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Alumni University

What is Alumni University?

Launching in January 2021, Alumni University invites members of the Illinois Tech community to learn more about the work of and virtually meet some of our university staff, faculty and researchers.

Upcoming Lectures

June 14, 2021, 5:30-6:30pm

Alumni University - Patrick Corrigan

Beating the Stigma of Mental Illness

Patrick Corrigan

Distinguished Professor, Psychology


Research at Illinois Tech has shown that the stigma experienced by people with mental illness can be as troubling as the illness itself.  In this presentation, Professor Patrick Corrigan will review his research describing the impact of mental illness stigma and effective ways to combat it.  One such way is to promote interaction among people with lived experience of mental illness and the rest of the population.

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July 7, 2021, 5:30-6:30pm

Alumni University - Carly Kocurek

Dolly Ludens: Why American Girl Dolls Play Video Games

Carly A. Kocurek, Ph.D.

Director of Graduate Studies, Lewis College of Science and Letters
Associate Professor, Digital Humanities and Media Studies


American Girl presents dolls with often lavish accessories -- the catalog includes doll kitchens, bedroom sets, and even a bowling alley - and Courtney, the brand's most recent historical doll, is no exception. The character's Pac-Man obsession is a fun bit of nostalgia for classic arcade games, and the doll-sized arcade cabinet certainly made a splash. But, why, exactly, is a doll playing video games? Join humanities associate professor Carly Kocurek for a talk about dolls playing games and what American Girl's vision of the 1980s can tell us about our past and present.

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Past Lectures

May 4, 2021, 5:30-6:30pm

Alumni University - Ali Cinar

Developments & New Research on Diabetes

Ali Cinar, Ph.D.

Director, Engineering Center for Diabetes Research and Education
Hyosung S. R. Cho Endowed Chair in Engineering
Professor, Chemical Engineering


Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people around the world and causes many co-morbidities ranging from cardiovascular diseases to kidney failure and blindness. The presentation will focus on recent developments for treatment to keep the blood glucose concentration of people with diabetes in a desirable range with smart insulin pens and artificial pancreas systems and on new research on curing diabetes by islet transplantation and regeneration.

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April 13, 2021, 5:30-6:30pm

Alumni University - Phil Troyk

Illinois Tech and the Intracortical Visual Prosthesis (ICVP) - a 20-Year Quest for a Wireless Brain Interface

Philip Troyk, Ph.D.

Robert A. Pritzker Endowed Chair in Engineering
Executive Director, Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering
Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Affiliate Professor, Stuart School of Business


For the past 20 years, Illinois Tech has led a multi-institutional team for developing a fully wireless brain interface for communicating image information from a video camera directly to the brain for individuals with profound blindness.  This presentation will discuss the implantable system and the interactions of the team institutions that are making this novel project possible.

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March 30, 2021, 4:00-5:00pm

Alumni University - Maryam Saleh

Town Hall with Maryam Saleh, Executive Director of Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship 

Maryam Saleh, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Kaplan Institute

Maryam is currently executive director of the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship at Illinois Tech. She has held leadership roles at several startups including Machinify, a venture-backed startup that's applying AI to bend the cost curve in healthcare and Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems, a medical device company that used brain implants and machine learning to restore movement in quadriplegic individuals. In this town hall, she will introduce herself, her work and upcoming plans for the Kaplan Institute.

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March 18, 2021, 5:30-6:30pm

Alumni University - Ken Christensen

Town Hall with Ken Christensen, Dean of Armour College of Engineering

Kenneth T. Christensen, Ph.D.

Carol and Ed Kaplan Dean of Armour College of Engineering
Professor, Department of Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering
Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering

Kenneth T. Christensen joined Illinois Institute of Technology in November 2020 as the Carol and Ed Kaplan Dean of Armour College of Engineering. He holds a joint appointment in the Department of Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering and the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering. Christensen came to Illinois Tech from the University of Notre Dame. In this town hall, he will introduce himself, his work and upcoming initiatives and plans for the Armour College of Engineering.

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February 16, 2021, 5:30-6:30pm

Alumni University - Sarah Hanson and Matt Callone

Environmental, Economic and Social Performance of Regional Landscapes

Sarah Hanson (M.L.A. + U '15)

Adjunct Professor, Master of Landscape Architecture

Matt Callone (M.L.A. + U '20)

Participating in the Landscape Architecture Foundation's Case Study Initiative, Sarah and Matt’s research investigated the environmental, economic, and social performance of three regional landscapes including the Chicago Riverwalk, Chicago Botanic Garden Regenstein Learning Campus and the Argyle Shared Street in the Uptown neighborhood; they will share and discuss their research and findings.

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January 26, 2021, 5:30-6:30pm

Alumni University - Britt Burton Freeman

Fermenting for Life

Britt Burton-Freeman, Ph.D.

Director, Center for Nutrition Research
Chair, Department of Food Science and Nutrition

Join Britt and learn about fermentation in your everyday life and new information about how fermentation effects health, products and the world around us.

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