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Brief Notes

Faculty/Staff Emergency Fund

Donations sought during annual fundraiser

Established in 1992, the Faculty/Staff Emergency Fund assists UI employees on the Urbana campus and their families during times of financial crisis. It is funded by donations from faculty and staff members to help colleagues in need. Volunteers are encouraging donations this month during the program’s annual fund drive.

Because volunteers and offices donate labor and materials, 100 percent of donations go directly into the fund.

“Donations received during last year’s fund drive have been spent helping employees in need, and each year it is important to replenish the fund,” said mechanical science and engineering professor Herman Krier, a long-time member of the volunteer employee emergency fund committee. “This is our special chance to help our Urbana campus colleagues who may experience a financial crisis at one time or another. It could happen to any of us.”

Since its inception, the fund has provided confidential financial assistance in small grants to more than 600 employees. The fund has assisted employees with a rent or mortgage payment, utilities, medicine or medical bills, and food or clothing during times of crisis such as a serious illness in the family or a house fire.

Anyone applying for assistance is screened through the Faculty/Staff Assistance Program and then reviewed for approval by a separate confidential committee.

Contributions of any amount are encouraged. Donations are accepted through payroll deduction. Cash and donations by check also are welcome. Checks should be made payable to UIF/UIUC Faculty/Staff Emergency Fund and mailed to the UI Foundation, 400 Harker Hall, MC-386.

A brochure about the program and payroll deduction cards recently were sent by campus mail to every employee. More information is available from Debbie McCall at 265-6420, chair of the fund-drive team, or from the Faculty/Staff Assistance Program at 244-5312.

Eligible faculty and staff members may apply for emergency assistance at any time. All contacts are confidential and assessments are free. If you or someone you know might be eligible for assistance from the fund, call 244-5312 or write to Faculty/Staff Assistance Program, 1011 W. University Ave., MC-255.

Center for Teaching Excellence

Presenters, facilitators needed

The Center for Teaching Excellence is seeking presenters for two orientation programs for new teaching assistants and international teaching assistants. The 2008 Graduate Academy for College Teaching on Aug. 18 -19 is for those with classroom responsibilities and the 2008 Graduate Symposium on Grading and Office Hours on Aug. 20 is for those without classroom responsibilities.

Faculty members, academic professionals and experienced teaching assistants are invited to design engaging concurrent sessions about teaching and/or to facilitate small group sessions on foundational teaching topics. Deadline for submissions is May 12. For details, visit www.cte.uiuc.edu/Did/TAs/Aug08CallforPresenters.pdf.

Contact Sandy Finley at sjfinley@illinois.edu or 333-3370 with questions.

Sustainability Summit

Environmental Horizons is April 23-24

Environmental Horizons 2008, the Environmental Council’s annual showcase of the depth and breadth of environmental scholarship on campus, will be April 23-24. An additional component this year is the Sustainability Summit hosted by Provost Linda Katehi.

The summit will examine how scholarly efforts on campus advance the cause of environmental sustainability. Experts from across campus will discuss the issues, possible solutions and steps forward with regard to sustainability at the UI. The summit will run from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. both days

The first keynote address, “The Built Environment is Health Policy: The World We Shape Shapes Our Health,” by Dr. Richard J. Jackson, founding director of the Graham Institute for Sustainability at the University of Michigan, will be at 7 p.m. April 23 in Illini Room A in the Illini Union. A second keynote address, “Green the Ghetto:  How, Why, and What Happens If We Don’t,” by Majora Carter, executive director of Sustainable South Bronx, will be at 7 p.m. April 24, also in Illini Room A. An open house will showcase posters presented by undergraduate and graduate students; art work from students, faculty and staff members, and community members; and exhibits by numerous campus units and student groups.

More information about Environmental Horizons 2008 and a complete agenda can be found at www.uiuc.edu/goto/horizons.

Beckman lecture

BP’s chief scientist to lecture April 29

Steven Koonin, chief scientist for BP, will speak April 29 at the UI on the topic “Energy, Environment, Security: Can We Have It All?”

Koonin’s talk, scheduled for 4 p.m. in the auditorium of the Beckman Institute, is the 24th annual Arnold O. Beckman Lecture on Science and Innovation. It is free and open to the public.

By one estimate, world demand for energy will grow by 60 percent over the next 25 years, and Koonin will discuss the significant challenge in meeting that demand in an economical and environmentally acceptable manner. In particular, he will focus on the major forces shaping the world’s energy future and the technologies required to respond.

