| News On Campus
New Res College
Auschwitz Art Online
New Name for
Gown v. Town
Rags to Riches
Getting the Lead Out
Kenneth I. Howard
Arthur Michel (KGSM78)
Gifts and Grants
Breaking Ground for Health and Science
Two groundbreaking ceremonies last October will undoubtedly result in medical and scientific advances on the Evanston campus.
After the $60 million Arthur and Gladys PancoeEvanston Northwestern
Healthcare Life Sciences Pavilion opens next year, biomedical researchers
at the 166,000-square-foot facility will perform the much-needed function
of advancing biomedical research through the integration of basic scientific
discoveries with clinical investigations.
The $29 million Center for Nanofabrication and Molecular Self-Assembly,
an 84,000-square-foot structure on the site of the former Vogelback Computing
Center, will bring together experts in materials chemistry (the design
of materials with specific and desirable properties), nanotechnology (the
making of tiny structures on the nanometer scale or macrostructures containing
nano-components) and molecular self-assembly (the use of molecules that
form complex structures with sophisticated functions when mixed).
The name of the Pancoe-ENH pavilion recognizes a $10 million gift from
the Pancoes and a $17.5 million contribution by Evanston Northwestern
Healthcare. It will be dedicated to the memory of the Pancoes' granddaughter,
Beth Elise Pancoe, a Northwestern student who died in 1999 from acute
The nanotechnology center is funded by a $14 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a $1 million gift from Leonard (WCAS39, KGMS66) and Mary Ginger for the Leonard and Mary Ginger Laboratory for Chemical Biodiagnostics, and the University.
At the groundbreaking for the new nanofabrication center, from left, Eric Sundquist, dean of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences; Lydia Villa-Komaroff, vice president for research; Mark Ratner, chemistry professor and co-director of the center; Rosemary J. Schnell (WCAS54), a donor to the center; James Ibers, chair and Morrison Professor of Chemistry; Chad Mirkin, George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry and co-director of the center; and Grier Davis, special assistant to President Henry Bienen for government and community relations.
The homicide entries, recorded by Chicago police from 1870 to 1930, were
discussed at Learning from the Past, Living in the Present: Patterns in
Chicago Homicides, 1870 to 1930, a fall conference at the Northwestern
University School of Law.
"This is a record of 60 years of enormous growth and social change
in Chicago," said Leigh Buchanan Bienen, a senior lecturer at the
law school and the event's organizer.
Conference participants covered topics such as judicial corruption, racial
and ethnic crime patterns, the availability of firearms and gang activity.
"The highly stylized penmanship and rhetorical flourishes seen in
the individual entries are expressive of a period when Chicago was known
as the crime capital of America," Bienen said.
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In the first donation of unused campaign funds Northwestern has ever received, former U.S. Rep. John Porter (R-Ill.) gave $325,000 to the University to be used as a leadership gift establishing a Professorship of Biomedical Research.
Porter (EB57, H99) consistently worked during his 22 years in Congress
to further the cause of biomedical research in battling disease. "I
can think of no better use for this campaign money than to invest it in
health research that will benefit the needs of society," he said.
Porter did not seek re-election last year. Stephen D. Miller, professor
of microbiology-immunology and director of the Interdepartmental Immunobiology
Center at the Medical School, has been named to the professorship, which
will carry Porter's name.
The University hopes to raise $2 million for the endowment.
| New Residential
An alumni couple from the Seattle area have provided the lead gift to help fund construction of the $15 million state-of-the-art Residential College of Science and Engineering.
The Seattle-based Wissner-Slivka Foundation donated $4 million for the
new building. Managing trustee Lisa Wissner-Slivka (McC85) and her husband,
Benjamin Slivka (McC82, GMcC85), established the private foundation in
1997 to benefit education and children.
Slivka is a member of the University Board of Trustees and formerly was
a general manager in the Windows Group of Redmond, Wash.based Microsoft
Corp., where he worked on numerous projects, including the development
of the Internet Explorer Web browser. Wissner-Slivka worked for Microsoft
as a program and product manager for more than six years.
Scheduled for completion in fall 2002, the Benjamin W. Slivka Residence
Hall will house 141 students in air-conditioned, carpeted apartment-style
suites that will be a mix of single and double rooms. Residents will have
access to a "discovery room" where they can work on science
and technology projects. The building also will house a "cybercafe"
where students from all over campus will be able to gather to down late-night
lattés and plug into the Internet.
Like its res college counterparts, Slivka Hall will have its own faculty
master from a specialized field to advise student officers and to assist
with academically focused programming.
"It is very rewarding to be able to help Northwestern build this new residential college," Slivka said. "I think it will be a wonderful place to live, and I hope the science and engineering focus will encourage a deeper and broader grasp of these important disciplines by students of all majors."
See this sketch and hundreds of other works of art from Auschwitz online.
| Auschwitz Art
on the Web
Auschwitz and art are two concepts that would seem destined never to intersect, but actually many Holocaust victims left the world a moving and extensive record of their experience.
