Katherine Baicker, Madhav Rajan, Gina E. Miranda Samuels

(From left: Harris Public Policy; photography by Lloyd DeGrane; Chicago Booth)

UChicago news highlights

A selection of the latest headlines from across campus.

Two deans reappointed

Katherine Baicker began her second term as dean of the Harris School of Public Policy on July 1. A leading scholar in the economic analysis of health policy, Baicker has expanded the Harris faculty, strengthening key areas including analytical politics and democracy; energy and environmental policy; conflict and development; and urban policy. Under her leadership, Harris integrated the UChicago Urban Labs and the Civic Leadership Academy and established its first Diversity and Inclusion Roadmap. Baicker, the Emmett Dedmon Professor, also advanced Harris’s joint master’s degree in computational analytics and public policy, the school’s part-time evening master’s program, and the University’s first undergraduate major offered through a professional school.

Madhav Rajan, the George Pratt Shultz Professor of Accounting, began his second term as dean of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business on July 1. Since joining UChicago in 2017, Rajan has expanded Chicago Booth’s global footprint across Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, completing fundraising for the Hong Kong campus and helping open the new London campus. During his first term, Rajan guided the creation of the Center for Applied Artificial Intelligence and launched the Healthcare Initiative, which uses analytical and humanistic approaches to make a positive impact on the health care industry.

Free student counseling

The University announced in March that eligible UChicago students now have access to free virtual counseling through TimelyCare, a telehealth company specializing in student mental health. This new option complements UChicago Student Wellness’s in-person and virtual services, which include individual and group psychotherapy, psychiatric evaluation and treatment, 24/7 on-call therapists, and more. The services are connected; students can begin counseling with TimelyCare or Student Wellness and continue with the other. Therapists are typically available to speak with students via phone or video in under 10 minutes.

Leading scholar

Gina E. Miranda Samuels begins a new role as faculty director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture on September 1. An associate professor in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice, Samuels explores displacement and belonging among persons whose early childhoods include transracial adoption, foster care, or homelessness. In helping the center support scholars and artists across the city and engage with South Side communities, Samuels will also partner with the Department of Race, Diaspora, and Indigeneity to develop programming, outreach, and other resources to further the study of race.

Those who can, teach

This year’s winners of the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching are David Kovar, professor of molecular genetics and cell biology; Victor Lima, AM’96, PhD’01, senior instructional professor of economics; Julie Orlemanski, associate professor of English; Johanna Ransmeier, associate professor of history; and David Schmitz, associate professor of physics. Faculty Awards for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentoring went to Matthias Haase, assistant professor of philosophy; Chuan He, the John T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor of Chemistry; Josephine McDonagh, the George M. Pullman Professor of English; Megan Sullivan, assistant professor of art history; and Wei-Biao Wu, professor of statistics.

New Neubauer director

On July 1 Tara Zahra became the Roman Family Director of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, which explores new possibilities for humanistic research. As the Homer J. Livingston Professor of East European History, Zahra focuses her research and teaching on Central and Eastern Europe in the 20th century. She is the recipient of MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Zahra succeeds Jonathan Lear, the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor in Philosophy and in the Committee on Social Thought.

Quantum loop

Scientists with the Chicago Quantum Exchange at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering announced in June the activation of a 35-mile extension built upon Argonne National Laboratory’s 89-mile quantum network, connecting Argonne and UChicago’s Hyde Park campus. The total loop is now 124 miles of optical fiber, transmitting particles carrying quantum-encoded information, and will become one of the nation’s first publicly available test beds for quantum security technology.

Learned professors

Seven faculty members were elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest learned societies: Christopher R. Berry, AM’98, PhD’02, the William J. and Alicia Townsend Friedman Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy; Wadad Kadi, the Avalon Foundation Distinguished Service Professor Emerita of Islamic Studies in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations; Raphael Lee, the Paul and Allene Russell Distinguished Service Professor of Surgery and Medicine; Peter B. Littlewood, professor in the Department of Physics and the James Franck Institute; Richard Neer, the Barbara E. and Richard J. Franke Distinguished Service Professor in Art History and Cinema and Media Studies; Sianne Ngai, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature; and Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, AM’98, PhD’02, the Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor in the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics.