UIS Student Affairs Newsletter
Friday, October 21, 2011

A Message from Dr. Tim Barnett: Customer Service

Dr. Tim BarnettTwo weeks ago, I spent two days with 50 other senior enrollment managers at a conference on enrollment management trends. As with many small professional conferences, it was encouraging to spend time with other individuals whose universities were experiencing similar enrollment challenges as UIS. There were a number of concerns shared.

Every institution represented had seen decreases in enrollments this fall. It was not just four-year schools experiencing enrollment declines; community colleges across the country, including those in Illinois, said their enrollments had dropped. For most of the four-year institutions, it was not just a decline in the number of new freshmen and transfers, but also graduate students. UIS, however, saw an increase in the number of graduate students.

Among the top concerns conference participants cited: the economy. The economic recovery, they agreed, is not going as expected, and this is having an impact on potential students’ willingness to go into debt without good job prospects in the future. Public universities across the country have also seen significant decreases in the financial support from their respective states; this is causing significant increases in tuition rates.

In addition, universities are seeing decreases in the number of students graduating from high school in most states except those in the Southwest. Universities are becoming more aggressive in seeking out not just the very best students now, but all students with decent test scores and GPAs.

With fewer students, more competition, and higher costs, how do we attract the students we need in order to remain a vibrant, growing university?

A diverse set of factors will keep UIS growing as a university in these challenging times. Those factors include the academic programs and academic advising UIS offers. They also include campus life outside the classroom, and the customer service the university as a whole offers. The bottom line, when a student chooses whether to attend UIS or another school that offers similar financial aid packages, similar programs and similar campus life, will be the customer service that makes the difference.

For example, how are potential and current students treated when they call an office or program at UIS? How quickly do they receive a response to a phone call or to an email? How many times are they transferred to another voice mail when they just have a quick question? Do they feel that UIS really values them? Or do they think we don’t care?

We cannot always give students the answers they want to hear, but we can still make their interactions with us as positive as possible. And, we can win the recruiting battles with the quality of service we offer. This is part of making “Students First.”

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Stellar Student Service Tips

Homecoming & Family Weekend: Growing Numbers and Activities

We Bleed Blue Homecoming Logo

With a variety of activities, many participants, and numerous guests to campus, Homecoming 2011 and Family Weekend saw increased numbers over past years.

“In 2006 Homecoming and Family Weekend were held during the same weekend with the combined events identified as the ‘UIS Fall Festival.’ The combining of Homecoming and Family Weekend worked well, but people found the name confusing. So, the decision was made to advertise both events but to include them as separate events where appropriate,” said Cynthia Thompson, director of Student Life.

Sangamon State University’s first homecoming took place in 1977. However, the first “UIS Homecoming” was held on September 28, 1996.

Here’s a look at some of the history and growth of Family Weekend and Homecoming at UIS:

  • Family Weekend attendance has grown each year from a total of 15 families and 40 participants back in 2002 to 32 families and 126 total participants in 2011.
  • The first Homecoming Parade consisted of only 10 entrants, most of whom were UIS administrators, said Thompson. But each year has seen an increase in both the quantity and the diversity of parade participants.  Participation in the 2011 Homecoming Parade saw record participation with more than 20 campus departments, student organizations or local businesses as parade entrants.
  • The Homecoming BBQ has been offered in some form since at least 2002. Homecoming 2002 and 2003 saw attendance of only about 100 students. More than 650 people were served at the 2011 Homecoming BBQ.
    Sangamon State University’s first homecoming took place in 1977. However, the first “UIS Homecoming” was held on September 28, 1996.

Below is an overview of some of the Homecoming traditions and how they first began:

Homecoming Pep Rally
Paul MacDonna, former assistant athletic director, and Thompson collaborated to offer the first Homecoming pep rally in 2002.  It involved 11 soccer team members shooting Homecoming t-shirts with a t-shirt shooter from the back of a pickup truck to the five students who attended.  By comparison, every UIS sports team (11 in all) were represented at the 2011 Homecoming Pep Rally attended by over 600 people, with 500 of them receiving Homecoming t-shirts.

