Monthly archives: March, 2016

UIC to House National Archive of Medical Illustrations

Medical Illustration

Illustration by Tom Jones, founder of the AMI and UIC’s biomedical visualization program.

A historic archive is about to come home to the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The Association of Medical Illustrators, a national professional society founded at the UIC College of Medicine in 1945, is moving its archive from Wake Forest University to the UIC Library of Health Sciences this spring.

The original medical illustrations, photographs, slides, journals, newsletters, and working papers collected over seven decades amounts to 78 linear feet of materials, in library terms. It will be housed in the library’s Chicago Special Collections and Archives Department.

When it was announced that the Wake Forest facility would close, UIC’s department of biomedical and health information sciences submitted a proposal that bested those of Johns Hopkins University and Cincinnati’s Lloyd Library and Museum, which collects medical and pharmaceutical materials.

The association’s history at UIC may have influenced the decision, according to John Daugherty, program director and clinical assistant professor
 of biomedical visualization. Daugherty said the association’s founder, Tom Jones, also founded UIC’s program in biomedical visualization.

But there are also pragmatic reasons for UIC to hold the archive, Daugherty said.

“The UIC Library of Health Sciences is one of the largest health sciences libraries in the United States. It is one of eight regional medical libraries for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine,” he said.

The national network designates regional medical libraries for the strength of the library’s collection, the expertise and reputation of its staff, and the library’s ability to deliver services to the region.

“The biomedical visualization faculty will work with the AMI to set policy for the archive. It will be a valuable resource for our students, faculty, alumni and other scholars for years to come,” Daugherty said.

By: Anne Brooks Ranallo

40 Years of Leadership at LARES


Jesus “Chuy” Garia (from left), Leonard Ramirez, Ada Lopez and Jose Lopez speak at a panel discussion during the LARES 40th Anniversary Conference at UIC. —Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin

LARES (Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services) is marking its 40th anniversary year, and a panel on March 7th took a look at where it’s been and where it’s going.

Moderator Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, a Cook County commissioner and former mayoral candidate, noted that one of the organization’s first actions was to mount a 1975 march by 500 people protesting the Chicago Public Schools’ initial delay in building what became Benito Juarez High School.

Panelists, speaking at Student Center East, were former LARES director Leonard Ramirez; Ada Lopez, former University of Illinois trustee; and Jose Lopez, executive director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center.

Ramirez, who had a staff of two when he took over LARES in 1980, said it does “behind-the-scenes” work on behalf of undocumented students and provides support for students who get no federal or state aid.

“UIC should be a truly institution of learning,” Ramirez said. “Universities are among the most segregated institutions.”

As a former university trustee, Ada Lopez said, “One of the things I learned was how disconnected the board was from those in the front lines. There was a gap between the trustees and the programs.”

She said that “programs like LARES are not only successful, but they add value that has never been acknowledged. LARES has been an ambassador for diversity.

“The principles that drive LARES are sound, more relevant than they have ever been. We have to protect what we have and build on it.”

During Q & A, Jose Lopez said that in Humboldt Park, “social capital of the community is brought together. You engage parents, teachers are intellectually challenged.”

The community has 11 schools, Lopez said. “We’re working to get our students into the best colleges,” he said.

An audience member asked, “What is the difference who the next president is?”

“It has to be a Democrat,” replied Ada Lopez.

“Which one?” asked Garcia.

“We’ll let others answer that one,” Lopez said.


Mural Paints Picture of Social Transformation

Painting Social Change

Students contribute their artwork to a movable mural at the Latino Cultural Center, which will be displayed outside the building. — Photo: R. Glass

The UIC community showed what issues are at the heart of national, immigrant and undocumented populations’ struggles with brushes that bled for social, cultural and environmental justice.

Students, faculty, staff and alumni created a movable mural last month at the Latino Cultural Center to inspire dialogue on the effects of legislation, beliefs or national events on different communities. Contributors visualized topics such as man-made borders, socially constructed concepts of citizenship, access to quality education, the importance of clean and safe environments, job security, sufficient healthcare and a secure future for everyone.

“Students wanted to have a public mural that was going to serve to mobilize people to talk about these issues,” said Rosa Cabrera, director of the Latino Cultural Center.

The mural, part of an event titled “Mobilizing with Art for Social Transformation,” was spearheaded by the Fearless Undocumented Alliance, a student organization on campus, along with the LCC and the Asian American Resource and Cultural Center. The event was part of the UIC Peace Project, an initiative of the Centers for Cultural Understanding and Social Change that strives to create dialogue and shift language and actions to put peacemaking into practice.

The mural will be on display in April outside the Latino Cultural Center before being moved to another location — possible places include the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen or the Chicago Field Museum.

