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  • Agriculture

    Agri News (Rochester, Minn., Nov. 11) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the National Science Foundation announced the winners, including a team from Illinois, of the first Innovations in Food and Agricultural Science and Technology $200,000 prize competition.

  • Agriculture and climate change

    Phys.org (Sept. 20) – How will we feed our growing population in the face of an increasingly extreme climate? Many experts suggest the answer lies in breeding novel crop varieties that can withstand the increases in drought, heat and extreme rainfall events. But breeding is only part of the equation, according to new research from Illinois and several collaborating institutions. “It might not be necessary to put all the stress of climate adaptation and mitigation on new varieties. Instead, if we can manage agroecosystems more appropriately, we can buffer some of the effects of climate instability,” says Illinois ecologist Adam Davis.

  • Alumna

    Gulf News (Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 12) – Known as a tough reformist, Illinois alumna Sri Mulyani Indrawati, minister of finance of the Republic of Indonesia, was announced as the “Best Minister in the World” during the sixth World Government Summit Sunday. Indrawati was recognised for her efforts in fighting corruption and increasing transparency in the government with the help of her team at the Ministry of Finance in Indonesia.

  • Alumna

    The New York Times (Feb. 13) -- In The New York Times' list of potential Supreme Court nominees to replace Antonin Scalia, Illinois alumna Patricia Ann Millett is listed. Her nomination in 2013 by President Barack Obama to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circut (to fill the seat vacated by John G. Roberts Jr. after his elevation to the Supreme Court) was one of three nominations caught up in a Senate debate over the use of the filibuster. She received a bachelor's in political science from Illinois.

  • Alumna

    The Australian (Sydney, Feb. 20) – Illinois alumna Parisa Tabriz liked mathematics and gravitated toward computer engineering, which she studied at Illinois. Now, after 10 years at Google, Tabriz is a veteran, having worked to improve Gmail and the company’s white-hat hacking effort. 

  • Alumna

    The New York Times (Feb. 26) – Illinois alumna and choreographer Angie Pittman is not interested in shouting to get your attention. And as a dancer of calm, steady radiance, she doesn’t need to. “Angie’s work is very internal, like a meditative resistance of some sort,” says choreographer Tere O’Connor, a professor of dance at Illinois, where Pittman received a Master’s of Fine Arts.

  • Alumna

    The Washington Post (March 7) – Carolee Schneemann, 79, a painter and performance artist whose taboo-bursting works explored gender, sexuality and the body politic, often by using her own nude figure as a canvas, died of breast cancer March 6 at her home in New Paltz, New York. She received a master of fine arts degree from the U. of I.

  • Alumna

    Chicago Tribune (May 25) – After years of surprising fans of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” with their contest winnings, Westchester native and Illinois alumna Jeannie Klisiewicz was shocked when DeGeneres surprised her with a Ford EcoSport and an audience seat dedicated in her name to celebrate her 10th anniversary working for the show.

  • Alumna

    Chicago Tribune (June 26) – Illinois alumna Jasmine Lee, a research specialist at Chicago startup G2 Crowd, helps people pick better software.

  • Alumna

    Belleville News-Democrat (Belleville, Ill., July 6) – Illinois alumna Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, of Springfield, Illinois, hopes to win the Democratic nomination and face off against Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, of Taylorville, Illinois, in the November 2018 general election.

  • Alumna

    Reuters (Jakarta, Indonesia, July 27) – Indonesia’s president appointed World Bank managing director Sri Mulyani Indrawati as the country’s finance minister, among a wider cabinet reshuffle aimed at increasing the effectiveness of his team. The addition of Indrawati to the president’s economic team lifted financial markets, with stocks up more than 1 percent and the rupiah strengthening 0.4 percent against the dollar. Indrawati has a Ph.D in economics from the U. of I.

  • Alumna

    Chicago Tribune (Aug. 15) – Erika Harold, a former Miss America, Illinois alumna and unsuccessful congressional candidate, is expected to announce a Republican bid for attorney general for the chance to challenge four-term Democrat Lisa Madigan. 

