Monthly archives: February, 2016

C4C celebrates Community Day at UIC

C4C basketball game night

Connecting4Communites– Community Day: (Pictured L-R):  UIC mascot Sparky D. Dragon with C4C Executive Director Dennis O’Neill, University Village resident Mary Vega, and C4C Director of Community Outreach Nancy Plax. Vega was recently honored at the annual UIC-C4C Community Basketball game day for all the work she has done toward the betterment of the neighborhood.

Connecting 4 Communities (C4C) is a community organization in Chicago joining and representing four sub-communities – Little Italy, University Village & Commons, Roosevelt Square & Brooks Homes, and Tri-Taylor with a service area bounded by Western Avenue to the west, the Dan Ryan Expressway to the east, the Eisenhower Expressway to the north, and 16th Street to the south.

The C4C mission is to build a vibrant and effective community by offering an organizing vehicle to connect people of like minds together who want to have a positive impact on issues of mutual concern.

C4C is an “organizing vehicle” created by and for community members focusing on the improvement of public education in the community and ensuring that Roosevelt Square–one of the nation’s largest, most incomplete redevelopments of federal public housing–is developed effectively.

PLEASE keep up to date on important issues and happenings that C4C is working on and supporting. You can sign up for the organization’s e-newsletter at www.connecting4communities.org

 

 


Study To Determine If Drinking Milk After Sugary Snacks Reduces Plaque in Children

Dr. Wu

Dr. Christine Wu, Professor, Pediatric Dentistry, UIC College of Dentistry.

Dr. Christine Wu, Professor, Pediatric Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, has been awarded a research grant for her study, “Consumption of milk after sugar snacks reduces dental plaque acid production and benefits oral health in children.” She was one of seven researchers awarded funding, out of 80 who competed to be funded by the National Dairy Council (NDC) for two years.

“For generations, dairy farmers and the dairy industry have been committed to promoting children’s health,” Dr. Wu explained. “Drinking milk has been accepted as an excellent habit for nutrition and, in particular, for the health of bone and teeth.” She also noted that milk has anticarcinogenic properties and that its benefits to oral health are “ultimately associated with a person’s systemic health and well-being.”

Dental plaque bacteria on tooth surfaces ferment dietary sugars and carbohydrates to produce acids that can cause demineralization of the enamel surface, thus leading to tooth decay. The usual dietary advice for caries prevention is to limit frequent intake of sugars. A recent study published by Dr. Wu’s research team showed that, in adults, the cariogenic potential of sugars may be modified by the ingestion of non-cariogenic foods such as milk. “However, it remains unknown whether a similar situation exists in children, who frequently consume sugary snacks/juices and lack awareness of proper follow-up oral hygiene measures,” she noted.

The objective of her NDC-funded study is to examine whether low-fat milk, 100% apple juice, or tap water affect dental plaque acidity in seven-to-11 year-old children “after a sugary challenge by a dry, ready-to-eat breakfast cereal,” Dr. Wu said. “The protective effect of milk consumption in reducing dental plaque acidity will be compared with effects after juice or water consumption.”

The proposed study will generate awareness that compared to water or the numerous sugar-added fruit juices available on the market, milk may be “the healthy beverage of choice to prevent tooth decay, especially after consumption of sugary snacks or desserts,” Dr. Wu said. “We want to raise public awareness that milk, besides its caries protective effect, when sequenced properly between and especially after sugary snacks, can reduce caries risk and benefit oral health, especially in children. We anticipate that the dairy industry will serve as a front runner in leading other beverage industries to promote healthy and functional beverages for oral health.”

Dr. Wu cautioned that while drinking milk may offer caries protection, ideally tooth brushing and maintaining good oral hygiene are still the best way of reducing dental plaque. Pediatric Dentistry resident Htet Bo will participate in Dr. Wu’s latest study.

Dr. Wu also thanked Dr. Marcio da Fonseca, Head, Pediatric Dentistry, for his support of her research effort.

For more than two decades, Dr. Wu’s lab has focused on the exploration and identification of plant-derived anti-plaque and anti-biofilm compounds against oral pathogens. In recent years, her laboratory has been engaged in clinical and translational studies to evaluate the oral health benefits of specific foods and beverages, especially dietary plant polyphenols (catechins and proanthocynandins) including teas, raisins, cranberries and dried plums. She is an advocate of and promotes “functional foods/beverages for oral health,” Dr. Wu concluded.


Few Were Happy With Their Condition

Curated by Olga Stefan, the Gallery 400 exhibit Few Were Happy with Their Condition portrays Romania since the 1989 fall of communism and in several other Warsaw Pact countries. The exhibit is on view through March 12 and  includes videos, films and photographs by 17 contemporary Romanian artists.

Gallery 400 is one of the nation’s most vibrant university galleries, showcasing work at the leading edge of contemporary art, architecture, and design since it was founded in 1983. The gallery is located at the College of Architecture and the Arts, University of Illinois at Chicago, 400 South Peoria Street (MC 034), in Chicago.

Gallery 400 is open Tuesday through Friday from  10am to 6pm and on Saturdays from  noon to 6pm and by appointment. Admission to the gallery is FREE.

The current exhibit portrays life in post-communist Romania, a time of hope and disappointment, in which the transition seems to continue forever, and during which neoliberalism and communist-style corruption and methodologies clash and mirror each other constantly.

In 1989 the Romanian Revolution—a period of violent civil unrest throughout the country—aligned with revolutions unfolding the same year in several Warsaw Pact countries, including Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and the Soviet Union. The Romanian Revolution was the last removal of a Communist regime in a Warsaw Pact country during the events of 1989, and the only one that violently overthrew a country’s government and executed its leader.

Few Were Happy with Their Condition focuses on a period of time when the desire for freedom materialized into economic uncertainty typical of the capitalist system, as well as profound corruption at all levels of society that continues to this day. The weight of the communist past, with its crimes and the oppression of the public sphere on one hand, and the poverty and instability of the post-communist era on the other, has resulted in a trauma that permeates human activity and emotion and is highly visible in artistic production.

Focusing on the contemporary mediums of video, film, and photography, Few Were Happy… reflects the feelings of discontentment within Romania’s contemporary society, in a world that is still torn between the communist and post-communist periods, affected psychologically by its history while attempting to transition into an uncertain, yet longed-for future. The artists in the exhibition, part of a new generation still trying to carve a space for debate and critical analysis in art and life, position themselves against the nation’s past and also the West, thus attempting to create a new contemporary identity.

Few Were Happy with Their Condition presents a variety of works, from analog to digital photography, short films and documentaries, to moving image installations, encouraging various forms of reception and relation to the image. Through the use of these contemporary media, the artists in Few Were Happy reflect the need for immediacy and urgency in expression, and the technology and preoccupations of our time. Part of a new generation of artists that started their careers in the late 90s, they look outward with critiques of society, the political climate and social injustice; backward toward the country’s dark past; but also inward, with personal narratives and reflections on the human condition.

Presenting Artists include: Dan Acostioaei, József Bartha, Irina Botea, Razvan Botis, Claudiu Cobilanschi, Ștefan Constantinescu, Alexandra Croitoru, Cristina David, Bogdan Gîrbovan, Alex Mirutziu, Ciprian Mureșan, Vlad Nancă, Mircea Nicolae, Cristi Pogăcean, Ștefan Sava and Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor.

For more information about Gallery 400: http://gallery400.uic.edu/

Video By Rachel Glass
rachelgl@uic.edu
MFA Candidate
UIC News Videographer


Exelon Powers Growing UIC Student Internships, Full-Time Jobs After College

Cesar Bueno

Cesar Bueno, (BS ’16)

Meet Cesar Bueno (BS ’16) and Sri Vadrevu (BS ’17). They’re two of 18 UIC engineering students who interned with an Exelon Corporation subsidiary and added to the more than 75 UIC engineering students who were hired by the Fortune 500 company within the past four years for an internship or full-time employment.

Recruiting program specialist Kyle Wiersbe, who coordinates Exelon’s college-level internship program, says there are reasons the number is growing. “UIC is right in our backyard, and it’s prioritizing the same initiatives. So, it’s been a natural step to combine efforts in establishing inroads to career opportunities.” The inroad for Bueno was field experience in energy delivery at ComEd’s downtown office. For Vadrevu, it was troubleshooting systems and facilitating alarm software at Exelon Generation’s power plant in Morris, Illinois.

To get to these places, both students took advantage of the College’s resources to polish the skills that would help them get their feet in the door. Bueno connected with peers in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). “Some of the members recommended visiting the Engineering Career Center,” says Bueno. “I’m glad I did. The staff there helped me shape my résumé and practice interview skills.”

Sri Vadrevu

Sri Vadrevu (BS ’17).

Vadrevu, who recently completed his second internship with Exelon Generation after landing his first during his freshman year through the College’s Guaranteed Paid Internship Program, took a more varied approach, talking to staff and faculty and taking guidance from his Engineering 100 class and the College’s Freshman Engineering Success Program. “I feel like a lot of other universities downplay communication and leadership skills,” he says. But Vadrevu believes UIC’s focus on skills outside the classroom, as well as inside, has helped transform him into a more confident and motivated prospective employee—one who Exelon would hire.

“We find UIC students are prepared, savvy, and hard-working. We’re happy to provide opportunities for them to grow as engineers,” says Scot Greenlee, Exelon Nuclear Generation’s senior vice president for engineering and technical services who has served since 2011 on the College of Engineering Advisory Board.

