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Spring 2024 Letter from Director Joe Hoereth

IPCE rounds out the Academic Year with Research Talks and Symposium

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 with us.

​​Over 350 community members, policymakers, researchers, and public intellectuals convened in-person on April 10 for the 2024 Urban Forum to share bold visions for Chicago’s future and how the city can confront the most pressing problems in planning, economics, climate and neighborhoods. The speakers addressed the last 50 years in Chicago, back to 1973 when UIC’s Urban Planning Program was founded, and on into the next 50 years confronting the challenges of climate change, growing income inequality, health disparities, and more.

This spring semester, we had four incredible presenters for our Civic Engagement Lunch Talk Series. To kick things off in January, Professor P. Zitlai Morales of the College of Education presented “Amplifying Latinx Families' Language Education Rights: Luchando for Urban Dual Language Bilingual Education”, done in collaboration with her research partners, Ramona Alcalá, PhD, Megan Marshall, ABD, and Yaniz Rodriguez, BA. In February, Professor Robin Reames, PhD from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences presented, and was accompanied by two of her graduate researchers, James Sharpe and Frida Sanchez-Vega. Their presentation was titled “Hannah Arendt on Rhetoric: Democracy Under the Influence of Social Media”. In March, Professor Alana Gunn, PhD, from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, presented "Utilizing Social Advocacy Research to Explore the Effects of Policing on Community Health”. And finally, in April, Professor Rebecca Woodard, PhD, from the College of Education,  and her research partners, Andrea Vaughan, PhD, Visiting Research Associate Professor from the College of Education and Kristine Wilber, a Doctoral Candidate, presented "Lessons from the Ed Write Collab on the Importance of Critical Love in Civically-Engaged Communities”. 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: The Influence of Research on Public Policies. 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. The Institute expresses immense gratitude to the community partners who hosted UPPF Fellows and served as internship sites this year.

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 3. Applications for the UPPF program are also available now and will be accepted until Sunday, May 12. 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