Peers and Colleagues,
I hope you are all enjoying the stunning color of fall and the extended balmy weather. Although I have now lived in Illinois for almost ten years, I am still struck with awe by our four, distinct “textbook” northern hemisphere seasons—spring, summer, winter and autumn. The Mediterranean of my birthplace and the Antipodes of my growing up had very different cycles. For better and for worse, it now seems that “change” in our weather and seasons—but of less predictable kinds—is becoming the norm across the globe. I hope this prompts us to accept our responsibility in what some are calling now “the Anthropocene”—where the effect of our human choices are impacting the whole planet.
Our campus, too, is experiencing much change. I want to thank all of you for weathering the elements that confront us with an unflinching sense of purpose and a steadfast commitment to creativity, collaboration, and the mission of our College. With a reflective and can-do spirit, we are proud to say that our fall newsletter demonstrates the College’s dedication to cutting-edge research and serving the public good.
In the technology sphere, we are proud to have launched a new lab in the College that supports our broad-based mission to revolutionize teaching and learning across contexts and lifespan—the Illinois Digital Ecologies and Learning Laboratory. In late September we hosted the grand opening of a new space that will enable scholars to study learner interactions with digital technologies in real time, while collecting massive amounts of digital data.
In classrooms and out in the world, our educators continue to push for equitable outcomes and improve society through inclusiveness and innovation. For example, Dr. Eboni Zamani-Gallaher regularly offers her expert opinion in the Huffington Post on the College Scorecard; Dr Fouad Abd-El-Khalick began work in January on a prestigious editorship with the Journal of Research in Science Teaching; and Drs. Luz Murillo and Patrick Smith have exhibited the College’s focus on outreach through service work, promoting linguistic awareness in Champaign-Urbana schools.
As we hope you glean from this issue, Education at Illinois continues to maintain our legacy of excellence and remains determined to address the challenges of our time.
Professor and Dean