals based on your past purchases and browsing. But this app will suggest a simple mobile app to salve your mental distress based on your past preferences and feedback from the larger crowd of users.

 

The new mini apps are currently free for download on Google Play for Android phones. You can find the ones that are right for you. Or you can use the IntelliCare Hub app, which will make recommendations for you. The recommender system -- novel for mental health apps -- will be built based on information it receives from users about what is useful, and will become more accurate as the user base grows. 

 

“This is precision medicine for treating depression and anxiety delivered directly to the user,” said David Mohr, professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and director of the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies. “Using digital tools for mental health is an important part of our future. It will help the millions of people who want support but can’t get to a therapist’s office.”  

 

The Intellicare algorithm will recommend new apps each week to keep things fresh, provide new opportunities for learning skills and avoid user boredom. Each one was designed by Northwestern clinicians and based on validated techniques used by therapists.

 

“We know these approaches work,” Mohr said. “They are designed to teach many of the same skills that therapists try to teach people. Different things work for different people. The goal is to find what’s right for you.”

 

Mobile mental health is a growing field that’s generating excitement. But most of the apps available today are poorly designed and not based on validated psychological theory, Mohr said. People may download them but often don’t use them more than once. Thus, it’s important to create apps that can continue to offer new strategies, so people stay engaged.

 

Mental health treatment delivered on mobile phones or the web has the potential to help the millions of Americans who do not get adequate care for depression and anxiety because of time constraints, cost or reluctance to talk to a therapist. More than 20 percent of Americans will have significant symptoms of depression or anxiety each year, but only around 20 percent of people with a mental health problem get adequate treatment.

 

Intellicare is a national research study. Individuals can download the apps with no obligation. But Northwestern researchers hope users will provide confidential feedback, via four weekly questions, that will be used to develop the recommender system. The data will help the system make better recommendations and provide more personalized treatment.

 

People also may enroll in a study in which they will be paid to provide more feedback. They also will have access to an Intellicare coach who will support them in using the apps. This study will assess Intellicare’s effectiveness for treating depression and anxiety.

 

Learn more at https://intellicare.cbits.northwestern.edu/

 

Join the study at https://intellicare.cbits.northwestern.edu/join

 

See more in Northwestern News

 

The Northwestern women's basketball team won 23 games this season, their highest win total since the 1995-96 campaign.


The Wildcats reached the NCAA tournament as a No. 7 seed but fell in the first round on March 20 to the 10th-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks, 57-55, in Waco, Texas.


Four Wildcats scored in double figures against Arkansas in their NCAA tournament debuts. Alex Cohen scored 13 points and added seven rebounds in her final game with Northwestern, while Ashley Deary matched her with 13 points and added four rebounds, four assists and four steals. Maggie Lyon finished with 12 points, including 10 in the second half and a team-high five assists, while Nia Coffey had 11 points and seven rebounds.


Despite the loss to Arkansas, the Wildcats can look back and reflect on a score of impressive accomplishments throughout the season. In addition to winning the most games in 19 years, the team also earned the program's first NCAA tournament bid in 18 years.


The 2014-15 team also earned the program's first Associated Press poll ranking since 1996 and the first-ever acknowledgement in the USA Today coaches poll. Finally, the Wildcats posted two separate winning streaks of at least eight games, a feat that had not been accomplished since 1979-80.


Like Cohen, classmate Karly Roser ended her collegiate career against Arkansas. The invaluable pair contributed to 67 wins since 2011 and they leave with their names dotted through the program's record book. Cohen blocked a game-high three shots against Arkansas to finish her tenure with 172, good for fourth place in program annals. In April, she represented the Wildcats at the Final Four in Tampa as a member of the 2015 Allstate WBCA Good Works Team.


Roser, a two-year captain, had two assists against the Razorbacks, bringing her all-time total to 452, the sixth-most for a Northwestern player. She is also a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.


To read the original story, and for more coverage of Northwestern women's basketball, visit nusports.com.

The sixth and final episode of The Foundation, a behind-the-scenes look at the Wildcats during spring practice, is posted above. All six episodes are available on nusports.com.

 

By Skip Myslenski
NUsports.com Special Contributor


Spring_Practice.jpgSome final notes, quotes and observations after the 'Cats wrapped up their spring labors on a sun-dappled Saturday with a practice at Lakeside Field...


THIS is that time of the year when starting jobs in the fall are often won. But, when asked which of his Wildcats had done that this spring, Pat Fitzgerald mentioned but a handful of names. He mentioned defensive linemen Dean Lowry and Deonte Gibson. He mentioned offensive lineman Geoff Mogus. He mentioned corners Matthew Harris and Nick VanHoose. He mentioned middle linebacker Anthony Walker ("Probably, at this point). He mentioned that, at wide receiver, "You're going to see guys you've always seen (Christian Jones, Miles Shuler, Cameron Dickerson) and the same thing at superback (Dan Vitale)."


The 'Cats, then, are (to use a phrase favored by coaches everywhere) still very much a work in progress.


THAT, of course, is especially true at quarterback, where there is an open competition between fifth-year senior Zack Oliver, redshirt sophomore Matt Alviti and redshirt freshman Clayton Thorson. "I've liked the way I've seen all three guys compete and progress, and I look forward to seeing the next step as we move forward in the evaluation," Fitzgerald said of them.


THORSON, after experiencing his first spring at Northwestern, said, "I learned how I had to learn. It's a process, learning plays, learning about defenses. There's a lot of things I can improve on. But it definitely was a good learning experience."


Alviti, asked what he will work on during the summer, said, "Anticipation, anticipating throws better, throwing on time. I think that comes with trust with the receivers, getting in and working extra routes. Just confidence. We all need confidence. That's what the whole team needs right now to beat Stanford (in their opener) in the fall."


Oliver, asked the same, said, "Just going in every day and just working on the ins-and-outs of the game. You can never really be satisfied with your game at any point in your career. You could ask Peyton Manning and he'd probably tell you the same thing. So it's keep going in, keep working on my footwork, keep working on my arm strength and be ready to go in fall ball."


Oliver also said that, despite their rivalry, "We're still great buddies. I don't think that's ever going to change."


THEIR foundation, the offensive line, is anchored by Mogus, a two-year starter at guard who this spring worked at left tackle. The oft-injured Shane Mertz, a lifetime tackle, has spent his time at right guard, and Saturday Fitzgerald said, "I like the spring (he) has had." He also said, "I like what both centers (Brad North and Ian Park) have done."


But, when concluding his assessment of this most-important group, he finally said, "It's a work in progress."


RUNNING BACK Justin Jackson, so impressive last fall as a true freshman, missed much of this spring after getting some minor surgery. "An oil change" is what Fitzgerald called it. But, on Saturday, he recalled recently telling his staff that this position was still as competitively deep as they've ever had with the presences of Warren Long, Solomon Vault and Auston Anderson.


"So to see that, number one, is great," Fitzgerald said. "Now will they only play running back this year? I don't know. That group is going to compete to play, and it's going to be really fun to watch how that ends up playing out."


THIS was not a new observation by Fitzgerald. It instead echoed what he has often said this spring when considering (especially) speedsters Vault and Anderson. That, in turn, iterated one of this spring's themes, his desire to get the best 11 on the field.


"I don't know if there's been a greater emphasis," he said Saturday when asked about that. "But when you don't play in the postseason for a couple of years, obviously, even if you've started, it doesn't mean that you're at where you need to be to help us win and compete for a championship and get in the postseason.


"Maybe when you look back a couple years ago, we had some experienced guys and they weren't going to get beat out. That wasn't going to happen. Well, you know what? There wasn't anybody who was out on that field that was first team All-Big Ten last year. There wasn't a coach that was an Assistant-Coach-of-the-Year or a Head Coach-of-the-Year out on that field. So we've got a lot of work to do and I think if you embrace that and don't hide from it, own why we've had mistakes in the past, you can get better. That's what I've seen the guys do."


THIS spring ended then much as it had begun, with a bevy of starting positions still unsettled and with a number of decisions yet to be made. So when must those come? "Probably a week out. A week out from the opener," Fitzgerald said.


Stay tuned.


To read the original story, and for more coverage of Northwestern football, visit nusports.com.

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Fatma Al Remaihi, CEO of the Doha Film Institute, and Everette E. Dennis, Dean and CEO of NU-Q.


Northwestern University in Qatar and the Doha Film Institute forged a new institutional partnership agreement that will begin with a collaborative study on the media industry in the Middle East.

 

The study is the first initiative under a newly-agreed alliance that will foster joint research projects, event collaboration, workshops, film screenings and master classes, internship and training opportunities as well as panel and conference programs. The study aims to produce both new information and insights made readily available to industry professionals, academics and a general readership in late 2015. Collaboration on the study design will begin in April and likely address the relative scarcity of publicly available data on subjects such as ownership structures, emerging production and distribution models, and the role of government subsidy and legal constraints.

