Congratulations Eboo Patel for the Distinguished Alumni Award

Eboo Patel
Eboo Patel

Every year our Sociology at Illinois alumni make us proud through all the work they are doing in their communities and the world. The Distinguished Alumni Awards are given to those whose work we want to highlight and specifically celebrate this year. In 2020, those alumni were Douglas Barnes, Eboo Patel, and Glenna Spitze. At our virtual award ceremony in December, the alumni were introduced by current and former undergraduate and graduate students, exemplifying our commitment to connection. Senior Erica Hamlink, who introduced Eboo Patel with senior Seetha Ramaswamy, reflected that this experience was a brand-new challenge to culminate their years of involvement with the Sociology Department as Ambassadors. Congratulations to Eboo Patel!

Eboo Patel is a distinguished alumnus from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, having received a bachelor’s in Sociology in 1996. He then received his doctorate in the Sociology of Religion from Oxford University through the Rhodes scholarship. With his identity as a Muslim American and becoming interested in religious diversity in college, Dr. Patel has been inspired to work towards interfaith cooperation. In 2002, he founded the organization Interfaith Youth Core, which is based on the idea “that religion should be a bridge of cooperation rather than a barrier of division.” Dr. Patel has been working with governments, non-profit organizations, college campuses, and other groups to promote dialogue and cooperation between different faiths and communities. One main focus of Interfaith Youth Core is helping find common ground while respecting differences. They launched the Interfaith Leadership Institute, which trains college students and staff in interfaith literacy and leadership skills. This brings together young people from different religious backgrounds to focus on service in the community and pressing issues on college campuses. These students from different backgrounds working together creates a space where it is easier for people with different beliefs to cooperate. The skills and mindset students gain by participating allows them to be well equipped to focus not just on interfaith work but also issues surrounding the political divide in the U.S. and racism. This summer they had over 500 people attend the Interfaith Leadership Institute. The Interfaith Youth Core also has online resources that may be helpful for faculty members as well, such as information on teaching interfaith studies online and a guide to hosting interfaith friendly events. Finally, they also launched the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey, which is the most expansive survey of its kind addressing engagement with religious and worldview diversity for U.S college students. In addition to founding Interfaith Youth Core, Dr. Patel has many other accomplishments. A few highlights are: in 2009, he was named by the U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders; in 2011, he served on President Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council; in 2010, he received the University of Illinois Outstanding Asian-American Alumni Award; he has authored 4 books; blogged for newspapers like The Washington Post and the Huffington Post; and he has spoken at a TED conference, the Clinton Global Initiative, and the Nobel Peace Prize Forum.

Thank you Eboo for your outstanding accomplishments!

Directory

dillBrian
Dill
fandradeFlavia
Andrade
gilleZsuzsa
Gille
azeraiAssata
Zerai
n-denzinNorman
Denzin
tfliaoTim
Liao
w-trentWilliam
Trent
redstoneIlana
Redstone
rubymenRuby
Mendenhall
dowlingjJulie
Dowling
amarshllAnna-Maria
Marshall
thomas56Merin
Thomas
vitoskyCaitlin
Vitosky Clarke
buckleycCynthia
Buckley
bmbarnetBernice
Barnett
abayatAsef
Bayat
seatonMasie
Seaton
djsDaniel
Steward
fiesele1Carlie
Fieseler
peach3Matthew
Peach
rsmith35Rachel
Smith
d-borduaDavid
Bordua
hcholdinHarvey
Choldin
jkluegelJames
Kluegel
cmcphailClark
McPhail
swiceC
Swicegood
keithmarKeith
Marshall
mjschne2Matthew
Schneider
nwileyNorbert
Wiley
mlee201Meggan
Lee
jckrueg2Julie
Krueger
asingh9Ajay
Singh
lzeng6Liqun
Zeng
maliceMaryalice
Wu
kleichtKevin
Leicht
alowfi2Ahmed
Alowfi
asminki2Ilya
Asminkin
delanth2Shwetha
Delanthamajalu
kmernst2Kathleen
Ernst
hgiffo2Heather
Gifford
hkhalil3Heba
Khalil
rmmcdnl2Rae
McDonald
teimour2Amirhossein
Teimourigerdeh
ptseng6Po-Chia
Tseng
alishia2Alishia
Alexander
qingyub2Qingyu
Bu
jh12Jessennya
Hernandez
chaseem2Chase
Moon
bfo2Brian
O'Neill
hanykz2Hany
Zayed
moussawiGhassan
Moussawi
rrileyRebecca
Riley
kcopas2Katherine
Copas
dfrumer2Dan
Frumer
miguela2Miguel
Avalos
dmcnultyDawn
McNulty
kodowd2Kathryn
O'Dowd
plevine3Patrick
Levine
nelmel2Nehal
Elmeligy
shifrin4Elizabeta
Shifrin
crjones5Carileigh
Jones
rabentonRichard
Benton
baugh2James
Baugh
hamideh3Musa
Hamideh
puckett6Chris
Puckett
urashee2Umair
Rasheed
anamh2Ana
Hernandez
monank2Mona
Khneisser
vrijo2Vanessa
Rijo Sanchez
jatilesJose
Atiles
alicjas2Alicja
Szczepkowska
makozakM Aysegul
Kozak Cakir
csova2Claudia
Sova
arlandtArland
Thornton