University news

A selection of the latest headlines from UChicago.

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A new center

A $30 million grant from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, a nonprofit institution and Hong Kong’s largest community benefactor, will support the construction of the University of Chicago’s new center in Hong Kong. Like the University’s centers in Beijing and Delhi, the center in Hong Kong will provide a hub for education, research, and collaboration and deepen the University’s engagement in Asia. Academic programs will include the Booth Executive MBA Program Asia. The new facility, scheduled to open in 2018, will be named the Francis and Rose Yuen Center in Hong Kong in honor of University trustee Francis Tin Fan Yuen, AB’75, and his wife, Rose Wai Man Lee Yuen.

Next stop Oxford

Lilian Dube, AB’15, and Law School student Joshua Pickar have been named Rhodes Scholars. They are among the 51 UChicago students and alumni who have received the honor, which supports graduate study at the University of Oxford. Dube will pursue two master’s degrees at Oxford—one in education and the other in English—with an eye toward higher education policy and curricula in southern Africa, particularly the tensions between the humanities and technical-skills education. A native of Zimbabwe, Dube is currently teaching high school in Hong Kong. Pickar will pursue master’s degrees in global governance and diplomacy, as well as in comparative social policy. Those degrees will help him fulfill his ambition to strengthen international legal institutions to protect the world’s most vulnerable populations. Pickar has worked with asylum seekers at the US Department of Justice, the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, and the International Refugee Assistance Program in Chicago.

Campus climate

In November the University released data from its first Campus Climate Survey. The survey questionnaire, aimed at capturing experiences and perceptions on campus concerning issues of diversity and inclusion, was sent to students, faculty, academic appointees, postdoctoral researchers, and staff in spring 2016. “It is crucial that we cultivate a climate that is welcoming for individuals of all backgrounds,” provost Daniel Diermeier wrote in a letter to the campus community about the survey’s findings. “As the data make clear, we have work to do to ensure a diverse and inclusive campus climate, and we have a foundation for making positive change.” View comprehensive data from the survey (pdf).

Giving back

Martha C. Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, will donate a portion of her 2016 Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy to the University of Chicago Law School and the Department of Philosophy to create a financial award designed to encourage scholarship at the intersection of law and philosophy among graduate students. The award, which will be given each year to a student in either the Law School or the philosophy department, was announced at a November 2 reception.

Trauma chief

Selwyn O. Rogers, a surgeon and public health expert with 16 years of trauma‑care experience, will lead the University of Chicago Medicine’s development of the South Side’s only level 1 adult trauma center, scheduled to open in 2018. Rogers will build a team of specialists to treat patients who suffer injury from life-threatening events such as car crashes, serious falls, and gun violence. He and his team will work with leaders in the city’s trauma network and at other hospitals to expand trauma care on the South Side. Rogers comes to UChicago from the University of Texas Medical Branch, where he was vice president and chief medical officer.

Leading the way

At the University’s Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on January 9, president Robert J. Zimmer presented Diversity Leadership Awards to Jamil Khoury, AM’92, cofounder of Silk Road Rising, a Chicago-based theater company that showcases Asian and Middle Eastern playwrights; community leader, youth mentor, and former University police chief Rudy Nimocks; and Margaret Beale Spencer, PhD’76, the Marshall Field IV Professor of Urban Education in comparative human development, who studies resilience in urban children and teens. The awards honor UChicagoans who display leadership in fostering diversity and advancing social justice.

Jolly good fellows

Four UChicago scientists have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Fellows are elected by AAAS members for their efforts to advance science or its applications. UChicago's new fellows are Geoffrey Greene, the Virginia and D. K. Ludwig Professor and chair of the Ben May Department for Cancer Research; Zhe-Xi Luo, professor of organismal biology and anatomy; Clifton Ragsdale, professor of neurobiology and organismal biology and anatomy; and Jonathan Staley, professor of molecular genetics and cell biology.

Leadership changes

Michael Greenstone, LAB’87, the Milton Friedman Professor in Economics, has been appointed director of the University’s Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics. The institute supports economic and interdisciplinary research, brings together scholars from around the world, and offers public outreach programs. Greenstone will build on the work of Lars Peter Hansen, the David Rockefeller Distinguished Service Professor and inaugural director of the Becker Friedman Institute, and Hansen’s cochair Kevin M. Murphy, PhD’86, the George J. Stigler Distinguished Service Professor of Economics.

Hamantash humbled

At the 70th annual Latke-Hamantash Debate on November 22, speakers from across the University debated the merits of the two traditional Jewish treats. In her presentation, Wendy Freedman, the John and Marion Sullivan University Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, concluded “the cosmos has a preference for latkes over hamantashen”—a view shared by her three copresenters, all of whom argued for the superiority of the potato pancake.

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