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: APRIL / MAY and JUNE 2006

Dear Friends of GCI,

The end of the academic year certainly does not signal the end of activities for the Institute. As you can see in the Monthly announcements below, we are making some very important new appointments to the Institute, while publishing three new and exciting research papers in the Working Papers Series. The end of this year's Faculty Scholar competition resulted in seven awards to faculty from seven different disciplines and five colleges, showing the growing strength of the interdisciplinarity of the tradition of engaged research here at the Institute. At the same time we were able to make four Faculty seed fund awards for 2006-2007. Please read about these appointments below and on our website.

On May 8 we hosted the final lunch of this year's distinguished group of GCI Scholars around the topic of the engaged univeristy; and the role of engaged research in higher education. The resident scholars provided a host of critical observations and productive insights that the leadership of the Institute will incorporate into future programming.

We will be hosting several brown bag events this Summer, beginning with two exciting panels produced by our graduate students on the global topic Contested Cities at the Planners' Network Conference ( ) hosted by the Urban Planning and Policy Program here at UIC on June 8 though 10. Please stay tuned and please attend. If we do not see you again before the new academic year begins, have a wonderful summer.



David Perry
Professor and Director



Congratulations to the new GCI Faculty Scholars for 2006-2007:

Dynamics of Neighborhood Change in the Era of Globalization
John Betancur
Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy Program
College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs

University and Community/Lawndale and Heritage
Robert Bruegmann
Professor and Chair, Department of Art History
College of Architecture and the Arts

The Space We Share: A Community Based Public Art Investigation
Olivia Gude
Associate Professor, School of Art and Design
College of Architecture and the Arts

Researching Distributed Leadership Practice for Special Education Reform
David Mayrowetz<
Assistant Professor, Policy Studies
College of Education

Embedded Phenomena: Technology Support for Embodied Learning in Urban Science
Thomas Moher
Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering

Arresting Attrition: Spanish Language Maintenance in Chicago's Elementary Schools
Kimberly Potowski
Assistant Professor, Department of Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Eslanda Robeson and the Multi-Cultural Urban Arts Communities of Harlem, Paris, and London, 1920s-1940s
Barbara Ransby
Associate Professor, Department of African American Studies/Department of History
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Congratulations to the 2006-2007 recipients of the GCI Faculty Seed Fund Awards:

Characterizing Accessible Pathway Surface Smoothness in the Built Environment
Glenn Hedman
Clinical Associate Professor, Disability and Human Development
College of Applied Health Sciences

Understanding the Paths of Homelessness: Narratives of People with Mental Illness Christine Helfrich
Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy
College of Applied Health Sciences

From 'Thin' to 'Thick' Trust? After-School Networks and the Development of Latino Student Identities as 'Math Learners'
Pamela Anne Quiroz
Associate Professor, Policy Studies
College of Education

Chicago City Council Report and Great Cities Chicago Politics Web Site
Dick Simpson
Professor, Political Science
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

GCI acknowledges our 2006 graduates

Eleanor Badesch, Master of Urban Planning and Policy, CUPPA
Patti Bonvoisin, Master of Urban Planning and Policy, CUPPA
Paramee (Par) Chankasem, Master of Business Administration, College of Business
Andrew "DRU" Clark, Master of Urban Planning and Policy, with a dual concentration in Community Development and Economic Development
Amanda J. Eichelkraut, Master of Urban Planning and Policy, CUPPA
Jyothi Gurram, Master in Management Information Systems, College of Business (graduating December 2006)
Laura Husarek, Master of Public Administration, CUPPA
Adam Kader, Master of Urban Planning and Policy, Concentration in Community Development, CUPPA
Weerawan (Wan) Maitrawatthana, Master of Business Administration, College of Business
Johanna Nyden, Master of Urban Planning and Policy, CUPPA
Becki Retzlaff, PhD in Urban Planning and Policy, CUPPA
Heather Schauer, M.Ed, Instructional Leadership, College of Education
Dan Weiske, Master of Public Administration, CUPPA

GCI Website
Please visit the GCI website to view a new section on Chicago Politics. The section is maintained by Professor Dick Simpson, GCI Faculty Scholar, and can be viewed at On this page is a link to the City Council Report published by published by Great Cities and the Political Science Department; a copy of the press release for this report can be viewed at


Dick Simpson, GCI Faculty Scholar, premiered his new film, "Teaching Politics" and offered a conference paper, "From Daley to Daley: Fifty Years in Chicago Politics" at the Midwest Political Science Association meeting in Chicago on April 20th.