Student vs. Faculty/Staff/Alumni Basketball Game
The Student vs. Faculty/Staff/Alumni Basketball Game was added to the Homecoming schedule for the first time in 2007. It was intended to be a humorous game, along the lines of the Harlem Globetrotters, since it wasn’t expected that the teams would be equally challenged (i.e. the expectation was that the students would always win). However, the results have turned out as follows:

2007: Student team won
2008: Faculty/Staff/Alumni Team won
2009: Student team won
2010: Faculty/Staff/Alumni team won
2011: Faculty/Staff/Alumni team won

From This Year's Homecoming

  • We had the largest parade ever with 35 entries
  • Over 100 students participated in the Spirit Games - a new addition to Homecoming)
  • We had approximately 700 people at the pep rally on Monday

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Homecoming 5K Attracts Nearly 100 Participants

Homecoming 5K Runners

The third annual UIS Homecoming 5K attracted 99 participants, including area residents, UIS students , faculty and staff.

Participants ran under sunny skies with numerous volunteers and onlookers cheering them on.

Congratulations to the overall top finishers in the following categories:

1. Maddie Johnson (25:48.85)
1. Aaron Cummins (23:21.41)
2. Peyton Probst (29:00.54)

1. Susan Thomas (24:50.16)
2. Raeann Anderson (25:37.34)
3. Renee Johnson (25:49.74)
1. Ryan Thorman (17:43.44) *Overall race winner
2. Matt McGowen (19:41.16)
3. Joe Miller (21:06.88)

1. Mae Noll (24:20.47)
2. Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson (32.15.19)
3. Christina Ryan (32:50.64)
1. Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson (25:28.64)
2. Gary Reinbold (30:17.56)
3. Chris Mueller (33:13.34)

1. Sara Schoenfish (23:56.21)
2. Krista Tangen (23:58.77)
3. Jessica Schrebly (25:33.69)
1. Michael Ritzer (20:42.70)
2. Bryan Tippy (21:27.20)
3. Jason Michaels (25:04.30)

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Mashed Potato Sculpting

Mashed Potato Sculpting - Blue potato ball

Food Services prepared 30lbs of mashed potatoes for this year's event!

What prompted Beth to come up with this event?
She was looking for unique ideas to do as lunchtime games and to engage more commuter students in Homecoming.

When did she begin this event?
She has been doing this event for 4 years

What is the theme behind event?
Generally Homecoming so the sculptors are judged primarily on the homecoming theme.

What has the attendance/participation been at this event in the past?
Always steady. Since it is done on patio, it depends on the weather. Typically we get 30 sculptures and more people that attempt or come to watch the event.

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4th Annual Grad School Fair Coming in November

Grad School Fair: Thursday November 3, 11am - 2 pm on the PAC Councourse. All students welcome!

The Career Development Center will host the fourth annual UIS Graduate and Professional School Fair on Thursday, November 3, 2011 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the PAC Concourse.

This event will bring graduate and professional schools from Illinois and the surrounding areas to the UIS campus. UIS students and alumni, as well as community members will be able to connect with representatives from a variety of graduate schools and programs. Kristen Chenoweth says, "It's a one stop shop where students can talk to a variety of schools and programs at one time."

All students, from first-year students to seniors, and even current grad school students are strongly encouraged to attend. Employees considering graduate school options are welcome to attend as well. The fair is a great way to explore options and it's never too early or to late to look into them.

Learn more about this year's fair!


7 Tips for a Happy & Healthy Fall

Each week Shane Stephens, Recreational Sports GA, publishes a “Rec Tip of the Week” on the Recreational Sports website.

Her most recent Rec Tip—she has seven!--relates to the fall season:

