Search Committee

Michael Pagano
Search Committee Chair
Dean and Professor
Urban Planning and Public Affairs

Michael A. Pagano is Dean of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Director of UIC’s Government Finance Research Center, professor of public administration, Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration (which was chartered by Congress to assist federal, state, and local governments in improving their effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability), former co-editor of Urban Affairs Review (2001-2014), and Nonresident Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution.

He has published ten books, including Metropolitan Resilience in a Time of Economic Turmoil , Cityscapes and Capital and The Dynamics of Federalism, and over 80 articles on urban finance, capital budgeting, federalism, transportation policy, infrastructure, urban development and fiscal policy; since 1991, he has written the annual City Fiscal Conditions report for the National League of Cities. He has delivered more than one hundred papers and speeches and received funding from John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the National Research Council, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Pew Charitable Trusts, Brookings Institution, CEOs for Cities, National League of Cities, Chicago Community Trust, U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, and elsewhere.

He serves on a variety of professional organizations, including NASPAA (Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration), the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, the Metropolitan Planning Council (Chicago), the Pension Committee of the Civic Federation, and the Urban Land Institute. He earned a B.A. from the Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1980.

S. Elise Archias
Associate Professor
Art History
Architecture, Design, and the Arts

Elise Archias’s research and classes center around modern and contemporary art and performance art, asking questions about the relationship between abstract ideals and physical materials and needs in 20th- and 21st-century life and aesthetics. Her book, The Concrete Body – Yvonne Rainer, Carolee Schneemann, Vito Acconci (Yale University Press, 2016) was the winner of the Frank Jewett Mather Award for art criticism in 2018 and the Miess/Mellon Author’s Book Award in 2015. The book (reviewed in Artforum (February 2018) explores the ways the use of the body as a material in the work of three prominent performance artists revised modernist aesthetics for the 1960s as part of a broader critique of everyday life within spectacle culture. Her next project considers painters and sculptors in the late 1950s and 1960s who held on to modern ideas and forms, in spite of the fact that these individuals belonged to identity categories formerly excluded from the modern categories of “citizen” and “human.” She has presented her work on performance, sculpture, and painting in various venues nationally and internationally, including the Getty Research Institute, the Henry Art Gallery, University of British Columbia, the Archives of American Art, and the Slought Foundation. She received her doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008 and worked as an assistant professor at California State University, Chico, before coming to UIC in 2012. She was a scholar in residence at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center in 2011. She was a fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in spring 2016, pursuing her research on Joan Mitchell and abstraction in the long ‘Sixties. In winter 2017, she curated Embodiment Abstracted: The Influence of Yvonne Rainer at UIC’s Gallery 400, an exhibition featuring seven artists’ performance and video work from the early 2000s. She has advised master’s theses on Sharon Hayes’s public love letters, public sculpture as a site of performative activism, the abstract painting of Pat Passlof, and Alberto Giacometti’s sculptural argument with Surrealism circa 1929, among others.

Amir Berbic
Architecture, Design, and the Arts

Amir Berbić is a Professor and Chair of Graphic Design and serves as Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts. He served as Acting Director of the UIC School of Design during the 2016–17 academic year. Amir’s research focus is in place identity, three-dimensional typography and design pedagogy. He is a frequent collaborator with cultural organizations, arts institutions and publishers. Amir’s work has been featured in numerous academic and professional publications, conferences, and exhibitions including Design Issues, Visual Communication, Print, ICOGRADA, World Design Congress, Society of Typographic Arts, AIGA Design Educators Conference, TypeCon, and is included in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Amir immigrated from Bosnia-Herzegovina to the United States in the 1990s, where he completed his design education and began a career in editorial design and micro-publishing. He holds an MFA in Visual Communication from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to joining UIC in 2014, he had a ten year academic career at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates where his research examined branding campaigns for Dubai’s architectural developments.

Amir Berbić was a member of the AIGA Chicago Board of Directors, serving as Vice President of Education (2015–18).

