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Annenberg0711_0293.jpgBy Marilyn Sherman


A team at the School of Education and Social Policy received a prestigious Lyle Spencer Research Award of nearly $1 million to expand computational literacy in schools. Northwestern is the only school in the country to receive two Lyle Spencer awards this year.


This three-year project seeks to “broaden participation in our computational future” by incorporating computational literacy into required high school science and mathematics courses, according to assistant professor Michael Horn, who is leading the research team. Today’s education system is not producing enough computational professionals to fill the demand, and women and minorities remain significantly underrepresented.


“One of the most important aspects is making sure that all students have access to tools and knowledge to go into whatever fields they want,” says Horn. He points out that all job fields are becoming more computational in nature, and the STEM fields especially will continue to require increasing levels of computational ability.


The Northwestern research team will study a model in which computational literacy curricula are embedded throughout required biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics course work. Co-researchers on the project are professors Uri Wilensky, Kemi Jona and Kai Orton.


Within required high school classes in math and science, the project seeks to better reflect the computational nature of job fields. “We want to make high school courses more realistic and to help make science in the schools more interesting and engaging.,” says Horn.


“Infusing computational literacy into courses is at the heart of what we do,” Horn says. For that purpose, the project is developing the following:


  • Activities embedded in existing courses
  • Assessments for computational thinking
  • Teacher professional development
  • A taxonomy of computational thinking practices for STEM fields

Afterward, the Northwestern team will implement the new strategies in three Chicago-area high schools serving under-resourced students.  Partner schools include Lindblom High School in Chicago and Evanston Township High School in Evanston.

The project builds upon prior work at Northwestern, including the GK-12 project that puts science graduate students into K-12 classrooms; the Center for Connected Learning and Computer-Based Modeling, which offers agent-based computer models for learning; the iLabs project, which gives high school students remote access to cutting-edge laboratory equipment for science activities; and other related computational curriculums that have been developed over the past six years.

Lyle Spencer Research Awards are intended for “intellectually ambitious research” for improving the practice of education, according to the Spencer Foundation. Committed to strengthening education, the Foundation seeks “the most challenging, original, and constructive scholarship and research” for these awards.

Professor James Spillane also received a Lyle Spencer Research Award in 2015. His research is a comparative study of school systems.

See more in the School of Education and Social Policy News Center. >>

george.jpgBy Beth Moellers


Medill will welcome George R. R. Martin, the internationally acclaimed best-selling author whose work was adapted into HBO’s “Game of Thrones” series. Martin (BSJ70, MSJ71) will be on campus Wednesday, Nov. 4, to receive Medill’s Hall of Achievement alumni award and to speak with students, faculty and staff.


Medill will present his alumni award at a private ceremony, and Martin will do an onstage Q & A session at 4 p.m. at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St. The event is open to Northwestern students, faculty and staff. Free tickets will be available through the Norris Box Office ( starting at 9 a.m., Oct. 28.


More than 60 million copies of his books are in print, and the two most recent installments of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series spent time at the No. 1 slot on the New York Times’ Best Sellers list. Martin is co-executive producer of “Game of Thrones” and has scripted one episode for the first four seasons of the show. In 2011, the year “Game of Thrones” first appeared on HBO, he was named to the "Time 100," Time magazine’s list of the "most influential people in the world."


“Game of Thrones” has won numerous Emmy Awards, including Best Drama Series in 2015. Martin has won numerous Hugo, Stoker, Nebula and World Fantasy awards.


Martin will be honored during the Northwestern home football game against Penn State Saturday, Nov. 7 as well.


Read more in Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications News. >> 

slotnick638.jpgEVANSTON, Ill. --- Longtime supporters of Northwestern University athletics Mitchell and Valerie Slotnick have made a $5 million gift to Athletics and Recreation.


In recognition of the family’s generosity, Northwestern will name the atrium of Ryan Fieldhouse the Mitchell and Valerie Slotnick Family Atrium. When construction is complete, Ryan Fieldhouse, within the new Lakefront Athletics and Recreation Complex, will provide one of the most versatile practice, competition and recreation venues in the nation.


“We thank Mitchell and Valerie, their sons Jay and Barry, and Barry’s wife, Natalie, for their generosity,” said Northwestern President Morton Schapiro.


“The Slotnick family has strong ties to Northwestern and a deep appreciation of how the new Lakefront Athletics and Recreation Complex will help unify and contribute to the well-being of the entire University.”


The Lakefront Athletics and Recreation Complex will enhance significantly the student-athlete experience at Northwestern as well as provide facilities that will accommodate intercollegiate, club and intramural sports; recreational activities; and major University-wide events.


“The Slotnick family’s remarkable support will help us integrate the daily activities of our student-athletes seamlessly with the rest of the University community,” said Jim Phillips, vice president for athletics and recreation. “Their gift will assist in creating a truly world-class facility that will offer our young men and women the best academic, medical, professional development, and athletic support in the nation. All Wildcats are grateful for the Slotnicks’ lifelong dedication and generosity. Their family is woven into the fabric of Northwestern.”


Mitchell Slotnick arrived as a student at Northwestern in 1959, attracted by the academic reputation of the University.


“While we have always supported Northwestern, which provided an outstanding education to Barry and me, our involvement with athletics began as a way for Jay, our special needs son, to feel a part of this great University,” said Mitchell Slotnick. “As our involvement has continued, we have also appreciated that the concept of a student-athlete also committed to community service is the essence of the program under Jim Phillips and the coaches.”


“The Slotnick family is very proud to support the Lakefront Athletics and Recreation Complex for the more than 500 student-athletes and the entire Wildcat family,” he said.


In addition to helping to fund the new athletics and recreation complex, the Slotnicks’ gift will support sports performance, football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, golf and the Wildcat Excellence Fund, an unrestricted athletics fund that supports the areas of greatest need.


This is the Slotnicks’ most recent gift to We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern, a $3.75 billion University-wide fundraising initiative to support Northwestern’s strategic ambitions. Previous gifts have supported summer internship programs at the Kellogg School of Management, in addition to Athletics and Recreation.


The Slotnicks have long been benefactors of Northwestern. Mitchell Slotnick received bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Kellogg and is a charter member of Northwestern Athletics’ Otto Graham Society. His son Barry Slotnick graduated from Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences in 1993 and received an MBA from Kellogg in 2000. Barry and Natalie have also become members of the Otto Graham Society.


Mitchell and Valerie Slotnick live in Northbrook, Illinois, with their son Jay and are owners of Ridgebrook Travel, Ltd./Omni Tours. As founders of Educational Tours, Inc., the couple has been recognized as national leaders in student travel. Mitchell Slotnick was previously a management consultant, notably with PepsiCo, and an accounting professor.


Barry and Natalie Slotnick reside in Glencoe, Illinois, with their children Ben and Carly. Barry is owner and president of Varisport, Inc., an athletic training product company and producer of the UltraSlide® slide boards, located in Northbrook. Barry and Natalie Slotnick have been key supporters of the Wildcats’ Sports Performance priorities.


The funds raised through the “We Will” Campaign 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. More information on We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern is available online.


Visit Northwestern News for more.>>

faculty-research.jpgNorthwestern’s sponsored research awards grew to $620 million in fiscal year 2015, the largest amount in the University’s history and a four percent increase over last year’s $593.9 million.


Jay Walsh, vice president for research, notes the role that talent and collaboration have played in this advance. “Northwestern’s research enterprise has grown impressively in recent years due to the ingenuity, hard work, and perseverance of our faculty, students, postdoctoral fellows, and staff,” he says. “The level of investment in the University’s discovery is just one sign, but a powerful one, that our researchers continue to create high-impact knowledge with the potential to transform diverse disciplines.”


Northwestern’s total sponsored research funding has risen 63 percent since 2006, a gain unmatched by the University’s peer institutions. The 2014-15 fiscal year marks the sixth consecutive year that annual research grants and contracts exceeded a half-billion dollars.


Strong proposal activity from the Feinberg School of Medicine continues to be the bedrock for this research growth, with more than $400 million dollars of sponsored awards invested in principle investigators at the medical school. Northwestern received a record of nearly $300 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


“The scientists on our medical school faculty are at the forefront of their respective fields, and continued recognition of their groundbreaking work by a wide variety of funding agencies is another sign of our growing reputation as a preeminent university for innovative research and discovery,” says Eric G. Neilson, MD, vice president for medical affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean at Feinberg. “I have no doubt that as we expand our research enterprise and recruit talented leaders to our faculty funding will continue to increase.”


With construction beginning on the Simpson Querrey Biomedical Research Center — a 14-story science hub to be connected to the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center in Chicago — the breadth of investigation at Feinberg will grow. The new facility will provide laboratories and support space for significant new biomedical research to improve human health through the recruitment of approximately 100 new tenure-track faculty. The first of these is John A. Rogers, the eminent bioelectronics pioneer, who will join Northwestern in 2016.


Last year’s funding successes included projects to research nucleic acid-based nanoconstructs for the treatment of cancer (led by Chad Mirkin and Leonidas Platanias); funding for the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research (Richard T. D’Aquila); a four-year, $27.2 million grant from NIH to renew the

Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (Donald Lloyd-Jones); and a 5-year, $17.5 million grant from NIH for an interdisciplinary effort to invent, develop, and test an implantable drug delivery system to protect high-risk individuals from HIV infection for up to a year at a time (Patrick Kiser and Thomas Hope).


The increased dollar volume of research funding in 2015 came from several sectors, including federal agencies (4 percent increase, $16.6 million), foundations (27 percent, $7.7 million) and voluntary health organizations (15 percent, $2.6 million).


Northwestern’s research centers and institutes saw the biggest year-over-year increase in funding, rising 50 percent ($17.9 million). Awards to Feinberg increased by 3 percent ($11.8 million) and those to the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences increased 8 percent ($4.9 million). In August, the University received $146.2 million in funding, a 47 percent increase over last year.


This story first appeared in the October 2015 issue of Northwestern's research newsletter.

IMG_0205.JPGEVANSTON, Ill. --- Members of Northwestern University’s Class of 2016 are urged to recognize high school teachers who have made a big difference in their lives by nominating them for the University’s sixth annual Distinguished Secondary Teacher Award (DSTA). The deadline for nominations is Dec. 1.


Four educators ultimately will receive the honor and $2,500 to each of them and each of their schools. The winners and their nominators will also be recognized during Northwestern’s 2016 Commencement in June.


“This award, co-sponsored by the Associated Student Government and the Office of the President, recognizes the transforming power of teachers in our lives and our communities,” President Morton Schapiro told graduating seniors. “Please think about a high school teacher who made a difference in your life and take a few minutes to nominate that person for this wonderful award.”


A selection committee chaired by Eugene Lowe, assistant to the president and senior lecturer in religious studies, and ASG President Noah Star will review nominations and request teaching portfolios from those teachers who are finalists.


“To people who aren’t familiar with the program, I’d really challenge them to think about who lit a spark within them,” said Calla Jordan, a 2015 graduate of Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy and a former member of the DSTA committee.


Past recipients of the award attest to how incredibly special the honor is.


“I have teachers that I remember to this day. You remember every detail about the class and what you learned.” said Wesley Kirpach, a biology teacher at Plano (Texas) West High School and a 2015 recipient of the award. “To have someone feel that way about what I’ve done in my class is amazing.”


“To be able to see our students growing and blossoming into these amazing human beings who are leading the world to a better place is really a blessing,” said Elizabeth Bennett, an orchestra teacher at Buffalo Grove (Illinois) High School and another 2015 recipient of the DSTA.

