The first director’s note of the year, Building momentum in 2020, reflected a pre-COVID-19 vision for 2020. At the time, we certainly didn’t anticipate the many uncertainties and hurdles our university, our community, and our world would face this year. Yet, despite all the unanticipated and, indeed, unprecedented challenges, over the past six months, we can clearly see progress, partnerships, and passion for prioritizing health and addressing the health needs of our community. Below are some recent examples:
- Grainger College of Engineering, NCSA, and IHSI leadership are working with leaders from Mayo Clinic to plan for the next phase of the Mayo Clinic & Illinois Alliance, now celebrating 10 years of our two institutions collaborating on our mission to advance technology-based healthcare.
- The Community-Academic Scholars Initiative recognized 11 impressive student scholars for their impact over the summer as they worked with faculty mentors and community partners to address issues of health equity, brain health, and poverty in our local community.
- The Microbial Systems Initiative welcomed nine new faculty to the Illinois community, across multiple colleges, and introduced them to our interdisciplinary research institutes. Many congratulations to Prof. Cari Vanderpool for her leadership and vision for building upon our community of world-class faculty to advance microbial systems research campus-wide at Illinois.
- We CU recognized 232 students for their efforts to address community needs during COVID-19 with 4500 hours of service during a 10-week summer program. The stories shared by these impressive students are both inspiring and impactful, as are the efforts of the We CU leaders and partners who launched the program on an accelerated timeline to meet the immediate needs of the community.
As we enter a new semester, with a new set of challenges, we will continue to find new opportunities, and continue to build momentum alongside our colleagues, our students, and our partners.
Stay healthy, safe, and connected.