Panelist Biographies

Monday, Oct. 17, 12:30 p.m. | Race and The City

Mary Patillo

Mary Pattillo

Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, Northwestern University.

Mary Pattillo is the Harold Washington Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, and Chair of the African American Studies Department, at Northwestern University. She is the author of two award-winning books: Black Picket Fences: Privilege and Peril among the Black Middle Class (University of Chicago Press, 1999) and Black on the Block: The Politics of Race and Class in the City (University of Chicago Press, 2007). She is also the co-editor of Imprisoning America: The Social Effects of Mass Incarceration (Russell Sage, 2004). She has published numerous articles and won awards and grants from the Ford, Fulbright-Hays, Fulbright, George A. and Eliza Gardner Howard, Spencer, and MacArthur Foundations. She was also named one of the 11 Black Urbanists Every Planner Should Know by Planning magazine and listed on The ZORA Canon: The 100 greatest books ever written by African American women. Pattillo is currently doing research on the advantages of being Black. 

Adam Greene

Adam Green

Professor of History, University of Chicago

Adam Green is a professor of history at the University of Chicago and is also affiliated with the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture. His work focuses on African American history, urban history, and comparative racial politics. He is the author of Selling the Race: Culture and Community in Black Chicago, 1940-1955 (University of Chicago Press, 2007) and is the coeditor of Time Longer than Rope: Studies in African American Activism, 1850–1950 (New York University Press, 2003). He is currently working on the official oral history of the Obamas. He received his PhD from Yale University.

John W. Fountain

John W. Fountain

Professor of Journalism, Roosevelt University

John W. Fountain is an award-winning columnist, journalist, professor, publisher and author of five books including Soul Cries: In Black & White and Shades of Gray and True Vine: A Young Black Man’s Journey of Faith, Hope and Clarity. A professor of journalism at Roosevelt University since 2007, he has written a weekly Sunday column for the Chicago Sun-Times for more than a decade. He was a 2021-22 Fulbright Scholar to Ghana, where he taught at the University of Ghana at Legon and conducted a research project: “Africa Calling: Portraits of Black Americans Drawn to the Motherland.” Fountain was formerly a national correspondent for The New York Times and a staff writer at the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune. Throughout his career, Fountain has received numerous awards for his work, including first place in social justice commentary from the ­National Society of Newspaper Columnists in 2022. Fountain is also the founder of WestSide Press Publishing in Chicago. 

Monday, Oct. 17, 7:00 p.m. | Culture as a Gateway to the American Dream

Daniel Greene

Daniel Greene

President, Newberry Library

Daniel Greene is President and Librarian at the Newberry Library in Chicago and Adjunct Professor of History at Northwestern University.  Greene is the curator of Americans and the Holocaust, an exhibition that opened to significant acclaim in April 2018 at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.  Based on five years of extensive research, this groundbreaking exhibition challenges conventional narratives of Americans’ knowledge of, and response to, the German persecution of the Jews and the Holocaust during the 1930s and 1940s.   Greene’s co-edited book, Americans and the Holocaust: A Reader, based on the exhibition was published by Rutgers University Press in 2022.

In addition to a number of other scholarly works, Greene is the author of The Jewish Origins of Cultural Pluralism:  The Menorah Association and American Diversity (Indiana University Press, 2011), which won the American Jewish Historical Society’s Saul Viener Prize in American Jewish History in 2012.   He serves on the board of directors of the Center for New Deal Studies at Roosevelt University and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

Michelle B. Larson

Michelle B. Larson

President, Adler Planetarium

Michelle B. Larson, PhD, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Adler Planetarium, a position she has held since 2013.

As president of America’s first planetarium, Larson oversees a 21st-century space science center that includes the institution’s landmark museum and observatory complex; a world-class collection documenting the history of astronomical science; and an award-winning digital platform that engages millions of people around the globe.  Annually, more than 500,000 people visit the Adler, making it one of Chicago’s leading tourist attractions.

