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  • 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.

  • Rodent invasions

    Hakai Magazine (Victoria, Canada, Feb. 25) – Jamie MacKay, a graduate student, and his adviser, Mark Hauber, a professor of biology at Illinois, and their colleagues intentionally released mice in 2009 onto New Zealand’s Saddle Island so they could study, in intricate detail, how rodent invasions take place. Research there continues today as the island has become a living laboratory for invasive species research.

  • Sports law

    The New York Times (Feb. 16) – The NFL announced Friday that it had reached a settlement with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his former teammate Eric Reid. “This has been a P.R. nightmare for the league, and in some sense, it’s remarkable that Kaepernick proved himself to be a larger public figure than the NFL with his Nike deal,” says Michael LeRoy, who teaches sports law classes at Illinois. “He outshined the league in a very significant way.”

  • Outdoor golf facility

    Golf Magazine (New York City, Feb. 14) – If the U. of I. is not your top choice among golf schools, wait until you see their incredible Augusta National-inspired practice facility. Dedicated in 2015, the Lauritsen/Wohlers Outdoor Golf Facility is a 24-acre, fully irrigated, 360-degree practice center open exclusively to Illini golf student-athletes.

  • Law

    The New York Times (Feb. 13) – Rebecca Sandefur, a sociologist and researcher at Illinois, has spent years considering a question that’s central to the American legal system: Does everyone facing legal issues need a lawyer? She has found that, especially for everyday matters, many people would benefit more from what she likes to call the “just resolution” of legal problems.

  • Agriculture

    Bloomberg (Jan. 29) – Corn could prove a bottom-line bulwark this year for U.S. farmers. The potential for greater profit from the cereal compared with soybeans in key regions such as central Illinois may lead U.S. farmers to shift some acres to the yellow kernels. “Farmers are going to really take a hard look at corn this year as an alternative to soybeans,” says Gary Schnitkey, a professor of agriculture and consumer economics at Illinois.

  • Trolls in the classroom

    Inside Higher Ed (Jan. 29) – Faculty leaders at Illinois are weighing a proposal to protect faculty members from students who enroll in their classes to disrupt, or troll, them.

  • Microplastic groundwater contamination (Reno, Nev., Jan. 28) – A new study from the U. of I. is the first to reveal the discovery of microplastics in fractured limestone aquifers, an underground freshwater source that supplies 25 percent of drinking water worldwide.

  • Illinois bald eagle numbers rise

    The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Ill., Jan. 24) – Steve Bailey, an ornithologist with the Prairie Research Institute at Illinois, says the state is home to an increasing number of nesting bald eagles, with one or two dozen new nests found each year.

  • Hagfish slime

    Newsweek (New York City, Jan. 15) – Hagfish are deep-sea eel-like creatures that, when attacked, produce a slime that explodes out to choke their assailant. The slime forms from a small amount of mucus that is ejected from the creature’s glands. As it enters the water, it expands by a factor of around 10,000 and turns into a mass that clogs up the gills of its predators. In a study published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, researchers led by Gaurav Chaudhary, a graduate student in mechanical science and engineering at Illinois, have now started to figure out how the slime unravels.

  • Attorney general nominee

    The Daily Beast (New York City, Jan. 15) – Under Attorney General nominee William Barr, 310 Haitian immigrants became prisoners of the world’s first detention camp for refugees with HIV. “We have had a massive increase in the criminalization of immigration and immigrants, and a massive expansion of immigrant detention,” says A. Naomi Paik, a professor of Asian American studies at Illinois whose book, "Rightlessness: Testimony and Redress in U.S. Prison Camps Since World War II," detailed the conditions in the camps.

  • Butterfly population decrease

    WSIL-TV (Carterville, Ill., Jan. 9) – Each year, eastern monarch butterflies migrate from southern Canada, through the Midwest and the East Coast to Mexico, where they hibernate. Richard Little, a horticulture educator for the U. of I., says populations are counted during hibernation and there’s been a sharp decrease. “Southern Mexico, they’ve seen a 90 percent decrease from the peak of the recorded population in the mid-to-late 1990s,” Little says.

  • Climatology

    The Southern Illinoisan (Carbondale, Ill., Jan. 7) – Even with 34 years of experience in climatology with the U. of I. – 21 of those as the Illinois state climatologist – Jim Angel, who is retiring, says he wishes he could tell farmers more precisely what the weather will be like during spring planting season this year.

