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It's Giving Tuesday and that means #CATSGiveBack is officially underway! Join Wildcats around the world over the next 24 hours by giving to the areas at Northwestern that are most important to you. Be sure to check back here throughout the day for live updates and exciting announcements!

#CATSGiveBack Digital Resources

Live Updates

12:00 am, Dec. 2: Aaaaannnnnndddd that's all, folks! Thank you for your support of #CATSGiveBack this Giving Tuesday. We saw a phenomenal display of dedication, gifts, and Purple Pride. Stay tuned for final results. Until then, sleep well, 'Cats.

11:45 pm: This is it, 'Cats! You've been stellar supporters all day. Only 15 minutes left to show the world how #CATSGiveBack!

11:20 pm: Where are the Mississippi, 'Cats?? Wake up your friends and let them know we can't make our map purple without them! Put Mississippi on the map.>>

10:07 pm: Young Alums, that ski trip is still up for grabs! Save yourself $521 by joining the #CATSGiveBack movement before the day ends at midnight CST!.>>

9:45 pm: HUGE shout out to our first Alaskan supporter, Krista Kielsmeier! Thanks for answering the call to make a difference. #CATSGiveBack #OneStateLeft

9:17 pm: Northwestern's Minority Business Association (MBA) is just $75 away from their goal! Help them and other #NUCatalyzer student projects reach their potential.>> #NUWeWill

8:11 pm: For the final live update of the night, we are proud to announce that we have 1,203 donors who have contributed $469,772 to Northwestern. We'll share our final tallies tomorrow. Thank you for supporting #CATSGiveBack today and always.

7:41 pm: Every donor makes a difference. However, the 197 first time donors who chose today to support Northwestern are truly special. Thank you for supporting #CATSGiveBack today and always.

7:10 pm: Ready for some stats? At the top of the hour, #CATSGiveBack is still going strong with 1,097 donors giving a total of $446,970! These donors hail from 46 states (and 20 countries) and their gifts support over 45 unique Northwestern allocations. Proudly Purple!

6:03 pm: We just crossed the 1,000 donor mark with 1,029 donors at our latest count. That's worth bragging about. Tell your friends and help us Push On!

Tweet: Share your love of Northwestern and join in the #CATSGiveBack movement

4:58 pm: Thank you for your overwhelming support these past few hours. We've now reached our $20,000 cap for the Adam Karr '93 matching challenge. For that we're truly thankful.

4:15 pm: Can we get all 50 states represented today? We are still missing domestic Wildcats from Alaska, Hawaii, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming. Let's paint these states purple!

3:01 pm: Northwestern Law has reached 57% of their #CATSGiveBack goal of 100 donors.

2:40 pm: The updates keep rolling in. The number of 2015 #CATSGiveBack donors just exceeded the number of donors we had last year! Proudly Purple, let's keep this great momentum and help us reach this year's goal.

2:33 pm: We've gotten in 50 gifts in this hour alone! Go 'Cats!

2:03 pm: We've been challenged! Alumnus Adam Karr '93 issued a dollar-for-dollar match, up to $300 per donor and with $20,000 available. Wow! Will you accept the challenge?

1:28 pm: Congratulations to our Weinberg swag bag winners: Luke D. Velders '01, Sheryl Thurston Rosenbaum '85, Lisa M. Metzger-Mugg, and Matt Jame '01, 2008 MBA!

1:00 pm: As we cross the halfway point, we enter into our next challenge: gifts made to the Northwestern Library Annual Fund today will be matched by Library board member Fred Brown ’62 up to $5,000. Celebrate the beauty of Deering Library inside and out with your gift

12:20 pm: This just in! 12 hours strong and these are our numbers: 569 Donors, $102,785.74 Dollars!! Let's Go 'Cats!

12:10 pm: Wildcats it's officially Catalyzer Hour! Support NU student crowdfunding projects Now!

11:55 am: Scholarships for our amazing students are one of the many reasons #CATSGiveBack! Alexander Ortiz accounts how his scholarship from the NU Club of Albuquerque made a difference:

"The club scholarship has made an appreciable impact on me and my family during my time at Northwestern. Although I have not used the scholarship for any item in particular, the knowledge that I have not had to pay out of pocket for any of my food, hygiene, notebooks, etc., is itself a big-ticket item for me. I am very grateful to those who contribute to the scholarship fund and am excited to be a part of the family. Go 'Cats!" - Alexander Ortiz

Join the #CATSGiveBack movement now.>>

11:45 am : It's purple everywhere here at the #CATSGiveBack headquarters! Give now for a chance to win a swag bag full of #Purplepride from the Northwestern Alumni Association.

11:30 am: Your gifts make a huge impact. Darien Wendell accounts how the NUGALA Scholarship supported his work for LGBTQ+ students:

"Being a recipient of the NUGALA Scholarship was a moment of validation and appreciation for me. It was reminder that the work I dedicated myself to to make space for LGBTQ+ students and community members at NU was seen and had made an impact to and for my communities." – Darien Renee Wendell


Join the #CATSGiveBack movement now.>>


11:15 am: #CATSGiveBack has gone international! Gifts have been received from Wildcats in 14 countries, amazing!

10:53 am: #CATSGiveBack is trending in Evanston!

10:45 am: Donor update! 457 Wildcats have made gifts, let's keep it going guys! Join the #CATSGiveBack movement now.>>

10:25 am: There are amazing things happening at the McCormick School of Engineering! Give this hour to be entered to win 1 of 12 3D printed formula race cars

10:05: a.m.: Wow! We're a little over 10 hours in and we're already approaching a gift total of $60,000! Join the #CATSGiveBack movement now.>> 

9:20: a.m.: Welcome, Dean Adrian Randolph! Weinberg's new dean has a message for you about the WCAS Humanities Plunge, Chicago Field Studies, and other initiatives for the school.

Follow @NUAlumni for more on schools and programs and how your #CATSGiveBack gift is making an impact.

8:15 a.m.: +300 donors going strong! Join the #CATSGiveBack movement now.>>

8:05 a.m.: Go ‘Cats! Give this hour for chance to win bowl game package with 2 game tickets & @coachfitz51-signed football: #CATSGiveBack

7:30 a.m.: Big news! Don Monaco ’74 will match gifts to McCormick w/ a gift to the McCormick Annual Fund. Up to $500 per donor, $10K available:

More details about matches and prizes throughout the day here.>>

7:00 a.m.: Good morning, Wildcat nation! It’s time to show the world how #CATSGiveBack! Check out this hilarious video from Northwestern student Jack Olin '16, guaranteed to get you in the #GivingTuesday spirit.


6:00 a.m.: Whoa! #NUCatalyzer student projects have just under 200 donors so far. These projects are live especially for #CATSGiveBack -- 24 hours only! Check out the full list of initiatives here.>>


5:25 a.m.: Illinois, California, Washington, New York, and Florida are leading the #CATSGiveBack pack. Is your state represented? Check out our live Giving Tuesday heat map! First update to come at 11:00 a.m.


3:00 a.m.: Way to go, 'Cats! We've already surpassed 150 donors. That's the #CATSGiveBack spirit!


12:00 a.m.: Let's Go, 'Cats! #CATSGiveBack has officially launched. Make an impact today by making a gift at #NUWeWill

For the next 24 hours we'll have special incentives and giveaways, so stay tuned

We'll be giving out prizes all days for the generous donors who make a gift in honor of #CATSGiveBack!

Check out the list below for more details, and be sure to follow along on social media and the web to find out more:


Follow the #CATSGiveBack Live Updates blog for real-time updates throughout Giving Tuesday. >>

For more information and to make your gift today, visit the #CATSGiveBack website.>>




Giveaways and Incentives
All Day

Give to Bienen School of Music and be entered to win 2 tickets to the performance of your choice at the Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall.


Give to the School of Communication and be entered to win 2 tickets to Waa-Mu in 2016.


Give to the University Libraries Annual Fund and your gift will be matched with a gift to the University Libraries Annual Fund by Fred Brown ’62. $5,000 available in matching funds.


Give to McCormick School of Engineering and your gift will be matched with a gift to the McCormick Annual Fund by Don Monaco ’74. Up to $500 per donor; $10,000 available in matching funds.


Give to Feinberg School of Medicine student scholarships and a donor will match all gifts. $20,000 available in matching funds.

7 a.m.

#CATSGiveBack Morning Launch

Announcement of Don Monaco $10,000 McCormick match (up to $500 per donor)

To the memories... School of Communication donors will be entered to win 2 Waa-Mu 2016 tickets!


Waa-Mu Ticket Winners: TBA

8 a.m.

Athletics giveaway: Bowl Package (2 tailgate tickets, 2 game tickets, and a special Coach Fitz signed football)

Bowl game details: TBA on December 6


Bowl Winner: Daria M. Labinsky ’84, ’86 MSJ

9 a.m.

Weinberg Hour: Donors this will be entered to win Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences swag (multiple prizes for multiple winners!)

Give this hour and be entered to win the opportunity to have coffee and talk about economics with Professor Mark Witte.


Coffee Chat Winner: TBA

Weinberg Swag Winners:

Luke D. Velders ’01

Sheryl Thurston Rosenbaum ’85

Lisa M. Metzger-Mugg

Matt Jame ’01, ’08 MBA

10 a.m.

McCormick Hour: Give now to be entered to win 1 of 12 3-D printed formula race cars*


Formula Car Winners:
Edward Thrall Lavino
Gail J. Hacker ’83 MD

Janet E. Klein ’81

Eric J. Steffe ’95

George R. Clutts ’48 MD

Katie Ruch Terrazas ’01

Leah Danielle Johnson ’10

Suzanne H. Sutton ’04


*paperweight size

11 a.m.

Lacking in the #PurplePride department? Donors this hour are eligible to win an awesome Northwestern Alumni Association swag bag!


NAA Swag Winner: Ryan S. Comfort ’79

12 p.m.

Catalyzer Hour

1 p.m.

All gifts to the library today will be matched by Library Board Member Fred Brown '62; up to $5,000.

Honor your cherished study group time with a gift to the Library Annual Fund!


Speaking of reading -- give this hour for the chance to win a beautiful copy of Northwestern University: A History by Jay Pridmore


Book Winner: Jennifer Vogt Lescott ’96

2 p.m.

NAA swag bag giveaway #2


NAA Swag Winner: TBA

3 p.m.

Young Alumni Ski Trip giveaway begins, ends at 11:59 p.m.*

SESP Hour: Make your gift to the School of Education and Social Policy to be entered to win SESP swag! #SESPLove


SESP Swag Winners:

Michael Alperin ’11

David N. Figlio

Kristin K. Stang ’89, ’02 PhD

Melissa Lynn Brown ’13

Ski Trip Winner: Hira Khan ’11

*Ski package includes lodging, lift tickets, and ski rental at Breckenridge, CO on February 26-28, 2016. Winnings may be taxable. Not transferable. Flight not included.

4 p.m.

Medill/Daily Hour


More NAA swag than you can bag! Give now to be entered in our third swag bag giveaway!


NAA Swag Winner: TBA

5 p.m.

Go 'Cats! Northwestern Men's Basketball ticket giveaway: Wildcats v. Sacred Heart

Game details: Monday, December 21, 6:00 p.m. at Welsh-Ryan Arena, 2 pairs of tickets available


Basketball Winners:

Michelle Sens Novo ’81 MBA

Game: NU v. SIU

Evanston Dec. 5, 2015 @ 2:00 pm

Sacred Heart TBA

6 p.m.

Giveaways: 2 music tickets, set of 5 career books

Music to your ears -- a Bienen School of Music gift could land you 2 music tickets to a performance in the state-of-the-art Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall!


5 sets of 5 books by alumni speakers are up for grabs! Make a gift this hour to be entered to win!

Works included:

  • Chicago by Day and Night, by Paul Durica and Bill Savage ’88
  • Pitch Ninja, by Mike Moyer ’96
  • Get it Done, by Sam Bennett ’85
  • Expectation Hangover, by Christine Hassler ’98
  • Networking in the 21st Century, by David Fisher ’98


Alumni Speaker Book Winners:

Alejandra Garcia Garcia ’07 JD

Doug Meffley ’04

Tamara Hoffman P ’10, P ’19

Bienen Winner: Nikita Ramanujam ’15

7 p.m.

McCormick book giveaway


Make a gift this hour to enter the drawing for 1 of 5 copies of Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering E. E. Lewis' How Safe Is Safe Enough?: Technological RIsks, Real and Perceived


McCormick Book Winners: TBA

8 p.m.

A Day With Northwestern ticket giveaway

Give this hour and be entered to win 2 tickets to A Day with Northwestern in April 2016.

9 p.m.-11:59 p.m.Last chance to make your gift!


**You may enter any of these drawings without making a gift by filling out this form.

eikenberry.jpgKarl W. Eikenberry, formerly U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, has been named executive director of Northwestern University’s newly created Buffett Institute for Global Studies.


Currently a faculty member at Stanford University, he retired from the Army in 2009 as a lieutenant general after serving as the deputy chairman of the NATO Military Committee in Brussels and previously commanding the U.S.-led military coalition in Afghanistan. Eikenberry will become executive director Sept. 1, 2016.


The Buffett Institute is central to the transformation of global studies underway at Northwestern, following the January announcement of a $100 million gift to the University from alumna Roberta Buffett Elliott.


“We are thrilled that Ambassador Eikenberry will be the inaugural leader of the Buffett Institute at such an important juncture in Northwestern’s history,” Northwestern President Morton Schapiro said.


“He has played a highly visible role on the world stage with his frank and insightful ideas about some of the most critical issues of our day and will play a central role in taking the scope and impact of our global programs to an entirely new level.”


Eikenberry currently teaches at Stanford, where he is the Oksenberg-Rohlen Distinguished Fellow and a faculty member of the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. He also is affiliated with the Center for Democracy, Development and Rule of Law, the Center for International Security and Cooperation, and The Europe Center. As a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has also participated in academy commissions examining the study of the humanities and social sciences as well as foreign languages in the United States.


“The gift has made it possible for Karl Eikenberry to join the Northwestern team. He has extraordinary intellectual heft and deep experience as a diplomat and military leader in China, Central and South Asia and Europe,” Northwestern President Emeritus Henry S. Bienen said. “We are so fortunate to have Ambassador Eikenberry join us, and we have every confidence that he will make Northwestern’s ambitious plans for the new global institute a reality.”


As chair of the search committee, Bienen played a key role in finding the right person to lead the institute.


Before his arrival at Stanford, Eikenberry served from May 2009 to July 2011 as the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan. As chief of mission in Kabul, he led the civilian “surge” directed by President Obama to reverse insurgent momentum and set the conditions for transition to full Afghan sovereignty.


“Ambassador Eikenberry will bring decades of experience analyzing and tackling foreign policy issues with no easy answers,” Northwestern Provost Daniel Linzer said. “We are so pleased that he will play a pivotal role in advancing thinking, research and learning on global issues at Northwestern -- top priorities of the Buffett Institute.”


The institute will play an essential role in facilitating and leading the development of a cohesive University-wide global strategy that will distinguish Northwestern among its peers.


“Karl Eikenberry’s leadership not only will benefit the Buffett Institute but also the University’s overall strategy to enhance international scholarship at Northwestern,” Linzer said.


More on the Buffett Institute for Global Studies


Through one organization, the Buffett Institute for Global Studies will combine world-class research with innovative student study and engagement programs. Building upon the University’s current research on international issues, the Buffett Institute will facilitate campus-wide discussions with visiting experts about pressing global issues, provide collaborative funding across the University for interdisciplinary studies and create new research and experiential learning opportunities for students in contexts that extend well beyond traditional study-abroad programs.


The rich assortment of learning experiences will prepare students for careers in academia, government service or corporate or nonprofit sectors. A significant part of the Buffett endowment also will be devoted to financial aid for international students, allowing the University to recruit the most talented international students.


More on Ambassador Eikenberry


Prior to joining Stanford, Eikenberry had a 35-year career in the U.S. Army, retiring in April 2009 with the rank of lieutenant general. He was commander of the American-led coalition force from 2005 to 2007, and his military operations posts included commander and staff officer with mechanized, light, airborne and ranger infantry units in the continental United States, Hawaii, Korea, Italy and Afghanistan.


Eikenberry has served in various policy and political-military positions, including as deputy chairman of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium; director for strategic planning and policy for the U.S. Pacific Command at Camp Smith, Hawaii; U.S. security coordinator and chief of the Office of Military Cooperation in Kabul, Afghanistan; assistant army and later defense attaché with the U.S. embassy in Beijing, China; senior country director for China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mongolia in the Office of the Secretary of Defense; and deputy director for strategy, plans and policy on the Army staff.


Eikenberry serves as a trustee for the International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Asia Foundation and the National Committee on American Foreign Policy. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, The American Academy of Diplomacy and the Council of American Ambassadors. He previously was the president of the Foreign Area Officers Association. His articles and essays on U.S. and international security issues have appeared in Foreign Affairs, The Washington Quarterly, American Foreign Policy Interests, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy and the Financial Times.

Eikenberry is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and has master’s degrees from Harvard University and Stanford University, in East Asian studies and political science, respectively. He was a national security fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.


Read more in Northwestern News. >>

_ESQ5827.jpgBy Megan Fellman


EVANSTON, Ill. --- Two Northwestern University faculty members have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society.


Thomas W. McDade and Adilson E. Motter, professors in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, are being honored for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New fellows will be honored Feb. 13 at the 2016 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

McDade, the Carlos Montezuma Professor of Anthropology and faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research (IPR), was chosen by AAAS for his distinguished contributions to the field of biological anthropology, particularly for biocultural perspectives on human development, human ecological immunity, human biology, field and laboratory methods.

He specializes in human population biology. McDade’s work is primarily concerned with the dynamic interrelationships among society, biology and health over the life course, with an emphasis on life course approaches to stress and the human immune system.

McDade also is the director of the Laboratory for Human Biology Research and of Cells to Society (C2S): The Center on Social Disparities and Health, which is part of IPR, as well as the director of the Graduate Cluster in Society, Biology, and Health.

Motter, the Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Physics and Astronomy, was chosen for his distinguished contributions to the fields of complex systems and nonlinear dynamics, particularly for advances in the network modeling and control of collective dynamics in complex physical and biophysical systems.

He is an expert in network dynamics. Motter studies how information and perturbations propagate through complex networks and how they shape the collective behavior of systems as diverse as physical, biochemical and technological networks.

