January 2021 | Alumni Newsletter

Alumni Update | January 2021

The global UIS Alumni family has more than 44,000 members with shared experiences and pride in the University of Illinois Springfield and its predecessor, Sangamon State University.

Meet Alumna Daralene Jones

Daralene JonesDaralene Jones, MA ’03 PAA is an Emmy Award-winning news anchor and investigative journalist who has reported on the Boston Marathon bombings, Trayvon Martin and the D.C. Navy Yard shooting, among others. She is also the creator and executive producer of the Ocoee Massacre project, a documentary film that uncovers the events surrounding the lynching of a black man after he tried to vote in a presidential election in 1920. Daralene says skills learned at UIS gave her an advantage in the workforce.



UIS Alumni and Professor Shoot Emmy Award-Winning Film

Face to Face“Face to Face,” a short film featuring Dr. Wesley Robinson-McNeese reading a poem he wrote from inside the remains of black-owned homes that were burned in the 1908 Springfield Race Riots was honored with an Emmy in the Short Format Program category. The Emmy was awarded to The Storyteller Studios’ Chris Costello, ’15 LAS, who served as director, cinematographer and editor, and to Josh Hester, MA ’09 LAS as executive producer. UIS history professor Devin Hunter approached them with the idea, while they were documenting archaeological work at the site.

Karen Whitney’s Term as Interim Chancellor To Be Extended

Karen Whitney

Karen M. Whitney’s appointment as UIS Interim Chancellor is to be extended by one year. Whitney, a nationally recognized higher education leader, has served as interim chancellor since June 2020 and will continue in that capacity through June 2022, pending approval of the U of I Board of Trustees at its January meeting.


Businesses and Organizations Invited to Virtual Career Expo

Career Connections Expo

Businesses and organizations are encouraged to register for UIS’ virtual Career Connections Expo. The event is intended to bring students, alumni, community members and employers together to discuss career opportunities and build professional connections. The Expo will be held on Thursday, March 4 from 11am-4pm.


Reaching Stellar: UIS Cares Food Pantry

UIS Cares Micro-PantryThe UIS Cares Food Pantry was created by students and faculty who wanted to remedy growing food insecurity among students and allow them to better focus on their studies. The pantry provides perishable items like milk and fresh fruit and vegetables to students. It expanded with a micro-pantry in the Student Union during the Fall 2020 semester to provide non-perishable food items at the student’s convenience.


UIS Perspectives: Promoting Equity Through Digital Inclusion

Vickie CookVickie Cook, UIS Executive Director of Online, Professional & Engaged Learning, discusses the importance of access to digital information and shares how UIS has helped students with internet and device access since the pandemic. “UIS is working to promote digital inclusion and equity for our students to access and use digital information regardless of geographical location or annual income to support them in achieving their goals,” says Cook.



CBM Receives $100,000 Gift for Business Education

Fall 2020 classroomA $100,000 gift to the UIS College of Business and Management will support the creation of several initiatives and market-relevant programs that will provide students with dynamic educational opportunities. The gift from Christine and Lou Friedrich will help jump-start several initiatives in finance, economics and beyond that explore the future of business education.


Upcoming Virtual Events

Conversations with Killeen: Federal Priorities – Tuesday, February 2

Center for Lincoln Studies Grand Opening – Friday, February 12

Spring 2021 Lunch & Learn Series – starts Thursday, February 18