Monday, Oct. 17, 12:30 p.m. | Race and The City
Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, Northwestern University.
Professor of History, University of Chicago
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
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
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.
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.
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 p.m. | Herb H. Franks Endowed Seminar in Political Science: A New Deal for the City
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.
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
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.
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.
Tuesday, Oct. 18, 7:00 p.m. | Is the American Dream Sustainable?
Senior Resilient Community Planning Manager at the Southeast Environmental Task Force
Yessenia Balcazar received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sustainability Studies (B.A.S.S.) from Roosevelt University in 2018 and her Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy (M.U.P.P.) from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2021. Yessenia became especially interested in environmental justice issues throughout her undergraduate studies and through her own lived experience growing up in the Southeast Side of Chicago, an environmental justice community in the middle of one of the largest industrial corridors in the Midwest. She chose to specialize in Environmental Planning and Policy while undergoing her studies in the M.U.P.P. program, alongside taking courses in the Community Development specialization so that she could work to promote environmental justice for marginalized communities at the policy level. Yessenia has spent the last several years working for community organizations in the Southeast Side of Chicago, most notably, the Southeast Environmental Task Force (SETF), an environmental justice non-profit in her community, and head of the Stop General Iron campaign that garnered national support and notoriety. Now, Yessenia works full time as the Senior Resilient Community Planning manager at SETF, and could not be happier to be able to use her education to serve her community.
SUST Student Associate, College of Arts & Sciences; RU Student Steward for 2022-23 in the Resilience Studies Consortium
Kiera Kym Carpenter was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. Through experiences across various fields of work including co-founding Black Owned Chicago and working as Chance the Rapper’s personal assistant, she found her passion for sustainability and decided to return to school to earn her degree in Sustainability Studies from Roosevelt University. As a student, she has had the opportunity to learn about various areas of the field, including but not limited to: water, waste, food, environmental science, urban planning and sprawl. Kiera is also a Sustainability Student Associate in RU’s Department of Sociology & Sustainability, and is serving as this year’s RU Student Associate for the Resilience Studies Consortium. She prides herself in being a people person and cultivating meaningful relationships with others. With building community in mind, her goal is to promote equity in sustainability. Kiera holds a strong belief in taking a holistic approach to the field that considers how to cultivate sustainability across all areas of human life.
Chief Operating Engineer at the Stickney wastewater treatment plant, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicagoland
Dan Lyvers (he/him) is a Roosevelt alum, B.A. Sustainability Studies, class of 2021. Lyvers was a returning learner, taking his first class at Roosevelt almost 30 years after graduating from high school. He recalls his time at Roosevelt as a wonderful experience. In his professional life, Lyvers works in the wastewater treatment sector, and serves as a Chief Operating Engineer for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. He is a lifelong resident of the south suburbs, and is married with two sons.
Professor of Sustainability Studies, Roosevelt University
Michael A. Bryson is Professor and Director of Sustainability Studies and Chair of the Department of Sociology & Sustainability at Roosevelt University. A faculty member since 1996, Bryson is co-founder of Roosevelt’s Sustainability Studies program, launched in 2010 and the first undergraduate degree program of its kind in the Chicago region. He is also heavily involved in campus-wide sustainability efforts, mostly notably as a co-leader of the development of RU’s first Strategic Sustainability Plan in 2014-15.
Author of the well-reviewed book, Visions of the Land: Science, Literature, and the American Environment from the Era of Exploration to the Age of Ecology (University of Virginia Press, 2002), as well as many scholarly articles, essays, and book reviews, Bryson’s current research and writing focuses on sustainability within urban and suburban environments, the environmental and literary history of the Chicago region, and the applications of sustainability in higher education. As a public scholar and citizen-journalist, Bryson regularly publishes in newspapers and has contributed essays to popular books and artistic projects focused on nature, the environment and sustainability.
Bryson received his BA in biology and English (1990) from Illinois Wesleyan University and his PhD in English (1995) from the State University of New York at Stony Brook (now Stony Brook University).
Wednesday, Oct. 19 | Matthew Freeman Lecture
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.