Motter is chair-elect of the American Physical Society’s Topical Group on Statistical and Nonlinear Physics. He also has long been an executive committee member of the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO) and currently serves as editor of Chaos, an interdisciplinary journal of nonlinear science from the American Institute of Physics.

AAAS is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world. It publishes the journal Science, as well as newsletters, books and reports. In 2015, AAAS elected 347 of its members as fellows.

Read more in Northwestern News. >>


Jessica Bickel-Barlow (left) was selected as a Marshall Scholar and will pursue consecutive master’s degrees in literature and drama in England and Scotland. Claire Dillon (right) was named to the 12-member class of the George J. Mitchell Scholars and will study contemporary and medieval art history, human rights and island studies in Ireland.


Jessica Bickel-Barlow, a Northwestern University alumna with a lifelong passion for Shakespeare and collaborative theater, and Claire Dillon, an emerging art historian, educator and Northwestern graduate, were awarded signature scholarships to study in the United Kingdom and Ireland, respectively.


Bickel-Barlow was selected as a Marshall Scholar and will pursue consecutive master’s degrees in literature and drama in England and Scotland. Dillon was named to the 12-member class of the George J. Mitchell Scholars and will study contemporary and medieval art history, human rights and island studies in Ireland.


The coveted Marshall and Mitchell scholarships, designed to train future leaders, both promote partnerships, peace and greater cultural understanding between Britain, Ireland and the United States.


Bickel-Barlow, who graduated with a double major in English literature and in radio, television and film at Northwestern, will study how collaboration shaped Renaissance drama and how those early modern theatrical practices might be used in today’s world.


The budding artistic director aims to start a theater company founded on a philosophy designed to open art to diverse voices. Based upon her research, she will partner with leading research and artistic institutions in the U.K. and the U.S.


“We have the potential to make modern productions of classic theater more inclusive by using the theatrical conventions of the early modern era,” Bickel-Barlow said. “Just as Shakespeare’s magician-scholar Prospero holds his power in his books, so do I propose invigorating theater through academia.”


For Dillon, the Mitchell Scholarship offers her a rare opportunity to combine her interests, which include using visual materials as tools for social change, storytelling and community engagement.


“Medievalists are typically not known for their engagement with contemporary issues,” Dillon wrote in her application. “I want to change this by pursuing a graduate degree in medieval studies to research the political and cultural power of art objects, both in their original contexts and in their changing significance across time and space.”


Dillon graduated with honors from Northwestern in 2014 with a degree in art history and Italian. She also spent semesters studying in Bologna, Italy, and Havana, Cuba.


The Marshall Scholarship is designed to train future leaders with a lasting understanding of British society. It also aims to strengthen the relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments and institutions. Last year, 943 students applied for 31 scholarships.


The Marshalls were established in 1953 as a British gesture of thanks to the people of the United States for assistance they received under the Marshall Plan after World War II.


The increasingly popular Mitchell Scholarship, founded in 1998, was named to honor former U.S. Senator George Mitchell's pivotal contribution to the Irish peace process.


Up to 12 Mitchell Scholars between the ages of 18 and 30 are chosen annually for one academic year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by institutions of higher learning in Ireland. Applicants are judged on scholarship, leadership and a sustained commitment to community and public service.


For more information on scholarships, contact the Office of Fellowships: Beth Lewis Pardoe at or Sara Anson Vaux at


Jessica Bickel-Barlow: At King’s College London, Bickel-Barlow plans to enroll in the Shakespeare Studies program, to build upon her previous studies at Northwestern. As an undergraduate, Bickel-Barlow studied the writings of Shakespeare and his writing partner John Fletcher; she now wishes to expand her research by looking at the collaboration between the writers, their companies and their audiences.


Bickel-Barlow will pursue a second master’s in directing Classical and Contemporary Text at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to help translate her newfound knowledge about original stagecraft into exciting performances for modern audiences. “The two programs address the same textual material through different fields of study and will together create an interdisciplinary approach to Renaissance drama,” she said.


At Northwestern, Bickel-Barlow wrote her senior thesis on "Maiden Texts: Female Sexuality and Male Authorship in William Shakespeare and John Fletcher."


An alumna of the Kaplan Humanities Scholars program, she was among the highest-achieving English majors and won three prizes in the department, including consecutive junior and senior awards for “best literature major.”


“Jessica is a true intellectual and scholar, with her eye on how scholarly knowledge can ‘play’ onstage,” said Jeffrey Masten, a professor of English and gender and sexuality studies at Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. “With her experience in Renaissance drama as both a critical thinker and as a director and performer, there's no one better to bring together critical scholarship on Shakespeare and his contemporaries with onstage performance."


Bickel-Barlow has loved Shakespeare since she was a first-grader and attended a ballet set to Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Growing up in St. Louis, she regularly attended the yearly Shakespeare festival with her family and liked to read scenes from the play “A Midsummers Night’s Dream” with her best friend.


"Ever since I performed in my first Shakespeare play, I have felt the magic of sharing ideas with an audience,” said Bickel-Barlow, who was 11 years old when she was cast as Dromio of Ephesus in a children’s production of “The Comedy of Errors.”


She grew interested in collaborative theatrical work after taking a literature course that teaches Shakespeare through performance as part of the University of Texas Shakespeare at Windale program.


At Northwestern, as a director for Lipstick Theater, Northwestern’s feminist student theater company, she used rehearsal techniques she learned at Windale to amplify the voices of women artists.


“We live in a time when audiences are more drawn to choruses of voices than soloists,” she said. “The institution of authorship, like that of scholarship, has at times excluded the voices of others, but I believe bringing the two institutions together will unlock the gates of both.”


Claire Dillon: A strong advocate for the arts and human rights, Dillon’s work with academic research and documentary photographers received national and international recognition.


Her award-winning research projects range from an oft-neglected folio in the 7th-century Book of Durrow to the work of Cuban-American contemporary artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres.


In Ireland, beyond study, Dillon plans to explore the political implications of Irish medieval history as carried out in discussions of national culture and identity, especially during the Easter Rising centenary, a program to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1916 armed insurrection in Ireland to end British rule.


“I find the rhetoric of otherness historically applied to both medieval and minoritized peoples to have provocative similarities,” Dillon wrote. “My work with art history and human rights has equipped me with connections between contemporary political interests and the world of medieval art.”


Dillon is the director of education and outreach at ART WORKS Projects, a Chicago-based nonprofit that raises awareness about human rights issues by creating and touring multimedia exhibits in 26 countries.


At ART WORKS, Dillon curates and tours exhibits, runs arts advocacy workshops for students, and works to expand a growing network of international grassroots collaborators.


She previously supported human rights advocacy and diversity initiatives through the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program, the Northwestern University Community for Human Rights and Right To Be Free and as co-founder of Project ShoutOUT, a student organization that represents intersectional and overlooked queer issues.


Dillon also is passionate about art education and research, having worked for Art Journal, artist Marco Nereo Rotelli, the Block Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, among other institutions in the Chicago area and abroad.


Read more on Northwestern News. >>

This week's Wildcat of the Week is Paula Bernhard ’13, an alumni ambassador for Giving Tuesday, a global day of philanthropy happening on December 1, 2015.

Paula is pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. “I’m hoping to either be a prison psychologist or go into private practice and do forensic assessment, determining whether someone is competent to stand trial,” she says.


Paula regularly donates to the Center on Wrongful Convictions, where she volunteered as a student at Northwestern. “They’re doing amazing work, investigating and exonerating people who are in prison wrongfully,” Paula says of the Pritzker School of Law clinical center. “My passion would be to work at a place like it.”


Paula also gave back to Northwestern in another way, having worked as a student caller in the Phonathon fundraising program all four years of college. “It’s a really challenging job,” she says. “But no matter how old or young, the alumni and I could relate when talking about all the awesome things that Northwestern has to offer.” Paula says she felt compelled to participate in Phonathon because she had received a scholarship to attend Northwestern. “I couldn’t be there if someone wasn’t raising money for me, so it seemed like the right thing to do.”


After two years, Paula began training callers herself. She now looks back at Phonathon as valuable skill building for her work in graduate school as an instructor. “I get up there in front of hundreds of kids, and I can communicate what I need to say and keep the energy up.”


In addition to donating every year since graduating—earning her Bronze status in the NU Loyal giving society—Paula continues to volunteer for Northwestern. In her role as an alumni ambassador, she will spread the word to family and friends about #CATSGiveBack, Northwestern’s Giving Tuesday campaign. “I love that it’s around the holidays, so people are already thinking about giving.”


Join the #CATSGiveBack movement at>>


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


In 2000, Northwestern University made the bold strategic decision to establish the International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN), the first institute of its kind in the country.


Formed as an umbrella organization to coalesce the nanotechnology efforts across campus, to develop partners across the country and the world, and to secure major federal research grants, the IIN now represents and unites more than $800 million in nanotechnology research, educational programs, and supporting infrastructure.


Since its inception, more than 1,800 products and systems have been commercialized worldwide. Twenty-two start-up companies have been launched based upon IIN research, and they have attracted over $700 million in venture capital funding.


One of Northwestern’s largest collaborative efforts, the IIN has a deep talent pool that includes 44 members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. It brings together 190 chemists, engineers, biologists, physicians, business and marketing experts, and others from across the University to focus on society’s most perplexing problems.

The fall quarter has been a busy one for Christian Jones, Zack Oliver, and Luke Dauch. The three fifth-year seniors battle as brothers together on the football field. Now they also have each other’s backs in the classroom – even a virtual one.


Starting wide receiver Jones, backup quarterback Oliver, and baseball star/wide receiver walk-on Dauch are each enrolled in Kellogg’s Masters of Science in Management Studies program. Each has an eye on Wall Street in the future.


“It’s an accelerated masters program,” Dauch says. “Pretty much the first year of an MBA,” according to Oliver. “I wanted something where you have something you can actually lean on when you finish playing,” explains Jones.


Pursuing the unusually rigorous program has involved a lot of flexibility on the part of the coaches and teammates.


When the football team’s preseason camp in Kenosha, WI, threatened to keep them from the start of classes in downtown Chicago, the three would go into a room together to go online and live-stream their classes on a big screen.


“Because the students didn’t realize we had the capability to answer a question,” laughs Oliver, “when Christian talked over the mic when we were in Kenosha, they thought it was a ghost talking.” After speaking up for the first time from off-site, “it was fun,” Jones says. “I liked speaking over the little microphone and freaking people out."


On the team itself, “they’ve all been very encouraging,” Dauch says. “If we ever need to leave, just like in Kenosha, they let us leave practice early, if we have to come late they understood.”


The same is true for the academic side. “Just as supportive as the coaches and players have been, the students at Kellogg have been very supportive of us,” Oliver adds. “I’ve had conference calls with groups, called in with professors, [used] email, and a lot of Google Docs we can share together,” Dauch says.


The program encourages a “different way of thinking and I’m really enjoying it,” offers Jones.


One specific Leadership in Business class “really applied to football,” says Oliver. “We talked a lot about motivations, negotiations…the way the brain works and the way people react. Being able to utilize those on an every day basis at football has been really nice.”


All three are looking to parlay their degrees into careers in private equity or hedge fund management after their athletics careers finish – learning to hustle on and off the field to help themselves become the real Wildcats of Wall Street.

To read the original story, visit

November_2015.pdf - Adobe Acrobat Pro.jpgOne of the Northwestern-Shedd partnership’s greatest successes was designing a puzzle for the aquarium’s sea otters.

Prepped for surgery at Shedd Aquarium’s animal hospital, the blackbar soldier is a fish out of water.


Unable to breathe on its own in the open air, the fish is kept alive with a mixture of saltwater and anesthetic manually passed through its gills. The sedation allows veterinarian Bill Van Bonn to examine the animal safely, and carefully remove a blinding cataract. 

Van Bonn, Shedd’s vice president of animal health, is responsible for preventative healthcare, regular animal checkups, and a wide variety of surgical procedures whenever these are necessary.  With more than 25 years of clinical veterinary experience and some 1,500 aquatic species under his care, Van Bonn says the manual sedation method has always seemed a technique ripe for improvement.


About five years ago, Shedd presented the challenge of ameliorating the process to a seemingly unlikely group: Northwestern undergraduates.


“Our fish anesthesiology project expanded on design work already started by Shedd,” says Stacy Benjamin, director of Northwestern’s Segal Design Certificate program.


The project began with biomedical engineering students at the University before being taken up by peers at the Segal Design Institute. 

“The device that students prototyped uses three tanks to allow the anesthesiologist to decide what concentration of medicine to deliver,” says Benjamin. 

The upgraded machine is portable and allows staff to modify the anesthesia’s strength with the push of a button. It’s also more accurate and lets veterinarians quickly switch to water-only, a process that speeds an animal’s recovery.


The prototype is one of about 20 created by Northwestern students for consideration at Shedd during a partnership that has spanned more than a decade.  Each summer, Benjamin and other faculty meet with Shedd staff to hear about some of the aquarium’s latest challenges. The team then identifies projects that are suitable for first-year engineering students to solve, while more complex initiatives are directed to junior and senior students.


Student teams are currently working to improve how 1,500-pound beluga whales are X-rayed, enhance how quarantine habitats are cleaned, and more.

Senior Peter Haddad is one of three students developing a tool that might help Shedd clean animal environments better and more quickly. Today, scuba divers must enter the tanks about once a month to scrub algae and dirt off walls and floors by hand. 

“We are the third group tasked with finding a solution that makes the diver’s job easier or that might allow staff to clean habitats from the outside,” says Haddad.

The team is pursuing several possible solutions, including an autonomous wall cleaning robot as well as the installation of pipes along habitat floors to use forced air or water to direct uneaten food and other debris toward filters.


One of the Northwestern-Shedd partnership’s greatest successes was creating a puzzle for the aquarium’s sea otters. The project gained local and national media attention.

“Not only did the vertical maze have to be able to endure corrosive saltwater, but it also had to be strong enough to withstand the otters themselves,” says Van Bonn. “We can’t buy otter toys at the local pet store and our expertise as veterinarians is obviously not in engineering. The students presented us with a creative way for our otters to exercise their natural curiosity.”


Installed behind the scenes at Shedd, the maze fits within a window opening between the otters’ pool and trainers’ area. That placement allows aquarium staff to insert a shrimp-filled ball and watch as an animal moves it through holes in plastic shelving until the treat can be retrieved.

“It’s nice to work with Shedd as a client because they understand the complexity of the design process and they’ve got a real research mindset about it,” says John Anderson, Segal Design Institute lecturer. “The aquarium is a large and diverse organization continually improving its processes, and Shedd experts are used to open-ended problem solving.”


First-year students in Design Thinking and Communication and their older counterparts in DSGN 384 Interdisciplinary Design are taught project management and design skills, as well as how to communicate with clients. Beyond Shedd, the multidisciplinary groups — which frequently include non-engineers majoring in theater, psychology, economics, and other fields — have also helped design solutions to overcome physical disabilities. Clients who have benefited from this undergraduate research include the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Lamb’s Farm, and others.


“It’s really important for these students to learn how to get the best out of themselves and the best out of each other,” says Anderson.  “These interdisciplinary teams are confronting problems that cannot be solved by one person. The result is a solution based on a true team effort.”

The original version of this story was published in Northwestern's research newsletter.


From left to right, University Trustee Ann Lurie; Mimi Schapiro; Northwestern President Morton Schapiro; Leonidas Platanias, director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center; Eric Neilson, vice president for medical affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean of the Feinberg School of Medicine; and Dean Harrison, president and CEO of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, at the October 22 celebration of the Cancer Institutes within the Lurie Cancer Center.

October marked a major step forward for Northwestern Medicine with the launch of the new Cancer Institutes. On October 22, nearly 200 members of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, leaders from across Northwestern University and Northwestern Medicine, and supporters and friends came together to celebrate the start of the Cancer Institutes within the Lurie Cancer Center. As a part of the evening's program, research teams from the Lurie Cancer Center presented nearly 30 posters with topics ranging from clinical trials in thoracic oncology, global health, and brain tumor immunotherapy, to integrative medicine, genome sequencing, and survivorship. 

The Cancer Institutes are a part of a new era for the Lurie Cancer Center, which is led with distinction by Leonidas C. Platanias, MD, PhD, the Jesse, Sara, Andrew, Abigail, Benjamin, and Elizabeth Lurie Professor of Oncology. Through 17 emerging cancer institutes and the introduction of innovative new programs, Dr. Platanias and the devoted physicians, scientists, and staff of the Lurie Cancer Center are working to establish Chicago as an international hub for cancer care.


"Breakthrough programs at the Lurie Cancer Center are bridging basic science and clinical care. These collaborative efforts will help Northwestern Medicine become a global leader in the delivery of personalized cancer treatment," said Eric G. Neilson, MD, vice president for medical affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean, who welcomed all to the evening’s program. "I have no doubt that our scientists and clinicians will champion new discoveries in cancer that will change the lives of patients and their families, now and in the future," he said.

Morton Schapiro, president of Northwestern University, recognized the Lurie Cancer Center's many loyal supporters at the launch and the impact of the greater Northwestern Medicine community on their efforts.

"When you have great faculty, staff, students, and sustaining philanthropic partners, you can create magic. It is amazing to talk to people with tears in their eyes who have benefited from incredible care at Northwestern. It's about making the world a better place, and no place does that better than Northwestern," said President Schapiro.

To read the entire story, visit Feinberg's website.

solar638.jpg Northwestern University has signed on to President Barack Obama’s Higher Education Climate Pledge announced Nov. 19 by the White House in the buildup to the United Nations conference on climate change in Paris.


Northwestern joins more than 200 colleges and universities whose officers signed the “American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge” to demonstrate their support for strong climate action by world leaders in Paris in December, the White House said in a statement.


President Morton Schapiro declared in a letter to administration officials that Northwestern would be “proud to be a part of this initiative” and noted that the University was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with the EPA’s Green Power Leadership award earlier this year.


“Since our 2010 baseline, Northwestern has reduced Greenhouse Gas emissions by 30 percent -- a total reduction of 520,000 metric tons,” the President said in the letter, adding, “We are committed to being good partners.”


“Northwestern University pledges to bring together the scientific research of our faculty, the entrepreneurial leadership of our students and the living laboratories of our campuses in order to advance marketable global energy and sustainability solutions,” Schapiro said.