Greg Cameron
President and CEO
The Joffrey Ballet

Inspired by his lifelong love for the arts, for his hometown, and for connecting with people from every background, Greg Cameron leads the Joffrey Ballet as President and CEO, responsible for organization-wide administration and strategy. Under Greg’s partnership with The Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director Ashley Wheater, the Joffrey has set new records at the box office and built the strongest financial foundation in its history.

Before joining the Joffrey, Greg spent three decades supporting art and artists and creating meaningful experiences for others at the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and WTTW/WFMT. In addition to leading the Joffrey, Greg throws himself into his community, volunteering for a wide range of nonprofit organizations and civic committees.

“The Joffrey brings it all together for me,” he says. “It’s about collaboration, partnership with the community, honoring and supporting artists, and telling stories that truly move people.”

Julia Capomaggi
Assistant Professor
Architecture, Design, and the Arts

PhD, (Cum Laude) Polytechnic University of Barcelona (UPC)
MArch, Polytechnic University of Barcelona (UPC)
Dipl-Arch, Nacional University of Rosario (FAPyD) Argentina / Polytechnic University of Seville (ETSAS)

Julia Capomaggi is an Architect by the National University of Rosario, Argentina, and obtained her March and PhD degree from the Polytechnic University of Barcelona, Spain. She is the principal of Capomaggi+, a design and research collaborative practice based in Chicago. Her works has received numerous awards, among them the first prize in Europan 9 competition, the AIA Chicago Small Projects Award (2018) and her work has been selected to participate in the MCHAP and the Argentina International Biennials 2014 and 2018. Her designs have been published in Aquitectura Viva, Pasajes de Arquitectura, Plot and Flat out, among others, and exhibited in Venice, Barcelona, Rosario and Chicago.

Before joining UIC, she taught at the UNR (Rosario, Argentina) and the BAC (Boston, United States) 

Christine Mary Dunford
Director and Associate Professor
Theatre & Music
Architecture, Design, and the Arts

Christine Mary Dunford, PhD, is Director of the School of Theatre & Music at University of Illinois at Chicago, and has been an ensemble member with Lookingglass Theatre Company since 1989. She has acted in, written/adapted and/or directed nearly three dozen Lookingglass productions including her own an adaptation of the novel  Still Alice which received a Joseph Jefferson nomination for Outstanding New Adaptation, was selected by the Chicago Sun-Times as one of the top ten plays in Chicago in 2013, and was recently published by Samuel French. Christine is co-founder (with Darby Morhardt) of The Memory Ensemble—a partnership between Lookingglass and Northwestern’s Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center (CNADC)—which uses improvisational performance to improve quality of life for people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. 

Beate Geissler
Associate Professor

Beate Geissler received an MFA from the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe in Germany. My work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in museums, galleries, and alternative spaces, including: the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; the Fotomuseum Antwerp; the NGBK (New Society for Visual Arts) in Berlin; the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts; the Fotomuseum Winthertur in Switzerland; the Museum Ludwig in Cologne; MAST Foundation in Bologna, Italy; and German Pavillion at the Photography Biennial Dubai, UAE. I have been the recipient of a number of grants and awards, including: the Videonale Award from the Museum of Art, Bonn, Germany; the Herman-Claasen-Award (Cologne, Germany); a production grant from the Graham Foundation, Chicago; and a Humanities without Walls grant. I published three monographs Return to Veste Rosenberg (2006), Personal Kill (2010) and Volatile Smile (2013).

Sharon Oiga
Associate Professor
Architecture, Design, and the Arts

Sharon Oiga is a graphic designer whose work questions and investigates the process of design—the ways in which ideas are expressed and disseminated, ranging from the micro level of experimental typographic form to the macro level of self-authoring and publishing. She holds an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University and BFA degrees in Graphic Design and Photography from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). In her role at UIC, she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in design, typography and thesis.

