Tuesday, March 30, 2010

UIS to hold inaugural symposium for the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

WHAT: The University of Illinois Springfield will hold its inaugural symposium for the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. The event, which will feature student and faculty oral presentations and poster exhibits, is free and open to the public to attend.

WHEN: Friday, April 9, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

WHERE: Presentations will be held in Brookens Auditorium on the lower level of Brookens Library and in the Public Affairs Center (PAC) lower level conference rooms C and D on the UIS Campus.

DETAILS: The keynote presenter will be Dr. Michael Burlingame, holder of the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies. He will be speaking on "The Joys of Conducting Original Research, or What New Can Be Said about Abraham Lincoln?" Burlingame’s presentation will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium, with a reception following.

This event showcases research and writing projects of UIS undergraduate and graduate students across disciplinary lines in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Presentations will cover a variety of topics, such as the rhetorical meaning of comedic humor, the history of the Civil War, and the interpretation of a 19th century diary through song. The intent is to share the rewards of original research with students and faculty, as well as with Springfield and surrounding area communities. The public is invited to attend and refreshments will be served.

For more information visit www.uis.edu/clas/students/symposium.html or contact Deborah McGregor at 217/206-7439 or email mcgregor.deborah@uis.edu.

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Cyber Defense and Disaster Recovery Conference focuses on international threats

WHAT: “Protecting yourself and your business from international threats” is the focus of a one-day conference at the University of Illinois Springfield. The conference is hosted by UIS' Computer Science department, in conjunction with InfraGard Springfield, an initiative of the FBI, and CSSIA, a regional center for cyber security.

WHEN: Friday, March 12, 2010

WHERE: Conference Room C/D, located on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center (PAC) on the University of Illinois Springfield campus.

DETAILS: There is a present and growing risk to businesses and individuals from international threats, both via cyber and physical means. Due to the ‘take all’ attitude of foreign intelligence services and the insiders they compromise, no one is immune. It is important for all of us to maintain a healthy respect for the privacy of our personal and business electronics and information in the global economy.

Breakout sessions will focus on social networking, hacker prevention, risk assessment, computer forensic response, and PKI. Michael Davis, author of Hacking Exposed, is keynote speaker. Other presenters come from the National Security Agency, FBI, IBM, Semantec, and others. In addition, conference registration of $30 includes SANS interactive training, ‘Catching the Wiley Hacker’.

COST: $30 includes a sit down lunch and break refreshments. There is no extra charge for the SANS interactive training track: ‘Catching the Wiley Hacker.’

To register: http://csc.uis.edu/cyberconference. Limited seating for SANS training, so register early. Registration closes Friday, March 5th at 5pm. Any questions call Janis Rose at 217-206-8246.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

UIS Theatre presents student-directed scenes

UIS Theatre will be presenting student-directed scenes on Tuesday, December 8 and Wednesday, December 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Studio Theatre. Admission for the event is free, and it is open to the public.

The scenes will be from contemporary American plays and directed by UIS Theatre students. The scene presentations are part of the final project for students enrolled in the course "THE/COM 476, Directing for the Theatre."

Scenes will be presented from the following plays:

Proof by David Auburn, directed by Jessica J. Fraser

Fences by August Wilson, directed by Bianca Shaw

Lone Star by James McLure, directed by Matt Craven

The Heidi Chronicles by Wendy Wasserstein, directed by Carol Schulte

Butterflies are Free by Leonard Gershe, directed by An Mowers

Apartment 3A by Jeff Daniels, directed by Ben Beams

Women of Manhattan by John Patrick Shanley, directed by Karina Diaz

Reasons to be Pretty by Neil LaBute, directed by Dug Hall

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Design Jam to celebrate World Usability Day

WHAT: Student web designers, usability practitioners, and computer science faculty will roll up their sleeves and interactively design a new Therkildsen Field Station for the Emiquon website with sustainability, usability, and community building in mind.

WHEN: Thursday, November 12, 2009 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

WHERE: University Hall (UHB) Room 2028

DETAILS: What better way to recognize World Usability Day and this year's “Designing for Sustainability” theme than to spend an afternoon inventing new ways to increase virtual engagement in a real world effort devoted to sustainability!

For more information contact Mary Sheila Tracy, Computer Science Instructor at 217/206-7328 or mtrac1@uis.edu.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

UIS to host tech camp for middle-school girls

The University of Illinois at Springfield’s Computer Science Department will be holding Girl Tech 2009, a technology camp for middle-school girls, on Thursday, June 18 and Friday, June 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the University Hall Building on the UIS campus.

The camp will offer sessions on programming, robotics, computer networking, iMovie, Photoshop and computer hardware. A partial list of sessions includes Cartoons Galore!, Persona Magazine, Wireless Treasure Hunt and Robotics at the Robot Zoo. Instructors of the sessions are female faculty members in the UIS Computer Science Department and Visual Arts Department, as well as staff members in Information Technology Services.

Classes begin at 9 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. Before and after camp activities are planned to allow camp participants to stay the entire day.

To be eligible, students must be entering 7th, 8th or 9th grade in the fall. The registration fee is $20 per girl, which covers lunch both days, snacks and a participation T-shirt.

For more information about specific sessions and to obtain the registration form, go online to http://csc.uis.edu/girltech2009.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

UIS Theatre’s 2008-2009 season concludes with Shakespeare’s "As You Like It"

The Theatre Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield will conclude its 2008-2009 season with the play As You Like It by William Shakespeare, opening Friday, April 17. Six performances will be presented in the Studio Theatre, on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center at UIS - on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, April 17, 18, and 19, and Thursday, Friday, Saturday, April 23, 24, and 25. All shows will begin at 8 p.m. except the Sunday performance (April 19), which will begin at 2 p.m.

As You Like It is set in France, where Duke Senior and his followers are hiding in the Forest of Arden after Duke Senior is usurped and exiled by his brother, Duke Frederick. Duke Senior’s daughter, Rosalind, is permitted to stay at court because she and Frederick’s daughter are close. But when Rosalind falls in love at first sight with young Orlando, and after Orlando is forced to flee persecution by his older brother, Rosalind and Celia flee to the Forest of Arden, and Rosalind disguises herself as a man.

As is common in many of Shakespeare’s plays, confusion and mistaken identity ensue, lovers pine for each other, and Duke Senior and his followers search for meaning while in hiding in the Forest of Arden.

