Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, AB’96, is the dean and Sydney Stein Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, and a faculty associate in the University of Chicago Department of Political Science. (Photography by Jason Smith)

UChicago news highlights

A selection of the latest headlines from across campus.

New Harris dean

Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, AB’96, the Sydney Stein Professor at Harris Public Policy, will be the next dean of the school, effective July 1. He has served as Harris’s interim dean since March 2023 and was previously deputy dean. As interim dean, Bueno de Mesquita led the launches of the Harris Policy Innovation Challenge and the Democracy Innovation Fund and expanded the school’s free expression and technology programs. Bueno de Mesquita’s research uses game theory to analyze and understand national security, violent conflicts, and electoral politics.

Healthy developments

In March the University of Chicago and UChicago Medicine teamed up with City Colleges of Chicago to announce a joint project that aims to create new jobs and establish health care career pathways for South Side residents. Two new facilities are slated to be built on currently underutilized land in the Washington Park community: a UChicago Medicine building that will consolidate and modernize its existing clinical labs, and a City Colleges learning center offering Chicago’s first clinical lab technician program. Together, the two facilities are expected to support up to 600 jobs and 800 students.

Scientific promise

Five UChicago faculty members have received Sloan Research Fellowships, which recognize early-career scholars’ potential to make substantial contributions to their fields: Wilma A. Bainbridge, an assistant professor of psychology, studies the cognitive neuroscience of perception and memory; Kilian Huber, an associate professor of economics at Booth, explores the interaction between the financial sector and the real economy; Yuehaw Khoo, an assistant professor in statistics, works on developing computational and data-driven techniques for problems in physical and biological sciences; Chong Liu, a Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Molecular Engineering at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, focuses on design and synthesis of materials and the development of electrochemical, sustainable methods for extracting minerals from seawater; and Sunyoung Park, an assistant professor of geophysical sciences, investigates earthquake processes and Earth’s internal structure.

Guggenheim Fellows

Two UChicago scholars were awarded 2024 Guggenheim Fellowships: Sianne Ngai, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature, and Robyn Schiff, professor in the Department of English Language and Literature. Their fellowships include a monetary stipend to support projects under “the freest possible conditions,” according to the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Ngai and Schiff are among 188 fellows selected this year.

DUNE, too

Excavation workers have finished carving out the future home of the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). Located a mile below the surface of Lead, South Dakota, three newly excavated caverns span an underground area about the size of eight soccer fields. Final outfitting of the caverns will begin soon, making way for installation of the DUNE detectors to begin later this year. Hosted by the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, which is affiliated with UChicago, DUNE will study the behavior of mysterious particles known as neutrinos to answer some of the biggest questions about our universe.

Diversity champions

At the University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on January 30, President Paul Alivisatos, AB’81, presented Diversity Leadership Awards to Pritzker School of Medicine third-year Alvin Gordián-Arroyo, an advocate for racial, ethnic, and sexual minority students in medicine; Vera Dragisich, PhD’90, a senior instructional professor of chemistry, who has led outreach programs for students and teachers in Chicago Public Schools; College fourth-year Zubin Kumar, founder of a mentorship program for students in molecular engineering; Dorian H. Nash, CER’20, manager of public programs at the Smart Museum, who has worked to foster a diverse museum audience; Selwyn O. Rogers Jr., James E. Bowman Jr. Professor of Surgery, executive vice president for community health engagement at UChicago Medicine, and founding director of UChicago’s Trauma Center; and Mary Smith, JD’91, the first Native American woman president of the American Bar Association.

Crime Lab honored

At a February 9 White House ceremony, Vice President Kamala Harris honored the first graduates of the UChicago Crime Lab’s Community Violence Intervention Leadership Academy (CVILA), a six-month program that trains leaders to prevent and reduce gun violence in their communities. In her remarks, Harris recognized CVILA’s work and its 31 graduates. Community violence intervention programs are widely seen as an effective approach to preventing gun violence; the CVILA aims to strengthen such programs by providing training on topics including staff development and retention, data literacy, and evaluation. The ceremony was the culmination of a week of events focused on community violence awareness hosted by the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention.

Core memories

The College has launched “It’s in our core,” a new storytelling series aimed at highlighting the UChicago undergraduate experience. Current College students and alumni are invited to share their stories, memories, and thoughts at