More information on the DSTA is available on the award’s website.


Visit Northwestern News for more.>>

Sam Zabell ’14, an associate editor at (part of Time Inc.), will takeover Northwestern Career Advancement’s Twitter account Thursday, October 29 for #TakeNUToWorkDay. Sam will live-tweet about her workday on NCA’s @JobsforCats and give Northwestern students an inside look at what it’s like to work on the digital team of a magazine.


At Real Simple, Sam writes, manages the brand’s social accounts, and hosts “Adulthood Made Easy,” a podcast for recent grads trying to navigate the real world. Previously, Sam has worked on the digital teams at Good Housekeeping and Seventeen.


Follow @JobsforCats on Oct. 29 to join the conversation and ask questions about Sam’s career path, role at Real Simple, and the magazine industry using the hashtag #TakeNUToWorkDay or #TNU2WD.


#TakeNUToWorkDay is Northwestern Career Advancement’s Twitter Takeover program, where Northwestern alumni in a range of career fields share their workdays with Northwestern students. Visit Northwestern Career Advancement for more.>>




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

An NAA tradition, Northwestern's annual Leadership Symposium was held on Northwestern's Evanston campus September 10 - 11. The Symposium offers alumni leaders from across the country the chance to collaborate, renew skills, build and deepen networks, and recognize the outstanding accomplishments of fellow alumni. The symposium features a mix of workshops, keynote speakers, volunteer recognition, and time to socialize and explore campus.

One of the highlights of the Leadership Symposium is the Welcome and 2015 NAA Club Awards and Recognition Reception, where the outstanding accomplishments of NU clubs, both local and national, are celebrated. Congratulations to this year's NAA Club Awards winners:


NU Club of Greater NYC - Excellence in Governance



NU Club of Phoenix - Excellence in Membership

IMG_6539.jpgNU Club of Korea - Excellence in Programming


IMG_6543.jpgNUGALA - Excellence in Scholarship

IMG_6547.jpgNU Club of Greater Naples - Club of the Year

IMG_6554.jpgNUMBALUMS - Club of the Year

Be sure to check out other NAA coverage of the weekend:

Want more information on the NAA's Leadership Symposium or how to get involved? Join the new NAA Leadership Symposium group, exclusively on Our Northwestern.


Carve your own Northwestern-themed pumpkin this Halloween using one of our custom stencils, then share your photos on social media with the hashtag #NUPumpkin.

Download the stencils and watch a spooky video of the final product at


Spread the word, make a gift, show you care.


Last year, #CATSGiveBack, Northwestern University’s campaign to engage in Giving Tuesday, a global day of philanthropy on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, was a phenomenal success and a demonstration of the generosity and dedication of our alumni, parents and friends. Northwestern raised over $310,000 from more than 700 donors, with gifts to hundreds of areas across the University in just one day.


This Giving Tuesday, December 1, 2015, come together as a community and show real support for the causes that are most meaningful to you. No matter the amount, no matter the area to which you give, join thousands—yes, thousands—of your fellow alumni, parents, and friends in making an impact on the University that made an impact on you. This year, with your help, we’ll make a difference for many causes, demonstrate our purple pride, and show the world how #CATSGiveBack.


Learn more about #CATSGiveBack and make your pledge today by visiting

A diverse group of Chicago journalists have received Social Justice News Nexus fellowships from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.

The fellows will report on housing, segregation and urban development over the next six months, producing in-depth investigative and immersive stories on topics like public housing, the foreclosure crisis, homelessness and gentrification.

The stories will be published by various local and national media outlets.

The fellowship program, now in its third cycle, brings together reporters from a wide variety of backgrounds with Medill graduate students to explore social justice issues and report in communities that are often left out of civic and policy debates.

Previous fellowship cycles focused on drug policy and treatment and mental health care in Chicago, including the crisis in Cook County Jail.

The Social Justice News Nexus is funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. Biographies and past work by Social Justice News Nexus Fellows are featured on the Social Justice News Nexus website.


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

king175.jpgWith characteristic levity, writer and activist Thomas King (right) spoke about his passion for storytelling, the power of humor and the bleak future facing Native Americans during the One Book One Northwestern keynote address Oct. 14 in Fisk Hall.

King’s provocative and searing book, “The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America,” was selected for the 2015-16 all-campus read. A darkly funny, no-holds-barred account of the turbulent relations between whites and Native Americans, “The Inconvenient Indian” serves as the cornerstone for related programming throughout the academic year.

Rather than delivering a formal keynote lecture, King preferred to hold a conversation with Loren Ghiglione, chair of the One Book steering committee and a professor and former dean at the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.

Raised by a single mother – his Cherokee father left the family when he was three years old – King said he often made stories up in his head as a child to cope with his family’s marginalized position in society. “You tell those stories enough and you believe them very early on,” King said. “That’s how I began storytelling.”

King, a novelist, screenwriter, playwright and a retired professor of English at the University of Guelph in Canada, may be best known for using humor to delve into delicate situations.

As an activist and counselor for native students at the University of Utah in the 1960s and 1970s, King said he brimmed with anger over the past and present treatment of Native Americans. But he also learned that when he shouted, people stopped listening.

“I discovered humor was the way to get past that,” he said. “People like to laugh. And while they are laughing, they don’t realize how close you’re getting. Humor really lets me get into difficult conversations and stay there. I discovered humor deepens tragedy and that tragedy sharpens humor.”

For King, land will always be the root of the conflict between non-Native Americans and Native Americans. To his surprise, he learned while writing “The Inconvenient Indian” that attitudes and policies have changed very little over time.

“Native American land has been under attack from the very beginning,” King said, after Ghiglione asked whether he was optimistic about the future. “Only now the culprit is different. Before it could be anyone from settlers to government officials to missionaries; now it’s corporations.”

King pointed to tribes in British Columbia, who are fighting the Keystone pipeline, an oil pipeline system in Canada and the U.S.

“It bothers me that I don’t see any way to stop that invasion of land, and once we lose that land base, we lose just about everything,” King said. “They may be reservations and we may have been stuck on them against our will, nonetheless, they are ours.”

Last year, King won British Columbia’s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction for “The Inconvenient Indian.” His most recent book “The Back of the Turtle” won Canada’s Governor-General’s Literary Award for Fiction.

“The Inconvenient Indian” was selected in part as a response to a report from the University’s Native American Outreach and Inclusion Task Force, which recommended that the One Book program choose a reading on a Native American topic.

The Task force followed The John Evans Study Committee report, commissioned by Northwestern, which addressed Evans's responsibility for the Nov. 29, 1864, massacre in which an estimated 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho men, women, and children were slaughtered.

In addition to King’s events, dozens of other events related to the One Book selection are scheduled or under way. “November Morning – the Sand Creek Massacre,” an exhibit currently showing through Oct. 25 in the Dittmar Gallery at the Norris University Center, features work by artists who are descendants of the Cheyenne and Arapaho victims at Sand Creek.

King’s book also inspired the first essay contest in the 11-year-history of the One Book program. Students were invited to write 1,000 words or less on how King’s discussion of the identity of Native people made the student think about his or her own identity. Celestine Emberton, a student in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, won the $500 first place prize and a One Book T-shirt for her essay “I am Malagasy.”

One Book One Northwestern, a community-wide reading program, is sponsored by the Office of the President.

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


Northwestern’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts is an award-winner in sustainability, making the Evanston campus “greener” than ever.

The Ryan Center has been certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold for New Construction (v2.2) by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

LEED is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects must satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification, which differ for each rating system.

LEED certification is recognized worldwide as the premier mark of achievement in green building.

The Ryan Center is a sleek glass-encased 155,000-square-foot building. It is the new home of the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music.

Designed by Goettsch Partners, Inc., a Chicago-based architectural firm, the contemporary limestone and glass five-story structure includes three state-of-the-art performance spaces: the 400-seat Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall, the 163-seat black box-style Shirley Welsh Ryan Opera Theater and the 120-seat David and Carol McClintock Choral and Recital Room.

The sprawling center also includes classroom space, 99 soundproof practice rooms, 66 faculty teaching studios or offices and additional office space for staff and administrators. The center’s fifth floor houses School of Communication administrative offices.

Northwestern’s goal for the music school was to build a highly sustainable facility, one that engages and invigorates the campus and larger community. The University intends to use the building as an educational tool to encourage and advance the science and knowledge of green building and operating practices.

The Ryan Center’s sustainable and energy-efficient features follow:

  • The double skin facade in many of the building’s areas provides acoustical isolation and greatly improves the thermal performance of the facade.
  • The building's under-slab drainage system is connected to a grey-water tank. This grey-water system provides grey-water for the toilet and irrigation systems in the building and reduces water usage.
  • The building was designed not only to be energy- and water-efficient, using 49 percent less interior water, but also to create a healthy environment for occupants that promotes sustainable behavior. Features include the use of low-emitting materials and products; materials with recycled and regional content that are low-emitting, including air testing; and access to daylight and natural views.
  • Additional sustainable design elements include high-efficiency and low-flow water fixtures, which reduce potable water consumption; high SRI roofing material to reduce the heat island effect; and energy-efficient lighting to decrease energy consumption.
  • The integration of the high-performance facade and innovative systems result in anticipated design energy EUI of 72.5 kBtu/sf/yr (as analyzed in the final proposed LEED energy model) that is well below the ASHRAE baseline building EUI of 108.6 kBtu/sf/yr, and the national average site EUI for university educational buildings of 120 kBtu/sf/yr.
  • State-of-the-art mechanical and lighting systems contribute to the Ryan Center’s energy savings.
  • The Ryan Center site location includes access to public transportation, and the University has instituted a campus-wide discount for LEFE (low emission, fuel efficient) vehicles.
  • There also are many options for bicycle storage available near the Ryan Center and throughout the Northwestern campus.

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

Related story: Northwestern honored for renewable energy use


Northwestern joined the other 13 conference schools in participating in Big Ten Basketball Media Day on Oct. 15 at the Marriott O'Hare.

The Wildcats' men's team was represented by redshirt senior guard Tre Demps and senior center Alex Olah in addition to head coach Chris Collins.

Senior guard Maggie Lyon, junior forward Nia Coffey and head coach Joe McKeown represented the Northwestern women's squad.

The men's team opens its season with an exhibition game at home vs. Quincy on Nov. 5 and starts its regular season against UMass-Lowell at Welsh-Ryan Arena on Nov. 13.

The women host Seton Hill in exhibition action Nov. 8, with the regular-season opener taking place at home on Nov. 15 vs. Howard.

For full coverage of Northwestern basketball, visit


Kesley Gradwohl is a key defensive player on the Northwestern women's field hockey team. In addition to her prowess on the turf, she spent the summer conducting research on memory retention under the supervision of renowned neuroscientist Ken Paller. Photo by Jim Prisching.

First in a series of Q&As profiling Northwestern undergraduate researchers.

As an avid high school field hockey player, Kelsey Gradwohl thought Northwestern would be a perfect fit -- in the classroom and on the turf.

“When I came here, something clicked,” said Gradwohl, now beginning her senior year as a psychology major in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

She is a key defensive player who helped bring the Northwestern field hockey team its first Big Ten Tournament title last year. Her time as a Wildcat off the field has also been all that she expected -- and more.

Taking advantage of a research opportunity during her junior year, Gradwohl began working in the cognitive neuroscience lab run by Ken Paller, a professor of psychology in Weinberg and director of the Cognitive Neuroscience Program at Northwestern.

