I am a 2000 graduate of the ENS Masters program. After coming from a very large university, it was refreshing to be in an environment where the student-to-faculty ratio was very reasonable. What also attracted me was the diversity of the program. I had heard that “Sangamon State” (UIS’ former name) was progressive in nature and indeed the courses reflected this fact. I did not have the “hard-science” background yet I was encouraged to enroll in several such courses including environmental chemistry and toxicology. During my time at UIS I worked for a local environmental consulting firm and utilized risk assessment skills gleaned from UIS course work. My advisor agreed to act as my chair and I conducted my first empirical field experiment. He allowed me to pursue research of my choosing in an independent fashion. Since then I have gone on to complete a second Master’s degree and obtain a Doctoral degree at another established University. I have published several quantitative experiments in peer-reviewed journals and currently conduct research at Cornell University. I urge all potential candidates to consider choosing the ENS program at UIS. It will give you the experience you need to prepare for a career in consulting or as a researcher in the academic field.