Guest Speaker Dr. Robert Valgenti

Dr. Valgenti is a visiting professor of Philosophy at the University of Bologna.  An expert on food ethics, he is a member of The Menus of Change University Research Collaborative (, which focuses on using college dining halls to promote healthy, sustainable, and ethical food consumption and distribution.  He will discuss the various ways that the food system not only weaves its way through every facet of campus life, but also offers an opportunity for activism on a wide range of topics.

The lecture will be held in Arts and Letters Hall, Room 103, and attendance will be limited to forty guests.  All attendees must comply with DePaul’s COVID-19 safety protocols and vaccination requirement.  The event will also be broadcast on Zoom for those who would prefer to attend virtually.

Please register for either the in-person event OR the Zoom broadcast.  Guests who register for the virtual event will be sent the Zoom link in a confirmation email.

Honors Program students who attend this event will receive one Honors Point.

This event is co-sponsored by the Honors Program, the Philosophy Department, the Geography Department, and the Sustainable Urban Development Program.  

The Honors Program Invites You to Everybody

The Honors Program invites you to join us on Wednesday, October 13th for a performance of The Theatre School’s production of

“This modern riff on the fifteenth-century morality play Everyman follows Everybody, who is a personification of us all (chosen from amongst the cast by lottery at each performance) on their quest to resolve life’s greatest mystery – the meaning of living.” 

Space is limited, so reserve your free ticket as soon as possible.

Please arrive at the Healy Theatre (2350 N Racine Ave.) on the Lincoln Park campus between 6:30 and 7:00 pm to pick up tickets at the box office before the performance. The performance begins at 7:30 pm.

You can also find more information on the show here:

This event awards one Honors Point.

Art Institute Tour

The Honors Program invites you to attend a guided tour of some of the great works on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. The group will meet outside the main entrance of the Art Institute at 4:45 pm on Thursday, September 23rd. The guided tour will be from 5:00-6:00 pm. Space is very limited, so please RSVP right away to save your spot. If you aren’t able to reserve a ticket, please join the waitlist and keep an eye on your email in case space opens up.

Register at

Students who attend this event will earn one Honors Point.

Welcome to Professor Darry Powell-Young

by Jade Ryerson

The Honors Program is excited to introduce Prof. Darry Powell-Young (he/him). He comes to DePaul from Wayne State University, where he is completing his Ph.D. in Political Science. Prior to coming to DePaul, he taught at Wayne State University and the University of Michigan.

In the fall of 2021, Prof. Powell-Young will teach a section of HON 208/302 focused on Race & Urban Public Policy, which will provide “an in-depth look at different ways to consider race and political representation in America and how race has been intertwined with policy development in the 20th and 21st centuries.” After a year of teaching online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Prof. Powell-Young is eager to get back into the classroom in the fall. He is excited to teach HON 208 as an in-person seminar, since he greatly enjoys engaging students in critical dialogue, assisting in shaping their opinions about various topics, and helping them to be socially aware. Teaching online required a big adjustment for Prof. Powell-Young, since he has been teaching in-person for a decade. His first teaching job was at his own alma mater, Lincoln Park High School. After teaching there for three years, he continued to teach throughout his time in graduate school. He has taught courses about American politics, urban politics, and social science research methods and statistics.

The topics of these courses closely align with Prof. Powell-Young’s own research interests. Focusing on Chicago Public Schools and the city’s system of mayoral control in particular, his dissertation investigates whether city mayors affect academic achievement among Black male students. He discovered that mayoral control does impact academic achievement, especially as it relates to financing and different levels of funding for schools across the city, and his research supports the city’s transition to a fully elected school board, an issue that state lawmakers voted and passed a bill on in June 2021.

Prof. Powell-Young plans to extend his research to different cities, including the District of Columbia where the school board is modeled on Boston and Chicago’s system of mayoral control. In addition to researching education in the nation’s capital, Prof. Powell-Young hopes to work there one day. He wants to become a policy analyst for secondary and post-secondary education in the U.S. Department of Education and work his way up to become a Director in the Office for Civil Rights.

Prof. Powell-Young’s lifelong passion for education was instilled in him at an early age by his mother, father, and grandmother. He remembers that his family has always been pro-education, advocating for it as a “ticket to whatever you want to do in life.” He attributes where he is today to all of their love and support. Similarly, he has been fascinated by politics since a young age. He recalls being the only ten-year-old he knew who avidly watched Meet the Press.

In addition to keeping his nose to the grindstone, Prof. Powell-Young’s mother provided him with one of his all-time favorite memories. She surprised him with tickets to the Price is Right for his twenty-first birthday. He was even one of the first four contestants and played Cliff Hangers for kitchen appliances, although he lost by five dollars. He fondly remembers spinning the big wheel, but went over by a dime.

Originally from the South Shore neighborhood, Prof. Powell-Young is excited to be back home in Chicago. He’s looking forward to spending time with friends and hitting up Navy Pier—where he had his first job at a Häagen-Dazs—to see how things have changed. Until he takes Washington by storm, we at DePaul can count ourselves lucky to have him. Welcome, Prof. Powell-Young!

(Prof. Powell-Young will also be teaching PSC 223 Urban Politics in the fall. Tell your friends!)

Lead For America Fellowship

Lead For America Fellowship 

Lead For America works to ensure that our nation’s most dynamic and diverse leaders are working on our communities’ toughest challenges. Our core program is a paid two-year Fellowship for outstanding leaders to work on the toughest challenges facing local governments and nonprofits nationwide, particularly in Fellows’ hometowns and communities struggling to attract and retain talent.

Why should you apply for the Fellowship?

Get hands-on experience tackling the toughest challenges facing our country. From coordinating resources to tackle the opioid crisis in rural West Virginia to designing affordable housing policy in East Los Angeles, our Fellows are truly working on the most intractable issues facing our country. Through a Lead For America Fellowship, you address these overwhelming issues on a local level with direct collaboration with local leaders. With this approach, your impact is tangible, rooted in community, and large enough to truly change lives. 

Receive training from leading institutions. All Fellows receive two weeks of graduate-level public administration, leadership and equity training prior to beginning their Fellowships. In our previous years, this training has been led by partners and staff at the UNC School of Government, the Harvard Kennedy School, Boston University’s Initiative on Cities, Tufts University’s Tisch College for Civic Life, and Georgetown University’s Baker Center for Leadership & Governance. All Fellows also meet up for three-weekend retreats over the course of the two years.

Join a cohort of incredible peers. Our first class of 100 Fellows are serving in 26 states nationwide. Over half are people of color, 60% are women, 1/3 are first-generation college students, and more than 40% were pell-grant recipients in college. 1/3 of our Fellows are also serving in rural communities and towns of less than 10,000 people, adding to the experience of the entire cohort. The class includes Truman, Gates & Udall Scholars, Marine Corps Veterans, D1 Athletes, and former Student Body Presidents.

Help co-create a growing, national program. Lead For America’s goal is to train, place, and support 50,000 leaders by 2040. We are on track to have more than 200 Fellows by this fall, and to scale up to 1,000 Fellows in the next 3 years. Our Fellows serve at every level of our organization, including our National Board of Directors. Help us shape the program for years to come!

Launch your career as a civic leader. Lead For America is less about what happens during the first two years than it is about building a community of lifelong civic leaders. We don’t just say this––we put resources behind it! From a digital alumni network and alumni reunions to training and financial support for alumni who decide to launch nonprofits and businesses or even run for office, we will focus on helping you advance in your leadership and service for the rest of your life.

Fellowship. American Connection Corps Fellow – This year, Lead For America formed a partnership with Land O’Lakes and the American Connection Project to address America’s widespread disparities in access to affordable, high speed internet. Through this partnership, we have created the American Connection Corps (ACC), which will be the nation’s largest fellowship program focused on bridging the digital divide. This new fellowship will mobilize fifty young change-makers to serve in select states for a two-year pilot initiative where they will coordinate broadband development & digital inclusion locally, and across the country. Read more here:

Interested? Learn More and Apply Today!

Learn More: Lead for America Website

Get to Know Us and Ask Your Questions: Email us at

Apply Today: Apply here by June 15th at 11:59pm PST to learn more and join the Lead for America 2021 Fellowship cohort

Honors Student Research Conference Program

May 21, 2021

Welcoming Remarks

3:30 – 4:00

Zoom link:

PASSCODE: 864479

  • Jennifer Conary, Director, University Honors Program
  • Guillermo Vasquez de Velasco, Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences

Session A

4:00 – 5:10

A1:  Creative and Philosophical Musings

Zoom link:

Session Moderator: Prof. Anna Souchuk

  • Brad Brewington – Experience as Interpretation: The role of “Possibility” and “Reality” in constituting a horizon in which experience occurs in the philosophies of Heidegger and Kant
  • Alexis (Lexi) Jackson – The Loss of Strength: On the Undesirability of a Singular Good
  • Riley McLaughlin In Phases: A Poetry Chapbook Inspired by Ties Between the Moon and my Individual Feminine Experience
  • Amelia Modes – A Loving Feeling

A2:  Gender Matters

Zoom link:

Session Moderator: Prof. Lisa Poirier

  • Melanie Anselmo – The Great Mirror of Male Ego: A Literary Look at Japanese Gay Discourse
  • Maya Parekh – A Transnational Feminist Comparative Analysis of Midwifery as Anti-Colonial Resistance
  • Miriam Searcy “Shot Girl Summer:” Why do we Normalize Violence Against Black Female Artists?
  • Grace Weber – ‘Can We All Be Feminists?’ An Existentialist Case for the Abolition of Marriage

A3:  Transforming Teaching

Zoom link:

Session Moderator:  Prof. Kathie Kapustka

  • Mariana Bednarek – Comparing Mental Health Experiences of Latinx Immigrant-Origin College Students Before and After COVID-19: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
  • Isabel Cueto Dual Language Education and Multilingualism in Chicago Public Schools
  • Cecilia KearneySpace for Transformation: Stories of Navigating Transformative Justice Practices Within a Carceral System
  • Erin O’ConnorHealing Justice in Schools
  • Sara Shahein – The Role of Community Engagement in Teaching Poetry in Middle and High School English Classes

Session B

5:15 – 6:30

B1: The Science Around Us

Zoom link:

Session Moderator: Prof. Jim Montgomery

  • Maddie Fernandez Laris – Biotic and Abiotic Factors Influencing Regeneration of an Endangered Oak
  • Maya Fitzgerald – Access to Primary Care by Neighborhood in Chicago
  • Cameron (Cam) Rodriguez – Place and Power: The Nuclear State of Illinois
  • Tom Sykora – High Altitude Ballooning as a Platform for Measuring Ozone Uptake over Agricultural Landscapes

B2: The History and Politics of Place

Zoom link:

Session Moderator: Prof. Scott Bucking

  • MaryJo McManamon – The Hospitality Industry Shown from a Multicultural Perspective: Cairo and Istanbul
  • Elena Medeiros – Seeds of the Carnation Revolution: Can Students Lead the Fight for Change?
  • Justin Myers – Alton: A Mississippi River City of Perseverance
  • Anne Scoltock – Mutual Aid in the Context of 2020’s Concurrent Crises

B3: Rethinking and Re-envisioning

Zoom link:

Session Moderator: Peter Hastings

  • Deyana AtanasovaVenmo: The Fine Line Between Economic and Social Capital
  • Miakoda (Mia) FrostBury It, or Rise Above: The Potential of Popular Media to Destigmatize Dissociative Identity Disorder
  • Jacalyn Gisvold – Existing Outside the Hollywood Vacuum: An Exploration in a Reimagination of Filmmaking
  • Shashank Srikanth – The H-1B Visa Program: A System of Continuous Exploitation and Malpractice