Larson’s professional passion is to highlight the journey of scientific discovery, by enabling engagement and communication between scientists and the public.   Before joining the Adler, Larson served as Vice Provost at Utah State University, and worked as a science education specialist and administrator at the University of California-Berkeley, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Montana Space Grant Consortium, and Pennsylvania State University.

Larson is a member of the American Astronomical Society, the American Physical Society and serves on several national and Chicago-area advisory boards.  She grew up in Anchorage, Alaska and earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Physics from Montana State University, where her work focused on neutron star dynamics and solar physics.

Carlos Tortolero

Carlos Tortolero

Founder and President, National Museum of Mexican Art

Carlos Tortolero is the Founder and President of the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, the only accredited Latino museum in the U.S. Founded in 1982, the museum opened its doors in 1987. In 2020, the Ford Foundation named the NMMA as one of America’s Cultural Treasures and in 2021, philanthropist MacKenzie Scott awarded the museum $8 million for its excellent work.

The recipient of numerous awards, including the City of Chicago’s highest honor in the arts, The Fifth Star Award, the Ohtli Award, the highest honor given by the Secretary of Foreign Relations of Mexico, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mexican American Legal Defense Education Fund, he is a co-founder and board member of the Chicago Latino Theater Alliance and one of the original members of Enrich Chicago, which strives to eliminate racism in the arts.

The author of numerous books and articles and recipient of several honorary degrees, Tortolero has dedicated much of his life to education. From 1975-1987, he worked as a teacher, counselor, and administrator in the Chicago Public School System and has taught classes at University of Illinois at Chicago, The School of the Art Institute, and Northwestern University. Tortolero has a B.A. in Secondary Education and History from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a M.A. from Chicago State University.

Regina Buccola

Regina Buccola

Professor of English, Roosevelt University

Regina Buccola is Professor of English and Chair of the Humanities at Roosevelt University in Chicago, where she also serves as Director of Literature and Languages and core faculty in Women’s and Gender Studies. She has published several books on early modern British drama and culture, most recently Shakespeare in Performance for Cambridge Elements, as editor of A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Critical Guide and co-editor, with Peter Kanelos, of Chicago Shakespeare Theater: Suiting the Action to the Word. Recent journal publications include Shakespeare Bulletin, Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England and Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation. She serves as the scholar in residence at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Her poetry has appeared in Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal and will soon be featured in Elia Magazine. In July 2022, a piece of her creative non-fiction appeared in Glacial Hills Review. Catch her satirical political work on the podcast DB Comedy.

Tuesday, Oct. 18, 12:30 | Herb H. Franks Endowed Seminar in Political Science: A New Deal for the City

Larry Bennet

Larry Bennett

Professor Emeritus, DePaul University

Larry Bennett is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at DePaul University.  His books include Neighborhood Politics:  Chicago and Sheffield (Routledge), The Third City:  Chicago and American Urbanism (U. of Chicago), and the co-edited Neoliberal Chicago (U. of Illinois).  Professor Bennett has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Urban Affairs and Urban Affairs Review.  He is a founding co-editor of the Temple University Press book series, Urban Life, Landscape, and Policy.  In Chicago, Professor Bennett is Advisory Board Chair of North Branch Works, an neighborhood economic development advocacy group.  In 2017 and 2018 he served as North Branch Works’ interim Executive Director.  Professor Bennett is currently completing a book on nostalgia for modernity.

Carlos Tortolero

Carlos Ramirez-Rosa

Alderman, 35th Ward Chicago

Carlos Ramirez-Rosa is in his second term as the Alderman of the 35th Ward. As a member of the Chicago City Council, Carlos has played a key role in passing legislation to improve the lives of families, including property tax relief for struggling homeowners, strengthening protections for immigrant Chicagoans, new affordable housing, civilian oversight and community control of the Chicago police, and policies that preserve and promote affordable housing in our neighborhoods. Carlos received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a proud product of the Chicago Public School system.

