Madelyn Laughlin chose the University of Illinois Springfield because “it was just the right size, not too big or small.” “I enjoy that UIS feels like a tight-knit community, much like my hometown,” she said. On campus, Laughlin is president of Lambda Pi Eta (the Communication Honor Society) and is a fundraising coordinator for Alternative Spring Break.
Justin Jones-Felder chose the University of Illinois Springfield because of the “small community that helps me stay focused.” On campus, he’s the president of the Black Male Collegiate Society and a member of the Upsilon Xi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Kelsey Hall chose the University of Illinois Springfield because it is close to home and she received a Capital Scholars Honors Program scholarship, which made UIS very affordable. She remains active in the honors program and was previously a member of the Alternative Spring Break student organization and worked as a resident assistant.
Sarah Jansen chose the University of Illinois Springfield because it was close to home and “provided an affordable quality education.” At UIS, she is a Camerata trumpet musician, Capital Scholars Honors Program student and a member of The Research Society. She also works in The Learning Hub as the physics supplemental instructor and as a science tutor.
Quynh (Selina) Tran chose the University of Illinois Springfield “because of its friendly environment and affordable tuition for international students.” On campus, she works as an international student ambassador for the Office of International Student Services. In that role, she helps other international students adjust to life at UIS.
Jennifer Viramontes chose the University of Illinois Springfield because she says it “offers a world-class education at a fraction of the cost and has a beautiful campus.” At UIS, she is currently involved with the UIS Mock Trial team and Model United Nations.
Graciela Popoca knew she made the right choice to attend the University of Illinois Springfield shortly after arriving on campus. “In my first year, I was able to be a part of many organization and quickly felt loved by my community,” she said. On campus, she is now the president of the Organization of Latin American Students and vice president of Gamma Phi Omega International Sorority, Inc. and Students Helping Detention Centers.
Ocean Pangan chose the University of Illinois Springfield to play on the women’s golf team and be a part of the Capitol Honors Scholar Program (CAP). On campus she is an international student ambassador, a CAP peer mentor and a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Hasani Cannon enjoys the “bond and relationships” he’s formed within the University of Illinois Springfield community calling them “long lasting and invaluable to my journey to success.” On campus, he is president of the African Student Association, Afro-Beat Dance Crew and the Art Student League.
Jace King chose the University of Illinois Springfield because of its location and educational resources. On campus, he is the Psychology Department student representative, assistant editor of the UIS Journal newspaper and content manager for the TEDxUofISpringfield committee. King is currently doing research on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on depression and anxiety levels among UIS undergraduate students.
Antone Evans chose the University of Illinois Springfield because of the state government internship opportunities offered by UIS’ Graduate Public Service Internship Program. “Being someone wanting to get into the work force before pursing my Ph.D., it was amazing to have a program where I could gain work experience, while in my two-year program.” On campus, Evans is the Student Government Association College of Liberal Arts and Science Senator and the TEDxUofISpringfield Committee Director.
Angie Quiroga Torres says she chose the University of Illinois Springfield to earn a “high quality graduate education.” On campus, she is co-vice president of the Research Society and a member of the Community Garden Club. She interns off campus at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency as part of UIS’ Graduate Public Service Internship (GPSI) Program.
Charles Ogbogu says he enjoys the “moderate class sizes and personalized learning experience” at the University of Illinois Springfield. He plays on the UIS men’s soccer team and is a member of the Capital Honors Program and African Students Association. He is also a student assistant for the UIS Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.
Beatriz Acosta chose the University of Illinois of Springfield because it is “a smaller school, away from the city.” She is the Student Government Association (SGA) resident senator, secretary of the Chemistry Club and a member of an unofficial research journal club. She also served as the student member on a search committee for a faculty position in the Biology Department.
Amanda Young loves “the sense of community” at the University of Illinois Springfield. She is part of the mock trial team, a member of Phi Alpha Delta International Law Fraternity and the Capital Scholars Honors Program. As a student employee, Young is also assisting Associate Professor Sibel Oktay with her research project on Political Leadership and International Response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kelsey Lessen chose the University of Illinois Springfield because of the “small school atmosphere” and the Capital Scholars Honors Program. On campus, she is the treasurer of the Student Organization Funding Association, a member of Christian Student Fellowship and treasurer of Kappa Delta Phi.
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.