UIS Student Affairs Newsletter

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Message from Dr. Tim Barnett

Dr. Tim BarnettThe holiday season is always a good time to reflect on the year that is ending and look forward to the upcoming one. Looking back through journals I keep, I see a few things I want to correct, change or not repeat, as well as new things I would like to do in 2011.

For each of us, the holiday season means different things and how we approach them. For some, the holidays are a very enjoyable time spent with family and friends. For others, it is a time of remembrance, looking back on the accomplishments, the met and unmet goals and dreams, career changes, an addition to the family, or the loss of a loved one, close friend or colleague.

The Division of Student Affairs has seen its number of changes this past year. We’ve been blessed to hire new staff and have also bid fond farewells to other staff. We will never forget the passing of Associate Director of Admissions, Denny Frueh. Denny’s passing was a tremendous loss to the university; his experience and commitment to UIS and Admissions will be missed. Denny will be remembered deeply by all those who knew and worked closely with him.

We wish a happy retirement to Steve Chrans, who has worked at SSU/UIS for more than 28 years. The Division and the University will miss the leadership and commitment Steve has provided. Please join us on December 10 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the PAC Restaurant to wish Steve a Happy Retirement.

Each New Year is about change. Change is inevitable. We have seen it this past year and will continue to experience it in coming years. One significant change is that we are seeing a “Students First” attitude found not only in Student Affairs but across the campus. Many departments have also increased the technology they are using, simplifying some work and expediting other work. Student-directed programming continues to increase, providing opportunities for our students to be involved on-campus when not in class. Different methods in recruiting and retaining students are being implemented.

Many good things have occurred at UIS in 2010; it’s been a good year overall. I believe and hope next year will be even better--not without its challenges and disappointments but also with its successes and wonderful memories.

Kahlil Gibran wrote in The Prophet, “Let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing.”
I wish you all a Wonderful Holiday Season and Happy New Year.

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Featured Story

Remembering Dennis Frueh

Denny Frueh died on Friday November 5. He had worked in the UIS admissions office since 1987. Denny also received his BA and MA from Sangamon State/UIS.

Memorial Contributions may be made to the Ryken Bailey Fund in care of United Community Bank, 200 N 5th St, PO Box 80, Auburn, IL 62615. Ryken is a 2 year old, family friend, who is battling cancer.You may view Denny’s obituary at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sj-r/obituary.aspx?n=dennis-c-frueh&pid=146439436

Denny FruehDenny Frueh was the reason I decided to work at UIS. I had been working as a social worker for several years and after a particularly difficult week, saw an ad for an Admissions Counselor in the SRJ and impulsively sent in my resume. Several months passed (we all know how searches work) and I had actually forgotten I had applied for the position when I received a call for an interview. Although I was no longer unhappy with my job, I decided I would go ahead with the interview, reasoning it’s always good to practice interviewing skills and that it couldn’t hurt to hear what was said about the position.

Denny and I hit it off right away during our one on one interview. Although I always teased him later that he actually did more talking in the interview than I did, it was obvious that he was down to earth and had a great sense of humor. He was also a former social service provider, and he talked about helping people become students and improve their lives through education.

When he called to offer me the position, I carefully weighed the options. College Admissions was a huge departure from the career path I had set out on, but Denny showed me it was possible to use the counseling skills I had learned to help a different group of people, prospective students, achieve their goals.

For a lot of people who work in Admissions and Enrollment Management, it is all about numbers. Denny was someone who never forget those numbers are actually people. He always made time to talk with students, to find out what they were looking for, and would never “sell” UIS to a student he knew would be unhappy here, just to get the numbers. He always put the student first, will be greatly missed. ~Lori Giordano, Director of Admissions

I’m a geek. I love trivia, history, fantasy sports, and most things Star Trek. In one of the Star Trek movies, there is the phrase, “He’s not really dead if we find a way to remember him.” It’s weird that such a nugget of pop culture would come to mind when thinking of a departed boss, and I am certain Denny would find a way to playfully (and expertly) mock me for referencing Star Trek.