Previously, Sharon has partnered with multidisciplinary design firms, where she specialized in identity, branding, publication design, and packaging with collaborators in the science, health, education, arts, and business sectors. Sharon’s work—and her students’ coursework—is consistently recognized through awards, publications, exhibitions, and funding. A two-time recipient of major funding by Sappi Ideas That Matter, Sharon was also honored to receive the student-voted UIC Silver Circle Teaching Award. She has written about her teaching in Designer Magazine, a publication of the University and College Designers Association.

Sharon serves as Vice Chair of the Society of Typographic Aficionados, which holds the annual international TypeCon conference. She is also co-chair of the STA Design Inspiration Weekend, an annual forum on design held by The Society of Typographic Arts.

Kathryn Quinn, AIA
Kathryn Quinn Architects, Ltd.

Kathryn Quinn received a 5-Year BArch degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and, during which time, she attended the Ecole des Beaux-Art, Unit Pedagogique No. 3, Versailles, France. She launched her namesake architecture firm, Kathryn Quinn Architects, Ltd.,  in 1987.   Her Board commitments include Board Trustee, Past Vice-President and Past President of The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, a non-collecting, contemporary art museum, 1991-2015; Past Vice-President and President of The Architecture and Design Society at The Art Institute of Chicago 1994-2006; UIC Alumni Advisory Board 2002-2017; currently on the UIC Design Review Committee for the Campus Master Plan and College Outreach Board of the UIC Alumni Association Founding Board.

Jane Rhodes
Head and Professor
African American Studies
Liberal Arts and Sciences

Jane Rhodes is Professor and Head of the Department of African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She has held several academic positions during a thirty year career in academia, including Dean for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Macalester College, and Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She earned a doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and specializes in the study of race, media and social movements. She is particularly interested in how aggrieved communities have used print culture, film, electronic media, music, and other expressive cultures as modes of resistance and empowerment. Her work also explores the gender politics of African American communities and the experiences of transnational black subjects. She is the author of Mary Ann Shadd Cary: The Black Press and Protest in the Nineteenth Century (Indiana University Press, 1998) and Framing the Black Panthers: The Spectacular Rise of a Black Power Icon now in its second edition (University of Illinois Press, 2017) as well as numerous articles and book chapters.

Canisha Russ
Theatre & Music
Architecture, Design, and the Arts

Canisha Russ is a senior majoring in Music Business and minoring in African American Studies at University of Illinois at Chicago. Since transferring to UIC in 2015, she has been the recipient of both the Presser Award and the Marie Nesbitt Promise Prize. She is passionate about education, artistry, inclusivity, and diversity among many other things. Currently, she is an intern for the Chicago Human Rhythm Project.

Robert Somol
Director and Professor of Architecture
Architecture, Design, and the Arts

Robert Somol has been the Director of the School of Architecture since 2007. A design critic and theorist, he is the editor of Autonomy and Ideology and has served on the editorial boards of Any and Log. His writings have appeared in publications ranging from Assemblage to Wired, and will appear in his collection of essays, Nothing to Declare. Somol is the co-designer of off-use, an award-winning studio and residence in Los Angeles that extends his interest in combining the speculative discipline of modernism with the material excesses of mass culture. For the 2015-16 academic year, Somol has been named a Fellow at UIC’s Institute for the Humanities completing his book manuscript, This Will Cover That: Writing and Building from the Death of Corbusier to the End of Architecture, and will serve as the Baumer Distinguished Visiting Co-Professor (along with Neil Denari) at the Ohio State University.

Chevonne Totten-Garner
Director of Recruitment
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Design
Architecture, Design and the Arts

MFA, Graphic Design, University of Illinois at Chicago
BS, Art, Graphic Design, Bradley University

Chevonne Totten-Garner brings years of higher education experience in graphic design, teaching, recruitment, admissions, academic advising, student services, retention, alumni relations, program development and marketing to her roles at UIC.

Previously, Chevonne served as the UIC School of Design’s Associate Director for Academic Programs and Student Services. Prior roles include Coordinator (Director) of Admissions at Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA), Assistant Director of Admissions at Lewis University, and Chicago Regional Assistant Director of Admission at Bradley University.

Throughout her career, Chevonne has maintained memberships in the Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC) and American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA).