|FRONTRUNNERS Fall 2001|
An all-star team of baseball insiders, leading scholars and analysts, and journalists gathered to evaluate recent proposals addressing problems impacting the financial future of major-league baseball at the first forum of the University's Murray Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy on May 29.
Keynote speakers at the one-day event, called "The Economics of Baseball," were NBC and HBO commentator Bob Costas, considered by many as the finest broadcaster in sports television; and syndicated columnist, ABC commentator, and Pulitzer Prize-winner George Will. Panel sessions covered issues such as free agency and collective bargaining, revenue sharing, and stadium financing. Panelists included Mark Lamping, president of the St. Louis Cardinals; Darlene Green, B.S.B.A. '78, St. Louis city comptroller; John Rawlings, editor of Sporting News; the executive director and general counsel of the Major League Baseball Players Association; a player's agent; a sports lawyer and former team owner; and scholars from Smith College, the University of Chicago, the University of Missouri at St. Louis, and Washington State University. Moderators were Washington University professors.
Steven S. Smith, director of the Weidenbaum Center and the Kate M. Gregg Professor of Social Sciences and professor of political science in Arts & Sciences, organized and hosted the forum.
Shots Against Alzheimer's?
For the past year and a half, researchers seeking to prevent and treat Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been excited by the prospect of a vaccine against the disease, says David Holtzman, the Paul Hagemann Professor and associate professor of neurology and of molecular biology and pharmacology in the School of Medicine. Holtzman is the senior author of a paper on this subject in the July 3 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The would-be vaccine is aimed at amyloid-beta (A-b) peptide in the brain, which exists in all our bodies, though its purpose is unknown. "For some reason in AD, some of the amyloid-beta that's in the brain begins to change conformation and aggregate," says Holtzman. That clumping turns A-b into the perpetrator of plaques that wrap around dying nerve endingstelltale signs of AD.
In two in vivo experiments with mice, the co-authors tested the effects of pure, monoclonal antibody supplied by Eli Lilly & Co. to amyloid-beta peptide. In an interview for BioWorld Today, Holtzman said the findings suggest that the antibodies appear to reduce the pathology when given over time to this mouse model.
Co-author Steven Paul, group vice president at Lilly Research Laboratories, says, "This particular antibody can be administered into the bloodstream, and not necessarily gain access to the brain, while directly reducing plaques. This suggests a new mechanism by which certain anti-amyloid antibodies could be useful in preventing or treating Alzheimer's."
Medical Students Reach Out to Kids
Medical students are offering support beyond the medical setting to chronically ill children and their siblings in the St. Louis area. Students who join the Pediatric Outreach Program (POP) are matched with a child under 13 who has a condition such as asthma, sickle-cell disease, cancer, or permanent brain injuryor with that child's sibling(s). (Social workers at St. Louis Children's Hospital help make the matches, which number about 40.)
Each pair gets together at least every two weeks to enjoy an activity, such as doing homework, making cookies, or roller skatingsomething the child chooses.
By participating in POP, aspiring pediatricians hone their skills in interacting with children and enjoy a respite from their studies while gaining a new appreciation of the current challenges that young people face. The children see new things and glimpse options for their own futures, and they are able to enjoy attention not focused on the related disease.
Third-year medical student Ashley Flynn, who coordinated POP last year, describes her relationship with her match, a girl she watched mature from an 11-year-old to a 13-year-old. "We sometimes had serious talks, but mostly we just had fun, enjoying a break from the responsibilities that often weigh us down in our respective worlds."
For students, children, and their entire families, POP sponsors several events, including an autumn get-acquainted party, an arcade party, and a celebratory spring barbecue.
Service Is Institute's Middle Name
The new Global Service Institute intends to establish service to humanity as a major international force. In fact, it wants to give civilian service programs worldwide status comparable to established and respected social institutions such as education and employment.
Located at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work's Center for Social Development (CSD), the institute has received a $3-million, two-year grant from the Ford Foundation.
The institute's co-directors, Michael Sherraden, CSD director and the Benjamin E. Youngdahl Professor of Social Development, and Susan Stroud, an innovator in Ford Foundation service achievements, laid the groundwork for the new project in January 2000 with an international conference on service in San José, Costa Rica.
Working with many partners around the world, the Global Service Institute aims to strengthen programs for the environment, disaster relief, community building, and other areas. Many countries have firmly established or newly emerging service-based institutions, such as AmeriCorps and Habitat for Humanity in the United States.
In the initial phase of the projected 10-year project, chief goals include researching the status and definition of service worldwide, holding an international conference, producing a volume of country profiles on national and community service, and developing a worldwide network of key practitioners and policy-makers to be supported by a Web-based global information network.
Law Students Tackle Domestic Violence
Aiming to teach high-school students about domestic violence prevention and intervention, several law students spoke to high-school students in the Los Angeles area last spring as part of a national alternative spring break program.
