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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Growing up in the Chicago-area Navie Fields says he didn’t have many male role models. Now, he’s trying to change that for the next generation of young men by volunteering and serving as president of the Black Male Collegiate Society at the University of Illinois Springfield.