“We will continue to build on our existing programs,” he observed -- such as the Argonne-Northwestern Solar Energy Research Center, the Solar Fuels Institute, the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern and the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research -- to achieve the following:


  • An additional 20 percent reduction of Scope 1 and Scope 2 Greenhouse Gas emissions by the year 2020 through energy efficiency, on-site renewable generation and green energy purchasing.
  • Kickoff of the “Northwestern Solar Roof” initiative with a minimum deployment of one new (solar) array per year starting in 2016.
  • Redirect stormwater from 1,000 surface parking spaces using bioswales, permeable paving and open-bottom storage vaults.
  • Take an active role in promoting Energy Conservation and Sustainable Practices in both our local community and through knowledge sharing with our peers by leveraging our existing partnerships as an ENERGY STAR Partner, member of the Better Building Initiative, active member of the Retrofit Chicago Commercial Building program and founding member of the Evanston Energy Benchmarking and Efficiency program.
  • Expand curricular offerings using Northwestern’s multidisciplinary approach by complementing our Energy Science and Engineering expertise with Economics and Social Sciences, Public Policy, Law and Communications.


“Our nation’s colleges and universities are doing the research that will shape our future and educating the leaders who will drive it forward,” observed John D’Angelo, Northwestern’s vice president for Facilities Management, who is coordinating the University’s pledge and climate collaboration with the White House.


“Northwestern is proud to be a part of the President’s initiative to ensure that that future is a sustainable one.”


The institutions signing today’s pledge are already taking significant action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase campus sustainability and resilience, and incorporate environmental action into academic curriculum, the White House said in the statement. More than 100 of the schools that signed the pledge have also set goals to become carbon neutral within the next few decades.


As part of the announcement Thursday, university presidents, students and NGOs participated in a White House Summit with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy and the White House Council on Environmental Quality’s Managing Director Christy Goldfuss “to highlight the important work being done to act on climate at universities, voice support for a strong agreement in Paris and discuss future steps that leaders in higher education can take toward a low-carbon, sustainable future.”


McCarthy also participated in a Facebook live event with YouTuber Emily Graslie, the Chief Curiosity Correspondent of The Field Museum in Chicago, and host of the educational YouTube channel The Brain Scoop, to answer questions from students at more than 140 campus watch parties across the nation, the statement added.


Northwestern students, faculty and staff were able to watch the White House announcement live at a Norris University Center event Thursday and follow it on their own devices. (Follow @WhiteHouseCEQ to get updates, #ActOnClimate)


The White House statement said that “more than 150 countries representing around 90 percent of all global emissions have offered climate pledges, and last month, 81 companies from across the American economy signed the “American Businesses Act on Climate Pledge” to demonstrate their commitment to climate action and show their support for a strong international climate agreement.


“Today’s actions are a great step forward in highlighting American leadership on climate action and ensuring a successful global agreement on climate change next month,” the statement said. “Today, 218 campuses representing over 3.3 million students across the country are committing to take action on climate by signing the “American Campuses Act on Climate Pledge”:


As institutions of higher education, we applaud the progress already made to promote clean energy and climate action as we seek a comprehensive, ambitious agreement at the upcoming United Nations Climate Negotiations in Paris. We recognize the urgent need to act now to avoid irreversible costs to our global community’s economic prosperity and public health and are optimistic that world leaders will reach an agreement to secure a transition to a low carbon future. Today our school pledges to accelerate the transition to low-carbon energy while enhancing sustainable and resilient practices across our campus.

Read more in Northwestern News. >>  

harris175.jpgPhilip L. Harris, currently a partner at the Chicago law firm of Jenner & Block, LLP, has been appointed vice president and general counsel for Northwestern University, effective Jan. 1, 2016, Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro announced today (Nov. 20).


Serving as Northwestern’s chief legal officer, Harris will provide counsel to the president and the Northwestern University Board of Trustees, as well as direct outside counsel on all cases and issues. He will succeed Thomas G. Cline, who is retiring after 27 years at the University.


Harris, 57, brings a strong legal background to the post. He has been a partner at Jenner & Block since 2004 and serves on the firm’s management committee and co-chairs the Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense Practice.  Throughout his legal career, Harris has defended large companies in substantial and complex product liability, mass tort and commercial cases.  He has been the lead attorney in jury trials for those cases.


Harris also  brings a long history of civic engagement and connections to Northwestern.  He is a fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago and the Aspen Institute Henry Crown Values Based Leadership Program.  He has served on many civic boards in Chicago, including the Chicago Children’s Museum, Children’s Memorial Hospital, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Chicago Humanities Festival, the Chicago Zoological Society and the Chicago Committee for Minorities in Large Law Firms.


Harris has been a member of Northwestern’s Board of Trustees for 25 years. He is currently a vice chair of the board and a member of the executive committee. He served as chair of the board’s student affairs committee for 10 years, acting as a liaison between the trustees and students. He has chaired several important task forces for the University, including the Native American Outreach and Inclusion Task Force.


“We are very pleased to have Phil join Northwestern in this important leadership position,” President Schapiro said. “In his role as a trustee, we have already benefited from his thoughtful counsel on many issues, and we now will have the opportunity to get that on a daily basis. Phil brings terrific experience and an abiding passion for Northwestern, and I look forward to working closely with him.”


Harris received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern in 1980 and his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School. He is a member of the bar in Illinois and Iowa and is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court in both states, as well as the U.S. District Courts in both states and the U.S. Court of Appeals.


“President Schapiro is a dynamic president who has demonstrated excellence in leadership and established an incredible leadership team,” Harris said.  “I look forward to joining his team and working with him and the board, doing what I can to help make a great university even better.”


Harris is AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell’s highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and the Litigation Counsel of America and has been named a “Leading Law Firm Rainmaker” by Diversity & the Bar magazine. He received the 2008 Advocate for Diversity Award from the Filipino American Bar Association and The John Marshall Law School.


Harris and his wife, Gricel, live in Evanston. He has three daughters and two stepsons.


Read more in Northwestern News. >>

_ERR8405.JPGby Alan K. Cubbage


EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University plans to sign on to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investing, joining Harvard University and the University of California-Berkeley as the only U.S. universities to do so.


The U.N.-supported Principles for Responsible Investing is an international network of investors working to put six guiding principles into practice. They broadly address the importance of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues for investors to consider when making investment choices, explained William McLean, Northwestern vice president and chief investment officer.


“Becoming a signatory to the U.N.-supported Principles provides guidance to the external investment managers with whom we work that these are principles to consider as part of their investment strategy,” McLean said. “It doesn’t tell them what investments they can or can’t own, but that they should take these things into consideration.”


In general, Northwestern does not hold individual stocks or other financial instruments itself, but works with a number of external management firms that invest the University’s funds in a variety of ways.


The U.N.-supported Principles are:


  • We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
  • We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
  • We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
  • We will promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry.
  • We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles.
  • We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.


Within the United States, there are 24 current signatories in the Asset Owner category. These signatories are primarily public pension plans such as the California Public Employee Retirement System. The Harvard University Endowment became the first university endowment to sign up, in 2014. The University of California is also a signatory.


Becoming a signatory means that Northwestern will submit a publicly available report that documents details of the University’s organization and investment process. However, the reporting is high level and does not disclose individual investments or external investment managers.


McLean credited the Northwestern students involved in the Fossil Free NU group with raising the issue of socially responsible investing and discussing it with representatives of the Northwestern University Board of Trustees Investment Committee. In particular, he acknowledged the efforts of student leaders Scott Brown and Christina Cilento. He also noted the leadership of Investment Committee Chairman Bon French, who has met several times privately with student advocates. The Fossil Free NU group presented to the Investment Subcommittee at a meeting held in July.


“The meetings with the students have been very constructive. I understand that we may not be taking this as far as they may want in terms of divestment, but I think adoption of these principles is an important leadership step and will provide us guidance going forward,” McLean said. “I’m sure we’ll continue to meet with the students.”


Read more in Northwestern News. >>

iris638.jpgA researcher and police insider for many years, Mark Iris has a unique perspective on what ails law enforcement agencies. He believes answers to the real policing problems often lie in the massive amounts of data law enforcement agencies collect on every aspect of their operations.


By Erin Meyer


EVANSTON, Ill. --- Mark Iris is arming police departments around the country with a novel crime-fighting tool -- advanced data analyses and potentially life-saving intelligence derived by a group of Northwestern University undergraduates.


Currently an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern, Iris served from 1984 until 2004 as the executive director of the Chicago Police Board, a quasi-judicial entity made up of civilians whose job is to hear cases of alleged police misconduct. The cases included that of former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge, accused of making torture a regular part of interrogations at the Chicago Police Department and sentenced to prison for lying about it.


A researcher and police insider for many years, Iris has a unique perspective on what ails law enforcement agencies.


The problem, Iris said, is not that police-involved shootings are on the rise, as many Americans have come to believe in the wake of incidents in Ferguson, Cleveland and North Charleston. In fact, the vast majority of officers never fire their gun at a suspect over the course of their career, he said.


Iris believes answers to the real policing problems often lie in the massive amounts of data law enforcement agencies collect on every aspect of their operations. Data, he said, too often fail to inform policy and operations because departments lack staff with the advanced statistical skills or resources to analyze it.


A growing number of police departments are using advanced data collection systems that enable them to identify problem officers earlier, for example. Early Intervention Systems track everything from absences from work to the number of times an officer is named in a lawsuit.


Iris harnesses the talents of Northwestern students who do have such skills work with police departments around the country as part of an undergraduate research opportunity.


“I decided to play matchmaker,” said Iris, who sat down recently to discuss the research projects he arranges as an advisor for the Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences (MMSS) program. “This is a remarkable opportunity for a 22-year-old college student.”


How does the “matchmaking” work?


I recruit the students in their junior year. Since many of them know little about policing besides what they’ve seen on “Law & Order,” I assign them background readings pertinent to their research topic.


The police department proposes the research question. We visit the host city at the onset of the project to clarify the research goals and ensure the necessary data are available. Then, we return after the data analysis is complete, and the students give a formal presentation to the police chief and top command staff.  They come across as poised, articulate young professionals.


How many students have participated?


The first police-related MMSS project was in Chicago during the 1997-98 academic year. It extended from there to New York, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Houston, Long Beach and Philadelphia. In total, I’ve advised or supervised 86 students on a total of 41 projects.


How do the students benefit?


How often does an undergrad have the opportunity to make a presentation and have an hour’s undivided attention from the CEO and top management of a billion-dollar organization with thousands of employees?


The findings of one recent MMSS project, which examined crime by location in Houston according to an analysis of “micro hotspots,” were published in the June 2014 issue of The Police Chief, the lead publication of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Not a bad takeaway for a senior thesis.


Also, as I tell the students, it’s likely that the improved police operations that result from their findings have resulted in crimes being prevented. It’s also possible that their work has saved lives.


How might data help reduce incidence of excessive force and prevent police misconduct?


Many police departments have adopted systems generally known as Early Intervention Systems. The EIS collects data about the officer performance -- absences from work, traffic accidents in police cars, how many times the officer has been named as a defendant in a lawsuit, how often the officer uses force in making an arrest. The EIS uses that information to identify potential problems. The idea is to take action, be it through counseling, training or some other form of intervention, before the officer’s career implodes.


Some agencies do creative things with EIS. For example, one department tracks the number of times charges resulting from a particular officer’s arrest are dismissed by a judge due to no probable cause. Another department tracks use of force reports, not just at the officer level, but the total number of arrests and complaints for all the officers under a particular sergeant’s supervision. That is to hold supervisors accountable when there is trouble in the ranks.


How might data help improve the public’s perception of some police departments?


We have a lot of misconceptions about policing that data can illuminate. In light of all the controversies in the last year, you might not guess the average number of times a police officer will be involved in a shooting incident over the course of a 25-year career. It’s less than one, closer to zero. The use of deadly force by police has declined tremendously over the last 30 years.


One recently completed MMSS research project, an analyses of police involved shootings commissioned by the Houston Police Department, was made public last summer when the Houston police chief took the commendable step -- in the name of transparency -- of posting online information on officer-involved shootings for all to see.


Compare the relationship between America and its law enforcement agencies during the 1980s and 1990s to the present. What has changed, and what remains the same?


We are undergoing a tremendous change at this time. Increasingly, police officers are wearing body cameras and with fixed surveillance cameras omnipresent and mobile video cameras in everyone’s pockets, the police narrative as to what happened in a questionable incident is sometimes challenged big time, especially when you have video that absolutely contradicts the police version of what happened. It causes a tremendous degree of skepticism. Simultaneously, in the last couple years we’ve seen a major policy shift. Since the 1960s, no politician could go wrong for coming down hard on crime. We enacted ever-harsher punishments and vastly increased our incarcerated population. But in the last few years we have seen politicians from both sides of the aisle questioning that logic.


Iris is an authority in the area of police misconduct and transparency. Iris also does research on third party arbitration in police discipline cases and the costs of police litigation. Published works include, “Your Tax Dollars at Work! Chicago Police Lawsuit Payments: How Much, and for What?”


Read more in Northwestern News. >>

bass_joseph.jpgBy Nora Dunne


A new Northwestern Medicine study has pinpointed thousands of genetic pathways an internal body clock takes to dictate how and when our pancreas must produce insulin and control blood sugar, findings that could eventually lead to new therapies for children and adults with diabetes.


The body’s circadian clocks coordinate behaviors like eating and sleeping, as well as physiological activity like metabolism, with the Earth’s 24-hour light-dark cycle. There’s a master clock in the brain, as well as peripheral clocks located in individual organs. When genetics, environment or behavior disrupt the synchrony of these clocks, metabolic disorders can develop.


In a 2010 publication in Nature, Northwestern Medicine investigators showed that a circadian clock in the pancreas is essential for regulating insulin secretion and balancing blood sugar levels in mice. The scientists demonstrated that knocking out clock genes led to obesity and type 2 diabetes, but they still had much to learn if they wanted to manipulate clock action to treat the conditions.


“We knew that the pancreas didn’t work if we removed these clock genes, but we didn’t know how the genes were affecting the normal function of the pancreas,” said principal investigator Joe Bass, MD, PhD, chief of Endocrinology in the Department of Medicine (pictured).


Clock genes are responsible for producing transcription factors, special proteins that help tell a cell how to function. In the new study, published Nov. 6 in Science, Dr. Bass’s laboratory revealed thousands of genes in the pancreas that the clock’s transcription factors control in rhythm with the planet’s daily rotation from light to dark.


“We established a new gene map that shows how the entire repertoire of factors produced in the pancreas maintain and anticipate daily changes in the external environment,” Dr. Bass said. “These factors are all tied to the rotation of the Earth – to the timekeeping mechanism that has evolved to control when we sleep, wake up, eat and store nutrients each day.”


Dr. Bass’s team, which included co-investigator Grant Barish, MD, assistant professor of Medicine in Endocrinology, graduate student Mark Perelis and postdoctoral fellow Biliana Marcheva, PhD, focused on cells in the pancreas called beta cells, which secrete insulin into the blood stream to help the body absorb glucose – sugar – to use for energy. Using genome-wide sequencing technology on beta cells with both intact and disrupted clock gene function, the scientists were able to lay out the map of transcription factors and genes.


In ongoing research, Dr. Bass’s group continues to study how the body’s circadian clocks interact and how their rhythm is thrown off – not just in diabetes, but also during the normal aging process and from day-to-day conditions like jetlag, stress or dietary changes.


“This study reinforces the idea that clocks operating in cells are fundamental to health,” Dr. Bass said. “They represent an important untapped target for improving the functions of cells in the pancreas.”


Dr. Bass is also the Charles F. Kettering Professorship of Medicine and a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.


Other Northwestern authors include Kathryn Ramsey, PhD, Clara Bien Peek, PhD, and Hee-kyung Hong, PhD, ’05 GME, all three research assistant professors of Medicine in Endocrinology, Matthew Schipma, PhD, research assistant professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Akihiko Taguchi, MD, PhD, Wenyu Huang, MD, ’07 PhD, ’09 ’12 GME, assistant professor of Medicine in Endocrinology, Chiaki Omura and Amanda Allred.


This study was supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) grant R01DK090625, NIH National Institute on Aging grant P01AG011412, the Chicago Biomedical Consortium S-007, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation grants 17-2013-511, 1-INO-2014-178-A-V and 1-INO-2015-23-A-V, University of Chicago Diabetes Research and Training Center grant P60DK020595; NIDDK T32 grant DK007169; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute T32 grant HL007909 and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency grant D12AP00023.


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

_ERR0192.JPGNorthwestern University has embarked on an ambitious project to renovate and expand the existing Seeley G. Mudd Library building, refocusing the north campus library on collaborative student resources and providing much-needed growth space for state-of-the-art scientific research laboratories. The project will support expansion of existing research and the recruitment of new faculty by enlarging Mudd both horizontally and vertically, increasing the footprint of each floor by 75 percent and adding two floors above the existing structure.


Early construction activities related to relocation of existing utilities began at the beginning of December. This work will require the re-routing of pedestrian traffic in the area north of Mudd Library and west of Frances Searle. Appropriate signage will be provided to direct pedestrians and bicycles along alternate routes.


The north campus library will remain on the second floor, at the heart of the building, completely reimagined for collaborative student resources -- study rooms, open study space, and teaching and research consultation space. The library will remain directly connected to the Technological Institute complex through the existing bridge.


The top three floors of the expanded building will be left open in anticipation of future growth in scientific research.


The completed project will provide a prominent new ground-floor entrance, facing the green space north of the Mudd building. The main entry will open to a two-story atrium, providing direct access to the library area on the second floor. Mudd also will continue to be linked to the broader science complex through connections to Tech and Cook Hall.


When complete, the project will include 36,000 gross square feet of climate-controlled space for sensitive instrumentation on the first floor. The second floor will provide 39,000 gross square feet of collaborative student and research consultation space for the north campus library. The third, fourth and fifth floors will have 39,000 gross square feet of computational laboratory and 74,000 gross square feet of wet laboratory research space.


The expansion of the Mudd building into a hybrid laboratory-library resource will help Northwestern University grow and advance its research mission while providing new opportunities for students to engage with each other and with scientific research.


Read more in Northwestern News. >>

Academic Medical Center.jpgIn an international study, Northwestern Medicine scientists and colleagues have identified a novel strategy for reducing the side effects of uncontrolled movement caused by the drug levodopa, commonly used to treat the stiffness, tremors and poor muscle control of Parkinson’s disease.


These unwanted movements caused by levodopa significantly diminish the quality of life for Parkinson’s disease patients.


A team lead by Dr. James Surmeier found neurons in the brain responsible for the side effects have a distinctive surface receptor that normally helps balance the effects of levodopa treatment. When mouse or primate models of Parkinson’s disease were given a compound that boosts functioning of this receptor, the uncontrolled motor side effects of levodopa treatment were dramatically reduced.


