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Brief Notes

INSIDE ILLINOIS, Oct. 6, 2011        [ Email | Share ]

N THIS ISSUE: Emotional journey of gender transitioning explored in film | Free flu shots available | All Employee Expo is Oct. 18 | Auctions support educational activities | Clean energy workshop is Oct. 13 | Local film to be screened Oct. 6 | Annual meeting is Oct. 7-9 | 'Biological timekeeping' discussed Oct. 20 | Conference features international roster | Campus crime statistics released | Strategies for healthy aging featured | Alumni panel showcases advertising careers | Planned walks make getting active easy | Wondering why your pet itches? | Weight loss group meets Tuesdays | Mathematics network to offer collaboration | Staff retirees, long-serving staff honored


Emotional journey of gender transitioning explored in film

“This is My Journey,” a new documentary by Kate Brickman to be broadcast on WILL-TV, explores the lives of three transgender people in Central Illinois who are in the process of transitioning from one gender to the other. Focusing on the emotional and psychological side of their journeys, the film tells the stories of three people as they struggle to maintain relationships with spouses, children, family and friends, while searching for their true identity.

The film, a project for Brickman’s UI master’s degree in journalism, will be broadcast at 8 p.m. Oct. 7. Brickman said she avoided medical details about the transition process, instead focusing on how the transition played out in the daily lives of Cris, Dana and Shayla.

“I wanted to show them as real people with real everyday struggles,” Brickman said. “When I started interviewing transgender people, a common theme was the feeling of not belonging. That’s something everyone can relate to.”

Her goal for the documentary was to give viewers “the opportunity to open up their minds,” she said.

UI journalism professor Nancy Benson, who was Brickman’s project adviser and helped her sort through more than 30 hours of footage, said the film is an exceptional master’s project. “I’ve seen other documentaries on the subject, but I have never seen it done with this kind of sensitivity and clarity about exactly what it’s like to go through the transitioning process,” she said.

Brickman, who received her master’s degree in May, was coordinator of the UI cable channel UI-7. She recently moved to Minneapolis.

McKinley Health Center

Free free flu shots now available

McKinley Health Center is now offering free flu shots to benefits eligible faculty and staff members and retirees 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday through the end of October. In addition, there are other campus locations scheduled.

UI employees and retirees should present an ID with their University Identification Number and proof of state health insurance.

A state or university employee is considered benefits eligible if receiving health benefits from the state on the basis of employment and not as a dependent of another staff member. Any active or retired state employee who is enrolled in a state-sponsored health-insurance plan is eligible. Dependents, spouses, contractual workers, consultants, students, as well as employees who have opted out of health insurance coverage through the state are not eligible for the free flu shot through this program.

Those not eligible for a free flu shot, but who may receive one at McKinley for $25, include extra-help and academic hourly employees; visiting scholars; part-time employees who do not participate in the health plan (coverage by one’s spouse/partner does not count); spouses or partners of faculty and staff members, retirees or students; volunteers; or contractual employees.

Flu shot schedule

McKinley Health Center
10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday

Other locations:

  • Activities and Recreation Center main atrium (4-7 p.m. Oct. 13 and 18 )
  • Beckman Institute main atrium (11 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 19 and Nov. 3)
  • Grainger Library reference area (3:30-6:30 p.m. Oct. 7 and 26 and Nov. 8)
  • Illini Union (11 a.m.-2 p.m. in Room C on Nov. 1 and Room B on Nov. 10)
  • Newman Hall dining area (11 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 14)
  • Undergraduate Library reference area (1:30-4:30 p.m. Oct. 17 and 25)

For updates, check online.


Human resources

All Employee Expo is Oct. 18

All UI employees are invited to attend the All Employee Expo on Oct. 18. Representatives from campus, community and affiliated organizations will provide information about benefits, services, programs and other related topics.

The event is hosted by Academic Human Resources, the Staff Advisory Council and Staff Human Resources. Employees must bring their i-card to be admitted to the free event, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Illini Union Rooms A, B and C.

This is an approved event for civil service employees, who may take up to one hour to attend, operations permitting and with prior supervisory approval.

For more information go to

Spurlock Museum Guild

Auctions support educational activities

The Spurlock Museum Guild will host an auction and dinner Oct. 22 to celebrate the 100th birthday of the museum.

It is the 20th auction hosted by the guild, which has provided more than $350,000 in support of the museum’s educational activities, including outreach to area schools.

The auction begins with a champagne reception at the museum and continues with a dinner and auctions at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center. Tickets are $75 per person. Auction items include gourmet dinners in private homes, gift certificates to Champaign-Urbana restaurants, works by local artists, designer and antique jewelry and an array of themed baskets from martinis to Illini memorabilia. Other items include car washes, a stay at a feline rescue center, and stays at bed and breakfast resorts.

For more information and to purchase tickets, contact auction co-chairs Dixie Whitt, 217-328 2126 or, or Pola Triandis, 217-344-6722 or


Becoming energy literate

Clean energy workshop is Oct. 13

The campus will host the Clean Energy Education workshop Oct. 13. It is the first in a series of activities that will bring together experts in energy education to lead the nation in creating an energy literate society for the 21st century.

