University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Inspiration. Innovation. Impact. That’s the Power of I.

Researcher focuses on socio-economic factors and cancer

Understanding health disparities in cancer, particularly among Black women, is the focus of the work being done by Cancer Center at Illinois researcher, Zeynep-Madak Erdogan. By understanding the socio-economic factors that lead to higher breast cancer mortality rates, Madak Erdogan's team can determine ways to save lives in the fight against cancer.

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Students launch a face mask business for the greater good

Leaning on their U of I education, two rising juniors launched MaSKed, which offers a variety of fashionable masks for adults and children. They’ve also decided to donate a portion of the proceeds to charity. “From the beginning, we longed to make an impact beyond profit," said Kayla Gonzalez, a Gies College of Business supply chain major.  

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New series to highlight Black artists and generate conversation

How Black artists address race, diversity and inclusion in their work is the focus of a new Black Arts Initiative webinar series. Dance professor Endalyn Taylor, who is coordinating the five-part, Zoom-hosted series, said her goals include supporting Black artists while fostering engagement with the community.

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Study to examine how social vulnerability contributes to pre-term birth

Pre-term birth puts babies at risk for various health problems, and is very expensive for society. A professor at the College of Applied Health Sciences is studying how things like poverty, stress and exposure of common environmental chemicals are factors in pre-term birth.

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Students leverage data science skills to help public health organizations respond to COVID-19

The Center for Health Informatics (CHI) at the University of Illinois, in collaboration with the World Health Organization/Pan-American Health Organization, has developed a new initiative matching Illinois students with international public health agencies needing data science skills for their projects.

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CyberGIS Center produces platform to track and help prevent COVID-19

A new system of interactive maps, charts and animations helps people better understand and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The system, which is called "WhereCOVID-19", was created by the CyberGIS Center for Advanced Digital and Spatial Studies at the U of I, in partnership with the state of Illinois.

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2020 grad creates podcast about breaking into the advertising industry

As a way to provide advice to students and recent grads about getting their dream jobs in the advertising industry, recent College of Media alum Geno Schellenberger (BS ’20, advertising) created the podcast "Breaking & Entering." The podcast features interviews with faculty, alumni, CEOs and other representatives in the field.

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Researchers adapt robots to help fight against COVID-19

Where coronavirus puts human workers at risk, robots can step in to do the job. The research team of Girish Chowdhary, an assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering in the College of ACES, already have developed the robot and are now adapting it to current needs.

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How to talk to kids about race and racism

With police brutality in the news, parents may be wondering how to talk to their children about racism. These conversations are familiar to Black families, but University of Illinois professors Shardé Smith and Helen Neville have tips for helping all families have these talks.

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Humanities institute works toward a just, livable and sustainable future for all

“"Humanists are many things. We are teachers, we engage with a variety of audiences, and we are also researchers and scholars in the most imaginative and transformative ways.””

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A campus sustainability plan – and an opportunity to share feedback

The first draft of a plan to guide the university's sustainability projects for the next five years is ready for review and feedback. Called the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP), the strategic document will guide the university toward carbon neutrality by 2050. All are invited to share their thoughts by June 26.

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NIH-funded project examines effect of false information on vaccination behavior

iSchool Assistant Professor Jessie Chin is working to identify false information about the Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and model its impact on risk perceptions. Her project will provide important contributions toward understanding the impact of false health information on HPV vaccination behavior.

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Theatre students perform the works of elementary school playwrights via video

Illinois Theatre’s Student Playwrights Outreach Theatre (SPOT) pairs 4th and 5th grade playwrights with theatre students to enhance literacy through the arts. Though the annual live 2020 event at Krannert Center was canceled due to the pandemic, the plays were performed and viewable by the students through a recording on Zoom.

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Community Health professor discusses best practices for reopening restaurants and retail

“Taking precautions to make employees and customers safe is not just the ethically right thing to do, but also the right business move.”

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Care for farm babies flourishes with COVID-19 modifications

Life is unpredictable during foaling and calving season in the best of times. With COVID-19 stay-at-home orders winnowing farm staff and student workers on Illinois livestock farms, things have gotten even less predictable. But, according to a recent animal sciences graduate who helped with foaling this spring, "We never shy away from a challenge."