On March 3, Siim Soot, GCI Faculty Scholar 1997-1998 and director emeritus of the Urban Transportation Center was interviewed for a piece on obesity in various suburbs and city neighborhoods on WBBM Channel 2. The interview referred to UTC's recent study of body-mass index, transportation modes, and suburban sprawl and was also mentioned on WBBM Newsradio's morning broadcast. On April 3, ABC Channel 7 interviewed Siim Soot for a story on commuting changes due to the Dan Ryan construction. He was also interviewed on the same day for a Chicago Defender story about the difficulty South Siders will have in avoiding the Dan Ryan during construction. On April 6, Soot was quoted in a Chicago Tribune story on a proposed concrete barrier to block Calumet City traffic from Hammond, Indiana.

On March 10, Michael Pagano, GCI Faculty Fellow, Co-editor of the Urban Affairs Review, and Director of the Graduate Program in Public Administration, was quoted in an Arizona Republic article about the lack of a property tax in Mesa, Arizona.

On March 17, the Chicago Tribune quoted Nik Theodore, Director of the Center for Urban Economic Development, in a story on the Englewood community's planned march to protest recent violence and the neighborhood's long-term economic decline. On May 2, CBS Channel 2's 10 p.m. news featured Theodore, discussing the contribution of undocumented workers to the economy. On May 18, Theodore was quoted in the Daily Herald on a proposed measure to withhold government contracts from employers who employ undocumented workers.

Xiangming Chen, GCI Faculty Scholar 1998-1999 and 2005-2006, has been appointed a long-term Visiting Professor in the School of Social Development and Public Policy at Fudan University in Shanghai. Chen has also joined the Editorial Board of the journal City and Community and has been invited to join the Board of Trustees for the Alfred Herrhausen Society, the International Forum of the Deutsche Bank. Chen is also the senior author of two recently accepted papers: Chen, Xiangming and Jiaming Sun. In press. "Untangling a Global-Local Nexus: Sorting Out Residential Sorting in Shanghai." Environment and Planning, and Chen, Xiangming and Jiaming Sun. Forthcoming. "Sociological Research on Urban China: From Familiar Territories to Complex Terrains." China Information.

On April 20, Louise Cainkar, senior research fellow of the Great Cities Institute, was featured in the Chicago Tribune's "Grants and Giving" column for her Chicago Community Trust grant of $50,000 to study civic integration of Muslims in the suburbs. The same column mentions a $750,000 grant and a pledge of an additional $10 million over five years from the Myeloproliferative Disorders Foundation to UIC, Harvard and the Mayo Clinic to develop drugs for bone marrow treatment.

Amanda J. Eichelkraut, recent MUPP graduate and UICNI research assistant, was selected this spring as a finalist for the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program. The PMF program is a highly competitive program that works to attract outstanding graduate students who have a commitment to leadership and management of public policies and programs to work in the Federal service. The program provides finalists with a two year special appointment to a federal agency with guaranteed permanent employment, rotational opportunities within the federal government, and training programs specifically tailored to build leadership and management capabilities. Amanda recently accepted a position with the Department of Labor, in the Office of Workforce Investment/Business Relations Group in Washington, DC. She will begin her PMF appointment in late August.

Shadia Nassar, a GCI graduate student, has won one of the 2006 Chicago Federal Executive Board Public Service Scholarship Program awards. The objectives of the scholarship program are to recognize and reward academic excellence in public administration and to encourage and assist students in this field to pursue their new skills in the Federal Service or other area of public enterprise. Two non-renewable, $2,000 scholarship are awarded annually. Ms. Nasser joined the University of Illinois at Chicago's Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program in the fall of 2005. She is currently a research assistant with the Vernon Jarrett Senior Fellows Program in Great Cities Institute.