Rika Mansueto

Rika Mansueto, AB’91. (Photography by Jean Lachat)

University news

A selection of the latest headlines from UChicago.

Rika Mansueto joins board

Rika Mansueto, AB’91, vice president of the Mansueto Foundation, was elected to the University of Chicago Board of Trustees and began her initial five-year term at the May board meeting. Mansueto studied anthropology in the College before joining Morningstar, Inc., where she worked as an editor and stock analyst. A 2016 gift from Mansueto and her husband, Joe Mansueto, AB’78, MBA’80, established the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation, a hub for research on issues affecting cities, and their 2008 gift helped support construction of the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library. Rika Mansueto serves on the advisory board of Teach for America Chicago-Northwest Indiana and the executive committee of the board of Francis W. Parker School.

New leadership role for Nirenberg

David Nirenberg, dean of the Social Sciences Division since 2014, was named executive vice provost effective July 1. Nirenberg will facilitate strategic, budgetary, and administrative coordination between the divisions and the College. The Edgar D. Jannotta Distinguished Service Professor of Medieval History and Social Thought, Nirenberg studies the interaction between Jewish, Christian, and Muslim societies. He was the founding Roman Family Director of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society.

Lab’s leader

Charles H. Abelmann was appointed director of the Laboratory Schools and began in the role July 1, after seven years as head of the Barrie School in Silver Spring, Maryland. Abelmann previously oversaw World Bank investments in educational programs in Indonesia, China, and Mongolia and was a principal at a Washington, DC, public school. At Lab, founded in 1896 by education reformer John Dewey, Abelmann leads the nursery school and kindergarten, primary school, lower school, middle school, and high school.

Overseeing the OI

Christopher Woods, associate professor of Sumerian in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and an expert in Sumerian writing and language, became the 13th director of the Oriental Institute July 1. The OI is a leading interdisciplinary center for research on civilizations of the ancient Near East whose museum attracts about 60,000 visitors a year. Woods succeeds professor of archaeology Gil Stein, director from 2002 to 2017, who assumed the new post of senior advisor to the provost for cultural heritage.

In the interim

On July 1 Deborah Gorman-Smith, the Emily Klein Gidwitz Professor and deputy dean for research and faculty development at the School of Social Service Administration, began a two-year term as interim dean of the SSA. Gorman-Smith succeeds Neil Guterman, who was named dean of the New York University Silver School of Social Work in May. Gorman-Smith’s research focuses on the development, risk, and prevention of aggression and violence, particularly among urban minority youth.

Childhood development expert Amanda Woodward was named interim dean of the Division of the Social Sciences. Her one-year appointment began July 1. Woodward, the William S. Gray Distinguished Service Professor of Psychology, has made fundamental discoveries about the development of social cognition in infants and young children, and was a founding member of the UChicago Center for Early Childhood Research. She joined the faculty in 1993.

An army of two

On June 10, hours after receiving their College diplomas, Garrett Healy and Sarah Starr, both AB’17, were commissioned as officers in the US Army. Theirs was the first commissioning ceremony at the University since the return to campus of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) last year. Healy, a biology major, and Starr, a double major in mathematics and political science, attained the rank of second lieutenant.

High honors

Three members of the College Class of 2018 earned prestigious scholarships. Soreti Teshome, a public policy and comparative race and ethnic studies major, is one of 62 students awarded a 2017 Harry S. Truman Scholarship, which supports exceptional students pursuing careers in public service. Chemistry and biochemistry major Pradnya Narkhede and physics and mathematics major Clare Singer received Barry Goldwater Scholarships, which recognize and support college sophomores and juniors who show great promise in the natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

Top cop

Kenton W. Rainey was named chief of police for the University of Chicago Police Department, effective July 1. Most recently Rainey served as the chief of police for the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit Police Department. Rainey supervises UCPD’s approximately 100 members and serves as its representative on campus and in the neighboring communities. Rainey will work to develop innovative crime prevention strategies and community policing programs.

All aboard

A long-shuttered Chicago Transit Authority Green Line station house will be given new life as a welcome center for the Washington Park neighborhood and the Arts Block, an arts and culture corridor UChicago is working to establish along East Garfield Boulevard. The welcome center, to open in 2018, will offer space for community programming, such as an incubator for local small businesses.