"Because of the cycle of violence, it is so important to reach out to teenagers who may think that abusive relationships are the norm," says Jackie Ulin, J.D. '01. She and Demetrios Datch and Mary Pat Benninger, now third-year students, have participated in projects of Break the Cycle, a nonprofit organization that uses a special curriculum striving to alter the learned behavior of domestic violence and to teach youths their legal rights and responsibilities. The organization is recommended by the national Break Away program, with which University students are affiliated via Break Away in Law (BAIL), founded and co-directed by Datch and Benninger. BAIL members became the first law students nationally to participate in Break Away. "We thought the program was especially fitting for law students because public service and the law seem to go hand in hand," Datch says.
"Assisting domestic violence victims is fulfilling because you not only counsel them, but you also help them get the protection and legal assistance they need," Ulin adds. "Now we understand that no matter where our career paths may lead, our legal skills are valuable assets, and public service can always be part of our lives."
Knight Center Dedicated October 5
As the pace of business change accelerates, Washington University's Olin School of Business must be prepared for companies' and individuals' higher expectations of executive education programs. To do that, it must have a designated executive education facility to compete effectively with other leading business schools.
Now, with the Charles F. Knight Executive Education Center it has exactly that. The dedication ceremony for the $50-million, five-story facility on the north side of the Hilltop Campus took place October 5. The new 135,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art residential living and learning center is named in honor of Charles F. Knight, one of the nation's most successful executives and a longtime supporter of the University and the Olin School.
"Executive education is critical because it enables companies to maintain their competitive edge," says Knight, chairman of St. Louis-based Emerson. The company and Knight provided a $15-million challenge grant to build the center, which will attract executives from St. Louis and from around the world who are interested in lifelong learning.
"E-Portfolio" for MBA Students
The Olin School of Business has made it easier
than ever for corporate recruiters to find Olin MBAs who are good matches
for positions they're trying to fill. The School has produced an innovative,
Web-based "e-portfolio" of its MBA classes and e-mailed the creative Flash
presentation to corporate recruiters nationwide. It's on the Web at http://www.olin.wustl.edu/wcrc/recruiting/sp01/splash.html.
The students are grouped by career interests, including consulting,
finance, investment banking, and marketing. By clicking on a student's
photo, a recruiter can see that student's "bio."
The Weston Career Resources Center (WCRC) at the Olin School e-mailed
the unique marketing piece to 3,000 corporate recruiters. It was produced
with the joint effort of the School's external relations and information
services staffs, and a St. Louis-based agency, Pfeiffer plus Company.
Deborah Booker, assistant dean and director of external relations, says
the e-portfolio is a renewable database that can be updated easily.
The students are grouped by career interests, including consulting, finance, investment banking, and marketing. By clicking on a student's photo, a recruiter can see that student's "bio."
The Weston Career Resources Center (WCRC) at the Olin School e-mailed the unique marketing piece to 3,000 corporate recruiters. It was produced with the joint effort of the School's external relations and information services staffs, and a St. Louis-based agency, Pfeiffer plus Company. Deborah Booker, assistant dean and director of external relations, says the e-portfolio is a renewable database that can be updated easily.
Early Humans Had Diverse Diet
An international team of scientists including Erik Trinkaus, professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences, has been first to document that early modern humans ate significant amounts of fish and waterfowl, not just meat.
By analyzing the carbon and nitrogen values of early modern human fossils representing humans living in Europe 20,000 to 28,000 years ago, the team found that early modern humans also ate aquatic animalsinland freshwater fish, mollusks, and birds. This diversity may have made them more resilient than Neandertals.
Principals Take "Summer School"
Principals from 21 St. Louis city elementary, middle, and high schools signed up for management classes this past summer. Responding to the need for more practical training for principals, the Olin School of Business offered the first Management Institute for Principals June 25-29.
Led by faculty from the Olin School and the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, as well as outside consultants from St. Louis, Chicago, and Seattle, the classes focused on how to apply Total Quality Management philosophy and techniques in a public-school setting. The St. Louis Public School District paid approximately half of the program's costs, but a gift from E. Desmond Lee, who received a bachelor's degree in business from the University in 1940, was crucial to funding this first institute.
Modeled on the Olin School's nondegree executive education programs, the institute builds on the School's Total Quality Schools (TQS) program for St. Louis area public schools. Both TQS and the institute were spearheaded by Stuart I. Greenbaum, dean and the Bank of America Professor of Managerial Leadership for the Olin School. His wife, Elaine Greenbaum, A.B. '60, who received a doctoral degree in economics from the University of Maryland, serves as a volunteer for TQS and the institute.
Film and Media Students Create PSAs
It was a win-win result as students in the Film and Media Studies program in Arts & Sciences created six fully produced, 30-second public service announcements (PSAs) for local and statewide nonprofit organizations this past spring.
Students in Introduction to Digital Video Postproduction learned as they oversaw every aspect of the production process, from writing scripts and shooting video footage on simple digital cameras to recording voice-overs and commissioning original music. They also learned to harness special effects to communicate a client's worthy message. The nonprofits got highly produced PSAs of a quality they could not afford to buy and that have been airing on KTVI Channel 2 in St. Louis.
