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News Bureau - Illinois in the News

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  • Education Justice Project

    WUIS-FM (Springfield, Ill., April 18) – The Education Justice Project brought U. of I. classes to the Danville Correctional Center in Illinois. Since 2009, more than 220 incarcerated people have taken classes through the program. But there’s a growing debate over how to measure the success of programs like EJP beyond how many students are released and return to prison.

  • Capital investment incentives

    Crain’s Chicago Business (April 15) – Michelle D. Layser, a professor of law at Illinois, writes about how lawmakers often tout pro-gentrification ideas such as the new federal “opportunity zone” tax incentive as tools to promote capital investment in poor neighborhoods. If history is any guide, the latest effort to create these zones in Chicago won’t yield wide-reaching benefits, Layser says.

  • Political science

    Herald & Review (Decatur, Ill., April 11) – The 2020 campaign season is starting early for central Illinois, as Democrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan announced Thursday she plans to challenge U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis again next year. Brian Gaines, a professor of political science at Illinois, says it’s not extraordinarily unusual for someone to announce his or her candidacy so far ahead of an election. “It’s not crazy to try and get your name out earlier,” he says. “… The only real advantage is trying to get a jump on other potential challengers to try to scare them out of the race.”

  • Agricultural economics

    Bloomberg (April 10) – The number of U.S. farms that are either very big or pretty small probably grew during a period when agriculture incomes fell 22 percent, pressuring mid-sized growers whose debt skyrocketed. “We’ve had sort of a hollowing out of the middle,” says Todd Kuethe, an agricultural economist at Illinois. “Either you’re one of these large farms or you’re one of these rural, residential farms.”

  • Teaching cursive

    KRIS-TV (Corpus Christi, Texas, April 8) – There is a debate on whether cursive is a valuable enough skill to be required in elementary education. Valerie Hotchkiss, a library director at the U. of I., thinks it is necessary for understanding historical documents. Without knowing cursive, students "will be locked out of doing research with literary papers and archival collections, they will not even be able to read their grandmother’s diary or their parents’ love letters.”

  • Student experiences

    Daily Herald (from The Associated Press; Arlington Heights, Ill., April 7) – Two fourth-year students at the U. of I. College of Veterinary Medicine are already getting some hands-on work with vaccinations, testing and other care. They were at the Coles County Animal Shelter on March 14, doing work that not only helps them prepare for their careers, but also provides care for pet owners who might not be able to get it otherwise.

  • Higher education funding

    The Southern Illinoisan (from Capitol News Illinois; Carbondale, Ill., April 3) – University of Illinois System President Tim Killeen called investment in higher education “part of the solution” to Illinois’ well-documented fiscal issues Wednesday during the system’s 10th annual lobby day at the Illinois State Capitol.

  • Aerospace engineering

    Sustainability Times (Paris, April 3) – U. of I. scientists have looked at various configurations of fuel and battery to see which ones would yield the best results in ensuring that planes kept their carrying capacity and range but with drastically reduced emissions. To do so, they explored how much net carbon emissions various hybrid-electric planes would emit based on their fuel use as well as on carbon use needed to charge their batteries. “In the energy supply chain there’s a phrase, from ‘well to wake.’ That is, fuel production begins at the oil well and ends at the wake of the airplane,” says Phillip Ansell, a professor of aerospace engineering at Illinois.

  • Hydrology

    Eos (Washington, D.C., March 28) – Over the past 50 years, hydrology has experienced a revolution in theory, technical application and interdisciplinary collaboration. Space-based topographic data, real-time weather telemetry and advances in computer technology have created a new, data-rich environment that has drastically changed how hydrology research is conducted and applied. “There’s an elephant in the room, though, the direct change that comes from humans,” says Murugesu Sivapalan, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Illinois.

  • Psychology

    Pacific Standard (Santa Barbara, Calif., March 22) – The results of a new study suggest that environmentally enlightened religious leaders could coax congregants into viewing the fight against climate change as a vital moral issue. “With an increasingly polarized political climate in the U.S., there is a growing need for other channels of communication to promote environmental concerns,” write psychologists Faith Shin of the U. of I. and Jesse Preston of the University of Warwick.