News Bureau | University of Illinois

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign logo

Latest News »

Brief Notes

Abraham Inc. performs at 7:30 p.m. March 2 in the Tryon Festival Theatre at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

Klezmer-funk dance party

Abraham Inc. performs at 7:30 p.m. March 2 in the Tryon Festival Theatre at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

« Click photo to enlarge and for more information


IN THIS ISSUE: Prehistoric 'insects' star in film festival | Doodle for Wildlife benefit is March 6 | Biomass onversion is workshop focus | CAP self-nominations due March 8 | Bioenergy seminar series continues | Healthy dogs sought for clinical trial | Free survey research seminars offered | Graduate education symposium is Feb. 25 | Learn how to preserve your family treasures | Common items can be deadly for pets | Nobel Peace Prize-winnter to talk March 1 | Civil service employees and dependents may apply for scholarships | University Primary School hosts information meetings | Lecture on animal intelligence is March 11

Department of entomology

Prehistoric 'insects' star in film festival

After millions of years encased in the rock of a volcano outside Mexico City, the giant scorpions are riled and ready to rumble. So too are the vicious, multi-legged marine monsters, called trilobites, which assault the crew of an Antarctic research station after they are freed from the ice. These are the rampaging stars of this year’s Insect Fear Film Festival.

Never mind that scorpions and trilobites are not insects, said entomology professor and department head May Berenbaum, who founded the festival in 1984. “The scientists in the movies refer to them as insects, so we figure they’re fair game,” she said. (Full release and photos)

WIldlife Medical Clinic

Doodle for Wildlife benefit is March 6

Champagne will be flowing, delectable desserts will be served, and silent and live auctions will feature enticing gift packages at the ninth annual Doodle for Wildlife. The biggest fundraiser of the year for the UI Wildlife Medical Clinic will be from 7 to 9 p.m. March 6 at the I-Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 S. First St., Champaign. Entry to the social event and auction is $50 per person before Feb. 26 or $60 per person at the door.

Celebrity doodles by Dan Ackroyd, Carol Burnett, Jay Leno, Gene Simmons and many more may be the main attraction, but they are not the only ones. Guests will get to mingle with all five of the clinic’s resident birds of prey, including great horned owl Nokomis and bay-winged hawk Susie. Plus, guests may get their photo taken with one of the raptors.

Proceeds from Doodle for Wildlife account for more than half of the clinic’s annual budget. Veterinarians and specialists at the not-for-profit clinic see more than 1,500 wildlife animals every year, nursing them back to health so they can again fend for themselves in the wild.

The clinic contributes to the education of veterinary student volunteers while informing the public about local wildlife and assisting wildlife agencies with learning more about native species.

The Wildlife Medical Clinic also will be honoring Robert DeLong, owner of Framer’s Market, and Bill Bland, auctioneer and former Champaign mayor, for their longtime support of the clinic. Since the fundraiser’s inception, DeLong has donated frames for the doodles; Bland has donated his auctioneer services to the event.

More information about the event and the Wildlife Medical Clinic is available online.

March 11-12

Biomass conversion is workshop focus

The “Biomass Conversion to Heat & Electricity Workshop: Molding Today’s Technology for Tomorrow’s Bioenergy Feedstock Supply Chain” will benchmark the existing solid biomass for fuel (heat and electricity) technologies and supply chain components. Participants also will identify the bottlenecks, challenges and opportunities for research and systems commercialization.

The workshop will be March 11-12 at Heartland Community College, in Normal, Ill.

Seating is limited. Discounted registration is available through Feb. 19 for $80, and includes lunches and materials. The registration fee is $120 after Feb. 19. People may register online at or by phone at 309-268-8160.

For more information and an updated agenda, go to or contact Natalie Bosecker, at or 217-244-9273.

Sponsors for the event include UI’s Center for Advanced Bioenergy Research, Western Illinois University’s Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, Illinois State University’s Center for Renewable Energy, UI Extension, Heartland Community College, Chip Energy and Agricultural Watershed Institute.

Council of Academic Professionals

Self-nominations due March 8

Elections for open seats for the Council of Academic Professionals will take place the last week of March. Academic professionals interested in becoming involved in the council may nominate themselves by March 8.

For information on which districts have open seats and for an election timeline, go to (Click on Election Information.)

The council is an elected body of members who serve as the chancellor’s advisory committee for academic professionals on the Urbana campus.

For academic professionals wanting to serve, send a self-nomination statement to Include your name, your CAP district (available online), your department or unit, a candidacy statement and short biography not to exceed 250 words. Deadline is 5 p.m. March 8.

Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research

Bioenergy seminar series continues

The Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research is sponsoring a seminar series on bioenergy topics. This seminar series is one of the required classes for students pursuing a bioenergy professional science master’s degree, however the seminars are open to the public. Seminars begin at 4 p.m. in the Monsanto Room of the ACES Library.

“This bioenergy seminar series provides a broad range of topics from different perspectives – academia, research, government and industry,” said Hans Blaschek, director of the center. “We welcome anyone interested in learning more about the research and technologies presented and encourage questions and participation from the audience.”

Upcoming seminars:

  • Feb. 22: “Environment Enhancing Energy – Synergism of Algae Biofuels With Waste Treatment for Agricultural, Energy and Municipal Applications,” Lance Schideman, a UI professor of agricultural and biological engineering.
  • March 1: “Coskata Inc. and the Commercial Readiness of Feedstock Flexible Ethanol Production,” Wes Bolsen, chief marketing officer and vice president of government affairs, Coskata Inc.

A full list of scheduled topics is posted on the center’s Web site at For more information contact Natalie Bosecker, or 217-244-9273.

Veterinary Teaching Hospital

Healthy dogs sought for clinical trial

Would you like your dog to receive a free health status evaluation while contributing to research about canine obesity? Veterinarians at the UI Veterinary Teaching Hospital are seeking lean and overweight canine subjects for a study that will help quantify the effects of obesity on pancreatic and inflammatory markers in lean and obese dogs. 

Drs. Olivier Dossin and Steven Shadwick of the small animal internal medicine section are seeking healthy dogs to participate in a study. Participating dogs will receive a physical examination, complete blood count, serum chemistry profile and urinalysis. Some participants also will be asked to return for an abdominal ultrasound and DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan, which very accurately measures body fat.

For more information, call Shadwick at 217-333-7220 or read the study announcement online at

Survey research methodology

Free seminars offered; register online

The Survey Research Laboratory is offering five intermediate seminars on survey research methodology this semester.  The series is free to UI faculty and staff members and students. Attendance for each seminar is limited and advance registration is required. To register, go to

All seminars are scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. in classroom 201, 505 E. Green St., Champaign.

Topics: “Sampling Rare Populations” (Feb. 24), “Questionnaire Design Clinic” (March 3), “Secondary Analysis of Survey Data” (March 10), “Survey Non-response” (March 16) and “Ethics in Survey Research” (March 30).

‘Entrepreneurial Thinking’

Graduate education symposium is Feb. 25

The Annual Symposium on Graduate Education will take place from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Feb. 25 in Illini Union Rooms A, B and C.

The keynote speaker will be Lee T. Todd Jr., president of the University of Kentucky and chair of the board of directors and executive committee for the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. His talk, “Entrepreneurial Thinking in Graduate Education: A National Need?” will address what higher education can learn from entrepreneurialism as it is broadly defined.

Returning UI alumni, faculty members and local entrepreneurs will participate in two panel discussions following the keynote: “Academic, Social and Cultural Entrepreneurship” and “Entrepreneurship and Commercial Enterprises.”

The event is free and open to all faculty and staff members and students. It is co-sponsored by the Graduate College and the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership.

Details about the event and speaker biographies are online at

Preservation Working Group

Preserving your family treasures

“Heirlooms, Artifacts and Family Treasures: A Preservation Emporium” will feature preservation specialists from noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 20 at Spurlock Museum.

Organized by the Preservation Working Group of the UI, this free event allows visitors to meet and talk with preservation specialists whose expertise ranges from antiquities to modern digital media. Have you ever wondered how to preserve that old film of family memories or take care of grandma’s quilt? Bring your small, hand-held items to Spurlock Museum or come with images of larger items and have your preservation questions answered by the presenting experts.

For further information, contact Jennifer Teper at 217-244-5689.

College of Veterinary Medicine

Common items can be deadly for pets

Did you know that macadamia nuts are toxic to animals? You might be surprised to learn that these tropical nuts and other foods and items can pose threats to your pets.

