Graciela Popoca knew she made the right choice to attend the University of Illinois Springfield shortly after arriving on campus. “In my first year, I was able to be a part of many organization and quickly felt loved by my community,” she said. On campus, she is now the president of the Organization of Latin American Students and vice president of Gamma Phi Omega International Sorority, Inc. and Students Helping Detention Centers.
Ocean Pangan chose the University of Illinois Springfield to play on the women’s golf team and be a part of the Capitol Honors Scholar Program (CAP). On campus she is an international student ambassador, a CAP peer mentor and a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Hasani Cannon enjoys the “bond and relationships” he’s formed within the University of Illinois Springfield community calling them “long lasting and invaluable to my journey to success.” On campus, he is president of the African Student Association, Afro-Beat Dance Crew and the Art Student League.
Antone Evans chose the University of Illinois Springfield because of the state government internship opportunities offered by UIS’ Graduate Public Service Internship Program. “Being someone wanting to get into the work force before pursing my Ph.D., it was amazing to have a program where I could gain work experience, while in my two-year program.” On campus, Evans is the Student Government Association College of Liberal Arts and Science Senator and the TEDxUofISpringfield Committee Director.
Angie Quiroga Torres says she chose the University of Illinois Springfield to earn a “high quality graduate education.” On campus, she is co-vice president of the Research Society and a member of the Community Garden Club. She interns off campus at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency as part of UIS’ Graduate Public Service Internship (GPSI) Program.
Beatriz Acosta chose the University of Illinois of Springfield because it is “a smaller school, away from the city.” She is the Student Government Association (SGA) resident senator, secretary of the Chemistry Club and a member of an unofficial research journal club. She also served as the student member on a search committee for a faculty position in the Biology Department.
Aaleiyah Spaulding says she chose the University of Illinois Springfield for the reasonable tuition price and the community. “UIS strives for diversity and makes everyone feel welcome,” she said. “As a biracial woman, this meant the world to me.” On campus, she’s a part of The National Society of Leadership and Success Chapter and previously served as a student representative for the Psychology Department.
Jennifer Davis chose the University of Illinois Springfield because of the small class sizes, friendly professors and proximity to home. “I like how the professors are always willing to help you out if you need it,” she said. “They are willing to go the extra mile to make sure you succeed.” On campus, she’s a member of the Green Fee Committee and also a member of the Research Society.
R’Lee Jones is heavily involved on campus as the vice president of the Black Student Union and the Voices in Praise Gospel Choir. She is also a member of UIS NAACP and Black Women of Excellence. “My favorite thing about UIS is the culture our students of color bring,” Jones said. “We work hard to make sure our campus understands the importance of not only diversity, but inclusion, equity, equality and the power of acceptance.”
Grace Weber chose the University of Illinois Springfield because of the opportunities to get involved and be part of the community. On campus, she plays on the women’s basketball team and is a peer math tutor at The Learning Hub. She is also a leader in the University Bible Fellowship and a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Tasneem Shaik chose the University of Illinois Springfield because of the courses it offers, internship opportunities and great learning experiences. She works as a student employee at the Office of International Student Services and is vice president of the Indian Student Organization.
Arianna Boyd enjoys the small class sizes and close-knit community at the University of Illinois Springfield. On campus, she is a resident assistant for UIS Residence Life, financial secretary for the Upsilon Rho Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and a mentor in the Necessary Steps Mentoring Program.
Bryce Thomas was recently honored for volunteering close to 150 hours over more than two years at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in downtown Springfield. On campus, the history major is president of the History Club and head delegate for Model Illinois Government.
Randi Hirschel chose the University of Illinois Springfield because of the small class sizes and the ease of getting involved on campus. She is co-founder and president of the Jew Crew, the Jewish registered student organization on campus. She’s also a member of Phi Alpha Delta, an international law fraternity.
Libby Price chose the University of Illinois Springfield because it “felt like home” when she visited. She’s currently a member of the cross country and track and field teams, an orientation leader and works as a desk attendant for UIS Residence Life. She says her favorite thing about UIS is “being a Prairie Star athlete!”
Jayla Stubblefield enjoys the leadership opportunities offered at the University of Illinois Springfield. She is a special events coordinator for the Student Activities Committee, secretary of Black Women of Excellence, marketing coordinator for the Black Student Union and a member of Voices in Praise gospel choir.
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.
Jordan Killen works as a facility lead for the Department of Campus Recreation where she has taught fitness classes, is a student representative for the UIS Hiring Committee, a founding member and treasurer of the Tri Sigma sorority, a founding member and vice president of the Exercise Science Organization and a member of the Capital Scholars Honors Program.
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.
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.