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UIC News Tips

Office of Public and Government Affairs                    (312) 996-3456 /

Week of Dec. 12, 2016

Contact Brian Flood: (312) 996-7681 /

Two new reports from the Urban Transportation Center at UIC look at the impact of severe weather on public transit systems. One report focuses on the effects of extreme weather on ridership and decisions to invest in bus stop shelters. The other presents findings from a June 2016 national survey of U.S public transit agencies’ experience with and response to extreme weather events. P.S. Sriraj, executive director of the center and principal investigator of the reports, can discuss the findings.

Inventor of 'artificial leaf' solar cell named one of 100 leading global thinkers
Contact Bill Burton: (312) 996-2269 /

Amin Salehi-Khojin, UIC assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, was named one of 100 “Leading Global Thinkers” by Foreign Policy. Among the magazine’s other 2016 leaders are Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, and Flint water crisis whistleblower Marc Edwards.

Magnetic toys a danger to children
Contact Jackie Carey: (312)996-8277 /

Previously banned because of risk to children, magnetic toys are allowed back on the market, thanks to a U.S. Court of Appeals reversal in late November. Dr. Jim Berman, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics and chief of pediatric gastroenterology at UIC, says the toys are just as dangerous as ever and that parents need to be aware, particularly during the holiday gift-giving season. Berman is available to discuss the medical complications caused by ingestion of these toys.

Lead in Calumet drinking water
Contact Sharon Parmet: (312) 413-2695 /

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced that they would assess the drinking water in Chicago's Calumet neighborhood. Dr. Susan Buchanan, clinical associate professor of environmental and occupational health sciences in the UIC School of Public Health, and director of the Great Lakes Center for Children’s Environmental Health, has been working with the EPA to interpret blood lead levels of residents with affected water and determine the risk for health effects. She is also working to understand the risk of exposure to arsenic found in soil. 

Contact Brian Flood: (312) 996-7681 /

A UIC Great Cities Institute study shows that significant stress on households is a common problem across Chicagoland and often correlates to living in or near poverty. The “household stress index” counts the number of households experiencing various stressors. Almost 80 percent Chicago area households were found to have at least one stressor that, if unaddressed, could lead to hardship for an individual or the entire household. James Lewis, a senior research specialist at UIC and author of the report, can comment.

Transparency in public opinion research
Contact Brian Flood: (312) 996-7681 /

Public opinion research has faced recent criticism for declining response rates, accuracy and transparency. Tim Johnson, director of UIC’s Survey Research Laboratory, says the issue can be addressed through full disclosure of methodology and educating the public on how to use the findings. Johnson says two types of regulation – governmental and standards of professional conduct – should also be considered to encourage openness in survey research.

Reception: EDA University Center designation
14, Wednesday | Invite Only | Call: (312) 996-7681

UIC's College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs will host a reception to celebrate the U.S. Economic Development Administration's University Center designation granted to UIC's Natalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement. Jay Williams, U.S. assistant secretary of commerce for economic development, will speak. 10:30 a.m. - noon. Room 2850, University Hall, 601 S. Morgan St. Reception is by invitation only. Media interested in covering the event should contact Brian Flood at

Perinatal mood disorders
15, Thursday | Call: (312) 413-2695

Heather Flynn, associate professor and vice chair for research, Florida State University, will discuss biopsychological approaches to understanding and treating perinatal mood disorders. 11 a.m. - noon. Room 4175, UIC College of Medicine Building, 909 S. Wolcott Ave.