Koonin joined London-based BP in 2004 after nearly three decades at the California Institute of Technology. With a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he became a Caltech faculty member in 1975 as a professor of theoretical physics and from 1995 to 2004 served as the school’s provost.

Koonin is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His research interests have included theoretical nuclear, many-body and computational physics; nuclear astrophysics; and global environmental science.

As BP’s chief scientist, Koonin is responsible for the company’s long-range technology plans and activities, particularly those beyond petroleum. He also has purview over BP’s major university research programs, which include the Energy Biosciences Institute (www.energybiosciencesinstitute.org), in which the UI is a partner.

School of Social Work

Peace and social justice lecture

The School of Social Work will host the 17th Annual Daniel S. Sanders Peace and Social Justice Lecture at 7:30 p.m. April 28 in the Alice Campbell Alumni Center Ballroom. Julian Burger, coordinator of the Indigenous and Minorities Unit at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Based in Geneva will speak. His talk is titled “After 60 Years of Human Rights: Is there Cause for Celebration?”

Adopted by the United National General Assembly in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights quickly became the touchstone for promoting respect for the inherent worth and dignity of all people. In honor of the declaration’s 60th anniversary, Burger will explore the accomplishments and challenges and for human rights and indigenous peoples.

For more information, call 244-1064.

‘Doodle for Wildlife’

Auction features doodles, vacations

Author Margaret Atwood, baseball legend Yogi Berra and humorist Dave Barry did it.

So did “Star Wars” stars Mark Hamill and James Earl Jones, as well as Robin Williams and Vanessa Williams, Steve Martin and Martin Sheen.

Celebrity twosome Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick did it together.

All these notables “doodled” in support of the UI Wildlife Medical Clinic, and their drawings will be on the auction block at the Seventh Annual Doodle for Wildlife dinner and auction at 6 p.m. April 19 at the Round Barn Center in Champaign.

Bidders also may compete for vacation accommodations in the Caribbean, on Sanibel Island, Fla., in Snowmass, Colo., and in Door County, Wis., and several other Midwest destinations.

The event features live music and complimentary wine. Long-time supporter Karen Koenig will be presented with the second annual Wildlife for Life Award for her commitment to the preservation of the wildlife community.

The event accounts for nearly half of the annual budget of the Wildlife Medical Clinic, a non-profit volunteer organization that provides care for nearly 2,000 ill or injured wild animal patients every year.

The clinic also contributes to the education of veterinary students and provides more than 30 outreach talks about Illinois wildlife to public groups each year.

To register, see the doodles, and find other details, go to  www.cvm.uiuc.edu/wmc/doodle.html.

“Contested Cultural Heritage in a Global World”

International scholars to gather

A group of international scholars will gather at the UI for a conference to discuss how forces of religion and nationalism may act to heighten intergroup tension around heritage claims – even to the point of causing the destruction of ancient and historic sites.

The conference on “Contested Cultural Heritage in a Global World” will take place April 24-25 at Spurlock Museum. The keynote speaker is Donny George Youkhanna, the former director of the Iraq Museum, president of the Iraq State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, and visiting professor at the State University of New York at Stonybrook.

Youkhanna’s talk, which begins at 7:30 p.m. April 24 at the museum, is titled “Mayhem in Mesopotamia: The Interplay of Religion, Nationalism and Global Politics in Iraq’s Cultural Heritage.” His talk is free and open to the public.

Conference topics on April 25 include the “spoils” of Machu Picchu; the “looting” of the Parthenon Marbles; using the past to promote Egyptian economy and nationalism; the “split personality” of American Indian museum collections; and heritage conflicts in the Balkans.

A roundtable discussion will follow the presentation of papers. The conference is from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The conference organizer is Helaine Silverman, a professor of anthropology. Conference sponsors are the Spurlock Museum, Office of the Provost and the Collaborative for Cultural Heritage and Museum Practice (CHAMP). Many other UI units are co-sponsors.

CHAMP is an interdisciplinary collaborative at the UI for the critical study of cultural heritage and museums in the global context. According to CHAMP’s Web site, the unit’s principal goal is to “critically examine the articulation and representation of cultural identity on local and worldwide scales and to interrogate theories of heritage and museum practice that emerge from them.” CHAMP co-directors are D. Fairchild Ruggles, landscape architecture, and Silverman.