Characters in the play include Duke Frederick; Duke Senior; Rosalind, daughter to Duke Senior; Celia, daughter to Duke Frederick and Rosalind’s cousin; Orlando, youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys; Oliver and Jacques, his brothers; Adam and Dennis, servants to Orlando and Oliver respectively; Touchstone, a court Fool; Charles and Le Beau, part of Duke Frederick’s court; and Jacques and Amiens, lords attending to Duke Senior. Other characters are Corin and Silvius, shepherds; Phoebe, a shepherdess; Audrey, a goatkeeper; William, who is in love with Audrey; and Sir Oliver Martext, a parish priest.

Eighteen actors are playing 23 roles in the production. The cast is Dwight Langford* (Orlando); Ben Beams* (Oliver); Matt Craven* (Jacques the brother/Dennis); Patrick O’Brien (servant/Sir Oliver Martext); Aasne Vigesaa (Rosalind); Ashley Warren* (Celia); Joey Cruse* (Touchstone); Kevin Purcell (Duke Frederick/Corin); Larry Smith (Charles/William); Karina Diaz* (Le Beau); Kevin Cline (a lord); Tom Hutchinson (Duke Senior); Ted Keylon (Jacques the lord); Nick Teeter* (Amiens); Nicole Butts (a lord); Roger Boyd* (Silvius); and Sarah Clinch* (Phoebe).* denotes a UIS student.

UIS Associate Professor and Director of Theatre Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson will direct.

Tickets – $12 general adult; $10 senior citizen, 65+ with photo ID; $8 UIS faculty/staff with current I-card; $6 all students with current school ID – are available now at the UIS Ticket Office, located on level two of the Public Affairs Center. Purchase tickets in person, by phone at 217/206-6160 or 800/207-6960 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at www.uis.edu/theatre. Tickets will also be available at the ticket office on the day of the performance, beginning 90 minutes before curtain time.

For more information, contact Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson at 217/206-6613.

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Friday, April 3, 2009

UIS to hold Symbolism conference in Monticello

The University of Illinois at Springfield will be holding a three-day conference called “Symbolism, Its Origins and Its Consequences” from April 22 through April 25 at Allerton Park and Retreat Center in Monticello, Illinois.

The purpose of the conference is to explore the origins of Symbolism, a variety of Symbolist manifestations in art, literature, music and philosophy, its consequences in art and literature, and to understand how ideas moved from one European country to another.

Symbolism was based on a certain world view that expressed itself in different genres in different countries. European Symbolism was a complex movement that started in England, then moved to France, back to England, and then finally into Russian culture.

The keynote address for the conference will be given by Geneviève Lacambre, general honorary curator of the patrimony at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, and is titled “Toward Symbolism: Gustave Moreau and the Masters of the Past and his Contemporaries.”

Each day of the conference will be comprised of various sessions focusing on Symbolism, with breaks for meals. Registration fees are $180, and $90 for students.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Strategic Initiative Grant from the UIS Provost’s Office and UIS’ Information Technology Services, Visual Arts Department and the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Lodging can be booked at the Allerton Retreat Center by calling 217/333-3287. For more information or to register for the conference, go online to http://www.uis.edu/hosted-orgs/conferences/symbolism/index.html or contact Rosina Neginsky, organizer and coordinator of the conference, at 217/206-7431.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Astronomy program discusses Pluto - planet or not?

The University of Illinois at Springfield will host a presentation by Dr. Mercedes Richards called “Pluto and the New Dwarf Planets” on Friday, April 10, at 7 p.m. in the Public Affairs Center room F on the UIS campus.

In August 2006, Richards was one of 411 International Astronomical Union members worldwide to vote on a new definition of planets, leading to the demotion of Pluto to the status of “dwarf planet.” Richards’ program will give a first-hand look at the decision to change Pluto’s planet status and will examine the structure of the solar system to understand the different classes of objects that orbit the Sun.

Richards, a native of Jamaica, is a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State University. In October 2008, she was awarded a Musgrave Gold Medal by the Institute of Jamaica, which is the highest academic honor awarded by the government of Jamaica and is given to scholars who have attained international recognition in their particular field.

Richards’ interest is pairs of stars called binary stars, which are like twin stars. She was the first astronomer in the world to make clear images of the gravitational flow of gas between the stars in any interacting binary pair.

Richards’ lecture is part of the Harlow Shapley lecture series, sponsored by the American Astronomical Society.

Following the lecture, a Friday Night Star Party will be held at the UIS Observatory, located on the roof of Brookens Auditorium, weather permitting.

For more information about the presentation, contact Professor Charles Schweighauser at 206-6721 or cschw1@uis.edu.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

UIS helps celebrate 100 Hours of Astronomy

The University of Illinois at Springfield will be hosting a series of events called 100 Hours of Astronomy, in partnership with the Sangamon Astronomical Society, from Friday, April 3 through Sunday, April 5.

The events are part of an international 100 Hours of Astronomy celebration in conjunction with the International Year of Astronomy 2009, a global effort to help the citizens of the world rediscover their place in the Universe through the day- and night-time sky.

The series of events will begin with a Friday Night Star Party in the UIS Barber Observatory on Friday, April 3 from 8 to 10 p.m. The observatory will be open for participants to view the night sky through the observatory telescopes.

The observatory is located on the roof of Brookens Library on the UIS campus, accessible by a door on the southeast corner of the library. In the event of uncooperative weather, there will be a special presentation about International Year of Astronomy 2009. The event is free and open to the public; reservations are not required.

On Saturday, April 4, the Sangamon Astronomical Society will be holding a star party at Centennial Park from 4 to 9 p.m. The event is free and open to the public; reservations are not required. In the event of cloudy weather, the Saturday star party will be cancelled.

On Sunday, April 5, UIS will host “Sun-Day” from 1 to 3 p.m. at the UIS Barber Observatory. Charles Schweighauser and John Martin, UIS professors of astronomy/physics, will give a lecture about the Sun, featuring photos and video footage of the sun taken through UIS’ 14-inch telescope. The lecture will start at 1 p.m. and will take in the Public Affairs Center, room F.

Weather permitting, the campus observatory will be open following the lecture for the public to look at the Sun through the telescope, and the Sangamon Astronomical Society will also have telescopes set up for viewing. The Sun should not normally be viewed through a telescope; however, special equipment will be installed on the telescopes for this event to ensure safe viewing of the Sun.

“Sun-Day” is free and open to the public; reservations are not required.

To complete the 100 Hours of Astronomy celebration, UIS will host a Sunday Night Star Party for people with disabilities, beginning at 7 p.m. at the UIS observatory. A modified eight-inch Schmidt Cassegrain telescope will be used for this Star Party, which has a fixed eyepiece to bring the image to the viewer and can accommodate anyone from a large person in a high wheelchair to a child in the lowest, smallest wheelchair.

