Lincoln’s ‘Prelude to the Presidency’ featured
Riding through prairie grass on trails just barely wide enough for his horse, Abraham Lincoln traveled more than 500 miles each spring and fall as a lawyer on Illinois’ Eighth Judicial Circuit, then the fastest growing area of the country.
His experiences from 1837 to 1860 on muddy roads, in homes of friends and in courtrooms on the circuit in Central Illinois shaped the views and honed the skills that guided him when he became president. Produced by WILL-TV, “Lincoln: Prelude to the Presidency” will be broadcast at 8 p.m. Feb. 9 (repeated at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12). The documentary tells the story of the cases he tried and people he met during this critical period of his life.
“That’s where he really got a sense of the various kinds of problems people faced,” said historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, one of the experts featured in the documentary. “He got a sense of the exuberance of their dreams and their hopes. In a certain sense, I think it was the root of his political education.”
Viewers see Lincoln as they’ve never seen him before: defending a slave holder trying to reclaim a slave named Jane Bryant and her children; brandishing a sword on the banks of the Mississippi River at dawn before being talked out of fighting a duel; and crossing the prairie reading a book atop his horse, Old Tom, on the way to his next stop on the circuit.
Dozens of local re-enactors from New Salem State Park, David Davis Mansion Illinois State Historic Site and Mount Pulaski played extras in the documentary, filmed at rural sites near Bloomington, Decatur and Springfield. Scores of others, including local theater actors and WILL-TV staff members, played parts in the re-enactment scenes. Joe Woodard, of Hazel Dell, portrayed Lincoln. Bloomington lawyer Guy Fraker, an expert on Lincoln’s years on the circuit, was content adviser for the documentary.
The WILL-TV documentary was produced and written by Alison Davis Wood, co-produced and directed by Tim Hartin, and edited by Colin Hartin.
The one-hour documentary shows how Lincoln’s work on the circuit meshed neatly with his political career. In the evenings after finishing his legal work, he would gather a crowd for a speech, enabling him to advance careers in both politics and law during his travels. As he made friends and visited in people’s homes, he was building the political base that supported him in the years ahead, experts say.
He mesmerized audiences in the courtroom with his storytelling and speaking skills. “He had a tremendous sense of the music of language and of the rhythm of language and this was completely self-taught,” said James Cornelius, a historian at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
Wildlife Medical Clinic
‘Doodle for Wildlife’ benefit is March 7
The Eighth Annual Doodle for Wildlife dinner and auction to benefit the UI Wildlife Medical Clinic takes place at 6 p.m. March 7 at the I Hotel in Champaign.
Dozens of celebrity doodlers – including Jason Alexander, Sarah McLachlan, Bill Maher and William Shatner (whose doodle is shown) – contributed drawings to be auctioned. Also up for bid are vacation packages, artwork and gift certificates for local goods and services.
Terry Rathgeber, former associate dean for development at the College of Veterinary Medicine, will be presented with the annual Wildlife for Life Award for his seminal support for the Wildlife Medical Clinic.
An “Eight Is Great” offer buys a table of eight with an 8 percent reduction in the ticket price. Sponsored tables for Nokomis the great horned owl and four other resident birds of prey allow guests an up close experience with the birds.
The Doodle for Wildlife event accounts for nearly half of the annual budget of the Wildlife Medical Clinic, a non-profit volunteer organization that every year provides care for nearly 2,000 ill or injured wild hawks, rabbits, robins, opossums, snakes, toads and more.
The clinic also contributes to the education of veterinary students and provides more than 30 outreach talks about Illinois wildlife to public groups each year.
To register, see the doodles, or find other details about the event, go to the clinic’s Web site.
CITES/Office of the CIO
UIUCnet Dialup Services to retire July 1
The services that allow students and faculty and staff members at the UI to dial in to the campus network, UIUCnet, will be retired as of July 1. Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services and the Office of the CIO have determined that it is no longer economically feasible to offer UIUCnet Dialup and UIUCnet Premier services to the Urbana campus.
“The services still cost as much to run, despite the dramatic decline in the number of dialup users over the last several years,” said Panit Lisy, executive director of CITES. “In 1999, there were 15,000 users who dialed into the UIUCnet Dialup modems. In 2008, there were only 1,400 users, which is a 91 percent drop in usage.”
Dialup networking first became popular in the late 1980s and it relied on telephone lines to provide Internet access at speeds that eventually peaked at 56 Kbps (kilobits per second). However, in the 20 years since its introduction, the amount of data transfer required by most online applications has outstripped the capabilities of dialup networking. Broadband networking offers network connections from 100 to 1,000 times the speed of dialup.