Paller’s research touches on consciousness, and more specifically, memory, and has been prominently featured in The New York Times. A recent study by the neuroscientist showing that sleep-based intervention can at least temporarily reduce implicit social biases appeared in pieces by the Times and National Public Radio.

Now one of a growing number of undergrads to receive funding for their own research projects, Gradwohl is thrilled that she got the opportunity to collaborate with Paller in his lab on a project of her own design. Her work this summer on two techniques that could improve memory retention during sleep will become part of her senior thesis and help prepare her for medical school.

Named one of Northwestern’s 46 prestigious Big Ten Distinguished Scholars and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten Athlete, Gradwohl said Northwestern has given her the “perfect combination of what I wanted -- a good field hockey program and an incredible education.”

Read more in a Q&A with Gradwohl, who recently spoke to Northwestern News about her research and reflected on her time at Northwestern.

As a student-athlete who does undergraduate research, you must be crunched for time. How do you juggle class, practices and working in the lab during the school year?

If there’s anything I’ve learned from working in the sleep lab, it’s do not sacrifice your sleep. Sure, sometimes you have to, but all-nighters aren’t that beneficial. Even if you don’t nap or sleep with target memory reactivation or any other enhancement methods, people have better memories of what they learn when they sleep.

Did you see yourself doing research before coming to Northwestern?

Ask me four years ago and I would’ve said, “Oh, I don’t want to go into research.” But what I’ve found is the more I get into it, the more interesting the research becomes. My research this summer is focused on memory enhancement. In combining two techniques during sleep, I am trying to determine if they could be more effective in tandem.

Walk me through your study. How are you testing these two techniques?

Participants come into the lab for sessions that take several hours. They learn the location of 54 images on a screen and a sound associated with each image. After a test to determine how much they remember, the participants take a 90-minute nap while wearing an electroencephalogram (EEG) cap, and we administer the two techniques, called Targeted Memory Reactivation and spindle induction. After the nap, the participants are given the same test again to look for improved memory retention.

In what way might your research impact the world or people’s everyday lives?

There will have to be lots of follow-up studies before we could say anything definitively, but let’s say someone who suffers from Alzheimer’s is having trouble remembering their grandchildren’s names. Maybe playing them during sleep could help them remember.

What has it been like working with Ken Paller?

It’s been really great. I talked to him a lot about sleep in general and what others are doing, and we have lab meetings every week. He’s very involved with this project and has been extremely helpful.

How has undergraduate research changed you and the way you think about your studies?

I’ve really come to love research. I plan to write my senior thesis on this work, so being able to get through that this year will be great. I recently decided I would like to go to med school and am still looking into which areas of medicine would combine the things I’m really interested in.

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



The Wildcats will look to snap their two-game losing streak this Saturday (Oct. 24) when they travel to Nebraska for a Big Ten West showdown against the Cornhuskers at 11 a.m. central time on ESPN2.

The Wildcats opened the season with five straight wins but have since dropped games to Michigan and Iowa. The Cornhuskers enter the contest 3-4 overall and 1-2 in the Big Ten, coming off a victory over Minnesota. Beth Mowins will be on the call for the ESPN2 broadcast with Anthony Becht providing analysis and Paul Carcattera on the sidelines. Fans can also stream the game on their mobile and wireless devices through WatchESPN.


As always, the game will also be broadcast on WGN 720 with the voice of the Wildcats Dave Eanet, Dan Persa and sideline reporter Adam Hoge.

For an in-depth preview of the game against Nebraska, visit


On Sept. 10, two days before the Wildcats defeated Eastern Illinois 41-0 at Ryan Field, senior co-captain Christian Jones sat at the front of a hotel ballroom just steps off of the Magnificent Mile in downtown Chicago.


To his right sat four members of the Northwestern faculty with expertise in materials science, law, human development and social policy, and economics. Standing at the lectern to Jones' left, president Morton Schapiro asked each panelist to share a personal goal with the crowd of several hundred people.


"I said my goal, which I have been working on, was to start a program like NU For Life at my school, Westfield High School in Spring (Tex.)," the wide receiver recently recalled.


Jones, a Houston native, was the Wildcats' leading receiver as both a true sophomore and junior, but he missed the entire 2014 season with a knee injury.


While in high school, Jones was regarded as one of the top wide receivers not just in Texas, but in the entire southwest, before tearing his ACL during the spring of his junior year. The injury limited him, a 2010 preseason All-American, to just three games as a senior. His Westfield career featured Academic All-District and All-State honors, and he was a finalist for the Touchdown Club of Houston's Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.


"I love my high school," Jones said. "It was a very unique experience. It was great. I got to explore what I thought I wanted to do, so you could do engineering, or they had a law track. They had different tracks that you could explore. They had a literal auto shop. Probably almost as big as you'd see at a dealership, in the back of the school. The people I was around when I was playing football were some of the best people I've ever met. It was a great experience."


Jones arrived in Evanston in the summer of 2011, before NU For Life started at Northwestern.


A unique program dedicated to the professional development of Northwestern student-athletes, NU For Life is now in its fourth year of existence. The mission is to equip Wildcats with the resources necessary to excel professionally upon completion of their athletic careers. Created by a group led by Assistant Athletic Director for Career Enhancement & Employer Relations Julie Hammer and Northwestern trustee David Kabiller, NU For Life offers a programming structure specific to each of the academic years of the student-athlete college experience.


"I got my first internship through NU For Life, in marketing with the consumer engagement team at Kraft Foods," said Jones. "I went in, talked to the people and really liked the people, and I got the internship. And it's been one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me. It was the first time they let an undergraduate intern there, usually it's for MBA students."


Awareness of opportunity off the field came gradually. Jones chose Northwestern because of what it offered in the classroom and in competition, but his eyes truly opened to professional development when he experienced the Wildcat Professional Excellence Program as a junior.


"I had never been in a room with so many professionals. The only professionals I knew, outside of my mom, I knew there were lawyers in the world. I knew there were construction workers. I knew there were engineers because of my focus in high school."


NU For Life's programming allowed Jones to expand his thought process about life after football.


"Being in that room and talking to those people, hearing what they do, learning about companies I'd never heard of, jobs I'd never even thought existed. It broadened my horizons. It's something that I think could really be helpful back at my school."


Relative to their peers, Northwestern student-athletes get an early start on life-after-sports through NU For Life. Jones wants to offer that same chance for a head start to his alma mater.


"A lot of kids don't know what a résumé is, don't know what an internship is. Nobody knows what networking is.  Nobody understands — and I didn't know this either — when you go to your school, there are so many people that come from there that are successful that would be very willing to help you. You don't know you could go work somewhere, go shadow someone. I think it's something that could be really beneficial."


This is not just a fantastical dream. Jones has a plan, and he has help.


"My mom, she was funny. We were talking about it and she was the one that said, 'Alright, well, let's do it. I guess we're doing it.' She and I have written up a proposal, we're going to give it to the head coach to see if he likes it. And we're going to get started there. And then if it grows, it grows."


Starting small is all part of the strategy for fifth-year senior, who earned his undergraduate degree in learning and organizational change and is now working on a master's from the Kellogg School of Management.


"I want it to just be effective. I feel like that's where a lot of good things go wrong. You go to a school, you say we're going to do this for the entire school, and then nobody shows up, and it doesn't help. But if we start with football, and people are enjoying it and it's helpful, and their parents are telling them it's good, and they start urging more people and more people. And it grows from there."


Now five years removed from Westfield, Jones has accumulated some wisdom along the way that he wished he had back then, that he believes can be useful to a high school student if someone took the time to share it with them.


"It's OK to try. It's OK to learn, and fail. Don't be afraid to research, or say you don't know something, and reach out to someone to learn more. I didn't really try to do that. If I can help people at least think a little bit about it. Research a little bit about what they want to do. Then I think it could be helpful."


But that life-after-sports can wait for Jones for now, until he finishes his final season as a Wildcat.


To read the original story, visit


Left to right: Hasan Mahmud, Danielle Beverly, Bronwyn Bethel, Anto Mohsin, and Kaveh Askari.

Five top scholars in media, film, and technology have joined the faculty of Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q). The new additions are the result of a global search and further strengthen the university’s communication and liberal arts programs.


They are film scholar Kaveh Askari, associate professor in residence, communication program; documentary filmmaker Danielle Beverly, assistant professor in residence, communication program; sociologist Hasan Mahmud, assistant professor in residence, liberal arts program; Anto Mohsin, who will help inaugurate NU-Q’s first courses in science and technology studies (STS) as assistant professor in residence, liberal arts program; and Bronwyn Bethel as Writing Center administrator.


“Following an interview process that included NU-Q students, faculty and staff, these new members of our family emerged from our strongest ever field of applicants, which included scholars from the world’s premier universities. Such invaluable additions to our faculty, above all, serve the intellectual and personal growth of our students,” said Everette E. Dennis, dean and CEO of NU-Q.


The appointments come as NU-Q continues to enhance the Media Industries and Technology major within its acclaimed communication program while building a world-class liberal arts foundation for its students.


The appointment of these new faculty "greatly strengthens NU-Q's communication and liberal arts programs specifically, but also its elective and required course offerings for journalism students,” Dennis said. He added that NU-Q is currently searching for faculty members in strategic communication and digital media policy to join the school in Fall 2016.


To learn more about each of the new faculty members, read the original story on NU-Q's website.

Leading economist and United Nations adviser Jeffrey D. Sachs will give a keynote address at Northwestern University’s symposium “Global Health Then and Now: Equality, Development and Globalization.”


The Global Health Interdisciplinary Symposium will be held Nov. 19 and 20 at the School of Law, Arthur J. Rubloff Building, 375 East Chicago Ave., Chicago campus.

Scholars, policy experts, non-governmental organizations and health professionals will come together in moderated interdisciplinary panel discussions on a number of topics related to global health. They include global health funding, the role of innovation and social entrepreneurship in global health and the impact of epidemics on human capital.

Sachs, the Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development and Health Policy and Management and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, as well as Special Adviser to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, will deliver the keynote address at noon, Thursday, Nov. 19, in Thorne Auditorium at the Law School.

Twice named one of Time magazine’s most influential world leaders, Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries.

“A trained economist who has become the leading figure on global health and development, Sachs embodies the interdisciplinary nature of the field,” says Juliet Sorensen, clinical associate professor of law at Northwestern and one of the organizers of the event. “This symposium marks an opportunity to bring together leading scholars, policy experts and other practitioners to increase dialogue and ultimately elicit action.”

The objective of the symposium and resulting publications is to provide a contextual analysis of principles, policies and practices that have shaped and continue to drive contemporary global public health with the aim of reapplying those lessons in developing countries.

Once considered a purely medical pursuit, global health research has enjoyed phenomenal gains over the past 25 years, due in large part to the understanding that good governance, effective economic infrastructures and functional legal systems are critical to solving a varied set of problems.

A number of Northwestern organizations, including Equality, Development and Globalization Studies at the Buffett Institute for Global Studies, the John H. Hollister Lecture Fund and the Program of African Studies are co-sponsoring the event.

The symposium is free to attend, but registration is required. For more information, including a complete schedule of the symposium, visit

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

khalida.jpegThe Buffett Institute is thrilled to announce that the winner of the inaugural Buffett Institute Award for Emerging Global Leaders is Khalida Brohi, a 26-year-old social entrepreneur and global activist.


Khalida (pictured at right) is the founder of Sughar Empowerment Society (known as Sughar), a nonprofit organization that provides socioeconomic opportunities to rural and tribal women of Pakistan.