Reservations are required for the Sunday Night Star Party. To make reservations, contact Schweighauser at 217/206-6721.

For more information on the 100 Hours of Astronomy, go online to http://www.uis.edu/astronomy/about/iya2009.html or contact Martin at 217/206-8342. More information on UIS Star Parties can be found at http://www.uis.edu/astronomy/about/starparties.html, and more information about the Sangamon Astronomical Society can be found at http://www.sas-sky.org/main.html.

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Day for "Celebration of Animals and Nature in Myth and Legend"

The University of Illinois at Springfield will be hosting an event called “Celebration of Animals and Nature in Myth and Legend” on Tuesday, April 7. The event is presented by UIS’ College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Office of Undergraduate Education ECCE Speaker Series, along with the Lincoln Memorial Gardens and Illinois’ Nature in Legend and Story.

The event will feature seasoned storytellers, who will explore some of the ways in which cultures define themselves through unique relationships to fauna and flora. The program will look at ways in which nature and culture combine in the construction of human, as well as tribal, identity, so that social issues are inseparable from environmental concerns.

The keynote presentation, “Celebration of Animals & Nature in Legend & Myth,” will be held from 10 to 11:45 a.m. in Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library on the UIS campus. ECCE Speaker Series students will receive academic credit for their attendance at this event only.

A Nature Storytelling Workshop for Educators will take place from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., also in Brookens Auditorium.

From 7:30 to 9 p.m., a Storytelling in the Round, Author’s Reception and Book Signing event will be held at Lincoln Memorial Gardens’ Nature Center, Council Ring 3. The cost to attend the evening event is $5; students with a UIS I-card will be admitted at no cost. Due to limited seating, pre-registration is required for this event by calling the Lincoln Memorial Gardens Nature Center at 217/529-1111.

Speakers include James Bruchac, nationally-known cultural educator and author; Dr. Boria Sax, UIS adjunct professor of the course “Animals and Civilization”; Betsy Irwin, education coordinator at Lincoln Memorial Gardens; and Cathy Mosley, president of the Illinois-based Nature in Legend and Story.

For more information, go online to www.uis.edu/clas/animalsandnature.html or contact Holly McCracken at 217/206-7421 or hmccr1@uis.edu.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

9th annual Science Research Symposium

The University of Illinois at Springfield’s ninth annual Science Research Symposium – featuring presentations on applied or theoretical research by undergraduate and graduate students and faculty in science programs at UIS and other four-year colleges in the area – will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, April 17, on the UIS campus. The symposium is free and open to the public.

Awards will be presented for the best student posters and oral presentations. College-level science presentations are welcome from schools outside UIS. The presentations and a keynote address will be held in Brookens Auditorium, located in the lower level of Brookens Library.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Peter Ward, professor of Paleontology from the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington, who will speak on “Extinctions: Past, Present, and Future” from 3 to 4 p.m. A reception for Dr. Ward will immediately follow the keynote program.

UIS began hosting the symposium in 2001 to recognize the growing number of college students engaged in research projects. Dr. Rebecca Landsberg, UIS assistant professor of Biology and symposium co-coordinator, noted, “The symposium aims to encourage scientific dialog and inform the academic community of scientific research conducted at UIS and neighboring campuses. It is open to undergraduate and graduate students and faculty involved in applied or theoretical research. We particularly encourage presentations by students.”

Other goals include promoting community interest in scientific research and inviting nationally recognized scholars to share information about their own research.

The deadline to submit an abstract is March 27. For details, including format, guidelines and registration, go to www.uis.edu/biology/. The registration fee for presenters is $10; however the fee is waived for students who are members of biology or chemistry student clubs.

Symposium sponsors at UIS are the Biology, Chemistry and Clinical Laboratory Science programs, the Speaker’s Fund, the Research Board and student science clubs.

For more information, contact Landsberg at 217/206-7338 or rland3@uis.edu, or Dr. Yash Mhaskar, assistant professor of Chemistry and symposium co-coordinator, at 217/206-7336 or ymhas2@uis.edu.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Art Students League Holiday Sale

  • 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Thursday, December 11
  • PAC concourse
  • Artwork and art supplies

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Playing Shakespeare

2 p.m., Tuesday, December 9, in VPA 170, the Acting Studio

Students will perform two contrasting Shakespearean monologs -- "audition packages" that are a major piece of their work in the course.

For details, contact Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson at 6-6613.

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CTL Finals Help House

Workshops
  • Tuesday, December 9
    Prewriting Strategies & Thesis Statements - 10 a.m., Founders Hall 153
    Integration - noon, BRK 416
    MLA Style - 4 p.m., Founders Hall 153
  • Wednesday, December 10
    Grammar & Mechanics - 10 a.m., Founders Hall 153
    Avoiding Plagiarism - 11 a.m., Founders Hall 153
Walk-in Math & Writing Tutoring
December 9 & 10 - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Founders Hall 153

Advocates for Academics 2nd Annual Winter Wonderland
December 10 - 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Founders Hall
  • Homemade soup
  • Prizes
For more information: afa@uis.edu

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UIS music groups to present Fall Showcase Concert

Music groups at the University of Illinois at Springfield will present their annual Fall Showcase concert beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 12, in the Studio Theatre, located on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus. The event is free and open to the public; however tax-deductible contributions to the UIS Music Student Merit Award will be accepted.

The program will feature the UIS Chorus, Band, Chamber Orchestra, and related small ensembles.

The UIS Chorus will perform a variety of vocal selections including secular music by Mozart, an Agnus Dei setting by Hassler, American folk songs, and a contemporary composition featuring a Zimbabwean proverb. The UIS Chamber Orchestra will perform works by Respighi and Hindemith. Three small ensembles will perform Renaissance works, and the UIS Jazz Workshop will share their interpretation of some American classics.

The UIS Band will pay homage to the 200th birthday of President Abraham Lincoln with two works -- Francis Scala's Union March, written for Lincoln's 1861 inauguration, and Aaron Copland's A Lincoln Portrait, featuring David Kuhn narrating as Civil War General Benjamin H. Grierson.

Audience members who arrive early can hear a pre-concert lecture by Jessica Davis, graduate student in musicology at the U of I at Urbana-Champaign. The lecture will begin at 7 p.m. in the Studio Theatre lobby; doors will open for the concert immediately following the lecture.

For more information, contact Sharon Graf, associate professor of Ethnomusicology, at 206-6570.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

UIS to co-sponsor "Merry TubaChristmas 2008"

Two performances of "A Merry TubaChristmas" will be held Saturday, December 13, in downtown Springfield. The first performance will be inside the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum at 1 p.m., followed by a second performance (weather permitting) on the steps of the Old State Capitol at 2 p.m. The concerts are open to the public and are free, except for the price of admission to the museum.