Now some 250 works of art from Auschwitz can be seen on a University
Web site. The vast
majority -- drawings, illustrated diaries, musical manuscripts, painted
letters and paintings -- have never before been published.
"Although it was a death and work camp, Auschwitz had an active
cultural life, with sculpture, painting and printmaking studios and a
museum for the display of cultural artifacts and art," noted David
Mickenberg, director of the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art and exhibit
The result of a three-year collaboration between the Block museum and
the Information Technology Division, the site makes use of the latest
Internet2 technologies. The power of the often chilling artwork is compounded
by the site's scholarly essays, videostreamed lectures and performances,
virtual reality tours, and biographies and video interviews with artists
who survived the concentration camps.
The debut on the Web stems in part from a desire to model how a museum can provide new experiences and media-rich content to a worldwide audience, according to Bob Taylor, director of IT's academic technologies unit."The greatest challenge was finding the most respectful, effective balance of contemporary digital media capabilities to treat so somber and painful a subject," he said.
| New Name for
Recognizing that it encompasses much more than the one sex, Northwestern's program on women's studies changed its name to gender studies.
"The discussion in academia has been whether it is appropriate to
call a program women's studies when programs increasingly do a great deal
of work around gender and sexuality as well as women," said Alexandra
Owen, new director of the program and associate professor of history and
gender studies. Programs on many campuses have adopted the new nomenclature.
Gender studies also plans to increase its faculty by a system of revolving
appointments. Each year three faculty members from other schools within
Northwestern will be awarded a three-year appointment with the program.
"It means we're going to have a lot of new perspectives," Owen
In related news, the Northwestern Women's Center, which offers counseling and education directed toward women, expanded to the Chicago campus last fall.
Northwestern has filed a federal lawsuit against Evanston challenging the creation of a historic district last year that includes more than 40 properties owned by the University.
Last June the Evanston City Council passed an ordinance establishing
a Northeast Evanston Historic District. All proposed exterior changes
visible to the public, major or minor, would have to be approved beforehand
by the city.
The University contends that Northwestern's inclusion in the district
was motivated not by a desire to recognize historically important architecture
but by a longstanding animosity stemming from the University's charter
granting it exemption from property taxes.
"This is the latest step in a pattern of conduct by the city in
retaliation against the University because of its refusal to accede to
the city's demands for payment of funds in lieu of property tax,"
said Eugene S. Sunshine, senior vice president for business and finance.
"The city has lost sight of its obligation to treat the University
fairly, and the enactment of the district is yet another attempt to force
the University to contribute."
The suit claims that the ordinance creating the historic district is
arbitrary and capricious and treats Northwestern differently from other
property owners. The city never held hearings on the redrawn district
but simply approved it at the same meeting when the council made final
changes to the district's boundaries.
Sunshine said the University proposed alternate solutions that ultimately
were rejected. "It saddens us that the University is left with no
choice but to file this lawsuit," he said.
| High Marks
Northwestern students today are posting higher grades than ever before, but some administrators are wondering if students are getting smarter or if good grades are easier to get.
The Office of the Provost reported that the average grade point average
of all undergraduates has risen from 2.99 in 1982 to 3.32 in 1998.
The findings are inconclusive, but they show that the higher grades were
concurrent with a boost in the academic credentials of incoming freshmen.
From 1982 to 1998 the average SAT scores rose from a combined total of
1,210 to 1,365. Also, more freshmen in 1998 entered with credits earned
through the Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or similar
programs than was the case in 1982.
On the other hand, increased reliance on student evaluations, which might
be more favorable if a professor gives out better grades, for issues such
as tenure and promotion may be one cause of inflation.
(Photo by Jim Ziv)
Rags to Riches
Millions of Westerners who give their old clothes to charity and thrift shops might be surprised to learn that nearly half of their donations are sold in the Third World.
Karen Tranberg Hansen, professor of anthropology, researched the topic
and found that the secondhand clothing trade has become an important part
of the economies of Africa, Latin America and other regions. Hansen published
her findings in Salaula (The University of Chicago Press, 2000).
The word salaula, meaning "to rummage through a pile,"
was taken from the Central African language of Bemba.
In North America and Europe the clothes are sorted, compressed and shipped
in bales to countries like Zambia, where Hansen has spent considerable
time doing research. The items are ultimately purchased by individuals
-- not all of whom are poor.
"This goes beyond an economic market," Hansen said in a presentation
last fall sponsored by Friends of Anthropology at Northwestern. "How
people dress in Zambia reflects their career and class aspirations, and
for them being a consumer is very hard work." Faded blue jeans, so
sought after in the Western world, are unpopular with the average Zambian
consumer, she said, because they aren't spick-and-span.
"Right now wearing a double-breasted suit is not only considered
fashionable," Hansen explained, "it means that you recognize
the need for family stability and the work ethic."
The secondhand clothing trade is somewhat controversial in developing countries. Many governments have restricted the imports because they are a serious threat to local textile industries. Advocates of salaula respond that these domestic industries are often already moribund because of high tariffs on material.