Lisa Yun Lee

Lisa Yun Lee

Executive Director, National Public Housing Museum

Lisa Yun Lee is the Executive Director of the National Public Housing Museum, a cultural activist, and Associate Professor of Public Culture and Museum Studies at UIC.  In cooperation with public housing residents, she is working to open a museum in the last remaining building of the Jane Addams Homes with the mission to preserve, interpret and propel housing as a human right.  It will include the world’s largest collection of oral histories of public housing residents, three restored apartments, storytelling and contemporary art spaces, and an Entrepreneurship Hub that includes a museum store owned in partnership with public housing residents.

Formerly Director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, her work at renovating the site, installing a new permanent exhibit and revitalizing public programming was recognized with a Richard Driehaus Preservation Award.  A member of the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials, she also serves on the Mayor’s Commission for Monuments, Memorials, and Historical Reckoning as well as the boards of the Illinois State Museum, 3Arts and Field Foundation. Previously, she served as Co-Chair of Mayor Lightfoot’s Arts & Culture Transition Team.

The recipient of numerous honors, including the Illinois Public Humanities Award and Septima P. Clarke Social Justice Award from the American Educational Research Association, Lee holds a BA from Bryn Mawr College and Ph.D. from Duke University.

Brad Hunt

Brad Hunt

Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at Loyola University Chicago

Bradford Hunt is Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at Loyola University Chicago. Since July 2020, he has collaborated with 28 full-time faculty members to promote scholarship and teaching in history, ranging from undergraduate core curriculum to the department’s PhD program in History and Public History. From 2015-20, he served as Vice President for Research and Academic Programs at The Newberry Library in Chicago, where he oversaw fellowship programs, four research centers, and programs for scholars, teachers, students, and the public.  At the Newberry, he produced Chicago 1919: Confronting the Race Riots, which won the 2020 National Council on Public History award for Best Public History Project.  He is the co-author, with Jon B. DeVries, of Planning Chicago (American Planning Association Planners Press, 2013) which examines urban planning initiatives in Chicago since the 1950s.  His history of the Chicago Housing Authority, entitled Blueprint for Disaster: The Unraveling of Chicago Public Housing (University of Chicago Press, 2009), won the Lewis Mumford Prize from the Society of American City and Regional Planning History (SACRPH) for the best book in North American Planning History in 2008-09.  He served as President of SACRPH in 2018-19.  Since 2008, he has served on the board of the National Public Housing Museum.  Prior to The Newberry, he was a vice provost and dean at Roosevelt University in Chicago, where he was also professor of social science and history.  He received his Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Berkeley, and his B.A. from Williams College.

Wednesday, Oct. 19 | Matthew Freeman Lecture

Dr. Sadhana Jackson

Sadhana Jackson, MD, National Institute of Health

Dr. Sadhana Jackson attended Hampton University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology. She then obtained her MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) and subsequently completed a residency in Pediatrics at Orlando Health. After completing a fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, she finished her training at Johns Hopkins for a joint fellowship in pediatric neuro-oncology and clinical pharmacology.

Dr. Jackson is a board-certified pediatrician and pediatric hematologist/oncologist with clinical expertise and research efforts related to the blood-brain barrier and malignant glioma. Her clinical practice focuses on drug delivery of systemic agents for pediatric malignant brain tumor patients. As a tenure-track Investigator in NINDS and NCI, Dr. Jackson ties her clinical practice to her research efforts focused on understanding the heterogeneous permeability of the blood-brain barrier amongst malignant gliomas. With her laboratory and clinical studies, her team aims to modulate the tumor microenvironment to enhance effective treatments to the CNS for malignant gliomas. She has extensive experience with use of intracerebral microdialysis to evaluate optimal drug entry to malignant tumors. Using exquisite tools to measure drug concentrations and agents to transiently disrupt the BBB, her research aims to maximize therapies for prolonged survival in aggressive pediatric brain tumors.

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