UIS Student Affairs Newsletter

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Message from Dr. Tim Barnett:

Dr. Timothy Barnett
The new school year is already upon us. It seems like summer was far too short and there is still much to do to prepare for the beginning of the school year.

When classes start Aug. 26, UIS will enroll the largest freshman class in the history of the university. In addition, we will enroll the largest number of undergraduate international students in the history of the university-- and Housing will be close to full capacity! Our transfer numbers will be flat; but transfer numbers have not decreased, which has been the case the past several years.

The 2013-2014 year will be more challenging because of some of the economic issues we face. I am pleased that in the midst of budget cuts, all Student Affairs employees received pay raises, and the division did not have to resort to layoffs. Some vacant positions, however, will not be filled for the time being. There will be director positions that will be filled this fall, including the Director of the Office of International Student Services. In Recreational Sports, Matt Panich is serving as the interim director following J.T.’s move to the University of Iowa.

In the 2013-2014 year, we will devote a considerable amount of attention and resources to retention, including focusing several staff efforts in this direction. There is currently a committee headed by Van Vieregge that includes faculty, staff and students working on practical recommendations for the university to implement and to increase the retention rates of our transfer students. Lori Giordano will lead efforts on overall student retention. We have also hired a director for the Admissions Office, Fernando Planas. Fernando comes to us from Chicago City Colleges. where he was ‎Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management. Before that, Fernando worked for many years at the University of Illinois at Chicago, focusing his efforts on student recruitment.

As we look to increase awareness of all that is offered and all that occurs within the UIS Division of Student Affairs, Debra Landis will enlarge the scope of her work with the Student Affairs Newsletter Committee to also include working with directors on what articles they’d be interested in her writing for their respective websites.

With more students on campus and living in University Housing, campus life will be increased. In a week, you will see signage regarding the Student Union, with some sketches of what the union may look like. This fall, a kiosk will be installed near the Food Emporium that will feature information about the student union as well as architectural renderings. This information will also be on the UIS website.

I look forward to our year ahead, when we, as a team of Student Affairs professionals, continue to focus on making students first and our division mission statement of “UIS Student Affairs will be known for its commitment to excellence in the client-focused approach to student services.”


back to top  spacer

Welcome Week 2013
Welcome to The Big Leagues!
Aug. 23-Sept. 2

The Welcome Week Committee has planned more than 30 events for a jam-packed 11 days of Welcome to the Big Leagues!

Welcome Week begins Aug. 23 and runs through Sept. 2. You can see the full Welcome Week schedule here. Among the events:

• Welcome Week Concert, Sunday, Aug. 25, 8 p.m., TRAC lawn here.

• Chancellor’s Picnic, Tuesday, Aug. 27, 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., PAC Overhang.

•Involvement Expo, Wednesday, August 28th from 4-6pm on the Quad

• 3K Spirit Run, Sunday, Sept. 1, 11:15 a.m., Colonnade. The Spirit Run mimics a Color Run. If you are interested in serving as a volunteer and tossing color on participants, please email Ryan Chipman.

Catch Blue Fever!
Homecoming 2013 Sept. 30-Oct. 5

Before we know it, the air will be cooler and Homecoming will be knocking on our doors.

This year, we’ll “Catch Blue Fever” during Homecoming week, Sept. 30 through Oct. 5. Student Life is happy to announce that Scheel’s has generously agreed to serve as a major sponsor again this year.
Highlights of “Catch Blue Fever” include:
• Pep Rally, Monday, Sept. 30, 9:30 p.m., TRAC
• Parade, Friday, Oct. 4, 4:15 p.m.
• Homecoming 5K Run/Walk, Saturday, Oct. 5, 9 a.m., TRAC
• Comedian & Juggler, Nick Pike, Saturday, Oct. 5, 1 p.m.,Brookens Auditorium

Keep up with Homecoming news here.

back to top  spacer

Faculty and Staff - Getting Started with Service

The UIS Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center encourages faculty and staff to roll up their sleeves and make a difference in the Springfield community by promoting, planning, and participating in volunteer and civic engagement projects. Below are some initial ways you can get involved and means by which we can assist you in the process.

Volunteer as a Leader for an Existing Service Project
We are always looking for faculty/staff serve as leaders for service projects. Your engagement with students outside of the classroom is linked to many positive benefits for students. If there is an ongoing service project, or an upcoming event that you would like to serve as a group leader for, we would love to have you. Additionally, we are always seeking volunteers to help with the annual Springfest Service Project. Please contact us to make these arrangements.

Promote Volunteer Events in Your Classes
Many faculty and staff overlook the important role they can take in promoting student engagement in service. One of the easiest ways to do this is to promote service opportunities in your classes. We encourage you to promote any of our upcoming events in your courses. Alternatively, we are willing to send a representative from our office to come to your class and give a brief presentation about service and the opportunities available at UIS.

Have Your Class Attend an Episodic Service Event
If you want your entire class to participate in a one-time/episodic event you can sign your class up to participate in one of our upcoming events, or you can collaborate with Volunteer Center in advance of the course to create an episodic class project just for your course.

Integrate Experiential Learning Into Your Class
If you want the students’ service to be integrated into the course curriculum, please consider contacting the UIS Service-Learning Program to establish your course as a Service-Learning course within their guidelines. Service-Learning course provide students with a meaningful volunteer experience which allows them to gain a greater perspective and understanding of the community and themselves.

Partner with the Leadership for Life Program
In the spring of 2012, the Leadership for Life Program was organized into five committees. Each committee has a focus area and is led by a student with an interest in that area. The focus areas are public health, sustainability, hunger and homelessness, youth and education, and civic engagement. If you are interested in serving as a mentor to a committee chair or participating in the planning process for one of the committees’ projects please contact us directly and we can coordinate a meeting with you and the chair of that focus area.

Find a Community Partner
The Volunteer Center keeps a directory of service based organizations as well as a list of current volunteer opportunities. These resources can be a good start in finding a community partner and creating a service opportunity for students. If you have a project or community partner in mind, the Volunteer Center can help you reach out to this partner and set up a site visit. We can also help you work through logistic issues associated with service.

Learn more about service on campus
If you are looking for more information and research on service in post-secondary education, we suggest starting with Campus Compact’s (2003) text “Introduction to Service-Learning Toolkit: Readings and Resources for Faculty (2nd Editon).” This good, easy read to help provide some context for how implement service in higher education. If you are interested in further readings, here is a list of additional resources to help get you started.

back to top  spacer


Journey to Jobs Program Pairs Students with Mentors
By Kim Rutherford,
Disability Services-Learning Specialist

For students, one of the biggest challenges is finding employment upon graduation. For students with disabilities, it is an even greater challenge.

The Office of Disability Services hosts a resource and mentoring program for UIS students with disabilities called Journey2Jobs. The program was designed to help students develop the necessary skills needed to find employment upon graduation.

To apply for the program, students should visit the ODS office in HRB 80 to complete an application, call 217-206-8555, or email Journey2Job@uis.edu for more information. Sheerine Bazargani, a GA in ODS, is the Journy to Jobs coordinator. Students must be actively registered with ODS in order to be eligible for Journey to Jobs. Disabilities served by the Office of Disability Services include Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism spectrum Disorder/Asperger’s Syndrome, Learning Disabilities, Mobility Disabilities, Medical Disorders, Psychiatric Disorders, Sensory Disorders, Temporary Disabilities, and Traumatic Brain Injury

The Office of Disability Services encourages UIS professionals with a disability, whether it is related to psychological health, physical health, cognitive impairments, or other conditions, to consider serving as a mentor in the Journey2Jobs program. Students need mentors who have struggled with their disability and succeeded as a professional. Mentors report learning as much from their mentee as their mentees say they learned from them. Those interested in serving as mentors should contact the office for more information.

back to top  spacer


Do you have concerns about a student’s safety?

If you become aware of a student who has threatened or attempted suicide, engaged in efforts to prepare to commit suicide or expressed a preoccupation with suicide, please call the Counseling Center immediately at (217) 206-7122.

If there is an immediate threat of harm, call the Campus Police at (217) 206-7777. For after-hours emergencies, call (217) 206-7122 to obtain the phone number of the counselor on duty.

