Thursday, April 8, 2010

Humor, healthy eating, control of finances all help battle stress, experts say

Positive thinking is one way to relieve stress, but doing it is much harder than saying it, a St. John’s Hospital nurse said Wednesday during a health-awareness forum at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Diana Weyhenmeyer, a community outreach educator, suggested that overstressed people look for humor in their lives.

Another speaker at the two-day Health Awareness Week event, which continues today at UIS, outlined ways of promoting “financial wellness.”

UIS' Health Awareness Week was featured in a April 8, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Illinois school budgets at the breaking point

State officials say 41 percent of school districts — 355 out of 869 — were spending into a deficit in 2009. The number is expected to go up to 44 percent in 2010.

On the revenue side, the recession has kept a lid on local tax caps at the same time that the state fell behind on aid payments, said William Phillips, an associate professor of educational leadership at the University of Illinois at Springfield. The governor has proposed big cuts for next year.

"So now they're getting hit with three different major funding sources being reduced and they are doing what they never wanted to do, which is drastically cutting their programs and staff," he said. "The bottom line is, districts are spending more than they're taking in."

Phillips' comments were featured in a March 25, 2010, article in the Chicago Tribune.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Science meeting tracks Emiquon progress

The notion that all science is “cold and hard” was debunked nicely at the Emiquon Science Meeting Thursday.

Doyn Kellerhals, a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Springfield, presented her research on the bacteria that decompose leaves of silver maple trees. Bacteria are very difficult to tell apart until they are examined at a DNA level.

She is learning that bacterial communities change as leaves break down. And different bacteria are at work in different habitats.

Kellerhals reminded the audience that the small things really do matter.

“I really like talking about the fish and the ducks, but this is where it all starts.”

Kellerhals was featured in a March 5, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Some high schoolers opt for early graduation

In the Springfield school district alone, more than 100 high school seniors have applied for early graduation this year, with various reasons of why they want to graduate early, including getting a head-start on college.

Amanda Bly, an admissions counselor at UIS, said that early high school graduates may now start classes at UIS in the spring due to a new policy.

Bly's comments were featured in a December 8, 2009, article in the State Journal-Register about early graduation.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Special Report: Why so few male elementary teachers?

Why are there so few male elementary teachers locally and across the nation?

"I think it has a lot to do with perceptions of what teachers do during the day, especially elementary school teachers," said Dr. Curby Alexander, UIS assistant professor of education.

Alexander is a former elementary teacher and says many men stay out of the classroom because they think being a teacher means being a babysitter.

Demetrius Davis wanted to go into criminal psychology, but spent a summer teaching kids how to read. Now he is one of only a handful of male UIS students studying to become an elementary school teacher.

The special report aired on News Channel at Nine on Fox Illinois (WRSP-TV) on November 18, 2009.

Watch the report online:

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Lanphier HS looks for solutions to in-school violence

Police have arrested 44 students at Springfield's Lanphier High School for fighting so far this year.

WAND-TV reporter Gordan Graham interviewed UIS Associate Professor in Teacher Education Allan Cook about what can be done to stop the problem.

"What we need to look at is violence prevention a lot of schools I think now are going towards anger managment counseling," said Cook.

The interview aired on October 1, 2009.
Watch the report online

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Australian ambassador to speak in Springfield

The Australian ambassador to the United States will kick off the 2009-10 Ambassador Series, a Springfield tradition that brings people face-to-face with ambassadors from around the world.

Vicki Megginson, associate chancellor for development at the University of Illinois Springfield, said 100 to 130 people have been attending the series, but the sponsors have increased their outreach this year.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we have more attend,” she said.

Megginson's comments were featured in a September 21, 2009 edition of the State Journal-Register.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

U of I Global Campus faces challenges, although online learning is rising

The University of Illinois Global Campus, a multimillion-dollar distance-learning project, is up and running, and it has enrolled 366 students for the March and April term.

Interest in online learning has increased, but enrolling students is still a challenge.

Details about the global campus and online learning were discussed in an April 3, 2009, issue of the Chronicles of Higher Ed.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

First-generation college students face challenges

Students who are the first members of their families to attend college can face challenges beyond those confronting other freshmen. At UIS, 11 percent of the current freshmen class belongs to this group.

Read a profile of some of first-generation, college-bound high school seniors that appeared in the December 7, 2008, State Journal-Register

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Freshman determined to graduate

Though UIS freshman Christal Luster isn't the first of her siblings to go to college, she is the first to enroll with the intention of graduating and pursuing a career of her own. Everyone else in Christal's immediate family – both parents, her two sisters, and her brother – works for the family company, Clintex Laboratories, near Chicago.

