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EVANSTON, Ill. --- The latest recipients of Northwestern University’s Award for Curriculum Development will spend the summer honing three new undergraduates courses designed to adapt time-tested concepts in the classics, mathematics, neurobiology and the humanities to the modern world.


The award, a $12,500 grant sponsored by the Alumnae of Northwestern University and administered by the Office of the Provost, is designed to support the development of innovative course materials and new modes of teaching over the summer in preparation for the upcoming academic year.


Susie Phillips, associate professor of English, and Indira Raman, professor of neurobiology, will develop a course to understand the human experience by merging neuroscientific, literary and artistic perspectives -- disciplines generally thought to be at opposite ends of the academic spectrum.


The course by Francesca Tataranni, senior lecturer in classics and director of Latin instruction, will focus on the legacy of ancient Rome as reflected in the architecture, art and other forms of cultural production in Chicago.


And the course by Eric Zaslow, professor of mathematics, will look to understand human behavior, the environment and science and technology in the age of big data through quantitative reasoning.


Taught by faculty in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, the three courses represent the kind of innovative, interdisciplinary teaching faculty do every day, Northwestern Provost Daniel Linzer said.


“These excellent proposals are very much in keeping with Northwestern’s commitment to providing an outstanding undergraduate education experience for our students,” he said. “I look forward to continuing to work with the Alumnae of Northwestern University in support of this very important part of the University’s mission.”


Thought Experiments: An Exploration of Knowing Through Neuroscience and the Humanities


The goal of the course is to teach students how to think with and through very different disciplines, learning how to bridge the gap between subjects that would appear to speak different languages.


“Until a couple of centuries ago, scholars made no distinction between science and literature or science and art,” Phillips said. “Indira and I wondered what it would be like to revive this older paradigm and reintegrate these supposedly disparate ways of thinking about thinking into a single classroom. We’re absolutely thrilled that this award will enable us to do just that.”


Reading works like Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury” alongside scientific writing on neurophysiology, neuropyschiatric disorders and animal behavior, students will explore different perspectives on what constitutes thought, what free will is and isn’t, and what tools we have for making sense of some of the most fundamental aspects of human experience -- emotions, memory, perception, ethics and knowledge.


“We laid down a challenge for ourselves in setting the goal of creating a multidisciplinary course -- one that incorporates totally distinct disciplines, methods and perspectives, rather than one that spans the interface between related disciplines,” Raman said. “It is a pleasure to know that those who reviewed the application are interested in that challenge and that they were willing to validate it.”


Ancient Rome in Chicago


In her course, Tataranni will teach 21st-century students about the continuing influence of ancient Rome in modern America, particularly in Chicago.


Students will work on individual projects and present their research in the form of a video essay. Using software designed by Northwestern’s Knight News Innovation Laboratory, the entire class will then work jointly to design a virtual walking tour of all the places in the city where “memories” of ancient Rome appear.


“We see or walk by neoclassical buildings and are exposed to a variety of uses of classical imagery almost every day, which we completely take for granted,” Tataranni said. “Specifically, the focus of the class will be Chicago, the quintessential modern American city, and the way it has used classical antiquity, in particular Roman culture, to assert its own modernity.”


Expressing her gratitude for the award, Tataranni said, “This award has enhanced the potential of my class immensely.”


Quantitative Reasoning


Zaslow’s course will be part of Bridge, a residential five-week program that provides intensive instruction in pre-calculus mathematics and chemistry.


Students will learn to apply quantitative skills to a wide range of topics and problems that will not only help them succeed in future courses at the University but also in everyday, real-world situations.


The course will develop a student's ability to "argue with numbers,” Zaslow said. “They will apply basic mathematical skills in making reasoned, quantitative arguments to address questions from a variety of real-world concerns and a host of academic disciplines.”


The course will cover, for example, computing compound interest, assessing the value of a college degree, estimating the cost/benefit of undocumented workers and deciding whether health insurance is worth the expense.


“Society continually reminds me how much our citizens need to be able to understand numerical arguments when making personal financial, medical, environmental and political decisions,” Zaslow said.  “I am inspired by the idea that creating a course in quantitative reasoning and, more broadly, creating a platform and vehicle for teaching it, might actually make a bit of difference.”


See the original story in Our Northwestern



EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University will launch “Content Strategy for Professionals -- Expanding Your Content’s Impact and Reach,” an innovative new massive open online course (MOOC) and the next course in the University’s first MOOC specialization program, on June 1.


The MOOC focusing on shaping content to better engage audiences is open to all students to enroll now, online and for free.


It is the second course in a specialization program for professionals at all levels of for-profit, nonprofit, volunteer or government organizations. The course is intended to give students the knowledge and skills to advance their enterprises and their own career.


The course can be taken either as a stand-alone MOOC or as part of the specialization program. Students also can apply for a certificate. The top specialization participants will be selected to have their final project recognized and awarded a prize by a real-world enterprise.


The Content Strategy Specialization on Coursera is led by Northwestern’s Media Management Center, founded by Professor John Lavine, and a host of faculty from the University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and Kellogg School of Management.


The course on creating content for better impact and reach -- and the option to take it as part of the specialization program -- add to Northwestern’s record of innovative learning systems on the Coursera online platform.


“It is a wonderful course and opportunity for everyone who wants to improve his or her professional skills in communication, marketing and even journalism,” said Clicerio Munoz Pavon of Mexico, who participated in the first Northwestern Content Strategy MOOC -- “Content Strategy for Professionals -- Engaging Audiences for Your Organization.


The latest Content Strategy MOOC, “Expanding Your Content’s Impact and Reach” continues to serve professionals in every organization -- for-profit, nonprofit, volunteer and government. It differs from the previous MOOC as it delves deeper into the theory and practice of content strategy.


In the MOOC, six expert Northwestern professors share their insights and offer actionable advances on a range of relevant topics including: 


  • Understanding and capitalizing on content trends
  • Social community engagement strategies and how to use them
  • Gamification tools to engage with target and external audiences
  • The latest examples of effective digital interactive content
  • A best practice boot camp for visual communication
  • A guide to efficiently monitoring and measuring content’s impact and reach
  • The MOOC is divided into six modules with each separated into a number of succinct, easy-to-complete sessions. There are no prerequisites, exams or term papers. There are two practical case studies where participants will apply and execute skills learned in the course. Get details on the course and how to enroll.


About the Content Strategy Specialization


"Content Strategy for Professionals -- Expanding Your Content’s Impact and Reach": The course is one of two MOOCs in the world’s first Content Strategy Specialization offered by Northwestern on Coursera. The specialization includes this MOOC and the first MOOC "Content Strategy for Professionals -- Engaging Audiences for Your Organization," as well as a final capstone project. Get more information and signup details.


See Northwestern News for more

NUDM 2016 Beneficiary Announcement.jpg

Blessings in a Backpack, a nonprofit organization providing weekend meals for food insecure elementary school students, has been selected as the primary beneficiary for Northwestern University Dance Marathon 2016.


“Hunger controls the lives of 15.8 million children in this country, and we are beyond excited that NUDM has the opportunity to help change that,” said Arielle Miller, one of the NUDM 2016 executive co-chairs. “When you consider that just $100 feeds a child for an entire year, you realize NUDM has the power to directly impact the overall health and academic performance of thousands of kids.”

Each Friday, more than 3,700 Blessings in a Backpack volunteers distribute bags of nutritious weekend food to children who depend on the federal free and reduced price school meals program during the week.

Without food assistance, the children could go up to 65 hours, from the time they leave school on Friday to when they return Monday morning, without eating, officials said.

In Cook County, which has the fourth highest rate of child hunger in the nation, almost 260,000 children live in food insecure households.

Dance Marathon’s financial donations will first help expand existing Blessings in a Backpack programs in Evanston’s Haven Middle School and Oakton Elementary, in addition to supporting the development of new program sites in other Evanston and Chicago-area schools.

Funding will also help establish new, sustainable Blessings in a Backpack programs across the country.

Finally, as Blessings in a Backpack continues to rapidly grow, NUDM’s gift also will help the organization recruit and train new volunteers, even specifically providing resources for Northwestern-affiliated volunteers.

In addition to providing funding to support the nonprofit, NUDM will serve local Evanston schools through a new volunteer program, giving the Northwestern community a unique opportunity to engage with the beneficiary.

“Childhood hunger is an invisible problem that has spread across the United States,” said Brooke Wiseman, CEO of Blessings in a Backpack. “Being the NUDM 2016 beneficiary will allow these kids to know that people in their neighborhood care about them and are working together to keep them fed.”

For the 19th year in a row, the Evanston Community Foundation was selected as NUDM’s secondary beneficiary and will use the donation to fund a variety of local grants.

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


After more than 60 years, Kresge Centennial Hall is undergoing a 21st century transformation. Since the beginning of the 2014/2015 academic year, Kresge has been a construction zone with a major demolition taking place inside the building.

Crews removed old cinderblock walls and antiquated mechanical systems, taking the building down to its bare bones. More than 2,000 tons of material was removed from the hall during the demolition phase, and 98 percent of those materials were recycled.

Now that demolition is complete, the foundation is being laid for an expansion that will connect to Crowe Hall and centralize classroom space on the first and second floors with office and support space on the upper floors. The outside of the building will be improved, too, with masonry work and new windows.

Nearly every Northwestern University undergraduate student has taken humanities classes at Kresge since it was built in 1954. It was designed as a durable space without many creature comforts. When the project is complete by late 2016 it will have a very different look and feel with a lot of natural light, smart classroom technology and updated mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and communication systems. Project managers said it should achieve at least a LEED Silver rating.

A new designated entry to the building will face the treasured Northwestern Rock with improvements to the landscaping and pathway around the Rock Plaza. As in the past, Kresge will serve as a home for many of the humanities departments from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences once the renovation is complete.

Follow along with the project as it progresses at the “The Kresge Climb blog.

This article originally appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education on May 26, 2015.


By Gary Saul Morson and Morton Schapiro

Economists tend to be overly optimistic about growth and prosperity, while education experts tend toward unjustified pessimism. There’s no question that more and more people are arguing that, even if American higher education has had a golden age, by 2040 it will be long gone.


What will the future really look like?

There is a longstanding tradition of making bold, and spectacularly mistaken, predictions about American higher education. So it is with caution and modesty that we hazard a few of our own.


Who will teach?

One trend is clear: Tenure in American higher education has been significantly reduced. In 1975, 57 percent of all full-time and part-time faculty members were in the tenure system, a figure that has fallen below 30 percent today. Some observers predict that over the next 25 years, it will bottom out at 15 to 20 percent, largely limited to private or flagship public research universities and the wealthiest liberal-arts colleges. Our guess is that by 2040, that will be only around 10 percent. Some critics discern that as a blow to academic freedom; others anticipate declining efficiency and worsening undergraduate teaching.


But a recent analysis of data from our own university, Northwestern, indicates that the faculty outside the tenure system (a majority of whom are full time at Northwestern) actually outperform tenure-track and tenured professors in the classroom, at least in introductory classes taken by freshmen. They not only inspire undergraduates to take more classes in a subject but also lead them to do better in subsequent coursework. We applaud the increasing attention to the work conditions of non-tenure-line professors. Were they treated in a manner commensurate with their value, the rise of faculty members designated as teachers would be less a cause for alarm than some people think.


What will happen to support for public research universities?

We believe we are merely at a down part of a long cycle in federal research funding. There have been downturns before, but then support resumed its long-term upward trend, with Congress and the public recognizing the contribution of research to scientific breakthroughs and economic growth.


On the other hand, the days when public higher education attracted a stable share of state expenditures — once 7 percent, now 5 percent — are long gone. These two lost percentage points amount to around $30 billion, more than a third of current state appropriations to higher education. Almost all of that has gone to health care, specifically to Medicaid. Our best hope is that the 1990s repeat themselves and state budgets rise faster than the higher-education share of the pie declines. That would take robust economic growth, along with reining in not just health expenditures but also state-pension obligations. Not very likely.

So we expect that recent funding troubles at public institutions will not go away.


What will colleges and universities teach?

In times of uncertain economic growth, politicians focus on skills that translate fairly directly to employment. The STEM fields are today’s darlings, with the humanistic social sciences, the arts, and the humanities forgotten or worse.


That approach is shortsighted: No one should confuse starting salaries with ultimate earnings. Looking a decade or so beyond graduation, humanities majors generally have low unemployment rates and, in some cases, salaries mirroring those of workers with more technical training. To be sure, the lifetime earnings of engineering majors exceed those of arts majors by $1.4 million. But earnings of students who study the arts are nonetheless a robust $1.9 million. And, of course, the payoff to higher education isn’t limited to finances.


Still, the market test is whether students themselves are leaving the humanities in increasing numbers. By 2010 fewer than 8 percent of bachelor’s degrees were earned in the humanities. However, the biggest decline took place years ago; the percentage of degrees in the humanities has been relatively stable since the early 1980s. On the other hand, a recent study of Harvard University undergraduates shows a continuing downward trend. At Stanford University, around 45 percent of faculty members in the main undergraduate division are in the humanities, but only 15 percent of the students.


The future of the humanities may depend on a shift (we hope already taking place) away from scholarly trends that for decades have emphasized that there is no such thing as objective or intrinsic literary value. But great literature does what no other university subject can: It offers practice in empathy, emotional and intellectual, with people unlike ourselves. Increasing globalization and social diversity will put a premium on that crucial skill.


What will happen to liberal-arts colleges?

More than two decades ago, the economist David Breneman made the startling discovery that the number of "liberal arts" colleges was far smaller than popularly believed. Breneman took a close look at the 540 private colleges with few or no graduate programs and found that only 212 had even a large minority of students majoring in traditional arts-and-sciences fields. A recent study found that the number had fallen to only 130. The others had not closed but had added more preprofessional subjects and graduate programs.

The elite of the 130 remaining liberal-arts colleges are stronger than ever, but market changes will make the true liberal-arts college more of a rarity.


Will technology change how we teach?

Some educators believe massive open online courses are the wave of the future. There is something attractive about being taught by the very best microeconomist or specialist in Russian literature and going at your own pace, and that model might productively supplement traditional pedagogy. But replace it? Think of it like this: Could you do psychotherapy this way? Presence matters.


Nor do we see the residential experience for undergraduates imperiled by remote learning, especially at the nation’s selective colleges and universities. Faculty members may be blissfully unaware of it, but much learning takes place outside of the classroom. Students reflecting on their treasured educational experiences cite favorite courses and the camaraderie of an intramural team. It is hard to believe they will ever cite beloved MOOCs.


Who will go to college?

College-enrollment rates in the United States are the highest ever: Seventy percent of high-school graduates attend a two- or four-year college within 12 months of graduation. But gaps in enrollment by income and race have persisted, and prospects for children of parents with educationally disadvantaged backgrounds are worse here than in almost all other developed countries.


Moreover, not all college attendance is the same. Of collegegoing students from families with annual incomes below $60,000 in 1999, only 6 percent enrolled at "elite" institutions, compared with 26 percent from families earning above $200,000. Recent data suggest that the disparity has been growing. And while collegegoing among black and Hispanic students has been increasing, it has primarily been at open-access institutions. Significant numbers of academically qualified minority students who would thrive at selective colleges do not enroll.

Will enrollment rates continue to rise? We must first ask: Will the wage premium for having a college degree remain at record levels? And how will sticker and net prices change? Many jobs that provided good wages to workers without college degrees still exist but are now located in Bangalore, Jakarta, and Shanghai rather than Atlanta, Chicago, and Cleveland. Moreover, the days when college graduates could expect to become richer than previous generations may be over. Still, we agree with the many economists who predict that the college premium will continue to rise and, with it, the demand for higher education.


That, however, will not translate into robust growth in college revenues. Tuition increases will continue to be eroded by growth in financial aid. Public scrutiny will put the brakes on tuition increases even if the market does not. We expect the most-selective colleges to further limit prices. When you have a $4-billion operating budget and you net only $150 million from undergraduate tuition, you might eventually question the entire sticker-price/financial-aid model. Why not let anyone you admit enroll free, as many colleges do for Ph.D. students? That would affect the vast majority of other colleges, which couldn’t possibly forgo undergraduate tuition revenue.


While the current funding model is not a bubble about to burst, economic, political, and competitive pressures imply that net tuition revenue will become a smaller portion of all institutional revenue.


Whether that will mean that more low-income students will attend college — especially selective ones — is as much a matter of sociology as of economics. The focus on "going to college" obscures the fact that college is not a commodity — not a good undifferentiated by quality. The many college-outreach programs put into place in recent years will begin to help students and their families understand that.


Will the United States continue to attract large numbers of foreign students?

International students bring not only talent but also tuition revenue. Even at the most heavily endowed colleges, they receive little or no financial aid, either as undergraduates or as students in master’s-degree programs. Those dollars are especially crucial at the many less-prestigious colleges and universities that rely heavily on tuition. If foreign students stayed home, much of American higher education would feel the blow.


While the United States remains the global leader, attracting around 16 percent of all students who study abroad, 10 years ago the figure was 24 percent. As long as the overall number of students enrolling in a country other than their own continues its rapid climb, the declining share going to the United States need not be a problem. But as other countries open new colleges and universities, and increase the prestige of existing ones, the attractiveness of studying at an American institution without a global reputation will be reduced.


On the whole, however, we are optimistic about the state of American higher education in 2040. The best liberal-arts colleges will thrive — and will actually be teaching the liberal arts. Some faculty members will still be in the tenure system, but the many others will do a fine job emphasizing undergraduate teaching and will be appreciated and supported.


Public flagships will still be prominent, if not quite the world leaders they are today. American colleges and universities will continue to predominate, even if international competitors take away some full-paying foreign students. Many colleges will lose some pricing power, and all will face increasingly challenging political realities.


But a college degree will continue to be a great economic investment, and enrollments will increase to record levels. American higher education has long been the model for the world, and 25 years into the future, we are confident that will still be the case.

baby.jpgTwo pennies can be considered the same -- both are pennies, just as two elephants can be considered the same, as both are elephants. Despite the vast difference between pennies and elephants, we easily notice the common relation of sameness that holds for both pairs.

Analogical ability -- the ability to see common relations between objects, events or ideas -- is a key skill that underlies human intelligence and differentiates humans from other apes.

While there is considerable evidence that preschoolers can learn abstract relations, it remains an open question whether infants can as well. In a new Northwestern University study, researchers found that infants are capable of learning the abstract relations of same and different after only a few examples.

“This suggests that a skill key to human intelligence is present very early in human development, and that language skills are not necessary for learning abstract relations,” said lead author Alissa Ferry, who conducted the research at Northwestern.

To trace the origins of relational thinking in infants, the researchers tested whether 7-month-old infants could understand the simplest and most basic abstract relation -- that of sameness and difference between two things. Infants were shown pairs of items that were either the same -- two Elmo dolls -- or different -- an Elmo doll and a toy camel -- until their looking time declined.

In the test phase, the infants looked longer at pairs showing the novel relation, even when the test pairs were composed of new objects. That is, infants who had learned the same relation looked longer at test pairs showing the different relation during test, and vice versa. This suggests that the infants had encoded the abstract relation and detected when the relation changed.

“We found that infants are capable of learning these relations,” said Ferry, now doing post-doctoral research at the International School for Advanced Studies in Italy. “Additionally, infants exhibit the same patterns of learning as older children and adults -- relational learning benefits from seeing multiple examples of the relation and is impeded when attention is drawn to the individual objects composing the relation.”

Susan Hespos, a co-author of the study, and associate professor of psychology at Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences said, “We show that infants can form abstract relations before they learn the words that describe relations, meaning that relational learning in humans does not require language and is a fundamental human skill of its own.”