  1. Get outside - Enjoy the cool fall weather with outdoor activities before the winter sets in.  Take a walk on a trail at the Adams Wildlife Preserve (at 2315 Clear Lake Avenue), visit a corn maze or grab some friends and play horseshoes or disc golf.  Equipment is available for checkout at the TRAC front desk. 
  2. Get a flu shot – flu seasons is here!  Get your shot early to keep yourself healthy and flu-free this winter.  Shots will be available for $12.00 at the Late Night event on October 28th in the Student Life Building from 9pm to 1am.  First 20 students receive a free shot.
  3. Enjoy the fall foods – apples, squash, pears and pumpkins are all in season now that fall has arrived.  Take advantage of the season and indulge in the produce that is good for you and readily available. 
  4.  Go on a haunted hayride – Riverside Stables in Sherman, IL offers haunted hayrides through October (http://www.riversidestable.com/HauntedHayrack.html); get some friends to brave the ride with you! 
  5. Sloooooow down – fall can be stressful with midterms, papers piling up, and finals ahead.  Be sure to take enough “me-time” – find an activity that is relaxing and stress-free.  Reading, meditating, yoga, exercise or even taking a walk are great ways to lower your stress levels. 
  6. Wash-up – if you want to avoid colds, strep throat and the flu, hand washing is the best to way to stay germ free.  Antibacterial sprays and gels are good alternatives if you can’t scrub with soap and water.  Germs are easily spread from hand-to-hand contact, so protect yourself and keep them clean!
  7. Try something new – UIS offers tons of activities for students, faculty, staff, and those in the community.  Check out the Student Life Calendar and find something that sounds interesting.  Belly Dancing, the Haunted Library, and UIS Idol to name a few.

Read 7 Tips to Stay Healthy and Happy this Fall at the following link:

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Jimmy Creech Speaks at UIS

Jimmy Creech, former United Methodist pastor and longtime LGBTQ advocate, spoke at UIS as part of Queertober. He is the author of “Adam's Gift: A Memoir of a Pastor’s Calling to Defy the Church’s Persecution of Lesbians and Gays.” Photo by Colten Bradford, Journal Assistant Editor for News


Housing Renovation Header

Housing Renovations Underway

Renovations of UIS housing is under way and will span the next 12 to 15 months.

“These are the renovation phases for the next 12 to 15 months, spanning now through Fall Semester 2012. As with any campus construction project, I remind people that subsequent ‘deadlines’ remain fluid due to changing circumstances, weather, materials delivery and transportation,” said Housing Director John Ringle.

The timetable:

Phase I

Clover Court Buildings 300/400 Interior Work Only Oct. 3 – Jan. 12

Phase II

Bluebell Court Bldgs. 120/140/160 Interior/Exterior Work Jan. 16 – May 29

Phase III

Larkspur Court Bldgs. 240/260/280 Interior/Exterior Work May 16 – Aug. 15
Larkspur Court Bldg. 220 Exterior Work Only

Phase IV

Clover Court Bldgs. 100/200 Interior Remodel (Select Units) Sept. 17 – Nov. 29
Sunflower Court Bldg. 500 Interior Remodel (ADA Unit) Sept. 17 – Nov. 7
Sunflower Court Bldgs. 500/600/700 Exterior Decking/Stairs Replaced Sept. 17 – Nov. 29
Interior Work (Subject to available Sept. 17 – Dec. 28

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Looking Forward - Upcoming Events

2011 Graduate& Professional School Fair

2011 Graduate School Fair

Thursday, November 3, 11am - 2pm, PAC Concourse

A "one stop shop" for anyone interested in learning more about graduate school.

More event details and a list of participating recruiters and programs are available at http://www.uis.edu/career/careerfairs/gradschool/index.html

Mark Holland & Autumn's Child

Autumn's Child Ad

Thursday, November 3, 9 pm - 10:30 pm Brookens Auditorium

Sponsored by the Diversity Center


Safe Zone Luncheon: What Do I need to be a Better Ally at UIS?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 12- 1:30 pm in the LRH Great Room (Lunch is free!)

Register in advance at https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/4144130.
Join members of the coordinating committee as we engage in a lively discussion about your needs as a participant in the Safe Zone program at UIS. Safe Zone is undertaking an assessment of the program and your voice, issues, and experiences are needed. Come help us make the program more responsive to your needs.

Read the Safe Zone Reorganization Announcement. We're also recruiting new students, staff, and faculty for the coordinating committee.


34th Annual International Festival: Explore Folklore

34th International Festival


Friday, November 11, 4:30 - 8:30 pm in the Student LIfe Building

  • Ethnic Food
  • Dance Performances
  • Activity Booths
  • Folktales
  • More!

