Savannah Brannan chose the University of Illinois Springfield because it offered her “so many opportunities to be involved on campus.” Brannan is a member of the Prairie Stars cross country and track teams and plays viola as part of the UIS Music Program’s Camerata Scholarship. She is also a peer science tutor at The Learning Hub and part of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee.
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.
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.
Daniel Mahony chose the University of Illinois Springfield because it was a perfect fit for him from both an athletic and academic perspective. The exercise science major plays on the UIS men’s soccer team, works for the Office of Electronic Media and recently helped to produce a brochure explaining why UIS is a great place for international students.
Grace Jenkins is a part of the Necessary Steps Mentoring Program, the parliamentarian for the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. Alpha Phi Chapter at UIS, president of Voices and Praise and a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. Following graduation from the UIC College of Nursing, she plans to become a labor and delivery nurse.
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.
Francesca Butler chose the University of Illinois Springfield because she says it offers the one-on-one attention she would expect from a private liberal arts college. On campus, she is an advocate for the environment as chair of the Green Fee Committee. She is co-captain of the Dancing Stars, chair of the Leadership for Life Public-Health Committee and a student lead worker at Brookens Library.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.