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Photo of Ponicki, Maureen Heffern

Maureen Heffern Ponicki

PhD Graduate

Political Science

Related Sites:


  • Field: Comparative Politics and Urban Politics
  • Research question: How do cities bounce back from economic shocks and promote inclusive resiliency?
  • Awards:
    • The 2017 UIC John Echols Memorial Award for Best Graduate Paper in Comparative Analysis
    • 2018 University of Illinois at Chicago Provost’s Award for Graduate Research
    • 2018 UIC Political Science Milton Rakove Memorial Fund Award for Graduate Research
    • UIC University Library Special Collections Graduate Student Fellowship (2018 – 2019)
    • 2018 HOPE (Honoring our Professor’s Excellence) Award
    • 2019 – 2020 Dean’s Scholar Fellowship Award


  • Prior to starting doctoral studies, Maureen worked in the nonprofit sector in the fields of international and community development both domestically and internationally. From work with migrant farmworkers to Peruvian working and street children to urban youth and foster children, Maureen has extensive experience at the grassroots level. Maureen wants to teach and share her passion for understanding our world with students. Her research interests are primarily focused on social and economic policy, international development, globalization, poverty and inequality, and methods of social change.

Selected Publications

Review essay – “What Can a Micro-level View Tell Us About Plurinational Bolivia?” (2018) Journal of International and Global Studies Vol 10 (1).


Book review of Ambassadors of the Working Class: Argentina’s International Labor Activists & Cold War Democracy in the Americas by Ernesto Semán (2017). Journal of International and Global Studies Vol. 9 (2).


Simpson, Dick, Maureen Heffern Ponicki, Allyson Nolde, and Thomas Gradel. 2017. “Chicago’s Evolving City Council: Chicago City Council Report #9,” Department of Political Science, University of Illinois at Chicago. Can be accessed at:


MA in International Development and Economics (Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies)
BA in International Studies (American University)

Research Currently in Progress

I am currently comparing three cities in the Americas to better understand how cities bounce back after economic shock. The primary comparison is between Buffalo, NY and Pittsburgh, PA and I have taken those findings to Córdoba, Argentina to evaluate if they operate in a Latin American context.