Dear Friends of GCI,

I know, for many of you, the month of August is the beginning of the end—the end of Summer that is. For those of us at UIC, August is also really a beginning—the beginning of the new academic year, with all the promise and activities of the coming two semesters ahead of us. We welcome new students and Faculty Scholars and Great Cities Fellows as well. In the coming issues of the GCI Monthly you will read about the programs and projects of these skilled researchers and how they combine with the programs of partners in Chicago and in cities around the world to create new, high impact, knowledge and policy about “great cities.”

The only missing ingredient in this description is you, the reader. Therefore we hope you will join us this year in pushing the boundaries of urban learning through the Great Cities tradition of “engaged research.” We hope you will attend our seminars and workshops and the eleventh annual Great Cities Winter Forum. We hope some of you will apply to the Institute for a residency of your own and that all our readers will find ways to challenge us to work with you on the issues of the city that most effect you and require the attention of UIC.



David Perry
Professor and Director



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2005-2006 GCI Faculty Scholar Seminars
Tuesdays in the GCI Conference Room, 1pm

September 20, Edison Trickett
October 25, Xiangming Chen
November 8, Dick Simpson
January 17, Jennifer Brier
February 28, Kimberley Gomez
March 28, Elena R.Gutierrez
April 18, John Hagedorn


A study by John Hagedorn, Great Cities Institute Fellow and Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, was covered in "Hypotheses" on Sunday, July 24 in the Chicago Tribune Magazine. The study of gangs in Chicago was part of a 10-nation study comparing violent youth organizations and methods of dealing with them.

An Associated Press story on day laborers quoted Nik Theodore, Director of the Center for Urban Economic Development in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs. Theodore was quoted on the same topic in the July 18 edition of the Wall Street Journal. Theodore was also quoted in the Miami Herald about a survey of local merchants facing gentrification in the Liberty City neighborhood. CUED conducted the survey with the Miami Workers Center, Florida International University, and a community organization. CUED was also recognized in the Chicago Tribune's
“Grants and Giving" column as receiving a Rockefeller Foundation grant to study the public costs of low-benefits policies by some employers.

A book edited by Marcia Farr, Faculty Scholar 2001-2002, was released earlier this year. The book, Latino Language and Literacy in Ethnolinguistic Chicago (Erlbaum, 2005) is a companion volume to one released last year entitled Ethnolinguistic Chicago: Language and Literacy in the City’s Neighborhoods, (Erlbaum, 2004). Both volumes provide ethnographic studies of language and literacy practices in a variety of ethnic neighborhoods in Chicago.

Roger Weissberg, Faculty Scholar 2004-2005, has received the Society for Community Research and Action's (American Psychological Assocation Division 27) Distinguished Contribution to Research and Theory Award. He received the award and made an invited presentation on "Social and Emotional Learning for School and Life Success" at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention in Washington DC in August.

A book by Roberta Feldman, Faculty Scholar 1996-1997, (coauthored by S. Stall) won the 2005 EDRA/Places Research Award. The book, The Dignity of Resistance: Women Residents’ Activism in Chicago Public Housing (Cambridge, 2004), was part of Feldman’s activities during her stay as a faculty scholar.

Michael Pagano, GCI Faculty Fellow and Director of the Graduate Program in Public Administration, was quoted on August 10, 2005 in an Indianapolis Star article on a proposal to charge fees to individual users for the work of firefighters.

Government Executive magazine ran a feature on a new report by Sharon Mastracci, Faculty Scholar 2004-2005 and James R. Thompson, both Assistant Professors of Public Administration, that urges government agencies to hire more part-time, seasonal, and on-call employees to control costs and to offset the growing number of retirements.

On July 26, 2005, the Chicago Tribune quoted Rebecca Hendrick, Faculty Scholar 2002-2003 and Associate Professor of Public Administration, on a special-service tax district to support a park in a lower-income area of Rolling Meadows.

On August 3, 2005, the Christian Science Monitor and USA Today both quoted Siim Soot, Faculty Scholar 1997-1998 and research professor in the Urban Transportation Center of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, in a story on the trend toward large houses on small lots. Professor Soot was also interviewed on the CBS afternoon newscast on August 12 on the effect of rising fuel prices on other goods and services.

The Philadelphia Inquirer quoted Louise Cainkar, Faculty Fellow, on American Muslim youth who successfully straddle two cultures and so are less likely to be recruited by terrorist organizations.

On August 23, 2005, the Chicago Tribune quoted Janet Smith, Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Policy, and GCI Faculty Scholar 1999-2000, in regard to a study indicating that Latinos receive proportionately less assistence than other ethnic groups in Chicago from a federal program that finances affordable housing by private developers.

Please take a moment to get to know a few of GCI’s new faculty scholars.

Kimberley Gomez, Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction

Barrier or Building Block: Literacy as Gatekeeper or Vehicle for Educational Development in Adolescence

Kimberley Gomez is a learning sciences researcher whose research concerns the design and study of learning environments and inquiry tools for the support of literacy and language in the content areas and with standard and advanced learning technologies. The goal of this work is to build access to, and opportunities to learn for children of color and second language learners. The current work explores the design and use of materials and classroom practices that help children communicate in the literacy genres of science. The empirical work conducted in urban middle schools investigates how teachers modify curricula to support literacy in science, teachers' use of designed literacy in science Instructional materials, and how students' develop skills in using the literate genres of science in inquiry contexts. Kim currently is a co-Principal Investigator on a NSF-Research on Learning
Environments grant studying literacy support in high school science learning using technology support tools, a digital literacies grant from the Institute for Educational Sciences (with Susan Goldman and Jim Pellegrino and Kim Lawless -- UIC), a MacAthur Foundation grant which examines urban students' digital literacy out of school activities and she is designing a prototype for a home-school community website to support family-school interactions. Kim received her doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1994 (Educational Psychology). She also holds master's in Educational Psychology and Speech Pathology from University of Chicago and Florida State University and a bachelor's in Speech Pathology from the University of Florida.

Edison J. Trickett, Professor, Department of Psychology

Engaged Research and the Urban Context: Deconstructing the Concept and Developing its Potential

Dr. Trickett is currently Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Community and Prevention Research Division in the Psychology Department at UIC. Here received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the Ohio State University, was a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University, and held faculty positions at Yale University and the University of Maryland before joining the faculty at UIC in August, 2000.

Through out his career, his research has focused on the development of an ecological perspective within his field of community psychology for conducting community research and intervention. Central to this perspective are the importance of understanding the history and dynamics of community life and the importance of conducting community research in the spirit of collaborative inquiry. His empirical work has focused on how to assess the social environments of public schools and their effects on adolescent development. In the past 15 years the emphasis has been on the role of the schools in the acculturation and adaptation of immigrant and refugee adolescents and families. He has, in addition, served as consultant and/or evaluator of a number of programs in the Chicago Public Schools designed to aid in the school adaptation of immigrant and refugee adolescents recently arrived in the Chicago area.

He has published over 100 books, book chapters, and scholarly papers describing this work, the most recent of which is an edited volume on an ecological perspective on HIV/AIDS interventions in urban contexts, to be published this summer by Oxford University Press. He has, in addition, been consistently active in the Society for Community research and Action (Division 27) of the American Psychological Association. He has served as President of this Division, been a recipient of its award for Distinguished Contribution to Theory and Research in Community Psychology, and has served as Editor of that field’s primary journal, the American Journal of Community Psychology. In addition, he has been invited to present his work nationally and internationally, including conferences in Israel, Japan, Australia, and France. He recently became part of an international interdisciplinary collaboration at the University of Melbourne to study complex community interventions in urban contexts.