Jen Brooks leads a busy life working a full-time job, while raising two children. That’s why she decided the University of Illinois Springfield’s online Teacher Education Program was the perfect choice to help her complete the state’s requirements to become a teacher. She recently presented her research on the Illinois teacher shortage to lawmakers at the state capitol as part of the sixth annual Illinois Innovation Network Undergraduate Research Day.
Ashlee Knapik is learning hands on at the University of Illinois Springfield. She recently completed an internship at accounting firm Eck, Schafer and Punke in Springfield before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accountancy and business administration on May 11. Knapik will be returning to UIS in Fall Semester 2019 as a student in the MBA Program.
Kimberlee Pompa created and led a student group called Planned Parenthood Generation Action at UIS. Her determination was recognized, and she was inducted as a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success.
As a psychology major, Areli Calderon wants to spend her life helping people who have experienced sexual assault. On campus, she is president of Gamma Phi Omega International Sorority, Inc., a mentor for the Necessary Steps Mentoring Program and Gender and Sexuality Student Services and a liaison between the Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault and UIS.
Heba Qazi says it’s important for young women to feel empowered and know what they can accomplish with a college education. Qazi, who recently graduated from the University of Illinois Springfield with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, helped to organize “The Future is Female” event on April 26, 2019.
International student Adella Nguyen helped found the Society for Advancement of Management (SAM) Chapter at the University of Illinois Springfield and also served as director of marketing and promotions. In March 2018, she was part of the first place team at the National SAM Business Case Competition in Washington, D.C.
Alex Phelps came to the University of Illinois Springfield to be part of the men’s cross country and track and field teams! He’s also heavily involved on campus working as a student receptionist for the Office of Admissions and is a student leader for the University Bible Fellowship.
Katie Brethorst is involved in the UIS Theatre Program, works for the Sangamon Auditorium Ticket Office and is a staff writer for the student newspaper. This summer, she’s working for Fever River Archaeology at the Springfield Race Riot dig site.
Jon O’Daniel recently completed an internship at accounting firm Eck, Schafer & Punke LLP in Springfield where he learned about tax preparation and audits. On campus, he is the president of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Kappa Beta Colony.
Kelsey Marucco is now only a few steps away from becoming an elementary school teacher. On campus, she is heavily involved as a member of the Capital Scholars Honors Program and the Tri Sigma Sorority. She also works for UIS Campus Recreation and at the Cox Children’s Center on campus.
Luigi Cabantog came to the University of Illinois Springfield knowing he wanted to make a difference. As a freshman, he was elected a Student Government Association senator and joined the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity where he is the philanthropy and service chair.
Adrienne Taylor is part of the Students Transitioning for Academic Retention and Success (STARS) living-learning community at the University of Illinois Springfield and is secretary of the leadership team.
Matthew Traxler was one of 14 University of Illinois Springfield students who spent their spring break in Puerto Rico helping the U.S. territory recover from Hurricane Maria. On campus, he is a member of the Phi Kappa Tau Zeta Zeta Chapter. He is the entertainment chair for the Dance Marathon, a fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network, and president of the UIS Disc Golf team.
Before coming to the University of Illinois Springfield, Caleb Froidcoeur admits he wasn’t passionate about the environment. He is now a Campus Sustainability Projects Coordinator taking project ideas, like refillable water bottle stations and low emission vehicle (LEV) parking spaces, from the drawing board to reality.
Maura Freeman has two major leadership roles at the University of Illinois Springfield. The senior communication and English major is editor-in-chief of The Journal, the editorially independent student newspaper on campus, and is a resident assistant (RA) for the Department of Residence Life.
When Alice Caceres-Turcios was looking for a place to attend college, she knew she wanted to be challenged academically. She found the perfect fit in the Capital Scholars Honors Program at the University of Illinois Springfield. Caceres-Turcios is now a peer mentor for the Honors Program, helping to guide younger students. She also works on campus as a Student Ambassador in the Office of Admissions.
Samantha Hwang transferred to the University of Illinois Springfield because she wanted to be part of the UIS Music Program. She’s played the violin since she was in elementary school and was offered a Camerata Music Scholarship at UIS. She is now the concert master for the UIS Orchestra. She is also an International Student Ambassador and works part-time at Brookens Library.
As a transfer student, Cambry Bennett says she had a smooth transition to the University of Illinois Springfield. Now she’s helping prospective students learn about UIS as a Student Ambassador. As a Student Ambassador, Bennett gives campus tours to high school students and their parents who are interested in attending UIS. On campus, Bennett is a member of the Commuter Student Association and sings in the UIS Music Choir Ensemble.