Dedre Gentner, a co-author of the study and professor of psychology at Weinberg, said, “The infants in our study were able to form an abstract same or different relation after seeing only 6-9 examples. It appears that relational learning is something that humans, even very young humans, are much better at than other primates.”

For example, she noted that in a recent study using baboons, those animals that succeeded in matching same and different relations required over 15,000 trials.

“Prelinguistic Relational Concepts: Investigating Analogical Processing in Infants” was published online in the journal Child Development.

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

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has awarded Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine a $15 million grant to establish a new multidisciplinary consortium focused on quality improvement and the prevention of strokes and heart attacks.

heart190.jpgThe consortium, known as Healthy Hearts in the Heartland, will assist 300 independent clinics and health care centers in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin in implementing projects to improve cardiovascular health in the population.

“This project will provide important insights into how doctors and other health care providers can best enact and sustain strategies for evidence-based quality improvement in cardiovascular health,” said Abel Kho, principal investigator for the project, assistant professor of medicine at Feinberg and director of Feinberg’s Center for Health Information Partnerships.

Partners in the alliance will help providers and clinics use population-based tools and implement performance measurement software. Practices will focus on prescribing appropriate aspirin therapy, blood pressure control, cholesterol management and smoking cessation, and promoting healthier lifestyles and community resources to patients. Regional assessments will help these practices evaluate and improve their performance.

While these strategies have demonstrated improvements in well-resourced institutions and large health care systems, it is unclear whether independent practices with limited resources can effectively apply them. To determine the success of these improvement strategies, the consortium will conduct a research project in conjunction with provider support.

“Feinberg has a long history of innovative research in cardiovascular disease and its prevention,” said Eric G. Neilson, vice president for medical affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean at Feinberg. “The new consortium is well-positioned to continue that tradition.”

Members of Healthy Hearts in the Heartland include Northwestern University and the Chicago Health IT Regional Extension Center (CHITREC), Purdue University and the Purdue Regional Extension Center (PurdueREC), Northern Illinois University and the Illinois Regional Extension Center (IL-HITREC), local and state departments of public health, the American Medical Association, the Alliance of Chicago, University of Chicago, Telligen (Illinois’ Medicare Quality Improvement Organization) and Metastar (a Quality Improvement Organization and Regional Extension Center for Wisconsin). 

The consortium is supported by Feinberg’s Center for Health Information Partnerships (CHIP), which brings people, communities and data together to enable individuals to live their healthiest lives. CHIP is part of Feinberg’s Institute of Public Health and Medicine.

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


A school-record 15 of Northwestern's 19 varsity athletic programs received Public Recognition Awards on May 20 as part of the NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) program.

Northwestern's 15 teams were honored for placing in the top 10 percent of their respective sports in the latest multi-year APR scores. That marks the highest total in both Northwestern and Big Ten Conference history. The Wildcats have paced the Big Ten every year since the award's inception in 2004-05.


"The ability of our young men and women to continually raise the bar when it comes to academic achievement is nothing short of remarkable," said Jim Phillips, vice president for athletics and recreation. "This is a tremendous compliment to our student-athletes, who have a relentless commitment to pursuing the best education in college athletics while simultaneously competing at the highest level in the Big Ten Conference.


"Our responsibility to provide the tools necessary for success would not be possible without tremendous leadership from University President Morty Schapiro and Provost Dan Linzer, as well as our academic support staff," said Phillips. "Today is a proud day in our ongoing mission to provide our nearly 500 student-athletes with a world-class experience academically, socially and athletically."


Northwestern ranks as the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) school with the highest percentage of its teams awarded today. Notre Dame is the second highest at 65 percent, with Stanford (61%), Duke (58%), and Minnesota (56%) rounding out the top five in that elite group. The most recent APRs are multi-year rates based on scores from the 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 academic years.


This year, Northwestern boasts the second-highest percentage (79 percent) of its teams topping the APR list in the nation, according to the NCAA. Only Dartmouth ranked higher, while the 'Cats came in ahead of Lafayette College and Gonzaga. Those are the only four schools that saw three-fourths of their teams making the list.


Only seven Big Ten teams have been honored with Public Recognition Awards in each of the first 10 years that they have been awarded, and five of those programs are from Northwestern. Northwestern's men's soccer, men's tennis, wrestling, women's golf and volleyball teams are proud members of the 10-for-10 club.

Joining the five teams mentioned above, Northwestern's baseball, field hockey, football, men's golf, softball, women's basketball, cross country, women's soccer, women's swimming and diving, and women's tennis teams received Public Recognition Awards.


Each year, the NCAA honors selected Division I sports teams by publicly recognizing their latest multiyear NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR). This announcement is part of the overall Division I academic reform effort and is intended to highlight teams that demonstrate a commitment to academic progress and retention of student-athletes by achieving the top APRs within their respective sports. Specifically, these teams posted multiyear APRs in the top 10 percent of all squads in each sport. This year's release will again include recognition in the sport of football by subdivision (i.e., Football Bowl Subdivision and NCAA Football Championship Subdivision).


The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. The APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation and provides a measure of each team's academic performance.

To read the original story, visit


Northwestern wrapped up competition at the 2015 NCAA Women's Golf Championships on Memorial Day at The Concession Golf Club ranked 10th overall for the highest team finish in program history.

After finishing in the field's top-15 on day three, Northwestern advanced to the final round of stroke play, but fell just short of match play. The 2015 Championship marked the fourth NCAA appearance for Northwestern and secured the team's third consecutive top-15 finish after placing T-15th in 2014 and 2013.


"I am really proud of the way we played today," said head coach Emily Fletcher, the 2015 Big Ten Coach of the Year. "It was tough and the girls just continued grinding. To see the progress we have made over the last seven years is just incredible."

Northwestern carded a 14-over 302 on May 25 and was led by junior Suchaya Tangkamolprasert, who had her best round of the tournament, recording even-par. The Bangkok native was in the top 20 for the duration of the event and completed the tournament tied for 10th overall for the highest individual finish in team history.

"It was obviously a team effort," Tangkamolprasert said. "Seeing [my teammates] fight so hard really kept me going and definitely brought out my best game."

NU cracked the top eight in the fourth round after two Wildcats carded birdies on the ninth hole of the day, but Chicago's Big Ten Team slipped below No. 8 Arkansas and No. 7 Washington down the stretch. Northwestern, which entered the tournament ranked No. 14, placed ahead of third-ranked UCLA, sixth-ranked LSU, No. 10 Virginia and No. 11 Wake Forest.

The 2014-15 season featured eight top-five finishes for the Wildcats, including a first-place finish at the Big Ten Championships and a second-place finish at the NCAA Raleigh Regional. Four Wildcats who competed at the NCAA Championship will return to the squad for the 2015-16 season.

Marcia R. Isaacson, a lawyer who in recent years has been a leader in overseeing compliance activities in higher education, has been named Northwestern University’s first associate vice president for compliance and chief compliance officer.


Isaacson, who will join Northwestern Sept. 1, is chief compliance officer and senior associate general counsel at the City University of New York (CUNY). She has experience working at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and in legal practice as well as in higher education compliance.

Isaacson will report to Northwestern Provost Daniel Linzer and Executive Vice President Nim Chinniah. She also will meet regularly with the audit, risk and compliance committee of the Northwestern University Board of Trustees.

“Marcia Isaacson and her team will provide senior leadership with a comprehensive view of the University’s compliance activities,” Linzer said.

The University already is committed to full compliance with applicable laws, regulations and policies -- to providing a safe, efficient and effective environment that allows Northwestern as well as all members of its community to thrive, Linzer noted.

“The new position was created to ensure that Northwestern coordinates and optimizes compliance activities across the University’s three campuses and large research enterprise,” he stressed. “We feel confident that Marcia and her team will enhance and reinforce an environment where everyone understands his or her responsibility for ensuring compliance on a daily basis.”

“I am delighted to welcome Marcia Isaacson as our inaugural chief compliance officer,” Chinniah said. “She has the right blend of skills, experiences and research university context to be highly effective in this role.”


The goal is to ensure that the University’s education, research and service missions are conducted with integrity and in accordance with the law.

“To effectively comply with many of the regulations that affect higher education, people in different departments often need to work together and share information,” Isaacson said. “I’ve learned that a lot of problems can be avoided through better coordination and, of course, better communication. Most of all, I have learned that the only way to move forward is to bring together persons from different disciplines and campuses to share their perspectives.”

Isaacson said she is honored “to have the chance to work with the many talented people and offices dedicated to compliance at Northwestern. Together we can maximize opportunities for identifying potential areas of risk and responding to warning signals.”

Isaacson will lead the University’s compliance committee and create a core compliance leadership group to share information about potential risks.

In her current position, Isaacson has collaborated effectively with stakeholders across the CUNY system to address areas of risk. She works directly with compliance and risk officials, internal auditors and other administrators to identify and prioritize legal obligations and develop efficient methods for addressing them. Isaacson initiated a monthly meeting for representatives from human resources, internal audit, IT, legal counsel and public safety to share information about allegations of misconduct, strategize about investigations and address internal control lapses.

Before joining CUNY in October 2010, Isaacson was the chief compliance officer and associate general counsel at State University of New York (February 2007 to June 2010). Before that, she served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York (1995 to 2007). She also has served as a trial attorney in the public integrity section, criminal division, U.S. Department of Justice; an associate at Dewey Ballantine in Washington, D.C., and a judicial clerk for the Hon. Betty B. Fletcher on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (Seattle, Washington).


A group of Northwestern University undergraduates arrived in a West African village almost 10 years ago expecting to find a thriving health clinic -- but instead the facility built earlier as a student project was shuttered.


Unbeknownst to the students when they undertook the project, the villagers already had access to a existing health clinic.

That fundamental mistake in planning spurred the creation of GlobeMed, at the time a small Northwestern-born organization that has mushroomed over the last decade to comprise more than 50 chapters on campuses across the country.

Created in 2006, GlobeMed was founded on the premise that local people need to lead the way in order for aid projects to succeed. Nine years later, over a weekend in late March, the 2015 GlobeMed Summit brought together more than 250 students and alumni delegates from 45 universities and 23 speakers.

The evolution of GlobeMed, conceived soon after what would become the organization’s first annual summit in Evanston, is striking.

With backing from the University, the student-led nonprofit partners with grassroots organizations in the developing world to promote health equality. Today, there are 56 university-based chapters working on four continents in 19 countries in the developing world. More than 2,000 students participate in the program every year.

“By the time we get to 2030, there are going to be somewhere around 20,000 students who have come through the GlobeMed program, who have worked hand-in-hand with people in the developing world,” said Brian Hanson, chair of the GlobeMed Board and director of programs, research and strategic planning for the Buffett Institute at Northwestern.

The lesson the students learned back in 2006 was profound, he said.

When pressed about why no one in the village warned the students that the clinic was bound to fail, one villager explained, “We are Africans; we do what our donors tell us to do.”

“That was the light bulb moment,” he said. “Usually people from the outside identify a problem. Then, the solution to the problem is imposed from the outside, often with inadequate input from the most important people -- the people living in that community.”

The students took critical cues from small grassroots organizations led by dynamic and visionary local leaders who already were making a difference, Hanson said, “whether we are talking about the rainforests of El Salvador or the streets of Thailand.”

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

Long-time benefactors Chris Combe, a Northwestern University Trustee, and Courtney Combe have made a $1 million gift to support global initiatives at Northwestern University School of Law.


The gift provides programmatic support for the Access to Health Project, a unique interdisciplinary initiative in which students and faculty from the Law School, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the Kellogg School of Management work collaboratively to conduct needs assessments and implement sustainable, capacity-building interventions with communities around the world. This year, Access to Health students worked on five projects globally, including public health projects in Douentza, Mali.


The Combes’ gift also establishes two new fellowships, one for a Northwestern Law graduate to pursue international field work, and one that will bring a clinical fellow to the Access to Health program. The fellowships are named in honor of the Combes’ friends Mary Schuette and the late J. Michael Schuette.

The Michael and Mary Schuette Global Fellowship in Health and Human Rights will make it possible for Northwestern Law graduates to provide in-country support and advocacy for individuals and communities on issues related to health and human rights and development.


“This is a tremendous opportunity for young attorneys interested in pursuing careers in health and human rights law,” said Juliet Sorensen, clinical associate professor of law with Northwestern’s Bluhm Legal Clinic’s Center for International Human Rights, who oversees the Access to Health Project. “There just aren’t that many post-graduate fellowships that support international public service work. I’m delighted we are able to offer this opportunity to our students.”

The 2015-2016 Schuette Fellow will work with the Near East Foundation, the oldest non-sectarian non-governmental organization in the United States.

The Michael and Mary Schuette Clinical Fellow in Health and Human Rights will assume a leadership role within the Access to Health program to expand the number of clinical opportunities available to students and to enhance the impact of the clinic’s work in the communities it serves.

Chris Combe is chairman of Combe Incorporated, a White Plains, New York-based private, family-held company that manufactures and markets health and personal care products. He earned a B.A. in economics from Northwestern in 1970. He has been a member of the University’s Board of Trustees since 1997 and of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors since 1981.

Courtney Combe has been a member of the Women’s Board of Northwestern since 1987. A number of other members of the Combe family are also Northwestern graduates, including Ivan D. Combe, Chris Combe’s father and the founder of Combe Incorporated, who earned his undergraduate degree from Northwestern and studied at the Law School before pursuing his business career.

The Combes have made gifts to Northwestern every fiscal year for the past 21 years, including support for athletics and initiatives focused on social entrepreneurship and sustainable solutions to global issues. They are platinum-level members of NU Loyal, a giving society that recognizes the more than 30,000 supporters who have made gifts to Northwestern for three or more consecutive years.

The Combes have served as co-chairs for We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern, the University’s $3.75 billion fundraising initiative. Their latest gift brings their total support to the “We Will” Campaign to $18.1 million.

“This generous gift is another wonderful illustration of their commitment to international justice, as well as their extraordinary commitment to Northwestern University,” said Law School Dean Daniel B. Rodriguez. “The Access to Health program is an impactful program, and this gift will help expand its reach. That’s a tremendous benefit for Northwestern students and for communities around the world.”

Mary Schuette earned her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern in 1960 and is an active University volunteer. The late J. Michael Schuette earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern in 1959 and his J.D. from the Law School in 1962. He worked for many years as outside general counsel for Combe Incorporated.

The gift honors Michael Schuette’s memory as well as the Combe’s lifelong friendship with both Michael and Mary Schuette.

“We wanted to honor Mike’s memory, as well as our long friendship with both of them,” Chris Combe said. “Even though my father didn’t finish his law degree, he always said that it was the best education he ever could have had for a business career. Our family’s business success has definitely been aided by Northwestern Law, and memorializing Mike is a way for us to honor that.”


The Student Showcase, which included film, journalism and liberal arts projects, capped a series of events and lectures designed to introduce the Northwestern community to student achievements at Northwestern University in Qatar.

When Chantelle D’Mello first started investigating the plight of eight elderly, homeless men who were working and sleeping at Doha’s wholesale market, she had trouble getting people to speak publicly.

“When we tried to interview people, we often got a ‘no comment’ or they walked away,” said D’Mello, a rising senior at Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q). “It was a reporting challenge.”

But dogged efforts by D’Mello and her NU-Q classmates have prompted action on a local level and started to change some attitudes. “We’re seeing things become more open,” said D’Mello, a part-time reporter for the Doha News. “By the end of the project, the men were grateful for the help our stories generated -- and praying for us to get husbands.”

D’Mello and Noora Hamad Al-Thani last week presented the final installment of their four-part multimedia series during “Creativity and Innovation: A Student Showcase” at Northwestern’s Block Museum of Art on the Evanston campus.

The story featured Abdullah, a 73-year-old hamaali from Iran. (A hamaali is a porter who helps customers move their goods around a market.) When an Australian activist living in Doha read about Abdullah’s plight in a previous story by the NU-Q students, she worked to raise enough awareness and money to send him back to his family and home country.

“We hope to open minds with new ideas while keeping valuable traditions alive,” said Hamad Al-Thani, who will be a senior next year.

The Student Showcase, which included film, journalism and liberal arts projects, capped a series of events and lectures designed to introduce the Northwestern community to student achievements at NU-Q.

The event, moderated by Susan Pak, assistant professor in residence at NU-Q, drew students and faculty from the Doha and Evanston/Chicago campuses, including Everette Dennis, dean and CEO of NU-Q, and Provost Daniel Linzer.

“It’s the first chance we’ve had to connect with the home campus, to show them what we’re all about and the high quality of work that’s going on in Doha,” Dennis said. “We are advancing global standards in a country that has not had a tradition of freedom of expression. These projects are remarkable achievements.”

Other highlighted projects included:

Dub, Dub-Key and Dabkeh: Yazan Abughaida’s media research project examined the use of reggae music as a form of Palestinian resistance. Abughaida analyzed the song “Dumyeh Plastikieh” (Plastic Doll) by the Palestinian reggae group, the Ministry of Dub-Key, and interviewed members of the band.

“Palestinian reggae music draws our attention to the phenomenon of repurposing a foreign genre to create something separate, but meaningful, to Palestinians,” he wrote in the study, which was published in the annual undergraduate journal of the Middle Eastern Studies Student Association. Though his work is preliminary, he said he hopes to “create the space for other researchers to look into whether music has helped the group achieve their goals of resistance.”

Qatari Women: Engagement and Empowerment: Presented by Sama Abduljawad and AlReem Al-Mazroei, this ongoing study explored Qatari women’s engagement in society through “majalis al-hareem” or female gatherings.

The ethnographic study, led by NU-Q faculty researchers Jocelyn Mitchell and Tanya Kane, surveyed 1,000 Qatari women and found that 86 percent participate in majalis, and the type -- neighborhood, family, religious or social -- is strongly correlated with different levels of attitude and civil engagement.

The project was funded by the Qatar National Research Fund, which provides grants for research involving both faculty and students.

“One of our goals was to discover potential reforms and changes women want to bring about themselves,” Abduljawad said. “We found majalis are a place for women to interact and better whatever goals they have.”

Good as New: Written and directed by NU-Q students Jaser Alagha and Menatalla Kamel, this student-made short film centers on Moayyad, a 26-year-old Syrian mechanic whose dreams take him far from his home, father and reality. Years abroad challenge his decisions and bring him back to his humble life.

Alagha and Kamel prepared a videotaped introduction to the film; the pair couldn’t make the Northwestern event because their film had been selected for the Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival.

“It’s a coming-of-age story of a father and son, and it’s about workers who leave everything behind and chase dreams that aren’t even there,” the directors said in a videotaped introduction to the film about a Syrian baker and his son. Their story was filmed in Qatar, where people come from all over the world to work.

The film, which was born in Susan Pak’s screenwriting class, was funded by Studio 20Q, a student-run organization that works to give students hands-on filmmaking experience and help create a thriving film culture in Qatar.

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

Scott Cordes, assistant clinical professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Victoria Brander, an associate professor at Feinberg, were featured in the May 14 Chicago Tribune with Operation Walk Chicago for providing trauma services to earthquake disaster victims in Nepal.


Established in 2005 by Brander and Northwestern professor David Stulberg, Operation Walk Chicago doctors helped treat an estimated 1,200 victims from the April 25 earthquake that killed more 8,150 Nepal residents.


According to the Tribune article, Operation Walk doctors including Cordes and Brander “travel to developing countries to provide knee and hip replacements and teach physicians the skills to perform these procedures.”

Brander, who described her recent experience as “stunning” and “humbling,” had visited Nepal a number of times over the last five years and had established a relationship with doctors at Kathmandu hospital, where she and Cordes treated patients, according to the article. This was the first time Operation Walk Chicago had responded to a natural disaster.

