Tag: Students

UIC Education Grad Named White House Fellow


Warren Morgan, who earned his doctorate in urban education leadership at UIC, was named a 2016-2017 White House Fellow.

A doctoral graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Education has been appointed a 2016-2017 White House Fellow and will be assigned to the U.S. Department of Education for the coming year.

Warren Morgan was appointed to the latest class of 16 White House Fellows.

The fellows program was created in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson to give promising American leaders “first hand, high-level experience with the workings of the Federal government, and to increase their sense of participation in national affairs.”

“It’s a great national recognition and is consistent with the quality of the College of Education at UIC and its graduates,” said UIC Chancellor Michael D. Amiridis.

Fellows are involved in an education program focusing on leadership, policy formulation and current affairs. Community service is an important part of the program, according to the White House, and the fellows participate in service programs throughout their year in Washington, D.C.

Selection as a White House Fellow is highly competitive and based on a record of professional achievement, evidence of leadership potential, and a proven commitment to public service. Each fellow must possess the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute meaningfully at senior levels of the federal government.

Morgan, 32, received his doctorate in urban education leadership at UIC last spring. He is from south suburban Dolton.

From 2012 until 2015, Morgan served as a principal at Manley High School, a public school on the city’s West Side, where he was credited with helping improve the school’s performance. He earned his Illinois principal’s certification while working on his doctorate in UIC’s nationally ranked urban education leadership program, said Steven Tozer, coordinator of the program.

Morgan also served as the Academic Superintendent for Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s turnaround schools. In this role he led principals in common core instructional leadership and collaboration.

In 2009, he was awarded Outstanding Teacher of the Year. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He received a bachelor of arts in psychology from Butler University, where he served as student body president and was selected a Butler Top 10 student. He earned a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Missouri, St. Louis.

Prior to working in education, he worked as an analyst for the Illinois Senate. After working in public policy, he joined Teach for America as a science teacher in St. Louis.

“This prestigious appointment is high-bar recognition of Dr. Warren’s steadfast commitment and advocacy for public education. It’s exciting that the nation will now benefit from Dr. Warren’s leadership,” said Alfred W. Tatum, dean of the UIC College of Education.

More information about the White House Fellows program is online.

By Carlos Sandovi

UIC Enrollment Hits Record High

2016_8-21_Convocation-7-387x258The University of Illinois at Chicago enrolled a record 29,120 students on its campus, surpassing last year’s figures with a record number of Latino students making up the new freshman class, according to enrollment statistics.

The fall enrollment figures include a 2.2 percent increase from the fall of 2015 to 17,959 undergraduate students at UIC. The number of undergraduate students who transferred to UIC this fall jumped to 1,958, a nearly 25 percent increase from last year’s figures.

“We’ve seen record enrollment for the second year in a row.  This is a testament to the quality of our faculty and the breadth of our programs of study,” said Susan Poser, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “The fact that so many students are choosing UIC reinforces what has been true for years — that UIC is a destination university because of its top-notch education, location and value.”

Total enrollment for fall semester, including continuing education and online students climbed to 29,120, up .2 percent from last year’s 29,048 students, based on enrollment as of Sept. 2, the 10th day of classes. The 10-day figures are the traditional benchmark for enrollment data among U.S. colleges and universities.

The number of Latinos in the freshman class jumped by 9 percent compared to last year’s numbers, with 1,272 students making up 38.46 percent of the freshman class.

Latinos also accounted for nearly 28 percent of the total 1,958 of student transfers. The number of Asian Students transferring to UIC increased by 84 and African American students transferring to UIC also increased by 46, compared to last year’s figures.

The total student body continues to reflect UIC’s commitment to diversity, with a racial and ethnic makeup that is 36.2 percent white, 22.6 percent Hispanic/Latino, 18.6 percent Asian and 8 percent African American.

Among undergraduate and graduate students, the College of Business Administration showed the largest enrollment gains, according to figures.

The College of Business Administration had 3,606 students enrolled, according to the latest figures, up by 240 students in 2015. Undergraduate students were responsible for the entire increase in the college’s enrollment as the number of graduate students remained flat from the year before.

by Carlos Sandovi


UIC Students Named Schweitzer Fellows

admin-ajaxThe Chicago Area Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Program, which provides yearlong fellowships to graduate health students for public service projects, awarded fellowships to University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry students Gabija Revis and Jessica Williams for 2016-2017.

Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program is the local chapter of the Boston, MA-based Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. The program also is supported by the Chicago-based Health & Medicine Policy Research Group, an independent policy center that conducts research, educates, and collaborates with other groups to advocate policies and impact health systems to improve people’s health status

The Chicago Area Schweitzer Fellows Program is dedicated to developing a corps of emerging health professionals who enter the workforce with the skills and commitment necessary to address unmet health needs.

The program is highly competitive, and chose 31 students from Chicago-area medically related universities as 2016-2017 Schweitzer Fellows.

Revis said that the goal of her Schweitzer project is “to address the underlying health inequities faced by children with complex medical needs.”

These individuals are not only more likely to have serious unmet oral needs, but also are less likely to have access to a permanent dental home.

“My project will create and implement an oral health component for the Almost Home Kids caregiver training program used to teach caregivers of medically-complex children,” Revis explained.

Chicago-based Almost Home Kids is a transition facility for children being transferred out of intensive hospital care, and a site where the families of these children are trained to be caregivers.

“In addition to training caregivers on how to address oral health needs of the medically complex child, I also hope to shed light on the access-to-care issues facing this underserved community,” Revis said. “My ultimate goal is to help these children find permanent dental homes in the Chicagoland area.”

She noted that her experience at Almost Home Kids also will be used to educate dental and medical professionals on-site and at UIC “in hopes of encouraging more providers to consider working directly with children with complex medical needs.”
Williams’ Schweitzer project “will serve low-income older adults throughout the Chicagoland area, at various community centers and nursing homes,” she said.

“I have an overarching goal of improving oral health literacy with a specialized focus on the dynamic relationship between aging, chronic diseases, and oral health,” Williams added.

She will work with underserved older adults to develop a curriculum which promotes oral health literacy.
Williams also will host educational seminars in an effort to address the oral health knowledge gaps of the local senior community.

“I am still in the process of securing all of my sites,” Williams explained. “One of them will include Ravenswood Community Services, an organization which connects the community with basic, but essential resources, including food, screenings, and information about health and life skills.

“I will be providing oral health education to the ‘neighbors’ who participate in RCS’s weekly Community Kitchen dinners,” she added. “I will be volunteering at additional senior centers and homes in addition to RCS.”

“Since 2007, with the exception of one year, the College has had at least one student accepted into this highly competitive and prestigious program,” said Dr. Caswell Evans, Associate Dean for Prevention and Public Health Sciences at the College.

For more information about the Schweitzer Fellowship Program, log on to http://www.schweitzerfellowship.org/chapters/chicago/.

UIC Student Athletes Helping Out

Clean up students

UIC student-athletes from men’s and women’s basketball and gymnastics, along with staff members, took to the streets of University Village recently to assist in a community-wide clean-up effort initiated by the University Commons Neighborhood Association.

The Flames worked together around the streets of UIC’s campus, picking up trash and doing landscaping to help improve the neighborhood.

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.”

Eleven UIC Students Named Schweitzer Fellows

Schweitzer-Logo-without-Tagling-387x258Eleven University of Illinois at Chicago students have been awarded Schweitzer fellowships, a service learning program for health professional students committed to helping Chicago’s underserved.

The students will each design and implement year-long projects to improve health and access to care. Named in honor of humanitarian and Nobel Laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the fellowship encourages exceptional students in health and human service fields to serve the most vulnerable members of society, including the uninsured, immigrants, the homeless, returning veterans, minorities and the working poor.

The 11 UIC award winners will each receive a $2,000 honorarium and perform 200 hours of direct service in a community setting during their year-long project. Since 1996, 524 Schweitzer Fellows have provided more than 104,000 hours of service to Chicago’s vulnerable communities. Thirty-one students were honored for 2016-17.

Karen Aguirre will develop a pipeline program to promote healthcare careers among low income Latinx high school students from the Back of the Yards neighborhood. A student in the School of Public Health, Aguirre will provide education on current health disparities in communities of color within Chicago, professional development, and healthy behaviors, with the goal of empowering minority students to pursue higher education.

A student in the College of Medicine, Andrew Florin proposes to address early childhood literacy with an after-school program for first, second and third grade children of low-income Latinx families in West Town. The program, to be held in the Erie Neighborhood House, will serve to strengthen reading skills, foster a lifelong passion for reading and provide a positive impact through guidance and mentorship.

Madison Hammett proposes to create a support program for both incarcerated mothers and their children’s caregivers. The program, to be held at the Cabrini Green Legal Aid, will be coupled with referrals to social services and serve to strengthen the communication and relationships between mothers and families, as well as help to prevent recidivism in the criminal legal system. Hammett is a student in the Jane Addams College of Social Work/School of Public Health.