Luster credits the small-campus atmosphere at UIS with helping her make the transition and keep up her resolve.

Read the article that appeared in the December 6, 2008, State Journal-Register

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Finding the right college can be difficult

High school students looking for the college that fits them best can find the process intimidating. An article in the Voice section of the November 11, 2008, State Journal-Register outlined the admissions process at a community college (Lincoln Land), a public university (UIS), and a private one (Illinois College in Jacksonville).

Assistant Director of Admissions Kathryn Kleeman spoke about the advantages UIS has to offer.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Berman: Community must make the most of economic opportunities

In an "In My View" column appearing in the November 1, 2008, State Journal-Register, UIS Provost Harry Berman outlined the goals of the Continuum of Learning, an initiative of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Central Illinois, and Sangamon Country Community Foundation. Berman chairs the Continuum's Steering Committee.

The intention, said Berman is a "community commitment to seeing that the highest possible proportion of children, adolescents, and young adults are progressing successfully through each stage of development and are poised to succeed and to contribute to the region's economy."

Download a pdf file of the column

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Monday, October 20, 2008

UIS receives national award for online education

UIS received the 2008 Gomory Award for Quality Education from the Sloan Consortium. The award recognizes UIS' innovative work in the continuous process of assuring excellence in its online teaching and learning initiatives.

OTEL Director Ray Schroeder noted that the Gomory Award is "one of the highest honors to be granted" by the Consortium.

Download an article from the October 20, 2008, State Journal-Register

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Friday, September 12, 2008

LA Tech joins consortium founded by Schroeder and Oakley

Louisiana Tech is one of seven charter members of the New Century Learning Consortium, a group founded by Ray Schroeder, director of UIS' Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning, and Burks Oakley II, founding director of University of Illinois Online.

The consortium was designed to assist universities in implementing high quality, large-scale online and blended learning programs.

An article published in the September 10, 2008, Monroe, Louisiana, News-Star described the organization and quoted Schroeder, who noted that the first meeting, held at UIS in July, “enabled us to formalize our relationships and begin collaborations in the development of online and blended learning initiatives that will span the country."

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Monday, August 25, 2008

UIS ranked among the best

In its first year of eligibility, UIS was named to U.S. News and World Reports' list of America's Best Colleges: once as best public university (master's category) in the state, and again as fourth best university in the same category in the Midwest.

On August 22, 2008, the State Journal-Register ran an article profiling the honor.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Must you tell employers if you earned a degree online?

The "Mr. Know-It-All" column in the July 21, 2008, Wired Magazine addresses the question of whether job candidates are obliged to tell potential employers that their degrees were earned through an online program.

Ray Schroeder, director of UIS' Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning, supplies part of the answer: "On transcripts, we don't designate when a class is online or face-to-face."

Download a pdf of the column


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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Oldfield is author of study on socioeconomic status and admission decisions

An article in the July 10, 2008, Daily Texan reported on a study conducted by Kenneth Oldfield, UIS professor emeritus of Public Administration.

Oldfield found that while schools are federally mandated to evaluate applicants to graduate programs based on race and ethnicity, few institutions also consider an applicant's economic status.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Schroeder quoted in article on gas prices' effect on online education

As the cost of gasoline goes up, so does the number of students enrolling in online courses.

Ray Schroeder, director of UIS' Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning, was among a number of educators who commented on the subject for an article that appeared in the July 8, 2008, Chronicle of Higher Education.

Schroeder noted that colleges and universities across the country are getting requests for online courses, with students specifically mentioning the cost of gas as a factor.

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Computer Science grads found "Girls Tech"

After listening to a presentation on the dwindling number of women in computer science fields, Nina Milbauer and Lori Kelley, information technology instructors at Madison (Wisconsin) Area Technical College, were inspired to create Girls Tech, a summer camp where girls in grades 6 through 9 learn about the possibilities open to them in a variety of technical professions.

Both Milbauer and Kelley earned master's degrees in UIS' online Computer Science program.

MATC recently hosted its second Girls Tech program and Ted Mims, chair of UIS' Computer Science department, was among the representatives from other institutions who visited Madison to observe. "You could actually see the excitement in (the girls') faces as they learned and they wanted to do more and more," said Mims.

An article in the July 1, 2008, Madison Capital Times profiled the program.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

UIS ranks high in survey of online degrees

UIS' departments of Computer Science and Management Information Systems are among the top online master's degree programs in the nation, according to a new survey completed by

A news release issued by PR Web on May 29, 2008, presents the results of the survey.

Download a pdf file of the release


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