  • Alumna

    Chicago Tribune (Oct. 21) – Chicago native Alexandra Patsavas, founder of Los Angeles-based Chop Shop Music Supervision, has earned her chops in Hollywood by finding just the right song to place in TV shows and films to make the story – and the music – resonate with viewers. She began to realize that her passions could pay off while attending Illinois, after joining the organization that brought bands to campus.

  • Alumna

    The New York Times (Nov. 4) – You may not have even heard her name yet. But you probably will, because Illinois alumna Luvvie Ajayi, a Nigerian-born “professional shade thrower,” as she calls herself, is offering incisive, hilarious commentary on polarizing issues (race and gender in particular), and she has found her audience.

  • Alumna

    The Times (Ottawa, Ill., Nov. 16) – Following retirement from decades of medical work as a general physician in Illinois, Dr. Patricia Thomas went back to college at the U. of I. to earn her doctorate in entomology at the age of 60. Within the last year, she has donated perhaps more than 6,000 insects from her massive collection to the Illinois Natural History Survey, part of the Prairie Research Institute at Illinois.

  • Alumnae

    India West (Aug. 3) – From the moment their Bharatanatyam-popping fusion dance video went viral, it was only a matter of time before their talent landed them in the spotlight. Chicago-based Indian American twin sisters Poonam and Priyanka Shah, two U. of I. alumnae who gained instant fame after they uploaded a dance video that combined Bharatanatyam and popping exercise, are slaying it in the ninth season of the dance reality show, “Jhalak Dikhla Ja.”

  • Alumnae

    NBC News (Dec. 13) – Before they took the internet by storm, Illinois alumnae, twin choreographers and dancers Poonam and Priyanka Shah spent hours practicing dance routines in the comfort of their home, creating what they call “Bfusion,” a combination of Bharatnatyam classical Indian dance, Bollywood choreography and elements of hip-hop. The twins both attended Illinois, where Poonam majored in finance and Priyanka studied accounting and management.

  • Alumni

    The New York Times (March 17) – The stunning victory by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County over the University of Virginia on Friday night – the biggest upset ever in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament – catapulted a school whose competitive claim to fame had long been chess into sports history. President Freeman A. Hrabowski III, who received a Ph.D. from the U. of I., has created a school that is better known for producing the most African-American students who go on to complete combined master and doctoral degree programs than it is for turning out professional athletes.

  • Alumni

    Heavy.com (New York, April 3) – Today would have been the 88th birthday of structural engineer and Illinois alumnus Fazlur Rahman Khan, best known for designing Chicago’s Sears Tower, now known as the Willis Tower. Khan is the subject for today's Google Doodle.

  • Alumni

    Taipei Times (Taiwan, Oct. 3) – Oscar-winning director Ang Lee on Saturday spoke of his attachment to Taiwan, saying that he is Taiwanese and that no matter where he shoots a film, it is a Taiwanese film. Lee, who received a master’s in fine arts from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts after earning bachelor’s degrees at the National Arts School (now the National Taiwan University of Arts) and Illinois, says he sees himself “as a student of the motion picture department forever, and the world is my school.”

  • Alumnus

    NBC News (Jan. 19) -- Illinois alumnus Ervin A. Johnson is a 27-year-old Chicago-based artist who uses photography and other creative techniques to inspire the healing of others.

  • Alumnus

    The Independent (London, Feb. 8) – Illinois alumnus and Oscar-winning director Ang Lee’s 3-D film “Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk,” about a U.S. soldier returning from Iraq, was a flop in the U.S. because of its hyperrealistic look, but, Lee says, part of the problem is getting audiences to adjust to technical innovation.

  • Alumnus

    Yahoo! News (Feb. 20) – Mark Essig, the president and CEO of FKI Security Group, one of the world’s leading designers, manufacturers and software providers of cash management solutions, has been recognized by Illinois with the Distinguished Alumni Award.

  • Alumnus

    The Hill (Opinion, Washington, D.C., March 23) – Illinois alumnus Yi Gang is well-equipped to assume the role as China’s central bank chief. His first order of business will be to get a handle on China’s growing debt problem and get ahead of a potential problem should any of the many variables related to the overhang of debt start to unravel.

  • Alumnus

    Sports Illustrated (April 14) – Illinois alumnus William Louis Nack, 77, died Friday at his home in Washington, D.C. He was a towering figure in the history of sports journalism, a literary wordsmith and tireless reporter whose distinctive and soaring prose is revered by his peers and generations of younger writers.

