UIC political scientist earns APSA award for outstanding teaching

Dick Simpson, UIC professor emeritus of political science. Photo: Kristina Sherk

University of Illinois Chicago political scientist Dick Simpson was named the recipient of the American Political Science Association’s 2022 Distinguished Teaching Award, which annually recognizes outstanding contributions to undergraduate and graduate teaching of political science at two- and four-year institutions.

Simpson, who recently retired from UIC after teaching at the university since 1967, will be honored during a ceremony at the association’s meeting in Montreal next month.

As a former Chicago City Council member, Simpson uniquely combined a distinguished academic career with public service in government. His quality teaching at UIC was recognized twice with the UIC Silver Circle Award, the Council for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award, the UIC award for Excellence in Teaching and the Pi Sigma Alpha National Award for Outstanding Teaching in Political Science.

Simpson has published widely and continues to be a frequent contributor to media coverage of city and state politics. In his latest book, “Democracy’s Rebirth: The View from Chicago,” he uses Chicago as an example to examine how the political, racial, economic and social inequalities dividing the nation play out in neighborhoods and cities.

He is an authority on political corruption, the political process and neighborhood empowerment. He has been the principal researcher on important studies that have led to reforms in many units of government in Chicago, Cook County and Illinois.

Many of Simpson’s former students have gone on to serve in various levels of public office from local school boards to the U.S. Senate. His students have also served as interns in many branches of government, law firms, public interest groups, and international and community organizations.

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