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News and Highlights for Faculty & Staff on the Urbana-Champaign Campus  |  November 2016

2016 Distinguished Promotion Award Recipients

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2016 Distinguished Promotion Award: Ryan Dilger, associate professor, Animal Sciences; Mani Golparvar Fard, associate professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering; Hyunjoon Kong, professor, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering; Nadya Mason, professor, Physics; Robert Morrissey, associate professor, History; Yanfeng Ouyang, professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering; Paris Smaragdis, associate professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Rebecca Stumpf, professor, Anthropology.

And warm congratulations to all of our other faculty members who received promotion and tenure. A total of forty-two faculty members were promoted from assistant to associate professor with tenure, and 39 faculty members were promoted from associate to full professor.

Annual Report

The Provost’s Office Annual Report for the 2015-2016 academic year is now available here.  The report summarizes major activities and achievements of the office, along with future plans, in faculty affairs, educational programs, enrollment management, international programs, budget and resource planning, capital planning and space management, and technology services.  

Campus-Wide International Travel Assistance Program

We have launched an international travel assistance program for all campus leadership traveling abroad. Assistance will include help with visas, insurance, a coordinated campus-wide calendar, cultural tips, information about partnerships/students studying abroad, and important alumni, as well as any other tips that might make the leader’s trip more convenient and successful.  For more information, please contact Global Communications and Protocol.

Campus will collect information on Student Learning Outcomes Assessment

To promote and guide assessment activities on our campus, the inaugural Provost’s Council for Learning Outcomes Assessment (C-LOA) was created in spring 2016. The role of the Council is to foster a practice of assessment that is ongoing and meaningful to campus units. Our assessment efforts should also satisfy the needs of program and institutional accreditation. C-LOA is designing the mechanism for collecting learning outcomes assessment information across campus and the Assessment Working Group is crafting resources to help programs with their assessment activities. More information will be provided to all academic units soon.

Grand Challenge Learning

For Spring 2017, Grand Challenge Learning is offering 10 sections of our Experience (100-level) courses, designed for first-year freshmen and transfer students. Each fulfills one or more "Gen Eds" while focusing on one of three pathways: Health and Wellness, Inequality and Cultural Understanding, and Sustainability and the Environment. GCL Experience courses privilege experiential learning; students might create projects, designs, or art, engage in service learning, or participate in community-engaged scholarship, while exploring deep-seated dilemmas that cross many disciplines. With enrollment capped at 25, and no pre-requisites, GCL Experience courses are collaborative communities made up of students from all over campus. See more at our updated website.

International Partnership with the University of Birmingham

The campus’s strategic international partnership with the University of Birmingham in the UK—BRIDGE—continues to evolve, with the successful launch of the BRIDGE Fellows program and the identification of two of the six early career researchers who will form the initial BRIDGE Fellows cohort. The campus’s strategic international partnership with research universities in Stockholm, Sweden—INSPIRE—continues to thrive, with more than 30 Illinois engineering students engaging in academically integrated, full-semester study abroad programs at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, expanded faculty/grad student interactions between our College of AHS and the Karolinska Institute, and an ongoing cultural heritage collaboration under the theme “the Culture of Death” with Stockholm University. Initial planning is also underway to relaunch the Global Issues Forum: Smart Cities/Healthy Cities initiative with National Taiwan University in Taipei.

New and Improved WiFi Network Smashes Records

Technology Services has upgraded every single wireless access point across campus with new hardware. The 9,592 new WiFi access points have led to a superior wireless experience for students and faculty. It is easier to get connected and stay connected to IllinoisNet. And the new network has smashed all of the previous WiFi usage networks. For example, 35 terabytes of data now move over our WiFi network every day. And at peak usage times, 42,600 devices simultaneously connect to our network. To learn more about the new and improved IllinoisNet, visit the Technology Services website .

Awards and Honors

Illinois is consistently recognized for the outstanding achievements of its faculty and staff. The following listing is just a sample of the many prestigious awards and other honors they have received over the past several months. Congratulations to all of our faculty and staff for their numerous recognitions and contributions to the Illinois mission.

Dipanjan Pan, bioengineering, has been named a Fellow of the American Heart Association in the AHA’s Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences.

Nam Sung Kim, electrical & computer engineering, has been inducted into the IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture (MICRO) Hall of Fame.

Andrew Ferguson, materials science & engineering, is the recipient of the 2016 Young Investigator Award for Modeling and Simulation, from the Computational Molecular Science and Engineering Forum of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

William Gropp, computer science, has been named the recipient of the 2016 ACM/IEEE Computer Society Ken Kennedy Award.

Cecilia Leal, materials science & engineering, is a recipient of the 2016 National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award.

Andrew Alleyne, mechanical science & engineering, was awarded the 2016 Charles Stark Draper Innovative Practice Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. 

Yuhang Hu and Kelly Stephani, mechanical science & engineering, were awarded grants from the Air Force Young Investigator Research Program.

Nick Holonyak, Jr. (professor emeritus), electrical & computer engineering, has been selected to receive the 2017 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Electrical Engineering.

Mani Golparvar-Fard, civil & environmental engineering, has won the 2016 Daniel W. Halpin Award for Scholarship in Construction from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Qian Chen, materials science & engineering, has been awarded a Distinguished Visiting Fellowship by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Ying Diao, chemical & biomolecular engineering, has been recognized as a pioneer on the MIT Technology Review list of “Innovators Under 35.”

Tao Xie, computer science, was honored with a Microsoft Research Outstanding Collaborator Award.

Robyn Gobin, kinesiology & community health, was awarded the 2016 Judy E. Hall Early Career Psychologist Award by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists.

Andrew Leakey, plant biology, received the Calvin-Benson Award for early career research from the International Society for Photosynthesis Research.

Madhu Khanna, agricultural & consumer economics, was named a Fellow of the American Applied Economics Association.

Philip Garcia, agricultural & consumer economics, received the American Applied Economics Association Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award.

Philip Garcia and Scott Irwin, agricultural & consumer economics, received the American Applied Economics Association Quality of Research Discovery Award.

The American Applied Economics Association honored the following agricultural & consumer economics faculty and staff as a group (along with colleagues at several other institutions) for the “Farm Policy Decision Aid” outreach program: Mark Althouse, Ryan Batts, Jonathan Coppess, Stu Ellis, Andy Goers, Scott Irwin, Nick Paulson, Gary Schnitkey, Bruce Sherrick.

The College of Applied Health Sciences (AHS) was awarded the Leadership in Diversity Award  by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association for its Information Accessibility Design and Policy professional certificate program.

Brendan Harley, chemical & biomolecular engineering, has been selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering’s 22nd annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium.

William Hammack, chemical & biomolecular engineering, and Donald DeCoste, chemistry, launched a new companion book to Hammack’s Engineer Guy YouTube series: The Chemical History of a Candle.

Paul Braun, materials science & engineering, has been selected to serve as the next director of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory (MRL).

Jennifer Bernhard, college of engineering, has been elected to the ASEE Engineering Research Council Executive Board of Directors for 2016-2019.

Anne Sautman, Krannert Art Museum, has been named 2016 Museum Educator of the Year by the Illinois Art Education Association.

If you have recently received an award or honor, or are aware of a colleague who has, we’d like to know! Drop us a note at

For information about awards with upcoming deadlines, subscribe to the Award Nomination Opportunities announcements here.

Other Resources

Campus Strategic Plan • Campus Academic Calendar • Campus News

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