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Proposals Selected for the Sesquicentennial Celebration Culminating Research Symposia

Proposals Selected for the Sesquicentennial Celebration Culminating Research Symposia

Six teams have been awarded David Dodds Henry Lectureship Funds in support of the culminating research event of the University of Illinois’ Sesquicentennial Celebration. The symposia will highlight Illinois strengths in interdisciplinary research, exploring issues as diverse as human health, race and justice, the arts and the humanities, agriculture and the environment, and the legacy of the land-grant institution.

“The selected proposals reflect the breadth of scholarship and inquiry at Illinois,” said Peter Schiffer, Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “It’s exciting to conclude our celebration of 150 years of research excellence with an eye toward the future.” 

There were 24 total submissions. A five-member committee of senior faculty members evaluated proposals on scholarly merit, relevance to societal needs, and potential interest to campus and the broader academic community, and selected the following proposals:

150th Celebration Concluding Symposia

Advancing Food–Energy–Water System Resilience in Agriculture Dominated Watersheds Through a Regional Resource Recovery Network
Food, energy, and water systems in agricultural regions are highly interconnected and sensitive to threats relating to increasing biomass production, water quality and supply, energy supply and cost, resource conservation, economic growth, and financial stability. This symposium will focus on developing resilience in agriculture through effective partnerships, best practices, and high-level strategy.
Civil and Environmental Engineering, Ximing Cai, PI

Death by Policing: Race, State Violence, and the Possibility of Justice
This symposium will explore the relationship between racialized deaths, policing, state violence, and justice in American society. It will also examine how such deaths occur and clarify how legal and social accountability for them is understood, assigned, or disavowed.
Latina/Latino Studies, Jonathan Inda, PI

Public Humanities
This symposium will focus on the central role that public arts and humanities play in a democratic society. Specific aspects of public life discussed will be affordances and limitations for public mindedness, the continued struggle to address structural racism, the affective dimensions of public life, and the importance of the public humanities.
Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership, Christopher Higgins, PI

Revolutionizing Brain Plasticity Through Advanced Science, Engineering, and Medicine
Through scientific discovery and technological innovation, this interdisciplinary symposium explores research related to brain plasticity and its neurobiological foundations.
Psychology, Aron Barbey, PI

Technocultural Futurisms
Land-grant institutions were founded with a vision of providing technical and agricultural education for U.S. citizens. This symposium considers the role that land grant-institutions have played in technological transformations, both past and present.
English, Susan Koshy, PI

Uniting Infection Biology for One Health
This symposium will focus on urgent and critical threats to human health like emerging infectious diseases in changing environments, epidemic outbreaks, and antimicrobial resistance.
Pathobiology, Rebecca Smith, PI

The symposia will occur simultaneously on April 10-12, 2018 and will include:

  • A joint evening welcome reception for all symposia, with a single prominent keynote speaker to kick off the event
  • Topic-specific discussions (separately, in each symposium)
  • A joint plenary session highlighting the strengths of interdisciplinary research in higher education and how the interdisciplinary environment fosters exceptional scholarship

More information about the Sesquicentennial celebration can be found here