University of Illinois

I space hosting first U.S. exhibition of Japanese architect's work

CHAMPAIGN. – The first comprehensive U.S. exhibition of the work of Japanese architect Kengo Kuma will be on view from Friday through Nov. 15 at I space, the Chicago gallery of the University of Illinois.

"Material Immaterial: The Architecture of Kengo Kuma" will feature photographic displays, full-scale artifacts, a multimedia presentation and a small tea pavilion design by Kuma, who is considered to be among the world's leading contemporary architects. The exhibition is curated by Kevin Erickson, a professor of architecture at Illinois.

UI's Bugscope gives area students personal look at insects

CHAMPAIGN – The images on the computer screen looked like something out of a horror movie. Giant jaws. A long, barbed extension. Claws covered with setae, or stiff, hair-like bristles.

"Grasshoppers have claws?" asked a student in Sheila Kirby's eighth-grade science class at Judah Christian School.

"That is so cool," another said.

Kirby's class was getting a close-up look at teeny, tiny bug parts, thanks to Bugscope, a project of the University of Illinois' Beckman Institute. The project makes a powerful electron microscope available to schools via the Internet.

UI president clarifies stance on political activities

URBANA – University of Illinois President B. Joseph White emailed UI staffers Monday to tell them they were free to show their political colors.

A previous newsletter had warned UI employees about state law governing political activities.

Hispanic UI students' families get a taste of life on campus

CHAMPAIGN – It's early Sunday morning, but Bertha Gonzalez has been up since the wee hours, getting ready to visit her sister, Yesenia, a University of Illinois freshman. Gonzalez began her trek from Chicago to Champaign around 6 a.m. and, not surprisingly, didn't find much traffic coming south.

What she found in Champaign, though, was a different kind of traffic jam.

About 350 Latino students from the University of Illinois and their extended families clustered into a gym at the UI Activities and Recreation Center on Sunday to take part in the sixth annual Latina/Latino Family Visit Day, a day of tours, talks and familial bonding for Hispanic students new to the UI.

Three published authors taking part in UI homecoming event

URBANA – Three University of Illinois alumni who are published authors will be part of the Writers Come Home presentation taking place on Friday in connection with UI homecoming festivities.

Beginning at 4 p.m. Friday in the Alice Campbell Alumni Center, 601 S. Lincoln Ave., U, they will talk about their books. Afterward, they will sign copies and mingle with guests at an hors d'oeuvres reception featuring piano music by Rick Murphy, music director at University High School in Urbana.

Former officer's hunch, hard work pay off

URBANA – John Lockard will be the first to admit that dumb luck often makes police detectives successful.

"There's no doubt about it. But you make your own luck," the seasoned police officer said.

Lockard is being credited this week as the man who solved four rape cases in two states.

UI forum panelist dissects causes of economic crisis

URBANA – A University of Illinois finance professor said several factors combined to produce the financial crisis that brought down several banks last month and prompted a proposed $700 billion fix from the federal government.

George Pennacchi said interest rates that were kept low too long, the practice of securitizing mortgages and federal policies subsidizing housing all contributed to the crisis.

High-rise residents happy to be settling into apartments

CHAMPAIGN – The pool and fitness center aren't quite finished, the entrance is a construction zone and the lone elevator is finicky – not so fun when you live on the ninth floor or above.

All in all, though, University of Illinois junior Molly Boyd is happy with her new loft-style high-rise at 309 E. Green St.

Plan calls for $4.8 million in work on and near St. Mary's Road

CHAMPAIGN – A corridor study is calling for $4.8 million worth of improvements to St. Mary's Road and adjoining roads over the next 25 years, including projects to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

The study, conducted by the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission over the past nine months, was requested by the University of Illinois to help the university plan for growth in the south campus, where the University of Illinois Research Park is growing rapidly, said Eric Halvorsen, a transportation planner with the commission.

Spotlight is on books in first Youth Literature Festival

CHAMPAIGN – For Mary Kalantzis and Violet Harris, planning the first-ever Youth Literature Festival for East Central Illinois has required a lot of labor. But it's work that Harris calls a "glorious burden" because it celebrates books.

The dean and associate dean, respectively, of the University of Illinois College of Education, have ambitious goals for the festival, happening Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They hope it will eventually rival Roger Ebert's Film Festival in popularity and the ability to attract people, including from out of town, and make reading central to families' lives.

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