The CITES Help Desk is available to answer dialup users’ questions about the change and to provide general assistance with alternative services. The Help Desk can be reached at 244-7000 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information also is available at www.cites.illinois.edu/news/2009/dialup.html.
Additional flight to Chicago
American Eagle/American Airlines has added an additional daily flight from the UI’s Willard Airport to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. The flight schedule now includes an 8:35 a.m. flight from Savoy to Chicago with a return flight leaving O’Hare at 6:40 p.m.
The addition brings the total American Eagle flights from Savoy to Chicago to six. In addition, American Eagle offers daily nonstop service to Dallas/Fort Worth, and Northwest offers two daily flights to Detroit.
For more information, go to www.flycmi.com.
Community Informatics Initiative
Applications for funding due March 2
The Community Informatics Initiative of the Illinois Informatics Institute and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science is taking applications from UI faculty and professional staff members for seed funding.
This field of investigation focuses on examining and implementing information technology that is synergistic with community needs and uses, and adds value to the community. Proposals investigating citizen science, community health, youth and media, and technology applications for social inclusion are of special interest. Funds are available for course development to support the development or revision of courses incorporating community informatics across the curriculum at the UI and research in community informatics. The application deadline is March 2. For complete details, go to www.cii.uiuc.edu.
UI Moms Association
Illini Spirit Award proposal requested
The Moms Association at the UI is soliciting requests for funding proposals to be awarded in spring 2009 for the annual Illini Spirit Award. The recipient will receive a monetary donation to be used to support the event or program submitted in the proposal. The Moms Association Board of Directors will honor the recipient on Moms Weekend 2009.
Proposals should include the name and description of the project, program, event or organization nominated to receive the award and how it promotes the growth and development of students at the UI. Also, a budget proposal that encompasses funding from all sources and unmet financial need should be included.
Recipients of the award are invited to participate in the Moms Weekend kick-off event, “Explore Illinois,” on April 17. Proposals and supporting materials are due by Feb. 27, in the Parent Programs Office, 227 Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., MC-384 or at email@example.com.
Center for Children’s Books
Annual book sale is Feb. 16-18
The Center for Children’s Books at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the UI will host its annual book sale from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 16-18.
Thousands of brand-new children’s books will be available for youth, ages birth through high school. The titles available represent the full spectrum of children’s publishing in fiction and nonfiction: board books, picture books, easy and transitional readers, chapter books, series fiction, novels, activity books and kits, nonfiction series, mass-market paperbacks and more.
Paperback books are $1 or $2 each, hardcover books are $5 each, and individual items are priced as marked. A pre-sale will be held on Feb. 15 from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets for the pre-sale are $20. To reserve a ticket for the pre-sale, call 244-9331 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proceeds from the sale support the successful operation of the center, a non-circulating collection of more than 16,000 recent and historically significant trade books for youth, plus review copies of nearly all trade books published in the U.S. in the current year. The center houses more than 1,000 professional and reference books on the history and criticism of literature for youth, literature-based library and classroom programming and storytelling. Although the collection is non-circulating, it is available for examination by scholars, teachers, librarians, students and other educators.
For more details, contact the center at email@example.com or 244-9331.
Food science and human nutrition
Internship offers study of chocolate
Science-minded high-school students should consider applying for a 15-day summer internship at the UI, especially if they’re interested in chocolate.
“Our goal is to introduce the students to many aspects of food science through the study of chocolate,” said Nicki Engeseth, a professor of food chemistry in the department of food science and human nutrition. “We will teach them to monitor quality changes in chocolate and use scientific principles to investigate changes in chocolate during storage,”
Interns will tour the UI Center for Microanalysis of Materials where food scientists have used nanotechnology to analyze grain size, crystal structure and roughness parameters of chocolate, all factors that studies have shown influence taste, texture and the release of flavor compounds, the scientist said.
“The students also will learn about the history of chocolate, including fair-trade issues that are relevant today. We’ll cover its production all the way from its beginning in the cacao pod to the final product, either milk, white or dark chocolate and talk about the differences between them,” she said.
“Nutritionists and food scientists are also interested in the health benefits of chocolate,” she said. “We will demonstrate a nutritional intervention study on the effects of consuming chocolate comparing students to illustrate how such studies are conducted and analyzed.”
Also planned are a field trip to a local chocolatier to learn how the experts mold some of their more fanciful and fun chocolate creations as well as participation in a sensory panel in which students will evaluate such qualities as flavor, mouth-feel and graininess, record their impressions, and relate these to other instrumental analyses.
As part of the project, Engeseth and graduate student Melissa Tisoncik will conduct a short workshop for high-school science teachers, giving them hands-on experience so they can bring some of the activities back to their own classrooms.