 

“Media and communication in the Middle East is an area that is ripe for insightful, in-depth study," said Everette E. Dennis, dean and CEO of NU-Q. "NU-Q has been building a body of research that takes a keen look at media and entertainment consumption in the region. This new collaboration with the Doha Film Institute is an opportunity to look at the other side of the equation: the organizations and businesses that produce content.”

 

Fatma Al Remaihi, CEO of the Doha Film Institute, said: “By drawing on the combined strengths of the Doha Film Institute and NU-Q, we expect the results of the joint media study to make a valuable contribution to understanding content creation, production and distribution in the Middle East. This is an organic extension of our earlier joint survey, which helped compile reliable and useful data about media consumption and cultural attitudes in the region. Providing access to a credible bank of knowledge is part of our mandate and through our strategic alliance with NU-Q, we are deepening industry-academia links for the benefit of the community.”

 

NU-Q and the Doha Film Institute have had many years of successful collaborative projects, including community engagement initiatives for young people during the Ajyal Youth Film Festival and joint educational initiatives.

 

In 2014, NU-Q and the Doha Film Institute conducted the survey project “Entertainment Media Use in the Middle East,” which involved 6,000 face-to-face interviews in six nations. Most recently, the two organizations presented a special session of NU-Q’s Qatar Media Industries Forum (QMIF) panel discussion during Qumra, the Doha Film Institute’s new industry event dedicated to the development of emerging filmmakers. The QMIF panel, which included some of region’s leading figures in exhibition, distribution and production, discussed the topic ‘Meeting the demand for regional content.’

 

The upcoming study will follow the same collaborative model as "Entertainment Media Use in the Middle East." NU-Q will lead the collaborative process by reviewing existing literature and available information, gathering input and specific areas of interest from Doha Film Institute, its own faculty, and other experts, and then collaborating with the Institute on determining the scope and specific areas of inquiry.

 

Results of the collaborative study will be released and made publicly available in late 2015 on a dedicated website and in print form.

 

To read the original story, visit NU-Q's website.

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Alison Lin '10 (holding drink) talks with K. Ming Wan '74 MBA (at left, with back to camera) at the Global 'Cats Connect event in Shanghai on March 12. (Photo credit: Le Wen Jie)


The Northwestern Alumni Association's inaugural Global 'Cats Connect events were a hit, as nearly 1,000 alumni and their guests gathered in 36 cities across the United States and around the world March 12 to meet and mingle with other Northwestern graduates.


The gatherings enabled alumni on six continents to expand their networks, meet fellow graduates and show their purple pride, all on the same day. Events

were held in cities including New York; London; Tokyo; Sydney; Johannesburg; and Santiago, Chile.


“Our goal was to provide all alumni — regardless of school, campus or program — an opportunity to expand their Northwestern network,” says Sarah

Wagoner, the NAA’s senior associate director for global engagement. “We’re eager to continue the program in 2016 and add new locations around the world.”


Alumni posted photos from the events on social media, including Our Northwestern.


If you’re interested in helping coordinate a Global ’Cats Connect event in your city in 2016, please email naainfo@northwestern.edu.

Hollywood has given moviegoers many classic portrayals of grumpy old men. But new research suggests that getting older doesn’t necessarily make people cynical and suspicious.

 

Instead, trust tends to increase as people age, a development that can be beneficial for well-being, according to two new large-scale studies by researchers at Northwestern and the University at Buffalo.


“When we think of old age, we often think of decline and loss,” said study co-author Claudia Haase, an assistant professor of Human Development and Social Policy at Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy.


“But a growing body of research shows that some things actually get better as we age," Haase said. "Our new findings show that trust increases as people get older and, moreover, that people who trust more are also more likely to experience increases in happiness over time.”


The studies, combined into one research paper, have been published online in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.


In the first study, the researchers examined the association between age and trust at multiple points in history, using a sample of 197,888 individuals from 83 countries. The results suggested a positive association between age and trust, one that has existed for at least the past 30 years with little change over time.


“This suggests that it’s not simply about people being born at certain times,” said study coauthor Michael Poulin, associate professor of psychology at the University at Buffalo.


The second study followed 1,230 people in the US over time and found that these individuals became more trusting as they aged.


“For Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers alike, levels of trust increase as people get older,” said Haase, who directs Northwestern’s Life-Span Development Lab. “People really seem to be ‘growing to trust’ as they travel through their adult years.”


One explanation for age-related increases in trust is that since older adults are increasingly motivated to give back to others, they believe them to be good and trustworthy, Poulin said.


“We know that older people are more likely to look at the bright side of things,” Haase added. “As we age, we may be more likely to see the best in other people and forgive the little letdowns that got us so wary when we were younger.”


Though trust can have negative consequences, especially among older adults at risk of falling for scams and fraud, the studies found no evidence that those negative consequences erode the benefits of trust.


“Both studies found a positive association between trust and well-being that was consistent across the life span, suggesting that trust is not a liability in old age,” Poulin said.


“Our findings suggest that trust may be an important resource for successful development across the life span,” Haase added.


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

intellicare638.jpg

Feeling blue or anxious? Now, there’s a mobile "therapist" designed to understand you and suggest the ideal mini-app to lift your particular mood.

 

The "therapist" is Intellicare, a new suite of 12 interactive mini-apps to combat depression and anxiety, launched by Northwestern Medicine and funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. 


Do you criticize yourself a lot? “Thought Challenger” can help. Ruminating about the tense meeting with your boss? Use the “Worry Knot” app. Does your life sometimes feel empty or meaningless? Try “Aspire.”


Intellicare will function like a shopping site that recommends the perfect pair of platform sandals based on your past purchases and browsing. But this app will suggest a simple mobile app to salve your mental distress based on your past preferences and feedback from the larger crowd of users.


The new mini apps are currently free for download on Google Play for Android phones. You can find the ones that are right for you. Or you can use the IntelliCare Hub app, which will make recommendations for you. The recommender system novel for mental health apps will be built based on information it receives from users about what is useful, and will become more accurate as the user base grows.

  

“This is precision medicine for treating depression and anxiety delivered directly to the user,” said David Mohr, professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and director of the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies. “Using digital tools for mental health is an important part of our future. It will help the millions of people who want support but can’t get to a therapist’s office.”  


The Intellicare algorithm will recommend new apps each week to keep things fresh, provide new opportunities for learning skills and avoid user boredom. Each one was designed by Northwestern clinicians and based on validated techniques used by therapists.


“We know these approaches work,” Mohr said. “They are designed to teach many of the same skills that therapists try to teach people. Different things work for different people. The goal is to find what’s right for you.”


Mobile mental health is a growing field that’s generating excitement. But most of the apps available today are poorly designed and not based on validated psychological theory, Mohr said. People may download them but often don’t use them more than once. Thus, it’s important to create apps that can continue to offer new strategies, so people stay engaged.


Mental health treatment delivered on mobile phones or the web has the potential to help the millions of Americans who do not get adequate care for depression and anxiety because of time constraints, cost or reluctance to talk to a therapist. More than 20 percent of Americans will have significant symptoms of depression or anxiety each year, but only around 20 percent of people with a mental health problem get adequate treatment.


Intellicare is a national research study. Individuals can download the apps with no obligation. But Northwestern researchers hope users will provide confidential feedback, via four weekly questions, that will be used to develop the recommender system. The data will help the system make better recommendations and provide more personalized treatment.


People also may enroll in a study in which they will be paid to provide more feedback. They also will have access to an Intellicare coach who will support them in using the apps. This study will assess Intellicare’s effectiveness for treating depression and anxiety.


Learn more at intellicare.cbits.northwestern.edu


Join the study at intellicare.cbits.northwestern.edu/join


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

Northwestern Medicine scientists have identified a small RNA molecule called miR-182 that can suppress cancer-causing genes in mice with glioblastoma mulitforme (GBM), a deadly and incurable type of brain tumor.

 

While standard chemotherapy drugs damage DNA to stop cancer cells from reproducing, the new method stops the source that creates those cancer cells: genes that are overexpressing certain proteins.


“Our study identified miR-182 as a glioblastoma tumor suppressor that reduces the expression of several oncogenes that promote cancer development,” said Alexander Stegh, senior author of the study and an assistant professor in the Ken and Ruth Davee department of neurology and of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.


The study, published April 2 in Genes and Development, used a nanostructure called spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) to safely deliver miR-182 across the blood-brain barrier to reach tumor cells. There it directly targeted multiple oncogenes at once, increasing cancer cell death and reducing cancer cell growth. SNAs are composed of multiple strands of DNA and RNA densely arranged around a nanoparticle center.


“We demonstrate a more specific, more personalized approach to therapy,” Stegh said. “SNAs are a very promising platform to silence the particular genes that drive or contribute to cancer progression in individual patients.”


There are 16,000 new cases of the deadly brain tumor reported in the US every year. Patients have a very poor prognosis, with median survival of just 14 to 16 months.


To read the full story, visit the Northwestern News Center.

This week's Wildcat of the Week spotlight features Eleanor (Ellie) Burgess '15, a School of Communication major from Tuscon, Arizona.

