Chancellor Message 3/12/10

Message to Campus
RE UIC's continued progress and important contributions

Dear Students, Staff, and Faculty:

As we await winter's final thaw and some harbinger of spring, I want to share with you sure signs of the constant vitality of UIC. During these unusual times in Illinois and in instances, throughout the nation, it is essential that we take stock of our continued progress and important contributions. I want to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to President Stanley Ikenberry, and Executive Director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education Judy Erwin, for joining us at the UIC Senate meeting on March 11. We appreciate their leadership and their willingness to extend themselves.

UIC in Haiti

A six-member Medical Center team, led by International Emergency Medicine program director Janet Lin, volunteered and served in Haiti for two weeks with the International Medical Corps. UIC relief workers included Stacey Chamberlain, assistant director of the program and clinical assistant professor of medicine; international emergency medicine fellows Kristiana Kaufmann and Eugene Oh; Mark Jasper, an emergency nurse practitioner, and Jim Concannon, a UIC emergency residency alumnus. They worked at the University Hospital of Haiti, which lost much of its Haitian staff to the earthquake or the ensuing chaos.

Another Chicago volunteer team just left for Haiti on March 11 for two weeks of service with the International Medical Corps. The team includes John Williams, assistant professor of emergency medicine, Nancy Miranda, Mile Square Health Center clinical physician, and five other medical staff members from Children's Memorial Hospital, University of Chicago, Rush University Medical Center, and Access Community Health Network. The next group to deploy from the UIC medical center will be on March 25.

A New Center and a New Doctoral Program -- UIC Moves Forward

The UIC medical center opened a new Sickle Cell Acute Care Center that will allow UIC physicians to provide immediate treatment for pain, improving patient pain relief and reducing the need for hospitalizations. The Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center has almost 40 years of experience in the management of sickle cell disease and currently provides care to over 500 adult patients and 250 pediatric patients.

The School of Public Health launched the Midwest's first distance-based Doctor of Public Health degree, only the second such program offered by a fully accredited school of public health in the U.S. The doctoral-level, distance-based program will allow public health professionals to pursue their DrPH with minimal disruption to family and work life and without having to travel to campus.

Students

Students at UIC continue to bring us great pride in their accomplishments. Eight undergraduates have been awarded Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to study abroad this semester, a record number of recipients in a semester from UIC. Azziza Ahemed, sophomore finance major, will study in Paris; Holly Gillis, senior economics major, will study in Belém, Brazil; Isna Kugshia, junior Honors College biology major, will study in Cape Town, South Africa; Sarang Sarah Lim, sophomore English major, will study in Seoul, South Korea; Maire Malone, senior anthropology major, will study in Aix-en-Provence, France; Jonathan Marks, junior philosophy and English major, will study in Athens, Greece; Lidia Rodriguez, junior political science major, will study in Paris; Ana Velazquez, senior Spanish major, will study in Montpellier, France.

Twelve students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences were chosen to receive an Olive and Alfred Kuehn Scholarship for the 2009-2010 academic year. Gabriela Arias, majoring in Criminology Law and Justice; Mary Carrick, majoring in Political Science and Sociology; Briana Jackson, majoring in Classical Civilization; Susan Kang, curriculum in Neuroscience; Regina Latka, majoring in Psychology; Esther Moon, majoring in Psychology; Kaitlin Peters, majoring in English; Punam Rajyaguru, majoring in Applied Psychology; Gabriela Rosiles, majoring in Criminology Law and Justice; Aubrey Thye, majoring in French; Lauren Warczak, in the curriculum: Teaching of French; and Lucia Wu, majoring in Biological Sciences.

Two UIC music students, Hans Luchs and Rajiv Orozco, won in their division at the 9th Annual Jazz Improvisation Competition, sponsored by the Union League Civic & Arts Foundation.

I take this opportunity to extend my hearty congratulations to these outstanding students.

Faculty

Julia Fish, UIC professor of studio arts since 1989, was selected to exhibit in the 2010 Whitney Biennial, the signature exhibition of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. Professor Fish's work will be on view at The Whitney Biennial through May 30, 2010.

New Hire

UIC is delighted to welcome Terri Weaver, having just been approved by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees at their meeting March 10, as our new dean for the College of Nursing. Dr. Weaver will be joining us from the University of Pennsylvania, where she held the Ellen and Robert Kapito Professor in Nursing Science and was chair of Behavioral and Health Sciences. Her appointment becomes effective August 16, 2010.

Research

Researchers at the UIC Institute for Health Research and Policy received a $2.2 million grant funded by the National Cancer Institute to determine whether or not TV food advertising affects children's diet, physical activity and weight. Lisa Powell, research professor of economics, is lead scientist on the four-year study, which she hopes will help determine whether more regulation of food advertising on children's programming may be needed.

A $1.9 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to the UIC Midwest Roybal Center for Health Promotion and Translation will help improve the health of older underserved minority adults, particularly Latinos. The center will test, build and share health promotion programs to improve the functioning and quality of life of seniors. Susan Hughes, co-director of the Center for Research on Health and Aging at UIC's Institute for Health Research and Policy, is principal investigator of the project.

