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Community-Engaged Research Fellows


The UIC Center For Literacy’s Community-Engaged Research Fellows Program is a competitive, 18-month interdisciplinary fellowship program for early-program PhD graduate students in the UIC College of Education who seek to develop their research knowledge and experience in community-engaged research methodology.

Fellows commit to working as community-engaged scholars, collaborating with Chicago community members through the Center for Literacy’s programs, and receiving mentorship and training in community-engaged methodologies in a supportive learning cohort. Fellows will also have opportunities to publish research and take leadership roles as rising scholars. To learn more, see this article spotlighting the fellowship from UIC Today.

The Community-Engaged Research Fellows program seeks to promote student diversity in the College of Education though encouraging students of color and individuals from historically marginalized populations to apply. Applications for the 2022-23 cohort are now closed.

The UIC Center For Literacy is proud to announce its Community-Engaged Research Fellows for January 2022 to May 2023! Heading link

Get to know more about them below:

Nathaniel Cha
A Chicago native, Nathaniel Cha is currently a PhD student for UIC’s Literacy, Language, & Culture Program.
Armed with a Master’s degree from UChicago’s UTEP program, Cha’s experience as a Social Studies Teacher confirmed the powerful role of civic engagement in curriculum and classroom culture. As a lover of wisdom, Cha is currently investigating healing pedagogies and how they can enhance efforts for action in schools and their greater communities.
Ceily Moore

Ceily Moore is a PhD student in Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work focuses on the implementation and evaluation of culturally responsive-sustaining and social-emotional learning practices both in and out of school and its impact on the development of Black youth.

Juana Abarca

Juana Abarca is a doctoral student in the special education department. She has always wanted to use what she has learned as a bilingual special educator in community engaged research.

Evelyn Pollins

Evelyn Pollins is a second-year student in the Literacy, Language, and Culture program. She is interested in how teachers and parents use diverse children’s literature to engage students in literacy practices and support students in developing expansive reading identities. Prior to joining the LLC program, Evelyn spent 13 years as an elementary school teacher in Chicago Public Schools.