Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Creating lasting friendships at UIS

By Melanie Cain

With her freshman year behind her, Allie Leight is happy that she decided to attend UIS. During her first year on campus, Allie excelled in the Capital Scholars program, walked on to the school’s softball team, and made a lot of friends and memories that will last for years to come.

Allie, who will be a sophomore in the fall, considered many different factors when choosing a college. Perhaps most importantly, she was looking for a place where she wouldn’t be “lost in the crowd,” but would instead feel valued as a student. “The fact that UIS had small classes was a huge appeal because I didn't want to be a nobody at a huge university in classes of over 100 people,” she says.

She visited the campus and was impressed with things overall, but especially with Lincoln Residence Hall. She explains, “I really liked the dorm. The suite-style setup is really a nice feature, making it a truly enjoyable place to live.” Allie thought that she could meet a lot of new people in this living arrangement.

As it turned out, Allie found it very easy to make new friends as she entered the close-knit community of Capital Scholars. “I came to UIS looking forward to making some new friends, and it’s been great so far. I really love the people at UIS, and that is what makes the experience so good here – the people,” says Allie.

Living the life of a student-athlete is always something of a challenge, but Allie has also excelled in that aspect of her college career. At the beginning of the year, she set out two goals for herself. “I always wanted to be on the dean’s list, and I also decided to walk on the softball team. I’m extremely happy to have accomplished both these goals,” states Allie.

Allie recently returned from a 17-day tour of Ireland and Scotland that was part of a summer class led by Karen Moranski, director of the Capital Scholars program and associate professor of English. Allie’s plans for the future, at least for the next three years, include completing her undergraduate degree in mathematical sciences and continuing her career as a UIS Prairie Stars softball player.

Do you have a great story about your experiences at UIS? If you’d like to share your thoughts, please feel free to email me at mcain02s@uis.edu.

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