  • Agricultural and consumer economics

    The Washington Post (Opinion, Jan. 2) – While a large part of the agricultural research establishment is focused on one aspect of the challenge of feeding the world of the future – calories – another part of the scientific community is focused on a related but different one: adequate nutrient consumption, according to Gerald C. Nelson, a professor emeritus of agricultural and consumer economics at Illinois.

  • Special education student punishment

    Houston Chronicle (from The Associated Press; Dec. 29) – Special education students in Texas are more likely to receive some of the harshest punishments in the classroom, according to an analysis of state education data. Experts say that tracks with other estimates nationally that find disabled students disproportionally represented in the juvenile justice system. Most studies put the number of disabled youth in juvenile justice systems nationally at about 33 percent, says Meghan Burke, a professor of special education at Illinois.

  • Cooking with algorithms

    BBC News (London, Dec. 19) – Lav Varshney, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Illinois, and his team generated an algorithm that created dishes from one country in the style of another cuisine. It was trained on nearly 40,000 recipes from 20 different countries using a system that can apply semantic reasoning to replace certain ingredients with those it considers to be equivalent from a different cuisine.

  • Owl rescued

    The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Ill., Dec. 19) – A crew cutting down a tree in Urbana found a screech owl inside and called the Wildlife Medical Clinic at Illinois. Working together, clinic staff and the crew were able to rescue the owl and return it to the wild after it spent a rainy night sheltering at the clinic.

  • Employability ranking

    WBBM-TV (Chicago, Dec. 17) – Companies from around the world have ranked U.S. universities by the employability of their graduates in a new report – the Global University Employability Ranking 2018. The ranking, published by Times Higher Education, includes 56 U.S. universities that recruiters at top companies think are the best at preparing students for the workplace. The U. of I. is ranked 35th.

  • Economics of climate change

    WJCT-FM (Audio, Jacksonville, Fla., Dec. 14) – Don Fullerton, a professor of economics at Illinois, discusses the effects of climate change in the state.

  • Second solar farm

    WBBM-TV (from The Associated Press; Chicago, Dec. 11) – U. of I. officials say the institution’s second solar farm will make it one of the leading U.S. universities in solar energy work, but some professors have raised concerns about the land the project will occupy.

  • Intellectual bias

    Futurity (Rochester, N.Y., Dec. 11) – National statistics show that the intellectual achievements of girls and women in the U.S. have matched, if not surpassed, those of boys and men. Given that, we might assume women and men to receive the same treatment as intellectual equals – and to receive the same opportunities to pursue intellectually challenging work. However, in a series of three experiments, researchers from the U. of I. and New York University found evidence of consistent bias against women and girls in contexts that emphasize intellectual ability.

  • Photography

    The New Yorker (Dec. 9) – In his photo series “My DNA,” currently on view at the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, Michael Koerner, a professor of chemistry at Illinois, confronts the long legacy of the atomic bomb in his family.

  • Dining procurement

    Chicago Tribune (Dec. 6) – Since fall 2017, the U. of I. has turned more than 50,000 pounds of Illinois-caught Asian carp into silverfin fillets and fish cakes for its dining halls, and it has received no complaints, says Kit Smith, the assistant director of dining procurement at Illinois.

  • Labor and employment relations

    Press Herald (from The Washington Post; Portland, Maine, Dec. 4) – Teachers at a network of charter schools in Chicago went on strike Tuesday, a first for American charters and a sign that they are facing issues similar to the traditional public schools they compete with. For some backers, charters were seen as an alternative to traditional schools, free to innovate without the restrictions of union contracts and other district rules. That may no longer be the case, says Robert Bruno, a professor of labor and employment relations at Illinois.

  • Agricultural and consumer economics

    Borgen Magazine (Seattle, Nov. 28) – A group of researchers from the U. of I. traveled to Morogoro, a town in central-southern Tanzania, to address the burgeoning suspicion among farmers that fertilizers there were ineffective and potentially dangerous. The group collected 300 samples of fertilizer from local markets and found that while some of the samples looked terrible, only two of the 300 samples failed to meet quality standards for fertilizer.

  • Science and bullying

    Nature (London, Nov. 28) – A spate of bullying allegations have rocked several high-profile science institutions recently. Researchers, universities, funders and others are dealing with the issue. In general, having policies against bullying is not enough, says C. K. Gunsalus, a specialist in research integrity at Illinois. To stamp out bad behavior, leaders need to apply policies consistently and show that bullying has consequences, she says.