Surmeier is the Nathan Smith Davis Professor and chair of physiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.


The study was published Nov. 18 in the journal Neuron.


Although this new compound -- an M4 muscarinic receptor positive allosteric modulator -- is not currently approved for human use, it is in development with the goal of clinical trials, a Phase I trial possibly starting by 2017.


“There has been an international effort to find a drug that can be combined with levodopa to reduce the uncontrolled movement,” Surmeier said. “If clinical trials confirm our preliminary findings, the eventual drug developed could make a significant improvement in the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s disease.”


Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the U.S., affecting more than a million people, a number expected to double by 2030. In its early stages, the primary symptom of the disease -- difficulty moving -- can be effectively treated by levodopa.


But as the disease progresses, the dose of levodopa required to alleviate symptoms rises and side effects begin to appear. The most prominent of these is uncontrolled movement or dyskinesia. There are no treatment strategies that can help other than neurosurgery.


Surmeier’s effort was built upon previous work of his lab and other research exploring the striatum, a part of the brain circuitry targeted by levodopa and thought to drive dyskinesia. At doses of levodopa treatment that produce dyskinesia, part of the striatal network becomes abnormally re-wired.


Surmeier’s team found a protein in one type of these striatal neurons that could counter-balance the effects of levodopa without diminishing its positive effect on movement. By using a novel class of drug -- one that augments the normal function of the receptor -- scientists could boost function of this ‘balancing’ M4 muscarinic receptor. This novel compound or drug lead was developed by the group of Jeffrey Conn at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.


While all of the studies in Surmeier’s lab and that of his collaborator Dr. Angela Cenci Nilsson of Lund University in Sweden, were conducted in mice, scientists wanted to make sure they were relevant to humans. To test the effects in non-human primates, Dr. Erwan Bezard’s group in Bordeaux, France, gave a variant of the compound tested in mice to Parkinsonian primates. As in the mice, the novel compound significantly reduced dyskinesia induced by levodopa treatment without compromising its symptomatic benefit.


Other authors of the study are Dr. Paul Greengard, a Nobel laureate at The Rockefeller University, Dr. Richard Neubig of Michigan State University and Jurgen Wess of the National Institutes of Health. Other Northwestern co-authors include Weixing Shen, Joshua L. Plotkin and Zhong Xie.


The article is titled: “M4 muscarinic receptor signaling ameliorates striatal plasticity deficits in models of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia.”


This work was supported, in part, by grant NS34696 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and grant MH074866 from the National Institute of Mental Health, both of the National Institutes of Health; the JPB Foundation and the Michael J. Fox Foundation.


Read more in Northwestern News. >>

gabrielse175.jpgBy Megan Fellman


EVANSTON, Ill. --- Physicist Gerald Gabrielse, a leader in super-precise measurements of fundamental particles and the study of anti-matter, will join Northwestern University as Board of Trustees Professor of Physics, the University announced today. He also will be the founding director of the Center for Fundamental Physics at Low Energies.


Gabrielse, a past chair of the Harvard University physics department and currently the George Vasmer Leverett Professor of Physics at Harvard, is internationally renowned for his precise comparisons of matter and anti-matter. Discovery of any unexpected difference between matter and anti-matter would shatter the world of particle physics. His application of the techniques of atomic physics to make super-precise measurements of the electron plays an important role in particle physics; these measurements are sensitive to new physics effects beyond the reach of the Large Hadron Collider.


“Jerry is a big-picture thinker, scientist of the highest caliber and dedicated teacher,” said Adrian Randolph, dean of Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. “We are thrilled to have him join our faculty. He and the Center for Fundamental Physics will ensure Northwestern is a leader in atomic, molecular and optical physics.”


In addition to his research, Gabrielse is known as a gifted educator of both undergraduate and graduate students. Of his many prestigious awards, he is most proud of Harvard’s Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize for excellence in undergraduate teaching.


Gabrielse will join Northwestern Sept. 1, 2017. He will build a broad research group that focuses on a variety of atomic, elementary particle and low-temperature physics experiments.


“Jerry is advancing our knowledge of the fundamental building blocks of the universe in very creative ways,” Northwestern Provost Daniel Linzer said. “He will bring a great intellect and curiosity as well as a talented group of researchers to Northwestern.”


Gabrielse will make a distinctive and lasting contribution to Northwestern and to the department of physics and astronomy.


“As founding director of Northwestern’s Center for Fundamental Physics at Low Energies, I have the chance to establish an internationally visible and significant center of excellence that will be an exciting new opportunity for the University’s students and faculty members,” Gabrielse said.


Unlike most atomic physics efforts at other institutions, research at this new center will focus on physics issues of a fundamental nature. Defining questions include: Can the indirect influence of new forces be seen through precision measurements of elementary particles? Are fundamental constants truly constant or do they change with time?


Gabrielse and his collaborators have investigated how round the charge distribution of an electron is. He is able to suspend a single electron for months at a time while measuring its magnetic moment to an incredible precision of three parts in 10 trillion. This measurement is the most stringent test of the most precise prediction ever made by physics theory. It is also the most precise measurement of a property of an elementary particle.


“Welcoming Jerry to Northwestern is a quantum leap towards excellence for our department,” said Michael Schmitt, professor of physics and astronomy at Northwestern and chair of the department. “His scientific achievements are world class, and his dedication and devotion to his students, both in his research group and in his classes, are inspiring.”


Gabrielse started the low-energy anti-proton and anti-hydrogen research program at the CERN laboratory in Europe. Hundreds of researchers have since joined such studies of anti-matter at CERN.


Gabrielse’s studies of the anti-proton and anti-hydrogen atom test a very fundamental law of physics. This law, known as “CPT invariance,” relates charge, parity and time. If Gabrielse were to find the law to be violated, even at the tiniest level, then theoretical physics would face a huge challenge. “This is a question that only experiments can answer,” he said. “God decides, we measure.”


Gabrielse is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). He served on numerous NAS committees and as chair of the division of atomic, molecular and optical physics of the APS.


He has received many distinguished awards, including the Julius Lilienfeld Prize and the Davisson-Germer Prize, both from the APS; Italy’s Tomassoni Prize; the Humboldt Research Award from Germany’s Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; and the Trotter Prize from Texas A&M University. In addition to the Levenson Prize, Gabrielse received from Harvard the George Ledlie Prize for exceptional research.


Gabrielse is an author of nearly 200 scientific publications. He also is a popular speaker who has given hundreds of invited lectures at conferences, university colloquiums, high schools and popular science venues.


Gabrielse received his master’s degree (1975) and doctorate (1980) from the University of Chicago. After a brief faculty position at the University of Washington in Seattle, he joined the Harvard faculty in 1987 as a full professor. Gabrielse also was a visiting scientist at both the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics and the Ludwig Maximilian University in Germany (2007 to 2008).


Read more in Northwestern News. >>

connor170.jpgWith a million military veterans returning home from active duty over the next five years, Northwestern alumnus Todd Connor (right) wants to clear a path for that massive influx of talent and leadership in communities across the nation.


Connor founded The Bunker, a startup incubator to help veterans become entrepreneurs, for the same reason he joined the Navy. When you see a problem and you’re in position to help, he says, you don’t think twice.


He points to statistics showing that while half of World War II veterans returned to own or operate a business, only about 6 percent of today’s new ventures are started by veterans.


We refer to World War II veterans as the “Greatest Generation,” according to Connor, not only for their contributions in battle but because of what they did when they came home to rebuild the nation’s economy.


Connor, a graduate of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences who learned leadership and service skills during his time at Northwestern as a member of the Naval ROTC, says veterans have a natural skill set for success in business.


“Veterans know how to take on a mission, get past obstacles, pivot when it makes sense and make quick decisions in an ever-changing environment,” he says. “That capacity is learned in the military, but it has significant application in entrepreneurship.”


The Bunker helps fuel existing veteran-owned technology startups and aspiring entrepreneurs by providing a launching pad for ideas, strategy and networking. But it’s not about simply giving back.


“This isn’t just about what veterans need, this is a lot about what America needs,” Connor says.


The Bunker launched in 2014 at 1871, the digital startup hub based in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. Since then it has expanded to several other cities, including Los Angeles, Austin, Kansas City and Philadelphia.


“Companies need very different things depending on the life stage they’re at, depending on the industry they’re in,” Connor says. “And our job is to sit and listen to the companies and ask ‘What do you need right now?’ It’s about all the people in the room that say, ‘Hey, I know somebody at that company. I can get you an introduction.’ That’s the power of The Bunker.”


Veterans interested in entrepreneurship and new business opportunities can get involved by visiting The Bunker online.


Watch a video on Todd Connor and The Bunker produced for the Big Ten Network.


Read more in the Northwestern News Center. >>



Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) has released “Charting a Course for Growth,” a report that details the school's advancements and milestones during the past year across instructional, research and outreach missions and highlights the academic and professional achievements of the 2015 graduating class -- the school’s largest to date. [Download the report.]

Among the achievements cited are the number of NU-Q alumni who have gone on to pursue graduate studies at top international institutions including Oxford, Harvard, the London School of Economics and New York University, as well as the continued pattern of job placements in major media and communication positions at organizations including the Amiri Diwan, Al Jazeera Network, Total Energy and Petroleum, and Qatar Airways. Another highlight of the year was Northwestern’s ranking among the top universities globally. It was ranked 12th among thousands of US colleges and universities in national rankings, and within the top 25 in the world, which makes it the top-ranked undergraduate university in Education City.

Critical to the university’s continued success and growth were new investments to strengthen the academic curriculum and expand NU-Q’s faculty. Several new courses were added to both the communication and journalism programs, with heavy emphasis on digital content production and the intersection of media and society, including "Market Research on Mobile-Based, Educational Digital Tools." NU-Q’s liberal arts program also continued its efforts to build a foundation for all students, integrating fresh thinking and theory from a broad range of subject areas. Following an international search, the university also added eight new faculty members: four full-time appointments and four adjunct lecturers, with the last two rounds for renewals resulting in 100 percent reappointment.


“With the passing of another year in the life of NU-Q, our community is on a firm forward trajectory,” said Everette E. Dennis, dean and CEO of NU-Q. “As our institution grows, develops and stretches, we must take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate the many ideas that came to fruition and flourished this year. Every member of the NU-Q faculty and staff is guided by the mission to cultivate the potential of each student to become a leader in journalism or communication,” Dennis added. “The record of unparalleled opportunities and outreach initiatives--not only offered, but utilized by students--speaks to the power of an NU-Q education.”


Also this year, NU-Q won major grants for institutional and faculty projects, including a National Priorities Research Grant (NPRP) from the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF). In parallel, a series of globally-recognized thought leadership endeavors such as "Media Use in the Middle East 2015" and the ongoing Qatar Media Industries Forum, seized a critical opportunity to shape the developing industries of media, communication and journalism in Qatar.


By building capacity for responsive and interactive public communication, the pillars of NU-Q’s own strategic plan are closely linked to the advancement of the State of Qatar’s Vision 2030 and its ambitions for economic, human, social and environmental development.


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

Darcy Eikenberg ’86 is a perfect example that it’s never too late to get reconnected to Northwestern.


Although she’d attended the occasional recruiting event or game watch over the years living in Chicago, New York, Connecticut and Atlanta, Darcy never considered herself “involved.”


“I had great friends and colleagues through my Northwestern experiences, but I never thought much about staying connected to the university,” she shared.


But when she decided to move last year to the much smaller Bonita Springs, Florida to be closer to family, she knew she needed to work on making new friends. And the local Northwestern alumni club was a great place to start.


So she updated her Our Northwestern and LinkedIn profiles with her new information and soon got a message from club communications director Chrissi Jackson ’90.


“Chrissi was the first to reach out, offer a friendly face in my new community, and invite me to an event. Then I started learning more about all the amazing things happening at the University, met awesome people, and I was hooked.”


Since then, Darcy has also put her professional expertise as an executive coach and speaker to work for Northwestern leading career networking workshops for the Washington, DC and Miami Alumni Clubs. She also created an energetic webinar for the popular Alumni Career Services series called “Mastering the Art of Bragging: What Today’s Leaders & Other Humble Professionals Need to Know.


She recently joined the board of the NU Club of Greater Naples (which covers Southwest Florida including the Fort Myers area). “I was honored to be able to attend the 2015 Leadership Symposium, where ours was named Club of the Year. I take no credit—all the success has been created by those involved much longer than me--but it was reaffirming to know that the university also recognized the great work I saw happening locally.”


“One thing I love about our Club is that it brings together alumni of all ages, which goes against the stereotypes of Southwest Florida. Our board is a great slice of professional and personal experience, with one member celebrating her 5th reunion and others celebrating their 50th. Where else in the world can you find that?”


Darcy Eikenberg, Northwestern.png


Update your Our Northwestern profile to stay in touch and get involved with your alumni club.


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


Sophomore Michelle Manning scored the game-winning goal in Northwestern's double-overtime victory over Washington State in the first round of the NCAA tournament on November 14.

Northwestern's women's soccer team defeated Washington State in a thrilling double-overtime match November 14 to open the NCAA tournament, advancing to take on No. 2 seed West Virginia in Morgantown, West Virgina, on November 20.


Sophomore Michelle Manning scored the game-winner for the Wildcats, giving them a 1-0 victory. The goal was Manning's third game-winner of the season.


This is the Wildcats' third appearance in the NCAA tournament, and the team's first since 1998.


Chicago's Big Ten Team put together a historic season, despite facing some particularly challenging circumstances. Due to ongoing renovations at Lakeside Field, all of the 'Cats home games and training for the 2015 season were played off campus. Northwestern went 13-5-2 during the regular season with seven Big Ten victories – their most since 1998 – and appeared in the NSCAA polls for the first time in 17 years. Northwestern did not lose a single match against a team ranked outside the RPI top 45 (based on the most current RPI data).

"It is a huge step for us," head coach Michael Moynihan said of making the tournament, before his team beat Washington State. "We have taken a lot of little steps since arriving here [in Evanston], and we can see a lot of changes in the team's mentality and the quality getting better and better…this is a huge step for us."

For more coverage of Northwestern women's soccer, visit


Despite being delayed by a student demonstration, Northwestern broke ground November 13 on Ryan Fieldhouse and the Walter Athletics Center.


The ceremony was interrupted just as it started by several hundred demonstrators who were marching in sympathy with students at the University of Missouri and who called for greater inclusion of African Americans, Native Americans and other diverse groups at Northwestern.

After the students marched out of the groundbreaking ceremony, President Morton Schapiro reassured the event’s attendees, saying, “Whether you agree with everything that was said or not, we really do want students at Northwestern who care about the world. We really do want students who want to make Northwestern better than it is. We really do want students who don’t just go into an ivory tower and forget about Ferguson and the University of Missouri and the rest of the world.”

Approximately 500 people attended the celebratory event, which featured a ceremonial groundbreaking and enthusiastic remarks from student-athletes, key supporters of the project and University leaders.

“This is a transformational day for Northwestern,” said Jim Phillips, vice president for athletics and recreation. “Ryan Fieldhouse and the Walter Athletics Center will provide the best support, training and developmental facilities for Northwestern student-athletes and host campus events such as convocation and Dance Marathon. Northwestern has always offered a world-renowned education, and we’ve always provided outstanding coaching and mentorship for our young men and women. Now, we will proudly say that we are providing world-class facilities for our student-athletes and, indeed, the entire community.”

Construction on the lakefront facility will begin immediately. The facility will include a fieldhouse that will provide a large, indoor multipurpose facility for football practice as well as Olympic sports team practices and competitions, recreational activities and non-sporting events. It will be named Ryan Fieldhouse in honor of the generosity of alumni Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan. The playing surface within Ryan Fieldhouse will be named Wilson Field in honor of a $15 million gift from alumni Stephen R. and Susan K. Wilson.

The facility also will include the Walter Athletics Center, a state-of-the-art facility that will house academic support services for more than 500 student-athletes, a nutrition center and dining facility, a sports performance center, and office space for coaches and administrators. The building is being named in recognition of a $40 million gift from alumni Mark and Kimbra Walter. 

Lacrosse player Spring Sanders, who represented more than 500 Northwestern student-athlete peers, was the first speaker to express her appreciation for the project during the ceremony.

“Today, I am proud to say that Northwestern Athletics is better than it was yesterday, and our future has never been brighter,” she said. “We have one opportunity to be undergraduates, and to be able to do it at a place like Northwestern -- where visions like this amazing new home become reality -- is evidence that we are getting the best experience possible. Thank you again, and ‘Go ’Cats!’”

Ryan Fieldhouse and the Walter Athletics Center will be located adjacent to the existing Henry Crown Sports Pavilion/Norris Aquatics Center and Combe Tennis Center.

Ryan Fieldhouse will include:

  • Wilson Field, a full-sized indoor athletic field that will enable Northwestern’s student-athletes to practice and/or compete indoors during inclement weather.
  • Strength and conditioning space for Olympic sports teams.
  • Seating to accommodate campus events such as University convocations, Dance Marathon and other community functions.
  • Sports medicine facilities.
  • Locker rooms for multiple Wildcats varsity programs.


The Walter Athletics Center will include:

  • Headquarters for Northwestern football, including coaches’ offices, meeting rooms and locker rooms.
  • A football strength and conditioning center.
  • Offices for coaches of numerous varsity teams.
  • A nutrition center and dining facility.
  • Academic and professional development support offices.


“These lakefront athletics facilities are an absolute game changer for our football program, and our entire department,” Dan and Susan Jones Family Head Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “Now we will offer state-of-the-art facilities to holistically develop our student-athletes on and off the field in preparation for the rest of their lives. Like so many of the young people here, this is absolutely the complete package.”

In thanking the donors who made the project possible, Phillips said:

“There is a common thread interwoven amongst this group. Hard working, blue collar, selfless, dedicated. All of them came from humble beginnings. They laid the groundwork for success at this University, and their transformative philanthropy is a reflection of both their life’s work and an unconditional belief in this institution and the effect it has on young men and women.”

The Norris Aquatics Center, home of Wildcats swimming and diving, will be expanded. Enhancements will include a new dryland training area, locker rooms, coaches’ offices and multipurpose meeting space.

The entire project also will incorporate the replacement of three existing recreational basketball courts and an indoor running track currently located in the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion.