Students in the course, taught by Pier Marton, senior lecturer, especially learned how to enhance existing footage using computers equipped with professional-quality software. "The tools are often used for fluff," Marton says, "but I wanted to find a setting that implied social responsibility, where their (the students') artistic choices would carry weight."
Clients were the Alzheimer's Association, Habitat for Humanity, Life Crisis Services, Missouri Coalition for the Environment, Operation Food Search, and Our Little Haven. Partnering with a nonprofit client helped provide students with purpose and coherence, avoiding what might have been a mere demonstration of technical proficiency and instead providing hands-on learning about research, communication, cooperation, and accountability.
As part of its educational program, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District held a special session February 26 at the School of Law's Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom. Students observed Assistant Attorney General Gregory L. Barnes arguing against a retrial for a convicted murderer. Chief Judge Mary Kathryn Hoff was joined on the bench by three University alumni who are judgesWilliam H. Crandall, Jr., J.D. '63; Richard B. Teitelman, J.D. '73; and Kathianne K. Crane, J.D. '67.
NASA Video Features Students
For a NASA instructional video, seven School of Engineering & Applied Science students helped middle-school students use an interactive Web site to learn about electricity and magnetism.
The video, Pattern, Functions, and Algebra: Wired for Space, is part of a NASA seriesNASA CONNECTfree instructional TV programs delivered to classrooms via satellite.
NASCAR racing champion Jeff Gordon made a guest appearance on the program, demonstrating how important math, science, and engineering are to racing. The video was shown March 2 to students at Compton-Drew Investigative Learning Center.
Nationwide, 141,000 teachers serving more than 7 million students in about 7,600 schools are registered to receive lesson plans for the series.
University Invests in Venture Capital Funds
To support and encourage the development of new St. Louis science-and-technology companies, the University's Board of Trustees will invest up to $40 million of the institution's $4.2-billion endowment in St. Louis-based venture capital funds.
"As generators of ideas and inventions, the faculty scientists of the University and other St. Louis research institutions seek to stimulate the transfer of important discoveries and technology from their laboratories to the public," says Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton.
The funds invested by the University will go only to venture capital funds, not to high-technology businesses themselves. So far, the University has invested $4 million with Prolog Capital, a new science venture fund, and $7 million with RiverVest Venture Partners, which invests in life sciences companies. The University wants its venture-fund investments to be used to fund St. Louis start-ups.
Students Learn from Solo Spirit
About 50 students got hands-on experience at Mission Control at the University when Steve Fossett, M.B.A. '68 and a University trustee, launched his Solo Spirit balloon from Northam, Australia, in August. It was his latest try to make the first solo balloon flight around the world.
Working in round-the-clock shifts, students helped retrieve and disseminate information on the balloon's location and speed, as well as messages from Fossett, who is president of Chicago-based Larkspur Securities and holds many records in ballooning, sailing, and jet flying. They gained knowledge in radio communications, electronics, and satellite technology.
Students were guided by Keith J. Bennett, affiliate associate professor of computer science, and led by the mission's science coordinator, Barry Tobias, a senior who is majoring in mechanical engineering in a 5-year B.S./M.S. program. Tobias also is student coordinator of Project ARIA, which helps K-12 students develop NASA science payloads.
Fossett's most recent solo attempt, his fifth, ended in disappointment when bad weather forced him to land about 30 miles southwest of Bagé, Brazil, on August 17.
The trip set a record for duration for a solo balloonist12 days, 12 hours, and 57 minutes.
Edison/PAD 2001-2002 PERFORMANCE SEASON
Charlie Victor Romeo, Oct. 5, 6
David Dorfman Dance, Nov. 2, 3, 4
A Charlie Brown Christmas (Cyrus Chestnut & Friends), Dec. 9
Leitmotive, Jan. 18, 19
Songs from Mama's Table (Kitka with Linda Tillery & the Cultural Heritage Choir), Jan. 25, 26
Pilobolus Too, March 1, 2, 3
Aquila Theatre Company,
River North Chicago Dance Company, April 19, 20, 21
ovations! for young people
Scrap Arts Music, Oct. 6
Linda Tillery & the Cultural Heritage Choir, Jan. 26
Pilobolus Too, March 2
Performing Arts Department
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Oct. 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28
Blithe Spirit, Nov. 15, 16, 17, 18
Washington University Dance Theatre, Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 2
Three Days of Rain, Jan. 17, 18, 19, 20
Twelfth Night, Feb. 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24
A new play by Carter Lewis, March 21, 22, 23, 24
Killing Women, April 17, 18, 20, 21, an A.E. Hotchner Award-winning Play
Celebrating the Music of John macro Perkins, Sept. 29
The Eliot Trio, Oct. 20
The Washington University Opera, March 15, 16
For ticket information, call the Edison Theatre Box Office at (314) 935-6543 or Washington University Performing Arts Department at (314) 935-5858
People Around Campus