All tuba and euphonium/baritone players in the area are invited to take part in the concerts, which are sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and the University of Illinois at Springfield. Both concerts will be directed by Todd Cranson, UIS Director of Bands.

Created by Harvey Phillips in 1974, Merry TubaChristmas is celebrating its 35th anniversary with concerts in over 200 cities throughout the United States and in several foreign countries. Under the program, tuba and euphonium players of all ages gather every Christmas season to pay respect to the great artists/teachers who represent their heritage. While the size and make-up of each TubaChristmas ensemble varies by community, every performance features traditional Christmas carols specially arranged for the first TubaChristmas -- December 22, 1974, in New York City's Rockefeller Plaza -- by American composer Alec Wilder.

Musicians who would like to play in the concerts should register at Union Station across from the Lincoln Museum at 11 a.m. There is a $5 registration fee, and music books will be available for $15. A short rehearsal will be held in the station at noon. All participating musicians will be admitted to the museum free.

For more information, contact Cranson at 217/206-7549, or Jerry Dunn at 217/854-7442.

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Monday, December 1, 2008

UIS Visual Arts Gallery to hold annual silent auction

The Visual Arts Gallery at the University of Illinois at Springfield will hold its 18th Annual Benefit and Silent Auction fundraiser Tuesday, December 9, through Thursday, December 11. Art in every medium – including paintings, drawings, prints, ceramics, and photography – will be on display for silent bids each day in the gallery, located in room 201 of the Health and Sciences Building on the UIS campus. The event concludes Thursday evening with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. in the gallery, with final bids placed at 7 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public.

Gallery manager Morgan Carroll said that donations of artwork will be accepted through December 3. Inclusion of donated items is subject to approval by the faculty of UIS' Visual Arts department.

The auction is the gallery's only fundraiser and all proceeds are used to support future exhibitions. The 2008 fall season included "Talking Stones," an exhibition by visual and performance artist James Luna, and "An Indian from India/Bollywood Satirized," a group of selected works from two exhibitions focused on culture by photographer Anuu Palakunnathu Matthew.

Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Contact Carroll by phone at 206-6506 or by e-mail at gallery@uis.edu for more information or to arrange to drop off a donation.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

UIS to host artist's talk "Strangers in a Familiar Land"

The Visual Arts Visiting Speakers Series at the University of Illinois at Springfield will present "Strangers in a Familiar Land," a brown bag talk featuring Jeff Curto, beginning at noon on Friday, November 21, in UIS' Visual Arts Gallery. The event is free and open to the public.

Curto (left) is coordinator and professor of photography at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, where he has taught since 1984. His presentation at UIS will complement and expand on "Indians from India," the concurrent exhibition by contemporary photographer Annu Palakunnathu Matthew. Matthew’s work references 19th century colonial photography in this country and India.

The Visual Arts Gallery is located in room 201 of the Health and Sciences Building on the UIS campus. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For further information, go to www.uis.edu/visualarts/ or contact the gallery by phone at 217/206-6506 or by e-mail at visarts-ga@uis.edu.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Artist's lecture and demonstration

Featuring Doug Jeppesen, associate professor of ceramics, Waubonsee College, Sugar Grove

Wednesday, November 12
Ceramics studio, VPA 76
  • Demonstration: 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m.
  • Lecture: 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Sponsors: Visual Arts Department, UIS Speakers Award Committee

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Friday, November 7, 2008

Microbial ecologist from Michigan State University to deliver Merck Science Seminar

Dr. Jay Lennon, assistant professor of Microbiology at Michigan State University, will present the third annual Merck Science Seminar at the University of Illinois at Springfield on Wednesday, November 12, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Lennon’s presentation, “Energetic Importance of Terrestrial Carbon in Lake Ecosystems” will be held in Conference Room H of the Public Affairs Center. The seminar is free and open to the public.

Lennon’s research is in the area of aquatic ecology with a focus on the microbial community. During the seminar, he will present on the export of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) from land to water based on data collected at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station. He will discuss experiments, surveys and theory that examines how terrestrial DOC is used by aquatic microbes, and how this material subsequently moves through aquatic food webs.

The seminar is sponsored by a grant from the Merck Institute of Science Education and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The grant is part of the Merck/AAAS undergraduate science research program started in 2000, and UIS was one of only 11 universities in the nation to receive the award in 2006.

In addition to funding the annual seminar, the grant has supported the research of four undergraduate students each summer for the past three years. The students were mentored in collaborative projects by faculty from the science programs, including Chemistry (Keenan Dungey and Gary Trammell), Biology (Michael Lemke, Amy McEuen and Lucia Vazquez) and Clinical Laboratory Science (Wayne Gade and James Veselenak).

For more information, contact Keenan Dungey, associate professor of Chemistry, by phone at 217/206-7345 or by e-mail at dungey.keenan@uis.edu.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

UIS to display paintings by UN award-winning artist

"One Night of Grace," paintings by Nigerian artist Ibiyinka Olufemi Alao, will be on display in the Student Access Gallery at the University of Illinois at Springfield from Monday, November 17, through Friday, November 21. (The painting "One Night of Grace" is shown at left.)

An artist's talk beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 18, will be held in conference room H of the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus. A reception will also be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, November 20, in the Access Gallery, which is located in the Visual and Performing Arts Building on the east side of the campus. Get directions

The exhibit, artist's talk, and reception are all free and open to the public.

The events are sponsored by the UIS Art Students League; co-sponsors are the Illinois Department of Public Health Center for Minority Health Services and Springfield School District 186.

Alao recently took first place in the prestigious United Nations International Art Competition. His winning entry, "Girls and a Greener Environment," chronicles the life of a young girl from infancy to adulthood, and the values she acquires along the way.

His paintings have been exhibited in this country at a number of venues, including the Harvard Business School, the Indianapolis Art Center, the Martin Luther King Art Center, the African Unity Festival, the Nigerian Consulate, the Nigerian Embassy, the United Nations headquarters, the World Bank headquarters, and the Empire State Building. His work has been published by the Metropolitan Museum and the Smithsonian Institution.

Alao is currently touring the United States with his art, working with school-aged children, and giving talks about the mystery and magic of Africa.

