Christopher Vemagiri Marbaniang, a graduate student at the University of Illinois Springfield, hopes to combine his two passions, public health and theatre, to educate people about important health issues. He was recently part of the UIS Theatre production of “Machinal” and has appeared in three other productions at UIS.
At the University of Illinois Springfield, Jake Seidel is president of the Biology Club, a member of the UIS Cross Country and Track and Field teams, the Capital Scholars Honors Program, Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity, Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society and Students Allied for a Greener Earth (SAGE).
The University of Illinois Springfield has empowered Briana Rodriguez to become an advocate for issues she believes are important. The sophomore legal studies major recently participated a rally in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program at the Illinois State Capitol.
Melissa Van is getting a jumpstart on her future career at the University of Illinois Springfield where she helps promote student events on campus as the marketing chair for the Student Activities Committee and the Asian Student Organization. Van is also the vice president of the UIS Community Garden Club and a Capital Scholars Honors Program peer mentor.
Garrett Nimmo enjoys being a voice for his fellow students. He was recently elected president of the University of Illinois Springfield Student Government Association (SGA) in a campus-wide race. As SGA president, Nimmo meets with university leaders to express student positions on important issues.
Jasmin Lisowski has been playing soccer since she was in kindergarten. Now, she’s living her dream playing NCAA Division II women’s soccer at the University of Illinois Springfield, while majoring in social work and psychology. On the team, she has taken on an unofficial leadership role, helping to mentor new players.
University of Illinois Springfield political science and economics major Kaelan Smith is passionate about helping people in his community. He recently helped start the Downtown Discounts program, which saves UIS students money at downtown businesses. On campus, Smith is the vice president of the UIS College Republicans and is a member of the Capital Scholars Honors Program, where he volunteers as a peer mentor.
Edwin Robles has always been interested in politics and hopes to one day run for office. At the University of Illinois Springfield, he was elected by the student body to serve as their voice on the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. As the student trustee, Robles has a seat at the table at all of the board of trustees meetings.
Garrad Straube transferred to the University of Illinois Springfield to be part of the men’s cross country and track and field teams. The criminology and criminal justice major is currently completing an internship at the Illinois State Police Academy and hopes to become a police officer following graduation.
University of Illinois Springfield political science major Yaw Kesse has a passion for public service. Kesse has spent the summer interning at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services in Springfield where he works in the Bureau of Collections. He credits UIS for the internship opportunity saying it has helped prepare him for his future career.
Ashley Osuma loves to share the knowledge she’s gained from her four years on campus with incoming freshmen. Osuma is a peer mentor for the Summer Bridge Program, a two-week on-campus living-learning experience for first-year students who need additional academic support and college preparation.
As a student manager at Brookens Library, Andrew Koontz makes sure that patrons find the resources they need. He also trains new student workers and is responsible for special projects. Koontz has worked at the library for the past year and a half and worked his way up to the student manager position. It’s the first time he’s ever held a management position.
Da Zhane’ Sinclair says the University of Illinois Springfield “feels like home” and the friends she’s made on campus are like family. Sinclair, an accountancy major, is a resident assistant (RA) on campus and mentors fellow first-generation college students as part of the Necessary Steps Program.
Music has been a part of Yu Shao’s life since she was six-years-old. That’s when she first started playing the Guzheng, a traditional Chinese instrument with thousands of years of history. Shao says it was her love of music that brought her to the University of Illinois Springfield where she is a Camerata Music Scholar.
The first time Marquiera Harris visited the University of Illinois Springfield she felt so welcomed that she instantly knew that UIS was her perfect fit. Now, the social work major is helping other students make the transition to UIS as an orientation coordinator. Harris supervises 18 student orientation employees and helps to coordinate social media operations.
Justin Brown is making the most out of his summer by interning at Horace Mann’s Security Operations Center in Springfield. He helps monitor, review and take action on abnormal web or email traffic that might be coming through the network. On campus, Brown is a member of the Computer Science Club and the Christian Student Fellowship (CSF).
Biology major Daniel Rodriguez is leading the effort to maintain the University of Illinois Springfield Community Garden over the summer as the project coordinator. It’s a paid student position where he works 20 hours a week watering the plants, pulling weeds and organizing volunteers.
Payton Roberts loves volunteering with children on and off campus. At UIS, she is the volunteer coordinator for the Lee Elementary Homework Club. She and other UIS students travel to the school weekly to help kids with their homework and teach them about different cultures from around the world.
Before enrolling in classes at the University of Illinois Springfield, Abbegayle Stevenson had never traveled outside the country. Now, she’s traveled to five countries in Europe and is about to embark on a summer study abroad trip to Croatia.
Growing up on a family farm in central Illinois, the outdoors has always been a part of Marissa Jones’ life. Her passion of nature and the environment led her to the University of Illinois Springfield where she is majoring in environmental studies.