Ravenswood resident earns UIC alumni honor
Alison Perona, a 2003 master’s graduate in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago, has received the UIC City Partner Award for her contributions to the institution, Chicago, and the world.
Perona, who currently serves as the first-ever inspector general for the Chicago Park District, was honored at the University of Illinois Alumni Association’s annual Alumni Five dinner and awards ceremony on Oct. 11.
A resident of Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood, she was recognized for her career of more than 25 years focused on developing policies and rooting out inefficiencies to safeguard the public.
“This year’s honorees reflect all that is great about UIC,” Alumni Association President and CEO Loren R. Taylor told the audience of 250. “Their stories inspire all of us and enhance the proud legacy of the University of Illinois.”
Perona protected consumer interests as deputy director of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, and conducted investigations as inspector general for the Chicago Transit Authority.
In her 18 years in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Perona supervised its Child Advocacy and Protection Unit. Her work resulted in guidelines for proper investigations and a training manual now used by the National Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers. She also helped to establish the Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center.
Perona, who serves as a UIC Honors College community partner board member, co-authored the book “Ending Child Abuse: New Efforts in Prevention, Investigation, and Training” with Bette L. Bottoms, dean of the Honors College, vice provost for undergraduate affairs and professor of psychology.
The UI Alumni Association is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization for nearly 700,000 alumni throughout the world who attended the University of Illinois, with campuses in Chicago, Springfield and Urbana-Champaign.
UIC ranks among the nation’s leading research universities and is Chicago’s largest university with 27,500 students, 12,000 faculty and staff, 15 colleges and the state’s major public medical center. A hallmark of the campus is the Great Cities Commitment, through which UIC faculty, students and staff engage with community, corporate, foundation and government partners to improve the quality of life in metropolitan areas around the world.