Amy Krischer will implement joint parent-child programming at Family Rescue, an organization dedicated to eliminating domestic violence. The programming will introduce parents and children to meaningful activities they can participate in together to form healthy attachments, as well as create a safe space for parent and child survivors of domestic violence. Krischer is a student in the department of occupational therapy.

College of Medicine student JJ Locquiao will co-direct the Young Doctors Program, a health care pipeline program for children in the Lawndale Christian Family Health Center originally created in 2010 by a Schweitzer Fellow and sustained and expanded by subsequent Schweitzer Fellows and UIC medical students. Locquiao plans to further expand the program to include academic and ACT/SAT tutoring for high school students, as well as advising them with their college application and interviewing process.

Nursing student Wendy Mironov will partner with the grass roots group Salud Sin Papeles to improve health and access to health care for undocumented immigrants, their families and their communities. She will collaborate on educational materials and workshops for undocumented patients and providers based on the experiences, insights, and challenges encountered by undocumented patients in Chicago.

Alyson Moser plans to create and implement an adult literacy and job readiness program at Oakley Square Apartments. The program will focus on helping participants prepare for the GED test, writing resumes and cover letters, and developing career goals. Moser is a student in the School of Public Health and the Jane Addams College of Social Work.

A student in the College of Dentistry and School of Public Health, Gabija Revis will create an oral health component for the extensive training program used to teach caregivers of medically-complex children and health professionals at Almost Home Kids, a facility for children being moved out of a hospital’s intensive care unit.

Alisa Jordan Sheth, a student in disability studies, will work with older adults with intellectual disabilities to collaboratively develop an accessible curriculum and group format to help participants define successful aging for themselves and address future planning needs. The sessions, to be held at Misericordia Heart of Mercy, aims to provide social learning and self-advocacy opportunities around health literacy, aging and other member-identified needs.

College of Nursing student Karie Elizabeth Stewart proposes to initiate prenatal classes and education for pregnant African-American and Hispanic mothers at PCC Wellness Austin Family Health Clinic in the Austin neighborhood. The classes and education will be initiated through the utilization of Centering Pregnancy. Her goal is to increase the number of patients that seek prenatal care earlier in their pregnancy.

Dental student Jessica Williams will work with underserved adults at free medical clinic Ravenswood Community Services to develop a curriculum that promotes oral health literacy. She will host educational seminars in an effort to address the oral health knowledge gaps of the local senior community.

By Sam Hostettler

Volunteering To Improve Visual Health in Ghana

Mart Otoo

“Vision health is paramount to our health in general,” says Mary Otoo, a master’s student in public health who volunteers in Ghana.

Mary Otoo has witnessed what happens when people lose their eyesight and encourages those with good vision to not take it for granted.

“Vision health is paramount to our health in general,” said Otoo, a master’s student in the School of Public Health, who encourages people to check their vision once a year. “So many people wish they could see — even just shadows.”

While volunteering for the Emmanuel Eye Centre in Accra, Ghana, Otoo saw many people in resource-poor areas struggle with vision impairments due to old age, allergies, congenital conditions, environmental factors and physical traumas. “Many in developing countries lose their eyesight at no fault of theirs.”

A substantial amount of that blindness is preventable, said Charlotte Joslin, associate professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science and director of contact lens service at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary. Limited access to health care, lack of funds, inadequate vision health professionals are the common challenges to vision heath delivery in Ghana. There are currently only 74 ophthalmologists serving the entire nation. Patients in developing countries like Ghana sometimes develop conditions so severe that they can cause blindness without medical attention.

Otoo recalled removing a patient’s eye patch a day after her cataract surgery at the Emmanuel Eye Center.

“The woman held my wrist tightly, with tears filling her eyes and shaking, and she looked at me intently and said, ‘I could not see you yesterday but today I can. Thank you!’” Otoo said. “It gives me so much joy and happiness to see faces glow with excitement because they can finally see something again.”

Otoo is going back to Ghana this summer as a Unite For Sight Global Impact Fellow to work with partner eye clinics that bring local medical professionals to villages in the country. The volunteer experience is supported by Unite for Sight, a nonprofit organization that provides cost-effective vision care to 1.9 million people. Cataracts, pyterigium and glaucoma are some of the common conditions that volunteers and clinicians treat and teach about to the impoverished populations in Ghana, India and Honduras.

“Mary gets experience in seeing first-hand what the problems are that people in other parts of the world are having,” Joslin said. “This also allows her to recognize the ways in which we can help.”