Made possible by Roberta Buffett Elliott’s recent gift to Northwestern, the $10,000 Buffett Award recognizes outstanding leadership in a person early in her career working in the areas of global health, social or economic development, human rights, climate change, food security, or other issues of global significance.


“The Buffett Award was established to recognize and energize the accomplishments of young global leaders like Khalida,” says Bruce Carruthers, director of the Buffett Institute. “In honoring her achievements, we want to encourage her and other young leaders like her to continue their important work.”


The Buffett Award winner is chosen by Northwestern undergraduate students. Members of the Buffett Institute’s Undergraduate Affiliate Program voted for their choice at the beginning of the fall quarter. Khalida was announced as the winner at the Buffett Institute’s annual alumni breakfast on October 17.


“Khalida’s courage and approach to empowering the confidence and skills of Pakistani women through socio-economic development and education in enterprise clearly resonates with the Northwestern community, as she received enormous support from our Buffett Undergraduate Affiliate voters,” says Emory Erker-Lynch, the Buffett Institute’s manager of undergraduate initiatives.


Khalida will come to Northwestern’s campus in April 2016 to participate in a half-day workshop with students, give a public address to the Northwestern community, and accept her award. The event will be an extraordinary opportunity for Northwestern undergraduates interested in social issues and international development, according to Carruthers: “In bringing Buffett Award winners like Khalida to campus, we will build links between the Northwestern community and a group of very special people who are still at the earliest, and in some ways most exciting, stages of their careers.”


About Buffett Award Winner Khalida Brohi


Khalida is from the Balochistan province of Pakistan and has lived her life surrounded by beautiful traditions and rich cultures. However, amidst this beauty, she has witnessed the harshness of cultural restrictions on women that deprive them of decision-making powers and can lead to domestic violence.


Khalida launched Sughar in 2009 to fight against such customs and restrictions on women. She declared the word "Sughar," meaning skilled and confident woman, ought to be used for every single woman in Pakistan, as each one of them has the skills and confidence to help them succeed. The Sughar Empowerment Society offers a vast number of opportunities for these women, including resources to create and sustain rural, woman-owned businesses.


With the successful launch of Sughar, Khalida’s plans for the next 10 years are to change the lives of one million women in Pakistan. She has been named among Newsweek’s “25 under 25 Women of Impact” as well as one of Newsweek’s “100 Women Who Matter in Pakistan.” She was awarded the Woman of Impact Award by Women in the World Foundation, Women Excellence Award by National Government of Pakistan, Young Champion Award by University of Singapore, and The Unreasonable Institute Fellowship Award.


Along with her roles as social entrepreneur and activist, she is the sister of eight siblings and a practicing Sufi.


To read the original story, visit the Buffett Institute's website.


Odette Zero conducted her own global health research project abroad by drawing on her life experience as well as her work as a research assistant in Northwestern’s Laboratory for Human Biology Research last year. Photo by Jim Prisching.

This is one in a series of Q&As profiling Northwestern undergraduate researchers.

Odette Zero was volunteering in a small Guatemalan town flanked by volcanoes four summers ago when she started to take notice of a common narrative.

“Diabetes -- it’s endemic,” said the Northwestern junior. “Every family has someone suffering from diabetes, and many people don’t understand the basics of the disease.”

Located in south-central Guatemala and unknown to most, San Miguel Dueñas is like a second home to Zero, who has returned year after year with her mother, a native of the country.

An anthropology major in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences with a minor in global health, Zero saw an opportunity to help the people of San Miguel Dueñas separate fact from fiction on the causes, prevention and treatment of the disease.

With funding from the Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Studies, she spent part of this past summer exploring cultural perceptions of type 2 diabetes through personal stories, or “illness narratives.”

The stories pointed to local, inexpensive foods that the residents of San Miguel Dueñas already are eating but don’t necessarily know will help with diabetes, Zero said.

To get the word out about the readily accessible health benefits of these foods, Zero is now adapting a number of recipes from English cookbooks for diabetics using foods of the same nutritional value commonly found in markets in San Miguel Dueñas.

“My favorite is the chile con frijoles colorados, which is chili with red or black beans, onion and garlic mixed with corn, tomato and other veggies,” Zero said.   

After completing only two years of college, Zero was able conduct her own independent research project abroad by drawing on her life experience as well as her work as a research assistant in Northwestern’s Laboratory for Human Biology Research last year.

“Being in the lab with my faculty and graduate mentors allowed me to practice a lot of the tools that I’m using right now on my own,” she said. “Otherwise, I would not be doing the work I’m doing.”

Read more in a Q&A with Zero, who recently spoke to Northwestern News about her research and reflected on her time at Northwestern.

Not many undergrads get the chance to work and conduct research in the same community year after year. What has that been like for you?

It’s definitely an advantage for me. In global health, researchers often go into another country and don’t always know the culture, customs or the language. I’m half Guatemalan, so coming in I already had a certain level of understanding.

What’s the goal of your research?

I’m collecting illness narratives -- qualitative interviews with people in the community who are diabetic -- to find out how they think about diabetes, its causes and how to manage the disease with a healthy diet. I want to compile the knowledge that’s already out there and make it accessible to a wider community so that people can take care of their bodies and live healthier lives.

What’s different about your methods for gathering information in a way that reflects the culture of San Miguel Dueñas?

Instead of reading studies or going online to find what plants, seeds and herbs help people with diabetes, I asked them what they are already using in their everyday lives. I was looking for things they can find in the markets that aren’t too expensive. There are foods people in the community already have access to but don’t know are useful in that way.

Did your previous work at the Laboratory for Human Biology Research feed into this project in any way?

In the lab, I was transcribing illness narratives from a Peruvian community in the Amazon and working closely with the grad student, Paula Talman, who collected them. She would have me analyze the conversations and connect the dots on things I’d been hearing in the interviews. Thinking about health in that way really changed my perspective.

Has undergraduate research changed the way you think about your studies?

Through my classes, clubs I’ve joined and relationships with my mentors in the global health and anthropology programs, my worldview has broadened. Doing research in the lab and here in the field has made me realize I want research to be part of my career. I want to really understand the whole person, and to do that requires more than determining the symptom and diagnosing the problem.

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

An RNA editing technique called “exon skipping” has shown preliminary success in treating a rare and severe form of muscular dystrophy that currently has no treatment, based on a new study from Northwestern Medicine and the University of Chicago. Children with the disease lose significant muscle strength early in life.


The discovery stems from the persistence of a father -- Scott Frewing -- whose two sons were diagnosed with a rare and severe form of muscular dystrophy and his search for and partnership with the genetic scientist -- Dr. Elizabeth McNally -- who studies the disease. The rare form of the disease is Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy Type 2C.

McNally is director of the Center for Genetic Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the former director of the Institute of Cardiovascular Research at UChicago, which is where she began the research. She also is a physician at Northwestern Medicine.

The new therapy has been licensed to the Kurt+Peter Foundation, which supports Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy 2C research and is being developed with the goal of clinical trials and eventual commercial treatments. The boys’ family and friends started the foundation in 2010 to apply promising research to Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy Type 2C.

The finding was published Oct. 12 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Originally developed to treat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, another form of muscle disease, exon skipping coaxes cells to “skip” over abnormal sections of the genetic code, so that the body can make a functional protein, which in this case, governs muscle function and development.

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

10142015-harper_article.jpgWill Harper '14 MBA — happiness consultant, writer, speaker, and self-described “student of human experience” — entered graduate school like many 20-somethings, eager to learn and searching for his life’s purpose. While at Kellogg and with his “fellow overachievers” in mind, Harper organized a five-person team under the direction of Harry Kraemer ’79 MBA, clinical professor of strategy, and turned his personal journey into a six-month research project focused on understanding the components of happiness.

Two years later, that six-month project has evolved into a business in which Harper consults with companies and works with business leaders to build happiness and fulfillment — for themselves and their employees — into their strategies for success.

In a talk hosted by the Kellogg Business Leadership Club on October 2, Harper spoke with students about the need to build fulfillment in their lives while finding career success.

Barriers to happiness

While developing his business after graduation, Harper quickly learned that many professionals were so focused on being efficient and successful, they found themselves unfulfilled and struggling to find their purpose. So in his talk to students, Harper started with a few basic questions to get the conversation moving: “What are my skills?” “What am I good at?” “What do I love?” and “What are my values?”

“Where those things intersect, that’s the most powerful version of you,” he said. “And if we apply that powerful version of you to the needs in the world, that’s where you get the biggest impact. It’s also where you get the most happiness.”

But business leaders and other professionals face unique barriers to happiness and fulfillment. “We’ve fractured our lives into different pieces," Harper said. "For professionals, you often see people thinking they have to maximize work so then they can do the things they want to do.”

Harper says this line of thinking is part of the problem. He credits Kraemer, his mentor, for stating his working philosophy succinctly: It’s not work/life balance. It’s life balance.

Combining efforts

This issue isn't limited to just business leaders. Companies contend with unhappiness in the form of employees who feel either burnt-out or dissatisfied. “Organizations are struggling with work/life balance, employee engagement and culture, and how to evolve to address these issues,” he told students.

Harper encourages developing an environment that replaces the “You’re wrong/I’m right” mentality with leadership that supports personal growth. “We shame people into hiding their mistakes,” he said, “but instead of saying that’s bad, you’re fired… let’s all get together and figure out what happened and figure out how to grow.”

Added Harper: “A 'bad result' in an organization should operate like an investment. The expense of the mistake should result in a return, but too often organizations don't have the mindset or practices in place to take advantage.”

But what’s most important is that business leaders and employees work together to put happiness first.

“We believe and behave as if our accomplishments and recognition will lead to happiness,” Harper told students. “But happiness can come first.”

To read the original story, visit the Kellogg School of Management's website.


Over the course of their long association with Northwestern, Patrick and Shirley Ryan have become the University's most generous benefactors.

Several recent gifts have fueled the momentum of We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern, helping Northwestern solidify its position among the world's leading research universities.

  • Mitchell '63, '64 MBA, '68 PhD and Valerie Slotnick '93 P, longtime supporters of Northwestern athletics, have made a major gift to Athletics and Recreation. In recognition of the family’s generosity, Northwestern will name the atrium of Ryan Fieldhouse the Mitchell and Valerie Slotnick Family Atrium. In addition to helping to fund the new athletics and recreation complex, the Slotnicks’ gift will support sports performance, football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, golf and the Wildcat Excellence Fund, an unrestricted athletics fund that supports the areas of greatest need.


  • Dennis H. Chookaszian '65 and his wife, Karen '02 P, have made a major gift commitment to establish the Chookaszian Family Program in Computer Science, the first of its kind at Northwestern. The program will support initiatives to grow and strengthen the computer science program at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and help provide courses to all interested undergraduate students. Dennis Chookaszian serves as a Life Trustee at Northwestern and is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board at Kellogg, the McCormick Advisory Council and the Northwestern Memorial Foundation’s board of directors. In 2014, he received the Alumni Medal, the highest distinction awarded by the Northwestern Alumni Association to alumni.


  • Patrick G. '59, '09 H and Shirley W. Ryan '61, '97 P, '00 P have made a new major gift commitment to advance research and teaching at Northwestern. A portion of the gift will be used to accelerate the creation of endowed professorships across the University. Over the course of their long association with Northwestern, the Ryans have become the University’s most generous benefactors, having provided leadership and support for academic programs, scholarships, the construction of Northwestern’s Nanotechnology Center, support for Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine and renovation of Northwestern’s football and basketball stadiums. The Ryans serve as co-chairs for major gifts for the "We Will" Campaign, and Patrick Ryan is a Life Trustee at Northwestern.


  • A major gift from Jean Gimbel Lane '52 to the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music will ensure the perpetuity of a prestigious piano award named in her honor. The Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance honors pianists who have achieved the highest levels of national and international recognition. The renowned pianists complete residencies at Northwestern, where they perform and present master classes, lectures and chamber music coaching sessions. In recognition of her longtime support, Northwestern will name a room in the new Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts the Jean Gimbel Lane Reception Room.


  • Holly '62 and John Madigan have made a major gift to The Daily Northwestern in response to the paper’s ongoing fundraising effort, The Campaign for The Future of The Daily Northwestern. The gift includes a $250,000 challenge grant that will match, dollar for dollar, additional gifts to The Daily’s campaign. Holly Madigan is a director and the former chairwoman of the Family Institute at Northwestern and a member of the Northwestern Women’s Board. John Madigan is the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Tribune Company and a Life Trustee and Northwestern. In gratitude, The Daily’s newsroom is being renamed the Holly and John Madigan Newsroom.


To learn more about the "We Will" Campaign, go to

It was good to see you, Wildcats! This weekend was truly memorable, and all of your Homecoming and Reunion Weekend posts ensured that it was a celebration never to be forgotten.



Pep Rally FB Photo - #NUReuion.jpg

Whether you came back to Evanston or participated as a digital attendee, take a look back on #NUReunion 2015 pixel by pixel:


We've already made plans to see you again next year! Visit the #NUReunion 2016 homepage to save the date. Log in and comment below to share your favorite memories and moments from the weekend! #GoCats



Additional #NUReunion coverage:



IMG_3609.JPGConnect with the Northwestern Alumni Association on social media:






Stay up-to-date on the latest news, events, and more in the Northwestern Alumni Association space in Our Northwestern.>>

instagram_profile_reunions_CROWD.jpgThanks for coming home for #NUReunion 2015. Check back for a full recap of the weekend.

In the meantime, check out all the ways alumni across the globe can participate in the excitement of #NUReunion and #NUHomecoming Weekend:



For more information on Reunion 2015, visit And while you’re at it, be sure to connect with the NAA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube, as well as connect with your classmates in Our Northwestern.


No matter where you are in the world, we hope you’ll take part in Reunion and Homecoming weekend.


If you have questions about joining us this weekend as a digital attendee, please let us know.

ewb_422x254.jpgLaunched this past spring, Catalyzer, Northwestern’s official crowdfunding platform, has helped student organizations successfully reach their fundraising goals for projects ranging from support for the arts to global disaster relief. This fall, seven more student organizations bring their causes to the online platform.


Here’s a peek at Catalyzer’s diverse fall projects, which must reach their funding goals by November 6, 2015:


  • Engineers Without Borders, a national nonprofit that pairs groups of engineering students with communities around the world, needs $6,000 to send members of Northwestern’s chapter to Kimuka, Kenya. During a trip over winter break, the students plan to assess ways to mitigate the community’s limited access to clean water.
  • Northwestern Triathlon Club hopes to raise $10,000 to help defray training costs—including race fees, travel costs, equipment, and gear—for students who can’t otherwise afford to participate. These competition scholarships will help the team train for the national collegiate championships in April 2016.
  • EPIC Labs believes in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship across Northwestern’s many schools and academic disciplines. The team of students would like $3,500 to build a library of essential books and other tools to train the next generation of entrepreneurs.
  • Camp Kesem is a free, two-week summer camp program for Chicago-area children affected by a parent’s cancer illness. Undergraduate students work year-round to raise funds, train counselors, and create engaging programming for the participants. Camp Kesem aims to raise $5,000 to offset training and recruitment costs.
  • Treblemakers is an award-winning a cappella group that blends the sounds of East Asia in multiple languages, such as Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Korean, and English. This a cappella group, one of a kind at Northwestern, has launched a campaign for $8,000 to subsidize its first international tour. The group plans to visit South Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, among other counties, to share music while connecting with Northwestern alumni and prospective students.
  • Northwestern University Dance Marathon is one of the largest student-run philanthropies in the U.S. with more than 1,000 committee members and participant dancers. Every year, NUDM chooses a new charity as its primary beneficiary, in addition to its annual support for the Evanston Community Foundation. NUDM would like $7,000 to upgrade its media production equipment. The new HD cameras, computer, and editing software will be used to produce the organization’s live webcast, watched by tens of thousands of donors around the world.
  • The Dolphin Show, the largest student-produced musical in the U.S., annually produces a full-scale musical that attracts talent from across Northwestern’s diverse undergraduate schools. The $9,000 fundraising initiative will allow the organization to implement a sustainability plan for its set pieces and buy needed equipment, such as tablets and microphones.


All gifts made through Catalyzer are tax deductible and 100 percent of contributions directly benefit the student projects, regardless of whether they meet their fundraising goals. Gifts also count toward We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern.

Join the #NUCatalyzer conversation on Twitter.


For more on #NUCatalyzer, visit>>


Reunion Weekend is October 16-18. >>


As a lawyer, reporter, adjunct professor at Medill, and mother, Pam Menaker ’75, MSJ ’76 is quite the Renaissance woman.


When Pam arrived at Northwestern, she came in with enough credits to start as a sophomore. She was able to jump right in and take her journalism classes. During her junior year, Medill created the Teaching Newspaper class. “I was selected as one of the four students to test out the program,” says Pam. She was put in the bureau in the small town of Herrin. “It was so memorable and such a great experience, and the program ended up being a big success.”


When it came time for Pam to graduate with her bachelor’s, the dean of Medill asked if she would stay on another year and get a master’s degree, so she did. She ended her master’s year in Washington DC. While in DC, she interviewed for a job as a speech writer at the White House, but she realized it wasn’t the right path for her. She applied for and got a job with the Chicago Tribune as reporter. “I went with my gut, and it worked out,” says Pam.


Eventually, she transitioned to television. While she was working at ABC, she attended night law school at Loyola University. “I spent four years running from ABC to Loyola!” she says. “I’ve always been the type of person who can’t sit still! And when you’re in college, you have so many hours to fill, and I never wanted to waste a minute.”


“I felt that because I came to Northwestern with an idea of what I wanted to do, I was able to focus my energy on achieving that goal,” says Pam. “I knew I wanted to go into journalism, and being a student at Medill definitely solidified that decision for me. I used all the things that the school offered to get on that trajectory.”


Pam has been involved in her reunion committee a number of times. “I had a very rich experience at NU because I took advantage of a lot of programs and the many opportunities that were available. I like staying involved because of that positive experience.” Pam looks forward to reaching out to people she knew to remind them of the good times they had. “It’s such a perfect opportunity to come back, reconnect, and relive the past for a day. For me, it’s a time to come back and appreciate everything the University gave to me—that it helped shape who I am today.”


Each of Pam’s children has a degree from Northwestern: Michelle ’07, Elise’13 MJ, and Mark ’15 MA.


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

HappyDaily4.jpgEVANSTON, Ill. --- The Daily Northwestern has received a substantial gift from Holly and John Madigan, publisher Students Publishing Company (SPC) has announced.


The Madigan’s gift is in response to the paper’s ongoing fundraising effort, The Campaign for The Future of The Daily Northwestern. It includes a $250,000 challenge grant that will match, dollar for dollar, additional gifts to The Daily’s campaign.


The gift will help ensure that The Daily continues to train and inspire journalists, including reporters, writers, editors, photographers, videographers and graphic designers. In gratitude, The Daily’s newsroom is being renamed the Holly and John Madigan Newsroom.


John Madigan, a Northwestern University trustee, is the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Tribune Company. He also is past chairman of both the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Commercial Club of Chicago, Madigan serves on the boards of Rush University Medical Center, New Schools for Chicago, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and Gilead Sciences Inc. Holly Madigan, a 1962 Northwestern graduate, is a director and the former chairwoman of the Family Institute at Northwestern University. She also is a trustee of the Ravinia Festival and a member of the Northwestern Women’s Board.


“The Daily Northwestern is one of America’s greatest journalistic training grounds, so this gift is truly intended as an investment in the future of journalism,” said John Madigan. “Holly and I are very excited to be able to give back to a field that is so crucial to society in so many ways.”


The five-year campaign, launched with a $1 million goal last October, has received $1.25 million in gifts and commitments from more than 100 donors. Thanks to the Madigans’ gift and challenge grant, the Students Publishing Company board raised the campaign’s target to $2 million.


The current fundraising total includes a $200,000 bequest commitment from longtime SPC director Ed Bryant, a 1963 Northwestern graduate who wrote commentary for the paper during the 1960s and has served on its board since 1972.


“The early success we’ve experienced gives us the opportunity to secure The Daily’s future in a way that we never imagined was possible when we launched this effort last year,” said Bryant, a retired attorney.


“Our board is supporting this effort because we believe passionately in the importance of a vital and independent campus press and a reflection of the essential role The Daily Northwestern plays on campus and in the community. We would encourage others who feel the same way to support this effort,” he said.


Bryant encouraged donors considering including Northwestern in their estate planning to designate some of those funds to The Daily, as he did.


The Campaign for The Future of The Daily Northwestern has three primary objectives:


  • To ensure that The Daily and its staff have access to the best newsgathering and storytelling technology currently available;
  • To fund student stipends that ensure that staff members with limited financial means are not prevented from working at The Daily;
  • To establish a sound financial footing that will allow The Daily to remain focused on what it has always done best: training and inspiring young reporters, writers, editors, photographers and others looking for a career in the media.


Founded in 1881, The Daily Northwestern ranks among the top college newspapers in America, both in terms of the many prestigious awards it has won, including seven Pacemaker Awards in the last 10 years, and a remarkably accomplished alumni network that includes leaders in most of America’s major news organizations and in many non-journalism fields as well.


Gifts directed to The Daily through Northwestern will be counted toward We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern, thanks to support from Northwestern University Alumni Relations and Development. Gifts may be made online.


Read more in Northwestern News.>>

Reunion_2013_Band_NU_23.jpgBig congratulations to Paul Takahashi ’10,’10 MS and Ken Glickstein ’85, ’92 MS, ’92 MBA on winning two exclusive #NUReunion packages!


Paul Takahashi will receive two sideline passes, two football tickets, and two tailgate tickets as part of the Reunion Football Package, all for making a gift to Northwestern between Aug.1 and Aug. 31.


Ken Glickstein wins the Reunion Weekend Experience Package. Ken will receive two tickets to his class party, two football tickets, two tailgate tickets, two tickets to the Homecoming barbecue, and two tickets to Breakfast with Willie, all because he logged in to Our Northwestern during the month of August.


Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaways by making a gift and logging in to Our Northwestern during the month of August!

Cheer on the undefeated 5-0 Wildcats with Paul, Ken, and other Wildcat alumni at #NUReunion weekend, October 16-18, 2015. Registration ends 10/9. >>

Check out the full list of Reunion events here. >>

_ERR2402.JPGEVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University will participate for the first time in the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s popular Open House Chicago program Oct. 17 and 18.


Three historic buildings on Northwestern’s Evanston campus will be open to visitors: Alice Millar Chapel and Deering Library, which will be open both Saturday, Oct. 17, and Sunday, Oct. 18; and Dearborn Observatory, which will be open only Sunday, Oct. 18. Alice Millar Chapel and Deering Library will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18. Dearborn Observatory will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18.


Open House Chicago is a free annual festival presented by the Chicago Architecture Foundation that offers behind-the-scenes access to more than 200 buildings across Chicago. For the first time, the festival will include sites in Evanston, including Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s Levere Memorial Temple, which is located next to Alice Millar Chapel, the Evanston History Center, several churches and FEW Spirits Distillery. A total of 14 sites will be open in Evanston.