Students from Fearless Undocumented Alliance were inspired to start the project because of support for legislation like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Deferred Action for Parental Accountability and the Student ACCESS Bill, or Access to College and Career-Education for Statewide Success.

“We’re using it as a space where students can really come and express themselves and then to really get to talking about these things, the things that you don’t really get to hear in class,” said Ana Ruiz, vice president of the Fearless Undocumented Alliance. “So this [mural] actually changes every day. We’re creating new ideas.”

Participants were under the direction of renowned muralist Hector Duarte, a Mexican muralist who studied mural painting at the workshop of David Alfaro Siqueiros in 1977.

Duarte has created more than 50 murals — his work has been featured in places like the National Museum of Mexican Art, the School of the Art Institute and the Chicago Historical Society. He also created the Latino Cultural Center’s series of indoor murals, which were completed in 1996. Known as “El Despertar de las Americas,” it’s one of the largest indoor murals in Chicago.

But this mural, he says, is unique.

“We’re reinventing the wheel. This generation, they’re looking for change. People need to be receptive to catch this message with the lines, color and beautiful images.”

“Mobilizing Art” took more than 30 hours to complete — from Feb. 3 to 19 — with the help of nearly 800 people

By Francisca Corona

Professor Urrea Finalist For Top Literary Award

Luis Alberto Urrea

Luis Alberto Urrea, professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Luis Alberto Urrea, professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is one of five finalists for the 2016 PEN/Faulkner award, the largest peer-juried prize for fiction.

Urrea, UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences distinguished professor, was nominated for his book “The Water Museum,” which was selected by a panel of three judges who considered approximately 500 novels and short story collections by American authors published in the U.S. during 2015.

“The Water Museum” is a collection of U.S. West- and Southwest-based short stories that, like some of his other best-selling works, reflect Urrea’s personal knowledge and experience of the U.S.-Mexico border culture. It was named among the best fiction books of 2015 by National Public Radio and Kirkus Reviews.

National Public Radio’s Michael Schaub calls him “compassionate but hard-edged, a kind of literary badass who still believes in love… ‘The Water Museum’ is a brilliant, powerful collection, and Luis Alberto Urrea is a master storyteller.”

The other PEN/Faulkner nominees are James Hannaham for “Delicious Foods,” Julie Iromuanya for “Mr. and Mrs. Doctor,” Viet Thanh Nguyen for “The Sympathizer,” and Elizabeth Tallent for “Mendocino Fire.”

The winner, to be announced April 5, will receive $15,000, and the other four finalists will receive $5,000 each. All five authors will be honored May 14 during the 36th annual PEN/Faulkner Award ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Urrea, a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, was born in Tijuana, Mexico to a Mexican father and an American mother. The best-selling author has won numerous awards for his poetry, nonfiction, fiction and essays.

“The Devil’s Highway,” Urrea’s 2004 nonfiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert, won the Lannan Literary Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize.

His novels, “The Hummingbird’s Daughter” and “Queen of America,” tell the story of Teresa Urrea, the unofficial Saint of Cabora and Mexico’s Joan of Arc. The former book won the Kiriyama Prize in fiction and, along with “The Devil’s Highway,” was named a best book of the year by many publications.

“Into the Beautiful North,” “The Devil’s Highway” and “The Hummingbird’s Daughter” have been collectively chosen for more than 30 national, local and collegiate One Book community reading programs.

Urrea, a resident of Naperville, Illinois, came to UIC in 1999 and teaches creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry workshops for graduate and undergraduate students.

Puerto Rican Music in Latin American and Chicago

The Puerto Rican Arts Alliance (PRAA) will host an interactive discussion and presentation highlighting the development of popular Puerto Rican music and its impact on Latin America and Chicago on March 24th at the PRAA Center, 3000 N. Elbridge, in Chicago.

For more information, please visit the PRAA website here or call (773) 342-8865.

UIC Heritage Garden Hosts 2nd Annual Seed Swap


Attend the Second Annual UIC Heritage Garden Seed Swap on Sunday, March 13th

Did you know that the UIC Heritage Garden has a seed library?

Join the UIC Heritage Garden for the second annual Spring Seed Swap from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 13th at the Jane Addams Hull House Dining Hall, 800 S. Halsted Street, in Chicago.

Gardeners, organizations, and community members are invited to swap seeds and meet new gardening friends around the city. If you have seeds, we encourage you to bring them to trade with others!

If you would like to bring seeds from your garden or organization and need a table to set up your materials (seeds, flyers, etc) please RSVP to

You do not have to bring seeds to attend.

For more, see: The UIC Latino Cultural Center