Photo of Aláan, Thomas

Thomas Aláan

Coordinator, UIC Energy Initiative

Lecturer, UIC Honors College

Energy Initiative, Liberal Arts and Sciences, UIC

Pronouns: He/Him/His


Building & Room:

2340 SES, MC 273


845 W. Taylor St., Chicago IL, 60607

Office Phone:

(312) 996-2141


Thomas Aláan has developed sustainability and energy-related programs for the UIC Energy Initiative in partnership with local and nationwide organizations since 2010. Most notable is the acclaimed Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy (SISE). Now in its tenth year, the program is the UIC Energy Initiative’s most visible program. Thomas also works with Jordi Cabana on the Next Generation Electrochemistry (NGenE) workshop, and he has developed several programs over the years, including the iThink lecture series, the University of Common Sense, and ENERnational. As coordinator of the Energy Initiative, he’s a “utility player,” and performing everything from web design to marketing, development to grant writing, supervising to paying the bills, and developing curriculum for Energy Initiative programs. In 2020, he will lead a new UIC Honors College course called “Music as a Tool for Environmentalism and Change.

Outside UIC, Thomas is a professional classical musician (voice and saxophone) who concertizes across the United States. He is Director of the Bach and Beethoven Experience, Assistant Conductor and Director of Women’s Schola at Holy Name Cathedral, and Vice President of the Board of Directors for Beyond Legal Aid. He is a Paul J. Collins Fellow at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, where he is completing coursework for the Doctor of Musical Arts. His research interests include traditional Irish singing and the intersection of sustainability, science, and environmentalism and music. He holds a Master of Arts in Vocal Pedagogy from Texas Woman’s University, a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Alderson-Broaddus University, and a Certificate in Emerging Nonprofits from The Law Project.

Selected Grants

Department of Energy, Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy, Coordinator

National Science Foundation, Next Generation Electrochemistry, Coordinator

Service to Community

Vice President, Board of Directors, Beyond Legal Aid (formerly CALA), 2016—present
Secretary and Founding Board Member, Community Activism Law Alliance (CALA), 2014—2016

Notable Honors

2018-2021, Paul J. Collins Fellowship, University of Wisconsin — Madison


Doctor of Musical Arts, Voice Performance, University of Wisconsin — Madison (IP, 2021)
Master of Arts, Vocal Pedagogy, Texas Woman's University (2007)
Bachelor of Arts, Music Education, Alderson-Broaddus University (2005)

Professional Memberships

National Association of Teachers of Singing

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia National Fraternity of America, Inc.

Selected Presentations

Entrepreneurship in the Arts... with Cats!

  • University of Illinois at Chicago, Honors College

Interdisciplinary Collaboration

  • Illinois Institute of Technology, American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Countertenor Pedagogy and Master Class

  • Helena Music Teacher Association