Sponsored by the Office of International Student Services

Note by Note: The Making of a Steinway

The Making of a Stenway - November 11

Part of the International Film Festival

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If you have events you want included on the calendar for the next newsletter, email Debbie Landis, Cathleen Cassavant, Kristen Chenoweth, Gwen Cribbett, Geoff Evans, Wendy Goucanour, Kim Rutherford, or Trent Tangen, or

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News Briefs

Student Affairs Newsletter online

The Student Affairs Newsletter will continue to be e-mailed to Student Affairs employees, but will also be available on the Student Affairs Newsletter web site.

The Student Affairs web site is available at www.uis.edu/studentaffairs.

Staff Spotlight

Candy Tucker: Shining Star

Candy Tucker, Capitol Perks Food Service employee for 7 1/2 years, won this month’s Shining Star award.
”I think many Capitol Perks regular customers think of her as their personal Barista,” said Candy’s boss, Geoffrey Evans, Food Service administrator.

Capitol Perks this month saw Tucker honored and the addition of ice cream.
The menu has been expanded to include milkshakes and hand-dipped ice cream—to the apparent delight of Capitol Perks customers.
“It has been quite a sensation. We are selling over 10 gallons of ice cream a day since the introduction,” Evans said

Student Affairs Hires New Staff & Says 'Bye To Others

New Office of Disability Services director named:
Dr. Sarah Colby Weaver, who has more than 20 years of experience working in university-level disability services, started this month as the UIS Director of the Office of Disability Services.

A Ph.D. graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology’s College of Psychology, she most recently served as Director of Disability Services at Auburn University. Previously, she was Director of Disability Services at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. At UIUC, she also held an appointment as Assistant Professor in the graduate Rehabilitation Counseling Program.

Naarah Patton is the Visiting Gender Violence Prevention Educator for the Women’s Center. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in English with a minor in Women’s Studies from UIS and an master of arts degree from SIU Carbondale. Naarah was active as a leader in the Women’s Issues Caucus club as an undergraduate. Most recently, she has been Membership Services Associate at the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, She is certified in Illinois as both a domestic violence and a sexual assault victims’ advocate, with specialized training in LGBTQ issues. Naarah is also a volunteer for an area Rape Crisis Hotline.

In conjunction with Women’s Center Director Lynn Otterson, Patton will develop educational strategies as well as academic and educational programs targeting specific populations in the campus community including LGBTQA, athletics, people with disabilities, on campus resident s, perpetrators, and survivors. The Women’s Center serves as a resource for all UIS students, faculty and staff on sexual assault and gender violence issues.

Housing Resident Director Staff changed significantly over the summer when Kalia Patricio, RD in the townhouses, left to join her husband Ken in the Wash., D.C. area when he relocated for job prospects, said Director John Ringle.

“Consequently, we hired Liz Steinborn away from Iowa State University to fill Kalia’s position. However, we also utilized it as an opportunity to transfer existing RD staff to other administrative areas,” John said.

Chad Eversgerd replaced Kalia in the Townhouses; Barbara Wheatley replaced Chad in the East Campus Apartments; and Liz replaced Barbara in Founders Hall. Tarah Sipes continues as RD in the Lincoln Residence Hall.

Karen Willard, Assistant Director of Recreational Sports, retired Sept. 30. Karen had been employed by SSU/UIS since 1991. Said Director J.T.Timmons: “While here, Karen developed a vision for the Department of Recreational Sports and helped make that vision reality. Karen touched the lives of many students with positive impact during her service. We wish her luck in her retirement.”

Jeremy Wilburn to Georgia Southern, new members of Student Affairs Newsletter Committee

Two-degree UIS graduate Jeremy Wilburn, a marketing/recruiting specialist, graphic designer and photographer at UIS, has resigned to take a job as a full-time photographer with Georgia Southern University in Statesboro.

Georgia Southern, founded in 1906, has an enrollment of about 20,000.

Kristen Chenoweth succeeds Jeremy, a former newsletter committee member, in the online formatting and distribution of the Student Affairs Newsletter. Recently joining the newsletter committee are Wendy Gochanour and Geoffrey Evans.

Professional Development Updates

Chad Eversgerd on Regional Committee

Chad Eversgerd, Residence Director for West Campus Townhouse Apartments, is currently serving on the GLACUHO Crisis Management & Campus Safety Committee.

