Category: In the Community

Chicago Latino Artchive and Latino Art Now! unveiled at the National Museum of Mexican Art

Two new web-based projects showcasing past and present Latino art in Chicago will be introduced during a special presentation from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on October 6th, at the National Museum of Mexican Art, 1852 W. 19th Street, in Chicago, by the Inter-University Program for Latino Research IUPLR, a national Latino research consortium based at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Artists, collectors, curators, scholars and community members are invited to celebrate the launch of the Chicago Latino ArTchive and the Latino Art Now! Chicago Virtual Gallery.

The projects, developed by the UIC-based IUPLR, will go live at the event and aim to serve as research and educational tools for a variety of users.

The Chicago Latino ArTchive is an online catalog of images and information on Latino artists who have worked in Chicago since the early 20th century. In addition to image galleries, biographies, artists’ statements and related website links, users will be able to sort information by artist name, country of origin, gender, decade, art form or theme.

The Chicago Latino ArTchive was backed by a $40,000 grant from the Chicago Community Trust.

The Latino Art Now! Chicago Virtual Gallery, which is a collaborative project between IUPLR and the Smithsonian Latino Center, features 40 artworks by 35 Latino artists whose careers are linked to the city of Chicago. The virtual gallery explores artistic issues, contexts, meanings, visuals and historical underpinnings, in addition to artists’ engagement with identity, community, public art and the urban space. As a resource for high school teachers, the site’s bilingual toolkit features lesson plans that help to incorporate different artwork and artists’ experiences into curricula.

LANCVG-logo-390x86Development of the Chicago Virtual Gallery was supported by a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Admission is free to the reception, which includes food and refreshments. Online registration is required by Sept. 30. For more information, call (312) 413-3892.

Founded in 1983, IUPLR aims to promote policy-focused research and advance the Latino intellectual presence in the U.S. The group supports research and programs that foster greater understanding of U.S. Latinos in politics, economics, culture, art, history and immigration. IUPLR has been based at UIC since 2013.

By Brian Flood

UIC Open House on Sept. 24

Open-House-500x400-INSTA-1Open House 2016 is your all-access pass to UIC, Chicago’s public research university. Whether you are a prospective student, a nostalgic alum or a friendly neighbor, we can’t wait to show you what UIC is all about.

Choose from over 100 options, including faculty talks on current topics, lab and studio demonstrations, family friendly activities in the quad, admissions and financial aid presentations geared to help you get ready for an exciting college experience, and much more. You can find it all on the sessions page.

We are redefining the campus visit. We look forward to seeing you, family and friends at UIC Open House on September 24th. Take a moment to plan your day.

Grant Writing Workshops For Beginners

10/2013 College of Business Administration, CBA students in classroom and computer lab

Join UIC grant writing experts for “Grant Writing for Beginners,” a one-day, interactive, on-campus workshop designed specifically for those with little or no experience in writing grants.

UIC Extended Campus is pleased to invite you to spend the day with UIC Certificate in Nonprofit Management instructors Noah Jenkins and Valerie Leonard. You will learn:

– Types of funding sources available to nonprofits today
– How to research grant opportunities and assess the best fit for your funding needs
– What your organization must have in place before writing a grant
– The primary components of a grant proposal and how they fit together
– How to communicate effectively with prospective funders

Due to high demand, we are offering this workshop four times:

– September 29, 2016
– December 8, 2016
– March 16, 2017
– June 29, 2017

Previous workshops have filled up quickly. We encourage you to register early.

For complete details and to register, click HERE.

Global Leadership Youth Summit At UIC


Participants in the Global Youth Ambassadors Summit tour the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. Photo: Vibhu Sreevatsa Rangavasan

Chicago Sister Cities International (CSCI) and UIC hosted and sponsored an educational, collaborative leadership development forum last month to grow a new generation of leaders with a class of 20 young women, ages 14 to 16, from around the world.

The first Global Youth Ambassadors Summit, which took place July 23 to 30, was an educational opportunity for nine girls from Chicago and 11 from other cities celebrate differences and catalyze partnerships. The collaboration was inspired by Michelle Obama’s Let Girls Learn Initiative, which strives to empower women through education. This year’s global participants represented Birmingham, UK; Bogota, Colombia; Durban, South Africa; Lucerne, Switzerland; Mexico City, Mexico; Paris, France; and Toronto, Canada.

“UIC is very much about producing leadership that is change-oriented,” said Natalie Bennett, assistant director of gender and women’s studies. Bennett developed the summit’s curriculum with the help of Veronica Arreola, assistant director of the Center for Research on Women and Gender and the director of the Women in Science and Engineering program. “Supporting a program like this really shows UIC’s commitment to developing leadership within Chicago, but also extending its resources to other institutions, building those connections and creating new spaces for young people to really act on and change the world.”