“Dr. Scott Cordes was operating on a patient Tuesday when the hospital building in Nepal began to violently shake,” reporter Paulina Firozi (a Medill senior) wrote in the Tribune. “He could hear screams throughout the hospital as nurses and family members tried to evacuate patients ... He was treating victims of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal less than three weeks ago, when the area was struck again -- this time by a 7.3-magnitude quake centered between the capital Kathmandu and Mount Everest.”


Although Cordes and the Operation Walk Chicago have since returned to Chicago, they have coordinated follow-up visits to check on patients. Operation Walk continues to accept donations for Nepal.


Read more in the full Chicago Tribune article (subscription required).

Andrew Koppelman, John Paul Stevens Professor of Law at the Northwestern University School of Law and professor of political science in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, has been named the 14th recipient of the Martin E. and Gertrude G. Walder Award for Research Excellence.

This award, established in 2002 by Dr. Joseph A. Walder and given annually by the provost, recognizes excellence in research at Northwestern. 

Koppelman’s scholarship focuses on issues at the intersection of law and political philosophy. His latest books are “The Tough Luck Constitution and the Assault on Health Care Reform” (Oxford University Press, 2013) and “Defending American Religious Neutrality” (Harvard University Press, 2013).

Koppelman is a sought-after expert on issues of constitutional theory, free speech, freedom of religion, gay rights and political philosophy. He has written for The New York Times, Salon, USA Today, Commonweal, the Balkinization blog and dozens of other outlets.

He recently co-authored an amicus brief in Obergefell v. Hodges, the same-sex marriage case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Koppelman received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and his J.D. and Ph.D. in political science from Yale University. He joined the Northwestern Law faculty in 1997 after clerking for the Connecticut Supreme Court and teaching at Princeton University.

Joseph Walder, who established the Walder Prize, earned doctoral and medical degrees from Northwestern. Northwestern historian T.H. Breen received the first Walder Award in 2002.

A complete list of Walder Award recipients can be found on the Office of the Provost website.





EVANSTON, Ill. --- Provost Daniel Linzer has announced the formation of a task force charged with defining a global engagement strategy for Northwestern University in the coming decade. With the recent transformative gift from Roberta Buffett Elliott to create the Buffett Institute for Global Studies, it is an important time to assess the University’s progress to date and to determine and affirm Northwestern’s strategic intentions going forward.


The task force is co-chaired by Sally Blount, dean and Michael L. Nemmers Professor of Management and Organizations at the Kellogg School of Management, and Nim Chinniah, executive vice president of the University.


In announcing the formation of the task force, Linzer noted that Northwestern has a distinctive collection of intellectual, human, physical and financial assets to leverage in the area of global engagement -- and has made strong progress in expanding and integrating them over the past decade.


The development of a global strategy will enhance the integration of the various initiatives currently underway and planned for the future, especially strengthening the University’s ability to recruit the most talented faculty and students from around the world and preparing its students to work in a global economy, aware of its unique environmental, political and socio-economic challenges.


It also will help Northwestern in its efforts to build a community that values and fully incorporates diversity and a broad variety of cultural perspectives as well as to equip and inspire its faculty to study the most pressing problems of the world.


The task force members are:


Sally Blount, dean and Michael L. Nemmers Professor of Management and Organizations, Kellogg School of Management


Nim Chinniah, executive vice president


Mary Baglivo, vice president for global marketing and chief marketing officer


Beth Bennett, assistant professor, director of Undergraduate Journalism Program, Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications


Dr. Rowland W. (Bing) Chang, senior associate dean for public health; director, Institute for Public Health and Medicine; professor in preventive medicine, medicine-rheumatology and physical medicine and rehabilitation, Feinberg School of Medicine


Dilip Gaonkar, associate professor, rhetoric and public culture; director of the Center for Global Culture and Communication, School of Communication


Beth Shakman Hurd, associate professor of political science, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences


Sanchita Kanthadai, Class of 2016, School of Education and Social Policy


Melih Keyman, member, Board of Trustees; president, CEO and founder of Keytrade AG


Robert Mills, doctoral candidate in the Rhetoric and Public Culture program, School of Communication


Julio M. Ottino, dean and Distinguished Robert R. McCormick Institute Professor and Walter P. Murphy Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science


Daniel B. Rodriguez, dean and Harold Washington Professor, School of Law


Staff support will be provided by Eileen McCarthy, director, Office of Change Management.


See more in Northwestern News



Already a leader in the use of green power, Northwestern took a major step forward this year by purchasing renewable energy certificates equivalent to 50 percent of its annual electricity usage -- up from 38 percent a year ago.


By voluntarily purchasing more than 122 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power, Northwestern climbed two spots to No. 5 in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2014-2015 College and University Green Power Challenge.


“Northwestern has set a goal of leadership in energy and sustainability, and purchasing renewable energy credits from clean, wind energy projects to offset our purchased electricity reflects that commitment,” said Rob Whittier, director of Northwestern’s Office of Sustainabilty.


A renewable energy certificate (REC) is a tradable energy commodity that represents proof that one megawatt-hour of electricity was generated from an eligible renewable energy resource. Northwestern purchases RECs from 3Degrees, which helps reduce the environmental impact associated with the University’s electricity use through generating and delivering wind energy to the power grid.


In addition, the University generates its own green power from a solar photovoltaic array on the roof of the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. The 16.8-kilowatt panel display has the potential to generate as much as 20,000 kWh of electricity per year.


Northwestern is one of six members of the Big Ten Conference to be recognized as Collective Conference Champions for using green power. The award recognizes the conference and its respective participating schools, whose collective green power use was the largest among all participating conferences.


Read more about the EPA’s College and University Green Power Challenge.


Read the original story in the Northwestern News Center.

Dan_Skinner_400x650.jpgThis week’s Wildcat of the Week spotlight features Dan Skinner ’99, a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.


Dan is an active alumni volunteer for the Northwestern Externship Program (NEXT). Sponsored by the Northwestern Alumni Association and Northwestern Career Advancement, NEXT is a one-day shadowing program offering current Northwestern students the opportunity to accompany alumni on the job.


Dan, who lives in Naperville, Illinois, has been involved in NEXT since 2007. He says he can't think of a better way for Northwestern students to explore a possible career path than to gain first-hand knowledge from alumni in their field of interest.


“My hope is that the experience and connections I can provide through the NEXT program will jump-start the careers of a new generation of talented NU alumni,” Dan says.


Dan hopes the mentoring partnerships he has developed can serve as a model for the NEXT program. In addition to NEXT, Dan will soon begin volunteering for NU for Life, a unique program dedicated to the professional development of Northwestern student-athletes.


Dan, who met his wife and many of his best friends at Northwestern, says he truly bleeds purple.


“Choosing to attend Northwestern is one of the best decisions I've ever made,” Dan says.


Read more 'Wildcat of the Week' profiles at >>




To host a NEXT student, contact Find out more about NEXT. >>


Contact Julie Hammer to learn more about NU for Life.


Brannon Cho is a sophomore music performance major in the Bienen School of Music.

Cellist Brannon Cho, a sophomore music performance major at Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music, has been invited to participate in the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition this summer in Russia alongside 50 of the best young cellists in the world.

A student of Bienen Professor Hans Jørgen Jensen, Cho is one of only three American cellists invited to this year’s competition, which will take place in Moscow and St. Petersburg June 10 through July 3.

Two of Professor Jensen’s private students, Sihao He from China and John Henry Crawford from the United States, also have been invited to this year’s Tchaikovsky Competition.

“The Tchaikovsky competition is legendary, and many great performers have launched their careers by winning the competition,” said Jensen, who has been teaching Cho since 2006, when Cho was 11 years old. “Being invited to participate is already an acknowledgement of belonging to an elite group of young performers.”

The International Tchaikovsky Competition, held every four years, is open to young musicians from around the world competing in the areas of cello, piano, violin and voice. Contestants are chosen based on an extensive application, which include a 30-minute video recording. After the qualifying rounds, only 25 of the 51 invited cellists will ultimately advance to round one of the competition, with four rounds total making up the rigorous competition.

“This has been a huge dream of mine for the past five years, and my whole family is very excited,” Cho said. “It’s important to know that Professor Jensen is probably the most supportive teacher you’ll find anywhere. It’s a blessing for me to be able to have someone that keeps me going and inspires me.”

Cho performs very well in performance and competition situations and has an incredible ability to focus his energy, Jensen said. “He also has a unique voice when he performs and really communicates with the audience,” Jensen added.

Cho’s distinct sound can be attributed to his one-of-a-kind instrument -- a rare cello made by Antonio Casini in 1668. After nearly a year of searching, Cho purchased the instrument in a rare strings shop in New York City. His parents sold their home in Short Hills, New Jersey, and moved into a smaller house to pay for the instrument.

“If you’re going to make that leap financially, it has to be the one that makes you perfectly happy,” Cho said of the search for his cello. “I obviously couldn’t have done it without my parents and the sacrifices they made.”

In 2014, Cho was selected by the National Young Arts Foundation to be featured in an episode of the HBO documentary series “Masterclass with violinist Joshua Bell. He subsequently performed chamber music with Bell in New York, London, Miami and Washington, D.C.

Cho received the Founders Prize in Cello at the 2015 Mondavi Center Young Artists Competition. Along with three other Bienen students, he recently performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., as part of the Kennedy Center’s Conservatory Project. Photos and a recording of the performance are available at the Bienen School website.

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

Walking at an easy pace for about three hours every week may be just enough physical activity to help prostate cancer survivors reduce damaging side effects of their treatment, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.


“Non-vigorous walking for three hours per week seems to improve the fatigue, depression and body weight issues that affect many men post-treatment,” said Siobhan Phillips, lead author of the study. “If you walk even more briskly, for only 90 minutes a week, you could also see similar benefits in these areas.”

Phillips is a kinesiologist and an assistant professor in the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. The paper was published online April 16, 2015 in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship: Research and Practice.

This is one of the first papers to investigate how different intensities and types of physical activity affect the health-related quality of life of men after prostate cancer treatment.

“This study shows that you don’t have to engage in high-impact, vigorous activities to improve your quality of life after a prostate cancer diagnosis,” said Phillips, also a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. “Since many prostate cancer survivors might find vigorous activities hard to stick with, the good news is that simply focusing on walking more may be enough to make them feel better.”

Phillips used data from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which includes self-reported data since 1986 on 51,529 men in health professions and is based at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She focused on prostate cancer survivors who were diagnosed with non-advanced disease prior to 2008 and responded to a health-related quality of life (HRQOL) questionnaire.

Common HRQOL symptoms included urinary and bowel problems, sexual function issues, fatigue, depression, increased body weight and erectile dysfunction.

The men reported the average time spent during a week walking to work or for exercise as well as time spent jogging, running, cycling, swimming and playing sports. They also reported their usual outdoor walking pace as easy, average, brisk or very brisk.

After controlling for pre-diagnosis physical activity and sedentary time, the findings indicate that higher duration of total, non-vigorous and walking activity -- especially brisk walking -- were associated with better hormone/vitality functioning (affecting fatigue, depression and body weight) but not with bowel, urinary, or sexual functioning.

Those who are able to walk should be encouraged to start an easy walking routine or engage in other non-vigorous activities soon after a prostate cancer diagnosis, Phillips said. The benefits could help manage symptoms such as fatigue, depression and body weight – and improve overall health.

“Cancer survivors have a higher risk of other conditions, such as cardiovascular disease,” Phillips said. “Walking may also potentially increase survival and impact their quality of life by preventing the onset of those other conditions.”

The National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health grant (CA167552) to Harvard University and a University of California San Francisco Research Evaluation and Allocation Committee Award (Fund 38107) funded the research for this study.

Online sites that offer secure access to one’s medical record, often referred to as patient portals, are increasingly important for doctor and patient communication and routine access to health care information. But patient portals could widen the gap in health disparities among the most vulnerable patients, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.


Patients with low health literacy, less education and who are African American were much less likely to use these patient portals compared with white patients and those who were more health literate. Thus, they lose the opportunity to easily engage their doctor about health concerns or medications, to quickly refill prescriptions and get lab results.

“Patient portals that offer access to electronic medical records could help individuals better manage their health care and personal needs, but people with less access to and comfort with computers are at risk of not receiving these benefits and will eventually be left behind,” said Michael Wolf, corresponding study author and a professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

“It’s a big concern as the patients that already are, perhaps, less engaged in their health and experiencing worse health outcomes may be further marginalized,” Wolf said.

The study was published April 25 in Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association and was presented at the Annual Society of Behavioural Medicine Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

The study showed white patients were 2.5 times more likely to be registered as portal users than African American patients. Patients with good health literacy skills were 3.5 times more likely to be registered with the portal than those who didn’t have those skills.

“If we now further complicate what it means to be a patient by asking people to be engaged outside the doctor’s office -- on the web or by mobile phone -- and if these same groups of patients are not as capable or ready to assume these new roles, we may further exacerbate the disparities that already exist,” said co-author Sam Smith, who worked on the paper when he was a postdoctoral fellow student at Feinberg. He is now a cancer research UK postdoctoral fellow at Queen Mary University of London.

These patients may experience delays in getting information and instructions about their health care, and their doctors may be less informed about their conditions.

Underserved populations may need greater support in using online patient portals for patient care, the authors said. Patients may need simple instructions on how to register for an account, as well as support in how to use the available functions.

For the study, researchers linked existing cohort data from a National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded study to routinely collected patient-level data at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. 

The NIH study is LitCog (Health Literacy and Cognitive Function among Older Adults). It is a cohort of community dwelling older American adults recruited from a Northwestern internal medicine clinic and five federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in Chicago.

For this paper, only the Northwestern patients were included because no patient portal was available at the FQHCs. This left a sample of 534 adults aged 55 to 74 years at the baseline interview. The cohort data were linked to patient portal usage data recorded between 2006 to 2014.

Other Northwestern authors include Rachel O’Conor, William Aitken; Laura M. Curtis and Mita Sanghavi Goel.

This project was supported by the National Institute on Aging, grant R01 AG030611, the National Center for Research Resources, grant 5UL1RR025741, and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, grant 8UL1TR000150, all of the National Institutes of Health. Smith is funded by a Cancer Research UK Postdoctoral Fellowship.


The new positions are designed to give the six employees direct work experience in the skilled trades, and they will start out working in the carpenter shop and the paint shop at Northwestern. Photo by Jim Prisching

Northwestern University has hired six young adults from Evanston as part of a new training program in partnership with the city to teach skilled trades to local young people and prepare them for full-time jobs at Northwestern and elsewhere.


Under the Northwestern/Evanston Skilled Trades Training Program, the University has committed to hiring six Evanston residents each year to participate in a one-year paid training program in the University’s Facilities Management Division. At the end of the year, the young people would either get hired into full-time jobs at the University or have one year’s worth of experience to help them find jobs elsewhere.

The jobs also come with mentoring and life skills coaching from the University and the city, University Executive Vice President Nim Chinniah said.

On Monday, Chinniah and University and city officials greeted the six new trainees as they visited Northwestern’s Human Resources Department. Then they viewed an orientation video, toured the Segal Visitors Center and took a tour of the Evanston campus.

“We remain deeply committed to being in partnership with Evanston,” Chinniah said. “Through this program, we are providing on-the-job training for young adults from Evanston. As much as these young people will learn from the experience, we at the University will benefit greatly, as well, from their talents and energy.”

Chinniah and Evanston City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz were on hand to welcome the six new trainees to the program and to Northwestern University.

“We could not be more delighted to be with you, and we are thrilled to continue our partnership with the city,” Chinniah told the group, walking around a small table and shaking hands with the six. “We also hope while you are learning the trades that you will get to know a lot of us. You will have many people here to support you, and I hope some of you will stay on at the University.”


Greeting the six new workers, Bobkiewicz told them, “Northwestern University is a big part of the City, and Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl has been working to have folks like yourselves learn what you can from a world-class University. Mayor Tisdahl and President Morton Schapiro have been working together on this program, and they really want more Evanston residents to have these skills and opportunities. So, congratulations, and thank you, Nim.”

Sean Bagley, 30, one of the new trainees and a lifelong Evanston resident, said the prospect of learning the skilled trades was important to him, especially because he is supporting a 7-year-old daughter, Elizabeth.

“Hopefully, it’s just something that will help me take care of her for the rest of her life -- and help me as well,” said Bagley, who has worked in the past as a supervisor in the Evanston summer youth program and also for Evanston Streets and Sanitation. “For me, it’s more about building a better career, something stable. I’m always learning new things, and this is a chance to get my feet wet and take advantage of a new opportunity.”

John D’Angelo, Northwestern vice president for Facilities Management, who was also on hand Monday to greet the new trainees, said both the city of Evanston and the University “thrive because of our diverse and engaged community.

“There has been a national trend over the last few decades to move away from the skilled trades as a career. That has resulted in both a shortage of these critical professionals and a loss of economic diversity in many communities,” D’Angelo added.

“Northwestern is proud to partner with the mayor, the city and the community to ensure that we all continue to thrive, together, by providing these types of opportunities.”

D’Angelo welcomed the six new trainees and urged them to focus on two things in their work and their lives: education and credibility. “If you do that, there’s nothing you can do but succeed. Don’t ever stop learning,” he said. “No one can ever take away your education or your credibility. No matter what happens, we have to rise above.

“For us, we want to work with you and try to give you more than just trade skills,” D’Angelo added. “I want to make the conditions here right, so you could stay at Northwestern University for the next 50 years if you wish, but if you want to go on and work somewhere else after your time here, I’ll help you do that, too. That’s my commitment to you.”

Northwestern has developed the program in partnership with city officials, said Steve Kindrick, director of human resources for Facilities Management, who also welcomed the six new trainees on Monday, along with Kevin Brown, who manages the city’s youth and young adult program staff who helped recruit them.

The positions are designed to give the six employees direct work experience in the skilled trades, and they will start out working in the carpenter shop and the paint shop at the University. Next year, the program also would include work with the engineering departments, according to Kindrick.

In late 2015, the University will seek to identify the next group of six trainees.

The new program builds on other partnerships with the city, including Mayor Tisdahl’s Summer Youth Employment Program, which helps Evanston young people find summer seasonal work, as well as the Workforce Development Program, which hires Evanston residents for jobs on Northwestern’s construction projects.

These programs add to a growing collaboration between the University and the city as part of the University’s efforts to be a good neighbor and to have a positive impact on the residents of Evanston and the life of the community.

For more information from the city of Evanston, contact Martha Logan, community engagement manager in the city manager’s office, at 847-448-8041 at

Northwestern University professors Christopher Abani and Timothy Feddersen were recently elected to the 2015 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an elite group of 197 of the world’s most talented leaders.


One of the country’s most prestigious honorary societies, the academy supports independent research, ranging from technology policy and global security to issues involving the humanities and education. “The honor of election is also a call to service,” said Academy president Jonathan Fanton.

Abani is an acclaimed poet, essayist, screenwriter and playwright; Feddersen specializes in managerial economics and decision-making. The two join a class that also includes Pulitzer Prize-winning Holland Cotter, singer-songwriter Judy Collins, Nike co-founder Philip Knight, Nobel Prize-winning Brian Kobilka, Tony Award-winning Audra McDonald, superstar astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, public radio host and producer Terry Gross and novelist Tom Wolfe.

The new members will be inducted during an Oct. 10 ceremony in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Chris Abani: Born in Nigeria to an Igbo father and English mother, Abani’s work reflects his bi-cultural, bi-lingual and bi-racial upbringing and education. His popular TED Talks, public speaking and essays have made him an international voice on humanitarianism, art, ethics and shared political responsibility.

