Faculty Testimonials

Section 1


"EUI opened my eyes to a new way of understanding the campus: through the collected experiences of others who have passed through over time."
--Carol J. Livingstone, Associate Provost

"Adding an ethnographic component to my course meant that students discovered things I would never have dreamed of."
--Spencer Schaffner, English

"The EUI initiative provided an exciting and challenging way for me to engage students in ... a valuable and satisfying learning experience. Students enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about the university, interview campus leaders, and communicate with each other on-line."
--Kim Graber, Kinesiology

"This fall a scholar contacted me about an EUI project that he had located via a Google search. He was impressed that an undergraduate had written it. I think it's great that the students can participate in larger intellectual conversations by putting their research on line."
--Kristin Hoganson, History

"EUI generates both anticipated and unexpected paths of research and inquiry. Taking students seriously as scholars as well as looking at the university critically really opens up a multitude of possibilities. Both myself and my students have had a much richer experience by virtue of association with this initiative."

"Most of my students have been not only passionately interested in their topics, but greatly appreciative of the self-reflexive research approach that ethnography provides."

"Affiliating with this program has also been a life-enriching experience for me. A real bonus to teaching within this initiative has been the EUI staff and faculty, whose on-going technical and moral support has been key to the program's success."
--Priscilla Fortier, Educational Policy Studies

"Through its engagement in a participatory design process, EUI has also been a major creator of the Inquiry Page and iLABS [collaborative software designed at the University of Illinois] tools."
--Bertram (Chip) Bruce, Library and Information Science, Co-Director of the Community Informatics Initiative.

"Through the EUI, students begin to recognize the everyday reproduction of social relations by systematically observing it in their immediate world."
--Ellen Moodie, Anthropology

"Students in EUI courses engage in work that hasn't been done before, they are in charge of both the path of their research and the interpretation of their findings. Rather than repeating arguments that have already been made, they form their own. Students do work that is interesting and that matters."
--Jessica Bannon, Graduate Student, English

"EUI introduces students from diverse backgrounds to the exciting world of archival research in a way that is personally meaningful. By connecting to and exploring the experiences of students from the past, EUI students come to see that their own experience and history are part of a larger U of I mosaic."
--Ellen Swain, Library Administration

"As a collaborator in the EUI project "The Ethnography of the University of Illinois Brown v. Board Commemoration," I have witnessed first hand the power of EUI to transform the lives of students and faculty alike. EUI is a terrific exemplar of John Dewey's commitment to experience as the foundation for all good education."
--Mark Aber, Psychology

"Ethnography produces the most authentic student writing I've seen in my Rhetoric classes. Students inevitably think hard about seeing others' lives and the responsibility of portraying them accurately. Ethnography is my new best friend."
--John Griswold, English

"The spirit of EUI enables me to finally (after 18 years) put crucial teaching and research elements together (such as writing across the curriculum; social theory in accessible form for undergrads; cultural theory taken to the streets; and fair grading) in a way that actually works. I have also particularly benefited from EUI meetings/seminars and the camaraderie of the colleagues that I have met through EUI."
--Synthia Sydnor, Associate Professor, Kinesiology and Community Health

"EUI provides a mechanism for students to learn to be researchers of their own communities. It allows us to get beyond simple program assessment by using more in-depth methods and potentially provides a more dynamic and complex picture of residential diversity/social justice programs. I continue to be connected to EUI because I think it's a powerful and creative initiative in and of itself and because I hope that incorporating these types of courses into those we already offer will contribute to students' sense of empowerment in their own residential communities."
--Lydia Khuri, Program Coordinator, Intersections Living-Learning Community

"As a graduate student, EUI has been an integral part of my career at Illinois, providing unique opportunities to work with people from many different disciplines and programs across campus. I don't think I'm overstating things when I say that my experience has enhanced my profile as a teacher and a scholar. Through EUI, I've had the opportunity to collaborate on research with faculty, use ethnography in my introductory writing courses, and present on ethnography's usefulness in the teaching of writing at various conferences in my field. And I can honestly say that search committees asked about my work with EUI in almost every one of my job interviews!"
--Amy Wan, Graduate Student, English