Students who would like to make an appointment at the Counseling Center should come to the Center to complete a confidential information form. The Counseling Center is located in the Human Resources Building, Room 64, Phone: (217) 206-7122.

For more information, please review Student Emergency and Referral Procedures: A Guide for Faculty and Staff. (pdf)

back to top  spacer



Health and Wellness
Stretching improves joint health, reduces risk of injury
By Kristin Obert,
Assistant Director for Fitness and Wellness

We all know that stretching is something that we should do, but few of us do it as often as we should, including myself.

Stretching is great for increasing flexibility, but there are other benefits and important guidelines to consider when starting a stretching regimen.

Stretching is great for improving overall fitness performance because it reduces the risk of injury and helps increase the range of motion that is available when performing strength exercises and participating in aerobic activities. Moreover, stretching can be a great form of relaxation and stress relief. For example, Yoga and Pilates involve stretching. Yoga involves the practice of physical postures and poses to enhance strength and flexibility. Pilates is a body conditioning routine that puts emphasis on spinal and pelvic alignment, breathing, and developing a strong core or center.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends stretching a minimum of two to three days per week; performing two to four repetitions of stretches for each major muscle group. Static stretches (those where the stretch is held at the fullest range of motion) should be held for 15 to 60 seconds depending on training status (longer for more trained individuals). It is important to stretch to the point of tension and not pain. If you are shaking while holding a stretch you are stretching too far and are putting the joint through excessive stretch.

Another type of stretching that is recommended is dynamic stretching-- a stretch that involves continued movement without “holding.” This type of stretching is best as a warm-up before any type of activity. It is important to never static stretch a cold muscle; research shows that static stretching should be saved for the end of a workout.

Stretching has numerous benefits and with classes offered through Rec Sports Fitness and Wellness Program, you are sure to gain flexibility training in all of the classes. Whether you do it in a class or on your own, it is never too late to start stretching. Even though each person’s flexibility potential is different, everyone can gain flexibility through regular stretching.

back to top  spacer


Rec Sports Golf Outing held

Rec Sports Golf Outing

The annual Recreational Sports Golf Outing was held July 11 at Edgewood Golf Club in Auburn.

It was a four-person scramble, which allowed golfers of all levels to participate and have a great time.
Of the 38 total golfers, the team of Allen Roth, Randy Mitchell and David Lasley took the top honors. The three-person team shot a 63, which was eight strokes under par.

Along with the golfing, participants were given the opportunity to win pin prizes such as longest putt or straightest drive. Those that did not win a pin prize were thrown into a drawing for door prizes that included gift cards and great UIS-related prizes.

The event concluded with a catered meal of pulled pork and potato salad.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity next year, as the prices are as low as you’ll find for a golf outing!


back to top  spacer



Coming Soon


BBQ, Student Leadership Retreat Set

Student Affairs Directors are invited to join student leaders and others for a BBQ lunch Aug. 19.
The lunch, part of a two-day UIS Student Leadership Retreat, will be held at 1 p.m. outside of the Student Life Building.
The UIS Student Leadership Retreat runs Sunday, Aug. 18, through Monday, Aug. 19.


Convocation Aug. 22

The annual Convocation of UIS faculty and staff, including a Convocation address by Chancellor Koch,
is set for Thursday, Aug. 22.

The event starts at 2:30 p.m. and will be held in the Sangamon Auditorium Lobby.


Student Employment Job Fair


2013 Foot in the Door Career Fair
Foot in the Door

Put your best foot forward toward your future career today!
Date: Thursday, September 26, 1013
Time: 11am-2pm
Location: The Recreational Athletic Center (TRAC) on campus
Get ready! Get set! Go the 2013 Foot in the Door Fair!
Students: Learn about the fair and start preparing!
Employers: Registration details and FAQS
Pay Registration Fees Online


Journal to Resume Publishing Aug. 28

The Journal will resume publishing Wednesday, Aug. 28, with Ashley Henry, a senior in Communication, as editor-in-chief.

