An International Campus

By Marcia Faye
An International Campus
Photo: Mike Goss

An international rock star, a floral entrepreneur, wireless researchers-these are just some members of the IIT community whose reach extends beyond our country’s borders. You can read their stories in the fall 2013 issue of IIT Magazine at

Alumni, faculty, and students are engaged in many other projects and collaborations in each of the six continents-Europe, Asia, Australia, North America, South America, and Africa-featured in the magazine. A sampling of recent activities is spotlighted below. A number of entries include links that provide additional information.


  • On October 1, IIT President John Anderson and President Nerijus Pacesa of ISM University of Management and Economics in Lithuania executed a formal Memorandum of Understanding to establish two new dual-degree options within IIT School of Applied Technology. This enables ISM Bachelor of Management students to transfer into IIT's Bachelor of Industrial Technology and Management program, and ISM graduate students to pursue both the ISM Master of Management and IIT’s Master of Information Technology and Management programs.
  • A delegation of members of Ireland’s bar and bench visited Chicago in September to participate in a new academic exchange between IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law and the Bar Council of Ireland. Earlier this year, IIT Chicago-Kent students traveled to Ireland to observe the country’s legal system.
  • Department of Applied Mathematics Chair Fred Hickernell is on both the Steering and Scientific committees of the 11th International Conference on Monte Carlo and Quasi-Monte Carlo Methods in Scientific Computing, to be held in Leuven, Belgium, in 2014.
  • Assistant Professor Kim Erwin (M.Des. ’94) presented “Small Packages for Big (Qualitative) Data,” co-authored with Ted Pollari (M.B.A./M.Des. ’12), at the Ethnographic Praxis in Design Conference 2013 in London in September. SapientNitro hosted an event for Erwin's book Communicating the New: Methods to Shape and Accelerate Innovation. The Chinese translation of the book will be released by Wiley in the coming months.
  • Six members of the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Moot Court Honor Society visited Scotland for two weeks this summer to participate in an intensive practical appellate advocacy program at Baylor Law Academy of the Advocate at St. Andrews. To view photos from Scotland and read more about the trip, visit the Storify website here.
  • Department of Applied Mathematics faculty are collaborating with colleagues in Australia, China, Colombia, England, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain, and Turkey on projects ranging from neural imaging and simulation to the pricing and hedging of financial derivatives.
  • IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Distinguished Professor David J. Gerber was conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Zurich in recognition of “his path-breaking contributions to comparative law and economic law.” Gerber is co-director of the college’s Program in International and Comparative Law.
  • Members in IIT Armour College of Engineering Professor Jay Schieber’s research group collaborate with colleagues in Switzerland (and Japan). Schieber, director of the Center for the Molecular Study of Condensed Soft Matter, plans to spend part of his sabbatical next year in Denmark and The Netherlands.


  • Xian-He Sun, professor and chair of computer science, was recently appointed an overseas expert by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and awarded a K. C. Wong Fellowship. The academy named 47 of these distinguished scholars from universities and research institutions worldwide in 2013.
  • Carlo Segre, Duchossois Leadership Professor of Physics, and Nathaniel Beaver, a Ph.D. candidate in physics, are part of a collaborative project with scientists at the Indian Institute of Science funded by the National Science Foundation. The team’s work is in the area of fundamental properties of transition metal perovskites, ultimately critical for the manipulation and storage of data.
  • Marcella Vaicik, a graduate student in biomedical engineering, was awarded a 2013 National Science Foundation East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes Fellowship to work on tissue engineering research with IIT’s microsurgery collaborators at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan.
  • IIT Institute of Design Dean Patrick Whitney led a talk with ID alumni in Tokyo on “Why Is Design Relevant Today?” The presentation was sold out with 100 audience members in attendance; 200 more tuned in via live streaming media. Access the video from the event at Vimeo.
  • IIT Institute of Design’s global immersion programs-several week-long research endeavors with ID faculty and students working in collaboration with corporations-are now active in China and Brazil. To read about the India immersion program, click here.
  • The Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) program at IIT Stuart School of Business has been partnering with government organizations in several provinces in China since 2004 to bring cohorts of Chinese government officials to study at IIT in Chicago. Cohort students participate in M.P.A. courses alongside other students in the M.P.A. program and gain a valuable perspective on United States public sector and government management practices. In addition to their coursework, faculty in the M.P.A. program arrange meetings with government professionals and policymakers in Chicago and Springfield, Ill. To date, nearly 600 Chinese government officials have participated in the program.


  • The Microbiology and Nutrition groups at IIT Institute for Food Safety and Health have targeted a number of potential areas of collaboration under a five-year Memorandum of Understanding with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, to include measurement of resistant starch and related research; low-moisture food safety; and joint education and outreach programs for training, especially workshops in China and Southeast Asia.


  • John C. Scott (Ph.D. PSYC ’85) is the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology representative to the United Nations. Read about the 2013 Psychology Day at the United Nations here.
  • In 2012, Will Skelton (M.Des. ’12) and Jamie Munger (M.Des. ’12) founded Emergent Design, a traveling innovation firm specializing in design for social good. In its first year of operation, Emergent Design developed a sustainability strategy for the Choix Family Farm School in rural Haiti and created a multi-channel service model for India’s most-established appliance company. Visit Emergent Design’s website here.


  • IIT Stuart School of Business faculty members Weslynne Ashton and Nasrin Khalili surpassed $1 million in project funding for “Pathways to Cleaner Production in the Americas,” a three-year project to promote and facilitate sustainable industrial development throughout the Americas. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of State through Higher Education for Development (HED) under the Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas Initiative. The IIT faculty work with university partners in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Peru to promote cleaner production and sustainable development in the curricula at host country institutions, and to increase outreach on this topic to small- and medium-sized businesses in those countries.
    In August, Ashton and Khalili hosted an annual meeting and workshop for the group at IIT Downtown Campus, welcoming international partners from six countries and nine organizations for a week of meetings and activities around the city. Attendees included HED representatives as well as administrators from partner organizations in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information, visit the Pathways to Prosperity website.


  • Mariah Kuitse (BIOL 4th year) spent her spring semester on Tanzania’s Zanzibar Archipelago identifying mangrove species at three different locations on Uzi Island. Read Kuitse’s abstract and a blog detailing her experiences.
  • Associate Professor of Law Bernadette Atuahene, whose research is the confiscation and restitution of property, is busy on her forthcoming book We Want What’s Ours: Land Restitution in South Africa. The book is on the Land Restitution Program and is based on 150 interviews she conducted of program beneficiaries.