Abani recently received a $50,000 United States Artists Ford Fellowship, which honors America’s most innovative artists. Last month, the city of Jackson, Tennessee, proclaimed April 24 as “Chris Abani Day” for his overall body of written work and for “elevating art, culture and humanity with his public speaking.”

His many research interests include African poetics, world literature, 20th century Anglophone literature, African presences in Medieval and Renaissance culture, the living architecture of cities, West African music, postcolonial and transnational theory, robotics and consciousness, Yoruba and Igbo philosophy and religion.

Abani is the author of six novels, including his most recent work, “The Secret History of Las Vegas”(Penguin, 2014). At Northwestern, he teaches creative writing and is Board of Trustees professor of English at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

Timothy Feddersen: Best known for his work looking at why elections are held -- known as “information aggregation and elections” -- Feddersen is the Wendell Hobbs Professor of Managerial Politics and a professor in the Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences department at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Back in graduate school, Feddersen began puzzling over why people vote when their individual ballots don’t appear to matter. “I study the intuitive idea of using majority rule to make decisions and why two heads are better than one,” Feddersen said. “It’s why we form committees and juries.

“Everyone has a little bit of information about what makes a good decision, but no one knows everything,” Feddersen added. “Voting is a way to collect individual independent observations and turn it into a decision.”

Feddersen hopes academy membership will raise the profile of his research field, opening it to those in other disciplines and creating new synergies and relationships outside of political science and economics.


Through service learning in Kenya, India, Bolivia and other countries, Northwestern students work with local organizations on health, education, environment, women’s empowerment and more.

Northwestern University’s innovative service learning and study abroad program, the Global Engagement Studies Institute (GESI), was recently recognized as a national leader for advancing racial, cultural and economic diversity in its international programs.

The honor, the Excellence in Diversifying International Education Award, is given annually by the Diversity Abroad Network, the leading professional consortium dedicated to boosting the number of minority students in international education.

“The timing is significant because it comes as most schools are grappling with the best way to get underrepresented students involved in study abroad programs,” said Brian Hanson, director of programs for the Global Engagement Studies Institute.

“The solutions to today’s most pressing global challenges require the innovation and creativity that emerges from collaboration between people with different skills, perspectives and experiences,” Hanson said.

Northwestern’s program, which offers hands-on learning through a grassroots, internship-based experience, is considered a national model for fostering diversity and inclusion and for making international students feel connected to the U.S. campus environment.

Through service learning in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, India, Kenya and other countries, teams of students work with local organizations on issues such as health, education, environment, women’s empowerment and microfinance.

The program moves beyond traditional study abroad and “poverty tourism” by offering students collaborative experiential learning -- opportunities that develop global leaders while contributing to the sustainable development of the local communities, Hanson said.

“Over 90 percent of students involved cite the experience as the pinnacle of their learning as well as their most defining, formative experience in college,” Hanson said. “The students also say it has direct implications on their plans throughout and after college, including internships, fellowships, grants, job opportunities and other international experiences.”

Moreover, everyone benefits from increased diversity. Northwestern students from underrepresented groups often adapt easily to new cultural settings and contexts.

“We find students from these backgrounds make unique and essential contributions to their group because they have the ability to better integrate with the host community and figure out how the system works, who has power and how to get things done,” Hanson said.

Northwestern’s model includes both innovative programs and substantial funding. Generous financial aid has been essential in attracting first-generation college students and other underrepresented students, Hanson said.

Over the past four years, the GESI program has awarded over half a million dollars in need-based scholarship funding for qualifying Northwestern students, thanks to substantial support from donors such as Roberta Buffett Elliott and Northwestern trustees Bonnie and Mike Daniels.

The cost of international airfare can be a barrier, even for students who receive a full scholarship to study abroad programs. GESI covers student airfare when it hinders participation, resulting in a major increase in socio-economic diversity among GESI students.

In 2014, nearly 70 percent of Northwestern students participating in GESI were from underrepresented groups, well above the current national average of 25 percent.

“True diversity is more than differences in individual background, personal identities, intellectual approaches and demographics,” said Northwestern President Morton Schapiro. “It also means removing barriers and creating space that allow individuals to fully engage in university life.”

GESI is the Buffett Institute’s primary undergraduate initiative that works to diversify international education and strengthen internationalization on campus. Founded in 2007, GESI is now the university’s largest and most diverse international studies program with approximately half of participants representing underrepresented student populations.

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

Treatments used by traditional healers in Nigeria have inspired scientists at Northwestern University to synthesize four new chemical compounds that could one day lead to better therapies for people with psychiatric disorders.


In a paper published online in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition, the scientists detail how they created these natural compounds by completing the first total syntheses of two indole alkaloids -- alstonine and serpentine. These alkaloids, found in various plant species used by healers in Nigeria to treat people with conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, have antipsychotic properties that have potential to improve mental disorder treatments.

The current drugs used for schizophrenia effectively treat delusions and hallucinations but are only partially effective for cognitive impairment. Early experimental research of these new compounds in animal models shows promise in improving cognitive impairment, the Northwestern scientists said.

“After billions of years of evolution, nature has given us a great starting point for generating new types of molecules that could end up being used as innovative drugs,” said Karl Scheidt, lead author of the paper. “We’ve learned how to make these natural products in the lab and can now evaluate what are the most effective parts of these natural products for potential therapies.”

Scheidt is a professor of chemistry at Northwestern University’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and professor of pharmacology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He collaborated on this study with Dr. Herbert Meltzer, professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, pharmacology and physiology at Feinberg. They are both members of Northwestern’s Chemistry of Life Processes Institute (CLP), which helps foster collaboration between schools and lowers the barriers to scientific discovery.

Meltzer, who has spent much of his career researching drug therapies now in use for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, approached Scheidt about the possibility of creating these compounds. Meltzer’s longtime research goal is to improve treatment outcomes and develop knowledge of brain mechanisms in mental disorders. Scheidt’s expertise is in designing novel methods and strategies for the construction of complex natural products with important biological attributes.

“The synthesis of these alkaloids, which we have now just achieved, was exceedingly difficult,” said Meltzer, second author of the paper and an attending physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “Karl Scheidt's expertise in the synthesis of natural products was crucial to the success of this project and is the first step in getting a new drug ready for clinical trials.”


Traditional healers boil these special plants and produce an extract that they administer to people with symptoms of mental illness. However, this extract isn’t pure, and it contains other compounds and materials that may not be beneficial to people with mental disorders.


“Nature did not intend this plant to produce an antipsychotic drug on its own,” Meltzer said.

The collaborative work to create the compounds took place in the Center for Molecular Innovation and Drug Discovery (CMIDD) at Northwestern, using high-level purification resources and state-of-the-art research instrumentation and equipment. Scheidt is the director of CMIDD.


Through an efficient and stereo-selective synthesis, Scheidt and his team created four separate but related natural products. Now a template exists to continue making these compounds as needed for future studies and ultimately for use in clinical drug trials.

“We can make multi-gram quantities of any of the compounds we want,” Scheidt said. “We built the assembly line and are now uniquely positioned to explore their potential.”

Meltzer is already using these compounds in animal studies in his lab to better understand how they affect brain biology and chemistry in the schizophrenia disease model. Early results from his lab show that the compounds may increase the ability of other antipsychotic drugs to improve cognitive impairment.

Other study authors are Dr. Ashkaan Younai and Bi-Shun Zeng of Northwestern University. This study was supported the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute at Northwestern in the form of an Innovators Grant and the Weisman Family Foundation.

One inmate requested only a can of Coke with a cigarette. Another asked for his mother’s ravioli and chicken dumplings. Yet another ordered pork chops, eggs, toast, cherry pie, butter pecan ice cream, orange juice and milk.


These are death row inmates’ last meal requests, all part of a spring 2015 exhibition presented by Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, which through these meals examines capital punishment and free will.

“The Last Supper,” an installation by contemporary artist Julie Green, features 600 white ceramic plates decorated with cobalt blue mineral paint to depict the last meal requests of U.S. death row inmates. It opens May 9 and will remain on view to the public through Aug. 9. The Block Museum is located at 40 Arts Circle Drive on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus.

Funding for the project has been generously provided by Chicago artist Angela Lustig and Northwestern alumnus Dale E. Taylor. Taylor is the president and CEO of AbelsonTaylor.

“The Last Supper” exhibition

Every plate in “The Last Supper” is accompanied by a description of the meal request, date and state -- but no more. Without naming the inmate or crime, the meals highlight the human dimension of capital punishment. The plates function as anonymous portraits that when grouped together suggest a memorial to lost life on a mass scale.

Julie Green, professor of art at Oregon State University, has been painting plates for 15 years and is committed to creating 50 each year until capital punishment is abolished.

“After reading about a final meal in the newspaper in 1998, I wondered why we have this ritual and what specific foods might reveal about the person making the selection,” Green said. “Painting can be a meditation, a time to reflect. The meals are so personal, and, for me, they humanize death row. As a kid living in Chicago I shared my family’s support of Nixon and capital punishment. Now I don’t. And neither does my mother. I like to say if you can change your mom, you can change the world.”

Green’s Block Museum exhibition has particular salience at Northwestern, as the Northwestern University School of Law was influential in the eradication of the death penalty in Illinois. The Block is partnering with the School of Law, among others, to address issues raised by the exhibition. 

Block programs prompt dialogue on capital punishment and criminal justice

In a recent interview with PBS NewsHour, Green described her goal with “The Last Supper” as “to be part of the conversation of capital punishment.” The Block Museum has organized a schedule of spring programs that invite thoughtful contemplation of the criminal justice system, capital punishment and the role of media in public perception of innocence and guilt.


Northwestern University School of Law, which played a critical role in the abolishment of the death penalty in Illinois, is a primary partner. A 1998 conference sponsored by the Bluhm Legal Clinic’s Center on Wrongful Convictions featured 29 exonerated death row inmates giving voice to errors of the system. This event piqued the interest of then-Gov. George Ryan, who later declared a moratorium on the death penalty.

“At the Bluhm Legal Clinic, we encounter every day the reflexive, routinized dehumanization of people accused and convicted of crimes,” said Robert C. Owen, Northwestern clinical professor of law, in reference to themes in Green’s work. “‘The Last Supper’ powerfully challenges the notion that we share no connection with those caught in the system. Julie Green’s depictions of the last meals of the condemned movingly demonstrate the profound connections among all human beings that arise from our common memories and experiences of food.”

“The Last Supper” opening and spring programming

The following events are free and open to the public. They will take place at the Block Museum, unless otherwise noted.

Northwestern Law Professor Robert C. Owen will join artist Julie Green and Block Special Projects Curator Elliot Reichert for the Block’s Opening Day Celebration from  2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 9. Green will give an artist talk, after which Owen and Reichert will join her for a conversation about issues of representation, the legal system and social justice. The Evanston campus program will begin at 2 p.m. at Fisk Hall, Room 217, 1845 Sheridan Road, followed by a reception at the Block Museum, 40 Arts Circle Drive.

“Seen from Inside: Perspectives on Capital Punishment” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 19 at the Block Museum will invite various perspectives on capital punishment, including those from an attorney, a death row exonoree and a death row inmate’s family member. This program is being presented in partnership with the Northwestern University School of Law’s Center on Wrongful Convictions.

Will Schmenner, Block Cinema interim curator, and the School of Communication’s Harvey Young, associate professor of theatre, will present When You CAN’T Shake It Off: Social Media, Race and Police Powerat 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, at the Block Museum. This conversation will explore the role of social media in creating a national conversation about race, law and the limits of police power.

The Block also is collaborating with the Medill Justice Project, Y.O.U. (Youth Organizations Umbrella, Inc.) Evanston, the James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy, which provides legal and social work support in Evanston, and Evanston Township High School District 202 on programming and tours. In addition, Block Cinema has scheduled five films during May and June 2015 that complement themes in “The Last Supper” exhibition. More information on these upcoming events will follow at a later date.

Creating “The Last Supper” -- The Process

Julie Green begins in her study, researching the final meal requests of death row inmates online. She also sometimes uses historical instances of last meal requests to create her annual 50 plates. After learning about the meal request, she selects a white ceramic plate and moves into her studio to paint. The images she creates can come from memory, for a familiar image such as a cheeseburger, from a recipe book that she has filled with food advertisements or from more online research.

Green’s process is consistent -- a ceramic plate, an execution report and blue cobalt glaze fired by technical advisor Antoni Acock -- but the ingredients change every time. An order of prime rib and lobster might speak to a last grasp at luxury, while ravioli and dumplings prepared by the mother of the condemned shows desires for comfort and family.

“The Last Supper” underscores the peculiar, socially complex tradition of offering a last meal before execution, while exposing the uneven practices and policies of the state-administered capital punishment system. For instance, while cigarettes are not allowed in prisons these days, a New York inmate received a pack of Pall Malls for a last meal in 1963; while in 2011, after a Texas inmate failed to eat a particularly lavish meal, the state ended the policy of honoring last meal requests.

The state of capital punishment in the United States

Green’s exhibition comes at a time when capital punishment is making headlines for waning popular support, failed executions and controversial drug combinations. As of 2013, 35 states and the federal government allow the death penalty.

Public support for capital punishment fell from 78 percent in 1996 to 55 percent in 2013, according to the Pew Research Center. The number of executions has also fallen in recent years, to 39 in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics.

About the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University

The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art is the fine art museum of Northwestern University. It serves the academic and cultural needs of the University and the Chicago-area community with thought-provoking exhibitions, a rich and diverse permanent collection, dynamic programs, and classic and contemporary film screenings at Block Cinema.

Celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2015, the Block is a dynamic, imaginative resource that uses art as a springboard to explore issues and ideas that matter to our lives today. It is free and open to all, and visitors are invited to participate in experiential learning opportunities that bridge the classroom and the world beyond the campus.

Admission to the museum is always free. Parking in the garage and lot directly south of the museum is free all day on weekends and after 4 p.m. on weekdays. For more information, visit

congressional638.jpgPictured (left to right) are: Qiddist Hammerly (Truman), Vince Rinaolo (Goldwater), President Morton Schapiro, Renee Wellman (Udall) and Kimberly Clinch (Goldwater). Photo by Jim Prisching.

Northwestern University swept the elite congressional scholarship awards in 2015, with students receiving national recognition by the Goldwater, Truman and Udall scholarship foundations.

The three nomination-only awards highlight undergraduates who excel academically and show leadership in STEM research, public service and environmentalism. Northwestern last had winners for all three scholarships at the same time during the 2005-06 academic year.

Sophomores Kimberly Clinch (Woodbury, Minn.) and Vince Rinaolo (Lake Forest, Ill.) were honored by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program, which awards up to $7,500 to college students who intend to pursue research careers in science, math and engineering. Clinch’s interests include cosmology, neuroscience and sustainability. Rinaolo is working to make organic chemistry research methods more effective and efficient by mimicking nature with artificial enzymes.

Junior Renee Wellman (Carmel, Ind.) won the Udall Scholarship (up to $5,000), which recognizes students committed to environment-related careers or Native American and Alaska Natives who intend to work in native health care or tribal public policy. Wellman, a varsity cross-country runner at Northwestern, hopes to be an urban planner or non-profit administrator to influence food policy and community design.

Junior Qiddist Miriam Hammerly (Portland, Ore.) received the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a $30,000 award that supports graduate education for outstanding students who plan to pursue careers in public service. Hammerly plans to study racial disparities in education and youth incarceration.

For more details about each of the scholarship winners, read the original story in the Northwestern News Center.



Northwestern students won two gold medals and a bronze medal in April at the U.S. Midwest Chinese Bridge Speech Contest hosted by the University of Notre Dame.


Sixty contestants from 15 universities in the region participated in the event, which promotes Chinese language and culture education in the Midwest and strengthens exchanges between college-level Chinese programs in the region.


Gold medalist Elizabeth Waring (pictured, second from the right) was selected as the only student from the region who will travel to China this summer to compete at the World Chinese Speech Contest. Waring also will be studying there as part of Northwestern's Wanxiang summer fellowship program through International Program Development.


See more in Northwestern News


The Writing Program offers courses at every level and works with faculty across Northwestern to help students become more effective writers. (Photo by Jim Ziv.)

The Writing Program of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences will be renamed the Bobbie and Stanton Cook Family Writing Program after the Cook family made a significant gift to the program that touches every part of Northwestern University.

Widely regarded for its leading-edge instruction combining tradition and innovation, the writing program has made it a mission to help all Northwestern students learn to write clearly, thoughtfully and effectively.

As the nexus of all writing services and resources on campus, the program exemplifies interdisciplinary learning and champions effective communication -- key ingredients for preparing Northwestern students for success in a globalizing world.

The gift by the Bobbie and Stanton Cook Family Foundation enables Weinberg to extend the Writing Program to include more offerings for juniors and seniors, to develop new partnerships for first-year programming and to expand its work beyond Weinberg to create writing-related curricula for other disciplines at Northwestern.

“We believe that clear writing and thinking are central to success in every academic discipline,” said Writing Program Director Robert Gundlach. “We also believe that writing is a complex activity worthy of study in itself.”

The Weinberg-based writing program is increasingly being recognized for its excellence, and that is attracting support and increased collaboration across the University, including in partnerships with other schools and programs at Northwestern such as the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Graduate Writing Place.

The Bobbie and Stanton Cook Family Foundation wanted to invest in a core strength of Northwestern, and the gift recognizes the Writing Program as one of the best writing programs in the nation.

The foundation’s gift was directed by Northwestern Trustee Stanton R. Cook '49, '85 H, retired chairman of Tribune Company, and his daughter, Sarah Shumway MBA '87, who were both impressed with the deep experience of writing program faculty and the program’s reach to all corners of the University.

”After spending so much of my life working at a great Chicago newspaper and running a national multimedia company,” Cook observed, “the idea of contributing meaningfully to such an outstanding writing program to help train the next generation of writers was very important to me.”

“We were fascinated by the fundamentals of the existing program and the possibility of promoting such strong teaching in the art of writing to a large and diverse student body,” said Shumway.

Other key goals for the gift are to:

  • Provide additional writing support for high-potential students, including those enrolled at Northwestern as well as participants in the University’s college-access programs.
  • Expand The Writing Place, Northwestern’s center for peer writing consultations, both physically and programmatically, to include a broader range and greater availability of in-person tutoring and consultation services.
  • Advance the writing program’s technological offerings, including improved online resources and digital communication expertise.

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


Boston-area Wildcats: Share photos and tell us how you show your Purple Pride in Boston using the hashtags #BOSPurplePride and #NUWeWill.


In honor of this week’s celebration of #BOSPurplePride, today’s Wildcat of the Week spotlight features Boston-area alumni Merrie Aaron ’11 and Michael Gebhardt ’11.


Merrie and Michael met on the first night of Wildcat Welcome, but they didn’t become friends until junior year when their involvement in Hillel and Mayfest brought them together to bring Regina Spektor to Dillo Day. They started dating at the end of senior year and will be married this August.


Since graduating four years ago, both Merrie and Michael have continued their involvement with Northwestern. The two serve on the Boston NULC Regional Board, interview for the Alumni Admissions Council, host Dinner with 12 Strangers, and volunteer as Giving Tuesday Ambassadors.


“The four years we each spent at Northwestern had such a big impact on our lives, from the friends we made to the communities we got involved in,” Merrie says. “After graduation and the chance to reflect on our positive experience at NU, we sought out opportunities to remain involved with Northwestern.”


“Our engagement in the Northwestern alumni community really stems from how thankful we are for the opportunities that were afforded to us as students,” says Michael.


Merrie and Michael also serve as Boston-area volunteers for We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern.


