“Jake Matijevic” pyramidal basalt rock. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)
Highlights from the latest alumni news columns. Log into the Alumni & Friends Web Community using your CNetID and password to browse all alumni news by class year.

Hire education

Nicholas B. Dirks, AM’74, PhD’81, has been named chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, effective June 1, and Santa Jeremy Ono, AB’84, became the University of Cincinnati president in October. Dirks, an anthropologist and author of three books about India, has served as Columbia University’s executive vice president for arts and sciences since 2004. Ono, a biologist, served as Cincinnati’s provost and vice president for academic affairs since 2010, becoming the University’s interim president in August after Gregory H. Williams resigned.  

A floor plan for the Whitney

Anthony Elms, MFA’95, will be one of three guest curators for the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 2014 Biennial. An associate curator at Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art, Elms will be one of three guest curators, each responsible for a floor in the Whitney. One of seven finalists asked to submit speculative proposals to the museum’s staff, Elms was selected along with Stuart Comer, film curator at the Tate Modern in London, and Michelle Grabner, professor and chair of the painting and drawing department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The editor of independent publisher WhiteWalls, which is distributed through the University of Chicago Press, Elms’s group exhibition White Petals Surround Your Yellow Heart opens February 6 at the ICA.  

Silver’s promotion a slam dunk

Adam Silver, JD’88, will become the National Basketball Association commissioner in February 2014, succeeding the retiring David Stern. In 20 years with the league, Silver has served as deputy commissioner, president of NBA Entertainment, and chief of staff. Peter Holt, chair of the NBA Board of Governors, called Silver’s promotion a “no-brainer” and ESPN dubbed him “the man with the command of seemingly every issue.”  

Highbrow lowbrow

Bewitching video, thoughtful essays and fiction, photography, and poetry find a home in Colloquium, the new online journal of the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities. Seven founding editors solicited contributions for the debut issue, published in October. “The work being done in MAPH interacts with real-world problems but at the same time retains a critical academic attitude,” said Chaz Oreshkov, AM’12, one of the editors. “Colloquium succeeds because it’s both a lowbrow academic journal and a highbrow general reader’s magazine.” The journal will be published in the spring and fall, and the editors welcome submissions from anyone with a connection to MAPH. Find Colloquium at colloquium.uchicago.edu.  

UChicago adds to its fossil record

Gene Hunt, PhD’03, became the 13th faculty member or alumnus from the University of Chicago—more than any other institution—to receive the Paleontological Society’s Charles Schuchert Award, presented annually to a paleontologist under age 40. David Jablonski, the William R. Kenan Jr. professor in the department of geophysical sciences and a former Schuchert recipient, introduced Hunt at the society’s November meeting, recalling an “almost frighteningly precocious” talk he gave as a new UChicago student in the mid-1990s. Now a curator at the Smithsonian Institution, Hunt  has become “a leader in evolutionary paleontology,” Jablonski added, “skilled at turning challenging problems into crisp questions that can be addressed in the fossil record in creative and rigorous ways.”  

Youthful energy

Allison Hannon, AB’05, and Daniel Schnitzer, AB’07, have been named to the Forbes magazine 30 Under 30 list in the energy sector. Hannon worked for Tony Blair’s the Climate Group, establishing its North American operations, and has since cofounded Root3 Technologies to develop software for cities, schools, hospitals, and universities—including the University of Chicago—to harness data to improve energy efficiency. Schnitzer, codirector of the Washington-based EarthSpark International, distributes cheap solar-charged lamps and energy-efficient stoves in Haiti and develops pay-as-you-go microgrid electric systems.