Loyola University Chicago

Center for Urban Research and Learning


Maura Rocks

Maura Rocks

What Attracted Me to CURL:

As a life-long resident of Rogers Park, my passion for urban issues and community-driven change has been fostered from a very early age. I was raised in a household with a family that discussed Chicago politics over dinner and participated actively in the neighborhood – the most richly diverse community in the City of Chicago.  My various experiences as a student and as a resident in Chicago have led me to see the stark contrasts within the city and the many injustices that arise from urban life.   And I want to dig into the "gritty reality" of it all.  That is why CURL is such an exciting place!  Not only am I surrounded by people who share my passions, I am constantly challenged by and engaged with the work I am doing.  The interdisciplinary approach to urban social change with community at the core is what I love the most. The attention is not simply within the world of academia, instead the focus is on our neighbors and supporting the many ways that they are working for social justice in their communities. 

What I Hope to Gain from CURL:

I hope to gain a greater understanding of the various communities that comprise Chicago, and I hope to gain a sense of compassion for the various struggles they encounter daily.  I am also looking forward to improving my abilities as a researcher in the context of urban social change. Finally, I intend to tap into the gifts and passions of my co-workers at CURL, especially those who have dedicated their lives to community-driven social change, and learn from their stories and incredible insight.