Construction of a new outdoor football practice field and renovation of the soccer/lacrosse and field hockey fields that began this summer will provide improved facilities for varsity sports, club sports and intramurals. The renovated soccer/lacrosse field will be named Lanny and Sharon Martin Stadium in honor of a $15 million campaign gift from alumnus J. Landis (Lanny) Martin and his wife, Sharon, while the new football practice field will be named Chap and Ethel Hutcheson Field. A new playing surface at the nearby home of Wildcats field hockey was completed this summer.

In support of the project, Northwestern Athletics and Recreation recently received a new leadership gift of $23 million from University trustees Kimberly K. Querrey and Louis A. Simpson as part of We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern. The gift will be recognized by naming the Kimberly K. Querrey and Louis A. Simpson Wing in the Walter Athletics Center. This space will house a state-of-the-art nutrition center for student-athletes, a dining facility that also will host University events, as well as the academic services, student development and compliance departments. The gift from Querrey and Simpson raises their total support of the “We Will” Campaign to more than $152 million.

Northwestern also recently received a $5 million gift from Mitchell and Valerie Slotnick in support of 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.

“The generosity of Kimberly Querrey and Lou Simpson, along with the Slotnick family and other recent donors, provides tremendous momentum as we move forward on this project,” Phillips said. “We are forever grateful to those leadership donors -- namely the Ryans, Walters, Wilsons and Martins -- who have demonstrated their belief in this project from the outset with unwavering commitment.”

The project also includes the extension of a popular University walking/biking path along the shore of Lake Michigan on Northwestern’s Evanston campus. The path will be extended north around Ryan Fieldhouse/Walter Athletics Center to Campus Drive, thereby linking a city of Evanston bike path on the south end of campus with Lincoln Street, a city-designated bike route, on the north end. When the project is completed, the University’s north beach will be open to Evanston residents.

For complete information on the lakefront facilities, visit

The funds raised through We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern will help realize the transformative vision set forth in Northwestern’s strategic plan and solidify the University’s position among the world’s leading research universities. More information on the Campaign is available at

The Northwestern Alumni Association has been recognized for the success of three of its innovative programs for alumni.


The NAA received awards in October from the regional branch of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for its Dinner with Twelve, Global Ambassadors, and 'Cats Connect programs.


The Dinner with Twelve program enables alumni to host a dinner for current students at their home or a restaurant, with the hope that everyone at the dinner leaves as new friends.


The Global Ambassadors program allows alumni who live outside the United States to volunteer to build relationships with alumni, current and prospective students, and friends of the University in areas that may not already be represented by an international alumni club.


Finally, 'Cats Connect networking events enable current students to get career advice from alumni and give alumni a chance to meet and learn from each other.


For more information about all the NAA's programs for alumni, visit

shotwell170.jpgBusinesswoman, engineer, rocket scientist and mentor are just some of the terms used to describe Gwynne Shotwell '86, '88 MS, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, a commercial space exploration company, and recipient of The Alumnae of Northwestern University’s 2015 Centennial Alumnae Award.


The Alumnae Award recognizes a woman who has brought honor to Northwestern through outstanding professional contributions in her field and who has attained national recognition. Established in 1976, the Alumnae Award has been presented every year to an outstanding alumna who has had a significant impact in her field of endeavor. Educators, journalists, doctors and artists are included among The Alumnae’s roster of award recipients.

Shotwell received, with honors, her bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering in 1986 and her master of science degree in applied mathematics in 1988, both from the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Shotwell was SpaceX’s seventh employee when she joined as vice president of business development in 2002. In that position she helped develop the Falcon rocket family of vehicles, which resulted in more than 50 space launches, representing over $5 billion in revenue. Today as president and chief operating officer, Shotwell is responsible for day-to-day operations, managing over $7 billion in contracts, including multiple contracts with NASA to deliver supplies and eventually crew to and from the International Space Station.

SpaceX has grown to more than 3,500 employees, three launch sites, a rocket-development facility in Texas, and a 550,000-square-foot factory with offices in Hawthorne, California. The company designs, manufactures and tests the majority of the components of its space vehicles in-house. The company is currently making final modifications to its Dragon spacecraft to ready the spacecraft for human transport, and it was recently certified by the United States Air Force to launch national security payloads into space, which represents the largest market for launch services in the world.

SpaceX supports science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs locally near its offices, as well as at national engineering programs and competitions. Through leadership in both corporate and external programs, Shotwell has helped raise more than $1 million for STEM education programs reaching thousands of students nationwide.

“As part of our Centennial celebration, The Alumnae of Northwestern University is extremely proud to present the 2015 Alumnae Award to Gwynne Shotwell,” said Alumnae president Janet Bilandic '84 MBA. “She joins a distinguished group of women from such diverse fields as business, education, journalism, music, medicine, theater and public service. The Alumnae takes great pride in presenting this year’s award to a woman whose life of achievement has brought honor to Northwestern University.”


Shotwell received her award during a November 12 ceremony at the new Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts.

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


From left, George R.R. Martin '70, '71 MS speaks with panelists Orko Manna '16, a Medill senior; Darren Franich, an Entertainment Weekly writer; and Niala Boodhoo '99 MS, a Medill graduate and national vice president of the Asian American Journalists Association, during a November 4 event on the Evanston campus.

During his much anticipated return to campus, Northwestern alumnus George R.R. Martin '70, '71 MS shared frank, warm and often humorous insights about his long journey to super celebrity status following the wild success of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”


The internationally acclaimed best-selling author was on campus November 4 to accept the Hall of Achievement alumni award from the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. The award, the school’s highest honor, recognizes alumni whose careers have had a significant impact on their field.

“A Song of Ice and Fire,” Martin’s beloved, blunt and bawdy fantasy series for adults, was adapted into HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” one of most popular television series in the world. Martin is co-executive producer of the series and has scripted one episode for each of the first four seasons of the show.

“It means a lot for me to have this recognition,” he said during the morning ceremony at Medill. “I was very proud to graduate from Medill, getting my bachelor’s and master’s [degrees] from the finest school of journalism in the United States. But I always felt vaguely guilty, because I failed to do any actual, you know, journalism.”

During the panel discussion in the morning and another one later in the day, Martin repeatedly lauded his training at Medill. He credits his journalism training with shaping his distinctive fiction-writing style “to a great extent.”

Martin had been writing since he was 7, and by the time he got to Medill, he said, his self-described “ornate” style of writing was well developed.

“I never used one adjective where four would fit,” he said, delighting aspiring journalists in the audience who are trained to be adjective adverse. “[Medill] made my writing more muscular and tighter.” But in subsequent years, he admitted, “the adjectives have been coming back in.”

The internship Martin did in Medill’s Washington, D.C., office during his last quarter “was an amazing couple of months,” he said. Often after Martin turned in his copy and returned to the newsroom, he said, an editor known for his rough, old-school style of journalism would bellow from his office “Martin, Martin, too cute.”

During the candid and wide-ranging panel discussions, Martin touched upon the highs and lows of a literary journey that took him from a short-lived position teaching college journalism to writing novels full time in Santa Fe and a move to Hollywood, where he worked as a writer and producer for television shows, including “The Twilight Zone Revisited" and "Beauty and the Beast." When he tried to develop his own show in 1992, the science-fiction pilot “Doorways,” ABC never fully green-lighted the project.

Making a living from a creative career, he said, is not for the faint-hearted. “This is not a profession for anyone who needs security," he said.

But that was then. Now he has to deal with the "strange world of celebrity." In 2011, the year “Game of Thrones” first appeared on HBO, he was named to the “Time 100,” the 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 also has won Hugo, Bram Stoker, Nebula and World Fantasy awards.

More than 60 million copies of his books are in print, and the two most recent installments of the series “A Song of Ice and Fire” spent time at the No. 1 slot on The New York Times Best Sellers list.

To create the conflicted, complex characters that populate his novels, Martin said he turns inward for inspiration, in addition to reading popular history and drawing from his and friends’ experiences. He is interested in characters who reflect the complexity of the human experience, the "black" and "white" impulses that compete for attention in all of us.

“Exploring that is one of the great pleasures of writing fiction,” he said. “The battle between good and evil is fought within the individual human heart every day and every year. People who do noble and heroic things on Tuesday may do something vile and selfish on Wednesday. That’s what I try to get at.”

Both panel discussions were moderated by Darren Franich, an Entertainment Weekly writer, and Niala Boodhoo '99 MS, formerly with "The Afternoon Shift" on WBEZ and now national vice president of the Asian American Journalists Association. The morning discussion also included Medill senior Orko Manna  '16, and the afternoon panel included Medill sophomore Mariana Alfaro '18.

Though Cahn Auditorium, home to many of Northwestern's theater productions, was filled to capacity, Martin's forthrightness, charm and humor in the discussion on stage created an immediate intimacy with the audience. He was in a sense back home, and his wit and the richness of the discussion was not lost on fellow Northwestern community members.

Martin was asked about whether his writing process was affected by his international success and celebrity. "Games of Thrones," he said, doesn’t affect his writing -- “except to turn up the stress” about the release of his forthcoming novel, “The Winds of Winter."

“The show, of course, has caught up to me, which I didn’t actually think would ever happen," he said. "I had such a huge lead, but the truth is, I’m a very slow writer."

Part of the reason his books have gained such extraordinary global readership -- even in far-flung countries such as Mongolia -- Martin said, is because of the universal appeal of the genre of fantasy fiction that he writes.

The legends about “swords, kings and dragons” are common in cultures throughout the world.

But before “Game of Thrones," Martin “washed up at least twice.” After his 1983 novel “Armageddon Rag" -- a critically acclaimed success but a commercial failure -- no publishers wanted his next story. This work in progress, a journalism novel about Jack the Ripper and the tabloid wars in 1890s New York City, remains one of Martin's favorites. He ruminated a bit about perhaps turning his attention to the novel once again.

Martin also touched upon the future of fantasy and science fiction writing in his discussions. The genre is in crisis, he said. Writers of his generation, he said, had a positive outlook about the future. Now pessimism dominates as issues such as pollution, global warming and nuclear proliferation play out in dystopian fiction.


“All of this I think has affected science fiction,” he said. “There’s no belief in this ‘wonderful world of tomorrow’ that awaits us all. We’re afraid of the world of tomorrow.”

Martin believes even tragic and dark stories need an element of hope.

“We all yearn for happy endings, in a sense," he said. "People have asked me how ‘Game of Thrones’ is going to end. I’m not going to tell the specifics, of course, but I’ve always said to expect something bittersweet.”

To say that Medill is proud of one its most famous alums is a great understatement.

“One of the things about a Medill degree is that people go on to do many interesting things," Medill Dean Brad Hamm said. "They have taken the training and skills, and really, the grand liberal arts education, and go on to many different things.”

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

This year professors Benjamin Gorvine and Quincy Stewart have joined the special ranks of generations of Northwestern faculty who share their knowhow with like-minded students by hanging out with them in residential colleges.


Faculty masters provide guidance for each of Northwestern’s 11 residential colleges. Each college is organized around an area or multiple areas of interest including business, science, the arts and broader themes.

gorvine225.jpgThe program continues a long tradition of residence-based learning at Northwestern as the University embarks upon a 10-year master plan to improve the on-campus living experience.

"One of the missions of the residential colleges is to create this small liberal arts environment within the larger university,” said Gorvine (right), associate professor of instruction in psychology and the new faculty master at Shepard Residential College.

“You’re more connected with other students with similar interests, and you get some automatic connections with faculty with whom you may not otherwise connect with in the classroom,” he said.

The living and learning communities are designed to broaden the Northwestern learning experience.

“I didn’t know much about the residential college system here, but I quickly found out that this is a really cool experience,” said Quincy Stewart (below right), associate professor of sociology and the new faculty master at Slivka Residential College of Science and Engineering.

Stewart225.jpg“You get to hang out with really smart students and do some really cool things,” he said. “You get to help them develop intellectually and build a community on campus.”

The master provides intellectual leadership by engaging with student members and encouraging participation by fellows, who are faculty and staff members affiliated with the college.

“A lot of the master's work is indirect in that it involves guiding the student executive board toward putting together a robust and diverse calendar of programming,” said Bradley Zakarin, director of residential academic initiatives in Northwestern’s Division of Student Affairs.

Northwestern News talked with Gorvine, who teaches statistics and research methods in psychology, and Stewart, whose teaching revolves around quantitative methods, about why they were interested in becoming a master, what makes their particular residential college special and more.

Why were you interested in becoming a residential college faculty master?

Gorvine: I’ve been interested in taking on more of a leadership role within the residential colleges. I have been a faculty fellow at the Ayers Residential College of Commerce and Industry for a number of years, and I have just always really enjoyed the type of engagement you can have with undergraduates in the residential college program. One of the really nice things about residential colleges is you get interaction with students that is not centered around evaluating them. It gives you a very different sort of experience.

Stewart: I didn’t know much about the residential college system here, but I quickly found out that this is a really cool experience. You get to hang out with really smart students and do some really cool things. You get to watch them and help them develop intellectually and help build a community on campus.

What type of research do you do, and how will you be able to apply it to your role as a residential college faculty master?

Gorvine: Statistics and research methods in psychology, both core courses for the department, often are the courses that students are least enthusiastic about taking. Sometimes the classroom is kind of an obstruction to engaging with students, and one of the many strengths of the residential college program is that we can have this connection with students. Engagement is kind of a given, and it is built in a way that is often hard to get to in a classroom setting.

Stewart: I teach quantitative methods and statistics at the graduate school level. I also teach an undergraduate course talking about the experience of racial inequality. Everyday individuals engage this system of inequality, both contributing to it and being affected by it.

What is cool about Slivka is that it reminds me of being an undergrad. I get to hang out with students, talk about the different computer programming languages they’re using and what I am doing with data in my own research. It’s neat to see the overlap between the two, because they’re different in respects of substantive topics.

What are you enjoying the most at the start of your faculty master experience?

Stewart: I love seeing different types of theater and finding out what students think about these sorts of things, because they’re often seeing these things for the first time. Living in this type of intellectual environment is a lot of fun.

Gorvine: For me, it’s just exciting to get out of the silo a little bit and be with students who are from very different disciplines. I enjoy the multidisciplinary conversations and hearing about the work students are doing in their different majors and departments.

Why do you think a residential college environment is a good choice for first-year Northwestern students?

Gorvine: There definitely is an advantage to living in an intellectual community. It is nice to land in a community that is set up for you. There are automatic and fast benefits of affiliating with a residential college right away.

Stewart: I agree. I think of it as sort of like choosing a family. The ability to migrate into a family unit and have intentional sorts of activities at such an intense level is something we don’t see anywhere else. For any incoming student, that’s a clear benefit to migrate into a built community that is very welcoming.

What about your specific residential colleges appeal to you?

Stewart: Slivka is somewhat emblematic of myself in that it is quirky, but it is really cool. The students are really excited about almost everything. It seems that anything they do, they do it to the best of their abilities. That’s very appealing to me.

Gorvine: I think for me the multi-thematic aspect of Shepard is really appealing. There are lots of puns also about Shepard students being sheep. I certainly enjoy those. I am learning about the many existing traditions within Shepard. Shepard has moved into a different space this year. I am interested in helping Shepard carry over some of those traditions.

Why do you think it is important for faculty to participate in engagement with students like the residential college program?

Gorvine: One of the benefits of this sort of setup is it provides a structure for students to engage with faculty. I think accessibility to faculty is available to all of our students, but it is sometimes harder to access unless you have the temperament or personality to go out there and initiate the conversations.

Stewart: Northwestern is a really great research university, but what separates us in many respects is that we have a fairly small undergraduate population. Within this undergraduate population, we are able to use a residential college program to really build up the liberal arts. What we can do is create these unique relationships between faculty and students where it is not about how many students we can fit into a classroom, but about how we can educate the individual holistically.

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


A search for two tenure-track faculty as well as for postdoctoral fellows who work in the field of indigenous studies are among the latest Northwestern initiatives to address recommendations from the 2014 task force report on Native American outreach and inclusion.


Conversations and efforts to facilitate a University-wide focus on Native American history, culture and inclusion at Northwestern have been taking place across the University following the task force recommendations, according to an update by the Office of the Provost.  

A major goal is to build a strong group of scholars working in indigenous studies across the University.

Guided by the provost’s office, the conversations have involved just about every area of the University as well as leaders from the Native American community and scholars doing leading work on evolving research about Native American culture, art, health, literature and history.

“We are excited about bringing new faculty to campus in addition to the faculty we’ve hired recently in indigenous studies,” Northwestern Provost Daniel Linzer said. “Their work will address important local, national and global concerns and play a key role in our evolving efforts to integrate Native American scholarship, culture and perspectives into the life of the campus.”

The leadership of Jabbar R. Bennett, who joined Northwestern in July as the inaugural associate provost for diversity and inclusion, will be central to Northwestern’s Native American inclusion efforts. The University also recently announced a search for an assistant director for Native American student outreach and inclusion.

The new assistant director will be jointly employed by Undergraduate Admissions and Multicultural Student Affairs, providing an important bridge for carrying out strategic goals of the two units. He or she will coordinate recruitment of underrepresented students, with an emphasis on Native Americans, and join a team that does programming for the multicultural student population. 

“This new assistant director position provides Northwestern with a great opportunity to advance diversity, a key strategic priority,” Northwestern President Morton Schapiro said. “We strongly believe that people of different backgrounds challenge and broaden our understanding of the world and are integral to the education we provide at Northwestern.”

The initiatives also include new courses, faculty hires and an appointment to an academic chair named after an early Native American alumnus leader.

“The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America” is the recommended “One Book” read for the entire University this year and the centerpiece of lectures, films and other programs. The author, Thomas King, recently participated in discussions related to the book on the Evanston and Chicago campuses.

And this fall, the Dittmar Gallery hosted an exhibit of works by descendants of the Sand Creek Massacre, graphically illustrating the focal point of a study by Northwestern scholars and leading experts in Native American and U.S. history from other universities that led to the formation of the task force and its report on Native American outreach and inclusion.  

The massacre occurred Nov. 29, 1864, when John Evans, one of Northwestern’s founders, was the governor and superintendent of Indian Affairs of the Colorado Territory. During the massacre, U.S. Army Cavalry soldiers slaughtered approximately 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho, most of them women and children. In its aftermath, Evans was forced to resign.

For the second year, a commemoration of the Sand Creek Massacre and other events will take place on campus during Native American Heritage Month in November.

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


The Kellogg School of Management marked a major milestone October 22, “topping off” its 410,000-square-foot Global Hub.