On March 8, Pet U presents “Common Household Toxins” taught by Dr. Maureen McMichael, a veterinarian who specializes in emergency and critical care at the UI Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The class will present common household items that are toxic to animals.

 Register for this and other classes in the series online at

Register for “Common Household Toxins” by Feb. 24 to save $5 off the regular registration fee of $13. 

Class sessions in the Pet U series, taught by experts from the UI Veterinary Teaching Hospital or the CARE Center, are held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

A complete list of classes and schedules can be found online. 

‘Social Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century’

Nobel Peace Prize-winner to talk March 1

Muhammad Yunus, who received the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his pioneering concept of banking without collateral for the poorest of the poor, will deliver a public talk, “Social Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century,” at Foellinger Auditorium on March 1.

Yunus received the peace prize along with Grameen Bank, which he founded in 1983, to offer small loans for self employment for the rural poor, especially poor women.

Chancellor Bob Easter will present the university’s Presidential Award and Medallion to Yunus. The award and medallion is given to recognize those who “support and bring distinction to the university in profound ways.”

“With hope as his main currency, Yunus has proven his motivation and conviction to provide billions of dollars in successful loans made by enterprising borrowers and other advantageous projects derived from the Grameen Bank, the Grameen Trust and the Grameen Fund,” said UI President Stanley Ikenberry, who is serving in an interim capacity.

The presentation ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. Yunus will speak after the ceremony and take questions after his remarks.

In connection with Yunus’ talk, students, researchers and organizations with social entrepreneurship projects have been invited to display posters and be on hand to talk about their projects. Posters will be on display in the atrium of the Business Instructional Facility from 4 to 6 p.m. Poster topics will address several areas of enduring interest to Yunus: micro-credit opportunities for poor people, gender equity, health care and social business.

Yunus is the author of two best-selling books, “Banker to the Poor” and “Creating a World Without Poverty.” He will be available to sign copies in the BIF atrium from 4 to 5 p.m.

Yunus was born in 1940 in Chittagong, Bangladesh, and studied at Dhaka University in Bangladesh. He received a Fulbright Scholarship to study at Vanderbilt University and earned his doctorate in economics there in 1969. He was a professor of economics at Middle Tennessee State University and led the economics department at Chittagong University.

Yunus serves on the board of directors of the United Nations Foundation.

This event is sponsored by the Provost’s Gender Equity Council.

Civil service employee and dependents

Apply for scholarships by April 2

Applications for Civil Service Employees and Dependent Scholarships are available on the Staff Human Resources Web site at  Printed applications can be obtained from civil service representatives Barney Bryson (, Gary Fry (, Janet Davis ( or Debra Hilligoss (

The application deadline is April 2. Recipients are usually selected the second week in May with an award ceremony held in early June.  Last year scholarships were awarded to five dependents of employees.

The committee tries to award about eight scholarships each year to qualified individuals pursuing degrees of higher education at an accredited college or university. 

University Primary School

Information meeting for parents is Feb. 18

An informational meeting about the programs at University Primary School will be from 7 to 8 p.m. Feb. 18 in Room 26 of the Children’s Research Center. Child care will be provided.

University Primary School is an early childhood program that serves preschool, kindergarten and first-grade children in a project-based curriculum. Children must be 3 years old on or before July 1 for the preschool classroom and turn 5 before Sept. 1 to be considered for kindergarten enrollment.

College of Veterinary Medicine

Lecture on animal intelligence is March 11

Renowned scientist Dr. Irene Pepperberg will speak about her research of African grey parrots at the UI at 7 p.m. March 11 in the Large Animal Clinic Auditorium of the College of Veterinary Medicine. Free parking is available in Lot F-27 at 2001 S. Lincoln Ave.

The lecture, “Contemplating Creatures: Irene Pepperberg and the Hidden World of Animal Intelligence,” is free and open to the public.

For more than 30 years Pepperberg has worked extensively with African grey parrots to determine the cognitive and communicative abilities of these birds. Pepperberg earned her Ph.D. in 1976 at Harvard University. She now serves as an adjunct professor at Brandeis University and a lecturer and research associate at Harvard.

Her talk is organized by the Animal Well-Being Club, a student organization in the College of Veterinary Medicine, with sponsorship from the UI Student Organization Resource Fee and the College of Veterinary Medicine Non-Traditional Species Club.



Highlights »

Campus News »