Never mess up an
apology with an


Howard Ingber

Mass Transfer


When he was nine years old, Howard Ingber got a chemistry set for Christmas. By the time of the first explosion, Ingber was hooked.

“Explosions, smoke, gunpowder, sulfur. The kit showed you how to make nitrocellulose (guncotton),” Ingber remembers. “Today you’d have 16 lawyers on your back if you tried to show a kid that.”

Marilyn Scudder Barnwell:

NCTE Council Chronicle

If Marilyn Scudder Barnwell was a super hero she would be the Compassionator. As for her fatal flaw (because every hero has one), perhaps it would be a humility so deep that it renders her short-sighted about her own accomplishments.  The evidence? When Dinah Volk, chair of NCTE’s Early Childhood Education Assembly (ECEA) tried to nominate her for ECEA's 2015  Early Literacy Educator of the Year Award, she refused it.

An Outsider is Welcomed In

NCTE Council Chronicle


Alison Bechdel seems a bit nonplussed about her success.

Deborah Leckband: Sticky Situations

Mass Transfer

Where, when, why and how do molecules say to one another, “Hey, let’s stick together?” That’s the fundamental question that Deborah Leckband, Milner T. Reid Professor of Chemical Sciences, ponders.

Judy Blume

NCTE Council Chronicle November 2013

Judy Blume has spent her career shining a light for young readers struggling with growing up, trying to figure out who they are, and wondering whether they are normal.

Her fans are legion; their devotion is epic.

But she has paid a price for her candor and for her straight talk. Blume’s books, from Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret to Forever are among the most frequently challenged in the United States.

A Labor of Love:

NCTE Council Chronicle November 2012


Walter Dean Myers always loved to write and was encouraged from a young age, but for many years he did not know one could make a living as a writer.

Yong-Su Jin

IGB Biomarker April 2012

Whether it’s his son’s preference for meat over vegetables or the relative basketball skills of a high school player and Shaquille O’Neal, Yong-Su Jin loves to use analogies. And as his work gains a wider audience, those analogies come in handy when speaking to people far beyond the reaches of the IGB.

How I Write

The Writer April 2012

Sharon Flake “writes about hope in hard places,” she says. Flake, author of seven books, including two collections of short stories, writes primarily about African-American teens struggling with identity, relationships and perseverance – issues that resonate with readers of all ages and backgrounds. Her first YA novel, The Skin I’m In, was published in 1998, and won the Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe Award for New Talent.

Right Book, Right Reader, Right Time

NCTE Council Chronicle March 2012

Every bookshelf in Teri Lesesne’s office is double packed. Books spill out of a shelving cart near her desk, which is also buried in books. And that doesn’t even count the audio books and ebooks she regularly digs into.

Lesesne (it rhymes with “insane,” she says) doesn’t remember a time she wasn’t in love with books. But it was not until she became a teacher and met her first reluctant readers that she discovered the young adult (YA) genre.

Object Lessons

Illinois Alumni April 2011

When I walk into Billie Jean Theide’s metalsmithing class, I seem to have time-warped to the 1950s.

High, wooden desks reminiscent of architects’ drafting tables fill the second-floor classroom. Gooseneck lamps provide an ambient glow. Radiators clank and hiss. We are warm within the walls of an old brick building, tucked amid greenhouses in a quiet corner of campus.


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