Message from Dean Astrida Orle Tantillo

Dean Astrida Orle TantilloWelcome to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago!

Over the past few months, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has continued to enhance its faculty through targeted recruitment in areas important to our mission.  We are very pleased to see the new talent that wishes to work at UIC: we have already succeeded in hiring some of the best young scholars in their fields. Our future assistant professors are selected from a field of international candidates from the best graduate programs and post-doctoral positions at prestigious institutions.

Some of our new senior hires will be recruited through a new Cluster Program, a campus-wide program that will create six themed, interdisciplinary groupings of faculty focused on scholarship in diaspora studies, global urban immigration, integrative neuroscience, Middle East and Muslim societies, the racialized body, and social justice and human rights.  In the searches for the cluster programs, the College is attracting truly influential scholars, who, once hired, will bring our existing strengths of engaged research to new levels of prominence.

Of course, the quality of our new hires should come as no surprise to those familiar with the College. We have a long history of faculty excellence as is clearly demonstrated by the stories in AtLAS.

Both our more established professors and those who recently joined UIC continue to be recognized for their achievements. Two of our English Department faculty members are currently demonstrating that success. For those of you who have been following the career of Professor Luis Urrea, you will not be surprised to hear of his latest achievement: the National Endowment for the Arts is recommending his book, Into the Beautiful North, alongside the work of Mark Twain and F. Scott Fitzgerald, as part of its Big Read program. Likewise, the National Endowment for the Arts has given a prestigious literary award to our relatively new assistant professor Roger Reeves.

On the frontiers of science and technology, there is much happening of which LAS and UIC can be proud.

We look forward to the upcoming groundbreaking for the Advanced Chemical and Technology Building. This 120,000-square-foot state-of-the-art structure will house faculty from chemistry, physics and biological sciences and provide office, laboratory and conference space that will facilitate interdisciplinary research in areas including drug discovery, battery technology, solar cells and neuroscience.

The Joint Center for Energy Storage Research is a new U.S. Department of Energy, five-year, $120 million award received earlier this year. The JCESR will be directed by George W. Crabtree (PhD, ’74 physics), UIC distinguished professor of physics and electrical and mechanical engineering and a senior scientist and distinguished fellow in the Materials Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory. UIC is partnering with four other universities, five national laboratories and four private firms in this effort aimed at achieving revolutionary advances in battery performance.

That our current students as well as our alumni are thriving and changing our world is a testament to the strength of our faculty and programs. From rabies vaccination programs in Africa and anti-violence initiatives in Chicago’s neighborhoods to engaging with global security issues and celebrating the American immigrant experience, LAS students and alumni, and the faculty who teach and mentor them, are at the forefront of scholarship. I very much hope you will enjoy reading about how these students, alumni and faculty are making new discoveries, creating significant works of art and making the world a more safe and healthy place. I also hope you will find inspiration in the stories of friends and alumni who continue to celebrate and support the work of the College and that you will share my pride in being affiliated with a College that has such a vast array of achievements!


Astrida Orle Tantillo, PhD

Continue reading about how LAS is making a real impact in the most recent edition of AtLAS.

In addition to serving as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Astrida Orle Tantillo has served for 15 years as a professor of Germanic studies and history. She previously served as the director of the College’s School of Literatures, Cultural Studies and Linguistics before filling the role of interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Dean Tantillo is an internationally renowned Goethe scholar and former president of the Goethe Society of North America.

Dean Tantillo's full curriculum vitae.