 

Eleanor Burgess is a Communication Studies major and Global Health minor. She loves Northwestern because of the multiple opportunities of which she has been able to take full advantage, culminating in her Fulbright award to the UK for next year. She developed her Fulbright proposal through student entrepreneurship experiences within the Institute for Student Business Education (ISBE) where she was CEO of student startup VeNU. Her project research methodologies are shaped by her Independent Research with the local fire department to test her peer production platform for fire fighter health and safety information called FireCrowd.

 

Ellie currently works as a Resident Assistant in Bobb-McCulloch Hall and is the Marketing & Communications Assistant at the International Program Development and Global Health Office. She also was the Annual Giving intern in Alumni Relations & Development last summer where she worked on projects for Reunions and for Young Alumni.

 

Eleanor is sad to be saying goodbye to Northwestern after only three years, but she is thankful for all she has learned from her classes, her friends, and her Evanston community partners. Half of her wardrobe is now purple, and she will wear it with pride in London next year. In her last few months on campus, she hopes to cross off a few more items on her Northwestern bucket list: Painting the Rock, going to see the Chicago Opera, getting her research published, making a bonfire on the Lakefill, and, of course, playing some pick-up Ultimate Frisbee.

 

Eleanor has made lifelong friends at Northwestern, and she knows that graduating in June will be bittersweet. She is already planning on returning to campus for future reunions. She will forever bleed purple, and would like to specifically thank her Communication Studies faculty, the International Program Development and Global Health Office, Northwestern Alumni Relations and Development, and the Office of Fellowships for guiding her on her path to success.

 

In addition to her outstanding professional and academic record, Ellie supports NU through the class gift program. More on the Class of 2015 Gift. >>

 

 

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Read more 'Wildcat of the Week' profiles at alumni.northwestern.edu. >>

 

Northwestern’s new Music and Communication Building hosted its first classes for music students March 30, while the formal opening of the building will take place this fall.

 

The modern building on the Evanston campus consists of five floors and a lower level and comprises 155,000 square feet of space. It adjoins a newly created Arts Green bordered by Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art and the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts, and it affords dramatic views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline.


The top floor will accommodate administrative and faculty offices of the School of Communication. The majority of the building will serve the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music and will include classrooms, teaching labs, academic faculty offices, practice rooms, student lounges, administrative offices and teaching studios for choral, opera, jazz studies, piano and voice faculty.


The new 400-seat Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall, the Carol and David McClintock Choral and Recital Room, the Shirley Welsh Ryan Opera Theater and the Jean Gimbel Lane Reception Room also will be part of the new building, along with the Choral Organizations Office and Library and the Orchestras Office and Library.


“Beginning today [March 30], Bienen School academic faculty will provide musicology, music theory and cognition, music education and composition and music technology courses to undergraduate and graduate students in the building,” said Bienen School Dean Toni-Marie Montgomery. “Performance faculty, staff and administrators currently housed in the Music Administration Building will move to our magnificent new building in late June. Needless to say, we are thrilled to finally become one school joining our colleagues who are located in Regenstein Hall.”


Designed to be a signature building for the University, the new facility will enable the Bienen School to consolidate all of its programs in one campus location for the first time in more than 35 years. The new building connects to Regenstein Hall of Music on three floors. The majority of the school's performance faculty members are housed in Regenstein.


Bienen School faculty are looking forward to teaching in the new classrooms, which are all equipped with brand new pianos, said Rene E. Machado, Bienen School associate dean for administration and finance.


These classrooms incorporate state-of-the-art Smart Classroom technology designed using University classroom standards and in consultation with Bienen School members to ensure they meet the specialized needs of music instruction. For instance, two of the classrooms on the first floor will have 5.1 surround sound, and the largest classroom on the lower level will have 12.1 surround sound that is especially important for composition and music technology classes, Machado said.


In addition to having standardized technology that’s easily controlled by a Smart Podium, the classrooms have been designed with acoustical conditions in mind involving both audio playback and live music performance instruction.


“One of the many benefits of our coming together in one complex is that these new classrooms will be available to all faculty in the Bienen School and will support the instructional needs of both academic and performance areas of the school,” observed Machado.


“We’re looking forward to joining the Bienen School in this wonderful new building,” said Barbara O’Keefe, dean of the School of Communication. “Relocating faculty offices and administration to the new building will enable us to create additional classroom, laboratory and performance spaces in the school’s existing buildings.”


The School of Communication started moving administrators and faculty into the new building on March 23 during spring break.


On the fifth floor, the School of Communication Office of External Programs, Internships and Career Services, the school’s finance team and its Web team are moving in, along with the departments of theatre and performance studies, including many faculty offices. The rest of the office of the dean and the undergraduate resource center will move into their new fifth floor offices after Northwestern’s June 19 commencement.


The new building fits the goals of the University’s strategic plan to offer the Northwestern community and residents of the surrounding area an array of educational and cultural opportunities by establishing a physical, intellectual and performance hub on the Evanston campus.


The building design emphasizes a sustainable approach throughout, with a goal of achieving LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.


The new Arts Green west of the building consists of a 120-foot-wide pedestrian-friendly green space. This dramatic new gateway to the new building and the arts area will provide a major open space that can become a focal point for special events and recreation.


Along the edge of the lawn in front of the new facility, Northwestern is creating the Gladys “Hap” Pancoe Memorial Garden, thanks to a generous gift from Arthur Pancoe, a long-time Northwestern benefactor. Pancoe received his master’s in mathematics from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences in 1951 and was a lecturer in the department of mathematics at the University from 1947 to 1952. In honor of his family’s long relationship with the Bienen family, Pancoe chose to establish the garden near the Bienen School of Music’s new home.


The estimated cost for the new building and the adjacent green space was $108 million. Construction began in summer 2012 and has taken about three years to complete, with move-in expected to conclude in fall 2015. The architect for the building is Goettsch Partners, Inc. of Chicago.


Northwestern University’s new Music and Communication Building will be formally dedicated at a private ceremony on September 24, 2015.


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

This year’s Northwestern Externship Program (NEXT) connected 375 alumni with more than 530 students in a one-day job shadowing opportunity.

 

Externships were held both nationally and internationally. Check out photos submitted by 2015 participants below, and view more in this Our Northwestern photo album.

 

Check out #WhatsNEXTNU on Storify. >>

 

Interested in participating in next year's program? Email next@northwestern.edu

 

 

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Submitted by Matt Kelley

View this photo in the full album here.>>

 

 

 

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Submitted by @jgeoffray

View this photo in the full album here.>>

 

 

 

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Submitted by Michelle Chen

View this photo in the full album here.>>

 

 

 

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Submitted by Christy Loo

View this photo in the full album here.>>

 

 

 

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Submitted by Anne Li

View this photo in the full album here.>>

 

 

 

View full album here. >>

_DSC0981.JPGEVANSTON, Ill. --- Two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists and an internationally acclaimed best-selling author whose work was adapted into HBO’s “Game of Thrones” series are among the seven alumni honored by the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.

 

“These alumni truly represent the best of Medill,” said Dean Bradley Hamm of Medill. “They have distinguished themselves in their fields and are a credit to their alma mater. We are proud to recognize their outstanding achievements.”

 

Six alumni will be inducted into Medill’s Hall of Achievement, which was established in 1997 to recognize Medill alumni whose distinctive careers have had positive impacts on their fields and one will receive the Alumni Merit Award for Medill. The group will be honored at a banquet in May. Fantasy novelist George R.R. Martin will receive his award at a campus event in the fall.

 

The honorees include:

 

Mara Brock Akil (‘92) will receive the Alumni Merit Award for Medill at the Northwestern Alumni Association banquet in April in Chicago. Brock Akil is writer, creator and producer of several hit television series including “Being Mary Jane,” now shooting its third season on BET; “Girlfriends,” which ran for eight years on UPN and The CW; and the “Girlfriends” spinoff “The Game,” which finishes its history-making run with 147 episodes and nine seasons on The television network The CW and Black Entertainment Television. She is credited with adding an authentic African American female voice to television offerings. Brock Akil has been a consulting producer for ABC’s sitcom “Cougar Town,” supervising producer and writer on “The Jamie Foxx Show” and writer on “Moesha.” Brock Akil is also an active philanthropist as a board member for LAXArt, The Samburu Project and The Studio Museum in Harlem. Recently, she was honored by Girls Inc. for her work inspiring and advocating for girls everywhere.

 

David Barstow (‘86)        

 

Barstow is a senior writer at The New York Times. He and a colleague were awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for their stories on Wal-Mart using bribery to dominate the market in Mexico.  He was also awarded the Pulitzer for Investigative Reporting in 2009. In 2004, The New York Times was awarded in the Public Service category for the work of Barstow and Times colleague Lowell Bergman that examined the death and injury of American workers due to neglect by their employers. In addition, Barstow’s investigations have won three George Polk Awards, a Goldsmith Prize, an Alfred I. duPont Silver Baton, a Peabody Award, a Loeb Award, an IRE Award and an Overseas Press Club Citation. He also has been a Pulitzer finalist three times.