In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama said the nation should produce 80 percent of the nation’s electricity from clean energy sources by the year 2035.  While technology is a vital component in reaching the nation’s clean energy goals, educating people to be energy literate so that they can be informed decision makers also is critical. 

The workshop will focus on identifying the most effective ways for the nation to develop and implement programs of clean energy education, spanning K-12 through advanced degrees, work force and continuing education, and public energy literacy. It also will foster institutional partnerships necessary to develop and sustain clean energy education programs.

Carl Wieman, associate director for science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and a Nobel laureate, will give the keynote address, speaking from his Washington office.  A five-member panel will then discuss and debate the goals and challenges of clean energy education. The closing address by professor Juergen Scheffran, University of Hamburg, Germany, will expand the issue to the international stage. Current and future educational activities at the collaborating institutions will be highlighted in poster presentations. The morning sessions are open to the public and will be in Illini Union Rooms A and B beginning at 8:30 a.m. See for more details.

In the afternoon, invited participants will work in breakout sessions to draft recommendations for a national report to be delivered to the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and other agencies. 

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the workshop is organized by the UI in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory, the Illinois Green Economy Network of Community Colleges, Northwestern University, UIC and the University of Chicago.


‘The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today’

Local film to be screened Oct. 6

The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities will present a free screening of the documentary, “The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today,” at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 6 at Krannert Art Museum.

The documentary, produced and directed by UI journalism professor Jay Rosenstein, tells the story of a Champaign woman whose 1945 lawsuit resulted in a landmark case that established the separation of church and state in public schools. Rosenstein, who won a Peabody award and two Emmy awards for the film, will lead a discussion after the screening.

Illinois Classical Conference

Annual meeting is Oct. 7-9

The Illinois Classical Conference will cover topics ranging from Alexander the Great’s infamous mass wedding at Susa to teaching classics with Google Maps during its annual meeting, Oct. 7-9 at the Illini Union.

The conference is a professional association of teachers of Latin, Greek and the classics from schools and colleges statewide. However, the conference is open to non-members and registration is available on-site.

Lothar Haselberger, a professor of Roman architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, will deliver the keynote address, “Which Rome? Classics and Classical Architecture in the 21st Century,” at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 8 in Room 314B. His address, co-sponsored by the UI School of Architecture, is free and open to the public. 

The conference is hosted by the UI department of the classics. A complete schedule is available online at For more information, contact Ariana Traill, a professor of the classics, at 217-333-7661 or by email at


Center for Advanced Study

‘Biological timekeeping’ discussed Oct. 20

Martha U. Gillette, the CAS Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and the Alumni Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, will describe research she and her students have been conducting on the master circadian clock of the human brain. The talk is the 21st annual Center for Advanced Study lecture.

Gillette’s talk, “Adventures in Biological Timekeeping: The Clockwork of the Brain,” will begin at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20 in the Knight Auditorium in the Spurlock Museum. The event is free and open to the public.

The research findings could be used in the development of strategies for dealing with sleep disorders, depression and physiological decline with aging, as well as environmental or drug interventions that help reset the clock when it’s upset by jet lag or shift work. The research also could be used in the development of therapeutic treatments synchronized to times of maximum effect.

Gillette is an affiliate of the Beckman Institute, the Institute for Genomic Biology, the department of bioengineering and the Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory.

At the start of each academic year, the CAS director invites one of the CAS professors to present his or her current research to an educated but non-specialist audience. For more information, visit

Medieval Asia

Conference features international roster

The UI Program in Medieval Studies and the department of East Asian languages and cultures will host a conference, “Cultural Transmission in Medieval Asia,” from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 22 in Room 101 of the International Studies Building.

Featured guest speakers include Naomi Fukumori and Meow Hui Goh, professors of East Asian languages at Ohio State University; and Hwisang Cho, of Columbia University. Fukumori specializes in premodern Japanese literature and culture; Goh specializes in the literature and cultural history of medieval China, and is the author of “Sound and Sight: Poetry and Courtier Culture in the Yongming Era (483-493).”

This conference is the first of several activities scheduled this school year to celebrate the expansion of the program in medieval studies at the UI, to highlight the importance of the Islamic world and East Asia.

The lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Elizabeth Oyler at 217-244-4006 or by email at


Division of Public Safety

Campus crime statistics released

Members of the UI Division of Public Safety are actively engaged in a proactive community-based policing approach that seeks to engage all students, faculty and staff members, and visitors to take an active role in creating and maintaining a safe community.

Toward that end and in compliance with Federal Regulations and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Crime Statistics Act, a copy of the campus’s annual security report is available online at A printed copy of the report is available by contacting the Division of Public Safety at 217-333-1216. 

This report includes crime statistics for the previous three years concerning crimes that occurred on campus, in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by the UI, and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus. This report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security and other crime prevention information.

Information about recent safety initiatives is available online at

Members of the campus community are encouraged to sign up for the Illini-Alert system. Go to to register a phone number and email address to receive text message and email alerts about emergency situations on campus as well as designate family and friends to be notified in the event of a campus emergency.