“We are thrilled to participate in the hope that the Campaign can further enhance the experience of each member of the Northwestern community,” Michael says. “The ‘We Will’ Campaign has given us the chance to interact with so many alumni who share our passion for Northwestern.”


For more on #BOSPurplePride and We Will events around the country, visit


Read more 'Wildcat of the Week' profiles at >>

From May 1-3, alumni hosts welcomed over 100 alumni to dinners in Bangkok, Boston, Chicago, DC, Hong Kong, Houston, Naples, New York, LA, and San Francisco as part of the expansion of a beloved Northwestern tradition, Dinner with 12 Strangers.


Dinners ranged from home-cooked meals to wine tastings to evenings in restaurants, and all were great opportunities to connect with fellow Wildcats in their communities.


Check out some of the photos sent from alumni hosts below and view more in this Our Northwestern photo album.


If you are interested in participating or being a host for next year’s Dinner with 12 Strangers-Regional, email Bobby Dunlap.


Bangkok - Cake - Ronaldo Gaguine Sinclair.JPG


Host: Ronaldo Gaguine Sinclair

View this photo in the full album here.>>


Bangkok - Ronaldo Gaguine Sinclair.JPG


Host: Ronaldo Gaguine Sinclair

View this photo in the full album here.>>


Bay Area - Junaid Mohiuddin.JPG

Bay Area

Host: Junaid Mohiuddin

View this photo in the full album here.>>


Boston - Michael Gebhardt-Merrie Aaron.jpg


Host: Michael Gebhardt and Merrie Aaron

View this photo in the full album here.>>


New York - Eve Anderson.JPG

New York

Host: Eve Anderson

View this photo in the full album here.>>



View full album here.>>

The Northwestern Alumni Association offers countless ways to strengthen your career, renew old friendships, and foster new ones.


One of the easiest and most rewarding ways to connect with fellow alumni is to attend an NAA-sponsored event. Whether you're interested in a career-development webinar, a networking event, or a European vacation, the NAA has events tailored for alumni of all ages and backgrounds.


For a complete list of upcoming NAA events, please visit


Pictured (from left to right) at the May 8 groundbreaking for the Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center on Northwestern's Chicago campus are: The Honorable Brendan Reilly, Alderman, 42nd Ward; Patrick M. Magoon, President and CEO, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago; Eric G. Neilson, Vice President for Medical Affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean, Feinberg School of Medicine; Louis A. Simpson '58, '96 P, Northwestern donor and trustee; Kimberly K. Querrey '96 P, Northwestern donor; Morton Schapiro, Northwestern President and Professor; The Honorable Rahm Emanuel '85 MA, Mayor, City of Chicago; and Carol L. Bernick, Chair, Northwestern Memorial HealthCare Board of Directors. (Photo by Nathan Mandell.)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other Chicago notables joined Northwestern President Morton Schapiro and more than 200 members of the University community in a groundbreaking ceremony May 8 for a biomedical research center that soon will make its mark on the city’s history and skyline.


The mayor was effusive about what the Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center will mean for Chicago, and, on behalf of the city, he gave thanks to the benefactors for whom the center was named.

“We are a city on the move and a city growing,” Emanuel '85 MA said. “I cannot think of something that is more important for the city of Chicago than becoming the premier health care and research center of the country.”

sq638.jpgThe new research center, he said, “cements Chicago’s leadership in some of the most promising research that will be going on.” It puts “Chicago in a premier place in the most promising fields of biomedical research and health care.” The city, he said, will be dependent on the center not only as an economic engine for Chicago, but also for “its cures of disease that we don’t even know of today.”

Thank you, the mayor said, “on behalf of all of us who will one day rely on what comes out of this research center… the devices and the cures that you will think about ahead of time.”

On behalf of Northwestern Medicine, Eric G. Neilson, vice president for medical affairs and the Lewis Landsberg Dean of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, gave special thanks to the dignitaries sitting on stage and in the audience who made the day possible, especially to Louis A. Simpson '58, '96 P and Kimberley K. Querrey '96 P, for whom the new biomedical center was named.

“Your naming gift is the engine that has enabled construction of this new building and everything that will happen inside of it,” Neilson said to Simpson and Querrey, whose passion for advancing research that saves lives was reflected in the couple’s remarks.

In a tent resplendent with Northwestern pride, on the site that soon will give rise to Northwestern Medicine’s flagship research facility, the speakers noted that the beauty of the new state-of-the-art building, designed by the internationally acclaimed firm of Perkins + Will, will be more than matched by its extraordinary functionality.

“I’m especially excited about how this new building is bringing together scientists from Feinberg, the McCormick School of Engineering, the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, and, of course, from Lurie Children’s to form new collaborations that can impact health care in ways that have never been possible before,” President Schapiro said.

The building’s curved glass exterior and flexible floor plans for laboratories will foster a dynamic, collegial environment that will draw research faculty and students from across Northwestern’s Evanston and Chicago campuses and affiliated medical institutions.

“This is a landmark moment in the history of Northwestern, and one that will impact health for generations to come here in Chicago and around the country,” Neilson said. “Today we build on the legacy -- we have 156 years of innovation and discovery -- and open a whole new chapter in the history of Northwestern.

“This new building will serve as a catalyst for research on this extraordinary campus and for our expanding Northwestern Medicine health system,” Neilson said. “It will draw the most talented Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows to Chicago and will provide new research opportunities for medical students, residents and fellows.”

The building will be connected floor-by-floor to the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center and be nearby Northwestern Medicine affiliates, including Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC).

“Our academic medical center in Streeterville is well positioned to move boldly into the future,” President Schapiro said. “Just over the past five years Northwestern Medicine has merged physician groups and opened a fabulous new outpatient care pavilion. Lurie Children’s opened a beautiful new hospital, and now RIC is well into construction on a new unbelievably beautiful rehabilitation hospital. These accomplishments serve to strengthen the work Northwestern does and the impact we all have together on the world.”

President Schapiro opened his remarks by giving special thanks to Chicago Alderman Brendan Reilly, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (Illinois) and Mayor Emanuel for their support in bringing the vision for the building to fruition. He especially thanked “Lou Simpson and Kimberly Querrey" for their "inspirational generosity and commitment” before introducing each of them. The couple received sustained applause and a standing ovation.

“It was fortunate to join with Northwestern, because both Kimberly and my passion is in medical research and, particularly, research that can solve many of the major issues and diseases in the world,” said Simpson, a University trustee. “So bringing the biomedical research building to Chicago will do many things. One, it should be a beautiful addition to the skyline," he said, complimenting Perkin + Will for the design of the building.

“The important thing is that it really will enhance Feinberg’s vision of being a leading edge, elite, medical research complex," Simpson said. “And, I think over the years, it was mentioned, the expectation is that 200 medical researchers will be added in the next several years -- to hopefully work on many discoveries.”

Querrey said the couple’s decision to “give a gift to Northwestern that would make a huge difference” was greatly inspired by a visit to the lab of Samuel I. Stupp, who has led the Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine (SQI) since its founding. SQI is conducting some of the world’s most innovative, interdisciplinary research in applying nanotechnology to regenerative medicine.

Querrey brought her niece and nephew to the lab and “was very impressed that Sam was using an interdisciplinary approach to solve complex problems,” she said. “But the more interesting part to me is that he was able to explain what he was doing to inspire passion in children. And that is a unique gift that I think a lot of people probably do not possess.”

That inspired the couple to continue thinking about what they wanted to do philanthropically.

“So we’re pleased that our gift will make Northwestern one of the premier biomedical research institutions in the world, that it will allow the recruitment of the best scientists who will expand the intellectual diversity of the city and the nation," Querrey said. “And it will allow the condition of the human life to continue.”

Construction of the new facility will create 2,500 construction jobs and 2,000 high-paying, full-time jobs, attract top researchers and have an economic impact of nearly $4 billion over the decade after the construction of the building.

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


Sam Goldman, '14, '15 MSMS, and 25 other members of the Class of 2015 from the Kellogg School of Management's Master of Science in Management Studies (MSMS) program recently spent a week in China to learn about the history, culture, and business environment of the world's fastest-growing economy. Below is Sam's account of the trip.


We departed Chicago, and 14 hours later, arrived in Shanghai. With time at a premium, we spent our first full day meeting with managers at General Motors Shanghai. We learned about the unique complexities of China’s automotive market and how GM has adapted to them. GM operates as a joint venture with the car firm SAIC, a state-owned enterprise, which led us to the insight that large multinational companies (MNC) may have to adapt similarly to do business in China.


Our first evening, the Kellogg Alumni Club of Shanghai welcomed our entourage to a panel discussion and networking event featuring seasoned professionals describing how they built their careers in China. We were thrilled by the opportunity to hear from them first-hand.


The Team Strategy Project is a core component of our final grade in our global management course. This year, students are taking an in-depth look at Starbucks China as our American MNC operating in China. We’ll analyze Starbucks’ strategic challenge, which is exciting in light of the company’s announced ambition to grow from 1,500 stores to more than 3,400 by 2019.


At Starbucks China’s presentation, we began with a coffee tasting of China’s own unique blend (grown in the Yunnan province), and we learned what makes China such a promising market for the coffee company. We gained insight about the unique core culture at Starbucks, and how the company has translated it to the Chinese market. After the presentation, we asked many questions about how the company plans to deal with certain challenges, and garnered some inside information to aid with our final strategy projects.


No trip to China would be complete without experiencing more than the business culture. We had the opportunity to climb the Great Wall of China, and we toured Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Many students took advantage of free time to explore interesting parts of Shanghai and Beijing, including the Bund in Shanghai, and the Olympic Village and Temple of Heaven in Beijing.


In Beijing, a local family prepared lunch for us in one of the undeveloped parts of the city, called hutongs. Beyond this uniquely experiential meal, we also sampled a variety of local cuisine, including two of Beijing’s most famous dishes: Peking Duck, and Hot Pot — both delicious. One student remarked, “We came to China for business, but we stayed for the food!” And although we did, in fact, come home, our trip to China was an enlightening, unforgettable experience that broadened our horizons academically — and culturally.


Please visit Kellogg's website to read Sam's original post and to learn more about the MSMS program.


Northwestern’s undergraduate study abroad program in Cuba is the first of its kind to be awarded one of President Barack Obama’s signature education initiative grants following a historic shift in US-Cuba relations.

Awarded through the US State Department’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund, the award—a $25,000 grant that will help subsidize study abroad for more low-income students and faculty collaborations—is a testament to the University’s leading work in Cuba.

“Havana is a mere 40-minute flight from Florida,” said Devora Grynspan, director of the Office of International Program Development (IPD) at Northwestern. “But working in Cuba has been difficult compared to many of our other study abroad programs, even ones based on the other side of the world. The educational opportunities in Cuba easily justify the extra effort.”

Since 2010, Northwestern has been offering study abroad programs in Cuba, one focusing on public health and another, added to the roster more recently, examines culture and society through art, literature and film.

Northwestern will take advantage of the award and the normalization of relations with Cuba, announced by the president in December, to build on its success.

Through Northwestern’s two study abroad programs in Cuba, undergraduate students are exposed to a unique culture that has influenced arts and the humanities around the world and a healthcare system that, while lacking in resources, has produced remarkable health outcomes, Grynspan noted.

Recipients of awards from 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund were announced by US Secretary of State John Kerry at the Summit of the Americas in Panama recently. The goal of the fund is to increase the number of US students studying in the Western Hemisphere to 100,000, with the same number of Latin American students studying in the US, by 2020.

With support from the $25,000 award and almost $25,000 in matching funds from Northwestern, IPD will build on the Cuba program by strengthening its relationship with Universidad de las Artes and by establishing connections with University of Havana and other relevant institutions working on public health and the arts. The goal is to significantly expand student mobility between Cuba and the United States by developing long-term faculty collaborations and engagement with partners in Cuba.

“Cuba has had a remarkable and unique history in Latin America since its colonial days, and it has produced equally remarkable literature, art and music,” Grynspan said. “Cuba is also fascinating from a global health standpoint.”

With few undergraduate study abroad programs in Cuba, and even fewer programs focused on global health, Grynspan said the grant is an acknowledgement of Northwestern’s early success in Cuba.

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


Changing the world through social entrepreneurship was a key message at Northwestern University in Qatar's fourth annual graduation exercises May 3. The ceremony honored 41 graduating students from NU-Q's journalism and communication programs.


Keynote speaker Shiza Shahid urged the graduates to take sensible risks when facing challenges, saying, "The truth is there are no superheroes, there’s just us.” Shahid is global ambassador for the Malala Fund, named for the young activist who was shot because of her efforts to get an education in her Taliban-occupied town in Pakistan.


Shahid, one of Time magazine’s “30 Under 30 World Changers,” spoke about Malala’s resolve in the days after she was attacked: “She looked at me and said, ‘I’m fine, tell them to help the other girls.’ I knew then that what Malala had started had the potential to change the world and that she, like before, wanted to fight the battle to get girls in school… There are certain moments when you have to decide who you are. In those moments, be bold."


Everette E. Dennis, dean and CEO of NU-Q, likewise encouraged the class to continue their public service as they pursue their careers: “The Class of 2015 has a singular interest in and commitment to helping others. They are poised to become exceptional global citizens, which will add purpose and direction to their careers as media professionals."


The class speaker was Najwa Abdulrahman Al-Thani, a student who “embodies the leadership, academic excellence, and commitment to community service” of the graduating class, Dennis said.


In her remarks, Al-Thani looked back on her time at NU-Q and urged her peers to continue their pursuits with creativity and professional rigor.


“Northwestern has taught us to take creative risks,” she said. “We gained the necessary tools to have the power to shape history. Do what you love and not what is expected of you.”


The 41 graduates received their diplomas in the presence of 800 guests, including some of Northwestern’s highest ranking officials: President Morton Schapiro, Board Chairman William Osborn '69, '73 MBA, and Provost Dan Linzer. Dana Shell Smith, US Ambassador to the State of Qatar, was also present to honor the graduates.


Earlier in the day, several graduates were honored at an awards lunch hosted by Schapiro. Addressing the graduating class, Schapiro stressed the unity of Northwestern students, regardless of where they study: “Northwestern University doesn’t have satellite or branch campuses. We have three main campuses. One is Doha, one is in Chicago, and one is in Evanston,” he remarked.


Northwestern University in Qatar opened in 2008. As Northwestern’s 12th school and only overseas campus, NU-Q offers programs based on the curricula of the Medill School of Journalism, the School of Communication and the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. Members of NU-Q's class of 2015 hail from 15 countries.


Northwestern University will celebrate its 157th convocation in June; NU-Q will send a contingent of graduates to walk in the ceremony on behalf of the Qatar campus.


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

Three Northwestern students have landed on the Variety magazine list of "110 Students to Watch.

The list features students from around the country who are poised to become leaders in the world of film, media, and entertainment.

Nayna Agrawal

AGE: 29

SCHOOL: Northwestern U.

MAJOR: MFA writing for screen and stage

HIGH MARKS: Agrawal’s plays have been produced in theaters in Chicago; Evanston, Ill.; Ithaca, N.Y.; New Bedford, Mass.; and Seattle. She was a writing intern with HBO last summer and the winner of an Emmy Foundation scholarship.


View the full list here.>>


Will Arbery

AGE: 25

SCHOOL: Northwestern U.

MAJOR: MFA writing for screen and stage

HIGH MARKS: Arbery’s “The Logic” was one of the winning plays for Theater Masters’ 2014 National MFA Playwrights Festival, and went on to be one of the winners of the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival, granting Arbery a publishing/licensing contract with Samuel French. Arbery is also a performer, writer and filmmaker.


View the full list here.>>


A.J. Roy

AGE: 22

SCHOOL: Northwestern U.

MAJOR: Theater

HIGH MARKS: Roy is co-chair of the student-run theater coalition, StuCo, which puts on about 80 productions during the school year. The actor and playwright is also focused on theater business and earning a Kellogg School of Management certificate.


View the full list here.>>


20613_D0297.JPGCHICAGO --- Tina Tchen, chief of staff to first lady Michelle Obama, will deliver the main convocation address at Northwestern University School of Law, her alma mater, at 1:30 p.m. Friday, May 15, at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State St., Chicago.


A 1984 graduate of the School of Law, Tchen has served as an assistant to President Barack Obama and chief of staff to the First Lady since 2011.


Following her graduation from the Law School, Tchen spent 25 years at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. She was a partner at Skadden for 13 years before being appointed to the Obama administration.


In addition to her role as chief of staff to the First Lady, Tchen also currently serves as the executive director for the White House Council on Women and Girls.


Tchen was honored with the Dawn Clark Netsch Public Service Award at Northwestern Law’s 2014 Alumni Awards luncheon, where she was introduced by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.


She is the recipient of many honors, including the Leadership Award from the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (1999), a Women of Achievement award from the Anti-Defamation League (1996) and Chicago Lawyer’s 1994 Person of the Year.


See more in Northwestern News

_ERR8341.JPGEVANSTON, Ill. --- Four faculty members will be honored with 2015 University Teaching Awards for their outstanding dedication to undergraduate education at Northwestern University.


Walter B. Herbst will receive the Charles Deering McCormick Distinguished Clinical Professor award and Deborah Cohen, David N. Rapp and Karen Smilowitz will each receive a Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence award.


They will be recognized at a ceremony from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Thursday, May 21, 2015, in the Guild Lounge, Scott Hall, on the Evanston campus. A reception will follow the event.


Undergraduate deans nominated faculty members for these awards, and the selection committee, chaired by Provost Daniel Linzer and made up of senior faculty members, University administrators and a student representative, selected the recipients from a diverse and strong pool of candidates.


The Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence Award has a three-year term and includes $7,000 to the recipient as a salary supplement, $3,000 for professional development and a one-time $3,000 award to the recipient's home department to support activities that enhance undergraduate education.


Recipients of the 2015 Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence:


Deborah Cohen is the Peter B. Ritzma Professor of the Humanities and a professor of history in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. She is known for her energetic lectures and ability to spark interest in historical topics through imaginative and innovative assignments. Such pedagogical innovations include an assignment designed to mimic a scavenger hunt, in which students work with Victorian memoirs and newspapers and formulate their own research questions based upon something that intrigues them during that process.


Cohen’s goal in the classroom is to encourage students to think expansively about a topic while evoking a sense of empathy and appreciation for those who lived in the past. Students repeatedly remark that she makes her courses interesting and engaging for even non-history majors.


One colleague notes, that she makes “our students remember their time here as having expanded their horizons in ways they little imagined when they first arrived.” Her ability to resonate with her students is bolstered by an impressive scholarly knowledge of modern Britain which has yielded three highly acclaimed books; her last two, “Household Gods” and “Family Secrets,” both earned the top two book prizes in her field, a double double-awarding never before accomplished. In addition to these academic successes, numerous students have commented on Cohen’s warmth, genuine kindness and unparalleled dedication to their success. As one student remarked, “Professor Cohen’s greatest strength is that she genuinely wants every single one of her students to succeed and is willing to go above and beyond to make sure that happens.” A member of the Northwestern faculty since 2010, Deborah Cohen received her Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and her B.A. from Harvard-Radcliffe College.


David N. Rapp is a professor of learning sciences in the School of Education and Social Policy and a professor of psychology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.


With this dual appointment, he works to build connections between the two schools through his extensive student teaching, advising and mentoring activities. His research focuses on the cognitive processes that underlie comprehension and learning, and this work informs his teaching practices.


He is committed to iteratively examining his own instructional practices and identifying opportunities to build active, collaborative learning spaces within and outside of the classroom. Rapp fosters students’ critical thinking, analytic experiences and writing skills by employing innovative teaching methods and encouraging student involvement in his own lab. Students have praised his ability to “connect what students are learning to other domains and apply that knowledge to the world outside the classroom.”


