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The Discovery Partners Institute will connect top research faculty in agriculture, healthcare, computing, and other critical fields with businesses and students to address real-world challenges, while also providing hands-on experiences for students and nurturing a skilled workforce for the city and state. Phyllis is coordinating efforts to define the initial academic programming at the institute and is overseeing the Academic Executive Committee, which is composed of University of Illinois faculty from across the System’s three universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago, and Springfield.

Prior to joining the Office of the President of the University of Illinois System, Phyllis was a teaching professor of sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is professor emeritus from the University of Northern Iowa where she served as Head of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology; Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies; and Associate Dean in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Phyllis received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, San Diego.

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