Center on Health, Aging and Disability

Strategies for healthy aging featured

The Center on Health, Aging and Disability in the College of Applied Health Sciences will present a symposium on “Strategies for Healthy Aging” on Oct. 13 at the I Hotel and Conference Center. The symposium, scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., will feature several lecturers. Wendy Kohrt, a professor of geriatrics at the University of Colorado, will discuss “Contributing Factors to Healthy Aging.” Art Kramer, a UI professor of psychology who also is the director of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, will talk about “Enhancing Cognition and Brain Function of Older Adults: Aging is Not (Necessarily) a One-Way Street …” Introductory remarks will be made by Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise.

A poster presentation and reception will follow at 6 p.m.

 To register and view the complete agenda, visit or call 217-333-4995.


Advertising Week

Alumni panel showcases ad careers

Advertising Week on the UI campus will culminate on Oct. 6 with a panel featuring Illinois alumni discussing their advertising careers. The event is free and open to the public. The panel discussion begins at 5 p.m. in Room 66 of the Library. The Charles H. Sandage department of advertising scheduled the events to coincide with Advertising Week in New York City, which is the world’s premier annual gathering of marketing and communications leaders.

Illinois events will highlight the dynamics of advertising in the news, digital advertising and best practices in crisis communication. Since 2008 the advertising department has hosted its own Advertising Week. 

For more information, visit

Wellness Center

Planned walks make getting active easy

Do you want to get more physical activity but can’t seem to find the time? Free lunchtime wellness walks sponsored by the UI Wellness Center make it easier to fit in a walk during your busy day. The walks – hosted on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:10 to 12: 50 p.m. – are designed to fit into the average lunch break, allowing enough time to travel to the walk starting point, walk for 30 minutes and return to work.

Each walk starts at a different area of campus, to make attending convenient. Walkers of all abilities are welcome. The walks are free but registration is required.


  •  Mondays: start at Bevier Hall main entrance (on Goodwin).
  •  Tuesdays: start at Krannert Art Museum main entrance (on Peabody).
  •  Thursdays: start at the Mechanical Engineering Building main entrance (on the Bardeen Quad).

For more information or to register, contact the UI Wellness Center at 217-265-9355 or or go to


Veterinary Teaching Hospital

Wondering why your pet itches?

On Oct. 10, Pet U presents “Why Your Pet Itches” taught by Domenico Santoro, a veterinarian who specializes in dermatology at the UI Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The class will consider the possible causes of itchiness in dogs and cats, with particular emphasis on allergies (flea, food and environmental) and explore how you and your veterinarian can help your pet to feel better.

As the kick-off session of the 2011-2012 Pet U series, “Why Your Pet Itches” will be offered for $8 (a $5 savings).

Register for this and other classes in the series online at

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.


Wellness Center

Weight loss group meets Tuesdays

Employees trying to lose weight now have a convenient resource on campus. The UI Wellness Center offers a weekly weight management support group. Called The Healthy Weigh, the program is designed for employees looking for reliable and practical weight management support. The meetings, led by a health educator and a certified wellness coach, give reliable information on how to lose and maintain a healthy weight, teach life-management skills to help people attain their weight goals, and provide group support to increase self-confidence.

Topics to be covered in the series include basics of weight management, portion control, social effects on eating habits, re-creating your favorite recipes, long- and short-term goal setting, and more.

The Healthy Weigh meets Tuesdays from 5:30 – 6:15 p.m. Participants have the option to get a private, confidential weigh-in before each meeting. The program meets in the UI Wellness Center, located in the Activities and Recreation Center. Parking is free after 5 p.m.

Employees can drop in to any individual session or sign up for the series. The cost is $7 per single meeting or $60 for the 12-week series.

For more information or to register contact the UI Wellness Center at 217-265-9355 or, or visit


Mathematics network

Network to offer collaboration

A new mathematics network, centered at the UI, will bring together researchers across specialties to study geometric constructs of interest in mathematics and physics.  

The National Science Foundation will award $5 million over five years to establish an international network of mathematicians focused on geometric structures and representation varieties (GEAR). The UI will serve as the lead hub for the GEAR network, under the direction of mathematics professor Steven Bradlow, with two other main hubs at the University of Maryland and Stanford University. 

The network will connect researchers at 46 nodes across the Unites States, Canada and Europe, facilitating communication and collaboration through short- and long-term visits and exchanges, retreats and cyber-networking. The funds also will support training, internships and research for graduate and postdoctoral students, encouraging mathematicians at various levels to interact.

Service Recognition Banquet

Retirees, long-serving staff honored

Long-service and retiring staff members will be honored at the annual Service Recognition Banquet on Nov. 7. The banquet begins at 6 p.m. in Illini Union Rooms A, B and C.

To find out who is being honored and to make reservations, go to the Staff Human Resources website at

The online form should be used by anyone who wishes to attend the banquet who is not an honoree. Reservations should be made by Oct. 21. Honorees plus one guest may attend the banquet for free, and have received a separate invitation with an RSVP card.

For questions regarding this year’s program, call 217-333-3101.



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