During an evening ceremony, a group of leaders from the Kellogg community, Northwestern University and Kellogg’s Global Advisory Board signed a ceremonial beam commemorating the event. The beam will be placed in the building’s canopy.

Earlier this fall, crews raised the structure’s final beam, securing it at the roofline and achieving the final height of 103 feet. Construction on the building, which began in November 2013, is more than halfway complete and on track for its scheduled opening in early 2017.

“Topping off our new Global Hub is visible evidence of Kellogg’s progress against our strategic plan,” said Dean Sally Blount. “Thanks to the commitment and generosity of the entire Kellogg and Northwestern community, we’re just over a year away from our new home.”

Designed by award-winning Toronto firm KPMB Architects, Kellogg’s new Global Hub promises to foster new forms of learning, idea generation and collaboration for its future inhabitants, which will include Kellogg faculty, staff and students, and Weinberg College’s Department of Economics.

The leading-edge building will boast flexible and adaptive classrooms that can be reconfigured to optimize learning, as well as open and inviting communal spaces that will enable dialogue and debate, collaborative work, spontaneous idea sharing, and inspired problem-solving.

Thanks to an eco-friendly design that will reduce energy consumption at least 30 percent below local code requirements, the hub will be one of the greenest learning environments among MBA schools. Currently, the building is tracking solidly for LEED Gold designation.

“There’s an excitement about this building and what it means for our students,” said Matt Merrick, associate dean of MBA programs. “We’re creating a unique learning and community space that will allow us to adapt and grow far into the future.”

With the exterior well underway, construction is also progressing full speed on all interior spaces including:

  • The Collaboration Plaza: A stunning three-story, 6,000-square-foot atrium that will welcome visitors to Kellogg, while drawing our students, faculty and visiting leaders together.
  • The White Family Auditorium: A two-story, 6,600-square-foot, 350-seat space that will become Chicago’s and Northwestern University’s signature convening space, capable of hosting dinners for 250 or world-renowned lectures for 350.
  • The Faculty Summit: A 9,000-square-foot, two-story piazza that forms the intellectual soul of Kellogg’s Global Hub, where faculty will converge to discuss, debate and find solutions to the most pressing economic, business and social issues of the day.


Construction should be completed over the next year, with mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, partitions, floors, and other final touches concluded by late 2016.

For more information on the Global Hub, visit Kellogg’s Transforming Together campaign site.

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

womens_swim_team.jpgNorthwestern's women's swimming and diving team hosted its fourth Breaststroke 4 Breast Cancer event last month to raise money for breast cancer research at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

This year, the Wildcats raised $6,000, matching the total amount raised in 2014. Held in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the hour-long swim-a-thon took place in the Norris Aquatics Center to raise money for breast cancer research and educational programs. Participants paid to swim with teams in a relay format continually during the hour.

"This year's event was successful in bringing in donations as well as bringing the Northwestern community together," said senior Julia Pratt, a member of the NU swimming and diving team. "We had participants from a wide variety of circles, including student-athletes, members of the Greek community, club and master swimmers, members of the Evanston community, and more. I am eager to see the turnout for next year after having so many first-time participants this year."

The event raised money through donations, participant fees, a bake sale and a silent auction of donated goods. All proceeds benefit the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Center of Northwestern University.

Each participant received a bright pink swim cap and many wore pink clothing, which colored the usually purple-and-white-decorated aquatics center pink for breast cancer awareness.

Breaststroke 4 Breast Cancer started in the summer of 2011 when team member Megan Goss' mother was diagnosed with the disease. Goss became one of the event's founders along with her teammate Jackie Powell. "I am so thankful to be part of such a supportive and loving Wildcat community," Pratt said.

To read the original story, visit


The Wildcats will play in a bowl game this year, and they need your support! Although Northwestern's bowl destination is still undetermined, the Northwestern Alumni Association is working with the University's official bowl travel partner, Sports & Entertainment Travel, to plan an official NAA bowl package, tailgate and other events you won't want to miss.


Sign up now to receive updates about the NAA's bowl travel and event packages. You will be notified immediately when the bowl destination is set and travel packages are available. (Bowl selections will be announced Sunday, December 6.)


For more coverage of Northwestern football, visit


Thanks to Roberta Buffett Elliott’s generous gift in January 2015, the Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Studies is now providing significant funding to launch three new interdisciplinary research groups, five new working groups, and four new or broadened global partnerships as part of the competitive Big Idea and Global Partnership faculty funding initiatives. The first wave of funding will also include support for a major graduate student-led conference.


New Research Groups


Led by Christina Lafont and Karen Alter, the research group on Global Capitalism and Law will examine how laws and legal institutions differentially contribute to creating politically sustainable market economies. The group aims to move beyond debates about the varieties of capitalism to focus on comparative and international dimensions of law as it intersects with economies in advanced industrial, emerging, developing, and global market systems.


The research group Global Politics and Religion under Beth Shakman Hurd and Brannon Ingram will bring together innovative thinkers in search of new understandings of and creative responses to the challenges of socially and religiously diverse worlds. The project also seeks to improve public understanding of such questions by opening pathways beyond the tired alternation between naïve celebration of religion as the source of morality, community, and freedom, and denigration of religion as the root of global instability.


Directed by Rajeev Kinra and Laura Brueck, the Global Humanities Initiative research group will bring much-needed attention not only to the rich humanistic traditions of non-Western voices, but also to their relevance for global development and public policy. This will help make Northwestern a recognized leader in a vital international conversation about the continuing role of the humanities in building a more just, tolerant and humane 21st century. The initiative will be funded through a partnership between the Buffett Institute and the Kaplan Institute for the Humanities.


New Working Groups


Christopher Bush and Nasrin Qader will lead the working group, French and the Global Humanities, to actively rework the scholarly, pedagogical, and institutional parameters of what it means to study French language and culture for the global future.


The working group on Andean Cultures and Histories, led by Jorge Coronado and Sherwin Bryant, will address how the idea of the Andes as a region has been elaborated in written traditions and scholarship, and how the inhabitants of the region have sought to elaborate their relation to land, history, and global flows in the region. The group will enrich Northwestern's engagement with the Andes through a variety of programming, outreach, and scholarly projects.


The Global Research University is a new working group led by Jackie Stevens, Stephen Eisenman, and Jessica Winegar. They will develop a research agenda with other scholars to systematically study the potential benefits and concerns of foreign satellite campuses for the mission of a university.


The working group on Russian and Eastern European Studies, administered by Clare Cavanagh, will combine strengths across disciplines to create a new kind of regional research, conceived not in the shadow of the Cold War, but with an eye both to the enormous geopolitical changes that have marked the region over recent decades, and to the needs of a 21st-century university.


The Northwestern Forum for Languages and Cultures working group—led by John Paluch, Christiane Rey, and Deborah Rosenberg—will offer opportunities for students, faculty, and staff in all our colleges and schools to participate in language- and culture-based initiatives focused on expanding the study of foreign languages and cultures beyond the classroom. Given the centrality of foreign languages to an education in our globalized world, this group will spur local and global initiatives in the direction of both academic research and social engagement.


New Partnerships Strengthen Northwestern’s Global Connections


Roberta Buffett Elliott’s gift also helped to grow and strengthen Northwestern’s relationship with key institutions and partners around the world. The French Interdisciplinary Group, a long-standing Buffett working group, will pursue a new faculty group with colleagues at Sciences Po to promote exchanges, dual degrees, and joint research projects.


The Program of African Studies, led by Will Reno, will now collaborate with local partners in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, and other African countries to study the changing character of violence and the state.


The Comparative-Historical Social Science workshop, another long-time Buffett group, will continue its highly successful graduate exchange and summer conference program with the Max Planck Institute in Cologne, Sciences Po in Paris, the European University Institute in Florence, and Columbia University in New York City.


Finally, Dilip Gaonkar and the School of Communication will partner with the London School of Economics to address the fundamental challenges that the fast-changing media, communication, and information environment pose for today’s world.


The Buffett Institute’s Inaugural Graduate Student Conference


Additionally, support from the recent gift has enabled Northwestern PhD students from anthropology, political science, and history to design and execute a two-day conference for fellow graduate students and top scholars from around the world titled “Islam and the State.” This year’s conference will probe the enduring entanglement of Islam and modern statehood. The students will solicit comparative paper submissions, invite keynote speakers, and host various panels and receptions on the topic.


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



After winning a fellowship from the renowned Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Northwestern University in Qatar alumnus Zach Hollo has published an in-depth investigation into the impact of climate change on one of India’s poorest communities.


Hollo, who graduated in May 2015, spent his summer in Visakhapatnam, a city on India’s southeast coast hit hard by the devastating Cyclone Hudhud in 2014. His project, “India: Poverty in the Age of Climate Change,” looked at the storm’s impact on the city's slums, delving into the lives of individuals who lost their homes and were forced into debt.


Hollo became a Pulitzer Center Student Fellow following the center’s February announcement that it would select one NU-Q student for the prestigious fellowship. The fellowship came with a $3,000 reporting grant and one-on-one mentoring from the center’s network of seasoned international reporters. NU-Q was the first school outside the United States to partner with the center on this program.


“There have always been amazing opportunities to travel as an NU-Q student, through class trips, service learning trips, or the independent project travel program,” said Hollo. “The partnership adds a great opportunity to travel the world and get some great reporting under your belt at a young age.”


Hollo’s work appeared in two international publications: PRI’s The World and The Wilson Quarterly, which published a long form piece, “Guardian of the Dispossessed: An Economic Dissident in Modern India.” In these pieces, Hollo paints a chilling portrait of climate change’s hardest-hit victims: the economically disenfranchised who, he maintains, bear little responsibility for global carbon emissions. A natural gift for photography and videography illuminated Hollo's written reporting, centering on the lives of people like Surama Eesar, an elderly day laborer struggling to find work, and Tirupathirao Mittireddi, who is struggling to repay a $780 loan he took out to feed his family after the storm.


“Zach was absolutely wonderful to work with,” said Kem Sawyer, his mentor at the Pulitzer Center. “His stories are filled with strong characters who tell frank and deeply moving stories.”


Zach’s work has also appeared in The New York Times, Huffington Post, Albawaba and Doha News, where he reported on migrant labor issues.


“NU-Q students and alumni are thriving in a highly competitive and rapidly changing global media landscape. We are enormously proud of Zach and the many other NU-Q students who venture into communities at home and abroad to craft stories that make an impact,” said Everette E. Dennis, dean and CEO of NU-Q. “Prestigious and professional opportunities like these are a tenet of an NU-Q education.”


For 2015-2016, The Pulitzer Center will continue to offer this and other fellowship opportunities to cultivate aspiring young reporters at NU-Q.


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


Click on the interactive map above to travel around the world with Northwestern's 26 Fulbright winners and learn more about their life-changing projects.


From tutoring North Korean defectors to researching solar energy and hazardous medical waste, Northwestern University Fulbright scholars are pursuing their dreams and working to make a difference abroad.

A near-record 26 students and alumni accepted the Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant to teach, conduct research, study or participate in service organizations for the 2015-16 academic year. An additional three grants were offered but declined.

The newest Fulbright winners have academic backgrounds ranging from mechanical engineering to art history. They will be serving in all corners of the world, from South Africa and Germany to South Korea, Russia, Morocco, Peru, Vietnam and Jordan.


The Fulbright is among the most widely recognized and respected international exchange programs in the world. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the grants aim to foster leadership and build understanding between scholars and researchers in the United States and around the world.

For a list of Northwestern's 2015-16 Fulbright winners, visit the Northwestern News Center.



Emily Baldwin (center), who has spent much of her college career on the stage and behind the scenes in Northwestern theater productions designed to lift the curtain for all audiences, visited 13 theater companies and organizations in the UK. (Photo by Rafi Letzter.)

Last summer, Emily Baldwin followed her passion to the United Kingdom, to the heart of a budding theater movement for special needs audiences.


A drama enthusiast since the age of 6, the School of Communication senior used funding from an undergraduate research grant to learn firsthand about a movement that truly has made theater a welcoming place for youth and for people with autism and other developmental differences.

Baldwin, who has spent much of her college career on the stage and behind the scenes in myriad theatrical productions at Northwestern, visited 13 theater companies and organizations in the UK.

A highlight of her research was volunteering in Wales at Hijinx Unity Festival, which celebrates the best inclusive and disability arts from around the world.

“I believe that access to arts is a human right and that not having access to arts is a way that society tells you that you don’t matter,” Baldwin said.

She has been active in two theater groups led by Northwestern students attempting to lift the curtain for all audiences. Purple Crayon Players produces and performs theater for young audiences, while Seesaw Theatre caters to audience members living with autism and other developmental differences. Both were created on the premise that all people deserve the opportunity to experience theater.

Baldwin is the director of Seesaw Theater’s annual production this year. “We create original productions using new theatrical experiences for people who are on the autism spectrum and others with developmental differences,” she said. “We still have a long way to go, and I wanted to learn from the masters.”

Baldwin has been involved in “The Lilliput Troupe,” “Big Love” and “With Two Wings,” among other productions, and has learned a great deal about herself and her craft.

She has come to understand the limitations of traditional theater, especially where young audiences and people with special needs are concerned.

“The work that we do by creating performances designed for people who don’t want to or are unable to sit in a dark theater for two hours and quietly watch a play, that’s how we make the statement to the world that everyone deserves art,” she said.

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

What led you to do this research project?

I’ve been involved in theater since I was 6. It opened up a whole new world to me. Now, through the student-run theater groups I work with at Northwestern, I make theater for people who are often excluded from traditional theater spaces. They are the audience I wish to serve.

How has your Northwestern education informed your professional ambition?

I came to Northwestern knowing I wanted to do theater for young audiences and theater education. Through exceptional professors, like Michael Rohd, I’ve been introduced to a whole new world of theater and community engagement.

Professor Rohd is a foundational figure in the world of civic engagement, which is basically artists using their tools as artists in conjunction with community groups. It’s really transforming theater from a performance as the end in and of itself to a tool for engagement. So that’s been totally inspiring for me.  

Talk about your research and what you’ve accomplished in the U.K.

My research focused on both arts and audiences with different learning abilities. I spent time with 13 theater companies and organizations. I volunteered in Wales at Hijinx Unity Festival, which celebrates the best inclusive and disability arts from around the world. And I got to see not only the range of performances that fall in this field, but also that sense of community shared by the people responsible for it.

What role has your involvement with student theater groups had on your path?

My interest in this specific area of theater stems from the work of other students. I would not have made it to London on a research grant without Seesaw and the students who started the group. As a first-year student, I went to see their debut performance, and I was totally blown away by the artistic quality, the creativity and the impact it had. That was my inspiration. 

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


Northwestern University School of Law alumnus J.B. Pritzker and his wife, M.K. Pritzker, have made a $100 million gift that will significantly advance the mission and vision of Pritzker’s alma mater, one of the nation’s leading law schools.


In recognition of the Pritzkers' gift—the largest single gift ever to any law school—the 156-year-old school has been named the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.


Northwestern President Morton Schapiro and Law School Dean Daniel B. Rodriguez made the announcement during an event at the Law School on October 22.


The Pritzkers’ game-changing gift will allow the best students, no matter what their socio-economic background, to get a legal education at one of the top law schools in the country. In addition, it simultaneously focuses on the advancement of the study of law, business, and technology, and on public interest initiatives in the areas of civil and human rights.


The funding will help support and advance the Law School’s strategy of developing new kinds of highly marketable lawyers—creative, constructive problem-solvers armed with entrepreneurial and multidisciplinary skills, resolutely committed to social justice and the rule of law. 


The gift supports several social justice centers at Northwestern Law School, including the Center on Wrongful Convictions, the Children and Family Justice Center, the Center on International Human Rights, the Environmental Law Center, and other key programs to improve civil society and implement justice.


The gift will also permanently endow and rename the Law School’s Entrepreneurship Law Center; it will become the Donald Pritzker Entrepreneurial Law Center, honoring J.B. Pritzker’s father, who was co-founder and chief executive of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. The gift also will support endeavors to develop students’ entrepreneurial skills and to advance law-business-technology initiatives, including the Master of Science in Law program for professionals employed in the scientific, engineering and medical fields.


“Our increasingly complex and dynamic world demands lawyers who are trained to tackle difficult legal and policy problems and to work imaginatively at the interface of law, business and technology,” said Rodriguez. “This extraordinary gift will help provide the financial foundation for this law school to produce a new breed of highly skilled, adaptive lawyers—creative, constructive problem-solvers armed with multidisciplinary skills and resolutely committed to social justice and the rule of law.”  


The Pritzker gift will benefit future generations of Northwestern law students and faculty, said President Schapiro. “J.B. and M.K. are such good friends of the University, and their extraordinary commitment will allow a bold future for an already great law school,” he said.


The Pritzkers are longtime Northwestern supporters. They have made gifts to the University for 16 consecutive years, and are members of NU Loyal, Northwestern’s giving society that recognizes consecutive years of giving.


The gift honors the significant contributions of the Pritzker family to the fields of law, business and public service. Nicholas J. Pritzker arrived in Chicago in 1881 and grew up an immigrant in poverty. He was admitted to the Illinois College of Law in 1900 and put himself through school, eventually building a highly successful law practice.


J.B.’s father, Donald Pritzker, was co-founder and the chief executive who built the Hyatt Hotels Corporation into a global hospitality brand.


Three generations after Nicholas Pritzker raised himself out of poverty, the Pritzker family has become one of the nation’s most successful business families and attributes its success to the study of law and to entrepreneurship. Following Nicholas’s lead, Pritzker family members, including the benefactors of this gift, J.B. and M.K. Pritzker, remain committed to improving the communities in which they live. The naming of the Law School honors the history and the successive generations of the Pritzker family and its dedication to the principles of American law and the practice of ethics and values in entrepreneurial American business.


J.B. Pritzker received his J.D. from Northwestern Law in 1993. Equal to his philanthropic support has been his strong dedication and longstanding service to both the Law School and the University. He is a life member of the Northwestern Law Board, and he joined the University's Board of Trustees in 2004.


J.B. Pritzker is cofounder and managing partner of Pritzker Group. He is a leader in the Chicago entrepreneurship community and has been the key driver in growing and strengthening the entrepreneurship, innovation and technology sectors. His venture capital firm is one of the largest and most successful in the nation.


M.K. Pritzker is a director of the Pritzker Family Foundation and serves as a trustee of the Northwestern Memorial Foundation. She is also founder of the Evergreen Invitational Foundation, which supports innovative programs and research studies at Northwestern Memorial Hospital that further explore and address important women’s health issues.


