Blake Wood
Publish Date

University of Illinois Springfield students earned awards and were elected to leadership roles during the Model Illinois Government (MIG) simulation held March 2-5, 2023, at the Illinois State Capitol and Wyndham Springfield City Centre.

Two UIS students were elected to the 2024 MIG executive board. Joel Lemmert will serve as governor and Alexander Rankin will be the speaker of the house.

The delegation also took home four individual awards. Cedric Birgans won the Outstanding Whip award, Matthew Edwards earned the Outstanding Committee Person in the Senate award, Lemmert received the Outstanding Staff Member award and Connor Krater won the Outstanding Contribution to MIG award.

During the 2023 simulation, Krater served as governor, Francisco Lopez Zavala was the lieutenant governor and Katie Vandenbergh served as president of the Senate. Dakota Gordon was the assistant majority leader in the House, Abbie Hasty was the majority whip in the House, Rankin was the minority leader in the House and Birgans was the minority whip in the House.

UIS students competed against students from 14 colleges and universities across the state of Illinois. MIG gives them the chance to serve as legislators, staffers, lobbyists, journalists and officials of the executive branch. Through committee actions, a regular legislative session and a veto session, participants learn the legislative process by actively participating in the simulation.

MIG members start preparing legislation during the fall term, polish their parliamentary skills and organize membership into a delegation for the spring conference.

For more information, contact Kenneth Owen, MIG faculty advisor and UIS associate professor of history, at 217-206-7439 or