“We’re proud to showcase some of the beautiful buildings on our Evanston campus,” said Alan Anderson, executive director of neighborhood and community relations. “Our campuses have a number of architecturally significant buildings, so we’re pleased that the Chicago Architecture Foundation has chosen to include these in this year’s Open House.”


Following are the Chicago Architecture Foundation descriptions of the Northwestern buildings that will be open:


  • Alice Millar Chapel (1962). Architect: Edward Gray Halstead. At just over 50 years old, Alice Millar Chapel is a relatively young building. Its design marries a simplified Neo-Gothic form with stained glass that is unabashedly Modern. The 700-seat sanctuary has little ornament to distract from the bold, colorful abstract stained-glass windows that flood the sanctuary with an ever-changing light. The entire chancel wall is covered, floor to ceiling, in this glass -- a most unusual backdrop that highlights the uniqueness of the space. The windows are the work of Belgian-born designer Benoit Gilsoul. They were fabricated by the noted Willet Studios of Philadelphia. Vail Chapel is a smaller space linked by a colonnade to the east. It is a much more traditional sanctuary with intricate representational stained glass.


  • Deering Library (1932). Architect: James Gamble Rogers. On the edge of the great lawn at the heart of Northwestern's campus rises a monumental building by the master of Collegiate Gothic architecture. Its construction was funded by the Deering and McCormick families, who founded International Harvester. The library's mass and four short corner towers allegedly prompted Frank Lloyd Wright to disparage it as "a pig on its back." But you may disagree as you ascend the stairs from the heavy stone-and-timber entry corridor to discover a stunning reading room. Enormous arched leaded-glass windows flood the double-height space with light. The windows illuminate the intricately timbered ceiling and elaborate details in carved stone and wood throughout.


  • Dearborn Observatory (1889). Architect: Cobb & Frost. In 1889, this observatory was jointly constructed by Northwestern University and the Chicago Astronomical Society to hold what was then the world’s largest telescope. This original 18.5-inch telescope is still in use. In 1997, the old handcrank-operated dome was replaced with the current shiny aluminum cover with electric motor operation. In order to minimize vibrations, the core pillar on which the telescope stands is structurally isolated from the rest of the heavy stone structure below. The entire building was laboriously moved several hundred feet over a three-month period in 1939 to make way for a campus construction project.


Read Northwestern News for more.>>

dover638.jpgEVANSTON, Ill. --- The Dover Quartet, 2013 winner of the grand prize and all three special prizes in the Banff International String Quartet Competition, begins a three-year residency with Northwestern University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music this fall, with the support of the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.


Presented by the Bienen School, the Dover Quartet’s 2015-16 concerts at Northwestern will take place on Oct. 7, Jan. 10 and April 26, on the Evanston campus.


In addition to performing a concert each fall, winter and spring quarter, the quartet will coach University chamber music ensembles and present master classes and open rehearsals (dates and times to be announced).


Comprised of violinists Joel Link and Bryan Lee, violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt and cellist Camden Shaw, the quartet performed more than 100 concerts throughout the United States, Canada, South America and Europe during the 2014-15 season. During that season the ensemble appeared at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Schneider Concerts in New York City and Wigmore Hall in London.


The group’s 2015-16 performance season is as busy and includes the quartet’s debuts at Carnegie Hall, the Lucerne Festival, Yale University and on Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series, as well as four concerts at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., three tours of Europe and their debut tour of Israel.


The quartet also will participate in weeklong residencies for Chamber Music Northwest, the Phoenix Chamber Music Festival, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and Artosphere.


The ensemble also has scheduled upcoming collaborations with pianists Anne-Marie McDermott, Marc-André Hamelin and Jon Kimura Parker; violists Roberto Díaz, Michael Tree and Cynthia Phelps; bassist Edgar Meyer; mandolinist Avi Avital; and the Pacifica Quartet.


The following Dover Quartet programs will take place at the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts’ Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall, 70 Arts Circle Drive, or Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus, as noted.


Fall 2015


  • 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7, Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall. The program features Mozart’s Quartet in B-flat (“The Hunt”), Dutilleux’s “Ainsi la nuit” and Schumann’s Quartet No. 1 in A Minor. Tickets are $30 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs.


Winter 2016


  • 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall. Part of the Winter Chamber Music Festival’s 20th season, the program includes Dvořák’s String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96 (“American”), Berg’s String Quartet, Op. 3 and Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 7 in F Major, Op. 59, No. 1. Single tickets are $30 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs, and will go on sale Nov. 16. Winter Chamber Music Festival subscriptions are now available and range from $81 to $126 for the general public, and $27 to $42 for students with valid IDs. Call 847-467-4000 to subscribe, or visit for more information.


Spring 2016


  • 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall. Program to be announced. Tickets are $30 for the general public and $10 for students with valid IDs. Tickets on sale soon.


(NOTE: Northwestern faculty and staff with valid WildCARD IDs receive a 15 percent discount off the general public ticket price.)


For more information, visit or call the Bienen School of Music Concert Management Office at 847-491-5441. To purchase tickets, call the Bienen School of Music Ticket Office at 847-467-4000 or visit


Read Northwestern News for more.>>

gantz-wilbur.jpgFor the last 30 years, the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame has recognized nearly 500 entrepreneurial leaders who have made lasting social and commercial contributions to the Chicago community through their startup enterprises.


On Thursday, October 8, three members of the Northwestern Engineering community will join its ranks.



McCormick Advisory Council member Wilbur H. Gantz will receive the Hall of Fame’s 2015 Lifetime

Achievement Award in celebration of his longstanding success in entrepreneurship and citizenship. Gantz

is the president of PathoCapital LLC, a venture capital company focusing on healthcare startups.

Most recently, he has served as the executive chairman of the board of directors at Naurex, a

neuropharmaceutical startup emerging out of Northwestern that was acquired by Allergan in July for $560



In addition to Gantz’s honor, J. Edward Colgate, professor of mechanical engineering and the Allen K. Johnnie Cordell Breed Senior Professor in Design, and Michael Peshkin, professor of mechanical engineering and the Bette Neison Harris Professor in Teaching Excellence, will be among 20 entrepreneurs comprising the Hall of Fame’s 2015 class.



Colgate and Peshkin have collaborated to launch three startups while researching robotics and human-machine interaction at Northwestern, including

Cobotics, Inc., a provider of intelligent collaborative robots to assist industry, and Kinea Design, which develops robotic and mechatronic assist devices

for physical therapy.


As co-founders of Tanvas, Inc., Colgate and Peshkin are creating surface technology that allows users to feel what they see on touchscreens. Formerly known as Tangible Haptics, Tanvas recently received a $5 million investment to expand its efforts in product development and to further foster relationships with electronics companies.


Gantz, Colgate, and Peshkin will be formally recognized during a dinner and awards ceremony at The Field Museum. The Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame is managed through the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.


Read more at Northwestern McCormick School of Engineering News.>>

hammond-kristian.jpgProfessor Kristian Hammond was named Technologist of the Year at the Illinois Technology Association’s CityLIGHTS Awards on Sept. 18.


Hammond, professor of computer science, codirects the Intelligent Information Laboratory and co-founded Narrative Science, a Northwestern startup that turns raw data into natural language narratives.


The ITA CityLIGHTS Awards brings together companies, legislators, investors, and policymakers to honor and support the growth and success of the technology community in Chicago and Illinois.


Hammond was one of five finalists for the Technologist of the Year award, which was presented to the individual whose talent has championed true technology innovation, either through new applications of existing technology or the development of technology to achieve a truly unique product or service. Awardees were determined based on nominations from the community, a selection of finalists by a judging committee, and voting by the public at large.


Narrative Science, which Hammond co-founded with fellow computer science professor Larry Birnbaum, blends artificial intelligence with journalism to change how organizations understand their data. Their marquee product, Quill, uses computer algorithms to extract the most important information from a data source and craft a story around it using natural language.


With Quill, large segments of data that previously required hours of analysis to interpret can now be presented as easy-to-scan, understandable narrative reports. Since its inception, the software has written millions of stories, from post-game recaps based upon sporting event box scores to corporate quarterly earnings summaries drawn from unwieldy spreadsheets.


Most recently the company has released Quill Connect, which produces personalized reports of a user’s entire Twitter history, and Quill Engage, an application that translates Google Analytics data into narrative reports.


Read more at Northwestern McCormick School of Engineering News.>>

20613_D0083.JPGEVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University Provost Daniel Linzer and Executive Vice President Nim Chinniah announced today the formation of a task force charged with addressing issues faced by graduate students with children.


The task force -- a diverse group of faculty, staff and graduate students, including many parents -- will explore the issues that affect graduate students with children.


Recommendations made by the task force will enhance resources available to graduate student parents and their families, reflecting the University’s goal of taking a leadership role in support provided to this group.


“As we undertake this assessment, we want to acknowledge, with thanks, the contribution of the NU Student Parent Alliance, a group of students, faculty, staff and community members working to promote better resources for student parents at Northwestern,” Linzer said.


Members of this group met with the provost, executive vice president, dean of The Graduate School and associate provost for graduate education, vice president for student affairs and vice president for human resources earlier this year to offer input on resources and policies that would help Ph.D. student parents balance academic and family responsibilities.


“We firmly believe that by assembling a group that brings fresh perspectives, including several graduate students who are parents, we have the best opportunity to develop the best solutions,” Chinniah said.


The task force is led by Sarah McGill, senior associate dean in The Graduate School, and Lori Anne Henderson, director of work/life resources in the Office of Human Resources.


Meetings begin this month, and final recommendations are expected to be submitted by May 31, 2016, to the provost and executive vice president. While the work of the task force will span the 2015-16 academic year, implementation of ideas will not wait until May 31.


Task force participants are:

  • Lori Anne Henderson, director of work/life resources, Office of Human Resources
  • Sarah McGill, senior associate dean, The Graduate School
  • Laura Carrillo, Ph.D. student, sociology, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences 
  • Sumit Dhar, professor, communication sciences and disorders, School of Communication
  • Irina Dolinskaya, assistant professor, William A. Patterson Junior Chair in Transportation, industrial engineering and management sciences, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Mona Dugo, associate dean of students, Office of the Dean of Students, Student Affairs
  • Congcong He, assistant professor, cell and molecular biology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Rosalind Heckman, Ph.D. student, biomedical engineering and physical therapy and human movement sciences
  • Marcos Leitao De Almeida, Ph.D. student, history, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
  • Niko Matouschek, professor, strategy, Kellogg School of Management
  • Reuel Rogers, associate professor, political science, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
  • Keila Torre-Santiago, Ph.D. student, interdisciplinary biological sciences, Graduate Leadership and Advocacy Council co-chair 2013-14 and survey coordinator 2014-15


Read more in Northwestern News.>>


Kabiller Prize recipients Joseph DeSimone (third from left) and Warren Chan (far right) were honored by Northwestern’s International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN) at a private dinner Sept. 29. Also pictured are Northwestern trustee and alumnus David G. Kabiller (far left), whose gift established the prizes; Dr. Eric Neilson (second from left), vice president for medical affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; and Chad Mirkin (second from right), IIN director and the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry. (Credit: James Connolly)


EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University’s International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN) announced today (Sept. 30) that chemist Joseph M. DeSimone of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the recipient of the inaugural $250,000 Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine.


