Announcing Two New Directors of UIC Cultural Centers

Dear Faculty, Students, and Staff,

We are pleased to announce two new directors of cultural centers, reporting to the Vice Provost & Associate Chancellor for Diversity. Both appointments are subject to approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

After a national search, Dr. Cynthia Blair will serve as the permanent Director of the African American Cultural Center after serving as interim for the past year. Dr. Blair is Associate Professor in the Department of African American Dr. Blair is Associate Professor in the Department of African American Studies and the Department of History. She received her Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization from Harvard University and joined the faculty of UIC in 1996. Dr. Blair’s research engages the fields of race, gender, sexuality, labor, migration, and performance. She is the author of I’ve Got to Make My Livin’: Black Women’s Sex Work in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago, and is currently at work on a biography of the comedian Jackie “Moms” Mabley. Dr. Blair has served as Interim Head of the Department of African American Studies. As a member of an interdisciplinary unit, and in her research and teaching, Dr. Blair is invested in interdisciplinary and intersectional approaches to the study of the past. After a very successful year as interim when she furthered the Center’s work of community engagement, creative program development, and innovative and responsive student support, we are very excited that she agreed to continue as the permanent director.

Dr. Margaret Fink will serve as Director of the Disability Cultural Center. Dr. Fink is a disability scholar, educator, and organizer coming to UIC from the University of Chicago. A Wisconsin native, she holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. in English Language & Literature, and completed a disability studies dissertation at the University of Chicago. Her research interests center on visual narrative. Most recently, Dr. Fink has been working as a writing program administrator, mobilizing her expertise in rhetoric and her commitment to teaching to support first-year writers and develop much-needed programming for graduate student writers. She has offered workshops to cultivate accessible teaching and event planning practices with University units and student groups, including the Chicago Center for Teaching, the Center for Identity and Inclusion, and the Southside Solidarity Network. As a student, she worked with others to found the Organization of Students with Disabilities to build a community for disability advocacy at the University of Chicago.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Cynthia Blair and Dr. Margaret Fink to their new positions at UIC.

Sincerely,

Susan Poser
Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Amalia Pallares
Vice Provost & Associate Chancellor for Diversity