For more information about the exhibit at UIS, contact Dannyl Madura, Art Students League president, at 217/220-2320 or dmadu2@uis.edu.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Black Springfield Speakers Series

Part I: Education

7 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, November 5, Brookens Auditorium

Speakers include
  • Santita Nunn, director, School-aged Programs, Springfield Urban League
  • Farries Morrison, first black educator and administrator in Springfield
  • Dr. Walter Milton Jr., superintendent, Springfield School District #186
  • Sharon Beler, director, LLCC Springfield East Campus
Reception immediately follows presentations

Presented by UIS African-American Studies Department

Co-sponsors: Diversity Center, Speakers' Award and Diversity Task Force Funding Committee

For more information, contact Kemau Kemayo at 6-8248

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

UIS among host sites for international programming contest

The University of Illinois at Springfield will host a round of competition in an international programming contest on Saturday, November 1. Spectators are welcome.

Sponsored by IBM and the Association for Computing Machinery, the 33rd annual ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest – also known as the Global "Battle of the Brains" Software Competition – sets three-member teams of university students against each other in a competition to solve real-world problems.

The event has become the largest and most prestigious competition of its kind, each year attracting thousands of students – including some of the world's finest students in computing sciences and engineering – from universities around the world. Ninety winning teams from regional contests, held from September to December, will advance to the World Finals, which for 2009 will be hosted by KTH – Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

At UIS, 18 teams from eight colleges and universities will compete. Teams will meet for registration and welcome from 9 to 10 a.m. in Brookens Auditorium, lower level of Brookens Library on the UIS campus. Team members, special guests, and a representative from IBM will be introduced and the competition will begin at 12:30 p.m. An awards ceremony beginning at 6 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium will present ribbons to the top four teams and prizes to the top three teams. The UIS Computer Science Club will host the event, which is sponsored locally by UIS, Novanis, and Capitol Strategies.

Last year, five teams from the UIS competition site placed among the top 10 in the Midwest Regionals and two teams from the UIS competition attended the World Finals.

For more information about the UIS competition, contact Laszlo Acs, past-president of the UIS Computer Science Club, at 622-5398.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

UIS Theatre Program opens season with "Cloud 9"

The Theatre Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield will open its 2008-2009 season with the British play Cloud 9 by Caryl Churchill. Six performances will be presented in the Studio Theatre, lower level of the Public Affairs Center at UIS -- on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, November 7, 8, and 9, and Thursday, Friday, Saturday, November 13, 14, and 15. All shows will begin at 8 p.m. except the Sunday performance (November 9), which will begin at 2 p.m.

Described by the New York Times as "intelligent, inventive, and funny," Cloud 9 explores the politics of sexuality and sexual identity. Using cross-gender casting and role-doubling, Churchill creates a stinging and satirical look at the relationships between the sexually repressed Victorian era and the sexually liberated late 20th century. Act 1 takes place in British Colonial Africa in 1880, where the characters secretly attempt to resist the constraints of Victorianism. Act 2 takes place in London 100 years later – although the characters have aged only 25 years – and everyone has thrown off their 19th century restraint. (Note: This production is intended for mature audiences and is not suitable for children.)

Act 1 characters include Clive, a government official; his wife, Betty; their daughter, Victoria; Clive's friend Harry, an explorer; Mrs. Saunders, a "new" woman, challenging the Victorian ideals; Clive's son, Edward, who still plays with dolls; and Joshua, a servant. By Act 2, some of the same characters return, having aged only 25 years, and they are affected by their encounters with new characters -- Gerry, Lin, Cathy, and Martin. Various roles are cross-gender cast, and almost all of the actors play one role in Act 1, and a different role in Act 2.

The cast is: Troy Thomas-Pfaffe (Clive/Martin); *Dwight Langford (Betty/Gerry); *Leif Mogren (Joshua/Edward); *Colleen Kabbes (Edward/Betty); Mary Myers (Maud); *Ashley Warren (Ellen/Victoria); *Cassie Oswald (Mrs. Saunders/Lin); and *Roger Boyd (Harry Bagley/ Cathy/Soldier). * denotes a UIS student

UIS Assistant Professor of Theatre Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson will direct.

The performances on November 8 and November 13 are also presented as part of UIS' ECCE Speaker Series -- events that aim to exemplify engaged citizenship as part of the university’s effort to foster appreciation for and practice of diversity and the active effort to make a difference in the world. These performances will include post-show discussions with the cast, director, and dramaturg.

Tickets – $12 general adult; $10 senior citizen, 55+ with photo ID; $8 UIS faculty/staff with current i-card; $6 all students with current school ID – are available now at the UIS Ticket Office, located on level two of the Public Affairs Center. Purchase tickets in person, by phone at 217/206-6160 or 800/207-6960 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or online at www.uis.edu/theatre. Tickets will also be available at the ticket office on the day of the performance, beginning 90 minutes before curtain time.

The spring production will be Shakespeare's comedy As You Like It, directed by UIS Director of Theatre Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson. Production dates are April 17-19 and 23-25.

For more information about the plays, or about UIS' Theatre program.

For information about the ECCE Speakers Series, contact series coordinator Kimberly Craig at 206-6245.

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UIS Visual Arts Gallery to present photography exhibit "Indians from India"

Selections from "Indians from India," works by noted photographer Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, will be on display in the Visual Arts Gallery at the University of Illinois at Springfield from Monday, November 3, through Wednesday, December 3.

An artist's talk and discussion session will be presented at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 6, in the gallery, followed by an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. The artist's talk, reception, and exhibit are free and open to the public. The gallery is located in room 201 of the Health and Sciences Building on the UIS campus.

Matthew is an associate professor of Art (Photography) at the University of Rhode Island whose work can be seen in numerous collections, including at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York.

Of "Indians from India" she notes, "As an immigrant, I'm often questioned about where I'm 'really from.' When I say that I am Indian, I often have to clarify that I'm an Indian from India, not an American-Indian." In this portfolio, she compares early photographs of Native Americans with those taken by 19th century British photographers in India.

Since Bombay is home to a thriving movie industry -- producing more than 1,000 films each year -- the city has come to be known as "Bollywood." Matthew notes that her work "Bollywood Satirized" is a commentary on the social expectations she experienced growing up in India. Using digital technology to alter Indian movie posters, she re-interprets the images to humorously challenge the traditional gender roles and behavior of Indian society.

The artist's talk and discussion session on November 6 is also presented as part of the ECCE Speakers Series at UIS -- events that aim to exemplify engaged citizenship as part of the university's effort to foster appreciation for and practice of diversity and the active effort to make a difference in the world.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For further information, contact the gallery by phone at 217/206-6506 or by e-mail at visarts-ga@uis.edu. For more information about Dr. Matthew's presentation, contact Liz Thomas, UIS assistant professor of Visual Art, at 206-7547.