Rapp is also hailed for his frequent work as a mentor to graduate and undergraduate students, who describe their admiration for his patience, ability to identify their needs and success in inspiring them by his inquisitive nature and extensive subject knowledge.


He has received a McKnight Land-Grant Professorship Award from the University of Minnesota, the Tom Trabasso Young Investigator Award from the Society for Text and Discourse and an Excellence in Teaching Award from the Undergraduate Psychology Association at Northwestern University. He also is a fellow of the Association of Psychological Science. Rapp received his Ph.D. in experimental psychology from State University of New York at Stony Brook and his M.A. in psychology from New York University.


Karen Smilowitz is an associate professor in industrial engineering and management sciences in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. A Northwestern faculty member since 2001, Smilowitz has had a tremendous impact on the school’s curriculum, teaching courses such as “Supply-Chain Modeling and Analysis,” which instructs students on real-world issues related to humanitarian and non- and for-profit logistics. Her thoughtful work on the design of this challenging yet popular engineering course has resulted in substantial waitlists for students who are clamoring to work with her. She also has adapted a very successful graduate-level course into the undergraduate, University-wide course “Analytics for Social Good,” which is being offered for the first time this spring.


Smilowitz’s infectious passion and research in this field has allowed her to work with several organizations, from the Chicago Marathon to non-governmental organizations in Africa. She uses these connections to create opportunities for her students to engage in real-life prosocial work. As she says, “Chicago is our laboratory.”


Students frequently remark on her availability, openness, kindness and genuine interest in their career goals. As one student enthusiastically wrote, “By the end of the summer, professor Smilowitz had instilled so much confidence in me that I was sure I wanted to change my major from mechanical engineering to whatever her department was; her passion and knowledge inspired me so much.”


Indeed, she is an inspirer, motivator and dedicated teacher to many within Northwestern and beyond. Smilowitz holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.S.E. from Princeton University.


The Charles Deering McCormick Distinguished Lecturer or Clinical Professor award has a one-year term and includes $7,000 to the recipient as a salary supplement and $1,000 to the recipient's home department to support activities that enhance undergraduate education.


2015 Charles Deering McCormick Distinguished Clinical Professor recipient:


Walter B. Herbst is a clinical professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Master of Product Design and Development Management Program in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.


Herbst has had an illustrious career as an award-winning global product designer. He was the founder of Herbst LaZar Bell and is co-founder of the design firm Herbst Produkt in Silicon Valley. He also is a dedicated and passionate teacher, lauded by students for his ability to “combine incredible proficiency and knowledge in his field with a passion for teaching and obvious care for students and their learning.” He pushes students to an empathetic understanding of how their work affects peoples’ lives, and he draws upon experiential learning and reflective practices to bring this teaching goal to life for his students.


By advocating for a “human-centric” approach to all things design related, he has been instrumental in the rebranding of the “Design Thinking and Communication” course and the development of a new “Sketching” course, the latter aimed at increasing students’ ability to effectively communicate their design ideas.


“No other instructor has been so influential in advocacy for learning design-thinking in McCormick undergraduate education,” says one administrator, summing up Herbst’s wide influence.


Herbst’s ability to, as one former student described, “meet students at their level and elevate them,” coupled with his incredible commitment and vision for undergraduate education, has made him an invaluable member of the McCormick faculty. Professor Herbst is a Ph.D. Candidate from Coventry University and received his MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.


See the full story in Northwestern News

davis173.jpgEVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University Professor Emeritus Laurence Davis (1929-2015), a professional pianist-accompanist, longtime Bienen School of Music educator and former associate conductor/principal coach-accompanist for Lyric Opera of Chicago, died April 23, in Evanston, following a brief illness. He was 86.


A native Australian, Davis received numerous musical prizes as a young pianist, including Sydney’s Daily Telegraph piano competition, at the age of 17. Two years later, he was awarded First Prize at Australia’s most prestigious music contest, the Australian Broadcast Commission’s Concerto and Vocal Competition.


“Laurence was an impeccable pianist who brought life and beauty to everything he played -- from a Mozart sonata to a Puccini aria,” said Marcia Bosits, associate professor of piano and director of piano pedagogy at the Bienen School.


Davis’ professional performance career centered on the accompaniment of both vocal and instrumental soloists, including Australian dramatic coloratura Dame Joan Sutherland, German lyric mezzo-soprano Christa Ludwig and Australian lyric bass-baritone Walter Berry.


Davis and Sutherland were fellow students at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and they traveled together by sea to London to further their studies at the Royal College of Music. Davis later journeyed to Vienna in the early 1950s to study at the Akademie für Musik. During this time, he was a student of some of the most distinguished piano teachers of the day, including Ignaz Friedman, Bruno Seidlhofer and Franz Reizenstein.


As a solo pianist, Davis won four of the world’s most prestigious music competitions in Geneva, Brussels, Munich and Paris. During his career, he often performed in many chamber music ensembles, making frequent appearances at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall and on WFMT, Chicago’s classical and fine arts music station.


In addition to concert appearances in the United States and Canada, Davis also performed, lectured and led master classes around the world, including Japan, Mexico, Australia, Cuba, South America and the Caribbean.


During the six years he lived in Cuba, he accompanied distinguished visiting European musicians, including the legendary French cellist Pierre Fournier. After moving to the U.S., he was appointed as assistant conductor to the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1962, a position that he held for 18 years.


Davis, a professor of piano, joined the Bienen School faculty in 1965. He taught classes in accompanying and interpretation of vocal repertoire to graduate and undergraduate students. He was fluent in English, Spanish, German, French and Italian, which proved invaluable in his work as a coach to operatic vocalists.


In 1992, he became the piano coordinator of Northwestern University’s summer National High School Music Institute, teaching accompaniment and piano. During the summers of 1994 and 1995, he was invited to teach and coach voice-piano and instrumental piano repertoire in Japan at the Showa College of Music in Tokyo.


“Professor Davis served on the piano faculty for 34 years, however, his influence extended beyond the piano program,” said Toni-Marie Montgomery, dean of the Bienen School of Music. “Professor Davis influenced the lives of hundreds of students through his involvement in chamber, vocal, wind and string music. Laurence was an exceptional musician who contributed significantly to the reputation of the Bienen School of Music.”


Following his retirement from Northwestern’s School of Music in 1998, he was the manager and designer of the University’s Study Abroad program in Thailand for eight years. Based in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, it gave students the opportunity to visit Thailand to study Buddhism and Thai culture, as well as sociological and anthropological perspectives on Thailand.


Davis spent several months each year living in Pattaya, a town on Thailand’s eastern Gulf coast. He performed with many visiting musicians, notably at the series of classical concerts at Ben’s Theater in Jomtien. Davis also performed at Mahidol University School of Music and participated regularly in Chulalongkorn University’s Summer School Writing Seminar initially held on Koh Si Chang, a small island situated in the Gulf of Thailand.


Many of his former Bienen School colleagues and students are deeply saddened by his loss.


Soprano Pamela Hinchman, a Bienen School associate professor of voice, who worked with Davis and toured Thailand with him, shared some of the fondest memories of her former colleague.


“Laurence was such a joyful person who always looked for the silver lining in everything,” Hinchman said. “He loved performing and sharing his gifts with audiences, even rehearsing. Beloved by all, he had a boyish charm that endured until the end of his life. He saw the world from a perspective of possibility rather than limitation. He was contagious in his enthusiasm!”


“Laurence was a valued member of the piano faculty,” said James Giles, associate professor  of music performance and coordinator of the Bienen School’s piano program. “We will miss his presence at many of our piano events and school competitions. He was a passionate musician and dedicated mentor who cared deeply about the piano program at Northwestern.”


Following his retirement from the Bienen School, Davis continued his commitment to the School through his generous support as a member of the Lutkin Society as well as through his philanthropic plans for Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music. He gave richly and deeply of his time and resources to the University and did so for many years through multiple forms of giving, including current use and planned giving methods. He provided generous support -- both endowed and non-endowed -- to the Bienen School, the piano program and the Music Library.


“Laurence was sought after to collaborate with many of the world's top vocalists and instrumentalists. However, his commitment to the School of Music and his students remained his top priority. He could be heard many evenings practicing and rehearsing on the fourth floor of the Bienen School, but still found the time to enthusiastically attend almost every recital and performance by his colleagues and students -- and continued to do so well into his retirement years,” added Marcia Bosits.


Davis was the son of Lewis and Sadie Zines Davis. He is survived by one brother, Winston Davis, of Melbourne, Australia, by his Thai companion and friend Anan Pomthong, and by many of his devoted students, colleagues and friends here and around the world.


Davis’ friends in Thailand are planning a memorial service in mid-June in Pattaya. For more information, email


Visit Northwestern News for more

anderson175.jpgAlan Anderson, an alumnus with engineering and business degrees from Northwestern, has been named executive director of neighborhood and community relations at the University, effective June 1.


A civic leader and strong advocate for education at the community level, Anderson will be the University’s primary liaison to the Evanston community and serve as a key strategic advisor to Northwestern’s senior leadership. He will create opportunities for Northwestern to build strong, supportive partnerships with Evanston residents, community organizations, schools, civic and business groups, and local government.


“I am delighted that Alan will join us in this important role,” said Northwestern Executive Vice President Nim Chinniah. “His energy, skills and experiences will be an asset to us in strengthening the relationship between the University and Evanston. We are fortunate to have one of our own graduates return home to lead our neighborhood and community relations efforts.”


Anderson will report to Chinniah and work in close partnership with Bruce Layton, special assistant to the president for government relations.


Previously, Anderson was the founding executive director of the Chicago branch of Year Up, a national organization that serves low-income adults, between ages 18 and 24, who only have a high school education or the equivalent through a GED. As a leader of Year Up Chicago, Anderson was and continues to be passionate about the organization’s mission to help urban youth who are out of school and out of work find meaningful careers.


The goal of Year Up Chicago is to take students from the poverty line to a professional career in one year -- providing, for college credit, six months of technical and professional skills training and a six-month internship at a major organization. More than 90 percent of Anderson’s most recent graduating class at Year Up Chicago earned nearly $38,000 per year.


Besides launching the highly successful employment program for low-income adults in Chicago, Anderson also has served in leadership roles for Chicago Public Schools and in industry.


“As a proud two-time alumnus of Northwestern and parent of two kids born in Evanston, I am truly honored to join a world-class University and city, led by President Schapiro and Mayor Tisdahl respectively,” Anderson said.


“My passion and professional experiences have prepared me for this role at Northwestern,” he said. “My goal is to work tirelessly in a highly accountable and transparent way with all the key stakeholders, both within Northwestern and the city of Evanston, to strategically design and launch initiatives that create mutual benefits. True partnerships are powerful, and in my new role I will work tirelessly to create them.”


“The leadership Alan has shown throughout his career, his intense focus on education as the path to success and his passion for developing talent of underrepresented individuals will serve him well as Northwestern’s primary liaison to the Evanston community,” Chinniah said.


Prior to Year Up, Anderson was the acting chief school design officer in the Chief Administrative Office for Chicago Public Schools, responsible for redesigning and aligning the school closing and opening process to impact school openings for the 2012 school year. He also was responsible for leading a citywide education and advocacy process to inform parents and families on performance of their schools. The effort mobilized parent and community leaders to develop and choose educational solutions to fix their failing schools.


Anderson also has served as the acting deputy CEO for Human Capital and as the executive director of the Office of School Turnaround and the deputy director of Research, Evaluation and Accountability for Chicago Public Schools. He also completed a residency in urban education at the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems, a leadership development program, serving his two-year residency in Chicago Public Schools.


Before joining Chicago Public Schools, Anderson worked at Motorola Inc. for nearly nine years. In his latest position there, he served as business manager for Motorola’s transmission group and was responsible for the company’s $6.5 million transmission business for the Ford Motor Company. Before that, he served as design engineer, design team leader and project manager at Motorola.


After earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, Anderson went on to earn two degrees from Northwestern: a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and a master’s degree in business administration from the Kellogg School of Management.


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

_ERR2267.jpgEVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University history professor Kevin Boyle is among the inaugural class of Andrew Carnegie Fellows.


The 32 scholars were selected from more than 300 nominees for this honor. The fellowship includes up to $200,000 per recipient to support a research sabbatical for work that focuses on studies in the social sciences and humanities.


Boyle, William Smith Mason Professor of American History in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, is an historian of the 20th-century United States, with a particular interest in modern American social movements.


“I’m so grateful to the Carnegie Corporation for its generous support,” said Boyle, who teaches undergraduate courses on modern U.S. history, the civil rights movement and racial violence. “I’ll be using my fellowship year to write an intensely intimate history of political extremism and governmental repression in the early 20th-century United States. Through that history, I hope the book will speak to the deeply troubling issues the nation faces as we live through our own age of terror.”


Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation, said what distinguishes this new fellowship initiative is its extraordinary jury.


“The selection committee includes the heads of some of the nation’s preeminent institutions dedicated to the advancement of knowledge, including five current and former university presidents,” Gregorian said. “In addition, each proposal was reviewed and rated by at least one of the 25 prominent scholars, educators and intellectuals who served as anonymous evaluators.”


The jurors were asked to consider the merits of each proposal based on its originality, promise and potential impact on a particular field of scholarship. The anticipated result of each fellowship is a book or major study.


Boyle’s publications include “The UAW and the Heyday of American Liberalism, 1945-1968”; “Muddy Boots and Ragged Aprons: Images of Working-Class Detroit, 1900-1930” (with Victoria Getis); and “Organized Labor and American Politics, 1894-1994.” His book “Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights and Murder in the Jazz Age,” which received the National Book Award for nonfiction, the Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize and the Simon Weisenthal Center’s Tolerance Book Award, also was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.


Boyle has published essays and reviews in the Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun, the Detroit Free Press, Inc., and Cobblestone magazines. He has held fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.


The Carnegie Corporation of New York, which announced the major annual fellowship program this morning, awarding a total of $6.4 million to the inaugural class, was established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.


“It is my hope that the work of the Andrew Carnegie Fellows will help inform the American public as well as policymakers,” Gregorian said. 


In launching the fellowship program, the corporation sought nominations from nearly 700 leaders from a range of universities, think tanks, publishers, independent scholars and nonprofit organizations nationwide, who collectively nominated more than 300 people.


See more in Northwestern News

_ERR8262-2.JPGEVANSTON, Ill. --- The Kaplan Institute for the Humanities at Northwestern University has named eight new fellows who will spend the year researching a wide range of issues, including antiwar activism in the 1970s, new media and the politics of sexual health.


The 2015-16 Kaplan fellows -- seven faculty members and a Northwestern University Library staff member -- are granted either a full year of leave or a significant reduction in teaching duties in order to develop research within an interdisciplinary setting. Serving as the core members of Northwestern’s humanities community, the fellows discuss their work throughout the year and critique the efforts of graduate and undergraduate affiliates.


Once the fellowship year concludes, the fellows will circulate their work more broadly by teaching a humanities course to undergraduates.


The highly competitive award is juried by eminent humanities faculty at other universities.


The Kaplan Humanities Institute is the center of cutting-edge discussions on research and teaching numerous humanities departments and programs. The 2015-16 fellows and their own descriptions of the research projects follow:


Michael Allen, associate professor of history, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences


“Tug of War: Confronting the Imperial Presidency, 1966-1992”


“This project explains why leading liberals joined grassroots peace activists and civil libertarians in the "long 1970s" to challenge what many came to consider the core contradiction of Cold War liberalism: its reliance on war power as the basis of state power and its concentration of that power in the presidency. Such efforts, I argue, moderated modern liberalism's foreign policy militancy but sacrificed its grip on presidential power, ceding control of the national security state to more bellicose foes.”


Mark Alznauer assistant professor of philosophy, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences


“Hegel and the Logic of Self-Constitution”


This project will focus on one of Hegel's most peculiar and provocative claims: Certain human enterprises -- like art, religion, and philosophy -- are distorted when they are understood as expressions of the finite ends of individuals.  I will argue that Hegel understands these activities as distinct because they aim at self-transcendence.”


Aymar Jean Christian, assistant professor of communication studies, School of Communication


“Open TV: Developing Art and Community-Based Networked Television”


“The Open TV project will investigate the possibilities of web video for community-based arts by those marginalized in corporate creative industries (primarily queer, trans, and people of color). The project adapts television development processes for digital markets by releasing stories in different lengths and times and syndicating existing productions. The goal is to empower artists with control and ownership of their work and to promote conversation about art and identity online.”


Steven Epstein, professor of sociology, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences


“Sexual Health as Buzzword: Histories of Emergence and Politics of Proliferation”


“In recent decades, the idea of “sexual health” has gone from obscurity to ubiquity. My research examines the emergence of the concept in its modern form, its extensive proliferation, and its partial and differentiated standardization, with an eye to the contexts in which sexual health is professed as well as the consequences of attempts to lay claim to it.”


Elizabeth Hurd, associate professor of political science, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences


“Religion and Global Politics Beyond Freedom and Violence”


“Rejecting both the certainties of the secularization narrative and naïve attempts to ‘re-accommodate’ religion in the public sphere, this project seeks new ways of thinking about religion and modernity. Drawing on a multidisciplinary archive, it will explore the sites where religion, governance, and law intermingle at a time when constructs such as secularism and religious freedom appear to be exhausted and unproductive.”

Christina Kiaer, associate professor of art and chair, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences


“An Aesthetics of Anti-racism: African-Americans in Soviet Visual Culture”


“This project investigates how images of African-Americans, in paintings, photographs, films, posters, advertisements and illustrations, from the moment of the Revolution through the 1960s, produced a visual environment of anti-racism in Soviet Russia. Anti-racism as an official policy emerged there at least forty years before such policies became standard in other countries.”


Taco Terpstra, assistant professor of classics, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences


“The Development of Roman Intercommunity Trade: Institutional Continuity and Change”


“This research project focuses on how the institutional structure of Roman long-distance trade developed to meet the preindustrial problems of information scarcity and lack of government enforcement of contracts. The leading question informing this research is: what did the mercantile organization of the Roman Empire inherit from earlier times and what did it pass on to the period that followed?”


Marcia Tiede, Library Fellow, University Library


“Modibo Keita’s “L’Enfant Sarakolle” (1936): autoethnography in French colonial West Africa”


“This manuscript by the future president of Mali, written while in teacher school at the Ecole William Ponty near Dakar, is an example of the hundreds of student papers created between 1934 and 1946.  I will transcribe and translate it (along with a comparable text by his classmate Kefing Keita), and write an introductory chapter that explores the concept of autoethnography (in the sense of ‘insider ethnography’) as it was promoted through the French colonial education system."


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EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro, trustees, staff and guests honored Gordon and Carole Segal for their generosity and vision Tuesday (April 28) during a formal dedication of the Segal Visitors Center, the new lakefront gateway to the Evanston campus. The setting was breathtaking.


“We have the most beautiful view in the world,” the president said as he welcomed nearly 150 people attending the official opening of the gleaming new center, where seats in the auditorium face east through a huge glass window onto a spectacular vista of Lake Michigan. “This is a dream come true -- an absolute dream come true.”


President Schapiro praised the dedication and vision of Gordon and Carole Segal, co-founders of Crate & Barrel and longtime supporters of Northwestern, their alma mater (Class of 1960), who committed approximately $10 million to the University through a planned gift.


President Schapiro and the Segals -- along with Bill Osborn, chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Ralph Johnson, global design director of Perkins+Will, the building’s architects -- cut a ceremonial purple ribbon to dedicate the center.