As in 2012-2013, the new school year will find The Journal printing 3,000 copies of each week’s new edition and circulating copies throughout campus, including campus
residence halls, apartments and townhouses, and to several off-campus sites, including businesses, the state capitol, and Lincoln Library.

Story ideas, guest commentary, and letters-to-the-editor should be directed to Ashley by e-mailing journal@uis.edu or calling 206-6397. Advertising queries should be directed to Kate Richardson, Journal Business Manager/Graduate Assistant by e-mailing journalmgr@uis.edu or calling 206-7061.





Staff Spotlight Graphicspacer

 Matt Panich is interim Rec Sports director,
J.T. Timmons accepts director spot at Iowa

JT Timmons, director of UIS Recreational Sports since June 2007, has accepted a position as the Director of Recreational Services at the University of Iowa. He began his new job on July 29.

JT is quick to credit his staff. “I leave with mixed emotions. I have been blessed to serve the UIS students and community over the last six years and I’m fortunate to have had tremendous people to work with. The Recreational Sports team developed a strong set of standards we believed in and we can all be proud of our accomplishments.”

Among the changes Recreational Sports has seen over the last six years include: facility enhancements such as the opening of TRAC, the construction of the 18-hole disc golf course, two horseshoe courts at Rec Park and the Juice Bar at TRAC. He also championed technology upgrades to athletic and recreational facilities to meet current trends and practices.

Rec Sports staff say JT helped bring people from all over the State to campus by having TRAC successfully host Illinois High School Association tournament series games and collaborating with Springfield community constituents to plan the city’s first local marathon. That event is scheduled to take place on campus this October.

JT also mentored a National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association William Wasson Award Recipient and developed a professional and student leadership program.

Matt Panich will serve as interim director. He has been at UIS for five years, serving as the Assistant Director for Facility and Membership Services.

back to top  spacer


Kristen Obert New Assistant Director for Fitness and Wellness

Kristen Obert has joined Recreational Sports as the new Assistant Director for Fitness and Wellness.

Education: Bachelor of science degree in exercise science from Western Illinois University and a master of science degree in kinesiology from Western Illinois.

Previous Experience: Personal Trainer for 3.5 years (ACE certified); Group Fitness Instructor for three years; Yoga & Pilates Certified, Turbokick certified; Graduate Assistant for Fitness Services at WIU for two years; Fitness & Wellness Intern at SC Johnson, Inc.

Thoughts on UIS so far: I love the feel of campus and the atmosphere at TRAC, everyone is very friendly and helpful which makes transitioning into this new position much more enjoyable. There seems to be a great opportunity for growth in the fitness and wellness realm here at UIS, and I am excited to see if I can help enhance the current program we have here.

Goal for upcoming school year: My goal is to resurrect the personal training program by next semester and hopefully promote fitness and wellness to everyone on campus through different marketing tools.

back to top  spacer


A call for news—about you!

Sometimes folks are shy about sharing their professional development and work-related news.

But such news is important for a variety of reasons, and we’d like to include briefs about you and your achievements in the Student Affairs Newsletter.

E-mail dland2@uis.edu with your conference participation (attendee or attendee and presenter), research honors, degree or certification earned, and other achievements. In turn, we will get it
published in an upcoming newsletter.

Here are examples of activities from the 2012-2013 academic year that we’re looking to include:

Cynthia Thompson, Director of Student Life, attended the Association of College Unions International Conference in St. Louis in March 2013. Calling the conference
“educational and enlightening,” Cynthia added, “In the words of a colleague who also attended the event, two main points were made crystal-clear: A student union is central to the campus community-and it needs to be done right!”
She said a favorite story from a conference session involved a student union that had unused space under a stairway. “The union director believed that the space was wasted space, but soon found out that students liked to hang out in this cozy nook. So, they researched possible furniture/floor coverings that could be placed in this space to make hanging out there more comfortable. Their solution turned out to be pet beds - and this so-called ‘wasted’ space with 18 pet beds placed there - ended up being the most popular hangout place in the building,”

Valerie Gebhardt, AOD Prevention Coordinator in the UIS Counseling Center, attended the Illinois Certified Board Counselors Conference in October in Mount Vernon.
“I was extremely excited to get APAC money to go to this conference. There was so much to choose from: the new street drugs students are using, dual diagnosis issues (which many of our students are), sexual assault and domestic violence as it pertains to alcohol and drug usage, and motivational therapy (which I use with our students),” Valerie recalled. “ I loved this conference and the opportunity to catch up with people that I had previously known when working in the social services field. I also felt like I had more knowledge of what our current students and future students are dealing with and what they bring to the university environment."

