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Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy


Kathleen Kane-Willis

Interim Director, Institute for Metropolitan Affairs at Roosevelt University
Director, Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy 

Ms. Kane-Willis' public policy research experience spans more than a decade. Her main areas of focus are on drug policy, drug misuse, drug education curriculum development, and research involving women drug users. In recent years, Kane-Willis has focused her research on drug policy at the intersection of criminal justice reform and has managed over 20 research projects and authored dozens of reports. Reports include the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy's New Directions in Illinois Drug Policy: An Update on Incarceration for Drug Offenses in IllinoisIntersecting Voices: Impacts of Illinois' Drug PoliciesWhat Youth Want: Youth Perceptions of Drug Education Programs, and Through a Different Lens: Shifting the Focus on Illinois Drug Policy. Kane-Willis' reports on drug use and policies have been featured on the front pages of the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Daily Herald and other publications across the Midwest. She has also appeared on local and national television and radio discussing drug use, trends and policies. Ms. Kane-Willis has presented her research findings at over 15 academic conferences across the country and is frequently asked to moderate panels dealing with substance use disorders. In addition, she currently serves on the Research Committee and the Policy Committee for the Illinois General Assembly's Disproportionate Justice Impact Study.

Ms. Kane-Willis designed and teaches Drugs, Alcohol and Society, a course about drug use and policy at the both undergraduate and graduate levels in the Sociology Department at Roosevelt University. She also supervises and mentors students every semester through research assistantships with the Institute for Metropolitan Affairs. Kane-Willis serves as the faculty mentor for Roosevelt University's Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter and received the Advisor of the Year award in 2008.

Research Assistants:

Vilmarie Fraguada Narloch


Vilmarie Fraguada Narloch has been a research assistant with Roosevelt University’s Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy since the fall of 2009. Her work at ICDP includes research support, report co-authorship and event planning and coordination. Narloch’s interests in drug education, access to treatment, and harm reduction policy and practice have led her to numerous projects, including the provision of counseling and harm reduction services to students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, serving as a member of the Chicago Consortium on College Alcohol Harm Reduction and serving as the Co-President of Roosevelt's Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Under her leadership, the Roosevelt University chapter won the Outstanding Chapter Award at the 2012 International Students for Sensible Drug Policy Conference in Denver, CO and she was recently awarded the Roosevelt University Torch award for student leadership. Narloch earned her M.A. in Counseling and Psychological Services from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota and is currently enrolled in the PsyD program at Roosevelt University. Her dissertation focuses on the development of new, innovative drug education programs utilizing the perspectives of youth who participated in existing drug education programs.


Giovanni Aviles

Giovanni Aviles has been an intern with the Roosevelt University’s Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy since the fall of 2013. Aviles earned her B.A. in Applied Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Aviles anticipated completing her Master of Social Work degree in the spring of 2014 from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Aviles’ academic background focuses on community health and urban development. Aviles is interested in the study of health disparities in urban populations, program development, alcohol and drug treatment services, and examining the stigma attached to those affected by substance use and pre-existing health issues such as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).


Stephanie Schmitz

Stephanie Schmitz is the Director of Research and Evaluation at the Chicago Urban League and serves as a consultant for the Institute of Metropolitan Affairs and the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy. Ms. Schmitz has completed masters-level education and practicum training in social work and has over five years experience working with substance use and mental health issues. She is also experienced in evaluating social service delivery systems. Schmitz is currently a doctoral student at Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her doctoral work at the University of Illinois at Chicago focuses on mental health and substance use treatment needs, feelings of stigma and their relationship to service utilization among incarcerated populations. Her professional work focuses on public policy analysis and criminal justice reforms to address the social and legal consequences of national and local drug policies, studying service use patterns among individuals with mental and substance use disorders to improve service delivery systems and assisting community organizations in their advocacy efforts through the development of targeted research and advocacy messages. She currently serves on the Research and Policy Committees for the Illinois General Assembly's Disproportionate Justice Impact Study. She also serves on the Chicago Taskforce on LGBT Substance Abuse.