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Every major research institution—and this university is no exception—has clusters of interdisciplinary research activity that draw attention and grant funding. The last issue of Perspectives focused on SIUC's research strength in the neurosciences.
Articles in this issue highlight SIUC's continuing research excellence in the fields of energy and the environment, materials science, and biotechnology. This issue also features another area of interdisciplinary activity: the new Center for Delta Studies that focuses on research and outreach to the people of the Delta Regional Authority. This federally designated area, which includes 16 Southern Illinois counties and extends to Louisiana, needs solutions for problems of health care access, nutrition, employment, and other areas. The center will draw together members of the Delta community with experts from all across the SIUC campus, and those from other universities in the Delta region, to address these issues.
But research and creative strengths at SIUC come in many flavors. There is also beauty in endeavors that enrich our lives in other than pragmatic ways. Thus our cover story features the work of Jiyong Lee, who runs the renowned glass program in our equally renowned School of Art and Design.
Lee creates his sculptural pieces with the thoughts of a poet and the precision of a scientist, and he is teaching students here and at prestigious summer seminars how to find their own means of expression.
Ultimately, he and his colleagues in the arts epitomize the creative forces that drive faculty all across our campus to benefit society by pushing the boundaries of their disciplines.
John A. Koropchak
Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Dean
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