  • Media and cinema studies

    Latino USA (from the Futuro Media Group; New York City, Nov. 26) – A study published in 2018 by the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative found that in the 1,100 most popular films from 2007 to 2017, only 6.2 percent of the characters were Hispanic and 43 films had no speaking characters that were Latinos. However, Latinx audiences make up approximately 21 percent of moviegoers. “They’re finding pleasure in those images even though the pleasure that they find may not necessarily be because of whether or not the characters are Latino or the actors are Latino,” says Isabel Molina-Guzman, a professor of media and cinema studies and Latina/Latino studies at Illinois.

  • 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.

  • History

    The Telegraph (London, Nov. 18) – The Domesday Book is full of "fed up" people complaining and took decades longer to complete than previously believed, a historian has found. The famous record was thought to have been commissioned by William The Conqueror in 1085 to survey every piece of land of the vanquished Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. But Carol Symes, a professor of history at Illinois, says her research shows the study was actually commissioned after the death of William I.

  • Economics

    Oregon Public Broadcasting (Portland, Ore., Nov. 15) – Economics professors Lesly Turner of the University of Maryland and Benjamin Marx of the U. of I. performed a study that found that there are some benefits to taking out a loan for college.

  • Political science

    Governing (Folsom, Calif., Nov. 14) – The election of J.B. Pritzker as Illinois governor and his partnership with state House Speaker Michael Madigan likely won’t help the state’s debt crisis. “What we know with Madigan is that, for one reason or another, digging out of the fiscal hole isn’t his priority,” says Brian Gaines, a professor of political science at Illinois.

  • Psychology

    Herald-Whig (Quincy, Ill., Nov. 14) – Comic book legend Stan Lee and Marvel’s characters always were at the forefront of how to deal with racial and other forms of discrimination, according to Mikhail Lyubansky, a professor of the psychology of race and ethnicity at Illinois.

  • Sexual harassment

    The Verge (New York City, Nov. 12) – Lara Carlson reported sexual harassment from her department chair to the University of New England’s human resources department. But instead of helping, she says her university retaliated against her, sidelining her once-promising career. Carlson’s story “is the sort of thing that I’ve heard quite a bit over the years,” says Kathryn Clancy, an anthropologist at Illinois. Clancy is an author of a recent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report, published in June, that describes the pervasiveness of sexual and gender harassment in science in academic settings.

  • University of Illinois Extension

    The Southern Illinoisan (from Illinois Farmer Today; Carbondale, Ill., Nov. 10) – When Teresa Steckler looks at a harvested cornfield, she sees free cattle feed. “You’re missing a golden opportunity if it’s available and you don’t use it,” says the University of Illinois Extension livestock educator.

  • Legal marijuana

    Chicago Tribune (Nov. 8) – Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker favors legalizing recreational marijuana use. His election comes just as a new study set the estimated annual economic impact of marijuana legalization at more than $1 billion. The study, by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle Class Renewal at Illinois, also estimated legalization would create some 2,600 businesses and 24,000 jobs, plus tax revenue of $525 million annually.

  • Psychology

    Yahoo! Sports (Nov. 6) – Republicans and Democrats differ in their politics, of course. But they also differ on the the golf course. “It’s a super interesting set of findings,” says Chadly Stern, a professor of psychology at Illinois who has studied and written about how one’s political ideology shapes the way they see the world. “It’s very consistent with what we know about the psychological differences between liberals and conservatives, or Democrats and Republicans.”

  • Agricultural economics

    Ag Web (Philadelphia, Nov. 5) – In October, President Donald Trump announced he wants gasoline with 15 percent ethanol, typically referred to as E15, to be available 12 months of the year. However, one economist isn’t sure year-round sales of E15 will help work through the massive corn stocks on hand or even the increase in corn acres expected for 2019. “I don’t think it will help the balance sheet this year,” says Scott Irwin, an agricultural economist at Illinois. “And I’m not confident for next year.”

  • State politics

    Chicago Tribune (Nov. 3) – “DuPage (County) is really the epicenter” of this election, says Christopher Mooney, a political scientist at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs, part of the University of Illinois System. He cited myriad congressional and legislative races as well as DuPage County's influence on statewide contests including governor, where Democrat J.B. Pritzker is looking to oust first-term Gov. Bruce Rauner.

