Rainbow flag

(Photography by Benson Kua, CC BY-SA 2.0)


Highlights from the latest alumni news columns.

Taking pride

Equality Illinois has recognized the LGBTQ rights advocacy work of Kelly Suzanne Saulsberry, MPP’13, with the 2017 Community Pride Award. Saulsberry is the director of policy and outreach for the City of Chicago’s Commission on Human Relations, cochair of Pride Action Tank’s Leadership Advisory Council, and a board member of SHE100.

Honoring influential women

On September 16 Janet Rowley, LAB’42, PhB’45, SB’46, MD’48, and Sherry Lansing, LAB’62, will be inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Rowley, a cancer researcher and University professor who died in 2013, was the first to determine the genetic basis of cancer. Lansing, the first woman to lead a major film studio, now has a foundation that supports public education, the arts, and cancer research. The hall of fame, located in Seneca Falls, NY, inducts eight to 12 women every two years.

Small-screen stars

UChicago talent is shining in the “golden age of television.” Actress Rae Gray, AB’14, recently appeared on Fear the Walking Dead and Grace and Frankie, and actor Eddie Shin, AB’98, had recurring roles on Westworld and The Man in the High Castle. Tami Sagher, AB’95, wrote two episodes of Girls, and Kimberly Peirce, AB’90, directed an episode of American Crime.

Cultural leaders on campus

New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts has appointed Christine Poggi, AM’79, as director, effective September 1. Poggi, who specializes in modern and contemporary art, Italian studies, and gender and sexuality studies, is completing a nine-year stint as a professor of art history at the University of Pennsylvania. At Michigan State University, Mark Auslander, AB’83, AM’85, PhD’97, became director of the MSU Museum in July. Most recently the director of Central Washington University’s Museum of Culture and the Environment, Auslander is known for exhibits that tackle controversial subjects through storytelling.

Collegiate leadership

St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, has named Shakespeare scholar Panayiotis “Peter” Kanelos, PhD’02, as president, effective July 1. Previously dean of Christ College at Valparaiso University in Indiana, Kanelos has long focused on promoting liberal arts education. “Peter’s impressive record of academic leadership at Valparaiso and his enthusiastic support for the St. John’s Program made him a great choice for the presidency,” said the chair of St. John’s search committee.

Big thinkers

In April two alumni were elected to the American Philosophical Society. Beth A. Simmons, AM’82, a professor of law and political science at the University of Pennsylvania, is best known for her work on the global political economy, policy diffusion, and the impact of international laws on human rights. Barbara Newman, AM’76, specializes in medieval religious culture, comparative literature, and women’s spirituality as a professor in Northwestern University’s English department.

Legal legend

The Illinois State Bar Association recognized Marshall J. Hartman, AB’54, JD’57, with a 2017 Laureate Award. Hartman began his career as the only lawyer probation officer at the Juvenile Court of Cook County and later successfully argued three cases before the US Supreme Court as a Chicago-based public defender.

Popular president

In May Kim Hei-sook, PhD’87, was elected president of Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea, in the first-ever direct vote by faculty, students, staff, and alumni. Kim, a philosophy professor, has been teaching at Ewha since 1987. Replacing a university president forced out by a scandal tied to former South Korea president Park Geun-hye, Kim said she intends to “return Ewha to its original state and restore its honor,” reports the Korea Herald.