2019 End of Spring Student Accomplishments

UIS Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)


UISSHRM earned second place in two of the competitions at the annual Illinois State Student HR Conference and Competition this spring.

Case Competition: Second place out of 8 different college teams. The UIS students who participated in the competition included:

  • Undergraduates: Alexis Eddings, Tracy Cessna, and Marina Gendeck
  • Graduates: Cuong Nguyen, Trinh Tran, and Le Tran

HR Games (Jeopardy Style) Competition: Second place out of 18 different mixed college team. The winner was Alexis Eddings who also served as Team Captain and Director of Competition on UIS SHRM Exec Board.

Donna Skowronski, member of the department of Management, mentored the students as SHRM Faculty Advisor.

UIS Society for Advancement of Management (SAM)

SAM team

The UIS competition team of SAM at UIS Student Chapter returned home with two prizes received at the SAM 2019 International Management Conference:

  • The UIS Case Competition Team (Students: Mike Kirchgesner, Turner Clark, Shreyas Shirish, and Rohith Madamshetty) won the Third-Place Prize in the International Collegiate Business Skills Championship.
  • Turner Clark, from the SAM at UIS Student Chapter, won the First-Place Prize in the Extemporaneous Speech Competition.

Dr. Hasan Kartal serves as Faculty Advisor of SAM at UIS. Picture above includes Dr. Rassule Hadidi, Head of the MIS Department at UIS and Dr. Somnath Bhattacharya, Dean of the College of Business and Management.

Campus 1871 Startup Competition

Campus 1871 Startup team

A group of three University of Illinois Springfield students took part in the sixth annual Campus 1871 event, a weekend-long initiative that simulates the realities of launching and running a startup company, in Chicago April 6-7, 2019.

For one weekend a year, 1871 brings together more than 100 students from local universities for the ultimate startup experience. Students come together to share ideas, collaborate and build out business solutions with mentoring and coaching from 1871 entrepreneurs. The weekend concludes with a pitch competition in front of a panel of top leaders in Chicago’s tech community for assorted prizes.

The three UIS students who participated included Nikita Newcomb, an undergraduate business administration major from Russia; James Ukonu, a graduate data analytics major from Nigeria; and Olamide Ogunbameru, a graduate computer science major from Nigeria. Also pictured below faculty advisors, Bruce Sommer and Nabih Elhajj, adjunct faculty of Entrepeneurship.

Newcomb and Ukonu’s team took first place in the business solutions track and Ogunbamer’s team took second place in the diversity and inclusion track. There were a total of 11 teams that competed.

Megan Cox Wins Brian Milbrandt Intern Award

Megan Cox

The Brian Milbrand Intern Award is an honor that is given to the best intern of the GPSI program. This year this award was given to Megan Cox (MBA student). Megan’s internship supervisor at the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, John Baranzelli, wrote this in her award nomination.

“In May of 2017, Ms. Megan Cox was selected to be the Operational Excellence GPSI Intern in the CMS Office of Operational Excellence.  The Office of Operational Excellence is a new office which was established on May 1, 2016 to administer the Statewide Rapid Results Program.  Because the office was still new when Megan was hired, we had very few standardized processes and procedures.  In many ways, the office was a start-up and everyone in the office was expected to think like entrepreneurs and help advance the program on a shoe-string budget. When her internship began in August of 2017, Megan immediately hit the ground running by helping us standardize our training coordination processes. As time went by, Megan took on more and more of the responsibility for coordinating our training classes.  Before long, she had become a fixture in our office and the phrase ‘Megan’s got it’ became what my Administrative Assistant would tell me whenever I’d ask about the status of an important coordination task.  Over time, that phrase would become synonymous with quality.  If Megan was in charge of a task, I knew it would be done–and done right.”