Nov. 2, 2006
Vol. 26 No. 4

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    In the News

    The Chronicle’s biweekly column In the News offers a digest of commentary and quotations by a few of the University faculty members, students and alumni who have been headlining the news in recent weeks. Chicago faculty members are some of the most frequently quoted experts, so space allows publishing references to only selected examples. To read many of the full newspaper articles mentioned in this column, visit the In the News column at the University News Office Web site: http://www-news.uchicago.edu/. If you are aware of news articles that feature the University or its faculty, students and/or alumni, feel free to bring them to the attention of the Chronicle editor to be considered for In the News. News clips may be sent to ldavis@uchicago.edu.

    Associate Professor Michael Coates (left) is shown here in the field with co-author Rob Gess.

    Michael Coates, Associate Professor in Organismal Biology and Anatomy, uncovered with a South-African colleague a 360-million-year-old lamprey fossil, an eel-like parasite that feeds on other fish, which showed remarkably little difference from modern lampreys. “This fossil changes how we look at lampreys today,” Coates was quoted in the Chicago Tribune. “They’re very ancient, very primitive animals, yet with highly specialized feeding habits.” The fossil was found in an ancient estuary in Grahamtown, South Africa.

    Craig Futterman, Clinical Professor and Director of the Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project of the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic at the Law School, was quoted in a Sunday, Oct. 22 Perspective piece in the Chicago Tribune that reported on corruption in the Chicago Police Department. In a study of citizen complaints against police, Futterman found that 662 officers had accumulated 10 or more abuse complaints over five years and that some officers had as many as 50 complaints. “The Chicago Police Department has not and does not look at patterns of abuse,” Futterman said.

    Alumnus Karan Goel, 23, was profiled in the Thursday, Oct. 26 Financial Times for his work in setting up an online test preparation service for college-bound high school students called PrepMe.com. Founded in 2004, PrepMe.com has more than 1,000 customers on five continents and has offices in Chicago and Mountain View, Calif. Goel says he got the idea for PrepMe when he was graduating high school and about to begin undergraduate studies at the University. “I realized that the test prep out there (for the SAT) wasn’t engaging,” he said in the article.

    U.S. Sen. Barack Obama

    Barack Obama, U.S. Senator and Senior Lecturer in the Law School (on leave), kicked off his book tour for his new release, The Audacity of Hope, at 57th Street Books, as noted in the Wednesday, Oct. 18 Chicago Sun-Times. Explaining the motivation behind his new book, Obama said, “Our politics have become so partisan and so negative that we’ve lost some of the common values, the common aspirations that we have as Americans.” The Associated Press, Financial Times, Toronto Star, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and many other national newspapers covered Obama’s book tour that kicked off in Hyde Park.

    Martha McClintock, the David Lee Shillinglaw Distinguished Service Professor in Psychology and the College, was quoted in a Thursday, Oct. 19 USA Today story on the results of research that suggests a link between personality and cancer susceptibility in rats. McClintock and her colleagues found that timid rats were more likely to develop cancer and to die sooner than more “adventuresome” rats. McClintock said, “Human studies may need to consider more basic behavior traits than those already considered.”

    Sarah Gehlert, Professor in the School of Social Service Administration and Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Health Disparities Research, was interviewed about the work of the center on the program “News and Notes,” which aired on National Public Radio on Monday, Oct. 23.

    Michael Behnke, Vice President and Dean of College Enrollment, was interviewed about the University’s Chicago Public Schools Scholars Program on WBBM-AM radio, while CPS Scholar Marco Mendez Duarte, was interviewed by WGN-AM radio station. Chicago’s Univision Channel 66 covered a Thursday, Oct. 19 reception that honored the young scholars, who earned full-tuition scholarships to attend the University.

    David Greene, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, was profiled in the Why I Moved feature in the Friday, Oct. 27 The Chronicle of Higher Education, regarding his move from vice president for campus life and student services at Brown University to his current position at Chicago. Newly installed President Robert Zimmer offered Greene the position, which Greene said was “too attractive to pass up.” In his new position, Greene said he ensures that the University’s planning and priorities are clearly defined and communicated and that he will work with faculty members, deans and other administrators to formulate a cohesive, strategic plan. “Working with great people is very important to me. I knew that Bob Zimmer had great regard for the values of the University of Chicago, and he thought that together we could find more ways to support the mission of the institution.”

    Sanjay Dhar, the James H. Lorie Professor of Marketing in the Graduate School of Business, appeared as a guest on ABC World News Sunday, Oct. 22. Dhar discussed the interior design changes that McDonalds Corp. has been implementing in its restaurants, noting that customers are looking for more of a “total experience” when spending money outside the home.