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Four UIS students receive Outstanding Applied Study awards

April 5, 2006

SPRINGFIELD – Four undergraduate students at the University of Illinois at Springfield – Amy Ballinger-Cole, Lori Harrison, Diana Meister, and Tammie Williams – have received Outstanding AST Awards from UIS’ Applied Study Program. A total of 15 students were nominated for the award, presented each spring semester for placements undertaken the prior year. 

Applied Study Terms (AST) are individualized field experiences, approved and supervised by UIS faculty, that give students an opportunity to apply theory, expand knowledge, determine additional learning needs, and explore careers while earning academic credit.

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Applied Study Program

Ballinger-Cole, a Liberal Studies major, served an internship with the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives, working on their publication Illinois Country Living Magazine, a placement she described as a “perfect fit.” Under the supervision of assistant editor Michelle McNeal, Ballinger-Cole was assigned to write a number of stories and also gained experience in editing, photography, and graphic design.

Harrison, an Accountancy major, worked at Home Appliance Center in Decatur, a small business owned by her husband’s parents.  The placement not only put her accounting skills to use, but also allowed her to test her ability to work within a close-knit enterprise.  Harrison noted that in addition she learned a great deal from the exposure to the operations side of a business.

Meister, who is majoring in Management at UIS’ Peoria campus, was able to arrange an internship within her current workplace – the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria.  Her assignment was to create an orientation document for academic employees in the Department of Biomedical and Therapeutic Sciences. Since the document was intended to help smooth the transition of foreign nationals who work at the university, this project required Meister to consider such things as cultural diversity, University policies and systems, and immigration regulations.

Williams, also a Management student at Peoria, was recently promoted to operations coordinator at CGN and Associates, a consulting firm that specializes in business operations. In her new position, she was chosen to spearhead a new program at CGN, which required her to be in contact with other executives and to present new ideas to them. Williams was able to structure an internship around this transition in employment and, as a result, her AST focused on developing managerial skills in delegation and coaching, as well enhancing personal written and verbal skills.

Outstanding AST Awards are presented on the basis of work the student completes as part of his or her placement experience.  To be nominated, students must demonstrate excellence in several areas, including self-learning, personal growth, reflection, and the acquisition of new skills. The award honors Craig Brown, Political Studies professor emeritus who also served as a member of the AST faculty for more than 20 years.

The AST program offers a variety of placement options, including a number of paid internship opportunities through the Illinois Cooperative Work Study Program.  For more information about these and other applied study opportunities at UIS, contact the program office at 206-6640.
 

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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