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Spring 2021

Voices

Computer science professor Josiah Hester wants more Indigenous representation in STEM. Greater representation, he says, starts with recognition and respect.

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Josiah Hester
Is mandating the COVID-19 vaccine a good idea? Would it backfire?

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From memoir to history to cultural critique, here are a few selected new books from Northwestern faculty.

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Innovation

A few years ago, graduate student Kinsey Hart wanted to celebrate a promotion with a new piece of jewelry. She had a simple design in mind but could not find her dream piece.

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Live music performances might not be possible because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but for Kellogg School of Management adjunct lecturer Gregg Latterman and senior Olivia Hernandez, the show must go on. They’re finding innovative ways to adapt to a virtual entertainment industry.

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News

A centimeter-sized robot could be the future of medicine, manufacturing and environmental cleanup. The tiny robot can walk at human speed, pick up and transport cargo to a new location, climb up and down hills and then perform a spinning break dance to release the cargo.

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After a fire destroyed most of an Evanston family’s possessions, graduate student Jeron Dorsey stepped up to help. He donated an entire two-week paycheck and continues to connect with the family.

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Jeron Dorsey
Veronica Burton is a leader of the women’s basketball team’s vaunted “blizzard” defense. The two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year averaged better than four steals per game this season, tops in the nation.

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From archaeology to public health to theater, Global Impacts Fellows conduct research across disciplines and continents.

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Alumni

Launched by the Northwestern Alumni Association last fall, the Senior Mentorship Program engages the global alumni network to help seniors prepare for the next step amid a pandemic that has
diminished job prospects.

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Northwestern Alumni Association President and trustee Larry Irving ’76 shares why he is focused on diversity, equity and inclusion and discusses the importance of listening to alumni and students.

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My Northwestern Direction

Chris Oh always wanted to help people. As a physician and educator, he applies his Northwestern physics training to explain topics as varied as gravitational waves and the importance of ventilation in the fight against COVID-19.

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Chris Oh

“We Will” Update

Interest in computer science has skyrocketed over the past few years, fueled by a surge of available data, enhanced computing power and advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Launched by the McCormick School of Engineering and supported by visionary philanthropists, the Computer Science Transformation Initiative is revolutionizing learning across disciplines at Northwestern.

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At Northwestern, where interdisciplinary collaboration is a goal, faculty are exploring the use of artificial intelligence in fields such as drug discovery, equality and social justice, material and process design, social media analysis and astronomy.

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Thanks to a new multimillion-dollar, multiyear grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Northwestern Medicine will continue to participate in the MJFF-sponsored Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative, which aims to identify biomarkers for the progression of the disease.

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A recent gift from the John R. Flanagan Charitable Foundation seeks to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, like COVID-19, around the world.

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People

In 2014 Ben Weprin ’10 MBA launched Graduate Hotels, a hotel collection providing affordable lodging in college towns for families, alumni, prospective students and other visitors. Weprin conceived the Graduate Hotels project while he was a student at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

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Ben Weprin
Sterling Harris discusses his love for tap dancing, its cultural significance and its positive effect on the brain.

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Chicago Children’s Choir president and artistic director Josephine Lee ’07 MMus believes music can transcend barriers and elevate the boundless potential of young people.

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Cincinnati Reds baseball operations analyst Katie Krall ’18 works on player acquisition and development to create a cohesive and competitive club.

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As part of the New York Times’ Visual Investigations team, Evan Hill ’07 and his peers are pioneering a new form of reporting called open-source journalism. Using the incalculable amounts of data that turn up online every day, the journalists blend together disparate elements to tell a broader story.

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Author Jennifer Mathieu ’98 trained at Northwestern as a journalist. After transitioning her career to teaching and learning from her students, she began writing Young Adult (YA) fiction and making a name for herself as an author with a keen sense of her audience and the stories they care about.

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Jennifer Mathieu