Thirteen University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faculty have been selected to receive 2019-2020 BRIDGE Seed Funding.
The BRIDGE Seed Funding is made possible through the University of Birmingham (UoB) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's (Illinois) BiRmingham-lllinois Partnership for Discovery, EnGagement and Education, known as BRIDGE. This partnership created a framework for continued collaboration and investment to grow a strategic partnership between the two institutions. Engagement currently spans over 70 established faculty-to-faculty links in key academic disciplines.
Funding is available in three grant categories: implementation, initiation, and teaching and learning. Implementation Grants support and strengthen existing faculty-faculty relationships leading to clearly defined outputs. Initiation Grants encourage wider faculty involvement and expand institutional engagement. Teaching and Learning Grants allow faculty to develop educational relationships with counterparts at UoB/Illinois in order to enhance student learning.
This year's recipients are:
- Richard Akresh
- Jozsef Balogh
- Diane Beck
- Qian Chen
- Adam Dolezal
- Kara Federmeier
- Tamara Fuller
- Andrew Gaedtke
- Benjamin M. Marx
- Nenad Miljkovic
- Cele Otness
- Warren Lavey
- Robin Fretwell Wilson
Faculty profiles are included below.
Congratulations to all BRIDGE Seed Fund recipients!
Associate Professor, Economics
Associate Professor, Global Studies Programs & Courses
Associate Professor, Center for African Studies
Richard Akresh is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His primary research interests are in microeconomic development and labor economics focusing predominantly on children’s welfare issues in developing countries. He has examined the institution of child fostering in West Africa, as well as its impact on human capital investment for the involved children. Current research explores the impact of civil conflicts on human capital and health investments for young children. He is also interested in issues about migration, child labor, and intrahousehold bargaining.
Jozsef Balogh is a professor in the department of mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He does research in extremal and probabilistic combinatorics, additionally touching theoretical computer science, discrete geometry, and statistical physics (bootstrap percolation). For his work with former student Samotij and Morris, he was recognized in 2016 with the Polya Prize, and was an invited speaker at the International Congress in Mathematics in 2018.
He has successfully advised 10 graduate students. Balogh was a semester long visitor at IAS Princeton, IPAM UCLA, and Trinity College, Cambridge; and continuously supported by NSF Grants since 2003, including CAREER grant, and was a Simons Fellow (2013) and a Marie Curie Fellow (2013).
Professor, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science & Technology
Diane Beck received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1998. She is a professor in the Department of Psychology and the Neuroscience Program, and a full-time faculty member in the Beckman Institute Cognitive Neuroscience group. Her main areas of interest are cognitive neuroscience, visual cognition, attention and visual perception.
Assistant Professor, Materials Science & Engineering
Affiliate, Department of Chemistry
Affiliate, Materials Research Laboratory
Professor Qian Chen received her B.S. in Chemistry from Peking University, China (2007), and her PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from University of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign with Prof. Steve Granick (2012). Her doctoral research focused on developing new “bottom-up” strategies for materials construction. She was among the first to encode multiplexed information into colloids in a “Janus” or “patchy” fashion, and to assemble them into functional materials. She found these materials exhibit properties that were new and exciting to the community, including “supracolloidal” reactivity and entropic stabilization of ordering. In 2012, she obtained a Miller postdoc fellowship and worked with Prof. Paul Alivisatos at UC Berkeley. There she explored broadly structural and functional dynamics at nanoscale, including liquid phase TEM and plasmonics based bio-sensing. She pioneered the efforts in unprecedented in situ imaging of biomolecular transformation at nm resolution, and the spatial mapping of nanoscale interactions among colloidal nanocrystals. In 2015 she joined the faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaignas Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Affiliate of the Department of Chemistry.
Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology
Adam is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Entomology and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He teaches courses in Physiology (IB 202) and Genes and Behavior (IB 432) in the School of Integrative Biology. He studies how pollinators, mostly focusing on honey bees, respond to the different stresses they encounter in their environment. These studies have centered heavily around the impacts of virus infection and the nutritional and chemical stresses associated with Midwestern row-crop agricultural systems. Adam received his Ph.D. from Arizona State University, where he studied the behavioral physiology of harvester ants and honey bees; he then did postdoctoral work at Iowa State University.
Professor, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science & Technology
Kara Federmeier received her Ph.D. in cognitive science from the University of California, San Diego in 2000. She is a professor in the Department of Psychology and the Neuroscience Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a full-time faculty member in the Beckman Institute Cognitive Neuroscience Group. Her fields of professional interest are language, memory, hemispheric differences, and cognitive neuroscience.
Director, The Children & Family Research Center
Research Associate Professor
Dr. Tamara Fuller received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Iowa in 1989. She then came to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and earned both a MA and PhD in clinical/community psychology. After a clinical internship at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development in Washington, DC, she returned to Champaign-Urbana and worked at Carle Hospital in the neuropsychology department.
Dr. Fuller joined the staff at the Children and Family Research Center at the School of Social Work in 1997 as a research specialist. She became Associate Director of the Children and Family Research Center in 2003, and was promoted to Director in 2010.