  • Alumnus

    Chicago Tribune (May 22) – Novelist Timothy Zahn, an Illinois alumnus, is the man who saved “Star Wars,” according to fans. Zahn grew up in Lombard, Illinois, and studied physics at the U. of I. before going on to write a dozen “Star Wars” novels in the past 25 years. 

  • Alumnus

    Chicago Tribune (May 25) – “The challenge I present myself with is to get out of my own way,” says Benjamin Montalbano, the founder and frontman of the band Matthaus. Montalbano’s style stems from his background in the classical music world. He earned a degree from Illinois in music composition.

  • Alumnus

    WGN-TV (Chicago, June 1) – Illinois alumnus Isaac Robert created a new version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” to celebrate the Cubs World Series win in 2016.

  • Alumnus

    Forbes (New York City, June 5) – Tom Siebel, 66, whose fortune Forbes pegs at $2.9 billion, is announcing today that his company, C3.ai, will cover the total cost for employees to earn a master’s degree in computer science online. Siebel got his own master’s in computer science from the highly ranked program at the U. of I., the school where his employees can earn the same degree.

  • Alumnus

    Broadway World (June 6) – Illinois alumnus Alan Ruck, known for his role as Cameron Frye in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” speaks about his recent appearance alongside actor Brad Pitt in the film “War Machine” and his time at the U. of I. “For college I wound up at Illinois, which was a happy accident,” Ruck says. “I met some really wonderful people there.” 

  • Alumnus

    Las Vegas Review-Journal (June 24) – Moments before playing high-stakes poker for the first time in more than a decade Monday, “Jeopardy!” sensation James Holzhauer, an Illinois alumnus, said his strategy was simply not to embarrass himself at the World Series of Poker. The Las Vegas professional sports bettor certainly accomplished his mission, but he went 0-for-2 in his quest to win prize money in WSOP events.

  • Alumnus

    Daily Herald (Chicago, July 18) – The late film critic and Illinois alumnus Roger Ebert will be inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame.

  • Alumnus

    The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Ill., July 20) – To 9-year-old Scott Altman of Wenona, Illinois, the astronauts of Apollo 11 seemed at once like friends and gods. “It was amazing to go outside, look at the moon and know there were people up there like us,” Altman says, remembering the first moon landing July 20, 1969. Altman would go on to graduate from the U. of I. with a degree in astronautical engineering, serve as a Navy pilot and fly on four Space Shuttle missions.

  • Alumnus

    Boston Globe (Aug. 8) – Illinois alumnus Navid Aghasadeghi, a Boston-based robotics software engineer with a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering, says the mix of engineering skills he uses in working with robots is part of what makes his job at Rethink Robotics so rewarding.

  • Alumnus

    Popular Mechanics (Aug. 18) – Illinois alumnus and actor Nick Offerman learned basic woodworking skills from his father, uncles and grandfathers. As a teenager in small-town Illinois, he earned spending money by framing houses. In college, where he studied theater, he supported himself by working at the Illinois scenery shop.

  • Alumnus

    Chicago Reader (Sept. 6) – The new Ken Burns-produced documentary “Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War” tells a powerful story through the words of witnesses of the Holocaust. Peter Braunfeld is one of them: He’s an 85-year-old Jewish Holocaust survivor who immigrated to the United States in 1940, settled in Chicago, and currently resides in Champaign. Braunfeld received his Ph.D. in mathematics (abstract algebra) from Illinois in 1959.

  • Alumnus

    Chicago Tribune (Sept. 10) – Illinois alumnus Kevin Anderson played his way onto the grandest stage of his professional tennis career, the U.S. Open. He made it to the final, but lost to Rafael Nadal.

  • Alumnus

    The Southern Illinoisan (Carbondale, Ill., Sept. 19) – The Illinois Supreme Court announced Monday that Illinois alumnus and Justice Lloyd Karmeier from Washington County will be its next Chief Justice. 

  • Alumnus

    Smithsonian (Sept. 20) – Bestselling author and Illinois alumnus Dave Eggers might just have begun writing as a side project. Before penning acclaimed novels like “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,” he was trained as an illustrator. After a 15-year hiatus from art, Eggers has returned to the drawing board with the whimsical new book “Ungrateful Mammals.”