President Schapiro and the Segals joined Michael Mills, associate provost for enrollment management, and Alexis Harrell ’12, a graduate admissions counselor at the center, to address the crowd with great passion about how the Segal Visitors Center and other new buildings on the lakefront are transforming the entire campus. They also joked a number of times about the distracting beauty of the lakefront background as joggers and others passed by occasionally.


As chair of the Educational Properties Committee of the Board of Trustees, Gordon Segal has helped create a Campus Master Plan for building and renovation of Northwestern’s campuses, including the construction and transformation now underway on Evanston’s lakefront campus. In honor of their contributions to Northwestern, the University recognized the Segals by naming the University’s new visitors center the Segal Visitors Center.


“All of this is leading us to developing a much more vital campus. It’s a new Northwestern,” declared Gordon Segal in his remarks. “It’s something that is going to be really important when people come here, and instead of being enclosed by concrete and stone, they are going to be enclosed by glass -- so they can look out at the lake and look out at the gardens and look out at the park-like scenery of this University. It’s really going to be special.”


Segal went on to discuss the vision he and others had to hire the best architects and hold competitions to produce the best designs in order to bring lovely, state-of-the-art buildings that would transform Northwestern’s lakefront campus and provide the best possible experience for students, faculty and staff. That even included the concept of taking the lower levels of new parking structures on the north and south ends of the campus and using them creatively, converting them into important uses for the University.


“We should create things that are really going to be spectacular,” Segal declared, discussing the transformation of the campus. Segal also extolled the new Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center building that will rise on the Chicago campus soon as “the most beautiful medical center in America.” The formal groundbreaking for that structure will be May 8.


“As a trustee, I am so proud of what this administration has done, what the whole talented team of educators at this place does,” he concluded. “If we build great buildings, we will make this University a spectacular new Northwestern. Thank you all for this wonderful honor.”


Northwestern opened the Segal Visitors Center for prospective students and their families last fall, and the Office of Admission has already welcomed thousands of parents and prospective students coming to visit, including more than 1,000 people who passed through the building on a single day (April 3) last month, a record number.


President Schapiro also cited the other major new buildings being added -- such as the completed Music and Communication Building, the Kellogg Global Hub going up now and the planned Lakefront Athletics and Recreation Complex to be completed in the future. He also noted the major renovations completed, underway and planned for existing buildings.


“All you have to do is walk around the campus and in building after building, we see magnificent improvement,” he said. But the president was most passionate when speaking about the contributions of the Segals.


“The Segal legacy is just extraordinary at Northwestern University,” he said.


“I am so proud to be associated with the two of you, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart, not just for the Visitors Center,” he added, “but I’m saluting you for 50 other buildings that you have done -- and not just your financial generosity, but the incredible time you have given back to your alma mater. We were incredibly lucky when the Segals decided to come to Northwestern University.”


Situated on the southeast corner of the Evanston campus at 1841 Sheridan Road, the Segal Visitors Center features broad views of Lake Michigan and the new Northwestern University Sailing Center. The 170,000-square-foot visitors facility, designed by Chicago architectural firm Perkins+Will, includes a 160-seat auditorium, meeting rooms, offices for admission staff and waiting areas for visitors.


Mills called the building “a beautiful new front door for Northwestern” and enumerated the many ways it has transformed how prospective students and their families meet and interact with the University. He noted that students come with high expectations, and it is important for the admissions process to give a powerful first impression of Northwestern. More than 50,000 visitors come to campus annually, he said.


Harrell talked about the improvements that the Segal Visitors Center has brought to the admissions process in the six months since she and other admissions counselors have worked in the building.


“It still makes me smile when we have prospective students and their parents who walk into our lobby and are speechless, because our view of Lake Michigan literally takes their breath away,” she said. “The Segal Visitors Center has already allowed us to bring in more visitors than we ever could have over at 1801 [Hinman Avenue].


“For me, more visitors coming through these doors mean more opportunities for me to share all of the amazing things I was able to do thanks to Northwestern,” Harrell added. “I am looking forward to watching this new center continue to bring in record-breaking numbers of students and families over time, and help them develop a love for Northwestern, just like I have.”


Gordon Segal, who retired as CEO of Crate & Barrel in 2008, is a life member of the Northwestern University Board of Trustees. He received a bachelor’s degree in business from Northwestern in 1960. Carole Browe Segal graduated from Northwestern in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in English. Carole is co-founder of Crate & Barrel and founder and former CEO of Foodstuffs Inc. She is on the Board of Visitors of the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, is past president of the Northwestern Women’s Board and received the Alumni Medal in 2008. The couple met at Northwestern and co-founded Crate & Barrel in 1962.


Gordon and Carole Segal co-chaired their 50th reunion at Northwestern in 2010, and Carole has been a member of the Northwestern University Women’s Board since 1981.


Gordon and Carole Segal have given annually to Northwestern since 1986 -- 29 consecutive years of supporting the University. In 2007, they made a significant gift to establish the Segal Design Institute at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Kellogg School of Management. Other gifts have supported various parts of the University, including Kellogg, Northwestern University Library, Weinberg College and athletics.


The Segals’ most recent gift will count toward We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern, a $3.75 billion University-wide fundraising effort announced in March 2014. The money raised will help realize the transformational vision set forth in Northwestern’s strategic plan and solidify the University’s position among the world’s leading research universities.


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_DSC5337.jpgEVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University professor Jennifer Richeson, a social psychologist who studies the social psychological phenomena of cultural diversity, has been elected a member of the prestigious U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS).


Membership in the NAS is one of the highest honors given to a scientist in the United States. Richeson is among 84 new members and 21 foreign associates from 15 countries recognized for their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Earlier this month, Richeson also was named a Guggenheim Fellow.


MacArthur Foundation Chair and professor of psychology and of African-American studies in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Richeson researches social group membership, particularly the ways race and gender impact the way people think, feel and behave.


Her 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. Coverage of her work also has appeared in popular publications such as The Economist and The New York Times.


Richeson was a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Research Institute of Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity in 2004 and 2005. In 2009, she received the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contributions to Psychology from the American Psychological Association.


Richeson, who also is a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern, 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.”


There are now 2,250 active National Academy of Science members and 452 foreign associates, of whom approximately 200 have received Nobel prizes.


The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership and -- with the National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine and National Research Council -- provides science, technology and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.


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Seven members of the Northwestern Football Family have new homes following the 2015 NFL Draft, which was held in Chicago April 30 through May 2.

Two members of Chicago's Big Ten Team, Ibraheim Campbell and Trevor Siemian, were among the 256 gifted players to hear their names called over the weekend.

Campbell, a safety, was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round, while, Siemian, a quarterback, was chosen by the Denver Broncos in the seventh round. That duo became the first pair of 'Cats to be taken in the same draft since 2012, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons tabbed Drake Dunsmore and Jeremy Ebert, respectively. Campbell became the highest Northwestern student-athlete drafted since 2010 when Corey Wootton was snatched up by the Chicago Bears with the 109th pick.


Campbell was the first Wildcat off the board when Cleveland selected him with the 115th pick. A 2014 co-captain, he finished his tenure in Evanston with 316 tackles, while ranking tied for third in NU annals with 11 interceptions. The Philadelphia native earned All-Big Ten Second Team recognition in 2014, despite being limited to eight games because of injury.

"He was a turnover machine for us," said Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald, who was at Draft Town in Grant Park as contributor to the NFL Network's coverage when Campbell was selected. "That work ethic he leaves is going to be his legacy at our program."

A few hours later, Siemian heard his name called by the reigning AFC West champions, the Denver Broncos. The signal caller finished his career with the 'Cats ranked fourth in program history in passing yardage with 5,931 yards. The Windermere, Florida, native also ranked fourth among all Northwestern quarterbacks with 550 completions, 27 of which went for touchdowns.

"Trevor Siemian had a productive career as a quarterback at Northwestern," tweeted John Elway, Hall of Fame quarterback and Denver's executive vice president for football operations. "He has raw talent and we think he will develop nicely."

Once the NFL Draft concluded, five more Wildcats inked deals with NFL clubs as unrestricted free agents. Linebacker Chi Chi Ariguzo linked up with the San Diego Chargers, while his position-mate Jimmy Hall signed with another AFC West team, the Oakland Raiders.


On the offensive side of the ball, center Brandon Vitabile came to an agreement with the Indianapolis Colts. Vitabile anchored the line as he started all 50 games of his NU career, while also starring in the classroom. The Edison, New Jersey, native was a four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and a two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. He was also a 2014 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete, one of only 17 from across the nation.

A pair of Siemian's favorite targets, wide receivers Tony Jones and Kyle Prater, also entered the professional ranks. Jones was picked up by the Washington Redskins. The Flint, Michigan, product hauled in 130 receptions in 44 games for 1,445 yards. Jones caught 10 touchdown passes while making 32 starts for the 'Cats.

Prater will join forces with Campbell as a member of the Browns. The Maywood, Illinois, native played in 34 games over three seasons as a member of the Wildcats. He caught 70 passes over that span, including a pair of touchdowns during his senior season. One of his most memorable performances came during NU's upset over Notre Dame on November 15, 2014, when he caught 10 passes for 81 yards and a touchdown to help the Wildcats win in overtime, 43-40.

The seven Wildcats mark the highest number to enter the NFL at one time since the 2005 Draft. That year three Wildcats, Luis Castillo (San Diego), Trai Essex (Pittsburgh) and Noah Herron (Pittsburgh) were drafted, while six others signed free-agent contracts.


Freshman Selena Lasota has been voted as the Big Ten's first women's lacrosse Freshman of the Year.

Lasota was a unanimous selection to the inaugural All-Big Ten Team and is just the fourth Wildcat in program history to earn conference "Rookie" or "Freshman" of the Year honors, joining Kristen Kjellman '07, Meredith Frank '09, '11 MS and Alyssa Leonard '14.

Lasota, a native of Campbell River, British Columbia, has been one of the most dynamic scorers in the conference and the country this season despite coaches employing face guards and double-teams on her each and every time out.

As of May 4, she ranked ninth in the country with 58 goals and 10th with an average of 3.22 goals per game. Lasota is the first Wildcat freshman since Kjellman in 2004 to eclipse the 50-goal plateau.

A member of Canada's U-19 team, Lasota earned three Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors and one Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week plaudit this season. She finished conference play with 15 goals and four assists to lead the Wildcats with 19 points, including a season-best eight points (6 goals and 2 assists) in the Wildcats' first-ever Big Ten win at Michigan.

For more coverage of Northwestern women's lacrosse, visit


Northwestern’s new Center for Audiology, Speech, Language, and Learning is a real-world example of the University’s 2011 Strategic Plan in action, according to President Morton Schapiro.


President Schapiro and Provost Daniel Linzer joined Dean Barbara O’Keefe of the School of Communication April 16 for the official opening of the new facility located at 2315 N. Campus Drive, within the new North Campus Parking Garage on the Evanston campus.

“The center connects what’s happening inside the classroom to the work outside the classroom,” President Schapiro said, citing a pillar of the University’s Strategic Plan: Integrate learning and experience. “Graduate students not only study here, but they’re practitioners as well. And increasingly undergraduates are getting involved. This mixture of faculty, staff and students is exactly what we want.”

Open to the public, the non-profit center offers evidence-based evaluation and treatment for children and adults, all while providing research and training experiences to Northwestern graduate students in audiology, speech-language pathology and learning disabilities.

Patients from across the Chicago area visit the center for services that address hearing, learning, speech-language and swallowing challenges affected by speech-language difficulties, hearing loss, learning disabilities, autism, stroke and cancer recovery and other issues. Clinical faculty members direct services in partnership with medical teams, educators and other professionals to ensure comprehensive care for each client.

Distinguished Northwestern alumni and longtime benefactors Roxelyn and Richard Pepper were among the reception guests. Among their several generous gifts to the University, the Peppers made a gift in 2005 to the School of Communication to endow the department of communication sciences and disorders, which houses the Center for Audiology, Speech, Language, and Learning.

After cutting the ribbon, Dean O’Keefe invited guests to tour the facility.

“We are completely energized by this,” she said. “It will help us achieve our ambition to be the world’s foremost clinic working with people to improve speech, language, learning and hearing."

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

Northwestern University in Qatar Dean and CEO Everette Dennis and members of the faculty, staff and students from Doha visited the Evanston campus May 11-13 to showcase the Northwestern Experience in Qatar.

The series of lectures and presentations, called "NU-Q in Evanston," provided an opportunity for the community to experience the creative work, innovation and scholarship underway at Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q).

The events cast a spotlight on Northwestern's 12th school and only overseas campus and included presentations by NU-Q students on their achievements in film, reporting, journalism and projects in the liberal arts. Dennis and Justin Martin, assistant professor in residence, also spoke about the vision and success of NU-Q research.

"Since 2008, the NU-Q student population has grown from 40 to nearly 200," Dennis said. “Each year, the quality of the student body -- as indicated by grades and test scores -- has increased as well."

Dennis noted the school boasts some 140 graduates as of 2015, and its alumni have landed successful jobs in media, communication and other fields and also gone to elite graduate schools. Faculty recruitment has been highly successful, and NU-Q research is robust, he added.

A distinctive part of the Northwestern family, NU-Q brings together the curricula of the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, the School of Communication and the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences to deliver U.S. degree programs in Qatar.

The Middle East is at the heart of a massive transformation of global media and communication. Located in Doha, Qatar, NU-Q is in a unique position to educate future media leaders, study regional and global trends and advance the concepts of freedom of expression and an independent media. The student body is diverse and international.

Please visit NU-Q's website for more information about the school.

Most psychiatric disorders -- including depression -- do not predict future violent behavior, according to a new Northwestern Medicine longitudinal study of delinquent youth. The only exception is substance abuse and dependence.


“Our findings are relevant to the recent tragic plane crash in the French Alps," said corresponding author Linda Teplin, the Owen L. Coon Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "Our findings show that no one could have predicted that the pilot -- who apparently suffered from depression -- would perpetrate this violent act. It is not merely a suicide, but an act of mass homicide.”

The study did find, however, that some delinquent youth with current psychiatric illness may be violent. For example, males with mania were more than twice as likely to report current violence than those without. But these relationships are not necessarily causal.

Delinquent youth with psychiatric illness have multiple risk factors -- such as living in violent and impoverished neighborhoods. These environments may increase their risk for violent behavior as well as worsen their psychiatric illness.

“Providing comprehensive treatment to persons with some psychiatric disorders could reduce violence,” said Katherine Elkington, study first author and an assistant professor of clinical psychology in psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. “We must improve how we address multiple problems -- including violent behavior -- as part of psychiatric treatment.”  

The article was recently published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.


The study used data from the Northwestern Juvenile Project, a longitudinal study of youth who were detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago between 1995 and 1998.  Violence and psychiatric disorders were assessed via self-report in 1,659 youth and young adults between 13 and 25 years old who were interviewed up to four times between three and five years after detention.

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

Real or counterfeit? Northwestern University scientists have invented sophisticated fluorescent inks that one day could be used as multicolored barcodes that consumers could use to authenticate products that are often counterfeited. Snap a photo with your smartphone, and it will tell you if the item is real and worth your money.


Counterfeiting is very big business worldwide, with $650 billion per year lost globally, according to the International Chamber of Commerce. The new fluorescent inks give manufacturers and consumers an authentication tool that would be very difficult for counterfeiters to mimic.

These inks, which can be printed using an inkjet printer, are invisible under normal light but visible under ultraviolet light. The inks could be stamped as barcodes or QR codes on anything from banknotes and bottles of whisky to luxury handbags and expensive cosmetics, providing proof of authenticity.


“We have introduced a level of complexity not seen before in tools to combat counterfeiters,” said Sir Fraser Stoddart, the senior author of the study. “Our inks are similar to the proprietary formulations of soft drinks. One could approximate their flavor using other ingredients, but it would be impossible to match the flavor exactly without a precise knowledge of the recipe.”


Stoddart’s research team, led by Xisen Hou and Chenfeng Ke, stumbled across the water-based ink composite serendipitously. A series of rigorous follow-up investigations unraveled the mechanism of the unique behavior of the inks and led the scientists to propose an encryption theory for security printing.

Hou, a third-year graduate student, and Ke, a postdoctoral fellow, are co-first authors of the paper.

The researchers developed an encryption and authentication security system combined with inkjet-printing technology. In the study, they demonstrated both a monochromic barcode and QR code printed on paper from an inkjet printer. The information, invisible under natural light, can be read on a smartphone under UV light.

As another demonstration of the technology, the research team loaded the three chemical components into an inkjet cartridge and printed Vincent Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” painting with good color resolution. Like the barcodes and QR codes, the printed image is only visible under UV light.

The inks are formulated by mixing a simple sugar (cyclodextrin) and a competitive binding agent together with an active ingredient (a molecule known as heterorotaxane) whose fluorescent color changes along a spectrum of red to yellow to green, depending upon the way the components come together. An infinite number of combinations can be defined easily.

Although the sugar itself is colorless, it interacts with the other components of the ink, encapsulating some parts selectively, thus preventing the molecules from sticking to one another and causing a change in color that is difficult to predict. This characteristic presents a formidable challenge to counterfeiters.

Hou and Ke were trying to prevent fluorophore aggregation by encircling a fluorescent molecule with other ring-shaped molecules, one being cyclodextrin. Unexpectedly, they isolated the compound that is the active ingredient of the inks. They found that the compound’s unusual arrangement of three rings trapped around the fluorescent component affords the unique aggregation behavior that is behind the color-changing inks.


The researchers also discovered that the fluorescent ink is sensitive to the surface to which it is applied. For example, an ink blend that appears as orange on standard copy paper appears as green on newsprint. This observation means that this type of fluorescent ink can be used to identify different papers.

“This is a smart technology that allows people to create their own security code by manually setting all the critical parameters,” Hou said. “One can imagine that it would be virtually impossible for someone to reproduce the information unless they knew exactly all the parameters.”

The researchers also have developed an authentication mechanism to verify the protected information produced by the fluorescent security inks. Simply by wiping some wet authentication wipes on top of the fluorescent image causes its colors to change under UV light.

“Since the color changing process is dynamic, even if counterfeiters can mimic the initial fluorescent color, they will find it impossible to reproduce the color-changing process,” Ke emphasized.

The paper is titled “Tunable Solid-State Fluorescent Materials for Supramolecular Encryption.”

In addition to Stoddart, Hou and Ke, other authors of the paper are Carson J. Bruns and Paul R. McGonigal, of Northwestern, and Roger B. Pettman, of Cycladex, Inc.

Visit the Northwestern News Center to read the original story.

A distinct pattern in the changing length of blood telomeres, the protective end caps on our DNA strands, can predict cancer many years before actual diagnosis, according to a new study from Northwestern Medicine in collaboration with Harvard University.


The pattern -- a rapid shortening followed by a stabilization three or four years before cancer is diagnosed -- could ultimately yield a new biomarker to predict cancer development with a blood test. This is the first reported trajectory of telomere changes over the years in people developing cancer.

Scientists have been trying to understand how blood cell telomeres, considered a marker of biological age, are affected in people who are developing cancer. But the results have been inconsistent: some studies find they are shorter, some longer and some show no correlation at all.


The Northwestern and Harvard study shows why previous results were confusing. The resulting paper was published April 30 in EBioMedicine, a new a new journal from Elsevier in collaboration with The Lancet and Cell Press.

In the new study, scientists took multiple measurements of telomeres over a 13-year period in 792 people, 135 of whom were eventually diagnosed with different types of cancer, including prostate, skin, lung, leukemia and others.


Initially, scientists discovered telomeres aged much faster (indicated by a more rapid loss of length) in individuals who were developing but not yet diagnosed with cancer. Telomeres in people developing cancer looked as much as 15 years chronologically older than those of people who were not developing the disease.


