Layla Wellington says she enjoys the “friendly environment” at the University of Illinois Springfield. “People are always willing to help and show support, which is why I think of UIS as my home away from home,” she said. Wellington is part of the Student Activities Committee (SAC), Voices in Praise Gospel Choir and a mentor for the STARS Living-Learning Community.
Aaleiyah Spaulding says she chose the University of Illinois Springfield for the reasonable tuition price and the community. “UIS strives for diversity and makes everyone feel welcome,” she said. “As a biracial woman, this meant the world to me.” On campus, she’s a part of The National Society of Leadership and Success Chapter and previously served as a student representative for the Psychology Department.
Menno Servaes chose the University of Illinois Springfield be part of the “talented and driven” men’s tennis team, which he now captains. On campus, he’s the president of The Research Society, Student Government Association Senator for the College of Business and Management, and is a member of the Society of Advancement of Management and Society of Human Resource Management.
Jennifer Davis chose the University of Illinois Springfield because of the small class sizes, friendly professors and proximity to home. “I like how the professors are always willing to help you out if you need it,” she said. “They are willing to go the extra mile to make sure you succeed.” On campus, she’s a member of the Green Fee Committee and also a member of the Research Society.
R’Lee Jones is heavily involved on campus as the vice president of the Black Student Union and the Voices in Praise Gospel Choir. She is also a member of UIS NAACP and Black Women of Excellence. “My favorite thing about UIS is the culture our students of color bring,” Jones said. “We work hard to make sure our campus understands the importance of not only diversity, but inclusion, equity, equality and the power of acceptance.”
Grace Weber chose the University of Illinois Springfield because of the opportunities to get involved and be part of the community. On campus, she plays on the women’s basketball team and is a peer math tutor at The Learning Hub. She is also a leader in the University Bible Fellowship and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Mae Matoka chose the University of Illinois Springfield because it allowed her “room to grow.” She enjoys the small, close-knit community at UIS that she “craved” for her college experience. On campus, Matoka is a member of the Capital Scholars Honors Program, where she also works as the social media manager. She is president of Legacy Dance Team and the vice president of Lambda Pi Eta, the Communication Honors Society on campus.
Tasneem Shaik chose the University of Illinois Springfield because of the courses it offers, internship opportunities and great learning experiences. She works as a student employee at the Office of International Student Services and is vice president of the Indian Student Organization.
Alexis Dhamrait chose the University of Illinois Springfield because “it was close to home and allowed me to receive an excellent education while saving for law school.” At UIS, she is a member of the Capital Scholars Honors Program, Alternative Spring Break and the Phi Alpha Delta International Law Fraternity.
Jessica Joyner chose the University of Illinois Springfield because of the “amazing” Human Development Counseling program, the wide variety of graduate assistantships and because of the welcoming campus. She is the graduate assistant for the UIS Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center and helps to organize volunteer projects on and off campus.
Arianna Boyd enjoys the small class sizes and close-knit community at the University of Illinois Springfield. On campus, she is a resident assistant for UIS Residence Life, financial secretary for the Upsilon Rho Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and a mentor in the Necessary Steps Mentoring Program.
Carl Burts chose the University of Illinois Springfield because of “what the school had to offer to help me grow as a person,” he said. On campus, Burts is a member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated, the Black Male Collegiate Society and Necessary Steps.
Nicole Thomas chose the University of Illinois Springfield because of the close-knit campus community. “I love the campus,” she said. “The people I’ve met made it my home. The one thing I like the most is the opportunities UIS offers.” On campus, she’s part of the STARS living learning community and the former president of the Picture Perfect Modeling Troupe.
Allison Hackett chose the University of Illinois Springfield because of the welcoming environment. “I instantly felt like I was at home when I stepped onto campus,” she said. “You will always see someone you know whenever you are walking on campus.” At UIS, she’s a member of the women’s soccer team and works at the Student Union.
Bryce Thomas was recently honored for volunteering close to 150 hours over more than two years at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in downtown Springfield. On campus, the history major is president of the History Club and head delegate for Model Illinois Government.
Randi Hirschel chose the University of Illinois Springfield because of the small class sizes and the ease of getting involved on campus. She is co-founder and president of the Jew Crew, the Jewish registered student organization on campus. She’s also a member of Phi Alpha Delta, an international law fraternity.
Makayla Cox has seen COVID-19 in the lab and on the front lines. She works as a medical laboratory technician for the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and as a medical scribe in the Emergency Department at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield.
Nolan Flaherty enjoys making an impact at the University of Illinois Springfield. He is a student government senator, works for the Center of State Policy and Leadership and recently helped to bring the Blue Crew, the UIS Athletics student fan section, back to life.
Diego Terrazas calls the University of Illinois Springfield a “community that helps students succeed both in and out of the classroom.” At UIS, he is the outreach coordinator for the Organization of Latin American Students and treasurer for HOSA Future Health Professionals. He is a member of the Capital Scholars Honors Program where he serves as a peer mentor and recently spent his spring break volunteering as part of the Alternative Spring Break service trip.