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Tip A Canoe And Concrete, Too

Illinois Alumni magazine April 2013

The genius emanating from the University of Illinois fills many pages in the book of all things remarkable: the invention of the LED; the discovery of archaea, a third form of life; the development of Netscape, the first personal Web browser; and many others.

What may not be quite as well-known is that Illinois also is the birthplace of the concrete canoe.

Stop chuckling – this stuff is as serious as being up the creek without a paddle.

Victor Villanueva

NCTE Council Chronicle March 2013

Victor Villanueva is energetic and enthusiastic when talking about his new role as editor of the Studies in Writing and Rhetoric (SWR) monograph series.

“It is a very exciting time for our field,” he says. “It’s the time to be doing this thing.”

Mike Rose Believes in Second Chances

NCTE Council Chronicle March 2013

Mike Rose has a message for teachers working with struggling students: keep the faith, because your effort really does pay off far down the road.

“You’ll be surprised how many of these students remember, ‘my teacher in 9th grade said I should consider going to college,’ or whatever,” says Rose. “That time spent when the students are having a hard time, you may not see the pay off, but it registers.””

"Oh, The Places You'll Go ..."

Illinois Alumni magazine December 2012

Ever dream of watching wildebeests graze the Serengeti? Cooking in Italy? Whitewater rafting, swimming with sea lions or sampling beer at Germany's Oktoberfest?

A Labor of Love:

NCTE Council Chronicle November 2012


Walter Dean Myers always loved to write and was encouraged from a young age, but for many years he did not know one could make a living as a writer.

Arizona Bans Mexican American Studies Program

NCTE Council Chronicle September 2012

The Mexican American Studies (MAS) program in the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) had been a real success story.

Ninety-seven percent of students participating in the program graduated from high school, compared to 44 percent nationally, and 70 percent entered college compared to 24 percent nationally. Students scored higher on the AIMS (Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards) test compared to other Hispanic students who did not take the classes.

The LED is Ubiquitous — But Its Home Is Illinois

Illinois Alumni magazine September 2012

From headlights and traffic lights to DVD players, advanced medical equipment, and billboards, the light from LEDs is all around you. Nick Holonyak Jr.

Thinking About Consumers:

BioEnergy Connection July 2012

The reasons to reduce oil consumption, from climate change and national security, have existed for 30 years. And yet, in all that time Americans have neither substantially reduced the amount consumed nor meaningfully shifted to alternative fuels.  Why is that? asks law professor Joshua Fershee, who teaches courses in energy law and public policy at the University of North Dakota

How I Write

The Writer April 2012

Sharon Flake “writes about hope in hard places,” she says. Flake, author of seven books, including two collections of short stories, writes primarily about African-American teens struggling with identity, relationships and perseverance – issues that resonate with readers of all ages and backgrounds. Her first YA novel, The Skin I’m In, was published in 1998, and won the Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe Award for New Talent.

Yong-Su Jin

IGB Biomarker April 2012

Whether it’s his son’s preference for meat over vegetables or the relative basketball skills of a high school player and Shaquille O’Neal, Yong-Su Jin loves to use analogies. And as his work gains a wider audience, those analogies come in handy when speaking to people far beyond the reaches of the IGB.


Read more writings in my features, essays or books