During her time there, Otoo hopes to survey mothers to investigate maternal perceptions on child eye health, the focus of her independent research study for the School of Public Health.

“There’s a limited period of time during childhood in which vision needs to be improved; otherwise, patients risk permanent poor vision moving forward in life,” said Joslin, who is Otoo’s mentor.

In addition to her volunteer work, Otoo is fundraising $5,000 to provide free vision care and eye restoring surgeries for the impoverished in Ghana, India and Honduras. She has been able to raise about $2,400 and hopes to reach her goal, $5,000, by the end of July. That amount would fully sponsor 100 cataract surgeries.

Donations can be made through July 30.

For more information, email Otoo at motoo3@uic.edu

By Francisca Corona


University of Illinois at Chicago Announces Partnership To Help International Students Succeed

studentsUniversity of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and Shorelight Education recently announced the signing of an agreement to create UIC International, an innovative partnership platform that supports the recruitment, preparation, and success of international students. UIC International will launch the International Accelerator Program (IAP), which will operate at both the undergraduate and post-graduate levels.

Located in Chicago, Ill., UIC International will broaden educational opportunities for students from across the globe and help the university become a model for international student success and opportunity. The development and implementation of UIC International aligns with the university’s emphasis on diversity and providing students with ethnically and culturally rich learning environment. The IAP will provide students with academic, language, social, and professional development opportunities that together dramatically increase student retention and integrate international students into campus life.

“University of Illinois at Chicago is dedicated to the discovery and distribution of knowledge,” said Michael Amiridis, chancellor of UIC. “Our collaboration with Shorelight through UIC International deepens our investment in the international community and provides new and innovative ways to give students the chance to study, work and grow with classmates who will broaden each other’s perspectives and worldview.”

With a mandate to support student success and retention, UIC International will provide a dedicated team of support staff and enrollment management services, ensuring a smooth transition and integration for students coming to UIC from diverse geographies and academic backgrounds. The program will build upon existing infrastructure within the university to grow international student enrollment by recruiting from more than 100 countries, support international students transition to a U.S. academic environment, and expand UIC’s global brand.

“Shorelight is proud to build a program with University of Illinois at Chicago that will offer international students a transformative experience at a signature U.S. institution in a great American city,” said Tom Dretler, CEO of Shorelight Education. “UIC IAP students will benefit directly from an intimate, community-focused program with highly ranked academics and personalized support that will follow them through their very first days on campus to their successful graduation and beyond.”

University of Illinois at Chicago will welcome its first IAP students in spring 2017.

By Sherri McGinnis González


Hispanic Student Dental Association Wins Big

X.HSDA4_.29.16image1-002The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry’s Hispanic Student Dental Association (HSDA) Chapter was named the Hispanic Dental Association’s (HDA) 2016 National Student Chapter of the Year at the HDA’s recent Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. This award recognizes the chapter for outstanding efforts to provide service, education, advocacy and leadership in Hispanic oral health.

Selected by a committee consisting of HDA National Office staff members and invited jurors, the chapter stood out among affiliate dental student chapters across the nation.

“We won due to our excellence in community outreach and activity this past year,” Jacqueline Magallanes, President of the UIC HSDA, explained. “Chapter of the Year guidelines look at community outreach, membership growth, and overall activity. We participated in dozens of community outreach events where we provided oral hygiene instruction, patient education, and free dental services in underserved communities with minority populations.”

Magallanes added, “We also boosted our student membership by nearly 100%, and hosted Spanish classes with an average of 30-40 students each session. We also have a very close partnership with our parent chapter, the regional Greater Chicago HAD, through which we participate in CE courses, seminars, and social activities.”

The award benefits the College and its HSDA chapter “because it highlights the diversity that represents UIC, and sheds light on the needs of our minority communities. We are helping to improve the general and oral health of one of the most afflicted communities in our city: the Hispanic population. It speaks to UIC’s mission of improving oral health, and HSDA’s mission of helping the underserved. Winning this award celebrates the hard work and dedication of HSDA’s board and members.”

Magallanes added that “HSDA celebrates diversity, and that by embracing our differences, we come together as a community with a common goal: to improve the oral and general health of our patients. Also, HSDA is very thankful to UIC’s Urban Health Program for sponsoring a couple of students to attend the conference, and especially thankful to our parent chapter, the Greater Chicago HAD, for sponsoring six students to attend the conference.

She offered special thanks to alumni Dr. Marcela Escobar, Dr. Carla Delafuente, and Dr. Genaro Romo of the Greater Chicago HDA for their support of the UIC HSDA.

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.