October 2019 | Alumni Newsletter

Alumni Update | October 2019

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.

Meet Alumna Cheri Bustos

The Honorable Cheri BustosThe Honorable Cheri Bustos MA ’85 LAS is in her fourth term representing the 17th congressional district of Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives. She’s a former journalist and healthcare professional whose political career began with winning a seat on the city council. Public Affairs Reporting alumnus and veteran reporter Bill Lambrecht interviews Bustos who is living a career-defining moment.



Student Natalie Kerr Wins Entrepreneurship Competition

Natalie Kerr with AwardNatalie Kerr, a senior majoring in chemistry at UIS, recently won the first Falling Walls Lab Illinois entrepreneurship competition and earned the title of Illinois Young Innovator of the Year. In earning this distinction, Kerr won an all-expenses-paid trip to Berlin, Germany, to compete at the Falling Walls Lab global finale on Nov. 8.



UIS Perspectives: Dilley Project

Chancellor Susan J. KochSix UIS students “experienced engaged” in a powerful way this past summer through a faculty-led immersion with the Dilley Pro Bono Project, which serves immigrant mothers and children detained at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas. Women and children housed at the center have presented themselves at the U.S. border seeking legal asylum, and UIS students assisted with client intake and helped prepare women for the initial phase of their asylum application.

UI System Enrollment Grows to Nearly 89,000 Students

University of Illinois SystemEnrollment this fall across the University of Illinois System grew to a record high for the seventh straight year, increasing 3.8 percent to nearly 89,000 students. Combined enrollment at the system’s universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield grew to 88,861 from 85,597 a year ago. The system is on pace to meet a five-year goal of topping 93,600 students by fall 2021.


2019 University Scholar: Yanhui Guo

Yanhui Guo

Yanhui Guo, assistant professor of computer science at UIS, has been named University Scholar for 2019. Considered the university system’s highest faculty honor, the award recognizes outstanding teaching and scholarship. Guo’s research focuses on computer vision, machine learning, deep learning, computer-aided detection/diagnosis and big data analytics.




FY19 Fundraising One of Highest in History

75.7% RaisedThe University of Illinois System is ahead of pace through its most ambitious, $3.1 billion fundraising initiative that is comprised of three unique fundraising campaigns for each university in Urbana, Chicago and Springfield. As of September 30, 2019 the campaigns are collectively 75.7 percent toward goal, together having raised an impressive $2.35 billion.


Share Your Story – Submit Your Alumni Class Note

Grant JohnsonYou are a big part of the UIS Story. Whether enjoying life on the road and caring for the Budweiser Clydesdales or “Finding Eminence” by starting a cut flower and vegetable farm, alumni live interesting and intelligent lives throughout the world. Share and submit your story and photos to uisalumni@uillinois.edu.


Upcoming Events Calendar

God of Carnage – UIS Theatre – October 25 – November 2

Illinois Connection: Springfield Alumni in Government – Tues, October 29

So You Think You Can Dance – Tuesday, November 12

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas – Sunday, November 17

Illinois Statehood Day History Symposium – Tuesday, December 3

Broadway Series & Pre-Show Dinners – Spring 2020

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