 

Patricia L. Blackburn (‘74, ‘76 MS)

 

Blackburn is an award-winning corporate communications executive who has held senior leadership roles at multiple major global corporations, including Ingersoll Rand, McGladrey, Bank of America, Goodrich Corporation and Giddings & Lewis. Before her recent retirement from corporate life, she served as Vice President of Communications, Brand & Public Affairs for Ingersoll Rand Corporation, where she led global strategy for all internal and external communications, branding and public affairs for the $14 billion diversified industrial company.  Her career accomplishments include strategic communications, brand and marketing initiatives designed to measurably enhance reputation, increase employee engagement and drive organizational performance. She currently serves as a consultant and coach, providing communications counsel to various organizations and individuals.

 

George R. R. Martin (‘70, ’71 MS)

 

Martin is a novelist and short story writer in the fantasy, horror and science fiction genres who is best known for “A Song of Ice and Fire,” his international bestselling series of epic fantasy novels that HBO adapted into the dramatic series “Game of Thrones.” Martin serves as the award-winning series' co-executive producer and scripts one of each season's 10 episodes. In 2005, Lev Grossman of Time called Martin "the American Tolkien." The magazine later named him one of the "2011 Time 100," a list of the "most influential people in the world."

 

Jack Modzelewski (‘80)

 

Modzelewski is president of the Americas for FleishmanHillard Inc., the international communications firm owned by Omnicom Group. He joined FleishmanHillard in 1990 to open its Chicago office. He went on to be FleishmanHillard’s president and chief operating officer for Europe, where he tripled the size of the firm’s operations in five years through acquisitions and organic growth. During his career he has worked with clients in numerous industry sectors and has frequently counseled chief executives during crises or special situations. After receiving his Master of Science in Journalism from Medill, he was a political and government newspaper reporter for four years and had a public affairs radio show on WLUP-FM for a decade. He is a trustee of the Better Government Association and the Institute for Public Relations.

 

James Risen (‘78)

 

Risen is an investigative reporter for The New York Times, based in Washington, D.C. He was a winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for uncovering the government’s secret domestic wiretapping program and was a member of the Times reporting team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting for the newspaper’s coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He also was a winner of the 2006 Goldsmith Prize for investigative reporting. He is the author of four books: “Wrath of Angels: The American Abortion War” (Basic Books, 1998); “The Main Enemy: The Inside Story of the CIA’s Final Showdown with the KGB” (Random House, 2003), “State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration” (Free Press, 2006), and “Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014). “State of War” and “Pay Any Price” were New York Times best-sellers.

 

Nancy Utley (‘77, ‘78)

 

Utley, the president of Fox Searchlight Pictures, has overseen many of Fox Searchlight’s most successful films, which have received a total of 87 Golden Globe and 110 Oscar nominations, including the 2014 and 2015 Best Picture winners, “12 Years a Slave” and “Birdman.” Past successful films include “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” “Black Swan,”  “Juno,” “Sideways,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Napoleon Dynamite.” She previously was executive vice president of marketing for Twentieth Century Fox Film and vice president of media at Grey Advertising in New York.

 

Visit Northwestern News for more

debate638.jpgDeftly arguing both sides of critical policy issues, the Northwestern University Debate Society won a record 15th title at the 2015 National Debate Tournament in Iowa City, Iowa.

 

Northwestern won the title by beating debaters from the University of Michigan by a score of 3-2 in the final round.

 

Northwestern, already the longest-running continuous and “winningest” team in the nation, was led by seniors Arjun Vellayappan and Alex Miles.

 

For the second straight year, the duo brought home the coveted Rex Copeland Award, the prize for the team with the best record entering the tournament. Only one other team in National Debate Tournament history has won the Copeland award twice.

 

A second Northwestern team, juniors Connor O'Brien and Robel Worku, reached the eighth round of the tournament.

 

“Debate has been a central activity at Northwestern since 1856, one year after the induction of the University’s first class of students,” said Barbara O’Keefe, dean of the School of Communication, which funds and administers the Northwestern Debate Society. “We’re very proud of the achievements of Arjun, Alex and the many other team members who contributed to their success.”

 

Approximately 180 teams competed in the tournament, but none come close to matching Northwestern’s storied tradition. Northwestern’s nearest competitors, Harvard University and Dartmouth College, have both won six titles each.

 

Debaters participate in “policy debate,” a two-on-two format that focuses principally on questions of public policy. Students “switch-sides,” meaning that in a typical tournament with eight preliminary debates, each team is assigned to debate on the “affirmative” four times and on the “negative” four times.

 

The format is used to teach argument skills, not ideology. Accordingly, students learn to defend some positions they may personally agree with and some with which they differ.

 

Northwestern’s championship was the second for head coach Daniel Fitzmier, a senior lecturer in the School of Communication.

 

As the coach of the Copeland Award-winning team, Fitzmier also takes home the James John Unger Prize for the fourth time. During the course of his career, his teams have reached the finals of the National Debate Tournament 10 times.

 

Andrea Reed, a lecturer in the department of Communication Studies and the associate director for the Northwestern Debate Society, several alumni of the program and a full complement of up-and-coming student debaters also provided critical support for the team.

 

The 2014-15 season started on a high note last fall with Vellayappan and Miles, both students in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, capturing the Harvard Debate Tournament for the fifth consecutive year. “It’s one of those unlikely-to-be-broken type records,” Fitzmier said.

 

Vellayappan and Miles also won the Wake Forest University Tournament in November without losing a single debate. It was the fourth consecutive win at Wake Forest for Vellayappan, a feat so remarkable that it sparked a serious movement to rename the trophy in his honor. “These are Michael Jordan-esque numbers in the debate world,” Fitzmier said.

 

--Story written by Lori Rader-Day

 

See more in Northwestern News

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Dave Eanet, award-winning WGN-AM broadcaster and “Voice of the Wildcats,” along with Gary Saul Morson, one of Northwestern University’s most popular faculty members, will be among more than a dozen featured speakers who will lead classes on a variety of topics during A Day With Northwestern 2015.

 

Presented by the Northwestern Alumni Association (NAA) and open to the public, the event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 18 at Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, on the Evanston campus.

 

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Eanet, a 1977 graduate of the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and sports director at WGN-AM, will deliver the early afternoon keynote address. His discussion about his 40 years in Chicago radio will touch upon his work with Northwestern football and men’s basketball, his interactions with legendary local radio personalities and his coverage of the Chicago Bears during their road to Super Bowl XX.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Morson, Frances Hooper Professor of the Arts and Humanities and professor of Russian literature in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, will wrap up the day’s events with a discussion of the future of civil liberties, prospects for education in the humanities and other topics analyzed in “The Fabulous Future? America and the World in 2040,” a book he edited with Northwestern President Morton Schapiro.

 

The book is a project that largely emerged from “Alternatives: Modeling Choice Across the Disciplines,” an undergraduate class Morson and President Schapiro teach together.

 

“One of our favorite topics is the examination of different approaches to predicting the future and to understanding the past,” Morson and President Schapiro said in the book’s acknowledgements.

 

______________________

 

 

For more than 40 years, “A Day with Northwestern” has drawn hundreds of alumni, students, parents and friends for a day of hour-long presentations and lectures on timely topics from prominent Northwestern faculty and alumni. This year’s attendees will select among 14 classes, on topics including global health studies, Buddhist art, the famous Chicago “L” and more.

 

Since space is limited and a crowd is expected, interested participants are encouraged to register early at alumni.northwestern.edu/ADayWithNU.

 

Registration fees, which include admission to the two keynotes, choice of three breakout sessions and a boxed lunch, vary. A full schedule of programs and presenters is available online.

 

 

 

 

For more information, contact the NAA by phone at (800) NU-ALUMS or (847) 491-7975 or email alumnieducation@alumni.northwestern.edu.

 

NORTHWESTERN NEWS: www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/

 

 

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Catalyzer_SocialMedia_160x160.jpgEVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University students are known for pounding the pavement to raise funds for nonprofit projects on campus. Catalyzer, a new online tool, is now expanding their reach, enabling students to connect with Northwestern alumni and others through interactive and engaging fundraising campaigns.

 

Catalyzer is powered by ScaleFunder, a crowdfunding fundraising platform for educational institutions. All gifts made through Catalyzer are tax deductible, with 100 percent of contributions directly benefiting the Northwestern student-led projects, regardless of whether they meet their fundraising goals. Gifts also count toward We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern.

 

Northwestern launched the tool earlier this month to connect students with alumni who share in their interests. “Catalyzer gives student leaders a powerful new social media tool for raising awareness about and funds for projects, events and organizations for which they may share a common passion with other members of the Northwestern community,” said Bob McQuinn, vice president for alumni relations and development. “The platform will connect students to alumni, parents and friends of the University to address important challenges through philanthropy.”

