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.
Elijah Jones chose the University of Illinois Springfield because of its location and affordability. On campus, he is president of the Black Male Collegiate Society and the Picture Perfect Modeling Troupe. He also works for UIS Campus Recreation and serves as a peer mentor to several students on campus.
Josh Rowzee chose the University of Illinois Springfield because he was asked to be part of the Necessary Steps Mentoring Program that helps support first-generation college students. On campus, he is vice president of the of Black Student Union, treasurer for the Black Male Collegiate Society, a student assistant for the UIS men’s basketball team and worked as an orientation leader this past summer.
Tehya Fortune is glad she chose the University of Illinois Springfield because she says “I really believe that it is where I am meant to be.” Fortune plays on the Prairie Stars women’s basketball team and works at the Student Union on campus. She enjoys the “small campus environment” at UIS where she says “everyone knows each other.” Following graduation from UIS, she hopes to work in film and television production.
Estelle Higdon chose the University of Illinois Springfield because coming from a smaller hometown, she wanted a college that was “not too big or small.” On campus, she is president of the Needle Arts Club; co-director of Leadership for Life Service Program; marketing director for The Alchemist Review, the English Department’s literary journal; and a member of the Christian Student Fellowship.
Sierra Peterson transferred to the University of Illinois Springfield to complete her bachelor’s degree. On campus, she works at the Student Union. As part of her job, she helps manage the UIS CARES Stars Supply Stop, a place where students can pick up school supplies at no cost, with no judgement.
Stephanie Matheu is involved both on and off the University of Illinois Springfield campus. She is a specialist in U.S. Army Reserves, works full-time off campus, is a member of the UIS Students Transitioning for Academic Retention and Success (STARS) Program and is a former UIS Prairie Stars cheerleader.
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.
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.
Kia Jones has become an expert in reviewing resumes and cover letters. She works at the University of Illinois Springfield Career Development Center where she helps any student who walks through the door make sure they’re ready to apply for a job. In December 2018, Jones was honored with the Student Affairs Employee of the Month award for her above and beyond work helping other students.
As a star basketball player at Springfield’s Lanphier High School, Aundrae Williams knew he wanted to continue his career in his hometown following graduation. Williams has become an important part of the UIS Prairie Stars leadership on the court as a point guard directing the team’s offense. The communication major recently had the opportunity to represent UIS at a national three day NCAA Inclusion Forum in Indianapolis.
Haley Simpson never imagined her love of social media could turn into a future career. She works at the UIS Student Union doing social media and marketing. She is also a member of the UIS Green Fee Committee and treasurer for the Community Garden Club and the College Democrats.
Before transferring to the University of Illinois Springfield, Molly Looby says she felt “lost” and “very small”. However, she’s now found her voice as a student worker for the UIS Women’s Center and president of the UIS College Democrats.
During the 2017 season, Michael Rothmund set several UIS and NCAA records for homeruns. He led the entire NCAA (Division I, II and II) in home runs at 24 and broke the Division II single season homerun record averaging almost one home run per every two games played. He was also named the UIS Athletics Male Athlete of the Year and 1st-Team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference.
As Vince Walker puts it, first and foremost “I love basketball!” The University of Illinois Springfield junior communication major is helping lead the UIS Prairie Stars men’s basketball team during a successful start to the season. On campus, Walker is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the University Bible Fellowship and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Beatrice Bonner loves to talk and inform people. Ever since working at a radio station in high school, she’s wanted to become a TV news reporter. Bonner is a communication major and a member of the Capital Scholars Honors Program at the University of Illinois Springfield.
Shane Graham is not your typical college student. At 25, the U.S. Army veteran has found a passion for acting at the University of Illinois Springfield. The communication major plays three roles in UIS Theatre’s spring production of “Almost, Maine”.
Hometown: Edinburg, IL Major: Communication Future Plans: Career in Human Resources Miranda Swope transferred to the University of Illinois Springfield from her local community college in order to continue her postsecondary education. At UIS, she’s earning her bachelor’s degree in communication while working as a student ambassador for the Admissions Office. In that role, she… Miranda Swope ‘18 Read More »
Hometown: Richton Park, IL Major: Communication Future Plans: Work in higher education administration Kylah Foster-Griffin fell in love with the University of Illinois Springfield during a campus tour in high school. Now, the communication major is helping other students discover all that UIS has to offer as a student orientation coordinator. She and her staff… Kylah Foster-Griffin ‘18 Read More »
Hometown: Springfield, IL Major: Communications Future Plans: Career in media relations Carter Staley is a communication major in the Capital Scholars Honors Program at the University of Illinois Springfield. He has worked for St. John’s Hospital in Springfield as a marketing and public relations intern as well as the UIS Office of Electronic Media as… Carter Staley ‘16 Read More »