Awards and honors

Walter Podrazik

Walter Podrazik, UIC adjunct lecturer in communication, was a featured participant in Nixon Debates Kennedy 1960,


Chaim Garfinkel, chief information security officer at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, and Jenn Grage, a medical student at UIC College of Medicine, have been recognized by Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network for outstanding achievement in addressing the critical need for organ and tissue donation.

Named a 2018 Lifesaving Partner by Gift of Hope, Garfinkel and Grage were among 14 hospital, forensic and civic professionals and organizations recognized for their work to help Gift of Hope carry out its mission of saving and enhancing lives through organ and tissue donation.

Grage reached out to the UI Health Transplant Department to set up a donor awareness event geared toward medical students and faculty to learn more about what it means to be an organ and tissue donor and the importance of joining a donor registry.

Garfinkel recognized a major opportunity to adjust the electronic medical record system at University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System and championed changes that would help to improve access for Gift of Hope’s clinical staff.



The Conrad Festival, the annual Krakow, Poland-based literary event directed for the last 10 years by Michał Paweł Markowski, the Stefan and Lucy Hejna Family Chair in Polish Language and Literature at UIC, took place Oct. 22-28. This year’s edition of the event, which is considered among the top international literary festivals, will “ask critical questions related to ‘pop,’ which is considered the core of our current cultural and political experiences.”

In addition to his role as event director, Markowski will be heavily involved in the proceedings as a panelist (about the role of elites); a host (with Jan-Werner Mueller about populism); a teacher (a guest class for high schoolers about a novel by a Romanian author); a film critic (introducing a film by a Romanian director), and the chairman of two juries: for the Conrad Award for the best literary debut in Poland in the previous year and for the Prix de l’Ambassade de Luxembourg for the best essay about European Union.


Walter Podrazik, UIC adjunct lecturer in communication, was a featured participant in Nixon Debates Kennedy 1960, a participatory reenactment of the first televised presidential debate hosted by Illinois Humanities and The Arts Club of Chicago. Podrazik joined artist Jesse Malmed, journalist Laura Washington, and former chair of the Federal Communications Commission Newton N. Minow to deliver commentary that underscored the significance of this televisual, journalistic, and political moment.

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