For information about the ECCE Speakers Series, contact series coordinator Kimberly Craig at 206-6245 or send an e-mail to speakerseries@uis.edu.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

UIS to host Sunday Star Party for people with disabilities

The University of Illinois at Springfield will host a special Sunday Night Star Party for people with disabilities on Sunday, November 9, weather permitting, in the UIS observatory. The party is free, but reservations are required.

Featured objects for viewing will be Jupiter, the largest planet, and the moon.

Conducted by Charles Schweighauser and John Martin, UIS professors of astronomy and physics, Sunday Star Parties use a telescope specially designed to give people with disabilities access to the sky. This is the first telescope in the world designed for, and dedicated to, people with disabilities.

The modified eight-inch Schmidt Cassegrain telescope employs a traditional optical design but with a fixed eyepiece that brings the image to the viewer. This eyepiece can be moved backward and forward in its tube as much as seven inches without refocusing, and can accommodate anyone from a large person in a high wheelchair to a child in the lowest, smallest wheelchair. A laptop computer runs the telescope, eliminating the need for a large keyboard and monitor that can emit too much distracting light on the dark observation deck.

To make a reservation, or for more information, contact Schweighauser at 206-6721 no later than Friday, October 31, for the November 9 Star Party.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

UIS music groups to present concerts, open rehearsals

Music groups at the University of Illinois at Springfield will present a series of three concerts/open rehearsals in October. All programs are open to the public and will be held in the Office of Electronic Media TV Studio, located in the lower level of the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus.

These informal concerts will feature the UIS Concert Band, Chamber Orchestra, and Chorus as they rehearse for future performances. In addition to enjoying a variety of music, the audience will learn how musical groups prepare to perform and will be able to talk with ensemble members.

The schedule is: Concert Band – 4 p.m., Monday, October 20; Chorus – 7 p.m., Tuesday, October 21; and Chamber Orchestra – 5:30 p.m., Thursday, October 30.

Admission is free; however, donations to the UIS Music Student Merit Award will be accepted.

UIS Music’s annual Fall Showcase concert will be Friday, December 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the PAC Studio Theatre at UIS.

UIS Music ensembles welcome participation by students, faculty, staff, and community members. For information, call 206-6790, or send an e-mail to music@uis.edu.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

UIS to host array of Lincoln Bicentennial events

The University of Illinois at Springfield will host a variety of programs in observance of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial, ranging from lectures to musical events to a contest for high school students across the state.

On Wednesday, October 15, UIS' annual Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series will present "Lincoln and Presidential Campaign Politics." Speakers will be Dr. Jennifer Weber from the University of Kansas, who will examine "How Lincoln Handled the Antiwar Movement," and Dr. Silvana Siddali, from St. Louis University, who will discuss "Lincoln and the Constitution in Civil War Era Presidential Campaigns." Illinois State Historian Dr. Thomas Schwartz will moderate the discussion. The program begins at 7 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium on the UIS campus. Admission is free.

Composer/folklorist duo Jay Ungar and Molly Mason will lead a musical Early Birthday Celebration for A. Lincoln at 8 p.m. on Saturday, January 31, 2009, in UIS' Sangamon Auditorium. Their performance of Ungar's composition "Ashokan Farewell," heard in Ken Burns' The Civil War, earned the couple an Emmy nomination and a Grammy award. Special guests for this program are the 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry Regiment Band, directed by R. Todd Cranson, assistant director of co-curricular music at UIS. Ticket information is available from the Auditorium Ticket Office at 206-6160 or 800-207-6960.

In February, public radio WUIS 91.9 will broadcast a number of special programs focusing on Lincoln. More information about "Lincoln the Poet," "Lincoln the Lawmaker," and "Lincoln and Humor," including broadcast times and dates, will be available from the WUIS website.

On Saturday, February 21, UIS faculty and students will present a readers' theater production of Ronald Gow's one-act play The Lawyer of Springfield beginning at 7 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium. A discussion session with the audience will follow the performance.

At 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 28, acclaimed performer/composer Wynton Marsalis will lead the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in a concert at Sangamon Auditorium. This "extraordinarily versatile" orchestra, which Marsalis serves as musical director, is composed of leading jazz soloists who perform an extensive repertoire that ranges from their own compositions to jazz classics. Ticket information is available from the Auditorium Ticket Office at 206-6160 or 800-207-6960.

Applications are now being accepted for the Lincoln Legacy High School Forum -- a statewide contest for high school juniors and seniors co-sponsored by UIS and the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. The three categories of competition are: Historical Essay, Creative Expression in the Written Word, and Performance/Visual Arts. The first prize in each category is a one-year tuition scholarship to the University of Illinois at Springfield; winners will be invited to UIS to present their work to the public on Saturday, April 4. Entries must be postmarked by January 2, 2009. Get complete information.

From April 2 to 17, a juried "Lincoln Legacy" exhibit, presenting selected artwork from the High School Forum, will be on display in the Access Gallery, located in the lobby of the Visual and Performing Arts Building on the east side of the UIS campus.

For more information about any event in UIS' series of Lincoln Bicentennial events, contact the Office of the Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, at 217/206-6512.

All three campuses in the U of I system are hosting events in the University's Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration. Get more information.

See information about programs and events sponsored by the Illinois Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

UIS to host Sunday Star Party for people with disabilities

The University of Illinois at Springfield will host a special Sunday Night Star Party for people with disabilities on Sunday, October 5, weather permitting, in the UIS observatory. The party is free, but reservations are required.

Featured objects for viewing will be Jupiter, the largest planet, and the moon.

Conducted by Charles Schweighauser and John Martin, UIS professors of Astronomy/Physics, Sunday Star Parties use a telescope specially designed to give people with disabilities access to the sky. This is the first telescope in the world designed for, and dedicated to, people with disabilities.

The modified eight-inch Schmidt Cassegrain telescope employs a traditional optical design but with a fixed eyepiece that brings the image to the viewer. This eyepiece can be moved backward and forward in its tube as much as seven inches without refocusing, and can accommodate anyone from a large person in a high wheelchair to a child in the lowest, smallest wheelchair. A laptop computer runs the telescope, eliminating the need for a large keyboard and monitor that can emit too much distracting light on the dark observation deck.

To make a reservation, or for more information, contact Schweighauser at 206-6721 no later than Friday, September 26, for the October 5 Star Party.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

UIS holding auditions for two pep bands

Community members are invited to audition for the Basketball Pep Band and the Basketball Jazz Combo – two athletic pep bands at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Auditions will be held Monday and Tuesday, September 15 and 16, beginning at 6 p.m. in room 33 of the Visual and Performing Arts Building on the UIS campus. Audition sessions are by appointment only.

Detailed information – including audition materials and requirements and a complete performance calendar – is available at www.uis.edu/music. Interested musicians should download and review the auditions materials before calling the UIS Music Program at 217/206-8405 to schedule an appointment.

The Pep Band is traditional collegiate pep band of 20 or more members who play wind, brass, percussion, and electronic instruments. Twenty paid positions ($20/game) are available in this band.

The Basketball Jazz Combo is a six-member group comprising three horns of any type and a three-member rhythm section. Members of the Jazz Combo are paid $75 per game.

First performances for both bands will be Monday, September 29, at the UIS Homecoming Bonfire and Thursday, October 2, at the Student/Faculty Basketball Game.

For more information, contact Todd Cranson, UIS assistant director of co-curricular music, at rcran2@uis.edu.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

UIS to take part in progressive reception for art exhibits commemorating 1908 race riot

Other venues will be the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and the Illinois State Museum

The University of Illinois at Springfield will be one of three host sites on Friday, September 19, for a progressive reception featuring art exhibits commemorating the Springfield Race Riot of 1908.

Other hosts for "Through the Eyes of Artists: Looking Back, Looking Forward" are the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and the Illinois State Museum. The event is free and open to the public and will feature artwork that captures the essence of the riot, its meaning, and what it can say to us today.

The reception begins at the Lincoln Presidential Library, Sixth and Jefferson Streets, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.; progresses to the State Museum, Spring and Edwards Streets, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.; and concludes at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery, located in room 201 of the Health and Sciences Building on the UIS campus, from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Mike Miller, UIS associate professor of Visual Arts, is one of the organizers of the event, as well as a participating artist in the show at the Illinois State Museum. "Visual art is a powerful tool for instigating meaningful dialogue about critical issues in contemporary society," said Miller. "'Through the Eyes of Artists' continues a promising trend in the Springfield arts community of institutions working together to advance a common theme."

The exhibit at UIS will be "Talking Stones" (left) a multi-media installation project by Native American visual and performance artist James Luna, which will remain on display in the Gallery through October 22.

Luna notes that his installation springs from the idea that, in the right time and place, organic substances such as stones can "transcend the world of utilitarian tools and become objects that hold a spiritual soul and speak of knowledge of the other world." A special place in "Talking Stones" will accommodate a brick from the riot that "cast a dark shadow on the history of Springfield."

"In 1908…," the display at the Lincoln Presidential Library, features a work by Brian Gillis, formerly an assistant professor of Visual Arts at UIS. In this exhibit, Gillis turns historical sources into artworks that coax visitors into becoming witnesses. Sources include maps, arrest records, court proceedings, death records, National Guard documents, and oral histories.

The State Museum will present "Across the Divide: Reconsidering the Other," an exhibit featuring works in a variety of media by 16 leading contemporary artists that look back and forward and deal with race, ethnicity, religion, and other geo-political issues.

For more information on "Through the Eyes of Artists" call 217/558-8934 or go to www.abelincolnmuseum.org.

UIS Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For further information on "Talking Stones," go to www.uis.edu/visualarts/ or contact the gallery by phone at 217/206-6506 or by e-mail at visarts-ga@uis.edu.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

UIS professors to discuss "most grandiose experiment"

On the border between France and Switzerland, in a tunnel deep underground, a project is underway that promises to be "the most grandiose experiment in the history of science," according to an astronomer at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Charles Schweighauser, professor of Astronomy/Physics at UIS, says that the experiment -- being conducted by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and involving the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) – will attempt to answer questions like "What is matter?" "What was matter like within the first second of the Universe's life?" and "Do extra dimensions of space really exist?"

Schweighauser says the scientific community is anticipating results that may very well open up a whole new way of looking at the Universe. "Our understanding of the Universe is about to change," he notes. "A lot of physicists will be disappointed if a whole new Physics doesn't come out of this experiment."

The LHC will be activated on September 10.

To help the public gain some sense of the scope and importance of the experiment, Schweighauser and two other UIS professors will present "Discovering a More Beautiful Universe with the Large Hadron Collider" beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 28, in conference room F, located on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center at UIS. The illustrated program will be presented for a general audience and is free and open to the public.

Schweighauser will facilitate the discussion and will begin the program with "The Large Hadron Collider and How it Works," a discussion of the instrument itself.

Following Schweighauser's presentation, Dr. Hei Chi Chan, associate professor of Mathematical Sciences, will discuss "The Physics behind the Experiment: What they're looking for and hope to find."

Following Chan, Dr. John Martin, assistant professor of Astronomy/Physics, will speak on "The Physics Involved and How It Relates to the Early Universe," an examination of what the experiment may reveal about many unanswered questions on how the Universe evolved.

A question-and-answer session will follow the three presentations.

The Large Hadron Collider is a gigantic particle accelerator housed in a 27-kilometre tunnel near Geneva, Switzerland, and relies on technologies that until recently did not exist. LHC experiments are expected to provide insights into questions such as what gives matter its mass, what the invisible 96 percent of the Universe is made of, why nature prefers matter to antimatter, and how matter evolved from the first instants of the Universe's existence.

CERN is the world's leading laboratory for particle physics. Headquartered in Geneva, it has 20 member nations; six other countries including the United States, as well as two international organizations, have been granted Observer status. CERN is one of the world's largest and most respected centers for scientific research. Its business is fundamental physics, finding out what the Universe is made of and how it works.

For more information, contact Schweighauser at 217/206-6721.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Dark-skies star party planned at UIS Emiquon Field Station

The University of Illinois at Springfield and the Sangamon Astronomical Society will host a dark-skies star party at the Emiquon Field Station on Saturday, September 6, at The Nature Conservancy's Emiquon Preserve, located between Havana and Lewistown. The program is free and open to the public; reservations are not required.

Co-sponsors are UIS' Emiquon Field Station and The Nature Conservancy.

The event will begin at 8 p.m. in the Field Station with a short lecture on the night sky, presented by Dr. John Martin, UIS assistant professor of Astronomy/Physics. Star gazing will be from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m.

Many nebula, galaxies, and star clusters are too faint to be seen from urban and light-polluted areas and this event presents an opportunity to enjoy the stars under one of the darkest skies remaining in Illinois.

Members of the Sangamon Astronomical Society will be on hand with several telescopes to share their knowledge and views of the sky. Participants are also welcome to bring their own binoculars and telescopes.

Entrance to the field station is on Prairie Road, located off Illinois Rts. 97/78, approximately one-and-a-half miles north of the Dickson Mounds turnoff. A sign will be posted at the turnoff. A map is also available online at www.uis.edu/emiquon/about/images/mapToTNCEmiquon.jpg.

