Students visit D.C. to advocate UIC as Obama library site

Michael Belmonte, Kris Fuentes Cortes, Jauwan Hall, Mikita Lee, Danielle Leibowitz and Arthur Nishimoto traveled to Washington, D.C. Monday. Photos: Jenny Fontaine





Six diverse UIC students and two campus administrators will meet with congressional staff, media, and representatives of the Barack Obama Foundation in Washington to deliver UIC’s official bid and discuss why Chicago’s only public research university is the most fitting partner and home for the Obama Presidential Library.


Monday, June 16


8-9 a.m. and 12:30-1:30 p.m.
University of Illinois Federal Relations Office, Hall of States Building
444 N. Capitol Street, NW, Suite #400

DC Media Contact:

Jon Pyatt, director of federal relations for the University of Illinois
(917) 629-8804 (cell),


Each of the students has a personal history or educational and career goals that mirror President Obama’s legacies and legislative priorities. They will be joined by Mary Case, UIC dean of libraries and co-chair of UIC’s steering committee for the Obama library, and Barbara Henley, vice chancellor for student affairs. They will highlight UIC’s mission of reducing health disparities and providing access to health care in underserved neighborhoods and communities across Illinois; UIC’s cultural inclusivity and support for DREAM Act students and student veterans; its $246 million in federally sponsored research; and its commitment to making excellence in higher education accessible and affordable on a campus where half of all students are Pell-eligible.

Students include:

–Michael Belmonte, a medical student interested in health disparities.
–Kris Fuentes Cortes, a communications student and Hispanic activist.
–Jauwan Hall, a pre-law student and veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
–Mikita Lee, a public health student and community health volunteer.
–Danielle Leibowitz, UIC Student Trustee to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees and federal Pell Grant recipient studying the teaching of mathematics.
–Arthur Nishimoto, a doctoral student in computer science specializing in virtual-reality applications.

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