The curriculum included workshops on models of leadership and strategies for advocacy and activism. The roster of guest speakers featured a variety of women who were distinguished corporate professionals and community activists. Participants also engaged in activities such as visiting nearby neighborhoods, historic sites, cultural centers, museums and other institutions.

At the conclusion of the summit, ambassadors presented group projects to Chicago’s corporate and civic communities at Chicago City Hall Council Chambers. The weeklong projects explored questions about womanhood, strength and confidence.

“It was an amazing opportunity for all of the young women to see the ways that women have made a difference, but to also imagine new ways that they can make a difference in their own communities and cities where they live,” Bennett said.

“The program was a great success,” added Marty Gutierrez, senior director of the Office of Public and Government Affairs.

“We have been asked to participate next year to continue to grow this partnership and enhance the program. We’re looking forward to it.”

UIC Alumn Curtis Granderson Hosts Annual Baseball Camp for Park District Youth

Granderson.Curtis007-590x393More than 150 kids ran onto Les Miller Field on July 20th, excitedly slipping off their bags before joining Major League Baseball All-Star Curtis Granderson on the turf.

“Bring your hands in,” shouted Granderson, an outfielder for the New York Mets and a UIC baseball alumnus.

Cheers kicked off the third annual Grand Kids All Star Camp, which hosts youth from the Chicago Park District Summer Camp program for Grand Kids Baseball 101: introductory baseball skills and techniques.

The camp takes place at UIC’s Curtis Granderson Stadium, which was funded by a $5 million donation from the three-time All Star, and is organized by the Grand Kids Foundation, a nonprofit Granderson founded to provide educational, physical fitness and nutritional tools and resources for positive development and advancement of youth.

Poser has been a Mets fan for decades; Granderson is one of her favorite players.“Curtis is a Major League Baseball player, but he still stands for what we stand for, which is community outreach and providing opportunities to students who might not otherwise have those opportunities,” UIC Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan Poser said.

“He’s a wonderful ambassador for UIC, and he is mission-central to what we do,” she said.

The young baseball players learned about slugging, throwing, pitching and more, with help from UIC coaches, students and professional players.

“Most kids don’t get to experience this,” said Brandon Marshall, an outfielder for the UIC baseball team. “It really gets them out to learn and to play baseball.”

Granderson also gave kids a tour of the campus and talked about the importance of getting an education.

“[Education] gives you the ability to task, time manage, to understand failure — how to pick up from it, to ask for help. All of those different things have helped me out in my professional career,” he said. “I’m in a position where I can hopefully just guide these kids…and, last but not least, keep them having fun.”

By Francisca Corona

Alumn’s $5 Million Donation The Largest in UIC Pharmacy College’s History


Herbert and Carol Retzky

Herbert Retzky has never forgotten his time as a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy. A $5 million donation from his and his wife Carol’s estate will ensure his legacy of advocating for the practice of pharmacy is secured within the college in perpetuity.

“Herb and Carol’s vision for the role of a pharmacist aligns perfectly with the mission that has guided us since 1859,” said College of Pharmacy Dean Jerry Bauman. “It charges us to raise awareness of the role of the pharmacist within our communities and within healthcare. Their generous gift will allow us to do just that.”The largest monetary gift in the history of the College of Pharmacy will establish the Herbert M. and Carol H. Retzky Deanship. The Oak Park, Illinois, couple has consistently supported the college since 2003, and in 2012 their financial gift created the Herbert M. and Carol H. Retzky Endowed Chair in Pharmacy Practice. The new deanship replaces the chair position.

It is UIC’s first named deanship and the third in the entire University of Illinois system.

The field of pharmacy has played an important part in the lives of the Retzkys. Herb was a pharmacist, while Carol was a pharmacy technician. Following a successful career as independent pharmacy owners, the Retzkys were searching for opportunities in which to make a lasting impression, and they believed the college could benefit from their good fortune.

“We wanted to provide something that extends beyond our own time here on Earth, and we found that a gift to the College of Pharmacy would seem to fulfill the ambitions we had,” Herb Retzky said. “We’re grateful that we have been given the chance to assist the college.”

UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis said, “The generosity and vision Herbert and Carol Retzky have shown by investing in the university and the College of Pharmacy with their named deanship opens an enormous opportunity to recruit a highly visible, renowned and top regarded pharmacy leader.