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Law students to learn about legal aspects of pandemic while aiding residents

The COVID-19 Practicum and Legal Learning Series has been launched by the U of I College of Law. The innovative new program will provide students, alumni, and friends with insights about the legal aspects of the pandemic, and will simultaneously work with legal aid agencies across Illinois to deliver critical legal services during the summer of 2020.

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Empowering black girls through art

As a DRIVE postdoctoral fellow in Art Education, Blair Ebony Smith celebrates Black girlhood through music and community outreach. "Homemade with Love: More Living Room" at Krannert Art Museum will showcase her work "to make space with and for Black girls and those who love them."

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Addressing community needs through sustainable research partnerships

From a collaborative hub for indigenous Latin American immigrants to a sport development program for youth, five new projects supported by the CO+RE: Community + Research Partnership Program address the needs and interests of Urbana-Champaign communities through partnerships between Illinois researchers and East Central Illinois residents.

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Professor and graduate students manufacture masks to fight COVID-19

A research group in chemical and biomolecular engineering employs a 3D printer to supply healthcare and emergency workers on the front lines of the pandemic.

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Researchers examine how technology can help older adults stay connected

With the help of a recent grant, two professors in Applied Health Sciences will be conducting a 120-person study on how a video software platform can be used to keep the elderly connected to people with similar interests as well as support services.

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New initiative connects student interns to small businesses that need support

While many college students are losing summer internships due to COVID-19, there are many small businesses struggling in the midst of a challenging economy. A pair of young U of I alumni decided to connect the two groups. In just two weeks, they launched a mission-driven workforce initiative, garnering a 40-person staff of volunteer students and professionals from around the country.

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Course teaches critical thinking to help detect misinformation around COVID-19

“Especially now, with so much misinformation being spread around, I can confidently say I've gained the necessary skills to think for myself and evaluate information thoroughly.”

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COVID Idea Challenge seeks solutions from the community, for the community

Illinois 4-H is giving residents an opportunity to have an impact on their communities. Anyone with an idea for a low cost solution that could help their community battle the current COVID crisis can submit their idea by May 22, 2020. The person or collaborative team with the best solution will get $1,000 in resources and guidance to help their idea come to life.

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Shuttles provide free, public Wi-Fi hotspots to help reduce the digital divide

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Illinois System UI Ride shuttles are offering free Wi-Fi access zones for students needing to complete e-learning coursework. The shuttles are parked in areas where digital access may be unavailable or limited, as identified by Champaign Unit 4 School District, Urbana School District #116 and community organizations.

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Air Force ROTC members serve the community on the front lines of the pandemic

A drive-up COVID-19 testing site in Bloomington, IL, is being supported by members of the Illinois National Guard, including Cadet Noah Woodfall, a Staff Sergeant attached to the 183d Wing of the Air National Guard and a U of I Aerospace Engineering major. The testing site is located at the Mc Lean County Fairgrounds. Noah is a member of the U of I-based Air Force ROTC Det 190.

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How history helps us understand — and contain — COVID-19

“If a society decides to act decisively for the larger public good... we will get past this infectious episode and hopefully emerge a better people, even a better nation.”

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Farmdoc webinars help ag producers navigate the coronavirus crisis

When the COVID-19 crisis began to send ripple effects through the ag community, the farmdocDaily team reacted quickly. They put together the Coronavirus and Ag webinar series to cover a range of topics related to coronavirus and agriculture. It’s available twice a week at no cost to anyone who signs up.

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Grappling with water supply in Northeastern Illinois

By 2030, the Illinois State Water Survey projects that the aquifer system supplying Will, Kendall, Kane, and McHenry counties may not meet the area’s water needs. Water Survey scientists are working with communities to monitor the aquifers' supply, assess the region's water demand, and craft a transition to alternative water solutions.

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Physical distancing tips for safely enjoying public parks and trails

With many physical activities such as fitness classes and team sports being eliminated due to COVID-19, people are walking, biking, and jogging on trails more than ever. Kimberly Shinew, a professor in the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism at the College of Applied Health Sciences, shares guidelines and her research on the topic.

