Celebrating LAS: Recent and Upcoming Events

NYC area alumni gather at Massey Foundation

Richard Massey and Astrida Tantillo

Richard Massey and Astrida Orle Tantillo.

Three people talking

Ian Harnarine, Tiziana Vistarini, Lon Kaufman.

Alumni and friends of the College gathered on March 12 for an evening of food, fun, and networking at the Richard J. Massey Foundation for the Arts and Sciences in Manhattan. Dr. Massey, a biological sciences alumnus and member of the LAS Board of Visitors, hosted the event in the foundation gallery where guests enjoyed an exhibit of new works from artist Matt Jones.

Alumni from departments including communication, English, criminology, law and justice, chemistry, biology, physics, Spanish, and sociology connected with old friends and new and enjoyed remarks by Dean Astrida Orle Tantillo and Provost Lon Kaufman.

NYC photos by Silk Studios

LAS students flex research muscles at the Student Research Forum and Awards

Overview of poster conference

A view of the exhibit area at the Student Research Forum.

Student winner show awards

UIC graduate and undergraduate students with their SRF awards.

On April 8 faculty, friends, family, and alumni gathered at the UIC Forum as young UIC scholars presented their projects at the 2014 Student Research Forum. Alumni, faculty, and staff—including nearly 100 LAS alumni—served as volunteer judges for the 266 UIC undergraduate and graduate student presenters, including 146 students from LAS departments.

In the graduate division of the Engineering/Physical Sciences category, Adam Schuman, physics, took first place for his project “Investigation of Micro-Separated Phases at the Liquid-Liquid Interface using Brewster Angle Microscopy.” His research was done under the direction of Mark Schlossman.

Jeffrey Saba and Sara Hall

Jeffrey Saba and Sara Hall.

In a strong showing, LAS students took home the majority of awards across the categories in the undergraduate division:

Jeffrey Saba, Germanic studies, first place for “When Violence Begets Violence: Examining the Mass Expulsion of the Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovakia after World War Two through Personal Accounts.” Advisor: Sara Hall.

Engineering/Physical Sciences
Matthew Pezley, chemistry, second place for “The Production of Endogenous Free Sulfur Dioxide by Wine Yeasts.” Advisor: Scott Shippy. 

Life Sciences
Kevin Koster, neuroscience, first place for “Interactions of APOE genotype and RXR agonists on soluble AB and oAB levels.” Advisor: Mary Jo LaDu.
Jillian Stariha, chemistry, second place for “Considerations for the Parturient of Short Stature: a Retrospective Review.” Advisor: Heather Nixon.

Social Sciences
Sagar Shah, psychology, first place for the LASURI-funded project, “Auditory Lateralization of Abstract and Concrete Gujarati Words.” Advisor: Gary Raney.
Randy Boley, psychology, second place for “Understanding the Influence of Personality on Psychological Factors Associated with Rehabilitation and Long-Term Adjustment to Disability.” Advisor: Roberta Paikoff-Holzmueller.
Thomas Kohs, biological sciences, third place (tie) for “The Effect of Being a Student-Athlete on Academic Performance.” Advisor: Katherine Noll. 

Sustainability Competition
Sara Markiewicz, anthropology, first place for “Deconstructing the Tukano Diet: The Nutritional Gap & Specific Insect Cultivars.” Advisor: Julie Lesnik. 

Center for Research on Women and Gender Competition
Beelet Dawood, psychology, first place for “The Association Between Vasomotor Symptoms and Sleep Disturbance Among Menopausal Women: a Comparison of Physiological and Self-Reported Measures.” Advisor: Pauline Maki.

SRF story photos by Joshua Clark; SRF slideshow photos by Micki Leventhal


Read abstracts of all the 2014 SRF student projects

To make a gift to the LAS Fund for Undergraduate Research, specify fund number 336608.

2014 LAS Commencement

crowd of graduates

LAS Commencement 2014. Photo by Roberta Dupuis-Devlin

More than 5,000 family members and friends filled the UIC Pavilion on May 11 to celebrate the achievements of LAS graduates as they transitioned from “students” to “alumni.” A total of 1922 undergraduate degrees and 300 graduate degrees were awarded. Twelve hundred and ninety four undergraduates and 117 graduate students walked across the stage to receive their degrees and accept hearty congratulations on their achievements.