For more information, go to http://ilabs.inquiry.uiuc.edu/ilab/champ/5608.


Project focuses on how issues escalate

Social scientists at the UI are collaborating on a project that seeks to gain insights on why and how seemingly small, geographically localized disputes can quickly ignite into border-crossing regional conflicts, and even global wars.

The project, called “ConflictSpace,” is an interdisciplinary effort sponsored by the UI’s Critical Initiatives in Research and Scholarship Program that will initially focus on World War I as a model for testing conflict-diffusion hypotheses using state-of-the-art analytical tools.

“ConflictSpace uses spatial analysis and social network analysis in an innovative framework that will help us understand how wars spread,” said project leader Colin Flint, a professor of geography and new director of the UI’s Program in Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security. “Further study hopes to look at contemporary wars.”

Other members of the research team are political science professors Paul Diehl and John Vasquez, ACDIS research scientist Juergen Scheffran and emeritus professor of history Paul Schroeder.

The pilot study will be the focus of a workshop on the UI campus April 21-23, which will include a free public lecture by David Stevenson, a professor of international history at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Stevenson’s talk, “From Balkan Conflict to Global Conflict: The Spread of the First World War, 1914-1918,” will begin at 4 p.m. in 134 Temple Buell Hall.

The author of several books on World War I, Stevenson primarily is interested in the origins, course and impact of that war, and international relations in Europe during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Discussing the larger project, the UI’s Flint said the project has been designed to tap campus expertise in areas ranging from geography and complexity science to history and political science in ways that “advance the scientific study of the diffusion of conflict and so position the university as the global leader in this emerging field.”

“Current understanding of the diffusion of interstate conflict is rudimentary,” he said. “Our proposed new concept integrates physical contiguity of states with the position of states within networks of economic, political and cultural exchanges to explain when and why states choose to enter an ongoing conflict.

“The analysis will include univariate mapping and spatial analysis and multivariate regression and spatial econometrics.”

Flint said future research directions for the project may include expanding the analysis “to model how all recorded militarized interstate disputes – conflicts that by definition fall short of war – either eventually became regional or global wars or remained limited in geographic scope and political impact.”

Pampered Chef Family Resiliency lecture

Speaker helps to balance work, family

Suzanne Bianchi is an authority on the balancing act that American parenthood has become, and she’ll bring that expertise to this spring’s Pampered Chef Family Resiliency lecture in the Knight Auditorium of Spurlock Museum at 7 p.m. April 22. The talk is free and open to the public.

Bianchi will speak on “Gender Roles and Use of Time: The Subtle Parenting Revolution in American Family Life.”

“Although today’s mothers report feeling more rushed, time diaries show that parents spend as much – and perhaps more – time interacting with their children today than in 1965, the heyday of the stay-at-home mother,” she said.

Countering the widely held belief that women shoulder a greater proportion of the total workload because of their dual work and family responsibilities, Bianchi’s time diaries indicate that men and women, on balance, have about equal workloads. She also is knowledgeable about other family trends, including the ways that childhood, motherhood, and fatherhood have changed in recent years.

A professor and chair of the sociology department at the University of Maryland, Bianchi is the author of four books. Her 2006 book, “Changing Rhythms of American Family Life,” written with John Robinson and Melissa Milkie, uses time diaries to address parental investments in child rearing, unpaid work in the home, and work outside the home from 1965 to 2000. Her other books are “Continuity and Change in the American Family,” published in 2002; “Balancing Act: Motherhood, Marriage, and Employment Among American Women,” published in 1996; and “American Women in Transition,” published in 1986.

Her research articles on family life have twice won the Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research (in 2001 and 2004), the Reuben Hill Award of the National Council of Family Relations for the best article on the family in 2000, and the Lawrence R. Klein Award for an outstanding contribution to the Monthly Labor Review in 1999.

The lecture is sponsored by The Pampered Chef Family Resiliency Program, a partnership between The Pampered Chef and the department of human and community development at the UI.


Digitized Daily Illini now available

Digitized versions of the Daily Illini for the years 1916-1936 are now available in the History, Philosophy and Newspaper Library at the UI.

In the repository, the Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection, the issues are presented as cover-to-cover digital facsimiles, easy to browse and search, with downloading and e-mail functionality. The URL for the repository is www.library.uiuc.edu/idnc.

The project was made possible by support from a variety of sources within the library, including the Stewart S. Howe Foundation Endowment (Student Life and Culture Archives), the Clifford Family Endowment (History, Philosophy and Newspaper Library), the Office of the Associate University Librarian for Collections, and a seed-grant program administered by the Library Executive Committee.

WILL-TV and Staerkel Planetarium

Families invited to ‘Rocket Into Space’

WILL-TV and the William M. Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College invite families to explore the galaxy, try hands-on space activities and witness a rocket launch during “Rocket Into Space,” an evening of family activities.

At the free event at the planetarium from 5:30-8:30 p.m. April 24, planetarium coordinator Dave Leake will present an interactive dome show that will be child-centered and fun for all ages. Tickets with a specific show time will be provided as visitors arrive at the event. Shows start at 5:45 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7:15 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Hands-on activities, available continuously during the event, will include taking the Astronaut Space Glove Challenge, finding your weight on the moon and on Mars, and building and testing kites of all shapes and sizes.

Representatives of the children’s departments of the Urbana Free Library and Champaign Public Library will encourage families to read more about the universe. Walkaround character Zeeter from WILL-TV’s “The Zula Patrol” will be on hand to share the fun. The UI Center for Simulation of Advanced Rockets, Central Illinois Aerospace, the Challenger Learning Center, the Chanute Air Museum, the Children’s Discovery Museum and the Illinois Space Society will lead the activities along with WILL-TV.

The planetarium is located next to the theater on the west side of the Parkland College campus, 2400 W. Bradley Ave., Champaign. Go to www.parkland.edu/planetarium/directions.html for a map and directions or call 351-2568. For more information about the event, contact WILL-TV’s Molly Delaney at 333-1070 or delaney1@illinois.edu.

Center for Zoonoses Research

Infectious disease conference is April 17, 18

The 11th Annual Conference on New and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases will take place April 17-18 at the College of Veterinary Medicine in Urbana. The goal of the conference, hosted by the Center for Zoonoses Research, is to promote interdisciplinary research efforts and to call attention to the problems that infectious diseases pose locally and around the world.

The public is invited to attend the opening address by Dr. David A. Jessup, a senior wildlife veterinarian for the California Department of Fish and Game Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center. His talk, “The Emergence and Epidemiology of Infectious Disease Threats to Southern Sea Otters,” begins at 6:15 p.m. April 17, in the auditorium of the Large Animal Clinic. Parking is available after 5 p.m. in lot F-27.

The conference will continue on April 18 with eight additional speakers and a poster presentation.

For more information on speakers, schedule, scientific poster presentation, and registration visit www.cvm.uiuc.edu/ope/idc/.

Illini Union Bookstore

Authors Corner features Latino/a authors

The Illini Union Bookstore Authors Corner will feature “Writing Latino/Latina Lives: A Conversation With Helena Maria Viramontes and Manuel Munoz” from 4-6 p.m. April 24. A book signing will follow the discussion.

Viramontes, a professor of English at Cornell University, had her first novel, “Under the Feet of Jesus,” published in 1995. Recently, “Their Dogs Came With Them,” a novel that took her 17 years to complete, has been published and is gaining acclaim. Muñoz is the author of two collections of short stories: “The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue,” published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill in 2007, and “Zigzagger,” published by Northwestern University Press in 2003. A finalist for the 2007 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize, Muñoz received a Constance Saltonstall Foundation Individual Artist’s Grant in Fiction and a 2006 National Endowment for the Arts literature fellowship.

Krannert Center

Debut artist performs April 27

The Krannert Center for the Performing Arts joins with the UI School of Music to present the Krannert Center Debut Artist in professional recital. The 2008 competition winner is Yu-Chi Tai, a pianist pursuing a doctorate in musical arts at the UI.

Tai will perform at 3 p.m. April 27 in the Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center. Featured: Haydn’s Sonata in E flat major; Bartok’s “Dance Suite, Sz.77”; Ravel’s “Sonatine”; Rachmaninoff’s “Preludes, Op. 23, No. 2-5”; and Liszt’s “Paganini Etude VI in A minor.”

Tai has been studying under the direction of Ian Hobson since 2006.


Celebrate animal companions April 26

Petstravaganza, a family friendly celebration of animal companions, will be April 26 in the UI Stock Pavilion.

