Urban Studies and Wheaton in Chicago News

Check out the latest news from the Urban Studies Program and Wheaton in Chicago!


Wheaton in Chicago to Continue Fall Semester Program

The Urban Studies program is excited to confirm that Wheaton in Chicago will continue its successful and growing fall semester programming for 2013 and beyond. Wheaton in Chicago will remain both the flagship learning experience of Urban Studies and a program open to all Wheaton College students. We look forward to announcing additional details about program enhancement. Please check back with us then!

Urban Studies and Wheaton in Chicago Add New Faculty Member

The Urban Studies Program and Wheaton in Chicago are pleased to announce the hiring of Christa Tooley into a joint appointment with the Department of Sociology & Anthropology. Tooley, an anthropologist who studies urban planning, will join Dr. Noah Toly in teaching in Urban Studies and administering the Wheaton in Chicago program.

In the 2012-2013 academic year, Tooley will serve as sabbatical replacement for Dr. Toly. Beginning in 2013, she will teach new courses, such as “Place-making in Cities,” “Cities in the Global South,” “Urban Ethnography,” and “The Social Life of Cities.” These courses will support the expansion and enhancement of the Urban Studies Program and Wheaton in Chicago. In an interview, Tooley said, “I am really excited about the expansion of Urban Studies… as well as the enhancement of the Wheaton in Chicago program. We'll be building from WIC's existing strengths and offering a field experience that will be even more immersive for the students.”

The fall 2012 Wheaton in Chicago program, which will have double-digit enrollments for its seventh straight year, will be the final semester run according to the current model. Program revisions for Urban Studies and Wheaton in Chicago—including a more rigorous pre-field experience, a more immersive field experience, and a carefully planned post-field experience—will be proposed in the fall of 2012. If approved, they will be implemented in the 2013-2014 academic year.

Any questions about the status of the Urban Studies or Wheaton in Chicago programs should be directed to Dr. Noah Toly, Director of Urban Studies.

Civil Rights Activist Meets with WIC Students

John Perkins with Wheaton Students







Dr. John Perkins asked to meet with the Wheaton group after bumping into one of our students during the CCDA Conference. We were a little astounded to say the least. Dr. Perkins is not only the founder of the Christian Community Development Association, but a renowned civil rights activist whose leadership in the civil rights movement resulted in many beatings, harassment and imprisonment. He is also an author, speaker, and leader in ministry and racial reconciliation. He is a legend in most of our books and we could not believe we had the opportunity to sit down with him...at his request.

Between sessions one evening, we crowded around a coffee table in a secluded hallway to talk. He shared with us how much he loves Wheaton College and how he appreciated the institution's recognition of his leadership role from the beginning. (It was from Wheaton that he received his first honorary Doctorate--he now has 7 and has taught at Harvard, Oxford, and many other universities.) He told us how important our generation is and how much he admires that ways that young people today have grasped more than any previous generation the importance of racial reconciliation and serving with the poor. We shared with him about our program (Wheaton in Chicago) and he commended the education we are receiving, especially the irreplaceable element of living and learning in the city. We asked him questions, teased him about his twitter account, and listened to him speak passionately about the Gospel truly being good news.

It was an absolute honor to sit down with him and we were thankful to be students of Wheaton College and a part of its continuing legacy with one of the most respected leaders of our time.

Student Interns

Metropolitan Planning Council

WIC students, Jason Brown and Kirsten Westergren, interned at the Metropolitan Planning Council as MPC Research Assistants. They worked together on the MTC's blog, The Connector, in the post, A walk in the park: how Chicago celerabted PARK(ing) Day 2011 >>

Center for Neighborhood Technology

Curtis Witek recently worked on the campaign sheet for the Center for Neighborhood Technology's(CNT) Transit Future program. Here's a brief interview with Curtis:

As an Urban Studies intern at CNT, what was your role in producing this report?

As an Transportation and Community Development Intern at the Center for Neighborhood Technology, I was responsible for the preliminary research, strategic planning, and writing for the Transit Future campaign (I was essentially the campaign organizer/manager).  As of now, the campaign has not yet launched, but it could potentially become one of CNT's major campaigns to advocate for a world-class public transit system in Cook County.

How did your Urban Studies work play out in your contribution to the report? Where can we see that?

You can see some of the themes taught in Wheaton's Urban Studies program in the campaign fact sheet. For instance, Chicago's historical development being tied to its role as a transportation hub, and even the messaging: "Where are we?", "Where are we going?", and "How do we get there?" is rooted in Bent Flyvbjerg's four questions that social scientists should be asking. These are themes that I learned in the Chicago class and Urban Theory taught during Wheaton in Chicago.

Read the full campaign sheet >>  

WIC Neighbor Gets a Makeover

The old Uptown Theatre, near the Wheaton in Chicago building, is getting a makeover!

See the article >>


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