Joseph K. Hoereth, Ph.D.
Director, Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement
Joseph Hoereth was hired as Associate Director of the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement (IPCE) when it was founded in the fall of 2008, and appointed Director in January 2009. IPCE creates opportunities for scholars, concerned citizens, students, and government to participate in public discourse and educational programs on current policy issues and social trends. As Director, he is responsible for the overall management of the Institute.
Dr. Hoereth came to UIC in 2004 as the Associate Director of the Great Cities Institute (GCI), bringing a wide range of experience in community development research and evaluation, having previously worked for university research centers, non-profit organizations and private consulting firms. As an independent consult, he conducted research projects on housing and comprehensive community building. He has worked for two private consulting firms, including an urban planning firm specializing in fiscal and economic impact studies for housing developers and a firm conducting research and program evaluation for foundations and non-profits. He has held staff positions at the Center for Urban Research and Learning (CURL) at Loyola University Chicago and the Center for Urban Policy Research (CUPR) at Rutgers University. Additionally, he has authored multiple reports and papers on housing, community economic development, and urban planning.
Hoereth holds a B.A. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley, a Masters, and a Ph.D. in urban planning from Rutgers University. He has taught courses as adjunct faculty in the Department of Urban Planning and the Department of Public Administration.
Norma E. Ramos, MSM
Director of Engagement and Partnerships
Norma Ramos was hired as Associate Director of Communications for the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement (IPCE) when it was founded in the fall of 2008, and appointed as Director of Marketing and Communications in September 2010 and is currently the Director of Engagement and Partnerships. She is responsible for high-level project management and special project support, in addition to leading and contributing to projects and initiatives which strengthen the Institute’s connection in the areas of research, education and public discourse. She also provides leadership, strategic direction, and management support for the Institute’s research projects, educational and leadership programs and public discourse and dialogue initiatives.
She is also responsible for building and maintaining civic, community and educational partnerships, media partners, and local and state government relations related to the program development and administration functions of the Institute. She manages programming for the Institute that includes educational programs related to enhancing civic engagement and/or on the importance of public policy issues for various audiences including youth, campus faculty, students, staff, and community partners and residents.
She is also a trained facilitator and provides support and manages training programs and opportunities utilizing various dialogue methods to enhance deliberative democracy and civic and public engagement. And additionally, is responsible for leading and managing all aspects of the Institute’s communications strategy and digital platforms.
She has more than 10 years of marketing, media, and communications experience working in the education units at USA TODAY, Chicago Sun-Times, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and 8 years working in civic engagement, public policy and higher education.
Norma Ramos graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a BA in Journalism and a MS in Business Management from Cardinal Stritch University. Norma enjoys spending her free time with her family in Wisconsin, being outdoors, reading, and working as a youth mentor.
Kathleen Stauffer, MUPP
Assistant Dean for Administration
Kathleen Stauffer, Assistant Dean for Administration in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs (CUPPA), has over 20 years of experience at UIC. She provides human resource and financial expertise for the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement.
She began her UIC career while a graduate student in CUPPA in 1990. Upon completion of her Masters in Urban Planning and Public Affairs she worked in several departments in CUPPA, including the Center for Urban Economic Development, the Urban Transportation Center, and the Dean's Office.
After this, Kathleen moved to the West Side to work in the College of Pharmacy where she engaged with graduate students, researchers, and faculty by assisting with projects, grant development, human resources, and fiscal administration.
In 2005 she began working in Academic Affairs where she assisted the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and the Dean of the Honors College on special projects, finance and human resources, and undergraduate student development.
Catalina Nava-Esparza, MUPP
Catalina manages the institute’s leadership development program, the Urban Public Policy Fellowship (UPPF) program. The Urban Public Policy Fellowship (UPPF) program is a leadership development program designed to expose historically underrepresented minority undergraduate students at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to key public policy issues.
Catalina's educational background consists of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and a Master of Urban Planning and Policy degree, both from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Ms. Nava has served as an executive board member for the Young Professionals Advisory Council (YPAC) with Mujeres Latinas en Acción, is a founding member founding member of the Friends of Library- Rudy Lozano group and is the co-chair of the Latina Network subcommittee for the UIC Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Latinos.
Ms. Nava enjoys spending time cooking, running and traveling with her husband and son to various festivals in the Midwest and Mexico.
If you would like more information about the UPPF program or how to become an internship partner, please contact Catalina at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly at 312.355.0154.
Kathryn James, MA
Kathryn James is a Research Associate at the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement (IPCE), where she collaborates closely with the Director and staff to design and support proposals and projects around civic engagement theory and practice in order to better inform IPCE programs and community engagement initiatives. She also assists with the communication functions of the Institute, including the dissemination of IPCE research findings within local and national civic engagement communities as well as relevant writing projects for online and social media platforms. Katie has been with the Institute since 2011, when she started as a Research Assistant; she transitioned into her position as Research Associate in 2013.
Katie received her BA in English with minors in writing and communication from Saint Xavier University and her MA in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her background has provided her with extensive writing and editing experience. She served as a writing tutor at both her graduate and undergraduate institutions and was Editor of SXU's literary magazine, Opus. She has an article forthcoming in the Nabokov Online Journal (Fall 2015).
Matt E Sweeney, MA
Visiting Research Specialist
Matt began working with IPCE in early 2014. He primarily supports IPCE's research activities and its deliberative democracy initiatives.
A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Matt has worked in community education and civic engagement throughout the Americas, with organizations such as Citizen Schools, UNESCO, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the University of Chicago, and the Frank Zeidler Center for Public Discussion. In 2009, he was selected as 1 of 60 Rotary World Peace Fellows worldwide, and as a fellow earned a master's degree in International Relations at La Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires. He has supported public dialogue and deliberation projects such as Public Conversation Project dialogues, National Issues Forums, and Participatory Budgeting, and is an alumni of the Summer Institute of Civic Studies.
Beyond his interests in data and democracy, Matt insists on traveling Chicago by bike, plays soccer and doubles ping-pong, and has recently become more involved in Chicago's Civic Tech community. He is originally from the Chicago area, and currently lives in West Town with his wife, Christine, and son, Theo.