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Northwestern University

Fall/Winter 2007-08

From the Provost

Many of you know that on September 1, I assumed the position of Provost of the University. As I turn over my office at 1918 Sheridan to Interim Dean Aldon Morris, I want also to express how grateful I am to have served as dean of Weinberg College for the last five years. It has been a continual pleasure to meet the College’s alumni—to share our vision for the College’s future and to hear your own reflections about the value of liberal arts in your own lives. That has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.

Introducing Aldon Morris, Weinberg's Interim Dean

Aldon Morris remembers looking at Dan Linzer’s calendar last year and thinking, “How could one individual be in all those meetings?” In the past few months, Morris has had a chance to find out for himself. In September, Morris was named interim dean of the college, when Linzer moved to Rebecca Crown Center to become provost. Morris served for four years as associate dean for faculty affairs, and had previously chaired the sociology department and directed Asian American Studies during its early years.

Memorial Fund for Fred Basolo, Pioneer in Inorganic Chemistry

In September, the chemistry department dedicated a conference room in honor of the late Fred Basolo, a pioneer in inorganic chemistry and one of Northwestern’s most beloved professors and mentors. He died in February at the age of 87.

Dual Honors for Stuart Dybek Means Freedom to Dive into What He Loves

Stuart Dybek, Northwestern’s first Distinguished Writer in Residence, has recently received back-to-back honors: the MacArthur “genius grant” and the Rea Award for the Short Story. He says the $500,000 fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the $30,000 Rea prize will give him more time to do what he loves: writing, teaching writing at Northwestern, maybe even some free diving off the Florida Keys.

Exploring the Cosmos with Goddard's Chief and Hubble's Champion Edward Weiler

Children of the ’50s and ’60s could hardly forget John F. Kennedy’s dramatic proclamation in 1961 that by the end of the decade, the United States would put a man on the moon.

Edward J. Weiler was such a child. He remembers rising before dawn to watch Alan Shepard blast off and then John Glenn. The son of a steel worker from the South Side of Chicago, he made himself a three-pronged promise at the age of 13: to go to Northwestern, to become an astronomer, and to work for NASA. And then he kept that promise.

Meet Three of Weinberg's Best Teachers

What makes an excellent college teacher today? We took a look at this year’s winners of the McCormick Awards for Teaching Excellence—interviewed them in their offices, caught a few of their classes, talked to students, read countless evaluations. Their differences in style and interests were striking.

"When I Turned 5"

As a creative writing major, Kuangyan Huang '07 wrote this essay about coming to America. He plans to attend Columbia Law School next fall to become a professor of law, perhaps becoming involved in international policy concerning China.

Conserving Masterpieces: Today's Chemists Penetrate Mysteries of Yesterday's Art

Thanks to recent advances in technology, art conservation is a science whose time has come. Conservators are learning more and more about historical art materials, noninvasive techniques, and how to best preserve and eventually restore artworks. Art conservation has drawn Weinberg students and scientists alike, who contribute to this exciting field poised at the intersection of fine art and science.

Weinberg's New Development Director: Right at Home

Stephanie Banta remembers riding along Sheridan Road as a child and seeing Northwestern, her dad’s alma mater. With its mix of ivy-covered and bright modern buildings and throngs of students going places, it was what college should look like, she remembers thinking. Her mom would point out the twin statues in front of Patten Gym: “There’s Pat and there’s Jim.” The joke still makes her smile.

In many ways, working at Northwestern is like coming home, she says. In March, Banta was named director of development for Weinberg College. Northwestern is a special place, she has found, and communicating its strengths to alumni is rewarding.

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