In September 2014, the Law School announced Motion to Lead: The Campaign for Northwestern Law, the largest fundraising campaign in the school’s history, to support financial aid, curricular innovation and social justice initiatives.

Boys, especially African American boys, are falling behind — both behaviorally and educationally — according to new Northwestern University research.


Young males, it appears, are extra sensitive to disadvantage, perhaps because poor families are more likely to be led by single mothers, and young boys lack male role models.


The research team, which included David Figlio and Krzysztof Karbownik of Northwestern, David Autor and Melanie Wasserman of M.I.T., and Jeffrey Roth of the University of Florida, analyzed birth, health and education records for more than 1 million Florida children to figure out why boys are falling behind.


They found the effects of family instability are worse for boys than for girls, in particular African American boys.


Relative to their sisters, boys born to poorly educated, unmarried mothers show a higher incidence of truancy and behavioral problems throughout elementary and middle school, perform worse on standard tests, are less likely to graduate high school and are more likely to commit series crimes as juveniles.


"A surprising implication of these findings is that, when compared with white siblings, black boys fare worse than their sisters in significant part because black children — both boys and girls — are raised in more disadvantaged environments,” the researchers wrote in the working paper, which was recently presented at an Education Writers Association conference in Chicago.


“Family disadvantage is responsible for a large chunk of the gender gap,” Figlio said. “We don't know precisely how disadvantage affects the gap, or if some elements of disadvantage matter more than others, but if we want to improve the outcomes of African American boys, reducing disadvantage would be a good place to start.”


Both disadvantage and gender should be considered when devising ways to help poor children, said Figlio, the Orrington Lunt Professor of Education and Social Policy and of Economics and the director of the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) at Northwestern. Karbownik is a visiting scholar at IPR.


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

Library_0293.JPGEVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University’s One Book One Northwestern selection committee is seeking recommendations for the 2016-2017 academic year.


Book suggestions should include: title, author, number of pages, a short summary and a brief description of why this book would make a good common read.


Submit proposals via the electronic form by the deadline, Friday, Nov. 13. Those who do not have a Google account are invited to submit proposal via email.


Have a question? Contact One Book One Northwestern at


The committee will review initial proposals and invite a smaller number of full proposals for more detailed consideration before making recommendations to President Morton Schapiro.


This year’s selection is “The Inconvenient Indian; A Curious Account of Native People in North America,” penned by Thomas King.


The writer and activist spent last week on the Evanston campus. During the One Book One Northwestern keynote address Wednesday, King spoke about his passion for storytelling, the power of humor and the bleak future facing Native Americans.


Please note: The selected book should be available in paperback and digital formats by May 1, 2016. The book will be distributed to incoming students during the summer in preparation for the fall quarter.


The One Book One Northwestern program is sponsored by the Office of the President. The selection committee, chaired by Eugene Lowe, assistant to the president, includes students, faculty and staff.


Read more in Northwestern News. >>


An architect's rendering of the new Lakefront Athletics and Recreation Complex. Northwestern University will break ground on the complex at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13.


EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University will break ground on the next step in its new Lakefront Athletics and Recreation Complex on Northwestern’s Evanston campus at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13. Construction will begin immediately. In support of the project, Northwestern Athletics and Recreation recently received a new leadership gift of $23 million from University trustees Kimberly K. Querrey and Louis A. Simpson as part of We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern.


The Lakefront Athletics and Recreation Complex will include a fieldhouse that will provide a large, indoor multipurpose facility for football practice as well as Olympic sports team practices and competitions, recreational activities and non-sporting events. It will be named Ryan Fieldhouse in honor of the generosity of alumni Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan. The playing surface within Ryan Fieldhouse will be named Wilson Field in honor of a $15 million gift from alumni Stephen R. and Susan K. Wilson.


The complex also will include the Walter Athletics Center, a state-of-the-art facility that will house academic support services for more than 500 student-athletes, a nutrition center and dining facility, a sports performance center, and office space for coaches and administrators. The building is being named in recognition of a $40 million gift from alumni Mark and Kimbra Walter.


“This is a landmark day for our entire campus community,” said Jim Phillips, vice president for athletics and recreation. “Ryan Fieldhouse and the Walter Athletics Center will provide the finest support, training and developmental facilities for Northwestern student-athletes in an incomparable location. This transformational facility will seamlessly integrate athletics into the heart of campus, offer new recreational opportunities for Northwestern students, faculty and staff, and enhance the use of the lakefront by the entire Evanston community. We are tremendously excited to begin construction and realize this vision.”


The groundbreaking ceremony will include comments from Northwestern President Morton Schapiro, Phillips, and Dan and Susan Jones Family Head Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald, as well as the Ryans and the Walters.


Ryan Fieldhouse and the Walter Athletics Center will be located adjacent to the existing Henry Crown Sports Pavilion/Norris Aquatics Center and Combe Tennis Center.


Ryan Fieldhouse will include:


  • Wilson Field, a full-sized indoor athletic field that will enable Northwestern’s student-athletes to practice and/or compete indoors during inclement weather.
  • Strength and conditioning space for Olympic sports teams.
  • Seating to accommodate campus events such as University convocations, Dance Marathon and other community functions.
  • Sports medicine facilities.
  • Locker rooms for multiple Wildcats varsity programs.

The Walter Athletics Center will include:

  • Headquarters for Northwestern football, including coaches’ offices, meeting rooms and locker rooms.
  • A football strength and conditioning center.
  • Offices for coaches of numerous varsity teams.
  • A nutrition center and dining facility.
  • Academic and professional development support offices.

The Norris Aquatics Center, home of Wildcats swimming and diving, will be expanded.  Enhancements will include a new dryland training area, locker rooms, coaches’ offices and multipurpose meeting space.

The entire project also will incorporate the replacement of three existing recreational basketball courts and an indoor running track currently located in the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion.

Construction of a new outdoor football practice field and renovation of the soccer/lacrosse and field hockey fields that began this summer will provide improved facilities for varsity sports, club sports and intramurals. The renovated soccer/lacrosse field will be named Lanny and Sharon Martin Stadium in honor of a $15 million campaign gift from alumnus J. Landis (Lanny) Martin and his wife, Sharon, while the new football practice field will be named Chap and Ethel Hutcheson Field. A new playing surface at the nearby home of Wildcats field hockey was completed this summer.

The most recent leadership gift, a $23 million commitment, will be recognized by naming the Kimberly K. Querrey and Louis A. Simpson Wing in the Walter Athletics Center. This space will house a state-of-the-art nutrition center for student-athletes, a dining facility that also will host University events, as well as the academic services, student development and compliance departments. The gift from Querrey and Simpson raises their total support of the “We Will” Campaign to more than $152 million.

Northwestern also recently received a $5 million gift from Mitchell and Valerie Slotnick in support of Athletics and Recreation. In recognition of the family’s generosity, Northwestern will name the atrium of Ryan Fieldhouse the Mitchell and Valerie Slotnick Atrium.

“The generosity of Kimberly Querrey and Lou Simpson, along with the Slotnick family and other recent donors, provides tremendous momentum as we move forward on this project,” Phillips said. “We are forever grateful to those leadership donors -- namely the Ryans, Walters, Wilsons and Martins -- who have demonstrated their belief in this project from the outset with unwavering commitment.”

The Lakefront Athletics and Recreation Complex project also includes the extension of a popular University walking/biking path along the shore of Lake Michigan on Northwestern’s Evanston campus. The path will be extended north around Ryan Fieldhouse/Walter Athletics Center to Campus Drive, thereby linking a city of Evanston bike path on the south end of campus with Lincoln Street, a city-designated bike route, on the north end. When the project is completed, the University’s north beach will be open to Evanston residents.

For complete information on the Lakefront Athletics and Recreation Complex visit

The funds raised through We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern will help realize the transformative vision set forth in Northwestern’s strategic plan and solidify the University’s position among the world’s leading research universities. More information on the campaign is available at

Read more in Northwestern News. >>

tanvas.jpgThree of the 24 companies honored at the 14th annual Chicago Innovation Awards in October have ties to Northwestern Engineering.

Tanvas, Ampy and CoApt were among the two dozen companies honored at the Midwest’s largest annual celebration of innovation. The teams received trophies in Harris Theater before a 1,000-person crowd.

The Chicago Innovation Awards recognize the most innovative new products or services brought to market or to public service in the Chicago region. This year’s awards had 535 nominations, which were whittled down to 100 finalists by 12 judges.

Northwestern startups Tanvas and Ampy received two of the 10 “Up-and-Comer” Awards, which honor the most innovative new companies and help connect them with funding, mentors and other business resources. Founded by mechanical engineering professors Ed Colgate and Michael Peshkin (above), Tanvas has a patented technology that allows users to feel textures on flat, glass touchscreens.

ampy.jpgAmpy, a startup founded by three materials science and engineering graduate students — Tejas Shastry '11, Mike Geier, and Alex Smith (right) — has developed a wearable device that transforms kinetic energy into battery power.

CoApt, a collaborative effort between Northwestern and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), received the competition’s sole Collaborative Award. The award was given for a new technology, called Complete Control, that enables prosthetics to perform complex and natural motions. CoApt was founded by RIC’s Blair Lock along with Todd Kuiken, Jonathon Sensinger, and Levi Hargrove, all of whom have appointments at the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Feinberg School of Medicine, and RIC. Sensinger also received his PhD in biomedical engineering from Northwestern in 2007.

The winners are invited to ring the NASDAQ closing bell in New York City, and they have an opportunity to meet with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

To read the original story, visit the McCormick School of Engineering's website.





















Northwestern broke ground November 6 on a new residence hall at 560 Lincoln St., launching the first new construction as part of a housing master plan designed to improve the on-campus student living experience.


The event on the Evanston campus marks a major milestone in the implementation of the University’s master plan for upgrading student housing, a project involving multiple building renovations and the construction of five new residence halls over the next decade.


The student a cappella group THUNK performed a Daft Punk song at the groundbreaking, where trustees, staff, faculty, students and parents gathered in a bright, festive tent on a brisk afternoon. The event was held at the site of what will be the first residence hall the University has constructed since 2002.


“Northwestern is a world-class university, and its living and learning environments should be world-class, too,” said Patricia Telles-Irvin, vice president for student affairs. “Our students have told us that improving on-campus housing is one of their top priorities, and, by working closely with them, we’re accomplishing this goal.


“We surveyed them, and we have been listening,” she added. “I can’t wait to come back to this site in 2017 to see how our creative and collaborative residents are using the new building.”


As part of We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern, the University is working to enhance the campus community and the well-being of all students. The new residence hall at the north end of campus will rise on the site of the old “Peanut Row” of fraternity houses, which were demolished in 2012 after the fraternities moved to other locations on campus.


Located just north of Kemper Hall, the new building has been designed to reflect the nearby architecture and campus character, while having a modern and functional floor plan and suite-style housing. It will feature ample study, meeting, social and common lounge space intended to foster a sense of community, encourage dialogue and spark innovation.


The multi-story residence hall will have 422 beds, multi-purpose rooms and lounges with large glass windows -- some of them overlooking Lake Michigan -- in a 140,000-square-foot building. Construction is expected to begin in early December, with occupancy expected in fall 2017.


Approximately 4,000 students, or half of Northwestern’s undergraduates, live in residence halls. The halls are critical to enriching the Northwestern experience. Ideally, they are the harmonious spaces where students unwind after a long day to rest, talk, study, learn and innovate together as well as meet fellow residents with whom they may form lifelong friendships.


Jack Heider ’17, president of the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and a junior from St. Louis studying chemical engineering, also spoke and offered a current student’s perspective on campus life and how important new and improved residence halls are to the students.


“I felt completely unprepared when I came to Northwestern. It was nothing like my high school, and I truly felt out of my depth,” Heider said. “I really only began to feel like I belonged after making friends with the other freshmen I lived with in Sargent Hall. I realized that I was living with dozens of people who had similar issues.


“To me, that’s why the residence halls are so important: They give you one of your first and most lasting networks of support and friendship at Northwestern,” Heider added. “I owe some of my happiest memories and closest friendships to the three halls I’ve lived in, and I know many other students do as well.”


Telles-Irvin thanked numerous people whose work has been instrumental in shaping the housing master plan and helping make it a reality, and she especially credited President Morton Schapiro “for being such a champion of all of the things going on here today.”


She also singled out two key people on her team whose leadership has been critical on the project: Paul Riel, executive director of residential services, and Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, associate vice president for student affairs.


“By the time the plan is completed a decade from now, we will have renovated 11 residence halls and built five new ones,” Telles-Irvin told the group at the groundbreaking ceremony. “We’ve already completed the renovations of several residence halls -- either renovated or refurbished already. We are working on three more this coming year.


“The improvements have been embraced by students,” she said.


After their remarks, Telles-Irvin, Heider -- along with Payne-Kirchmeier, Riel and trustees Gordon Segal '60 and Steve Cahillane '87 -- donned hard hats and went outside the tent for the formal groundbreaking, using ceremonial shovels to turn over the dirt on the site of the new building.


Over the next 10 years, the housing master plan will improve vital campus spaces for students and contribute to a stronger Northwestern experience.


Under the leadership of student affairs, the University has been developing the housing master plan since 2012. It encompasses previous studies and follows the work of Northwestern’s 2009 Evanston Campus Framework Plan, which set a framework to guide the future development of the campus.


The housing master plan specifically focuses on improving the student residential experience through a combination of renovation and new construction projects that will reposition housing offerings to meet student market demand and increase on-campus undergraduate capacity.


As part of the plan, five new residence halls will be constructed, beginning with 560 Lincoln Street. The other four halls -- two slated for the north end of campus and two for the south end -- will further serve to advance the goals of the master plan by adding more state of the art housing facilities to the campus.


The plan also includes full renovations for the following residence halls:

  • 1835 Hinman
  • East Fairchild
  • Foster-Walker Complex
  • Goodrich House [Currently under renovation]
  • Jones Residential College
  • North Mid-Quads [Completed]
  • Public Affairs Residential College (PARC) [Currently under renovation]
  • Shepard Residential College [Currently under renovation]
  • South Mid-Quads [Completed]
  • West Fairchild
  • Willard Residential College


The housing master plan work started in fall 2013 and is expected to be completed in fall 2025.


For more information on the plan and a project timeline, click here.


For answers to frequently asked questions about the plan, click here.


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

Alexandra_Hua_China.JPGBy Julie Deardorff


To see where the 2015-16 Fulbright Scholars are located, view the interactive map.


EVANSTON, Ill. -- From tutoring North Korean defectors to researching solar energy and hazardous medical waste, Northwestern University Fulbright scholars are pursuing their dreams and working to make a difference abroad.


A near-record 26 students and alumni accepted the Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant to teach, conduct research, study or participate in service organizations for the 2015-16 academic year. An additional three grants were offered but declined.


The newest Fulbright winners have academic backgrounds ranging from mechanical engineering to art history. They will be serving in all corners of the world, from South Africa and Germany to South Korea, Russia, Morocco, Peru, Vietnam and Jordan.


The Fulbright is among the most widely recognized and respected international exchange programs in the world. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the grants aim to foster leadership and build understanding between scholars and researchers in the United States and around the world.


To apply for the next round, enrolled undergraduate and graduate students must contact Northwestern University’s Office of Fellowships. Alums are also welcome to apply through the Office of Fellowships. Contact Sara Anson Vaux, director of the office of fellowships, at, 847-491-2617, or Stephen Hill, senior associate director of the office of fellowships, at


The 2015-16 Fulbright winners are:


Michael Aleman (Warrenville, Ill.) -- Higher healthcare spending in Bali has increased the amount of hazardous medical waste that washes up on the island's beaches, endangering public health. Aleman, a mechanical engineering major, will assess the type and amount of medical waste produced by the largest public hospital in Bali, create the framework for a waste management program and present the results to heads of major hospitals and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Indonesia will serve as a test-case for better waste tracking techniques. Outside his research, Aleman will collaborate with a local rock climbing group to set up new public access climbing routes around the island.


Evelyn Atwater (Grand Rapids, Mich.) -- Atwater will teach English in Germany. Previously, she tutored German and English to advanced students and those with learning disabilities. Atwater plans to bring creativity, enthusiasm, dedication, intellectual curiosity, music and adaptability into a German classroom.


Izora Baltys (McHenry, Ill.) -- Inspired by a previous study abroad program in Ghana, Baltys applied for a Fulbright to South Africa to immerse herself in "an entirely new country, culture and context." Baltys will spend the year teaching English language courses in a secondary school. She plans to launch a tutoring program for under-served students who are preparing for exams that South Africa requires for students to graduate high school and enter university.  “Education is the root of -- and solution to -- our most grave social and societal problems,” she said.


Eleanor Burgess (Tucson, Ariz.) -- Focusing on elderly, chronically ill patients, Burgess will research creating an online health community for at-home kidney dialysis patients in Britain. The project will tackle two enduring problems for this population -- isolation and lack of reliable information. Burgess has started a master’s degree program in technology entrepreneurship at University College London (UCL). She collaborates with the British Kidney Patient Association.


Elizabeth Harrington Derderian (Chicago, Ill.) -- A doctoral candidate in the department of anthropology, Derderian will study the culture, artists and audiences in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Museums can create both a national history and a heritage; Derderian will explore how this happens when the majority of culture workers and audiences are from other lands. She will specifically look at how the staff at the new Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Louvre Abu Dhabi build and cultivate audiences amongst Emirati citizens, as well as the migrant majority population. “My study will address key shifts in the ways museums produce ‘belonging’ in the current transnational, capitalist era,” she said.


Yuri Doolan (Eastlake, Ohio)  -- Doolan will be conducting research in Seoul, South Korea, looking at the Korean/American communities that surround U.S. Army bases. Doolan will focus on Itaewon, home to the Japanese Imperial Army until it became an American military camptown after World War II. The neighborhood, a haven for fun and recreation for off-duty American G.I.s, is best known as a tourist shopping area. Doolan will examine the historical relationship between Yongsan Garrison, Itaewon, and the local Korean residents whose livelihoods and everyday realities have been shaped by the persistent U.S. military presence.


Phyllis Dugan (Widomer, Calif.) -- While at the University of London’s Institute of Education, Dugan will pursue a master’s degree in digital media culture and education. The program’s interdisciplinary approach will allow her to address the relationship between digital media education and the diverse learning styles and backgrounds of all students. Conducting this research will help her design the structure for her own digital media education space, ATLAS.