Still, I have found reason over the last few weeks (since Denny’s death) to keep aspects of him very alive in my work at UIS and my recent interactions with family. Denny was a difficult man to work with (and for) at times because he was a thinking man. It is very easy for anyone in an office setting to just do what has to be done and not think about the overriding meaning of the operations. Denny was not about taking such an easy way out. Actions and decisions have meaning and Denny never walked away from that fact. He let his thoughts influence his feelings and his feelings affect his thoughts. It was in this kind of internal cycle that I found the greatest commonality (and connection) between him and me, even when we had our disagreements. In the nine years I worked with him, Denny was a mentor (at times), a sounding board (often), and a template for my maturation as an admissions counselor. He’d allow me to tap into some darker sides of frustration, share some harshly hilarious observations and then push me to refine my thinking on subjects that ranged from the professional to the personal. He left an impression because he found a connecting point. He did this with everyone he worked with.

I expected to feel a profound absence (or a hole) with the death of Denny. Instead, its as if he has been freed to roam around in my mind to calm, nudge, and caution me through some of my recent developments in the admissions office, as well as within some personal challenges outside of campus. I find myself patting his office door every time I pass it, much like visitors pat Lincoln’s nose at the tomb. He is not really gone because he is with me. He is with each (current and former) admissions counselor and admissions staff member that he has touched. It was tough to say goodbye, but it is so comforting to know that he is still here, if we find a way to remember him. ~Raymond G. Barnett, Admissions Counselor

The fondest memories I have of Denny were Preview Days. Once students went on tours, we would chit chat about everything; the SSU days, the transition to UIS, incoming freshman, college football, cars, motorcycles, etc. You knew exactly what was on his mind and what he expected of you. That is what made him a great boss, mentor, and friend. ~Brian Hodges, Admissions Counselor

Denny and I once talked about the worst hotel experiences while traveling. He told me one hotel room had a bat! He called the front desk and made the maintenance man do it (who didn't want to because he was afraid of bats). I asked if he went to a different hotel, and he said no. We laughed frequently about that story.  Denny was the best person I have ever worked with. He cared not only about my work, but also our friendship. He was dedicated to UIS and truly concerned for UIS students. He was a great supervisor, friend, and mentor. I will miss our conversations about cars, traveling, and family. ~Amanda Bly, Admissions Counselor

One of my favorite things that I remember about Denny was our somewhat-daily complaining sessions when a certain fast-food establishment could never get our orders correct. We always seemed to stop through the same drive-thru most mornings while we were both on our way to work, and they almost always got our orders wrong. (Not sure why we never discussed taking our business elsewhere!) But most mornings, I’d stop by his office on my way to mine and see if they got his order right, and we’d laugh and complain about it together. Denny was always great for the little things like that… he was always willing to take a few minutes out of his day to chat about anything that was on your mind and what was going on in your life, and he truly cared about what you had to say. He always wanted to hear about our achievements and struggles in our jobs as well, and always had a word or praise and/or encouragement, depending on what you were going through. Most times he’d also throw a joke or sarcastic comment in as well. I really miss him every day at work—he made our office such a fun place to work. Thank you for your friendship, Denny! ~Jill Helmer-Briggs, Admissions Counselor

He was the first person from UIS that I ever met.  He admitted me to what was then – SSU.  Denny was such an easy person to talk to – and as a “non-traditional” student, I was terrified to come back and complete my degree.  At that time I didn’t know that I’d end up working here.  For so many years, he’d stop by and sit down and visit for a while.  Gosh I miss those visits. ~JoAnn Mumaw, Admissions and Records Supervisor

Denny was a very caring person.  He really loved to enjoy life as could be witnessed by his love of cars and motorcycles.  Anyone who knew him, knew that he cared very deeply for his family.  He always talked about Pat and Andrea. ~Kathryn Kleeman, Assistant Director of Admissions

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Stellar Student Service Tips

Steve Chrans retiring after 28 years

Steve Chrans retiring

Steve Chrans, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, is retiring after 28 years at the University.

An Army veteran who served in Vietnam, Steve came to UIS, then Sangamon State, in 1982 from the State of Illinois, where he worked for Central Management Services, then called Administrative Services, as a buyer. He’s served in such positions as director of purchases, business manager, and interim comptroller.

If one listed everything Steve has been involved with during his years here, the list would be quite long. It would include aspects of accounting (both payables and receivables), grants and contracts, health services, property control, payroll, food services, book store, ticket office, bursar, vending operations, Housing operations, Child Care Center, various university fees, athletics and recreation, and the Clayville historical site.

Asked about his biggest accomplishment, Steve said, “I can’t take credit for one thing. It was everyone working together to make it happen.

“I can’t put my hand on one thing I would say I was solely responsible for because it’s always been a combination of everyone’s efforts. I’ve just been very happy to be on the ground floor of so much.”

The best thing of working at SSU and then UIS?