 

NU Threads is one of the first four student groups to launch projects on Catalyzer, using video, social media and well-written pitches to creatively share their fundraising goals and accept gifts online. NU Threads provides free professional and formalwear to students who feel otherwise unprepared for a business casual, business formal or professional event because of their attire.

 

“Our shared formalwear closet is aimed at alleviating the burden that socioeconomic status disparity places on student involvement in professional and extracurricular activities,” said Pooja Mirchandani, a senior at Northwestern and chief executive officer and co-founder of NU Threads.

 

Read the full story at wewill.northwestern.edu >>

EVANSTON, Ill. --- A group of Northwestern University emeriti faculty members gathered at Zhivago restaurant in Skokie on a recent evening in March to catch up with old friends and make new ones.

 

“Suddenly, you have an opportunity to speak with faculty from medicine, from the Chicago campus, colleagues in communication, in the college of arts and sciences and all through the University,” said Fred Hemke, president of the Northwestern Emeriti Organization (NEO).

 

Two years into his retirement, Hemke, a Northwestern emeritus saxophone performance professor, remains both a teacher and a student through his NEO leadership role.

 

 

With the support of the Office of the Provost, NEO was founded in 2001 to further the social and professional life of the emeritus community and to ensure that Northwestern continues to benefit from the considerable talents of its retired faculty members.

 

“Although we retire from Northwestern, the emeriti don’t retire from life,” said Hemke, who in 2013 retired after 50 years of service to the University.

 

The soon-to-be 80-year-old virtuoso now wants to spread the word about NEO and grow its member activities.

 

That ambition got a big thumbs up from Carol Simpson Stern, a professor at the School of Communication who was the guest speaker during the recent NEO gathering.

 

“I think this group is a real resource -- it’s vital to help faculty think through what they want to do in retirement,” stressed Simpson Stern, who said that the NEO gathering has moved her to give more thought to her own retirement.

 

NEO members, who number more than 500, meet once a month for lunch at Prairie Moon restaurant in Evanston and three times a year at a local restaurant for a dinner featuring a guest speaker.

 

“The Northwestern Emeriti Organization adds an important dimension to our campus community,” said Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, associate provost for faculty and the Frances Willard Professor of Human Development and Social Policy at Northwestern.

 

“Many emeriti faculty members continue their vibrant scholarship for many years after retirement,” she said. “Together, they bring a multitude of experience in teaching, research, advising and academic leadership.”

 

Rather than stepping blindly into the unknown or accepting retirement as “the end,” NEO President Hemke said he benefited greatly from joining a network of esteemed colleagues. Staying in the company of so many powerful intellects, he said, keeps his interests growing.

 

“There’s something very stimulating about meeting other faculty who have shared experiences of the University but have diverse views of life and of their own particular field,” he said.

 

Simpson Stern, who shared highlights of her experience in the academy during her recent talk, guessed that many of her colleagues at Northwestern were unaware that NEO exists.

 

Hemke and volunteers from the group have pledged to utilize new technology tools to expand networking and connect emeritus faculty with individuals and organizations -- both inside and outside the University.

 

“We look forward to collaborating with executive committee members to continue building opportunities for mutual engagement over the next years,” Chase-Lansdale said. “I hope that faculty, staff and students at Northwestern will call on the emeriti organization to contribute to community building, mentoring and University service.”

 

See more in Northwestern News

perkins.jpgEVANSTON, Ill. --- Donald S. Perkins, retired CEO and chairman of the board of Jewel Companies and a member of Northwestern University’s board of trustees, died at his home in Northfield, Ill., on March 25. He was 88.

 

Perkins joined the Northwestern University Board of Trustees in 1970 and was elected a Life Trustee in 2003. He served as vice chairman of the board and on the nomination of trustees and officers, development, executive, budget, compensation, and educational policies committees.

 

He was co-chairman of Campaign Northwestern in 1998, as well as a member of the 1984 and 1994 Northwestern presidential search committees. He also served on the School of Communication National Advisory Council and the School of Education and Social Policy Board of Advisors.

 

Henry S. Bienen, president emeritus of Northwestern, said Perkins was “a great friend, a wonderful man and an exceptional Northwestern trustee.”

 

Bienen said, “He was a man persuaded by facts and he asked tough and penetrating questions. Don was an excellent chair of the campaign undertaken in my presidency. He worked hard on the campaign as he worked hard on whatever he undertook. Don was straightforward, honest and fair-minded.

 

“He deserved all the deep respect and admiration that he received from his many friends, fellow trustees and civic leaders. All those who knew Don will miss him,” Bienen said.

 

Perkins was named president of Jewel, a supermarket chain, in 1965 at the age of 38 and, in 1970, CEO and chairman of the board, a role he would limit to 10 years, believing that it was important for other talented leaders to have a chance to have an impact on the company.

 

He also was known as a champion for strong corporate governance. He recruited independent directors to Jewel and then made a career of being an independent director in the years that followed his retirement from Jewel in 1983. As of 2006, he had more than 350 cumulative years of experience as an independent director on corporate boards, including Inland Steel, Kodak, Corning Glass, Cummins Engine, AT&T, Lucent Technologies, Time Warner, LaSalle Partners, Freeport McMoran, G.D. Searle, TBG (Thyssen Bournemisza), Firestone, Putnam Funds, Aon, Springs Industries, Illinova and Kmart Corporation.

 

That experience led him to the creation of an annual Governance Conference, cofounded with Northwestern and Shields Meneley Partners. He served as a trustee of the Ford Foundation, the Brookings Institution and the International Council of Morgan Bank, among many other not-for-profit endeavors. He also was an active member of The Business Council. Perkins also was instrumental in the founding of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago and served as its first chairman.  

 

Perkins was born in St. Louis and raised by a single mother. He got a scholarship to Yale University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1949. Another scholarship led him to Harvard Business School, where he graduated first in his class in 1951. He served for two years in the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II and as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.

 

Perkins is survived by his wife of 30 years, Jane Phillips Perkins; daughters Betsy Perkins Hill, Susan Perkins (David MacKenzie) and Elizabeth (George) Phillips-Sorich; son Frank (Mary) Phillips; his brother Bob Perkins; sister Joan Gerrard; seven grandchildren, one great grandchild; and daughter-in-law Pat Mayland Perkins. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Phyllis Babb Perkins, his son Jervis Babb Perkins and his grandson Jeremy Jefferis Hill.

 

A memorial service will be held in May. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Donald S. Perkins Scholarship Fund at Northwestern University.

 

Donations can be made to:

 

Northwestern University

Alumni Relations & Development - GRS

Donald S. Perkins Scholarship Fund

1201 Davis Street

Evanston, IL 60208-4410

_DSC2555.JPGEVANSTON, Ill. --- Five young Northwestern University faculty members -- Oliver Cossairt, Kate Juschenko, James Rondinelli, Evan Scott and Keith Tyo -- have received a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

 

The CAREER award, the NSF’s most prestigious honor for junior faculty members, supports early career development of individuals who exemplify the role of teacher-scholar through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research. The minimum CAREER award size is $400,000 for a five-year period.

 

The award recipients’ areas of research include computational photography, modulation of the immune system, computational design of new materials, engineering microbes for biofuels, chemicals and drugs, and functional analysis in mathematics.

 

The CAREER award projects are:

 

 

 

  • James Rondinelli, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, McCormick. His aim is to design electronic properties of materials, including electrical resistivity and optical behavior, by controlling material structure at the level of atoms.

 

  • Evan Scott, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, McCormick. His project involves engineering synthetic nanostructures that mimic viruses, which will serve as tools to study inflammation resulting from viral infection.

 

  • Keith Tyo, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering, McCormick. He will investigate metabolic regulation in non-growing bacteria to better engineer highly productive microbe strains for fuel synthesis.

 

More detail on each faculty member’s research and his or her CAREER award is below.

 

Oliver Cossairt

 

Cossairt’s research is in the emerging field of computational photography, which combines expertise in optics, image processing, computer vision and computer graphics. Cossairt heads Northwestern’s Computational Photography Lab where he and his team are building a new breed of cameras with increased functionality and performance that will transform the way cameras are built in coming decades, from low-end consumer imagers to high-end scientific instruments.

 

“Support from the CAREER award will help make it possible for the Computational Photography Lab to achieve its vision of transforming advanced imaging technologies into ubiquitous and inexpensive techniques accessible to all,” Cossairt said.

 

Cossairt’s CAREER project is titled “Coherent Computational Imaging: Micro Measurements in a Macro World.” The fundamental science question Cossairt will address is: “What is the limit to the resolution we can achieve with digital cameras?” His team is building fundamentally new types of cameras that combine novel optics and algorithm design to achieve unprecedented levels of precision in image, depth and material acquisition.

 

The goal is to build a digital camera with the same resolution as an optical telescope using only commercially available camera modules and inexpensive optical components. The research will have a variety of applications in areas such as surveillance, remote sensing, robot navigation and autonomous vehicles.

