Week in Review March 22: Good Neighbor Fund, two new MOOCs and identical twins in space

    In case you were too busy soakin’ up some sun, or hiding in your bed swearing at Netflix every time it asked you if you would like to continue watching, here is a recap of some news you may have missed. 

    Northwestern establishes “Good Neighbor Fund”

    Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and President Schapiro announced together on March 20 that the University plans to donate $1 million annually to the city of Evanston starting this year and continuing for the next five. Proceeds from the Good Neighbor Fund will be used towards projects and services that both Mayor Tisdahl and President Schapiro agree on. Possible eligible uses include: capital projects supporting city infrastructure and facilities, specific support for existing city services and special projects. The fund will attempt to strengthen town-gown relations, as Northwestern previously gave about $500,000 a year to the city. 

    How spending a long period of time in space effects one's health

    While NASA astronaut Scott Kelly spends a year in space, his identical brother and veteran NASA astronaut, will remain on earth. The two are taking part in a study looking at how living in space for an extended period of time affects the human body. As one of 10 NASA-funded groups, a Northwestern-led reasearch group has the opportunity to study the identical twins. The University's research team, which headed by neurobiology professor Fred W. Turke, includes Northwestern Professor Martha H. Vitaterna and collaborators from Rush University Medical Center and the University of Illinois Chicago. The same team plans to do a parallel study in mice. Kelly and his Soyuz spacecraft launched from Kazakhstan on March 27 and was live-streamed via NASA Public TV.

    Northwestern launches two new massive open online courses (MOOCs)

    Northwestern will have two new MOOCs this spring. According to the NU website, one will be to help young people find their way into the healthcare workplace and the second will help students understand how to shape business operations for maximum success.

    Professors from the Feinberg School of Medicine and the Kellogg School of Management created the two courses, respectively. The two courses will join the three other MOOCS that will be offered again this spring.

    Kellogg grad and former Evanston Mayor died

    Joan Barr Smith died on Saturday, March 21 at age 75. Smith was a graduate of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management also served two elected terms as the first female mayor of Evanston, from 1985 to 1993. A memorial was held on Saturday, March 28 at 10 a.m. at St. Mark's Episcopal Church on Ridge Ave.


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