LAS News magazine

Spring 2021 coverLAS News is a biannual magazine published by the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences every spring and fall. Full of information and expertise, it tells stories of and impacting alumni, students, faculty, and staff throughout the college. It features news about research, events, and ways to stay connected with LAS.

View highlights from our most recent issue below, or download a PDF version to view all the stories.

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Around the college

Click on the images to read recent news highlights from faculty, staff, students, and alumni. View the full list in the magazine.

Burn zone

LIFE ABOUNDS ON EARTH, from the boiling acid pools of Yellowstone to the pressure-cooked fish of the deep-sea Mariana Trench. But in my experience, there’s one type of place devoid of all life, one that humanity creates. Burn zones. Flowers still grow in Chernobyl. But in a burn zone, everything is gone.

Book covers from LAS facultyBooks from LAS

Land struggles, presidential photographs, and Gettysburg-inspired poetry were the subjects of books published recently by faculty members. 


A COVID-19 vaccine with a person blurry in the background
New vaccines, old fears
In the race against COVID-19, the question still remains—will new incentives be enough to overcome resistance that’s as old as vaccines themselves?
Karen P. Layng
Alumna takes on leadership role with Girl Scouts
Read a Q&A with Karen P. Layng, national president of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.
Memories of Altgeld Hall

WHAT IS IT ABOUT ALTGELD HALL THAT ENDURES SO LONG IN THE IMAGINATION? We asked, and people who've spent time there replied: Love, friendship, learning, fiery protests, mysterious footsteps, and, of course, the ringing of the chimes.

LAS innovation during COVID-19

LAS faculty, staff, and students are responding to to challenges arising from COVID-19 with creativity, compassion, and expertise.

A person awaits a COVID-19 vaccine in her vehicle

Images of research

Campus research and scholarship can produce some compelling images. Check out some award-winners from LAS.

The power of a name

NEVER WAS THE SUBJECT OF UNIVERSITY BRANDING MORE CONTENTIOUS than in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when campus debated the most prominent identifier of all: the university name itself.

Sweet news for the brain
Cocoa flavanols boost brain oxygenation, cognition in healthy adults, according to a recent study.
People sit on rainbow steps
When danger becomes the norm
Ghassan Moussawi studies the effects of fear and uncertainty.
Someone writing in a notebook
Sanctuary for the written word
Online services and a devoted staff keep the Writers Workshop running strong through the pandemic.

LAS by the numbers

Results of the latest Illini Success survey revealed some promising career tracks among August 2019, December 2019, and May 2020 graduates (the latest to be surveyed) within six months of earning their bachelor’s degree.

90% of new LAS alumni are securing first positions—including jobs, continuing education, or volunteer/service positions. 41% of new LAS alumni took jobs after earning their undergraduate degrees. $58,057 is the average salary among those who took jobs. 48% of new LAS alumni pursued further education after earning their undergraduate degrees. 93% is the rate of finding first positions (jobs, continuing education, or volunteer/service) by chemical engineering and chemistry alumni, the highest in LAS. $16,182 is the increase in average annual salary among literatures, cultures, and linguistics graduates over the previous year, the highest increase of any study discipline in LAS, to $68,857.