GLACUHO is the Great Lakes regional affiliate of the Association of College and University Housing Officers – International. It is composed of Housing staff from campuses in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan

JT Timmons presentation

JT Timmons, Director of Recreational Sports, presented at the Illinois Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (IIRSA) State Workshop on Oct. 6, His presentation focused on Accessibility and Adaptive Programming. JT gave a similar presentation at the 2009 National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Conference in Charlotte, NC which helped lead the way in forming an Inclusive and Adaptive Recreation Work Team for recreational professionals in the United States and Canada.

*Student Affairs Staff: Please e-mail briefs about conference/workshop presentations to dland2@uis.edu for inclusion in the Student Affairs Newsletter. Thanks!

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Helen Hiebert’s The Mother Tree

Sponsored by the Chancellor’s Office and the UIS Women’s Center

October 3-November 3. Exhibit at UIS Visual Arts Gallery (HSB 201)

October 21. Reception 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at UIS Visual Arts Gallery

October 22. Workshop 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.at Springfield Art Association

The UIS Visual Arts Gallery presents paper artist Helen Hiebert as part of the citywide exhibition Partners on Paper, hosted in collaboration with the Illinois State Museum, the Prairie Art Alliance, the Springfield Art Association and Robert Morris College. Hiebert’s work explores all aspects of paper, testing its strength both symbolically and physically.

This show will feature her celebrated work The Mother Tree. She first exhibited the life-size handmade paper dress in 2010 as part of the Portland Building's Installation Space program funded by the Oregon Regional Arts & Culture

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New Recruitment Video

UIS has some new recruiting materials coming out. Besides the new Youniversity TV video that is now used for Preview Days, a new TV commercial and additional recruitments videos to be used at high school and international presentations are in the works. Stay tuned!

Watch the Youniversity TV Video

Veterans Day Flag and Soldier Salute

Veterans Day Event

The UIS Music Program will participate, and Navy veteran Josh Ayres, a UIS master’s student in accounting, will raise the American flag in a Veterans Day observance set for 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11, at the flag pole in front of the Public Affairs Center.

Petty Officer Ayres served as a electronics technician for five years while on the USS Philadelphia, a nuclear powered sub. He and wife Emily have a 2 year old son named Nathan.

Veterans Day, also known as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, is an annual federal holiday honoring military veterans and is s observed on Nov. 11.

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for Nov. 11, 1919, and said, in part, "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”

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Carlos Ojeda at Day of Dialogue: Don’t let others define you

Encouraging audience members to “never, ever let anyone tell you who you are what you will become,” Carlos Ojeda spoke at UIS as part of the Day of Dialogue, Hispanic Awareness Month and the UIS Speaker Series.

Ojeda, a motivational speaker who was the first of his family to graduate from college with honors, said a high school teacher once called him “the greatest piece of garbage he had ever seen.”

‘Not in Our Town: Light in the Darkness’ shown, followed by panel discussion

An on-campus event coordinated by the Diversity Center allowed students, faculty, staff and others to view a PBS documentary and hear a panel discussion on anti-bullying.

Shown in September at Brookens Auditorium, “Not in Our Town: Light in the Darkness” focuses on the Long Island, N.Y. village of Patchogue, devastated by a series of attacks against Latino residents that culminated with the murder of Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorian immigrant who had lived there for 13 years.

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Recipe Rack

Recipe from Cathy Cassavant


  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk (including at least 1/2 cup of canned milk - PET comes in a small can)
  • 3-4 Tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 tsp butter

Use a 4.5 quart Dutch oven. Coat it with butter up all sides.

Over medium heat – simmer for 25 minutes – stir occasionally. Remove from heat and put in a sink of cold water, about 1 ½” of water, let sit for a few minutes. Put it a teaspoon of vanilla
2-3 teaspoons of butter Start beating with a wooden spoon until it gets creamy and then pour into a buttered glass pan.


Chili Anyone?

Most of us may have our own chili recipe, a tried-and-true family favorite.

But if you’re looking to try a different chili recipe, consider visiting FamousChiliRecipes.com.

The website, which offers numerous recipes, including those for Hot and Spicy Chili, Crockpot Chili, and Vegetarian Chili, notes, in part, “We want FamousChiliRecipes.com to be the place for everyone to find a chili recipe they absolutely love. Feel free to experiment with all of the recipes to create a chili recipe that is entirely yours.”



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