The need for effective, accessible mental health services for foster children will be addressed by a $929,000 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to the Jane Addams College of Social Work. UIC researchers led by associate professor Sonya Leathers will analyze methods to help social workers in child-welfare settings address children's behavior problems that can lead to academic failure or homelessness in early adulthood. UIC will partner with Children's Home and Aid, a Chicago-based child welfare agency, to implement agency-wide interventions and collect data over the next two years to assess changes at the level of the social worker, the foster parent and the child.

Computer scientist Jakob Eriksson developed a smart-phone application called TransitGenie that uses the phone's Global Positioning System feature to pinpoint your location before searching transit route and bus tracking data to suggest the quickest way to your destination. He developed TransitGenie with two Ph.D. students funded by a National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training program grant and enrolled in UIC's computational transportation science program.

Researchers at UIC led by Alexander Mankin, professor and associate director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, and colleagues at Israel's Weizman Institute of Science have found that two antibiotics produced naturally by the microbe streptomyces working together might be more effective in fighting pathogenic bacteria than either drug on its own.

Sustainability

UIC researchers in chemical engineering and the Energy Resources Center have formed an open-ended collaboration with two technology firms to design and test solar thermal technologies. Raleigh, North Carolina, based Solargenix Energy, which has offices and research laboratories in Chicago, designs and builds solar thermal energy products and systems. Chicago-based All Cell Technologies specializes in battery and customized energy storage solutions. Both companies will work with engineering faculty and students on new solar products that can be used for heating, cooling, desalination and other applications.

Philanthropic Support

In truly excellent news that advances our commitment to healthy societies, Chicago-based Jump Trading donated $25 million to OSF Saint Francis and UIC College of Medicine-Peoria, the largest individual gift in either institution's history. The gift, announced on Saturday, February 27, will establish the Jump Trading Simulation and Conference Education Center on the OSF Saint Francis campus. Clinicians and students will practice patient health care simulation, practicing techniques safely before applying them to real-life patients. Construction on the facility is expected to begin later this year.

In addition I'm happy to note that the February month-end numbers are hot off the presses, and the new total for our Brilliant Futures campaign has reached $464 million.

A $250,000 donation from Delta Dental of Illinois has helped remodel the pediatric dentistry clinic and equip it with state-of-the-art digital X-ray machines, new patient chairs and nitrous oxide at every unit, among other new amenities. The facility, now called the Delta Dental of Illinois Predoctoral Pediatric Dentistry Clinic, is a more efficient and productive private practice model that should lead to more patient visits. Additional state funding to refurbish the clinic was obtained with assistance of Governor Pat Quinn and State Representative David Miller, a 1988 graduate in dentistry.

Last month I traveled to Florida to meet with several major donors, both alumni and friends of UIC. While distance separates these supporters from campus, they maintain their loyalties to us through their giving and volunteerism. Time and again I heard consistent messages of pride in UIC and support for all we are achieving, especially during these difficult times. I want you to know that no matter where they reside, our alumni and donors, such as those I met, continue to embrace our mission and values. I will be visiting with potential donors and friends of the campus again next week, and I am confident they will be equally proud to hear of your many accomplishments.

Recent Events

On February 24 we were honored to have Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on campus, where she was invited to speak by the Honors College on the topic: "Why choose public service?" In her speech, Madigan cited inspirational moments from her still-unfolding career that underscore and validate the path she chose. I appreciate and look forward to our continued engagement with such extraordinary members of our community. This kind of exposure to our students provides real-life glimpses into the possibilities beyond their education.

Anniversary

The UIC Craniofacial Center, one of the oldest and largest centers of its kind in the U.S., recently celebrated its 60th year. The center served more than 6,000 people last year, many of them with cleft lip and palate or other congenital craniofacial conditions. About 75 percent of the center's patients receive public aid.

Alumni

All-star outfielder and noted benefactor Curtis Granderson has gone to the world-champion New York Yankees in a December trade. Curtis and his many philanthropic endeavors were described in an in-depth February 16 New York Times profile that also mentioned his UIC experiences and coaches.

Upcoming/Reminders

The Daley Forum, a UIC signature event, will take place this year on April 26-27. This year's Forum, an important collaboration between the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Daley family, will be joined by Chicago Sister Cities International. The 2010 Richard J. Daley Global Cities Forum will assemble the mayors of Chicago's 28 sister cities and other global municipalities, along with prominent business, civic, academic and foundation leaders, for high-level discussions on pivotal urban challenges.

My colleague Francis Collins, the new director of the National Institutes of Health, will visit Chicago on April 24. The invitation was spearheaded by UIC and joined by Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. Dr. Collins will be speaking on his vision for the future of the National Institutes of Health. Due to the fact that all relevant UIC space is occupied on that date, Northwestern has agreed to make Hughes Auditorium available for this event, which will take place at 2 p.m. Doctoral and post-doctoral students are encouraged to attend. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences will hold its regional conference at UIC September 21, 2010.

UIC continues to be a leader in research, teaching and public service, as well as a vital economic engine for our state. Thanks as always for all your outstanding contributions.

Sincerely,

Paula Allen-Meares
Chancellor