Thursday, April 15, 2010

Campus radio station grows to give students more hands on experience

When The Prairie Star, the Internet based campus radio station of the University of Illinois Springfield signed on the air in February 2008 it was broadcasting from a small room in University Hall.

Now two years later, the station has grown. It is complete with an audio lab, on-air and production studios in the Student Affairs Building (SAB). The station was designed to serve as a learning environment for students in addition to helping connect the campus.

“We’re on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week streaming on the Internet. We’re not actually over the air because there are no frequencies available. We hope one of these days that changes,” said Jim Grubbs, station creator and association professor of communication.

The station operates with a classic rock format during the day, but at 3 p.m. the “plugs are pulled out” as they switch to an alternative rock format more popular with students. The Prairie Star also hopes to broadcast some UIS athletic events in the future in an effort to give students more opportunities.

“I think it’s going to continue to grow and not to toot our own horn (we) sound very professional,” said Kyle Alewelt, a junior communication major.

In most cases students who want to get involved with the station are required to take COM 313 “Introduction to Radio”, which is being offered for the first time this semester. Grubbs says he’s also open to letting students with prior college or professional radio experience get involved.

“As a Communication faculty member I see this as a learning facility. We have a lot of fun in the learning, but it is a learning facility,” said Grubbs.

The Introduction to Radio class teaches the basics of audio production and being on the air. It’s that experience students can take with them after graduation to use in the real world.

“It’s going to look good on the resume, especially here at UIS. It’s a great university and having that experience in the past also at my other radio stations and this one will just enhance my future in the radio business,” said Michael Watson, a junior history major enrolled in the class.

The station has a loyal group of listeners and because it’s an Internet radio station they can track how many people are listening and from where.

“We have had listeners from all around the world in over 50 different countries at this point. We seem to be a big in Europe late hours their time,” said Grubbs.

You can listen to the station online by visiting For more information email

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Burlingame's biography of Lincoln wins 2010 Lincoln Prize

A two-volume biography that was 30 years in the making, by one of the foremost living authorities on Abraham Lincoln, has won the 2010 Lincoln Prize.

Michael Burlingame will receive the $50,000 Lincoln Prize for his book, “Abraham Lincoln: A Life” (Johns Hopkins University Press), as well as a bronze replica of Augustus Saint-Gaudens life-size bust, “Lincoln the Man.” Burlingame is the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair of Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield. The prize, sponsored by Gettysburg College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, will be awarded April 27 at the Union League in New York.

The prize was co-founded in 1990 by businessmen and philanthropists Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman, co-chairmen of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York and co-creators of the Gilder Lehrman Collection - one of the largest private archives of documents and artifacts in the nation. The Institute is devoted to history education, supporting magnet schools, teacher training, digital archives, curriculum development, exhibitions and publications, as well as the national History Teacher of the Year program.

The book is a comprehensive look at Lincoln’s life - from growing up impoverished in rural Kentucky and Indiana, to building a career as an ambitious politician that led him to become the 16th president of the United States. Burlingame writes about the trials and tribulations Lincoln experienced as commander-in-chief and focuses on his leadership during the Civil War. From private sorrows to public disasters, Burlingame tells the whole story of one of America’s greatest presidents.

“Burlingame’s massive biography of Abraham Lincoln is a landmark of American historical scholarship. Nothing surpasses Burlingame’s comprehensive and detailed research into the entire life of Lincoln,” Lehrman said. “His prose and arguments are always clear and straightforward, even if some judgments will be vigorously debated. Because the author of this extraordinary biography has unearthed new evidence and reviewed all previous scholarship, these debates will have to contend with the vast document-based evidence, which this Lincoln Prize winner brings to bear on the life of Lincoln. Every member of the literate general public, interested in Abraham Lincoln, is surely indebted to Burlingame for his tireless research into archives and newspapers never before examined.”

“Michael Burlingame’s “Abraham Lincoln: A Life” is meticulously researched and provides a multi-faceted portrait of a man who grew into greatness,” said Janet Morgan Riggs, president of Gettysburg College. “Though its length may be intimidating to some, Burlingame’s narrative is accessible and engaging. No one who reads this powerful work will ever look at Lincoln quite the same way again.”

The three-member 2010 Lincoln Prize jury - Douglas Wilson, the George A. Lawrence Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus and co-director of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College; Joseph R. Fornieri, Associate Professor of Political Science at Rochester Institute of Technology; and James Oakes, Distinguished Professor and Graduate School Humanities Professor at CUNY Graduate Center - considered 118 titles for the award before recommending the finalists to the Lincoln Prize board which makes the final decision. In addition to Lehrman, Gilder and Riggs, the Board includes James G. Basker, President of the Gilder Lehrman Institute; Gabor Boritt, Fluhrer Professor of Civil War Studies emeritus at Gettysburg College; and Edwin T. Johnson, Gettysburg College Trustee emeritus.

Finalists for the prize included Robert McGlone’s “John Brown's War Against Slavery” (Cambridge University Press) and Mark Wahlgren Summers’ “A Dangerous Stir: Fear, Paranoia, and the Making of Reconstruction” (University of North Carolina Press).
Past Lincoln Prize winners include Ken Burns in 1991 for his documentary, “The Civil War,” Allen Guelzo for his books, “Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President” in 2000 and “Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America” in 2005 and Doris Kearns Goodwin in 2006 for her book, “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.” Last year's co-winners were James McPherson for his book, “Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief” and Craig Symonds for his book, “Lincoln and His Admirals: Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. Navy, and the Civil War.”

About Burlingame
Born in Washington, D.C., Burlingame attended Phillips Academy, Andover. As a freshman at Princeton University, he enrolled in the Civil War course taught by the eminent Lincolnian David Herbert Donald, who took him under his wing as a research assistant. When Donald moved to Johns Hopkins University, Burlingame followed him upon his graduation from Princeton. Burlingame received his Ph.D. in 1968 from Johns Hopkins University and joined the history department at Connecticut College in New London, where he taught until retiring in 2001 as the Sadowski Professor of History Emeritus. He joined the faculty at the University of Illinois Springfield in 2009.

Burlingame is the author of “The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln” (University of Illinois Press, 1994) and has edited volumes of Lincoln primary source materials. Burlingame has received the Abraham Lincoln Association Book Prize (1996), Lincoln Diploma of Honor from Lincoln Memorial University (1998) and an Honorable Mention for the Lincoln Prize (2001). He was inducted into the Lincoln Academy of Illinois in 2009.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition that includes Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate and other distinguished scholars among its alumni. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, founded in 1994, is a not-for-profit organization that oversees the Gilder Lehrman Collection and conducts history education programs in all fifty states, serving more than 3,000 teachers, their students and their communities, across the country every year.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Theatre Open House & Season Preview

UIS Theatre held an open house to show new and returning students what they have planned for the 2009-2010 season. Three productions featuring a mix of student and community actors will start in November.

The first show is Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things set to run November 13-15 and 19-21, 2009. The play is set in a liberal arts college, in a conservative Midwestern town. In the production, four characters struggle to find their voice in matters of love and art.

UIS “Student Directed Scenes,” which showcases the final projects of the students in the Fall ’09 “Directing for the Theatre” class will take place on December 8 and 9, 2009.

The last performance will be Milan Stitt’s The Runner Stumbles set to run April 23-25 and 29-May 1, 2010. The play is set in a remote northern Michigan parish in 1911 where a young nun mysteriously dies. The parish priest is charged with the crime.

Performances will take place starting at 7:30 p.m. on weekdays and 2:00 p.m. on Sundays in the Studio Theatre in the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus.

For more information about the plays and auditions visit the UIS Theatre website at:

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

UIS faculty members receive MicrobeLibrary Editor's Choice Awards

Two University of Illinois Springfield professors are the recipients of a 2009 Editor’s Choice Award from MicrobeLibrary as announced by the American Society for Microbiology. The Editor’s Choice Awards were created to spotlight learning resources that demonstrate excellence in teaching and learning in microbiology and biology education.

Dr. Michael Lemke, associate professor of biology, and Dr. Keith Miller, professor of computer science, received the 2009 Visual Collection Award for Video for their work on a video called “Mud and Microbes: A Time-Lapse Photographic Exploration of a Sediment Bacterial Community,” created in collaboration with Roza George of the University of Georgia and former UIS undergraduate.

Lemke and George photographed a window pane of mud each day for one and a half months, and Miller condensed the shots into a 90-second video. Noticeable changes can be seen in the mud during that time due to the growth of microorganisms with a variety of different colors.

“Even though most people know that microorganisms are all around and in us, we often don’t have a good appreciation for them because they are so small,” noted Lemke. “Once students see the changes and start to understand how relatively quickly the microbes are changing their environment, you have a chance to teach the chemistry and biology behind the changing colors.”

The simple experiment shown in the video highlights the fact that tiny microbes are vital to earth even though they go unnoticed by most people, Miller added.

“The video is short, and we hope it is engaging and entertaining. But we also hope it gets people interested in what is going on inside the mud that makes all those strange colors appear,” Miller said.

MicrobeLibrary is a founding partner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s BiosciEdNet Collaborative, a portal sponsored by the National Science Foundation’s National Science Digital Library.

The American Society for Microbiology is the oldest and largest single life science membership organization in the world, composed of more than 43,000 scientists and health professionals.

For more information, contact Dr. Lemke at 217/206-7339 or Dr. Miller at 217/206-7327.

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Honors received by UIS faculty, alumnus at national CLS meeting

Paula Garrott, interim director of the Science Division and Emeritus Associate Professor of Clinical Laboratory Science at the University of Illinois Springfield, received the Robin H. Mendelson Memorial Award at the recent national convention of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS).

Garrott was nominated for the award by the Board of Directors for her continuing advocacy for clinical laboratory science and her work as chair of the Coordinating Council on the Clinical Laboratory Workforce (CCCLW) over the past three years. As chair of CCCLW, Garrott led the cooperative effort of medical laboratory stakeholders to ensure an adequate supply of laboratory professionals.

The Robin H. Mendelson Memorial Award was established in 1971 to honor the memory of a young man who struggled for five years to survive kidney dialysis and two transplants during the infancy of the technology. The award honors outstanding service and contributions to clinical laboratory science, and Garrott is one of few people who have received this award multiple times.

Only the president, officers and representatives of ASCLS are eligible for the Mendelson Award. The award was presented at the national meeting held July 21 to 25 in Chicago.

Also at the national meeting, Dr. Timothy Randolph, a 1983 graduate the UIS Clinical Laboratory Science program, was elected to be Region VI Director and to serve on the Board of Directors of ASCLS. He was also awarded the Grant-in-Aid, Unrestricted, for research in clinical laboratory science. Randolph is currently an associate professor at St. Louis University.

ASCLS is the preeminent organization for clinical laboratory science practitioners, providing dynamic leadership and vigorous promotion of all aspects of clinical laboratory science practice, education and management to ensure excellent, accessible cost-effective laboratory services for the consumers of health care.

For more information, contact Linda McCown, director of the Clinical Laboratory Sciences program at UIS, at 217/206-7550, or Paula Garrott at 217/206-7348.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

UIS hosts Girl Tech technology camp for middle schoolers

By Courtney Westlake

UIS' Computer Science program is hosting Girl Tech 2009, a technology camp for middle-school girls entering 7th, 8th or 9th grade in the fall on Thursday, June 18 and Friday, June 19.

"We're hoping to get them excited about technology to the point that they want to know more, stay with it and develop a passion for what technology is all about and the many facets of it," said Mary Sheila Tracy, instructor in the computer science department.

Studies show that number of women in higher education in computer science is "falling drastically, and what we need to do is bring more women into field," Tracy said. Girl Tech is geared toward girls in middle school because interest seems to start decreasing around that age.

The camp offered 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.

"There are six different workshops over the two days, and the girls visit each one," Tracy said. "We have a workshop on learning to program - the fundamentals of using a programming language in a way that is most fun. There is another session on programming using Legos Mindstorm robots to learn to program, as well as a workshop on what it is to use wireless technology on a treasure hunt throughout our building, finding access points."

"We have a session where we're giving the girls flip video cameras to shoot their own movies and then using iMovie to edit. And we're doing session called 'What's in the Box?' where the girls take a computer apart. What better way to find out what's actually in the box inside their computer than taking it apart and looking at each individual piece?," Tracy said.

Instructors of the sessions are female faculty members in the Computer Science Department and Visual Arts Department, as well as staff members in Information Technology Services.

About 36 girls participated in Girl Tech 2009, which is the first year the technology camp has been held.

"We've had just about everyone show up, so it's nice that the girls are that enthused," Tracy said. "We have an extraordinarily bright, enthusiastic group here, and it's just so much fun for all of the instructors and volunteers here today."

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Renowned Lincoln Scholar Michael Burlingame accepts Lincoln Chair

The University of Illinois at Springfield has announced that preeminent Lincoln Scholar Michael A. Burlingame has accepted the position of Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies. The appointment will be in UIS’ History Department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Burlingame’s first monograph, The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln (University of Illinois Press, 1994) has been described by reviewers as “a revelation,” “a triumph,” “the most convincing portrait of Lincoln’s personality to date.” His second book, An Oral History of Abraham Lincoln (Southern Illinois University Press, 1996), was awarded the prestigious Abraham Lincoln Association Book Prize. His recently released two-volume biography of Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008) is already receiving accolades and has been described as the definitive study.

A review written by James L. Swanson in the November 3, 2008 issue of Publishers Weekly, describes the biography as “the most meticulously researched Lincoln biography ever written” and one that “supercedes all other biographies.”

Acclaimed Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin said of the book: “Lincoln scholars have waited anxiously for this book for decades. Its triumphant publication proves it was well worth the wait. Few scholars have written with greater insight about the psychology of Lincoln. No one in recent history has uncovered more fresh sources than Michael Burlingame. This profound and masterful portrait will be read and studied for years to come.”

“We are truly grateful to have attracted this remarkable teacher and scholar to UIS,” said UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen. “Professor Burlingame has outlined an ambitious research agenda, including a new look at Lincoln and the Civil War as well as several editorial projects. His presence at this university will strengthen our academic prowess and hasten our efforts to become one of the best small public liberal arts universities in the nation.”

Dr. Burlingame taught at a premier liberal arts institution, Connecticut College, for over 30 years, achieving the rank of full professor in the early 1990s. While there, he taught numerous courses on Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War era, and 19th century American history. He retired from the college’s History Department in 2001 as the May Buckley Sadowski Professor of History Emeritus. He took retirement at that time in order to work on his recently completed biography of Lincoln.

He received his Ph.D. in History from Johns Hopkins University in 1971.

Dr. Burlingame talks movingly of the impact upon himself when as an undergraduate student at Princeton University he worked under the mentorship of a distinguished historian at the National Archives for a summer. It set him upon a life-long path. He hopes to do the same for students at UIS through involving them in research projects at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and other Lincoln research venues.

As a psychohistorian, Dr. Burlingame tries to apply the insights of depth psychologists like Freud and Carl Jung to the study of the past. His view that history is “psychology teaching by examples” informs his writings and his teaching, especially his course on “Psychohistory and the American Presidency.”

Dr. Burlingame also has a distinguished record of service. He is on the Board of Directors of the Abraham Lincoln Association, the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College, and the Abraham Lincoln Institute in Washington, D.C. He makes frequent presentations to both professional and public audiences, and has been engaged in an ambitious, year-long series of speaking engagements to mark the Lincoln Bicentennial.

Recently, Dr. Burlingame was a keynote speaker and panelist for the February Lincoln Bicentennial celebrations in Springfield, and he was inducted into the Lincoln Academy of Illinois.

The distinguished chair in Lincoln Studies was established in 2000 when Dr. Richard E. Vaden and his family donated $1.25 million for that purpose to honor their longtime friendship with then-UIS Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn and her husband, Robert. Dr. Lynn retired as chancellor on March 30, 2001 after serving nearly 10 years in that capacity.

The distinguished chair was first occupied by Phillip Shaw Paludan, who served from August 2001 until his death in August 2007. He was one of the nation’s foremost authorities on Lincoln and the Civil War and recipient of the prestigious Lincoln Prize for his 1994 book The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

UIS announces new Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dr. Harry Berman, Provost at the University of Illinois at Springfield, has announced that Dr. James W. Ermatinger has been selected as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. His appointment is pending approval by the U of I Board of Trustees at its meeting on May 21. Dr. Ermatinger is expected to begin work at UIS on July 1.

Dr. Ermatinger is currently Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. He earned a Ph.D. in History from Indiana University in 1988 and has an extensive record of scholarship addressing the late Roman era.

“Dr. Ermatinger was selected for his ability to manage resources, increase enrollment and student retention, support department chairs, mentor faculty, and bolster diversity, all things he has done elsewhere in his career,” said Berman. “He also has experience in developing curriculum and reviewing faculty for tenure and promotion, both important tools for this position,” said Berman.

Prior administrative positions include serving as Chair of the History Department
at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Chair of the History Department at Lourdes College in Sylvania, Ohio. He also taught at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, NE.

UIS’ College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers majors in Biology (BS, MS), Chemistry (BS), Clinical Laboratory Science (BS), Communication (BA, MA), Computer Science (BS, MS), English (BA, MA), History (BA, MA), Liberal and Integrative Studies (MA), Liberal Studies (BA), Mathematical Sciences (BA), Philosophy (BA), Psychology (BA), Sociology/Anthropology (BA), and Visual Arts (BA).

The College also offers minors in African-American Studies, Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Communication, Computer Science, English, History, Mathematical Sciences, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Visual Arts, and Women and Gender Studies.

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Keith Miller named first Louise Hartman Schewe and Karl Schewe Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences

Margot Duley, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Springfield, announced today the appointment of Keith W. Miller as the first Louise Hartman Schewe and Karl Schewe Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences.

“The Schewe Professorship is the first named Professorship in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and marks a significant milestone in its evolution,” Duley said.

Miller, a Professor of Computer Science, an associated faculty member of Philosophy, and Associate Director of the Emiquon Field Station, came to UIS in 1993. With research expertise in software engineering, Miller has also emerged as an internationally recognized authority in computer ethics and serves as editor-in-chief of Technology and Society, a journal of “IEEE,” the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology.

“Professor Miller is noted for his interdisciplinary collaborations, which include computer scientists, philosophers, biologists, physicists, lawyers, and historians,” said Duley. “These collaborations and his scholarly eminence make him the ideal first Schewe Liberal Arts and Sciences Professor.”

Miller played a major role in the development of an international code of ethics for software engineering. His work as the Schewe Professor will include research and collaboration on the ethical challenges facing computing professionals from a global perspective, according to Duley.

Karl Schewe was a member of the Chicago Board of Trade and A.G. Edwards and Sons, Springfield. Louise was a teacher and active civic leader whose interests included the Springfield Art Association and the Illinois Symphony Guild. Upon her death in 2006, Louise Schewe left a generous bequest to the University of Illinois Foundation to support initially a professorship, and eventually a chair in the Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The field of computer ethics considers the ethical implications of computer and information technologies. All societies are being transformed by these technologies, and the positive and negative implications are enormous. Miller’s work bridges the gap between ethicists, academics, and computer science professionals.

Miller is a prolific and influential scholar. He is author or co-author of 60 articles in leading academic journals, a contributor to some 20 books and websites, and the author of 75 papers appearing in conference proceedings. He is in demand as a major conference speaker, appearing in venues as geographically diverse as the Association for Computer Machinery Symposium on Applied Computing in Dijon, France, to the Conference on Computer Ethics at Dartmouth College, from the Cyber Defense and Recovery Conference in Springfield, Illinois, to the EthiComp Conference in Sweden. He is also the recipient of many grants, including funding from the National Science Foundation.

A popular classroom teacher, Miller is also a major contributor to a leading undergraduate text, Computer Ethics: Analyzing Information Technology, authored by Dr. Deborah Johnson, who describes Miller as “a wonderful teacher, especially energetic and innovative.”

Miller’s previous honors include the Outstanding Service Award from the Association for Computer Machinery (2006), and he has been elected to the Board of The International Society for Ethics and Information Technology. He was also selected as a University of Illinois University Scholar in 2000.

Members of the Schewe panel who recommended Miller’s appointment were Dean Emeritus Bill Bloemer, Emeritus Professor Larry Shiner, Associate Professor Kamau Kemayo, Associate Professor Jonathan Perkins, Associate Professor Hei-chi Chan, Assistant Professor Sheryl Reminger, and Assistant Professor John Barker.

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Monday, May 04, 2009

UIS designated as National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education

The University of Illinois at Springfield has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE) for academic years 2009 through 2014. The award was made by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security, joint sponsors of the CAEIAE program.

The program is designed to help reduce the vulnerability of the nation’s information infrastructure, according to Dr. Ted Mims, Chair of UIS’ Computer Science Department and Director of The Center of Systems Security and Information Assurance within the department.

“This award gives UIS the prestige of having a role in securing our nation’s information systems,” Mims said. “The Department of Computer Science applied for the designation on behalf of UIS in January. The application was reviewed against nine stringent criteria, which are intended to measure the depth and maturity of UIS programs in Information Assurance at the graduate and undergraduate levels.”

Mims said the department has developed and offered courses in Systems Security and Information Assurance during the last six years. In September 2003, UIS became a partner with seven community colleges in a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that was used to create The Center of Systems Security and Information Assurance at UIS.

Mims noted that a prerequisite for being considered for the academic excellence designation was certification of all Information Assurance educational programming and courseware. UIS’ courseware, evaluated in 2006, was found to meet the national training standards of the Committee on National Security Systems.

To date, Mims said 19 students have earned bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science with an emphasis in Systems Security and Information Assurance. And a total of 11 graduate certificates in Systems Security and 12 graduate certificates in Information Assurance have been awarded.

Following the five-year period, UIS must reapply for the designation. Mims said the criteria are reviewed annually and strengthened as appropriate to keep pace with the evolving nature of Information Assurance. Students who attend UIS and participate in programs affiliated with the CAE are eligible to apply for scholarships and grants from the Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program and the Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service Program.

A ceremony recognizing UIS’ achievement will be held on June 1-3 at the 13th Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education in Seattle, Washington.

The Center of Systems Security and Information Assurance at UIS is dedicated to promoting research and education in information security, assurance, and privacy. The Center’s website, designed by Sviatoslav Braynov, assistant professor of Computer Science, can be viewed at

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Clinical Lab Science program receives accreditation award

The Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) program at the University of Illinois at Springfield has received the official accreditation award from the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences.

The program was awarded continuing accreditation for seven years, the maximum award. The program met standards in all areas, including faculty, curriculum, resources and outcomes. The National Accrediting Agency site visitors who came to UIS in November summarized their findings by saying, “This is an overall excellent program.”

According to CLS program director Linda McCown, clinical laboratory science, which is also called medical technology, is a career where nationally-certified professionals provide clues for determination of disease and health.

The curriculum at UIS includes four major areas: hematology, microbiology, clinical chemistry and immunohematology (blood banking and transfusion services). It includes rotations at two hospital laboratories in central Illinois. The program also boasts 100 percent placement for graduates seeking employment in the profession.

The CLS program at UIS has three full-time faculty, two adjunct instructors and five clinical faculty. Many of these faculty members have received honors, including Distinguished Author, awarded to Wayne Gade, and Member of the Year of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science, awarded to Paula Garrott. CLS students have also placed first, second and third in the Illinois Student Bowl competition in the past three years.

For more information about the Clinical Laboratory Science program at UIS, contact Linda McCown at 206-7550 or go online to

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cleaning America's rivers is focus of Earth Day speaker

By Courtney Westlake

UIS celebrated Earth Day on Tuesday evening, April 21, with a presentation by Chad Pregracke called "Making a Difference in the World: My Journey to Clean America’s Rivers."

Pregracke spoke to the UIS and Springfield community about his experiences growing up near the Mississippi River, which led him to the vision of cleaning the river a little at a time.

"I am going to talk about picking up the river one piece of garbage at a time, and I'm not just talking about picking up little pieces of garbage, but picking up thousands of 55 gallon barrels, appliances, sunken boats, you name it," he said.

In 1997, Pregracke founded a not-for-profit environmental organization called Living Lands & Waters, which has involved tens of thousands of volunteers with community-based river cleanups, Riverbottom Restoration Projects, Adopt-a-River Mile Programs and Big River Educational Workshops.

"I had one goal, and it was simple: to clean up the river," he said.

It took Pregracke years before he turned his vision into reality and slowly acquired a crew, barges and other equipment necessary for large-scale cleanups. He began organizing community cleanups, and now travels around the country with his crew of 11 fulltime staff.

"One of the most important things I have learned is how much people care about the environment in general, and I learned that right off the bat. Right after a story aired on CNN, I got baskets full of letters saying 'great job', 'way to go, the Mississippi River is a treasure' and all kinds of stuff," he said.

Some years Pregracke's crew is on the rivers cleaning for six months, and sometimes as many as nine months. To date, they have had more than 50,000 people volunteer and have cleaned more than five million pounds of garbage since the organization started. They work primarily on the Mississippi River but also on the Illinois River, Ohio River and as far east as the Washington D.C. area, Pregracke said.

Living Lands & Waters has also just started planting trees on islands to provide habitats and food for wildlife. They started a nursery in Beardstown to grow their own trees and have given out 100,000 trees in last three weeks.

During his presentation, Pregracke encouraged attendees, and especially students, to pursue any dream they have and not let anyone tell them they can't do it.

"Anything you want to do is totally feasible; if you set out to do something that's going to have a positive effect on yourself, the people around you, your community, know that you can do it," he said.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

UIS alumna's book is recently published

UIS alumna Joanna Beth Tweedy, host of Quiddity Public-Radio Program on WUIS, is receiving high praise from esteemed writers for her debut novel, The Yonder Side of Sass and Texas, released this spring from Southeast Missouri University Press.

Tweedy will be reading and signing copies of her book on campus this Friday at 7:00 p.m. in the Café Annex, located on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center.

The novel’s lyrical, poetic style is highly unusual, especially for a debut work of prose. It has been receiving praise from a variety of literati—novelists, poets, reviewers, and editors alike, including Robert Hellenga, Patrick Carrington, and Elaine Fowler Palencia. It’s been called “a simmering gumbo of linguistic delicacies,” “a dance that never missteps…absolute in originality and sophistication,” and “an inventive masterpiece.”

Hellenga, best-selling author of The Sixteen Pleasures, says of Yonder Side, “The prose crackles like a splash of water on a hot skillet and there’s a surprise on every page.” Palencia calls it “High Lyrical Down-home…a novel to read twice.” And Carrington, editor of the award-winning journal Mannequin Envy, calls the novel “a rollicking ride of unexpected turns.” Of the author he writes, “a new voice that is not to be missed, one you'll surely enjoy reading as much as it does speaking to you.”

With degrees in education and English from the Universities of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and Springfield (UIS), Tweedy has taught creative writing, literature, composition and educational leadership, and has served as faculty-in-residence for the Capital Scholars Honors Program at UIS. Early versions of some of the novel’s chapters were included in her creative-writing thesis project, which was nominated for UIS’ Thesis of the Year Award by the English Department. In addition to hosting Quiddity on WUIS, Tweedy is also the founding editor of Quiddity’s companion international literary journal, housed at Benedictine University at Springfield, where she is an associate dean.

A book tour is planned this summer.

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Professor's book of poetry is published

A book of poetry called Juggler by Dr. Rosina Neginsky, associate professor of liberal studies, women’s studies and English at the University of Illinois at Springfield, has recently been published by the University Press of the South.

Juggler is a bilingual English-Russian edition of poems and is available at the UIS Bookstore or online at The book consists of seven “cycles” - Amore, Birth, Yearning, Juggler, Encounters, Mermaid and Ballads, Neginsky noted.

The front cover of the book is by Sergei Chepik, a Franco-Russian painter whose works Neginsky will be exhibiting at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery in October 2009.

Neginsky is a literary scholar, translator, author and poet. She was the 2008 University Scholar at UIS, and her primary scholarly interests include European literature and cinema, women writers and the symbolist movement in Europe.

Neginsky is also the author of the book Zinaida Vengerova: in Search of Beauty: A Literary Ambassador Between East And West.

Neginsky will be reciting from Juggler in celebration of Poetry Month on April 14 at the Illinois State Library from 12 to 1 p.m. The reading will take place in the Illinois Authors Room at the library, and it is free and open to the public.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Student selected as finalist in photography competition

Andy Mitkos, a student at the University of Illinois at Springfield, has been selected as a finalist in the 29th Annual Student Photography Contest sponsored by Nikon and Photographer’s Forum Magazine. His photo, a scene of a plane underwater, is titled “Any Landing You Can Walk Away From...,” and will be published in the Best of College Photography Annual 2009.

This is the second consecutive year that the work of a UIS student has been selected for publication in the annual. More than 4,000 students entered this year’s contest, which was open to photography students worldwide.

At UIS, Mitkos is earning a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and has take two photography courses under Professor Michael Duvall.

Mitkos’ winning photograph was captured while he was scuba diving off the coast of Aruba. He used underwater housing equipment with his camera to photograph the underwater plane.

“I like to use photography in everything I do,” Mitkos noted. “Professor Duvall suggested entering the contest to me, and I entered it not expecting anything to happen. It’s really an honor when your work is recognized by others.”

Established in 1977, Photographer’s Forum Magazine is a quarterly, award-winning publication dedicated to high-quality reproduction of photography in the United States and Canada. It is designed to facilitate communication and experience among emerging professionals.

This year’s judges for the contest were Rob Winner, Brooks Institute of Photography; Peter Glendinning, Michigan State University; and Karen Sinsheimer, Curator of Photography at Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

English professor read poems at Walden Poetry Series

Nancy Perkins, Associate Professor of English and Past Chair of the English Department from 2003-2005, read a selection of her poems at the Walden Poetry Series in Concord, MA, on March 21st in celebration of the Spring Equinox. The poets read their works, as the host Douglas Bishop wrote, “in the tradition of Henry David Thoreau, poetry to celebrate the beauty of the natural world.”

Perkins publishes and reads her creative works under her first two names: nancy genevieve.

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Adjunct professor self-publishes first novel

Edward Beekman-Myers, adjunct professor of English and graduate of UIS, has self-published his first novel through an online publishing company called Create Space. The novel is the first volume in a series of outer-space novels and is titled “The Totally Gnarly Adventures of the Galactically Bitchin’ Comet Sweat!”

The book centers on the Milky Way’s most popular rock band, Comet Sweat, with lead singer Declan Slocomb. The band promotes love, happiness and health for every living creature in the galaxy through their lyrics, but offstage they find themselves in one misadventure after another.

Through their connections and newly forged relationships as they travel the galaxy, they spread their influence to all corners. They also catch the attention of an evil corporate viper named Vee’vee’n Klaar’ynn, who is willing to do whatever necessary to gain control of the galaxy, even if it means destroying Comet Sweat.

Beekman-Myers is the author of several novels and short stories, most with a science-fiction slant.

The “The Totally Gnarly Adventures of the Galactically Bitchin’ Comet Sweat!” is now available online at Amazon and Target, as well as at the UIS and Lincoln Land Community College bookstores and Comic Service.

For more information, contact Beekman-Myers at 217/299-2039 or

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Brazilian professor visits UIS and Emiquon for research

By Courtney Westlake

Dr. Luiz Felipe Machado Velho decided he couldn't pass up an opportunity to travel to the United States to participate in scientific research, so he gave up his "summer vacation" to work and learn at UIS and the Emiquon Project this winter. Velho is currently visiting UIS from the State University of Maringa, located in southern Brazil.

UIS has been connected with scientists from the University of Maringa for many years. Dr. Mike Lemke, professor of biology at UIS, traveled to Brazil several years ago and even co-wrote a published paper with Velho's colleagues in Brazil.

"Dr. Lemke came to Brazil and started a collaborative project with our group, who has also been working on big rivers," Velho said.

Velho said this is his first visit to the United States, and he thinks it is a "really great" area. He has been living in UIS campus housing, and his family is also visiting with him since it is summer in Brazil, and they are on break. Being from Brazil, this is the first time he and his family have seen snow, ice and winter.

Velho said he especially loves the Emiquon Field Station and surrounding area, including Thompson Lake. Emiquon, located about an hour northwest of Springfield, is one of the largest floodplain restoration projects in the country, and the field station, which was dedicated in spring 2008, is directed by Lemke.

"It's a beautiful, amazing place," Velho said. "It was very fun to be there during this ice period. I've been used to taking samples in a boat in Brazil. Here, we walked on the ice and cut the ice to take samples."

While Velho and Lemke both work on microbes in freshwater systems, Lemke specializes in work on bacteria, and Velho works on protozoa, which are simple-celled organisms only slightly more complex than bacteria. The two brought their expertises together to work on a project at Emiquon.

From March to November in 2008, Lemke and his crews collected water samples from Thompson Lake and Lake Chautauqua. They are currently discovering information about the water quality conditions and how the microbes respond.

"Felipe's work complements mine, helping me to bridge the ecological links from nutrients to bacteria to protozoa," Lemke said. "The picture that is developing is fascinating. The bacteria community definitely is responding to the weekly changes in the water. We are just now uncovering the protozoa patterns."

There is a second aspect to Velho's work at Emiquon as well. He is also trying to find new molecular techniques to identify the very small and complex protozoa, he said.

Lemke said he was honored to collaborate with Velho on this project.

"The group from U of Maringa, Brazil, are experts in floodplain studies; it is a privilege to have him working with us," Lemke said. "We hope to describe the microbial community in floodplain lakes like Thompson. A better understanding will allow us to understand linkages between nutrients, lake conditions, and links to other parts of the food web."

Velho said he hopes to return to UIS and Emiquon in the near future and looks forward to working together with Lemke on future endeavors.

"Our intention is to get a real collaborative project together and bring UIS students to Brazil and of course bring students from the U of Maringa here," he said.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

UIS receives award from State Farm

By Courtney Westlake

As part of an ongoing partnership, UIS was awarded a generous financial gift of $50,000 from State Farm Insurance on Monday afternoon, January 26.

UIS has had a relationship with State Farm through the university's computer science program, chaired by Dr. Ted Mims. UIS is one of 18 target schools across the nation for State Farm, and State Farm recruits students from these schools for internships and full-time positions.

"It's a lot of fun to come in and mark some of the work we have done together over the last few years with this gift," said Bob Clary, a State Farm representative who is also a graduate of UIS. "We have a lot of good opportunities for people to join us. The program is focused on recruitment, but there is more to it than recruitment; we're also building a partnership."

The money will be used to purchase equipment that will be housed in the department's computer lab, provide remote on- and off-campus access to students for technology-based classes and expand active problem-based online learning, Mims said.

"This is a great opportunity for us to get our foot in the door and get our students experience," he said. "Having this partnership has done a lot for us, not just to get the benefits of students getting jobs and the benefits of funding and investment in our program, but we're able to use this to build partnerships with other groups and get grant funding from other projects."

Several other UIS computer science graduates who now work for State Farm were also on hand to celebrate the new step in the partnership between UIS and State Farm.

"This has been a very rewarding relationship, and the gift now takes us to a new level in our relationship," said UIS Provost Harry Berman. "We're very pleased and honored to be the recipient of this award."

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Monday, December 22, 2008

UIS faculty-student team publishes videos in national science collection

Two UIS faculty members and a former UIS student have published videos in the American Society for Microbiology's MicrobeLibrary Visual Collection.

"Mud and Microbes: a Time-Lapse Photographic Exploration of a Sediment Bacterial Community" is the work of Michael Lemke, associate professor of Biology; Keith Miller, professor of Computer Science; and Roza George, a former Capital Scholar at UIS now at the University of Georgia.

Lemke explained that the video is a time-lapse series that examines 40 days of experimental change of light using microbes that live in mud.

The ASM Visual Collection is a clearinghouse of high-quality, peer-reviewed images, animations, and videos about the microbial world for educators, primarily at the undergraduate level. The collection is part of the MicrobeLibrary, an online, searchable collection of more than 2,000 resources.

Susan Bagley, editor-in-chief of the Visual Collection, notes that the UIS videos are "important additions. We owe the success of the MicrobeLibrary to the high quality resources submitted by authors who are committed to sharing their scholarship of teaching and learning with a broader community of educators."

The American Society for Microbiology, the oldest and largest single life science membership organization in the world, has as its mission the promotion of research and training in the microbiological sciences and the facilitation of communication between scientists, policy makers, and the public.

MicrobeLibrary is a founding partner of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences BiosciEdNet Collaborative, a portal sponsored by the National Science Foundation's National Science Digital Library.

Access the UIS video.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

UIS Theatre's production of Cloud 9 chosen for regional program

Play will represent Illinois at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

The 2008 fall production of the Theatre Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield -- Cloud 9, by British playwright Caryl Churchill -- has been selected to represent the state at the Region III Festival for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, to be held January 7 through 10 in Saginaw, Michigan.

"This is quite a coup for a program that has no majors or minors as yet," observed Margot Duley, dean of UIS' College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Described by the New York Times as "intelligent, inventive, and funny," Cloud 9 explores the politics of sexuality and sexual identity through the use of cross-gender casting and role-doubling.

Assistant Professor of Theatre Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson, who directed the production, explained that it was originally nominated for the festival's "Evening of Scenes" by Professor John T. Oertling, chair of the Theatre Arts Department at Eastern Illinois University, who served as the KCACTF respondent to the production. She said the regional executive committee subsequently selected UIS' entry from all nominated productions in Illinois to represent the state at the Festival's "Evening of Scenes," in which each state presents 5 to 10 minutes of scenes from its nominated production.

KCACTF Region III includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio.

"Right now, we hope to present at least one short scene with students Dwight Langford (Betty, Act I), and Roger Boyd (Harry, Act I), and perhaps also a second scene with Roger and Colleen Kabbes (Edward, Act I)," said Thibodeaux-Thompson.

She and her husband, Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson, who is associate professor and director of Theatre at UIS, are accompanying a number of students to the Festival. Some of the students will take part in the Irene Ryan acting scholarship competition; all of them will attend various workshops and performances from colleges and universities in Region III. Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson will also serve as one of three judges from Illinois for the Irene Ryan preliminary rounds. (Judges do not judge students from their home states.)

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

UIS Computer Science student among winners in international contest

Tejesh Morla (left), a graduate student in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Springfield, is among the recent winners in the MySQL and GlassFish Contest sponsored by SUN MicroSystems.

Morla won second place in the General Students category of the contest, which challenged participants to create a web application using MySQL and Glassfish along with Java. His winning project was a basic web application that responds to customers' needs to register on a site to place and view orders, as well as administrators' needs to view and list all registered customers. He then created an in-depth blog entry that detailed the steps he took to develop his application and how he used MySQL and GlassFish in the process. Second-place winners in each contest category received $250.

Morla said he first heard about the global contest through an e-mail sent by UIS Computer Science Department chair Dr. Ted Mims, adding, "One of my friends always says there should be something in your resume that sets you apart from the others, so I thought I should participate to get some experience."

He said that the project took a lot of time and research. "At one point, I thought I would never make it," he said. “But I am very excited and can't believe that I happened to win."

UIS' graduate program in Computer Science is oriented toward students interested in the design, analysis, and implementation of software programs. Graduate students must complete a comprehensive closure exercise to demonstrate the ability to formulate, investigate, and analyze a problem and to report results in writing and orally.

Founded in 1982, Sun Microsystems, Inc. is a multinational vendor of computers, computer components, computer software, and information technology services.

For more information, contact Mims at 206-7326.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Poll finds UIS students favor Obama

If the election were held today, an overwhelming majority of University of Illinois at Springfield students would vote for Barack Obama, according to a campus poll taken between September 25 – October 4, 2008. Pollsters found that most students are not swayed by the vice presidential candidate, and the economy and gas prices are the major influences on their vote. The poll was part of a class project for the Interviewing 465 class in the Communication Department at UIS.

A total of 384 students were interviewed on campus, giving the poll a 95% confidence level +/- 5%.

Of those polled, 289 were registered to vote. If they had to vote today, 257 said they would choose Obama, and 96 said they would vote for John McCain. Only 31 said they would choose a third party.

More than two-thirds of those polled said the vice presidential candidate did not affect their decision on who should be president. More than 60% of those polled said age is not an important factor in their choice for presidential candidates.

When reviewing election issues that have the most influence on their votes as students, 40% of respondents said the economy had the most influence on their vote, followed by gas prices, the war, healthcare, and finally homeland security.

Nearly 62% of those polled believe their vote matters. And three-fourths of those polled were registered to vote.

The poll was conducted on the UIS campus as part of a class project. The Interviewing class researched polls, election issues, and the candidates and then spent considerable time formulating the seven questions that were asked of students. The questions and the results are listed below.

1. Are you a UIS student?
Yes – 384

2. Are you registered to vote?
Yes – 289
No – 95

3. If the election were today and you had to choose between McCain, Obama, or a third party, who would you vote for?
McCain - 96
Obama - 257
Third party - 31

4. Did the presidential candidates' choice for vice president affect your decision on who should be president?
Yes - 117
No - 267

5. Do you believe age is an important factor for presidential candidates?
Yes - 141
No - 243

6. Which election issue from this list has the most influence on your vote?
a. economy - 152
b. gas prices - 95
c. the war - 73
d. healthcare - 47
e. homeland security - 17

7. Do you think your vote matters?
Yes - 237
No – 147

For more information about the poll, please contact Lana Kains at 414-5956 or Mary Bohlen at 206-7362.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Community invited to join UIS musical groups

Members of the community who are interested in sharing their musical talents are invited to join campus ensembles currently gearing up for the fall semester at the University of Illinois at Springfield. To join the UIS Band, Chorus, or Chamber Orchestra, simply attend rehearsal sessions, which begin the week of August 25. Membership is free and auditions are not required.

UIS Band rehearses Mondays from 4 to 6 p.m.

UIS Chorus rehearses Tuesdays from 7 to 9:15 p.m. and Thursdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

UIS Chamber Orchestra rehearses Thursdays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

All rehearsals meet in room 33 of the Visual and Performing Arts Building on the east side of the UIS campus.

