The ELI Team ended 2021 on a high note by taking to the city and making a few stops along the way. While we were there, we couldn’t help but think about our wonderful students and the hard work they accomplished throughout the AEPP and Academic Year! 

Amanda, Julie, Josh, Paul, and Shane in front of Marina City, downtown Chicago

Shane, Amanda, Josh, and Julie.

Our first stop was at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, a museum that, according to their Instagram, is “dedicated to the preservation of radio and television history.” We enjoyed our time walking around and reading about the history of radio programming and television, which led to our modern day uses of this technology. We couldn’t help but think about our AEPP final assignments and how our speaking track students become podcasters for this assignment! One of the things that keeps the tradition of radio, television, and podcasting alive is the desire for stories to hear. We love that the AEPP students are so creative with their storytelling of important events and social issues in Chicago.


Julie (left) and Shane (right) practicing their podcast skills at The Museum of Broadcast Communications.


Our next stop was the Chicago History Museum, which was jam-packed with rich information on the history of our great city! We got to read about so many different events that have happened over the years and many of them were topics our AEPP students spoke/ wrote about. The Special Olympics exhibit reminded us of Jiae Myung’s podcast titled Life of people with disabilities in Chicago: What makes them different? We also saw an exhibit on Chicago sports history and were able to relive the great memories of the Chicago Bulls 1990s championship victories, which Charles Zhou speaks about in his podcast In what ways have the Chicago Bulls become a cultural force beyond basketball galloping around the world? 

As we were walking around the Chicago History Museum, we were flooded with rich information on the wonderful history of our city. The Great Chicago Fire exhibit told the story of the infamous event that redefined the city and we were reminded of how vast the destruction really was and how the city quickly rebuilt what was lost.

Josh trying his hand at a new career in the Chicago Fire Exhibit at the Chicago History Museum.

The Museum also had an in-depth exhibit about the photographer Vivian Maier. We were able to see so many of her beautiful photos in color and learned about what makes her photography so captivating. We were reminded of an entry to our AEPP 2021 photo contest by Hongkai Mao, who strongly recommended this exhibit. About it, Hongkai said Vivian Maier had observed the Windy City through her lens for a very long time with her talented mind. I think it will be an interesting experience to explore Chicago from the 1950s to the 1970s through Vivian Maier’s eyes.


Hongkai Mao’s photo contest entry for AEPP 2021

After visiting the exhibit and seeing the city through her lens, we definitely agree that it’s worth checking out!

Overall, the team enjoyed walking through the city together, enjoying the history and anxiously awaiting the summer for AEPP (and warm weather!).

Julie, Amanda, Paul, and Josh walking along the Chicago River.