2010 – Stephen Schlickman
Since 2004, the CUPPA Alumni Association Board of Directors has presented the Alumni Appreciation Award recognizing individuals or groups for their dedication to the fields of urban planning and public administration and their contributions to the development of the college's students and alumni. The 2010 award is presented to Stephen Schlickman.
Schlickman became the Executive Director of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) of Northeastern Illinois in 2005. With 28 years of transportation experience, Schlickman is responsible for the oversight, planning and coordination for the region’s transit operating agencies: the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace. Prior to being named RTA Executive Director, Mr. Schlickman operated his own consulting practice providing financial, project policy, and legislative advice to clients involved in all modes of surface transportation, as well as for water and urban park infrastructure activities. His resume includes leading the Chicago areas Business Leader for Transportation coalition, directing the City of Chicago's Washington Office and managing the team to design a new transit system for downtown Chicago. He has been a member of the Illinois Public Transportation Association (IPTA), serving as its president in 1989; on the legislation committee for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), on the board for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) representing the Chicago Area Transportation Study (CATS)Policy Committee, and founding chairman of the New Starts Working Group, a national coalition of major transit expansion projects.
Mr. Schlickman has a law degree from DePaul University and an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University. In 1992, he was named to the prestigious 40 Under 40 list by Crain's Chicago Business. For Years, Schlickman has been involved with both the Urban Planning and Policy and Public Administration Departments, as well as CUPPA's Urban Transportation Center. His involvement has included hosting opportunities for both MPA and MUPP students in internships, hiring UIC alumni, and teaching as an adjunct instructor in UPP, assisting with research, serving as a member of the UTC advisory board, and supporting funding opportunities for students, projects, and research.
As an adjunct instructor, his specialties include public infrastructure policy, finance, and advocacy. He brings his own personal experience in transportation and government for the past 25 years into the classroom for the students' benefit.
“I believe that Mr. Schlickman represents the exact type of individual the CUPPA Alumni Appreciation Award was created to honor” stated Bob Rice, Co-Chair of the CUPPA Alumni Association Board - Special Events Committee.
Michael Pagano, Dean of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs adds “I was delighted to learn that the Alumni Award winner this year is Steve Schlickman, the executive director of the Regional Transportation Authority. Steve is a tireless advocate for efficient and coordinated transportation systems in the Chicago region. Under his leadership, ridership on the three systems (CTA, Metra and Pace) has grown considerably. Steve brings his knowledge and experience of transportation planning to the classroom, as he is an adjunct instructor in the Department of Urban Planning and Policy. Our students are exposed to his wisdom in the classroom and many of our students have taken internships and permanent positions at RTA and the three service boards. CUPPA has benefited immeasurably by our relationship with Steve Schlickman, a deserving recipient of the 2010 Alumni Award.”
The CUPPA Alumni Association has presented the CUPPA Alumni Appreciation Award recognizing individuals or groups for their dedication to the fields of urban planning and public administration and their contributions to the development of the college's students and alumni. In November 2010, the Board of Directors of the CUPPA-AA voted unanimously to rename the award to the Jim Marek Alumni Appreciation Award honoring the former CUPPA assistant dean for student services, Jim Marek. Marek retired from his post in CUPPA on February 6, 2007 after over twenty-nine years of service to the university, its students and alumni. He unexpectedly died on August 13, 2010.