The Kabiller Prize and the $10,000 Kabiller Young Investigator Award in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine were established by the IIN earlier this year through a generous donation from Northwestern trustee and alumnus David G. Kabiller. Recipients are selected by an international committee of experts in the field.


“These awards were established not only to recognize the people who are designing the technologies that will drive innovation in nanomedicine, but also to educate and shine a light on the great promises of nanomedicine,” said Kabiller, co-founder of AQR Capital Management, a global investment management firm in Greenwich, Connecticut.


The Kabiller Prize is among the largest monetary awards in the U.S. for outstanding achievement in the field of nanotechnology and its application to medicine and biology.


“The world needs more people like David Kabiller,” said Chad A. Mirkin, IIN director and the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. “He is dedicated to making a difference and to improving the world through advances in science.”


DeSimone’s innovative research applying nanotechnology to medicine captures the vision of the Kabiller Prize.


“Joe is a Renaissance scientist, who has made some of the most important advances in the field of nanomedicine,” Mirkin said. One of those advances is PRINT (Particle Replication in Non-wetting Templates) technology, invented by DeSimone in 2005.


The technology enables the fabrication of precisely defined, shape-specific nanoparticles for advances in disease treatment and prevention. Nanoparticles made with PRINT technology are being used to develop new cancer treatments, inhalable therapeutics for treating pulmonary diseases, such as cystic fibrosis and asthma, and next-generation vaccines for malaria, pneumonia and dengue.


“I’m thrilled and humbled to be recognized with the inaugural Kabiller Prize by such a world-class institution as Northwestern’s International Institute for Nanotechnology,” DeSimone said. “The PRINT technology invented in my laboratory continues to be developed for many different applications to improve human health, and my students are leading that charge. This recognition is really a testament to their brilliant efforts.”


DeSimone is the Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill). He also is the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University and of Chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill.


DeSimone founded a startup company based on PRINT called Liquidia Technologies that is building on the promise of vaccine clinical trial results. The company already has spun out two more companies to use PRINT to improve human health, one in ophthalmology and one in oral health.


“The invention of PRINT technology and its application toward improvements in human health will shape the field of nanomedicine for decades to come and improve the quality of life for many,” said Dr. Eric Neilson, vice president for medical affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.


The International Institute for Nanotechnology also announced that Warren Chan, a professor at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto, is the recipient of the inaugural Kabiller Young Investigator Award.


The award recognizes young researchers who have made a recent groundbreaking discovery with the potential to make a lasting impact in the same arena.


Chan and his research group have developed an infectious disease diagnostic device for point-of-care use that can differentiate symptoms. A diagnosis occurs when a patient pricks his or her finger, the sample is amplified, and a disease is detected using a smartphone app. (More than one disease can be detected.)


Results for patients infected with HIV and hepatitis B are available in less than one hour at 90 percent accuracy, and the diagnostic device costs less than $100. The device currently is being commercialized and could change the way diseases are diagnosed and tracked globally.


“I am very honored to receive the Kabiller Young Investigator Award in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine, and I hope this recognition helps to inspire other young people in the field of nanotechnology,” Chan said.


DeSimone and Chan were celebrated at a private dinner last night in Chicago. The two will be publicly recognized and present their research Oct. 1 at the 2015 IIN Symposium, which will include talks from other prestigious speakers, including 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner William E. Moerner.


About Northwestern’s International Institute for Nanotechnology


The IIN is a global leader in the field of nanotechnology in general and nanomedicine in particular. It currently represents and unites more than $800 million in nanotechnology infrastructure, research and education. These efforts, plus those of many other groups, have helped transition nanomedicine from a laboratory curiosity to life-changing technologies that are positively impacting the world.


See more in Northwestern News. >>

This week’s ‘Wildcat of the Week’ spotlights several leading members from the Class of 2000. Leaders in education, viral internet bloggers turned authors, television hosts, and others share their stories of career success after Northwestern in the spotlights below. The Class of 2000 also celebrates their 15th reunion this year. Join them and others during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend October 16 – 18. Register here.>>





Nick Ehrmann ’00

Nick Ehrmann intended to study pre-med at Northwestern. But a transition to the American Studies program, and his experience studying abroad in South Africa and Scotland, changed his life. “I became wholly committed to furthering social justice in our own backyard,” says Nick.


Read Nick’s full spotlight at>>


Stephanie Smith ’00

When Stephanie Smith was a student at Medill, never did she think she would become an internet star. But here she is, 15 years after graduation, with a viral blog and a book that just hit the shelves. Her blog, 300 Sandwiches, was born of a conversation between Stephanie and her fiancé one Sunday afternoon. “My fiancé is the one who usually cooks our meals,” says Stephanie. “And he would joke ‘Honey, just make me a sandwich?’ in return. So, one day I made a very basic sandwich and he went crazy for it and says ‘This sandwich is so good. You’re 300 sandwiches away from an engagement ring!’ And that was what inspired me to start the blog.”


Read Stephanie’s full spotlight at>>


Darren Rovell ’00

Although Darren started out as a theatre major at Northwestern, he also had a love for sports. He eventually joined WNUR, Northwestern’s student radio station, and used his theatre background to provide entertaining play-by-play and color commentary during baseball, basketball, and football games.


Read Darren’s full spotlight at>>


Sarika Rastogi ’00

Sarika Rastogi’s career trajectory has been the stuff of dreams. Graduating from the School of Communication at Northwestern, her first job was with fashion powerhouse Valentino. “It’s such a beautiful brand,” says Sarika. “I’ve always loved fashion and at Valentino, I learned all about the fashion industry, which led to so many other incredible opportunities.” After Valentino, Sarika headed to Chanel where she sold collections to buyers like Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, held events, and       traveled to Paris and other fashion capitals to meet with clients.


Read Sarik’s full spotlight at>>


Stacey Shoemaker Rauen ’00

Stacy Shoemaker Rauen always knew she wanted to be a writer. Even during high school, she had her own column in the local newspaper. But when it came time to apply to college, she had to convince her mother to let her go to school for journalism—she was supposed to be the doctor or lawyer of the family. After visiting Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, she was able to show her she was serious about this career and that there was an entire school dedicated to help make it a reality.


Read Stacey’s full spotlight at>>


Suzanne Cobb Barston ’00

Suzanne Cobb Barston graduated from Northwestern’s School of Communication theatre department and had a successful acting career, but everything changed for her when she had her first child. After a difficult time breastfeeding, she began formula feeding her son. She soon realized that while there were many resources about breastfeeding, she couldn’t find any useful information to help her with her specific issues. She recognized then that there needed to be better education, support, and community for formula feeding parents. Suzanne quickly became interested in the sociology, politics, and troubling discourse surrounding breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, and child-rearing.


Read Suzanne’s full spotlight at>>



Damona Hoffman ’00

Damona Hoffman ’00 moved to LA to become a casting director and right out of the gate, she landed a job doing casting at CBS! After CBS, she headed to NBC where she started their talent diversity program. “I arrived at NBC with a vision and hope,” she says. “Creating such an important program from scratch and growing it into something that makes a meaningful impact was amazing,” she says. “I studied acting but didn’t see anyone who looked like me on TV; it felt like pushing a boulder uphill, so I wanted to help create other opportunities for people like me.” Despite her success in this realm, Damona wasn’t certain about following that path.


Read Damona’s full spotlight at>>


Nina Auslander Meehan ’00

After graduating from Northwestern’s School of Communication, Nina Auslander Meehan ’00 headed to California for an internship with Berkeley Repertory Theater. At Northwestern, she majored in theatre with an emphasis in education and she soon realized there was no children’s theater in San Francisco.


Read Nina’s full spotlight at>>


Matt Ufford ’00

Matt Ufford ’00 is currently an editor-at-large at SB Nation, a sports website (under the umbrella of Vox Media). But he began his post-college life in a very different place. “The transition from the Marines to writing was not really a textbook transition! I went from leading a platoon of Marines to breaking into the writing and editing industry,” says Matt.


Read Matt’s full spotlight at>>

See their full spotlights and read more ‘Wildcat of the Week’ profiles at>>

Join the Class of 2000 and others during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend October 16 – 18. Register here.>>

tsunami638.jpgEVANSTON, Ill. --- The world may not be well prepared for the next significant tsunami, reports Northwestern University tsunami expert Emile A. Okal in a new study that includes a “wisdom index” for 17 tsunamis since 2004.


The 2004 Sumatra-Andaman tsunami was the most devastating in recorded history, killing more than 225,000 people, including thousands of tourists. In his review of that event and 16 other significant tsunamis since then, Okal used the concept of a “wisdom index” to grade the performance of scientists, decision-makers and populations at risk. The index was based on the warning issued (or not) during the event and on the response of the population.


Okal found mixed results as to how much wiser people have become about these natural events and how to reduce their impact.


“We cannot foresee how well we will be doing in the next tsunami,” said Okal, a seismologist and professor of Earth and planetary sciences in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. “I found that mitigation of these 17 tsunamis was rather erratic -- there is not sustained improvement with time, nor a clear correlation of the wisdom index with the geographic location of the tsunami source.”


In his paper, Okal reflects on the progress made since the catastrophic event of 2004 in various aspects of tsunami science, warning and mitigation and more generally in tsunami resilience, i.e., the preventive adaptation of communities to this form of natural hazard.


The Quest for Wisdom: Lessons From Seventeen Tsunamis, 2004-2014” was published Sept. 21 by the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A.


In addition to the mixed “wisdom indices,” the key results of Okal’s study are:


  • Education is important. “One thing is clear, saving human lives is easier when individuals are educated to the risks in question,” he said. “Education, in all its forms -- formal, classroom, drills, ancestral -- works.”
  • Substantial progress has been made in terms of controlling tsunami hazard in the “far field” (a tsunami that originates from a source greater than 1,000 kilometers, or 620 miles, away). Only a handful of deaths have occurred in far field tsunamis since the 2004 Sumatra tsunami.
  • The major challenge remains the so-called “tsunami earthquakes,” events which are not strong enough to alarm the population at risk, yet have considerable tsunami potential.
  • Some paradigms which led scientists to think that mega-earthquakes occur only in certain geological environments -- featuring young and fast tectonic plates -- had to be revised or abandoned. “For lack of a better understanding, scientists must now assume that mega-earthquakes may occur at any subduction zone,” Okal said. (A subduction zone is where one tectonic plate sinks below another.)

Okal stresses the importance of incorporating any new knowledge into tsunami warning procedures and public awareness.

“In this day and age of professional and leisure travel, the general public worldwide should be aware of tsunami risk,” Okal said. “The 2004 Sumatra event was the most lethal disaster in the history of Sweden. The country lost about 500 tourists on the beaches of Thailand.”

Okal said his research was strongly influenced by his 20-year collaboration with Costas Synolakis, director of the Tsunami Research Center at the University of Southern California.

In a separate article in the same issue of the journal, Synolakis critically assesses the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident in Japan and concludes it was due to the cumulation of a number of scientific, engineering and management blunders that could and should have been prevented.

Read more in Northwestern News. >>


Bond of Brothers

Posted by anew.0000677560 Oct 6, 2015

Football-Brothers_L.jpgFrom left, Kyle and Cameron Queiro, Dan and Tommy Vitale, and Cameron and Garrett Dickerson. Photo by Sean Su.



The Northwestern football program often refers to itself as the “Northwestern Football Family,” symbolizing the team’s close, familial bonds. But there’s more to that nickname than symbolism. The 2015 roster features three sets of actual brothers: Kyle and Cameron Queiro and their Bergen Catholic High School teammates Cameron and Garrett Dickerson and Dan and Tommy Vitale, charismatic brothers from Wheaton, Ill.


When Kyle Queiro, now a redshirt sophomore defensive back, began his college football recruitment in high school, Cameron — also a standout football player at New Jersey’s Bergen Catholic — would tag along.


“In my mind, we were always going to go to the same school together,” Kyle says. “I’ve been playing with him my whole life, so I just expected that to continue.”


As youngsters, though, Kyle would do anything he could to beat Cameron, a redshirt freshman linebacker, at whatever game they played. One time, Cameron got so fed up with his older brother’s antics that he threw him into a wall.


“I have a nice attitude, but I was letting people take advantage me,” Cameron says about that moment. “Even though it came at his expense, [Kyle] taught me a lesson to stand up for myself.”


This season will be special for the Vitale brothers, who will suit up for the same team for the first time in their careers. “I’ve been waiting for a moment like this my entire life,” Dan, a senior superback, says of playing with his freshman brother, a linebacker.


The brothers’ age difference had prevented them from playing together in the past. But when Tommy — whom Dan named after a character from the Power Rangers when his brother was a baby — began to excel on the field in high school and Northwestern began to recruit him, it didn’t take long for him to know exactly where he wanted to go to college. Playing together was always in the Vitales’ plans. “We’ve been talking about this for a long time,” Tommy says.


The football brotherhood is a Northwestern tradition. Last season, Nate Hall, a redshirt freshman linebacker, and Jimmy Hall ’14, ’14 CERT and Quinn Baker, a sophomore wide receiver, and Hayden Baker ’15 were on the roster together, along with the Queiros and Dickersons. And freshman wide receiver Flynn Nagel is following in the footsteps of his older brothers, Aaron ’11 and Brett ’12. In fact, all six Nagel siblings have been NCAA scholarship athletes.


Read more in Northwestern Magazine. >>

tumor-implants-300x200.pngBy Nora Dunne


Northwestern Medicine scientists have helped develop an implantable device that detects early breast cancer metastatic cells, a method that may enable physicians to identify cancer spreading in patients while treatments are still viable.


In a study published in Nature Communications, the scientists demonstrated that small, spongy scaffolds (like those pictured) implanted into breast cancer mouse models could recruit and capture cancer cells released from primary tumor sites early in the metastatic process, before the cells negatively impact additional organs in the body.


“We set out to create a sort of decoy – a device that’s more attractive to cancer cells than other parts of the patient’s body,” said senior author Lonnie Shea, PhD, adjunct professor of Fertility Preservation in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “It acts as a canary in the coal mine. And by attracting cancer cells, it steers those cells away from vital organs.”


The scientists envision that the scaffold could be implanted just beneath the skin of patients who have a high risk of cancer recurrence. Physicians could then monitor it for an early indication that malignant cells are circulating in the bloodstream. Normally, metastatic cancer can’t be detected until it has already become fully established in another organ and therefore much more difficult to treat. In the study, cancer cells spread to the lungs 88 percent slower in mice with the implants.


The scientists designed the scaffold to take advantage of the immune system, which has been shown to mediate metastasis in several cancers. The immune system perceives that the scaffold is a foreign object in the body and sends immune cells to ward it off. Doing so lures cancer cells to the scaffold, too.


Shea, who is a professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan, worked with scientists at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and McCormick School of Engineering to conduct the study. He’s continuing to investigate why cancer cells are drawn to certain areas of the body, and to the scaffold, in follow-up work with a team from Northwestern that includes principal investigators Vadim Backman, PhD, professor of Biomedical Engineering at McCormick, and Stephen Miller, PhD, professor of Microbiology-Immunology at Feinberg.


“It is essential for scientists and clinicians to successfully collaborate to facilitate medical progress, and the outcomes of this work are an example of this,” said co-senior author of the study Jacqueline Jeruss, MD, ’03 PhD, ’05 GME, adjunct associate professor of Fertility Preservation at Feinberg and associate professor of Surgery at the University of Michigan. “We look forward to the next steps in this study, which will include a clinical trial.”


Additional Feinberg contributors include Megan Sullivan, MD, ’08 ’09 GME, assistant professor of Pathology at Feinberg, and Ji Yi, PhD, Brian Aguado, Ashley Goodman, Eric Jiang, Shreyas Rao, PhD, and Yinying Ren, all at McCormick.


This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grant R01CA173745 and the Northwestern H Foundation Cancer Research Award.


Read more at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine News Center. >>

treks638.jpgEVANSTON, Ill. --- On the journey to figure out the right career path, more than 100 Northwestern University undergraduates recently went behind the scenes at MGM, Google, Morgan Stanley, NBC Universal, LinkedIn and other companies.


Now in its second year, Northwestern Career Advancement’s (NCA) Career Treks introduced approximately 115 students interested in learning more about the work they hope to do after graduation to Northwestern alumni and potential employers at top companies in Washington, D.C., New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles this month.


(Next up for NCA is Northwestern’s fall internship and job fair from noon to 4 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 29 and Wednesday, Sept. 30.)


“The career trek has truly been one of the most exciting and informative things I have done since arriving on campus last fall. It has definitely given me more guidance in my career path,” said Lauren Duquette, a sophomore in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. She visited the Wall Street Journal, Food Network, People Magazine and Huffington Post on the Media Career Trek.


“Engaging with these industry professionals in such an intimate setting made them more personable, making it easier for me to see myself in their shoes later on down the road,” Duquette added.


On the west coast Career Treks, students interested in film and television visited companies such as Warner Brothers and United Talent Agency, while those interested in the startup and technology sector got a taste of what they could expect at Uber and Thumbtack.


Across the country, in New York City, marketing trek students toured advertising agency BBDO Worldwide and Colgate-Palmolive Company; media trek students were welcomed by staff at the Huffington Post and Viacom Media Networks; investment banking students got the inside scoop at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs; and finance students saw first-hand what it's like to work on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange.


Finally, undergraduates pursuing careers in government, law and policy visited the Supreme Court and the U.S. Department of State, among others.


Many of the students shared their excitement at various venues -- from newsrooms, courtrooms and boardrooms to sets and stages -- via social media, which was captured on Storify.


The NCA Career Treks program brings students to multiple U.S. cities and myriad employers to offer a closer look at the industries and jobs they hope to pursue.


Students have opportunities to network and connect with Northwestern alumni, who may have dealt with some of the same questions the students grapple with when picking a career path. Jim Kolbe, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Steve Stark, president of television production at MGM, were among the Northwestern alumni students met on their treks.


“The treks allow NCA and Northwestern an opportunity to provide a signature experience for students outside of Chicago,” said Mark Presnell, NCA executive director. “NCA’s creation of the trek program was an effort to increase the breadth of jobs and internships by bringing students to locations, companies and industries that do not typically visit college campuses in the Midwest.”


NCA collaborates with a number of campus partners to coordinate the Career Treks, including the Northwestern Alumni Association, the School of Education and Social Policy, Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications, as well as Medill Career Services, the School of Communication and the Office of External Programs, Internships and Career Services, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Student and Alumni Engagement, the Institute for Student Business Education and the Investment Banking Club.


After a successful inaugural year, the NCA Career Treks program has grown to include more cities and more industries.


In 2014, three treks brought a total of 52 students to New York City and Washington, D.C., to explore careers in marketing and media, investment banking, and government, law and policy. The students visited 26 companies, agencies and organizations.


This year, NCA added finance in New York City to the roster, as well as Career Treks in Los Angeles for students pursuing film and television and in San Francisco for those interested in startups and technology. Media and marketing, previously combined, also became two separate treks. More than 50 companies were visited across the seven Career Treks.


“The goal of the Career Treks program is to increase the portfolio of options available to students and expose them to different pathways that lead to post-graduate success,” Presnell said.


Read more in Northwestern News. >>

Advice.jpgNorthwestern welcomes more than 2,000 new students this week. Members of the University community -- including Joel Solari (pictured) of the Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts -- share helpful tips and words of wisdom for making the most of college life and a new home away from home. The comments below have been lightly edited for clarity. Photo by Jim Prisching.




Before classes start, walk to each classroom and look for shortcuts. - David Lynch, Office for Sponsored Research


Universities are complex organizations. Learn by asking questions — lots of questions. - Bruce Lindvall, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science


Find the inspiring professors and do what you can to get into their classes. Don't worry so much about the title of the class. - David Catlin, School of Communication


Go to class. Calculate how many class hours you have per year, and divide your tuition cost by that number. That's how much money you throw away every time you skip a lecture. - Kasey Evans, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences


Find the tranquil, hidden gem in the middle of the Evanston campus: the Shakespeare Garden. - Ald. Jane Grover, Evanston 7th Ward Dive into the Northwestern arts scene. - Joel Solari, Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts




Don't be afraid to embrace the fact that nobody knows you. Embrace that chance to create a new you. - Peter Civetta, Office of Undergraduate Research


Take time to build deep friendships and stare off into the horizon of Lake Michigan. - Nathan Zaporski, McCormick, Bienen 2016


Focus on doing you. You can't get caught up in how awesome everyone else is (because they will be). Trust yourself and your instincts, find where you fit in and give it your all. Well, give it your most. Save a little to enjoy yourself. - Omar Jimenez, Medill 2015


Even after you settle into life at Northwestern, never stop stepping out of your social comfort zone to make valuable connections because you never know when you'll need their help later. - Abigail Turay, McCormick 2016


Never say no to an opportunity, no matter how ridiculous. - Jack McHugh, Bienen School of Music 2014


It’s important to understand that not everyone will agree with you or hand you what you want on a silver platter. Manage your expectations, but don’t let anyone define you. - Aidan Manaligod, Weinberg, Bienen 2017


Take chances. This is your only shot at college. Don’t waste it by sticking to some preconceived plan. - Lane Fenrich, Weinberg


Don't do anything because everyone else is doing it. Do it because you want to. Be mindful of what you commit to, and commit wholeheartedly. - Raymond Chan, McCormick 2010


Try new things and identify what you enjoy doing and are good at. - Matt Formica, Northwestern Career Advancement




Talk to your professors after a lecture or seminar. Go to office hours. People who teach freshmen often would like to know how you are doing. - Julia Stern, Weinberg


Peer pressure comes in all forms; be strong. Stand up for those that need a little of your strength. And ask for help when you need it, too. - Tammie Stewart, Center for Talent Development


Some classes, situations, decisions and days are going to be difficult. The best way to work through them is to surround yourself with people you care about who also care about you and your happiness. - Ryan Kenney, Weinberg 2016


Learn from your peers in an academic sense, but also let your interactions with them — positive and negative — help you discover qualities about yourself you hadn't recognized before, like compassion, patience, humility and strength. - Kali Maginity, School of Education and Social Policy 2014


Keep in contact with your loved ones at home to let them know how you’re doing. - Carol Rose, Kellogg Executive Education




Engage and embrace the amazing diversity of ideas, cultures, ethnicities and activities available to you in Evanston. - Alan Anderson, Office of Neighborhood and Community Relations


Get on the CTA Purple Line and go to Chicago at least a few times a year. It’s one of the greatest cities in the world, and almost everyone leaves Northwestern saying, “I should have gone to Chicago more.” - Amy Weiss, Medill 2009


Have your parents take you out for a meal in Evanston. It might be the only time you get to eat at that place while you’re here. - Michelle Yamada, Communication


Get involved in the local community. Northwestern and Evanston Township High School work together in countless ways, and there’s always something you can do to inspire the young students who are considering college now. - Kristen Perkins, Office of STEM Education Partnerships


Read more in Northwestern News. >>