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Medical student writes children’s book to honor heroes of the pandemic

A children’s book explaining how COVID-19 began and celebrating the heroes who have emerged has been written and published by Carle Illinois College of Medicine student, Anant Naik. Heroes of a Pandemic is available for purchase through leading online booksellers, and will soon be available in stores across the country. All proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders.

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Campus TechHub team assists in PPE production

By utilizing 3D printers to create PPE materials, the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning TechHub team is contributing to the fight against COVID-19. Along with MakerGirl, the team has printed over 2,000 face shield adjusters in only 3 weeks for local health care professionals.

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Graduate student focuses on advocacy efforts through work with #insulin4all

iSchool PhD student Clair Irwin (MS/LIS ’16, CAS ’18) is active in the patient-led advocacy movement #insulin4all, which is a direct response to what people with diabetes call “the insulin crisis.” She started an Illinois chapter of #insulin4all in 2018 and served as the chapter’s first leader.

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Research lab rises to meet the challenge of COVID-19

The Coordinated Science Lab, Grainger Engineering's largest research lab, is working to develop better predictive capabilities using social network modeling, nursing robots that can deliver health care remotely, data analytics that provide actionable intelligence to policymakers, and more.

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Increasing COVID-19 testing is the focus of partnership with Carle Health and state of Illinois

Faculty, students and staff from around campus have helped dramatically reduce wait times for COVID-19 testing by providing machines, personnel and supplies to local and state health officials. The effort includes using campus laboratories to mass produce supplies that are in short supply.

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A Campus Sustainability Plan to Be Proud Of on Earth Day and Beyond

The University is drafting the 2020 update to the Illinois Climate Action Plan, our strategy to achieve carbon neutrality. Members of the Sustainability Working Advisory Teams are proud of the U of I campus, and they want you to know that wherever you are, YOUR choices have an impact!

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Pigs push forward quick solution for emergency ventilators

When the Illinois RapidVent team contacted Matt Wheeler to test the emergency ventilator in animals, the animal sciences professor jumped in with both feet, crediting his agriculture background as his constant motivator to help others.

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Journalism professor distributes free newspapers to community

Journalism Professor Eric Meyer, who owns, edits, and publishes the Marion County Record weekly newspaper in Kansas, has lifted the paywall and is distributing free papers to county residents for 13 weeks to keep people better informed.

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Child Development Lab is caring for children of essential personnel while connecting with families at home

“Honestly, seeing their little faces does as much to comfort us as it does to them.”

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UIUC community invited to help write a new chapter in history

What will future generations know about the COVID-19 pandemic? The University of Illinois Archives is inviting students, faculty, staff and alumni to help create a record of this unprecedented time. The written accounts, artwork or video/audio recordings that are provided now will be a valuable research resource in the future.

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Alumni are on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle

Graduates of the Master of Public Health degree program in the College of Applied Health Sciences are finding themselves on the front line in the battle against COVID-19. And thanks to their University of Illinois education, they are better-equipped to handle a pandemic for which few could have been prepared.

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Illinois team developing a rapid COVID-19 test using a smartphone as the sensor

A team of University of Illinois researchers is working on a smartphone application that would detect the novel coronavirus within 30 minutes, without the need for a diagnostic lab.

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Working prototype of an emergency ventilator developed in less than a week

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, an interdisciplinary team led by the Grainger College of Engineering and Carle Health worked around the clock to produce the Illinois RapidVent prototype. The components and design of the prototype can be downloaded for free.

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Helping children cope with change and uncertainty during the pandemic

“Parents should take cues from their children and consider what information is most pertinent.”

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Virtual arts performances are compiled to spark reflection and restoration

“In times of uncertainty, we know that many people turn to the arts for solace, hope, and connection.”

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Cultural museum donates supplies of PPE to local public health district

The Spurlock Museum is supporting local COVID-19 medical efforts by donating their supplies of nitrile gloves, N95 masks, safety glasses, alcohol wipes, and sanitizer spray. In the museum setting, the equipment protects both the staff and the collections as artifacts are handled and conserved.

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Bioprocessing laboratory pivots to produce hand sanitizer for health care facilities

It’s unbelievably rewarding to be able to do something in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus,” says Brian Jacobson, assistant director of pilot plant operations at the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL). Jacobson and a handful of IBRL employees plan to produce more than 300 gallons of hand sanitizer a day.

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