“The people,” Steve said, adding, “As a middle manager, you are only as good as your directors. The directors I have had have been great."

Among his many memories of his 28 years at UIS:

  • Computers replacing electric typewriters.
  • Spending $10 to attend an energy conference in Peoria, where he learned about an alternative means for the University to receive natural gas—a savings of about $60,000 a year.
  • Coordinating the removal of 15 cigarette machines on campus in the late 1980s to be in compliance with state law that required monitoring of cigarette sales.
  • Watching the University grow with the enrollment of new students, the hiring of more employees, and the construction of new buildings.

We wish Steve the best of luck in whatever comes next, whether it’s traveling with his wife or playing golf with his three brothers who have been patiently waiting for him to have the time to make their golf playing a foursome.

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Holiday/Finals Stress Reduction for Students
By Judy Shipp

Most of us know how hectic the holiday season can be with all of the shopping, decorating, baking, winter commuting, holiday parties, and the “How am I going to do all of this feeling?” So, just imagine adding the end-of-the semester demands of a college student’s schedule to your holiday plate: class projects, papers, presentations, and final exams!! It’s enough to take some of the “happy” out of your holidays.

So, as you’re working with students this holiday season, here are a few tips that may help them deal with the end-of-the semester, holiday juggling act:

  1. Prioritize tasks, doing the most important and urgent things first.
  2. Take things one day at a time. Remember, you don’t have to do everything at once.
  3. Have something that’s not important and not urgent? Consider adding it to your “to do” list for 2011.
  4. Take a break: exercise, go for a walk, or talk with a friend. All of these can be good stress relievers.
  5. Take stock of your blessings…a little gratitude can help one gain a different perspective to lighten challenging situations.
  6. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help. Talk with your professor; go to CTL, Disability Services, the Counseling Center, or other student support services.
  7. Get stress reduction tips at the Stress Busters table in the PAC Concourse: Wed., Dec. 8th, 11:30 a.m. -1:00 p.m.
  8. Learn Relaxation Breathing at the Counseling Center: Thurs., Dec. 9th, noon-1 p.m. in HRB 68.
  9. Celebrate your successes. Attend the Late Night Breakfast during Finals Week: Wed., Dec. 15th, 9:00-10:30 p.m. in the Food Emporium. It’s free!!!
  10. Enjoy the holidays!!!

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Happy New Year! Chinese observe time-honored traditions

We asked Yu Sun, graduate assistant/layout and design editor for The Journal, to tell us a bit about the Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Fesrtival.

This is what she had to say.

Q: What animal will be observed in 2011, and what animal was observed in 2010?

A: The year 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit. The year 2010 was the Year of the Tiger.

Q: How are New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day celebrated?

A: Families get together on New Year’s Eve, have dinner, watch fireworks, and enjoy each other’s company. The morning of New Year’s Day, grandparents, parents and members of the older generation, such as uncles and aunts, give each child in the family a small red envelope containing money for them to spend in the new year.

Q: Is there a particular color that is associated with Chinese New Year celebrations?

A: Red, which means lucky and blessed, is definitely the color.

Q: What foods and activities typically accompany the observance of the new year?

A: Traditional festival activities are performances of the dragon dance and lion dance, poetry, and fireworks. Traditional food includes dumplings, rice cakes, and pudding. Activities and food vary from region to region. The lantern festival is held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. Some of the lanterns may be works of art, painted with birds, animals, flowers, zodiac signs, and scene legend.

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Looking Forward - Upcoming Events

APAC Holiday Party
Wednesday, December 16, 4:00 pm
PAC Restaurant

Save the Date!
2011 Career Fair
Thursday, February 17, 2011
PAC Concourse

Save the Date!
National Recreational Sports and Fitness Day
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
More info coming soon!

APAC Holiday Party

SA Holiday Party

Fair Flyer

If you have events you want included on the calendar for the next newsletter, email Debbie Landis, Kristen Chenoweth, Gwen Cribbett, Rachel Hasenyager, Kim Rutherford, Jeremy Wilburn, or Suzanne Woods

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News Briefs

The Angel Tree

The Diversity Center would like to extend a warm hand to the children of UIS children who live in family housing. An Angel Tree will be on display in the Diversity Center beginning December 1. Please stop by to pick up an ornament with specific information about a child. Show your support by providing them with a gift and bring them a smile on Christmas Day. All gifts must be delivered to the Diversity Center, SLB 22 no later than December 14, 5 p.m. We hope that you will participate in our Christmas Angel Tree celebration of 2010.

