May 2020 | Alumni Newsletter

Alumni Update | May 2020

QuaranTEAM Edition

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new normal for us all. We’ve adapted our monthly newsletter to provide you with both resources and news.

Like many of you, UIS has non-essential staff working remotely. We’re proud of our alumni and encourage you to continue looking for opportunities to make our world a better place.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay strong.


Pivot, Pivot, Pivot

Alumna Samantha Gaddy in courtoom

Thriving in your career requires the ability to be nimble and pivot as the job market changes – or better yet, the ability to anticipate those changes. This month’s Alumnihood article talks about growth industries, and how you can evaluate if a pivot is right for you.


Kick Stress to the Curb

student on campusMarriage. Death of a family member. Major achievement. Change in income. Job loss. Quarantine. Although some of the events are positive and some are negative, they all have one thing in common – the potential to cause stress. Your mental health matters. Learn how to rate your stress, and implement healthy ways to manage it.


Ace Your Interview Video Series

alumnus in chairThe Career Development Center has created a series of videos to help students prepare for upcoming job and internship interviews. The Ace Your Interview series may have been created for those less experienced, but it’s filled with valuable tips to keep in mind, especially if you haven’t interviewed in a while.



Stories to Make You Smile

Alumnus Trif Alatzas Leads Team to Pulitzer Prize

Trif AlatzasTrif Alatzas, a 1989 graduate of the UIS Public Affairs Reporting Program (PAR), led his team to a 2020 Pulitzer Prize as editor-in-chief of Baltimore Sun Media. They were honored for their coverage of former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh’s “Healthy Holly” book scandal. While leading The Capital Gazette in 2019, Trif and his team were awarded a special citation from the Pulitzer Board for their work in covering the attack on their Annapolis offices that killed five employees.


Alumna Molly Lamb Named New Director of Center for State Policy and Leadership

Molly LambMolly Lamb, ’05 MPH has been named the new executive director of the UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership (CSPL). She will start on June 1, replacing David Racine who is retiring after 10 years as director. Molly worked at the Illinois Department of Public Health for 11 years, most recently as deputy director of IDPH’s Office of Health Protection. Provost Dennis Papini says, “Molly brings unparalleled enthusiasm and a wealth of ideas to this position.”



Alumni Earn Outstanding Master’s Thesis Awards

Rashaun DeBord and Joshua RaiThe UIS Research Board honored two former graduate students with awards for their master’s thesis projects. Rashaun DeBord, MA ’19 LAS was selected for the UIS Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award for his study investigating the long-term impact of the 1908 Springfield Race Riots. Joshua Rai, MA ’19 PAA was selected for Honorable Mention for his research study on the environmental and sociological impacts of yarsagumba harvesting in Nepal.

UIS Perspectives: Commencement

Chancellor Susan J. KochIn her monthly column, Chancellor Susan Koch shares stories from 2020 graduates, and reflects on this year’s unique commencement experience. “As Chancellor of UIS, I’ve found there is no greater satisfaction than observing the transformative experience a university education provides – especially for students who are the first in their family to achieve the dream of a college degree.”


Celebrating 2020 Commencement

2020 CommencementUIS celebrated the graduation of 1,179 students during a virtual commencement celebration on May 9. The virtual ceremony included a special video honoring graduates where their degrees were officially conferred. The class of 2020 was also showered with congratulations from alumni, faculty and friends in multiple videos shared on social media, and a website was launched for the occasion.


Alumni QuaranTEAM Story: Brian Su

Brian Su

We asked alumni to share their QuaranTEAM stories. Shout out to Brian Su, ’96 MPA who tells us how he’s been supporting his community. “We have been busy the last two weeks collecting and donating disposable face masks. So far we have donated cash to local community volunteers of Blessing Our Community to buy care packages for health care workers; and donated 3,000 disposable and N95 face masks to veterans homes, senior care and assisted living facilities in Springfield, Quincy and Chicago.” We want to hear from you – tell us your story!


Virtual Events

Board of Trustees Meeting Live Webcast: Thursday, May 21

Navigating the Restore Illinois Plan Webinar Recording