The Odyssey Project
- Cris Mayo, Odyssey Faculty Coordinator: email@example.com
- Carmen Ocon, Graduate Assistant Co-coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
General program inquiries can be directed to: email@example.com
The Odyssey Project completed its sixth year in spring 2012. Since fall 2006, the Odyssey Project has offered a free, college-accredited course in the humanities to members of the Champaign-Urbana community who fall at or near the poverty level. The yearlong course offers students intensive study in philosophy, art history, literature, U.S. history, and critical thinking and writing. Classes taught by University of Illinois faculty and graduate students take place every Thursday from September to May in the seminar room at IPRH or at the Douglass Branch Library in Champaign. Tuition is free, as are books, transportation, and childcare.
The Odyssey Project is made possible by the generous financial and institutional support of the Office of the Chancellor, the College of Education, and the Illinois Humanities Council. This year we’ve moved into the College of Education and are creating connections with other community-based educational programs, Education Justice Project (directed by Professor Rebecca Ginsburg) and Saving Our Lives Hear Our Truth (SOLHOT, directed by Professor Ruth Nicole Brown), as well as drawing on the instructional talents of a number of our graduate students there. We continue to be grateful for the support of IPRH, where the Odyssey Project was initiated at Illinois and was incubated for its first five years. The IPRH continues to provide some financial support as well as space for our graduate student coordinator and our weekly classes. Through its programs, Odyssey helps keep alive the public service mission of the Morrill Act that founded the University of Illinois.
We are pleased to announce that nine students graduated this past May.Students who complete the course receive six credits of transferable humanities credit from Bard College and have used that credit to complete degrees already in progress or begin their higher education studies. Several students have continued their education beyond Odyssey at the University of Illinois and Parkland College, as well as the University of Denver, Stanford, and Eastern Illinois University.
Instructors for 2011–12 were Odyssey Faculty Director Cris Mayo (Education Policy, Organization and Leadership/Gender and Women’s Studies), philosophy; Jennifer Burns (Art History), art history; Spencer Schaffner (English/Writing Studies), literature; Kathy Oberdeck (History), U.S. history; and Odyssey Graduate Student Coordinator Michael Burns (English/Writing Studies), critical thinking and writing.
Teaching Odyssey in 2012-13
Cris Mayo (Education Policy, Organization and Leadership/Gender and Women’s Studies, and the Faculty Director of Odyssey), philosophy
Spencer Schaffner (English/Writing Studies), literature
Samuel Byndom (Education Policy, Organization and Leadership), U.S. history
Adrienne Johnson (Education Policy, Organization and Leadership), art history
Carmen Ocon (Ph.D. candidate in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership), coordinator