  • Alumnus

    The New York Times (Sept. 21) – Ankur Gopal, a U. of I. graduate from Owensboro, Kentucky, started Interapt, a software engineering company that offers courses in coding, in his basement in Louisville in 2011, when he was 35. Gopal is at the forefront of a new movement to bring money and jobs from the coastal capitals of high tech to a discouraged, outsource-whipped Middle America. “With millions of U.S. tech jobs out there,” Gopal says, “we could help transform eastern Kentucky. Well, hey – Middle America.”

  • Alumnus

    Chicago Tribune (Oct. 14) – Illinois alumnus John McNaughton’s chilling ‘80s slasher film “Henry,” which has taken on the deserved status of a classic, will be on movie screens across the country on Friday in celebration of its 30th anniversary.

  • Alumnus

    Chicago Tribune (Dec. 22) -- How and why Brookfield Zoo is working to save wildlife in Peru centers primarily on Mike Adkesson, 36, a native of Decatur in central Illinois. After earning his doctorate in veterinary medicine at Illinois, Adkesson heard about a postdoctorate opportunity to conduct research on the health of penguins at Punta San Juan in Peru. 

  • American Indian Studies

    KJZZ-FM (Audio, Tempe, Ariz., Nov. 19) – Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert grew up in a community of running. He’s an enrolled member of the Hopi Tribe and, even as a child growing up in Flagstaff, he says he would run with his family in Buffalo Park. The Hopi people have a long history of running, and in his new book, “Hopi Runners: Crossing the Terrain Between Indian and American,” he tells the story of some of the Hopi runners who made history in the early 1900s. Gilbert, a professor and the director of the America Indian Studies Program at at Illinois, discusses how these stories changed the way America thought about Native American people.

  • Animal and nutritional sciences

    Medical News Today (Brighton, U.K., Aug. 22) – A new study by Illinois researchers has found a three-way relationship between a type of gut bacteria, cortisol and brain metabolites. This relationship, the researchers hypothesize, may potentially lead to further insight into autism, but more in-depth studies are needed.

  • Animal Sciences

    Chicago Tribune (Aug. 3) -- Janeen Johnson, an associate professor of animal sciences at Illinois whose research has been funded in part by the pork industry, criticized retailers for dictating livestock handling practices to producers whose families have been raising pigs for generations. “The science has not supported change,” Johnson says. “If sows are placed in group pens, you’re going to see mortality go up and efficiency go down. A lot of these producers may shut their doors.”

  • Anthropology

    Indian Country Today (Verona, New York, April 25) – A new scientific report has shown genetic links between ancient skeletons found in Alaska and British Columbia and the indigenous people who live in the area today. Ripan S. Malhi, a professor of anthropology at Illinois and co-lead author of the study, says “The data suggest that there were multiple genetic lineages in the Americas from at least 10,300 years ago.”

  • Anthropology

    Live Science (Aug. 5) – The remains of women and a child have been discovered at a burial mound at Cahokia, considered North America's first city, which previously was thought to hold only men, Illinois researchers say.

  • Ants

    Discover Magazine (Waukesha, Wis. Feb. 11) -- To settle a labor dispute, ants put up their dukes. And when the bell rings, they can unleash a flurry of punches in the blink of an eye. A new study from researchers at Illinois and North Carolina State University used slow-motion videos to watch trap-jaw worker ants square off in antenna boxing matches.

  • Applied Family Studies

    Buffalo News (Buffalo, N.Y., June 8) -- Childhood fights among siblings have been found to be beneficial. On average, siblings between the ages of 3 and 7 engage in conflict about three and a half times an hour, according to Illinois professor Laurie Kramer. Despite giving parents a headache, the way a child resolves conflict will carry with them throughout life.

  • Applied Family Studies

    Reading Eagle (Reading, Pa., Nov. 11) – There are ways to manage the situation once you learn why the sibling rivalry is happening. You’re putting two or more young children together for many hours – sometimes all day and all night – and they’re fighting over the same resources, including their parents’ attention, says Laurie Kramer, professor of applied family studies and founding director of the Family Resiliency Center at Illinois.