Alfred Thomas and Joel Brown

Silver Circle winners Joel Brown and Alfred Thomas. Photo by Brian Kay

Members of the 2014 senior class voted for their most outstanding teachers and UIC Silver Circle Excellence in Teaching Awards were bestowed on the following LAS faculty: Joel Brown, Department of Biological Sciences; John D’Emilio, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies; Mitchel Hendrickson, Department of Anthropology; Lindsey McQuade, Department of Chemistry; Katherine Noll, Department of Psychology; Alfred Thomas, Department of English.

This year during the LAS ceremonies, the university conferred Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degrees on two extraordinary individuals:

Ertharin Cousin

Ertharin Cousin.

Recently named one of the “100 most influential people” by TIME magazine, LAS alumna Ertharin Cousin (1979) was named 12th Executive Director of the United Nation’s World Food Programme in 2012. As executive director, she oversees a $4 billion budget and a staff of 15,000 serving 100 million individuals throughout the world. Previously, she served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture and head of the U.S. Mission to the U.S. Agencies in Rome. She has been instrumental in guiding U.S. and international policy in response to some of the most devastating and challenging humanitarian situations in the world. 

In the course of her career, Ms. Cousin served as White House Liaison to the State Department during the administration of President Bill Clinton. She has held the post of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Feeding America and led that organization’s response to victims of Hurricane Katrina. In the corporate sector, Ms. Cousin headed government communications and community affairs at Albertsons Foods in addition to serving as President and Chair of the Albertsons Foundation. The passion for justice through much of her life has guided Ms. Cousin’s entire career as she has consistently sought to influence how the world nourishes its starving populations, enhances its farms, and empowers its citizens. She is internationally known as a champion of long-term solutions to food insecurity and hunger.

Shing-Tung Yau

Shing-Tung Yau.

Shing-Tung Yau, the William Caspar Graustein Professor of Mathematics at Harvard University, has been a dominant force in the field of differential geometry and its application to general relativity and string theory for over four decades. In 1982 his work was recognized with the Fields Medal, the pinnacle of achievement in mathematics. Professor Yau has the rare combination of enormous technical prowess and deep physical intuition allowing him to effortlessly navigate between the worlds of mathematics and physics. This has put him at the forefront of interdisciplinary research as one of the world’s leading mathematical theorists. In addition to his scholarly accomplishments, Professor Yau is an education entrepreneur with a successful record of changing traditional education in mathematics. He has been instrumental in establishing centers and institutes in mathematics in China including at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Morningside Center of Mathematics in Beijing, the Center for Theoretical Sciences at Taiwan, Zhejiang University, and Tsinghua University. Professor Yau is often thought of as an ambassador of mathematics.

Slideshow photos by UIC Photo Services and Brian Kay


Save the Date!

UPCOMING: Save the Dates!

Dean’s LAS Welcome Receptions

New freshmen: Sunday, August 24, 2014, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. SCE, East Terrace
Transfer students: Monday, September 8, 4:00-6:00 p.m. SCE, Cardinal Room
President’s Award Program students: Wednesday, September 17, 4:00-6:00 p.m. SCE, East Terrace

LAS Distinguished Professor Lecture: Joel Brown, Department of Biological Sciences
Thursday, November 6, 2014, 4:00 p.m., SCE, room 302

LAS Distinguished Professor Lecture: Nikos Varelas, Department of Physics
Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 4:00 p.m., SCE, room 302


Learn something new!

Institute for the Humanities Free Public Events

Watch the IH Website for details and additional lectures and events.

Food Studies Lecture
Priscilla McCutcheon, the 2014-15 post-doctoral fellow at the Institute, will speak on "Food, Race, and Space in an African American Land Ethic."
Thursday, October 9, 4 p.m., Institute for the Humanities, Stevenson Hall, lower level.

Visiting Fellow Lecture
Michael Warner, Professor of English and American Studies at Yale University. Monday, November 3, 4 p.m. Institute for the Humanities, Stevenson Hall, lower level.

Chancellor’s Lecture
Raj Patel, food justice activist and author of The Value of Nothing and Stuffed and Starved will speak on "Cook, Eat, Man, Woman: Competing Ideas to Feed the World in the 21st Century."
Thursday, November 13, 4 p.m., SCE, Illinois Room.

Conference: Cultivating Landscapes: Midwestern Farming and Mexican Cornfields
Organized by Christopher Boyer, associate professor of history and LALS, as part of the Humanities Without Walls: The Global Midwest initiative.
December 4 – 5. Times and location to be announced.