 

To compliment this research, Cossairt and his team will develop a comprehensive education program incorporating imaging and photography for underprivileged and at-risk youth in the Chicago area. The curriculum is based on Bigshot, a build-ityourself camera that kids assemble and use to capture photos they can then share with others.

 

Kate Juschenko

 

Mathematician Juschenko is an expert in functional analysis. Her recent work is related to amenability of groups. The subject of amenability essentially begins with the Banach-Tarski paradox. Given a solid ball (one can think of an orange) in three‑dimensional space, there exists a decomposition of the ball into a finite number of disjoint subsets, which then can be put back together in a different way to yield two identical copies of the original ball.

 

The class of amenable groups was introduced and studied by John von Neumann in 1929, and he explained why the Banach-Tarski paradox appeared only in dimensions greater or equal to three. Currently amenability theory appears in many fields of mathematics, most notably in operator algebras, functional analysis, ergodic theory, probability theory and harmonic analysis.

 

Juschenko received a CAREER award for her proposal “Amenable and Recurrent Actions of Finitely Generated Groups.” The proposal is aimed to produce several examples of amenable groups and extend the technique that recently has been applied to larger settings.

 

James Rondinelli

 

Rondinelli’s passion is to understand and manipulate technologically useful materials at their most fundamental -- electronic structure -- level. His research focuses on formulating theories to understand how the distribution of electrons at the subnanometer scale governs the macroscale electrical, optical and magnetic properties of complex inorganic materials. Then, by using only chemical composition and structure as input, he computationally designs new, yet-to-be-made materials with targeted properties through predictive models.

 

Rondinelli received a CAREER award for his proposal “Ligand Engineering of Structure and Electronic Function in Complex Metal Oxyfluorides.” The project aims to design electronic properties of materials, including electrical resistivity and optical behavior, by atomic-scale control over material structure. Specifically, Rondinelli and his group will explore oxides with transition metal cations and focus on the effect that fluorine (the ligand that substitutes for oxygen atoms in the materials) has on the electronic functionality for applications ranging from solar energy absorbers to optoelectronic devices. The project includes education and outreach activities, including design of curriculum materials for high school students that meet newly required Next Generation Science Standards, and the creation of a Materials Informatics Curriculum to engage undergraduate and graduate students in data-centric materials science methods.

 

“Receiving this award is a great honor and will enable our research group to explore a new structure-based design approach,” Rondinelli said. “For example, most conventional property-by-design routes in these material families have relied on changing the transition metal cation. This project seeks to apply another route: tuning the interactions in the crystal through anion substitution for targeted functionality.” The range of control over the material functionality with this modality has been poorly explored theoretically and computationally. This effort, Rondinelli said, will address what’s possible and to what extent such materials may be useful to next-generation energy-conversion and electronic devices.

 

Evan Scott

 

Scott’s research lies in the relatively new area of immunoengineering, which is a branch of biomedical engineering that applies principles from engineering and rational design towards the understanding and modulation of the immune system. The work of Scott’s group specifically focuses on the design, synthesis and application of nanomaterials that target and influence inflammatory cells. He uses these materials in the development of new strategies for vaccination and the treatment of diseases involving inflammation, such as heart disease and cancer.

 

His CAREER project is titled “Rational Design of a Biomimetic Nanomaterial Library to Probe Mechanisms Behind Virus-Induced Immunopathology.” Scott will investigate how certain biochemical and cellular triggers of inflammation can generate a distinct and reproducible immunological response. His unique strategy involves the engineering of synthetic nanostructures that mimic viruses, which have evolved diverse mechanisms of immune stimulation. These nanostructures will function as versatile tools to controllably test hypotheses of how viral inflammatory triggers induce a specific disease state.

 

The educational objective of his project implements a multi-pronged high school program that exposes students and their parents to the diverse opportunities made accessible by a career in biomedical engineering. Successful women and underrepresented minority scientists, consisting primarily of biomedical engineering faculty, will be invited to a local high school for seminars and one-on-one mentoring sessions with students and their parents.

 

“The NSF CAREER award is a great honor that often takes many years and attempts to obtain, so I feel very grateful and humbled to have received it so early in my career,” Scott said. “This funding will support one of my new Ph.D. students throughout his degree and will allow us to develop novel bionanotechnology for investigating inflammation related to viral infection, as well as strengthen the educational connection between Northwestern and a local high school in Evanston.”

 

Keith Tyo

 

Tyo’s lab carries out synthetic biology research, engineering microbes for the production of biofuels, chemicals and drugs from renewable resources like non-food biomass. His group studies the properties of enzymes and metabolic regulation to identify the genetic changes required for economically feasible biofuel production processes.

 

His CAREER project is titled “Engineering Non-Growth Metabolism for High-Yield Biochemical Production.” Non-growing microbes do not waste raw materials (sugars) on making more cells and could, in theory, convert 100 percent of the sugar to biofuel without waste. In reality, microbes shutoff metabolism when they stop growing and make only trace amounts of the biofuel. Tyo will identify the specific rate-limiting steps that inhibit product synthesis using network-enabled thermodynamics. These rate-limiting steps will be engineered to yield highly productive strains for fuel synthesis.

 

“It is an honor to receive the CAREER award,” Tyo said. “I see the CAREER as an acknowledgement by senior researchers in my field that my lab is studying impactful problems with novel approaches. The CAREER will enable us to put substantial resources toward pursuing a new approach to engineering microbes and enabling the synthetic biology paradigm.”

 

Tyo’s CAREER award also will fund his initiative to send master’s students to Cape Town, South Africa, to analyze biotech opportunities for improving low-income health care and mitigating pollution from mine waste.

 

See more in Northwestern News

BUFFETT_by_Sean_Su-WEB-900x600.jpgNorthwestern University is launching a search for a new leader of the Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Studies who will lead the transformation of the Buffett Institute into a world-renowned hub of global research, scholarship and education.

 

The new institute will take shape thanks to the historic gift of more than $100 million made by alumna Roberta Buffett Elliott earlier this year and aimed at funding fellowships, travel, research at home and abroad, scholarships for international students and interdisciplinary professorships.

 

The search committee, chaired by Henry Bienen, president emeritus of Northwestern, will be assisted by the search firm Russell Reynolds Associates. The committee will convene in spring 2015.

 

Search committee members are:

 

Henry Bienen, chair and president emeritus, Northwestern University

 

Sally Blount, dean, Kellogg School of Management

 

Ron Braeutigam, associate provost for undergraduate education and Harvey Kapnick Professor of Economics, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (WCAS)

 

Nim Chinniah, Northwestern executive vice president

 

Ivo Daalder, president, Chicago Council on Global Affairs

 

Brian Edwards, associate professor of English, comparative literary studies and American studies; director, Program in Middle East and North African Studies (MENA)

 

Vinayak Dravid, professor, Materials Science and Engineering, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science

 

Soyini Madison, professor, Performance Studies, School of Communication

 

Hendrik Spruyt, Norman Dwight Harris Professor, Political Science, WCAS; former director, Buffett Center

 

Jay Walsh, Northwestern vice president for research

 

Ellen Wartella, professor and chair, Communications Studies, School of Communication

 

Staff support will be provided by Jake Julia, associate vice president and associate provost for academic initiatives; Marianna Kepka, assistant provost and director of Change Management and Eileen McCarthy, director, Office of Change Management.

 

The Buffett Institute for Global Studies will follow a multidisciplinary and problem-solving approach to advancing important global issues and “take the scope and impact of our global programs to a whole new level,” said President Morton Schapiro when the University announced Mrs. Elliott’s unprecedented gift of more than $100 million on Jan. 28.

 

For more, visit Northwestern News

Photo by Sean Su, Daily Staffer

Building_by_Sean_Su_WEB-900x601.jpgEVANSTON, Ill. --- The first classes to be held in Northwestern University’s new Music and Communication Building will begin Monday (March 30) for music students, while the formal opening of the building will take place this fall.

 

The modern building on the Evanston campus consists of five floors and a lower level and comprises 155,000 square feet of space. It adjoins a newly created Arts Green bordered by Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art and the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts, and it affords dramatic views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline.

 

The top floor will accommodate administrative and faculty offices of the School of Communication. The majority of the building will serve the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music and will include classrooms, teaching labs, academic faculty offices, practice rooms, student lounges, administrative offices and teaching studios for choral, opera, jazz studies, piano and voice faculty. The new 400-seat Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall, the Carol and David McClintock Choral and Recital Room, the Shirley Welsh Ryan Opera Theater and the Jean Gimbel Lane Reception Room also will be part of the new building, along with the Choral Organizations Office and Library and the Orchestras Office and Library.

 

“Beginning today [March 30], Bienen School academic faculty will provide musicology, music theory and cognition, music education and composition and music technology courses to undergraduate and graduate students in the building,” said Bienen School Dean Toni-Marie Montgomery. “Performance faculty, staff and administrators currently housed in the Music Administration Building will move to our magnificent new building in late June. Needless to say, we are thrilled to finally become one school – joining our colleagues who are located in Regenstein Hall.”