While she realizes that salaula may not be perfect, Hansen does
believe it to be essential to these societies. "It doesn't cure the
problem of poverty," she acknowledged, "but it does help people
satisfy certain cultural norms. In countries such as Zambia, it allows
them to put on clothes that they equate with power and success and that
help them to escape their own socioeconomic circumstances."
-- Katie Konrath (J02)
A Medical School team has for the first time found a link between abnormal blood sugar levels and pancreatic cancer. The study, published in a May issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed data from an earlier American Heart Association study of nearly 40,000 men and women.
Looking at the occurrence of diabetes among the participants and focusing
in on the deaths from and risk factors for pancreatic cancer, researchers
found that those with higher glucose levels tended to have a higher risk
of developing the cancer.
"Identifying a potential causal association between hyperglycemia
and pancreatic cancer could have important preventive and prognosticative
implications for this cancer," said Susan Gapstur, assistant professor
of preventive medicine and lead author of the article.
Peter Gann, associate professor of preventive medicine; William Lowe, associate professor of endocrinology; Kiang Liu, professor of preventive medicine; Alan Dyer, professor of preventive medicine; and Laura Colangelo, statistical analyst, were co-researchers on the study.Final Thoughts
Northwestern researchers conducted one of the first studies to ask terminal patients about their ideas of "dying well."
The results, published in a September issue of the Journal of Palliative
Medicine, found a link between better acceptance of death and higher
levels of spirituality and sense of purpose. About 1,000 people drawn
from six areas of the country participated in the study.
(Photo by Andrew Campbell)
V. Craig Jordan
the Lead Out
Armed with sunflowers, corn, kale, grass and science, professors Helen J. Binns and Kimberly Gray hope to determine the best way to reduce a major health problem facing children in Chicago: lead poisoning from contaminated soil.
The two researchers received a two-year, $900,000 grant from the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development to attack the problem through
a process called phytoremediation. Phytoremediation involves planting
different kinds of vegetation in hopes that the plants will remove lead
from the soil either by root absorption or absorption and transport to
above-ground plant tissue. While the risk from interior leaded paint and
paint chips from building exteriors is likely higher, lead-contaminated
soil is a significant source of lead poisoning in urban areas.
Binns is an assistant professor of pediatrics and a researcher at Children's
Memorial Institute for Education and Research, and Gray is an associate
professor of civil engineering.
Joseph S. Takahashi, Walter and Mary E. Glass Professor of Neurobiology and Physiology, has been awarded a five-year, $20 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund the NIH Mouse Mutagenesis Center at Northwestern.
The center, housed at Northwestern but operating in conjunction with
Columbia, Duke and the University of Iowa, will utilize mutations in mice
to identify genes responsible for memory, vision, circadian rhythms and
response to drugs of addiction.
By developing novel databases and tools, the center expects its findings will provide information useful to the Human Genome Project, an international effort to map all human genes, and to the field of biomedicine.Gifts and Grants
The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University is one of only four institutions in the United States to receive a five-year, $13 million grant from the National Cancer Institute.
The grant will help researchers, under the leadership of V. Craig Jordan,
the Diana, Princess of Wales Professor of Cancer Research, to conduct
multidisciplinary research on improving cancer care and cancer prevention.
The research projects will include six studies examining causes, prevention
and therapies for breast cancer, including one study headed by Jordan
on drug resistance to antiestrogens.
Jordan has guided the clinical development of the antiestrogens tamoxifen
and raloxifene for more than 25 years. Tamoxifen has been shown to increase
the survival rate of breast cancer patients and also to prevent the development
of breast cancer in high-risk women; an estimated 350,000 women are alive
today because of tamoxifen treatment.
The researchers on the other five projects are Larry Jameson, Irving S. Cutter Professor and chair of medicine; Ann Thor, professor of pathology; Robert Chatterton, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and of physiology; Monica Morrow, professor of surgery and director of the Lynn Sage Comprehensive Breast Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital; and Gerald Soff, associate professor of medicine.
"Our program has developed from nothing to world-class in seven
years," Jordan said. "Our success is a tribute to all the individuals
in the community who are committed to conquering cancer."
Kenneth I. Howard, 68, professor of psychology, died Oct. 19 in Chicago.
Mr. Howard, who joined Northwestern in 1967, was a co-founder of the
Society for Psychotherapy Research and served as coordinator of outpatient
research at Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Stone Institute of Psychiatry.
Survivors include his wife, Sue Taylor Howard, three daughters, three
sons, two stepsons, his father, a brother and three grandchildren.
Arthur Michel (KGSM78), 59, associate professor of oncology, died
Nov. 4 in Arlington Heights, Ill.
A specialist in breast cancer, Dr. Michel was the first medical director for the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization. He was named the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Physician of the Year in 1997.Survivors include his wife, Nancy, two sons, a stepdaughter, a stepson, his father, a brother and four grandchildren.