(University of Chicago News Office)
University news
A Chicago Booth professor guides India’s economy, community service expands during O-Week and beyond, and a street sign of respect for Rudy and Joyce Nimocks.

Bound and determined

Incoming first-year undergraduates volunteered throughout the city through a new program, Chicago Bound, complementing the traditional day of service during Orientation Week. As part of the new initiative, 20 students worked in food pantries, community centers, and clinics in Pilsen, Humboldt Park, Lakeview, and Woodlawn. The student volunteers also met with community leaders in an effort to develop connections that will last throughout their College careers.

Honorary role becomes official

Raghuram Rajan, Chicago Booth’s Eric J. Gleacher distinguished service professor of finance, became the Indian government’s chief economic adviser in August. Rajan will remain affiliated with the business school, rearranging his duties to meet his responsibilities in India, where  he has been an honorary adviser to the prime minister since 2008. Author of the 2010 book Fault Lines: How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy (Princeton University Press), Rajan is well-known for his 2005 speech warning about threats that would contribute to the 2008 financial crisis.

More than a bit faster

The University and the State of Illinois are leading a $9 million effort to bring gigabit-speed broadband to nine South Side neighborhoods. About 100 times faster than standard high-speed cable or DSL, the broadband service, which will be implemented through a partnership with the Washington, DC–based economic-development firm Gigabit Squared, will reach nearly 5,000 homes, businesses, schools, and health-care facilities by the end of 2013.

Political appointments

Jan Kostner, previously the deputy director at the Illinois Bureau of Tourism, and Steve Edwards, a former Chicago public-radio journalist, were among five new appointees to the Institute of Politics announced in September. Kostner is deputy director for events and marketing  and Edwards is director of programming. 

Rave review for the mars rover

Inspired by the rover Curiosity’s landing on Mars, Isaac Larkin, ’14, sent a congratulatory letter to President Obama, which the administration shared with NASA officials—including the planetary-science division director, who read the letter at a September meeting of the National Academy of Sciences. Larkin, a biochemistry major, hailed the landing as “a triumph of human intelligence, civilization, and cooperation.” 

From industry to the institute

In September Sharon Feng, previously vice president of business development for Bayer MaterialScience LLC, became executive director of the Institute for Molecular Engineering. Feng, who has a PhD in bioinorganic chemistry from MIT, will lead the institute’s internal financial, operational, and managerial functions, while serving as a liaison with industry partners.

Capital investment

Hal Weitzman, an author and former Financial Times reporter, joined Chicago Booth in September as executive director of intellectual capital. In the new position, Weitzman will promote research and program information to alumni, the media, and the business community.  Previously the Chicago and Midwest bureau chief for the Financial Times, Weitzman, the author of Latin Lessons: How South America Stopped Listening to the United States and Started Prospering (Wiley, 2012), also led the newspaper’s Lima, Peru, bureau.

To survive and thrive

The Resilience Project, a program to help undergraduates overcome adversity and disappointment, began this fall under the direction of Alex J. Lickerman, AB’88, MD’92, assistant vice president of campus and student life; Kelly Hogan Stewart, director of health promotion and wellness; and Mike Quinn, senior research scientist in the department of general medicine. The project offers workshops on topics such as articulating a life mission, using distraction and avoidance rather than willpower to resist temptation, accepting pain as a method for mitigating it, and managing expectations. (See Lickerman’s Alumni Essay, “How to Construct an Indestructible Self.”)

Ludwig recognized as a healer

Jens Ludwig, a leader in applying scientific tools to the study of crime, poverty, and health, has been elected to the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine. Ludwig, the McCormick Foundation professor of social service administration, law, and public policy and director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, focuses his research on the prevention of violent crime and the effects of urban poverty and public policy on health.

Nimocks knows the way

Rudy and Joyce Nimocks have been community fixtures in Woodlawn for more than 50 years and now a stretch of South Greenwood Avenue bears their names. “Honorary Rudy & Joyce Nimocks Way” recognizes the couple’s commitment to the neighborhood. Rudy Nimocks, 83, the University’s director of community partnerships, was chief of the UChicago police department  for 23 years after 33 years on the city’s force.