Yevgen Sautin, AM’15

Yevgen Sautin, AM’15, will pursue a doctorate in modern Chinese history next year after earning a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. (Photography by Robert Kozloff)

University news
A selection of the latest headlines from UChicago. 

International pursuits

Yevgen Sautin, AM’15, is one of 35 US scholars to receive a Gates Cambridge Scholarship for study at the University of Cambridge next year. Sautin will pursue a doctorate in modern Chinese history with the goal of applying his research to foreign policy challenges. “I firmly believe that there is a tangible way to make the world move in the right direction if you’re pursuing a career in policy—and that historians have a role in those debates and conversations,” he said. Sautin is the 21st UChicago student to receive a Gates Cambridge Scholarship since the program began in 2000.

Diermeier appointed provost

Daniel Diermeier, Emmett Dedmon Professor and dean of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, has been appointed provost of the University, effective July 1. Diermeier’s successes at Chicago Harris since becoming dean in 2014 include increasing the size of the faculty and the student body; collaborating on a redesign of the graduate curriculum while bolstering the undergraduate major in public policy; and fostering the development of several new initiatives and institutes, including The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts. He “has led Harris with energy, boldness, and vision,” said University president Robert J. Zimmer. “Combined with his demonstrated ability to bring various perspectives together, he brings to his new role a set of skills and experiences central to the work of the provost’s office.”

Innovative leadership

To guide new and growing initiatives in science, engineering, and innovation, University provost Eric D. Isaacs has been appointed the first executive vice president for research, innovation, and national laboratories. The role will replace and build upon the position of vice president for research and national laboratories and allow Isaacs, the Robert A. Millikan Distinguished Service Professor in Physics, to foster on-campus programs, connect science and engineering work to larger policy issues and industry, and oversee affiliated laboratories and other scientific projects.

Police transparency

In April the University of Chicago Police Department began using body-worn cameras able to automatically upload audio and video footage to a secure server. The footage provides impartial evidence and can be used in officer training and evaluation, aiding in public and officer safety. About 20 officers are wearing the cameras during the program’s initial phase; UCPD expects to roll out the program to every officer by fall quarter. “In addition to meeting a need that the public has identified, body-worn cameras aid officers in performing their duties,” said UCPD chief of police Fountain L. Walker. “These cameras help promote professionalism and accountability among officers.”

Presidential recognition

Two UChicago scientists have received prestigious Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers: Jonathan Simon, a Neubauer Family Assistant Professor in Physics, and Bozhi Tian, assistant professor of chemistry. Simon was nominated by the US Department of Energy’s Office of Science for his work in synthetic quantum materials, and Tian was nominated by the Department of Defense for his contributions to semiconductor materials synthesis, device applications in photovoltaics, intracellular electrophysiology, and tissue engineering.

Scientific support

The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation has committed to another three years of funding for undergraduate research in the sciences at UChicago. Through the Beckman Scholars program, a few selected College students receive up to $20,000 to pursue original research with the support of a faculty member. The University is one of 12 institutions across the country selected to participate in the program.

Feeding thought

The dining commons in the new Campus North Residential Commons will be named for Frank Baker, AB’94, and his wife, Laura Day, in recognition of their $7 million gift to the University’s Odyssey Scholarship program. The Frank and Laura Baker Dining Commons will offer halal, kosher, and vegan options and, in keeping with campus tradition, will have designated seating for each of the residence hall’s eight College houses. Campus North is scheduled to open at the start of the 2016–17 academic year and will house 800 undergraduates.

Visualizing history

A restored conference room in Saieh Hall for Economics now showcases the history of economics at the University of Chicago. Chicago Economics Experience, which opened March 8 in the DelGiorno Room, focuses on the lives and work of Nobel laureates Milton Friedman, AM’33, and Gary Becker, AM’53, PhD’55, and rotating exhibits will explore the contributions of other prominent scholars and the ideas associated with the Chicago school of economics.

Serving those who served

A $10 million gift from Eric Gleacher, MBA’67, will create a new scholarship program for veterans at Chicago Booth. The funds will help cover costs associated with a Booth MBA that may exceed a veteran’s benefits under the GI Bill. “My experience in the Marine Corps gave me a boost in self-confidence, and my Booth education gave me direction,” said Gleacher. “It was a winning combination.” In 1996 Gleacher gave $15 million to the development of Booth’s downtown Gleacher Center, home to the evening and weekend MBA programs and the North American executive program.