 

Designed to be a signature building for the University, the new facility will enable the Bienen School to consolidate all of its programs in one campus location for the first time in more than 35 years. The new building connects to Regenstein Hall of Music on three floors. The majority of the school's performance faculty members are housed in Regenstein.

 

Bienen School faculty are looking forward to teaching in the new classrooms, which are all equipped with brand new pianos, said Rene E. Machado, Bienen School associate dean for administration and finance.

 

These classrooms incorporate state-of-the-art Smart Classroom technology designed using University classroom standards and in consultation with Bienen School members to ensure they meet the specialized needs of music instruction. For instance, two of the classrooms on the first floor will have 5.1 surround sound, and the largest classroom on the lower level will have 12.1 surround sound that is especially important for composition and music technology classes, Machado said.

 

In addition to having standardized technology that’s easily controlled by a Smart Podium, the classrooms have been designed with acoustical conditions in mind -- involving both audio playback and live music performance instruction.

 

“One of the many benefits of our coming together in one complex is that these new classrooms will be available to all faculty in the Bienen School and will support the instructional needs of both academic and performance areas of the school,” observed Machado.

 

“We’re looking forward to joining the Bienen School in this wonderful new building,” said Barbara O’Keefe, dean of the School of Communication. “Relocating faculty offices and administration to the new building will enable us to create additional classroom, laboratory and performance spaces in the school’s existing buildings.”

 

The School of Communication started moving administrators and faculty into the new building on March 23 during spring break.

 

On the fifth floor, the School of Communication Office of External Programs, Internships and Career Services, the school’s finance team and its Web team are moving in, along with the departments of theatre and performance studies, including many faculty offices. The rest of the office of the dean and the undergraduate resource center will move into their new fifth floor offices after Northwestern’s June 19 commencement.

 

The new building fits the goals of the University’s strategic plan to offer the Northwestern community and residents of the surrounding area an array of educational and cultural opportunities by establishing a physical, intellectual and performance hub on the Evanston campus.

 

The building design emphasizes a sustainable approach throughout, with a goal of achieving LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

 

The new Arts Green west of the building consists of a 120-foot-wide pedestrian-friendly green space. This dramatic new gateway to the new building and the arts area will provide a major open space that can become a focal point for special events and recreation.

 

Along the edge of the lawn in front of the new facility, Northwestern is creating the Gladys “Hap” Pancoe Memorial Garden, thanks to a generous gift from Arthur Pancoe, a long-time Northwestern benefactor. Pancoe received his master’s in mathematics from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences in 1951 and was a lecturer in the department of mathematics at the University from 1947 to 1952. In honor of his family’s long relationship with the Bienen family, Pancoe chose to establish the garden near the Bienen School of Music’s new home.

 

The estimated cost for the new building and the adjacent green space was $108 million. Construction began in Summer 2012 and has taken about three years to complete with move-in expected to conclude in fall 2015. The architect for the building is Goettsch Partners, Inc. of Chicago.

 

Northwestern University’s new Music and Communication Building will be formally dedicated at a private ceremony on September 24, 2015.

 

To see more about the plans for the building, click here.

 

To see a description of the new building’s design and construction, click here.

 

To see a University map showing the building’s location on campus, click here.

 

To see a live Webcam look at the site in its final phase of construction, click here.

 

See the original story in Northwestern News

Photo by Sean Su, Daily Staffer

03-zambia.jpgThere is water everywhere in Zambia: the African nation is home to the world’s largest waterfall, Victoria Falls, and the rainy season can create flooding that makes roads impassable.

 

However, Zambians are among the 748 million people worldwide who struggle with access to drinkable water, as a group of NU-Q students saw for themselves during this year’s Spring Break.

 

Each year a group of NU-Q students organize a Service Learning Trip. The students' goal is to raise awareness of a global issue, raise money to address the issue, and travel to see the crisis and work on local community projects.

 

For the 2015 trip, students choose the global water crisis, an issue that hits close to home. With no natural fresh water supply, Qatar has as little as two days of desalinated water reserves, according to the Qatar National Food Security Programme.

 

“We chose the global water crisis because it resonates with us, living in Qatar,” says Syed Owais Ali, an NU-Q student and one of the trip’s organizers. “We have now raised almost enough money to provide clean water to 40 people for 20 years.”

 

Everette E. Dennis, dean and CEO of NU-Q, believes experiences like this are crucial to developing a more global perspective. “Service Learning Trips are a student initiative: they research issues, plan the trip, raise money and awareness and share their experiences with the rest of the student body. This trip to Zambia has opened their minds and it will make them better journalists and media professionals.”

 

While in Zambia, the students traveled to a small village to see how people struggle to get clean water. They also spent time in a school in one of the poorest parts of the African nation, teaching and helping build a new classroom.

 

"It is astonishing to see how much we achieved in such a short period of time. We plastered walls and made the floor of a large classroom and taught more than 150 students as a group. These trips allow us to understand global issues in a more complex and intimate way. This kind of learning cannot happen in a classroom setting," remarked Syed Owais Ali.

 

To raise money, the student group created their own campaign to raise money for Charity Water, an organization that delivers water, sanitation and hygiene services to developing countries. The campaign was a ‘chilli challenge,’ an innovative way to get people thinking about clean water. Participants eat a hot chilli, which immediately makes them crave a glass of cold water. The group has collected videos of the challenge on their Facebook page, Qats for Zambia.

 

See more in Northwestern News Qatar

This week's Wildcat of the Week spotlight features Lita Talisman '15, a School of Education and Social Policy major from Bethesda, MD.

 

Northwestern University has been my home for the past four years. I love NU because it allows for a vast range of opportunities to get involved, experience new things, and have an unforgettable college experience.


I've not only gotten the chance to attend Big 10 sporting events, take stimulating classes, and travel abroad to learn even more, but I have also made so many lifelong friends.

 

I give back to NU, because I want future students to be able to have similar experiences to mine. I have gotten so much from this school and I would love to give back in order to ensure that it continues to thrive. Additionally, the organizations that I've been involved in have been so important to my time here and I would love to come back and see them grow.


More on the Class of 2015 Gift. >>

 

 

2015.4.8_WotW_Talisman_Lita_2_504px.jpg

 

Read more 'Wildcat of the Week' profiles at alumni.northwestern.edu. >>

Meimei Li Undergrad.jpgEVANSTON, Ill. --- A research team led by Northwestern University nanomedicine expert Chad A. Mirkin and Sergei Gryaznov of AuraSense Therapeutics is the first to show spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) can be used as potent drugs to effectively train the immune system to fight disease, by either boosting or dampening the immune response. The initial treatment triggers a cell-specific immune response all over the body.

 

By increasing the body’s immune response toward a specific cell type, SNAs could be used to target anything from influenza to different forms of cancer. They also can be used to suppress the immune response, a tactic important in treating autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues.

 

“The ability to selectively trigger the immune response with spherical nucleic acids presents a whole new way of thinking about drug development,” said Mirkin, a corresponding author of the study. “Once developed fully, SNAs will lay the foundation for developing an entire new pipeline of drugs to treat a range of diseases, from psoriasis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis to lymphoma, bladder cancer and prostate cancer.”

 

Mirkin is the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and professor of medicine, chemical and biological engineering, biomedical engineering and materials science and engineering.

 

The study also shows that a spherical structure is the ideal architecture for delivering nucleic acids into cells for therapeutic purposes. The spherical arrangement of approximately 100 DNA strands attached to a benign nanoparticle core made of lipid or gold significantly outperformed nucleic acids in linear form.

 

The advantages of spherical nucleic acids in targeting the immune system include:

 

  • SNAs are nontoxic. Cells take them up naturally without the conventional need for a secondary agent, which can result in toxicity.
  • SNAs naturally go to the right place in cells. They enter via the endosome, a compartment where the immune system’s toll-like receptors (TLRs) are located. The TLRs are the controls of the immune system.
  • SNAs are very potent. The single-stranded DNA on the nanoparticle core can be ideally positioned and oriented to specifically and fully interact with the targeted toll-like receptors. (Linear nucleic acids are delivered in random form and, therefore, do not engage the TLRs as effectively.)

 

The study was published last month by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

 

Mirkin and his colleagues tested their SNAs head to head with known linear nucleic acids, targeting lymphoma and a form of autoimmune hepatitis. “The spherical nucleic acids always win from potency and speed standpoints, which corresponds with our understanding of their pathway of cellular entry,” Mirkin said.

 

The researchers design SNAs for individual targets. Different DNA sequences are used to engage specific toll-like receptors, which result in either a stimulation or suppression of the immune response, depending on what the goal is.

 

When an SNA with its nucleic acid shell approaches a cell, it is engulfed in the form of an endosome and taken inside the cell. Once in the endosome, the DNA strands of the SNA interact with toll-like receptor proteins (TLRs). The signaling of TLRs plays an essential role in the innate immune response.

