March 2019 | Alumni Newsletter
The global UIS Alumni family has more than 43,000 members with shared experiences and pride in the University of Illinois Springfield and its predecessor, Sangamon State University.
Celebrating Alumnae During Women’s History Month
Meet Alumna Paris Ervin
Paris Ervin ’02 LAS, MA ’15 PAA is the Chief Communications and Civic Engagement Officer for Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs. As a student, she worked her way up the ladder at WICS-TV, and went on to be the Bureau Chief of Communications/Spokesperson for IDOT. Paris says, “Coach Dominic Giacomini changed my life when he asked me to join the UIS Tennis team. I will be forever grateful for people like him taking a chance on me and putting me on the path to success.”
Meet Alumna Kelly Thompson
Kelly Thompson MA ’02 LAS is the Chief Executive Officer of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois. She says, “I definitely believe where I am today would not have been possible without my advanced degree.” Kelly has been recognized for her exceptional work and service throughout her career, with one of her highlights being the work she did to pass Smoke Free Springfield and Smoke Free Illinois legislation.
UIS Professor & Student Leading the Way with Open Educational Resources
Senior Hailey Hollinshead and Associate Professor Layne Morsch met with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and others to discuss the Open Textbook Pilot program. The pilot is a $10 million federally funded competitive grant program for higher education institutions to create new and open (freely accessible) educational resources. Morsch said, “Students with less financial resources shouldn’t be disadvantaged by not having the same textbooks that other students can afford to buy.”
Reaching Stellar Campaign
Reaching Stellar: The Campaign for the University of Illinois seeks to raise funds from friends and alumni to add to the excellence of UIS programs for students and our wider community. This month, we feature donor and alum Wilverlyn Joye Williams, who created a named scholarship only seven months after completing her master’s degree in Legal Studies. Read more about Joye and her named scholarship. (Pictured: Joye with her scholarship donor Rose Marie Roach.)
Economic Development for the Public Good
Chancellor Susan J. Koch shares an update on strategic initiatives for the public good, which fully harness the University of Illinois System’s power as an “engine for statewide and regional economic development.” Read more about our innovative and collaborate projects.
PAR Hall of Fame Inductees
Alumni Trif Alatzas, Patty Culhane and Natasha Korecki will be inducted into the PAR Hall of Fame in April. The HoF honors program graduates who have had distinguished careers in journalism and recognizes the contribution the UIS PAR program has made to journalism and the state of Illinois. Register online for the reception and learn more about inductees.
Upcoming Events Calendar
Lunch & Learn | Irish Heritage & History – Wednesday, March 27
The Sound of Music Pre-Show Dinner & Conversation – Wednesday, March 27
Defenders of the Innocent Event – Saturday, March 30
The King and I Pre-Show Dinner & Conversation – Monday, April 15
NPR Public Radio Week – April 29-May 3
Lunch & Learn | Three-I Baseball & Forgotten Voices of Illinois – Tuesday, April 30
Alumni Humanitarian Award Presentation Ceremony – Thursday, May 2
Finding Neverland Pre-Show Dinner & Conversation – Monday, May 6
EXPLORERS Alumni Travel Program – September trips