March 2020 | Alumni Newsletter

Alumni Update | March 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is at the forefront of our minds. UIS students, faculty and staff are learning, teaching and working remotely, just as so many of you are. Many UIS alumni – alongside University of Illinois alumni from our sister universities in Chicago and Urbana – are deeply involved in fighting this pandemic. We encourage you to follow their lead and guidance, alongside that offered by experts around the globe.

Meet Alumna Elizabeth Blair

Elizabeth BlairElizabeth Blair, ’93 PAA, MA ’03 LAS was the first female named Police Officer of the Year in the Peoria Police Department. She retired in 2018 after proudly serving for more than 23 years. As a student at UIS, she was vice president of the Student Senate, which helped merge Sangamon State University with the University of Illinois. Elizabeth says, “The classes and extracurricular activities at UIS prepared me to give back and pay it forward.”


Meet Alumna Teresa Haley

Teresa HaleyTeresa Haley, ’92 LAS, MPA ’94 leads the fight for equality as president of the Illinois NAACP State Conference. This past February, she was presented the Activist of the Year award by the national NAACP organization at the 2020 Image Awards. As student regent during her UIS days, Haley was part of the search committee that selected the first female president of then-SSU, Dr. Naomi B. Lynn, the nation’s first Hispanic woman to lead a public university.


UIS-Developed Child Protection Training Academy to be Replicated at SIU

Betsy Goulet at press conferenceThe UIS Child Protection Training Academy, developed in partnership with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, will be replicated through a new partnership with the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. The new academy will train frontline professionals to better protect at-risk children in southern Illinois.


Facilities Master Plan Approved by Board of Trustees

Map of UIS campusThe U of I Board of Trustees approved the new infrastructure and facilities 2020 master plan for UIS. The new master plan will guide investment decisions and enhancements to existing campus facilities, new construction and additional amenities. It also serves as a visionary roadmap with opportunities to support the university’s momentum and growth in both reputation and enrollment.


UIS Perspectives: Sangamon Experience

Chancellor Susan J. KochChancellor Susan J. Koch’s monthly column discusses Sangamon Experience. The new on-campus exhibition will go beyond its physical borders to provide a virtual space with digitized documents, digital humanities projects and research findings accessible anywhere. Sangamon Experience allows faculty, students and the community to collaborate and strengthen our knowledge of public history in the Sangamon region.

UIS COVID-19 Response

COVID-19 UpdateAs the international COVID-19 public health crisis continues to evolve, UIS has implemented new policies and practices to protect the health and welfare of our students, faculty and staff. Safety is our top priority, and we are taking this rapidly evolving situation seriously. We encourage you to visit our COVID-19 website for the latest information.

Upcoming Events Caledar

Amid the current international COVID-19 pandemic, all alumni and donor events scheduled through June 30, 2020, are cancelled or postponed. The coronavirus pandemic is a concern shared by all of us, and we all need to do our part to contain its spread. Decisions on future gatherings will be made when we can ensure all attendees can participate in a safe environment. Status updates will be provided at

Your well-being remains at the forefront of everyone’s mind here at UIS. We appreciate the continuing support you provide to UIS, and know you will be engaged in the future. Thank you.