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Winter 2021

Features

Voices

I’m a person of faith, and the Bible gives me a glimpse into what is beyond my science, introducing me to a God who is intensely proud of the reality he wills into being. I believe that there is delight in heaven as my students and I peel back the layers of God’s “onion.” This motivates me and frees me to do curiosity-driven science well before I perceive how the insights to be gained will profit a modern society.

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At its heart, an alumni magazine should continue your relationship with the university, while also educating, entertaining and building community. Our team strives to bring you outstanding content in a sophisticated design, addressing key national and global topics across all disciplines.

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What has led to the current divisiveness within the United States, and how has that impacted civility and the ability to compromise? Three Northwestern professors from the Institute for Policy Research and a third-year doctoral student share their insights.

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Historian Lina Britto reflects on how growing up in Colombia and working as a journalist inspire her understanding of how the present reframes the past. An associate professor, she teaches courses that examine Latin American and Caribbean history with a focus on the drug trade and the war on drugs, the impact of music on nation building, and Cold War terror.

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Discovery

The alluring trend of moving to a more affordable locale to work remotely as COVID-19 upends our lives will likely not hold up in the long run. That’s because places like Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and other large metropolitan areas have the traits that make them hubs for a strong, innovative economy.

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Big Cities Hero

Innovation

Designed for the COVID-19 era by an international team that includes Northwestern senior Ryan Teo, a new public transportation design concept aims to once again give passengers the confidence to ride the bus. The Futurebus reduces contact between passengers and uses antimicrobial fabric and self-sanitizing handles.

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Ana Cornell wanted to learn about her genetic background but shied away from trying a commercially available DNA test kit because of privacy concerns. She couldn’t find a test that could be taken and analyzed at home.

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News

This past September, more than 1,900 first-year students began their journeys as members of Northwestern’s Class of 2024, together with more than 190 transfer students. Coming from 60 countries and speaking more than 60 languages, these new students bring extraordinary qualities, talents and accolades to Northwestern.

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The student-run Griffin’s Tale theater group canceled its performances last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the group is ready to go virtual, adapting stories written by children into skits and creating a video that schools can stream.

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When student performance groups returned to campus in the fall, social distancing and crowd safety guidelines forced them to adjust their art to a new, virtual reality.

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Opera Hero
Northwestern Medicine surgeons perform double-lung transplants, giving new life to eight COVID-19 survivors.

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From mask-making to protecting children, Northwestern students and alumni around the world worked in support of causes like education, violence prevention and safety during COVID-19.

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Alumni

MaryAnn Ihejirika Marsh grew up hearing about Northwestern, where her father met the people who helped his wife and children escape war-torn Nigeria and find refuge in America. If it hadn’t been for her father’s experience at Northwestern, she might not be here today.

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Maryann Hero
The Northwestern Alumni Association’s career programs moved to an all-virtual format after the pandemic began. Amid increasing uncertainty in the job market and high unemployment rates, the NAA offers a range of virtual learning and mentorship programs for alumni at all stages of their careers, whether they are looking for their first job, making a change or seeking professional development.

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“We Will” Update

The national conversation surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion is ongoing. Northwestern has responded by committing to advancing racial and social justice and making the University a more equitable and inclusive place for all — and generous donors are bolstering these efforts.

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Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in spring 2020, the University’s philanthropic community has responded by funding high-impact research and providing resources to help students learn remotely and return to campus. Donor support has been crucial to the continuation of Northwestern’s research and teaching missions.

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Austin J. Waldron partnered with the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences to create and endow the Waldron Student-Alumni Connections Program, which connects undergraduates with alumni in various fields and across different stages of their careers.

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