Faculty Bios

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Paul Brandt-Rauf

Paul Brandt-Rauf is the Dean of the School of Public Health. Before arriving at UIC, Dean Brandt-Rauf spent many years at Columbia University where he obtained B.S., M.S. and Sc. D degrees in Chemical Engineering, an MPH and D.P.H. in Environmental Sciences, and an M.D. in Internal Medicine.  His commitment to social justice runs deep. He works with Engineers Without Borders and his research addresses not only environmental justice issues, but the ethics of scientific and health research.

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Anna Guevarra

Anna Guevarra is Associate Professor in Asian American (ASAM) Studies and Director of ASAM. She is an interdisciplinary scholar whose research focuses on international labor, immigration and Filipino women workers. Her most recent book is the award-winning,  Marketing Dreams, Manufacturing Heroes: The Transnational Labor Brokering of Filipino Workers. Dr. Guevarra also works with community groups including CIRCA-PINTIG and Alliance for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE).

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Connie Dallas

Connie Dallas is one of the initiators of the Social Justice Lecture series in the School of Nursing. Her own research focuses on health policy and African American families. With all the myths and stereotypes about Black American families, Dr. Dallas’ research tries to map the network of extended familial ties in low income communities and the impact on young unmarried African American fathers and their children. Dr. Dallas served on the steering committee that presented State of the African American Family: The Migration Pattern of Chicago Public Housing Residents to State Legislators and community stakeholders in 2010.

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Nik Theodore

Nik Theodore is an Associate Professor in the College of Urban Planning and Public Policy, and Associate Dean in the College, and past director of the Center for Urban Education. His pathbreaking research is on the informal economy and low wage workers as well as neoliberal policies and globalization and their impact on labor. Dr. Theodore uses a participatory research model engaging community organizations in collaborative partnerships. He has worked closely with the Domestic Workers Alliance. His numerous publications include: “Reanimating Neoliberalism: Process Geographies of Neoliberalisation,” “Policing Borders: Unauthorized Immigration and the Pernicious Politics of Attrition,” and “Under the Radar: Tracking the Violation of Labour Standards in Low-Wage Industries in the U.S.”

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Professor Beth Richie

Professor Beth Richie is a longtime activist and scholar. She is most recently the author ofArrested Justice: Black Women, Violence and America’s Prison Nation. At the policy level and the grassroots level, Beth Richie has been a staunch advocate for the rights of poor women and women of color, especially those caught up in the prison industry. She has lectured and published widely and received numerous awards, including the Audre Lorde Legacy Award from the Union Institute. She was a founding member of INCITE!: Women of Color Against Violence and currently directs UIC’s Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy.

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Dr. Valerie Dobiesz

Dr. Valerie Dobiesz directs the global health education and humanitarian relief efforts within the Center for Global Health. She is a Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine in the Department of Emergency as well as Associate Program Director. In addition to her numerous publications, she has lectured and taught courses in Peru, India, Nepal, Tanzania, Antarctica, Cuba, the Philippines, and the Caribbean as well as nationally and regionally. She was recognized for her teaching efforts with the American College of Emergency Physicians National Teaching Award in 2000. Her humanitarian efforts include collaborating with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative performing a needs assessment for Panzai Medical Clinic in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, building houses for the poor with Amor Ministries in Mexico, and being a Domestic Violence advocate taking calls for a crisis line. She is currently working on grants to study domestic violence in immigrant populations.

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Dr. Laurie Schaffner

Dr. Laurie Schaffner is a faculty member in Sociology and Gender and Women’s Studies, whose work focuses on gender, adolescence, morality, and the law. She is author of a study of girls in detention in the United States, Girls in Trouble with the Law, and Teenage Runaways: Broken Hearts and ‘Bad Attitudes’, and co-editor with Elizabeth Bernstein of Regulating Sex: The Politics of Intimacy and Identity. Her work has been published widely. She is also an advocate, activist and an ally around young women’s issues. Dr. Schaffner is a 2007 Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholar and conducted research focused on youth in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico while teaching at the Universidad de Guadalajara. She is a member of the Leadership Team of GIRL TALK, a biweekly program that works with girls who are incarcerated at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, and the Chicago Site Coordinator for a federally-funded national multi-site research project focused on youth in the sex economy.

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Teresa Cordova

Teresa Cordova is a Professor in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs and Director of the Great Cities Institute at  UIC.  A sociologist, trained at the UC Berkeley, Prof. Cordova scholarship and civic engagement directly address issues of social justice. The titles of just a few of her many publications illustrate the breadth of her work: “Grassroots Mobilizations in the Southwest for Environmental and Economic Justice;” “Anti-Colonial Chicana Feminism;” “Fields of Knowledge for Democracy, Justice and Community: A Latina Quest;” and “Community Intervention Efforts to Oppose Gentrification.”

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Amalia Pallares

Amalia Pallares is Associate Professor of Political Science and Latin American and Latino Studies. She studies social movements, ethnicity and race in Latin America and in the U.S, focusing on the relationship between political activism and identity formation among newly politicized groups. Her first book was From Peasant Struggles to Indian Resistance: the Ecuadorian Andes in the late Twentieth Century.  More recently her work focuses on immigrant communities in the United States and the ways in which notions of nation, region and race inform immigrants’ social and political attitudes, behaviors, and organizing experiences. More recently, she has focused on immigrant activism in Chicago. Her co-authored book, Marcha:Latino Chicago and the Immigrant Rights Movement was researched in collaboration with local activists and students.

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Lisa Yun Lee

Lisa Yun Lee is the Director of the School of Art and Art History in the College of Architecture and the Arts. She is formerly the Director of the Jane Addams Hull House Museum on UIC’s campus which has been a creative hub for activist and social justice groups in Chicago and a model for engaged museum work nationwide and internationally. Professor Lee is an Adorno scholar, having written a feminist analysis of the Frankfurt School philosopher, Theodor Adorno. She writes and lectures widely about public art, social justice, and museums as sites of conscience and change. She serves on the boards of the National Public Housing Museum, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and the Third Coast International Audio Festival.

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Lynette Jackson

Lynette Jackson is an associate professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and African American Studies at UIC. She has published on topics relating to women, the state and medical and public health discourses in colonial and postcolonial Africa, particularly having to do with the regulation of African women’s sexuality. Dr. Jackson’s current research explores the history of child refugee diasporas from Southern Sudan, particularly focusing on two streams of unaccompanied children: The Lost Boys and Girls and the Cuban 600. Dr. Jackson is engaged in social justice and human rights activism, with a particular focus on the human rights of women and girls and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered peoples in Africa. She serves on the Chicago Committee of Human Rights Watch, and the World Refugee Day planning committee.

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David Stovall

David Stovall is an Associate Professor of Educational Policy Studies and African-American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). His scholarship investigates four areas 1) Critical Race Theory, 2) concepts of social justice in education, 3) the relationship between housing and education, and 4) the relationship between schools and community stakeholders. In the attempt to bring theory to action, he has spent the last ten years working with community organizations and schools to develop curriculum that address issues of social justice. His current work has led him to become a member of the Greater Lawndale/Little Village School of Social Justice High School design team, which opened in the Fall of 2005 where he also serves as a volunteer social studies teacher.