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Team Member

Allison James

Program Manager - Chicago Student Invention Convention

Allison James is the Program Manager of the Chicago Student Invention Convention, the experiential K-8 curriculum and invention education program of Chicago Innovation.

Allison oversees the program planning and implementation of the Chicago Student Invention Convention, serving 45 schools, libraries, and youth groups. She recruits and trains teachers and community mentors throughout the program and works closely with key partners to manage ongoing professional development and enrichment opportunities for participants. In addition, Allison plans and executes the regional Invention Convention event, attended by over 1,000 guests every April. Along with the student finalists, she represents the state at the National Invention Convention held annually at the Henry Ford Museum for American Innovation.

Before joining Chicago Innovation, Allison was a program coordinator, lecturer in composition/rhetoric, and departmental academic advisor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she also received M.A. degrees in Latin American/Latino Studies and English Education for Secondary and Middle Grades. She graduated summa cum laude with her B.A. in English and Spanish from Augustana College, and taught English as Foreign Language (EFL) in a rural school in Nicaragua as a volunteer teacher in the Peace Corps. Her research interests include literacy studies, critical pedagogy, and community engagement.

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