Academic credit is also available to those who have been admitted to study at UIS. Registration for the 2008 fall semester is currently underway. For information on enrolling in any of these ensembles for credit, go to or phone the Registration Office at 206-6174.

For more information, including performance schedules and directions to the rehearsal room, contact UIS Music at 206-8405 or

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

UIS Clinical Lab Science team places second in state meeting

By Courtney Westlake

Woolly mammoths that existed hundreds of thousands of years ago were tough and tenacious, and the Woolly Mammoths at UIS are carrying on those characteristics.

The UIS Clinical Laboratory Science student team, named the Woolly Mammoths, took second place at the Illinois state meeting of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science held April 29 through May 1 in Lisle, Illinois. The team included students Gillian Grasher, Lindsey Rolando, Sarah McGee and Lauren Hefer.

“Congratulations to these students who studied hard for this competition,” said Linda McCown, chair and program director of clinical laboratory science at UIS and one of three advisers for the team, along with Dr. Jim Veselenak and Dr. Wayne Gade.

The competition is the annual state meeting of the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science-Illinois and includes two days of continuing education sessions, exhibitors and business meetings. UIS’ team also had success last year at the meet, placing first in the state.

In the Student Bowl competition, teams must answer questions about medical laboratory topics such as immunohematology, clinical chemistry, medical microbiology and hematology.

The team from UIS practices once a week during the spring semester as preparation for the competition, McCown said.

“Preparation for the competition is not only fun - we use practice games - but it helps the students review material that they have learned during the past two years,” she said. “And the state meeting, the students get to meet and network with other students and professionals from around the state and see how important it is to be active in their professional organization.”

Receiving such top honors in this state meeting is a true testament to the success and dedication of the clinical laboratory science program at UIS and its students.

“The alternate, Nicole Schupp, is currently a senior in our program, and the other team members all have jobs as clinical laboratory scientists and passed their national certification examination. Two are working here in Springfield, and the other two are in Missouri and Michigan,” McCown said.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

UIS hosts New Century Learning Consortium July 21-23

Representatives from six universities from throughout the nation will attend the first meeting of the New Century Learning Consortium on July 21-23 at the University of Illinois at Springfield. The Consortium is designed to assist the universities in implementing high quality, large-scale online and blended learning programs.

Founded by Ray Schroeder, Director of UIS' Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning (OTEL), and Burks Oakley, Founding Director of the University of Illinois Online, the Consortium is being funded with a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

"This is an exciting initiative that brings together state universities spread across the U.S.," said Schroeder. "Our organizational meeting will enable us to formalize our relationships and begin collaborations in the development of online and blended learning initiatives that will span the country."

Schroeder said the recent rise in gas prices has significantly increased student demand for the delivery of classes in online and blended learning formats. "The leaders of these institutions who will gather at UIS are committed to responding to student needs in reducing the commuting expenses required for degree and certificate programs," he said.

Consortium activities include developing a clearinghouse of online classes where there is excess capacity; shared IT expertise to support building infrastructure capacity; and peer support at the upper administration, dean, and faculty member levels.

The institutions taking part in the Consortium are dedicated to developing vigorous online and blended learning initiatives to expand and stabilize student enrollments. They are California State University Easy Bay, Hayward; Southern Oregon University, Ashland; Chicago State University; Oakland University, Rochester Hills, Michigan; University of Southern Maine, Portland; and Louisiana Tech University, Ruston.

UIS was recognized with the prestigious 2007 award for excellence in institution-wide online teaching and learning from the Sloan Consortium, the premiere national organization dedicated to advancing quality in online education.

For more information about the Consortium, contact Ray Schroeder at 206-7531.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Two UIS online degree programs ranked among "best buys" in national survey

Two online degree programs at the University of Illinois at Springfield – the master of science in Computer Science and the master of science in Management Information Systems – were rated among the top dozen programs in a recent national survey conducted by, the only consumer-oriented, online degree clearinghouse in the country. The survey looks at tuition costs at accredited, distance-learning computer science and information systems degree programs nationwide.

The survey, "Top 29 Ranked Best Buys, Online Graduate Degrees in Computer Science and Information Technology," identifies trends in online degree pricing that directly impact consumers as they go online to earn degrees. The "Best Buy" designation indicates that the programs have been reviewed and judged to offer a high-quality distance degree to a national audience at tuition rates well below the national average and recognize an institution's efforts toward making quality education more accessible through innovative delivery methods coupled with fiscally responsive practices.

The number one spot in the survey went to Columbus State University (Georgia) with a cost of $5,436 for an online master's degree in Applied Computer Science. UIS' master's of science in Computer Science, at number five, cost $8,032 and the master's of science in Management Information Systems, at number twelve, cost $11,044. The most expensive degree in the survey, an M.S. with an Information Systems concentration, was offered by Baker College, in Michigan, at a cost of $17, 325. Honorable mentions were made to three institutions – in Arizona, Maryland, and Missouri – each with costs of over $18,000.

GetEducated CEO Vicky Phillips noted, "College costs at residential programs have skyrocketed in the last decade; however, the same is not true for online degree programs. We launched our national Best Buy award program to spotlight and promote the true affordable gems of higher education."

UIS' graduate program in Computer Science is oriented toward students interested in the design, analysis, and implementation of software programs. Graduate students must complete a comprehensive closure exercise to demonstrate the ability to formulate, investigate, and analyze a problem and to report results in writing and orally.

The master's degree in Management Information Systems is designed to provide the professional administrator/manager with a balance between technical expertise and organizational knowledge in the application of information technology to solve business problems. All MIS graduates must complete a graduate project or thesis, the nature of which is contingent on the individual's career goals, or complete the MIS Capstone course.

UIS presently offers eight master's degree programs completely online: Computer Science, Environmental Studies, Human Services Administration, Legal Studies, Management Information Systems, Public Administration, Public Health, and Teacher Leadership.

Online undergraduate degree programs include Business Administration, Computer Science, Economics, English, History, Liberal Studies, Mathematics, and Philosophy. UIS also offers certificate programs and many individual courses online.

See the complete results of the survey.

See more information about UIS Online.

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