Anything worth taking
seriously is worth
making fun of


The Human Condition

Illinois Alumni Magazine September 2010

Before you meet her, the credentials of Virginia Dominguez may intimidate you.

Carl Woese and the Three Flavors of Life

Muse: the magazine of life, the universe, and pie throwing June 2010

You may not have heard of Carl Woese, but his discovery shook the very roots of biology. At a time when scientists believed all life on Earth could be divided into two categories, Woese (rhymes with “rose”) discovered a third. He persevered in the face of strong opposition, and ultimately triumphed. In the process, he opened our eyes to the vastness and diversity of the world of microbes.

Nancy Pearl

NCTE Council Chronicle March 2010

The words “librarian” and “celebrity” are not often used in the same sentence, but in the case of Nancy Pearl, it happens often. Not only has Pearl, a librarian by training, written three books, she is a regular guest on National Public Radio and hosts a Seattle television show. To top it all off, she was the inspiration for a librarian action figure and is quoted on one of the Starbucks coffee cups.*

A Community of Poets

Illinois Alumni January 2010

Janice Harrington’s recent success as a poet, author and college professor is deeply rooted in her more than two decades as children’s librarian and storyteller, where her work fostered a powerful ear for vivid rhythm and imagery.

What Lies Beneath

Illinois Alumni January 2010

If Michael B. Johnson ‘88 ENG were a Pixar movie character he would be Sully, the large, furry, green-with-blue-spots star of Monsters, Inc. Like Sully (voiced by actor John Goodman), Johnson’s voice is deep and resonant; he is a hail-fellow-well-met; modest in an “aw-shucks-just-doing-my-job” way; and he is all about giving credit to others.

Bruce Fouke

IGB Biomarker magazine December 2009

Bruce Fouke, a sedimentary geologist, started his academic research journey in a fairly conventional way; integrating sedimentology, stratigraphy, geochemistry and paleontology to reconstruct the Earth’s environment during the deposition and secondary alteration of sedimentary rocks.

Laurie Halse Anderson

NCTE Council Chronicle November 2009

The way Laurie Halse (rhymes with waltz) Anderson sees it, her main job is to tell stories that young people will read.

“More than anything that’s my job, to tell stories so that kids will keep reading and developing their literacy skills. If I can do that then I can sleep well at night.”

Anderson’s first book, Ndito Runs, was published in 1996, but she had been writing stories for many years before that.

A Civil Engineer Takes on Biological Systems

Institute for Genomic Biology October 2009

Civil engineering is not the most traditional route to tissue regeneration research, but that is how chemical and biomolecular engineering professor and IGB researcher Hyun Joon Kong began his journey.

The Friends of Dick Russell club

Illinois Alumni March 2009

How do you tell the story of a man whose career with the CIA is classified information? A man who subsequently suffered from locked-in syndrome, a condition in which the patient retains all cognitive function but cannot move most of his muscles, not even to speak?

You tell the story of his friends.

Broken by the Blacklist

Illinois Alumni December 2008

“‘Ma, … how do you really feel about the blacklist? Angry? Frustrated? How?’”

“That needed to be answered, and I thought about it a lot. Angry? No. To me, anger is a futile emotion. I think I can sum it up in two words: deep sorrow. Not for myself - I’ve survived, and my life is full of joy - but a deep sorrow for [my husband] Larry that will be with me in my heart for the rest of my life.”


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