Director’s Blog: New Semester, New Energy

Dear GCI followers,

Welcome to the start of the Fall 2014 Semester.  We are excited about the upcoming semester.  We send good wishes to all as we wind down summer and prepare for the fall season.

We were blessed with an array of talent this summer including Xiomara Pedraza, who has returned to New York City to finish her Master’s Degree in Urban Policy from the New School and Sara Agate, who is headed to D.C. to launch her career in health policy.  Congratulations to Alex Linares, who finished his Master’s in Urban Planning and Policy and is now a MUPP.

We are very pleased to announce the hiring of Timothy Imeokparia as Senior Research Specialist.  Tim comes with experience in Urban Design and Physical Planning (and is one of the most well read persons that we know!). We are very excited to have Tim and know that his presence expands the expertise of GCI staff. We have also added to our economic development team.  Joining Thea Crum is Jackson Morsey and Matt Wilson, both recent graduates from UIC’s Urban Planning and Policy master’s degree program. With this team, we expect to be revitalizing Great Cities Institute’s Neighborhood Initiative Program.

The 2014-2015 GCI Faculty Scholars, coincidentally, are all women and represent an incredible array of talent and expertise.  Lynnete Jackson, department of gender and women’s studies; Laurie Shaffner, department of gender and women’s studies; Nadine Naber, department of gender and women’s studies & asian american studies program; Isabel Cruz, department of computer science; and Ning Ai, department of urban planning & policy.

Among our many activities for the fall, we will continue to host events.  We kick off this semester’s Real Time Chicago Series on September 10 at noon with a focus on Commercial Revitalization.  Speakers include representatives from South Chicago Chamber of Commerce and Little Village Chamber of Commerce.

We are also honoring Dean Paul Brandt-Rauf on September 11 at 4:00 p.m. (followed by a reception). As part of our Jewels of UIC Series, Dean Brandt-Rauf will speak on “Global Environmental Justice:  Footprints, Fairness, and the Future of the Planet.” Please see our website for more details.

There are many huge issues facing us in Chicago, the region and the world.  We continue to be engaged with our many colleagues to develop analyses and solutions to today’s urban challenges.  We invite you to join us at our events, utilize our website and visit us on Peoria Street.

Teresa Córdova