Everyone entering the property will be asked to sign a liability waiver. Participants younger than 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult and must have their waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian.

If the skies are overcast on September 6, the event will be cancelled. To determine if the weather is suitable for viewing, call David Hedrick at The Nature Conservancy office at 309/547-2730 after 7 p.m. that evening.

For further information, contact Hedrick or send an e-mail to dhedrick@tnc.org.

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"Talking about History and Truth: An Informal Gathering with James Loewen"

10 to 11:15 a.m., Friday, September 12, UHB 2021

Dr. Loewen is a nationally known expert on race relations and the author of Lies My Teacher Told Me, a critique of high school history textbooks.

Sponsors: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Associate Vice-Chancellor for Undergraduate Education, and History Department

For more information, contact Deborah McGregor, professor of History and Women & Gender Studies, at 6-7439 or mcgregor.deborah@uis.edu.


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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Auditions set for UIS Theatre's fall production of Cloud 9

The Theatre Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield will hold open auditions for the first production of its 2008-2009 seasonCloud 9 by Caryl Churchill – on Sunday, September 14, and Monday, September 15, beginning at 7 p.m. both nights, in the Studio Theatre, located on level one of the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus. Call-backs will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 16.

Auditions are open to anyone, with or without experience. Assistant Professor of Theatre Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson, who will direct, noted that while auditions will consist of cold readings from the script, everyone auditioning is strongly encouraged to read the play in advance. She added that headshots and resumes, as well as brief prepared monologues, are appreciated but not mandatory. Anyone interested in working backstage on the production should also plan to attend one night of auditions.

Roles are available for three women and four men, however Thibodeaux-Thompson said that, depending on role-doubling, more women may be cast.

In Cloud 9, Churchill explores the politics of sexuality and sexual identity. Using cross-gender casting and role-doubling, she creates a satirical look at the relationships between the sexually repressed Victorian era and the sexually liberated 20th century. Act I takes place in British Colonial Africa in 1880, where the characters are subjected to, and secretly attempt to resist, the rigid constraints of Victorianism. Act II takes place in 1980 in London – although the characters have aged only 25 years – where everyone has thrown off the sexual restraints of the 19th century.

A limited number of scripts are available for 24-hour checkout with a refundable $10 cash deposit, from the Communication/Theatre program office in UIS' University Hall, room 3010, phone 206-6790, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Scripts are also on reserve in UIS' Brookens Library.

Casting should be completed by September 19. Thibodeaux-Thompson noted that rehearsals will begin Sunday, September 21, and are generally scheduled for Sunday through Thursday nights from 7 to 10 p.m. Production dates are November 7 through 9 and 13 through 15.

For more information about auditions, the play, or helping behind the scenes with such things as costumes, props, and stage-managing, contact Thibodeaux-Thompson at 217/206-8307 or mthom1@uis.edu, or go to www.uis.edu/theatre.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

UIS' Friday night Star Parties to resume

The University of Illinois at Springfield's popular Star Parties will begin for the fall on Friday, September 5, and continue every Friday night through October 24, weather permitting. Star Parties are from 8 to 10 p.m. in the UIS observatory.

John Martin, assistant professor of Astronomy/Physics at UIS, will host the Star Parties, which this fall will focus the observatory's three telescopes on a number of celestial objects, including the giant planet Jupiter and its moons; the Ring Nebula in Lyrae, a star like our sun which has reached the end of its life; the globular cluster M13 in Hercules, which is a ball of one million stars roughly 13 billion years old; other star clusters and double stars; and the moon, when available.

Martin noted that this year a number of activities are also planned in conjunction with the observance of the International Year of Astronomy in 2009. "It's an opportunity for people to share in the history of discovery that has led to our current understanding of our place in the universe," he said.

"In 1609, using his first telescope, Galileo discovered the four moons of Jupiter," Martin explained. "These were the first bodies discovered in our solar system that clearly did not orbit around the Earth. This was an important event in astronomy as well as human history because what Galileo saw convinced him that the Copernican heliocentric (sun-centered) model of the solar system was correct.

"However, we'll offer better views than Galileo got," he added.

Friday Star Parties are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required, and groups are encouraged to attend. The entrance to the campus observatory is located outside Brookens Library on the southeast corner.

Questions about whether the weather is suitable for viewing should be directed to 217/206-8342 at 7 p.m. on the evening of the Star Party.

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UIS schedules Sunday Star Parties for people with disabilities

This fall, the University of Illinois at Springfield will once again hold special Sunday Night Star Parties for people with disabilities. Three Sunday evening sessions are planned – September 7, October 5, and November 9 – weather permitting. All sessions will be held in the UIS observatory. The parties are free, but reservations are required.

Featured objects for viewing will be Jupiter, the largest planet, and the moon.

Conducted by Charles Schweighauser and John Martin, UIS professors of astronomy and physics, the Sunday Parties use a telescope specially designed to give people with disabilities access to the sky. This is the first telescope in the world designed for, and dedicated to, people with disabilities.

The modified eight-inch Schmidt Cassegrain telescope employs a traditional optical design but with a fixed eyepiece that brings the image to the viewer. This eyepiece can be moved backward and forward in its tube as much as seven inches without refocusing, and can accommodate anyone from a large person in a high wheelchair to a child in the lowest, smallest wheelchair. A laptop computer runs the telescope, eliminating the need for a large keyboard and monitor that can emit too much distracting light on the dark observation deck.

To make a reservation for a Sunday Night Star Party, or for more information, contact Schweighauser at 206-6721 no later than Friday, August 29, for the September 7 Star Party.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

UIS Old Time Music Jam

An informal event, open to everyone – including those who just want to listen.
  • Musicians of all skill levels are welcome.
  • 7 to 9:30 p.m., monthly in VPA 33

For more information, including a schedule

For directions to campus

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Book signing with Carol Manley

The University of Illinois at Springfield will host a book signing with award-winning author Carol Manley from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 11, in the Public Affairs Center restaurant on the UIS campus. The event is free and open to the public. The restaurant is located on the lower level of the PAC.

Manley will sign copies of her latest novel, Church Booty, runner-up for the third annual Tartts Fiction Award.

Manley is a 2003 graduate of UIS and received her master's degree in English. She is currently a guest editor of the People's Poetry column in Illinois Times.

In 2006, Manley won a $7,000 Illinois Arts Council fellowship, as well as first place, third place, and seven honorable mentions in the categories of literary/mainstream short fiction and non-rhyming poetry in a contest sponsored by Writer's Digest.

Read a review of Church Booty by author Rodd Whelpley.

Book details: Church Booty, Livingston Press, 2008, 140 pages, $15.95

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