Blake Wood
Publish Date

The University of Illinois Springfield English Department is pleased to announce a collaboration with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) aimed at refining writing skills for communicating with the public. This partnership underscores UIS' commitment to supporting public sector initiatives and promoting clear, accessible communication.

The collaboration involves several offices within the IEPA, including community relations, environmental justice, environmental education, energy, emergency response and toxicity assessment.

“We're delighted to have this opportunity to partner with the IEPA in support of its ongoing efforts to provide clear and accessible information to the public,” said Donna Bussell, professor and chair of the UIS English Department. “We are also happy to spread the word that expertise in English, whether as a degree or minor, is valued in business, marketing, health care, law, government and many other sectors of the economy.”

As part of the collaboration, UIS will host two writing workshops this summer specifically designed for IEPA employees. These workshops, scheduled for July, will focus on strategies for clarifying complex public sector documents such as fact sheets, environmental justice notification letters and public notices for permit applications. The workshops will also address the importance of plain text standards and organizing content on the page to make key messages easier to identify and understand.

The English Department anticipates participation from approximately 30 individuals on campus and 8 to 10 online. The workshops will utilize a HyFlex format to accommodate different learning preferences.

This initiative marks a first-of-its-kind collaboration between UIS and the IEPA and is facilitated in partnership with UIS Continuing and Professional Education (CAPE) and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS).