2018 Civic Engagement, Community Service, and Community Organizing (CECSCO) Honorees

About Veronica I. Arreola

Photo of Veronica I. Arreola

Veronica I. Arreola has crafted an eclectic career by merging her degrees in biological sciences, public administration, and gender and women’s studies. She is currently the program director for UIC’s Latin@s Gaining Access to Networks for Advancement in Science (L@sGANAS) program. Previously Veronica directed UIC’s Women in Science and Engineering program which received an organizational Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from the Obama White House. She is also a writer whose work has been featured in outlets such as USA Today, New York Times, Ms. Magazine and Bitch Media, where she has served on the board of directors since 2015. Veronica has worked with organizations such as the Chicago Abortion Fund, Women Employed, and Planned Parenthood Illinois. She has broken down news of the day through a feminist lens on Vocalo’s Morning Amp for Feminist Wednesday since 2010. Veronica currently organizes with Reclaim Chicago on the far northside of Chicago where she lives with her family. Veronica has received many honors, but none are more special than tonight’s recognition.

About Keisha Farmer-Smith, Ph.D.

Photo of Keisha Farmer-Smith, Ph.D.

Dr. Keisha Farmer-Smith has partnered with organizations dedicated to supporting safe, healthy spaces for youth for 18 years. Keisha’s years of youth development experience include managing afterschool programs and coordinating services for DCFS youth. She has earned graduate degrees in Counseling and Urban Planning, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Illinois and has won awards for her Outstanding Service to Children. Keisha’s research and evaluation focus is primarily around youth development programs and applied participatory action and standpoint theory in evaluating outcomes for youth development programs.

Keisha was an integral part of Morten Group’s work with The Chicago Community Trust’s LGBT Community Needs Assessment; her expertise in research and data was essential in the design of the various survey tools used to gather dates from over 2,000 respondents for the benefit of the larger Chicago LGBT community