Social Innovation and Community Change

No one description can encompass the vastly diverse fields that contribute to social innovation and community change. Whether you are interested in law, urban planning, research, philanthropy, youth development, or consulting, you can engage in social change on campus and after graduation. This industry is dedicated to improving human and social welfare through the non-profit, for-profit, and government sectors. Despite their varied fields of study, our panelists have used their University of Chicago experience to make meaningful impact in the communities they serve. Join us and learn how you can use your education and professional development to help improve society.

Panel Participants

Frank Alarcon, AB'13, MURP (Minnesota)

Planning Specialist II, Ramsey County
Table: 98

Mr. Alarcon graduated from the College in 2013 with a degree in Political Science and Human Rights. While in the College, he was active with Student Government and held internships with the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Department of State. After graduating from the College, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador and then obtained a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of Minnesota. He now lives in Saint Paul and works as a transit planner for Ramsey County, Minnesota. His work focuses on project management, community engagement, station area planning and coordination between public agencies.

Kelsie Hope Harriman, AB'18

Project Manager, Justice Informed
Table: 100

Ms. Harriman graduated from the College in 2018 with a degree in Public Policy. While in the College, she concentrated on social change and criminal justice reform. She served as an intern at the UChicago Community Service Center, the Sheriff's Justice Institute, and the North Lawndale Restorative Justice Court, as well as working in Kigali, Rwanda as an archivist of reconciliation stories from the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. Currently, Ms. Harriman is the Project Manager at Justice Informed, a Chicago-based social impact consulting firm. She also works part-time at the Lawndale Christian Legal Center, a legal aid agency that provided holistic, community-based legal services to court-involved youth. A native of Livingston, Montana, Ms. Harriman loves hiking, skiing, running, and traveling.

Peter Kalenik, AB'07, M.S.Ed'11 (Northwestern University), MUPP'13 (University of Illinois at Chicago), MPP'18 (Loyola University Chicago), JD'18 (Loyola University Chicago)

Police Officer, Chicago Police Department
Table: 101

Mr. Kalenik graduated from the College in 2007 with a degree in Political Science. While in the College, he interned for the 5th Congressional District of Illinois. After graduation, Mr. Kalenik served as a paratrooper with U.S. Army Special Operations. Upon transferring to the U.S. Army Reserve, he taught and lived on Chicago's Southside as an AmeriCorps educator, while raising millions of dollars for Chicago Public Schools during the largest school closure in the history of American public education. Ultimately, experiences teaching led Mr. Kalenik to become a Chicago police officer. Today, he patrols the most violent police beat in Chicago and mentors the city's newest police officers as a Field Training Officer. Mr. Kalenik has also earned advanced degrees from Loyola University Chicago (JD/MPP, 2018), the University of Illinois at Chicago (MUPP, 2013), and Northwestern University (MSEd, 2011).