Newsmakers

"Newsmakers" reports major national media coverage of faculty and
staff members.

In an op-ed piece in the New York Times, Robert Chirinko, visiting
professor of economics, cited data that counters the notion that the
introduction of anti-lock brakes and air bags has reduced the frequency of
automobile accidents. Chirinko's research indicates that the opposite is
true, due to what he describes as "offsetting behavior." When cost or risk
associated with a particular behavior decreases, Chirinko, observes,
"people will do it more." Chirinko's research, published originally in the
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, also was reported in the Wall
Street Journal and on a CNN "Headline News" feature.

A new book on anti-Semitism by history professor Frederic Jaher was
favorably reviewed in the New York Times Book Review. The book, "A
Scapegoat in the New Wilderness: The Origins and Rise of Anti-Semitism in
America," covers the period 1654 to the Civil War.

A Wall Street Journal article on new research on brain development
indicating that human intellectual growth begins much earlier than
previously believed included a reference to psychology professor William
Greenough's work. Greenough, who has done extensive research with brain
development, has found that young laboratory rats that live in enriched
environments learn faster than those deprived of such conditions.

A review of philosophy professor Richard Mohr's book, "A More Perfect
Union: Why Straight Americans Must Stand Up for Gay Rights," was reviewed
by the Los Angeles Times. The reviewer noted that the book is more about
human rights than gay rights.

Two UI faculty and staff members were quoted in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
recently. Rose Geier-Wilson, a research architect at the Building Research
Council, suggested coping mechanisms for homeowners with wet basements. In
a report on a deadly soybean fungus, extension plant pathologist Suzanne
Bissonette estimated that about 10 percent of her territory in central
Illinois was affected last summer.

Electrical and computer engineering professor Philip Krein and some of the
students who, under his direction, developed an experimental car known as
the Hybrid Electric Vehicle, appeared on the CBS program "Good Morning
America." During spring break, the HEV team traveled across Route 66 in the
car to demonstrate the practicality and efficiency of such vehicles.

The Washington Post, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, CBS Evening News, the BBC and
Science magazine are among the media that reported on Mike Norman's
simulation of the universe - the largest one ever created. Norman is a
professor of astronomy and a research scientist at the National Center for
Supercomputer Applications.

Agricultural economics professor Steven Sonka discussed changing consumer
attitudes about food and marketers' attempts to use new technology to gauge
those changes in a United Press International dispatch. Sonka predicted
that the use of bar coding and the electronic transmission of consumer data
ultimately will result in a wider variety of products available for
shoppers.

A report in the Philadelphia Inquirer on the U.S. dollar's migration to
other countries included an attribution to Case Sprenkle, director of the
UI-University of Warsaw joint MBA program. According to Sprenkle, the
amount of U.S. currency circulating throughout the globe represents a sum
almost equal to current Third World debt.

In a report in the Chicago Sun-Times, John Crihfield, professor of
agricultural economics, commented on Illinois' trend toward strong economic
growth during the first few months of this year. A Chicago Tribune column
also reported Crihfield's observations about the state's rural economy, and
cited his new book, "Illinois Agriculture, Agribusiness and the Rural
Economy: Strategic Issues for the Next Century."

Also in the Chicago Sun-Times was a feature story that included comments by
advertising professor Cele Otnes. The story was based on a study conducted
by Otnes and a colleague that suggested attitudes about birthdays and other
cultural rituals were shaped by early childhood experience.

Terrence Jones, director of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts,
was named in a Chicago Sun-Times story about a dance commissioned to
commemorate the center's 25th anniversary. The piece was created by
dancer/choreographer David Parsons and jazz musician Billy Taylor. In
addition, the center's 25th anniversary gala concert was reviewed in the
Chicago Tribune. The reviewer noted that "without a doubt the most
extraordinary moments of the 'Silver Jubilee' program owed to Shozo Sato,
the retired UI artist-in-residence who years ago gave Chicago's Wisdom
Bridge Theater some of its most indelible productions, including 'Kabuki
Medea' and 'Kabuki Macbeth.' " Also mentioned was dance professor Bill
Wagner's "unconventional and fascinating choreography" in an excerpt from
"West Side Story."

Other UI faculty and staff members interviewed or mentioned in the Chicago
Tribune recently include:
 * Cary Nelson, a Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences and
   professor of criticism and interpretive theory, who uncovered a 1947
   recording of Ernest Hemingway reading a tribute, titled "On the American
   Dead in Spain." Also, an essay co-authored by Nelson and Michael Berube,
   professor of criticism and interpretive theory, appeared in the Chronicle
   of Higher Education. In it, the authors proposed steps universities,
   faculty members and professional associations could take to improve working
   arrangements and future job prospects of graduate students.
 * Alan Parker, chief of staff at the Small Animal Clinic, who has researched
   feline-hyperesthesia syndrome, a stress-related disorder that results in
   behavioral problems.
 * Mark Schwartz, a conservation biologist at the Illinois Natural History
   Survey, who commented on data indicating that the state's forest acreage
   has actually increased by 10 percent since 1962.
 * Wayne Wendland, state climatologist at the Illinois State Water Survey,
   who commented about the likelihood that Illinois farmers would face another
   wet growing season this year.
 * Gary Heichel, head of agronomy, who contributed to a report about the
   trend among universities to patent agricultural innovations, resulting in a
   disruption in the previously more informal system of transferring research
   from academia to industry.
 * Vernon Bryant, extension horticulturist, who, in a story about the
   public's increasing interest in gardening, noted that people are growing
   more perennials and plants native to their area and are less obsessed with
   maintaining the perfect lawn.
 * Ellen Marsden, an assistant professional scientist at the Illinois Natural
   History Survey, who commented on a growing concentration of native lake
   sponges at the bottom of  Lake Michigan that are killing zebra mussels, a
   type of mollusk that has been clogging filter systems at water treatment
   plants and factories. Stanley Changon, chief emeritus of the Illinois State
   Water Survey also discussed zebra mussels in a Science magazine article,
   warning that their overabundance could result in an ecological disaster.

In another Science article, agronomy professor Robert Hoeft, reported that
efforts to reduce acid rain are affecting farmers. Farmers's fertilizer
expenses are growing, Hoeft said, as dirty coal-burning plants are cleaning
up their acts and emitting less sulfur, which previously rained down on
farm crops.

An article in Better Homes and Gardens magazine cited research by aviation
and Beckman Institute professor Art Kramer, who has found evidence to
support the theory that aerobic exercise can slow, or possibly reverse,
mental deterioration that occurs with aging.


UIUC -- Inside Illinois -- 1994/08-04-94