 

In a study of mice, the researchers tested SNAs against lymphoma. For the animals treated with SNAs, the researchers found a significant decrease in tumor growth and a doubling of lifespan. The potency was up to an 80-fold increase over linear nucleic acids of the same sequence. In this case, SNAs trained the immune system to seek out and destroy lymphoma cells.

 

Next, focusing on nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), the researchers found eightfold increases in potency when animals were treated with SNAs and a 30 percent greater reduction in the animals’ fibrosis score. This observation has significant implications for treating liver cancer and cirrhosis patients.

 

“The beauty of the approach is that a very small amount of drug does a tremendous amount of work,” Mirkin said. “The SNAs trigger the immune response and, without more drug, additional cells are trained to behave the same way as the initial cells. This gives you a catalytic effect that grows into a systemic search for cells that look, for example, like lymphoma cells.”

 

Mirkin invented SNAs, new spherical forms of DNA and RNA, at Northwestern in 1996. SNAs are nontoxic to humans, making them a versatile tool in medicine.

 

The current study’s results show, Mirkin said, that if you want to make vaccines out of nucleic acids or if you want to modulate the immune system using nucleic acids, for vaccines or systemic suppression therapies, then the spherical nucleic acid architecture is likely the most potent.

 

The National Institutes of Health through the Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence initiative (award number U54 CA151880) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (grant number HR0011-13-2-0018) supported the research.

 

The title of the paper is “Immunomodulatory Spherical Nucleic Acids.”

 

In addition to Mirkin and Gryaznov, other authors of the paper are Natalia Chernyak (co-first author) and Timothy J. Merkel, from Northwestern, and Aleksandar F. Radovic-Moreno (co-first author), Christopher C. Mader, Subbarao Nallagatla, Richard Kang, Liangliang Hao, David A. Walker, Tiffany L. Halo, Clayton Rische, Sagar Anantatmula and Merideth Burkhart, from AuraSense Therapeutics, LLC.

 

Editor’s note: Chad Mirkin and Sergeu Gryaznov have interest in AuraSense Therapeutics, a startup biotechnology company that is commercializing spherical nucleic acid-based therapeutics and licensed the SNA technology from Northwestern University. Mirkin is a co-founder of the company.

 

See Northwestern News for the original story

kaplan175.jpgEVANSTON, Ill. --- Harold Kaplan, Northwestern University professor emeritus of English and American literature, died March 7 in Williamstown at the age of 99 following a period of declining health.

 

A distinguished literary critic and poet, Kaplan joined Northwestern in 1972 and retired in 1986.

 

“He arrived the same year I did, he as an eminent senior professor and I just out of graduate school,” said Carl Smith, a celebrated author and the Franklyn Bliss Snyder Emeritus Professor of English and American Studies at Northwestern. “Harold was a very important friend and wise mentor who encouraged me and helped me with my work in my early career.”

 

The youngest of seven children, Kaplan was born in Chicago in 1916 to Lithuanian immigrants Elia and Ida Kaplan. He grew up on the South Side and attended the University of Chicago on a scholarship.

 

After post-graduate study in English literature, Kaplan made his way to New York City. There he settled into a thriving literary scene in Greenwich Village and became friends with many noted literary figures of his generation, including Saul Bellow, Delmore Schwartz and Stanley Edgar Hyman.

 

Following his discharge from the U.S. Army in 1946, Kaplan was hired by Rutgers University, where he discovered his passion for teaching. He joined the literature division at Bennington College in 1949 to begin a long career in teaching literature and creative writing.

 

In 1961, he embarked on one of a series of Fulbright-sponsored teaching positions in Dijon, France, where he met and fell in love with Isabelle Ollier of Clermont-Ferrand, a city in France. They married and in 1962 returned to Bennington, where she joined him on the faculty.

 

“What was wonderful about him, in addition to his penetrating intelligence, was his passion for ideas generally,” Northwestern’s Smith said. “He was deeply engaged not only in the study of literature but also in the major social, political and philosophical issues of our time.”

 

Kaplan is the author of “The Passive Voice: An Approach to Modern Fiction,” “Democratic Humanism and American Literature,” “Power and Order: Henry Adams and the Naturalist Tradition in American Fiction,” “Conscience and Memory: Meditations in a Museum of the Holocaust,” “Poetry, Politics and Culture: An Argument in the Works of Eliot, Pound, Stevens and Williams,” a book of his poetry titled “Redemptive Memory,” and a family collection, “A Memoir of Being Human.”

 

During the four years that Kaplan served in the Army, he trained pilots in Texas and was selected to write a history of the U.S. Army Air Corps and its role in the war.

 

In addition to his wife Isabelle, Kaplan is survived by three children; Anne Kaplan, Gabriel Kaplan and Claire Kaplan, and eight grandchildren.

 

Visit Northwestern News for more

wolves638.jpgJust over 20 years ago (March 12, 1995), a bunch of Northwestern undergrads jumped into a van to travel cross-country for spring break, and a tradition was born.

 

They were not bound for the sun and surf of some far-flung beach, but rather a broken down mining town in Appalachia.

 

Two decades later, Alternative Student Breaks at Northwestern (ASB) is celebrating a milestone anniversary. Current students and alumni say their participation in ASB over the last 20 years showed them they could make a difference and put them on a path of self-discovery.

 

Over the last two decades the idea of ASB has been borrowed and incorporated by groups at Northwestern, making for a broad variety of programs catering to students with specific needs and interests.

 

This year, for the first time, Northwestern University’s International Office led an alternative spring break trip to Memphis geared toward graduate students.

 

Habitat for Humanity offers more options in the way of service learning.

 

Students are finding new ways to change their own lives -- and those of others -- for the better.

 

“That was the genesis,” said Rob Donahue '97, who organized NU’s first Alternative Spring Break when he was a sophomore. “I was compelled to break out of the ‘bubble,’ and I learned I was not the only one who felt that.”

 

The following year, in 1996, the newly formed ASB group drove to Greensboro, Alabama, in the wake of a rash of racially motivated arsons.

 

Donahue said the students learned in news reports about a “mysterious” fire that destroyed Rising Star Baptist Church, the ninth suspected church arson targeting black congregations in Alabama that year.

 

“There was this phenomenon going on where there was this huge spate of arsons happening all across the South,” Donahue said. “Here was a pressing issue in our country, and students wanted to do something about it.”

 

They weren’t alone. People and organizations from all over the country wanted to help. The Clinton administration formed a task force to investigate the arsons and document the response.

 

Donahue appears in the first of several reports issued by the task force.

 

“Nothing prepared us for what we were going to experience,” Donahue said, according to the report. “The local community was so welcoming. The preacher even wondered whether the first guy who lit the first match understood how many people he brought together.”

 

To satisfy students’ appetite, the Northwestern chapter of ASB grew, offering more trip options to more participants in the years that followed.

 

With the oppressive Chicago winter still fresh in mind, tropical vacations have powerful allure this time of year. But a growing number of students are looking for more than a party or the perfect patch of sand.

 

Kathy Chan '01 participated in several alternative break trips during her time at Northwestern.

 

“ASB was a life-changing experience for me,” said Chan, director of policy for Cook County Health & Hospitals System. “I thought I would go to medical school at the time and change the world that way. ASB opened my eyes to that fact that you don’t have to be a doctor or a lawyer to have a positive and meaningful impact. There are many ways to be an instrument of change.”

 

Since its founding, ASB estimates that approximately 5,000 Northwestern students have participated in service trips to sites ranging from Native American Reservations in the West to Appalachian sites in the South as well as international projects in places like Honduras.

 

Last year, between pre-orientation, winter break and spring break, ASB sponsored 22 programs at sites in 17 different states.

 

Last month, a group of Northwestern ASB students volunteered at Mission: Wolf, a sanctuary in Westcliffe, Colorado, for wolves and wolf-dog crosses born in captivity.

 

Carrie Langhauser '15, one of two current ASB program directors, was among them.

 

ASB has taken Langhauser all over the country. She has volunteered for a low-income daycare center in Kansas City, a sea turtle rehabilitative center on South Padre Island, a foster home in Nashville, a high school for teen mothers in Denver and more.

 

“I love Northwestern, but I think ASB has given me a chance to take all of the knowledge I have gotten in the classroom setting and see what it means in the real world and how we can engage with real people,” Langhauser said. “ASB changed my life. I think it has been a life-changing experience for a lot of students.”

 

See the original story in Northwestern News

Deanna_Hamilton.jpg

Weinberg alumna Deanna Hamilton '97 has been named to NerdScholar's "40 Under 40 Professors Who Inspire" list.

 

Hamilton says she is privileged to witness the “light bulb moments” her students have in her classroom at Chatham in Pittsburgh.

 

“These moments don’t occur randomly,” says one colleague, but “are the products of carefully crafted learning experiences that Dr. Hamilton builds with the raw materials of time, passion, and a strong intellect.”

 

She’s known to get creative, having used the Harry Potter books as inspiration for one of her courses. As one student puts it, Hamilton is a “super-sharp tack. Anyone who is paying attention knows that pretty quickly.”

 

Read Deanna's full feature. >>