Six interns will be chosen to participate in the program. Housing and meals will be provided through support from a USDA CSREES-sponsored integrated grant proposal, but students will need to arrange their own transportation to and from the UI, Engeseth said.
Interested students should apply by March 2, and a decision will be reached by March 23, according to Engeseth. For more information, interested students should contact Tisoncik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interactive theater explores roles
As part of the campus’s PhD Completion Project, the Graduate College will host an event focused on graduate mentoring. “Mentoring Inside/Out” will be from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 26 in the Illini Union Rooms B and C.
For the event, the CRLT Players, from the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching at the University of Michigan, will use interactive theater to inspire conversation about issues relevant to academic culture. Through a series of thought-provoking theatrical sketches, the CRLT Players will encourage audience members to explore the role that faculty members and students have in the mentoring process, and to identify new approaches that can enhance the mentoring relationship. The group has won national recognition, including funding from the National Science Foundation and the American Council on Education.
The PhD Completion Project is an initiative of the Council of Graduate Schools that is focused on tracking attrition and completion rates in doctoral programs in the United States and Canada.
Viewers can vote for favorite BritCom
WILL-TV will host the “Great BritCom Vote X” at 7 p.m. Feb. 7. Viewers can sample five British comedies and then call in a vote for one of them.
WILL-TV program director David Thiel plans to purchase the winning program to be broadcast during the next fiscal year.
“To the Manor Born” features the indomitable Audrey fforbes-Hamilton (Penelope Keith) who marries the dashing, self-made businessman Richard DeVere (Peter Bowles) to continue a relationship centered on disagreement about pretty much everything.
“Blackadder II” transports viewers to Elizabethan England and to a particularly cunning Edmund, the illegitimate great-great-grandson of the Blackadder from series I. Miranda Richardson stars as the Queen, with Rowan Atkinson as Lord Edmund Blackadder.
“One Foot in the Grave” follows the misfortunes of old grouch Victor Meldrew (Richard Wilson) as he rails against the injustices of the world around him.
In “Chef!” Gareth Blackstock (Lenny Henry) is an arrogant, bullish perfectionist more at ease dealing with profiteroles than people.
Penelope Keith and Paul Eddington star as Margo and Jerry Leadbetter in “Good Neighbors.” Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal are neighbors Tom and Barbara Good, whose living-off-the-land antics put them at odds with the social-climbing Leadbetters.
“It’s about creating a night of fun in our pledge drive and, of course, raising the funds necessary to continue to afford these relatively expensive additions to our PBS national schedule,” Thiel said.
Computational Humanities Initiative Grant Program
Apply for access to supercomputers
The National Center for Supercomputing Applications in collaboration with the Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts and Social Science will provide 1 million hours of time on the center’s supercomputers to researchers who are pushing the boundaries of humanities, arts and social science knowledge discovery.
Any humanities, arts and social science scholar or collaborative research group that includes at least one UI principal or co-principal investigator may apply for computing resources to advance their computationally intensive work.
Selected researchers will be given access to the center’s high-performance systems and allotments of 100,000 to 500,000 hours of computing time. Resources will be available from May 2009 to May 2010, with the opportunity for successful projects to apply for a one-year renewal.
Applications may be submitted online at the I-CHASS Web site and are due by Feb. 27. Applicants will be notified by April 1. A complete description of the application process and required materials is available online at www.chass.uiuc.edu/Guidelines.html.
Before submitting a proposal, applicants are encouraged to consult with I-CHASS staff members on the scope of the project; the computational readiness of their data and software; the humanities, arts, and social science content; and other matters to ensure the appropriateness of the proposal. To discuss your project, e-mail email@example.com or call 333-4327.
Library and information science
Humanities Data Curation featured
The Data Curation Education Program at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science will host a Summer Institute for Humanities Data Curation from May 18 to 22.
The institute will be directed by Allen H. Renear, professor and associate dean for research at GSLIS. Sessions will be conducted by leading specialists in the various fields involved in the curation of humanities data.
Data curation is the active and ongoing management of research data through its lifecycle of interest and usefulness to scholarship, science and education. With support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, GSLIS has been a pioneer in the development of data curation education within library and information science. This year’s workshop focuses on data services and curation activities for humanities data, particularly in academic libraries.
Participants will learn what skill sets, resources and collaborations are necessary to develop and implement a data curation program in an academic library or research project. They also will learn the principles and best practices for implementing and doing humanities data curation as well as the components of a repository development plan.
Applications are now being accepted from practicing academic librarians and other information professionals and are due by March 7. Up to three people from a single institution may apply. The institute will be limited to 24 participants.
