Tuesday, April 27, 2010

UIS and Springfield Public Schools collaborate for Partners in Education Institute

The University of Illinois Springfield’s Sangamon Auditorium and Springfield Public Schools (SPS) have joined together to form a team that was recently selected to participate in the national Partners in Education Institute, which will take place May 5 through May 8 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Carly Shank, director of audience development and communication for Sangamon Auditorium, is the institute’s principal for the Auditorium, and Lynn Gilmore, Elementary Music Specialist for SPS, is the representative for the school district. Shank and Gilmore, along with Bob Vaughn, director of Sangamon Auditorium, will attend the institute.

“Few factors are as important to building audiences for the performing arts as the effectiveness of local educators in local schools,” Vaughn noted. “The Auditorium can provide access and opportunities otherwise unavailable to students and teachers; consequently, we have pursued this opportunity for partnership to assure a brighter future for all parties involved and for society at large.”

Lynn Gilmore believes this collaboration will help strengthen arts education throughout the district.

“The arts are essential to every child’s education. It serves as an avenue that sparks creativity and imagination in the minds of learners. In that same light, every student needs a stage and our collaboration with UIS offers a venue to express themselves via the arts,” said Gilmore.

Fourteen other teams of arts organizations and school systems were chosen to attend the institute, which promotes partnerships in communities across the country between arts organizations and local school districts, focusing on the development of arts education programs for teachers.

The institute provides training and information to design an effective arts and arts integration professional development program for teachers in their communities. Participants will have the opportunity to observe established professional development workshops in action at the Kennedy Center with teachers in attendance. They will also participate in content sessions that prepare them in how to plan, implement and evaluate professional development in the arts and arts integration for teachers.

The new teams will join the existing 90 teams from 44 states and the District of Columbia currently participating in the Partners in Education program. In addition to this institute, the program holds an annual conference in Washington, where attendees exchange ideas and address issues facing their communities.

“We look to supplement the considerable efforts of UIS in teacher education while providing a dialogue that can build meaningful and transformative relationships for years to come,” Vaughn said.

The institute is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Committee for the Performing Arts and the Kennedy Center Corporate Fund.

For more information about the collaboration between Sangamon Auditorium and District 186, contact Bob Vaughn at 217/206-8280 or Lynn Gilmore at 217/525-3264.

For more information about the Partners in Education program, call 202/416-8806 or visit www.kennedy-center.org/education/partners.

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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 www.uis.edu/campusradio. For more information email campusradio@uis.edu.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Under the Dome" gives high school students and teachers a look inside state government

More than two dozen high school students and teachers from central Illinois spent a day as statehouse insiders at the capitol on Wednesday, March 24.

The University of Illinois Springfield’s “Under the Dome” is the state’s premier immersion event for high school juniors interested in government, politics, and public service.

“Most students when they come here to the capitol only get to see what the public gets to see, but because UIS has so many alumni engaged in government we’re able to take these high school students behind the scenes,” said Ed Wojcicki, UIS associate chancellor for constituent relations.

Wojcicki estimates UIS has hundreds, if not thousands of alumni working in state government in Springfield. UIS has been preparing leaders in government and public service since its founding 40 years ago.

Students and teachers spent the day behind the scenes at the statehouse on one of the busiest days of the legislative session. They talked with lawmakers and lobbyists, analysts and journalists, and got to see up close how policy is made in Illinois.

“I’ve never been to the capitol. This is actually my first day and… I never realized it was so busy and all these people were here, but it’s actually pretty cool,” said Ellisa Marsh a junior at Springfield’s Southeast High School.

The “Under the Dome” experience has inspired Marsh to take a closer look at a career in state government and she's already decided she wants to do an internship. She gives credit to “Under the Dome” for sparking her interest in politics.

“It opens a lot of doors and gives you opportunities. I never really had an interest in government until actually today,” said Marsh.

Allison Weidhuner, a junior at Greenview High School agrees it was worth spending a day at the capitol. She says she never realized how many people work at the capitol and the type of work they do.

“It helps you understand the whole process and get to know your government,” she said.

Wojcicki hopes the students take the knowledge they’ve learned back to their schools and that it inspires them in whatever career they choose.

“I hope they go home excited about state government. I hope they go home saying you know what I saw something in downtown Springfield I’ve never seen before. That was really interesting. I didn’t know that’s what happens in government,” he said.

The university is planning a similar “Under the Dome” event for Chicago area high school juniors on April 21. For more information visit http://www.uis.edu/welcome/dome.html.

UIS government-related majors include Communication, Criminal Justice, Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, Global Studies, Legal Studies, Political Science, Public Administration, Public Affairs Reporting and Public Health.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Chinese professors visit Springfield elementary school

Two professors from the Harbin University of Science and Technology in China, who are visiting the University of Illinois Springfield, in an educational partnership met with students at a Springfield elementary school on Tuesday, March 9.

Yufeng Jiang, Dean of the College of Foreign Languages at Harbin University and Fuming Chen, a faculty member in the College of Foreign Languages are spending time at UIS visiting classes and doing research. They’re also making an effort to learn more about the community.

“I’m very impressed by the way people think about education,” said Jiang.

Iles Elementary School, part of District 186, started teaching students introductory Chinese this year in an effort to become part of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years program.

“They have a global idea of what the future will be like and what potential students already have,” said Jaing, following a visit to the school.

The UIS Office of International Programs is working to strengthen its relationship with Harbin University. A visiting faculty member took part in an exchange program last year, which could open the door for much more.

“We’re looking at faculty exchange, student exchange and variety of programs with them,” said Jonathan GoldbergBelle, UIS Director of International Programs.

The Harbin faculty looks forward to strengthening their bond with UIS and learning new ways to share knowledge.

“It should be a two-way street, for example we have some support from the United States for education to teach English,” said Jaing.

UIS has been working with other universities in China for close to 20 years.

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

UIS announces fall semester 2009 Deans' List

A total of 455 students have been named to the University of Illinois Springfield Deans’ List for the 2009 fall semester; 80 are students in the college of Business and Management, 68 are students in the College of Education and Human Services, 256 are enrolled in programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 40 are enrolled in programs in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, and 11 are non-degree or undecided.

To qualify for the designation, a student must be an undergraduate who took at least eight graded semester hours and maintained a grade-point average of at least 3.75 for the semester.

The list is organized alphabetically by hometown.

Download a PDF of the Fall 2009 Deans' List:
Deans' List Release Fall09.pdf

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

UIS Teacher Education honor society inducts new members

The Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Teacher Education at the University of Illinois at Springfield, Alpha Alpha Gamma chapter, held initiation and induction ceremonies for new members on Saturday evening, April 25, on the UIS campus. Kappa Delta Pi recognizes scholarship and excellence in education.

Teacher candidates initiated in the honor society, which represents the top twenty percent of educators, were Amanda Flesch, Tina Freeman, Deana Hunter, Jack Hutchison, Danielle Kreier, Sara Legate, Lacy May, Sara Quigley, Hyun Ah Oh, Emily Orr, Kenneth Reid, Kayla Robinson, Danielle Simler, Lacey Slatton, Jason Winnett, Simon Wilson and Erica Weaver. The candidates were initiated by the chapter counselor, Jennifer Herring, assistant professor of Teacher Education at UIS.

Previous chapter counselor Allan Cook welcomed initiates and assisted with the induction of new Alpha Alpha Gamma chapter officers for the upcoming year: Deana Hunter, president; Tom Hutchison, vice president; Lacey Slatton, treasurer; Kayla Robinson, secretary; Danielle Kreier, historian; and Amanda Flesc, foundation representative.

Graduates and those who completed their Teacher Education certificates and received honor cords included Tina Freeman, Jack Hutchison, Sara Legate, Emily Orr, Kenneth Reid, Danielle Simler and Erica Weaver.

Tamara Douglass, District 186’s 2008 Teacher of the Year in attendance, was the guest speaker at the ceremony.

Teacher Education is a department in the College of Education and Human Services at UIS. The program currently offers a teacher education minor and certification in elementary education and secondary education in the areas of English, math, biological science and social studies.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Prominent UIS alums to participate in Leadership Roundtable

The University of Illinois at Springfield will host 21 distinguished alumni from across the nation as the group gathers to participate in a Leadership Roundtable on Thursday and Friday, November 6 and 7, at the university.

The topic of the Roundtable, "UIS in the Global Marketplace," will focus on two main topics: What can UIS offer international markets? and What do students need to know to be prepared for today’s global environment?

The alumni will participate in meetings and panel discussions with UIS administrators, faculty, and student groups and will take part in a "speed networking" event with students. The Leadership Roundtable program is designed as a way to bring some of the best and brightest alumni together with educators to share their insights on the realities and challenges of the global marketplace.

"UIS is very fortunate to have among its alumni many extraordinary leaders," said UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen. "These individuals have graciously agreed to share their experiences and expertise with us through intensive discussions about how we can best prepare our graduates for the future."

Roundtable participants are: Linda Baker-Roby, professor, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute and president, GII of Illinois, Inc. (BA, 1985; MA, 1987, DPA, 2004); Guoxing Chai, senior vice president, Risk Management & Analytics, Global Cards/Consumer Assets, HSBC bank (MBA, 1993); James A. Downing, founding executive director of Illinois Venture Capital Association (MBA, 1999); W. Robert Felker, chief administrative officer, Chase Capital and chairman of JPMorgan Futures Inc. (BA, 1974); Kathleen D. Gowin, senior vice president of sales, Global Treasury Services at Bank of America (MBA, 1987); Karen A. Hasara, first woman to be elected mayor of Springfield and former member of the Illinois Legislature (BA,1972; MA, 1992); Gordon S. Heddell, acting Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense (MA, 1975); Brenda J. Holmes, chair of the Governmental Relations Committee, Illinois State Broad of Education and member of the Finance & Audit Committee, commissioner for the Education Commission of the States (MA, 1972); Raju L. Indukuri, independent entrepreneur and founder of Valence Energy (MA, 1992); Cheryl Alters Jamison, author of more than a dozen cookbooks and travel guides (1977 MA); Donald Johnson, chairman and CEO of ATC Technology Corporation and lead director of Accuride Corporation (BA, 1982); Thomas E. Livingston, resident vice president, CSX Transportation for the State of Illinois (BS, 1990; MPA, 1997); Syma R. Mendelsohn, senior vice president of JZA Affinity, Inc. (MA, 1975); David W. Olien, senior vice president for administration in the University of Wisconsin System (retired) (MA, 1974); Fred Parsons, owner/operator of Westview Condos LLC and Troy Development, partner in Metro East Recycling Inc. (BA, 1981); Kevin Purcell, system managing director in organization and leadership development for Memorial Health Systems (MA, 1982); Michael S. Schwartz, chairman of the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (MA, 1980); Thom M. Serafin, president and CEO of Serafin & Associates, Inc. (BA, 1973; MA, 1993); Donna Fitzgerald Sollenberger, chief executive officer of the Baylor Clinic and Hospital and executive vice president of Baylor College of Medicine (BA, 1971; MA, 1974); Stanley D. Tooley, president/CEO of Southwest Regional Rehabilitation Hospital (MA, 1976); and Phillip T. Zeni Sr., CEO and senior consultant of The NEXT LEVEL Management Consultants (BA, 1973).

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

UIS, Heartland Community College sign articulation agreement

An Articulation (2+2) Agreement between the College of Business and Management at the University of Illinois at Springfield and Heartland Community College was signed on July 15 by HCC Dean of Instruction Steve Herald (pictured on the left) and UIS CBM Dean Ron McNeil (pictured on the right) .

A 2+2 agreement is a partnership that facilitates the transfer of students from a community college to a senior university.

A four-year course plan has been mapped out for Heartland students that will ensure that they take the necessary foundation courses to prepare them for any of the four undergraduate degree programs -- Accountancy, Business Administration, Economics, and Management -- offered by the CBM.

"Heartland Community College is very excited about the opportunities these cooperative agreements will provide for our students," said Sarah Diel-Hunt, Associate Dean for Social and Business Sciences at Heartland. "The faculty, programs, and facilities in the College of Business and Management at UIS are top notch. In addition, the small class size and student-centered approach at UIS make it a very appealing transfer option for our students."

In addition to the 2+2 agreement, Heartland and UIS have also entered into an Online Partnership Agreement to facilitate the delivery of online baccalaureate completion programs in business and economics to students and alumni of HCC.

Dyanne Ferk, Associate Dean of the College of Business and Management at UIS, said that Heartland has expressed particular interest in UIS' online BBA and Economics programs as options for place-bound adult learners. UIS also offers courses leading to the bachelor's degree in accountancy and management at its Peoria Center.

A 2+2 agreement creates synergy between the faculty of both colleges because they have ongoing communications concerning transferring students and maintenance of the degree plans. Students also benefit from having academic advising from the senior university while still at the community college.

The College of Business and Management at UIS is accredited by AACSB International and offers programs that prepare students for challenging careers and positions in private and public sector organizations. Graduate degrees are also offered in Accountancy, Business Administration, and Management Information Systems.

Founded in 1991, Heartland Community College is a two-year, fully accredited institution of higher education with campuses located in Normal, Pontiac, and Lincoln. Heartland's main campus, in Normal, opened for classes in 2000.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

UIS announces spring semester deans' list

A total of 444 students were named to the University of Illinois at Springfield Deans' List for the 2008 spring semester. Of the students listed, 56 are majoring in programs within the College of Business and Management, 61 are in the College of Education and Human Services, 282 are in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 38 are in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, and 7 have not declared a major or are non-degree students.

To qualify for the designation, a student must be an undergraduate who took at least eight graded semester hours and maintained a grade-point average of at least 3.75 for the semester.

Download a pdf file of students' names, arranged alphabetically by hometown


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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 GetEducated.com, 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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