Employee Holiday Party

Hors d'oeuvres, live background music, and a sampling of homemade goodies will be featured at this year's Employee Holiday Party, Friday, Dec. 17, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Sangamon Auditorium Lobby. Cash bar.  Register on the UIS Human Resources web page by  Dec. 10.

Healthy Eating

Healthy Tips for Healthy Eating

On November 10, Tracy Onal, counseling intern in the Career Development Center, gave a presentation on healthy eating. During the presentation, attendees learned many important and handy tips and tricks for a healthier diet. Did you know that many of the breads marked whole wheat and multigrain aren’t actually sources of whole grain? Tracy taught attendees how to read labels to locate good sources of whole grains. She also stated that a good way to make sure you have a healthy meal is to make sure your plate of food includes a variety of colors. Foods like fresh fruits and vegetables can add a lot of color to your plate and a lot of nutrition to your diet.

During this busy time of year, we often go out to eat and that can help pack on the pounds. Tracy discussed portion size and talked about how restaurant portions are often three or even four times the normal serving size a person should have. To combat the excess, Tracy suggested asking for a “to go” box with your meal. When you receive your meal, simply place half in the “to go” box. Eat what’s left, then take the rest home to enjoy for another meal tomorrow.

After Tracy’s presentation, attendees shared and enjoyed a healthy potluck lunch. Everyone was invited to bring their favorite healthy food and share their recipes. With about 20 attendees, there were plenty of goodies to choose from including chili, sandwiches, salads, fruit and nuts, and wonderful desserts. ~Kristen Chenoweth

Surviving Stress!

The Office of Human Resources is offering a free workshop: Surviving Stress! How to Reduce and Manage Personal and Workplace Stress, on Wednesday, December 8, 9am – 3pm. The workshop is free, and seats are still available for permanent UIS employees.

Register now: https://illinois.edu/fb/sec/3877673

Questions? Contact Monica Kroft , mkrof2@uis.edu; 206-7020.

Staff Spotlight

Veterans Resource Coordinator for UIS

Governor Quinn’s Public Act 096-0133 was signed into law on August 7, 2009. It is an act encouraging higher education among Veterans, active duty personnel, and their families. The law requires that each college or university with an enrollment of 1,000 or more on-site students must staff a Coordinator of Veterans and Military Personnel Student Services (called Veterans Resource Coordinator here at UIS).

As part of the requirements set forth by the Governor we completed a state-wide Survey of Veterans Services that details the services available for Veterans, active duty personnel, and their families here on campus. It can be found on the Veterans Affairs webpage at http://www.uis.edu/veterans/ under UIS Resources for Veterans. We have online educational opportunities, admission and academic counseling, medical services, financial assistance, and family housing information available. There are links to the Sangamon Auditorium, Brookens Library, our A-Z Index, maps on how to get around campus, Career Services, and Disability Services, to name a few. We also have a dedicated email address and phone line for Veterans Affairs. At UIS, the Veterans Resource Coordinator will promote and market the office in the division of Student Affairs and will research and stay current regarding policy changes and services that are available. Rebecca Prather remains the certifying officer for Veterans Financial Benefits including IVG, MGIB, NG, and Chapters 31 and 35 benefits.

Flag Raising

The Veterans Resource Coordinator position continues to evolve: last year we did not have a way to track Veteran students, either online or on campus – now we have developed a database with names, email addresses, and phone numbers. We use this list to invite Veterans to meetings where we can ask them what they need us to provide. On November 11, we had the first Flag Raising on Veterans Day – this was a big success and I hope we can make it an annual event.

For more information contact, Cathleen Cassavant, Veterans Resources Coordinator, 217-206-8387

Kathy Henry is November EOM

Food Service Worker Kathy Henry is known for always having a smile on her face. She lit up the entire room when she was named Employee of the Month during a surprise ceremony on November 23, 2010 in the PAC Restaurant.

“I don’t know what to say. Thank you guys,” said Henry.

Co-workers brought Henry into the room through the kitchen door, because they knew she’d suspect something was going on. It turns out she had no idea what was about to happen.

“I wondered where everyone was at,” she said.

Read More about Kathy >>

Click here to nominate someone for Employee of the Month.

Cause For Celebration


6th - Betty Edwards
14th - Jill Stoopes
28th - Rick Lane

2nd - Brenda Petersbur
13th - Donna Meffert
25th - Evan Stanley
27th - Donna Bettis

If you have a special date coming up, email Suzie Woods so we can get you added!


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