Concert and lecture
UI alum to speak, perform Feb. 17
Glenn Hackbarth of Arizona State University will speak about the blending of technology, jazz and the avant garde in his composition “Low End” at the UI Composers Forum at 3 p.m. Feb. 17 in Room 1201 of the Music Building. This lecture is free and is funded by the Lorado Taft Lectureship on Art Fund of the College of Fine and Applied Arts.
This academic year marks the 50th anniversary of the UI Experimental Music Studios, one of the most renowned electroacoustic music/computer music facilities in the world. In commemoration of this anniversary, the School of Music has invited Hackbarth as one of several UI alumni guest composers for performances of their recently commissioned works. Hackbarth’s composition, “Low End,” for tuba with electroacoustic accompaniment, will be performed during the UI New Music Ensemble Concert at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17 in the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts’ Foellinger Great Hall.
Hackbarth is a professor of music and director of the ASU Computer Music Research Studios at Arizona State University.
Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities
Spring film series begins Feb. 5
The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities Spring Film series will begin Feb. 5 with a screening of “Sunset Boulevard.”
The film, which stars William Holden, Gloria Swanson and Erich von Stroheim, is director Billy Wilder’s masterpiece about faded silent film star Norma Desmond, played by Swanson, and her delusional relationship with studio screenwriter Joe Gillis, played by Holden. The 1950 film exposed the seamy underside of the glamorous Hollywood film industry.
The spring lineup:
Feb. 19, “My Favorite Year,” 1982, directed by Richard Benjamin, and starring Peter O’Toole, Mark Linn-Baker, Joseph Bologna and Lainie Kazan. Set in 1954, during the Golden Age of live television, “My Favorite Year” is part screwball comedy, part affectionate snapshot of a bygone era and part incisive commentary on the role that movie stars play in people’s lives.
March 5, “The Freshman,” 1990, directed by Andrew Bergman, and starring Matthew Broderick, Marlon Brando and Bruno Kirby. Broderick plays Clark Kellogg, a freshman entering New York University who accepts a job as a private courier for a shady character, Carmine Sabatini (Brando).
April 16, “Enchanted,” 2007, directed by Kevin Lima, and starring Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, Susan Sarandon and James Marsden. A classic Disney-animated princess enters the live-action world after she falls down a well and lands in Times Square.
Following the screening of “Enchanted,” a panel discussion on “Girls, Women, Princesses and Queens in Two and Three Dimensions” features UI scholars. Panelists will be Pat Gill, professor of gender and women’s studies; Sarah Projansky, professor of cinema studies and of gender and women’s studies; and Sarah Rasmusson, graduate student in the Institute for Communications Research. Christine Catanzarite, senior associate director of IPRH and a professor of cinema studies, will moderate the discussion.
The theme for the current series is Disciplinarity: Films on Film.
The film series is free and open to the public. All films will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Room 62 of Krannert Art Museum. For more information, go to www.iprh.illinois.edu, or contact Catanzarite at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities
Exhibition highlights humanities at IPRH
The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities will host an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. Feb. 11 for the exhibition, “A Decade of the Humanities at IPRH.”
The exhibition will present books, articles, journals, artistic works and other scholarly projects that have resulted from IPRH faculty members, graduate student and postdoctoral fellowships. The reception also will include remarks by provost Linda Katehi and IPRH director Dianne Harris.
The exhibit, which also features past IPRH conferences and other public activities designed to showcase the works of the fellows, will show the impact that the IPRH has had on the productivity of UI humanities faculty members and graduate students since 1997.
The reception is free and open to the public and will take place in the humanities lecture hall at the IPRH building. The exhibition will be on display through May 8. For more information, call 244-3344 or e-mail email@example.com.
Lecture series’ speakers announced
The University YMCA has announced spring speakers for its Friday Forum and Know Your University lecture series. For more information about featured speakers, go to www.universityymca.org/.
The forum series runs every Friday through April 10 at noon in Latzer Hall at the University YMCA. Speakers include Michael C. Loui, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, on “Ethics and Social Responsibility for Scientists and Engineers”; David Ruzic, a professor of nuclear plasma and radiological engineering, on “Dispelling the Myths About Nuclear Power”; and Clark Bullard, a professor of mechanical science and engineering, on “Clean Energy is Costly; Who Should Pay?”
The Know Your University lecture series runs on Tuesdays through April 14 at the University YMCA from noon to 1 p.m. Series highlights include talks by Scott Althaus, professor of political science and communication; Rocky Maffit, curator for Day of the Drum at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts; and Justin Spring, bronze medalist on the 2008 U.S. Men’s Olympic Gymnastic’s Team.
All lectures are free and open to the public and lunch is available through the Y Thai Eatery. Individual meals may be reserved in advance through noon the Thursday before the lecture by calling 337-1500.
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