From the students’ points of view, nothing beats having engineering experience on a résumé. “Working at Exelon has been an invaluable experience. I loved the teamwork atmosphere and directly applying what I’ve learned in school,” says Vadrevu. To Bueno, the experience was inspiring. “Whether it’s planning a job or making sure customers get power again after a storm,” he says, “you really are powering lives here.”

 


Dr. Clark Stanford Named IOMC Fellow

Dr. Clark Stanford, Dean of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry and UIC Distinguished Professor, was named a Fellow of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago.

“The IOMC is an independent organization of distinguished leaders in the health field who collaborate to improve the health of the public,” said Dr. Stanford. “Dr. Caswell Evans, Associate Dean for Prevention and Public Health Sciences, nominated me; it was very nice of him.”

After approving the nomination, the IOMC invited Dr. Stanford to apply, resulting in his being named a Fellow.

Drawing on the expertise of its members and health leaders in the region, the IOMC addresses critical health issues through a range of interdisciplinary approaches including, education, research, communication, and community engagement. The organization also works to address health disparities in Chicago and to enhance the leadership skills of community health workers. It was established in 1915.

IOMC Fellows are professionals in medical and allied fields whose contributions to healthcare are meritorious, who demonstrate leadership in improving the health of the community, and who manifest the highest ethics, standards, and principles of professionalism.

The IOMC is located at 142 E. Ontario St., Chicago. For more information, call (773) 234-5925 or log on to www.iomc.org.


UIC Student Veteran

Nicholas Corby

“Everything I did led me to where I am now and who I am today,” says Nicholas Corby (right), who served with the U.S. Army.

Duty and honor are two of the most indispensable principles that make up the U.S Army’s core values — and it was those values that prompted Nicholas Corby to enlist.

“I joined to serve my country and because my uncle served back during the Vietnam War and I wanted to do it to honor his memory,” said Corby, a freshman in history from Rochester Hills, Michigan.

Corby, a former Infantryman, was a member of Delta Company, 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), the oldest active duty regiment in the U.S. Army. The regiment is known historically for being home to the Sentinel guards, who keep watch on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Corby was a leader of a firing team that took part in full honor ceremonies.

Corby and Wife

Corby’s wife, Marina (right) is also a UIC student, pursing a doctorate in mathematics.

While in the service, Corby received the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Army Achievement Medal (four times), and the Army Commendation Medal.

“During my time in the military I gained a hard work ethic and a sense of brotherhood, which continues here at UIC through discipline, honor and duty,” Corby said.

At UIC, Corby is majoring in history with a minor in Russian. He hopes to become a high school teacher after graduation.

Corby credits his wife, Marina, with his decision to attend UIC. She is also a student at UIC, pursuing a doctoral degree in mathematics.

An active member of the Student Veterans Association, Corby is happy to be part of the UIC community and continues to carry on the values that helped him strive as a soldier. He wouldn’t change anything about his military experience.

“Everything happens for a reason and everything I did led me to where I am now and who I am today,” he said.

By Cesar A. Medina
cmedin23@uic.edu


UIC Names Researchers Of the Year

The Researcher of the Year Award recognizes UIC scientists who are advancing knowledge in their fields. The 2016 Distinguished Researcher Award honors four researchers with a record of outstanding achievement. The 2016 Rising Star Award honors five early-career researchers who show promise as future leaders.

This year’s honorees include:

ART, ARCHITECTURE & THE HUMANITIES

Jennifer Reeder, Distinguished Researcher

Jennifer Reeder

Jennifer Reeder: “My writing is my research, and it’s like simultaneously inventing and solving a puzzle.”

Alexander Eisenschmidt, Rising Star

Alexander Eisenschmidt

Alexander Eisenschmidt shares his research on Chicago’s development at exhibitions and conferences around the world.

 

BASIC LIFE SCIENCES

Richard van Breemen, Distinguished Researcher

Richard Van Breemen

Richard van Breemen: “I hope that my research in natural products will benefit public health.”

Douglas Thomas, Rising Star

Douglas Thomas

Douglas Thomas: “I’ve always been inquisitive in nature. I feel I’m making a small contribution to human health.”

 

CLINICAL SCIENCES

 Geri Donenberg, Distinguished Researcher

Geri Doneberg

Geri Donenberg: Behavior changes must “address the broader individual, interpersonal and structural determinants of health.”

 Andrew Boyd, Rising Star

Andrew Boyd

Andrew Boyd studies the difficult transition between versions of the International Classification of Diseases.

 

NATURAL SCIENCES & ENGINEERING

Lawrence Ein, Distinguished Researcher

Lawrence Ein

Lawrence Ein “has been one of the foremost algebraic geometers in the U.S. and worldwide for the past 30 years.”

Ying Liu, Rising Star

Ying Liu

Ying Liu: “I’m very positive, very optimistic, that engineers can make anything, as long as we listen and understand what it is we should make.”