  • Soybean genetics

    Farm and Dairy (Salem, Ohio, Nov. 1) – Many soybean varieties have a naturally occurring genetic resistance to the soybean cyst nematode, a major pest affecting the crop. The number of copies of the resistance gene varies among cultivars; a new method, developed by U. of I. researchers, is able to efficiently quantify this variation for the first time.

  • Agricultural law and policy

    Farm Futures (St. Charles, Ill., Oct. 31) – A flip in either or both chambers of Congress with next week’s midterm elections may reverberate into pig farms and soybean fields. “You can make an argument that” a Democrat-controlled House or Senate would be “more willing to stand up to the president,” says Jonathan Coppess, the director of the Gardner Agriculture Policy Program at Illinois. “A big question would be trade. Does a Congress less aligned with the president exert more checks and balances?”

  • Mental health

    Chicago Tribune (Oct. 25) – Mental health care appointments often come with a long wait. “If I’m an average patient with an insurance plan,” says Christopher R. Larrison, a professor of sociology at Illinois who studies community mental health agencies, “I’m probably going to wait at least three weeks for an appointment.”

  • English

    NBC-TV (Video, Oct. 23) – Nafissa Thompson-Spires, a professor of English at Illinois and the author of “Heads of the Colored People,” is interviewed on “Late Night With Seth Meyers.”

  • Recreation, Sport and Tourism

    WGLT-FM (Normal, Ill., Oct. 22) – Kimberly Shinew, a professor of recreation, sport and tourism at Illinois, is raising concerns that club sports are limiting opportunities for some young people in ways that can present a lifetime of negative consequences. She is presenting “Equity and Access Issues Related to Recreation and Sports In Our Society” on Wednesday at Illinois State University.

  • Media

    USA Today (Oct. 19) – Candace Owens has moved from an unknown liberal YouTuber to appearing on Fox News and working for Turning Point USA. Her abrupt shift from liberal to conservative confounds some. “You wonder why did she flip her perspective,” says Nikki Usher, a professor of media at Illinois. “Is it because she is somebody who genuinely has re-thought her ideological commitments or is this like a really good way to feed your ego and put yourself out there and establish a career?”

  • Agriculture

    Ag Professional (Philadelphia, Oct. 15) – While weeds occasionally dodge herbicides, can they avoid robots? U. of I. researchers are using a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to find out.

  • Agricultural economics

    KUNC-FM (Greeley, Colo., Oct. 10) – President Donald Trump’s administration will allow a 15 percent gasoline-ethanol blend to be sold year-round. The move is welcomed by corn growers and biofuel groups. Scott Irwin, an agricultural economist at Illinois, says that, in the short term, “it’s not going to provide any relief from the low prices and income issues we’re experiencing right now in Corn Belt agriculture.”

  • Pygmalion Festival

    Paste (Opinion, Atlanta, Oct. 4) – Illinois’ Pygmalion Festival gets it right for college-aged folks and community members alike.

  • Supercomputing

    Space Coast Daily (Melbourne, Fla., Oct. 3) – A new model is bringing scientists a step closer to understanding the kinds of light signals produced when two supermassive black holes, which are millions to billions of times the mass of the sun, spiral toward a collision. For the first time, a new computer simulation that fully incorporates the physical effects of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity shows that gas in such systems will glow predominantly in ultraviolet and X-ray light. The simulation ran on the National Center for Supercomputing Applications’ Blue Waters supercomputer at Illinois.

  • Sexual harassment

    Pacific Standard (Santa Barbara, Calif., Oct. 3) – As the science community undergoes its own #MeToo movement, it’s run into a unique problem: Often, accused harassers have received federal grants to conduct studies or train students. What happens to that taxpayer money when scientists are faced with accusations, investigations by their employers, or findings of wrongdoing? “What if someone is doing experimental lab work and needs sign-offs on purchasing and that means interacting with their abuser, in order to do it?” says Kate Clancy, an anthropologist at Illinois­ who has studied sexual harassment in science extensively.

  • Mobile device security

    Wired (San Francisco, Sept. 26) – A team of researchers including Nikita Borisov, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Illinois, has discovered that websites loaded in mobile browsers can often access an array of mobile device sensors without any notifications or permissions.