“This in turn will support the evolving priorities of the university: providing an exceptional student experience, serving as a magnet to recruit other world-class faculty who will blaze new trails in research and teaching, and building our national and international reputation for research and excellence in the health and health care fields.”

The income from the pharmacy deanship will support expenditures such as salary, research, graduate students, curriculum development, scholarships, outreach, materials and more.

“All of this excellence deeply impacts the level of care we bring to the patients and communities we serve,” Bauman said. “We are deeply grateful to and inspired by Herb and Carol Retzky. Their investment will touch every corner of our college, and invigorate everything we do.”

The College of Pharmacy was founded in 1859 and joined the University of Illinois system in 1896. It is the oldest academic unit in the U. of I. system, and today includes campuses in Chicago and Rockford. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked the college sixth among pharmacy schools in the nation.

By Sam Hostettler

UIC Takes Over HIV Clinic in Uptown

UIHealthphotoUIC opened a new HIV clinic in June at 845 W. Wilson Ave. in the Uptown neighborhood. Management of the clinic, which used to be run by the Chicago Department of Public Health, was transferred to UIC in March.

“The city has been transferring much of their clinical care operations to other entities,” said Richard Novak, professor and chief of infectious disease in the College of Medicine. “UIC has a network of community HIV clinics, and we’re happy to undertake the management of the Wilson Avenue clinic.”

The new clinic will allow for expansion of services that were offered at UIC’s Uptown clinic, which operated for 25 years at the corner of Montrose Avenue and Broadway Street until it closed June 1, Novak said. Patients seen at the Montrose and Broadway clinic will now receive care at the Wilson Avenue clinic. Novak said the new clinic will inherit about 300 patients previously cared for by the Chicago Department of Public Health.

The area from Uptown north to the Evanston border has some of the highest rates of HIV in the city, Novak said.

“The space at the Montrose clinic was run down and inadequate for our needs,” Novak said. “Now that we’re moving into a larger office, we have the opportunity to serve more people and for faculty, residents and fellows from UIC to participate in community-based HIV care.”

By Sharon Parmet

How White Principals Navigate Predominantly Non-White Urban Schools

Michael-Beyer-260x260Recent research from the Center for Urban Education Leadership examined standardized test achievement for Illinois students under No Child Left Behind. The results are stark: although scores are improving for Black and Latino students, those populations still lag behind White students.

The root causes of this are varied and deep and certainly not explained by race, but the Center’s Jason Swanson, PhD, research specialist, argues in new research that urban principals are limited in designing strategies to address educational gaps when these groups are not even identified by race.

His research, “White Principals Attempting to Lead Race-Conscious School Improvement: A Distributive Perspective,” is set to be published in the journal Urban Education. The article argues sidestepping the issue of race restricts principals’ ability to address systemic inequities.

“It’s a really uncomfortable conversation for a lot of people,” Swanson said. “There are a lot of people who want to help all students, so they say I don’t see race, there’s only one race, the human race. This turns a blind eye to the racial world we live in, a world that Black and Latino Americans experience all the time.”

The paper explores the efforts of two principals attempting to create critical conversations and curricular changes to address educational gaps between racial groups. Both principals faced resistance to their efforts: in one case, a group of White teachers ‘hijacked’ a meeting at which these issues were to be discussed; in a second case, a principal only addressed issues of race obliquely because the school district had been sued over racial disparities in school outcomes and teachers were weary of heavy-handed policies on race.

These situations are an illustration of the disparities in the makeup of teaching and student bodies in Illinois. In the district studied, approximately 80-85 percent of teachers are White while 60 percent of students are non-White. Just 15 years ago, 80 percent of those students were White and only 20 percent were low-income. In Chicago, however, there is a greater disparity. While more than half of the teachers are White, over 90% of the student body identifies as a student of color.

“You have teachers who are teaching just as they were 15 years ago wondering what the heck is going on here, why aren’t these kids learning?” Swanson said. “So we have to ask, to what extent are districts deliberately creating spaces where principals and teachers can explore issues like culturally responsive pedagogy and issues of social justice to accommodate this rapidly changing demographic?”

Both principals in the study launched strategies to exercise whatever political capital they possessed. One principal realized he might not be the most qualified candidate to bring up issues of race, so he built capacity in teacher leaders to take a more active role in facilitating conversations. He also formed a social action committee, providing space for students to name the injustices they saw in their school. Teachers took these grievances back to the whole staff body for conversation.

One outgrowth of the committee was an event called “Fourth Monday Meetings,” in which staff members participated on one of four committees focused on areas of social justice highlighted by the student body.

