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Nov. 3, 2011, Vol. 31 No. 9
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Photo by Heather A. Miller, Office of Online and Continuing Education

Urbana Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise takes a moment after addressing participants in the UI’s online education summit to chat with Sandra Burke, from the UIC College of Nursing at Urbana. While the conversation wasn’t officially a part of the chancellor’s Listening and Learning Tour, Wise continues to seek out campus opinions wherever she can find them. She said she plans to formulate her administration’s agenda based on input gathered from campus stakeholders in her first 100 days. She also will host a town hall meeting Dec. 6. Read story

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Future of online education at Illinois explored at meeting

Speakers challenged more than 200 campus leaders Oct. 31 to approach online learning the way the UI approaches almost everything else it touches – they should revolutionize it. The message was delivered through the UI’s “Summit on Online Education: The Present and Future” at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center to the group of administrators, faculty and staff members, and graduate students.

On the Job: Darold Spillman

Darold Spillman, an administrative aide at the Beckman Institute, helps manage and coordinate 20 researchers for the Biophotonic Imaging Laboratory, has administrative and budgeting duties for the Strategic Initiative on Imaging, manages the unit╒s equipment and serves as the unit's information technology manager. He came to the UI after a 24-year career in the Air Force.

Ukulele event highlights class designed to instill lifelong love of music

Any musician who can perform a concerto on stage with a symphony orchestra surely feels right at home jamming with friends on a simple pop tune or a folk classic like “This Land is Your Land,” right? Well, not necessarily.

Staff Members recognized for service, retirement

Recently retired and long-serving staff employees will be honored at the 2011 Staff Service Recognition Program Nov. 7 in Illini Union Rooms A, B and C. The program will honor 144 employees who retired between Sept. 1, 2010, and Aug. 31, 2011. In addition, employees will be honored for service completed during that time: 89 employees who completed 25 years, 34 who completed 30 years, five who completed 35 years, three who completed 40 years and one who completed 45 years. A website for the Staff Service Recognition Program is accessible through the Staff Human Resources home page. Retirees and service honorees are listed alphabetically by name, department or number of years served.

Here are two recent staff retirees … Nickie Dalton (College of Media) and Michael Feigl (Facilities and Services).


The annual summary of committee members on the Urbana-Champaign campus can be viewed online. In an effort to provide the most accurate information, Inside Illinois has compiled a list of URLs for units that appoint the committees.

Climate Survey to gauge campus experience

The UI wants to make sure that each student and faculty and staff member has the best campus experience possible. That was the impetus for the first  universitywide climate survey.


Among the newcomers to the Urbana campus are faculty members whose appointments began this summer or fall. Inside Illinois continues its tradition of introducing some of the new faculty members on campus and will feature at least two new colleagues in each fall issue.

  • Charles Daval, an assistant professor of trumpet in the School of Music in the College of Fine and Applied Arts

  • Jennifer A. Kam, an assistant professor of communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Research »

Access to legal aid depends a lot on where you live, report says

According to one estimate, half of Americans are confronting a civil legal problem at any one time. Without access to the right information or advice, or an advocate in civil court, they may lose a home, a job, maybe custody of a child, says Rebecca Sandefur. They may lose out in a divorce, or in a billing or insurance dispute.

Study: Crop diversity myths persist in media

The conventional wisdom that says the 20th century was a disaster for crop diversity is nothing more than a myth, according to a forthcoming study by a UI expert in intellectual property law.

Research: Graphene grows better on certain copper crystals

New observations could improve industrial production of high-quality graphene, hastening the era of graphene-based consumer electronics, thanks to UI engineers.

Hospital tests reveal the secrets of an Egyptian mummy

An ancient Egyptian mummy has had quite an afterlife, traveling more than 6,000 miles, spending six decades in private hands, and finally, in 1989, finding a home at the World Heritage Museum (now the Spurlock Museum) at the University of Illinois. The mummy’s travels did not end there, however. It has made two trips to a local hospital – once in 1990 and again this year – for some not-so-routine medical exams.

Competing GOP tax plans renew debate about value of deductions

If a presidential election is looming, it’s inevitable that the law many Americans love to hate – the federal income tax – will come under attack from candidates. While this election cycle is no different, two competing plans from GOP rivals renew an important public policy question: Why have tax deductions at all?

Flash Index falls slightly

The UI Flash Index fell to 98.3 in October, down half a point from 98.8 last month. The index increased sharply in September, and remains above the 97.8 level that prevailed from June through August of this year.

Team discovers how a cancer-causing bacterium spurs cell death

Researchers report they have figured out how the cancer-causing bacterium Helicobacter pylori attacks a cell’s energy infrastructure, sparking a series of events in the cell that ultimately lead it to self-destruct.

New course will show teachers how to create, use educational games

With an increasing number of children “wired” from an early age, adept at playing computer games and surfing the Web by elementary school, future teachers need to know how to integrate educational games into their teaching practice, according to Wen-Hao (David) Huang, a professor in the department of education policy, organization and leadership in the College of Education at the UI.

Honors »

Illinois professor named Packard Fellow

UI chemical and biomolecular engineering professor Charles Schroeder has been named a Packard Fellow in science and engineering. He is among 16 early career researchers honored by the David and Lucille Packard Foundation in 2011 for outstanding creative research.