“This event provides a great opportunity for children and their parents to learn many interesting and important things about the animals we keep as companions,” said Amy Fischer, UI Extension companion animal specialist who organizes the event.

Petstravaganza features a number of exhibits and presentations that teach kids about the responsibility of caring for animals. Topics include the use of microchips for identification, how to interact safely with animals, and how to select the right kind of animal based on lifestyle. A variety of animals will be on hand, including birds, cats, horses and snakes. 

The event will be held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m and admission is free. More information about Petstravaganza is online at http://pets.ansci.uiuc.edu/outreach/petstravaganza.cfm.

Champaign Public Library

UI professor will host story time April 23

The second picture book by Janice Harrington, Champaign author and UI professor of English, has earned several distinctions since its publication last year. The storyteller will share her uniquely expressive style in a free, 30-minute story time based on her book “The Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County”  at the Champaign Public Library at 9:45 and 10:30 a.m. April 23. Each preschooler who attends will take home a free autographed copy of the book, provided by the Library Friends.

“The Chicken Chasing Queen” is rooted in Harrington’s own childhood and her determined encounters with her grandmother’s chickens. In the story, the sassy protagonist finds she has to think again when she learns a secret about the hen she has been chasing. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, the book is illustrated by Shelley Jackson.

Harrington teaches in the UI Graduate Program in Creative Writing.

Registration is not needed to attend the program at the library, located at 200 W. Green St. For more information, call 403-2030 or visit www.champaign.org.


Additional guests, events announced

Additional events and guests – among them actor Timothy Spall – have been announced for the 10th annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, or “Ebertfest,” coming April 23-27 to Champaign-Urbana and the UI.

Spall, who has been seen most recently in the films “Sweeney Todd” and “Enchanted,” will be a guest for the opening-night showing of Kenneth Branagh’s “Hamlet,” in which Spall played the role of Rosencrantz. The actor also is known for his role as Peter Pettigrew in the Harry Potter films and for voicing the scavenger rat Nick in the animated film “Chicken Run.”

Ebert also has announced that Richard Roeper, his Chicago Sun-Times colleague and partner on the weekly movie review program “Ebert & Roeper,” will participate in some of the onstage discussions following screenings, as will Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips and Time magazine critic Richard Corliss.

Other onstage participants, in addition to those previously announced, will include film expert Mary Corliss; film scholars David Bordwell, Hannah Fisher and Kristin Thompson; RogerEbert.com editor Jim Emerson; Movie City News editor David Poland; Sony Pictures Classics co-president Michael Barker; and Sports Illustrated writer and UI alumnus Bill Nack.

Added to the previously announced schedule of film screenings are two panel discussions on the UI campus, both free and open to the public:

• April 24: “What Does the Future Hold for Independent Film?” moderated by Nate Kohn, the director of Ebertfest and a professor of journalism and mass communication at the University of Georgia, 9:30-11 a.m. in the Pine Lounge of the Illini Union.

• April 25: “Today’s Writer/Director – It’s Not Just Business, It’s Personal,” moderated by Eric Pierson, a professor of communication studies at the University of San Diego, 9-10:15 a.m. in the Pine Lounge.

• April 26: Hadjii, the writer-director of the film “Somebodies,” shown at the 2006 Ebertfest, will sign copies of his book “Don’t Let My Mama Read This: A Southern Fried Memoir,” from 9-10:30 a.m. in the General Lounge on the second floor of the Illini Union.

Tickets for individual films are on sale through the Virginia Theatre box office; phone 356-9063; fax: 356-5729. The price will be $10 each for regular admission and $8 each for students and senior citizens. For more information, go to www.ebertfest.com.


Apply now for summer school

Graduate and doctoral students from all disciplines can learn more about using multicore processors and graphics-processing units to speed up their applications and improve their productivity during a hands-on summer school offered by the Virtual School for Computational Science and Engineering.

The Summer School on Accelerators for Science and Engineering Applications will be Aug. 18-22 at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the UI. Applications are being accepted online at www.greatlakesconsortium.org/events/GPUMulticore through May 19. Because hands-on instruction is central to the summer school, a limited number of students (about 40) will be selected for participation. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by June 30.

The goal is to provide students with knowledge and hands-on experience in developing applications software for processors with massively parallel computing resources.

There is no fee for the summer school. E-mail accelerator@ncsa.uiuc.edu or contact Umesh Thakkar, 333-2095, with questions.


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