News Archive

UIS Places in the Top Five at Novice Nationals

5th Place Trophy - 2019 Novice NationalsThe UIS Speech and Debate team returned to the national stage by taking part in the Novice Nationals speech and debate tournament hosted this year by Bowling Green State University. The team placed 5th in Division III team sweepstakes. Teams are placed into divisions based on the number of speeches entered at the tournament.Team Photo - 2019 Novice Nationals

“I could not be prouder of this team” said coach Timothy Bill. He continued, “most of these students have never done speech and debate before this year. They started from scratch this fall and have grown as speakers at every competition we’ve traveled to.  Their hard work made this team award possible.”

Novice Nationals is a competition for students in their first year of collegiate speech and debate. The organization is dedicated to providing an educational, yet competitive experience for students new to the activity. This year, teams from as far away as Georgia, Florida, and Pennsylvania attended the competition. UIS last attended this tournament in 2014.

The University of Illinois Springfield Speech and Debate Team is committed to training the next generation of civic leaders, public speakers, and communicators who are passionate about effecting change in their communities. The team is housed in the Department of Communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. To find out more, please visit the team’s website.

Dr. Rozema’s Retirement Ends 21 Years at UIS

This past December, Dr. Hazel Rozema announced her retirement from teaching after spending 21 years in the Communication Department at UIS. During her time on campus, Dr. Rozema has taught a handful of classes, been the chair and part of the committee for dozens of theses, advised students along the way, and impacted the lives of nearly every student who has taken one of her classes. Hazel was an integral part of the interpersonal curriculum, specifically relating to family and interracial communication.

Her retirement was celebrated last week by the department and several alumni and former faculty. She has left quite an impact on numerous students, faculty, and the department as a whole. We are so grateful for Hazel’s contributions and wish her all the best in this next stage of life. The department will greatly miss you, Dr. Rozema!


Communication Student Earns Journalism ScholarshipLeanna

One of our current Communication students, Leanna Churchill, recently received the Dara Drew Memorial Scholarship for her academic work in journalism. The scholarship was awarded through UIS Giving and the Reaching Stellar initiative to commend students who excels in Journalism and Communication studies.

Leanna currently holds an internship working in sport journalism and hopes to use those skills towards a future career. Her dream is to share inspiring, memorable stories with others through working in journalism. Congratulations, Leanna!


Welcome our new instructor and Director of Speech and Debate

Tim Bill
Timothy Bill
, communication instructor and speech and debate coach in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, earned a master’s degree in communication from the University of Kentucky. His research and professional interests include political communication, speech and debate, persuasion, argumentation and instructional communication. Outside of work, he enjoys reading, hiking and running.

If you want to strengthen your public speaking skills, develop your confidence, and be a member of a team of students driven to succeed, then you might be looking for the UIS Speech and Debate Team.


Chancellor Koch highlights the value of communication skills in students’ future career paths

In her monthly editorial, Chancellor Koch wrote that college students should insist on developing skills that are not tied to a specific career path.  These skills include all forms of communication from writing and speaking to storytelling and persuasion.  To illustrate her point, she spoke with three UIS faculty members including Dr. Ribarsky.   “Communication is not a soft skill.  It’s intrinsically linked to effectiveness in your job and your profession,” Ribarsky said.  Read the complete editorial on the chancellor’s website.