Publish Date
Photo of Dre Duvendack sitting at a table
Dre Duvendack
Program Coordinator
UIS Gender & Sexuality Student Services

Current Location: Divernon, IL

Hometown: Canton, IL

UIS Degree: B.A. (Communication/Management minor) (Magna Cum Laude), M.A. (Communication)

Pronouns: She/Her(s), They/Them/Their(s)

Career Highlights

I find great joy and purpose in both positions I hold. As a Program Coordinator and an Adjunct Instructor at UIS, I findd myself seeing small glimpses of myself in every one of my students. One of the continuous highlights of my positions are the moments of profound realization in the eyes of my students, the same profound realization that I experienced while at UIS. Whether the realization is about their own identity, their positionality in the world, the experiences of others, etc. - it is a beautiful moment every single time. The world is so much more than what we know. Watching my students evolve throughout the semester(s) is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had.

Memories of UIS

My favorite memories at UIS are hard to narrow down. The experiences I had at UIS are what made me who I am today. Some of my top memories are creating lifelong relationships, growing as a person, and doing meaningful work that positively contributed to the UIS and greater Springfield community.

How did UIS change or prepare you?

Coming from a small, rural community, UIS and the Springfield area was a big change for me. However, it was a good change that I adjusted to quickly and with joy. I was given opportunities in leadership and in education that helped me grow personally and professionally. I gained the tools I needed to successfully pursue the careers that I love. For a long time, I struggled to decide what single career path I wanted to follow - management, human services, or teaching. My time at UIS made it possible for me to do all three and really feel like I am making a difference.

Interesting Fact

This school is something I hold very close to my heart. My mother and sister graduated from SSU/UIS and my dad took some classes here too. I met my best friend on the first day of freshman year at an 8am Monday accounting class, where we both sat in the front row next to each other. I met my amazing spouse at UIS while playing on the club volleyball team during my freshman year as well. Our very first date was at the PAC Food Emporium!