Associate Professor, English
Associate Professor, Unit for Criticism & Interpretive Theory
Andrew Gaedtke is an associate professor of English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of Modernism and the Machinery of Madness: Psychosis, Technology, and Narrative Worlds (Cambridge University Press, 2017), and his areas of research include modern and contemporary literature, disability studies, medical humanities, science and literature, and media theory.
Benjamin M. Marx
Assistant Professor, Department of Economics
Benjamin M. Marx is an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He earned his doctorate in economics from Columbia University. Ben’s research on public goods and services is informed by work experience in refugee resettlement, after-school education, and nonprofit consulting. He is now an applied microeconomist working in the field of public economics. Ben contributed a chapter to The Economics of Philanthropy and has published in journals including American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, and the Journal of Public Economics. His current research projects examine motivations for charitable giving, compliance of charitable organizations with laws and regulations, and the effects of grants and student loans in higher education.
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Science & Engineering
Dr. Nenad Miljkovic is currently an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he leads the Energy Transport Research Laboratory. He has courtesy appointments in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory. His group’s research intersects the multidisciplinary fields of thermo-fluid science, interfacial phenomena, and renewable energy. Their work focuses on bringing about efficiency enhancements in various industries including energy (power generation, oil & gas, HVAC&R, renewables), water, transportation, and electronics cooling, by fundamentally altering thermal-fluid-surface interactions via deposition and creation of thin functional films. In 2012, he was the recipient of the ASME Micro/Nano Heat Transfer Heat and Mass Transfer International Conference Best Paper Award, and in 2013 he received the Wunsch Foundation Silent Hoist and Crane Award for outstanding graduate research on thin functional films for energy applications during his PhD at MIT.
Anthony J. Petullo Professor of Business Administration
Department Head, Business Adminstration
Cele Otnes is the Anthony J. Petullo Professor of Business Administration, Professor of Marketing, and Head of the Department of Business Administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is an adjunct professor of marketing at the Norwegian School of Business and Economics (NHH). Her research primarily focuses on understanding how ritualistic consumption shapes the experiences of consumers within and outside of the marketspace (e.g., in broader cultural domains). She recently published Royal Fever: The British Monarchy in Consumer Culture with Pauline Maclaran (Univ. of California Press, 2015). With Elizabeth Pleck, she co-authored Cinderella Dreams: The Allure of the Lavish Wedding (University of California Press, 2003), and has co-edited several books on rituals and consumption, including Gender, Culture, and Consumer Behavior with Linda Tuncay Zayer (Routledge 2012). Her work appears in the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Retailing, Journal of Advertising, and Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, among others. She primarily teaches courses in consumer behavior (undergraduate) and qualitative research methods (doctoral at Illinois and NHH). She has served as co-chair of the Association for Consumer Research European and North American conferences, and of the Qualitative Data Analysis workshop.
Adjunct Professor, Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences
Warren Lavey is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Natural Resources and Environmental Science in the School of Earth, Society and Environment. He is also actively involved in the College of Law and the Natural Resources department in the College of ACES.
In the past, Warren has taught a course on monitoring and evaluating campus sustainability projects and will teach a course in the future on protected areas (set-aside nature hotspots like national parks).
Warren got involved with the Purchasing, Waste, and Recycling SWATeam because he was looking for opportunities to make campus operations more sustainable. He started by working with campus procurements of freight and package delivery services and branched out to other types of purchasing and waste from there. The University is a substantial user of natural resources, and so it needs to be responsible about its footprint of pollution, he says. In addition, he believes campus sustainability is important: It’s a chance for Illinois to lead by example both for students and outside groups.
Before his time on the SWATeam is done, he hopes to revise the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) sections for Purchasing, Waste and Recycling, and to implement some short-term improvements. Warren’s wish for campus is to see an increase in real commitment to sustainable practices and to see sustainability become a point of pride for Illinois students.
Robin Fretwell Wilson
Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law
Director, Program in Family Law & Policy
Director, Epstein Health Law and Policy Program
Professor, Department of Pathology, College of Medicine
Robin Fretwell Wilson is the Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law at the College of Law, where she directs the College of Law’s Family Law and Policy Program and the Epstein Health Law and Policy Program. She specializes in family law and health law, and her research and teaching interests also include biomedical ethics, law and religion, children and violence, and law and science.
Professor Wilson has worked extensively on behalf of state law reform efforts, recently helping Utah state lawmakers to pass anti-discrimination legislation that balances religious liberty and LGBT rights. In 2007, she received the Citizen’s Legislative Award for her work on changing Virginia’s informed consent law. In 2018, Professor Wilson received the Thomas L. Kane Religious Freedom Award from the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, which is presented annually to an individual who exemplifies the spirit of religious liberty for all and who has contributed in significant ways to the defense of religious freedom in the public square.
Prior to Illinois, she was the Class of 1958 Law Alumni Professor of Law at Washington & Lee School of Law, where she was named Professor of the Year by the Women Law Students Organization. A graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, Professor Wilson clerked for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and practiced at Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP and Mayor, Day, Caldwell & Keeton, LLP.