Awards and honors


Laurie Schaffner

Laurie Schaffner, associate professor of sociology and gender and women’s studies, has been named the recipient of the 2019 Maggie Kuhn Scholar-Activist Award from the Society of the Study of Social Problems.

The award, established in 2014 by the society’s division of the youth, aging, and life course, is given to a scholar-activist who upholds the ideals of social and economic justice and peace, for individuals of all ages in both their scholarship and service.

Schaffner was recognized during the division’s meeting at the society’s annual conference in New York City.


Sonya Gupta

UIC sophomore Sonya Gupta was among 17 students from around the country selected by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) for summer study abroad programs in Moscow or St. Petersburg, Russia. The students awarded the full scholarship through this program attend either an Asian American Serving Institution, a Hispanic Serving Institution, or an HBCU.

Gupta, who is an undeclared major and member of the Honors College and GPPA Medical Scholars program, was selected on the basis of academic achievement, studies of the Russian language, and essays describing how a summer in Russia would advance her career goals.

She spent the summer based in Moscow where she continued her study of the Russian language and culture, lived with a local Russian family, and took part in co-curricular activities designed to increase intercultural understanding.

“I have always appreciated Russian fine arts, which sparked my love for the language that I’ve studied since high school,” Gupta said. “By having this study abroad experience, I hope to encourage cross-cultural collaboration to further advance medicine.”

CIEE, the country’s oldest and largest nonprofit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization, helps people develop skills for living in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world.

Rachel Weber, professor of urban planning and policy, testified as an expert witness before Illinois legislators on the Property Tax Relief Task Force during a hearing held Sept. 25. Weber, an expert on economic development, real estate, and public finance, presented results of research that she and co-investigators David Merriman, James J. Stukel Presidential Professor in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs; Joshua Drucker, associate professor of urban planning and policy; Rick Funderburg, assistant professor of public administration at the University of Illinois at Springfield; and Geon Kim, UIC Ph.D. student in urban planning and policy; conducted on the costs and benefits of economic development incentives, such as tax increment financing.


Renee Hatcher, assistant professor of law and director of the Community Enterprise and Solidarity Economy Clinic at UIC John Marshall Law School, drafted the Illinois Limited Worker Cooperative Association Act, which was signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker. The legislation provides a new business entity for worker cooperatives in the state of Illinois. The new law, effective January 1, 2020, will allow worker cooperatives access to important regulatory benefits, including securities registration exemptions, additional investment and capital contribution opportunities, and easily allows for sweat equity contributions. 

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