Meet The staff

Lane Chesebro

Executive Director

Lane is a proud graduate of both Kenwood Academy High School in Hyde Park and Illinois State University, where he studied sociology. He is an alumni of Chicago Center's 2006 summer term and former Chicago Center Apprentice. Lane served as Director of Admissions and Student Affairs before transitioning to Associate Director in 2015. He took over as Interim Executive Director in December of 2016.

Cameron Dreher-Siefkes

Marketing Director

Cameron fell in love with Chicago in the summer of 2009 as a student of Chicago Center. After graduating from Southwestern College in 2010 with a degree in Communication, she was thrilled to return to the Center for her apprenticeship as the Recruitment and Campus Relations Coordinator. She was hired on as the Administrative Coordinator in 2012 and started her new role as Marketing Director in January of 2016.

Chris Newell

Program Coordinator

Chris attended the Chicago Center as a student teacher in the fall of 2015, where he was placed at Benito Juarez Community Academy. Chris is a graduate of McPherson College with a degree in History Licensure for Secondary Education. He worked as a Director of Education at Sylvan Learning Center in his hometown of Salem, Oregon prior to joining the Chicago Center as an apprentice. He enjoys golfing, riding his bike on the lakefront, skateboarding and exploring different coffee shops around the city.

Nancy Friesen

Urban Student Teaching Director

Nancy attended the program as an undergraduate and fell in love with the city and the Center’s educational philosophy.  She has an MS in Teaching from U of C and over 15 years of classroom teaching experience.  She’s worked with Chicago Center for over 25 years and has served as Student Teaching Program Director since ’09.  She loves learning and helping others learn.  She enjoys creating nature walks, art and music, and attending cultural events in the city. 

Julian Thompson

Urban Social Work Director

Julian brings to the Chicago Center an academic background in both sociology and social work. He utilizes the tools of critical social work to engage students on a wide array of issues related to their field placements and the broader context of Chicago and beyond. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his kids, exploring great restaurants, attending music events, and biking through the city when the weather is nice.

Scott Chesebro

Urban Education Instructor

Scott has been with Chicago Center for more than 30 years and has served in the position of Executive Director and Academic Director as well as his current position of Urban Education Instructor. His seminars engage students directly with the city and its resources. He earned his PhD in Sociology from University of Notre Dame and taught in the traditional classroom for 8 years. Scott lives in Hyde Park with his wife Norene.

Board of directors

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Chicago Center for Urban Life and Culture
1448 E. 52nd Street #430, Chicago, IL 60615
Phone 773.363.1312 
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