Elmhurst Professor Co-Edits New Book on 21st Century Chicago

December 11, 2015 | by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs

Constance Mixon, associate professor of political science and director of urban studies at Elmhurst College, has co-edited a new book that examines the social, economic, political and governmental conditions of the Chicago metropolitan area and analyzes the region’s role in today’s globalized economy.

Twenty-First Century Chicago, Second Edition (Cognella Inc.), focuses on Chicago’s efforts in recent years to establish itself as a top-tier global city, and examines the governmental actions and politics of Mayors Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel as they grappled with the city’s most pressing challenges.

The book is an anthology of news stories, memoirs, first-hand accounts and research reports advocating for change for Chicago. The new edition includes Mayor Emanuel’s re-election speech, which describes his goals for the city and how he intends to govern, as well as several articles that are critical of the mayor.

Besides Mixon, the other editors of the book are Dick Simpson, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a former Chicago alderman; and Melissa Mouritsen, an assistant professor of political science at the College of DuPage. The three editors will present a talk about their book next spring at Elmhurst College.

In an article entitled “A Tale of Two Cities: Education and Human Capital in Global Chicago,” Mixon details how educational institutions in Chicago reflect an organized hierarchy that is segregated, like Chicago’s neighborhoods, into haves and have-nots. She also argues that higher education’s increased focus on workforce preparation has deepened conflicts at colleges and universities over the democratic purposes of education and global demands for increased job training.

Professor Melissa Mouritsen was the lead author of an article titled, “Windy City Corruption Blows Across the State.” She writes: “The City of Chicago attracts local, national, and even international attention for its long and salient culture of corruption. But the media and the general public tend to overlook the abundant political corruption that also exists in many of the region’s suburbs.”

Before coming to Elmhurst College, Mixon was a member of the faculty and dean of instruction at City Colleges of Chicago. She has received numerous teaching awards, including being named the Illinois Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Mixon frequently provides political analysis and commentary for Chicago media outlets, including the Sun-Times, WGN, NBC and WYCC.

Simpson is the author of numerous books, journal articles, book chapters and documentary films. He is a former alderman of the 44th Ward of Chicago (1971-1979) and led the opposition bloc in the Chicago City Council against Mayors Richard J. Daley and Michael Bilandic. Simpson has won the highest teaching awards available at UIC, in addition to the American Political Science Association’s Pi Sigma Alpha Teaching Award.

Before joining the College of DuPage, Mouritsen was an adjunct professor of political science at Dominican University. She is a former alderman’s assistant and building and zoning consultant.

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