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Spring 2023 Letter from Director Joe Hoereth

Our Director Dr. Joseph Hoereth rounds out the academic year

Friends of IPCE,

The end of the semester is always an opportunity to reflect both on our shared accomplishments and the work ahead. As we take a look ahead to summer projects, we invite you to celebrate this semester’s journey with us.

​​Most recently, over 120 community members, policymakers, researchers, and public intellectuals convened in-person on April 19 for the 2023 Urban Forum to take on the complex topic of harnessing data-driven solutions for urban challenges. Speakers, panels and papers helped to consider how governments and civic institutions have the capacity to effectively gather, analyze, and interpret data to inform better urban planning and decision-making.

We rounded out our Civic Engagement Lunch Talk Series this spring with two incredible presentations: In February, Professor  Federica Fusi of the Public Policy, Management, and Analytics department presented “Inclusive Open Government Data for Environmental Justice: Enhancing Community Stakeholders’ Voices”, done in collaboration with Fengxiu Zhang, Assistant Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University; and Jiaqi Liang, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Management, and Analytics at UIC. In March, Professor Jennifer Brier of the History & Gender and Women's Studies Departments presented “COVID Conversations: A Public History project of Chicago’s History Corps”. She was joined by her fellow project collaborators Ellen Mayer, graduate student in the Department of History at UIC; Oscar Solis, MFA graduate from the Department of Graphic Design at UIC; and Caesar Thompson, undergraduate student at the School of Public Health at UIC. Thank you to all our Research Fund awardees for presenting their findings over the course of the academic year. The insights gained from their research will advance the mission of civic engagement in diverse disciplines.

Undergraduate fellows in the Urban Public Policy Fellowship (UPPF) Program were also hard at work this spring finalizing research projects and presenting research posters virtually at our annual Research Symposium: Advancing Policy Formulation Through Research. Fellows’ projects stemmed from hands-on internship experiences on policy-related topics such as immigration reform, mental health, and community development. Eighteen students successfully completed the UPPF program this year, and I congratulate them all on behalf of IPCE.

We’re moving forward with planning for our usual fall programming. The call for proposals for the Civic Engagement Research Fund Award is open. Please see our website for submission guidelines. Applications will be accepted through June 1. Applications for the UPPF program are also available now and will be accepted until May 21. The selection committee will meet this summer to accept fellows. As always, IPCE commitments are contingent upon state funding. Stay tuned later this summer for announcements regarding upcoming fall programs and events.

Have a rejuvenating summer!

Joseph K. Hoereth, PhD