 

SOCIAL SCIENCES

Shannon Zenk, Rising Star

Shannon Zenk

Shannon Zenk hopes her work inspires environment and policy approaches to improve people’s health.

 


LARES: 40th Anniversary Summit on March 7th


Chemical Pollution in the Great Lakes

An Li and Karl Rockne have been working together for more than five years to monitor and measure environmental pollutants in Great Lakes sediment.

Through the Great Lakes Sediment Surveillance Program, Li, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences in the UIC School of Public Health, and Rockne, professor and interim head of civil and materials engineering in the UIC College of Engineering, have collected more than 1,000 sediment samples in the lakes.

Rockne analyzes the physical structure of the sediment samples, looking for information that will provide clues of how the sediment deposited and what that means for the timing or speed with which chemical pollutants have accumulated in the lake bottom mud.

Li looks at the chemical composition of the samples to identify what kinds of industrial pollutants are present. These typically fall into one of two categories: legacy chemicals, or those that may persist in the environment even though their production has ceased (the pesticide DDT, for example) and chemicals of emerging concern. These chemicals can be known or unknown.

One reason the surveillance program is so important, Li said, is that “we need to constantly be on the lookout for the presence of new chemicals in the environment that may be hazardous to health.”

Li recently discovered a suite of chemicals called polyhalogenated carbazoles in the deep sediments of Lake Michigan. These are similar in structure to dioxins and PCBs, but more research needs to be done to determine where they came from and if they are toxic. “We keep finding new things — that’s the fun part,” Li said.

Story By Sharon Parmet
sparmet@uic.edu

Video By Rachel Glass
rachelgl@uic.edu
MFA Candidate
UIC News Videographer

 

 


Dr. James A. Radosevich Helps Ugandan Causes

Dr. James A. Radosevich, Professor, Department of Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, is devoted to a good cause—helping the people of Uganda.

Over the past five years, Dr. Radosevich has provided the Uganda School for the Deaf with a variety of items, including a DVD player, a television, and about 50 DVDs with English subtitles.

“The older students read the subtitles and sign for the younger students,” Dr. Radosevich said. “According to the teachers, many of the students are now more motivated to improve their English and signing skills so that they can better keep up with the movies.”

During his first visit to the country, he discovered that medical and nursing personnel and students learned CPR on the job, so with the help of the American Red Cross and of the nursing school in Uganda, he shipped to Uganda 20 adult and ten children CPR mannequins. The nursing school in Uganda has set up a program to circulate the mannequins so that “about 4,000 medical personnel/students get annual CPR training,” he said.

Most people do not realize that there is a book famine that has been going on for decades in Africa. After his first trip to Uganda five years ago, Dr. Radosevich realized that he personally owns more books than five schools of higher education and about that many K-12 schools in Uganda. Now, he is hoping to obtain more books for Uganda.

“Most students in Uganda go through kindergarten through 12th grade without ever touching a book,” Dr. Radosevich said, noting that there is a lack of books in medical and nursing schools as well.

“I am hoping to put 22,000 books—medical, general education, and K-12—into Uganda,” he said.

Dr. Radosevich noted he is looking for tax deductible donations to the Books for Africa project, www.booksforafrica.org. (go to donate; Uganda; Jim Radosevich); new or used DVDs of movies and educational materials, and medically related PowerPoint lectures and course lectures; and tax deductible monetary donations to the Angels Outreach organization c/o Rachael Fitzpatrick, Radosevich Uganda Projects, 230 Aremis Blvd., Merritt Island, FL 32953.

The children at the School for the Deaf live at the school and it operates as an orphanage. The teachers live at the compound.

“Five years ago, their diet consisted of black tea for breakfast: just black tea–no sugar, no milk, no bread,” Dr. Radosevich explained. “At 10 a.m. they would get a cup of cornmeal porridge. At about 1 and 5 p.m., they would get a cup of rice and a cup of beans. No fruit. No vegetables. No meat, bread, dairy products, etc. This very poor diet is hard on developing young minds, and was very evident in their poor oral health.”

The last time he visited, “I took three gross of toothbrushes, and purchased toothpaste in Uganda because it’s too heavy to ship,” Dr. Radosevich said. “For the first time ever, all of the students and teachers got their teeth brushed, their own toothbrush, and toothpaste.”

“Through Angels Outreach, $20 buys a laying hen, and $400 buys a milking cow,” Dr. Radosevich said. “So any help makes a big difference.” He is hoping to raise enough to continue the garden project (seeds, $100) and purchase new toothbrushes (three gross @ $100) and toothpaste (one year; 220 kids; locally purchased $300). He also is hoping to raise $1,600 to be able to provide a chewable multivitamin every day for every child for a year.

For more information, call Dr. Radosevich at (815) 494-9254 (cell) or email him at jrados@uic.edu