Appointments, awards and honors

Jordi Cabana

Jordi Cabana, associate professor of chemistry, is part of a collaborative research team given a Scialog: Advanced Energy Storage award from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement.


Amalia Pallares was appointed associate chancellor and vice provost for diversity at UIC, effective Feb. 19.

Pallares is professor of political science and Latin American and Latino studies and director of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program at UIC, where she has been on the faculty for 22 years. She earned her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Texas.

She studies social movements in Latin America and in the U.S., focusing on the relationship between movements’ strategies and the collective construction of political identity and meaning. Pallares is the author or editor of several books and other publications, including Family Activism: Immigrant Struggles and the Politics of Noncitizenship and From Peasant Struggles to Indian Resistance. Pallares has engaged in academic program building, fundraising and issues affecting underrepresented students and faculty. Previous administrative positions include associate dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Interim co-director of the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy.


Mark Liechty, UIC professor of history and anthropology, received the 2017 Kekoo Naoroji Book Award for Himalayan Literature, for his book Far Out: Countercultural Seekers and the Tourism Encounter in Nepal on Western countercultural longing and the history of tourism in Nepal.

Jordi Cabana, UIC associate professor of chemistry, is part of a collaborative research team given a Scialog: Advanced Energy Storage award from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. Cabana’s group, which consists of two other investigators from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California-Berkeley, was one of six early career research teams to receive $100,000 for their project “Defining interfacial reactivity in high capacity Li-ion cathode materials.” The Scialog initiative supports research, intensive dialog and community building to address scientific challenges of global significance. The Research Corporation for Science Advancement is a foundation that provides funding for innovative scientific research and the development of academic scientists advancing American competitiveness in science and technology.

The UIC Urban Youth Trauma Center was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the Park Forest Police Department for its “dedicated work in providing critical resources and support in a professional and compassionate manner to youth in Park Forest and throughout the Chicago area.” The Urban Youth Trauma Center has collaborated with the Park Forest Police Department to implement violence prevention programs for youth who commit minor offenses, and trained the entire police department in trauma-informed violence prevention.


Cynthia Handrup, clinical assistant professor of nursing, has been elected president-elect of the Global Alliance of Behavioral Health and Social Justice. The organization, formerly the American Orthopsychiatric Association, is a large interdisciplinary organization focused on the intersection of mental health and social justice. Handrup will be the first nurse to serve as its president since Clare Fagin became the first ever nurse to hold the post more than three decades ago in 1985.

Katherine Zinsser, assistant professor of psychology, has been named an Association for Psychological Science Rising Star. The designation recognizes outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research career post-Ph,D. whose innovative work has already advanced the field and signals great potential for their continued contributions. Zinsser, who directs the Social-Emotional Teaching and Learning Lab at UIC, has published and presented widely on effective social and emotional teaching practices and classroom environments that promote teacher and child well-being, and she is a frequent collaborator with policy makers and education professionals. Currently a visiting scholar in the Institute for Government and Public Affairs, Zinsser has received grants from the Institute of Education Sciences, National Academy of Education, and Spencer Foundation.

UIC students Kerri Gefeke and Natalie Kubik, teaching assistants in earth and environmental sciences, received the 2018 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award from the National Association of Geoscience Teachers. The award recognizes exceptional effort and exemplary success as a teaching assistant in earth sciences.

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Faculty, Students