The second principal attempted to frame issues of race openly at staff development meetings, specifically naming racial injustices and gross disparities between White students and Black, Latino and English language learner students.

The schools also focused on ways in which equity and diversity were building a sense of community. Prior to the social action committee, within the hallways, the majority of posters across the school featured mostly famous White people. And within the classrooms, most of the texts and curriculum only focused on the successes of White people. Swanson says when students of color don’t see themselves reflected in curriculum and the school environment they tend to check out.

“To solve systemic problems, you have to have systemic solutions,” Swanson said. “This is just a very first step in trying to name the problem. Principal preparation programs often treat issues of race so lightly that novice leaders don’t have models or tools to handle these inevitable situations.”

By Rob Schroeder

UIC Dragon Boat Team Set To Compete

Pyro Boat Team

The UIC Pyro Paddlers are ready to compete. Photo: Timothy Nguyen

Cheer on the Pyro Paddlers Saturday during their first race of the summer.

UIC’s dragon boat team will compete at the St. Charles Festival of the Fox Dragon Boat Race at Pottawatomie Park, 8 North Ave., St. Charles. Races are scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Teams compete throughout the day in elimination rounds.

Spectators are encouraged to bring signs supporting the team and wear blue clothing or UIC apparel.

The Pyro Paddlers team is composed of 20 members — students, staff, faculty and alumni. Dragon boat teams have 18 paddlers, a flag puller and a drummer who keeps the rhythm.

To be a dragon boat racer, it helps to possess athleticism and endurance, said co-captain Jenny Korn.

“Having strength is helpful, but it’s not enough,” said Korn, a doctoral student in communication and gender and women’s studies. “Muscling through dragon boat is not the way to win. The ability to stay in sync through watching our lead paddlers, while having the stamina to paddle in a sustained manner, is what sets apart the skilled dragon boat racer.”

Admission and parking for Saturday’s event are free.

“Expect a fun day full of lively racing in warm weather,” Korn said.

The team will also compete in the Chicago Dragon Boat Race for Literacy June 25 in Ping Tom Memorial Park, 300 W. 19th St.

“Math at Home” Program For Early Childhood Learning Available Free Online

How important are early math skills? More important than some might guess.

When compared to other domains such as reading and attention, math ability is the biggest predictor of later academic success in third and fifth grade. Researchers have found that children who are successful in early math literacy skill attainment are more likely to graduate from high school than children who have persistent problems in attaining these skills. Math achievement in adolescence is predictive of later labor market success — thus, early math matters.

The UIC College of Education’s Math at Home grant project is seeking to bolster early childhood mathematics education across the State of Illinois through the launch of Early Math Matters, a free online professional development series for Illinois teachers and caregivers of children ages 0-5. This eight-course online curriculum introduces teachers and caregivers to mathematical concepts such as math literacy, number sense, patterns, geometry, measurement, data collection and math processes and builds skills in communicating these concepts to early learners.

“We are surprised and pleased by the number of people who have taken the courses,” said Kathleen Sheridan, PhD, associate professor of educational psychology and director of the Math at Home project. “This type of online professional development appears to be accessible for providers and caregivers, and based on our course evaluations, the course participants are actually using the information they learned in the courses by implementing the concepts and ideas in their classrooms”

Math at Home, funded through a grant by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Foundation, is a free access online professional development center to help family home care providers, teachers and parents develop early math skills in children. The Early Math Matters courses are an extension of the Math at Home website and provides an opportunity for early childhood caregivers to earn the Illinois Gateways to Opportunity Registry training hours and CPDU’s. In less than a 2-month period, more than 500 educators have completed the first course, and more than 200 have completed all eight courses.

The eight courses lead teachers and caregivers through an immersive mathematics conceptual review, building skills in five major content areas for math. Courses focus on number sense and counting principles, patterns and sequencing, shapes and spaces, measuring, data collection and analysis, math processes and setting up math-rich environments.

Math at Home’s professional development opportunities are aimed at improving the percentage rate of Illinois schoolchildren proficient in math at grade level, currently about 33 percent. Illinois children trail their peers nationwide (about 35 percent) and peers worldwide, ranging from 58-65 percent proficiency in nations such as Switzerland, Japan and Korea.

Sheridan says early anecdotal evidence from course evaluations suggests teachers and caregivers are ramping up the use of mathematics vocabulary with children, from simple terms such as more than or less than ranging to more sophisticated math language, such as symmetry, addition and subtraction.

Sheridan says the Math at Home program is looking to expand beyond Illinois to offer teacher and caregiver online training across the country.

Learn more about the program at:

By Robert Schroeder