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UIC News Tips
University of Illinois at Chicago Office of Public Affairs (MC 288)
601 S. Morgan St., Chicago, IL 60607-7113, (312) 996-3456, www.uic.edu/depts/paff

March 30, 2001 Contact:Jeffron Boynés (312) 413-8702; jboynes@uic.edu


Four doctoral students and one master's degree student in the University of Illinois at Chicago's College of Education have been awarded the 2001 Ida B. Wells Critical Action Research Award.

They were selected this year to receive the award that supports action-oriented research related to social injustices in education.

The 2001 Ida B. Wells Critical Action Research Award winners:

  • Laurence Hadjas, doctoral student from Hyde Park, who will spend the semester emphasizing literacy to special education students and their parents at Ray School in Hyde Park.
  • Greg Michie, doctoral student from Pilsen, who plans to use the award to publish "Reflections," a coming-of-age oral history about youth from the Back-of-the-Yards community.
  • James O'Brien, doctoral student from Pilsen, who will use the award to publish "Flipside," a collection of student creative and analytical writing at Manley High School in the North Lawndale community.
  • Vicki Trinder, master's degree student from Pilsen and teacher at Telpochcalli Elementary School in the Little Village neighborhood, who will use the award to help students reflect on and attempt to make successful transitions to high school.
  • Amy Pagani, doctoral student from Pilsen, who is researching the topic of race, culture and diversity with staff and students at Haines Elementary School in the Chinatown community.

"The Ida B. Wells Award recognizes graduate students who take initiative to develop projects that illuminate and respond to social justice issues in the lives of Chicago's youth," said William Ayers, professor of education and founder and director of the UIC Center for Youth and Society, which sponsors the award. "The award provides a unique opportunity to commit intellectual energy, time and resources to education at its best, that is, education that breaks the artificial boundaries of school and neighborhood as well as the community and the academy." The award responds to the natural instincts of an educator, inquirer and activist, said award recipient James O'Brien.

"I have never been comfortable conducting research from afar 'about' something," O'Brien said. "I am attracted to inquiry where participants collaborate-where we work together to investigate issues, produce something and help change disagreeable things. The award supports this broad and progressive notion of study. As a graduate student attempting to merge my various interests, I really appreciate that."

Named for African-American activist Ida B. Wells, the award is given annually to UIC graduate-student applicants as well as student teachers that wish to work with and inquire into the lives of urban children. Award winners must demonstrate a passion for teaching and the challenging spirit needed to tackle issues of social inequality that abound in urban societies. For more information, contact the center at (312) 355-5190.

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