But then scientists found the accelerated aging process stopped three to four years before the cancer diagnosis.

“Understanding this pattern of telomere growth may mean it can be a predictive biomarker for cancer,” said Dr. Lifang Hou, the lead study author and a professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Because we saw a strong relationship in the pattern across a wide variety of cancers, with the right testing these procedures could be used to eventually diagnose a wide variety of cancers.”

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

Concerns about educational debt have a well-documented impact on student learning, career choices and post-graduate well-being. Northwestern University School of Law takes these concerns very seriously and has been actively working to address the issue in a variety of ways.

The “Interest Freedom Plan” (IFP) will assist recent graduates who pursue positions in the private sector that pay less than $85,000 per year, as well as graduates who are unemployed as a result of extended job searches.

The program is open to Juris Doctor graduates, beginning with the Class of 2015. The benefit period will begin six months after graduation -- the month student loans enter repayment -- and continue for up to 12 months.

“The majority of Northwestern Law graduates will continue to accept offers of employment from prominent law firms throughout the country,” said Daniel B. Rodriguez, dean of Northwestern University School of Law. “This has been a common path for our graduates. The employment outlook for our students in this sector remains strong -- indeed, near the top among the nation’s leading law schools.”

“But the employment picture is changing,” he continued. “More of our graduates are pursuing careers in business, in the tech sector and in startups, reflecting the changes in the marketplace and, in particular, the growing strengths of our innovative programs at the intersection of law, business and technology.

“Moreover, some of our students are pursuing less traditional, less immediately lucrative positions, and some, albeit a small number, undertake job searches that extend into the period during which they would begin repaying their student loans. Our goal is to assist these students as they embark upon highly successful and hopefully satisfying lifelong careers.”

IFP represents a significant departure from traditional Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP), designed to provide relief to graduates pursuing careers in the public sector. IFP will work in concert with Northwestern Law’s LRAP.

IFP is in addition to Northwestern Law’s significant augmentation of both merit- and need-based financial aid and tempered tuition increases for the last five years.“Northwestern Law is committed to educating students regardless of their financial circumstances,” Rodriguez said. “We will continue to invest substantially in our students through financial aid and creatively in our graduates through programs like IFP.”


Stacey Finley knew she was interested in science from an early age. “I did science projects with my dad,” she said, “and I enjoyed asking questions about the things I was seeing around me every day, so I did small experiments to try to answer those questions.” As a 2010 PhD alumna of Northwestern’s Chemical and Biological Engineering program, and now as the Gabilan Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California (USC), Stacey is still asking questions about the world around her. Now, however, she has more sophisticated tools at her disposal to answer them.


“I work on developing mathematical models of a process called angiogenesis, which is the formation of new blood vessels from preexisting vessels,” she explained. “There are blood vessels that are already present in a tissue, and angiogenesis is the process by which new vessels are sprouting off that original vessel. This process is important to tumor growth, so we’re developing mathematical models to study what happens when you inhibit tumor angiogenesis.”


Stacey has always loved science, but it wasn’t until she was applying to college that she decided to pursue engineering. “In high school, I was interested in science and it was also something I excelled at,” she said, “and I wanted to combine my interests with things that I was good at. I did some research, talking to different people and trying to figure out how I could combine math, physics, and chemistry into a career; that’s how I came up with chemical engineering.”


Stacey pursued her interest in chemical engineering at Florida A&M University, an HBCU (Historically Black College or University). She describes the environment there as “empowering.”


“I saw people who looked like me – students, faculty, and staff – who were successful and excelling in their careers, and this increased my self-esteem and confidence,” she said, adding that the experience “showed me that I could do what I set out to do.” Stacey ultimately decided to get a PhD in chemical engineering after several summer internships with Proctor and Gamble convinced her that academia, not industry, was in line with her career goals.


Stacey’s undergraduate experience using mathematical modeling is one of the factors that led her to Northwestern. “Northwestern wasn’t initially on the list of schools I was interested in,” she says. She started looking into Northwestern after meeting a TGS representative at a graduate school fair. “He was talking about the University, the McCormick School of Engineering, and the exciting research that was going on there. I decided to apply.”

Stacey put her computational background to good use working with professors Linda Broadbelt and Vassily Hatzimanikatis. Her graduate research focused on developing computational tools to predict chemical and biological reactions.


Engineering and mathematical modeling weren’t the only experience that Stacey gained during her time at Northwestern. She also got involved in the community as the president of Northwestern’s Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA) and as a recruiting representative for TGS.

“During my first year as a PhD student, I got involved with the BGSA and wanted to contribute more to the direction of the organization, so I eventually became the president,” she said. “In that role, I got to meet a lot of other students and develop different programming that would support them and allow them to be successful as they were going through their PhDs.”


In her recruiting work for TGS, Stacey wanted to increase the representation of women and underrepresented minority students in the STEM fields.

“Students need to have role models with whom they can identify and who understand the issues they have been experiencing. That has been one of my goals as a graduate student, a postdoc, and a professor: to encourage students from underrepresented groups who are pursuing PhDs, especially in science and engineering, to continue on.”


Her experiences as both a mentor and mentee have stressed the importance of mentoring to Stacey. “A professor has a lot of different roles,” she says. “One of them, of course, is research, but another is mentoring. I’ve had a lot of great mentors throughout undergrad, graduate school, and postdoc training, and I want to have that same impact on students who are working in my research lab and who I see on campus. Having good mentors has been important to me, and I hope I can be a good mentor to others.”


When asked if she could go back in time and give herself advice, she says, “I would encourage [young Stacey] to continue to pursue her interests, and find a career where her interests are aligned with the things that she’s good at. Every day, you go into a job, and while you want to enjoy what you’re doing, you also want to make an impact. I think by having a career where you’re doing things that you’re good at, that you enjoy, and that inspire you and inspire others, that’s how you really make an impact.”

To read the original story, visit The Graduate School's website.


Northwestern President Morton Schapiro, trustees, staff and guests honored alumni Gordon and Carole Segal for their generosity and vision April 28 during a formal dedication of the Segal Visitors Center, the new lakefront gateway to the Evanston campus. The setting was breathtaking.


“We have the most beautiful view in the world,” Schapiro said as he welcomed nearly 150 people who attended the official opening of the gleaming new center, where seats in the auditorium face east through a huge glass window onto a spectacular vista of Lake Michigan. “This is a dream come true an absolute dream come true.”


Schapiro praised the dedication and vision of Gordon '60 and Carole Segal '60, co-founders of Crate & Barrel and longtime supporters of Northwestern, who committed approximately $10 million to the University through a planned gift.

Schapiro and the Segals along with Bill Osborn '69, '73 MBA, chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Ralph Johnson, global design director of Perkins+Will, the building’s architects cut a ceremonial purple ribbon to dedicate the center.


As chair of the Educational Properties Committee of the Board of Trustees, Gordon Segal has helped create a Campus Master Plan for building and renovation of Northwestern’s campuses, including the construction and transformation now underway on Evanston’s lakefront campus. In honor of their contributions to Northwestern, the University recognized the Segals by naming the University’s new visitors center the Segal Visitors Center.

“All of this is leading us to developing a much more vital campus. It’s a new Northwestern,” declared Gordon Segal in his remarks. “It’s something that is going to be really important when people come here, and instead of being enclosed by concrete and stone, they are going to be enclosed by glass so they can look out at the lake and look out at the gardens and look out at the park-like scenery of this University. It’s really going to be special.”

President Schapiro also cited the other major new buildings being added such as the completed Music and Communication Building, the Kellogg Global Hub going up now and the planned Lakefront Athletics and Recreation Complex to be completed in the future. He also noted the major renovations completed, underway and planned for existing buildings.

“All you have to do is walk around the campus and in building after building, we see magnificent improvement,” he said. But the president was most passionate when speaking about the contributions of the Segals.

“The Segal legacy is just extraordinary at Northwestern University,” he said.

“I am so proud to be associated with the two of you, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart, not just for the Visitors Center,” he added, “but I’m saluting you for 50 other buildings that you have done and not just your financial generosity, but the incredible time you have given back to your alma mater. We were incredibly lucky when the Segals decided to come to Northwestern University.”

Michael Mills, associate provost for University enrollment, called the building “a beautiful new front door for Northwestern” and enumerated the many ways it has transformed how prospective students and their families meet and interact with the University. He noted that students come with high expectations, and it is important for the admissions process to give a powerful first impression of Northwestern. More than 50,000 visitors come to campus annually, he said.

Gordon Segal, who retired as CEO of Crate & Barrel in 2008, is a life member of the Northwestern University Board of Trustees. He received a bachelor’s degree in business from Northwestern in 1960.

Carole Browe Segal graduated from Northwestern in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in English. Carole is co-founder of Crate & Barrel and founder and former CEO of Foodstuffs Inc. She is on the Board of Visitors of the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, is past president of the Northwestern Women’s Board and received the Alumni Medal in 2008. The couple met at Northwestern and co-founded Crate & Barrel in 1962.

The Segals’ most recent gift will count toward We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern, a $3.75 billion University-wide fundraising effort announced in March 2014. The money raised will help realize the transformational vision set forth in Northwestern’s strategic plan and will solidify the University’s position among the world’s leading research universities.


For the full story, visit the Northwestern News Center.


Northwestern women's golf team is headed to its third consecutive NCAA Championships after securing a berth in the NCAA Regionals at Lonnie Poole Golf Course in Raleigh, North Carolina, on May 9.


The 'Cats finished second in the field thanks to a 3-over 291, the best final round of any team in the competition.


"I'm so proud of our team," said head coach Emily Fletcher. "We didn't play the way that we wanted during the first round, we were making a lot of pars but not many birdies, but we knew if we kept playing our game we'd have success. The biggest strength of our group is the depth that we've been able to build."


The Wildcats placed four golfers in the top 22 and were the only team (of 18) with all five participants finishing among the  top 35. Northwestern was led during the final round by a senior and a freshman, with veteran Hana Lee turning in a 1-under 71 on her way to a ninth-place finish overall (+2), and Big Ten Player & Freshman of the Year Hannah Kim carding an identical 71 for her best round of the tournament.


"We all push each other to be great on the course, but we all do a good job of keeping one another relaxed away from the course as well," said Lee. "We weren't happy with our first day of competition but knew that if we avoided some of the unforced errors from Thursday we would be OK on Friday and Saturday. I'd love to see a national championship for this program before I graduate, we just need to focus on ourselves."


Sophomore Kacie Komoto parred her final eight holes of the day to sign a 2-over 74 on Saturday and tied for 18th at 7-over-par for the tournament. Junior Suchaya Tangkamolprasert shared the team lead with four birdies in the final round to tie her teammate at +7 over three days. Freshman Sarah Cho finished round three at 4-over-par to finish tied for 35th in her NCAA debut.


The 'Cats played perhaps the most consistent golf of any team in the field at Raleigh, leading the tournament with 188 pars over three days. The 2015 Big Ten Champions were paced in the category by Cho (42) and Komoto (41), who ranked second and third, respectively, among the 96 players in competition.


"There wasn't any point in the tournament where we felt that we could play conservatively," said Fletcher. "Even coming down the stretch on Saturday it seemed like we were battling for fifth or sixth, but then we were able to card four birdies over the final two holes while other teams slipped back on what was a really difficult series of holes on the back-nine."


Northwestern's second place finish at the 2015 Raleigh Regional is the best result in program history, equaling the runner-up result in their first-ever Regionals appearance in 2000.


The 2015 NCAA Championships will be Northwestern's third consecutive appearance in college golf's premier event under Fletcher and assistant Beth Miller. The event will be hosted at Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida, from May 22 to 27.


To read the original story, visit


Northwestern broke ground April 25 on Lanny and Sharon Martin Stadium, marking the next phase in the development of the University's new Lakefront Athletics and Recreation Complex.

The renovated soccer and lacrosse field will be named for Northwestern alumnus and trustee J. Landis (Lanny) Martin '68, '73 JD and his wife, Sharon Martin '02 P, '08 P, in recognition of their generous support of the project. Important donors to Northwestern for more than 30 years, the Martins are co-chairs of We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern and have committed $15 million to support Northwestern’s campaign for athletics and recreation.

“Lanny’s and Sharon’s passion for Northwestern is reflected both in their own gifts and their fundraising leadership,” Northwestern President Morton Schapiro said.

“We are very grateful for their generosity and the central roles they play in the life of our University,” Schapiro added. “Their contributions are advancing our ability to provide our students with the best possible experience at Northwestern, academically, socially and athletically.”

The groundbreaking ceremony also celebrated the beginning of construction for Chap and Ethel Hutcheson Field, a brand new outdoor football practice field that will be built just south of Martin Stadium and will also be used for intramural and club sports. The ceremony also celebrated the renovation of a field hockey field that will include new artificial turf.

Lanny and Sharon Martin Stadium will be used for competition by Northwestern’s men’s and women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse teams.

“Lanny and Sharon Martin Stadium is part of a project that, when complete, will truly elevate the experience of every student-athlete at Northwestern,” said Nandi Mehta, junior co-captain of Northwestern women’s soccer, who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony. “Words cannot describe what their gift and lifelong commitment to the University means to us and the impact it will have on future generations of Wildcats.”

Mehta was named Big Ten Distinguished Scholar in 2013, and this January she was chosen as a representative for the Big Ten Conference in the NCAA autonomy process. She is one of three student-athletes selected to represent her nearly 9,500 Big Ten peers in that position.

The Martins’ support of Northwestern also has included creating the J. Landis Martin Professorship of Law and Business as well as generous gifts to the Law School Fund and the Bienen School of Music Fund.

The new football practice field, Chap and Ethel Hutcheson Field, will be named in honor of the Martins’ longtime friend and associate Edward C. "Chap" Hutcheson Jr. '68 and his wife, Ethel. A University trustee and managing director of Platte River Ventures, a Denver-based private equity firm, Chap Hutcheson has served for the last two decades in senior management positions with publicly owned corporations in the telecommunications, financial services and oilfield services industries.

For more information about the Martins and to read the original story, please visit the Northwestern News Center.

Northwestern was among eight Chicago-based institutions selected by the US State Department to host this year’s EducationUSA Training Institute, which took place from April 26 to May 1. EducationUSA Training Institutes are intensive professional development programs that provide EducationUSA advisers with the knowledge and skills they need to enhance their effectiveness at advising international students on US higher education.


The State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs seeks to develop the relationships between people and communities in the United States and around the world that are necessary to solve global challenges. EducationUSA is a network of hundreds of advising centers worldwide that promotes US higher education and helps international students navigate the admissions process. EducationUSA advisers support hundreds of thousands of international students each year and play a critical role in supporting US institutions seeking to internationalize their campuses.


“Since 2006, Northwestern’s undergraduate international population has increased by 123 percent and represents more than 70 countries,” said Aaron Zdawczyk, Northwestern’s associate director of admission. “Beyond engineering and economics, top majors for international students include communication studies, journalism, math, political science and psychology. Northwestern’s international alumni network includes 17,000 alumni in 159 countries.”


Zdawczyk has been one of the coordinators of the event for the University. Several University staff members from the Office of Undergraduate Admission and the International Office participated in the training sessions, and a group of the advisers visited Northwestern on April 30.

The event was one of two collaborations with other Chicago-area institutions focused on international recruitment and enrollment. In July, Northwestern will host 20 counselors from international high schools as part of the Chicagoland Counselor Tour with six other area universities, Zdawczyk said.


“Northwestern’s undergraduate international population has witnessed unprecedented growth and diversity in the last 10 years. The number of students has more than doubled, and the countries represented on campus have changed significantly,” he said. “Thanks to strategic recruitment, student and alumni involvement abroad and University initiatives, such as need-based financial aid, the international population has been transformed to reflect the University’s commitment to being globally engaged and inclusive.”


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

Alumni_Awards_Recipients_350x236.jpgNearly 300 members of the Northwestern University community gathered April 25 to celebrate the Northwestern Alumni Association’s 82nd annual Alumni Awards.


Accepting the program’s top honor, the Alumni Medal, was alumnus Nicholas D. Chabraja, a life trustee of the University and a former trial lawyer and business executive. Inspired by one of his undergraduate professors, Chabraja '64, '67 JD established a center for the study of history at Northwestern and serves as a life trustee.


Alumni merit, service, emerging leader and achievement awards were presented to an additional 17 alumni and friends of the University. The gala event was held at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago.


Shiba Russell, who earned a Master of Science degree in 1998 from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, presented the evening’s awards. Russell is an Emmy Award-winning co-anchor on NBC 4 New York’s noon and evening newscasts.


Northwestern President Morton Schapiro joined Kathryn Mlsna '74, '77 JD, '03 P, '12 P, president of the Northwestern Alumni Association (NAA), and Laura Wayland, executive director of the NAA, in thanking award recipients for their impressive contributions to Northwestern and the world.


“Our award recipients are an inspiration,” Mlsna said, “and they are role models who remind our current students that the education and relationships that begin at Northwestern make anything possible.”


For more than eight decades, the NAA has honored alumni who have distinguished themselves both personally and professionally and who have dedicated their time and service to Northwestern. This year’s award recipients have earned acclaim in business, education, film and television, sports, law, literature, health care, philanthropy and the arts.


Award details and brief biographies of award recipients follow. To view extended profiles of the 2015 honorees, visit the Northwestern Alumni Association’s website.

The Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music and Northwestern Alumni Association (NAA) presented a gala evening with the New York Philharmonic and conductor Alan Gilbert at Lincoln Center on March 27. Concertgoers gathered in Avery Fisher Hall for the highly anticipated premiere of Scheherazade.2, a dramatic symphony for violin and orchestra by John Adams, winner of the Bienen School’s inaugural Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition. Signaling to Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s symphonic poem of 1888, Scheherazade.2 is a modern retelling of Arabian Nights and tribute to the collection’s storyteller and heroine, Scheherazade.


The New York Philharmonic includes five Bienen alumni: Ethan Bensdorf ’07, acting associate principal trumpet; Matthew Muckey ’06, acting principal trumpet; Mark Nuccio ’86 MMus, associate principal clarinet, solo E-flat clarinet; Alcides Rodriguez ’03 MMus, bass clarinet; and Sherry Sylar ’81 MMus, associate principal oboe.


This was the second event the Bienen School has hosted with the New York Philharmonic. Nearly 150 Northwestern students, alumni, and parents populated the audience, joined by the school’s namesake, President Emeritus Henry Bienen, as well as Provost Daniel Linzer and Bienen School Dean Toni-Marie Montgomery. The convergence of music supporters from across University schools, transcending backgrounds and generations, affirmed and celebrated Northwestern’s commitment to the arts.



“This Northwestern alumni event provided an ideal venue for highlighting the talent of our alumni who are members of the New York Philharmonic,” said Dean Montgomery. “In addition, I was confident that members of the Northwestern alumni community would be thrilled to hear the premiere of a work by John Adams, the ‘dean of American composers’ and first recipient of our school’s Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize. We were honored that John agreed to speak to the attendees at a post-concert reception.”


Composer Adams received the Bienen School’s Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition in 2004. The biennial prize honors classical composers of extraordinary achievement and creativity and includes a $100,000 cash award, performance of the composer’s work by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and a four-week campus residency where the recipient interacts with faculty and students. Nominations are solicited worldwide, and the award is determined by a three-member committee of musicians.


The NAA and Bienen School extend thanks to the following University alumni and parents who contribute to the continued success of the New York Philharmonic:


Board and Staff

Kenneth A. Buckfire ’16 P, director, Philharmonic Board

Kate Oberjat ’97, single ticket marketing manager

Gary W. Parr ’80 MBA, immediate past chairman, Philharmonic Board

Laura Weiner ’09, teaching artist faculty (horn), Philharmonic Schools