Blair Dunbar (Geneva, Ill.) -- Dunbar will continue to research the less explored, sporadic and non-violent acts of disobedience that occurred throughout the Russian countryside after the Emancipation of 1861 and prior to the Russian Revolution of 1905. Dunbar also will study Russian through a Critical Language Enhancement Award, a stipend for intensive language study. Ultimately, she hopes her research will help revise the peasant mythology commonly espoused through such famous works as Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina,” leading to a better understanding of the Russian people.


Abigail Gary (Portland, Ore.) -- Gary, an English as a Second Language (ESL) volunteer for more than four years, will teach English in Peru. “Having studied and lived in Latin America, I am pursuing new challenges and opportunities to immerse myself in the region,” she said. “My experience teaching ESL and interest in developing education systems make Peru, which is currently prioritizing English education, an ideal match.”


Panagiota Tania Karas (Palos Park, Ill.) -- Karas will explore how Greece, a "gateway" to Europe for asylum-seekers, can absorb an enormous increase in undocumented immigrants as the Middle East and North Africa erupt in violence and civil wars.  Complicated by Greece’s exit from its financial crisis, her project will explore the story through journalistic articles in general-interest publications, regular social media posts from the field and scholarly articles.


Vivian Kelly (Skokie, Ill.) -- Dedicated to studying the language, history and culture of Korea, Kelly will experience it first-hand as an English teacher. “Volunteering and training to teach English as a Second Language to adults and working as a tutor to middle school girls has solidified my love of teaching,” she said.


Iga Kozlowska (Casselberry, Fla.) -- Kozlowska, who researches transnational identities in an increasingly globalized world, will return to her birthplace to study memory reconstruction and history through the European Network Remembrance and Solidarity in Warsaw. “Sociology has helped me to understand the world around me and how people form community, identity and interact with others,” she said. Kozlowksa, who grew up in Winter Park, Florida, writes on a variety of foreign policy developments relevant to the trans-Atlantic community on her blog From Moscow to Washington.


Lena Krause (Berkeley Heights, N.J.) -- Krause, who majored in theatre while also pursing French and Arabic, will use storytelling techniques to teach English in Marrakech, Morocco. Using narration and improvisation, her fluency workshops will include the Moroccan oral storytelling tradition as well as personal stories. Krause will be working with Hikayat Morocco, a non-profit organization seeking to preserve Morocco's dying tradition of hikayat storytelling. “As global exchange demands more and more competency in foreign languages, methods such as storytelling could supplement or improve learning in the classroom,” Krause said. “To be globally competitive, Morocco needs higher quality English language instruction, especially at advanced levels.”


Todor Kukushliev (Glenview, Ill.) -- Kukushliev earned a degree in biochemical engineering and will work in Laura De Laporte's research lab at the DWI-Leibniz Institute, Germany. His research involves polynippam, a polymer that changes its rigidity with temperature. Embedding it with gold particles, which produce heat when exposed to light, yields a hydrogel of reversible light-controlled rigidity. Such a hydrogel would provide a research tool to investigate the effect of mechanical properties on the direction of neurite extension.


Sophia Lazare (New York, N.Y.) -- Lazare plans to teach in Brazil.


Brenna Ledvora (Lisle, Ill.)  -- Ledvora will teach English at a middle and high school in Papenburg, Lower Saxony, offering her German students an American perspective on everything from politics and sports to culture. Ledvora plans to join community clubs and charity organization and will continue her senior thesis research on how German women experience work and family. She will also participate in sustainability organizations such as the Grüne Jugend (Green Youth). Learning German both inside and outside the classroom “has taught me the importance of using cultural experiences to teach foreign languages,” Ledvora said. “A Fulbright grant will also allow me to pursue my future career goal of working in education reform.”


Kingsley Leung (San Rafael, Calif.) -- Leung will teach English at Charmsaem Elementary School in Sejong City, South Korea. Influenced by South Korean culture, he is interested in the relationship between health and education in South Korea. He also will travel and learn more about South Korea’s history with China. Leung’s love for teaching and the impact it can have on others inspired him to apply for the Fulbright. “I also hope to relate to the students through my identity as a non-native English speaker,” he said.


Rabeya Mallick (Naperville, Ill.) -- Mallick, who has been studying French since junior high and loves to teach, will work in a high school in Argenteuil, a suburb of Paris. “I will use language education as a tool for cultural connection,” she said. In addition to teaching, Mallick hopes to get involved with after-school enrichment programs and activities with younger students. She applied for the Fulbright because it offered “a great opportunity to work and live in France, solidifying what I've been learning about the French language, as well as the French educational system.”


Monica Mehta (Warren, Ohio) -- Mehta pursues Korean language studies and will be teaching English at Naju High School in South Korea. Naju is a small town in Jeollanam-do, a province in southwestern Korea. One of 68 other English Teaching Assistants (ETAs), she recently completed her six-week orientation in Goesan, a rural town in the middle of Korea. Orientation consisted of taking Korean classes from Korean University teachers and attending teaching workshops. Mehta is blogging about her experience.


Catherine Olien (Champaign, Ill.) -- Based in Berlin, Olien will explore how Archaic Cypriot art was displayed in European museums between 1870 and 1914. “At this time, Cypriot sculpture was viewed as an inferior ‘precursor’ to that of Classical Greece, then considered the most advanced ancient civilization,” Olien said. Exhibiting a wide range of geographic and stylistic influences, Cypriot sculpture proved difficult to classify. “Each museum developed a different set of solutions, often revealing uniquely imperial biases, with interpretations determined by factors such as the political, religious and ethnic identities of Cyprus’ inhabitants,” Olien said. Hosted by Berlin’s Technische Universitat (Technical University), Olien will investigate where these claims were born, how they were supported with research in the fields of anthropology and evolutionary biology and discuss the effect they have on scholarship today.


Julia Oswald (St. Louis, Mo.), -- Oswald, a doctoral candidate in art history, will spend her Fulbright year in Germany, researching relic culture in the late medieval Holy Roman Empire. Her sources include the archives, libraries, and museum collections in Bavaria and the Rhineland.


Andrew Rowberg (Falls Church, Va.) -- Rowberg will spend the next academic year at Ludwig- Maximilian Universität (LMU) in Munich, Germany, where he will research on solar energy.  Working with a professor in the chemistry department, Rowberg will study carbon nanotube-based organic photovoltaic devices as a cost-effective improvement over conventional solar cells. “I will use zinc oxide nanowires as an interfacial layer to facilitate charge separation, while also experimenting with other active layer materials to use with carbon nanotubes,” he said. Rowberg’s project also will help prepare him for a Ph.D. program in materials science where he will continue to focus on alternative energy technologies once he has finished his Fulbright.


Terry Spinelli (Niskayuna, N.Y.) – Spinelli will teach English at the Johann-Gottfried-Herder-Gymnasium located in Pirna, Germany, near Dresden. Spinelli will study the refugee experience and research ways that German asylum law and policy compare with the U.S. She plans to join a local community orchestra and enjoy the natural beauty of nearby Saxony Switzerland. Spinelli discovered that she loved teaching last summer after working with young refugees and other recent immigrants.


Rory Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) -- Using art, film and media archives, Sykes will explore how early exchanges between Jordanian cultural institutions and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) formed Palestinian national identity after 1967. Sykes will use the artistic archives from Palestinian artist and historian Ismail Shammout to gain access to the official visual language of the PLO. An analysis of Jordanian film and media archives will demonstrate co-production efforts and elucidate the Jordanian aesthetic influence.


Maeve Wall (Columbus, Ohio) -- Wall will teach English to first through sixth grade students in Daegu, South Korea. She also will spearhead an after-school program on diversity and social justice. In addition, she will tutor North Korean defectors. “I will design tasks that are creative, inclusive, and require social interaction in order to invest students in their language acquisition and develop a life-long love of learning,” she said.


Karen Wilber (Arlington Heights, Ill.) – Combining her interests in education, cultural exchange and Vietnam, Wilber will teach English at a high school in Lạng Sơn, a northern province of Vietnam. She also will create and promote cultural exchange programs. In addition, Wilber will help plan an interprovincial English conference for high school students in northern Vietnam. “I wanted the opportunity to work with students in a direct way and be involved in efforts that promote educational equality,” said Wilber, whose mother is from Vietnam. “I've always hoped for the opportunity to get to live there, learn about the history and culture, and contribute to the community in a meaningful way.”


Learn more in Northwestern News. >>


Students from the Universidad de las Artes in Havana, Cuba, visited Northwestern's Evanston campus on Nov. 11. They also joined professional jazz ensemble members for the Nov. 13 U.S. premiere of Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic concert, “Scenes from Life: Cuba!” at the Auditorium Theatre in downtown Chicago.


Northwestern’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music hosted 36 students from Cuba and a group of administrators and faculty from their Havana-based university the morning of November 11.


The event gave the Northwestern music students and the students from the Universidad de las Artes, Cuba’s national conservatory of the arts, an opportunity to meet each other and exchange ideas.


The catalyst for this cultural exchange was renowned Chicago jazz trumpeter Orbert Davis, artistic director of Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, and Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Producing Director Mark Ingram.


Davis, an alumnus of the Bienen School’s jazz program, earned a master’s degree in 1997. He visited Cuba twice before relations between the U.S. and Cuba were normalized. (Relations were normalized during his second trip.)


The Cuban students, who ranged in age from 17 to 20, were in Chicago to perform as part of the Nov. 13 U.S. premiere of Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic concert, “Scenes from Life: Cuba!” The group of student musicians joined the jazz ensemble’s professional orchestra members on stage for the performance.


The concert, which took place at the Auditorium Theatre in downtown Chicago, was the 2015-16 season opener of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s “Made in Chicago” Music Series. Watch a video about “Scenes from Life: Cuba!”


Last December, Davis and the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic musicians were witnesses to the historic re-establishment of U.S.-Cuba relations when they were in Havana for the debut performance of this new work during the 2014 Havana International Jazz Festival.


“The scope of this project extends beyond the November concert,” Davis said. “We are developing a relationship that will strengthen the ties between our two countries and help bridge cultural and political differences. This is a model for long-term cultural diplomacy where music and the arts create a common language that sets the stage for ongoing conversation and understanding.”


During their Evanston campus visit, several students from Northwestern and the Universidad de las Artes performed in a brief recital and participated in a panel discussion at the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Center for the Musical Arts.


The architecturally striking building, located on the shore of Lake Michigan, is the new home of the Bienen School of Music and the theatre and performance studies departments and administrative offices of the School of Communication.


Both the mini-recital and the panel discussion were held in the Ryan Center’s 400-seat Mary B. Galvin Recital Hall, which faces south and has a spectacular view of downtown Chicago’s skyline.


The discussion was moderated by School of Communication faculty member Henry Godinez, associate professor in the department of theater. Godinez, who was born in Havana, also is resident artistic associate at the Goodman Theatre, where he is the director of the Latino Theatre Festival.


Prior to their visit to Northwestern, the Universidad de las Artes students stopped at the Evanston Band and Orchestra store in Skokie, Ill., to shop for instrument accessories. The music store opened an hour earlier than usual to accommodate the students. The visit was arranged at the express request of the students, as quality music accessories are difficult to find in Cuba.


Kerry Griffith, owner of Evanston Band and Orchestra, underwrote the students’ purchases. This generous offer is Griffith’s way of contributing to the cultural diplomacy and international understanding that is at the heart of the Cuban students’ visit. “Music builds bridges,” says Griffith. “It’s better to build bridges than walls.”


After arriving at Northwestern, the Cuban students and administrators received a 30-minute bus tour of the Evanston campus led by Devora Grynspan, Northwestern’s vice president for international relations and assistant to the president for global initiatives.


The Cuban delegation included the Universidad de las Artes’ C. Rolando González Patricio, president (rector), who also holds a position in Fidel Castro’s government; María Del Rosario Hernández Iznaga, dean, faculty of music; Marilín Cruz Insua, vice president, University Extension; Ernesto Lima Parets, choir conductor; and Diana Pascual Garcia, professor of foreign languages, who served as the group’s translator.


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


Jerry Truong’s exhibit "School Works" is making a five-week stop at Northwestern’s Dittmar Memorial Gallery from Oct. 29 through Dec. 6.


EVANSTON, Ill. --- Jerry Truong’s “School Works” exhibition examines the political implications of the American educational system through large-scale blackboard-like paintings and sculptures that utilize objects typically found in a grade school classroom.


These objects range from plastic chairs and overhead projectors to signs that display summaries of notable teaching philosophies, items the artist sometimes finds through Craigslist or surplus and thrift stores.


Truong’s Fall 2015 exhibit is making a five-week stop at Northwestern’s Dittmar Memorial Gallery from Oct. 29 through Dec. 6. The gallery is located on the first floor of Norris University Center, 1999 Campus Drive, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus.


The exhibition and an opening reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, are free and open to the public.


Truong, based in Silver Spring, Maryland, teaches at a community college in Prince George’s Country, Md. In the classroom, he began reflecting on his role as an educator and the values he wanted to instill in his students.


The result was his latest body of work. “‘School Works’ strives to embody all we hope for out of school,” he said. “It is a space that encourages learning and independence, but also the very thing that we fear it could become: A site of conflict as a political tool.”


His critique points out the contradictions embedded in education, while simultaneously referencing philosophical, social and political ideas and art movements that challenge traditional modes of thinking.


Exhibition highlights include three pieces with dual titles that serve two purposes.


  • “Conflict Management or How to Not Be Unpatriotic” not only is a painting, it also functions as a record of performance. The piece features the repeated phrase: “I will not create dissent,” neatly written by hand, over and over again, in chalk on a blackboard panel. Truong said he personally wrote the words over several hours, as a form of self-punishment.


“School is a place where one is supposed to learn to be a freethinker and challenge convention, but it is also a place where people are afraid of disagreement and intellectual conflict,” the artist explained.


  • “Rise Up From Every Corner or Maybe I am a Monumental Failure” is a sculptural installation tended to evoke two images: the iconic dunce and Tatlin’s tower. (A child punished for being a slow learner, sitting in the corner with a tall, pointed hat on his head and a tower designed by Soviet artist and architect Vladmir Tatlin that was intended to be built in St. Petersburg several years after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, but never was. The tower’s complicated vertical and spiral metal and glass design has inspired generations of artists.)


After researching writings and interviews related to artists and writers who made teaching central to their various creative practices, Truong created a series of these signs as a distillation of each important, creative figure’s philosophy about teaching.


  • “To The Cryptics and Cynics, a Modest Proposal For a New Kind of Revolution” is one of several different vinyl on polyester film signs. Eight of the signs are done in white vinyl, which are difficult to see, and six others are in black vinyl, for more contrast.


Truong hopes that visitors will take the time to explore and interact with some of the pieces in his show.


“Look at the artwork labels, ponder the dual titles, and eventually you will arrive at your own conclusions after some reflection,” advised the artist.


Truong is a first-generation American who was raised in Northern California by parents who emigrated from Vietnam. He admits he was coddled by the suburban American dream, oblivious to the social and political mechanisms that made the family’s way of life possible.


“Even in my own home, I was blissfully unaware of the sacrifices my parents made to arrive in this land,” he said. “They never once spoke of the horrors they survived when they escaped in 1979 from war-torn Vietnam by boat; the constant fear of pirates, suffering from starvation, and witnessing family members drown.”


More information on the artist is available online.


Learn more in Northwestern News. >>

_ESQ3125.jpgby Marla Paul


CHICAGO –The public is invited to the Fifth Annual Les Turner Symposium on ALS and Neurorepair, beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 16, at Prentice Women’s Hospital, 250 E. Superior St., third floor, conference room L, in Chicago.


The event is free but advance registration is required by Nov. 9.


The all-day meeting will offer an opportunity for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and their families, researchers, health care professionals and the public to learn about the latest news in ALS research and patient care from internationally recognized physicians and scientists.


The keynote speaker is Kevin Eggan, professor of stem cell and regenerative biology at Harvard University and principal investigator at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.


The symposium is hosted by the Les Turner ALS Research and Patient Center at Northwestern Medicine, which houses three ALS research laboratories and the multidisciplinary Lois Insolia ALS Clinic.

“At the event we will focus on ALS research, patient care and education as we celebrate the creation of the Les Turner ALS Research and Patient Center at Northwestern Medicine,” said P. Hande Ozdinler, assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Symposiums like this bring scientists and clinicians together so that we generate momentum for collaborations and future advancements.”

The keynote speech will focus on Eggan’s work in the area of stem cell and reprogramming biology and its translational impact on neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS. Guests also can attend the research data blitz and clinical and research presentations.

ALS researchers from the University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago as well as ALS doctors and scientists from the Les Turner ALS Research and Patient Center at Northwestern Medicine will present the latest findings in the field of ALS and answer questions from attendees.

ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a terminal neuromuscular disease that attacks a person’s muscles, gradually robbing them of their ability to walk, speak, eat and breathe. Every 90 minutes, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with ALS and every 90 minutes, someone in the U.S with ALS dies. There is currently no prevention or cure for ALS. 


Read more in Northwestern News. >>

This week’s Wildcat of the Week is Jamie Strait ‘98, a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and the school’s director of development.


Like many who work in fundraising, Jamie began her career in another industry. She spent nearly a decade reporting and anchoring at television stations in Tallahassee, Nashville and Minneapolis. Then Northwestern came calling. “One of my best friends from college co-chaired our 10th reunion, then quit his corporate job and went to work for the University,” she recalls.  “When he heard I was looking to make a change, he recruited me to Northwestern.” Jamie worked in ARD’s New York Regional Office for almost five years before returning to Evanston to lead Medill’s strategic fundraising campaign.


Even though Jamie is no longer reporting breaking news, she’s putting the skills she gained as an undergrad at Northwestern to good use. “I'm still telling stories, only now they're about the incredible students, professors and programs at Northwestern. I got into news because I wanted to make a difference. In ARD, we are. We see every day how generosity changes lives—funding groundbreaking research, providing scholarships for deserving students and making a difference in our community and around the world,” Jamie says.


Aside from supporting her alma mater with her professional talents, Jamie is a long-time annual donor to the University as a gold-level NU Loyal member and a member of the Northwestern University Leadership Circle. She also serves on the board of Northwestern Hillel.


Jamie says that Alumni Relations and Development at Northwestern is a great place for talented individuals to pursue a rewarding career. “Every day, I'm surrounded by smart people who have dedicated their careers to promoting opportunity, scholarship and research.”

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For more information on Alumni Relations and Development at Northwestern, view our open positions or sign up to attend an ARD Information Session for prospective candidates.


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