America's Urban Campus and four co-sponsors held its first joint career fair and symposium for AUC students on October 29, 2019, hosted by the University of Illinois at Chicago. The Career Fair focused on jobs and internships in the hard sciences and social sciences, career areas that individual institutions often have difficulty in attracting large numbers of employers. This pilot event was a great success, attracting 22 employers and 220 undergraduate, graduate students and alumni from 11 AUC members. The employers were impressed both by the quality of the students and the fact that so many universities were represented. During the career fair, AUC organized a symposium featuring six speakers on a range of subjects from career opportunities in water and environment, to opportunities with the federal government to the importance of demonstrating soft skills in the interview process.
America’s Urban Campus and DePaul University were both sponsors and supporters of the organizers of “CityAge Chicago: the Future of the American City,” held at the Union League Club on October 24, 2019. Nearly 150 attendees, representing a cross-section of the Chicago design, business, academic and non-profit communities explored many topics related to the development of economic activity, infrastructure and talent in the Chicago of tomorrow. This conference took place at a critical juncture in Chicago’s development history--with a new mayor seeking to provide a balanced strategy to growth in the neighborhoods and the central business district--even as a number of mega-developments begin to take shape just outside the central core of the City. Discussants argued for application of an equity lens to the next generation of development projects in the city. David Baker, Executive Director of America’s Urban Campus participated in the panel: Idea City, discussing the role of Chicago’s universities in generating the diverse talent pool so needed by industry.
The weekend of October 11-12, 2019 nearly 100 students from America’s Urban Campus institutions, plus a few from other schools, participated in an overnight Hackathon organized by PayPal and its affiliates, Braintree and Venmo. The event took place at Braintree’s Merchandise Mart offices.
The Hackathon was specifically designed to attract a diverse and inclusive group of students from across the city, making sure students interested in IT from all our schools felt welcome. AUC helped PayPal market the event through its network of Career Services Offices and contact with student organizations at the schools.
After working all night and into Saturday, the teams presented their solutions to the judges--representatives from PayPal, Braintree and Venmo, many of whom stayed all night to mentor the students. Three winning teams took home cash prizes and commitments from PayPal to their charity of choice. Five additional teams won charitable donations for the strength of a particular aspect of their solution (e.g. impact, creativity, implementation)
On May 14, 2019, nine members of America's Urban Campus Board and partners participated in a two hour “On the Table” luncheon discussion on the critical issues facing Chicago's new Mayor, Lori Lightfoot.
“In 2018 and 2019, AUC partnered with Illinois Campus Compact, local universities and community organizations in one-day workshops to explore the issues surrounding the collaborations and research projects in Chicago’s neighborhoods. The discussions led to deeper understanding among the parties regarding both the positives and areas needed for improving trust, communications and authentic partnership to support communities, students and faculty working on the projects.”
AUC has run or co-sponsored a number of important events since 2016 to help fulfill its mission. These events range from a one day workshop: Forging Partnerships to Stem the Tide of Violence, to two annual sessions, “Campus Meets Community” with the Illinois Campus Compact.