Category: Political Science

Taryn Christy ‘22

Taryn Christy chose the University of Illinois Springfield because she wanted to help build “a championship culture” as a member of the cross country and track & field teams, while having opportunities in the classroom and internships. Christy recently earned UIS’ first All-American honor with a top-40 finish in the NCAA Division II Cross Country National Championships in California.

Joseph Partain ‘21

Joseph Partain says the University of Illinois Springfield is “the perfect place to learn about politics and law.” On campus, he’s a student worker and policy intern with the Illinois Innocence Project. The Project works to free people who have been wrongfully convicted. Partain is also the president of the UIS Mock Trial Team and a member of Model Illinois Government.

Miguel Valente ‘22

Miguel Valente is a leader on and off the University of Illinois Springfield campus. On campus, he’s the SGA senator for the College of Public Affairs and Administration, new member educator for the Delta Kappa Epsilon Kappa Beta Colony, treasurer for the Organization of Latin American Students and interns for the UIS Office of Veterans Affairs.

Connor Krater ‘21

Connor Krater chose the University of Illinois Springfield because he wanted to be politically active on and off campus. At UIS, he is the chancellor and founder of the Political Understanding and Activist Club. The club holds events, such as “Spilling Tea, Spittin’ Topics,” where students participate in calm and meaningful discussion about political topics. Krater is also a member of Model Illinois Government.

Mackenzi Matthews ‘21

Transfer student Mackenzi Matthews is heavily involved in the Student Government Association (SGA) at the University of Illinois Springfield. On campus, she is also head delegate for the Model Illinois Government Club, treasurer of the Green Fee Committee and works at the Student Union.

David Alonso ‘20

David Alonso chose the University of Illinois Springfield because of its location in the state capital. On campus, he is a founding members of the UIS Chapter of the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, treasurer for the UIS College Republicans and a member of the Christian Student Fellowship.

Alex Phelps ‘20

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.

Ben Szalinski ‘21

As a political science major, Ben Szalinski says he chose the University of Illinois Springfield because of its smaller class sizes and location in the state capital. He’s using that location to his advantage as president of the Student Advocacy Coalition, a UIS student group that lobbies lawmakers on higher education issues. Szalinski is active as the treasurer of the Alternative Spring Break student organization and works on campus as an intramural sports supervisor for UIS Campus Recreation.

Eric Loera ‘21

Eric Loera says he chose the University of Illinois Springfield because he knew he could become “a big fish in a small pond.” He was elected secretary of the Student Government Association, serves as secretary of the Alternative Spring Break student organization, and is a Capital Scholars Honors Program peer mentor and a member of the Student Advocacy Coalition and Campus Senate. He is also involved with the Leadership for Life Service Program.

Andrew Cunningham ‘21

Andrew Cunningham is the internal vice president for the Student Government Association, the vice president of the College Republicans, a member of the Student Advocacy Coalition, Campus Senate and is a Capital Scholars Honors Program member and peer mentor.

Shaina Humphrey ‘19

Shaina Humphrey is the elected student representative to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. She is also active on campus as the president of the Black Student Union and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and is co-president of the Student Advocacy Coalition. She works for the UIS Office of Electronic Media and for UIS Campus Recreation as a facility lead.

Daniel Rude ‘19

As the elected external vice president of the Student Government Association at the University of Illinois Springfield, Daniel Rude is a voice for students both on and off campus. As the traditions coordinator for the Student Activities Committee (SAC) he plans two of the biggest events on campus – homecoming and Springfest.

Ben Paoletti ‘21

Ben Paoletti is a member and resident assistant for the Leadership for Life Service Program, a student project coordinator for the UIS Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center, vice president of the Alternative Spring Break student organization and is a former undergraduate senator on the Student Government Association.

Conor McKenzie ‘19

Conor McKenzie was among a group of UIS students who traveled to Cuba on a study abroad trip in January 2018. At UIS, McKenzie was recently elected the head delegate of the Model Illinois Government team. He is also a part of the Model United Nations team.

Molly Looby ‘19

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.

Kaelan Smith ‘19

University of Illinois Springfield political science and economics major Kaelan Smith is passionate about helping people in his community. He recently helped start the Downtown Discounts program, which saves UIS students money at downtown businesses. On campus, Smith is the vice president of the UIS College Republicans and is a member of the Capital Scholars Honors Program, where he volunteers as a peer mentor.

Edwin Robles ‘18

Edwin Robles has always been interested in politics and hopes to one day run for office. At the University of Illinois Springfield, he was elected by the student body to serve as their voice on the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. As the student trustee, Robles has a seat at the table at all of the board of trustees meetings.

Yaw Kesse ‘17

University of Illinois Springfield political science major Yaw Kesse has a passion for public service. Kesse has spent the summer interning at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services in Springfield where he works in the Bureau of Collections. He credits UIS for the internship opportunity saying it has helped prepare him for his future career.