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Key Objective: 12.2 Scholars Program
Officially established in December 2013, the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) “will create the organizational structure and paradigms that will draw together and further enable existing strength, coalesce our current [campus] resources, and address essential gaps in advancing discovery, learning, and engagement. The Institute will heighten our visibility and help Illinois achieve its goal of becoming a world leader in this global priority.” Evan DeLucia (iSEE Annual Report 2014)
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has hundreds of faculty already working on research that fits with iSEE’s five major research themes. Because of the diversity of departments and variety of research facilities, however, many are unaware of the work their fellow faculty members are doing. The Scholars Program was developed to help build connections and to foster “uncommon dialogues” among colleagues. Already, iSEE has coalesced the water scholars from all corners of campus, fueling strong interdisciplinary connections within the water community. This group will also be able to market Illinois’ great number of world-renowned scholars, major research centers and laboratories, and major research projects in one place – providing recognition for their innovative research and a gateway for future partnerships with industry, governmental departments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who seek innovative solutions. iSEE has also started the process with campus energy scholars, and groups for climate and other themes will be explored.