Geetu Sharma came to the United States to be part of the Graduate Public Service Internship Program at the University of Illinois Springfield. In October 2018, Sharma started interning in the Office of Health Promotion at the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) where she works to prevent cases of youth suicide. She is also active on campus as the Graduate Student Senator on the Student Government Association and president of Asian Student Organization.
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 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.
Nick Reynolds is helping to boost school spirit as a marketing and engagement intern for the University of Illinois Springfield Athletics Department. In that role, he promotes athletic events on social media and serves as a host for promotions during games. Reynolds also co-founded the first Jewish student organization at UIS and has completed several internships in various campus departments.
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.
Connie Sifuentes is a leader in the Greek Life community at the University of Illinois Springfield. She currently serves as the president of the Greek Affairs Board where she advocates for Greek Life on campus. She is a member of the Gamma Phi Omega International Sorority, Inc. Chi Chapter, serves as marketing chair for the Psychology Club, volunteers as a Necessary Steps Program mentor and works for UIS Brookens Library.
Hailey Hollinshead’s passion for science and medical research has grown at the University of Illinois Springfield. She plans to attend medical school following graduation and become a dermatologist. On campus, Hollinshead co-founded the Legion of Ladies, a student organization focused on women’s empowerment. She is also a resident assistant in Lincoln Residence Hall and previously served on the UIS cheerleading and track and field teams.
Rhilee Cochran is gaining valuable experience working at the Cox Children’s Center at the University of Illinois Springfield. The elementary education and psychology major plans to use the lessons she’s learning when she becomes an elementary school teacher. Cochran was recently honored with the Student Affairs Division’s first Student Employee of the Month award in recognition for her outstanding work at the children’s center.
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.
Ivy Jimenez says she’s always had a lot to say, but attending the University of Illinois Springfield has given her the confidence to share her thoughts and ideas on important issues. The sophomore pre-nursing major is a student worker at the UIS Women’s Center, a member of the Organization of Latin American Students (OLAS), the Student Nurses’ Association and the Necessary Steps Mentoring Program.
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.
UIS Tennis player Mae Flight is co-president of the Habitat for Humanity Club on campus where she spends time helping with building projects in the Springfield community. She also helps newly arriving international students feel at home as an International Student Ambassador and by working in the Office of International Student Services.
Darlene Steinkamp has been very involved on the UIS campus. She is the co-founder and vice president of Legion of Ladies, a student organization created to empower women on campus. She is also the social chair of the Student Nurses Association and works as a student ambassador for UIS Admissions where she helps prospective students learn about the University.
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.
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.
Tommie Redmond is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the Black Male Initiative. He is also an orientation leader and a Necessary Steps Program mentor. Redmond interns in the programming unit at the Illinois Department of Transportation and is a social work intern and case evaluator at the Illinois Innocence Project where he reviews wrongful convictions.
Maria Espinosa is a member of the UIS women’s golf team, a science peer tutor at The Learning Hub and recently went on a study abroad trip to Ghana, West Africa where she helped to conduct important public health research.
International student Madhuri Podipireddy is a leader in the Graduate Public Service Internship Program (GPSI) Student Association at the University of Illinois Springfield. She recently started her second semester interning for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services as a business analyst in the Department of Innovation and Technology.
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.
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.