Brian Hodges:, UIS Admissions Counselor/Chicago Regional Representative, attended the Illinois Association for Admission Counseling Conference, which he said “gave me the opportunity to network with many veterans in counseling, on both the college and high school sides.” Conference sessions included such topics as how admissions and recruitment will change in the future, the role of social media and websites in recruitment, and how self-evaluation can help create a successful customer service model.

back to top  spacer


Trivia—but not trivial!—about UIS

On the first day of classes (October 5, 1970), a total of 811 students were enrolled at Sangamon State University.

In 1970, the original campus library opened in Building F, now the Student Affairs Building. Construction of Brookens Library started in 1972.

Founders Hall has a green roof, which contains various sedum plants that help insulate the building naturally.

Jimmy Buffet was among those performing in 1974 in the former university cafeteria, now the Student Life Building.

UIS welcomed its first freshman class on August 22, 2001 when a group of 116 students joined the first Capital Scholars Honors Program class. The day also marked the opening of Lincoln Residence Hall.

back to top  spacer


Labor Day origins date to late 19th century

Labor Day started as an annual celebration of workers and their achievements.

On Sept. 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history. The idea of a “workingmen’s holiday,” celebrated on the first Monday in September, caught on in other industrial centers across the country, and many states passed legislation recognizing it.

Congress would not legalize the holiday until 12 years later, when a watershed moment in American labor history brought workers’ rights squarely into the public’s view. On May 11, 1894, employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago went on strike to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives. On June 26, the American Railroad Union, led by Eugene V. Debs, called for a boycott of all Pullman railway cars, crippling railroad traffic nationwide. To break the strike, the federal government dispatched troops to Chicago, unleashing a wave of riots that resulted in the deaths of more than a dozen workers. In the wake of this massive unrest and in an attempt to repair ties with American workers, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

For more information, visit http://www.history.com/topics/labor-day.

back to top  spacer


Food Service adds menu items

Some examples are:

• Crab cakes
• Hash brown patties
• New deli breads
• Breaded chicken wings
• New -locally roasted -coffee in Food emporium
• Several new beverages
• New grill and deli special rotation
• New Cook’s Nook rotation


back to top  spacer


Recipe Rack

Recipes Using Seasonal Fresh Foods Grown in Illinois

Southern Illinois Peach Upside Down Cake


¼ cup butter
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 cups sliced, pitted and peeled peaches, sliced thinly
1 ¼ cups flour
1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup milk


Place ¼ cup butter in 8X8X2 baking pan. Warm in 350 degree oven until melted. Add brown sugar and stir until sugar is incorporated. Spread evenly and place peach slices over sugar mixture.
Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In a large bowl mix granulated sugar and butter until well combined. Add egg and vanilla. Slowly combine dry ingredients and milk until all ingredients are combined.

Spread batter evenly over peach mixture in pan and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.
Cool and loosen cake from sides. Invert on large serving plate.


Illinois Sweet Corn and Blueberry Salad


6 ears fresh sweet corn, husks removed
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 small cucumber
¼ cup fresh cilantro
¼ cup red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon salt
½ pepper


Add corn to boiling water and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Cut corn from cob.
Combine corn, blueberries, cucumber, cilantro, onion and jalapeno in a large bowl.

Combine lime juice, oil, honey, cumin salt and pepper. Mix well.

Add dressing to corn mixture and toss. Cover and refrigerated overnight.

back to top  spacer


Student Affairs Newsletter Committee Members

Kim Rutherford
Deb Hartz
Geoffrey Evans
Jay Swenson
Gwen Cribbett
Maureen Bocka
Beth Nahlik
Debra Landis, Chair



Student Affairs web site: